National - 2018 OCTOBER

October 1

Govt permitted import of pet coke by the graphite electrode industry
The government has permitted imports of pet coke, used for fuel purpose, by graphite electrode industry, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT).
Import of pet coke for fuel purpose is prohibited. However, the import was allowed to only four industries so far.
"In addition to the existing four industries - cement, lime klin, calcium carbide, and gasification industries, the fifth one is graphite electrode industry is added for whom pet coke is freely importable''.

UPSC allows facility of withdrawal of applications by candidates
Arrangement to be implemented beginning with Engineering Services Examination, 2019
The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has allowed the facility of withdrawal of applications by candidates. This was announced by the Chairman of UPSC Shri Arvind Saxena.

Odisha to launch State Food Security Scheme on Gandhi Jayanti
The Odisha government will launch its own State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.
Over 18 lakh poor and eligible people left out under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) will receive their quota of 5 kg of rice at the rate of Rupee 1 per kg.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will launch the state scheme.

October 2

Project Utkrisht launched by Indian Railways
Swanky Mail/ Express trains of Indian Railways! In a move that will be welcomed by the common man, Indian Railways Project ‘Utkrisht’ – aimed at upgrading Mail/ Express train rakes – has kick started with the revamp of train number 12311/ 12312 Howrah-Kalka Mail of Eastern Railway. Under Project Utkrisht, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways plans to upgrade 140 rakes of Mail/ Express trains in the first phase.

National Khadi Festival 2018 inaugurated by Union MSME Minister
A month-long National Khadi Festival 2018 to promote Khadi products has been inaugurated on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti 2018, by Union Minister for Micro Small & Medium Enterprises, Shri Giriraj Singh. The fest is being organised by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) at Gramodaya, 3, Irla Road, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai –56.
Chairman, KVIC, Shri Vinai kumar Saxena reiterated that Khadi and Village Industries Commission is an organization based on the principles of Gandhiji, taking forward the wider objective of creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building of a strong community spirit.

IIT-Kharagpur named national coordinator for research scheme- ‘SPARC’ of HRD ministry
IIT-Kharagpur has been named the national coordinating institute of the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The programme seeks to “improve the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by promoting academic and research collaboration between Indian institutions and best-in-class faculty and renowned research groups in foreign institutions”.

Manipur declared as 23rd open defecation free state: CM of Manipur
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh declared Manipur as the 23rd state to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) in India.
It is the 5th state in the North East to get the ODF tag. Dr. Najma Heptulla, the Governor of Manipur handed over the certificate of ODF Manipur to Singh during the observance of National Cleanliness Day at Gandhi Memorial Hall in Imphal.

October 3

Cabinet Approvals:
Cabinet approves Redevelopment of Railway Stations by IRSDC as Nodal Agency, through simplified procedures and longer lease tenure
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the redevelopment of Railway Stations by Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) as Nodal Agency and main Project Development Agency, through simplified procedures adapting various business model and for longer lease tenure of upto 99 years. Thus, paving the way for large scale modernisation and ensure world class infrastructure.
Cabinet approves Indore Metro Rail Project comprising Ring Line (Bengali Square – Vijay Nagar – Bhawarsala – Airport – Patasia – Bengali Square)
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Indore Metro Rail Project comprising Ring Line of length 31.55 Km from Bengali Square - Vijay Nagar - Bhawarsala - Airport - Patasia - Bengali Square which will connect major public nodes and city cluster areas of Indore.
Cabinet approves establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation in Sehore District instead of Bhopal
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved,in partial modification of the earlier decision taken on 16.05.2018, theestablishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation(NIMHR) in Sehore District (Bhopal-Sehore highway) instead of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Cabinet Approvals With Foreign Countries:
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Russia on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Road Industry
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Road Industry. The MoU will be signed during the upcoming visit of Russian President to India.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Russiaon cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signingof aMemorandum of Understanding (MoU) between National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC) - a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the Republic of India and JSC-Russian Small & Medium Business Corporation (RSMB Corporation), Russia.The MoU will be signed during the upcoming visit of Russian President to India.
Cabinet approves Second Protocol amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Second Protocol amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore. The CECA was signed.

Sahyog-Hop Tac 2018: joint exercise of India, Vietnam commenced in Chennai
A Vietnam Coast Guard ship on its maiden visit undertook joint exercises with the Indian Coast Guard off the city coast, aimed at strengthening the working level relationship between them.
Coast Guard ships Shaurya, Arnvesh and inreceptor boat C-431 along with a Dornier aircraft and Chetak helicopter participated in the joint exercise -'Sahyog HOP TAC-2018".

Assam government launches wage compensation scheme for pregnant women in tea garden districts
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has launched the Wage Compensation Scheme for Pregnant Women in tea gardens of the state.
Under the scheme, each pregnant woman in tea gardens will get a sum of Rs 12,000 so that she can take better care of herself and her unborn baby without compromising the livelihood of her family.

October 4

Government cuts excise duty on fuel by Rs 2.50, appeals States to lower VAT
The Government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50.
The government and oil companies will absorb the price cut by Rs 1.50 and Rs 1 respectively.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has also urged the state governments to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel by another Rs 2.50.
Assam Assembly passes GST (Amendment) Bill
The Assam state assembly passed an amendment in the Assam Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2018.
According to the amendments,
GST registration for companies having up to 20 lakh rupees(earlier Rs. 10 lakh) turnover per annum has been exempted,
The limit of turnover from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1.5 crorehas been increased for businesses to be eligible for filing one per cent composite tax.
Policy on Biometric based Digital processing of passengers at airport released by Civil aviation Ministry
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu released the policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called “Digi Yatra”
The Ministry has taken the initiative to develop standards for digital processing of passengers at airport to ensure uniform implementation and passenger experience across Indian airports through a connected ecosystem.

October 5

Alphonso Mango from Konkan, Maharashtra got GI tagged
Alphonso from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar, Thane and Raigad districts of Maharashtra, is registered as Geographical Indication (GI). A Geographical Indication or a GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality. Darjeeling Tea, Mahabaleshwar Strawberry, Blue Pottery of Jaipur, BanarasiSarees and TirupatiLaddus are some of the GIs.

Government constitutes a High Level Committee for proper management of water resources in North Eastern Region under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chairman, NitiAayog.
This is a sequel to the Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi’s visit to Guwahati in August this year to review the flood situation and relief work in the North Eastern States.
The Committee would facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in the form of hydro-electric power, agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, reduced flood damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism.

India, Russia widen range of cooperation, exchange 8 agreements, MoU's at summit.
The agreement was reached in the presence of Prime Minister NarendraModi and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin during the annual 19th India-Russia Bilateral Summit.
MoUs were signed between
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MEA for the period 2019-2023
Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog)
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on Joint Activities in the field of Human Spaceflight Programme.
The Indian and Russian Railways
The Russian Ministry of Transport and Indian Railways in the Development Cooperation in Transport Education
The National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), of India and the Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB), on Cooperation in the field of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Cooperation Agreement in the Fertilizers Sector between the Russian Direct Investment Fund"
An agreement on space cooperation under which an Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia was also signed.

India and Russia have formally inked the $5.2 billion deal for S-400 system from Russia
The agreement was to acquire five such systems from Russia was signed during delegation-level talks.
The S-400 is one of the world's most advanced long-range air defence systems, capable of destroying cruise, ballistic missiles.
The S-400 can engage almost every type of modern warplanes. Advanced jet fighters with stealth capabilities will also find it difficult to operate in a battlespace where the S-400 is deployed.
India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border.

October 6

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Three-day Visit To India highlights.
Addressed the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA), 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Energy Ministerial Meet, 2nd Global RE-Invest Meet & Expo hosted by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in New Delhi.
Attended the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi along with Prime Minister NarendraModi.
Presented the Champions of the Earth’ award to PM NarendraModi.
Formally inaugurated the UN House in the national capital Delhi.

Country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel rolled out by APL in Assam
Signifying a paradigm shift towards the use of alternate cooking fuel technology, the Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) rolled out the country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel, which will be 30% cheaper than conventional LPG fuel, cleaner and greener and easily transportable.
NITI Aayog member and former director general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Vijay Kumar Saraswat, set the ball rolling by inaugurating the ‘Green and Clean Fuel Pilot Project on Methanol Cooking Stove’, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country.
500 households inside the Assam Petro Complex will be the first pilot project, scaling it to 40,000 households in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Goa and Karnataka.

India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) & Russia’s SIRIUS sign MoU for promotion of innovative cooperation between students of India & Russia.
It was signed in the presence of the Prime Minister of India Shri. NarendraModi and the President of Russia H.E. Vladimir Putin.
To promote a spirit of collaborative innovation, young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs and SIRIUS Educational Foundation came together at a four-day Indo-Russian ATL innovation boot-camp from October 1st to October 4th.
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in India.
SIRIUS Educational FoundationFund “Talent and success” is anunitary, non-profit, non-standard educational organizationaimed to identify and support children and young people who have shown outstanding abilities.

October 7

Government decides to cover crop damages in wild animal attacks under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna on trial basis.
The government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis.
The damages to individual or limited number of cultivators in localised events like water logging, land slide, hailstorms etc did not fall under the ambit of the Centre's crop insurance scheme earlier, but they too are being covered now under new provisions.
About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:
(a) To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
(b) To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
(c) To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
(d) To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.

Rapid Action Force (RAF) to set up 5 battalions in the country.
The Rapid Action Force (RAF) is a specialised wing of the Indian CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) to deal with riot and crowd control situations.
The existing RAF Battalions are located in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
The Key Location Plan of the new five RAF Bns are in the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

October 8

 Election Commission announces assembly elections for 5 states

The Election Commission has announced the poll schedule for Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
While Chhattisgarh will have two-phase elections, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana will have single phase election.
Chief Election Commissioner, OP Rawat stated the counting of votes in all states will take place on 11th of December. The Model Code of Conduct has come into force with immediate effect. 
Om PrakashRawat is Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Railway Minister Lays Foundation Stone Of Two Key Railway Projects In Chhattisgarh.
The construction of a new railway line connecting Katghora-Mungeli-Kawardha-Dongargarh would accelerate the growth of the mineral-rich region and bring prosperity.
Minister of Railways, Coal and Corporate Affairs in the Government of India :PiyushGoyal.

October 9

Task Force for Closing the Skills Gap in India.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched a Task Force for Closing the Skills Gap in India, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
The task force will bring together leaders from business, Government, civil society, and the education and training sectors to accelerate the future-proofing of education and training systems in the country.

Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference of India Region, Zone III in Guwahati.
Mahajan expressed concern that North East occupies an important place in the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given immense stress on the development of the region.
No socio- political development is possible without peace.

October 10

Union Cabinet approves closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd.
NJMC has been incurring losses for several years and was under reference to Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction(BIFR) since 1993.
The Mills of NJMC which were proposed for revival, namely, Kinnison Mill at Titagarh, Khardah Mill at Khardah and RBHM Mill at Katihar are under suspension since August, 2016.

Union Cabinet approves merger of National Council for Vocational Training, NCVT and NSDA to establish NCVET.
This will provide infrastructure to meet the increasing skill requirements of the country.
At present, there are 20 Ministries/ Departments implementing skill development programs mostly using private sector training providers.

Union Cabinet approves Productivity Linked Bonus for Railway Employees.
Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees (excluding RPF/ RPSF personnel).
This will be equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2017-18.
About 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision.
It is in accordance with ‘The Payment of Bonus Act – 1965’.
Union Cabinet approves establishment and operationalisation of permanent campuses of the Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati and Berhampur.
The total cost  likely to be incurred is Rs. 3074.12 crore.
The construction will be completed by December, 2021.
Union Cabinet approves MoU between India, Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture.
The bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture will be mutually beneficial to both the countries, as the agreement will promote understanding of best agricultural practices in the two countries and will help in better productivity at farmer fields as well as an improved global market.
It will also help increase agricultural production and productivity by opening access to best practices and market worldwide.
Mobile Health App ‘MedWatch’ Launched by Indian Air Force
On the occasion of 86th anniversary, the Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named ‘MedWatch’ in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush’.
The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.
‘MedWatch’ will provide correct, Scientific and authentic health information to air warriors and all citizens of India. 
‘MedWatch’ is the first mobile health app in the three Armed Services.

October 11

Government Reconstitutes Top Court-Powered Pollution Control Panel.
The Centre has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority or the EPCA, which is tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region.
 Former secretary Bhure Lal continues to be the chairman, while the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) DG Sunita Narain is one of the members. 

Cabinet approves merger of National Council for Vocational Training, NCVT and National Skill Development Agency, NSDA to establish National Council for Vocational Education and Training, NCVET.
This institutional reform will lead to improvement in quality and market relevance of skill development programs lending credibility to vocational education and training encouraging greater private investment and employer participation in the skills space.
In an effort to realize India's demographic dividend, its workforce needs to be equipped with employable skills and knowledge so that they can contribute to economic growth in a substantive manner.

October 12

Excise duty on jet fuel cut from 14% to 11% in relief for airlines.
The move comes at a time when high jet fuel prices and a weaker rupee have kept airline finances under pressure, with companies having limited headroom in raising fares without losing market share as the domestic aviation market is very price sensitive.
Excise duty on jet fuel was increased in March 2014 from 8% to 14%.

Govt exempts wireless chargers, bluetooth, low range devices from licensing norms
The Department of Telecom has exempted wireless devices that operate in low frequency range like bluetooth, wireless chargers, internet-of-things products, medical devicesetc from licensing requirement.
No licence shall be required by any person to establish, maintain, work, possess or deal in any wireless equipment for the purpose of usage of very low power radio frequency Devices or equipments for inductive applications in the 302 to 435 KHz (kilohertz), 855 to 1050 KHz and 1.89 to 2.31 MHz frequency bands on non-interference, non-protection and shared (non-exclusive) basis.

Delhi signs twin-city pact with Moscow for tourism and education for 3 yrs.
They have mutually agreed to extend the Twining Agreement for the period of three years, starting from November 1, in environmental protection and air pollution control, cultural and tourism, healthcare, education, sports, transport management and e-governance.
The agreement will help in establishing friendship and cooperation between the two cities and will also help in maintaining regular contacts between the two governments.

October 13

Central University of Jammu signs MoU with ISRO to set up Space Applications Center
 For setting up of the SatishDhawan Center for Space Science in the University .
Another MoU was signed between CUJ and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO) to create awareness about space research and to motivate young minds to take up research related to space, astronomy, geology, atmospheric sciences and related fields, a two day workshop was also inaugurated at the CUJ campus.

NITI Aayog'sAtal Innovation Mission (AIM)& IBM India design First-of-its Kind Industry-tailored Student Internship Programme.
The internship will see 38 students receive a two-week paid internship, and 14 teachers from Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) will come together and ideate, collaborate and innovate.
These students will be equipped with the skills for new collar careers in areas like artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things, cybersecurity, cloud computing and blockchain.
Apart from being trained in emerging technologies, students will also be coached in critical workplace skills.

PM Modi Inaugurates Silver Jubilee Celebrations of NHRC
He quoted that it has an important role to play in government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development goals.
The NHRC was set up on the 12th October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, passed by Parliament.
NHRC Chairman: Justice HL Dattu.

October 14

Indian Navy acquires deep submarine rescue capabilities.
Enhancing its operational capabilities, the Navy has inducted its first deep submergence rescue vehicle which is deployed to rescue downed or disaster-struck submarines at high sea.
With induction of the deep submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV), India has joined a select group of countries that have the capability to locate and rescue “distressed submarines”.
The second DSRV is expected to be inducted at Visakhapatnam in 2019.

Microsoft India signs pact with NITI for AI tools in agri, healthcare.
Microsoft India it has signed an agreement with NitiAayog to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to address challenges in agriculture and healthcare, and promote adoption of local language computing, among others.
Microsoft India will support NITI Aayog by combining the cloud, AI, research and its vertical expertise for new initiatives and solutions across several core areas.

4-member panel to look into #Me Too Cases: Union minister Maneka Gandhi proposes
Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi announced setting up a four-member committee to examine all #MeToo cases.
The panel would consist of senior judicial and legal persons as members.
They will form a legal and institutional framework which will handle the complaints of sexual harassment and advise the ministry on how to strengthen the policies.
It was placed through “The Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act’ of 2013.
Here, women could complain through the She Box ( www.shebox.nic.in) and can also be lodged at min-wcd@nic.in.

October 15

British Deputy High Commissioner Hyderabad Andrew Fleming launched.
The SRiX Agri-Business Academy, India’s first agri and food business online learning platform, at SR Innovation Exchange (SRiX) Campus, Warangal.
SRiX Agri-Business Academy is an Indo-UK collaborative initiative.
SRiX is a technology business incubator under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
It is focussed on start-ups of agriculture, cleantech and IoT.

October 16

Multimodal logistics park policy on the anvil.
The government is formulating a policy for the integrated development of multimodal logistics parks with a view to promoting movement of goods for domestic as well as global trade.
Each park is supposed to have a plot of 50 acres with each costing Rs. 200-300 crore for development.
35 such parks have been proposed by different ministries including railways.
These ministries include railways, shipping and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) shrine board enhanced the free insurance cover to pilgrims to five lakh.
Under this, the accidental cover extended to each pilgrim free of cost has been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 3 lakh, after 8 years.
The board also approved to implement the Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy for all the 2,960 of its employees.

October 17

Govt announces Rs 100 croreaward for states completing household electrification early under Saubhagya scheme.
Apart from discoms, employees would also collectively get 50 lakh rupees award for completing the task of electrifying households under the scheme which was launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi in September 2017.
The states which have already achieved almost 99 per cent of household electrification work would be kept out of the award scheme.
These states are Gujarat, Punjab, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Himachal Pradesh.

October 18

Govt launches 'Swastha Bharat Yatra' campaign to create awareness about safe food.
The government launched a national campaign 'Swasth Bharat Yatra' on the World Food Day under which a pan-India cycle rally is being organised to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is leading this campaign where about 7,500 cyclists are expected to participate in over 18,000 km relay cycle rally travelling across six tracks through almost every state and UT over 100 days to propagate a powerful message 'Eat Right India'.

October 20

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Reaches New Delhi For Three-Day Visit
A three-day visit in a bid to boost ties in a range of areas including trade and investment and maritime security.
The two sides are also likely to review the status of the India-assisted housing projects in Jaffna during MrWickremesinghe's visit.
They are also likely to deliberate on the Tamil issue - the reconciliation process and devolution of powers in Tamil-dominated areas.
India is likely to operate the airport under a joint venture with the island nation.

October 21

PM inaugurates revamped National Police Memorial
He opened a revamped National Police Memorial and a museum in Chankayapuri.
Conceptualised in 1984, the earlier memorial, a 150-foot structure of steel, was brought down on the order of the Delhi High Court in 2008 because it violated environmental norms.

India’s First Domestic Cruise ‘Angriya’ Flagged Off From Mumbai
Angriya, India’s first luxury cruise ship, has been inaugurated at Mumbai.
The cruise will operate between Mumbai and Goa.
Named after the first Maratha Navy Admiral KanhojiAngre and the Angria bank coral reef near Vijaydurg, the luxury ship has 104 rooms, divided into eight different categories.
It is going to cater nearly 30 lakh passengers from Mumbai in the next ten years.

House panel to examine functioning of EPFO.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has also decided to review the implementation of labour laws, social security and welfare scheme for workers.
The panel will be headed by BJP MP KiritSomaiya.
It has selected a wide range of subjects related to labourers, including the International LabourOrganisation conventions binding on India and the measures taken by the government to implement them, according to a bulletin issued by the LokSabha secretariat.
It will also look into the working conditions and welfare of mine workers, and review the working of the Directorate General of Mines Safety.

October 22

PM Modi's panel wants mandatory R&D funding by companies
The Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) wants to make it mandatory for medium and large enterprises in key sectors to set aside funds for research and development after the Economic Survey pointed out the abysmal levels of investment in this area.
Their share to at least 1% of GDP by 2022.
The global average is 1.5% of GDP, which is the overall level that the council wants to see in India over the next five years.
For automobiles, it advocated 3% of turnover, 2% for technology hardware and equipment, 5% for software and computer services, 2% for electronic and electrical equipment, 1% each for industrial engineering, chemicals and general industrials and 0.55% for oil and gas as well as construction.

#Metoo: NCW launches dedicated email to report sexual harassment at workplace
The Commission urges women who have come forward on social media and other platforms about their alleged harassers to send their formal written complaints to ncw.metoo@gmail.com
The NCW will be taking forward complaints of sexual harassment at workplace received on the mail so that appropriate action may be taken, as per law.
The #MeToo movement started with actor TanushreeDutta accusing another actor Nana Patekar of harassing her during the shooting of a Bollywood film in 2008. Patekar has denied the allegations.

October 23

“Harit Diwali-Swasth Diwali” campaign launched by Ministry of Environment.
This campaign was initiated in 2017-18 wherein large number of school children especially from eco-clubs participated and took pledge to minimize bursting of crackers and also discouraged the neighborhood and their friends from bursting of crackers.
During this intensive campaign, the children were advised to celebrate Diwali in an environment-friendly manner.
The above campaign was extremely successful and the air quality had not deteriorated post Diwali in 2017 unlike what was experienced in 2016.

India, Croatia ink pact to boost economic ties.
India and Croatia have signed an agreement to boost bilateral trade and enhance economic cooperation. The agreement was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister NirmalaSitharaman and Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Martina Dalic.
The present Agreement between India and Croatia would be a step in continuity as the last one expired in November, 2009.

India,China sign first security cooperation agreement.
This agreement will strengthen and consolidate assistance in counter-terrorism, organised crimes, drug control, human trafficking and exchange of information, marking a new beginning between the two countries.

Outreach Programmeat Air Force Station Nal
This year marks the 86th anniversary of Indian Air Force.
As part of Air Force Day Celebration, Air Force Station Nal conducted an outreach programme 'VAYUSENA PRADARSHANI'.
Approximately 1.5 lakh people including civilians, armed force personnel, paramilitary forces and nearly 12000 children from different schools/colleges in and around Bikaner witnessed this programme.

October 24

PM Modi launches 'Main Nahin Hum' portal for IT professionals.
Prime Minister NarendraModi interacted with IT and electronic manufacturing professionals and key industry leaders from across the country in New Delhi.
Professionals from about 100 locations across India joined the event through video-conference.
The portal, which works on the theme 'Self4Society', will enable IT professionals and organisations to bring together their efforts towards social causes on one platform.

Cabinet approved Scheme for setting up of Indian Institute of Skills at different locations across the country in PPP modes
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi approved setting up of Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) at different locations across the country in Public Private Partnership (PPP).
It would help the global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy by providing high quality skill training, applied research education and a direct connection with industry.

Cabinet approved appointment of Adjudicating Authority and establishment of Appellate Tribunal under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988.
It will be along with the three additional Benches and to establish the Appellate Tribunal under the PBPT Act.
Establishment of the proposed Appellate Tribunal would provide an appellate mechanism for the order passed by the Adjudicating Authority under the PBPT Act.
The Adjudicating Authority and Appellate Tribunal shall sit in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD).
Benches of Adjudicating Authority may sit in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
They will have the same level/ rank from the Income Tax Deptt./ Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

Cabinet approved National Monitoring Framework on Sustainable Development Goals
This committee will periodically review and refine the National Indicator Framework (NIF) for monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with associated targets.
The High Level Steering Committee will be chaired by Chief Statistician of India and Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
Other members of the committee will be Secretaries of data source Ministries and NITI Aayog and Secretaries of other related Ministries as special invitees.
Measurement of SDGs into on-going national policies, programmes through Statistical indicators of NIF will be done to form framework for achieving the targets under different SDGs.
It will review the National Indicator Framework on regular basis for its improvement.
Chief Statistician of India: PravinSrivastava.

Cabinet approved Creation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)
It will have an estimated fund size of Rs.7,522crore.
FIDF would provide concessional finance to State Governments/ UTs and State entities, cooperatives, individuals and entrepreneurs etc., for activities of fisheries development.
Background: Under FIDF, loan lending will be over a period of five yearsfrom 2018-19 to 2022-23 and maximum repayment will be over a period of 12 years inclusive of moratorium of two years on repayment of principal.

Cabinet approved increase in supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitatorsfor ASHA Facilitators for 2018 - 2019 to 2019 - 2020.
These changes are effective from October 2018 (to be paid in November, 2018).
ASHA Facilitator will undertake about 20 supervisory visits per month and with this, they will get about Rs 6000 per month against Rs 5000 per month.

Cabinet approved the New Railway Line between Bahraich and Khalilabad, Uttar Pradesh
This will be via Bhinga, Shravasti, Balrampur, Utraula, Domariyaganj, Mehdawal, Bansi.
The total length of the new Broad Gauge line will be 240.26 kilometers.
The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 4939.78 crore.
It would be completed by 2024-25 and will lie in North Eastern Railway.

October 25

Govt sets up GoM to look into sexual harassment at workplace.
The government has constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by home minister Rajnath Singh, to strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks to deal with and prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.
Other members of the GoMinclude road transport minister NitinGadkari, defenceministerNirmalaSitharaman and women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi.
The GoM will examine existing legal and institutional frameworks for dealing with matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
It will also recommend action required for effective implementation of existing provisions and strengthening existing legal and institutional frameworks to address issues related to sexual harassment at the workplace.

No Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country from April 1, 2020: SC
The Bharat stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020, across the country for using a cleaner fuel.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur made it clear that only BS VI compliant vehicle shall be sold in the country from April 1st, 2020.

India signs $5 billion - worth of pacts to give impetus to iron and steel industry
Thirty - eight pacts worth $5 billion were signed among 20 technology providers, capital goods manufacturers and steel producers, which will give impetus to the manufacturing of capital goods for iron and steel industry.
The MoUs were signed at a conclave on Capital Goods for Steel Sector: Manufacture in India, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) jointly with Mecon and Steel Ministry.

Experts’ group to cut schoolbag weight formed.
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) informed the Madras High Court that an Expert Group has been constituted to formulate a draft policy on reducing the weight of school bags in proportion to the age and average weight of children.
The MHRD had issued an order to formulate a policy on schoolbags on the lines of Children School Bags (Limitation on Weight) Bill of 2006, which never turned into a law.
It will be convened by professor RanjanaArora of the National Council of Educational Research and Training(NCERT).

October 26

PM Modi addresses IT professionals, launches 'Main Nahi Hum' portal.
The portal which works on the theme "Self for Society" will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform.
In doing so, the portal is expected to help catalyse greater collaboration towards the service of the weaker sections of society, especially by leveraging the benefits of technology.
It is also expected to generate wider participation of interested people who are motivated to work for the benefit of society.

October 27

KrishiKumbha 2018: PM Modi inaugurates mega farmers' conclave in Lucknow.
Prime Minister NarendraModi inaugurated KrishiKumbha 2018- a mega farmers' conclave- in Lucknow via video conferencing.
Israel and Japan are official partners of KrishiKumbh 2018 that will continue for three days.
While Japan is being represented by a deputy minister, Israel's ambassador to India Daniel Carmon is representing his country at this extravaganza.

India and Bangladesh Sign Agreements for Enhancing Inland and Coastal Waterways Connectivity
For enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity between the two countries for trade and cruise movements.
Agreements for enhancing inland and coastal waterways connectivity between the two countries for trade and cruise movements are signed.
The two countries have signed an agreement to use Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India.
An addendum to ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade between the two countries' has also been signed for the inclusion of Dhubri in India and Pangaon in Bangladesh as the new Ports.

October 29

New Supreme Court bench formed to hear pleas in Ayodhya dispute.
A new Supreme Court bench has been constituted to hear pleas in the Ayodhya title suit in connection with the Ram JanmabhoomiBabri Masjid case.
The new bench will comprise of Chief Justice of India RanjanGogoi and two other judges, justices SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph.

October 30

Foundation Of India’s Largest Dry Dock Laid at Cochin Shipyard
The Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation NitinGadkari and Kerala Chief Minister Pinaray iVijayan laid the foundation for India’s largest Dry Dock at Cochin Shipyard in Kerala.
The Dry Dock will give an impetus to “Make in India” initiative under Sagarmala and raise India’s share in global shipbuilding to 2%. India currently occupies 0.66 % share in global shipbuilding market.

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte In India On A Day Long Visit
 Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte arrived in New Delhi on a day-long official visit to India. During the visit, the Italian Prime Minister will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Both leaders will also attend the India-Italy Technology Summit which is being organised by the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

October 31

PM Modi Unveils World's Tallest Statue Measuring 600 feet (182m) In Gujarat, in tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
The 182m-tall statue of SardarVallabhbhai Patel was inaugurated to coincide with the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel, India’s first home minister.
Called the Statue of Unity, the bronze sculpture is the world's tallest statue measuring 600 feet (182m) and overshadows China's Spring Temple Buddha (153m) and USA's Statue of Liberty (93m). The memorial was constructed in at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore. 

UIDAI planning to set up 'Aadhaar SevaKendras' to ensure ease in services

The planned 'AadhaarSevaKendras' will offer "hassle-free" enrollment and facility to ensure ease in Aadhaar-related services to residents.
Almost 114 such centres in 53 cities and towns including all state capitals will be established in the first phase.
These Kendras will be in addition to enrolment and updationcentres that currently operate in banks, post offices and government premises.


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