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Evening News Digest: 18 January 2018

Israeli PM dedicates iCreate Centre to the nation

  • Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicated to the nation, the iCREATE facility located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
  • iCreate: iCreate is an independent Centre created with the objective of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, innovation, engineering, product design and leveraging emerging technologies to deal with major issues such as food security, water, connectivity, cybersecurity, IT and electronics, energy, bio-medical equipment and devices etc. iCreate aims to develop an ecosystem in India to generate quality entrepreneurs.
  • The Prime Minister touched upon the dilemma between convention and innovation. He urged the youth of India to innovate to overcome the challenges facing the nation today, and to improve the quality of life of the common man at lowest possible cost.

10th Global Forum for Food & Agriculture begins in Berlin

  • 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) being held in Berlin has begun from 17 January 2018.
  • Theme: The theme of this year's three-day event is "Shaping the future of livestock - sustainably, responsibly, efficiently". The discussions will focus on sustainable and productive animal production, among other issues.
  • Bilateral meetings with counterparts of Germany, Uzbekistan and Argentina are proposed on the sideline of GFFA to discuss issues to further enhance cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors.
  • GFFA: The GFFA is an international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri- food industry.  The GFFA is organised by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin, the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH.

DAC clears simplified Make-II procedure for defence procurement

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) simplified the Make II procedure, which prescribes guidelines to be followed to develop and manufacture defence equipment through Indian Industry. 
  • The procurement of assault rifles aims enable the Defence Forces to meet their immediate requirement for troops deployed on borders.
  • The Simplification of Make II procedure aims to encourage participation of private sector in defence design and production and to give a boost to ‘Make in India’ programme.
  • As per the earlier ‘Make II’ procedure, only two vendors were shortlisted to develop prototype equipment. Now, all vendors meeting the relaxed eligibility criteria will be allowed to participate in the prototype development process.
  • Most importantly, there will be no foreclosure of project after the project is sanctioned, except on default by the vendor, to ensure that the successful vendor has assured orders.

60th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) inaugurated

  • The 60th edition of India International Garment Fair (IIGF) was inaugurated on 16 January 2018, by Minister of State for Textiles, Ajay Tamta, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
  • It will primarily cover the Autumn/Winter season of European Union, USA and other Western markets.
  • IIGF: IIGF is a big platform which brings together the overseas garment buyers and garment exporters with almost half of the Indian states participating in the fair.
  • IIGF is also organizing fashion shows, twice a day on all three days, for exhibiting the collections for business development. Besides this, the best-displayed stalls would be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Trophies in an award function on 18th January, 2018.

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and Cyber Police Force to be set up

  • A cyber police force will be raised under home ministry to keep a tab on the crimes dominating the internet space.
  • Chairing a meeting on the action plan for the newly created Cyber and Information Security (CIS) Division of the ministry, Singh said an Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and the Cyber Police Force will set up under the CIS.
  • CIS: An online portal for preparing, follow up and issue of advisory on financial fraud related matters is also in the offing. The CIS Division will have four Wings, namely Security Clearance, Cyber Crime Prevention, Cyber Security and Information Security Wings each headed by an Under Secretary level Officer.

North, South Korea agree to march under unified flag at Winter Olympics

  • North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single unified Korea flag at next month's Winter Olympics in the South.
  • They also agreed to field a joint women's ice hockey team in rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.
  • These are the first high-level talks between the countries in more than two years. It marks a thaw in relations that began in the new year when North Korea offered to send a team to the games.
  • The games will take place between 9 and 25 February in Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Delhi Govt. issues advisory to tackle incidence of Glanders disease

  • Delhi Government issued advisory regarding incidence of Glanders Disease in the national capital. Recently cases of Glanders among equine population have been reported in Delhi State.
  • The government will issue an advisory which will also apply to the movement of horses participating in the Republic Day parade. Once Delhi is declared a controlled area, there will be a ban on movement of all equines — horses, donkeys, mules — from outside the city and vice-versa.
  • The infection has been reported from 11 areas in Delhi. While there are only 2,694 horses in the national capital, the disease is infectious and in the case of horses, leads to death. Symptoms include the formation of nodular lesions in lungs and ulcers in the respiratory tract. Acute cases result in coughing, fever, and can lead to septicaemia.

JK govt. sets up expert group to study development deficit

  • Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, announced constitution of an expert group to study the reasons for development deficit in the state's remote areas and suggest measures for boosting infrastructure development.
  • The government would also make development deficit in remote areas of the state. The Finance Commission to be constituted by the government will also come up with the recommendations to uplift these areas.
  • To bring more beneficiaries under the ambit of various social security schemes, the additional funds to the tune of Rs 15 crore each shall be added to the existing corpus for old age and widow pension.
  • Acknowledging the problems being faced by the people in hard-to-access areas of the state, a special duty allowance of 10 percent of basic pay for the state government employees posted in such regions.

Foreign tourist arrivals in India crosses 10 million mark in 2017

  • The year 2017 ended on a high with the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) crossing the 10-million mark. The sector is looking to ramp up tourist arrivals this year with new and niche projects.
  • The increase in numbers has helped India ramp up its overall ranking on the Tourism Competitiveness Index, 2017. It jumped 25 places from 65 in 2013 to 40 in 2017.
  • Eleven projects have been sanctioned under this scheme in 2017-18 alone, taking the total number up to 67 projects. The government is 'Looking East' in the tourism sector to promote India's north-eastern states.

Nepal government announces Provincial Capitals and Chiefs

  • The Nepal government finalised temporary capitals and chiefs of seven provinces across the Himalayan nation.
  • Biratnagar would be the capital of Province No 1, the eastern part of Nepal surrounded by Tibet from north, Sikkim and
  • north part of Bengal from east, Bihar from south and Nepals Province No 3 from west.
  • After the promulgation of new constitution in September 2015 Nepal has adopted federalism.
  • First time in the history of the country elections for provincial assemblies were held in two phases on 26 November and 7 December 2017.
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