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India and World: September 2010

Hailing Pakistan's gesture, India to free 31 prisoners • India acknowledged Pakistan's gesture in releasing 442 of its fishermen and in turn announced the repatriation of 31 Pakistani nationals lodged in jails here. The seven fishermen and the 24 other Pakistani nationals will return to their country on September 15, said the Foreign Office in a news release.

India commits wide-ranging assistance to Laos • India will provide the Lao People's Democratic Republic the first tranche worth $72.55 million for two power projects as part of a package of monetary and technical assistance in areas ranging from power and irrigation to culture. This was announced by President Pratibha Patil in Vientiane. In a delegation level talks with her counterpart President Choumally Sayasone of the Lao PDR. The agreements committed to cover several areas. In the field of culture, a cultural exchange programme has been signed for 2011-2013, the centre piece of which is a project for the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) assistance in the restoration of the 6th century temple complex of Vat Phou in the province of Champassak. This pre-Ankorian site, established by the Khmer rulers, was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001. Work on the complex that was started by the ASI in 2009 will be resumed under the present agreement. At the talks, Ms. Patil informed her Laos' counterpart that with the approval of the Nalanda University Bill by Parliament, India was looking forward to receiving students from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries including Laos. The new commitment for $ 72.55 million was made for a 230 KV Double Circuit Transmission Line from Nabong to Thabok with sub stations ($ 34.68 million), and the 15 MW Nam Boun 2 hydro power project ($ 37.86 million). In addition, Laos sought $30 million more credit for the development of irrigation schemes in four provinces. India has spent or committed a total credit line of $162 million to Laos.

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India to approach IAEA on liability convention • India approach International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for accession to the international Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). • The Indian delegation to the IAEA General Conference, which begins in Vienna on September 20, will hold separate talks with secretariat officials on the issue. It will be led by Department of Atomic Energy Chairman Srikumar Banerjee.

President Pratibha visits Luang Prabang • President Pratibha Patil called to brief about the business and investment climate in Laos, and the expectations from the government of the Lao PDR. These issues are likely to figure at the India Laos Business Forum meeting that is to be held, which will be addressed by the President. The head of the delegation Sandipan Chakraborty, MD of Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Ltd., stated that despite Laos enabling investment environment, the temporary suspension of mining lease licences by it has been a setback for prospective Indian investors. The President returned to Vientiane after a two-day visit to Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang is set measures. in a peninsula that overlooks the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, and was

The special regard Cambodia has for India was evident in the elaborate yet warm welcome extended by King Norodom Sihamoni to Ms. Mr. It is one of the spectacular locations in Laos that boasts of both historical significance and natural beauty. He said cooperation in the area of oil and gas. • An MoU between the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the National Audit Authority of India in the area of capacity building was signed between the two countries. The agreements were signed at the steering committee meeting (SCM) of the TAPI gas pipeline project. To achieve this it was essential to have direct air links.Downloaded from: http://www. Camodia and Laos is set to substantially expand. TAPI pipeline: India signs important pacts • India signed two important agreements for the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-PakistanIndia (TAPI) gas pipeline project.680 km of pipeline with a total gas capacity of 90 million cubic metres per day (mmscmd). The Blavatnik School of Government. Dr. • Ms. who called on President Pratibha Patil said Cambodia looked forward to continued assistance from India on providing lines of credit. and will be taken forward bilaterally and through the platform of ASEAN. the university said. In a message. Patil. Singh said he was sure that it would attain renown as one of the premier centres of study in the field of governance. Patil paid a visit to the Independence monument built in 1958. India would get 38 mmscmd of gas. With the completion of the TAPI gas pipeline. particularly for agriculture that remains a priority area for his country. • www. a recent report has revealed. envisages the building of 1. Ties with Laos. Hun Sen said his government would put forward four proposals for projects to develop irrigation and water resources. held at Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat • Manmohan welcomes new Oxford centre • • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has welcomed the establishment of what is claimed to be Europe's first major school of government at Oxford University. his alma mater.upscportal. agriculture and tourism must be expanded. assisted by Asian Development Bank. would train outstanding graduates from across the world in skills and responsibilities of government. on which she was accompanied by a 45-member business delegation with representatives from the CII. and Mr. Cambodia will expand: President • President Pratibha Patil said that the engagement between India. Cambodia seeks continued assistance from India • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Patil was speaking on her return to India after a 10-day visit to both countries. and held separate meetings with President of the Cambodian Senate Chea Sim.upscportal. Hun Sen. • An agreement for a line of credit for $15 million from India to Cambodia for the completion of the Stung Tassal Water Development Project was signed. President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin. Anti-trafficking aid to India drops • The United States' support to India and other countries for the purpose of combating the trafficking in persons (TIP) has dropped from its highs in 2004 and 2005. • . ASSOCHAM and FICCI. funded with a £75 million donation from RussianAmerican industrialist and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik. mineral exploitation. The the capital of Lao until 1575.

S. over a slew of issues • India conveyed its concerns to the U. annual official-level defence policy dialogue.Downloaded from: http://www. • The dialogue comes at a time when Chief of Air Staff. military cooperation and military security issues. This enabled a detailed review of the security environment and positive discussions on all elements of the Action Plan.M. India. • India and Japan last year agreed on a Defence Action Plan. It aims at holding regular meetings between the defence ministers. over the H-1B visa fee increase. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised India's civil nuclear liability issue with External Affairs Minister . During talks with the visiting Mozambique president Armando Hillary raises nuclear liability issue with Krishna • U. for the first time. India held talks in the 2+2 format (Foreign and Defence Secretaries from both sides) with Tokyo suggesting an increase in the levels of security dialogue. annual military-tomilitary talks. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.S. India offers $500 m credit line to Mozambique • India and Mozambique signed three agreements besides agreeing upon a credit line of $500 million for infrastructure projects. France.M. • In July this year. it engages in talks with Australia. General Kenichiro Hokazona. began a three-day goodwill visit to Japan. Krishna at a meeting to do the groundwork for President Barack Obama's visit to India in November. over the H-1B visa fee increase. Air Chief Naik will meet his counterpart. Bangladesh. export control restrictions and the ban on outsourcing.S. Singapore. at a meeting between External Affairs Minister S. regular reciprocal visits of the service chiefs and ground-to-ground staff talks. export control restrictions and the ban on outsourcing. over a slew of issues • India conveyed its concerns to the U. Israel. the United States and the United Kingdom. the Chief of Japan Self Defence Force. So far. at a meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Japan to have first military talks • India and Japan will have their first army-to-army talks aimed at reviewing the present status of engagements. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Malaysia. • The two sides had also decided to step up maritime cooperation by expanding the joint exercises to include the navies from both countries and stepping up cooperation in anti-piracy operations off the Gulf of Aden. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the safety and security of sea lanes against the backdrop of nearly a decade of intermittent cooperation in this area between the two countries. www. Navy-to-Navy staff talks. India conveys concerns to U. and developing an annual calendar of defence cooperation and exchanges.M. Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Naik. • Japan becomes the ninth country with which the Indian Army has bilateral dialogue.S. India conveys concerns to U.S.

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