India votes against draft decision on chemical weapons use at OPCW meet
• Venu Rajamony, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), voted against the draft decision at a special conference of the Organisation at The Hague, in the Netherlands.
• Rajamony said, it has been India's consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances, cannot be justified.
• All investigations of the alleged use of chemical weapons should be conducted in an impartial and objective manner and strictly in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.
• The conference was called by the UK, the US and the West to have discussions on upholding the global ban against the use of chemical weapons.
US postpones ‘2 plus 2 dialogue' with India
• The United States has postponed the ‘2 plus 2 dialogue' with India scheduled to be held in Washington next week.
• US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and expressed his regret and deep disappointment for having to postpone the dialogue due to unavoidable reasons.
• Both the leaders agreed to identify new mutually convenient dates to hold the dialogue at the earliest, in India or in the US.
• Earlier this year, the dialogue had been postponed due to uncertainty over the confirmation of Michael Pompeo as new Secretary of State. Pompeo was later confirmed as Secretary of State in April 2018.
France’s EDF and GE sign deal to build 6 nuclear reactors
• French state-run power utility EDF and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) signed strategic cooperation agreement with State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build 6 EPR (European Pressurized Reactors) type nuclear reactors of capacity 1650 megawatt (MW).
• The reactors will be built at Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.
• This strategic cooperation agreement is for long term partnership for construction of conventional island on each of 6 reactor units of Jaitapur nuclear plant.
• GE Power will design conventional island for the plant and supply its main components.
• EDF will supply EPR technology and will be responsible for building and coordinating industrial partners for this project.
India increases grant from USD 12 million to USD 15 million in the Global Environment Facility
• India announced to increase its grant to the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) new four-year investment cycle GEF-7 from USD 12 million to USD 15 million.
• It was announced at the GEF Council meeting held at Da Nang, Vietnam.
• India’s increased financing commitment shows its crucial role to mitigate climate change and other environmental challenges across the globe.
• India is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, is both donor and recipient of GEF.
• India has been a leading developing country participant in GEF since its inception and has played a major role in shaping GEF. India is both donor and recipient of GEF.
• The GEF meeting Council will be followed be sixth GEF Assembly (June 27-28), which meets every four years.
Venkaiah Naidu to inaugurate new State Cancer Institute Block at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology
• Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the new State Cancer Institute Block at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
• Naidu will also dedicate to the nation the new linear accelerators installed in the Institute with financial assistance from the Central Government.
• The new facility will cut short the waiting period for patients undergoing radiotherapy.
Law & Justice Ministry organises meeting on functioning of LIMBS
• Law and Justice Ministry organised a joint secretary level meeting on the functioning of a web-based tool, Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) in New Delhi.
• The nodal officers from the various Ministries participated in the event.
• LIMBS has been successfully implemented in all the 62 Ministries and has database of over 2.70 lakh court cases from 2100 courts and 1065 arbitration cases.
• This web-based online platform will be quite useful in monitoring and tracking various court cases of all the Ministries.