Current Affairs in English – August 2, 2019

Foreign Ministers from South East Asia attend 52nd ASEAN summit

Foreign Ministers from South East Asia are attending the 52nd ASEAN summit in Bangkok. The annual meeting opened with a call from the host Thailand for deeper integration to expand trade and bolster prosperity in the region amid rising global challenges.

The meeting takes place in the shadow of rising security tension on the Korean Peninsula, China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea and the US-China trade war. ASEAN, seeking to boost its own voice as a global player, also plays host to a series of foreign ministers from key strategic and dialogue partners, including US, China and Russia. ASEAN leaders at their summit meeting in June adopted an Indo-Pacific engagement framework that sought to find a middle ground and keep on the good side of both Washington and Beijing.

UNSC to meet on North Korea missile tests

United Nations Security Council will meet behind closed doors on 01 August, 2019 to discuss North Korea’s recent ballistic missiles tests, diplomats said. Britain, France and Germany requested the discussion amid growing concern that Pyongyang is developing long-range weapons in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles on 31 July 2019, Seoul said, days after a similar launch that the nuclear-armed North described as a warning to the South over planned joint military drills with the United States.

Saudi women can now travel without male guardian’s approval

Saudi Arabia will allow women to obtain passports and travel abroad without approval from a male “guardian”, ending a longstanding restriction. A passport will be granted to any Saudi national who submits an application, a government ruling published in the official gazette Umm Al Qura.

The regulation will be applicable to women over the age of 21, the local media reported, citing senior authorities.Women’s rights activists have campaigned for decades against the guardianship system. The decision comes amid a wide-ranging liberalisation drive spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Inauguration of FCP and launching of Mob App

Minister of HRD, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated the ‘Facilitation cum Publicity Pavilion (FCP)’ at the National Bal Bhavan, New Delhi. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa launched the upgraded 3D Air Combat Mobile Game ‘Indian Air Force: A Cut Above’ at the same venue. The FCP is an endeavour to connect to more than 7.5 lakh children that visit the Bal Bhavan annually.

Rajya Sabha passes National Medical Commission Bill

The Rajya Sabha has passed the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 with few amendments. The bill will be again sent to the Lok Sabha for approval. The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The legislation will bring major reform in the medical education in the country.

The concerned minister assured the members that government will also put a cap on the fee on the fifty per cent of those seats in private medical colleges which are not regulated by NMC. The government will only advice the National Medical Commission. One nation one exit exam will ensure the quality of health professionals and will act as a filter in the field of the medical profession.

MoU between India and Bahrain approved

The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Bahrain on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes. The MoU was signed on March 11, 2019 at Bengaluru by India and on March 28, 2019 at Manama by Bahrain. It would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and the Bahrain National Space Science Agency (NSSA).

Ravish Kumar won Ramon Magsaysay award 2019

Indian journalist Ravish Kumar has been awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award for harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless. The award was started in 1957 and celebrates the leadership example of the former Philippine President Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay. The awardees are presented with a medallion with a right side facing profile image of Ramon Magsaysay and a certificate.

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