India Current Affairs - 2019

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Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019

The decision to hold Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019, the first joint military exercise of Shanghai Cooperation Organization was announced at the during the 34th meeting of the RATS council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  The meeting also announced the holding of the first joint border operation Solidarity 2019-2021.

The SCO member states  China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan will participate in a joint counter-terrorism exercise ‘Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019’ to be held in grasslands of Kazakhstan in the Sary Arka region.

RATS Council

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a permanent organ which serves to promote cooperation of member states against three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

RATS established in June 2004 is engaged in furthering cooperation and ties between member countries on concerns of terrorism, security, drug trafficking, crime and cyber warfare.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation aimed at

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states.
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.
  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

The genesis of the SCO can be traced to the Shanghai Five mechanism created in 1996 of which the China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members. Later Uzbekistan was admitted to the grouping. In 2001 the declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was signed. In 2015 India and Pakistan were admitted to the grou[ing and they joined the grouping officially in 2017.

Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018 Report: Key Facts

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released the Trends in International Arms Transfers 2018 Report. The Key observations made in the report include:

  • Russia’s arms export to India decreased by a whopping 42 per cent between 2014-18 and 2009-2013.
  • Russia accounted for 58 per cent of total Indian arms imports in 2014-2018, compared with 76 per cent in 2009-2013.
  • India’s import of arms decreased by 24 per cent between 2009-2013 and 2014-2018 which was in line with India’s strategic programme Make in India- Defence to reduce India’s dependence on foreign arms.
  • The decrease in imports was also attributed to delays in deliveries of arms produced under license from foreign suppliers, such as combat aircraft ordered from Russia in 2001 and submarines ordered from France in 2008.
  • The decrease in India’s arms import is significant given since the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2014-18 was 7.8 per cent higher than in 2009-13 and 23 per cent higher than in 2004-2008.
  • India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5 per cent of the global total.
  • Israel, the USA and France have increased their arms exports to India in 2014-18.
  • Five largest Arm exporters in 2014-18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China.
  • Five largest Arm importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and Algeria.
  • The US was the top arms exporter in 2014-18 and 2009-13. The US’s exports of major arms grew by 29 per cent between the two periods and its share of total global exports rose from 30 per cent to 36 per cent.
  • The gap between the USA and Russia which is the second largest exporter has continued to widen. The US exports of major arms in 2009-13 were 12 per cent higher than those of Russia, whereas in 2014-18 they were 75 per cent higher. Russian exports of major arms decreased by 17 per cent between the same periods.
  • The decrease in the Russian exports was partly attributed to general reductions in Indian and Venezuelan arms imports, two countries that have been among the main recipients of Russian arms exports in previous years.
  • India remained the chief importer of Russian arms in 2014-18. But Russian arms exports to India fell by 42 per cent between 2014-18 and 2009-13. Arms exports to Venezuela, which was the fifth largest recipient of Russian arms in 2009-13, decreased by 96 per cent between 2014-18 and 2009-13.
  • The arms imports of Pakistan was decreased by 39 per cent between 2009-13 and 2014-18. The US has become increasingly reluctant to provide military aid or sell arms to Pakistan.
  • US arms exports to Pakistan fell by 81 per cent between 2009-13 and 2014-18. Pakistan has instead turned to other suppliers.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) established in 1966 is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Based in Stockholm the Institute provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.