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- Indian IT industry’s apex body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has launched its Centre of Excellence for the Internet of Things (CoE – IoT) at Gurugram, Haryana. It aims to act as perfect collaboration for innovation and high-end technologies. NASSCOM is global non-profit trade association (organisation) of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. The first CoE – IoT was established in Bengaluru.
- Government has inked $110 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade all-weather rural roads in Madhya Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). It is second tranche of $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme for India approved by ADB in December 2017. It plans to upgrade about 12,000 km rural roads across the five states. ADB is multilateral lending agency based in Manila, Philippines. It was established on 19 December 1966.
- Pankaj Sharma has been appointed as ambassador and India’s permanent representative to United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and will replace Amandeep Gill. Sharma is currently joint secretary (Disarmament and International Security Division) in Ministry of External Affairs. UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) is not formally United Nations (UN) organization. It is linked to UN through personal representative of UN Secretary. It is multilateral forum established in 1979.
- National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will be set up at the University campus in Patna, Bihar. It will be India’s and Asia’s first Dolphin research centre. NDRC will play important role in strengthening conservation efforts and research to save endangered mammal whose population is decreasing. Bihar is home to around half of the country’s estimated 3,000 dolphin population. Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal. It is almost completely blind and finds its way and prey using ultrasonic echoes.
- The Norwegian Nobel Committee on October 5, 2018 awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege(63) and Nadia Murad(25) for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict. Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending the victims and seeking justice for them, while Nadia Murad is the witness who speaks of the abuses perpetrated against her and others. She is courageous enough to recount her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other. Mukwege and Murad have put their personal security at risk by courageously combating war crimes and seeking justice for the victims.
- The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the Second Protocol amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore. The CECA was signed on August 24, 2018. The signing of the Second Protocol will enhance bilateral trade and will deepen the Economic Cooperation between India and Singapore. It will also improve utilisation of CECA.
- Canada agreed to sign a trade deal with the United States and Mexico, revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new deal has been named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It modernises what was covered by NAFTA by adding provisions on digital trade and intellectual property. It also highlights new rules on the origin of autos and the market access to Canada’s dairy sector.
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