• Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina virtually inaugurated a rail link connecting Northeast India with Bangladesh.
  • The Agartala-Akhaura project will cut down the travel time between Agartala and Kolkata from 31 hours to 10 hours.
  • The project is expected to boost tourism, trade, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

What is the project?

  • The Agartala-Akhaura railway line is 12.24-km.
  • 46 kilometres lie on the Indian side in Tripura.
  • 78 km is in the Akhauraupa-zilla in Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh.

Funding for the project:

  • The project was started with Rs 972.52 crore in 2016, the entire project cost is being funded by India.
  • The Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) funded the work on the Indian side.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) funded the expense for the Bangladesh side as ‘Aid to Bangladesh’.

Why is the project important to Tripura?

  • Tripura is a land-locked state.
  • The project was crucial for connectivity in the NE region.
  • It would make Tripura the gateway for tourism.

What other trains run between India and Bangladesh?

  • Three trains run between West Bengal and Bangladesh.
  1. The Bandhan Express
  2. The Maitree Express
  3. The Mitali Express.


Why is in news?

  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) granted market authorisation for NexCAR19.

CAR-T cell therapy

  • CAR-T is a revolutionary therapy that modifies immune cells, specifically T-cells, by turning them into potent cancer fighters known as CAR-T cells.
  • T-cells are special cells (white blood cells that find and fight illness and infection) whose primary function is cytotoxic, meaning it can kill other cells.
  • In CAR-T therapy, cells are genetically modified into cancer-fighting cells.
  • These supercharged cells are then put back into the body.
  • They go after cancer cells especially in blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphomas.

 NexCAR19 – a type of CAR-T therapy

  • NexCar19 is a type of CAR-T and gene therapy developed indigenously in India by ImmunoACT.
  • It is a company incubated at IIT Bombay.
  • The therapy is designed to target cancer cells that carry the CD19 protein.
  • This protein acts like a flag on cancer cells, which allows CAR-T cells to recognise and attach themselves to the cancer cells and start the process of elimination.
  • India is now one of the first developing countries to have its indigenous CAR-T and gene therapy platform.


  • Two Chinese icebreaker research ships with 460 people on board and a cargo ship sailed for the Antarctica in order to assist in the completion of China’s fifth station.
  • The construction of the station is near the Ross Sea.
  • It is a deep Southern Ocean bay named for a 19th-century British explorer.
  • From 1985 to 2014, China constructed four research stations in the Antarctic.



  • According to a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report, India witnessed 53 accidents and 19 deaths every hour.
  • The number of road accidents in 2022 increased by 11.9% and deaths rose by 9.4%.
  • According to World Road Statistics, 2022 published by the International Road Federation, Geneva, India was followed by China (with a crash severity of 25.22) and the U.S. (with a crash severity of 2.01).
  • National and State highways accounted for only 4.9% of the total road network.
  • It witnessed 56.1% of all road crashes and almost 61% of all road crash fatalities in the country.
  • “Speeding” was the most common factors causing road accidents.
  • It accounted for 72.3% of accidents.
  • Uttar Pradesh registered the highest share of deaths at 13.4%.
  • This was followed by Tamil Nadu at 10.6% and Maharashtra at 9%.
  • An age-wise breakdown of road crash data shows that most of those who died were in the 18-45 age bracket.


  • Indian-born author Nandini Das won the 2023 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.
  • It is a leading international non-fiction award with a prize money of £25,000.
  • It was given for her book Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire.
  • The British Academy Book Prize is formerly known as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize.
  • It was established in 2013 to reward and celebrate the best works of non-fiction that demonstrate rigour.



  • Rafah is Gaza’s only gateway to the rest of the world that’s not directly controlled by Israel.
  • It is under the control of Egypt as part of an agreement with Israel and the European Union.


  • SaimaWazed was elected as the head of WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO).
  • She is the daughter of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
  • She is an autism activist.
  • She is the first Bangladeshi to hold the post.
  • She will take over from India’s Poonam Khetrapal Singh.
  • Poonam became the first woman Regional Director of the Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO) in 2014.

About SEARO:

  • SEARO was created in 1948.
  • It is created as part of WHO’s regional divisions.