15 July 2019
Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL), Oil India Limited (OIL) and GAIL Gas Limited (GGL) signed an agreement for setting up of a new company for implementation of the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network
It is done in five districts namely Kamrup, Kamrup, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj of Assam.
The joint venture is the result of the extension of the National Gas Grid Pipeline (Urja Ganga Project)
It is planned for an extension from Jagadishpur in Western Uttar Pradesh, to Haldia in West Bengali
In the 5 districts, about 4.16 lakh households connected with the Piped Natural Gas (PNG) and 72 CNG(Compressed natural gas) stations will be set up.
The Industrial sector, power generation sector, automotive CNG sector, and households sector benefited by the supply of natural gas grid throughout Assam and other parts of the northeast.
The three entities formed a consortium and operating the City Gas Distribution Networks in two geographical areas (GA) in Assam.
GA-2 consists of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts and GA-3 consists of Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro) districts.
Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, 95,000 households connected with the PNG and 21 CNG stations will be at a cost of approximately Rs 500 crore.
About 3,21,000 households will be connected with the PNG and 51 CNG stations will be set up at a cost of approximately Rs 1,200 crore.
Aditya Kumar Sharma; Executive Director (Business Development), Oil India Limited, S. K. Singh; CEO, GAIL, Gas Ltd., A. K. Jana signed the Joint Venture Agreement in the presence of Industries & Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patwary, Media Adviser to Chief Minister, Hrishikesh Goswami.
Governor: Jagdish Mukhi
Chief Minister: Sarbananda Sonowal
13 July 2019
India’s largest public broadcasting agency, Prasar Bharati signed an MoU(Memorandum of Understanding) with IIT, Kanpur(Indian Institute of Technology)
The purpose is for research collaboration in newly emerging technologies and broadcasting-related areas in New Delhi.
This will help in boosting research activities in the broadcasting field.
The areas of cooperation which includes Direct to mobile broadcasting, Convergence of 5G, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Incubation Centre and internship for students of IIT, Kanpur at Prasar Bharati .
The engagement with IIT, Kanpur on Research and Development and innovation are very important as it is the onus of the largest public broadcaster
The main aim is to develop and shape the future with emerging technologies.
The MoU will be effective from today and remain in force for a period of five years.
The institutes may extend the term in writing through mutual agreement.
About Prasar Bharati:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Shashi Shekhar Vempati
♦ Founded: 23 November 1997
♦ Chairman: Dr. A. Surya Prakash
9 July 2019
Indian Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has signed a contract with Glavkosmos, a Russian company. The agreement aims for the selection support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts for the country’s proposed maiden manned space mission Gaganyaan.
Signed by: The signing of the contract was done by Glavkosmos’ first Deputy Director General Natalia Lokteva and S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) of ISRO.
Under the contract, the work will be provided with support of the Federal State Budget Organisation named Yu.A. Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center and Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
ISRO agreement with IAF:
ISRO has already an agreement with Indian Air Force (IAF) for future manned space missions under the Gaganyaan project. As per the agreement, the crew selection and training was to be conducted at ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre to develop life support systems, crew training and planning.
Glavkosmos was established in 1985 and headquartered in Moscow, Russia. It is a Russian launch service provide. It functions under the state corporation Roscosmos.
Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft. The mission is intended to be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. It was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018. The mission worth Rs. 10,000 crore.
The Programme is aimed to be launched by December 2021. The spacecraft is being designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.
A heavy-lift rocket is to be released in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of 350-400km for about a week.
ISRO has planned to send two unmanned missions before the main mission.
6 July 2019
The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Maldives for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. It was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maldives on 8 June 2019.
The Ferry service would help to harness the potential opportunity in both passenger and cargo transportation by sea between the two countries. Ferry services between Maldives and Kerala is connected by Kochi with Male and Kulhudhuffushi in Maldives by Sea route. Ferry service would contribute in a big way in promoting people to people contact and to boost bilateral trade between two nations.
India and Maldives relation:
India is a leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of the leading institutions of Maldives.
Currently, India has provided $100 million Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.
President: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean
It is composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands
It’s known for its extensive reefs, beaches and blue lagoons
5 July 2019
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) has signed with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a public sector enterprise, on a pilot project to supply sanitary napkins to students. The project has been allocated an amount of Rs.71.82 lakh given by the BDL as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Under the project, sanitary napkins will be provided to 11,516 students free of cost through a team of volunteers and female teachers of 75 schools in Gandipet, Moinabad, Rajendranagar, Serilingampally and Shamshabad mandals of the Telangana State.
The project aims to create awareness and hygiene on menstruation and menstrual hygiene among children in government schools in Telangana.
The objective includes information dissemination on safe disposal mechanism of sanitary napkins without affecting the environment.
It aims to drive them towards fruitful education without absenteeism and health hazards.
BDL has prepared a communication material in both Telugu and English, which may be useful for other women in the villages too
It is likely to be expanded to 22 more mandals in the next phases depending upon the results.
Why the project?
The hygiene-related practices of women during mensuration are important as it has a health impact in terms of increased vulnerability to Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI). The interplay of socio-economic status, menstrual hygiene practices and RTI are commonly noticeable in the rural areas.
Self Help Group (SHG) entrepreneurs has been asked to produce sanitary napkins and also call for open tenders for meeting additional requirements.
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL):
Bharat Dynamics Limited was founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Telangana. BDL functions under the Ministry of Defence. It is a manufacturing base for guided missiles and allied defence equipment in the country.
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR):
The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is an Indian institute for research in rural development. It is located in Rajendranagar near Hyderabad.
It is an autonomous organization under the Department of Rural Development and received accreditation from AICTE in 2018.
5 July 2019
Government of India has signed a MoU with IBM India to use AI in agriculture. Under the pact, IBM will undertake a pilot study to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and weather technology solutions in agriculture in one district each in three states.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and junior minister Kailash Choudhary, and other senior officials.
The pilot study will be conducted for the Kharif crop season 2019 in three districts namely Bhopal, Rajkot and Nanded, in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively.
Once the study is done, the Watson Decision Platform of IBM will give solution in the field of agriculture through AI and weather technology at village level/ farm level.
The platform will provide weather forecast and soil moisture information on pro bono basis.
This aims to help farmers to take decisions regarding water and crop management for better production and productivity.
5 July 2019
The Delhi police has signed an agreement with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to set up rooftop solar energy systems in over 200 of its buildings across the city. Under the agreement, the SECI will support the implementation of grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on the establishments of Delhi police.
The project is expected to be completed soon in a phased manner with active cooperation between the two agencies. This MOU will be optimally used in the buildings and complexes available with Delhi Police all across the city.
Rooftop solar photovoltaic Project:
It has been estimated that Rooftop Solar Systems of total capacity of about 3-4 MW will be implemented across various Delhi Police buildings.
The project will utilize vacant roofs of their buildings to harness solar energy and to cater part of their electricity demand through the generated green energy.
The project would result in significant reduction on electricity bill payments of the Delhi Police.
Formed on: 1861; Delhi Police on February 16, 1948
Headquarters: New Delhi
Elected officer responsible: Amit Shah, Ministry of Home Affairs
Commissioner of Police: Amulya Patnaik (IPS)
Delhi Police has more than 200 establishments spread across the city and their electricity requirements are quite significant.
The Delhi Police have been the forefront in adopting new technology and innovative practices in all spheres of its working.
Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI):
Founded on: 9 September 2011
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
Chairman: Anand Kumar
MD: Jatindra Nath Swain
SECI is a PSU that functions under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). It is the government's nodal agency for implementation of the National Solar Mission,
5 July 2019
CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) on 3 June. The MoU aims to enable better ways of diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders.
CCMB and CDFD, the premier national institutes, are involved in the cutting edge biological research in the area of genetic disorders. Both the institutes have been offering genetic diagnostic services for the past 20 years.
To Provide good quality of DNA based diagnostic services to the public at lower costs
Develop newer diagnostic methods
Involve in scientific research to improve understanding of human genetic disorders
Rerports on genetic disorders:
It has been estimated that more than 50 lakh babies are born each year with genetic disease in India. Most of these disorders are presently untreatable and for those which can be treated, the treatment is very expensive. For now, the problem can be addressed by the preventive approach which requires prenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling.
The rapid advancements in technology have recently caused tremendous changes in the field of Genetics.
The introduction of an affordable and efficient DNA sequencing technology will improve the understanding of human disease, enabling better ways of diagnosis and treatment.
25 June 2019
National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed an MoU with Common Service Centres (CSC) e-Governance Services India to enhance new offerings for the MSME sector.
This MoU enables CSCs to utilize a plethora of NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal.
He facilitates VLEs and MSMEs through digital empowerment in accessing NSIC integrated support services encompassing Marketing, Finance, Technology.
The MoU special focus on providing services to village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to exponential growth of Village Entrepreneurs in the country.
The MoU enable CSCs to utilize plethora of NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal www.msmemart.com .
About NSIC (National Small Industries Corporation Limited)
Founder: Government of India
Headquarters: New Delhi
18 June 2019
The 48th DG conference was held between India's Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). It was concluded on 15 June at Dhaka, Bangladesh. A Joint Record of Discussion was signed by DG, BSF, Rajni Kant Mishra and DG, BGB, Major General Md Shafeenul Islam.
Both BSF abd BGB agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down the killing incidents to zero by increasing coordinated patrols in vulnerable areas to cattle and narcotics smuggling, educating border population about the sanctity of International Border (IB) and preventing criminals from crossing the IB.
Both sides also agreed to pursue and share real-time information including a preliminary questioning report as applicable about the persons apprehended with smuggled items.
The two Border guard forces also agreed to declare new areas as crime free zone in phases of which proposed area within Sarail region or Tripura Frontier may be formalised in the first phase.
The next DG level conference will be held in New Delhi during the first week of November 2019.
13 June 2019
French development agency, AFD gave €700,000 to French Railways, SNCF to provide technical know-how to the Indian Railway Station Development.
This agency to provide finance up to €7,00,000, through French National Railways (SNCF)-Hubs and Connexions to support the Railway Station Development Programme in India. IRSDC entered into a tripartite agreement with SNCF and AFD.
The agreement provides in-kind grant financing up to EUR 7,00,000, through SNCF-hubs and connexions
It is a technical partner to IRSDC to support the Railway Station Development Program in India. There will be no financial liability on IRSDC or Indian Railways.
The agreement signed in the presence of Angadi, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Government of France, Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France in India and senior officers.
About Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC)
Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of the Government of India that has been designed to develop new stations and redevelop existing Indian railway stations.
11 June 2019
National Center for Good Governance (NCGG) signed an MOU with Maldives Civil Services Commission building of 1000 Maldives civil servants for the next 5 years.
About the Agreement
The agreement signed during the visit of the Prime Minister of India.It is the nodal institution for designing customized training modules and its implementation taking into account the requirements of the Civil Service Commission, Maldives. The program includes public administration, e-governance, service, public policy governance, information technology, best practices in fisheries across coastal areas, agro-based practices, self-help group initiatives, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in the implementation of SDGs. Maldives nominates suitable civil servants in the senior/ executive/ middle management levels as per agreed timelines.
Maldives planning to develop training programs and materials, assist in organizing the exchange of experts as needed by the Civil Services Commission.
They trained 28 Maldives Civil Servants in April 2019 and encouraged the two countries to take the collaboration forward. NCGG successfully conducted training programs for civil servants of Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Gambia and Maldives. Director and Secretary general of NCGG is Shri E .V Eapen
It is an autonomous institute under the aegis of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India.
It's head office is in New Delhi and registered office at Mussoorie.
They planned to carry out policy-relevant research and prepare case studies; curate training courses for civil servants from India and other developing countries.
They provide a platform for sharing of existing knowledge and proactively seek out and develop ideas for their implementation.
10 June 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Maldives on 8 June. PM's visit to the Maldives reflects the importance India attaches to its Neighbourhood First policy.
During his visit, PM Narendra Modi and the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih signed six key agreements and substantive bilateral level talks.
MoU includes maritime and defence ties which are a top priority and the radar system are expected to boost maritime security.
The leaders jointly inaugurated a coastal surveillance radar system and a composite training centre for the Maldives defence forces.
Launch of RuPay Card in the Maldives was welcomed by PM Modi as it will give a boost to tourism in the island nation.
The six agreements include:
cooperation in the field of hydrography
cooperation in the field of health
customs capacity building between the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs Service
the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea
training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian civil servants Maldives Civil Service Commission signed with India's National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
sharing white shipping information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence Force
In March 2019, India and Maldives signed an $800-million Line of Credit Agreement with an aim to assist the Maldives in achieving sustainable social and economic development.
President: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
Vice President: Faisal Naseem
Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR)
Official languages: English, Dhivehi
5 June 2019
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a technical assistance agreement with aerospace major Boeing. The agreement aims to develop an air traffic management roadmap which will improve airspace utilization and help maintain efficient aircraft operations. The AAI will use guidance in the modernization of the Indian National Airspace System (NAS).
The roadmap is expected to be developed within 18 months and it will be undertaken with a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
In this project, Boeing will also work closely with Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other airspace stakeholders like the US-India Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP).
1 June 2019
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for crew selection and training for the prestigious Gaganyaan, the country's maiden manned mission.
AVM RGK Kapoor, ACAS Ops (Space), IAF handed over the MoU to Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme.
- Under the programme, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space.
- A human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module, which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a three-member crew for the duration of the mission.
- The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will lead the selection and training of astronauts on behalf of IAF.
- The necessary infrastructure for crew training, a realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the program.
- The ISRO will collaborate extensively with national agencies, laboratories, academia, and industry to accomplish the objectives of the prestigious mission.
Gaganyaan ("Sky Craft") is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft intended to be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
Gaganyaan was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018.
The mission worth Rs. 10,000 crore.
The Programme is aimed to be launched by December 2021.
It was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018.
In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO's largely autonomous 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km (250 mi) altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board.
1 June 2019
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up an IITG-ISRO Space Technology Cell (STC) at the institute where Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated a new academic complex and research and development building.
IITG-ISRO STC would be first of its kind in the North-east region to augment research and capacity building processes in the field of space technology.
About IIT Guwahati
Established in 1994
Director Gautam Biswas
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Formation: 15 August 1969
Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
30 May 2019
The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) for the year 2018-19. The MOU was signed by Ram Mohan Mishra and Arun Kumar Panda in the presence of Alka Nangia Arora, Joint Secretary, SME; Mercy Epao, Director (SME); P Udaya Kumar, Director, P&M, NSIC, and A.K. Mittal, Director, Finance, NSIC.
The MoU envisages provision of enhanced services by NSIC under its marketing, financial, technology, and other support services schemes, for MSMEs in the country.
NSIC plans to increase Profitability:
NSIC projects to increase its total business by 21.30% from Rs.22,258 crore in the year 2017-18 to Rs.27,000 crore in the year 2018-19.
NSIC also projects growth of 32% in Profitability during the year 2019-20.
It also plans to enhance its activities in the areas of imparting entrepreneurship and skill development training. It will do so by targeting 45 percent growth in the number of trainees.
In August 2018, NSIC had opened another office in Bhubaneswar to encourage MSMEs, including SC/ST groups. The building has workplaces for different offices such as National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) and others which will work with NSIC for offering help to different MSMEs.
National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC):
Headquarters: New Delhi, India
Chairman & MD: Ram Mohan Mishra
Parent: Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
NSIC is the nodal office for several schemes of Ministry of MSME such as Performance & Credit Rating, Single Point Registration, MSME Databank, National SC ST Hub, etc.
29 May 2019
Sri Lanka, Japan, and India signed an agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port on 28th May. The joint initiative is estimated to cost between $500 million and $700 million.
The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) is significant, given that the countries had been negotiating the deal since last year with little success.
As per the agreement, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) retains 100% ownership of the East Container Terminal (ECT), while the Terminal Operations Company is jointly owned. Sri Lanka will hold a 51% stake in the project and the joint venture partners will retain 49%.
The ECT development project aimed at neutralizing the growing influence of China, which has poured money into the South Asian island nation under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure plan. The ECT is located some three km away from the China-backed international financial city, known popularly as port city.
Sri Lanka has been one of the countries which became part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious plan announced in 2013 by President Xi Jinping. However, China's politically controversial investments in Sri Lanka became an election issue in 2015 and fuelled infighting between politicians in the capital.
India, the US, and several other countries have been highlighting the concerns over the BRI projects which may leave a number of smaller countries in debt traps. India's involvement in the latest project also became a reason for political infighting in the country.
Over 70% of the trans-shipment business at the strategically located ECT is linked to India. However, in 2018, India’s possible role in developing the terminal had become a major flashpoint within the government. President Maithripala Sirisena had opposed any Indian involvement in the project, as roping in foreign actors for developing national assets remains a politically sensitive call in the island, especially among nationalist trade unions.
Japan is to lend loan:
Japan is likely to provide a 40-year soft loan with a 0.1% interest rate. The SLPA described the envisaged Japanese loan as one of the best loan terms Sri Lanka has obtained. Japan had cooperated since the 1980s to develop the port's container terminals.
24 May 2019
Two departments under the Government of India, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for supporting joint collaborative research programmes in the area of Cancer. The MOU was signed by Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT and Shri K N Vyas, Secretary DAE.
The MOU aims to help build different initiatives in the field of cancer like strategizing and prioritizing.
MoU shall help strengthen various initiatives mandatorily for cancer by:
1. Strategizing and prioritizing cancer research.
2. Developing new and affordable technologies.
3. Jointly designing and funding clinical trials.
4. Coordinating and collaborating for translational research, interventions, training of manpower and infrastructure development.
Department of Biotechnology (DBT):
Formed on: 1986
Headquarters: New Delhi
Secretary: Dr. Renu Swarup
Affiliated with: Ministry of Science and Technology
The Ministry is responsible for administrating development and commercialization in the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India.
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE):
Formed on: 3 August 1954
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Minister responsible: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Deputy Minister responsible: Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for PM's Office
Secretary and Chairman: Dr. K.N.Vyas
Parent Department: Prime Minister's Office
DAE is engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.
23 May 2019
In a first, the Assam Rifles (AR) signed the charter of affiliation with the Indian Coast Guard to enhance inter-forces cooperation and interoperability. It is a permanent affiliation of Assam Rifles with the Coast Guards.
The charter of affiliation was signed by the Director General (DG) of the Indian Coast Guard, Rajendra Singh and DG, Assam Rifles Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan on 22 May 2019.
The objective of the affiliation is to promote bilateral cooperation between the two Services and contribute to joint capacity for training, sports, adventure, and sustainable development.
The affiliation includes:
The training will involve the exchange of information and personnel of the two Forces and building camaraderie. The two will work together in humanitarian missions and other areas.
A combat battalion of Assam Rifles will soon be training onboard ICGS Shaurya (16), an offshore patrol vessel in Chennai.
In due course of time, arrangements will be made for the exchange of personnel including those with an understanding of Land Border Management (LBM) with Assam Rifles battalions.
Over-Seas Deployment (OSD) of AR personnel on board an ICG ship, bilateral meetings between the two forces, and participation of experts from both sides in such meetings.
10 May 2019
India and China signed a protocol for the export of Indian chilli meal to China. This is the fourth protocol signed between the two nations over the past year allowing the export of farm commodities from India.
They agreed to resolve market access issues expeditiously in order to achieve the vision of the leaders of both India and China by promoting a more balanced trade. At the end of the meeting, a protocol was signed for export of chilli meal from India to China.
The protocols for export, signed since June 2018, include those for basmati and non-basmati rice, fish meal and oil and tobacco leaves.
President: Xi Jinping
Prime Minister: Li Keqiang
4 May 2019
Asia Cooperation Dialogue’s (ACD) 16th Ministerial Meeting was held in Doha, Qatar. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani headed the 2019 dialogue.
The Indian delegation was led by Gen. (Dr) V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs.
Before this, the Senior Officers’ Meeting (SOM) was held on April 30 and attended by Mr. Manish, the Joint Secretary (South).
Dr. V.K. Singh, in his address, expressed his grief for the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka (on April 21, 2019) and focussed for the global community to adopt the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (UNCCIT) efficiently.
By putting more stress on the theme “Partners in Progress”, the minister brought into limelight India’s desire to work collaboratively with all ACD Member States, in agreement with the Indian Government’s approach of “Collective Efforts, Inclusive Growth”.
He emphasized the Member States in joining the International Solar Alliance that was launched in November 2015 to bring in energy security for sustainable development and poverty removal by in Asia by promoting renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.
About The Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)
The ACD is an inter-governmental organization founded on 18th June, 2002. It has 34 member countries. Its Secretary General is Bundit Limschoon.
The ACD’s 1st meeting was held in Thailand in 2002 in which 18 Asian founding countries participated.
Qatar hosted the 5th meeting in 2006.
The major agendas of the ACD 2030’s vision are: promoting ACDs core principles and values and the spirit of Pan-Asian partnership.
♦ Capital: Doha
♦ Currency: Qatari Riyal
3 May 2019
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for effective cooperation on different projects related to e-mobility and implement solutions for electric & trolley bus, EV (Electric Vehicles) chargers, battery and charger testing.
The MoU was signed by Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, ARAI and Renuka Gera, BHEL.
About Electro mobility (e-mobility)
The term electro mobility refers to full and hybrid electric vehicles as well as those using hydrogen fuel cell technology.
These vehicles represent electronically driven vehicles in the future.
About BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited)
♦ Founded by the government of India in 1964, BHEL is an engineering and manufacturing company with its headquarters in new Delhi, India.
♦ BHEL is India’s largest power generation equipment manufacturer.
ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India)
ARAI founded in 1966 and located at Pune, India, was incorporated as Industrial Research Organisation formed by the Indian Automotive Industry which is affiliated under the Ministry of Industry of Government of India.
The main objectives are:
evaluation of automotive equipment and ancillaries
technical information services
execution of advanced courses on the application of modern technology
conduct of specific tests.
The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T), recognized ARAI as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO).
2 May 2019
Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with WAPCOS Limited, a mini-ratna PSU under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
The main objective is to jointly recognize suitable future projects and carry out geotechnical investigation and engineering consultancy in the fields like water resources, power and infrastructure, port and harbour dredging.
About Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL)
Founded: 9 March 1976
Headquarters : Visakhapatnam, India
Managing Director: Rajesh Tripathi
About WAPCOS Limited
Parent organization: Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
Revenue: 928 crores INR (2015, US$130 million)
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 26 June 1969
29 April 2019
Japan partnered with India for polishing technicians in the manufacturing sector
Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu inaugurated the Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM), a residential skill training centre at Andhra Pradesh.
JIM is part of a Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme initiated by the Government of Japan in India under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in 2016 to impart training to 30,000 Indian youth in manufacturing soft skills.
Several Japanese companies are collaborating in this initiative to create a pool of skilled manpower for manufacturing units in India.
Manufacturing in India emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India.
About Make in India
Launched: 25 September 2014
Prime Minister: Narendra Modi
Function under Ministry of Finance
It covers 25 sectors of the economy
24 April 2019
The Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science. The aim is to bring both Ministry of Ayush and CSIR together to pursue focused R&D efforts in the domain. Under the MoU, both organizations shall jointly endeavor to pursue:
R&D covering Fundamental research
AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, linking microbiome, gene expression and Prakriti, multi- ingredient herbal formulations, including their standardization
Exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM)
Linking disease signatures
Furthering the collaboration in preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare, through the existing TKDL platform
Development of international standardized terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.
Enhancing the collaboration through joint R&D efforts ranging from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of the Indian contributions to the traditional medicines sector, not only nationally but internationally as well. The MOU also includes the pursuit of Data mining & analytics and Artificial Intelligence to enable and facilitate concepts such as Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development and Food as Medicine.
Ministry of AYUSH:
AYUSH - Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy
It is a governmental body in India purposed with developing, education and research in the field of alternative medicines including Ayurveda, yoga, unani, naturopathy, Siddha and homeopathy
Founded on: 9 November 2014
Headquarters: New Delhi
Minister responsible: Shripad Naik (MOS independent charge)
16 April 2019
The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have joined hands to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in coastal regions.
The programme is aimed at restoring them through coastal livelihood programmes.
The MoU was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre of ISRO to develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal that will have a comprehensive database of wetlands that are smaller than 2.25 hectares in the country.
About Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute was established on February 3rd 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and later it joined the ICAR in 1967.
ISRO Director: K. Sivan,
Established in: 1969.
16 April 2019
India will build a cancer hospital in Kenya in collaboration with Japan.
Also, India will partner with the UAE to set up an ICT centre (Information and Communications Technology center) in Ethiopia.
Through this partnership, India has undertaken many projects like the ambitious Pan African e-network project on tele-education and tele-medicine which provides “integrated” satellite, fiber optics and wireless network between educational and medical institutes in Africa and India.
Africa is the focus under the Narendra Modi government amid China's push in the continent and countries from Europe are also keen to partner India for projects in third countries in Africa.
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Yen
♦ Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: Dirham
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
♦ Prime Minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
12 April 2019
The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme will work towards addressing a range of challenges around smart cities and clean technologies among others.
The programme was co-funded by Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Swedish agency Vinnova.
Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish participants up to 2,500,000 Swedish Krona (around Rs 1.87 crore) as grant.
On the Indian side, conditional grant of up to 50 per cent (with a limit of Rs 1.5 crore) per project will be provided to the Indian partners.
This Programme is technically and administratively managed by the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA) on behalf of DST in India and Vinnova in Sweden.
Government, Academia, and Industry or the ‘triple helix’ - is key to the Sweden-India partnership.
About Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India:
It was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of science & technology (S&T) and to play the role of a nodal department for organising, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country.
♦ Capital : Stockholm
♦ Currency: Swedish krona
♦ Prime Minister: Stefan Löfven
12 April 2019
India and the Netherlands have discussed ways to strengthen bilateral political and economic ties including boosting cooperation at the United Nations and other international fora.
The two countries held Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi, with the Indian side led by A Gitesh Sarma, Secretary, West, Ministry of External Affairs, and Johanna Brandt, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading the Dutch delegation.
Both countries used this opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including political, economic, commercial, scientific and cultural cooperation.
8 April 2019
National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the State-run power giant, has signed a term-loan agreement with Canara Bank to raise Rs 2,000 crore. The agreement would be used to part finance its capital expenditure. The loan has a door to door tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure of the NTPC.
8 April 2019
The Indian Navy signed MoU with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to undertake joint research and development of advanced technologies for the Indian Navy.
This will be a collaborative arrangement between labs of CSIR, the Indian Navy and Indian industry. The MoU provides a formal framework for interaction between the Indian Navy and CSIR.
7 April 2019
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has signed MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) to collaborate in the field of standardisation and conformity assessment. The MoU was signed by IIT Delhi Director Professor V Ramgopal Rao and Director General of BIS Surina Rajan.
According to the MoU, IIT Delhi will provide infrastructure support for research and development projects of relevance to standardisation and BIS will provide financial support to IIT Delhi for projects.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):
♦ Formed: 1986
♦ Headquarters: Manak Bhawan, Delhi
♦ Director General: Surina Rajan
♦ Functions under: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution
♦ BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016
3 April 2019
India and Bolivia have signed an agreement for the development and industrial use of lithium during the state visit of the President Ram Nath Kovind to Bolivia. Lithium is a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones.
India and Bolivia agreed to forge a mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India. The countries also plan to foster joint ventures for lithium battery/cell production plants in India.
This agreement will make Bolivia one of the major provider of metal for India's e- mobility and e-storage needs. Bolivia is known to have one-fourth of the world's lithium reserves. The agreement facilitates mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos Corporation (YLB Corporation).
♦ President: Evo Morales
♦ Vice President: Alvaro García Linera
♦ Capital: Sucre (constitutional)
La Paz (seat of government)
♦ Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
31 March 2019
State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has signed MoU with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for cooperation in the development of solar power projects. It aims at building a closer strategic partnership between the two Maharashtra PSUs for jointly pursuing commercial solar power projects through participation in tariff / Viability Gap Funding (VGF) based competitive bidding process.
♦ Industry Type: Energy
♦ Founded: August 1984
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India
♦ Chairman & MD: B. C. Tripathi
♦ Products: Natural gas, petrochemical, liquid hydrocarbons, Liquefied petroleum gas transmission, city gas distribution, E&P, electricity generation
30 March 2019
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred with the highest State honour of Bolivia, “Condor de Los Andes en el Grado de Gran Collar” during his visit to Bolivia. President of Bolivia Evo Morales awarded him the Honour at a function held in Santa Cruz.
On the second day of President’s three-day visit to Bolivia, India and Bolivia signed eight MoUs in the fields of culture, Visa waiver arrangement for diplomats, exchange between diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and Bi-Oceanic Railway project.
India offered a 100 million US Dollar Line of Credit to Bolivia for financing development projects.
Both countries also agreed on the need for reform of the UN Security Council to make it reflective of contemporary realities.
President is in Bolivia on the 2nd leg of his 3 nation tour.
28 March 2019
India and the US signed an agreement for the exchange of country-by-country (CBC) report.
The move will give huge relief to subsidiaries of US-headquartered companies in the taxation-related matter.
The agreement was signed by PC Mody, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and Kenneth I Juster, US Ambassador to India.
19 March 2019
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has signed a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with the Afghanistan government to work on digital education initiatives, which include many prominent programs developed by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
The MoU was signed at IIT-Madras.
• President: Ashraf Ghani
• 1st Vice President: Abdul Rashid Dostum
• 2nd Vice President: Sarwar Danish
• Chief Executive Officer : Abdullah Abdullah
15 March 2019
State-run National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) has teamed up with the Indian Railways for fly ash transportation. The partnership is to help enhance ash utilisation at Rihand and Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power plants.
NTPC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hazipur-based East Central Railway Zone for transportation of fly ash under Indian Railways’ Special Freight Train Operator scheme.
14 March 2019
The Japanese government announced a donation of some Rs 22 lakh ($31,800) to the Rabindra Bharati Museum, Kolkata in a bid to strengthen historical and cultural ties with India.
Rabindranath Tagore, Asia's first Nobel Prize recipient, visited Japan in 1916, 1924 and 1929, renewing relations between the countries as India's leading cultural ambassador.
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen
♦ Prime minister: Shinzō Abe
1 March 2019
India and Brunei signed a pact for exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to taxes in order to curb tax evasion and tax avoidance in New Delhi.
This agreement will facilitate both the countries to exchange information, including banking and ownership information for tax purposes and will also avail mutual assistance in collection of tax revenue claims.
♦ Capital – Bandar Seri Begawan
♦ Currency – Brunei dollar
♦ Prime Minister – Hassanal Bolkiah.
27 February 2019
FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Limited (FAGMIL) taken up a project to establish a white cement plant near village Nohra Dhar in Himachal Pradesh, at a project cost of approximately Rs. 605 crores.
It will be the 4th white cement plant in the country.
The installed capacity of the plant would be 0.3 million tonnes per annum and it will generate the direct employment of approximately150 persons.
21 February 2019
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and India’s PM Narendra Modi signed 5 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/Agreements:
1. Investing in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund between the Government of India and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
2. Cooperation on broadcasting between Prasar Bharati and Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) for exchange of audio visual programme.
3. MoU in the field of tourism and National Heritage.
4. Framework Cooperation Program between Invest India of the Republic of India and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on enhancing bilateral investment relations.
5. Cooperation in the field of housing.
19 February 2019
Argentina signed the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance with India. The agreement was signed by Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie in the presence of ISA’s Director-General Upendra Tripathy.
The agreement of the International Solar Alliance was opened for signature during the 22nd Conference Of Parties at Marrakech on November 15, 2016. Argentina is the 72nd country to sign the Framework Agreement of the ISA.
International Solar Alliance:
♦ It aims to provide a common platform to address the specific solar technology deployment needs of the solar resource-rich countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn
♦ ISA targets to achieve the production 1 TW of solar energy by 2030. It also targets to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022
15 February 2019
India concluded defence cooperation and security protection agreements with Germany and Sweden during the ongoing visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The agreement for security protection agreement between the two countries was signed by India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Peter Hultqvist, Swedish Minister for Defence.
The agreement will enable both countries to share classified information with each other. India and Sweden have had a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the area of defence since 2009.
13 February 2019
State-owned power giant NTPC announced that it has signed a term loan agreement for Rs 5,000 crore with State Bank of India.
The loan facility is extended at an interest rate linked to 3-Month MCLR of the Bank.
13 February 2019
Indian Historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam won Israel’s prestigious Dan David Prize in the category ‘Past time dimension’ for his work in macro-history.
He shared the USD 1 million award in the ‘Past time dimension’ category with Prof Kenneth Pomeranz of the University of Chicago.
About Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Mr Subrahmanyam is a recipient of the Infosys Prize for humanities and holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences at the University of California. He is the son on strategic analyst K Subrahmanyam and brother of former foreign secretary S Jaishankar.
About the Dan David Prize
It is an international prize which annually awards three prizes of US$ 1 million each for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.
♦ Capital – Jerusalem
♦ Currency – New Shekel
♦ Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu
12 February 2019
India and Norway signed a letter of Intent for establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative. The letter of intent was signed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Joint initiative aims to combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.
Official languages: Norwegian
Monarch: Harald V
Prime Minister: Erna Solberg
Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)
10 February 2019
Government e Marketplace (GeM) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) entered into a MoU to enable a fair and competitive environment in the e-Marketplace.
Chairman CCI, A.K. Gupta, CEO GeM, S. Radha Chauhan were present on the occasion.
GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries, that has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.
7 February 2019
The Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) signed a deal with Club Atletico Montemar (CAM), Spain, for a five-year period, to ensure a high standard of training for its trainees.
The protocol, signed by CLTA president Jai Singh Gill and the Founder-Director of CAM, Joaquin Perez Roman, at the CLTA Complex, would help the trainees get two weeks of training every season from the visiting experts.
The coach and trainer who visit the CLTA from Spain will try to upgrade training facilities and provide the latest skills. Four trainees of CLTA’s rural scheme CHART will also visit Spain for two to three weeks to learn international techniques.