- Gujarat Technological University to host country’s first pharma hackathon
- In a breakthrough initiative, Gujarat Technological University (GTU) is set to host the world’s first pharma hackathon in Ahmedabad. While hackathon events are held globally across the design, engineering and information technology sectors, this is the first time it will be held for the pharma sector. According to university sources, the event will be held in the first term of the academic year 2019-20.
- Gujarat houses 40% of the pharmaceutical companies in the country, both big and small. Industrial units often come across issues which can be resolved through research and development (R&D). The idea behind the pharma hackathon is to encourage students to come up with innovative technological solutions to industry issues.
· Israel permits medical marijuana exports
- Israel’s Parliamentapproved 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. The Israeli Cabinet is yet to approve. This step is seen as a formality.
- iCAN,the Israeli medical cannabis company, said that the global industry will reach $33 billion in the next five years, as stigma fades and demand grows for the few countries certified to export.
- The law was approved on25th December 2018, sending cannabis company shares rising by about 10%.The law was stalled for years over fears from security officials that medical marijuana would leak into the black market. To assuage concerns, the law empowers police to supervise licensing.
- National Farmers Day : 23 December
- India celebrates National Farmers Day on 23rd December to commemorate the birth anniversary of the 5th Prime Minister of India, Choudhary Charan Singh.
- Choudhary Charan Singh served as the Prime Minister of India between 28 July 1979 and 14 January 1980. He is often referred to as the ‘champion of India;s peasants’.
- PM to inaugurate country’s longest rail-cum-road Bogibeel Bridge
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge
- Bogibeel Bridge on the Brahmaputra in Assam.
- The 4.9 kilometre long bridge has a two-line railway track on the lower deck and a three-lane road on the top deck. The Bridge is situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh city in Assam.
- The Bogibeel bridge, constructed at an estimated cost of around 5,900 crore rupees, has a serviceable period of around 120 years.
- Bogibeel bridge, will become Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge.
- The bridge will enhance the national security of the eastern region by facilitating swift movement of defence forces and their equipment. It will also boost connectivity for around 50 lakh people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee being celebrated as Good Governance Day
- Bharat Ratna and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is being celebrated as Good Governance Day across the country on 25 December.
- The Samadhi of Bharat Ratna and Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee – Sadaiv Atal was dedicated to the Nation by Prime Minister.
- The Samadhi has been completed by CPWD at a cost of over ten crore rupees and the entire cost of construction has been borne by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society.
· Indias Forex Reserves declined by USD 613.9 million to USD 393.12 billion
- India’s foreign exchange reserves declined in this week by USD 613.9 millionreaching USD 393.12 billion.
- This decline attributed to the fall.
- The Forex reserves increased by USD 16.6 million to reach USD 393.734illion in the previous week.
- The foreign reserves are the reserve assets held by a central bank in foreign currencies.
- The components of India’s FOREX Reserves include Foreign currency assets (FCAs), Gold Reserves, Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and RBI’s Reserve position with International Monetary Fund (IMF). FCAs constitute the largest component of Indian Forex Reserves and are expressed in US dollar terms.
· Mission Indradhanush: Indias immunisation growth rate since launch rises to four per cent
- In December 2014, Mission Indradhanush was launched for a targeted approach to immunisation in India, in a bid to change the tardy annual growth rate of 1 per cent.
- Between 2014 and 2018, India’s annual immunisation growth rate has risen to 4 per cent, with an unprecedented 16 per cent rise in the number of fully immunised children.
- The word Indradhanush was chosen to represent the seven vaccines that were subsequently included in the Universal Immunization Program against these seven diseases – tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and measles.
- MSME Ministry for setting up governing council to boost exports
- The MSME Ministry has proposed to establish a governing council to ensure efficient delivery of all export-related interventions as part of its action plan to boost shipments from micro, small and medium enterprises.
- The ministry has recommended a detailed analysis of various trade agreements, including FTAs and bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, to identify areas of concern for MSMEs in the strategic action plan titled ‘Unlocking the Potential of MSME Exports’.
- A study will be conducted of special economic zones and export promotion zones in the country to reassess their role and objectives as these are an essential constituent of Foreign Trade Policy and it is important to harness their potential.
- It shall comprise senior officials and members from MSME Ministry, Commerce Ministry, MSME Export Promotion Councils, Export Development Authorities, Commodity Boards, etc.
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