Phase 1 of Bharat Net project to be completed by December 2017
On October 26, 2017, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications announced that first phase of the Bharat Net project (National Optic Fibre Network) will be completed by December 2017, and will thereby provide internet access to 100000 gram panchayats across India.
i. This announcement was made that at the fourth edition of the ‘i-Bharat 2017’ conference held in New Delhi on October 26, 2017.
ii. Theme of ‘i-Bharat 2017’ was ‘ICT Elucidations for Unserved and Unsolved…
India, Japan begins three-day anti-submarine drill
In a bid to deepen operational coordination in the strategically important sea lanes, Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) began a three-day anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean region on October 29, 2017.
India-Japan anti-submarine drill:
i. On October 29, 2017, Japan’s two P-3C Orion jets, which are anti-submarine warfare aircraft, landed at naval air station Hansa in Goa to take part in the drill.
ii. In this exercise, Indian Navy is represented by two P-8 I long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircrafts.
iii. During this three-day exercise, personnel from both navies will have extensive interaction to evolve a “concept of joint operations”.
iv. This exercise can also be termed as a measure to counter China’s growing presence in the Indo- Pacific region.
Quick Facts about Japan:
♦ Capital – Tokyo
♦ Currency – Japanese yen
♦ Current Prime Minister – Shinzo Abe
Government relaxes Arms Rules to bolster investment in manufacturing
On 30th October 2017, it was announced that, to boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Union home ministry has relaxed the Arms Rules.
Relaxation of Arms Rules:
i .The Arms Rules has been relaxed to encourage investment in the manufacturing of arms, ammunition and weapon systems in the country. This will increase employment opportunities in turn.
ii .The new rules came to effect on 27th October 2017. The new rules will be applicable to licences granted by the home ministry and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
iii. Under the new rules, the licence granted for manufacturing will be valid for life-time of the licensee company. Up to 15 % of the quantity approved under the licence will not require any further approval by the government.
iv. The licence fee has been reduced. Earlier the licence fee was Rs 500 per firearm. The licence fee will now range from Rs 5,000 to the maximum of Rs 50,000.
v. The fee for manufacturing licence will be payable at the time of the grant of license. Single manufacturing licence will be allowed for a multi-unit facility within the same state or in different states within the country.
About Ministry of Home Affairs:
♦ Minister of Home Affairs – Rajnath Singh
♦ Ministers of State for Home Affairs – Kiren Rijiju, Hansraj Ahir
India, UAE second strategic talks held in Abu Dhabi
On October 29, 2017, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held second round of strategic dialogue in Abu Dhabi.
More Information about India-UAE Second Strategic Dialogue:
i. India-UAE Second Strategic Dialogue was held with an objective to deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas such as trade and investment.
ii. M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs led the Indian delegation, whereas UAE side was represented by Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
iii. Both Ministers held discussions on a range of bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.
iv. First strategic dialogue between India and UAE was held in January 2017 in New Delhi, India.
v.U AE is India’s third largest trading partner and also one of the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments.
Quick Facts about UAE:
♦ Capital – Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency – UAE dirham
♦ Current President – Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan