Delhi, Moscow sign twin-city agreement

  • The Delhi government has signed a twin-city agreement with the government of Moscow.
  • The three-year agreement is for cooperation in fields such as environment, culture and education.
  • Culture and tourism, sports, transport management and e-governance are also on the list.

India ranked 115th on World Bank’s Human Capital Index, Singapore tops

  • India was ranked 115th out of 157 countries on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index (HCI).
  • Singapore topped the poll, being rated highly for its universal health care system, education exams results, and life expectancy figures.
  • On the index, India was ranked lower than Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

First India-Israel Innovation Centre opens in Bengaluru

  • India’s first India-Israel Innovation Centre (IIIC), which will serve as an entrepreneurial technology hub, was launched in Bengaluru.
  • The aim of the IIIC is to help along penetration of Israeli companies in India, and to create local partnerships and joint ventures between companies from the two countries.

SBI signs MoU with Nepal’s National Banking Institute for human resource development

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has signed an MoU with Kathmandu-based National Banking Institute (NBI) for the development of human resources of the latter.
  • The three-year agreement aims to establish a mutually beneficial strategic alliance for development of NBI’s human resources.
  • This will be done by imparting education, training and research, in order to facilitate transformation of NBI’s HR department.

India wins seat to UN Human Rights Council for 3-year term starting January 2019

  • India was elected to the top human rights body of the United Nations for a period of three years beginning January 1, 2019.
  • India secured 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category.
  • Along with India, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Fiji and Philippines had also staked a claim in the same regional group, and all have been elected to the group.

Maneka Gandhi backs #MeToo campaign, proposes to set up legal committee

  • The Women and Child Development Ministry will set up a panel of legal experts to look into the allegations of sexual harassment that have surfaced as part of the #MeToo campaign.
  • The committee will look into the legal and institutional framework in place for handling complaints of sexual harassment, and advise the ministry on how to strengthen these.
  • Women will be able to register complaints related to sexual harassment through the ‘She Box’ (, which provides a single window access to every woman, irrespective of work status.

Students develop responsive smart traffic light to cut travel time, tackle pollution

  • Students at Shiv Nadar School in Delhi have developed an ‘intelligent traffic light’ system which they say may not only help reduce commute time but also lower air pollution.
  • The system has been created by four Grade 11 students and is a system that responds to real-time traffic intensity.
  • The system uses a simple camera and a microcontroller, calculates the amount of traffic present on the road using the camera, and then modifies the red/green distribution time at each junction dynamically.
  • The system is compatible with the existing traffic lights and will cost only a fraction (Rs. 20,000) of the Rs. 800,000 spent on other systems.

Malaysian government abolishes capital punishment

  • The Malaysian cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty in the country following strong domestic opposition to the practice.
  • Currently, capital punishment in Malaysia is mandatorily given out as a sentence for crimes including murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms, and drug trafficking.

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