Innovation Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Rwanda have inked three agreements in the fields of innovation, aviation and visa requirements to boost bilateral relations.
These agreements were signed in Kigali in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi during a business forum meet. Vice President is the first Indian leader to officially visit Rwanda. He launched India-Rwanda innovation growth programme.
Three important agreements signed are
- Bilateral air service agreement between two countries.
- Agreement for exemption of visa requirements for diplomatic and service passports.
- Agreement for establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Rwanda duly financed by India,
Vice President Hamid Ansari visited Rwanda on the first leg of his 2-nation visit to East Africa. Later he will travel to Uganda, the second leg of his tour to another East African country. Both Rwanda and Uganda are important from India’s viewpoint of trade, especially in the pharmaceuticals, automobiles, mechanical appliances and machinery sectors. Since 2012, India’s trade with Rwanda has doubled and it is one of Uganda’s largest trading partners and largest investors.
- India is key partner of African nations in the 1950s and 1960s. However in the past decade, India lost influence in Africa to China and other Asian nations.
- In recent years, India is seeking to broaden its general outreach to resource-rich Africa and establish its footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.
- India has positioned itself as a partner of choice to African countries in areas such as education, healthcare, investment and trade.
- In 2014-15, India-Africa trade was almost $70 billion and Indian investments in Africa in the past decade was amounted to $30-35 billion.
- The figures, however, are low in comparison with the Africa’s trade and investment ties with China which is around $200 billion. China has built large infrastructure projects like roads, railways, airports and government buildings in Africa.
- Together, President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Ansari have visited 12 African nations in 2016.
- This was in keeping with PM Modi’s promise to maintain the tempo of interaction with Africa, made to leaders to 54 African nations during the 3rd India-Africa summit in New Delhi in October 2015.
The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation.
The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.
- The agreement will ensure exchange of best practices and setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges.
- The exchanges under it will be through collaboration between companies, organizations and institutions of France and India.
- The agreement also aims to carry out activities related to exchange of best practices in the field of Science & Technology through the India’s Technology Development Board and Bpifrance.
About Technology Development Board (TDB)
- TDB is a statutory body established under Technology Development Board Act, 1995.
- Its mandate is to promote development and commercialisation of indigenous technology and adaptation of imported technology for wider application.
- It consists of 11 Board members. The board plays a pro-active role by encouraging enterprises to take up technology oriented products. The Union Government had reconstituted the board in March 2000.
- It is the first organization of its kind within the government framework with the sole objective of commercializing the fruit of indigenous research.
- It provides financial assistance to research and development institutions and equity capital or loans to industrial concerns. The loan carries a simple interest rate of 5% per annum.