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- India will continue to be fastest growing major economy, ahead of China, with growth rate of 7.3% in 2018-19 and 7.6% in 2019-20, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB). The growth projections were supplement to ADB’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO). The growth in India will be driven by increased public spending, uptick in private investment and higher capacity utilisation rate. ADB established in December 1966, is a regional development bank based out of Asia. It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia.
- To promote commercial use of satellite data, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched “Remote Sensing Toolkit”. The toolkit was launched as part of NASAs Technology Transfer program that offers open remote-sensing data benefiting scientific community, other government agencies and non-profit organizations. It is an online toolkit that aims to make it easier for users to find, analyse and utilise relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts.
- India-assisted emergency ambulance service was launched in Sri Lanka by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing from New Delhi on July 21, 2018. The inaugural function was held in Jaffna of the Northern Province, in the presence of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and several other dignitaries. This is the largest Indian grant project in Sri Lanka after Indian housing project.
- Five central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, and NRL have signed agreement for executing 1500 Km North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. It is a major initiative to connect all North-East States to National Gas Grid. It will be implemented under Centre’s ambitious Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project. Joint Venture (JV) company will be formed to develop, build, operate and maintain Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. The project was launched in October 2016 with an aim to provide piped cooking (PNG) gas to residents of eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles.
- The fourth edition of Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of from 30 to 31 August, 2018. Nepal is the current chair of BIMSTEC. The main focus of summit will be to increase connectivity between BIMSTEC nations including roads, airways and transmission lines. It will also give top priority connectivity and poverty alleviation. BIMSTEC established on 6 June, 1997, is the sub-regional group of seven countries-India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia.
- India is going to host inaugural 2+2 Dialogue with United States in September 2018 in New Delhi. In the inaugural meeting, Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis. It is similar to India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format between foreign and defence secretaries and ministers of the two countries. It replaces earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. The dialogue is aimed at enhancing strategic coordination between both countries and maintaining peace and stability in Indo-Pacific region.
- Centre for Climate Change has been launched in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) with an aim to accelerate concerted climate action by various stakeholders in government, private, financial and non-government sectors. It is first of its kind centre in South East Asia. NABARD is an apex agricultural development financial institution in India. It has been entrusted with matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India.
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