India and UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
Why in News
• The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the United Arab Emirates at a press conference held on 28 March 2022 during his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles ) was announced.
• Mr. Goyal is in UAE to attend the ‘Investopia Summit’ to be held on 28th March 2022 in Dubai and the Worldb Government Summit to be held on 29th March 2022.
• With this launch, the text of the India-UAE CEPA is now available in the public domain.
• India-UAE Virtual Summit on India-UAE CEPA between the Prime Minister of India and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council, in New Delhi on 18 February 2022 was signed during
Salient Features of India-UAE CEPA:
• India-UAE CEPA is the first deep and full free trade agreement signed by India with any country in the last decade.
• It is a comprehensive agreement covering trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, technical barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and cytosanitary (SPS) measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, telecommunications, customs Processes, pharmaceutical products, government procurement, IPR, investments, digital trade and other areas will include cooperation.
Effect or Benefit:
• CEPA provides an institutional mechanism to promote and improve trade between the two countries.
• The CEPA between India and the United Arab Emirates covers almost all existing tariff lines from India (11,908 tariff lines) and the United Arab Emirates (7,581 tariff lines).
• India will benefit from the preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97 per cent of its tariff lines which account for 99 per cent of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms.
• It includes almost all sectors with a particularly heavy labor force such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, sporting goods, plastics, furniture, agricultural and wood products, engineering products, medical equipment and automobiles.
• India will also provide preferential access to the UAE on over 90 per cent of its tariff lines, including export lines to the UAE.
• India has offered UAE market access in around 100 sub-sectors, while Indian service providers will have access to around 111 sub-sectors under 11 broad service areas.
• These service areas include ‘business services’, ‘communication services’, ‘construction and related engineering services’, ‘distribution services’, ‘educational services’, ‘environmental services’, ‘financial services’, ‘healthcare and social services’ , ‘tourism and travel related services’, ‘recreational cultural and sports services’ and ‘transport services’.
• Both sides also agreed to prepare a separate annexure on ‘Pharmaceuticals’ to ensure accessibility for Indian pharmaceutical products, with automatic registration and marketing approval within 90 days, especially for products meeting specified criteria.
• India-UAE CEPA negotiations concluded in a record period of 88 days. The agreement is expected to come into force on 1 May 2022.
• India and the UAE enjoy excellent bilateral relations that are deeply rooted in historical and close cultural and civilizational similarities, sustained by high-level political interactions and vibrant people-to-people ties.
• The India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, launched during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the United Arab Emirates from 16-17 August 2015, is the cornerstone of our multi-faceted bilateral relationship.
• The growing India-UAE economic and commercial ties contribute to the stability and strength of the deepening and rapid diversification of bilateral ties between the two countries.
• India and the United Arab Emirates have been each other’s major trading partners. The excellent bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two countries have continued to grow and deepen over time.
• Bilateral trade between India and UAE steadily increased from $180 million per year in the 1970s to $60 billion (Rs 4.55 lakh crore) in the financial year 2019-20, making the UAE India’s third largest trading partner Is.
• UAE is also India’s second largest export destination with exports of $29 billion to UAE in the year 2019-20 while India’s import value from UAE was around $30 billion which includes 21.83 MMT (US$10.9 billion) of crude oil .
• The UAE is an important source of energy supply for India and is a major partner of India in the development of strategic petroleum reserves, upstream and downstream petroleum sectors.
• The United Arab Emirates is also the eighth largest investor in India with an estimated investment of $18 billion.
• In addition, in October 2021, the Government of Dubai signed an MoU with the Jammu and Kashmir Administration for development of real estate, industrial parks, IT towers, multi-purpose towers, logistics, medical colleges, super specialty hospitals, etc.
• The India-UAE CEPA will further strengthen the already deep, close and strategic ties between the two countries.
• Apart from this, this agreement will create new employment opportunities for the people of both the countries, improve the standard of living and improve welfare.
GS PAPER II
‘Tejas’ skill training project
Why in News
• Union Minister Shri Anurag Thakur on the second day of his Dubai visit launched a Skill India International Project ‘TEJAS (Training for Jobs and Skills in the Emirates)’ to train Indians living abroad.
• The objective of this project is to skill Indians, provide certificates and provide employment abroad.
• The objective of ‘Tejas’ is to pave the way for skilling the Indian workforce or workers as well as enabling them to suit the market requirements of the UAE.
• Addressing the people present at the launch of this project, the Minister said that India has a young population.
• Youth are the biggest stakeholders in both nation building and image enhancement.
• The Minister said that our focus is on skilling this population and providing a huge skilled workforce from India to the world.
• Shri Thakur reiterated Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring a strong partnership between India and the United Arab Emirates.
• Tejas aims to create a 10,000-strong Indian workforce in the UAE during the initial phase.
• Shri Anurag Thakur also held several meetings with industry personalities from the film and entertainment industry from India and UAE.
• Shri Thakur said that India and UAE can work together on scheduling the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
• He invited the UAE to cooperate in the AVGC sector and said that if needed, policy changes could also be implemented.
GS PAPER II
Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme
Why in News
• Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the central government transfers 6 thousand rupees annually to the accounts of farmers of the country.
• Every 4 months, Rs 2,000 is transferred to farmers’ accounts. So far 10 installments of this scheme have reached the farmers’ account.
• The Central Government has extended the mandatory e-KYC (e-KYC) deadline to get the benefits of the scheme.
• As per PM Kisan Portal, now e-KYC can be completed by 22nd May, 2022. Its deadline was earlier March 31, 2022.
• Till now farmers have received 10 installments of PM Kisan Yojana, while the 11th installment is awaited.
• There is great news for the farmers who are waiting for the next installment of PM Kisan Yojana.
• The money for the 11th installment is to be transferred to the farmers soon. According to the reports, in the first week of April, 2 thousand rupees of PM Kisan Yojana can be transferred in the account of farmers.
• About 12.53 crore farmers are registered under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
• In such a situation, this is very relief news for the farmers who have not yet completed the e-KYC process.
• The government has made the e-KYC process mandatory for the beneficiaries of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Without fulfilling this, the financial assistance under the scheme will not be available.
• Without e-KYC your installment may get stuck. The 11th installment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana will also be released soon.
• It has been told on PM Kisan Portal that for Aadhaar based OTP authentication, farmers will have to click on e-KYC option in Kisan Corner.
GS PAPER III
Why in News
• Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on March 27, 2022 conducted two successful flight tests of the Indian Army version of the Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
• The flight tests were conducted as part of live firing trials against high-speed air targets. The missiles intercepted the air targets and completely destroyed them, registering direct hits on both the ranges.
• The first launch was to intercept a medium altitude long range target and the second was to prove the capability of a low altitude short range target.
• This MRSAM variant is a surface-to-air missile jointly developed by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel for use by the Indian Army.
• MRSAM Army Weapon System includes multi-function radar, mobile launcher system and other vehicles. The flight tests were carried out with the weapon system in the deliverable figure.
• The performance of the weapon system was verified through flight data captured by range instruments like radar, electro-optical tracking system and telemetry deployed by ITR, Chandipur.
• The flight test was conducted in the presence of senior officers of DRDO and Indian Army.