SEMINARS & MEETINGS - 2019 March

March 1

Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) a 3-day 'Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019'
Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) concluded 3-day ‘Mainamati Maitree Exercise 2019’ as a part of ‘Confidence Building Measures’ between the two border guards.
The exercise was named after a hill range situated 8 km west of Comilla town ship in Bangladesh, which is home to an ancient Buddhist archaeological site in the region.
The main objective of this exercise was to plan and conduct anti-smuggling and anti-criminal activity related operations with ultimate aim of achieving better joint operational efficiency and border management in the area of responsibility of respective BSF and BGB Battalions participating in the joint exercise.

March 2

Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-Cum-Conference held in Delhi
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-Conference in New Delhi.
Proven technologies which are identified during CTI – 2019 will be further invited to design and build lighthouse projects of nearly one thousand housing units each at 6 States in the country. These states are Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
“Construction Technology India – 2019” an Expo – cum – Conference is being organized by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs on 2nd – 3rd March, 2019 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi- to identify proven, innovative and globally established technologies for use in the Indian context.
Technology providers, researchers, start-ups, developers, academia, public sector agencies and other domain experts are participating in the 2-day event.
Airports Authority of India organized the Startup Conclave "Innovate for Airports"
Airports Authority of India (AAI) organized the Startup Conclave under the Startup initiative "Innovate for Airports" at the Airports Authority of India Officer's Institute.
The AAI launched its Start-up policy to lays down the guidelines to help AAI as well as startups in relevant domains interact with one another
During the event 8 Startups were awarded the "Letter of Consent" under this initiative.
Chairman, AAI expressed confidence and stated that "this initiative will augment our efforts to make our airports world -class, support our brilliant entrepreneurs to solve challenges at airports and create high value jobs for the aspiring youth of the 'New India”.

March 3

7th RCEP Intercessional Ministerial Meeting held in Cambodia
The Ministers from the 16 RCEP Participating Countries (RPCs) attended the 7th RCEP Intercessional Ministerial Meeting held in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The Ministers recalled the Leaders’ determination to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial RCEP in 2019, and resolved to exert utmost effort to achieve this target.
They commended the RCEP Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) for the good progress made to date on both market access and text-based negotiations but at the same time recognized that more work still needs to be done to advance both aspects of the negotiations.

March 4

Abu Dhabi hosted Organization of Islamic Corporation (OIC) meeting
Abu Dhabi hosted the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisationof Islamic Co-operation (OIC). It was a two-day gathering dedicated to discuss ways to combat hate speech, extremism and conflict in the region.
This is the first time that India participated in the meeting. SushmaSwaraj attended the inaugural session of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation meeting in Abu Dhabi where she was welcomed as a “guestofhonour”.

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit on Innovation and Governance held in New Delhi
The third edition of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit on Innovation in Governance was held at PravasiBharatiya Kendra, New Delhi in partnership with Deendayal Research Institute and United Nations Global Compact.
He also started75 new Kalam Digital Libraries spread across the country, which willbe serving as centersfor no-cost digital based learning inschools.

March 5

U.S. And South Korea End Military Exercises 'Foal Eagle 2019' And 'Key Resolve'
The United States and South Korea decided to call off their joint exercise “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” and instead bifurcate them into smaller exercises. This is being done to ease tensions with North Korea. “Key Resolve” will be replaced by “Dongmaeng” which is also known as alliance in English, Foal Eagle drills will be replaced by a smaller battalion-sized exercise.
This decision has been made after there was a failure to reach an agreement on denuclearization during the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Narendra Modi chaired the National Security Council in New Delhi
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has chaired a meeting of the National Security Council in New Delhi,which was followed by heightened tensions with Pakistan.
The National Security advisor, Ajit Doval has advised the prime minister on matters of national security owing to the latest security scenario after Pulwana attack.
National Security Council was established by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998, with Brajesh Mishra as the first National Security Advisor (NSA).

2 day North Korea – United States Hanoi Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam
2 day 2019 North Korea – United States Hanoi Summit has abruptly concluded in Hanoi, Vietnam with no joint agreement after Kim insisted all US sanctions to be lifted on his country.
The meeting was held between North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. It was the second meeting between them following the first meeting in June 2018 in Singapore.
After June 2018 summit, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo appointed Stephan Biegun as US Special Representative for North Korea.
During the summit, Trump sought a guarantee from North Korea to stop testing its missiles and nuclear weapons. In return, North Korea demanded the lifting of 5 core economic sanctions which was imposed over Korea.

March 6

The 12-day Aerial Exercise Red Flag 2019 began in US
Red Flag 2019, the 12-day long advanced aerial combat training exercise held several times a year by the US Air Force, has been initiated at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States.
The exercise is scheduled from 3rd to 16th March 2019 and air forces from United States, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore and Saudi Arabia are participating in it.

March 9

India, Japan hold inaugural space dialogue
The dialogue brought together Ministries and agencies related to outer space in the
Two countries and provided an opportunity for information exchange on the respective space policies.
Discussions were also held on bilateral cooperation between JAXA-ISRO, their space industries, global navigation satellite system, space situational awareness, spacesecurity and space-related norms.

March 10

India, Oman to Hold Joint Army Exercise Al Nagah III 2019
The third bilateral joint exerciseAl Nagah III between India and Oman, is scheduled to be held at Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains in Oman from March 12-25.
The exercise would see both the armies exchanging expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling and firing, with an aim to enhance interoperability in counterterrorist operations in semi urban mountainous terrain.
India-Oman bilateral security ties have continued to develop since the beginning of India-Oman Joint Military Cooperation meetings in 2006.
Exercise Al Nagah III follows the first two joint exercises that were held in Oman in January 2015 and India in March 2017 respectively

March 12

14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will be organizing the 14th edition of CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India - Africa Project Partnership with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, from 17 – 19 March, 2019 in New Delhi.
The first CII- EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership was held in the year 2005.
Over the last thirteen editions, it has emerged as the pioneer event in building partnerships and enhancing the economic engagement between the two regions.

March 13

India Smart Utility Week 2019 to be Inaugurated by Shri AK Bhalla.
India Smart Utility Week 2019is Inaugurated by Shri AK Bhalla Secretary Ministry of Powerscheduled from 12th - 16th March 2019, New Delhi.
The key topics to be discussed during the conference are digitalization and digital customer; resiliency and future readiness; mainstreaming renewables; energy storage technologies and energy storage roadmap for India; energy and mobility transition, electric vehicle roll-out challenges in India.
India Smart Utility Week (ISUW 2019) organized by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF).
ISGF established as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of Government of India for accelerated development of Smart Grid technologies in the Indian power sector in 2011.

March 15

India-Africa joint field training exercise to kick off on March 18
A 10-day long Africa-India Joint Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX-19) between the Indian Army and 16 African nations will be conducted in Pune from March 18 to 27.
Indian Army will be represented by the personnel of Maratha Light Infantry.
10 Day joint exercise will be conducted at two locations in Pune's Foreign Training Node at Aundh Military Station and College of Military Engineering in Kirkee.
The aim of the exercise is to train the participating contingents in Humanitarian Mine Assistance (HMA) and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) under the United Nations Charter.

Indo - Bangladesh joint military exercise Sampriti 2019 concludes harmoniously
Exercise Sampriti-VIII, a joint Indo-Bangladesh military exercise witnessed participation of a company group of 9th Battalion the Rajputana Rifles from the Indian Army and the Company of 36 East Bengal Battalion, Bangladesh Army concluded at Tangail, Bangladesh.
The closing ceremony was graced by Riva Ganguly Das, Indian High Commissioner who highlighted the special bonds between the two nations.
The exercise was the 8th edition in the Sampriti series, which started in 2009. Exercise Sampriti strengthens and broadens interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies.
It is the fourth Indo-Bangladesh exercise at Tangail, Bangladesh.

Australia to embark on its largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka
Australia will embark on its largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka next week as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE-19).
According to Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jon Philp in a briefing in Colombo more than 1,000 defence personnel will be involved in the exercise comprising of Australian Naval, Army and Air force and their assets.
After departing Sri Lanka, Australian Defence exercise team will visit India and other regional partners.
Australia along with India, Japan and US had formed the Quad to promote their interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

NSG, US army conduct joint exercise in Hyderabad
The United States military forces from the 1st Battalion and the Indian National Security Guard are conducting a joint exercise in the Hyderabad which will continue for two weeks.
The exercise will be overseen from the US Embassy, New Delhi and US Special Operations Pacific Command at Camp HM Smith in Hawaii.
According to U.S. Consul General Katherine Hadda, the U S-India security partnership is strong, and growing stronger by this Exercise.

March 16

First BRICS Sherpa meeting held in Curitiba, Brazil
The first BRICS Sherpa meeting under the Presidency of Brazil was held in Curitiba, Brazil between 14-15 March 2019.
Indian delegation led by Shri T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (ER) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
Countering terrorism as one of its priority areas for BRICS under its presidency.
It includes science, technology and innovation, digital economy.
BRICS is a group of five emerging countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

SCO to hold joint anti-terrorism exercise in 2019
Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including both India and Pakistan, will take part in a joint counter-terrorism exercise likely to be held in grasslands of Kazakhstan in the Sary Arka region.
The joint anti-terrorism exercise was announced by 'Sary-Arka-Antiterror 2019' during the 34th meeting of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan became full-members of the SCO, headquartered in Beijing, in 2017 and took part in war games of the group held in Russia.
It was the first time that the armies of India, Pakistan, and China took part in a military exercise along with the other members of the SCO - Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
The next meeting of the Council of the RATS SCO is scheduled to be held in Russia in September 2019.

India - US DTII meeting held in Washington
The India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTII) meeting which was held in Washington focused on encouraging the US and Indian industry to work together and develop next-generation technologies.
The aim of the meeting is to transform the bilateral defence relationship into an independent strategic decision maker. It will strengthen India’s defence industrial base by making it more collaborative from the traditional buyer-seller.
It seeks on a collaboration on science and technology by identifying opportunities for co-production, co-development and expand US- India business ties.
The next meeting will be held in India in September.

March 18

Navy chief to de-brief on exercise TROPEX 19
The de-briefing session of the Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) of the Indian Navy, will be held in Kochi.
Chief of naval staff Admiral Sunil Lamba will review the conduct of the exercise and assess the operational preparedness.
The exercise had commenced on January 7 and was planned to be terminated by March 10, terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 led to the rapid redeployment of the Indian Navy for operations in the North Arabian Sea.
About 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard and 60 aircraft were part of TROPEX 19.
TROPEX 19 had commenced with tri-services amphibious exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar islands with participation of the Army and the Air Force.

March 19

Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Exercise Mitra shakti-VI To Be Held in Sri Lanka
Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka.
The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted from 26 March to 08 April 2019 in Sri Lanka.
Troops from 1st Battalion the BIHAR Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise.
The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate.

34th GST Council meeting held in New Delhi
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley chaired the meeting, discussed the operational details for implementation of the recommendations made by the 33rd meeting of the council.
The tax rate for under construction flats slashed to 5% and affordable homes to 1% by the GST Council. Currently 12% GST is levied with input tax credit on payments made for under construction properties. It will be effective from April 1st.
 The council approved transition plan for new tax rates on residential properties. The developers of under construction buildings may either opt to shift to the revised lower rates without input tax credit or stick on to the previous rates.
 For housing projects launched after April 1st, the developers need to follow the new GST rates recommended by the Council. As per the council the changes will boost the real estate selling and ensure the rate cut benefits on to the middle class home buyers.


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