PIB – September 4 , 2019


GS- 2nd Paper

Topic covered- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

India- Russia Relations

Context

PM Modi attends the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia.

PM Modi in Russia

  • The Eastern Economic Forum 2019 is taking place on 4–6 September in Vladivostok on the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) campus.
  • PM Narendra Modi is in Russia as the chief guest of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum.
  • PM Modi will also take part in the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit.
  • PM Modi was awarded the ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle’ award by Russia in April for his services in promoting bilateral ties between the two countries.
  • The award is the highest state decoration of Russia.

List of MoUs/Agreements exchanged during visit of Prime Minister to Vladivostok-

  • “Reaching New Heights of Cooperation through Trust and Partnership”.
  • The Enhancement of India- Russia Trade and Investments.
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the Russian Federation and on the cooperation in the production of spare parts for Russian/Soviet military equipment.
  • Cooperation in Audiovisual Co-production.
  • Bilateral cooperation in the road transport and road industry.
  • Development of Maritime Communications between the Port of Chennai, Republic of India and the Port of Vladivostok, Russian Federation.
  • Plan for combating customs violations in 2019-2022.
  • The use of Natural Gas for Transportation.
  • Expansion of cooperation in oil and gas sector.
  • To cooperate in coking coal mining projects implementation in the Russian Far East.
  • Investment Collaboration.
  • Cooperation agreement between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry the Roscongress Foundation.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Autonomous Non-profit Organization Agency for Strategic Initiatives to promote New Projects.
  • Memorandum of understanding between the Joint Stock Company NOVATEK and PETRONET LNG Limited on cooperation with respect to the joint development of downstream LNG Business and LNG supplies.
  • Agreement on Cooperation between Joint-Stock Company Rosgeologia and Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited.

Significance

  • PM Modi’s visit to Far East Region of Russia, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, underlines the desire on the both sides to diversify and further strengthen the bonds of our robust bilateral relations.
  • Russia backed India’s move on Jammu and Kashmir and said that the changes in the status are within the framework of the Indian constitution.
  • Eastern Economic Forum Forum focuses on development of business and investment opportunities in the Russian Far East Region, and presents enormous potential for developing close and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Russia in this region.
  • The two Countries enjoy excellent relations, based on the strong foundation of our special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.
  • Both countries cooperate extensively in the strategic fields of defence, civil nuclear energy and peaceful uses of space. We have robust and growing trade and investment relations.
  • The strong partnership is complemented by a desire to promote a multipolar world and the two countries closely cooperate towards this end in regional and multilateral fora.

GS- 2nd Paper

Topic coveredImportant International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

The Eastern Economic Forum

Context

Indian Prime Minister visited Russia to participate in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as Chief Guest in Vladivostok.

About the Eastern Economic Forum

  • The Eastern Economic Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015.
  • It aims to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In accordance with the Decree, the Eastern Economic Forum takes place each year in Vladivostok.
  • The Eastern Economic Forum serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors, as well as of the global challenges facing Russia and other nations.
  • The Forum business programme includes a number of business dialogues with leading partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and with ASEAN, a key integration organization of dynamically developing nations in Southeast Asia.

India-Russia Relations

  • Russia has been a longstanding and time-tested partner for India.
  • The development of India-Russia relations has been a key pillar of India’s foreign policy.
  • The signing of the “Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership” in October 2000, provided additional impetus to bilateral ties and contributed towards the enhancement of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.
  • The strategic partnership between the two countries has promoted the development of institutionalized dialogue mechanisms at various levels in order to strengthen bilateral interaction and follow up on activities related to cooperation in different areas.
  • During the visit of the Russian President to India in December 2010, the Strategic Partnership was elevated to the level of a “Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.”
  • India-Russia cooperation is based on the solid foundations of-
  1. The 1971 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the USSR,
  2. The 1993 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation,
  3. The 2000 Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation
  4. The 2010 Joint Statement elevating the Partnership to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

GS- 2nd Paper

Topics Covered Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC)

Context

The Union Minister lay the foundation stone of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) Marketing complex in Guwahati, Assam.

About NERAMAC

  • NERAMAC was set up to support farmers/producers of North East getting remunerative prices for their produce and thereby bridge the gap between the farmers and the market and also to enhance the agricultural, procurement, processing and marketing infrastructure of the Northeastern Region of India.
  • It is a pioneer marketing organization in the field of Agri-Horti sector of the North-eastern region, involved in supporting farmers right from the fields and up to the markets to the end consumers through registered FPO/FPCs.
  • It was incorporated in the year 1982 as a Government of India Enterprise.
  • Its registered office is in Guwahati and operating under the administrative control of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

Objective

  • To undertake development and marketing of horticultural products within and outside the north eastern region and the supply of inputs, tools, equipment etc.
  • To undertake, establish, acquire, purchase, sell and manage the projects for the development of horticultural products such as establishment of nurseries and commercial orchards, seed stations etc.
  • To manage, promote, aid and expedite the export of raw and finished horticultural produce and equipment and also to import raw and finished horticultural produce and equipment in furtherance of the company’s business.

GS- 2nd Paper

Topics Covered- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Context

Various provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 have been enforced.

About the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Minister for Law and Justice.

It seeks to amend the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.

The Act contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration, and defines the law for conducting conciliation proceedings.

Key features of the Bill are

  • Arbitration Council of India– The Bill seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
  • Composition of the ACI– The ACI will consist of a Chairperson who is either
  1. A Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or
  2. A Chief Justice of a High Court; or
  3. An eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration.
  • Other members will include an eminent arbitration practitioner, an academician with experience in arbitration, and government appointees.
  • Appointment of arbitrators- Under the 1996 Act, parties were free to appoint arbitrators.
  • In case of disagreement on an appointment, the parties could request the Supreme Court, or the concerned High Court, or any person or institution designated by such Court, to appoint an arbitrator.
  • Under the Bill, the Supreme Court and High Courts may now designate arbitral institutions, which parties can approach for the appointment of arbitrators.
  • For international commercial arbitration, appointments will be made by the institution designated by the Supreme Court.
  • For domestic arbitration, appointments will be made by the institution designated by the concerned High Court.
  • In case there are no arbitral institutions available, the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court may maintain a panel of arbitrators to perform the functions of the arbitral institutions.
  • An application for appointment of an arbitrator is required to be disposed of within 30 days.
  • Relaxation of time limits- Under the Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings.
  • Completion of written submissions- Currently, there is no time limit to file written submissions before an arbitral tribunal.
  • The Bill requires that the written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding, should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
  • Confidentiality of proceedings- The Bill provides that all details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for the details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances.
  • Applicability of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 2015- The Bill clarifies that the 2015 Act shall only apply to arbitral proceedings which started on or after October 23, 2015.

For prelims-

National Award to Teachers-2018

Context

President of India to confer National Award to Teachers-2018 on Teacher’s Day.

About National Award to Teachers

  • The national level awards are given to teachers on Teachers’ Day to celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers in the country.
  • The award honors those teachers who through their commitment have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students.

Selection of Awardee

  • The criterion adopted was to select those teachers who had shown innovation in their work and had added value to the school and to their students.
  • These nominated teachers gave a presentation before an independent Jury comprising a senior educationist.
  • The basic premise now is that the new scheme should be transparent, fair, and reward demonstrated excellence and performance and has been inspired by recent innovations in major national awards.
  • All regular teachers were eligible and no minimum years of service was required. This enabled meritorious young teachers to apply.
  • The number of awards was rationalized to maximum of 47, thereby restoring the prestige of the awards.
  • No State, UT or Organization had a quota in the final selection. This encouraged them to compete for the awards.
  • An independent Jury at the National level made the final selection.
  • The Jury reviewed the list of candidates forwarded by all States, UTs and Organisations.
  • Each nominee made a presentation before the Jury, which made a final assessment and recommended 46 names for the Teachers Awards this year.
  • The award carries a Silver Medal, Certificate and Rs. 50,000/- as award money.