India, Tajikistan sign several MoUs in fields of agriculture, space technology and disaster management
• President Ram Nath Kovind had a meeting with his Tajikistan counterpart Emomali Rahmon on October 8, 2018.
• On this occasion, both countries signed MoUs in various fields including political relations, strategic research, agriculture, renewable energy, traditional medicine, space technology, youth affairs, Culture and Disaster Management.
• Speaking on the topic of ‘Countering Radicalisation: Challenges in Modern Societies', Kovind said that Family plays an important role in preventing and countering radicalisation of the youth.
• In his statement, Kovind said that there is enormous potential for bilateral cooperation and collaboration between both the countries in the fields of defence, trade and investment, tourism, health and development partnership.
• India and Tajikistan remain determined to counter all forms of terrorism and violent extremism which are a grave threat to international peace and stability.
National Housing Bank decides to increase the Refinance Limit from Rs 24000 crore to Rs 30000 crore
• The National Housing Bank (NHB) has decided to increase the Refinance limit to Rs 30000 crore from Rs 24000 crore.
• Now, eligible Housing Finance Companies & Other entities will have increased availability of funds.
• Till date, Rs 8835 crore has been sanctioned. This refinancing is a credit flow to Housing Finance Companies & other Institutions.
• National Housing Bank (NHB) is the Principal Agency to promote Housing Finance Institutions, currently 97 in number, and to provide financial support to eligible institutions.
• As a regulator, National Housing Bank regularly monitors the liquidity position of Housing Finance Companies.
Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 mandates ECI to fill casual vacancies
• The Election Commission of India recently announced the bye elections to fill the three casual vacancies in Lok Sabha from Karnataka while the bye elections to fill five vacancies in Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh have not been announced.
• In this connection, it is to be noted that vacancies in Lok Sabha from Karnataka occurred in May 2018 whereas vacancies from the five parliamentary constituencies from Andhra Pradesh occurred on June 20, 2018.
• The Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy.
• As the vacancies from Karnataka have occurred more than one year before the expiration of the term of House, bye elections are required to be held under Section 151A to fill these vacancies within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is May 18 and May 21, 2018.
• In the case of vacancies from Andhra Pradesh, there is no need to hold bye elections as the remaining term of the Lok Sabha is less than one year from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is 20th June, 2018.
• The term of sixteenth Lok Sabha is up to June 3, 2019.
JP Nadda inaugurates ‘2nd World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030’
• JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated ‘2nd World Conference on Access to Medical Products: Achieving the SDGs 2030’ on October 9, 2018.
• Nadda released the Position Paper and launched the Information Sharing Platform Gateway for South-East Asia Regulatory Network (SEARN), developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.
• The main objective of the 2nd World Conference 2018 is to take forward the recommendations from the 1st World Conference 2017 and build on the work done for access to medical products in the context of SDGs (including trade agreements) in line with GPW 13 of WHO.
• It also aims to foster new approaches in innovation landscape for medical products and health technologies for accelerating research and innovation and identify knowledge, information and policy options on the interface of international trade and health to achieve SDG 2030 goals.
World Post Day 2018 observed across the world
• The World Post Day was observed across the world on October 9, 2018, thus, marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern.
• The October 9 was declared as the World Post Day by the Universal Postal Union Congress held in Tokyo in 1969.
• Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations.
• The posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.
• The resilient postal systems offer support during natural disasters, financial services to hundreds of millions of people and essential information in times of crisis.
• In India, the Minister for Communications, Manoj Sinha addressed an event in New Delhi on the occasion of the World Post Day.
William Nordhaus, Paul Romer win Nobel Prize for Economics 2018
• The 2018 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to William Nordhaus and Paul Romer of the United States for their work on sustainable growth.
• The research of the two US economists focuses on how climate change and technology have affected the economy.
• They had addressed some of the most pressing questions on how to achieve sustainable growth.
• Professor Nordhaus of Yale University was the first person to create a model that described the interplay between the economy and the climate.
• Both the laureates will receive nine million Swedish krona, equivalent to Rs 7 crore and 32 lakh.
US Secretary Mike Pompeo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un begin talks on denuclearization
• US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un made significant progress towards an agreement for the North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.
• Pompeo said he and Kim have agreed to shortly begin working-level talks on the nuts and bolts of denuclearisation, on the placement of international inspectors at one of North Korea's main nuclear facilities and finalising a date and venue for the next Kim-Trump summit.
• North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA said that Kim has expressed his will and conviction that a great progress will surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world.
29 persons found positive of Zika virus in Jaipur Rajasthan
• A few cases of Zika virus disease were reported at Jaipur in Rajasthan. The outbreak in Jaipur was detected through the Indian Council of Medical Research surveillance system.
• A seven-member high-level Central team was deputed to Jaipur immediately following detection of first case to assist State Government in control and containment measures.
• A Control Room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control to undertake regular monitoring of the situation.
• Health Minister J P Nadda has assured people that everything is under control regarding the situation on Zika virus.
• Zika virus disease is an emerging disease currently being reported by 86 countries worldwide.
• Symptoms of Zika virus disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache.
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