• Current Affairs , 12th OCTOBER 2019

    • January 9, 2020
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    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Nanaji Deshmukh’S birth Anniversary

     

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to Rastra sewak Nanaji Deshmukh on his Birth Anniversary. He said “I bow to Nanaji Deshmukh, a great social worker and patriot on his birth anniversary today. He struggled and dedicated his entire life for the upliftment and welfare of villages and farmers. He his contribution to nation building is everlasting and forever commemorative.”
    • Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh also known as Nanaji Deshmukh (11 October 1916 – 27 February 2010) was a social activist from India. He worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance. He was honoured with the Padma Vibhushanin 1999. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2019 by Government of India. He was a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
    • After retirement from active politics Deshmukh then served Deendayal Research Institute that he himself had established way back in 1969
    • He did work towards the anti-poverty and minimum needs programme. Other areas of his work were agriculture and cottage industry, rural health and rural education. Deshmukh assumed chairmanship of the institute after leaving politics and devoted all his time to building up the institute. He was also instrumental in carrying out social restructuring programme in over 500 villages of both Uttar Pradeshand Madhya Pradesh states of India.[11] He also published the journal “Manthan” (introspection) which was edited by K.R. Malkani for many years.
    • Deshmukh did social work in Gonda(U.P.), Balrampur and Beed (Maharashtra). The motto of his project was: “Har hath ko denge kaam, har khet ko denge paanee”.
    • He also established Chitarkoot Gramoday Vishwavidyalayain Chitrakoot, India’s first rural University, and served as its Chancellor. Nanaji implemented the philosophy of integral humanism to improve the living standards of more than 150 villages of bundelkhand.
    • He was awarded Bharat Ratnain 2019 (Posthumously) and Padma Vibhushan in 1999

     

    1. Vice President kick-starts his tour to Comoros and Sierra Leone

     

    • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today kick-started his tour to Comoros and Sierra Leone by declaring that India accorded highest priority to deepening its engagements with African nations.
    • Shri Naidu asserted that the Indian government considered Africa as a ‘focus continent’, as evidenced by 32 outgoing visits at the levels of President, Vice President and the Prime Minister during the last five years. India has also decided to open 18 new embassies in Africa.
    • Shri Naidu was accorded military honours and warmly received by President of the Union of Comoros, Mr. Azali Assoumani upon his arrival in the Comorian capital.
    • In his first engagement in Comoros, the Vice President addresses the Indian diaspora and urged them to join in scripting new India’s growth story, along with three other D`s–Democracy, Demand and Demographic Dividend.
    • While lauding the Indians based in Comoros for sharing their prosperity with Comorian brothers and sisters, he asked them to make Comoros more prosperous and also contribute to India’s growth. “Help create a more prosperous, harmonious, sustainable planet”, he added.
    • The Vice President said that he was happy that despite being only about 250 in number, the Indian diaspora has made significant contribution in various fields, including social and economic.
    • He also lauded the Indians for keeping alive India’s cultural heritage and for enjoying a reputation of being a peace loving community
    • Outlining the economic development and social transformation taking place in the new India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Naidu told the diaspora that despite the global slow-down, India continues to be one of the fastest growing major economies and is poised to be a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
    • Referring to measures taken by the government to boost economy, he said that the recent steep slashing of corporate tax was expected to spur investments. “Doing business in India is not only lucrative to investors but is also becoming simpler. Our policy is now that of ‘Red Carpet’ and not ‘Red Tape’. Many archaic regulations are being dismantled and seamless processes are being introduced”, he added.
    • The Vice President said that a host of path breaking reforms were initiated, including the transformational GST, that complies with ‘One Nation-One Tax, One Nation-One Market’ approach.
    • He also told the diaspora that India has become one of the most open economies of the world for Foreign Direct Investment in the wake of the reforms initiated by the government.
    • He also mentioned that the Start-up India flagship initiative was nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the country and the the youth were driving the digital revolution and powering the start-up ecosystem.
    • The Vice President also highlighted that India’s trade with African nations registered a 12% increase from the previous year. “India is now the 5thlargest investor in Africa with a cumulative investment of US $54 Billion”, he added.
    • Paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150thanniversary, the Vice President recalled that Gandhi Ji drew sustenance for his fight against discrimination and colonial domination, in Africa. “It was this soil of Africa which gave the nourishment and inspiration and made Mahatma Gandhi what he was. It was Africa that transformed his vision and gave greater clarity to his life’s mission”, he added.
    • Shri Naidu also invited the Indian diaspora of Comoros to attend the next Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas of 2021.

     

    1. Prime Minister pay tribute to Jayaprakash Narayan on his Birth Anniversary

     

     

     

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his Birth Anniversary.
    • Jayaprakash Narayan (11 October 1902 – 8 October 1979), popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak (Hindifor The People’s Leader), was an Indian independence activist, theorist, socialist and political leader. He is also known as the “Hero of Quit India Movement” and he is remembered for leading the mid-1970s opposition against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for whose overthrow he had called for a “total revolution“. His biography, Jayaprakash, was written by his nationalist friend and an eminent writer of Hindi literatureRambriksh Benipuri. In 1999, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in recognition of his social work. Other awards include the Magsaysay award for Public Service in 1965.
    • Narayan returned from the US to India in late 1929 as a Marxist. He joined the Indian National Congresson the invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929; Mahatma Gandhi became his mentor in the Congress. He shared a house at Kadam Kuan in Patna with his close friend and nationalist Ganga Sharan Singh (Sinha). with whom he shared the most cordial and lasting friendship.
    • He won particular fame during the Quit Indiamovement
    • After being jailed in 1932 for civil disobedienceagainst British rule, Narayan was imprisoned in Nasik Jail, where he met Ram Manohar LohiaMinoo MasaniAchyut PatwardhanAshok MehtaBasawon Singh (Sinha)Yusuf DesaiC K Narayanaswami and other national leaders. After his release, the Congress Socialist Party, or (CSP), a left-wing group within the Congress, was formed with Acharya Narendra Deva as President and Narayan as General secretary
    • When Mahatma Gandhilaunched the Quit India Movement in August 1942, Yogendra Shukla scaled the wall of Hazaribagh Central Jail along with Jayaprakash Narayan, Suraj Narayan Singh, Gulab Chand Gupta, Pandit Ramnandan Mishra, Shaligram Singh and Shyam Barthwar, with a goal to start an underground movement for freedom. Many young socialist leaders like Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, Chhotubhai Puranik, Aruna Asaf Ali, etc. took part in underground movement. As Jayaprakash Narayan was ill, Yogendra Shukla walked to Gaya with Jayaprakash Narayan on his shoulders, a distance of about 124 kilometres.[15] He also served as thChairman of Anugrah Smarak Nidhi (Anugrah Narayan Memorial Fund).
    • Between 1947 and 1953, Jayaprakash Narayan was President of All India Railwaymen’s Federation, the largest labour union in the Indian Railways.
    • Jayaprakash Narayan attracted a gathering of 100,000 people at the Ramlila groundsand thunderously recited Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’‘s wonderfully evocative poetry: Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai
    • Narayan was kept as detenu at Chandigarheven after he asked for one month parole to mobilise relief in flooded parts of Bihar. His health suddenly deteriorated on 24 October, and he was released on 12 November; diagnosis at Jaslok Hospital, Bombay, revealed kidney failure; he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life.
    • Bharat Ratna, 1999 (Posthumous) for Public Affairs: It is India’s highest civilian award.

     

    1. GeM signs MOU with Union Bank of India

     

     

     

    • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Bank of India (UBI) in New Delhi on October 10, 2019. Through this partnership, UBI will be able to offer an array of services including transfer of funds through GeM Pool Accounts (GPA), advising of Performance Bank Guarantees (e-PBG) and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to the registered users on the GeM portal.
    • The MoU will facilitate a cashless, paperless and transparent payment system on the portal and will create an efficient procurement system for government entities.
    • The MOU was signed by S. Suresh Kumar, Addl. CEO, GeM and S. K. Mohapatra, Field General Manager, Delhi, UBI in the presence of Talleen Kumar, CEO, GeM and Ram Kumar Jaglan, Head, Government Business Department, UBI.
    • Online integration for payments and various banking services is one of the priorities for GeM. GeM has already signed MoU with 14 Public Sector and private banks to enable this.
    • GeM is also working with others banks, TReDs, and SIDBI to provide invoice financing and Bill Discounting to the MSMEs registered on GeM. This will help MSMEs access easy credit and do better business with Government Departments.
    • GeM is an initiative of the Government of India offering one stop platform facilitating online procurement of common use goods and services required by various government departments, organisations, Public Sector Units. GeM provides tools for Direct Purchase, bidding and reverse auction in a transparent manner for government departments.

     

    1. 14th Annual Convention of Central Information Commission

     

    • Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah would preside as Chief Guest over the inaugural session of the 14thAnnual Convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) in New Delhi, on 12th October, 2019. Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge); Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Departments of Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh will be the Guest of honour.
    • The Central Information Commission has identified the following themes for three sessions of the Annual Convention:-

     

    • Gandhian Thoughts and RTI
    • RTI as a tool of effective governance
    • RTI Act- Challenges ahead
    • Shri Pawan K Varma, Prof. N. Radhakrishnan, Prof. Anurag Gangal will deliver a talk on Gandhian Thoughts and RTI. Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Shri A.N. Tiwari, Shri Shyamlal Yadav will share then views on RTI as a tool of effective governance. Shri Bimal Julka, Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, Ms. Anjali Bhardwaj will speak on Challenges ahead.
    • All present and former Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission, CICs and ICs from State Information Commissions as well as the First Appellate Authorities & Central Public Information Officers have been invited for the annual convention. Some nominated NGOs working at ground level has also been invited to participate in the Convention.

     

     

     

    1. SARAS Aajeevika Mela 

     

    • SARAS Aajeevika Mela is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India, with an objective to bring the rural women Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed with support of DAY-NRLM, under one platform to show-case their skills, sell their products and help them build linkages with bulk buyers.
    • Through participation in SARAS Aajeevika Mela, these rural SHG women get vital national level exposure to understand the demand and taste of urban customers. The Mela is organised by the marketing arm of the Ministry, Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).
    • The Ministry of Rural Development is organising SARAS Aajeevika Mela at India Gate Lawns from 10thOctober to 23rd October, 2019. Union Minister for Rural Development Shri Narendra Singh Tomar will formally inaugurate the Mela at India Gate lawns at 5 PM on 12.10.2019.
    • Over 200 stalls have been set-up at the Mela venue, where nearly 500 rural SHG craftswomen from 29 States and UTs will show-case varied range of products like handicrafts, handlooms, natural food products and a food court with regional cuisines at India Gate Lawns.
    • Each stall, each product and each of the rural SHG women has a story to share, a story of victory over heavy odds.  Workshops for the rural SHG women would be conducted during the Mela, which will help them to enhance their knowledge and sharpen their skills in book keeping and GST, product design, packaging, marketing/e-marketing, communication skills etc.
    • The SARAS Aajeevika Mela at India Gate Lawn features curated collection of handlooms, handicrafts, natural food products and food court with traditional cuisines, for the esteemed residents of Delhi NCR. Some of the highlights of Mela are:
    1. Handloom:
      1. Sarees – Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Cotton and silk sarees from Bihar, Kosa sarees from Chhattisgarh, Tasar silk and cotton sarees from Jharkhand, IIkal sarees from Karnataka, Chanderi sarees and Bagh print sarees from Madhya Pradesh, Paithani and silk sarees from Maharashtra, Tasar and Banda sarees from Odisha, Kanchipuram sarees from Tamil Nadu, Pochampalli sarees from Telangana, Silk sarees from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina sarees from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched sarees, Batik print, Tanth and Baluchari sarees from West Bengal.

     

      1. Dress materials and apparel – Mehkla chadar from Assam, Bharat gunthan and patch work from Gujarat, dupatta and dress materials from Jharkhand, Ilkal kurtis from Karnataka, stoles and Eri products from Meghalaya, Bagh print dress materials from Madhya Pradesh, dress materials from Maharashtra, Phulkari from Punjab, readymade garments, suits from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina stole, sarees, shawl from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched and batik print stoles from West Bengal.
    1. Handicraft, jewellery and home décor– water hyacinth handbags and yoga mats from Assam, pearl jewellery from Andhra Pradesh, lac bangles from Bihar, Madhubani painting, Sikki crafts from Bihar, bell metal products from Chhattisgarh; mud mirror work and Dori work from Gujarat; terracotta from Haryana, tribal jewellery from Jharkhand, Channapatna toys from Karnataka, Lamasa art products from Maharashtra, Sabai grass products, Patachitra on palm leave from Odisha, leather bags, wall hanging, lamp sheds from Telangana, home décor from Uttar Pradesh; Dokra craft, Sital patti and diversified products from West Bengal.

     

    • Natural food products– natural spices and food products from Kerala, green products across states like spices, ginger, tea, pulses, rice, millets products, medical plants products, coffee, papad, apple jam, achar etc. would be available for sale
    • Showstopper at the Mela would be the mouth-watering authentic delicacies from nearly 20 States, with a first of its kind food fest show-casing the diversity of India’s ethnic cuisine, at the India Food Court, prepared and served by SHG members.
    • Another attraction of the Mela is the tamarind value chain from Jharkhand, portraying end-to-end journey right from plucking of tamarind, deseeding, cleaning and packaging to the final product on sale in the Demo Zone. Some of the programmatic interventions such as – Patrakar Didi (rural women journalists), BC Sakhi (women banking correspondent) and a live performance by all SHG women’s musical troupes Chendamelam from Kerala, Ghoomar from Rajasthan, tribal dance and nukkad natak from Jharkhand, Cheraw (Bamboo dance) from Mizoram and Gidda from Punjab, as an integrated approach towards women empowerment, would also be show-cased.

     

    1. Colour presentation by Hon’ble President of India to Army Aviation Corps

     

     

     

    • In his capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented colours to the Army Aviation Corps on 10 Oct 2019 in a ceremonial parade, held at Army Aviation Base, Nasik Road. The colours were received by Combat Army Aviation Training School on behalf of the Army Aviation Corps. Speaking on the occasion, he complemented the Army Aviation Corps and lauded their immense contribution towards nation building.
    • Army Aviation Corps is the youngest corps of the Indian Army.  However, in the last 32 years it has excelled in all spheres and proved their mettle in various operations. Immediately after its raising in 1986, the Army Aviation Corps proved its impeccable combat credentials during ‘Operation Pawan’ in Sri Lanka. The Siachen Glacier has been the ultimate operational frontier for the Corps since 1984. Routinely operating at 20000 feet and above in extremely challenging conditions, the highly skilled and motivated pilots of the Corps have been supporting ‘Operation Meghdoot’ with skill and dedication.
    • The President congratulated Lieutenant General Kanwal Kumar, Director General and Colonel Commandant of Army Aviation and all ranks (both serving and retired) for their devotion to duty and professional conduct.
    • The ceremony was witnessed by Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtraand various civil and military dignitaries. General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General PS Rajeshwar, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and Lieutenant General SK Saini, GOC-in-C Southern Command alongwith a large number of serving officers and veterans witnessed the grand ceremony and helicopter fly past.

     

    1. 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW)

     

     

    • Urging the participating Health Ministers from States/UTsto increase healthcare spending to a minimum 8% of their State budget so as to meet the goals of healthcare spending of National Health Policy 2017- 2.5% of GDP by 2025, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that “From the first CCHFW meeting to today, we together have achieved several health milestones, especially India being certified Polio-free. This has been possible because of our collaborative efforts.
    • If all Health Ministers come together for a cause, no task can be impossible.” He was inaugurating the 13th Conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW), in the presence of Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS (HFW), Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), and Health Ministers from 13 states.
    • Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the purpose of the CCHFW meeting is to build a consensus on the national health priorities i.e. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through Ayushman Bharat, eliminating TB and other priority agenda such as strengthen medical infrastructure.
    • This can be achieved by collective increase in healthcare spending by the States/UTs to meet the goals of healthcare spending of National Health Policy 2017- 2.5% of GDP by 2025. “This is the first time that a government is so committed to healthcare and health care is on the top agenda.
    • This is clearly visible from the passionate address of our Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi ji at the recently concluded UN General Assembly where he stressed upon four pillars of healthcare, which included universal health coverage; mission mode interventions; quality and accessible affordable healthcare services; and also adequate infrastructure.
    • Dr Harsh Vardhan further stated “Health needs to become a social movement in every State & UT and the Eat Right and Fit India movements need to be taken up by States & UTs in a synergized manner, to ensure a healthy & robust India”. The Minister also urged the Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh, who is also the Finance Minister of the State, to increase the health budget of the State and set an example for the rest to emulate.
    • Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) said that the health Ministry is dedicated to the cause of effective, affordable, quality and accessible healthcare. She added that the CCHFW is integral to achievement of health goals of the country, “Without the political leadership and commitment of the States & UTs, healthcare cannot be effective”, she added.
    • Dr Vinod K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayogunderscored two priority areas for the public health sector. “First is increasing the health budgets by the Centre and the States/UTs, and second in enhancing the health infrastructure. The NHP 2017 commitment to increasing the health budget cannot be achieved without States contribution”, he stated. He added that there is a need to engage more with the private sector for augmenting the efforts of the public sector to bring in equity to increase the number of beds and hospitals to meet the global standards of health infrastructure.
    • The Council of Health and Family Welfare is an apex advisory body to consider and recommend broad lines of policy in regard to matters concerning Health and Family Welfare, in all its aspects.  Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare is the Chairperson, while Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare is the Vice-Chairperson. Member, NITI Aayog, Ministers in charge of the Ministries of Health & Family Welfare, Medical Education and Public Health in the States/Union Territories with Legislatures, representatives of UTs, Members of Parliament (4), Non-Officials (6), Eminent Individuals (11) are Members of the Council. The first meeting of the CCHFW was held in 1988.
    • At the inaugural session, Dr Harsh Vardhan along with the other Ministers launched a new initiative – ‘Surakshit Matritva Aashwasan(SUMAN)’ for Zero Preventable Maternal and Newborn Deaths, its website and the grievance redressal portal.  As today is also the World Sight day, Dr Harsh Vardhan released the Report on National Diabetes & Diabetic Retinopathy Survey India 2015-19 and Report on National Blindness & Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-19 prepared with the support of AIIMS, New Delhi.
    • In addition, along with other dignitaries, he also unveiled two info-leaflets on Suicide Prevention to mark the World Mental Health Day. Additionally, he released Guidelines on Drugs and Diagnostic Service Initiative; Guidelines for Biomedical Equipment Management & Maintenance Program; and the Guidelines for Peritoneal Dialysis under Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program.
    • On the agenda of the conference are issues of relevance in the present context.  Ayushman Bharat- PMJAY  and Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs), National  Health Mission –Health Systems Strengthening, Communicable Diseases (TB control, Vector Borne Diseases Programme, Leprosy Control, Viral Hepatitis Control) and National AIDS Control programme, Reproductive Health, Maternal Health, Child Health, Immunization, Adolescent Health,  Non Communicable Diseases  (Mental Health Programme,  Cardio-Vascular Diseases, Cancer, Diabetes, Healthcare for the Elderly, Control of Blindness) and  Tobacco Control, Regulation in Medical Education, Food and Drugs, National Organ Transplant Programme, Clinical Establishments Act, PMSSY and e-Health.

     

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Chennai for 2nd Informal Summit with PM Modi

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Chennai for his historic second Informal Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He reached at Chennai Airport in a special aircraft, where a red carpet welcome was accorded to him. Tamil Nadu Governor Bunwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy received him at the Airport. As a mark of welcoming him, cultural teams gave performances at the decked up Airport.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already reached Mamallapuram. President Xi will be reaching Mamallapuram by road by 4 pm where he will be received by Prime Minister Modi. Both the leaders will visit the UNESCO-Heritage listed places like Arjuna’s Penance, Pancha Rathas and the Shore Temple.
    • Later, both the leaders would witness a cultural performance by the artistes of the Kalakshetra Foundation of Chennai in the backdrop of the Shore Temple. Before winding up the day’s events, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would host the dinner for the visiting dignitary at the Shore Temple premises.
    • China is the only country with which India holds an informal summit. Informal talks will start today during the walk around the monuments and will continue till tomorrow. Both the leaders will spend around six hours together in total and around 40 minutes one to one talks at Hotel Taj Fishermen’s Cove. One to one talks between both the leaders will be followed by a limited delegation-level talks between both the countries.
    • President Xi is leading a high powered delegation with members from the Polit Bureau, his Foreign Minister and National Security Adviser. Prime Minister Modi will be joined by External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
    • There is no joint statement expected but two separate statements by India and China will be issued at the end of the summit. It is learnt that both the countries are in close coordination regarding the statements.
    • Tomorrow, Prime Minister Modi and President Xi will have a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks. Being an informal summit, both the leaders would engage themselves in open and candid talks touching upon several subjects of bilateral, regional and global importance.

     

     

     

    1. 9thRCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting in Thailand

     

     

    • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyalwill attend the 9thRegional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial meetingto be held on 11-12 October 2019at Bangkok in Thailand. This will be the last Ministerial before the 3rdLeaders Summit to be held on November 4th2019 in Bangkok. The Prime Minister of India is expected to attend the Summit. The 9th Intersessional Ministerial Meeting comes at a crucial stage where the RCEP is scheduled to be announced as concluded in November 2019.
    • The 28thround of negotiations for RCEP at the expert level had concluded at Da Nang, Vietnam, held from September 19 – 27, 2019. In this round of negotiations meeting of the Trade Negotiating Committee was held in which senior officials participated in negotiations regarding market access on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment as well as on other areas like Rules of Origin, Intellectual Property and Electronic Commerce. Out of 25 chapters 21 chapters have been concluded. Crucial chapters of Investment, Electronic Commerce, Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies are yet to be settled.
    • Ministerial guidance will be sought on these issues during the Bangkok Ministerial round being held in October 2019. The Ministers of participating countries will also be discussing preparations for the 3rdLeaders Summit to be held on November 4th2019 in Bangkok.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China, Australia and New Zealand during the Bangkok Ministerial.
    • In preparation for the crucial Bangkok Ministerial round this month, Commerce and Industry Minister held several consultations with Indian industry for firming up India’s position and for taking into consideration industry concerns and sensitivities. Commerce and Industry Minister chaired several inter-ministerial meetings at the official level and also with Ministers of the key line Ministries.
    • The focus and emphasis of the meetings chaired by the Commerce and Industry Minister was on putting in place appropriate safeguards including auto-trigger mechanism against sudden surge in imports from RCEP countries.
    • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with six partners namely People’s Republic of China (ACFTA), Republic of Korea (AKFTA), Japan (AJCEP), India (AIFTA) and Australia and New Zealand (AANZFTA).
    • In order to broaden and deepen the engagement among parties and to enhance their participation in economic linkages and to enhance trade and investment related activities as well as to contribute to minimising development gap among the parties the 16 Economic Ministers of countries in this region endorsed the Guiding Principles and Objective for Negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in August 2012.
    • The RCEP negotiations were launched by leaders from 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and 6 ASEAN FTA partners (Australia, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand).
    • The objective of launching RCEP negotiation is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and ASEAN’s FTA partners. The RCEP negotiations commenced in early 2013.

     

     

     

    1. NATO Secy General expresses serious concerns over Turkey’s operation in Northern Syria

     

     

    • In Syria, casualties are increasing as Turkey presses on with its cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    • Turkey’s Defence Ministry claimed, in a statement, that Turkish forces have killed at least 342 Kurdish fighters. Meanwhile, the numbers could not be independently verified. BBC reported, at least 11 civilians have died.
    • Turkey said that one of its soldiers was killed in northern Syria, the first fatality in its offensive against a Kurdish militia. Turkish Defence Ministry said that three more soldiers were injured in the region. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, amid growing international criticism of the offensive.
    • On the other hand, five European members of the United Nations Security Council demanded Turkey to halt its offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also expressed serious concerns today about Turkey’s ongoing operation.

     

     

    1. NASA launches satellite to explore where air meets space

     

     

    • NASA launched a satellite last night to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.
    • The satellite – called Icon, short for Ionospheric Connection Explorer- rocketed into orbit following a two-year delay. It was dropped from a plane flying over the Atlantic off the Florida coast. Five seconds after the satellite’s release, the attached Pegasus rocket ignited, sending Icon on its way.
    • A NASA satellite launched last year, Gold, is also studying the upper atmosphere, but from much higher up. More missions are planned in coming years to study the ionosphere, including from the International Space Station.

     

     

     

     

    1. Tens of thousands of civilians flee Turkish offensive in Syria

     

     

    • Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Syria, as Turkish forces step up their cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas. Turkish troops have encircled the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and aid agencies fear the exodus could reach hundreds of thousands.
    • The International Rescue Committee aid organisation said that 64,000 people had already fled their homes. The UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, gave a similar figure.
    • The UN Secretary-General has expressed deep concern and called for a de-escalation of the spiralling violence in Syria. In a press conference at Copenhagen Antonio Guterres said any solution to the conflict must respect the sovereignty of the territory and the unity of Syria.
    • His remarks came as the five European members of the UN Security Council,  France, Germany, Britain, Belgium and Poland,  called on Ankara to halt its unilateral military operation against Syrian Kurdish forces.
    • A US official said yesterday Turkey’s assault on Syrian Kurdish forces has not breached a red line declared by President Donald Trump as he added that Washington wanted to broker a ceasefire.
    • Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers terrorists and establishing a safe zone for the return of Syrian refugees.
    • But the intervention has sparked international anger, raising fears of a new refugee crisis and concern that thousands of jihadists being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could use the opportunity to escape.

     

     

    1. Romania government collapses in no-confidence vote

     

     

     

     

    • Romania’s beleaguered left-wing government collapsed in a no-confidence vote . This has paved the way for the president to appoint a new prime minister.
    • A total of 238 MPs in the 465-seat parliament voted in favour of the motion against the government of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. Ms. Dancila had been fighting for her political survival since her Social Democrats, PSD, lost their junior coalition partner’s support in August.

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    1. Women’s Cricket: India clinch series 2-0; defeat S Africa by 5 wkts in 2nd ODI

     

     

    • In Women’s cricket, India defeated South Africa by five wickets in the Second One-Day International at Vadodara today and clinched the three match series 2-Nil.
    • India women overwhelmed the victory target of 248 in 48 overs losing only five wickets. For India, Skipper Mithali Raj top scored with 66 runs while Punam Raut put up 65 runs. South Africa’s L.Wolvaardt scalped three Indian wickets.
    • Earlier, put into bat, South Africa women scored 248 runs, losing 6 wickets. For India, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav claimed two wickets each.
    • The third and final ODI between India and South Africa women will be played at Vadodara on Monday.

     

     

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