Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 7 2019
1. PM releases new series of visually impaired friendly coins
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi released the new series of visually impaired friendly circulation coins,in New Delhi.Rs.1, Rs.2, Rs.5, Rs.10 and Rs.20 are the various denominations of coins released as part of the new series.
The new circulation coins with various differentiating features, will greatly aid the visually impaired. The new series of coins will facilitate the visually impaired, and will instil them with confidence.
The coins are characterized by the increasing size and weight from lower to higher denominations. The newly included coin of Rs.20, will be a 12 sided coin with no serrations. The rest of the denominations would be of round shape.
2. Cabinet approves Continuation of Atal Innovation Mission
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Continuation of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), and for incurring expenditure up to Rs. 1000 crore till 2019-20 by Atal Innovation Mission for expanding Atal Tinkering Labs to 10,000 schools in view of their huge success at school level.
- AIM has multiple programs to encourage and support innovation in the country.
- State of the art Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) are being established in thousands of schools, world class Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) and Atal Community Innovation Centers (ACIC) are being established for universities and industry,
- Promotion of product development in areas of national relevance and social importance is being supported through Atal New India Challenges (ANICs).
- Each ATL receives a grant in aid of Rs. 12 lakhs in the first year, and upto 2 lakhs per year for subsequent 4 years, for maintenance of the ATL equipment and operational expenses.
- Each selected AIC would be receiving grant in aid upto Rs 10 crore over 3-5 years in tranches per year, based on review and evidence of planned milestones reached.
- Innovators will receive commercialization and technology deployment grants upto Rs. 1 crore under the ANICs.
3. Cabinet approves MoU between India and UK on Cancer Research Initiative
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and U.K. on Cancer Research Initiative. The MoU was signed on 14th November 2018.
The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will identify a core set of research challenges that address issues of affordability, prevention and care of cancer by bringing together leading Indian and UK experts across clinical research, demographic research, new technologies and physical sciences.
Over 5 years, the total research funding for the Initiative shall be £10 million (approx. Rs. 90 crores). CRUK’s share for such funding shall be £5 million (approx. Rs. 45 crores). DBT shall match such funding by £5 million (approx. Rs.45 crores).
4. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health
The Union cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). The MoU was renewed on 13th November 2018.
The collaboration till date has immensely helped in adopting the modern training techniques and tolls on various aspects of Occupational Safety and Health in different sectors of economic activity. Under the MoU, German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) through the International Social Security Association (ISSA) is bringing in know how to meet the OSH challenges, especially in the construction and manufacturing sector. Also, it will benefit the large work force by improving their safety and health, and preventing occupational injuries and diseases.
5. Cabinet approves Scheme to Rebate State and Central Embedded Taxes to Support the Textile Sector
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Scheme to Rebate State and Central Embedded Taxes to Support the Textile Sector. This will enable the Government to take various measures for making exports of apparel and made-ups zero rated.
At present, apparel and made-ups segments are supported under the Scheme for Rebate of State Levies (RoSL). However, certain State as well as Central Taxes continued to be present in the cost of exports. The Cabinet decision provides for a scheme to rebate all embedded State and Central Taxes/levies for apparel and made-ups which have a combined share of around 56% in India’s textile export basket. Rebate of taxes/levies has been permitted through an IT-driven scrip system at notified rates.
6. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Austria
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Austria on Technology Cooperation in the Road Infrastructure Sector.
The MoU aims to create an effective framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of Road Transportation, Roads/Highways infrastructure development, management and administration, Road safety and Intelligent Transport Systems between both countries.
7. President of India will present Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2018 on International Women’s Day tomorrow
President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind will present the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, at a special ceremony to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on International Women’s Day tomorrow.
To acknowledge women’s achievements, the Ministry of Women and Child Development confers Nari Shakti Puraskaron women and institutions in recognition of their relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare. This year, 44 awardees have been selected for these Puraskar, out of around a thousand nominations received by the Ministry.
8. Cabinet approves continuation of National AIDS Control Programme-IV (NACP-IV)
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for continuation of National AIDS Control Programme-IV (NACP-IV) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period of three years from April, 2017 to March, 2020. The total outlay will be Rs.6434.76 crore.
- More than 99% of population will be kept HIV free.
- More than 70 lakh of key population covered annually through a comprehensive HIV prevention programme.
- Around 15 crore of vulnerable population (including five crore pregnant women) will be tested for HIV in three years of project.
- Two crore 32 lakh units of blood will be collected at NACO’s supported blood banks during three year of project.
- Two crore 82 lakh episodes of sexually transmitted infections will be managed under project during three years of project.
- Seventeen lakh of PLHIV will be put on free anti-retroviral treatment by end of project period.
9. NGT imposes Rs 500 cr fine on Volkswagen for cheating emission tests
The National Green Tribunal slapped a fine of 500 Crore rupees on German auto major Volkswagen for damaging the environment using cheat device in its diesel cars in India. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the carmaker to deposit the amount within two months.
10. CCEA approves investment approval for 1320 megawatt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant in Bulandshahar
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the investment approval for a 1320 megawatt Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Bulandshahar of Uttar Pradesh.
Eleven thousand eight nine crore rupees will be spent on the plant. Investment approval for 1320 Mega Watt Buxar thermal Power Project in District Buxar of Bihar was also approved.
The project will be completed at an estimated cost of ten thousand 439 crore rupees. The Buxar Thermal Power Project will improve the deficit power scenario in Bihar and Eastern Region. It will start yielding benefit from 2023-24.
The CCEA also approved Amelia Coal Mine in Singraulli, Madhya Pradesh. Cabinet has also approved Delhi Metro Phase -4 Project.
11. National Centre for Good Governance inks pact with Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs
A Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed between the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) to ensure better utilisation of infrastructure facilities during training programmes.
IICA will support the good governance centre for utilization of infrastructure facilities during training programme of NCGG at Delhi, and for academic and intellectual interactions for five years.
The NCGG has been set up by the government of India under the aegis of DARPG. It aims to promote good governance through capacity building on public policy and governance both at national and international level and carrying out studies research on issues relating to governance.
12. 10-day Entrepreneurship Development Programme concludes in Kargil
10-day Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) for budding entrepreneurs under Jammu and Kashmir Rural Employment Generation Programme (JKREGP) concluded at the Language Center in Kargil .
The programme was organized by Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI), District Centre Kargil in collaboration with J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board, Ministry of Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME), Government of India.
13. MP: Ancient tribal language Gondi to be taught in tribal districts
In Madhya Pradesh, ancient tribal language Gondi will be taught in tribal districts. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has decided to include Gondi in the primary education curriculum of the state’s tribal-dominated districts.
He said the rapid decline in the number of people who speak that tongue is a matter of concern. Hence, the Chief Minister stressed on the need to save it from becoming a thing of the past.
14. OECD cuts global growth forecast
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, has again cut its 2019 forecast for global economic growth due to ongoing trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty. the OECD lowered its forecast to 3.3 per cent for this year, down from the 3.5 per cent it predicted in November, which was itself a downgrade from a previous 3.7 per cent.
15. Scientist Ajit Kumar Mohanty appointed as BARC Director
India’s main nuclear weapons lab, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre or BARC, has finally got a new director. Physicist Ajit Kumar Mohanty, currently Director, Physics Group at BARC, has been appointed for a tenure of three years.
Mr Mohanty, 59, specializes in basic physics and has considerable experience in particle collisions having worked on the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and in trying to unravel the mysteries of Dark Matter.
16. India’s Unemployment Rate Rose to 7.2%
The unemployment rate in India was at 7.2 percent in February 2019, the highest since September 2016, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) . The rate was at 5.9 percent in February 2018. CMIE estimated the number of employed persons in India at 40 crores in February compared with 40.6 cr a year ago.
17. Chennai Central station to be renamed after MGR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Chennai Central railway station will be renamed after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MG Ramachandran.
“MG Ramachandran worked extensively for the downtrodden. His social welfare schemes gave strength to the fight against poverty. We have decided to rename the Chennai Central station after the great MGR,” PM Modi said.
18. Malaysia joined International Criminal Court
Malaysia has become a member of the International Criminal Court in a boost for the beleaguered institution at a time it faces growing criticism. Malaysia becomes the 124th member of the court since its establishment in 2002. “By joining the ICC, Kuala Lumpur can now play an important role in issues related to crimes against humanity.
The ICC is the world’s only permanent war crimes court and aims to prosecute the worst abuses when national courts are unable or unwilling. But the tribunal in The Hague has come under fire over high-profile acquittals, while Burundi became the first country to quit the court in 2017 and the Philippines has announced its intention to withdraw.
19. Nasa astronauts to carry out first all-female spacewalk
NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will conduct an all-female spacewalk for the first time in history, along with Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol.
As part of Expedition 59, NASA astronauts McClain and Koch will carry out the spacewalk on March 29. They’ll be supported on the ground by Facciol, who will be on the console at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
20. Venezuela orders German ambassador to leave the country
The Venezuelan government ordered the German ambassador Daniel Kriener to leave the country after he expressed support for Juan Guaido, escalating a diplomatic standoff with a group of about 50 nations that recognize the opposition leader as the country’s interim president.
21. United Bank, HDFC Life sign bancassurance deal
United Bank of India has signed a bancassurance deal with private life insurer HDFC Life Insurance Company. Through this partnership, United Bank’s customers will be able to take advantage of HDFC Life’s expertise in life insurance products, distribution and customer service.
22. Cabinet approves agreement between India and Belarus on MLAT in Civil and Commercial Matters
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the agreement between Republic of India and the Republic of Belarus on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLAT) in Civil and Commercial Matters.
The Agreement after having come into force will promote Mutual Legal Assistance between the Contracting Parties in Civil and Commercial Matters. The proposal aims to benefit the citizens of the respective Parties seeking Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters in the requested Party irrespective of any gender, class or income bias.
23. Cabinet approves setting up of 50 new Kendriya Vidyalayas
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of 50 new KendriyaVidyalayas under Civil/Defence Sector all over the country.
The Vidyalayas are proposed to be opened in the Civil/Defense Sector and once they are fully functional they will provide quality education to approximately 50,000 students once they become fully operational.
Consolidated list of 50 proposals recommended by the ‘Challenge Method’ Committee for opening of new Kendriya Vidyalayas.
24. Cabinet approves Kiru Hydro Electric (HE) Project (4 X 156 MW) in Jammu and Kashmir
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the investment sanction for construction of Kiru Hydro Electric(HE) Project (624 MW) by M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s CVPPPL) in Jammu & Kashmir.
The project is located on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
25. Suresh Prabhu releases a Coffee Table Book: “Cruising New Heights- Flying For All” on achievements of Ministry of Civil Aviation
The Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu released a Coffee Table Book- “Cruising New Heights- Flying For All” The Coffee Table Book is an attempt to capture achievements and the roadmap for sustaining and stimulating further growth and development in the aviation sector.
The book will serve as a reference material which brings out challenges, reforms agenda, performance and highlights and future roadmap clearly setting short term and long term goals.
26. Income tax exemption for gratuity enhanced Up to Rs. 20 lakhs
Ministry of Finance has enhanced the income tax exemption for gratuity under section 10 (10) (iii) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to Rs. 20 lakhs. Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Labour and Employment has expressed hope that this would benefit those employees of PSUs and other employees not covered by Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 .
27. Reference Annuals ‘Bharat 2019’ and ‘India 2019’ released by Shri Amit Khare
The popular Reference Annuals ‘Bharat 2019’ and ‘India 2019’ were released by Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of I&B . These have been compiled by the New Media Wing and edited and published by Publications Division under the Ministry. This is the 63rd Edition of the prestigious publication.