1.    India has jumped 73 spots to be ranked 26th in World Bank’s electricity accessibility list. The country was ranked 99th in 2014. Out of the 18,452 villages which lacked electricity, over 13,000 has been provided access to electricity. In addition, a person applying for new electricity connection would be able to get the connection within 24 hours in areas where power infrastructure is available. In areas where there is no power infrastructure, electricity connection would be given in a week. The government’s rural electrification programme is on track for completion within the targeted 1,000 days.  

India had won its appeal at the IJC for a stay on Kulbushan Jadhav’s execution by Pakistan. The judge, Ronny Abraham, read out the decision stating that Pakistan should ensure the Jadhav is not executed and that this ruling was binding and unanimous. Jadhav was tried and sentenced to death for spying by a military court in Pakistan. Senior Advocate Harish Salve is representing India before the ICJ. India moved the ICJ to save Jadhav after Pakistan denied consular access despite 16 requests.

A global ransomware cyberattack, has affected nearly hundred countries, including India. A cyber gang called Shadow Brokers is held responsible for this massive cyberattack. The organisation has carried out the attack by stealing a hacking tool called ‘Eternal Blue’ from the National Security Agency (NSA). It was developed by NSA to gain access to computers used by terrorists and enemy states. The cyberattack is considered as the biggest ransomware attack of its kind. Hackers spread ransomware known through emails. The files in the infected computers gets locked up in such a way that the user cannot access them anymore. It then demands payment in cryptocurrency Bitcoin to retrieve the locked files.

Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected as the President of Iran. Rouhani has won his second term by presenting himself as the candidate of change and social freedoms. He was elected as president for his first term in 2013. He had won 2013 elections by pledging to end Iran’s isolation and improve civil rights at home.

China organised a summit to showcase its plan to build a network of trade routes under the One Belt, One Road (OBOR. As of now, 68 countries and international organisations have signed belt and road agreements with China. China has stated that the Belt and Road initiative is an open platform to explore reviving the old Silk Road. However, India has boycotted the summit owing to sovereignty concerns related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is a 3000-km project connecting Pakistan’s deep-water port Gwadar and China’s Xinjiang falls under the OBOR initiative of China. The CPEC passes through Gilgit-Baltistan region of the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The Chinese presence in the disputed region has raised sovereignty concerns for India.

After a long period of 30 years, Indian Army will be getting its first artillery guns called M777 from BAE Systems. Earlier, Swedish Bofors guns were inducted in late 1980s after which Army has not inducted any modern artillery guns. The two M777s has arrived in New Delhi and will be tested at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan. The two M777 guns will be used for compilation of firing tables. Indian Army has plans to equip 169 regiments with 3,503 guns by 2020.The 155 mm/39-caliber howitzers will increase the army’s capabilities in high altitude and will be deployed in the northern and eastern sectors. It is likely to be used by the army’s new mountain strike corps which is being raised to counter China in the Northeast. The new corps is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
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