Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 14 October 2017

HPCL starts selling lubricants in Myanmar

State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has started selling lubricants in Myanmar as part of broader plans of Indian retailers to play a bigger role in the south-east Asian nation’s oil and gas sector.

HPCL is the first Indian oil company to have started marketing lubes in Myanmar and has chosen commercial hubs of Yangon and Mandalay.

India is pushing for supplying fuel to Myanmar to meet rising demand. Following the lifting of sanctions, Myanmar is looking at foreign companies to cater to fuel and infrastructure requirements arising out of a dramatic surge in consumption.

 

US and Israel withdraw from UNESCO

The United States and Israel announced that they are quitting UNESCO after Washington accused the UN’s cultural agency of anti-Israeli bias.

The withdrawal of the United States, which is meant to provide a fifth of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s funding, is a major blow for the Paris-based organization, founded after the Second World War to help protect cultural and natural heritage around the world.

UNESCO is best known for designating World Heritage Sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park.

Washington has already been withholding its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body gave full-member status to the Palestinians. The United States and Israel were among just 14 of 194 members that voted against admitting the Palestinians.

 

Opening Ceremony: EX Mitra Shakti 2017

The fifth India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2017 started with a grand Opening Ceremony conducted at Aundh Military Station, Pune. The exercise is based on Counter Terrorist Operations and an Infantry company from both the countries is participating in the same.

The Opening Ceremony commenced with immaculate parade, followed by skill displays carried out by troops from both the countries. The spectacular display of Unarmed Combat, Khukri Dance and Pipe Band was carried out by Indian Army and Udarata Narthanaya by Sri Lanka Army. The fly past by two Cheetah helicopters of Indian Army Aviation carrying national flags of both countries was held at the start of the opening ceremony. The ceremony was presided by Brigadier Alok Chandra, VSM and Brigadier Ajith Pallawela, RWP, RSP, Senior Indian Observer and Senior Sri Lanka Observer respectively.

The India – Sri Lanka joint training exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2017 in its fifth edition will send a strong signal to the world that both India and Sri Lanka understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace. The exercise will involve sharing and learning from each others experiences.

 

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal selects N4 Terminal Operating System

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal, one of the container terminals directly managed by India’s leading container port-JNPT, is constantly innovating and up-scaling operations to not only meet but exceed global benchmarks with an underlying commitment to provide seamless customer service and ease of doing business. The JNPCT has upgraded its terminal operating system to SPARCS N4 platform to optimize the terminal’s operational cycle with the ultimate goal to increase JNPCT efficiencies so that customers can experience improved productivity.

The JNPCT has taken a number of initiatives for faster and economical operations along with automation that has helped in streamlining the processes and helping in reduction of cost, time and documents and thus making it easier for clients and partners to do business with them. The decision of migration to Navis N4 TOS solution is one of the step towards achieving the objective.

The N4 implementation process will be managed by Cargotec Corporation and will directly work with JNPCT, utilizing Navis’ methodology and project management tools. Cargotec will provide configuration, testing, report and field extensions, go-live support services, including training courses so that the management and mid-management teams are up and running on N4 as quickly as possible.

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