1. UN General Assembly president to visit India from Jan 29-31
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Saba Korosi will visit India from January 29-31 to discuss multilateral and regional issues.
An overview of the news
Korosi, Hungarian diplomat who served as his country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, is visiting India at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
He became the President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022.
Besides holding talks with Jaishankar on key multilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, Korosi will hold talks with senior officials of NITI Aayog and India's G20 Presidency team.
On January 30, Korosi will deliver a public speech at the Indian Council of World Affairs on the topic "Solidarity, Sustainability and Solutions through Science at the United Nations".
He will also attend the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony on January 29 and pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on January 30 on the occasion of Martyrs' Day.
On January 31, Korosi will travel to Bengaluru, which will include an interaction with scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and a field visit to an IISc-led water conservation project.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
It is the United Nation’s chief policy-making and representative organ and was created in 1945.
It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
It serves as the main deliberative, policy making and representative organ of the United Nations.
Its powers, structure, functions and procedures are set out in Chapter IV of the United Nations Charter.
Its main functions are to prepare the budget of the United Nations, appoint non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations system, and make recommendations through resolutions.
2. Signing of MoU on Cultural Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of Egypt
Tags: International Relations
India's Ministry of Culture signed an MoU with the Government of Egypt to strengthen cultural ties.
An overview of the news
The MoU was signed by the Culture Minister of India, Shri G. Kishan Reddy and the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Shri Sameh Hassan Shoukry, in the presence of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
This MoU has been signed for a period of five years.
Under the aegis of the MoU on Cultural Cooperation signed between India and Egypt, both the countries will host cultural activities in the fields of music, dance, theatre, literature, libraries, organising festivals in the respective countries, research and documentation etc.
Egypt is a country located in North Africa.
Egypt is home to famous monuments such as the Giza Pyramid Complex. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza are located on the banks of the Nile River. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in 2560 BC.
Capital - Cairo
President – Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Currency - Egyptian pound
3. India announces 100 million Maldivian Rufiyaa for community development projects in Maldives
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar arrived in Maldives on 18 January as part of his three-day visit to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
An overview of the news
To strengthen bilateral ties, India and Maldives signed an MoU on development projects and held talks with top leadership in the country.
The agreement included grant assistance of 100 million rufiyaa (Maldives' currency) for the High Impact Community Development Project (HICDP).
Under this funding, several socio-economic development projects are planned to be implemented in Maldives.
It also includes the development of a sports complex at Gahadhoo and academic collaboration between the Maldives National University and the Cochin University of Science and Technology.
India has handed over two sea ambulances to help the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
It is also called Maldives Islands, an independent island country in the north-central Indian Ocean.
It extends more than 510 miles (820 km) from north to south and 80 miles (130 km) from east to west.
Basis of economy -fisheries, tourism
Industries - handicraft or cottage including the making of coir (coconut-husk fibre) and coir products, fish canning, and boatbuilding.
President -Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Official Language - Dhivehi (Maldivian)
Official Religion - Islam
Currency - Rufiyaa
4. India-South Korea holds 5th Foreign Policy and Security Dialogue
Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), made an official visit to South Korea and co-chaired the 5th Foreign Policy and Security Dialogue (FPSD) with his Korean counterpart Cho Hyundong.
An overview of the news
During the two-day talks that ended on January 17, the two sides agreed to deepen cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, security and defence, science and technology as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
India and South Korea agreed to work to make global supply chains more resilient and robust.
Both the countries agreed to take bilateral trade to US$ 50 billion by 2030 from an all-time high of US$ 28 billion at present.
Both sides also discussed opportunities for cooperation in new and emerging technologies.
India has offered investment to Korean companies in manufacturing, infrastructure and other sectors.
About South Korea
South Korea is a country located in East Asia that is known as the 'Land of Quiet Mornings'.
The Korean peninsula was divided into communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and Republic of Korea (South Korea) after the Korean War in 1953.
The nation's capital, Seoul, is the world's second largest metropolitan area and a major global city.
North Korea is the only country bordering this country.
Martial arts Taekwondo originated in Korea.
President- Yoon Suk-yol
Currency- South Korean won
5. Indian Railways to start 'Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train' between Ayodhya to Janakpur
Indian Railways is going to run Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC tourist train "Shri Ram-Janaki Yatra: Ayodhya to Janakpur", which will cover two most important pilgrimage sites of neighbouring India and Nepal, Ayodhya and Janakpur.
The initiative aims to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Nepal and promote cultural ties between the two countries.
This train will be operated by Railway's PSU - IRCTC.
The state-of-the-art Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train will depart from Delhi on 17th February, 2023 for a 7 days all inclusive tour.
The train will cover Ayodhya and Janakpur Dham (Nepal) as well as pilgrimage and heritage sites at Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Varanasi and Prayag.
This tourist train can carry 156 tourists and will have 4 first AC coaches, 2 second AC coaches, a well-equipped pantry car and two rail restaurants.
Indo-Nepal Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train
The first Indo-Nepal Bharat Gaurav tourism train was flagged off from Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi in June 2022.
500 Indian tourists travelled in this train.
This unique idea was conceptualised by the Ministry of Railways.
This train returned to Delhi after covering a distance of about 8000 kms in a journey of 18 days.
The Bharat Gaurav train was run with the theme 'Dekho Apna Desh'.
6. India, Panama sign agreement on cooperation in training diplomats
External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in the training of diplomats during his bilateral meeting with Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tevane Mencomo in Indore.
An overview of the news
The agreement was signed during the visit of the Foreign Minister of Panama to participate in the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Conference.
The visit of the Panamanian Foreign Minister to India comes more than a month after the two sides held the 2nd Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) in Panama City on November 23, 2022.
During the consultations, both sides comprehensively reviewed their bilateral relations covering issues such as trade and investment, pharmaceuticals, capacity building, space cooperation and consular.
Both countries also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora.
Both countries agreed to hold the next round of consultations at a mutually convenient date in New Delhi.
Panama is the southernmost nation in Central America.
The country is known for the Panama Canal, a man-made waterway that opened in 1914. This canal passes through the country, connecting the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic) with the Pacific Ocean.
Capital – Panama City
Currency - Balboa
President – Laurentino Cortizo
7. India & France hold 36th Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi
India and France held the 36th Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi on 5 January. The two sides discussed a wide range of bilateral and global issues.
An overview of the news
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval led the Indian delegation while the French delegation was led by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President.
The last edition of the Strategic Dialogue was to be held in Paris in November 2021.
India, France bilateral relations
France is the first country with which India started a strategic dialogue after its 1998 nuclear tests.
Bilateral trade with France has reached US$ 10.75 billion in the last decade and is showing a steady increase.
Both sides recognized the importance of discussing the India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement.
There are around 1,000 French companies present in India while over a hundred Indian businesses have established a presence in France.
In 2005, an agreement was signed to build six Scorpene submarines in India with the help of France.
There has been an agreement between the Government of France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft.
President: Emmanuel Macron
Prime minister: Élisabeth Borne
Currency : euro
8. India, Austria to sign 5 agreements
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India and Austria will sign five agreements on January 2, 2023 and two of them are in the interest of the Indian community living in Austria.
The two agreements would be in the interest of the Indian community.
There is an agreement on 'Migration and Mobility' for people who want to work in Austria and who want to come to India for business, or who come here as students and professionals.
Another agreement is on the ‘Working Holiday’ program that will enable Indian students in Austria to work for 6 months.
S Jaishankar is on an official visit to Austria where he held a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
This is the first India-Austria EAM-level visit in the last 27 years which is taking place in 2023 against the backdrop of 75 years of diplomatic relations.
It is a largely mountainous landlocked country of south-central Europe.
Chancellor: Karl Nehammer
President: Alexander Van der Bellen
Currency : euro
Official Language : German
9. India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement comes into force
India, Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement comes into force from 29 December, 2022.
Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA)
India and Australia signed the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on the 2nd of April 2022.
ECTA is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade.
The agreement covers cooperation in the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two friendly countries.
This will benefit labour-intensive sectors of India such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, furniture, food and agriculture products, engineering products and medical devices.
On the other hand, India has granted preferential access to Australia on more than 70 per cent of its tariff lines, mainly in raw materials.
As a result of this agreement, 10 lakh jobs are expected to be created in the country.
India-Australia Trade Relations
Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner.
India-Australia bilateral trade in goods and services is pegged at US$ 27.5 billion in 2021.
India's merchandise exports to Australia grew by 135% between 2019 and 2021.
India’s exports to Australia - Manufactured goods such as petroleum, medicaments, diamonds, jewellery, railway coaches and vehicles, milled rice and herbicides.
India’s imports to Australia - 82% of its imports from Australia are coal, gold, copper ore, aluminium oxide, liquified natural gas, manganese ore, aluminium waste, pigments, lentils, etc.
10. India, Poland hold 10th round of Foreign Office Consultations in Warsaw
India and Poland held the 10th round of Foreign Office Consultations in Warsaw on December 12.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed regional and international issues, including developments in the Indo-Pacific, India's neighbourhood, the Ukraine conflict, cooperation in multilateral fora including the United Nations, and United Nations Security Council reforms.
During the meeting, India and Poland identified agriculture, food processing, information technology and green transformation as areas of interest to further enhance bilateral ties.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the discussions at the sixth round of the India-Poland Joint Commission Meeting on Economic Cooperation to be held in October 2022.
The Indian side in the meeting was led by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs.
Both countries agreed to hold the next round of Foreign Office Consultations on mutually convenient dates in New Delhi.
The two nations noted the potential of bilateral trade and investment ties.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bilateral trade between India and Poland has witnessed steady growth in recent years and it stood at USD 4.3 billion in 2021.
Indian companies have invested over USD 3 billion in Poland while Polish investments in India stand at USD 700 million.
Prime Minister - Mateusz Morawiecki
President - Andrzej Duda
Capital - Warsaw
Currency - Polish zloty