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India Watch

Issue No. 84
January 2017

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

POLITICAL ISSUES
EGYPT
1. India, Egypt aim to boost ties in New Year after eventful 2016
Cairo, Friday, 30 December 2016
India and Egypt agreed to step up forward their defence and security cooperation to fight the twin challenges of terrorism and radicalization besides enhancing economic and people-to-people engagements.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See also: The Economic Times, Mumbai

2. Indian Ambassador visits Grand Egyptian Museum
Cairo, Friday, 30 December 2016
Looking to boost bilateral cooperation in the field of antiquities, Indian ambassador Sanjay Bhattacharyya visited the Grand Egyptian Museum and discussed ways of expanding cooperation in conservation work between the two "ancient civilizations."
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi

IRAN
3. India presses Iran to award Farzad-B field to OVL
New Delhi, Sunday, 4 December 2016
India has nudged Iran to quickly award rights to develop the coveted Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf to ONGC Videsh by wrapping up negotiations that have been dragging on for months.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai; See also: The Economic Times, Mumbai

ISRAEL
4. Hostile neighbours push India, Israel to forge space ties
New Delhi, Thursday, 15 November 2016
The heads of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) met this week in Bengaluru to draw up a roadmap of cooperation in this high technology sector.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

5. Israel travel advisory cites terror threat in India   
New Delhi, Saturday, 31 December 2016
Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau has warned Israelis travelling to India to be on alert, citing an immediate threat of attack against Western and tourist targets, particularly in the south-west of the country.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

KUWAIT
6. Breather for over 24,000 illegal Indian workers in Kuwait
New Delhi, Thursday, 8 December 2016
The Kuwaiti government said that it would not imprison or penalize over 24,000 illegal Indian workers.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See also: The Economic Times, Mumbai

OMAN
7. Indo-Oman ties can be a model for bilateral partnership: MJ Akbar
Muscat, Sunday, 13 December 2016
Bilateral trade and investment are key pillars of Indo-Oman ties, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said as he sought to strengthen economic and strategic ties with Oman.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

PALESTINE
8. MEA raps Jamia for Palestine pact delay
New Delhi, Saturday, 31 December 2016
Ministry of External Affairs has pulled up the country’s premier University Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) for failing to activate MoU between the institution and three Palestinian Universities signed during President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Palestine in October 2015 and sought an explanation for the inordinate delay.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

QATAR
9. India, Qatar sign agreements on visas, cyberspace, investments
New Delhi, Saturday, 3 December 2016
India and Qatar on Saturday signed four agreements on visas, cyberspace and investments following delegation-level talks led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai; See also: The New Indian Express, Chennai

SAUDI ARABIA
10. Indian in Saudi Arabia arrested on charges of blasphemy
Jeddah, Thursday, 15 December 2016
Authorities in Saudi Arabia arrested Shanka Ponnam an Indian agricultural engineer, for allegedly offending Islamic sentiments.
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai

11. Report of 150 Indian dead bodies lying in Saudi Arabia ‘factually misleading’: MEA
New Delhi, Friday, 23 December 2016
It is factually misleading and completely false that report refers to 150 bodies from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh lying in the mortuaries in Saudi Arabia.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

TURKEY
12. India strongly condemns murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey 
New Delhi, Tuesday, 20 December 2016
India condemned the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov and said it was shocked by the dastardly act and that there can never be any justification for terrorism.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

ECONOMIC ISSUES
IRAN
13. Allow Iranian banks to open branches in India: FIEO to RBI
New Delhi, Monday, 19 December 2016
Exporters' body FIEO has requested the RBI to grant permission to Iranian banks for opening branches in India as it could help in facilitating bilateral trade.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi

UAE
14. Expats in UAE seek solution to Indian currency woes
Abu Dhabi, Thursday, 22 December 2016
As the deadline to exchange demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Indian currency notes looms, the expatriates in the UAE have expressed concerns that they might not be able to exchange the notes before the deadline.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai; See also: Business Standard, New Delhi

COMPILED BY SUNIL KUMAR

Sunil Kumar is a doctoral candidate in School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy