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A two-day meeting of 21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials Meeting held in New Delhi

The 21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held at New Delhi to improve the connectivity and strengthen the cooperation in the maritime sector between Indian and the ASEAN countries.

It was co-chaired by Smt. Vijay Thakur Singh, SOM Leader and Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India and H.E. Mrs. Busaya Mathelin, SOM Leader and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand.

India welcomed Thailand for its role as Country Coordinator of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership for the period 2018-2021 and also praised Thailand for the Chairmanship of ASEAN for 2019.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
♦ Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
♦ Founded: 8th August 1967
♦ Member Countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,  Vietnam

Haryana CEO Rajeev Ranjan inaugurates Voter Park in Gurugram

Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Rajeev Ranjan inaugurated India’s first-of-its-kind ‘Voter Park’ in VikasSadan building complex, Gurugram, to raise voter awareness instructing people about the electoral process.At the park, voters will gain information about the polling process and the archives of elections in the country.

The park will help to motivate qualified people to vote in the LokSabha election so that they can contribute to the growth of the country.

A model of the electronic voting machine and VVPAT machine have been arranged in the park.
About Haryana:
♦ Capital : Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister: ManoharLalKhattar
♦ Governor : Satyadev Narayan Arya



G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting during 2019 annual Spring Meeting

G-20 conducted the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting during the 2019 Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, DC.

i. The meeting is held to discuss progress on the work of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
ii. The meeting was held to explain Structural Reform Steps package and the economic policies of the new period and also featured seminars, regional briefings focused on the global economy and financial markets.



ISRO partners with CMFRI and signs MoU to conserve smaller wetlands to combat effects of climate change

For the very 1st time, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has partnered with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and preserve them through coastal livelihood programmes. This has been done to build a strong foundation against the effects of climate change.

The collaborative move of the 2 institutes was part of a national framework for fisheries and wetlands that was recently developed by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project of CMFRI.

A release from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) notified that these premier institutes would develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal (that would include a complete database of Indian wetlands smaller than 2.25 hectares).

Google Pay partners with MMTC-PAMP to introduce buying and selling of Gold

Google Pay has partnered with Bullion refiner MMTC-PAMP India to initiate buying and selling of gold through the app to make Google Pay more useful for Indian customers.

Through this pact, Google Pay users will be able to buy 99.99 per cent 24-karat gold for any value, which will be stored on behalf of the user in secure vaults by MMTC-PAMP.

Google pay users can now buy and sell gold any time at the latest price.



Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mark Boucher: inducted by MCC as honorary life members for outstanding achievements in cricket

MCC (the Marylebone Cricket Club) has bestowed the honour of ‘Honorary Life Members’ to Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq and South Afric’s Mark Boucher for their exemplary achievements in the field of cricket.

About Inzamam-ul-Haq:
i. Former Pakistan skipper and batsman, Inzamam-ul-Haq played 119 Test matches, captained them from 2001-07 and scored 8,829 runs at an average of 50.16, inclusive of 25 centuries.
ii. Inzamam-ul-Haq made his international debut in 1991 and featured in Pakistan’s successful 1992 World Cup campaign. He played in a total of 378 ODIs, scoring 11,739 runs at an average of 39.5 and thus became 6th in the list.
iii. In 2007, since his retirement from international cricket, he was the head coach of Afghanistan team, after which in 2016, he became Pakistan’s chief selector.
iv. Now on becoming an honorary life member of MCC, Inzamam-ul-Haq joins the list of great Pakistan cricketers, namely, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi.
About Mark Boucher:
i. Former South African wicketkeeper and batsman, Mark Boucher was the first glovesman to take 500 catches in the longest format in Test Cricket.
ii. He made his debut in 1997, after which he went on to play 146 Test matches and scored 5498 runs, taking 530 catches and 23 stumpings. He holds the combined-format international record for wicket-keeping dismissals- total of 998.
iii. Boucher, now a coach of the Titans in South Africa has joined his countrymen, namely, Allan Donald, Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock and Daryll Cullinan as an Honorary Life Member of MCC.



Image of a crying toddler at US border won the World Press Photo award 2019

An image of a little girl crying, as she and her mother have been taken into custody by US border officials in Texas won the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year.

Veteran Getty photographer John Moore took the picture in the Rio Grande Valley on 12th June 2018.

The little girl in this picture name Yanela and her mother Sandra Sanchez illegally crossed the US-Mexican border last year.

The picture caused a public outcry about Washington’s controversial policy to separate thousands of migrants from their children.

Dr A K Singh Receives  Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 For Contributions In Life Sciences, Aerospace and Aeronautics. 

Dr A K Singh, director at Life Sciences, DRDOhas been honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 during 4th APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave at Chandigarh University, Mohali. He has made notable contributions in Internal Decorporation of Fission Produced Radionuclides and Infection Imaging. The conclave was organised by the university to note World Creativity and Innovation Day.

He has contributed to more than 57 research publications and patented more than 18 project.

To detect the infectious lesion, he discovered a “Diagnobact” Kit. And also introduced  Pharmacosyntigraphy, i.e. application of nuclear medicine imaging in drug research.
4th Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave :
i. For Best Innovative Project Awards 2019, 965 innovative projects competed against each other.
ii. Pankaj Sharmabagged the first position and Best Innovation of the Year Award 2019, for Smart Trolley Bag project.
iii. Pratul and Abhishek shared second place.Pratul acquired award for for Automatic Toilet Cleaner projectand Abhishek won for prototype model for Accident Management System respectively.
iv.Third prize was jointly won by Vaibhav and Daniyal for ‘treatment of textile affluent and plastic with bio-mass to help in controlling water and air-pollution’.
v. Ravinder Tonk, a faculty of Department of Mechanical Engineering got Best Innovation of the Year Award in faculty category for developing Smart Elevator.
vi. Second place won by Simrandeep Singh, faculty from Electronics & Communication Engineering.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation :
♦ Founded: 1958
♦ Jurisdiction: India


Professor Najma Akhtar named as the first woman vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI)

National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration Professor Najma Akhtar has been appointed as the first women vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) for a period of five years by the President of India. She will succeed Talat Ahmad.

Jamia Millia Islamia was founded in 1920 in Aligarh and this appointment took place under the Statutes of Jamia Millia Islamia Act, 1988.

She is a gold medalist from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and was the founder director of State Institute of Educational Management and Training (SIEMAT), Uttar Pradesh


PayU acquires Wibmo for USD 70 million

PayU, Digital payments security and payment facilitator has acquired Wibmo, a US-based financial technology for USD 70 million to assist the company scale-up its business.

Under the agreement, Wibmo will continue to serve all of its clients as a wholly-owned subsidiary of PayU.

The accession integrates PayU’s strong merchant network and  Wibmo’s  leadership for digital transaction security solutions to offer payments solutions in India for growth markets.

Telecom Department sanctions merger of TTSL and Bharti Airtel

The Telecom Department has sanctioned the merger of TTSL (Tata Teleservices Limited) consumer mobility business with Bharti Airtel, subject to the condition that Sunil Mittalled firm provides bank guarantees of about Rs. 7,200 crore.

The contract is mostly associated with one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) and some deferred airwave charges.

Manoj Sinha, telecom minster has conditionally approved the merger and that letters mentioning the guarantees were sent to Tata Teleservices Limited and its listed unit Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML).


Research paper on ‘NASA Twins’ reveals that spaceflight has an effect on the human genome

A paper on ‘NASA Twins’ has revealed that spaceflight has an effect on the gut microbiome; the effects however appear to be significant and temporary.

The research findings have been published in the journal named ‘Science’ in which results from 10 other research teams are there that examined the nature of the human body’s response to spaceflight.

The goal of the study is to determine the physiological and psychological health impacts of long-term spaceflight by comparing the effect of space on one twin to the impact of the environment of earth on another twin.

The twins involved in the study were 2 fifty-year old astronauts (at the time of the study): Scott Kelly ( he flew a 1-year mission aboard the International Space Station which ended in March 2016) and his twin brother, Mark Kelly who stayed on Earth while his brother was in orbit.

Scientists Developed a New Novel Sensor to Detect Dangerous Chemicals

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US have manufactured a tiny spectrometer that can be used in smartphone-sized devices to identify dangerous chemicals based on a unique “fingerprint” of emitted and absorbed light. The study has been published in the JournalNature Communications.

This single shot spectrometer has an advanced capability called hyperspectral imaging, i.e, the device can collect every information about each individual pixel in an image to identify materials.

Every element’s spectral fingerprint holds a unique wavelength of light, and the ability of the device to sense that light is what has enabled researchers to reveal the required data.

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