19 Oct CDS 2 2016 Current Affairs Ministry of External Affairs
MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
In CSC w have always said that PM Modi has proved himself to be the most hands-on PM as far as International Diplomacy is concerned, if you also include first PM also in this list.
It has been an extraordinary two years for Indian foreign policy as the scale and speed of our engagements multiplied manifold, delivering tangible achievements for india’s development while seeking to reposition India as a leading power amongst the comity of nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made 40 visits and interacted with more than 100 world leaders. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made 40 visits and Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen (retd.) V.K. Singh travelled to 35 countries for bilateral and multilateral engagements. In totality, INDIA engaged with more than 140 countries during the last two years on foreign policy issues. The third India-Africa Forum Summit in October 2015, significantly expanded the earlier format to invite all 54 African countries in India’s biggest ever engagement with Africa. Expanding our outreach to the Arab World, the first ever India-Arab League Ministerial Conference was held in Manama in January 2016 led by the External Affairs Minister.
Neighbours First : New Vistas, New Horizons
Much as India is attempting to turn the challenge of a region that is the least connected in the world (only five percent of trade of South Asia is intra-regional12) into an opportunity for mutual benefit for the 1.7 million people that live across SAARC and the many more in its extended neighbourhood, there is ample scope for and increasing indication by New Delhi to do the same under the broader banner of development, which also responds to the necessity of growth in India and the region. T.C.A. Rangachari enumerates the common development challenges facing South Asia in Chapter 9, and how India and China can work together to address them.
As it is, Indian development cooperation—a mix of development and commercial instruments, including grants, loans, lines of credit (LOCs), bilateral trade, technology transfers, technical skilling, at times called the “development compact”—has gradually become a major pillar of India’s more confident foreign policy toward the global South, including its own neighbourhood. While it has actively engaged in development partnerships since its independence, with liberalisation and its newfound economic prowess, the volume of its foreign assistance saw a seven-fold increase between the turn of the century and 2015.13 Over 80 of its grants and loans commitments have been to its South Asian neighbours Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
During his visit to Kabul on 25 December 2015, PM dedicated with President Ghani, the new Building of the Afghan Parliament constructed under Indian development cooperation.
Besides providing 3 Cheetah and 3 Mi-25 helicopters to Afghanistan
India continues to provide training and medical facilities to the Afghan National Army in India.
Salma Dam completion is with help of India
Establishment of agricultural university in Kandahar
PM Modi chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination for a state visit, and coined a new B4B formula – Bharat for Bhutan and Bhutan for Bharat.
India pledged financial assistance of Rs 4500 cr to Bhutan under the 11th Five Year plan ( FYP) and Rs 500 cr for Economic Stimilus Plan(ESP).
48% of the FYP assistance and 80% of the ESP assistance has been released in last 2 years.
Due to this there is increase in Bhutanese economy from 2.1% to 5.5%
Funds of Rs 7200 cr were approved for the 1200 MW Punatsangchu-1 amd the Mangdechu HEPs
3700 cr for Advanced stage of consideration for the 1020 MW Punatsangchu-2 HEP.
A new 600 MW Kholongchu HEP in Eastern Bhutan was commenced under a new joint venture mode
3 more projects totaling 1520 MW of electricity have been identified.
PM become the 1ST foreign leader to address the Nepali Parliament
Bilateral issues, including landmark bilateral accords on two 900 mw HEPs in Nepal
Setting up of the Pancheshwar Development Authority for the 5600 MW Pancheshwar Multi-purpose project after 18 years
The bilateral Motor Vehicle agreement
A new LOC of US 1 billion dollars was announced for road, irrigation and hydropower projects.
400 cr under “operation maitri” for disaster relief operation
Over 300 million USD for Ex-Gorkha pensions
The conclusion of the landmark land boundary agreement heralded the dawn of a new era in relations with Bangladesh
More than 53,000 people living in 162 enclaves in India.
India pledging 2 billion USD Line of Credit (LOC) for Bangladesh
To enhance connectivity launch of 2 new bus services
Other areas which have been forward momentum were counter terrorism, coastal shipping, inland waterway development, transit, establishment of Indian SEZ in Bangladesh, and cooperation in blue economy.
Fresh Lines of Credit(LOC) in
the railways sector,
to a civil nuclear agreement,
currency swap agreement
cooperation in petroleum economy
cooperation in blue economy
two countries signing an Action Plan for Defence Cooperation
crippling water crisis hit the Maldives in December 2014, India launched Operation Neer ,wherein Indian Navy ships and Indian Air Force delivered around 2500 tons of drinking water to the residents of Male
Pm brief stop- over in Lahore on December 25, 2015 step in line with India’s vision for a peaceful, prosperous and normal neighbourhood
A number of initiatives were taken meeting of the PM’s at Ufa in Russia which resulted in restoring tranquility along the international border and the line of control
First ever meeting of the National Security Advisers of the two countries to discuss terrorism, peace and security and situation along the Line of Control