i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his three-nation visit to Palestine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
ii. This is the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine, and Prime Minister Modi’s second visit to UAE and first to Oman.
iii. Prime Minister would be addressing the Sixth World Government Summit being held in Dubai, UAE at which India has been extended ‘Guest of Honour’ status.
- Palestine Capital- East Jerusalem, Currency- Israeli new shekel (one of its 3).
- The United Arab Emirates Capital- Abu Dhabi, Currency- United Arab Emirates dirham.
- Oman Capital- Muscat, Currency- Omani rial.
2. India Ranks 44th in Global Intellectual Property Index, US Tops
i. India has increased “substantially” its score in the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, ranking 44th among 50 nations, according to the US Chambers of Commerce report. Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the Index.
ii. The top 3 countries on the list are- The USA, The United Kingdom and Sweden.
iii. India’s overall score has increased substantially from 25% in the 5th edition of the Index to 30% in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce.
3. Defence Ministry Appoints Panel to Expedite Capital Acquisition for Armed Forces Modernisation
i. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has constituted a 13-member advisory committee to monitor and expedite capital acquisition projects for the modernisation of the armed forces. The committee will be headed by Vinay Sheel Oberoi, former secretary in the government.
ii. Under the terms of reference of the committee, the Ministry has to undertake an independent review and check the status of ongoing critical projects worth more than Rs 500 crore.
4. NHAI to Start ‘pay as you use’ Pilot Project on Delhi-Mumbai National Highways
i. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will start a pilot project called “pay as you use” on the Delhi-Mumbai Highway to study and implement the ability of the system in the country.
ii. The project to be run for one year involves implementing a satellite-based electronic toll collection system running on GPS/GSM technology for around 500 commercial vehicles on the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway.
- Nitin Jairam Gadkari is the present Minister for Road Transport & Highways.
5. South Central Railway Becomes 1st Rail Zone with 100% LED Lighting at Stations
i. The South Central Railway (SCR) has become the first railway zone in the country to complete 100% LED lighting at all the stations under its jurisdiction.
ii. It has attained the status of becoming the first zone in the Indian Railways to complete 100% LED lighting in all the 733 stations under its jurisdiction.
- Piyush Goyal is the present Railways Minister of India.
- John Mathai was the first railway Minister of Independent India.