India Current Affairs - 2020

India South Korea sign 7 Agreements to step-up cooperation

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to South Korea seven agreements were signed to boost up the cooperation. The agreements signed include:

  • MoU was signed between the Korean National Police Agency and the Ministry of Home Affairs to enhance cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the two countries and combat trans-border and international crimes.
  • A joint agreement was signed for releasing a joint stamp, commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok), a legendary Princess of Ayodhya, who went to Korea in AD 48 and married King Kim-Suro.
  • An agreement was signed to continue operations of Korea Plus organisation that facilitates investments by Korean companies in India. Korea Plus operationalised in June 2016 comprises representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy of South Korea, Korea Trade-Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Invest India.
  • An agreement to promote collaboration among start-ups and set up a Korea Start-up Centre (KSC) in India to commercialise ideas, technologies and designs of start-up companies.
  • An agreement between the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Prasar Bharti to facilitate the broadcast of DD India Channel in South Korea and KBS World Channel in India.
  • An agreement on fisheries and aquaculture for strengthening cooperation by encouraging exchanges, organising training workshops and development and utilisation of marine science and technology in the fields of fisheries and aquaculture.
  • An agreement between the National Highways Authority of India and Korea Expressway Corporation to promote bilateral cooperation in road and transport infrastructure development projects of India, and facilitate technical and institutional knowledge exchange in the field of road and transport.

This was the second visit of Prime Minister Modi to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and it was a second summit meeting with the South Korean president.

India-Saudi Arabia bilateral Meeting

India and Saudi Arabia held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India. The joint statement issued on the sidelines of the bilateral meet between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlights the following:

  • Affirming that extremism and terrorism threaten all nations, India and Saudi Arabia rejected any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to a particular race, religion or culture.
  • Without naming Pakistan the joint statement said that nations should renounce the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
  • Constitution of a ‘comprehensive security dialogue’ at the level of national security advisor and setting up of a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
  • Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to meeting India’s growing needs for crude oil and petroleum products and substitute for any shortages that may arise as a result of disruptions from other sources without naming Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia also increased India’s Haj quota by about 25,000. India’s Haj quota now stands at 2 lakh.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia has already invested $44 billion in India since the PM’s visit in 2016 and they see an investment opportunity of worth $100 billion in sectors like energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing.

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the recent terrorist attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.