- In 3 years, Gujarat lost 50 lions to accidents
- Even as Gujarat has come under international spotlight after the deaths of 23 lions recently due to canine distemper virus and babesiosis infections, analysis of lions death figures revealed that 20% of the 253 deaths between 2015 and 2018 were accidental and could have been avoided.
- Fifty lions had died after being run over by vehicles on roads, by trains and by falling in open wells. The Gujarat government has also accepted that one incident of poaching was reported in 2016-17.
· Worlds largest airport under one roof opened in Istanbul, Turkey
- The Airport has been constructed as a part of the phase-1A of the project – Istanbul New Airport.
- It has been constructed by – IGA and the first phase costed 7.5 billion Euro.
- It has five pier blocks as well as 77 boarding gates and 143 aero-bridges.
· WTO sets panel to examine the India, U.S. export case
- The World Trade Organisation’s(WTO) panel is to examine the India-U.S. export case. WTO’s dispute settlement body has set up a panel to examine the U.S.’ complaint against certain export-subsidy measures by India as both the sides failed to resolve the issue at the consultation level.
- The U.S. has requested for the establishment of a dispute panel to examine the allegations on India’s export incentive measures. The U.S. also challenged India’s export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme in the WTO, asserting that these initiatives harm its companies by creating an uneven playing field.
· India hopes for U.S. waiver on Iran
- With about 72 hours to go for the United States deadline on sanctions on oil trade with Iran as well as dealing with ports and shipping, Indian officials were cautiously optimistic they will receive a waiver from Washington.
- The U.S. had called for all countries to “zero out” their oil purchases from Iran, which India has not done. However, U.S. officials are compiling a list of those countries that have significantly reduced their oil imports from Tehran, who would qualify for waivers, and India expects to be on that list.
· USFDA approved Cipla for hypertension and cardiac conditions drug
- Cipla, a major drug firm, received final approval from the United Nations Food and Drug Administration(USFDA), the U.S. health regulator to market Metoprolol tablets.
- The drug is used to treat hypertension and various cardiac The strengths of the drug are 50mg, 100mg and 200mg.
· India invited Italy to invest in defence sector
- India invited Italyto participate in the defence sector under the “Make in India” scheme. The invitation also included an agreement to counter terrorist financing and state sponsors of terrorism.
- This latest announcement was the first time when the two countries have agreed on joint defence production since the Augusta Westland case exploded in 2013. During the 9th Military Group Meeting that was held between India and Italy, both the countries agreed on cooperation in 2019.
· Worlds first sovereign Blue Bond launched by Seychelles, assisted by West Bengal
- Republic of Seychelleslaunched the world’s first sovereign blue bond worth US$15 million to finance sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
- The bond was announced at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali by the Vice-President of the Republic of Seychelles, Vincent Meriton.
- Seychelles is the first nation to pioneer such a financing instrument.
· India and Japan supports free Indo Pacific
- India and Japanoutlined a vision for strengthened bilateral relations at the 13th annual summit. Enhanced strategic and defence cooperation dominated the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.
- The talks accepted Japan’s formulation of a free and open Indo-Pacific asboth the sides stressed their unwavering commitment to it. The concept is usually seen as a response to China’s growing dominance in the region.
- Abe and Mr.Modi said the India-Japan bilateral relationship was invested in upholding the rule of law and democratic values.
· State Bank of India and Hitachi Payments formed joint venture for digital payment platform
- State Bank of India (SBI) and payments solution provider Hitachi Payment Services India entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for establishing a card acceptance and digital payment platform.
- According to the joint venture (JV), Hitachi will pick up 26 percent stake in SBI Payment Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI.
- The JV will have various payment options to customers and merchants.
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