Myntra CPS Submit Highlight HTML

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Law Commission suggestions on draft Bill on child abduction

  •  The 21st Law Commission in its first report has recommended a series of changes in the draft Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill-2016, proposed by the Women and Child Development Ministry.
  • One-year jail term for wrongful retention or removal of a child from the custody of a parent. The offenders may include one of the parents or family, relatives and others.
  • Three months punishment for wilful misrepresentation or concealment of fact as regards the location or information about the child or for voluntarily preventing the safe return of the child.
Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016
  • Union ministry of women and child development (WCD) has drafted the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016, which facilitates prompt return of any child under 16 who has been “wrongfully removed to or retained in other state which is not his/her habitual residence.”
  • This bill will provide an enabling legislation to implement the provision of the Hague convention that provides an expeditious method for returning a child.
  • Signing the convention will ensure enforcement of custody orders of foreign courts.
  • Presently, a parent takes advantage of the absence of a domestic law and knows if he/she brings the child to India it will be difficult to enforce the custody order of a foreign court.
  • The draft law mandates setting up of a central authority, to be headed by a joint secretary level officer, where an aggrieved parent can approach for the return of a child. The authority would have the power to decide all such cases.
  • In the US and Europe, inter-parental child abduction is a serious offence where the accused parent can go to jail on charges of abduction.
  • As of now, in most of the matters decided by the Indian court, the criminal offence and its penalties are often not pressed by the aggrieved parent to enable a settlement in the matter in the best interest of the child

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Global Hunger Index, 2016

  •  India ranked 97th out of 118 countries on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Global Hunger Index (GHI) in 2016, behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, among others, but ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian countries. It was positioned at 80 out of 104 countries the previous year.
  • India is faring worse than all its neighbours China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90), except for Pakistan (107) in measures of hunger.
  • According to the latest Global Hunger Index data, hunger levels in developing countries may have fallen 29% since 2000, but India is still rated as a country with ‘serious’ hunger levels in the 2016.
  • India was ranked 83 in 2000 and 102 in 2008 with GHI scores of 38.2 and 36 respectively. This implies that, while hunger levels in India have diminished somewhat, the improvement has been outstripped by several other countries. Hence India's ranking is worse today than it was 15 years ago. In fact, Bangladesh was ranked 84 with a score of 38.5 in 2000, just below India. But in 2016, it has improved beyond India with a GHI score of 27.1 and a rank of 90 to India's 97.
  • Overall, global hunger levels are down by about 29% compared to 2000. Twenty countries, including Rwanda, Cambodia, and Myanmar, have reduced their GHI scores by over 50% each since 2000. And, for the second year in a row, no developing country for which data was available featured in the "extremely alarming" category .
  • While India has improved its score on various parameters over the past few years, two out of five children below five years of age are stunted in India. Stunting measures chronic malnutrition and affected children’s height would be considerably below the average for their age.
  • The GHI is calculated by taking into account four key parameters: shares of undernourished population, wasted and stunted children aged under 5, and infant mortality rate of the same age group.
About Global hunger index:
  • The report is released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • The hunger index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age).
  • The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale. Zero is the best score (no hunger), and 100 is the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in practice.
  • Although India runs two of the world's biggest children's nutrition programmes, the ICDS for children under 6 years and the mid-day meal programme for school going kids up to the age of 14, malnutrition continues to haunt India.
  • Endemic poverty, unemployment, lack of sanitation and safe drinking water, and lack of effective healthcare are main factors for the sorry state.
  • Compared with previous years, marked improvement has taken place in child stunting and under-5 mortality rates but the proportion of undernourished people has declined only marginally from 17% in 2000 to the current 15%. The share of wasted children has inched down similarly.
  • If hunger continues to decline at the same rate it has been falling since 1992, around 45 countries, including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan will still have ‘moderate’ to ‘alarming’ hunger scores in year 2030, far short of the United Nations’ goal to end hunger by that year.
  • India is slated to become the world’s most populous nation in just six years, and it’s crucial that we meet this milestone with a record of ensuring that the expected 1.4 billion Indians have enough nutritious food to lead healthy and successful lives.
  • Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger or we will fail to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal.
  • Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it is up to all of us that we set the priorities right to ensure that the government, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary to meet this important goal.
  • The hunger index numbers indeed throw some serious questions on the course of ongoing government programmes to alleviate poverty and malnutrition in the country, and whether we have prioritised this problem the way it should be.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Public Debt Management Cell

 The Centre has decided to set up an independent agency to mange its debt. As a precursor, the Finance Ministry will soon set up the Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC) in the Budget Division.
About PDMC:
  • The PDMC, which will have only advisory functions to avoid conflict with statutory functions of the RBI, will plan government borrowings, including market borrowings and domestic borrowing activities like issuance of Sovereign Gold Bond.
  • The PDMC will also manage government’s liabilities, monitor cash balances, improve cash forecasting, foster a liquid and efficient market for government securities along with advising government on matters related to investment, capital market operations, administration of interest rates on small savings, among others.
  • PDMC will develop an Integrated Debt Database System (IDMS) as a centralised database for all liabilities of government, on a near real-time basis and undertake requisite preparatory work for PDMA. PDMC will have 15 experienced debt managers from Budget Division, RBI, Middle Office and other government units
Functions of PDMC:
  • The PDMC will at present only have advisory functions to avoid “any conflict” with the statutory powers of the RBI.
  • To start with, it would plan the borrowings of the Centre, manage the Central government liabilities and monitor the cash balances.
  • It would also develop an integrated debt database system as a centralised data base for all liabilities of the government on a near real time basis.
  • It will also advise government on matters related to investment, capital market operations and interest rates on small savings as well as undertake requisite preparatory work for PDMA.
Composition of PDMC:
  • The PDMC would be staffed with 15 “experienced” debt managers from the Budget Division, RBI, middle office and other units and would be under the overall supervision of the Joint Secretary (Budget), Department of Economic Affairs.
  • PDMC will allow separation of debt management functions from RBI to the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) in a gradual and seamless manner, without causing market disruptions. The cell will be converted to a statutory authority in about two years’ time. This move would help divest the RBI of its dual and often conflicting roles as the banker and manager of the Centre’s borrowing.
  • PDMA will will bring both India's external borrowings and domestic debt under one roof.
  • The RBI walks a tight rope while balancing management of public debt and controlling inflation. So, creating the PDMC is a welcome move, which will help the RBI focus on controlling inflation
  • The idea of separating public debt management from the Reserve Bank was initiated in 1991. Since then, a plethora of reports culminating in the comprehensive Aziz committee report in September 2008 have vouched for it. Most OECD countries have established dedicated debt management units. Several emerging economies like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and South Africa, have also restructured and consolidated debt management. It said there are tangible benefits of PDMA, the most important being divorcing borrowing costs from the repo rate.
  • The need to set up a separate debt management agency was also driven by the fact that RBI sets monetary policy as well as sells bonds on behalf of the government. It was felt that the central bank may be tempted to try and sell bonds at high prices, while keeping interest rates low, leading to a conflict of interest.

Janani Suraksha Yojana

 A new study conducted by India Human Development Survey (IHDS) brings in first conclusive evidence of the role played by Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) in reducing ‘socioeconomic disparities’ existing in maternal care.
Main highlights of the study:
  • According to the study, JSY has led to an enhancement in the utilisation of health services among all groups especially among the poorer and underserved sections in the rural areas, thereby reducing the prevalent disparities in maternal care.
  • Three key services of maternal care were used for the analysis: full antenatal care (full ANC), safe delivery, and postnatal care.
  • The increase in utilisation of all three maternal healthcare services between the two rounds was remarkably higher among illiterate or less educated and poor women.
  • The usage of all three maternal healthcare services by the OBC, Dalit, Adivasis and Muslim women increased between the surveys.
  • After the implementation of the JSY, there was generally a narrowing of the gap between the less educated and more educated women and between the poorer and richer women.
  • It was found that women in their early twenties were more likely to avail of each of the three maternal health care services as compared to their older women. Also, the incidence of women availing maternal healthcare services decreases with the increase in the number of children they have delivered.
  • The study notes that the gap in access to healthcare between the marginalised group of women and those who are financially better-off has declined since the advent of the JSY program. But, inequality in access to maternal care persists
About Janani Suraksha Yojana:
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NHM). It is being implemented with the objective of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by promoting institutional delivery among poor pregnant women. The scheme is under implementation in all states and Union Territories (UTs), with a special focus on Low Performing States (LPS).
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana was launched in April 2005 by modifying the National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NMBS).
  • The NMBS came into effect in August 1995 as one of the components of the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).
  • The scheme was transferred from the Ministry of Rural Development to the Department of Health & Family Welfare during the year 2001-02.
  • The NMBS provides for financial assistance of Rs. 500/- per birth up to two live births to the pregnant women who have attained 19 years of age and belong to the below poverty line (BPL) households.
  • When JSY was launched the financial assistance of Rs. 500/- , which was available uniformly throughout the country to BPL pregnant women under NMBS, was replaced by graded scale of assistance based on the categorization of States as well as whether beneficiary was from rural/urban area.
  • States were classified into Low Performing States and High Performing States on the basis of institutional delivery rate i.e. states having institutional delivery 25% or less were termed as Low Performing States (LPS) and those which have institutional delivery rate more than 25% were classified as High Performing States (HPS).
  • Accordingly, eight erstwhile EAG states namely Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Odisha and the states of Assam & Jammu & Kashmir were classified as Low Performing States. The remaining States were grouped into High Performing States.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Indus Water Treaty: Can it become the Handle?

TOPIC: General Studies 2
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
Brief of Indus Water Treaty
The Indus water treaty divided the use of rivers and canals between two countries. Pakistan obtained exclusive rights for the three western rivers- Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. India retained rights for three eastern rivers- Ravi, Beas and Satluj.

The confrontation between India and Pakistan following the attack at Uri army base has resulted in various options being discussed as far as India is concerned. While there are people who want instant retaliation, for others the diplomatic option is better. The spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs made a statement which raised the issue of Indus water treaty. The statement hinted that the Indus water treaty can be used as an option to teach Pakistan a lesson.
The genesis of the treaty lies in Pakistan’s absolute fear which is part genuine, part propaganda. It was in fear that if India builds dams on the rivers, Pakistan would be starved of water. Thus, in 1960, India entered into a treaty mediated by the World Bank in order to give Pakistan an assurance that it need not fear anything from India for water. This was done inspite of knowing the fact that this treaty was more beneficial to Pakistan as the western rivers have more water than the eastern rivers. When the treaty gave western rivers to India, India did not had any access to its waters except for only non-consumptive purposes. With this treaty, India hoped that Pakistan will feel more secure and therefore be less hostile towards India. However, this has never been realised.
In India thus, there has been a feeling in the significant sections of public opinion, who know about the treaty, that it has not served its purpose and has been far too generous. In J&K, the treaty is very unpopular as people feel that they have been riddled out of their fair share of water. Instead of using the river water that flows through their state, they have to rely on water which flow majorly through Punjab and Haryana.
The treaty has been so far upheld because India never raised it in case of any hostile bilateral relations between two nations. Also, India takes its treaties seriously. After 1972, India did not want third party mediation since the dispute mechanism clauses of the treaty provided that ultimately there will be representatives assigned by World Bank. And because of India’s such goodwill gesture, Pakistan has taken undue advantage of it and objected every project that India has tried to be built on western rivers even if they are for non-consumptive purposes.
What is creating fear in Pakistan now?
Himalayan rivers carry lot of silt. At present, Pakistan’s main dam is Mangla dam. 30% of dam is silted and thereafter there is no place for storage. Kalabagh dam was planned between Sindh and Punjab border but stuck in interstate disputes. Thus, there are looming water crisis. Adding to the fire, the jihadis are spreading rumours that India has some kind of tap which they will shut and they all will be ruined because of non-availability of water. Thus, it is a measure to whip up the sentiments and create sense of fear and have succeeded to some extent.
Pakistan gets 135 million acre (ma) water whereas it does not have any plans to use not more than 105 ma. About 40 ma of water goes to sea in Pakistan. As against this, Punjab and Haryana need about 5-10 ma more water. So, India can renegotiate to divert from western to eastern rivers to solve the problems. But this problem has to be handled diplomatically and not by terminating a treaty. India has never mentioned Indus treaty as a response matter to any crisis. The idea that it can be used as a response measure to such a crisis is yet to be evaluated. Terminating a treaty does not hold much significance as there are no dams on Indus, Chenab or Jhelum to stop the water flow. Building dams and other reservoirs takes years to construct and operate. Hence, the water will anyway flow to Pakistan. But, as a long term measure, India has to renegotiate the treaty with fresh terms, where India gets some access to western river waters.
Why has India not utilised western river waters?
Because, every time India started a project, the Pakistanis objected and put a stop to it. The dispute mechanism of the treaty was bizarre. It included third party would be chief justice of USA Supreme Court, Lord chief justice of UK as they held great importance during those times. Now that there is no third party involvement, India had to solve all the issues bilaterally. Hence, India could not use the water at all, even for non-consumptive purposes which the treaty provided. If India wants, it had to satisfy the Pakistanis, but they were never satisfied despite of endless rounds of discussion between Indus water commissioners. (Recent disputes over Baglihar and Kishenganga where Pakistan objected towards it.)
Should the Indus Treaty be re-considered?
Pakistan has mismanaged its waters and despite all that, the treaty has been upheld by India. Still Pakistan accuses that India has been dubious on waters. But, if Indus Water treaty is being discussed as a response mechanism to Uri attack, it has to be part of well-thought out policy and strategy. It can’t be a kneejerk reaction and pandering to public opinion.
India is entitled to respond to the options in the background of the attacks and India does have some kind of strategic advantage with respect to Indus water treaty. But, India would not compromise on the quality and quantity of water as it is a functioning democracy with democratic and human ideals. However, this doesn’t close the option of re-negotiating the treaty. J&K has had grievances and they were not addressed adequately, thus, it might be an opportunity to do it. But, it might open the Pandora’s box. But, last time World Bank mediated, but these times certainly don’t present the platform where anything can be negotiated with Pakistan.
In 1960, it was a very simple and well-thought treaty. Pakistan received 80% of the water. It was the time when the natural flow teri dominated the field where the lower riparian had an upper hand. After 55 years, the treaty has created problem in Indian essence. India’s dependence on eastern rivers has not been sufficient to meet all requirements.
Conclusion- Will there be Indus treaty abrogation?
Most likely not. This is the government’s way of telling Pakistan that it is tired of its proxy wars. Now, the ‘water’ has crossed its limit and it should not expect any sympathies.
Anyway, the mention of Indus water treaty was not the suo motu statement of MEA spokesperson but was responding to a question.
All treaties are based on set of objectives which require goodwill and good faith. Treaties have been abrogated by the countries in the past even for the treaties with timeline. In contrast, the Indus water treaty does not even provide specific time frame.
If India thinks that Pakistan is an enemy state and if Pakistan’s actions over last 56 years have demonstrated it conclusively, then this can be part of package which teaches Pakistan a lesson on how India is capable of retaliating in manner it wants.
Connecting the dots:
  • Water is lifeline of any nation. If India brings up Indus water treaty, Pakistan will feel threatened and this is what India aims at. Will this strategy be successful to tell Pakistan to mend its ways? Explain.

Monday, 10 October 2016

New UN Secretary General to be appointed

*10 October 2016* 🎤

Today's *_News Juice_*  features the following articles:

*1.*  New UN Secretary General to be appointed (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

*2.*  Janani Suraksha Yojana pays dividends: Study (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II)

*3.*  Frivolous’ RTI pleas is becoming problematic, PMO issues advisory (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

*4.*  Foreign medical graduates fail MCI exam (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

*5.*  Need of Simpler law for Land Acquisition (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

*_⛳ News of the Day_*

*New UN Secretary General to be appointed (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)*

The United Nations Security Council’s has a broad consensus in nominating António Guterres for the post of Secretary-General.

*Challenges before new Secretary General*
Mr. Guterres will have to expediently attend to a number of pressing issues, including the worsening international refugee crisis and the scourge of terrorism, both in part linked to the debilitating Syrian war.

An equally challenging agenda point facing Mr. Guterres is to find creative ways to bridge the chasm between Western powers on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

*Credentials of Mr. Guterres*
His experience as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will come in handy as he goes about negotiating to find shelter for and rehabilitate refugees from Syria, who at last count numbered well above four million worldwide.

*Procedure for appointment*
Article 97 of the United Nations Charter determines that the Secretary-General is "appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

As the recommendation must come from the Security Council, any of the five permanent members of the Council can veto a nomination.

Despite the Charter giving the General Assembly provisions to influence the selection process, the chosen Secretaries-General reflect that the selection process remains in the control of the Permanent Members.

Some customs have developed regarding the selection process, such as that the appointee may not be a citizen of any of the Security Council's five permanent members.

Last week, 13 of the 15 members of the Council, including the five veto-wielding permanent members, sent the name of the former Portugal Prime Minister to the General Assembly for final approval.

If the Assembly passes his nomination, then as the UN’s ninth Secretary-General

*About Secretary General*
The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG or just SG) is the head of the United Nations Secretariat, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations.

The current Secretary-General is Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, who took office on 1 January 2007. His first term expired on 31 December 2011. He was re-elected, unopposed, to a second term on 21 June 2011. His successor is to be appointed by the General Assembly in 2016 and is expected to be António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

India Egypt Relations

India and Egypt, two of the world’s oldest civilizations, have enjoyed a history of close contact from ancient times. Even prior to the Common Era, Ashoka’s edicts refer to his relations with Egypt under Ptolemy-II.
The relations between India and Egypt have had a general tone of cooperation and cordiality to them. Where the political dispensation in India towards Egypt has been almost unflinchingly favourable and supportive since its independence, it has been the political developments in Egypt that have had a major bearing on the trajectory of the bilateral relationship.
In modern times, Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghloul shared common goals on the independence of their countries, a relationship that was to blossom into an exceptionally close friendship between Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru, leading to a Friendship Treaty between the two countries in 1955. The Non-Aligned Movement, led by Nehru and Nasser, was a natural concomitant of this relationship.
Their commitment to socialism also kept both the leaders and countries drawn towards each other. After the end of the Nehru-Nasser era, the relationship between the two countries lost much of its old sheen. Subsequent leadership in both the countries has acknowledged the importance of the other, but there has been a discernible absence of any meaningful efforts from both sides to further strengthen the relationship.
Throughout the political turmoil in Egypt, India has consistently expressed solidarity with the people of Egypt appealing to the leadership to see the winds of change and address the aspirations of the youth.

Trade Relations: Export-Import
  • Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners in the African continent. The India-Egypt Bilateral Trade Agreement has been in operation since March 1978 and is based on the Most Favoured Nation clause.
  • India is the sixth largest trading partner of Egypt – the second largest export destination and tenth largest import source for Egypt. India’s imports from Egypt were worth US$ 1.74 billion during FY 2014-15. It is significant to note that there has been diversification in the export basket of Egyptian products to India.
  • Indian exports to Egypt during FY 2014-15 have been recorded at US$ 3.02 billion. The top five Indian exports during FY 2014-15 were mineral fuels, meat, vehicles and parts, cotton yarn and organic chemicals. While the top five Indian imports were crude petroleum, rock phosphate, inorganic chemicals, cotton and fruits.
  • Technical, Scientific cooperation and assistance has been a major part of the bilateral relationship.
  • In the field of scientific cooperation, ICAR and the Agricultural Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture & Land of Egypt signed a MoU for cooperation in the field of agricultural research in March 1998. An Agreement on cooperation in science and technology was also signed in October 1995. Cooperation in agriculture and Science & Technology is implemented through biennial Executive Programmes.
Suez Canal upgrade 
The advantage of the Suez is that ships save as much as 10 nautical days at sea instead of sailing around Africa, and is today the fastest link between Asia and Europe accounting for almost 7% of global seaborne trade. It is a claim by economists that the project will not only expand (double) the capacity of the tonnage passing through the Suez Canal but more than double the annual revenue to $13.5 billion by 2023.  For a country like India which does not have overland access to markets of Europe and North Africa, the Suez Canal is its lifeline.
Egypt is also giving shape to the Suez Canal Area Development Project which would involve development of five new seaports in the three provinces surrounding the canal, a new industrial zone west of the Gulf of Suez, exclusive economic zones of around 460 around the waterway, huge fish farms, seven new tunnels to Sinai, a new Ismailia city, and a technology valley at Ismailia. India is looking to enhance its investment profile in these opportunities.
Pan Africa e-Network Project
  • The Pan Africa e-Network Project, one of the flagship programmes of the Indian Government to strengthen ties with Africa, has been operational through an E-learning Centre since July 2009 at Alexandria University.
  • The Tele-medicine Centre under the Project also became operational in November 2009 at the Centre for Women’s Health and Development in Alexandria. The Alexandria University will soon be ready to serve as regional centre for the entire North Africa region both for e-learning and tele-medicine.
Cultural Links
  • The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) was set up in Cairo in 1992 to promote cultural cooperation between the two countries, through the implementation of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP).
  • The Centre, in addition to popularising Indian culture through Hindi, Urdu, Yoga and meditation classes, occasional dance classes, seminars, exhibitions and also organizes cultural festivals.
  • The third edition of the ‘India by the Nile’ (IBN) annual India cultural held in Egypt from 29 March to 17 April 2015.
  • The three-week long festival included Manipuri folk dance, crafts exhibition and symposium, wellbeing experience to highlight the importance of yoga and Ayurveda, Bollywood Musical, Indian fusion band, street food festival,and a number of other events conceived and organised on the principle of public private partnership.
  • In its outreach activities, the Indian Cultural Centre also organizes India Day(s) in other governorates and universities.
  • Yoga has gained popularity in Egypt with 14 schools in Cairo, besides centres in other cities. The International Day of Yoga was celebrated with enthusiasm. There is also a growing interest in traditional medicines.
  • The strong ties between India and Egypt are evident from the affection towards India amongst the population. Three streets in Cairo are named after Indian leaders namely, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Zakir Hussein. There are two busts Mahatma Gandhi – one in Cairo at the Supreme Council of Culture and the other one in Alexandria at the Bibliotheca Alexandria.
Other areas of collaboration 
  • Both countries seek each other as important in establishing peace and stability in their region.
  • The two leaders highlighted the leading role of India and Egypt in the maintenance of international peace and security, being among the ten largest troop and police contributing countries in United Nations missions.
  • The increasing dominance of IS in Syria and Middle-Eastern countries is now laying its root in Egypt also which is a great threat to Egyptian denizens.
  • Latest developments in West Asia and North Africa region, the spread of extremism and radicalization and the scourge of terrorism are the gravest threat to international security and peace.
  • There is an urgent need for cessation of hostilities in Syria and expressed concern over humanitarian crisis in the country and India-Egypt share a common ideology on the issue.
  • India-Egypt supports the people and government of Iraq in their efforts to overcome the existing crisis to uphold Iraq’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Egypt is also an important source of crude and oil for India.
  • The magnitude of the  Zohr gas find raises again the prospect of export of Egyptian LNG, and with the recent expansion of the Suez Canal – even to the Asian market competing with Qatari and Iranian gas exports. The discovery of Zohr proclaims the East Mediterranean as the new frontier in oil and gas production.
Latest Visit of Egyptian President to India on 1-3 September, 2016
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said Egypt and India will build a “robust defence and security cooperation.”
  • will work on evacuation of people from areas hit by natural disasters or conflicts.
  • India and Egypt will upgrade economic and trade ties, increase mutual visits, intensify counter terror cooperation, and work on renewable energy.
  • An Agreement on maritime transport which was described by Mr. Modi as an “important enabler” for increased trade and commerce.
  • agreed to further our defence and security engagement aimed at expanding defence trade, training and capacity building, greater information and operational exchanges to combat terrorism and cooperation on emerging challenges of cyber security.
  • Both leaders noted the importance of cultural exchange and agreed there should be more cultural and academic exchanges to promote closer understanding and linkages, especially among the youth.
  • The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in the field of space utilising India’s expertise in launching satellites and other advances in space technology.
  • The two leaders agreed that a special and enlarged “India by the Nile Festival” would be held in 2017 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. They also welcomed the proposal to have the inaugural “Egypt by the Ganga Festival” in 2017.
Other potential areas of collaboration 
  • India-Egypt dynamics has all the components of a very strong bilateral engagement. It is time to take the next leap forward.
  • Egypt has traditionally been one of India’s most important trading partners, and currently we are the second largest destination for Egypt’s exports. However, this can be increased significantly. We have yet to fully tap sectors like textiles, apparel machinery, automotive components, chemicals and consumer goods.
  • Manufacturing, too, offers some great prospects. In positioning India as a manufacturing and R&D hub under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, some serious exploration is required of the biggest strength of Egypt, which is also its key business driver — the country’s geo-strategic location. A manufacturing base in Egypt would allow our industry to access markets in Europe, Africa and West Asia.
  • Infrastructure is another area of opportunity. India’s experience in developing economic corridors, metro projects, housing and urban development would be valuable to Indian players interested in participating at the Suez Canal Economic Zone and other similar projects.
  • The Digital India Programme could be useful in Egypt’s development needs such as e-government solutions, new banking platforms, information management and low cost IT parks among others.
  • There are also emerging areas such as solar energy where India and Egypt come across as natural partners since the two countries already have an MoU on Renewable Energy Cooperation. There is tremendous scope for enhancement of such cooperation.
  • India could also tap Egypt with its huge gas resources as a top priority source of fertilisers like urea, and make it an important partner in its quest for food security.
  • Further, the two countries can work together on sectors such as SME and pharma as well.
  • Nurturing of entrepreneurial habits is critical today to fuel the economic engine of any economy and Egypt is no exception. The ‘Startup India’ movement to boost entrepreneurship at the grassroot levels paves the way for collaboration between India and Egypt.
  • Educators and capacity building institutions from both sides could collaborate to find mechanisms to foster entrepreneurship and instil competitiveness.

For India, better relations with Egypt not only present an opportunity to build on historical ties, but also to forge an enduring partnership to meet emerging global challenges of energy security, terrorism and climate change.
With the passage of time India has emerged as an important player in the world. With a stable democracy, growing economy and development in science and technology it offers a window of several opportunities for cooperation. Egypt is emerging from the turmoil of Arab Spring while simultaneously facing a number of security and economic challenges. The current leadership in both countries has shown deep interest in reviving the bilateral ties; thus both must find issues of common concern to cooperate on, which would give a much needed thrust to the relationship