Latest Current Affairs – May 16 2018
1. Indore cleanest city in India: Swachh Bharat Survey
Indore has been named the cleanest city in the country, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh, according to the Centre’s Swachh Survekshan 2018. Apart from that, Vijayawada was tagged as the cleanest city having population above 10 lakh and Mysuru was declared as the cleanest city having population of three lakh to 10 lakh.
2. Japan passes law to get more women into politics
The Upper House of the Japanese Parliament has enacted a law to promote the participation of women in politics. The law urges political parties to field equal number of male and female candidates in national and local elections and set targets for gender parity. In 2017, Japan was ranked 158th among 193 countries in terms of women’s participation in politics.
3. VK Singh first Indian minister to visit N Korea in 20 years
Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh became the first Indian minister to visit North Korea in two decades. Singh will hold talks with his North Korean counterparts today. The ministerial visit had been planned in alignment with improving relations between North Korea and the US.
4. Scottish Parliament rejects Brexit bill
The Scottish Parliament has voted 93 to 30 against the UK’s EU Withdrawal Bill. The two countries have been at odds over the legislation that deals with the transfer of power after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Scotland earlier dropped its opposition to the bill and accepted the power-sharing proposals by the UK.
5. Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France on Technical Cooperation in the field of railways
The Union Cabinet has has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Railways and SNCF Mobilites (a company owned by the French State) on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railways. The MoU was signed on 10th March, 2018.
The MoUs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoUs facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/workshops focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.
The MoU will provide a framework of cooperation for focused approach in following key areas :-
1. High speed and semi-high speed rail;
2. Station renovation and operations;
3. Modernisation of current operations and infrastructure;
4. Suburban trains.
6. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco in the legal field
The Union Cabinet chaired has given its ex-post facto approval for signing of the MoU for cooperation in the legal field between India and Morocco, in order to share their experience and expertise in the field of law and legislation.
The MoU will give an opportunity to the Lawyers, Law Officers and law students to discuss issues in the field of law and justice in seminars, symposiums and workshops arranged by authorities of India and Morocco.
7. Cabinet approves MoU between the India and Swaziland on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post-facto for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the India and Swaziland on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine. The MoU was signed on 9th April 2018.
The MoU covers the following areas of cooperation:-
i) Drugs & Pharmaceutical products;
ii) Medical Consumable products;
iii) Medical Research;
iv) Medical Equipment;
v) Public Health;
vi) Communicable Disease Control & Surveillance;
vii) Health Tourism; and
viii) Any other area of mutual interest.
A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.
8. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Suriname for cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration
The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Suriname on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration including exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.
The MoU will promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance / capacity support for Suriname envisaging cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
9. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Equatorial Guinea for Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine & Medicinal Plants
The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Equatorial Guinea for Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Medicinal Plants.
The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine. The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences/ meetings and deputations of experts will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of Ministry of AYUSH.
10. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Morocco in the field of Mining and Geology
The Union Cabinet has given its ex post facto approval to the signing of MoU between India and Morocco in the field of mining and geology. The agreement was signed on 11.4.2018 in New Delhi between the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable development and the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India.
The MoU will provide an institutional mechanism between India and Morocco for cooperation in the field of geology and mining. This cooperation will be mutually beneficial on economic, social and environmental fields in both countries.
11. Cabinet approves MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine between India and Colombia
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Colombia on establishing cooperation on Traditional Systems of Medicine of India.
It will lead to promotion and propagation of Traditional Systems of Medicines of India in Colombia. As a consequence of this MoU, exchange of experts for training the practitioners, conducting collaborative research in Traditional Systems of Medicine is expected to lead to new innovations in drug development and traditional medical practice.
12. Cabinet approves setting up of a new AIIMS in Deoghar, Jharkhand
The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Deoghar, Jharkhand. A provision of funds worth Rs. 1103 crore has been approved for the project and the said AIIMS will be set up under the Pradhan MantriSwasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
The AIIMS at Deoghar will consist of:
1. A hospital with a capacity of 750 beds, trauma center facilities
2. A medical college with an in-take of 100 MBBS students per year
3. A nursing college with an int-ake of 60 B.Sc.(Nursing) students per year, residential complexes and allied facilities / services, broadly on the pattern of AIIMS, New Delhi.
4. 20 Speciality/Super Speciality Departments including 15 Operation Theatres.
5. An Ayush Department with 30 beds for providing treatment facilities in the traditional system of medicine.
13. Cabinet approves signing and ratification of Agreement between India and Brunei Darussalam
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratification of Agreement between India and Brunei Darussalam for the Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes. The Agreement will stimulate the flow of exchange of information between India and Brunei for tax purposes which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. It will also enable assistance in collection of tax revenue claims between both countries.
The Agreement enables the competent authorities of India and Brunei Darussalam to provide assistance through exchange of information that is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic laws of the two countries concerning taxes covered by this Agreement.
14. Cabinet approves setting up of a Central University in Andhra Pradesh
The Union Cabinet has given its in-principle approval for establishing a Central University by the name of “Central University of Andhra Pradesh” in Janthaluru Village of Ananthapur District, Andhra Pradesh. A provision of funds worth Rs. 450 crore has been approved for meeting the first phase expenditure towards establishment of the said University.
The Central University would be mentored by an existing Central University till its governing structure is in place. The approval would increase access and quality of higher education and help in minimizing the regional imbalances in education facilities, and give effect to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014.
15. Cabinet approves extension of Delhi Metro corridor from Noida City Centre to Sector-62, Noida Uttar Pradesh
In a major boost to public transport infrastructure in NOIDA, the Union Cabinet has approved extension of Delhi Metro corridor from Noida City Centre to Sector-62, Noida Uttar Pradesh covering a length of 6.675 k.m. at the total completion cost of Rs.1,967 crores. The Project will be implemented by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC), the existing Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the Government of India and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
16. Cabinet approves establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation at Bhopal
The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs. 179.54 crore in first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs. 51 crore.
The Union Cabinet has also approved the proposal to create three Joint Secretary level posts, which include one post of Director of the Institute and two posts of Professors.
The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to the persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation.
17. Cabinet approves strengthening the mechanism for resolution of commercial disputes of Central Public Sector Enterprises
The Union Cabinet Chaired has approved the strengthening of the mechanism for resolution of commercial disputes of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) inter se and also between CPSEs and other Government Departments/Organizations. The Cabinet decision is based on recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS). The decision will put in place an institutionalized mechanism within the Government for speedy resolution of commercial disputes of CPSEs without the matter being referred to the Courts of law.
18. Cabinet approves National Policy on Biofuels – 2018
The Union Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels – 2018.
The Policy categorises biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category.
The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
19. Cabinet approves development of Trunk Infrastructure Components for Logistics Hub
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the development of Freight Village, an Integrated Multi Modal Logistics Hub (IMLH), Nangal Chaudhary, Haryana. The proposed development of a Freight Village as Multi Modal Logistics Hub is estimated to generate over four thousand direct and six thousand indirect employment. Job creation will not be limited to core logistics facilities but would also entail opportunities for entire logistics supply chain.
20. Cabinet approves Corpus for Micro Irrigation Fund with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund would supplement the efforts of Per Drop More Crop Component (PDMC) of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana in an effective and timely manner.
The allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore and Rs. 3,000 crore will be utilised during 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. NABARD will extend the loan to State Governments during this period. Borrowings from NABARD shall be paid back in 7 years including the grace period of two years.
21. Cabinet approves enhancement of budget for implementation of Network for Spectrum for Defence Services
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancement of budget by Rs. 11,330 crore for Network For Spectrum (NFS) project for laying of alternate communication network for Defence Services for release of spectrum over and above Rs.13,334 crore already approved by Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure in July, 2012.
The project, being implemented by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), will be completed in a period of 24 months.
The NFS project will boost the communication capabilities of the Defence Forces in a major way leading to enhanced national operational preparedness. The project will also have forward linkages to other related industries such as telecom equipment manufacturing and other telecommunication related services.
22. President inaugurates Integrated Centre for Crisis Management for CBRN emergencies at BARC
President Ram Nath Kovind hasinaugurated an integrated centre for crisis management (ICCM) at the iconic Bhabha Atomic Research Centre here that will help the nation respond more effectively to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies. The new facility will monitor radiological data from a network of 504 radiation sensors across the country.
23. NTPC signs MoU with Bihar Government to improve performance of power sector in Bihar
With an aim to improve the performance of Power Sector in Bihar, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Bihar (GoB) and NTPC Limited. The MoU envisages transfer of Barauni Thermal Power Station (720 MW) to NTPC.
In addition to this, Bihar State Power Generation Company’s (BSPGCL) equities in Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUN) & Nabinagar Power Generating Company (Pvt.) Limited (NPGC) will also be transferred to NTPC.
NTPC, a Maharatna Company under Ministry of Power, Govt. of India is the largest power generating company of India with a total installed capacity of 53651 MW (including JVs) from coal, gas, hydro, solar and wind power projects.