5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline

5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline
5 central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL – signed a joint venture agreement for executing the North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid as a step towards the Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project. The JV company shall develop, build, operate and maintain the Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. The project will connect the state capitals of all the eight North Eastern states.

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal
The European Union and Japan signed a huge free trade deal that cuts or eliminates tariffs on nearly all goods. The agreement covers 600 million people and almost a third of the global economy. It will remove tariffs on European exports such as cheese and wine. Japanese automakers and electronics firms will face fewer barriers in the European Union.

Centre supports Bru pact

The Home Ministry is committed to implementing the agreement signed to repatriate 33,000 Bru refugees living in camps in Tripura & Mizoram. As per the agreement each of the 5,407 families will get Rs. 5,000 per month along with ration for 2 years and house-building assistance of ` 1.5 lakh. The Bru community had fled Mizoram in 1997 following an unrest and are in relief camps in Tripura.

IIT D sign MoU with AIIA to validate Ayurveda

An agreement was signed between IIT Delhi & the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under which projects would be launched that would aim to give “scientific validation” to the Ayurveda and integrate it with technology. The projects would be funded by the Ayush Ministry. The agreement was signed at a conference of the heads of Ayush Institutes on ways to induce modernity in Ayurveda.

Centre supports Bru pact

The Home Ministry is committed to implementing the agreement signed to repatriate 33,000 Bru refugees living in camps in Tripura & Mizoram. As per the agreement each of the 5,407 families will get Rs. 5,000 per month along with ration for 2 years and house-building assistance of ` 1.5 lakh. The Bru community had fled Mizoram in 1997 following an unrest and are in relief camps in Tripura.

Railways & Mahametro to create MRTS in Nagpur

Indian Railways today signed an agreement with the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MahaMetro) to create a mass rapid transit system in Nagpur. Under the MoU, the Railways and MahaMetro would work towards linking railway line to metro coaches on broad gauge network. The MoU was signed between Maharastra CM Devendra Fadnavis and transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari.

India, Bahrain sign pact to boost investment

India and Bahrain signed agreements in the field of healthcare and renewable energy and decided to enhance investments among both countries. The two sides also did an agreement on Exemption from Short Stay Visa for holders of Diplomatic and Official passport. The agreement comes after Sushma Swaraj meets Bahrainain Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

India signs pact to ease visa restrictions

India on July 15 signed a revised travel agreement with Bangladesh to ease visa restrictions for citizens from the neighbouring country. Under the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018, freedom fighters and elderly Bangladeshi nationals will get five year multiple visa from India. Mr. Singh and Mr. Khan also held the 6th Home Minister-Level Talks between India and Bangladesh.

First-ever global compact for migration

For the first time ever, United Nations member states, except the U.S., have agreed on a deal to better manage international migration, address its challenges, strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development. Known as the Global Compact for Migration, the agreement will be formally adopted by world leaders in Morocco in December.

MoU on exchange of experience by legal experts

India and UK have signed an agreement on exchange of experience by legal professionals and government functionaries for resolution of disputes before various courts and tribunals. The MoU aims to enhance the bilateral cooperation in legal affairs between the two countries. The two countries would also exchange information regarding current issues of international significance.

MoU to boost inter-parliamentary dialogue

For the first time, Rajya Sabha has signed a MoU with its counterpart in a foreign country, Rwanda, for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue. The MoU, with 6 articles of cooperation, aims to promote inter-parliamentary dialogue, capacity building of parliamentary staff & organisation of conferences among others. M Venkaiah Naidu is the first Rajya Sabha chairman to sign such an agreement.

Reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports

India and China have reached an agreement on reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports of Indian medicines, particularly cancer drugs. Both India and China slashed import tariffs of a range of products starting July 1, following the 4th round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. The agreement will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region.

Important Current Affairs 8th July 2018

India reconsidering fighter jet programme
India has conveyed to Russia its unwillingness to go ahead with the joint development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft primarily due to high cost involved in the project. India and Russia had signed an inter-governmental agreement for the mega project in 2007. In December 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter jet.

Maldives signed power deal with Pakistan

The Maldives has signed a capacity-building agreement in the power sector with Pakistan, thus posing fresh security challenges for India. Officials of the Maldives state electricity company, Stelco signed a MoU for cooperation in institution building activities when they visited Pakistan last week. The Maldives has stopped issuing work permits to Indians.

UNESCO to set up Design University for Gaming

UNESCO has come into an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh government to set up a ‘Design University for Gaming’ in Visakhapatnam. A UNESCO delegation met with CM Chandrababu Naidu and asked for 100 acres of land to develop the city as an ‘International Gaming and Digital Learning Hub’. They will develop edutech gaming in the state, with the target of providing 50,000 jobs in 10 years.

Repatriation agreement of Bru persons

An agreement has been signed by Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF). Persons presently in temporary camps in Tripura will repatriate to Mizoram and a Committee under Special Secretary will coordinate the implementation of this agreement. India will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Brus in Mizoram.

Tariffs cut on Asian imports under APTA

The Centre has implemented the tariff concessions agreed to under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement by cutting duties on the imports. APTA is a preferential trade agreement, under which the basket of items, as well as the extent of tariff concessions, are enlarged. The fourth round of trade negotiations under the agreements was conducted in January 2017.

Final Nepal-India EPG meeting ends

The 9th & final meeting of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations concluded in Kathmandu. The Representatives from Nepal & India deliberated upon various bilateral issues including 1950 Peace & Friendship treaty, trade, transit and border. EPG is a joint mechanism consisting of experts & intellectuals from India & Nepal to make suggestions for updating existing bilateral agreements.

Tie-up to develop commodity derivatives market

Bombay Stock Exchange has entered into an agreement with Bombay Metal Exchange for growth & systematic development of commodity derivatives markets in non-ferrous metals complex. Through this MoU, BSE & BME will work jointly on initiatives to deepen the understanding of commodity market among stakeholders. BME will assist BSE in designing innovative deliverable products in commodities.

RIL acquire Radisys Corp for $74 million

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) has entered into definitive agreement to acquire Nasdaq-listed Radisys Corp for $1.72 per share in cash. The deal size works out to be ?510 crore based on current outstanding equity share impact. This acquisition further accelerates Jio’s global innovation and technology leadership in the areas of 5G, IOT and open source architecture adoption.

India, Seychelles to work on Assumption Island

India & Seychelles have agreed to work together on a project to develop a naval base at Assumption Island keeping each other’s concerns in mind. India is keen on developing the Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean to expand its footprint in a strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its presence. An agreement for the same was inked in 2015 between India & Seychelles.

Goa and Hawaii to sign sister agreement

The government of Goa and US state of Hawaii will sign a sister agreement as the draft was cleared by State Cabinet. This would enhance the cooperation between Goa and Hawaii and would include areas such as trade, tourism, sports, technology, yoga, skill development, agriculture and Ayurveda. This would also boost the infrastructure project such as Mandovi river project & Zuari river bridge

Nepal, China to sign deal for 3 oil depots

An agreement on building oil storage depots at three locations in Nepal with Chinese assistance is expected to be signed. As per the agreement, the building oil storage depots would have a combined capacity of 110,000 kilo litre. The construction of the project is expected to be completed by mid 2019. The site for this purpose has been specified.

Cabinet approved agreement b/w India & Peru

Cabinet has approved an agreement between India and Peru which was signed in May 2018 at Lima, Peru. The agreement aims to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The Agreement will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation.

President Kovind to embark on 3-nation visit

President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. On the first leg of the visit, the President will leave for Athens. President Kovind will leave for Suriname on the 2nd leg. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of health and medicine, elections, IT, Ayurveda are scheduled to be signed.

Agreements between India and China

India & China have signed 2 bilateral agreements on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. Under the MoU, China would provide hydrological information to India regarding Brahmaputra River during the flood season. 2006 Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Exporting Rice from India to China was amended to include export of non-Basmati varieties of rice from India.

Myanmar, UN sign pact for Rohingyas

Myanmar and U.N. agencies signed an agreement that might eventually lead to the return of some of the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims. The MoU signed promises to establish a “framework of cooperation” that aims to create the conditions for “voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” repatriation of Rohingya refugees. The U.N. and U.S. have described the army crackdown as “ethnic cleansing”.

Issue of postage stamp between India & Russia

Cabinet has approved the agreement signed in connection with release of Joint Stamps between Department of Posts, India and Russia Post (MARKA) to establish postal cooperation. Bilateral relations between India and Russia are marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest. India and Russia enjoy enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.

Nasscom to set up cyber security CoE

The Data Security Council of India (DSCI), an arm of the Nasscom, has signed an agreement with the Telangana government to set up the Centre of Excellence for cyber security. The CoE will accelerate Telangana’s cyber security momentum and make the State a hub for cyber security in the next 5 years. This CoE will help increase State’s cyber security preparedness.

India signed MRA in nursing with Singapore

India has signed the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in Nursing with Singapore. Under the agreement, Singapore has agreed to expand coverage of Indian nursing institutions by recognising 7 nursing institutions in the MRA. This has paved way for our healthcare service providers to institutionally access markets abroad.

Cochin Shipyard, Kerala govt ink pact

Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) has entered into an agreement with Kerala government to construct three marine ambulance for the state fisheries department. The vessel will be designed by CSL at its in-house design department. The boats will also have various paramedical facilities like examination and nursing room, medical beds, mortuary freezer, refrigerator.

India, Singapore announce 14 agreements

India and Singapore announced 14 business-to-business and business-to-government agreements. The agreements include on supporting India’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and promoting Indian innovation abroad, to set up Indian institutes of skills on waste water management and recycling. It also included the promotion of ‘Make-in-India’ in Singapore and ASEAN.

Yes Bank inks MoU with SIDBI

Yes Bank has entered into an agreement with SIDBI under which it will act as a preferred financial institution for giving loans to the small and medium enterprising customers. This will facilitate smooth flow of credit in a hassle-free manner to MSME customers availing term loan facility from SIDBI. Small enterprises will also be entitled to use Yes Bank’s varied banking solutions.

Talks on bilateral social security agreement

India and China have agreed to start formal negotiations on a bilateral social security agreement. So far, India has signed social security agreements with 18 countries from different parts of the world. The bilateral social security agreements are aimed at protecting the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers working abroad.

India signed loan agreement with World Bank

India has signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 21.7 Million for strengthening the public financial management in Rajasthan project. The project aims to contribute to improved budget execution, enhanced accountability and greater efficiency in Revenue Administration in Rajasthan.It also involves strengthening of expenditure & revenue systems and project management among others

BCCI, UN Environment sign agreement

The BCCI and UN Environment have signed an agreement to promote ‘green’ Cricket in India. The partnership aims to spread greater awareness about key environmental challenges facing the country, and highlight alternate and more sustainable solutions. The partnership will also focus on phasing out single-use plastic across stadiums in the country.

Netherlands signed framework agreement of ISA

Netherlands has signed the framework agreement of International Solar Alliance (ISA) following a bilateral summit between PM Modi & his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte. ISA was launched by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the Paris climate summit in 2015. The objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Agreement between India, Brunei approved

Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratification of the agreement between India and Brunei Darussalam for the exchange of information and assistance in the collection with respect to taxes. The agreement will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. It will also enable assistance in the collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.

India and Myanmar sign 7 agreements

India & Myanmar have signed 7 agreements during the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Myanmar. The 7 agreements signed included one on land border crossing that will enable people from both countries to cross the land border with passport & visa for accessing health & education services. MoU on training of Myanmar foreign service officers was also signed during the meeting.

Agreement in field of Renewable Energy

India and Peru have signed an agreement in the field of Renewable Energy at Lima, Peru. The pact was signed in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva Arevalo. Vice President’s visit comes at a time when India is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Peru.

Kerala & NTPC sign MoU for solar power

The Kerala State Electricity Board has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Thermal Power Corporation for increasing solar power generation in the state. The MoU also includes an agreement to set up a 15 MW solar power unit at the NTPC complex in Kayamkulam. The possibility of setting up solar plants at reservoirs, open space & top of buildings will also be explored.

India, Panama signed two agreements

India and Panama have signed two agreements on the exemption of Visas for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports and in the field of Agriculture. Two centres for Biodiversity and Innovation will be set up by India in Panama. Both the countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in tax information, air services, traditional medicines, culture and space.

Nasa, Uber team up to get flying taxis

NASA and Uber have signed an agreement to explore putting flying taxis in the skies over US cities. NASA will begin simulations for so-called “urban air mobility” vehicles that also include delivery drones. NASA said the goal is to create a rideshare network that will allow residents to hail a small aircraft the same way Uber users can now use an app to call a car.

UN Chief announced climate summit for 2019

9 : UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has announced that a climate summit to review the Paris Agreement commitments will take place in September 2019 in New York. In March 2018, Guterres appointed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy for Climate Action who was tasked to support UN in its climate strategy. In 2017, US withdrew itself from the Paris Agreement.

MoU to cooperate in diplomatic training

India and Guatemala have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for expanding cooperation in the area of diplomatic training. The agreement was inked after a meeting between Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and his Guatemala counterpart, Jafeth Cabrera Franco. Guatemala is one of India’s important trading partners in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region.

Maharashtra to issue land document online

Maharashtra has become the first state in India to provide digitally-signed land record receipts (also known as 7/12 receipts). The 7/12 receipt is extensively used by farmers for loan agreements, crop survey and for availing of government facilities. Earlier the hand-written 7/12 receipts were prepared by talathis, who solely had the power to make changes in the documents.

NHAI inked pact with Macquarie

National Highways Authority of India has entered into a pact with Macquarie for road projects under highway monetization drive.Funds generated from monetization of highways will be used for infrastructure programmes like Bharatmala, a 7 lakh crore road building imitative. Agreement worth $1.5 billion signed with Macquarie for 1st set of highway projects is one of the highest FDI in Highways

Govt approves pacts for supply of iron

The Cabinet approved a long-term agreement for export of iron to Japan and South Korea through state-owned trading firm MMTC.The range of quantity of iron ore to be exported would be 3.8 million tonnes per annum to 5.5 million tonnes per annum. MMTC will be supplying iron ore of grade 64 Fe, or high-grade content, to Japanese and Korean steel mills from Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh.

Government makes an agreement with World Bank

The government has entered into a legal agreement with the World Bank for financing the research towards early development for bio-pharmaceuticals. The aim is to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective bio-pharmaceutical products. This mission will mark the beginning of a new partnership between the Department of Biotechnology & the World Bank.

MoU between India and Sao Tome and Principe

The government gave approval for an agreement signed between India and an African island nation, Sao Tome and Principe, to increase cooperation in the field of Medicinal Plants.The MoU assumes significance as there is a global increase in traditional and alternative healthcare systems. Medicinal Plants are a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry.

India signed pact with World Bank for MP roads

India has signed a USD 210 million loan agreement with the World Bank to improve rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh.The project will cover 10,510 km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY) programme. The project is expected to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads.

Bangladesh, Nepal launched trial bus service

Bangladesh and Nepal have launched a trial bus service between their capitals through India.The proposed commercial bus service comes under the purview of BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) Motor Vehicles Agreement. Currently, passengers use the Lalmonirhat-Burimari-Changrabandha-Siliguri route to go to Kathmandu.

India, World Bank sign agreement

25 : The World Bank signed a loan agreement with India for IBRD credit of $125 million for the “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”.The objectives of the project are to nurture indigenous innovation, foster local product development. The project would support consortia of the public, private, and the academic institutions to overcome the key market failures.

BoI inks pact with NeSL

Bank of India has entered into an agreement with National E-Governance Services (NeSL) for Information Utility arrangement under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.As per the agreement, BoI will avail NeSL service to expedite corporate insolvency resolution process. In September 2017, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India registered NeSL as the first Information Utility.

India, Finland settle Nokia tax row

India and Finland have reached an accord on the tax dispute with Nokia under the Mutual Agreement Procedure.The resolution covering the disputes pertaining to Nokia India as well as Nokia Corp brings to an end one of the biggest tax disputes involving multinational companies. This paves the way for sale of Nokia’s Chennai plant, which has been shuttered since November 2014.

IOB inked information utility pact with NeSL

Indian Overseas Bank has entered into an agreement for information utility services with the National E-Governance Services Limited. With this agreement, the IOB branches will be able to provide high-quality, authenticated information about debts and defaults. The NeSL became India’s first information utility for bankruptcy cases under the ‘Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016’ in October 2017.

India and UK signed 10 agreements

India & UK have signed 10 agreements in several sectors including cyber-relationship, rejuvenation of Ganga & skill development.The two countries have agreed to an overarching cyber-relationship framework that enables development of a common & shared understanding of the international cyber activity. Both the nations also signed MoU on Skill Development, Vocational education and Training.

WB to fund community-led landscapes mgmt

A loan agreement worth USD 48 million for the “Meghalaya Community – Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)” was signed between India and the World Bank.The objective of the project is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in Meghalaya. The project will help manage the depleting resources, by strengthening the communities and traditional institutions.

NERL Brings in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank as Repository Participants

National E-Repository Limited (NERL), a group company of National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX ), has brought in ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank on board as the repository participants for pledge finance. NERL has signed the agreement with both the banks where they will offer pledge finance against eNWRs created on NERL’s repository platform commodities stored in warehouses registered with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).

Boeing signs deal with HAL, Mahindra

Boeing India has signed an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, and Mahindra Defence Systems at the Defence Expo 2018 to manufacture Super Hornet fighter aircraft in India.The companies will manufacture F/A-18 Super Hornet for India’s armed forces. The F/A-18 Super Hornet will deliver on India’s need for a carrier- and land- based multi-role fighter jets.

India, Zambia ink 4 agreements

India and Zambia signed 4 agreements after the delegation-level talks held in the capital city of Lusaka.The 2 agreements were signed in the areas of avoidance of double taxation & visa exemption on diplomatic and official passports. The other 2 agreement were signed in the area of judicial cooperation and for the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Development Institute in Zambia.

India signs MoU with Republic of Korea

India signed a MoU with Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers.This paves the way for the two governments to mutually recognize the certificates of maritime education and training, competency, endorsements and medical fitness of seafarers issued by each other. The agreement will open up employment opportunities for Indian seafarers on Korean ships.

MoU between India & the UK and North Ireland

The Cabinet approved the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants.The MoU will facilitate the visa-free agreement for holders of diplomatic passports as well as liberalisation of UK visa regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally. It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory.

India, Swaziland signed 2 agreements

India and Swaziland have signed two agreements in the field of Health and Medicine and Visa department on 9th April.One agreement deals with granting of the visa waiver for the diplomats and officials holding relevant passports. The other agreement is to ensure cooperation in the field of health and medicine. The agreements were signed in the presence of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.

India, Bangladesh signed 6 MoUs

India and Bangladesh signed 6 pacts including one for the construction of a 129.5 km-long oil pipeline between Siliguri and Parbatipur.The MoU on the oil pipeline is aimed at transporting diesel from India to Bangladesh. An agreement between Department of Atomic Energy, India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, was signed. The other MoU was between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Betar.

SBI to invest in hydropower project

SBI will be investing a total of Rs 80 billion in the ‘Arun III’ hydropower project of Nepal, which will produce 900 megawatts of electricity.The SJVN, which has been awarded with the construction of the mega power project of Nepal, has made an informal agreement with the SBI to acquire the investment as a loan. The mega project is targeted to be completed by 2022’s September.

India, Nepal for strong relations

India and Nepal have agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in key areas of border security, connectivity, trade and agriculture.The two countries have agreed for a rail line that will connect the border city of Raxaul in India to Kathmandu in Nepal. The agreements were reached during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

IndusInd Bank got RBI nod to acquire IL&FS

Private sector lender IndusInd Bank has received RBI’s approval to buy the securities services arm of IL&FS.In March 2017, the bank entered an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) to acquire 100% stake in ISSL. Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) is the promoter shareholder of IL&FS Securities Services Ltd (ISSL).

Govt clears India-Iran MoU for expert group

The government gave an ex-post facto approval to an agreement with Iran to set up an expert group on trade remedy measures.The MoU will establish a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures like anti-dumping and countervailing duty. The pact was signed on February 17 this year during the visit of the President of Iran.

Agreement between India and Afghanistan

Cabinet approved the agreement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety. FSSAI and MAIL would establish a mechanism of information exchange and communication. Areas of cooperation also include facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest.

India, Azerbaijan ink two documents

India and Azerbaijan have inked two documents for the visa waiver for diplomatic, official and service passports holders and cooperation between diplomatic training institutes.The agreements were signed during the ongoing visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to that country. Mrs Swaraj is there to be part of 18th NAM Ministerial Conference in Baku.

Govt. signed 16 APAs in March 2018

The Central Board of Direct Taxes entered into 14 Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements and 2 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APA) during the month of March 2018.The APAs pertain to sectors like Telecommunication, IT, Automobile, Manufacturing and Banking, Finance & Insurance. The APA scheme launched by Government provides certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing.

Agreement for protecting the carbon store

An agreement has been signed to protect the largest tropical peatland in the world, which is an important carbon store. The ?Brazzaville Declaration?, signed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Indonesia to protect the peatland ecosystems of Congo basin. The equivalent of three years of global greenhouse gas emissions is stored in the Congo peatlands.

India-UK signed MoU on organised crime

The Union Cabinet signed a MoU between India, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on cooperation and exchange of information for tackling organised crime. India and the UK already have a 1995 agreement in place concerning the investigation and prosecution of crime. Both India and the UK are working towards strengthening cooperation to fight the global terrorism and organised crime.

ISA’s headquarters agreement signed

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs, signed the Host Country Agreement. The Agreement will give ISA the power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings. The ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty-based organization to be headquartered in India.

HDFC signed MoU with Government e-Marketplace

HDFC Bank has signed an agreement with Government e-Marketplace under which the bank will facilitate a host of services for the portal. GeM provides an end-to-end online marketplace for central & state govt ministries for procurement of common use goods /services. MoU is significant as it will bring transparency & efficiency in procurement process with assured & timely payment to sellers.

Jio, Saavn to create digital music platform

Reliance Jio Director Akash Ambani, has signed an agreement for merging the digital music service Saavn with JioMusic to create a digital media platform with global reach. The total value of the deal will be over $1 billion. As part of the deal, additionally, Reliance will be acquiring a partial stake from the existing shareholders of Saavn for $104 million

ISRO-BHEL to manufacture Li-ion cells

ISRO has signed a Technology Transfer Agreement with BHEL to transfer the technology for the manufacture of space grade =Li-Ion cells‘. ISRO uses =Li-Ion batteries‘ as power sources for satellite and launches vehicle applications due to their high energy density, reliability and long cycle life. This technology can be adapted to cater to the Li-Ion cell requirement for other national needs.

44 African countries signed FTA

44 African countries have signed an agreement establishing the ?African Continental Free Trade Area? at a summit of the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda. The summit was a step forward for the African Union‘s 2063 project for closer African integration. If successful, it will be the biggest trade agreement since the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.

BHEL inks pact with Korea-based HLB Power

BHEL has entered into a technology collaboration agreement (TCA) with HLB Power, Republic of Korea. This TCA will help in establishing the capability for in-house design, manufacture and testing of very large size gates and dampers. BHEL has been supplying conventional Gates and Dampers manufactured at its Boiler Auxiliaries Plant.

Agri & Skill development ministries sign pact

The ministries of agriculture and skill development signed an agreement to conduct training programmes for agriculture and allied sectors at 690 Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The aim is to intensify the pace of skill development in 690 Krishi Vikas Kendras country-wide by training agricultural workforce. Radha Mohan Singh is Agriculture Minister.

India, Hong Kong signs Tax avoidance pact

20 : India and Hong Kong entered into a double taxation avoidance agreement, aiming to facilitate investment flow between both countries and prevent tax evasion. It will improve transparency in tax matters and help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The agreement will prevent double taxation and provide for the exchange of information between the two contracting parties.

India and EU sign an agreement

India and the European Union have signed an agreement that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other‘s satellites. The European Commission will provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites and ISRO will share data from its earth observation satellites. The pact was inked in Bengaluru.

Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation

The Union Cabinet has approved an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income between India and Iran. The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa. The agreement will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

India and Madagascar inks deal

India and Madagascar have signed an agreement under which, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence. An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries. The Madagascar President decorated President Ramnath Kovind with second highest civilian honour Grand Cross.

India announces USD 100 mn LoC for Mauritius

India has offered a 100 million dollar Line of Credit (LoC)to Mauritius for defence procurement to help its security capacity. India also agreed to sell a Multi-Purpose Offshore Petrol Vessel to the island nation. The other agreements/MoUs signed between the two sides include a MoU on cooperation between Nalanda University in Bihar and Mauritius.

Indo-French Knowledge Summit ends

The first ever Indo-French Knowledge Summit ends successfully with a landmark agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications between India and France. The government will soon launch the ?Study India programme? to increase the inflow of foreign students to India. The two day summit was organized by the French Embassy in India and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

India, France signed strategic pact

India and France inked a strategic pact providing for the use of each other‘s military facilities including opening naval bases to warships. The agreement comes amid China‘s growing military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries also signed a pact on exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information.

India, France inked 14 pacts

India and France inked key pacts in the strategic areas of security, nuclear energy after extensive talks between PM Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Agreements in the field of education, environment, urban development and railways were also signed. The two countries also decided to step up cooperation in space technology and use it in the maritime domain.

French President arrived in India

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in India on 9th March for a four-day visit. An agreement on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant, which is being built with French assistance, is expected to be signed during the visit. The two sides will also sign an agreement on co-development of a full-fledged satellite constellation in the maritime domain.

Airtel acquires India leg of GBI cables

Telecom major Bharti Airtel acquired India leg of Gulf Bridge International submarine cable which will boost its data carrying capacity. Under the agreement, Airtel will acquire the ownership of the India leg of GBI‘s India-Middle East-Europe submarine cable. This will also complement Airtel‘s existing global network spanning 250,000 kms with presence in 50 countries.

ONGC Videsh, Iran?s IDRO Oil sign accord

ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of government-owned ONGC, has signed a cooperation agreement with Iran‘s IDRO Oil. The agreement will enable joint bidding for a $900 million development plan of Susangerd oilfield in southwest Iran. The Susangerd field, discovered in 2009, is estimated to hold more than 5 billion barrels of in-place reserves.

Microsoft inks renewable energy deal

Tech giant Microsoft has inked its first renewable energy deal in India for powering its new facility in Bengaluru. The agreement will see Microsoft purchase 3 megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power for its new office building in Bengaluru. The project will bring Microsoft‘s total global direct procurement in renewable energy projects to nearly 900 megawatts.

Centre moots Spice Park for turmeric

The Centre has agreed to set up a special cell in the Spices Board for Telangana government to take care of issues related to turmeric farmers. The government also proposed to set up an exclusive Spice Park for turmeric in Telangana. Telangana is a top producer of turmeric in the country.

Russia, China to create joint data centre

Russia and China have agreed to set up a joint data centre for lunar and deep space projects, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. The Russian agency and China National Space Administration will look into possibilities of providing assistance to each other‘s lunar programmes. Last year, the two agencies had agreed on a bilateral cooperation programme, including research on the moon.

India-Jordan Sign 12 Agreements

2 : India and Jordan has renewed their support to the Palestinian cause. The two sides signed 12 agreements, including one on defence cooperation, following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and King of Jordan Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein. MoU for long term supply of Rock Phosphate and Fertilizer/NPK, Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement was signed.

India, Jordan firm up security cooperation

India and Jordan signed an agreement in defence cooperation paving the way for a joint strategy to counter common threats. The defence agreement, the first such understanding between the two sides, is the biggest takeaway of the visit by the Jordanian King Abdullah II. India and Jordan held the first bilateral security dialogue in July 2016.

Office of Missing Persons: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has appointed commissioners to a special panel tasked with investigating war-era disappearances. The Office of Missing Persons was officially launched by President Maithripala Sirisena. The country‘s Parliament agreed two years ago to the first steps toward reconciling its war-era past tracing about 20,000 people who went missing during 37 years of fighting.

Afghanistan offers to recognise Taliban as PG

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani offered to recognise Taliban as a legitimate political group in order to end the over 16-year-long war. ?We are making this offer without preconditions, to lead to a peace agreement,? Ghani said. He also proposed a ceasefire and the release of Taliban-linked prisoners along with fresh elections and a constitutional review.

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein arrives in India

King of Jordan Abdullah-II bin Al-Hussein has arrived in India on a 3 day visit.This will be his second visit to India after his visit along with Queen Rania in 2006. The two sides are expected to sign a number of memorandums of understanding and agreements in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation. India is Jordan’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $1.35 billion.