Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Kabul for talks with India, U.S.

To be noted:

  • Pushing for greater collaborative efforts to defeat terrorism in the region, Afghanistan Ambassador in India, called for a trilateral strategic dialogue between India, Afghanistan and the U.S.
  • Afghanistan Ambassador said that the idea of trilateral strategic dialogue was long discussed but was never operationalised.
  • Reactivation of that strategic dialogue especially in the context of the war on terrorism is highly desired. The three of us (India, Afghanistan, U.S) are affected a lot by the phenomenon of terrorism and can decide on a strategy while taking others in the region along for a more effective strategy.

About military aid:

  • On India-Afghanistan defence cooperation,
  • Ambassador observed that though Indian military assistance was not talked about much in public, they had been doing it within their capabilities.
  • India has been training several hundreds of officers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) it its military academies. At any time, 300 officers are training in India.
  • There is a plan for a 50% increase in training very soon.
  • This will be one of the issues to be discussed at the second partnership council meeting headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries scheduled to take place in May.
  • Kabul has also given a wish-list of military items which includes artillery guns, tanks and ammunition among others.

Source: Hindustan Times

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government

SC seeks common law against cross-border cattle smuggling

To be noted:

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to extend to the India-Bangladesh border areas the rules framed to counter cross-border cattle smuggling to Nepal.
  • Bench was informed by government counsel that the Livestock Animals Rules and Case Property Animals Maintenance Rules to prevent cattle-smuggling across the Nepal border, framed in December 2016 on the basis of the Supreme Court’s orders, were now with the Union Law Ministry prior to its notification.
  • The government said the rules would have far-reaching effect on the authorities’ efforts to curb cattle-smuggling and they envisaged joint action by paramilitary forces and the district administrations.

Steps by Government:

  • The Centre had proposed issuing “unique identification number sequences” for cows and their progeny to protect them from cattle smuggling.
  • Government of India, has devised a method of tamper-proof identification of cattle using polyurethene tags with unique identification number sequence.
  • This may be made mandatory for all cow and its progeny throughout India for all cattle that is owned.

Source: The Hindu

Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations

China for govt-level talks on BCIM economic corridor

Highlights:

  • Beijing would like to upgrade the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) dialogue from Track I (official diplomacy) to the intergovernmental level.
  • The BCIM is a sub-regional group to review economic development of the region while facilitating the construction of a 2,800-km economic corridor from Kunming in south-west China to Kolkata via Mandalay in Myanmar, Imphal (Manipur) and Silchar (Assam) in India, and Dhaka and Jessore in Bangladesh.
  • The idea gained momentum after a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2013.
  • At the beginning of the BCIM-EC Joint Study Group meeting the head of the Chinese delegation.
  • Beijing wishes to have a mechanism in place to initiate the process of government-to-government dialogue.
  • It was decided in the second conference [held in Bangladesh in December 2014] that mechanism modalities of an intergovernmental framework agreement will be worked out on the basis of reports by all BCIM countries.

Statement from China:

  • As per the decision during the Bangladesh conference, the time has come to launch the mechanism of intergovernmental cooperation.
  • The mechanism has two parts —first to discuss and approve reports, and then to launch the discussion to set up the government-to-government arrangement.

Economic insights:

  • Though the corridor is planned through Manipur and Assam, officials from the States concerned were surprisingly not present at plenary session.
  • Several chapters from reports by the four countries have now been merged in accordance with the last joint study group meeting [held in 2014]. They [the merged chapters] are in a position to enter into a discussion on the draft merged chapters.
  • China’s suggestion to upgrade the joint study group dialogue to the “intergovernmental” level is easier said than done.
  • The disparity in development, as indicated by some diplomats earlier, between Kunming and north-east India is perhaps the reason why New Delhi is yet to show the flag to the mega-BCIM corridor.

Source: Times of India