Current Affairs October 2017 - National

1 - India registered significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate

Infant Mortality Rate

India has registered decline in Infant Mortality Rate. According to the SRS bulletin, IMR of India has declined by three points, from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016. India also recorded a major drop in birth cohort, which has for the first time, come down to below 25 million. The total number of estimated infant deaths have come down to 840000 (8.4 lakhs) in 2016.

The gender gap in India for child survival is reducing steadily. The gender difference between female and male IMR has now reduced to <10%.

2 - EESL procured 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors


Energy Efficiency Services Limited procured 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors. The vehicles will be procured in two phases. The first 500 cars will be on road in first phase. These cars will be used to replace the petrol and diesel cars used by government and its agencies over a 3 to 4 year period.

It can cut energy demand by 64% and carbon emissions by 37% in 2030. Electric vehicles will reduce dependence on oil imports, promote power capacity and lessen greenhouse gas emissions.

3 - Government notified Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017

Conservation and Management

Centre notified new set of rules regarding conservation and management of Wetland. Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 was replaced by Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. This is done in order to benefit the State government’s Haritha Keralam Mission to conserve and protect wetlands.

Rules forbid solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages, and other human settlements into wetlands. One rule that was highlighted is that encroachments on wetlands stand banned.

4 - Over 80 lakh people took part in Swacchat Hi Sewa campaign

Swacchat Hi Sewa Campaign

Central Public Works Department organized ‘Swacchata Hi Sewa’ campaign at India Gate in New Delhi and over 80 lakh people took part in campaign. The on the spot painting competition on the theme of Swacchata organized by CPWD witnessed enthusiastic participation with over 200 students from 15 schools. Students of Gyan Bharti School, Saket won the first prize.

The Ministry stressed the need for mechanized cleaning of sewers. Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 300 crores to spend on procuring mechanized sewer cleaners. Ministry appreciated CPWD for building 1,200 toilet for Mahanadi Coalfields at a cost of about Rs. 20 crores.

5 - NHAI organized 50 Free Eye Check-up camps on NHs


The Minister of Road Transport & Highways launched the countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers on 2 October 2017 at Nagpur, Maharashtra. The objective of this initiative was to ensure clearer vision and safe travel for truck drivers who are the most frequent users of national highways.

This initiative is expected to reduce the number of accidents involving trucks. Around 50 free eye check-up camps will be set up on national highways. Any other defect like cataract was identified and medicines were prescribed.

6 - The third edition of 'Women of India Organic Festival' at Dilli Haat inaugurated

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated the third annual ‘Women of India Organic Festival’ at Dilli Haat, Delhi. The festival displayed India's most varied offerings of organic products ranging from food, wellness, personal care, home improvement, kitchen composters and solar products by nearly 530 participants.

With the theme ‘Good for Women; Good for India; Good for you’, the Ministry intended to highlight the health and environmental advantages of organic goods, provide a platform for women engaged in it and boost easily accessible sales outlets for women producers from the remotest corners of India.

7 - India paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 148th Birth Anniversary

Mahatma Gandhi

India paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 148th birth anniversary on 2 October 2017. He was leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.

Vice-President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu unveiled a 1.80 meter tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the 148 Birth Anniversary at Rajghat, the Samadhi of the Father of the Nation in Delhi. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi gave away the Swachh Bharat National Awards at a ceremony in New Delhi.

8 - India paid tribute to former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri on his birth anniversary

PM Lal Bahadur Shastri

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to India’s second Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on his 113th Birth Anniversary. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute on his Samadhi at Vijay Ghat.

Lal Bahadur Shastri was a famous freedom fighter who led the country during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War and gave the slogan - Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, which is recalled even today in his memory. He was a freedom fighter who joined the Indian independence movement in the 1920s.

9 - Indian Prime Minister laid foundation stone for AIIMS at Himachal Pradesh


The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, at Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. This 750 bed hospital will be built at a cost of approximately Rs. 1350 crore. It will also provide medical education at the under-graduate and post graduate level, besides nursing. The Prime Minister also unveiled a plaque to mark the launch of Digital Nerve Centre’s for primary healthcare.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), at Una and inaugurated a Steel Processing Unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), at Kandrori, Kangra.

10 - ‘Swachhta Pakhwada’ observed successfully by Ministry of Culture


Ministry of Culture and its 43 organizations observed Swachhta Pakhwada and Swachhta hi Seva Abhiyaan. During this campaign close to 400 activities were organized by the Ministry and its organizations by dedicating more than 500 effort hours for cleanliness and awareness during Swachhata Pakhwada.

Indira Gandhi Sanghralaya organized a marathon as part of awareness program for ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’. A Free Residential Home - Premasree - for Blind and Visually Impaired Children participated in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan organized by Central Reference Library, Kolkata. An exhibition of posters on cleanliness was displayed in Rampur Raza Library.

11 - One million children saved, says a new study published in the Lancet


India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, owing to the significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, Diarrhoea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia/trauma, measles and tetanus, according to study published in the latest issue of The Lancet. The study states that mortality rate (per 1000 live births) fell in neonates from 45 in 2000 to 27 in 2015 (3.3% annual decline) and 1-59 month mortality rate fell from 45.2 in 2000 to 19.6 in 2015 (5.4% annual decline).

The ‘India’s Million Death Study’ is implemented by the Registrar General of India.

12 - Union HRD Minister launched Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed)

Diploma in Elementary Education

A quality program of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for in-service untrained teachers training Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed) was launched by Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. The Teacher Training Program is designed for all Untrained Govt. /Govt. aided /Private unaided recognized in-service untrained teachers of Elementary Schools & 15 lakh (approx) teachers have been enrolled so far.

It is an initiative in Online and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) for upgrading the professional competence and Information and Communication based capacity building for teachers. All untrained teachers are to be trained by March 2019.

13 - The Chairman of NHAI launched new website and PMIS Mobile App

Chairman of National Highways

The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India launched a world class, new multilingual website of the organization. PMIS Mobile App that will facilitate close, in-house monitoring of NHAI projects on a mobile phone. To ensure timely delivery of its projects, the NHAI is now digitally monitoring them through a state-of-the-art Project Monitoring Information System.

The PMIS has enabled significant progress, with a 32% increase in construction in 2016 17. To facilitate access to the PMIS, which was so far available as a desktop version, NHAI has now launched a PMIS App in coordination with the Boston Consulting Group.

14 - Vice President launched various National Highways projects

National Highways Projects

Vice-President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stones for several National Highways projects and a project for development of Muktyala to Vijayawada stretch of Krishna River. Seven NH projects were dedicated to the nation and foundation stones were laid for six NH projects in Andhra Pradesh, the total cost of all the projects being Rs. 4,193 crores.

Foundation stone for the Phase-I for development of National Waterway -4 was also laid. In the first phase of the project, the stretch between Muktayala to Vijayawada will be developed for transportation. The total project cost is Rs. 7,015 crores.

15 - Cabinet approved the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania

Extradition Treaty

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the signing and ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Lithuania. The Treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to Lithuania.

The Treaty would help in extradition of fugitive criminals including terrorists for criminal prosecutions from Lithuania who may have committed crimes against India. It will bring the criminals to justice, with a view to ensure peace and tranquility to public at large.

16 - Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Switzerland for Rail Sector

Rail Sector

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of Swiss Confederation on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.

The MoU will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:

  • Traction Rolling stock
  • EMU and train sets
  • Traction Propulsion Equipments
  • Freight and Passenger Cars
  • Tilting Trains
  • Railway Electrification Equipments
  • Train scheduling and operation improvement
  • Railway Station modernization
  • Multimodal transport
  • Tunneling technology

17 - Cabinet approved MoU on upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre

Women’s Police Training Centre

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar on upgradation of the Women’s Police Training Centre at Yamethin, Myanmar.

The MoU covered upgradation of the Yamethin Women’s Police Training Centre to augment the capabilities of the Myanmar Government to build capacities of its police force with technical and financial assistance from Government of India.

18 - Cabinet approved renaming of Kandla Port as Deendayal Port

Kandla Port

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex post facto approval to the renaming of Kandla Port as Deendayal Port. By renaming Kandla Port as "Deendayal Port, Kandla", a grateful nation would be remembering the invaluable contributions made by one of the greatest sons of India, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was a prominent leader, who pledged his life to the service of the nation. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay dedicated his entire life for public service and was the epitome of simplicity, honesty and selfless service for the poor.

19 - IBBI notified the IBBI (Information Utilities) (Amendment) Regulations, 2017


IBBI had notified the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017. These regulations provided that a person should not hold more than 10% of paid up equity share capital or voting power of an information utility, while allowing certain specified persons to hold up to 25%. These further provided that if a person may hold up to 51% of paid-up equity share capital or total voting power of an information utility till the expiry of three years from its registration.

The amendment requires that more than half of the directors of an information utility shall be Indian nationals and residents in India.

20 - India signed €300 million contract with European Investment Bank for Bangalore Metro Rail

European Investment Bank

Government of India and European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the Finance Contract for lending of € 300 million for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II Line R6. Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II is to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (€500 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (€300 million).

The objective of this project is to bring in a quantum improvement in the transportation sector in the city. This will be in tandem with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and other modes of urban transport. The project aims to ensure modern transport facility for the commuters.

21 - Labour Ministry reviewed meeting with State Labour Ministers in Imphal


The Review Meeting was attended by Labour Ministers and Labour Secretaries for North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura and Shri N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur, inaugurated the meeting.

The review meeting discussed issues like implementation of the Schemes on Child Labour, Plantation Workers, ESIC Works, Social Security Schemes, BOC Workers Cess Fund, Mines Safety, etc., and for further betterment. The Chief Minister, Shri N Biren Singh stated the statistics about various measures taken up by his Government in the field of improving the worker's conditions of his State.

22 - Union Minority Affairs Minister addressed “Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojna” promotion camp

Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojna

Union Minority Affairs Minister Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi addressed “Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojna” promotion camp in Hyderabad where he stated figures of Mudra Yojna. He stated that there are about 76% women in these beneficiaries of “Mudra Yojna” where more than 55% of the beneficiaries are SC/ST/OBCs and Minorities.

Under the “Mudra” scheme, loan is being given in various category- Up to Rs 50,000 in “Shishu Category” from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh under “Kishor Category” and from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh under “Tarun Category”.

23 - Paryatan Parv of M/O Tourism inaugurated at Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb

Minister of State for Culture inaugurated the ‘Paryatan Parv celebrations’ at Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi. ‘Paryatan Parv’ activities began with the flagging of the cycle rally from India Gate, New Delhi to Qutab Minar. Approximately 80 cyclists from across Delhi including members of tourism Industry Stakeholders, officials from central Ministries, doctors, teachers and students participated this rally.

The other activities in the capital included a guided Heritage walk at Humayun’s Tomb & painting competition for children etc. The celebrations will run from October 5-25 2017 across several cities and iconic tourism destinations in India.

24 - List of Agreements signed during 14th India-EU Summit and India

India-EU Summit and India

Following are the agreements signed during 14th India-EU Summit and India

  • Implementing Arrangement between the European Commission and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) for Indian Researchers hosted by the European Research Council grantees in Europe

  • Finance Contract of Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase-2-Line R6 for Euro 300 million out of total loan of Euro 500 million

  • Joint Declaration between the Interim Secretariat of the International Solar Alliance and the European Investment Bank

25 - India - EU Joint Statement during 14th India-EU Summit, New Delhi

India-EU Summit and Delhi

The 14th annual Summit between India and the European Union was held in New Delhi. The Republic of India was represented by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The EU was represented by Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

The leaders reviewed the wide-ranging cooperation under the India-EU Strategic Partnership. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on shared principles and values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights and territorial integrity of States.

26 - Recommendations made by the GST Council in its 22nd Meeting

GST Council

The GST Council, in its 22nd Meeting, held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley, recommended some changes on small and medium businesses such as −

  • To exempt those service providers whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs. 20 lacs from obtaining GST registration

  • Taxpayers having annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crores shall not be required to pay GST at the time of receipt of advances.

  • Services provided by a Goods Transport Agencies to an unregistered person shall be exempted from GST.

27 - First meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held


The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held in New Delhi. During the Joint Steering Committee meeting, the two sides discussed scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization besides steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes.

Issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, combating illegal drug trafficking and sharing information between law enforcement agencies were also discussed.

28 - Cabinet approved MoC between India and Japan on the "Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of "Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC)" between India and Japan on the "Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)".

The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) is an ambitious program to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. It is expected that the MoC will pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development.

29 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Japan on establishing a Liquid, Flexible and Global LNG Market

India and Japan

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan on establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG Market.

The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector. It will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. This will strengthen our energy security and lead to prices that are more competitive for consumers. The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts and abolition of Destination Restriction Clause.

30 - Cabinet approved MoU between SEBI and FSC


The Union Cabinet approved MoU between Securities and Exchange Board of India and Financial Services Commission (FSC), Gibraltar for mutual co-operation and technical assistance.

The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries. It would also contribute towards strengthening the information-sharing framework between the two signatories. It is expected to add value to overseas cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and FSC, Gibraltar.

31 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Belarus for Cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training

Vocational Education and Training

The Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Belarus for cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET). This is for the first time MoU for cooperation in area of vocational education, training and skill development has been signed with Eurasian country.

This MoU would pave the way for systematic transfer of their expertise and knowhow in skilling the work force especially in the manufacturing sector. The Belarusian side shall provide comprehensive transfer of know-how of emerging technologies, training and evaluation methodologies, content development of master trainers in area of network building & industry linkage.

32 - Cabinet approved MoU between SEBI and Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait


The Union Cabinet approved for signing of MoU by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait for mutual co-operation and technical assistance. The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators, and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.

It would also contribute towards strengthening the information-sharing framework between the two. It is expected to add value to overseas cooperation and regulation activities of SEBI and CMA, Kuwait.

33 - Cabinet approved IALA to change its status from NGO to Inter-Governmental Organization


The Union Cabinet approved International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to change its status from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO). The move will facilitate “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels". It will bring IALA at par with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO).

The IALA, having headquarters at St. Germainen Laye (France) was established in 1957 under French law. It is governed by a General Assembly having 83 National members, with its Council as the executive body.

34 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of water resources

India and Morocco

The Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of water resources. The MoU intends to enhance cooperation in the field of water resources development and management within the framework of their expertise and their respective legislations.

MoU includes:

  • Conception, realisation and maintenance of the hydraulic infrastructure, notably big dams and water transfer projects.

  • Flood and drought management.

  • Harvesting and valuation of rainfall water and resilience and adaptation to climate.

  • Setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) to monitor the activities to be carried out in fulfilment of the MoU.

35 - Cabinet approved SANKALP & STRIVE schemes to boost Skill India Mission


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved two new World Bank supported schemes of Rs. 6,655 crore - Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE).

SANKALP is Rs. 4,455 crore Centrally sponsored scheme including Rs. 3,300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas STRIVE is a Rs. 2,200 crore - central sector scheme, with half of the scheme outlay as World bank loan assistance. SANKALP and STRIVE are outcome focused schemes marking shift in government's implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results.

36 - Petroleum Ministry launched IGL prepaid smart card for CNG consumers

CNG Consumers

Petroleum Ministry launched IGL prepaid smart card for CNG consumers, which will be easily available and benefit common person in saving time in transactions at the CNG stations. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan distributed smart cards to some of the fleet as well as retail customers of IGL. He also witnessed demonstration of smart cards transaction after fuel dispensing at the CNG station.

Petroleum Ministry appreciated government’s efforts in providing clean CNG and PNG for cooking and transport at customer’s convenience to promote Gas Based Economy.

37 - Petroleum Ministry announced reward for winners at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017

In a move to motivate the competitors representing India at the world stage, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan announced, the reward for the winners of the competition on their return from WorldSkills International Abu Dhabi 2017, scheduled from 14 to 19 October 2017.

“Gold and Silver medalists will get Rs 10 lakh and Rs. eight lakh respectively, while Rs. six lakh for Bronze and others will receive Rs. two lakh. The experts, who are accompanying them, will be rewarded with Rs. four lakh, Rs. three lakh, Rs. two lakh and Rs. one lakh respectively,” Pradhan told the media here.

38 - India’s first Sewage Treatment Plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode to come up in Haridwar and Varanasi

Sewage Treatment Plant

The Union Government has signed a tripartite agreement between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the state level executing agencies Uttarakhand Pey Jal Nigam and Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam for setting up of India’s first Sewage Treatment Plants under Hybrid Annuity mode, at Haridwar and Varanasi.

The 50 MLD STP in Varanasi was awarded to a consortium led by Essel Infra Projects Limited at an estimated cost of Rs. 153.16 crores. In Haridwar, HNB Engineers Private Ltd. won the contract for a total sewage treatment capacity of 82 MLD at an estimated cost of Rs. 171.53 crores. The awarded projects would ensure that untreated sewage does not flow into river Ganga.

39 - Union Ministry launched interactive website on National Mission for Clean Ganga

Clean Ganga

The Minister also launched an interactive website on National Mission for clean Ganga (NMCG) to enable the corporates to undertake CSR activities for Ganga Rejuvenation. This webpage, which will be available on NMCG website at, gives the details of projects and activities, which can be taken up under CSR funds, and will enable applying for the same online.

The Ministry has called upon the religious institutions and NGOs to adopt villages along the river Ganga and develop them as Aadarsh Ganga Gram.

40 - Union Textiles Minister inaugurated IHGF - Delhi Fair Autumn 2017


The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the IHGF - Delhi Fair Autumn 2017, world’s largest handicrafts and gifts fair. The fair was held at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, during October 12 - 16, 2017.

IHGF stands for Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair. It is organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). It is a purely business oriented fair open only to business visitors. No Retail or Local order booking is made at this fair. Largely only volume foreign buyers visit this fair to source their requirement.

41 - Union Government approved Rs. 2,000 crore to set up Aadhaar Units in Post Offices

Aadhaar Units

The Union Cabinet has approved Rs. 2,000 crore specifically for setting up Aadhaar center’s in post offices with an aim to phase out private contractors from the data collection process.

Aadhaar enrolment and updation facilities will be available in around 15,000 post offices by March 31 next year.

Around 5,000 post offices will have the facility by December 2017. Close to 15,200 bank branches will have centers with Aadhaar facilities.

42 - JDI signed between Indian Railways and Germany


German Railways will assist Indian Railways to make country's existing rail corridors semi-high speed. The semi high-speed trains will run at 200 km per hour. This was signed by Ambassador Mukta Dutta Tomar and Germany's Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Dr. Norbert Barthle.

A Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) was signed regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing 643 km Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways by German Railways for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph on 50.50 percent cost-sharing basis.

43 - The 48th Conference of Governors concluded at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Conference of Governors

The two-day 48th Conference of Governors concluded at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The first Conference of Governors was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1949, which was presided over by Shri C. Rajagopalachari, Governor General of India. Since then, 48 such Conferences have been organized in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President iterated that India would emerge as a developed nation only when every State develops. He expressed confidence that Governors and Lt. Governors would continue to make important contributions in giving a new direction to development in their respective States. The President discussed issues pertaining to the environment and conservation of energy.

44 - Ministry of Culture inaugurated ‘Deep Dharohar

Deep Dharohar

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture inaugurated “Deep Dharohar”. The festival was inaugurated by the lighting of 1000 diyas by the participating artists and artisans and children from organizations like the CCRT, SAPNA Prayas and Kailash Satyarthi’s foundation, to the beat of pakhawajs, nagadas, dhols, etc. The diyas and other traditional Deepawali-linked products created by them were sold at the venue.

The Minister released a book entitled ‘Living Traditions, Tribal and Folk Paintings of India’ published under the matrix of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ by the Cultural Mapping team of M/o Culture and Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT).

45 - Fourth Edition of Dilli Seminar concluded at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala

Indian Naval Academy

The fourth edition of the Dill’ Seminar on “India and Southeast Asia - Maritime Trade, Expedition and Civilization Linkages” concluded at the Indian Naval Academy. Ten papers were presented during the seminar, covering various topics like 'India and Southeast Asia: Echoes of Memories’, ‘Indian Shipping and maritime trade in the 16th and 17th century Southeast Asia’ and ‘Tectonic shifts in Geopolitics of Asia-Pacific’ and ‘The economic background to India’s early maritime trade’.

The two-day seminar was attended by large delegation of serving senior Naval and Coast Guard officers, eminent academicians from the field of Maritime History.

46 - Mini-Marathon flagged off as Part of ‘Clean Air’ Campaign

Clean Air

Union Minister for Environment flagged off a Mini Marathon, as part of the Clean Air campaign. The campaign is being launched to create a mass movement for reducing air pollution. The idea behind the campaign was to entrust a sense of responsibility among people to consider clean air as a collective responsibility.

In order to achieve the objective of Clean India in a true sense, clean and pollution-free air needs to be a priority. The theme was ‘Clean Air’ - “Swachh Hawa for Swachh and Swasth Bharat”.

47 - Finance Ministry held bilateral meetings with US

IMF Meetings

On the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF Meetings, the Union Minister for Finance Shri Arun Jaitley held bilateral meetings with the US Treasury Secretary and the US Commerce Secretary in Washington D.C., and discussed the Indo-US Economic Cooperation about how bilateral trade and investment can be improved between the two countries.

The Finance Minister highlighted the structural reforms India has undertaken through a series of bold measures, including the Goods and Service Tax, Financial Inclusion and action against the shadow economy. He highlighted the contribution skilled Indian professionals have made to the US economy.

48 - Finance Ministry participated in the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Washington D.C

Washington D.C

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley participated in the G 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting in Washington D.C. The discussion focused on the agenda items pertaining to Global Economy and Framework for Growth, Compact with Africa and International Financial Architecture.

As co-chairs of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG), India made the lead intervention during the Second Round of the Session on ‘’Global Economy and Framework for Growth’, which discussed the IMF’s G-20 Report on ‘Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth(SSBG)’.

49 - Ministry of Railways introduced tri- weekly new Special Rajdhani between Delhi - Mumbai

Ministry of Railways

To fulfill the long overdue demand of passengers & to provide faster and convenient connectivity to passengers between two metros Delhi and Mumbai, Ministry of Railways introduced a new Special Rajdhani Express between Delhi & Mumbai.

With the introduction of new Rajdhani Express, the travel time will be reduced thus saving 2 hours in journey time. The new service will commence as a tri-weekly special service with only one rake. The catering services will be optional as per the existing menu and tariff of Rajdhani trains.

50 - PM laid foundation stone for infrastructure projects in Bihar

Infrastructure Projects

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for four sewerage projects under the Namami Gange program; and four National Highway projects, at Mokama in Bihar. The total outlay of these projects is over Rs. 3700 crore. The four National Highway projects include 4-laning of Aunta-Simariya section of NH-31 and Bakhtiyarpur-Mokama section. 2-lane construction of Maheshkhunt-Saharsa-Purnea and Biharsharif-Barbigha-Mokama section of NH-82.

The four sewerage projects include Sewage Treatment Plant at Beur, Sewerage System with Sewer Network at Beur, Sewage Treatment Plant at Karmalichak and STP and Sewer Network at Saidpur.

51 - Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017


A new Bureau of Indian standard (BIS) Act 2016, which was notified on 22 March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017. The Act establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India.

The Act has enabling provisions for the Government to bring under compulsory certification regime any goods or article of any scheduled industry, process, system or service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices.

52 - Finance Ministry attended World Bank Development Committee Session

Shri Jaitley

The Union Finance Minister Shri Jaitley attended the World Bank Development Committee (DC) Lunch Session in Washington D.C. The Session focused on the Capital Adequacy question.

Finance Minister Shri Jaitley stressed that the World Bank and the IFC are at the crossroads on account of their deficient capital position which is also threatening to make them lose its much-valued role of being the agent of global development. He strongly urged that the major shareholders must commit to a decision on the issues of voice realignment and capital infusion into the IBRD and IFC by spring 2018.

53 - IMFC sessions and Development Committee Plenary of the World Bank attended by Finance Ministry


The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley participated in the IMFC Restricted session in Washington D.C. The discussion sessions focused on the Dialogue on Policy Challenges. Finance Minister highlighted three policy challenges. The first was the risks posed to emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) by the US Federal Reserve’s bold steps towards restoring normal monetary conditions. The second was the global slowdown in Investments and the third was employment.

He also attended the IMFC Plenary Session focusing on the institutional issues where he highlighted initiatives taken by India such as GST, Demonetization and Insolvency and Bankruptcy code.

54 - The 96th Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary of the World Bank attended by Finance Ministry

Arun Jaitley

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley attended the 96th Meeting of the Development Committee Plenary of the World Bank. The items on the agenda included the World Development Report 2018, Maximizing Finance for Development, Progress Report to Governors on Shareholding and Forward Look Implementation Update.

The Finance Minister strongly urged for bringing finality to the Shareholding Review by the spring meeting 2018 in a spirit of consultation and co-operation. Shri Jaitley also expressed that resources required for achieving the twin goals, Climate targets and SDGs by 2030.

55 - Union Minister launched Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana was launched by Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha for the benefit of affordable life insurance services to people of rural areas. Under this scheme, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country and all households will be provided coverage of Postal Life Insurance.

The main aim of the scheme is to cover all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village. Previously, Postal Life Insurance was confined to only government employees.

56 - IIT Madras to have world’s largest combustion research centre

IIT Madras

World’s largest combustion research center named as ‘National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD)’ was inaugurated by NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) in Tamil Nadu. It is built at the cost of Rs. 90 crore. It is considered as world's largest combustion research centre because it involves largest grouping of academic combustion researchers globally and the infrastructure facilities are the largest for any combustion research centre.

It is done with an aim to provide a momentum to research in 'Alternative Energy and Environmental Protection' by emphasizing on thermo-chemical energy conversion.

57 - Footwear Design & Development Institute Act 2017 comes into force


Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI) has been declared an ‘Institute of National Importance’ under Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. The FDDI bill was passed by the Parliament in July 2017. The Provisions of FDDI Act 2017 have come into force from 16 October 2017. FDDI is a premier Institute, serving as a ‘One stop solutions provider’ in footwear, leather and allied industry.

FDDI has been functioning as an interface between the untapped talent and industry and its global counterparts, by fulfilling the demand of skilled work force with its specific curriculum.

58 - First Investment Agreement signed between NIIF and a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority


Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to mobilize long-term investment into National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the first investment agreement between NIIF Master Fund and a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) was signed.

The investment from ADIA Group would be 1 billion USD.

59 - Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey released FSSAI report on Food Fortification

Food Fortification

Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare released a comprehensive report on “Large Scale Food Fortification in India - The Journey So Far and Road Ahead” at the national ‘Conclave on Nutrition Security: Partnership & Convergence’ organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on the occasion of World Food Day.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India introduced its new initiative ‘Indian Food Recovery Alliance (IFRA)’ - A coalition of food recovery partners in country to fight the issue of hunger and prevent food loss and food wastage in India.

60 - Government makes Revised Quality Standards for Caustic Soda mandatory

Caustic Soda

Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananth Kumar announced that Government would make revised quality standards for Caustic Soda mandatory for both domestic manufacturers as well as for imports. This step has been taken to give a boost to the domestic industry, under Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India’.

The revised quality standards, compliant with Bureau of India Standards (BIS) specifications, would necessitate the industry to produce caustic soda using the modern and more energy efficient membrane based technology.

61 - Union Home Minister inaugurates the new Viewers' Gallery-cum-Museum at Punjab


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh dedicated to the nation the new Viewers' Gallery-cum-Museum at the Joint Check-Post (JCP) Hussainiwala border in Ferozepur district of Punjab. Union Home Minister paid rich tributes to martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev at the Samadhi Sthal, also known as the Hussainiwala Memorial.

Union Home Minister addressed gathering of BSF officers and jawans, at JCP Hussainiwala. Punjab Chief Minister lauded the role of BSF for effectively safeguarding the Punjab component of the Indo-Pakistan border and assured all help of State Administration to the BSF.

62 - Ministry WCD launched campaign on 'women for women': #IamThatWoman


In an attempt to end Gender bias in women against women, the Ministry of Women and Child Development is undertaking an online campaign #IamThatWoman. Through the campaign, the Ministry seeks to highlight the various aspects of women standing 'by' and 'for' women. Ministry of WCD has urged people to shun stereotypes associated with women harming other women.

Twitter and Facebook users have been encouraged to tag and share stories of women helping women with a photograph and post online with the hashtag #IamThatWoman.

63 - India signed MoC on Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) with Japan

Technical Intern Training Program

India and Japan have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) that paves the way for sending Indian technical interns to Japan for on-the-job training for a period of three to five years.

India is the third country with which Japan has signed this cooperation. As per Japan’s data for end-2016, about 2,30,000 technical intern trainees from multiple countries are on training in Japan. The MoC between the two countries on TITP will help boost skill development in both countries.

64 - Varanasi to get two new STPs before March


Varanasi will get two sewage treatment plants as part of the government's bid to curb Ganga water pollution. A 140 MLD STP at Dinapur and a 120 MLD STP at Goitha will be commissioned before March 2018.

Varanasi will have a total sewage treatment capacity of 412 MLD. The STPs, when completed, will meet the sewage treatment needs of the city until 2035. The STPs are being constructed under Japan International co-operation Agency-assisted project and JNNURM scheme respectively.

65 - New Airport Project in Rajkot gets Green Clearance

New Airport Project

The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF) has accorded environmental clearance (EC) to the new Greenfield airport project in Rajkot, Gujarat. The foundation stone of the airport at Hirasar village was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1,405 crores. It would be a single runway airport for operating ‘C’ category aircraft. The airport is expected to become operational by 2021. The present domestic airport in Rajkot has no room for expansion.

66 - PM Modi launched the first phase of Ghogha-Dahej RORO ferry service in Gujarat

Ghogha-Dahej RORO Ferry Service

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the phase-I (passenger movement) of the 'RO-RO' ferry service between Ghogha and Dahej, in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

The ₹615 crore ‘roll-on-roll-off’ (Ro-Ro) ferry service is the first of its kind project not only in India but also in South-East Asia. In the second phase, which will be ready in two months, cars can also be carried between the two towns. The 31-km ferry service will cut travel time from nearly eight hours to one while the on-road distance between the two towns will be down from 310 km to 30 km.

67 - The 14th Day of Paryatan Parv celebrated across India

Paryatan Parv

The day fourteen started with a cycle rally organized at Amritsar by State Government of Punjab in association with India Tourism Delhi. Other events organized in Amritsar were a guided heritage walk, crafts mela and a cultural evening at Govindgarh fort. India Tourism Offices in association with IHMs has organized various activities like Sensitization programs, Nukkad Natak, Heritage walks, Workshops for local public and stakeholders at locations across India.

An event to mark Return of Sri Ram to Ayodhya and Deepawali was organized by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh.

68 - Minister for Petroleum launched Piped Natural Gas supply in Bhubaneswar

Natural Gas supply

Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched supply of Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for the residents of Bhubaneswar. With this, GAIL started supply of environment-friendly PNG to 255 houses.

The commencement of supply of natural gas will pass through five states, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The longest stretch of the project - 769 kms - will be built in Odisha. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India.

69 - India’s First Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for Skilling in Smart Cities

Kaushal Kendra

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated India's first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for Skilling in Smart Cities, in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The ministers also laid the foundation for a Skill Development Centre at Moti Bagh and a Centre of Excellence at Dharam Marg, New Delhi.

The newly inaugurated Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra leverages NDMC infrastructure for skilling initiatives. It has a capacity of skilling 4,000 youth annually.

70 - Sushma Swaraj opened India's new chancery complex in Dhaka

Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj opened the new chancery complex of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka during her Bangladesh visit. The High Commission was previously operating from a house in Gulshan area of the city. She also inaugurated 15 development projects of Bangladesh being funded by India.

The 15 projects covering priority infrastructure in health, education, water and social welfare with an outlay of 71.64 crore takas will be completed within a period of one month.

71 - Government has opened more than 9000 PMKK


According to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the government has so far opened more than 9000 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra to impart skill training to youth.

The government has earmarked Rs 1200 crore so that youth belonging to economically weaker section could be trained in skill training. The centre has set a target of generating one crore-employment opportunities for youth by 2020. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development to enable a large number of youth to take up industry - relevant skill training to make them employable.

72 - Jaipur and Srinagar Airports rated Best Airports in the World in 2-5 million Passenger category

Jaipur and Srinagar Airports

The Jaipur and Srinagar Airport got the First and the second rank respectively in the category of two to five million passengers in the ACI-ASQ Survey.

Jaipur was ranked as the Best Airport in the World catering to a traffic volume of two to five million passengers per year in 2016 also.

The awards recognize the airports, which have achieved the highest passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey - the world's benchmark measure of airport excellence.

73 - APEDA to promote NE products in Bangladesh and Myanmar


The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) will promote northeastern products in Bangladesh and Myanmar. The export of APEDA scheduled products to Bangladesh during 2016-17 was of 396.44 million USD while to Myanmar was 24.15 million USD.

The promotional event in Myanmar is proposed to be held in November and that in Bangladesh in December. The export of APEDA scheduled products to Bangladesh during 2016-17 was of 396.44 million USD. The major products exported to Myanmar include rice, maize, cereal preparations, fruits as well as vegetable seeds.

74 - PM dedicates first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda to nation


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, dedicated the All India Institute of Ayurveda, in New Delhi, to the Nation. The first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) is set up along the lines of AIIMS. As an apex institute under the Ministry of AYUSH, the AIIA will bring synergy between the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern diagnostic tools and technology.

The All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) has been set up with a budget of Rs.157 Crore. The indoor patient department has provision for 200 beds.

75 - Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu launched CIPAM’s Website

CIPAM’s Website

The Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu launched the official website for the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). CIPAM has been set up under the aegis of DIPP with a mandate to effectively-implement the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy.

The website is interactive providing regular updates on all upcoming events including awareness and sensitization programs being conducted, as also information on all Intellectual Property Rights.

76 - India signed $300 million loan with ADB to promote further Fiscal Reforms in West Bengal

Fiscal Reforms

The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $300 million loan to continue a series of fiscal reforms in the State of West Bengal to improve the quality of public service delivery.

The Program will build on earlier intervention under Phase I of the project through the $400 million Program that targeted a comprehensive fiscal consolidation program in the state. It aims to deepen the reforms with focus on expenditure rationalization, improvement in revenue administration, and facilitation of more private investment in the state.

77 - Ministries of Power & Textiles join hands under new initiative SAATHI


Ministries of Power and Textiles have joined hands under a new initiative SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to help small Industries). Under this initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) would procure energy efficient Power looms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Power looms units at no upfront cost.

The SAATHI initiative of the Government will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis. The unit owner would repay in instalments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period.

78 - Government considering temperature-controlled posts for ITBP


The government is looking into a proposal for 50 temperature-controlled posts along the India-China border. These will be for the ITBP jawans who guard the Himalayan heights in sub-zero temperatures.

The government is considering using technology to maintain a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius in the proposed new posts.

A model Border out Posts is being made at Ladakh with the purpose to maintain a uniform 20 degree Celsius temperature.

79 - NRDC signed agreement for IP Management


National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has signed a memorandum of understanding each with European Business Technology Centre (EBTC) for capacity building in intellectual property management by organizing training programs in IP management and patent research and analysis and commercialization of IPRs.

NRDC also signed a MoU with Lovely Professional University (LPU), Jalandhar. This MOU is to license and commercialize the patented technologies developed by the University. NRDC will also support the university in filing and commercializing its IPRs.

80 - Centre approved highway projects worth Rs. 7-lakh crore

Highway Projects

The Union Cabinet has approved a plan to build 83,677 km of roads, highways, green-field expressways and bridges in phases over the next five years’ worth Rs. 7 lakh crore with an aim to push the economy.

Under the first phase to be completed by 2022, 34,800 km of highways will be built. This will include 24,800 km of the ambitious Bharat Mala program, at a cost Rs 5.35-lakh crore. 1,837 km of Greenfield expressways will also be developed under the program.

81 - ‘Paika Bidroha’ to be named as first War of Independence

Paika Bidroha

The ‘Paika Bidroha’ (Paika rebellion) of 1817 will be names as the ' First War of Independence’ from the next academic session. The centre has allocated Rs. 200 crore for commemorating the bicentenary of the Paika rebellion.

The 1817 Paika rebellion took place four decades prior to the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. Paikas were peasant militia under the Gajapati rulers of Odisha. They rebelled against the British rule under the leadership of Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhara in 1817.

82 - Prime minister inaugurated International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries


Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries with the theme of “Empowering Consumers in New Markets”. The conference was organized by Department of Consumer Affairs, GoI and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Conference had six working sessions on the subjects of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection and Implementation.

83 - Seven shortlisted companies given LoI under ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’

Adopt Heritage Scheme

Seven shortlisted companies were given ‘Letters of Intent’ for fourteen monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of Ministry of Tourism. These companies will be the future ‘Monument Mitras’ who would associate pride with their CSR activities.

The firms include - SBI Foundation, TK International Limited, Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd, Travel Corporation of India Ltd, Adventure Tour Operator Association of India, Special Holidays Travel Private Ltd. (With) Rotary Club of Delhi, NBCC are the seven companies which were shortlisted after going through detailed scrutiny. ‘Adopt a Heritage’ Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind on the World Tourism Day.

84 - NMR initiated steps to set up heritage railway museum in Udhagamandalam


The Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) has initiated steps to set up a heritage railway museum in Udhagamandalam, formerly Ooty, in Tamilnadu.

The 1918 Swiss made steam engine, used to haul the first train on the turning and twisting hill railway, which is still extremely popular among tourists, has been brought to Udhagamandalam to be the centerpiece of the museum.

NMR has also planned to convert one of the old carriages of the NMR into a heritage Coffee shop.

85 - The third Global Investors’ India Forum

Global Investors

The third Global Investors’ India Forum was held in New Delhi. The theme of the event was ‘Ideate, Innovate, Implement and Invest in India’ and it was attended by global industry stalwarts.

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh addressed the forum.

The event was organized by the ASSOCHAM. In the forum, major focus was given on generation of electricity and its distribution across the country.

86 - MoEF issued stage-1 forest clearance for Kaleswaram project construction

Kaleswaram Project Construction

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its in-principle stage-I forest clearance for the Kaleshwaram project for construction of canals, tunnels, lift systems, surge pool, delivery cisterns and reservoirs in different districts of the State.

The ministry has diverted 3,168 hectares of the forestland in eight different forest divisions to the project - Mahadevpur, Karimnagar, Sircilla, Siddipet, Yadadri, Medak, Nizamabad, Banswada and Nirmal divisions.

87 - Indian Railways launched its first set of solar plant of five MW capacity

Indian Railways

Indian Railways launched its first set of solar plants with a total capacity of 5-megawatt peak (MWp) with an aim to reduce its carbon footprint.

The project is part of the government’s National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission 1,000 MWp solar plants across its network.

Through the project, the railways will save Rs 421.4 lakh annually and will reduce 6,082 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The cost of the project is Rs. 37.45 crores.

88 - Phase 1 of Bharat Net project to be completed by December 2017

Bharat Net Project

The first phase of the national optic fiber network, christened Bharat Net project, which aims to deploy high-speed optical fiber cables across rural areas — will be completed by December 2017. The project aims to provide Internet access to 100,000-gram panchayats.

Bharat Net has now reached 83,000-gram panchayats. The National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 250,000-Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs).

89 - The first shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan flagged off

Shipment of Wheat

India flagged off the first shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan to be transshipped through the Chabahar port in Iran. The shipment is part of India's commitment to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on grant basis.

This is the first shipment that would be going to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port after Trilateral Agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor. Six more wheat shipments will be sent to Afghanistan over the next few months.

90 - Cabinet approves Rs. 7,000 crore for construction of six IIT campuses

IIT Campuses

The Union Cabinet has approved Rs 7,002 crore for construction of permanent campuses of six new Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) across the country.

Each of the permanent campuses to be established at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwad (Karnataka), Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Goa will have a facility for housing 1,200 students from the academic year 2020-2021. According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR), about Rs. 20,304 crore was required for the construction of the permanent campuses over a period of seven years.