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July 2019 - National News

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has rolled out a scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)’ for the period 2018-2020, to combat cyber crime in the country, in a coordinated and effective manner. The scheme has seven components. The Central Government has launched the Cybercrime Reporting Portal to enable citizens to report online content pertaining to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

  • Parliament has passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with Rajya Sabha approving it on 22 July, 2019. The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill. The Bill amends the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The bill provides for a reduction in the tenure of Chairpersons of National Human Rights Commission and State Human Rights Commissions to three years from the current five years.

    The bill also states that besides the former Chief Justice of India, as is the current requirement, a former Supreme Court Judge can also become the NHRC Chairperson. Similarly, a former High Court Judge can also become a State Human Rights Commission Chairperson besides a High Court Chief Justice.

  • National Broadcasting day: 23rd July. On this day in 1927, the first ever radio broadcast in the country went on the air from the Bombay Station under a private company, the Indian Broadcasting Company. On 8th of June, 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Service became All India Radio. Since 1927, radio has been an important part in people's life in India.

    All India Radio has been serving to inform, educate and entertain the masses since it's inception, truly living up to its motto - Bahujan Hitaya Bahujan Sukhaya. Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash wished the listioners of All India Radio on the occasion. India is the most diverse nation in the world and All India Radio has 414 stations in 23 languages and broadcasts in 179 dialects. All India Radio is one of the largest public broadcasting organizations in the world.

  • Lok Sabha passed the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 22 July. The Bill amends the Right To Information Act. It aims at institutionalization, streamlining and ease of delivery of services. The Bill aims to give power to the Centre to set serving period and salaries of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners.

    The Centre can also specify the stature of information commissioners from the equivalent of election commissioners, with their salaries and service conditions. The Centre will be fully committed to transparency and autonomy of the institution. The Bill also gives rights to the Centre to reduce an equal amount to the pension of the mentioned officials.

  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) launched a lightweight bullet proof jacket Bhabha Kavach, which was especially for the Paramilitary Forces and Indian armed forces. It was launched at International Police Expo 2019 held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The lightweight bullet proof jacket was indigenously developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI).

    The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre's (BARC) carbon nano material was sprayed on the hard armour plate. It provides the toughness and tenacity that is needed to slow down and trap a bullet as it passes through the plate. It has been built from layers of high-density, high-tenacity polyethylene. It has a warranty of 5 years with a protection level of NIJ III+ (National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Ballistic Levels Protection Level III).

  • Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 313, it is the fifth Dornier aircraft squadron commissioned into the Indian Navy by Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM AVSM ADC Chief of the Naval Staff. The ceremony held at Naval Air Enclave, Meenambakkam. The importance of India over its adversaries in defence preparedness and developing geo-political situation in the region needs to be monitored constantly. It is necessary to maintain surveillance over the Bay of Bengal, Palk Bay and adjoining regions. The strategic position of the squadron will give the nation and dominance over the North Eastern part of the Indian Ocean.

    The Squadron will be operating from Chennai International Airport. With commissioning of INAS 313, the State of Tamil Nadu will have three naval air bases; which is the highest number for any Coastal State. INS Rajali at Arakkonam and INS Parundu at Ramnad are the other two air bases in Tamil Nadu.

    INAS 313:
    • INAS 313 derives its name ‘Sea Eagle’ from the bird of prey family Accipitridae. The insignia of the squadron meaning a ‘Greater Spotted Eagle’
    • ‘Greater Spotted Eagle’ is a large bird of prey and has good sensory capabilities, symbolizing the envisaged role of the squadron.
    • The Squadron operate Dornier aircraft . It is a multi-role Short Range Maritime Reconnaissance (SRMR) aircraft. The aircraft was manufactured by HAL.
    • The aircraft is used for maritime surveillance, Search and Rescue Operations and to provide targeting data to weapon platforms.
    • INAS 313 is commanded by Cdr Vivek Koman, an accomplished and experienced Dornier test pilot with extensive operational experience.

  • Thirteenth Global Healthcare Summit organized by AAPI and GAPIO held in Hyderabad. 
    Shri Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 13th edition of the annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS). The function is organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). The lighting of the traditional lamp and delivering the keynote address at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad.

    The theme for Healthcare Summit-2019 is 'Opportunities in Modern Healthcare for Young minds and Businesses'. The event is powered by InfocusRx and marketed by ZeebraCross. The main objective is to empower young minds with the right skills, knowledge, and attitude to bring the culture of innovation and build a usable solution in the space of health and wellness.

  • Union Cabinet has approved the merger of National Institute of Miners' Health with ICMR - National Institute of Occupational Health. This will help both the institutes in terms of enhanced expertise in the field of occupational health besides efficient management of public money.

    The Cabinet also approved sale of 481.79 acres of land held by Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, FACT to the Government of Kerala and utilization of the sale proceeds by FACT. The decision will help the company in reducing bank borrowings and implementing projects for enhancing fertilizers production capacity and upgrading logistics and raw materials.

  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by Rajya Sabha. The bill seeks to enhance punishment, including a provision for death penalty, for committing sexual crimes against children. Government has sanctioned 1023 fast track courts for speedy dispensation of pending cases under POCSO and sexual assault. 18 states have given their consent to set up the fast track courts which will be established within a span of two years.

    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.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the creation of buffer stock of 40 lakh Metric Tonnes of sugar for one year from the 1st August. The decision will lead to an improvement in the liquidity in sugar inventories and stabilization in sugar prices. This will also benefit all sugarcane producing states by way of clearing sugarcane price arrears of sugar mills.

  • Union Cabinet has approved Official Amendments to the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019. The government has decided to make Aadhaar as identification document so that people can avail the benefit of state subsidies directly in their bank account and to eliminate middlemen. There are around 128 crore Aadhaar cardholders in the country.

  • The Lok Sabha has passed the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019 unanimously. 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 proposed legislation also provides for attachment of properties or assets and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors. It also provides for severe punishment ranging from one year to 10 years and pecuniary fines ranging from two lakh to fifty crore rupees to act as a deterrent.

    The bill also proposes adequate provisions for repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally. The bill will replace the ordinance promulgated earlier in this regard. Replying to a debate on the bill, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said, this is a comprehensive bill which will give power to seize properties of defaulters who ran away with the depositors’ money.

  • The first earth bound orbit-raising manoeuvre for Chandrayan-2 spacecraft has been performed successfully on 24 July, 2019. The scientists and engineers of the national space agency ISRO performed the task at 14.52 hrs as planned, using the onboard propulsion system on the spacecraft. They fired the system for 57 seconds to raise the elliptical orbit with the nearest point at 230 km and the farthest at 45,163 km from the earth. The second orbit raising manoeuvre is scheduled. It may be noted that a total of fifteen manoeuvres would be performed to navigate Chandrayaan-2 to the moon in 48 days.

  • India's fastest train Vande Bharat Express successfully completed its test run from New Delhi to Katra in eight hours. The train can run up to a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. Vande Bharat Express has features like Wi-Fi, bio-vacuum toilets, hot case, freezer, and GPS-based passenger information system among other amenities, green footprints, this fully 'Make in India' which can save up to 30 per cent of electrical energy.

    Vande Bharat Express known as Train 18 is an Indian semi-high speed intercity electric multiple unit. It was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai under the Indian government's Make in India initiative over a span of 18 months. The unit cost of the first rake was given as RS.100 crore (US$14 million) it is estimated to be 40% less costly than a similar train imported from Europe.

    The train was launched on 15 February 2019 by which date a second unit will have been produced and readied for service. The service was named 'Vande Bharat Express' on 27 January 2019. The train's first trial run occurred on 29 October 2018 in Chennai, focusing on crew orientation and testing the train's brakes with further testing scheduled to be done in Delhi on 7 November and later in Rajasthan. Vande Bharat's second trial run was successfully completed in Kanpur Central Railway station, earlier this month (July). The trial was conducted between New Delhi Railway Station and Kanpur Central.

  • JATAN Special software for Digitization of Archaeological Museum. Digitization of archaeological museum is being done through a special software developed with this specific purpose, union culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel informed the Lok Sabha on July 22.

    The National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums is developed and hosted by Human Centres Design and Computing Group, C-DAC, Pune, as per the agreement with Ministry of Culture, Government of India. JATAN is used for creating digital collections in various museums and digital archival tools that are used in background for managing National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian museums. The portal works through website- wherein all digitized data on museums have been up-loaded for on-line viewing.

    Currently there are 48 Archaeological Site Museums under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).Out of these 2 Archaeological Site Museums, namely Velha Goa and Nagarjunakonda, have been digitized during 1st phase through JATAN and data has been uploaded in public domain through National Portal and Digital Repository for Indian Museums. Digitization in rest of the 46 archaeological museums through multi-user JATAN software is being done in a phase-wise manner.

  • Andhra Pradesh became the first state to reserve jobs for local youth. The Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed the Andhra Pradesh Employment of Local Candidates in Industries/Factories Act, 2019. Industries/Factories Act, 2019 reserves 75% private jobs across all categories in industrial units, factories, joint ventures as well as the project that are in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

    It reserves 75 per cent jobs in industrial units, factories, joint ventures and projects set up under public-private partnership mode. The new law states that if a company does not find the necessary skills in locals, then it will need to train them in association with the state government.

    Around no company will be able to hide behind the excuse of not finding skilled local labourers. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy agreed to provide quota in local jobs during his ‘padyatra’ in the state. The government announced 1.33 lakh village volunteer jobs for unemployed youth in the state. Several states have put forth the idea of reserving jobs for locals. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath to planned to reserve 70% jobs for locals.

  • Kalraj Mishra takes oath as Governor of Himachal Pradesh.  Former Union Minister Kalraj Mishra took oath as the new Governor of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla on 23 July, 2019. Kalraj Mishra replaced Acharya Devvrat, who has been shifted to Gujarat. Kalraj Mishra is an Indian politician andHe is also the former Cabinet Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Inter-Ministerial Committee on Virtual Currencies headed by finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has submitted its report to the government. The committee set up by Centre has also proposed a draft bill ‘Banning of Crypto currency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019’. Government had constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on 2 November 2017 under the Chairmanship of Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs for studying issues related to virtual currencies and to propose specific action to be taken in this matter.

    Report submitted by group highlights positive aspect of distributed-ledger technology (DLT). Mostly used for processes like tracking of loan-issuance, fraud detection, claims management in insurance, collateral management as well as reconciliation systems in securities market. Risks associated with private crypto currencies and volatility in their prices, the committee recommended banning of crypto currencies in India by enacting a law and imposing fines and penalties for carrying on activities related to such crypto currencies in India.

  • India Ranked 52nd in Global Innovation Index 2019 Commerce and Industry Minister Releases Global Innovation Index Rankings. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways Shri Piyush Goyal launched the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019. The event was launched in New Delhi. 
    Aim: To achieve this ranking he urged all stakeholders to work in mission mode.

    1. India jumped five places ahead when compared with last year position from 57th to 52nd in 2019.
    2. India continue its efforts to reach upwards of top 50 ranks in the GII.
    3. India will not rest on past laurels until it achieves its target of positioning among the top 25 countries of the Global Innovation Index.
    4. Commerce and Industry Ministry requested the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to factor in India’s rural innovation as part of the innovation index in future.
    5. The improvement in the rankings should inspire Indians to help marginalized and underprivileged section of society.
    6. India is facing at present like rising pollution levels in cities, water crises faced in different parts of the country.
    7. India must be a responsive country and work in mission mode by engaging with academia. The private sector and government agencies to improve the quality of citizens lives even in the remotest parts of the country.
    8. The GII theme is Creating Healthy Lives - The Future of Medical Innovation.
    9. The GII rankings are published every year by Cornell University, INSEAD and the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and GII Knowledge Partners.
    10. This is the 12th edition of the GII rankings of 129 economies.
    11. It is totally based on 80 indicators ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending, and scientific and technical publications.
    12. Switzerland retains number one is the GII index.
    13. The countries followed by Sweden, the United States of America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Germany, and Israel.

  • Lok Sabha passed the 2019 Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill on 25 July. The Bill was introduced by the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The bill is for the justice, respect and dignity of women. The Bill criminalizes instant triple talaq among Muslims. It also approves a jail term of three years for the husband.

    The bill will replace the ordinance passed by the previous government in February. It should be noted that around 20 Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Malaysia, have banned the triple talaq.

  • The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 July. The Bill was introduced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 16 of the offences that are punishable with fine or imprisonment, or both has been recategorised as it empowers the adjudicating officers, who are appointed by the central government, may now levy penalties instead.

    The ordinance prohibits a company from issuing shares at a discount, except in certain cases. It also says that a company cannot commence business unless it files a declaration within 180 days of incorporation or files a verification of its registered office within 30 days of incorporation. The companies must register charges such as mortgages on its property within 30 days of creation of charge.

    On January 12, 2019, the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was promulgated. The Ordinance in 2019 amended many provisions in the Companies Act, 2013 that are relating to penalties, among others. The ordinance was meant to repeal and replace the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 which was promulgated on November 2, 2018. The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2018 will replace the 2018 Ordinance which was passed by Lok Sabha on January 4, 2019. It is currently pending in Rajya Sabha.

  • Lok Sabha cleared the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to end terrorismThe Bill will now empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists. If any person commits or participates in acts of terrorism or involved in terrorist, he/she can be designated as terrorist.

    The Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can now grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the agency. The amendments to the Bill was opposed saying that the legislation violates Article 21 and also lacks judicial review.

  • A Coffee Table Book showcasing the history and achievements of the Fire & Fury Corps released in Leh. It guards the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The coffee table book titled 'Fire and Fury Corps -- Saga of Valour, Fortitude and Sacrifice'. The book covers the serenity and mysticism of Ladakh and its people.

    It is as a tribute to the symbiotic relationship shared by the Indian Army and the people of Ladakh region. The documents the courage and bravery of the Fire and Fury Warriors specifies about the rich heritage and ethos of the Indian Army. The book was released in Leh by Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh in the year. The nation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas. It is a repository of exemplary valour and utmost dedication to the nation. It also brings to the fore the numerous sagas of great courage, supreme sacrifices and other hitherto hidden facets of soldiering displayed by the Corps.

  • Home Minister Amit Shah to Head Panel on Workplace Sexual Harassment. Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a panel of four cabinet ministers and he examined the ways to prevent workplace sexual harassment. The activists criticized to the official response to the #MeToo movement. The movement carried out with former junior Foreign Minister M J Akbar and Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi among dozens of high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct. The new panel includes Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The group of ministers was set up on July 18.

    The previous panel lapsed ahead of the formation of the new government. The public recommendations set up after the #MeToo online campaign to out alleged sexual harassers. They began in the US entertainment industry it took off in India in late 2018. The movement went quiet in India after some of the accused fought back with defamation suits. There has been negative publicity, hardly any cases have been filed, Congress lawmaker Sushmita Dev called the government's decision a knee-jerk reaction to criticism of its failure to make public the findings of the earlier panel.

  • The Centre has proposed light urban rail transit system - 'Metrolite'. It is found in small cities and towns having lower projection of ridership. Each train having three coaches and a restricted speed of 25 kmph. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry issued standard specifications of the 'Metrolite' system. The system will be developed on surface and elevated stretches. The 'Metrolite', can be developed at a lower cost in comparison with existing metro system, will also act as a feeder system to high capacity Metro. The three-coach train will have the capacity of carrying 300 passengers. The government would provide financial assistance to states to implement the light urban rail transit system.

    The 'Metrolite' systems have a dedicated path separating the road traffic with it. The fencing can be provided on either side of the network. The metro rail system being developed at present is of high capacity. It is required for bigger cities with very high ridership. The success of the existing metro system, several small cities, and towns on rail-based mass rapid transit system fulfilled by the light urban rail transit system.

    The 'Metrolite' system will have shelter platforms. They will not have AFC gates, platform screen doors, X-ray and baggage scanner. The Ticket validators could be installed inside the Metrolite train and shelter with NCMC /other ticketing systems. Elevated Metrolite system will be planned only when the At-Grade system (surface). The 'Metrolite' train comprises three non-separable coaches with a low floor height of about 300-350 mm. The unit length should be of minimum 33 m. The car structure material will be stainless steel or aluminum. The maximum operating speed of the Metrolite is 60 KMPH. The speed is restricted to 25 Kmph.

  • The 20th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas is being celebrated across the country on 26 July, 2019. The central theme of this year's celebrations is ‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’. The day marks the victory of Indian armed forces in Operation Vijay in 1999, when they evicted the infiltrators backed by Pakistani army from high outposts in Kargil sector. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days and ended with India regaining control of all the previously held territory. The victory of Tiger Hill was one of the crucial achievements in the 60- day long conflict.

  • India is looking to conclude three Military Logistics Support Agreements (MLSA) by the year-end, which will further enhance the operational reach of the military in the region. India has already signed such agreements with a few countries beginning with the U.S. The Navy has been the biggest beneficiary of them.

    Agreements with Australia, Japan and Russia are in advanced stages and are likely to be concluded by the year-end, a senior defence official told The Hindu. The MLSA with Japan is called the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and with Russia, the Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS). The agreements with Australia and Russia will be broadly on the lines of the U.S. one, while the one with Japan is a broader defence cooperation agreement including logistics.

  • The Nagaland government has set up a four- member committee to compile the customary practices and usages of all the tribes of the state. The committee will be headed by the Chief secretary. The other members of the committee are Home commissioner, secretary of Justice and Law departments. The commissioner of the Art and Culture department will be the member secretary.

  • The National Green Tribunal has approved an ambitious plan of the Delhi government to tap the Yamuna rainwater by building a 1,000 acre mega reservoir on 25 July. The project aims to conserve water in the floodplain between Palla on the Delhi-Haryana border and Wazirabad. The government's move is to deal with the water shortage in the capital, particularly during summers.

  • The fourth anniversary of the Skill India Mission was observed. Several functions are being organised across the country to mark the occasion. The main function will be held in New Delhi where Home Minister Amit Shah will deliver the keynote address. National Skill Development Mission also known as Skill India Mission was launched on this day in 2015. Nearly One Crore youth are being presently imparted skills training annually under the mission.

    The mission also envisages convergence, coordination and harmonization of the fragmented skilling efforts of various Ministries in Government of India and other key stakeholders through the instruments of Common norms, implementation of National Skills Qualification Framework and data integrations through the Skill India Portal.

  • The celebrations of 20th Anniversary of the victory in Operation Vijay at Kargil began in Delhi. The Victory Flame will traverse through eleven towns and cities, to finally culminate at Dras wherein the flame will be merged with the eternal flame at the ‘Kargil War Memorial’. The 20th anniversary of victory in Operation Vijay is being celebrated with the theme ‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’.

    The ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ celebrations will be spread over three days from 25th to 27th of this month and will be organized at Dras and New Delhi. However, as part of the build up to the main event, numerous activities are being organized all over the country from the very first week of this month.

  • An Agri Business Incubation Centre has started in Chhattisgarh. The centre has been set up by the Union Agriculture Ministry in Indira Gandhi Agriculture University of Raipur. Agri Business Incubation Centre is set up under the National Agriculture Development Scheme- RAFTAAR. The objective of the scheme is to make farming a remunerative economic activity by strengthening farmer’s effort, risk mitigation and promoting agribusiness entrepreneurship.

    Under the scheme, guidance, technology and infrastructure will be provided to youth and entrepreneurs for start-ups in different areas of agriculture. The Agri Business Incubation Centre in Raipur with focus on innovations, skill building and entrepreneurs development in agriculture and allied sectors will act as catalyst for developing an ecosystem conducive for growth of agripreneurship in the state and foster a “start-up” culture.

  • Prime Ministers’ museum gets ready at Teen Murti.  The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has set a March 2020 deadline for completing the “Museum on Prime Ministers of India” in the Teen Murti Bhavan complex, which houses the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML).

    The CPWD has chosen an agency for the facade works of the museum and its finishing, installation of lifts, escalators, CCTVs and sewage treatment plants. The iconic Teen Murti Bhavan was the official residence of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, and the NMML was set up in his memory on its premises as an autonomous institution under the Union Culture Ministry. “The construction work of the museum building is under way”. He added that these works would be carried out at a cost of Rs..66 crore.

  • The Meghalaya became the first state to approve a draft water policy to address water issues, conservation, and protection of water sources in the state. As per the policy, committees will be formed at the village level and the issue of groundwater will also be catered through this policy. It will also monitor the quality of the water to check if it has a high content of iron or if acidic.

  • The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has rolled out an initiative in the form of a Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN). UDIN will provide ease of maintaining a register of attestation and certification services. The ICSI UDIN will be mandatory for every document except an e-form, signed or certified by a company secretary with from 1 October 2019.

  • The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) will host the Women Startup Summit 2019 in Kochi on 1 August 2019. The Summit aims at encouraging aspiring women professionals to take up their entrepreneurial journey and developing an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in the State. The summit will be organised in association with the Indian Women Network floated by Confederation of Indian Industry.

  • The Lok Sabha passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Intervening in the debate on the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah assured the Lok Sabha that it will not be misused. It is only aimed at eliminating terrorism. NIA never looks at the religion of the accused persons while investigating terror cases. He emphasized that this bill will empower the investigating agency seek speedy trials and convictions.

    POTA was effective in containing terror acts in the country. He added that NIA was introduced in the absence of POTA to wipe out terrorism from the country. Earlier, the NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was moved in the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy. The amendment will strengthen the investigation agency to speed up trials in terrorism-related cases.

    The Act is meant only to empower the NIA to counter terrorism without any compromise. He hoped that the agency will be able to investigate terrorist acts against our embassies and assets abroad and take up cases of drug, arms and women trafficking apart from cyber-terrorism. Additional powers to NIA may create a police state as there are possibilities of misusing the agency for political vendetta, as he put it. The amendment,should not curtail the rights of any citizen under the relevant Articles of the constitution.

  • The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari. The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. Increasing penalties of traffic violations is among the changes proposed in the amendment. The amendment Bill proposes to omit a clause of the Motor Vehicle Act to decide certain other aspects.

  • West Bengal state government has decided to construct 8.30 lakh houses for poor people living in the rural areas, under the Banglar Bari project. The houses will be constructed in the current financial year. In the 2018-19 financial year, 5.86 lakh houses have been built under the project, while in the current financial year, another 2.50 lakh houses will be set up.

  • Cabinet has approved the extension of the term of Fifteenth Finance Commission up to 30th November 2019. It will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections in view of reforms and the new realities to finalise its recommendations for the period 2020-2025.

    Cabinet has also approved the proposed amendment to enable Fifteenth Finance Commission to address serious concerns regarding the allocation of adequate, secure and non-lapsable funds for defence and internal security of India. Under the Terms of Reference, it is proposed to ensure an assured allocation of resources towards defence and internal security imperatives.

    The amendment provides that Fifteenth Finance Commission shall also examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up and how such a mechanism could be operationalized. The Fifteenth Finance Commission was constituted by the President on 27th November, 2017. It was to submit its report on the basis of its Terms of Reference by 30th October this year covering a period of five years commencing from 1st April, 2020.

    The constitution of the Commission has been in the backdrop of various major fiscal and budgetary reforms introduced by the Centre in the past four years like the replacement of the Planning Commission by NITl Aayog and removal of distinction between Non-Plan and Plan expenditure. The Terms of Reference of the Commission takes into account these reforms.

  • Cabinet approves setting up of National Medical Commission Bill 2019 replacing Medical Council of India. The bill provides for setting up of a National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India and repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

    The features of the bill include, the Common final year MBBS Exams will be know as National Exit Test(NEXT) which would serve as Licentiate Exam, for entrance to Post Graduate medical course and as screening test of foreign medical graduates. The bill provides that the national entrance test that is NEET, common counselling, NEXT will also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) like AIIMS to have common standards in the country.

    Mr Javadekar said, the Commission will regulate fee and all other charges for 50 percent seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities. These measures will ensure a transparent admission process and also bring down admission fee.

  • Union Cabinet has approved 1,600 crore rupees for Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh. Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also approved a bill to scrap 58 redundant laws. The move is aimed at weeding out archaic and dead statutes which have lost their relevance. The NDA government in its two terms has sent to the chopping block 1,824 old laws which had become redundant. Cabinet also approved the doubling of a vital railway line connecting Guwahati with New Bongaigaon at a cost of 2,042 crore rupees.

    The project will be completed by 2022-23 and will be executed by the construction organisation of the Northeast Frontier Railway. It also cleared seven amendments to the insolvency law that seeks to put in place a 330-day deadline for the corporate resolution process. The changes would help in clearing various roadblocks for resolution process and smoothen the process as well as save time.

  • The Supreme Court is likely to peruse (18 July, 2019) a report on the progress of mediation in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya. A day-to-day hearing may commence from 25th July, if the court decides to conclude the mediation proceedings. The bench had requested former apex court judge Justice FMI Kalifulla, Chairperson of the three-member mediation panel, to apprise it by 18th July the progress of mediation till date and its present stage.

    It passed the order while hearing an application filed by a legal heir of one of the original litigants, Gopal Singh Visharad, seeking a judicial decision on the dispute and conclusion of the mediation process, alleging that nothing much was happening there. It had said that the court would pass appropriate orders on 18th July after perusing the report filed by the mediation committee.

    The panel, also comprising spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate and renowned mediator Sriram Panchu, was earlier granted time till 15th August by the apex court for completion of mediation after its earlier report had said that the mediators were optimistic about an amicable solution.

  • The Department of Telecom (DoT) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) signed an MoU to develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) for Indian States and UTs. The first estimate will be made in 2019 and subsequently every year until 2022. The index will appraise the condition of the underlying digital infrastructure at the State/UT level.

  • Union Health Ministry has signed an MoU with Ministries of Ayush, Defence and Railways to strengthen the efforts towards a TB-Free India by 2025. Around 28 lakh people contract the disease every year in the country and four lakh people die every year. Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, TB will be completely eradicated from the country in the same way polio was.

  • Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank released the UGC Guide to Student Induction Programme - Deeksharambh in New Delhi. The guide will help new students to build bonds with fellow students and faculty members in the new environment.

  • The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2019 is likely to be introduced in Lok Sabha. The Bill provides for a comprehensive mechanism to ban the unregulated deposit schemes, other than deposits taken in the ordinary course of business and to protect the interest of depositors.

    Other Bills slated to be introduced in the House are The Trans-gender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 and The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Besides, the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will be taken up for consideration and passing.

  • The Lok Sabha has passed the Finance Bill, 2019 that gives effect to the proposals of the Central Government for the year 2019-2020. Amendments will promote 'Make in India' and Startups. On the incentives being provided for Electrical Vehicles, the deduction on the loan interest is to encourage buyers, keeping in mind the state of the environment. About digital payments made to political parties, the Finance Minister answered that digital payments always leave a trail, right from the destination to the source, making such payments more transparent.

  • In the first ever use of an Indian waterway to transport cargo from Bhutan to Bangladesh via India, a shipment of stone aggregates was formally received at Narayangunj by the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguli Das, along with Ambassador of Bhutan to Bangladesh Sonam T. Rabgye.

    The Indian cargo ship MV AAI carrying stone aggregates from Bhutan arrived in Narayanganj in Bangladesh through the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route. The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 kms from Dhubri jetty in Assam before being shipped to Bangladesh through Brahmaputra. The transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, and reduce transportation cost by 30 per cent. It will also be a more environment friendly mode of transport.

  • The Centre will introduce a Bill to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005 in the Lok Sabha.
    The Bill proposes to give the Centre the power to set the tenure and salaries of state and central Information Commissioners. Critics warn that such a move could dilute the effectiveness of the RTI Act and threaten the autonomy of the Information Commissions.

    A version of this Bill was originally notified for introduction in the monsoon session of Parliament last year and was circulated among members. However, facing opposition from political parties and RTI activists, the Centre did not actually introduce the Bill in that session.

  • Air India launched its first flight service to Dubai from Madhya Pradesh's Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar International Airport. The state-run carrier, Air India, it first flight service to Dubai from Madhya Pradesh's Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar International Airport, Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Flight AI903 carried 150 passengers after a traditional inaugural function.

    Air India operates a 162-seater A320neo aircraft from Indore. It will fly three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, non-stop to Dubai. This was the first international commercial flight from Madhya Pradesh. If the new flights on the Indore-Dubai route get a good response Air India will provide service.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Ujjwala scheme for providing free cooking gas connection to poor came in for praise from the International Energy Agency (IEA). It is a major achievement in improving the environment and health of women. Providing access to LPG across India by 2020 is a major achievement. Mr Birol said it is not an energy issue, it is an economic issue and it is a social issue.

    Launched by Modi on May 1, 2016, in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing free cooking gas (LPG) connection to poor families.

  • Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the architectural illumination of the historic Safdarjung Tomb in New Delhi . A total of 213 technologically advanced LED lights have been used to highlight the 17th century monument. The consumption of LED lights is approximately 62 percent less than conventional light fixtures.

    To highlight the archaeological magnificence of historical monuments, Archaeological Survey of India has taken up the project to illuminate the important monuments of Delhi. The move aims to showcase the monuments during late evenings and enhance the experience of visitors and tourists.

  • The Protection of Human Rights(Amendment) Bill 2019 has been passed by voice vote in Lok Sabha. The Government is sensitive to the rights of humanity and is committed to strengthen Human Rights Commission in the country. The allegation that India’s Human Rights Commission has lost its good grade and informed that it is given ‘A’ grade by the international agency.

    Increase the presence of civil Society in the Commission, the minister emphasised that every section of the society has now received representation. Human rights of terrorists and perpetrators of sexual crime but of the victims. The amendment has ensured transparency in the appointment of Chairman and members of the Commission and will help fill all the vacancies. The OBCs and minorities rights, he added, have been protected by the Government.

    The applicants in Union Territories can now appeal in the human Rights Commission of nearby states instead of coming all the way to Delhi. The amended Act will enable appointment of the retired Chief Justice or retired Judges of the Supreme Court as the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission. It also provides for appointing three instead of two members from civil society who have knowledge of Human Rights. Among the three it is also proposed to appoint one as woman member. It proposes to appoint retired Chief Justice or Judges of the High Court as Chairperson of the State Human Rights Commission.

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will launch the Global Innovation Index, GII on 24th July, 2019 in New Delhi. The GII has been a charter for assessing the innovation capabilities of national economies worldwide.

    The launch of GII will reveal the innovation rankings of economies and the findings for this year. This year’s theme is Evaluating the Medical Innovation Scenario of the Next Decade. Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization, Mr. Francis Gurry, will also be present during the event.

  • INS Sagardhwani embarked on Sagar Maitri Mission. Oceanographic research vessel of DRDO, INS Sagardhwani, embarked on a 2-month long.  SAGAR MAITRI (SM) Mission-2 from South Jetty, Southern Naval Command (SNC) in Kochi on 18 July 2019.

    INS Sagardhwani has been designed and developed by Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi. SAGAR MAITRI Mission-2 commemorates the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of ship INS Kistna’s missions.

  • Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command observes 20th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Divas. 
    As a part of the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Divas on 20 July, 2019, the Material Organisation of Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command and INS Trata has set up a Pavilion at the Phoenix Mall in central suburb Kurla and Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel in South Mumbai over the weekend.

    The Valour of the Armed Forces including Navy's the Combat Ready Force for National Security is the main theme of the pavilions. It also consists of an artistic Tableau of Warships in the Arabian Sea as well as a selfie point, depicting Kargil Terrain and a Medium Machine Gun Model inside a Bunker etc. The performances by Naval Band is also a main attraction for the visitors.

  • 20 thousand wellness centres will be completed by the end of the current year under Ayushman Bharat programme. This was stated by the Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Hyderabad. A total of 1.5 lakh wellness centres are to be established in the country under this programme.

    Work in a proactive and out of box manner to reduce sufferings of people, especially those with rare and genetic diseases. He asked the scientists to work in a focused manner so that the results of the research reach people. The government has set a target of eradicating Tuberculosis from the country by 2025. He also informed that the new National Medical Council Bill will be introduced in Parliament on 22 July, 2019.

  • The Rajasthan government has launched Student Police Cadet (SPC) scheme, a Police training program, for class 8 and 9 students on July 18. The training aims to curb rising adolescent delinquency and strengthen teenagers mentally and physically. Also, it aims to make the students aware of basic laws and legal procedures. All aspects of public and personal life have been developed for the SPC training. It would be imparted at three levels which includes:
    • indoor classes
    • outdoor activities
    • visits to relevant places and offices

  • Union Ministry of power has approved proposal by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) for transmission schemes for 66.5 GW renewable energy (RE) generation. It aims to speed up the green projects in the country on July 18. The Ministry plans to achieve the targets in consultation with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Central Transmission Utility (CTU).

    It has identified transmission schemes for around 66.5 GW of RE generation. It comprises of 28 GW under Phase-I and around 38.5 GW under Phase-II. It will be a part of National Renewable Energy Mission of setting up of 175 GW of RE capacity.

  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has informed that central government is going to set-up three Sports Centre of Excellence in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh very soon. This while briefing media persons in Itanagar after holding a review meeting with the Arunachal Pradesh government on the sports infrastructure in the state.

    The three centre of excellence will be for Martial Arts, Weight Lifting and Boxing. These centres will have a capacity of 300 sportspersons with residential facility. The government will also set up 12 to 15 football stadiums with Astro-turf football pitches across the state in the next three years. Mr. Rijiju further announced that this year Arunachal Pradesh will host the North East Youth Festival.

  • The production of India’s first semi high-speed train has come to a grinding halt at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. The work on rolling out ten trains this fiscal remains a non-starter despite floating of tenders. The design of the successfully running Train18 has been found to be violative of certain specifications and will go back to the drawing table. Investigation is also on into allegations that one company was favoured in the making of the 97 crore train set.

  • NASSCOM & NSDC launches “World Skills India”-lnternational Cloud Computing Challenge 2019 from July (1st– 6th 2019) at NASSCOM Campus, New Delhi. The initiative is aimed at recognizing the best practices from the world in the areas of cloud computing. The challenge initiated in the presence of the minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey.

    India along with nine other countries including New Zealand, Belgium, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Oman and Ireland are participating in the competition. The finalists further taking part in the 45th World Skills Competition in Kazan, Russia which scheduled in August 2019. According to NASSCOM in the Asia-Pacific region,India secured second to China.

  • Parliament has passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the Rajya Sabha approving it. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill. The bill seeks to amend Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 and to further amend the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

    The bill also proposes giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age. Government will soon bring a Data Protection Bill in Parliament. A comprehensive law will be framed in this regard. That amendments to Aadhaar and other laws were necessitated after the Supreme Court's ruling on privacy.

  • The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Registration Bill, 2019 was also introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to provide for the regulation if use and application of Deoxyribinucleic Acid- DNA technology for the purposes of establishing the identity of certain categories of persons, including the victims, offenders, suspects, undertrials, missing persons and unknown deceased persons. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan introduced the bill. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress opposed the introduction of the bill, saying that it violates the fundamental rights of individuals.

  • Jammu and Kashmir government has approved Aadhaar-linked payment mode for disbursal of pension to beneficiaries under various central and state-sponsored schemes. It is done to ensure transparency and avoid delays. The move is aimed at ensuring transparency and avoid delays in disbursement of pension to eligible old-aged, widows and physically challenged persons.

  • The Indian Army is planning to acquire the Excalibur artillery ammunition from the Americans under the emergency procurement procedures. It is capable of hitting targets more than 50 Kilometers away. This Excalibur ammunition can be fired from US-made M-777 ultra-light howitzers which are already in process of being inducted in the Army.

  • PM Narendra Modi unveiled statue of former PM of India Lal Bahadur Shastri at Varanasi airport on 6 July.  He unveiled the statue during his visit to Varanasi to launch BJP's membership drive. PM Modi launched a tree plantation drive after unveiling the Statue.

  • Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita in New Delhi and agreed to work towards sustainable trade. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Troika Meeting with ASEAN Trade Ministers. India's trade deficit with Indonesia that stood at 10.57 billion US Dollars last financial year. The balance of trade is heavily in favour of Indonesia and both countries need to work towards establishing sustainable trade by diversifying the export basket.

    There is considerable potential for expanding trade in agricultural, automobiles, engineering products, IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare sectors. He noted that with a bilateral trade of 21.13 billion US Dollars in 2018-19, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region after Singapore. The Indonesian side also assured India that it will facilitate the sourcing of sugar from India by reducing tariffs and regularising standards as per India's requirement.

  • The Delhi Police Crime Branch has rescued 333 children from Delhi as these children were missing since January 2019 from various parts of the country. The operation Milap was launched in December 2014. Under this project, the Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Delhi Police develops information, rescues the trafficked or kidnapped person and arrests the kidnappers.

  • The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (amendment) Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. It seeks to remove the Congress president as a permanent member in a trust that runs the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial trust. The members are- PM as the chairperson, President of INC, Culture Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Punjab governor & CM.

  • The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express is set to be the first train to be operated by private players, as a part of the 100 day agenda of Indian railways to hand over the operation of two trains to private sector on a trial basis. The train was announced in 2016 but was introduced in the new time table released recently. It is currently parked at the Annandnagar railway station in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC), Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Ministry of Science and Technology, signed an MoU with a vision to bridge the capacity shortfall and provide a major fillip to the ongoing efforts of Ministry of Defence towards promoting a culture of Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights IPR in Indian Defence industry.

    The move will be a boost to the Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti. It may be recalled that Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti was launched with the aim to inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem. Under this mission, an IPFC has been established under the aegis of Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) which has within a short span of a year achieved the challenging target of training more than 12,000 personnel on IPR and facilitating the filing of more than 1000 new IPR applications.

  • Union Cabinet has approved a bill to merge 13 central labour laws into a single code which will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more workers. This consolidation can potentially benefit large sections of the 40-crore workforce. The proposed Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, will enhance coverage of workers manifold. The code will be applicable to all business entities dealing in the port and mining sector even if they have only one employee.

    The proposed changes are intended to improve ease of business and giving enhanced protection to employees by mandating certain norms. The bill provides for a single licence regime for staffing firms, thus significantly improving their ease of doing business.

    Mr Gangwar said that a comprehensive change in labour law, which the government will bring through legislation, will make appointment letters mandatory. The decision comes a week after the Cabinet gave its go-ahead to a labour code on wages, which has the provision of mandatory compliance of minimum wage and timely payment. Both the bills will be introduced during the current session of Parliament.

  • Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The bill replaces an Ordinance which was promulgated in March 2019. It seeks to provide for the establishment and incorporation of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre, NDIAC for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized arbitration.

    The legislation has provision to declare the NDIAC as an institution of national importance for its overall development as a major arbitration hub by promoting quick and efficient dispute resolution mechanism. The government is keen to make the country a hub of international and domestic arbitration. The proposed New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of the arbitration.

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, a previous version of which had lapsed when the Lok Sabha was dissolved in May. The Bill aims at the social, economic and educational empowerment of transgender persons. Sending the Bill to Parliament again was on the first 100-day agenda of Narendra Modi government’s second term.

  • According to property consultant CBRE, New Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) is the 9th most expensive office location in the world. Hong Kong’s Central district retained the top spot as the world’s most expensive market for prime office rents. Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point CBD slipped to 27th and 40th position.

  • More than 20 lakh employment generated in micro enterprises in the last five year under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme. In 2018-19 over five lakh 87 thousand employment were generated in this sector. The large number of employment opportunities are created with use of relatively less capital in the MSME sector. The Ministry implements Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme, which is a credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities.

  • The Centre has proposed a model tenancy law that States and Union Territories can enact in order to regulate renting of premises, including setting a maximum of two months' rent as security deposit, a three-months notice for hiking rent and appointment of rent authorities.

    The draft of the Model Tenancy Act, 2019 was put in the public domain on 10 July, 2019 night by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, an official said, adding that comments had been sought from the public, after which the draft would be sent to the Cabinet for its nod. A statement by MoHUA on 11 July, 2019 said comments were sought till August 1. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her Budget speech on July 5 that the government would be coming up with a model tenancy law.

  • Centre has initiated a proposal to establish the first National Police University in the country. It will be dedicated to imparting education in policing and internal security. The university will conduct academic programmes in specialized subjects. Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand have set up dedicated universities for conducting courses in police services and internal security.

  • Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDAIC) Bill. It seeks to provide for the establishment and incorporation of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDAIC) for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized arbitration. The legislation has provision to declare the NDIAC as an institution of national importance.

  • RPF launched “Operation Thirst”. To curb the menace of unauthorized PDW (PACKAGED DRINKING WATER) in Railway premises, an all India drive named 'Operation Thirst' was launched. In the drive all the Zonal Principal Chief Security Commissioners (PCSC) were asked to crackdown these unauthorised activities. During the drive, 1371 persons were arrested for selling of packaged drinking water of unauthorised brands.

  • The Cabinet has approved for introduction of the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, 2019 in the Parliament. The decision will enhance the coverage of the safety, health and working conditions provisions manifold as compared to the present scenario.The New Code has been drafted after amalgamation of the relevant provisions of the 13 Central Labour acts.

  • UN Development Programme has released the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index.
    1.) India’s MPI value reduced from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.123 in 2015-16.
    2.) India has lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index.
    3.) In India Child mortality dropped from 4.5% to 2.2%.

  • Gujarat Government will develop Centers of Excellence for skill development in the Aviation industry. This was announced by Captain Ajay Chauhan, Director of Civil Aviation- Government of Gujarat. During 2nd Gujarat Aviation Conclave Conference on Business Opportunities in the aviation sector held in Ahmedabad.

  • Rajghat plant to be turned into solar park. The Delhi government has announced that the Rajghat thermal power plant will be officially shut and turned into a solar park and electricity museum. A 5,000 KW of solar power will be produced at the 45 acre plant site. The coal-based plant, whose current units were commissioned in 1989, has been lying in a shutdown mode from 2014.

  • Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) rolled out an initiative in the form of a Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN). The main aim is to pursue a heightened sense of self-governance and strengthen the practicing side of company secretaries. UDIN will provide ease of maintaining a register of attestation and certification services. The ICSI functions under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Institute of Company Secretaries of India is a statutory professional body in India with the objective of promoting, regulating and developing the profession of company secretaries in India.

  • On 27 June 2019, the government has set up an 18-member working group for the revision of the current series of Wholesale Price Index (WPI). The working group is under the Chairmanship of Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the nodal office for the group.

  • The Centre will launch evening meal scheme among children in Acute Encephalitis Syndrome affected districts of Bihar on the line of midday meal scheme. Earlier, members of the medical expert team had said that most of the encephalitis affected children were malnourished and they were suffering from hyperglycemia.

  • Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will move the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing in Lok Sabha. The bill will ensure full representation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections in direct recruitment in teachers' cadres. This will allow filling up of more than seven thousand existing vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers' cadre. The Bill will also ensure providing 10 per cent reservation to Economically weaker section.

    In Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah will move the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill is aimed at providing relief to persons in Jammu and Kashmir residing in areas adjoining the international border. They can now avail reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses. The bill had already passed by the Lok Sabha last week.

  • Digital India has empowered people, significantly reduced corruption and improved public service delivery to benefit the poor. Four years ago Digital India was launched, to leverage the power of technology and make technology more accessible. The Digital India initiative is a people’s movement, powered by people’s strength and their efforts to learn as well as innovate. Prime Minister salutes all those assiduously working to strengthen Digital India and wish them for their future efforts.

  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan will be launched across the country from 01 July, 2019 to accelerate water harvesting and conservation measures. The scheme is aimed at making water conservation and promotion of irrigation efficiency a mass movement through asset creation and communication campaigns.

    Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will launch the scheme from New Delhi. Over 250 officers, including Additional and Joint Secretaries, have been appointed as in-charge of water-stressed districts in the country to plan ways to conserve the natural resource. They have been appointed as Central Prabhari Officers of 255 water-stressed districts for coordinating the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. These teams will visit identified blocks and districts, and coordinate the implementation of various water harvesting and conservation measures.

  • Centre has constituted a high powered committee of Chief Ministers of several states for the transformation of Indian Agriculture. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will be the convenor of the committee, while the chief ministers of Karnataka, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been included as members.

    Union Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister will also be a member of the committee. Besides, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand has been named the Member Secretary. The Committee will discuss measures for the transformation of agriculture and raising farmers' income.

    It will suggest the modalities for adoption and time-bound implementation of agriculture sector reforms. The Committee has been asked to submit its report in two months. It has been tasked to suggest changes in the Essential Commodity Act to attract private investments in agricultural marketing and infrastructure.

  • AYUSH, MeitY ministries to collaborate for digitisation of AYUSH sector.  The Ministries of AYUSH and Electronics and Information Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding in New Delhi on 01 July, 2019 to collaborate on the digitization of the AYUSH sector. The Ministry aims to digitize the entire AYUSH, leading to transformation in the field of health care delivery at all levels, along with greater research, education, delivery of various health care programmes and better drug regulations.

    The Electronics and Information Technology Ministry has agreed to give technical support to the AYUSH Ministry for planning and development of AYUSH GRID Project. The project will be beneficial for all stakeholders, including citizens of the country and in turn will help to achieve various national and international goals in healthcare.

  • Lok Sabha passes Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill.  The Lok Sabha has passed the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill-2019. The bill seeks to provide for the reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Educationally Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections to teachers cadre in Central Educational Institutions.

    The bill is aimed at implementing 200-point reservation system instead of 13-point roster system to fill up teacher vacancies in Universities and Central Government Higher Educational Institutions. Government’s commitment towards reservation and to give equal opportunity to all as per the Constitution. This bill gives enough scope and opportunities in higher education sector in the country. The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is thinking for the welfare of the poorest of the poor at the grassroots level.

  • India has signed a deal to acquire 'Strum Ataka' anti-tank missile from Russia for its fleet of Mi-35 attack choppers. The deal for the missiles is worth around Rs.200 crore and would give an added capability to the Mi-35 attack choppers to take out enemy tanks and other armoured elements. Recently, the IAF has acquired the Spice-2000 stand-off weapon system.

  • In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated 5th and 6th Unit of Chabra Super Critical Thermal Power Station on 30 June 2019. This is the state’s First project based on Super Critical Thermal Power Technology and the estimated cost of this project is 9 thousand 550 Crore Rupees. 3 crore additional units of power daily will be generated and 78 lakh new consumers will get benefited.

  • Government to raise health services expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025.  Screen Grab from Youtube Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said government has set a target to raise health services expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the country's GDP by 2025. The public expenditure on health services is continuously increasing. The policy recommends that State governments should spend more than 8 per cent of their budget on the health sector by 2020.

  • Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) scenario with Chief Secretaries and DGPs of affected states in New Delhi. It was noted that there has been a consistent decline in violence and considerable shrinkage in the geographical spread of LWE in the last five years.

    The review of LWE affected districts last year resulted in a reduction of Security Related Expenditure (SRE) districts from 126 to 82. Making mobile communication more effective and improvement in the working conditions of the security forces deployed were also discussed in the meeting. Union Home Secretary stated the need for continued operations and stressed upon filling up areas of the security vacuum.

  • The Home Ministry extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for another six months, till December-end in Nagaland. It declared the region a “disturbed area” and in a “dangerous condition”. Imposing AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without prior notice. It has been in force in Nagaland for several decades. Railway speeds up trains under Mission Raftaar.

    The Indian Railways said that it has speeded up 261 trains, by up to 110 minutes, over different zones. It is a part of its Mission Raftaar to provide faster travel to passengers. 'Mission Raftaar' was announced in the Railway Budget 2016-17 and envisages a target of doubling average speed of freight trains in the next five years.

  • The First Ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) is going to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 11th till 13th October, 2019. Steered by NCDC, the Fair is being conducted with the support of one international organization(NEDAC), 3 Ministries, 4 State Governments. The Trade Fair is aimed at promoting cooperative to cooperative trade within India and abroad.

  • The Economic Survey 2018-19 will be presented in Parliament on July 4, 2019. Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will table the survey in both the Houses. The Economic survey is presented a day before the Union Budget. This will give the status of the annual economic development of the country. The survey also highlights policy initiatives of the government and a roadmap to further boost the economy.

    It also carries sectoral overviews and comments on reform measures that are required. The Survey also consists of detailed statistical data that covers macro and sectoral aspects of the Indian economy. Finance Minister Mrs Sitharaman will present the Union budget in the Lok Sabha on July 5. This will be the first budget of the Narendra Modi government after assuming office for the second time.

  • Government will bring in more provisions to regulate the operation of drones, especially in no-go areas. The government has already introduced Civil Aviation Regulation in 2018 and in the coming months, it will bring in more regulations for the operation of drones. Government is aware of the kind of security threats that drones can pose.

  • The government has eliminated Unmanned Level Crossings in the whole broad-gauge network in the country. There is not a single Unmanned Level Crossing in the broad-gauge network in the country presently. As many as 87 of the 115 aspirational districts have been connected with the rail network.

  • The UIDAI has operationalised the first 'Aadhaar Seva Kendra' in Delhi and Vijayawada. It is part of an ambitious plan to set up 114 such centres by the year-end. These Aadhaar centres, meant to facilitate enrolment, updation and other activities, will be UIDAI’s own and operate in addition to thousands of centres, currently being run by banks and post offices, and in government premises.

  • India seeks to buy $2.2 billion warships. India sought bids for purchase of warships and support vessels for its navy and coast guard as it ramps up security of its maritime border in the Indian Ocean region. The Narendra Modi government on 01 July, 2019 asked seven shipyards to submit proposals for the construction of six missile warships and other smaller vessels worth 150 billion rupees ($2.2 billion), the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The tender includes eight fast patrol vessels, 12 hovercrafts and eight missile-cum-ammunition barges.

  • Coal may account for half of India’s power generation in 2030 despite a boom in solar and wind energy projects. It is according to analysis by the country’s power-planning body, Central Electricity Authority. The CEA’s analysis shows that India may be able to exceed one of its 2015 Paris Agreement commitments — reaching 40% of installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources.

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Code on Wages Bill, a draft legislation, on 3 July. The Bill seeks to mandate minimum wages fixed by the central government which will be implemented by states for all occupations. It is a first step towards reviving the labour law reform process. The Code on Wages Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha in August 2017. But the Bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.

    The Bill proposed to empower the states to fix different minimum wages based on geography, skill and occupation, along with a national-level minimum wage which will act as a floor. Currently, the minimum wages are fixed on the basis of categories such as skilled, unskilled, semi-skilled, high skilled, geographical regions, and nature of work. These categories are applicable for 45 central sphere establishments and 1709 scheduled employments in states.

  • Economic Survey projects 7% GDP growth in current fiscal. Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in both Houses of Parliament.

    The survey projects GDP to grow at 7 per cent in 2019-20. The Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.8 per in 2018-19 while maintaining macro-economic stability.

    The fiscal deficit has been pegged at 3.4 per cent of GDP for 2018-19. The survey has provisionally estimated 2.9 per cent growth rate for the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.

    283.4 million tonne foodgrain production has been projected. Imports are slated to grow at 15.4 per cent while exports are projected to grow at 12.5 per cent for the year 2018-19.

    It has put forex reserves at 412.9 billion dollars for fiscal 2018-19.

    The survey also lays down the strategic blueprint for fructifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of India becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025.

    To achieve the vision, India needs to shift its gears to accelerate and sustain a real GDP growth rate of 8 per cent.

    The theme of the survey is about enabling shifting of gears to sustained economic growth tachieve a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025.

    The survey has recommended creating a virtuous cycle encompassing private investment, jobs, export and demand. It states that the Indian economy has performed well in the last five years.

    The Economic Survey highlights the immense potential of data of societal interest and says data should be of the people, by the people and for the people. Demographic trends suggest the need to prepare for the ageing population, which necessitates more healthcare investment and increasing retirement age in a phased manner.

    The Economic Survey 2018-19 highlights the importance of investing in social infrastructure, especially education and health, as a key priority in the development strategy to achieve inclusive growth.

    India is working seriously to meet its commitments towards Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

    The expenditure on Social Services by the Centre and States increased from 7.68 lakh crores in 2014-15 to 13.94 lakh crore in 2018-19.

    The expenditure on education increased from 2.8 per cent to 3 per cent and expenditure on health increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

    The Economic Survey also highlights a large number of social protection schemes taken up by the government during the last five years as a part of its commitment to provide social security to the people of the country.

    Under the PM KISAN 2019, around 3 crore 10 lakh small farmers have received the first tranche of two thousand rupees and two crore 10 lakh farmers have got the second instalment, as on 23rd April this year.

    The Economic Survey 2018-19 outlines a vision to achieve a five trillion dollar economy.

    The survey also depicts the gains from advancement in the social sector, adoption of technology and energy security.

    The Survey has laid out a blueprint for growth and jobs in the next five years.

    There is a continuity between the policies from 2014 and 2019 and the expected policies from 2019 to 2024.

    Focus on fiscal devolution and federalism, expenditure reform, policies for MSMEs, GST and reform of direct taxes reflect the vision of government.

    The one novel and welcome aspect of this year’s Economic Survey was its highlighting of judicial reforms and the role of data as a public good.

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has appealed to newly elected Members of Parliament to overcome their political differences and contribute to the making of New India through their effective participation in discussions in the House. Study Parliament rules, traditions and use all resources available in the Parliament library to become an effective and ideal Parliamentarian. MPs should raise issues only relevant to Parliament and their speeches must contribute to the understanding of the issue.

    The Home Minister underlined the need for following time-discipline during Parliamentary proceedings. Each Lok Sabha MP represents more than 15 lakh people and thus has a great responsibility in fulfilling their aspirations. Members should be aware that their speeches and actions are watched all over the world. They should contribute to elevating the effectiveness and image of the legislature.

  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has started an exercise to review the current Foreign Trade Policy, with an objective to boost exports and domestic manufacturing and reduce the trade deficit. The present Foreign Trade Policy was brought out on 1st of April, 2015 and is valid for five years, which ends on 31st March 2020. A mid-term review was held in December 2017 after the introduction of Goods and Services Tax. The Ministry is also holding consultations with various stakeholders in this regard including exporters, industry associations, commodity boards, foreign missions, State governments and various ministries.

  • The National Policy on Electronics 2019 aims at positioning India as a global hub for electronics System and Design and Manufacturing. The vision of the policy is to create an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally. The government has notified the policy in February 2019.

    In 2014 whereas only two mobile manufacturing companies were operational, now this number has gone up to 268. Government also wants to make the country the hub of Start-Ups. As many as 19000 Startups are in the country out of which seven thousand are in area of technology.

  • Rural sanitation coverage jumped to 99% from 38% in 2014. Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), nine crore 62 lakh individual household toilets have been constructed so far. The sanitation coverage in the rural areas of the country has increased to more than 99 per cent, which was over 38 per cent on 2nd October 2014. 632 Districts, 30 States, over 2.50 lakh Gram Panchayats and five lakh 67 thousand 498 villages have been declared open defecation Free.

  • Lok Sabha passed Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 and to further amend the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002. The Bill also proposes giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age.

    This Bill will make the use of Aadhaar for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections voluntary. More than one hundred 23 crore people of the country have been enrolled in Aadhar and around 70 crore mobile phones are connected to Aadhaar number. He said around 2 crore 50 lakh Aadhar authentications are done daily in the country.

    Aadhaar is in national interest and it does not violate privacy of any Individual. He reassured the House that there is no mandatory compliance to have Aadhar card to avail the benefits of government schemes. The House that Aadhar is getting appreciation globally and many countries are showing interest to follow the India’s digital identification scheme.

    The low cost technologies can advance the country and Aadhaar is one such technology developed by our scientists and IT professional. The government respects the protection of individual’s Data and the Data Protection law work is in progress and will come out shortly. Congress, TMC, PDP and some other Opposition members opposed the frequent promulgation of Ordinances by the government.

  • Jammu & Kashmir will host its first-ever investor summit in September-October 2019 in Srinagar, with a chapter in Jammu, to attract investment and counter perceptions about the State. The State is presently under President’s Rule. The strong points of the State are tourism, horticulture and handicrafts. The stress would be on the power sector and manufacturing as well.

  • The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for leasing out of three airports viz. Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru of Airports Authority of India (AAI) through Public Private Partnership (PPP). The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for Grant of Organized Group ‘A’ Service (OGAS) to Group ‘A’ Executive Cadre Officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

  • State Government of Uttar Pradesh decided to set up Ganga Committees in all 25 districts. It is situated on the banks of river Ganga. This is part of the large scale program to clean the holy river.

    Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat discussed issues like water conservation, revival of dry rivers, rainwater harvesting and plantation drive. The state has listed 15 rivers which gone dry at present and will be revived under the action plan. A special plantation drive on the banks of prominent holy rivers are taken up.

  • The budget 2019-20 has been hailed by the Industry bodies, Economic experts, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers of various states and NRIs. Budget is a mega investment-oriented initiative with a strong focus on scaling up rural infrastructure and demand along with a slew of tax simplification measures, aimed at boosting growth. Initiatives like e-assessment, inter-changeability of PAN and Aadhaar, and digital payment will make a big difference to taxpayers.

    Budget proposal for 'zero budget farming' will help millions of farmers cut down their input cost and practice sustainable agriculture. Budget provides a blueprint to promote overall growth as it outlines several new reform initiatives.

    The intent to provide housing for all by 2022 has the potential not just for growth in downstream sectors such as cement and steel but also for overall job creation. Budget has attempted to address the concerns of various stakeholders from agriculture to the social sector, industry, youth and women. A number of Non-Resident Indians in the UAE gave a thumbs up to the Budget.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has expressed confidence of achieving the target of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025. The government is taking all policy reform measures in a dedicated way. She expressed happiness there is a sync between economic survey observations and budget and government policy.

  • NRIs with Indian Passport to get Aadhaar card on arrival instead of mandatory 180 days wait.  Four new embassies to be opened in 2019-20, to improve footprint of India's overseas presence and to provide better public services to local Indian communities. Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports will be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.

  • In Maharashtra, the state government has decided to inter-link rivers to solve the crisis of drought. For Mumbai, the best option is the Damanganga– Pinjal river inter-linking project, which is seen as an ideal, long-term solution for Mumbai’s water needs. This will fulfil Mumbai’s water needs till 2060.

  • Maharashtra ranked first in AMFFR Index.  Maharashtra got first rank in NITI Aayog's “Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index (AMFFRI)”. The index ranks states based on the degree of reforms they have undertaken in agricultural marketing. AMFFRI can have a score that can have minimum value “0”, the score implies no reforms and they have maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in the selected areas.

  • The UP government launched a toll-free Chief Minister helpline number 1076. It will enable people from across the state to register their complaints and will ensure a time-bound action on the complaints also. The CM helpline number 1076 will work 24x7 and anyone from any part of the state can call on this number anytime. The 500-seater call centre has been established for the helpline.

  • NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog released its "Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index" (AMFFRI) for the year 2019. It is an index launched by NITI Aayog in 2016. The main reason is to rank states and union territories based on the implementation of seven provisions proposed under the model Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act. Maharashtra ranked first for implementing most of the marketing reforms.

    Gujarat secured the second rank with a score of 71.5 out of 100, followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Index scores ranged from 0-100. The Minimum value "0" implies no reforms and maximum value "100" implies complete reforms in the selected areas.



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