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India hosts World Robot Olympiad for the first time

The 13th edition of the World Robot Olympiad, which is being held in India for the first time, aims to find innovative solutions using robotics technology to reduce, manage and recycle waste. 
●    Organised by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in collaboration with the India STEM Foundation (ISF), the three-day international championship that begins today, will see participation by over 2000 students from 54 countries.
●    Students in the age group of 9 to 25 years, will be participating in four categories – regular category, WRO football, open category and advanced robotics challenge.
●    According to organisers, the theme ‘Rap the Scrap’ is in line with Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
●    A science, technology, and education event, the Olympiad brings together young minds from across the world to develop their creativity and problem solving skills through challenging and educational robotics competition.
●    About 245 teams from India qualified for the National Championship held at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata and 27 teams qualified for WRO International Championship in different categories.
 

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First ICANN meet after transition of control from the US at Hyderabad

As India prepares to host a meeting of 3,000 internet stakeholders, the top gun of the organisation managing it all says his job would be "to make sure that the train leaves the station on time." 
●    Göran Marby, chief of ICANN, said the meeting will be "historic".
●    It will give way to a new method of doing things as multiple stakeholders decide issues of accountability, and new processes are put in place. 
●    Given the large number of internet users in India, the country is very important.
●    ICANN, which matches domain names with appropriate IP address numbers, is hosting its 57th meeting in Hyderabad from November 3-7. 
●    The meeting is important because this is the first time the global community will come together post the US Department of Commerce giving up oversight of the internet. 
●    The internet will now operate in a multi-stakeholder model, which India also agreed to support last year. 

 
 

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New Delhi Declaration of AMCDRR 2016

The three-day Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 came to an end with the adoption of the ‘New Delhi Declaration’ and the ‘Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework’. 
●    The Closing ceremony was presided over by Union Home Minister ShriRajnath Singh.
●    This was the first Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) after the advent of the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR).
●    The SFDRR (2015-2030) was adopted by at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015. 
●    The ‘New Delhi Declaration’ is a political statement spelling out the commitment of participating governments towards preventing and reducing disaster risk, and strengthening the resilience of communities, nations and the Asian region. 
●    Recognising the need to accelerate the implementation of global frameworks, it commits to a people-centred and whole-of-society approach towards DRR. 


 

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Asia's Largest Oil & Gas Event Petrotech begins


Stage is set for showcasing India's hydrocarbon strength and opportunities in this low oil price regime. 
●    The event will be organized under the aegis of Ministry of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. 
●    The biennial event is being supported by the Indian Oil and Gas industry.
●    The theme for this year is "Hydrocarbons to fuel the future: Choices and Challenges"
●    It aims to explore areas of growth in petroleum technology, exploration, drilling, production and processing, refining and other related issues.
●    The conference would be a platform for national and international experts from oil and gas industry to exchange views, share knowledge, expertise and experience across various segments.
 

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4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meet at Jaipur

India will host the 8th BRICS Summit, in Goa on 15-16 October 2016 during its Chairmanship of BRICS, which it assumed on 15 February 2016.
●    As the precursor the same, the 4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting was convened on 8 October, 2016 at Jaipur to further strengthen the collaboration amongst the BRICS countries in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
●    The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil, Mr. Álvaro Toubes Prata; Deputy Minister of Federation of Russia, Mr. Alexey Lopatia; Vice Minister of S&T of Peoples Republic of China, H.E.Mr. Jiang Hua; Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa H.E. Madam Naledi Pandor led their respective country delegations.
●    While welcoming the BRICS country Ministerial delegates, Dr Harshvardhan elucidated; “During our Chairmanship we are adopting a five-pronged approach, viz. Institution Building, Implementation, Integration, Innovation and Continuity. Our emphasis is on institution building, implementation of previous commitments, tapping synergies of the existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms, exploring some new areas of cooperation and maintaining continuity in the existing areas.”
●    In alignment with the theme of India’s Chairmanship - Building, Responsive Inclusive and Collective Solutions, the Jaipur Declaration was unanimously adopted by all the BRICS countries. The member countries resolved to intensify, diversify and institutionalize STI cooperation through the BRICS research & innovation initiative.
●    During India’s Chairmanship, significant progress have been achieved in joint knowledge creation in the areas of Photonics; Material Science & Nanotechnology; Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences; Energy; Geospatial Technology; Astronomy; Prevention & Mitigation of Natural Disaster, Water and Solid State Lighting.
●    In fulfillment of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s special attention on engagement of youth, who comprises 65% of workforce of BRICS countries together, India hosted the 1st BRICS Young Scientists Conclave at Bengaluru and Hampi last week. More than 40 young scientists from BRICS countries participated in the event and discussed some exciting ideas in the field of affordable healthcare, energy solutions and computational intelligence. In order to stimulate and encourage young minds, BRICS Innovative Idea Prize for Young Scientists has been instituted.
●    In order to harness the innovativeness of the youth, India’s proposal to establish a BRICS Science and Technology driven Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnership Programme was agreed by all the member countries.


 

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Islamabad SAARC Meet Virtually Off : India Plus 3 more Nations Pull Out


After India said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Islamabad for the regional SAARC summit in November, three other members - Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan - have also pulled out of the meet, isolating host Pakistan.
•    The SAARC summit cannot take place even if one of the eight members withdraws. 
•    PM Modi has also reviewed the crucial Indus Waters Treaty, which divides resources from six rivers between India and Pakistan, saying "blood and water can't flow together."
•    Officials said India will now utilise much more of its share of water, which will eat into the surplus that Pakistan had been availing.
•    On Thursday, PM Modi has called for a deliberation on whether to downgrade Pakistan's status as a trading partner.
•    Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has led India's campaign against Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly, calling for the isolation of nations that export terror.
 

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27 September : World Tourism Day

 
World Tourism Day 2016 was observed across the world on 27 September 2016. The theme of the World Tourism Day 2016 is Tourism for All - promoting universal accessibility.
•    The official World Tourism Day 2016 celebrations will be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
•    International tourist arrivals grew by 4.6 % in 2015 to 1184 million.
•    In 2015, international tourism generated 1.5 trillion US dollar in export earnings.
•    UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 3.5% and 4.5% in 2016. 
•    By 2030, UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to reach 1.8 billion (UNWTO Tourism Towards 2030).
•    World Tourism Day is held annually on 27 September with purpose to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
 

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India to host 1st BRICS Young Scientists Conclave

The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, under the BRICS framework, is hosting a five day event where a group of about 50 young scientists/ researchers from BRICS countries are meeting in Bengaluru from 26-30th September, 2016. It would be organized and coordinated by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. 
•    This BRICS Young Scientists Conclave assumes importance as it is taking place during India’s chairmanship of BRICS in 2016 under a focal theme of ‘Building, Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’. The event shall be inaugurated by Prof K. Kasturirangan, former Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 
•    The BRICS Young Scientist Forum (BRICS-YSF), under which the BRICS Young Scientists Conclave is being organised, was initiated at the 2nd BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting at Brasilia in March, 2015. The respective Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministries of BRICS countries are the lead coordinating organisations for this Forum on co-investment and co-ownership principles.
•    The Conclave aims at building a BRICS Innovation Corps – who individually or collectively have specialized capability to work on their novel scientific ideas and technological solutions which transform and accelerate change through better quality of life and higher incomes for citizen of this region. It will pave way for creation of strong generation of S&T leadership that can accelerate change collectively.
•    Some of the lead speakers in the Conclave, among others from India and abroad, include Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Ayog, and Dr. Baldev Raj, Director, NIAS.  Besides, the above the Conclave is hosting more than 20 distinguished persons from BRICS nations with extraordinary achievements through scientific research, innovation and techno-entrepreneurship.

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Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit - 2016 Begins


The Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS) 2016 has begun in New Delhi after it was inaugurated by Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley. 
•    Summit has been organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI). 
•    IITIS will provide a common platform for domestic and international investors. 
•    It will host presentations of investible properties, session on why invest in India, Micro of Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) in tourism sector. 
•    It will also host panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, session on start-ups, digital India, Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD and niche tourism products, B2B meetings. 
•    Summit will also have dedicated space for seminars, business to business (B2B) meetings and roundtables around focus themes. 
•    It will also see domestic investors, entertainment companies, global investors, helicopter services, infrastructure-developers, hoteliers, international associations, restaurateurs, tour and travel operators, venture capitalists, urban developers and civic amenity providers.

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2016 BRICS Wellness Workshop begin in Bengaluru

The first BRICS Wellness Workshop concluded on 11 September 2016 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 
•    The workshop was inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar on 10 September 2016.
•    Along with the workshop, National Fair on comprehensive Indian Medicine system (AROGYA) was also inaugurated in the city. 
•    The four day event is organized by Union Ministry of AYUSH, in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). 
•    The fair will conclude on 13 September 2016.
•    The Workshop is organized to promote partnerships with BRICS nations.
•    It aimed at promoting knowledge sharing and pushing forward AYUSH initiatives in BRICS countries, which will further help in globalization of AYUSH.
•    The Workshop was designed to have sessions related to Traditional Systems of Medicine, Trade and Economy, Wellness and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Wellness indicators for BRICS, Wellness and Tourism among others.
•    It included a session on WHO strategy for Traditional Medicine.
 

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