Syria becomes world's largest "narco-state".

  • Syria has become the world's foremost narco-state, as its economic survival now depends heavily on the production and export of Captagon.
  • Captagon is a banned illicit drug recognized by the UNODC (2021) and is a synthetic stimulant that combines amphetamine and caffeine.
  • According to the Collins Dictionary, narco-state refers to a nation where a significant portion of the economy is reliant on the illicit trade of narcotic drugs.

G20 MACS meeting in Varanasi to feature the MAHARISHI Initiative.

  • A three-day Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) under India's G20 presidency has been started on April 17, 2023, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • They will discuss sustainable agriculture and food systems for healthy people and the planet, Agriculture research and development, including food security and nutrition, public-private partnership etc.
  • The Millets And Other Ancient GRains International ReSearcH Initiative (MAHARISHI) is also proposed.

DRDO Industry Academia Centre of Excellence inaugurated at IIT Hyderabad.

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Industry Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE) has been inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology -Hyderabad.
  • Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Jyotiraditya M Scindia has presented the 13th AIMA Managing India Awards.
  • AIMA JRD Tata Corporate Leadership: TV Narendran, CEO and MD of Tata Steel.
  • Transformational Business Leader: Sanjiv Bajaj, MD of Bajaj Finserv
  • Outstanding Institution Builder: Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus, TVS Motor

Russia’s Gazprombank deepens ties with Indian banks for bilateral trade.

  • Russia’s Gazprombank has expanded its ties with banks in India to expedite trade between the two countries in national currencies, as Russia this year has become the biggest supplier of oil to India.
  • It is the third-largest lender of Russia by assets and a key conduit of the Russian energy trade.
  • In 2022, India implemented a broader framework to facilitate overseas trade in rupees, and since then many Russian institutions have opened vostro accounts with Indian banks.

The US emerges as India's biggest trading partner in FY23.

  • According to the provisional data, released by the commerce ministry, the bilateral trade between India and the US increased by 7.65% to USD 128.55 in 2022-23 as against USD 119.5 billion in 2021-22.
  • The US has emerged as India's biggest trading partner in 2022-23.
  • During 2022-23, India's two-way commerce with China declined by about 1.5% to USD 113.83 billion.
  • In 2022-23, the UAE (USD 76.16 billion) was the third largest trading partner, followed by Saudi Arabia.

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