Prithvi Shaw makes history, becomes youngest Indian to score Test Century on debut
• Prithvi Shaw made history by becoming the youngest Indian to score a Test century on debut. Shaw, at the age of 18 years and 329 days, reached the historic three-figure mark in just 99 balls against the West Indies on Day 1 of the opening Test at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
• The previous record for the youngest Indian to make half-century on debut was held by Abbas Ali Baig, who scored a half-century against England in Manchester in 1959 at the age of 20 years 131 days.
• Prithvi is also the third-fastest centurion on Test debut. India's Shikhar Dhawan remains the fastest in this club with an 85-ball hundred against Australia in 2013 at the IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.
• Prithvi has also become the seventh-youngest Test centurion.
Civil aviation Ministry releases the policy on Biometric based Digital processing of passengers
• The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu released the policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called “Digi Yatra”.
• DigiYatra Central Platform will be operational by end of February 2019.
• Bangalore and Hyderabad International Airports will be ready with pilot implementation by end of February 2019.
• Airport Authority of India (AAI) intends to roll out the programme initially at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune & Vijayawada by April 2019.
• DigiYatra will provide a pan-India powerful platform for future, with Airports having the possibility of providing innovative services and consent based targeted services in future.
India and Kazakhstan agree to boost defence and military technical cooperation
• During the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Astana, Kazakhstan, India and Kazakhstan agreed to boost defence and military technical cooperation.
• India and Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs.
• Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces Personnel have undergone military training in India till date.
• Both countries successfully conducted a company level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan in September 2018.
• Both countries are Strategic Partners since 2009.
India, ADB sign USD 100 Million loan agreement to expand sewerage and drainage coverage in Kolkata
• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed a USD 100 Million Loan Agreement in New Delhi to continue to expand sewerage and drainage coverage, provide sewage treatment and strengthen capacity of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for resilient urban services.
• This Third and Final Tranche Loan under the USD 400 Million Multi Tranche facility for the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program will target expansion of sewerage and drainage services in selected peripheral areas of KMC to at least 3000 additional households.
• The financing under Tranche 3 will be used to construct 43 km of additional sewer drain pipes, four pumping stations, 13 km of pumping mains, and three sewage treatment plants.
• It will improve sanitation service quality and climate resilience in selected areas of KMC.
India, ADB sign USD 150 Million loan agreement to support Global Skills Park in Madhya Pradesh
• Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed a USD 150 million Loan Agreement in New Delhi to establish the first Global Skills Park (GSP) in Madhya Pradesh.
• The park will enhance the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) System in the State and create a more skilled workforce.
• The Project will engage international TVET partners to support advanced training at the GSP who will bring global best practices in TVET management, training infrastructure and quality assurance.
• The new GSP campus, which will be established in Bhopal will consist of core Advanced Training Institutes including the Center for Occupational Skills Acquisition and the Center for Advanced Agricultural Training as well as other support services.
• The Project will also help in modernising 10 industrial training institutes across the state by renovating training infrastructure and upgrading skills courses to align with industry and market needs.
India, ADB sign USD 240 Million loan to provide safe drinking water service in West Bengal Districts
• India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed USD 240 million loan for providing safe and sustainable drinking water to about 1.65 million people in three districts of the state of West Bengal.
• Heavy reliance on groundwater puts most of the rural population in West Bengal at risk from arsenic and fluoride contamination that can lead to health problems including cancer and bone diseases.
• The project aims to mitigate these risks through provision of continuous potable water through metered connections to about 390000 individual households in three districts – Bankura, North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur.
• The project addresses the concerns relating to excessive use of groundwater to sustainable surface water based piped schemes.
• The project is supported by a grant of USD 3 million from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, financed by Japan and a USD 2 million grant from ADB’s Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund.
International Court of Justice orders US to ease Iran sanctions
• The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the US to ease sanctions it re-imposed on Iran after abandoning a nuclear deal in May 2018.
• The Court ruled that the US had to remove "any impediments" to the export of humanitarian goods, including food, medicine and aviation safety equipment.
• The US President Donald Trump in May 2018 announced a renewal of tough US sanctions on Iran after abandoning the multilateral Iran nuclear agreement over its ballistic missile program.
• Following the sanctions, Iran had filed a lawsuit against the US at the ICJ in July 2018, arguing that the sanctions violate the friendship agreement signed in 1955.
• Meanwhile, the US has decided to terminate its 1955 'Treaty of Amity' with Iran.
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