Current Affairs October 2016 - National


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News 1 - Income Declaration Scheme 2016 unearths Rs.65250 crores of hitherto Undeclared Income and Assets

Income Declaration Scheme

Under the Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 which came into effect from 1st June, 2016, 64275 declarations were filed upto the midnight of 30th September, 2016 with an aggregate of Rs. 65250 Crores worth of hitherto undeclared incomes in the form of cash and other assets being declared. With the final stock taking of declarations being filed in physical printed forms all over the country till late night on the last day, this number is likely to be further revised upwards.

It provided an opportunity to persons who had not paid full taxes in the past to come forward and declare their domestic undisclosed income and assets. Declarations could be made online as well in printed copies of the prescribed form up to midnight on 30th September, 2016.

News 2 - National Mission on Bioeconomy launched in Shillong, Meghalaya

Bioeconomy

The Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) under the Ministry of Science and Technology launched a National Mission on Bioeconomy to boost rural economy by utilising bio-resources.

The mission focuses on sustainable utilization of renewable biological resources for food, bio-based products and bio-energy through knowledge-based approaches. India's fast growing bio-economy at USD 35 billion in 2015 can even rise to USD 100 billion. NE region is among the world's top 10 biodiversity hot spots.

News 3 - India ratified historic Paris climate deal at UN

Climate

India ratified the landmark Paris climate deal, giving a significant push for the deal to be implemented by the end of this year. India is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses.

India became the 62nd country to ratify the agreement. The agreement will be implemented one month after 55 countries that account for 55 percent of global emissions ratify the agreement. COP22 will take place at Marrakech in Morocco, 2016.

News 4 - ‘Murga' bagged first prize at Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival

Murga

Filmmaker Katyayan Shivpuri won the first prize at the Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival for his work "Murga". He was awarded with a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs.

The short film promoting the idea of clean India had Murga as the metaphor depicting the victims that citizens have made of themselves and of the children by not keeping the surroundings clean. The second prize was shared by filmmakers Sudanshu Sharma, KVK Kumar and Akshay Danavale for their films Nahna Doot, Chembuku Moodindi (The Dying Vessel) and “Sarkarmi Rati Wadho!”, respectively.

News 5 - Gangtok conferred Cleanest Tourist Destination honour

Cleanest Tourist Destination

The Union Ministry of Tourism has conferred the "Cleanest Tourist Destination" on the Sikkim capital. Chandigarh and Mysore were felicitated for ‘Clean Cities in million plus population category’.

Pune Municipal Corporation and SWaCH Cooperative Society were felicitated as "Best in Solid Waste Management". The others felicitated are - Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat (Cleanest Cultural Heritage Site), Surat Railway Station (Cleanest Station), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research & Education, Chandigarh (Cleanest Hospital), Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh (ODF and Cleanest district in hilly areas), Sindhugurg district, Maharashtra (ODF and Cleanest district in plain areas) and National Cadet Corps, NCC (Exemplary nation-wide cleanliness activities).

News 6 - Rani ki Vav bagged ‘Cleanest Iconic Place’ award

Cleanest Iconic Place

Gujarat’s 900-year-old World Heritage Site Rani ki Vav, located in the north Gujarat district of Patan, beat 10 other iconic heritage structures across the country to bag an award for the “Cleanest Iconic Place” at the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) 2016 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has maintained the monument and its surroundings very well, offering clean drinking water and proper sanitation, among other things, to tourists. It was added as part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2014.

News 7 - Centre approved grant of Rs. 515 crores for the Sagar Port Project in WB

WB

The Centre has given in principle approval to a grant of 515 crore rupees for development of the Sagar Port project in West Bengal. As per the Ministry of Shipping, a special purpose vehicle - Bhor Sagar Port Limited (BSPL) has been incorporated for the implementation of the project, with Kolkata Port Trust.

A road-cum-rail bridge is proposed over the river Muriganga to connect the Sagar island to the mainland. The estimated cost of the bridge will be 1822 crore rupees.

News 8 - India, Singapore sign three MoUs

MoUs

India inked 3 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) agreements with Singapore during the visit of Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong to India.

These MOU’s are:

  • MoU between Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Education Services (ITEES) and India's National Skill Development Corporation on collaboration in technical and vocational education and training.

  • MoU between the Assam government and ITEES Singapore, also on collaboration in technical and vocational education and training.

  • MoU in the field of industrial property cooperation between India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Intellectual Property Office Singapore.

News 9 - Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and African Asian Rural Development Organization

Union Cabinet

The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) for capacity building programmes in the field of rural development.

The MoU covers capacity building programmes for AARDO member countries organized every year at various Institutions of Excellence in India such as National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR), institutions governed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and others. The duration of each training programme shall be of two to three weeks.

News 10 - Cabinet approved amendments to HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014

Prevention and Control

`The Union Cabinet gave its approval to introduce official amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014.

The HIV and AIDS Bill, 2014 has been drafted to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. The provisions of the Bill seek to address HIV-related discrimination, strengthen the existing programme by bringing in legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances.

News 11 - Union Government launched the Indian Bridge Management System

IBMS

The Union Government formally launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) in New Delhi.

IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure. IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with database that could exceed 1,50,000 bridge structures.

News 12 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and European Union on water cooperation

India and European

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the signing of MoU between India and European Union in the field of water resources.

The MoU envisages strengthening the technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the European Union in the field of water management based on equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. It provides technical exchange on water issues, including on integrated water resource management plans within river basins and through study visits.

News 13 - Union Cabinet approved setting up of India's first Medipark in Chennai

Medipark

The Union Cabinet approved the sub-leasing of 330.10 acres of land at Chengalpattu by HLL Lifecare Ltd, a mini-ratna, for setting up of country's first medical devices manufacturing park (Medipark).

The Medipark project will be the first manufacturing cluster in the medical technology sector in the country, envisaged to boost local manufacturing of hi-end products at a significantly lower cost, resulting in affordable healthcare delivery, particularly in diagnostic services to a large section of people.

News 14 - Oil India Limited Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Houston

Oil India Limited Signs

Oil India Limited has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Houston (USA) to augment its reserves base and maximizing recovery from its aging oilfields. The MoU is focused to collaborate in the fields of Improved Oil Recovery & Enhanced Oil Recovery for production enhancement from matured fields.

A good ecosystem can be created which will help in better oil recovery from the fields. This will also contribute towards national obligation to reduce import dependency of oil and gas by 10% by 2022.

News 15 - Railway Ministry Flags Off Newly Manufactured Solar Powered Guard Van of Goods (Freight) Train

Railway Ministry

Minister of Railways flagged off the newly manufactured Guard Van of Goods (Freight) Train at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. The newly manufactured Guard Van of Goods Train (8 wheeled) has been equipped for the first time with Solar powered Light, Fan, Mobile Charging Point along with the facility of Zero Discharge Bio Toilet.

The use of Solar energy is an environment friendly measure which will help in energy saving and GPRS support enables monitoring of the functioning of this system to achieve uninterrupted service.

News 16 - Election Commission of India unites with Facebook to register young voters

Election Commission of India

Facebook in union with the Election Commission of India and the office of Chief electoral officers in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand will introduce for the first time in the country voter registration drive. Facebook users will receive a reminder in their News Feed to register to vote.

It has been decided to introduce button ‘Register to vote’ from October 6 to October 8 for Facebook users in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand who are 18 years and above.

News 17 - First phase of E-NAM registered 250 mandis to National Agriculture Market

E-NAM

Government has registered 250 mandis of ten states with the e-trading platform under the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) in the first phase where commodities worth Rs. 421 crores have been traded. E-NAM is a pan India electronic portal for sale and purchase of agri produce so that farmers can sell their agriculture produce at best price.

Target has been set by government to join 585 mandis with e-NAM by March 2018. As many as 1,60,229 farmers, 46,688 traders and 25,970 commission agents have been registered on the e-NAM.

News 18 - Heritage Infrastructure projects worth Rs. 350 cr approved by government

Heritage Infrastructure Projects

Minister of Urban Development inaugurated a two-day conference on Heritage Cities jointly with Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN). HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) scheme for tourism oriented urban development has been approved with an outlay of Rs 500 crores and in the pilot phase, 12 cities have been selected for the first phase of projects worth Rs. 350 cr.

France will co-operate at waterfront development for two cities, namely Puri and Varanasi.

News 19 - Three agreements between India and Switzerland

India and Switzerland

India proposed setting up of training facilities for Indian police officers in Switzerland police academies/other training institutes in the fields of anti-hijacking and cyber forensic, etc.

India and Switzerland signed three agreements which include:

  • Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement for Holders of Diplomatic Passports

  • Technical Arrangements on Identification and Return of Illegal Migrants

  • Arrangement for Dependent Person of Diplomatic, Consular, Technical and Administrative Staff of Diplomatic and Consular Mission to Perform Gainful Employment.

News 20 - Union Government approved Rs.114 crore worth projects under HRIDAY Scheme

HRIDAY

The Union Government has approved projects worth Rs.114 crore under the Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY scheme) to improve infrastructure around core heritage sites in five cities - Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Amritsar (Punjab), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Odisha) and Warangal (Andhra Pradesh).

Under HRIDAY, central assistance of Rs 500 crore has been earmarked till March 2017. Twelve cities have been included under the central scheme, including Ajmer (Rajasthan), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Badami (Karnataka), Gaya (Bihar), Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), Mathura (UP) and Vellankini (Tamil Naidu).

News 21 - Industrial Employment Standing Orders Central Rules amended

Standing Orders

The Central Government has amended industrial employment standing orders Central rules to provide flexibility to the employers to meet the challenges of globalization, new practices and methods of doing businesses.

This step would also benefit the workers as their working conditions including social security and other benefits would be at par with the regular employees. Under the new rules, a new term of fixed term employment in apparel manufacturing sector has been incorporated.

News 22 - Doordarshan, IGNOU ink MoU for telecast of Gyan Darshan channels

Gyan Darshan

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Doordarshan & IGNOU regarding the transmission of Four Gyan Darshan Educational channels.

The Gyan Darshan Bouquet of Educational TV Channels is an educational media initiative of MHRD in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Prasar Bharati & ISRO with IGNOU as the nodal agency. It consists of four TV Channels namely GD-I &II (by IGNOU) GD-III- Eklava (by IIT, Delhi) GD-IV- Vyas Channel (by UGC, CEC).

News 23 - President of India inaugurates new academic block of IKRDC in memory of late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee

IKRDC

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the new academic block of Intensive Khadi & Rural Development Centre (IKRDC) in memory of his wife, late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee at Kirnahar, West Bengal.

The new academic block of IKRDC would help contribute in providing training to a larger number of people in the area for interaction with industry and establishing linkages with the market and local institutions.

News 24 - Janani Suraksha Yojana pays dividends: Study

Janani Suraksha Yojana

A study conducted using data from two rounds of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS)- conducted in 2004-05 and 2011-12, has revealed the performance of Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) program in the key areas of maternal care, thus, reducing ‘socioeconomic disparities’ existing in maternal care.

The JSY was launched in 2005 as part of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). It is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme it integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care.

News 25 - IAE to tie up with India for its global LED programme

IAE

The International Energy Agency (IAE) will tie up with India to implement its Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) initiative globally for energy savings. IAE is interested to share the beast practice at global level, particularly in Indonesia.

India has been distributing LEDs through its company Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The price at which EESL has been purchasing LED lights to distribute under UJALA scheme has been consistently falling over the last couple of years. The company purchased LEDs at Rs.310 per piece in 2014, and the price fell to Rs.55 as of March 2016.

News 26 - HIMANSH, India’s Remote, High-Altitude Station opened in Himalaya

High-Altitude Station

The National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has established a high-altitude research station in Himalaya called HIMANSH (literally meaning, a slice of ice), situated above 13,500 ft (> 4000 m) at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

The station houses many instruments to quantify the glacier melting and its relation to changing climate. “Himansh” will provide the much-needed fillip to the scientific research on Himalayan glaciers and its hydrological contribution.

News 27 - Union Government to invest Rs 15000 Cr to increase Panipat oil refinery capacity

Panipat oil

The Central Government will invest 15,000 crore rupees to increase the capacity of Panipat refinery in Haryana from existing 15 Million Tonnes to 25 Million Tonnes. An ethanol plant would also be set up at a cost of Rs 500 crore by the Indian Oil Corporation in Panipat to generate alternative fuel from agricultural residue which would boost agriculture sector.

The expansion of Panipat refinery will help raise specifications of fuel quality from BS-IV to BS-VI to meet future demand.

News 28 - Union Minister launched National Seismic Programme at Mahanadi Basin

National Seismic Programme

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, inaugurated the National Seismic Program (NSP) at Taranga in Balasore district of Odisha. The NSP aims to undertake a fresh appraisal in all sedimentary basins across India to have better understanding of the hydrocarbon potential of India.

The massive 2D seismic survey will cost the government more than 5000 crore rupees. National Seismic Program (NSP) for 2D seismic Acquisition, Processing and Interpretation (API) Project will be completed by March, 2019. The total investment for the seismic acquisition in the onland Mahanadi Basin is Rs. 79.57 Crores.

News 29 - Union Cabinet approved establishment of IIM at Jammu

IIM

The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment and operationalisation of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Jammu in a transit/temporary campus at Old Government College of Engineering & Technology from the Academic Year 2016-17.

The project will involve a cost of Rs.61.90 crore in temporary campus for the initial four years from 2016 to 2020. The Cabinet also approved formation of an IIM Jammu Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. IIM Jammu will be run and managed by the Society with a Board of Governors (BOGs) to be constituted by the Government of India.

News 30 - Cabinet approved revision of ethanol price for supply to Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies

Public Sector Oil

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the mechanism for revision of ethanol price for supply to Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).

For the next sugar season 2016-17 during ethanol supply period from 1st December, 2016 to 30th November, 2017, the administered price of ethanol for the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme will be Rs.39/- per litre. Charges will be paid to the ethanol suppliers as per actuals in case of Excise Duty and GST/ VAT and transportation charges as decided by the OMCs. However, these prices of ethanol can be reviewed and suitably revised.

News 31 - Union Government brought draft of National Water Framework Bill, 2016

National Water Framework Bill

The Union Government has brought final draft of the National Water Framework Bill, 2016 that stresses managing water at basin level. The draft Bill pitches for establishing River Basin Authority for each inter-State basin to ensure “optimum and sustainable” development of rivers and valleys.

The Bill will not be binding on States for adoption since Water is a state subject. It also proposes other mechanisms such as National water quality and footprint standards, Integrated River Basin Development and Management Plan and Graded Pricing System.

News 32 - Cabinet approved MoU between India and Hungary on cooperation in the field of water management

India and Hungary

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Hungary on bilateral cooperation in the field of water management based on equality and mutual benefits.

The cooperation on river basin management/ integrated water resources management, efficiency in water supply and irrigation technology innovation and flood & drought management will help improve the socio-economic conditions of the people of both the countries.

News 33 - Cabinet apprised of the MoU between India and Qatar on cooperation in the field of Youth and Sports

India and Qatar

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on April 7, 1999 and the First Executive Programme for MOU signed with Qatar on bilateral cooperation in the field of Youth and Sports signed on 5.6.2016.

The MoU will help in expanding knowledge and expertise in the areas of sports science, sports medicine and coaching techniques, which would result in improvement in performance of our sportspersons in international tournaments and strengthening of bilateral relations between India and Qatar. It would be equally applicable to all sportspersons irrespective of their caste, creed, region, religion and gender.

News 34 - Cabinet approves MoU between India and Russia on Expansion of Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation

India and Russia

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the Russian Federation on Expansion of Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation.

This MoU would expand more Bilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation between India and Russian Federation.

News 35 - Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated ‘Women of India Festival 2016’

Women of India Festival

The Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi inaugurated ‘Women of India Festival 2016’ of organic products by women at Dilli Haat at INA, New Delhi. The Festival was held from October 1423 and offered on sale the biggest selection of organic products.

The ‘Women of India Festival 2016’celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs from across India. It highlights the health and environmental advantages of organic goods, provide a platform for women engaged in this economy and encourage the development of sustainable and easily accessible sales outlets for organic producers from remote areas.

News 36 - Sixteen key agreements signed between India and Russia

Sixteen key Agreements

Cooperation Agreement between Rosneft Oil Company and ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in Education and Training sector.

India and Russia have signed 16 agreements across diverse sectors. Some of the important signed agreements are:

  • MoU for setting up an investment fund of $1 billion by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

  • MoU between Gazprom and Engineers India Limited (EIL) for the joint study of a gas pipeline to India from Russia and other areas of cooperation.

  • MoU for Cooperation between Russian and Indian Railways in increasing the speed of trains between Nagpur- Hyderabad/ Secunderabad.

  • MoU between India’s Department of Science and Technology and Russia’s Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations.

  • MoU between ROSCOSMOS and ISRO on Mutual Allocation of Ground Measurement Gathering Stations for NAvIC and GLONASS.

  • MoU for developing smart cities in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana and for developing transport logistics systems for such cities.

News 37 - India, Russia ink agreement to set up Agro Irradiation Centres

Agro Irradiation Centres

A subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned atomic energy company, Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), signed an agreement with Hindustan Agro Cooperative Limited for developing a network of 25 integrated infrastructures for irradiation centres for food products.

As part of the agreement, India-Russia joint venture (JV) will be formed in which HACL will have the majority 51% stakeholding. In first phase 7 centers will be set up in Maharashtra in Sindhurg, Satara, Solapur, JNPT, Jalana, Napur and Pune. The technology will help reduce grain losses from 15% to 3%-5% per year.

News 38 - Union Government launched satellite-based illegal Mining Detection System

Mining Detection System

The Union Government launched the Mining Surveillance System (MSS), a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration, through public participation, by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology.

MSS will trigger an alarm whenever there is an instance of illegal mining outside permitted areas. The surveillance system covers most of the 2,133 working mines in the country. It will receive tip offs in the form of pictures taken from a mobile phone and automatically generate complaints to state authorities.

News 39 - Twenty-Two MPs from smaller parties, independents in Rajya Sabha recognised as a consolidated bloc

Consolidated Bloc

Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has formally recognised a group of 22 MPs belonging to smaller parties and certain Independents as a consolidated bloc — the United Group. With this recognition, the United Group, will be the third largest group of MPs in the Rajya Sabha, after the Congress and the BJP.

The newly recognised bloc will find a place in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) that decides time allotment. Thus, MPs of bloc will secure more time to speak in House debates.

News 40 - Union Government to establish Krishi Vigyan Kendras in 687 districts

Krishi Vigyan Kendras

The Central Government has announced opening of at least one Krishi Vigyan Kendra in all 646 districts of the country. This will provide advanced Agriculture technical assistance to the farmers near their farms itself.

India has around 640 KVKs currently, with many districts having more than one centre. The government also announced opening of Apiary Development Centers in ten states. Skill development work is being initiated at 100 KVKs and pulses and oilseeds hubs are being established at same number of KVKs.

News 41 - Central Government funds Ro Pax Ferry Service in Gulf of Cambay under Sagarmala Programme

Sagarmala Programme

The Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned the Capital Dredging Project for Ro Pax Ferry Services between Gogha & Dahej, in Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat under Sagarmala programme. The project would result in reducing the travel time from 7 hours to 1 hour between Gogha & Dahej by crossing the Gulf in Cambay.

The Ministry released Rs 58.50 Crore as first installment of grant-in–aid to Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 234 Crore and of which 50% will be funded by Centre Government.

News 42 - Railways and Urban Development Ministry sign MoU to redevelop stations under smart city plans

Smart City Plans

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Ministries of Urban Development and Railways to redevelop railway stations and adjoining areas for enhancing passenger amenities, easy access to stations and enabling optimal utilization of land at railway stations to ensure that the ambitious smart cities of India also have ‘smart railway stations’.

The project would begin with 10 cities - Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Bhubaneswwar, Lucknow, Varnasi, Jaipur, Kota, Thane, Margao(Goa), Tirupati and Puducherry. The validity of the MoU is five years to begin with and can be extended.

News 43 - Regional air connectivity scheme launched

Regional Air Connectivity

Government launched the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN- Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik, which seeks to get more people to fly in the smaller towns. UDAN aims to increase ticketing volume from 80 million to 300 million by 2022. Airfares will be capped at 2,500 rupees for an hour's flight for regional flights.

Airlines will bid for seat subsidie for up to 40 subsidised seats and minimum seats will be 9. There will be 50 percent seats on market based pricing. The scheme is expected to be rolled out by January.

News 44 - Rs. 1500 crores released to states for 99 AIBP projects

AIBP Projects

Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti released the first installment of 1500 crore rupees to the states as central assistance for 99 prioritized irrigation projects. The amount was released under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program.

This amount has been released for projects in Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana. Total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at around 77 thousand crore rupees.

News 45 - MoUs inked between India and Myanmar to boost three sectors

India and Myanmar

Three MoUs were signed regarding insurance, power and banking sectors, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while Aung San Suu Kyi – state counsellor and foreign minister of Myanmar concluded her first official visit to India. First MoU was signed between Financial Regulatory Department of Myanmar and Insurance Institute of India for organizing professional building programme for insurance industry of Myanmar.

Other two MoUs were signed to boost Power sector and banking sector. MoU on Banking Sector was signed between RBI and Central Bank of Myanmar.

News 46 - MoU Signed between NICPR and All India Institute of Ayurveda for Cancer Prevention and Research

Cancer Prevention and Research

An MoU was signed between the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research and All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) to set up a Center of Integrative Oncology at NICPR-Noida.

The main aim is to reduce the incidence of cancer for which preventive aspects with the strengths of AYUSH systems should be explored and developing traditional medicine as adjuvant therapy to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. A Web portal on ‘Network for AYUSH Cancer Care developed by the AIIA was also launched to collect the national data of experts, scientists etc.

News 47 - India Trade Promotion Organisation signs MoU with DoC

India Trade Promotion Organisation

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 2016-17 between India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Department of Commerce (DoC) was signed in New Delhi to ensure delivery of better services to all the stakeholders.

Financial target for Revenue from operations (Gross Sales) has been fixed at Rs.250 crore. ITPO ensured to achieve “Excellent” rating as per the targets given by DPE for the year 2016-17 and ensure delivery of better services to all the stakeholders.

News 48 - Central Government holds tripartite talks with Manipur government, KNO, UPF

Manipur Government

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs held the second round of tripartite talks with the Government of Manipur, Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People's Front (UPF) of Manipur. The first round of talk was held in June 2016.

During the dialogue the KNO and the UPF indicated their demands in the presence of senior representative of Manipur government. KNO and UPF have put in a demand for homeland and political future.

News 49 - PM Modi launched #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign

Sandesh2Soldiers

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has launched a campaign asking people to reach out to the armed forces for Diwali through the #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign.

The 360-degree campaign includes a four-minute video featuring the Prime Minister. Apart from letters, people can send their messages to the soldiers through the Narendra Modi mobile app, MyGov app, and through radio. Selected messages will be read out by the PM on his Mann kiBaat address as well.

News 50 - India’s first railway university to come up in Vadodara

Railway University

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country’s first Railway University will be set up in Vadodara. The university will help in carrying out innovation and modernisation for the Indian Railways.

The Prime Minister was in Vadodara to inaugurate the terminal building of Vadodara airport, which is now the country’s second green airport after Kochi. Spread on an area of 17,500 square meters, the new integrated terminal has been built at a cost of Rs. 160 crores.

News 51 - e-Postal Ballot System for Service Voters

E-Postal Ballot System

The Government has amended rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enabling service voters, including armed forces personnel, to cast their vote in elections through e-postal ballot.

Under this system a blank postal ballot paper would be transmitted to them electronically that would cut short the delay in receipt of the marked postal ballot by the Returning Officers on or before the date fixed for the counting of votes.

News 52 - Prime Minister Modi launched 7 schemes worth Rs. 5000 crores in Varanasi

Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched seven schemes in his LokSabha constituency Varanasi at the total cost of Rs. 5000 crores. The schemes are −

  • "Urja Ganga", an ambitious gas pipeline project which will bring piped cooking fuel to residents of Varanasi

  • Expansion of Diesel Locomotive Works

  • Dedication of 765/400 KV GIS Varanasi Power Sub-station

  • Inauguration of Varanasi Postal Region

  • Laid foundation stone for second line and electrification of Allahabad-Varanasi rail line

  • Unveiled setting up of perishable cargo centre at Rajatalab Railway Station

  • Released a commemorative postage stamp on Varanasi City.

News 53 - The 16th India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on MilitaryTechnical Cooperation meeting held

MilitaryTechnical Cooperation

The 16th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on MilitaryTechnical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) was held in Delhi. Some important agreements including the IGA on supply of S-400 Air defence systems and the IGA on Project 1135.6 frigates were concluded during the meeting.

The meeting further reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the two countries and co-operation in the fields of energy, defence, regional issues. India appreciated Russia’s support to eliminate terrorists in West Asia.

News 54 - New Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Republic of Korea

DTAA

A new revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Korea for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to taxes on income, signed on the 18th May 2015 will come into force on the 12th September 2016. Provisions of the new DTAA will have effect in India in respect of income derived in fiscal years beginning on or after 1st April, 2017.

The revised DTAA aims to avoid the burden of double taxation for taxpayers of two countries in order to promote and thereby stimulate flow of investment and services between India and Korea.

News 55 - Workshop on the provisions of The Panchayats Extension to The Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, 1996 held

PESA

As a sequel to various activities planned under the National Tribal Carnival being held in New Delhi from the 25th to 28th October, 2016, a series of Workshop of thematic areas concerning tribal population have been planned. The first such Workshop on the Provisions of the Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) Implementation, benefits to Tribal Community and its Challenges was held in New Delhi.

The Workshop highlighted the importance of PESA to tribal communities, challenges being faced, way forward and key areas which need to be focused.

News 56 - Khadi Training Centres to be set up at Observation Homes across the Country

Khadi Training Centres

A Khadi Training Camp has been set up for inmates of the Aadharshila Observation Home, Kingsway Camp, Delhi. The Centre will provide training in spinning and weaving of Khadi threads and clothes. NCPCR will replicate the project in more than 300 existing Observation Homes in the country.

The training centre will go a long way in instilling confidence in the inmates when once these children leave the Observation Home, as ‘Charkha’ does not need special skills, but a person who can operate it can earn about Rs. 200 a day.

News 57 - Union Ministry of Urban Development inked MoU with NBCC (India) Ltd & CPWD

NBCC

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Ltd and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for redevelopment of seven General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies in New Delhi.

The Union Cabinet had approved the project on 05.07.2016. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 32,835 crores including maintenance and operation costs for 30 years. The cost of works assigned to NBCC would be Rs. 24,682 crores and to CPWD would be Rs. 7,793 crores.

News 58 - Prime Minister inaugurated the First National Tribal Carnival

National Tribal Carnival

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the First National Tribal Carnival in Delhi on October 25th, 2016. The main purpose of this carnival is to promote a sense of inclusiveness amongst the tribals. The carnival will showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale.

More than 1600 tribal artists and around eight thousand tribal delegates from across the country are expected to take part in the carnival.

News 59 - India, New Zealand Sign Three Agreements

India New Zealand

India signed three agreements with New Zealand on issues pertaining to avoidance of double taxation, cooperation in the field of youth and sport affair and food safety cooperation between FSSAI. The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key after delegation level talks.

The two sides also decided to establish a bilateral ministerial dialogue between the two Foreign Ministries.

News 60 - Cabinet approves New Productivity Linked Reward Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18

Cabinet

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to New Productivity Linked Reward Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18.

The new PLR scheme applicable from 20152016 to 2017-2018 will benefit about 37870 Port and Dock workers/employees in all the Major Port Trusts and the yearly outgo will be Rs. 49.58 crore. The new PLR Scheme will foster better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the Port Sector, apart from stimulating better productivity.

News 61 - Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons

India and Estonia

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratification of an Agreement between India and Estonia on the transfer of sentenced persons.

Signing the Agreement shall facilitate the Indian prisoners imprisoned in Estonia or viceversa to be near to their families, for serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. The Government of India has so far signed bilateral Agreements on Transfer of Sentenced Persons with 30 other countries. So far total 65 prisoners have been exchanged, out of which 55 were Indians.

News 62 - Establishment and operationalization of new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research at Berhampur, Odisha

IISER

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval formation of an Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Berhampur Society and operationalization of IISER, Berhampur in a transit/ temporary campus from the Academic Year 2016-17.

The Centre has also given approval for creation of the post of Director of the Institute, accepting land, free of cost, from the State Government of Odisha and introduction of a Bill, namely, the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016.

News 63 - Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Academic Depository

National Academic Depository

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accorded its approval for establishment and operationalization of a National Academic Depository (NAD). The decision aims to establish a Digital Depository for school learning certificates, degrees and other academic awards of Higher Education Institutions, on the pattern of a Securities Depository.

Academic institutions would be responsible for the authenticity of data digitally uploaded by them into the system. The depositories will ensure the integrity of the data in the NAD. The NAD will register educational institutions, students and other users/verifying entities like banks and government agencies.

News 64 - Cabinet approves exchanging of land between Airports Authority of India and Government of Odisha

AAI

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the exchanging of Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) land measuring 1.6 acres with an equivalent land area of 1.6 acres offered by Odisha Government.

The State Government has offered 1.6 acres of land in lieu of 1.6 acres of land of AAI and agreed to undertake and relocate all the existing infrastructure of AAI on the subject land on its own cost. The exchange of land is not only beneficial to the State Government & AAI but also to the people.

News 65 - Cabinet approves the new Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan

India and Bhutan

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has approved an Agreement on Trade, Commerce and Transit between India and Bhutan. The Agreement provides for a free trade regime between two countries and duty free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries.

The validity of this Agreement was extended, with effect from 29th July 2016, for a period of one year or till the new agreement comes into force, through exchange of Diplomatic notes.

News 66 - Cabinet approves one time relaxation in the cost norms and guidelines of MIDH

MIDH

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for one time relaxation of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) cost norms for implementation of PM's Special package for Jammu & Kashmir towards restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in State.

One time relaxation in MIDH cost norms was approved for import of special varieties of plants for better survival, early flowering and enhanced fruiting apple planting materials which may increase the productivity 3-4 times and benefit about 21,000 orchardists located in more than 491 villages.

News 67 - Launch of ‘Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda’ on the occasion of the National Ayurveda Day

Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda

On the occasion of the National Ayurveda Day, the Ministry of AYUSH organized a one day National Seminar on ‘’Prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda’’ on the 28th October 2016 at New Delhi. The Ministry of AYUSH launched “Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda” on the occasion.

The ‘Mission Madhumeha’ will be implemented throughout the country through a specially designed National Treatment Protocol for effective management of Diabetes through Ayurveda. Government of India has decided to celebrate National Ayurveda Day every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti.

News 68 - Close to 84,460 more affordable houses for urban poor sanctioned for five States

Urban Poor

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has approved construction of 84,460 more affordable houses for urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) in five States namely – West Bengal (1918 crores), Punjab (424 crores), Jharkhand (464 crores), Kerala (179 crores) and Manipur (88 crores), with a total investment of Rs. 3,073 crores for which Central Assistance of Rs. 1,256 crores have been approved.

Under the ‘Beneficiary Led Construction’ component of PMAY (Urban), each eligible beneficiary belonging to Economically Weaker Sections is provided Central Assistance of Rs. 1.50 lakh for expansion/upgradation of existing house as per the Guidelines.

News 69 - Cabinet gives in-principle nod to NITI Aayog’s strategic sale proposal

NITI Aayog’s Strategic

NITI Aayog’s proposal for strategic sale of public sector undertakings (PSUs) was approved by Union cabinet. The names of PSUs that are up for strategic stake sale, will be made public once each case is reviewed by Department of Disinvestment and the Ministries.

The strategic sale will involve a management control transfer by reducing shareholding of the government to below 50 percent. Government has already raised over Rs. 8,000 crores through PSU share buybacks and offer for sale. It intends to raise Rs. 36,000 crores in the entire fiscal through minority stake sale in PSUs.

News 70 - Union Cabinet launched Employees Online (EO) Mobile App of DoPT

EO Mobile App

The Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region launched the Employees Online (EO) App. The application would enable its users, which may include officers, media persons and all stakeholders to stay updated on real time basis with appointments and postings approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and vacancies at senior level in the Government of India.

This is an effective management tool which also empowers the IAS officers on Pan India basis and officers serving under Central Staffing Scheme by providing their personal records like Annual Performance Appraisal Report, Immovable Property Return and Executive Record through secured NIC login Id and Password.

News 71 - Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms 2016

DIPP

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the World Bank Group released the results of the Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms 2015-16. The Assessment studies the extent to which states have implemented DIPP’s 340point Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) for States/UTs 2015-16, covering the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

At least 32 State and UT Governments submitted the evidence of implementation of 7,124 reforms. The national implementation average stands at 48.93%, significantly higher than last year’s national average of 32%.



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