India and Costa Rica signed two documents during Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s first visit to the Central American nation. The documents were signed and exchanged following talks between Naidu and Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada.
The 2 agreements were signed on waiving visa requirements for Diplomatic and Official passport holders and the signing of the Letter of Intent to collaborate in the field of Biotechnology.
Note: Costa Rica Capital: San José, Currency: Costa Rican colón.
Soumya Swaminathan, a Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation has been named Chief Scientist of the WHO. As Deputy Director-General Programmes (DDP), she was one of the three DDGs assisting WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The Union Cabinet approved a pact with Germany for cooperation in the field of occupational safety and health. The cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Germany on cooperation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).
Under the MoU, German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) through the International Social Security Association (ISSA) is bringing in know-how to meet the OSH challenges, especially in the construction and manufacturing sector.
Idukki’s The Marayoor Jaggery, the traditional and handmade product from Idukki district of Kerala received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Central Government.
The Marayoor jaggery finally managed to get the GI Tag after two years of continuous efforts by the Agricultural Department of the state. The GI tag will provide more windows of opportunity to the traditional sugarcane farmers in Marayoor.
Note: A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on products which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company. Through this partnership, United Bank’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in life insurance products, distribution and customer service.
United Bank has a strong presence in rural and semi-urban areas, with over 2,000 branches and offices, while HDFC Life is India’s largest non-bank-promoted private life insurer.
Note: MD and CEO of United Bank Of India: A.K. Pradhan, Headquarters in: Kolkata, West Bengal.
HDFC Life MD and CEO: Vibha Padalkar, Head Office in: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved designating Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, lAS, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance as Finance Secretary.
Former finance secretary Ajay Narayan Jha superannuated on February 28. Garg, 58, a 1983 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, has been working as the Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs since June 2017.
The World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of 5 States of Government of India and Implementing Agencies signed in New Delhi the Loan Agreement for Additional Financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
This agreement will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams in the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. The $137 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period, and a final maturity of 16 years.
In 2010, the Bank’s Board approved $350 million to finance the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project to improve the safety and sustainable performance of over 220 selected dams in India.
Note: Interim World Bank Group President and World Bank CEO: Kristalina Georgieva Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
Google launched a free app called “Bolo” that parents can download to help primary grade children improve their Hindi and English reading skills. Launched in India first, the app is designed to work offline and comes with a built-in reading buddy, “Diya”, who encourages, aids, explains, and corrects the child, as they read aloud.
Distinguished scientist Ajit Kumar Mohanty was appointed Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the country’s premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research facility.
Mohanty has been appointed Director, BARC for a period of three years. He is at present Director, Physics Group in BARC and Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics.
Note: BARC Headquarters in: Mumbai, Founder: Homi J. Bhabha, Founded: 3 January 1954.
National space agency ISRO and its French counterpart CNES sealed an agreement to set up a joint maritime surveillance system in the country in May. K.Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES of France, signed the agreement in Bengaluru.
The two nations will explore putting up a constellation of low-Earth orbiting satellites that will identify and track the movement of ships globally – and in particular, those moving in the Indian Ocean region where France has its Reunion Islands.
Note: ISRO Director: K. Sivan, Headquarters: Bengaluru, Established in: 1969.