GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

First India-Nordic Summit Held In Stockholm; India, Nordic Countries Vow To Strengthen Ties.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his counterparts from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark on 17th April, 2018 vowed to deepen cooperation between India and the Nordic countries, as the leaders deliberated on key issues of security, economic growth and climate change.
  • Modi and the leaders of the five Nordic countries participated in the first India-Nordic Summit co-hosted by India and Sweden in Stockholm.
  • Modi, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Finnish Premier Juha Sipila, Iceland Premier Katrin Jakobsdottir, Norwegian Premier Erna Solberg and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven participated at the Summit titled ‘India-Nordic Summit: Shared Values, Mutual Prosperity’.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Prime Ministers pledged to deepen cooperation between India and the Nordic countries and focused their discussions on key issues related to global security, economic growth, innovation and climate change. They acknowledged that innovation and digital transformation drive growth in an interconnected world, which underpin a growing engagement between India and the Nordic countries, a joint statement issued after the summit said.
  • The leaders reaffirmed the importance of free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realising the Sustainable Development Goals. They acknowledged that innovation and digital transformation drive growth in an interconnected world, and underpin a growing engagement between the Nordic countries and India, it said.
  • The role of the Nordic countries as global innovation leaders was underlined. The Nordic approach to innovation systems, characterised by a strong collaboration between public sector, private sector and academia, was discussed, and synergies were identified with India’s rich pool of talent and skills.
  • The summit emphasised the Indian government’s strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Make in India, Startup India, Digital India and Clean India.
  • Nordic solutions in clean technologies, maritime solutions, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture were also discussed.
  • The leaders noted that the unique strengths of India and the Nordic countries offer immense opportunities for trade and investment diversification and mutually beneficial collaboration, the statement said.
  • During the talks, the importance of the rules-based multilateral trading system as well as open and inclusive international trade for prosperity and growth was underlined. Modi and the leaders acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism were major challenges for the international community.

Sources- The Hindu Business Line.

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India, Sweden Agree Upon ‘Win-Win’ Joint Action Plan.

Background

  • After a hectic day of bilateral parleys in Stockholm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Löfven, on 17th April, 2018 agreed upon a joint action plan (JAP) for both countries to take forward a wide range of initiatives in defence, trade and investment, counterterrorism, renewable energy, smart cities, women’s skill development, space and science and healthcare.
  • Characterising the JAP as a “win-win partnership” for New Delhi and Stockholm, Mr. Modi underscored the critical role of the defence sector and security initiatives as a pillar of the bilateral relationship.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The bilateral summit here was additionally significant for the opportunity it afforded both sides to discuss Sweden’s interest in proposing the Saab Group’s Gripen-E single-engine jet fighter for the Indian Air Force, as a Request for Information had been issued earlier this month to Stockholm.
  • On counterterrorism, Mr. Modi and Mr. Löfven emphasised that the global counterterrorism legal framework should be regularly updated to address the changing threat of terrorism with strength.
  • Innovation was front and centre in the bilateral summit today, with a separate discussion focused entirely on this area, and the outcome being a joint declaration on a Sweden-India Innovation Partnership for a Sustainable Future, which built upon the joint statement between the two Prime Ministers in Mumbai in 2016.
  • Additionally a major funding boost was injected into the bilateral process when Mr. Löfven announced that the Swedish government will kick start our Innovation Partnership by providing up to 50 million Swedish kronor (over $59 million) for innovation cooperation in the field of smart cities and sustainability.

Sources- The Hindu.

GS Paper III- Technology, Economic Development.

TCS Becomes First Indian Company To Cross $100 Billion In Market Cap.

Background

  • Indian shares rose on 23rd April, 2018, with software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) crossing $100 billion in market capitalisation, which helped boost sentiment in IT stocks.
  • TCS shares gained as much as 4.6 per cent to hit a record high of 3,557.90 rupees. Strong results from the company and Infosys Ltd, coupled with a weakening of the rupee, have led to buying in the sector.
  • The Nifty IT index gained as much as 2 per cent to touch a record high.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Indian rupee fell to as low as 66.235 against the dollar, its weakest level since March last year. It has fallen 1.5 per cent so far this month.
  • The broader NSE index was up 0.44 per cent at 10,610.60 as of 0521 GMT, driven by TCS and Reliance Industries Ltd.
  • The benchmark BSE index was 0.36 per cent higher at 34,537.77.
  • Market is waiting to take a direction amid mixed news. There is caution ahead of earnings season and high crude (oil) levels, said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.
  • Market heavyweights Reliance Industries, Wipro Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd are expected to report March-quarter earnings this week.
  • Financials stocks also rose, with Yes Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank among top percentage gainers. Indiabulls Housing Finance rose as much as 2.3 per cent after strong results in the March quarter.
  • HDFC Bank Ltd posted a record profit for the March quarter, but its bad loans rose. Shares pared initial gains to trade 0.6 per cent lower.

Sources- India Today.