SAARC Current Affairs

14th SAARCLAW Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka

The 14th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation in Law (SAARCLAW) Conference was held in Colombo, capital city of Sri Lanka along with 11th SAARC Chief Justices Conference.

The three-day conference was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and saw participation from South Asia’s top Judges, legal practitioners and academics.

Key Facts

The SAARCLAW Conference provided platform for legal professionals to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests and emerging legal trends in the South Asian countries. It also discussed issues like artificial intelligence, human trafficking, Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and environmental protection concerns.

Besides, 11th Chief Justices conference was held in a closed-door session and was attended only by Chief Justices or their representatives. It provided Chief Justices of SAARC countries opportunity to consider relevance of judiciaries within South Asia.

SAARCLAW Conference

It was established in Sri Lanka in 1991. Since then conference has provided a platform for legal professionals from South Asian region to meet and discuss issues of mutual interests pertaining to justice, legal reforms, good governance and enforcement over a span of 25 years.

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It comprises 3% of world’s area, 21% of world’s population and 3.8% of global economy as of 2015.

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India launches South-Asia satellite

The “South Asia satellite” for use by countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region has been launched on May 5. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the satellite as an invaluable gift of India to South Asia and has further stated that the satellite “will go a long way in addressing South Asia’s economic and developmental priorities.” During the 2014 SAARC summit that held in Nepal, the plan for the satellite was announced and subsequently all SAARC countries have joined it except Pakistan. Hence, the beneficiaries of the satellite will be Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

The total cost of launching the satellite (around Rs 235 crore) would be met by the Government of India.

Salient features

The 2,230 kg satellite called GSAT-09 has been built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is cuboid in shape and is built around a central cylinder. It has 12 Ku-band transponders. The satellite was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota using a Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-II launch vehicle. It will have a mission life of over 12 years. The launch vehicle, GSLV-F09 is about 50m tall and is the 11th flight of the GSLV. Also, the launch is GSLV’s fourth consecutive flight with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) engine.

Significance

The satellite will provide a full range of applications and services in the fields of telecommunication and broadcasting applications, namely, Television, Direct-to-Home (DTH), Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), Tele-education, Telemedicine and Disaster Management Support.

Each of the participating countries would be able to use a dedicated transponder with a capacity of 36 to 54 Mhz for its own internal use. The participating countries would be made responsible for the content generation and its use.

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