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India upgrades ties with North Korea
- India signalled its improved ties with North Korea by sending Minister of State Kiren Rijju to participate in an event marking the North Korean national independence day at the North Korean embassy.
- India’s bilateral ties with North Korea have been frosty with North Korea being a strategic partner of Pakistan
- North Korea ‘s leader Kum Jong Un initiated thawing of the icy relations between both countries by sending his foreign minister to Delhi.
- North Korea has one of the largest deposits of rare earth metals and trade with North Korea is seen as crucial to the booming IT and Electronics industry in India.
- While this move could been seen upsetting the South Koreans who are primed to invest a lot in India in PM Modi’s Make in India , Smart Cities and other schemes.
Pentagon seeks to speed up Indo – US ties
- In an unprecedented move , signalling India’s importance as a major buyer and potential collaborator in the defence sector , the Pentagon has established its first ever country specific cell to speed up ties with India.
- Pentagon is the head quarters of the US Department of Defence.
- The India Rapid Reaction Cell (IRRC) is part of efforts to pursue all aspects of the India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative(DTTI).
- The DTTI enjoys full backing from both sides and this was articulated by both President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015, who had directed the DTTI to focus on pursuing six co-development pathfinder efforts.
- To strengthen and speed up Defence collaborative process , India and the U.S. are set to hold a series of high-level exchanges in the defence sector, including a visit to the U.S. by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
India aids Afghanistan In Treating 4000 Kids With Heart Diseases
- After helping Afghanistan in re construction of Salma Dam in Herat as part of its post war reconstruction aid , the Government of India will now sponser and provide surgical operations required by kids with heart ailments.
- According to Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), India is going to help 4,000 Afghan children having heart disease with their treatment. Most of the children have a ‘hole in heart’ condition, which is called Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) in medical terms.
- India will spend $3,000 (around ₹ 2000 crores) on each patient and if the expenses exceed $4,000 (around ₹ 2600 crores), the balance amount will be paid by ARCS. This money will be used for treatment for over five years.
- India will also train Afghani cardiologists in handling surgical procedures for minor heart operations.
Centre may set up shell Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) soon.
- Keen to avoid a stand-off with the Reserve Bank of India, the government is likely to set up a “shell” public debtmanagement agency (PDMA)
- However legislative backing for full-fledged operations will not be given till a consensus is reached with the central bank on the structure of the proposed agency.
- The shell PDMA would be set up through an executive order in a couple of months. A cabinet note with these suggestions are now being discussed among concerned ministries and the RBI, the sources added.
- The creation of the PDMA which was a budgetary promise of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley , would enable RBI to focus on its core function of monetary policy and regulating banks. Such an agency is also expected to lower the government’s borrowing costs eventually and foster a liquid and efficient G-Secs market.
- The idea is also to resolve the conflict of interests involved in RBI simultaneously targeting inflation by calibrating interest rates and regulating as well as managing government debt.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1)In India , Indus runs in a narrow gorge between the Ladakh and _____ mountain ranges.
2)Tibetic dialects are the regional languages in India in which locations??
d)All of the above
3) Which of the following is considered to be the best source of FDI ??
a) Investment in stocks by overseas mutual funds
c)Export of Indian goods
d) None of the above
Answers 1b , 2d ,3b