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  • West Indies to Host 2018 Womens World T20

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the 2018 edition of the Women’s World T20 will be hosted by West Indies in November 2018. Hosts Windies will defend the title they won over Australia in Kolkata in 2016.  The three venues were selected by Cricket West Indies through a bidding process and have been ratified by the ICC. The November event in the Caribbean will be the first stand-alone ICC Women’s World Twenty20 after the past five events were played alongside the men’s event.   

    China adds 24 GW in just two months making it biggest producer of solar energy

    Renewable energy use is increasing day by day almost everywhere. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also weighed on the increase in the use of solar power and also brought ‘Suryaputra’ nations together for better and cleaner future. Solar energy use was noted by China when the country managed to add 10.52 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity to its national total over the course of July 2017, in addition to the 24.4 GW of capacity that was installed over the first six months of the year. The country is already the biggest producer of solar energy in the world, and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon. In the last two months alone, China has added 24.02 GW of solar capacity. To put that into context, figures from earlier this year put Australia’s total capacity at around 6GW, a figure that’s projected to double by 2020. The US currently has a total capacity of 44.7 GW. Meanwhile, China already cleared its goal of reaching a capacity of 105 GW by the end of 2020. The country has now attained 112.34 GW, and as such tweaked its forecast for 2017, now predicting that this year’s installations will total between 40 and 45 GW.

    Sri Lanka bans import of non-airbag equipped vehicles from July 1

    Sri Lanka restricted the import of the vehicles which do not carry airbags for driver and front seat passenger, Anti-Locking Breaking System standards (ABS) and three-point seat belts for driver and passengers traveling front and rear seats. This decision after considering the representations made by motor vehicle importers and manufacturers for a lead time to make required adjustments to comply with the proposed emission standards and safety measures. Accordingly, the importation of motor vehicles, which are below emission standards of the Euro IV or its equivalent and not complied with the following safety standards, will totally be prohibited effective from 1st July 2018.

    India Defeats Pakistan to Win Blind Cricket World Cup 2018

    India beat Pakistan by two wickets to win the Blind Cricket World Cup 2018 for the second time after a thrilling match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the UAE. Hosts Pakistan had set India a target of 308 runs at a loss of eight wickets in their allotted 40 overs after they were put into bat. India conquered the modest target in the 39th over, with two balls to spare and eight wickets lost. For his brilliant all-around performance, Sunil Ramesh was declared the man of the match.

    NASA develops aircraft that can fold wings mid-flight

    NASA successfully applied a new technology that allows aircraft to fold their wings between zero and 70 degrees while inflight. Built from a shape memory alloy, the system operates without a hydraulic system, reducing the wing weight by up to 80%. The technology's potential aerodynamic benefit includes increased controllability, which may result in a more fuel-efficient aircraft.

    Apple named the world's most admired company for 2018

    Technology giant Apple topped Fortune magazine's list of the 'World's Most Admired Companies' for 2018. E-commerce giant Amazon has retained its second spot, followed by Google's parent Alphabet. Social media giant Facebook lost its place in the top ten most admired companies this year and was ranked 12th on the list.

    US intel uses voice-matching technology to track people

    The US National Security Agency (NSA) been using secret speech recognition technology to identify people by their unique voiceprint for years The intelligence agency had used the technology in counterterrorism operations and overseas drug busts, the document added. Following the revelation, the NSA had faced criticism for abusing people's privacy.

    Facebook appoints its 1st African-American Member to Board

    Facebook appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board. Chenault serves on the Boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble and is also a Harvard Law School graduate.

    Google awarded 72 lakh for finding bugs in Pixel phone

    Google awarded nearly 72 lakh to researcher Guang Gong for finding bugs in its Pixel devices. The exploit chain consisted of two bugs which together could inject arbitrary code into system server by accessing a malicious URL in Chrome. Around 67 lakh of the reward was given from Google's Android Security Rewards program, the highest in the program's history.

    Israel PM Addresses India-Israel Business Summit in Mumbai

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Mumbai during the final leg of his visit to India. Mr. Netanyahu addressed the India-Israel Business Summit at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel in south Mumbai. Later in the day, Mr. Netanyahu will attend the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event at the Taj hotel. A monthly magazine titled ‘Namaste Shalom’ will also be launched to mark Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Mumbai visit. The magazine is planned to carry forward the great initiative of Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu to strengthen India-Israel relations.

    North and South Korea Agree to Jointly March Under Unification Flag in Winter Olympics

    North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single unified Korea flag at Winter Olympics in the South. They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team after rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom. These are the first high-level talks between the two Koreas in more than two years. The Games will take place in February 2018 in Pyeongchang in South Korea. 

    MoS RK Singh Attends ISA Forum in Abu Dhabi

    Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh delivered the keynote address at the ministerial plenary session of the International Solar Alliance at Abu Dhabi, UAE. A key development area for ISA Member Countries is solar capacity building. The International Solar Alliance is a treaty-based international inter-governmental alliance of 121 solar resource-rich countries or the sunshine countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

    India Attends its 1st SCO Military Cooperation Meeting in Beijing

    India took part in a two-day meeting of the international military cooperation departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Beijing, China. An Indian delegation was led by Major General Ajay Seth. The meeting discussed issues of practical cooperation among SCO nations. This is the first meeting attended by India in the field of defense cooperation under the SCO framework. India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017 into the grouping in which China plays an influential role. 

    India and Sri Lanka Sign 4 Agreements for Collaboration in ICT Sector

    India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements for collaboration in the Information and communication technology (ICT) sector, setting up of an e-office system and connecting of National Knowledge Network (NKN) for collaboration among universities and academics. With the move, Sri Lanka has become the first country to be connected to India’s NKN through a Gigabyte optical fiber network. The MoU for cooperation was signed by Union minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad with his Sri Lankan counterpart, during his visit to Colombo.

    Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho retires from Football

    Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho formally confirmed his retirement from football, more than two years since his last appearance as professional reports in Brazil. The 37-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona star, a key member of the Brazil side which won the World Cup in 2002, last played in 2015 during a brief stint with Fluminense. Ronaldinho’s career began with Gremio in Porto Alegre, his hometown, before he emerged as a star with French giants PSG. He then spent five years with Barcelona between 2003 and 2008, helping the Catalans win the Champions League in 2006, after being awarded the Ballon d'Or in 2005.

    China builds World's Biggest Air Purifier

    China constructed a 330-foot tall air purifying tower dubbed the "world's biggest air purifier". The tower, which is being tested by researchers, has produced more than 10 million cubic meters of clean air since it was launched. The air purification system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower.

    Donald Trump awarded bravery medal for scolding Pakistan over terrorism

    Afghanistan residents awarded Donald Trump a bravery medal for rebuking Pakistan over its failure in curbing terrorist havens.  As per local media reports, the medal has been forged using funds collected by Afghans from the Logar province worth 45,000 Afghanis ($645) and consists of 15 grams of gold. The US Ambassador in Kabul John R Bass promised that he will soon hand over the medal to the US President. The Syed Farhad Akbari, a community leader in the province, said that more than 300 people at an informal “jirga,” or council, of concerned citizens, agreed to award the medal to the US president.

    BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol

    Bangladesh, India, and Nepal agreed on the text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh - Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA). The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

    DIPP arm Launches Competition for College Students

    Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), under the department of industrial policy and promotion, launched a competition for college and university students to foster a culture of innovation and creativity in the youth.  The competition - IPrism - invites students to submit films on piracy and counterfeiting under two categories of 30 and 60 seconds. Another category in the competition is a mobile gaming app on intellectual property (IP). Cash prizes of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the winning teams along with mementos and certificates. 

    Romanian PM Mihai Tudose Resigns after Losing Party Support

    Romania's left-wing Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigned after losing the backing of his party due to internal power struggles, barely seven months after his predecessor suffered the same fate.  He handed in his resignation after senior members of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) voted to withdraw their support at a leadership meeting.

    India and Israel sign 9 agreements in space, defence, cybersecurity

    India and Israel have signed nine agreements to boost cooperation in the areas of space, cyber security and oil and gas between both countries. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi. Netanyahu is first Israeli Prime Minister to visit India in the span of last 15 years and second one overall. Agreement on Film-co-production. Protocol on Amendments to Air Transport Agreement MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel Memorandum  MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation inOil and Gas Sector LoI between IOCL and Yeda Research  MoU between Central Council for Research in Homeopathy and Ministry of AYUSH and Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field of space.

    India and Britain pens down to deport illegal Indian migrants

    India and Britain discussed on a very crucial point that is illegal Indian migrants’ in Britain. Talking further on this issue MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju The UK government assured us they would take care of such issues and ensure anti-India activities, also by Kashmiri separatists, are not allowed in the UK.” India and Britain have signed agreements on illegal Indian migrants’ return and sharing criminal records and intelligence. The development comes close on heels of India seeking Britain’s help in the early extradition of liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya from Britain to face the law at home in connection with cases of fraud and money laundering amounting to around 9,000 crore rupees. The memorandums of understanding (MOU) were signed by Britain’s Minister of Immigration Caroline Nokes and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju. The new deals reflect increased co-operation between the two countries, which already enjoy a close relationship.

    India contributes $50,000 to UN Youth Envoys office

    India contributed $50,000 to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Office of Envoy on Youth to help with its mission of involving young people in the world body’s goals. The contribution was handed over by Paulomi Tripathi, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission to the Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake. India contributes $50,000 to UN Youth Envoy’s office January 15, 2018. India has contributed $50,000 to United Nations (UN) Secretary General's Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. The Youth Envoy’s works to raise international awareness and attention to youth issues among others.Its mission aims to promote engagement of youth and advocate for them across all the four pillars of UN’s work –human rights, peace and security, sustainable development and humanitarian action.

    WEF Ranks India 30th on Global Manufacturing Index

    The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked India at 30th position on a global manufacturing index - below China’s 5th place but above other BRICS peers, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa. Japan has been found to have the best structure of production in the Geneva-based WEF’s first ‘Readiness for the future of production report’ and is followed by South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, China, Czech Republic, the US, Sweden, Austria and Ireland in the top 10. Among BRICS nations, Russia is ranked 35th, Brazil 41st, and South Africa at 45th place.

    Saudi Arabia opens its first women only car showroom in Jeddah

    A Saudi Arabia private company opened the first car showroom in Le Mall, Jeddah for women only just five months before a decision allowing females to drive takes effect. In a decree issued in September, King Salman ordered by June an end to the ban on women drivers, a conservative tradition that has limited women’s mobility and been seen by rights activists as an emblem of their suppression.

    India signs pact with UK on illegal migrants

    India has signed an MoU with the United Kingdom to enable the return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their detection by authorities abroad. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju confirmed that the pact was signed by him and UK Minister of State for Immigration Caroline Nokes in Britain.

    South Australia planning to build the worlds largest thermal solar plant

    Following the success of the world’s largest battery, South Australia is aiming to build the world’s largest thermal solar plant. The project is being developed by US company SolarReserve at a budgeted cost of A$650m (£380m), and construction is set to begin this year. The new development will be located near Port Augusta, the site of the last coal power station in South Australia. The new development marks a big step towards making the southern state 100 per cent renewable by 2030.

    South and North Korea discuss joint women ice hockey team for Olympics

    South Korea has proposed fielding a joint women’s ice hockey team with North Korea at next month’s Winter Olympics going to be held at Pyongyang. South Korea's unification ministry invited the North to further talks about the Olympics in the truce village of Panmunjom on 15 January. A joint march at the opening ceremony would be a stunning statement for the "Peace Olympics", which will open about 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the heavily fortified Korean border on 9 February.

    China became second internet service provider for Nepal, breaking Indias monopoly in Nepal

    The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG) - a company formed in 2012 - has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal. So far, Nepal had been linked to the global internet network through Indian telecom operators, using optical fiber connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others. But a new terrestrial fiber cable launched in 2016 by CTG will now connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.

    Saudi Arabia allows women to visit the country without a male companion

    Women aged 25 and above will now be allowed to visit Saudi Arabia alone, without being accompanied by a male companion. The move is a part of Saudi Arabia's broader plans to issue tourist visas.

    Saudi Arabia allows women to attend men football match for 1st time

    Saudi Arabia allowed women to attend a men's football match for the first time from a sports stadium. This comes after Saudi women were allowed in a stadium for National Day celebrations in a one-off event in September last year. A hashtag, translated as "the people welcome the entry of women into stadiums", was used tens of thousands of times in two hours as the match took place.

    Jet Airways bans smart luggage on flights from 15th January

    Jet Airways has prohibited passengers from carrying smart luggage, which includes devices with non-removable batteries, on its aircraft from January 15. This comes after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) banned such baggage on a passenger aircraft worldwide. Smart luggage also includes devices with integrated lithium batteries, motors, power banks, Bluetooth, GPS or Wi-Fi technology.

    Gallup International Survey ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as the No. 3 world leader

    Gallup International Association (GIA) has ranked Indian PM Narendra Modi as the No. 3 world leader in its annual survey. This is the highest ever rank bagged by any Indian PM in the GIA global polls. The first rank went to French President Emmanuel Macron (net score 21), followed by German chancellor Angela Merkel (net score of 20). US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were ranked at the eleventh and sixth position respectively in the survey.

    UN Environment and WHO Agreed to Major Collaboration on Environmental Health Risks

    UN Environment and the World Health Organization have agreed a new, wide-ranging collaboration to accelerate action to curb environmental health risks that cause an estimated 12.6 million deaths a year.  Mr Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO signed an agreement to step up joint actions to combat air pollution, climate change and antimicrobial resistance, water quality, and food and nutrition issues, in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya.

    India, and Canada soon to sign MoU for cooperation in field of Science and Technology

     India and Canada will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the cooperation in the field of Science and Technology. That will provide a mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between R&D and academic institutions of the two countries. Notably, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a MoU with Canada for cooperation in the field of Science and Technology. Under the MoU, an innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented under a MoU concluded by the Department of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. Under this MoU, the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme will be supported to promote India-Canada multidisciplinary research partnerships. The R&D projects will be aimed at accelerating social transformation by providing solutions through application of science and technology.

    Indian-Origin Businessman Sunny Verghese appointed as WBCSD Chairman

    Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman Sunny Verghese appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). He succeeded Paul Polman. Verghese, Co-Founder and the CEO of Singapore's agri-business group Olam International Limited, is the first WBCSD Chair from the agri-sector. 

    South Korea and GCCI Sign MoU for Business Cooperation

    An official delegation from South Korea and the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) signed a MoU for co-operation between industries in Gujarat and the East Asian country, with a focus on automobile, defense and textiles sectors. The main objective of the MoU is to help Gujarat-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore opportunities through joint ventures with South Korean firms, especially in areas of automobile, defense, and textiles.

    Intels Mobileye will have 2 million cars on roads building HD maps this year

    Intel Corp (INTC.O) Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said on Monday 2 million vehicles from BMW (BMWG.DE), Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) would use its unit Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology to crowdsource data for building maps that enable autonomous driving. The world’s largest chipmaker bought Israeli firm Mobileye last year to compete with peers such as Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) and Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) and tap the fast-growing market of driverless cars. Intel will also tie up with SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (600104.SS), which will use Mobileye technology to develop cars in China, the chipmaker said. Krzanich also said Intel had not received any information of customer data being compromised so far after the company confirmed last week that the security issues reported by researchers in its widely used microprocessors could allow hackers to steal sensitive information from computers, phones and other devices.

    Germany denies achieving climate change goal till 2020

    The goal to cut the carbon emission by 2020 may be missed by Germany as the chancellor Angela Merkel and her party has denied achieving the goal in next two years. To achieve the target of lowering the emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels by about five percentage points is on low chances. Despite a booming renewable sector, Germany still gets 39% of its power from coal. A cross-party commission has been established to create a phase-out plan for the dirty fuel, but it remains a politically charged subject, with utilities and mining unions playing for more time to transition. Germany likes to champion itself as a climate leader.

    Worlds Largest Ice Festival Held in China

    World’s largest Ice Festival 'International Ice and Snow Festival' was held in Harbin, China. This is one of China’s coldest cities in the winter. It is the 34th annual Ice Festival in Harbin, north-east China. It features sculptures of Moscow’s Red Square and Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

    Philippe Coutinho Joins Barcelona Becomes 2nd Most Expensive Transfer in World Soccer History

    Team Liverpool sold Brazilian football player Philippe Coutinho to Team Barcelona for 160 million Euros ($192 million). With this, transfer of Philippe Coutinho has become the 2nd Most Expensive transfer in World Soccer History. World’s most expensive transfer is Brazilian football player Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain team in 200 million pounds in 2017.

    Saudi Arabia gives green signal to Indias proposal to revive sea route for Haj pilgrimage

    Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Saudi Arabia gave green signal to India’s proposal to revive option of Haj pilgrimage through sea route. It will be a revolutionary, pro-poor, pilgrim-friendly decision. He said, sending Haj pilgrims through ships will help cut down travel expenses significantly. Mr Naqvi said, officials from both countries will discuss all formalities and technicalities so that Haj through sea route can be re-started in coming years.  The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped in 1995. Saudi Arabia Haj Minister Dr. Mohamed Bentin and Mr. Naqvi, who is on a Saudi Arabia visit, have signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement in Makkah.  For the first time, Muslim women from India will go to Haj without Mehram, male companion.

    AIIB plans to issue first US dollar bonds in June 2018

    China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is planning to issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with the minimum worth of $1 billion by June 2018. The earliest issuance window of the bond will be toward the end of first half of 2018 with the time required for certain procedures, including Board of Governors’ approval of AIIB’s 2017 financial statements as well as borrowing and swap documentation. The minimum size of the issuance will be one billion dollars, but as demand for the first bond issue may increase AIIB anticipates of having to issue a larger size.

    Golden Globe Awards 2018: The Complete List of Winners

    The 75th Golden Globe Award ceremony was held in Los Angeles, the USA.   “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” dominated the 2018 Golden Globes, taking home four statues, including best drama, best screenplay, and acting awards for Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell in the drama category. Seth Meyers hosted the star-studded show. Here is the Complete List of Winners of Golden Globe Awards 2018- 1. Best motion picture, drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 2. Best motion picture, musical or comedy: Lady Bird. 3. Best director, motion picture: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”. 4. Best performance by an actress in a motion picture, drama: Frances McDormand. 5. Best performance by an actor in a motion picture, drama: Gary Oldman. 6. Best performance by an actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Saoirse Ronan. 7. Best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: James Franco. 8. Best motion picture, animated: Coco 9. Best motion picture, foreign language: In the Fade 10. Best television series, drama: The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu 11. Best performance by an actress in a television series, drama: Elisabeth Moss. 12. Best performance by an actor in a television series, drama: Sterling K. Brown.

    Pakistan frees 147 Indian fishermen on humanitarian grounds

    Pakistan released 147 Indian fishermen from Malir Jail in Karachi as a goodwill gesture. As per the list was given to the Indian High Commission by the Pakistani government, 457 Indian prisoners including 399 fishermen and 58 civil prisoners are in Pakistani jails. The fishermen were arrested for fishing illegally within the marine border limits of Pakistan and have completed their prison term. The Edhi Foundation provided them with clothes and Rs 5,000 each. Fishermen from India and Pakistan are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifting away.

    Federer-Bencic Lead Switzerland to Hopman Cup Title

    Switzerland won their third Hopman Cup as Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Germany's Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber in the deciding mixed doubles to secure a 2-1 victory in the final at the Perth Arena. It was Federer's second Hopman Cup triumph after victory in 2001 alongside then world number one Martina Hingis.

    Turkey on the path to make relations stronger with Germany

    Turkey expressed pleasure to make relationships with Germany rockier. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called for a fresh start in his country’s rocky relationship with Germany, holding out the prospect of closer economic cooperation, particularly in transport and energy. The trade between Germany and Turkey amounted to 174 billion euros ($209.91 billion)in the last five years, with major opportunities in the coming decade from big infrastructure projects, in particular in transport and renewable energy.

    Iceland Becomes first country to Legalise Equal Pay

    Iceland becomes the first country in the world to legalize equal pay between men and women. In Iceland now it will be illegal to pay men more than women for the work. Under the new rules, companies and government agencies employing at least 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies.

    India Excludes Pakistan from a SAARC Initiative

    India excluded Pakistan from the list of SAARC member countries with which it will be connecting its state-of-the-art National Knowledge Network (NKN) for sharing scientific databases and remote access to advanced research facilities. The government has kicked off the process of appointing a telecom company that will connect and extend the NKN to research and education networks in six South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation member states — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

    India and Myanmar Land Border Crossing Agreement approved

    The Union Cabinet approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing. The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people of both countries. It will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries. The Agreement is an enabling arrangement for movement of people across India-Myanmar border.

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