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India Lends Helping Hand to Myanmar's Reconciliation Efforts

India and Myanmar on 19 October 2016 signed three agreements to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations. 
●    The MoUs were inked in New Delhi after delegation level talks with the visiting State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi. S
●    uu Kyi was on a three day visit to India. Agreements inked includes
●    MoU for designing an academic and professional building programme for insurance industry of Myanmar. 
●    The MoU was signed between Financial Regulatory Department of Myanmar and Insurance Institute of India.
●    MoU on Cooperation in the field of Power Sector: India has also offered to enhance power supply from Moreh in Manipur to Tamu in Myanmar.
●    MoU on Banking Supervision between RBI and Central Bank of Myanmar.


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Second Joint tactical Exercise held by Indian and Chinese army in Ladakh 

As part of the ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China, under the provisions of Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, 2013, the Indian and Chinese armies held Second Joint Exercise “Sino India Cooperation 2016” today, as a sequel to the first Joint Exercise held on 06 Feb 2016 in the area of Border Personnel Meeting Hut at Chushul Garrison of Eastern Ladakh, along with Chinese troops of Moldo Garrison.
●    During the day long exercise on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) a fictitious situation of earthquake striking an Indian Border village was painted. Thereafter joint teams carried out rescue operations, evacuation and rendering of medical assistance.
●    The Indian Team for the exercise was led by Brigadier RS Raman and that of the Chinese was led by Sr Col Fan Jun. 
●    The exercise was a great success and has not only refined the drills to provide succor to the border population in case of natural calamity but has also increased the level of trust and cooperation between the two border guarding forces along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
●    The joint exercise, compliments the Hand in Hand series of the India -China joint exercises and the effort of both the nations to enhance cooperation and maintain peace and tranquility along the border areas of India and China.

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Rosneft Essar Deal to Open New Routes for India

Russia's Rosneft Oil Company and its partners on 15 October 2016 acquired India’s second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil in an all-cash deal valued at about 13 billion US dollars.
●    Rosneft will have a 49 percent stake in Essar Oil’s refinery, port and petrol pumps.
●    Trafigura Group Pte and United Capital Partners will split 49 percent equity equally. 
●    The remaining 2 percent is held by minority shareholders after delisting of Essar Oil.
●    The deal includes 10.9 billion US dollars for Essar Oil’s Vadinar refinery of Essar Group and 2 billion US dollars for a port terminal that helps feed refinery. 
●    It also includes Essar Oil’s debt of 4.5 billion US dollars and about 2 billion US dollars debt with the Port Company and power plant. 
●    Essar Oil has a portfolio of onshore and offshore oil & gas blocks with about 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent in reserves & resources.
●    The company was established in 1969.
●    Essar Group is led by Shashi Ruia and Ravi Ruia.

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BRICS Meet Goa Declaration Pledges to Fight Terror

The 8th BRICS summit ended here on Sunday with the adoption of the Goa Declaration which pledged opposition to terrorism, even as India failed to get a consensus on references to “cross-border terror” and Pakistan-based terror groups in the final statement.
●    The text of the declaration did not name any country specifically as the source of cross-border terrorism but officials maintained that India did get the diplomatic edge it wanted from the summit.
●    Reflecting international concern, the Goa Declaration of the BRICS summit, which concluded here on Sunday, pointed out the need for countering the Islamic State which has occupied territories in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.
●    The declaration called for resolution of the civil war in Syria, in accordance with the “legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria” and sought action against U.N.-designated terrorist groups like IS and Jabhat al-Nusra.


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India-Hungary : 2 Agreements Signed

India and Hungary on 16 October 2016 signed two agreements to enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries.
●    The first agreement is for cooperation in the field of water resources, including innovations in irrigation technology. 
●    The second agreement is for promotion of co-operation between Indian Council of World Affairs and its Hungarian counterpart.
●    The two agreements were inked in Budapest during Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari's visit to that country. 
●    Vice President is on a two-nation tour to Hungary and Algeria.
●    During the visit, Vice President had bilateral discussions with Hungary's Prime Minister Victor Orban and other leaders. 
●    He also met the Hungarian President Janos Ader and the Speaker of National Assembly.


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BRICS Agree to Set Up Credit Rating Agency

The five-nation group BRICS agreed to set up an independent rating agency based on market-oriented principles, saying it would further strengthen the global governance architecture.
●    “We believe that BRICS institution-building is critical to our shared vision of transforming the global financial architecture to one based on the principles of fairness and equity,” the declaration stated. “ further bridge the gap in the global financial architecture, we agreed to fast-track the setting up of a BRICS Rating Agency,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement at the conclusion of the BRICS Summit.
●    Batting for a rating agency backed by BRICS, New Development Bank president K.V. Kamath had expressed concerns over methodologies of the three global agencies (S&P, Fitch, Moody’s) saying that these constrain growth in emerging nations. He had said that ratings of multilateral banks like the BRICS-promoted NDB were affected by the parent countries’ ratings, despite having deep capital buffers.

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India-Russia 17th Bilateral Tie - S-400 missiles, Information Security, Energy deal

India and Russia on 15 October 2016 signed 16 agreements during India-Russia Annual Summit across multiple sectors. 
●    The MoUs were signed in Goa during India-Russia Annual Summit co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Putin is on a visit to India to attend 2016 Goa BRICS summit.
●    Following MoU took place:  
●    MoU on studying perspectives for cooperation in shipbuilding, implementation of infrastructure projects, transfer of technologies and training foreign specialists.
●    MoU on Cooperation in the implementation of smart cities program in India with the use of IT solutions of the Russian companies.
●    MoU on the joint study of a gas pipeline to India and the other possible areas of Cooperation.
●    Rosneft to purchase 98% Essar Oil.
●    Cooperation Agreement in the area of Education and Training.
●    MoU on setting up of Investment Fund: It was inked between NIIF and RDIF.
●    Signing of MoU for Cooperation in increasing the speed of trains between Nagpur- Secundrabad / Hyderabad.
●    MoU on Mutual Allocation of Ground Measurement Gathering Stations for GLONASS AND NAvIC.
●    MoU on expansion of Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation.


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India, Russia to Set up 25 Agro Irradiation Centres

India and Russia on 13 October 2016 signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the development of a network of integrated infrastructure irradiation centres.
●    The agreement was signed between the Indian Agricultural Association, Hindustan Agro Co-Op Ltd (HACL) and United Innovation Corporation (UIC), a subsidiary of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation of Russia.
●    It was signed by Bharat Dhokane Pandurang, Chairman of HACL and Denis Cherednichenko, CEO of UIC.
●    It will be implemented through a Joint Venture and aims to set up 25 integrated irradiation centres. 
●    In the first phase, seven centres will be set up in Maharashtra, which will begin with the upgradation of the current centre at Rahuri in Ahmednagar district.
●    The 7 centres are likely to be established in Sindhurg, Satara, Solapur, JNPT, Jalana, Napur and Pune in the first phase. 
●    UIC will be a technology partner and will help set up the irradiation centres in India. 

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Putin, Modi to Inaugurate work on Kudankulam Nuclear Reactors

The Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu may soon be one of the biggest in the world after the foundations for Unit 3 and 4 are laid on Saturday and MoUs for Unit 5 and 6 are signed. 
●    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated Unit 3 and 4 via video-conferencing from Goa, where Putin has arrived for the Brics Summit.
●    Once the plant reaches full capacity it will share the fifth position in terms of power generation with Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine. 
●    The Ukraine plant already generates a net capacity of 5,700MW and a gross capacity of 6,000MW. 
●    Once completely set up, the Kudankulam plant will generate 6,000 MW of power as well. 
●    The Tamil Nadu plant will be the biggest in South Asia once it reaches full capacity.
●    Currently, the Tamil Nadu plant has a capacity of 2,000 MW and stands at the 10th position in terms of power generation.


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China and Bangladesh ink 27 agreements

Bangladesh and China have agreed to elevate their cooperation to “strategic partnership” during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the South Asian country on Friday.
●    The two countries have also agreed to jointly advance China’s ‘belt and road initiative’ and establish “institutional cooperation” in areas of maritime issues and counter-terrorism.
●    Mr. Xi’s milestone visit to Dhaka, first in 30 years by a Chinese president, also witnessed the signing of 26 agreements on different sectors.
●    Ms. Hasina said the agreements have created a platform for “our two countries to cooperate at a higher plane.”
●    She hoped that with cooperation from China, Bangladesh will be able to reach its goal to become a middle-income country by 2021, and wished that the friendship between the two countries will grow stronger.

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