POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – October 19th, 2017

Important policy updates from 13th October 2017 – 19th October 2017

Infrastructure

Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

The Central Government has launched the Sampoorna Gram Bima Yojana, with a view to benefit rural India, with better life insurance services. This scheme will ensure that at least one identified village in a revenue district will be covered with a minimum of one Rural Postal Life Insurance policy each. The coverage of Postal Life Insurance has also been expanded to include people involved in professional careers such as doctors, engineers, Chartered Accountants, lawyers, bankers, etc., as opposed to just government and semi-government employees, as of now.

For more information: Financial Express

Health

All India Institute of Ayurveda

Set up in Delhi, under the aegis of the ministry of AYUSH, the first ever All India Institute of Ayurveda was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. The prime focus of the institute is to create a harmonious relationship between traditional Ayurveda knowledge and modern-day technology and diagnostic methodology.

For more information: The Indian Express

Innovation

Women of India Festival

The Ministry of Women and Child Development successfully organised the Women of India Organic Festival in Delhi Haat. The festival witnessed a display of organic products, spices and cosmetics, presented by female farmers and entrepreneurs from around 25 states. Aimed at strengthening women-led groups and the local economy of communities, the festival seeks to also promote organic farming, in the process. Held annually, this year’s event registered record sales worth Rs.1.84 crore.

For more information: PIB Release

#IamThatWoman – To Target Gender Bias

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched an online campaign, #IamThatWoman, with the aim to put an end to gender bias. The campaign will seek to highlight stories wherein women have made a major contribution towards making lives better for other women. The campaign will be active on various social media platforms, enabling users to share numerous such motivational stories, and encourage the idea of women helping fellow women, shaking off existing and contradictory stereotypes.

For more information: Deccan Herald

Adopt a Heritage Initiative

Launched along with the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign, this initiative is an attempt towards promoting tourism in India, with the aid of social media and an increased presence on digital platforms. Under this initiative, heritage sites will be taken up for maintenance by the public, private enterprises and individuals. Active cooperation of both the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India has been sought by the Tourism Ministry in this initiative.

For more information: The New Indian Express

Women Biotech Incubator

Providing an impetus to the empowerment of women scientists, and acknowledging their centuries-long contribution to the field of science and technology, the Union Minister of Science and Technology inaugurated the first Women Biotech Incubator at the Golden Biotech Park for Women Society in Chennai. This step will encourage more and more innovative ideas to take the shape of enterprises and further encourage women entrepreneurs.

For more information: PIB Release

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – October 12th, 2017

Important policy updates from 06th September 2017 – 12th October 2017

International Relation

India & South Africa mark 20 years of Cooperation in Science & Technology

An Indian delegation led by the Union Minister for Science and Technology will participate in the celebration of 20 years of cooperation between India and South Africa in the field of science and technology. The focus will be on cooperating and developing renewable energy alternatives, along with launching a program called ‘Mandela-Gandhi Grassroots Innovation Programme’, to develop solutions for problems facing the common masses at the grassroots level.

For more information: PIB Release

Innovation

India Water Week

The Union Water Resource Ministry organised the fifth edition of India Water Week on 10th October. Major issues deliberated upon include water, food, and energy security as an essential requirement for sustainable development and water for the purpose of inclusive growth. Along with a multidisciplinary conference, an exhibition, showcasing the best of technologies and solutions created to meet existing challenges was also arranged. A number of states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Gujarat participated as sponsors for the event.

For more information: Times of India

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav

The city of Ahmedabad will play host to the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav, from 7th to 9th October. The Ministry of Culture has been organizing this fest since 2015, with the intention to showcase the rich cultural and traditional heritage of India, in the form of her Handicrafts, Painting, Sculpture, Cuisine, etc. The festival will also witness to the performance by various artists.

For more information: PIB Release

Health & Family Welfare

Intensified Mission Indradhanush

A major immunization drive has been launched by the Prime Minister in Gujarat. The Intensified Mission Indradhanush has been initiated in order to reach every child below 2 years of age and pregnant women, yet to be covered under the Scheme. A seven-day drive will be undertaken every month, till January 2018, in 173 districts across 24 states.

For more information: Live mint

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Week

The Ministry of Women and Child Development will celebrate the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao week from 9th – 14th October, signifying International Girls’ Day on 11th October, on the theme “The Daughters of New India”. Mass awareness campaigns with the intent to sensitize communities and reinforce gender equality will be undertaken.

For more information: Business Standard

Rs. 100 crore Clean Water Initiative

The President of India launched a Rs.100 crore clean water initiative, led by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, in Kerala. The ‘Jivamritam’ filtration system, which seeks to provide clean drinking water to 10 million villagers across the country, was inaugurated, and the first phase of its installation will be completely funded by the Math.

For more information: Economic Times

Upgradation of ESIC Hospital in Guwahati

The Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment laid the foundation stone for the upgradation of the ESIC Model Hospital in Guwahati, which is slated to be immensely useful for beneficiaries of the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme in the North East. The hospital will provide facilities such as OPD, ICU, operation theatre, radiology, physiotherapy, etc. The upgradation of the hospital into a 100-bed hospital will benefit around 7 lakh families in the region.

For more information: The Assam Tribune

First Conference with NGOs

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has organised the first-ever conference with partner NGOs working on policies related to women and children. Many significant issues will be discussed, such as challenges faced at the implementation stage at the grassroots level, sharing of insights on existing women and child development schemes, etc. This will pave the way to analyze drawbacks in the current scenario and based on constructive criticism, formulate better mechanisms to implement the schemes, in consultation with concerned NGOs.

For more information: PIB Release

Infrastructure

Over Rs. 7 Crore Approved for Clean Ganga

Eight projects worth over Rs.7 crore have been approved by the National Mission for Clean Ganga. Four of these projects include the establishment of Sewage Treatment Plants in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The rest include three bio-remediation projects treating wastewater and one concerning monitoring of river Ganga.

For more information: The Hindu Business Line

Value Engineering Programme for Highways

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in a move towards giving impetus to use of new technology, materials, and equipment in highway projects, will implement ‘Value Engineering Programme’. This step will promote the use of new technology, to cut down costs of projects and at the same time, making them environment-friendly. An experts’ panel will also be in place to review matters involving new technologies and other technical issues that may arise.

For more information: Economic Times

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – October 5th, 2017

Important policy updates from 29th September 2017 – 05th October 2017

Energy

Push for Electric Vehicles

The state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd will procure 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors Ltd in two phases. 500 vehicles will be supplied by November 2017 in the first phase. This step is seen as a major step towards making a significant shift towards electric vehicles by 2030.

For more information: Live mint

Health & Innovation

Five more States declared Open Defecation Free

Five more States viz., Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Haryana have reached the milestone of making all cities and towns ‘Open Defecation Free’ as the Swacch Bharat Mission completed three years. This was announced by the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri while speaking at a programme on the occasion of the third anniversary of the mission. The Minister also stressed on the need for ‘lifestyle change’ to realise the objective of Swacch Bharat as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

For more information: Business Standard

Reduction in Infant Mortality Rate

The latest Sample Registration Survey data shows a major 8% decline in the Infant Mortality Rate in India in 2016, from 37 per 1000 live births (2015) to 34 per 1000 live births (2016). The gender gap between mortality rates has also come down to below 10%, indicating a positive impact of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme. Although, the divide between IMR in rural and urban India remains, with rural India seeing more infant deaths.

For more information: Hindustan Times

Rural Gujarat Declared ODF

The President of India declared rural Gujarat open defecation free on the 2nd of October. On the occasion, tribute was paid to the Father of the Nation and the achievement associated to him and his vision of clean India.

For more information: Times of India

Walkathon on International Senior Citizens’ Day

Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, along with the Minister of State, around 5000 participants and other dignitaries participated in the walkathon organised at India Gate, marking the International Day of Older Persons on 2nd October. The commitment of the government to promote the welfare of senior citizens, in the light of various schemes being run for their benefit, was highlighted. Such form of a mass awareness campaign is being organised since 2005 at India Gate on this day.

For more information: Millenium Post

One million children saved

India has avoided about 1 million (10 lakh) deaths of children under age five since 2005, owing to the significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia/trauma, measles and tetanus, according to study published in the latest issue of The Lancet.The ‘India’s Million Death Study’, implemented by the Registrar General of India, is the first study to directly quantify changes in cause-specific child deaths in India, nationally and sub-nationally, from 2000-15 among randomly selected homes.

For more information: Business Standard

Administration

Commission to Examine Sub-Classification of OBCs Appointed

The President of India has formally appointed a commission to look into the sub-categorisation of OBCs, in keeping with the aim to extend benefits of reservation to the more deserving people in the OBC category. The Commission, headed by Justice (Retd.) G Rohini is to submit its report within 12 weeks of the chairman assuming her charge.

For more information: DNA

Youth & Skills

NHAI Projects to Generate Employment

The National Highways Authority of India is slated to generate employment of approximately 500 million days in the next four years. This will be made possible by the construction of highways covering a distance of approximately 50,000 km. Seasonal employment opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled labour force will be created, in consultation with the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

For more information: Financial Express

Environment and Forests

Global Wildlife Programme (GWP)

India will jointly host the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) with World Bank and United Nations Development Programme. The programme was launched on October 2. The GWP will address issues related to illegal wildlife trade across 19 countries in Asia and Africa. It will act as a platform to exchange knowledge and coordinate in on-ground action for combating illegal poaching of wildlife and improve governance on wildlife conservation.

For more information: Economic Times

Housing and Urban Affairs

‘Swachhta Pakhwada’

Ministry of Culture and its 43 organisations observed Swachhta Pakhwada and Swachhta hi Seva Abhiyaan from 16th September to 2nd October 2017. During this campaign close to 400 activities/events were organised by the Ministry and its organizations by dedicating more than 500 effort hours for cleanliness and awareness during Swachhata Pakhwada. Various autonomous, attached and subordinated organisations under the ministry undertook various activities such as Shramdan by staff (cleanliness drive), lectures, seminars, competitions, Nukkad Natak and painting exhibitions with an objective of dissemination of the message of Swachh Bharat widely.

For more information: PIB Release

Transport

PMIS Mobile App

The Chairman of National Highways Authority of India Shri Deepak Kumar launched a world-class, a new multilingual website of the organization today. He said that within two months it will be possible for the general public to rate National Highways through this website. He also launched a Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) Moblie App that will facilitate close, in-house monitoring of NHAI projects on a mobile phone. Shri Deepak Kumar said that the NHAI also plans to soon launch a public interface of the PMIS desktop and App versions so that the general public will be able to view the real-time status of any project across the Highway network.

For more information: Times of India

Tourism

An Enthusiastic Start of Paryatan Parv

Ministry of Tourism has launched the ParyatanParv ” celebrations countrywide on 5th October. ‘Paryatan Parv’ activities began with the flagging of the cycle rally by Smt. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism from India Gate, New Delhi to Qutab Minar. Approximately 80 cyclists from across Delhi including members of tourism Industry Stakeholders, officials from central Ministries, doctors, teachers, students participated this rally. The other activities in the capital included a Guided Heritage Walk at Humayun’s Tomb & painting competition for children etc.

For more information: PIB Release

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – September 28th, 2017

Important policy updates from 22nd September 2017 – 28th September 2017

Rural & Tribal Affairs

Promotion and Reach of TRIFED

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, that works towards promoting tribal culture through its art and craft, intends to scale up its operations for the greater benefit of tribal artisans. This expansion plan includes steps such as opening exclusive outlets dealing in handmade products, organising exhibitions and handicraft fairs and encouraging sales by organising Youth Entrepreneur Development Program. A ‘Tribal Craft Mark’ hologram will be used on all the products.

For more information: PIB Release

Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

The Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana, which is a Rs. 6.3 crore project, has been envisaged for the social and economic development of 60 villages in Uttarakhand. The initiative is slated to give a boost to reviving and renewing rural technologies for ensuring a sustainable model of development in clusters of villages in Uttarakhand. This three-year project will be supported by Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology and Forest Research Institute along with NGOs.

For more information: Deccan Herald

Infrastructure

‘Brain Centres’ of Smart Cities

With a view to enhanc monitoring of smart city facilities, plans to set up a digitally integrated control centre has been proposed. These centres will receive its information and other inputs through sensory equipments – ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ installed in the smart cities, ensuring coordinated work of different urban local body agencies.

For more information: The Asian Age

Interest Subsidy on Affordable Housing Loans Extended

The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, benefitting Middle Income Groups by providing an interest subsidy of 4% and 3% for loan amounts up to Rs. 9 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh respectively, was to remain applicable till December, 2017. The scheme has now been extended by 15 months till March, 2019, helping beneficiaries avail of the same for a longer duration.

For more information: Live mint

Neighborhood Action Plan

In a bid to address the issue concerning solid waste management in Delhi and other cities, the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation announced the launch of Neighbourhood Action Plan, to be spearheaded in all cities form the 2nd October, marking the third anniversary of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The plan formulates fixing and treating garbage prior to being sent to the dumping grounds and enabling a better waste-to-compost and waste-to-energy plants performance.

For more information: Financial Express

Health

PENCIL- To Eliminate Child Labour

A Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour has been launched. The online portal seeks to provide for an integration at two levels; at the enforcement level of existing legal provisions and for the implementation of National Child Labour Project efficiently.

For more information: Financial Express

201 Districts – Open Defecation Free

The rigorous campaign promoting cleanliness in the form of Swachhta hi Seva, has led to a total of 201 districts in the country to be declared as Open Defecation Free. A wide range of activities were undertaken by various Ministerial departments and organisations to clean their surrounding areas and workplaces, while extending full support to the campaign.

For more information: PIB Release

“Jan Sampark” Program to facilitate adoption.

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of the Ministry of Women & Child Development has started a monthly “Jan Sampark” program to enable the public to have interaction with its officials and staff for seeking information related to Adoption as well as flagging their concerns.

The first of its kind programme was held in New Delhi yesterday. Nearly 150 Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs), Adoptive Parents and representatives of agencies participated in the session, which lasted for more than four hours.

For more information: PIB Release

Energy

Saubhagya Launched

A scheme has been launched – ‘Saubhagya’ for free electrification of around 4 crore households in rural as well as urban areas. The total outlay of the project is Rs. 16,320 crore and the Gross Budgetary Support is Rs. 12,320 crore, with beneficiaries being identified on the basis of the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011 data.

For more information: Financial Express

Agriculture

Krishi Unnati Mela

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare organised a four-day Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Centenary Krishi Unnati Mela. The fair will witness participation of entrepreneurs involved in fields such as horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries, from almost 18 states.

For more information: PIB Release

Innovation

Hunar Haat

The Union Minister for Minority Affairs inaugurated Hunar Haat, a platform for craftsmen and artisans to display and sell their handicrafts and handloom products, in Puducherry. Artists from 16 states participated with products on exhibit and sale such as Hyderabadi pearl, wood carving, Kantha embroidered bag, handloom sheets, handmade painting, marble items and traditionally printed fabric. Stalls were also put up offering various types of delicacies from different parts of the country.

For more information: The Hindu

National Tourism Award

With a view to promote tourism, national tourism awards have been awarded since the early 1990s, to states, union territories, classified and heritage hotels, approved travel agents, tour operators and other private organizations. A new category of award has been added this year, called the ‘swachhta award’, as part of the cleanliness drive aimed at making India clean.

For more information: Business Standard

Divyang Sarathi

The Centre launched a mobile application, ‘Divyang Sarathi’ for the benefit of persons with disabilities. The app will host a wide array of information on scholarships, employment opportunities, schemes in place, institutional system made available to them and more such relevant information available only a click away. It also intends to cater to the needs of maximum people as its information is available in both English and Hindi.

For more information: India Today

Defence

Project Yash Vidya

Based on a MoU signed between Lt Gen Ashwani Kumar and the Vice Chancellor of Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, a Bachelors degree programme has been designed for the army personnel. This project endeavors to provide special recognition to in-service training and other army courses that have been completed. The concerned courses, have been designed specifically by keeping in mind their relevance and usefulness, on a subsidised fee, and will better enable the careers of army personnel with important qualifications.

For more information: Business Standard

Textiles

Deendayal Hastkala Sankul

A major trade facilitation centre, the Deendayal Hastkala Sankul, has been inaugurated in Varanasi by the Prime Minister. The centre-cum-museum, along with offering an opportunity to weavers for showcasing their works globally and improving their economic prospects, also boasts of being one of the best state-of-the-art centres of the country.

For more information: The Statesman

Sports

Sports for All

The Union Sports Minister inaugurated a workshop on ‘Sports for All’, highlighting the concept of Khelo India School Games, claimed to be the best ever initiative in sports at the school level. This will provide a platform to budding sportspersons to showcase their talent, amongst whom 1000 will be selected to receive resource support worth 5 lakh rupees per year, for a period of eight years. A thousand such athletes will be presented this opportunity every year.

For more information: The Hindu

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – September 21st, 2017

Important policy updates from 15th September 2017 – 21st September 2017

Infrastructure

New Policy for Affordable Housing

A new Public-Private Partnership policy for affordable housing has been announced, which provides for central assistance of upto 2.50 lakh rupees for each house to be constructed by private builders. This may also lead to an increase in investment by private players in affordable housing projects on government land, in urban areas.

For more information: Economic Times

Solid Waste Management in Delhi

The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs has unveiled the ministry’s plan for addressing the issue of solid waste management in Delhi. A corpus of Rs 300 crore will be set aside for the project, sought from Urban Development Fund, and to be implemented by Delhi Development Authority. This measure will aid in adding 670 metric tons of waste effluents to biodegradable waste, other than preventing spread of unclean gases and other diseases.

For more information: Hindustan Times

Biotechnology Boost in North East

Three major initiatives have been undertaken to promote science and innovation in the north eastern region. These are;
a) The Brahmaputra Biodiversity Biology Boat- a laboratory to study and analyse various aspects of the ecosystem, along with climate change.
b) The Foldoscope- a microscope made of paper and lens, it will be distributed in over 500 schools, colleges and scientists, with a major focus on north eastern states.
c) Pytho- Pharma project- to preserve endangered medicinal plants.

For more information: Economic Times

Administration

Government of India Press’s Revamp

17 of the Press offices of the government will be merged into 5 units, along with modernizing and revamping them. The five units will be at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Minto Road and Mayapuri in New Delhi, Nashik in Maharashtra and Temple Street in Kolkata. This measure will help in carrying out confidential and urgent printing work across the country.

For more information: Live mint

Youth Station Directors

Indian Railways will be posting young and dynamic officers at the existing 75 major (A1 category) railway stations as station directors. The officers will be entrusted with the task to ensure that the railway stations offer reliable and sensitive customer care services along with monitoring repair works on stations, among many others.

For more information: Economic Times

Energy

Auction Under SHAKTI

A new policy aimed at making coal allocations in a more transparent process, Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India, was approved in May, 2017. Under this scheme, applications were invited from Independent Power Producers, with an incentive for bidders providing levelised discounted tariff to choose their preferred source(s). Bidding for the same was held for the 10 participating eligible bidders and allocation made on the basis specified. This step will help consumers with lower tariff rates and also be beneficial for the bidders as they will have the liberty to choose their preferred source.

For more information: Business Standard

Health And Environment

Cost Norms of ICDS Revised

The provision of supplementary nutrition to children, pregnant and lactating mothers, under the Integrated Child Development Scheme for Anganwadi services, will benefit about 11 crore beneficiaries every year. The amount spent on each kind of beneficiary, specified under the scheme, is slated to be increased, intending to achieve an improvement in the nutritional status of women and children.

For more information: Business Standard

Swachhta Hi Seva

The Centre has launched a nation-wide campaign, as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, asking people to contribute to Gandhi’s aspiration of a clean India. This Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation initiative is being led by the strength of mass mobilization and by inviting cooperation from various sectors of the society. A major focus area is construction of toilets and making surrounding areas open defecation free. A number of activities will be organised on 2nd October, 2017, apart from various cleanliness drives planned as part of the campaign.

For more information: Live mint

National Conference on Malnutrition

The first national level conference, titled, “Mission Mode to Address Under-Nutrition”, was held in New Delhi, inaugurated by the Minister for Women and Child Development. The conference was held to discuss plan of action for achieving the target of Malnutrition Free India Mission, 2022. Ways in which various officers in administration could contribute to the vision were also discussed. The states of Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat were awarded for making progress in reducing instances of stunting, during the gap between the 3rd (2005-06) and 4th (2015-16) National Family Health Surveys.

For more information: Live mint

Economy

India’s External Debt Report

According to the Finance Ministry Report analysing India’s external debt, the figure has fallen by 2.7% at $471.9 billion, as of March end this year, compared to $485 billion at the end of March, 2016. This has been attributed to factors such as reduced commercial borrowings and NRI deposits. In addition to analysing important trends, the report also draws a parallel between India’s external debt with that of other countries, with an added focus on developing countries.

For more information: Economic Times

Textiles

‘Vastra’- 4 day International Textile and Apparel Fair

A four-day fair will be organised in Jaipur, showcasing products of over 250 exhibitors, from 13 states. Buyers from over 50 countries are expected to attend the event. A roundtable is also scheduled to be held, discussing how Rajasthan can be made an Apparel Hub.

For more information: Business Standard

Youth & Skills

Regional Vocational Training Institute

The foundation stone for a first of its kind training institute in Telangana was laid by the Vice- President. This institute has been envisaged as an Institute to inculcate and boost essential skills among women and to ensure advanced employment opportunities for them. To be constructed on an estimated expense of Rs 19.95 crore, the institute will be able to train around 1000 trainees every year, in a diverse range of courses such as fashion design & technology, architectural assistantship, secretarial practice, food and beverages assistant, cosmetology and front office assistants.

For more information: Hindu Business Line

Udaan Extended in J&K

The Cabinet has approved the proposal to extend an ongoing skill development project, the Special Industry Initiative for Jammu and Kashmir, till December, 2018. Of the 22,237 candidates who have completed training, 14,694 have been offered jobs. The scheme has seen a good pace of progress in the region, despite the challenges.

For more information: India Today

Sports

Scholarship for Best Players preparing for International Events

The top players preparing for Tokyo Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games will be eligible for a scholarship of Rs. 50,000 per month for their expenses. A total of 152 athletes have been selected to receive this amount as stipend, under the Target Olympic Podium scheme. The Ministry of Sports has started this initiative so that the training expenses of the players are taken care of, and they can entirely focus on the games.

For more information: DNA

Khelo India

The Union Cabinet has approved a revamped form of Khelo India scheme, enabling 1000 selected athletes to receive an annual scholarship of Rs 500,000 each for eight years. Additionally, the scheme will focus on promoting 20 universities as hubs of sporting talent. The scheme also seeks to go beyond efforts in infrastructural developments alone, to develop an entire ecosystem so as to sustain excellence in sports and connecting rural India to global platforms of sports and games.

For more information: Live mint

Vivekananda’s Vision Transcends Narrow Political Binaries

Swami Vivekananda’s remarkable three-minute speech at the Parliament of World Religions catapulted him to world renown and put India on the global stage. In many ways, it marked the beginning of India’s decolonisation and civilisational revival.

Shyam Krishnakumar, research associate at Vision India Foundation, writes on Vivekananda’s fundamental contributions to India’s decolonisation -engagement with modernity, creating a contemporary social and work ethic, inspiring the freedom struggle and creating a manifest destiny for India, on the 124th anniversary of the speech.

Read the complete article published on DNA India.

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – September 14th, 2017

Important policy updates from 8th September 2017 – 14th September 2017


Infrastructure

WiFi for all Panchayats by March 2019

The government is attempting to cover nearly 5.5 lakh villages with WiFi facility by March 2019, with an ambitious Rs 3,700-crore plan. Broadband services with about 1,000 megabits per second (1 gbps) benefitting 1 lakh gram panchayats by the end of this year has been planned. Under the new telecom policy, the government will focus on linking some 40,000 villages and increase the availability of regular Internet access facility to 70 crore people, from 30 crores, by 2022. As of July 2017, 2,21,925 kilometers of optical fiber cable (OFC), covering 1,00,299 gram panchayats, were laid and 25,426 GPs provided with broadband connectivity.

For more information: Live mint

Ground Water Management

The Central Ground Water Board, under the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Indian Institute of Science have signed a MoU for enabling ground water flow and management of ground water. The study will cover an area of 48,000 sq. km., over a period of a year. The report will provide information as to which areas will face ground water level reduction in the years to come. This input will enable effective management so that a balance between demand and supply can be attained.

For more information: Business Standard

Foundation Stone Laid for India’s First Bullet Train

The Prime Minister of India and Japan laid the foundation stone of India’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The PM spoke of this corridor taking the shape of a development zone in the years to come. Based on the financial and technical support being provided by Japan, the project is expected to transform the region into a single economic zone, along with providing fast paced connectivity.

For more information: Live Mint

Integrated Cargo Terminal at Imphal

With financial aid from Trade Infrastructure for the Export Scheme of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Airports Authority of India will develop an integrated cargo terminal at Imphal airport. This will provide an impetus to the export of handicraft and perishable items. It will also help establish better connectivity and improve trade relations with South East Asia and between India and ASEAN nations.

For more information: Business Standard

Milk Processing and Basic Development Fund

To improve the condition of milk cooperatives by employing better technology and infrastructural upgrade, a separate fund will be set up, at the cost of 10,881 crores, from 2017-18 to 2028-29. This fund will aid in setting up an efficient system for milk procurement, electronic equipment for testing milk adulteration and expanding processing infrastructure, etc.

For more information: The Hindu Business Line

Agriculture

Draft Model Law on Contract Farming

A draft model law on contract farming is in the making, with an aim to address issues such as price volatility and ensure better prices for farm produce. A regulated system for registering contracts with an authorised state agency will make concerned farmers less vulnerable to market fluctuations. Once the draft is made public and taking into account the suggestions provided by relevant stakeholders, a Model Contract Act is expected to be formulated in November. The Act is expected to incorporate legal safeguards, along with a dispute resolution system so as to avoid instances of exploitation of farmers by private companies.

For more information: Times of India

Administration

Regional Conference on Best Practices

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances organised a two-day regional conference on the subject of good governance and replication of best practices. The conference was organised, in order to create a platform for discussing citizen centric rule implementation, establish citizen friendly administration. Around 25 states/UTs were represented at the conference. Presentations on good governance index were made and the programs sponsored by the Prime Minister (Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, Digital Payment and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana [Urban and Rural]) were recommended to be replicated.

For more information: Business Standard

‘m-Aadhaar’ – ID Proof for Travellers

The Ministry of Railways has permitted the use of m-Aadhaar (Aadhar details that can be downloaded using a mobile application by UIDAI), as an acceptable proof of identity for railway passengers travelling in reserved classes. The app will work only if the phone number is linked with Aadhaar accounts.

For more information: Deccan Chronicle

“Container Terminal of the Year” Award

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal was awarded this container Terminal of the Year Award at the Gateway Awards, 2017, for the innovative strategies that were employed to ensure a hassle free and smooth delivery of containers. The Gateway Award has been established to identify and encourage best practices and innovation in the maritime space.

For more information: PIB Release

Indian Secretariat Standards Become the Benchmark

The Malaysian Association of Company Secretaries has adopted the standards issued by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, in order to develop their own standards.

For more information: Business Standard

Economy

Workshop on Role of International Financial Agencies

The Department of Economic Affairs organised a workshop on the role and participation of multilateral agencies in developing capacities of states and union territories. It also focussed on the potential of the agencies to contribute and on the steps taken by the Government for securities market. Participants included Principal Secretaries and Additional Chief Secretaries of Finance departments, senior officers from the Ministry of Finance, IMF South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center(SARTTAC), World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank.

For more information: Outlook India

Health and Environment

International conference- Low cost Technology in e-Health Care

The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the 7th International Conference on the use of low-cost technology in e-health care services. The focus was laid on the need to effectively make use of the Digital India initiative while providing health care services, and the use of e-applications, to make services economical, accessible and transparent. The Minister of State also praised the doctors who had taken the initiative to treat their patients using e-applications, instead of travelling to distant areas.

For more information: Business Standard

First Homeopathy Virology Laboratory

India’s first virology laboratory has been set up at Dr. Anjali Chatterjee Regional Homeopathy Research Institute in Kolkata, at a cost of Rs. 8 crores, recognised by the Calcutta University. The laboratory, inaugurated by Union minister of state for AYUSH, will give an impetus to developing techniques and new medications for challenging medical problems, and at the same time, to provide a platform to carry out quality research in the field.

For more information: Hindustan Times

Open Defecation Free Cantonment Boards

The Defence Minister felicitated ten cantonment boards for acquiring the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF) at a function held in Banaras Hindu University. The efforts of children as ‘Swahhta Doots’ was appreciated and the involvement of Defence Ministry in promoting cleanliness was highlighted. The cantonment boards that won the award include Bareily, Jabalpur, Mathura and Varanasi.

For more information: PIB Release

Youth

In memory of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Address

The Prime Minister addressed students on the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago address, on the subject, ‘Young India, New India’. He spoke of Swami Vivekananda’s vision for the youth of the country, and the significant role he saw the youth playing, in the progress of the nation. He called upon the younger generation to take inspiration from the ideas propagated by Swami Vivekananda and spoke of the government’s commitment to work tirelessly for fulfilling the aspirations of the youth.

For more information: India Today

Start-Up Conference

The Centre for Industrial Policy and Promotion organised the second start-up conference in New Delhi, with participants ranging from senior officials from states and UTs, representatives from industries, to funding agencies, investors and start-ups themselves. Topics of discussion include state government led administrative reforms and their role in fostering an enabling and start-up friendly environment and fund creation aspects in states along with simplifying rules for encouraging more start-ups. The Government of India has extended tax benefits to 67 start-ups till date, under the Startup India, Stand Up India program.

For more information: PIB Release

Nari Shakti Puraskar

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has opened its application process for the Women Power Award, which is given away every 8th of March, on International Women’s Day. The award seeks to recognise the efforts made by any individual and institution, towards empowering women and enabling their economic and social growth. The last date to receive the nomination is 15th October 2017.

For more information: PIB Release

Uniformed Women in Prison Administration

The first National Conference on Uniformed Women in Police Administration was organised over a period of two days. Discussions were held around the issues of service reforms and they also adopted a resolution. These conferences will be held twice a year to make an assessment of the progress concerning the implementation of the resolution.

For more information: PIB Release

Defence

All-Women Sagar Parikrama

An all- women team of the Navika Sagar Parikrama set sail on INSV Tarini. The six-member crew will circumnavigate the globe in approximately 165 days. This also happens to be the first time in India that an all women crew has undertaken the circumnavigation of the globe. The expedition is seen as contributing to attain the objectives of National Policy for women empowerment.

For more information: PIB Release

International

MoU with Morocco

The Cabinet approved the signing of a MoU with Morocco, to cooperate in the field of health. The areas of cooperation include drug regulation, maternal, neonatal and child health, non-communicable diseases, to name a few

For more information: PIB Release

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – September 7th, 2017

Important policy updates from 1st September 2017 – 7th September 2017

Administrative

Rajaswa Gyan Sangam

The purpose of organizing the conference is to facilitate a two-way communication between policy makers and the officers working in field offices. This is seen as a step that will increase the efficiency in collecting revenue and ensuring that policies are implemented on the ground effectively. The conference will also serve as a platform to deliberate and discuss on problems ensuing while implementing policies.

For more information: PIB Release

“New India- Will Be by Me”

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Container Corporation of India, along with Bandra railway station in Mumbai, organized an exhibition/ cultural program, in order to promote the resolve of “New India”. The Exhibition also focuses on the freedom movements of the country (1857-1947). These programs will be organized at 39 locations across the length and breadth of the country, with a focus also on the vision for New India(2017-2022). Information will also be disseminated regarding various Central Government schemes.

For more information: PIB Release

Agriculture

App to Apply for Farm Registration

The Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has developed an integrated system for concerned stakeholders, for the purpose of facilitating farm registration and certification of certain vegetables and fruits meant to be exported. A mobile app is also in place, which can help farmers carry out their farm registration process and track the status of the same. The app will also assist state agriculture departments in obtaining real time details of farm location, farm products, inspection details, etc.

For more information: Business Standard

Health

National Nutrition Strategy

NITI Aayog has unveiled a national strategy to ensure that each and every child, adolescent girl and woman attains a favorable nutritional status by 2022. The Integrated Child Development Services Scheme will be broadened to develop the National Nutrition Mission. There is a significant role to be played by the Steering Group, envisaged to monitor the progress made.

For more information: Hindustan Times

Education

Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2017

The Department has taken new initiative for the furtherance of Swachh Vidyalaya Campaign and instituted Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar in 2016-17 to recognize, inspire and celebrate excellence in water, sanitation and hygiene practices in schools. The schools were given an award of Rs. 50,000/- each as additional school grant, to be utilized for swachhta related activities, which was digitally transferred to them, along with a Certificate.

For more information: NDTV

DIKSHA Portal Launched

The Vice President of India inaugurated DIKSHA Portal on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, along with presenting the National Teachers Award, 2016. DIKSHA is a digital platform to equip teachers with skills, using technology and by making the utmost use of the digital infrastructure that is in place. It will provide free online courses for teachers in both online and offline modes.

For more information: PIB Release

Energy

UJALA in Malaysia

The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, has launched the UJALA Scheme in Melaka, Malaysia. The EESL will be distributing about 1 million 9W LED bulbs, replacing 18W CFLs, along with a 3-year replacement warranty against any technical defects. The Chief Minister of Melaka appreciated the idea of this scheme and highlighted how adopting this practice will be an environment-friendly approach, promote clean energy and improve quality of life of people in the region.

For more information: PIB Release

Defence

National Integration Tour

The Indian Army is organizing tours to kindle the spirit of national integration for students from ;J&K and the North Eastern states. The tour organized for students from Leh, comprised of interaction with Army Officials and visits to various places of cultural and historical significance, in Chandigarh and Delhi.

For more information: PIB Release

Infrastructure

FASTag lanes- Electronic Toll Collection

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has moved a step towards realizing the mission of Electronic Toll Collection, by operationalizing one dedicated FASTag lane at all toll plazas. FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, making direct toll payments from linked prepaid accounts- available both online and offline through banks and Common Service Centres. Two mobile applications- MyFASTag and FASTag Partner, have also been launched to facilitate the availability of FASTags. More lanes will be dedicated to electronic toll collection, as the penetration of FASTag increases.

For more information: Deccan Chronicle

Tribal Affairs

‘Festival Offers’ Inaugurated

The Minister of Tribal Affairs inaugurated ‘Festival Offers’ for the promotion of tribal products, and thus empowering tribal artisans. The Ministry plans to open exhibition cum sale outlets for tribal products and inviting artisans from all over the country. Additionally, in order to boost marketing and sale, the Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) has launched a wide range of initiatives, such as discount schemes for government employees, festival discounts and other offer packages.

For more information: PIB Release

“North East Calling”

The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is organizing the ‘North East Calling’ programme on the 9th and 10th of September. The event is being held in order to promote the art, culture, cuisine, handicrafts, and tourism of North East India, which will also showcase various products and activities of the region. A range of competitions will also be held in schools and colleges, on the theme of North East, with the main two-day event to be hosted at India Gate lawns.

For more information: PIB Release

Innovation

Social Media Campaign to Promote Geographical Indications (GIs)

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Intellectual Property Rights Promotion and Management Cell have begun a social media campaign to promote Indian Geographic Indicators, aimed at educating people about intellectual property rights. Such a step will aid the process of keeping the intellectual heritage of Indian products secure and will be in keeping with the ‘Make in India’  campaign. This will also help the rural economy, by protecting the generation old procedures and techniques used by weavers and traditional craftsmen.

For more information: Business Standard

International

Push for Early Setting up of BRICS Credit Rating Agency

At the BRICS Summit held in Xiamen, Prime Minister Mr.Modi pitched for an early setting up of a  separate credit rating agency, to cater to the financial needs of member countries of BRICS and other developing countries. India has always highlighted the issues concerning the three major rating agencies and held that creation of a new agency will help tackle problems of emerging markets and economies.

For more information: The Hindu

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – August 31st, 2017

Important policy updates from 25th August 2017 – 31st August 2017

Economy

RBI Annual Report- Post Demonetisation Update

The Annual Report released by RBI has published trends detected in counterfeit notes in the banking system for the year 2016-17. As per the report, 762,072 counterfeit notes were detected in the system and it was 20.4% higher than the previous year. Approximately 98.96% of SBNs are reported to have come back to the RBI, post demonetization.

For more information: Livemint

To view the RBI Report: Report

NITI Aayog’s Three Year Action Agenda

The Finance Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley, unveiled NITI Aayog’s Three Year Action Agenda, which forms an integral part of its 15-year Vision Document of India. A number of policy initiatives have been prescribed, with a major focus on reforms in the agricultural and Industrial sectors. Additionally, job creation is a concern addressed in the report, by suggesting reforms in the exports sector, leading to more competitiveness, more output and naturally, more jobs.

For more information: Economic Times

To view the Agenda document: Niti Aayog

GST FAQs For Taxpayers

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has published a list of frequently asked questions related to GST law, procedures, tax rates, etc., for the benefit of taxpayers. This can be accessed here. Key words or topics can be used to search for information, under the ‘Services’ tab. Information on matters ranging from handicraft to mining can be found on the website.

For more information:  PIB Release

GDP Estimates for the First Quarter (April-June) Released

The estimates, released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), have indicated a growth rate of 5.7%, lower than the 7.9% growth recorded in the corresponding quarter last fiscal year, and the 6.1% recorded in the  previous quarter.

For more information: PIB Release

Administration

DARPG Grievance Study Analysis of 20 Ministries released

The analysis report indicates that steps are being taken to bring all ministries and departments under the e-office mission mode project by the end of this year. Major issues and grievances are being identified so that solutions can be sought appropriately. The department is also in the process of developing Development Goal Manual and a Good Governance Index. A Project Management Unit and a dedicated team has been put in place to monitor reforms in consultation with concerned Ministries and Departments and to understand the impact of such reform measures.

For more information: PIB Release

PM’s 21st Interaction via PRAGATI

The 20 previously held PRAGATI meetings has led to a cumulative review of 183 projects and Public Grievances’ Resolution review in 17 sectors. The focus of this meeting’s review was on progress made in grievance redressal with regard to patents and trademarks. Some other projects reviewed include the Smart Cities Mission among the nine vital infrastructure projects in road, railways and power, worth over Rs.56,000 crore. Emphasis was also laid on the use of space technology for empowering tribals by determining their rights.

For more information: India Today

UP Chief Minister’s Helpline

The state government of Uttar Pradesh has proposed to operationalise a 1000- seater grievance cell in Lucknow, called as the ‘Chief Minister’s Helpline’, for the purpose of handling as many as 80,000 calls a day from residents across the state. The CM’s helpline will arm citizens with a very important tool – of simple calling up a number and reaching the CMO with their grouse and getting an assured timeline for redressal. This move aims to solve citizens’ grievances at their doorstep in a time-bound manner.

For more information: Economic Times

Health

Swachh Bharat Media Awards

Giving an impetus to the Swachhta Mission,started in 2014, the 2nd of October, 2017, will witness awarding of media organizations, for their contribution in making Swachhta, a janaandolan through awareness generation and other initiatives. This is also the third anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Organizations are expected to send their entries by the 10th of September. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will set up a jury who will evaluate the entries to select winners.  

For more information: PIB Release

National Nutrition Week (1st- 7th September)

The main objective of this initiative is to give a boost to the magnitude of awareness generation programmes on the importance of nutrition, with the concerted effort of various Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units and other concerned departments in States and UTs. The theme for the event is “Optimal Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices: Better Child Health”.  Many activities are being organised at state, district and village levels, including workshops and lectures, for the benefit of state and district level officers.

For more information: PIB Release

Agriculture

Smart Agriculture Conclave (30th- 31st August, 2017)

Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Bio-Technology organised the conclave for the purpose of creating a roadmap, to set up “FarmerZone”, a cloud service collating important agricultural data. This zone will serve as a multi purpose window addressing concerns of the farmers anywhere in the world. The conclave was organised to discuss about issues that farmers face and find solutions for the same, using cloud technology.

For more information: PIB Release

Innovation And Technology

Secure Email Service for Government officials

In keeping with the Digital India initiative, the Government has decided to provide a secure email service for all its officials to use, for secure communication. As per the email policy, an email ID will be assigned to all Central and State Government officials through the National Informatics Centre. This step is slated to increase productivity by keeping the Government employees better informed and increase their participation, and is also a move towards attaining Green Government.

For more information: PIB Release

Digitised Central Public Works Department

The CPWD has undergone a digital transformation, enabling payments worth Rs.20,000 crore per year to be carried out electronically. This step will help monitor expenditure incurred on projects and efficient utilization of funds.

For more information: PIB Release

Commerce And Industry

New Industrial Policy

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has set the ball rolling to draw up the new Industrial Policy, intended to make India a manufacturing hub. The new policy will subsume the National Manufacturing Policy, and will review FDI policies so as to facilitate greater transfer of technology. The DIPP has undertaken a consultative approach by creating thematic focus groups and conducting an online survey to gather inputs. The Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce and Industry will be holding consultations with stakeholders like think tanks and a few state governments as well.

For more information: Livemint

Energy

Smart Meters for realization of Smart Grids in India

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), Ministry of Power, has initiated this measure as a means to reduce occurrences of AT&C losses, power theft and achieve greater energy efficiency in the process. The Pre-Bid Meeting for procuring the metres has received a very positive response from manufacturers, and has also succeeded in attracting the attention of various other stakeholders including the World Bank. About 100 companies participated in the pre-bid meeting, indicating an increased interest in India for such initiatives.

For more information: PIB Release

Textile

Pan India Handloom and Handicraft Camps

The Government of India has proposed to organize handloom and handicraft camps across India, under the ‘Hastkala Sahyog Shivir’ initiative. This initiative, dedicated to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Garib Kalyan Varsh, on his birth centenary year, will be held from the 7th October to 17th October. A wide variety of services and assistance will be made available to artisans and weavers to boost their business prospects. The idea is to take this forward to more than 200 block level handloom and handicraft clusters each.

For more information: PIB Release

Sports

Mission 11 Million, Trophy Tours and a lot more

Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Vijay Goel, provided an opportunity to slum children from across Delhi, to watch FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy at his residence. The kids also received footballs as gifts. Inspired by the motto of “KhelogeToKhiloge”, Mission 11 Million programme seeks to take football to 11 million kids across the country, through 15, 000 schools. This has reached 8 million kids so far, through 12, 000 schools across the country.

For more information: Business Standard

Grameen Khel Mahotsav

The first edition of Grameen Khel Mahotsav will kickstart in Delhi (28th August- 3rd September), with the aim to popularise indigenous games such as, wrestling, tug of war, athletics, etc. This event is slated to see a participation of 16,000 youth from rural Delhi. The practise of organising such events will be encouraged in other states as well, so as to enable grassroots level players to showcase their talent.

For more information: PIB Release

National Talent Search Portal

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has launched a portal to identify the best sporting talent in the country. This initiative seeks to identify talented players and mould them into world champions. Steps towards achieving this will be taken by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), who will start by selecting prospective talent based on the bio-data or video uploaded on the portal. The ones selected will be trained and developed into competing athletes.

For more information: Firstpost

Defence

First set of Reforms in the Armed Forces

The first phase of reforms in the Armed Forces will begin with the aspects of redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers. These reforms are expected to be completed by the 31st December, 2019. It is part of the first ever reform exercise being undertaken in this sector. These measures are aimed at improving combat capability and for achieving an increased level of operational preparedness.

For more information: Economic Times

POLICY WATCH

Policy Watch – August 24th, 2017

Important policy updates from 18th August 2017- 24th August 2017

Youth Opportunities

Be Soldiers of Development: Modi to Entrepreneurs

On the occasion of  ‘Champions of Change’ organized by Niti Aayog, Prime Minister asked young entrepreneurs to be soldiers of development. He said that we as Indians should take pride in our rich heritage and boost tourism. He encouraged them to work towards cutting down on imports and making it less-cash economy. Modi ji also mentioned GeM ( Government e Market) – a portal where small suppliers can sell their products to the government.

For more information: India Today

Education

Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat

‘Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat’ Programme is an initiative of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan. It is meant to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for more than 12 lakhs of Kendriya Vidyalaya students.

The objective of this programme is to make students and teachers and parents aware about the importance of good health. The idea is to encourage 60 minutes of physical fitness everyday Swasth Bachche, Along with this, motivating potentially outstanding performers, using technology for data capture and analytics are the objectives of the programmes.

For more information: PIB Release

“Mentor India” Campaign

NITI Aayog has launched the Mentor India Campaign to engage leaders who can guide and mentor students at more than 900 Atal Tinkering Labs. The idea is to engage leaders who will nurture and guide students in the Atal Tinkering Labs. These labs are non-prescriptive by nature, and mentors are expected to be enablers rather than instructors. Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where students from Class 6th to Class 12th learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools, Internet of things & sensors etc. You can apply to be mentor by filling up an application here.

For more information: PIB Release  

Sports

National Sports Museum in New Delhi

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is going to establish National Sports Museum, first of its kind, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The aim of the Museum is to popularise the sports as a way of life within the country. Accordingly, the proposed Museum would go beyond the classical approach of a collection of memorabilia to become an interactive venue of interest for all age groups. it will display achievements of the Indian greats in sports and also act as an educational hub and offer an opportunity for the young to delve into some sporting activity.

For more information: The Indian Express

Defence

Navika Sagar Parikrama

Navika Sagar Parikrama is a project wherein a team of women officers of the Indian Navy would circumnavigate the globe on an Indian-built sailboat INSV Tarini. This is the first ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew. The project is scheduled to commence in early Sep 17. The project is considered essential towards promoting Ocean Sailing activities in the Navy while depicting Government of India’s thrust for ‘Nari Shakti’. It aims at promoting women empowerment in the country and ocean sailing by the Indian Navy.

For more information: India International Times

Agriculture

New India Movement – A great success

The Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry has planned to organize the Sankalp Se Sidhi program at 578 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), 29 ICAR institutes/SAUs and 53 ATMAs during 19-30 August 2017. The programs comprise of Kisan Film having message of Hon’ble PM to double farmers’ income by year 2022, followed by pledge for Sankalp Se Sidhi, lecture by agriculture experts and address of the chief guest. “Sankalp Se Sidhi” program is being organized across the country to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Quit India Movement.

For more information: PIB Release

International  Relations

Special Economic Zones in Africa

India and Japan have created a blueprint for developing SEZs in Africa. The first SEZ will come up around Mombasa port in Kenya which will focus on infrastructure, pharmaceutical, fertilisers and manufacturing. Indian firms have considerable influence and power in Mombasa port which is the gateway to the East African market.

Indian officials said New Delhi has been partnering with Japan for the development of African continent based on what two countries can do together for “economic prosperity and capacity building and development of the countries in the continent.” India giving aid to big infrastructure projects in Africa started by the UPA II government and carried forward by the NDA government.

For more information: Hindustan Times

No data from China on Brahmaputra this year

The Brahmaputra and the Sutlej are the two major trans-border rivers that enter India directly from China. There is an existing mechanism named India-China Expert-Level mechanism started in 2006 to share hydrological data during the flood season for Brahmaputra and Satluj rivers. Under the MoUs, the hydrological data is to be shared between May 15 to October 15 every year. However, the same has not been shared this year. This is hinted at China’s responsibility for the current spate of floods across the northeastern States.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), over 16 million people have been affected by monsoon flooding across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods. In India over 11 million people are affected by floods in four states across the north of the country.

For more information: Mint