Maldives Prez Visits India: Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was on a two-day visit to India from April 10 to 11. In New Delhi he met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed bilateral issues. He thanked India for protecting his country from possible punitive actions from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which had been asking Maldives to move towards genuine democracy. PM Modi said India understood its role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean and was ready to protect its strategic interests in this region. Modi also called for cooperation between the security agencies of both countries to tackle the menace of rising radicalization of youth and terrorism. India and the Maldives have shared a close relationship but recent developments have led to a distance between the two nations. India is uncomfortable with China’s growing footprint in the Maldives and the increasing rate of its investments there. Maldives, however, has certain resentment as it feels India sided with former President Mohamed Nasheed. Both the countries signed six agreements in different sectors, including avoidance of double taxation, conservation and restoration of ancient mosque, tourism and defense.
India First Global Maritime Summit:
India’s first Global Maritime Summit was held in Mumbai on April 14. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurated the summit and made a strong pitch for turning the country’s 7,500 km coastline as an “Engine of Growth”. During the summit he also launched Sagarmala project. With the Sagarmala project, the NDA government has turned its eye towards the development of port and inland waterways sector to boost employment, bring down logistical costs and add to overall growth. The project, which was conceived during former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime, has been revived by the Modi government. It also targets to push coastal shipping by over three-fold and building rail and road networks for quicker evacuation of cargo traffic. The PM said a plan to integrate ports with SEZs, smart cities, industrial parks and logistics parks was on the agenda. It has been decided to finish Sagarmala project in five years instead of 10 years to create 10 million jobs. The project will boost exports to $110 billion. The program could lead to annual logistics savings of Rs. 35,000 crores. This plan is based on optimizing multi-modal transport to reduce the cost of cargo, minimizing time and cost of export-import cargo logistics, lowering costs for bulk industries and improving export competitiveness by locating manufacturing clusters near ports.
MAJOR TARGETS: Increasing port capacity from 1,555 million tons per annum to 3,000 million tons by 2025. Reducing turnaround time from 4 to 2 days in next 3 years. Integrated plan for 90% cargo movement to save Rs. 40,000 Crores annually from logistic cost & time reduction. Road corridor from Mangalore to Chennai & expressway from Hyderabad to JNPT. Increase coastal shipping from 60 million tons to 200 million tons by 2020.
BJP Is Richest National Party:
The ruling BJP is the richest national party having recorded the highest income of Rs. 970.43 cores in 2014-15, the year PM Narendra Modi led it to victory in May 2014. The party earned 44.02 per cent extra income in 2014 compared to the year before when it was in the Opposition. The difference in earning is a staggering Rs. 296.62 crores over the financial year 2013, 14. These details are part of the income and expenditure analysis of national parties conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms which work for transparency in governance. The analysis covers the BJP. CPM, CPI, BSP and the NCP and shows that the BSP posted the second highest increase of Rs. 45.04 Crores in its annual income between 2013 and 2014, a whopping 67 per cent improvement in the income of the party. Together, the five national parties had a total income of Rs. 1,275.79 Crores during 2014-15, with the BJP alone commanding 76.06 per cent of this. The next highest income was earned by the CPM at Rs. 123.92 Crores followed by the BSP at Rs. 111.95 Crores, NCP Rs. 67.64 Crores and CPI Rs. 1.84 Crores. Most of the income came from unknown sources. Congress did not submit audited accounts to the Election Commission.
Indian on Time List:
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, tennis star Sania Mirza, actress Priyanka Chopra, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and founders of Flipkart Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have been named by Time magazine in its list of the ‘100 Most Influential people in the World Time’s annual list, released on April 21 includes American composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who are “exploring the frontiers of art, science, society, technology and more”. This year’s list includes pope Francis, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla, Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Barack Obama and Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Land Leasing Law:
In a bid to spur agricultural growth, the centre has come out with a model land leasing law allowing the landowners to lease land for farming and allied purposes. The model law envisages leasing of land, which can be executed at the level of gram panchayat, with a robust dispute resolution mechanism to ensure that the landowners do not have to fear the tenants not vacating the land at the lapse of the tenure of the lease. The model law is for the farming, animal husbandry, horticulture, and food processing purposes and meant only for those who are engaged in agricultural activities. The model law will legalize land leasing of farmlands between farmers and farming cooperatives, which will not only protect the rights of the sharecroppers, but also promote occupational mobility in rural areas. Another major feature in the proposed act is that now sharecroppers will be able to get compensation for the loss of crop on account of inclement weather among other causes and will also be able to take farming loan from banks. Banks will be able to give loan to tenant based on the proposed act will give lessee cultivator access to insurance without mortgaging the land.
Netaji Survived 1945 Air Crash?
Although successive governments in India since Independence had refused to categorically assert that subhas Chandra Bose had survived the air crash in Taipei, then known as Formosa, there is enough evidence in the files declassified by the Modi government on March 29 to point out that Netaji may well have lived beyond 1945. One particular file refers to three broadcasts made by Netaji, which came much after the crash on August 18, 1945. The contents of these broadcasts are contained in File No 870/11/P/16/92/Pol from the prime Minister’s Office. The contents presumably came from the Governor House in Bengal because it is mentioned elsewhere in the same file that PC kar, an official in the Governor’s House in Bengal when RG Casey was the governor, claimed that the monitoring service there had picked up the broadcasts on 31-metre band. A note was placed before Casey.