Online Current Affairs based on India & The World


India, Russia sign long-term support pact on Sukhoi Su-30MKI


  • India and Russia signed two long-term support agreements for the Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet, which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Pacts were also signed for maintenance and life-cycle support for other Russian-origin platforms, such as;
    1. Mi-17 helicopters,
    2. MiG-29K aircraft,
    3. INS Vikramaditya and
    4. T-90 tanks.
  • The agreements were signed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 India and Russia signed two long-term support agreements for which combat aircraft fleet, which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force (IAF)? 
- Sukhoi Su-30MKI
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11 Indian women win ‘Women Icons’ award in Singapore


  • Eleven Indian women are among the 25 Asian ladies who have won the ‘Women Icons’ award in Singapore for dedicating their lives to social work.
  • Women empowerment and childcare remains on the minds of these women, who came from a number of fields for the award organised by Business Excellence & Research Group Pte Ltd and supported by Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.
  • Among the award winners last night was Vandana Sharma, who served for a decade in the Indian Armed Forces, broke several stereotypes around ‘Women in Uniform’ and ventured into the corporate world.
  • Keeping with her ‘Women Empowerment’ campaign is Revathi Siddharthe Roy, who holds a Masters in Economics degree but drove taxi for 10 months in Mumbai to support her family after her husband died in 2007.
  • Roy now runs a training school, Zaffiro Learning, for women to learn to ride two-wheelers and serve as “last mile” delivery person for e-commerce companies.
  • Joining in the awards was Dr Srimathy Kesan, who motivates children into Aerospace and Aeronautics subjects at her Chennai-based company, Space Kidz India.
  • Kesan draws children to science with the aim of building a pool of scientists in the coming year, saying India’s pool of scientists was depleting as more and more students were opting for engineering or medical studies.
  • Other winners were:
    1.  Dr Aparna Hegde of ARMMAN,
    2.  Deepshikha Kumar of SpeakIn,
    3. Kanika Gupta Shori of Square Global,
    4. Minal D’Rozario of Ideosphere,
    5. Mini Dwivedi Gopinathan of PlayStreet Specially Abled Educare Trust,
    6. Saloni Mardia Kothari of Mtlexs Online,
    7. Sonia Kulkarni of Ketchum Sampark PR, and
    8. Swati Nathani of Team Pumpkin.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
How many Indian women are among the 25 Asian ladies who have won the ‘Women Icons’ award in Singapore for dedicating their lives to social work? 
 - Eleven. 
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India, Brazil conclude social security agreement


  • India and Brazil initialled the finalised text of the Social Security Agreement taking forward the spirit of the Goa Declaration at the 8th BRICS Summit, outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment.
  • Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi.
  • The SSA between India and Brazil once in force (by early 2018) will also be the first such agreement between the BRICS countries.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 
India with which country initialled the finalised text of the Social Security Agreement taking forward the spirit of the Goa Declaration at the 8th BRICS Summit? 
- Brazil. 
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Australia research centre enters into agreement with Indian Railways


  • A Railway research centre in Australia has entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways to support future research and technology development related to critical infrastructure in India.
  • Representatives from Monash University Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) and Indian Ministry of Railways corporation DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited) signed an agreement.
  • IRT with partners - Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL), leading railway consultants in India, PwC, and Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) were selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive global selection process.
  • They will provide guidance on the establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India known as SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement).
  • SRESTHA will be locally engaged, but have a global reach with the aim to become a world leader in the advancement of rail.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 Which country's railway research centre has entered into an agreement with the Indian Railways to support future research and technology development related to critical infrastructure in India?
 - Australia. 
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US Senate confirms Indian-American Seema Verma for top health care post


  • The US Senate has confirmed Indian-American Seema Verma for a top health care position in the Trump administration and she was set to play a key role in the government's bid to "repeal and replace" Obamacare.
  • Ms Verma, who has been described by the White House as the "unquestionably qualified" first generation Indian-American, was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 55-43.
  • She is likely to play a key role in the health care reform of US President Donald Trump, who has made it a priority to repeal and replace the affordable healthcare of his predecessor Barack Obama.
  • The second Indian-American in the Trump Administration to be confirmed by the Senate, Ms Verma would head the USD 1 trillion Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services that provides health services to 130 million people.
  • A health policy consultant, she is known as the architect of health care reforms in several states, including Indiana.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The US Senate has confirmed which Indian-American person for a top health care position in the Trump administration and she was set to play a key role in the government's bid to "repeal and replace" Obamacare? 
 - Seema Verma. 
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Cabinet approves revised pact with Bangladesh to set up Border Haats


  • The Union cabinet approved revised MoU between India and Bangladesh for establishing Border Haats.
  • The Union cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Mode of Operation (MoO) between India and Bangladesh for establishing Border Haats on India-Bangladesh border.
  • The Revised MoU and Mode of Operation will provide a legal framework for establishment and operationalisation of additional border Haats.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The Union cabinet approved revised MoU between India and which country for establishing Border Haats? 
- Bangladesh. 
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India-Oman armies exercise, Al Nagah-II, began


  • A 14-day joint training exercise of the armies of India and Oman began at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The exercise, Al Nagah-II, drew contingents comprised of platoon strength troops from both the armies.
  • The second edition of the exercise is in continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman.
  • The first edition was held at Muscat in 2015.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
A 14-day joint training exercise of the armies of India and Oman began at which place of India? 
- Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh.
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Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise 'Surya Kiran-X' begins


  • A joint military exercise 'Surya Kiran-Xi' between India and Nepal began in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand.
  • This is a battalion level joint exercise between the two armies.
  • The two-week long exercise is aimed at training of both the troops in the area of various counter insurgency operations over a prolonged period.
  • It will also focus on other important aspects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and environmental conservation.
  • Both the armies will mutually benefit from the varied experiences gained during the exercise.
  • The Surya Kiran series of exercises are being conducted biannually, alternatively in India and Nepal.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
A joint military exercise 'Surya Kiran-Xi' between India and Nepal began in which place of India? 
 - Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand.
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India to join Moscow meet on Afghanistan


  • India is among six nations participating in a conference on Afghanistan’s future in Moscow two months after Russia hosted a similar conference with only China and Pakistan.
  • After India and particularly Afghanistan objected to being cut out of the discussion, Moscow agreed to expand its ambit, announcing a six-nation conference of;
    1. Russia,
    2. India,
    3. Iran,
    4. Pakistan,
    5. China and
    6. Afghanistan.
  • To begin with, India is increasingly uncomfortable with Russia’s overtures to Pakistan on defence issues.
  • Significantly, Russia did not join the;
    1. U.S.,
    2. U.K. and
    3. France
    in sponsoring a resolution against Jaish chief Masood Azhar at the U.N. sanctions committee last month, a resolution which China then put a hold on.
  • Russia has been seen as favouring a softer line on the Taliban as a counter to the spread of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan.
  • Russia and China have also been coordinating to demand the delisting of senior Taliban leaders designated as terrorists by the U.N. sanctions committee.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
 Which new country is among the six nations participating in a conference on Afghanistan’s future in Moscow two months after Russia hosted a similar conference? 
 - India. 
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First Indian genomics beacon launched in UK


  • Global Gene Corp and Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) launched the first-ever beacon for Indian genomics data, which is expected to help scientists develop more effective drug delivery systems.
  • A beacon is an online web service that allows researchers to determine whether an institution has particular genomic data in its data set.
  • The aim of the Indian beacon is to address the gap in shared Indian genomics data, which helps scientists better understand disease and develop more effective drug delivery systems and therapeutics.
  • Genomics is the science that will define healthcare in our lifetime. Solving healthcare problems at scale is exceptionally important for India to ensure quality of life.
  • The Indian beacon joins those already on the Wellcome Genome Campus supplied by EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire.
  • Cambridge-based Global Gene Corp (GCC) is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus and is co-founded by alumni from the ;
    1. Indian Institute of Technology,
    2. Harvard and
    3. National University of Singapore
    with the mission to “democratise genomics”.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which two organisations launched the first-ever beacon for Indian genomics data, which is expected to help scientists develop more effective drug delivery systems? 
 - Global Gene Corp and Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). 
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India plans to host counter-radicalisation conference with ASEAN


  • India plans to host a conference with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to share experiences and ideas on prevention of radicalisation.
  • The event is likely to be held in October.
  • The plan is to share India’s experience and benefit from that of ASEAN countries, especially Malaysia.
  • More countries could be invited as observers depending on the interest.
  • The UAE is one such country — it has expertise in deradicalisation that was one of the key areas of discussions during the recent bilateral interactions.
  • The countries in the region from ASEAN to Gulf have agreed to coordinate efforts to counter radicalisation and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and terrorism to deal with growing IS threat.
  • Malaysia and Indonesia are among the countries working on this aspect, and India wants to gain from their expertise
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which country plans to host a conference with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to share experiences and ideas on prevention of radicalisation?
 - India. 
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India, UK sign MoU to allow more flights to boost tourism, trade


  • India and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries.
  • Limits on flights from Indian cities, including Chennai and Kolkata, have been scrapped, allowing for a greater range of flights for passengers while providing a boost to trade and tourism for the UK and India.
  • The agreement also opened all destinations in the UK for Indian carriers for code share flights, and reciprocally the UK carriers can also operate code share flights to any international airport in India, through domestic code share arrangements.
  • The agreement was formally signed by;
    1. Minister of Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, on behalf of India and
    2. Lord Ahmad, Aviation Minister of UK,
    during a visit to India where he led a delegation of British companies for the 2017 CAPA India Aviation Summit.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India with which country signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ease restrictions on the number of scheduled flights between the two countries?
 - United Kingdom. 
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MoU signed between India and France in science and technology


  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation between;
    1. Technology Development Board (TDB),
    2. Department of Science and Technology,
    3. Government of India and
    4. Bpifrance- which is a Public Investment Bank in France.
  • The agreement will foster exchange of desirable practices and setting up of coordinated measures to further developmental exchange in the field of;
    1. science,
    2. technology and
    3. innovation.
  • The MoU aims at carrying out activities related to exchange of best practices in the field of science and technology through TDP and Bpifrance. (ANI)
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Recently a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between India and France in which field ? 
 - science and technology. 
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India, Austria sign protocol amending tax treaty


  • India and Austria agreed to amend their existing bilateral taxation treaty to prevent tax evasion as well as enable mutual assistance.
  • The protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes, an official statement said.
  • It was signed by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman on behalf of India and Embassy of Austria Charge d' Affaires Georg Zehetner on behalf of Austria.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India with which country agreed to amend their existing bilateral taxation treaty to prevent tax evasion as well as enable mutual assistance recently? 
- Austria. 
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India and Italy Sign an MOU for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector Especially on Safety Related Subjects


  • Ministry of Railways and Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) a Government Company of Italy managing the Italian railway sector have signed an MoU for technical cooperation in rail sector especially in the areas safety in train operations.
  • The cooperation areas identified in this MoU includes ;
    1. Safety audit of Indian Railways and measures required for enhancing safety in train operation,
    2. Assessment and certification of advanced technology based safety products and services,
    3. Systems to Safety Integrity Level (SIL4),
    4. Training and competency development with focus of safety,
    5. Modern trends in Maintenance and diagnostic etc.
  • The MoU comes in the backdrop of emphasis given by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Minister of Railways, Govt. of India on safety in railway operation.
  • He has directed Railway Board to collaborate with the international experts on this subject and identify the best practices in this field.
  • Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) is a fully owned company of the Italian Government working in the Railway Sector and is under Ministry of Treasure, Itlay.
  • The Group, with its technical and managerial railway expertise, widely recognized at international level, is one of the most advanced worldwide player in many field, such as ;
    1. Design and realization of High Speed and Conventional Lines,
    2. Safety Systems,
    3. Certification,
    4. Training & Operation and
    5. Maintenance.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Ministry of Railways and which Government Company of Italy managing the Italian railway sector have signed an MoU for technical cooperation in rail sector especially in the areas safety in train operations? 

- Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group). 
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India, Norway set up body to accelerate research for epidemics


  • India and Norway have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics.
  • An R&D blueprint for action to prevent epidemics- funding and coordination models for preparedness and response' and asked member countries, including India, to develop a research and development blueprint during epidemics.
  • Accordingly, CEPI has been founded by ;
    1. Government of India (Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health) and
    2. Norway, the Welcome Trust,
    3. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and
    4. The World Economic Forum in collaboration with industry, other governments, foundations regulatory bodies, civil society and the WHO.
  • The CEPI will prioritise list of diseases against which vaccines are most feasible to overcome barriers for development of vaccines.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which two countries have founded a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate life-saving research and development for epidemics?
- India and Norway. 
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SAARC programming committee meeting concludes in Kathmandu


  • The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee concluded in Kathmandu. All eight members participated in the meeting.
  • Secretary General of SAARC Arjun Bahadur Thapa highlighted the progress made by the Association since March 2016.
  • The committee discussed various administrative and financial issues related to SAARC Secretariat and its Bodies.
  • Besides senior officers of member states, Directors of the SAARC Regional Centres and Heads of SAARC Specialized Bodies also participated in the meeting.
  • This was the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November last year.
  • The Summit was postponed after four nations
    1. Afghanistan,
    2. Bhutan,
    3. Bangladesh and
    4. India
    requested for it following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee ended in which city? 
 - Kathmandu.
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India to construct multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in Lanka


  • India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement to construct a multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in a north central district of the island nation that would provide opportunities to;
    1. Sinhala,
    2. Tamil and
    3. Muslim
    students to learn in a multi-cultural environment.
  • The MoU was signed by India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Secretary to the Ministry of Education Sunil Hettiarachchi.
  • The secondary school located in President Maithripala Sirisena's home district Polonnaruwa will be constructed using a grant of SLR 300 million from the Indian Government.
  • The project envisages construction of ;
    1. class rooms,
    2. laboratories and
    3. library,
    as well as procurement of furniture and other equipment.
  • The project would also contribute to President Maithripala Sirisena's efforts to promote and strengthen reconciliation and unity in Sri Lanka
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
India with which country signed an agreement to construct a multi-ethnic tri-lingual school in a north central district of the island nation? 
- Sri Lanka. 
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Neeti Mohan to collaborate with UN for women empowerment


  • Noted singer Neeti Mohan has become the first Indian female singer to collaborate with UN for women empowerment.
  • She has joined the ranks of ;
    1. Ashton Kutcher,
    2. Nicholas Cage,
    3. Demi Moore,
    4. Ashley Judd,
    5. Gillian Anderson
    for United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund project titled “Music To Inspire – Artists United Against Human Trafficking”.
  • She has composed Udne De as a tribute to all the women and in support of equality for all as a part of this project.
  • Over 60 renowned artists and dignitaries from around the world have collaborated with Rukus Avenue to participate in the “Music To Inspire – Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking” triple album that benefits the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, managed by the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which singer has become the first Indian female singer to collaborate with UN for women empowerment?
 - Neeti Mohan. 
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For first time UAE military contingent participates in parade at Rajpath


  • For the first time, a military contingent of UAE participated in the 68th Republic Day parade on Rajpath in the presence of their country's Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the chief guest.
  • A 149-member UAE contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Abood Musabeh Abood Musabeh Alghfeli, constituting UAE;
    1.Presidential Guard,
    2.the Air Force,
    3.the Navy and
    4.Army contingent
    led by a UAE band consisting of 35 musicians march-passed at the Rajpath and presented a ceremonial salute to the President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • The UAE is the second country after France to send its troops to participate in the Republic-Day parade of India.
Quick Question for Bank PO/ IBPS Exams 2016-17:
Which country's military contingent participates in parade at Rajpath on the occasion of 2017 Republic Day? 
- UAE. 
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