1 . India-Afghan Cultural Festival inaugurated in New Delhi
- The three day India-Afghan Cultural Festival inaugurated in New Delhi on wednesday.
- The Festival has been jointly organized by the Government and Embassy of Afghanistan along with the Government of India and ICCR.
- The three day festival includes cultural performances, handicrafts, exhibitions, cuisine and cultural shows from Afghanistan as well as India.
2 . Indo – Singapore Defence Cooperation
- The 2nd Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore was successfully concluded on Wednesday.
- It was inaugurated after both countries signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in 2015 to further strengthen the longstanding defence relationship between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indian Armed Forces.
- Of particular significance during this meeting was the conclusion of the India-Singapore Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation, which will lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other’s naval facilities and mutual logistics support.
- Singapore and India have also made progress in defence industry cooperation, with the signing of the terms of reference for the Defence Industry Working Group (DIWG) in August this year.
3 . ADB investment programme of $500 million to improve rural roads
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme totaling $500 million to improve rural roads in five Indian states.
- The investment programme will construct and upgrade over 12,000 kilometers (km) of rural roads in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal.
- Rural roads are vital components of India’s overall road network, comprising 80% of all paved roads in the country and connecting rural areas with major district roads, state roads, and national highways.
- The programme builds on the first Rural Connectivity Investment Programme in 2012, financed by ADB through an $800 million MFF, which added about 9,000 km of all-weather rural roads in the same states.