Current Affairs June 2017 - National


1 - India signed seven agreements with Spain

India and Spain

India and Spain signed seven agreements after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide ranging talks with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy in Spain. The two sides agreements on transfer of sentenced persons and visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.

Five MoUs were signed between the two countries on cooperation in organ transplantation, cyber security, renewable energy, civil aviation and one between India’s Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.

2 - Swachhta Pakhwada successfully celebrated across India

Swachhta Pakhwada

The Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution celebrated Swachhta Pakhwada. The aim of the Swachhta Pakhwada observed by the Department was to spread Swachhta awareness and implementation across the country with a focus on role of the Consumer in taking a leadership role for sanitation initiatives.

In this direction, a series of activities were undertaken such as Nukkad Natak, slogan writing competition, poster making competition, essay writing competition, special drives for cleaning of the work place and removing of old and unwanted articles from the office premises.

3 - CBDT extended the due date for furnishing SFT to 30 June 2017


Section 285BA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 requires furnishing of a statement of financial transaction (SFT) for transactions prescribed under Rule 114E of the Income-tax Rules, 1962. The due date for filing such SFT in Form 61A in respect of specified financial transactions registered or recorded during Financial Year 2016-17 was 31 May 2017, which was extended to 30 June 2017.

Representations were received in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) requesting for extension of the date of filing. In view of these representations, the CBDT extended the due date of furnishing of the SFT.

4 - India set to be first country to run all government ports on Green Energy

Green Energy

India is set to become the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. The government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at all the 12 major ports by 2019. Total initial investment in the project is expected to be Rs. 500 crore.

Out of the 200 MW, 150 MW will be solar power and 50 MW through wind power generation. The wind energy projects will be executed at three major ports – Kandla, VO Chidambaranar Port and Kamarajar Port.

5 - Indian Railways to launch book now, pay later' feature

Indian Railways

Indian Railways will soon introduce the 'buy tickets now and pay later' service for any Express trains. IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for adding the new service option.

Through this service, a passenger can book a ticket five days prior to the journey with a service charge of 3.5% and pay it in the next 14 days. This option is valid only on e-tickets.

Passengers who want to opt for this service have to give their name, email ID, mobile number, their PAN card or Aadhaar details.

6 - India and Russia signed St Petersburg Declaration

St Petersburg

India and Russia signed the St Petersburg Declaration following the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Declaration sets major economic objectives including expanding trade and investment and diversification of trade in goods and services.

Russia reaffirmed its support for India's bid for permanent membership in the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. They also would work on development of high-speed railways.

7 - Road ministry launched online platform INAM PRO+


The Government has launched INAM-Pro + which is an upgraded version of INAM-Pro, the web portal designed by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL).

The upgraded portal is very effective in facilitating efficient and transparent procurement of construction material and service. It will include the A to Z of construction materials, equipments/machinery and services like purchase/hiring/lease of new/used products and services in the domains of Construction Materials.

8 - India’s first Mobile Congress (IMC 2017) to be held in September

IMC 2017

India will organise its first mobile congress in September with a special focus on reaching out to the South East Asian markets. The event will be held at Pragati Maidan starting 27 September.

All Indian mobile operators, Facebook, Huawei, Ericsson, Cisco, etc., are likely to participate in the three-day event. The event will be organised by telecom industry body Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) with support from the Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

9 - Loan Agreement signed for “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery” project

Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery

The Government of India, the Government of Assam and the World Bank signed a $39.20 million loan agreement to support the government in providing citizens in Assam, particularly in tribal districts, access to public services in a timely, efficient, and accountable manner.

The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 Million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam. The Project seeks to enable citizens to access services under the RTPS Act in a timely, efficient, and accountable manner. The Project adopts an integrated approach to improve access and accountability.

10 - MoU signed between CISF & NSDC


The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) & National Skill Development Fund (NSDF), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU aims at assisting retiring/retired, serving low medical category (LMC) CISF personnel to acquire additional skills and facilitate their resettlement through a second career. The MoU shall remain in effect for a period of 5 years (starting from 5 June 2017 until 5 June 2022), subject to a mid-term review after 3 years.

11 - Government to implement India’s first Rural LED Street Lighting Project in Andhra Pradesh


The Government of India, through the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power, would be retrofitting 10 lakh conventional streetlights with LED lights in Gram Panchayats of seven districts in Andhra Pradesh. This is the first project for rural LED street lighting in the country under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Project (SLNP).

The entire upfront capital cost of this project is being funded by French Development Agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD). EESL would be carrying out the entire annual maintenance and warranty replacement in these gram panchayats for a period of 10 years.

12 - NMCG approves projects worth Rs. 1900 crore for Sewage Treatment


National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved projects worth Rs 1,900 crore for the creation of hundred percent sewage treatment facility in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Vrindavan, Varanasi, Allahabad and NCT of Delhi.

On afforestation front, an all-encompassing programme in five Ganga main stem States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal – at an estimated cost of Rs 61.5 crore has also been given a go-ahead.

This would include sapling preparations in nurseries, soil work, plantation and care.

13 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Korea for export credit of USD 9 Billion


The Union Cabinet has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 Billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries.

The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India and Korea. The export credit will be utilized through lending by EXIM Bank. USD 9 billion would be extended by KEXIM by way of Investment Credit.

14 - Cabinet approved agreement between India and Cyprus on Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement between India and Cyprus on Merchant Shipping, which was signed in April 2017.

The Agreement in Merchant Shipping will pave the way for cooperation in eliminating any hindrances, which may hamper the development of sea trade between the two nations. The MoU will encourage participation in the transport of goods between the countries and from third countries. The MoU further seeks to enhance cooperation for employment, improvement of conditions of work and for the welfare of seafarers employed on each other’s vessels.

15 - Cabinet approves a Bilateral MoU between India and Iran

India and Iran

The Union Cabinet has approved the Bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO), Iran in relation to mutual-cooperation on matters pertaining to securities markets.

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

16 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Mali for standardization and conformity assessment

India and Mali

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), India and Direction Nationale De Industries (MLINDI), Republic of Mali on Standardization and Conformity Assessment.

The MoU aims to facilitate closer cooperation and provide a mechanism by which India and Mali can work together towards the common aim of strengthening standardization and conformity assessment activities in order to facilitate sharing of expertise and mutual trade.

17 - Cabinet approved Agreement between India and Somalia on transfer of sentenced persons

India and Somalia

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and subsequent ratification of the Agreement on Transfer of sentenced persons between Indi and Somalia.

Signing the Agreement with Somalia shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia or vice-versa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. The Government of India has signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with several other countries as well.

18 - Cabinet approved Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between SEBI and ESMA


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in relation to Mutual Co-operation.

This MoU is likely to establish cooperation arrangements as a precondition for ESMA to recognize Central Counter Parties (CCPs) established in India. It is going to be supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union. It will also help to provide ESMA with adequate tools to monitor the on-going compliance by the Covered CCPs with the Recognition Conditions.

19 - Cabinet approved Initial Public Offer of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to issue 13,90,00,000 fresh equity shares of Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) of Rs.10 each to the public on book-building basis through the IPO.

The Public issue of equity will enable IREDA to increase its equity base, which will help them raise more debt resources for funding RE projects. IREDA has to cater to the increasing needs of the sector to sustain its contribution to the Renewable Energy Sector. Government of India has scaled-up the RE targets to 175 GW by the year 2022.

20 - India signed the Multilateral Convention to implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS in Paris


The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) reaffirming India’s commitment to co-operate in the global efforts to tackle aggressive tax planning.

The event marks a milestone in the global efforts to check tax evasion and tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions where there is no or little economic activity resulting in no or little overall corporate tax being paid.

21 - NSDC inked MoU with BIRD ACADEMY


A MoU was signed between National Skill Development Corporation and Bird Academy concerning the skilling of unemployed youth in the aviation and aerospace Sector.

With the signing of this MoU, NSDC has agreed to enter into an arrangement with BIRD ACADEMY. They will train, skill & empower more than 30,000 unemployed youth across various states including North Eastern states. This will be done with a special focus to train and empower a minimum of 5,000 women & tribal youths from the underprivileged sections of the society and assist states in capacity building over the next six years.

22 - TRAI launches three new apps


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched three new apps – Mycall app, MySpeed app and 'Do not disturb (DND 2.0)' app, to increase transparency between the consumers and the service providers.

  • MyCall app − will help mobile phone users rate their experience about voice call quality in real time.

  • MySpeed app − will enable TRAI to obtain test-data from users in all service areas, without any action by the users.

  • DND service app − will enable users to register their mobile number under DND to avoid unsolicited commercial communication.

23 - UGC, AICTE to be scrapped soon and replaced with HEERA


The Union Government is all set to replace the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) with a single education regulator named Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency (HEERA).

The Human Resource and Development Ministry (HRD) is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body. The new body would be empowered to take strong penal action. It will be short and clean and would outline minimum standards, which would focus on outcomes.

24 - Penury Grant to Non-Pensioner Ex-Servicemen/Widows Enhanced

Ex-Servicemen or Widows Enhanced

The government has enhanced penury grant to non-pensioner Ex-Servicemen/Widows to Rs. 4,000/- per month from the existing rate of Rs. 1,000/- p.m., payable from April 2017.

The penury grant is provided to non-pensioner Ex-servicemen/widows, who are above 65 years of age by the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence through Kendriya Sainik Board.

The step of enhancement of penury grant will benefit a large number of non-pensioner Ex-servicemen and widows who are in a state of penury. It was last revised from one time grant of Rs. 30,000/- to Rs. 1,000/- per month in October 2011.

25 - Centre approved modifications to ‘Kambala’ Bill


The Union Government has approved the modifications to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017 to pave way for organising ‘Kambala’ in the coming season.

The Bill proposes to exempt ‘Kambala’ from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. Kambala is an annual buffalo race, which is a tradition in the Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts' farming community.

This area is called Tulunadu (Land of Tulu Language).

26 - National Level Conference on "Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017"

SDRFs 2017

The two-day National Level Conference on "Capacity Building of SDRFs-2017" concluded. The conference was inaugurated by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh.

It was organised by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to develop a synergy and to highlight the way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs).

The following agenda points were discussed:

  • Streamlining the training process of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs).

  • Integrations of operational efforts between NDRF & SDRF.

  • Requirement and creation of training infrastructure in each States.

  • Sharing of best practices, improving response time by SDRF’s.

27 - ‘DigiYatra’ – A New Digital Experience for Air Travellers


The Ministry of Civil Aviation is adding a Digital experience for Air Travellers through DigiYatra Platform. The ‘DigiYatra’ is an industry-led initiative co-ordinated by the Ministry.

Few important features for customers:

  • Plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking

  • Optionally link their Aadhaar to airlines and other ecosystem players at the time of booking for faster airport entry

  • Get real time notifications about congestion and delays to have greater visibility on the next step of journey

  • Get a prompt when their luggage reaches the baggage claim belt

  • Submit grievances, share experiences and provide feedback

28 - Tele-Law through CSCs to Mainstream Legal Aid in Rural India


In its effort to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas, the Government of India has launched the ‘Tele-Law’.

Under the scheme, a portal called ‘Tele-Law’ will be launched, which will be available across the Common Service Centre (CSC) network. ‘Tele-Law’ will enable people to seek legal advice from lawyers through video conferencing available at the Common Service Centres (CSC). The pilot test will be rolled out across 1000 Common Service Centres (CSC) in Uttar Pradesh & Bihar.

29 - GST Council constitutes 18 Sectoral Groups for smooth rollout of GST


The GST Council has constituted 18 Sectoral Groups representing various sectors of the economy in order to ensure smooth rollout of GST. These Sectoral Working Groups consist of Senior Officers from the Centre and the States.

These newly constituted groups will represent various sectors of the economy. They will be headed by senior officers of the Centre and the states. These officers will ensure smooth implementation of GST by timely responding to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.

30 - NITI Aayog launched SATH program

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors.

SATH aims to identify and build three future ‘role model’ states for health systems. Five states have been shortlisted. Subsequently, three will be selected based on further evaluations. The program will be launched in the three selected states by NITI Aayog along with global consultancy McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium after the signing of MoUs.

31 - CSIR signed an agreement with Ethiopia


The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) entered into an agreement with the Metal Industries Development Institute (MIDI), Ethiopia to implement a twinning program. The same is aimed at R&D capacity building of MIDI. CSIR has clinched this multi-million US dollar assignment through a process where many international organizations were considered.

The twinning is one of the largest programs (in terms of contractual amount) between a CSIR institute and a foreign entity. It should also facilitate CSIR’s future collaborations with African Organizations.

32 - Minister of Railways launched Mission Retro-Fitment

Mission Retro-Fitment

To enhance the passengers experience by upgrading existing fleet of coaches with better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features with a view to provide a safe and comfortable travel, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched MISSION RETRO-FITMENT in Rail Bhavan.

Under MISSION RETRO-FITMENT, it has been planned to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23 at an approximate cost of Rs. 30 lacs per coach.

33 - India & Mauritius signed MoU for Cooperation in the field of Cooperatives

India and Mauritius

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh and Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Govt. of Mauritius, Shri Soomilduth Bholah signed on MoU for Cooperation in the field of Cooperatives & related areas.

The MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in this vital sector and can significantly benefit thousands of Mauritians.India offered to exchange its expertise and technology with Mauritius in agro industry, fisheries and dairy sector. The two ministers expressed satisfaction at the historic relationship between India and Mauritius, which is anchored in linkages of culture.

34 - Dr. Jitendra Singh announced “Hill Area Development Program” for Northeast

Hill Area Development Program

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh announced the launch of, “Hill Area Development Program” (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal (Manipur).

The hilly areas of Manipur, Tripura and Assam have a distinct geo-physical entity. They are lagging in socio-economic development. The Hill Area Development Program is aimed at giving a focused attention to the lesser developed hilly areas and will be initiated on a pilot basis in the hilly districts of Manipur.

35 - Nalanda’s ‘Project Jal Sanchay’ selected for National Award

Project Jal Sanchay

Ministry of rural development selected a model of water conservation of Nalanda district of south-central Bihar for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee program (MGNREGP).

This award was given for project ‘Project Jal Sanchay’. Project Jal Sanchay is a water conservation project that has increased water availability of district. Under this project, dams were created, traditional Aahar-Pyne irrigation system was created, traditional water bodies were reformed and campaigns were organized to create awareness about rainwater harvesting.

36 - India's first canal top solar PV system inaugurated at NTPC Mouda

NTPC Mouda

NTPC has energized 150 kWp Canal Top Solar PV System on cooling water (CW) channel at its 2320 MW Mouda Thermal Power Project, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. This novel Solar PV system makes use of sidewalls of CW channels as load bearing structure thereby significantly decreasing cost of civil and mounting structure.

The system also has several other unique advantages such as Land Conservation, water conservation due to reduced evaporation, increased PV generation due to cooling and reduction in dirt, leaves thereby reducing chemicals for water treatment.

37 - India ratified two key ILO conventions on child labour


India ratified two key ILO conventions No. 138 and 182 on child labour in Geneva, Switzerland. India now has ratified six out of eight ILO fundamental conventions.

During the 106th International Labour, Indian government presented its ratification for ILO Conventions No. 138 on Minimum Age to Employment and No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. India has become 170th ILO member state to ratify Convention No 138.

This ratification has provided almost half a billion Indian children and adolescents up to 18 years of age under the protection of the provisions of these instruments.

38 - Centre launched IDCF to reduce child deaths due to Diarrhoea


Union Health Ministry launched an Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF) across the country to reduce child deaths due to Diarrhoea. Through this initiative, the Ministry will mobilize health personnel, State Governments and other stakeholders in controlling the disease which one of the most common childhood illnesses.

Nearly 12 crore under five children will be covered during the program. According to the Ministry, there has been a consistent decline in the infant mortality rate and under-five mortality rate due to increased access to immunization and child healthcare services.

39 - Cabinet approved Interest Subvention on Short-Term crop loan to farmers


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18. This will help farmers in getting short-term crop loan up to Rs. 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 20,339 crore for this purpose.

The objective of the scheme is to make available at ground level, agricultural credit for Short Term crop loans at an affordable rate to give a boost to agricultural productivity and production in the country.

40 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Palestine on agriculture cooperation

India and Palestine

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture in the State of Palestine on agriculture cooperation.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of agricultural research; veterinary field including capacity enhancement of Palestinian Veterinary services and Animal Health; irrigation and climate change.

41 - Cabinet approved proposal to introduce the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017

Financial Resolution

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017. The Bill would provide for a comprehensive resolution framework for specified financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies and financial sector entities.

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance, Bill 2017 when enacted, will pave the way for setting up of the Resolution Corporation. It would lead to repeal or amendment of resolution-related provisions in sectoral Acts as listed in Schedules of the Bill.

42 - Cabinet approved signing of MoU between India and Armenia

India and Armenia

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised about a Memorandum of Understanding, which has already been signed between India and Armenia for cooperation on youth matters.

The objective of the MoU is to strengthen and encourage cooperation between the two countries on youth matters. The areas of cooperation on Youth matters includes exchanges of youth, representatives of youth organizations and government officials, who are in-charge of youth policy-making. It will also be applicable for extension of invitations to international conferences and seminars on youth matters held in the two countries.

43 - Cabinet approved signing of MoU between India and Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised about a MoU between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E).

The MoU in the field of IT&E is technical in nature and focused primarily on e-Governance, m-Governance and e-Public Services Delivery, Cyber Security, Capacity Building etc. The MoU aims to explore business opportunities, IT&E market in Bangladesh by Indian IT companies and attract investment in Indian electronics and IT sectors in India, which would indirectly generate employment opportunities.

44 - Centre to set up 100 AYUSH hospitals across India

AYUSH hospitals

Minister of state for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik announced setting up of 100 Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) hospitals across the country. In the past last 3 years, 4000 AYUSH doctors in primary health centers have been posted. Government has released Rs 283.6 lakh out of sanctioned amount of Rs 563 crore for medicinal plants across Tamil Nadu.

AYUSH ministry announced setting up of two 50-bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals at Theni and Tiruvannamalai districts in Tamil Nadu.

45 - India to be a co-partner in ANUGA 2017

ANUGA 2017

Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed a Joint Press Conference with the organizers of ANUGA - an international business platform for Food Industry to be held in Cologne, Germany. She signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Participation in the ANUGA Exhibition with Ms. Katharina C Hamma, Chief Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmBH (Organizers of ANUGA).

The Minister recognized the importance for India to be displaying its strength in Food Processing Industries by participating in various International Food Exhibitions like SIAL in France and ANUGA in Germany.

46 - Ministry of Culture to start implementation of ‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India’

Ministry of Culture

In the year of commemoration of the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, who hailed from Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India launched the implementation of the ‘‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India’ at Goverdhan Block, Mathura District and Uttar Pradesh. This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ umbrella.

The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map, designing a mechanism to fulfil the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation.

47 - Ministry of Steel organized Second Steel Consumers’ Council Meeting

Ministry of Steel

The Second Meeting of the National Steel Consumers’ Council, on the theme of “Current Status of Steel Industry and the Way Forward’’ held under the Chairmanship of the Union Steel Minister Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh in Bhubaneswar. The function of the Steel Consumer Council is to advise Government on matters relating to supply, availability, quality and the market trends of iron and steel.

This meeting provided a vibrant platform to discuss the viable options for generating domestic steel consumption, domestic steel industry scenario, global steel trends and advantages of using steel over any other construction materials.

48 - Sushma Swaraj inaugurated KIP for young overseas Indians

Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated Know India Program, KIP, for young overseas Indians at a function in New Delhi.

It was an orientation program for the Indian diaspora to help students and young professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views, knowledge, experiences and develop bonding with the contemporary India.

The main objective of the program was to create awareness on different aspects of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields such as economic and education.

49 - India and Portugal inked agreement to promote cooperation in the field of archives

India and Portugal

A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives in Lisbon, Portugal.

As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’.

These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.

50 - Government of India and ADB inked $275 million loan

India and ADB

The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $275 million loan for improving urban services in 64 small towns in the State of Madhya Pradesh. The project will develop sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient water supply in 64 small and medium-sized towns, and integrated storm water and sewerage infrastructure in two heritage towns of Khajuraho and Rajnagar.

Along with ADB’s loan, the Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $124 million. The project will run for almost five years with an expected completion date of June 2022.

51 - Prime Minister dedicated POWERGRID’s 400 kV Lucknow – Kanpur D/C Transmission Line


The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated POWERGRID’s 400 Kilo Volt (kV) Lucknow – Kanpur Direct Current (D/C) Transmission Line with associated bays to the Nation in Lucknow.

Constructed as a part of “Northern Region Strengthening Scheme-XXXII”, this transmission line will provide high quality transmission infrastructure for ensuring reliable and quality power supply in Uttar Pradesh especially in the areas like Lucknow, Panki, Unnao and Kanpur. The transmission line will also facilitate import of additional power to Uttar Pradesh from power surplus Eastern Region/ North Eastern Region.

52 - Government decided to establish GST facilitation cell in DIPP


In pursuance to Cabinet Secretary’s directions, a GST facilitation cell has been set up in the Department with a view to facilitate the rollout of GST.

The GST facilitation cell is headed by Sh. Sudhansu Sekhar Das, Economic Adviser.

The cell shall be in constant touch with the major industry and business associations relating to the Department and shall be the first point of contact for addressing any issue being faced by any sector related to the Department.

53 - Cabinet approved amendment of the Social Security Agreement between India and the Netherlands

India and Netherlands

The Union Cabinet has approved Amendment of the bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the “Country of Residence” Principle into the said SSA.

A bilateral Social Security Agreement, (SSA) was signed between India and the Netherlands on 22 October 2009. This came into force on 15 June 2010. The SSA allows exemption from double contribution to the social security system in both jurisdictions, exportability of accumulated social security benefits across jurisdictions (applicable even to the self-employed).

54 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and the Netherlands in the field of water resources management

Water Resources Management

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Netherlands for bilateral cooperation in the field of water resources management.

The MoU envisages that both the Governments shall work to enhance cooperation at the National, regional and international levels in the field of Water Resources Management and Development. The two countries will collaborate, share experience and expertise including techniques in the efficient use of water resources, river basin management, decision support systems, delta management, water quality issues and wastewater recycling, and re-use through innovative concession arrangements.

55 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Portugal on Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms

India and Portugal

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Government of India and Government of Portuguese Republic for ‘Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms’.

The areas of co-operation under this MoU include:

  • Digital transformation of Government.
  • Administrative simplification and process re-engineering.
  • Public Service Delivery.
  • Building and developing staff capability.
  • Sharing good governance practices in public administration.
  • Public Grievance Redress Mechanism.

56 - Cabinet approved MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia

India and Australia

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors with Australia.

The MoU will facilitate cooperation in relation to matters within the textiles and fashion sectors that may be of mutual interest and benefit to the participants. The participants will jointly identify appropriate measures to connect the Australian and Indian textile and fashion sectors. The weavers including ancillary workers will be benefited from activities to be taken under MOU.

57 - Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia

India and Armenia

The Union Cabinet was apprised about a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia. The MoU has already been signed in April 2017.

This MoU shall enable the areas of cooperation such as, space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication and satellite based navigation; space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.

58 - Cabinet approved MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka.

The signing of the proposed MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional medicine and homoeopathy. There are no additional financial implications involved. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.

59 - Six Waste Management Rules (2016) - National Productivity Council

National Productivity Council

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has notified Six Waste Management Rules in year 2016. These are – Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016. E waste (Management) Rules, 2016. Bio Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016. Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016. Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

As part of Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change have launched a National Capacity Building Project in 68 Cities on the above rules and their implementation aspects for the Urban Local Bodies / UAs and various stakeholders in the identified cities.

60 - India Signed Loan Agreement with World Bank for USD 240 Million and USD 160 Million from AIIB

World Bank AIIB

A Loan Agreement for part funding of USD 240 million from the World Bank (IBRD) and USD 160 Million from AIIB (60:40 ratio) for “24X7 Power for All in Andhra Pradesh Project” was signed. Total Cost of the project is USD 570 Million. The rest will be counterpart funding from GoAP.

The objective of the project is to increase the delivery of electricity to customers and to improve the operational efficiency and system reliability in distribution of electricity in selected areas in Andhra Pradesh.

61 - EPFO signed MoU with HUDCO under new Housing Scheme of EPF & MP Act-1952


EPFO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HUDCO for facilitating “Housing for All by 2022”.

EPFO has amended EPF Scheme 1952 vide Gazette notification No. G.S.R. 351(E) dated 12th April, 2017 to provide assistance in acquiring affordable houses to the EPF members by allowing withdrawal from the provident fund to the extent of 90% of the total PF accumulation and also facilitating payment of instalment of housing loan.

62 - Cabinet approved Constitution of INMMS as Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service


Cabinet has approved Constitution of Indian Naval Material Management Service (INMMS) as an Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service. The move will attract the best talents available and bring in technically qualified Material Managers. It will improve the functional efficiency of Material Management of Naval Stores and ensure operational readiness of the Navy at all times.

It will improve the functional efficiency of Material Management of Naval Stores and ensure operational readiness of the Navy at all times as well as provide better career prospects for the incumbents.

63 - Government approved construction of over 70,000 affordable houses for urban poor in UP

Affordable Houses

Government has approved construction of over 70 thousand affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor in Uttar Pradesh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana with an investment of 3528 crore rupees.

Out of the 70,784 houses approved, over 56 thousand will be constructed under the Affordable Housing in Partnership component and over 13 thousand houses under Beneficiary Led Construction component of PMAY (Urban). With this, the total number of affordable houses approved for construction under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana has now increased to over 20 lakh 95 thousand.

64 - MeitY launched Web Portal for smooth GST implementation

Web Portal

In order to ensure smooth GST implementation from 1 July, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched a dedicated Webpage for facilitating taxpayers with regard to addressing issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods.

It also enables filing of grievances in relation to implementation of GST. Individuals, Companies and Entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information.

The webpage can be accessed through Ministry’s Web Portal

65 - Shri Piyush Goyal launched POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal for Power Sector & Web Portal ‘MERIT’

Shri Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal launched Weather Portal for Power Sector in association with POSOCO and IMD. The Portal provides information like Regional Weather Summary, Weather Forecast, Weather Warning and Satellite Images.

He also launched another portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency). This has been developed by Ministry of Power in association with POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority. The MERIT Web portal displays extensive array of information regarding the merit order of Electricity procured by State(s).

66 - Union Government launched VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has launched the Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) scheme in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India.

Areas of research like energy, health, advance material and others would be promoted under the scheme. Under the scheme, foreign researchers would receive endowments at par with those in their own countries.

67 - India, Portugal signed 11 MoUs for cooperation in various areas

India Portugal MoUs

India and Portugal signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, investments, science and technology, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture.

India and Portugal have agreed to set up a joint fund of four million Euros to support bilateral collaboration in innovative technology. The two countries expressed determination to deepen cooperation against terrorism and violent extremism.

The Prime Minister thanked Portugal for supporting India’s bid to permanent membership of UN Security Council and multi-lateral export control regimes.

68 - Government launched a portal on weather information

Weather Information

Union Minister of State for Power launched the weather portal for power sector in association with POSOCO and IMD at the meeting of the Forum of Regulators in New Delhi.

The weather information on the portal will also help in better planning for infrastructure availability to ensure cost effective and reliable supply. The portal provides regional weather outlook for current day and up to next 7 days.

Weather stations of meteorological department have been mapped to the nearest important electrical station/power stations.

69 - India and Fiji signed MoU on defence cooperation

India and Fiji

An MoU on defence cooperation envisaging several areas of cooperation including in defence industry, military training and humanitarian assistance & disaster management was signed between The Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola and the Minister of Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

The Ministers discussed expanded defence partnership in maritime security between both the countries, and naval cooperation was identified as an area of promise.

70 - Swachh Bharat Mission to go all out for ‘Darwaza Band’

Darwaza Band

For promotion of toilet usage across the country’s villages, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has come out with an aggressive new campaign called Darwaza Band. Iconic actor, Shri Amitabh Bachchan will be brand ambassador of the campaign. The campaign has been supported by the World Bank.

It is designed to encourage behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them. The campaign also features actor Anushka Sharma, who will be seen encouraging women to stand up for this issue in their villages and assume a leadership role.

71 - HR Ministry launched UGC App to fight Ragging


Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar launched an Anti Ragging Mobile App introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to help students register complaints to counter the menace of ragging. App will work on android system on which students can log in and register their complaints immediately.

Accordingly, all concerned will be informed immediately and action will start immediately. The Minister categorically cautioned that those who are involved in ragging would not be allowed to continue their education in that institution and face penalty and punishment as per the law.

72 - MoS (Home) flagged off “Bicycle Patrols”

Bicycle Patrols

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir flagged off the “Bicycle Patrols” launched by the Delhi Police. The Chief Guest flagged off the first batch of 65 bicycles allotted to the Eastern Range of Delhi Police.

As a 'green' initiative for patrolling the parks, congested lanes and by-lanes, the cooperative societies etc., the Delhi Police has introduced bicycle patrols to complement and supplement its existing motorcycle and PCR patrols, which focus mainly on crime prevention along the arterial and main roads of Delhi. As a beginning, 65 high-end bicycles have been operationalized.

73 - India, Portugal signed 11 MoUs across various fields

India Portugal MoU

India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture.

Five of these MoU's were in the area of science and technology. The two sides signed MoUs for the creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance for advancing collaborative research and launched a unique startup Portal- the India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH).

74 - Aadhaar not valid for travel to Nepal, Bhutan


According to the Union Home Ministry, Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians travelling to Nepal and Bhutan.

Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan without visas if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission.

Nepal shares borders with five Indian states — Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Bhutan, which shares borders with Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.

75 - India and Netherlands signed three MOUs

India and Netherlands MOU

India and Netherlands signed three MOUs on water management, cultural cooperation and on amending social security arrangement. The MOUs were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, during Mr. Modi's Netherlands visit.

The two nations signed a joint water technology initiative, Dutch Indian Water Alliance for Leadership Initiative (DIWALI). Netherlands is the fifth largest investment partner globally and in the last three years, it has emerged as the third largest source of FDI for India.

76 - Kalraj Mishra launched Digital MSME Scheme

MSME Scheme

Union Minister Kalraj Mishra launched a Digital MSME Scheme. This scheme revolves around Cloud Computing, which is emerging as a cost effective and viable alternative in comparison to in-house Infrastructure installed by MSMEs. In this scheme, MSMEs can use the internet to access common as well as tailor-made IT infrastructure including software for managing their business processes.

Three MoUs were also exchanged with SAP India, Intel and HMT. MSME has jointly launched Bharat ERP with Tech major SAP, a program aimed at digital empowerment of small businesses in the country.

77 - World Bank approved $250-million loan to train India's job seekers

India's Job Seekers

The World Bank has approved $250 million Skill India Mission Operation (SIMO) loan to India to help increase the market relevance of short-term skill development programs (3-12 months or up to 600 hours) at the national and state level. The focus will be on providing skills training opportunities for adult workers between the ages 15 to 59 (underemployed or unemployed).

SIMO which is a six-year program in support of the Government of India’s skill development strategy as outlined in the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (2017–2023).

78 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Israel on National Campaign for Water Conservation in India

Water Conservation

The Union Cabinet approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on National Campaign for Water Conservation in India. This will benefit the country in conserving water for future generations.

The two countries agreed to work on the water conservation campaign to achieve the following objectives −

  • Put water conservation on the national agenda in India
  • Encouraging every citizen to save water in everyday life
  • Generating awareness about water
  • Promoting Re-use, Recharge and Recycling of water

79 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and the USA on Homeland Security

Homeland Security

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between India and the United States of America on Homeland Security.

The Memorandum of Cooperation will further strengthen bilateral security relations between India and the USA and will help in coordination and interactions among the six Sub-Groups that are going to be formed under the Homeland Security Dialogue between the two countries.

80 - Cabinet gives ‘in principle’ approval for disinvestment of Air India

In Principle

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its in-principal approval to strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries based on the recommendations of Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment (CGD).

The government will constitute an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism to guide the process on strategic disinvestment and decide the following – Treatment of unsustainable debt of Air India; Hiving off certain assets to a shell company; Demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries; the quantum of disinvestment; and the universe of bidders.

81 - The CBDT entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement with Indian taxpayers


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into Five Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreement with Indian taxpayers during June 2017. A Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (involving United Kingdom) was also signed during the month.

The APAs signed in June 2017 pertain to healthcare, information technology and gaming/animation (media) sectors of the economy. The number of Unilateral APAs signed in the current financial year is now nine and the number of Bilateral APAs is one. With this, the total number of APAs signed since the commencement of the program stands at 162 (Unilateral-150 and Bilateral-12).

82 - War room set up to deal with GST crises

War Room

A “mini war room” has been set up in the finance ministry to deal with crises related to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The room will be equipped with computers and phone lines.

The unit will act as a quick resource centre for Central and State government officials to address their queries on the historic tax reform scheduled will be implemented from July 1.

It will act as a single-window for anything and everything related to the GST.

83 - India's GSAT-17 Communication Satellite Launched Successfully


India successfully launched GSAT-17 communication satellite using the European Ariane 5 Launch Vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.

The 3477 kg GSAT-17 carries communication payloads in C-band, Extended C-band and S-band for providing various services to the country. The satellite also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite based search and rescue services.

The GSAT-17 became India’s third communication satellite to reach orbit in the past two months.

84 - The sixth Joint Trade Committee Meeting between India and Myanmar

India and Myanmar

The sixth India – Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting was held on 27 June 2017 at New Delhi. The Joint Trade Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries.

India’s trade with Myanmar grew by 6.01% from USD 2.05 bn in 2015 -16 to USD 2.18 bn in 2016-17. The total export achieved in 2016-17 was 1.11 USD Billion, reflecting an annual growth of 3.79%. The import stood at 1.06 USD Billion showing a growth of 8.43%.

85 - India and Thailand sign MoU on Cooperation in Controlling Narcotic Drugs

Controlling Narcotic Drugs

India and Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Controlling Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, their Precursors and Chemicals and Drug Abuse.

The MoU will enhance the cooperation between India and Thailand in regulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and combating drug trafficking. It will facilitate the exchange of information of new trends of drug traffickers, sharing the list of smugglers/syndicates in operation, sharing of best practices in the field of supply and demand reduction and help to provide mutual assistance & cooperation in investigation of drug offences.

86 - Rail Land Development Authority and NBCC signed an MoU


The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), an institution under Ministry of Railways and National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), a PSU of Ministry of Urban Development have signed an MoU for implementation of station redevelopment projects for 10 identified stations in partnership with respective Smart Cities.

These 10 stations are – Tirupati, Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Nellore, Madgaon, Lucknow, Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane New and the Ernakulam Jn.