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International updates

International updates

 

Key Updates: August  2019

 

  1. Who is the new Prime Minister of Britain, after Theresa May? - Boris Johnson

 

  1. Which day is commemorated as International Day against Nuclear Tests ?- August 29

 

  1. Which day is observed globally as Women’s Equality Day ?- August 26

 

  1. What is the theme of 2019 World Humanitarian Day, which is celebrated on 19th August every year? - Women Humanitarians

 

  1. For the first time, which bank in world is offering negative interest rate home loan? - Jyske Bank (Denmark)

 

  1. What is the theme for International Youth Day, celebrated on August 12? - Transforming Education

 

  1. Which day is observed as International Day of the World’s Indigenous People? - August 9

 

  1. Which nation has become 76th nation to join International Solar Alliance? - Palau

 

  1. Which neighbouring country has recently exempted Visa Fees for Indian tourists? - Sri Lanka


      10. Where was the 28th BASIC ministerial meeting on Climate Change held ?- Sao Paulo, Brazil. (BASIC is geopolitical alliance of four countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China, established in 2009)

 

Key Updates: July 2019

 

  1. WHO has declared Global emergency for which disease? - EBOLA ( in DR Congo)

  2. Who continues to be the richest man in the world, in recent Bloomberg Billionaires Index? - Jeff Bezos

  3. Who has been elected as the President of 74th Session of UNGA (United Nations General Assembly? - Tijjani Muhammad Bande (Nigerian Diplomat)

  4. Who became the first woman President of the European Commission? - Ursula Von der Leyen

  5. Which is the host country for the 2019 edition of World Hepatitis Day (WHD)? - Pakistan (World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is observed every year on 28rd of July)

  6. On which date, the 2019 edition of World Population Day (WPD) is observed? - July 11

  7. The Spektr-RG space telescope is a joint venture of which of the following countries? - Russia & Germany

  8. Who has been sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Greece? - Kyriakos Mitsotakis

  9. Who has been appointed Britain's first Indian-origin home secretary? - Priti Patel

  10. The 2019 World Day for International Justice (WDIJ) is observed on which date? - July 17

 

Key Updates: June 2019

 

  • NASA to explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced its plan to launch Dragonfly drone helicopter to Saturn’s largest moon Titan in search of building blocks of life. Dragonfly will be launched in 2026 and will arrive at its destination in 2034.

 

  • UK India Awards 2019: Mark Tully gets Lifetime Achievement Award : Veteran British journalist Sir Mark Tully was conferred with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at UK-India Awards in London for his contributions to UK-India relationship. He is the former Bureau Chief of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in New Delhi, India. Previously he had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in UK and conferred with Padma Bhushan in India.

 

  • 29 June observed as International Day of the Tropics: To celebrate the extraordinary diversity of the tropics while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities the Tropical nations face, the United Nations observes 29 June as International Day of the Tropics. The Tropic region is the area between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. The area near the equator is moist the seasonality of rainfall increases with the distance from the equator. The Tropic region is 40 percent of the world’s total surface area.

 

  • NASA’s Curiosity Rover Detects High Methane Gas Levels on Mars: NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars has made yet another discovery about the Red Planet. It has found that methane gas is present on Mars. The findings have come from the tunable laser spectrometer that is onboard the rover. The spectrometer is one of the three instruments that make up the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM).

 

  • World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June: World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. The theme for 2019 World Refugee Day is #StepWithRefugees — Take A Step on World Refugee Day. The theme expects communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life should take big and small steps in solidarity with refugees.

 

  • UNCTAD World Investment Report 2019: According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2019, India received foreign direct investments (FDI) worth USD 42 billion in 2018. India attracted over 77% of the total foreign direct investments that came to the South Asian region. The global FDI slipped by 13% in 2018, to US$1.3 trillion from $1.5 trillion in 2017, the third consecutive annual decline. India’s rank as a source country for FDI dropped one place to 10th position as it was overtaken by Spain. Investment in India rose by 6% to USD 42 billion.

 

  • Akshaya Patra was awarded the BBC World Service Global Champion Award: The Bengaluru-based NGO Akshaya Patra has been awarded the BBC World Service Global Champion Award for the programme. The award is presented at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in Bristol, London. The award recognises a project or person who is changing the way the world produces, processes, consumes or thinks about food for the better. Akshaya Patra was selected by an international panel of judges from nominations sent in by the World Service audience around the world.

 

  • Scientists create history; install world’s highest weather station at Mount Everest’s Death Zone: Climate scientists have created a history by installing the world’s highest operating weather station at Mount Everest’s Death Zone, including five other automated stations on other parts of the mountain. Tom Matthews and Baker Perry, along with a crew of engineers, stood on the Mount Everest’s flank at 27,650 feet (8,430 metres), and erected seven-foot- the building of a weather station that can withstand extreme winds and cold weather. The weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Besides, the new weather stations will also give scientists direct observations to understand jet stream, and will also help understand how climate change is affecting the Himalayas.

 

  • Indian girl honoured in UAE for Green efforts: Eight-year-old Indian expat student collected nearly 15,000 kg of paper waste. Nia Tony was honoured with Eco Champions of Recycling award for her efforts in keeping the environment clean by collecting paper waste. She collected nearly 15,000 kg of paper waste in Gulf’s United Arab Emirate (UAE) as part of a nationwide recycling campaign. She campaigned around her residency area to collect paper so that it can be recycled.

 

  • Narendra Modi to meet Putin and Xi Jinping in sidelines to SCO summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping before the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. The announcement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs. Prime Minister Modi is to reiterate his invitation to President Xi to visit India for an informal summit in 2019. The first informal summit was held in Wuhan in 2018. The SCO summit is to be held on June 14 in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. It will be the first multilateral meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his re-election in the Lok Sabha election. The group will discuss issues related to terrorism, Afghanistan, regional security, multilateral dialogue and global scenario.

 

  • Canada to ban single-use plastics from 2021: Canada will ban single-use plastics from the year 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau planned to ban plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags clogging the world’s oceans. Canada to lead to fighting against plastic pollution as the country with the world’s longest coastline. Currently, 10 per cent of plastics are recycled. A million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals worldwide suffer injury or death through the food chain. Plastic Straws, plastic bags, cutlery, plates among the items. Canadian government planned to decide single-use plastic products included a ban of plastic bags, straws, cutlery, plates and stir sticks. Around 3m tonnes of plastic waste thrown away each year in Canada.

 

  • Mount Sinabung volcano erupted in Sumatra Island: Mount Sinabung volcano erupts in Sumatra Island of western Indonesia. A huge column of ash was blasted and spread 7 km high to southeast and south of the crater. Mount Sinabung blew for nine minutes. It caused panic among the island’s residents. The volcanic activity was accompanied by multiple earthquakes felt in nearby villages. No casualties have been reported due to the eruption. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. Sinabung was inactive for around 400 years before it erupted in 2010, 2014 and February 2018. Since then it has become one of Southeast Asian nation’s most active volcanoes. Mount Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano located in North Sumatra. It is particularly prone to seismic activity  due to its location on the Ring of Fire.

 

  • India to be guest country at Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico: India has been designated as the Guest of Honour at the 33rd Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara (Guadalajara International Book Fair), in Mexico. The book fair, to be organised from November 30 – December 8, will be “the largest book fair in the Spanish speaking world. The dedicated India pavilion at the fair will showcase over 35 Indian authors and artists, along with 15 publishing houses. “India will display a wide array of its rich and composite literary and cultural heritage through literary and academic activities comprising conferences, publishers’ round table, and discussions and presentations on science and other genres. Ancient and rare manuscripts including “Mahabharata” and ”Ramayana” will be put on exhibition, along with photo books, handicrafts and paintings.

 

  • Maldives to confer its highest award Nishan Izzuddin on Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Shri Narendra Modi is conferred with Maldives highest award ‘Nishan Izzuddin’. The main aim of the visit is to further cement ties with the Indian Ocean archipelago. Earlier, Prime Minister Modi and President Solih held delegation-level talks as the two countries signed a slew of agreements to strengthen bilateral ties in a number of key areas including defence. The Maldives is a key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

 

  • World Oceans Day is celebrated on 8th June: World Oceans Day is celebrated on 8th June every year. The day was declared in 2008. June 8 was marked as it marks the day when it was first proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit, UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The theme for the year 2019 is Gender and Oceans. The theme is to build greater ocean and gender literacy and to discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, as well as policy-making and management.

 

  • India ranks 95 in the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index: India ranked 95th out of 129 countries in the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index. India’s score is 56.2 on a scale of 0–100. The index found that no country has fully achieved the gender equality and that the global average score of 65.7 out of 100 which falls in the poor category. SDG Gender Index a new index that measures global gender equality considering various parameters such as education, literacy, political representation, poverty, health, and equality at the workplace.

 

  • Nirmala Sitharaman to attend G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Japan: Finance Minister Shri Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the two-day meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors in Japan. It is the first overseas visit of Sitharaman as the Finance Minister. The main aim is to focus on the risks and challenges of overseas trade and investment in infrastructure which are faced by our country. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) submit a report on taxation, urging greater cooperation    among nations. India actively participating in the OECD-G20 efforts to create a global consensus on the taxation of the digital economy.

 

  • World Environment Day: Since, its inception in 1974, World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 in more than 100 countries. The World Environment Day provides an opportunity to broaden the “basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment,” according to the United Nations. Every year, the World Environment Day is organized around a theme in order to draw attention towards pressing environmental issues. ‘Beat Air Pollution’, the theme for World Environment Day 2019, is a call for action call to combat the global crisis and has been chosen by this year’s host, China.

 

  • Europe’s highest volcano Mount Etna erupted: Mount Etna, Europe’s Highest Volcano and one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted spitting molten lava high into the sky. It is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania. This is 2019’s first eruption as the volcano on the island of Sicily as the Mount last erupted on 24 December 2018. Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. A stratovolcano is a conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and ash. The stratovolcano is also known as a composite volcano.

 

  • June 3 is celebrated as the World Bicycle Day across the globe: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 3 June as International World Bicycle Day. The resolution for World Bicycle Day recognizes the uniqueness, longevity, and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation. The day aims to promote the use of bicycles as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people, promoting health and tolerance, preventing disease, mutual understanding and respect, facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace.

 

  • Former President Pratibha Patil conferred the Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca Award: Former Indian President Pratibha Patil has been conferred the “Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca” (Order of the Aztec Eagle), the highest civilian award of Mexico given to foreigners. The Ambassador   of  Mexico to India, Melba Pria, conferred the award on Patil, who created history as this country’s first woman President (2007-2012), at a special ceremony held in the MCCIA Bhavan, Pune. Mexico’s highest distinction for foreigners is in recognition of their outstanding services to the Mexican nation or humanity, significant contributions to strengthening the bilateral relations between Mexico and other countries.

 

  • World  Milk Day observed on 1 June: World Milk Day is a day established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. It has been observed on June 1 each year since 2001. The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector. The objective of the day is to provide information about the need and importance of milk in a human being’s life. To celebrate the contribution of milk and dairy products in several industries, the economy and people’s lives. The theme for World Milk Day 2019 in India is “Drink Milk: Today & Everyday”.     

 

Key Updates: May 2019

 

  • International Everest Day: Nepal celebrates Mt. Everest Day on May 29 every year in memory of the first summit of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the day in 1953. The day is celebrated with memorial events, processions, and special events in Kathmandu and the Everest region. The Mt. Everest Day celebration has been a significant occasion for the promotion of Nepal’s mountain tourism.

 

  • International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Every year on 29 May, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. On this day, we pay tribute to all the men and women who have served as military, police or civilians in UN Peacekeeping operations.

 

  • Russia launches new Nuclear-powered Arctic icebreaker: Russia launched a nuclear-powered icebreaker, part of an ambitious programme to renew and expand its fleet of the vessels in order to improve its ability to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential.

 

  • ICMR head wins Dr. Lee Jong-wook prize for public health: Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) jointly won the 2019 Dr. Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public health at the 72nd World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland. This award was given him for his achievements as an innovator, clinician, researcher, and trainer.

 

  • World Thyroid Day observed: World Thyroid Day is celebrated on 25 May every year to raise awareness and reduce the prevalence of thyroid related disorders. The primary function of this gland is to control the body's metabolic rate.

 

  • Indian Army officer appointed Commander of UNMISS: UN Secretary, General Antonio Guterres, has appointed Indian Army officer, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

 

  • NASA unveils schedule for 'Artemis' 2024 Moon mission: NASA unveiled the calendar for the "Artemis" program that will return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including eight scheduled launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit by 2024. The original lunar missions were named for Apollo -- Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology, and the goddess of hunting, wilderness and the Moon.

 

  • SpaceX successfully launches First 60 satellites of its ‘Starlink’ Constellation: SpaceX successfully deployed all 60 Starlink satellites into orbit following liftoff, and the individual vehicles will fan out in orbit over time. The company also landed its Falcon 9 rocket following launch, marking this particular rocket’s third time going to space and back.

 

  • Algeria and Argentina declared malaria-free by WHO: Algeria and Argentina have been officially recognized by WHO as malaria-free. The certification is granted when a country proves that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of the disease for at least 3 consecutive years.

 

  • Joko Widodo has been elected President of Indonesia for the second term: Indonesia's Joko Widodo has been re-elected as president of the country, beating rival Prabowo Subianto, a retired general. Joko -- known as Jokowi -- won 55.5% of the vote in last month's general election while his longtime rival Prabowo Subianto took 44.5%.

 

  • UN Dag Hammarskjold Medal awarded to Late Jitender Kumar: An Indian peacekeeper is among the 119 military, police and civilian personnel who will be honoured this year with a prestigious UN medal this year for courage and sacrifice in the line of duty. Police Officer Jitender Kumar made the supreme sacrifice while serving in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

 

  • PCT Humanity entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts: A charity run by an Indian in the UAE has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for its hunger relief efforts during the holy month of Ramzan in Abu Dhabi.

 

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi honoured with 2019 JFK Profile in Courage Award: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her long career in public service, including her work to pass the Affordable Care Act and improve diversity in Congress.

 

  • Kapil Sharma named by World Book of Records as most viewed stand-up comedian in India and Abroad: Comedian-actor-singer-producer Kapil Sharma has been acknowledged by the World Book of Records London for being one of the most viewed stand-up comedians in India and abroad.

 

  • I. M. Pei, a pillar of modern architecture, dies at 102: I.M. Pei, the preeminent US architect who forged a distinct brand of modern building design with his sharp lines and stark structures, has died in New York.

 

  • India delivers a pair of Mi-24 choppers to Afghanistan: India has delivered the first pair of Mi-24 attack helicopters as replacement to the Afghan Air Force to help bolster the war-torn country's capability in counter insurgency and fight against terrorism.

 

  • Saudi government approved Special Privilege Iqam system: The Saudi cabinet approved the new "privileged iqama" system, which will offer wealthy and highly skilled expatriates residency visa’s without a local sponsor or employer.

 

  • International Nurses Day: International Nurses Day is celebrated on 12 May around the world on 12 May. It celebrates the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. The theme for 2019 International Nurses Day 2019 is – "Nurses – A Voice to Lead – Health for All".

 

  • US unveils Global Health Security Strategy: The United States government has come up with a first of its kind strategy to prevent, detect and respond to threats from infectious diseases occurring naturally or accidentally, in an effort to help improve the world's ability to stop and contain deadly outbreaks before they spread between countries.

 

  • MIT system tracks health from bounced-back radio signals: Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised a wireless movement-tracking system that uses radio frequency signals -- flowing around us and bouncing off our bodies -- and helps collect health and behavioural data. The system called “Marko” transmits a low-power radio-frequency (RF) signal into the environment. The signal returns to the system with certain changes if it has bounced off a moving human.

 

  • Indian-origin G D Robert Govender conferred V K Krishna Menon award 2019: G D 'Robert' Govender, an Indian-origin journalist in South Africa, has been honoured in the UK with 2019 V K Krishna Menon award for his outstanding contribution as a pioneer of decolonised journalism.

 

  • India and Bangladesh to jointly produce movie on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: India and Bangladesh will co-produce a film on the life and works of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a documentary on Bangladesh Liberation War (1971).

 

  • Centrist Laurentino Cortizo elected new President of Panama: Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), a center-left party, won the presidential elections held in Panama with 33.07% of votes. Heriberto Araúz, the president of the Electoral Court (TE), declared Cortizo as the new president of the country after counting 95% of the votes.

 

  • Golfer Tiger Woods receives US Presidential Medal of Freedom: US President Donald Trump has awarded golfer Tiger Woods the country's highest civilian honour, describing the 43-year-old as a "true legend" who transformed golf and then fought through years of injury to return to the sport's summit.

 

  • Nepal’s 18 year old girl dances for 126 hours Straight to set new World Record: The 18-year-old girl, Bandana Nepal, danced for 126 hours (over 5 days) non-stop to set a new record for 'Longest Dancing Marathon by an Individual'.

 

  • King Maha Vajiralongkorn crowned Rama X of Thailand: Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been crowned at the Grand Palace on the first of three days of coronation rites. The king crowned himself with a multi-tiered crown made of gold and diamonds dating back over two centuries in Thailand’s first coronation in nearly 70 years.

 

  • World Press Freedom Day: World Press Freedom Day was observed on 2 May to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

 

  • World Press Freedom Prize 2019 awarded to Myanmar Journalists: Two journalists working for Reuters who are under arrest in Myanmar have been awarded the 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at an event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The award for Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were detained for exposing attacks against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, were presented in absentia in the East African country that is hosting the World Press Freedom Day events.

 

  • World Tuna Day: World Tuna Day was observed on 2 May to increase awareness about the importance of tuna fish and to promote more sustainable fishing practices.

 

  • FDA approves first Dengue vaccine named Dengvaxia: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of Dengvaxia, the first vaccine approved for the prevention of dengue disease caused by all dengue virus serotypes (1, 2, 3 and 4) in people ages 9 through 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas.

 

Key Updates: April 2019

 

  • International Dance Day: International Dance Day takes place every year on 29th April, the anniversary of the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), creator of modern ballet.

 

  • World Veterinary Day:  World Veterinary Day is observed globally on 27th April 2019. This year’s theme is: Value of Vaccination.

 

  • World Day for Safety and Health: World Day for Safety and Health was observed every year on 28 April to promote safety and health in the workplace. It aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, boost social protection, and strengthen dialogue in work-related issues.

 

  • Alfred Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize: Alfred Brownell, an environmental lawyer and activist was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. Alfred Brownell, 53, was forced to flee Liberia and remains exiled in the United States after he mounted a campaign against Singapore-controlled Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), one of the world's biggest palm oil producing companies.

 

  • Beirut sets a new Guinness World Record: Lebanon's capital Beirut has set a new Guinness World Record for the number of national flags raised in a city for 24 hours. The Beirut Alive Association in the national capital raised a total of 26,852 Lebanese flags breaking New York's Waterloo record of 25,599 flags.

 

  • Gagandeep Kang becomes first Indian woman scientist to receive UK: Gagandeep Kang, 56, is Director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) in Faridabad. Acclaimed for her key role in the development of Rotavac, India’s first indigenously developed vaccine for rotavirus infections, Kang was recently awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), United Kingdom — the first Indian woman scientist to be thus feted.

 

  • World Intellectual Property Day: World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on 26th April. It aims to increase people’s awareness and understanding of intellectual property (IP).

 

  • World Immunization Week 2019: World Immunization Week, 24–30 April 2019, is an opportunity to recall how immunization helps keep people of the Western Pacific Region safe and healthy and to raise awareness of the need to continue being protected together.

 

  • Indonesia releases special stamp on Ramayana theme: Indonesia has released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana to mark the 70th anniversary of establishment of its diplomatic ties with India.

 

  • First International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy: First International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace is observed annually on April 24. The Day is a reaffirmation of the UN Charter and its principles of resolving disputes among countries through peaceful means.

 

  • 'Dawn' journalist Cyril Almeida named as the IPI’s 2019 World Press Freedom Hero: The International Press Institute (IPI) named Cyril Almeida, an assistant editor and columnist at Pakistani daily ‘Dawn’ who is currently facing sedition charges in the country, as the recipient of its 71st World Press Freedom Hero award.

 

  • UN English Language Day: April 23 is observed as UN English Language Day, every year. It coincides with William Shakespeare’s birthday and World Book and Copyright Day. English Language Day aims to entertain and inform people about the history, culture and achievements associated with the language.

 

  • World’s first Malaria Vaccine launched in Malawi: The world’s first malaria vaccine has been launched in Malawi after concerted efforts of over 30 years to protect children from the deadly disease that claims over 435,000 lives globally every year.

 

  • Global earth day 2019: Global Earth Day 2019 is an event observed annually on April 22 to raise awareness for the environmental protection and care of our planet.

 

  • Iran and Pakistan to set up a Joint Border Reaction Force: Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint border "reaction force" following a spate of deadly attacks by militant groups on their frontier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced.

 

  • Arab League pledges $100m to Palestine: The Arab League has pledged $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to make up for funds withheld by Israel because of payments made to the families of Palestinian attackers and prisoners.

 

  • Civil Services Day: Civil Services Day is celebrated on April 21 every year when bureaucrats rededicate themselves to public service, and awards for excellence in public administration are also conferred.

 

  • Universes first molecule “Helium hydride ion” detected in space: Scientists have detected the most ancient type of molecule in our universe in space for the first time ever. Helium hydride ion (HeH+) was the first molecule that formed when, almost 14 billion years ago, falling temperatures in the young universe allowed recombination of the light elements produced in the Big Bang.

 

  • World Liver Day: World liver day is observed on 19 April every year, to spread awareness about liver related disease.

 

  • India's rank slips to 140 in World Press Freedom Index 2019: India has slipped two more places in the World Press Freedom Index to a dismal 140th in the list of 180 countries.

 

  • Sri Lanka’s first satellite "Raavana 1" launched: Sri Lanka’s first satellite ‘Raavana-1’ was launched into space from NASA’s Flight Facility on Virginia’s east shore. ‘Raavana 1’ weights around 1.05 kg and the lifespan of the satellite is around one and a half years.

 

  • U.S. wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas: The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against China's use of tariff-rate quotas for imported rice, wheat and corn, which it successfully argued limited market access for US grain exports.

 

  • NASA Astronaut Christina Koch to set record for longest spaceflight by a woman: Nasa astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days. This would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

 

  • Nepal launches its first satellite NepaliSat-1 from US: Nepal has successfully launched its first satellite into space from the US to gather detailed geographical information of the Himalayan nation, evoking unbridled excitement among the people and scientists.

 

  • World Haemophilia Day: World Haemophilia Day is annually observed on April 17. World Hemophilia Day is aimed at raising awareness about hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. It also helps to raise funds for patients who cannot afford hemophilia treatment as well as attract volunteers for the World Federation of Hemophilia.

 

  • Singapore Changi airport got world's tallest 131-ft indoor waterfall: The world's tallest indoor waterfall, 131-foot-tall, opened for the general public at Singapore's Jewel Changi Airport. The waterfall is housed inside a dome-shaped complex which has gardens growing over four storeys, more than 280 retail and food outlets, a hotel and a movie theatre.

 

  • Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for its coverage of the school massacre that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, and the shortcomings in school discipline and security that contributed to the carnage.

 

  • Mohammed Ishtaye sworn in as New Palestinian PM: New Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye and his cabinet members were sworn in before President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

 

  • Crying Girl pic by John Moore wins World Press Photo of the Year Award: A photograph of a toddler crying helplessly near the US-Mexico border has won the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award.

 

  • Israeli lunar mission Beresheet crashes on the Moon: The robotic Beresheet spacecraft, built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), aimed to become the first Israeli craft, and the first privately funded mission, ever to land softly on the moon. The craft, which was set to be the first privately funded lander on the moon’s surface, suffered a fatal engine failure as it was attempting to land and crashed to the lunar surface instead of touching down gently.

 

  • New species of ancient human discovered in the Philippines: Scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree in a cave in the Philippines. The small-bodied hominin, named Homo luzonensis, lived on the island of Luzon at least 50,000 to 67,000 years ago. The hominin—identified from a total of seven teeth and six small bones—hosts a patchwork of ancient and more advanced features.

 

  • World Homoeopathy Day: The World Homoeopathy Day is observed every year on April 10 to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of Homoeopathy, Dr. Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann.

 

  • Benjamin Netanyahu elected for 5th term as Israel's Prime Minister: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rival conceded defeat, promising to wage a robust battle from the opposition after the ruling Likud party and its nationalist allies won a solid majority in parliamentary elections.

 

  • London becomes 1st city to launch 24x7 pollution charge zone: London became the first city in the world to implement a special Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that would charge an entry fee for older vehicles if they do not meet the emission standards.

 

  • Jean Michel Lapin elected as Haiti's new prime minister: Haiti's President Jovenel Moise has confirmed Jean-Michel Lapin as the country's new prime minister, just weeks after the Chamber of Deputies censured his predecessor's six-month-old government.

 

  • World Health Day: The World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 as a global health awareness day under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. The day celebrates the establishment of the WHO and this year it marks the end of the World Health Organization’s 70th-anniversary celebrations.

 

  • International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide: International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide was observed on 7th April, offers the world a chance to publicly remember the enormous number of lives lost to the violence that took place. The date also serves as an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to initiatives working to prevent all future atrocities.

 

  • Global Cooling Coalition launched in Global Conference on Synergies: The first-ever global coalition on clean and efficient cooling was launched at the First Global Conference on Synergies between the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

  • BepiColombo ready for long cruise to Mercury: The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission has successfully completed its near-Earth commissioning phase and is now ready for the operations that will take place during the cruise and, eventually, for its scientific investigations at Mercury.

 

  • South Korea launches world's first nationwide 5G mobile network: South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks two days early, its top mobile carriers giving a handful of users access in a late-night scramble to provide the super-fast wireless technology.

 

  • Chicago elects Lori Lightfoot as first female black mayor: Lori Lightfoot is a former federal prosecutor who has not held political office before. She fought off competition from 13 other candidates and dominated the final run-off election with more than 74% when the vote was called.

 

Key Updates: March 2019

 

  • Amartya Sen awarded with Oxford University's Bodley award: Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has been awarded the prestigious Bodley Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the University of Oxford's world-famous Bodleian Libraries.

 

  • Turing award awarded by 3 pioneers in Artificial Intelligence: The 2018 Turing Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of computing,” has been given to a trio of researchers who laid the foundations for the current boom in artificial intelligence. Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun — sometimes called the “godfathers of AI” — have been recognized with the $1 million annual prize for their work developing the AI subfield of deep learning.

 

  • Worlds longest salt cave found in Israel: Israeli researchers say they have discovered the world’s longest salt cave near the desert site where, according to the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.  The 10-km long warren of underground passages and chambers in Mount Sodom, overlooking the Dead Sea, was mapped out over two years by cavers from nine countries, led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

  • World Theatre Day: World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on the 27th March to create awareness about the loosing importance of Theatre.

 

  • President of India honoured with highest civilian order in Croatia: President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia's highest civilian award -- the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav. The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their contribution towards the strengthening of ties between the European nation and their respective country.

 

  • World Purple day (Epilepsy Awareness Day): Epilepsy Awareness Day is observed annually on March 26th. The day is known as “Purple Day” as people are encouraged to wear the colour to increase awareness of Epilepsy.

 

  • UAE's ADNOC Awards Onshore Block to Indian Consortium: A consortium of two Indian oil companies, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Indian Oil Corporation Limited have been awarded the exploration rights for Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1.

 

  • World's largest e-waste recycling hub opened in Dubai: The world's largest e-waste recycling facility has opened in Dubai, Located at the Dubai Industrial Park, the 280,000 square feet plant will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste. The facility will utilise state-of-the-art reclamation technology, which surpasses the European Union's standards for e-waste.

 

  • Peter Tabichi won Global Teacher Prize 2019: Kenyan maths and physics teacher, Peter Tabichi, won the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize at a star-studded event in Dubai.

 

  • Indonesia launches its first mass rapid transit (MRT) system: Indonesia’s long-awaited first subway opened in the country’s capital with the aim of relieving crippling traffic gridlock in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

 

  • World Tuberculosis Day: World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24th March to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

 

  • Jimmy Carter becomes longest living chief executive in American history: Former US president Jimmy Carter - the 39th president of the United States - has recently celebrated multiple record-breaking milestones: He is now the longest-living chief executive in American history. His 172nd day beyond Carter’s 94th birthday, exceeding by one day the lifespan of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30 at the age of 94 years, 171 days.

 

  • World Water Day: World Water Day is celebrated on March 22nd around the world. The day is observed to fetch attention to the need of conserving safe drinking water as well as looking for solutions to provide safe drinking water to people around the world.

 

  • Vega Rocket launches Italian Earth-Watching PRISMA Satellite: European Vega rocket launched a new Earth-watching satellite for the Italian Space Agency, which will help scientists monitor the planet’s environmental state.

 

  • World Down Syndrome Day: World Down Syndrome Day is annually celebrated on March 21st to raise public awareness of Down syndrome, a congenital disorder caused by having an extra 21st chromosome.

 

  • Scientists discovered evidence of water on asteroid Bennu: A NASA spacecraft, which will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023, has discovered plumes erupting from the cosmic body’s surface — among a numerous other findings including evidence of water-bearing minerals.

 

  • World Sparrow Day: World Sparrow Day is a day designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and then other common birds to urban environments, and of threats to their populations, observed on 20th March.

 

  • International Day of Happiness: The International Day of Happiness is annually celebrated on March 20th. The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well-being of all peoples. This year's theme is Happier Together.

 

  • Brazilian astronomer Marcelo Gleiser wins 2019 Templeton Prize: Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser has been awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize, worth $1.4m, for his work blending science and spirituality. Gleiser is the first Latin American to win the award, which honours “a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension.

 

  • Kazakhstan renames capital Astana as “Nursultan” after ex-President: Kazakhstan has renamed its capital Astana to Nursultan to honour outgoing leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who unexpectedly resigned.

 

  • US Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck becomes 1st woman to win prestigious Abel Prize: American Karen Uhlenbeck won the Abel Prize in mathematics for her fundamental work in geometric analysis and gauge theory, which has dramatically changed the mathematical landscape.

 

  • Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan receives Padma Bhushan: Nambi Narayanan, the former scientist of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has been conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India.

 

  • Tokyo unveils chatty robot-eers for 2020 Olympics: Tokyo Olympic organisers has rolled out a pair of chatty robots they will put to work to assist wheelchair users at the 2020 Games as they continue to plug Japan's cutting-edge technology. Billed as distant relations to beeping Star Wars drone R2D2, Toyota unveiled its human support (HSR) and delivery support robots (DSR), which are set to act as seat ushers and will fetch food and drinks for disabled fans at next year’s Olympic.

 

  • World Consumer Rights Day 2019: The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating the day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights. The theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2019 is “Trusted Smart Products”.

 

  • World Kidney Day 2019: World Kidney Day is celebrated every year on the second Thursday in March, is an awareness day that brings global attention to the importance of kidney health. The day aims to highlight the risk factors that can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease.

 

  • UK issues new black hole coin in honour of Stephen Hawking: The UK’s Royal Mint has unveiled a new commemorative 50 pence coin inspired by the late legendary British physicist Stephen Hawking’s seminal work on black holes. Hawking, one of the world’s best-known theoretical physicists who died aged 76 last year, joins the ranks of other eminent scientists such Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin to have a commemorative coin in honour of one of his greatest discoveries that black holes should not be all black.

 

  • China’s Long March 3B-Rocket Series Completes 300 launches: China’s Long March-3B rocket, regarded as the mainstay of the country’s space programme since 1970, successfully completed its 300th launch by putting a new communication satellite into orbit.

 

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas names ally Shtayyeh as new PM: Mohammad Shtayyeh has been named as Palestinian Prime Minister by President of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. A member of the West Bank's dominant Fatah party is a longtime ally of Abbas.

 

  • India Bags First Prize at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019: The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has won the First Prize in the category of TV Cinema Spot at the prestigious international Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019. The Golden City Gate Tourism Multimedia Awards are given annually in various categories related to the Tourism and Hospitality sectors. The ‘Golden City Gate’ is a creative multimedia international competition for countries, cities, regions and hotels.

 

  • 116-year-old Japanese woman honoured by Guinness World Records: A 116-year-old “Kane Tanaka” Japanese woman who loves playing the board game Othello was honored as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.

 

  • International Women’s Day 2019: International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated every year on March 8th. The International Women's Day 2019 campaign theme of Balance for Better is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

 

  • Arata Isozaki won Pritzker Architecture Prize: Japanese architect Arata Isozaki is the 46th individual has won the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

 

  • Kaja Kallas elected as the first female Prime Minister of Estonia: Kaja Kallas, leader of the opposition Reform party which won the Estonian elections. Kallas is on track to become the country's first female prime minister.

 

  • Historic Guinness World Record in yoga in Hong Kong made by over 1,000 people: Taking the Yoga Day initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the next level, the Overseas President of BJP for Hong Kong & China, Sohan Goenka conducted a Japan Auction House Guinness World Record in Yoga.

 

  • SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with International Space Station: The Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station, after launching into orbit from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Florida's Space Coast. Dragon linked up with a docking port on the station's Harmony module as the two craft sailed 250 miles (402 kilometers) over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New Zealand.

 

  • World Wildlife Day 2019: World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3rd March World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2019 under the theme “Life below water: for people and planet".

 

  • Zero Discrimination Day: By reflecting on people in everyday situations, on Zero Discrimination Day, 1st March, UNAIDS is challenging people to recognize where everyday discrimination takes place and to take action to stop it.

 

  • World civil defence day: World Civil Defence Day is celebrated every year on the 1st March. This Day commemorates the entry into force of the ICDO Constitution as an intergovernmental organisation in 1972 and has two main purposes: that of bringing to the attention of the world public the vital importance of Civil Protection and of raising awareness of the preparedness for, and prevention and self-protection measures in the event of accidents or disasters; that of paying tribute to the efforts, sacrifices and accomplishments of all the national services responsible for the fight against disasters. The theme of the World Civil Defence Day 2019" Children’s safety, our responsibility".

 

Key Updates: February 2019

 

  • Oscars 2019 : The 91st Academy Awards held at Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles. Best Picture - Green Book ; Best Actor in Leading Role - Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody ; Best Actress in Leading Role - Olivia Colman for The Favourite ; Best Director - Alfonso Cuaron for Roma ; Best Supporting Actor - Mahershala Ali for Green Book ; Best Supporting Actress - Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk ; Best Original Score - Ludwig Goransson for Black Panther.

 

  • India-based film on menstruation wins Best Short Documentary Oscar: “Period. End of Sentence,” a Netflix short documentary, has won has won the Oscars in the Documentary Short Subject category at the 91st Academy Awards.

 

  • India hosts '4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit: India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) inaugurated the 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit. The summit is a global intergovernmental meeting on digital health and is hosted by MoHFW in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP). The GDHP’s objective is to support governments and health system reformers to improve the health and well-being of citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.

 

  • Kelly Knight Craft as US ambassador to United Nations: President Donald Trump has nominated his envoy to Canada Kelly Knight Craft as the next US Ambassador to the UN to succeed Indian-American Nikki Haley. The 46-year-old former South Carolina governor has served nearly two years in the post. She was the first Indian-American ever appointed to a Cabinet position in any US presidential administration.

 

  • SpaceX Rocket Launches 1st Private Moon Lander for Israel: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched an Israeli moon lander along with an Indonesian communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. After deploying its two payloads into orbit, the Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth and aced a landing (the third for this booster) on SpaceX's drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

 

  • Saudi Arabia appoints first female ambassador to United States: Saudi Arabia has appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar, a former business executive and philanthropist who lived in the United States for more than two decades, as the country’s next ambassador to Washington. She replaces Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, the son of King Salman and the younger brother of Crowned Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who is returning to Riyadh to become the Middle Eastern kingdom's deputy defense minister.

 

  • Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships awarded to 150 Sri Lankan students: 150 students of Sri Lanka from all 25 districts were awarded the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for study in India. Sri Lankan Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu gave the scholarships at a special ceremony in Colombo.

 

  • Scientists discovered new Universe map unearths 3,00,000 more galaxies: A new map of the night sky published hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see. The international team behind the unprecedented space survey said their discovery literally shed new light on some of the Universe’s deepest secrets, including the physics of black holes and how clusters of galaxies evolve.

 

  • French aerospace firm Safran to set up plant in Hyderabad: French aerospace company Safran has announced that it was going to invest 36 million euros in Telangana to build a turbine component manufacturing facility for its advanced LEAP commercial jet engines.

 

  • Iran Launches New 'Fateh' Submarine: Iran has launched a new locally-made submarine capable of firing cruise missiles, state TV said, in the country's latest show of military might at a time of heightened tensions with the US.

 

  • Researchers developed the first walking robot to navigate without GPS: Researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) claim to have developed the first walking robot that can explore its environment and find its way home without GPS or mapping, opening new avenues for the navigation of autonomous vehicles.

 

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat won the prestigious Martin Ennals human rights prize: Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a refugee and human rights defender, has won the prestigious Martin Ennals human rights prize. Recognized as a true leader, human rights and humanitarian advocate, Muhamat has tirelessly cared for fellow refugees, and eloquently drawn the world’s attention to their plight.

 

  • World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2019: The Intercontinental Labour Organisation has released the yearly World Employment and Social Outlook Developments for the year 2019. Unemployment fees have been expected to fall to 4.9% in 2019 and are envisioned to hold steady into 2020. The quantity of jobless in serious terms is approximated to rise from 172 million to 174 million in that time as the labour market place expands. The unemployment rate increased from 5 to 5.6% between 2008-9, as the fallout of the in the vicinity of whole collapse of big marketplaces took maintain.

 

  • World Radio Day: World Radio Day is celebrated on February 13 every year. This day marks a time where people around the world celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives. Radio informs, transforms and unites us. It brings together people and communities from all backgrounds to foster positive dialogue for change. The theme for this year is “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”.

 

  • International Darwin Day: International Darwin Day is celebrated on February 12 every year honors the life and work of English naturalist Charles Darwin. The day is a celebration of science and humanity.

 

  • Clouded Leopard mascot for National Games 2022 in Meghalaya: Clouded Leopard will be the mascot for National Games 2022 in Meghalaya and a competition to design a smiling Clouded Leopard will be opened to all.

 

  • Jimmy Carter Wins 2019 Grammy Award: The 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter won a Grammy award. Carter, 94, won an award under the "Best Spoken Word Album" category for his audiobook, "Faith: A Journey for All." Within the book, a New York Times bestseller, Carter "contemplates how faith has sustained him in happiness and disappointment."

 

  • India, Norway launch ‘India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative’ to combat Marine Pollution: India’s ministry of environment, forests and climate change has signed a letter of intent with the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs to establish an India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative.

 

  • Abu Dhabi adds Hindi as third official court language: Abu Dhabi has included Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice. This is aimed at helping Hindi speakers to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration procedures via unified forms available through the ADJD website.

 

  • INS Trikand participates in exercise Cutlass Express 2019: INS Trikand, a front-line warship of the Indian Navy, participated in a multinational training exercise “Cutlass Express 2019”. The aim of the exercise was to improve law enforcement capacity, promote regional security and progress inter-operability between the armed forces of the participating nations for the purpose of interdicting illegal maritime activity in the Western Indian Ocean.

 

  • President Trump Nominates David Malpass for World Bank President: President Donald Trump nominated US senior Treasury official David Malpass to lead the World Bank, choosing a loyalist who has been sharply critical of China and has called for a shakeup of the global economic order.

 

  • International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on February 6th as part of the UN's efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation.

 

  • Thailand names Siamese Fighting fish its National Aquatic Animal: The authorities of Thailand has accepted the proposal to identify Siamese combating fish as the National Aquatic Animal. The choice for centered on the suggestion of the Countrywide Identification Committee of Thailand which encourages Thai cultural delight forwarded its endorsement of the fighting fish.  The govt has approved the proposal owing to the cultural and historical importance of the Siamese combating fish for Thailand.

 

  • World Cancer day: World Cancer day is observed every year on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

 

  • World Wetlands Day: World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd February. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

 

Key Updates: January 2019

 

  • International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements 2019: The International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements has launched at UNESCO's Headquarters, Paris. According to a statement from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), events and activities will be held throughout the year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the organisation of the periodic table by Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev, one of the fathers of modern chemistry.

 

  • Europe is set to needle Trump with Iran Trade Promotion Plan: Three European powers U.K., France and Germany are set to make good on a plan to help companies trade with Iran, defying President Donald Trump with a bid to bypass US sanctions. This prepare proposes a special intent car to take payments from companies that want to trade with Iran, either by getting waivers for oil imports or permissible trade in items like foodstuff and medication.

 

  • India to participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2021: A Signing ceremony of Agreement between India and OECD for India’s participation in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021 was held in New Delhi. PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools/states in the subsequent cycles. This will lead to improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country.

 

  • International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (A/RES/60/7): International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day on 27th January commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. It also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 1945.

 

  • Oxford Dictionaries declares “Nari Shakti” as the Hindi word of the year 2018: Nari Shakti (women empowerment) has been chosen as the Hindi word of the year 2018 by Oxford Dictionaries. The announcement was made during a session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) at the Diggi Palace.

 

  • Russia marks 75 years since World War II siege of Leningrad: The Russian city of St. Petersburg is marking the end of the World War II siege by Nazi forces with a large military parade in sprawling Palace Square. The siege of the city, then called Leningrad, lasted nearly 2½ years until the Soviet Army drove the Nazis away on Jan 27, 1944.

 

  • Australia Day: Australia celebrates 26th January as Australia Day which marks the first fleet from Britain landing in Sydney Cove. It is a public holiday, and the significance of the day differs amongst the nation’s population.

 

  • Govt declares Sugarcane Juice as National Drink of Pakistan: The Pakistan government declared sugarcane juice as the “National Drink” of the country. The government has conducted a poll on social networking site Twitter at which people were asked to decide the national drink of Pakistan. Options including orange juice, sugarcane juice and carrot juice were given in the poll.

 

  • Sultan Abdullah elected as New Malaysian King: Pahang’s Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as the new Malaysian king by members of the country's royal families. Sultan Abdullah has been chosen as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (king) for a period of five years starting from January 31, 2019.

 

  • Israeli, US successfully test Ballistic missile interceptors named Arrow 3: The Arrow 3 anti-missile interceptor was test-fired to validate recent modifications, and hit its ballistic missile target in what Israel’s Ministry of Defense called a "complete mission success".

 

  • Rio de Janeiro named as first World Capital of Architecture: Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro has been declared as the World Capital for Architecture 2020, part of a new initiative between Unesco and the International Union of Architects. The World Capital of Architecture is intended to become an international forum for debates about pressing global challenges from the perspectives of culture, cultural heritage, urban planning and architecture.

 

  • International Day of Education: The United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus a resolution proclaiming 24th January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

  • Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven re-elected for second term: Sweden ended a four-month political vacuum when lawmakers elected Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to a second term, after he elbowed out the far-right to save one of Europe’s few left-wing governments.

 

  • First human rights TV channel “lend voice to the voiceless” Launched: The world’s first television channel dedicated to human rights was launched in London with a promise to deliver hidden stories ignored by mainstream media into people’s living rooms.  It is web-based channel would bring human rights issues to audiences in over 20 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

 

  • Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi Being Considered to lead World Bank: Indian-American business leader Indra Nooyi, who headed the multinational PepsiCo, is among the candidates being considered by the White House to head the World Bank after the India-born former PepsiCo CEO name was floated by Ivanka Trump.

 

  • World Dynamic City 2019: Bengaluru is the world’s most dynamic city among 131 major established and emerging business hubs globally, according to the sixth City Momentum Index published by JLL. Closely following Bengaluru is Hyderabad that is ranked second with Delhi at fourth, Pune at fifth, Chennai at seventh and Kolkata at fifteenth position featuring in top 20 cities.

 

  • Tulsi, first Hindu in US Congress, to run for President in 2020: Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, is running for the White House in 2020, and could end up vying with Kamala Harris, who is likely to run also, for the affection, support and, most importantly, the financial backing of the country’s richest ethnic community, Indian Americans.

 

  • US Chamber launches new innovation initiative at Raisina Dialogue, 2019: The United States Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) launched a new innovation initiative at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. The initiative, titled "Fair Value for Innovation", will examine economic underpinnings that would enable breakthrough innovation, and explore how policymakers can harness innovation capital in India and around the globe through research, advocacy, partnerships, and programs.

 

  • IWF president named as Chef de Mission for Tokyo Olympics: President of the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), Birendra Prasad Baishya, has been named Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It is for the first time that the sport of weightlifting has been accorded with honour of Chef de Mission for the Olympic Games.

 

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Ten Iridium communications satellites: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 Iridium Communications satellites has blasted off from California. SpaceX will try to land the Falcon's first stage on an autonomous vessel floating in the ocean. The payload is the eighth and final set of satellites to be launched as Iridium replaces its entire globe-circling fleet with next-generation orbiters. Deployment of the satellites is scheduled to be completed a little over an hour after liftoff.

 

  • Malala Yousafzai pens new book on refugee girls: Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai is coming up with a new book, charting her experiences travelling the world and visiting refugee camps. Titled We are Displaced, the book will hit the stands in India.

 

  • Shenzhen becomes 2nd China city with 99% electric taxis: One of China's major cities has reached an environmental milestone, an almost entirely electric-powered taxi fleet. The high-tech hub of Shenzhen in southern China announced at the start of this year that 99 percent of the 21,689 taxis operating in the city were electric.

 

  • Sheikh Hasina sworn in as Bangladesh PM for 3rd consecutive term: Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as Bangladesh’s Prime Minister for a third consecutive term after her Awami League’s landslide victory in the recent elections that was marred by deadly violence and allegations of vote rigging.

 

  • China named its lunar rover as Yutu 2: China has named the lunar rover, successfully deployed to carry out a string of experiments on the far side of the moon, as “Yutu-2”. Yutu-2 follows on from the success of the Yutu rover, which was part of the Change 3 mission. Its scientific instruments include a panoramic camera, ground-penetrating radar, and instruments to identify the chemical makeup of the lunar surface.

 

  • World Braille Day: World Braille Day is celebrated every year on 4th January, the birthday of Braille inventor, Louis Braille. The day recognizes the contributions of Louis Braille in helping blind and visually impaired people to read and write. Braille literacy is also an important factor in equal opportunities for people with blindness.

 

  • India's Arunima Sinha, World's first female Amputee to climb the highest peak of Antarctica: Indian mountaineer Arunima Sinha became the first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica. She was also the world’s first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013.

 

  • U.S. and Israel Quit U.N. Cultural Agency UNESCO: The United States and Israel have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

 

Key Updates: December 2018

 

  • Bangladesh captain Mortaza wins election, becomes 1st active cricketer to become an MP: The 35-year-old, Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza has become a member of parliament after winning from the Narail 2 constituency in the country's 11th general elections.

 

  • Pakistan cabinet to issue Panda Bonds to raise capital in China: Pakistan's cabinet has approved the issuance of first-ever renminbi-denominated bonds to raise loans from China's capital markets, as the country moved a step forward to give the Chinese currency a status at par with the US dollar.

 

  • Italy’s Mount Etna Volcano erupts again: Europe’s highest and most active volcano erupted in Italy just before Christmas, creating troubles for many locals and tourists in nearby areas. Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, has been largely dormant for the past two years.

 

  • US Adventurer Completes Solo Trek Across Antarctica: An American adventurer has become the first person to complete a solo trek across Antarctica without any assistance. Colin O’Brady, 33, took 54 days to complete the nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) crossing of the frozen continent from north to south.

 

  • Israel permits medical marijuana exports: Israel's Parliament has unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana, allowing Israel to tap the lucrative global market. Israel will become the third country, after the Netherlands and Canada, to take its medical cannabis global.

 

  • Russia successfully tests “hypersonic missile”: Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed final tests of a hypersonic missile, which he had earlier said would render existing missile systems obsolete.

 

  • Thailand becomes 1st Nation in Southeast Asia to legalize medical marijuana: Thailand’s legislature has agreed to amend the country’s drug law to allow the licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller.

 

  • Patrick Shanahan to replace James Mattis as US Defence Secretary: United States President Donald Trump has announced that he will replace Defence Secretary Jim Mattis with his deputy Patrick Shanahan as acting Pentagon chief on January 1st.

 

  • Indonesia hit by Volcanic Tsunami: The deadly tsunami in Indonesia was triggered by a chunk of the Anak Krakatau volcano slipping into the ocean, officials have confirmed, amid calls for a new early warning system that can detect volcanic eruptions.

 

  • Gitega named as the new capital of Burundi: The Burundian government "has just adopted an historic bill making Gitega the political capital in the Great Lakes region and making Bujumbura the economic capital," tweeted Jean-Claude Karerwa Ndenzako, spokesman for President Pierre Nkurunziza.

 

  • China launches First Satellite for Space-based Broadband Services: China launched its first communication satellite to provide broadband internet services worldwide in an apparent bid to rival Google and other international firms. The satellite was launched from a Long March 11 carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in north-western China and is the first in the Hongyun project planned by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp.

 

  • NASA's InSight lander places its first instrument (SEIS) on Mars: NASA’s InSight lander has deployed its first instrument on the surface of Mars. The stationary lander used its robotic arm to deploy the SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), marking the first time a seismometer has been placed on the surface of another planet. This is a milestone for the mission, and one that comes well ahead of schedule.

 

  • South Korean grain silo transforms into world's largest mural: A dreary grain silo that was transformed into an enormous colourful artwork in South Korea has been named by Guinness World Records as the largest outdoor mural in the world. The painting which depicts a young boy's journey into adulthood covers the outside of giant storage containers in the port city of Incheon, west of Seoul, taking up 23,688 square meters.

 

  • Nevada becomes 1st US state with female-majority Legislature: Nevada became the first state in the U.S. with an overall female majority in the Legislature when county officials in Las Vegas appointed two women to fill vacancies in the state Assembly. The appointments of Democrats Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice “Bea” Angela Duran to two Las Vegas-area legislative seats give women 51 percent of the 63 seats in the Legislature.

 

  • “Captain Marvel” named most anticipated film of 2019 by IMDb: IMDb released its list of the 10 most anticipated movies of 2019, and the next entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Captain Marvel" and "Avengers: Endgame," top it. Marvel Studios' upcoming film 'Captain Marvel' has been named the most anticipated film of 2019 by the global film and TV website IMDb.

 

  • Japanese scientists detected the evidence of water in 17 asteroids: Japanese scientists have detected evidence of water in 17 asteroids for the first time using data from the infrared satellite AKARI. This discovery will contribute to our understanding of the distribution of water in our solar system, the evolution of asteroids, and the origin of water on Earth.

 

  • Pakistan releases Hamid Nahal Ansari from jail after six years: The Pakistan government has released Hamid Nahal Ansari from the jail after six years. 33-year-old Ansari, was caught in Pakistan by intelligence agencies in 2012.  He went to meet the woman an online friend in Pakistan when the military court sued him and in 2015, he was sentenced to three years in prison.He was accused of possessing a fake Pakistani identity card.

 

  • International Migration Day: International Migrants Day is observed on 18th December to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide. The theme for the 2018 is “Migration With Dignity”.

 

  • NASA’s first flight to the moon marks its 50th anniversary: Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders orbited the moon on Christmas Eve, reading from the Book of Genesis. To this day, the mission is considered NASA's boldest and perhaps most dangerous undertaking ever. NASA whipped it together in four months, in order to beat the Soviets to the moon.

 

  • Merriam-Webster selects ‘Justice’ as its 2018 Word of the Year: Merriam-Webster has chosen "justice" as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle over months and months. The word follows "toxic," picked by Oxford Dictionaries, and "misinformation," plucked by Dictionary.com.

 

  • Scientist has discovered the most distance body ever observed in our solar system: A team of astronomers has discovered the most “far out” object ever observed in our solar system. The object, a pink dwarf planet called 2018 VG18 and nicknamed “Farout” lies more than 100 times farther from the Sun than Earth.

 

  • Philippines' Catriona Gray crowned Miss Universe 2018: Catriona Gray from the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. She received her crown from last year's winner, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence can predict risk of infection after surgery: Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can successfully predict whether a patient is at risk of developing a serious, and possibly life-threatening infection after surgery.

 

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as PM of Sri Lanka: Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka's prime minister, making a remarkable comeback weeks after being ousted by President Maithripala Sirisena under controversial circumstances.

 

  • UAE President declares 2019 as Year of Tolerance: United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2019 as the "Year of Tolerance", highlighting the country as a global capital for tolerance, through its goals to enhance the role of the country in instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and international communities.

 

  • Shree Saini from USA crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018: Indian-American Shree Saini has been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2018 at a pageant held in the Fords City of New Jersey. Sakshi Sinha from Australia and Anusha Sareen from United Kingdom were respectively declared first and second runner ups in the 27th annual global pageant for people of Indian origin.

 

  • Australia recognizes west Jerusalem as capital of Israel: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

 

  • Google develops a new AI model to help detect diabetic retinopathy: Google has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model that can detect diabetic retinopathy with a level of accuracy on par with human retinal specialists.

 

  • International Universal Health Coverage Day: International Universal Health Coverage Day was observed on 12th December each year, aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. The theme for the 2018 UHC Day is: "Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the Time for Collective Action."

 

  • International Anti-Corruption Day observed on December 9th: International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed annually, on 9th December, aims to raise public awareness of corruption and what people can do to fight it.

 

  • Miss Mexico Vanessa Ponce De Leon gets Miss World 2018 winner: India’s Manushi Chhillar, who won the Miss World pageant last year, passed the baton to Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce De Leon at a glitzy ceremony, where the first runner-up title went to Thailand’s representative and Femina Miss India 2018 Anukreethy Vas failed to make it even to the top 12.

 

  • UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has launched a new framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism and coordinate efforts across the peace and security, humanitarian, human rights and sustainable development sectors.

 

  • Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free: Luxembourg City, the capital of the tiny, is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer of 2019 under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister.

                                                                         

  • UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah Prize awarded to Vashkar Bhattacharjee and Tencent: Disabilities’ advocate Vashkar Bhattacharjee (Bangladesh), and private sector enterprise, Tencent (China) will be awarded the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (2018/2019) in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters.

 

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities: The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3rd December, to focus on issues that affect people with disabilities worldwide. The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

 

  • First India, Japan air exercise “SHINYUU Maitri 18” begins in Agra: The Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) is in India for a bilateral air exercise SHINYUU Maitri-18 with Indian Air Force from 03-07 Dec 18 at A F Station Agra. The theme of the exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft. The JASDF C2 aircraft along with aircrew/observers are part of this first air exercise between the two Air Forces.

 

  • NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrives at its targeted asteroid Bennu after 2-year journey: NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft pulled alongside the asteroid Bennu. Its mission is to survey the asteroid ahead of retrieving pristine bits of the solar system from the rock’s surface and then bringing them back to Earth in the years ahead.

 

  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery: The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2nd December, marks the date of the adoption. The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

 

  • France will introduce its own tax on large internet technology companies from 1st january: French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has announced its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1. France has been pushing hard for a new so-called “GAFA tax” - named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

 

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador became first leftist president of Mexico: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took the oath of office as Mexico’s first leftist president in over 70 years, marking a turning point in one of the world’s most radical experiments in opening markets and privatization.

 

Key Updates: November 2018

 

  • International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, which  aims to remind people on the importance of solidarity in working towards eradicating poverty.

 

  • Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi: Egyptian authorities unveiled a well-preserved mummy of a woman inside a previously unopened coffin in Luxor in southern Egypt dating back to more than 3,000 years.

 

  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed every year across the world on 25th November to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

 

  • Russia to venture into Internet of things (IoT) with the launch of new satellite system: Russia's state space corporation, has planned to venture into the Internet of things (IoT) with the launch of a new satellite system named “Marathon”.

 

  • UN selects Noida, Greater Noida to participate in Global Sustainable Cities 2025 initiative: The United Nations has selected Uttar Pradesh's Noida and Greater Noida to participate in its Global Sustainable Cities which aims to create 25 model cities across the world that will be fully compliant with the sustainable development goals by 2025.

 

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe’s alliance wins control of key panel in Parliament: Ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s alliance won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a major blow to President Maithripala Sirisena and his prime ministerial appointee Mahinda Rajapaksa.

 

  • International Space Station completes 20 years: International Space Station (ISS) has been in the space for 20 years now and while the space station was launched on a Russian rocket, the ISS has been part of quite a lot of memorable moments in the history of mankind’s journey into space.

 

  • Swami Vigyanand launches Hindu Economic Forum in New Zealand: Swami Vigyananand has launched Hindu Economic Forum New Zealand (HEFNZ) in Auckland, with the vision "Grow Together; Share Together".

 

  • Manipal Academy of Higher Education won silver in the International Green Apple 2018: The Manipal Academy of Higher Education won silver in the International Green Apple Award for environmental best practice 2018. The award was received by Derrick I Joshua, assistant director, environment sustainability, MAHE at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament, London.

 

  • Kim Jong-yang of South Korea elected as new President of Interpol: Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as their new president, defeating a controversial Russian candidate with ties to the Kremlin. Mr Kim was elected for a two-year term at the annual General Assembly, which is being held in Dubai this year. He has been acting Interpol president since the arrest of his predecessor this year.

 

  • Fish genes hold key to repairing damaged hearts: Scientists have identified a gene behind the Mexican tetra fish's ability to repair its damaged heart, an advance that may hold clues for future treatments in humans. Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK found that the tetra fish living in the rivers of Northern Mexico have retained their ability to repair their heart tissue even after millions of years.

 

  • China unveils the world's first underground hotel: The world's first underground hotel has unveiled in Shanghai, buried almost 90 metres deep in an old quarry. Built in the Sheshan Mountain Range, on the hem of Shanghai, the ritzy hotel costs $287.9 million.

 

  • UN General Assembly adopts 1st resolution on sexual harassment: The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on sexual harassment, the first of its kind at the world body. The resolution adopted to serves as a normative framework on work against sexual harassment, urging member states to condemn violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment, and pursue a policy of eliminating such violence.

 

  • Prof SP Ganguly Awarded Mexican Order of Aztec Eagle: Professor S.P. Ganguly, a well-known Hispanist who headed the Centre for Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has been awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest civilian honour given to a foreigner by Mexico.

 

  • UNESCO along with World Jewish congress launched Holocaust education website: The World Jewish Congress and UNESCO officially launched a joint Holocaust education website, geared at providing students, young adults and others with essential information about the history of the Holocaust and its legacy. The website is designed as an interactive online tool to counter messages of Holocaust denial and distortion circulating on the internet and social media. It is a response to increased hate and disinformation online.

 

  • “Toxic” named “Word of the Year 2018” by Oxford Dictionaries: Oxford Dictionaries named "toxic" as its annual "Word of the Year" 2018, arguing that it was "the sheer scope of its application that has made it the standout choice". Defining the adjective as "poisonous", this year more than ever, people have been using “toxic” to describe a vast array of things, situations, concerns and events.

 

  • Morocco unveils Africa's first ever high speed train line: French President Emmanuel Macron and Morocco's King Mohammed VI have inaugurated Morocco's first high-speed rail line, the first ever such line in Africa. Known as the LGV, it will connect the economic hubs of Tangier and Casablanca in 2 hours 10 minutes at a speed of up to 320 kph (199 mph) instead of almost 5 hours on a regular train.

 

  • World Diabetes Day: World Diabetes Day is observed every year across the world on 5th November to raise awareness of diabetes. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018 and 2019 is “The Family and Diabetes”.

 

  • Amnesty International strips Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi of “Ambassador of Conscience” Award: Amnesty International has withdrawn a prestigious human rights award from Myanmar Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as its 2009 Ambassador of Conscience Award recipient, accusing her of failing to denounce human rights atrocities against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

 

  • World Pneumonia Day: World Pneumonia Day is observed every year on November 12th to raise awareness about pneumonia. Pneumonia is the world's leading infectious killer of children under the age of 5. This significant day was observed to promote interventions to protect against the disease, prevent and treat pneumonia and highlight proven approaches and solutions in need of additional resources and attention.

 

  • 7 people including late singer Elvis Presley awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom: Rock star Elvis Presley has been posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, by President Donald Trump.

 

  • World’s largest brain-mimicking supercomputer switched on: The world’s largest supercomputer Spiking Neural Network Architecture machine (SpiNNaker) designed to work in the same way as the human brain has been switched on for the first time. It is capable of completing more than 200 million million actions per second, with each of its chips having 100 million transistors.

 

  • France unveils new statue commemorating role of Indian soldiers in World War I: France has unveiled a new statue commemorating the role of Indian soldiers in World War I in the town of Laventie on to mark Armistice Day when the war ended in 1918.

 

  • Netflix unveils Asia expansion plans with 17 new originals: Netflix lifted the curtains off its plans for Asia expansion by announcing the launch of 17 new originals, nine of them hailing from India.

 

  • Swati Chaturvedi won the 2018 London Press Freedom award: Indian Journalist Swati Chaturvedi was awarded the 2018 London Press Freedom Award for Courage, an award for showing courage in work or in the defence and promotion of journalism. Chaturvedi won for her book I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Digital Army.

 

  • UN World Food Programme, Alibaba Group form strategic partnership to eliminate hunger: The UN World Food Programme and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has formed a strategic partnership to support efforts eliminate hunger globally by 2030. WFP Executive Director David Beasley and Alibaba Partner and Chairman of the Alibaba Foundation Sun Lijun signed an agreement at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

 

  • World's first AI news anchor unveiled in China: China’s Xinhua news agency has unveiled the world’s first AI anchor that can read news in English and Chinese. The AI anchors take the form and shape of a human being and read out news stories. They have minimal facial expressions and lip movements which look quite realistic.

 

  • Saudi bans Israeli Muslims from Hajj pilgrimage: Israel Muslims will not be able to reach Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage because of a change in passport regulations made by Saudi Arabia. The new rules close a loophole that allowed passage from Israel, which does not have diplomatic relations with the Saudi kingdom, home to Islam’s two holiest shrines.

 

  • India elected as Member of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council: India has been elected as a Member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council for another 4-year term (2019-2022). The elections to the Council were held during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE.

 

  • World Tsunami Awareness Day: World Tsunami Awareness Day is observed every year across the world on 5 November to spread general awareness on tsunami amongst the people worldwide.

 

  • Bangladesh elected IORA Chairman for 2021-23: The 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers' Meeting has elected Bangladesh as the Vice Chairman of the organisation for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as the IORA Chairman for 2021-23.

 

  • Gafur Rakhimov elected as President of AIBA: AIBA is pleased to announce that Gafur Rakhimov was elected president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) despite fears that his appointment could lead to the sport's ejection from the Olympic Games.

 

  • Palau becomes first Country In World To Ban Reef-Killing Sunscreen: The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau will ban “reef-toxic” sunscreens from 2020 containing any one of 10 chemicals, including oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are found in the vast majority of sunscreens sold in the U.S. Palau, which lies in the north-west Pacific, east of the Philippines and directly north of Australia, is regarded as one of the world’s best diving destinations.

 

Key Updates: October 2018

 

  • World Cities Day: The United Nations has designated 31st October every year as World Cities Day, which aims to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. The theme for this year is “Building sustainable and resilient cities”.

 

  • Researchers developed a web-based tool to monitor fake news on Facebook, Twitter: Scientists have developed a web-based tool i.e. “Novel tool” to help monitor the prevalence of fake news on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

 

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka: The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was officially sworn in as the island nation’s Prime Minister. The startling developments led to the collapse of the country’s first national unity government, with Mr. Sirisena joining hands once again with the leader he ousted in 2015.

 

  • Clara Sosa Wins Miss Grand International 2018 In Myanmar: Miss Paraguay Clara Sosa won the Miss Grand International 2018 title at the 6th edition of the beauty pageant in Yangon, Myanmar.

 

  • PM Narendra Modi awarded 2018 Seoul Peace Prize: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth.

 

  • United Nations Day: United Nations Day is celebrated each year on 24th October, the day would be instrumental in making people aware and it shall be devoted in making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gain their support for its work.

 

  • World Polio Day: World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk. World Polio Day is celebrated every year on 24 October, is an opportunity for the global polio eradication community to renew its promise to every child at-risk from this preventable, paralyzing disease and to realize a polio-free world for future generations. The theme for this year is “Bold Steps to End Polio”.

 

  • World Development Information Day: The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is celebrated every year on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

 

  • China opens world’s longest sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai: China's President Xi Jinping launched the world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, at a time when Beijing is tightening its grip on its semi-autonomous territories.

 

  • US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla wins 2018 Shakti Bhatt Prize: US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla has won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, published by HarperCollins India.

 

  • China plans to launch “man-made moons” to lower electricity costs: China is planning to launch its own “artificial moon” by 2020 to replace street lamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas. The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite launch Center in Sichuan.

 

  • Indian-American awarded at White House for combating human trafficking: An Indian-American woman has been honoured with a Presidential award by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for her extraordinary contribution towards combating human trafficking in Houston.

 

  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on October 17, to promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The theme for this year is “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity”.

 

  • World Food Day: World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October, people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. The theme for this year is “Our actions are our future”.

 

  • International Day of Rural Women: International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors the role of rural women on October 15 every year. It recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty worldwide.

 

  • India elected to UN Human Rights Council: India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body for a period of three years beginning in January 1st, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

 

  • International Day for Disaster Reduction: The United Nations General Assembly has designated 13 October as the date to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The 2017 theme continues under the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.

 

  • Maryse Conde wins alternative Nobel: Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize, which was cancelled following a sexual assault scandal.

 

  • World Obesity Day: World Obesity Day is observed globally on 11th October with the view of promoting practical solutions to end the global obesity crisis.

 

  • International Day of the Girl Child: The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated every year on 11th October, which aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.

 

  • World Post Day: World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9th October, aimed to create and maintain a structure for the free flow of international mail around the world.

 

  • William Nordhaus, Paul Romer awarded 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics: Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer won the 2018 Nobel Economics Prize for work in integrating climate change and technological innovation into economic analysis, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

 

  • Barham Salih Elected As The New President Of Iraq: Iraq’s parliament have elected as president Kurdish politician Barham Salih after a protracted political wrangling, marking a crucial step in forming the government in the next four years.

 

  • Japan space probe Hayabusa2 launches MASCOT to study Ryugu asteroid: The Hayabusa2 probe launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, toward the Ryugu asteroid’s surface. It can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

 

  • International Day of Non-Violence: The International Day of Non-Violence is observed every year on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

  • US Congressional Gold Medal awarded by Mahatma Gandhi: Half a dozen influential US lawmakers, including four Indian Americans, have moved a resolution in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi in recognition of his promotion of peace and non-violence.

 

  • Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter to win Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances H. Arnold of California Institute of Technology for the directed evolution of enzymes and to George P. Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory P. Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.

 

  • Nobel Prize in physics goes to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland: Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their “groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”.

 

  • James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Nobel Medicine or Physiology Prize has been awarded to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of “cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.

 

  • WHO launches 1st Global Guidelines on Sanitation and health: The World Health Organization has launched first global guidelines on sanitation and health, urging countries to invest in sanitation to limit the spread of disease and promote good health and economic productivity.

 

  • India ranked 5th in pictorial warnings on cigarette packets: India has secured to the fifth position among 206 countries in terms of the largest pictorial warning on cigarette packs with 85 percent of both sides of the packets covered, according to a report released by the Canadian Cancer Society.

 

  • World Habitat Day: The first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The theme for this year is “Municipal Solid Waste Management” with slogan Waste-wise cities.

 

  • International Day of Older Persons: The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1st every year to raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately. The theme for this year is "Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions".

 

  • World Architecture Day: World Architecture Day, celebrated on the first Monday of every October, aiming to highlight and remind the world of the architecture's collective responsibility in designing the world's future cities and settlements. The theme for World Architecture Day is "Architecture... for a better world" which will be celebrated on October 1, 2018.

 

  • WHO launches first Global Guidelines on Sanitation and Health: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health even as it pitched for higher investments and policy shifts to achieve the goal of universal sanitation coverage by 2032.

 

  • Researchers developed spacesuits for microbes: Scientists have developed "spacesuits" for bacteria that may allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them.

 

  • Ravi Venkatesan appointed as UNICEF special representative: The UNICEF has appointed the former chairman of the Bank of Baroda Ravi Venkatesan has its special representative of young people. Venkatesan will also help shape the overall strategy and approach of Generation Unlimited with a particular focus on engaging the private sector and identifying regional champions.

 

Key Updates: September 2018

 

  • World Rivers Day: World Rivers Day is observed every last Sunday in September. Established in 2005, it highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

 

  • World Heart Day: World Heart Day is observed every year on 29th September across the world. It is a part of an international campaign to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke prevention.

 

  • US, Morocco launch GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative: The United States and Morocco launched the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The initiative brings together stakeholders to share expertise on how to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools. It was launched on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

 

  • World Rabies Day: World Rabies Day is celebrated annually on 28 September around the world to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. The theme for this year is Rabies: Share the message. Save a life.

 

  • World Tourism Day: World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September around the world to foster awareness among international community of importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The theme of this year is “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.

 

  • International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is observed every year on 26 September around the world. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority.

 

  • World Contraception Day: World Contraception Day is observed on September 26th every year. The day’s mission is to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods available and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

 

  • Maldives President Abdulla Yameen concedes defeat in election: Maldive's President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat to opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a presidential election. The message is loud and clear. The people of Maldives want change, peace and justice.

 

  • International Day of Sign Languages: International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated annually across the world on 23 September every year as part of the International Week of the Deaf. It is aimed to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The theme for this year is "With Sign Language, Everyone is Included".

 

  • Nepal becomes world's first country to double its tiger population: Nepal could become the first country to double its national tiger population since the launch of ambitious TX2 goal at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022.

 

  • World Alzheimer’s Day: World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on 21st September every year. World Alzheimer’s Day is a day on which Alzheimer’s organizations around the world, concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 

  • India, Bangladesh PM’s jointly inaugurate two Projects: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the construction of a friendship pipeline project through video conferencing. The 130-kilometre India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.

 

  • Germany launches world’s first hydrogen – powered train: Germany launched world's first hydrogen-powered passenger trains. The trains are officially called as Coradia iLint, and these will operate in northern German towns. The new trains will run 100-kilometer trips and can travel up to 140 kilometers an hour.

 

  • International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: International Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September every year for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme for this year is “to spread awareness and bring attention to the depletion of the ozone layer”.

 

  • Moutaz Mousa Abdallah becomes Sudan’s new Prime Minister: Moutaz Mousa Abdallah has become the Sudan's new Prime Minister. A 21-member cabinet was sworn in at the presidential palace in Khartoum. Mousa Abdallah is also holding the finance portfolio in a bid to revive the country's ailing economy.

 

  • International Day of Democracy 2018 observed globally: The International Day of Democracy was observed across the world on September 15, 2018. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. The theme for this year is “Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World”.

 

  • Russia launches its biggest war games “VOSTOK-2018” since cold-war: Russia has launched its largest military exercises since the Cold War, with hundreds of thousands of Russian troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force that has rattled the West. The week-long war games “Vostok-2018” (East-2018) have kicked off in far eastern Russia and on the Pacific Ocean.

 

  • India and Mongolia joint exercise “Nomadic Elephant 2018” starts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: India-Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018, commenced at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Exercise Nomadic Elephant is an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces.

 

  • United States announces closure of Palestinian mission in Washington: The United States would close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission in Washington, DC, in what Palestinian leaders described as "a declaration of war" on peace efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump.

 

  • World Suicide Prevention Day: World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated every year on 10th September, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) which aims to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.

 

  • Pakistan could become world’s 5th largest nuclear weapons state: Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and the stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025. Pakistan may become the world's third-largest nuclear weapon state - with a stockpile of some 350 warheads a decade.

 

  • International Literacy Day: International Literacy Day will be celebrated around the world on 8th September to raise people's awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world. The theme for this year is “Literacy and skills development”.

 

  • Bengaluru airport set to become first in Asia to use face recognition as boarding pass: Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is set to become the first airport in Asia next year to use face recognition as the boarding procedure for passengers to board flights and move across different sections of the airport.

 

  • West coast begins Tsunami mock drill “IOWave18”: An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 in Makran Trench south of Iran was simulated triggering evacuation of about 90,000 people living in certain vulnerable coastal villages of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra as part of a major Indian Ocean wide tsunami mock drill - IOWave18.

 

  • Dr Arif Alvi elected as 13th President of Pakistan: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Arif Alvi was elected as the 13th President of Pakistan. Alvi, a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of the founding members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

 

  • International Women Entrepreneurs summit held in Kathmandu: Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun inaugurated the International Women Entrepreneurs summit held in Kathmandu. The main objective of the summit is to bring together achievers, women business leaders, professionals, international service providers, resource organizations, experts, government representatives and other stakeholders with a focus on innovative economic transformation through discussions and collaborations. The theme of this event is “Equality begins with Economic Empowerment”.

 

  • Ukraine launches joint military drills with NATO: Ukraine launched joint military exercises with the U.S. and a string of other NATO countries as tensions with Russia remain high over the Kremlin-backed insurgency in the country’s east.

 

  • World Coconut Day: World Coconut Day will be celebrated around the world on 2nd September to enhance coconut farming with focus on productivity and product diversification. The theme for this year is “Coconut for Good Health, Wealth and Wellness”.

 

Key Updates: August 2018

  

  • China launches high-definition Earth observation satellite: China successfully launched Gaofen-11, an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief and will also be used for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It was launched on a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province.

 

  • UAE offers amnesty programme to aid foreign visa violators: The United Arab Emirates launched a landmark three-month visa amnesty programme which will benefit hundreds of illegal foreign workers, including Indians, overstaying their permits by allowing them to leave the country without penalties and giving them six months to find a job.

 

  • World’s 1st Hindi-Speaking realistic humanoid Robot “Rashmi”: Ranchi man Ranjit Srivastava has developed world’s first Hindi speaking realistic humanoid robot and India’s first lip-synching robot developed by a Hong Kong based company, named Rashmi. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems.

 

  • India becomes 3rd Asian nation to get STA 1 status from US: India has become the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status, paving the way for high-technology product sales to India, particularly in civil space and defense sectors.

 

  • China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft: China has successfully tested its first cutting-edge hypersonic "Waverider" aircraft Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2), which could carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems.

 

  • International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: August 9 is commemorated as the International Day of the “World’s Indigenous Peoples” is celebrated around the world. This day people from around the world are encouraged to spread the UN’s message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. The theme for this year is “Indigenous people’s migration and movement”.

 

  • World Biofuel Day: World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.

 

  • President Michelle Bachelet appointed as next High Commissioner for Human Rights: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed the former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to be the next high commissioner of human rights.

 

  • International Youth Day: International Youth Day observed on August 12 is aimed to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The theme for this year is “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

 

  • NASA launches Parker Solar Probe mission to study Sun’s corona: NASA has launched “Parker Solar Probe mission” from Florida to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission.

 

  • First Indian to get elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative: Indian scientist-academician, N Raghuram elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative.

 

  • Iran unveils next generation short-range ballistic missile: Defence minister of Iran has unveiled “Fateh Mobin” a next generation short-range ballistic missile with a warning that its “will to enhance our defence power in all fields will increase”.

 

  • 24th World Congress of Philosophy held in Beijing, China for the first time: The World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) will be held for the 24th time from August 13 to 20 in Beijing, co-organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) and Peking University. The theme is “Learning to Be Human”, the Congress will feature more than 1,000 academic activities, including a plenary meeting, fora, lectures, panel discussions, round-table exchanges, special side meetings and sessions for students.

 

  • Three visionary scientists receives 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize award: Three visionary scientists James Allison, Carl June and Steven Rosenberg , whose work has led to a revolutionary new way to treat cancer and other diseases are the recipients of the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

 

  • Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wins re-election as Mali President: Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has won re-election after beating opposition candidate, Soumaila Cisse, in a runoff vote.

 

  • Israeli Navy to procure Barak 8 missile defence system: The multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel, will be procured by the Israeli Navy to protect its economic zones and strategic facilities from diversified threats and the sales for it have exceeded USD 5 billion.

 

  • 11th World Hindi Conference begins in Mauritius: The 11th World Hindi Conference, an event aimed at expanding the reach of the Hindi language at a global level, has started in Port Louis the capital of Mauritius. The theme of the Conference is “Hindi World and Indian Culture”.

 

  • World Humanitarian Day: World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

 

  • S K Arora awarded WHO World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award: Delhi government's additional director of health, SK Arora was awarded prestigious World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award for his extraordinary contribution towards tobacco control.

 

  • World Mosquito Day: World Mosquito Day observed on 20 August, which aims to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as fundraising for research into the cure of malaria.

 

  • Iran unveils first domestic manufactured fighter jet: Iran unveiled its first domestic fighter jet dubbed “Kowsar” at a defence show in Tehran, with President Hassan Rouhani insisting that Tehran's military strength was only designed to deter enemies and create "lasting peace".

 

  • International Day of Remembrance and tribute to the Victims of Terrorism: The United Nations observed 21 August as the International Day of Remembrance of and tribute to the victims of terrorism every year, in order to honor and support the victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and protect the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

  • World Senior Citizens Day: The World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August every year, to bring awareness of social, health, and economic issues that affect senior citizens.

 

  • International Water Colour Festival in Ranchi: The Government of Jharkhand is to host World’s largest Water Colour Festival to promote the rich cultural space of Jharkhand known for its exemplary tribal art works ranging from ‘Sohrai’ to Kohbar to Dhokra fine art.

 

  • European Space Agency unveils world’s first wind-sensing satellite: The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched wind-sensing satellite named “Aeolus” at Kourou in French Guiana. It is the first satellite capable of performing global wind-component-profile observation on a daily basis in near real-time.

 

  • Treasurer Scott Morrison elected as New Prime Minister of Australia: Scott Morrison was elected in as Australia's seventh prime minister after a Liberal party coup in a stunning upset against key challenger Peter Dutton.

 

  • NASA introduced an app to take space selfies: NASA has launched a new Selfie app allows you to take selfies in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. Along with NASA, the US space agency also launched an exoplanet excursions virtual reality (VR) app that takes VR users on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

 

  • Misa Matsushima became the first woman fighter pilot in Japan: Misa Matsushima, a 26 years old became the first woman fighter pilot in Japan Air Self Defence Force.

 

  • 4th Asian electoral stakeholders forum held at Colombo in Sri Lanka: The fourth Asian electoral stakeholders forum (AESF-IV) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka to discuss the state of elections and democracy in the region. The theme is “Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together”.

 

Key Updates: July 2018

 

  • New SES-12 satellite launches will help fast track Digital India: The new mega satellite “SES-12” launched successfully by providing coverage over Asia will help fast-track Digital India and financial inclusion initiatives.

 

  • North Korea named as “worst human trafficking country”: The US State Department categorized North Korea as one of the “worst human trafficking nations” for the 16th straight year, citing the use of forced labour.

 

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador elected as Mexico's President: Mexico’s leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has won the country’s presidential election at the helm of Latin America’s second-largest economy for the first time in decades.

 

  • First transgender model to be crowned Miss Universe Spain: Angela Ponce has become the first-ever transgender woman to be crowned Miss Universe Spain.

 

  • Russia builds two nuclear power units in China: Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom and China's National Energy Administration signed an agreement to build the two 1,200-megawatt units at the Tianwan nuclear power plant.

 

  • World Zoonoses Day: World Zoonoses Day observed worldwide on 6th July every year to raises awareness for the risk of zoonotic diseases. Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans, and vice versa.

 

  • International cooperation Day: International co-operation Day observed worldwide on 7th July every year to increase awareness on co-operatives and promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. The theme for this year is “Sustainable societies through cooperation”.

 

  • UK launches new visas for Indian scientists: The United Kingdom has launched new visas that will be open to Indian scientists and researchers, to encourage the growth of the country's research sector.

 

  • Women sports journalist launches LetHerWork movement in Brazil: Women sports reporters launched the online LetHerWork campaign in Brazil, highlights the harassment faced by women reporters while covering sports events.

 

  • Yemen’s Houthis launched a missile at Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Economic City: Saudi Arabia's air defense forces successfully intercepted a missile launched towards the kingdom's southwestern Jizan region by Yemen's armed Houthi movement.

 

  • India becomes 69th shareholder of European development bank: India has become 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank's.

 

  • World Bank reports “Failure to educate girls” could cost world 30 trillion dollars a year: Failure to finish education of girls could cost the world as much as 30 trillion dollars in lost earnings and productivity annually, yet more than 130 million girls are out of school globally.

 

  • UN finalizes first ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: The United Nations member states have agreed an all - encompassing Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, marking the first time they came together to negotiate an agreement covering all dimensions of international migration.

 

  • China launches 300 satellites to provide worldwide low-orbit communications: China planned to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services, with the first in the series to be launched later this year.

 

  • Russia tests new nuclear weapons after summit with Trump: Russia's military is testing an array of new nuclear and other weapons, from a high-powered laser weapon system to a nuclear-powered cruise missile with "unlimited'' range.

 

  • Israel’s passes new law only Jews right of self-determination: Israel has passed “nation-state” law to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, backed by the right-wing government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member parliament after months of political argument.

 

  • Myanmar joins International Solar Alliance: Myanmar has joined the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), becoming the 68th member of the grouping that is aiming at optimum utilization of solar energy.

 

  • New Ebola species found in Sierra Leone: A new species of Ebola virus has been found in bats in Sierra Leone, two years after the end of an outbreak that killed over 11,000 across West Africa.

 

  • Indian driven gold mining project in Russia praised at BRICS Summit: An Indian driven gold mining project in Siberia has been hailed at the BRICS Summit here as the primary practical implementation of the objectives of the grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

 

  • A Society Aims to Advance Abdul Kalam's Vision set up in Singapore: A society has been set up in Singapore in honour of former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and to advance his vision for the world. The Abdul Kalam Vision Society (AKVS) will organise knowledge-enhancing events, lectures and essay competition to convey the ideas and values that Dr Kalam espoused.

 

  • Imran Khan becomes new Prime Minister of Pakistan: Former International cricket superstar Imran Khan won the 2018 election and will be sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 11th.

 

  • India and UAE sign MoU on Artificial Intelligence: The UAE Minister for Artificial Intelligence and Invest India signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the India-UAE Artificial Intelligence Bridge. The MoU will spur development across areas like Blockchain, AI and Analytics as data and processing will be a catalyst for innovation and business growth and serve as the backbone of more effective and efficient service delivery systems.

 

  • World hepatitis day: World Hepatitis Day observed on July 28 every year, that aims to raise global awareness of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The theme for this year is “Find the Missing Millions”.

 

  • International Tiger Day: International Tiger Day is celebrated July 29 every year, that aims to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.

 

  • First Nepal-India Think Tank Summit Begins in Kathmandu: The first Nepal-India Think Tank Summit will be held in Kathmandu to foster greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the think tanks of the two countries. The summit has organized by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and Nehru Memorial Museum Library. The objective of the summit is to support the networks and promote mutual understanding through institutional collaboration on resource sharing for joint events/publications among think tanks of the two countries.

 

  • World Day against Trafficking in Persons: The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on July 30 to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. The theme for this year is “Responding to the trafficking of children and young people”.

 

Key Updates: June 2018

 

  • Pakistan places on FATF’s “grey list”: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had taken the decision to place Pakistan on the “grey list” for failing to curb anti-terror financing despite its diplomatic efforts to remove the decision.

 

  • International Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise day: Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day is celebrated worldwide every year on 27 June, to raise awareness around the skills needed by youth to acquire decent jobs. The theme for this year is “The Youth Dimension”.

 

  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: The “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” falls on June 26 every year observed by United Nations, to strengthening action and spreading awareness about drug abuse and illegal drug trade in the world. The theme for this year is "Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe".

 

  • Day of the Seafarer: The “Day of the Seafarer” is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since 2016, is observed by International Maritime Organization (IMO). The theme for this year is “Seafarers wellbeing”.

 

  • China launches Spy Bird Drone to boost government surveillance: China has launched Spy Bird Drone equipped with high-tech surveillance technology. The spies are equipped with a camera, a GPS antenna and a data link to communicate their findings.

 

  • International Widows Day: "International Widows Day" was announced by the United Nations and is celebrated on every year 23rd of June across the World, to raise awareness about the plight of widows around the world and taking action to help them.

 

  • International Music Day: International Music Day is also known as “Fete de la Musique” is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since the past couple of decades.

 

  • International Yoga Day: International Yoga Day is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since 2015, which aims to join your mind and body with your soul. The theme for this year is “Yoga for Peace”.

 

  • International Refugee Day: The “International Refugee Day” is celebrated on every year 20th of June across the world, in order to raise the public awareness about refugees situations throughout the world.

 

  • International day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict: The United Nations has designated June 19 as  “International day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict” which aims to “raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes”. The theme of this year is “The Plight and Rights of Children Born of War”.

 

  • World sustainable Gastronomy Day: Every year 14th June around the world observes the “World sustainable Gastronomy Day” acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.

 

  • WHO classifies “playing video games” as mental health disorder: The World Health Organization declared "playing video games" as a new mental health disorder included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases. The disorder includes some characteristics like loss of control, escalation of gaming behavior and loss of interest in other activities.

 

  • Russia successfully launches Glonass-M satellite:  Russia successfully launched Glonass-M navigation satellite using Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center in Russia's Arkhangelsk province, which  provides a real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe.

 

  • World day to combat Desertification and Drought: Every year worldwide 17th June observes the “World day to combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification and to focus on sustainable land management as a way to regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize communities. The theme of this year is “Land has true value – Invest in it”.

 

  • International day of family remittances: The United Nations has designated June 15 as “International day of family remittances” is an opportunity to recognize the efforts of migrants globally and strengthen current cross-industry partnerships and create new synergies among sectors to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide and join together to help reach the ultimate goal of making migration for future generations more of a choice than a necessity.

 

  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: The United Nations has designated June 15 as “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” is a global social issue which affects millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community. The theme of this year is “Moving from Awareness to Action through a Human Rights based approach.

 

  • World Blood Donors Day: Every year 14th June around the world celebrated the “World Blood Donors Day” is an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. World Health Organization is aimed to obtain the sufficient blood supplies from the voluntary and unpaid blood donors all over the world by 2020. The theme of this year’s campaign is blood donation as an action of solidarity.

 

  • International conference on ICT to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal: International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of Nepal from June 17-18, 2018. The Theme of two day conference is “Sustainable Development Goals for Smart Society”.

 

  • World Day against child labour: The World Day against child labour is celebrated every year across the world on 12th June, which helps to raise awareness against child labour. The theme for this year is “Generation safe and Healthy”.

 

  • SVC Cooperative Bank awarded National Payments Excellence Award: SVC Co-operative Bank has achieved the National Payments Excellence Award 2017 by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is the highest recognition in the banking industry for exceptional performance in payments system.

 

  • Five Countries elected as non-permanent UNSC members: South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium Countries elected as non-permanent members for two-year terms commencing on 1st January 2019.

 

  • World Oceans Day: Every year 8th June across the world celebrated the “World Oceans Day” is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. The main theme is to prevent plastic pollution and encourage solutions for a healthy ocean.

 

  • World Brain Tumor Day: Brain Tumor Day is celebrated every year across the world on 8th June, which helps to raise awareness about brain tumor and how to deal with the condition in the most effective manner.

 

  • India ranks 136th in Global Peace Index 2018: India was moved up one level higher to 136th position among 163 countries on the 2018 Global Peace Index due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by law enforcement. The index prepared by the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which was topped by Iceland.

 

  • World Environment Day observed: Every year 5th June across the world celebrated the “World Environment Day”, communities and individuals around the world work to increase awareness of the importance of conserving the environment. The theme for 2018 is beating “Plastic Pollution”.

 

  • World Bank Economy is healthy but growth will slow: The anti-poverty agency predicted global growth will decelerate from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020. The world economy is generally healthy but must contend with rising interest rates in wealthier countries and weaker demand for commodities in developing nations.

 

  • International day of innocent children victims of aggression observed: International day of innocent children victims of aggression has celebrated every year across the world on 4th June. The aim of the day offers an opportunity to recognize the sufferings of the children worldwide who are the victims of aggression and serves as an occasion to remember the sacred duty which is enshrined in the declaration of Rights of Children in the United Nations to ensure that each and every child enjoys special protection.

 

  • Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom launches “global action plan on physical activity”: WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined with  Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal and launched the new "WHO Global action plan on physical activity and health 2018-2030: More active people for a healthier world". The main structure and ambition to reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030.

 

  • World Bicycle day: The first official “Bicycle day” was celebrated on 3rd June 2018 approved by United Nations on April 2018. The day was celebrated to raise awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using bicycle a sample, flexible, reliable and friendly environmental transportation and leisure.

 

Key Updates: May 2018

 

  • Russia unveils Nuclear power plant in Arctic: Russia unveiled world’s first-floating nuclear power plant in May 2018 in the Arctic port of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.

 

  • Trump awards Medal of Honor to Britt Slabinski: President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to the Navy's Seal Britt Slabinski, the retired Master Chief Special Warfare Operator for daring assault amid ongoing enemy fire to rescue of his teammate on a mountainside in Afghanistan 2002, according to the White House.

 

  • International Museum Day observed on 18th May: Every year since 1977, museums around the world have celebrated May 18 as International Museum Day. The theme for 2018 is "Hyper connected museums: New approaches, new publics". The aim of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples".

 

  • Ireland ends abortion ban: The prime minister of Ireland described the result as the culmination of “a quiet revolution” in what was once one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries after a landslide referendum vote to liberalize highly restrictive laws on abortion.

 

  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed: Every year May 17th is observed as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. This is to help raise the awareness possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies. This year theme is to focus on the opportunities for how AI can help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

 

  • May 15th International Day of Families: The International Day of Families was observed on the May 15th every year. There is a different theme for the day every year. This year's theme is “Families and Inclusive Societies” and focus on the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goal 16 relating to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

 

  • The International founder of Sulabh awarded Nikkei Asia Prize: The founder of Sulabh International Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was awarded for the Nikkei Asia Prize 2018 in Japan for his contribution to Asia's development.

 

  • The first country to eliminate Trachoma: The World Health Organization announced Nepal the first country in south-east Asia region to eliminate Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.

 

  • May 12th observes International Nurses Day:  Every year May 12 is celebrated as International Nurses Day in the World to provide the honor and respect to the nurses for their incredible and Honorable work. International Nurses Day is celebrated to honour and appreciate the nurses who are dedicated for the service of patients.

 

  • New 'APSTAR-6C' Communication Satellite launched by China: China launched “APSTAR-6C” a new communication satellite successfully into orbit. This was the 273rd mission of the Long March rocket series, Xinhua reported. Both the satellite and the rocket were developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The user of the satellite is Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. Ltd. The satellite will provide TV transmission, communication, Internet and multimedia services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region.

 

  • World Press Freedom Day observed on 3rd May:  May 3 has been observed as World Press Freedom Day as was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. Every year this day serves to remind people of the perils faced by journalists around the world. The theme of the year 2018 celebration highlights importance of enabling legal environment for press freedom and gives special attention to role of independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and prosecution of crimes against journalists.

 

  • NASA Launched Insight Mission to Study the Interior of Mars: Nasa launched the Mars Insight lander from California rather than Florida’s Cape Canaveral. It was the first interplanetary mission ever to depart from the west coast, drawing pre-dawn crowds to Vandenberg Air Force Base and rocket watchers down the California coast into Baja. Insight will send back data about the Red Planet's interior for about 1 Mars year, or 728 Earth-days.

 

  • World Thalassaemia Day observed on 8th May: India is one of the worst thalassemia affected countries in the world with more than four crore carriers and over one lakh thalassaemia majors under blood transfusion every month. On World Thalassaemia Day, the focus falls back on the efforts to contain the disease. Over 1 lakh thalassemia patients across the country die before they turn 20 due to lack of access to treatment.

 

Key Updates: April 2018

 

  • India has been ranked as the third most vulnerable country in world in terms of risk of cyber threats (for 2017), as per the ‘Internet Security Threat Report’. U.S. has been ranked as the top most vulnerable country. It is followed by China in the second position with 10.95% attacks. The global threat ranking is based on eight metrics — malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers.

 

  • Julius Maada Bio has been elected the new President of Sierra Leone. He succeeds Ernest Bai Koroma. He ruled Sierra Leone as the military head in 1996, along with former foreign affairs minister Kamara.

 

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third consecutive term as Prime Minister. Viktor Orban’s party Fidesz won nearly half of the votes, with 93% of votes counted and is expected to win a two-thirds majority in parliament. Orban campaigned heavily on his anti-migration policies.

 

  • Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life. Nawaz Sharif, 67, resigned in July 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office on an issue over undeclared source of income.

 

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected with 97 percent of votes, though turnout was lower at about 41%.

 

Key Updates: March 2018

 

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years. Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000. In past, only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for more than two decades. 

 

  • IT major Infosys is expected to open its next Technology and Innovation Hub in Hartford, Connecticut and hire 1,000 American workers in the state by 2022. The Connecticut Technology and Innovation Hub will have a special focus on insurance, healthcare and manufacturing, the firm said in a statement.

 

  • British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at 76, early on March 14. He battled a rare nuerological disease and paralysis all through his life.
    He had authored numerous best-selling books including A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell and The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of. His latest book release in 2013 was a memoir titled My Brief History.
    His scientific achievements included breakthroughs in understanding the extreme conditions of black holes, objects so dense that not even light can escape their gravity. 

 

  • Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari was re-elected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority. She became Nepal’s first woman President in 2015.

 

  • Mike Pompeo, currently serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will replace Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State. Gina Haspel, Deputy Director of the CIA, will succeed Mr. Pompeo, becoming the CIA’s first woman director. 

 

  • National People’s Congress (NPC) of China has approved the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing current President Xi Jinping to remain in power for life. China had imposed a two-term limit on its president since the 1990s when Deng Xiaoping led China on a path of liberalization.
    Along with this change, political doctrine of Mr. Xi Jinping was also included in the constitution. Prior to Mr. Xi, only the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, and late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping have their personal ideologies engraved in the Constitution.

 

  • French President Emmanuel Macron is on a 4-day visit to India for boosting tie-ups and relations with the country. Besides areas like maritime security and counter-terrorism, thrust would also be on increasing strategic partnerships in renewable energy, high-speed train and trade etc. during this visit.

 

  • U.S. President Donald Trump ordered steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S., pursuing ahead with his “America First” agenda. The move has invited severe criticism for enticing future trade wars and surge in prices for taxpayers.

 

  • According to Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man. He is followed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet at second and third positions respectively.
    There are now a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, with their combined worth of $9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent from last year. The US has the most billionaires (585), followed by mainland China (373) and India (121).

 

  • The 90th Academy Awards, commonly referred to as Oscars, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (US), on March 4, 2018. The Shape of Water won the most number of awards totaling to four at the ceremony after it was nominated into highest 13 categories.
    These awards are given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and were first presented in 1929.

 

  • Pakistan elects first Hindu women as member of its Upper House. Krishna Kumari Kolhi (39) from Sindh province in Pakistan became first-ever Dalit Hindu woman to get elected as Senator.

 

Key Updates: February 2018

 

  • Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is disqualified to head his party Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML(N)). He was disqualified from the Parliament in July last year following Supreme Court probe into panama papers.

 

Key Updates: December 2017

 

  • Saudi Arabia lifts it's 35 year old ban on movie theatres in what is termed as a watershed moment for development of cultural economy for the country. Under its vision 2030, the government plans to invest in entertainment and tourism sector, in order to reduce its reliance on oil sector.

 

  • India's nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election. Mr. Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

Key Updates: November 2017

 

  • The 31st Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was held in Manila, Philippines. in the presence of world leaders including Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and Aung San Sue Kyi.

 

  • The ASEAN Summit is an annual meeting held by the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in relation to economic, and cultural development of Southeast Asian countries. Inaugurated on February 24, 1976 the frequency of the summit is bi-annually.

 

  • The military in Zimbabwe launched a 'coup' on November 14- 15, 2017, to take down long-time leader Robert Mugabe. The coup was bloodless and was stated as a move to economic degradation of the country.

 

  • World Immunization Day was observed on November 10., to make people aware about the importance of getting timely vaccinations against vaccine preventable diseases.

 

Key Updates: October 2017

 

  • United Nations Day was celebrated on 24 October, 2017 across the countries. The day has been observed since 1948 as it marks the anniversary of the United Nations Charter coming in force in 1945.

 

  • The first-ever Tri Services Joint Exercise between Indian and Russian Armed Forces, INDRA-2017 began on October 19, 2017 near Vladivostok in Russia. This bilateral exercise was done separately previously. The exercise is meant to facilitate mutual trust and exchange of best practices and thus is a landmark event in Indo- Russia defence operations

 

  • October 16 was observed as World Food Day to raise awareness on the issues of poverty and hunger. It was started by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 1979 to raise awareness on food security. The theme for this year was "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security."

 

  • October 13 was observed as International Day for Disaster Reduction, across the countries in the world. The day is to commemorate the successes made in area of disaster relief and make commitments to taking additional actions for disaster reduction.

 

  • The International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated by on October 11, all over the world. The theme for this year was- ‘Empower’ girls: Before, during and after conflict'.

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