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Evening News Digest: 14 Nov 2018

INDO-Russian joint exercise INDRA 2018

India and Russia will hold joint military exercises in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh from November 18.

The tri-service military exercise INDRA 2018 will include consumer services, catering and medical support apart from operational drills.


INDRA military exercise was launched in 2003 as bilateral exercise between India and Russia to boost cooperation and interoperability between navies of two countries.

The name of the exercise INDRA has been derived from INDia and RussiA.

Till 2016, the bilateral exercises under INDRA were undertaken between respective Armies, Navies and Air Forces of India and Russia by separately engaging with each other without concurrent participation from other services.

This exercise was transformed into tri-services military exercise in 2017 and was for first time held successfully in October 2017 at Vladivostok, Russia.

It was India’s first joint tri-services exercise and also first between Russia and India.

2nd Startup India Investment Seminar in Beijing

Chinese venture capital (VC) funds are likely to invest around $30 million in eight Indian start-ups, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said after the 2nd Startup India Investment Seminar held in Beijing on 13 Nov.

In the 1st Startup India Investment seminar, 12 Indian start-ups participated, of which 4 secured a funding of $15 million from Chinese VCs. In the current round, 8 start-ups out of 20 participants are set to get commitment of around $30 million.

42 Indian entrepreneurs representing 20 Indian start-ups participated in the event and pitched before Chinese investors. More than 350 Chinese VC funds and angel investors participated in the day-long seminar.

Chinese Investment in Indian Startups

Chinese companies invested nearly $2 billion in Indian startups in 2017, a sharp increase from previous years and indicating their inclination to shift to India for its expanding market, cheaper labour and less domestic vulnerability.

In terms of investments in Indian startups, Chinese firms have predominantly focused on e-commerce, followed by transportation and fintech (financial technology), with majority of the biggest deals in the late-stage e-commerce sector.

Some of the major investors in the Indian startup ecosystem include Alibaba, Ctrip and Tencent.

7th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting concludes

The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, led the Indian delegation to the 7th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on 12-13 November, 2018. The Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore Mr. Chan Chun Sing was the Chair of the meeting as Singapore is currently the Chair of ASEAN this year. 

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a mega regional free trade agreement being negotiated amongst 16 countries, comprising 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) plus six ASEAN FTA partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.

So far 6 Ministerial Meetings, 7 Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meetings and 24 rounds of the Trade Negotiating Committee at the technical level have been held.

Centre extends ban on 8 extremist groups of Manipur for 5 years

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday extended a ban on eight insurgent groups in Manipur by five years. According to Home Ministry; ban was being extended as the organisations had indulged in unlawful activities.

The outlawed groups were involved in 756 violent incidents from January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2018, in which 86 people were killed, including 35 security personnel, according to Home Affairs.

List of 8 Banned Groups

  • Peoples’ Liberation Army
  • Revolutionary Peoples’ Front
  • The United National Liberation Front
  • The Manipur Peoples’ Army
  • Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak and its armed wing the “Red Army”
  • Kangleipak Communist Party and its armed wing, also called the “Red Army”
  • Kanglei Yaol Kanba Lup,
  • Coordination Committee and the Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak.

ISRO to launch GSAT-29 communication satellite

India’s heavy-lift rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III), developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will carry its communication satellite GSAT-29 into space on 14 November.

The launch aims to solve the communication barriers faced by Village Resource Centres (VRCs), which are responsible for providing space-based services to ISRO from rural areas.


The satellite will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit (GEO) at a height of 36,000 km from Earth, using the on-board propulsion system.

GSAT-19 was the first of the series that was sent up into the orbit in June 2017.

Rs 75 commemorative coin to mark 75th anniversary of Tricolour hoisting by Bose

Central government has decided to release a Rs 75 commemorative coin on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the hoisting of Tricolour for the first time by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Port Blair. 

This coin will bear the portrait of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose saluting the flag on the background of cellular jail. 

The 35-gram coin will be composed of 50 per cent silver, 40 per cent copper and 5 per cent each of nickel and zinc. 

Netaji Flag Hosting

During his visit to Andaman in on December 30, 1943, Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the Tricolor for the first time on free Indian soil at Cellular Jail of Port Blair, much before India attained Independence declaring the island as the free territory from the British rule. 

On the same occasion, he announced the freedom of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the first Indian Territory, from the British rule. The island at that time was liberated from British rule by Japan which captured it during the World War - II.

Currently, the place where the flag was hoisted stands as a great memorial, and one of the best places to visit in Andaman. It was built by the Andaman Club as a mute testimony of Netaji's visit to the islands.

American comic book writer Stan Lee dies at 95

American comic book writer and former chief of Marvel Comics Stan Lee has died in Los Angeles. He was 95. 

Lee created the Fantastic Four for Marvel Comics in 1961 and went on to create titles like Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. 

10th Anniversary of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium begins

The tenth anniversary of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium began in Kochi on 13 Nov

The commemoration programme includes a seminar hosted by the Indian Navy on the theme SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) and a Tall Ship regatta from Kochi to Muscat and back covering over 3000 nautical miles.

The theme for this year's seminar is 'IONS as a Catalyst for SAGAR'.


As many as 26 of the 32 countries that constitute the membership of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) are participating in the 10th edition of the event that commenced in Kochi on November 13, 2018.

What is IONS?

The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

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