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August 2019 - National News

  • PM Modi to address sessions on environment, climate, oceans & digital transformation at G7 Summit. India Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the G7 Summit in France. Mr Modi will address sessions on environment, climate, oceans and digital transformation at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

    Although India is not a member of the G7 group, Mr Modi will attend the G7 Summit as a special guest as he has been personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. The invitation is a reflection of the personal chemistry between the two leaders and also recognition of India as a major economic power. Prime Minister arrived in Biarritz from Manama after concluding his three-nation tour to France, the UAE and Bahrain. The countries which are part of the G7 include the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US.

    During his meeting with his British counterpart, Mr. Modi discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas like trade, investment, defence and education. This is the first meeting between the two leaders after Mr. Johnson became Prime Minister last month. Mr. Modi and UN Secretary-General held fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. The two leaders exchanged their views on India's participation at the Climate Action Summit at the UN and other issues of mutual interest.

  • Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa will embark on a three-day visit to Thailand. During his visit, he will attend the Indo Pacific Chiefs of Defence Conference in Bangkok. The conference will provide perspectives on common challenges faced by attending nations and elicit open discussions on the same.

    The Chiefs of Defence of over 33 countries are scheduled to attend the Conference. The participation of Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa, who is also Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee, will provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation with Thailand and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation in future. The theme for the conference is Collaboration in a free and Open Indo - Pacific. Bilateral defence relations between India and Thailand have gained momentum during the last few years along with overall improvement in relations at political, economic and cultural levels.

  • India and Bahrain agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of security and counter-terrorism. In a joint statement, both the countries urged the international community to reject terrorism infrastructures and to cut off any kind of support to the terrorists. The joint statement was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and his Bahraini counterpart Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa during his two-day visit to Bahrain.

    During Mr. Modi's visit, the first by an Indian prime minister, the two sides also discussed ways and means to further promote cooperation in cyber security. The two countries also agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy and strengthen maritime security in the Gulf region. The two countries also signed MoUs on cultural exchange programme, space technology, solar energy.

  • The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has constituted Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) to examine bank fraud of over 50 crore rupees and recommend action. The panel in its previous avatar called the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds.

    The ABBF headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin has been formed in consultation with the RBI and it will function as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations or references are made to the investigative agencies by the respective Public Sector Banks. The four-member board's jurisdiction will be confined to those cases involving officers of General Manager level and above in the PSBs in respect of an allegation of a fraud in a borrowal account. The banks will refer all large fraud cases above 50 crore rupees to ABBF and on receipt of its recommendation, they concerned will take further action in such matter.

  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and tennis star Sania Mirza will be among co-chairs for 'India Economic Summit' to be held on October 2019 in Delhi. The two-day summit will be held by Geneva- based World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The theme of the summit is 'Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World'.

  • The Common Service Centre (CSC) has signed a pact with the Panchayati Raj Ministry to turn gram panchayats into ‘digital panchayats’. The move is aimed at providing speedy delivery of government services to people in rural areas and promoting rural BPO across all panchayats in the country. Gram Panchayat Bhawans will host CSCs, to provide easy access to government services in rural areas.

  • The Punjab government signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Under the agreement, a Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) would be set up in the planning department with UNDP's support. It will result in the integration of the administrative departments to ensure sustainable and holistic development of the state.

  • Over five lakh local water conservation infrastructures developed in more than 250 districts by Jal Shakti Abhiyan. The government had launched the ambitious initiative on 1st of July to enhance water security, especially in water stressed districts. During the past two months, the initiative has delivered over five lakh local water conservation infrastructures in 256 districts.

  • Centre has appealed to all the States to generate maximum community participation in the form of mass movement to achieve the target of functional household tap connection by 2024. Chairing a Conference of State Ministers on Jal Jeevan Mission in New Delhi, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, asked states to plan for recharge and reuse of grey-water generated from households for agriculture and irrigation purpose. The Minister highlighted that India has 16 per cent of world population, but only four per cent of its fresh water resources.

  • India to have 10,000 CNG stations in next 5 years: Petroleum Minister.  Launching the commencement of work for 10th City Gas Distribution bidding round in New Delhi which will cover 50 Geographical Areas in 124 districts across the country, Mr Pradhan suggested auto companies to retrofit vehicles with CNG to boost sales.

    By 2050, India's incremental energy needs will be primarily met by CNG. The Minister said, India will aim to lead Electronic Vehicle technology and won't shift to lithium import dependence. With the 9th and 10th rounds, the country is making a giant leap in the City Gas Distribution. He said that in last 5 years, the number of domestic PNG connections, CNG vehicles and CNG stations have more than doubled. India is the 3rd largest energy consumer of the world and will become top consumer in a decade.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness that Statue of Unity has got a spot in the TIME 100 greatest places 2019 list. Few days back, a record 34 thousand people visited the site in a single day and it is emerging as a popular tourist spot. Mr Modi also expressed happiness the water levels at the Sardar Sarovar Dam has reached a historic 134 metre. The Prime Minister shared some breathtaking pictures of the Dam and hoped that people will visit the iconic place and see the Statue of Unity.

  • Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on 27 August, 2019 held a wide ranging discussions on the rules and regulations to be formed under the New Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Several Members of Parliament from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha along with the current and former Secretaries from Department of Consumer Affairs and senior officials of the Ministry and media personnel took part in the discussions. It covered multiple important aspects of the new Act including Central Consumer Protection Authority, District, State and National Commissions, mediation rules, e-commerce rules and misleading advertisements.

  • The Bimal Jalan panel of the Reserve Bank has recommended that the revised economic capital framework will be reviewed every five years. The RBI, Under the revised framework, decided to transfer 52,637 crore rupees excess provisions to the government. The panel's report, which was released by the central bank, also recommended that the RBI accounting year (July-June) may be brought in sync with the fiscal year (April to March) from the next financial year. This could reduce the need for interim dividend being paid by the RBI.

    The Central Board of the RBI has accepted all the recommendations of the committee headed by Jalan, a former central bank governor. Earlier, the board had approved the transfer of 1.76 Lakh crore rupees dividend and surplus reserves to the government.

  • Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi to be renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium in memory of its former president who passed away on 24 August, 2019. The renaming will take place on 12th September, 2019 at a function where a stand at the Stadium will also be named after India captain Virat Kohli, as announced earlier.

    It was Arun Jaitley's support and encouragement that players like Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Rishabh Pant and many others could make India proud. He said though the Stadium will be named Arun Jaitley Stadium, the name of the ground will remain as Feroz shah Kotla Ground. During his tenure at DDCA, Arun Jaitley is credited with renovating Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium into a modern facility, increasing its capacity to accommodate more fans besides constructing world-class dressing rooms.

  • Indian Army established 45 Army schools. As a part of this goodwill initiative, the Indian Army has established 45 Army Goodwill schools in J&K wherein over 14 thousand students are studying at present. Children belonging to low-income group families are given admission for pursuing their studies free of cost in these schools. The Goodwill Schools are also providing employment to qualified youth of the State.

  • Government has notified 63 provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 including the ones dealing with enhanced penalties for various traffic offences.The new clauses will come into effect from 01st September, 2019. In a statement, Road Transport and Highways Ministry said, these are provisions which require no further amendments in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989. The remaining provisions the Ministry has initiated the process of formulating draft rules. The 63 clauses deal with penalties, licences, registration and National Transport Policy among others.

    Under the new law, people will be charged enhanced penalty between one thousand to five thousand rupees for unauthorised use of vehicles without licence. Besides, the penalty for driving without license will go up from up to 500 to 5,000 rupees. The new rules also enhance penalty for drunken driving to imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to 10 thousand rupees or both for the first offence and imprisonment up to 2 years or fine of 15 thousand rupees or both for the second offence. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by Parliament earlier this month.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah will flag off the first fleet of eco-friendly electric buses in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He will also inaugurate the country's first automated battery charging and swapping station for e-buses in Ahmedabad. The Home Minister will attend an event organised by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to mark culmination of the civic body's tree plantation drive, which is aimed at planting 10 lakh trees in the city, at the Science City in Ahmedabad. From the same venue, Mr Shah would also flag off newly-acquired electric-powered city buses.

  • PM Narendra Modi to launch nation-wide Fit India Movement on 29 August, 2019 on the occasion of National Sports Day. The campaign is aimed at encouraging people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their day to day life.

  • The Supreme Court on 28 August, 2019 decided to examine the legal challenge against the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and referred the matter to a five-judge Constitution bench. The apex court issued notices to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a batch of pleas challenging the Presidential order by which Article 370 was abrogated.

  • Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the commencement of work for 10th City Gas Distribution (CGD) bidding round. It will cover 50 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 124 districts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the 10th CGD bidding Round on 22 November 2018.

  • India's economy has improved leaps and bounds since the NDA government took over the reins under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Addressing 7th Convocation of Pandit Dindayal Petroleum University at Gandhinagar till 2014, there had been no attempts to save India's economy. In the last five years, we have been able to make it the world's fastest-growing economy. The BJP government, inflation rate has dropped from 9 per cent to just around three per cent.

    The country has improved its position in ease of doing business and our international ranking improved considerably. Pandit Dindayal Petroleum University President Mukesh Ambani to start research and development and new courses on environment and recyclable plastics. Mr Ambani termed Home Minister Amit Shah as the true karmyogi and Iron Man of India.

  • Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi has said that the decision of 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route for coal mining activities is the biggest reform by Modi Government. This will help provide power to all 24x7. 100 per cent FDI is the biggest reform and the influx of international players will create an efficient and competitive coal market in India.

    It is expected to bring state of the art coal mining technology to the country which will help in environmentally sustainable mining. This decision will also create direct and indirect employment in coal bearing areas and will have a positive impact in the economic development of these regions. The reform is likely to help the coal bearing states get more revenue and bring in more players to create an efficient and competitive coal market.

  • Centre releases over Rs 47,000 cr to increase green cover in states. In a major step towards increasing afforestation in the country, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has handed over forty seven thousand crore rupees from Compensatory Afforestation Fund to various states. Mr Javadekar appealed to the states that the budget for afforestation must be increased as this is the investment for future.

    The funds will be utilized as per the provisions of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act and rules. The fund will be utilized for the compensatory afforestation, catchment area treatment, wildlife management, natural regeneration, forest fire prevention, soil and moisture conservation, improvement of wildlife habitat. That monitoring of the implementation of the efforts pertaining to afforestation will be done with the help of the technology like geo- tagging and video shooting.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present Yoga Awards to the winners for Outstanding Contribution for Promotion and Development of Yoga in New Delhi on 30 August, 2019. Mr Modi will also release 12 commemorative postal stamps to honour eminent scholars, practitioners and Great Master Healers of AYUSH Systems. These commemorative postal stamps highlight the great work and acknowledge the achievements of the Great Master Healers of AYUSH Systems. The winners of the yoga award were announced during the International Day of Yoga, 2019 at Ranchi along with the two winners of the previous year.

    Japan Yoga Niketan and Bihar School of Yoga will be awarded in the institutional category while Antonietta Rozzi from Italy and Swami Rajarshi Muni of Life mission in Gujarat in the individual category. Each of them will be felicitated with a Cash Award of 25 lakh rupees, Trophy and a Certificate.

  • India Asian Development Bank, ADB, President Takehiko Nakao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pledged to support the government’s new flagship initiatives. Mr Nakao commended the government’s vision to make India a five trillion dollar economy.

    The Prime Minister and ADB President discussed how to further enhance the partnership in areas such as the promotion of new technologies and innovation, renewable energy, solar-pump irrigation, electric vehicle and battery, sustainable tourism, and the recycling of plastic. ADB stands ready to commit more than 12 billion dollar lending in the next three years.

  • The 12th India Security Summit on the theme Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy was held on 28 August 2019. During the conference, many issues were discussed such as protection of critical national infrastructure, emerging cyber threats: incidents, challenges and response. India is the third-largest user of internet and cyber crime has increased manifold in recent years.

  • The Minister of State for Culture & Tourism launched an integrated NOC online Application Processing System(NOAPS) for National Monuments Authority in New Delhi. This will help in online processing of applications requesting NOC for construction- related work in the prohibited and regulated area of ASI protected monuments. 6 new states will be part of it including MP, Haryana, Punjab, and Telangana.

  • The government has set a target of setting up 12,500 AYUSH centres across India. The government is trying to set up 4000 such centres this year (2019) itself. Giving away Yoga Awards to the winners for Outstanding Contribution for Promotion and Development of Yoga in New Delhi, 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres are being opened across the country. AYUSH and Yoga are strong pillars of 'Fit India' movement. He attributed his health to Yoga, Pranayama and Ayurveda. During the ceremony, Mr Modi released 12 commemorative postal stamps to honour eminent scholars, practitioners and Great Master Healers of AYUSH Systems.

  • The Central TB Division of the Health Ministry signed a MoU with Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore the application of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technology in its fight against TB. As part of the collaboration, Wadhwani AI would be supporting National TB programme become AI-ready which would include, developing, piloting, and deploying AI-based solutions.

  • The Government planned to establish an International Standard Zoo and Biopark on the forest land at Gorewada, Nagpur. The main aim is to protect forests. The Zoo will have attractions like Bio Park, Indian Safari, African Safari, Night Safari, Research, Education and Training, facilities for tourists. The Government agreed to provide Viability Gap Funding (V.G.F) of Rs. 200 crore for it.

  • Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul locks and Kandangi sarees have received Geographical Indication (GI) tags. The famous Dindigul locks are known throughout the world for their superior quality and durability, that's why the city is called Lock City. The hand-woven Kandangi sarees also have a 150- year-old tradition, and its history is related to the business community of Chettiars.

  • India became the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial biometric data of seafarers. The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two-finger or iris-based bio-metric data, with modern security features.

  • Walk to work’ campaign in Meghalaya launched. Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma launched the campaign of Fit India Movement on 29 August 2019. He launched the WalktoWorkMeghalaya which is a part of the ‘Fit India Campaign’. The idea of 'walk to work' will have multiple benefits, cuts the cost of fuel including reduction of CO2 emission, reduce congestion in the city and more importantly for health and fitness.

  • Prasar Bharati to soon introduce two awards - Neelum Sharma Tejaswini award & Achyutananda Sahoo Award. 

  • All personnel working in the Central Armed Police Forces, CAPFs will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years. A Home Ministry order issued on 19 August, 2019 has corrected the anomaly where personnel between the ranks of Constable to Commandant in four forces -Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police force and Sashastra Seema Bal --superannuated at the age of 57, instead of 60. Officers from the rank of Deputy Inspector General upto the top-most rank of Director General in these four forces retired after attaining the age of 60. However, in two other forces of the Central Industrial Security Force and the Assam Rifles, all personnel retired at the age of 60.

  • The Centre is planning to set up India's first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (CICET) in Gujarat. The aim is to boost the chemical industry in India. The Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Sh. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the other campus of the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) in Valsad, Gujarat. CIPET was built at the cost of Rs.54 crore for the benefit of tribal students and used for research in plastic engineering technology.

    The Union minister also inaugurated the CIPET hostel built at a cost of Rs.31 crore. The hostel can accommodate 575 boys and 150 girls. The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is also planning to set up a Plastic Waste Management Centre in Ahmedabad. The centre will work to find out solutions to systematic segregation and recycling of plastic waste. CIPET - Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology

    CIPET was established in 2017. It is located in Ranchi, Jharkhand. It functions under the Department of Chemicals and petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. The Minister responsible is Shri. D.V. Sadananda Gowda and the Minister of State of Chemicals & Fertilizers is Shri Mansukh Mandaviya.

  • The Ministry of Commerce & Industry's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has registered 3 more new Geographical Indication (GI) tags. The material includes Tawlhlohpuan and MizoPuanchei from the state of Mizoram and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala has been added.

    Tawlhlohpuan: Tawlhlohpuan is a Mizoram made medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric. It is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs that are made by hand. It is produced throughout the state of Mizoram, Aizawl and Thenzawl town being the main centre of production. Tawlhloh holds high significance in the Mizo society.

    MizoPuanchei: MizoPuanchei is a colourfulMizo shawl/textile from Mizoram. It is considered as the most colourful among the Mizo textiles. It is important and an essential possession for every Mizo lady. It is an important marriage outfit in the state. It is the most commonly used costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies.

    Tirur betel vine: Tirur betel vine is produced from Kerala. It is valued its medicinal properties and its mild stimulant action. It is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram District.

  • Air India became India's first Indian airline to operate commercial flights overflying the polar region. The airlines flew its Boeing 777 aircraft over the North pole. The Boeing 777 was Delhi-San Francisco flight. The flights generally take two routes to reach San Francisco from New Delhi, one over China, Japan crossing the Pacific Ocean and the other over Europe crossing the Atlantic Ocean. But the airlines changes its course and flew over zero degree north. The aircraft was piloted by Captain Rajneesh Sharma and Captain Digvijay Singh.

    The new flight route will reduce the flight duration by around one-and-a-half hours. Also it will help to save fuel which would be in the range of 2,000 to 7,000 kilograms per flight. It would also reduce the carbon emission, which is generally between 6,000 to 21,000 kilograms, per flight.

  • Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel will launch the book - the Diary of Manu Gandhi at a function in New Delhi. The book has been brought out by National Archives of India, on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in collaboration with Oxford University Press. The first volume covers the period 1943-1944.

    The Diary of Manu Gandhi originally in Gujarati has been edited and translated by Dr Tridip Suhrud, a well known scholar engaged in understanding the Gandhian Intellectual tradition. Manu Gandhi (Mridula) was a grand niece of Mahatma Gandhi, and stayed with Gandhiji till his assassination. She was an aide to Kasturba Gandhi during her imprisonment in the Aga Khan Palace in 1943.

  • Centre has notified new sets of health warnings for all tobacco products by making an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008. The new warnings will come into effect from 1st September, 2019. The text messages that will be printed on the packs are - tobacco causes painful death.

    A national toll-free number - 1800-11-2356 will also be printed on packs to assist the users to quit. This helps in creating awareness among tobacco users, and gives them access to counselling services to effect behaviour change. The statement added that there shall be one common specified health warning for both smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco products.

  • Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December, 2019. FASTag enabled vehicles can cruise through the dedicated FASTag lane without stopping at toll plazas on National Highways. FASTags are being issued by 22 certified banks through various channels such as Point-of-Sale at NH toll plazas and selected bank branches.

    The Minister also expressed hope that the Motor Vehicles Act 2019 will help curb road accidents and bring down fatalities. 63 clauses which do not require framing of new rules, have been sent to Law Ministry for vetting. These clauses deal with penalties, licences, registration and National Transport Policy.

  • Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) has decided to open a cell for PWDs. The cell would look into special needs of the persons with disability during Evacuation, Search & Rescue, Rehabilitation and Resettlements. It will make networking with both Government & Private organizations and prepare a database of Persons with Disabilities.

  • Power Minister Shri RK Singh launches SARAL State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index. Shri RK Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, launched the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index–SARAL.

    The State of Karnataka placed at the first rank in the Index. The Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development. Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rank respectively. Shri RK Singh would incentivise rooftop solar by creating healthy competition among the States. The states to channelize investments eventually help the sector grow.

    The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW solar power is to be operational by March 2022. It has 40 GW is expected to come from grid connected solar rooftops. The Indian Grid Connected Rooftop PV (GRPV) segment is slowly gaining momentum with substantial interest from entrepreneurs, developers, financial institutions, development banks, end users and government entities. The MNRE has developed the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index–SARAL that evaluates Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development.

  • Minister of New and Renewable Energy R K Singh has approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as Renewable Energy. The decision will give a boost to ocean energy in the country. The New and Renewable Energy Ministry has also clarified to all stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave and ocean thermal energy conversion will be considered as Renewable Energy. It will be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations.

  • The CM of Punjab launched a universal health insurance scheme Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana benefiting nearly 46 lakh families. Punjab has become the first state in the country to offer medical insurance cover to the maximum number of its people. The scheme would entitle beneficiaries to avail annual cashless treatment up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year, including pre-existing diseases.

  • Nitin Gadkari launched new website for MoRTH. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari launched New website of the Ministry of Road Transports and Highways in Delhi. The revamped website will be important to share critical information about the ministry and its policies. The 63 clauses of Motor Vehicle Act will be implemented from September 1 in which penalties will be increased in cases of drunken driving, over speeding and overloading.

  • Union HRD Minister launched the training programme NISHTHA, (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement) to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level across the country. This is the largest teachers training programme of its kind in the world. The basic objective of it is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.

  • Manipur has topped the rankings in Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in the country. Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan released a report on Breastfeeding in New Delhi. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are at the bottom positions of the report card. National capital Delhi is also among the worst-performing States.

    The Breastfeeding report card has been developed by devising a composite score based on three indicators namely early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for six months and complimentary feeding at 6-8 months of child's age.

    The Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) seeks to enhance nutrition, health and development of infants and young children through programmes designed to increase national and state commitments, education of public and health care workers about breastfeeding. The 45% children died due to under nutrition effects. The Breastfeeding improves the child’s IQ level. The benefit of Breastfeeding not only saves child but also saves the mother from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the National Medical Commission Bill 2019. The Bill will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), which was functional as per the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act, 1956.

    The National Medical Commission (NMC) will form the apex regulatory body for medical education in India. The commission will ensure the quality of the medical colleges and every institute will now be rated. One of the provisions of the bill included the appointment of the Board of Governors to perform the functions.

  • 'Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana' was inaugurated in Jharkhand on 10 August 2019. Under the scheme, farmers holding land of an acre or less would be eligible for receiving Rs 5,000 and farmers with five acres of land would be eligible to receive Rs 25,000 in two fixed installments. The scheme was incorporated in the state budget from the financial year 2019-2020.

  • Govt. to start special hospitals offering Indian system of medicines in 150 districts. Special hospitals offering Indian Systems of Medicines like Siddha and Ayurveda will be started in 150 districts across the country. This was stated by Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shri Sripad Yesso Naik, while inaugurating an Ayurveda medical College in Vellore, Tamilnadu.

    He pointed out that research institutions on the lines of AIIMS will also be started in various parts of the country to encourage research into Indian Medicine systems. The minister also revealed that a six months course in basic medicine has been started with the intention of providing basic healthcare in rural areas.

  • Vice President Venkaiah Naidu launched Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana in Jharkhand. Under this scheme, money would be directly transferred into the bank accounts of farmers in the state. Beneficiaries having farm land of less than one acre to five acres, will get Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 in their bank accounts.

  • The Punjab Agriculture Department has initiated a massive drive to provide more than 28000 agro-machines/farm equipment to farmers. Subsidy component of Rs.278 crore will be provided for the scheme during the current fiscal year under the first phase for in- situ management of paddy residue. Subsidy ranging from 50%- 80% is being provided to the farmers under the scheme.

  • Indian Railways has cancelled Samjhauta Express train after Pakistan suspended operations on its side. According to Northern Railway, Pakistan has cancelled the Samjhauta Express running between Lahore and Attari. The railways run the train on Sundays from Delhi to Attari and back, while Pakistan used to run the train between Lahore and Attari.

  • The Central Government is promoting electric mobility as an environmental friendly mode of transport and recently sanctioned 5,595 electric buses for inter- and intra-city transportation in 64 cities. Ahmedabad is among the five cities which has got the highest number of buses i.e. 300 each. After running 10 electric buses on pilot basis in the city, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has got 300 new E -buses under FAME 2 scheme.

    The AMC is in the process of preparing tender documents and setting up infrastructure such as charging stations in the city in order to ply electric buses on roads. Apart from Ahmedabad, Surat has got 150 while Rajkot has got 50 E-buses under the same scheme. Talking to AIR, AMC Standing Committee Chairman Amul Bhatt said the process for availing subsidy under the scheme has already begun. The Electric buses will be safe, clean and cheap mode of transport provided a strong network of charging stations and private partnership.

  • Indian Navy signed MoU with CIAL. Naval Air Enclave (NAE), Kochi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in a formal function held at CIAL. The agreement was signed by Captain Satish Kumar S, Officer-in-Charge, NAE and Shri ACK Nair, Airport Director CIAL.

    The MoU was aimed with the commencement of naval air operations from the NAE, a naval aviation facility at CIAL in Nedumbassery. The MoU sets the standard operating procedures for CIAL and the Indian Navy. It also ensures safe, secure and uninterrupted military air operations.

    The facility will comprise of an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar, administrative building and taxy track. The facility will be located on the northwest side of CIAL. The Naval runway at INS Garuda is not enough for the landing and take-off of long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Hence, the CIAL runway will be used by the Military aircraft for take off and landing and the NAE taxy track for proceeding to and from the hangar.

  • MoHUA Launched Swach Sarvekshan 2020. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched the Swachh Survekshan 2020 on 13th August. It is the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry. The scheme was launched by Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs.

    The project Swachh Survekshan 2020 focus on sustaining and monitoring the ground and service level performance on cleanliness. The redesigned Swachh Survekshan will ensure and focus on sustaining the changed behaviours on key areas.

    The project focuses on Key areas such as
    • Collect segregated waste and maintain till processing site
    • Utilize capacity Of wet waste processing facilities
    • Treat aid re-use wastewater
    • Follow 3R Principles: Reduce. Reuse and Recycle
    • Curtail solid waste based Air pollution
    • Uplift social condition of informal Waste Pickers
    • Promote procurement through GeM
    • Assess Ganga Towns separately to accelerate action
    • Engage Technology driven Monitoring

  • Gandhi's 150th birth annivarsary as Community Day. The railways will mark Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary as Community Day, according to an action plan of the Railway Board. A special exhibition titled From Mohan Das to Mahatma would also be held. 150 small nurseries are to be set up on railway land adjacent to tracks, especially around metro areas.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 'Jal Jivan' mission to make drinking water available to all households and said government will spend 3.5 lakh crore rupees for it. The movement towards water conservation has to take place at the grassroots level and it should not be limited to mere a Government programme. He said, people from all walks of life have to be integrated in this movement.

  • The government has reconstituted the Inter State Council and the Standing Committee of the Inter State Council. According to the notification, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Chairman of the Inter State Council. Chief Ministers of all States and six Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nirmala Sitharaman are the members of the Council.

    While ten Union Ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan, S Jaishankar and Piyush Goyal are the permanent invitees in the Council. As per the notification, Home Minister Amit Shah will be the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Inter State Council.

    Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and eight State Chief Ministers will be its members. These States are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Information and Broadcasting Ministry implements accessibility standards for differently-abled.
    Information and Broadcasting Ministry has decided to implement Accessibility Standards for Persons with Disabilities in television programmes for private TV channels from this Independence Day. This is a major step towards implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.

    In a significant beginning from this year’s Independence Day, the Ministry has asked Private Satellite News TV channels also to telecast a short programme on Independence Day celebrations, along with corresponding sign language interpretation in the afternoon or evening. The channels have been told that they may either make their own programme with sign language interpretation, or they may carry a bulletin prepared by DD News free of cost if they wish. The Ministry was given Special Jury Award at this function for its path breaking work in making television accessible for people with hearing disabilities.

  • Union Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has asserted that the new Code on Wages is an important step for workers, employers, and state governments and it will benefit about 50 crore workers in the country. The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on August 2 while Lok Sabha passed the bill on July 30, 2019.

    The bill seeks to amend and consolidate the laws relating to wages, bonus, and matters connected therewith. He said the government has decided that there has to be a floor minimum wage for the workers. New code will fix the anomalies in the labour wages. He also added that the bill has ensured that there will not be any discrimination between male and female in getting wages.

  • Swachh Nagar app was launched by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. It will allow users to have waste collected by their urban local bodies along with a new protocol on wastewater treatment that would become a part of cleanliness rankings of cities. The app had been tested in Gurugram and in some of the General Pool Residential Accommodation colonies for government staff.

  • The Commandos for Railway Safety (CORAS) will be deployed in Naxal-prone belts, Jammu and Kashmir and North East after its launch on 14 August 2019. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and MoS Railway Suresh C Angadi will launch CORAS in New Delhi. CORAS is headed by the Director General of the RPF and is armed with special uniforms with bullet- proof jackets, helmets and sophisticated weapons.

  • Japanese Self Defence Ship visited Kochi.  A missile destroyer, JS Sazanami of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), is on a two-day goodwill visit to Kochi from 13 August 2019. During the stay at Kochi, various activities such as visit of IN personnel onboard JS Sazanami and professional interaction between the two navies were conducted.

  • The Indian government has decided to invest 100 lakh crore rupees in infrastructure building. India can become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years. Prime Minister called for improving exports to get more share in world economy. He said, wealth creation is important for the country as only then wealth distribution will happen. Mr Modi said, those who create wealth need to be respected. He added that the fundamentals of Indian economy are strong which will help the country to grow further.

  • Chief of defence staff post to be created. It will integrate the operations of the three forces--the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.The CDS was to be a five-star rank general a rank above the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.

  • The famous Palani panchamirtham, given as ‘prasadam’ at the Murugan temple, Tamil Nadu, has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag. The panchamirtham is a combination of five natural substances banana, jaggery, cow ghee, honey and cardamom.

  • Gujarat government will open army schools in tribal-dominated areas to provide required training to youths and to help them get selected to serve in defence forces. The government has set up medical colleges in the tribal-majority districts of Dahod, Tapi, Surat and Valsad. The government has taken adequate steps to ensure that tribal population is not deprived of higher education.

  • Mumbai is all set to get the first Indian Institute of Skills - IIS, the foundation stone of which will be laid in September 2019. Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey announced that the institute will be operational by 2020. The project will be executed on a Public- Private Partnership basis.

  • India’s Largest Rural Sanitation Survey launched.  Jal Shakti Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2019 (SSG 2019). The scheme instituted from August 14 to September 30, 2019. SSG 2019 will cover 17,450 villages in 698 districts across India. It includes 87,250 public places namely schools, Anganwadi centers, public health centers, haat/bazaars/religious places. Around 2,50,000 citizens will be interviewed for the survey.

    Citizens will also be mobilised to provide feedback on sanitation relation related issues online using an application developed for the purpose.The independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts. The results will be announced based on quantitative and qualitative sanitation parameters. Around 5.8 lakh villages, 639 districts and 32 States/UTs declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in rural India. The country is well poised for an Open Defecation Free India by October 2, 2019. Shri Shekhawat emphasized on the huge success of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The mission is being taken to the next level.

    The main aim is to focus on solid-liquid waste management and plastic waste management. The enthusiasm showed by all stakeholders towards last year’s survey and encouraged the gathering to garner even higher momentum at the grassroots level this year. The main aim is to highlight that this year the focus is on plastic waste disposal amongst other wastes. The detailed protocol developed to guide the ranking of Districts basis their performance on key quality and quantitative parameters.

  • National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav” begins in Leh- Ladakh. Tribal Affairs Ministry and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) are jointly organizing a 9 - Day Aadi Mahotsav (National Tribal Festival), in Leh- Ladakh.

    With a theme of “A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce” Adi Mahotsav will be inaugurated by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Mr. Satya Pal Malik. Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda,, MoS Smt Renuka Singh and TRIFED Chairman Shri R. C. Meena also be participating in the inaugural.

  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the provisions relating to the issue of shares with Differential Voting Rights (DVRs) provisions under the Companies Act. Its objective is to enable promoters of Indian companies to retain control of their companies in their pursuit for growth and creation of long-term value for shareholders.

    The key change brings in an enhancement in the previously existing cap of 26 per cent of the total post-issue paid-up equity share capital to a revised cap of 74 per cent of the total voting power. Another key change brought about is the removal of the earlier requirement of distributable profits for 3 years for a company to be eligible to issue shares with Differential Voting Rights.

  • The 14th Edition of KONKAN series of annual bilateral exercises between Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain is currently underway off the South Coast of UK. INS Tarkash is exercising with the Royal Navy's Daring Class Destroyer, HMS Defender with integral helicopter Wildcat. KONKAN-19 will involve Gunnery Shoots, Manoeuvres, Cross Deck Flying, ASW Screening and Air Defence exercise.

  • The Union Textiles Ministry signed a MoU with 16 State governments to offer skill training programmes under the Samarth scheme (Scheme for capacity building in the textiles sector). 18 States had agreed to partner with the Ministry. The agencies nominated by the State Governments will train four lakh people. After the training, the candidates will be placed at the textile units.

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the creation of post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on 15 August. The rank of CDS will be a first among equals. It will be a fourth four-star officer who will be senior to the three other service chiefs. It is the most significat reform in the defence.

    The creation of the post aims to make the Indian defence forces even more effective. It will also ensure the better coordination between the three defence services. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will act as the single-point advisor to the Government. The CDS officer will be advising the Army, Navy and Airforce on matters related to all the three services. The officer concerned will make the Country's armed forces integrated.

  • Harshad Pandurang Thakur appointed as the director of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare(NHW). The proposal of appointment was approved by the appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The cabinet is headed by Prime Minister.

    The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) established on 9th March 1977 by the merger of two national-level institutions namely the National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE) and the National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP). The NIHFW, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India They acts as an ‘apex technical institute’ as well as a ‘think tank’ for the promotion of health and family welfare programs in the country.

  • Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the state's first-ever CNG fuelling station in Dibrugarh, Assam. The government is preparing a roadmap for setting up CNG fuelling station in all districts to make the state free from air pollution and to promote the use of clean and green fuel. Vehicular emissions take a toll on the health of the people and so the government is working sincerely to promote the use of Compressed Natural Gas in the state. He stressed the need for generating awareness among the owners, drivers and common people for the extensive use of CNG.

  • Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences (ABVIMS). On the first death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Union Health Minister of India Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the medical college named after the late Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi on August 16. ABVIMS started with 100 MBBS seats this year (2019).

  • Girish Bapat appointed as New Chairman of estimates committee. Girish Bapat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Pune member of Parliament, has been appointed Chairman of the estimates committee. Estimates committee is one of the three financial standing committees of the parliament apart from the public accounts committee and committee on public undertakings. The members of Estimates Committee include Dilip Ghosh, PP Choudhary,KC Patel.

  • Odisha Secretariat renamed Lok Seva Bhawan. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced in the State Assembly that the Sachivalaya or Secretariat building in Bhubaneswar will now be called ‘Lok Seva Bhavan’. The Odisha secretariat building was inaugurated on November 12, 1959, by the then Home Minister Govind Ballabh Pant. Ganeshi Lal is the Governor of Odisha.

  • Government to set up National traders Body. The commerce and industry ministry will soon notify the constitution of a National Traders’ Welfare Board. The Board will identify ways to improve access to funds for this unorganised sector. It will also make recommendations to reduce the compliance burden of traders as well as to ensure social security benefits such as insurance, pension, and healthcare for traders and their employees.

  • Tamil Nadu will receive about Rs 6.22 crore under the 'Silk Samagra' — an Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry (ISDSI) implemented by the Union government through the Central Silk Board (CSB).

    Tamil Nadu has been ranked among the leading silk-producing States in the country. Tamil Nadu has registered a production of 2,072 metric tons of raw silk up to March 2019.

  • NITI Aayog has approved the proposal for joint venture between National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. and foreign companies. The plan is to acquire foreign reserves of strategic minerals like lithium and cobalt to power the country's electric vehicles has moved a step closer. Therefore, the three state-owned metal and mining companies are set to form a joint venture to buy on minerals.

  • Modi government revoked Article 370 and 35(A) — that give the state of Jammu & Kashmir a host of special rights. Some provisions of the Article 370 have been diluted over time. In contrast, the Article 35A till now had remained unchanged.

    Under this article, the centre needs the state government's concurrence to apply laws — except in defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications.

    What Article 370 means :
    It means the state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.

    Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare an emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Article 370 — which comes under Part XXI of the Constitution, which deals with "Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions" — grants J&K a special autonomous status. Constitutional provisions that are applicable to other Indian states are not applicable to J&K.

    The provision was drafted in 1947 by Sheikh Abdullah, the then prime minister of J&K appointed by Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru. Abdullah had argued that Article 370 should not be placed under temporary provisions; he instead wanted 'iron-clad autonomy' for the state. The centre, however, didn't grant his wish.

    What Article 35(A) means : 
    Article 35A allows the state legislature to define the Jammu and Kashmir's permanent residents. The article had been inserted via the Constitution (Application to J&K) Order, 1954. It was issued by the then President Rajendra Prasad under Article 370 on PM Nehru's advice.

    The state's Constitution, at the time of its adoption in 1956, defined a permanent resident as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident for 10 years, and has lawfully acquired immovable property. What this clause means is that no outsider can now own property in J&K or get a state job. The article is also known as the Permanent Residents Law. Among other things, it deprives the state's female residents of property rights if/when they marry an 'outsider'. The provision also extends to children born of any such women.

    What will happen to J&K now :
    After Kashmir's special status is gone, people from anywhere in India be able to buy property and permanently settle in the state. This has fuelled fear in the mind of Kashmiris — they think it would lead to the state's demographic transformation from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.

    A separate Union Territory will be created for Jammu & Kashmir with legislature, Amit Shah has revealed via a notification. "Keeping in view the prevailing internal security situation, fuelled by cross-border terrorism in the existing state of Jammu & Kashmir, a seperate Union

    The Ladakh region is also being given the status of a Union Terrority, without legislature. "The Ladakh division has a large area but is sparsely populated with a very difficult terrain. There has been a long-pending demand of people of Ladakh to give it a Union Territory status to enable them to realise their aspiration", it said.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 tabled in Lok Sabha. The government moved Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 for consideration and passage in Lok Sabha. The Lower House took up the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 having provisions of 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections among the general category. Home Minister Amit Shah assured the members he moved the bill and the resolution for consideration of the House. He said that the opposition can have a detailed discussion on the same and he is ready to give the reply.

    Rajya Sabha adopted resolutions to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. The house passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with the legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without legislature. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 having provisions of 10 per cent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of upper caste in the state was also passed by the upper house.

    Announcing a path-breaking decision by the Government, Home Minister Amit Shah said, the politics of vote bank has looted the youth of the state for over 70 years. He termed the provisions of Article 370 as discriminatory on the basis of gender, class, caste and place of origin. Mr. Shah pointed out to the opposition that everyone knows how the article 370 is hampering the development of the people of the state.

  • The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha that proposes an increase in the number of judges in Supreme Court from 30 to 33 excluding the Chief Justice of India. It seeks to address the rising pendency of cases in the apex court. The Judges will also be entitled to the use of the rent-free official residence. On the 1st day of June this year, there were 58669 cases pending in the Supreme Court. Government is committed to an independent judiciary.

  • Lok Sabha passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. Moving the Bill, Minister for State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Kishan Pal Gurjar, the Bill prohibits the discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to education, employment, healthcare, access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public. Cutting across party lines, members spoke in favour of the Bill.

    The Bill defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. The Bill provides every transgender person shall have a right to reside and be included in his household. Maximum demands of the transgender community have been included in the Bill. This Bill enables various welfare measures and prohibition of discrimination against transgenders. This Bill lays emphasis on educating, skilling and making transgenders employable.

  • Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 that prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy. It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with the intention to hand over the child after the birth to the intending couple. Moving the Bill, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vadhan said, India has emerged as a hub for surrogacy in recent years. There are 2000 to 3000 surrogacy clinics running illegally in the country.

    The purpose of the Bill is to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy. It will prevent exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born out of surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy is banned and considered illegal in many countries including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Spain, and Switzerland. A child born out of a surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple. The offences under the Bill include undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy, exploiting the surrogate mother and abandoning, exploiting or disowning a surrogate child.

  • Udaipur to host largest education brainstorm. The 3rd edition of the ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF) will be held on the 9-10 August 2019, Udaipur. It will bring together over 500 educators to discuss the way towards establishing India as the next global education powerhouse. The theme is ‘Education for Sustainability: Moving on from Conformity to Creativity’. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar of Udaipur Royalty is the patron for 2019.

  • Parliament has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabah approving it on 06 August, 2019. The Lok Sabha has already passed it. The bill aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute.

    The Bill has a provision to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. The authority will have the power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser o up to ten lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.

    The Bill also has a provision to set up Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at the district, state, and national levels. A consumer can file a complaint with the Commissions regarding defective goods or services and overcharging or deceptive charging.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India, AERA (Amendment) Bill- 2019. A Gazette Notification to this effect has been issued. The Parliament had passed the bill on 2nd August, 2019.

    The bill increases the threshold of annual passenger traffic for major airports from 15 lakh to over 35 lakh passengers. Earlier, the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 defined a major airport as one with annual passenger traffic over 15 lakh, or any other airports as notified by the central government. As per the provisions of the bill, the Authority will not determine the tariff, tariff structures, or the development fees, in cases where these amounts were a part of the bid document on the basis of which the airport operations were awarded.

  • The Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA) signed a MoU with the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) to facilitate mutual cooperation. TTAA will promote Cambodia and CATA in A.P. with a focus on destinations in Visakhapatnam and the Buddhist circuit in the State. TTAA President K. Vijay Mohan and CATA’s Phav Proeun exchanged the MoU papers.

  • Mohali traffic police launched 3-D Smart Traffic Signal devised by the students of a Chandigarh university. The wireless system, called 'Intelights', has been installed at the traffic crossing near the Airport Road, on a pilot project basis. It will regulate traffic signals with a smart bird's eye view wireless sensor system. It uses existing CCTV cameras to gather live traffic video feed.

  • Rajasthan legislative assembly passed two important bills to curb honour killings and Mob Lynching in the state on 6 August 2019. 'The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019' and ‘The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019’ was passed by the assembly with a voice vote.

  • Nation observes 77th anniversary of Quit India movement. The 77th anniversary of the August Kranti Din, which is considered as one of the important milestones in the history of freedom struggle of our country, is being observed on 08 August, 2019.

    On this date in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call to end the British rule and launched the Quit India Movement at the session of the All-India Congress Committee in Mumbai. After the failure of Cripps Mission, Gandhiji gave the call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech delivered at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai. The grateful country is paying homage to the freedom fighters and remembering the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs during the freedom struggle.

  • Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Rajan Wadhera and Auto industry leaders on 07 August, 2019 asked the government for a stimulus package, including GST reduction on vehicles. SIAM President Wadhera is hopeful that there will be a stimulus package as the sector has been hit by an unprecedented slump in sales.

  • The 22nd National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) 2019 will be held on 8-9th August 2019 at Shillong, Meghalaya. The theme of this Conference is 'Digital India: Success to Excellence'. The Conference is a part of the DARPG’s 100 days initiatives in the new Government. This is the first time the event is being organized in North-Eastern region of the country.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his nod to National Medical Commission Bill 2019. The move came after Parliament passed the bill in the just-concluded session. The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

    It has provisions to set up the National Medical Commission which will frame policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals and assess the requirements of healthcare-related human resources and infrastructure.

  • Government sanctions over 5,000 electric buses under second phase of FAME India scheme. Government has sanctioned 5595 electric buses in 64 cities for intracity and intercity operations under the second phase of FAME India scheme.

    The objective of the scheme is to encourage faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicle by way of offering upfront incentives on purchase of electric vehicles. Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in a release said, this will give a further push to clean mobility in public transportation.

  • Tarava police station in the Subarnapur district of Odisha has been adjudged as one of the 10 best police stations in India in the annual ranking for the year 2018. The certificate of excellence and a trophy were handed over to Tarava police inspector Dulamani Bhoi by Odisha DGP R.P. Sharma. Tarava P.S. got this award on the basis of smart policing, citizen-centric policing, community policing and use of technology for better grievance redress mechanism.

  • An agreement was signed between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). They will initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector. Both will engage national and international experts to bring the best practices by developing specialized training material.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued by Ministry of Law and Justice on 09 August, 2019. The Parliament had passed the bill in the just concluded session. The Act seeks to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without legislature. A Home Ministry notification said, the two new Union territories will come into existence on 31st October, 2019.

  • Government set target of transporting 25 % of cargo through coastal shipping, inland waterways over next 10 years. The government has set a target of transporting nearly 25 percent of cargo through coastal shipping and inland waterways over the next 10 years.

    Speaking at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the nation's largest container port JNPT in Mumbai, he said the port-led development initiatives taken by the government will help achieve this target. The Minister further said increase in exim cargo will help us reduce inflation by nearly 2.5 percent. The focus is not just development of ports but an integrated development of associated infrastructure, including railways, roads and airports. Our logistics cost is still 5 percent more than global cost.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Motor Vehicles(Amendment), Act 2019. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued by Ministry of Law and Justice on 09 August, 2019. The Parliament had passed the bill in the recently concluded session.

    The bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to provide road safety. Provisions related to increasing penalties on traffic violations, addressing issues on third-party insurance, regulation of cab aggregators and road safety are proposed in the amendment. The Bill proposes a scheme to allow cashless treatment of victims in a road accident during the golden hour. The golden hour is defined as the time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest. The Bill proposes to increase the minimum compensation for hit and run cases. In case of the death, the compensation has been raised from 25 thousand to two lakh rupees, and in case of grievous injury it will be from 12 thousand 500 to 50 thousand rupees.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his nod to the the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued by Ministry of Law and Justice on 09 August, 2019. The Parliament had passed the bill in just concluded budget session.

    The bill provides for a time-bound settlement of disputes as well as accountability of the arbitrator. It also seeks to establish an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms. The Council would be mandated to frame policies for grading arbitral institutions and accrediting arbitrators.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to legislation under which individuals can be declared terrorists and their properties seized. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 also provides for putting a travel ban on such individuals once they are declared terrorists.

    The President gave his assent to the legislation late on 08 August, 2019 night, a Home Ministry official said. The Lok Sabha passed the amendment Bill on July 24 and the Rajya Sabha on August 2. Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar are likely to be the first two to be designated as terrorists under the legislation.

  • India's first underwater train to be launched in Kolkata under the Hubli river. The metro will soon be operational. This train is proof of the progress made by Indian Railways. The 16-kilometer long Kolkata Metro project will connect Salt Sector 5 with Howrah Maidan.

  • The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 will be taken up for consideration and passing in Lok Sabha on 29 July, 2019. The Bill providesfor a medical education system that improves access to quality and affordable medical education. It ensures availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals in all parts of the country.

    Besides, The Dam Safety Bill, 2019 is expected to be introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill provides for surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of the specified dam for prevention of dam failure related disasters. It also provides for institutional mechanism to ensure their safe functioning.

  • Vishaka guidelines must be applicable to judiciary, says Justice A.P. Shah. There is a need to engage in how the Vishaka guidelines, which deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, should be made applicable to the judiciary. Justice Shah’s comments came while delivering the 27th Rosalind Wilson Memorial Lecture on 28 July, 2019 on the subject ‘Judging the Judges, Need for transparency and accountability’.

    The “immediate trigger” for his choice of subject for the speech was the sexual harassment allegations raised by a Supreme Court employee against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Justice Shah did not want to pass judgment on the truth or falsity of the sexual harassment allegations, but he added they were “certain stark facts that stand out which demand consideration”.

  • The Singapore-headquartered Global Indian International School (GIIS) will launch India's first SMART campus in Pune. The SMART Campus has features to enhance learning outcomes for the students with the use of SMART Campus pedagogy and to prepare the students for the future. Also, for the first time in India, GIIS will introduce Sports Analytics at the school level.

  • Gujarat tops in solar rooftop installations. In the area of solar rooftop installations, Gujarat has stood first in the country with total 261.97 megawatts (MW) of installed rooftop solar capacity as on 23 July 2019. As per the Central government data, total rooftop solar installations in India is 1700.54 MW. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have solar rooftop installations at 198.52 MW and 151.62 MW respectively.

  • India's fastest train Vande Bharat Express's trial run from New Delhi to Katra was successfully conducted by the Indian Railways' Northern Railway zone.Vande Bharat express, also dubbed as 'Train 18', can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph.

  • UP becomes No. 1 in implementation of PSBY.  Uttar Pradesh has become number one in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojana (PSBY) in the country. 1.95 crores people have been given insurance cover under the scheme till 31 march 2019. Under PSBY, people between the age group of 18 to 70 get an accidental insurance cover of rupees 2 lakh at a premium of 12 rupees annually.

  • India and Mozambique have signed two Memoranda of Understanding on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of Hydrography. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held delegation-level talks with his Mozambican counterpart Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke in Maputo. Mr Singh is on a three days visit to South African country, Mozambique.The Defence Ministry said in a release that the agreement will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence co-operation and India Mozambique relations in general. The visit witnessed the growing defence co-operation between the two countries and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region.

  • Parliament has passed the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2019 with the Rajya Sabha approving it unanimously. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill. The bill seeks to provide for a comprehensive mechanism to ban the unregulated deposit schemes other than deposits taken in the ordinary course of businesses and to protect the interest of depositors.

    The bill after becoming an act will work as a crackdown on Ponzi schemes and will help protect the interests of poor people and their hard-earned money. Depositors have been given a top priority in the bill. The Minister said, the problem of Ponzi schemes is across the country, therefore, this bill will ensure no one can run after taking the money of poor people. The bill will bring an end to the loot of people’s hard-earned money done through Ponzi schemes.

    The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill provides for attachment of properties or assets and subsequent realisation of assets for repayment to depositors. The bill also proposes adequate provisions for repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.

  • The Rajya Sabha passed an amended version of the three-year-old Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The amendments seek to end ambiguity and streamline the resolution process further. It also gives home buyers the status of a creditor giving them a say in the resolution in case a housing project goes bust.The changes were in response to events that eroded the legislative intent of the IBC. The Bill seeks to amend seven sections of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. They are largely to remove ambiguities and to facilitate a smooth conduct of the corporate and insolvency resolution process for maximising the outcomes in line with preamble of the code.

  • On International Tiger Day Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the results of 4th cycle of the All India Tiger Estimation. He also presented an award to Sathyamanglam Tiger Reserve, for showing the highest increment in the four-year Management Effective Evaluation. The report says India, with around 3,000 tigers, is one of safest habitats for them in the world.

  • Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli inaugurated the India-Nepal Logistics Summit in Kathmandu on 28 July 2019. The theme of the summit was Transforming Logistics Landscape. Nepal and India have a significant volume of trade, investment, tourism and people-to- people movement for which smooth and quality logistics including easy transit facilities is very essential.

  • Pink coaches introduced for women by the Northeast Frontier Railway zone. Indian Railways Northeast Frontier Railway zone started an initiative to bring a special portion of the SLR coach with pink colour. It is mainly introduced in order to bring women passengers with better safety and security.This special colour will help the women passenger to easily identify the coach in rush hours.

    Around eight trains in Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railway has begun operations with some pink coaches. The section 58 of the Railways Act, 1989 provides for earmarking of accommodation for female passengers in trains. Indian Railways planned to provide second class accommodation for women in the second Class-cum-Luggage-cum Guard’s Coach (SLR) .

    SLR coaches with especially Pink coloured portion for lady passengers were placed into operation by the Rangiya Division of NFR in passenger trains bearing number 55817 / 55818, 55803 / 55804 and 55809 / 55810. They are operated between New Bongaigaon and Guwahati. This new initiative of the government will enhance the security of women. There are six trains between New Bongaigaon and Guwahati and two trains between Rangiya and Murkongselek have begun operations with the pink-coloured coaches.

  • Parliament has passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Companies Act, 2013. It aims to tighten Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR compliance, transfer certain responsibilities to National Company Law Tribunal and recategorise certain offences as civil offences. The legislation has the provision that any unspent annual CSR funds must be transferred to one of the funds under Schedule 7 of the Act like Prime Minister’s Relief Fund within six months of the financial year.

    The bill also seeks to empower Registrar of Companies to initiate action for removal of a company’s name if the latter is not carrying out business activities as per the Act. The bill will replace the ordinance promulgated earlier in this regard. The bill will ensure ease of doing business for companies effectively. Four lakh shell companies have been de-registered and now it has been made mandatory that a company while carrying out business should have a physical address and physical maintenance of a register.

  • The government is keen to start inland waterways navigation and passenger transportation in the rivers of North Eastern states. The public sector company WAPCOS is preparing a model Detailed Project Report (DPR) for running low-cost ferry services in the inland waterways in these states.

    The model DPR can be adopted for quick implementation by the Inland Waterways Authority of India in consultation with the different state governments in the region. Inland waterways transport can be a game-changer for the North-Eastern states as land routes in the region are often long, circuitous and time consuming due to the difficult terrain. Besides bringing ease of movement, the waterways projects will also help generate employment locally.

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, District Administration Udhampur has launched a helpline, 'Jeene Do'. The objective is to improve sex ratio and deal with defaulters of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques or PCPNDT Act under the Centrally sponsored Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme. A Mobile Number -9469793363 has been dedicated to the Public to register complaints regarding this.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his nod to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 that abolishes the practice of instant Triple Talaq. The law comes into force retrospectively from 19th September 2018. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued. The Parliament had passed the bill on 30 July, 2019.

    The bill seeks to declare the practice of instant Triple Talaq as void and illegal and makes it a cognizable offence. It also provides allowance to women victims and their dependent children. The offence is made compoundable with the permission of the Magistrate at the instance of the married Muslim woman upon whom talaq is pronounced. President Ram Nath Kovind has also given his assent to the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Parliament had passed the bill. A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued.

    The Bill seeks to amend the Companies Act, 2013. It aims to tighten Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR compliance, transfer certain responsibilities to National Company Law Tribunal and recategorise certain offences as civil offences.

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has announced that the Lower House will become paperless from the next session. The move will save crores of rupees to the exchequer. During the Zero Hour, several members praised the Speaker for starting a new system under which their name and division number are displayed on the screen in the house, when they are speaking. The members that various new initiatives will be taken to improve the functioning of the house. The House that if any member needed paper he or she will be provided.

  • London named worlds best student city in new rankings.  London named the world’s best city for students. According to the rankings, India’s best student city is Bengaluru at 81st. It is followed by Mumbai (85th) and Delhi at 113 and Chennai at 115. There are a total of 120 cities in the list. This report is released for the second consecutive year.

    London beat Tokyo and Melbourne and came second and third respectively on new worldwide rankings. The QS Best Student Cities ranking was done by global education consultancy QSQuacquarelli Symonds. It mainly highlights each city’s performance across different categories. The number of Indians moving to London for higher studies rose by 20% in 2017-18. They marked an increase from 4,545 in 2016-17 to 5,455 in the fiscal year 2017-18.

  • The New Education Policy will make India a global educational hub.The public to give their views and suggestions on the draft National Education Policy by the stipulated time of 15th of this month. The heights of Nalanda and Takshasila to not being among the world's top 100 educational institutions now. A book 'The Dynamics of Indian Education' is released. The need for having a fresh look at the education system and for revamping the education system to make universities world-class.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated exhibitions on Mahatma Gandhi and Khadi at the Ebunjan Theatre in The Gambia to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma. Vice President of Gambia, Isatou Touray received the President at exhibitions. These exhibitions started, will be held till 2nd October. Khadi samples for the exhibitions have been provided by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), while that for the Gandhi exhibitions have been sent by the Gandhi Smriti. President has left for Republic of the Guinea, the last leg of his three nations visit.

  • Parliament passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, POCSO, 2019 with the Lok Sabha approving it unanimously. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the bill. The bill seeks to enhance punishment for sexual offences against children, with a provision of death penalty. To curb child pornography, the Bill provides that those who use a child for pornographic purposes should be punished with imprisonment up to five years and fine. However, in the event of second or subsequent conviction, the punishment would be up to seven years and fine.

    The Bill defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child including photograph, video, digital or computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child. According to the amendment bill, those committing penetrative sexual assaults on a child below 16 years of age would be punished with imprisonment up to 20 years, which might extend to life imprisonment as well as fine. In case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault, the bill increases the minimum punishment from ten years to 20 years, and the maximum punishment to death penalty. Replying to the debate, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani said, the government’s priority is to ensure that justice is delivered to every child in the country.

    Sexual harassment is covered under POCSO. Government has sanctioned over one thousand fast track courts for speedy disposal of pending cases under POCSO. 18 states have consented to set up fast track courts. They will be established within two years. Six lakh sexual offenders have been registered under the National Database on Sexual Offenders. Members from various political parties including Congress, TDP, TMC and BSP participated in the discussion.

  • Union Minister Prakash Javadekar launched several e-projects of Publications Division. The projects include redesigned dynamic website, mobile app 'Digital DPD', e- version of Rozgaar Samachar and e-book 'Satyagrah Geeta'. The mobile app for Publications Division would help in improving the reading habits of people in the era of e-books and Kindle.

  • The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel launched the Mobile Library Buses procured under C.S.R assistance from Airports Authority of India. The Programme was organized by Delhi Public Library of Ministry of Culture in New Delhi. It was launched under 'Ghar- GharDastakGharGharPustak' Scheme which aims to provide books to the citizens of Delhi.

  • Minister of HRD, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated the ‘Facilitation cum Publicity Pavilion (FCP)’ at the National Bal Bhavan, New Delhi. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa launched the upgraded 3D Air Combat Mobile Game 'Indian Air Force: A Cut Above' at the same venue. The FCP is an endeavour to connect to more than 7.5 lakh children that visit the Bal Bhavan annually.

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a list of 20 institutes - 10 public and 10 private for the grant of the status of Institutions of Eminence (IoE). The institutions which are given IoE status from public category includes, Delhi University, BHU, Hyderabad University and IIT Madras and Kharagpur.

    The UGC made the recommendations on the report of the Empowered Expert Committee set up by the government under the chairmanship of N Gopalaswami. Jadavpur University and Anna University can be considered for issue of the IoE status only after the respective State Governments have issued an official communication allocating their share of the funds (upto 50%).

  • National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019 has come into force after the notification issued by the Union Home Ministry in this regard. Parliament had approved the bill giving more powers to NIA on 17th of July. The act aims at enhancing the jurisdiction of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate scheduled offences committed outside India targeting Indians as well as Indian assets abroad.

    The latest amendment will enable the NIA to additionally investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908. It also provides for constituting special courts for the trial of scheduled offences such as human trafficking and cyber terrorism. The NIA was set up in 2009, a year after the Mumbai terror attacks.

    The protesting doctors, however, will continue to withdraw non-essential services, including in out-patient department (OPD). The decisions were taken at meetings of resident doctor associations that went on till late night. The resident doctors' associations of AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, RML Hospital and those attached with the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) and United Resident Doctors' Association (URDA) had boycotted work including that at the emergency department and held demonstrations over the issue.

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has launched the ‘Vhali Dikri Yojna’ from his home town Rajkot. The scheme for the welfare of girl child has been launched to mark the 63th birth day of Chief Minister. It is a statewide cash incentive scheme for every girl child born in Gujarat, with a view to raising the female birthrate at par with male to achieve gender equality.

    According to scheme, the State Government will pay Rs. 4,000 to every girl child at the time of admission to Standard 4th, Rs. 6,000 at the time of taking admission to Standard IX, Rs. 1-lakh at the time of taking admission for higher education at the age of 18 and another Rs. 1-lakh at the time of marriage. The Scheme was launched at a function in Rajkot as a part of Seva Setu Mega Camp jointly organized by the district administration and Municipal Corporation. Speaking on this occasion, Chief Minister Rupani said that Rs.133-crore has been allocated for this scheme. The birth of a girl child in the state is welcome and in no case can female feticide be tolerated. Assistance under various welfare schemes have been handed over to 63 beneficiaries to mark the day.

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 that empowers the Union Home Ministry to designate individuals as terrorists was passed in the Rajya Sabha on 02 Augusta, 2019 with Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supporting the legislation. In the 240-member House, 147 members voted in favour while 42 voted against the Bill.

  • Amid charges that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to rewrite history, the Lok Sabha amended the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Bill to remove the Congress president as a permanent trustee. The Bill was passed by a division of votes in which 214 members voted in favour while 30 were ‘against’ even as the Congress walked out in protest. Earlier, the debate witnessed very sharp and personal exchanges between members from Punjab. Shiromani Akali Dal member and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal alleged that a close relative of the Punjab Chief Minister had lauded General Dyer, who had ordered the shooting at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.

  • Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for ushering a nutrition revolution in the county by creating women nutrition-warriors or change leaders at the hamlet level. The change leaders must create awareness and provide counselling by visiting every home in villages and hamlets. The Outlook Poshan Awards presentation ceremony in New Delhi on 03 August, 2019.

    The Vice President also called for a national movement on the lines of Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyaan and other similar schemes to eliminate the scourge of malnutrition and other nutrition-related problems. He stressed on giving special attention to pregnant and lactating mothers and see a new generation of citizens endowed with maximum physical and mental potentiality.

  • Government has launched the One Nation-One Ration Card scheme in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The scheme aims to boost to national food security. Each beneficiary would be given 5kg rice at 3 a kg and wheat at 2 a kg. The Centre has formed the State Apex Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of the State and the State Project e-Mission Team.

  • Delhi and Kerala top in court infrastucture facilities.  Delhi and Kerala are among the top-performing states. Bihar and Manipur are the states having the poorest infrastructure in the lower judiciary. The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy conducted across 665 district courts across 29 states and nine Union Territories a survey on the physical and digital aspects of court infrastructure. After Bihar and Manipur, other states ranking lower in infrastructure are Nagaland, West Bengal and Jharkhand and among the high ranking states after Delhi and Kerala are Meghalaya, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh

    The data collected, nine parameters were formulated to understand the state of infrastructure of every district court complex surveyed. These parameters identified as: Getting There, Navigation, Waiting Areas, Hygiene, Barrier-Free Access, Case Display, Security, Amenities and Website.According to the survey, 81 per cent (539 of 665) court complexes are accessible via public transport.

  • Bureau of India Standards (BIS) to set up Pashmina testing centre in Leh. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in collaboration with Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) work together to promote the pashmina products at the high-level market for the proper value of this product of pashmina (Lena-Ladakhi). Ladakh region and parts of Himachal and Kashmir have world-class Pashmina production. Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh is an Autonomous Hill Council that administers the Leh District of Jammu and Kashmir, India.



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