• Current Affairs , 11th OCTOBER 2019

    • January 9, 2020
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    1. Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches WHO IndiaCountry Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023


    • “The country is passing through a phase of not only transition, but also immense productive transformation in the health sector”. This was stated by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan as he launched ‘The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’, here today. The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.
    • The Health Minister stated that the four areas identified for strategic cooperation of WHO with the country encompass: to accelerate progress on UHC; to promote health and wellness by addressing determinants of health; toprotect the population better against health emergencies; and to enhance India’s global leadership in health. He added that under the vision and leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the country has seen phenomenal advances made in various aspects of the health sector.
    • Dr Harsh Vardhan stressed on the need for health to be made a people’s movement where the positive health attitude is inculcated in everyone, and everyone takes responsibility of their own health through preventive and promotive health approach. He mentioned about various social initiatives taken up such as Eat Right India movement, Fit India movement and Poshan Abhiyaan that have collectively engaged with the people and enhanced the awareness around these crucial health areas through people’s participation.
    • Harsh Vardhan added that besides the health priorities detailed in the strategy, focus needs to be given on other equally pertinent health areas of environmental and occupational health, accidents and road injuries, and good nutrition and food safety.Emphasizing the need of inter-ministerial collaboration for a healthy nation, Dr. Harsh Vardhan suggested that a mechanism needs to be institutionalized wherein every ministry has a health section/department, so that every policy factors in its health implications.
    • Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) stated that India is conscious of the challenges that still exist. Given this, the document needs to have flexibility in order to factor in the changing health scenario in the country. She added that the CCS builds upon the work that WHO has been carrying out in the last several years. “In addition, it identifies current and emerging health needs and challenges such as non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and air pollution. We are fully committed to this collaborative strategy”, she added.
    • Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India said “The implementation of this CCS will build on the remarkable successes in public health that India has demonstrated to the world. It’s a great opportunity to showcase India as a model to the world in initiatives such as digital health, access to quality medicines and medical products, comprehensive hepatitis control program and Ayushman Bharat. We are geared to step-up to leverage opportunities and address challenges to ensure maximum public health impact.”
    • The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities. It captures the work of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2018–2022.
    • The CCS outlines how WHO can support the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and other allied Ministries to drive impact at the country level. The strategy document builds on other key strategic policy documents including India’s National Health Policy 2017, the many pathbreaking initiatives India has introduced — from Ayushman Bharat to its National Viral Hepatitis programme and promotion of digital health amongst others.

    2. President of India to visit Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat


    • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat from October 9 to 13, 2019.
    • The President will leave for Maharashtra this evening (October 9, 2019) and present colour to the Army Aviation Corps in Nashik (October 10, 2019). He will also visit the School of Artillery, Deolali, Nashik on the same day.
    • The President will reach Karnataka on October 10, 2019 and attend the birth centenary celebrations of Maharaja Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar of Mysore.
    • On October 11, 2019, the President will lay the foundation stone for the campus of JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research at Varuna Village, Mysuru.
    • On October 12, 2019, the President will visit Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Sansthana in Bengaluru.
    • On October 13, 2019, the President will visit Shri Mahaveer Jain Aradhna Kendra in Koba, Gujarat.


    3. Cabinet approves MoUs signed between India and Foreign Broadcasters in the field of Radio and Television.


    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and Foreign Broadcasters in the field of Radio and Television.


    The MoUs with the Foreign Broadcasters will help:

    • Public broadcaster in exploring new visions;
    • New Strategies to address the demands of new technologies and stiff competition;
    • Media liberalization; and
    • Broadcasting of programmes to be obtained through mutual exchange, co-production will lead to equity and inclusiveness among viewer/listeners of DD and AIR. Exchanges of technical Know-how, expertise and training of manpower would help the public broadcaster to meet the emerging challenges in the field of broadcasting.



    4. Cabinet apprised of the Progress under NHM and Decisions of the EPC and MSG of NHM



    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) and Decisions of the Empowered Programme Committee and Mission Steering Group of the NHM.

    Key elements Salient features:

    • There has been acceleration in decline of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and the IMR since the launch of the NRHM/NHM. At the current rate of decline, India should able to reach its SDG target (MMR-70, U5MR-25) much before the due year i.e. 2030.
    • India was the biggest success story amongst Malaria endemic countries in the World, in bringing down the Malaria cases and deaths which have declined by 49.09% and 50.52% in 2013 respectively compared to 2017.
    • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has been significantly strengthened and intensified. A total of 1,180 CBNAAT machines across all districts have been installed which provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for TB including drug resistant TB. This has resulted in three-fold increased use of CBNAAT over the past year. Due to the intensified efforts, there is 16% jump in identification of new cases in one year. Universal drug sensitive cases also increased by 54%. Newer drug regimen of Bedaquiline and Delaminide and nutrition support to all the TB patients for the duration of the treatment has been rolled throughout the country.
    • In 2018-19, 52744 AB-HWCs were approved against which 17149 HWCs were operationalized against the target of 15000.A total of 1, 81,267 Health workers which included ASHAs, MPHWs, Staff Nurses and PHC-MOs were trained on NCDs during 2018-19. The states have initiated activities to operationalize the HWCs.
    • Amongst the new vaccines, Tetanus and adult Diphtheria (Td) vaccine replaced Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine under universal immunization programme in 2018 to ensure Diphtheria immunity among adults.
    • In 2018, Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination drive was conducted in 17 additional States, thereby covering 30.50 Crores children till March 2019.
    • During 2018-19, Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) was introduced in additional two States. Till today, all the States/UTs are covered with RVV.
    • During 2018-19, Pneumococcal Conjugated Vaccine (PCV) was expanded to MP, Haryana and the remaining districts of Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
    • The routine and recurring incentives of ASHAs got increased from 1000 per month to 2000 per month. ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were provided the cover of Pradhan Mantri Jevan Jyoti BeemaYojna (Premium of Rs. 330 contributed by Gol) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BeemaYojna (Premium of Rs.12 contributed by Gol).
    • Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Abhiyaan was launched under POSHAN Abhiyaan in April 2018.
    • The untied funds amount was increased from Rs, 20,000 to Rs 50,000 for sub health Centres transformed to HWCs.
    • Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) programme was introduced under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
    • The scheme for awarding States/UTs/Districts for achieving disease free status in TB/Leprosy/Malaria/Kala-Azar/Lymphatic-Filariasis/Cataract was approved. This will allow certification of the districts/ states as Disease Free ahead of the national certification and promote healthy competition among states and districts, similar to ODF districts and states.
    • National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was approved for prevention, management and treatment of Hepatitis to A, B, C and E and rollout was initiated. This would benefit an estimated 5 crore patients of Hepatitis.



    5. Cabinet approves relaxation of Aadhaar seeding of data of the beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan)

    • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the relaxation of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar Seeded data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme.
    • The scheme provides income support of Rs 6,000 per year to landholding families, subject to certain exclusions. The amount is released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT mode.
    • Under this scheme, after 1st August, 2019, release of 3rd Instalment onwards to those beneficiaries who got first instalment during December, 2018 – March, 2019 and 2nd instalment during April-July, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Similarly, after 1st August, 2019, release of 2nd instalment onwards to those who got 1st instalment during April-July, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Again, after 1st August, 2019, release of 1st instalment onwards to the rest of the beneficiaries after 1st August, 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Farmers in the States of Assam, Meghalaya and J&K, where there has not been enough Aadhaar penetration, have been exempted from this requirement till 31.3.2020.
    • However, it has not been possible to get 100% Aadhaar seeding for release of funds as per the prescribed time schedule before release of instalments after 1st August, 2019. Since the farmers are still gearing up for Rabi season, they are in dire need of money to take care of various farming activities like procurement of seeds, preparation of soil and other associated activities like irrigation, maintenance and mobilization of machinery and tools.
    • Over and above these pressing needs, the just started festive season will put further stress on the financial condition of the poor farmers’ households in the country. Non-seeding of beneficiaries’ details with Aadhaar number will delay the release of further instalments and will cause discontentment among the farmers.
    • Therefore, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits after 1st August, 2019 has been relaxed till 30th November, 2019. This will enable immediate release of benefits to a large number of farmers who are not able to avail the same due this requirement.
    • This mandatory requirement will remain applicable for release of benefits w.e.f. 1st December, 2019 onwards. The Government will take adequate measures to validate the data before payment is made.
    • The Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) provides income support to land-holding farmers’ families, subject to certain exclusions, by way of payment of Rs.6000/- per year. The amount is released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000 /- each directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through DBT mode. A total amount of more than Rs.27000 crores has already been released under the scheme through the 1st instalment to 6,76,76,073 beneficiaries, 2nd instalment to 5,14,27,195 beneficiaries and 3rd instalment to 1,74,20,230 beneficiaries.



    6. Cabinet approves 5% additional DA/DR due July, 2019



    • The Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today approved to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 01.07.2019 representing an increase of 5% over the existing rate of 12% of the Basic pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.  This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7thCentral Pay Commission.
    • This will benefit about 49.93 lakh Central Government employees and 65.26 lakh pensioners.
    • The additional financial implication on account of this increase in Dearness Allowance is estimated at Rs 8590.20 Crore per year; and Rs 5726.80 Crore in the current Financial Year of 2019-20 (for 8 months from July 2019 to February 2020).
    • The additional financial implication on account of the Dearness Relief to pensioners is estimated to be Rs 7319.15 Crore per annum and Rs 4870 Crore in the current FY.\ Dear Allowance/Dearness Relief is paid to Central Government employees/pensioners to adjust the cost of living and to protect their basic pay/pension from erosion in the real value. Dear Allowance/Dearness Relief is revised twice a year from 1stJanuary and 1st July.



    7. India International Cooperatives Trade Fair



    • The first ever ‘India International Cooperatives Trade Fair’(IICTF) is going to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 11thtill 13thOctober, 2019. As 94% of total farmers in India are members of at least one cooperative institution,IICTF is aimed at furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government’s vision and goal of doubling farmers’ income by promoting cooperative-to-cooperative trade within India & abroad and promoting exports of key agriculture commodities and products leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity.
    • IICTFalso offers a huge opportunity for the industry and business houses from India and abroad to build alliances, business networking, product sourcing and above all, interacting with the primary producers of a wide range of products and service providers.
    • The event has already garnered an overwhelming response both nationally and internationallyasmore than 120 Indian cooperatives and 20 organizations from Centre / State / UTs and as many as 35 countries from six continents having purchased exhibition booths for participating in IICTF.
    • International organisations from Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Columbia, Fiji, Germany, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Thailand, Tanzania, United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam will be showcasing the products.
    • In line with Government’s focus on programmes like Start-up India and Stand-up India aimed at young entrepreneurs with new and innovative ideas, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has formulated Yuva Sahakar ­Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme 2019 which will be launched at the opening ceremony of the fair on 11th October 2019 by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar.
    • The Scheme has an annual outlay of 100 crores. The Scheme is liberal to cooperatives in the North Eastern Region, cooperatives registered and operating in Aspirational Districts as identified by NITI Aayog, cooperatives with 100 % women/SC/ST/ PwD members. SahakarBharati, the single largest organisation focusing to enlighten the masses about the benefit of cooperative movement also plans to showcase and launch ‘Simplydesi’ brand at the inaugural of the Fair.
    • The cooperative sector has a formidable role in increasing agriculture exports from the present US $ 30 billion+ to US$ 60 billion+ by 2022 as envisaged in the Agriculture Exports Policy 2018.  IICTF is conceived as a major platform to promote exports of Indian cooperative produce and is packed with exhibitions, B2B/C2C meetings, conferences, cultural programmes etc.
    • IICTF covers exhibitors / sellers / buyers from India and abroad focussing on sectors such as agriculture and its allied sectors’ complete value chains, cold chain, dairy, commodities, exports, technology, climate smart agriculture, processing, packaging, storage, machinery, brand promotion, marketing, cooperative banking, agri-tech and various other sectors.
    • The Fair is expected to evolve a conducive environment for cooperative trade in the global arena, help in expansion and diversification of business, technology transfer, help lay international quality benchmark for cooperative products etc. Fair is also likely to result in sharing of best practices, collaborations and partnerships.  In the Indian context, the Fair would help more cooperatives to foray into exports and bring to the fore the cooperative visibility and its strength as a viable business model.
    • As an integral part of the IICTF, thematic sessions on cooperatives business will be held on all the three days of the Fair.  Nine sessions with cooperatives as the focus will cover various aspects viz. Globalisation of Cooperative Trade; Cooperative banking and financial inclusion; Empowerment of youth and women through cooperatives; Agro processing-eco systems through cooperatives; Agri-tech and climate smart agriculture through cooperatives; Cooperatives as cost effective and efficient service providers; Big data and cyber security in cooperative sector; Dairy cooperatives-opportunities for value addition and trade;  and Farm mechanisation and inputs supply-role of cooperatives.
    • The sessions would be chaired by eminent personalities and a panel of distinguished resource persons. The sessions would provide an insight on the role of agriculture cooperatives and their expected contribution in light of the Agriculture Export Policy of India.  It would also provide a platform for cross learning particularly in the current scenario of digitisation.



    8. Low cost device for ocean states forecast and mapping potential fishing zones launched


    • For seamless and effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen, the Government today launched the Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device.
    • Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in New Delhi, Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Science & Technology and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said “The satellite based communication is the only suitable solution for the dissemination of such emergency information and affordable satellite based communication system should be made part of the dissemination chain to deal with cyclones, high waves and tsunamis”.
    • While PFZ Advisories provide information on the probable locations on fish aggregation in the seas, OSF provide the accurate state of the ocean. The Minister pointed out that “Ocean State Forecasts include the forecasts on winds, waves, ocean currents, water temperature, etc. at every 6 hrs on daily basis for next 5 days helping fishermen in maximizing their earnings, ensuring safety and in planning of fishing activities”.
    • Though the advisories and forecasts are disseminated through multiple communication modes, none of them could provide such information, including the disaster warnings when the fishermen move away from the coast beyond 10-12 km (typical ranges of mobile phones and VHF). That remained as a major limitation in disseminating the information to fishermen who go in the sea beyond 50 nautical miles; sometimes up to 300 nautical miles and beyond to conduct multiday fishing.
    • This lacuna was severely felt during the Ockhi cyclone in 2017, when fishermen went out, for deep sea fishing before the onset of the cyclone and could not be informed about the developing cyclone. This communication gap resulted in loss of life, serious injuries to those rescued and severe damages to fishing boats and fishing gear.
    • To overcome this difficulty, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) joined hands with Airports Authority of India (AAI) to utilize the GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system to transmit the PFZ, OSF and disaster warnings to fishermen with GAGAN system consisting of three geosynchronous satellites (GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-15).  GAGAN foot-print covers the entire Indian Ocean round the clock.
    • To receive the messages transmitted through the GAGAN satellites, INCOIS together with AAI developed a low-cost GAGAN system-enabled GEMINI (GAGAN Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information) device and electronically designed and manufactured by a private industry M/S Acord, Bangalore under Make in India Program.
    • The GEMINI device receives and transfers the data received from GAGAN satellite/s to a mobile through Bluetooth communication. A mobile application developed by INCOIS decodes and displays the information in nine regional languages.
    • On the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also inaugurated the PFZ forecasts, newly developed by INCOIS which will provide advisories on PFZ to fishermen 3 days in advance. The Minister stated “PFZ advisories have become part of the value chain of the fishing community, over 6 lakh fishermen are regularly accessing advisories directly through their mobiles to avoid the wastage of time for searching shoals of fish”. The PFZ forecasts are generated using numerical models operationalized by INCOIS and helps overcome the operational difficulties in providing the PFZ advisories during overcast skies based on satellite data.


    9.Second Informal Summit between PM Modi, Chinese Prez Xi Jinping


    • Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Chennai on the 11th of this month on a two-day visit to India for the Second Informal Summit. Sources said, Mr Jinping will be accompanied by Member of Politburo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Mr Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had their inaugural Informal Summit in Wuhan, China in April last year.
    • The forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership.
    • The objective of the summit is building contacts at highest level, exchanging views on strategic issues and creating broad pathway for progress in bilateral ties. Government sources said, no signing of documents is expected during the Chinese President’s visit as this is an informal summit. India and China are also likely to hold joint anti-terror exercise in December.
    • Government sources said, on Article 370, India’s position is clear that the matter is a sovereign decision and there will be no discussion from Indian side. They also said India does not see Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China ahead of Mr Jinping’s visit to India as hyphenation, as it is of no concern to India.\
    • Mamallapuram, the historical coastal town, is hosting the two leaders for the Informal Summit on Friday. It is a world heritage site with strong connections with China which also showcases the tourism potential of Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram was the sea port of the Pallava dynasty who had trade ties with ancient China. Buddhist monk Bodhidharma traveled to China via Mamallapuram and contributed to the spread of Buddhism in China. Chinese monk Hiuen Tsang alighted on this port town to continue his journey to Kancheepuram in the 7th century A.D. The year 2020 will mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and India. Last year, bilateral trade between the two nations reached an all-time high of 95.54 billion dollars.


    10.  Govt launches disaster warning device


    • The government today launched a device that will help provide information related to disaster warnings when fishermen move away from the coast beyond 10 to 12 kilometres.
    • Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device will disseminate seamless and effective emergency information and communication on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones, PFZ, and the Ocean States Forecasts to fishermen.
    • After unveiling the device in New Delhi, Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said satellite-based communication is suitable to the dissemination of such emergency information. He said affordable satellite-based communication system should be made part of the dissemination chain to deal with cyclones, high waves and tsunamis.
    • On the occasion, the Minister also inaugurated PFZ forecasts which will provide advisories to fishermen three days in advance.  He stated that PFZ advisories have become part of the value chain of the fishing community. Over six lakh fishermen are regularly accessing advisories directly through their mobiles to avoid wasting time for searching shoals of fish.


    11.  Innovation learning programme DHRUV to kick start


    • The ambitious Pradhan Mantri Innovation Learning Programme, DHRUV, will kick start from ISRO in Bengaluru and conclude on 24th of this month at IIT, Delhi.
    • Sixty brightest and talented students from Science, Mathematics and Performing Arts have been chosen for the programme.
    • It aims to further sharpen innovative imagination, skills and knowledge of the students who are expected to contribute to bringing solutions to socio-economic, political and environmental issues in the country.
    • Briefing media in New Delhi today, Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, after getting training, the students can contribute to making the vision of a 5-trillion dollar economy a reality and also provide a solution to climate change. He said Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and the ISRO Chairman are expected to participate in the event.







    12.   IBSA Joint Statement on the Reform of the Multilateral System


    • We, the International Relations and Foreign Ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa have come together on 26th September 2019 in New York, guided by the principle of sovereignty and our shared values of freedom, the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as our steadfast commitment to promote a more inclusive, responsive and participatory international governance architecture.
    • At a time of significant and pressing global challenges, India, Brazil and South Africa acknowledge our common objectives and shared responsibility to help build a peaceful, secure and prosperous world. The right to development and equality of opportunities are critical means to achieve such goals.
    • In this context, our countries continue to engage together as positive forces for change. The multilateral system needs to be reformed, so as to ensure that it works effectively for all States and peoples.
    • As large democracies and vibrant nations, we believe that people should be placed at the centre of inclusive international governance. We are committed to reforming the multilateral system in order to meet the needs and expectations of our peoples, as well as to respond to increasing global challenges.
    • We reaffirm our commitment to enhance the voice and representation of emerging and developing economies, especially those in Africa, in the decision-making bodies of multilateral institutions.
    • The comprehensive reform of the United Nations (UN) system, including that of the UN Security Council, remains a crucial international undertaking. As we welcome, inter-alia, the cooperation between the United Nations and IBSA countries, as well as with regional organisations and institutions, such as the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), in the promotion of international peace and security, we remain committed to working together for the expansion of membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories for achieving a more representative, inclusive and equitable UN Security Council.
    • In this regard, IBSA countries remain concerned with the slow pace of Inter-Governmental negotiations on UN Security Council reform, which have not produced tangible progress in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). With the onset of the 75th anniversary of the UN in 2020, we urge redoubling of efforts to achieve progress on this issue, with a view to an early comprehensive reform of the Security Council.
    • The reform of the international economic governance architecture, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the international financial institutions, should also be a priority. IBSA countries have contributed meaningfully in making the international economic governance architecture more representative and democratic, and will continue to work together to advance an agenda that promotes sustainable development and inclusive growth.
    • The process of WTO reform must keep development at its core, promote inclusiveness and non-discrimination, build trust and address the inequalities and asymmetries in existing agreements. It should take into account the diversity of interests and concerns of the whole Membership, including developing Members, in particular LDCs. IBSA countries recognise the central role played by the WTO in promoting the interests of developing countries on issues such as agriculture.
    • Strengthening the global financial safety net, with a strong, quota‐based, and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre, is essential. We must work towards concluding the 15th General Review of Quotas, including a new quota formula at the Annual Meetings of 2019.
    • We reiterate our commitment to working together on strengthening cooperation to prosecute persons sought for corruption and other economic crimes, including through international organisations and institutions such as the G20, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and others.
    • We underscore the need for continuing consultations and exchange of views between the IBSA countries in order to build partnerships in multilateral fora.
    • In this regard, we take note of the progress made by the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger (IBSA Fund), which provides financial support for South-owned, South-led, demand-driven, and transformational projects across the developing world, with a focus on Least Developed Countries. We welcome the developmental impact created by the Fund on the ground.
    • We commit ourselves to promoting the reform of the multilateral system through cooperation and coordination in all relevant multilateral fora and international organizations including the WTO and groupings of G20, BRICS, BASIC, and G-77.



    13.   Second Annual Defence Dialogue


    • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, who is currently on a visit to France, held the  Second India-France Ministerial level Annual Defence Dialogue with his French counterpart, the Minister for the Armed Forces Ms. Florence Parly on October 8th in Paris.
    • During the Annual Defence Dialogue held in Paris, the two Ministers comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, which is a key pillar of India-France Strategic Partnership. They also exchanged views on contemporary regional and international developments of mutual interest. Both sides discussed ways to further deepen defence-related official as well as operational level interactions. The two nations agreed to expand the scope and complexity of the existing regular bilateral joint exercises (SHAKTI, VARUNA and GARUDA).
    • Recognising that India-France partnership in the Indian Ocean Region is crucial for preserving and promoting the common strategic and security interests, the two Ministers noted the continuing implementation of actions outlined in the “Joint Strategic Vision of India-France Cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region” (March 2018). The Ministers also reaffirmed the strong intention of the two sides to further deepen bilateral cooperation on counter terrorism.
    • Shri Rajnath Singh on October 07 attended a ceremony for the Handing over of the first of the 36 Rafale aircrafts being acquired by India from France.


    14.  Special sitting for MPs to decide future of Brexit


    • In Britain, MPs will be called to Parliament for a special sitting for the future of Brexit. BBC reports, Parliament will meet on 19 October after a crunch EU summit.
    • The parliamentary session will take place the day after the crucial two-day summit of the European Council ends in Brussels.
    • By the day, MPs will have a clear picture of the European Union’s response to the Brexit deal brokered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
    • According to media reports, Cabinet ministers are privately concerned at suggestions the prime minister may try to circumvent the Benn act which is aimed at forcing him to request a Brexit delay if he fails to reach a deal.







    15.  Mithali Raj becomes 1st female player to complete 20 yrs in international cricket


    • India women’s cricket captain Mithali Raj today became the first female player to last more than 20 years in international cricket.
    • She achieved the feat while leading India to an emphatic eight-wicket win over South Africa Women in the first ODI at Vadodara.
    • Mithali, who made her ODI debut against Ireland on June 26, 1999, completed 20 years and 105 days in the 50-over format. The right-handed batswoman has played 204 ODIs till now, the most by a female. 36-year-old Mithali who retired from T20 cricket last month has also played 10 Tests and 89 T20 Internationals for India.

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