Category — Politics
Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs in India, and George Vella, Foreign Minister of Malta, have signed a double taxation avoidance pact (DTAA) at Valetta, Malta, a week ago. Malta is a European island republic in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily.
According to an official release, once the DTAA will be entered into force, it will help stimulating the flow of technology, capital and personnel between the India and Malta. The two countries already had a DTAA into force since February 1995 but they had to renegotiate that agreement due to changes of the economic scenario, but also of International standards and domestic laws.
April 19, 2013 No Comments
Five of the nine Asian cardinals who have the right to vote at the Papal Enclave are from India. They are Prefect Emeritus Ivan Dias, Archbishop of Ranchi Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Bombay Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Ernakulam George Alencherry and Baselios Cleemis, the 54 year young Archbishop of Trivandrum.
Only Italy, the United States and Germany are represented by more cardinal electors. India is home to the Church’s second largest community in Asia after the Philippines. Like elsewhere on the continent, Indian Catholics would love to see an Asian take over from Benedict XVI, with Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, the name most often mentioned by Vatican observers.
Thousands of miles away from the Vatican, the election is being closely followed in the sun-blessed coastal state of Goa, a place better known in the West for beach parties and thedistilled cashewnut drink, feni. One in four of the state’s 1.5 million population is Catholic — a legacy of centuries under Portuguese rule — and many would love to see an Asian become the church’s leader.
What this means:
No Indian cardinal is a serious contender for the papacy, but in a close discussion, the five Indian cardinals may choose to vote as a block to favor a particular candidate, perhaps even Cardinal Tagle. I am no expert on the Catholic Church, but I am not holding my breath that we will see Pope Tagle this time around.
March 12, 2013 No Comments
According to India West, newly sworn-in American Secretary of State John Kerry, favors strong ties with India.
“I was very honored to be sworn in and very anxious to get to work”, Kerry told the media. Kerry is a strong advocate of peace talks between India and Pakistan and believes there are relationships that will be vital in the 21st century between Washington and New Delhi.
Although dates have yet to be announced, Kerry will lead a high-powered American delegation to India sometime in the middle of this year for the next round of the India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue; which was started by his predecessor Clinton and former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in 2010 in Washington.
He plans on tackling the country’s foreign policy and national security on a range of issues including Afghanistan and Pakistan, nuclear nonproliferation, and global climate change. During Kerry’s tenure, the State Department is unlikely to see major changes in the American policies towards India, and efforts to take it to the next level will be taken, since relationships with India reached an auto mode wherein change in personalities is unlikely to derail the relationship.
“There are few relationships that will be as vital in the 21st century as our growing ties with India and its people. On all of the most critical global challenges that we face, India has a central role to play,” said the new secretary of state.
“And that means that Washington is going to be looking to New Delhi not only for cooperation, but increasingly for innovation and regional leadership as well.” added Kerry.
March 10, 2013 No Comments
The latest Soft Power survey lists the United Kingdom (Great Britain) as having soft power that exceeds that of the United States in 2012 and this claim has gotten all the media attention. But I was struck by another oddity in the report: the absence of China, Russia and India among the top twenty. The only Asian countries to make it to the top 20 are Japan (36) and South Korea #11) . Brazil, the only BRIC on the list at 18.
I am not sure who was surveyed or what questions they were asked but surely the soft power extended by both China and India exceeds that of Sweden (what besides the Nobel?), Denmark, Australia, Canada, Norway, Finland, Holland, Spain (do they even have a significant economy left?), Austria (hey Arnold is the USA and Felix Baumgartner does not give you world power!), Belgium and Turkey. I suppose the publishers would liked to have included Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco, Greece, Lichtenstein, the Vatican and more in the top 20 but they just ran out of space.
November 27, 2012 No Comments
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on his second trip to India right now. Based on progress yesterday, here is what their office announced relating to nuclear energy cooperation. 18 of India’s 20 nuclear reactors use heavy-water technology, and the first such reactor in India was supplied by a Canadian company.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, together with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, announced the conclusion of negotiations for the Administrative Arrangement (AA) between Canada and India that will allow the implementation of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA), signed between the two countries in June 2010.
The Nuclear Cooperation Agreement – together with the Administrative Arrangement (AA) through which it will be implemented – will allow Canadian firms to export and import controlled nuclear materials, equipment and technology to and from India to facilities subject to safeguards applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Individual exports and imports are also subject to licensing under the Canadian Nuclear Safety and Control Act and the Candian Export and Import Permits Act.
Canada’s nuclear non-proliferation policy establishes the conditions under which Canada may engage in nuclear cooperation with selected partner countries. Now that the negotiations for the AA are complete, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and India’s Department of Atomic Energy will formally sign them and the Governments of Canada and India will take the necessary steps to bring the NCA into force in a “timely manner”.
The NCA will provide access for members of Canada’s nuclear industry to India’s expanding nuclear market and facilitate the exploration of joint commercial ventures and research and development.
Nuclear energy production in Canada generates about $5 billion in annual revenues. Canada’s nuclear industry is responsible for 21,000 direct jobs and a billion dollars a year in uranium exports.
What this means
Since Canada and India are the world’s largest uses of heavy water technology for nuclear energy production, cooperation between the two countries is natural and good for both countries and their companies. It can improve safety, efficacy, and productive employment in both countries in addition to producing non-carbon emitting energy.
Canadian companies are soon going to need to find a meaningful answer to the term “timely” referred to in the Harper statement above. There are opportunities for two-way collaboration; for example Canada hasn’t actually produce any heavy water for some time and is dependent on stored reserves to supply its current fleet.
November 7, 2012 No Comments