Sushma Swaraj Current Affairs

Government decides to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with MEA

Union Government has decided to merge Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

This decision has been taken to avoid duplication of work and to improve efficiency in line with Union Government’s broad principle of minimum government, maximum governance.

The merger was announced by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and proposal in this regard was cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key facts

  • MOIA was established in May 2004 as the Ministry of Non-Resident Indians’ Affairs (MNRIA). However it was renamed Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in September 2004.
  • The primary task of the MOIA was to connect the Indian diaspora with its motherland by initiating various programmes.
  • It also focused on developing networks with and amongst the overseas Indians with the intent of building partnership with the diaspora.
  • The merger is expected to increase efficiency in MEA’s emergency work abroad especially in various crisis-prone countries in West Asia. It would also increase MEA staff strength.

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China agrees to end stand-off

India and China have resolved the stand-off which was continued for many days along the Ladakh border. The foreign ministers of both the countries have agreed to end the stalemate as Chinese side agreed to pull-off its troops from the border. “I am happy to tell you that both nations have sat down and resolved the (border stand-off) issue. Timelines have been decided,” Swaraj told Indian media after her meeting with the IBSA foreign ministers on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session.

The Chumar area had seen Chinese troops enter Indian territory upto 500 meters and set-up tents there. The local civilians of the region were also involved as they stopped Indian construction workers from undertaking the work that was assigned under MGNREGA. This incursion was important and highly notable as it coincided with the visit of Chinese premier Xi Jinping.

The Chinese government head that had come with attractive investment proposals for India was also hopeful of an early bilateral resolution of the border dispute. The Chinese troops had once retreated but again came forward with similar assertions and incursions. Indian government had taken serious note of the situation.

New Delhi is considering Mr. Xi’s demand of naming a Special Representative to hold talks on the border dispute and for the correct demarcation of Line of Actual Control. Chinese side was demanding dismantling of some border posts by India.

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