Government

Bihar Govt. passes new liquor Amendment law

Bihar Govt. passes new liquor Amendment law
The Bihar Government unanimously passed an amendment law on liquor prohibition in the monsoon session of the state assembly. The amendment has been passed by voice vote in the assembly. Bihar implemented total ban on any type of liquor since 5 April 2016.

28th meeting of GST council held

28th meeting of GST council held
The 28th meeting of GST council was held in New Delhi on 21st July 2018 under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs. Refrigerators, washing machines, Lithium-ion batteries, Vacuum cleaners were reduced from 28% to 18% tax rate. Sanitary Napkins, Coir pith compost, Rakhi were exempted from tax slab from previous 12% tax slab.

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER
Harindra Rao, General Manager, Eastern Railway and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) has taken over additional charge of General Manager South Eastern Railway. He was previously working as Chief Electrical Engineer in South Eastern Railway. Rao has previously worked in Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway, Diesel Locomotive Works, East Central Railway and North Central Railway.

4.4 million jobs created in 9 months : EPFO

4.4 million jobs created in 9 months : EPFO
Retirement fund body EPFO’s payroll data suggests that as many as 4,474,859 jobs were created during September 2017 to May 2018. During May, the maximum number of enrolment of 2,51,526 were recorded in the age bracket of 18 to 21 years followed by 1,90,090 in 22 to 25 years age group. The EPFO manages social security funds of over 6 crore workers in the organised/semi organised sector.

Enerparc commissions rooftop solar project

Enerparc commissions rooftop solar project
Enerparc India, a subsidiary of global solar solution provider Enerparc AG has commisioned 980 KW solar project at Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd. in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The rooftop solar project at BFW will generate approx. 15 lacs of units annually thus reducing its dependency on fossil fuels. Enerparc India had also Installed World’s 1st Solar Power Plant on Ship to Shore cranes in Mumbai.

Nabard launches Centre for Climate Change

Nabard launches Centre for Climate Change
NABARD has launched a centre for accelerating concerted action on climate change by various stakeholders including government, private and financial sectors. The Centre for Climate Change has been set up in Lucknow. It would also support capacity building and project preparation effort in developing countries in the region as also in Africa.

BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal

BIMSTEC summit to be held in Nepal
The 4th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Kathmandu from 30-31 August 2018, the Nepal government said. Sub-regional connectivity and poverty alleviation will be top of the agenda during the two-day BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multilateral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit. The group formed in 1997 consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline

5 oil PSUs sign JV pact for N-E gas pipeline
5 central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL – signed a joint venture agreement for executing the North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid as a step towards the Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project. The JV company shall develop, build, operate and maintain the Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. The project will connect the state capitals of all the eight North Eastern states.

Student Police Cadet Programme to be launched

Student Police Cadet Programme to be launched
Home Minister Rajnath Singh will launchc Cadet Programme in Gurugram. The programme seeks to build a bridge between the Police and the larger community through school students by inculcating values and ethics in them. The initiative seeks to cover broadly two kinds of topics: crime prevention and control, and values and ethics.

Kochi port to get new cruise terminal

Kochi port to get new cruise terminal
The Cochin Port Trust is setting up a new cruise terminal capable of handling 5,000 tourists at Ernakulam Wharf. The facilities inside the terminal will include passenger lounge, crew lounge, 30 immigration counters, eight custom clearance counters, seven security check counters, WiFi. Kochi has been getting around 40 cruise liners every year, bringing HNI tourists to Kerala.
The Cochin Port Trust is setting up a new cruise terminal capable of handling 5,000 tourists at Ernakulam Wharf. The facilities inside the terminal will include passenger lounge, crew lounge, 30 immigration counters, eight custom clearance counters, seven security check counters, WiFi. Kochi has been getting around 40 cruise liners every year, bringing HNI tourists to Kerala.

Poet Gopal Das Saxena ‘Neeraj’ passes away

Poet Gopal Das Saxena ‘Neeraj’ passes away
Famous Hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj passed away at the AIIMS trauma center on 19 July. He was a Professor of Hindi at Dharma Samaj College in Aligarh. He was also accorded the rank of a cabinet minister by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in UP. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007.

Ex-Prez Park to spend another 8 yrs in jail

Ex-Prez Park to spend another 8 yrs in jail
South Korean court sentenced Ex-President Park Geun-hye to 8 more years in prison after finding her guilty on charges of causing loss of govt funds & interfering in a 2016 parliamentary election. The court handed Ms. Park 6 years on the spy fund charges and 2 further years in jail for improperly intervening in the selection of election candidates. The current President is Moon-Jae-in.

Debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha

Debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that the Lok Sabha has taken up the debate on no-confidence motion moved by Oppn parties. The motions dealt on issues like special status to Andhra Pradesh, cow vigilantism, lynching and dilution of the SC/ST Act. A motion of no-confidence is a statement or vote which states that the ruling govt is no longer deemed fit to hold the position of power.

Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules

Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules
The Cabinet approved the policy to streamline production sharing contracts signed in the pre-New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and NELP periods. Based on recommendations in ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North East’, the govt has extended timelines for the exploration period by 2 yrs. The Centre has also allowed marketing, including pricing freedom for natural gas from discoveries.

RTE amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

RTE amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill 2017 which allows detention of school students in class 5 and 8. The original RTE Act stipulated that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education. The original RTE Act came into force on April 1, 2010.

Special Package for Irrigation Projects

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra. Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects.

CM Raman Singh launches online pension system

Chhattisgarh CM Dr. Raman Singh launched an online portal and mobile app called ‘Aabhaar-Aapki Seva ka’ for the pensioners of the state. Through this app and the website, 80,000 pensioners of the state will get all the information related to pension and payment online. The beneficiaries will be provided updates via SMS regarding the status of their pension account.

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note

RBI to launch new 100 rupee note
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon issue new Rs 100 notes, with a base color of violet. According to the new policy on theme-based currency notes, the new Rs 100 note will have the impression of Gujarat’s Rani-ki-Vav (Queen’s stepwell). The new Rs 100 note will be slightly bigger than the Rs 10 note and weigh less than the old note & will be printed by Dewas-based Bank Note Press.

1st govt-sponsored transgender poets’ meet

1st govt-sponsored transgender poets’ meet
India’s 1st government-sponsored poets’ meet was organized for the transgender community at the Sahitya Akademi in Kolkata. The ‘Transgender Poets’ Meet’ was chaired by India’s first transgender college principal Manabi Bandopadhyay. In the event, each of the poets was given nearly 15 minutes to recite their poetry. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) criminalizes homosexuality.

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi
The 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue begins in New Delhi. The theme of the event is ‘Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Co-operation’. Political leadership, officials, diplomats, business leaders, think-tanks and academicians from India and the ASEAN Member States participated in Event. Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a group of 10 nations with General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi.

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s

Govt announces capital infusion in 5 PSB’s
The government has announced an infusion of Rs 11,336 crore in five public sector banks as part of its Indradhanush scheme. The five banks are Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank & Allahabad Bank. Indradhanush is a scheme for recapitalization of PSBs, with a view to make sure they remain solvent & comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.

Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS

Cabinet approves MoU on aviation with BRICS
The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) amongst BRICS nations on Regional Aviation Partnership. The government aims for the BRICS nations to benefit from the establishment of an institutional framework to corporate in the field of civil aviation. The MoU has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism amongst the BRICS Nations.

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab
The state govt of Punjab dissolved Right to Service Commission which was created by the former SAD-BJP govt under Punjab Right to Services Act of 2011. The act has been replaced by Punjab Transparency and Accountability in Delivery of Public Services Act, 2018. The Right to Service (RTS) Act was set up by former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to provide citizen services through Sewa Kendras.

Bihar raises compensation for rape victims

The Bihar government increased the compensation amount for acid-attack and rape survivors from Rs 3 lakh to 7 lakh. Human traffic victims would receive a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each instead of the Rs 1 lakh paid currently. The acid attack victims would be given a monthly compensation of Rs 10000 instead of lump sum. Survivors who are under the age of 14 would get 50% more compensation.

Govt sets up committee to strengthen NCC, NSS

The govt has decided to form a committee under former education secretary Anil Swarup, seeking suggestions to strengthen National Cadet Corp & National Service Scheme. The Committee will deal with issues like expansion, strengthening training infrastructure & reducing manpower deficiency. The Committee will also submit recommendations for building “synergy” between these 2 institutions.

J&K abolishes interviews for Class-IV jobs

The Jammu and Kashmir government today abolished interviews for all Class-IV posts in the state and the selection. All recruitment for Class-IV posts under State, Divisional and District Cadres also for companies, organizations & bodies substantially owned by Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). The decision will speed-up the selection process against these posts.

Steel Ministry announces pension scheme

The steel ministry has agreed to introduce a pension scheme for its CPSEs (Central Public Sector Enterprises) like SAIL and RINL. The pension scheme is estimated to cost an additional financial burden of Rs 540 crore. The pension scheme will be subject to factors like affordability, capacity to pay and sustainability by the CPSEs. The current Steel Minister is Chaudhary Birender Singh.

WR renames Elphinstone station as Prabhadevi

Western Railway renamed Elphinstone Road Station to Prabhadevi on Mumbai’s suburban section. The station, named after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay from 1853 to 1860, is renamed after the local deity ‘Prabhadevi’. Elphinstone is the station where 23 people were killed and over 39 injured in a stampede at the railway station’s foot over bridge on September 29, 2017.

SC demands new law to stop lynching

India’s highest court has asked the government to enact a new law to deal with an increase in mob violence and lynchings. Supreme Court recommended Parliament to create a new penal provision to punish the offenders and stem the mob-related violence. The direction was given by three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and ordered parliament to decide within six months.

Govt sets up committee to strengthen NCC, NSS

The govt has decided to form a committee under former education secretary Anil Swarup, seeking suggestions to strengthen National Cadet Corp & National Service Scheme. The Committee will deal with issues like expansion, strengthening training infrastructure & reducing manpower deficiency. The Committee will also submit recommendations for building “synergy” between these 2 institutions.

J & K abolishes interviews for

Class-IV jobs
The Jammu and Kashmir government today abolished interviews for all Class-IV posts in the state and the selection. All recruitment for Class-IV posts under State, Divisional and District Cadres also for companies, organizations & bodies substantially owned by Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB). The decision will speed-up the selection process against these posts.

SC demands new law to stop lynching

India’s highest court has asked the government to enact a new law to deal with an increase in mob violence and lynchings. Supreme Court recommended Parliament to create a new penal provision to punish the offenders and stem the mob-related violence. The direction was given by three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and ordered parliament to decide within six months.

Bihar raises compensation for rape victims

The Bihar government increased the compensation amount for acid-attack and rape survivors from Rs 3 lakh to 7 lakh. Human traffic victims would receive a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each instead of the Rs 1 lakh paid currently. The acid attack victims would be given a monthly compensation of Rs 10000 instead of lump sum. Survivors who are under the age of 14 would get 50% more compensation.

Govt to deliver 11 Crore Ayushman Cards

The government will be printing and delivering 11 crore Ayushman Bharat ‘family cards’ by organizing public contact programme called ‘Ayushman Pakhwaras’. The CEO of Ayushman Bharat- National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) is Indu Bhushan. The scheme was announced by Union Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget 2018 and is expected to be the world’s largest health coverage scheme.

Govt to deliver 11 Crore Ayushman Cards

The government will be printing and delivering 11 crore Ayushman Bharat ‘family cards’ by organizing public contact programme called ‘Ayushman Pakhwaras’. The CEO of Ayushman Bharat- National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) is Indu Bhushan. The scheme was announced by Union Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget 2018 and is expected to be the world’s largest health coverage scheme.

Panel to tackle pollution around Taj Mahal

The government has formed a committee comprising officials of the environment ministry, experts from NEERI, IITs and various other forums to look into the issue of industrial pollution around the iconic Taj Mahal. The committee will be headed by C K Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The committee will take up the problems on a case-to-case basis.

‘Paudhagiri’ campaign launched in Haryana

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched the ‘Paudhagiri’ campaign, aimed at increasing the green cover in the state. Under this campaign, 22 lakh students from class 6 to 12 of all government and private schools in Haryana will plant a sapling each during three months of monsoon. The student will get Rs 300 per year for 3 years for looking after a sapling planted by him or her.

Gujarat to form Sanskrit Bhasha Vikas Board

The Sanskrit language, the state government has decided to form the Sanskrit Bhasha Vikas Board. The decision was announced by state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama at an event held at the Gujarat University. The university has started a dedicated centre for spoken Sanskrit and also plans to celebrate Sanskrit Utsav.

Odisha Govt constitutes Heritage Cabinet

The Odisha Government constituted Heritage Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to preserve the history and culture of Odisha. The Cabinet comprises eight members, including the Chief Minister. While the Chief Secretary will be Secretary of Heritage Cabinet, Secretary in the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture will be the convenor.

Govt launches Swachh Survekshan Grameen

The government has launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen, which will attempt to rank all 698 districts in the country on prevalent levels of cleanliness in the rural areas. The parameters of assessment will be availability of toilets, usage of toilets, hygiene of toilets and status of littering among others. It will be done through an independent survey agency.

L&T to build ‘tallest’ govt. office building

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has bagged a construction project to build govt office building at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh. The office will be the tallest government office building in India. The buildings will house the headquarters of the various government departments of Andhra Pradesh. The project has to its credit of being the 1st Steel Diagrid project with Automatic Climbing Formwork System.

AAI partners with govt for Dholera Airport

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) to partner with the government of Gujarat to build the ` 2,000 crore Dholera airport project. The airport will be the biggest upcoming greenfield city in India under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project at Dholera will be built in four years. Equity participation between AAI & the govt of Gujarat will be 51% and 49%, respectively.

MoU on exchange of experience by legal experts

India and UK have signed an agreement on exchange of experience by legal professionals and government functionaries for resolution of disputes before various courts and tribunals. The MoU aims to enhance the bilateral cooperation in legal affairs between the two countries. The two countries would also exchange information regarding current issues of international significance.

UK to double number of troops in Afghanistan

UK government is set to almost double the number of its troops in Afghanistan to help tackle the fragile security situation in Afghanistan. The additional forces will take part in a Nato-led training mission, called Resolute Support, to train & assist Afghan forces. They will be based in Kabul and will not be in a combat role. Britain ended combat operations in 2014.

16th Workshop On Greenhouse Gas Inventories

A four-day Workshop has been organized by the Ministry of Environment, Govt of Japan from July 10 to 13, 2018 in New Delhi. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr Harshvardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Earth Sciences. The workshop included policy initiatives of the government to increase penetration of LEDs, 5-10% Ethanol blending in petrol.

CRPF inks MoU with IRCTC

CRPF signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IRCTC to usher in the easy & fast e-booking of railway tickets system. The e-ticketing will replace the earlier system of railway warrant which was cumbersome and is in line with the e-governance policy of the government. The CRPF is the paramilitary force that was raised in 1939 to handle internal security issues & anti-Naxal missions.

Aadhaar must for health mission cover

The government has mandated the use of Aadhaar card for administering its massive Ayushman Bharat, or National Health Mission, that assures a ?5 lakh health cover to 10 crore families. While possessing an Aadhaar card isn’t mandatory to avail services, a proof of enrolment, or request for enrolment, is mandatory. The Ayushman Bharat is scheduled to roll out in August 2018.

PepsiCo to help govt in recycling plastic

PepsiCo India decided to support the government’s implementation of extended producer responsibility for plastic waste bottles in Maharashtra. PepsiCo India has partnered with Gem Enviro Mgmt to set up reverse vending machines for the collection & recycling of plastic bottles in the State. The company has also piloted a ‘Film to Fuel’ project to convert packaging film waste into fuel.

South Korea scraps annual government war drill

South Korea has decided to scrap an annual government mobilisation drill this year as part of a suspended joint exercise with US. The Ulchi drill, which aims at examining the country’s war preparedness, usually takes place in tandem with joint Freedom Guardian military exercise with US. The suspension of the combined exercise could facilitate ongoing nuclear talks between North Korea & US.

Institution of eminence status

Prakash Javadekar has released list of 6 institutes, 3 in public & 3 in private sector, which have been accorded the status of Institution of Eminence by the government. In the public sector, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay & IISc Bangalore have been granted the status. Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pilani & Jio Institute have been granted institution of eminence tag in the private sector

Gujarat’s Jews gets religious minority status

The Gujarat government has granted religious minority status to the Jewish community in the state. The notification to this effect was issued on July 6 by the state’s Department of Social Justice and Empowerment. They shall get benefits of welfare schemes formulated for religious minority communities within the jurisdiction of Gujarat.

‘One farmer one transformer’ scheme

In order to reduce electricity losses, the Maharashtra government will launch a new scheme allocating one transformer per farmer. The scheme, “one farmer one transformer”, will be unveiled on August 15. Two lakh farmers will be given electricity connection for high voltage distribution line which will ensure uninterrupted power supply

Microsoft signs MoU with Rajasthan Government

Microsoft signed a MoU with the Rajasthan Government to provide free digital training to 9,500 college students in one year. The initiative was taken for the enhancement of digital learning and capacity building of college students in the state. The company will run MS office specialist training programme in 50 government colleges from August which will benefit 9,500 students.

CM approves yatra scheme

The Delhi government would send 77,000 senior citizens along with one adult attendant each on all-expenses paid pilgrimages every year. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the Mukhyamantri Tirth yatra Yojana. The government would also pay for one attendant over the age of 18 years to accompany each senior citizen. The pilgrims would be selected through a draw of lots.

Delhi Police to control CCTV project

A panel set up by Delhi L-G Anil Baijal has said Delhi government’s flagship CCTV project will not be controlled by the AAP government but will be under the L-G via Delhi Police. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal called the panel “illegal” and directed PWD Secretary Manoj Parida to propose the installation of one lakh cameras in the next cabinet meeting.

Section 144 to be used in animal emergencies

The National Board of Wildlife has recommended that states use Section 144, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people, during wildlife emergencies. The provision will be used to “prevent people from gathering in large numbers, which aggravates wildlife emergency situations”. The Centre is expected to issue advisories to the state governments regarding the recommendation.

Himachal banned sale of thermocol cutlery

The Himachal Pradesh government has banned the use and sale of thermocol cutlery including cups, plates, glasses, spoons or any other item in the state. Those violating the order will be fined according to the quantity of the thermocol. The state government has set a deadline of three months for manufacturers to dispose of their stocks.

Tree wall to encircle Delhi

A ‘tree wall’ of nearly 31 lakh native trees will soon encircle Delhi to protect it from dust storms coming from Rajasthan, a senior official of Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change said. The government has already begun work of planting saplings. The tree wall will come along Delhi border with Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

51 lakh houses approved in 3 years under PMAY

More than 51 lakh dwelling units have been sanctioned by the government under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (urban) in last 3 years. This jump is a huge one in comparison to the erstwhile housing scheme, under which only 12.4 lakh houses were approved in 9 years. Out of these 51 lakh houses, over 8 lakh houses have already been completed.

Ram Vilas Paswan to attend UNCTAD meet

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will attend the UNCTAD meeting of a third inter-governmental group of experts on consumer protection on July 9-10 in Geneva. The group has been set up under the revised UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection. The session will also deliberate on measures on protection of vulnerable & disadvantaged consumers. UNCTAD is the UN body looking after consumer issues.

Subsidy on rooftop solar power installations

Himachal Pradesh government has announced a subsidy of 10% or ` 4,000 per Kilowatt, whichever is less, for installation of solar power plants at the rooftop of their buildings. This subsidy would be additional to the subsidy given by Central government. The subsidy amount would be deposited directly to the bank account of the consumer through Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Authority.

Raman Singh defeats no-confidence motion

A no-trust motion moved by the Congress against the Raman Singh-led BJP Government was defeated by a voice vote in the Chhattisgarh Assembly. This was the third no-trust motion faced by the Singh government, in power since 2013. Chhattisgarh has been under the BJP rule since 2003 and will be going to the polls later this year.

Union Bank of India to raise equity capital

Union Bank of India will raise equity capital of ` 1500 crore. The proposal was approved at its annual general meeting by the bank’s shareholders. The bank said that this capital raise will be in addition to the capital support which has been granted by the government.

Rupee among top 10 EM currencies

The rupee has been ranked as one of the 10 best-performing currencies, beating rivals like Real and Rand ever since the NDA government came into power in May 2014. Although all emerging market currencies have lost value to the dollar, rupee’s slide is relatively controlled compared with peers. In the 4 year period, the dollar index gained 17% compared with 14.2% loss in the rupee’s value.

ICAT completed first BS-VI certification

ICAT has completed the first BS-VI certification for M/S Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicle Limited for its heavy-duty engine model. The engine was developed and manufactured in India by Volvo Eicher. It would be implemented on April 1, 2020. ICAT is one of the prime testing agencies recognized by the Government of India.

WIPO treaties approved

The Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and United Kingdom regarding cooperation between both countries in the sphere of Law & Justice. A Joint Consultative Committee will also be set up. It concerns exchange of experience by legal professionals, government functionaries for resolution of disputes.

UNESCO to set up Design University for Gaming

UNESCO has come into an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh government to set up a ‘Design University for Gaming’ in Visakhapatnam. A UNESCO delegation met with CM Chandrababu Naidu and asked for 100 acres of land to develop the city as an ‘International Gaming and Digital Learning Hub’. They will develop edutech gaming in the state, with the target of providing 50,000 jobs in 10 years.

Punjab orders mandatory dope test

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a mandatory dope test for all government employees, including police personnel, from the time of their recruitment through every stage of their service. Drug screening will be mandatory in cases of promotions, and also be a part of annual medical examinations. The state’s Chief Secretary has been asked to issue an order.

Govt approves hike in Minimum Support Price

4 : The Centre approved the raise in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for kharif crops in line with its budget announcement to ensure that farmers get at least 1.5 times of the production cost. The MSP for paddy has been hiked to around ` 1,750 per quintal from previous year’s ` 1,550 and corn increased to ` 1,700 from ` 1,131. The MSP of cotton (medium staple) has been increased to ` 5,150.

Small savings interest rates unchanged

The government has kept the interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, unchanged for the July-September quarter. PPF and NSC will fetch annual interest rate of 7.6% while KVP will yield 7.3% and mature in 11 months. The move is aimed at matching the hardening interest rates in the banking sector.

Repatriation agreement of Bru persons

An agreement has been signed by Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF). Persons presently in temporary camps in Tripura will repatriate to Mizoram and a Committee under Special Secretary will coordinate the implementation of this agreement. India will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Brus in Mizoram.

SC verdict on Delhi CM vs L-G

LG has no independent decision-making power and cannot behave as an obstructionist. Except for the three issues, including land, law and order, Delhi government should be allowed to legislate. LG being the administrative head of Delhi must be informed of all executive powers but he cannot stall all the decisions of the council of ministers.

UP Government announced new policy

UP Government announced a new Defence Manufacturing Policy, called ‘UP Defence Aerospace Unit and Employment Generating Policy, 2018’. The policy is for the entrepreneurs who are willing to invest and would project an investment of ` 50,000 crores for upcoming 5 years. The policy is also expected to generate 2.5 lakh jobs

Special drive launched by Gujarat CM

CM of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani launched a special drive called ‘Poshan Abhiyan’ to eradicate malnutrition among children. ‘Purna’ project was also launched under this drive for malnutrition girls under the age group of 14-18 years. Nutritious food will be served to these children through Anganwadi centres and ` 270 crore has been allocated by the government to control malnutrition in girls.

Rajasthan approves 1% reservation for Gujjars

The Rajasthan government announced 1% reservations for five communities– Gujjar, Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika, and Gadariya– under the Most Backward Classes (MBC) category. This comes after Gujjar leaders threatened to launch protests during PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming Jaipur visit. The Gujjars were seeking 5% reservation within OBC quota to not violate the 50% Supreme Court-mandated cap.

Israel enacted a new law

Israel government enacted a new law which will financially penalize the Palestinian Authority for paying stipends to the Palestinians killed or jailed by Israel. Out of 120 seats in the Parliament, 87-15 voted in favor of this legislation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had repeatedly demanded to stop the Palestinians from paying stipends to the prisoners and their families.

Dalai Lama launches ‘Happiness Curriculum’

The Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Dalai Lama launched the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in the Delhi government schools on July 2. The new initiative that focuses on holistic education would cover around eight lakh students. The curriculum focuses on meditation, moral teachings, and mental exercises, with the aim of turning students into good human beings.

July 1 to be celebrated as ‘GST Day

The government will celebrate July 1, 2018, as ‘GST Day’ to mark the first anniversary of the new indirect tax regime. Goods and Services Tax was rolled out in the intervening night of June 30 and July 1, 2017, in a ceremony held in the Central Hall of Parliament. GST binds India into an Economic Union, promotes ‘Make in India’ and has improved ‘Ease of Doing Business.

Panel to upgrade norms for data collection

Government has set up a 13-member committee to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states & districts level. The Committee for Sub-National Accounts will be headed by Ravindra Dholakia, a retired professor of IIM Ahmedabad. Panel has been asked to review concepts, definitions, data sources & requirements for preparation of State Domestic Product & District Domestic Product.

IRDAI gives nod to LIC to buy stake in IDBI

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has approved a proposal by LIC to raise its stake in IDBI Bank up to 51% from current 10.82%. It will save government from having to infuse more funds into IDBI Bank, which had received Rs 10,610 crore last fiscal, the most by any public-sector bank. The acquisition will be seen only as an investment & LIC will gradually lower its stake

Anjolie Ela Menon conferred the Kalidas Award

Noted artist Anjolie Ela Menon has received the National Kalidas Samman for visual arts from the Madhya Pradesh government. The award was conferred in recognition of her insightful and sensitive portrayal of the identity and spirit of women through her meaningful paintings in a variety of media. Menon is India’s most accomplished artists and is the recipient of the Padma Shri.

Swaraj inaugurates heads of missions meet

Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the 9th Heads of Mission Conference in New Delhi. Government is likely to brief the diplomats on economic reform taken for improving ease-of-doing business in India. Theme of the conference is ‘Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes’. It comes at a time when India is monitoring important global developments including sanctions imposed by US on Russia & Iran.

Fiscal deficit hits 55% due to higher capex

30 : The Centre’s fiscal deficit for the first two months of the fiscal year 2018-19 stood at Rs 3.45 trillion, this is a sign of growing economy. The fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 is Rs 6.24 trillion, or 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product. The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit.

Kerala govt signs MoU with Nissan

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Kerala government and Nissan officials to boost digital operations. The first phase of the digital hub will come up over 30 acres of land in Technocity, 20 kilometres outside Thiruvananthapuram. The company is looking at providing 500 direct jobs by the end of April 2019 with indirect employment for software development.

FATF puts Pak on ‘grey list’

Global anti-terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force has decided to keep Pakistan on its ‘grey list’. US motion, to have Pakistan added to grey list of countries was reportedly backed by Britain, France & Germany. Pakistan was previously on the grey list from 2012 to 2015. FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering & terrorist financing.

Govt proposes to replace UGC

Government has unveiled draft of a bill to replace higher education regulator University Grants Commission with a Higher Education Commission. The commission will not have grant-making authority, will promote reduced inspection system & will focus on quality outcome at universities & colleges. It will be applicable to all higher education institutions established under any act of Parliament.

WCD Ministry to organise TECH-THON 2018

Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India will organize a seminar on technology partnerships for steering POSHAN Abhiyaan called ‘TECH-THON’ in Delhi. The seminar aims to discuss technology and also share an overview of POSHAN Abhiyaan and combat malnutrition. POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission) was launched by the Prime Minister on 8th March 2018 in, Rajasthan.

Govt hikes ethanol price by Rs 3 per litre

The government hiked the price of ethanol, used for doping in petrol, by almost Rs 3 per litre to Rs 43.70. This move is to cut India’s oil import dependence as well as give the higher price for sugarcane to farmers. The govt has approved the mechanism for procurement of ethanol by public sector oil marketing companies to carry out the Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme.

Sanitation Plan for Swachh Iconic Places

Institutions of 10 selected heritage sites of the country created action plans for raising their sanitation standards. The plans were formulated at a 2-day consultation in Hyderabad held between Central and State Government agencies, local administrations & the Trusts of the iconic places. The Swachh Iconic Places initiative aims to achieve a distinctly higher level of sanitation at places.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley visits India

US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley is on a 2-day visit to India. Haley will meet with senior Indian government officials, NGO leaders, and the interfaith community to underscore the United States’ shared values and a strong alliance with the people of India. She is the first Indian-American to serve in a Cabinet-level position in any US presidential administration.

Govt proposes to set up 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras

The government has proposed to set up 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 self-help groups across the country under the Van Dhan Scheme. It aims to skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce. Van Dhan Mission is an initiative for targeting livelihood generation for tribals by harnessing non-timber forest produces.

Delhi HC orders halt on cutting 17000 trees

25 : A controversial project that requires the cutting of 17,000 trees in Delhi. The NBCC also deposited Rs. 8 crores with the tree authority of the Delhi government for permission to cut trees. Petitioner KK Mishra, asks the court to stop the central government project to cut thousands of trees for the redevelopment of 7 colonies in south Delhi. HC halts the cutting of trees till July 4 2018.

India cuts export quotas for Maldives

India has lowered the limits on the export of certain essential commodities such as potatoes, onions, and eggs to the Maldives. According to a bilateral pact that came into effect in 1981, India exports essential commodities in line with the requirement as communicated by the govt of Maldives. Maldives was lowered to 9,892.03 MT for 2018-19 compared with the 10,259.59 MT exported in 2017-18.

Chabahar Port to made operational by 2019

According to a government statement, India will make sure that Chabahar Port in Iran becomes operational by 2019. The port is being developed as part of a new transportation corridor for land-locked Afghanistan and is expected to open way for millions of dollars in trade and cut its dependence on Pakistan. India’s statement came after the US threatened to renew sanctions against Iran.

Plastic ban in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government has imposed a ban on manufacture, use, sale, distribution and storage of all plastic materials across the state. As per the notification, violators will be fined ` 5,000 and ` 10,000 for the first and second-time offence. With this Maharashtra becomes the 18th state of the country to impose a complete ban on plastic.

SKY Scheme for farmers to generate solar power

The Gujarat government has launched a solar power scheme for farmers – Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY). Under the scheme farmers would not only be able to generate electricity for their captive consumption but will also be able to sell the surplus power to the grid and earn an extra buck. The extra electricity given to grid would be purchased at a rate of ` 7 per unit for a period of 7 years.

Bharat-22 ETF: investors bid worth ` 140 bn

The second tranche of Bharat-22 ETF garnered subscription amounting to Rs 140 billion. Through Bharat-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), comprising shares of 22 companies, the government had targeted to earn Rs 6,000 crore but received nearly 2.3 times of its worth of bids. The government had launched the follow-on fund offer of Bharat-22 ETF, which is managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund.

Justice Chamleswar retires from SC

Jasti Chelameswar has retired as Supreme Court judge on 22nd June 2018. Justice Chelameswar, who had held presser along with three other Supreme Court judges to highlight discrimination in allocation of cases to benches, said that the credibility of the highest judiciary in danger. Chelameswar was the only judge to support the govt. move to replace the collegium system with NJAC.

Haryana to give star ranking to panchayats

Haryana government has decided to give star rankings to its panchayats on the basis of 7 social parameters under state’s 7-Star Gram Panchayat Rainbow scheme. A total 1,120 villages have achieved the rankings & will be awarded Rs.1 lakh for achieving each parameter. Ambala topped the star ranking with 407 stars followed by Gurugram with 199 stars & Karnal with 75 stars.

Raj, Haryana get notice over deforestation

NHRC issued notices to the Centre, Haryana, and Rajasthan government over the deforestation in the Aravalli hills. Media reports claimed that “massive deforestation” in the mountain range had led to “increasing dust storms and air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region”. Aravalli Range is a range of mountains running from Delhi and passing through Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.