FEBRUARY 2019-NATIONAL NEWS

Government Renames DIPP as Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

  • As The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with a mandate to deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others.
  • The newly-named department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will look into matters related to promotion of internal trade, including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees, facilitating ease of doing business and start-ups.
  • The current Minister is Suresh Prabhu while the top bureaucrat is Secretary Ramesh Abhishek.

PM Modi’s visit to Surat

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Surat and Dandi in Gujarat.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi Village which is situated on Arabian Sea coast in South Gujarat.

Key points:

  • The Statue of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who marched with Mahatma Gandhi in the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 were also unveiled by Narendra Modi.
  • A foundation stone for the extension of Terminal building of Surat Airport was laid by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during his one day visit to Surat, Gujarat.
  • As per a Global economic Research report prepared by Oxford Economics, Surat will be world’s fastest growing city in the 2019-2035 periods.
  • The report also stated that all top 10 fastest growing cities will be from India.
  • Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also announced that 50 new airports are coming on the aviation map of India and numbers of passport issuing officers have been increase from 40 to 200 in the last four years.
  • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated a state of art super specialty Hospital named “Rasilaben Sevantilal Shah Venus Hospital” in Surat, Gujarat.
  • Rasilaben Sevantilal Shah Venus Hospital will also serve people under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with young professionals in a town-hall programme at the “New India Youth Conclave” during his day long visit to Surat, Gujarat.

Govt approves construction of 4 Lakh houses under PMAYU

  • Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry Hardeep singh Puri approves construction of 4 lakh houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
  • It makes the total numbers of houses to about 71.5 lakh.

Key Points:

  • PMAY(U) is a scheme launched by PM Narendra Modi in June 2015 to ensure Housing for all by 2022.
  • It is on its way of achieving the target of one crore homes for urban area in the Country.

Implementation models under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) proposes three models through which the states can implement the scheme.
  • The models are insurance model, trust-based model and hybrid model.

Key Points:

  • In insurance model the premiums are paid to the insurance company which administers and pay the claim.
  • In trust based model each state forms its own trust to manage the scheme and claims will be disbursed from a corpus created from central and state government contributions.
  • In hybrid model a part of the claim comes under the insurance model while the balance gets processed under the trust.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurates new campus of National Museum Institute at Noida

  • Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated new Campus of the National Museum Institute in Noida.
  • This institute was formed with the total cost of Rs. 90.40 crore in a span of four years.

BESAFE’s 3rd Annual Conference on ‘Measurable impacts of behavioural based safety implementation in Indian Industry’ held in New Delhi

  • The Forum for Behavioral Safety (BESAFE) is a Mumbai based non-profit Organization spreading the cause of fostering a safe and healthy work place in Indian Industry.
  • The event is conducted in collaboration with the Indo American Chamber of Commerce and Vision OSH, New Delhi.
  • The conference would enable Indian Industry to achieve zero harm criterion to save life as well as business.
  • During the conference Indian companies implemented BBS will share the results achieved towards zero harm mission.

DAC approves indigenous construction of 6 submarines worth Rs. 40000 crore.

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman approved the indigenous construction of 6 Projects 75 (India) submarines under the strategic Partnership model at the cost of Rs. 40,000 crore.

  • The construction of 6 submarines aims to boost Government’s ambitious ‘Make in India” program and it will provide a major boost to submarine design and manufacturing ecosystem in India.

  • This is the second project under Strategic Partnership (SP) model.

  • The first project was the acquisition of 111 utility helicopters for navy at the cost of 21000 crore in August, 2018.

  • DAC also approved the acquisition of around 5000 French-origin MILAN Anti-Tank Guided missiles for the Indian Army

International conference on 8th century sage held to mark 50 years of India-Bhutan ties
  • To mark the 50-years of formalization of diplomatic ties between India and Bhutan, a two-day international conference on 8th century Himalayan sage Guru Padmasambhava was held in New Delhi.
  • This conference was organized by the Centre for Escalation of Peace (CEP) and was titled ‘Life and Legacy of Guru Padmasambhava’, was held on January 29-30.

Government sets up committee to explore prepaid payments by discoms to generator companies

  • On recommendation of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, the government constituted a committee under the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to explore prepaid payments by state electricity distribution companies to power plants.
  • The formed committee consists of the chairman of distribution companies of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, and representatives from Union power ministry and power associations to look into problems of delayed payments from distribution companies to power generators.
  • The committee will study working capital cycles of power distribution companies and generation companies and identify gaps contributing to obstacles in the sector.

Interim Budget 2019 Highlights:

  • Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented an Interim Budget for 2019 in Parliament on February 1 2019.
  • Budget Expenditure is Rs. 27,84,200 crores

For Farmers

  • New Scheme - namely ''Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)'' to extend direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year to farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares is announced.
  • Rs. 6,000 per year assured income support for small and marginal farmers.
  • Farmers having up to 2 hectare of lands will get Rs. 6,000 per year in three equal installments.

Income tax reliefs:

  • No tax for those whose taxable income is less than Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Standard deduction increased to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000 for salaried class.
  • Direct tax collection at 12 lakh Cr INR in FY19 from 6.30 INR Lakh Crore in 2014.

Tax exemptions on investments:

  • Individuals with gross income up to 6.5 lakh rupees will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.
  • TDS threshold for home rent increased from Rs. 1.8 lakh to 2.4 lakh.
  • Interest income up to Rs. 40,000 in post offices and banks made tax free.
  • Capital gains tax exemptions under Section 54 to be available up to Rs. 2 crore.
  • Capital gains exemption to be available on 2 house properties.
  • Income tax relief on notional rent from unsold houses extended to 2 years from 1 year.

Defence budget:

  • Govt increases defence budget to over Rs. 3 lakh crore for the first time ever.

Railways Budget:

  • Rs. 64,587 crore allocated to Railways for FY20.
  • Railway's operating ratio seen 96.2% in FY19 Vs 95% FY20.
  • Railway capex for FY20 set at record Rs. 1.6 lakh crore.

For workers:

  • Rs. 3,000 per year pension for unorganized sector workers.
  • New Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana for unorganized sector workers with income up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • Beneficiaries will get Rs. 3,000 per month pension with a contribution of Rs. 100 per month after retirement.
  • Govt allocates Rs. 500 crore for the scheme.
  • Gratuity limit increased for workers to Rs 30 lakh.

Education Sector:

  • National Education Mission allocation increased by about 20% to Rs. 38,572 crore in BE 2019-20.
  • 25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor.
  • 10% reservation for the poor in educational institutions and government jobs.
  • EWS Reservation to ensure 10% reservation in educational institutions and Government jobs for economically weaker sections, the Government will provide for 25% extra seats i.e. around 2 lacs, while maintaining the existing reservation for C/ST/Other Backward Classes.

Fiscal Deficit:

  • For FY19, government has revised the fiscal deficit target to 3.4% in FY 19.
  • Fiscal deficit for 2019/20 estimated at 3.4% of GDP.
  • Government's stated commitment earlier was to bring down the fiscal deficit to 3.1 percent of GDP by the end of March 2020, and to 3% by March 2021.
  • Current account deficit at 2.5% of the GDP.

Health:

  • 22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana.

MGNREGA:

  • Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20.

Northeast

  • Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently.
  • Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time.
  • Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra.

Vulnerable sections

  • new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes.
  • New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes.

MSME Traders

  • 2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs.
  • Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs.
  • Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade.

Digital Villages

  • The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years.

Other Announcements

  • New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence.

Women

  • Rs. 1330 Crore allocate for the Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women.
  • Maternity leave of 26 weeks and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana for pregnant women in work.
  • More than 70% of the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana are women.
  • 6 crore free LPG connections under the Ujjawala Yojana.

Vision 2030 in Budget

  • Next Generation Infrastructure – to provide an ''ease of living''.
  • Digital India – reached every corner of the economy and every citizen.
  • Clean and Green India – Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables.
  • Rural Industrialization – using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment.
  • Clean Rivers – safe drinking water to all Indians using micro-irrigation techniques.
  • Oceans and Coastlines – scaling up of Sagarmala.
  • Space Programme – India becoming a launch pad of the world by placing an Indian astronaut in space by 2022.
  • Self-Sufficient – in food and improving agricultural productivity with emphasis on organic food.
  • Healthy India – with a distress-free and comprehensive wellness system for all.
  • Minimum Government, Maximum Governance – with proactive, responsible, friendly bureaucracy and electronic governance.

ICT Academy bridge 2019 conference inaugurated in Chennai

  • Organized by ICT Academy, the 37th edition of the conference is the largest Industry-Institute Interaction Event of Asia.
  • Theme of the Conference is ''Fostering India for Industry 4.0"

Defence Ministry approves procurement of 73,000 assault rifles from US

  • Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the procurement of around 73000 Sig Sauer rifles from United States of America under fast track procurement mode.

  • The Procured rifles will replace INSAS rifles and the new rifles will be used by the troops deployed along the 3600 km border with China.

PM Modi inaugurates Railway projects in West Bengal

  • PM Modi dedicated the Railway electrification of 294 kilometer long Andal- Sainthia-Pakur-Malda and KhanaSainthia Sections to the nation in West Bengal also dedicated the 20 kilometer long Hijli - Narayangarh third line to the Nation.

PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate development projects in J&K
  • PM laid foundation stones of two AIIMS at Vijaypur in Samba and at Awantipora in Pulwam.
  • PM also laid the foundation stone for the construction of Northern Regional Centre Campus of Indian Institute of Mass Communication at Jammu.
  • University of Ladakh was also launched by the Prime Minister.
  • PM launched various projects under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).
  • PM inaugurated 9 MW Dah Hydroelectric project Located in Dah near village Datang.
  • Prime Minister laid foundation stone of 1640 m span double lane bridge over River Chenab at Sajwal.
  • The prime minister laid the foundation stone for 624-MW Kiru hydroelectric project and 850 Megawatt Ratle Hydro Electric projects in Kishtwar.
  • It is a run-of-the-river project across the Chenab.
  • PM will lay foundation stone of the new terminal building of Kushok Bakula Rimpochee (KBR) Airport in Leh.

Shri Piyush Goyal launches the IEA’s Report ''The Future of Rail''

  • Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal launched the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) The Future of Rail report which analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world in New Delhi.
  • The report is the first of a kind report that reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail.

National Foundation for Communal Harmony organized a special workshop under Know My India Programme held in Bangalore

  • On the lines of Know My India Programme,the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) organized a special workshop for 42 Youth in the age group of 15 to 22 years, who has suffered communal violence.

  • The Youth Participated in the Programme belongs to Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Gujarat along with 10 official mentors.

  • The programme was organized by the Art of Living Foundation.

  • Youth interacted with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual leader.

  • It is a unique programme initiated by the NFCH to bring together financially assisted children of the foundation from different states and regions of the country to promote oneness, fraternity and national integration.

1.38 lakh projects set up by women entrepreneurs under PMEGP scheme
  • Women entrepreneurs have set up around 1.38 lakhs MSME (Micro, small and Medium Enterprises) projects under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme,since inception and upto 23rd January, 2019.
  • Under PMEGP scheme, a privilege of special category is being provided to women entrepreneurs, under which they are granted a subsidy of 25% in urban areas and 35% in rural areas for project set up.
  • PMEGP, a major credit-linked subsidy scheme since 2008-09, helps set up micro-enterprise and to generate employment in rural and urban areas of the country.
  • The maximum cost of the project under PMEGP scheme is Rs. 25.00 lakhs for manufacturing sector units and Rs. 10.00 lakhs for units under the service sector.

President opens Ratrapathi Bhavan’s annual Udyanotsav

  • President Kovind inaugurated the annual Udyanotsav of the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Mughal Gardens to remain open for general public from February 6, 2019 to March 10, 2019 between 9:30 am and 4.00 pm.

6.23 crore free LPG connections issued under PMUY

  • Oil Marketing companies (OMC) have released 6.23 crore free LPG connections to BPL (below poverty line) households, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), across the country.

  • The aim of PMUY is to make available free and cleaner fuel in poor household kitchens.

  • A subsidy of Rs. 1600 is provided to state owned fuel retailers for every free LPG connection they provide to BPL families subject to the condition that no LPG connection exists in the name of any family member of the family, including the applicant.

  • LPG connection to be released on the name of an adult woman family.

Government notifies rules to allow women to work in mines

  • Ministry of Union Labor and Employment has allowed women to work in mines, both in opencast and underground, during the day and night, as part of the efforts to build more opportunities for women.
  • This decision has been taken, in line with the recommendations of the section 12 committee constituted under Mines act, 1952.
  • Section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952 restricts the employment of women in underground and opencast mines.

In the case of women employed in any mine above ground

  • The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 7 pm and 6 am in the mine above ground including opencast workings.
  • The deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee.
  • The women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health.
  • The deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time.
  • The deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three in a shift.

In the case of women employed in any mine below ground

  • The owner of a mine may deploy women between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required.
  • The deployment of women shall be after obtaining the written consent of the concerned woman employee
  • The women so deployed shall be provided with adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health;
  • The deployment of women shall be subject to the framing and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures on the basis of the guidelines issued in this regard by the Chief Inspector of Mines from time to time;
  • The deployment of women shall be in a group of not less than three.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation launched Shehri Samridhi Utsav

  • Shehri Samridhi Utsav, an initiative of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has been initiated in New Delhi, with aim to extend the reach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAYNULM).
  • Through Shehri Samridhi Utsav, SHG members across cities are being linked to national government schemes viz. Swachchh Bharat Mission (U), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (U), Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana and National Nutrition Mission.
  • A major highlight of ShehriSamridhiUtsav is theNational Exhibition cum sale of SHG products and National Street Food Festival being organized in New Delhi

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana (DDU-AY)

  • It is a government scheme to provide skill training to poor in rural and urban India as per international standards.
  • Initially the scheme was launched as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) in 1999.
  • SGSY was renamed as National Rural Livelihood Mission in 2011 and then merged into DDU-AY.
  • Hardeep Singh Puri is the Minister of State in of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

MoU in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies was signed between India and Poland

  • Coal Ministry of India, Government of India signed MoU with Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland in-order to foster relations in the field of coal mining and clean coal technologies.
  • The MoU was signed between Sh. Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, Hon’ble Minister of State for Coal and Mines and Mr. Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Secretary of State, Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland.

The Objective Sof MoU includes:

  • To promote trade and investment in the coal sector, enhance the understanding of coal related energy issues, particularly clean coal technologies, and promote the exchange of information on policies, programmes and technologies with special emphasis on coal exploration and exploitation, research and development, technical cooperation and capacity building.
  • To review the activities implemented under MoU.
  • To identify other forms of cooperation mutually agreed upon by the Participants.

Braile voter slips for visually impaired and blind

  • The initiative is part of the strategic framework for accessible elections.
  • It is a tactile reading and writing system used by blind and visually impaired people who cannot access print material.
  • The Election commission of India also plans to provide Braille election photo identity cards.

National Road Safety Week to be Launched in New Delhi

  • Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, Union External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari, and Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilisers Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya has inaugurated the 30th National Road Safety Week, 2019 in New Delhi.
  • A Motorcar Rally was flagged off on the occasion to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The rally will travel through places historically associated with Gandhiji, both in India, as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on the 24th of February.
  • The motor rally will cover around 7250 km to reach Yangon.

Monaco's Prince Albert II visits India

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco made his first Visit to India along with a high level delegation to review the bilateral relations between India and Monaco.
  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu addressed India-Monaco Business Forum which was hosted by New Delhi.
  • It was marked by the presence of Monaco’s head of state – Prince Albert II.
  • External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj called on Prince Albert and discussed opportunities for cooperation in the areas of environment.
  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Monaco Economic Board also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost trade and economic relations between India and Monaco at an event attended by Prince Albert II.

India introduces pre-departure orientation for migrant workers

  •  A Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT) programme has been launched by Government to orient potential migrant workers with regard to culture, language, do’s and don’ts in the emigration process and safety measures.

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is conducting the PDOT programme under the PravasiKaushalVikasYojna (PKVY).

  • PDOT and Arabic modules are currently catering to gulf countries.

  • The National Skill Development Corporation is the implementing agency for this programme.

  • However, MSDE has not signed any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Asian countries under the ‘Skill India Programme’.

Darwaza Band Part 2 Campaign Launched by Swatch Bharat Mission Grameen
  • “Darwaza Band- Part 2” campaign was launched by Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen focuses on sustaining the open defecation free status of villages across the country.

  • The campaign launched by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Mumbai in the presence of actor Amitabh Bachchan.

  • The “Darwaza Band -Part 2” has been supported by World Bank.

  • Three “Darwaza Band Part 2” films were launched by Amitabh Bachchan and dedicated re-adaptation of a poem of his father late Harivansh Rai Bachchan to the Swachh Bharat Mission “Swachh Tann, Swachh Mann, Swachh Bharat,Mera Parichay”.

India and Germany join hands on water and waste management
  • During the meeting of 3rd Indo-German Working Group for cooperation on water and waste management which concluded in New Delhi both sides discussed potential cooperation in this area.

  • Both sides decided to work on developing reference documents for the textile sector, Water Governance, Marine Litter, waste to energy landfill sites, water quality management, training and capacity building of local bodies and Circular Economy.

  • Indian delegation was led by Additional Secretary in the Environment Ministry Anil Kumar Jain while the German Delegation was headed by Director-General for Water Management and Resource Conservation, Dr. Regina Dube.

Cabinet approves establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for the establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny.

  • It will lead to the development of the cattle population in the country including the development and conservation of indigenous breeds.

  • The Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University or departments or organizations of the Central or State Government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of the cow, organic manure, biogas etc.

  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog was announced in the budget on the 1st of this month.

CCEA approves Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development scheme of Prasar Bharti
  • An amount of 1 thousand 54 Crore rupees have been approved for a three year period till 2020.

  • CCEA also approved the creation of Agri-Market infrastructure fund for development and upgradation of Gramin Agriculture Markets.

  • A corpus of 2 thousand crore rupees will be created with NABARD.

  • CCEA also approved the continuation of the Central Sector Scheme of Exploration of Coal and Lignite for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-2020.

Indian Coast Guard Signs MoU With AAI For Maritime Search And Rescue
  • Indian Coast Guard and the Airport Authority of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Coast Guard Regional Headquarters in Port Blair in the presence of Inspector General Maneesh Vishal Pathak, Commander Coast Guard Region (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) for coordination in the aeronautical and maritime search and rescue operations.

  • Memorandum of Understanding with Airport Authority of India (AAI) is aimed at strengthening mutual interactions, interoperability and validating procedures during conduct of search and rescue operations jointly by the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Kolkata, Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Port Blair.

Cabinet approvals
  • The signing of an MoU between India and Malaysia for Mutual Cooperation to raise the status and prestige of the Practicing Company Secretary in both countries, and to facilitate the movement of the Company Secretaries across borders in the Asia-Pacific Region.

  • The proposal for an MoU between India and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and with Electoral Tribunal of Panama (ETP) on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.

  • The MoU between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.

  • The MoU between India and Brazil on cooperationin the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.

  • The Union Cabinet accorded ex post facto approval to the MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare, India and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resource and Agriculture, Maldives signed on 17th December, 2018 during the State visit of President of Maldives to India.

  • The MoUbetween India and the United Arab Emirates on Development Cooperation in Africa.

  • The MoU entails setting up of a framework of cooperation between the two countries for implementing development partnership projects and programmes in Africa.

  • The MoU between India and Finland for collaborating based on mutual interest in the field of Biotechnology, for funding and implementing ambitious industry-led innovative and transnational projects within the broad scope of research development and innovation.

  • The MoU for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of e-Governance.

  • The Agreement intends to promote close cooperation in the areas of e-Governance, IT education, Implementation and roll out of generic configurable e-Governance products/ devices in various sectors, development of Data Centers.

7th edition of Kolhapur International film festival inaugurated in Kolhapur, Maharashtra

  • It is eight day festival, in which Veteran actress Rohini Hattangadi is chief guest at the inaugural function.

  • Veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalaniwas honoured with the Kalamaharshi Baburao Painter Award for his contribution to the film industry.

  • Focus country of the festival is the Hungarian cinema.

  • AbhijitDeshpande, editor of Marathi films like ‘Deool’, ‘Bucket List’ and ‘Elizabeth Ekadashi’, will be presented the Chitramaharshi Anandrao Painter Award at the closing ceremony of the festival.

Sahapedia Launches 2nd Edition of India Heritage Walk Festival
  • Sahapedia in partnership with UNESCO organized the second edition of India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) 2019 in Delhi.

  • It is also supported by the National Mineral Development Corporation.

  • The IHWF presented the PATA Gold Award 2018 in “Heritage and Culture” category for its first pan-India event.

  • This festival offers opportunity to discover the hidden gems linked to the history. In the list of heritage walks, Delhi has a new attraction.

GeM and CCI Sign MoU
  • Government e Marketplace (GeM) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) entered into a MoU to enable a fair and competitive environment in the e-Marketplace.
  • Chairman CCI, A.K. Gupta, CEO GeM, S. RadhaChauhan were present on the occasion.
  • GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries that has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.

Cabinet Approvals
  • Regularization of certain allowances being paid over and above the 50% (pre-revised) ceiling prescribed by DPE to the executives of certain operational category employees of AAI.

  • the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman.

  • the proposal of Ministry of Power to allocate 85% of Power generated to Telangana and Jharkhand from Under Construction Projects of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited.

  • The introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 to confer the position of National importance to Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Haryana, Kundli and Institute pf Food Processing Technology at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.

  • An International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019 to set up a consolidated authority to control and regulate financial services in International Financial Services Centres in India.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by NarendraModi approved the setting up of a Circuit bench of Calcutta High court at Jalpaiguri in West Bengal and assess the progress of infrastructure facilities there.

  • The amendments to prohibit Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 to abolish threat of unlawful deposit schemes and prevent them from deceiving poor people.

  • The setting up of ‘RashtriyaKamdhenuAayog’ for conservation, protectiol and development of cows and to support small farmers by boosting their income.

  • The creation of Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) of Rs. 2000 crore in association with National Bank for Agricultural & Rural Development (NABARD) for the development and upgradation of marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) and Regulated Wholesale Markets.

  • The scheme of “Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development” proposed by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at a cost of Rs. 1054.52 crore for three years (2017-18 to 2019-20).

  • The scheme of “Exploration of Coal and Lignite” which involves 24,41,500 meter of drilling and 3,575 line km of surface geophysical survey with an expected expenditure of Rs. 1875 Crore.

  • The proposal of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to set up 12000 MW grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic Power projects with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support of Rs. 8,580 crore.

Delhi is richest state, Jain wealthiest community: NFHS-4 wealth index

  • According to wealth index released on basis of data from fourth round of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4) Delhi is richest state and Jain wealthiest community in the country.

  • The NFHS-4 was conducted among more than 6 lakh households in 2015-16.

  • It was largest sample size and was carried out just couple of years ago that provided useful source of information in analysing India’s socio-economic landscape.

PM Narendra Modi addresses Rally in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri

  • Prime Minister Narendra Singh Modi has marked a rally in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri making it the 3rd in the state within a week after 2 rallies in Thakurnagar and Durgapur.

  • He has inaugurated New High Court Circuit Bench in Jalpaiguri.

  • This will facilitate justice to public of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar in North Bengal.

  • During his day-long visit, he has inaugurated the four laning of the Falakata-Salsalabari section of National Highway-31 D.

2nd Phase of River Information System between Farakka-Patna inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari
  • Union Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the 2nd Phase of River Information System (RIS) between Farakka and Patna on National Waterway-1 (River Ganga) in Prayagraj.

  • A new arrangement of Navigation Lock to enable breeding of Hilsa fish in River Ganga and to conserve the river ecosystem is being constructed with the cost of Rs. 361.35 Crore at NW-1 under Jal Marg Vikas Project and it is expected to be completed by June, 2019.

  • The 2nd Phase of RIS is aimed at enhancing swift electronic data transfer so as to boost movement of Cargo and Fishery Development in river Ganga.

  • One Control station will be made at Patna whereas 5 base stations will be made at Manihari, Bhagalpur, Munger, Barh and Hatidah under the 2nd Phase.

  • A Namami Gange Exhibition at kumbh Mela, Prayagraj and National Highway Projects of Rs. 7195 were also inaugurated by Nitin Gadkari.

India inked MoU with Bangladesh to train its 1800 civil servants
  • India and Bangladesh have signed an MOU for training 1800 Bangladesh Civil Servants under Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG).

  • The Mou was signed between the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and the Ministry of Public Administration, and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for the tenure of 6 years.

Journey of Sustainable Growth and Change: Workshop on Global Environment Facility, UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP) was inaugurated
  • Government of India along with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change inaugurated a workshop on Global Environment Facility, UNDP Small Grants Programme (SGP) in New Delhi.

  • UNDP has been supporting Ministry Of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in implementing Global Environment Facility (GEF) and SGP since 1997.

  • The programme brought 110000 hectors of land in western ghats, Himalayan front and Arid and Semi-Arid and regions under sustainable land resources management.

  • SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives by enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods.

Measures for the protection of Sentinelese Tribe.
  • The Sentinelese Tribe are the inhabitants of North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal in India.

  • The Sentinelese tribe is at the verge of extinction The North Sentinel Island along with 5 km coastal sea is remarked as a tribal reserve.

  • To make maritime sources like fish, turtle and many others readily available to this Tribal Groups (PVTGs),coastal sea up to a preset extent of 1 Km to 5 Km along the tribal territory is also been notified as a tribal reserve.

Laws promulgated for the protection of interests of Sentinelese Tribe are:
  • A & N Islands (PAT) Regulation 1956.
  • Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

  • Restrictions under Foreigner (Restricted Area) Orders, 1963.

  • Visa Manual Conditions/ Passport Act 1920.

  • Indian Forest Act, 1927. Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers welfare issued Categorization of farmers in agriculture census Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Issued Categorization of farmers in agriculture census.

  • Agriculture census was held at 2015-16 which is conducted in every five years.

  • In the census operational holdings are categorised as marginal, small, semi-medium, medium and large classes.

  • Scheduled Castes, Scheduled tribes and others are the sub classification of operational holdings on the basis of social groups.

  • The government will focus in better and new technological solution for small and marginal farmers in order to improve and double this income by 2022.

  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), National Agriculture Market Scheme (e-NAM), Soil Health Card, etc are various schemes implemented by Government of farmer welfare.

Sl.No Category Size-Class
1. Marginal Below 1.00 hectare
2. Small 1.00-2.00 hectare
3. Semi-Medium 2.00-4.00 hectare
4. Medium 4.00-10.00 hectare
5. Large 10.00 hectare and above

 J&K-based Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen banned: MHA

  • Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen came into existence in 1990 with the objective of “liberation of Kashmir

  • The Union Home Ministry has banned the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for promoting terrorism and radicalising and recruiting youth for terrorist activities in India.

  • The TuM carried out a number of terrorist attacks besides subversive acts, namely grenade attacks, weapons snatching incidents, supporting other terrorist outfits such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), etc.



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