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Evening News Digest: 04 Nov 2018

India, Zimbabwe sign six agreements

India will extend Line of credits of more than 350 million US Dollars to Zimbabwe for two power projects and a drinking water project.

India will give about 3 million US dollar grant for upgradation of Indo-Zim Technology centre.  Assistance for construction of Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Zimbabwe will also be granted by India. 

Around 6 agreements in various fields were also signed in areas including Mining, Visa waiver, Broadcasting and Culture.

Vice President Shri M Venkaiah Naidu is currently on a visit to 3 African nations namely Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi.


Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Southern Africa and bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. It was formerly known as Rhodesia.

Robert Mugabe after winning elections in 1980 remained in the power through authoritarian tactics until his resignation in 2017. Currently, Emmerson Mnangagwa is the president of Zimbabwe.

Strangely, after the hyperinflation which crippled the economy from 1990 to 2009, Zimbabwe all together killed its own currency. US dollar is now the official currency of Zimbabwe.

Indians in Zimbabwe:

India’s relation to Zimbabwe goes back to 1890 when British Empire brought Indians for plantations. However. There are less than 1000 Indians mostly work in software and other high end industry.

Why Zimbabwe is important?

Zimbabwe is rich in high grade chromium which is used in steel making and cars, motorbikes, etc.

It produces almost 25% of the diamond.

It is also rich in platinum group of metals and it is second in the world just after its neighbour South Africa.

It is probably one of the richest country in the world in terms of minerals, that’s why it becomes important not only for India but equally for US, China and European countries.

Zimbabwe is the dependent partner - with China providing the largest market for its exports and much needed support to its fragile economy.

Offshore patrol vessel ICGS Varaha launched

The Indian Coast Guard has launched a new offshore patrol vessel called ICGS Varaha from a corporate shipyard near Chennai. 

This is the third in a series of seven similar ships to be handed over to the Coast Guard. The timeline for the delivery of all the vessels is March 2021.

ICGS Varaha will soon be fitted with advanced navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries. The weapons will include a 30 mm guns with Fire Control Systems.  

More than 20 Countries partner to target 'zero hunger'

In a bid to stamp out poverty and hunger, more than 20 countries have committed to a new declaration on agricultural and rural development. 

The commitment came at the end of a forum on international development cooperation in Changsha, China.

Changsha Declaration

The Changsha Declaration aims to ramp up the efforts towards South-South Cooperation, an initiative working to eliminate hunger and malnutrition through the mutual sharing and exchange of good practices, resources, and know-how between countries of the global south. 

At the forum's conclusion, 26 countries and 11 international organisations including Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organisation (WHO) signed the Declaration. 

Zero Hunger is one of the core aims of Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Global Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index looks at hunger in a multi-dimensional way, giving countries a consolidated score based on four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality. 

Some countries such as Yemen, Haiti and Somalia are facing unprecented hunger. Currently, Yemen is facing man made famine due to blockade by Saudi Arabia.

Out of total 119 countries calculated in GHI, India was ranked at 100th position.

India’s extremely poor score has, in fact, been a weight, pulling down the rest of the south Asian region. The report says that South Asia and Africa, south of the Sahara, are the region’s most struggling with hunger (with a score of 30.9 and 29.4).

India has a significant proportion of women and children who are malnourished – the causes are manifold. From women being the last to eat in the families (or not eating at all), to children having low birth weights when they are born, to lack of knowledge on good feeding practices, to widespread diarrhea which causes children to wither away, to poor sanitation that causes disease and death.

Bangladesh wins SAFF U-15 Championship

Bangladesh boys defeated India in the SAFF U-15 Football Championship by 3-0 at Dhaka.

Bangladesh will face Pakistan in the finals.

India was placed at 3rd position.

SAFF U-15 is being held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Namrata Biji Ahuja wins International Press Institute-India award

The prestigious IPI India Award for Excellence in Journalism 2018 has been given to Namrata Biji Ahuja of THE WEEK magazine this year.

She received the award for her exclusive story on Naga underground camps, providing information on the parallel and secret Naga state functioning with all ministries inside Nagaland, interviews and first personal accounts of Naga "ministers" and officials.

The award comprises a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, a trophy and a citation.

International Press Institute

Founded 69 years ago in New York by a group of editors from 15 countries, the Vienna-based IPI is committed to the furtherance of the freedom of press and promotion of free exchange of accurate and balanced news among nations.

Odisha government launches Saura Jalnidhi Scheme

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the 'Saura Jalnidhi' scheme on October 30, 2018. The objective of this scheme is to encourage the use of solar energy in irrigation by farmers.

The state government has decided to increase the use of solar photovoltaic pump sets in those areas so that the irrigation facilities can be provided where the power system is bad.

Under this scheme, farmers will be given 90 per cent subsidy and 5,000 solar pumps. This will provide irrigation benefits in 2,500 acres of the state.

Highlights of the Scheme:

In the first phase, this scheme will be available in those areas where electricity is not available for running the pump set.

The government has made a provision of Rs 27.18 crore in the financial year 2017-18 for this scheme.

This scheme will generate 1.52 lakh human day employments annually, and will help in the livelihood of 5,000 families, and also reduce carbon footprints.

The benefit of this scheme will be to the farmers who have valid farmer identity cards and have minimum 0.5 acres of agricultural land.

Seychelles launches world's first blue bond

The Republic of Seychelles has launched the world's first sovereign blue bond—a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.

Grants and loans will be provided through the Blue Grants Fund and Blue Investment Fund, managed respectively by the Seychelles’ Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) and the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS).


Seychelles is an archipelagic nation consisting of 115 granite and coral islands. It has a land area of 455 km2 spread across an Exclusive Economic Zone of approximately 1.4 million km2. As one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Seychelles is balancing the need to both develop economically and protect its natural endowment.

Russia, China, Norway sink landmark Antarctic ocean reserve plan

A plan to turn to huge tract of pristine Antarctic Ocean into the world’s biggest sanctuary has been rejected by Russia, China and Norway.

The 1.8 million sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would have banned all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and parts of the Antarctic peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

The proposal was put forwarded by Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. However, other 22 countries supported the proposal.

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