Current Affairs September 2016 - National


News 1 - MoU signed between MoUD and Amar Chitra Katha to publish Comic Book on Swachh Bharat Mission

MoUD and Amar Chitra

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Amar Chitra Katha to publish and distribute a special edition of the comic book, focusing on Swachh Bharat Mission.

The 32-page comic book will carry messages pertaining to sanitation and solid waste components of Swachh Bharat Mission. The book would comprise a series of inspirational stories from the mission, cleanliness rankings of cities, the public figures and ambassadors, environmental impact, and stories of individuals and organizations that can inspire children to the concept of ‘Swachhata’.

News 2 - Government notifies National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme

Government has notified National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. It is for the first time a scheme has been notified to offer financial incentives to employers.

The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 Lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.

25% of the prescribed stipend payable to an apprentice would be reimbursed to the employers directly by the Government of India.

Brand Ambassadors will be appointed for states and for local industrial clusters to act as facilitators and promoters to promote apprenticeship training.

News 3 - Union Cabinet approves simplification of FDI Policy 2016 in various sectors


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for simplification and liberalization of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy, 2016 in various sectors announced in June, 2016.

The FDI policy amendments are meant to liberalize and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country leading to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, incomes and employment.

News 4 - Cabinet approves grant of Permanent Residency Status to Foreign Investors


The Union Cabinet has approved the scheme for grant of Permanent Residency Status (PRS) to foreign investors. The scheme is expected to encourage foreign investment in India and facilitate Make in India Programme.

The PRS will be granted for a period of 10 years with multiple entry. In order to avail this scheme, the foreign investor will have to invest a minimum of Rs. 10 crores to be brought within 18 months or Rs.25 crores to be brought within 36 months. Further, the foreign investment should result in generating employment to at least 20 resident Indians every financial year.

News 5 - India and Egypt agree to step up defence and security engagements

India and Egypt

India and Egypt have signed an agreement in the area of Maritime Transport to step up cooperation on the seas.

The agreement was signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in New Delhi.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate on emerging challenges of cyber security. They will work together to fight drug trafficking, transitional crimes and money laundering.

News 6 - Cabinet approved creation of PDF to catalyze Indian economic presence in CLMV countries

Project Development Fund

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to create a Project Development Fund (PDF) with a corpus of Rs 500 Crore for catalyzing Indian economic presence in the Cambodia, Laos Myanmar and Vietnam.

The PDF shall be housed in Department of Commerce and operated through the EXIM Bank. The PDF shall be governed by an InterMinisterial Committee under the chairpersonship of the Commerce Secretary. India will have the advantage in the regional value chain by securing a dedicated market for domestic raw materials and intermediate goods on a long term basis.

News 7 - Cabinet approved dissolution of Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Limited


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to proposal for dissolution of Central Inland Water Transport Corporation Limited (CIWTC). The Voluntary Retirement Scheme for CIWTC was implemented in the year 2015 as per decision of 'the Cabinet on 24.12.2014.

CIWTC, a company incorporated on 22nd February 1967 under the Companies Act 1956 by the Government of India, could never become viable and company has been incurring losses since inception. The Company has only five employees at present.

News 8 - CIL & ICFRE Signs MoU for Environment Related Issues in Coal Mining Projects


Coal India Limited (CIL) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) signed an MoU for effectively monitoring of environment related issues in the coal mining projects. The MoU will also help in improving the rehabilitation and reclamation of the mined out areas.

The MoU covers assessment and monitoring of plantation and eco-restoration activities, preparation of wild life management plans, preparation of environmental impact assessment and environmental management plans, capacity building for the executives of CIL on environment and forestry issues etc.

News 9 - BRICS Convention on Tourism held in Khajuraho, MP


The two-day long BRICS Convention on Tourism was held in Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh. Ministry of Tourism organized the “BRICS Convention on Tourism” on September 01-02, 2016.

The two-day event comprised of inter- Governmental exchange of views and ideas, Panel discussions on Technology, Innovation in Tourism, and Cooperation between the BRICS countries for promoting intra-regional tourism. Elements of Culture, handicrafts and cuisine from different regions of India were also showcased during the convention.

News 10 - Government approved 16 highway projects across 11 states

Highway Projects

The Standing Finance Committee (SFC) has approved 16 projects worth Rs 7,456.88 crore for 622 km in 11 states - Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.

Of the total number of projects, 13 would be executed in EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) mode, two in hybrid annuity mode, and one in BOT (build, operate, and transfer) mode.

News 11 - Election Commission grants national party status to All India Trinamool Congress


Election Commission has granted national party status to All India Trinamool Congress(TMC). The TMC is ruling the West Bengal and have presence in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. Presently, BJP, Congress, BSP, NCP, CPI and CPM are recognized as national parties in the country.

As per the provisions, to become a national party, a political outfit needs to win at least 2% of the total seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states or get at least 6% votes in four states in addition to four Lok Sabha seats, or recognized as a state party in four states.

News 12 - India, Vietnam Sign 12 Agreements to Boost Bilateral ties

India, Vietnam

India and Vietnam have signed 12 agreements for cooperation in areas, including defence and IT, to boost bilateral ties.

The pacts included agreement on exploration and uses of outerspace for peaceful purposes, agreement on avoidance of double taxation, health cooperation, IT cooperation, cyber security and agreement on contract and design, building of boat in India, equipment supply and technology transfer. India offered a grant of $5 million to set up a software park in Vietnam as well as $500 million credit line for defence cooperation.

News 13 - PM announces Rs 200 cr for sports to engage youth in J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special package of Rs 200 crore to engage youth of Jammu & Kashmir in constructive sporting activities. An amount of Rs. 5.00 crore has already been provided to J&K State Sports Council for organizing these village level sporting activities.

The package provides for construction of indoor sporting halls in all districts of the State with a view to provide playing facilities to youth during long winter in the state. Two stadia in the State capitals of Srinagar and Jammu will be upgraded to the international standards under the package.

News 14 - Centre launches biggest "Leprosy Case Detection Campaign"


The Union Government has launched the biggest "Leprosy Case Detection Campaign (LCDC)" to eradicate leprosy from the country. 32 crore people, across 19 States and Union Territories, will be screened under the campaign. The objective is to detect the disease early so that those affected can be saved from physical deformity. The campaign will be till September 18, 2016.

LCDC aims to cover more than 1,600 blocks in the 149 districts across 20 states where nearly 3 lakh health teams will undertake doorto-door visits to detect leprosy cases.

News 15 - Centre launched NIDHI for nurturing ideas & innovation into start ups


Union Government has launched a new program called National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) for nurturing ideas and innovation into successful start-ups.

There are eight components of NIDHI that support each stage of a budding startup from idea to market. The first component is PRAYAS (Promoting and accelerating young and aspiring innovators and startups) which aims to support innovators to grant up to 10 lakh rupees. During the current financial year, Department of Science has allocated 180 crore rupees, with a view to drive the innovation and startup centric new initiative.

News 16 - First Ever ‘Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit’ organized by Tourism Ministry


“Incredible India Tourism Investment Summit (IITIS) - 2016” is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan from September 21 to 23, 2016. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Highlights of the Incredible India Tourism Investors' Summit (IITIS) are as follows:

  • Participation from more than 27 Indian states
  • Around 600 investable projects from various sectors of tourism
  • Participation from 140 investors from 70 companies

News 17 - Rs. 20,000 Crore Long Term Irrigation Fund to be Raised

Irrigation Fund

With a move that aims to address the perennial irrigation water crisis affecting rural India, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and NABARD signed an agreement to operationalize the Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) to be instituted in NABARD as part of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The Fund has an initial corpus of about Rs 20,000 crore.

It is an arrangement between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and NABARD to complete the 99 prioritized irrigation projects as part of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

News 18 - Union Government launches dedicated pan-India helpline for power outages

Pan-India Helpline

The Union Government launched the Urja Mitra Helpline number 14401, a dedicated pan-India helpline for power outages. Consumers can now get an update from power distribution companies about outages in their area by dialing.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) created the helpline for pan-India usage to send information through voice calls and SMS to apprise customers about power situation in their area. It is a mandatory service, which will be provided by all the telecom operators. The app is developed by Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

News 19 - Union Government launched #Gas4India campaign to promote Natural gas

Gas4India Campaign

The Union Government launched #Gas4India campaign, aimed at promoting the use of gas in the country. The campaign includes social engagement via social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and its official blogsites.

#Gas4India is a unified cross-country, multimedia, multi-event campaign to communicate the national, social, economic and ecological benefits of using natural gas as the fuel of choice to every citizen who uses, or will use in the near future, gas in any way- cook, travel, light their homes, and power their business.

News 20 - Centre approves Rs 450 Cr for five states under Swadesh Darshan scheme

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Centre has approved 450 crore rupees for Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. The scheme was launched with an objective to develop 13 theme-based tourist circuits in the country.

The Tourism Ministry approved the amount for the development of Heritage circuit in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand with costs of Rs 100 crore and Rs 83 crore respectively, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh with a project cost of Rs 70 crore, North East Circuit in Sikkim with cost of Rs 95.50 crore and Coastal Circuit of Tamil Nadu with a cost of about Rs 100 crore.

News 21 - UN Charter translated into Sanskrit

UN Charter

The UN Charter, the seminal treaty of the United Nations, has now been translated into Sanskrit by Dr Jitendra Kumar Tripathi, Secretary of the Lucknow-based Akhila Bharatiya Sanskrit Parishad.

The Charter is available in all six official languages of the UN.

The United Nations Charter was signed on June 26 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organisation, and came into force on October 24 1945.

News 22 - Govt approves 6 start-up centres


The Central government has approved six proposals to set up centres of excellence to promote and fund start-ups under the National Initiative for Development and Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI).

The government has earmarked ₹500 crore to scale up the start-up ecosystem, under which seed funding of up to ₹10 lakh will be given to develop a prototype and access fabrication facilities in incubators. The government also plans to develop 200 incubators in the next five years.

News 23 - India and Chile expand preferential trading pact to boost economic ties

India and Chile

India and Chile have expanded their Preferential Trade Agreement. Chile has offered concessions to India on 1798 tariff lines with margin of preference ranging from 30% to 100% and India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 tariff lines at 8-digit level with MoP ranging fro m 10%-100%.

Chile was the third largest trading partner of India among the Latin American countries during 2015-16. India's bilateral trade with Chile stood at US$ 2.64 billion with exports at US$ 0.68 billion and imports at US$ 1.96 billion respectively during 2015-16(P).

News 24 - First Phase of ESICS Pilot Project of Telemedicine Services Inaugurated

Telemedicine Services

Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment inaugurated the first phase of Tele-medicine services of ESIC for providing specialist medical services at a distance to insured workers. With this Employees State Insurance Corporation’s(ESIC) Model Hospital Basaidarapur has been connected with three ESIS dispensaries at Katihar (Bihar), Unnao (UP) and Rudarpur (Uttrachal).

ESIC has launched an ambitious Pilot Project of Tele-Medicine Services at 11 ESI locations in coordination with C-DAC, Mohali under the aegis of “Digital Inclusive and Smart Community (DISC)”.

News 25 - GST Bill approved by President Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

The legislation amending the Constitution to enable goods and services tax (GST) has become a law with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his approval to the bill and has opened a way for new indirect tax regime. Bill will replace multiple indirect taxes levied by centre and states, creating one national market.

After President’s approval, bill will now move to GST Council for deciding the tax rate, cess and surcharges. The government will implement GST bill from 1st April 2017.

News 26 - Union Government introduces DigiLocker mobile app for digital Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration Certificates


NitinGadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice has launched a new mobile app DigiLocker, through which a user can access their driving licence and registration c ertificate digitally and need not carry a physical copy all the time.

New Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration documents will now be issued directly to the DigiLockers of individuals in digital formats. Authenticity of certificates can also be verified with this app, whenever required by Traffic police.

News 27 - India and Greece sign Air Services MoU under Open Sky Policy

India and Greece

India and Greece inked Air Services Agreement to improve international air connectivity for Indian carriers under the Open Sky Policy.

Unlimited flights above the existing bilateral rights will be permitted directly to and from major international airports within the country. It would be the first such MoU with Greece, which is known for its tourist spots and scenic beauty.

As per the policy, the government would sign an 'open sky' air services agreement with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi.

News 28 - India’s first Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Laboratory to open at Maharashtra


Union Cabinet gave in principle a pproval to the proposal for research on gravitational waves and set up its first LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) laboratory at Aundh in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. The existing two laboratories are located in Hanford, Washington and in Livingston, Louisiana.

LIGO-India will offer opportunities in cutting edge technology for Indian industries, as they along with industry members will be engaged in the construction of the eight km-long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain.

News 29 - Civil Aviation Ministry prohibits use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phone on board aircraft

Samsung’s Galaxy

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a public notice prohibiting the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on board an aircraft. The ministry has advised airlines and travelers not to turn on or charge the smartphone during flights.

This has been done in light of several incidents globally, involving the battery of Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Passengers have also been advised not to stow them in their checked in baggage.

News 30 - Union Cabinet approves creation of GST Council

Goods and Services Tax

The Union Cabinet approved setting-up of GST Council and setting-up of its Secretariat. As per Article 279A of the amended Constitution, the GST Council will be a joint forum of the Centre and the States. The Union Finance Minister will be the Chairperson of the council.

The Council will make recommendations to the Union and the States on important issues related to GST, like the goods and services that may be subjected or exempted from GST, model GST Laws, principles that govern Place of Supply, threshold limits, GST rates including the floor rates with bands, etc.

News 31 - Union Government issued fresh guidelines for flexi-fund for CSS


The Union Government has issued fresh flexi-fund guidelines for the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS). Under the new norms, flexi-funds in each CSS has been increased from the current 10% to 25% for states and 30% for Union Territories.

The states can use the fund to undertake mitigation or restoration activities in case of natural calamities, or to satisfy local requirements in areas affected by internal security disturbances. State governments will have to constitute a state-level sanctioning committee (SLSC) to avail of the flexi-fund facility.

News 32 - CBDT launched e-nivaran to resolve Income Tax grievances


CBDT has launched the ambitious 'e-nivaran' facility for online redressal of taxpayers' grievances related to refunds, ITRs and PAN among others as part of its initiative.

An exclusive 'e-nivaran' (electronic resolution) link has recently been activated on the e-filing portal of the department 'http://income tax india' where taxpayers can register their complaints through their personal computer systems and receive a special PIN number on their registered mobile and email, as their unique number to keep track of the issue.

News 33 - Union Government launched toll-free number for postal complaints

Postal Complaints

Ministry of Communications launched India Post Help Centre and a Toll Free Number 1924 to address the grievances of people in the Country related to Department of Posts. The Help Centre has been launched in three languages - Hindi, English and Malayalam and will be functioning from 8 A.M to 8 P.M on all working da ys except holidays.

The toll free helpline number ‘1924’ would be available for customers from all over India from landline/mobile phone. The case disposal time is one working day subject to policy matters.

News 34 - BRICS Wellness Workshop and AROGYA fair inaugurated


The Union government conducted a National Fair on comprehensive Indian Medicine system (AROGYA) in Bengaluru. The two days BRICS Wellness Workshop and AROGYA fair is being organized by the Ministry of AYUSH, in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).

The Workshop is designed to have sessions related to Traditional Systems of Medicine, Wellness and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Wellness and Tourism among others. The Arogya fair provides a good exposure for manufacturers/importers of Traditional Medicines/Raw Materials of the BRICS Countries to have first-hand experience of Indian Traditional Medicinal products/manufacturing facilities.

News 35 - Cabinet approved agreement with Kenya for cooperation in National Housing Policy

National Housing Policy

The Union Cabinet gave its expost-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Kenya on cooperation in the field of National Housing Policy Development and Management (NHPDM). The MoU was signed on 11th July, 2016 at Nairobi during the visit of the Prime Minister of India.

Under the MoU, both the sides will collaborate on all matters relating to housing and human settlements through various strategies including training of personnel, exchange visits, expos/exhibitions, conferences and workshops.

News 36 - CCEA approves proposal for initiation of 3rd phase of TEQIP


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal for initiation of the Third Phase of Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP). The project will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme with total project outlay of 3600 Crore rupees.

However, the project would be initiated with a cost of 2660 Crore rupees, with the possibility of additional financing of 940 Crore rupees at later stage. The Focus States include Low Income States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, Hill States of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. The eight North-Eastern States and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also focus states under the Programme.

News 37 - Cabinet approves signing of the Extradition Treaty between India and Afghanistan

India and Afghanistan

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Afghanistan. The treaty would provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals from and to the Afghanistan. The cabinet nod comes ahead of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani's two-day visit to India from September 14.

India has extradition treaties in operation with at least 37 countries. Extradition treaties define an offence as an extraditable offence if it is punishable under the laws in both the contracting states by imprisonment for a period of at least one year.

News 38 - Cabinet approved Bilateral Technical Arrangement between India and Switzerland on the identification and return of Swiss and Indian Nationals

India and Switzerland

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of the Technical Arrangement between India and Switzerland on the identification and return of Swiss and Indian Nationals and its implementation.

Conclusion of the Bilateral Technical Arrangement (BTA) has been linked to the Visa Free Agreement for holders of Diplomatic passports as a package deal. If the BTA with Switzerland is approved, it would help to leverage the Readmission Agreement to liberalize visa and work permit regimes for legitimate Indian travelers. This has been envisaged as a key goal in the recently concluded India-EU Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM).

News 39 - Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Mozambique on cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs

India and Mozambique

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the MoU signed on July 07, 2016 between India and Mozambique on cooperation in the field of Youth Affairs and Sports during the visit of Prime Minister of India to Mozambique.

This MoU will help in promotion of sports in the two countries and will promote exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst Youth and in developing friendly relations. It will also help in developing international perspective among the Youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise in the areas of Youth Affairs and Sports.

News 40 - Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and South Africa in the field of Information and Communication Technologies


The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the MoU signed on July 08, 2016 between India and South Africa for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

The MoU will help to establish inter-institutional cooperation and relations between the two Parties in order to promote cooperation in the field of ICT. It will also result in active cooperation and exchanges between the private entities, capacity building institutions, Governments and other public organizations of the two countries in the field of ICT.

News 41 - Cabinet approves Exchange of Tariff concessions under the Fourth Round of Negotiations APTA

Exchange of Tariff Concessions

The Union Cabinet has approved the exchange of tariff concessions, on Margin of Preference basis, under the Fourth Round of Negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement and related amendments.

The Asia Pacific Trade Agreement or APTA is an initiative for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country members of the Asia Pacific Region. The current membership of APTA consists of six countries namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka.

The Cabinet approved India's offer 28.01% of dutiable national tariff lines (i.e. 3142 lines in HS2012 at 8-digit) with an average MoP of 33.45%.

News 42 - Government issued model guidelines for states to curb Ponzi schemes

Ponzi Schemes

The Union Government has issued model guidelines for states to regulate direct selling and multi-level marketing businesses while prohibiting pyramid structures as well as money circulation schemes to protect consumers from Ponzi frauds.

The Direct Selling Guidelines 2016 framework was released by the Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. They have been sent to the states and Union Territories for adoption. Ponzi schemes are banned under the Prize Chit and Money Circulation (Banning) Act, 1978.

News 43 - Union Cabinet approves extension of contract between India and ISA


The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of contract between Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of Polymetallic Nodules for a further period of 5 years (2017-22). The earlier contract is expiring on 24th March 2017.

With this, India's exclusive rights for exploration of Polymetallic Nodules in the allotted Area in the Central Indian Ocean Basin will continue and would open up new opportunities for resources of commercial and strategic value in area beyond national jurisdiction.

News 44 - Cabinet approves establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency

Higher Education Financing Agency

The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to give a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions.

The HEFA would be jointly promoted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development with an authorized capital of Rs. 2,000 crore. The Government equity would be Rs. 1,000 crore. The HEFA would be formed as a SPV within a PSU Bank/ Government-owned-NBFC (Promoter). It would leverage the equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions.

News 45 - Meeting of the India Russia Working group on Priority Investment Projects

India Russia

The 4th meeting of the India-Russia Working Group on Priority Investment Projects were held in New Delhi.

Both sides acknowledged their mutual interest in further strengthening and expanding bilateral investment cooperation between Russia and India across the sectors.

The Working Group on Priority Investment Project was set up in 2013 by the two countries with the objective to encourage and promote Indo-Russian Projects. Both sides have agreed to hold the next meeting of the Working Group in 2017 in Russian Federation.

News 46 - 105-yr-old Kunwar Bai made 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' mascot

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

105-year-old Kunwar Bai, who was felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for building toilet by selling off her goats, has been chosen as the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' mascot.

Prime Minister Modi will felicitate Kunwar Bai in the national capital to mark 'Swachhta Diwas' on September 17. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a national campaign by the Government of India, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns, to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.

News 47 - Centre to invest over Rs 1,50,000 Cr in UP for development of roads


Centre will invest more than One Lakh Fifty Thousand Crore rupees in Uttar Pradesh for development of roads in next three years. Works on several road projects amounting to around 70 thousand crore rupees are underway.

The government has also taken up a project for construction of express highway between Lucknow to Kanpur. It will cost around 1500 crore rupees and the distance between the two cities will be covered in 35 to 40 minutes.

News 48 - MOU signed between the GoI and the African Development Bank(AfDB)


India will be hosting the next Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group at Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre, Ahmedabad from May 22 to May 26, 2017. This will be a mega international event to be attended by more than 5000 delegates from 80 member countries of the African Development Bank including the Governors, Alternate Governors, Executive Directors, policy makers and businesses.

A MoU was signed between GoI and AfDB regarding the holding of the Annual Meetings. The MoU outlines the roles of Govt of India and AfDB.

News 49 - Centre bans sharing of Aadhaar details


The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked agencies in possession of Aadhaar number of an individual to not publish or post the information publicly under the Aadhaar Act. The agencies will have to ensure security and confidentiality of the 12-digit identification number.

The agencies need to inform Aadhaar holders the purpose for which their details would be used. Any violation of the Aadhaar Act will constitute an offence and is punishable under the Act. Based on the offence, the penalty could go up to three years imprisonment or a fine of up to Rs.1 lakh or both.

News 50 - India signed MoU with Sri Lanka to support fishermen

India signed MoU with Sri Lanka

India inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Sri Lanka to support livelihood of the fishing and farming communities in southern Hambantota district.

The project envisages gift of equipment and tools such as grub hoes, bicycles, life jackets and sewing machines, worth USD Two Million, to the fishing and farming communities in Hambantota district.

More than 75,000 people across the district will get direct benefit from the project.

News 51 - Government notifies GST Council

GST Council

Government has formally notified the GST Council which will be chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and its first meeting will be held on September 22-23. The council will decide on the tax rate, exempted goods and the threshold under the new taxation regime.

The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2016, for introduction of the goods and services tax in the country was accorded assent by the President on September 8 and the same has been notified as the Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016.

News 52 - Ministry of Tourism Approves Projects of Rs. 500 Crore for Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir

The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) chaired by Union Tourism Secretary Shri Vinod Zutshi for the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 500 Crore as part of Development Package of Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) for integrated development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.

New projects include Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai – Sudhmahadev – Patnitop Circuit for Rs.99.99 Crore, Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh circuit for Rs.99.98 Crore, Rajouri - Bafliyaz - Shopian - Pulwama Circuit for Rs.99.99 Crore and AnantnagKishtwar- Pahalgam – Daksum - Ranjit Sagar Dam Circuit for Rs.99.75 Crore.

News 53 - All India Radio Launches Balochi Website, Mobile App


All India Radio (AIR) launched a website and mobile app for its Balochi service to reach people who speak this language across the globe. PM Narendra Modi on Independence Day had brought up the issue of Pakistani atrocities on people of Balochistan and PoK.

The short wave radio service in Balochi has been functional since 1974 and reaches several parts of Pakistan. The External Services Division (ESD) of All India Radio, presently broadcasts daily in 57 radio transmissions covering over 108 countries in 27 languages.

News 54 - HAL Joins International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG)


The Asia-Pacific Aerospace Quality Group (APAQG) has conferred its prestigious membership on HAL under the category 'Full Member with voting rights' making India as the seventh nation to join the APAQG under International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). The other nations of APAQG are China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan.

The IAQG is an international non-profit cooperative global organization that brings aviation, space and defence companies together to deliver more value at all levels of the supply chain.

News 55 - Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana to be implemented throughout the country

Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana aimed to the welfare of tribal people would be implemented in the entire country.

Six water supply projects worth Rs.1757 crore and four lift irrigation projects worth another Rs.2,000 crore were under the Gujarat Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna. The six water supply projects will provide drinking water to about 21-lakh people residing in 960 villages including 23 settlements in Dahod, Mahisagar, Narmada and Chhota Udepur districts.

News 56 - Union Water Resources Ministry inked MoU with Agriculture Ministry to take up organic farming


The Union Water Resources Ministry has signed an MoU with the Agriculture Ministry. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh attended the MoU signing event in New Delhi.

As per the MoU, the Agriculture Ministry will encourage farmers of over 5,000 villages along the Ganga to take up organic farming, which will help curb pollution caused by chemical fertiliser-laden runoff in the river with each Gram Panchayat representing a cluster under Paramaparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

News 57 - Suresh Prabhu launched cleanliness drive at railway premises

Suresh Prabhu

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the 'Swachhta Saptah' as part of the Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission from New Delhi Railway Station on 17th September. Indian Railways is organizing a special nine-day long public outreach programme scheduled from 17th September to 25th September 2016 in order to spread wider awareness on sanitation and cleanliness in rail premises.

Prabhu also announced to join hands with Sulabh International to clean some important railway stations across the country. The five railway stations under the pilot project are Gorakhpur, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gwalior.

News 58 - Government to expand DBT to 147 schemes by March 2017


Government is planning to expand Direct Benefit Transfer and double the number to 147 schemes by March 2017. The government has launched pilots for paying subsidy on food, kerosene and fertilizer directly via bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Benefits and subsidies in 74 schemes of 17 government departments and ministries are paid directly to beneficiaries under DBT as of now. The Centre has implemented 30% of the recommendations of the expenditure management commission that was set up to suggest reforms to overhaul the subsidy regime and lower fiscal deficit.

News 59 - Government notified new Import policy for Marble and Travertine Blocks

Marble and Travertine Blocks

The government has notified the new import policy for Marble & Travertine Blocks, and Marble and Granite Slabs, to come into effect from 1st October 2016.

The Minimum Import Price (MIP) for marble blocks has been reduced to 200 US dollar per ton. The basic customs duty on import of marble and travertine blocks has been increased from 10% to 40% to address the interest of domestic producers. Similarly, the MIP on the import of marble slabs is being reduced to 40 US dollar per square metre and the basic customs duty on the import of marble slabs is doubled to 20%.

News 60 - Railways to introduce Yatri Mitra Sewa to book wheelchair cum porter services

Yatri Mitra Sewa

With a view to provide support to old and differently abled passengers requiring assistance at the stations, Ministry of Railways has decided to introduce Yatri Mitras Sewa for enabling passengers to book wheelchair services cum porter services. Yatri Mitra will provide Wheel chair cum porter services to Divyang and senior citizens.

The service can be booked on IRCTC e-ticketing website and 139 or through a mobile. The responsibility of providing the Yatri Mitra Sewa has been entrusted with IRCTC.

News 61 - HRD Minister inaugurated Super Computer PARAM-ISHAN at IIT Guwahati


Union Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the super computer PARAM ISHAN at IIT Guwahati campus. PARAM ISHAN is the fastest and most powerful computer in North East, Eastern and Southern region.

PARAM ISHAN has been jointly developed by IIT Guwahati and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, C -DAC. PARAM-ISHAN have power of 250 Teraflops and three hundred tera bites capacity. It can be used in the application areas like Computational Chemistry, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Computational Electromagnetic, Civil Engineering Structures, Nana-block Self Assemble, Optimization etc.

News 62 - Under 5 Child Mortality Rate falls significantly by 4 points during 2014

Child Mortality Rate

The Under-5 Child Mortality has fallen by a significant four points during 2013-14. The recent RGI data released for the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) for the year 2014 indicates 8.16 percent decline in under-five mortality (during 2013-2014) as compared to 5.76 percent decline during 2012-2013.

The U5MR in 2014 is 45 compared to U5MR in 2013, which stood at 49 indicating a 4-point decline. This implies that about 1.26 lakh additional under-five deaths have been averted in 2014.

News 63 - Amritsar tops the list of 27 new smart cities


The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Minister of Urban Development. Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made to the third list of smart cities are; Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi.

The new 27 smart cities have proposed an investment of Rs.66,883 cr. With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to Rs.1,44,742 cr.

News 64 - 12% growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals in August

Foreign Tourist

Foreign Tourist Arrivals have registered a growth of around 12 per cent in August 2016 over the same period last year. The Tourism Ministry, in a release, said, 6 lakh 70,000 foreign tourists arrived during the period.

The release said, Bangladesh accounts for highest share of tourist arrivals followed by US and UK. The Ministry said, foreign exchange of around 13,000 crore rupees earned through tourism in August this year.

News 65 - Union Cabinet approved merger of Rail budget with Union Budget

Rail Budget

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Finance for the merger of Railway budget with the General budget with the following administrative and financial arrangements −

  • The Railways will continue to maintain its distinct entity -as a departmentally run commercial undertaking as at present;

  • There will be no dividend liability for Railways from 2017-18 and Ministry of Railways will get Gross Budgetary support.

  • Railways will retain their functional autonomy and delegation of financial powers etc. as per the existing guidelines.

News 66 - Ken-Betwa project gets the approval of National Board for Wildlife


National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared the first phase of Ken-Betwa river link project. The project, with an estimated cost of about Rs 9,300 crore, requires diversion of 5,258 hectares of forest land, including 4,141 hectares of Panna Tiger Reserve.

The interlinking of the Ken and Betwa rivers in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is aimed at providing water to Bundelkhand. The main feature of the project is a 230-km long canal and a series of barrages and dams connecting the Ken and Betwa rivers.

News 67 - Indira Awas Yojana Renamed after Prime Minister

Indira Awas Yojana

The Union Government has restructured and renamed Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), started by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, as Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (PMAY). The IAY will be subsumed by the PMAY from April 1 next year.

As a part of the new scheme, the government plans to construct one crore houses by 2019. Under the PMAY scheme, grant will be transferred directly into the bank account of beneficiaries. Those who are living in plains will receive a grant of Rs 1.20 lakh, with Rs 1.30 lakh for those living in hilly areas.

News 68 - Govt approved 9 highway projects worth Rs 2,600 crore in 5 states

Nine Highway Projects

Government has approved 9 highway projects of 414 kilometer at an estimated cost of Rs 2600 crore. These projects are related to the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Nagaland and Uttar Pradesh.

All the projects approved will be constructed in the engineering, procurement and construction mode. The projects include upgradation of 49 km stretch of Allahabad-Mirzapur section of NH 76, construction of two-lane Pilibhit-Puranpur on NH 730 and upgradation of Banda-Allahabad of NH 76.

News 69 - Cabinet approved submarine OFC connectivity between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Mainland (Chennai) and Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1102.38 crore including operational expenses for 5 years. The project is likely to be completed by December 2018. The approval would equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives; establishment of enterprises & ecommerce facilities.

News 70 - Cabinet approved advancement of the Budget presentation


The Cabinet has approved, in principle, the budgetary process, for advancement of the date of Budget presentation from the last day of February to a suitable date. The exact date of presentation of Budget for 2017-18 would be decided keeping in view the date of assembly elections to be held in States.

The advancement of budget presentation by a month and completion of Budget related legislative business before 31st March would pave the way for early completion of Budget cycle and enable better planning and execution of schemes from the beginning of the financial year.

News 71 - Cabinet approved merger of Plan and Non Plan classification in Budget and Accounts

Budget and Accounts

The Cabinet has approved the merger of Plan and Non Plan classification in Budget and Accounts from 2017-18, with continuance of earmarking of funds for Scheduled Castes SubPlan/Tribal Sub-Plan. Similarly, the allocations for North Eastern States will also continue.

The Plan/Non-Plan bifurcation of expenditure has led to a fragmented view of resource allocation to various schemes. The merger of plan and non-plan in the budget is expected to provide appropriate budgetary framework having focus on the revenue, and capital expenditure.

News 72 - 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras to be opened by March 2017

Aushadhi Kendras

Centre has decided to open 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras by March 2017 to provide quality medicines at affordable rates. 437 such Kendras have become operational across the country so far. Of them, the maximum 122 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are in Chhattisgarh followed by Uttar Pradesh.

Department of Pharmaceuticals has initiated countrywide campaign to ensure availability of generic medicines at affordable prices for all, under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY).

News 73 - Cabinet approves the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016

River Ganga

The Union Cabinet approved the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.

Briefly, the Order envisages:

  • Creation of the National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management), as an Authority under the Chairperson of Hon’ble Prime Minister

  • Setting up of an Empowered Task Force

  • Declaration of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as an Authority with powers to issue directions and also to exercise the powers under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

News 74 - Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Samoa for exchange of information with respect to Taxes


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of Agreement between India and Samoa for the exchange of information with respect to Taxes. The Agreement will stimulate the flow of exchange of information between India and Samoa for tax purposes which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.

There are no financial implications at present. Only in the event of extraordinary costs exceeding USD 500, the same will be borne by India. India has similar provisions in other such tax information exchange agreement.

News 75 - 5th BIRAC Innovators Meet


BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council), a non-profit Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, is organizing the 5th Innovators Meet on 22-23 September 2016 in New Delhi. The theme of the meet would be ‘Biotech Innovation Ecosystem - Strategizing the Next Leap’.

The Innovators Meet is being organized for marking BIRAC’s continuous efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in all places of research. It is a confluence of around 300 Scientists, Entrepreneurs & Industry Experts, and Policy Makers.

News 76 - Indian Oil and GAIL sign MoU for taking equity stake in upcoming Dhamra LNG terminal

Indian Oil and GAIL

Indian Oil Corporation Limited and GAIL (India) Limited today signed an MoU with Dhamra LNG Terminal Private Limited (DLTPL) for taking equity in the 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Receiving, Storage and Regasification Terminal, being put up at Dhamra Port, Odisha.

As per the MoU, DLTPL shall be an equal Joint Venture of Indian Oil and GAIL on one hand and Adani Group on the other. Indian Oil and GAIL would acquire 39% and 11% equity respectively in DLTPL, with the balance 50% being held by Adani group.

News 77 - Cabinet approves Capital Grant to GAIL for development of Gas Infrastructure

GAIL(I) Limited

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved viability gap funding / partial capital grant at 40% (Rs. 5,176 crore) of the estimated capital cost of Rs. 12,940 crore to GAIL for development of 2539 km long Jagdishpur-Haidia and Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project.

JHBDPL project will connect Eastern part of the country with National Gas Grid. CCEA also approved the simultaneous development of City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks in cities namely Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Cuttack etc. en-route of JHBDPL project.

News 78 - CCEA approved winding up of Hindustan Diamond Company Private Limited


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for initiating the process of winding up of Hindustan Diamond Company Private Limited (HDCPL). It is a 50:50 joint venture of the Government of India and De Beers Centenary Mauritius Limited (DBCML).

The HDCPL was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 in 1978. The objective of formation of the Company was to supply rough diamonds to diamond processing industry in India.

News 79 - IWAI Signs Contract with DST, Germany for Designing Special Vessels for NW-1


The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Ministry of Shipping signed a contract with M/s DST, Germany to design vessels, especially suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of NW-1 to provide safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through National Waterway-1 (NW-1).

Government is developing NW-1 under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,200 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tons.

News 80 - Cabinet approved enactment of Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016

Maritime Claims

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of Ministry of Shipping to enact Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016 and to repeal five archaic admiralty statutes.

Admiralty jurisdiction is related to the powers of the High Courts in respect of claims associated with transport by sea and navigable waterways.

The salient features are as follows:

  • The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends up to territorial waters.

  • It applies to every vessel irrespective of place of residence or domicile of owner.

News 81 - Swachh Bharat Week to be observed from Sep 25-Oct 2

Swachh Bharat

Swachh Bharat Week will be observed from 25th September till 2nd of October, 2016. The government has planned country wide awareness programmes during this period.

As a part of Swachh Bharat Week, a day-long ‘INDOSAN-2016’ i.e India Sanitation Conference will be organized on September 30,2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. INDOSAN seeks to renew the commitment at the highest political level to ensure Clean India by 2019.

News 82 - NCRG under PM to fast track Namami Gange implementation


To fast-track the implementation of its ambitious Namami Gange programme, the government has decided to replace National Ganga River Basin Authority, NGRBA with National Council for River Ganga, to be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It also decided to set up an empowered task force, to be chaired by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, to ensure ministries and departments working on the programme have an action plan with specific activities, time frame for achievement of objective and a mechanism for monitoring implementation of the action plans.

News 83 - GST threshold fixed at Rs 20 lakh

GST Threshold

The Goods and Services Tax, GST Council has fixed the annual turnover limit for exemption at Rs 20 lakh below which the traders will be exempted from GST and resolved that all cesses will be subsumed in the GST.

The limit would be 10 lakh rupees in the north-eastern states.

The GST Council also decided that the state authorities will have jurisdiction over assessees with annual turnover of less than 1.5 crore rupees - thus addressing the issue of dual control over small traders. The base year for calculating compensation would be 2015-16.

News 84 - CBDT Signs 5 more Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into five (5) unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers. One of these Agreements has a rollback provision in it. With these signings, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has reached 103.

An APA is an agreement between a corporate taxpayer and the tax authority on its transfer pricing methodology and the tax rate applicable on inter-company transactions.

News 85 - Health Ministry to launch “Mission Parivar Vikas”

Mission Parivar Vikas

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will soon launch “Mission Parivar Vikas” in 145 high focus districts having the highest total fertility rates in the country. These 145 districts are in the seven high focus, high TFR states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam that constitute 44% of the country’s population.

The main objective of ‘Mission Parivas Vikas’ will be to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework.

News 86 - Rs. 315 Crore released for Construction of Toilets


Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry has released an amount of Rs. 315 crore to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for the implementation of Ganga action plan under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) during the current financial year.

This amount will be spent on the construction of toilets along the river Ganga. It may be recalled that Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry had released Rs. 263 crore for this purpose to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation during the last financial year. So far, 14,500 toilets have been constructed under this scheme.

News 87 - PM approves formation of two separate committees on the occasion of Birth Centenary of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay

Deendayal Upadhyay

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the constitution of two committees for the commemoration of the Birth Centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay. The Prime Minister will chair a 149member National Committee, and the Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, will chair a 23-member Executive Committee.

The other members of the National Committee include former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister Shri H.D. Deve Gowda, BJP President Shri Amit Shah and various Union Ministers. The committee includes several Governors, Chief Ministers, Scientists, Journalists, Academicians, Social Workers and Spiritual Leaders. Union Minister of State (I/C) Dr. Mahesh Sharma will be the Convenor of the Committee.

News 88 - Union Cabinet approves the new India-Cyprus DTAA

India-Cyprus DTAA

The Cabinet approved the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Cyprus that provides for source-based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares instead of one based on residence. Cyprus is a major source of foreign funds flows into the country and is considered as a haven for money laundering, round-tripping and profit-shifting.

With the revision of the treaty, capital gains will be taxed in India for entities resident in Cyprus, subject to double tax relief. In other words, India will have the right to tax capital gains arising in India. It also has a revised provision for the exchange of information that would enable the use of information exchanged for other purposes, as far as tax collections are concerned.

News 89 - New Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex to open for public from October 2, 2016

New Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum

The New Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex which now includes the Garages Museum and Clock Tower in addition to the Stables Museum will open for the public from October 2, 2016.

This museum depicts the story of the planning and construction of Rashtrapati Bhavan; the British Viceroys who occupied the building till 1947; their reaction towards the freedom movement in the country; transfer of power; formation of the Republic; life and work of 13 Presidents of India since 1950; life in Rashtrapati Bhavan; beauty and environment of the campus, people working here and important visitors to Rashtrapati Bhavan etc. The museum also has an Art Gallery for holding temporary exhibitions.

News 90 - Parliamentary panel headed by VeerappaMoily to analyse merger of budgets


In a committee under the chairmanship of M. Veerappa Moily, it is decided to submit committee report on the ramifications of the Union Cabinet’s decision of merging the Railway Budget with the General Budget before the commencement of next Parliament winter session.

Committee will analyse its implications on the Railways, the Railway Board, planning, finance departments and further will discuss with the Statistics and Planning Departments.

News 91 - Commerce & Industry Minister and Sri Lanka meet to enhance bilateral trade and investment relations

Nirmala Sitharaman

The Commerce and Industry Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman visited Sri Lanka with the objective of enhancing and deepening bilateral trade and investment relations. During the meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Business Forum, many issues relating to trade, services and investment were discussed.

The Commerce and Industry Minister also had a bilateral meeting with a high level Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade of Sri Lanka, where leaders expressed satisfaction on the progress of the proposed Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka.

News 92 - Telecom Ministry urges BSNL to connect 1 lakh Gram Panchayats with broadband connectivity


Telecom Minister Shri Manoj Sinha urged BSNL to connect one lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and find new invention, new research and new technology and to give World Class products for achieving Prime Minister’s vision of Transforming India through Digital Revolution.

Shri Sinha asked BSNL officers and employees to set an ambitious target of 15 percent Telecom penetration within a time frame from the existing 10.4 percent. In the last two years 26,000 mobile towers were installed and in this financial year 20,000 additional towers will be installed.

News 93 - Dr. Mahesh Sharma Flags off the Sightseeing Tour of Delhi’s Monuments and Heritage for Divyang Children on World Tourism Day

Mahesh Sharma

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture flagged off a Sightseeing Tour of the Monuments and Heritage places of Delhi for Divyang children on the occasion of World Tourism day in New Delhi on 27th September and the theme was announced as ‘Tourism for All!! - “Promoting Universal Accessibility”.

Around 35 Divyang students from Class 2nd to 6th of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya School for Divyang Children, New Delhi participated in this Sightseeing Tour of many Monuments and Heritage places of Delhi.

News 94 - Indira Gandhi International Airport achieves carbon neutral status

Indira Gandhi International Airport

The Indira Gandhi International Airport became the first airport in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve carbon neutral status. IGIA is managed by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium.

Airport Carbon Accreditation has upgraded Delhi Airport to "Level 3+, Neutrality", which is the highest level of achievement available to airports across the world. Carbon neutrality means the airport absorbs or offsets the same amount of carbon emission that was generated.

News 95 - Cabinet approved ratification of the Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to ratify the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change) on 2nd October 2016, the day of Gandhi Jayanti. The treaty will come into force as and when 55 countries contributing to 55 % of total global emission ratify the agreement.

So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification. The Cabinet has also decided that India should declare that India will treat its national laws of global commitment to combating climate change and access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the Agreement is being ratified.

News 96 - Cabinet approves India–Singapore MoU to boost Innovation, Creativity and Technological Advancement


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation between both the countries. The MoU will be signed at the upcoming visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister to India from 4-7 October, 2016.

The MoU will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, investor and businesses on both sides. The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation activities in the arena of Industrial Property Rights of Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs.

News 97 - Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to Varistha Pension Bima Yojana, 2003 and Varistha Pension BimaYojana, 2014


The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension BimaYojana (VPBY) 2003 and Varistha Pension BimaYojana (VPBY) 2014. Both are pension schemes intended to give an assured minimum pension to the Senior Citizens. The pension is envisaged until death from the date of subscription, with payback of the subscription amount on death of the subscriber to the nominee.

Both the schemes are closed for future subscriptions. However, policies sold during the currency of policy are being serviced as per the commitment of guaranteed 9% return assured by the Government under the schemes.

News 98 - Cabinet approved an Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates for Seafarers, 1978.

India and Korea

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for signing of an Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates. It is in pursuance of the Regulation 1/10 of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.

Signing of the Undertaking will pave way for recognition of maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, training documentary evidence and medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the Government of the other country.

News 99 - Cabinet approved Administrative and Financial Sanction towards the implementation of the Project SAKSHAM


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’, a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The total project cost involved is Rs. 2256 crores, which will be incurred over a period of 7 years.

The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure readiness of CBEC's IT systems by April, 1, 2017, when GST is to be introduced. CBEC's IT systems need to integrate with the Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN) for processing of registration, payment and returns data sent by GSTN systems to CBEC, as well as act as a front-end for other modules like Audit, Appeal, Investigation.

News 100 - Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojana launched at Srinagar, J&K


Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched in Srinagar for the State of Jammu & Kashmir. As a symbolic launch of the PMUY, women from BPL families were handed over connections during the function by the Chief Minister of J&K and Minister for Petroleum. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to provide LPG connections to 5 Crore BPL households by 2019.

The Central Government has released 2 lakh connections during the last 2 years in J&K and 5 Lakh connections released during the previous 8 years in J&K by the previous Governments.

News 101 - Inland Waterways Authority of India signed MoUs with Dredging Corporation of India and Mormugao Port Trust

Inland Waterways Authority

Three separate MoUs were signed in New Delhi, between Inland Waterways Authority of India and Dredging Corporation of India and Mormugao Port Trust in the presence of Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari to promote the development of inland water transport.

The main objective behind the deal was to maintain navigable depth in National Waterways by DCI and upgradation of the fairways by buying shallow depth dredgers and operating them in National Waterways.

News 102 - 20 States rewarded for promoting urban reforms under Atal Mission during 2015-16


19 States and the Union Territory of Chandigarh were rewarded during INDOSAN Conference in New Delhi, with performance incentive for promoting urban reforms under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) during 2015-16. While Tamil Nadu topped the list of performing States, Chandigarh headed the list of Union Territories.

Rs. 400 crores were earmarked for reform incentive during 2015-16. Reform incentive distributed to 20 States/UT was: Tamil Nadu (Rs. 61.34 cr), Telangana (Rs. 10.73 cr), MP (Rs. 33.45 cr), Chandigarh (0.69 cr) etc. Minister of Urban Development Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu felicitated the lead performers with mementoes and cheques.

News 103 - PM, CMs, Ministers sign Declaration of Commitment to make Swachh Bharat by 2019

Swachh Bharat 2019

Top leadership of the country including the Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers and Ministers from States and Union Territories signed a Declaration of Commitment to make India Open Defecation Free and Clean by 2019, during the INDOSAN (India Sanitation Conference) held at New Delhi. Other elected representatives from rural and urban local bodies, District Collectors, Municipal Commissioners also signed a similar Declaration.

The Minister announced that as on date 405 cities and towns have come to be Open Defecation Free and 739 would become ODF by March next year.

News 104 - Minister of Railways Launched and Dedicated Various Services to the Nation

Train at a Glance

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Railways launched various services like station to station special freight rates policy, policy providing sub quota of 33% to women in catering units, new system of allocating vacant berths after final charting, launch of the new “Train at a Glance” and new Time Table effective from 1st October 2016 and Policy giving preference to local domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations.

Railways is implementing its budget announcements in a promised manner. Railways will continue to introduce such new reformative steps.