India's Foreign Policy : News, Views and Discussion

Gautam

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Uzbekistan keen to connect India via Afghanistan & Iran

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
Dec 22, 2019, 02.11 PM IST

The railway, almost 650 km in length, which will connect Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat cities and will later be extended to Kabul, is a major project agreed to by President Ashraf Ghani and President Mirziyoyev.
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India is committed to building rail route, from Chabahar to Zahedan on the Iran-Afghan border, and President Mirziyoyev is keen to join the transit trade agreement signed by India, Afghanistan and Iran.

TASHKENT: Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is keen that India joins a railway project in Afghanistan that will help in stabilising the landlocked country and connect it to Eurasia and Iran.

The railway, almost 650 km in length, which will connect Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat cities and will later be extended to Kabul, is a major project agreed to by President Ashraf Ghani and President Mirziyoyev.

The preliminary surveys for the project have already been completed. “Uzbekistan support a greater presence of India in Central Asia that will also help Afghanistan,” sources said.

“India’s proven record and experience of projects in Afghanistan,” sources said.

Uzbekistan has an interest in opening trade and connectivity routes all the way to the Indian Ocean.

The project, for which Uzbekistan has already pledged $500 million, could become another major regional connectivity project for India, after its construction of the Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan and the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar, Iran. India last week decided to open more ports for Chabahar and the issue of connectivity to Chabahar will be among talking points when Foreign Minister visits Tehran Sunday & Monday.

India is committed to building rail route, from Chabahar to Zahedan on the Iran-Afghan border, and President Mirziyoyev is keen to join the transit trade agreement signed by India, Afghanistan and Iran. India also wants to connect Central Asia via INSTC and through Ashgabat agreement that includes Oman.

The rail route to Herat, if extended to Kabul, would also link to India’s “air corridor”, allowing trade, especially dry fruits and agricultural produce to travel along the routes from India to Central Asia and back in much shorter time.

Uzbekistan has held talks with Iran and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Uzbekistan’s role in regional security is likely to grow as it will take over the Secretary Generalship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in January 2019.

Uzbekistan keen to connect India via Afghanistan & Iran
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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So this happened, and recieved minimal media attention.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar visits family in India

WION Web Team, New Delhi, India
Dec 29, 2019, 08.52 PM(IST
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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrived in India on Sunday on a one-day private trip.

According to reports, Indian-origin Varadkar is in the country to meet his family. He visited his ancestral village in Malvan, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra.

Varadkar was born to Ashok and Miriam Varadkar in Dublin, Ireland in 1979. Ashok Varadkar moved to Ireland in the 1960s from Mumbai, Maharashtra to pursue his career as a doctor.

Varadkar took charge as Ireland's prime minister in the year 2017 and heads one of the prominent political parties of Ireland - Fine Gael.


In 2015, Varadkar made headlines for coming out as gay - the first Irish prime minister and the only openly gay head of state in today's time.


Varadkar is also the first and the only Indian-origin Taoiseach or prime minister of Ireland.

Before taking charge as the Irish Prime Minister, Varadkar had served as the Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport (2011-14) and as Minister of Health from 2014-16.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar visits family in India
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Its mandate shall include, but not be limited to, evolving India’s external technology policy in coordination with domestic stakeholders and in line with India’s developmental priorities and national security goals. It will also help assess foreign policy and international legal implications of new and emerging technologies and technology-based resources, and recommend appropriate foreign policy choice.

NEST will negotiate technology governance rules, standards and architecture, suited to India’s conditions, in multilateral and plurilateral frameworks.

It will also undertake creation of HR capacity within the ministry for technology diplomacy work by utilising the existing talent-pool and facilitating functional specialisation of foreign service officers in various technology domains.
 

RISING SUN

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Cabinet approves Agreement on Social Security between India and Brazil
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing the Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Background

India has been entering into bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with other countries in order to protect the interests of Indian professionals / skilled workers working abroad for short durations and enhance the competitiveness of Indian companies.

Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization). The agreement will also provide for disability insurance benefits to the Indian nationals working abroad. As on date, India has signed SSAs with 18 countries.

The idea to ink pacts on social security programmes with BRICS nations was discussed at the meetings of the BRICS Labour& Employment Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi, respectively. The possibility of concluding social security agreements between BRICS countries also finds mention in the Goa Declaration of the 8th BRICS Leaders’ Summit. Taking forward the spirit of the Goa Declaration, India and Brazil held the negotiations on SSA from 13-16 March 2017 in Brasilia. At the end of the negotiations, both sides initialled the finalized text of the Agreement on Social Security.

The signed agreement will be hosted on the Ministry’s website and the website of Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation for the information of the stakeholders so that they can secure certificates of coverage to avoid making double social security contributions.

At present, about 1,000 Brazilians are living in India, while about 4,700 Indians are living in Brazil. All posted/detached workers and self-employed persons will benefit from this proposal without any discrimination. Thus, it would promote equity and inclusiveness. Export of Social Security benefits of Indian workers after their relocation from Brazil is an innovative arrangement to ensure that there is no loss of social security benefits and also adds to the competitiveness of Indian companies by reducing their overall costs.

The SSA will cover the territories of the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil.
https://www.pmindia.gov.in/en/news_...-on-social-security-between-india-and-brazil/
 
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Gautam

Moderator
Feb 16, 2019
12,725
10,045
Tripura, NE, India
Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit India next month: Report

PTI-Colombo | Updated on January 12, 2020
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File Photo of Mahinda Rajapaksa - Reuters

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will visit India early next month and hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, a media report said on Monday.

This will be his first trip to India after assuming office in November last year, and the third high-level visit to New Delhi by a member of the new Sri Lankan government headed by the Prime Minister’s brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to travel to India in early February, but the dates are yet to be finalised, Sri Lankan news website The Sunday Morning quoted sources in the Prime Minister’s Office as saying.

India is keen to establish closer links with the new Sri Lankan government and offer financial assistance to develop the country, particularly the Tamil-dominated North and East and estate community areas, the report said.

In his first overseas tour after taking over the reins of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa travelled to India on a three-day visit and held talks with Prime Minister Modi. PM Modi had announced a financial assistance of USD 450 million to Sri Lanka, including USD 50 million to fight terrorism after holding “fruitful” talks with the island nation’s President.

Last week, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was in India and held talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on exploring ways to further deepen bilateral ties in a range of areas including trade and investment.

PM Rajapaksa’s visit will come as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Sri Lanka continues to push for a political solution for the Tamils which includes the full implementation of the Indian-brokered 13th amendment to the Constitution. During President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visit to India, Modi had highlighted the importance of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The 13th Amendment forced a temporary merger of the two provinces — Northern and Eastern provinces — subject to a referendum there, but the Supreme Court, in 2006, ruled the merger as “unconstitutional” and said the two provinces must be separated.

Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit India next month: Report