1. The United States has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Seahawk helicopters to India at an estimated cost of 2.4 billion US dollars. The MH-60 Romeo Seahawk helicopter is considered to be the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. The helicopters are designed to hunt down submarines, as well as knock out ships and conduct search-and-rescue operations at sea.
2. The United Arab Emirates has announced new visa guidelines as per which family members of foreign citizens, including Indians, working in the country will now be able to get an expat visa if the working relative fulfills income criteria.
3. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Nicholas Koumjian of the US as head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar. Koumjian will be the first head of the Myanmar mechanism, which was established by the Human Rights Council on September 27, 2018.
4. India and Bolivia have agreed to forge a mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for Lithium battery and cell production plants in India. The nations have also agreed to facilitate mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia.
5. During Indian President Ram Nath Hovind’s visit to Chile, the Chilean side reiterated its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council and reaffirmed its support for India’s candidacy as a non-permanent member for the term 2021 – 2022. India also reiterated its endorsement of Chile’s candidacy to the UNSC for the term 2029 – 2030.
6. The third edition of ‘AUSINDEX-19’ (Australia India Exercise), bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy, began on April 2, 2019, with the arrival of Royal Australian Navy’s fleet at Visakhapatnam.
7. India on April 2, 2019, signed an agreement with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Consultancy Service (NABCONS) for setting up the India-Africa Institute of Agriculture and Rural Development (IAIARD) in Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa.
8. Two US-based institutes Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recently released a detailed report on the quality of the global air with a title, “State of Global Air 2019”. A report says that India and China have collectively accounted for more than fifty percent of global 5 million deaths due to air pollution.
9. The Indian Army has successfully built the longest (260-feet long) suspension bridge ‘Matiri Bridge’ over the Indus River in the Leh-Ladakh region in record 40 days. Suspension Bridge constructed over Indus River by Combat Engineers ‘Fire & Fury Corps’.
10. Interaction on trade and economic cooperation with ambassadors and high commissioners of European and Oceania countries took place in New Delhi recently.
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