Comoros President Azali Assoumani was re-elected as president according to results published by the electoral commission. He was way ahead of his closest rival Mahamoudou Ahamada, who garnered only 14.62 per cent of the ballots cast. Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel. Points to remember Capital: Moroni Currency: Comorian franc
The Pakistan government approved a proposal to establish a corridor that will allow Hindu pilgrims from India to visit Sharda Peeth. It is an ancient Hindu temple and cultural site in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The Sharda Peeth corridor, when opened, will be the second religious tract after Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan-controlled territory that will connect the two neighbouring nations. After Partition in 1947, the temple went under the control of Pakistan. It is about 130km from Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandits consider Sharada as their “kuldevi” or principal deity.
The world's largest e-waste recycling facility has opened in Dubai. It is located at the Dubai Industrial Park and will process Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), IT asset disposition (ITAD), refrigerant gas and specialised waste. It has a processing capacity of 100,000 tonnes of total integrated waste per year, of which 39,000 tonnes is e-waste. The facility can process the entire range of WEEE from consumer and industrial to commercial and military.
Syria has asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognize the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in which the United States recognized Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau. Five European countries in the UN Security Council have rejected US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the Golan as Israeli territory. Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and Poland have insisted that the European position has not changed and that the Golan remains Israeli-occupied Syrian territory. Israel seized Golan from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.
India and Bangladesh will start a cruise service that would take passengers through the Sunderbans to Dhaka. The move aims to strengthen inland waterway routes between the two countries. Other than road and rail, India and Bangladesh also have very strong power connectivity through waterways. As the movement of goods starts using inland waterways, goods from India can go in the cheapest possible form up to Narayanganj and Dhaka in Bangladesh. Apart from it, people would have the option to travel through the Sunderbans on luxury vessels up to Dhaka.
Health and Family Welfare Ministry have notified the Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 with an aim to promote clinical research in the country. The new rules will change the regulatory landscape for the approval of new drugs and conduct of clinical trials in the country. These rules will apply to all new drugs, investigational new drugs for human use, clinical trial, bioequivalence study and Ethics Committee. It has reduced the time for approving applications to 30 days for drugs manufactured in India and 90 days for those developed outside the country. The ethics committee will monitor the trials and decide on the amount of compensation in cases of adverse events.
First Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Makalu (8485m) was flagged off by Director General Military Training on 26 Mar 2019. It comprises of five Officers, two JCOs and eleven OR. In furtherance of the objective of summiting all challenging peaks above 8000m, Indian Army is launching its maiden expedition to Mt Makalu in Mar-May 2019. Mt Makalu is considered amongst the most dangerous peaks and summiting the peak is considered extremely challenging due to inclement weather conditions and freezing temperatures. It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas 19 km southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and Tibet, China.
The Reserve Bank of India has slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations. SWIFT is a global messaging software used for sharing information on inter-bank transactions by financial entities. The Reserve Bank in a letter dated March 25 has informed the bank about the penalty. Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank had imposed penalties worth 71 crore rupees on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance of SWIFT operations.
President Ram Nath Kovind was honoured with Croatia's highest civilian award - the Grand Order of the King of Tomislav. The civilian order is awarded to heads of state for their important contribution towards the development of state relations between Croatia and their respective countries. Kovind is in Croatia as part of his eight-day three-nation visit to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile. Kovind is on the first-ever Indian head of state to visit Croatia.