India cabinet nod for security cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan

File Photo: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: India’s cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved agreements on security cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan respectively to fight terrorism and organised crime.

The approvals came ex-post facto for both the agreements that were signed on Oct. 29 and Nov. 20 by India, according to a cabinet decision put up on the Press Information Bureau website.

The two agreements aim to improve the effectiveness of both countries in the prevention and suppression of crimes, including crime relating to terrorism and its financing and organised crime.

The cooperation agreements also aim to establish a framework for enhancing cooperation between the officials of intelligence and law-enforcement agencies of the two countries, in line with national and international obligations.

Arms Bill Amended

The cabinet also extended ex-post facto approval for official amendments to the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved and passed by the Lok Sabha, the House of Representatives or the lower house of India’s bicameral legislature, on Dec. 9.

The amendment in the law shall deter the potential perpetrators from indulging in illegal arms and ammunition trade and its manufacturing, stream line licensing provisions, better address the present day security needs and effectively deal with the incidents and proliferation and trade of illicit arms and ammunition.

At the same time, it will facilitate law abiding licence holders of arms by increasing the duration of arms licence.

The approved amendments to the Arms Act are a step forward in providing licence in electronic form, longer validity period of licenses, and stricter regulatory mechanism to check illegal possession arms by proposing stricter punishment provisions.

Air Services to Switzerland

The cabinet also the signing of the Protocol to amend the agreement between the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of India related to air services and to exchange Diplomatic Notes with Switzerland for bringing the amendments in the Air Services Agreement into force as per Article 17 thereof.

The amendments in the Air Services Agreement between India and Switzerland will bring it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

Swedish Seafarer Certificates

The cabinet also provided ex-post facto approval for the agreement between India and Sweden on ‘Recognition of Seafarer Certificates‘, pursuant to Regulation I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW Convention).

The agreement will pave the way for recognition of maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, training and documentary evidence and medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the governments of both the countries.

The agreement is in accordance with the provision of regulation 1/10 of the STCW Convention, and cooperation between the two countries in the training certification and management of seafarers.

The agreement will be beneficial to both the countries, as Sweden is a ship-owning nation, while India is a net seafarers supplying nation.

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