Current Affairs July 2020 - National


Advertisements

1 - Meity-NITI launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge

App Innovation Challenge

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – Niti Aayog launched a Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge for Indian tech entrepreneurs and startups. This will run in two tracks - Promotion of Existing Apps and Development of New Apps.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the challenge to identify the best Indian Apps that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale and become world class Apps in their respective categories.

2 - India-Bangladesh form 50:50 Joint Venture Company for LPG business in Bangladesh

India-Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh signed an agreement for the formation of a 50:50 Joint Venture Company (JVC) for LPG business in Bangladesh. The agreement was signed between the IOC Middle East FZE, Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and RR Holdings Ltd., Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, the holding company of Beximco LPG of Bangladesh.

The Joint Venture Company will help reduce the cost of import of LPG and make it more affordable for the consumers in Bangladesh. The company is to diversify into LPG export to northeastern states of India from Bangladesh.

3 - India, Bhutan sign pact for first joint venture hydropower project

India, Bhutan

India and Bhutan signed an agreement for the construction of the 600 MW Kholongchhu joint venture hydroelectric project in Bhutan. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025. The Project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 meters height.

The Project will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited, a Joint Venture company formed between Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited of India.

4 - Union Government sanctioned Rs. 4,000 crore to Karnataka for setting up food parks

Food Parks

The Union Government has sanctioned Rs. 4000 crore under Atmanirbhar programme to improve infrastructure for the Food Parks in Karnataka. Agri start-ups will be encouraged in the state to set up units in the Food Parks.

Food Karnataka Limited is a special purpose vehicle appointed to manage these parks. Karnataka is known for the India Food Park at Tumkur. The other six parks at Hiriyur, Maddur, Jewargi, Belagavi, Malur and Bagalkote are not functioning well.

5 - Union Minister NS Tomar launched web portal of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Union Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar launched the web portal of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. The GKRA is the massive employment generation-cum-rural infrastructure creation programme of Government of India.

The portal will help to monitor the progress of completion of the works being undertaken with a fund outlay of 50 thousand crore rupees in 116 districts of 6 states, where there are more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers per district.

6 - IOC launched Battery Swapping Facility Quick Interchange Service (QIS) at Chandigarh

Quick Interchange Service

Indian Oil has launched Battery Swapping Facility Quick Interchange Service (QIS) at Chandigarh. It has signed a non- binding Strategic cooperation document withM/s Sun Mobility to explore setting up of Energy infrastructure for Electric vehicle through Battery Swapping model across Indian Oil Retail outlets in select cities.

Battery swapping technology offers the best alternative to slow charging and helps the drivers to make optimum use of the operational hours. The Pilot ROs – QIS have 14 Batteries, a touch screen for swapping preloaded cards and an electricity sub meter.

7 - New process of MSME Registration started

MSME

The new process of MSME Registration took off in the name of Udyam Registration. It is fully online, paperless and based on self-declaration. Adhaar Number will be required for registration. The new portal for Udyam Registration is www.udyamregistration.gov.in.

The government had recently issued new criteria for MSME classification −

Plant & MachineryTurnover
MicroRs 1 CroreRs 5 Crore
SmallRs 10 CroreRs 50 Crore
MediumRs 50 CroreRs 250 Crore

8 - Asia's first Continuous Galvanised Rebar Production Facility in Punjab

Steel Dharmendra

Union Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated Continuous Galvanised Rebar (CGR) Production Facility at Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab. The CGR was launched by Madhav KRD Group in association with International Zinc Association (IZA) with the support of Hindustan Zinc Limited.

The facility will manufacture ZNCOAT TEMPCORE TMT bars under the brand “JYOTI”. It is the first of its kind in Asia to apply CGR technology with enhanced life and low maintenance cost.

9 - India and World Bank signed loan agreement for First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector strengthening Programme

World Bank

The Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the World Bank signed legal agreements to help low-income groups in the state of Tamil Nadu get access to affordable housing. The legal agreements were signed for two projects – $200 million First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Programme and $50 million Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project – to strengthen the state’s housing sector policies, institutions, and regulations.

The loans of $200 million and $50 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have a maturity of 20 years including a grace period of 3.5 years.

10 - Indian Oil, NTPC Ltd and SDMC signed MoU for Waste to Energy plant in Delhi

Indian Oil, NTPC Ltd

Indian Oil, NTPC Ltd. and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) signed a MoU on Waste to Energy plant at Okhla, Delhi. The trio will come together to develop a demonstration Waste-to-energy Plant at Okhla landfill site in Delhi, using Gasification technology.

This Plant shall process 17500 tons per annum of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) produced from combustible components of Municipal Waste to generate syngas which shall in turn be used to generate electricity.

11 - Union Cabinet extended Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till November

Gareeb Kalyan

The Union Cabinet has given approval for extending Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November 2020. Under the scheme, 5kg of Wheat or Rice will be given to every member of the beneficiary family and 1kg of Chana will be given to each family. The scheme will benefit more than 80 crore people.

The Government also extended the time limit for availing three free gas cylinders by beneficiaries of PMUY till September 2020. It further approved extension of the Employee Provident Fund contribution of 24% from June to August 2020. It entails an expenditure of Rs. 4,860 crore.

12 - India banned 59 Chinese apps

Chinese Apps

The government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security”.

The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. The government has sent a list of 79 questions to the companies, asking them to answer them by July 22.

13 - World Bank approved $500m towards 'STARS' project

World Bank Approved

The World Bank has approved a new project named STARS (Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program) worth $500 million. STARS will be implemented through the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship central scheme, in partnership with Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan.

STARS will help improve learning assessment systems, strengthen classroom instruction, and remediation, facilitate school-to-work transition, and strengthen governance and decentralised management.

14 - First edition of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Newsletter “Matsya Sampada” launched

Matsya Sampada

Union Minister Giriraj Singh launched the first edition of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Newsletter “MATSYA SAMPADA” published by the Department of Fisheries and the Operational Guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). The Newsletter is informative and educative about the latest developments in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The Newsletter would be published on a quarterly basis starting from the first quarter of the year 2020-21. The Government of India launched PMMSY for sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector at an investment of Rs. 20,050 crore.

15 - World Bank and GoI signed $750 million Agreement for Emergency Response Program for MSME

Program for MSME

The World Bank and the Government of India (GOI) signed the $750 million agreement for the MSME Emergency Response Program to support increased flow of finance into the hands of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The MSME sector contributes 30% of India’s GDP and 40% of exports. It employs about 150-180 million people. The World Bank has to date committed $2.75 billion to support India’s emergency COVID-19 response that also includes $1 billion each of support announced in April and May.

16 - IIT Kanpur developed classroom-to-home teaching setup 'Mobile Masterjee'

IIT Kanpur

IIT Kanpur has developed a classroom-to-home teaching setup named 'Mobile Masterjee'. It can record the lectures or instructions by the teachers while using their available smart phones.

The product is lightweight and has adjustments to fit sheets and book on it for delivering instructions to the kids. A set graduated scale aligns the sheet at the desired angle, followed by the rotational quick adjustment of the mobile holder.

17 - SAP launched MSMEs initiative “Global Bharat” to make them globally competitive

Global Bharat

SAP India launched Global Bharat, a program designed to enable Indian MSMEs become globally competitive by equipping them with digital technologies.

It includes three initiatives which are as follows:

  • MSMEs will have open access to B2B marketplace SAP Ariba Discovery, where buyers can post their sourcing needs and the suppliers on Ariba Network can respond with their ability to deliver the goods and services.

  • Business owners will have access to SAP India’s Code Unnati, a coveted Golden Peacock Award winning digital skilling initiative.

  • SAP India will also offer MSMEs access to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, through the Business One Starter Pack on the cloud.

18 - AIR begins broadcast of its first ever news magazine programme in Sanskrit

Broadcast

All India Radio started the broadcast of its first ever news magazine programme in Sanskrit. The programme titled, 'Sanskrit Saptahiki' will be of 20 minutes duration and can be heard at 7.10 A.M on every Saturday on All India Radio FM News Channel.

The weekly programme will have elements from the prominent developments of the week, news from the world of Sanskrit, explaining the humane values enshrined in Sanskrit literature, philosophy, history, art, culture and tradition.

19 - Atal Innovation Mission launched 'AIM-iCREST'

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST – an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups. This is a first of its kind initiative for advancing innovation at scale in India.

AIM has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation - organisations that can lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.

20 - First Indian social media app - Elyments launched

Social Media App

India’s first social media app, “Elyments”, was launched by Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu. More than 1,000 IT professionals jointly created the indigenous first social media super-app. The app is available in more than eight Indian languages.

The app offers tools such as video and voice calls, instant messaging as well as social networking. The data in this app will only be accessible within the Indian shores with the hardware-based encryption technology.

21 - World Bank sanctioned USD 400 mn as enhanced support for rejuvenating the Ganga

Ganga

The World Bank enhanced its support for the Government of India’s program to rejuvenate the Ganga River with a $400 million operation. It will help stem pollution in the river and strengthen the management of the river basin.

The fund was approved under the Second National Ganga River Basin Project (SNGRBP). It will support the government’s Namami Gange program. The World Bank has been supporting the government’s efforts since 2011, through the ongoing National Ganga River Basin Project, which helped set up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).

22 - Indian Railways targets to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2030

Net Zero Carbon Emission

Indian Railways has set the target to achieve net zero carbon emission by the year 2030. It has completed electrification of more than 40,000 route kilometres, which is 63% of the total broad gauge routes. All routes on the broad gauge network have been planned to be electrified by the end of year 2023.

Railways has also installed 100MW capacity solar plants as well as 103 MW wind-based power plants. 400 MW solar plants are under different stages of execution. Railways has also planned to set up 200 MW wind energy plants in the next two years.

23 - Cabinet gave nod to Central Sector Scheme- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

Agriculture Infrastructure

The Union Cabinet approved a new pan India Central Sector Scheme - Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. The scheme will provide a medium and long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post -harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.

Under the scheme, one lakh crore rupees will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, Marketing Co-operative Societies, Farmer Producers Organisations, Self Help Group, Farmers, Startups and Centre and State agency among others.

24 - CBDT and SEBI signed MoU for data exchange

SEBI

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) signed MoU for data exchange between the two organisations. This will facilitate the sharing of data and information between SEBI and CBDT on an automatic and regular basis for the purpose of carrying out their functions under various laws.

A Data Exchange Steering Group has also been constituted for the initiative, which will meet periodically to review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the effectiveness of the data sharing mechanism.

25 - Operation Samudra Setu culminated

Operation Samudra Setu

Operation Samudra Setu, which was launched in May 2020, to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic, was culminated after successfully bringing 3992 Indian citizens back to their homeland by sea route.

Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa, Airavat, Shardul and Magar participated in this operation, which lasted over 55 days and involved traversing more than 23 thousand kilometers by sea. Rigorous measures were planned and medical and safety protocols unique to the operating environment of ships were implemented.

26 - Cabinet approved affordable rental housing complexes development for urban migrants

Rental Housing Complexes

The Union Cabinet approved developing of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (AHRCs) for urban poor migrants under Pradhan Mantri AwasYojana – Urban (PMAY – U). An expenditure of Rs. 600 Crore is estimated in the form of Technology Innovation Grant, which will be released for projects using identified innovative technologies for construction.

Under this scheme, existing vacant government funded housing complexes will be converted in ARHCs through Concession Agreements for 25 years. Various special incentives like use permission, 50% additional FAR/FSI, concessional loan at priority sector lending rate, tax reliefs etc. will be offered to private/ public entities to develop ARHCs.

27 - CBSE tie-up with Facebook to introduce curriculum on digital safety

Facebook

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Facebook united to launch certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being. The curriculum is comprehensive training program launched for teachers and students of its affiliated schools in the first phase. It will help in augmented reality (AR) for students and educators in India.

Under second phase, CBSE will introduce the training program on digital safety and augmented reality for 30,000 students in each category. Facebook will use Instagram’s guide, created by The Jed Foundation and Young Leaders for Active Citizenship, for building healthy digital habits.

28 - India’s first NPNT compliant Drone flight successfully completed

Drone Flight

India's First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) was completed successfully by Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace. This NPNT drone flight is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA& DGCA comprehensive policy on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

NPNT or ‘No Permission – No Take-off” is a software program that enables every RPA (except Nano) to obtain valid permissions through digital sky platform before operating in India. If an NPNT compliant drone tries to breach geo-fencing, the in-built software will compel the drone to return-to-home (RTH).

29 - Railways and BHEL united for solar power generation

Solar Power Generation

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) successfully commissioned a 1.7 MW Solar PV Plant at Bina in Madhya Pradesh for the Indian Railways. The plant will directly feed power to traction systems of Indian Railways. The project is a landmark achievement in the history of solar power, as this is the first time that solar power is being directly used for traction applications.

This development marks a major step of merging the advantages of renewable energy in the railway sector in an unprecedented way. BHEL has achieved direct injection of single-phase 25 kV power to traction substation of Indian Railways.

30 - Microsoft partnered with NSDC to provide digital skills

Microsoft Partnered

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) partnered with Microsoft for providing digital skills to over 1 lakh youth in the country over the next 12 months. It will help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills needed for the COVID-19 economy.

Microsoft will collaborate with NSDC’s eSkill India portal to provide free access to learning resources and conduct digital skilling awareness drives, equipping the next generation of learners with the skills they need to thrive in a digital economy. The sessions will be designed to drive digital literacy into technologies like AI, machine learning and cloud computing among others.

31 - India and Afghanistan signed 5 MoUs for developing educational infrastructure

India and Afghanistan

India and Afghanistan inked five MoUs for the development of educational infrastructure in four provinces of Afghanistan namely Nooristan, Farah, Badakhshan and Kapisa. The five MoUs were signed under the high impact community development projects (HICDP) programme being implemented by India in Afghanistan to further strengthen the bilateral development partnership.

These projects are part of India’s commitment to assist Afghanistan emerge as a peaceful, united, prosperous and pluralistic nation.

32 - Center launched ASEEM portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities

ASEEM Portal

Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee-Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities. ASEEM will be used as a match-making engine to map skilled workers with the jobs available.

ASEEM portal will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans. It refers to all the data, trends and analytics, which describe the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply.

33 - Prime Minister dedicated 750 MW Rewa Solar Project to the nation

Rewa Solar Project

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated 750 MW Solar Project to the nation, set up at Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. The Rewa Solar Project is the first solar project in the country to break the grid parity barrier. Central Financial Assistance of Rs. 138 crore has been provided to RUMSL for development of the park.

The Rewa Project has been acknowledged in India and abroad for its robust project structuring and innovations. Its payment security mechanism for reducing risks to power developers has been recommended as a model to other States by MNRE.

34 - EESL signed agreement with NOIDA authority

Energy Efficiency Services Limited

Energy Efficiency Services Limited signed an agreement with the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) to promote electric vehicles and install public EV charging stations & related infrastructure. The partnership will facilitate the creation of an infrastructural ecosystem to accelerate e-mobility uptake as the nation emerges from the lockdown post COVID-19 pandemic.

EESL will make an upfront investment on services pertaining to the agreement along with the operation and maintenance of public charging infrastructure by qualified manpower. NOIDA authority will be responsible for the provision of space for the charging infrastructure.

35 - USAID partnered with MNRE for clean energy development

Energy Development

USAID-supported South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE) partnered with MNRE’s National Technical Institutions. SAGE is a U.S. Government consortium, that will provide advanced technical knowledge on clean energy development embedded in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories to MNRE’s National Technical Institutions and other public institutes under this new partnership.

SAGE has identified several key topics such as building world-class capabilities in cook stove testing in order to reduce the environmental and health impacts of traditional cook stove use; understanding the feasibility of biomass and renewable energy hybrid systems; economic and environmental assessment of agriculture and bioenergy development.

36 - NITI Aayog presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR)

NITI Aayog Presented

NITI Aayog presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020. The HLPF is the foremost international platform for follow-up and review of progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The VNR 2020 report has been titled as “Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local” and it accounts for the adoption and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in India.

37 - Atal Innovation Mission of NITI Aayog developed ATL App

Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission of the NITI Aayog has launched the ATL App Development Module for school children across the country. The ATL App is an online course, which is completely free. Through six project-based learning modules and online mentoring sessions, young innovators can learn to build mobile apps in various Indian languages and showcase their talent.

The ATL App Development modules have been launched in collaboration with Indian homegrown startup Plezmo. The app was launched under AIM’s flagship Atal Tinkering Labs initiative.

38 - Government approved Rs. 107 cr for firefighting facilities at Haldia Dock

Firefighting Facilities

Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya approved 107 Crore rupees for augmentation of firefighting facilities on five jetties of Haldia Dock Complex at Kolkata Port.

The modern firefighting facility will enable the Haldia Dock Complex in safe handling of the movement of petro-chemical products. The state-of-the-art firefighting infrastructure will help to manage the petro-chemical goods in a safe and secure manner at Kolkata Port. The existing fire fighting facility does not support the handling of the LPG and other petroleum products.

39 - Government aimed to increase public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025

Public Health Expenditure

The Union Health Ministry aims at gradually increasing the public health expenditure to 2.5% of the nation's GDP by the year 2025. The outlay for primary health expenditure will also be made nearly two third of the total public health expenditure in the country.

The Health Ministry revised its requirement of around 4.9 lakh crores to 6.04 lakh crores in view of the COVID pandemic. It has asked for additional resources for the States which would be utilised for achievement of the National Health Policy targets.

40 - UNICEF INDIA united with FICCI for #Reimagine Campaign

UNICEF

The UNICEF INDIA has entered into partnership with the Socio Economic Development Foundation (SEDF) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), to co-develop #Reimagine Campaign to support the most vulnerable populations and children during the COVID-19 response and its after-math in India.

The partnership will help avoid potential long-term damage to business operations and employment pipelines, and their most important resource, their personnel, their children and their families. FICCI and UNICEF will work on an action plan based on the document, that is being developed jointly by the International Chambers of Commerce and UNICEF.

41 - Government launched PM SVANidhi app for street vendors

SVANidhi App

The government launched the PM SVANidhi mobile App. It is a mobile application of PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi to bring micro-credit facility for street vendors at their door steps. It aims to provide user-friendly digital interface for lending institutions and their field functionaries for sourcing and processing loan applications of street vendors under the scheme.

PM SVANidhi scheme was launched by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the ambit of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package. The scheme facilitated street vendors to take a loan of Rs. 10,000 to reestablish their businesses hit by the coronavirus-led nationwide lockdown.

42 - HRD Ministry announced PRAGYATA Guidelines on digital education

PRAGYATA

The Human Resource and Development Ministry has announced the PRAGYATA guidelines for online classes operationalised by schools amid the COVID pandemic. It includes eight steps of online/ digital learning that is, Plan – Review – Arrange – Guide - Yak(talk) – Assign – Track - Appreciate.

As per the guidelines, online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes. It further mentions that two online sessions of up to 30-45 minutes each should be conducted for classes 1 to 8 and four sessions for classes 9 to 12.

43 - Cochin Shipyard signed contract for construction of electric vessels for ASKO maritime AS, Norway

Electric Vessels

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) signed contracts for construction and supply of Two nos Autonomous Electric Ferry for ASKO Maritime AS, Norway with an option to build 2 more identical vessels. The 67m-long vessels will initially be delivered as a full-electric transport ferry, powered by 1846kWh capacity battery.

CSL is the largest commercial shipbuilder in India. ASKO Maritime AS is the subsidiary group of Norges Gruppen ASA, one of the largest players in the Norwegian retail segment.

44 - Indian Railways created POST COVID COACH to ensure safer journey

Safer Journey

Indian Railways’ production unit, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, has developed a Post Covid Coach to fight Covid 19. This Post Covid Coach has design improvements in the coach like handsfree amenities, copper-coated handrails & latches, plasma air purification and titanium di-oxide coating for Covid free passenger journey.

Post Covid Coach is having handsfree amenities like foot operated water tap & soap dispenser. The plasma air equipment will sterilise the air and surfaces inside the AC coach using ionised air to make the coach Covid-19 and particulate matter resistant. Nano structured Titanium Dioxide coating functions as photoactive material.

45 - 1st cable-stayed rail bridge of Indian Railways, Anji Khad Bridge

Cable-Stayed Rail Bridge

The “first cable-stayed” bridge of the Indian Railways, Anji Khad Bridge Project, will soon connect Katra and Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir. It is being developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited and is a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

The total length of the Anji Khad Bridge is 473.25 metres. It has support of 96 cables. The expected budget of the project is Rs. 458 crore. The bridge will connect tunnel T2 on Katra side and tunnel T3 on Reasi side.

46 - AAI signed MoU with BEL for co-operation in civil aviation

Airports Authority of India

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to collaborate in tapping emerging global opportunities in the airport business, including those in the Asia-Pacific region. AAI will assist BEL in its domain of expertise to enable execution of the prestigious MEA projects outside India by BEL.

The MoU will provide for the synergy of capabilities of both the organisations in their particular field. Both the organisations will work in close co-operation in the field of civil aviation, in all projects handled by BEL.

47 - First on-line NISHTHA programme launched in Andhra Pradesh

On-line NISHTHA

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched virtually the first online National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) programme for 1,200 key resources persons of Andhra Pradesh. Initially, the NISHTHA programme was launched in 2019 through face-to-face mode to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level in the country.

NISHTHA is a capacity building programme for improving the quality of school education through integrated teacher training. It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage.

48 - UNICEF India and SAP India partner to improve employability of young people

SAP

UNICEF India has partnered with SAP India to provide career counselling to young people of India to improve their employability skills. UNICEF is collaborating with YuWaah (Generation Unlimited) under this initiative to provide digital education and occupational skill-set to the underserved young people of the Country.

Under the collaboration UNICEF – YuWaah – SAP will strengthen the following:

  • Improve digital skills and life skills for young people.

  • Provide young people with career options.

  • Re-imagine the model in other states with the Government of India.

  • Impacting one million young people by the end of 2022.

49 - CIPET gets accreditation by NABL to test PPE kits

Test PPE Kits

Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology, CIPET an apex level premium institute under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, has been accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories NABL for Testing and Certification of PPE Kit.

The PPE kit includes Gloves, Coverall, Face Shield, Goggles and Triple Layer Medical masks in line with International Standards. CIPET has been taking up the R&D initiatives in the areas of Health Care as per WHO/ ISO guidelines.

50 - Union government successfully implemented ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ facility in 20 States, UTs

One Nation One Ration Card

The Union Government has successfully implemented the One Nation One Ration Card facility in 20 States and Union Territories. The facility has been enabled for all the National Food Security Act (NFSA) card holder beneficiaries.

The states include Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Gujarat among others. Under this facility, migratory NFSA beneficiaries will now be enabled with an option to take their entitled quota of foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop situated across the country.

51 - India Ideas Summit 2020

India Ideas Summit

The India Ideas Summit 2020 was hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) on 22nd July with the theme ‘Building a Better Future’. PM Narendra Modi addressed the keynote address.

The Summit convened business and government leaders for discussions on the future of the U.S.-India Partnership and the trends shaping globalisation, trade and investment, and the future of work in the COVID-era and beyond. 2020 Summit Speakers included U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar among others.

52 - CBSE tied up with IBM to integrate AI curriculum

AI Curriculum

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has tied up with IBM to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) in the high school curriculum (class XI & XII) for the current academic year 2020 – 2021. The curriculum is part of CBSE’s social empowerment through work education and action (SEWA) programme.

The curriculum will be introduced in approximately 200 schools across 13 states in India. It was co-developed with Australia’s Macquarie University and Indian implementation partners – Learning Links Foundation and 1M1B.

53 - CSIR-CMERI unveils the COPS for workplace

COVID Protection System

CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, unveiled the COVID Protection System (COPS) for Workplace as a game-changer in the current Pandemic Scenario. The COPS is a conglomeration of following three units −

  • Solar Based Intelligent Mask Automated Dispensing Unit cum Thermal Scanner (IntelliMAST): It is an Intelligent surveillance kiosk, which identifies the body temperature and whether an individual is wearing Face Mask or not.

  • Touchless Faucet (TouF): It dispenses Liquid Soap and Water from the same Faucet with a time-gap of 30 seconds.

  • 360 degree Car Flusher: It is a Sodium Hypochlorite Water Screen with a specialised Nozzle Design.

54 - Government approved Zonal Master Plan of Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone

Eco-Sensitive Zone

The Union Environment Ministry has approved the Zonal Master Plan for the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone notification. It stretches from Gaumukh to Uttarakashi covering an area of 4179.59 sq. kilometer.

The approval of ZMP will give a boost to conservation and ecology of the area and also to undertake developmental activities as permitted under ZMP. The approval will also pave way for faster execution of the ChaarDhaam Project.

55 - India and Israel sign agreement to expand co-operation in cyber security

India and Israel

India and Israel have signed an agreement to further expand collaboration in dealing with cyber threats amid rapid digitisation. The agreement was signed between Israel's National Cyber Directorate (INCD) and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The agreement lays down co-operation in capacity building and mutual exchange of best practices in the field. Cyber Security was identified as one of the important areas of cooperation by the leaders of India and Israel when PM Modi visited Israel in 2017.

56 - Rs. 8,767 crore approved for 81 projects for 60,000 homes across India

Homes Across India

A fund of 8,767 crore rupees was approved for 81 projects which would enable the completion of 60,000 homes across India. These projects would also provide employment opportunities to various skilled and semi-skilled workers.

These projects are spread across the National Capital Region, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Lucknow, Surat, Dehradun, Nagpur, Jaipur, Nashik and other cities. Investments in 18 projects have been given final clearance and disbursement is at various stages across seven residential projects.

57 - HRD Ministry conducted first ever Ind-SAT Test 2020

Scholastic Assessment

Human Resources and Development Ministry conducted the first ever Indian Scholastic Assessment (Ind-SAT) Test 2020 under its Study in India programme. Ind-SAT is an exam for grant of scholarships and admissions to foreign students for studying in select Indian universities. The exam is designed to gauge the scholastic capability of students applying to study in India.

The Ind-SAT scores will serve as a criterion to shortlist the meritorious students for the allocation of scholarships for under graduate as well as post graduate programmes under Study in India programme.

58 - HRD Minister launched Manodarpan initiative

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak

Human Resource and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak virtually launched the Manodarpan initiative under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. This initiative will provide psycho-social support to students, teachers and parents and address their issues related to mental health and emotional well being.

The government has launched a helpline number 8448440632 to provide the consultation which can be accessed from morning 8 AM to 8 PM. The initiative will provide strength, suggestions and support to the students, teachers and families in the difficult situation.

59 - India’s first NABL-accredited honey testing lab inaugurated

Honey Testing Lab

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated India’s first honey testing lab set up by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) at Anand with support of National Bee Board (NBB). It will help for quality production of honey and its export to other countries.

NDDB has set-up this world-class lab with all the facilities and developed the test methods/protocols, which have been accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). FSSAI has now notified new standards of Honey, Bee Wax and Royal Jelly.

60 - ICAT launched an e-portal “ASPIRE”

ASPIRE

The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) has launched its e-Portal, named “ASPIRE”(Automobile Solutions Portal for Industry, Research & Education). The key objective of this initiative is “to enhance the technological capability of Indian automotive sector through exchange of knowledge & expertise, in order to make them self reliant and to facilitate the growth of automobile sector and overall socio-economic progress of the country”.

This technology platform will facilitate the Indian auto industry, R&D institutions and academia to come together for R&D, technology development etc. on issues involving technology advancements. The e-portal will act as one stop solution.

61 - Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 attained Criticality

Power Plant

The third unit of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat achieved its ‘first criticality’. A nuclear reactor is said to attained criticality, when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons in order to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction.

KAPP-3 is India’s first 700 MWe (Megawatt Electric) Unit and the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

62 - Centre allocated additional Rs. 40,000 cr under MGNREGA

Rural Employment

The Union Government has made an additional allocation of Rs. 40,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, during this financial year in view of the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic. The government has made a provision of about Rs. 1,20,000 crore in the Budget Estimates for the financial year 2020-21.

The Union Budget 2020-21 had allocated around Rs. 61,500 for the MGNREGS. Of this, according to government estimates, around Rs. 23,119 crore, almost 38%, has been released by the Centre to the states in the first 45 days of 2020-21.

63 - First Container train for Bangladesh flagged off from Kolkata

First Container Train

The first container train to Bangladesh was flagged off from the Container Corporation of India Ltd’s (CONCOR) terminal at Majerhat, Kolkata. The train with 50 containers carried FMCG goods like soaps, shampoos and textile fabric. It arrived at Benapole in Bangladesh.

The process for facilitating movement of Container trains from India to Bangladesh started in 2017, when a MoU was signed by Container Corporation of India and the Bangladesh Container Company Ltd. It was followed up by a trial run of the first container train from Kolkata to Bangabandhusetu West station (BBW) in April 2018.

64 - India announced 400-million-dollar currency swap for Sri Lanka

India Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka agreed for US $400 million currency swap agreement under the SAARC framework. Reserve Bank of India signed the agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The arrangement will remain available till November 2022.

A currency swap is a transaction in which two parties exchange principal and interest in different currencies. This eliminates risks due to fluctuations in exchange rates. RBI’s currency swap arrangement for SAARC states has a corpus of $2 billion.

65 - India and EU renew Agreement on Scientific and Technological Co-operation till 2025

India and EU

India and European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Co-operation for the next five years till 2025. This will expand the co-operation in scientific and technological research and strengthen the conduct of co-operative activities in areas of common interest and application of the results of such co-operation to their economic and social benefit.

The Agreement was initially signed on 23rd November in 2001 and renewed two times in 2007 and 2015. The co-operation has been focused on water, green transport, e-mobility, clean energy, bio-economy, health, and ICT.

66 - TRIFED partnered with IIT Delhi for Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India, TRIFED, under Tribal Affairs Ministry, has entered into a partnership with IIT Delhi for the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA). A tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding was signed between TRIFED, IIT Delhi and Vijnana Bharati. It will help boost livelihood opportunities and income generation for tribal communities.

The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan is a flagship national programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The UBA connects higher education institutions with villages for the economic and social betterment of rural communities.

67 - DST launched INR 15 Crore fund to support India-Russia collaboration joint R&D and cross-country technology adaptation

DST Launched

The Department of Science and Technology has launched the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) of the Russian Federation. The programme will connect Indian, and Russian Science & Technology (S&T) led SMEs and Start-ups for joint R&D for technology development and for cross-country technology adaptation.

DST will fund up to Rs. 15 Crores to Indian SMEs/Start-ups and FASIE will provide similar funding to the Russian projects. The programme will run through two annual cycles and top five selected Indian and Russian partners will be provided partial funding support.

68 - PM Modi launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities

PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three high throughput COVID-19 testing facilities. These facilities are located at the National Institutes of Indian Council of Medical Research at Kolkata, Mumbai and Noida. It can also test Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Dengue and several other diseases.

These hi-tech testing facilities are capable of 10,000 daily tests in each of the three cities. India now has more than 11 thousand COVID facilities and more than 11 lakh isolation beds. The annual production capacity of ventilators in the country has become 3 lakh.

69 - Center launched four schemes for setting up of Bulk Drugs & Medical Devices Parks

Bulk Drugs

Government of India has approved four schemes, two each for Bulk Drugs and Medical Devices parks.

The salient features of the schemes are:

  • Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks: The scheme envisages creation of 3 bulk drug parks in the country with a total financial outlay of the scheme is Rs. 3,000 crore. The grant-in-aid will be 90% of the project cost in case of North-East and hilly States and 70% in case of other States. Maximum grant-in-aid for one bulk drug park is limited to Rs.1,000 crore.

  • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for promoting domestic manufacturing of Medical Devices: The scheme (with a financial outlay Rs.3,420 crore) intends to boost domestic manufacturing of medical devices in four target segments by giving financial incentives on sales to a maximum number of 28 selected applicants for a period of 5 years. Financial incentive will be given at a rate of 5% of the sales of domestically manufactured medical devices.

70 - Center notified changes in FDI norms on civil aviation

FDI Norms on Civil Aviation

The government notified changes in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms on civil aviation. These rules are named as the ‘Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) (Third Amendment) Rules, 2020’.

Amendments are as follows:

  • Permits non-resident Indian nationals to own 100% stake of Air India.

  • Permits 100% FDI under automatic route in helicopter services/seaplane services requiring Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approval.

71 - Commerce Ministry amended its export policy for PPE & masks

PPE - Masks

Commerce Ministry amended its export policy for Personal Protection Equipment, PPE and masks. Under the new policy, 2 and 3 ply surgical masks and medical goggles can now be exported with certain limitations.

For 2 and 3 ply surgical masks a monthly export quota of 4 crore has been fixed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Medical Goggles can be exported with a monthly cap of 20 lakh units. Government has also removed prohibition on export of Face Shields from the country.

72 - Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care launched

Bureau of Indian Standards

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care. He also launched three portals on Standardisation, Conformity Assessment and Training of e-BIS.

The consumers can check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products through this Application. Customers can also lodge complaints using this medium. The certification and surveillance are important aspects of BIS functioning. BIS is strengthening its capacity of enforcement by implementation of e-BIS.

73 - DRDO launched ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ contest

DRDO

DRDO Innovation Contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ was launched on the fifth Death Anniversary of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who had a vision of self-reliance. The scheme is being launched for emerging technologies to promote the individuals & start-ups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in the country.

Dare to Dream 2.0 is an open challenge to promote the country’s innovators and start-ups. The winners will be decided after due evaluation by the expert committee. A cash award of up to 10 lakh for Start-ups and 5 lakh for individuals will be given to winners.

74 - Cabinet approved MoU with Zimbabwe on Traditional Systems of Medicine

India Zimbabwe

The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Zimbabwe on Co-operation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. The MoU was signed on 3rd November, 2018. It will provide a frame work for the co-operation between the two countries for the promotion of traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy.

The main objective of the MoU is to strengthen, promote and develop co-operation in the field of traditional systems of medicine between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

75 - Asian Development Bank approved US $3 million grant to India

Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US $3 million grant to India from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund (APDRF). This grant will further support the government’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This support will enhance disease surveillance and help in early detection, contact tracing, and treatment.

On 28th of April, ADB approved a 1.5 billion US dollar COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Programme to support India in its immediate pandemic response efforts.

Advertisements