Fugitive offenders Bill passed

Fugitive offenders Bill passed
The Lok Sabha passed the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill that replaces the Ordinance by the same name promulgated by the President in April. The Bill empowers courts to direct the govt to confiscate all the assets belonging to a fugitive economic offender. A Fugitive Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued & who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.

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.

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.

The CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos.
Continuation of scholarships for minorities The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal for Continuation of Pre-Matric, Post Matric and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Schemes for the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities. The 6 notified minority communities are Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi. These Schemes shall be implemented through the National Scholarship Portal.

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.

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.

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.

EC launches Mobile App “cVIGIL”

Election Commission has launched a mobile application named ‘cVigil’ for citizens to share proof of malpractices by political parties, their candidates and activists. The application facilitates sharing of geo-tagged photographic and video evidence without disclosing the sender’s identity. The app will be operational only in election-bound states where dates of polling have been announced.

Govt notifies Electoral Bond Scheme 2018

Govt has recently notified Electoral Bonds, which may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. Political Parties registered under Section 29A of Representation of People Act, 1951 shall be eligible to receive Electoral Bonds. Electoral Bonds shall be valid for 15 days from the date of issue & no payment shall be made after the expiry date.

India, Italy agreed to revitalise ties

India and Italy agreed to boost cooperation in counter-terrorism and cybersecurity as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met the top Italian leadership and discussed steps to revitalise bilateral ties. It was the first major political exchange between the two countries. Ms. Swaraj is there on the first leg of her seven-day tour of four European countries.

U.S. extradites Panama ex-President Martinelli

12 : Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli returned home to face political espionage and embezzlement charges after being extradited from the United States. He had been jailed in Miami since his arrest at his home in June 2017. The 66-year-old Martinelli, who was Panama’s president from 2009 to 2014, is accused of embezzlement and illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications

App to help voters to share malpractice proof

Election Commission will launch multi-lingual mobile application called “Model Code of Conduct Violation Reporting App” ahead of the 2019 elections. It aims to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates & activists directly with the electoral body. It was made available for the 1st time in Bengaluru in the run-up to the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls.

Netherlands PM to visit India

Prime Minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte will visit India on May 24 & 25 with an aim to boost the economic and political cooperation between the 2 countries. It will be Rutte’s second visit to India since June 2015 but the first after being re-elected as Prime Minister in 2017. Netherlands is the 5th largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of $23 billion from 2000 to Dec 2017.

First South Asian to be elected in Oregon

Indian American Susheela Jayapal has been elected as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Multnomah County in Oregon, USA. With this Susheela becomes first South Asian to be elected in Oregon. Susheela, a political newcomer, will represent North and Northeast Portland commissioner’s seat.

Venkaiah Naidu leaves to South America

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has left for a five-day visit to South America’s Guatemala, Peru and Panama. This will be Vice President’s first overseas visit after assuming the office. A range of bilateral issues including the strengthening of institutional mechanisms for political interactions, multilateral matters, trade & investments are expected to be discussed during the visit.

EU, UN to co-host conference on Syria aid

The EU and the UN will co-chair a two-day international conference in Brussels.The aim of the conference is to pump financial aid for Syrians and garner political support for UN-led intra-Syrian talks. The conference will bring together participants from more than 85 countries and organisations at the ministerial level.It is the second confernce of its kind since 2017.

India, Eritrea to sign MoU

To facilitate a structured dialogue for strengthening bilateral cooperation among themselves, India & Eritrea will sign a MoU on Foreign Office Consultations. India & Eritrea enjoy cordial relations in political, commercial, education and other areas. Over the years, India has provided Eritrea with capacity building assistance in legislative drafting, technical scholarships & food aid.

Former US First Lady Barbara Bush died

Barbara Bush, the former US first lady and literacy campaigner, died at the age of 92.She was the matriarchal figure of a political dynasty that included two presidents – her husband George HW Bush and son George W Bush. As the first lady, from 1989 to 1993, she embraced the cause of universal literacy and founded a foundation for family literacy.

DiCarlo becomes 1st female UN political chief

American diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo become the first woman to head UN political affairs. DiCarlo will replace Jeffrey Feltman, who held the post of Under-Secretary-General for political affairs since 2012. DiCarlo also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and director for United Nations.

Lingayats community gets minority status

The Karnataka Government declared minority status to the Lingayats community. This comes days after the CM Siddaramaiah-led government accepted the suggestions of Nagamohan Das committee to grant a separate religion status to the Lingayats community. The decision was critised by the Veerashaiva Lingayat Samanvaya Samiti and termed as politically motivated move.

7th India-Egypt Joint Commission Meeting

The 7th India-Egypt Joint Commission Meeting was held in New Delhi, on 23rd March 2018. The meeting was led by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. Both the sides reviewed the progress in the areas of political, trade & investment, S&T, cybersecurity, capacity building, security, space and culture.

World Tuberculosis Day- 24 March

World TB Day is celebrated every year on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis. The theme of World TB Day 2018 is ?Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world?. World TB Day provides the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disease and mobilize political and social commitment for accelerate progress to end TB.

Vienna is world?s most liveable city

Austria‘s capital Vienna once again defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world in an annual survey from consulting firm Mercer. Vienna is followed by Switzerland‘s Zurich and then New Zealand‘s Auckland and Germany‘s Munich in joint third. The criteria to rank the cities were political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

Foreign poll funding won’t be scrutinised

The Lok Sabha has passed a bill that will exempt political parties from the scrutiny of funds they have received from abroad since 1976. Through Finance Bill 2016 passed earlier, the government had amended the FCRA to make it easier for parties to accept foreign funds. The Representation of People‘s Act bars political parties from accepting foreign funds.

Begum Hamida pioneer in women empowerment dies

13 : Begum Hamida Habibullah, a former Rajya Sabha member and a pioneer in women empowerment died on 13th March. Ms Habibullah was known for working on women issues. She was the founder of ‘Self Employed Women‘s Association’, which promoted self-employment for women and the art of Lucknow‘s famous ‘Chikankari’. She joined politics in 1965 and went on to become an MLA from UP‘s Barabanki District.

Maldives approved anti-defection bill

The Maldives Parliament has approved the anti-defection bill with retrospective effect amidst the boycott by opposition MPs. According to the bill, MPs elected on political party tickets will lose their seat if they leave their party, get expelled, or switch parties. The bill will give powers to the election commission to unseat MPs in case of defections.

Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi re-elected

Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi has been re-elected as general secretary of RSS for a 4th term. Joshi, who has been holding the post since 2009, will now continue in the position till 2021. He will be the 2nd Sarkaryawah of RSS to serve such a long stint after Seshadri who had held the post from 1987 to 2000. Sangh‘s general secretary is its executive head who looks after day-to-day affairs.

Xi Jinping to become China?s leader-for-life

China‘s President Xi Jinping is all set to become China‘s leader-for-life as the country‘s parliament prepares to amend Constitution to remove 2 term limit for the president. He is currently in his 2nd five-year term & due to retire in 2023 under the current 2 term system. Xi is regarded as the most powerful leader of China after Mao as he held the posts of head of CPC, military & Presidency

CISF to offer consultancy to 5-star hotels

11 : CISF has decided to offer security consultancy to 5-star hotels so that they can be prepared to deal with 26/11 type terror attacks. Central paramilitary force which is celebrating its 49th raising day has already prepared a blueprint in this regard. It soon plans to write to hotels proposing to render services of its special unit & experts and provide specific consultancy on security issues

International Women/s Day, 2018

International Women‘s Day is dedicated to celebrating womanhood, their social, political, cultural, economic achievements and their significant contributions to society. The day also emphasises the importance of gender equality. Before the UN adopted it in 1977, the day was mostly celebrated in socialist and Communist countries. This year, the theme is #PressforProgress.

Neiphiu Rio to be new Nagaland CM

Senior NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio was appointed the new chief minister of Nagaland by Governor P B Acharya. The governor said he had received letters of support in Rio‘s favour from 12 legislators of the BJP, one letter from the JD(U) and another from an Independent MLA, besides the 18 legislatures of the NDPP. The new ministry will be sworn in on March 8.

Egypt court upholds Red Sea islands transfer

Egypt‘s top court has upheld a deal to transfer 2 Red Sea islands “Tiran & Sanafir” to Saudi Arabia. Court ruled that all previous court verdicts in the case are annulled. It also turned down a second case over the issue filed by the govt. Situated between the 2 countries, islands of Tiran & Sanafir are largely unoccupied but they lie in a strategically important & politically sensitive area.

Shatrughan won lifetime achievement award

Shatrughan Sinha has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the fields of arts and politics. He was awarded at a ceremony in the UK‘s Parliament complex in London. The annual =Political and Public Life Awards‘, now in its 12th year, recognize individuals who have made a significant impact on public life or made a difference in their local communities.

Afghanistan offers to recognise Taliban as PG

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani offered to recognise Taliban as a legitimate political group in order to end the over 16-year-long war. ?We are making this offer without preconditions, to lead to a peace agreement,? Ghani said. He also proposed a ceasefire and the release of Taliban-linked prisoners along with fresh elections and a constitutional review.

Baichung Bhutia quits TMC

Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia has announced his resignation from Trinamool Congress.The former striker quit professional football in 2011 and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in 2013 to give politics a shot. In recent times, he went against the party stand on Gorkhaland and has expressed his support for a separate statehood for the region.

CPC clears the decks for third term for Xi

China cleared the decks for President Xi Jinping’s 3rd consecutive term in office, ahead of a crucial session of parliament next month.Communist Party of China proposed that the President and the Vice-President will not be constitutionally restricted to 2 consecutive terms in office.This, in effect, means that Mr. Xi, who is serving his 2nd consecutive 5-year term, can continue beyond 2023

Ranil takes over Law Ministry in reshuffle

In the cabinet reshuffle of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took over the key Law and Order Ministry.He replaced his close aide and party colleague Sagala Ratnayaka. Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is a Sri Lankan politician who is the 7th and current President of Sri Lanka, since 2015.

Kamal Haasan launches political party

Actor Kamal Haasan launched his political party ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’ and hoisted a flag carrying the party’s symbol in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai.Haasan, who has embarked on a statewide tour, visited former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s residence and addressed three public meetings earlier in the day. He said that he was no longer a cinema star.

Maldives extends State of Emergency

Maldives Parliament has approved extension of State of Emergency by 30 days, a day after President Yameen sought extension citing threat to national security. Opposition leaders boycotted, calling the extension illegal & unconstitutional Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a SC order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders

PM Modi opens ‘biggest party office in world’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BJP’s new headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, spread over 1.70 lakh square feet.According to the BJP Chief, the building is bigger than the office of any political party in the world. The new headquarters is fitted with the latest communication technologies and has a spacious social media office.

Facebook to verify ads with postcards

Facebook will use postcards sent through US mail in an attempt to prevent foreign meddling in US elections in the future.FB will send postcards to buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the US, the recipient would then have to enter a code to continue buying the ad. The plan was presented a day after Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians with interfering in 2016 US presidential election

K P Sharma Oli becomes Nepal PM

The Communist Party of Nepal (UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli has become new Prime Minister of Nepal.This is the second time Mr. Oli has become the prime minister. He had served as prime minister from October 2015 to August 2016. The formation of new government after historic elections is expected to begin a new era of political stability in the Himalayan nation.

Rice mill in Palakkad turns into MGR memorial

One of the first modern rice mills to come up in Kerala’s Palakkad district, Bhama Rice Mill of Vadavannur village, is being converted into a memorial for iconic Tamil politician and matinee idol M.G. Ramachandran.His childhood home is located in the same village. The memorial will also serve as a ‘village heritage centre’. It is named as the heritage centre MAGORA.

Andhra’s Chandrababu is richest CM in India

Andhra Pradesh’s Chandrababu Naidu is the richest Chief Minister in India with declared assets worth over ?177 crore, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) stated.Naidu is followed by Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu with assets worth over ?129 crore and Punjab’s Amarinder Singh with ?48 crore. Tripura’s Manik Sarkar with ?26 lakh is the CM with lowest declared assets.

BoB to exit South Africa after controversies

Bank of Baroda will reportedly exit the South African market amid allegations that politically connected Gupta family used its network for illicit transactions.Authorities alleged that the Gupta family used the bank to transfer large sums of illegal money and influence President Jacob Zuma. Bank of Baroda was the last lender in South Africa that offered services to Guptas’ companies.

Letter ended Nagaland poll impasse

A letter written by the Centre’s interlocutor R.N. Ravi to the Naga groups, including the NSCN (Isak-Muivah), on Feb 3 helped to end the impasse over the Nagaland Assembly elections.Civil society groups and the NSCN(I-M) called a boycott of the elections till a political solution was reached. Mr. Ravi assured the groups that the new Assembly would not come in the way of the final agreement.

PM Narendra Modi in Palestine

PM Narendra Modi’s first engagement after arriving in Ramallah was to lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of Late President Yasser Arafat.Modi, who is on his maiden trip to Palestine, will be received by President Mahmoud Abbas.Prior to Modi, former President Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Palestine in October 2015 and January 2016 respectively.

India rejects meeting with Maldives

India has rejected a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Maldives Mohamed Asim.As the crisis there reached its peak, the Maldivian government under President Yameen has taken a stance to send emissaries to “friendly nation”.Apart from India, America and the European Union have all expressed serious concern over the present situation in Maldives.

Maldives President declares emergency

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom declared a 15-day state of emergency amid the ongoing political crisis in the country.The move would give sweeping powers to security forces to arrest and detain suspects.Defying the country’s Supreme Court, the Maldives government had refused to release political prisoners and accused the court of attempting to impeach the President.

Maldives’ Chief Justice arrested

Maldives police has arrested the country’s Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed along with Supreme Court judge Ali Hameed.It came after President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom declared a 15-day state of emergency on Monday.The political crisis began after the Maldives government refused to obey a court order to release political prisoners and accused the court of attempting to impeach the President.

Mughal Gardens to open for public from Feb 6

The Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Mughal Gardens will be open to public from February 6 to March 9 between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm after President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ on Monday.Its major attraction will be 10,000 Tulips imported from the Netherlands.The garden will be open on March 9 exclusively for differently-abled persons and defence personnel.

India slips to 42nd place on EIU Index

1 : India has slipped to 42nd place on Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Global Democracy Index.India has moved down from 32nd place last year and remains “flawed democracies”.Index ranks 165 independent states and 2 territories on the basis of 5 categories: electoral process & pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

Dharmasena Pathiraja died

Renowned Sri Lankan filmmaker Dharmasena Pathiraja, passed away.Hailing from Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, the filmmaker is credited with making a critical intervention in Sinhala cinema, with themes that served as social commentaries on the prevailing socio-economic and political realities. He also taught film studies in various Sri Lankan universities.

Miloš Zeman wins another term

Czech President Miloš Zeman has won a second 5 year term as head of state after beating his opponent Jirí Drahoš with a thin margin.Zeman, in 2013, became the first president of the country, which was formed only 2 decades ago, to be elected by the voters & not politicians. Overall, he is the third president of the country, which was formed following the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Romania to have first female PM

Viorica Dancila has been named as Romania’s first female PM following the sudden resignation of Mihai Tudose.Ms Dancila is Romania’s third prime minister in seven months. Ms Dancila, a member of the European Parliament, is regarded as an ally of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea. Dancila’s appointment comes after PSD forced their own PM to quit the job.

Turkey extends state of emergency

Turkish parliament has ratified a motion extending the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey for 3 months.This is the sixth time the state of emergency has been extended since a failed coup in summer 2016.Emergency powers have allowed the govt to rule through decrees, often by-passing parliament & to launch a crackdown against people suspected of links to coup-plotters.

India, Indonesia hold 1st sec. dialogue

India and Indonesia held their first security dialogue during which they agreed on operational cooperation in security and counter-terrorism.The dialogue was led by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs H Wiranto. Jakarta is Indonesia’s capital.

PIOs make a ‘mini-world Parliament’

India reached out to lawmakers of Indian origin spread across the world seeking support for its emerging status as a global power.The PIO Parliamentarian forum was planned last year during a conversation with PM Modi to connect the lawmakers of Indian origin with their ancestral land. A total of 141 lawmakers confirmed their attendance and 134 leaders made to this event in Delhi.

A. Sivanandan passes away

Sri Lanka-born British writer Ambalavaner Sivanandan, theorist of state racism and Black liberation politics and founding editor of Race & Class journal, passed away in London. He was 94.He is best known for his political essays and his novel When Memory Dies. Mr. Sivanandan was a writer who focussed on ‘racism that kills’ as opposed to ‘racism that discriminates’.

‘Electoral Bonds’ Scheme

The Centre unveiled the ‘Electoral Bonds’ scheme, which seeks to ensure the flow of clean money to political parties, without revealing the donors’ names.The electoral bonds will be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest-free banking instrument.The bonds can be purchased for any value in multiples of ` 1,000; ` 10,000; ` 1 lakh; ` 10 lakh; and Rs1 crore.

SEBI to have fourth whole-time members

The Finance Ministry has accepted markets regulator SEBI’s request to have four whole time members.It is a move which will help broaden the top leadership at the regulatory authority to faster discharge of duties.Currently, Sebi has two whole-time members — Madhabi Puri Buch and G Mahalingam — while Sanjeev Kaushik was appointed a whole-time member last month.

Rajinikanth to launch political party

Tamil Nadu Superstar Rajinikanth has announced his political debut. He will launch his own party which will contest for all 234 constituencies in next assembly polls in the state.He said the party will be launched ahead of Assembly elections at an appropriate time.

Jairam Thakur to be the CM of Himachal

Five-time legislator Jairam Thakur will be the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. The decision was taken after Prem Kumar Dhumal, whom BJP had named as its prospective Chief Minister before the elections pulled out of the race. Thakur is a veteran politician who served as Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister in Dhumal’s government from 2008 to 2012.

Gujjars, 4 Others get 1% Reservation

Rajasthan government announced 1% reservation within the 50% legal limit, for Gujjars and four other communities.The five communities that have been declared eligible for this reservation are: Gujjar, Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Rebari and Gadaria. These 5 communities were listed in the OBC category in 1994. The additional quota is given in the ‘More Backward Classes’ category.

Parliament passes companies amend. bill

A bill to amend the companies law to strengthen corporate governance standards, initiate strict action against defaulting companies was passed by Parliament.The Rajya Sabha passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by a voice vote. Certain classes of profitable companies are required to shell out at least 2 percent of their 3-year annual average net profit towards CSR.

End of war against IS in Iraq

Iraq’s PM, Abadi has declared victory in a 3 year war by Iraqi forces to expel Islamic State jihadist group.IS seized areas north & west of Baghdad in a lightning offensive in 2014. Iraq’s fightback was launched with backing of air campaign waged by US-led coalition, recapturing town after town from the clutches of the jihadists.
Iraq’s ally Iran already declared victory over IS last month.

NSG, CISF to handle VVIP security

Home Ministry has relieved paramilitary forces CRPF & ITBP from VVIP protection.Responsibility for the same has been given to CISF & NSG that are already in the job.Till now, CRPF was providing security to 75 VVIP’s under Z plus, Z, X, Y Plus & Y categories while ITBP was securing 17 such persons.NSG will continue to provide security to high risk protectees as decided from time to time.

Japan approves Akihito’s abdication

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has formally approved April 30, 2019, as the abdication date for Japanese Emperor Akihito, which will end the current Heisei era in its 31st year.After the abdication, Akihito’s elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.Japan’s parliament enacted a law in June to enable him to pass the throne onto the crown prince.

Saudi Prince Wins Person of the year

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been voted Time magazine readers’ Person of the Year.The famous poll which has been published on an annual basis for 90 years, awards a chosen person who has had the most influence over the news in last 12 months.Crown Prince Mohammed has racked up global headlines this year as he spearheads political and economic reform in Saudi Arabia.

Aus passes Marriage Equality Law

7 : Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.Australia, which changed the law in 2004 to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman, now becomes the 25th country to recognise same-sex marriage.Four members of the House of Representatives voted against the bill and some abstained.

Most Followed Indian On Twitter

PM Modi continues to be the most followed Indian on Twitter, increasing his follower base from 24.6 mn in 2016 to 37.5 mn this year.As per trends in 2017, PM Modi saw his follower base increasing by 52% to 37.5 mn making him the only politician in the Top 10 Most Followed Indian on Twitter list.The list also includes SRK, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan & Virat Kohli.

Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar disqualified

Rebel JD(U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar have been disqualified from the Rajya Sabha.The JD(U) had sought their disqualification on the grounds that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of its direction.Yadav was elected to the House last year and his term was scheduled to end in 2022 while Anwar’s term was to expire early next year.

1st death anniversary of J. Jayalalithaa

The first death anniversary of the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa is being observed in the state.Late Jayalalithaa has been hailed by many across the country as a towering leader with grit and a strong determination.She was a big name in the world of politics and also remained the unchallenged queen of Tamil cinema for nearly 30 years.

‘Populism’ Named Word of the Year

The word ‘populism’ has been announced as Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017.The dictionary defined populism as “political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want”.It said searches for ‘populism’ rose when Pope Francis made statements warning against its rising tide.

Mehbooba Mufti re-elected PDP president

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was re-elected as the president of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the next three years.She thanked party leaders for “reposting their trust and electing me as their president”.A law graduate, 57-year-old Mehbooba took the plunge into mainstream politics of the state in 1996 by joining the Congress, along with her father.

INSPIRE 2017 kicked off in Jaipur

First edition of the International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2017) begun in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It brings together various stakeholders to showcase best practices in the sector. It provides a platform to discuss energy efficiency policies, market transformation strategies, emerging technologies, delivery and business-model-driven transformations.

India, Greece sign agreement

India and Greece signed an air services agreement in New Delhi. The agreement was signed between Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. This air services agreement will allow Indian airlines to operate in Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion and accordingly Greek airlines will be able to start services to major Indian cities.

National Crisis Management Centre

India and Russia have entered into an agreement under which, EMERCOM of Russia would cooperate with India in the establishment of the National Crisis Management Centre in India. It’s objective is to handle disaster and other emergency situations. This cooperation was agreed during a meeting between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Russian Minister, Vladimir Puchkov in Moscow, Russia.

International Ambedkar Conclave

On 27th November 2017, President Kovind inaugurated the International Ambedkar Conclave. It was organised by the Forum of SC and ST Legislators and Parliamentarians. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that, Ambedkar had attained senior public positions and acclaim on the basis of his extraordinary educational achievements, despite facing conditions of deprivation and inequality.

Nirmala Sitharaman elected IDSA Prez

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been elected President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). IDSA was set up in 1965 by the Ministry of Defence as an autonomous think tank, and it is customary to have the Defence Minister as its President. The Minister chairs the Executive Council which governs the Institute.

N Sambasiva Rao appointed as A.P. DGP

Andhra Pradesh government appointed 1984-batch IPS officer N Sambasiva Rao as Andhra Pradesh DGP. N Sambasiva Rao has been holding the DGPs post as “full additional charge” since July 23, 2016, while his actual position was DGP (Coordination). Dinesh Kumar is Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh.

Zimbabwe’s president, Mugabe resigned

Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe with immediate effect after 37 years in power. The man who ruled with an autocrat’s grip for so many years finally caved to popular and political pressure hours after parliament launched proceedings to impeach him. He has ruled as an autocrat, prepared to sacrifice the economic well-being of 16 million people in order to remain in power.

Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Two-day 13th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting begun on November 20, 2017, in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar. The meeting was inaugurated by Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar. The meeting was held with an objective to boost cooperation between Asia and Europe in political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Representatives from 51 countries attended the meeting.

Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi died

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi. Dasmunsi was a popular leader with rich political and administrative experience. 72 year old Dasmunsi, who was in coma since 2008, passed away at a hospital.

Disrespecting national anthem punishable

China has made disrespecting the national anthem a criminal offence, punishable by up to three years in prison. According to the amendment passed, penalties include detention, imprisonment of up to three years and the deprivation of political rights. Such punishments previously applied to the desecration of the national flag and emblem in public.

Italy PM Paolo arrives in New Delhi

Prime Minister of Italy Paolo Gentiloni arrived in New Delhi on a two day visit to India. The visit coming after a gap of more than a decade, is aimed at strengthening the bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. The last visit of the Italian Prime Minister to India was in February 2007.

Committee to select RSTV’s editor

A five-member committee has been formed to select the candidate for the post of editor-in-chief of Rajya Sabha TV. This committee is headed by Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash. The post of RSTV’s editor-in-chief felt vacant when Gurdeep Singh Sappal resigned after Hamid Ansari’s term as vice-president came to an end in August 2017.

Lebanon passes first budget since 2005

Lebanon’s parliament has approved a government budget for the first time since 2005. For 12 years, political crises and wars have forced Lebanon’s state institutions to operate without a budget. The 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, plunged Lebanon into turmoil, dividing the country between supporters and enemies of Damascus.

Congress MLA Ram Singh Yadav passes away

Mr. Ram Singh Yadav, Congress MLA of Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh) passed away on 18th October 2017, after a sudden heart attack. He was also popularly known as “Dadaji” among his supporters and was also holding the post of Shivpuri District Congress president. He was elected from Kolaras vidhan sabha seat in the 2013 assembly elections in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh.

Pranab Mukherjee’s launched his new book

Pranab Mukherjee launched his new book “The Coalition Years”. The Coalition Years begins its journey in 1996 and explores the highs and lows that characterized sixteen years of one of the most tumultuous periods in the nation’s political history. It is an insightful account of the larger governance phenomenon in India.

Documentary on Arvind Kejriwal

A documentary on Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is being released. Titled as ‘An Insignificant Man’, the film will hit theatres on November 17. Directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vina Shukla, An Insignificant Man, is a non-fiction political thriller that chronicles the rise of Arvind Kejriwal from a social activist to the chief minister of Delhi.

EAC-PM to hold its first meeting

The first meeting of the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to the PM, will be held on Oct 11 at NITI Aayog. The Council has been set up with the approval of the PM on 26th September 2017 and is comprised of reputed economists and experts. The Council will address all issues of emergent importance, will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and formulate advice accordingly.

Rajesh Nath gets civilian honour

8 : Rajesh Nath, Managing Director of VDMA India, has been conferred the ‘Cross of the Order of Merit’, the highest civilian honour awarded by Germany. The award, also known as Federal Cross of Merit was instituted in 1951 and is Germany’s only honour that is awarded to both Germans and foreigners. It is given for achievements in the economic, social, political or intellectual realms.

Conference of SAARC Speakers

The 8th Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians is being held in Colombo. The three day conference which started on October 4, 2017 is lead by Sumitra Mahajan. She will speak on the topic Association of the SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, a platform for the Parliamentarians of South Asia to work together to reach the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.

Minority politician to lead major party

Sikh lawyer Jagmeet Singh has been elected as the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, becoming the first non-white politician to head a major political party in the country. He was elected on the 1st ballot to lead the party into 2019 election against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. He won the decisive 1st-ballot victory over 3 other candidates by receiving 53.6% of the vote.

Paper trail machines in all future polls

Election Commission has issued a formal direction to use VVPAT or paper trail machines in all future Lok Sabha & assembly elections. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with a symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home. Several parties have been pressing for the use of these machines to dispel doubts about EVM tampering.

India jumps to 14th rank

India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live & work in, says an HSBC survey. Driven by strong ratings across a range of economic & family measures, India shines in this year’s league table, moving up 12 places since 2016. 71% expats reported high levels of confidence in the economy, while 58% exuded optimism on political stability