India Current Affairs - 2019

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India, Argentina Sign 10 MoUs & Agreements

India and Argentina signed 10 MoUs and Agreements during the ongoing three-day visit of the Argentine President Mauricio Macri. President Mauricio Macri of Argentina held bilateral talks with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18th February 2019. The visit of Argentine President Mauricio Macri also marks 70 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Buenos Aires.

MoUs and Agreements Signed

Six MoUs were signed between the two sides are:

  • MoU on defence cooperation was signed between the defence ministries of the two nations.
  • MoU on Tourism was signed for cooperation in the field of Tourism.
  • MoU on Broadcasting content was signed on Cooperation and Collaboration between Prasar Bharti, India and the Federal System of Media and Public Contents, Argentina.
  • MoU in pharmaceuticals was signed between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO), GoI, and National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology, Argentina.
  • MoU on Antarctic Co-operation was signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina and the Ministry of Earth Sciences of India.
  • MOU was signed between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), India, and CNEA, the Secretariat of Energy, Argentina.

Two work-plans have been agreed upon in the field of Agriculture –

  • Work Plan on Cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of India and the Ministry of Production and Labour of Argentina.
  • Work Plan for the year 2019-21 between Indian Council of Agriculture Research and the State Secretary of Agro-industry of the Ministry of Production and Labour of Argentina

An Agreement was signed for the establishment of India-Argentina Centre of Excellence for Information and Technology.

Modi-Macri Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Macri met for the fifth time. The last time they met was on the sidelines of the G20 Summit held in Argentina in December 2018. Prime Minister  Modi hailed the 70 years of Indo-Argentine ties in the joint statement. Both the nations strongly condemned terrorism, the recent incident being the Pulwama terrorist attack on 14th February 2019, which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF personnel.

India hikes customs duty to 200% on all goods imported from Pakistan

After the withdrawal of the Most Favored Nation tag to Pakistan, India has now increased the customs duties for imports from Pakistan to 200%. The increase in the customs duty would drastically increase the prices of Pakistani goods in India and make exports unfeasible.

Pakistan Exports to India

Pakistan’s exports to India include fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products, bulk minerals and ores, finished leather, processed minerals, inorganic chemicals, cotton raw, spices, wool, rubber product, alcoholic beverage, medical instruments, marine goods, plastic, dyes and sports goods.

The increase in the customs duty would adversely impact Pakistan’s exports to India, which stood at USD 488.5 million (around Rs 3,482.3 crore) in 2017-18 as it would drastically increase the price of goods in India.

The increase in the customs duty is in accordance with its domestic Foreign Trade (Development And Regulation) Act which allows the government to prohibit, restrict or regulate the import or export of goods and also conform to the global trade norms which do not require any country to furnish any information disclosure for which it considers contrary to its essential security interests and allow countries any action which they consider necessary for the protection of their essential security interests.