Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 26 October 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits India, calls on Prime Minister

Visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues. Prime Minister shared the resolve expressed by Secretary Tillerson on taking further steps in the direction of accelerating and strengthening the content, pace and scope of the bilateral engagement. They affirmed that a strengthened India-US partnership is not just of mutual benefit to both countries, but has significant positive impact on the prospects for regional and global stability and prosperity.

In the context of President Trump’s new South Asia Policy, Prime Minister noted the commonality in the objectives of eradicating terrorism, terrorist infrastructure, safe havens, and support, while bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

In this regard, Secretary Tillerson exchanged views on his recent travels in the region with Prime Minister. They further discussed stepping up effective cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms and promoting regional stability and security.

Earlier in the day, Secretary Tillerson also had detailed discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.


BIMSTEC Forum provides an ideal platform for fostering of Traditional Medicine

Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India hosted   First Meeting of BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine on 24-25 October, 2017 at Parvasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an International Organisation involving a group of countries in the South Asia and South East Asia namely, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. India being a major stake holder in the field of Traditional Medicine plays an important role in influencing the policies and strategies related to the Traditional Medicine in the BIMSTEC Forum.

Delegations from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Republic of India, and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Thailand along with the BIMSTEC Secretariat participated in the Meeting.

The Meeting was inaugurated on 24 October 2017 by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH.  Sh. Pramod Kumar Pathak, Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH and Head of Delegation of India was elected Chairman of the Meeting and  Dr. Yi Yi Myint, Head of Delegation of Myanmar was elected  Vice-Chair. All the Delegations made Country Presentations on the status and best practices of Traditional Medicine in their respective country. The Meeting discussed the following important agenda :-

(a) Implementation of Strategies of BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicines (BTFTM)

(b) Priority Areas for technical and research collaboration among the Member  States on Traditional Medicine

(c) Regional strategy on the protection of Genetic Resource associated with    Traditional Medicine Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights and develop a work plan

(d) Human Resource Development and Capacity Building among the BIMSTEC Member States

(e) New Initiative, proposals and programmes for cooperation on Traditional Medicine among the BIMSTEC Task Force on Traditional Medicine.


Qatar to introduce minimum wage for workers

Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar, under global scrutiny over its alleged ill-treatment of migrant labourers, is to introduce a minimum wage for workers.

The gas-rich emirate has signed bilateral accords with 36 countries from which it draws most of its two-million-strong foreign workforce, to provide legal protection for workers headed to the Gulf.

The minimum wage initiative and the agreements were announced by Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, minister of administrative development, labour and social affairs, during a meeting with foreign diplomats. The announcements came on the eve of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting, which had warned Qatar to end abuse of migrant workers. The International Trade Union Confederation (ICTU) welcomed the move.

Qatar has long operated on a system called “kafala”, a strict work sponsorship scheme that forced foreign workers to get permission from their employer to change jobs, or even leave the country. Qatari officials announced an end to the kafala system in December 2016.


South African Indian-origin couple wins top US award for AIDS research

A globally-acclaimed South African Indian-origin researcher couple was honoured with a prestigious US award for their exceptional contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim received the award from the Institute for Human Virology (IHV) in Baltimore in the US. The award was presented to them by Robert Gallo, who discovered HIV as the cause of AIDS‚ at the 19th international meeting of the IHV.

Salim Abdool Karim is the Director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is its associate scientific Director.