Mineral Resources Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet approves India-Mongolia Agreement on exploration of outer space

On January 8, 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi approved the agreement between India and Mongolia to explore outer space for civilian and peaceful purposes. The countries signed the agreement in September 2019.

Highlights

The agreement enables the countries to pursue research in planetary exploration, space system, application of space technology. The plan is to set a Joint Working Group by drawing members from ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), DOS (Department of Space). Communications and Information Technology Authority (CITA) of Mongolia. The finances for the project are to be approved in stage-by-stage basis.

India-Mongolia

India maintains close ties with Mongolia and is interested in developing trade with the country as it is rich in mineral deposits. During PM Modi’s visit to the country in 2015, which was the first ever Prime Ministerial visit to Mongolia in the Indian history, PM announced 1 billion USD grant to the country. Mongolia has abundant deposits of minerals namely coal, gold, copper, molybdenum, tin, fluorspar, tungsten and tin. The country also holds huge Uranium deposits.

Mongolia is one of the 29 resource rich developing countries in the world according to International Monetary Fund.

In 2018, India exported 51.6 million USD of goods to Mongolia and imported goods with 1 million USD. This is very little as compared to that of its neighbours China and Soviet Union.

India-Bolivia Sign 9 MoUs

During the state visit of the President Ram Nath Kovind to Bolivia the following 9 MoUs were signed:

  • Agreement on Exemption of Visa for Diplomatic and Official Passport holders to facilitate entry into either country of Diplomatic and Official Passport Holders without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in any period of 180 days.
  • Agreement to promote the development of academic cooperation in the training of diplomats, including structure and content and to update on international relations in the framework of the programmes and activities of the Parties.
  • Agreement to provide technical advice to deepen necessary studies; contribute to establish continuous cooperation between public and private companies on issues related to planning, construction and operation of the Corridor.
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources to promote and expand bilateral relations in the field of geology and mineral resources between the two countries based on principles of equality and mutual benefit on a long and enduring basis.
  • Programme of Cultural Exchange for the period 2019-21 to expand relationship in the field of culture through various activities and exchange of groups, artists, exhibitions and film festivals etc.
  • Agreement to establish the Centre of Excellence for Information & Communication Technologies for capacity building of Bolivian professionals and to encourage research and development.
  • MoU in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy to strengthen, promote and develop co-operation in the fields of traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.
  • MoU between Indian Space Research Organisation and Agencia Boliviana Espacial on Cooperation in the exploration and the uses of outer space for peaceful purposes to develop organizational basis and effective forms of bilateral interaction and to promote the development of partnerships in the field of exploration of the outer space and application of space technologies for the benefit of the people of both countries.
  • Framework Agreement on International Solar Alliance (ISA). Bolivia joins the International Solar Alliance to collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy.

India has also offered 100 million US Dollar Line of Credit to Bolivia for financing development projects.