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Last Updated: April 1, 2020 2 days ago

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  • Finance Minister participated in G20 meeting of Finance Ministers

    2 days ago
    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 2nd Extraordinary G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting. It was hosted under the Chairmanship of Saudi Arabian on 31 March. The Ministers discussed the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and coordinate efforts in response to this global challenge. The meeting was a follow up on the discussion of the 1st virtual meeting and to discuss the follow-up in line with the statement made by G20 Leaders during the G20 Virtual Leaders Summit held on 26 March. Highlights: ♦ The G20 members will provide an opportunity to all G20 members to not only share their individual experiences but also to work in better coordination. ♦ The meeting was held virtually on a regular basis to continue discussions on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. ♦ They also discussed the impact on markets and economic conditions and take further actions to support the economy during and after this phase. ♦ The Ministers recommended a G20 Action Plan in Response to COVID-19 and asked a close cooperation with relevant international organizations. ♦ It aimed at providing an opportunity for immense cross-learning and critical insights.  ♦ Discussions regarding regulatory and supervisory measures to support and quickly revive the economy was held.  ♦ It was suggested that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can develop innovative and ingenious methods to meet COVID-19 related financing requirements given that policy space is severely constrained in most countries in these unprecedented circumstances.

    G20 to inject USD5 trillion into World economy

    7 days ago
    The G20 nations agreed to collectively inject $5 trillion into the world economy. The move by the countries is to counteract the social, economic and financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video conference summit was held on 26 March.  G20 Summit Highlights: ♦ Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India in a video-conference of G20 economies. ♦ PM Modi stressed on a new concept of "globalization that focusses on humanity and collective welfare" rather than individual interest. ♦ The leaders of the G20 countries has agreed to make collaborative effort to develop therapeutic solutions including vaccines, make diagnostics more effective and make testing kits and other equipment more freely available. ♦ The leaders agreed to ensure the flow of medical supplies and critical agricultural products across borders and work together to facilitate international trade. ♦ The countries reaffirmed their commitments to WHO's mandate to fight the pandemic. The members countries agreed to provide resources to poorer countries and come up with a Covid Solidarity Response Fund. ♦ The leaders urged to boost funding for a vaccine for coronavirus. ♦ So far, the coronavirus has infected close to 5,00,000 people across countries and claimed more than 22,000 lives. G20 Summit: G20 was founded in 1999. It is a group of 20 countries. The members of the group include Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US, and EU. The aim of the group is to promote international financial stability. The 2019 summit was held in the Osaka summit. 

    Saudi Arabia proposed to convene virtual G20 Leaders Summit on 26 March

    9 days ago
    Saudi Arabia proposed to convene a virtual G20 Leaders' Summit on 26 March. Saudi Arabia is to advance a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications. Saud Arabia holds the chair. King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will chair Summit. Summit Participants: ♦ Leaders from countries namely Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland and several international organizations including United Nations (UN), World Bank Group (WBG), the World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Trade Organization (WTO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Financial Stability Board (FSB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will participate in the summit. ♦ Regional organizations will be represented by South Africa the Chair of the African Union (AU), Vietnam the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Arab Emirates the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Rwanda the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). G20: The G20 (Group of 20) is an international cooperation forum on financial and economic issues. It includes 19 of the world's largest economies and the European Union. It is a primary platform for global economic governance.

    UK Confirmed as 1st co-chair in India-Led Climate Change Initiative CDRI

    11 days ago
    The United Kingdom (UK) was confirmed as the first co-chair of the governing council of India-led global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).  Governing Council of CDRI is the highest policy-making body of the society. The council is co-chaired by India and a representative of another national government nominated by rotation every two years. The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, represented the UK at the first council meeting. The minister is President of the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). He held a meeting with Pramod Kumar Mishra, the Indian Prime Minister's Principal Secretary, over videoconference. The UK will host COP26 in Glasgow in November 2020. CDRI: The proposal to establish CDRI was initiated and approved by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 August 2019. The supporting secretariat was set up in New Delhi, India. The memorandum and regulations of the CDRI society was prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority. CDRI is a voluntary international grouping, linking governments, UN agencies, banks, private sector groups, and academia to develop the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks. CDRI aims to bring together the largest number of state heads to generate commitments to combat the effects of climate change and resulting disasters. India has announced Rs.480 crore to the CDRI for the next five years. It will help fund technical assistance and research projects, setting up offices and covering recurring expenditures under the initiative.

    Wings India 2020 began in Hyderabad

    22 days ago
    Wings India 2020, an International conference and exhibition on the Civil Aviation sector, has begun on 12 March in Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad, India. The conference will be held from 12-15 March 2020. Organizing Team: The biennial event is organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI) along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Highlights: ♦ Wings India 2020 aims to connect the Buyers, Sellers, Investors, and other stakeholders. ♦ The conference will provide a congenial forum catering to the rapidly changing dynamics of the sector. ♦ It highlights new business acquisition, investments, policy formation, and regional connectivity. ♦ The event focuses only on Civil Aviation Industry. ♦ The conference host an exhibition area of more than 5,000 sq.m. ♦ Over 150 exhibitors are participating in the event. ♦ It will witness the performance of Sarang, the helicopter aerobatics team of Indian Air Force (IAF), and the Global Stars team of British pilots on fixed-wing aircraft. ♦ It hosts conferences between various company heads and a CEO's forum. Participants: Over 1000 participants, including Airports agencies, Flight Operations/ Transportation Government, Flight/Simulator Training, Head of Department, among others, are participating in the event.

    Indo-Thai workshop on stellar variability and star formation was held at ARIES

    23 days ago
    Indo-Thai workshop on stellar variability & star formation was held at ARIES, Nainital, Uttarakhand. The one-day workshop was organized by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Department of Science and Technology (DST), that functions under the Ministry of Science & Technology.  Aim: The workshop aimed to strengthen the ongoing collaboration and expand the Indo-Thai cooperation from stellar sources to other areas of astronomy and astrophysics such as extra-galactic astronomy and instrumentation. Highlights: ♦ The workshop deliberated on various topics, including stellar variability, star formation, stellar abundance, transient events, and instrumentation. ♦ The workshop hosted 14 talks by the scientists and students of both the countries.  ♦ It highlighted the setting-up of the cooperation in the fields of Science and Technology by DST and the Ministry of Science & Technology in Thailand after the sanctioned of two joint bilateral programs for joint research in the area of Astronomy and Astrophysics. ♦ The workshop discussed the collaborations and joint ventures that help to exchange the knowledge of the investigators involved in the projects and gives the opportunity to train the young researchers. ♦ The importance of Indo-Thai collaboration in science and technology was strengthened. ♦ It also invited the astronomers from India and Thailand for cooperation in space science and instrumentation.  Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES): Established on: 20 April 1954 Location: Nainital, Uttarakhand ARIES is an autonomous body that functions under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science & Technology. The research institute specializes in Astrophysics, Astronomy, and Atmospheric Sciences. 

    CSW64 of UN adopted political declaration on womens rights

    24 days ago
    The UN's 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) was held on 9 March 2020 in New York, US. During the meeting, the United Nations adopted a stripped-down political declaration on women's rights. The declaration sought to preserve gains under threat but does not advocate new ways to ensure progress toward equality.  Highlights: ♦ CSW64 is the United Nations' largest gathering on gender equality and women's rights. ♦ It aims to build consensus and commitment to policy actions on this issue. ♦ The adopted declaration will be in line with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995, which sought to promote women's emancipation and advancement around the world. ♦ The declaration expressed the UN's concern that overall, progress has not been fast or deep enough, that in some areas progress has been uneven, and that major gaps remain. ♦ The session pledged to fight against human trafficking and modern slavery and other forms of exploitation. It also ensures just treatment and provide support services for all women victims of violence.

    Fourth International Diabetes Summit 2020 started in Pune by Chellaram Diabetes Institute

    27 days ago
    Fourth International Diabetes Summit 2020 inaugurated at JW Marriot Hotel Pune. Lt Gen Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar (Deputy Chief of Integrated Defense Staff under the Chief of Defense Staff) was the Chief Guest, and Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan (Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission, New Delhi) was the Guest of Honour. The three-day conference was started with Shree Ganesh Aarti and Lamp Lighting Ceremony. Dr. AG Unnikrishnan (Endocrinologist and CEO of Chellaram Diabetes Institute) Prakash Bhoopatkar (Trustee and Vice-Chairman of Chellaram Foundation and Group), Lt General Dr. Madhuri Kanetkar (Deputy Chief of Integrated Defense Staff under the Chief of Defense Staff), Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan (Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission, New Delhi), Vikram Chellaram (CEO of Mordril Properties), Dr. Brig A P Pandit (Chief Medical Director of Chellaram Diabetes Institute). International Diabetes Summit: The three-day International Diabetes Summit will be held from March 6 to 8, 2020, in Pune. In these three days, Over 2000 delegates are expected to attend this conference. Eminent international speakers and over 50 renowned faculty members from India are speaking at the summit. International Diabetes Summit will help to throw new light on diabetes management. The fourth International Diabetes Summit 2020 renowned international doctors and researchers spoke on advances and advancements in the field of diabetes. Insulin gives only 20 percent effective for diabetes patients the rest is given by patient education and not only by treatment. Chellaram Diabetes Institute (CDI): The Chellaram Diabetes Institute (CDI), well known for its commitment towards the fight against Diabetes organized International Diabetes Summits for three consecutive years with huge success.

    Jitendra Singh inaugurated a workshop on International Womens Day

    28 days ago
    Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Dr. Jitendra Singh, inaugurated a workshop on International Women's Day on 6 March.  Highlights: ♦ During the workshop, it was announced that New Vistas are opening up for Women under Shri Narendra Modi Government, which has a special preference and sensitivity for women folk in India. ♦ The workshop was announced by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). ♦ It aims to create reforms pertaining to women. ♦ They now seek opportunities and excel in administrative jobs and even in forces and defence.

    CCI organized the 5th National Conference on Economics of Competition Law

    28 days ago
    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) organized the Fifth National Conference on Economics of Competition Law at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 6 March 2020.  Highlights: ♦ The Conference included two technical sessions where researchers presented papers on economic issues in competition enforcement and competition issues in digital markets ♦ A Plenary session on 'Competition for the Market' was chaired by Chairperson, CCI, and a Special Session on Economics of Contemporary Antitrust Issues. ♦ It highlighted the importance of market studies for facilitating an evidence-based approach to antitrust policy. ♦ The Conference discussed allowing various strategic market interactions in oligopolistic markets, which will help harness innovation for consumer welfare.

    GAF-2020 festival to be held in Kochi

    28 days ago
    The Fourth Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF) will be held at Kochi in Kerala from 16-20 May. A curtain raiser event was organized in New Delhi for the GAF on 5 March. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the summit. Theme: The theme for the five-day event is "Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India's credibility."  Agenda: ♦ GAF is expected to be the largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world. The festival will witness the largest gathering of experts, stakeholders, and business explorers from the field of Ayurveda. ♦ Ministry of AYUSH is to hold the first International AYUSH Investment Summit in New Delhi in 2020.  ♦ More than 500 stalls will be showcased at the festival.  ♦ Ethnic food carnivals, exhibitions of rich medicinal plants, and workshops on Panchkarma will be the key highlights of GAF 2020.  ♦ The festival will witness the exhibition of Ayurveda Tourist Centres and Spas giving rejuvenation therapy and their potential curative aspects.  Participants: Over 5,000 international delegates and Ayurveda wellness providers from across the world will be participating in the festival.

    International Conference on Nano Science and Technology is being held in Kolkata

    29 days ago
    "International Conference on Nano Science and Technology" (ICONSAT) is being held from 5-7 March at Kolkata. It was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Nano Mission that functions under the Ministry of Science and Technology.  Conference Highlights: ♦ The conference aims to provide a potential platform for young researchers and students from within the country and abroad.  ♦ It will keep pace with the latest development in the emerging areas of Nano Science and Technology.  ♦ The conference will host an industrial session for the entrepreneurs and start-up companies for enhanced industry-academic interactions. ♦ The experts will discuss the broad areas under the topics Quantum Materials; Energy materials; Emerging materials for nanoscience and nanotechnology; Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics, Synthesis, Properties and Application of Nanomaterials; Theory and simulation of nanomaterials; Industrial nanomaterials; Nanotechnology for agriculture, biomaterials, tissue engineering, stem cell technology, etc. ♦ Scientists of the high caliber of international repute will cover topics in the recent advancement in modern nanoscience and nanotechnology. ICONSAT: The series of biennial international conferences "ICONSAT" has been held in India. It is organized by DST Nano Mission. The event provides a global platform for eminent scientists to bring recent advances in the area of nanoscience and technology. ICONSAT was earlier hosted by premier national institutes like CeNS Bengaluru in 2018, IISER-Pune in 2016, INST Mohali in 2014, ARCI Hyderabad in 2012, IIT Bombay in 2010, IIT Madras in 2008, IIT Delhi in  2006 and SINP Kolkata in 2003. The conference for the year 2020 is organized by the S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata

    Pragyan Conclave 2020 commenced in New Delhi

    29 days ago
    Pragyan Conclave 2020 commenced on 4 March 2020 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi. It will be held on 4-5 March. The two-day Indian Army International Seminar is being organized by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS). Aim: The event aims to bring together a cross-domain national and international experts to deliberate on the complex subject of Changing Characteristics of Land Warfare and its Impact on the Military. Highlights: ♦ The seminar provides a platform for deliberations on emerging ideas that define the New Age Warfare, which is increasingly witnessing a change in its character and battlespace with the usage of new methods to pursue the ends.  ♦ The conclave emphasizes on the need for a comprehensive transformation of the Armed Forces by taking a wider view of the changing security dynamics. ♦ The experts deliberated on themes, namely "Evolving Warfare: An Insight into the Changing Realm," "the Technological Revolution - A Seminal Challenge," "Transformation in the Battle Spaces," and "Hybrid/Sub-Conventional Warfare." ♦ In the event, the Chief of the Army Staff felicitated the winners of the "Field Marshal Manekshaw Open Essay Competition on National Security", a flagship event of CLAWS to encourage strategic thinking in the youth of the country. Participants: The 2-day-conclave was attended by Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM), Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Chief of the Army Staff, General MM Naravane, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, Lieutenant General SK Saini, officials from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), three Services, Central Armed Police Forces and leading Think Tanks & Academic Institutions of the country.

    India Pharma 2020 and India Medical Device 2020 Conference to be held in Gujarat

    30 days ago
    India Pharma 2020 & India Medical Device 2020 Conference & Exhibition has been scheduled to be held at Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat from 5-7 March 2020. The conference will be inaugurated by the Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister Shri Sadananda Gowda. The fifth edition is organized for the first time in Gujarat. Organizing Team: The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) that functions under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is organizing the conference. Aim: The conference aims to encourage innovations to further reduce the cost of quality healthcare for all. It provides a platform to the global investment community to connect with stakeholders in Medical Device Sector in India, Central, and State Governments, leading business leaders and top executives from the industry, academics, and experts from the world. Theme: The theme of the conference is "India Pharma: Meeting Challenges of Affordable and Quality Healthcare and India Medical Device: Promoting Affordable responsible and Quality Medical Device for Universal Health Care". About the Conference: ♦ The event will promote consumer-centric manufacturing by involving Medical Electronics, Devices, Health Diagnostics, Hospitals, and Surgical Equipments, etc.  ♦ It will deliberate the technology demonstration towards constituting an ecosystem for empowering our Electronics Technology development and manufacturing base. ♦ The event will witness an exhibition on Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices. Participants: Over 5,000 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals will attend the 3-day Conference. More than 200 Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices companies are expected to participate in the Exhibition. 

    The 14th Meeting of JWG on Counter-Terrorism

    34 days ago
    The 14th Meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter-Terrorism on 28 February in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Mr. Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary for Counter-Terrorism, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the French delegation was led by Mr. David Bertolotti, Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Highlights: ♦ India and France agreed to deepen their counterterrorism cooperation in the meeting.  ♦ Both the countries stressed the need to deny safe havens and sources of funding to terrorists. ♦ The Ministers exchanged views on the challenges faced because of counter-terrorism including combating the financing of terrorism, countering radicalization, preventing the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, threats posed by internationally designated terrorist entities and cross-border terrorism in South Asian region.  ♦ The next meeting of the JWG on Counter-Terrorism will be held in France in 2021 on a mutually convenient date.  

    The 11th National KVK Conference 2020 was held in Delhi

    34 days ago
    The Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurating the 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference 2020 on 28 February in New Delhi.  Highlights: ♦ The conference directed KVKs to serve not only the affluent, resourceful and Progressive farmers but also focus on the small and deprived farmers.  ♦ KVKs have a great responsibility by taking the fruition of the laboratories to the field. ♦ The experts discussed the R&D that has been done in the Agriculture sector ♦ KVKs have released superior crop varieties, 171 mobile apps developed for farmers and more than three lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) opened. The conference was in line to fulfill the target set by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi of doubling farmers' income by 2022. ♦ Single window service has been recommended to meet the farmers' various needs. Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK): The first KVK was established in the year 1974 in the Union Territory of Puducherry. KVKs are agricultural extension centres that are created by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). It aims to provide various types of farm support to the agricultural sector at the district level. It implements the On-farm testing to assess the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.

    CAPS-HQ MC Joint Seminar on Challenges of the Evolving Threats Facing India held in New Delhi

    35 days ago
    A Joint Seminar on the theme "Challenges Of The Evolving Threats Facing India" was held at Air Force Station Tughlakabad, New Delhi. It was organized by the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) and Maintenance Command, Indian Air Force (MC, IAF) on 25 February. The event was inaugurated by Air Marshal Shashiker Choudhary AVSM VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, MC IAF. Highlights: ♦ The seminar hosted three sessions.  ♦ The first session focussed on 'Politico-Military Environment with respect to India-China Relations post-Wuhan and Mahabalipuram' and 'India–Pakistan Relations post-Balakot and Abrogation of Article-370'.  ♦ The second session covered on ‘New Challenges with respect to Trajectory of China’s Nuclear Weapons Programme & Safeguarding India’s Critical Information Infrastructure,' which was chaired by Dr. Shalini Chawla, Distinguished fellow, CAPS.  ♦ The third session was titled 'Capability building at Base Repair Depots and Equipment Depots of the IAF.' Participants: Delegations including Air Marshal KK Nohwar PVSM VM (Retd), Director General, CAPS; Dr. Shalini Chawla, Distinguished fellow, CAPS; Air Vice Marshal VC Wankhade AOES MC, IAF participated in the seminar. Also, Officers from Units under Maintenance Command IAF and Distinguished Senior Research Fellows from CAPS participated in the seminar. 

    India to conduct Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020 summit

    36 days ago
    The Government of India (GoI) has announced that it is to organize the mega event "Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020" (RAISE 2020). It will be India's first Artificial Intelligence (AI) summit. The event will be held from 11-12 April in New Delhi.  Organizing Team: RAISE 2020 will be organized by the Government in partnership with Industry & Academia.  RAISE 2020: ♦ The summit aims to exchange ideas and charter a course to use AI for social empowerment, inclusion, and transformation in key areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Mobility amongst other sectors of great minds. ♦ The meeting will leverage responsible AI practices for enabling the masses.  ♦ It aims to utilize the power of AI to responsibly transform the social landscape for a better tomorrow.  ♦ RAISE 2020 focuses on facilitating an exchange of ideas to further create mass awareness about the need to ethically develop and practice AI in the digital era. ♦ The summit is expected to witness robust participation from global industry leaders, key opinion makers, Government representatives, and academia.

    ICoSDiTAUS 2020 concluded in New Delhi

    36 days ago
    An International Conference on Standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha Systems of Medicine (ICoSDiTAUS-2020) was concluded in New Delhi. The conference was held from 25-26 February 2020.  ICoSDiTAUS-2020: ♦ ICoSDiTAUS-2020 is the biggest ever international event dedicated to the standardization of Diagnosis and Terminologies of Traditional Medicine in terms of the broad level of participation covering virtually all the continents. ♦ The conference highlighted the power of TM systems and their significance to address the public health challenges of the 21st century. ♦ The two-day conference adopted the "New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data". ♦ The encounters occur during the Counting and classification of traditional medicine were discussed.  ♦ The experts discussed adapting ICD to TM Systems and their implementation. ♦ Relevance and regulation of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems were discussed. ♦ The conference took ahead of the objective of expanding the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) into the realm of Traditional Medicine systems at a conceptual level. ♦ The New Delhi declaration emphasized the commitment of the countries to Traditional Medicine as a significant area of health care. Participants: Delegations from over 16 countries namely Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Serbia, Curacao, Cuba, Myanmar, Equatorial Guinea, Qatar, Ghana, Bhutan, Uzbekistan, India, Switzerland, Iran, Jamaica, and Japan participated in the conference.

    Joint Ministerial Commission was held between India and Australia

    37 days ago
    The 16th Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) was held between India and Australia in New Delhi on 24 February 2020. The Session was co-chaired by Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal, Government of India and Senator Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Government of Australia. Highlights: ♦ The countries acknowledged the considerable growth in the India-Australia economic relationship in strategic, trade and people-to-people links since the last JMC in June 2018. ♦ They agreed to elevate the bilateral economic relationship between the countries.  ♦ Both sides agreed to revive the negotiations on the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).  ♦ They considered the issue of harmonizing standards and regulatory barriers for products of interest to both sides. ♦ They discussed the important role of the private sector in building the bilateral economic relationship.  ♦ India sought an early resolution on the issue of taxing of off-shore income of Indian firms through the use of India-Australia Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and sought early resolution of the issue.  ♦ The countries agreed to work on market access issues in both directions to increase trade and on mutual recognition of educational qualifications ♦ The agreed to continue collaboration to encourage increased direct flights between Australia and India. Participants: From Indian side officials from Departments of Commerce, Revenue, Agriculture, Fisheries, Department of Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Ministry of External Affairs and from Australia side, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade, Export Finance Australia and Australian High Commission participated in the meeting.

    NITI Aayog organized SDG Conclave 2020 in Assam

    39 days ago
    NITI Aayog's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern States began at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati, Assam on 24 February. The conclave aims to foster partnerships at the sub-national level. The conference will be held from 24-26 February 2020. Organizing Team: The conclave is organized by GoI's policy think tank NITI Aayog in association with North Eastern Council, Assam government, Tata Trusts, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). Events: ♦ The conclave includes several sessions that pertain to SDG localization in the northeast, climate adaptive agriculture, economic prosperity, and sustainable livelihoods, health, and nutrition, education and skill development, and entrepreneurship, infrastructure development & inequality and exclusion. ♦ The sessions will discuss methods for progress on the way forward for the region in the aforesaid areas. ♦ NITI Aayog will review the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national levels. Participant: Delegates including NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, DoNER minister Jitendra Singh, Renata Lok-Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator, India, and  Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura are participating in the conclave.

    International conference on EMMDA at NCMRWF, Noida

    39 days ago
    An international conference on "Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation (EMMDA)" began on 24 February 2020 at NCMRWF, Noida, India. The conference will be held from 24-26 February. It was inaugurated by Dr.Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, Earth Sciences. Organizing Team: The three-day conference is organized by the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) that functions under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, GoI. Conference Highlights: ♦ The conference is aimed to provide a platform for discussions and deliberations on the present status, future prospects and optimum use of 'Ensemble Prediction System' (EPS). ♦ The major themes of the conference are ensemble methods in Data Assimilation, Global Weather Prediction, Monthly and Seasonal Forecasting, Convection Permitting Ensemble Prediction Systems, Verification of Ensemble weather forecasts, Applications of Ensemble weather forecasts. ♦ Discussions in the include techniques used in Data Assimilation, Ensemble Methods, and use of Probabilistic Forecasts for developing new applications from Ensemble Products  Ensemble Prediction System (EPS): Remarkable success has been achieved to improve forecast skills. In order to quantify the forecast uncertainty, EPS was developed. It provides probabilistic forecasting of weather. The high-resolution forecast from regional and global EPS will provide more accurate probabilistic forecasts of extreme weather events. It will help planners and administrators in taking timely actions. In India, there are two global EPS that have the highest resolution in the world and also a regional EPS of horizontal resolution 4km which covers the Indian region.

    Vice President inaugurated 2nd Edition of Exhibition and Conference on Agri-technology and Innovation

    41 days ago
    Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 2nd Edition of Exhibition and Conference on Agri-technology & Innovation at Prof. Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University in Hyderabad on 22 February 2020.  Highlights: ♦ The scientist and researchers were urged to come up with new innovations and ideas to find solutions to the challenges faced by the Indian farmers. ♦ The agriculture universities were directed to focus on developing new varieties including the pest resistant and climate-smart variants, apart from enhancing the productivity levels. Collective efforts were focused to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, that a country like India should not depend on imported food security. ♦ It emphasized the need for post-harvest management and providing support to the farmers.  ♦ The conference highlighted e-NAM should be expanded to all regions in every state.

    International Judicial Conference was held in New Delhi

    41 days ago
    International Judicial Conference was held in New Delhi on 22 February. The conference was addressed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.  Highlights: ♦ The topic of the one-day conference is "Judiciary and The Changing World”. Also, the theme of 'Gender Just World' was introduced at the conference. ♦ They discussed the changes made by GoI to bring gender equality including recruitment of women in military service, changes in the selection process of fighter pilots, and the freedom to work at night in the mines. ♦ The need for technology to deliver speedy justice was emphasized. The government has made an effort to connect every court of the country to the e-court Integrated Mission Mode Project.  ♦ So far, 1500 obsolete laws have been abolished in the country. Also, many new laws to strengthen the society have been enacted. Centre has established National Judicial Data Grid, in order to make court procedures easier.  ♦ The synergy of artificial intelligence (AI) and human conscience is expected to give further impetus to judicial processes in India. Participants: Distinguished Judges of the Supreme Court and various High Courts, Eminent lawyers and delegates from overseas also took part in the Conference.

    NITI Aayog to organize SDG Conclave 2020 in Assam

    43 days ago
    Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern States has been scheduled to be held from 24-26 February at Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati, Assam. The conclave will be a part of NITI Aayog's continuous efforts towards fostering partnerships at the sub-national level. Organizing Team: The conclave will be organized by NITI Aayog in association with North Eastern Council, Assam government, Tata Trusts, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). Events: ♦ The conclave will host technical sessions that pertain to SDG localization in the northeast, climate adaptive agriculture, economic prosperity, and sustainable livelihoods, health, and nutrition, education and skill development and entrepreneurship, infrastructure development & inequality and exclusion. ♦ The sessions are expected to take stock of progress and discuss and deliberate on the way forward for the region in the aforesaid areas. ♦ NITI Aayog will review the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national levels. Participant: Delegates including NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, DoNER minister Jitendra Singh, Renata Lok-Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator, India, and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura will participate in the conclave.

    Sanjay Agarwal inaugurated 4th National Conference on Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in Udaipur

    45 days ago
    Secretary of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (FW) Sanjay Agarwal inaugurated the 4th National Conference on Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in Udaipur, Rajasthan on 17 February. The conference was held from 17-18 February.  Highlights: ♦ The conference was aimed to create awareness at the grassroots about the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. ♦ Discussions were held to ensure effective consultation amongst all the stakeholders, namely the State Governments, the Banking sector, and the Insurance sector, for the smooth implementation of the scheme that benefits farmers. ♦ The conference highlighted the need to understand the direction that the scheme forays into and individual roles thereof and to cross-learn from other institutions to resolve all the issues. ♦ It directed the need of the Insurance companies to address grievances raised by the farmers on social media within a stipulated timeframe. Participants: Delegations including Shri Malay Kumar Poddar, CMD, Agricultural Insurance Company of India Limited, Dr. Om Prakash, Commissioner, Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan and Ms. Priya Kumar, Head Agri-Business, HDFC ERGO Ltd. participated in the conference. More than 140 members representing different states, banks, insurance companies, RBI, NABARD, among others participated in the two-day national conference Note: The first three editions of the National Conference was in Lucknow, Bangalore, and Guwahati respectively. It was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

    Bio Asia 2020 is being held in Hyderabad

    45 days ago
    The 17th edition of Bio Asia 2020 is being held in Hyderabad, Telangana. It is considered as Asia's largest Biotechnology and Life Sciences Forum. The forum is being held from 17-19 February 2020.  Organizing Team: BioAsia 2020 is organized by the Government of India in partnership with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of MSME; Department of Biotechnology, Department of Pharmaceuticals and its state partners including Assam, Kerala, Odisha, and Gujarat. Theme: The theme of the BioAsia forum is "Today For Tomorrow". The theme focuses on innovation in the past years. The countries aimed to bring the life sciences together and drive significant developments in the life sciences industry globally. Highlights: ♦ It provides a platform to discuss new opportunities and developing strategies to succeed. ♦ It showcased the infrastructure of the state to the global leaders who get the first-hand experience of the ecosystem which helps them in their decision on investments. ♦ The exhibition will feature an Incubator Pavilion with about 15 incubators focused on life sciences and healthcare. ♦ About 175 exhibitors featured Start-up Stage. About 75 start-ups from India, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK were shortlisted to show the innovativeness of the product or solution, development stage, and market readiness. The top 5 start-ups will be awarded at the end of the event.  Switzerland as a partner: Switzerland holds a global reputation in an extremely specialized production location for innovative life science products. Switzerland became a partner for its strong academics in applied sciences and financially sound and research-based pharmaceutical companies. Participant: Over 2,000 delegates from 37 countries are participating in the annual flagship event in the presence of most eminent personalities and industry stalwarts from life sciences sectors across the globe.

    Srinagar to host 2020 Global Investors Summit

    46 days ago
    Srinagar is to host a three-day Global Investors' Summit 2020 for the first time. The objective of the summit is to invite investments to the newly formed Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir. Aim: The aim of the Global Investors' Summit is to exhibit investment opportunities that are available in the Jammu & Kashmir in different sectors including horticulture & post-harvest management, tourism, film tourism,  Mulberry production for silk, Agro and Food Processing, Health & Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, IT/ ITes, Renewable Energy, Infrastructure and Real Estate, Handloom and education. Pre-Summit Investors' Meet: A Pre-Summit Investors' Meet and curtain-raiser were held on 20 January in New Delhi as a precursor to the mega event. The event showcased 14 focus sectors that are available for investment opportunities to boost manufacturing and employment generation in the region. Over 350 delegates from various sectors and leading organizations participated in the event where more than 45 Business to Government (B2G) meetings took place. The event was organized by J&K Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO). It is the nodal agency that functions under the Industries and Commerce department Government of J&K.

    Nitin Gadkari to represent India at the 3rd High-Level Global Conference on Road Safety

    46 days ago
    Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari is representing India at the 3rd High-Level Global Conference on Road Safety for Achieving Global Goals 2030 in Stockholm, Sweden. Organizing team: The conference is organized in active collaboration with the World Bank, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other agencies who aims to strengthen the capabilities of various institutions. Aim: The aim of the conference is to bring road safety on the global agenda and renew the world community's commitment to safer roads.  Highlights: ♦ Leaders from participating countries will prepare ways to reach the United Nations' goal set under the UN Decade of Action of reducing road crashes by 2030. ♦ The conference highlights the sharing of the expertise by the nations which have gained experience in road safety management with those who are behind in the learning curve.  ♦ The developing countries are focusing on certain specific issues and challenges facing them on account of a significant number of their motorized vehicles consisting of two-wheelers.  Background: The conference is a follow up of the 2nd High-Level Global Conference on "Traffic Safety-Time of Results" in 2015 in Brazil. Gadkari signed the Brasilia Declaration on behalf of India at the 2nd High-Level Global in 2015. The declaration committed the world community to reduce the number of deaths in road accidents.

    PM Modi inaugurated COP-13 on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

    46 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) at Gandhinagar on 17 February. The 13th edition is being hosted in India. The conference will be held from 17-22 February 2020. Theme: The theme of COP-13 CMS is "Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home". The CMS COP 13 logo was inspired by Kolam, a traditional art form from southern India. The Kolam art form in the logo is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale, and marine turtles. COP-13: ♦ The conference will include the Stakeholder Dialogue, High-Level Segment Meeting, and the Champion Night Award Ceremony.  ♦ Other side events and Working Group meetings will also be held. ♦ Several international and national organizations will showcase the best practices in wildlife conservation in the exhibition area. ♦ As India is hosting the event, India shall be designated as the Presidency during the intersessional period following the meeting. Participants: Representatives from over 130 countries, conservationists and international NGOs working in the field of wildlife conservation are participating in the conference. India CMS: Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). India has been a signatory to the Convention on CMS since 1983. GoI has been taking the necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species. So far, Seven species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for the preparation of the Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.

    All India Conference of CAT was held in New Delhi

    47 days ago
    The annual All India Conference of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was held in New Delhi on 16 February 2020. The Conference was presided over by the Union Minister for Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad. Highlights: ♦ The jurists and experts deliberated on key issues related to the functioning of the Tribunal and priorities for 2020. ♦ The conference had two technical sessions that discussed issues related to the work of CAT, including structural and institutional issues, the functioning of administrative tribunals in other legal systems and methodology for the functioning of the tribunal. ♦ They discussed methods and measures to improve the quality of adjudication and rate of disposal, service condition of members and infrastructural aspect of the Tribunal's Benches. ♦ The conference aimed to bring a significant improvement in the disposal of cases despite the shortage of members in the Tribunal.  ♦ The importance of laying down judgments on service jurisprudence with greater clarity towards greater transparency in the governance was highlighted.  ♦ The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the functioning of the Tribunal was highlighted. Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT): CAT was established in 1985 under Article 323-A of the Constitution. CAT has 17 Benches and 21 Circuit Benches. It is headed by Chairman Sh. Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, former Chief Justice of High Court of Patna. CAT has been an essential organ of the government towards the achievement of a complaints-free delivery system in the past years. CAT has made significant changes in the Prevention of Corruption Act and other service matters.  Participants: Judicial and Administrative Members from all 17 Benches of CAT, members of the CAT Bar Association and eminent Jurists from across the country participated in the conference.

    National Conference on Policy Framework for Skilling of Women and Children was held in New Delhi

    49 days ago
    National Conference on Policy Framework for Skilling of Women and Children was held on 14 February in New Delhi. The Ministries of Women & Child Development (WCD) partnered with Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to enable and empower the women and youth of India with skilling in every segment where India is competent to make a mark. The announcement was made by the Union Minister of WCD and Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.  Highlights: ♦ India's demographic dividend gives an opportunity for India to be the skill capital of the world.  ♦ Discussion on India's advantage in human capital the Skill India Mission to enable jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in sync with the aspirations and abilities of India's youth was held. ♦ The conference will discuss issues like strengthening skill and entrepreneurship landscape for women, promoting skills in traditional and non-traditional sectors, creating a secure environment for breaking the glass ceiling and promoting entrepreneurship for children from CCIs, women and special individuals. Participants: The conference was attended by officials of the Ministries of WCD, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of WCD from the States, industrial organizations, corporate houses, and institutions.

    Ministry of Steel to organize a workshop to foster steel usage in Railways

    49 days ago
    Ministry of Steel along with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is to organize a workshop on 17 February 2020 in New Delhi. The workshop will focus on fostering steel usage in the Railways and Defence sectors.  Aim: The aim of the workshop is to provide an in-depth discussion with the Railways and Defence sector to identify gaps and opportunities available in the supply of Steel and Steel Products.   The Workshop will focus on the following points: ♦ Present & Future requirement of Steel and Steel Products across Railways, Army, Navy and Air Force. ♦ Long term perspective plan of the user sectors with special reference to the requirement of steel. ♦ Challenges faced in procuring steel domestically. ♦ Quantity of steel being imported by Railways and Defence currently and reason for imports. ♦ Capabilities of Indian iron and steel industry in meeting the present demand, future expansion plans, manufacturing and R&D capabilities for developing new products.

    Amit Shah inaugurated BIMSTEC Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking

    50 days ago
    The Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah inaugurated the two-day Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) 'Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking' in New Delhi 13 February. The conference was organized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). He also released the administrative and operational manuals of NCB on the occasion. Highlights: ♦ The conference highlighted the need for all nations to join hands in fighting Drug Trafficking. ♦ The conference provided a platform to devise coordinated strategies in ending the evil from its roots. India's effort to combat drug trafficking: ♦ Government of India has laid out a strategy to increase coordination among the agencies of the Centre, States and has established a joint coordination committee to increase surveillance over drug trafficking. ♦ The Home Ministry has started an e-portal for the digitalization of drug data that may be utilized by various drug enforcement agencies.  ♦ Over 1.89 lakh Narcotics cases have been registered in India in the past 5 years. Over 2.31 lakh drug smugglers have been arrested by the agencies including over 1500 foreign nationals.

    The 43rd session of IFAD was held at Rome

    50 days ago
    The 43rd session of the governing council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was held in Rome from 11-12 February 2020. IFAD of the United Nations (UN) aims to address hunger and poverty in developing countries. The council meet announced that with the current progress the UN's Sustainable Development Goals 2030 can not be achieved. Theme: The theme of the session is "Investing in sustainable food systems to end hunger by 2030". It highlights the role and experience of IFAD in supporting sustainable, inclusive, nutritious and efficient food systems.  IFAD: IFAD was established in 1974 at the World Food Conference. It is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome. It aims to empower the rural people to increase their food security, improve the nutrition of their families and increase their incomes. The organization exclusively focused on transforming agriculture, rural economies, and food systems.

    India Action Plan 2020 Summit is being held in Delhi

    50 days ago
    India Action Plan 2020 Summit was held on 12 February in Delhi. The summit was organized by TV Channel Times Now, India's premium broadcast network. The keynote was delivered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Aim: The aim of the TIMES NOW Summit is to accelerate the 'New India' vision by taking a holistic approach in defining a constructive action plan for India.  Highlights: ♦ The two-day summit will have more than 25 sessions including topics such as social and economic progress, welfare, education, urban-rural divide, defence, sports, highlight need-gaps, identify solutions and set up the action plan for next year.    ♦ Leaders and policymakers will drive dialogues on topics such as India's data security challenges, Vision of New India, Delhi election results, environmental & climate challenges, women empowerment, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) & National Register of Citizens (NRC), state's view on national policy, economy, etc. TIMES NOW: Launched on: 23 January 2006 Owned by: The Times Group Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra Language: English TIMES NOW has been ranked India's No.1 English News channel in the past decade. It stands for credibility and an unbiased approach in bringing news and reportage to the viewers. The channel engages with viewers in 100 countries across the globe.

    The 20th International Seminar on Comprehends the Evolving Contours of Terrorism is held in Haryana

    51 days ago
    The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the 20th International Seminar on "Comprehends the Evolving Contours of  Terrorism & IED Threat-Way ahead for the Security Community". The seminar was organized by the National Security Guard (NSG), at Manesar, Haryana 12 February 2020. It will be held on 12-13 February. Aim: The seminar urged the need of the global community to come together against terrorism across the world that faces the menace, suffering both economic and social losses. Highlights: ♦ The seminar highlighted measures to resolve and reaffirmed commitment to the policy of "Zero tolerance towards Terrorism". ♦ Discussion to quip for the next generation warfare, latest technology, and advanced weaponry as the terror modules are also evolving to survive through collaborations and adapting to changing dynamics. ♦ It highlighted the importance of improving IED detection and prevention has gained significant importance for the security forces these days, we need strategy and develop capabilities to prevent such attacks. ♦ It will cover a wide spectrum of Counter-Terrorism and Counter-IED issues in panel discussions.  Participants: Delegates from various countries and senior Police and security officers from various states and other stakeholders are participating in the Conference. 

    Amit Shah to inaugurate Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking

    51 days ago
    Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah will be inaugurating the two-day 'Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking' for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Partner Nations, in New Delhi on 13 February.  The conference is in pursuance of the commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 4th BIMSTEC summit held at Kathmandu in 2018. The conference is organized by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The platform will provide the opportunity to all the member nations to deliberate on the increased threats posed by drug trafficking and the collective steps that are required to negate the threats by learning from the best practices adopted by member countries. 

    National Water Conference was held in Madhya Pradesh

    52 days ago
    National Water Conference was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Well-known water experts in the country have expressed concern over the growing water crisis. The Conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Highlights: ♦ The inaugural session was addressed by the State Water Resources Minister Sukhdev Panse and Rajendra Singh, known as Jal Purush. ♦ The experts discussed that water conservation technological development should be included with traditional means to solve the growing water crisis.  ♦ They discussed the importance and revival of traditional water sources, the right to water, river rejuvenation campaign in Madhya Pradesh. ♦ Discussions are aimed at amalgamating new technologies that could solve future problems.

    India to host COP-13 of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

    52 days ago
    India is hosting the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). The conference will be held during 17-22 February 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The announcement was made by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. Theme: The theme of CMS COP13 is "Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home". The CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by 'Kolam', a traditional art form from southern India. The Kolam art form in the logo is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale, and marine turtles. COP-13: ♦ Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference on 17 February 2020. ♦ The meetings will include the Stakeholder Dialogue, High-Level Segment Meeting, and the Champion Night Award Ceremony.  ♦ Side Events and Working Group meetings will be held. ♦ Many national and international organizations will showcase best practices in wildlife conservation in the exhibition area. ♦ As India is hosting the event, India shall be designated as the Presidency during the intersessional period following the meeting. Participants: Representatives from over 130 countries, conservationists and international NGOs working in the field of wildlife conservation will be attending the COP. India CMS: Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is an environmental treaty under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). India is a signatory to the Convention on CMS since 1983. GoI has been taking the necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species. So far, Seven species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for the preparation of the Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.

    African Union summit was held in Addis Ababa

    53 days ago
    The African Union (AU) summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Heads of state and government officials from across Africa gathered in the summit.  Theme: The theme of the summit is "Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa's development".  Highlights: ♦ The focus of the summit was to end regional violence, including the conflicts in South Sudan and Libya. ♦ The summit highlighted three challenges namely eradicating poverty, tackling the climate crisis and silencing guns in Africa. ♦ AU announced that it is to host two summits in May on conflict resolution and on implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. ♦ The Democratic Republic of the Congo will replace South Africa as AU chair in 2021.

    National Conference on e-Governance concluded in Mumbai

    53 days ago
    The 23rd National Conference on e-Governance was held in Mumbai from 7-8 February 2020. The conference was held under the theme "India 2020: Digital Transformation". Organizing Team: The conference was organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology along with the Department of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra. Highlights: ♦ The conference included discussion on the rich deliberations on issues, opportunities, and challenges in transforming governance using digital technologies.  ♦ e-Governance is the key to the future of India's developmental journey in the 21st century. ♦ Mumbai Declaration on e-Governance was unanimously adopted at the conference. ♦ The National e-Governance Awards 2020 were presented.  ♦ Under the category of Excellence, the National Health Authority of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received Gold for Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. It allowed the government to process re-engineering for Digital Transformation. ♦ Antyodaya Saral of Department of IT, Haryana was awarded Gold for Excellence in providing citizen-centric delivery.  ♦ IIT Roorkee's Satellite-Based Agriculture Information System: An Efficient Application of ICT received the Gold Award for Outstanding Research on Citizen-Centric Services. Participants: Several officials from the Central government and state governments, including IT secretaries and IT Directors and delegations from the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Department of Information Technology of Maharashtra State government participated in the conference.

    DGQA conducted a seminar DGQAs Role in MoD Schemes for Incentivizing Defence Manufacturing

    55 days ago
    Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) conducted a seminar to spread awareness about the various Schemes of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to facilitate the domestic defence industry on 7 February 2020. The seminar was conducted during the 11th edition of the biennial mega defence exhibition DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow.  DGQA's seminar: ♦ The theme for the seminar was "DGQA's Role in MoD Schemes for Incentivizing Defence Manufacturing".  ♦ It showcased the proactive role played by defence Ministry under the PM's vision of 'Make in India'. ♦ A Knowledge Book highlighting and showcasing following DGQA Schemes was launched by the Department of Defence Production. Other launches: ♦ Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti Scheme was launched. It aimed at inculcating IP culture in the Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem. ♦ Self-Certification & Green Channel was launched with an aim to qualify the Indian firms is expected to cut down on inspection timelines and costs in foreseeable future. These schemes are meant to target mature products where the domestic defence industry has gained reasonable expertise in the technology deployed. ♦ Defence Export Promotion Scheme (DEPC) was launched during the seminar with an aim to provide an opportunity for indigenous manufacturers to market their products globally and to enhance annual defence exports to 35000 crores by the year 2025. ♦ Third-Party Inspection Scheme was launched. Under this Scheme Third Party Inspection (TPI) agencies will undertake Quality Assurance functions for defence stores manufactured by the private industry within India. ♦ Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) was launched with an aim to facilitate in setting up about 6 to 8 state of the art test facilities by providing a Grant in Aid of Rs.400 crore. Participants: The seminar was attended by delegations including Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik, Dr. Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, the Captains of Industry, senior government officials and delegates from industry associations and academia.

    India, African countries agreed to combat terrorism

    56 days ago
    India and several African countries have agreed to deepen cooperation to combat the growing threat of terrorism at first India- Africa Defence Ministers' conclave which was held during the Defexpo 2020. India- Africa Defence Ministers' conclave Highlights: ♦ The Ministers adopted a joint deceleration to preserve maritime security by sharing information, intelligence, and surveillance ♦ India agrred to provide a range of military hardware to African countries. ♦ The dialogue emphasized the need for stronger international partnerships to counter-terrorism and violent extremism. ♦ The Ministers agreed to strengthen the UN Counter-Terrorism mechanisms and ensured strict compliance with the UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions regime on terrorism. ♦ It urged the international community to envisage the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UNGA ♦ The Lucknow Declaration urged all countries to root out terrorism in all forms and manifestations, terrorist infrastructure, and eliminate financing channels and halting the cross-border movement of terrorists.  Participants: India- Africa Defence Ministers' conclave was attended by 12 Defence Ministers. Over 38 countries were represented at the conclave.

    NIDM organized Conference on Disability-Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

    57 days ago
    A one-day National Conference on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction: Pathways for Inclusion and Action for Resilience was held on 5 February in New Delhi. The conference was a run-up to the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) in May 2020.  Organized by: The conference was organized by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in collaboration with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE). Highlights: ♦ The conference brought together the stakeholders from Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and disability inclusion to deliberate on actions and strategies for mainstreaming disability-inclusion in the DRR process. ♦ It highlighted the need for the development of a holistic approach for disability-inclusion in DRR. ♦ NDRF emphasized on the need for training of the first responders of disaster management to achieve disability-inclusion. ♦ The conference prioritized the need for capacity building programs for mainstreaming disability inclusion at all levels. ♦ The conference had three technical sessions titled Disability inclusion in DRR: Need for a Holistic Approach, Mainstreaming Action in Local level Action, Participation of PwD's in Disaster Risk Reduction Process. Participants: Delegations including Smt. Shakuntala Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE), and Shri G.V.V Sarma, the  Member Secretary, NDMA, Shri Kamal Kishore, the  Member of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Shri S.N. Pradhan, Director General, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Senior officials and representatives from various departments of various states and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) participated the conference. 

    CJI inaugurated the 79th Foundation Day Celebrations and All India Members Conference of ITAT

    69 days ago
    The Chief Justice of India, Mr. Justice S.A. Bobde inaugurated the 79th Foundation Day Celebrations and All India Members' Conference of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) on 24 January in New Delhi. The conference was held from 24-25 January. Highlights: ♦ CJI stated that Tax Invasion is a Social Injustice to fellow citizens and arbitrary or excessive tax also results in injustice to taxpayers. ♦ They discussed introducing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) which can play a significant role in judicial functioning as it is very helpful in docket management and decision making.  ♦ The two-day event held several sessions of interaction in which eminent speakers will address and variety of subjects. Participants: The delegation included the President, ITAT, Mr. Justice P.P. Bhatt, the Solicitor General of India, Shri Tushar Mehta, the Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, Shri Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, the Vice President, ITAT, Delhi Zone, Justice P.P. Pannu, among others participated in the event. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT):  Established on: 25 January 1941 Headquarters: India President: Mr. Justice P. P. Bhatt It functions under the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice.

    International Summit on Women in STEM was held in New Delhi

    70 days ago
    An International Summit on Women in STEM - Visualizing the Future: New Skylines on 23-24 January 2020 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Organized by: The 2-day international summit was organized by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology.  Aim: The Summit was organized with an aim to boost the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields for the development of scientific careers.  Highlights: ♦ The summit provided a good platform for young students and researchers to interact and network with leaders in the field, to develop ideas and generate a future action plan for making a career in STEM fields. ♦ The summit held different sessions including mechanisms of leadership building, empowering women through networking, career opportunities and interactive exercises with scientists.  ♦ The summit showcased successes of women in STEM as real-world examples of successful women scientists, doctors, and engineers. They demonstrated the excitement of being in the STEM fields and the rewards associated with it. ♦ Discussions and interactive sessions were held between aspiring young, mid-career and senior scientists in the STEM field to hold them understand the future requirements of women's employment and career progression. ♦ Renowned women scientists in STEM from different countries, young and established women scientists, science communicators and entrepreneurs from India shared their views and ideas. ♦ Posters were presented by women scientists and students. Participants: Around 350 participants including scientists, socialists, entrepreneurs, researchers, teachers, and students, from different STEM fields across the globe, participated in the event.

    ECI organized 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture

    70 days ago
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) organized the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture on 23 January. The lecture was organized as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. The memorial lecture was hosted to mark the 70th year of inception. Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered the inaugural lecture on electoral processes of India and the challenges of the electoral systems. Sukumar Sen: Sukumar Sen was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. He served from 21 March 1950 to 19 December 1958. Sh Sukumar Sen commendably conducted the first two Lok Sabha elections of India held in 1952 and 1957 simultaneously with the Legislative Assembly Elections. The elections were based on a universal adult franchise under challenging circumstances.  Election Commission of India: Formed on: 25 January 1950 Chief Election Commissioner: Sh. Sunil Arora  Election Commissioner: Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Sh. Sushil Chandra ECI is responsible for administering election processes in India. ECI Secretariat is located in New Delhi. It conducts elections at national, state and district levels. It administers Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, state Legislative Assemblies, state legislative councils, and the offices of the President and Vice President elections in the country.

    National Conclave on Emerging Opportunities in Natural Gas sector held in New Delhi

    71 days ago
    The national conclave on Emerging Opportunities in the natural gas sector was held on 23 January in New Delhi. It was graced by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. The present share of gas in the energy basket of the country is 6.2% and the target is to take it to 15% by 2030.  In India, Gujarat has a 26% share of gas-based energy.  Highlights: ♦ The conclave focused on CBG which is a great initiative that has the potential to generate wealth from waste, provide employment, protect the environment, and give a boost to the economy. ♦ The States discussed to adopt qualification packs developed by Hydrocarbon Sector Council in their Vocational Training Institutes. ♦ The conclave witnessed an exhibition which was inaugurated by the Minister. It highlighted various developments and initiatives in the gas sector.

    ECI to host 10th Annual Meeting of FEMBoSA at New Delhi

    71 days ago
    Election Commission of India (ECI) is to host the 10th Annual Meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) and an International Conference on Strengthening Institutional Capacity.  Theme: The theme of the 10th annual meeting of the forum is Strengthening Institutional Capacity. Highlights: ♦ There will be three sessions during the Conference focusing on Election Management Bodies and international organizations. ♦ The meeting aims to Strengthen Institutional Capacity of EMBs in various countries.  ♦ The January 2020 issue of ECI's quarterly magazine Voice International will be released during the meeting. It will carry articles on the theme of Innovative Methods of Voter Registration.  ♦ The EBM representatives will share their experiences, best practices, and initiatives in the meeting. Participants: Representatives from the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) and International Organisations are expected to participate in the event. FEMBoSA: FEMBoSA was initiated at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries held at New Delhi from 30 April to 2 May 2012 through a unanimously adopted resolution on 1 May 2012 to establish the Forum. The Conference unanimously adopted the Charter of the Forum. The FEMBoSA meeting is held by rotation among the members every year. The 9th annual meeting of FEMBoSA was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September 2018. 

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