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Cabinet Approvals on 24th October, 2018
- On October 24, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the creation of post of Director for each new AIMS.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved setting up of Indian Institute of Skills (IISs) at different locations across the country in Public Private Partnership (PPP).
- Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the appointment of Adjudicating Authority and establishment of Appellate Tribunal under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act(PBPT), 1988.
- Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the constitution of a High Level Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goals.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved creation of special Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF).
- On October 24, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the increase in supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitators for 2018-2019 to 2019- 2020.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved new Railway Line between Bahraich and Khalilabad…………………………….Click here to Read more
Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on 24th October, 2018
- On October 24, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing and ratification of the Extradition Treaty between India and Malawi.
- Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China, South Africa, regarding Cooperation in the Social and Labour Sphere.
- Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on FinTech.
- Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Certified Professional Accountants Afghanistan (CPA Afghanistan).
- On October 24, 2018, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among the BRICS Nations on Environmental Cooperation.
- Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the signing of Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) between India Taipei Association (ITA) in Taipei and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India……………………………………………………Click here to Read more
3-day SAGAR Discourse 2.0 inaugurated by Vice President in Goa
On October 24, 2018, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated 3-day Sagar Discourse 2 conference in Panaji, Goa.
i. The Maritime Conference SAGAR Discourse 2.0, was organized by Forum for Integrated National Security.
i. It aimed to highlight technological, economic and developmental opportunities with space and research.
ii. Scientists and researchers from around 15 countries participated in the conference.
iii. The Governor of Goa, Smt. Mridula Sinha, the Minister for Panchayat, Goa, Shri Mauvin Godinho, the former Chairman of ISRO, Dr. Kiran Kumar, the Convener of SAGAR Discourse, Dr. Prabhakaran Paleri and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
SAGAR- Security And Growth for All in the Region.
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Parrikar.
♦ Governor: Smt. Mridula Sinha.
♦ National Parks: Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondia Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlifr Sanctuary, Dandeli National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park
UNESCO MGIEP, Government of Andhra Pradesh to organize TECH 2018
UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in association with Government of Andhra Pradesh has announced TECH 2018, an international conference, to be held from 15-17 November 2018, at Novotel, Vizag City, Andhra Pradesh.
i. This conference aims to showcase the role of games and digital learning in enabling a shift from transmissive pedagogies to transformative pedagogies to develop peaceful and sustainable societies.
ii. It aims to act as a holistic platform for the ministers of education, senior policy makers, education technology specialists, educators and teachers, curriculum designers, researchers, learners, students, game designers, and ed-tech exhibitors.
iii. Following the success of TECH 2017, UNESCO MGIEP will organize TECH annually for the next 4 years.
About UNESCO MGIEP:
♦ Director – Dr. Anantha K. Duraiappah
♦ Location – New Delhi
High level Vietnamese delegation in Delhi for trade talks with TPCI
On 24th October 2018, a high level Vietnamese delegation from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam met a Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) delegation, in Delhi.
i. Vietnamese delegation was led by: Mr. Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam. It consisted of senior government officials and businessmen from the agriculture sector. Vietnamese ambassador to India Mr. Pham Sanh Chau also participated.
ii. TPCI delegation was led by TPCI Chairman: Mohit Singla.
iii. Discussions were held to: enhance bilateral trade and future cooperation between India and Vietnam, business opportunities and promotion of Indusfood in Vietnam.
About Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI):
♦ Chairman – Mohit Singla
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Commerce
♦ Objective – promoting and facilitating trade, with focus on agri and food, education, IT and entertainment and also chemicals, plastic and telecom sectors
India signs $5 billion-worth of MoUs to give impetus to iron and steel industry
On 23rd October 2018, 38 MoUs worth $5 billion were signed among 20 technology providers, capital goods manufacturers and steel producers, to enhance manufacturing of capital goods for iron and steel industry.
i. The MoUs were signed at a conclave on Capital Goods for Steel Sector: Manufacture in India, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), MECON Limited and Steel Ministry.
ii. Out of the 20 companies that exchanged MoUs, about 12 are foreign companies.
iii. Some of the companies that signed MoUs were: China-based ACRE, Italy-based CSM, Luxemburg headquartered Paul Wurth, Danieli Corus, SAIL, JSW, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, MECON Limited, Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited.
iv. The MoUs were signed for coke oven, agglomeration, blast furnaces, steel making, rolling mills, waste to energy and iron ore crusher and beneficiation.
v. India has a target to increase its crude steel capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030-31 from the current 134 million tonnes.
Experts’ group led by NCERT professor to cut schoolbag weight formed
On October 22, 2018, Union HRD Ministry has constituted an Expert Group to formulate a draft policy to reduce weight of schoolbag.
i. It will be convened by professor Ranjana Arora of the National Council of Educational Research and Training(NCERT).
ii. The MHRD issued an order on October 5 to formulate a policy on schoolbags on the lines of Children School Bags (Limitation on Weight) Bill of 2006, which never turned into a law.
iii. This was formed after the Madras HC judge Justice. N. Kirubakaran on May 29 had ruled the law to be implemented by the Centre.
iv. Maharashtra and Telangana already have a policy in form stating the weight of school bag not to exceed 10% of the students body weight.
Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD):
♦ Union Minister: Shri. Prakash Javedkar.
♦ Minister of state: Shri Upendra Kushwaha, Dr. Satya Pal Singh.
TCS among top 10 firms to get foreign labour certification for H-1B visas: US
On October 24, 2018, Tata Consultancy Services is the only Indian company among top 10 firms to get foreign labour certification for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2018 ending on September 30.
i. This was announced by Department of Labour’s Office of Foreign Labour Certification.
ii. The Department of Labour’s Office of Foreign Labour Certification processed 654,360 applications for the H-1B of which 599,782 were certified, 8,627 were denied and 45,951 were withdrawn.
iii. Among the positions certified, software developers and applications accounted for nearly one-fourth followed by computer systems analysts, Computer Occupations, Software developers, system software, accountants and auditors and computer programmers.
iv. California topped the list of States for getting maximum H-1B labour certification, followed by Texas, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Washingtonand Pennsylvania.
v. Among companies, London-headquartered Earnest and Young, a multinational professional services firm, has emerged as the top employer to have received the certification.
vi. It accounted for the 12.4 per cent of all foreign labour certification.
vii. It is followed by Deloitte Consulting, Cognizant Technology Corp, HCL, K Force Inc, Apple.
viii. TCS is the only Indian company in top 10 for the year 2018. It received 20,755 H-1B specialty occupation labour certifications.
ix. Qualcomm Technologies, Mphasis Corporation and Capgemini America are the other companies in top 10.
♦ Capital: Washington D. C.
♦ Currency: US Dollar.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Founded: 1968.
♦ Chairman: Natarajan Chandrasekaran.
India, Iran, Afghanistan hold first trilateral on Chabahar port project
On October 23, 2018, India, Afghanistan and Iran held their first trilateral meeting on Chabahar port project in Tehran, Iran.
i. The meeting held discussions on full operationalisation of the trilateral Agreement for international transit and transport through Chabahar port.
ii. The Indian delegation at the trilateral meeting was led by T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations).
iii. It was decided to hold the next meeting of the coordination council in the first half of 2019 in India.
In May 2016, India, Iran and Afghanistan had signed a pact for establishment of a transit and transport corridor among the three countries using Chabahar Port as one of the regional hubs.
♦ Capital: Tehran.
♦ Currency: Iranian real.
♦ Capital: Kabul.
♦ Currency: Afghan afghani.
11th session of India – Czech Republic Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation held in Prague
On 22nd and 23rd October 2018, the 11th session of India – Czech Republic Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) was held at Prague, Czech Republic.
i. The Indian delegation was led by Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, C. R. Chaudhary.
ii. The Czech Republic delegation was led by Miss Marta Nováková, Minister of Industry & Trade of Czech Republic.
iii. C. R. Chaudhary met with Mr. Martin Tlapa, Deputy Minister, Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic. They discussed issues like direct flight, long term study visa, strengthening of mutual Trade and investment relations.
iv. Technical meeting of 11th session of India-Czech Republic Joint Economic Commission was also held simultaneously at Prague.
v. A protocol was signed by C. R. Chaudhary and Ms. Marta Novakova, Minister of Trade and Industry, Czech Republic.
vi. Opening of the new Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Bengaluru was announced. Also, an Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Chennai is being set up.
vii. Czech Republic is developing a project named Czech Industrial Cluster (CIC) near Bengaluru, that will serve as a hub for Czech companies that wish to settle down in India.
International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) in Lakshadweep
On 22nd to 24th October 2018, International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018)was held at Bangaram coral Island of Lakshadweep.
i. The conference was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
ii. Theme for the conference was: “Reef for Life”. Nearly 150 delegates from India and other countries participated.
iii. The conference was organized by: Department of Environment and Forest, Union Territory of Lakshadweep Administrationwith technical support of Zoological Survey of India and in association with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, IUCN, ENVIS, following the declaration of 2018 as 3rd decadal International year of Reefs.
iv. Administrator of Lakshadweep Farooq Khan announced that an International Atoll Research Centre, will be set up in Lakshadweep soon, with world class infrastructure for scientific research on corals.
♦ Capital – Kavaratti
♦ Administrator – Farooq Khan
BANKING & FINANCE
Six-member Overseeing Committee (OC) set up to resolve stressed assets
The Overseeing Committee (OC) that is formed up under the inter-creditor agreement (ICA) for resolution of stressed assets will have 6 members.
i. The members of OC include: Janki Ballabh (former Chairman, State Bank of India), MBN Rao (former Chairman & Managing Director, Canara Bank), M Damodaran (former Chairman, SEBI) and HR Khan (former Deputy Governor, RBI).
ii. OC will also include a senior Tata Group executive from power sector and a Bombay High Court Judge.
iii. OC is set up under the administration of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). It will approve resolution plans for stressed assets submitted by lead lenders.
iv. The Sunil Mehta (Non-Executive Chairman of Punjab National Bank) Committee on restructuring stressed assets recommended OC for all corporate borrowers that have taken loans for Rs 50 crore or more under consortium lending/multiple banking arrangements.
v. OC will address concerns among top bankers that their decisions related to resolution plans could be questioned by the 4Cs: Courts, CVC (Central Vigilance Commission), CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General).
“Khushi”: AI powered customer service app launched by PNB Metlife
On October 24, 2018, Life Insurer PNB Metlife launched AI powered customer service app called ‘Khushi’.
i. It has been designed by PNB Metlife’s innovation centre- Lumer Lab in Singapore.
ii. It is designed to be a one-stop shop for insurance related information anytime, anywhere.
iii. It will provide interaction with the customers via text and speech.
iv. It can also work as branch locator and can arrange a call with the customer representatives on request.
v. Over all it will work as a customer assistant and will use minimum bandwidth.
♦ MD & CEO: Ashish Srivastava.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
‘AI in Healthcare for Radiology, Ultrasound and Oncology’: Philips launches first start-up programme for AI in healthcare
On 23rd October 2018, Philips selected 19 start-up companies for its first global start-up collaboration programme named ‘AI in Healthcare for Radiology, Ultrasound and Oncology’.
i. The programme will be held for 12 weeks and it will focus on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.
ii. It will offer 19 AI start-up companies access to Philips’ health technology expertise and its ecosystem of knowledge partners.
iii. The programme will focus on the application of AI-based clinical decision support tools like image interpretation, analysis and integration and workflow tools like intelligent treatment plans for radiology, ultrasound and oncology.
iv. The programme will be conducted at Philips’ innovation hubs in Bengaluru, Cambridge (US), Eindhoven (the Netherlands) and Shanghai (China).
About Philips Innovation Campus, India:
♦ CEO – Srinivas Prasad
♦ Location -Bangalore
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be awarded the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize
The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is conferred this award in recognition of his efforts to improve international cooperation, global economic growth, Human Development of people of India, economic growth in the world’s fastest growing large economy and development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.
ii. He was chosen from more than 1300 nominators from across the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the 14th recipient of this award.
iii. He has accepted the award. The award will be presented by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at a mutually convenient time.
About Seoul Peace Prize:
♦ Established – 1990
♦ Purpose – to commemorate the success of 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, South Korea.
♦ Awarded – biennially to individuals who have contributed to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations and to world peace.
Invest India wins UN award for excellence in promoting investments in sustainable development
On 22nd October 2018, Invest India, India’s investment promotion body, won the UN Award for excellence in promoting investments in sustainable development.
i. The award was presented by Armenian President Armen Sarkissian to Deepak Bagla, CEO of Invest India, at the World Investment Forum, Geneva.
ii. The event was attended by over 6,000 participants. It was organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
iii. Other winners of the award were: Bahrain Economic Development Board and the Lesotho National Development Corp.
iv. Invest India received the award for excellence in servicing and supporting a major global wind turbines company to set up a blade manufacturing plant in India and committing to train local staff and produce 1 gigawatt of renewable energy.
About Invest India:
♦ CEO – Deepak Bagla
♦ Location – New Delhi
♦ A non-profit venture under Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Alok Kumar Verma & Rakesh Asthana divested of their roles as Director and Special Director of CBI; M Nageshwar Rao appointed as Interim Director of CBI
On 24th October 2018, Alok Kumar Verma, Director of CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and Rakesh Asthana, Special Director of CBI were divested of their roles.
i. The Government of India has divested the roles of Alok Kumar Verma and Rakesh Asthana, following allegations of corruption by senior functionaries of CBI one against another. A Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) probe is pending on both of them.
ii. Alok Kumar Verma was appointed as 27th Director of CBI in January 2017. He is a 1979 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
iii. Rakesh Asthana is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre. He was appointed as the special director of the CBI in October 2017.
iv. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of M. Nageshwar Rao as Interim Director of CBI with immediate effect.
vi. M. Nageshwar Rao is an Indian Police Service Officer (IPS). He is currently working as Joint Director of CBI.
About CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation):
♦ Type – premier investigating agency of India
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
“Main Nahin Hum” Portal and App launched
On 24th October 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “Main Nahin Hum” Portal and App.
i. The “Main Nahin Hum” portal works on the theme “Self4Society”. It will act as a single platform to help IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society.
ii. It would enhance collaboration towards the service of the weaker sections of society, through technology.
iii. After the launch, Prime Minister interacted with IT and electronic manufacturing professionals from nearly 100 locations across India, through video conference, in a townhall style format.
Theatre veteran Na. Muthuswamy dies aged 82
On 24th October 2018, popular theatre personality Na. Muthuswamy, passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
i. He was 82 years old. He founded the avant-garde theatre group ‘Koothu-p-pattarai’ in 1977.
ii. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1999 and the Padma Shri in 2012.