Current Affairs January 2018 - National


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1 - Cabinet approved Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing

India and Myanmar

The Union Cabinet approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries. It will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries.

It is expected to provide connectivity and safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border.

2 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Israel on Cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector

India and Israel

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on cooperation in the Oil and Gas Sector.

The MoU is expected to provide impetus to India - Israel ties in the energy sector. The cooperation envisaged under the agreement will facilitate promotion of investments in each other's countries, technology transfer, R&D, conducting joint studies, capacity building of human resources and collaboration in the area of Start-ups.

3 - WCD Ministry inaugurated online portal ‘NARI’ for women empowerment

NARI

Minister of Women & Child Development inaugurated an online portal NARI in New Delhi. The portal will provide women citizens with easy access to information on government schemes and initiatives for women. In order to make this information more easily accessible in one place, the NARI portal summarizes over 350 government schemes and other important information for the benefit of women, with more being added everyday.

It provides links to the Ministries, Departments and autonomous bodies offering these schemes as well as easy access to online applications and grievance redressal.

4 - CCEA approved mandatory jute packaging for food grains

CCEA

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18. The decision would sustain the core demand for the jute sector and support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector. The CCEA has extended the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. The approval mandates that 90 percent of the food grains and 20 percent of the sugar products will be mandatorily packed in jute bags.

5 - Government notified scheme of Electoral Bonds for political donations

Electoral Bonds

The government notified the scheme of Electoral Bonds, aimed at cleaning the system of political funding in the country. The bonds will be a bearer instrument in the form of promissory note and will be an interest-free banking instrument.

The bonds will be issued and purchased for any value in the multiples of one thousand, ten thousand, one lakh, ten lakh and one crore rupees from the specified branches of the State Bank of India. The bonds will have a life of only 15 days.

6 - Government exempted cruise tourists with e-visa from biometric enrolment till 2020

Biometric Enrolment

Home Affairs exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrollment for a period of three years to promote cruise tourism in the country to make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore.

E-Visa has been in place in the five major ports of Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai. This simplified immigration clearance procedure is part of a series of steps to attract and to enhance cruise passenger experience at the major ports.

7 - India and Sri Lanka inked MoU on traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy

India and Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka inked MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.

The signing of the proposed MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional medicine and homoeopathy. India and Sri Lanka share several cultural, historical, linguistic and literary similarities.

8 - Union government launched allied health professionals database portal

Health Professionals Database Portal

Allied health professionals database portal was launched by Government of India to reach out to all the allied and healthcare professionals in India so that they may be effectively tracked as part of the overall HRH data available with the Government of India. Healthcare professionals are educated, at either professional or lower levels, in a recognized or accredited health or health related or academic institution.

The portal is aimed at putting in place a robust data repository of healthcare workers, help in process of licensing of professionals and workforce policy planning.

9 - Ministry of Defence cleared Rs 2420 Crore worth contracts for Navy and Army

Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence approved the procurement of P-8I Training Solution and Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS), at a total cost of Rs 2419.32 crore. The P-8I Training Solution, along with 10-year comprehensive maintenance service, will be brought from M/s Boeing for Rs 1949.32 crore. This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems.

It will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training. The P-8I aircraft is equipped for long range anti-submarine warfare.

10 - Health Ministry launched first digital Online Oncology Tutorial

Oncology Tutorial

Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) launched the country’s first digital Online Oncology Tutorial Series designed by the Tata Memorial Center in collaboration with the Health Ministry.

This is part of a national program that will be rolled out across the country by Tata Memorial Centre in collaboration with state governments. Through this initiative, the Health Ministry and Tata Memorial Centre will try to reach millions of doctors.

11 - 63 solar micro grids will be installed in India

Solar Micro Grids

Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy will explore the solar micro grid model in the country. Under the solar off-grid and decentralized applications programme, so far 63 solar micro grids of 1899 kWp aggregated capacity have been reported to be installed in the country with financial support from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).

MNRE has provided financial support up to 30% of the cost of micro/mini-grids systems for installation in the rural areas of the country. The design capacity of micro grid depends upon the requirement to be catered.

12 - Namami Gange projects worth Rs. 295 crore approved by NMCG

NMCG

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) approved five projects worth Rs. 295.01 crore. Three projects pertain to sewage management in West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 278.6 crore, one relates to sewage management in Uttarakhand at an estimated cost of Rs 4.68 crore and one project worth Rs 11.73 crore is related to ghat improvement works in Varanasi.

With these approvals, all projects related to sewage management in high pollution load towns along river Ganga have been sanctioned. Project aims to strengthen the poor condition of ghats and stone steps to ensure improved life of ghats.

13 - Sushma Swaraj visited 3 Southeast-asian nations

Sushma Swaraj

In order to strengthen strategic ties with Southeast Asian nations, Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited three South East Asian countries – Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. The ministers discussed political, defence and economic ties and all other bilateral relations.

During her visit to Singapore, minister inaugurated Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of ASEAN countries on January 7, based on theme "Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN-India Partnership". Sushma Swaraj discussed relevant information about the forthcoming ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit which marks 25 years since the establishment of dialogue partnership between Indian and ASEAN.

14 - 3rd Meeting of Council of Trade Development and Promotion held in New Delhi

Trade Development

The 3rd meeting of the Council of Trade Development and Promotion was held in New Delhi.

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu released a study “LEADS-Logistics Ease Across Different States” which is a first ever sub-national logistics performance index. He also released the “State Exports Booklet” which is a compendium, of the status of exports from the States over the last 10 years.

15 - Target under BharatNet Phase 1 achieved

BharatNet Phase 1

Government has achieved a significant milestone under the BharatNet by completing Phase-1 of the project by connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline of 31 Dec 2017.

BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians. The target to complete the 2nd phase of the BharatNet has been set for March, 2019 by connecting 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats with broadband network.

16 - Union Government notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017

Union Government

The Central Government notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Amendment Act).

Some important amendments are −

  • Sec 53 of the Companies Act, 2013 − The Amendment Act now allows companies to issue shares at a discount to its creditors when its debt is converted into shares.

  • Section 197 of the Companies Act, 2013 − Post amendment, a company which has defaulted in payment of dues to a bank or any other secured creditor, needs their approval before making payment of managerial remuneration in excess of 11% of the net profits.

17 - India and Saudi Arabia signed bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement

India and Saudi Arabia

India has signed the bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has given the green signal for India’s decision to revive the option of sending Haj pilgrims through sea route.

The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped from 1995. For the first time Muslim women from India will go to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion). Women “Haj Assistant” will be deployed for their assistance

18 - Indian Railways conceives to deploy “Drone” cameras in all its Zones/Divisions

Drone

Indian Railways has decided to deploy “Drone” cameras (UAV/NETRA) for various railway activities especially project monitoring and maintenance of tracks and other railway infrastructure. This is in-line with Railways’ desire to use technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations.

“Drone” cameras shall be deployed to undertake monitoring activities of relief and rescue operation, project monitoring, progress of important works, conditions of track and inspection related activities.

19 - National Conference of CPCSEA on Welfare of Laboratory Animals held

National Conference of CPCSEA

A one-day National Conference on Welfare of Laboratory Animals was organised by CPCSEA, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The theme was “Implementation of 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) while using animals in academic research and regulatory testing in India”.

The conference deliberated upon elaborating the understanding of animal use in academics, as well as regulatory testing and evaluating the use of alternatives, wherever animals can be exempted from testing.

20 - Indian Railways launched transparent and efficient “New Online Vendor Registration System”

RDSO

Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), (headquartered at Lucknow), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, has launched “New Online Vender Registration System”.

Public access to the information, expeditious process completion with defined timelines, simplification of procedures, round-the-year services, availability of all related information on RDSO Website, constant monitoring at all levels, reduction in cycle timelines, regular updation of online data, user friendly interface etc. are the hallmarks of the new system.

21 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology

India and Canada

The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology. The MoU will provide a mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between R&D and academic institutions of India and Canada.

An innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented under a MoU concluded by the Department of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.

22 - India and Malaysia held 5th Bilateral Meeting on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine

India and Malaysia

The 5th Bilateral Technical Meeting on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine between Govt. of India and Malaysia was held at New Delhi which was a part of agreement signed between both countries in 2010.

Key agendas discussed in the meeting:

  • Establishment of Ayurveda Chair in University of UTAR, Malaysia

  • Professional training in Panchakarma therapy for Malaysian experts in India

  • Bilateral MoU between National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH and Malaysia for Cooperation in the field of Medicinal Plants.

  • Registration of Homeopathic Practitioner and their capacity building module in Malaysia.

23 - Government divests 2.52 % of paid-up capital in National Mineral Development Corporation

OFS

Government has successfully divested 2.52 % of paid-up capital in National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) for an amount of Rs. 1200 crore approx. (Rs. 980.05 crore from non-retail investors and Rs. 232 crore approx. from retail investors) through Offer for sale (OFS) mechanism. The issue got over-subscribed by three times the base issue size.

With this transaction, the Government of India shareholding in NMDC has come down from 74.94% to 72.42%.

24 - Ministry of Road Transport & Highways inked MoU with Transport for London

Road Transport and Highways

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways signed an MoU with Transport for London aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in the country.

TFL is the agency that manages the transport system for Greater London. It has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand. A salient feature has been their double decker buses which provide for high capacity with low road space requirement.

25 - Indian Railways introduced OCR Kiosk Machines for quick printing of tickets

OCR

The Indian Railways has launched modern Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Kiosk Machines for quick & easy printing of tickets booked through UTS App for mobile phones by suburban commuters.

Western Railway (Hqrs. Mumbai) becomes first railway zone to introduce this facility for its Mumbai suburban commuters of Western Railway. Passengers have to feed their mobile number and booking ID received on their mobiles, in the ATVM machines to get their tickets printed or get it through UTS counter.

26 - Ministry of Railway launched SFOORTI Application

SFOORTI

Ministry of Railways have launched Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) App for Freight Managers which provides features for monitoring and managing freight business using Geographic Information System (GIS) Views and Dashboard.

Key features:

  • With this application, movement of freight trains on Geographic Information System (GIS) view can be tracked.

  • Expected Traffic at Interchange points to evaluate daily performance can be viewed.

  • This app provides a Bird’s eye view of all Freight Assets in a single window.

  • Provides end to end Rake movement on Geospatial view.

27 - Water Resources Ministry signed MoU with Bihar and Jharkhand

Water Resources Ministry

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, State of Bihar and State of Jharkhand for completion of balance works of North Koel reservoir project at an estimated cost of Rs. 1622.27 crore.

The three parties along with NABARDalso siggned a supplementary MoU for funding of the state share under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) for North Koel reservoir project.

For Details: http://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1516590

28 - Niti Aayog to provide rankings to 115 aspirational districts

Niti Aayog

Niti Aayog will provide rankings to the 115 aspirational districts based on 10 parameters which will include nutrition, education and health among others.

According to the NITI Aayog, government targets to sanction over 12 lakh houses in 115 backward districts identified for development in 18 months under a housing scheme. Currently, 6.32 lakh houses have been sanctioned under the Pradhan Manti Awas Yojana (Urban) for these districts.

29 - India, Bhutan jointly unveiled 'Special logo'

Special Logo

India and Bhutan jointly unveiled a "Special Logo" to mark the launch of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Meshed together in an unbreakable bond, the logo has two symbols of the countries- 5 is represented with Bhutan’s national colour wrapped in dragon; while 0 (zero) is completed by the India’s tri-colour. It highlights 50th anniversary of friendship.

30 - UIDAI introduced ‘Virtual ID’ to shield Privacy and Security of Aadhaar Data

Virtual ID

The Unique Identification Authority of India has introduced two new measures - virtual ID and limited KYC in order to strengthen security and privacy concerns around leakage of Aadhaar numbers and data.

The virtual identity or virtual ID will be a random 16-digit number mapped to the Aadhaar number of a citizen, and will come with an expiration date. The UIDAI has further introduced limited KYC (know your customer) process wherein only some entities, categorised as global authentication user agency (global AUA) will be allowed to store a citizen's Aadhaar number.

31 - Indian Navy signed MoU with Cochin Port Trust

Cochin Port Trust

The Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for utilising the Port's berthing facility at Mattancherry wharf for Naval ships.

As per the MoU, Cochin Ports Q2 and Q3 berths at Mattacherry wharf, totaling 228 metre quay length, would be be handed over to the Indian Navy for five years for berthing their ships. The lease has been signed at an approximate cost of ?10 crore a year.

32 - Government to set up India’s Second FTII in Arunachal Pradesh

FTII

The Union Government will set up the second Film and Television Institute of the nation in Arunachal Pradesh as part of tapping the potential of the Northeastern region.

The first Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) was set up in Pune. It is an autonomous institute operating under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. FTII, Pune is a member of the International Liaison Centre of Schools of Cinema and Television (CILECT), an organisation of the world's leading schools of film and television.

33 - Cabinet approved amendments in FDI Policy

FDI Policy

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy so as to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country. It has been decided to do away with this restriction and allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India.

Amendments include:

  • 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading and Construction Development

  • Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49%

  • FIIs/FPIs allowed to invest in Power Exchanges

  • Definition of ‘medical devices’ amended in the FDI Policy

34 - List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister of Israel to India

Prime Minister
  • MoU on Cyber Security Cooperation between India and Israel

  • MoU between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Ministry of Energy on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sector

  • Protocol between India and Israel on Amendments to the Air Transport Agreement

  • Agreement on Film-co-production between India and Israel

  • MoU between the Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH and the Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine, Shaare Zedek Medical Center on Cooperation in the field of Research in Homeopathic Medicine

  • MoU between Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology for cooperation in the field ofspace

  • Memorandum of Intent between Invest India and Invest in Israel

  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Phinergy Ltd. For cooperation in the area of metal-air batteries

  • Letter of Intent between IOCL and Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd for cooperation in the area of concentrated solar thermal technologies

35 - Department of Commerce and CII sign MoU

Commerce and CII

The Department of Commerce under the Ministry for Commerce & Industry has signed a MoU with Confederation of Indian Industry to set-up an institutional mechanism for the development of Logistics sector in the country.

The Government has decided to reduce the Logistics cost in the country from the present 14% of GDP to less than 10% by 2022. The Government has recently granted infrastructure status to a number of Logistics activities, which shall enable them to avail cheaper and long term commercial loans.

36 - NITI Aayog initiates the first course on Sustainable Urban Planning

Sustainable Urban Planning

The First Global Initiative on Academic Network GIAN course on Sustainable Urban planning using remote sensing and Geographic Information System, GIS has been launched at IIT Kanpur’s outreach center in NOIDA.

This course is being conducted under the Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) Program. It aims to give participants state-of-the-art remote sensing and GIS skills that allows them to manage the rapidly changing urban environment of Indian cities. Focus will be on issues such as water resource management, water pollution and strategic emplacements for water treatment facilities.

37 - PM Modi and Israeli PM Netanyahu dedicate iCreate

PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu dedicated the iCREATE facility to the nation. It is located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

iCreate is an independent Centre created with the objective of facilitating entrepreneurship through a blend of creativity, innovation, engineering, product design and leveraging emerging technologies to deal with major issues such as food security, water, connectivity, cybersecurity, IT and electronics, energy, bio-medical equipment and devices etc. iCreate aims to develop an ecosystem in India to generate quality entrepreneurs.

38 - 100 accessible websites of various state governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign launched

India Campaign

The government has launched 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaignon the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’ with an aim to empower Persons with Disabilities.

Accessible Websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. The Accessible India Campaign has three important components viz Built Environment; Transport and Information and Communication Eco-system accessibility.

39 - The Fourth Asean-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry

AIMMAF

The Fourth ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AIMMAF) was held on 12 January 2018 in New Delhi. It was attended by representatives from 10 ASEAN countries.

The meeting held discussions focused on enhancing cooperation on exchange of expertise to promote resilience in food security and to address the price volatility of food supplies in the region. It was announced that 5th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry will be held in 2019 in Brunei Darussalam.

40 - India signed MoU with UK on illegal migrants

Illegal Migrants

India has signed an MoU with the United Kingdom to enable the return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their detection by authorities abroad.

UK claims the number of illegal migrants to be in thousands while the Indian agencies have found only 2,000 Indians are overstaying. A MoU on sharing of criminal records is also in line between the two nations.

41 - Digital launch of ‘I4Fund call for proposal’ website

I4Fund Call for Proposal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu launched the maiden call for joint R&D projects under the ‘India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)’ during the India-Israel Business Summit in New Delhi.

Under the I4F, the Department of Science and Technology, India and the National Innovation Authority of Israel have established a 40 million US dollar Fund. India and Israel will make a contribution of four million US Dollars each for the Fund, annually for five years.

42 - IWDRI 2018 concluded successfully

IWDRI

The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded at New Delhi. The workshop identified best practices in the infrastructure sector, as well as key issues in existing practices and ways to address them.

The workshop was organised by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) jointly with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Experts from 23 countries representing a wide variety of development and disaster risk contexts participated in the workshop.

43 - Union Government has sanctioned more than Rs 10,000 cr for better network connectivity in NE

Act East

In accordance to the ‘Act East’ policy, the Union Government has sanctioned more than Rs 10,000 cr for better network connectivity in the Northeast region. 2 MoUs have been signed to cover the uncovered areas in the North East including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

India's Act East Policy focuses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region with an objective to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The North East of India has been a priority in the Act East Policy (AEP).

44 - ONGC acquired 51% share of Government in HPCL

HPCL

The government has entered into an agreement with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited for the strategic sale of its 51.11% equity share-holding in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited for 36,915 crore rupees. The acquisition is an all cash-deal. ONGC will pay Rs 473.97 per share for 77.8 crore shares of the government in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).

Through this acquisition, ONGC will become India's first vertically integrated oil major company, having presence across the entire value chain.

45 - Government announced nine new smart cities

Smart Cities

MoS Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced the final list of Smart Cities. The nine cities announced include Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Erode (Tamil Nadu), Diu (Daman and Diu), Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh), Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Kavaratti (Lakshadweep).

The 9 cities will have about 409 projects and a proposed an investment of 12,824 crores. Under the Smart Cities Mission, each city will get Rs 500 crore as central assistance for implementing various projects.

46 - MEITY launched Cyber Surakshit Bharat to strengthen Cyber-security

MEITY

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative in association with National e-Governance Division (NeGD) in order to strengthen the cyber security ecosystem in India.

Cyber Surakshit Bharat aims to conduct a series of training programs in the next six months across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. It will help spread awareness about cybercrime and building capacity for safety measures for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and frontline IT staff across all government departments.

47 - Government launched liveability index to rate 116 Indian cities

Liveability Index

The union government has launched the Liveability index to measure the quality of life in 99 smart cities, capital cities and those with a population of over one million.

The index will rank 116 cities in order of the quality of life they offer and the report is expecteed to be published by June 2018. The government has assigned the job to Economic Intelligence Unit of The Economist, in alliance with the IPSOS Research Private Limited and Athena Infonomics (India pvt ltd) to do an assessment of the liveability index.

48 - Union Government launched National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal

National CSR Data Portal

The Union Government has launched the National CSR Data Portal & Corporate Data Portal.

The National CSR Data Portal will capture information on CSR activities carried out by eligible companies, filed on the MCA21 registry in their financial statements. The Corporate Data Portal aims at making all the financial and non-financial information of the companies available in a user friendly format to the general public. It also has facility to generate pre-defined reports and also customized reports.

49 - India to set up $350 million solar fund

Solar Fund

The Union Government will set up a $350-million solar development fund under the International Solar Alliance (ISA). India has set a target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.

Nine companies and banks have agreed to develop and finance various solar projects. Yes Bank Ltd will mobilise $1 billion by 2023 for financing solar energy projects in India, and $5 billion till 2030. Similarly, NTPC Ltd will contribute $1 million to an ISA fund. The ISA currently has 121 member countries.

50 - Ministry of Water Resources released assistance of ? 734 cr for irrigation projects

Ministry of Water Resources

Ministry of Water Resources has released central assistance of 734 crore rupees for different irrigation projects. Of the total amount released, 247 crore rupees were for nine prioritized projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) for Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) works and over 487 crore rupees for Command Area Development (CAD) works of 17 projects.

During FY 2017-18, funds worth over 1152 crore rupees have been released for 26 priority projects under AIBP. Apart from this, 436 crore rupees have been released under PMKSY- Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).

51 - Sushma Swaraj inaugurated Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) at Karaikal

POPSK

Union External Affairs Minister Shushma Swaraj inaugurated the first Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) of Puducherry at Karaikal.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Department of Posts (DOP) have decided to set up Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) in the Head Post Offices (HPO) in the country. In the first two phases 236 POPSK have been announced in the country.

52 - Government launched Phase-1 of the Rapid Reporting System for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls

Rapid Reporting System

The Union Government has launched the Phase -1 i.e. the beneficiary module of the Rapid Reporting System for the Scheme for Adolescent Girls.

The RRS will facilitate the monitoring of the scheme and taking corrective measures by ensuring faster flow of information, accurate targeting of the beneficiaries and reduction of leakages. This Portal has been developed in collaboration with National Informatics Centre (NIC). The URL for the portal is http://sag-rrs.nic.in.

53 - AYUSH Minister laid foundation stone for Homeopathy Research Institute in Jaipur

AYUSH

The Minister of State (IC), for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik laid the foundation stone for Central Research Institute (CRI) in Jaipur. Homoeopathy research institutes at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Lucknow in UP and Siligudi in West Bengal are in the pipeline.

It is the third CRI under the aegis of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), an autonomous body of Ministry of AYUSH for undertaking scientific research in Homoeopathy, with 23 institutes across the country.

54 - Government to set up social media communication hubs in districts

Social Media Communication Hubs

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has planned to set up a 'Social Media Communication Hub' that would help it keep a tab on trending news in districts and gather feedback on the Centre's flagship schemes.

Under the project media persons would be employed on contractual basis in each district to be the eyes and ears of the government and provide real-time updates from the ground.

55 - India to host 16th International Energy Forum meet

IEF

India will host the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial meeting in New Delhi on April 10 to 12. The meeting will be hosted by Government of India and co-hosted by the Government of China and South Korea.

Representatives from 92 countries will be participating in the conference, including 72 member countries of IEF and 20 guest countries. India had last hosted the IEF ministerial conference in 1996.

56 - India, Vietnam sign MoUs on I&B, space cooperation

I and B

India and Vietnam signed two Memorandum of Understandings in the field of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) as well as space cooperation.

Both the nations agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of Information and Broadcasting based on principles of equality and reciprocity pursuant. The countries even agreed on the implementation arrangement between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Vietnam's National Remote Sensing Department for the establishment of tracking and data reception station and data processing facility in Vietnam under the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation.

57 - Union Government launched four new schemes for young scientists, researchers

Union Government Launched

The Union Government has launched four new schemes to promote young scientists and researchers in the country. The scheme primarily aims at early recognition and reward to young talent in the field of science.

58 - 325 routes awarded under the UDAN Phase-II

UDAN Phase-II

325 air routes have been awarded under the second phase of the regional connectivity scheme. Around 40 per cent, or 129, of the 325 air routes were for Northeastern and hill states, like Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakyong in Sikkim, and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh.

Under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), the government provides viability gap funding or subsidy for 50% of the seats set aside for being offered at discounted rates by airlines and all seats up to 13 passenger seats for helicopters.

59 - NHIDCL signed MoU with IL&FS for Zojila tunnel project

NHIDCL

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd for construction of 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila tunnel at an estimated cost of Rs 6,808.69 crore. The tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

This will be India's longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. Zojila pass remains closed during winters (December to April) due to heavy snowfall and avalanches cutting off Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir.

60 - List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the State Visit of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia to India

Sr.No. Agreement/MOU/Treaty and Purpose of MoU
1

Cultural Exchange Programme with Cambodia for the year 2018-2022. The CEP seeks to promote cultural exchange and strengthen the friendly relations between India and Cambodia.

2

Credit Line Agreement between the EXIM Bank, Government of India and the Government of Cambodia for a Line of Credit to finance the Stung Sva Hab Water Resource Development Project for US$ 36.92 million.

3

Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. It seeks to improve the effectiveness of both countries in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes through cooperation and legal assistance in criminal matters.

4

MoU on Cooperation for Prevention of Human Trafficking. It seeks to increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue and repatriation related to human trafficking.

61 - India’s first smart grid project inaugurated in Panipat

NEDO

India’s first smart grid project was inaugurated in Panipat. The estimated cost of the project is about Rs 145 crore. The project has been established in collaboration with a Japanese company, New Energy Industrial Technology and Development Organisation (NEDO).

The Smart Grid Pilot Project, being set up with the assistance of Japan, would ensure uninterrupted power supply to domestic as well as industrial consumers of the city. The project in Panipat, Haryana is one of the fourteen smart grid pilot projects launched by the Union Ministry of Power to modernize power distribution in India.

62 - India set new record with over 1.1 million tweets on 69th Republic Day

Republic Day

The annual Republic Day celebrations generated a record number of tweets at over 1.1 million this year.

The celebrations garnered over 1.1 million tweets, setting a new conversation record for #RepublicDay, trended number one worldwide throughout the day, compared to over 900,000 tweets celebrating the occasion in 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's greetings to his countrymen in Hindi on the occasion the Republic Day was the most liked one.

63 - Acid attack victims to get quota in central government jobs

Acid attack

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) recently wrote to all central government departments to ensure that 1% of each post be reserved for people with blindness and low vision; deaf and hard of hearing; locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, autism, mental illnesses, intellectual disability and victims of acid attacks.

In case of direct recruitment, 4% of the total number of vacancies, up from the existing 3%, in groups A, B and C shall be reserved for people with benchmark disabilities.



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