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Current Affairs September 12, 2018

1. Opening Ceremony: Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Exercise KAZIND 2018

  • Exercise KAZIND-2018, a joint military exercise between Indian and Kazakhstan Armies, commenced in Otar Military Area, Kazakhstan.
  • This is the third edition of joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army. The 14 day long joint exercise is being conducted from 10 Sep to 23 Sep 2018.
  • The Kazakh contingent is represented by Military Base 85395 while the Indian side is represented by 5 LADAKH SCOUTS Regiment.
  • The joint training aims to build & promote army to army relations and exchange skills & experiences between Indian Army and the Kazakhstan Army.
  • Ex KAZIND-2018 will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and respect for each other’s military.

2. Suresh Prabhu holds meetings with Russian Ministers at Vladivostok

  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, had a meeting with Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Russian Federation.
  • Both sides discussed issues of mutual cooperation in areas of common concern like conservation of environment, saving the tiger, water cooperation and environmental sustainability
  • During the meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Yury Trutnev, the Commerce Minister discussed issues of mutual cooperation in sectors like mining and geological exploration in gold and diamond, water cooperation, forestry, timber and agriculture.

3. Shri Piyush Goyal launches a web portal “Rail Sahyog”

  • The “Rail Sahyog” portal is an example of changing times & speedy execution of projects in Railways. Salient feature of this portal is its simplicity & transparency.
  • This portal will provide an opportunity for Industry/ Companies/ Associations to collaborate with Railways.
  • This portal will not only be beneficial for passengers but also for neighbourhood of Railway vicinity.”
  • Indian Railways, with its vast network and presence across the length and breadth of the country, has always been at the forefront to serve the society. Inspired by the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister for a New India by 2022
  • The web portal will provide a platform for the Corporates and PSUs to contribute to creation of amenities at/near Railway Stations through Corporate Social Responsibility funds.

4. INDO-US joint military exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018

  • As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 is scheduled to be conducted in the foothills of Himalayas at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from 16 September to 29 September 2018.
  • This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries.
  • The joint exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will simulate a scenario where both nations will work together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under United Nation charter.

5. Union Agriculture Minister releases a profile booklet titled ‘NCDC- Assisting Cooperative. Always!’

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh released a booklet titled ‘NCDC-Assisting Cooperatives. Always!’ highlighting the role and activities assisted by National Cooperative Development Corporation in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi
  • Shri Singh recalled that NCDC nurtures cooperatives which represent by and large small and marginal farmers.
  • NCDC is the most preferred financial institution in the world of cooperatives and aligning itself with the Mission of New India 2022, NCDC has embarked on Sahakar 22, a Mission for Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022.

6. SEBI panel may ease investment rules for NRIs, foreign funds

  • Foreign portfolio investors will breathe a sigh of relief after a Securities and Exchange Board of India-appointed panel recommended easing some of the restrictions the regulator had imposed on investments by non-resident Indians and some foreign funds.
  • SEBI relax foreign fund rules initiated a public consultation process for finalising the new guidelines on KYC and beneficial owner identification.
  • FPIs will be given 6 months to comply to new rules and non-compliant investors can be given further 180 days to stop their operations.

7. TCIL, MEA sign MOU for pan Africa e-Network project

  • Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) signed an agreement with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the implementation of e-VBAB (e-VidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharati) Network Project for a total value of Rs. 865 Crores.
  • TCIL had already successfully executed Phase-1 of PAeNP from 2008 to 2017.
  • The project is seen as digital bridge of knowledge and health between India and Africa.
  • The e-VBAB Project is fully funded by MEA, GoI and is envisaged to be implemented in 9 months followed by 5 years of operations and maintenance

8. NITI Aayog, Intel and TIFR collaborate to set up a Model International Center for Transformative AI

  • NITI Aayog, Intel, and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) announced on that they are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) towards developing and deploying AI-led application-based research projects.
  • This initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion Paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI in the country through private sector collaboration.
  • Through this collaborative effort, the model ICTAI is chartered to develop AI foundational frameworks, tools and assets, including curated datasets and unique AI algorithms.
  • The intent is to develop standards and support policy development related to information technology such as data-storage, information security, privacy, and ethics for data capture and use.

9. Vostok 2018 war games will be Russia's largest since 1981

  • Russia is set to hold its largest military drills in almost four decades
  • Dubbed Vostok 2018, the massive exercise will involve nearly 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 planes, helicopters and drones, and up to 36,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles, as well as up to 80 ships and other vessels
  • Vostok 2018 will taking place at a time of heightened tensions between the West and Russia, which is concerned about the build-up of the NATO military alliance on its western flank.


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