Current Affairs May 2018 - National


1 - Union Government launched draft of new Telecom policy

Union Government

The Union Government has released the draft of a new Telecom policy - National Digital Communications Policy, 2018. It aims to provide access of broadband with 50 megabit per second to every citizen, attract $100 billion investment in the sector and create 40 lakh jobs by 2022.

The new telecom policy draft proposes to provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022. The draft talks of establishing a ‘National Broadband Mission – Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan’.

2 - Cabinet approved continuation of Umbrella Scheme ‘Green Revolution - Krishonnati Yojana’ in Agriculture Sector

Agriculture Sector

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, "Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana" in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions. These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and better returns on produce. The Schemes will be continued with an expenditure of Rs.33,269.976 Crore for three financial years, i.e., 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

3 - Government launched Pilot Scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 2500 MW

Pilot Scheme

The Government has launched a Pilot Scheme for Procurement of Aggregate Power of 2500 MW on competitive basis for 3 years under medium term i.e. from generators with commissioned projects but without Power Purchase Agreement.

PFC Consulting Limited (A wholly owned subsidiary of PFC Ltd) has been appointed as Nodal Agency and PTC India Limited as the Aggregator. Under the scheme a single entity can be allotted maximum capacity of 600 MW. The Scheme assures a minimum off-take of 55% of contracted capacity.

4 - Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba launched online Event Clearance System for foreign nationals

Shri Rajiv Gauba

Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba launched the online Event Clearance System ( for grant of security clearance to the conference/seminar/workshop organized in India. With the introduction of the online module, the whole process has become paperless and standardized resulting in effective monitoring and timely disposal.

Prior to the introduction of online module, obtaining clearances for organizing a conference/seminar/workshop for issue of Conference Visa to foreign delegates was an offline procedure.

5 - Swachh Bharat Mission launched GOBAR-DHAN Scheme


Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, on April 30, 2018 launched the GOBAR - DHAN (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Fund) Scheme at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) Auditorium, Karnal. The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.

The scheme envisages the implementation of 700 bio-gas units in different states of the country in 2018-19. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) comprises two main components for creating clean villages – creating open defecation free (ODF) villages and managing solid and liquid waste in villages.

6 - Cabinet approves Doubling of Investment Limit for Senior Citizens from Rs. 7.5 lakh to Rs.15 lakh under PMVVY


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for extending the investment limit from Rs 7.5 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs under the Pradhan MantriVayaVandanYojana. The cabinet also approved the extension of time limits for subscription from 4thMay 2018 to 31stMarch, 2020 under the PMVVY.

Further the investment limit of Rs 7.5 lakh per family in the existing scheme is enhanced to Rs 15 lakh per senior citizen in the modified PMVVY, thereby providing a larger social security cover to the Senior citizens. It will enable up to Rs.10000 Pension per month for Senior Citizens.

7 - Cabinet approved Mutual Recognition Agreement between the ICAI and the SAICA


The Union Cabinet has has approved the Mutual Recognition Agreement between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

The Agreement will:

  • facilitate recognition of Indian Accountancy Professionals with local Accountancy qualification in addition to existing ICAI qualification, which will increase their professional avenues in South African markets

  • foster strong working relations between the two accounting institutes

  • increase mobility of professionals at either end and would herald a new dimension for small and medium businesses in both countries

8 - Cabinet approved construction and operationalization of 100 bedded General Hospital at Najafgarh, New Delhi


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for construction and operationalization of 100 bedded General Hospital at Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC), Najafgarh, New Delhi at an estimated cost of about Rs. 95 Crore. The Project envisages setting up of the 100 bedded hospital in Najafgarh in two years to cater to the local population of 13.65 Lakh spread across 73 villages.

The hospital is expected to be fully operational by May 2020. The hospital will include four major clinical services in Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Surgery.

9 - Cabinet approved accession to the Protocol under WHO Framework Convention on tobacco control


The Union Cabinet has given approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms as negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

India is a party to WHO FCTC. The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.

10 - Boost to Airport Infrastructure in Lucknow, Chennai and Guwahati

Airport Infrastructure

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for expansion and up-gradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati & Lucknow Airports, at a cost of Rs.2467 crore, Rs.1383 crore and Rs.1232 crore, respectively.

Highlights of the three projects are as follows:

  • Lucknow Airport − Construction of New Integrated Terminal with annual capacity to handle 2.6 million international and 11 million domestic passenger traffic.

  • Chennai Airport − Will have annual capacity to handle 35 mppa up to the year 2026-27.

  • Guwahati Airport − The New Terminal Building can handle combined annual capacity (old and new terminals) of 9 mppa up to the year 2026-27.

11 - Telecom Commission approves in-flight mobile connectivity


The Telecom Commission (TC) has approved in-flight connectivity facilitating both voice and data calls in Indian airspace. For the in-flight connectivity will be allowed within the Indian air space with a licence fee of Rupee 1 for the Telecom service provider and the consumer price will be decided by the operator and the airline company.

The TC has also approved two additional items including submarine cable between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar islands at a total cost of ₹1,224 crore, and Bharatnet in eight states.

12 - 4th Regional Conference on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure of the AIIB held in Bengaluru


The Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) organized the 4th Regional Conference on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure in Bengaluru. The 2-day Conference was a lead-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to be hosted by the Government of India on 25th and 26th June 2018 in Mumbai.

The two day Conference mainly gave thrust on three (3) broad areas including the Challenges as well as Opportunities in the context of need for Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure, Resource Mobilisation and Emerging Challenges among others.

13 - NWIC setup as single windows source of updated data on water resources


The Union Government has formed National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC). NWIC would be a repository of nation-wide water resources data and would work as a Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The centre would be headed by a Joint Secretary level officer.

NWIC is expected to provide a ‘Single Window’ source of updated data on water resources & allied themes; and provides value added products and services to all stake holders for its management and sustainable development.

14 - Ministry of Tribal Affairs to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in Tribal Districts across the country


The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India has proposed to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in Tribal Districts across the country. As per the plan,TRIFED will facilitate establishment of MFP-led multi-purpose Van Dhan Vikas Kendras, a cluster of 10 SHGs comprising of 30 tribal MFP gatherers each, in the tribal areas.

This initiative is aimed at mainstreaming the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level. About 3000 such Van Dhan Kendras are proposed to be set up in two years in the forested Tribal Districts of the country.

15 - India inked 200 million US Dollar Loan Deal with World Bank for POSHAN Abhiyaan

POSHAN Abhiyaan

The Government of India has signed a loan deal worth $ 200 million with the World Bank for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan). The loan would help the Government of India in achieving its goal of reducing stunting in children 0-6 years of age from 38.4% to 25% by the year 2022.

The POSHAN (PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment) Abhiyaan was launched by the Prime Minister on 8th March 2018 at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan. The loan approved will support the first phase scale up to 315 districts across all states and union territories (UTs).

16 - 100 additional One Stop Centres(OSCs) approved


The Ministry of Women and Child Development has approved 100 additional One Stop Centres in the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

The Ministry of Women & Child Development has set up 182 Centres till date under the scheme of One Stop Centres (OSCs) for women affected by violence since April, 2015. The purpose of these OSCs is to facilitate integrated services for women affected with violence such as police assistance, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal aid, temporary stay for 5 days etc.

17 - HRD Ministry launched HRD Ministry portal

HRD Ministry

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using the MOOCs platform SWAYAM. In the first phase, 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres (NRCs) have been identified.

The NRCs will develop the Refresher Module which will include the latest trends in their earmarked discipline by 15th June each year. The training materials will be uploaded and made available through SWAYAM to all the teachers w.e.f. 1st October each year and based on the response, the course can be repeated in the following January.

18 - NITI Aayog to Collaborate with IBM to develop Precision Agriculture using Artificial Intelligence


NITI Aayog and IBM signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide real time advisory to farmers in Aspirational Districts. First phase of the project will focus on developing the model for 10 Aspirational Districts across the States of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The partnership aims to work together towards use of technology to provide insights to farmers to improve crop productivity, soil yield, control agricultural inputs with the overarching goal of improving farmers’ incomes.

19 - Government announced Project to strengthen Namami Gange Programme

Namami Gange Programme

The 11th Executive Committee meeting of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) approved the project encompassing the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology for Namami Gange programme with a total budget of Rs 86.84 crore.

In order to facilitate the Ganga rejuvenation task through the GIS technology, the NMCG has tied-up with the Survey of India. The NMCG also approved the project to strengthen the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) of five main stem Ganga basin states: Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, approved at an estimated cost of Rs 85.97 for 5 years.

20 - CBDT approved amendment of India-Kuwait tax agreement


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified the protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait. The protocol updates the provisions in the DTAA for the exchange of information as per international standards.

The protocol also enables sharing of information received from Kuwait for tax purposes with other law enforcement agencies, subject to an authorisation of the competent authority of Kuwait and vice versa.

21 - DEPwD organised ‘Cochlear Implant Awareness Programme’ in Faridabad


The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in association with Indian Red Cross Society has organized a ‘Cochlear Implant Awareness Programme’ in Faridabad.

The event named Swar Swagtam is of great importance for creating awareness among the public about the Cochlear Implant Programme under ADIP Scheme of the Department. Cochlear Implant is a modern technology to help young children who have severe to profound deafness in both ears. Due to hearing impairment they are not able to speak.

22 - Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana: Cabinet approves setting up of 20 AIIMS


The Union Cabinet has approved a plan to set up 20 All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS across the country and to upgrade 73 medical colleges. Six of the AIMMS have already been established. The decisions are part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), which has been extended by two years till 2020, with a financial outlay of Rs. 14,832 crore.

The PMSSY was announced in 2003 with objectives of correcting regional imbalances in the availability of affordable/ reliable tertiary healthcare services and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in the country.

23 - Cabinet approved restructuring of Multi-sectoral Development Programme


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for renaming and restructuring of Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) at the cost of Rs. 3,972 crore. CCEA has also approved its continuation during the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commission.

The Programme aims to address development deficits in the identified minority concentration areas. The MsDP covered 196 district of the country whereas PMJVK will cover 308 districts of the country.

24 - India and Guatemala signed an agreement to boost cooperation in education sector

India and Guatemala

A pact was signed between India and Guatemala for strengthening diplomatic cooperation through Respective Foreign Service Institutes in the educational field. Mr Naidu also held meeting with the Guatemala President and others on various bilateral and international issues. Various issues on trade, cultural diversity, economic growth were discussed.

The main focus was on core sectors such as; pharmaceutical, cooperation in education, technology, conservation of wildlife, Yoga, Tourism and Automobiles. Both the leaders have agreed to work together to combat the menace of terrorism.

25 - TRIFED goes digital for Inventory Management and Sales


Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation (TRIFED) of Ministry of Tribal Affairs has operationalised Retail Inventory Software (RIS) in all its Tribes India Outlets, Regional Offices and Head Office for inventory control. Implementation of RIS software will bring greater transparency and control over various transactions under Retail sale.

The various stages of retail sale process included in the Retail Inventory Software (RIS) include item selection for vendor at Regional Offices, request for code generation for selected items, generation of purchase order, stock and inventory details through POS, inventory management, monitoring of sale/purchase at regional office and report generation of sales/purchase.

26 - India and Sri Lanka agreed to exchange information for drug control


In order to tackle smuggling of drugs, gangs and traffickers, India and Sri lanka agreed on cooperation on exchange of information such as intelligence, and assistance in tracing those involved in drug smuggling in both countries. Other points were also discussed such as control on delivery operations and training by India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Sri Lanka's Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB).

The Narcotics Control Bureau is the nodal drug law enforcement and intelligence agency of India responsible for fighting drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances.

27 - Ministry of I&B to establish a dedicated web portal for promotion of Audio Visual Services in India

Film Facilitation Office

The Film Facilitation Office is in the process of establishing a dedicated web portal that will disseminate information on filming locations and the facilities available in India for production. Accordingly, the portal will help production companies looking to shoot in India to obtain permissions, explore potential benefits and obtain an overview of various locations in India that could benefit the storyline of the film under consideration.

The portal would also provide information on locations and link to all State portals. Financial incentives will be provided to film makers for production of films under Audio Visual Co-production treaties other countries.

28 - Ravi Shankar Prasad launched website of digital India internship scheme

Ravi Shankar Prasad

A Digital India scheme portal ( was launched byRavi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and IT. Internship would be offered two times in a year i.e. summer and winter. An internship is an opportunity for a student to secure first hand and practical work experience under the guidance of a qualified and experienced Supervisor.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is engaged in electronic development through e-Infrastructure creation to facilitate and promote e-governance.

29 - TRAI issued draft of telecom interconnection regulations


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released draft amendment of telecommunication interconnection with some amendments such as interconnect regulations, proposing certain changes in terms and conditions for operators to seek fresh call connect ports from other telcos.

According to draft amendments, it has been proposed that a service provider can ask another operator for additional ports, in case the projected utilization of the capacity is likely to exceed 85% over 60 day period. It has been decided that each service provider shall provide its forecast of busy hour outgoing traffic for each POI, at intervals of every six months.

30 - Union Textiles Minister chaired the meeting on Samarth in New Delhi

Union Textiles Minister

A meeting of stakeholders on Samarth – Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector under the Skill India Mission was held in New Delhi to familiarize the stakeholders about the scheme and its guidelines. The broad objective of the new scheme is to skill the youth for gainful and sustainable employment in the textile sector covering the entire value chain of textiles, excluding spinning and weaving.

The scheme is intended to provide demand driven, placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework in creating jobs in the textiles sectors. The scheme targets to train 10 lakh persons in 3 years.

31 - President of India launched 4th Global Exhibition on Services

Global Exhibition

The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, inaugurated the 4th Global Exhibition on Services and launched a portal on 12 Champion Sectors in Services in Mumbai. The launch of 12 Champion Sectors is a bold new step that will contribute to both India’s economy and the global economy, and will create jobs.

The President noted that Government programmes such as Start-up India and the Mudra Yojana, which has provided capital to 120 million grassroots businesses, have seeded a culture of entrepreneurship, largely in services.

32 - Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France

India and France

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Railways and SNCF Mobilites on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railways. The MoUs facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.

The MoU will provide a framework of cooperation for focused approach in high speed and semi-high speed rail, station renovation and operations, modernisation of current operations and infrastructure and suburban trains.

33 - Cabinet approved MoU between the India and Swaziland

India and Swaziland

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MoU between the India and Swaziland on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine. The MoU covers field of drugs & pharmaceutical products, medical consumable products, medical research, medical equipment and public health, communicable disease control & surveillance, health tourism and any other area of mutual interest etc.

A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

34 - Cabinet approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018


The Union Cabinet approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018. The Policy categorises biofuels as "Basic Biofuels" and encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds. Policy will help in reducing import dependency, increase employment generation, prevent diversion of used cooking oil in the food industry and provide cleaner environment.

Globally, biofuels have caught the attention in last decade and it is imperative to keep up with the pace of developments in the field of biofuels. Biofuels programme in India has been largely impacted due to the sustained non-availability of domestic feedstock for biofuel production.

35 - Cabinet approved Corpus for micro irrigation fund with NABARD


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore and Rs. 3,000 crore will be utilised during 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively.

The dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund would supplement the efforts of Per Drop More Crop Component (PDMC) of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana in an effective and timely manner.

36 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Suriname

India and Suriname

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Suriname on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration including exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.

The MoU will promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance / capacity support for Suriname envisaging cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

37 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Equatorial Guinea

India and Equatorial Guinea

The Union Cabinet Chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Equatorial Guinea for Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.

The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences/ meetings and deputations of experts will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.

38 - NITI Aayog signed on Sushant Singh Rajput to promote the Women Entrepreneurship Platform


NITI Aayog announced the signing of a Statement of Intent with actor Sushant Singh Rajput, to support NITI’s flagship initiative, the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP). NITI Aayog has always emphasised the importance of reaching out to the youth and inviting them to engage with the various policies of the government.

He will also be promoting NITI Aayog’s digital payments campaign which looks towards transforming India into a less-cash economy. The actor will endorse the Women Entrepreneurship Platform and encourage use of Bharat Interface for Money application by appearing in various video and social media campaigns of NITI Aayog.

39 - Cabinet reshuffle in four Ministries

President of India annouced reshuffle and directed the following reallocation of portfolios amongst the members of the Union Council of Ministers, as per advice of Prime Minister of India.

Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs Piyush Goyal (temporarily)-Additional charge
Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
Ministry of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology SS Ahluwalia, Minister of State
Relieved from Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Alphons Kannanthanam

40 - States inked MoUs with Centre on Health Protection Mission

Health Protection Mission

Four states named as Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Uttarakhandand the Union Territory of Chandigarh inked MoU with government on national health protection mission. National Health Protection Mission has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population.

The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy. This will lead to increased access to quality health and medication.

41 - IIM-Ahmedabad launched $25 million Bharat inclusive initiative


IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has launched the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, with a commitment of $25 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The initiative will focus on incubating and backing startups that work in areas such as financial inclusion, livelihood, education and health.

The initiative aims to channelize approximately $25 Million over the next 3-4 years in backing startups using digital technology to offer services to the unserved. The Bharat Inclusion initiative aims to provide a continuum of solutions to inclusion focused tech entrepreneurs.

42 - Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued National Wind-solar Hybrid Policy


MNRE issued National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. The objective of the policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. The existing wind/solar projects can be hybridised with higher transmission capacity than the sanctioned one, subject to availability of margin in the existing transmission capacity.

On technology front the Policy provides for integration of both the energy sources i.e. wind and solar at AC as well as DC level. The Policy seeks to promote new hybrid projects as well as hybridisation of existing projects.

43 - India’s first‘all-woman post office passport seva kendra started its operations


India’s first all women ‘Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) was inaugurated by Union Minister Vijay Sampla in Phagwara, Punjab. Phagwara, Punjab will receive maximum applications as it is NRI hub of state. It will be considered as 192nd POPSK in the country. It was launched with an aim to empower women. Other staff will also be recruited as women such as postal assistants.

Post Office Passport Seva Kendra abbreviated as POPSK is an Indian government initiative by the Ministry of External Affairs (India) (MEA) and the Department of Posts.

44 - SC approved Centre’s draft Cauvery management scheme

Cauvery Management Scheme

Cauvery management scheme was approved by Supreme Court of India, so as to facilitate proper and smooth distribution of water among four South Indian states. Supreme Court remained intact to its order dated February 16, according to which Centre should frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Management Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

The scheme, once finalised, would deal with the issue of water share of the four states in different circumstances like normal and deficient water years in the Cauvery river basin.

45 - ‘Green Good Deeds’ Movement Launched by Dr Harsh Vardhan Gets Global Recognition

Green Good Deeds

Green Good Deeds, the societal movement launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, to protect environment and promote good living in the country, has found acceptance by the global community. Dr. Harsh Vardhan had formally launched the nation-wide campaign in January 2018. He enlisted the cooperation of thousands of people to adopt these deeds.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change had drawn up a list of over 500 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility.

46 - International Rail Coach Expo to be hosted by Integral Coach Factory Chennai


For the first time, an International Rail Coach Expo (IRCE) to focus on Rail Coaches and train sets, was held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It was a unique platform to bring different suppliers under one roof and create synergy for “Make in India”. Many reputed rail car and equipment builders will be showcasing their technology and products.

Railways will have Exclusive Rail Coach and train sets for display, 100+ exhibitors from 10+ countries, Exclusive platform to meet and interact with the decision makers of ICF etc.

47 - Smart Cities Mission - 1,333 projects worth Rs.50,626 crores under implementation

Smart Cities Mission

Smart City Mission has lots of convergence with other missions like AMRUT etc. and some of the projects are implemented under Public Private Partnerships. 1,333 projects worth Rs. 50,626 crores have been completed or under implementation / tendering. Overall projects worth Rs.2,03,979 crores have been identified for all 99 smart cities across the country.

Smart Road projects have been completed in 4 cities worth Rs.228 crores and are under implementation in 40 cities worth Rs. 5,123 crores. Smart Solar projects in 6 cities have been completed, while projects in 49 cities are under implementation.

48 - Prime Minister laid foundation of Work of Zojila Tunnel

Zojila Tunnel

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the commencement of work on Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway and laid the foundation of the foundation stone for Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road. The 14 km long Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bidirectional tunnel. The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

The Ring Roads and Srinagar and Jammu are aimed at reducing traffic congestion at these cities. The 42.1 Km, 4 lane Srinagar Ring Road is built at a cost of Rs 1860 crore.

49 - Suresh Prabhu launched Intellectual Property mascot – IP Nani

Suresh Prabhu

The Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the Intellectual Property (IP) mascot – IP Nani – at the conference on National Intellectual Property Rights Policy in New Delhi. Mascot IP Nani is a tech-savvy grandmother who helps the government and enforcement agencies in combating IP crimes with the help of her grandson “Chhotu”. The IP mascot will spread awareness about the importance of Intellectual Property Rights among people in an interesting manner.

This character is also in line with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s campaign for the World IP Day which celebrates the brilliance of the women.

50 - Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Angola in the field of Electronics and Information Technology


The Union Cabinet chaired has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the between India and Angola for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of Electronics and Information Technology.

The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation in the areas of e-Governance, HRD for IT education, Information Security, Electronics Hardware manufacturing, IT embedded Software industry, Telemedicine etc. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been mandated to promote international cooperation in the emerging and frontier areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) under bilateral and regional framework of cooperation.

51 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy


The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and France in the field of Renewable Energy. Both sides aim to identify research/ demonstration/ pilot project between National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), India and Commissariat aI'EnergieAtomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), France in the mutually identified areas.

Based on mutual agreement, both parties would work for implementation & deployment of pilot project in ISA member countries.

52 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Denmark on Food Safety Cooperation

Food Safety Cooperation

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Denmark regarding cooperation in the areas of food safety. The MoU was signed on 16th April 2018.

The MoU will help improve food safety standard setting by getting access to best practices and facilitating food trade of important commodities. It will further promote understanding of the best practices in the areas of food safety in both countries and in faster resolution of issues related to food safety.

53 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Morocco on India-Morocco cooperation in Renewable Energy

India and Morocco

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on India-Morocco Cooperation in Renewable Energy. The MoU was signed on 10th April, 2018 in New Delhi.

The MoU aims to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.

54 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration

India and Singapore

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration.

The MoU will provide a framework for cooperation between India and Singapore in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms.It aims at achieving excellence in public administration, good governance and public service reform, which in turn, would ensure and promote greater public accountability. It also aims to bring about innovative best practices, so as to achieve excellence in public administration in the context of improving online public service delivery.

55 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds

India and Turkey

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey.

The MoU will promote quick and transparent processing of quota allocation and prior authorization for poppy seeds import from Turkey. The MoU will ensure continuous availability of poppy seeds in domestic market of India and ultimately Indian consumers of poppy seeds will be benefited.

56 - Cabinet approved USOF scheme for provision of mobile services in Meghalaya under CTDP for NER


The Union Cabinet has approved implementation of a Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region (NER) in Meghalaya. The total estimated project cost is Rs. 3911 crore to be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The enhanced cost of CTDP Project for NER is Rs. 8120.81 crore (Rs. 5336.18 crore already approved by the Cabinet on 10.09.2014).

The Scheme entails:

  • Provision of 2G+4G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas of the State of Meghalaya

  • Provision of 2G+4G seamless mobile coverage along the National Highways in Meghalaya

57 - Cabinet approved restructuring of balance sheet of Scooters India Limited, Lucknow

Scooters India Limited

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for restructuring of balance sheet of Scooters India Limited, Lucknow (SIL) by way of:

  • reduction of equity of Rs. 85.21 crore in the share capital of SIL held by Government of India against accumulated losses. The reduction would be deemed to have taken effect as on 31.03.2013

  • freezing the interest on the Non-Plan loan of Rs. 1.89 crore released to SIL during 2012-13 from the date of its release to the company and conversion into equity of the outstanding principal amount of Rs. 1.89 crore

58 - The Ministry of Railways and BCL inked an MoU for 2018-19


Ministry of Railways and Braithwaite & Company Limited (BCL), a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). BCL’s core competency is in the field of manufacturing new wagons, repairing of wagons, steel structural fabrication and manufacturing of cranes.

The MoU laid down the targets for 18-19, both financial and physical. As per targets under MoU, BCL has projected Revenue from Operations of Rs. 285 cr. and wagon production Rs. 1300 cr.

59 - Ministry of Railways and RCIL inked an MoU for 2018-19


Ministry of Railways and RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RCIL), a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed a Memorandum of Uunderstanding (MoU). RCIL is implementing several Rail projects all over India for doubling, New Line, Electrification, Workshops etc.

The MoU laid down the targets for 18-19, both financial and physical, for various important Projects. As per targets under MoU, RCIL has projected revenue from operations of Rs. 1200 crore and several other target regarding CCTV & Wifi at Stations development of Content on Demand (CoD) services on trains etc.

60 - Ministry of Railways and MRVC signed an MoU for 2018-19


Ministry of Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC), a Joint venture of Ministry of Railways and the Government of Maharashtra, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways. MRVC is implementing Rail projects on Mumbai suburban system under Mumbai Urban Transport Projects (MUTPs).

The MoU laid down the targets for 18-19 for various important activities of suburban projects. As per targets under MoU, MRVC shall spend Rs. 1464 crore towards completion of various suburban projects of capacity enhancement, safety up-gradation and passenger amenities.

61 - Ministry of Railways and IRCON signed an MoU for 2018-19


Ministry of Railways and Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) International Ltd, a CPSE under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, signed an MoU with Ministry of Railways. IRCON is implementing several Rail, Road & other construction sector projects in India as well as abroad.

The MoU laid down the targets for 18-19, both financial and physical, for various important Projects. As per targets under MoU, IRCON has projected revenue from operations of Rs. 4200 cr. and other targets for important National projects like USBRL project, Jogbani – Biratnagar Rail Link, Jainagar – Bijalpura, ShivpuriGuna and Bikaner – Phalodi Highway Project etc.

62 - MoU signed between DEPwD and ALIMCO for the Financial year 2018-19


Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD-Divyangjan Shashaktikaran Vibhag), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) for the Financial Year 2018-19. It covers major developments to be achieved in this year for the Empowerment of Divyangjan of the country.

ALIMCO is a “Not For Profit” Central Public Sector Undertaking working under the administrative control of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

63 - NITI Aayog and ABB India Sign Statement of Intent


NITI Aayog and ABB India signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to support the Indian government realize its ambitious vision of ‘Make in India’ through advanced manufacturing technologies that incorporate the latest developments in robotics and artificial intelligence.

NITI Aayog will work with ABB across various sectors of the economy, such as the power and water utilities, industries like food as well as the heavy industries and the transport (rail and metro) and infrastructure to suggest solutions for digitalization, incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies.

64 - Union Agriculture Minister released Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018

Promotion and Facilitation

The Union Agriculture Minister Mr Radha Mohan Singh released Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2018. He also released a book titled “Intrapreneurship and Management for Farmer Producer Companies” prepared by Grant Thornton.

Salient features of Model Contract Farming Act, 2018 are:

  • The Act lays special emphasis on protecting the interests of the farmers, considering them as weaker of the two parties entering into a contract

  • Contracted produce is to be covered under crop / livestock insurance in operation

  • Contract framing to be outside the ambit of APMC Act

  • No permanent structure can be developed on farmers’ land/premises

  • No right, title of interest of the land shall vest in the sponsor

65 - Union Cabinet approved scheme to set up over 4,000 mobiles tower in Naxal-hit areas

Union Cabinet

The Union Cabinet has approved Universal Service Obligation Fund supported scheme to provide mobile services at 4,072 tower locations in Left Wing Extremism affected areas. The Home Ministry has identified locations in inhabited uncovered areas of 96 districts in ten states. The network will be used by the security personnel deployed in the naxal affected areas.

Under the project, mobile services will also be provided to residents in unconnected inhabited villages which would improve the economic activities in the region. The cost of the total project will be 7,330 crore rupees.

66 - E-catering facility launched on 23 major stations of Western Railway


Western Railway has launched the e-catering facility at 23 major stations on its network enabling passengers to order food of their choice from a wide range of restaurants and food chains while on move.

The passengers can now avail IRCTC's e-catering services at 23 major stations of Western Railway. The stations are Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Andheri, Ahmedabad, Gandhidham, Surat, Nandurbar, Vasai Road, Maninagar, Mahesana, Palanpur, Anand, Bharuch, Vadodara, Rajkot, Dwarka, Vapi, Chittorgarh, Indore, Nimach, Ratlam, Ujjain and Nagda.

67 - Cabinet approved promulgation of ordinance to amend Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code


The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The code proposes to classify home buyers as financial creditors at par with lenders to help them quickly get refunds from defaulting companies.

The present amendment is based on recommendations of a 14-member government appointed committee that had last month suggested a slew of measures, including addressing woes of home buyers and making recoveries easier for lenders. Under the code, financial creditor implies any person to whom a financial debt is owed. The financial debt can include money borrowed for interest.

68 - Cabinet approved ordinance to set up country's 1st national Sports University in Manipur

Sports University

The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to set up the country's first national Sports University in Manipur. A bill to set up the University in Imphal is already pending in Parliament.

The proposal to set up the national sports university in Manipur was initially announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while Rs. 100 crore funds for it were allocated in the 2014-15 budget. B.PEd, MPEd, Diploma / certificate courses in coaching, physiotherapy, fitness, sports management, sports journalism, etc. will be available at the National Sports University in Manipur.

69 - Government launched Samagra Shiksha scheme for school education

Samagra Shiksha Scheme

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched Samagra Shiksha scheme for school education from pre-school to senior secondary levels. The scheme focuses on improving quality of education, enhancing the Learning outcomes and using technology to empower children and teachers.

The government will provide an annual grant of 5 thousand to 20 thousand rupees for strengthening of libraries in the schools. The scheme will be focused on digital education and it will enhance use of digital technology in education through smart classroom and digital boards.

70 - UGC approved regulations for online courses by universities


University Grants Commission, UGC, has approved regulations for online courses by universities. The higher educational institutions and universities will be able to offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes online from this academic session.

The decision will help top rated institutions to offer certificate, diploma & degree programmes in full-fledged online mode in only those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar programmes or courses at graduation level in regular mode.

71 - India-Netherlands-Sweden to collaborate for research programme on HIV/AIDS


The Governments of India and The Netherlands have launched the first-of-its-kind collaborative research programme on HIV/AIDS, between India, The Netherlands and Sweden. The programme aims to harness complementary research strengths and diverse expertise to supportthe development of better tools to understand and address the global epidemic of HIV.

The programme will also focus on divergent human immune responses based on genetic, immunological and behavioural determinants which will be key in developing new and improved tools for treatment, prevention and possible cure for HIV in near future.

72 - UNICEF launches data visualization app on education scenario in India


The UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) has launched a ‘data visualisation app’. The app can be used as a visual tool by policy makers, senior government officials, academia, and researchers to address gaps and monitor programmes in the field of education.

UNICEF has developed the app in collaboration with the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration (NIEPA) and the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

73 - PM Modi dedicated to nation 1st smart & green highway Eastern Peripheral Expressway at Baghpat in UP

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation its first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway at Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. It has been built at a cost of 11,000 crore rupees and completed in a record time of about 500 days against the scheduled target of 910 days.

The 135-kilometre six-lane access-controlled expressway is eco-friendly and has world-class safety features. It envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar and Palwal. It is India's first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting.

74 - Prime Minister of Netherlands inaugurated Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum

Mark Rutte

Prime Minister of Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte inaugurated the Indo-Dutch Ganga Forum to take forward the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India and the Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment of the Netherlands in June 2017.

The Netherlands government delegation also shared the experiences of their collaboration with Uttar Pradesh government to reduce water consumption and employ cleaner technologies in tanneries in Kanpur.

75 - India launched its second IT corridor in China


India has launched its second IT corridor in China to cash in on the burgeoning Chinese software market. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has established one more Digital Collaborative Opportunities Plaza (SIDCOP) platform in China.

Agreements worth about six million US Dollars were signed between Indian service providers and Chinese customers at the launch of the corridor by China's Guiyang Municipal government and the NASSCOM. NASSCOM established its first SIDCOP platform in the Chinese port city of Dalian, which is India's first IT hub in China in December 2017.

76 - Tata Trusts signs MoU with government to provide development support in Naxal-hit districts in Chhattisgarh

Tata Trusts

The Tata Trusts has signed an MoU with the government to provide technical and human resource assistance to the special development programme launched by the NITI Aayog in eight worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh.

The eight worst Naxal-hit districts are Rajnandgaon, Kanker, Bastar, Bijapur, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma. These distrcits were covered under the "transformation of aspirational" districts programme. This programme aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.