Current Affairs April 2018 - National


1 - Cabinet approved the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018

Human Rights

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.

Salient Features:

  • It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;

  • It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;

  • It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and

  • It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.

2 - Six monuments/historical sites in North Eastern States identified for listing under World Heritage Site

Historical Sites

The following 6 monuments/historical sites in the North Eastern states have been identified tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site.

  • Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India
  • Moidams – the Mound – Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam
  • Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
  • River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam
  • Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal Pradesh

A total of 83 monuments/sites of the North-Eastern States are centrally protected under the Archaeological Survey of India.

3 - IGNOU established 12 Overseas Study Centres

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has established twelve Overseas Study Centres (OSCs) in ten Countries. They are −

S.No. Name of the OSC
1 Gulf Centre of University Education, Kuwait.
2 Glory Institute, Oman
3 Indian Academy W.L.L, Bahrain
4 Educational Consulting & Guidance Services, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
5 Educational Consulting & Guidance Services, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)
6 Open University of Mauritius, Mauritius
7 St. Mary University, Ethiopia
8 Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Ivory Coast.
9 Centre for Open and Distance Education, Kenya
10 International Centre for Academics P. Ltd., Nepal
11 Nepal Information Technology Pvt. Ltd., Nepal
12 Regent International Institute of higher Studies, Sri Lanka

4 - HRD Ministry launched Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA). It is a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics. It aims to strengthen of school Science and Mathematics laboratories, through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).

Under RMSA, an amount of Rs. 179.73 crore had been approved in 2017-18, for in-service training of science and maths teachers, remedial teaching, provision of science and maths kits, science exhibitions, etc.

5 - Government approved 65 projects worth Rs.140 Crores under Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (phase-II)

Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana

The Union Government has approved a scheme called “Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY)” with an aim to improve the competitive edge of the Indian manufacturing. The project envisages collaboration between academia and industry –within or outside India.

Under UAY Phase-II, the Apex Committee of UAY has approved 65 projects at a cost of Rs. 139.48 Crore for a period of 3 years. Under UAY Phase- I, 87 projects at a cost of Rs. 265.59 Crore with joint funding by MHRD, participating Ministries and Industry in the ratio of 50:25:25 have been approved.

6 - 20% growth recorded in Construction of National Highways

National Highways

Over 9829 kilometres National Highways were constructed during the year 2017-18, a 20% growth over the last year, when 8231 kilometres were constructed. 17055 kilometres road length was awarded in the year, against 15948 kilometres last year. Expenditure of Rs 1,16,324 crore was incurred on construction of National Highways during the year 2017-18.

The government will adopt international system of counting of Lane Kilometres from the coming Financial Year onwards. The current practice is calculating construction of National Highways in linear length.

7 - Cabinet approved Cooperation Arrangement between India and Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas

India and Afghanistan

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Cooperation Arrangement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of Food Safety and related areas.

The areas of cooperation include the following:

  • Establishment of a mechanism of information exchange and communication;

  • Facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest

  • Facilitating/organization of joint seminars, workshops, visits, lectures, training programme, etc

8 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures

India and Iran

The Union Cabinet has given its ex post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

The MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty, etc.

9 - Cabinet approves closure of loss making Burn Standard Company

Burn Standard Company

The Union Cabinet has approved the closure of Burn Standard Company Ltd (BSCL) - a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Ministry of Railways. The government has provided one-time grant of Rs. 417.10 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities of the company.

Burn Standard Company Limited was incorporated in 1976 following nationalization and amalgamation of Burn and Company and Indian Standard Wagon Company Limited in 1987 under Department of Heavy Industries (DHI). It is engaged in the manufacturing and repair of wagons and production of steel.

10 - Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Canada on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration

India and Canada

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Canada. The MoU enables Indian and Canadian researchers to undertake graduate level academic research mobility and cross-border industry-academic cooperation.

The collaboration is expected to lead to new knowledge creation, joint scientific publications, Industrial exposure, IP generation, etc. This MoU will further strengthen the long-standing relationship in Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation with Canada.

11 - Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector

India and United Arab Emirates

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.

The MoU will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:

  • a. Regulation, safety and technical investigation of accidents;
  • Station redevelopment;
  • Locomotives, coaches and wagons; and
  • Any other area jointly identified by the Participants.

12 - Cabinet approved demerger and transfer of surplus land from TCL to HPIL


The Union Cabinet has approved the transfer of administrative control of Hemisphere Properties India Ltd. (HPIL), PSU from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). The transfer process was initiated after infusion of equity amounting to Rs.700 crore and Rs.51 cr. secured GOI Loan into the Company and implementation of scheme of arrangement for de-merger of surplus land.

It would facilitate demerger of surplus land from Tata Communications Limited to Hemisphere Properties India Limited (HPIL) and further smooth functioning of HPIL.

13 - Cabinet approved rightsizing the Competition Commission of India

Competition Commission of India

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for rightsizing the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from One Chairperson and Six Members (totaling seven) to One Chairperson and Three Members (totaling four). The proposal is expected to result in reduction of three Posts of Members of the Commission in pursuance of the Governments objective of "Minimum Government - Maximum Governance".

Section 8(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act) provides that the Commission shall consist of a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six Members. Presently, the Chairperson and four Members are in position.

14 - Cabinet approved revised cost estimates of the scheme of updation of National Register of Citizens, 1951 in Assam

National Register Citizens

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Revised Cost Estimates (RCE) of the scheme of Updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 in Assam at a cost of Rs. 1220.93 crore up to 31.12.2018. The scheme of NRC, 1951 is specific to state of Assam covering about 3.29 crore applicants.

The exercise will help in preparation of National Register of Citizens in Assam. It will include persons whose names appear in any of the electoral rolls up to the midnight of 24th March, 1971 or National Register of Citizens, 1951 and their descendants.

15 - ISRO to Support ASEAN Countries


ISRO is pursuing a proposal to support Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to receive and process data from Indian remote sensing satellites (RESOURCESAT-2 and OCEANSAT-2) and also to provide training in space science, technology and applications.

All the 10 members of ASEAN, viz., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, will get benefitted from this project. India pursues international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space with space agencies of 43 nations and 5 multilateral bodies.

16 - Agreement between NPCIL and EDF of France


Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Electricite de France (EDF) of France have signed an Industrial Way Forward Agreement for implementation of six nuclear power reactor units at Jaitapur, Maharashtra with a total capacity of about 10,000 MW. The Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors (EPRs) have been in operation in Germany and France respectively for about two decades.

There are currently four EPRs under construction viz. Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, Flamanville-3 in France and Taishan 1&2 in China.

17 - Pathankot gets operationalized as the 21st airport under UDAN – RCS


Pathankot got operationalized as the 21st Airport under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) – RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme). Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the implementing agency of UDAN. Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, commenced operations on the Delhi-Pathankot route with ATR aircraft. This will be the 19th route operated by Alliance Air under UDAN.

UDAN Scheme was launched on 27th April 2017 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister when the first UDAN flight, operated by Alliance Air, was flagged off on the Shimla – Delhi route.

18 - Union Minister Piyush Goyal Launched UTTAM APP for Coal Quality Monitoring


The Union Minister for Railways and Coal Mr Piyush Goyal launched UTTAM App for Coal Quality Monitoring. UTTAM stands for – Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal ( The app is developed by the Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited (CIL).

UTTAM App ensures accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency in coal ecosystem. It provides a platform for monitoring of sampling and coal dispatches. The App is designed with an aim to make the citizens a stakeholder in the coal ecosystem.

19 - Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France for boosting education

Memorandum of Understanding

India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications with the Government of the French Republic. It is the first instance of a government to government MoU to mutually recognize academic qualifications.

The MoU is aimed to recognize each other’s academic qualifications paving way for a stronger education exchange and labour mobility in future. 15 MoUs between various institutions of India and France in the areas of higher education, research, innovation, faculty exchange and scientific cooperation were also exchanged.

20 - Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu launched Digital Initiatives for Ease of Export

Suresh Prabhu

Union Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu launched three integrated digital portals under the digital initiatives by Export Inspection Council (EIC) for ease of export. The three portals are Safe Food Export Traceability Portal, One Laboratory One Assessment Portal and Monitoring Export Alerts Portal.

EIC is the official export certification body of Government of India and has launched this flagship project of Digital India Initiative to keep pace with changing dynamics of the world.

21 - First India-Bangladesh container train flagged off

India Bangladesh

The trial run of the first container train between India and Bangladesh was flagged off from Kolkata. The container train will take around eight hours to reach Bangladesh and can carry 60 containers.

Currently, the trade between India and Bangladesh is largely road-based. The train is also likely to resolve the capacity constraints of sea and land routes. It is expected to facilitate trade between India and Bangladesh.

22 - R K Singh laid foundation stone of the Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project

R K Singh

Shri R K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy laid the foundation stone of the 60 MW Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project (NMHEP) in Uttarkashi. The NMHEP is located on the river Tons – a tributary of the Yamuna.

The estimated project cost as at October 2016 is ?. 648.33 crore. The project was allocated to SJVN Ltd by the Government of Uttarakhand. SJVN Ltd is a Mini Ratna PSU under administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India. The project is scheduled to be completed by December, 2021.

23 - World-Class Tourist Amenities Unveiled at Konark Sun Temple

Konark Sun Temple

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated a world-class interpretation centre and other tourist facilities for visitors at the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha. The interpretation centre has been designed to be user-friendly and interactive, with multiple exhibits and multimedia displays.

The Indian Oil Foundation has developed the interpretation centre and the tourist facilitation centre at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at a cost of Rs. 45 crore.

24 - President of India concluded visit to Equatorial Guinea

President of India

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind concluded his visit to Equatorial Guinea. Three MoUs were signed in the fields of AYUSH and traditional medicine; medicinal plants; and an action plan for Information and Communication Technology. The visit was first ever state visit from India to Equatorial Guinea by Indian President.

They reviewed the spectrum of bilateral relations and discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest. Both sides agreed that they should expand the India-Equatorial Guinea partnership to accelerate growth and development for the people of the two countries.

25 - 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial concluded


16th International Energy Forum Ministerial (IEF16) hosted by India concluded in New Delhi. IEF16 is the largest gathering of Energy Ministers from across the globe, industry leaders and heads of key international organizations who will debate the future of global energy. The International Energy Forum (IEF) aims to foster greater mutual understanding and awareness of common energy interests among its members.

IEF16 delegates are invited to consider how global market shifts and energy transition will shape the future of energy security. Participants engage in an energy technology neutral dialogue to strengthen energy market stability.

26 - President of India became first visiting Head of State to address Parliament of Swaziland

Parliament of Swaziland

`The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, addressed members of the Parliament of Swaziland and became the first visiting Head of State to address the Parliament of the country. While addressing members, President discussed the impact of globalisation and technology, and soaring aspirations of people that has added new dimensions to public policy.

President discussed the importance of agriculture, challenges against climate change and appreciated the Swaziland National Disaster Management Agency. The King of Swaziland also conferred the Order of the Lion on the President.

27 - PM addressed National Convention of Swachhagrahis


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed the National Convention of Swachhagrahis at Motihari. The event has been organized, as part of the centenary celebrations of the Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi, in Champaran. Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the doubling of railway lines between Muzaffarpur and Sagauli; and Sagauli and Valmikinagar and dedicated the first phase of the Madhepura Electric Locomotive Factory.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for a road lane of NH-2 in Auranagabad Bihar-Jharkhand border and distributed awards to Champion Swachhagrahis.

28 - Vice President inaugurated “Scientific Convention on World Homoeopathy Day”

Venkaiah Naidu

The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the two-day “Scientific Convention on World Homeopathy Day” organized by the Ministry of AYUSH. The convention included homoeopathic researchers, scientists from allied sciences, practitioners, students, industrialists as well as representatives of various homoeopathic associations. Vice President called on to the homoeopathy professionals and scientists to undertake more research in this field of medical science, which is widely used as a system of healing in the world.

The Vice President also conferred the awards bestowed by CCRH to incentivise the contributors in the field of Homoeopathy research.

29 - India inked MOU with World EXPO 2020 Dubai

India and World Expo 2020 signed participant’s contract for India’s pavilion in the prestigious World Expo 2020 held once in 5 years. The contract provided for the setting up of India pavilion at Expo 2020 on an extra-large plot (about one acre) in the ‘Opportunity’ segment. This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provided on the way to becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Commerce Secretary, Smt. Rita Teaotia held meetings with stakeholders and industry associations like FICCI and CII to benefit from World Expo 2020.

30 - Installation of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System in Trains

Automatic Train Protection

Indian Railways have planned to provide Automatic Train Protection (ATP) conforming to ETCS level-2 standards on the entire Indian Railway Broad Gauge (BG) network. This will provide technological aid to Loco Pilots for avoiding Signal Passing at Danger (SPAD) and over speeding. This has been done to reduce train accidents. The number of consequential train accidents has decreased during the current year i.e. from 01/04/2017 to 31/03/2018 to 73 as compared to 104 numbers during the corresponding period of last year.

Presently, Automatic Train Protection has been implemented on Delhi-Agra, Chennai Suburban section and Kolkata Metro.

31 - India signed MoU with Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea

India signed MoU with the Republic of Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of Seafarers. This paves the way for the two governments to mutually recognize the certificates of maritime education and training, competency, endorsements and medical fitness of seafarers issued by each other. The agreement will open up employment opportunities for Indian seafarers on Korean ships.

Shri Nitin Gadkari visited Korea to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in shipping, ports, inland waterways, highways, river interlinking and infrastructure sectors.

32 - New website & mobile app of national commission for Safai Karamcharis launched

Safai Karamcharis

The new Website and Mobile App of the ‘National Commission for Safai Karamcharis’ was launched by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. The new website and Mobile App will help the Commission in addressing the grievances/complaints of petitioners in an efficient manner. It is a comprehensive website giving complete details about the Commission viz. its composition, mandate, manner of filing complaints, details of visits undertaken by its Chairman and Members, etc.

The petitioners can file their grievances/complaints, etc. on-line on the website and thereafter track their grievances/complaints.

33 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of illegal migrants

India and UK

`The Union Cabinet approved to the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants. The MoU will facilitate that the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of UK Visa Regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally, after conclusion of the MoU.

It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other Party and help in streamlining the procedure of return of nationals who are caught to be staying illegally.

34 - Minister of State for Civil Aviation to head a 13 member task force for fast-tracking Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technology

Aerial Vehicle Technology

The Government has decided to constitute a Task Force under the chairmanship of Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation for fast-tracking the roll-out of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. The Task Force will develop a roadmap with implementable recommendations for Central as well as State Governments, Industry and Research Institutions. The Task Force will focus on research & development, acquisition, application & adoption in specific sectors, regulatory framework for Make in India.

The Task Force will consist of representatives from the Government, PSUs, industry and sectoral experts and submit report within 6 months of its constitution.

35 - AIIB to invest $140M to improve rural connectivity in India


AIIB decided to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in India. Approximately 1.5 Million rural residents in State of Madhya Pradesh are going to directly benefit from improved livelihoods, education and mobility with the USD $ 140-Million loan. The Project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities.

In addition to the above, the Project also aims to improve durability and accessibility, and enhance resilience to climate change, manage its rural road network and road safety.

36 - NHAI signed agreement for its first international project


In order to provide seamless vehicular movement for enhancing trade, business, health, education and tourism between Indian, Myanmar and Thailand, the National Highways Authority of India signed an agreement for upgradation of Yagyi – Kalewa section of highway in Myanmar to two lane with earthen shoulder. The project has been funded by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and would be executed on EPC mode at a cost of Rs.1177 crores.

The project will have 3 new major bridges and 2 new minor bridges and renovation of existing bridges in 3 years.

37 - India and Morocco signed pact to promote mineral exploration

India and Morocco

India inked a pact with Morocco under which focus would be laid on evaluation of potential mineral resources and promoting exploration and mining through participation of both public and private sector.

The focus of the MoU is on the development of the geological infrastructure for Geoscience Maps and geochemical maps, strengthening geological research and evaluation of the potential of mineral resources. The Geological Survey of India is a pioneer exploratory agency in exploration and is willing to assist Morocco in geological mapping and mineral exploration. A specialized Training Institute of GSI will train the professionals of Morocco.

38 - Government of India and the World Bank signed $420 million project

World Bank

The Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signed a US$ 420 million project to help small and marginal farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra, increase climate resilient practices in agriculture and ensure that farming continues to remain a financially viable activity for them. The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level.

The project is expected to benefit over 7 million people spread over an area of 3.0 million ha and cover 5,142 villages across 15 most climate vulnerable districts of the region.

39 - PM Modi launched India's 1st all-electric high-speed train in Bihar

Electric Train

India’s first electric train was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar. It has been designed by by Alstom of France at Madhepura's Electric Locomotive Factory.

It is high-speed locomotive from France's Alstom with a 12000 horsepower (HP). The train is designed to run at speed of 120 km/hr with full-fledged capacity of 6,000 tonnes. Since it is fully electric, Railways will save operating costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since train is made with IGBT based propulsion technology, the locomotive will have the ability to endure the tough Indian climate.

40 - Transgender category to be mentioned in PAN Form

PAN Form

Government made amendments to Income Tax rules called as Income Tax (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2018 to allow ‘transgender’ category as one of the categories in Permanent Account Number (PAN) form. Thus, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a notification under sections 139A and 295 of the Income Tax Act, stating that a new tick box for the transgenders to apply for the PAN card option will be available in Pan card form.

PAN is a 10-digit unique alphanumeric number alloted by the I-T department to individuals and entities.

41 - Environment Ministry notified Plastic Waste Management (amendment) rules

Environment Ministry

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018. The amended Rules lay down that the phasing out of Multilayered Plastic (MLP) is now applicable to MLP, which are “non-recyclable, or non-energy recoverable, or with no alternate use.”

The amended Rules also prescribe a central registration system for the registration of the producer/importer/brand owner. The Rules also lay down that any mechanism for the registration should be automated and should take into account ease of doing business for producers, recyclers and manufacturers.

42 - Envoys of four nations presented credentials to President of India

Ram Nath Kovind

Envoys of Bahrain, Lebanon, Argentine Republic and Iraq presented their credentials to the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The envoys who presented their credentials were:

  • His Excellency Mr Abdulrahman Mohamed Ahmed Al Gaoud, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain

  • His Excellency Mr Rabie Narsh, Ambassador of Lebanon

  • His Excellency Mr Daniel Chuburu, Ambassador of Argentine Republic

  • His Excellency Dr Falah Abdulhasan Abdulsada, Ambassador of Republic of Iraq

43 - Minister of Commerce & Industry launched digital platform for MSME Exporters


`The Minister of Commerce & Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the FIEO Global Linker- a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join a global community of growing businesses. FIEO Global Linker is setup with a view to make the business growth of SMEs simpler, more profitable and enjoyable. It is a growing global network currently comprising over 140,000 SME firms.

FIEO gives up-to-date business knowledge through business articles, services like company intranet, integrating email, application for new RCMC / endorsement / renewal could be done through it.

44 - HRD Ministry launched ‘Study in India’ portal

Study in India

Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Human Resource Development launched ‘Study in India’ portal ( The portal will enable students from 30 countries across South Asia, Africa, CIS and Middle East to select and apply for different courses from 150 select Indian institutions which are high on NAAC and NIRF ranking. The Study in India is aimed at making India a preferred destination for the foreign students to pursue their education.

The Event also included the launch of Study in India film along with a Cultural event by the foreign students.

45 - First regional workshop on star rating of garbage- free cities inaugurated

The 1st regional workshop on star rating of garbage- free cities was organized by the Ministry of Housing in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council. This was the first in a series of 17 workshops scheduled to be held across all states by June 2018 to institutionalize the protocol towards a Garbage Free India. The workshop was held to build the capacities of state and city officials about the newly launched Star Rating Protocol of Garbage- Free Cities.

The 7-star rating is innovatively designed on a SMART (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification and Targeted towards outcomes) approach.

46 - UIDAI introduced updated QR code for offline Aadhaar verification

Aadhaar Verification

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced an updated 'QR code' to provide an extra layer of privacy to Aadhaar. It holds non-sensitive details, such as name, address, photo, and date of birth, and can be used for offline user verification without the 12-digit ID number.

The new QR code can be used in offline mode in a way that will safeguard against any tampering of documents. Users can manually blacken the Aadhaar number and use the printout with the new QR code for establishing their identity, offline too.

47 - Government decided to set up district plan to accelerate growth of districts by 3 %

Growth of Districts

The government decided to set up a district plan to accelerate the growth of districts by 3%. An addition of 3% growth at the district level will ensure that 5 trillion dollars target for the Indian economy becomes achievable. The initiative will begin with six districts, including Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

A Steering Committee will be formed to oversee creation and implementation of the plan.

48 - Union Home Minister launched e-FRRO scheme


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the web-based application ‘e-FRRO’ (e-Foreigners Regional Registration Office). The e-FRRO scheme is aimed at building a centralized, transparent online platform for the foreigners to avail visa related services and to provide Faceless, Cashless and Paperless services to the foreigners with user friendly experience.

The e-FRRO scheme would be a quantum jump in improving the ease of service delivery with respect to foreigners visiting and staying in India. Some of the salient features of the e-FRRO include online FRRO Service delivery mechanism without requirement of visiting FRRO/FRO Office.

49 - Smriti Irani inaugurated 7th Edition of Home Expo India 2018

Home Expo

Union Minister of Textiles and Information & Broadcasting, Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the 7thedition of Home Expo India 2018 at India Expo Centre and Mart, Greater Noida. While inaugurating the Expo, Smt. Irani applauded the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) for taking new initiatives for the promotion and development of handicrafts sector. She also complemented the EPCH for VRIKSH initiative for sustainable and environment-friendly products.

The three-day Expo organised by EPCH, has 700 participants, representing a cross section of exhibitors drawn from manufacturing hubs across the country with special focus on the North East region.

50 - India signed loan agreement with World Bank for USD 48 million for Meghalaya


A Loan Agreement for IBRD loan of USD 48 million for the “Meghalaya Community - Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)” was signed with the World Bank. The Objective of the Project is to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected landscapes in the State of Meghalaya.

The Project will help manage these depleting resources, by strengthening the communities and traditional institutions. Project will increase water for local communities and improve the soil productivity which will in turn increase incomes and reduce poverty.

51 - DARPAN-PLI App launched by Communications Ministry


With a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, under the IT Modernisation Plan, Department of Posts has launched DIGITAL ADVANCEMENT OF RURAL POST OFFICE FOR A NEW INDIA (DARPAN) Project, which aims to connect all 1.29 lakh Rural Branch Post Offices in the country, to enable them to do online Postal and Financial Transactions.

Hand held devices with SIM connectivity and solar power backup are being installed in all branch post offices. The total project cost is more than Rs.1300 crores. 61,941 branch post offices have been rolled out under DARPAN Project.

52 - MoU signed between GIFAS (France) and SIDM (India) regarding defence


In order to promote a sustainable framework for present and future partnerships and form a major industrial mission in India in the field of aerospace and defence, Groupement des Industries Françaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) signed MoU. With this MoU, not only aerospace, but also research and technology, human capital, economic and industrial cooperation, engineering services and system integration fields will also be developed.

The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) is a non-profit association formed to act as an advisor for the growth of the defence industry in India.

53 - Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 29th National Road Safety Week

Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 29th National Road Safety Week. Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways organizes the Road Safety Week every year to create awareness among general public and improve upon the safety of road users.

Road Safety Week was organized from 23rd to 29th of April and the focus was on schools and commercial drivers. Gadkari also released a book named "Have a Safe Journey".

54 - Union Minister launched Central Project Monitoring Unit for e-Vidhan project

e Vidhan

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr Vijay Goel inaugurated the new office of Central Project Monitoring Unit for the e-Vidhan project of the Government. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is the Nodal Ministry for the project.

e-Vidhan is a mission mode project to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures in India paperless. It will help create Project Monitoring Units both at Central as well as State levels.

55 - Cabinet approved promulgation of Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance

The Union Cabinet has approved the promulgation of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018. It would empower the government to attach properties both within the country and overseas of fugitive economic offenders.wt

The ordinance will cover only those cases where the amount involved is more than Rs 100 crore. A fugitive economic offender is one who has left the country to avoid facing prosecution, or refuses to return to face prosecution.

56 - Government integrates e-SANAD Portal and National Academic Depository


The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has launched integration of e-SANAD portal and NAD – National Academic Depository with an aim to bring more transparency.

E-Sanad is a project aimed at online submission/verification of documents with an ultimate object to extend contact less, cashless, faceless and paperless document attestation service for apostille and normal attestation to applicants in India. NAD is 24X7 online store house of all academic awards viz. diplomas certificates, degrees, mark-sheets etc.

57 - SJVN signed MoU with Ministry of Power

Ministry of Power

SJVN Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Power for the year 2018-19. As a part of the MoU, SJVN has been given a target of 9200 Million Units generation during the year under ‘Excellent’ category. It also will have Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) target of Rs. 900 crore and Turnover target of Rs. 2175 crore.

SJVN Limited operated 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station. Currently, SJVN has four projects with capacity of 1610 MW under construction.

58 - PM launched Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan on the occassion of National Panchayati Raj Day. He unveiled a Road Map for overall development of tribals during the next five years. Under the plan, Rs. 2 lakh crore will be spent for development of areas under tribal panchayats.

The Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan will strengthen the Panchayati Raj system across the country. It is aimed at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.

59 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Sao Tome and Principe

India and Sao Tome

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sao Tome and Principe for Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy. The MoU was signed in March, 2018.

The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine. India is blessed with well- developed systems of traditional medicine including medicinal plants.

60 - Cabinet apprised of the MoA between India and World Health Organisation

World Health Organisation

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between India and World Health Organisation represented by its Regional Office for South-East Asia acting through its Country Office in India. The MoU was signed on 13th March, 2018 at New Delhi.

The bilateral MoA shall encourage cooperation between India and WHO. This will facilitate in improving the public health status of the people in India. The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.

61 - Cabinet approved MoU on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products in BRICS countries


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of regulation of medical products for human use amongst the medicine regulatory agencies of the BRICS countries.

The MoU would facilitate better understanding about the regulatory aspects between the parties and could help in increasing India’s export of medical products to BRICS countries.

62 - Cabinet approved Long Term Agreements for supply of iron ore to Japan and South Korea

Iron Ore

The Union Cabinet has approved the renewal of Long Term Agreements (LTAs) for supply of iron ore (lumps and fines) of grade +64% Fe content to Japanese Steel Mills (JSMs) and POSCO, South Korea for another five years (i.e. 1.4.2018 up to 31.3.2023) through MMTC Limited.

The agreement will enable India to secure international market for its ores. It will also provide direct and indirect employment in mining, logistics and related sectors.

63 - National Foreign Trade Directory Released


Giriraj Singh, Minister of State for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises released National Foreign Trade Directory at the International SME Convention- 2018 in New Delhi.

The directory provides information about export-import offices of policy makers, regulators, facilitators and all export promotion councils, commodity boards, development authorities, trade & industry organisations, MSMEs which have been set up, approved or sponsored by Government of India. The directory has been published by International Trade Consultants, New Delhi.

64 - Government of India launched 360° Virtual Reality (VR) video on Incredible India

Virtual Reality

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in collaboration with Google India launched a 360° Virtual Reality (VR) experience video on Incredible India

The VR Video takes through a journey across Hampi, Goa, Delhi and Amritsar, and to explore the places and people that make each of these iconic Indian sites incredible. The 360 degrees Virtual Reality (VR) video on Incredible India is made to increase tourist footfall in Iconic monuments and other tourist destinations with a focus on Museums.

65 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Van Dhan Scheme

Van Dhan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Van Dhan Scheme of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED. Under Van Dhan, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers is constituted. They are then trained and provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the jungle. These groups can then market their products. Training and technical support is provided by TRIFED.

The first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra in Bijapur is being implemented for training of 300 training beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs.43.38 lakhs.

66 - Government enters agreement with World Bank on biotech


The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $125 million agreement to support India in developing an innovative biopharmaceutical and medical devices industry. The mission has been approved at a cost of 250 million dollars for five years with 50% funding through the World Bank Loan.

The Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project (I3) will support Government of India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Program (BIRAC). The $125 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years.

67 - Government to tie up with US and Finland to jointly develop new Pollution-Forecast System

Pollution Forecast System

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is tying up with the US and Finland to develop new pollution-forecast system that will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at greater resolution.

The new system will be jointly developed with expertise from Finnish Meteorological Institute and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Currently, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), serves as apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.

68 - CSIR and DoT enter into MoU for establishing a nationwide Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical knowledge sharing for establishing a nationwide Time Stamping & Time Synchronization network and traceability of Time signal to UTC NPL Time was signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research -National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications.

The primary purpose of synchronizing the telecom network with IST time stamp is to enable the security agencies to overcome the difficulty in analyzing and correlating the cyber events.

69 - Government launched m-Awas Mobile App

m Awas

The Government has launched a Mobile App (m-Awas) for allotment of Government accommodations in General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) in Delhi under the control of the Directorate of Estates. The application has been developed by NIC.

A total number of 61,317 residential accommodations of various types are available in Delhi which are allotted to the eligible Central Government employees through Automated System of Allotment (ASA), by using login Id and password.

70 - Foreigners Can Now Travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur without Permit


The home ministry has relaxed the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit regime from Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years with effect from April 1. With this, foreign tourists can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur without a permit.

Citizens from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, however, continue to be banned from all PAP areas. The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others under the restricted area.

71 - Cabinet approved restructured National Bamboo Mission

Bamboo Mission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission. The Mission would ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector by addressing complete value chain and establishing effective linkage of farmers with industry.

The mission will focus on development of bamboo in limited states and establish about 4000 product development units and bring more than 100000 ha area under plantation. The Mission will also help in creating employment generation directly or indirectly in both skilled and unskilled segments.

72 - NITI Aayog announced the launch of Atal New India Challenges

NITI Aayog

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Aayog launched the Atal New India Challenges, to bring innovations and technologies relevant to the people. Applicants showing capability, intent, and potential to productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. 1 crore. This grant support will be supplemented by mentoring, handholding, incubating and other support as needed at various stages of commercialisation.

Under the Atal New India Challenge, prospective innovators/MSMEs/start-ups to design market-ready products, using cutting edge technologies or prototypes across 17 identified focus areas will be invited.

73 - Indian Prime Minister and Chinese President issued strategic guidance to militaries

Prime Minister

On a 3-day visit of Indian Prime minister to China, Prime Minister Modi and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, held four rounds of one-on-one meetings and exchanged views on range of issues of bilateral and global importance. A significant outcome of the meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Xi Jinping was to issue strategic guidance to their militaries to strengthen communication.

Both the leaders discussed issues like trade and investment, climate change and digital empowerment in their wide-ranging talks in Wuhan. They agreed that a peaceful and balanced relationship should be established between India and China.

74 - Centre to give assistance for 8 projects in drought prone areas of Maharashtra


The Centre will provide assistance for completion of 8 major and 83 minor irrigation projects of Vidarbha, Marathwada and drought-prone areas of rest of Maharashtra. These projects will help address agrarian distress by creation of additional irrigation potential of 3.77 lakh hectare. The estimated balance cost of these projects is over 13,651 crore rupees.

Maharashtra can avail State Share through NABARD loan. The minor projects will be completed in two years while the major projects would be completed in phases by 2022-23.

75 - NHAI signed MoU with Macquarie


National Highways Authority of India signed MoU with Macquarie for road projects under the highway monetisation drive. The project costs USD 1.5 billion, one of the highest FDI in highways. The funds saved from monetisation of highway projects will be used for new infrastructure programmes like Bharatmala, a Rs 7 lakh crore road building project announced by the government.

The project covers five highways in first bundle of monetisation based on TOT model. TOT model is about one-time concession fee upfront payment. Project will be completed in 2 years.