India to be VC of WCO’s Asia Pacific region

India has become the Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020. A ceremony will be organized in New Delhi on 16 June. The Theme of the Inaugural Ceremony is “Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation”. WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that process approx 98% of world trade.

Turkey sacks 18,500 state employees

Turkish authorities have ordered the dismissal of more than 18,500 state employees over alleged links to terrorist organisations. The people have been sacked as part of a crackdown following a failed military coup two years ago. Turkey has been under a state of emergency since July 2016 following an attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

UK launched new visas to Indian scientists

The UK has launched new visas that will be open to overseas scientists and researchers, including Indians. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Science, Research, and Academia scheme is being added to the already existing Tier 5 visa route. UKRI along and other organisations such as the Natural History Museum will now be able to directly sponsor highly skilled individuals.

Centre approves MoU between ICAI, SOCPA

Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU signed in 2014 & approval for renewal of MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India & Saudi Organisation for Certified Public Accountant. The MoU promotes mutual co-operation framework in quality assurance, forensic accounting & Islamic finance among others. ICAI is a statutory body to regulate profession of CA in India.

NASA to use submarines for hunting meteorite

Scientists from several organisations in the US, including NASA, are planning to use remote-operated submarines to hunt for the remains of an outer space object. The Nautilus research ship of the non-profit group Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) will aid in the scavenger hunt, Digitaltrends. The object splashed down into the Pacific Ocean on March 7.

TAC Security launches ESOF

India and USA-based cyber security solutions provider TAC Security has announced a new platform, ESOF (Enterprise Security on One Framework). It would provide organisations to manage their entire IT security and risk assessment needs in one single platform. According to the latest reports the cyber security market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19% during 2018-2023.

India votes against the draft at OPCW meet

India has voted against the draft addressing the threat from chemical weapons use at a conference of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The conference has been called by the UK, the US & the West to have discussions on upholding the global ban against the use of chemical weapons. India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OPCW is Venu Rajamony.

BRO opens bridge from Leh to Siachen

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on opened a vital 35-meter bridge in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir that will ease vehicular movement to the base camp of Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield. The 35-meter long ‘Chamesahn’ bridge is under Project HIMANK. The BRO develops road networks in border areas & maintains over 32,885 km of roads & 12,200 m of bridges.

Sanjay Kumar quits Indigo

IndiGo’s Chief Commercial Officer Sanjay Kumar resigns from the office. S. Kumar has been associated with the organisation from past 12 years. His resignation would be effective from July 15. Willam Boulter, the current Chief Strategy Officer, would be taking over from him. Interglobe Aviation is the parent company of Indigo.

Yoga Ambassador tour in Kerala

Around 60 yoga exponents from 22 countries would participate in yoga ambassador tour in Idukki district of Kerala. The tour has been organised by Association of Tourism Trade Organisation, India (ATTOI) in association with Ministry of Ayush and Kerala tourism and will conclude on 21st June. The tour was inaugurated by Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State, Ministry of AYUSH.

India mulls new group in WTO

India is considering bringing together a group of 8-10 member countries of the WTO. It would be an informal group within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The group may include nations like Brazil, China, South Africa, China, Indonesia and Columbia.

India, China to jointly identify project

India and China agreed that they will jointly move forward in identifying a specific project in the area of capacity building in Afghanistan. Detailed discussions with China were held on bilateral and global issues on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. India and China have agreed that they will move forward in identifying a specific project initially.

Leaders sign Qingdao Declaration

10 : The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit concluded with the adoption of the Qingdao declaration. The declaration calls for implementing the three-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism. It also calls for the implementation of the treaty on long-term good neighbourliness, friendship and co-operation.

Peace Mission 2018

India and Pakistan will take part in a joint military exercise for the first time, courtesy the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The exercise, which is aimed at countering terrorism and will be conducted in Ural region of Russia. Member states of the SCO will participate in the joint military drill ‘Peace Mission 2018’ to promote mutual trust, cooperation and coordination against terrorist

PM Modi heads to China for SCO Summit

9 : PM Narendra Modi departed for China’s Qingdao to attend the two-day long 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit. Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit. The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation that focuses on strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states.

Sikkim got its longest tunnel

Minister of State for Defence, Dr, Subhash Bhamre has dedicated a highway tunnel at Theng near Chungthang in north Sikkim to the nation. The tunnel will benefit the tourism and rapidly propel the growth of the state. The double-lane tunnel stretching about 600 meters has been constructed by the Border Roads Organisation at cost of over 42 crore rupees.

Interfaith Dialogue to be organised

India and Indonesia would be organising an Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia in early October 2018, followed by similar Dialogue in India next year. This would be organised to eradicate radicalism and promote pluralism. Interfaith Dialogue would reflect a united commitment of both the nations to eradicate terrorism, radicalism, and violent extremism and would be the dynamic of pluralism.

Home Minister launches Online Analytical Tool

Union Home Minister launched an Online Analytical Tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by various organisations. This web-based tool enables decision-makers in various Departments of Government to scrutinise source of foreign funds and their actual use in India. It has analytical features to conduct data mining and exploration.

EPFO cuts administrative charges to 0.5%

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s trustees had decided to cut the administrative charges to 0.50% from 0.65% of total wage paid by employers in its meeting this year. EPFO decided to cut the administrative charges in view of its expanding business and high recovery of such fees. According to EPFO estimates, the employers would save in total around ?900 crore annually after this move.

China invites Iran to attend SCO summit

China has invited the Iranian President to participate in the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit being organised in June 2018. The summit will be the first after the inclusion of India and Pakistan as members of the organisation in 2017. Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Belarus have been granted observer status.

EPF interest rate hits 5-year low at 8.55%

The government has notified 8.55% interest rate on EPF for 2017-18, lowest in 5 years since the 2012-13 fiscal. Employees’ Provident Fund is a mandatory contribution from the salary of an individual that every company which has more than 20 employees has to deduct. EPF accounts are overseen by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, which is under the Ministry of Labour & Employment.

India to attend SCO anti-terror talks in Pak

India has confirmed its attendance in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Legal Experts meeting to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan will be hosting its 1st SCO meeting, since the country along with India became a member of the organisation in June 2017.Experts will discuss the terror threat faced by the region & ways to enhance counter-terror efforts.

India drags United States to WTO

India has dragged US to World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel & aluminum. Donald Trump had recently signed two proclamations that levied a 25% on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum imported from all countries except Canada & Mexico. India’s exports of steel and aluminum products to U.S. is about $1.5 billion every year.

BRO built a road from India’s border to China

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has created history by establishing a road link to India’s border with China beyond Limeking and along the Tama Chung Chung-Taksing Axis recently. The road from Limeking now connects TCC to Taksing, covering a distance of approximately 80 kilometers. BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas. It comes under the Ministry of Defence.

Ambika Sharma to head USIBC India office

The US-India Business Council (USIBC), a premier business advocacy organisation, named Ambika Sharma as its India head. Ms. Sharma was Director General for International at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Formed in 1975, USIBC is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of top-tier US and Indian companies advancing US-India commercial ties.

ISRO making green propellant

Scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation have reported progress in the development of an environment-friendly propellant to power satellites and spacecraft. The effort is to replace the conventional hydrazine rocket fuel, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical, with a greener propellant. ISRO has started working on propellant blend based on hydroxylammonium nitrate.

Nepal to hold BIMSTEC 2018

Nepal’s PM, KP Oli has announced to host the 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical& Economic Cooperation summit. BIMSTEC is an international organisation of 7 nations of South & South East Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan & Nepal. BIMSTEC aims to enhance technological & economic cooperation among South & South East Asian countries.

SCO Secretary-General arrived in India

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary General Rashid Alimov has arrived in India to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj & other Union ministers. India became a full member of SCO in 2017, at the summit held in Astana, Kazakhstan. SCO is an intergovernmental international organisation aimed at strengthening mutual trust & neighbourliness among the member states.

Bangladesh proposes India as OIC observer

Bangladesh has proposed restructuring of the charter of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to pave way for inclusion of non-Muslim countries like India as an “observer state”. The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations. India, however, has fairly robust relations with most OIC member states.

BRO to celebrate its 58th Raising Day

Border Roads Organisation will celebrate its 58th Raising Day on May 7 to mark the glorious services to the nation. BRO, a leader in the arena of infrastructural development in the border areas of the country, was established in 1960. Since its inception the organisation has gone from strength to strength, and numerous projects undertaken by them has been vital for the territorial integrity.

India, Pakistan to take part in war games

In a first, India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September.The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The military drill would be held in the Ural mountains of Russia, and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.

CSIR bags Intellectual Property Award

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been awarded the National Intellectual Property Award, 2018 for being the top research and development organisation for patents and commercialisation.The award was handed over by Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu to mark the World Intellectual Property Day. The CSIR was established in 1942.

Agri Minister launched portal to export seeds

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched a portal to facilitate export-import of seeds and planting material.A seed import-export portal has been developed for making the trade process easy. With the launch of this portal, all organisations importing-exporting seeds will not be required to submit their applications in 20 copies.

35.3 Lakh New Jobs Generated in 6 Months

Government think-tank Niti Aayog said 35.3 lakh new jobs were generated between September 2017 and February this year.This was based on the additions made in payrolls from Employees’ Provision Fund Organisation, Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority. The NITI Aayog said that the payroll data from these organisations would now be released every month.

India ranked 10th in Innovation Index

India was ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index which was topped by UK, Singapore & Canada. The index has been created in partnership with United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation & its annual Global Innovation Index. It is aimed at providing a tool that allows member states, organisations & citizens to benchmark themselves against 53 countries of Commonwealth.

India won elections to key UN subsidiary

India has won an election to a crucial Non-Governmental Organisation committee in the UN.The UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held elections to a number of its subsidiary bodies. The ECOSOC focusses on advancing the three dimensions of sustainable development economic, social and environmental. India topped the election to the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

WTO ministerial meeting in New Delhi

18 : Representatives from 50 countries will gather in New Delhi for a 2 day informal World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting. The meeting will provide an opportunity to engage in free and frank discussions with the hope that it will lead to political guidance on some major issues. Pakistan has decided not to attend the meeting amid growing tensions caused by the ongoing diplomatic standoff.

Five times MLA Rajiv Bindal would be the next Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, state.

A former minister and a general secretary of the state BJP, Bindal had been an RSS activist all along and also served as a whole timer with the saffron organisation for a few years. Recently, Jai Ram Thakur has sworn in as CM of Himachal.

WHO certifies Gabon as polio free

World Health Organisation has declared Gabon a polio-free country, given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the country.Now the disease is endemic only in Afghanistan & Pakistan, where WHO recorded 4 cases this yearPolio is a viral disease which mainly affects young children & can result in permanent paralysis. There is no cure & it can only be prevented through immunisation.

World Migration Report 2018

The Indian diaspora is the largest in the world, with over 15 million migrants from India living abroad.It was according to the World Migration Report 2018 published by the International Organisation for Migration, the UN’s migration agency.The largest migration corridor is from India to UAE, where 3.5 million Indians were residing in 2015.

Award for Divyangjan Empowerment – 2017

Shri Ram Nath Kovind will present the “National Award for Divyangjan Empowerment-2017” to Individuals, Institutions, Organisations for their outstanding achievements towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The function will be organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The awards will be given on 3 Dec

Planet Labs to launch 4 satellites

Planet Labs Inc said four of its Dove satellites will be launched aboard India’s PSLV-C40 mission, scheduled to fly in January 2018.Planet Labs Inc, a US-based integrated aerospace, and data analytics company.The primary payload for PSLV-C40 mission is Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Cartosat-2 Series satellite, and Planet Lab’s four satellites will ride as secondary payload.

WHO Deputy DG appointed

Soumya Swaminathan is set to assume the charge of deputy director-general of the WHO in Geneva. Her appointment as the Deputy Director-General for Programmes, announced early last month by the World Health Organisation, elevates India’s stature globally. Swaminathan is the daughter of agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan who is hailed as the father of the ‘Green Revolution’.

Seminar on Indian Space Programme

The International Seminar on Indian Space Programme was inaugurated on 20 November. ‘Trends and Opportunities for Industry’ named seminar is being organised by Indian Space Research Organisation. The objective of this two-day conference is to deliberate on the best practices, pursue the ongoing discussion process to support further work of India’s Space Sector.

Chakravarthi became ambassador of WPO

Chakravarthi AVPS, Managing Director, Ecobliss India, has been appointed as global ambassador of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). Chakravarthi AVPS is the first Asian to be appointed as ambassador of WPO. Chakravarthi has over three decades of experience in the paper, printing and packaging industry. He has won Worldstar award for packaging excellence for five consecutive years.

Climate Change Performance Index 2018

India has ranked 14th out of 56 nations and European Union on Climate Change Performance Index 2018 released by environmental organisation Germanwatch. This marks an improvement from its 20th rank in CCPI 2017. CCPI keeps track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change. CCPI 2018 report was released on November 15, 2017, on the sidelines of the UN COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

Gender Vulnerability Index

Goa ranked at the top and Bihar featured at the lowest in the first ever Gender Vulnerability Index (GVI) released by child rights organisation ‘Plan India’. GVI provides information on nature and magnitude of various problems affecting children, particularly girls, in difficult circumstances. Gender Vulnerability Index (GVI) has been compiled by ‘Plan India’ a non-government organisation.

Bismoy Kumar Mohanty passes away

Noted journalist Bismoy Kumar Mohanty died following a heart attack at Puri. He was 62 years old. Mohanty was the president of Odisha Small and Medium Newspaper Organisation. He was also associated with a number of social and cultural organisations. His wife Bijay Laxmi Mohanty is also publisher and editor of language daily “Sambad Bahika”.

Belle-II ‘rolls in’ to collision point

The High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) completed the ‘rolling-in’ of the Belle-II experiment in Tsukuba, Japan. The term roll-in refers to the operation of moving the entire Belle II detector system from its assembly area to the beam collision point. The Belle II detector’s total weight is about 1400 tons.