James P. Allison, Tasuku Honjo jointly awarded with 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet on October 1, 2018 awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.
Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity’s greatest health challenges. The laureates James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo successfully established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy by stimulating the ability of immune system to attack tumour cells.
US and Canada sign trade deal replacing NAFTA
Canada on September 30, 2018 agreed to sign a trade deal with the United States and Mexico, revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement after almost a year of negotiations. The new deal has been named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The trilateral pact is expected to be signed by the three North American countries before the end of November, after which it would be submitted to Congress. The deal was agreed upon by Canada just hours before the US imposed September 30 midnight deadline.
Gita Gopinath becomes first woman Chief Economist at IMF
India-born Gita Gopinath was appointed as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 3, 2018, becoming the first woman to hold the position. She has also become the second Indian to hold the position, after former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
Gopinath would be succeeding Maurice Obstfeld, who is to retire at the end of 2018. She will be assuming the post of economic counselor and director of the IMF’s Research Department.
Gopinath is the third woman in the history of Harvard to be a permanent member of its esteemed economics department and the first Indian since the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to hold that position. She became a tenured Professor there in 2010.
PM Modi receives UN's Champions of the Earth award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the UN Champions of the Earth award, the highest environmental honour of the United Nations on October 3, 2018. The award was presented by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a special ceremony in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi has been selected in the leadership category for his pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance, a global partnership to scale up solar energy. Through the award, the UN Environment is recognising Modi for his bold environmental leadership on the global stage.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India (CJI) on October 3, 2018. He succeeds CJI Dipak Misra who retired a day before on October 2, 2018.
President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath to the 63-year-old Justice Gogoi at a brief ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan's Darbar Hall. Justice Gogoi will have tenure of a little over 13 months and would retire on November 17, 2019.
Justice Gogoi has become the first Supreme Court judge from the north-east to be appointed as Chief Justice of India.
Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith, Sir Gregory P. Winter win 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on October 3, 2018 awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with one half to Frances H. Arnold “for the directed evolution of enzymes” and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies”.
The all three of them harnessed the power of evolution which is revealed through the diversity of life. They took control of evolution and used it for purposes that bring the greatest benefit to humankind.
Enzymes produced through directed evolution are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals.
The ICCI Bank CEO and MD, Chanda Kochhar quit her position with immediate effect on October 4, 2018. The announcement came after her plea for early retirement was accepted by the bank.
Kochhar, who had headed ICICI Bank since May 2009, is also stepping down from the board of directors of its units. Her third term was set to end in March 2019. Sandeep Bakhshi, who was appointed as the bank's COO in June 2018, has been named to succeed Kochhar as the bank’s new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Bakhshi has been appointed for a period of five years until October 3, 2023, subject to various approvals. He had previously taken the helm on an interim basis in June after Kochhar had been sent on leave pending an inquiry. He is a former head of the life insurance arm at ICICI Bank, which is India's third-largest lender by assets.
Aung San Suu Kyi becomes first person to lose honorary Canadian citizenship
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on October 3, 2018 became the first person to be stripped of the honorary Canadian citizenship for her role in gross human rights violations against the Rohingya people.
The Canadian Senate formally revoked the symbolic honour that was bestowed on Suu Kyi in 2007. Senators unanimously adopted a genocide motion tabled by Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar in the red chamber.
Senator Ratna Omidvar said that "We need to send a strong signal here in Canada and around the world that if you're an accomplice of a genocide, you are not welcome here. Certainly not as an honorary Canadian citizen.”
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates first assembly of International Solar Alliance
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2018 inaugurated the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi in the presence of the United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The same event saw the inauguration of the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Global RE-Invest (Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo). The Business and Technical Sessions of ISA Assembly, IORA Meet and RE-INVEST 2018 Expo will be held at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh from October 3-5, 2018.
19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit: India signs deal with Russia to buy S-400 Triumf Missiles
India and Russia on October 5, 2018 signed a USD 5.43 billion deal for India to procure the S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia. The deal was signed following the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin and other delegates.
The procurement of the S-400 missile defence system deal could result in the US sanctions on India under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia.
Rafale Combat Aircraft: Everything you need to know!
India in September 2016 signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for €7.8 billion.
As a part of the contract, India will also get the latest weapons like the Meteor and Scalp missiles, besides a five-year support package that assures high availability of the fighter. Under the deal, it was decided that India will pay 15 per cent in advance. The first Rafales are expected to be delivered by 2019, and India is set to have all 36 jets within six years.
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