Current Affairs September 2017 - National

News 1 - Cabinet approved MoU by the Election Commission of India with the Election Management Bodies of other countries/International Agencies


The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Election Commission of India to enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration with the Election Management Bodies of other countries/International Agencies.

The MOU’s are as follows:

  • The National Electoral Council of Ecuador;

  • The Central Election Commission of Albania;

  • The Election Commission of Bhutan;

  • The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan;

  • The National Independent Electoral Commission of Guinea;

  • The Union Election Commission of Myanmar; and

  • The India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).

News 2 - Cabinet approved MoU with Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan


The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar for the conservation of earthquake-damaged pagodas at Bagan, Myanmar.

Implementation of the project will further strengthen India’s enduring ties in culture and religion with Myanmar. It will also generate immense goodwill for India among the people of Myanmar due to the religious significance as well as the touristic significance of the project. It will also contribute to India’s development partnership with Myanmar. Bagan is one of the premier tourist attractions of Myanmar.

News 3 - Cabinet approved promulgation of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of the Finance Ministry to promulgate an ordinance to amend suitably the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017.

The approval would allow increasing the maximum rate at which the Compensation Cess can be levied from 15% to 25% on −

  • Motor vehicles for transport of not more than thirteen persons, including the driver [falling under sub-headings 870210, 8702 20, 8702 30 or 8702 90]; and 2. Motor vehicles falling under headings 8703.

News 4 - Cabinet approved MoU on "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund"

India-Israel Industrial

The Union Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on "India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)". The MoU was concluded in July 2017.

India and Israel will make a contribution of four million US Dollars each for the Fund, both equivalent amounts, annually for five years. The Innovation Fund will be governed by a joint Board, which will consist of four members from each country. The activities supported by the Joint Fund would increase the techno-economic collaboration between the two countries by investing in jointly developed technology projects and collaborations based on technological innovation.

News 5 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies

Zebu Cattle Genomics

The Union Cabinet was apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Brazil for cooperation in the fields of Zebu Cattle Genomics and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. The MoU was signed in October 2016.

The MoU will promote development of Genomics and Assistant Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) in Cattle through joint activities to be implemented through mutually agreed procedures. The MoU would promote and facilitate scientific cooperation and setting up of genomic selection programme in Zebu Cattle through application of genomic in Zebu Cattle and their crosses and buffaloes.

News 6 - Cabinet apprised of jointly issuing of postage stamps between India and Canada

Postage Stamps

The Union Cabinet was informed that India and Canada have mutually agreed to issue a set of two Commemorative Postage Stamps on India-Canada: Joint Issue on the theme "Diwali". The joint stamps will be released on 21 September 2017.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed between Department of Posts and Canada Post for this joint issue. The theme "Diwali" has been selected, as it is a cultural theme for both the countries, considering the large presence of Indian Diaspora in Canada.

News 7 - CPWD goes digital with all Rs.20,000 crores payments per year now online


The Government’s construction major, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has undergone a major digital transformation enabling payments worth Rs.20,000 crores per year electronically. This has been done by networking all the 400 field offices of CPWD across the country through a special integrated portal ensuring digital payments from this month. With this, CPWD has become the first organization of a civil ministry to become digital at the field level.

Electronic Measurement Book (e-MB) has also been developed for CPWD that enables reporting of progress of works online as per the schedule of agreement with contractors based on which payments will be made.

News 8 - CWC signed MoUS with NIT Calicut and NIT Rourkela to support capacity building in Dam Safety Areas


Central Water Commission (CWC) has signed MoUs with NIT Calicut and NIT Rourkela to support dam rehabilitation efforts of various implementing agencies and CWC.

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has taken on board selected premier academic and research institutes, for capacity building in the areas of dam safety through World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). DRIP is assisting rehabilitation of 225 dams in seven States, which are experiencing different levels of distress.

News 9 - Record production of horticulture crops in the country during 2016-17

Production of Horticulture

The record production of horticulture crops in the country during 2016-17 is estimated to be around 300 million tonnes, which is 4.8% higher as compared to the previous year’s i.e. 2015-16 estimates.

The area under horticulture crops has increased from 24.5 million ha to 25.1 million ha in 2016-17, recording an increase of 2.6% over previous year. Fruit production during the current year is estimated to be record 93.7 million tonnes, which is about 3.9% higher than the previous year. Production of vegetables is estimated to be record around 176 million tonnes, which is 4.2% higher than the previous year.

News 10 - First Synergy Conference on Defence Pension

First Synergy

The Defence Accounts Department (DAD) organized its first Synergy Conference on Defence Pensions. The conference was attended by all Defence Pensioners Associations.

The objective of the conference was to obtain feedback from the pensioners that would help the department to serve them better with constantly improving systems and procedures. Digitization of pension data and implementation of a pension’s app were also discussed in detail.

News 11 - Swiss President Doris Leuthard visited India

Doris Leuthard

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Mrs Doris Leuthard, was on a State Visit to India.

The following Memoranda of Understanding were signed during the visit:

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications of the Swiss Confederation on technical cooperation in the rail sector and

  • Memorandum of Understanding between Konkan Railway Cooperation Limited (KRCL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH Zürich).

News 12 - Union Cabinet approved equivalence of posts in PSUs, banks, Insurance companies

Union Cabinet

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the norms for establishing equivalence of posts in Government and posts in PSUs, PSBs etc. for claiming benefit of OBC reservations.

This will ensure that the children of those serving in lower categories in PSUs and other institutions can get the benefit of OBC reservations, on par with children of people serving in lower categories in Government.

The Union Cabinet also approved the increase in the present income criterion from Rs 6 lakhs to Rs. 8 lakh per annum.

News 13 - Government issued alert on spread of 'Locky Ransomware'

Locky Ransomware

The government has issued an alert on spread of new malware 'Locky Ransomware' that can lock computers and demand ransom for unlocking them.

Ransomware is a malicious software and the Locky Ransomware is learnt to be demanding ransom of half bitcoin, which at present rate is equivalent to over 1.5 lakh rupees. The alert stated that the computer users are advised to exercise caution while opening e-mails and organisations are advised to deploy anti-spam solutions and update spam block lists.

News 14 - First batch of 1000 E-rickshaws ‘SmartE’ flagged off in Gurugram


Union Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off a fleet of first batch of 1000 E-rickshaws from Huda City Centre metro station in Gurugram. The E-rickshaw fleet will provide cost effective and pollution free substitute in transport system of Gurugram and generate employment opportunities for marginalised youth.

The E-rickshaw fleet is being operated by Treasure Vase Ventures Private Limited in partnership of Delhi Metro, under the SmartE brand name. SmartE will provide the last mile transport connectivity in the area. The E Rickshaws have been manufactured in India and are fitted with GPS and tracking system.

News 15 - NITI Aayog launched National Nutrition Strategy


NITI Aayog has launched National Nutrition Strategy. It lays the roadmap for targeted action to address India's nutritional needs. NITI's national nutrition strategy calls for convergence between four proximate determinants of nutrition − food, health services, income and water.

The Nutrition Strategy framework envisages a Kuposhan Mukt Bharat - linked to Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. The strategy enables states to make strategic choices, through decentralized planning and local innovation, with accountability for nutrition outcomes.

News 16 - Union Health Ministry launched two new contraceptives − Antara and Chhaya

Antara and Chhaya

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched two new contraceptives, an injectable contraceptive MPA under the ‘Antara’ programme and a contraceptive pill, ‘Chhaya’. The ‘Antara’ injectable is effective for three months and the ‘Chayya’ pill for one week.

The Ministry has also launched Mission Parivar Vikas, a central family planning initiative with the main objective of bringing down the Total Fertility Rate to 2.1 by the year 2025. The mission is being implemented in 146 high focus districts with the highest total fertility rates in the country.

News 17 - India and Myanmar sign eleven MoUs in a range of sectors

Eleven MoUs

India and Myanmar today signed 11 agreements in a range of sectors, including one on maritime security cooperation, to strengthen their multifaceted partnership further. The MoUs were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

India and Myanmar signed a MoU to strengthen maritime security cooperation. The two sides also signed an agreement for sharing white shipping information to improve data sharing on non-classified merchant navy ships or cargo ships.

News 18 - UJALA scheme launched in Melaka, Malaysia


Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has launched UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable Lighting for All) Scheme in the State of Melaka, Malaysia. The Scheme was launched by Chief Minister of Melaka Datuk Seri Utama Ir. Hj. Idris Bin Hj. Haron.

Under this scheme, each household in Melaka will get 10 high quality 9-watt LED bulbs at a cost of only RM 10, which is a special price and is almost half of what is being offered in the market.

News 19 - Government sets up online service facility for importers, exporters to resolve all foreign trade-related issues

Foreign Trade

The government has set up an online service facility that can be used by importers and exporters to resolve all foreign trade-related issues. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade, which comes under Ministry of Commerce, has asked all exporters and importers to use the system - Contact@DGFT - for resolution of their matters.

Traders can raise all matters related to the directorate or other agencies of the Centre and States through this facility activated at the DGFT website. Contact@DGFT system has been activated as a single point contact for resolving all foreign trade-related issues.

News 20 - CGWB enters into MoA with IIS Bangalore for development of ground water flow models


Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Ministry of Water Resources, RD & GR has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore for ‘Development of ground water flow models and preparation of aquifer management plans for parts of Karnataka’.

This mathematical model will render better understanding of existing groundwater scenarios and developing effective management plans incorporating different demand and supply side interventions. The study will cover an area of 48000 square km.

News 21 - Nestle sets up first Food Safety Institute in India


Nestle India has set up India's first ever food safety institute in Manesar. Nestle Food Safety Institute will conduct training programmes, on Food Safety Management Systems, testing methods and regulatory standards.

Nestle is already running such institutes in China, Lausanne and Switzerland. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Nestle India Ltd.’s Maggi instant noodles over health and safety worries two years ago.

News 22 - Government extends FAME India Scheme by six-month


The Union government is planning to extend the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME)-India scheme by another six months.

FAME promotes electric and hybrid vehicles. It is to be implemented over a period of 6 years, until 2020. It will focus on market development of hybrid/electric vehicles and its manufacturing eco-system. The Department of Heavy Industries had allocated Rs. 75 crores and Rs 122.90 crore for FY2016 and FY2017 respectively. It has benefited a total of 148,275 electric and hybrid vehicles (xEVs) from April 1, 2015 until June 30, 2017.

News 23 - Festival 'North-East Calling' launched at India Gate

North-East Calling

Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, DONER Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated North East Festival 'North-East Calling' at India Gate in New Delhi.

Dr. Singh launched three initiatives, North-East Venture Fund, North East Tourism Development Council and Science and Technology Intervention in North Eastern Region, STINER. He said, in last 3 years, the Centre gave its due to Northeast and connected it to rest of India.

He also said that the region has the potential to become a hub for Start-Ups.

News 24 - Technology Advancement uplifts Productivity at India’s Major Ports

Technological Advancement

Technological advancement for modernization of major ports and reforms for enhancing ease of doing business are driving and sustaining the growth trend line at India’s major ports. The country’s 12 major ports together handled 273.96 Million Tonnes of cargo between April to August 2017 as against 265.31 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year, an overall growth of 3.26%.

Seven Ports (Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai and JNPT) registered growth in traffic during the period April to August 2017.

News 25 - Second Indian Workers’ Resource Centre inaugurated in UAE


Indian Ambassador in UAE Navdeep Singh Suri inaugurated the second Indian Workers’ Resource Centre (IWRC) in UAE to provide support and counselling to Indians in distress. IWRC provides counselling and support to the overseas Indian Community on legal, personal and financial matters, free of cost. The first IWRC was opened in Dubai in 2010.

Members of the Indian Community can call this centre from anywhere in UAE through a toll free number 800 INDIA or 80046342. The helpline will work 24x7 and will have multi lingual facility to help the Indian diaspora staying in UAE.

News 26 - Belarus President on two-day visit to India


President of Belarus AG Lukashenko was on a two-day visit to India. Belarus and India are celebrating 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation in defence and security, trade and investment, science and technology and people-to-people exchanges. They also exchanged views and assessments on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. A business forum and parallel meetings organized for the members of the large delegation accompanying President Lukashenko also explored business opportunities and cooperation avenues.

News 27 - India and Afghanistan exchange four pacts


India and Afghanistan exchanged the following four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership.

  • Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic.

  • MoU for mutual cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products regulation between the National Medicine and healthcare Products Regulatory Authority of Afganisthan and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

  • The Orbit Frequency Coordination Agreement between India and Afganisthan on South Asia Satellite (SAS).

  • Letters establishing the New Deveopment Partnership and launching 116 High Impact Community Development Projects.

News 28 - Airports Authority of India undertakes construction of Integrated Cargo Terminal at Imphal airport

Cargo Terminal

Airports Authority of India will undertake construction of Integrated Cargo Terminal at Imphal Airport after obtaining grant-in-aid under Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) of Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The Government of Manipur had planned to establish an Export Import Cargo Terminal (EICT) at Tulihal, Imphal Airport under ASIDE Scheme of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

The estimated cost construction of the cargo terminal is Rs. 16.20 crores. Out of this, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has sanctioned a grant of Rs. 12.96 crores under TIES. The balance amount to construct will be met out of internal sources of AAI.

News 29 - SIM Cards not linked to Aadhaar to be deactivated after February 2018

SIM Cards

In order to comply with an order passed by the Supreme Court, the government is planning to link Aadhaar with mobile SIM cards and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after February 2018.

According to the Supreme Court, all SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of judgement. The court had also directed that biometrics cannot be stored by the mobile operators nor they have access to any of the other personal data.

News 30 - Government to launch Project Insight

Project Insight

The Union Finance Ministry is planning to launch ‘Project Insight’ from October 2017, in a move to restrict black money holdings and transactions. It is an ambitious project of the income tax (I-T) department.

The I-T Department has signed a contract with L&T Infotech Ltd for its implementation. The project will be rolled out in three phases, with the first phase being implemented from May 2017. The aim of this project is to observe and check high value transactions, and track tax evaders with the help of technology to restrict black money holdings.

News 31 - India and Belarus signed ten MoUs

India and Belarus

Belarus President A G Lukashenko who arrived in India last night held extensive talks with Indian leaders this morning. After meeting PM Modi, India and Belarus signed 10 MOU’s aimed at expanding bilateral ties and exploring joint development and manufacture of military platforms. The interaction between the two leaders has now led to the ramping up of bilateral engagement in various areas, including defence, trade and investment.

Belarus and India have already determined the philosophy of relations, now it is essential to develop the practical dimension, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu as per reports from the Belarus Media.

News 32 - Cabinet approved implementation of the scheme “Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund”

Dairy Processing

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund” (DIDF) with an outlay of Rs 10,881 crore during the period from 2017-18 to 2028-29. Rs 8004 crore shall be loan from NABARD to NDDB/NCDC, Rs. 2001 crore shall be end the borrowers contribution, Rs 12 crore would be jointly contributed by NDDB/NCDC and Rs 864 crore shall be contributed by DADF towards interest subvention.

The project will be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and National Dairy Development Cooperation (NCDC) directly through the End Borrowers. The end borrowers will get the loan @ 6.5% per annum. The period of repayment will be 10 years with initial two years moratorium.

News 33 - Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched 'Wood is Good' campaign in New Delhi

Harsh Vardhan

Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the 'Wood is Good' campaign in New Delhi. The government wants to increase the country’s forest cover from 24% to 33% of the geographical area and create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in forests.

The Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-Plus) is a joint programme by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to strengthen capacity for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) implementation in India.

News 34 - Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of health

India and Morocco

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of health.

The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:

  • Non-communicable diseases, including child cardiovascular diseases and cancer;

  • Drug Regulation and Pharmaceutical quality control.

  • Communicable Diseases;

  • Maternal, child and neonatal health;

  • Hospital twinning for exchange of good practices;

  • Training in administration and management of health services and Hospitals.

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

News 35 - Cabinet approves MoU between India and Armenia on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management

India and Armenia

The Union Cabinet approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Armenia on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management.

The MoU would enhance cooperation in the field of Disaster Management and contribute to the well-being and safety of the people of both the countries in the event of disaster.

It will also result in exchange of information in the relevant fields of disaster management, which is of mutual interest.

News 36 - Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Japan for collaborative research in the field of silkworm and silk industries

India and Japan

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Central Silk Board (CSB), India and National Institute of Agro biological Sciences (NIAS), Japan for collaborative research in the field of silkworm and silk industries.

The MoU was signed on 11.11.2016 between CSB and NIAS for initiating a Collaborative Research for developing prolific bivoltine hybrids of silkworm suitable for the Indian tropical conditions. It would help in developing prolific hybrid silkworms, which would improve the manufacturing capacity and the quality standards of the Indian sericulture industry.

News 37 - Cabinet approved introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament

Payment of Gratuity

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament, which seeks to double tax-free gratuity for private sector and government employees to Rs. 20 lakh.

The Amendment will increase the maximum limit of gratuity of employees, in the private sector and in Public Sector Undertakings/ Autonomous Organizations under Government who are not covered under CCS (Pension) Rules, at par with Central Government employees. At present, the withdrawal is capped at Rs10 lakh and the rest is paid out after deduction of taxes.

News 38 - Cabinet approved survey of Un-appraised Areas of Sedimentary Basins of India

Sedimentary Basins

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for a significant project to acquire 48,243 Line Kilometre (LKM) 2D seismic data for appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins where limited data is available.

The project will help in increasing the investments in domestic production of oil and gas. The project will be implemented by NOCs, i.e. Oil India Limited (OIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The total estimated cost of the entire project is Rs. 2932.99 crore spread over five years.

News 39 - FSSAI launched online platform for food inspection and sampling


Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched a nationwide online platform called as ‘FoSCoRIS’ to bring in transparency in food safety inspection and sampling.

‘FoSCoRIS’ is a web-based system. It will help verify compliance of food safety and hygiene standards by food businesses as per the government norms. It will bring together all key stakeholders- food businesses, food safety officers, designated officers and State Food Safety Commissioners.

News 40 - India-Japan Annual Summit


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in India on a two-day visit to attend the India Japan annual summit meeting. During the summit, PM Narendra Modi and Japan’s Shinzo Abe held strategic discussions on a wide range of issues under the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between the two countries.

They also decided to implement WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement steadily. The 12th edition of the summit was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

News 41 - Government launched Hackathon to promote App Ideas


The Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched a nation-wide hackathon #OpenGovDataHack with an aim to Support & Showcase potentially great Ideas/Talent from Inner India by reaching out in their own State/City (7 Cities).

The hackathon enables such great Ideas/Talent develop into Apps/Infographics primarily by use of Open Government Data around the themes of Drinking Water& Sanitation, Transport, Education, Crime and Health to a stage, after which it can be evaluated by jury and be selected for Prizes and future support/funding.

News 42 - Foundation stone for India’s first High Speed Rail project

High Speed Rail

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe jointly laid the foundation stone for India’s first high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The train will have top speeds of 320-350 kms per hour. Twelve stations have been proposed: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The 508km-long Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) is a Rs. 1,10,000 crores project. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will fund Rs 88,000 crore at a low rate of interest of 0.1% per annum.

News 43 - MOU between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and (CBDT) for Automatic and Regular Exchange of Information


The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) have now concluded a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange to curb the menace of shell companies, money laundering and black money in the country and prevent misuse of corporate structure by shell companies for various illegal purposes.

The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between CBDT and MCA on an automatic and regular basis. It will enable sharing of specific information such as Permanent Account Number (PAN) data in respect of corporates, Income Tax returns (ITRs) of corporates etc.

News 44 - Operation Insaaniyat: Humanitarian Assistance to Bangladesh

Operation Insaaniyat

The Government of India has decided to assist Bangladesh by sending relief material at a time of crisis due to heavy influx of refugees from Myanmar. The government sent 55 Tons of relief material to Chittagong, Bangladesh with the help of the Indian Air Force aircraft C-17 Globemaster.

The relief material consisted of critical daily necessities viz., rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, ready to eat meals, mosquito nets etc.

News 45 - Agreements signed between Japan and India

Japan and India

The list of agreements signed between Japan and India are as follows −

  • MoU in disaster risk reduction, to share experiences, knowledge and policies on disaster prevention.

  • MoC in the field of Japanese Language Education in India between MEA and MOFA, Japan

  • MoU to enhance connectivity and promote developmental projects in the North Eastern Region of India in an efficient and effective manner

  • MoU for implementing the commercial arrangement of "Cool EMS” service between the Japan Post and India Post through which fresh food can be sent from Japan to India in cool boxes to facilitate for the Japanese expatriates in India

  • India-Japan Investment Promotion Road map between DIPP and METI

  • MOC between METI and the State of Gujarat on ‘Japan-India special programme for Make In India’ in Mandal Bechraj-Khoraj in Gujarat

  • Exchange of RoD on Civil Aviation Cooperation (Open Sky)

  • Agreement for International joint exchange programme between interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences programme (iTHEMS), RIKEN and National Centres for Biological Sciences (Simons-NCBS)

  • MoU to conduct joint research and to establish an International Center named as "DBT-AISTInternational CENter for Translational & Environmental Research (DAICENTER)” at AIST, Japan.

  • MoU to promote research collaboration between DBT Research Institutes and AIST in the field of Life Science and Biotechnology

  • MoU to facilitate and deepen international education cooperation and exchanges between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, India and Nippon Sport Science University, Japan

  • MoU on International Academic and Sports Exchange between Sports Authority of India and Nippon Sports Science University, Japan (NSSU)

  • LETTER OF INTENT between Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) and University of Tsukuba, Japan

  • LETTER OF INTENT between Sports Authority of India and University of Tsukuba, Japan

  • MoU between RIS and IDE-JETRO for promotion of Cooperation in Research Related Activities

News 46 - President launched 'Swacchata Hi Seva' campaign

Swacchata Hi Seva

The President Shri Ram Nath Kovind launched the nationwide jan aandolan, Swachhta Hi Seva, from Iswarigunj, a village in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

The objective of the campaign is to mobilise people between 15 September and 2 October, reigniting the “jan aandolan” for sanitation. The launch kicked off the nationwide campaign to mobilise people to do large-scale shramdaan. Union Ministers, MLAs, MPs, iconic celebrities of India, sports stars, inter-faith leaders, corporates, etc. have been appealed to join in this campaign towards swachhta.

News 47 - HRD Minister announced Swacchata ranking of Higher Educational Institutions


Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the Swacchata ranking of Higher Educational Institutions and presented awards to top rankers. Around 3500 institutions participated in the Swachhata ranking out of which best 25 institutions were selected in four categories − cleanliness standards, cleaning systems, waste disposal methods, greenery in the institute campus and campus accessibility.

The complete list of award recipients in the University category is:

  • O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana
  • Manipal University, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Chitkara University, Kalu Jhanda, Solan, Himachal Pradesh
  • K.L.E. Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belgaum, Karnataka
  • Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, UP

News 48 - Chennai-Vladivostok sea route: India’s effort to counter China’s OBOR


India is planning to create a major connectivity initiative − direct shipping link between Chennai and Vladivostok in Russia that will help connect India with Northeast Asia and Western Pacific region.

This shipping link would enable to transfer cargo between Chennai and Vladivostok in 24 days as compared to over 40 days currently taken to transport goods from India to Far East Russia via Europe. India was the first country to establish a resident Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992.

News 49 - Rs.300 crore Plan for better solid waste management in Delhi

Solid Waste Management

Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced a Rs. 300 crores action plan for a visible improvement in Solid Waste Management in Delhi. It will be supported through the ‘Urban Development Fund’ operated by Delhi Development Authority.

North, South and East Municipal Corporation of Delhi will spend Rs. 100 crores each on procuring 549 units of modern equipment. An assistance of Rs. 80 crores will be provided to each MCD.

News 50 - India signed 76 Million US Dollar loan deal with JICA to upgrade Alang Sosiya Shipyards


The Government of India signed a loan deal worth $76 million with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for a project to upgrade the environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling yards. The total cost of the project will be $ 111 million. $25 million as taxes and fees will be borne by Government of Gujarat and the balance $10 million will be shared by Ministry of Shipping & Government of Gujarat.

The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). It is likely to be completed by 2022. This project will help the Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations.

News 51 - PM Modi dedicated Sardar Sarovar Dam to the nation

Sardar Sarovar Dam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat to the nation. Over 18 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat will come under irrigation through the dam. The power generated will be shared among three states − Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The dam will irrigate 2.46 lakh hectares of land in Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan.

Sardar Sarovar project is the biggest dam in terms of volume of concrete used in it. It is also the second biggest dam in the world after the Grand Coulee Dam in the United States.

News 52 - Rajnath Singh launched intelligence wing of SSB, WARB App

Rajnath Singh

Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched intelligence wing of Sashastra Seema Bal, SSB, and Welfare and Rehabilitation Board App, WARB in New Delhi. The paramilitary force guards India's borders with Bhutan and Nepal. The intelligence wing will gather actionable information.

The app WARB features to facilitate retire CAPFs and Assam Riffles personnel to get their grievances redressed, seek skill development and other relevant and important information. SSB officials will check authenticity of messages, which are being spread on the social media regarding security or intelligence alerts.

News 53 - Government saved Rs. 65,000 crores through DBT


The government has saved 65 thousand crore rupees through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in various public schemes. DBT enables linking of Aadhar card to bank accounts and other subsidised services availed by citizens. Scores of welfare schemes have been linked to DBT, under which the money are transferred directly to the beneficiary's bank accounts.

It is being used to plug the loopholes in the system due to which the government incurred losses. Government has successfully opened 30 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts and 118 crore Aadhar numbers have been issued.

News 54 - India and Japan inked Open Sky Airline Agreement

Sky Airline

Open Sky Airline Agreement means where two countries agree to allow unlimited number of flights between the two countries airlines. India and Japan inked Open Sky Airline Agreement.

India had previously signed such agreement with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. India is allowed to do so under a pact mentioned in National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, where India can enter in agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000-kilometre radius from New Delhi.

News 55 - First ever National Conference on 'Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition' held in New Delhi

National Conference

The first ever National Conference on "Mission Mode to address Under-Nutrition" was held in New Delhi. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development in collaboration with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, keeping in mind the goal of “Malnutrition Free India-2022”.

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi released a book "Forest Lanterns" containing essays on solutions to improve nutrition among children in tribal areas.

News 56 - Zero Hunger Program to be launched in October

Zero Hunger Program

India's ambitious 'Zero Hunger' program will be launched in three districts - Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Koraput in Odisha and Thane in Maharashtra on October 16, the World Food Day.

The Program will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). Zero Hunger − pledges to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and is the priority of the World Food Programme.

News 57 - Law Ministry approved Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017


The Union Law ministry has approved Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017 to enable the government to seize the property of economic offenders and defaulters who flee India.

According to the law, a ‘fugitive economic offender’, means an individual against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for an economic offence and the person has escaped from the country and refuses to return to face criminal prosecution.

In the recent past, there have been instances of major offenders, including economic offenders, fleeing the country to escape the reach of the law.

News 58 - Cabinet approved revamped Khelo India Program

Khelo India Program

The Union Cabinet has approved the revamped Khelo India programme at a cost of Rs. 1,756 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20. Te Programme aims at mainstreaming sport as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.

Salient features:

  • An unprecedented Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.

  • Each athlete selected under the scheme shall receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5.00 lakh for eight consecutive years.

  • The Program aims to promote 20 universities across the country as hubs of sporting excellence.

News 59 - Cabinet approved Rationalization/Merger of the Government of India Press (GIPs) and their modernization


The Union Cabinet has given its for rationalization/merger and modernization of 17 Government of India Presses (GIPs)/Units into 5 Government of India Presses (GIPs) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Minto Road and Mayapuri, New Delhi; Nashik, Maharashtra and Temple Street, Kolkata, West Bengal.

These five Presses will be redeveloped and modernised by monetisation of their surplus land. Land measuring 468.08 acres of the other merged Presses will be given to Land & Development Office, Ministry of Urban Development.

News 60 - Cabinet approved introduction of the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament. The amendment will reduce the redundancy. The clauses being amended include those pertaining to certain modifications in the provisions of the Dentists Act, 1948 with regard to −

  • The Membership of the Dental Council of India under clause (f) of section 3 and The Membership of State and

  • Joint State Dental Councils under clause (b) of section 21 and clause (b) of section 23 of the said Act.

News 61 - Cabinet approved Productivity Linked Bonus for Railway Employees Payment

Railway Employees

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to pay Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days wages to eligible non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) for the financial year 2016-17. About 12.30 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision.

The financial implication of payment of 78 days' PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs. 2,245.45 crores. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs. 17,951 for 78 days.

News 62 - Cabinet approved transfer of Hotel Jaipur Ashok, Jaipur to Government of Rajasthan


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval to the transfer of Hotel Jaipur Ashok, Jaipur and Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, Mysore, units of India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (ITDC) to Government of Rajasthan and Government of Karnataka, respectively and disinvestment of ITDCs shares in M/s Donyi Polo Ashok Hotel Corporation.

The policy has been formulated keeping in view that running and managing hotels on professional lines is not the job of Government or its entities.

News 63 - Cabinet approved annual cost indexation for increase in rates in future


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for revision of cost norms with annual cost indexation for Supplementary Nutrition (SN) for the beneficiaries of Anganwadi Services and Adolescent Girls (out of school 11-14 years) under the Umbrella ICDS Scheme.

The revision of cost norms for SN for beneficiaries of Aanganwadi Services would cost additional expenditure of Rs. 9,900 crore and for beneficiaries of Adolescent Girls, it would cost Rs. 2,267.18 crore as GoI share for a period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

News 64 - Cabinet approved Extension of time of the Scheme "Special Industry Initiative for J&K" (Sll J&K) - Udaan


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for extension of time of the Scheme "Special Industry Initiative for J&K" (Sll J&K) - Udaan until 31 December 2018 without any modification and cost escalation. Initially the time of Udaan was up to 2016-17.

Udaan provides exposure to the youth of J&K to the best of corporate India and corporate India to the rich talent pool available in the State. So far, 34,587 candidates have been selected of whom 14,694 have been offered jobs.

News 65 - National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign - 2017-18

Rabi Campaign

The National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign − 2017-18 was organized at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

During the two day conference, Group Discussions were held on important topics such as on (1) Soil Health Card Scheme, (2) Increasing Coverage of Non-loanee Farmers, (3) e-NAM-Ideas on Improvements, (4) Integrated Pest Management (IPM), (5) Management of Drought, (6) Review of Post-Harvest Management (PHM), (7) Drought Proofing of 30 Vulnerable Districts, (8) Doubling Farmers’ Income.

News 66 - India to conduct the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’


The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.

News 67 - New Campus of Indian Aviation Academy Inaugurated

Indian Aviation Academy

The Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the new state of the art campus of Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) in New Delhi. With the inauguration of this new excellent campus, the IAA academy aims to enhance and augment its training and hostel capabilities to more than double.

The New IAA campus has been equipped to meet the skilling and training needs of the future as a large number of professionally skilled and trained work force are required to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system.

News 68 - Hindustan Swachh Rakhenge Hum campaign launched

Hindustan Swachh Rakhenge Hum

The campaign ‘MaaKasam, Hindusthan Swachh Rakhenge Hum’ started by Hindi daily Hindustan reflects the mood that is underlying the Swacchata Hi Seva campaign. Swacchata Hi Seva campaign calls all citizens across the country to participate actively through shramdaan or building of twin pit toilets to the cause of swachhata.

Swacchata Hi Seva campaign is witnessing new initiatives being undertaken by the States. In Maharasthara, campaign resulted in declaring Navali open defecation free. In Punjab, Mission Swachh Punjab - a YouTube channel was launched with over 100 videos promoting Swachhta.

News 69 - Union Home Minister inaugurates two-day NHRC National Seminar on Good Governance


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated National seminar on Good Governance, Development and Human Rights organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in New Delhi.

The discussion focussed on the role of media in civil society in promoting good governance and human rights, discerning indicators of good governance, global best practices and impact of information technology on good governance.

News 70 - Centre announces new PPP Policy to promote private investments

PPP Policy

Central Government today announced a new PPP Policy for Affordable Housing that allows extending central assistance of up to Rs.2.50 lakh per each house to be built by private builders even on private lands besides opening up immense potential for private investments in affordable housing projects on government lands in urban areas.

Eight PPP options, including six for promoting affordable housing with private investments using government lands have been evolved after extensive consultations with States, promoter bodies and other stakeholders.

News 71 - Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurates VASTRA 2017


Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the sixth Edition of the 4-day international textiles and apparel fair VASTRA 2017, in Jaipur.

VASTRA 2017 is an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel presenting a fusion of the finest and the latest in textiles products. The event is jointly organized by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investments Corporation Limited (RIICO) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is supported by the Government of Rajasthan. More than 50 countries and 13 Indian States participated in VASTRA 2017.

News 72. ‘Newton’ is India’s official entry for Oscars 2018


The Film Federation of India announced that "Newton", starring Rajkummar Rao, would be India's official entry to the Best Foreign Film catgory at Oscars 2018. The FFI's selection committee was headed by Telugu producer C V Reddy.

"Newton" is directed by Amit Masurkar. It tells the story of a polling officer Newton Kumar, who is bent on conducting free and fair elections in the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh. The Oscars will be held on March 4, 2018, in Los Angeles.

News 73 - NITI Aayog’s SATH Program launched in Assam

NITI Aayog’s

The Government of Assam in a joint initiative with NITI Aayog launched a program called SATH- Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital, which aims to provide structured support to Assam in identifying key health priorities and implement the solutions towards transforming the health and improving the well-being of people of Assam.

The vision of SATH program is to initiate transformation in education and health sectors. The other two states selected for the program are Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

News 74 - Niti Aayog signed agreement with IRF to cooperate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems


The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and the International Road Federation, Geneva (IRF Geneva) have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to cooperate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

The objectives of the SoI are:

  • Traffic Management,

  • Parking Management,

  • Electronic Enforcement of Traffic Rules and Regulations,

  • Fleet Management and Monitoring,

  • Innovation in the field of ITS, and

  • Education in the field of ITS.

News 75 - Centre launched Neighbourhood Action Plan in cities for better Solid Waste Management

Neighbourhood Action Plan

The Union Government has launched ‘My Home-My Neighbourhood’ (Ghar Bi Saaf-Pados Bhi Saaf) campaign with the following six components −

  • Segregation of waste at source

  • Compost making from wet waste within the premises/neighbourhood/area

  • Recycling of dry waste

  • Freeing the neighbourhood from open defecation and open urination

  • Motivating the residents of neighbourhood against throwing garbage in open spaces; and

  • Adopting a near-by park or open place for collection and waste segregation.

News 76 - PM launched Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana

Saubhagya Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, at New Delhi. The aim of this scheme is to provide power to all homes. On the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, the Prime Minister also dedicated a new ONGC building - the Deendayal Urja Bhawan.

The PMSY would provide power connections to all the estimated four crore households which currently did not have a power connection. The outlay for this scheme would be over Rs. 16000 crore. These connections would be provided free of cost.

News 77 - TRIFED signed MoU with Amazon


Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) has formally signed an MOU with M/s Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd for sale of tribal products through leading e-commerce giant Amazon.

As a part of the MOU, exquisite authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on the online portal − for sale. The aim is to promote tribal handicrafts like handloom products, cane and bamboo products, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal weaves and embroidery, tribal paintings etc.

News 78 - Government constituted Economic Advisory Council headed by Bibek Debroy

Bibek Debroy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM). Niti Aayog member Dr Bibek Debroy will head the five-member council.

The other members of the council are Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy, Dr Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal. The committee will analyse any issue economic or otherwise referred to it by the Prime minister. The EAC-PM is an independent body, which provides advice on economic issues to the government, specifically to the Prime Minister.

News 79 - Multi-Agency Exercise ‘Pralay Sahayam’ Held

Pralay Sahayam

A multi-agency exercise was conducted on the banks of Hussain Sagar Lake as the final event of ‘Pralay Sahayam’ in Hyderabad. The event demonstrated efforts of all central and state agencies, National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and the Armed Forces towards jointly tackling an urban flooding scenario in Hyderabad.

The exercise brought out the role and function of the State Emergency Operations in coordinating conduct of the joint operations.

News 80 - Prime Minister dedicated Deendayal Hastkala Sankul to the Nation


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, dedicated to the nation, the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul − a trade facilitation centre for handicrafts − at Varanasi.

The Sankul will facilitate the weavers/artisans/exporters in promotion of handlooms/handicrafts in both domestic and international markets. The approximate cost of the complex is 300 crore rupees. The Crafts Museum in the Sankul will preserve the traditional handloom/handicrafts products of Varanasi. The project spans 7.93 acres, with a built-up area of 43,450 square metres.

News 81 - Union Government launched “Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWR) System”


The Union Government launched the Web Portal of Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) & “Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWR) System” in New Delhi.

e-NWRs would have no chances of any tempering, mutilation, fudging, loss or damage and with no possibility of any multiple financing. NWRs will facilitate an easy pledge financing by banks and other financial institutions but also smooth trading on various trading centres like commodity exchanges, electronic National Agriculture Markets (e-NAM) and other electronic platforms.

News 82 - Kandla Port renamed as Deendayal Port

Deendayal Port

The Central Government, in exercise of powers conferred on it under Indian Ports Act, 1908, has renamed Kandla Port Trust as Deendayal Port Trust.

Kandla Port, located on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, is one of the twelve major ports in the country. It is the largest port of India by volume of cargo handled. On 31 March 2016 it created history by handling 100 million tonnes cargo in a year-the first Major Port to achieve the milestone.

News 83 - Union Government launched Mobile App for Divyang


The Union Government has launched Divyang Sarathi − an accessible and comprehensive mobile App for easy information dissemination to Divyangjans. The unique features of the App are its audio notes embedded in it, which converts the written information into an audio file.

Adjustable font size is also one of the feature, which can be altered as per requirement. It has been developed bilingually in Hindi and English. This mobile application aims at providing all relevant information pertaining to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.

News 84 - Cabinet approved enhancement of age of superannuation of doctors to 65 years

Superannuation of Doctors

The Union Cabinet has approved the enhancement of age of superannuation of doctors other than Central Health Service (CHS) doctors to 65 years. The Union Cabinet has further approved that doctors shall hold the administrative posts until the date of attaining the age of 62 years and thereafter their services shall be placed in Non-Administrative positions.

The decision would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges as also in effective implementation of National Health Programmes for delivery of health care services. Around 1445 doctors of various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government would be benefitted.

News 85 - Cabinet approved signing of Inter-bank Local Currency Credit Line Agreement by EXIM Bank


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the signing of the (i) Interbank Local Currency Credit Line Agreement and (ii) Cooperation Memorandum Relating to Credit Ratings by Exim Bank with participating member banks under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism.

At an appropriate time, Exim Bank, leveraging this umbrella agreement, could enter into bilateral agreement with any of these member institutions to raise resources for its business.

News 86 - Cabinet approved Agreement on “Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media” between India and Ethiopia

India and Ethiopia

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to sign the Agreement between India and Ethiopia on “”Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media”.

The Agreement aims to harness the growing power of Information, Communication and Media for information dissemination and enhancing outreach between the two countries for inclusive development. It will also enhance people-to-people contact through exchange programmes. It would also provide an opportunity for both the nations to share best practices and innovations in the field of Information, Communication & Media.

News 87 - Cabinet approved umbrella scheme of Modernisation of Police Forces


The Union Cabinet has given its approval for implementation of umbrella scheme of "Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)" for years 2017-18 to 2019-20. The financial outlay for the scheme over the three-year’s period is Rs. 25,060 crore, out of which the Central Government share will be Rs. 18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs. 6,424 crore.

Under the umbrella scheme, central budget outlay of Rs. 10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States.

News 88 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Belarus in the oil and gas sector

Oil and Gas Sector

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Belarus in the oil and gas sector. The MoU shall remain in force for three years for the day of its signing.

The MoU is envisaged to enhance the economic and commercial cooperation in oil and natural gas sector. Under the MoU, both sides will work towards establishing cooperation in the areas of upstream and downstream activities, capacity building, technology transfer, enhanced oil recovery and development of mature fields in India.

News 89 - Cabinet approved signing and ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between India and Belarus on investments

Bilateral Investment

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the India and Belarus on Investments.

The agreement is expected to improve the confidence of the investors resulting in an increase in FDI and Overseas Director Investment (ODI) opportunities. India has already initiated the BIT text with the Kyrgyz Republic and is in talks with the Russian Federation for a new BIT, based on the Model BIT text.

News 90 - Cabinet approved bilateral MoU between India and Afghanistan on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development

India and Afghanistan

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing a MoU between India and Afghanistan on Technical Cooperation on Police Training and Development.

The MoU will help in capacity building of Afghanistan National Police and improving the security apparatus in the region. It has been approved for a period of 5 years from the date of signing the MoU and shall be extended for a further period of 5 years on the condition that are no further changes and or revision.

News 91 - CARA launched monthly “Jan Sampark” Program to facilitate adoption

Jan Sampark

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of the Ministry of Women & Child Development has started a monthly “Jan Sampark” program to enable the public to interact with its officials and staff for seeking information related to Adoption as well as flagging their concerns.

The event will now be a regular feature every month apart from the quarterly Facebook live chat by CEO CARA.

News 92 - Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal Launched


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal at the National Conference on Child Labour organised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The PENCIL is an electronic platform that aims at involving Centre, State, District, Governments, Civil Society and the Public in achieving the target of child labour free society. The PENCIL Portal ( has various components, namely Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence.

News 93 - First Ever India Mobile Congress 2017 launched

India Mobile Congress

The Minister of Communication Shri Manoj Sinha launched the first ever Mobile, Internet and Technology event in India - India Mobile Congress 2017 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

The India Mobile Congress was organised by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). The event was a congregation to display, discuss, unveil, imbibe, educate and recognise the importance of the global and Indian telecommunications, mobile, internet, connectivity and digital services sector to the world.

News 94 - India and Norway signed Letter of Intent to extend health cooperation

India and Norway

India has signed a Letter of Intent with the Government of Norway to extend the cooperation within health sector through the Norway India Partnership Initiative for a period of three years.

The partnership shall include areas related to reproductive, maternal, new born, child, adolescent health and health system strengthening. Through this letter, the cooperation between India and Norway will continue to be aligned with the development goals of the Indian Government as outlined in its National Health Policy 2017 for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

News 95 - NMCG to use latest Geo-Spatial Technologies for Namami Gange Program


The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) will use latest Geo-Spatial Technologies for Namami Gange Programme. NMCG will work in an integrated manner with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and Survey of India to make optimal use of latest geo-spatial technologies to rejuvenate river Ganga.

NRSC is a part of ISRO and has been supporting the NMCG to use geo-spatial technology for Water Quality Monitoring, Hydrological Monitoring, Evaluation Geomorphological Monitoring, etc., Geospatial technology is a term used to describe the range of modern tools contributing to the geographic mapping and analysis of the Earth and human societies.

News 96 - Government to borrow Rs. 2 lakh crore in the second half of 2017-18

Government Plans

Government plans to borrow 2.08 lakh crore rupees from the market in the second half of 2017-18 reiterating its commitment to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP. To finance the fiscal deficit for the current financial year, the Budget has pegged gross borrowing at 5.8 lakh crore rupees.

The government has already borrowed 3.72 lakh crore rupees in the first half. Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) capital expenditure of more than 3.75 lakh crore rupees is moving as per the plan.

News 97 - Budget for MGNREGA increased by Rs 20000 crore in last 5 years


According to Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the budget for MGNREGA has increased by 20 thousand crore rupees in the last 5 years.

The budget for MGNREGA has gone up from 37 thousand crore rupees in 2011-12 to about 58 thousand Crore in 2016-17. Around 235 crore of man days were generated this fiscal, which is highest in the last 5 years. The coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has increased from 64% to 81% in the last three years.

News 98 - ADB Earmarks Up to $4 Billion a Year for New Partnership with India 2018-2022

Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to raise its annual lending to India to a maximum of $4 billion.

About 85% of lending will be focused on transport, energy, and urban infrastructure and services. Other finance will be aimed at public sector management, agriculture, natural resources and rural development, as well as skills development and urban health. The new lending program is much higher than the average $2.65 billion a year in loans extended during 2012 and 2016.