National - 2019 FEBRUARY

February 1

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.

February 2

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.
22nd AIIMS to be setup in Haryana.
Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20.
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.
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"

February 3

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.

February 4

PM Modi inaugurates Railway projects in West Bengal
PM Modi dedicated the Railway electrification of 294 kilometer long Andal- Sainthia-Pakur-Malda and Khana- Sainthia 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.

February 5

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.

February 6

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 (DAY-NULM).
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.

February 7

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.

February 8

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.

February 9

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

Below 1.00 hectare
1.00-2.00 hectare
2.00-4.00 hectare
4.00-10.00 hectare
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.

February 10

Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP)
Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for citizens to verify their details, change the details, new registration and corrections. The programme focuses on 2019 General Election.
 The ECI has set up helpline centres in all districts in India. The voter helpline number is 1950 and they are well equipped with to help callers with latest information.
 VVIP technology was launched during 2day training cum workshop on the use of Information and Communication Technology which was held in New Delhi.
 ECI also launched a ‘PwD app’ to enable Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to request to change in address, change in particulars and new registration by using mobile application.
 Voter Helpline app was also launched which will help voters to check their names in electoral roll, submit online forms, application status checking and complaints filing.
PM visits Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
The first destination of the PM was in Guntur, in Andhra Pradesh where he unveiled several projects at Yetukar Bypass, Guntur.
PM dedicated to the nation, 1.33 MMT Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL).
He laid the foundation stone for setting up a new terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) at Krishnapatnam.
PM unveiled several development projects at Perumanallur village in Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu.
He laid the foundation Stone of ESIC Hospital, Tiruppur. Foundation stone for a new integrated building at Trichy Airport and for the modernization of Chennai airport was also laid by him.
He dedicated to the nation, ESIC Hospital Chennai, BPCL’s Ennore Coastal Terminal.
Prime Minister Modi has inaugurated new Crude Oil Pipeline from Chennai Port to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (CPCL) Manali Refinery.
Passenger Service for a section of Chennai Metro from AG-DMS Metro station to Washermenpet Metro Station was also inaugurated by him.
He unveiled several projects at Gabbur in Hubli, Karnataka.
PM laid the foundation stone of Indian Institute of Technology –Dharwad and Indian Institute of Information Technology –Dharwad.
City Gas Distribution Project at Dharwad was dedicated to the nation. Government has put strong emphasis on expansion of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network coverage across the country to increase the availability of cleaner fuel to citizens.
PM dedicated to the nation, the 1.5 MMT Mangalore Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility and 2.5 MMT Padur SPR facility of ISPRL.
Doubling of 18 km long Chikjajur-Mayakonda Section is another highlight.
PM also inaugurate the commencement of electrification work of 346 km long Hospet-Hubli-Vasco da Gama line..
In keeping with his commitment of Housing for All, PM witnessedthe E-GrihaPravesh of 2384 houses constructed under PMAY (U) at Dharwad.
Health Ministry has apprised 8 medical equipment as drugs
In a proposal to modulate diagnostic and medical device in India, the Health Ministry has notified 8 medical equipment, comprising of all implantable devices, as Drugs under section 3 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act with effect from April 1, 2020.
The equipments comprise of CT scan, MRI equipment, defibrillators, dialysis machine, PET equipment, X-ray machine, bone marrow cell separator and all implantable medical devices.

Centre allocates Rs 59 crore for Asiatic Lion conservation in Gujarat
Lions, identified as one of the endangered species by the government, the Ministry of Environment launched a three-year Asiatic Lion Conservation Project in collaboration with the state of Gujarat.
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) allocated Rs 59 crores, which will focus on better management of the lion habitat, disease control and veterinary care for them.
Gujarat government also implemented Rs. 80 crore that will be spent on specialized veterinary hospitals and full fledged ambulances for lions.

February 11

PM visits Arunachal Pradesh
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi unveiled development projects worth Rs. 4000 crore for Arunachal Pradesh. He inaugurated several projects and laid foundation stone for some schemes.
PM Modi inaugurated new Doordarshan channel for Arunachal Pradesh and 50 health and wellness centers in the state.
PM dedicated 110 MW Hydroelectric Plant to the nation.
He laid foundation stone for a permanent campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Jote and inaugurated a retrofitted airport in Tezu. It is the first Film and Television Institute of India in entire North-East.
Modi laid foundation stone for Sela tunnel project which will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas. The estimated cost of Sela tunnel Project is Rs. 687 crore which will be constructed by the Border Roads Organization (BRO).
Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for Greenfield airport at Hollongi during his Arunachal Pradesh visit which will improve connectivity.
The total cost of the airport will be Rs. 1042 crore in which centre will provide Rs. 955 crore and State’s share will be Rs. 87 crore.
Foundation stone was laid for 7 extra High Voltage Sub-stations and 24 Low Tension Sub-stations in Arunachal Pradesh.
The project will implemented by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited under Ministry of Power with an estimated cost of Rs. 3199.45 crores.
DD ArunPrabha Channel was launched in Itanagar by Prime Minister
100% household electrification was declared in Arunachal Pradesh by PM.
It was achieved under the Soubhagya Scheme Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visits Assam
Narendra Modi has visited Assam to attend the several programs and to lay the foundation stone of several vital and development projects worth Rs. 18,000 crore.
Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) at Changsari in Guwahati.
He inaugurated Numaligarh Refinery Ltd’s bio-diesel refinery and the Barauni-Guwahati gas pipeline, connecting northeast with national gas grid at an estimated cost of Rs. 6000 Crore, which will further meet the requirement of industries, supply CNG to automobiles and cooking gas to households.
He also initiated the work for Guwahati to North Guwahati connecting 6 Lane Bridge over Brahmaputra River. The total cost of the bridge is estimated at 1,925 crore.
He also initiated LPG capacity augmentation of mounted storage vessel in North Guwahati.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Tripura
PM Modi during his visit to Agartala, Tripura inaugurated various development projects. It was the final destination of a day long tour to 3 North Eastern States.
Narendra Modi advocated the HIRA (Highway, I way, Railway, Airway) Model of Development for Tripura.
Farmers and labourers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age will get Rs. 3000 per month as pension through Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Pension Yojana.
Farmers who have less than 5 acres of land will get Rs.6000 per annum in their bank account through PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
A New Complex of Tripura Institute of Technology, Narsingarh was inaugurated by Narendra Modi.
Modi inaugurated 23 Km long Garjee-Belonia Railway Line in Agartala. The project was part of the Rs. 3407 crore Agartala – Sabroon national railway project which is for 115 km.
He unveiled the statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya at the Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, Agartala. 
 Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya is considered as father of modern architecture in Tripura. He did the entire planning of present-day Tripura during his rule. He planned the capital city Agartala also.
 Statue was built by faculty and students of Tripura government’s Art and craft college. It costs Rs.5 lakh for the Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya statue.

ILO Centenary Celebrations launched by Labour Minister
The International Labour Organization (ILO) centenary celebrations have been inaugurated by the Union Minister of Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar at V.V. Giri National Labour Institute in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
4 publications of V.V. National Labour Institute were released during the celebration.
 India has ratified 47 out of 189 ILO conventions during the century.

February 12

MOU signed between EIL and Mongolia for Project Management Consultancy for oil refinery
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Engineers India Ltd, a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Government of Mongolia through Mongol Refinery State Owned LLC was signed on the sidelines of PETROTECH-2019 event at Greater Noida, UP.
The MoU is for Project Management Consultancy services for construction of an oil refinery plant in Mongolia by EIL. Government of Mongolia is in process to set-up 1.5 MMTPA greenfield crude oil refinery in Sainshand province, under Line of Credit (LoC) extended by Government of India.
Meghalaya government to rename Dikkibandi stadium
The Meghalaya Cabinet decided to rename the DikkiBandi stadium in Tura town after former LokSabha Speaker Purno A Sangma.
PurnoAgitokSangma served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.
The state Cabinet has also decided to name a road leading from Mawlai-Mawroh to Madan in honour of Saint Teressa.
Howel Road was renamed Thranghok J Rangad Road while Zikzak Road was renamed as ArdenduChaudhuri road.
The Batti Bazar road at Laban was also renamed as Roland Lyngdoh Road, Sylhetipara Road at Laban as KrepsingSwer Road and Jackson Trace Road at Lower Lumparing as MelingtonKharkongor Road.
125th Constitutional Amendment Bill
The government has introduced the 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Parliament to increase the financial and executive powers of the 10 autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the northeastern region
The amendment empowers the village councils to prepare plans for economic development and social justice including those related to agriculture, land
reforms, minor irrigation, water management, animal husbandry, rural electrification, small scale industries and social forestry.
The amendment bill also reserves one-third of the seats for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram.
Indian Air Force chief Dhanoavisits Bangladesh.
Dhanoa undertook a four-day visit to the country. Its part of the bilateral goodwill visit to a SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nation.
During his visit, the Indian Air Force chief visited the operational and training units of Bangladesh Air Force. He met chiefs of the three defence services and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

February 13

25.25 Lakh Candidates Trained Under PMKVY Short Term Training
Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2016-20, 37.32 lakh (appx.) candidates have been trained under Short Term Training (STT) (25.25 lakh), Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) (11.27 lakh) and Special Project (0.8 lakh) in various sectors across the country.
Government of India has launched “Skill Loan Scheme” with a view to support youth by providing a loan facility to individuals who intend to take up skill development courses as per the Skill Loan eligibility criteria.
Skill Loan Scheme is applicable to all the member banks of Indian Bank Association (IBA) and any other bank and financial institution including Micro Finance Institution regulated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Loans are available in the range of Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 1,50,000/-

Centre released Publication on Climatic Actions in New Delhi
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan released a Publication on climate actions in India titled India – Spearheading Climate Solutions in New Delhi.
Major initiatives mentioned in the publications are National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP), State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC), International Solar Alliances (ISA), and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
The Government aims to generate 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
Advancement from Bharat Stage-IV to BHARAT Stage-VI emission standards by April 2020 have been undertaken to minimize the effect of climate change.

February 14

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visits Haryana
He laid foundation stone for 5 projects and inaugurated various programmes and institutions during his visit.
PM Modi inaugurated India’s largest Cancer Institute at Bhadsa in Jhajjar district in Haryana through video conferencing. NIC which is a Cancer cum research institute is developed with the overall cost of Rs. 2035 crore.
NIC (National Cancer Institute)is constructed at the AIIMS Jhajjar Campus. It is a state of the art care and research institute with 700 bed hospital with all facilities.
PM Modi inaugurated ESIC Medical College and Hospital at Faridabad which will provide good quality medical care to every citizen of the country.
It is the first ESIC Medical College and Hospital in North India. The hospital is well equipped with state of art equipment, services, facilities, campus hostel for boys and girls, etc.
He laid foundation stone for National Institute of Ayurveda at Shri Mata Mansa Devi Complex in Panchkula. It will help the government to boost Ayurveda in the fields of education and treatment.
The foundation stone for Sree Krishna Ayush University in Kurukshetra was laid by PM Narendra Modi. It is the first varsity related to the Indian system of medicine in Haryana.
To honour the heroes of the battles of Panipat PM Modi laid foundation stone for ‘Battles of Panipat Museum’. The first battle of Panipat was fought in 1526 between Babar and Ibrahim Lodi.
Foundation stone for Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University of Health Sciences in Karnal laid by Modi.It will boost educational, health and cultural facilities in Haryana.
He participated in Swachh Shakti 2019 and distributed Swachh Shakti 2019 awards. Around 15000 women from all over the India participated in the Swachh Shakti event.
Cabinet approvals
MoU between India and Morocco for setting up Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter-terrorism.
MoU for peaceful uses of Outer Space between India and Finland.
The signing of MoU between India and Argentina in the field of Tourism.
3 MoU’s signed between India and Saudi Arabia in the fields of Customs, Tourism and establishing a mechanism for Investment Infrastructure in India.
MoU between India and Norway to combat Marine Pollution.
Proposal for leasing out of 1.61 acres of land at Alipur, Delhi, owned by Delhi Milk Scheme to Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium for setting up of Kisan Mandi.

February 15

UNICEF in Maharashtra joined hands with Goa WCD for addressing issues in child protection
In order to focus on the issues in the area of child protection in the state, the UNICEF in Maharashtra joined hands with Goa Women and Child Development (WCD).
Discussion was held on Key challenges around child protection in Goa at a training programme on Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS), by WCD, which saw the participation of Ms. Rajeshwari Chandrasekar, Chief Field Officer,UNICEF Maharashtra and Ms. Alpa Vora, Consultant, Child Protection, UNICEF.
Issue of migrant children who face a whole lot of different problems linked with challenges of livelihood, alcoholism, etc., of their poor parents, or the children themselves were brought to light.
Extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamchari was approved by the Cabinet
PM Modi approved extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) beyond 31st March 2019 for 3 years.The tenure of the present commission is upto March 31, 2019.
Safai Karamcharis and persons engaged in manual scavenging in the country will be the major beneficiaries of the proposal.
NCSK was established in 1993 as per the provisions of the NCSK Act 1993 initially for a period upto March 31, 1997.
Cabinet chaired by Narendra Modi, approved revision in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Chhattisgarh
With a view to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes of Chhattisgarh, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for official amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2016.
The newly formed Act will be called as Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2019.
Centre approved partial modification of CCEA allowing CPSEs to participate in bidding for Strategic Disinvestment of Engineering Projects (India) Limited
Union Cabinet approved CCEA’s decision by allowing eligible Central Public Sector Enterprises (EPSEs) and Private Sector Entities to participate in bidding for the strategic disinvestment of Engineering Projects (India) Limited (EPIL).
A meeting held on October 2016 by CCEA has given in principle approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% shares of Government of India in EPIL and merge it with a similarly placed CPSE.
The proposed disinvestment will unlock resources which will be used to finance the social sector and development programmes. The modification will also promote competition in bidding process.
Union Cabinet approved continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella Programme for development of Scheduled Tribes
Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs approved the continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella Programme for development of Scheduled Tribes from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020.
Pre metric scholarship, post metric scholarship, ashram schools, boys and girls hostels, vocational training, monitoring and evaluation, tribal festivals, etc are some of the approved schemes.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 11900 crore. The scheme includes special centralassistance to state, development of vulnerable tribal groups.
Continuation of Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up gradation scheme beyond 12th plan was approved by Union Cabinet
Cabinet committee approved the continuation of Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Upgradation scheme (CLCS-TUS) with an aim to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs.
The outlay of the scheme is Rs. 2900 crore.
Special provision to promote entrepreneurship for SC/STs, women NER, Hill states and island territories are made in the scheme.
Minimum support price for raw jute hiked by the Cabinet Committee chaired by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi
Cabinet committee chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for raw jute for 2019-20 season.
For Fair Average Quality (FAQ) raw jute the MSP has been increased to Rs. 3950 per quintal for 2019-20 season from Rs.3700 per quintal in 2018-19 seasons.
The jute cooperation of India will continue to act as Central Nodal Agency. It will undertake price support operations at the MSP in jute growing states.
Cabinet approves Introduction of Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019, for creating   more   accountability and offering more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.
NITI Aayog Signs SoI with MSDF to Document Systemic Transformation in Education
The NITI Aayog and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to codify, document and share best practices to improve learning outcomes in public school education through systemic reforms, based on their collective experiences of working with various state governments in India.
The SOI was signed in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, by Mr. Alok Kumar, Adviser (HRD), NITI Aayog and Mr. Barun Mohanty, Managing Director (International), MSDF.

February 16

Government liberalizes the e-Visa regime making it more tourist friendly
Government of India has made a series of amendments in e-visa regime, liberalizing it further and making it more tourists friendly. This step has been taken into consideration by Ministry of Tourism with Ministry of Home Affairs to ease the Visa regime in the country over the period of time.
Also, the existing restriction of allowing foreigner for a maximum of three times has also been removed.
Duration of stay in India of e-tourists and e-business visas will be from 60 days to 1 year with multiple entry subjects.
 On e-tourist visa, continuous stay during visit will not exceed 90 days in case of nationals eligible for grant of e-visa except US, UK, Japan and Canada. 
For e-Business Visa, continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days in case of nationals of all countries who are eligible for grant of e-visa.
No registration will be required if the stay is for a period of less than 180 days, in case of e-Business Visa.
44 CRPF Jawans martyred in Pulwama terror attack
At least 44 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and scores injured when a carwhen a Mahindra Scorpio, packed with 300kg of explosives and driven by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber, rammed into it in the town of Awantipora in south Kashmir.
The incident took place when some 2,547 CRPF personnel were coming in a convoy of 78 vehicles from the transit camp in Jammu and headed to Srinagar
Dera Baba Nanak land designated as Immigration checkpoint for Kartarpur corridor
Union Home Ministry issued a notification designating Dera Baba Nanak’s land post located in Gurdaspurdistrict of Punjab as an authorized immigration check point to enter and exit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev spend more than 18 years of his life in Kartarpur which is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab.
The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi River, about three-four km from the border in Pakistan. 
Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone of Dera Baba Nanak – Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on November 26, 2018 at Mann village in Gurdaspurdistrict.
India EU to jointly invest on 7 projects to tackle water challenges
India and the European Union have made a decision to mutually invest up to 40 Million Euros (Rs.323 Crore) on 7 Research and Innovation projects to tackle and handle immediate water challenges in the country.
The projects which are selected will develop or adapt the most acceptable existing creative and affordable solutions for Indian conditions, both in rural and urban areas, to facilitate solutions to cope with water challenges.
Horizon 2020, EU’s programme and Indian government will invest together on projects for average duration of 4 years.
The main areas of the projects are to improve the quality of drinking water, waste water management system and real-time monitoring and control systems.
The project will brace India’s Ganga rejuvenation initiative and also transfer European technologies to India to suit Indian needs.
The 7 projects which are selected include India-H20, LOTUS, PANI WATER, SAEASWATI 2.0, SPRING, and PAVITR.
India Withdrawn ‘Most Favoured Nation’ Status for Pakistan
India has withdrawn Most Favoured Nation or MFN for Pakistan just a day after the terror attach in Pulwama, Jammu &Kashmr in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) personal lost their lives.
MFN is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade to ensure non-discriminatory trade between all partner countries of the WTO.
MFN status makes sure that any country with this status avoids any disadvantageous situation in comparison to the other partners in trade.
It was in 1996 India granted MFN status to Pakistan. Decades of conflict, mistrust and war has resulted, withdrawal of Pakistan from in the MFN status.

February 17

PM Narendra Modi visits Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
Laid foundation stone of Defence Corridor in Jhansi
This will create a lot of direct and indirect employment to the youth in the region.
The Defence Corridor will make India independent in defence production. The project will also attract many foreign and domestic Defence related companies to invest in the region.
Government decided to establish 2 defence corridors in the country, one at Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is one among six nodal points of the UP defence corridors.
Foundation stone of Piped Water Scheme for rural areas of Bundelkhand
With a view to ensure water supply to the drought prone Bundelkhand region Pahari Dam Modernization Project was inaugurated by him.
The dam is on Dhasan River which is a right bank tributary of Betwa River.
Pahari Dam was constructed in 1912 on Dhasanriver in Jhansi district. The water is mainly used for irrigation purposes.
Electrification of 297 km long Jhansi – Khairar section project was inaugurated by Modi.

February 18

PM NarendraModi visits Maharastra
Prime Minister, ShriNarendra Modi laid foundation stone of Road Project worth Rs. 500 crorefunded by Central Road Fund in Yavatmal, Maharashtra.
Eklavya Model Residential School of Nanded was inaugurated by Narendra Modi to improve the quality of education amongst tribal people.
Humsafar Express connecting Ajni (Nagpur) with Pune was flagged-off.
He announced that around 14500 houses are built at Yavatmal under PradhanMantriAwasYojana (PMAY) which aims at provide housing to all by 2022.
A research centre is being built at Chandrapur to tackle with the Sickle cell disease.
He inaugurated Lower Panazara Medium Project which has a total water storage capacity of 109.31 Mcum and irrigation potential of 7585 hectares, under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
Jalgaon-Udhana Railway line after Doubling and Electrification was inaugurated by Prime Minister, NarendraModi in Dhule district.
Bhusaval-Bandra Khandesh Express Train which will run between Mumbai and Bhusaval was flagged off by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi through video conference.

Government to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Every 25 Km in India
The Ministry of Housing and Urban affairs has published a set of guidelines to establish charging station for EV (Electric Vehicles) at every 25 km to outline the ways to build fueling points.
This necessity of instituting charging stations has arrived as government expects that 25% of road vehicles will be electric by 2030.
For making provisions for establishing EV infrastructures, Ministry has made amendments to the guidelines of MBBL (Model Building Bye laws), 2016 and URDPFI (Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation), 2014.
Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs: Hardeep Singh Puri.

February 19

PM NarendraModi visits Bihar inaugurates 33000 crore rupees projects.
Foundation stone for the Patna Metro Rail Project was laid down by PM NarendraModi, which is worth more than Rs 13,000 crore (estimated cost Rs. 13,365.77 crore) and will be completed in the next 5 years.
First phase of the River Front Development at Patna inaugurated.
Foundation Stone for the Karmalichak Sewerage Network spanning 96.54 kilometres and foundation Stone for 22 AMRUT projects at various locations were laid.
PM has inaugurated the electrification of Railway Lines on the following sectors
Barauni - Kumedpur
Muzaffarpur - Raxaul
Fatuha - Islampur
Biharsharif - Daniawan
Ranchi - Patna AC Weekly Express wasinaugurated on the occasion.

PM NarendraModi visits Jharkhand
He inaugurated 
Three medical college buildings at Hazaribagh, Dumka and Palamu.  
Four Rural Water Supply Schemes in Ramgarh and Hazaribagh districts. 
The Sahibganj Sewerage Treatment Plant, and the Madhusudan Ghat, under the NamamiGange – National Mission for Clean Ganga
Laid the Foundation Stone for the Centre for Tribal Studies, Acharya Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribagh.
At Ranchihe interacted with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana – Ayushman Bharat. 

SC directs states to sensitize cops about scrapping of Section 66A of Information Technology Act.
Supreme Court directed all state governments to make their police personnel aware of the verdict which scrapped Section 66A of Information Technology Act, Sensitizing the police will reduce unnecessary arrest of people under their provision.
Section 66A of IT Act provided jail term for people sending offensive contents in internet. It was scrapped by Supreme Court on March 24, 2015.
By citing liberty of thought and expression as ‘cardinal’ Supreme Court in 2015 scrapped section 66A. The court also stated that the public’s right to know is affected by this. The Act when in force will attract jail term upto 3 years.

February 20

Argentinian President Mauricio Macri visits India
Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, arrived in New Delhi for a three-dayIndia visit, during which he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to enhance cooperation in key sectors such as economy, nuclear technology and space.
He was invited by PM Modi on occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Argentine Republic and the Republic of India.
Argentina became the 72nd country to sign the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
10 MoUs were exchanged between the two sides:
The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Argentine Republic on Defence Cooperation.
Collaboration and Cooperationin broadcasting contentbetween Prasar Bharati India and the Federal System of Media and Public Contents Argentina.
Pharmaceuticals between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (Government of India) and the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology Argentina.
Antarctic cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Argentina and Ministry of Earth Sciences India.
In the field of civil nuclear between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), India, and National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA), Argentina.
2 Work Plans were agreed upon in the field of Agriculture between the two sides.
A joint declaration of intent on cooperation in the field of Information & Communications Technology and Electronics was also exchanged.
India and Argentina to elevate multi-faceted cooperation to strategic partnership
India and Argentina agreed to expedite signing of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the countries to promote economic ties.
They also agreed that there was immense potential to increase two-way services trade in tourism, films, health care and information technology, among others.

The foundation stone of a Hastshilp Complex laid in New Delhi
This is to be built in a period of 18 months by NBCC (formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd) and at a cost of Rs. 113.56 crores.
It will be called “Deen Dayal Antarashtriya Hastshilp Bhawan” and awardee artisans will be allocated space for marketing their products, on rotation basis, with a preference to Divyang (disabled) artisans.
It will have 23 shops meant for artisans, 1 showroom for artisans from SAARC countries, 1 kiosk, 5 galleriesand 1 conventional hall and will also have dormitory facilities for handicrafts artisans.
Union Textiles Minister: Smriti Irani

February 21

Union Home Minister launched various women safety Initiativesunder Nirbhaya Fund scheme.
Pan India number 112 was launched by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi in New Delhi.
Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) has been introduced for women safety in 16 states and Union Territories.
All the states are required to set up an Emergency Response Centre, ERC.
In the hour of need, the person seeking help can Dial 112
In smartphones, press power button of the phone thrice without any delay to activate a panic call to the Emergency Response Centre.In feature phones, long press on the number 5 or 9 on the keypad to activate the panic call.
The following were also launched in the event:
Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO)- It is an online module for National, State, District law enforcement agencies and Police Stations that facilitates states in undertaking real-time monitoring and management for completion of investigation in rape cases in 2 months. It supplements the existing CCTNS data base, which covers nearly 15000 police stations in the country. ITSSO would greatly enhance States ability for analytics and prognosis for timely investigation and prosecution in rape cases.
Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal-It shall be implemented in eight cities- Ahmadabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow & Mumbai at a cost of Rs. 2,919 crore. The projects include identifying the crime hot-spots, providing CCTV surveillance, patrolling by women police in vulnerable areas, setting up of police help desks and so on and they’ll be funded under Nirbhaya Fund scheme.
Commerce MinisterSuresh Prabhu launches ‘SWAYATT’ on GeM
SWAYATT is an initiative to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage through e-Transactions on Government e Marketplace (GeM). This will bring together the key stakeholders within the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace the national procurement portal.
Suresh Prabhu also felicitated a few successful entrepreneurs from Women Self Help Groups, Start-ups and MSMEs in GeM.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, C.R. Chaudhary, released a movie on GeM SWAYATT
Development Projects worth Rs. 3350 crores unveiled by PM in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine of 10000 Horse Power (HP) at DLW Varanasi.
He inaugurated
Virtual Experiential Museum (VEM) under Archeological Survey of India, Man – Mahal,in the bank of the River Ganges.It was constructed by Raja Man – Singh in 1600 A.D. in 1734, an observatory was constructed on the roof of this monument by Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur.
Supercomputer ‘Param Shivay’ at IIT-BHU.
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Hospital and HomiBhabha Cancer Hospital in Lahartara.He unveiled statue of PanditMadan Mohan Malaviya along with Murals of Varanasi Ghats.
He released commemorative postage stamp on completion of 100 Years of IIT BHU.
He also dedicated first New Bhabhatron with precision technology.
On the Occasion of RavidasJayanti,he laid the foundation stone of Guru Ravidas Birth Place Development Project in Shri Guru RavidasJanmasthan Temple.

Cabinet approved setting up a new company under Department of Space
The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a new company under Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centers and constituent units of DOS.
This company will explore following areas for commercial exploitation of ISRO Programmes.
Small satellite technology transfer to industry, wherein the new company shall take license from DoS/ ISRO and sub-license to industries.
Cabinet approved continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin beyond March, 2019 (PMAY-G Phase-II)
The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) beyond March, 2019 (PMAY-G) Phase-II as follows:
Total target for construction of 1.95 crore houses under PMAY-G Phase-II up to 2022. Continuation of rural housing scheme Pradhan Mantri Awaas YojanaGramin (PMAY-G) in Phase-ll till 2019-20 as per the existing norms of PMAY-G Phase-l, with a target of 60 lakh houses involving financial implication of Rs. 76,500 crore.
Continuation of Program Management Unit (PMU) and National Technical Support Agency (NTSA) till 2019-20.
The left out rural households who are houseless or living in dilapidated houses subject to a ceiling of 1.95 crore would be provided pucca houses by 2022.
Cabinet approved implementation of National Rural Economic Transformation Project
The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of an Externally Aided Project named National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) through loan assistance from World Bank.
DAY-NRLM aims on targeting the poorest and the most vulnerable communities and their financial inclusion.
DAY-NRLM provides for mutually beneficial working relationship and formal platforms for consultations between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
Cabinet approved continuation of Khadi Gramod yog Vikas Yojana from 2017-18 to 2019-20
To continue the existing schemes of Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA), Khadi Grant, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) and Village Industry Grant, all subsumed under ‘Khadi and Gramod yog Vikas Yojana’ at the total cost of Rs. 2800 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
To bring in a new component of ‘Rozgar Yukta Gaon’ to introduce enterprise-based operation in the Khadi sector and to create employment opportunities for thousands of new artisans
Rozgar Yukta Gaon (RYG) aims at introducing an ‘Enterprise-led Business Model’ in place of ‘Subsidy-led model’ through partnership among 3 stakeholders- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KRDP)-assisted Khadi Institution, Artisans and Business Partner.
It will be rolled out in 50 Villages by providing 10,000 Charkhas, 2000 looms & 100 warping units to Khadi artisans, and would create direct employment for 250 Artisans per village.
Cabinet approved revisions/ modifications in National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the revision of norms under Mid-Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 12,054 Crore for 2019-20 in addition to the subsidy of about Rs. 8,000 Crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution.
A new component of Rs. 10,000 per kitchen for repair of kitchens more than 10 years old is introduced to help for maintenance and upkeep.
Rs. 50 crore is allocated for fortification of food items in a systematic manner addressing the issues of anemia and other deficiencies.
They may procure pulses as per their local taste for the Mid-Day Meal from the Central Buffer Stock created by the Government

Cabinet approved ''Reforms in Exploration and Licensing Policy for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas''
The aim is to attract new investment in Exploration and Production (E&P) Sector, intensification of exploration activities in unexplored areas and liberalizing the policy in producing basins.
The policy reforms focus on four major areas:
To increase exploration activities in unexpected areas.
To incentivize enhanced gas production
To enhance production from existing nomination fields of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL).
To promote ease of doing business through setting up coordination mechanism and simplification of approval of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), alternate dispute resolution mechanism etc.
Cabinet approved methodology for coal mine allocation
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/blocks for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The opening up of commercial coal mining for private sector is the most ambitious coal sector reform since the nationalisation of this sector in 1973.
The methodology gives highest priority to transparency, ease of doing business and ensures that natural resources are used for national development.
The auction will be an ascending forward auction whereby the bid parameter will be the price offer in “Rupees per tonne” which will be paid to the State Government on the actual production of coal.
There will be no restriction on the sale and/or utilization of coal from the coal mine.
This reform is expected to bring efficiency into the coal sector and increase competitiveness, allowing the use of best possible technology into the sector.
Cabinet approved proposal for Constitution of Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denitrified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).
DNCs most deprived citizens of this country and most of them are spread across the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories and some DNCs are not covered in any of the SC. ST or OBC categories.
Cabinet approved launch Kisan Urja Surakshaevam Utthaan Mahabhiyan
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved launch of Kisan Urja Surakshaevam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers. The proposed scheme consists of three components:
Component - A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
Component - B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
Component - C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
All 3 components combined, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
Cabinet approved the proposal of National Policy on Electronics 2019
The Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
The Policy aims on positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing(ESDM) by encouraging and driving capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chip sets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.
Features of NPE 2019:
Create eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector
Provide incentives and support for manufacturing of core electronic components.
Create Sovereign Patent Fund (SPF) to promote the development and acquisition of IPs in ESDM sector.
Promote trusted electronics value chain initiatives to improve national cyber security profile.
Cabinet approved Promulgation of the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019
It will immediately tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country launched by rapacious operators, by altogether banning unregulated deposit taking schemes, and having adequate provisions for punishment disgorgement/repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
Cabinet approved “SwadeshDarshan Scheme: Integrated Development of Theme-based Tourist Circuits in the country”
Continuation of the SwadeshDarshan Scheme during 14th Finance Commission period and beyond Rs.2055.96 crores for 60 on-going projects completing in December 2019 and Rs. 324.09 crores for 6 projects for which substantial funds have been released and projects to be completed in September 2020.
Cabinet approved Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor of RRTS
Construction of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) covering a distance of 15 km. (68.03 km elevated and 14.12 km underground) at a total completion cost of Rs. 30,274 crores.
The RRTS is a first-of-its-kind, Rail-based, High-speed regional transit system to be implemented in India.
It will be the fastest, most comfortable and safest mode of commuter transport in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Cabinet approves Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022
In the Phase-II Programme Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the residential sector has been restructured with availability of 40% CFA for RTS systems up to 3 kW capacity and 20% for RTS system capacity beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW.
For Group Housing Societies/ Residential Welfare Associations (GHS/ RAW), CFA will be limited to 20% for RTS plants for supply of power to common facilities.

February 22

Cabinet approvals with foreign countries
MoU between India and Morocco ­ on reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of Business Visa and to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications.
MoU between India and Vietnam for cooperation in the field of Communications
MoU between India and South Africa on simplification of visa requirements for travels of certain categories of citizens.
South Korean National Police Agency, Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Ministry of Home Affairs, India on combating transnational crime and developing police cooperation.
Textiles Minister has Launched four projects in North East for the development of Silk Sector
Four projects for the development of Silk sector were launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani via video-conferencing, in the North-East. She also inaugurated new office buildings of the Weavers’ Service Centre (WSC) in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Kannur, Kerala.
The projects launched are:
Muga silk seed production centre in Tura, Meghalaya, taken by the Central Silk Board for implementation under the Integrated Sericulture Development Project (ISDP) in order to establish seed infrastructure units in the north-eastern states.
Eri spun silk mill in Sangaipat, Imphal with a total cost of Rs. 21.53 crore and implemented by collaboration between state and Centre Silk Board (CSB).
Silk printing and processing unit in Agartala, Tripura to enhance growth in the whole textile value chain and facilitate local weavers and artisans. The Rs. 3.71 crore project will produce, print and process 1.5 lakh meter silk per annum.
Sericulture development project in Mamit, Mizoram with the total cost of Rs. 11.53 crore.
Govt inks MoU with Canadian university for research on environment issues
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University Of British Columbia (UBC), Canada for next 10 years to explore opportunities for collaborations in the field of Forestry Science and to work on various environmental issues like Climate Change, Forest Resource Management and Wildlife.
The opportunities will be explored by organizations like Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Forest Survey of India (FSI), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Directorate of Forest Education, Uttarakhand, and UBC, Canada.
Government announces free air travel for CRPF to Jammu & Kashmir
The Ministry of Home Affairs, following the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama which killed 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, approved free air travel of all personnel of the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) moving between Delhi and Srinagar, and Jammu and Srinagar on official duty, transfer, or on leave.
About 7,80,000 personnel of the CRPF in the ranks of constable, head constable and ASI, who were previously ineligible, will be benefitted by this step. Previously, only officers were given air travel facility.

Prince of Saudi Arabia visited India
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was on a one-day state visit to India. He met PM and President of India.
MoU’s signed between India and Saudi Arabia:
MoU on investing in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Tourism between the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of India and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of Saudi Arabia for Cooperation in the Field of Housing.
Framework Cooperation Program between Invest India of the Republic of India and Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Enhancing Bilateral Investment Relation.
MoU for Cooperation on Broadcasting between Prasar Bharati, New Delhi, India and Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), Saudi Arabia for Exchange of Audio Visual Programme.

February 23

India, Sri Lanka Ink MoU to Establish Business Centre For ICT Incubators
India and SriLanka signed a MoU to establish a business center for ICT incubators in Jaffna (a city in Sri Lanka) through the grant of Rs. 25 crore Sri Lankan rupees from India.
The MoU was signed by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, and Secretary, Ministry of Development StrategiesandInternational Trade Mr. S.T. Kodikara in Colombo in presence of Sri Lankan Prime Minister RanilWickramasinghe.

 President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated four Ordinances.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance has been promulgated to give continued effect to the provisions brought in by the earlier ordinance. This Ordinance declares the practice of instant triple talaq to be void and illegal and also to make it an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance has been promulgated to give continued effect to the work already done by the Board of Governors as per the provisions of earlier Ordinance.
The Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance has been promulgated with a view, to empower the Central Government to allow certain companies to have a different financial year instead of as determined by the Tribunal.
The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance has been promulgated to have central legislation to tackle the menace of illicit deposits taking activities in the country.
Commerce Minister addressed India-Russia Forum on SMEs
An Interactive Forum between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of India and Russia was held in Bengaluru and was addressed by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu for working to address and resolve trade and investment issues to facilitate and increase private sector cooperation.
India has already announced setting up of a fast track, single-window mechanism for Russian companies which would be chaired by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Secretary.
This mechanism would be in addition to the Russia Desk that had been set up to promote Russian investment in India.
SMEs being less informed about the schemes that exist in both the countries, a need to curate a digital bridge between the economies so that SMEs can benefit from it was addressed.
Changes in the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 approved by President Ram NathKovind
President Ram NathKovind gave his assent to the amendments to the Indian Stamp Act, 1899, which were introduced in the Parliament as part of the Finance Act 2019. These amendments have been introduced to regularize the system of levying stamp duty and to help in curbing tax evasion.
For the stamp duty rates, the duties levied by Maharashtra will be taken as a benchmark as the state accounts for 70% of the total collection.
They propose creation of a legal and institutional mechanism which will enable states to collect stamp duty on securities market instruments at one place by one agency(through the Stock Exchanges or Clearing Corporations authorised by the stock exchange or by the Depositories).
They also propose a mechanism for appropriate sharing of the stamp duty with relevant state governments on the basis of state of domicile of the buying client.
There’s also a proposal to create a Coordination Council under Article 263 of the Indian Constitution by a separate order/notification of the President of India for the enactment of the Act.

February 24

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurates two silk projects in Assam
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated two projects under the Ministry of Textiles at Udalguri, Assam.
The projects are:
Integrated Soil to Silk Project
It has been set up at a cost of 55 crores. It will provide employment opportunities to 15,600 people in the duration of the project and to 7,000 people once fully functional.
Aims to undertake new Eri plantation on 100 hectares and work on 600 acres of existing Eri farms and provide handloom and work sheds to 2500
Eri Spun Silk Mill
It will generate direct employment for 107 persons all through the year.
It will be implemented directly by the state government in tandem with the Central Silk Board.
It will provide indirect employment to around another 1,500 Eri farmers through backward linkage and to around 730 weavers through forward linkage.
It would ensure sustainable livelihood for women of Bodoland Territorial Council through tapioca plantation at Kokrajhar
TN Becomes First State in mainland to get 2 Coast Guard Districts
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit inaugurated the second Coast Guard district headquarters at Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the first state in India to get a second Coast Guard district headquarters. The first district headquarters is Chennai.
The second headquarters have been set up to deal with frequent issues faced by fishermen and provide anti-poaching operations, search and rescue missions and coastal security measures.
It will function under Commander Coast Guard Region (East).
The area of operations will include about 680 km of the coastline along districts of Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.
The Position of first district Commander of the district headquarters (Tuticorin) has been given to Coast Guard DIG Arvind Sharma.
Government decided to stop share of Indus water to Pakistan
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the Centre was planning to build projects on 3 rivers flowing into Pakistan, to divert water towards Yamuna.
The water will be diverted from the eastern rivers and supplied it to Indians in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
Under the Indus Waters Treaty, India shares water of the Beas and Sutlej rivers with Pakistan.

February 25

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated 3rd Edition of VIVID 2019
3rd Edition of “VIVID-Vision Insight and Voices as India goes Digital”- the District Informatics Officer (DIO) meet, was organised by NationalInformatics Centre (NIC)as an initiative to interact with the DIO’s and to share their experiences as well as contribution, as digital change-makers at the grass-root level in the States.
Union Minister of Electronics and IT, Law and Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, inaugurated the event with conferring of NIC TechGov Awards and Swachhta Awards.
He also released the Digital India Compendium and launched Digidhan Mitra Chatbotand Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) scheme.

February 26

PM Modi has launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme in Gorakhpur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The scheme will provide Rs. 6,000 per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares.
The amount will be given in three installments of Rs. 2,000 each and will be transferred directly to the bank account of the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer, ensuring transparency in the entire process and saving time for the farmers.

February 27

National War Memorial dedicated to the nation by PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the National War Memorial near India Gate in New Delhi which commemorates the soldiers who participated and made the supreme sacrifice in Peacekeeping Missions and Counter Insurgency Operations.
The complex includes a central obelisk, an eternal flame and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. Busts of the 21 awardees of Param Veer Chakra have been installed at Param Yoddha Sthal.
EVM is ‘information’ under Right to Information Act, rule Central Information Commission
According to Central Information Commission (CIC), an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) is “information” under the Right to Information Act and it can be demanded by a citizen from the Election Commission (EC) by paying Rs. 10.
This indicates that whenever an RTI is filed, the Election Commission (EC) has to either provide it or reject it only the exemption clauses in the RTI Act and the rejected cases can also be taken to the CIC.
The decision was taken by Sudhir Bhargava- Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). He took into consideration the definition of information under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act which comprises “any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form”.
3-day fest on Gandhian philosophy held in New Delhi
The 3rd edition of the 3-day festival “Words in the Garden” based on the life and ideology of Mahatma Gandhi was held at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi. The festival was organized by the Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti and curated by renowned Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi.
This year’s title of the event was “Bapu Ki Dilli” as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary and celebrated the life and ideology of Bapu the father of our nation through plays, recitals, readings, discussions and more.
It began with the screening of 1996 film “The Making of the Mahatma” directed by Shyam Benegal which explores Gandhi’s participation in South Africa’s freedom struggle.
The festival explored themes with contemporary relevance inspired by Bapu’s ideologies – ‘Significance of non-violence today‘ and ‘Sustainable Living‘.

February 28

5,60,695 Houses Sanctioned Under PMAY(U) in the 43rd CSMC meeting
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs approved the construction of another 5,60,695 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) at the 43rd Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee meeting.
The cumulative number of houses sanctioned under PMAY (U) now is 79, 04, 674.
A total of 1,243 projects with a project cost of Rs. 33,873 crore with central assistance of Rs. 8,404 crore has been approved in the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
CIPET centre inaugurated by Sadananda Gowda in Tripura
Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, inaugurated a centre of the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) at Bodhjungnagar in Tripura.
The institute will produce 1500 skilled workers per annum.

2 new NIDs inaugurated at Bhopal and Jorhat by Suresh Prabhu
National Institutes of Design (NID) at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Jorhat in Assam were inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, through video conference from New Delhi.
They are autonomous institutions and under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
NID Jorhat (Assam) is the first Design Institution at the national level in the North Eastern Region of India.
The recommendation for setting up design institutes, on the lines of NID Ahmedabad, in other parts of India, in order to promote design programs, was given by National Design Policy (2007).
New NIDs have been set up in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) andHaryana (Kurukshetra) with a total outlay of Rs. 434 crore.
The project has been executed and implemented by NBCC (India) Ltd. (formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd.)
800-kg “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” unveiled by Narendra Modi in Delhi
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has unveiled a 800-kg “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” at ISKCON temple in Delhi. This book is the world’s largest sacred book and was prepared by ISKCON devotees.
The book measured around 2.8 by 2 meters, weighed over 800 kg, contains 670 pages and has the original verses of Bhagavad Gita.
According to ISKCON, this book will have the largest principle sacred text ever to be printed. The book has an artistic touch of 18 exquisite paintings and an innovative elegant layout.

20th India-Italy JCEC session held in New Delhi
The 2-day long session of the 20th India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) was held in New Delhi and co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu and the Deputy Minister of Economic Development (Italy), Mr. Michele Geraci.
Both countries, through facilitating dialogue and enhancing cooperation in a wide range of sectors like machinery, infrastructure and engineering, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) including digitalization, agriculture and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), looked forward towards the development of bilateral economic and trade relations between them.

IWAI and IOCL Signed MoU On Fuel Needs for National Waterways
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) signed an MoU for jointly developing infrastructure for fuels, lubricating oil, LPG, Natural Gas and any other related fuel and gas for meeting the requirement of National Waterways.
The MoU will provide for an understanding over general modalities of mutual cooperation leading to addressing futuristic demand of any form of energy for Inland Waterways and associated services