‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: India & its Neighborhood – eMigrate violates our sovereignty: UAE envoy

Calls flagship scheme for Indian workers abroad ‘intrusive’

   What you need to know:

  • The United Arab Emirates, one of the largest employers of Indians in the Gulf, has raised a red flag with the Ministry of External Affairs over the government’s flagship eMigrate programme over what it terms as “sovereignty issues.”
  • After hundreds of complaints from workers about mistreatment, the MEA’s Overseas Affairs department (then a separate ministry) had in 2015 set up a database initiative called the eMigrate programme, that gathers extensive information on emigrants as well as foreign employers, their companies and recruiting agents.

   Database issues:

  • India wants to build a databank to extract information about these companies in the UAE.
  • We consider this a breach of our sovereignty,” UAE Ambassador to India Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, confirming that he has raised it with the MEA’s Secretary for Overseas Indian Affairs Dnyaneshwar Mulay earlier this month.
  • Banna also met with the Prime Minister’s Principal secretary Nripendra Mishra on May 15, where several outstanding issues were discussed.
  • According to the UAE Ambassador, the concerns are not restricted to India’s database of foreign employers in that country, but includes eMigrate programme’s mandate to inspect premises of UAE companies, which they want stopped immediately.
  • Some information only the UAE government or concerned ministry is allowed to [collect]. It is also not in the Embassy or Consulate’s ambit to conduct inspections, and we have taken strong objection to that.
  • This is not India’s work, this is ours. We have offered Indian authorities that we will give them the information they desire,” Dr. Al Banna added.
  • The MEA did not respond to several attempts to seek a response, and has not replied to a series of questions based on the Ambassador’s comments until this story went to press.
  • Other Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, had also raised issues with eMigrate system as soon as it was launched in July 2015.

   Source: The Hindu


‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Development of services relating to Health – Fortified food for thought

Maneka Gandhi pitches for ready-to-serve meal packets to end malnutrition


  • On the occasion of World Hunger Day, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi made a pitch for the introduction of packets of fortified, ready-to-serve meals to tackle malnutrition.
  • I believe children should be provided packets that contain 600-1,000 calories,” she said in New Delhi while flagging off ‘Feed the Future Now’, a campaign by the NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation that aims to serve five billion meals to children across India by 2020.
  • Anganwadi workers are underpaid. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that food rations meant for children keep disappearing,” Ms. Gandhi said. “We have tried many things, including offering them incentives and promotions, but nothing has worked.
  • In Assam, for instance, food was being served to nine lakh non-existent children.” “In some States, the midday meals were being prepared from very old stocks of wheat and rice. In Tamil Nadu, the kitchens were clean but the food was inedible.
  • In other States, the meals were deficient in vital nutrients,” Ms. Gandhi said. “But a pilot programme in Uttarakhand that delivered highly nutritious ready-toserve food packets showed amazing results in reducing malnutrition.”

   Backed by private sector:

  • The Feed the Future Now campaign has received the support of several private companies, including PepsiCo India, Nestle, Reliance Fresh, Reliance Broadcast Networks Ltd, GSK Consumer Healthcare, PVR Nest, Facebook and Viacom 18.
  • Former Special Commissioner to the Supreme Court in the Right to Food case Harsh Mander slammed the idea.
  • The involvement of for-profit companies in child nutrition programmes is a recipe for disaster, as we saw in the case of Africa, where thousands of babies suffered death and illness,” Mr. Mander said. “Freshly cooked, hot meals is the best practice the world over for fighting child malnutrition.” Mr. Mander said, “Replacing locally prepared meals with centrally sourced food packets will only increase the scope for corruption, as private contractors, unlike anganwadi workers, are not accountable to the mothers in the community.
  • The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) has a budget of around ₹ 16,000 crore and it is clear that private companies are eyeing it as a source of income.

    Source: Times of India

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Effect of Politics & Policies for developing countries on india’s interest – India gives $500 mn aid to Mauritius

Countries agree on effective management of threats in the Indian Ocean, ink maritime pact

    What is important to know:

  • India on Saturday announced a $500 million line of credit to Mauritius as the two countries decided to firm up cooperation in the field of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The two sides signed a maritime security agreement after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth.
  • In a statement, Mr. Modi said he and Mr. Jugnauth agreed that effective management of conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean is essential to pursue economic opportunities and provide security to the people of both the countries.
  • We have to keep up our vigil against piracy that impacts trade and tourism, trafficking of drugs and humans, illegal fishing, and other forms of illegal exploitation of marine resources,” the Prime Minister said.
  • The bilateral maritime accord will strengthen cooperation and capacities, he said, noting that the two sides also agreed to strengthen their wide-ranging cooperation in hydrography for a secure and peaceful maritime domain.
  • On his part, Mr. Jugnauth said the two countries need to ensure that the sea lanes of communications are safe and secure and regular patrolling is conducted to combat illegal activities such as piracy, illegal fishing in the territorial waters and drug trafficking.
  • A decision to extend the operational life of Coast Guard ship Guardian, that was given by India to Mauritius under a grant assistance programme, was also taken. During his visit to Mauritius in March 2015, Mr. Modi had commissioned offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda, built and financed by India, into the Mauritian Coast Guard. Holding that Mauritius has “strong” defence and security ties with India, the visiting prime minister said the acquisition of such OPVs and fast interceptor boats from India has enhanced the operational capacities of its police and coast guard.
  • Besides the maritime pact, three other agreements were also signed after talks between the two leaders. They were for setting up of a civil services college in Mauritius, one on cooperation in ocean research and the US dollar Credit Line Agreement between the SBM Mauritius Infrastructure Development Company and Export-Import Bank of India.

   Line of credit:

  • Modi said the agreement on the line of credit to Mauritius was a good example of the strong and continuing commitment to the development of that country. The two sides also decided to ramp up cooperation in a number of areas including trade and investment.

   Source: Business Standard