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- Indian Navy will conduct its flagship large-scale coastal defence exercise Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX) from January to March 2019 to test the robustness of the entire coastal security apparatus. As part of TROPEX, it will conduct large-scale coastal defence exercise ‘Exercise Sea Vigil’. It will involve all stake holders across mainland and island territories. TROPEX is a yearly exercise that takes place on the Western Seaboard.
- Qatar has announced its withdrawal from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 2019 and focus more on the production of natural gas. It will be the first Gulf country to leave OPEC bloc of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia. Qatar has been a member of OPEC since 1961 and has been the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LPG). OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of 15 oil-exporting developing nations that coordinates and unifies the petroleum policies of its member countries. Established in 1960 in Baghdad, Irag, its headquarters are in Vienna, Austria. Members of OPEC are Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar (withdrawal in January 2019), Angola, Libya, Congo, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ecuador and Venezuela.
- The first bilateral air exercise SHINYUU Maitri-18 began at Air Force Station, Agra. It is taking between Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The theme for this exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft.
- The Asian Development Bank has signed a $85 million loan agreement with the Ministry of Finance for Odisha Skill Development Project. The aim of the Project is to improve the skill development eco-system in Odisha and establish a World Skill Centre, an advanced skill training center in Bhubaneshwar. ADB aims to promote social and economic development in Asia by achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
- The 47th Navy Day was observed on 4th December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force in the country. It commemorates the launch of Operation Trident by the Indian Navy against Pakistan on 4th December 1971. The navy had played a significant role during the Indo-Pak War of 1971 in bombing the Karachi harbour, a stronghold of Pakistani Navy. INS Nirghat, INS Nipat and INS Veer had played a pivotal role in this mission.
- On December 3rd every year, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development. The theme for this year was “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”
- Train 18, India’s first indigenously designed locomotive-less (or engine less) train, breached the 180 kmph speed limit during a test run in Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. After this train becomes operational, it will become the fastest train in the country. Train 18 was rolled out at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and is capable of touching 200 kmph, provided the rest of the Indian Railways’ system such as tracks and signals permit. It is touted as the next generation Shatabdi Express.
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