India joins Missile Technology Control Regime as full member
India on Monday joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a full member and said its entry would be mutually beneficial to enhance global non-proliferation norms.
Significantly, China, which stonewalled India’s entry into the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the just- concluded Seoul plenary, is not a member of MTCR.
Environment Ministry withdraws draft forest policy
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has repudiated a ‘Draft National Forest Policy’ that it uploaded on its website earlier this month calling it an “inadvertent” error.
The ‘Draft National Forest Policy, 2016’, was uploaded on the Ministry’s website on June 16 along with an office memorandum calling for comments. “The Ministry is in the process of revising the present National Forest Policy, 1988. A draft National Forest Policy in this regard has been prepared and enclosed. All stakeholders are requested to send their comments, if any, by email…by June 30, 2016.
The Environment Ministry had tasked the Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Forest Management, an affiliated organisation, with reviewing and revising the existing forest policy. This is the first time that the policy was being re-looked since 1988 as it wanted to update the several changes in forest laws and provide a forward-looking policy that talked about increasing India’s forest cover and tackling the effects of climate change.
The draft policy, made several suggestions including promoting the commercial use of wood, a greater role for industry in forest management and time-bound reviews of the progress being made in effectively managing forests.It however didn’t explicitly mention the role of tribals in forest management and the protection accorded by the Forest Rights Act.
Narendra Modi, Putin vow to take forward India-Russia ties
The Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President, during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Tashkent, discussed a range of bilateral and multilateral issues of mutual concern.
The two leaders discussed cooperation in civil nuclear energy and partnership in the gas and petrochemicals sector. They also discussed furthering cooperation in the space sector.
Matters relating to trade and investment also came up
President Putin said India is a special and privileged partner. There is long standing friendship between Russia and India. He welcomed India signing the Memorandum of Obligations of SCO and looked forward to India’s Chairmanship of BRICS, which has grown in influence.
India will have to sign around 30 other documents in the course of the year to complete the process for membership of the SCO.