Current Affairs November 2016 - National


News 1 - I&B Ministry to set up Film Promotion Fund to promote Indian Films in International Film Festivals

International Film Festivals

Government has taken a new initiative to create a Film Promotion Fund to promote Indian cinema in the International Film Festivals. This initiative would help independent filmmakers to promote their work across the globe.

The Film Promotion fund would provide financial assistance to the films which would be selected in any competition section of an International Film Festival of repute or being India’s official nomination to the Academy Awards under Foreign Film Category for promotional activities.

News 2 - PM inaugurated exhibition on “Uniting India: Sardar Patel”

Uniting India: Sardar Patel

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the digital exhibition “Uniting India: Sardar Patel” in New Delhi.

The Prime Minister also launched the “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” initiative, to promote greater awareness among people of various States about one another, hence promoting the spirit of Unity in Diversity.

6 MoUs between two States each were also signed on the occasion, under this initiative.

News 3 - International Forum on Adopting an ICT Perspective to Education and Learning

International Forum

International Bureau of Education, UNESCO in partnership with Google and in collaboration with the UNESCO International Institute of Technology for Education (IITE), the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India (MHRD-GOI) organized an International Forum on Adopting an ICT Perspective to Education and Learning, being held in New Delhi, India from 31th October - 4th November 2016.

Sessions of the forum were designed to be interactive and to build on concrete cases of ICT integration and inclusion thought practical hands-on activities.

News 4 - NITI Aayog launched the first ever Agricultural Marketing & Farm Friendly Reforms Index

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog has launched an index to rank States and UTs that is based on implementation of seven provisions proposed under model APMC Act, joining eNAM initiative, special treatment to fruits and vegetables for marketing and level of taxes in mandis.

The Index is named as “Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index”. The state of Maharashtra achieved first rank in implementation of various reforms followed by Gujarat at 2nd spot, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh at 3rd and 4th spot. Major states like U.P., Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and J&K are in this group.

News 5 - MoU inked for Palestine-India techno-park between the two countries


In order to implement the announcement made during visit of Indian President to Palestine in October, 2015, for setting up of park, MOUs were inked between the two countries.

According to MoU, the Government of India announced grant of US$ 12 million for setting up the Park with payment of US$ 3 million each on half-yearly basis for 2 years and Palestine will provide the land for the project in Ramallah.

The Technopark will be an IT hub in Palestine and offer job opportunities for Palestinians.

News 6 - Real Estate rules notified by Union government for five UTs

Real Estate Regulatory Authorities

Real Estate rules were notified by Real Estate Ministry of Housing & Urban Population and applicable to the five Union Territories.

Developers will have to furnish additional information regarding the ongoing projects for the benefit of the buyers besides depositing 70% of the unused funds in a separate bank account to ensure their completion.

In respect of the ongoing projects, developers will publicize the original sanctioned plans. To incentivize registration of projects and Real Estate Agents with Regulatory Authorities, fee has been reduced to Rs.5 per Real Estate Regulatory Authorities are required to be in effect by April 30, 2017.

News 7 - Delhi-Mumbai corridors LDB container visibility tops 1 mn


Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation's (DMICDC) initiative, Logistics Data Bank (LDB), has crossed the one million mark of export-import containers tracked real time at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).

LDB project will bring in radical change in the Indian logistics industry providing transparency and visibility in container transportation that benefits stakeholders across industries. LDB is designed to help reduce shipping lead times, inventory levels and transaction costs and improve the accuracy of production plans.

News 8 - Rs.10 Lakh for each mandi for setting up Waste Management Plants Under e-Nam Scheme

e-Nam Scheme

The Union government has prepared the Swachhta Action Plan and made provision of Rs.10 lakh for each mandi for setting up waste management plants under the e-Nam scheme.

Cleaning drives were undertaken in 271 Agricultural Mandis. It was also decided that under one flagship scheme, namely RKVY, managed by DAC&FW, one percent funds will be spent on Solid and Waste Management.

Further, a Compost pit has been inaugurated in SLUSI, Kolkata. Compost Machines are being installed in the Mandis in coordination with States. More than 350 farmers and Scientists participated in the event.

News 9 - MoU signed for enabling online submission of applications under PMAY


Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Common Services Centre SPV of Ministry of Information Technology signed Memorandum of Understanding, MoU for enabling online submission of applications under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

It will enable online submission of applications by the urban poor for affordable houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

About 60 thousand Common Services Centres located in urban areas will enable online submission at a nominal cost of 25 rupees per application.

News 10 - Minister of Railways inaugurated International Conference on Decarburization of Indian Railways - Mission Electrification


Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the International Conference on Decarburization of Indian Railways - Mission Electrification organized by Institution of Railways Electrical Engineer (IREE) in partnership with ASSOCHAM India.

A mobile app ‘RAIL SAVER’ was launched by the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu. This app is expected to reduce energy consumption by 15% to 20%.

Indian Railways has set a target of 40% of cumulative electricity generation capacity through renewable energy by 2030, with an aim to reduce dependence on imported fuel and rationalize the cost of energy for Railways.

News 11 - Centre to set up $2 bn clean energy equity fund for additional renewable energy

Renewable Energy

The Centre, along with state-run power entities National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFC), will launch a 2 billion dollar clean energy equity fund to support the government's ambitious target of adding 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity by 2022.

New and Renewable Energy Ministry has already processed the proposal and sent it to the Finance Ministry to initiate a 2 billion dollar clean energy equity fund to push renewable energy capacity addition as envisaged by the central government.

News 12 - PM Modi outlines 10-point agenda for disaster risk reduction


Inaugurating the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi, Mr Modi outlined a ten-point agenda for renewing efforts towards disaster risk reduction and stated that all development sectors must imbibe the principles of disaster risk management and a network of universities should be developed to work on disaster issues.

The Prime Minister called for greater involvement and leadership of women in disaster risk management and opportunities provided by social media and mobile technologies should also be utilized.

News 13 - Govt imposed anti-dumping duty on certain Chinese steel products

Chinese Steel Products

Centre imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of steel wire rods from China to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap in-bound shipments for six months.

The measure follows recommendation by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties that steel wire rods was being exported by China below the normal value and the domestic industry has suffered material injury because of such imports.

India has already slapped anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations, including China and South Korea.

News 14 - SC grants pension to fake freedom fighters on humanitarian grounds

Supreme Court

Supreme court passed orders to inquire into alleged forging of freedom fighter certificates to claim pension and grant pension to fake freedom fighters on the basis of humanity.

The decision is a result of the forging happened in august 2015, where a large number of people claimed pension as freedom fighters by allegedly forging certificates in Beed district.

Justice A B Palkar panel has been directed to submit a report to the Maharashtra government after examining claims of 354 people for freedom fighter pension.

News 15 - ECI launches online survey to assess level of awareness among Overseas Indian voters


In order to assess level of awareness about the registration and voting process, ECI has initiated an online survey for Overseas Indian Citizens. The objective of the survey is to study the participation rates among overseas electors.

The unique survey, launched by ECI in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), will help in gathering opinions and voting preferences of Overseas Indians.

Apart from the survey, ECI has also launched an online competition, as a part of the initiative, to engage with the target population and seek their contribution to the cause - ‘Every Indian Vote counts’.

News 16 - Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution proposes exclusive zone for street vendors in each city

Food and Public Distribution

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has proposed exclusive zone for street vendors in each city.

The Ministry has decided to pursue the State Governments to allocate a place and provide sanitation facility to ensure clean and hygienic food to consumers, in order to meet aim of the Swachh Bharat Mission and create a permanent mechanism through new and innovative schemes.

Under the scheme ‘Clean Consumer Fora” financial assistance will be provided to Consumer Fora for sanitation facility while under the “Clean Market Scheme” the VCOs will be associated to carry out awareness activities on Swachhta.

News 17 - Shri J P Nadda unveiled Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)


Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, which is aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates through safe pregnancies and safe deliveries.

The national programme will provide special free antenatal care to about 3 crore pregnant women across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies.

Shri Nadda stated that the nationwide programme will provide fixed day assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care to pregnant women on the 9th of every month. Shri J P Nadda also launched the PSMA Web Portal & a Mobile Application.

News 18 - India, UNISDR signed Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework


India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation during the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.

The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework through Training and capacity building for Asian countries; promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment, facilitate knowledge sharing and strengthen the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.

News 19 - India, Sweden agree to enhance collaboration in energy sector

India Sweden

India and Sweden have agreed to enhance collaboration in energy sector with special focus on areas such as waste-to-energy, hydropower, smart metering and solar energy.

On an official visit to Sweden, Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Minister Piyush Goyal had a bilateral meeting with the Swedish Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Ibrahim Baylan.

The ministerial delegation participated in three round tables on green financing and investment, smart grid and energy solutions, smart cities, electro mobility and waste to energy and energy efficient mining and mine automation and optimization.

News 20 - Google ties up with Archaeological Survey of India for 360-degree virtual tour of monuments


In order to let people experience 360 degree virtual tour of 280-odd monuments across India on Google maps, Google will tie up with Archaeological Survey of India.

Since India is among the top five for using Google maps across the globe, Google is permitted for creating the virtual tour, which would be available in the maps.

Some of the major monuments which will be covered are Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and the ruins of Hampi.

News 21 - Ministry of Railways organized 17th National Rail Transport Conclave


Ministry of Railways in collaboration with Centre for Transportation Research and Management (CTRAM) organized 17th National Rail Transport Conclave on “Challenges and Strategies for Indian Railways in the Emerging Economic Scenario”.

The session on ‘The Common Core IR’s Collaboration with core sectors of the Economy’ was addressed by the Secretaries to the Ministries of Power, Shri P.K.Pujari, Secretary Coal, Shri Anil Swarup, Secretary Steel Dr Aruna Sharma and Secretary Mines Shri Balvinder Kumar. They focused on how the Railways and these key infrastructure sectors can collaborate towards attaining accelerated economic growth of the country.

News 22 - Union IT Ministry emphasized role of internet services at the 57th meeting of the ICANN

Union IT Ministry

During the 57th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Hyderabad, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad emphasized on the need for providing internet services to common man at affordable prices, by bringing the Internet services in local languages so that the internet enabled services will be available to more number of people.

India hosted the first ever global internet summit after the US government relinquished the control over the fundamental domain names system. Over three hundred representatives from nearly 70 countries participated in the summit.

News 23 - India to take strong steps to regulate smokeless tobacco products

Smokeless Tobacco Products

India will continue to take strong steps to regulate smokeless tobacco products in the country. As part of the tobacco control activities, the government has implemented large pictorial health warnings at 85 per cent of the area of the packaged tobacco products. India launched a toll free tobacco cessation quitline and m-cessation services under be healthy be mobile initiatives.

Under Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015 there is a provision of imposing a penalty of 7-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 rupees for selling tobacco products to minors.

News 24 - Union Shipping Ministry laid foundation stone of three major initiatives at Mumbai Port trust

Mumbai Port Trust

Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of three major initiatives at the Mumbai Port trust. The initiatives include India’s biggest Oil handling Jetty at Jawahar Dweep, the fifth oil berth at the island, first bunkering facility and Eastern Mumbai Water Transport Facility.

The projects will be beneficial not only to all the oil companies but also to passengers as the water transport service will reduce the travelling time considerably. 69 proposals of Cargo and Passenger facilities of Maharashtra Government and 9 proposals have been approved.

News 25 - Historic announcements made by Indian Prime minister on ending corruption and black money

Ending Corruption and Black Money

In a historical move that will add record strength in the fight against corruption, black money, money laundering, terrorism and financing of terrorists as well as counterfeit notes, the Government of India decided that the five hundred and one thousand rupee notes will no longer be legal tender from midnight, 8th November 2016.

Persons holding old notes of five hundred or one thousand rupees can deposit these notes in bank or post offices from 10th November onwards till 30th December.

News 26 - 4 states gets Centres nod for Pneumonia Vaccine

Pneumonia Vaccine

Health Ministry approved introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) under Universal Immunization Programme.

Himachal Pradesh will be among four other states where Pneumonia Vaccines will be introduced along with Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in a planned manner from 2017.

It is a unique opportunity to the State to demonstrate the combined effect of Diarrhea Vaccine (Rotavirus) and Pneumonia Vaccine (PCV) reduction intervention on the overall child mortality and morbidity in the State.

News 27 - Two-day Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) concludes

Central Information Commission

The two-day Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) concluded in New Delhi.

On the inaugural day, four technical sessions were held on the topics, - RTI in Railways, RTI online web portal, RTI in Public Sector Undertakings and RTI in Regulators.

The Annual Convention has contributed immensely in generating awareness about innovative use of RTI provisions for the benefit of the citizenry thereby strengthening public trust in democracy.

News 28 - 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress Concludes


The 1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress held in New Delhi was attended by 900 participants from 60 countries. Throughout the Congress, the delegates discussed various aspects of access, conservation and use of agrobiodiversity in 16 technical sessions, four satellite sessions, a genebank roundtable, a public forum, a farmers’ forum and poster sessions.

Based on these deliberations, the delegates unanimously adopted the Preamble and various declarations. The UN has urged to consider declaring soon a ‘Year of Agrobiodiversity’ to draw worldwide attention and to catalyze urgent action.

News 29 - First Meeting of Governing Council for Indian Council for Fertilizer and Nutrient Research (ICFNR) Held


1st meeting of Governing Council for Indian Council for Fertilizer and Nutrient Research (ICFNR) was held in New Delhi. ICFNR would be having a Governing Council and an Executive Committee for monitoring the progress in the field and would be devoted to promotion of research in Fertilizer sector.

ICFNR include promotion of research in area of fertilizer manufacturing technology, use of raw material and innovation in fertilizer products, eco-friendly micro nutrients and pesticide coated slow release fertilizers, bio-fertilizers & organic fertilizers and their derivatives.

News 30 - Protocol amending the Double Taxation Amending Convention between India and Japan entered into force

India and Japan

A Protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC) between India and Japan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income which was signed on 11th December, 2015, has entered into force on 29th October, 2016.

The Protocol provides for internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters including bank information and information without domestic tax interest. India and Japan shall now lend assistance to each other in the collection of revenue claims.

News 31 - Health Ministry launched “Healthy India Initiative” magazine and “No More Tension” Mobile Application

Healthy India Initiative

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare released the “Healthy India Initiative/Swastha Bharat-ek pehal” magazine and launched the “No More Tension” Mobile Application.

This launch, which is part of the Government’s Digital India programme, is in line with its commitment to prioritize public health and strengthen citizen-centric health services by leveraging India’s expanding mobile phone penetration.

The “Healthy India Initiative/Swastha Bharat-ek pehal”, a quarterly magazine, will cater to health related information and will raise awareness about healthy living. Stress management mobile application “No More Tension” helps users to manage stress.

News 32 - Union HRD Minister inaugurated National Integration Camp cum Social Science Exhibition-2016

National Integration Camp

Union HRD Minister inaugurated National Integration Camp cum Social Science Exhibition2016 organized by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in New Delhi and appreciated Kendriya Vidyalaya for its quality education while emphasizing on the need to focus quality in the education.

National Integration Camp cum Social Science Exhibition comprises 25 Indian States and 25 Countries altogether in terms of the cultural heritage ─ Dance, Music, Song, and SocioEconomic progress. The Integration Camp provides an authentic platform to the students to develop skill such as- Oral Communication, Public Speaking etc.

News 33 - Union HRD Minister launched The World’s Largest nation-Building Digital Initiative

Digital Initiative

Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the world’s largest digital national building initiative “Smart India Hackathon 2017” by handing over a torch to technology students.

Through Smart India Hackathon 2017, the HRD ministry is keen on reaching out to all technology institutions in India and challenge students to offer innovative solutions to some of the daunting problems faced by our nation.

The Hackathon will have nearly 500 problem statements in all which will be published on, that the students will be required to solve during the Hackathon that will take place in early 2017.

News 34 - More than one crore connections released under PMUY

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

Minister for State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas announced that more than 1 Cr. connections have been released under the ambitious scheme to provide deposit free LPG connections in the name of women of BPL families in the country under “Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana”.

On an average, 22 – 25 lakh new connections are released every month across the country under PMUY. The major beneficiaries of this scheme are from weaker sections of the society i.e. SC/ST who accounted for 44% of the connections released.

News 35 - MSDE Announces Launch of Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana

Marking the 2nd Foundation Day of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched the Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana. The scheme spans over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) with a project cost of Rs. 499.94 crore, and will provide entrepreneurship education and training to over 7 lakh students in 5 years through 3050 Institutes.

It will also include easy access to information and mentor network, credit, incubator and accelerator and advocacy to create a pathway for the youth. MSDE announced the institutionalization of National Entrepreneurship awards for first generation achievers below 30 years.

News 36 - NITI Aayog conducted workshop with States to radically improve learning outcomes among school children

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog organized the first regional workshop on the School Education Quality Index in collaboration with the Ministry of HRD to improve the learning outcomes among school children in the New Delhi. The objective was to sensitize and support States/ UTs in improving learning outcomes among school children across India.

The SEQI is a composite index that will report annual improvements of States on key domains of education quality, conceptualized and designed by NITI Aayog and the MHRD. The larger vision of the index is to shift the focus of States from inputs towards outcomes.

News 37 - India, UK inked two pacts

India UK

Two pacts regarding cooperation in the field of intellectual property and ease of doing business were inked between India and the United Kingdom during British PM Theresa May’s three Day visit to India. MoUs were signed because "Both UK and India face an increasing threat of cyber-attack from other states and terrorists.

MoU on Ease of Doing Business include support to businesses and start-ups, tax administration, regulatory regimes, competition economics, etc. Another MoU signed for cooperation in the field of intellectual property include exchange of best practices, experience and knowledge of IP awareness among the public.

News 38 - Tourism Ministry names Narendra Modi to be mascot of Incredible India campaign

Incredible India campaign

Tourism Ministry has decided to set Prime Minister Narendra Modi as mascot of “Incredible India” campaign and use video footages of Modi during the last two-and-a-half years where he has talked about tourism in India and abroad for the campaign.

It was decided because India’s image has changed significantly in the last two years with Prime Minister Modi visiting a host of countries during the period.

According to Tourism Minister, the ministry is “working on selecting the footages” and campaign would be released in the next 40-45 days as the Indian “tourism season” starts by November-end.

News 39 - Various initiatives inaugurated in villages adopted by Rashtrapati Bhavan under Smart Gram Initiative

Smart Gram Initiative

Various initiatives in villages in Haryana i.e. Dhaula, Alipur, Harchandpur and Rojka Meo adopted by Rashtrapati Bhavan under its Smart Gram Initiative, were inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal.

Some of the initiatives which were inaugurated include: upgraded infrastructure in the Udyog Kunj Alipur, Smart Gram Consortium Office, Smart Gram Training Centre, Gram Sachivalaya, Smart Gram Wellness Centre, Water ATM etc. The focus of Rashtrapati Bhavan is on creating a sustainable and inclusive development model that can be easily replicated.

News 40 - Regional Connectivity Fund under UDAN to Stimulate Growth and Development of Civil Aviation Sector


The objective of Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is to enhance air passenger traffic in the country by stimulating demand on regional routes.

As per the directions of MoCA, RCF will be funded by a small levy per departure on all domestic flights other than the ones on Category II / Category IIA routes and aircraft having maximum certified take-off mass not exceeding 40,000 kg.

Amount collected as Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be used to provide financial support to airlines in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for operations under the Scheme.

News 41 - Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Launched logo of ‘hunar haat’

Hunar Haat

Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs launched the logo of ‘Hunar Haat’.

“Hunar Haat” (Skill Haat) exhibition is aimed at promoting and supporting artisans from Minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market for display and sell their products, to be held from 14 to 27 November.

This will provide an excellent platform to artisans belonging to Minority communities from across the nation to display their art and skills before the domestic and international visitors.

News 42 - NSDA inked MoU with British Council to Collaborate for Joint Research in Skills Sector


National Skill Development Agency and the British Council signed a MoU to collaborate for undertaking joint research projects in the area of skill development. The partnership aims to promote knowledge exchange and research collaborations between UK and India in the skills space.

Under this partnership, The British Council and the National Skill Research Division (NSRD), a research division under the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) will work closely with each other to build research collaborations between the UK and India over a period of three years in the skilling domain.

News 43 - Sagarmala: Funds released for Modernization of Fishing Harbour in Mumbai

Sagarmala Programme

As part of its Coastal Community Development under Sagarmala, the Ministry of Shipping provided Central financial assistance of Rs. 6.52 crore as part of the first installment to the Government of Maharashtra for modernization of the existing fishing harbor at Sassoon Dock, in Mumbai.

The project under Sagarmala Programme is to enhance the livelihood of the coastal communities.

The total proposed cost of the project is INR 52.17 Crore and will be funded in a convergence mode of implementation. The remaining 50% of the project cost will be funded by the State Government of Maharashtra.

News 44 - I&B Ministry simplifies Annual Renewal process for existing TV channels as part of “Ease of Doing Business”

Renewal TV Channels

Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information & Broadcasting has completely done away with the process of obtaining an “Annual Renewal” for TV channels in the current form, as part of the Government’s initiative of “Ease of Doing Business”. Broadcasters who have been given the permission for Uplinking or Downlinking can continue their operations.

This initiative by the Ministry is expected to provide a major relief for ease of doing business for the permission holding companies of the TV channels and teleports. A total of 963 Channels and Teleports shall benefit from this decision.

News 45 - Partnership Summit 2017-Andhra Pradesh to Focus on “Partnerships for Sustained Growth in an Emerging Global Economic Order”

Partnership Summit

Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh announced the Partnership Summit to be held from January 27–28, 2017 in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, as the state as not only competing with other states but also globally in ease of doing business rankings.

The Partnership Summit 2017 for global and Indian industry to discuss innovative policies and path-breaking strategies. Apart from the Plenaries, the Summit will host a Make in India virtual exhibition, the Time Awards for Business Excellence, B2B-B2G Meetings, sessions with transformational leaders and social impact icons.

News 46 - PM inaugurated International Conference and Exhibition on Sugarcane Value Chain

Sugarcane Value Chain

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the International Conference and Exhibition on Sugarcane Value Chain ‘Vision 2025 Sugar’ at Pune. Prime Minister called for focus on higher land productivity and the requirement of pulses.

Mr. Modi outlined the steps taken by the Union Government for the welfare of farmers, including provision of soil health cards, solar pumps etc. He emphasized on how research can help our farmers in sugar sector and globally competitive bamboo products.

News 47 - Union Minister for Road Transport to set up Farm-produce Export Facilities near airports

Farm-produce Export Facilities

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has called for setting up of the Farm-produce Export Facilities near airports at Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad on the line of Gujarat model.

At least five acres each of the land should be made available for this purpose which would go a long way in boosting exports of the farm produce and contribute in prosperity of the farming community.

News 48 - India and Japan inked 10 MoUs in various sectors

India and Japan Inked MoU

India and Japan inked 10 pacts and undertook a comprehensive review of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership as outlined in the "India and Japan Vision 2025.”

Various agreements were signed in the field of nuclear energy, infrastructure, railways, space and agriculture, transportation; port terminals; toll roads; airport terminals and urban development.

MoU will help the two sides to explore opportunities to set up a NIIF-JOIN joint fund. Landmark deal was signed for civil nuclear cooperation, cooperation in areas of joint survey and research, and exchange of scientific visits by researchers.

News 49 - Union Ministry for Science, Technology and Earth Science inaugurated Platinum Jubilee Techno Fest at the India International Trade Fare

India International Trade Fare

The Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Science, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated ‘Platinum Jubilee Techno Fest’ and a Micro Site of CSIR Platinum Jubilee Techno Fest at the India International Trade Fare New Delhi.

Techno Fest is an Opportunity for the young students, scientists and the common people to come under one roof and witness the knowledge base of achievements and researches by CSIR.

There are 14 theme pavilions deal with CSIR work in various areas including Water, Aerospace & Strategic Sector, Energy, Leather, Healthcare and Generics.

News 50 - Union Tourism Secretary, Shri Vinod Zutshi inaugurated ‘Incredible India’ stand at the India International Trade Fair 2016

India International Trade Fair

Union Tourism Secretary, Shri Vinod Zutshi inaugurated ‘Incredible India’ stand at the India International Trade Fair 2016, which aims to nurture the tourism potential of less frequented destinations which are located closer to the popular destinations for attracting domestic visitors.

Inbound travel to India has increased. Foreign Tourist arrivals in India during the period January- September, 2016 were 6.2 million with a growth of 10.5% as compared to the Foreign Tourist Arrival of 5.6 million with a growth of 4.8% in January-September, 2015 over January- September, 2014.

News 51 - Cabinet approves enhanced MSP for Rabi Crops of 2016-17 season


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all Rabi Crops of 2016-17. Government has announced a bonus on these crops, payable over and above the following approved MSP.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) will be the designated central nodal agency for price support operations for cereals, pulses and oilseeds. The Government had declared a bonus, over and above the MSP, of Rs 75 per quintal for Rabi pulses of 2016-17 marketing season.

News 52 - Cabinet approves Development of Trunk Infrastructure Components

Trunk Infrastructure Components

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the construction of trunk infrastructure for Phase II of Part I of Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area, investment of Rs. 2,397.20 crore as equity of DMIC Trust and issuance of EPC tenders for selection of contractors for various packages of trunk infrastructure in a phased manner.

Investment in the development of trunk infrastructure is essential for the creation of a greenfield smart industrial city. The estimated cost of the five packages of trunk infrastructure is Rs.6,414.21 crore.

News 53 - Union Minister of MSME Kalraj Mishra inaugurated MSME Expo 2016 in the India International Trade Fair

Shri Kalraj Mishra

Union Minister of MSME, Shri Kalraj Mishra today inaugurated MSME Expo 2016 in the India International Trade Fair. MSME Expo 2016 is organized by Ministry of MSME in the 36th IITF 2016.

Over 80 enterprises have showcased their range of products during the trade fair. The theme of the fair is “Quality Manufacturing and Inclusive Growth of MSMEs” which includes Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) Certification Scheme, SC/ST Hub & National Award. The participants have a diverse profile such as women entrepreneurs, SC/ST and Entrepreneurs from North Eastern States & Minorities.

News 54 - “Hunar Haat” Inaugurated at India International Trade Fair 2016

Hunar Haat at IITF

The Minister of State for Power and Coal inaugurated “Hunar Haat”, which is being organised for the first time at India International Trade Fair. About 184 master artisans from all corners of the country are showcasing their traditional art and skills at about 100 stalls in “Hunar Haat”.

A special pavilion has also been put up in “Hunar Haat” exhibition area for audio-visual depiction of schemes & programs of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. The artefacts at display include cane and bamboo work from North eastern states; cloth work of Uttar Pradesh; pottery work of Southern states etc.

News 55 - NHAI initiates DPRS for Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP) under Bharatmala Pariyojna


NHAI has initiated a programme entitled ‘Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme’ (LEEP) aimed to enhance the freight transportation in India through improving cost, time, tracking and transferability of consignments through infrastructure and procedural and Information Technology (IT) interventions.

As a first step towards this task, preparation of Detailed Project Reports is being undertaken by NHAI. In order to drastically reduce the time taken for conducting surveys, it has been decided to use latest technologies such as LiDAR, Satellite mapping and Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) in preparation of DPRs.

News 56 - Youth Affairs and Sports Ministers Conference Concludes in New Delhi

Youth Affairs and Sports

A conference of State Ministers and Secretaries of Youth Affairs and Sports was held on issues like need for broad basing of Sports and achieving excellence in Sports through development of basic Sports facilities at grassroots levels, putting in place a robust system for identification of Sporting talent, and encouraging mass participation through annual Sports competitions.

Ministry will be launching a National Sports Talent Search Portal which will enable budding sportspersons from the entire country to stake a claim to help and support to further their sporting dreams by feeding essential data about them in the portal.

News 57 - Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: Govt launches contest on social innovation

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The Ministry of External Affairs will be organizing a national contest to identify India's top 25 social innovators as part activities planned for forthcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, to identify a pool of social impact innovators that have developed or are developing commercially feasible solutions to the socio economic problems of the country.

This would facilitate the creation of a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, grant bodies and mentors to support the selected start-ups for commercialization and scale up. The key focus sectors for the national contest on social innovation include clean tech, education, health and housing.

News 58 - Govt approves highway projects worth over Rs 6,000 crore in eight states

Highway Projects

Centre has approved 12 highway projects worth over six thousand crore rupees in eight states namely Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Most of the 476 kilometre projects are under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode for augmenting highways.

Four of the projects pertain to Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh for augmenting of existing highway stretches on NH-39 and NH-415. The West Bengal project pertains to four-laning of Kolaghat to Haldia section of NH-41.

News 59 - President of India launched National Student Startup Policy


The President of India launched the National Student Startup Policy at the second Visitor’s Conference held at Delhi. The National Student Startup Policy aims to create 100,000 technology based student start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years.

The policy plans on achieving this by developing an ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem and promoting strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions. It emphasizes the much-desired need for an appropriate startup policy to propel the youth of India through and beyond the 21st century.

News 60 - Revamped Aadhaar Toll-Free Helpline No. 1947 Launched


With the growing use of Aadhaar in transactions related to services like Banking, Government Welfare Schemes, etc., the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), launched a revamped version of its Toll-free helpline number: 1947, to help residents get quick access to information about Aadhaar.

The Aadhaar toll-free helpline 1947 enable residents to locate an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre, know generation status and help retrieve Aadhaar details of any person who has lost his/her Aadhaar or hasn’t received it through post.

News 61 - Over 12 lakh houses sanctioned for urban poor under PMAY(Urban)

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) a total of 12,27,088 affordable houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in urban areas have so far been approved with a total central assistance commitment of Rs. 19,682 cr of which Rs.6,172 cr has been already released.

Under PMAY (Urban), central assistance of Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.2.30 lakh per each dwelling unit is provided to eligible beneficiaries under the four components of the scheme. Gujarat leads in construction followed by Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

News 62 - MoU with Ministry of Urban Development for Development of Railway Stations

Railway Stations Development

An MOU has been entered into between Ministry of Railways (MOR) and Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD) for integrated planning of railway stations in the cities included in the ‘SMART Cities’ and AMRUT scheme. This would lead to an integrated public transit hub around the railway stations and encourage Transit Oriented Development.

Each Smart City has incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to execute the Smart

City Plan. The SPV may form a joint venture company with an MOR-designated entity to implement railway station redevelopment projects in that city and in its suburbs.

News 63 - Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed between India and Cyprus


A revised Agreement between India and Cyprus for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal evasion (DTAA) with respect to taxes on income, along with its Protocol, was signed in Nicosia. New DTAA provides for source based taxation of capital gains arising from alienation of shares.

The new Agreement also updates the provisions related to Exchange of Information to accepted international standards, which will enable exchange of banking information and allow the use of such information for purposes other than taxation with the prior approval of the Competent Authorities of the country providing the information.

News 64 - India and UK Signed three Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements

India and UK

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed three (3) Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). These three (3) Agreements cover international transactions in the nature of payment of intra-group service charges and pertain to the telecom industry.

The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) Programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 with a view to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce the litigation in the Indian transfer pricing arena. An APA can be entered into for a maximum of 5 years at a time.

News 65 - Kala Utsav 2016 concluded and prizes awarded

Kala Utsav

The Kala Utsav 2016, an annual festival to celebrate the talent of school children all over the country, concluded with the presentation of prizes in four segments of music, dance, theatre and visual arts to the school teams representing their States and Union Territories in New Delhi.

This Kala Utsav attracted school students from every corner of the country with all States and Union Territories. The prizes were awarded by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development. The Minister honored the members of jury by presenting a shawl and a memento to each.

News 66 - Indian Prime Minister Launched “Housing for All” in Rural Areas

Housing for All

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched “Housing for All” in rural areas under which the Government proposes to provide an environmentally safe and secure pucca house to every rural household by 2022.

Named the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin), in its first phase the target is to complete one crore houses by March 2019. The unit cost for these houses has been significantly increased from Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh to a household is available. The programme provides for skilling 5 lakh Rural Masons by 2019 and allows over 200 different housing designs across the country.

News 67 - Naidu inaugurated multimedia exhibition on 'Aazadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Kurbani

Multimedia Exhibition

Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a multimedia exhibition on the theme of ‘Aazadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Kurbani’ to commemorate 70 years of India’s Independence and its depiction through films. The multimedia exhibition organized National Film Archives of India, NFAI at the International Film Festival of India, IFFI in Goa.

The exhibition covered films, highlighting the contributions of Indian soldiers and freedom fighters, towards independence. Mr Naidu also inaugurated the revamped website of National Film Archives and its new year calendar with a theme of dance in Indian cinema.

News 68 - SC directs Centre to frame model rules for consumer courts

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court directed the Centre to frame within four months model rules prescribing objective norms for administration of consumer courts.

The apex court issued directions, clarifying the role, powers and functions of the National Consumer Commission, State consumer commissions and district consumer fora to ensure the mechanism to protect consumers from unfair trade practices is strengthened. The Court asked the Centre and states to intervene immediately to set right the system and fill up the vacancies of members in these courts.

News 69 - Rs 67.01 Crore Sanctioned under Solar City Programme

Solar City Programme

A total amount of Rs. 67.01 crore has been sanctioned for preparation of master plans, solar city cells, promotional activities and installation of renewable energy projects and an amount of Rs. 24.16 crore has been released under Solar City Programme.

Out of 7 identified solar cities in Maharashtra, an amount of Rs. 7.74 crore has been sanctioned and an amount of Rs. 3.04 crore has been released for 6 solar cities.

News 70 - Setting up of Driving Training Institutes in each State for Improvement in Road Safety


The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has a scheme for setting up one Model Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) and vehicle Inspection & Certification Centre (I&C) in each state for improvement in road safety.

In addition, the Ministry under the Central Sector scheme has been providing cranes and ambulances to States/ UTs for relief and rescue measures in the aftermath of accidents and road safety equipment for enforcement and implementation of various rules & regulations relating to road safety.

News 71 - Government has Adopted Various Measures to Make the AYUSH Systems of Medicines People Friendly

AYUSH Systems

The Ministry of AYUSH adopted various measures to make the AYUSH systems of medicines people friendly through various Central Sector Schemes viz. Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Public Health Initiative (PHI), Centre of Excellence (COE), Research Councils, National Institutes etc. and Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. National AYUSH Mission (NAM).

There have been many achievements like Development of medicine through Research like AYUSH-82 for diabetes Mellitus, Training & Accreditation of Yoga Instructors, the NABH accreditation of AYUSH Colleges initiated; Signing of MOUs with various countries including USA among others.

News 72 - Cabinet approved MoU among New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization


The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding among New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan and Ministries of Finance and AIIMS concerning the Demonstration Project for ICT based Green Hospital at AIIMS in Delhi.

The objectives of the project are to contribute to the efficient use of energy and the protection of the environment in India by installing the energy efficient and IT related equipment in AIIMS Delhi and demonstrating the energy management system and IT system.

News 73 - Cabinet approved the third Protocol to the Convention between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation

Double Taxation

The Union Cabinet approved the ratification and entry into force of the third Protocol to the Convention between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The Protocol will stimulate the flow of exchange of information between India and New Zealand for tax purposes which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. It will also enable assistance in collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.

News 74 - Cabinet approved setting up of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas in 62 uncovered districts of the country

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved opening of one Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in each of the 62 uncovered districts with an outlay of Rs.2,871 crore.

These JNVs will provide good quality modern education to the talented children prominently from rural areas. It is expected that nearly 35,000 students will be benefitted from these JNVs.

JNVs will provide employment to 47 persons and accordingly 62 JNVs will provide direct permanent employment to 2914 individuals.

News 75 - Construction and Up-gradation of Airports Approved


The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) granted 'in-principle' approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports, namely, Pakyong in Sikkim, Navi Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Shirdi in Maharashtra, Mopa in Goa, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Hasan and Shimoga in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera in Gujarat, Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram (Vizianagram) and Oravakallu (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh, Durgapur in West Bengal, Gwalior and Karaikal in Madhya Pradesh.

The timeline for construction of airport projects depends on land acquisition and availability of mandatory clearances. Government regularly monitors the projects to ensure timely completion and fulfilment of budgetary obligations.

News 76 - Cabinet approves introduction of the revamped Merchant Shipping Bill 2016

Merchant Shipping Bill 2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 for introducing it in the Parliament. The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 is a revamped version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The provisions of the Bill will simplify the law governing the merchant shipping in India. Further, certain redundant provisions will be dispensed with and remaining provisions will stand consolidated and simplified so as to promote case of doing business, transparency and effective delivery of services.

News 77 - Lok Sabha passed Income tax amendment bill amid ruckus


The Lok Sabha passed the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill 2016.The bill has been brought with an intention to discourage those who are trying to convert black money into white after demonetization.

The bill proposes to levy a 30% tax, a penalty of 10% and 33% surcharge of tax on the deposit of undisclosed income thus making an individual to pay 50% in the form of tax.

The rest 25% of the undisclosed income will remain parked for four years in a Deposit scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme- 2016. The fund deposited in the scheme will be used for poverty alleviation programmes. Those found to be involved in conversion of black money into white through other means will have to pay sixty per cent tax and penalty totaling to 85 per cent of the undisclosed income.

News 78 - Union Cabinet approves introduction of Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016

Merchant Shipping Bill

The Union Cabinet has approved the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 for introducing it in the Parliament. The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 is a revamped version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The Bill provides for repealing of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as well as for the repealing of the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838. The provisions of the Bill will simplify the law governing the merchant shipping in India.