India, Britain sign various agreements in areas of technology, trade and investment
India and Britain on April 18, 2018 signed nine agreements in the areas of technology, trade and investment. The agreements were signed during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Kingdom, at the invitation of British PM Theresa May.
India and Britain signed a framework agreement for the UK-India Cyber Relationship, aiming for a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace. The agreement also calls for cooperation in exchange of information and strategies for effective cyber security incident management and threat response.
India forms committee to reform higher defence planning
The Union Government on April 18, 2018 formed a new integrated institutional mechanism, Defence Planning Committee (DPC) to reform the process of higher defence planning.
The committee is expected to drive the country’s military and national security strategy, draft capability development plans and guide and accelerate defence equipment acquisitions.
The permanent body would be chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. It will comprise the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), three service chiefs and the Defence, Expenditure and Foreign Secretaries.
Saudi Arabia opens first movie theatre after 35 years
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia on April 18, 2018 opened its first public movie theatre, after over 35 years of prohibition for religious reasons.
A special screening of Marvel superhero film ‘Black Panther’ was held in Riyadh, which was attended by Saudi Culture and Information Minister Awwad Alawwad along with Saudi royalty, celebrities and guest filmmakers.
The first public screening will be held on April 20, the tickets for which went on sale on April 19.
Commonwealth Innovation Index 2018 released: India ranked 10th
As per the 2018 Commonwealth Innovation Index, India fetched 10th position in the index topped by the United Kingdom, Singapore and Canada.
The index was launched on the sidelines of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will conclude on April 20, 2018.
The Commonwealth Innovation Index has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII).
UIDAI introduces new QR code for offline verification
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a new and updated 'QR code' that will have non-sensitive details such as the name, address, photo and date of birth. The main aim behind the development is to provide an extra layer of privacy to Aadhaar.
The new QR code can be used for offline user verification without the 12-digit Aadhaar ID number. The code would be in the form of a barcode label and it would contain machine-readable information.