GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Cochin Chamber To Co-Host Global Spice Conference In Jaipur.


  • The third edition of the International Spice Conference will be held in Jaipur between February 4 and 7, 2018.
  • Over 750 delegates from various States, industry leaders from 50 countries, international spice associations representatives, policy-makers, farmers and end users will participate.
  • The meet will deliberate on effective strategies to foster sustainable farming, improve the livelihood of spice farmers, address spice industry challenges, food safety concerns and demand-supply disparity.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • The event is hosted by the All India Spices Exporters’ Forum, which represents about 80 per cent of spice exports from India, in association with Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
  • Arancha Gonzalvez, executive director, International Trade Centre, Geneva, will inaugurate the conference.
  • Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, will preside. Prakash Namboodiri, chairman, All India Spices Exporters’ Forum, and Shaji Varghese, president, Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be among those present.

Sources- The Hindu.


GS Paper II- Governance, International Relations.

Andhra Pradesh-Zurich Sign Sister State Agreement.


  • The Andhra Pradesh Government and the Canton of Zurich on 22nd January, 2018 signed a letter of intent, to promote mutual prosperity and development.
  • The agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Naidu by Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and Government Counselor Minister Carmen Walker Spah for sister state relation.
  • This will bring the State of Andhra Pradesh and Canton of Zurich closer and ensure that a framework is created, which supports the exchange between both the parties.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • The agreement will further strengthen economic and scientific relations between the two governments in the areas such as Information and Communication Technology, Environmental Technology, Life Sciences and Urban and Regional Development.
  • Bruno Santer, Vice Minister, Economy, Zurich Government, who was also present at the meeting, said that he has been to Amaravati and expressed great optimism over the sister state relation agreement.
  • The agreement will also promote collaborations between the governments through exchange of experiences and information, devising of joint cooperation plans, industry-specific programmes and projects, establishment of joint expert groups and work, implementation skill development of an educational nature and regular expert level consultations.
  • Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister met Ron Pal, Founding Partner and Chairman, Pioneering Ventures in Davos.
  • Pioneering Ventures already has created a presence in Kuppam, Nanded, as well as Maharashtra and, is looking to further expand to other parts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Chief Minister assured every possible support to the company for their expansion plan and mentioned that the government is currently planning a small airport in Kuppam, which would largely contribute to their cargo movement and travel.
  • He also mentioned the opportunities to collaborate with large cooperative farms like Farmers Producers Organisations, and help with value addition to dairy products.
  • To speed up the process of expansion in Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Minister asked the Industries Secretary Solomon Arokia Raj to be in regular touch with the company and fast track the initiative for quicker results.

Sources- Business-Standard.


GS Paper III- Economic Development.

IOB Joins Hands With NHB For Implementation Of Rural Housing Subsidy Scheme.


  • Indian Overseas Bank on 22nd January, 2018 announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Housing Bank for implementation of the Rural Housing Interest Subsidy Scheme (RHISS) of the central rural development ministry.
  • The MoU was signed in the presence of MD & CEO of Indian Overseas Bank, R Subramaniakumar and MD & CEO of National Housing Bank, Sriram Kalyanaraman, along with senior executives of IOB and National Housing Bank.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • IOB is one of first major public sector bank to execute the MoU to implement the scheme. With the association, the bank will be able to extend the benefit of the RHISS scheme to its rural home loan customers of its 923 rural branches spread across India.
  • The aim of the RHISS is to provide subsidy on housing loans given to households living in rural areas, which are availed for construction and modifications of their dwelling units.
  • The interest subsidy under the scheme is at 3 percent per annum for a loan amount of Rs 2 lakh with repayment period up to 20 years.

Sources- Moneycontrol.