Current Affairs May 2017 - National
News 1 - One IP – Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar Based Online Claim Submission” schemes launched
Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya launched two schemes “One IP – Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar based Online Claim Submission” on International Labour Day. Under One IP – Two Dispensaries scheme, ESIC has given an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family.
Under Aadhaar based Online Claim Submission scheme all EPF Members who have activated their UAN and seeded their KYC Aadhaar with EPFO will be able to apply for PF final and PF part withdrawal (Form31) from the their UAN Interface directly.
News 2 - Department of Telecom Launched Web Portal – Tarang Sanchar
The Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched – Tarang Sanchar, a web portal for Information sharing on Mobile Towers and EMF Emission Compliances. This portal will help users to know about the working towers in a locality. It will also let the users know whether they are compliant to the EMF emission norms, which are defined by the Government.
This portal also has ‘EMF Overview’ and ‘Learn’ Sections, which provide numerous articles, booklets and videos, to further educate the citizens about EMF and coverage of telecom services. Portal will allow users to get a tower checked for radiation emission, for a fee of Rs. 4,000.
News 3 - Human Resource Ministry launched Vidya Veerta Abhiyan
Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the VIDYA VEERTA ABHIYAN in New Delhi, to revive the patriotic feeling in youth. A collage of photo portraits and book on Param Vir Chakra recipients was released and presented to Vice-Chancellors of universities.
With this campaign, a wall of valour will be built in colleges and universities across the country, which will depict the portraits of all the 21 Param Vir Chakra recipients. The event was attended by several vice-chancellor of universities, scholars, ex-servicemen and schoolchildren.
4 - ‘Wall of Valour’ launched by Defence Ministry
Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar and Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre jointly launched a campaign to have a ‘Wall of Valour’ in 1,000 educational institutions across the country.
Portraits of Param Vir Chakra (PVC) decorated soldiers will be displayed at designated places on educational campuses to instil sense of nationalism among the students.
This wall will be 15X20 feet in size and will depict the portraits of all the 21 Param Vir Chakra recipients.
News 5 - The RERA Act, 2016 comes into effect from 1 May 2017
The Real Estate (Regulation Development) Act, 2016 or RERA has come into effect from May 1, 2017. The Act would regulate the real estate sector, to bring clarity and fair practices that would protect the interests of buyers and impose penalties on errant builders.
A couple of important provisions are mentioned below:
Depositing 70% of the funds collected from buyers in a separate bank account in case of new projects and 70% of unused funds in case of ongoing projects.
Both developers and buyers to pay the same penal interest of SBI's Marginal Cost of Lending Rate plus 2% in case of delays.
News 6 - Google launched 'Solve for India' campaign
Google has launched “Solve for India” initiative directed towards entrepreneurs and developers of the country. The campaign is focussed primarily for two-tier cities such as Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Indore, Nagpur, Nashik, Kanpur, and Chennai.
The program will provide a platform for developers, entrepreneurs to learn about the latest Google Technologies. The program comes with a 6-month mentorship program along with $50,000 worth of equity-fee investments. Google would also provide over $20,000 of Google cloud credits.
News 7 - India and Turkey signed Three Agreements
India and Turkey signed three agreements in the fields of ICT, training and culture. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The three agreements are as follows:
MoU was signed on a cultural exchange programme for the years 2017-2020.
MoU was signed on cooperation in the area of information and communication technologies (ICT).
MoU was signed between the Foreign Services Institute (FSI) of India and the Diplomacy Academy of Turkey.
News 8 - Cabinet approved cooperation between Indian and Japan on Railway Safety
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its ex-post facto approval to the signing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Japan on Railway Safety. The signing of MoC will enable track safety and rolling stock safety.
The MoC would provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest development and knowledge in the railway sector. The cooperation under this MoC will involve dispatch of experts, training of core staff in Japan and sharing of information and best practices.
News 9 - Cabinet approved modifications in the seventh CPC recommendations on pay
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved important proposals relating to modifications in the seventh CPC (Central Pay Commission) recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits in the course of their implementation.
Earlier, in June 2016, the Cabinet had approved implementation of the recommendations with an additional financial outgo of Rs 84,933 crore for 2016-17.
Cabinet had approved the changed method of pension revision recommended by the seventh CPC for pre-2016 pensioners, comprising of two alternative formulations, subject to the feasibility of the first formulation, which was to be examined by the Committee.
News 10 - Cabinet approved National Steel Policy 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved National Steel Policy 2017. It seeks to enhance domestic steel consumption, ensure high quality steel production, and create a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry.
The New Steel Policy, 2017 aspires to achieve 300MT of steel-making capacity by 2030. This would translate into additional investment of Rs. 10 lakh Crore by 2030-31. New Steel Policy seeks to increase per capita steel consumption to the level of 160 Kgs by 2030 from existing level of around 60 Kg.
News 11 - Cabinet approved MoU on Third Line of Credit of US $ 4.5 billion to Bangladesh
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Third Line of Credit (LoC) of US $ 4.5 billion to Bangladesh for implementation of developmental projects.
The MoU provides for deepening the strategic partnership, development of infrastructure in Bangladesh, improving connectivity between India and Bangladesh, thus enhancing accessibility to our North Eastern Region, as well as creating new business opportunities for Indian companies in Bangladesh.
News 12 - Cabinet approved New Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved for re-structuring the schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) under new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) for the period 2016-20).
SAMPADA with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20.
News 13 - Three-day National Workshop on e-Granthalaya held in New Delhi
The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) organized a three-day National Workshop on e-Granthalya 4.0 for Automation and Networking of Government Libraries in New Delhi from 2nd-4th May 2017.
With the objective to train library professionals on e-Granthalya 4.0, the latest version of the library management software developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), the workshop comprised of theoretical and hands-on training sessions on its admin, cataloguing, circulation and serial modules.
The workshop has 43 participants from different institutions including research councils of AYUSH, Banaras Hindu University and University of Kashmir.
News 14 - Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra to be set up by Swachh Bharat Mission
Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra” will be set up by “Swachh Bharat Mission” Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation at Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS), Rajghat by “Swachh Bharat Mission” Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the vision of Prime Minister during the centenary year of Champaran Satyagraha.
The total budget for Swachh Bharat Mission is now Rs 19,300 crore with a Central share of Rs 14,000 crore and Rs 5,300 crore is the budgetary provision declared by all government departments.
News 15 - Minister of Railways inaugurated Global Technology Conference
Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the two-day Global Technology Conference for Leveraging World Class Technology (International Conference on Development & Adaptation of Advance Technology for Railways) in Delhi.
The Conference focused on critical areas of Indian Railways - Reliability, Safety and Customer Service. The Conference featured technical sessions, technical presentations, and table top exhibits, besides wide opportunities for several industries networking too.
Conference would enable the emergence of a multi-disciplinary logistics interface and eco-systems that would enable the Indian Railways to deliver new levels of value along with modernization.
News 16 - Centre advanced target of power to all from 2022 to 2018
The Centre advanced the target of providing electricity to all from 2022 to 2018 while inaugurating the State power and Mines Ministers' Conference in New Delhi. Centre also sought cooperation form the States to achieve the target.
Country has surplus coal and there should not be shortage anywhere in the country. Government is focusing on quality of coal to improve power generation.
Due to transparent auction of 1000 megawatt of wind energy, the power tariff of clean energy has halved and come down to 3 rupees 46 paise per unit.
News 17 - Fourth National Standards Conclave held in New Delhi
Department of Commerce, Government of India in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and other knowledge partners organized the fourth National Standards Conclave on 1-2 May 2017 at New Delhi.
The objective of the two-day Conclave was to bring awareness and prepare Industries, Central Government Ministries, State Governments, regulatory/standards setting and conformity assessment bodies on the growing importance of “Standards” in the changing scenario of global trade.
News 18 - First Home Affairs dialogue between India and UK held in Delhi
The First Home Affairs Dialogue between India and UK was held as a follow up of UK Prime Minister’s visit to India in November 2016 and the commitment of the two Prime Ministers for enhanced and strengthened Dialogue.
Both sides agreed to address the challenges of illegal migrants. The two sides will work together to ensure smooth return of Indians overstaying in UK subject to nationality verification.
India raised the issue of visa related difficulties faced by Indian students, skilled professional and dependents of Indian diplomats.
News 19 - Transport Ministry inaugurated India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit
The Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the three day India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit (IITLS) organized by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in New Delhi.
The IITLS was organized with the objective of facilitating constructive dialogue between various stakeholders for the development of multimodal infrastructure in the country.
The IITLS is envisaged as a platform for all stakeholders in transport and logistics sectors to come together and initiate collaborative partnerships to realize the various Greenfield and brownfield opportunities in logistic parks, freight corridors and IT solutions.
News 20 - Maneka Gandhi launched online registration facility of Child Care Institutions
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi launched the online registration facility of Child Care Institutions across India. Online registration will provide a centralized system where all the information will be readily available about the CCIs in the country and through the system; it will be possible to know the number of children in each CCI, their availability for adoption and requirement of assistance to them.
The Online System includes features such as e-alerts to the applicants and the registration authorities, easy information sharing and online issuance of registration certificates.
News 21 - India's first bio refinery plant inaugurated in Pune
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the India's first bio refinery plant for renewable fuels and chemicals, which produces ethanol from variety of biomass. The project is situated at Rahu in Pune district.
The plant can produce one million litre of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of agro-residue like rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, cane trash, corncobs with superior product yields. The plant has been set up by Praj Industries. Pipelines of other renewable fuels and chemicals will also be produced with the help of this technology.
News 22 - DIPP & WIPO to set up Technology and Innovation Support Centres
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) signed an agreement to establish Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISC).
WIPO’s Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISC) program provides innovators in developing countries with access to locally based, high quality technology information and related services, helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their intellectual property (IP) rights.
Services offered by TISCs may include monitoring technology, access to online patent, training in database search etc.
News 23 - Railway Ministry inaugurated “Udaan – A Sports Conclave”
Shri Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways inaugurated “Udaan – A Sports Conclave” organized by Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) under Ministry of Railways.
The conclave was an effort to bring all stakeholders on one platform and get inputs to explore more opportunities in making Railways a better organisation in terms of sports.
The discussion pertained to ‘Sports in India: Challenges & the Road Ahead’ and ‘Convergence of Stakeholders – Strategic Partners to Rejuvenate Indian Sports.”
News 24 - India and Russia reviewed bilateral cooperation
India and Russia agreed to work closely in various sectors including security, nuclear energy and disaster management at a meeting held in New Delhi.
The progress made in implementation of agreements signed between the two countries during the last BRICS Summit, was discussed. Ministries, Departments and private sector celebrated 70th year of Indo-Russian diplomatic relations.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin appreciated relationship between India and Russia calling it as dynamic and strengthening trade and economic cooperation. The two countries will further cooperate in sectors like agriculture, aviation and space.
News 25 - Railways planned to acquire EOTT system to run trains without guards
The Indian Railways has planned to run 1000 trains without guards by installing sophisticated equipment in them. Railways will acquire 1000 End of Train Telemetry, EoTT equipment to begin with, for its container operations and later more such units will be procured for all trains.
Railways will float global tenders worth over 100 crore rupees for acquiring the equipment. The EoTT equipment is designed to do the guard's job by giving indication to the loco driver in case of parting of coaches or wagons from the rear side of the train.
News 26 - Election Commission of India launched National Contact Centre
Election Commission of India launched National Contact Centre with a toll-free number 1800111950. Now any citizen from any part of the country can call on the toll-free in English or Hindi with any query or complaint at any time of the day.
Callers can enquire on subjects such as elections, voting dates, EPIC, electoral roll, online registration etc. and lodge a complaint by simply dialling in to the toll free no.
The Contact Centre is Commission’s step forward towards bringing about electoral reforms where citizens and officials are empowered to report any violation of ECI instructions during elections.
News 27 - Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister launched e-Krishi Samvad
Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare launched e Krishi Samvad. This e-Krishi Samvad is internet-based interface and is a unique platform that will provide direct and effective solutions to the problems faced by farmers and stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
Stakeholders can upload photographs related to diseases of the crops, animals or fishes for diagnostics and remedial measures instantly from the specialists.
People can directly connect to the ICAR website http://icar.org.in and get the appropriate solutions from the subject matter specialists and institutes through web or SMS.
News 28 - MHA Mobile Application launched for Grievances Redressal of CAPF personnel
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Mobile Application for grievance redressal of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel.
The BSFMyApp has been developed to cater to the requirement of BSF personnel regarding Grievance Redressal as well as various other service and welfare related issues such as Pay, GPF, Leave, Deputation etc. The most significant feature of the Application is its Financial Literacy Module, which educates BSF Personnel about investment of their savings.
Ministry will review the dashboard of the App every month and check the status of redressal of grievances.
News 29 - I-T department launched new facility to link Aadhaar with PAN
The Income Tax department has launched a new link on its homepage making it easy to link a person's Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN). This will be useful for E-Verification of Income Tax returns using OTP sent to their mobile registered with Aadhaar.
In case of any minor mismatch in the Aadhaar name, as compared to the actual data in Aadhaar, a One Time Password will be sent to the mobile registered with Aadhaar. Taxpayers should ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly same.
News 30 - India and USA exchanged views on maritime developments in Asia Pacific & IOR
India and the USA exchanged views on maritime developments in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region and considered steps to strengthen bilateral maritime security cooperation.
The two sides held second round of the India-US Maritime Security Dialogue on 9th and 10th of May in Newport, Rhode Island in the USA.
They also reviewed the implementation of the decisions taken at the first Maritime Security Dialogue held in May 2016. The next round of the dialogue will be held in India on mutually convenient dates.
News 31 - PM launches integrated case management system of Supreme Court
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Integrated Case Management Information System (ICMIS) of the Supreme Court, which will help litigant’s access data and retrieve information online. Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar was also present on the occasion.
The new system, aimed at serving as a digital repository for case-related information, can be accessed at www.sci.gov.in. It will help usher transparency, reduce manipulation and help the litigant know about the progress of the case on a real time basis.
News 32 - IFSC at GIFT signed agreement with GNLU to start course on IFSC regulations
The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT) signed an agreement with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU).
As a part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), GNLU will introduce a new course on International Financial Services Centre from its June 2017 Semester. It will also organise a program for Lawyers covering IFSC, International Arbitration and related fields. The MoU will also look into developing and conducting programmes in financial markets.
News 33 - India and UK to cooperate in urban transport sector
India & UK agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organization of transport.
Under the proposed MOU, the TFL will share with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways its expertise on the mobility and efficiency of transport system and methodologies to facilitate the planning and delivery of mobility solutions including ticketing, passenger information, major project financing, infrastructure maintenance strategies and behavioural change and public transport promotion.
News 34 - Shri J P Nadda launched Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare announced the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) of the country.
PCV protects children against severe forms of pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia and meningitis. Currently, the vaccine is being rolled out to approximately 21 lakh children in Himachal Pradesh and parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the first phase.
To raise awareness about PCV, Shri Nadda also unveiled the communication material comprising TV and radio spots, posters, banners, etc. at the event.
News 35 - NCRB organized a National Workshop on “Crime Data Analytics”
A National Workshop on “Crime Data Analytics” was organised by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in association with Indian Police Foundation.
Delegates from State Police, CAPFs, Industry, ISRO, NTRO, IIT Mumbai and BITS Pilani participated in the meeting. In the conference the topics on Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Dash boarding and its possible deployment in Police domain were thoroughly discussed.
Delegates shared the problems like poor data quality, non-availability of tools and work force, which needs to be overcome to adopt the Data Analytics Framework.
News 36 - Union Government to issue Universal Identity Cards to disabled persons
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said that the union government would soon issue universal identity cards to persons with disabilities to help them avail various government welfare schemes.
A survey in this regard is being undertaken to identify beneficiaries. All the preparatory work has been done including design of the card by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
The centre was also promoting disabled friendly buildings for public utility services to help the community.
News 37 - Centre asks ISPs to prevent transmission of child sexual abuse material by 31 July
The Centre has asked all internet service providers to prevent the distribution and transmission of child sexual abuse material into the country by implementing the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Resources by 31 July.
IWF maintains a dynamic global list of websites and URLs, which contain Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Implementation of IWF Resources will result in the relevant content being blocked or removed on an ongoing basis. It is an interim measure until the centralised mechanism is put in place to monitor CSAM.
News 38 - Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second meeting of NPDRR
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the two-day second meeting of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. The theme of the Second meeting of NPDRR was “Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development: Making India resilient by 2030”.
The NPDRR is a multi-stakeholders National Platform headed by the Union Home Minister and it promotes participatory decision making in disaster management, and strengthens federal policy of our country.
Shri Rajnath Singh shared the recent initiatives of Government of India for increasing the regional co-operation.
News 39 - The Union Minister of Finance launched Operation Clean Portal
The Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley, officially launched the Portal of Operation Clean Money (https://www.cleanmoney.gov.in) in New Delhi. The Operation Clean Money was initiated by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on 31 January 2017 with the launch of e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9 November to 30 December 2016.
Operation Clean Money Portal will enable citizen engagement for creating a tax compliant society, enable transparent tax administration by sharing status reports and providing comprehensive information at one place.
News 40 - EPFO’s Citizens Charter 2017 & e-court management system launched
The Minister of State for Labour & Employment(IC), Shri Bandaru Dattatreya launched EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter 2017 and e-court management system in Bangalore.
The Citizens’ Charter 2017 is an attempt to bring transparency and accountability on the part of EPFO and make service delivery system and grievance redressal mechanism more efficient so that it delivers goods and services to its all stakeholders in a time bound manner with a reduced timeline from earlier timeline of 30 days.
The objective of the EPFO e-court Management System is a transparent and electronic case management system.
News 41 - Minister of Railways inaugurates Round Table Conference on Data Analytics
Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Round Table Conference on “Data Analytics for Indian Railways”. Round Table Conferences are being conducted to ideate on various issues concerning Indian Railways. Data Analytics can help to create a system that may benefit Railways immensely.
Indian Railways is one of the largest Data creators in the world; it has to handle large volume of Data. Privacy shall be protected and one of the largest ERP is created in Indian Railways. Round Table Conference is to ideate on Data Analytics on Indian Railways.
News 42 - Cabinet approved pharma mission to develop bio pharmaceuticals
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for accelerating discovery and research to early development for biopharmaceuticals.
The Mission will be implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology.
It will be a Pan-India program and help in preparing India's technological and product development capabilities in the bio pharmaceutical sector to a level that it is globally competitive over the next 10-15 years.
News 43 - Centre to open 94 new Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalyas
Centre will open 94 new Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalyas (KGBV) across the country for girl students belonging to minority and disadvantaged sections. There are currently 3,703 KGBVs functional across the country.
KGBVs are upper primary residential schools for girls from SC, ST, OBC categories besides other minority and disadvantaged sections of society. While 75% seats are reserved for girls from the mentioned category, 25% seats are for girls from families below the poverty line.
News 44 - Railways to install CCTV cameras under Nirbhaya Fund
Railway Ministry has decided to install 19,000 high definition CCTV surveillance system at more than 900 stations at the cost of Rs 500 crore under Nirbhaya Fund.
At present 344 stations have already been provided with CCTV cameras. Ministry of Finance has set up a dedicated fund called Nirbhaya Fund amounting to Rs.3000 crore for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country.
It is an important step taken for 24*7 security of passengers. The CCTV footages would be monitored by trained RPF personnel and the concerned stationmaster.
News 45 - India imposed anti-dumping duty on glasses and Chinese radiators
In order to protect domestic industry from cheap imports, India imposed anti-dumping duty of up to $55.59 per tonne for a period of five years on a certain type of glass from Iran and on Chinese aluminium radiators.
According to the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties, these products cause material injury to the domestic industry. Anti-dumping steps are taken for fair trade practices. They also help in protecting the domestic industry from any material injury. They are not a way to restrict imports.
News 46 - Cabinet approved signing of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
The Convention is an outcome of the OECD / G20 BEPS Project to tackle base erosion and profit shifting through tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules to artificially shift profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.
News 47 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Australia
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime.
The proposed MoU would strengthen the relationship between India and Australia for building peace and stability in the region through exchange of information, expertise, experience and capacity building. The cooperation would facilitate the institutional interactions between the two countries.
News 48 - Cabinet approved Faculty Exchange Agreement between National Defence College, New Delhi and National Defence College, Dhaka
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Faculty Exchange Agreement signed between the National Defence College, New Delhi and National Defence College, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The objective of the Agreement is to institutionalize regular exchange programs and establish sustainable mechanisms between the two National Defence Colleges. This is being done with an aim to enhance mutual cooperation in the field of national security, development and strategic studies.
News 49 - Union Cabinet approved Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program
The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program, which now has been extended, to all districts of the country w.e.f. 01.01.2017.
The Maternity Benefit Program will provide compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives. This is being done so that, women can take adequate rest before and after the delivery. In addition, they should not be deprived of proper nutrition.
The total cost of the proposal for the period from 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2020 including Central and State Government share is Rs. 12,661 crore. Government of India’s share during the period 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2020 comes to around Rs. 7932 crore.
News 50 - Cabinet approved Agreement between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratifying, an Agreement between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.
This Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences.
This Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.
News 51 - Cabinet approved Amendment of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958
The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament with the following amendments −
Insertion of a new definition of “public works” in section 2 of the Act.
Amendment to section 20A of the Act so as to allow any Department or Office of the Central Government to carry out public works in the prohibited area after obtaining permission from the Central Government.
Insertion of a new clause (ea) to section 20-I of the principal Act.
News 52 - Cabinet approved setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (lARI) in Assam
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the setting up of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam.
IARI-Assam would be a Post-Graduate Institution of higher learning in Agricultural Education. It will have the hallmark identity of an IARI including all sectors of agriculture like field crops, horticultural crops, agro-forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, piggery, silk rearing, honey production, etc. It will be an off-campus of IARI, New Delhi and integrated multi-disciplinary research would be undertaken in school mode, i.e., Schools of Crop Sciences, Natural Resource Management, and Animal Sciences & Fisheries.
News 53 - Cabinet approved Restructuring plan for Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a restructuring plan for Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd. (HOCL).
The restructuring plan involves closing down the operations of all the non-viable plants at Rasayani unit of HOCL except Di-Nitrogen Tetroxide (N2O4) plant which is to be transferred to ISRO on 'as is where is' basis, with about 20 acres of land and employees associated with the plant.
The N2O4 plant is of strategic importance as it is the only indigenous source of N2O4, which is used as liquid rocket propellant by ISRO in the space launch vehicles.
News 54 - The 18th Session of India-Sweden Joint Commission for Economic, Industrial and Scientific Cooperation
The Eighteenth Session of India-Sweden Joint Commission for Economic, Industrial and Scientific Cooperation (JCEC) was held in New Delhi on 17 May 2017.
Some of the highlights of this JCEC are:
The two sides are working towards a Memorandum of Understanding in order to strengthen the cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property. It was also agreed to expedite the finalization of other bilateral agreements currently under discussion.
Both sides expressed interest on promoting innovation partnerships between the two countries.
News 55 - The 15th National Meeting of State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities
The two-day 15th National Meeting of the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities (PwD)” to review Implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of rights and Full Participation) Act-1995 was organized by the Office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
During the two days meeting, the status of implementation of various provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of rights and Full Participation) Act-1995 in the States and Union Territories was reviewed.
News 56 - NITI Aayog holds the first Samavesh meeting
In pursuance of the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022, the first meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners was held in NITI Aayog on 17 May 2017.
The meeting was aimed at bringing together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to catalyse the development process, to enhance the institutional capacity development and a field level interface with the community for New India 2022.
News 57 - Centre sanctioned 1,793 crore rupees for 8 National Highway in Andhra
The Centre has sanctioned 1,793 crore rupees for construction of eight National Highway roads in phase-1, in Andhra Pradesh.
Eight roads covering 1249 km were declared as the National Highways in the State this year covering Anantapur, Guntur, West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts. The Andhra Pradesh Road Maintenance has completed data collection for 13 districts. They are rolling out plans for State Highways in 10 districts.
News 58 - Centre granted Rs 11 crore to IIEST for homeopathy research
The Centre has granted 11 crore rupees to the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, IIEST, Shibpur of West Bengal, for conducting medical research on homeopathy under the 'Ayush' project.
The institute will buy instruments for its laboratory. The laboratory will give stress on biophysics, bi-chemistry-based research and dedicated towards understanding science, which is trusted by many. As per the recent MHRD ranking, the institute is ranked above almost all IITs in the country.
News 59 - Cabinet approved Coal linkage policy 2017
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the signing of Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) with the Letter of Assurance (LoA) holders.
The approved framework ensures that all projects with linkages are supplied coal as per their entitlement. This will ensure the rights of coal supplies for FSA holders and signing of FSA with LoA holders.
Allocation of linkages in future will be transparent and bidding based, barring some exceptions as per Tariff Policy. Future allocation/grant of linkages will be based on auction and/or tariff based bidding.
News 60 - India to launch UJALA scheme in the United Kingdom
India will export cheap and affordable LED bulbs to London, United Kingdom. It is done with an aim to in reducing global carbon intensity through efficient and sustainable energy.
Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, an energy services company promoted by Indian state-run power majors takes care of project, Ujala.
Under this scheme, government plans to replace all 770 million inefficient incandescent and CFL bulbs. Government has already marked 10-12% of the global market with 4 billion bulbs of world’s LED capital.
News 61 - IIEST built India's first smart grid project
Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology created India’s first smart grid project, which will provide electricity from renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products.
It is considered as first of its kind in India. Project will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee. Government aims to generate 32 kW of power from renewable sources of energy and collaborate the smart grid to take the power in the system for use.
News 62 - The 14th GST Council meeting approved GST rates for goods and GST Compensation Cess
The 14th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Meeting, chaired by the Union Minister of Finance Shri Arun Jaitley, was held at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. The fitment of rates of goods were discussed during the Council meeting.
The Council has broadly approved the GST rates for goods at nil rate, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% to be levied on certain goods. The Council has also broadly approved the rates of GST Compensation Cess to be levied on certain goods.
The information has been uploaded after the GST Council’s decision on the website of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and is available at http://www.cbec.gov.in.
News 63 - Suresh Prabhu launched free Wi-Fi facility at 28 stations in Konkan
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the free Wi-Fi facility at 28 stations of Konkan Railway. He launched the services from Kudal railway station.
The Wi-Fi service will be provided at stations located between Kolad and Madure. The move will help commuters of Konkan Railway and tourists to access essential information available on the internet.
Railways has tied-up with Maharashtra’s leading broadband and internet service provider company Joister, which will provide free Wi-Fi hotspots at 28 stations.
News 64 - Turbo Megha Airways became the first private airline to get UDAN Licence
Turbo Megha Airways has become the first private airline in the country to get a licence to fly under the government’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. The airline flies in the name of TruJet.
Turbo Megha Airways will launch flights on Hyderabad-Cuddapah, Hyderabad-Nanded and Nanded-Mumbai routes. The five airlines awarded the rights to fly UDAN flights are Air India, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha and G.R. Gopinath led Deccan Air. The first flight under the scheme was launched on the Shimla-Delhi route, operated by Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India.
News 65 - PM launched various projects of Kandla Port Trust
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched various projects of Kandla Port Trust at Gandhidham in Gujarat. He unveiled plaques to mark the laying of Foundation Stone for construction of the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Convention Centre and the development of the 14th and 16th General Cargo Berth.
Stating that the nation is celebrating the centenary year of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay, the Prime Minister suggested that Kandla Port Trust be renamed as "Deendayal Port Trust - Kandla." The combination of infrastructure and efficiency is vital for the port sector to thrive and the Kandla Port has emerged as one of the finest in Asia.
News 66 - Dr. Harsh Vardhan assumed charge as the Environment Minister
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science and Technology and Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, assumed charge at the IP Bhavan, following the sudden and untimely demise of former Minister of State (Independent Charge) Shri Anil Madhav Dave.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan reviewed the key areas of concern and priority with the Secretary and other senior officers of the Ministry. The progress of work in the last 3 years of this government and the key initiatives taken were discussed. He exhorted all the officers to continue to strive hard and meet these and other similar challenges in the coming years.
News 67 - Central Board of Direct Taxes signed two unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into two Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APA) on 04 May 2017 and 11 May 2017 respectively, with Indian taxpayers.
The two APAs signed pertain to chip design/development of embedded software and Information technology (software development) sectors of the economy.
The APA Scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for the maximum of five future years.
News 68 - Union Minister of State (IC) for Power launched ‘SEWA’ App
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Witaran Application (SEWA), developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers.
SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect as well as the Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch.
The consumer friendly mobile app helps in tracking of coal dispatch to 118 Power Plants through Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) of around 500 MT.
News 69 - Cabinet approved policy for providing preference to 'Make in India'
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a policy for providing preference to 'Make in India' in government procurements. The new policy will give a substantial boost to domestic manufacturing and service provision, thereby creating employment.
It will also stimulate the flow of capital and technology into domestic manufacturing and services. It will also provide a further thrust towards manufacture of parts, components, sub-components etc. of these items, in line with the vision of 'Make in India'.
News 70 - Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in outer space
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
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. The MoU would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
News 71 - Cabinet approved Joint Declaration of Intent between Germany and India
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between Germany and India regarding cooperation in the sector of alternative medicine.
The signing of the JDl will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional/alternative medicine. Initiation of collaborative research, training and scientific capacity building in the field of alternative medicine under the JDI between the two countries would contribute to the enhanced employment opportunities in the AYUSH sector.
News 72 - Cabinet approved phasing out Foreign Investment Promotion Board
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved to the phasing out of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The proposal entails abolishing the FIPB and allowing administrative Ministries/Departments to process applications for FDI requiring government approval.
Henceforth, the work relating to processing of applications for FDI and approval of the Government thereon under the extant FDI Policy and FEMA, shall now be handled by the concerned Ministries/Departments in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP), Ministry of Commerce.
News 73 - Cabinet approved MoU between Spain and India for organ transplant services
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Transplant Organization, Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, Spain and the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India on cooperation in the field of Organ Transplant Services.
The MoU would facilitate bilateral cooperation in the field of organ and tissue procurement and transplantation and better understanding between the two countries.
News 74 - Swachh Bharat App launched in National Museum
“Swachh Bharat App” was launched in National Museum under Ministry of Culture by the Minister of State (I/C) for Culture & Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The focus of this “Swachh Bharat App” was to involve people actively to become part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement).
In this App, the concept of Physical web is implemented. This Application will be monitored by the Ministry of Culture. It will play an important role in cultivating the significance of cleanliness to the citizens.
News 75 - Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to Initiate “Adopt a Slum” campaign
Minister of (Independent Charge), Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Vijay Goel announced “Adopt a Slum” - a new campaign to mark completion of three years of the Government.
The idea is to initiate developmental work in these slums and help the slum-dwellers in resolving various issues. The NYKS will adopt slums across 11 districts and will work for their overall development with young volunteers.
The “Slum Yuva Daud” was organized in Delhi. A booklet, highlighting the key issues was addressed with this campaign. In addition, there was a discussion on how this entire process will be initiated and executed.
News 76 - Cabinet approved issuing bonds to raise Rs 2,360 crore for renewable energy schemes
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved raising of Bonds of Rs. 2360 crores for Renewable Energy. The Bonds will be raised by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) during the 2017-18.
These funds will be used by MNRE in the approved programmes/schemes for solar park, green energy corridor, generation-based incentives for wind projects etc. The resources raised would be used for developing additional capacity in renewable energy sector, which would result in generation of additional employment.
News 77 - HR Ministry launched ‘eSanad’ for online document verification
An online verification portal to make the document verification process easier for students, who plan to study abroad named “eSanad”, was launched by HR and External Affairs Ministry. Employers and educational institutions are given access to verify students’ academic records online. Any educational institute or verifier can register to the portal.
Verifiers will have pay online some amount to register and verify data. The request will be forwarded to CBSE, and once approved, verification data will be emailed to the verifier and the corresponding student will be notified.
News 78 - Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme launched
The Minister of State for Communications (IC), Shri Manoj Sinha launched Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award Scheme and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award will be given the person who will perform at par excellence.
About 10,000 people from 10 States/UTs will be trained in the first phase under the scheme of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme. DoT will provide broadband connection to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayat by December 2018.
News 79 - Prime Minister inaugurated India’s third Indian Agricultural Research Institute
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the Foundation Stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Gogamukh in Assam.
The Ministry mentioned several farmer friendly schemes and programmes initiated by the present government, which include soil health card for improvement in the soil nutrition health, and traditional agriculture development scheme for improvement of organic farming.
The Prime Minister congratulated the State Government in Assam and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, for the work done by them in the State.
News 80 - Atal Pension Yojana (APY) reached 53 lakhs subscribers’ base
The subscriber’s base under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has reached about 53 Lakhs. During the year 2016-17, it has earned a return of 13.91%. With a view to empower the APY subscribers, new functionalities have been developed where under a subscriber can view and print the ePRAN card and Statement of Transactions.
Presently males account for 62% of the subscribers and female for about 38%. The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from 1 June 2015. It is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.
News 81 - Union Minister Vijay Goel flagged off Slum Yuva Daud
Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel flagged off the Slum Yuva Daud to mark the beginning of the Adopt Slum Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS).
The run started from Delhi University – Shankarlal Hall and ended at the Rugby Stadium with participation of about 5000 youngsters from various slums of Delhi.
The NYKS has adopted slums across 11 districts. They will work for their overall development with young volunteers. Similar runs will also be organized in many more areas of Delhi.
News 82 - India and Mauritius discussed bilateral relations and security cooperation
India and Mauritius discussed bilateral relations and security cooperation, including maritime security, hydrocarbon sector and counter terrorism. Both the leaders agreed to take the relationships between the two countries to greater heights.
Mr Pradhan conveyed India has continued support to Mauritius in meeting its energy requirement and expressed India’s commitment in Mauritius becoming a regional petroleum hub.
Since 2006, Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd India’s PSU refinery, has been supplying petroleum products to Mauritius. Both countries are presently working towards further deepening the engagement in the oil and gas sector.
News 83 - PM Gram Sadak Yojana implemented in Ladakh region
To improve road connectivity in Ladakh region of the Jammu and Kashmir under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, seven major roads projects under the centrally sponsored scheme - Central Road Fund - have been implemented in the last two years.
Five road projects were implemented to connect the remote and difficult terrain villages of Leh district. Road projects of more than 77 crore rupees are underway in the district to connect the inaccessible villages and rebuild the existing roads.