- International Tropical Timber Council: Recently, the 59th International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) concluded on November 17, 2023, with major decisions. It is the governing body of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).It meets at least once a year to discuss a wide-ranging agenda aimed at promoting sustainable tropical forest management and the trade of sustainably produced tropical timber.
Major decisions: The countries agreed to endorse eight projects related to sustainable forest management and related objectives. The session also approved and adopted a budget of $7.1 million for the coming financial year 2024-25.The council also approved a trial measure that will allow ineligible members to submit project proposals and concept notes. Members who have fallen behind on their financial contributions and are thus ineligible will be allowed to submit one project and concept note for every two years of arrears paid.
- Exercise AUSTRAHIND-23:It was instituted in 2022, and the first edition was conducted in Mahajan, Rajasthan. It is planned to be an annual training event to be conducted alternatively in India and Australia. The aim of the exercise is to foster collaborative partnerships and share best practises between the two sides. This year, the exercise will be conducted in Perth, Australia, from November 22nd to December 6th, 2023.The Indian Army contingent, comprising 60 personnel from a battalion of the Gorkha Rifles will take part in this exercise. The joint exercise will promote the exchange of ideas and jointly rehearse tactics, techniques and procedures for conducting tactical operations.
- Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE): The India Australia RISE Accelerator is delivered in partnership between CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. This initiative focuses on startups and small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and Australia working on circular economy technologies and solutions. With a focus on Environment and Climate Technology, the program will be tailored to accelerate start-ups working on a range of areas: Climate Smart Agriculture, Clean Energy, Circular Economy and Waste Management, Climate Smart Mobility.
- Inter Command Ocean Sailing Race 2023: The race features four 40-footer sailboats, INSV Bulbul, INSV Neelkanth, INS Kadalpur, and INSV Hariyal, promising an adventurous journey in the Arabian Sea. Each sailboat has a crew of eight personnel from three naval commands and a combined team from Andaman and Nicobar Command, including Delhi area. The race will cover an approximate distance of 667km between the start point at Naval Base, Kochi, and Goa in about five days. The boats are expected to skillfully leverage the winds and proceed to Goa without the use of engines. The race is special from its previous edition as it includes a mixed crew comprising both men and women officers and sailors, symbolising gender neutrality and providing equal opportunity to all. The race is being organised by Southern Naval Command under the aegis of the Indian Naval Sailing Association, based at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi. The event is coordinated by the Indian Navy’s Offshore Sailing Club based at ASW School, Kochi, and the Ocean Sailing Node based at INS Mandovi, Goa. The Navy uses the race to enhance risk-management abilities and technical skills, as well as instil a spirit of adventure among its crew.