February 2019 - National News



  • PM Narendra Modi to launch PM-KISAN scheme by transferring 1st installment of Rs 2,000 to farmers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, PM-KISAN scheme at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

    The amount will be transferred directly to the bank account of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer. The amount will be given in three installments of 2 thousand rupees each, which will benefit more than 12 crore farmers of the country.

    The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20. Under the Scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding of up to 2 hectares. The Scheme becomes effective from 1.12.2018 for transfer of benefit to eligible beneficiaries.


  • India to attend OIC meets for the first time. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited to deliver an address at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi in March 2019. This is the first time that a leader of the non-Muslim country has been invited to the OIC conference.

    Ms. Swaraj will be the Guest of Honour and address the inaugural plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC on the 1st and 2nd of March 2019. It is also a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of India’s contribution to the Islamic world.


  • Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey launches national programme to eliminate viral hepatitis. Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey launched a national programme aimed at eliminating viral hepatitis, recognized as an important public health problem.

    The minister of state for health launched the National Action Plan - Viral Hepatitis at Mumbai in presence of Amitabh Bachchan, the goodwill ambassador for hepatitis, WHO South-East Asia Region. Mr. Choubey said, the programme is also in line with the country's global commitment towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.3.

    India has affirmed this commitment at the 69th World Health Assembly. The Minister said, the aim of the programme is to combat hepatitis and achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030. India is one of the few countries to roll out management of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in a public health approach and offer free diagnostics and drugs lifelong to its beneficiaries.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the keynote address at the Rising India Summit 2019 in New Delhi on 25 February 2019. Mr. Narendra Modi is likely to define national priorities at the two-day event. Theme for this year's event is "Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities".


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the National War Memorial near India Gate in New Delhi. He lighted the eternal flame at the central obelisk in the war memorial complex. The memorial honours about 26 thousand soldiers, who have laid down their lives in the service of the nation since Independence.

    The National War Memorial commemorates the soldiers who participated and made the supreme sacrifice in Peace Keeping Missions and Counter Insurgency Operations. The complex includes a central obelisk, an eternal flame and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by Indian Army, Air Force and Navy. Busts of the 21 awardees of Param Veer Chakra have been installed at Param Yoddha Sthal.


  • Aadhar helped in savings of Rs 110000 crore by plugging leakages: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Speaking at the Rising India Summit in New Delhi, Mr. Modi said, his government has brought the inflation rate under control which was high during the UPA regime. He said, the inflation rate is now in the range of 2 to 4 per cent.

    The Prime Minister said, it is the NDA government which has provided tax relief to the middle class on the income up to 5 lakh rupees. He said, India was one of the Fragile five nations in 2013 and now it has become the fastest growing large economy in the world.


  • Health Minister JP Nadda inaugurated the 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nadda said, the government is committed to secure Universal Health Coverage for the underprivileged and deprived section of the society. Early 13 lakh poor people have availed the benefits of Ayushman Bharat scheme.

    The Minister said, the scheme is primarily dependent on maximizing the use of digital tools for effective implementation and monitoring. The scheme is completely digital where all the processes from beneficiary identification to hospital empanelment and settlement of claims are done electronically.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will confer national Youth Parliament festival 2019 awards to the winners on 27th February 2019. The national Youth Parliament festival 2019 was launched on 12th January 2019. The Aim Of the festival was to encourage the youth in the age group of 18 to 25 years to engage with public issues and understand the common man’s point of view.


  • A joint military exercise "Sampriti 2019" between India and Bangladesh will be conducted at Tangail in Bangladesh from 02nd March 2019. It will be the eighth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.

    The Defence Ministry said the 14-day exercise is aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and co-operation between the Armies of both countries. The exercise will involve tactical-level operations in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment under the UN mandate.


  • The ministry of civil organized the aviation conclave 2019 with an overarching theme of “Flying for All” in New Delhi on 27 February 2019. Over 30 industry leaders discussed across 5-key sessions covering various topics such as the drone –eco system policy road map.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 February 2019 unveiled the Bhagwad Gita prepared by ISKCON Temple devotees in New Delhi on the occasion of Gita Aradhana Mahotsav. Measuring over 2.8 meters and weighing more than 800 kilogram, the Bhagwad Gita is one of its kind in the world. It has the original verses of the Bhagwad Gita along with commentary.

    Speaking on the occasion, Mr Narendra Modi said Bhagwad Gita is the most inspiring gift to the world by India and is relevant from thousands of years. He said the Gita teaches the lesson of harmony and brotherhood. Mr Modi said the solution to every problem of life is found in the Gita.


  • Southern Coast Railway will be a new zone of the Indian Railways. This new 18th railway zone of the country will be headquartered at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The new zone will comprise the existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions that currently fall under the South Central Railway. Mr. Goyal said the South Central Railway will then consist of the Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions.

    The cost of creating infrastructure for a new zone, according to an internal assessment of the Railways, is more than 205 crore rupees. The Indian Railways' operations are currently divided into 17 zones, which are further sub-divided into divisions, each having a divisional headquarter. There are a total of 73 divisions at present. In 2002-2003, seven new zones and eight new divisions were created.


  • Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram will launch Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce and Value Addition Component of Van Dhan scheme in New Delhi. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is now scaling up the Van Dhan Scheme and is ready to extend it to all tribal districts of the country in phases starting with the Aspirational Districts with substantial tribal population.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Van Dhan Scheme in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh in April 2018. The Ministry also expanded the coverage of the Minimum Support Price for Minor Forest Produce Scheme to 50 Minor Forest Produce.

    The MSP has also been raised between 30 per cent and 40 per cent in case of each of the Commodities. The procurement of the Minor Forest Produce will commence in Haat Bazaars, where tribals bring their produce through the facilitation of the State Government Agencies and District Collectors of the concerned Districts.


  • National Science Day being observed on 28th February.  The day is observed to mark the discovery of Raman Effect by Physicist C V Raman on 28th February, 1928. The objective is to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people. This year (2019) the theme for the National Science Day is, 'Science for the People and the People for Science'.

    Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to Sir C V Raman on National Science Day. Mr Naidu called upon all scientists and researchers to use science and technology to improve the living conditions of people. He said Lab to Land should be the focus.


  • The Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding between India and the USA to access tipline reports on Missing and Exploited Children. The MoU has been signed between the National Crime Record Bureau, India and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, NCMEC, USA.

    The MoU will provide access to more than one lakh tipline reports available with NCMEC, USA and enable law enforcement agencies in India. It will pave the way for setting up of an innovative mechanism for sharing information about child pornography and child sexual abuse material and taking legal action against offenders.

    It will further enable law enforcement agencies to remove child pornography and child sexual abuse material from cyberspace, thereby enhance human dignity.


  • Cabinet has approved the implementation of Master Plan to convert AIIMS, New Delhi into a world class Medical University. After Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, under the Master Plan it is proposed to redevelop the infrastructure of AIIMS by consolidating the patient care, teaching, research, admission and support services.

    The project will provide highly specialized state of the art health care to the patient. The Cabinet also approved setting up of new AIIMS at Manethi, Haryana at a cost of 1299 crore rupees. The new AIIMS will have around 750 beds.


  • Rajnath Singh inaugurates NIA office in Hyderabad. Speaking at the inaugural function of office and residential complex of National investigation agency in Hyderabad on 01 March 2019, Home Minister said that the entire world supported the country's action against terrorism. He said that it is a matter of pride that India has been invited to an Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour.

    He called upon the NIA officials to increase the conviction rate from 92 per cent to 100 per cent. The Union Minister also inaugurated Guwahati office from Hyderabad.


  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will release a book titled ‘Mann Ki Baat - A Social Revolution on Radio’ in New Delhi on 02 March 2019. The Book is a compendium encompassing 50 editions of the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over All India Radio.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-Conference in New Delhi on 02nd March 2019. Those technology providers, researchers, start-ups, developers, academia, public sector agencies and, other domain experts will participate in the two-day event. The Construction Technology India Conference will provide avenues for stakeholders to open up new areas for collaboration and facilitate conversion of ideas into market-ready products.

    Proven technologies which are identified during CTI - 2019 will be further invited to design and build lighthouse projects of nearly one thousand housing units each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. The conference will also identify innovative and globally established technologies for use in the Indian context.


  • Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthman arrived in New Delhi on 01 March 2019 night after he was handed over to Indian authorities by Pakistan at Attari-Wagah border. CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury welcomed the return of Abhinandan. The IAF pilot was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27th after an aerial engagement between the air forces of the two countries, a day after New Delhi conducted counter-terror operations in Pakistan's Balakot over the Pulwama terror attack.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the National Policy on Software Products (NPSP) 2019 that aims to help the industry grow at CAGR of 40% to reach $70-80 billion by 2025, while creating employment opportunities for 3.5 million people. The Indian IT Industry has predominantly been a service Industry. However, a need has been felt to move up the value chain through technology oriented products and services.

    To create a robust software product ecosystem the Government has approved the National Policy on Software Products – 2019, which aims to develop India as the global software product hub, driven by innovation, improved commercialization, sustainable Intellectual Property (IP), promoting technology start­ups and specialized skill set.

    Further, the Policy aims to align with other Government initiatives such as Start-up India, Make in India and Digital India, Skill India etc. so as to create Indian Software products Industry of USD ~70-80 billion with direct & indirect employment of ~3.5 million by 2025.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri in New Delhi on 18 February, 2019. Mr. Macri arrived in India on 17 February, 2019 morning on a three-day visit. He landed in Agra and visited the Taj Mahal before reaching New Delhi.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore received him at the airport in the national capital. Mr. Macri's visit comes at a time when India and Argentina are celebrating the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.


  • NITI Aayog and Saudi Centre for International Strategic Partnerships (SCISP) have agreed to provide continuing momentum to the India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership. A high-level delegation, led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, held extensive discussions with SCISP in Riyadh. Talks were also held with senior representatives from 12 Saudi ministries during the two-day visit which concluded on 17 February, 2019.

    The visit assumes significance as Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is scheduled to arrive in India on 19 February, 2019.


  • During the Aero India show in Bengaluru starting on 20 February, 2019, the Defence Research and Development Organization DRDO is looking for industry partners to collaborate on emerging technologies. Dr.G Satish Reddy who is Secretary R & D of DRDO in Bengaluru said on (19 February, 2019) that the DRDO Scientists are visiting participants of Aero India exhibition for prospective partners to develop technology in the field of stealth aircraft material, missile, fighter aircraft engine, hypersonic and Artificial Intelligence.

    The DRDO R&D Chief told that 1000 youngsters have registered under Dare to Dream competition. He added that the best ideas will win the award under the programme and a few could also be financed through the Technology Development Fund.


  • Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari will launch the revised guidelines for chartering of ships by providing Right of First Refusal to ships built in India. The measure will not incentivize ship building activity in the country but also help in raising the demand for such vessels and provide them with additional market access and business support.

    The policy will be launched in Mumbai on 19 February, 2019 at the Regional Maritime Safety Conference. The two-day conference is being organized to discuss issues related to maritime security in the India-ASEAN subregion and to promote trade along sea routes.

    Delegate members from various South Asian and South East Asian countries are also likely to deliberate about maritime law, ship building, and transportation of hazardous goods, marine oil spill, pollution and environmental safety. The maiden edition of this conference is being organized by National Maritime Foundation in association with the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of External Affairs.


  • India and Argentina have decided to elevate their multi-faceted cooperation to a strategic partnership with a focus on key areas for the prosperity of both countries. This was said in a joint statement issued after the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri in New Delhi on 18 February, 2019.

    It said both sides expressed their satisfaction at the mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership. They noted that new spheres of cooperation in areas of mutual interest have been identified and modalities worked out for further strengthening and expanding the bilateral relationship.

    Mr. Modi and Mr. Macri agreed to further explore avenues of space collaboration, including in such areas as satellite building and launch. Both the leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU in Defence Cooperation and tasked their relevant ministries to work towards its robust implementation.

    India and Argentina signed ten MoUs in several areas, including Defence, Civil nuclear, Tourism, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. An MOU on Cooperation and Collaboration between Prasar Bharti and the Federal System of Media and Public Contents of Argentina were also inked.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud in New Delhi on 20 February, 2019 on wide range of issues of mutual interest. Several agreements are expected to be signed following the talks.

    The Crown Prince, who is also the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, senior officials and leading Saudi businessmen. In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defence and security.

    The bilateral trade was 27.48 billion dollars during the last financial year 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia, India’s 4th largest trading partner. Saudi Arabia contributes significantly to India’s energy security needs by supplying about 20 per cent of crude requirements to India. About 2.7 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in Saudi Arabia.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is embarking on two-day state visit to the Republic of Korea 20 February, 2019. The visit is a part of the recent growing momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries. Besides summit meeting with President Moon, Prime Minister Modi is also having a number of engagements scheduled with the Korean leadership, businesses and Indian Community.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the three day International Conference and Exhibition on Energy and Environment in New Delhi on 20 February, 2019. Science and Technology Ministry in a release said, around one thousand delegates from India and abroad will participate in the conference representing policy makers, regulators, entrepreneurs, administrators, researchers and technocrats.

    The startups, young researchers and students will also attend the conference. The Ministry said, both the energy and environment sectors are at a critical juncture. The rapid expansions of both these sectors are necessary for inclusive growth of the world.


  • 12th edition of Asia's premier Air show 'Aero India-2019' will begin at Yelahanka air force station, Bengaluru. 61 aircraft, including HAL's indigenous products LCA Tejas are all set to roar in the city skies.

    The five-day long biennial event, which will showcase India's air defence prowess, will also act as a platform for aviation companies, the defence sector and government to forge new alliances and contracts. The global event will see participation of the highest ever aircrafts, Airbus 330Neo.

    The event will see participation from countries like Israel, US, UK, Germany, Russia and France to name a few. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said efforts will be taken to ensure that the incident like Pulwama is never repeated.


  • Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of Phase-2 of the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin beyond March, 2019. Under this, government has set a target to construct one crore 95 lakh houses by 2022. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, in Phase-2, the scheme will continue as per the existing norms of PMAY-G Phase-1, with a target of 60 lakh houses till 2019-20 involving financial implication of 76,500 crore rupees. The left out rural households who are houseless will be provided pucca houses by 2022.


  • International Mother Language Day is being celebrated on 21 February, 2019. The day is observed on the 21st of February every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Since 2019 is also the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of this year’s Mother Language Day is Indigenous Languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation. At least 43 per cent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain. According to UN data, a language disappears every two weeks taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.

    Vice President Venkaiah Naidu urged the people of the country to speak in their mother languages in order to enrich different languages. In his message on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, he said only the mother tongue allows people to truly express their feelings. Mr. Naidu said a language expresses the creative experience of generations and hence, the degradation of a language is a loss of heritage.

    UNESCO has been celebrating International Mother Language Day for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving this linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education. Progress is being made in this direction with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling.


  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has urged the international community to co-operate actively with India in bringing the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terrorism to justice. In a statement, the 15-nation body, which also includes China, strongly condemned the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel.

    The UNSC members expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Indian people and the government, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those injured. The UNSC termed the attack as heinous and cowardly. The condemnation also named the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed which claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The UNSC reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The member countries underlined the need to hold accountable those behind these reprehensible acts and bring them to justice. Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had strongly condemned the attack and called for those behind it to be brought to justice.


  • Asia’s biggest air show Aero India event in Bengaluru will observe Technology Day on 22 February 2019. The Indian National Academy of Engineering will hold a knowledge seminar on Regional Technology Aircraft.

    The Indian Pavilion in the Aero Show will offer Engineering students the information available in India and abroad about skills in the Aviation sector. Aero India has drawn the attention of Aviation buffs as it steps on to its third day.

    The employment opportunity in the Aerospace industry is the biggest attraction this time. India Pavilion and Students Pavillion have seen visits by the young entrepreneurs and students in large numbers. The show was also witnessed to the flying skills of Airbus 330, Saras regional transport aircraft, HTT-40 basic trainer and Light Utility Helicopter for the first time in this show.


  • Dream of manufacturing Light transport aircraft (SARAS Mark II) in India to be reality in 4 years. On 21 February 2019, The National Aerospace Laboratories Director Jitendra Jadhav informed media persons in Bengaluru that SARAS Mark II multi-role transport aircraft being developed by them will be supplied to the Indian Air Force for troop transfer.

    Another highlight of Aero India show (21 February 2019) was that Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat flew the Light Combat Helicopter, LCH. Terming the sortie in LCH as an experience of a lifetime, the General said that the helicopter designed and developed by HAL is suitable for the Army.

    The Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal V R Chaudhary flew the French fighter aircraft Rafale. In another programme, a well-known figure in the sports field, Ashwini Nachappa gave away awards to the winners of Drone Olympics.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind on 21 February 2019 promulgated four Ordinances. These are the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, the Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance and the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.

    The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance has been promulgated to give continued effect to the provisions brought in by the earlier ordinance. This Ordinance declares the practice of instant triple talaq to be void and illegal and also to make it an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine. It will protect the rights of married Muslim women and deter the practice of divorce by instant triple talaq. It also provide for payment of subsistence allowance and custody of minor children.

    The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance has been promulgated to give continued effect to the work already done by the Board of Governors as per the provisions of earlier Ordinance. It enables the Board of Governors appointed in supersession of the Medical Council of India to continue to exercise the powers of MCI for a period of two years or till the Council is reconstituted, to ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country.

    The Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance has been promulgated with a view, to empower the Central Government to allow certain companies to have a different financial year instead of as determined by the Tribunal. This Ordinance addresses the need to impose civil liability for technical and procedural defaults of a minor nature and to plug the corporate governance.

    The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance has been promulgated to have central legislation to tackle the menace of illicit deposits taking activities in the country.


  • Over 12 lakh people have been treated free of cost under Ayushman Bharat scheme, the world's largest health care programme, the CEO of Ayushman Bharat Dr. Indu Bhushan said at the Medical Fair India 2019 in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme in September 2018. The scheme provides five lakh rupees per family annually, benefiting more than ten crore poor families all over the country.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Global Business Summit in New Delhi on 22 February 2019. Apart from Mr. Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal, Suresh Prabhu and the Ravi Shankar Prasad will also address the summit to offer insights into the direction of future policy. The two-day summit will also host business leaders and technology entrepreneurs from some of the most talked about and disruptive companies across the globe.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 February, 2019 will formally inaugurate the 13th International Oil and Gas Conference - PETROTECH-2019 in Greater Noida. Three-day biennial event began at India Expo Mart on 10 February, 2019.

    Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, India is the third largest consumer of crude oil and petroleum products and government has taken several measures to provide energy for all.


  • In The first of the 15 Chinook heavy lift helicopters ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) arrived in India.

    The CH-47F (I) was received at the Mundra Port in Gujarat and will be transported to its home base at Chandigarh. Boeing, the maker of Chinooks, announced the arrival of the helicopter that will significantly enhance IAF's air lift capabilities. The helicopter, which can carry around 10 tonne of load, has been delivered ahead of schedule.

    India had signed a 3 billion dollar deal with the US in September 2015 for the purchase of 15 Chinook heavy lift and 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Chinooks have a unique twin engine, tandem rotor design which has become one of the most visibly recognized symbols of the American armed forces.


  • Union Environment minister Harsh Vardhan on 10 February, 2019 has said that the entire world is concerned about the dangers posed by global warming and climate change and urged people to undertake "green good deeds" to protect the environment.

    Launched by the Environment Ministry last year (2018), the 'Green Good Deeds' campaign -- aimed at protecting the environment and promoting healthy living -- mentions a list of 500 activities for protecting the environment.

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, the global community has started believing that India can provide the right leadership and direction to deal with the challenges of pollution and global warming.


  • Information and Broadcasting Ministry, in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry, is participating at the Berlin International Film Festival, 2019. India Pavilion has been set up at Berlinale to showcase Indian cinema at the global platform and facilitate new business opportunities in media and entertainment sector.

    According to an official release, the Indian delegation met with Pascal Diot, Head of Venice Production Bridge, and Venice International Film Festival. During the meeting, Mr Diot expressed his interest to work with India and International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The delegation also met Ms Hannah Fisher, Senior International Program Consultant, Heartland Film Festival, Indian apolis, Indiana, USA.

    The delegation from New Zealand Film Commission expressed their interest to work with India and discussed on taking up progressive developments regarding the India-New Zealand Co-production treaties. During the interactions, the Indian delegation explored opportunities regarding co-production with India and collaborations for films with international production houses.


  • The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department had said that it has included Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said, Abu Dhabi declaring Hindi as one of the official languages in its courts will make the justice delivery system simpler and more accessible to Indian expatriates in that country.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the life size portrait of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Central Hall of Parliament. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had served as the Prime Minister thrice and he was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2015. He passed away in August last year at the age of 93 after a prolonged illness. The decision to install the portrait of the Bharat Ratna was taken in December during the meeting of Parliament's Portrait Committee chaired by the Lok Sabha Speaker.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the CREDAI YouthCon -19 at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on 13th-14th February, 2019. The theme for this YouthCon is Next Generation. The annual conference will bring together the next generation of real estate builders and developers to enlighten their young minds and share their thinking and approach. Established in 1999, CREDAI is the apex body representing real-estate developers from over 200 cities in the country.


  • Information and Broadcasting, I&B Ministry will organize the first annual conference of Media Units in New Delhi on 13 February, 2019. Chaired by I&B Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, the Conference, aims to give a unique platform to the officers of the Indian Information Service working in different Media Units to converge at an All-India level. They will discuss and deliberate upon the emerging areas of the evolving communication paradigm.

    Through the Conference, the Ministry aims to strengthen synergy between the Media Units in order to ensure last mile delivery. The participants will also discuss ways of using social media to reach target audience groups.


  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 14 February, 2019 flagged off the inaugural flight from Lucknow to Najaf in Iraq. UDAN scheme is playing an important role in this field. The Home Minister said the number of airports has reached hundred in the country adding that the government aims to facilitate air travel for every person in the country.


  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella programme for the development of Scheduled Tribes from the period till March 2020. Over 10 crores Scheduled Tribe people will benefit from it. The total layout for the programme is 11,900 crore rupees.

    The scheme will also promote efficiency in the delivery of service and enhance the reach of welfare schemes of government in service deficient tribal areas in the sectors such as livelihood, health, education, through efforts of Voluntary Organizations.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019. The Bill provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens married to NRIs. Once the Bill is passed, marriages performed by NRIs would be registered in India or Indian Missions & Posts abroad.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for Extension of tenure of the National Commission for Safai Karmacharis (NCSK) beyond 31st of March, 2019 for three years. The Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MoU between India and Saudi Arabia on cooperation and mutual assistance in Customs Matters. It also approved the signing of MoU between the two countries in the field of tourism and establishing a mechanism for Investment Infrastructure in India.


  • India has said, it will take care of its commercial considerations with regard to import of oil from Venezuela. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson on 14 February, 2019 said, New Delhi is monitoring the evolving situation in that country. India is in favor of constructive dialogue process to solve the situation in Venezuela.


  • The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan scheme will be implemented from 15 February, 2019. Under the scheme, workers of the unorganized sector will receive a minimum assured pension of three thousand rupees per month after attaining the age of 60 years.

    The workers whose monthly income is 15 thousand rupees per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18 to 40 years are eligible for the scheme. Around 42 crore workers are estimated to be engaged in the unorganized sector in the country. The scheme was announced in the interim Budget. During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary will be entitled to receive 50 per cent of the pension. It said family pension is applicable only to a spouse.

    The scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis where prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and the matching contribution by the Central Government. The subscriber will be required to have a mobile phone, savings bank account and Aadhaar number.


  • GS1 India, a standards organization set up by the commerce and industry ministry on 15 February, 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government eMarketplace (GeM). The ministry of commerce and industry said in a statement that the MoU will enable GeM's buyers and vendors to access accurate and standardized information on attributes of thousands of products across categories, empowering them to make more informed decisions. GeM will access product data from GS1 India's DataKart, the national repository of information on attributes of millions of retail products in the country.


  • Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is all set to launch the National Road Safety Week on 04 February, 2019 with a host of initiatives planned for generating awareness and sensitizing people about safe road usage.

    In an event at Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Rajghat, New Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari will flag off a motor car rally to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The rally will travel through places historically associated with Gandhiji, both in India, as well as in Bangladesh and Myanmar. It will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on 24th February, 2019, covering a total distance of 7250 km.


  • India’s tourism sector registers 19% growth in 2018. Union Minister KJ Alphons has said that the country's tourism sector fetched 234 billion US Dollar revenue last year (2018), registering a growth of over 19%.

    Delivering the inaugural speech at the 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit in Guwahati, he said the country is ranked third in the tourism sector, according to the 2018 report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The minister said, this revenue was contributed by 87 per cent domestic and 13 per cent foreign tourists.


  • World Cancer day is being observed on 04 February, 2019. The Day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year through education, raising awareness and by pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the deadly disease.

    This year (2019), Union for International Cancer Control, which organizes World Cancer Day, is launching a new 3-year campaign with the theme: “I Am and I Will.” ‘The campaign is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.

    Over 9.6 million People die each year from cancer which is more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.On the occasion of the observance of World Cancer Day, Punjab government is to initiate door to door screening programme from 04, Feb.


  • The Andhra Pradesh High Court new building at Amaravathi, was inaugurated on 03 February, 2019 by the Chief Justice of India. It’s after functioning from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Camp Office for over a month’s time, the AP High Court moved to a new building at Amaravathy on a temporary basis.


  • Government on 04 February, 2019 decided to launch a campaign to saturate farmers for financial inclusion under Kisan Credit Cards (KCC). Agriculture Ministry in a statement said, the campaign will be launched through the Financial Institutions in collaboration with the State Governments.

    The Department of Financial Services has already issued directives to the Financial Institutions in this regard. The Ministry said, there are around seven crore active KCCs and issuing of KCCs in large numbers have helped increasing the agriculture credit. It has contributed significantly in not only fulfilling the objective of food security but also increasing the farmer’s income.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind will give away the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Forty-two artists from the fields of Music, Dance and Theatre will be awarded. The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Culture had selected the awardees.

    Established in 1952, the Akademi Award not only symbolizes the highest standards of excellence and achievements but also recognizes sustained individual work and contribution. In the field of Music, eleven eminent artists have been selected, while nine artists each from Dance and Theatre have been chosen for the award. Ten artists will be awarded in the category of Traditional, Folk and Tribal Music. Two people have also been selected for the award in the field of Overall Contribution in the Performing Arts. The award carries a cash prize of one lakh rupees, a Tamrapatra and Angavastram.


  • Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani launched the India Size project in Mumbai on 06 February, 2019. A first-of-its-kind project in the history of the country, India Size aims to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on the lines of the standardized sizes available in countries such as the USA and the UK.

    Addressing the gathering the Minister said that India size project will benefit manufacturers, consumers and generate data which will help tap into the potential of the sector. The Minister also launched a Study of Apparel Consumption in India. The report of this study would be ready for release by July 2019.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for the establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny. It will lead to the development of the cattle population in the country including the development and conservation of indigenous breeds.

    It will result in the growth of the livestock sector which is more inclusive, benefit women, and small and marginal farmers. The Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University or departments or organizations of the Central or State Government engaged in the task of research in the field of breeding and rearing of the cow, organic manure, biogas etc. Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog was announced in the budget on 1st February, 2019.


  • The Cabinet has approved a proposal for Official Amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018. The amendments will further strengthen the bill to effectively tackle illicit deposit-taking activities, and prevent such schemes from duping the poor. The Bill provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as the deterrent.

    The bill creates three different types of offences, namely, running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes. The bill provides for attachment of properties or assets by the Competent Authority and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors.


  • Bureau of Police Research and Development, BPRD will organize the 2nd National Conference of Micro Missions of National Police Mission in New Delhi on 07 February, 2019. The two day Conference will discuss the issues of Skills and Competence at the grass-root level, Attitudinal Changes in Police, Gender Sensitization, harnessing technology and Community Policing. Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir N. Vohra will inaugurate the conference.

    A mega-d version of National Police Mission Compendium on the projects developed by the Mission will also be released. National Police Mission Awards will be given to 09 officers for their contribution in Micro Missions and successful preparation of the implementable projects. The National Police Mission Division of BPRD strives to transform the Police Forces of the country into an effective instrument for the maintenance of Internal Security. To achieve the mandate of NPM, eight micro missions are working under BPRD. BPRD organizes Conference on National Police Mission annually.


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development scheme of Prasar Bharti. An amount of 1 thousand 54 Crore rupees have been approved for a three year period till 2020.

    CCEA also approved the creation of Agri-Market infrastructure fund for development and up gradation of Gramin Agriculture Markets. A corpus of 2 thousand crore rupees will be created with NABARD. CCEA also approved the continuation of the Central Sector Scheme of Exploration of Coal and Lignite for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-2020.


  • The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952 to tackle film piracy and Copyright infringement. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, there are penal provisions for unauthorized camcording and duplication of films.


  • In Udhampur, 92 army men were awarded Sena medals on 07 February, 2019 at an investiture ceremony for their gallantary and distinguished services. Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C of Northern Command presented 76 medals for gallatry services, 7 medals for distinguised services and 8 for Vishist Seva.

    Lance Naik Nazir Ahmed Wani, a recepient of Ashok Chakra was also awarded Bar to Sena Medal poshthumously which was received by his wife. Twenty units of the army were also awarded appreciation for their outstanding performance in the Command Theatre in 2018.


  • Prayagraj Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh is not only giving the message of spirituality and culture but also creating huge awareness on Cleanliness. Prayagraj Kumbh is not only witnessing religious and spiritual activities but also creating a lot of awareness on social and other issues including cleanliness.

    Swatchh Bharat Mission- Rural has set up a high tech exhibition in Sector 6 of the Mela. The exhibition contains digital platforms in the name of father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath including many others. The exhibition will be continued till March 4th closing of the Kumbh Mela.


  • The 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting will be held in New Delhi on 07 February, 2019. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen will co-chair the meeting. The two sides will also sign agreements after the meeting.

    The last Joint Consultative Committee Meeting between the two countries was held in October 2017 at Dhaka. The Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh arrived in New Delhi on 06 February, 2019 on a four day visit to India. It is the first high-level visit from Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's victory in the parliamentary elections in December last year.


  • US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the names of the American private sector members of the US-India CEO Forum among whom are MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf. The first meeting of the forum will be held in New Delhi on February 14. "The US-India CEO Forum is critical to the fruitful commercial relationship and strong economic ties between the two great nations,”. The US CEOs serve two-year terms and are selected from respondents to a Federal Register Notice calling for CEO-level applicants to the US Section of the Forum.


  • Ministry of Textiles will hold National Conclave on Technical Textiles in Mumbai. The event will also be a curtain raiser for TechnoTex 2019. The conclave will be presided by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani. The release of Harmonized System Nomenclature, HSN codes by Government of India for technical textiles will be one of the major highlights of the conclave.

    India has 4 to 5 per cent share in the global technical textiles market size across twelve segments. Technical textiles constitute 12 to 15 per cent of the total textile value chain in India, whereas in some of the European countries technical textiles constitute 50 per cent of the total textiles value chain.


  • A Pakistani delegation will undertake inspection of Pakul Dul Hydro Electric Project in Jammu and Kashmir on 28 January, 2019. It will inspect Lower Kalnai, Rattle and Baghlihar Hydro Electric Projects on 29 January, 2019 before returning to New Delhi on 31 January, 2019. The Pakistan delegation is led by its Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah while Indian Indus Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena is leading the Indian side.

    Under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 between India and Pakistan both the commissioners are mandated to inspect sites and works on both the sides of Indus basin in a block of five years. Since signing of the treaty, a total of 118 such tours on both the sides have been undertaken by the commission. Under the Indus Water Treaty, waters flowing in three of Indus tributaries -- the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi -- have been allotted to India; while the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan.


  • Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on 28 January, 2019 said that GST on Haj has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent and this will significantly lower the air fare thus saving Haj pilgrims’ 113 crore rupees this year (2019). Mr. Naqvi said this for the first time since the independence that 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram.


  • Nagaland CM inaugurates state’s first Astro Turf Football Pitch. Nagaland on 28 January, 2019 got its first Astro Turf Football Pitch at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Kohima on the occasion of 100th Birth Anniversary of the legendary footballer, Dr. T. Ao. Nagaland Chief Minister Mr. Neiphiu Rio said it is a landmark occasion for the state to have its first Astro Turf Pitch and a dream come true.

    The Chief Minister expressed hope that the installation of the first Astro turf stadium will begin the process of sports development in regard to football in Nagaland. The project was conceived in the year 2013-14 with a total cost of 498 lakh rupees. The Astro turf has been installed following specifications and norms of FIFA. The size of the play field is 105x66 meters.


  • National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) New Delhi will organize the first edition of Night at the Museum on 30 January, 2019. The event will be organized in collaboration with the India Art Fair from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Culture Ministry in a release said, NGMA will conduct guided tour of its prestigious permanent collection which is on display at the permanent gallery.

    Highlight objects include works of art of Rabindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher-Gil, Raja Ravi Verma, Nandalal Bose and Jamini Roy. The Ministry said, NGMA aims to conduct Night at the Museum as a regular activity and will organize it on the last working day of every month.


  • India has improved its ranking on a global corruption index in 2018 by three points and moved to 78th position with a score of 41. In the list of 180 countries, China and Pakistan lagged far behind at 87th and 117th position, respectively.

    According to the rankings released by an anti-corruption watchdog, Denmark is the least corrupt country followed by New Zealand while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan are the most corrupt countries in the world.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the Foundation Stone for the extension of Terminal building of Airport in Surat on 30 January, 2019. Speaking on the occasion, he said that a recent international report stated that in the next 10-15 years, the top-10 fastest developing cities will be from India and Surat will top the list of those ten cities.


  • The nation pays homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 71st death anniversary on 30 January, 2019. The day is also observed as Martyrs' Day. He was assassinated on this day in 1948. An inter-religious prayer was organized on the occasion. The nation also observed a two-minute silence at 11 AM on Martyrs’ Day on 30 January, 2019.


  • Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will present the Budget in Parliament 01 February, 2019.


  • The Defence Acquisitions Council, DAC chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved indigenous construction of six submarines worth 40 thousand crore rupees. It is the second project under the Ministry's ambitious strategic partnership model aiming to boost the government's Make in India' program.

    The first project to get the government's nod for implementation under the new model was the acquisition of 111 utility helicopters for the Navy at a cost of over 21 thousand crore rupees in August, 2018.The construction of six advanced submarines under project 75(India) will provide a major boost to submarine design and manufacturing ecosystem in India through the transfer of design, equipment technology and skill sets.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated National Salt Satyagraha Memorial to the nation at Dandi village, situated in South Gujarat on Arabian Sea coast. At the memorial site, he also unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930.

    A dedication ceremony on Bapu’s death anniversary has acquired special significance as Dandi village is to receive a big push from the government to be developed as a place of national importance and tourist interest like Statue of Unity.

    The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March. Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex. The Salt Satyagraha March, well known as the Dandi March of 1930 has been a landmark event in the history of India’s freedom struggle.

    It was on this day, as a part of the Civil Disobedience Movement against the British rule, 80 Satyagrahis led by Mahatma Gandhi marched 241-miles from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad to the coastal village of Dandi and made salt from seawater breaking the Salt Law imposed by the British. From Dandi village, Prime Minister Modi will leave for Surat where he will address the New India Youth Conclave.


  • The Indian embassy in the US has opened a 24/7 hotline to assist Indian students arrested by the American authorities for the alleged immigration rules violation. As many as 129 Indians are among the 130 foreign students arrested for enrolling at a fake university allegedly to remain in the US.

    The two numbers 202-322-1190 and 202-340-2590 - would be manned by senior embassy officials round the clock. The arrested students, their friends and family members can contact the embassy atcons3.washington@mea.gov.in . The Indian embassy has appointed a nodal officer to handle and coordinate all issues related to helping Indian students.



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