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  • Turkey is to host four nation summit on Syria crisis

    Turkey is to host a summit between the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany and Russia in Istanbul in October. The aim of the summit is to discuss the conflict in Syria and efforts for a lasting solution to the war in the Arab country. It is said that the summit has been scheduled to take place on October 27. Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have confirmed their participation in the summit.

    Rwanda announced gender balanced cabinets with 50 percent women

    Rwanda, the East African nation, announced gender-balanced Cabinets with 50% women. It said that women now make up half of the slimmed-down, 26-seat Cabinet. A higher number of women in decision-making roles might lead to a decrease in gender discrimination and gender-based crimes. Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women said that Rwanda joins a handful of countries, mostly European, where women make up 50% or more of ministerial positions. The country has received international recognition for female representation in government, with women making up 61% of Parliament.

    Eighth European Congress on SMEs held in Katowice, Poland

    The motto of the Congress was: “ Science- Business-Self Government TOGETHER FOR ECONOMY”. This would engage in the challenges and possibilities of development of SMEs as Small and Medium-size Entrepreneurship is the most important sector of the Polish Economy.

    India, Japan, the U.S. plans for a trilateral joint air exercise

    India, Japan and the U.S. plans for a trilateral joint air exercise. It is a set to elevate the bilateral set to elevate the bilateral ‘Cope India’ air exercise to a trilateral format. The three countries have already conducted naval war games under the expanded Malabar naval exercise. The trilateral air exercise between India, Japan and the U.S. was proposed by the U.S. The next edition is scheduled to be held in December. The Final Planning Conference will finalise the modalities of the exercise is scheduled for the third week of October in Kalaikunda, West Bengal.

    Scientists says flares from young stars has potential to strip away the atmosphere from a planet

    Scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found that violent flares from the host star may make planets orbiting it uninhabitable by affecting their atmospheres. Habitable Zones and M dwarf Activity across Time (HAZMAT) is a program in which Hubble observes stars that spreads violent flares. The goal of the HAZMAT programme is to help understand the habitability of planets around low-mass stars. The flares are believed to be powered by intense magnetic fields that get tangled by the roiling motions of the stellar atmosphere. Young red dwarfs are active stars, producing UltraViolet (UV) flares that blast out so much energy that they could influence atmospheric chemistry and possibly strip off the atmospheres of these fledgling planets. Scientists say that flares from young stars have the potential to strip away the atmosphere from a planet.

    India imposes anti-dumping duty on certain steel products from China

    The revenue department has imposed the duty based on the recommendations of the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). A joint application was filed by domestic steel industries like JSW Steel Ltd, Sunflag Iron & Steel Co, Usha Martin, Gerdau Steel India, Vardhman Special Steels and Jayaswal Neco Industries before DGTR to initiate an investigation on this issue. The DGTR performed investigations and made recommendations on anti-dumping duties on some steel products. The goods have been exported to India from China below normal value and the domestic industry has been affected.  

    Akash Malik won silver inarcheryat the Youth Olympic Games

    Akash Malik, the 15-year-old son of a farmer, won the silver medal in archery at the Youth Olympic Games at the marquee event Buenos Aires. He became India’s first silver-medallist in providing a fitting finale to the country’s best-ever campaign. Malik lost a one-sided final to Trenton Cowles of the USA 0-6 as India concluded with three gold, nine silver, and one bronze at the event. He was seeded fifth after qualification and he hails from Haryana.

    Climate warming threatens Pacific Walrus

    Center for Biological Diversity petitioned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list Pacific Walrus as a threatened species because of diminished sea ice brought on by climate warming. Pacific walrus prefers sea ice for moulting, mating, nursing and resting between dives for food. Pacific walrus males grow to 12 feet long and up to 1,815 kg. Females reach half that weight. Walruses dive and use sensitive whiskers to find clams and snails in dim light on the seafloor.  Fish and Wildlife Service said that inaccessibility protected walruses for decades, but a rapid decline in summer sea ice has made them vulnerable. In the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia, where Pacific walrus females and juveniles spend their summer, ice could be absent during that season by 2060 or sooner.

    Canelo Alvarez signed USD 365 million with DAZN

    Canelo Alvarez, professional boxer, signed a $365 million with streaming service DAZN. DAZN is a video streaming service owned by Perform Group. This is the largest contract in the history of sports wherein he agreed five-year, 11-fight deal worth at least. Under the deal, Alvarez will participate in fights starting December 15, 2018.  The previous richest contract was the 13-year, $325-million deal signed by New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton in 2014.

    Arshdeep Singh won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award

    Arshdeep Singh, a 10-year-old boy from Punjab, won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 10 Years and Under category given by UK's Natural History Museum. He won the award for the picture titled 'Pipe Owls'. The picture was shot outside Kapurthala city with two owlets closely sitting inside a pipe. His work was published in Lonely Planet UK, Germany and India, and BBC Wildlife UK.

    Study says climate change threatens World Heritage sites

    A study published in the journal Nature presented a risk index that ranks the sites according to the threat they face from today until the end of the century. It stated that the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mediterranean such as Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Medieval City of Rhodes are under severe threat of coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels within the next 100 years. It also included Venice and its Lagoon, Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia. Heritage sites face many challenges to adapt to the effects of sea-level rise as it changes the value and spirit of place for each site.

    India and Japan are to hold joint military exercise in Mizoram

    India and Japan are to hold the first-ever joint military exercise 'DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018' involving the Indian Army and Japan Ground Self Defence Force in Mizoram, India. The aim is to promote Military cooperation.  The Indian contingent will be represented by 6/1 GORKHA RIFLES while the Japanese contingent will be represented by 32 Infantry Regiment of the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force. Exercise 'DHARMA GUARDIAN-2018' will be yet another step in deepening strategic ties including closer defence cooperation between the two countries.

    Twelfth Asia Europe Meeting Summit Begins In Brussels

    The theme of this year’s Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM)Summit is “Global Partners for Global Challenges”.  

    Anna Burns won Man Booker Prize for fiction for Milkman

    Anna Burns won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction for Milkman, a vibrant, violent story about men, women, conflict and power set during Northern Ireland’s years of Catholic-Protestant violence.  She is the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the £50,000 (Rs.48 lakh) prize, which is open to English-language authors from around the world. She said her books took a long time to complete, and she has often struggled financially since her first novel, No Bones, was released in 2001.

    Europa Nostra urged the Bulgarian authorities to rescue Buzludzha

    Experts from cultural heritage organisation Europa Nostra have urged the Bulgarian authorities to rescue Buzludzha, a vast flying saucer-like monument, on a central Bulgarian mountainside. The monument is a brutalist concrete monument that was built to glorify communism nearly 40 years ago.  The 230-foot-high structure, made of 70,000 tonnes of concrete, 3,000 tonnes of reinforced steel and 40 tonnes of glass, looks like it is hovering at around 1,400 metres above sea level. It has a 40-metre-wide ceremonial hall and was covered from floor to ceiling in mosaics depicting the history of Bulgaria’s communist party. Europa Nostra listed it as one of the most endangered heritage sites in Europe in 2018.

    VMware to invest USD 2 billion in India

    U.S.-headquartered VMware, a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, announced plans to invest $2 billion in India over the next five years. The investment would enable VMware to expand to new offices in Bengaluru and Pune. The investment will increase headcount, invest in R&D and support growing sales operations in India.  India is a key cornerstone of our overall global investment strategy, providing outstanding engineering talent for our global R&D operations that are helping to drive innovation across our entire product portfolio.  VMware has also partnered with Women Who Code, India, to train 15,000 women over the next two years in diverse technology areas.

    India and Tanzania sign 2 MoUs in New Delhi

    The MoUs were signed following India-Tanzania 9th Session of Joint Commission on Economic, Technical and Scientific Cooperation in New Delhi. They were signed in the presence of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr. Augustine Mahiga. The MoUs are signed between Foreign Service Institute of India and Centre for Foreign Relation, Tanzania and National Research Development Corporation and Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Corporation.  

    Canada Becomes 2nd Country To Legalize Recreational Cannabis

    Canadians can now grow up to four plants in their own home and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis for personal use. 

    Australia to engage deeply with TN at the upcoming Global Investors Meet 2019

    The Australian government is to engage actively with Tamil Nadu at the upcoming Global Investors Meet 2019. It is to pursue opportunities in education, road safety technology, urban infrastructure, fisheries and agribusiness. Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu launched a roadmap for deepening India-Australia ties over the next two decades.  Australia is set to focus on Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It is also keen to deepen its research and innovation partnership. Currently, there are 83 active MoUs between Australian universities and educational institutions in Tamil Nadu.

    Panwar won the silver medal at Youth Olympic Games

    Suraj Panwar Soren won the silver medal in the men’s 5000m race walk event at the Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He opened India’s account in athletics in the third edition. The athletic events were held in two stages. Suraj finished the first stage in 20:23.30s, the second stage in 20:35.87 and won the silver. Ecuador’s Oscar Patin won the first stage in 20:13.69, won the gold after finishing second.  The Youth Olympics’ Asia Area qualification meet in Bangkok in July, Suraj had finished second in the 10,000m race walk behind China’s Xin Wang.

    NASAs Chandra Observatory is back in action after brief shutdown

    NASA’s Chandra X-ray telescope that suffered technical glitch is back online. Due to the glitch occurred in one of Chandra’s gyroscopes it went into safe mode. Chandra X-ray telescope observes galaxies from the Earth’s orbit.  The team analyzed and completed plans to switch gyroscopes and place the gyroscope that experienced the glitch in reserve. Once configured with a series of pre-tested flight software patches, the team will return Chandra to science operations which are expected to commence by the end of this week.

    Ocean Cleanup Foundation launched floating pipe to gather ocean plastic

    The Ocean Cleanup Foundation has launched a project to collect the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Wilson, a 2,000-foot-long floating pipe has begun its mission to collect the plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The pipe is constructed in U shape. It features a three-metre-deep net to trap floating plastic under the water’s surface. A boat will visit the spot every few months to remove the debris.

    Alembic Pharma received USFDA approval for diabetes drug

    Alembic Pharmaceuticals received a tentative approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the U.S. health regulator for its Alogliptin tablets. The drug is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  The Alogliptin tablets are made in the strengths of 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg and 25mg. The product is a generic version of Takeda Pharms USA’s Nesina tablets.

    Aussie same sex penguin couple incubate egg

    Two Aussie male penguins, gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic, who have paired up as a same-sex couple have become so good at nesting that they have been given a real egg to look after.  Such an incident has happened in 2009. Two male penguins, Z and Vielpunkt, successfully hatched and reared a chick that was rejected by its heterosexual parents at a zoo in Berlin. Penguin: ♦ Kingdom: Animalia ♦ Phylum: Chordata ♦ Class: Aves ♦ Order: Sphenisciformes ♦ Family: Spheniscidae ♦ Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds ♦ Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sea life ♦ They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with only one species, the Galapagos penguin, found north of the equator  

    IITs topped in QS ranking

    Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, a think tank that is famous for bringing out world rankings of institutions, reported that Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has topped the first-ever standalone ranking of Indian higher education institutions.  The top 8 Indian institutions in QS rankings are:  1. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 2. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 3. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 4. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi 5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 6. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 7. University of Hyderabad 8. University of Delhi The Centre is trying to facilitate more foreign faculty and foreign students’ intake in Indian institutions in order to improve global rankings of Indian institutions.

    India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri service military exercise

    India and France are in talks for a bilateral tri-service military exercise. This is to take forward the strategic cooperation while exploring ways to operationalise the logistics agreement. These issues were discussed during the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Paris last week.  An agreement has been signed to identify specific aspects to implement it.  This will be India’s third such joint exercise. The first joint tri-service exercise was held with Russia in October last year and has finalised one with the U.S. to be held next year. India and France currently hold bilateral exercises between individual services, Shakti, Varuna and Garuda respectively for the Army, Navy and Air Force.

    Scientist developed worlds fastest camera, T CUP

    Scientists from California Institute of Technology have developed the world’s fastest camera, T-CUP (Compressed Ultrafast Photography), which can capture 10 trillion frames per second. The speed makes it possible to freeze time to see light in extremely slow motion. The advance may offer insight into as-yet undetectable secrets of the interactions between light and matter, say scientists. The camera set the world record for real-time imaging speed. It can power a new generation of microscopes for biomedical, materials science, and other applications. The first time it was used, the ultrafast camera broke new ground by capturing the temporal focusing of a single femtosecond laser pulse in real time.

    Crouch to launch anti loneliness strategy

    Tracey Crouch, the world’s first Minister for loneliness, is set to launch her first anti-loneliness strategy. She was appointed by the UK government in 2018 as it found that the young people can be affected by loneliness more than the elderly.  It also aimed at helping new parents, who risk isolation after they get home with a new-born. Ms.Crouch is to unveil a plan that will feature a pledge by businesses to do more to help staff cope with the sense of isolation.

    Japan set to host 2019 World Relays

    Japan Association of Athletics Federations announced to be the host of the 2019 edition of 4th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays, beginning May 11, 2019. The first three editions of the IAAF World Relays, in 2014, 2015 and 2017, were held in the Bahamian capital of Nassau. The 2019 meet will take place May 11 and 12 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, near Tokyo. This will serve as a qualifier for the world championships taking place in Doha in September and October.  

    First India US special forces exercises to be take place in 2019

    The first India-U.S. tri-services exercise will be taking place in 2019. The talks are on to include the special forces of the two countries in the drill. The focus of the drill will be on a United Nations (UN) based scenario and the overarching mission of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief measure. The three forces of both the countries have already taken part in bilateral exercises separately. In that bilateral exercise, their Armies participated in an annual drill called Yudh Abyaas, their Air Forces take part in a bilateral drill called Cope India and the Navies participate in an exercise called Malabar, involving Japan.

    India and China launch first joint programme to train Afghanistan diplomats

    Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar hosted 10 Afghan Diplomats who will be traveling to India for the 1st India-China joint training programme. This will be under the Trilateral Cooperation between India, China, and Afghanistan.

    India and Sri Lanka Sign Two MoU For Construction Of 1200 Houses

    The MoUs were signed by Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, and Mr. Bernard Vasantha, As per the new MoUs, 600 houses will be constructed in the Southern and Northern Provinces.

    CUJ signs MoU with ISRO to set up Space Applications Center

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed a MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University. Another MoU was signed between the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO). This is to create awareness about space research. This is the first of its kind institute coming up in Jammu and Kashmir and the building is proposed in an area of about 1,150 sq. m. The Space Science Centre at CUJ will have facilities for Geospatial Data analysis that will help in the sustainable use of natural resources and planning land-use pattern.

    India ranks 115th in World Banks Human Capital Index

    The World Bank released the Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019. The theme of the World Development Report (WDR) this year is “The Changing Nature of Work”. As part of this report, the World Bank has launched a Human Capital Project (HCP). The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries. The HCI for India has been estimated at 0.44. The Index was released at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.  Singapore ranked first for its universal health care system, education exams results and life expectancy figures. It is followed by South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Finland. India was ranked at the 115th position.

    India ranks 147th in Oxfam World Inequality Index 2018

    Oxfam International’s report, the UK-based charity, released Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index. In the Index, India ranked 147th among 157 countries and was labelled as “a very worrying situation” with respect to the rising inequality in the country. Out of 157 countries measured, Denmark topped first based on its high and progressive taxation, high social spending and good protection of workers. The top 10 countries are listed below:

    Mahindra Agri sets up JV with Sumitomo

    Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd. (MASL), a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation Group. The JV is to make pesticides in India to boost farm produce in the country. Sumitomo is into crop care and has access to the latest crop protection technologies. Mahindra will hold 60% stake in the new company named Mahindra Summit Agriscience Limited and the balance will be with Sumitomo Corporation. MASL is projecting a crop protection business revenue of $100 million in 5-7 years. Mahindra will contribute through its farmer connect, widespread distribution and agriculture expertise, while Sumitomo Corporation has strong ties with large Japanese crop protection innovator companies.

    Amway appointed Milind Pant as first global CEO

    Amway appointed Milind Pant as its CEO. Mr.Pant joins Amway, which has a revenue of $8.6 billion. Mr.Pant joins Amway from Yum! Brands where he was recently president of Pizza Hut International. He will be reporting directly to Amway's board of directors and will also hold a seat on the board on effective January 2, 2019.  Steve Van Andel,  Amway Chairman, and Doug DeVos, Amway's President, will move to Amway's Board of Directors where they will serve as co-chairs. This is a new position for Amway, a business that has been family run since its beginning in 1959.

    World Bank Human Capital Index: Singapore Tops, India Ranks 115th

    World Bank released the Human Capital Index (HCI) as part of the World Development Report 2019. Broader theme of the World Development Report (WDR) this year is “The Changing Nature of Work”.  The World Bank has launched a Human Capital Project (HCP).  The HCI has been constructed for 157 countries. The HCI for India has been estimated at 0.44.  The Index was released at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia. Singapore topped the poll after it was highly rated for its universal health care system, education exams results and life expectancy figures.

    Delhi, Moscow signed Twin-City Agreement

    The agreements in the fields of environment, culture and education are updated for the next 3 years. The agreement was signed by Minister of the Moscow City government and head of its international relations Sergey Cheremin and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

    Lupin launched Clobetasol Propionate in US market

    Lupin, Drug firm major, has launched generic Clobetasol Propionate ointment in the U.S. market. This is used to treat inflammation and itching caused by a number of skin conditions. It had earlier received approval for the product from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Lupin said in a statement. The company has launched Clobetasol Propionate ointment USP in the strength of 0.05%.

    Researchers devised a novel method of navigation to help them drive

    Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a new way that will help the robots, as it might struggle with navigational concepts, navigate environments more as humans do. This new method of the motion-planning model will help the robots determine how to reach a goal by exploring the environment, observing other agents, and exploiting what they’ve learned before in similar situations. The new model is a combination of a planning algorithm with a neural network that learns to recognise paths that could lead to the best outcome and uses that knowledge to guide the robot’s movement in an environment.

    Hawkings final scientific paper on blackholes has been released

    Stephen Hawking’s final scientific paper has been written and posted online by his colleagues at Cambridge and Harvard universities. The paper was completed days before his death. The paper titled ‘Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair’ tackles with what happens to information when it falls into a blackhole, a problem that theoretical physicists refer to as ‘the information paradox’. In his paper, Hawking had argued that black holes have a temperature. Since hot objects lose heat into space, the ultimate fate of a black hole is to evaporate out of existence. However, the rules of the quantum world dictate that information is never lost. So what happens to all the information contained in an object when it tumbles into a black hole. In the latest paper, Hawking and his colleagues showed how some of the information may be preserved.

    Soyuz crew survives emergency landing

    The Soyuz rocket made a successful emergency landing after an engine problem on lift-off to the International Space Station (ISS). The two-man crew, astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, survived. The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0840 GMT. The rocket had a problem with the booster while launching. A few seconds after the first stage of separation after the crew has started to go into ballistic descent mode. The failure is a major setback for the Russian Space Industry.

    Malaysia to scrap death penalty

    Malaysia’s Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty which was welcomed by rights advocates. There are more than 1,200 people on death row set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment. The move comes after the opposition of the public. Executions are currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging. Once the death penalty is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences abroad.  

    Pakistans anti graft body summoned U.S. envoy

    Pakistan's anti-graft body has summoned Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, the country's envoy to the US, for bribing a top government official. Ali Jahangir Siddiqui allegedly bribed a top government official by paying Rs.15 crore to get the diplomatic post. Ambassador Siddiqui has been issued a notice to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore. The transaction was made between him and former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad. National Accountability Bureau (NAB): Formed: November 18 1399 Jurisdiction: Constitution of Pakistan Headquarters: Islamabad Capital Venue Chairman: Senior Justice (Retired) Javed Iqbal NAB is an autonomous and constitutionally established federal institution responsible to build efforts against corruption and prepare critical national economic intelligence assessments against economic terrorism to the Government of Pakistan.  

    Sharad Kumar won gold in mens high jump in Asian Para Games

    Indian para high jumper Sharad Kumar won gold in men’s high jump T42/63 category. This is his second successive gold in the Asian Para Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Silver was claimed by Varun Bhati (1.82m), Rio Paralympic bronze-medallist, and bronze by Thangavelu Mariyappan (1.67m), Rio gold-medallist. The F46 category of disability covers upper limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.

    Asim Munir is appointed as the new chief of ISI

    The Pakistan Army appointed Lt. Gen. Asim Munir as the new chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He previously served as head of the Military Intelligence.  He was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General by the Army Promotion Board, headed by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. He replaces Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar. His office will assume charge from October 25.

    Harvinder Singh won gold in archery in Asian Para Games

    Harvinder Singh won India’s maiden archery gold in the Asian Para Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Harvinder defeated China’s Zhao Lixue by scoring 6-0 in the W2/ST category final. On the fifth day, the country clinched three silver and four bronze medals.

    Jackie Doyle Price is appointed as Suicide Prevention Minister in UK

    Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the  Suicide Prevention Minister. This is a part of a national effort in order to reduce the number of people who take their own lives.  Ms.May has also allocated a budget of 1.8 million pounds ($2.4 million) to help the Samaritans' helpline which is a confidential 24/7 freephone service. It expands its consultation services to people who are dealing with mental health issues.

    Sikkim has been nominated for UN FAO Future Policy Award

    Sikkim has become the pioneer in organic farming. This achievement has made it world’s first totally organic agriculture State in India. UNFAO has shortlisted Sikkim for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Future Policy Award.  In 2015, Sikkim was announced as the first organic state in the world with more than 66,000 farming families practising organic farming state-wide, managing 75,000 hectares organic certified. The FAO said that the award would celebrate policies that create enabling environments for sustainable agriculture.

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