Current Affairs July 2019 - National


1 - Government to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025

Health Services

The central government has set a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of the country's GDP by 2025 (from the current 1.15%) in line to the objective set by the government in its National Health Policy 2017. The policy also recommends that State governments should spend more than 8% of their budget on the health sector by 2020.

The government has also launched “LaQshya" Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries.

2 - Government to revive five closed fertilizer plants to reduce Urea import

Fertilizer Plants

Government is reviving five closed fertilizer plants at a cost of around 38 thousand crore rupees to reduce import of Urea. These five fertilizer plants are Talcher in Odisha, Ramagundam in Andhra Pradesh, Fertilizer Corporation of India limited in Gorakhpur and Sindri and Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited in Bihar.

The average total production of urea in the country in the last three years is around 241 lakh metric tonne and the total consumption is over 305 lakh metric tonne.

3 - New Delhi to host first-ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair, IICTF


The First Ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) is going to be held at PragatiMaidan, New Delhi from 11th till 13th October, 2019. The Trade Fair is aimed at promoting cooperative to cooperative trade within India and abroad leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity.

The initiative is a part of the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 which aims at doubling the agriculture export and integrating Indian farmers and agriculture products with global value chains.

4 - UGC approved new initiative STRIDE to boost research culture


The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a new initiative - Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy (STRIDE) to boost research culture in the country. It will strengthen research culture and innovation in colleges and Universities.

The objectives are −

  • To identify young talent, strengthen research culture, build capacity, promote innovation and support trans-disciplinary research for India’s developing economy and national development.

  • To fund multi institutional network high-impact research projects in humanities and human sciences.

5 - Jal Shakti Abhiyan for water conservation launched

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

The Union Government has launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan - a campaign for water conservation and water security. The campaign will run through citizen participation during the monsoon season, from 1st July, 2019 to 15th September, 2019. An additional Phase 2 will be run from 1st October, 2019 to 30th November, 2019 for States receiving the North East retreating monsoons.

The focus of the campaign will be on water stressed districts and blocks. There will be five important water conservation interventions such as water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks, reuse, bore well recharge structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation.

6 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Maldives for Shipping

India and Maldives

The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval for the MoU between India and Maldives for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea. It is signed with a view to harness the potential opportunity that lies in passenger and cargo transportation by sea between the two countries. The proposed ferry service would contribute in a big way to promote people to people contact and to boost bilateral trade.

Currently, India has provided US $100 million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.

7 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Maldives in Health Sector


The Union Cabinet has given ex-post-facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Maldives on cooperation in the field of Health.

The Memorandum of Understanding covers the following areas of cooperation −

  • Exchange & Training of medical doctors, officials, other health professionals and experts;

  • Medical and health research development;

  • Regulation of medicines and medical products, and exchange of information thereon;

  • Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases;

  • E-Health and Telemedicine; and

  • Any other area of cooperation as may be mutually decided upon.

8 - Cabinet approved MoU of Cooperation between India and Morocco

India and Morocco

The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Morocco for developing, promoting and strengthening mutual cooperation between the judiciaries of the two countries. The approval will promote cooperation between India and Morocco in judicial and other legal areas and enable exchange of knowledge in infrastructure and information technology.

The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.

9 - Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched ‘Go Tribal Campaign’

Go Tribal Campaign

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched the “Go Tribal Campaign” of Tribes India in New Delhi. The campaign has been launched to widely promote the use of tribal products. The Ministry also launched ‘Tribes India’ globally through Amazon Global Selling.

With the joint collaboration between TRIFED and Amazon, the tribal products will be available in about 190 countries and will help in establishing export market of tribal products worldwide.

10 - Implementation of One Nation-One Ration Card Scheme

Ration Card Scheme

The Union Government has given states and Union Territories time till June 30, 2020, to roll out the ‘one nation, one ration card’ system. The scheme will be available across the country from July 1, 2020. It will allow portability of food security benefits to poor migrant workers who will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar.

The national portability under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ system shall be applicable only to the ration card holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).

11 - NCC conducted Mega Pollution Awareness Pakhwada


National Cadet Corps (NCC) undertook a pan-India Mega Pollution Awareness Pakhwada from July 01-11, 2019 (fortnight). The pakhwada aimed to sensitise the people against various kinds of pollution and their effects. It aims to mobilise all NCC cadets spread across 17 different directorates covering all districts of the country in this civic awareness campaign. The problems of air, water, soil and noise pollution was addressed in eleven-day long campaign.

As part of the mega drive, all Directorates conducted various activities like lectures, seminars, awareness rallies and pledge taking ceremonies.

12 - Economic Survey outlined the progress made in the Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Mission

The Economic Survey outlined the progress made in the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Since October 2014, over 9.5 crore toilets have been built all over the country and 564,658 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Under SBM, an incentive of Rs 12,000 is being provided for construction of individual Household Latrines (IHHL) to eligible beneficiaries in rural areas and covers for provision of water storage. Around 98.9% of India has been covered under SBM.

13 - Union Minister for Minority Affairs flagged off first batch of Haj pilgrims

First Batch of Haj Pilgrims

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi flagged off the first batch of Haj 2019 pilgrims from Indira Gandhi International Airport. A record of 2 lakh Indian Muslims left for Haj through more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country.

The Minority Affairs Ministry made arrangement to send women without ‘Mehram’ (male companion) on Haj without lottery system. 2 lakh Indian Haj pilgrims include about 48% women.

14 - Fertiliser subsidy gets a hike of around Rs 10,000 crore in Union Budget

Fertiliser Subsidy

The government has hiked the allocation on fertilizer subsidy by around 10,000 crore rupees in the Union Budget. The allocation has been increased from 70,090 crore rupees in 2018-19 to 79,996 crore rupees in 2019-20. Out of this, 53,629 crore rupees is towards Urea subsidy and 26,367 crore rupees for Nutrient-based subsidies. The increased allocation towards the Fertilizer Subsidy would further help in increasing the efficiency of subsidy transfers to the farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer.

A total of over 610 lakh metric tonnes of fertilizers have been sold under DBT scheme from March 2018 to May 2019.

15 - Center announced to invest 50 lakh crore rupees in railways by 2030


Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the government will make investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in railways by the year 2030 to make it the best in the world. This investment involves electrification of the entire Konkan Railway route from Mumbai to Mangaluru via Goa at the cost of 11,000 crore rupees.

Electrification of railways will improve speed and reduce pollution on the scenic Konakan railway route. The railway connectivity in Goa will also be improved as the state is an important tourist destination.

16 - Allocation for agriculture increased by over 78%


The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed to increase budget allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare by over 78% to 1.39 lakh crore rupees for the current fiscal. Out of the total amount, Rs 75,000 crore rupees will be for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.

The government has proposed to increase the allocation for the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to 14,000 crore rupees. The Fertilizer Subsidy allocations have seen a hike of around 10,000 crore rupees.

17 - Rural sanitation coverage jumped to 99% from 38% in 2014

Rural Sanitation

Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), 9 crore 62 lakh individual household toilets have been constructed so far. The sanitation coverage in the rural areas of the country has increased to more than 99%, which was over 38% on 2nd October 2014.

Around 632 Districts, 30 States, over 2.50 lakh Gram Panchayats and 5 lakh 67 thousand 498 villages have been declared Open Defecation Free.

18 - Railways to install CCTV cameras in over 7,000 train coaches by 2021

Railways CCTV Cameras

The railways has set a target to install CCTV cameras in more than 7,000 coaches of mainline passenger trains by March 2021. CCTV cameras have already been installed in coaches of premium, mail, express and suburban trains. The cameras have also been installed in 1, 300 coaches of mainline passenger trains. The provision of CCTV cameras in the remaining coaches will be taken up thereafter.

The work is planned to be done in two phases. This is done to ensure safety and transparency in railways.

19 - South Central Railway zone commissioned the longest electrified tunnel

South Central Railway Zone

South Central Railway zone of the Indian Railways has commissioned the longest electrified tunnel in India. The tunnel is situated between Cherlopalli and Rapuru stations and is part of the new Obulavaripalli-Venkatachalam railway line. It is 6.6 kms long.

For the construction, New Australian Tunneling Method (NATM) has been used and a cost Rs 460 crore has been incurred. It will help goods train by reducing the travel time from Krishnapatnam Port to Obulavaripalli from 10 hours to 5 hours.

20 - CCMB sign MoU with CDFD to address the Genetic Disease burden of Indian population

Genetic Disease

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) signed MoU to maximize the potential of both the institutes in human disease diagnostics.

The objectives of the MoU include provision of quality DNA based diagnostic services to the public at lower costs, to develop newer diagnostic methods and to engage in scientific research to improve understanding of human genetic disorders. The institutes have also mutually agreed to undertake training and educational activities in the field of Genetic Diagnostics.

21 - Nasscom and NSDC launched Global Cloud Computing challenge

Nasscom and NSDC

Nasscom organised ‘WorldSkills India’s International Cloud Computing Challenge 2019’ in partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).The four-day competition was held from July 2 to July 6. India, New Zealand, Belgium, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Oman and Ireland were the participating countries.

The finalists would further compete in the 45th “WorldSkills International Competition 2019”, to be held in Kazan, Russia in August 2019. “WorldSkills India” is an NSDC initiative launched in 2011.

22 - NEMMP 2020 sets target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020

Electric Vehicles

Under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, there is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles by the year 2020. NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.

The Phase-I of this Scheme - Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme was formulated in 2015. The Phase-II of the scheme was notified in April 2019 with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 Crore.

23 - NHAI signed MoU with NIIF for funding highway projects


National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed an MoU with National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The MoU is related to co-operation in formation of SPVs to execute the fund arrangement for large size road projects particularly green field projects to be executed by NHAI in future.

The MoU is expected to provide innovative financial models including for the 24,000 km 7.5 lakh crore Bharatmala Pariyojana. NIIF is a fund promoted by Government of India to give boost to the infrastructure sector in the country.

24 - More than 1.64 crore farmers have registered on e-NAM platform

e-NAM Platform

According to recent government data, more than 1.64 crore farmers and 1.24 Lakhs traders have been registered on e-NAM platform. Further trade transactions having total volume of 2,58,76,016 MT with total value of Rs. 71,069 crore, have been recorded on e-NAM platform till 30.06.2019.

National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), an online trading portal, was launched by Govt. of India on 14th April, 2016. In all, 585 wholesale regulated markets of 16 States and two Union Territories have been integrated with the e-NAM platform.

25 - India, Myanmar to exchange crucial information on drug trafficking

India and Myanmar

The 4th Director General Level Talks between Narcotics Control Bureau, India and Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control. (CCDAC), Myanmar on drug trafficking and related matters were held in new Delhi. The two-day bilateral meeting from 9th to 10th July , 2019 was organized to take coordinated and concerted actions against drug trafficking between the two countries.

The issues such as the trend of illicit poppy cultivation and heroin production in Myanmar, information on drug trafficking routes, controlled delivery operations, and sharing of best practices and training needs were also discussed.

26 - Parliament adopts resolution levying 200% duty on Pakistani goods

India and Pakistan

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha approved the amendment in the first schedule of the Custom Tariff Act to levy 200% duty on all goods originating in or exported from Pakistan. India had notified the basic custom duty to 200% on all goods exported from Pakistan with effect from 16th of February, 2019.

As a part of the resolution, the duty on lentils, boric acid and diagnostic and laboratory reagents had been increased by 10% each to 50%, 27.5% and 30% respectively.

27 - Centre decided to extend ESI Act to entire country by 2022


The Union Government has decided to extend the ESI Act to the entire country by 2022. Out of the total 722 districts, the ESI scheme has been extended to 541 districts. Under the ESIC 2.0 programme, ESI scheme was extended in newly implemented areas. Around 3 crores 60 lakh employees across the country are likely to be benefited by the measure.

Health Reforms Agenda of ESIC includes, online availability of Electronic Health Record of ESI Beneficiaries, Abhiyan Indradhanush, Medical Helpline No. 1800 11 3839 etc. These reforms are part of a series of “2nd Generation Reforms Agenda” named as ‘ESIC-2.0’.

28 - RPF launched “Operation Thirst”, to crack down selling of unauthorised Packaged Drinking Water

Packaged Drinking Water

The Railway Protection Force has launched “Operation Thirst” to curb the menace of unauthorized PDW (PACKAGED DRINKING WATER) in Railway premises.

During the drive, 1371 persons were arrested for selling of packaged drinking water of unauthorised brands under different sections i.e. 144 & 153 of Rly. Act. Total 69294 bottles of PDW have been seized. Total fine amount of Rs. 6,80,855/- have been realized from these offenders. 4 Pantry car managers involved in selling of the same were also arrested.

29 - CPWD to erect water conservation structures in 136 govt colonies across India


The Central Public Works Department will erect water conservation structures, including rainwater harvesting systems, in 136 residential areas across the country. In a major exercise to increase water table in government colonies, the CPWD will dig pits to conserve water through which water table will be recharged in these colonies. CPWD has a target of erecting water conservation structures in 100 colonies under the 100-day agenda.

The agency will carry out the major exercise in 136 colonies, including 74 in Delhi, which are maintained by it.

30 - Women Ministry launched scheme for setting up fast track courts for quick trial and disposal of rape cases

Fast Track Courts

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani launched a scheme for setting up fast track special courts for expeditious trial and disposal of rape cases with the help of the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Empowered Committee of Officers under Nirbhaya Fund has appraised the project for setting up of 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts to dispose of cases pending trial for rape and POCSO Act across the country. The project has a total financial implication of over 767 crore rupees.

31 - India, EU held high-level talks on migration

India and European

India and the European Union (EU) held the fifth high-level dialogue on migration and mobility (HLDMM) and discussed steps aimed at realizing the full potential of "further strengthening" cooperation in the key areas. It was held in New Delhi and co-chaired by Sanjiv Arora, Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs) and Paraskevi MICHOU, Director General (Migration and Home Affairs), European Commission.

The programme was held under the Technical Support Project for undertaking collaborative activities in the framework of the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) between India and the EU and its member states, signed on March 29, 2016.

32 - 3502 projects sanctioned under PMGSY-Phases I to XII in J&K

PMGSY-Phases I to XII

Under the centrally sponsored scheme of Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) 3502 projects with a total length of 19700 Kms to connect 2214 habitations has been sanctioned under PMGSY-Phases I to XII in Jammu and Kashmir State. A road length of 10,550 Kms has been completed connecting 1772 habitations in the State. State’s Public Works (R&B) department has set a target of 5500 Kms for completion during this financial Year 2019-20.

PMGSY is a flagship programme of Government of India to provide connectivity to the rural habitations having population of 250 plus.

33 - Govt preparing Rs 14,000 crore project to identify accident black spots

Accident Black Spots

The union Government has prepared a Rs 14,000 crore project to identify accident black spots and plug gaps in highways to reduce casualties. While the Ministry of Finance has given its in- principle approval to the project, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approached the World Bank to implement it.

According to a report of the National Crime Control Bureau, a total of 4,80,652 road accidents took place in India in 2016 resulting in a loss of 1,50,785 lives and inflicting serious injuries on 4,94,624 persons.

34 - ICSI launched Unique Document Identification Number for corporate governance


In an attempt to pursue heightened sense of self-governance and strengthen the practising side of the profession of Company Secretaries, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India has rolled out a unique initiative in the form of Unique Document Identification Number or UDIN.

Under the mechanism, an alpha numeric number shall be generated for the identification of every document attested by Practising Company Secretaries which shall act as a trust that the document is genuinely signed by a Company Secretary in Practice. The ICSI UDIN will be mandatory for every document except an e-form, signed or certified by a CS with effect from 1st October, 2019.

35 - 36th Central Apprenticeship Council meeting held


Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) organized the 36th Meeting of the Central Apprenticeship Council (CAC) to discuss the new reforms to be introduced in apprenticeship training through amendments to Apprenticeship Rules, 1992. The 36th Central Apprenticeship Council aims to meet the aspirations of the Indian youth who strive to gain on-the-job training and secure better opportunities for employment.

A proposal was passed in the Council to raise the upper limit of engagement of apprentices from the existing 10% to 15%. A decision was taken to amend the period of apprenticeship training for optional trades from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 36 months.

36 - High-level committee proposed to set up National Digital Health Mission

National Digital Health Mission

A high-level committee formed by the government has proposed setting up of a National Digital Health Mission. The report of the committee entitled 'National Digital Health Blueprint' was released by Health Minister Dr Harshavardhan.

The report proposes to set up a National Digital Health Mission, Personal Health Identifier (PHI), Health Master Directories and Registries. A combination of GST-N and UIDAI models of the institutional structure has been proposed. The access and delivery will be made by a combination of web (India Health Portal), mobile (MyHealth App) and call centres besides social media platforms.

37 - DoT and ICRIER signed MoU to develop a Broadband Readiness Index

Broadband Readiness Index

The Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian States and Union Territories (UT). The first estimate will be made in 2019 and subsequently every year until 2022.

BRI will appraise the condition of the underlying digital infrastructure and related factors at the State/UT level. Such an exercise will provide useful insights into strategic choices made by States for investment allocations in ICT programmes.

38 - Health Ministry launched Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan in Delhi

Jan Jagrukta Abhiyaan

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a special campaign in Delhi to sensitize and mobilise the community on measures for prevention and control of Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs) like Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya. The three–day campaign started from 17th July, 2019, aimed at making the community a partner for checking vector/mosquito breeding across Delhi.

A total of 286 ward-wise teams (in all 272 Municipal wards and 14 locations of NDMC) were constituted with 20-25 members per team including officers of the Municipal Corporation along with officers from Central Government and Government of NCTD.

39 - Projects worth Rs. 380.12 crore sanctioned for development of Tribal Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The Ministry of Tourism, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, has identified tribal circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits for development of tourism infrastructure in the country with the objective of showcasing tribal culture, art, handicrafts and providing livelihood and enhance employment opportunities for tribal populations.

The list of projects sanctioned are −

Sr.No State/UT and Year Name of the Project Amt. Sanctioned (Rs. Cr)
1 Nagaland (2015-16) Development of Tribal Circuit Peren- Kohima- Wokha 97.36
2 Chhattisgarh (2015-16) Development of Tribal Tourism Circuit in Jashpur-Kunkuri-Mainpat- Ambikapur-Maheshpur -Ratanpur-Kurdar-Sarodadadar Gangrel- Kondagaon –Nathyanawagaon -Jagdalpur Chitrakoot -Tirthgarh 99.21
3 Telangana (2016-17) Integrated Development of Mulugu-Laknavaram-Medavaram-Tadvai- Damaravi –Mallur – Bogatha Waterfalls as Tribal Circuit 83.88
4 Nagaland (2016-17) Development of Tribal circuit (Mokokchung–Tuensang-Mon) in Nagaland 99.67
Total 380.12

40 - Cabinet approved Inter-Institutional Agreement between India and USA for cooperation in the field of medicine

Inter-Institutional Agreement

The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Inter-Institutional Agreement between India and the USA in the areas of regenerative medicine and 3D bioprinting, new technologies, exchange of scientific ideas/information and technologies, and joint use of scientific infrastructure.

Salient features

  • Exchange of faculty members and students for training, study and research especially in the areas on 3D Bioprinting

  • Execution of joint research projects

  • Exchange of information and academic publications

41 - Over 30 lakh persons enrolled under PM Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme

Yogi Maandhan Scheme

A total of 30 lakh 85 thousand 205 persons have been enrolled under Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Scheme, PM-SYM, till 10th July, 2019. PM-SYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for the benefit of unorganized workers of the country.

The scheme assures the minimum monthly pension of three thousand rupees to the beneficiaries after attaining the age of 60 years. The subscriber is required to pay the prescribed contribution amount and the Central Government provides the equal matching contribution.

42 - Health Ministry signs MoUs with three Ministries to eradicate TB by 2025

TB by 2025

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Railways to strengthen inter-ministerial coordination and efforts towards Tuberculosis-free India by 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.

TB is the leading infectious killer in India. There were an estimated 28 lakh new cases of TB in 2016, with over 4 lakh deaths every year. The Union Government has also implemented a national strategic plan (NSP) to end TB by 2025 with funding of over Rs 12,000 crore for the next three years.

43 - Indian waterway used to transport cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh for the first time

Shipment Stone Aggregates

In the first ever use of an Indian waterway to transport cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh via India, a shipment of stone aggregates was formally received at Narayangunj by the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguli Das, along with Ambassador of Bhutan to Bangladesh Sonam T. Rabgye.

The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 kms from Dhubri jetty in Assam before being shipped to Bangladesh through Brahmaputra. The transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time and reduce transportation cost by 30% and transport time by 50%.

44 - India, Sri Lanka signed USD 91.26 mn agreement to upgrade rail track located between Colombo and Jaffna

Rail Track Located

Sri Lankan government signed an agreement with IRCON International for upgrading of a railway track with Indian concessional financing of around 91.26 million US dollars.

The agreement is for up gradation of over century old track of 130 km located between Colombo and Jaffna in Tamil-majority Northern Province. India has so far committed Line of Credit worth around 1.3 billion USD for development of railway sector in Sri Lanka. India has so far upgraded around 300 km of railway track and provided modern signaling & telecommunication system for around 330 km in Sri Lanka.

45 - Centre approved proposal for early regulatory approval of transmission schemes identified for 66.5 GW Renewable Energy projects

Renewable Energy Projects

In a major decision to fast track the deployment of Renewable Energy in the country, the Center has approved a proposal for early regulatory approval by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for transmission schemes identified for 66.5 Giga Watt National Renewable Energy Mission projects.

The Government has decided to set up 175 GW of Renewable Energy capacities in the country by the year 2022. About 80 Giga Watt of renewable energy generation has already been commissioned and the balance 95 Giga Watt has to come up in the next 3 years.

46 - NDRF deploys 124 teams across nation to respond to emergency disaster


The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 124 teams in the various parts of the country to respond to any type of disaster emergency, natural or man-made. NDRF teams have evacuated nearly 11,800 people in various flood prone areas of the country during this monsoon season.

In view of monsoon season and as a part of proactive measures, 84 teams have been pre-positioned in 23 states at 71 locations as per the flood vulnerability profile of the states. NDRF said, 40 teams have been permanently deployed in 27 Regional Response Centers (RRCs) for prompt response to any eventuality.

47 - Union Culture Minister inaugurated architectural illumination of Safdarjung Tomb

Safdarjung Tomb

Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the architectural illumination of the historic Safdarjung Tomb in New Delhi. A total of 213 technologically advanced LED lights have been used to highlight the 17th century monument. The consumption of LED lights is approximately 62% less than conventional light fixtures.

Archaeological Survey of India has taken up the project to illuminate the important monuments of Delhi. It has previously undertaken similar initiatives at the Red Fort, the Humayun’s Tomb, and the Purana Qila. Qutub Minar and Tughlaqabad Fort are also expected to be upgraded.

48 - Flight operations started on 8 more routes under regional connectivity scheme UDAN


Eight more routes have started operations under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN. The routes are Mysore - Hyderabad, Mysore - Goa, Mysore - Cochin and Kolkata - Shillong. With this, the total UDAN routes that are now operational has increased to 194.

UDAN (which stands for 'UdeDeshKaAamNagrik') is a Regional Connectivity Scheme launched by the government with the objective of "letting the common citizen of the country fly", aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread. The scheme seeks to boost regional air connectivity and provides various incentives to airlines.

49 - India and Mozambique signed MoU in field of Hydrography

India and Mozambique

India and Mozambique signed two Memorandum of Understanding on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of Hydrography. The agreement will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence co-operation and India Mozambique relations in general.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s 3-day visit to South African country, Mozambique witnessed the growing defence co-operation between the two countries and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region.

50 - India, Myanmar signed MoU on defence co-operation

India and Myanmar

India and Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence co-operation. It aimed at enhancing defence co-operation, review joint exercises and training provided to Myanmar Defence Services. The main objective was to strengthen maritime security by joint surveillance and capacity building, medical co-operation, pollution response and for developing new infrastructure.

Myanmar is a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy towards prioritising relations with its East Asian neighbours. India has steadily increased defence co-operation with Myanmar in recent years.

51 - India and Benin signed MoUs in various fields

India and Benin

India and Benin signed four MoUs on education, health and e-visa facilities. The signing of the agreement was on mutual exemption of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports and agreement on the fresh line of credit of 100 million US dollars by India to finance development projects in Benin.

Two more MoUs were signed on tele education program e-vidyabharati and Tele medicine initiative e-Arogyabharati. Under these programmes, India will be extending free tele-education courses to 15,000 students and telemedicine courses to 1000 doctors and paramedics in Africa.

52 - Cabinet approved merger of National Institute of Miners' Health with ICMR-NIOH


The Union Cabinet has approved to dissolve National Institute of Miners' Health (NIMH) and merge with ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH). The merger/amalgamation of NIMH with NIOH will prove beneficial to both the Institutes in terms of enhanced expertise in the field of occupational health besides the efficient management of public money.

NIMH was set up by Government of India in 1990. It specializes in providing technical support services to mining and mineral based industry. The focus areas of NIOH include a vast array of areas related to occupational health which also includes, occupational medicine and occupational hygiene.

53 - Virtual Museum software designed for digitization of archaeological museums


Human Centres Design and Computing Group has developed JATAN: Virtual Museum software which is used for creating the digital collections in various museums and digital archival tools that are used in background for managing the National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums. It is part of MoU between Ministry of Culture, Government of India and C-DAC.

JATAN is National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums which will include 48 Archaeological Site Museums under Archaeological Survey of India, out of which 2 have been already digitized. The portal works through the website -

54 - LIC offers Rs 1.25 trillion by 2024 for highway projects

Highway Projects

As part of arranging source of funds to meet India's huge infrastructure Bharatmala project, insurance giant LIC has agreed to offer Rs 1.25 trillion line of credit by 2024, to fund highway projects. Rs 8.41 trillion ambitious Bharatmala project that aims to lay a grid of 83,677 km highways pan-India has been looking to trapping various sources of funds including pension and insurance funds.

Bharatmala project will be funded through taxes, cess, toll revenue, market borrowings, private sector participation, insurance fund, pension funds, masala bonds.