MIB panel to be replaced soon

MIB panel to be replaced soon
A committee set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to devise ways to regulate online media and other content has been disbanded. The 10-member committee was set up in April. Its mandate will now be handed over to a panel overseen by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY). The committee has the secretary of MeitY, Ajay Prakash, as convener.

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

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.

T-Hub to host country’s 1st Defence incubator

India’s first Defence incubators will come up in Hyderabad, which is India’s missile development centre. The T-Hub is India’s largest incubator that will be funded through the Ministry’s Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme. The iDEX will be funded and managed by a Defence Innovation Organisation. Initially, a corpus of ?100 crore has been created by two PSUs–HAL and BEL.

MCA to review offences under Companies Act

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has constituted a 10 Member Committee to review the penal provisions in the Companies Act, 2013. The Committee will review the provisions relating to non-compoundable offenses and recommend whether any such provisions need to be re-categorized as a compoundable offense. The committee is headed by the Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

4th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals

The Ministry of Mines organized the 4th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 13th July 2018 at Indore. CM of MP, Shri Shivraj Singh was the chief guest of the conclave. Also, an app of NALCO – NAMASYA was launched by the Ministers. For the first time, the conclave had an exhibition in which States put up stalls to showcase their more than 100 mineral blocks which were in the auction.

Use of Aadhaar only ‘desirable, not must’

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated that furnishing Aadhaar as an identity proof for availing benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme is “desirable and not must.” It also said that there shall be no denial of benefits for the want of Aadhaar. The scheme, launched under the National Health Protection Mission was announced during the 2018-19 budget and will be launched on August 15.

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.

Govt launches LAP and TPS for 25 smart cities

To fast track the resolution of area based infrastructure issues, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the Local Area Plan (LAP) and Town Plan Schemes (TPS) for 25 smart cities in the country. Under which the ministry will provide ` 2 crore as central assistance to every city for planned urban expansion. The LAP and TPS has been formulated under AMRUT.

‘CITIIS’ Challenge Announced by MoHUA

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced a new ‘Cities Investment To Innovate, Integrate and Sustain’ (CITIIS) challenge to identify top projects in 15 of the 100 selected smart cities. The projects will receive an additional funding of approximately ?80 crore each. The new funding will be financed by a €100 million loan from the French government.

Government sets noise standards for airports

9 : The Union Environment Ministry has set noise standards for airports across the country, excluding defence aircraft, and those that are landing and taking off. A civil airport with more than 50,000 aircraft movements per year should not exceed noise levels beyond 75 dB(A) Leq (decibels) during the daytime. It should not exceed 65 dBA during the night.

Round Table Conference on Data for New India’

The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation will organise a 2 day International Round Table Conference at New Delhi. The objective of the conference is to identify innovative ideas for improving the statistical system in India, taking cue from the best practices followed in advanced countries. Such a Conference is being organized in India for the first time.

Panel drafting education policy gets extension

Union Human Resource Development Ministry has extended till August 31 the term of K Kasturirangan Committee drafting a new education policy. The panel headed by K Kasturirangan, the former ISRO chief, was supposed to submit its report by June 30. This is the third extension granted to the panel. The existing National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992.

Government launches ‘technology challenge’

To eliminate human entry into septic tanks for cleaning, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a ‘technology challenge’ seeking suitable solutions. The challenge is a part of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention to be held on 2 October. The proposals will be adopted on the basis of operational effectiveness, life of machinery, & ease of use among others.

Delhi launched it’s first Cyber Forensic van

First cyber Forensic van of Delhi police was launched to help people in cyber crimes especially for the senior citizens who are the soft targets of cyber crimes. Home Ministry is planning to launch an online cybercrime portal where people can file a complaint online. The Van will be available on 24×7 basis.

Thermal power output rises 6%

The ignorance of warnings against reducing offtake during the period of scheduled power demand caused the problem of low stocks of coal. CIL cautioned power producers against repeating the mistake by reducing coal intake in monsoon. The facts indicate that complaints of coal shortage to the power ministry by generators may not be widespread.

India to operate ‘World’s Emptiest Airport’

Indian Civil Aviation Ministry has communicated Sri Lankan Parliament about operating it’s lost making Mattala Rajapaksa International airport in Hambantota. The airport is named after former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which is dubbed as ‘world’s emptiest airport’ due to lack of flights. The final terms of the agreement are yet to be decided as Sri Lanka.

17 fire ranges approved for set up

17 firing ranges have been approved for construction by the Defence Ministry at a cost of Rs. 238 crore in select military stations. Under the Southern Command, 7 ranges will be set, one in each Central and Southern Western Commands, 2 in Northern Command and 3 in Eastern Command. 60 firing ranges at present are operational across the country.

Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for students

Ayush Ministry is in the process of introducing Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for Sanskrit students. This initiative will help in identifying the medicines and ayurvedic practices from the Sanskrit scriptures that are unexplored. The Ministry AYUSH is a govt body purposed with developing, education and research in Ayurveda, yoga and homoeopathy.

Sagarmala receives Gold Award at Skoch Summit

The Ministry of Shipping’s flagship programme for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ received the ‘Gold Award’ at 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi. The Skoch Awards recognize leadership and excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes. Sagarmala is the programme of govt for port-led-development of the country through harnessing 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of navigable waterways.

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.

1st Inter-state translocation proj. of tigers

In the country’s 1st inter-state translocation of tigers project, a female cub was shifted from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, MP to Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Odisha. India has a population of 3891 tigers, according to 2016 census. The ambitious project is conceived by the Ministry of Environment, National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India to boost tiger population.

Oxytocin formulations ban from 1st July 2018

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations for domestic use to public sector only from 1st July 2018. Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use. Oxytocin helps with birth & milk production not only in humans but also in cattle such as buffalo, cows.

35th CSMC Meeting of PMAY

Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has approved the construction of 3 lakh more affordable houses for urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) at 35th Central Sanctioning And Monitoring Committee (CSMC). The total investment is of Rs. 8,692 Cr with central assistance of Rs.3,782 Cr. After including Rajiv Awas Yojana, the total number of houses under PMAY(U) would be 51 lakhs.

MSME Day to be celebrated on 27th June 2018

The Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will organize a National Conclave (UdyamSangam) on 27th June 2018 on the occasion of UN MSME Day. President Kovind will inaugurate the Conclave in Vigyan Bhawan. The MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores to artisans. The UN declared 27th June as MSME Day, recognizing the importance of MSME in the country’s economy.

24°C as the default setting for ACs

Power Ministry has suggested air-conditioner manufacturers to keep default setting at 24°C in a bid to save energy. It has also suggested that manufacturers should carry out labelling indicating optimum temperature setting for benefit of consumers, both from financial & health point of view. Having a default setting at 24°C will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in a year.

WCD Ministry to get SKOCH Award

Ministry of Women & Child Development receives the ‘Best Performing Social Sector Ministry’ SKOCH Award. The ministry achieved results through schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has achieved huge success and improved sex ratio. The Minister, Maneka Gandhi shared details of 6 months maternity leave, Sexual Harassment at Work Place Act, SHe-box, One stop centres, Women help line (181).

Draft of cross-border insolvency norms

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is planning to introduce a globally accepted and well-recognised cross-border insolvency framework. It will be fine-tuned to suit the needs of aspirational Indian economy. The Government has taken initiative for Cross-Border Insolvency within the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (the Code) to provide a comprehensive legal framework.

Chief Economic Advisor Subramanian resigned

The Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) of India, Arvind Subramanian had resigned from the post and will return to the US because of “pressing family commitments”. The announcement was made by Mr Arun Jaitley. Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry in October 2014, for the period of three years. In 2017 his term was extended for a year.

Telangana to set up special turmeric cell

The Union Commerce Ministry along with Telangana government would set up a special cell for turmeric in Nizamabad. The proposed move would help in improving the production, quality, marketing and export of turmeric. India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric in the world. The export volume is of 80,400 tons worth 778.07 Crore.

Universities to hold convocation every year

The HRD Ministry has written to all universities mandating them to hold convocation every year after few universities were found skipping the event. “The event carries a huge significance for graduating students and is a moment of pride for their families,” officials said. Interestingly, Jawaharlal Nehru University recently held its second convocation, 46 years after its first convocation.

Universities to hold convocation every year

The HRD ministry has written to all universities asking them to hold convocations every year. It was found that some universities were not doing the exercise regularly due to either financial or time constraints. The Ministry has also asked all universities to send details of the last convocation held by them.

Inder Jit Singh became Secretary, Min of Coal

Dr. Inder Jit Singh, assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Coal at Shastri Bhawan office, New Delhi. Dr. Jit Singh took over the charge of Secretary which fell vacant after superannuation of Shri Susheel Kumar on April 30 this year. Dr. Jit Singh was posted as Secretary (Coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat, he is a Ph.D in Economics from Punjab University.

Swajal launched in 115 Aspirational Districts

Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation announced that Swajal Yojana will be launched in 115 Aspirational Districts of India. It will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexi-funds. Swajal is a community-owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply launched in 2018. Swajal pilot project was launched at Village Bhikampura, Karauli, Rajasthan.

Unlisted firms to dematerialise share

The government is planning to make it compulsory for unlisted companies to get their shares dematerialised by September 2018. Additionally, corporate affairs ministry has instructed all unlisted companies with paid-up capital of more than Rs 50 million to digitalise shares by June 2018. The aim is to make transactions in more than 70000 unlisted companies more transparent.

Cabinet approves Re positioning of NEC

Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for the nomination of the Union Home Minister as ex-officio Chairman of North Eastern Council (NEC) NEC is a statutory body with Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight North Eastern States as its Member. NEC implements various projects through the State and Central agencies.

2 women battalions to be raised in J&K

To enhance the representation of women in the State Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs has approved raising two women Battalions for Jammu & Kashmir Police. One battalion each would be raised for Jammu region and Kashmir region. 60% of posts would be kept reserved for women of 10 border districts namely, Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Kargil and Leh.

10 new Swachh Places under Swachh Bharat

Ten new iconic sites have been taken up under Phase III of the flagship project Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Places are: RaghavendraSwamy Temple, Hazardwari Palace, Brahma Sarovar Temple, VidurKuti, Mana village, Pangong Lake, Nagvasuki Temple, ImaKeithal/market, Sabarimala Temple and Kanvashram. The project is under Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Indian Railways launched ‘Rail MADAD’ App

In a bid to ease the travelling experience of the passengers Ministry of Railways launched Rail MADAD mobile app. Rail MADAD (Mobile Application for Desired Assistance During travel) registers a complaint with minimum inputs from passenger and issues unique ID instantly Rail MADAD also displays various helpline numbers (eg. Security, Child helpline etc) and provides direct calling facility.

Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018

The Ministry of HRD along with AICTE, Persistent Systems, i4C and IIT Kharagpur is all set to host the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon 2018, Hardware edition from Jun 18-22, 2018. The Smart India Hackathon 2018 is in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Hardware edition is the first of its kind innovative initiative to provide a national platform to young technical minds of India.

Railways launch ‘Menu On Rails’ App

The Ministry of Railways launched a new app called ‘Menu On Rails’ through which passengers can see meals on offer onboard trains. The ‘Menu on Rails’ is developed by IRCTC for creating awareness about the food items served to passengers on their rail journey. At present, for mail and express trains, food items are covered in four categories namely beverages, breakfast, meals and a-la-carte.

Mauritius to host global Hindi meet

The upcoming 11th World Hindi Conference in Mauritius is likely to produce directives to increase the popularity of Hindi globally. The World Hindi Conference is a major event organised every three years by the External Affairs Ministry. The World Hindi Secretariat (WHS) supported by India is located in Mauritius.

Govt to showcase mineral blocks

The mines ministry in July will showcase mineral blocks to be auctioned in the current financial year to attract potential investors. The minister of mines has decided to organise 4th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals for showcasing blocks which will be auctioned by the states. The Centre has asked the states to give representations for showcasing blocks that would be auctioned.

Min of Water Resources accepts major projects

The Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has accepted two major irrigation/multipurpose projects and four flood management schemes/master plans. The Kaleshwaram Project of Telangana and The Upper Pravara (Nilwande-II) Project of Maharashtra are two projects. The Advisory Committee met in Central Water Commission, New Delhi.

WB approves 6,000 crore Atal Bhujal Yojana

The World Bank has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23. The scheme aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.

Prasar Bharati signs MoU with I&B Ministry

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Prasar Bharati, which runs Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), have inked an MoU required for the release of financial allocation. The MoU was signed in the last week of May. Autonomous bodies getting grants-in-aid from the government are required to sign a MoU with the ministry concerned for the release of the financial allocations.

Fortified rice to be distributed through PDS

Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan announced that his Ministry will be distributing fortified rice through the public distribution system. He once again promised that the prices of grains supplied through the PDS would not be increased till June 2019. Fortified foods are foods to which extra nutrients have been added. Examples – vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin D, folic acid, iodine & iron.

NBFC for food processing sector

Food Processing Ministry will soon create its new financial institution which will exclusively fund food processing projects and create capacity building in the field of risk assessment and lending to food processing sector. The Agro-Processing Financial Institution will be a non-banking financial institution. The government is likely to hold a minority stake in this NBFC.

Ban proposed on obscene depiction of women

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed to ban obscene depiction of women on the Internet and through SMS/MMS by amending the Indecent Representation of Women Act, 1986. The Ministry has also suggested that stricter punishments be awarded for such crimes. It has also proposed setting up a Central authority under the National Commission of Women.

KKA being implemented in 25 villages

The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan (KKA) from 1st June 2018 till 31st July 2018. The Abhiyan will aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes. The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational Districts.

Ministries of MSME and Ayush Sign MoU

Ministry of MSME and Ministry of AYUSH signed a MoU. The MoU will create synergies through the institutions and schemes of both ministries for the development of AYUSH enterprises in the country. The objective of this partnership is to position India as a world leader in “Holistic Healthcare”.

Funds for special courts to try lawmakers

The Centre has released a fresh tranche of funds for 11 states to run special courts to try the over 1,500 cases related to lawmakers. The Department of Justice in the Law Ministry has released the funds. Last November, the Supreme Court had directed the government to come up with a scheme to set up 12 special courts to try 1,581 criminal cases pending against elected MPs and MLAs.

Government introduces new scheme SevaBhojYojna

The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has introduced a new scheme called ‘SevaBhojYojna’. The scheme envisages to reimburse the CGST and IGST on purchase of raw items which go into preparation of food offered free of cost by religious institutions. The objective of the scheme is to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food free of cost.

Govt approves construction of 1.5 lakh houses

The Centre has approved construction of 1.5 lakh houses for urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). The approval was given in the 34th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee. Under the PMAY(U), the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry targets construction of 1.2 crore houses for urban poor by 2022.

Railways Organizes Workshop ‘Mission Raftar’

Ministry of Railways conducted a one day workshop “Mission Raftaar” aimed at raising the average speed of freight trains and coaching trains in New Delhi. Issues such as punctuality, rolling stock, removing bottlenecks in terms of traffic, elimination of unmanned level crossings were discussed at the workshop. Mission Raftaar’ aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains.

‘Gaj Yatra’ campaign launched in Meghalaya

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and the Wildlife Trust of India rolled out the ‘Gaj Yatra’ from Tura, Meghalaya. It aims to raise awareness about the shrinking space for India’s wild elephants & the importance of securing elephant corridors. The event involves taking an elephant mascot across districts frequented by jumbo herds for generating awareness among the people.

MHA creates new division for women safety

Ministry of Home Affairs has created a new division to deal with all issues of women safety in coordination with relevant ministries, departments and state governments. Punya Srivastava has been appointed as the Joint Secretary to head this division. The division will deal with all schemes under NIRBHAYA fund and Crimes against women, SCs & STs, children & elderly persons among others.

EPF interest rate hits 5-year low at 8.55%

The government has notified 8.55% interest rate on EPF for 2017-18, lowest in 5 years since the 2012-13 fiscal. Employees’ Provident Fund is a mandatory contribution from the salary of an individual that every company which has more than 20 employees has to deduct. EPF accounts are overseen by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, which is under the Ministry of Labour & Employment.

Government reconstituted the FSDC

Government has reconstituted the Financial Stability and Development Council to include secretaries from the revenue department as well as Ministry of IT. FSDC was set up in 2010 by the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The council comprises RBI Governor, SEBI Chairman, finance secretary, and secretaries in the departments of Economic Affairs, Financial Services and Corporate Affairs.

Amit Khare appointed as new I&B secretary

Senior bureaucrat Amit Khare has been appointed as the new Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Khare, a 1985-batch IAS officer, is at present serving in his cadre state Jharkhand. He had in June 1996 reportedly exposed the multi-crore fodder scam, involving the then Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad. He will take over the charge from incumbent NK Sinha.

AYUSH to be adopted as a word

Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the acronym “AYUSH” as a word, both in English & Hindi languages, for scientific and technical purposes. AYUSH became popular as the acronym for 5 traditional systems of medicine – Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. CSTT adopted the acronym as a word based on a proposal of the Ministry of AYUSH

Govt. creates DG for trade remedies

Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification for a unified Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR). DGTR will be the apex national authority for all trade remedial measures including anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures. It will also provide trade defence support to domestic industry and to exporters in trade remedy investigations instituted by other countries.

Centre launches clean-up drive for beaches

The Union Environment Ministry has launched a drive aimed at cleaning 24 beaches and water bodies as well as 24 polluted river stretches in the run-up to the World Environment Day on June 5. The theme of the World Environment Day, to be hosted by India this year, is ‘Beat plastic pollution’. The Ministry has formed 19 teams to implement the campaign.

Yudhvir Malik got extra charge of NHAI chief

Yudhvir Singh Malik, the Secretary of Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways, has been given additional charge of the post of NHAI chairman.Deepak Kumar, the chairman of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), was sent back to his cadre state Bihar before completion of his tenure. Kumar, a 1984 IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had taken over as the NHAI chief on June 28 last year.

BRO built a road from India’s border to China

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has created history by establishing a road link to India’s border with China beyond Limeking and along the Tama Chung Chung-Taksing Axis recently. The road from Limeking now connects TCC to Taksing, covering a distance of approximately 80 kilometers. BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas. It comes under the Ministry of Defence.

Record production of Foodgrain in 2017-2018

17 : Aided by a normal monsoon last year, India’s production of foodgrains touched a record 279.5 million tonnes in 2017-18. This was estimated in the third advance estimate of crop production released by the Agriculture Ministry on 16th May. The higher year-on-year food production is due to a larger harvest of rice and a record crop of pulses.

Rathore gets independent charge of MIB

Govt has assigned Information & Broadcasting portfolio to Rajyavardhan Rathore in place of Smriti Irani. He has been given the independent charge of the Ministry. Earlier, he was the MoS of I&B Ministry. Smriti Irani will now only hold the portfolio of Minister of Textiles. I&B Ministry was at the center of a controversy over 50 recipients of National Film Awards skipping the award ceremony

Environment Ministry launched GSDP

The Union Environment Ministry launched its full-fledged Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) that aims to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the country through 30 courses by 2021. Environment minister Harsh Vardhan also unveiled a related mobile app (GSDP-ENVIS). The GSDP was launched last year as a pilot project in 10 districts of the country.

Government unveiled Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy. The objective of the policy is to provide a framework for the promotion of large grid-connected wind-solar PV hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. It also aims at reducing the variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability.

Book released by Chief of Army Staff

Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff has released the book ‘Across the Bench – Insight into the Indian Military Judicial System’. The book is written by Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan, former Army Commander and Member ‘A’, Armed Forces Tribunal, Lucknow Bench. The book deals with military judicial system vis-a-vis command & management issues within the military establishments.

DNA data banks to be set up

DNA databanks will be set up at the national and state level to store profiles, according to a draft bill on DNA technology being finalised by the Law Ministry. The draft bill also states that all DNA data including DNA profiles, DNA samples, and records, will only be used for identification of the person. The Department of Biotechnology was consulted by the law panel to draft the bill.

ITBP to get more men and material

The Union government has decided to boost the manpower and infrastructure of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).Nine new battalions, a strategic sector headquarters on the front, a dozen patrol camps and 47 new border outposts along the China border over the next few years will be created. The Ministry of Home Affairs has given its in-principle approval.

Govt set to expand Buddhist tourism circuit

The government will expand the ‘Buddhist Circuit’ will now be expanded to 21 other states. The Ministry of Tourism has identified stupas and viharas in these states, around which small intra-state Buddhist zones will be developed.Earlier envisaged by the government as mainly comprising seven major Buddhist pilgrimage sites, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar only.

Revision of WPI base year to 2017-18

The commerce and industry ministry has started the exercise to revise base year to 2017-18 for computation of wholesale inflation with a view to present a more realistic picture of the price situation. In May 2017, the government revised the base year for WPI-based inflation to 2011-12. The new index, with 2017-18, is expected to have new items.

I&B ministry to set up web portal

The information and broadcasting ministry will set up a dedicated web portal to disseminate information on filming facilities available in the country. The portal will also provide an overview of such locations. Applications for shooting permission will be accepted through the site. The portal will allow online payments and issuing permissions.

Centre to double credit guarantee to MSMEs

The Union Government announced that it would double the credit guarantee for 2018-19 under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE). This will tackle the trade finance woes of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises & Small Industries Development Bank of India has established CGTMSE.

Pawan Agarwal gets extension as CEO of FSSAI

Pawan Kumar Agarwal has been given three months extension as the Chief Executive Officer of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Pawan Kumar Agarwal is a 1985-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre and has served as Joint Secretary of Ministry of Skill Development and Entre-preneurship. He was appointed as the CEO of the FSSAI in December 2015.

Asia Media Summit to be hosted by India

The 15th Asia Media Summit (AMS) 2018 is being hosted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India from 10th-12th May 2018 in New Delhi. The AMS 2018, an annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) Kuala Lumpur, is a prestigious summit in the Asia Pacific Region. The theme of the summit is “Telling Our Stories – Asia and More”.

Government to expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

Tribal Affairs Ministry will expand Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in Tribal Districts across the country. The aim of the establishment of these Kendras is to provide skill upgradation and capacity building training to increase the incomes of tribals. Van Dhan Vikas Kendra was launched at Bijapur, Chattisgarh on 14th April 2018 for training, providing equipment and tools for primary level processing

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to become biennial

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will now be celebrated every alternate year & a series of sessions will be held before the event to increase the interests of Indians living within & outside the country. Theme-based sessions will be conducted in which Ministry of External Affairs will invite 12 people including both nationals & NRIs. 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi in Jan 2019.

PGCIL Inks Pact With Power Ministry

State-run Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) has inked a pact with the Ministry of Power to incur capital expenditure of Rs.25,000 crore for the current fiscal. The MoU includes various targets to be achieved by Powergrid during 2018-19. Other targets in the MoU inter-alia include parameters related to human resources, project management, research & development.

HRD announces 75 NRC for teachers

Human Resource Development Ministry has launched a major and unique initiative of online professional development of 1.5 million higher education faculty using the Massive Open Online Courses platform SWAYAM. In the 1st phase, 75 discipline-specific National Resource Centres have been identified. NRC are tasked to prepare online training material with a focus on new and emerging trends.

First meet of Defence Planning Committee

The new Defence Planning Committee (DPC) met for the first time under the chairmanship of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The DPC will draft National Security Strategy (NSS) and other doctrines as well as ushering reforms in the country’s higher defence management and planning. The Chief of Integrated Staff in the Ministry of Defence will be the member secretary of DPC.

4th Regional Conference of AIIB

4 : The 4th Regional Conference of AIIB on Futuristic, Resilient and Digital Infrastructure was organised in Bengaluru on May 3. It was organised by the Ministry of Finance, Confederation of Indian Industry, and Research and Information System for Developing Countries. The 2-day Conference is a lead-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Env ministry to have resource efficiency cell

The Environment Ministry signed an MoU with TERI for setting up a resource efficiency cell. The MoU to set up the cell at the ministry aims to provide mainstream resource efficiency in public policy. An industry consortium on ‘Waste-Proofing the Future’ to identify the institutional and policy interventions needed to sustainably manage waste was also launched at the event.

Pakyong to become 100th functional airport

The Pakyong airport in Sikkim is set to become the 100th operational airport in the country when it will be commissioned in June. Sikkim was the only state without an airport in the country. SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong in Sikkim from Kolkata under the Civil Aviation Ministry’s Regional Connectivity Scheme.

Dalmia group adopts Gandikota fort in Andhra

Dalmia Bharat Limited has also ‘adopted’ Gandikota Fort in Andhra Pradesh under “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan”. “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), states and union territories. Under the contract, the company will focus on providing basic amenities at the fort.

Swachh Bharat Summer Internship commenced

The Swachh Bharat Summer Internship commenced from 1st May. The programme aims to engage millions of youngsters across the country, to encourage them to contribute to the Swachh Bharat Mission. Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched a novel and first of its kind initiative.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to held in Varanasi

The next Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in the holy city of Varanasi from January 21 to 23, 2019.The theme of the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India”. The Ministry of External Affairs will also organize four Know India Programmes and online “Bharat Ko Jaaniye Quiz”.

AAI inked MoU with Civil Aviation Ministry

The Airports Authority of India has signed its Annual Performance Contract for the year 2018-19 with Ministry of Civil Aviation.The MoU specifies various parameters and targets to be performed by AAI during the year. The parameters and targets include all the major areas of AAI i.e. finance, capacity utilization, research and development, project implementation, HR and cargo etc.

All protected areas declared plastic free zone

The environment ministry has banned plastics in all protected areas around the country, thus declaring them “plastic free zones”.The environment ministry has directed states and Union territories to organize awareness campaigns to sensitize people about the issue. This comes ahead of the World Environment Day which is being hosted by India this year.

Expert panel to probe Film Archive issues

The I&B ministry has constituted a 5 member expert committee to look into the condition of films as well as the storage vaults at the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).The committee will also suggest ways and means to preserve the films in a better manner. The committee comprises filmmakers Shaji N Karun, Ketan Mehta, Piyush Shah and former NFAI director K S Sasidharan.

UNCCD workshop on land degradation

A four-day Asia Pacific Regional Workshop of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was held in New Delhi.The workshop was jointly held jointly hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and UNCCD Secretariat. Its objective was to discuss on how to build the capacity of the Asia-Pacific Region to monitor and report on land degradation

Nod for procurement of NAG missile

The Defence Ministry approved military procurement worth Rs. 3,687 crore, which includes anti-tank guided missile NAG for the Army and long-range guns for the Navy.The proposals were cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The DAC also approved the procurement of thirteen 127 mm caliber guns for the Navy.

RSM 2018 to be celebrated in Uttarakhand

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2018 will be organised by Ministry of Culture in Tehri, Uttarakhand under the Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat. It is the 19th edition & will be organised from May 25-27 2018, with its important thrust being presenting uniqueness & rich diversity of Indian culture Tehri Lake Festival will be a part of RSM 2018, where Uttarakhand Tourism organizes water sports for people.

HRD Ministry launches Unnat Bharat Abhiyan-2

Human Resource Development Ministry launched the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan-2 in New Delhi.Under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, students from 750 higher educational institutions from across the country will adopt villages and visit them. Under the scheme, the institutions have been selected on a Challenge Mode and has been extended to 750 reputed Higher Educational Institutes.

Dalmia Bharat Adopts Red Fort, Delhi

Dalmia Bharat Limited has signed a MoU with Ministry of Tourism for adoption of Red Fort monument under the “Adopt a Heritage” project.The adoption will enable to construct, landscape, illuminate and maintain activities related to provision and development of tourist amenities. The Adopt a Heritage Scheme was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind on World Tourism Day on 27th September 2017

New system to measure air quality

India is tying up with the United States and Finland to develop a pollution-forecast system.The system will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at a greater resolution than what is possible now.The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be coordinating this exercise and the plan is to have a system in place by winter.

SAIL ties-up with AAI under UDAN

SAIL and AAI have signed an MoU on utilisation of airstrips under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN.SAIL have airstrips at its Rourkela (Odisha), Bokaro (Jharkhand) and Burnpur (West Bengal) steel plants. AAI will operate and manage airport operations for Burnpur, Rourkela and Bokaro airport on behalf for SAIL. The UDAN scheme has been launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Panchayati Raj Day observed on 24th April

National Panchayati Raj Day (National Local Self-Government day) is celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually. Then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first National Panchayati Raj Day in 2010. The PM will launch Rashtriya Gramin Swaraj Abhiyan and address Panchayati Raj representatives across the country, from Mandla, Madhya Pradesh.