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HAL-Western Air Command Conference Held

One day Conference on HAL supported airborne platforms and systems was held at Headquarters, Western Air Command, Subroto Park, New Delhi on Friday, 29 Jul 16. 

•    The conference was co-chaired by Shri T Suvarna Raju, Chairman & Managing Director, HAL and Air Marshal SB Deo PVSM AVSM VM VSM ADC, Air Officer Commanding- in-Chief, WAC. 
•    Heads of all HAL Divisions and Senior Operational and Maintenance Staff Officers at HQ WAC attended the Conference. 
•    Issues relating to Quality, Reliability, Production, Field Support, Supply Chain Management, Ground Support Equipment etc affecting operational exploitation of the HAL supplied assets in WAC, were deliberated during the conference
•    The IAF currently has five operational commands, each of which is headed by an Air Officer Commander-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal.

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49th ASEAN foreign Minister meeting Laos

H.E. Saleumxay KOMMASITH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR chaired the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, with participation of ASEAN Foreign Ministers, Secretary-General of ASEAN, ASEAN Senior Officials and delegates from ASEAN Member States on the afternoon of 24 July 2016 at the National Convention Centre.

•    The Meeting discussed progress of implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, in particular the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025. 
•    The Meeting also agreed to the requests for the accession by Chile, Egypt, Iran, and Morocco to the TAC.
•    The ASEAN Foreign Ministers also discussed the promotion of ASEAN’s external relations and ASEAN’s centrality within ASEAN-led mechanisms. 
•    In addition, the Ministers had a candid and constructive exchange of views on regional and international issues such as terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug, natural disasters, irregular migration as well as developments in the Middle East, Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.

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The eleventh edition of Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM11) or ASEM2016 began

The eleventh edition of Asia-Europe Meeting Summit or ASEM2016 began in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. 
•    The theme of the Summit is ‘20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the Future through Connectivity‘. 
•    World leaders including from the leaders of 51 member countries and the representatives of European Union and Asian are attending the two day summit. 
•    Indian delegation is led by Vice President Mohmmad Hamid Ansari. India’s agenda for the summit is to push the efforts to boost inter-continental connectivity. 
•    ASEM2016 is being held in the new world environment following Britain’s exit from the European Union and a global economic slowdown. 
•    It is also first major multilateral diplomatic gathering after recent ruling by UN-backed international tribunal which has struck down China’s claims in strategic South China Sea. 
•    ASEM2016 will also take into consideration the issue of terrorism during deliberations after recent terror strike in Bangladesh and some European countries. 
•    ASEM is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation that brings 53 entities – including 51 countries (including India) from Asia and Europe and two regional bodies European Union (EU) and the ASEAN. 

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Hemis festival to begin in Ladakh on 14 July

The Hemis festival will be held between July 14 and July 15 at the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh. 

•    The festival honours Lord Padmasambhava, an 8th-century Buddhist master venerated as a 'second Buddha' in some places. 
•    The largest Thangka (Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton) will be unfurled this year after twelve years, as 2016 is the Tibetan Year of the Monkey.
•    Hemis Gompa, the largest and richest Buddhist monastery in Ladakh plays host to the popular yearly festival day called Hemis Festival. The day has been declared as the state holiday. 
•    This 2-day festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month and remembered as the birth of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. 
•    During the festival, the locals get dressed-up in traditional clothes, where men wear cummerbunds and women wear vibrant headgears and loads of jewelry. 
•    The Lamas perform sacred masked dance, known as Chaam while they are accompanied by musical drums, long horns and cymbals. This is an extremely well-known festival. 

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England to host Farnborough Air show from July 11

The Farnborough International Air show 2016 will be held from July 11 to July 17 in the small town of Farnborough, southwest of London. 

•    The biennial aviation event will showcase 99 types of aircrafts this year, and witness acrobatic performances by fighter jets. Business deals worth a record $201 billion were signed during the last edition of the air show in 2014.
•    The Farnborough International Airshow is a week-long event that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public air show. 
•    The event is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, England. 
•    The first four days (Monday to Thursday) are dedicated exclusively to trade, with the final three days open to the public.•    The air show is an important event in the international aerospace and defence industry calendar, providing an opportunity to demonstrate civilian and military aircraft to potential customers and investors. 
•    The show is also used for the announcement of new developments and orders, and to attract media coverage.

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The second anti-drug working group meeting of BRICS countries began in New Delhi

The second anti-drug meeting of heads of anti-narcotics agencies of BRICS countries started in New Delhi to discuss issues related to narco-terrorism and money laundering. 
•    The one day meeting was inaugurated Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 
•    It has been organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India. 
•    The meeting will see participation of delegates from the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) member countries. 
•    The Indian delegation will be headed by Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). 
•    It will comprise officers from the Department of Revenue, Union Ministry of Finance, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare and Narcotics Control Bureau, Union Ministry of Home Affairs. 
•    The anti-drug working group meeting of heads of anti-narcotics agencies has been organised by India in accordance with the ‘eThekwani Declaration’ adopted during the BRICS summit in March 2013 at Durban, South Africa. 
•    Under the ‘eThekwani Declaration’ BRICS countries had decided to explore economic issues and various new areas of cooperation among the member States including drug-related issues.

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Aurangabad to host first SAARC Tourism Summit

To boost tourism promotion opportunities in the country, the Ministry of External Affairs has chosen Aurangabad to host the first-ever SAARC Tourism Summit. 
•    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the two-day summit in the second week of October. 
•    It aims to tap foreign direct investment under the Make in India and Make in Maharashtra schemes.
•    Aurangabad has been chosen keeping in mind the anniversary of the discovery of Ajanta caves by the British officer John Smith in 2018.
•    The Ajanta-Ellora caves have always remained the biggest tourism attraction in the State. 
•    The historical silk route and connect of the place with the Buddhist circuit across world, including China, is significant.
•    Ajanta also has one of the world’s best visitors’ centers with several life-size replicas of Padmapani.
•    The next two years were important for the progress and prosperity of the tourism sector. 
•    2017 will be celebrated as Visit Maharashtra Year.

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Puri Rath Yatra festival to begin on July 6th 2016

Festival of Rath Yatra or Car Festival Puri commences on the 06th July, and Return Car Festival or' Bahuda Jatra' falls on 14th July this year. 
•    Rathyatra Also known as Chariot Festival or Car festival, this is one of the most awaited Hindu festivals of the state as well as the country. 
•    The celebration of this day starts much earlier that comprises the construction and decoration of the Raths or Chariot by numerous devotees & volunteers. 
•    The three chariots that are the highlights of the entire Yatra are pulled by strings. 
•    The chariot of Lord Jagannath which is 45.6 feet high, high comprises 18 wheels and is referred as Nandighosa. Balabhadra’s chariot is made 45 feet high with 16 wheels is called Taladhvaja. 
•    The chariot of Subhadra known as Devadalana has 14 wheels and is 44.6 feet high. All these chariots are decorated with various designs and colors by the artists of Puri that showcases their enthusiasm for the Yatra.
•    The famous festival that is celebrated usually in the month of June or July commences when the chariots of Lord Jagannath accompanied by his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra are brought out on to the Main Street of Puri known as Bada Danda. 
•    The Chariots are then taken to the Shri Gundicha Temple to their aunt’s house where the deities enjoy a nine days stay and are served with sweet pancakes.

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India to host world's first MMA League

India will be hosting the world’s first Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) ‘Super Fight League’ from August 26 to October 1. 

•    The franchise-based league will feature eight teams – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Haryana, Bangalore, Punjab, Pune and Goa. 
•    The league will be a platform for Indian MMA players like Anup Kumar, CJ Singh, Amit Roy, Dhruv Chaudhary to showcase their skills. 
•    Each team will constitute nine Indian fighters and three international ones.
•    The championship will have an equal stage for women as a total of 96 fighters will be involved in both men and women combined. 
•    Renowned British boxer Amir Khan, who is the chairman of the league, said he wished to bring the ‘spice’ of MMA to India. 
•    A total of 72 bouts will be played in the league stage which will be followed by two semi-finals, third place and the final bout.

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