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India Watch

Issue No. 87
April 2017

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

POLITICAL ISSUES
BAHRAIN
1. No pay, 500 Indians suffer in Bahrain
New Delhi, Friday, 24 March 2017
A large number of Indians workers in Bahrain have sought the support of the Ministry of External Affairs over non-payment of salaries.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

EGYPT
2. India, Egypt should unify efforts to face terrorism: Envoy
New Delhi, Friday, 31 March 2017
India’s envoy said that India and Egypt should unify their efforts to face challenges like terrorism, extremism and radicalization.
Source: The Financial Express, Noida; See Also: The Economic Times, Mumbai

IRAN
3. Rising Iran-US tensions: Govt asks Indian firms to go slow on Chabahar projects
New Delhi, Wednesday, 29 March 2017
With the sanctions fight escalating between Iran and the US, New Delhi is instructing Indian firms to go slow on the proposed projects in Chabahar Free Trade Zone lest their financial transactions and technology imports from the rest of the world get caught in the crossfire.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

ISRAEL
4. Israel offering scholarships, training programmes to Indian students
New Delhi, Friday, 3 March 2017
Israeli official statement said that to mark 25 years of bilateral partnership, Israel is offering Indian students and professionals unique scholarship and training programmes in that country ranging from cyber and technology, to agriculture, education, women’s empowerment and start-ups.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi

5. After UP poll, PM Modi’s next big visit is to Israel
New Delhi, Sunday, 5 March 2017
Uttar Pradesh polls have kept Prime Minister Narendra Modi so busy that he has not embarked on a foreign tour since November 2016. After that his next big trip would be to Israel.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai

OMAN
6. India, Oman to hold counter-terror exercise
New Delhi, Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Armies of India and Oman are scheduled to conduct their second bilateral exercise, Al Nagah-11 2017, in March with a focus on counter terrorism.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See Also: The Indian Express, New Delhi; Business Standard, New Delhi

QATAR
7. Flying domestic: Qatar Airways is planning a fully-owned airline in India
New Delhi, Thursday, 9 March 2017
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Akbar Al Baker declared that State-owned carrier of Qatar, Qatar Airways, would start a new domestic Airline in India.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi; See Also: Business Standard, New Delhi; The Economic Times, Mumbai

SAUDI ARABIA
8. Saudi King’s India visit expected this year
New Delhi, Sunday, 12 March 2017
India looked forward to the first official visit by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to further deepen the strategic ties between both countries.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi; See Also: The Hindu, Chennai

9. MEA clarifies on number of Indian’s bodies piling in Saudi Arabia mortuaries
New Delhi, Saturday, 18 March 2017
Fourteen dead bodies of people belonging to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are lying in Saudi Arabia, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has told the Parliament, debunking the claims that hundreds of bodies of Indians were piling up in Saudi mortuaries.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai

TURKEY
10. New Delhi gets ready to welcome Turkish President
New Delhi, Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Close on the heels of series of big visitors, New Delhi was preparing to welcome Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan in the first week of May 2017.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

CULTURAL ISSUE
EGYPT
11. ‘India by Nile’ fest to begin in Egypt from Wednesday
Cairo, Tuesday, 7 March 2017
India would organize the fifth edition of the mega cultural festival 'India by the Nile’ in Egypt from Wednesday to showcase the diversity of the country’s culture, arts and cuisine for building enduring partnership between the two ancient civilizations.
Source: The Business Standard, New Delhi

ECONOMIC ISSUES
IRAN
12. India, Iran need to take swift steps to bolster trade: FIEO
New Delhi, Sunday, 12 March 2017
Exporters’ body FIEO said that India and Iran need to take immediate steps like enhancing cooperation in the banking sector and rationalizing duties on agri-commodities to boost bilateral trade.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

13. India tries to fix Iran trade payments as Donald Trump hardens line
New Delhi, Wednesday, 22 March 2017
India is exploring setting up a new payments mechanism for trade with Iran especially after its old sanctions workaround broke down, as state banks remain fearful of handling payments from Tehran in case the US imposes a fresh financial embargo.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

UAE
14. India-UAE globalization conference pitches for greater trade
Dubai, Tuesday, 21 March 2017
India and the UAE have agreed to strengthen their bilateral trade and investment ties as top industry leaders from both countries met at a conference held here.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai; See Also: The Indian Express, New Delhi; The New Indian Express, Chennai; Business Standard, New Delhi

15. Indian foreign investors top UAE realty market
Dubai, Thursday, 23 March 2017
Indians have emerged the top foreign property investors in Dubai, spending over US$3.2 billion last year alone, according to the Dubai Land Department.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES
16. Plan to dehyphenate ties: PM Modi’s visit to Israel may not include Palestine stop
New Delhi, Saturday, 4 March 2017
In a significant move, South Block is “actively considering” to schedule a stand-alone bilateral visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to Israel and not to Palestine on the same trip.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

17. Rail freight service to connect India with Iran, Turkey
New Delhi, Friday, 3 March 2017
In an ambitious move, Indian Railways is exploring the possibility of a transcontinental rail freight service connecting India with Iran and Turkey.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

18. Iran, not Iraq, is India’s No 2 oil supplier
New Delhi, Tuesday, 14 March 2017
India’s oil imports from Iran rose nearly 17 percent in February from a month earlier as refiners received less crude from key OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq after an OPEC deal to cut output, shipping data showed on Monday.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

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