India urges Riyadh to waive immunity
- India has asked Saudi Arabia to waive immunity for one of its diplomats and his father in law who are facing trial for sexual slavery of 2 Nepali maids.
- The medical team of Gurgaon police have uncovered prima facie evidence of abuse against the Nepali women.
- Ministry of External Affairs will have to handle this situation in a delicate manner as it involves 2 more countries.
- Saudi Arabia is India’s second largest supplier of crude oil and its fourth largest trading partner and is also home to the sizeable diaspora of 2.5 million Indians.
- Nepal is one of India’s closest friends and Nepali citizens enjoy rights on par with Indians in many cases and Indian higher educational institutions accept many Nepali students.
- All India Democratic Women ‘s association workers protested outside the Saudi Arabian embassy against the actions of the diplomat and also against Saudi laws that curtail the independence and freedom of women.
- Vienna Convention states that diplomats enjoy immunity from legal prosecution in the countries of their posting and as a result the Saudi diplomat can go scot free.
BSF , Pakistani Rangers to check border firing
- The BSF and Pakistani Rangers held cordial talks with both sides exploring avenues like coordinated border patrolling in the Gujarat , Rajasthan and Punjab regions.
- India also proposed a sports meet between the BSF and Pakistani rangers as an ice-breaker.
- Pakistan agreed with BSF on the drug smuggling menace and called for BSF ‘s active role in subduing it and admitted that these drugs smuggled from Afghanistan was a problem for them as well.
- Pakistan stated that it was primarily BSF ‘s duty to reduce cross border tensions as BSF had thrice their manpower and were also equipped with sophisticated surveillance systems.
- Currently communication between BSF and Pakistani Rangers is held only at the sector level. Talks are on to increase communication between both the parties to district level to prevent confusion and increase trust.
- The success of this meeting came as a surprise after the talks between the National Security Advisers(NSA) of both countries collapsed.
Package for exporters soon : Nirmala Sitharaman
- Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government will soon come out with a package to boost shipments , commerce and industry.
- This move follows after the growth of merchandise exports registered negative last year.
- The government apart from easing starting up businesses , the government also looks focused to increase its exports and thereby bring down its current account deficit.
- She also stated that the centre would soon release the ranking of states according to their ease of doing business. This is helped to direct investors to states that have business friendly laws.
- Although the sectors that were to be benifited were yet to be confirmed , the Minister stated that under this scheme , banks would give 3% interest relief on export credit and get compensated.
- Possible sectors that are expected to benefited include chemicals , pharma and electronics.
Cairn to go to International Court of Justice against India
- Cairn Energy is set to approach the International Court of Justice asking it to appoint an arbitrator on behalf of the Indian government in its $ 1.6 billion pending tax case.
- In 2012 the Government of India imposed tax retrospectively on Cairn Energy over the issue of transfer pricing.
- The issue of retrospective taxation now is a major thorn in the side of the government when it is wooing foreign corporates to invest and make in India.
GK Questions for the Day
1) Zangmu dam is a dam on the Tsangpo or Bramhaputra built by the Chinese. What kind of dam is it ??
a) Run of the river dam
b) Gravity dam
c) Arch dam
d) Stone dam
2) Built as a Greek orthodox cathedral , it was later converted into a Roman Catholic Cathedral and then converted into an imperial mosque and now stands as a Museum. What is this historic monument that embodies Byzantine architecture?
b) Pyramids of Giza
c)Hanging gardens of Babylon
3) Consider the following two statements
1. GST will change taxation from origin based to destination based.
2. GST is currently excluded on Petroleum and alcohol although they may be added at a later date.
Which of the following is true??
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
4) Who is the current Chief Minister of Tripura?
a) Nabam Tuki
b) Manik Sarkar
c) Mukul Sangma
d) Tarun Gogoi
Answers : 1-a , 2-a , 3-c , 4-b