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National updates

National updates


Key Updates: August 2019


  1. Which state has been ranked first at the India Child Well-Being Index (index prepared by NGOs World Vision India and IFMR LEAD)? - Kerala


  1. What is the name of school education portal launched by Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank? - Shagun


  1. On which day, Article 370 was scrapped from Jammu and Kashmir by the government of India? - 5th August 2019


  1. What is ‘Sabka Viswas’ scheme related to? - to settle pending indirect tax disputes (legacy service tax and central excise cases)


  1. Which state has been ranked first in Composite Water Management Index 2.0 released by NITI Aayog for reference year 2017-18?- Gujarat


  1. Sadbhawana Diwas is celebrated every year on 20th August to commemorate the birth anniversary of which former Prime Minister? Rajiv Gandhi


  1. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has announced the creation of which post in its Independence Day Speech? - Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)


  1. What was the theme of 12th India Security summit held in New Delhi? - Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy 


  1. Who is appointed as chairperson of Prevention of Money Laundering Act Appellate Tribunal? - Judge Sunil Gaur 


  1. Who has become the first female officer to be appointed as Flight Commander in Indian Air Force? - Shalija Dhami


  1. Which state government has recently launched its flagship universal health insurance scheme, Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana? - Punjab


  1. Which products have got GI ( Geographical Indication ) tags recently? - Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei ( from Mizoram ) and Tirur Betel leaf ( from Kerala)


  1. Who has been appointed as first woman president of Indian National Science Academy, which has its headquarters in New Delhi? - Chandrima Shaha


  1. Which country has recently awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance’? - Bahrain


  1. Which journalist won the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019? - Ravish Kumar


  1. Which nation has conferred Indian President Ram Nath Kovind with National Order of Merit? - Guinea


  1. Which programme was launched by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level in schools? - NISHTHA, the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (The programme was launched at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi on August 21, 2019)


  1. What is the objective of 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela in Leh, recently inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh? - to showcase crops and grains suitable for growing in high altitude areas


  1. What is the name of app launched by  Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal for Integrated Online Junction for School Education - Shagun (The app will provide all the details about the education system in the country as well as detailed information about schools with a feedback procedure structured for the parents)


  1. Who has been reappointed as the Chairman for CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) for a year? - Pramod Chandra Mody 


Key Updates: July 2019


  1. Who has been appointed as Director General of DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) by PM Narendra Modi? - Arun Kumar

  2. Who has been appointed as chairman of Public Accounts Committee (PAC)? - Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

  3. Which is the First Indian state to have its State Water Policy? - Meghalaya

  4. What is India’s rank on the 2019 Global Innovation Index, in which Switzerland is at top rank? - 52nd rank

  5. Which state recorded highest number of tigers on the All India Tiger Estimation 2018? - Madhya Pradesh (as per data released on International Tiger Day - July 29) 

  6. India has signed Rs.1,500 crore deal to acquire R-27 air-to-air missiles from which country? - Russia

  7. Who has been elected as the speaker of 17th Lok Sabha ? - Om Birla

  8. Who has been appointed as the new chief of RAW ?- Samant Goel

  9. Who has been appointed as the new chief of Intelligence Bureau ? - Arvind Kumar

  10. Jal Shakti Abhiyaan campaign is related to - Water Conservation and Water Security

  11. The Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) is slated to be launched by which union ministry? - Ministry of Earth Sciences (It is five-year, Rs 8000-crore plan to explore the deepest recesses of the ocean)

  12. On which date, National Broadcasting day (NBD) is celebrated in India? - July 23

  13. Who is the head of the high-powered committee of Chief Ministers (CMs) to transform Indian agriculture? - Devendra Fadnavis

  14. Who has been elected new chairman of Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN)? - Manoj  Kumar Nambiar

  15. When was Chandrayaan 2 launched ? - July 22, 2019 (Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1.Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission was launched from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre on 22 July 2019 to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III).

  16. What is the theme of 2019 edition of World Youth Skills Day (WYSD)? - Learning to learn for life and work

  17. Which Indian politician has authored the book titled ‘The New Delhi Conspiracy’? - Meenakshi Lekhi

  18. Who has become the first IPS Officer to complete ‘Seventh Summit’ Challenge?- Aparna Kumar

  19. What is the theme of the 13th National Statistics Day (NSD-2019)? - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  20. Who is the newly appointed chairperson of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA)? - Badri Narain Sharma

Key Updates: June 2019


  • National Statistics Day: National Statistics Day is observed every year on 29 June to popularize use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitize public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies. 2019 is the 13th edition of National Statistics Day. The theme for 2019 National Statistics Day is Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Amish Tripathi appointed as the Director of the Nehru Centre, London: Indian Author Amish Tripathi is appointed as the director of Nehru Centre in London. He has some best-sellers under his name, like the Secret of the Nagas and Sita – Warrior of Mithila. The Nehru Centre founded in 1992 under the direction of Gopalkrishna Gandhi.


  • Samant Goel is the new RAW chief, Arvind Kumar appointed as IB director: Narendra Modi Government has appointed senior IPS officer Samant Goel as the new Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief on June 26, 2019. In another move, the government has appointed senior IPS officer Arvind Kumar as the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).


  • Haryana launches “Jal Hai Jeevan Hai” scheme: The scheme is launched by Haryana Govt to encourage farmers to adopt crop diversification and sow crops consuming less water like Maize, Arhar etc., instead of water consuming crops such as rice so as to save water. An amount Rs. 2000 per acre will be credited into the accounts of farmers in two phases i.e. Rs. 200/- at the time of registration and the balance Rs. 1800/- after verification of sowing data within two months. Under the scheme, free of cost hybrid seeds would also be provided to the farmers. State government will directly procure the diversified crops produced.


  • Kerala topped NITI Aayog’s health index 2019 ranking: Kerala has topped the ranking state in terms of overall health performance as per the report submitted by NITI Aayog on health index. This is the second edition of its type. It measured the annual and incremental performances of states and UTs. Next to Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have emerged as the second and third best performers, respectively, on health parameters. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were ranked the two worst performers, respectively.


  • Rachna Khaira of The Tribune News Service won the 2019 Journalist of the Year: Rachna Khaira of The Tribune News Service won the Red Ink Award for Excellence in Indian Journalism Journalist of the Year 2019. She is currently working for The Huffington Post. The award is for her expose during 2018 on the functioning of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and its Aadhaar data cache. The investigation that was conducted by Rachna Khaira confirmed that personal data of millions of citizens were at risk of being hacked/traded for a price. The journalists ran a series of sting operations regarding the issue and it helped to raise serious doubts over government claims that Aadhaar data stored on UIDAI servers were safe and secure. The Red Ink awards are a set of annual awards which were instituted by The Mumbai Press Club in 2010.


  • 20 Years of Kargil war: Indian Air Force (IAF) is commemorating 20 years of Kargil War on June 24, 2019. To mark this day IAF turned Gwalior air base into a war theatre with reforming some of the landmark air operations in 1999. IAF used Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft to reenact Tiger Hill attack. IAF aircraft and explosives were blown up on a ‘model hill’ to recreate the crucial events of the war. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was the chief guest for the event. The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.


  • Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan appointed as the second Chief Justice of Telangana High Court: Raghvendra Singh Chauhan has been appointed as the second Chief Justice of Telangana High Court in Hyderabad.  He succeeded Chief Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan in April 2019.


  • Indian Navy launches Operation Sankalp in the Gulf of Oman: Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Their main aim is to reassure safe passage of Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area. INS Chennai and INS Sunayna deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations. Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) of Indian Navy watch over the movement of ships in Gulf region.


  • Justice V Ramasubramanian appointed as the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court: Justice V Ramasubramanian appointed as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He succeeded Chief Justice Surya Kant. The ceremony was administered by Governor Acharya Devvrat. He served as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court. He joined as permanent Judge from November 9, 2009.


  • India’s first solar cruise vessel will debut in Kerala: India’s first solar-powered ferry in 2016, Kerala is gearing up for the launch of the country’s premier solar-powered cruise boat. The initiative comes from the State Water Transport Department (SWTD), whose solar ferry Aditya in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route proved to be a success. The Rs 3-crore cruise boat can carry 100 passengers is under construction at a boatyard in Aroor and comes from the stable of the builders of Aditya. It will be rolled out in Alappuzha in December.


  • Fifth International Yoga Day being celebrated on June 21: The International Day of Yoga is being observed across the world on June 21st. Yoga has gained widespread popularly ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the establishment of the International Day on June 21, 2015. The International Day of Yoga 2019 theme is “Climate Change”.


  • Om Birla has been elected as the 17th Lok Sabha Speaker: Om Birla has been unanimously elected as the 17th Lok Sabha Speaker with the opposition Congress coming out in support of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s candidate. Birla will replace Sumitra Mahajan. He is a two-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) from Rajasthan. Birla is also a member of the Standing Committee on Energy in Parliament, member of the Committee on Petitions and Consultative Committee for Ministry of social justice and empowerment.


  • Himachal Pradesh makes GPS device must for trekkers: The Himachal Pradesh government made it mandatory for trekkers to carry a GPS device to tackle any exigency. A decision in this regard was taken at a review meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary Shrikant Baldi on preparedness for the monsoon.


  • Ritu Kridhal and Vanitha to head India’s 2nd Moon mission Chandrayaan-2: For the first time, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has appointed two women scientists – Ritu Karidhal (as mission director) and Muthayya Vanitha(as project director) – to head India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2. ISRO Chairman K Sivan announced that close to 30 per cent of the ISRO team working on Chandrayaan 2 are women. Ritu Karidhal was referred to as the ‘Rocket Woman of India’. She became famous with the launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission where she was the deputy operations director. Muthayya Vanitha received the Best Woman Scientist award in 2006 by the Astronomical Society of India.


  • Cabinet approved the setting up of Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO): The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO), a new agency, which will develop sophisticated weapon systems. The approval aimed to enhance the capabilities of the armed forces to fight wars in space. DSRO will be entrusted with the task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies. It would provide the research and development support to the Defence Space Agency (DSA). The aim of setting up of DSA is to help the country fight wars in space.


  • BJP MP Virendra Kumar to be pro-tem speaker of Lok Sabha: Virendra Kumar, a seven-time MP from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh chosen as the pro tem speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha. He was MoS in the ministry of women and child development. He was also in the minority affairs ministry in the previous government.


  • Thawarchand Gehlot replaces Arun Jaitley as Leader of Rajya Sabha: Thawarchand Gehlot, the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, has been appointed as the new leader of Rajya Sabha. The position was previously occupied by senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley under the first Narendra Modi-led government. However, Jaitley opted out of being a part of Modi Government’s second term citing health reasons. Gehlot has almost four decades of political and legislative experience. He has served as a member of the Madhya Pradesh state assembly several times and also as a member of Lok Sabha.


  • India partners with  Portugal to set up a national maritime heritage museum at Lothal: India has partnered with Portugal to set up a national maritime heritage museum at Lothal in Gujarat. The Indian Navy will be the stakeholder in the project and the Portuguese Navy will assist as they have experience in it by administering the maritime museum in Lisbon, Portugal. India is to follow a similar model of the maritime museum. A maritime museum is a museum that specializes in display the objects relating to ships and travel on large bodies of water. A sub category of maritime museums are naval museums, which focus on navies and the military use of the sea.


  • Union Cabinet approves the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi Scheme: Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi Scheme. It will cost over Rs. 87,000 crore a year to the exchequer. The government has announced its decision to extend the benefit of Rs. 6,000 per year under the PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding. The scheme was launched on 24th February 2019 in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments were paid to several farmers.


  • Karnataka government has launched Pink Sarathi vehicles for women’s safety: Karnataka government has launched ‘Pink Sarathi’ vehicles that are procured by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). It was launched by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy. BMTC will use the vehicles to attend to the grievances of women passengers in city buses. BMTC had received Rs.56.07 crore from the Centre under the Nirbhaya scheme. It has also taken up various measures for the safety of women passengers, including the launch of Pink Sarathi vehicles. The BMTC now has a fleet of 25 Pink Sarathi vehicles fitted with GPS and public announcement systems. The safety of female passengers will be a priority. It will also take on other tasks such as manning traffic movement at bus bays making sure that drivers stop at the designated stops, taking action against bus crew when they fail to close the door once the vehicle is in motion,  and ensuring  that men are  not occupying   seats reserved for women


  • Justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel Takes Oath as New CJI of Delhi High Court: Justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel sworn in as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Lt Governor Anil Baijal administered the oath of office to Justice Patel at a function held at Raj Niwas. Earlier, Justice Patel was posted at the Jharkhand High Court. Supreme Court Collegium recommended his name for the appointment as Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Justice Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel is an Indian Judge. He is Chief Justice of Delhi High Court. He is former Acting Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court and Judge of Gujarat High Court.


  • India Test Fires Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missile from Chandipur in Odisha: Supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. It is the World’s fastest supersonic cruise missile with a high rate of accuracy. The missile can be fired from land, sea, and air. The missile with a strike range of around 290 km is a strategic asset for India which acts as a deterrence against any possible threats from China and Pakistan. BrahMos is a joint venture between the DRDO and the NPOM (a Russian military technology firm) of Russia. BrahMos operationalized in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force.


  • Bihar government has announced to waive off 50% of the total taxes levied on e-rickshaws: The Bihar State government has announced to waive off 50% of the total taxes levied on the purchase and running of battery-propelled e-rickshaws. The announcement was made by the deputy chief minister of state Sushil Kumar Modi. The move is to combat air pollution. 3 cities of Bihar namely Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur are placed among the most 20 polluted cities of the world in a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).


  • Tripura to host 10th National Science Film Festival of India in 2020: The 10th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFI) organized in Tripura in January and February 2020. The NSF debuted in Chennai eight years ago in 2011. It covered almost all regions of the country since then including Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Guwahati and Mohali. This the second time the show will be held in a Northeastern city. National Science Film Festival and Competition (Rashtriya Vigyan Chalchitra Mela) is organised by Vigyan Prasar.


  • ‘Cyclone Man’  Mrutyunjay Mohapatra appointed as chief of Indian Meteorological Department: Renowned scientist and cyclone warning specialist Mrutyunjay Mohapatra was appointed as the chief of India Meteorological Department (IMD). Mohapatra and his team at the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD have earned praise for their accurate forecasts on cyclones, its wind-speed and likely impact on life and property including during the recent cyclone ‘Fani’, when their timely warnings enabled the authorities to ensure early evacuation of millions of people.


  • Satish Chandra Verma appointed as Advocate General of Chhattisgarh: Government of Chhattisgarh appointment Satish Chandra Verma as its new Advocate General (AG). He was previously working as Additional Advocate General. He replaced Kanak Tiwari.


  • Rajasthan government increases financial aid given to girls under ‘Aapki Beti’ scheme: Rajasthan government increased the financial assistance given to school girls under the ‘Aapki Beti’ scheme and ex-gratia payment to the families of polling personnel who die during election duty. Under the Aapki Beti scheme, girls living under the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and whose mother or father or both have died to get annual financial assistance in the state.


  • Telangana Government enhanced Rythu Bandhu scheme: Telangana government released Rs 6,900 crore for the Rythu Bandhu scheme for Kharif season. The government enhanced the Rythu Bandhu scheme Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre and decided to release funds in the view of ensuing Kharif season. Rythu Bandhu scheme also Farmers’ Investment Support Scheme (FISS) is a welfare program to support farmer’s investment for two crops a year by the Government of Telangana. This is a first direct farmer investment support scheme in India. 


  • Ajit Doval re-appointed as National Security Adviser: India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been re-appointed to the post for another five years. Ajit Doval has also been given Cabinet Rank for contribution to national security. NSA Ajit Doval’s quality of work in his previous term has earned him the Cabinet rank in Modi Government 2.0, as per government sources. Ajit Doval, the 74-year-old previously served as the Director of India’s Intelligence Bureau(IB). Prior to that, he had served as the head of its operation wing for over a decade. He took up the role as India’s National Security Adviser in 2014 after retirement from IB.


  • National Science Film Festival of India to be held in Agartala: 10th National Science Film Festival of India (NSFFl) will be in Agartala, Tripura in January-February 2020. This is for the second time the event will be held in a North-Eastern city. It will be jointly hosted by Vigyan Prasar of the Central Government, State Government, and Tripura Central University. Minimum 10 countries will participate in the upcoming event and it will include the films produced by UNICEF, UNESCO and filmmakers from different countries. In NSFFI, the maximum length of the films will be 40 minutes and Vigyan Prasar will raise awareness on science and environment to the society through cinemas. NSFFI was first held in Chennai in 2011.  


Key Updates: May 2019


  • "Hawa  Aane De" song launched by Environment Ministry: World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on 5th June every year. Union Ministry of Environment launched the song 'Hawa Aane De' to spread awareness about Air pollution. This year the theme of Environment Day is Air Pollution.  


  • Pema Khandu sworn-in as Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister: Pema Khandu, who pitchforked into politics after the death of his father in a helicopter crash eight years ago, was sworn in as the first Chief Minister of an elected Bharatiya Janata Party government in Arunachal Pradesh.


  • Naveen Patnaik sworn in as Odisha Chief Minister: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as Chief Minister of Odisha for the fifth consecutive term in Bhubaneswar.


  • Playwright and journalist Annie Zaidi wins Nine Dots Prize: Indian playwright and journalist Annie Zaidi was announced the winner of the 2019 Nine Dots Prize, with a financial award and a book-deal to develop her essay ‘Bread, Cement Cactus’.


  • P S Golay sworn in as new CM of Sikkim: Prem Singh Tamang also known as P.S. Golay sworn in as the Chief Minister of Sikkim. Mr. Golay’s party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), won 17 of the 32 Assembly seats.


  • Acharya Balkrishna receives UNSDG influential people in Healthcare Award: Patanjali Ayurved Limited's Managing Director, Acharya Balkrishna received the 'UNSDG 10 Most Influential People in Healthcare Award' on behalf of Patanjali Group of Institutions in Geneva.


  • ISRO's new commercial arm new space india officially inaugurated: NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was officially inaugurated in Bengaluru. NSIL's main objective is to scale up industry participation in Indian space programmes.


  • ISRO launches radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B: India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) successfully launched RISAT-2B satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre(SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. This was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 36th launch from the First Launch pad.


  • IAF successfully test fires aerial version of BrahMos missile: The Indian Air Force has successfully test fired the aerial version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from a Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. The 2.5 tonne air-to-surface missile has a range of around 300 km, and it will significantly enhance the IAF's combat capability.


  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) celebrates its 10th Annual Day: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) celebrated its 10th Annual Day on 20th May, 2019 which marks the notification of the substantive enforcement provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.


  • Anti-Terrorism Day: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities and higher educational institutions to observe May 21 as Anti-Terrorism day to wean away the youth from terrorism.


  • Government plans introducing artificial intelligence system in MCA 21 portal: Corporate affairs ministry plans to introduce artificial intelligence system in the MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make compliance process easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done round-the-clock on autopilot basis. MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for dissemination of information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and investors.


  • Government implements Project “SPARROW-CBIC” for officers: Online writing of APARs in SPARROW for IRS (C&CE) Officers has already been implemented w.e.f. 2016-17. As part of CBIC’s constant endeavor for better HR management, online writing of APARs in SPARROW has now been launched for over 46,000 Group B & C officers of CBIC, working in its various formations all across the country.


  • Mumbai-based Aarohi Pandit became World’s 1st woman to cross Atlantic Ocean solo in LSA: Captain Aarohi Pandit, a 23-year-old pilot from Mumbai became the world's first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA), thrilling her family, friends and aviation circles. She achieved the feat around midnight of (May 13-14) when she landed her tiny aircraft at Iqaluit Airport in Canada, after a gruelling 3,000 km long flight, under adverse and extreme weather conditions following take-off from Wick, Scotland (United Kingdom), with brief stopovers in Greenland and Iceland.


  • National Technology Day: India celebrated National Technology Day on 11th May acts as a reminder of India’s technological advancements. The theme was “Science for People and People for Science”. On this day, India successfully tested Shakti-I nuclear missile at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. The operation was led by late President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and was called Operation Shakti or Pokhran-II.


  • Islamic State for first time claims ‘Province’ in India: Islamic State (IS) has claimed for the first time that it has established a “province” in India, after a clash between militants and security forces in the Kashmir region killed a militant with alleged ties to the group.


  • Indian Air Force intercepts Antonov-12 cargo plane trespassing into Indian territory from Pakistan: In a major development, the Indian Air Force intercepted an Antonov-12 cargo plane which entered from an unauthorised air route from Pakistani side and forced it to land at the Jaipur air base.


  • Indian Army to commemorate 2019 as 'Year of next of kin': The Indian Army is commemorating this year as the ‘Year of Next of Kin’ and plans to reach out to the next of kin of battle casualties, ex-servicemen and serving soldiers to inform them of entitled financial benefits, welfare schemes and help resolve pension related problems.


  • India’s Jagjit Pavadia re-elected International Narcotics Control Board (INCB): India's Jagjit Pavadia was re-elected to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) for another term, posting the highest number of votes at 44. Pavadia, in her 60s, has been a member of the INCB since 2015 and her current term is set to expire in 2020.


  • Basava Jayanti: Basava Jayanthi is the birthday of Basavanna, observed on May 7 2019. He can be best described as a 12th-century philosopher, statesman, kannada poet in the Shiva-focussed Bhakti movement and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka.


  • Microsoft unveils open source software 'Election Guard' for secure voting: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced "Election Guard" -- a free open-source software development kit (SDK). "Election Guard" will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organisations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted.


  • KVIC distributes over 1 lakh Bee-Boxes under ‘Honey Mission’: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has distributed more than one lakh bee-boxes among farmers and unemployed youths across the country in less than two years under its 'Honey Mission' initiative.


  • Justice PR Ramachandra Menon sworn in as Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh: Justice PR Ramachandra Menon was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court. He was earlier a judge in the Kerala High Court.


  • Zero Pendency Courts Project: The ‘Zero Pendency Courts Project’ is a one-of-its-kind project in India aimed to study the life cycle of cases to come up with optimal timelines for cases.


  • Mumbai's last captive white tiger named Bajirao dies: Bajirao, the last captive white tiger at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali, died at the age of 18. Bajirao was born at the SGNP in 2001 to Renuka and Sidharth. He was the last surviving white tiger in the park.


  • Nileena M. S authored Article ‘Coalgate 2.0’ wins ACJ award for Investigative Journalism: The article titled ‘Coalgate 2.0' authored by Nileena M S and published in The Caravan magazine has won the ACJ Award for Investigative Journalism, 2018.


  • Former ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar conferred France’s Highest Civilian Honour: A S Kiran Kumar, the former chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation, was conferred France’s highest civilian award – Chevalier of Order of the Legion of Honour – for his contribution to India-France space cooperation.


  • Vice president releases a Postage Stamp to commemorate 750th Birth Anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desika: The Vice President, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu released a postage stamp to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan in New Delhi.


  • Government and IIT-Delhi signs MoU to set up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies: To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have come together to bring the best of science and technology to implement waste management in India. Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt of India, Prof K. Vijay Raghavan and Director, IIT Delhi, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao signed a Memorandum of Understanding in New Delhi for setting up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies for implementation of sustainable, scientific and technological solutions for waste management, through validation and deployment of available technologies for transformation of waste to wealth.


  • 14th Edition of Annual Sino-Indian Border Trade opens at Nathu La: The 14th edition of the annual Sino-Indian border trade opened at Nathu La in Sikkim. The bilateral border trade between the two countries is organised four days a week for six months, between May 1 and November 30, every year.


Key Updates: April 2019


  • Ayushman Bharat Diwas: As part of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, Ayushman Bharat Diwas was celebrated across the country on April 30th. During the event, information regarding Ayushman Bharat Scheme was provided to people during health camps organised in rural areas.


  • ‘Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook’ released: The “Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook” authored by journalist Saba Naqvi is released. The political analyst runs through the history of political alliances in the country taking into account their performance on economic and social policies, among others, while juxtaposing them with that of single-party rule.


  • ICMR launches 'MERA India' to eliminate malaria by 2030: The Indian Council of Medical Research has launched the 'Malaria Elimination Research Alliance (MERA) India' - a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control - in order to prioritise, plan and scale up research to eliminate the disease from India by 2030.


  • Rana Dasgupta bags Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019: The second edition of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize was awarded to author Rana Dasgupta for his 2010 novel "Solo", a tale of estrangement and the ultimate failure of material existence.


  • MOU signed between Ministry of AYUSH and CSIR: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.


  • Indian Navy chief launches new guided missile destroyer “Imphal”: Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has launched the third ship of Project 15B, a guided missile destroyer Imphal, at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, Mumbai.


  • Medicine Labels in Regional Language: In order to counter fake, sub-standard and expired drugs, the Union Health Ministry has said Hindi and regional language will be used in the tendering process. “Drug names and expiry date during tendering will be in Hindi/regional language too for — polio drop and Iron tablets — procured for children under the government programmes.


  • India successfully test fires sub-sonic cruise missile “Nirbhay”: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully test fired 1,000 km strike range sub-sonic cruise missile named “Nirbhay” from Odisha coast.


  • Dr. A K Singh honoured with 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr A K Singh was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award during 4th APJ Abdul Kalam Innovation Conclave at Chandigarh University Mohali, for his rich contribution in the field of life sciences, aerospace and aeronautics.


  • SpaceX to Launch NASA's Asteroid-Smashing Mission: NASA is testing a new way to defend Earth from asteroid strikes. The agency has awarded SpaceX a contract as part of a plan to knock an asteroid off course. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is a spacecraft designed to determine whether an asteroid can be redirected with a high-speed collision. SpaceX will launch the spacecraft toward an asteroid named Didymos about 4 million miles from Earth. It then will ram into the asteroid’s small moon at about 13,000 miles per hour.


  • Himachal Pradesh Celebrates 72nd State Day: The 72nd Himachal Day was celebrated with gaiety and fervour in the state on 15th April. Governor Acharya Devvrat unfurled the national flag at an event on the historic Ridge maidan in Shimla to mark the day.


  • Two schemes of West Bengal, Utkarsh Bangla and Sabooj Sathi receive international recognition: Two schemes of the West Bengal government for skill development and distribution of bi-cycles to students have won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards of the United Nations. The schemes are "Utkarsh Bangla" and "Sabooj Sathi". The "Utkarsh Bangla" project aims at creating a pool of skilled candidates who are industry ready, while under the "Sabooj Sathi" scheme, bi-cycles are distributed to students between class IX and XII studying in government run and government aided schools and madrasas of the state.


  • Jamia Millia Islamia gets its first woman vice-chancellor: Professor Najma Akhtar of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University.


  • Alice G. Vaidyan awarded the Freedom of the City of London: Alice G. Vaidyan, the Chairman and Managing Director of the General Insurance Corporation (GIC) of India (GIC Re), has been awarded with the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ in recognition of her work to promote insurance ties between India and the UK.


  • India to be the Guest of Honour country at 2019 ADIBF: India will be the Guest of Honour country at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, ADIBF 2019. The fair aims to highlight the UAE’s rich heritage, showcasing its authenticity and modernity, as well as its cultural and literary output.


  • India’s population grew at 1.2% average annual rate between 2010 and 2019: India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion, more than double the annual growth rate of China.


  • National Safe Motherhood Day: National Safe Motherhood Day is celebrated every year on April 11 to raise awareness about the proper healthcare of women and maternity facilities to pregnant and lactating women. The theme of 2019 NSMD is "Midwives for Mothers".


  • Arappor Iyakkam launched the Arappor App: Arappor Iyakkam has released the Arappor App, which is available free on Google Play store, offering details of all candidates contesting in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.


  • Varanasi ranked third on the WHOs list of 15 most polluted cities: The air quality in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO's list of 15 most polluted cities and the situation is "deteriorating" as its MP has focused on beautification and infrastructure.


  • Namami Gange gets global recognition at world summit: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was awarded the distinction of “Public Water Agency of the Year” by Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit in London.


  • Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman Awards: A Scholar of Pali, Dr. Gyanaditya Shakya, has been honoured with the Presidential Award of Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman 2019 with prize money of INR 1,00,000 and a certificate. He accepts award from Vice- President of India M Venkaiah Naidu.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind launched Veer Parivar App: President Ram Nath Kovind has launched 'CRPF veer pariwar mobile' application to help the families of martyrs. President Kovind paid tribute to martyred CRPF personnel at National Police Memorial on the occasion of CRPF Valour Day 2019.


  • Nagaland observes 75th anniversary of Battle of Kohima: The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Kohima was observed by the Nagaland government with representatives from the UK and Japan speaking on the theme of “Remembrance, Reconciliation and Rebirth”.


  • National Maritime Day: National Maritime Day is celebrated on April 5 every year to illustrate the awareness in supporting intercontinental commerce and the global economy as the most well-organized, safe and sound, environmentally responsive approach of transporting goods from one corner to another corner of the world. The theme of celebrations is "Indian Ocean-An Ocean of opportunity".


  • Tata Steel wins 'Global Slag Company of the Year' award: Tata Steel has been named as the 'Global Slag Company of the Year' at the 14th Global Slag Conference and Exhibition 2019. The award demonstrates global recognition of Tata Steels commitment towards sustainability & circular economy principles.


  • Chennai Central renamed as Puratchi Thalaivar: The Tamil Nadu government has renamed Chennai Central railway station as Puratchi Thalaivar Dr M G Ramachandran Central Railway Station. The Railway Board of the ministry of railways has given clearance to change the name on the condition that there should not be any inaugural event in view of the election code of conduct.


  • BIS and IIT-Delhi to Collaborate for Standardisation and Conformity Assessment: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi to collaborate in the field of standardisation and conformity assessment.


  • PM Modi awarded UAE's highest civilian honor Zayed medal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded Zayed Medal, the United Arab Emirates' highest civilian award, as a mark of appreciation for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two nations.


  • Guwahati Railway station first in India to get ISO certification: The Guwahati Railway Station has become the first ever railway station in the Indian Railways to get an ISO certification from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for “providing passenger amenities in a clean and green environment.”


  • Prevention of Blindness Week - 1st to 7th April 2019: Prevention of Blindness Week 2019 will be observed from 1st of April to 7th of April. The day will be observed by spreading awareness on the precautions which needs to be taken to prevent blindness. It will also focus on detection, cure and treatment of eye diseases. In schools and villages, people and children will be educated about the importance of eye hygiene.


  • Indian Army sets record  by building longest suspension bridge 'Maitri on Indus: The Indian Army has made a personal record after it completed construction of the longest suspension bridge over Indus river in Leh within a span of just 40 days. The 260-feet long cable-suspension bridge, named 'Maitri Bridge' was built by combat engineers of the 'Sahas aur Yogyata' regiment of the Indian Army's 'Fire and Fury Corps'.


  • Cafe Scientifique to be launched in Kerala: Café Scientifique is a grassroots public science initiative based on the French Café Philosophique model. Café Scientifique, the first such initiative in the State, envisages to bring science back into popular culture by demystifying scientific research for the public and empowering non-scientists to comfortably assess science and technology issues.


  • Utkal Divas 2019: Every year on April 1, Odisha celebrates Utkal Divas to mark the day the state was born as a separate entity on linguistic basis. This year marks the 83rd Utkal Dibasa, or the foundation day of Odisha. Odisha was born as a separate state on April 1, 1936, on linguistic basis.


  • Phayeng Village becomes India’s first carbon-positive settlement: The village in Manipur has drawn attention of all after a forest, developed by its households, has been tagged as India’s first carbon-positive settlement.


Key Updates: March 2019


  • Tashigang in Himachal Pradesh became world's highest polling station: Tashigang, a Himachal Pradesh village at an altitude of 15,256 feet has now become the highest polling station in the world. Situated about 29 km from the India-China border, the polling station covers two villages, Tashigang and Gate.


  • Delhi govt school teacher Manu Gulati honoured with Martha Farrell Award 2019: Manu Gulati, a Delhi government school teacher, has been conferred the Martha Farrell award 2019 for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Gulati has been instrumental in helping young girls in receiving formal school education.


  • GAIL, BHEL sign pact for development of solar power projects: State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has signed an agreement with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for cooperation in the development of solar power projects. GAIL shall be the project developer and BHEL shall act as an engineering, procurement, construction and project management contractor.


  • Vijayawada Railway Station gets the Gold Rating for being Clean & Eco-Friendly: Vijayawada railway station, one of the busiest railway junctions in the country, has received the Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council.


  • Cabinet approves additional posts for NCLAT for speedier case disposal: The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of additional posts in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) for speedy disposal of cases and cleared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South Korea on startup cooperation while approving another one with Indonesia to curb illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs.


  • India becomes the 4th country to test Anti-satellite missile system: India conducted its first anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test, successfully destroying a low earth orbit satellite in space by using a missile which covered a distance of 300 km to engage the target. New Delhi, however, emphasised that the test did not alter its commitment against weaponization of outer space. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the test, called "Mission Shakti".


  • Ministry of Commerce launched blockchain based e-marketplace for coffee: The commerce ministry has launched a blockchain-based coffee e-marketplace to help farmers integrate with markets so that they can realise fair prices for the commodity. The blockchain will also reduce the number of layers between coffee growers and buyers and help farmers double their income.


  • IIT-Delhi develops AI-based system to detect malaria: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi has developed an Artificial Intelligence-based electronic hardware system to detect malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasite, and cervical cancer in milliseconds.


  • Delhi Development Authority launched the housing scheme: The Delhi Development Authority launched 18,000 flats by the end of this month. The DDA flats for sale in 2019 are in Dwarka, Kalkaji, Vasant Kunj, Rohini sector 34 and in South Delhi. Most of the flats launched under this first round of allotment of DDA housing scheme 2019 will be one-bedroom sets for economically weaker sections (EWS).


  • Niti Aayog, ABB organise workshop on AI for MSMEs: Niti Aayog and ABB India had organised a workshop to discuss regulatory and financial concerns relating to adoption of Artificial Intelligence and automation technology by MSMEs. The workshop on manufacturing in the age of Artificial Intelligence was held here where industry and policymakers discussed various aspects of AI and automation adoption.


  • CBSE launches app Shiksha Vani: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched its podcast app, “Shiksha Vani” for all the concerned stakeholders.


  • India's deepest shaft cave discovered in Meghalaya: Barely a year after the discovery of the world’s longest sandstone cave Krem Puri in Mawsynram region of Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district, now a cave with the deepest shaft in the country has been discovered.


  • SAIL launches smart garbage bins made of steel: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has launched smart garbage bins made of stainless steel. These smart garbage bins will be able to send a signal to the garbage collection vehicle about the “fill-up” position of the bin, aiding better cleaning and lower human intervention.


  • IND-INDO CORPAT 2019: The Fifth Foreign Office Consultations between India and Thailand was held in Bangkok to provide an opportunity to review the entire range of bilateral relations, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, cultural, tourism, people-to-people ties. India reaffirmed its commitment to working closely with Thailand in these areas.


  • India ranks 140th in the happiest country in the world 2019 list: Indians are not as happy in 2019 as they were in 2018 and the country figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on this year's UN World Happiness Report released which is topped by Finland for the second year in a row.


  • Pinaki Chandra Ghose appointed as India's first Lokpal: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose was appointed the country’s first Lokpal — the national anti-corruption ombudsman. This comes five years after the Lokpal Act received the President’s nod on January 1, 2014. Advertising Former Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) chief Archana Ramasundaram, ex-Maharashtra Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Mahender Singh and Indrajeet Prasad Gautam have been appointed as non-judicial members of Lokpal.


  • INCOIS and French scientists discover new sea level oscillation: Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) researchers, in collaboration with scientists from France, have discovered the existence of a ‘synchronous oscillation’ of sea level across the entire Tropical Indian Ocean with a time period of 30 to 80 days during winter months of December to April.


  • IIPHG launches Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior app: The Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHG) has launched a mobile application – “Conquer Exam, Be a Warrior” in collaboration with National Mental Health Program, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat.


  • Assam launched initiatives to educate voter: Folk song competitions, quiz programmes and appeals by celebrities are some of the initiatives being undertaken by the election office in Assam for attracting women, first-time voters, people with physical disabilities and senior citizens to cast their votes.


  • Indian writer Raghu Karnad won Windham Campbell Prize: Journalist and writer Raghu Karnad became the second Indian to win the Windham-Campbell Prize; after Jerry Pinto who won the prize in 2016 for his novel 'Em And the Big Hoom'. Karnad won the prestigious award for his debut book 'The Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War' in the non-fiction category which was held in London.


  • President Kovind presents Gallantry Awards: President Ram Nath Kovind conferred three Kirti Chakras and fifteen Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty at a solemn ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. President also conferred fifteen Param Vishisht Seva Medals, one Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and twenty-five Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service of an exceptional order.


  • Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan to get Yashwantrao Chavan national award: Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan has been chosen for the 'Yashwantrao Chavan National Award 2018' for his contribution towards economic development.


  • DRDO Develops Range of Combat Casualty Drugs: With 90 percent of gravely wounded security personnel succumbing to injuries within a few hours, DRDO's medical laboratory has come up with a range of 'combat casualty drugs' that can extend the golden hour till the trooper is shifted to hospital.


  • Vastradan Campaign Sets Guinness World Record: A campaign by a member of the erstwhile royal family of Udaipur has received over 3 lakh items of clothing, creating a Guinness world record for the largest collection of clothes for donation. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, a descendant of Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap, received the certificate from an official of the Guinness Book of World Records-UK at Udaipur.


  • Tibetan activists in India mark National Uprising Day: Hundreds of Tibetan activists staged a protest march to mark the 60th anniversary of their National Uprising Day. They marched from Khan Market to the office of United Nations India in Lodhi Road and submitted a memorandum.


  • India Successfully Test-Fires Guided Rocket System Pinaka: India's defence lab DRDO successfully tested-fired the indigenously developed guided rocket system ''Pinaka'' at Pokhran desert in Rajasthan.


  • Jammu and Kashmir govt to give monthly stipend and jobs for those who Shun militancy: In a bid to encourage youths hailing from Jammu and Kashmir to shun militancy, the state administration may offer them a monthly stipend of Rs 6,000 and jobs. The proposal has been included in a new reintegration policy draft that is under the consideration of the Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik.


  • Hardeep Puri launched the Indian Urban Observatory and Video wall: Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory and Video Wall in New Delhi. It will showcase the insights gained from the Observatory and the various Missions/ offices with the idea to proactively engage with citizens/ visitors in spreading awareness about the various initiatives of the Ministry.


  • IIT Kharagpur Students Devise Solution To Detect Fake Notes: Students from IIT Kharagpur have devised unique solutions ranging from detecting counterfeit currency to nuclear radiation tracking through wearable sensors at the recently concluded nationwide competition, Smart India Hackathon 2019.


  • Hasmukh Adhia Appointed as Chancellor of Gujarat Central University: Former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia was appointed as the chancellor of Gujarat Central University. The appointment was approved by President Ram Nath Kovind who is a visitor of the university.


  • President presents Nari Shakti awards on International Women's Day: President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Nari Shakti awards, 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, in New Delhi on the occasion of International Women's Day. Forty One individuals and three institutions were given the award. The awardees include acid attack victim and social activist Pragya Prasun, Rani Mistri Sunita Devi, first woman marine pilot of India Reshma Nilofer Naha, woman commando trainer Dr Seema Rao, spiritual and motivational speaker Brahma Kumari Shivani and wildlife conservationist Sonia Jabbar.


  • ACKO General Insurance awarded the coveted Golden Peacock Award 2019: ACKO General Insurance a new-age digital insurance company, was awarded the coveted Golden Peacock Innovative Product Award - 2019, for their contextual micro insurance product -“Ola Ride Insurance”.


  • BIAC India won the Women on a Mission award: Brandix India Apparel City (BIAC) India’s partner P. Doraswamy was conferred with “The Women on A Mission Award”. It was presented to him by philanthropist Sudha Narayana Murthy at the women’s summit organized under “he for she” category in Bengaluru.


  • Unlocking National Energy Efficiency Potential: Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has developed a national strategy document “UNNATEE” for accelerating energy efficiency in India. This exercise is first of its kind initiative clearly delineating the energy efficiency targets for the respective demand sectors up to the state levels. The document describes a framework and implementation strategy to establish a clear linkage between energy supply-demand scenarios and energy efficiency opportunities. It offers a comprehensive roadmap to address India’s environmental and climate change mitigation action through energy efficiency measures.


  • Uttarakhand launches Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana: Uttarakhand Government has launched Mukhyamantri Anchal Amrit Yojana to provide milk to children at Anganwadi Centres. This scheme has been launched as part of state government drive to fight malnutrition in the state. There are as many as 18,000 children in Uttarakhand who suffer from malnutrition.


  • Marayur jaggery finally gets Geographical Indication tag: The Marayur jaggery has got the geographical indication (GI) tag, making it safe for consumption while rejuvenating the traditional way of production and ensuring a safe market in future.


  • West Bengal Chief minister unveiled Yuvashree Arpan Scheme: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled a new scheme to encourage entrepreneurship among youths. Youths who have passed out of ITI or other polytechnic institutes will be eligible to get financial support from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) department.


  • Govt approves National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage. The National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage will finalise and implement strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes (PMP) for electric vehicles, their components and batteries.


  • Delhi government unveils four fully-automated driving test centres: Moving towards full automation of driving tests in the national capital, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot has launched four fully automated centres for the purpose. The fully automated driving test centres are located at Mayur Vihar- I, Vishwas Nagar, Sarai Kale Khan and Shakur Basti. These centres were developed by the Delhi government's transport department in collaboration with the Maruti Suzuki India Limited.


  • Justice S A Bobde nominated as Executive Chairman of NALSA: Supreme Court judge Justice S A Bobde was nominated as Executive Chairman of the National Legal Service Authority. National Legal Services Authority of India is mandated to provide free legal services to the needy. It also organises Lok Adalats for speedy resolution of civil cases.


  • Govt appoints P V Ramesh as the director-general of the National Archives of India: The government has appointed the former's top executive P V Ramesh as the director-general of the National Archives of India.


  • Govt Launches National Common Mobility Card: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a payment card which can be used to pay transport charges across the country called the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC). The National Common Mobility Card is a bank-issued debit, credit or prepaid card which can be used for payments for all transport facilities including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail.


  • Prayagraj Kumbh Mela 2019 makes it to the Guinness World Records: World's largest congregation of pilgrims, the Kumbh Mela, has made the most out of its massive resources. The Kumbh Mela 2019 established three Guinness World Records in 48 hours with over 18,000 participants. The records include the largest sanitation drive, largest hand painting theme and the largest parade of buses.


  • Azadi Ke Diwane museum inaugurated at Red Fort: Union Minister Mahesh Sharma has inaugurated “Azadi Ke Diwane” museum, dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle, on the Red Fort premises and said it would inspire the younger generation.


  • India Signs Agreement with Russia on Chakra 3 Attack Submarine: India had sealed a USD 3 billion deal with Russia for leasing of a nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years.


  • India to collaborate with four nations to protect Asian rhinos: India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian rhinos, including the Greater one-horned rhinoceros found in the Indian subcontinent. The five rhino range nations signed a declaration “The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019” for the conservation and protection of the species.


  • Karnataka Govt launches the Jal Amrutha scheme: Karnataka Government has launched Jala Amrutha, a community-driven movement (scheme) for water conservation in the state. It will be major water conservation scheme that will focus on drought-proofing measures, including protection and rejuvenation of water bodies. It aims to make people aware of importance of conserving water and prompt them to come up with ways to avoid wastage of water.


  • Geological Survey of India sets up 22 GPS stations across country: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has launched 22 permanent global positioning system (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities.


  • Abhinandan Varthaman to be awarded Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar: Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be the first recipient of the “Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar” instituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti.


  • PM lays foundation stone for AK-47 rifle Manufacturing Unit in Amethi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit of AK-203 rifles in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi. Modi addressed his first rally in Amethi, which is represented by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, since coming to power in 2014.


  • CISF creates new Guinness world record in single line bicycle parade: CISF had created history by achieving a Guinness world record feat in “single line bicycle parade” to mark the 50 years of the paramilitary force. The record was created at the Yamuna Expressway in Noida when personnel of the central force rode a total of 1,327 bicycles "non-stop with uniform distance between bicycles in a single line.


  • OSDMA bags SKOCH Award: The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) has bagged the SKOCH Award, 2018 for its achievements in the field of disaster management.


  • DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy conferred American missile award: The globally-renowned American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has conferred DRDO Chief G Satheesh Reddy with the prestigious Missile Systems Award 2019 for his leadership role in the Indian missile programmes.


  • New Delhi is world's most polluted capital city in 2018: India’s national capital region (NCR) emerged as the most polluted region in the world in 2018, a new pollution report says, with Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.


  • Govt approves Centre for Disability Sports in Gwalior: The union cabinet has approved the setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports in Gwalior, a move which is likely to benefit para-sports in the country. Setting up of the Centre will develop a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society.


Key Updates: February 2019


  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs launches MSP for Minor Forest Produces: Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs launched the ambitious scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Van Dhan, the scheme for Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce Scheme (MFP) and Development of Value Chain of MFPs at a National Workshop organized by TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs.


  • Govt launches '2nd Edition of ISL Dictionary' for Hearing Impaired Persons: Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment launched the “2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary” brought out by ‘Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC). The first edition of the dictionary with 3000 words was launched on 23rd March 2018. With the second edition, dictionary includes total 6000 words under the categories of academic, legal, medical, technical and everyday terms.


  • PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates National War Memorial in New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated a new National War Memorial, situated in the India Gate complex in New Delhi, to the nation. He lit the flame positioned at the bottom of the stone obelisk to pay homage to the soldiers who died in the line of duty.


  • Bihar becomes the 1st state to get dog squad to check liquor smuggling: Bihar has become the first state in the country to have raised a special dog squad to detect liquor consignment. As many as 20 liquor-tracker dogs which were imparted training for nine months in Hyderabad have been deployed in nine police ranges in the state. Notably, Bihar had banned liquor in the state in 2016.


  • JSPL won the FICCI CSR Award for Women Empowerment: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) has been honoured with the prestigious “FICCI CSR Award” for Women Empowerment. JSPL director and the co-chairperson of the JSPL Foundation, Shallu Jindal received the award from Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu.


  • UP launches 1st phase of “Connect Delhi”: The first phase of route rationalisation under an initiative “Connect Delhi”, which seeks to effectively link residents of the rural belt with State-run transport infrastructure, was launched by the government’s Transport Department.


  • Odisha govt launches boat ambulance service for remote areas: The Odisha government has launched a boat ambulance service to ferry patients to hospitals in remote areas. The total project cost Rs 5.40 crore.


  • Karnataka launches new digital platform for Agro land conversion: Karnataka has launched a service that allows agricultural landowners to have their land converted for non-agricultural use in a hassle-free, online system.


  • Divya Karnad became First Indian Woman to receive Future of Nature Award: Dr Divya Karnad has become the second Indian and the first woman to receive the “Global Future of Nature Award” for her work on marine conservation.


  • PM Narendra Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize for 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The award was presented to him by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at a grand ceremony.


  • ONGC's Rajahmundry unit bags environmental excellence award: ONGC Rajahmundry has bagged the Energy and Environment Foundation Global Clean Awards-2019 for sustained efforts in pursuit of Swachh Bharat Mission as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


  • Javadekar launches 'Operation Digital Board' to boost quality education: Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has launched Operation Digital Board to leverage technology in order to boost quality education in the country. The Operation Digital Board (ODB) aims at converting a classroom into a digital classroom and in addition to availability of e-resources at any time and at any place to students.


  • Cabinet approves National Policy on Electronics 2019: The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The Policy envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing - (ESDM) by encouraging and driving capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.


  • CCEA approves launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.


  • Cabinet approved the ordinance to curb Ponzi schemes: The Union Cabinet has approved promulgating an ordinance with regard to the banning of unregulated deposit schemes bill, to protect gullible investors from Ponzi schemes.


  • Sushma Swaraj Conferred With “Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit” Award in Spain: The Spain government has conferred External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with a prestigious award “Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit”. The award was conferred in recognition of India’s support in evacuating 71 Spanish nationals during April 2015 Nepal earthquake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured as many as 22,000 people.


  • Union Home Minister to launch three women safety initiatives: Union Home Ministry along with Women and Child Development Ministry has jointly launched three significant initiatives to promote the safety of women in their living, working and the public spaces. The initiatives include Emergency Response Support System, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal.


  • President Kovind presents Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony: President Ram Nath Kovind has presented the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 to Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh) and Ram Vanji Sutar.


  • India, Argentina Sign MoU for Co-Operation in Nuclear Energy: India and Argentina inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation in the sector of nuclear energy.


  • PM Modi launches India’s first semi-high speed train-Vande Bharat Express: PM Modi launched India's first semi-high speed train. The express, initially called Train 18, which was rechristened to Vande Bharat Express will run between Delhi and Varanasi. Along with the finest amenities, Vande Bharat Express has also partnered with restaurant chain Pind Balluchi and The Landmark Hotel for onboard meals.


  • Banned poem on Jallianwala massacre translated into English: A poem on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by acclaimed Punjabi writer Nanak Singh which was banned by the British after its publication in 1920 has now been translated into English. Singh was present at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919.


  • Prime Minister addresses CREDAI YouthCon-2019: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has addressed the CREDAI YouthCon-2019, at Talkatora Stadium, in New Delhi. The theme for this YouthCon is “Next Generation”. He also visited the exhibition organized by Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India, CREDAI.


  • PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stones for 6 developmental projects in Haryana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated and laid foundation stones of six development projects, including National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar and Shri Krishna Ayush University, Kurukshetra in Haryana.


  • Cabinet approves Introduction of Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019, for creating more accountability and offering more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.


  • Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Scheme: Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had launched a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector in the interim Budget 2019. In PMSYM, the individual has to contribute a fixed monthly amount till age 60, while an equal amount is put into the account by the government and thereafter from age 60, he or she will start getting pension for lifetime.


  • Ruchira Kamboj appointed as Indian envoy to Bhutan: Senior diplomat Ruchira Kamboj has been appointed as India's next ambassador to Bhutan. Kamboj, a 1987-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is presently India's High Commissioner to South Africa.


  • Indian Historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam wins $1 million Dan David Prize: Indian historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam has won the Dan David Prize in recognition of his contributions to macro history. Subrahmanyam is a professor of history at the University of California in Los Angeles.


  • 1st LAWASIA Human Rights Conference 2019: The Bar Association of India is privileged to host the inaugural LAWASIA Human Rights Conference on 9th and 10th February, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. LAWASIA is a regional association of lawyers, judges, jurists and legal organizations, which advocates interests and concerns of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific. The Conference will focus on topics ranging from “Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights” to “Climate Change, Water Conflicts and Human Rights”.


  • Cabinet approves establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for cows: The Union Cabinet approved setting up of a commission to frame a policy for protection and development of cows and help boost income of small farmers. The Cabinet has approved the proposal for the establishment of 'Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog' for conservation, protection, and development of cows and their progeny, Union Law & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meet.


  • Government launches Shehri Samridhi Utsav to extend outreach of DAY-NULM: The Union Ministry of Housing & City Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Shehri Samridhi Utsav, an initiative that aims to extend the outreach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (Day-NULM) to the most vulnerable.


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


  • New building of AP high court was inaugurated by CJI Ranjan Gogoi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has inaugurated the interim Andhra Pradesh High Court complex at Amaravati. The ground plus two-storied building constructed at Nelapadu in Amaravati capital region has 16 court halls including 12 on the first floor. The building has 2.70 lakh square feet office space and has been constructed at a cost of Rs 150 crores.


  • Manipuri filmmaker returns Padma Shri: Filmmaker Aribam Shyam Sharma returned his Padma Shri award in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in India. The Manipuri filmmaker had received the award in 2006.


  • Kumbh Mela released special Postage Stamp: Union Minister of State for Railways and Communication Mr Manoj Sinha released a special postage stamp of the Indian Postal Department on Kumbh Mela. Its cost is five rupees.


  • Tamil Nadu won Swasth Bharat Yatra award for best performance: Among all the States that participated in the Swasth Bharat Yatra, Tamil Nadu has been awarded the “Best State”. Madurai and Sivakasi were also recognised as the “Best Performing Cities”.


Key Updates: January 2019


  • Tamil Nadu bags Swasth Bharat Yatra award for “best performance”: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had organized the Swasth Bharat Yatra in commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Tamil Nadu has received the Swasth Bharat Yatra award under ‘The Best Performing State’ category in an event organised at New Delhi.


  • PM Modi inaugurates National Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial in Gujarat’s Dandi commemorating the historic Dandi march undertaken by the Mahatma in 1930 to protest the salt tax imposed by the British. The memorial highlights the significant protest called Salt Satyagraha by the Father of the Nation and the 80 marchers who accompanied him on the march. The memorial is part of the yearlong celebrations initiated by the government on 2 October 2018 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.


  • Beating the Retreat Ceremony in Delhi: Beating Retreat ceremony is celebrated on January 29 every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands.


  • World’s longest expressway to come up in uttar Pradesh: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet met at Prayagraj, the venue of the Kumbh and cleared the decks to construct what is being touted as the world's longest highway - the Ganga Expressway between Meerut and Prayagraj.


  • Indian Railway's fastest Train 18 renamed “Vande Bharat Express”: India’s first indigenously built engineless semi-high speed train, Train 18, has been named Vande Bharat Express, Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced. The train is set to run between Delhi and Varanasi at a maximum speed of 160 kmph.


  • Employment Scheme launched in Madhya Pradesh: The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath has launched the scheme “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana” for youth from the economically weaker sections in urban areas. It aims to provide employment to the youth belonging to the weaker section of the society mainly in urban areas of the state.


  • Mandovi bridge named “Atal Setu” inaugurated in Goa: A 5.1-km long cable-stayed "Atal Setu" on the Mandovi river in Goa, a third such bridge to connect the state capital with North Goa, was opened to public by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.


  • South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to be Chief Guest at Republic day Parade: The chief guest of Republic Day Parade 2019 is Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of India's old ally South Africa. Mr Ramaphosa is the second President of South Africa after President Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day.


  • Ministry of Defence launches a mobile app “RDP India 2019”: Ministry of Defence had launched a mobile app 'RDP India 2019' on the Republic Day, with the intent of making available the highlights of the Republic Day event, not only to the spectators at Rajpath, but also to the general public all over the world.


  • President Ram Nath Kovind declares 2019 Bharat Ratna Awards: President Ram Nath Kovind has announced the country's highest civilian award-- the Bharat Ratna-- to be given to former president Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) and musician Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously).


  • National Voters Day 2019: National Voters Day is celebrated on 25th January every year to spread awareness about the necessity of voting and to encourage young generation towards the voting rights. The theme for this year is “No Voter to be left behind”.


  • DRDO successfully conducts the test Anti-Radiation Missile NGARM: India successfully tested an indigenous new-generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM). The missile boasts of a capability to destroy radar and surveillance targets and was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter. The strike range of the missile is about 100 km and is one of the first air-to-ground missile to be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


  • National Tourism Day: India's National Tourism Day is celebrated on 25th January every year to raise awareness of the importance of tourism for the country’s economy. India’s rich history and cultural and geographical diversity make the country one of the most popular tourist destinations among foreign travelers. It offers various forms of tourism, including cultural, heritage, cruise, nature, educational, business, sports, rural, medical, and eco-tourism.


  • National girl child day: National girl child day is celebrated every year on 24th January as a national observance day for the girl child. It is celebrated to increase the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. The theme for this year is “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”.


  • Indian Institute of Technology develops an android app “Roshini”: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has developed an app “Roshini” to help the Visually Impaired recognise currency notes. The app can recognise both old and new notes and gives audio information as to which note you are holding in your hands.


  • Naval Air Base “INS Kohassa” commission: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba on commissioned INS Kohassa into the Indian Navy at the Shibpur Naval Air Station in North Andaman Island. Reena Lanba, president of Naval Wives Welfare Association, unveiled the ship's name plaque.


  • PM Modi inaugurates Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Subhash Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort to mark the leader's 122nd birth anniversary. The museum on Bose and the Indian National Army showcases various artefacts related to Subhash Chandra Bose and INA. The artefacts include wooden chair and sword used by the leader, medals, badges, uniforms and other artefacts related to the INA.


  • Cabinet approves amendment to article 280: The Union Cabinet approved a constitutional amendment to increase the powers of the autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the Northeast. The Finance Commission will be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to them.


  • Three Indian expats from the UAE were conferred with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award: Three Indian expats from the UAE are amongst those who won the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award the highest honour conferred on Indian diaspora. President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the award to Girish Pant, Surender Singh Kandhari and Dr Zulekha Daud and other awardees at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention in Varanasi.


  • Union cabinet approved MoC between India and Japan in the field of food processing sector: The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between India and Japan in the field of food processing sector. It will promote understanding of best practices in food processing in the two countries and will help in improving the food processing sector as well as improved market access, leading to equity and inclusiveness.


  • Bridge over River Ravi inaugurated in Jammu & Kashmir: Union minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated a bridge over the Ravi river in Jammu & Kashmir will reduce the distance between Pathankot in Punjab and Kathua in Jammu from current 45 km to only 8 km. The bridge built at a cost of Rs 159 crore will be thrown open to public by highways.


  • Rashtriya Bal Puraskar: President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2019 at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Award was given in two categories- Bal Shakti Puraskar and Bal Kalyan Puraskar. The Bal Shakti Puraskar was given to 26 children including one joint award for their exceptional achievements in the field of innovation, scholastic, sports, arts and culture, social service and bravery. Two individuals and three institutions were awarded the Bal Kalyan Puraskar. Six-year-old Eiha Dixit, youngest among the all award recipients, alone planted 500 saplings.


  • PM Modi launches Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.


  • Telangana to set up “Save Tiger Protection Force”: The Telangana government has decided to form a “State Tiger Protection Force” to save the Big Cat population in the State. The 112-member-armed STPF will be headed by an Assistant Conservator of Forests to protect tiger population in Amarabad and Kawal Tiger Reserves.


  • Vice-President Presents AICTE ECI ISTE Chhatra Vishwakarma and SAGY awards: The Vice-President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu presented the 2nd Chhatra Vishwakarma Awards to students and their mentors and Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) Awards to institutions at an event organized by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) at New Delhi.


  • Arunachal government declares Pakke Hornbill Fest as ‘state festival’: The government of Arunachal Pradesh has declared the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF)–the state’s only conservation festival, as a “state festival”. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu made the announcement while addressing the valedictory ceremony of the fourth edition of the festival at Seijosa in East Kameng district.


  • Aparna Kumar becomes first woman IPS officer to reach South Pole: Aparna Kumar has become the first woman IPS DIG and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officer to successfully complete the South Pole expedition, is now aiming to set her foot on the North Pole in April, to mark the achievement of conquering both the poles.


  • PM Narendra Modi launches National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi, has inaugurated the country’s first National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai. This state-of-the-art museum, built at a cost of over Rs 140 crore, aims to take its visitors through an absorbing journey of over a century of Indian cinema with the help of visuals, graphics, artefacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions.


  • IIT-Hyderabad to launch full-fledged bachelor's programme in Artificial Intelligence: The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) is all set to launch a full-fledged BTech program in Artificial Intelligence (AI) from the ensuing academic year 2019-2020. The institute claims to be the first Indian educational institution to offer such a full-fledged BTech program in AI and likely the third institute globally - after Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both of which are in the US.


  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana achieves milestone of one crore beneficiaries: Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the flagship scheme of the Central Government for employment generation has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries. Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12% (towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both), for a period of 3 years in respect of new employees who have been registered with the EPFO on or after 1st April 2016, with salary up to Rs. 15,000 per month.


  • DD Science and India Science launched: The Department of Science and Technology and Doordarshan has launched two new science communication platforms “DD Science and India Science”. DD Science is a joint initiative of Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and public broadcaster, Doordarshan.


  • India to unveil its first Air Cargo Policy: The policy document released during the two-day Global Aviation Summit. The Centre unveiled its much-awaited national air cargo policy, which seeks to make India among the top five air freight markets by 2025, besides creating air transport shipment hubs at all major airports over the next six years.


  • India’s Satyarup becomes world’s youngest mountaineer to climb 7 peaks, 7 volcanic summits: Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta became the youngest man to climb the seven highest peaks and volcanic summits across all continents after conquering Antartica’s highest point Mount Sidley.


  • Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA): The Odisha Cabinet approved the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme amounting to Rs 10,000 crore to accelerate agricultural prosperity in the State and to reduce poverty.


  • Gujarat becomes 1st state to implement 10% quota to Economically Weaker sections: President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Modi Government's bill to grant 10% quota in government jobs and education for economically weaker sections (EWS) irrespective of religion and caste, Gujarat became the first state to implement the new quota.


  • Sikkim launches “One Family, One Job” scheme: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar has launched the “One Family, One Job” scheme that envisions jobs to a member of every family which does not have a government job in the state.


  • Prime Minister releases a new commemorative coin on Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced a commemorative coin on Guru Gobind Singh to mark the birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru.


  • Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav: Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav (SAKSHAM) is an annual flagship event, which creates awareness among people on the need of oil and gas conservation for the future and the methods to do it. SAKSHAM vans will travel to various districts to spread awareness about energy conservation.


  • Government launches National Clean Air Programme: The government launched National Clean Air Programme, a time-bound national level strategy to tackle increasing air pollution. The main aim of the programme would be 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024.


  • Cabinet approves MoU on Maritime issues between India and Denmark: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Maritime issues between India and Denmark. The MoU is proposed to be signed during the upcoming visit of the WIP from Denmark to India.


  • Women and Child Development Ministry launches “#www: WebWonderWomen” Campaign: The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, has launched an online campaign, “#www: WebWonderWomen”. The Campaign aims to discover and celebrate the exceptional achievements of women, who have been driving positive agenda of social change via social media.


  • Global Aviation Summit to be held in Mumbai: International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) has predicted a "100 percent increase in global air travel by 2030", the first-ever two-day Global Aviation Summit-2019 with the theme of “Flying For All”.


  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” Wins Golden Globe for Best Film Drama: The biopic of legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody has won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama. The film was directed by Bryan Singer and features Rami Malek as Mercury.


  • Government launches nationwide cleanliness survey “Swachh Survekshan 2019”: The Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri kick-started the fourth edition of what the government claims to be the world’s largest cleanliness survey – Swachh Survekshan, to assess cities of India on their swachh quotient.


  • Arunachal Pradesh’s East Siang District achieves 100% electrification: Arunachal Pradesh, East Siang District has achieved 100 percent electrification under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana- Saubhagya Scheme.


  • Cabinet approves restructuring of National Health Agency as "National Health Authority": Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the restructuring of existing National Health Agency as "National Health Authority" for better implementation of Pradhan Mantri - Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).


Key Updates: December 2018


  • PM Modi renames 3 Andaman & Nicobar islands to Netaji Dweep: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced renaming of three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The Ross Island was renamed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.


  • PM releases commemorative stamp on Maharaja Suheldev: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released the commemorative stamp on Maharaja Suheldev and described him as a brave warrior. “Maharaja Suheldev is among those bravehearts who had struggled for the honour of “Maa Bharti”.


  • Delhi Police becomes first police force in India to digitise all malkhanas: The Delhi Police has become the first police force in the country to digitise all malkhanas, rooms for keeping seized arms and ammunition, across every police station in the state. Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik inaugurated the e-malkhana project of the remaining 10 districts at Chinmaya Mission.


  • NHRC launches toll free helpline 14433 facility to file complaint through CSC: The NHRC has launched a toll-free number “14433” to file complaints through Common Service Centre (CSC).


  • Telangana State cancer institute achieves two world records: The State-run MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Centre here has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for organising the largest men's Health Awareness programme on prostate cancer on a single day.


  • Indian Railways declares 40% fare concession for transgender senior citizens: The Indian Railways have decided to grant 40 per cent concession to Transgender (T) Senior Citizens of age 60 years and above in their passenger fare, will be available from New Year's Day.


  • Government banned Khalistan Liberation Force: The government has banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for its involvement in several killings, bombings and other terror activities during its violent campaign for "secession of Punjab". The decision to ban the outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) comes in the backdrop of agencies unearthing several KLF modules in recent months which has led to apprehensions that it is attempting to revive militancy in the state.


  • GHMC receives Swachh Survekshan award 2018: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was awarded Best Capital City in the Solid Waste Management in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 rankings. Apart from Hyderabad, Siddipet was selected as the Cleanest City in South Zone (with less than one lakh population). Boduppal bagged the Best City in Citizens Feedback (less than one lakh population) in South Zone and Peerzadiguda was awarded the Best City in Innovation and Best Practices in South Zone (less than one lakh population).


  • NITI Aayog to Release Second Delta Ranking under the Aspirational Districts Programme: NITI Aayog has released the Second Delta Ranking of the Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP). The rankings were released by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. Virudhunagar District of Tamil Nadu was ranked as the most improved district in the Rankings. The ranking represented the incremental progress made by districts between June 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018.


  • Railways develops AI-powered robot to check for faults in trains: Railways have developed an Artificial Intelligence-powered robot named USTAAD, which examines parts of the coach in real time with an HD camera and transmits them over Wi-Fi.


  • Divya Patidar Joshi crowned Mrs. India 2018 title: Madhya Pradesh's Divya Patidar Joshi has crowned “Mrs. India My Identity Beauty Pageant 2018” finale was held in Delhi. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh’s Ratlam, Divya won the crown of Mrs India this year from among 24 promising contestants.


  • Prime Minister Modi inaugurates Bogibeel Bridge: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge in Bogibeel over the Brahmaputra river in Assam. The inauguration of the bridge coincided with the birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, under whose government the work for the bridge started in 2002.


  • National Consumers Day: National Consumers Day is observed on December 24th. The objective is to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make every consumer more aware of their rights and responsibilities. The theme of this year is “Timely Disposal of Consumer Complaints”.


  • Sangeeta Verma joins Competition Commission of India (CCI): Central government has appointed Sangeeta Verma as the member of CCI for a period of 5 years from the date of assumption of charge of the post.


  • Raksha Mantri Sitharaman Inaugurates Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR): Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Honourable Raksha Mantri, launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram. The IFC for Indian Ocean Region has the primary objective of jointly monitoring the vast Indian Ocean Region.


  • “Hand-in-Hand” counter-terrorism military exercises concluded: Indian and Chinese troops has concluded the seventh round of counter-terrorism military exercises in China's Chengdu city during which over 100-strong contingents from both nations conducted the drills while living and dining together to build up a sense of camaraderie.


  • National Mathematics Day: The National Mathematics Day is celebrated on December 22 every year across the nation. This was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 February 2012 at Madras University, during the inaugural ceremony of the celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan (22 Dec 1887- 26 Apr 1920).


  • 10 Central Agencies authorised by Government to snoop on “any” Computer System: Ten central agencies have been authorised by the Centre to intercept information from any computer, a move that set off a political storm Friday with the opposition accusing the government of trying to create a "surveillance state".


  • Mamata Banerjee awarded the Skoch CM of the Year Award: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award for her contribution in the overall development of the state and emerging as the best chief minister in the country.


  • ISRO Launched GSAT 7A Satellite from Sriharikota: ISRO has launched its military communication satellite GSAT-7A from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The satellite GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian communication satellite weighing 2,250 kg. The satellite is expected to add a new space-based dimension to the way Indian Air Force interlinks, operates and communicates with its aircraft as they fly and with command centres on ground.


  • IAF tested flight using blended Bio-Jet fuel: The IAF flew a military aircraft with blended bio-jet fuel for the very first time in India. A Russian-origin AN-32 transport plane was flight-tested, with the 10 per cent bio-jet blended ATF (aviation turbine fuel) made from Jatropha oil, in a sortie flown from the Chandigarh airbase.


  • LPG scheme to cover all poor people: The Union Cabinet has approved the expansion of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to provide deposit-free LPG connections to all poor households. So far, the scheme targeted the poor and underprivileged so listed in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census, 2011.


  • Uday Shankar becomes the Vice president of the FICCI for the year 2018-19: Uday Shankar has been elected as Vice President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for 2018-19 at the conclusion of the 91st AGM of the apex industry chamber.


  • A 220-MW unit of NPCIL kaiga Atomic Power Station has created a world record: A 220-MW unit of Nuclear Power Corporation of India's Kaiga Atomic Power Station has created a world record for continuous operation for 941 days, state-run BHEL, which supplied equipment for the unit.


  • INDRA NAVY maritime exercise between India and Russia kicks off Visakhapatnam Coast: The 9th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal. The main aim of exercise INDRA NAVY-16 is to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope of the exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions in harbor phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea.


  • Kerala becomes first state to have 4 international airports with inauguration of Airport at Kannur: Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan have inaugurated the Kannur international airport making Kerala the only state in the country to have four international airports. The other three international airports are Cochin International Airport, Trivandrum International Airport and Calicut International Airport.


  • Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district. The district, consisting of four circles - Mechuka, Pidi, Tato and Monigong - was carved out of West Siang district.


  • Armed Forces Flag Day: The Indian Armed Forces Flag Day is observed every year on December 7. It is a day dedicated to collection of funds from people for the welfare of the Armed Forces personnel.


  • CCEA approves strategic sale of Rural Electrification Corporation: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its “In Principle” approval for strategic sale of the Government of India’s existing 52.63% of total paid up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC) along with transfer of management control.


  • Union Cabinet approves implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam on river Ravi in Punjab: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project, Punjab on river Ravi.


  • ISRO launched India’s heaviest satellite “GSAT-11” from French Guyana: GSAT-11, the heaviest satellite built by Isro (Indian Space Research Organization), was launched successfully according to a tweet by the European State Agency.


  • Centre includes Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand under PRASAD Scheme: The Centre has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under a central scheme to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country.


  • 47th Navy Day Observed: Indian Navy Day is observed on a yearly basis on 4th December to celebrate magnificence, achievements and function of naval drive of the country.


  • Indian Navy to conduct TROPEX Exercise to test robustness of coastal security apparatus: The Indian Navy will conduct a large-scale coastal defence exercise next month to test the robustness of the entire coastal security apparatus. As portion of TROPEX, Indian Navy will conduct substantial-scale coastal defence exercising “Exercise Sea Vigil”. This training will require all stakeholders across mainland and island territories. It will see participation of all operational ships, submarines and aircraft as effectively as units of Indian coast guards (ICG), Indian Military and Indian Air Power (IAF).


  • 24th COP Conference of Parties to UNFCCC begins Katowice, Poland: COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP takes decisions which are necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the Convention and regularly reviews the implementation of these provisions.


  • Government forms Rajiv Kumar Committee to look at selling of OIL, ONGC fields to private companies: The government has constituted a six-member committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of state-owned ONGC and OIL to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output.


  • India to Chair Kimberley Process Certification Scheme from January 2018: The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) Plenary 2018 was held in Brussels, Belgium. EU handed over the Chairmanship of KPCS to India from 1st January, 2019. India is the founding member of KPCS and is actively involved in KP activities to ensure that almost 99% of the diamond trade in the world is conflict free. India is committed to maintain KP as an efficient and effective process in order to ensure the conflict diamond free status.


  • FSSAI launches Heart Attack Rewind Campaign to eliminate trans-fat: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched Friday a media campaign calling for the elimination of industrially produced trans-fat in the food supply. Named "Heart Attack Rewind", the 30-second public service announcement the first mass media campaign of its kind will support FSSAI’s global target of eliminating trans-fat in India by 2022, a year ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization.


  • Sunil Arora takes over as new Chief Election Commissioner of India: Shri Sunil Arora charge as the 23rd Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India succeeding Shri O.P. Rawat.


  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be chief guest at Republic Day celebrations 2019: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be chief guest at India's 70th Republic Day celebrations. Mr Ramaphosa was invited to be the chief guest by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires.


Key Updates: November 2018


  • India’s first advanced personal robot launched for kids: The alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay has recently launched India's first advanced personal robot for children called “Miko 2”. The robot can initiate and hold long conversations with kids. It can impart academic and general knowledge among children. It is powered by a proprietary emotional intelligence engine developed by emotix.


  • Donbass wins the Golden Peacock Award at IFFI 2018: Donbass’ directed by Sergei Loznitsa has won the coveted Golden Peacock Award in 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The Golden Peacock Award carries a cash prize of Rs 4 million (Rs 40 lakhs) to be shared equally between the Producer and the Director, Trophy and the citation.


  • Raksha Mantri Launches “Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti”: Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman has formally launched “Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti” which aims to provide a boost to the IPR culture in indigenous defence industry.


  • Himachal Pradesh to launch single emergency number 112: Himachal Pradesh became the first Indian state to launch a single emergency number "112" which will connect to police, fire, health and other helplines through an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) in the state.


  • Modi Govt launches “Paisa” portal for affordable credit and interest subvention access: The Modi government launched a centralised electronic platform for processing interest subvention on bank loans to beneficiaries under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), named “Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access” (Paisa). Paisa is a web platform designed and developed by Allahabad Bank, which is the nodal bank offering greater transparency and easy credit access.


  • Government launches Logo and Brochure of Logix India: Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, launched the logo and brochure of Logix India 2019 in New Delhi. It aims to provide as big initiative to improve logistics cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies for India’s world trade. It will empower successful intercontinental trade logistics and enable give economical and price-helpful circulation of products on which other professional sectors depend.


  • Professor Punyasloke Bhaduri gets Swarnajayanti Fellowship: Professor Punyasloke Bhaduri of the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata was awarded the prestigious Swarnajayanti Fellowship by the central government for 2017-18.


  • Odisha govt launches public bicycle sharing project & app: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a public bicycle sharing project and a mobile app named “Mo Cycle” to reduce traffic congestion, enhance space efficiency, and improve air quality in Bhubaneswar.


  • CM Neiphiu Rio launches Nagaland Tourist Police: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has launched the Nagaland tourist police at police headquarters in Kohima to ensure a safe and friendly environment to the tourists during Hornbill Festival.


  • Constitution Day 2018: Constitution Day or SAMVIDHAN DIVAS in India is celebrated every year on 26th of November as the constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26th of November in the year 1949 and came into force on 26th of January in 1950. Dr. Ambedkar is the Father of Constitution of India.


  • Government appoints AM Naik as Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation: M Naik has been appointed as Chairman of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Naik was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's 3rd highest civilian award in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to the economic growth of the country. He is the Group Chairman of India's biggest engineering and construction conglomerate - Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T).


  • National Milk Day: The National Milk Day (NMD) is celebrated every year on November 26 to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Verghese Kurien, who was the architect of Operation Flood, the programme which led India from being 50th in the world in terms of milk production to become the largest producer in just a couple of decades.


  • Nitish Kumar Unveils Lord Buddha's 70-Feet Statue at Rajgir in Nalanda district: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has unveiled a 70-feet tall statue of Lord Buddha at Rajgir in Nalanda district. The statue has been installed above a 16 metre radius pedestal in the middle of the lake Ghora Katora and has been made from 45,000 cubic foot pink sand stone.


  • RIMES terms Titli cyclone “rarest of rare”: The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed “Titli”, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as “rarest cyclone”.


  • Lupin unveils chatbot for patients: India’s third largest Drug maker Lupin has launched a chatbot named “ANYA”, which is a computer programme specially designed to provide medically verified information for health-related queries.


  • India, Pakistan commit to Kartarpur corridor: The Union Cabinet has approved the building and development of the Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab to the international border with Pakistan. The corridor will facilitate pilgrims from India who visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, on the banks of the Ravi River in Pakistan every year.


  • Himachal Pradesh approves to implement “Sashakt Mahila Yojna”: The Himachal Pradesh government has given its approval to implement Sashakt Mahila Yojna in the state. The aim is to empower rural women by providing them an interface for organization and socio-economic development.


  • Union HRD Minister launches 'Institution's Innovation Council: Union HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar has launched the “Institution’s Innovation Council (IIC) program with an aim to brainstorm new ideas about promoting innovation in all higher education institutions (HEIs) across the country.


  • Chandrababu Naidu launches Bhudaar web portal: Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has launched Bhuseva and Bhudaar portal which makes land records available to people with unique identification numbers just like Aadhar number. The “Bhudaar’’ is an 11-digit unique identification code assigned to each agriculture land holding and rural and urban properties in the state.


  • Government launches chatbot loaded AirSewa digital platform for air passengers: The government has launched an upgraded version of AirSewa 2.0 digital platform, which would enable air passengers to seek help of chatbots to resolve their problems and register grievances using social media.


  • Sanjay Kumar Wins the First UN Geospatial Ambassador Award: Sanjay Kumar, Founder and CEO of Geospatial Media & Communications, was conferred the 'Global Geospatial Industry Ambassador' Award by UN-GGIM (United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management) at the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress held at Deqing city in China.


  • AYUSH Ministry observes the first Naturopathy Day: The Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (Ayush) ministry celebrated the first Naturopathy Day with the aim of promoting the drug-less system of medicine to prevent diseases by altering the diet and lifestyle.


  • Ustad Amjad Ali Khan presented lifetime achievement award: One of India's greatest sarod masters, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was presented the “Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement” at the Kamani Auditorium, for his "immense contribution to the enrichment and promotion of the Indian classical music".


  • Delhi Police launches e-learning portal NIPUN for training its personnel: Delhi Police has launched an e-learning portal NIPUN to impart online training and provide up to date information to police personnel through specialised courses designed by experts in the field.


  • India’s first elephant hospital opens in Mathura: India's first specialized hospital for elephants was formally opened by Agra Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumar at Farah block's Churmura village. The unique medical centre offers wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, hydrotherapy and quarantine facilities.


  • Kerala Government launches Gau Samridhi Plus scheme for dairy farmers: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the “Gau Samridhi Plus scheme” or “Cow Samridhi Plus Scheme” to provide insurance coverage to dairy farmers at low rates in the state.


  • Two North East Circuit Projects inaugurated in Arunachal Pradesh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Two important projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India were inaugurated at PTSO Lake in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. These projects are “Development of North East Circuits: Bhalukpong- Bomdila - Tawang Project & Nafra- Seppa- Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys- Sangdupota- New Sagalee- Ziro- Yomcha Project ”.


  • Government launches Yuva Sahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme: The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has come up with a youth-friendly scheme “Yuva Sahakar-Cooperative Enterprise Support and Innovation Scheme” for attracting them to cooperative business ventures. The Central Government has been encouraging “Start-Ups” for ease of doing business, non-conventional opportunities are emerging and are being encouraged. The conducive environment is being leveraged by private and corporate sectors and ‘Hub Start-ups’ are being promoted. The newly launched scheme would encourage cooperatives to venture into new and innovative areas.


  • ISRO successfully launches communication satellite GSAT-29: ISRO's heavy-lift rocket GSLV-MkIII-D2 has successfully injected into orbit the country's latest communication satellite GSAT-29 that is intended to meet the communication needs of people in remote areas in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir.


  • Casio launches world’s first GST calculator: Casio India is introducing two new innovations MJ-120 GST and MJ-12 GST dedicated to the Indian market. This calculator is equipped to navigate the challenging environment and develop smooth functionality by easing the issues faced by Indian retailers post the introduction of GST.


  • Government launches LEAP and ARPIT programmes for higher education faculty: Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Ministry of Human Resource Development, launched two new initiatives; Leadership for Academicians Programme (LEAP) and Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT) at New Delhi. LEAP is a three-week flagship leadership development training programme. The objective is to prepare second tier academic heads who are potentially likely to assume leadership roles in the future.


  • UP cabinet approves renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj: The Uttar Pradesh government approved renaming of Faizabad as Ayodhya, Allahabad as Prayagraj. The decision was taken on the basis of a proposal submitted by the Faizabad district magistrate.


  • INSPIRE 2018 organized in New Delhi by EESL and World Bank: The three-day International Symposium to Promote Innovation & Research in Energy Efficiency (INSPIRE 2018) concluded in New Delhi. Organised on the theme of innovation, INSPIRE 2018 included the first edition of a unique challenge, Innovate To INSPIRE that was organised by EESL, in association with the World Resources Institute (WRI).


  • PM inaugurates country’s first multi-modal terminal constructed on river Ganga: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India's first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in his parliamentary constituency here and received the country's first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.


  • Public Service Broadcasting Day: The Public Service Broadcasting Day is observed every year across India on 12th November to commemorate the first and last visit of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to the studio of All India Radio, Delhi in 1947.


  • National Education Day: National Education Day is observed every year on November 11 to commemorate the birth anniversary of first Union Minister of Education Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.


  • National Legal Services Day: Legal Service Day is celebrated on 9th November to make people aware of justice for all. The aim of celebrating the Legal Services Day is to offer the free of charge, proficient and legal services to the people of weaker sections of society.


  • Ashok Kumar Gupta appointed as Chairperson of CCI: Former IAS officer Ashok Kumar Gupta has been appointed as the chairperson of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).


  • Ladakh restoration project wins 2018 UNESCO Asia-Pacific award: The LAMO Centre of Ladakh won the 2018 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage. This aristocratic house was restored from a state of partial ruin.


  • Cabinet approves leasing out six airports through PPP: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved for leasing out six airports of AAI viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC). PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.


  • Lucknow’s Ekana cricket stadium renamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Uttar Pradesh government has renamed the newly-constructed “Ekana International Stadium” in Lucknow to former prime minister “Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium”.


  • Govt approves operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens: The Ministry of Food Processing Industries under Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has approved the operationalization strategy for Operation Greens to ensure availability of Tomato, Onion and Potato throughout the country round the year without price volatility.


  • Nuclear submarine INS Arihant completes first deterrence patrol: India's long-awaited nuclear triad, or the capability to fire nuclear weapons from land, air and sea, is now finally operational almost five decades after it was first conceived for credible strategic deterrence and 20 years after the Pokhran-II tests. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the country's first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant successfully completed its "first deterrence patrol", which signifies the underwater predator has undertaken its maiden long-range mission with "live" nuclear-tipped missiles.


  • NDMC launches QR-enabled fridge magnets for digital payment of bills: The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has launched a "smart" initiative wherein it will distribute quick response-enabled smiley fridge magnets to its consumers to facilitate digital payment of utility bills.


  • PM launches Support and Outreach Programme for MSME Sector: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country.


  • Odisha Government launches “Saura Jalnidhi” scheme: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a new scheme “Soura Jalanidhi” to boost the use of solar energy in agricultural development as well as empowerment of farmers in the State.


  • Lt General Rajeshwar takes over as 12th Chief of Integrated Defence Staff: Lieutenant General P.S. Rajeshwar has took over as the 12th Chief of Integrated Defence Staff. He was accorded a tri-services guard of honour on the South Block lawns.


Key Updates: October 2018


  • S S Deswal appointed as Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police: Senior IPS officer S S Deswal was appointed as the chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), that guards country's frontier with China.


  • India’s first engineless train, Train 18 set for trials: India has launched its first engine-less train, Train 18, regarded as a successor to the country's 30-year-old “Semi-High Speed Train” Shatabdi Express is set to go on the tracks for trial. Train 18 will have modern air-conditioned coaches interconnected with fully sealed gangways blocking noise and dust.


  • CSIR develops Less Polluting Firecrackers: CSIR scientists have developed Less Polluting Firecrackers which are not only environment friendly but 15-20% cheaper than the conventional ones”, said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest & Climate Change.


  • Vigilance Awareness Week 2018: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) observes the Vigilance Awareness Week every year during the week in which the birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31st October) falls. This year, the Vigilance Awareness Week is being observed from 29th October to 3rd November, 2018 on the theme “Eradicate Corruption-Build a New India.


  • Prof. M S Swaminathan Received first World Agriculture Prize: Eminent Agricultural scientist and the chief architect of the green revolution in India, M.S. Swaminathan has received the first World Agriculture Prize instituted by the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) in New Delhi.


  • Government to set up National Sports Stadium for differently-abled in Meghalaya: Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot has announced the construction of the international standard for differently-abled in Shillong.


  • Union HRD Ministry launches web portal to promote science, social science research: The Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the web portals for two Schemes “Impactful Policy Research in Social Sciences (IMPRESS)” and “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC)” in New Delhi. The objective of IMPRESS is to identify and fund research proposals in social sciences with maximum impact on governance and society.


  • Environment Ministry launches Harit Diwali, Swasth Diwali campaign: Air pollution is a serious health issue in the country especially in the northern parts during winter seasons. The smoke and sound has health impacts on children, aged people and also animal and birds. Apart from these compounds large amount of waste is also generated after bursting of crackers. Keeping in view the above detrimental effects and also the importance of the festival, Ministry has initiated a “Harit–Diwali” campaign.


  • International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs: The International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) with the theme “Reef for Life” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 22nd October at Bangaram coral Island of Union Territory of Lakshadweep. Evolving effective management strategies leading to restoration of coral reef, along with the practice of green good deed for behavioral change and social responsibility in day to day life was also emphasized.


  • PM Modi unveils National Police Memorial: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Police Memorial in New Delhi. The National Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21 to pay homage to the 10 policemen who were killed in an ambush by Chinese troops in 1959 in Ladakh’s Hot Spring area.


  • Government announces winners of Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony: The Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 is being conferred on the doyen of Manipuri dance Sh. Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh) and on one of India’s greatest sculptors, Sh. Ram Vanji Sutar, respectively.


  • Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt receives Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award: Grammy-winning Hindustani classical music instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will be honoured with the annual Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award.


  • 75th anniversary of establishment of Azad Hind government observed: The Prime Minister of India, Shri  Narendra Modi, unveiled the plaque to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government on 21st October, 2018, at the Red Fort, Delhi.


  • India’s first uterine transplant baby is a girl: India’s first uterine transplant baby, weighing 1.45 kg, was delivered through a Caesarean section at Galaxy Care Hospital in Pune. The baby girl was born 17 months after Vadodara resident Meenakshi Valand (27) underwent a uterine transplant.


  • Kerala is set to become the first smoke-free State in the country: Kerala is now set to become the first smoke-free state in the country with public sector oil companies eyeing 100% LPG penetration. The LPG consumption was at 933.3 TMT (thousand tonnes) in the State in 2017-18. And Indian Oil sold 4.25 lakh tonnes of LPG the previous fiscal.


  • ICFRE inks two MoUs to launch Prakriti programme: The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) under the Environment Ministry, signed MoUs with Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to launch the “Prakriti” programme. The programme aims to promote awareness about forests, and environment among the youths of the country.


  • Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to receive University of Pennsylvania's top energy policy prize for reforming India's power sector: Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal will receive the University of Pennsylvania’s top prize in energy policy for his leadership in reforming India’s power sector, spearheading efforts to fast-track electrification of thousands of remote villages and expanding renewable energy in the country.


  • Government launches Swasth Bharat Yatra national campaign for food safety: The government has launched a national campaign “Swasth Bharat Yatra” on the World Food Day under which a pan-India cycle rally is being organised to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy.


  • Delhi Government launches Chief Minister’s Urban Leaders Fellowship Programme: The Delhi government has launched a fellowship programme that seeks to attract young leaders across the country to work with it on addressing some of the most pressing urban challenges.


  • Sikkim awarded FAO’s Future Policy Gold Award for 100% organic farming: The Indian state of Sikkim has won the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Future Policy Gold Award for its achievement in becoming the world's first totally organic agriculture state.


  • Central University of Jammu, ISRO sign MoU to set up Space science Center: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University in the presence of the Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C). Another MoU was signed between CUJ and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO). To create awareness about space research and to motivate young minds to take up research related to space, astronomy, geology, atmospheric sciences and related fields.


  • Indian Air Force launches its first mobile health app “MedWatch”: The Indian Air Force has launched an innovative mobile health App named “MedWatch” in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of “Digital India, Ayushman Bharat and Mission Indradhanush”. The app is conceived by the doctors of IAF and developed in house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) with ZERO financial outlay.


  • Ganga mission approves for Rs 700-crore worth projects: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has approved eight projects worth over Rs 700 crore, four of which were for setting up sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.


  • Indian External Affairs Ministry launches India for Humanity initiative: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched India for Humanity initiative in New Delhi as part of 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi being held over the next one year.


  • ESIC wins ISSA GOOD Practice Award, Asia and Pacific 2018: The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has won the ‘ISSA Good Practice Award’ for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at the “Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific” held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


  • Air Force Day: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 86th anniversary as October 8 commemorates the official foundation day of the force. The IAF, air arm of the Indian armed forces, has the prime responsibility of securing the Indian airspace as well as to carry out the aerial warfare during any clash.


  • Odisha Government launches Nirman Kusuma programme: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched “Nirman Kusuma” programme for providing financial assistance to the children of the construction workers for their technical education in the state.


  • Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018 Announced: Prime Minister Narendra Modi distributed awards to top Ranked State, District and State with maximum citizen participation based on the National Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018. Haryana was ranked as the best State while Satara District of Maharashtra was ranked as the best district as per the ranking undertaken by Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018.


  • India launches “Operation Samudra Maitri” to help earthquake-tsunami hit Indonesia: India has launched a massive operation called “Operation Samudra Maitri” to provide assistance to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, dispatching two aircraft and three naval ships carrying relief material to the country.


  • Justice Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as 46th Chief Justice of India: Justice Ranjan Gogoi sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India, is the first person from the Northeast to reach the top position of judiciary. He succeeds Justice Dipak Misra who retired on October 1st 2018.


  • NMCG Partnered With TSAF To Launch Mission Gange: National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has partnered with Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) to launch a month-long rafting expedition of a team of 40 members which will be led by the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest Ms. Bachendri Pal.


  • Odisha government launches its own food security scheme: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched its own food security scheme on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The beneficiaries of the State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) will also get cheap rice at the cost of Re 1 as availed by the people covered under the NFSA.


  • Petroleum Minister launches SATAT initiative: The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched the SATAT initiative to promote Compressed Bio-Gas as an alternative, green transport fuel. The initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.


Key Updates: September 2018


  • Indian Railways, Google Arts launch “Rail Heritage Digitisation Project”: Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal has launched “Rail Heritage Digitisation Project” of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture. The project is a landmark effort, first of its kind in this part of the globe, to showcase country’s Rail Heritage to National and International audience in an online storytelling platform.


  • Government and Google launch campaign to review public toilets: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps. The objective of the Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban is to provide sanitation coverage through public toilet facilities across cities in India for achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.


  • Government launches Agmark online system: The government launched an online platform for processing applications related to quality certification mark ‘Agmark’ for agricultural products. Agmark is certification mark that assures conformity to established of requirements accepted by Governing administration agency Directorate of Marketing and advertising and Inspection.


  • WVI launches statewide campaign against child abuse: World Vision India (WVI), a humanitarian organization working for child protection, has launched a statewide campaign against child abuse. World Vision India will also train parents about child protection, parenting and care at the household level and within the community, facilitate school safety programme, conduct comprehensive school safety measures for children, establish child protection policies and improve complaint mechanisms in schools.


  • IAF successfully test fires air-to-air Astra missile: The Indian Air Force has successfully test fired the indigenously developed Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Astra from a Su-30 aircraft. The missile, tested at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station, successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision.


  • “Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna” launched for unemployed insured persons: The ESI Corporation has approved “ATAL BIMIT VYAKTI KALYAN YOJNA” for Insured Persons (IP) covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. This scheme is a relief payable in cash directly to the Bank Account in case of unemployment and while they search for new engagement.


  • Poet Satrughna Pandav to receive 39th “Sarala Puraskar”: Noted Odia poet Satrughna Pandav will be honoured with the prestigious “Sarala Puraskar” for his poetry collection “Misra Dhrupad”. The “Sarala Puraskar” - instituted by eminent Odia industrialist late Dr Bansidhar Panda and late Ila Panda in 1979 and awarded by the Indian Metals Public Charitable Trust (IMPaCT) - will be presented to Pandav on October 26.


  • “The Hindu” Briefcase bags award at WAN-IFRA event: The Hindu’s mobile app Briefcase bagged the silver trophy for Best Digital News Startup at the Third South Asia Digital Media Awards at the 26th annual conference of WAN-IFRA India 2018.


  • Andhra Pradesh gets 1st rank in “Ease of living index 2018”: Andhra Pradesh has topped the chart in the “Ease of Living Index” rankings under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) which was released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.


  • Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurates National Orientation workshop: Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal has inaugurated two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA). The Orientation Workshop would include technical sessions and group discussions over 2 days, which would facilitate exposure for the delegates about the positive attributes of NeVA; deliberations on issues faced by different State Legislatures in implementation of e-Vidhan and finding solutions thereof.


  • PM Modi launches Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the government-funded health insurance scheme “Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana” which is claimed to be the world’s biggest health security scheme covering 10 crore families.


  • Indian cine artist Jaya Prada appointed Nepal's tourism goodwill ambassador: Former Member of Parliament of India and cine artist Jaya Prada has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Nepal tourism.


  • Lucknow Metro first from India to get RoSPA award: The Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) has become the first ever metro rail corporation from India to bag the International “Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents” (RoSPA) Award.


  • Union Government launches India’s first National Registry of Sexual Offenders: Union Government has launched India’s first National Registry of Sexual Offenders in a bid to stem crimes against women as the country reels from a series of high-profile rape cases. The database will be maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the Ministry of Home Affairs and made available to law enforcement agencies for various purposes, including investigation and employee verification.


  • Home Ministry launches ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for grant of security clearance to private firms: Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba has launched the online ‘e-Sahaj’ portal to facilitate individuals and private companies in seeking security clearance for setting up businesses in certain sensitive sectors.


  • Government modifies operational guidelines for “Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana”: The Government has decided to incorporate the provision of penalties for States and Insurance Companies for the delay in settlement of insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). This crucial provision is part of the new operational guidelines issued by the Govt for the implementation of PMFBY.


  • ISRO launches two British earth observation satellites aboard PSLV-C42: The Indian Space Research Organization has launched its heavy-weight rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), into orbit carrying two earth observation satellites of Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, NovaSAR and S1-4 weighing 450 kg each from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota.


  • Power Ministry launches energy efficiency Chiller Star Labelling Program in chillers: Union Ministry of Power has launched Chiller Star Labelling Program to encourage deployment of energy efficient chiller systems in the country. The Chiller Star Labelling Programme has been formulated by Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE). The program envisages providing star rating in terms of its energy performance. Initially, the program is launched on voluntary basis and will be valid upto 31st December 2020.


  • PM Narendra Modi to launch “Swachhata Hi Seva” Campaign: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched “Swachhata Hi Seva Movement, which aims to ensure a high standard of cleanliness across the country before Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on October 2, 2019.


  • Government to convert 1.5 lakh primary health centers into wellness centers: Union Health Minister JP Nadda will be converted 1.5 lakh Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and sub-centres into wellness centers by 2022.


  • National Engineers Day: The National Engineers Day is celebrated on 15th September every year to appreciate the contributions of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya.


  • National Hindi Divas: The National Hindi Divas, an annual literary-day is observed on 14 September in India. This day aims to propagate Hindi language and its cultural heritage and values among the people of the country and abroad.


  • First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme inaugurated in Chhattisgarh: Shri. K.J Alphons, the Minister of State for Tourism Government of India has inaugurated the project “Development of Tribal Circuit” connecting 13 tourism sites in Chhattisgarh under “Swadesh Darshan Scheme”. This scheme is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of tourism, for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.


  • President appoints Justice Ranjan Gogoi as next Chief Justice of India: The President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the next Chief Justice of India. Taking the baton from CJI Dipak Misra, Justice Gogoi will assume office on October 3, 2018, as the 46th CJI. His tenure will end in November 2019.


  • Secondary Steel Sector Awards given for contribution to National Economy: Ministry of Steel gave away Secondary Steel sector awards, for the first time, to 26 mini steel companies in recognition of their contribution to the national economy. The awards were given by Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singh, at a function in New Delhi. Twelve companies were awarded Gold Certificates and 14 Silver Certificates for their performance during 2016-17.


  • Union Government launches National Scholarship Portal Mobile App: Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has launched the country's first National Scholarship Portal mobile app, that would make the government welfare schemes more accessible to needy students.


  • K Advani renominated as Chairman of Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha: Veteran BJP leader LK Advani has been renominated as the chairman of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.


  • Govt approves 100% Electrification of Railways by 2021-22: CCEA has approved electrification of remaining unelectrified broad gauge (BG) routes of Indian in the next four years, reducing dependance on imported fossil fuel and saving revenue for the national carrier.


  • Union Cabinet approves new umbrella scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan”: Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan” (PM-AASHA) which aims to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.


  • Piyush Goyal launches 'Rail Sahyog' web portal: Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has launched a web portal “Rail Sahyog”, a platform for the corporates and PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings) to contribute to the creation of amenities at Railway stations through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.


  • BEML launches India’s first 205T Electric Drive Rear Dump Truck: Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) has launched an indigenously designed & developed nation's first 205T Electric Drive Rear Dump Truck (Model BHQOS-E). BH205E is an electric drive rear dump truck for large scale mining operations.


  • First wet mid-air refueling of LCA Tejas successfully carried out using IL-78 MKI tanker: The Indian Air Force achieved a milestone as the first ever mid-air refueling of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft Tejas was successfully carried out, placing India in an elite group of countries having air-to-air refueling system for military planes.


  • WOSA-2018: 4th World summit on Accreditation held in New Delhi: Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated fourth world summit on Accreditation (WOSA-2018) in New Delhi. The theme of the event was "Challenges and Opportunities in Outcome Based Accreditation".


  • ISRO unveils space suit, crew model for Gaganyaan Mission: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) unveiled the space suit and crew model for the Gaganyaan Mission of 2022, which would feature the Indian astronauts being sent into the space. ISRO displayed the prototype of a space suit which was developed by the agency in the last two years at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre situated in Thiruvananthapuram. The space suit for the crew of Gaganyaan was displayed during the sixth Bengaluru Space Expo.


  • Puducherry bags top position in National Clean School Award given by HRD Ministry: Union Territory of Puducherry has bagged top position in National Clean School award out of 52 schools across the country for cleanliness.


  • National Nutrition Month observed across India to fight malnutrition: The National Nutrition Month is being celebrated across the country in September to mark the fight against malnutrition. The month will focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector.


  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana to cover child cancer treatment: Childhood cancer will be treated under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the rate in this regard has been fixed. By 2022, 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be opened across India under the scheme.


  • Government launches Coffee Connect app and Krishi Tharanga project: Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry launched Coffee Connect-India coffee field force app and Coffee Krishi Tharanga – digital mobile extension services project for coffee stakeholders. These initiatives were developed by Coffee Board of India for the overall technological advancement of the coffee sector and value chain.


  • Government inaugurates home for 1000 widows in Vrindavan: The Minister for Women & Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, alongwith Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Adityanath Yogi has inaugurated the widows’ home “Krishna Kutir” at a function at Vrindavan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Krishna Kutir is a special home for 1000 widows set up by the Ministry of Women & Child Development under Swadhar Greh scheme of the Ministry and is the largest ever facility of its kind created by a government organization.


  • Dr. B. K. Misra, Neurosurgeon to receive Dr. B. C. ROY National Award: Dr. Basant Kumar Misra, Head of the Department of Surgery & Head of Neurosurgery & Gamma Knife Radiosurgery at P. D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre will be honoured with the Dr. B. C. ROY National Award in the most prestigious category of ‘Eminent Medical Person’ of the year, the highest award in the field of medicine in India. Dr. Misra will receive the award from the President of India, Shri. Ram Nath Kovind.


  • India, Nepal signed MoU on Raxual-Kathmandu railway line: India and Nepal exchanged an MoU to build a strategic railway line connecting Bihar's Raxual city to Kathmandu.


  • Sunil Mehta elected as new Chairman of Indian Bank’s Association for 2018-19: Sunil Mehta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Punjab National Bank has elected as the new Chairman of Indian Banks Association (IBA) for 2018-19.


  • Census 2021 for first time to collect data on Other Backwards Castes: Government has decided to collect data for the first time on Other Backward Classes during Census 2021. This will be the first general census to collect such data since 1931, although a socio-economic census was conducted in 2011. The data collected in the census may be used to decide on the need and quantum of providing reservations to various Backward Classes.


Key Updates: August 2018


  • Gopalkrishna Gandhi gets 24th Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award: West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has received 24th Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award this year for his outstanding contribution towards promotion of communal harmony and peace.


  • Rajasthan becomes first State to implement biofuel policy: Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels unveiled by the national government. The desert state will focus on increasing production of oilseeds and establish a Centre for Excellence in Udaipur to promote research in the fields of alternative fuels and energy resources.


  • Government launches GI logo and tagline: Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Suresh Prabhu has launched a logo and tagline for Geographical Indications (GI) to increase awareness about Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in the country. The tagline of Geographical Indications (GI) is “Invaluable Treasures of Incredible India”.


  • Government launches “Seva Bhoj Yojna”: The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has launched the “Seva Bhoj Yojna” scheme with an outlay of Rs. 325.00 crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20. This scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) on items who provide Food/Prasad/Langar/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.


  • AP Government launches unemployment allowance scheme: Andhra Pradesh Government has launched Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam, an unemployment allowance scheme to provide Rs 1000 per month to unemployed youth in state.


  • Indian origin mathematician Akshay Venkatesh wins Fields medal: Indian-Australian mathematician Akshay Venkatesh won the prestigious Fields medal (Nobel prize for maths). He was recognised for his “profound contributions to an exceptionally broad range of subjects in mathematics”. The Fields medals are awarded every four years to the most promising mathematicians under the age of 40.


  • Himachal Pradesh launches “Shaur Nahin” mobile application: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched “horn not ok” awareness campaign and “shaur nahin” (no noise) mobile application, this can be used by the general public to report cases of noise pollution.


  • India elected as President of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development: India was elected as the president of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development, a regional inter-Governmental organization established in 1977 under the auspices of UNESCO.


  • Karnataka Government launches “Swachhameva Jayate”: The state government has launched “Swachhameva Jayate”, a campaign to make every person in rural Karnataka to take a pledge on cleanliness.


  • FICCI launches mobile app for women's wellness: The women's wing of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a mobile application aimed at creating awareness on preventive healthcare. The mobile application "WOW" (Wellness of Women) is backed by city-based Apollo Hospitals Group that offers access to renowned doctors and provides health tips.


  • Government approves 122 new research projects under “IMPRINT-2” scheme: The Union Government has approved 122 new research projects worth Rs 112 crores under its Impacting Research Innovation and Technology “IMPRINT-2” scheme. The initiative aims to advance research in energy, security, and healthcare domains in the high education institutions.


  • World’s first thermal battery plant launches in Andhra Pradesh: The world’s first-ever thermal battery plant was unveiled in Andhra Pradesh. This plant aims to create a new energy storage form that is expected to have commercial applications, while also maintaining a low carbon footprint, and being less dependent on external factors like weather.


  • National Handloom Day: Government of India declared August 7 as National Handloom day every year to celebrates the rich hues, textures and grandeur of Indian fabrics spread from North to the Southernmost part of the country. It generates awareness about importance of India’s handloom industry.


  • Transport Ministry launches BIMS, Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage portals: The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari launched Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage portals, these two IT initiatives aimed at expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively.


  • 76th anniversary of Quit India Movement observed on August 8th: 76th anniversary of Quit India Movement was observed on August 8th, 2018. On this working day in 1942, Mahatma Gandhi (father of the nation) experienced gave clarion connect with of Do or Die to all Indians to push absent Britishers from the country.


  • Suresh Prabhu launches “Niryat Mitra” mobile app: Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu has launched a mobile App “Niryat Mitra” developed by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), for exporters and importers of the country.


  • Harivansh Narayan Singh elected as New Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha: National Democratic Alliance candidate Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the new Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha after he won the election with 125 votes against Congress MP Bk Hariprasad.


  • FSSAI launches RUCO initiative to collect and convert used cooking oil into biofuel: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil), an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel.


  • Indian President inaugurates “One District One Product” summit: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the “One District One Product” Summit in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. It describes the micro, small and medium enterprises as the backbone of the country's economy. The state government has set a goal of providing employment to 25 lakh people in five years through the financial assistance of Rs. 25,000 crores. This scheme will create large number of employment opportunities for the youth and strengthen the inclusive and sustainable development of Uttar Pradesh.


  • Government approves proposal for setting up of water aerodromes in the country: The Civil Aviation  Ministry has approved a proposal for setting up of water aerodromes in the country. To start with, it has identified five states - Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Assam for development of water aerodromes. In the first phase of the project, Chilika Lake (Odisha), Sabarmati River Front and Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat) have been identified for the development of such facilities.


  • First project of “Swadesh Darshan” Scheme launched in Manipur: Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptulla has inaugurated the project “North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom” under “Swadesh Darshan” Scheme. Swadesh Darshan (tour of country) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for the development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.


  • Jodhpur and Jaipur ranked cleanest railway stations in Third Party Survey Report: Jodhpur and Jaipur, both in Rajasthan, have clinched the top two spots in the railway station cleanliness survey conducted by the Quality Council of India (QCI) for Indian Railways.


  • India’s first genetic bank for wildlife conservation in Hyderabad: India's first scientific and most modern national wildlife genetic resource bank was inaugurated by Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan at the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONES), a research wing of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.


  • Ashish Kumar Bhutani appointed CEO of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana: Senior bureaucrat Ashish Kumar Bhutani has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).


  • NITI Aayog launches “Pitch to MOVE” competition: NITI Aayog has launched “Pitch to MOVE”, a mobility pitch competition that aims to provide budding entrepreneurs of India a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a distinguished jury.


  • West Bengal Government removes income ceiling “Kanyashree Prakalpa” scheme: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has lifted the ceiling for a family's annual earnings to be a beneficiary under the UN award winning Kanyashree scheme, that aims to ensure girls stay in school and delay their marriages till at least the age of 18.


  • Shaheed Saman Diwas to be observed in Madhya Pradesh: The Shaheed Saman Diwas will be observed in all districts of Madhya Pradesh on August 14, 2018. The day aims to honour the families of martyrs belonging to Madhya Pradesh, who sacrificed their lives while discharging duty at the time of war, military action, internal security, Naxalite and terrorism-related activities.


  • Akshay Kumar becomes brand ambassador for Government’s Road Safety campaigns: Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari has launched three short films for generating public awareness towards road safety. Film actor Akshay Kumar appointed as Road Safety Brand Ambassador.


  • K S Srinivas appointed as Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority: IAS officer K S Srinivas has taken over as Chairman of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). Prior to this appointment, he had served as Joint Secretary in Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare in Ministry of Agriculture.


  • Former Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag awarded US Legion of Merit 2018: The United States government has awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Retired), of the Indian Army, for exceptionally meritorious service as chief of the Army staff, Indian Army.


  • Telangana Launches Disaster Response Force in Hyderabad: Telangana government launched for the first time Disaster Response Force (DRF) vehicles in the Hyderabad. The main aim to start this DRF is that state should have its own Disaster force to swiftly deal with emergency situations.


  • Former President Pranab Mukherjee Launches NETA App To Rate MPs And MLAs: Former President Pranab Mukherjee has unveiled An app named “Neta App” that allows voters to rate and review their political representatives and aims to foster political accountability a and aims to foster political accountability and transparency among leaders.


  • Baby Rani Maurya was nominated as the new Governor of Uttarakhand: The former mayor of Agra, Maurya was nominated as new governor of Uttarakhand. The oath of office and secrecy was administered to Maurya by the acting Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court Rajiv Sharma at a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan.


  • ISRO unveils Gaganyaan programme for India’s manned space flight: The Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO unveiled India's Gaganyaan programme for manned space flight before 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister on the Independence Day.


  • Jatropha seeds powers India’s first biofuel: SpiceJet operated India's first test flight successfully from Dehradun to Delhi powered by biofuel that aims to reduce costs of air travel. A blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel propelled the country’s first ever bio jet fuel-powered flight.


  • National Sports Day 2018: India on August 29th observed the National Sports Day 2018 to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand who was born on August 29, 1905. Every year on this day, the President of India confers National sports and adventure awards including Arjuna and Khel Ratna to celebrate the achievements of exceptional athletes in the country.


  • Union Cabinet approves Earth Sciences Ministry’s umbrella scheme “O-SMART”: Union Cabinet has approved Umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)”, for implementation during the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 at an overall cost of Rs.1623 crore.


Key Updates: July 2018


  • INS Sahyadri wins praise for integrating yoga into regime: INS Sahyadri presented the “idea of integrating yoga into our daily life as technology for well-being during extended deployments for ships” and also participated in RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) the world’s largest international maritime exercise, has been adjudged runner-up in an innovation competition during the harbour phase of the exercise.


  • July 1st declared as GST Day: The government has announced that July 1st be celebrated as GST Day, which was launched on the 1st July, 2017 and replaced a multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime.


  • 9th heads of Indian mission conference place in Delhi: The 9th Heads of Mission Conference had inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, placed in New Delhi. It’s a three-day annual conference and the theme of conference was “Unprecedented Outreach: Unparalleled Outcomes”.


  • Sri Lanka shifts its naval base to China run Hambantota port: Sri Lanka shifted its southern naval command to a Hambantota port which is now leased to China.


  • Dalai Lama launches “Happiness Curriculum” for Government schools in Delhi: Delhi government launched its ambitious "Happiness Curriculum" for students studying at the city's government schools, which includes meditation, moral values and mental exercises.


  • Himachal gets national award for best performance under PMSMA: Himachal Pradesh has adjudged first among states for its performance under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritav Abhiyan (PMSMA) in the country.


  • India's first government run e-waste recycling unit in Bengaluru: The central government's Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry intends to build India’s first-ever, state-of-the-art e-waste recycling unit in Bengaluru. While India produces 18.5 lakh metric tons of electronic waste annually,?a whopping 92,000 metric tons comes from Bengaluru, according to 2016 figures.


  • Madhya Pradesh government launches outstanding power bill waiver scheme “Sambal”: The government of Madhya Pradesh has launched an outstanding power bill waiver scheme and subsidized power scheme “Sambal” for poor families and labourers. Under this scheme, the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided electricity at a cost of 200 rupees per month.


  • Indian Election Commission launches Mobile app “cVIGIL”: The Election Commission of India launched a mobile app called “cVIGIL” for citizens to report any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections.


  • Government approves DNA Regulation Bill, 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2018 for expanding the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country. The utility of DNA based technologies for solving crimes, and to identify missing persons, is well recognized across the world.


  • KVIC launches e-marketing system: The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched in-house single umbrella e-marketing system named “Khadi Institution Management and Information System” (KIMIS) in New Delhi. The system can be accessed from anywhere in the country for the sale and purchase of Khadi and Village Industries products.


  • Indian government grants tariffs cut on Asian imports under APTA: Indian government has agreed to provide tariff concessions on 3,142 products to the six member nations of the Asia Pacific Trade, days after Beijing had done the same for more than 8500 items.


  • Gujarat CM launches “Poshan Abhiyan” to eradicate malnutrition: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched “Poshan Abhiyan”, a statewide mission to eradicate malnutrition among children by providing them nutritious food through Anganwadi centres.


  • Piyush Goyal launches the “Khan Prahari” App to check illegal coal mining: The Ministry of Coal, Piyush Goyal has launched the Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and “Khan Prahari” mobile application for reporting any activity taking place related to illegal coal mining.


  • India launches first taxi ambulance services in Delhi: India has launched the taxi ambulance services on Delhi roads with drivers who are trained medically. The launch comes in the backdrop of India accounting for five lakh road crashes annually worldwide in which 1.5 lakh people died.


  • Uttarakhand High Court declares animals as “legal persons”: The Uttarakhand High Court has declared the status of a "legal person or entity" to all animals in the state, saying "they have a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person".


  • Government launches “Technology Challenge” to eliminate human entry into septic tanks: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a “Technology Challenge” to eliminate human entry into septic tanks and drains for cleaning.


  • Government launches “Global Housing Construction Technology” scheme: The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has launched the “Global Housing Construction Technology” scheme, aims to give a major push to construction of houses for the urban poor under the Centre's flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).


  • Andhra Pradesh tops in “Ease of Doing Business Rankings”: Andhra Pradesh has topped the government’s ease of doing business ranking of states and Union Territories list prepared by the World Bank and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).


  • BSNL launches internet telephony service “Wings”: BSNL started first internet telephony service in the country that will allow users to dial any telephone number in India through its mobile app “Wings”.


  • Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2018: The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2018 (SSG 2018) in villages. An independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018, and the results will be announced in the form of a ranking of all districts and states on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters.


  • Haryana Government launches “Paudhagiri” Campaign: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has launched the “Paudhagiri” campaign, to increase the green cover in the state.


  • President clears assent to Assam Anti - Witch Hunting Bill: President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill-2015, converting it to an Act, almost three years after it was passed by the state Assembly.  The Act, aimed at eliminating the superstition from the society, imposes a punishment of up to seven years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.


  • ISRO conducts ground test of high thrust version of Vikas Engine successfully: ISRO successfully conducted a ground test of high thrust version of the Vikas Engine for a duration of 195 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) Mahendragiri in Tamilnadu, that improves the payload capability of the space agency's launch vehicles.


  • BrahMos Missile tested in extreme weather conditions: The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha, under extreme weather conditions, as part of the service life extension programme for the Army.


  • Government approves Special Remission Scheme to prisoners: The Union Cabinet has approved to grant Special Remission to Prisoners as part of Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Women and transgender convicts above 55 and male convicts over 60 who have completed half of their prison sentences will be released.


  • Lok Sabha passes a Bill to amend the Right to Education: The Lok Sabha passed a Bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no-detention” policy in schools. No student can be detained up to class VIII under current provisions of the Act.


  • NMCG organizes “Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan” in five Ganga Basin States: The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has organized “Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan” from 9th July to 15th July 2018 in five Ganga basin states namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The week upto 15th July was observed as “Shubharambh Saptah”.


  • Tenth edition of Delhi Dialogue held in New Delhi: The Tenth edition of the Delhi Dialogue begins in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will host two-day event to discuss politico-security, economic and socio-cultural engagement between India and ASEAN. The theme of this year's DD X will be “Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation”.


  • Government beats no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha: Narendra Modi government defeated the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. The motion secured 126 votes in favour and 325 against. The motion had been brought by Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party to push its demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh.


  • NABARD launches Centre for Climate Change in South East Asia at Lucknow: The National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development has launched a South East Asia’s first ever centre for accelerating concerted action on climate change by various stakeholders including government, private and financial sectors.


  • NASA launches online toolkit to promote commercial use of satellite data: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched the “Remote Sensing Toolkit” to promote commercial use of satellite data and to make it easier for users to find, analyze and utilize the most relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts.


  • Government launches “Student Police Cadet” Programme: Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the nationwide Student Police Cadet (SPC) programme, which aims to build a bridge between the police and school students by inculcating values and ethics in them through classes.


  • Government launches India-assisted ambulance service in Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a country wide emergency ambulance service for Sri Lanka through video conferencing from New Delhi. This event marks another major achievement in the development partnership of India and Sri Lanka.


  • NASA launches world's first mission to touch the Sun: NASA is on schedule to launch mankind's first mission to the Sun - a car sized probe that will swoop to within 4 million miles of the solar surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before.


  • Odisha Government launches Green Mahanadi Mission: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the “Green Mahanadi Mission”, a plantation drive under which two crore saplings will be planted along the Mahanadi river and its tributaries.


  • Women and Child Development Ministry launches “Childline 1098” contest: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched a “Childline 1098” contest – “Spot the Logo and Suggest a Tagline”, inviting people to share images of the Childline 1098 logo that they spot at unique locations and send it with a tagline, to mark World Day against Trafficking in People.


  • Government forms GoM and secretary panel to frame law against lynching: The Government had created a Group of Ministers (GoM) under Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a high-level committee under Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to “deliberate” and “make recommendations” for a separate penal provision on incidents of mob violence.


  • 2nd National Council meeting held on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyan: The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development organized the 2nd meeting of National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges under POSHAN Abhiyan, that aims to ensure service delivery and interventions by use of technology, behavioral change through convergence and lays-down specific targets to be achieved across different monitoring parameters over the next few years.


  • Karnataka generates highest power from renewable resources this year: The Karnataka state generated a highest amount of its energy requirements through the usage of renewable resources and emerged as the country's highest renewable energy producer this year, pipping Tamil Nadu. The State reached 12.3 gigawatts (GW) of total installed capacity as of March 2018, having added 5 GW in 2017-18 alone.


  • West Bengal Assembly passes resolution to rename state as Bangla: The West Bengal assembly passed a resolution to rename the state as “Bangla” in three languages — Bengali, English and Hindi, but the process for final approval will be long drawn requiring an amendment to the constitution.


  • Two Indians win Ramon Magsaysay Award: Two Indians Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk are the winners of 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.


  • Atal Innovation Mission and MyGov launch “Innovate India Platform”: The NITI Aayog Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and citizen engagement platform MyGov launched the online portal “Innovate India Platform”. The users can view the leaderboard which is calculated based on the votes on each innovation and also comment, share and rate the innovations crowd sourced on the Innovate India platform.


  • Gujarat govt launches Mission Vidya to improve learning level: Gujarat government launched a month-long campaign, “Mission Vidya”, to improve learning levels of students who scored low in the latest Gunotsav VIII evaluation.


  • Indian Railways launched “Mission Satyanishtha” programme: Indian Railways had organized a programme on Ethics in Public Governance and Launched “Mission Satyanishtha” at a daylong event held at National Rail Museum in New Delhi.


  • Government launches National Viral Hepatitis Control Program: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda has launched the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program to mark the World Hepatitis Day and also released the Operational Guidelines for National Viral Hepatitis Control Program, National Laboratory Guidelines for Viral Hepatitis Testing and National Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Viral Hepatitis.


  • Gopalkrishna Gandhi gets Rajiv Sadbhavana Award: Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has achieved Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award this year for promoting communal harmony and peace. This award carries a citation and a cash award of Rs 10 lakh.


Key Updates: June 2018


  • National Statistics Day: Government of India in 2007, has designated 29th June as the “Statistics Day” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level. The objective of celebration of this Day is to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation, to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Mahalanobis, and to pay homage to him. The theme this year is “Quality Assurance in Official Statistics”.


  • ICSSR new vision: In an attempt at making research projects awarded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) move from “pure ideological research” to one that is in sync with policy imperatives, the apex social science research body has formulated a blueprint of key areas for future research.


  • Government approves MoU between India and Singapore for urban Planning: The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore for cooperation in urban planning and development. The objective of the MOU is to facilitate government agencies in the Centre and States, including Municipal Bodies, to readily tap into the expertise of Singapore agencies in the areas of urban development and management and other areas, and thus help in urban rejuvenation, mission.


  • President launches the Solar Charkha Mission: President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission under which the government will disburse a subsidy of Rs 550 crore to thousands of artisans, generating employment in rural areas and the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) will cover 50 clusters and each cluster will employ 400 to 2,000 artisans.


  • Govt proposes Van Dhan kendras: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Van Dhan Scheme on 14th of 2018 during the celebrations of Ambedkar Jayanti. Under this scheme, Government has proposed to set up 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 self-help groups of Tribal community across the country to provide skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce.


  • Pallavi Darua Crowned as India’s first “Tribal Queen”: Pallavi Durua, Odisha's Koraput district, was crowned as the first Tribal Queen at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition held at Utkal Mandap.


  • Government Inaugurates 3rd AIIB Meeting In Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at Mumbai's National Centre for the Performing Arts. The theme for this year's meeting is "Mobilising finance for infrastructure, innovation and collaboration".


  • Ministry of women and child releases report on “Women in Prisons”: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has released the report on “Women in Prisons” which aims to build an understanding of the various entitlements of women in prisons, the various issues faced by them and possible methods for resolution of the same.


  • Punjab Govt launches “Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao” campaign: The Government of Punjab launched a campaign “Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao” to encourage formers, which  aimed at checking depletion of underground water. Under this ” campaign, farmers will get monetary benefit for less use of tubewell.


  • Haryana Panchayat Passes “No Toilet, No Bride”: The Godikan panchayat in Haryana has become the first panchayat in the country to pass a resolution to marry off girls only to families that have a toilet in their house.


  • Gujarat Government declares “Suryashakti Yojana” scheme for farmers: The Gujarat government launched a “Suryashakti Kisan Yojana” (SKY) scheme for farmers enabling them to generate electricity for their captive consumption as well as sell their surplus to power distribution companies.


  • Ministry of Women and child development gets SKOCH award: The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development was awarded in delivering the promises made and for its significant achievements and initiatives from the last 4 years, SKOCH has conferred the “Best performing Social Sector Ministry” award on the Ministry of Women and Child Development.


  • World’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics launched in Gujarat: World's first international centre for humanitarian forensics was launched at Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU), is a joint venture of the Regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and also Gujarat Forensic Science University.


  • Haryana Government launches “7-Star Gram Panchayat Rainbow” scheme: Haryana Government had launched “7-Star Gram Panchayat Rainbow” scheme to give star rankings on the basis of seven social parameters. Under this scheme, as many as 1,120 villages of the state got the star rank. The main objective of instituting this award is to strengthen the institution of GPs and to highlight it as institution of decision making and making their Gram Panchayat proud.


  • India Smart Cities Award 2018: Surat city has selected for Smart City Award for implementation of projects Under ‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018, and also Bhopal and Ahmedabad Selected for ‘Innovative Idea’ Award for their Transformative Approach towards Sustainable Integrated Development.


  • HRD Minister launches “National Digital Library”: The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar launched the new “National Digital Library of India” on the occasion of National Reading Day, which aims to make digital educational resources available to all citizens of the country to empower, inspire and encourage learning.


  • Government launches india’s first nationwide healthcare establishment census: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda launched the “National Health Resource Repository” (NHRR), which aims to strengthen evidence-based decision making and develop a platform for citizens and provider-centric services by creating a robust, standardised and secured Information Technology (IT)-enabled repository of India’s healthcare resources.


  • Indian army observes the year 2018 as “year of disabled soldiers in line of duty”: Indian Army is observing the year 2018 as the “Year of Disabled Soldiers in Line of Duty” to honour soldiers who have been disabled in line of duty while serving the nation and to celebrate the undying spirit of “Soldiering”. The main objective of the observance is to alleviate the sufferings of the soldiers, who have done their duty with utmost dedication to the nation and have been disabled for life.


  • 10th meeting of Global Alliance to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis: Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda inaugurated the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, is a kind of tropical disease first recorded in Egypt. The aim of the conference was to create a future free of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).


  • Telangana police department launches app to support communication needs of police: Telangana DGP, M Mahendar Reddy had launched “COP CONNECT”, a mobile app to support the professional communication and collaboration needs of the entire police department.


  • Digital India brings slew of services to the doorsteps of common man: The network of about three lakh Common Service Centres, which act as access points for delivery of digital services, have bolstered employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, thus empowering citizens. Digital India was launched with an aim to connect villages and youth of India.


  • Tourism Minister launches a new “Incredible India website”: The State Tourism Minister Shri K.J. Alphons launched the new “Incredible India website” in New Delhi, which aims to venture India as a "Must Visit" destination, among its worldwide travellers by following the trends and technologies of international standards.


  • NITI Aayog launches “Composite Water Management Index”: Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog has launched the Composite Water Management Index as a useful tool to assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources. This index is an attempt to inspire States and UTs towards efficient and optimal utilization of water, and recycling thereof with a sense of urgency.


  • Union Cabinet approves proposal for enactment of Dam Safety Bill, 2018: The Union Cabinet Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal for enacting the Dam Safety Bill in the Parliament., to help all the states and union territories to adopt uniform safety procedures to ensure safety of reservoirs.


  • Government approves 'Three Year Action Plan’ for Agricultural Education Division & ICAR Institutes: The Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Three Year Action Plan scheme for Agricultural Education Division and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes, with an outlay of Rs. 2,225.46 crore for strengthening and developing higher agricultural education in India.


  • National police museum to come up in Delhi: The Union Government has approved to establish India’s first national police museum in Lutyens' Delhi, which is expected to be inaugurated on 21st October 2018 on the occasion of Police Commemoration Day. The museum, which will depict the history, artifacts of central and state police forces will come up as an underground facility in the premises of the National Police Memorial.


  • Union Government launches 5000 WiFi Choupals in villages with CSC: Union Minister of Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had launched 5,000 WiFi Choupals in villages and delivery of rail tickets through Common Service Centres (CSCs). The Wi-Fi choupals will enable people in rural areas with an effective Internet access for their various digital processes.


  • CSIR lab to transfer technology for India’s first indigenous Lithium Ion Battery project: CSIR's Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd had signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project.


  • Union Government launches smoking cessation campaign: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India launched a national media campaign at World Health Organization event titled “What Damage Will This Cigarette/Bidi Do”, to encourage smoking cessation. The campaign highlights the theme of World No Tobacco Day which was “tobacco and heart disease”.


  • Eight states and four UTs implement “Ayushman Bharat”: Eight States and four Union Territories have signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry to implement the Modi government’s ambitious scheme “Ayushman Bharat” - national health protection mission. The scheme provides a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually to 10 crore vulnerable families belonging to the vulnerable section of the society.


  • Punjab government launches “Business First Portal”: Minister of Industry, Sundar Sham Arora launched “Business First Portal” would facilitate the industrialists for Regulatory Clearances and Fiscal Approvals, real time tracking of applications at common platform.


  • Election Commission of India launches online “RTI Portal”: Indian Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat, Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa had launched the online “RTI Portal”, which aims to  facilitate applicants seeking information under the Right to Information Act.


  • Madhya Pradesh CM Announces Outstanding Power Bill Waiver Scheme: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan approved the Bijli Bill Mafi Yojana 2018 (Power Bill Waiver Scheme) which is likely to benefit about 77 lakh people of the state.


  • RBI conducts financial literacy week with theme “Customer Protection”: The Financial Literacy Week launched by Reserve Bank of India across the country with “Customer Protection” as its main theme in Jammu and Kashmir with an aim for good practices for safe digital banking experience. This event will focus on creating awareness among customers of banks about financial products and services, good financial practices etc.


  • Government launches “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Sanitary Napkin”: On Women’s day, Government launched the “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha”, the affordable Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad, to be sold under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana in New Delhi.


  • Government launches “Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan”: Union Government has launched “Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan” from 1st June to 31st June, to help farmers to raise their income and to aid, assist and advice on how to improve farming techniques.


  • Odisha beach becomes Asia’s first to get ‘Blue Flag’ tag: The scenic Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will became the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification, the tag given to clean beaches, plastic-free and be equipped with a waste management system, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists and equipped with facilities for studying environmental impact around the beach. It will be awarded the honour on World Environment Day on June 5.


  • Central Government launches “Seva Bhoj Yojana” scheme: The Union Ministry of Culture has launched a scheme “Seva Bhoj Yojana” worth of Rs 325 crore to reduce the financial burden of charitable religious institutions. The scheme envisages to reimbursement the central government share of central goods and services tax (CGST) and integrated goods and services Tax (IGST) on purchase of raw materials such as ghee, edible oil, atta, maida, rice pulses, sugar, jaggery etc. which go into preparation of food/Prasad/langar/bhandra offered free of cost by religious institutions.


  • Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana scheme: The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a new health insurance scheme namely, “Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana” for the journalists to provide Rs 2 lakh per annum health insurance coverage. The scheme will be applicable for cashless treatment in government and private hospitals and will also cover the injuries and illness faced by journalists while performing their duties.


Key Updates: May 2018


  • CSIR and IIT Bombay win Clarivate Analytics India Innovation award 2018: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research from Government Research Organizations Category and IIT Bombay from the Academic Institutions category have been awarded the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018.

  • The word AYUSH finds a place in English language: The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology has decided to adopt the word ‘AYUSH’ in Hindi and English languages for scientific and technical purposes. The word “AYUSH” became popular as the acronym for five traditional and complementary systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy and has been successfully adopted and used in all Government communications.


  • Mark Rutte launched clean air India initiative: Mark Rutte, the prime minister of Netherlands launched “Clean Air India Initiative” program in New Delhi in May 2018. The campaign aims to curb air pollution in Indian cities by promoting partnerships between Indian start-ups and Dutch companies and build a network of entrepreneurs working on business solutions for cleaner air.


  • Patratu Thermal Power project in Jharkhand: PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for Patratu Thermal power project worth Rs 27,000 crore in Jharkhand. The project will provide 85 percent of the power generated to Jharkhand and will be equipped with dry ash disposal system, zero liquid discharge system, air-cooled condenser technology and rail loading facility for transportation of ash.


  • Samagra Shiksha scheme launched by Prakash Javadekar: Prakash Javadekar, the Union Minister of Human Resource and Development launched the “Samagra Shiksha scheme” in May 2018. It will focus on education from preschool to class 12. The main aim of the scheme is to focus on improving quality of education, enhancing the learning outcomes and using technology to empower children and teachers.


  • Telangana government launches Rythu Bandhu Scheme: Telangana Chief Minister KCR launched “Rythu Bandhu Scheme”, an investment support scheme to support the livelihood of farmers in Karimnagar district on 10th May 2018. Under this scheme, the farmers will get Rs 4,000 per acre per season as input assistance. About 58 lakh farmers, with over 1.42 crores acres of land in the state are expected to be benefited from the initiative.


  • Union cabinet approved central University in Andhra Pradesh: The Union Cabinet has approved for setting-up a "Central University of Andhra Pradesh" in Janthaluru village of Anantapur district in May 2018. Cabinet also approved the proposal for operationalisation of the university in the "transit campus" till necessary amendment was made in the Central Universities Act, 2009.


  • NDMA Workshop for creating disaster Risk Reduction database : A two-day workshop was conducted on Data requirements for Disaster Risk Reduction Database was held in collaboration with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The workshop aimed to  develop a consensus among various stakeholders on disasters and thresholds and to develop standardised systems for data collection, updation and validation to ensure accuracy and quality. Such a database would help track our progress towards achieving the targets of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).


  • Gujarat launches Sujalam Sufalam, biggest water conservation drive of India: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched a state-wide water conservation programme under the name 'Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan' was the most important water conservation drive of the nation and that it will assist deal with scarcity of water for irrigation and drinking purposes in Gujarat. Through the month-long Sujalam Sufalam Jal Abhiyan, 1300 small and enormous reservoirs will be desilted and 34 rivers might be repaired.


  • India funds flood, earthquake warning systems in Myanmar: India has launched a flood and earthquake early warning system in Myanmar in May 2018. The main objective is to help the country mitigate the effects of natural calamities that affect millions of people every year. Indian ambassador Vikram Misri inaugurated the New Delhi-financed project to develop the Long-Lead Flood Early Warning System and Earthquake Monitoring System in Myanmar.


  • Google has partnered with NITI Aayog to help grow AI ecosystem in India: In May 2018, NITI Aayog and Google agreed to work on a range of initiatives to help build the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) ecosystem across the country. As per the Statement of Intent (SoI), trainings will be organized for government functionaries to introduce them to open source AI tools, grants and scholarships will be awarded to researchers, scholars and university faculty to conduct cutting edge research in the field of AI/ML in India.


Key Updates: April 2018


  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance to provide stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, which includes death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years. Minimum punishment in the case of rape of women has been increased from seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.


  • The 65th National Film Awards were announced in New Delhi on April 13. Assamese Film ‘Village Rockstar’ bagged the best film award while ‘Newton’ has been selected as the Best Hindi Film.  ‘Water Baby’ has been adjudged the Best Non-Feature Film.  National award for Best Actress is given to Sridevi posthumously for her role in the film ‘Mom’. Dadasaheb Phalke Award will be given to actor Vinod Khanna posthumously.


  • Central Government’s ‘Gobardhan Yojna’ (also known as Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resource Fund scheme), a scheme for managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste into manure and biogas, will be launched nationally from Karnal, Haryana on April 30, 2018. Under this scheme, bio-gas plants will be set up at individual or community level. One village in every district of the country would be selected for its implementation. Nearly 700 districts would be covered during the current fiscal.


  • As per data released by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) almost doubled  in Financial year 2017-18 with 97.05 lakh subscribers (48.89 Lakh in FY 2016-17). This pension scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 9, 2015, mainly for the benefit of unorganized sector of economy.


  • West Bengal State Government has rolled out Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project "Rupashree" scheme. It provides one-time financial assistance for the marriage of women from economically deprived section of society.  Under the scheme, an amount of Rs. 25000 is provided by government as marriage assistance for women coming from families earning less than Rs. 1.5 lakh income.


  • India - Japan - United States 9th Trilateral Meeting was held in New Delhi . This strategically important India-Japan-US trilateral was launched in December 2011 during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State.


  • On 14th April, B.R. Ambedkar Remembrance Day also known as Ambedkar Jayanti was observed all over India. Ambedkar Jayanti is observed every year on 14th April to commemorate the birth anniversary of B.R. Ambedkar who was born on 14 April 1891. He was the architect of Indian Constitution. He is also known as the "Father of Indian Constitution".


  • Siddharth Varadarajan, the founding editor of The Wire, is awarded the Shorenstein Journalism Award for 2017 at Stanford University. Siddharth Varadarajan’s initiative in independent, web-based journalism as founding editor of The Wire, his well-researched reports, and his commentaries have attributed to his success.


  • ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. IRNSS-1I is the latest member of the ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system which is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad till now.


  • World’s largest solar park, with 5000 MW capacity is proposed to come up in Gujarat, India at Dholera Special Investment Region. According to official release, the proposed solar power generation project would be set up in 11,000 hectares of land with an investment of Rs. 25,000 crore. The project is expected to significantly achieve government’s target of producing 175 gigawatt of electricity through renewable energy sources by 2022.


Key Updates: March 2018


  • India has started taking steps towards integrated theatre commands, where all the manpower and assets of the Army, Navy and IAF are under the operational control of a single three-star general. The move is aimed at bringing synergy among the three defence services and provide a single point military advice to government.


  • Former AIADMK leader and R.K. Nagar MLA T.T.V. Dhinakaran has announced his new political party - Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. He is the nephew of former AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala.


  • Finland (1st), Norway (2nd), Denmark (3rd) got the top spots in recently released World Happiness Index 2018, wherein India was ranked 133rd among 156 countries. The data is managed and released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


  • A new draft National Forest Policy 2018 has been framed by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change. It is expected to replace the country’s 30 year old forest policy which is in force since 1988. It proposes for climate change mitigation through effective sustainable forest management. 
    Public-private partnership for afforestation,  forest fire prevention, promotion of agro-forestry and farm forestry are some of the salient features of the proposed draft.


  • According to a Supreme Court ruling, the foreign law firms or foreign lawyers cannot practice law in the country either on the litigation or non-litigation side. This means overseas lawyers or firms cannot open offices in the country, appear in courts or before any authority or render other legal services, such as giving opinions or drafting documents. The move is a conscious effort to keep India’s legal market exclusively for Indians.
    However, foreign law firms or foreign lawyers are allowed to visit India for a temporary period on a “fly in and fly out” basis for giving legal advice to their clients on foreign law or their own system of law and on international legal issues.


  • The farmers’ protest in Maharashtra was called off after the government accepted some of the demands. The major demands accepted by the government include transferring rights of forest land cultivated by tribal farmers and relaxation of certain conditions in the farm loan-waiver scheme.
    Though the protest was confined to Maharashtra, it reflects the growing unrest among farmer community over dipping margins, less infrastructural support, land problems, climate dependency etc. and calls for structural changes in agricultural sector. 


  • India co-hosted first International Solar Alliance (ISA) meet on March 11.
    ISA is the first international treaty-based organisation headquartered in India. It was established following the Paris Declaration as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries. Of the 121 countries associated with ISA, 61 have joined the alliance and 32 have ratified the framework agreement.
    India has targeted to produce 175 GW electricity from renewable sources by 2022 in which 100 GW will be from solar energy.


  • In a milestone verdict, Supreme Court of India has legalised passive euthanasia and approved 'living will' to provide dignified death to terminally ill patients or those in persistent and incurable vegetative state.
    While Passive euthanasia is a condition where there is withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention to hasten the death of a terminally-ill patient, a living will is a written document by way of which a patient can give his explicit instructions in advance about the medical treatment to be administered when he or she is terminally ill or no longer able to express informed consent. 
    The judgement came in response to the petition filed by an NGO “Common Cause”, based on the argument that Right to life must include right to die with dignity.


  • Balkrishna Doshi, the legendary Indian Architect becomes the first Indian to win prestigious Pritzker Prize which is considered as architecture field’s Nobel. His work is committed to sustainable architecture and low-cost housing.
    The international Pritzker prize was established by Chicago’s Pritzker family in 1979. It is considered to be one of the world’s premier architecture awards.


  • India has got approval to join the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), after shareholders of the London-based multilateral lender agreed to the country becoming its 69th member. It will enable Indian companies to undertake joint investments in regions in which the EBRD operates. As a multilateral developmental investment bank, the EBRD uses investment as a tool to build market economies.


  • India’s first HeliTaxi (Helicopter shuttle service) has been launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is an attempt to improvise last mile connectivity by reducing travelling time between airport and Electronic City from two hours (by road) to 15 minutes.


  • Indian Railways is planning a Rs 10 lakh-crore high-speed train corridors construction plan to connect all major cities in the country, covering almost 10,000 kilometres, along the lines of the government’s Bharatmala highways development programme.


Key Updates: February 2018


  • According to the latest State of the World’s Human Rights report by Amnesty International, Indian authorities were openly critical of human rights defenders in 2017, feeding a climate of hostility and violence against them. “Repressive laws were used to stifle freedom of expression, and journalists and press freedom came under increasing attack. Several journalists and Human Rights Defenders also lost their lives. Freedom of expression in universities also remained under threat,” the Amnesty report said about India 


  • The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees(CBT) has recommended an interest rate of 8.55 per cent for 2017-18. The past few years have seen the interest rate on Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) headed downwards - from 8.8 per cent in 2015-16 to 8.65 per cent in the following fiscal, a four-year low.


  • Popular Tamil actor Kamal Haasan has launched a new political party named “Makkal Needhi Maiam”(People’s Justice Party). The party symbol: a flag featuring six united hands - three each in white and red - with a white star in the middle. The six hands represent the six south Indian states working together for the benefit of all. The star in the Centre represents people.


  • India has been ranked 81st in the global corruption perception index for 2017, released by Transparency International, which named the country among the "worst offenders" in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region. The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, placed India at the 81st place. In 2016 India was in placed in the 79th position among 176 countries. While New Zealand and Denmark were placed the highest with scores of 89 and 88, respectively, Syria, South Sudan and Somalia were ranked lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9, respectively.


Key Updates: January 2018


  • The nation celebrated 69th Republic Day on January 26, which was attended by the ten ASEAN leaders as chief guests, in a historic first. President Ram Nath Kovind awarded India's highest peacetime military decoration Ashok Chakra posthumously to Indian Air Force Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala, who laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The President approved the Padma awards for 85 individuals, which includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri. Fourteen of the awardees are women and 3 persons have been awarded posthumously. Prominent citizens from each of the 10 ASEAN member countries are among the 16 foreigners named for the Award.


  • The nation celebrated 69th Republic Day on January 26, which was attended by the ten ASEAN leaders as chief guests, in a historic first. President Ram Nath Kovind awarded India's highest peacetime military decoration Ashok Chakra posthumously to Indian Air Force Garud commando Corporal Jyoti Prakash Nirala, who laid down his life after gunning down two terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The President approved the Padma awards for 85 individuals, which includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri. Fourteen of the awardees are women and 3 persons have been awarded posthumously. Prominent citizens from each of the 10 ASEAN member countries are among the 16 foreigners named for the Award.


  • Mr Om Prakash Rawat has been appointed as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India. And has succeeded Achal Kumar Joti. A 1977-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre, Rawat was appointed to the Election Commission in August 2015.A notification by the Law Ministry said, former Finance Secretary Ashok Lawasa has been appointed as the new election commissioner against the vacancy caused by the elevation of Mr Rawat.


  • BharatNet Phase 1 target achieved - Government has achieved the first milestone (Phase 1) of the poject BharatNet by connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network. This was acheived under the initially set deadline 31 Dec 2017.  BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.


Key Updates: December 2017


  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, dedicated to the people of Andhra Pradesh four projects of the State Government at a function held at Velagapudi, Andhra Pradesh today (December 27, 2017). These were Andhra Pradesh Fibregrid, Andhra Pradesh Surveillance Project, Drone Project; and Free Space Optical Communication or FSOC system. 


  • NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Government of India’s flagship program to promote innovation and entrepreneurship nationwide in schools, universities and industry, has selected additional 1500 Schools for establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs). The addition of these schools will give a major boost to realize the vision of the mission to ‘Cultivate One Million children in India as the Innovators of tomorrow’. With this announcement of the new Atal Tinkering Labs, AIM, has selected 2441 Schools across India to establish ATLs to date since it began its operations over a year ago.


  • All India Congress Committee's Central Election Authority officially announced Rahul Gandhi as the President of the Indian National Congress. As the 16th president of the Congress Party (post independence), he has taken the baton from his mother Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.


  • Export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), in a meeting held at Vienna, has decided to make India its new member. This move can strengthen the country’s non-proliferation credentials as well as access to high-technology in the fields of space and defence. The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies) is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) with 41 (Now 42 including India) participating states including many former COMECON (Warsaw Pact) countries. Members of the group are not bound by any treaty, but they exchange information on their transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods to countries that are not part of the arrangement.


  • Andhra Pradesh plans to set up a renewable power plant comprising 120 MW of solar generation and 40 MW of wind generation, with battery back-up facility. This will be the first such large scale hybrid project with battery back-up facility. The project is set to commence in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.


Key Updates: November 2017


  • Government has launched a new mobile app - UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) to enable citizens to access government services on a single platform. The services live on the app include Aadhaar, DigiLocker, Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) among others. It is a state and central government service application with 162 services from 33 state and central government departments. It can also be used to pay utility bills, calculate crop insurance premium, book OPD appointments at government hospitals, raise EPFO claims etc.


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval to the new scheme called 'Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra'. It will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential. Through this scheme, government plans to reach 115 most backward districts in the country through 920 Mahila Shakti Kendra. Student volunteers will play a major role in awareness generation regarding government schemes/ programmes and social issues.


  • Shubhangi Swaroop has become the first woman to be inducted as a pilot in the Indian Navy. She will soon be flying Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft. Also, three other women cadets, Astha Segal from New Delhi, Roopa A from Puducherry and Sakthi Maya S from Kerala, became the country's first women officers at the Naval Armament Inspectorate (NAI) branch of the Navy.


  • India successfully launched the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile – BrahMos, which is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia. It has a strike range of around 290 km and can be fired from land, sea and air. It was tested from the Indian Airforce frontline fighter, Sukhoi-30 against a target in the Bay of Bengal.


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, Child Protection Services and National Crèche Scheme till Nov. 30, 2018 with an outlay of over Rs. 41,000 crores. These are the sub-schemes under Umbrella Scheme “Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)”.


  • While the Anganwadi Services (ICDS) aims at holistic development of children under the age of six and Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers, the Scheme for Adolescent Girls is to facilitate, educate and empower Adolescent Girls so as to enable them to become self-reliant and aware.


  • Birth anniversary of Birsa Munda was observed on November 15, recognizing his role in National Movement. The state of Jharkhand was created on his birth anniversary in 2000, after its partition from Bihar.


  • Banglar Rasogolla of West Bengal and Mamallapuram stone sculptures of Tamil Nadu have been given Geographical Indication Tag by the Geographical Indication (GI) Registry and Intellectual Property India. Geographical Indications are defined as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.”


  • Banaganapalle mangoes of Andhra Pradesh and Tulaipanji rice of West Bengal were also granted Geographical Indication (GI) this fiscal year by the Indian patent office.


  • The Union Cabinet has given approval for the creation of National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier organization. The objective of the agency is to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions. It will be chaired by eminent educationist and will initially start with entrance examinations which are currently being conducted by the CBSE, gradually taking up other examinations.


  • Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar declared that next academic year onwards 'Paika Bidroha' (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 will find a place in the history books as 'the First War of Independence'. It was an armed rebellion in Odisha against British East India Company.


  • The Centre has allocated approximately Rs. 200 crores for commemorating it across the country.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladesh counterpart, Sheikh Hasina, and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee have jointly inaugurated a series of connectivity projects between the two countries. It includes the second Bhairab and Titas Railway Bridges, the International Rail Passenger Terminus at Chitpur in Kolkata, Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna.


  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has released the Paradise Papers, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world's most powerful people and companies. In recent months this is the second big alleged disclosure after Panama Papers.


Key Updates: October 2017


  • Padma Vibhushan awardee and eminent classical singer, Girija Devi passed away on October 24, 2017. She was a legendary singer of the Benaras gharana and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972, the Padma Bhushan in 1989 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2016.


  • National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD), the world's largest combustion research centre has been inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in Tamil Nadu. Established at a cost of 90 crores, the centre will give a major boost to the Indian scientific community and will provide an impetus to research in 'Alternative Energy and Environmental Protection' by focusing on effective utilisation of combustion as a means of thermo-chemical energy conversion.