- September rain boosts paddy hopes in state
The paddy production in the state in this year’s kharif season has shown positive signs with the first advance estimate pegging it around 65.51 lakh metric tonnes.
The total production could touch 72-73 lakh metric tonnes after the crop cutting reports are collected in the third advance estimate, which will be out by January next year.
This is a significant increase from 60 lakh metric tonnes last year, which saw drought-like conditions and low rains.
The paddy coverage area in the last season was 31.71 lakh hectares while it is 28.78 lakh hectares against the target of 35 lakh hectares this year, as per the latest data collected by the agriculture department.
Paddy production between 2009-10 and 2017-18 has seen highs and lows, with the production declining sharply in 09-10 before owing to Kosi floods the previous year in districts in north Bihar known for rich paddy harvest and shooting up in next few years before declining in 2016-17 due to drought-like conditions. In 17-18, the paddy production was 80.93 lakh metric tonnes which fell to 60 lakh metric tonnes.
- 1st-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise – Dustlik-2019 begins
The first-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise – Dustlik-2019 will begin at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov presided over the Curtain Raiser of the military drill.
The exercise, which will focus on counter-terrorism, will continue till November 13.
During the exercise, an Indian Army contingent will train along with Uzbekistan Army.
India and Uzbekistan have signed three Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of Military Medicine and Military Education.
● The US, Bangladesh Navy exercise began in Chattogram
A naval exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2019 between the US and Bangladesh, began in Chattogram, Bangladesh, on 4 November 2019. It was announced by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing of Bangladesh armed forces. The exercise is provided with different subject-based training and exercise.
Exercise CARAT aims to provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the operational activities of the US and Bangladesh navies of the two countries. The main objective of the naval exercise is to get acquainted with advanced technology through various theoretical and practical training.
Exercise CARAT is bilateral military exercises conducted by the United States Pacific Fleet every year with ASEAN member countries. Currently, the navies of Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand participated.
The exercise aims to enhance regional cooperation, friendships, and professional skills among the countries. In 2010, Cambodia and Bangladesh became the first participants to join the exercise.
- Finance Minister launches IT initiatives ICEDASH, ATITHI for improved customs clearance
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled two new IT Initiatives – ICEDASH and ATITHI for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers.
ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports.
The ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.
● Mergers and acquisitions in India to remain stable
Baker McKenzie reported that in 2019, India is expected to see mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals of over $52.1 billion. Baker McKenzie released its fifth annual Global Transactions Forecast 2020. It was published jointly with Oxford Economics.
Despite various global issues, the mergers and acquisitions in India are expected to remain stable in the next few years, with private investments that will revive the backdrop of a more favorable business environment.
The reports said India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow by 7% through 2019-2022, whereas the global GDP average growth rate will be 2.8% for the same period.
● Centre, IBM to launch the Skills Build platform
Centre is to launch the Skills Build platform in collaboration with IBM. It was announced by the Directorate General of Training (DGT), which functions under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
This initiative by the Centre is aimed to help the youth to scale themselves as per the changing market trends. The government is planning to use technology effectively to benefit the public and to bring innovation in welfare schemes. The Skills Build platform initiative is a part of IBM’s global commitment that aims to create a job workforce and to build the next generation of skills needed for new collar careers.
Under the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking, and cloud computing will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs). The was co-created and designed by IBM.
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