India-Norway Current Affairs

India and Norway sign Letter of Intent to bilateral extend health cooperation

India has signed Letter of Intent (LoI) with Norway to extend cooperation within health sector through Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) for period of three years starting from 2018.

Through this LoI, cooperation between both countries will continue to be aligned with development goals of India as outlined in its National Health Policy, 2017 for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Key Facts

The cooperation will also focus on global health issues of common interest. It will include areas related to reproductive, maternal, child, new-born, adolescent health and health system strengthening to be build based on experiences from NIPI phase I and II.  The cooperation will continue to focus on innovative, catalytic and strategic support, taking India’s Intensification Plan for Accelerated Maternal and Child Survival in country as starting point.

Background

The Governments of Norway and India had agreed in 2006 to collaborate towards achieving MDG 4 to reduce child mortality. The partnership was based on India’s health initiative, National Health Mission (NHM) and aimed at facilitating rapid scale-up of quality child and maternal health services in four high focus states – Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.

The main activities in NIPI Phase I (2006-2012) were home-based new born care (HBNC), establishing Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCU), Yashoda through State health system, techno managerial support and providing strategic support for immunization and Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives. India and Norway had decided to extend the partnership to coincide with Phase II of NHM plan for period of five years (2013-17). Besides four states supported by NIPI, Jammu & Kashmir was added as fifth state with NIPI.

NIPI through its work in last decade (2007-2017) has resulted in newer initiatives. It has also supported NHM by providing credible technical support in five states and at national level. It has resulted in development and release of multiple policies and guidelines for NHM.

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Highlights of President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Norway and Finland

President Pranab Mukherjee returned from a five day visit to Norway and Finland on October 17. He signed a multitude of agreements during his time there.

Nuclear Energy

India signed an agreement for nuclear cooperation with Finland. The agreement was signed between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India and the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland. Other than nuclear cooperation, radiation safety regulation, exchange of information and personnel related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy will be the spheres of collaboration.

Trade

India and Finland agreed to double bilateral trade to $2 bn over the next three years. Around 19 agreements for cooperation across various fields like education, biotechnology, nuclear and radiation safety, and renewable energy were signed to further increase the bilateral trade.

Energy cooperation

A joint venture partnership agreement was signed between Chempolis Oy and Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. to build India’s first BioRefinery.

Science & Technology

An MoU was signed between the Department of Biotechnology and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation to increase cooperation in the field of biotechnology. This will help the two countries collaborate in the areas of diagnostics in health and well being through joint funding of projects and workshops.

Agreements with Norway

India and Norway also signed a plethora of agreements to increase cooperation in defence, science and technology, education and other areas.

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