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  • New Delhi marked its Indian Ocean presence by bagging ”infrastructure development rights” and offering to set up joint working groups with the two blue economies(Agalega from Mauritius and Assumption from Seychelles ) in the region to harness potential for economic cooperation. The understanding to allow India to develop these islands is of huge strategic significance for India which is widely seen as having lost out to China in having a purposeful engagement with the littoral states despite its own central location.
  • Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka’s Jaffna province, becoming the first Indian premier to visit the region in almost 30 years. Modi is expected to hand over at least 27,000 new homes in Jaffna to mostly ethnic Tamils who became homeless during the civil war.
  • More De-Dollarization: India And Russia On The Verge Of Currency Agreement.
  • In a move apparently aimed at allaying India’s concerns, the new Sri Lankan government said it will not allow Chinese submarines to dock in its ports while acknowledging that such a docking did take place coinciding with the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit last year
  • Moscow confirms India considering free trade zone with Eurasian Economic Union.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States
  • Tourism ministry data shows 1214.9% growth after the Modi govt implemented Visa on Arrival (VOA) scheme for 43 countries.
  • In a recent spate of events, like the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan, the grievances of people in foreign lands being addressed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) shows the pro-active approach adopted by the ministry under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The emerging economies of the BRICS countries are proactively promoting mutual trade in their national currencies, a trend that could reduce the dominance of the US dollar in global trade.
  • The process virtually kicked off last July at the BRICS summit in Forteleza (Brazil) as BRICS leaders signed an agreement to establish the $100 billion BRICS New Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion. They claimed that the New Development Bank will help the BRICS member-countries to avoid the adverse effect of dominance of the US dollar, and the dollar-backed IMF and the World Bank in the world trade.
  • Obama endorses India’s bid for permanent membership of UN security council.
  • After decades of denial, it is for the first time that China said it supported India’s bid for UN Security Council permanent membership.
  • Sushma Swaraj Takes up Issue of Indian Fishermen with Sri Lankan PM.
  • Modi government moves close to Israel; OVL invited to tap Israel’s gas reserves
  • Modi govt withdraws Citizenship (Amendment) Bill from Lok Sabha.The bill was withdrawn since an ordinance was issued in January merging the PIO and OCI schemes.
  • The ordinance was promulgated on January 6 aimed at giving PIOs benefits like life-long visa and exemption from appearing before the local police station on every visit. The ordinance fulfils Modi’s assurance in New York to Indian diaspora whom he had promised a merger of the two schemes. He had also announced grant of lifetime visa to PIOs.
  • US agrees to develop aviation city in Andhra Pradesh.
  • China’s Wenzhou Donon eyes new India business opportunities.
  • Japanese ad giant Dentsu launches Mama Lab in India.

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