06&07, August 2017

1.India hopeful operations at Chabahar Port will start by 2018

Source: PIB

Iran’s Chabahar port located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on the south-eastern coast is a port of great strategic utility for India.

  • It lies outside the Persian Gulf and is accessed from India’s western coast.
  • As per an MoU signed between India and Iran in May lastyear, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of USD 85.21 million andannual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-yearlease.
  • The Chabahar Port will boost trade and business between the two countries and in the region.

Chabahar  Port:

  • Chabahar portis located on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran’s border with Pakistan. It is less than 100km from Pakistan’s Chinese-constructed port of Gwadar, part of a project to open up an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf to western China.
  • The Chabahar as a transit point will be the center of a regional trade, investment and transportation hub with links from the Indian Ocean to Central Asia. For the first time, India will get access to the region through friendly nations

Chabahar port is of strategic importance for the following reasons:

  • The Chabahar port will allow India access to landlocked Afghanistan and energy-rich Central Asia through Jawaharlal Nehru and Kandla ports on India’s west coast.
  • India has also built a 218km-road link connecting Delaram with Zaranj in Afghanistan, which is adjacent to Iran’s border. Also, the port will promote Indian strategic interests in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.
  • The first person quoted above added that the loan disbursement is not possible until the application is completed by the state-owned Port and Maritime Organization.
  • According to the terms of agreement, India has to make $150 million credit available for the development of phase one of Chabahar port within four months of receiving the application. India also has to equip the cargo and container terminals with $85 million worth of equipment within one-and-a-half years of funding.

The Persian Gulf 

  • The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest.
  • The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.
  • Countries with a coastline on the Persian Gulf are (clockwise, from the north): Iran; Oman’s exclave Musandam; the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia (in Iran this is called “Arvand Rood”, where “Rood” means “river”); Qatar, on a peninsula off the Saudi coast; Bahrain, on an island; Kuwait; and Iraq in the northwest.
  • Various small islands also lie within the Persian Gulf, some of which are the subject of territorial disputes between the states of the region.

Background:

  • The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other’s oil tankers. It is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War, the largely air- and land-based conflict that followed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.
  • The gulf has many fishing grounds, extensive coral reefs, and abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has been damaged by industrialization and oil spills.

Why Chabahar Port is so important for India?

More  details:  http://www.theresurgentindia.com/chabahar-port-important-india/

2.ASEAN occupies central place in region’s security architecture: India

Source: Indian Express

In consonance, theme of our silver jubilee celebrations, which commenced this year, ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’, is acknowledgment of our shared socio-cultural, economic and political destiny.

  • The ASEAN occupies a central place in the “security architecture” of the Asia-Pacific region and has the “unique ability” to reflect the larger interests of the world.
  • India is celebrating 25th year of its ties with the Association of South-East Asian Nations, a regional grouping comprising 10 south-east Asian countries, which promotes inter-governmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration among its members and other Asian nations.

Why 2017 is a landmark year for India, ASEAN ties

To observe India’s connections nurtured with ASEAN in the past 25 years, New Delhi is planning a series of events through 2017, according to a foreign ministry official

  • The year 2017 also completes 15 years of India-ASEAN dialogue at the summit level—ie between the heads of government of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam on one hand and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the other.
  • Lastly, 2017 also commemorates the completion of five years of strategic partnership between Asia’s third-largest economy and one of the most successful economic groupings in the world.
  • To observe India’s connections nurtured with ASEAN in the past 25 years, New Delhi is planning a series of events which include signing of an air services agreement, a car rally and a maritime expedition by Indian naval ships to the region. “This will underline in particular the land and maritime connectivity links India has with the region besides air links,”
  • India’s bid to accentuate its links with ASEAN comes at a time of flux in the region with China seen as growing more assertive vis-a-vis its territorial claims in the oil and gas-rich South China Sea, which is also a major international maritime trade route.
  • An international tribunal ruled in July that China has no historical claim over the South China Sea—something Beijing has chosen to ignore. With the US under President Donald Trump giving mixed signals about its commitment to the region, strategic uncertainties in the region are growing.

India needs its role in INDO-PACIFIC

  • India needs to be serious about its role as a player in the Indo-Pacific.
  • There is a lot of demand for Indian presence which most regional states view as a benign force.
  • But India is yet to give a signal that its remains committed to a long-term strategic presence in the region.
  • Economically, India needs to develop connectivities with the region so that economic complementarities can be fully realised.
  • Military, India needs to evolve into a robust security provider in the region. Diplomatically, it needs a sustained outreach.

The 15th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Manila

At the 15th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Manila, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said in the last 50 years ASEAN had put behind it many of the post-decolonisation debates of the region and navigated the Cold War adeptly to usher in an era of high economic growth that served as a model to others.

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3.IFSC units of BSE, NSE get Sebi nod to launch more derivatives

Source: Indian Express

The Sebi move is expected to deepen and broaden the equity derivatives market in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and will also help foreign investors in accessing such markets from IFSC.

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India has given approval to international exchanges of BSE and NSE at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City to launch derivatives on additional stocks.
  • The BSE’s India International Exchange (India INX) and NSE’s global bourse NSE IFSC can launch derivatives on additional 33 and 52 Indian stocks.

Significance of this move:

  • The Sebi move is expected to deepen and broaden the equity derivatives market in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and will also help foreign investors in accessing such markets from IFSC.
  • Both the exchanges have been permitted to offer trading in a diversified range of products spanning various asset classes which include Indian index derivatives, derivatives on Indian stocks, derivatives on foreign stocks, currency derivatives and commodity futures on gold, silver and base metals.
  • India INX said it will introduce futures and option contracts on 33 additional single stock. This is in addition to the 21 single stock F&O contracts already available for trading.

What is an IFSC?

An IFSC caters to customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy.

Such centres deal with flows of finance, financial products and services across borders.

What are the services an IFSC can provide?

  • Fund-raising services for individuals, corporations and governments
  • Asset management and global portfolio diversification undertaken by pension funds, insurance companies and mutual funds
  • Wealth management
  • Global tax management and cross-border tax liability optimization, which provides a business opportunity for financial intermediaries, accountants and law firms.
  • Global and regional corporate treasury management operations that involve fund-raising, liquidity investment and management and asset-liability matching
  • Risk management operations such as insurance and reinsurance
  • Merger and acquisition activities among trans-national corporations

Can an IFSC be set up in a special economic zone (SEZ)?

The SEZ Act 2005 allows setting up an IFSC in an SEZ or as an SEZ after approval from the central government.

Nodal body:

  • The commerce ministry has been roped in as it is the nodal body at the Centre for SEZ-related matters.
  • While the guidelines concerning IFSC come under the purview of financial sector regulators such as the RBI, IRDA and SEBI as well as the finance ministry.

India INX: India INX is now India’s first International Exchange set up at GIFT City

  • BSE, Asia’s oldest stock exchange and now world’s fastest exchange with the speed of 6 microseconds, it is also first to establish the country’s first International Exchange at the international financial services centre (IFSC) GIFT city Gandhinagar.
  • BSE signed an agreement with GIFT SEZ Limited in January 2015 to set up International Exchange and International Clearing Corporation at the GIFT IFSC. Built over an area of 880 acres, the Gujarat International Finance-Tec City is envisaged as an international hub for capital market trade.
  • India INX is one of the world’s most advanced technology platforms with a turn-around time of 4 micro seconds.
  • India INX operates for 22 hours a day to allow international investors and Non Residents Indians to trade from anywhere across the globe. In the first phase it proposes to commence trading in equity derivatives, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives including Index and Stocks. Subsequently, depository receipts and bonds would be offered once the required infrastructure for the same is in place. The technology offerings at India INX would facilitate co-location of members in its own Data Centre at GIFT IFSC as well as provide high frequency trading.

4.Low-cost, sensitive CO sensor from IISc

Source: The Hindu

Indian Institute of Science researchers have developed a highly sensitive nanometre-scale carbon monoxide sensor by employing an innovative fabrication technique.

It is known that carbon monoxide (CO) can have adverse effects on the health of people exposed to it. Hence, it becomes necessary to have good, low-cost carbon-monoxide sensors.

Key facts:

  • Typically, a sensor would be a thin, current carrying plate whose resistance changes on exposure to carbon monoxide. This in turn changes the value of the current flowing through it. This change when measured indicates the level of carbon monoxide in the ai Most available sensors are in the micrometer range, a nanometer-sized detector would have a higher sensitivity, but the cost of manufacturing it goes up as the size decreases.
  • To build this zinc-oxide (ZnO) nanostructure on a silicon wafer substrate, the researchers first placed tiny polystyrene beads on the wafer. These beads arrange themselves into what is called a hexagonal close-packed structure on the oxidised silicon wafer.
  • Maintaining a reasonable level of vacuum, a high voltage is applied which “etches away” the surfaces of the beads until a gap of desired thickness is formed between adjacent beads. Then zinc oxide is deposited on the system.
  • This occupies the spaces between the beads, forming a honeycomb like nano-mesh that can function as a nanosenor.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

CO is a colorless, odorless gas. It is harmful when inhaled in large amounts The greatest source of CO is internal combustions (IC) engines of cars, trucks and other vehicles or machinery that burn fossil fuels. Breathing high concentration of CO reduces the amount of oxygen that can be transported in the blood stream to critical organs like the heart and brain.

 



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