1 . INDIA – PHILIPPINES SIGN AGREEMENTS
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS II
SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS
- Four agreements have been signed between the two countries, which cover areas of defence, agriculture, small and medium enterprises and tie-up between think-tanks during the visit of Indian PM to Philippines.
- The idea is to have private and public enterprises to cooperate in the defence sector, including on the off-shore patrolling vessels.
- PM Modi arrived in Manila on Sunday on a three-day visit to the Philippines, during which he will attend the 15th India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit .
- This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian PM to this Southeast Asian nation in 36 years after the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1981, though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Philippines in 2007 for the ASEAN summit.
- A ‘rice field laboratory’ named after PM Modi was inaugurated by him at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, an urban locality around 65 km from Manila — the capital of the Philippines
KNOW ABOUT IRRI
- The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is an international agricultural research and training organization with headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines.
- IRRI is known for its work in developing rice varieties that contributed to the Green Revolution in the 1960s which preempted the famine in Asia.
- The Institute, established in 1960 aims to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure environmental sustainability of rice farming.
- It advances its mission through collaborative research, partnerships, and the strengthening of the national agricultural research and extension systems of the countries IRRI works in.
- IRRI is one of 15 agricultural research centers in the world that form the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers, a global partnership of organizations engaged in research on food security.
2 . TRADE DEFICIT WIDENS TO NEAR 3 – YEAR HIGH IN OCTOBER
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS III
SOURCE – ECONOMIC TIMES
- Exports declined in October after a six-month high expansion in September as the uncertainty related to goods and services tax (GST) took its toll on shipments, causing the trade deficit to balloon to a near three-year high as imports expanded.
- Exports contracted 1.1% in October from a year ago while imports rose 7.6%, data released by the government showed, yielding a trade deficit of $14 billion in October, highest since November 2014.
- Trade deficit was $11.1 billion in October last year and $9 billion in September this year.
- In absolute terms, India exported $23.1 billion goods in October compared with $23.4 billion a year ago.
Imports added up to $37.1 billion in October against $34.5 billion same month last year.
India’s exports had risen 25.67% to $28.61 billion in September, logging its highest growth in the last six months.