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Meeting of Prime Minister with Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation on the margins of 11th BRICS Summit



  • Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership:Both the leaders agreed to facilitate, in all possible ways, exploring the impressive potential of their strategic partnership to the fullest, while demonstrating the special and privileged nature of the partnership.
  • Supported India’s decision on J&K:Russia has backed India’s move on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the changes in the status are within the framework of the Indian Constitution.
    • Both the countries underlined the primacy of international law and emphasised their commitment to the purposes and the principles stated in the UN Charterincluding the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of member states.
  • Development of Russian Far East:India would extend a $1 billion line of credit towards the development of the Russian Far East.
    • An area of special interest for India is the exploration of hydrocarbonreserves along the coast of Russia’s Far East.
    • Also, engaging closely with East Asia is in line with India’s policy goal of “Act East”.
  • Maritime Route:A proposal was made to have a full-fledged maritime route between Chennai and Vladivostok.
    • Vladivostok is at a short distance from Russia’s border with China and is also the largest port on Russia’s Pacific coast.
    • India is building nuclear power plants with Russia’s collaboration in Kudankulamon the sea coast in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district. The opening of a sea route is likely to help in the project.
    • It will also increase India’s presence in the Indo-Pacific,and especially the South China Sea, a deeply contested patch of the ocean.
  • Collaboration in Space:Russia, would help train Indian astronauts for the manned space mission — the Gaganyaan project.
    • Both sides expressed concern over the possibility of an arms race in outer spaceand advocated peaceful uses of outer space.
  • Economic Cooperation:
    • The two leaders decided to take thebilateral trade from the current $11 billion to $30 billion by 2025.
    • The work on promoting mutual settlements of payments in national currencies will be continued.
    • Create new technological and investment partnership, especially in advanced high-tech areas and find new avenues and forms of cooperation.
    • Agreed to speed up preparations for the signing of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Agreement on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.
    • Agreed to intensify work for eliminating trade barriers. This would be facilitated, inter alia, by the proposed Trading Agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and India.
  • Military Cooperation:
    • The talks highlighted that the sanctions imposed by the US on Russia has no effect on Indiastrengthening cooperation with the country in strategic sectors such as energy and defence.
    • Both the countries are successfully implementing their bilateral programme on military and technical cooperationup to 2020 and working to update the same to extend to another 10 years.
  • Cooperation in International Issues:
    • Called for reform of the UN Security Council.Russia expressed its support for India’s candidacy for permanent membership of the UNSC.
    • Condemned terrorismin all its forms and manifestations and called on the international community to set up a united front to fight against this evil.
    • Reiterated their commitment to further strengthen global non-proliferation. Russia expressed its strongsupport for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
    • India is ready to play a significant role in the Arctic Council.
    • Support an inclusive peace and Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation in Afghanistan.
    • Reaffirmed their commitment to building an equal and indivisible security architecture in Asia and the Pacific region.


Tobacco Board Receives 2019 Golden Leaf Award



  • Tobacco Board of India has been awarded the Golden Leaf Award in the Most Impressive Public Service Initiative category for the year 2019, for its efforts to initiate various sustainability (green) initiatives in Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco cultivation in India.
  • The awards under this category are given to a company or institution that introduced a public service programme or educational campaign of creativity, effectiveness to date and best use of resources.Awards are granted on an annual basis to companies that have achieved outstanding performance in five categories – most impressive public service initiative, most promising new product introduction, most exciting newcomer to the industry, most outstanding service to the industry and the BMJ most committed to quality award.


  • The Golden Leaf Awards were created to recognize professional excellence and dedication in the tobacco industry by Tobacco Reporter, an international magazine in the year 2006. Tobacco Board got this award for its best outstanding public service in sustainability to the industry for its, initiatives on natural farming in tobacco cultivation for production of organic tobaccos, improving the soil health through green manuring, introduction of 365 days green cover in tobacco cultivation, promotion of advanced nursery technologies- Green Tech nurseries, elimination of Non-Tobacco Related Material (NTRM), elimination of pesticide residues in tobacco by encouraging residue free tobacco cultivation, energy conservation initiatives resulting in energy savings of 25%, development of greenery through mandatory planting of trees by tobacco farmers and tobacco trade and educating and guiding farmers on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).


  • Recognizing the need to regulate production, promote overseas marketing and control recurring instances of imbalances in supply and demand, which lead to market problems, the Government of India under the Tobacco Board Act of 1975, established the Tobacco Board, in place of the Tobacco Export Promotion Council. The Board came into existence from 1-1-1976 and opened its head quarters at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, India.


  • The Tobacco Board Act, 1975 aims at planned development of Tobacco Industry in the country.



Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh attends ‘Maitree Diwas’ in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh; says Govt planning to set up North East Industrial Corridor



The Government has been already developing or planning to develop 5 Industrial Corridors in the country, as follows:

  • Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) covering the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Out of 24 investment nodes identified for development, 8 industrial Cities as indicated, have been taken up for development in the first phase of DMIC Project.
  • Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) covers the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The nodes namely Ponneri (Tamil Nadu), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tumakuru (Karnataka) have been identified during perspective planning.
  • Bengaluru Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) covers the States of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Dharwad has been identified by Government of Karnataka for further development. Government of Maharashtra has given in-principle approval for development of Sangli/ Solapur.
  • Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) covers the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Rajpura-Patiala (Punjab), Gohna (Haryana), Prag-Khurpia Farms (Uttakakhand), Bhaupur (Uttar Pradesh), Gamhariya (Bihar),
  • East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) covers the States of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Vizag to Chennai segment of this Corridor has been taken as phase-1 wherein Vishakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Donakonda and Srikalahasti-Yerpedu (Andhra Pradesh) have been identified for further development.


AMRIT pharmacy



  • The AMRIT (Affordable medicine and reliable implants for treatment) scheme aims to reduce expenditure incurred by patients on treatment of cancer and cardio vascular (heart) diseases to make health care affordable for poor. Its intended beneficiaries are patients suffering from cancer and heart diseases (non-communicable diseases).


  • Under it, retail outlets in the name of AMRIT pharmacy are opened to sell drugs for cancer and heart diseases at highly discounted rates on market rates. The project is implemented by government-owned HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL) which is deputed to establish and run AMRIT chain of pharmacies across the country.


  • These drugs and implants under the scheme will be sold based upon authentic prescriptions from doctors. At the AMRIT outlets, 202 cancer and 186 cardio-vascular drugs will be available at reduced rate of 60 to 90% compared to market rates.