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- The 27th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The six-day event is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by Department of Atomic Energy and Gandhinagar-based Institute of Plasma Research. The aim of FEC 2018 was to provide forum for discussion of key physics and technology issues as well as innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion (reaction that powers Sun and stars) as a source of energy.
- US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla (55) has won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”. The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is funded by the Shakti Bhatt Foundation. It honours first-time writers from Indian sub-continent for their outstanding work of fiction or non-fiction. It was set up in 2008 in memory of young writer and editor Shakti Bhatti. It carries cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh.
- The European and Japanese space agencies launched the Bepi Colombo spacecraft carrying two probes into orbit on October 20, 2018 for a joint mission to Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. The unmanned spacecraft successfully separated and was sent into orbit from French Guiana as planned to begin a seven-year journey to Mercury, arriving in 2025. The UK-built spacecraft has been launched to determine whether the plant, which is the closest to the Sun, contains water. Only two spacecraft have been to Mercury until now. The first one was NASA’s ‘Mariner 10’, which flew past the planet in 1974 and 1975 and second was US space agency’s ‘Messenger’, which orbited the planet between 2011 and 2015.
- The Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) on October 22, 2018 submitted its 2nd Report on Cross Border Insolvency to Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. The ILC was constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to recommend amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India, 2016. The ILC recommended the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law of Cross Border Insolvency, 1997 as it provides for a comprehensive framework to deal with cross border insolvency issues. The UNCITRAL Model Law has till now been adopted in 44 countries.
- Green Climate Fund, the UN-backed fund has approved more than $1 billion for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change. The decision was taken during a four-day meeting in Manama, Bahrain that ended late on October 20, 2018. The fund was established to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries and to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
- United States (US) President Donald Trump has announced that US will unilaterally pull out of three-decade-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty signed with Russia. The treaty was signed in December 1987 between then US President Ronald Reagan and his USSR counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty banned all nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 km or (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (intermediate-range). It protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
- China’s first private research university has been officially inaugurated in Zhejiang Province’s Hangzhou city. Five Nobel laureates attended the founding ceremony of Westlake University in Hangzhou on Saturday.
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