13th India-Japan Annual Summit: India, Japan sign various agreements, agree to start ‘2+2’ dialogue
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Japan on October 28-29, 2018 to attend the India-Japan Annual Summit with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After the summit, the two sides exchanged 32 MoUs or agreements.
Japan and India entered into a USD 75 billion currency swap agreement that will boost Indian economy as it encounters a steep drop in the rupee’s value. During the Summit, Japan also announced to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) by submitting the instrument of ratification. Japan will be the 71st country to sign and 48th country to ratify the ISA Framework Agreement.
Seychelles launches world’s first Sovereign Blue Bond
The Republic of Seychelles on October 29, 2018 launched the world’s first Sovereign Blue Bond, a financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
The bond raised USD 15 million from international investors. With this, Seychelles became the first nation to pioneer such a novel financing instrument. The Seychelles blue bond is partially guaranteed by a USD 5 million guarantee from the World Bank (IBRD) and is further supported by a USD 5 million concessional loan from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which will partially cover interest payments for the bond.
Supreme Court prohibits plying of 15-year-old petrol, 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR
The Supreme Court on October 29, 2018 prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR (national capital region) in a move to deal with the prevailing "very critical" and "horrible" pollution situation in Delhi-NCR.
The apex court directed that a list of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles will be published on the website of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and transport departments of the NCR area. The bench directed the CPCB to immediately create a social media account on which citizens could lodge their complaint about pollution directly.
India, Qatar establish joint commission to strengthen bilateral relations
India and Qatar on October 29, 2018 established a joint commission to review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest. A joint declaration was issued to this effect.
The decision was taken following a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, during former's visit to Qatar. During the meeting, both the sides held comprehensive discussions on bilateral relations and regional and international issues.
Union Transport Minister to lay the foundation for India’s largest Dry Dock
The foundation stone for India's largest Dry Dock will be laid by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala on October 30, 2018.
The Dry Dock will give a major boost to the “Make in India” initiative under Sagarmala and raise India’s share in global shipbuilding to 2 percent. India currently occupies 0.66 per cent share in global shipbuilding market. The new Dry Dock is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1799 crore. It will be 310 m long, 75m wide, with a depth of 13 m and drought of 9.5m.
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