Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 30 October 2017

India sends 1st shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port in Iran

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani, through a joint video conference, flagged off the first shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan. It would be transhipped through the Chabahar port in Iran. The shipment is part of India’s commitment to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on grant basis.

The two Foreign Ministers welcomed the fact that this is the first shipment that would be going to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port after Trilateral Agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor. The agreement was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016.

Six more wheat shipments will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months. The two Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to continue their cooperation for the benefit and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan and the region.

The shipment of wheat is a landmark moment and will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan. It will open up new opportunities for trade and transit from and to Afghanistan and enhance trade and commerce between the three countries and the wider region.


Italy PM Paolo Gentiloni arrives in New Delhi

Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni arrived in New Delhi on a two day visit to India. The visit coming after a gap of more than a decade, is aimed at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. The last visit of the Italian Prime Minister to India was in February 2007.

During his stay in New Delhi, Mr Gentiloni will call on President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will also hold delegation Level talks with Mr Modi.

A 15-member Italian CEO delegation is accompanying the official delegation. Interaction between the CEOs of the two countries is also being planned. Over 600 Italian companies are active in India covering various sectors such as fashion, garments, textile and textile machinery, automotive, automotive components industry, infrastructure, energy and insurance.

A number of Indian companies are also present in Italy mainly in IT, electronics, engineering, automotive, pharmaceuticals and railway sectors. Italy is India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU with a bilateral trade at 8.79 billion dollars in 2016-17.


India-UAE Partnership Summit to further accelerate bilateral trade and investment between two countries

The two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit being inaugurated in Dubai hopes to further accelerate bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. The Summit with a theme of Investment Implementation, will deliberate at how key projects in India can be executed with the support of UAE based businesses and investors. Healthcare, tourism, infrastructure and education are some of the areas of focus during the Summit.

The private sector of India and the UAE, especially the NRI business community have come forward to support the strategic government-to-government partnership, first by creating a new pan-UAE business entity, the Business Leaders Forum (BLF) in March 2017. BLF, set up under the direct guidance of the UAE Ministry of Economy, Embassy of India and Consulate General of India, is the new umbrella organisation of business leaders in the UAE.

The Summit is expected to be attended by more than 800 delegates including Ministers, Officials, industry bodies and others from both the countries.


70 Indian words added to Oxford dictionary

From endearing words like ‘Abba’ and ’Anna’ to Indian delicacies like ‘gulab jamun’ and ‘vada’ can now be found in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

As per the latest list of inclusions, 70 new Indian words from Telugu, Urdu, Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati languages have been added to the dictionary.

Several most-commonly used words in India like ‘jugaad’, ’dadagiri’, ‘achcha’, ‘bapu’ and ‘surya namaskar’ are now part of the Oxford dictionary. Many of the words describe food and relationships, such as ‘anna’ (elder brother), ‘abba’ (father), ‘gulab jamun’, ’mirch masala’, ‘keema’, ‘funda’ and ‘chamcha’. Oftenly used terms like ‘timepass’, ‘natak’ and ‘chup’ also have their meanings in the dictionary now.

The September 2017 update adds to the 900 items already covered by the dictionary and identified as distinctive to Indian English. The words were added to the dictionary as Indians have “a highly specific vocabulary with no direct equivalents in English.

The seventy words newly added to the OED reflect not only the history of the country, but also the many and diverse cultural and linguistic influences which have shaped and changed the English language in India.

The OED publishes four updates a year in March, June, September and December respectively.