With China on mind, India, UK pitch for secure and open Indo-Pacific Region

: In an oblique critique of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, India and the UK have pitched for “a secure, free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Aoril 18, which culminated in a roadmap for advancing India-UK relation across the spectrum.Beside bilateral issues, a host of geopolitical issues also figured prominently in the discussion. Without naming China, the joint statement underlined the shared commitment of India and the UK for a rules-based international system.“A secure, free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific is in the interests of India, the UK and the international community,” it said.

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Behind India-Nordic Summit: Focus on tech & innovation

India is poised to hold its first summit with the leaders of five Nordic countries which will focus on forging a mutually empowering partnership centered on technology and innovation.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven will co-host the India-Nordic Summit on April 17, in which the leaders of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland will participate.
The India-Nordic Summit is designed to accelerate India’s economic and strategic engagement with the Nordic countries which are famous for their high standard of living and exceptional record of eco- friendly development.
“The Nordic countries have globally recognized strengths in clean technologies, environmental solutions, ports modernization, cold-chains, skill development and innovation. Nordic competencies fit well with our vision for India’s transformation,” said Mr Modi in a statement ahead of the summit.

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Macron’s visit marks new phase in Indo-France strategic partnership

“France wants India as its first strategic partner in Asia, and it wants to be India’s first strategic partner in Europe, and even the western world,” said French President Macron as the two countries inked 14 crucial agreements in New Delhi, signalling a “big leap” in the bilateral relations. Macron’s was an unambiguous gesture reflecting the deepening of strategic ties between the two countries. The comprehensive nature of the agreements covering defence, economic, nuclear energy and energy security, among others, was an indication of growing convergence between the two countries in the times of dispersed and diverse security threats with global balance of power under transition. Though India and France have maintained cordial relations since the cold war times, the potential of their strategic partnership appeared to have remained largely underutilised. The recent visit by the French President to New Delhi may well be considered as a major breakthrough in strategic ties between the two countries as they are responding to their convergence of interests like never before.

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India-Jordan ties turn strategic with defence pact

Imparting a new energy to New Delhi’s Look West policy, India and Jordan have taken their security cooperation to a new level by signing a defence framework agreement and inked a clutch of agreements in diverse areas.As countries that face the common threat of terrorism and extremism, India and Jordan have also decided to bolster their cooperation in counter-terrorism and deradicalization.
The talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jordanian King Abdullah II in New Delhi on March 1 have deepened strategic dimension of the burgeoning India-Jordan ties. The major takeaway was the signing of a defence framework agreement that covers areas like training, defence industry, counter-terrorism, military studies, cyber security, military medical services and peace-keeping.

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In shadow of Khalistan row, India, Canada map way ahead

India and Canada have signed six pacts and decided to fast-track negotiations for two defining agreements to expand their economic relationship. It was a clear signal that although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s indulgence of Sikh separatists will remain a thorny issue, but for now the two sides have not allowed it to hijack their relationship.     
On the last leg of his week-long tour that has been hotly debated, Mr Trudeau met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on February 23 and discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues.  After the talks, the two sides signed six agreements in the fields of energy, sports, higher education, intellectual property rights and cooperation in science, technology, innovation and electronics.

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Operation Green to overhaul agriculture: Jaitley focuses on strengthening the rural sector

Announcing a ₹500 crore Operation Green for the development of the agricultural sector Finance Minister ArunJaitley has reinforced the focus of the government in increasing the income of farmers and raising the minimum support price.
Presenting the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2018-19, the minister proposed an Agri-Market Development Fund with a corpus of Rs 2000 crore and the upgradation of rural haats to Grameen agricultural markets. In increasing the Minimum Support Price of all cropsto at least 1.5 times that of the production cost, he promised the full support of the government in ensuring the payment of full MSP even if farmers sell below MSP. He proposed the introduction of Kishan credit cards.

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