GK Today: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Preparation: 28 August 2018

India – Kenya Joint Trade Committee meeting held in Nairobi

The 8th meeting of India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 22nd – 25th August, 2018. The meeting was co-chaired by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhuand Mr. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Government of Kenya. The discussions during the meetings covered India’s contribution in implementation of Kenya’s Big Four Agenda – food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing, expansion and diversification of bilateral trade, Kenya’s readiness to join the International Solar Alliance, implementation of Lines of Credit, of over US$ 220 million, extended by Government of India in power transmission, SMEs development, revival of the Rivatex factory and agricultural mechanization, implementation of decisions taken during the high level exchanges, cooperation in health, blue economy, agro-processing sectors and WTO related issues; and training & capacity building programmes offered by India. An Agreed Minutes of the Meeting was signed by both Ministers. A meeting of India-Kenya Joint Business Council was held on the side-lines of the Joint Trade Committee meeting. In his address to the Kenyan and Indian business leaders, Suresh Prabhu emphasized on research and design in products specific to Kenyan needs and urged Indian businesses to carry out a market study to identify priority areas for bilateral cooperation. India and Kenya are Indian Ocean neighbours and share longstanding trade and people-to-people contacts. At present, India is one of Kenya’s largest trade partners and the second largest foreign investor in Kenya. Indians are the third-largest group of tourists to Kenya. The last meeting of Joint Trade Committee was held in New Delhi in February 2015.

 

India’s first biofuel powered plane flies from Dehradun to Delhi

Paving the way for the usage of alternative fuels in the aviation sector, country’s first ever biojet fuel-powered flight was successfully tested between Dehradun and Delhi. The SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 aircraft took off from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport and successfully landed in Delhi. The SpiceJet flight was tested with one of the two engines of the plane running on a blend of 25 per cent biojet fuel and 75 per cent ATF (aviation turbine fuel), and the other engine running on ATF alone. The 450 litres of biojet fuel that was used was developed by using oil extracted from the seeds of the Jatropha plant which was supplied to IIP by the Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority (CBDA). The CBDA had procured the supply from 500 families of Chhattisgarh-based farmers. The production of biofuel will also reduce the dependency on crude oil, most of which currently is imported. Biojet fuel enhances fuel efficiency. While India has the fastest growing domestic aviation market in the world – more than 125 million passengers flew in 2017-18 at a growth rate of 18 percent. With the success, India has joined an elite club of nations including USA and Australia who use biofuel for commercial flights.

 

Online registration of drones must from Dec. 1

Drones, their operators and pilots will have to be mandatorily registered on aviation regulator DGCA’s online portal, effective December 1. The use of remotely piloted aircraft, a kind of drone, is allowed for taking photographs, conducting surveys such as for laying of pipelines and agricultural purposes and surveillance, as per the regulations on remotely piloted aircraft system unveiled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) have been divided into five categories – nano (less than 250gm), micro (between 250 gm and 2kg), small (between 2 and 25 kg) and large (more than 150 kg). Users will have to go online to seek a unique identification number for each drone as well as an operator’s permit licence. They will have to provide details of flight path to be undertaken for every flight. Drones are barred from being flown near airports, international border, coastline, Parliament, Secretariat complex in State capitals, military installations and eco sensitive zones.

 

Sushma Swaraj inaugurates 3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. She also unveiled the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the Chancery building at the Embassy of India in Hanoi. On this occasion, she praised the the role played by Indian community in Vietnam in consolidating cultural connect and strengthening people to people bond between two nations. Organised by Indian Foundation along with the partners from Singapore, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the theme of the conference was ‘Building Regional Architectures’. Earlier, the conference was held in Singapore and Sri Lanka in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

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