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International Current Affairs August 3rd Week 2017
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International Current Affairs August 3rd Week 2017

1. Pakistan hoists ‘largest’ national flag to mark 70th Independence Day.

Pakistan`s national flag today flew at 400 feet, the highest in South Asia, at the Attari-Wagah border with India to mark the country`s 70th Independence Day. The 120x80 feet flag is also the largest in the history of the country, Pakistani media reported.

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa hoisted the flag near the border after midnight last night, kicking off the Independence Day celebrations across the country.

The flag is said to be the highest in South Asia and the eighth highest in the world.

Gen Bajwa said: "Some 77 years ago, Pakistan resolution was passed in the same city (Lahore). Pakistan came into being on the night of 27th Ramadan - it was a blessed night.

"Today, the country is progressing on the path of the law and the constitution. All institutions are working properly. We will make Pakistan the country of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal."

Gen Bajwa enunciated the many challenges Pakistan faced but also tried to drum up the nationalistic sentiment. "We have rendered many sacrifices - we will never forget our martyrs. We will execute each and every terrorist in Pakistan. I want to tell our enemies, whether they are in the east or in the west, that your bullets will end but not the
chests of our jawans [soldiers]."

"I assure you that we will never let you down. Any power that will aim to weaken Pakistan, the Army and all other institutions will foil their attempts."

Other speakers at the event also paid tributes to those killed during the migration to Pakistan.
 
2. India- ASEAN Youth Summit begins in Bhopal.
India- ASEAN Youth Summit begins in Bhopal 
The India-ASEAN Youth Summit began in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh to commemorate 25th anniversary of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)–India dialogue partnership in the ongoing year. 

The first of its kind event was organised by Union Foreign Ministry, Union Sports Ministry, Madhya Pradesh government and India Foundation.The five day Summit will commemorative this year’s theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”. Madhya Pradesh was chosen for this event as the Sanchi stupa located here strengthens the state’s cultural affiliation with the ASEAN countries.

Around 100 delegates from ASEAN countries Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam are going to participate in the summit. It will also have participation of 75 youth leaders from India.

The participants will represent some of the largest institutions in their countries, including leaders from ruling as well as opposition parties, think tanks, media and universities to renew and revitalise engagement with the region reflecting close cultural and civilisational links.
 

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About Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

 


ASEAN regional organisation comprising 10 South east Asian countries that aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members. It came into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration).

Principal aims of the ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth, intergovernmental cooperation, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members. It came into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration).

Principal aims of the ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth, intergovernmental cooperation, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, protect of regional stability and facilitate political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.

Its 10 members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its motto is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
 
3. IMMSAREX : INOS`s ,aodem ,aroto,e searcj amd rescue exercise will be held in November 2017.
IMMSAREX : INOS`s ,aodem ,aroto,e searcj amd rescue exercise will be held in November 2017
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’s (IONS) maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) will be held in November 2017 in the Bay of Bengal under the chairmanship of Bangladesh. 

The ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS including China, India and Pakistan will participate in the exercise. In addition, Bangladesh is also scheduling to host “extraordinary conclave of Chiefs,” a meeting of chiefs of Navy of IONS members before it hands over the Chair to Iran.
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The side-by-side participation of the Indian and Chinese Navies in IMMSAREX exercise will come amid growing India’s skepticism of Chinese naval activities in the 

Indian Ocean region (IOR) and establishment of China’s first overseas base at Djibouti. India has considerably expanded its engagement with countries to further its own interests as well as to check the rapid expansion of Chinese naval forays in the IOR. Other countries in the region are also engaged in rapid expansion of their military capabilities.

About Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)
The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India in February 2008. It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues. 

It endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.These states are represented by the heads of their navies.

Under the IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and maritime security (anti-piracy).

Members to IONS
There are 35 members – navies of the IONS which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions:

South Asian Littorals: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

West Asian Littorals: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.

East African Littorals: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eriteria, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania.

South East Asian and Australian Littorals:  Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste.
Observer Countries: China, Japan etc.
 
4. Germany Should Eventually Ban New Diesel Cars, Feels Angela Merkel.
Germany Should Eventually Ban New Diesel Cars, Feels Angela Merkel 
Germany must eventually follow other European countries in banning new diesel cars, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, conceding for the first time that diesel`s days are numbered in the wake of the emissions scandals. Her concession, in an interview with Super Illu magazine, followed mounting pressure over the summer on Germany`s auto makers who concealed from regulators the true emissions level of diesel vehicles.

"I don`t want to name an exact year," she said, but Britain and France`s plans to phase out internal combustion-driven cars by 2040 "were the right approach".

The fate of the auto sector, Germany`s biggest exporter and provider of some 800,000 jobs, has become a hot issue in the September 24 election, when Merkel is seeking a fourth term. Politicians are accusing auto executives of failing to find an adequate response to the emissions scandal.

Agreement was reached at a summit of politicians and carmakers this month to overhaul engine software on 5.3 million diesel cars to cut pollution and repair the industry`s reputation, battered by Volkswagen`s admission two years ago that it had cheated U.S. emission tests.

On the possibility of a second diesel summit, Daimler said, "We were and are always prepared to engage in a constructive dialogue."
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Also Read: VW Bosses Told Costs Of Emissions Saga A Month Before Disclosure - ReportA spokesman for Volkswagen pointed to the carmaker`s strategy of restructuring called "Together 2025", adding, "We`re addressing the issues of the future."

The Volkswagen spokesman also rejected suggestions that the decisions made at the diesel summit were insufficient, saying, "We think the measures are appropriate to avoid driving bans and to improve the air quality."

Ministers and government spokespeople had declined to commit to phasing out diesel cars. That was in August, when Merkel was on holiday in the Italian Alps. Her absence drew criticism from her predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, who said he would have returned from vacation to "take matters in hand".

Returning to a theme she aired in Dortmund at the weekend, Merkel said the car industry must win back trust, including by offering trade-in bonuses and software updates. Consumers had been "deceived" and must get the environmental emissions performance they had been promised, she said. But tax breaks favoring diesel cars would remain in place for the time being, since they emitted less carbon dioxide than petrol engines, she said.

Speaking at an election campaign rally in the western town of Gelnhausen, Merkel said it was important to acknowledge German carmakers had made mistakes. But she said employees were not to blame and it was important to preserve their jobs and ensure the industry`s strength.

"The auto industry needs to ensure that the mistakes that were made are corrected," she said, and the diesel summit was the first step in doing this.

"But the second is that the country, the government needs to ensure that those who bought cars in good faith are not punished in the end with driving bans," she said.

Merkel said diesel cars were necessary to keep pollution under control and Germany needed to support the auto industry`s transformation by promoting new technologies and ensuring the infrastructure was available.

"We need to organize a smooth transition into the new era so that people keep their jobs. That is the challenge that the CDU and CSU will meet," she said, referring to her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party - the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Merkel said her CDU would take a "measured" approach rather than an "extreme" one. Though Germany`s giant car industry has contributed to a stellar economic performance that looks likely to get Merkel re-elected, its auto makers have been slower than rivals to make the shift to electric traction.

Reporting By Thomas Escritt and Noah Barkin; additional reporting by Jan Schwartz in Hamburg and Andreas Cremer in Berlin; Writing by Thomas Escritt and Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrea Shalal and Janet Lawrence.
 
5. World Organ donation day is observed on August 13th.
World Organ donation day is observed on August 13th 
Organ Donation Day in India is celebrated on 13th of August every year by the people, government organizations and other related professions in order to motivate normal human beings to donate the organs as well as to understand the value of organ donation in the life of an individual. The organ donor can be anyone of which the organ can be transplanted to the patient urgently require. The organ donated by the normal human being is saved properly to transplant into the patient whenever he or she require. One can get the new life through the organ transplantation donated by someone.
 
Organ Donation Day 2017 will be celebrated all over the India at Sunday, on 13th of August.
 
IMPORTANCE OF ORGAN DONATION
 
According to the report, at least more than 5 lakhs of the Indians are dying every year just because of the failure of their major functioning organs anytime. They still want to live their life as they are not fully satisfy with their life and want to live more but just because of the natural calamities they are unable to do so. 
 
The organ transplantation could play a major role in their beautiful life by increasing their period of living a life more than expectations. The donor of the organs plays a role of God in the life of organ transplanted person. One organ donor can save more than 8 lives in his life by donating his well function organs. The Organ 
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Donation Day campaign, which is celebrated every year at August 13th, provides a great opportunity in everyone’s life to come ahead and pledge to donate their precious organs.
 
It’s the honor of medical researchers who had experimented for years with many failures for getting the successful results over the organ donation as well as organ transplantation in the life human beings. Finally they got the successful result over the crucial process of organ transplanting. The organs which can be successfully transmitted are kidneys, livers, Bone marrow, hearts, lungs, cornea, pancreases, small bowels through the medical treatments. The organs transplantation and donation both of the process can be successfully done because of the development of immuno-suppressive drugs which can increase the survival rate of organ recipients.
 
Because of the growth and development of the new technologies and therapies in the modern life, the need of the organ transplants is continuously increasing with the great extents which need more organ donation every year. Instead of availability of the great technologies and therapies the death rate has increased because of the shortage of transplant-able organs.
 
OBJECTIVES 
  • To aware the people about the need of organ donation.
  • To distribute the messages of organ donation all over the country.
  • To remove the hesitations of the people about donating organs.
  • To say a grateful thanks to the donors of organs.
  • To motivate and encourage more people towards organ donation in their life.
WHICH ORGANS CAN BE DONATED?
 
  • Kidney
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Eye
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Cornea
  • Small Intestine
  • Skin tissues
  • Bone tissues
  • Heart valves
  • Veins
 
There are many initiators of the organ donations in the society; one of them is The Times Of India who is distributing the message of organ donation all over the world through the effective and real news on the daily basis including statistics about the organ donation need and its fulfillment. The news of the TOI brings a hope among the people who really needs the organ transplantation. It has given the great message under the title of “Life Can Begin After Death”. According to it, A big number of patients who have organ failure and need the organ of some other person to continue their life all over the India. The need of the organ transplantation can only be fulfilled by the process of organ donation after the brain death. But still the rate of organ donors in our country is very less just because of the myths and confusions in donating organs. Be the real hero of your family and your great country in your life by donating your precious organs to someone who need it very seriously.
 
6. Earths largest volcanic region found in Antarctica.
Earths largest volcanic region found in Antarctica
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Britain have discovered the largest volcanic region on Earth, two km below the surface of the vast ice sheet in west Antarctica. 

They have found 91 previously unknown active volcanoes in the region known as the West Antarctic rift system, adding to the exiting 47 volcanoes that were discovered earlier. This makes it largest volcanic region on the Earth.

These active peaks are concentrated in the west Antarctic rift system region — which stretches 3,500 km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula. 

The height of these newly discovered active volcanoes range from 100 to 3,850 metres, with the highest being almost as tall as Switzerland’s Eiger mountain (3,970 metre). All of these volcanoes are covered in thick layers of ice.
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This region is larger than east Africa’s volcanic ridge which is currently rated as the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world. Any volcanic activity of Antarctic rift system may have crucial implications for the rest of the planet.

If one of the volcanoes in Antarctic rift system erupts, it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets. If it causes the melting of ice on eruption may speed up the flow of ice into the sea. It will enhance sea level rises that are already affecting our oceans due to climate change.
 
7. Black Carbon released by aeroplanes may be affecting ozone, monsoon: Study.
Black Carbon released by aeroplanes may be affecting ozone, monsoon: Study
 
According to a recent study by climate researchers, aeroplanes may be ejecting significant amounts of black carbon (BC) which in turn is affecting monsoon,  depleting the ozone layer and quickening glacier melt.

The study was conducted by climate researchers from multiple institutions in India including from the Indian Institute of Science and ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

Earlier it was believed that airborne BC is unlikely to travel upward of 4 km and dissipate and settle down in few months under the influence of wind and rain. 
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However, this study shows that such particles exist up to 18 km into the stratosphere, a stable region of the atmosphere.

Given the shape and location of these BC particles, researchers believe they could only derive from emissions from burning of aviation fuel in aeroplanes. As BC particles absorb heat, they warm the surrounding air, become lighter and rise to greater heights by a process called self-lift and persist for longer time in the air. 

The airborne BC particles released by aeroplanes possess a problem because they can linger long time, enough to provide a fertile ground for other chemical reactions that can deplete the ozone layer. As, BC particles strongly absorb solar and terrestrial radiation and heats up the atmosphere it can also upset the monsoon system. If deposited on snow, it could accelerate the heating of snow and quicken the melting of glaciers.

Significance of Study: This is the first time that any group of climate researchers in the world has shown that black carbon from aircraft can go to the stratosphere and affect the ozone layer.
 
8. India to host steering committee meeting of TAPI gas pipeline.
 
India to host steering committee meeting of TAPI gas pipeline
India is going to host the next steering committee meeting of the proposed 1,814 kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. 

Decision in this regard was taken at the sixth joint India-Turkmenistan Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.
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The IGC discussions between both countries comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and took stock of the progress achieved in the areas of energy, security cooperation, civil aviation, information technology, science and technology, trade and economic cooperation, transport and connectivity, cultural and educational matters.

About Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline
TAPI gas pipeline project or Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The pipeline first proposed in 1995 will transport natural gas from energy rich Caspian Sea (Galkynysh gasfields: fourth largest in the world) in Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan into Pakistan. Construction on the project started in Turkmenistan on December 2015. It is expected to be operational by 2019. 

The project will supply both India and Pakistan about 38 mmscmd of natural gas whereas Afghanistan will get 14 mmscmd supply. The life of supply is expected to last for period of 30 years and shall be operational from 2019. Member countries of the project have recommended establishing an inter-government joint security task force (JSTF) to serve as the nucleus of the safety of the pipeline.

TAPI gas pipeline project is considered as an important initiative of these four countries as it connects energy rich Central Asia with energy starved South Asia. It will enhance economic engagement through regional connectivity by economically integrating region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea. It will not just be a commercial project, but also help in providing peace and security in the region.

From India’s perspective, TAPI Project will provide an alternative supply source of gas with dependable reserves leading to enhanced energy security. It will further diversify the fuel basket to the benefit of Indian economy as it would be used mainly in power, fertilizer and city gas sectors.
 
9. Nepal, China sign three pacts to boost energy,  economic ties.
 
Nepal, China sign three pacts to boost energy,  economic ties
 
China and Nepal have signed three pacts to further boost their ties in power, energy and economic sectors. The agreements signed cover oil and gas resources exploration, economic and technological cooperation and promotion of investment.

These agreements were signed after visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang held discussions with Nepal’s Deputy Prime Ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

The agreements cover three different domains viz. (i) economic and technological cooperation, (ii) framework agreement on promotion of investment and economic cooperation and (iii) China-aid oil and gas resources survey project.
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These pacts also include a feasibility study for excavating natural gas and petroleum in mountain areas and plains of Terai region of the Himalayan country. They will help to make significant contributions in Nepal’s socio- economic transformation.

Both countries also agreed to establish hydropower projects and transmission lines and take steps for technological development in Nepal, which suffers from acute shortage of electricity. China also agreed to upgrade 114-kilometre Araniko highway- an old route connecting two countries, which was damaged and subsequently closed after the massive 2015 Nepal earthquake.
 
10. India Opens First Partition Museum in Amritsar.
India Opens First Partition Museum in Amritsar
 
In the 70 years since India and Pakistan were created from enue focused on the stories and memorabilia of those who survived that chaotic and bloody chapter in history — until now.

A new museum on the Partition of the Indian subcontinent opens this week, as the two South Asian giants mark seven decades as independent nations.

“If you look at any other country in the world, they’ve all memorialized the experiences that have defined and shaped them. Yet this event that has so deeply shaped not only our subcontinent but millions of individuals who were impacted has had no museum or memorial 70 years later,” said Mallika Ahluwalia, CEO of the Partition Museum .

The exhibitions, housed in the red-brick Town Hall building in the north Indian border city of Amritsar, include photographs, newspaper clippings and donated personal items meant to tell the story of how the region’s struggle for freedom from colonial rule turned into one of its most violent episodes, as communal clashes left hundreds of thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs dead and another 15 million displaced from their ancestral homes.

An antique pocket watch that belonged to someone killed in mob violence in Pakistan. Woven fabrics from craftsmen of the time. A traditional rope cot carried by a refugee across the border. And many old black-and-white family snapshots.

Screens show video interviews with the now-elderly survivors. The last of the museum’s 14 galleries is called the Gallery of Hope, where visitors are invited to scribble messages of love and peace on leaf-shaped papers before hanging them on a barbed-wire tree. The idea, Ahluwalia said, was to have visitors participate in the “greening” of the tree and to think of peace and reconciliation between the torn nations.“You end up feeling so grateful to that generation who, I think, helped rebuild the nation, despite having suffered such trauma,” Ahluwalia said.

She said she wanted to create the museum after years of hearing her 83-year-old grandmother’s tales of the subcontinent before it was divided, before she had to flee her Pakistani home as a 13-year-old girl.

“What must it have felt like for her, to one day come from, you know, a relatively affluent family, have a normal background, and the next day all you have left of 
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your things is a small suitcase,” Ahluwalia said. The personal experience led her to believe it was important to set up the museum, “especially as we saw that generation leaving us.”

The fact that it will be India’s first Partition museum makes it even more crucial, she said. Tickets are priced low at 10 rupees (25 cents) for Indians and 150 rupees ($2.30) for foreigners to encourage more visitors.

The museum is a nonprofit trust that has raised money from individuals such as Indian ad guru Suhel Seth and companies including Airtel and the Hindustan Times. The Punjab government donated the space.

While the bloody events of Partition became a foundational part of India’s history and identity, sparking countless works of art, literature and film, there has been no official expression of regret, and India’s leaders have been cautious in mentioning the communal violence that coincided with the country’s earliest days. There are 

no memorials to those who perished. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made no mention of Partition itself while regaling the country’s freedom fighters in his annual Independence Day speech to the nation.

Sociologist Shiv Visvanathan suggested the topic has simply been too painful for many to dwell on, and that reconciliation would need to be two-sided to work. Even the museum, he said, should reflect realities on both sides.

“If a nation-state becomes the repository of memory, it becomes a one-sided memory,” Visvanathan said. “We have to acknowledge the mutuality of violence. There is no one truth. No one victim.”

The museum is located in the heart of Amritsar, best known for its famed Sikh Golden Temple, because the Punjabi city was one of the first points of arrival for millions of refugees to India.

Dozens of people donated items to the museum, including 81-year-old Sohinder Nath Chopra, who included an autobiographical novel set in his old village near Gujranwala in Pakistan. His family had been warned by a Muslim cleric to flee the village as weaponized mobs went on killing sprees against Hindus and Sikhs in the newly declared Islamic republic.

He was 12 years old as they crossed the border into India, and remembers “big arches welcoming the refugees.”

“Hindi film songs were being played loudly,” Chopra told the Associated Press. “There were people standing on both sides, holding bread, vegetables, water. And everybody started crying.”

 11. Parsi New Year and Navroz celebrated across the world.

Parsi New Year and Navroz celebrated across the world 
India is the origin of a number of religions and is home to followers of many more. One such community which migrated to India and has been a prominent part of the Indian culture since is the Parsi community. They follow the religion of Zoroastrianism, which was founded by the Prophet Zarathustra in ancient Iran approximately 3500 years ago. It was the official religion of Persia from from 650 BCE until the rise of Islam in the 7th century. When the Islamic armies invaded Persia, many Zoroastrians migrated to India (then Gujarat region, part of which is now in Pakistan). 

The term Parsi is Gujarati for Persian. Parsis in India are considered to be the largest single group of the Zoroastrian community, which also consists of Iranis. 

Though smaller in number compared to other communities of India, Parsis form an integral part of the Indian demographic. One of the major festivals celebrated by the Parsi community is the Parsi New Year which marks the first day of the year. While the Iranian calendar celebrates the Persian New Year on the spring equinox, Indiansand Pakistanis follow the Shahenshahi calendar. The Shahenshahi calendar, like the Kadmi calendar, does not account for leap years. As a result, The Parsi New Year in India drifts ahead by around 200 days. The Zoroastrians of Pakistan and India celebrate this day as the Jamshed-i-Nouroz which typically falls in July-August. 

The festival is named after the Persian king Jamshed who started the Parsi calendar. Parsi New Year 2017 falls on August 17 and is a regional holiday in places like Maharashtra and Gujarat.
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Like every year, Parsi New Year 2017 will be celebrated with great pomp by people in India. For the Zoroastrian community, Parsi New Year stands for the annual renewal of everything in the universe. Like all other festivals and observance in India, Parsi New Year celebrations begin with cleaning the house on the eve of the festival. 

Homes are decorated with flowers and chalk decorations. People of the Parsi community buy and wear new clothes on this day. After bathing and dressing up, a visit to the Fire temple to pay their respects and offer prayers is customary. 

Friends and relatives visit each other and also have meals together. They are welcomed with a sprinkling of rose water. Delicacies prepared for the day of Navroz include moog dal, pulav and sali boti, dhansak, farcha and patra ni macchi. Parsis in Mumbai also make a day out of Parsi New Year by going for Gujarati plays at theatres across the city. Several places in Mumbai that serve authentic Parsi food have a number of visitors on Parsi New Year. Many people also make charitable donations on this day. It is a day that signifies new beginnings and the Parsis do their best to start it on a positive note.
 
12. US designates Hizbul Mujahideen as Foreign Terrorist Organisation.
US designates Hizbul Mujahideen as Foreign Terrorist Organisation
The United States has named Pakistan based Kashmiri terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO)”. The designation slaps a series of US sanctions on the outfit.

With this, Hizb Mujahideen joins the other terrorist outfits Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) on the US list of FTO designated in 2001. Moreover, two other anti-India groups, al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (2016) and Indian Mujahideen (2011) are also in the list.

What does it means?.
Such designations expose and isolate terrorist groups and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. It also assists the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments. It blocks all of Hizbul Mujahideen’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction. It also prohibits US citizens from engaging in any transactions with the group. It purpose is to deny Hizbul Mujahideen the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks.
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The designation comes against the backdrop of upsurge in the terror activities of the militant group in Kashmir in recent months. Earlier in June 2017, US had adding the Hizbul Mujahideen’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin to its list of designated global terrorists.

The US decision to designate Hizbul Mujahideen as FTO marks a severe blow to Pakistan which has been projecting the militant group as a voice of Kashmiri people. It also validates India’s position on cross-border terrorism as the reason behind the Kashmir issue and the support terrorist organisations getting from Pakistan. It will also help India to put the squeeze on Pakistan, whose top political and military leaders are portraying Hizb cadres as “freedom fighters” at a time of heightened terrorist activity in Kashmir.

About Hizbul Mujahideen
Hizbul Mujahideen (meaning “Party of Holy Warriors”) is one of the largest and oldest terrorist groups operating in Kashmir. It was started in 1989 by Muhammad Ahsan Dar as Kashmiri separatist group and holds pro-Pakistan ideology. Its current commander is a Sayeed Salahudeen who is based in Rawalpindi and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It has been already designated a terrorist organisation by India and European Union.
 
13. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden IPRS.
 
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden IPRS
 
The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).

The MoU establishes wide ranging and flexible mechanism, allowing both countries to work together and exchange best practices on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness and protect IPRs.

Features of MoU

It facilitates establishment of a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) with members from both countries. It aims to enhance cooperation between both countries for exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions.
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It will also facilitate exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with industry, universities, R&D organisations and SMEs by organising programs and events. It also seeks to enhance collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities.

It will also facilitate exchange of information and best practices for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs and Geographical Indications as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights.

It will enhance cooperation for understanding protection of traditional knowledge and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases. It will also facilitate exchange of information and best practices regarding IP law infringements in digital environment, especially regarding Copyright issues. 

Significance of the MoU

It will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, businesses and investors on both sides. By facilitating exchange of best practices between both countries, it will lead to improved protection and awareness about India’s range of Intellectual creations. It will be will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016 and aid in India’s journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation.
 
14. India, US establish Two-By-Two Ministerial Dialogue.
India, US establish Two-By-Two Ministerial Dialogue
India and US have established new two-by-two (2 by 2) ministerial dialogue to enhance strategic coordination between them and maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The new dialogue format will replace the earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. It will be similar to the India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format between foreign and defence secretaries of the two countries.

India and US had elevated their Strategic Dialogue in 2009 which mainly focuses on regional security, economic cooperation, defence, trade and climate challenges. The purpose of two-by-two ministerial dialogue is to put strategic, defence and security relationship between the two countries at the forefront and centrestage. The new format would include External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister from India and their American counterparts Secretary of State and Defence Secretary.
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The new ministerial dialogue would enhance strategic coordination between the two nations. It will aslo elevate strategic consultations between both countries. It will be helpful to coordinate more closely on Afghanistan, developments in the Asia Pacific, Indian Ocean and also in the Middle East (West Asia). It will insulate the India-US strategic relationship from feuds over trade and deep divide on economic integration policies as trade and commercial issues were discussed in the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue earlier.

 

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