IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti undertake Group Sail with Naval Ships of Japan, Philippines and the USA

  • IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with naval ships of Japan, Philippines and the United States of America in the South China Sea from 03 May to 09 May 19.
  • The Group Sail was aimed to deepen the existing partnership and foster mutual understanding among participating navies.
  • Well, the Group Sail exercise with the naval ships of Japan, Philippines and also the United States showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure the safe maritime environment through an enhanced interoperability.
  • IN Ships are on return passage from their successful deployment to South and East China Seas as part of the annual Eastern Fleet Overseas Deployment during which they visited the Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Qingdao, China and Busan, the South Korea.
  • Whilst at Qingdao, both the ships had participated in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th Anniversary Celebration of PLA (Navy).
  • During the ships’ stay in Busan, the IN Ships took part in the Opening Ceremony of Maritime Security (MS) Field Training Exercise (FTX) under the aegis of ADMM-PLUS.
  • Furthermore, on completion of the ADMM-PLUS MS FTX exercises, all the participating ships including IN Ships Kolkata and also Shakti are scheduled to participate in the International Maritime Defence Expo (IMDEX) 2019 in Singapore.

Map of South China Sea:

15th Finance Commission concludes its two-day visit to Mumbai


  • The 15thFinance Commission addressed the media in Mumbai, briefing them about the discussions that took place in the Commission’s meetings with RBI, banks and eminent
Details: Commission’s chairman said:
  • Careful examination was made into the issues of debt, particularly as stated in the RBI’s Annual Report on State Debt Figures.
  • The overall debt picture of the states and the way they have complied with the ingredients of the Macroeconomic Management Bill is being looked into closely.
  • Some states are financially well-managed, others financially poorly managed.
  • Moreover, what are the mechanisms by which the market makes its voice felt in the terms of the cost of borrowing and also the differentiate between the better-governed states and the not-so-well-governed states, especially given that states are increasingly resorting to the market borrowings?
  • And, this was explored through the possible mechanisms such as encouraging the credit ratings by the states. While doing this, we also explored, the particularly in light of the FRBM Report, as to what mechanisms can be further strengthened so as to enable the Central Government to conform to the targets it has laid for itself.
  • The last five years has witnessed a Government which was quite committed to adhering to the fiscal deficit targets.
  • We also looked at more specific granular problems such as reconciliation of data, improving quality of statistics and data, and reliability and uniformity of data for enforcing greater fiscal discipline. Some very interesting ideas have come up, which we would deliberate upon.
  • The Finance Commission receives 30 Memorandums, one from the Central Government and 29 from each of the 29 states/UTs.
  • We are awaiting the Memorandum of the Central Government, which we hope to receive soon, after which we will see what the appropriate vertical distribution of revenues between the Centre and the states can be.
What is the future of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs)?
  • The Central Government spends 3.5 lakh crore rupees per annum on these schemes. Past attempts at rationalizing these schemes have met with modest success.
  • Earlier, the lifecycle of CSSs was coterminous with that of the Five-Year Plans; they were hence subject to the mid-term appraisal of the Plan.
  • Now, since there are no Five-Year Plans, and hence no mid-term appraisal, the Central Government decided that it will now make the lifecycle of all CSSs coterminous with that of every Finance Commission.
  • This year is the last year of the existing CSSs, before which they will move to the new cycle which will kick in as a result of our recommendations.

Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu kicks off four-day official visit to Vietnam


The Vice President of India kicked off his four-day official visit to Vietnam by addressing the Indian community at Hanoi. Details:
  • Describing the ties between India and Vietnam as civilizational and historic, the Vice President said our partnership has stood the test of time.
  • In fact, more than 2000 years ago, the Indian monks and the traders brought with them the message of peace and the compassion of the Lord Buddha to Vietnam.
  • Furthermore, the Vice President said that the successive generations of the leaders from Ho Chi Minh and also the Mahatma Gandhi to the current leaders have built upon this trust and also the goodwill.
  • The Vice President said the Indian community in Vietnam, though small in number, has
  • Referring to India’s growth story, the Vice President said that an ambitious and transformative vision was making India one of the most favourite investment destinations in the world.
  • Moreover, India has become one of the fastest growing large economy in the world. We will be a USD 5 trillion economy by 2030.
  • Observing that India was moving fast to transform itself into a modern 21st century inclusive economy, the VP said three D`s--Democracy, Demand and Demographic Dividend were scripting India`s story and termed the Indian Diaspora as the fourth D.
  • He urged the Indian Diaspora to contribute and join in the development agenda back home.
  • The relationship between India and Vietnam is civilisational and historic and our partnership has stood the test of time. However, more than 2000 years ago, Indian monks and traders brought with them the message of peace and also the compassion of the Lord Buddha to Vietnam.
  • Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp was successfully conducted in two Vietnamese provinces last year which benefitted hundreds of Vietnamese citizens.
  • The agricultural growth has been a key driver of this remarkable feat. As a development partner, we feel the privileged to have contributed to Vietnam’s agricultural revolution and the food security.
  • A dedicated Archaeological Survey of India team has been working in Vietnam for the past 3 years for the conservation and restoration of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of MySon in Vietnam.
  • Yoga has been a great binding force and is hugely popular in Vietnam.
  • Vietnamese people have welcomed Indian culture, Indian television serials and enjoyed cultural immersion experiences provided by the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Hanoi.
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