General Awareness

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Current Affairs

National updates

 

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.

International updates

 

Key Updates: October 2018

 

  • World Cities Day: The United Nations has designated 31st October every year as World Cities Day, which aims to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. The theme for this year is “Building sustainable and resilient cities”.

 

  • Researchers developed a web-based tool to monitor fake news on Facebook, Twitter: Scientists have developed a web-based tool i.e. “Novel tool” to help monitor the prevalence of fake news on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

 

  • Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka: The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was officially sworn in as the island nation’s Prime Minister. The startling developments led to the collapse of the country’s first national unity government, with Mr. Sirisena joining hands once again with the leader he ousted in 2015.

 

  • Clara Sosa Wins Miss Grand International 2018 In Myanmar: Miss Paraguay Clara Sosa won the Miss Grand International 2018 title at the 6th edition of the beauty pageant in Yangon, Myanmar.

 

  • PM Narendra Modi awarded 2018 Seoul Peace Prize: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth.

 

  • United Nations Day: United Nations Day is celebrated each year on 24th October, the day would be instrumental in making people aware and it shall be devoted in making known to the people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gain their support for its work.

 

  • World Polio Day: World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk. World Polio Day is celebrated every year on 24 October, is an opportunity for the global polio eradication community to renew its promise to every child at-risk from this preventable, paralyzing disease and to realize a polio-free world for future generations. The theme for this year is “Bold Steps to End Polio”.

 

  • World Development Information Day: The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is celebrated every year on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.

 

  • China opens world’s longest sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai: China's President Xi Jinping launched the world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, at a time when Beijing is tightening its grip on its semi-autonomous territories.

 

  • US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla wins 2018 Shakti Bhatt Prize: US-based Dalit writer Sujatha Gidla has won 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut book “Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India, published by HarperCollins India.

 

  • China plans to launch “man-made moons” to lower electricity costs: China is planning to launch its own “artificial moon” by 2020 to replace street lamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas. The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite launch Center in Sichuan.

 

  • Indian-American awarded at White House for combating human trafficking: An Indian-American woman has been honoured with a Presidential award by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for her extraordinary contribution towards combating human trafficking in Houston.

 

  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed every year on October 17, to promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries. The theme for this year is “Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity”.

 

  • World Food Day: World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October, people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. The theme for this year is “Our actions are our future”.

 

  • International Day of Rural Women: International Day of Rural Women celebrates and honors the role of rural women on October 15 every year. It recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty worldwide.

 

  • India elected to UN Human Rights Council: India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body for a period of three years beginning in January 1st, 2019, getting 188 votes in the Asia-Pacific category, the highest number of votes among all candidates.

 

  • International Day for Disaster Reduction: The United Nations General Assembly has designated 13 October as the date to celebrate the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The 2017 theme continues under the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.

 

  • Maryse Conde wins alternative Nobel: Guadeloupean author Maryse Conde won an alternative award formed in protest to the Nobel Literature Prize, which was cancelled following a sexual assault scandal.

 

  • World Obesity Day: World Obesity Day is observed globally on 11th October with the view of promoting practical solutions to end the global obesity crisis.

 

  • International Day of the Girl Child: The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated every year on 11th October, which aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.

 

  • World Post Day: World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9th October, aimed to create and maintain a structure for the free flow of international mail around the world.

 

  • William Nordhaus, Paul Romer awarded 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics: Americans William Nordhaus and Paul Romer won the 2018 Nobel Economics Prize for work in integrating climate change and technological innovation into economic analysis, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

 

  • Barham Salih Elected As The New President Of Iraq: Iraq’s parliament have elected as president Kurdish politician Barham Salih after a protracted political wrangling, marking a crucial step in forming the government in the next four years.

 

  • Japan space probe Hayabusa2 launches MASCOT to study Ryugu asteroid: The Hayabusa2 probe launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, toward the Ryugu asteroid’s surface. It can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

 

  • International Day of Non-Violence: The International Day of Non-Violence is observed every year on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

 

  • US Congressional Gold Medal awarded by Mahatma Gandhi: Half a dozen influential US lawmakers, including four Indian Americans, have moved a resolution in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi in recognition of his promotion of peace and non-violence.

 

  • Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter to win Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances H. Arnold of California Institute of Technology for the directed evolution of enzymes and to George P. Smith of the University of Missouri and Gregory P. Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.

 

  • Nobel Prize in physics goes to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland: Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their “groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”.

 

  • James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Nobel Medicine or Physiology Prize has been awarded to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of “cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.

 

  • WHO launches 1st Global Guidelines on Sanitation and health: The World Health Organization has launched first global guidelines on sanitation and health, urging countries to invest in sanitation to limit the spread of disease and promote good health and economic productivity.

 

  • India ranked 5th in pictorial warnings on cigarette packets: India has secured to the fifth position among 206 countries in terms of the largest pictorial warning on cigarette packs with 85 percent of both sides of the packets covered, according to a report released by the Canadian Cancer Society.

 

  • World Habitat Day: The first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The theme for this year is “Municipal Solid Waste Management” with slogan Waste-wise cities.

 

  • International Day of Older Persons: The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1st every year to raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately. The theme for this year is "Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions".

 

  • World Architecture Day: World Architecture Day, celebrated on the first Monday of every October, aiming to highlight and remind the world of the architecture's collective responsibility in designing the world's future cities and settlements. The theme for World Architecture Day is "Architecture... for a better world" which will be celebrated on October 1, 2018.

 

  • WHO launches first Global Guidelines on Sanitation and Health: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health even as it pitched for higher investments and policy shifts to achieve the goal of universal sanitation coverage by 2032.

 

  • Researchers developed spacesuits for microbes: Scientists have developed "spacesuits" for bacteria that may allow the microbes to survive space environments that would otherwise kill them.

 

  • Ravi Venkatesan appointed as UNICEF special representative: The UNICEF has appointed the former chairman of the Bank of Baroda Ravi Venkatesan has its special representative of young people. Venkatesan will also help shape the overall strategy and approach of Generation Unlimited with a particular focus on engaging the private sector and identifying regional champions.

 

Key Updates: September 2018

 

  • World Rivers Day: World Rivers Day is observed every last Sunday in September. Established in 2005, it highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

 

  • World Heart Day: World Heart Day is observed every year on 29th September across the world. It is a part of an international campaign to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke prevention.

 

  • US, Morocco launch GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative: The United States and Morocco launched the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The initiative brings together stakeholders to share expertise on how to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools. It was launched on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

 

  • World Rabies Day: World Rabies Day is celebrated annually on 28 September around the world to raise awareness about rabies prevention and to highlight progress in defeating this horrifying disease. The theme for this year is Rabies: Share the message. Save a life.

 

  • World Tourism Day: World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September around the world to foster awareness among international community of importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The theme of this year is “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.

 

  • International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is observed every year on 26 September around the world. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority.

 

  • World Contraception Day: World Contraception Day is observed on September 26th every year. The day’s mission is to improve awareness of all contraceptive methods available and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

 

  • Maldives President Abdulla Yameen concedes defeat in election: Maldive's President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat to opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a presidential election. The message is loud and clear. The people of Maldives want change, peace and justice.

 

  • International Day of Sign Languages: International Day of Sign Languages is celebrated annually across the world on 23 September every year as part of the International Week of the Deaf. It is aimed to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The theme for this year is "With Sign Language, Everyone is Included".

 

  • Nepal becomes world's first country to double its tiger population: Nepal could become the first country to double its national tiger population since the launch of ambitious TX2 goal at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022.

 

  • World Alzheimer’s Day: World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated on 21st September every year. World Alzheimer’s Day is a day on which Alzheimer’s organizations around the world, concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 

  • India, Bangladesh PM’s jointly inaugurate two Projects: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the construction of a friendship pipeline project through video conferencing. The 130-kilometre India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.

 

  • Germany launches world’s first hydrogen – powered train: Germany launched world's first hydrogen-powered passenger trains. The trains are officially called as Coradia iLint, and these will operate in northern German towns. The new trains will run 100-kilometer trips and can travel up to 140 kilometers an hour.

 

  • International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer: International Ozone Day is celebrated on 16th September every year for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme for this year is “to spread awareness and bring attention to the depletion of the ozone layer”.

 

  • Moutaz Mousa Abdallah becomes Sudan’s new Prime Minister: Moutaz Mousa Abdallah has become the Sudan's new Prime Minister. A 21-member cabinet was sworn in at the presidential palace in Khartoum. Mousa Abdallah is also holding the finance portfolio in a bid to revive the country's ailing economy.

 

  • International Day of Democracy 2018 observed globally: The International Day of Democracy was observed across the world on September 15, 2018. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world. The theme for this year is “Democracy under Strain: Solutions for a Changing World”.

 

  • Russia launches its biggest war games “VOSTOK-2018” since cold-war: Russia has launched its largest military exercises since the Cold War, with hundreds of thousands of Russian troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force that has rattled the West. The week-long war games “Vostok-2018” (East-2018) have kicked off in far eastern Russia and on the Pacific Ocean.

 

  • India and Mongolia joint exercise “Nomadic Elephant 2018” starts in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: India-Mongolia joint exercise Nomadic Elephant-2018, commenced at Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Five Hills Training Area, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Exercise Nomadic Elephant is an annual, bilateral exercise since 2006 which is designed to strengthen the partnership between Indian Army and Mongolian Armed Forces.

 

  • United States announces closure of Palestinian mission in Washington: The United States would close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission in Washington, DC, in what Palestinian leaders described as "a declaration of war" on peace efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump.

 

  • World Suicide Prevention Day: World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated every year on 10th September, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) which aims to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.

 

  • Pakistan could become world’s 5th largest nuclear weapons state: Pakistan currently has 140 to 150 nuclear warheads and the stockpile is expected to increase to 220 to 250 by 2025. Pakistan may become the world's third-largest nuclear weapon state - with a stockpile of some 350 warheads a decade.

 

  • International Literacy Day: International Literacy Day will be celebrated around the world on 8th September to raise people's awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world. The theme for this year is “Literacy and skills development”.

 

  • Bengaluru airport set to become first in Asia to use face recognition as boarding pass: Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is set to become the first airport in Asia next year to use face recognition as the boarding procedure for passengers to board flights and move across different sections of the airport.

 

  • West coast begins Tsunami mock drill “IOWave18”: An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 in Makran Trench south of Iran was simulated triggering evacuation of about 90,000 people living in certain vulnerable coastal villages of Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra as part of a major Indian Ocean wide tsunami mock drill - IOWave18.

 

  • Dr Arif Alvi elected as 13th President of Pakistan: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Arif Alvi was elected as the 13th President of Pakistan. Alvi, a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of the founding members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

 

  • International Women Entrepreneurs summit held in Kathmandu: Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun inaugurated the International Women Entrepreneurs summit held in Kathmandu. The main objective of the summit is to bring together achievers, women business leaders, professionals, international service providers, resource organizations, experts, government representatives and other stakeholders with a focus on innovative economic transformation through discussions and collaborations. The theme of this event is “Equality begins with Economic Empowerment”.

 

  • Ukraine launches joint military drills with NATO: Ukraine launched joint military exercises with the U.S. and a string of other NATO countries as tensions with Russia remain high over the Kremlin-backed insurgency in the country’s east.

 

  • World Coconut Day: World Coconut Day will be celebrated around the world on 2nd September to enhance coconut farming with focus on productivity and product diversification. The theme for this year is “Coconut for Good Health, Wealth and Wellness”.

 

Key Updates: August 2018

  

  • China launches high-definition Earth observation satellite: China successfully launched Gaofen-11, an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project can be used for land survey, urban planning, road network design, agriculture, and disaster relief and will also be used for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It was launched on a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province.

 

  • UAE offers amnesty programme to aid foreign visa violators: The United Arab Emirates launched a landmark three-month visa amnesty programme which will benefit hundreds of illegal foreign workers, including Indians, overstaying their permits by allowing them to leave the country without penalties and giving them six months to find a job.

 

  • World’s 1st Hindi-Speaking realistic humanoid Robot “Rashmi”: Ranchi man Ranjit Srivastava has developed world’s first Hindi speaking realistic humanoid robot and India’s first lip-synching robot developed by a Hong Kong based company, named Rashmi. Rashmi uses linguistic interpretation (LI), artificial intelligence (AI), visual data and facial recognition systems.

 

  • India becomes 3rd Asian nation to get STA 1 status from US: India has become the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorization-1 (STA-1) status, paving the way for high-technology product sales to India, particularly in civil space and defense sectors.

 

  • China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft: China has successfully tested its first cutting-edge hypersonic "Waverider" aircraft Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2), which could carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems.

 

  • International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples: August 9 is commemorated as the International Day of the “World’s Indigenous Peoples” is celebrated around the world. This day people from around the world are encouraged to spread the UN’s message on the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. The theme for this year is “Indigenous people’s migration and movement”.

 

  • World Biofuel Day: World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and to highlight the various efforts made by the Government in the biofuel sector.

 

  • President Michelle Bachelet appointed as next High Commissioner for Human Rights: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed the former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to be the next high commissioner of human rights.

 

  • International Youth Day: International Youth Day observed on August 12 is aimed to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The theme for this year is “Safe Spaces for Youth”.

 

  • NASA launches Parker Solar Probe mission to study Sun’s corona: NASA has launched “Parker Solar Probe mission” from Florida to begin its journey to the Sun, where it will undertake a landmark mission.

 

  • First Indian to get elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative: Indian scientist-academician, N Raghuram elected as Chair of International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), a global policy making initiative.

 

  • Iran unveils next generation short-range ballistic missile: Defence minister of Iran has unveiled “Fateh Mobin” a next generation short-range ballistic missile with a warning that its “will to enhance our defence power in all fields will increase”.

 

  • 24th World Congress of Philosophy held in Beijing, China for the first time: The World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) will be held for the 24th time from August 13 to 20 in Beijing, co-organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP) and Peking University. The theme is “Learning to Be Human”, the Congress will feature more than 1,000 academic activities, including a plenary meeting, fora, lectures, panel discussions, round-table exchanges, special side meetings and sessions for students.

 

  • Three visionary scientists receives 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize award: Three visionary scientists James Allison, Carl June and Steven Rosenberg , whose work has led to a revolutionary new way to treat cancer and other diseases are the recipients of the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.

 

  • Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wins re-election as Mali President: Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has won re-election after beating opposition candidate, Soumaila Cisse, in a runoff vote.

 

  • Israeli Navy to procure Barak 8 missile defence system: The multi-purpose Barak 8 missile defence system, jointly developed by India and Israel, will be procured by the Israeli Navy to protect its economic zones and strategic facilities from diversified threats and the sales for it have exceeded USD 5 billion.

 

  • 11th World Hindi Conference begins in Mauritius: The 11th World Hindi Conference, an event aimed at expanding the reach of the Hindi language at a global level, has started in Port Louis the capital of Mauritius. The theme of the Conference is “Hindi World and Indian Culture”.

 

  • World Humanitarian Day: World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and to rally support for people affected by crises around the world.

 

  • S K Arora awarded WHO World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award: Delhi government's additional director of health, SK Arora was awarded prestigious World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day 2017 Award for his extraordinary contribution towards tobacco control.

 

  • World Mosquito Day: World Mosquito Day observed on 20 August, which aims to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as fundraising for research into the cure of malaria.

 

  • Iran unveils first domestic manufactured fighter jet: Iran unveiled its first domestic fighter jet dubbed “Kowsar” at a defence show in Tehran, with President Hassan Rouhani insisting that Tehran's military strength was only designed to deter enemies and create "lasting peace".

 

  • International Day of Remembrance and tribute to the Victims of Terrorism: The United Nations observed 21 August as the International Day of Remembrance of and tribute to the victims of terrorism every year, in order to honor and support the victims and survivors of terrorism and to promote and protect the full enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

 

  • World Senior Citizens Day: The World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st of August every year, to bring awareness of social, health, and economic issues that affect senior citizens.

 

  • International Water Colour Festival in Ranchi: The Government of Jharkhand is to host World’s largest Water Colour Festival to promote the rich cultural space of Jharkhand known for its exemplary tribal art works ranging from ‘Sohrai’ to Kohbar to Dhokra fine art.

 

  • European Space Agency unveils world’s first wind-sensing satellite: The European Space Agency (ESA) successfully launched wind-sensing satellite named “Aeolus” at Kourou in French Guiana. It is the first satellite capable of performing global wind-component-profile observation on a daily basis in near real-time.

 

  • Treasurer Scott Morrison elected as New Prime Minister of Australia: Scott Morrison was elected in as Australia's seventh prime minister after a Liberal party coup in a stunning upset against key challenger Peter Dutton.

 

  • NASA introduced an app to take space selfies: NASA has launched a new Selfie app allows you to take selfies in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. Along with NASA, the US space agency also launched an exoplanet excursions virtual reality (VR) app that takes VR users on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

 

  • Misa Matsushima became the first woman fighter pilot in Japan: Misa Matsushima, a 26 years old became the first woman fighter pilot in Japan Air Self Defence Force.

 

  • 4th Asian electoral stakeholders forum held at Colombo in Sri Lanka: The fourth Asian electoral stakeholders forum (AESF-IV) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka to discuss the state of elections and democracy in the region. The theme is “Advancing Election Transparency and Integrity: Promoting and Defending Democracy Together”.

 

Key Updates: July 2018

 

  • New SES-12 satellite launches will help fast track Digital India: The new mega satellite “SES-12” launched successfully by providing coverage over Asia will help fast-track Digital India and financial inclusion initiatives.

 

  • North Korea named as “worst human trafficking country”: The US State Department categorized North Korea as one of the “worst human trafficking nations” for the 16th straight year, citing the use of forced labour.

 

  • Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador elected as Mexico's President: Mexico’s leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has won the country’s presidential election at the helm of Latin America’s second-largest economy for the first time in decades.

 

  • First transgender model to be crowned Miss Universe Spain: Angela Ponce has become the first-ever transgender woman to be crowned Miss Universe Spain.

 

  • Russia builds two nuclear power units in China: Russia's state nuclear power corporation Rosatom and China's National Energy Administration signed an agreement to build the two 1,200-megawatt units at the Tianwan nuclear power plant.

 

  • World Zoonoses Day: World Zoonoses Day observed worldwide on 6th July every year to raises awareness for the risk of zoonotic diseases. Zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans, and vice versa.

 

  • International cooperation Day: International co-operation Day observed worldwide on 7th July every year to increase awareness on co-operatives and promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. The theme for this year is “Sustainable societies through cooperation”.

 

  • UK launches new visas for Indian scientists: The United Kingdom has launched new visas that will be open to Indian scientists and researchers, to encourage the growth of the country's research sector.

 

  • Women sports journalist launches LetHerWork movement in Brazil: Women sports reporters launched the online LetHerWork campaign in Brazil, highlights the harassment faced by women reporters while covering sports events.

 

  • Yemen’s Houthis launched a missile at Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Economic City: Saudi Arabia's air defense forces successfully intercepted a missile launched towards the kingdom's southwestern Jizan region by Yemen's armed Houthi movement.

 

  • India becomes 69th shareholder of European development bank: India has become 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank's.

 

  • World Bank reports “Failure to educate girls” could cost world 30 trillion dollars a year: Failure to finish education of girls could cost the world as much as 30 trillion dollars in lost earnings and productivity annually, yet more than 130 million girls are out of school globally.

 

  • UN finalizes first ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: The United Nations member states have agreed an all - encompassing Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, marking the first time they came together to negotiate an agreement covering all dimensions of international migration.

 

  • China launches 300 satellites to provide worldwide low-orbit communications: China planned to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services, with the first in the series to be launched later this year.

 

  • Russia tests new nuclear weapons after summit with Trump: Russia's military is testing an array of new nuclear and other weapons, from a high-powered laser weapon system to a nuclear-powered cruise missile with "unlimited'' range.

 

  • Israel’s passes new law only Jews right of self-determination: Israel has passed “nation-state” law to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, backed by the right-wing government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member parliament after months of political argument.

 

  • Myanmar joins International Solar Alliance: Myanmar has joined the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA), becoming the 68th member of the grouping that is aiming at optimum utilization of solar energy.

 

  • New Ebola species found in Sierra Leone: A new species of Ebola virus has been found in bats in Sierra Leone, two years after the end of an outbreak that killed over 11,000 across West Africa.

 

  • Indian driven gold mining project in Russia praised at BRICS Summit: An Indian driven gold mining project in Siberia has been hailed at the BRICS Summit here as the primary practical implementation of the objectives of the grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

 

  • A Society Aims to Advance Abdul Kalam's Vision set up in Singapore: A society has been set up in Singapore in honour of former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and to advance his vision for the world. The Abdul Kalam Vision Society (AKVS) will organise knowledge-enhancing events, lectures and essay competition to convey the ideas and values that Dr Kalam espoused.

 

  • Imran Khan becomes new Prime Minister of Pakistan: Former International cricket superstar Imran Khan won the 2018 election and will be sworn-in as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on August 11th.

 

  • India and UAE sign MoU on Artificial Intelligence: The UAE Minister for Artificial Intelligence and Invest India signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the India-UAE Artificial Intelligence Bridge. The MoU will spur development across areas like Blockchain, AI and Analytics as data and processing will be a catalyst for innovation and business growth and serve as the backbone of more effective and efficient service delivery systems.

 

  • World hepatitis day: World Hepatitis Day observed on July 28 every year, that aims to raise global awareness of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The theme for this year is “Find the Missing Millions”.

 

  • International Tiger Day: International Tiger Day is celebrated July 29 every year, that aims to increase awareness on tiger populations throughout the world. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers - Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.

 

  • First Nepal-India Think Tank Summit Begins in Kathmandu: The first Nepal-India Think Tank Summit will be held in Kathmandu to foster greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the think tanks of the two countries. The summit has organized by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs and Nehru Memorial Museum Library. The objective of the summit is to support the networks and promote mutual understanding through institutional collaboration on resource sharing for joint events/publications among think tanks of the two countries.

 

  • World Day against Trafficking in Persons: The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on July 30 to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. The theme for this year is “Responding to the trafficking of children and young people”.

 

Key Updates: June 2018

 

  • Pakistan places on FATF’s “grey list”: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had taken the decision to place Pakistan on the “grey list” for failing to curb anti-terror financing despite its diplomatic efforts to remove the decision.

 

  • International Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise day: Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day is celebrated worldwide every year on 27 June, to raise awareness around the skills needed by youth to acquire decent jobs. The theme for this year is “The Youth Dimension”.

 

  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: The “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” falls on June 26 every year observed by United Nations, to strengthening action and spreading awareness about drug abuse and illegal drug trade in the world. The theme for this year is "Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe".

 

  • Day of the Seafarer: The “Day of the Seafarer” is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since 2016, is observed by International Maritime Organization (IMO). The theme for this year is “Seafarers wellbeing”.

 

  • China launches Spy Bird Drone to boost government surveillance: China has launched Spy Bird Drone equipped with high-tech surveillance technology. The spies are equipped with a camera, a GPS antenna and a data link to communicate their findings.

 

  • International Widows Day: "International Widows Day" was announced by the United Nations and is celebrated on every year 23rd of June across the World, to raise awareness about the plight of widows around the world and taking action to help them.

 

  • International Music Day: International Music Day is also known as “Fete de la Musique” is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since the past couple of decades.

 

  • International Yoga Day: International Yoga Day is celebrated on every year June 21 around the world since 2015, which aims to join your mind and body with your soul. The theme for this year is “Yoga for Peace”.

 

  • International Refugee Day: The “International Refugee Day” is celebrated on every year 20th of June across the world, in order to raise the public awareness about refugees situations throughout the world.

 

  • International day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict: The United Nations has designated June 19 as  “International day for the elimination of sexual violence in conflict” which aims to “raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes”. The theme of this year is “The Plight and Rights of Children Born of War”.

 

  • World sustainable Gastronomy Day: Every year 14th June around the world observes the “World sustainable Gastronomy Day” acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.

 

  • WHO classifies “playing video games” as mental health disorder: The World Health Organization declared "playing video games" as a new mental health disorder included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases. The disorder includes some characteristics like loss of control, escalation of gaming behavior and loss of interest in other activities.

 

  • Russia successfully launches Glonass-M satellite:  Russia successfully launched Glonass-M navigation satellite using Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center in Russia's Arkhangelsk province, which  provides a real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe.

 

  • World day to combat Desertification and Drought: Every year worldwide 17th June observes the “World day to combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification and to focus on sustainable land management as a way to regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize communities. The theme of this year is “Land has true value – Invest in it”.

 

  • International day of family remittances: The United Nations has designated June 15 as “International day of family remittances” is an opportunity to recognize the efforts of migrants globally and strengthen current cross-industry partnerships and create new synergies among sectors to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide and join together to help reach the ultimate goal of making migration for future generations more of a choice than a necessity.

 

  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: The United Nations has designated June 15 as “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” is a global social issue which affects millions of older persons around the world, and an issue which deserves the attention of the international community. The theme of this year is “Moving from Awareness to Action through a Human Rights based approach.

 

  • World Blood Donors Day: Every year 14th June around the world celebrated the “World Blood Donors Day” is an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. World Health Organization is aimed to obtain the sufficient blood supplies from the voluntary and unpaid blood donors all over the world by 2020. The theme of this year’s campaign is blood donation as an action of solidarity.

 

  • International conference on ICT to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal: International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of Nepal from June 17-18, 2018. The Theme of two day conference is “Sustainable Development Goals for Smart Society”.

 

  • World Day against child labour: The World Day against child labour is celebrated every year across the world on 12th June, which helps to raise awareness against child labour. The theme for this year is “Generation safe and Healthy”.

 

  • SVC Cooperative Bank awarded National Payments Excellence Award: SVC Co-operative Bank has achieved the National Payments Excellence Award 2017 by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is the highest recognition in the banking industry for exceptional performance in payments system.

 

  • Five Countries elected as non-permanent UNSC members: South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium Countries elected as non-permanent members for two-year terms commencing on 1st January 2019.

 

  • World Oceans Day: Every year 8th June across the world celebrated the “World Oceans Day” is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. The main theme is to prevent plastic pollution and encourage solutions for a healthy ocean.

 

  • World Brain Tumor Day: Brain Tumor Day is celebrated every year across the world on 8th June, which helps to raise awareness about brain tumor and how to deal with the condition in the most effective manner.

 

  • India ranks 136th in Global Peace Index 2018: India was moved up one level higher to 136th position among 163 countries on the 2018 Global Peace Index due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by law enforcement. The index prepared by the international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which was topped by Iceland.

 

  • World Environment Day observed: Every year 5th June across the world celebrated the “World Environment Day”, communities and individuals around the world work to increase awareness of the importance of conserving the environment. The theme for 2018 is beating “Plastic Pollution”.

 

  • World Bank Economy is healthy but growth will slow: The anti-poverty agency predicted global growth will decelerate from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020. The world economy is generally healthy but must contend with rising interest rates in wealthier countries and weaker demand for commodities in developing nations.

 

  • International day of innocent children victims of aggression observed: International day of innocent children victims of aggression has celebrated every year across the world on 4th June. The aim of the day offers an opportunity to recognize the sufferings of the children worldwide who are the victims of aggression and serves as an occasion to remember the sacred duty which is enshrined in the declaration of Rights of Children in the United Nations to ensure that each and every child enjoys special protection.

 

  • Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom launches “global action plan on physical activity”: WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined with  Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal and launched the new "WHO Global action plan on physical activity and health 2018-2030: More active people for a healthier world". The main structure and ambition to reduce physical inactivity by 15% by 2030.

 

  • World Bicycle day: The first official “Bicycle day” was celebrated on 3rd June 2018 approved by United Nations on April 2018. The day was celebrated to raise awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using bicycle a sample, flexible, reliable and friendly environmental transportation and leisure.

 

Key Updates: May 2018

 

  • Russia unveils Nuclear power plant in Arctic: Russia unveiled world’s first-floating nuclear power plant in May 2018 in the Arctic port of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.

 

  • Trump awards Medal of Honor to Britt Slabinski: President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to the Navy's Seal Britt Slabinski, the retired Master Chief Special Warfare Operator for daring assault amid ongoing enemy fire to rescue of his teammate on a mountainside in Afghanistan 2002, according to the White House.

 

  • International Museum Day observed on 18th May: Every year since 1977, museums around the world have celebrated May 18 as International Museum Day. The theme for 2018 is "Hyper connected museums: New approaches, new publics". The aim of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples".

 

  • Ireland ends abortion ban: The prime minister of Ireland described the result as the culmination of “a quiet revolution” in what was once one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries after a landslide referendum vote to liberalize highly restrictive laws on abortion.

 

  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed: Every year May 17th is observed as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. This is to help raise the awareness possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies. This year theme is to focus on the opportunities for how AI can help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

 

  • May 15th International Day of Families: The International Day of Families was observed on the May 15th every year. There is a different theme for the day every year. This year's theme is “Families and Inclusive Societies” and focus on the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goal 16 relating to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

 

  • The International founder of Sulabh awarded Nikkei Asia Prize: The founder of Sulabh International Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak was awarded for the Nikkei Asia Prize 2018 in Japan for his contribution to Asia's development.

 

  • The first country to eliminate Trachoma: The World Health Organization announced Nepal the first country in south-east Asia region to eliminate Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.

 

  • May 12th observes International Nurses Day:  Every year May 12 is celebrated as International Nurses Day in the World to provide the honor and respect to the nurses for their incredible and Honorable work. International Nurses Day is celebrated to honour and appreciate the nurses who are dedicated for the service of patients.

 

  • New 'APSTAR-6C' Communication Satellite launched by China: China launched “APSTAR-6C” a new communication satellite successfully into orbit. This was the 273rd mission of the Long March rocket series, Xinhua reported. Both the satellite and the rocket were developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The user of the satellite is Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. Ltd. The satellite will provide TV transmission, communication, Internet and multimedia services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region.

 

  • World Press Freedom Day observed on 3rd May:  May 3 has been observed as World Press Freedom Day as was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. Every year this day serves to remind people of the perils faced by journalists around the world. The theme of the year 2018 celebration highlights importance of enabling legal environment for press freedom and gives special attention to role of independent judiciary in ensuring legal guarantees for press freedom and prosecution of crimes against journalists.

 

  • NASA Launched Insight Mission to Study the Interior of Mars: Nasa launched the Mars Insight lander from California rather than Florida’s Cape Canaveral. It was the first interplanetary mission ever to depart from the west coast, drawing pre-dawn crowds to Vandenberg Air Force Base and rocket watchers down the California coast into Baja. Insight will send back data about the Red Planet's interior for about 1 Mars year, or 728 Earth-days.

 

  • World Thalassaemia Day observed on 8th May: India is one of the worst thalassemia affected countries in the world with more than four crore carriers and over one lakh thalassaemia majors under blood transfusion every month. On World Thalassaemia Day, the focus falls back on the efforts to contain the disease. Over 1 lakh thalassemia patients across the country die before they turn 20 due to lack of access to treatment.

 

Key Updates: April 2018

 

  • India has been ranked as the third most vulnerable country in world in terms of risk of cyber threats (for 2017), as per the ‘Internet Security Threat Report’. U.S. has been ranked as the top most vulnerable country. It is followed by China in the second position with 10.95% attacks. The global threat ranking is based on eight metrics — malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks, web attacks, ransomware and cryptominers.

 

  • Julius Maada Bio has been elected the new President of Sierra Leone. He succeeds Ernest Bai Koroma. He ruled Sierra Leone as the military head in 1996, along with former foreign affairs minister Kamara.

 

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a third consecutive term as Prime Minister. Viktor Orban’s party Fidesz won nearly half of the votes, with 93% of votes counted and is expected to win a two-thirds majority in parliament. Orban campaigned heavily on his anti-migration policies.

 

  • Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life. Nawaz Sharif, 67, resigned in July 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office on an issue over undeclared source of income.

 

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been re-elected with 97 percent of votes, though turnout was lower at about 41%.

 

Key Updates: March 2018

 

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years. Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000. In past, only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for more than two decades. 

 

  • IT major Infosys is expected to open its next Technology and Innovation Hub in Hartford, Connecticut and hire 1,000 American workers in the state by 2022. The Connecticut Technology and Innovation Hub will have a special focus on insurance, healthcare and manufacturing, the firm said in a statement.

 

  • British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at 76, early on March 14. He battled a rare nuerological disease and paralysis all through his life.
    He had authored numerous best-selling books including A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell and The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of. His latest book release in 2013 was a memoir titled My Brief History.
    His scientific achievements included breakthroughs in understanding the extreme conditions of black holes, objects so dense that not even light can escape their gravity. 

 

  • Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari was re-elected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority. She became Nepal’s first woman President in 2015.

 

  • Mike Pompeo, currently serving as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will replace Rex Tillerson as U.S. Secretary of State. Gina Haspel, Deputy Director of the CIA, will succeed Mr. Pompeo, becoming the CIA’s first woman director. 

 

  • National People’s Congress (NPC) of China has approved the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency, effectively allowing current President Xi Jinping to remain in power for life. China had imposed a two-term limit on its president since the 1990s when Deng Xiaoping led China on a path of liberalization.
    Along with this change, political doctrine of Mr. Xi Jinping was also included in the constitution. Prior to Mr. Xi, only the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, and late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping have their personal ideologies engraved in the Constitution.

 

  • French President Emmanuel Macron is on a 4-day visit to India for boosting tie-ups and relations with the country. Besides areas like maritime security and counter-terrorism, thrust would also be on increasing strategic partnerships in renewable energy, high-speed train and trade etc. during this visit.

 

  • U.S. President Donald Trump ordered steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S., pursuing ahead with his “America First” agenda. The move has invited severe criticism for enticing future trade wars and surge in prices for taxpayers.

 

  • According to Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man. He is followed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet at second and third positions respectively.
    There are now a record 2,208 billionaires in the world, with their combined worth of $9.1 trillion, up 18 per cent from last year. The US has the most billionaires (585), followed by mainland China (373) and India (121).

 

  • The 90th Academy Awards, commonly referred to as Oscars, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (US), on March 4, 2018. The Shape of Water won the most number of awards totaling to four at the ceremony after it was nominated into highest 13 categories.
    These awards are given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and were first presented in 1929.

 

  • Pakistan elects first Hindu women as member of its Upper House. Krishna Kumari Kolhi (39) from Sindh province in Pakistan became first-ever Dalit Hindu woman to get elected as Senator.

 

Key Updates: February 2018

 

  • Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is disqualified to head his party Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML(N)). He was disqualified from the Parliament in July last year following Supreme Court probe into panama papers.

 

Key Updates: December 2017

 

  • Saudi Arabia lifts it's 35 year old ban on movie theatres in what is termed as a watershed moment for development of cultural economy for the country. Under its vision 2030, the government plans to invest in entertainment and tourism sector, in order to reduce its reliance on oil sector.

 

  • India's nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election. Mr. Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

Key Updates: November 2017

 

  • The 31st Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was held in Manila, Philippines. in the presence of world leaders including Narendra Modi, Donald Trump, Rodrigo Duterte and Aung San Sue Kyi.

 

  • The ASEAN Summit is an annual meeting held by the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in relation to economic, and cultural development of Southeast Asian countries. Inaugurated on February 24, 1976 the frequency of the summit is bi-annually.

 

  • The military in Zimbabwe launched a 'coup' on November 14- 15, 2017, to take down long-time leader Robert Mugabe. The coup was bloodless and was stated as a move to economic degradation of the country.

 

  • World Immunization Day was observed on November 10., to make people aware about the importance of getting timely vaccinations against vaccine preventable diseases.

 

Key Updates: October 2017

 

  • United Nations Day was celebrated on 24 October, 2017 across the countries. The day has been observed since 1948 as it marks the anniversary of the United Nations Charter coming in force in 1945.

 

  • The first-ever Tri Services Joint Exercise between Indian and Russian Armed Forces, INDRA-2017 began on October 19, 2017 near Vladivostok in Russia. This bilateral exercise was done separately previously. The exercise is meant to facilitate mutual trust and exchange of best practices and thus is a landmark event in Indo- Russia defence operations

 

  • October 16 was observed as World Food Day to raise awareness on the issues of poverty and hunger. It was started by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 1979 to raise awareness on food security. The theme for this year was "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security."

 

  • October 13 was observed as International Day for Disaster Reduction, across the countries in the world. The day is to commemorate the successes made in area of disaster relief and make commitments to taking additional actions for disaster reduction.

 

  • The International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated by on October 11, all over the world. The theme for this year was- ‘Empower’ girls: Before, during and after conflict'.

Business and Economy updates

 

Key Updates: October 2018

 

  • RBI to inject Rs 40,000 crores into banking system via OMO in November 2018: The Reserve Bank of India will inject Rs 40,000 crore in the banking system via open market operations in November through purchase of government securities as it looks to meet festive season demand for funds.

 

  • India doubles its presence in QS Asia Ranking 2019: Indian higher education institutes have doubled their presence in the 2019 edition of the QS Asia Rankings, but none made it to the top 20. The National University of Singapore has been assessed as Asia’s best university. IIT-Bombay remains the highest ranked institution.

 

  • BEML received Top Challengers and Best Mining Equipment Seller Award: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), a Mini Ratna Public Sector Undertaking, under the Ministry of Defence, received the prestigious “Top Challengers Award 2018” for the excellent performance during financial year 2017-18 and Best Seller in Crawler Equipment- Dozers and Rigid Dump Truck segment for mining sectors.

 

  • Roopam Sharma Won World Health Summit Startup Award In Berlin: Roopam Sharma, a 23-year old Indian scientist, won the World Health Summit Startup award, 2018 for his invention, Manovue – the world’s first intelligent personal assisting system for the visually impaired. Sharma was awarded at an annual event of the health summit in Berlin recently.

 

  • India To Become Third Largest Aviation Market: India, currently the world’s seventh largest aviation market, is set to be among top three aviation market by 2024 according to global aviation body IATA.

 

  • Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank to set up internal committees to merge operations: Bank of Baroda (BoB), Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank will be merged to create the country’s third largest lender as part of efforts to revive credit and economic growth.

 

  • India ranked 58th in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index 2018: India has been ranked as the 58th most competitive economy on the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index for 2018, which was topped by the US. India's rank rose by five places from 2017, the largest gain among G20 economies.

 

  • OYO Hotels launches operations in UAE: OYO has launched the operations with over 10, full inventory franchised and operated hotels in Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah in the UAE.

 

  • Structural reforms making India resilient to global shocks: Structural reforms in areas like taxation and bankruptcy are helping the Indian economy in building resilience to global shocks and maintain a robust growth rate despite challenges.

 

  • India-Azerbaijan sign protocol on trade and economic, science and technology cooperation: India-Azerbaijan has signed protocol on trade and economic, science and at the 5th meeting of India-Azerbaijan Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic, Science and Technology Cooperation which concluded in New Delhi. During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on present economic situation and reviewed the current status of bilateral trade. Trade turnover between India and Azerbaijan from January to August this year was 657.9 million dollars.

 

  • Singapore tops World Bank first Human Capital Index: The World Bank has unveiled a new system to rank countries based on their success in developing “human capital”. The index ranks 157 countries based on their education and health outcomes and the impact they are having on productivity. Singapore topped the list, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

 

  • Indus Towers Wins Deming Prize for 2018: Indus Towers, world's largest telecom tower company has won the Deming Prize for 2018, being the first Indian company in the service sector and the fifth in the world to achieve this. The Deming Prize was bestowed on Indus Towers for distinctive performance improvements through the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) practices.

 

  • WEF launches Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution in India: The World Economic Forum has launched its new centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in India, which would aim to bring together the government and business leaders to pilot emerging technology policies.

 

  • India to be the 11th wealthiest: India will be the world's 11th wealthiest nation, ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Taiwan. India's personal wealth will grow to $5 trillion by 2022, up from $3 trillion in 2017.

 

  • India's aluminium makers win Japan sales in market shake-up: Indian aluminium makers including Hindalco Industries and Vedanta Ltd are boosting sales to Japan as U.S. sanctions against Russia’s Rusal and import tariffs shake up traditional supply routes.

 

  • NASSCOM unveils Centre of Excellence for IoT in Haryana: In collaboration with the Haryana government, Indian IT industry's apex body Nasscom has launched its Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (CoE - IoT). The aim of Nasscom's Centre of Excellence is to act as a perfect collaboration for innovation and high-end technologies.

 

  • India ranked 28th among 73 countries in govt e-payment adoption: 2018 Visa Survey: India’s ranking on the government's adoption of e-payments has moved up to 28th in 2018, from 36th in 2011. The country is one of the top-performing countries in terms of citizen-to-government (C2G), business-to-government (B2G) and government-to-business (G2B) transactions.

 

  • Several Indian companies debarred by World Bank in 2018: The World Bank released the World Bank Group Sanctions System Annual Report FY18, which aims to combat fraud and corruption in projects and prevent wrongdoing from happening. It also aims to reduce risk and help bring more private investment into developing countries.

 

  • Mukesh Ambani emerges richest Indian for 11th consecutive year: Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani has emerged as the richest Indian for the 11th consecutive year with a net worth of USD 47.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

 

  • Project Utkrisht launched by Indian Railways: Indian Railways has plans to develop 640 Utkrisht rakes as part of upgradation of its mail/express trains in the next two years at a cost of Rs 4 billion. Its aim to develop 140 rakes by March 2019 after which we are planning to roll out 500 more by March 2020.

 

  • SIDBI Launches National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign “Udyam Abhilasha”: On the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi i.e. October 02, 2018, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.

 

  • BSE becomes first stock exchange to launch commodity derivative contracts: BSE has launched gold and silver derivative contracts and has applied for the launch of crude oil and copper contracts with Sebi.

 

Key Updates: September 2018

 

  • Finance Minister launches Jan Dhan Darshak app: The Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile application called “Jan Dhan Darshak” as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative. It will act as a locator app guiding common people to find financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

 

  • Union Finance Minister launches web portal for MSME banking credit space: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched a transformative initiative in MSME credit space. The web portal www.psbloansin59minutes.com to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get in-principle approval of loans within hour without need for branch visit.

 

  • Finance Minister launches Financial Inclusion Index: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the Financial Inclusion Index in New Delhi. The index will be a measure of access and usage of a basket of formal financial products and services that includes savings, remittances, credit, insurance and pension products.

 

  • Cabinet approves National Digital Communications Policy-2018: The Union Cabinet Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the "Digital Communications Commission”.

 

  • World Bank approves framework to support India’s transition to high-middle income country: World Bank Board of Executive Directors has endorsed an ambitious five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for India which aims to support India's transition to a higher middle-income country by addressing some of its key development priorities such as resource efficient and inclusive growth, job creation and building its human capital.

 

  • PM Modi lays foundation stone of world-class convention centre in Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) in Dwarka, New Delhi. The facilities provided at the centre will be on a par with the best in the world in size and quality, offering setting for international and national events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows, the ministry said in a statement.

 

  • SEBI reduces KYC norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors: Securities and Exchange Board of India has revised know-your-client (KYC) requirements norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). The revision follows widespread fears from several quarters that the earlier norms would lead to overseas funds exiting the Indian market.

 

  • Government proposes merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank: The government decided to merge three public sector banks (PSBs) to create the third largest lender of the country, as part of efforts to clean up the country's banking system. The merger move comes in the wake of the government’s Alternative Mechanism, after consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, recommending the amalgamation of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.

 

  • Government takes steps to check rising Current Account Deficit, fall in rupee: The Modi government has decided to take an array of steps to check the rising Current Account Deficit (CAD), and the fall in rupee. The steps include removal of withholding tax on rupee-denominated bonds known as Masala bonds issued till March next year, relaxation for Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), to cut down non-essential imports and also increase exports.

 

  • CCEA approves continuation of Capacity Development Scheme: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the Capacity Development Scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs 2,250 crore. The Capacity Development Scheme is an Ongoing Central Sector Scheme of MoSPI. The overall objective of the scheme is to augment infrastructural, technical as well as manpower resources for making available credible and timely Official Statistics for policy makers and public at large.

 

  • NITI Aayog, Intel and TIFR collaborate to set up Model International Center for Transformative AI: NITI Aayog, Intel and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, TIFR are collaborating to set up a Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence, ICTAI. This collaboration aims to bring together fundamental and applied research, innovation and technology development to solve important problems.

 

  • India, France ink agreement to collaborate for Gaganyaan mission: France, India could ink a pact with Russia for sharing of expertise on ISRO's ambitious human space mission project 'Gaganyaan' during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to New Delhi next month. The human mission project envisages sending three Indians to space by 2022.

 

  • Government launches National Mission on GeM: Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched the National Mission on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for increasing awareness and accelerating the use of (GeM). It is aimed at creating awareness about GeM, train the buyers and sellers, get them registered in GeM and increase the procurement through GeM.

 

  • Google launches new search engine for scientific community: Google has launched a new search engine for the scientific community that will help them make sense of millions of datasets present online. The service, called Dataset Search, will help scientists, data journalists and geeks find the data required for their work and their stories - or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

 

  • Lockheed Martin, Tata JV to make F-16 jet wings: The wings of Lockheed Martin and India's TASL had agreed to move the entire manufacturing base of the F-16 Block 70 to India in anticipation of a sizable order for the fighter jet by the Indian armed forces.

 

  • Asia Index launches index to measure the performance of private banks: The S&P BSE Private Banks Index is designed to provide market participants with a transparent and rules-based benchmark that measures the performance of private banks listed in India.

 

  • RBI tightens ombudsman scheme: The Reserve Bank of India has tightened the banking ombudsman scheme with the objective to strengthen the grievance redressal mechanism for customers.

 

  • Mauritius remains top source of FDI into India in 2017-18: Mauritius remained the top source of foreign direct investment into India in 2017-18 followed by Singapore, whereas total FDI stood at USD 37.36 billion in the financial year, a marginal rise over the USD 36.31 billion recorded in the previous fiscal.

 

  • Prime Minister launches India Post Payments Bank: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the IPPB at Talkatora Stadium in Delhi. A payments bank operates on a small scale; it carries out most banking operations but cannot give loans or issue credit cards directly.

 

Key Updates: August 2018

 

  • Government imposes 25% safeguard duty on import of solar cells from china: Government has imposed 25% safeguard duty on solar cells imports from China and Malaysia for two years to protect domestic manufacturers from steep rise in the inbound shipments of the product.

 

  • NABARD sanctions Rs 772 crore for Water projects: NABARD has sanctioned Rs 722 crore for eight water projects in the rural areas of Haryana, which will supply water to 256 villages and 72 hamlets, are in progress.

 

  • Japan pips China as World's 2nd biggest stock market: Japan became the world’s second-largest stock market, overtaking China. The Japanese stocks were worth dollar 6.17 trillion, while Chinese stocks lagged behind with dollar 6.09 trillion.

 

  • Startup India launches startup academia alliance program: Startup India has launched Startup Academia Alliance Programme for academic scholars and startups, which aims to reduce the gap between scientific research and its industrial applications, and increase the efficacy of technologies for wide impact.

 

  • Government appoints S Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe as part-time Directors on RBI Board: The government has appointed journalist S Gurumurthy and Satish Marathe patron of Sahakar Bharati as part-time directors on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board after an approval from the appointments committee of the cabinet.

 

  • Rupee for first time crashes historic low of Rs. 70 mark against US dollar: The Indian rupee hit the 70-per dollar mark for the first time, tumbling to a record low, as a Turkey-led rout in emerging-market currencies intensified losses. The rupee slipped as much as 0.2 percent to 70.08 per dollar in Mumbai and is down almost 9 percent this year in Asia’s worst performance.

 

  • NPCI launches UPI 2.0 with overdraft facility: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launches Unified Payments Interface (UPI) 2.0, the new digital payment platform comes with a wide range of new features supported by all major Indian banks including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Federal Bank and HSBC.

 

  • Tech Mahindra signs 4 year deal with US football team: IT firm Tech Mahindra has signed a four-year technology partnership deal with US-based football team Jacksonville Jaguars. The Indian company would provide modern tools like artificial intelligence and data analytics to enhance experience of the team's fans and front office efficiencies.

 

  • HAL becomes first PSU to transact on TReDS Platform: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has become the first public sector enterprise to make a transaction on the “TReDS platform”. TReDS is an online electronic institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through multiple financiers.

 

  • India revises F19 growth 7.2% in 2018-19 down from earlier projection of 7.4%: India Ratings and Research has revised downwards its forecast for the growth of the Indian economy in 2018-19 to 7.2% from the 7.4% projected earlier.

 

  • Public sector banks to come out of PCA by year end: Union government expects the public sector banks to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by the end of this year and will provide them adequate capital when required.

 

  • Strong wage policies needed to promote inclusive growth in India: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report named “India Wage Report: Wage policies for decent work and inclusive growth”, the country's economy in the past two decades has seen an annual average GDP rate of 7 percent but low pay and inequality persist. India's economic growth has resulted in fall in poverty, moderate change in employment patterns with a growing proportion of workers in services and industry.

 

  • Reliance becomes 1st Indian company to hit Rs 8 trillion market cap: Reliance Industries (RIL), Mukesh Ambani became the first Indian company to cross Rs 8 trillion in market capitalization after the company’s shares witnessed a record rally in 2018.

 

  • World Bank launches first global Blockchain bond: The World Bank launched bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology.

 

  • India's Largest Business Incubator Bhamashah Technohub Launched In Jaipur: The Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje launched India's largest business incubator “the Bhamashah Techno Hub” in Jaipur, that will provide end-to-end support to startups, ranging from infrastructure, technology, angel funding, access to venture capitalists, mentorship, exposure to national and international organisations and experts and much more.

 

  • Google launches new platform for Indic language publishers: Search engine Google has unveiled a Project named “Navlekha” to bring India’s 135,000 Indic language publications online in a hassle-free manner for Indian users.

 

Key Updates: July 2018

 

  • Govt forms panel to upgrade norms for states and districts level GDP, Economic data collection: The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has set up a committee to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states and districts level in the backdrop of plans to revise the base year for National Accounts or GDP calculation.

 

  • Income Tax Department launches “Instant” PAN Card Service: The Income Tax Department has launched an “instant” Aadhaar-based PAN allotment service for individuals seeking the unique identity for the first time with free of cost. 

 

  • BSE to delists over 222 companies: India's biggest stock exchange in terms of daily turnover BSE has delisted as many as 220 companies as trading in their shares has remained suspended for more than six months. The move comes at a time when authorities are clamping down on shell companies - listed as well as unlisted-for being allegedly used as conduits for illicit fund flows.

 

  • RBI issued license to Bank of China to operate in India: The Reserve Bank of India issued license to Bank of China to operate in India, the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Bank of China to set up branches in India.

 

  • YES Bank gets SEBI nod to launch mutual fund business: YES Bank, the country’s fourth largest private sector lender has received a final regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start mutual fund business. This approval is subsequent to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI).

 

  • 25 countries in Global Bank listed as “High risk jurisdictions”: China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Cyprus and Mauritius, along with 21 other countries have recognized as “high-risk jurisdictions” by global banks acting as custodians for foreign funds which comprise the largest group of investors in the Indian stock market.

 

  • CBIC launches GST “Verify App”: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has launched a mobile app “GST Verify” to protect interest of consumers and provides the details of the person/ company collecting GST.

 

  • Reliance Industries becomes India's largest taxpayer in the private sector: Reliance Industries has become the India's largest payer of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Excise and Customs Duty, and Income Tax in the private sector.

 

  • NSG becomes 1st central force to opt for e-ticketing: The National Security Guard became the first central paramilitary force to opt for e-ticketing instead of the railway warrant under an agreement signed with the IRCTC, a statement from the catering and tourism arm of the railways.

 

  • Mark Zuckerberg becomes the 3rd richest person in the world: Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become the world's third richest person with 81.6 billion dollars wealth, according to Bloomberg.

 

  • Asian Development Bank approves USD 503M worth lining project in Bihar: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 503-million lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar which would benefit the agriculture sector immensely in the region.

 

  • India and China agreed to reduce tariffs on Indian medicines: India and China had agreed on reducing tariffs on Indian medicines, especially cancer drugs, which are in great demand in China as they are much cheaper than their western counterparts.

 

  • India and South Korea agree on framework to improve trade: India and South Korea has signed a joint statement agreeing to discuss an “early harvest” package for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aimed at identifying key areas for enhanced trade between the two countries.

 

  • India beats France to become world's sixth largest economy: India has become the world's sixth-biggest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), pushing France to the seventh place.

 

  • India becomes 69th shareholder of European development bank: India has become 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the banks.

 

  • India becomes vice-chair of Asia Pacific Region of WCO: India has become the vice-chair (regional head) of the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organization (WCO) for a period of two years to June, 2020.

 

  • IMF cuts India’s economic growth forecast to 7.3% from 7.4% in 2018: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slightly downgrading India's GDP growth forecast by 10 basis points to 7.3% in 2018 and by 30 basis points to 7.5% in 2019, making it the fastest growing country among major economies.

 

  • India remains fastest growing major economy till 2019-20: According to Asian Development Bank (ADB), India will continue to be the fastest growing major economy, ahead of China, with a growth rate of 7.3 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.6 per cent in 2019-20.

 

  • Banks and financial institutions sign agreement to fast track bad loan resolution: Twenty-four banks led by the State Bank of India signed the intercreditor agreement (ICA) framework to speed up the resolution of stressed assets which are under Rs. 500 crore bracket.

 

  • Parliament passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018: Parliament passed a Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018,  that seeks to prevent big economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from fleeing the country and evading the legal process.

 

  • Invest India, Business France signed MoU To Promote Investment: Invest India and Business France have signed an MoU to promote investment facilitation and cooperation between startups of India and France. It will be to facilitate direct foreign investment by providing practical investment information to enterprises and support the companies pursuing those opportunities which contribute positively to economic growth of the two countries.

 

  • India places 11th at kearney FDI Confidence Index: India placed 11th position in the 2018 at Kearney FDI Confidence Index, down from 8th in 2017 and 9th in 2016.

 

  • EIL launches Electric Vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure: Essel Infraprojects has launched electric vehicle charging and battery swapping infrastructure to invest Rs 1750 crore in phased manner with the launch of 250 charging stations, 1000 battery swapping stations in 20 cities of Uttar Pradesh.

 

Key Updates: June 2018

 

  • India increases its ranking in global real estate transparency index: India has increased its ranking by one place to 35th in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index, driven by policy reforms and liberalization of FDI rules in property as well as retail sectors.

 

  • Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro win World Food Prize 2018: Lawrence Haddad, who is a British economist and food policy researcher, and Dr. David Nabarro, who has worked with the World Health to improving the availability of nutritious food for pregnant women and children in an effort to reduce the effects of malnutrition in developing countries.

 

  • AIIB to invest $200 million into an NIIF for development of infrastructure projects: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is likely to invest USD 200 million in a fund of funds set up by India to take interest in infra projects.

 

  • ADNOC ties up with Saudi Aramco to build Ratnagiri Refinery: The World’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

 

  • Power distribution company BYPL signs MoU with Finnish company: Power distribution company BYPL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Business Finland, a Finnish government agency, for collaborative activities in different areas, including energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

 

  • Arijit Basu appoints as the SBI’s new Managing Director: The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Arijit Basu as the Managing Director of the State bank of India. He had to fill the position that fell vacant following the elevation of Rajnish Kumar as the chairman.

 

  • SEBI approves Buyback Regulations and Changes Timeline for IPO Pricing: The Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) has decided to approve the amendments to buyback and takeover regulations and reduced the timeline for announcing the price band of initial public offering (IPO) from 5 to 2 days. SEBI had made a proposal to bring changes based on suggestions made by the regulator’s Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC).

 

  • NASSCOM launches Women “Wizards Rule Tech programme”: National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched “Women Wizards Rule Tech programme” to increase the number of women in senior levels in the Information Technology (IT) industry and to support women who are moving up the career ladder, while also paving the way for potential leaders of the future.

 

  • B Sriram appoints as the IDBI new Managing Director and CEO: State Bank of India's (SBI) Managing Director B. Sriram was appointed as the IDBI Bank's CEO and managing director on an interim basis for a period of three months.

 

  • Government expands BPO scheme for rural youth to 1 lakh seats: Indian Government planned to enhance its BPO promotion scheme to one lakh seats, and will also set up India's largest National data centre in Bhopal.

 

  • Liberalised remittance scheme - RBI alters “relative” definition to check outward remittances: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check the flow of funds under the “maintenance of close relative” category of “Liberalised remittance scheme” and prevent misuse of facility. Hence, funds under this category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.

 

  • TCS becomes first Indian company to cross Rs 7 Trillion Market Cap: Tata Consultancy Services, the largest IT outsourcing company created history to became the first Indian company to close the trading session with a market valuation surged past the Rs 7- lakh crore mark, making it the first company to achieve this milestone.

 

  • Paytm Tops By Volume and Axis Bank Tops By Value in mobile banking: At 17.2%, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22%.

 

  • Government launches Rs 500-crore credit enhancement fund: The government has decided to launch a Rs 500-crore credit enhancement fund will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds.

 

  • “Atal Bhujal Yojana” scheme: World Bank has approved Rs 6000 crores for Atal Bhujal Yojana scheme (Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation) which aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.

 

  • Defence minister approves Equipment Acquisition proposals for Defence forces: Nirmala Sitharaman, which is a Defence Minister approved equipment Acquisition proposals valued at over Rs 5500 crore to strengthen Indian defence while encouraging indigenisation and self-reliance in the field of Defence Procurements, the DAC approved procurement of 12 High Power Radars for the Indian Air Force under “Buy (Indian) IDDM” category.

 

  • RBI to setting up Public Credit Registry to curb bad loans: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had decided to set up a public credit registry, an information repository contains all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers. A credit repository will help banks to differentiate between a bad and a good borrower and offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers.

 

  • M K Jain appointed as new RBI deputy governor: The new fourth deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India appointed namely, Mahesh Kumar Jain experienced banker, MD & CEO of IDBI Bank since March 2017, RBI for a three year term.

 

  • India gets first shipment of cheapest LNG from Gazprom Russia: After US, India received cheapest Liquefied Natural Gas under a long-term deal as Russia began shipping natural gas at the cost of $7 per million British thermal unit(mmBtu) and aimed at transforming the country into a gas-based economy. Every year $25 billion worth gas will come to India and nearly $1.5 billion worth of LNG will be bought from Russia in next 20 years.

 

  • Union Home minister launches “Online analytical tool”: Union Home Minister launched a web based analytical tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilization of foreign contributions received by various organizations registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. This tool has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration and helps to monitor decision-makers in various departments of Government to scrutinize source of foreign funds and gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010.

 

  • Income Tax Department launches New Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme: Income Tax Department had launched a new reward scheme titled “Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme which aims to encouraging people to give information about benami transactions and properties as well as income earned on such properties by such hidden investors and beneficial owners.

 

Key Updates: May 2018

 

  • Baba Ramdev's Patanjali ties up with BSNL for Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards: After becoming India's most trusted Fast Moving Consumer Goods brand, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali entered in the telecom sector. At an event, Baba Ramdev launched Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards, in alliance with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). In addition to attractive data and call package, the card also comes with the medical and life insurance covers of Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively. However, the covers could only be availed in the case of road accident.

 

  • Anubrata Biswas as MD & CEO of Airtel payment Bank: Airtel payment bank has appointed Anubrata Biswas as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He has more than 17 years experience in the Banking sector. Earlier, he was the joint General Manager and Retail Business Head in South India for ICICI Bank.

 

  • Air India Express ranked second cheapest airlines in global: In India Indigo and Air India Express have been ranked Low-cost carriers among the top five cheapest airlines in the world, according to Global Flight Pricing report.

 

  • ICICI Bank launches innovation lab: ICICI Bank has introduced innovation labs and centres, taking the digital route for growth, by partnering fintech and offering support to them through a Rs 100-crore innovation fund.

 

  • India receives largest remittance in the world: India was the largest remittance-receiving country in the world, with migrant workers from the country sending home $69 billion in 2017, according to a report which said remittances to the Asia-Pacific region amounted to $256 billion last year.

 

  • India’s First stock exchange recognized as DOSM: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the oldest stock exchange in Asia has become the first stock exchange in India to be designated as a ‘Designated Offshore Securities Market’ (DOSM) from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

 

  • India’s economy likely to rebound at 7.3 percent this fiscal: Indian Economic growth is expected to strengthen to 7.3 percent in financial year 2018-19 (April -March) from 6.6 per cent in fiscal 2017-18 and further to 7.6 percent in 2019-20 on the back of robust activity from construction, manufacturing, and services sectors.

 

  • India projected to be fastest growing economies for coming decade: India has the potential to be the world's fastest growing economy over the coming decade and is projected to grow at 7.9 percent annually, ahead of China and the US, according to a Harvard University report in May 2018 at New York.

 

  • NITI Aayog inks to collaborate with IBM to develop crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence: NITI Aayog and IBM signed a Statement to develop a crop yield prediction model using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide real time advisory to farmers in Aspirational Districts. The scope of this project is to introduce and make available climate-aware cognitive farming techniques and identifying systems of crop monitoring, early warning on pest/disease outbreak based on advanced AI innovations.

 

  • India inks $200 million loan agreement with World Bank for POSHAN Abhiyan: India signed an agreement with the World Bank for a USD 200-million loan for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyan) across 315 districts of the country to achieve its goal of reducing stunting in children aged 0-6 years from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022. The Nutrition Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2018 in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

 

  • September 2019 climate summit announced by UN Chief: The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a climate summit set to take place in September 2019 in New York to review the Paris Agreement commitments. The announcement was made at the opening ceremony of the 37th session of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

  • Walmart acquires 77 percent equity stake in Flipkart: The world’s largest retailer Walmart acquires a 77 percent in Bengaluru-based e-commerce holding Flipkart Group for $16 billion. Walmart agreed to buy a controlling stake in India’s biggest online retailer, striking a blow against rival Amazon.com.

 

Key Updates: April 2018

 

  • Debjani Ghosh has taken charge as the President of NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), succeeding R Chandrashekhar. She is the former MD of Intel South Asia. She will the first woman to head NASSCOM since it was founded 30 years back.

 

  • Jio Payments Bank Limited has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from April 3, 2018. Jio Payments Bank is a 70:30 joint venture between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and the State Bank of India (SBI). H. Srikrishnan has been appointed as the MD and CEO of Jio Payments Bank. Payment Banks are part of differentiated model of Indian Banking. These banks can accept deposit up to 1 lakh per customer, can facilitate payments, issue services like ATM cards, net banking, mobile banking and can also sell third party products like insurance. Apart from basic regulatory and statutory differences, the major difference in terms of operations for Payment banks is restriction to offer loans to customers.

 

  • India has surpassed Japan and has become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February 2018, according to Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI). China is the current largest producer of crude steel in the world.

 

  • SBI Life Insurance Company Limited has appointed Sanjeev Nautiyal as its new MD and CEO. He succeeds Arijit Basu as MD & CEO of SBI Life Insurance. Mr. Nautiyal joined State Bank of India in 1985 as a probationary officer and has served many important roles in his more than 30 year career. His last assignment was as Chief General Manager of Ahmedabad Circle of State Bank of India.

 

  • Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has been re-appointed as managing director and CEO of Bandhan Bank for a three year term from 10th July 2018. Mr. Ghosh is also the founder of Bandhan Bank. With an asset base of Rs 30,236 crore as on FY 17, Bandhan Bank, the latest entrant to Indian Banking System, occupies the seventeenth position among private sector banks and the thirty-eighth position among all banks.

 

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to use Gross Domestic Product (GDP) instead of Gross Value Added (GVA) to measure economic activity in India. GVA gives the picture of the state of economic activity from the producers' side or the supply side while GDP provides the picture from the consumers' side or the demand side.

 

  • According to a statement by Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Indian economy would expand by 7.3 % in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and 7.6 % in the next fiscal year. In ADB’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 report, it stated that the reduction in growth to 6.6 % in FY 2017 was partially due to demonetization.

 

  • The  13th edition of   ‘India Business Leader Awards’ (IBLA) was held in New Delhi. The names of the winners in different categories are: Outstanding Company of the Year Award -Motherson Sumi; Outstanding Business Leader of the Year award - Kumar Mangalam Birla; Most Promising Company of the Year award - RBL Bank; Brand of the year - Motilal Oswal; Brand of the Year (Jury special commendation) - Vicks; State of the Year - Chhattisgarh; Lifetime Achievement award - Arundhati Bhattacharya; Hall Of Fame - Late Deshbandhu Gupta; Outstanding Contribution to Brand India - India Blind Cricket team; Young Turks Startup of the Year - Blackbuck; Young Turk of the Year - Zomato; The Disruptors - JIO; Emerging Disruptors - Hector Beverages; Entertainment Leader of the Year - Ranveer Singh; CNBC Asia's India Business Leader of the Year - Ajay Piramal; CNBC Asia's India Disruptor of the Year - Keshav Murugesh; CNBC Asia's Corporate Social Responsibility - Adar Poonawalla; CNBC Asia's India Talent Management - Rana Kapoor.

 

Key Updates: March 2018

 

  • Invited by India, representatives from 50 countries are gathering for a WTO mini-ministerial meeting to be held between March 19-20. Though without a pre-announced agenda, this meet is aimed at facilitating an exchange of views on various challenges facing the multilateral trading system. This will be the second WTO mini-ministerial meeting being hosted by India, after the first in 2009.

 

  • WPI inflation at 2.48 % in February is the lowest in seven months. On the basis of Wholesale Price Index (WPI), inflation was 2.84 % in January and 5.51 % in February 2017. The previous low level was recorded in July at 1.88 %.

 

  • India’s trade deficit narrowed to $12 billion in February, its lowest in five months. But American President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum could impact it for worse in coming months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hosting a mini-ministerial meeting of members of the World Trade Organization next week  which is expected to discuss the impact of Mr. Trump’s decision.

 

  • Walmart Stores Inc is in the final stage of negotiations to become the largest shareholder in Flipkart, India’s biggest online retail company. This will pitch Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer into a direct face-off with another giant American retailer- Amazon. 
    Walmart is expected to buy about 20-26% stake in Flipkart.

 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred all lenders from issuing letters of undertaking (LoU)- a form of credit guarantee which is supposed to be at the center of fraud in public sector bank, PNB. A LoU is a promise by the issuing bank to pay in case of default by the one on whose behalf it was issued. 

 

  • As per the government data, Industrial production growth rose to 7.5% in January from 7.1% in the previous month on the back of strong manufacturing. The simultaneously released Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed a further decline in retail inflation to 4.44% in February from 5.1% in the previous month. 
    With accelerating growth and softer inflation, experts are foreseeing signs of industry revival.

 

  • Tata Sons has sold a 1.48% stake in Tata Consultancy Services (its flagship IT services firm) to raise Rs 8,127 crore ($1.25 billion). The sale is seen as a move to settle debts and invest in group firms across sectors such as auto and steel. 

 

  • India and France has signed 14 key agreements in strategic areas of security, nuclear energy, education, environment, urban development and railways.
    Traditionally both the countries have enjoyed great bilateral relations. France is the major supplier of military equipment and nuclear fuel to India.

 

  • Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched by National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on the occasion of International Women’s Day. This platform is meant to help women in scaling their initiatives through mentorship, partnerships and help in strategy formulation.

 

  • National Company Law Tribunal has admitted Aircel’s bankruptcy petition and directed that directors, promoters and chairman and managing director of the company should not leave the country without permission until further notice. Aircel, along with Dishnet Wireless and Aircel Cellular, had filed for bankruptcy in the NCLT Mumbai bench after it failed to reach an agreement with lenders. It owes ?15,000 crore to lenders and ?35,000 crore to operational creditors.

 

  • The Union Cabinet has approved two key measures in telecom sector to enhance ease of doing business and attract investments. It includes revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding for Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to aid consolidation of telecom licensees and deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of TSPs to increase cash flow for telecom service providers in immediate timeframe and provide them some relief.

 

  • The Centre has approved last week the proposal to set up the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA). It is intended to serve as an independent regulator for the auditing profession. The move comes after the discovery of multi-crore fraud at state run Punjab National Bank. As proposed, NFRA can investigate into professional matters or misconduct of any member or a firm of chartered accountants, can issue summons and examine on oath, inspect any book, registers and documents of any professional/firms probed and impose penalties and even powers to debar a member of a firm.

 

  • The seasonally-adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell from 51.7 in January to 47.8 in February, its lowest level since August. While a reading above 50 implies an expansion while one below 50 denotes a contraction.

 

  • The Centre has set up a steering committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Secretary to look into the development and regulation of the fintech sector in India.
    The objective of the panel is “to consider various issues relating to development of fintech space in India with a view to make fintech-related regulations more flexible and generate enhanced entrepreneurship in an area where India has distinctive comparative strengths vis-à-vis other emerging economies”.

 

Key Updates: February 2018

 

  • The first sale of electoral bonds in India will start from March 1, 2018 for period of 10 days at main branches of State Bank of India in four metro cities- Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi. The electoral bonds scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017 with an aim for increasing transparency in political funding. It makes India first country in the world to have such unique bonds for electoral funding. As per provisions of Electoral Bond Scheme, a person, who is a citizen of India or an entity incorporated/established in India can purchase electoral bonds. Only registered political parties, which have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last election of the Lok Sabha or legislative assembly of the state, will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

 

  • India is signing an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with different nations. The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to signed countries & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the nations as per latest International Standards. It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing. India signed this treaty with Iran and Kenya this month.

 

Key Updates: January 2018

 

  • The Government of India notified the Scheme of Electoral Bonds for political funding in the country. Electoral Bond would be a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note and an interest free banking instrument; Bond would be issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs.1,000, Rs.10,000, Rs.1,00,000, Rs.10,00,000 and Rs.1,00,00,000 from the Specified Branches of the State Bank of India.

 

  • The purchaser would be allowed to buy Electoral Bonds only on due fulfilment of all the extant KYC norms and by making payment from a bank account. It will not carry the name of payee. Electoral Bonds would have a life of only 15 days during which it can be used for making donation only to the political parties registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or a Legislative Assembly.

 

Key Updates: December 2017

 

  • IMF and WB released the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) and Financial Sector Assessment (FSA) respectively on their websites. India is assessed conforming to the highest international standards. The Second comprehensive FSAP has now been successfully conducted for India in 2017.
    FSAP, a joint program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB involved in developing countries and region only), undertakes a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector. Since September 2010, it is being undertaken in 25 jurisdictions (now 29), with systemically important financial sectors, including India, every five years. Last FSAP for India was conducted in 2011-12 and the report published by IMF on Jan 15, 2013.

 

  • According to Central Board of Direct Taxes, the provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to November, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs 4.8 lakh crore, which is 14.4 per cent higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. According to the statement, the net direct tax collections represent 49 per cent of the total Budget Estimates of direct taxes for 2017-18 (Rs 9.8 lakh crore). The gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 10.7 per cent to Rs 5.82 lakh crore during April-November, 2017.

 

  • The Government has launched Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana to provide an insurance cover to rural areas of the country. Also it helps in expansion of Postal Life Insurance. Under the Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana, at least one village having a minimum of 100 households will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country. All households of that identified village will be covered with a minimum of one Rural Postal Life Insurance policy.

 

Key Updates: Novemebr 2017

 

  • Global rating agency, Standard & Poor's (S&P) has kept India's sovereign rating unchanged, at 'BBB minus' with a stable outlook. According to S&P, the ratings reflect the country's strong GDP growth, sound external profile, and improving monetary credibility. Also, the country's strong democratic institutions and its free press promote policy stability and also underpin the ratings. S&P added that these strengths are balanced against vulnerabilities stemming from the country's low per capita income and relatively high general government debt stock. ‘BBB’ rating is a notch above junk status.

 

  • State Bank of India has launched a new unified integrated app named as Yono App ('You Only Need One'). It will offer its all financial services and products to the customers and also will provide lifestyle related choices.

 

  • The government has notified Minimum Export Price of onion at 850 dollars per tonne to ensure its availability in the domestic market.  According to the government, it will discourage cheap export from the country and augment its domestic availability.

 

  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up the 15th Finance Commission which is supposed to assess the tax resources of the country and give suggestions for their distribution among states. As per Article 280(1) of the Constitution, the government has to form the Finance Commission after every five years, or at an earlier time as the President deems necessary. The recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Y.V. Reddy, are valid from 2015 to 2020. The recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission will be implemented in the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025

 

  • Moody's Investors Service upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from Baa3 and changed the outlook on the rating to stable from positive. This upgrade comes after 14 years, the last time being in 2004. This one level shift in ranking from the lowest investment grade puts India in same category along with Italy and Philippines

 

  • Centre has given the go-ahead for setting up India's first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs. Coastal economic zones are spatial economic regions comprising of group of costal districts which will together a develop a business friendly ecosystem.

 

  • The RBI has asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens of more than 70 years of age and differently-abled people by 31st of December this year. Banks have been directed to provide basic services like pickup of cash and instruments against receipt, delivery of cash against withdrawal from accounts, delivery of demand drafts, etc., to the customers through doorstep banking.

 

  • The World Bank has released the Doing Business (DB) Report 2018. Among 190 countries all over the world India is ranked at 100th spot, up from 130th last year. New Zealand has topped the ranking for two consecutive years. The ranking is done across 10 indicators, based on survey conducted by a team of experts. It is done to access the regulatory and business process related scenario in a country.

 

Key Updates: October 2017

 

  • To provide banks much needed support in resolving its stressed assets and boosting the credit growth, The Government has unveiled an ambitious plan to infuse Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital over the next two years into public sector banks (PSBs). Its funding will be provided by budgetary provisions of Rs 18,139 crore and sale of recapitalisation bonds worth Rs 1.35 lakh crore. The balance is to be raised by the banks themselves by diluting the government's equity share.

 

  • The Ministry of Power along with the Ministry of Textiles have launched its new initiative named Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help Small Industries (SAATHI). Under this initiative, EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), a public sector entity under Ministry of Power would procure energy efficient power looms, motors etc. In bulk and provide to small and medium power loom units at zero upfront cost.

 

Key Updates: September 2017

 

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has removed restrictions on export of tur, urad and moong dal. However, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority needs to give prior approval for the same. Earlier, export of only organic pulses and Kabuli Chana was allowed. This decision will help in providing greater choice to farmers in marketing their products at remunerative prices.

Sports updates

 

Key Updates: October 2018

 

  • Simona Halep becomes first Recipient Of Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy: World number one Simona Halep has become the first recipient of the Chris Evert Women's Tennis Association (WTA) World No.1 Trophy, named after WTA's first-ever world number one, Chris Evert.

 

  • India wins Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management Award: India has clinched the Commonwealth Association For Public Administration and Management Award, 2018. Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) is a non-profit association which represents an international network of over 1100 senior public servants, Heads of Governments, academician and researchers from over 50 different countries across the Commonwealth.

 

  • Virat Kohli becomes fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs: Virat Kohli became the fastest ever to reach the milestone of 10,000 ODI runs, adding another feather to his bulging cap of records in international cricket. He became the fifth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni to complete 10,000 ODI runs, getting to the mark in his 213th game.

 

  • Sir Cecil smashes National record in Mysore Derby: Sir Cecil (Trevor up) won the Mysore Derby, the chief event of the races, in a new National record timing of 1 minute, 59.05s for the 2000m, which bettered Castlebridge’s run of 1m, 59.62 in the same race here last year. The winner is owned by Sarainaga Racing Pvt Ltd and trained by S. Padmanabhan.

 

  • Akash Malik wins India’s maiden archery silver at Youth Olympics: The 16-year-old Akash Malik became the first Indian to win a silver medal in archery at the Youth Olympic Games.

 

  • Indian men’s and women’s hockey team bag silver: Indian men and women teams finished their 2018 Youth Olympic Games campaign with silver medals at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

  • Grappler Simran wins silver: Indian wrestler Simran clinched a silver in women’s freestyle 43 kg category competition after she lost to Emily Shilson of United States in the final bout in Buenos Aires.

 

  • Asian Para Games 2018: India records best-ever show with 72 medals: India recorded its best-ever medal haul at 2018 Asian Para Games on a high after bagging a total of 72 medals - 15 gold, 24 silver, and 33 bronze medals, their best show in the event's history.

 

  • Pranjala wins second successive title: Y. Pranjala beat top seed Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-1, 7-6(2) in the final to win her second successive title in the $25,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament.

 

  • India ranked 5th as ICC launches global women’s T20I team rankings: The International Cricket Council launched a global MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Team Rankings. India are placed fifth while three-time champions Australia topped the 46-team table.

 

  • Sundar Singh Gurjar wins silver in javelin throw: Indian javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar won a silver medal in the men’s F46 category of the Asian Para Games, while another Indian Rinku won the bronze as India dominated the podium in the Javelin event.

 

  • Raw Gold wins the Sardar K.B. Ramachandra Raj Urs Memorial Cup: Raw Gold (Dhebe up), won the Sardar K.B. Ramachandra Raj Urs Memorial Cup, the feature event of the races. The winner is owned by M/s. K.R. Swamy & S. Inayathulla and trained by S. Inayathulla.

 

  • Gold for archer Harvinder Singh at Asian Para Games: Archer Harvinder Singh notched up the men's individual recurve gold in the Asian Para Games by finishing on top in the men’s individual recurve event, while track-and-field athletes added a silver and a bronze to India's tally in the Asian Para-Games in Jakarta.

 

  • Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga wins India’s maiden gold medal: India won their maiden gold medal at a Youth Olympic Games with Jeremy Lalrinnunga clinching the yellow metal in Men's 62 kg weightlifting.

 

  • Air pistol ace Manu Bhaker clinched gold in the Youth Olympics: Indian shooter Manu Bhaker became the first to claim a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

  • Thangjam Tababi Devi clinches India’s first judo medal at Olympics: Thangjam Tababi Devi became India’s first judo medallist at the Olympic level, claiming a silver at the ongoing Youth Games after losing to Venezuela’s Maria Giminez in the finals of the women’s 44 kg category.

 

  • Shahu Mane clinches silver in 10m air rifle: Indian shooter Shahu Tushar Mane bagging a silver in the men’s 10m air rifle on the opening day of competitions in the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

 

  • Manipur won the 24th Senior Women’s National football championship: Manipur won the 24th Senior Women's National Football Championship title defeating hosts Odisha 2-1 in the final at Cuttack.

 

  • Raegan and Ishita won junior titles in National ranking table tennis tournament: Raegan Albuquerque of Maharashtra beat Manush Shah 4-2 to lift his maiden Junior Boys trophy in the 11 Sports National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships in Guwahati. Delhi’s Ishita Gupta, on her first appearance in a final, wore the Junior Girls crown, beating Prapti Sen 4-0.

 

  • Adithya and Pranathi bagged titles in sub junior boys and girls singles titles: Ernakulam K.R. Pillai Academy’s Adithya Joseph and Thiruvananthapuram YMCA Academy’s Pranathi P. Nair won the sub-junior boys and girls singles titles in the Thiruvalla YMCA-P.O. John memorial all-Kerala table tennis tournament at the YMCA.

 

  • Yuvraj Wadhwani Lifts Asian Junior Squash Title: Yuvraj Wadhwani has clinched the 25th Asian junior individual squash championship title after defeating Anas Ali Shah of Pakistan in the final of the boys' U-13 individual event.

 

Key Updates: September 2018

 

  • Lewis Hamilton wins Russian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton won a Mercedes one-two in the Russian Grand Prix to extend his title lead to 50 points after teammate and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas was ordered out of his way at the Sochi Autodrom.

 

  • Caruana defeats Anand in USA’s win: Indian spearhead Viswanathan Anand lost to World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana in their much-awaited clash as top seed USA squeezed out a 2.5-1.5 victory in the fourth round of the Chess Olympiad.

 

  • India beat Bangladesh to win Asia Cup trophy 2018: India defeated Bangladesh by three wickets in Asia Cup final held in Dubai and won a seventh and second consecutive Asia Cup trophy.

 

  • Sable cracks 37-year-old national record: Avinash Sable erased Gopal Saini's 37-year-old national record to retain the men's 3,000m steeplechase title in style on the concluding day of the National Open athletics championships at the Kalinga Stadium.

 

  • Pande clinches maiden men's crown: 20 year’s old qualifier Siddhesh Pande of Maharashtra defeated Manav Thakkar in a seven-game humdinger in the East Zone National-ranking table tennis.

 

  • Croatia's Luka Modric wins FIFA's best player of the year award: Luka Modric ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's decade-long domination of football's individual awards by being crowned FIFA's best player of the year. The Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder starred for both club and country as Madrid won a third straight Champions League, and he inspired Croatia to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

 

  • Anthony Joshua beats Alexander Povetkin to retain world titles: Britain’s Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by inflicting the first stoppage defeat of Alexander Povetkin’s professional career with a ruthless seventh-round finish at Wembley Stadium.

 

  • India wins silver in Asian Team Snooker Championship: India won silver medal after losing to Pakistan 2-3 in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship in Doha.

 

  • Hangzhou city of china will host 2022 Asian Para Games: The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) confirmed that Hangzhou in China will host the fourth edition in 2022.

 

  • National Sports Awards 2018: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

 

  • India Blue wins 2017-18 Duleep Trophy: India Blue has won 2017-18 Duleep Trophy by defeating defending champion India Red by an innings and 187 runs in the final match played.

 

  • Lewis Hamilton wins Singapore Grand Prix 2018: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix and a major step towards another world ­championship. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was second, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third in the 11th edition of the night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

 

  • Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge sets new marathon world record in Berlin: Kenyan Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record in Berlin, smashing the previous best as he clocked race in 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds.

 

  • Maldives defeats India 2-1 to lift SAFF cup 2018: Maldives defeated India 2-1 to clinch their second South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. The win for Maldives comes 10 years after their first SAFF Cup title in 2008. Ibrahim Mahudhee Hussain and Ali Fasir scored in the 19th and 66th minutes respectively for Maldives against the run of play.

 

  • Hima Das appointed as Sports Ambassador of Assam: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has announced that Indian Athlete Hima Das will be appointed as the first sports ambassador of the state, who recently became the first Indian woman to win gold in track 400m event at IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championship in France.

 

  • Novak Djokovic wins US Open men’s singles title: Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to win the US Open men’s singles title in the final at the Flushing Meadows.

 

  • Naomi Osaka wins US Open women’s singles title: Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams to win the US Open women’s singles title in the final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, and became the first Japanese player to win a major singles title in the history of the sport.

 

  • Om Prakash Mitharwal strikes gold in 50m pistol event in ISSF World Championship: Indian shooter Om Prakash Mitharwal won his maiden gold medal at the ISSF World Championships, claiming the top honours in the 50m pistol event in Changwon, South Korea.

 

  • Ikee Rikako named as Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Asian Games: Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee became the first female athlete awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at an Asian Games.

 

  • India records best-ever performance at Asian Games 2018: India won 69 medals at the Asian Games 2018 for best-ever medal haul at Asian Games 2018. Indonesia read 69 medals – 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze to surpass the medal count from 2010 Games in Guangzhou, China and match the gold medal tally from the first-ever Asian Games in 1951.

 

  • Amit Panghal bags gold in men's boxing: Indian boxer Amit Panghal clinched gold in the men's light fly (49kg) boxing competition at the 2018 Asian Games, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

  • India’s Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar win gold in bridge at Asian Games: India won a gold medal in the bridge competition of the 18th Asian Games with Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar clinching the top honours in the men's pair event.

 

Key Updates: August 2018

 

  • P V Sindhu wins silver at World Badminton Championships 2018: Indian shuttler P V Sindhu won the silver medal after losing to Spain's Carolina Marin in the women's singles final of the BWF World Badminton Championships 2018 at Nanjing, China.

 

  • Netherland wins women’s world hockey cup: Netherland defeated Ireland 6-0 to win Women’s Hockey World Cup for a record eighth time.

 

  • Georgia Hall wins the Women's British Open: The 22-year-old Georgia Hall at Royal Lytham secured a maiden major title with a thrilling victory on home soil at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

 

  • Union Sports Minister launches Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour: Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore launched the Rugby World Cup 2019 Trophy Tour in India, welcoming the Webb Ellis Cup to the capital.

 

  • Viraj Madappa wins maiden Asian Tour title: The 20-year-old Viraj Madappa became the youngest Indian to win an Asian Tour trophy at Take Solutions Masters in Bengaluru.

 

  • Esow Alben creates history by winning India’s first ever cycling medal at world level: Esow Alben created history by winning India's first junior cycling World Cup silver medal in the men's keirin event of the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships at Aigle in Switzerland.

 

  • India wins SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship by defeating Bangladesh: Indian girls clinched the SAFF U-15 title after defeating defending champions Bangladesh by a solitary goal in the final at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan.

 

  • Wrestler Bajrang Punia wins India’s first gold medal at 2018 Asian Games: Wrestler Bajrang Punia clinched India's first gold medal in the 18th Asian Games after defeating Takatani Daichi of Japan in the men's 65 kg freestyle final to grab the yellow metal.

 

  • First Indian woman to win gold medal at 2018 Asian Games: Vinesh Phogat created history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal in the final at the Asian Games 2018.

 

  • Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold medal on debut at Asian Games: Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold medal in the men's 10m air pistol event at the Asian Games to help India win its third gold medal of the Games in Indonesia.

 

  • Liu Xiang breaks record in 50m backstroke swimming in Asian Games 2018: The 21-year-old China's Liu Xiang set a new world record in the women's 50 metres backstroke to win gold at Asian Games 2018.

 

  • David Beckham to receive 2018 UEFA president’s award: Former England captain David Beckham is to receive the 2018 UEFA President's Award in honour of his achievements in the game and his work since retiring as a player.

 

  • Heena Sindhu won a Bronze in the 10m Air Pistol event: Heena Sidhu won a Bronze medal in Women's 10m Air Pistol event at Asian Games 2018.

 

  • India win four bronze medals in Wushu, Sarnobat clinches gold in 25-metre pistol event: Indian shooter Rahi Sarnobat won gold medal in the women's 25-metre pistol event at Asian Games 2018 and India won four bronze medals in Wushu - Roshibina Devi in Sanda 60kg category, Santosh Kumar in Sanda 56kg category, Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh in Sanda 60 kg category and Narender Grewal in Sanda 65kg category.

 

  • Ankita Raina wins Bronze medal in Women's singles in Indonesia: Indian tennis player Ankita Raina clinched a bronze medal at the Asian Games after losing to China’s Zhang Shuai in the women’s singles semifinal.

 

  • Shardul Vihaan and Rahi Sarnobat clinched silver and gold medals: The youngest Indian shooter Shardul Vihan bagged silver medal in men's Double Trap final and Indian woman shooter Rahi Sarnobat clinched a gold medal in 25m pistol event at the Asian Games.

 

  • Indian rowers clinch two more bronze medals in rowing: Indian rowers Rohit and Bhagwan bagged two bronze medals in rowing at JSC Lake in Asian Games 2018. Japan’s Miyaura Masayuki and Takeda Masahiro won the gold, while Koreans Kim Byung Hoon and Lee Minhyuk (7:03.22) cliched silver.

 

  • Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan win a gold in tennis: The Indian men's tennis pair of Rohan Bopanna-Divij Sharan clinched gold medals at the Asian Games, dominating the final clash with a thoroughly clinical performance in Palembang.

 

  • P V Sindhu only Indian in Forbes Highest paid female athletes in the world: The 23-year old, Ace shuttler PV Sindhu is the only Indian in the top 10 of Forbe’s highest paid athletes in the world. Sindhu is also the the highest ranked non-tennis female player and is ranked seventh in the list.

 

  • Indian women gets second in Women's kabaddi for 1st time at Asiad: India clinched silver medal in women's kabaddi at the Asian Games 2018 after losing to Iran in the final.

 

  • Dutee Chand wins India's first medal in 20 years in women's 100m: Dutee Chand clinched India's first silver medal in women's 100m at the Asian Games 2018.

 

  • Hima Das wins 400m silver at Asiad, breaks national record: The 18-year-old Indian athletes, Hima Das broke the national record to clinch silver medal in women’s 400m race at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta.

 

  • Anas clinches India's 1st men's 400m silver medal at Asiad: Sprinter Muhammed Anas Yahiya clocked 45.69 seconds to bag silver medal in the men's 400m event at the Asian Games 2018.

 

  • P V Sindhu wins silver in women's singles badminton: Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu wins silver after losing to world number one Tzi Tzu Ying in the final in Indonesia.

 

  • Tejinderpal Singh wins gold medal at Asiad 2018: Tejinderpal Singh won India's 1st Athletics gold medal in the men's shot put at the Asian Games 2018.

 

  • Manjit wins India's first gold in 800m at Asiad 2018: India's Manjit Singh won first Athletics gold medal in 800m at the Asian Games 2018.

 

  • Swapna Barman wins India’s first gold medal in Heptathlon Athletics at Asiad 2018: The 21-year-old Swapna Barma became the first Indian to win gold medal in the heptathlon event at the Asian Games.

 

  • Arpinder Singh wins gold medal in Men’s Triple Jump event at Asiad 2018: India's Arpinder Singh won gold medal in the men's triple jump event in 48 years with a jump of 16.77m at the Asian Games.

 

Key Updates: July 2018

 

  • Rahul Dravid becomes fifth Indian to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame: India captain Rahul Dravid became the fifth Indian to be inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame and received the honour along with former Australia captain Ricky Ponting and former English women’s cricketer Claire Taylor.

 

  • Australia wins Hockey Champions Trophy Final 2018: World Champions Australia defeated India 3-1 to clinch their second consecutive Champions Trophy title in Breda, Netherlands.

 

  • Lee Chong Wei wins 12th Malaysia Open Badminton singles title: Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei defeated Japan’s Kento to won a historic 12th Malaysia Open Badminton title.

 

  • Max Verstappen wins Austrian F1 GP: Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix for Red Bull while Lewis Hamilton lost the championship lead in a disastrous double-retirement for Mercedes.

 

  • Sports Authority of India to be renamed as “Sports India”: Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has declared the Sports Authority of India (SAI) is set to be renamed as “Sports India”.

 

  • India’s Bajrang Punia wins gold medal at Tbilisi Grand Prix and Deepak wins bronze: The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Bajrang Punia emerged champion at the Tbilisi Grand Prix in the 65kg category and Deepak Punia won the bronze medal in the 86 kg category by defeating Turkey’s Osman Gocen 5-3.

 

  • India's Dalabehera bags bronze in Junior world weightlifting Championship: Indian lifter Jhilli Dalabehera won the bronze medal in Junior world weightlifting Championship at Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

 

  • Major General Vikram Dogra becomes first Indian Army officer to complete Ironman Triathlon: Major General Vikram Dogra has become the first Indian Army officer to complete the Ironman Triathlon event in a day without a break. Ironman Triathlon consists of three consecutive events - 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km of running.

 

  • Dancing Dragon wins Maharaja’s Gold Cup: Mr Sarosh Modi a leading Dancing Dragon won the Maharaja’s Gold Cup held at Bengaluru. The winner is owned by Manjri Horse Breed Farm Pvt Ltd rep by. Mr & Mrs. S.P. Mistry & Mrs. Anneka Darashah and trainer by G. Nityanand.

 

  • 52 years old Indian woman, completed ironman triathlon in Austria: Anju Khosla became the oldest Indian woman to complete an ironman triathlon in Austria. The event entails a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike ride and a 42 km run.

 

  • Dipa Karmakar becomes first Indian to win gold at Gymnastics World Cup: Dipa Karmakar won the gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey.

 

  • Manav Thakkar and Manika Batra win titles in National Ranking tournament at Panchkula: Manav Thakkar of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) won the men and youth titles, while Manika Batra won the women's title and youth girls’ title went to Akula Sreeja in National Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships at Panchkula.

 

  • India bag 4 medals in the Asia Cup World Archery Ranking Tournament: India bagged three silver medals and a bronze to finish joint third with Iran in the Asia Cup World Ranking Tournament Stage 3 in Taipei.

 

  • Hima Das wins gold in World Junior Athletics C'ships: Indian sprinter, 18-year-old Hima Das scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete to win gold in women's 400m final race in the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

 

  • Anish and Manu won gold in shooting: Haryana teenagers Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala emerged champions in junior tournament at the Military Shooting Range in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Anish Bhanwala won in junior men’s 25m rapid fire pistol and Manu clinched the gold in the women's 10m Air Pistol.

 

  • World’s highest altitude ice hockey game plays in Himalayas: After two years of planning, The Hockey Foundation's attempt to set the record for the world's highest altitude ice hockey game was deemed successful as they played the sport on a rink they set up in the Himalayas. The Hockey Foundation, a New York based non-profit organization won this record by gathering players and playing a Guinness World Record-certified game in the northern parts of the Indian Himalayan region in Ladakh.

 

  • Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber won Wimbledon titles: Serbian champion Novak Djokovic defeated Kevin Anderson to win fourth Wimbledon title and German champion Angelique Kerber defeated Serena Williams to won Wimbledon women’s singles at the finals.

 

  • FIFA World Cup 2018: France beats Croatia 4-2 to become world champions: World champions France defeated Croatian team 4-2 to win second World Cup title after 20 years in Moscow. Golden Ball award: Luka Modric (Croatia). Golden Boot award: Harry Kane (England captain) for scoring six goals across six games. Golden Glove award: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium). FIFA Young Player award: 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe (France). FIFA Fair Play Award: Spain for superb disciplinary record.

 

  • Neeraj Chopra wins gold at Sotteville Athletics meet: India's ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra won the gold at the Sotteville Athletics meet in France, beating a competitive field that included 2012 London Olympics gold-medallist Keshorn Walcott.

 

  • India wins one silver and two bronze medals: Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Divya Kakran had won silver, while Reena and Karuna returned with bronze in women’s freestyle at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi.

 

  • Sports Authority of India shortlists 734 youngsters for “KHELO INDIA” scholarship programme: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has shortlisted 734 young players for a scholarship programme under the Khelo India Talent Identification Development scheme.

 

  • Tokyo 2020 committee officially launches Olympic mascots: The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee officially launched its Olympic mascots Mirai Towa and Someity at a massive event attended by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and committee president Yoshiro Mori. The name of the blue-checked Olympic mascot “Mirai Towa” is derived from a combination of the Japanese words for future and eternity and seeks to "promote a future full of eternal hope in the hearts of people all over the world".

 

  • Ajay Karthikeyan and Divya Deshmukh win 44th National sub-junior open chess: Ajay Karthikeyan of Tamil Nadu scored 9.0/11, finished half point ahead of Sankalp Gupta of Maharashtra and won his first National championship while Divya Deshmukh scored 9.0/11, finished half point ahead of Meenatchi Rajam of Tamil Nadu and won the National championship for second consecutive year in the final round of the 44th National sub-junior (under-15) open chess at Kalyani.

 

  • 5 years old Saanvi gets national medal in U-7 Chess Tournament: Five years old Saanvi Agarwal competed for 32nd Nationwide U-7 Open and Women Chess Championships and has won the title.

 

  • Egypt defeats England to win World Junior squash team title: A formidable Egypt defeated England 2-0 in the final to win the boy's title at the WSF-World junior squash team championship in India.

 

  • Bajrang Punia and Pinki win medal at the Yasar Dogu International as Indian wrestlers: India's star wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Pinki won gold medals at the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey while Sandeep Tomar and Pooja Dhanda win silver medal in the final.

 

  • Johnson wins Canadian Open golf championship: World number one Dustin Johnson win the RBC Canadian for the first time after firing 6-under 66 in the final round to finish at 23 under.

 

Key Updates: June 2018

 

  • Manu Bhaker wins gold in 10m air pistol: Commonwealth Games gold medalist and Youngest Indian Manu Bhaker defeated the Chinese and the Koreans by a big margin and won the women’s air pistol gold at ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.

 

  • Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold in 10m air pistol: Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Youngest Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won 10m air pistol gold at ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.

 

  • R Praggnanandhaa becomes world’s 2nd Youngest Chess Grandmaster: R. Praggnanandhaa became the second youngest Grandmaster in the World at 12 years, 10 months and 13 days.

 

  • Archer Deepika Kumari wins gold at salt lake World cup: Ace Indian Archer Deepika Kumari clinched her first individual gold medal after a gap of six years at the Salt Lake World Cup, in the USA.

 

  • Hamilton wins in France to retake F1 lead: Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton achieved the French Grand Prix from pole position for Mercedes to retake the overall lead from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth after a first lap collision.

 

  • US sprinter Noah Lyles wins 100m race to clinch US National title in Des Moines: Noah Lyles, a 20-year-old American sprinter ran the fastest 100-metre race of the year to clinch the US national title in Des Moines, Iowa.

 

  • Sandeep Sejwal clinches gold at Singapore National Swimming Championships: Indian swimmer Sandeep Sejwal clinched the gold medal in men’s 50m breaststroke event at the Singapore National Swimming Championships in Singapore.

 

  • Us golfer koepka wins US open title at New York: American Brooks Koepka, 28-year-old has won the US Open golf championship at the Shinnecock Hills course in New York, becoming the first player in almost 30 years to successfully defend his title.

 

  • First Indian cricketer to play in England's Kia Super League: The Indian women's cricket team opener, Smriti Mandhana, 21-year-old, is set to become the first player from Indian cricket team to appear in England's Kia Super T20 League. She has scored over 826 runs with a highest score of 76 in the 40 T20 Internationals.

 

  • Gavit Murali Kumar won gold in men's 10,000 metre race at Gouden Spike meeting: Indian young long-distance runner, Gavit Murali Kumar won the Gold medal in men's 10,000 metre race at Gouden Spike meet in Leiden, Netherlands to become the second fastest Indian in this event as the country's track and field athletes continued their build-up for the upcoming Asian Games.

 

  • India wins Intercontinental Cup Football Title: India defeated Kenya to won the title of Intercontinental Cup Football Tournament at Mumbai Football Arena.

 

  • Rafael Nadal wins 11th French Open Title: World number one Tennis star Rafael Nadal defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem to won 11th French Open title “grand slam” at Roland Garros.

 

  • Halep Wins Maiden Grand Slam Title: World number one Tennis star Simona Halep defeated American tenth seed Sloane Stephens and clinched the Maiden Grand Slam title in the French Open final tennis tournament in Paris.

 

  • Sports ministry approves upward revision of pension to meritorious sportspersons: Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has approved the upward revision of pension to meritorious Sportspersons. Under this revision, the rate of pension has been doubled of the existing rate of pension on winning medals in international sports events.

 

  • Mithali Raj score 2,000 runs in T20 International: The first Indian women star cricketer, Mithali Raj scored 2,000 runs in T20 Internationals and achieved the feat during India's seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the Women's Asia Cup T20 at Kuala Lumpur.

 

  • Indian cricketer Virat Kohli Only In World's Highest Paid Athletes List: Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has made it to the list of top 100 “World's Highest Paid Athletes 2018”. The Indian skipper is ranked 83rd with earnings of USD 24 million. Surprisingly, this year no women being featured in the list.

 

  • South Africa's Cricketer Of the Year - Kagiso Rabada Wins Award: The World Number One Test Bowler, Kagiso Rabada won the South Africa’s cricketer of year award at Jozi.

 

  • Sanjana Ramesh clinched MVP Award At Basketball without borders Asia: India's Sanjana Ramesh was awarded the “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) in the boys and girls section at the awards ceremony of the tenth Basketball without borders Asia, which featured 66 campers from 16 countries from the Asia-Pacific region.

 

Key Updates: May 2018

 

  • Real Madrid clinched 13th Champion League record title in final: Real Madrid has won the third successful Champions League final in Kyiv, clinching the title for a record 13th time. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in the history to clinch five Champions League titles. 

 

  • Japan women win’s the uber cup: Japan women Akane Yamaguchi won the 6th uber cup in May 2018. She defeated Thailand’s champion Ratchanok Intanon in the final badminton championships in Bangkok to end a 37-year wait to regain the title. 

 

  • Tejaswini Sawant wins gold medal in 50m Rifle Prone event: India’s Tejaswini Sawant won a gold medal in the women's 50m Rifle Prone event in Munich Grand Prix ahead of the ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol stage in the German city.

 

  • Chennai Super Kings awarded IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title after beating Sunrises Hyderabad (SRH) at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Shane Watson's unbeaten 117 knock helped chennai to win the IPL trophy.

 

  • India’s Shahzar Rizvi ranked World No.1 in ISSF World rankings: Shahzar Rizvi, India’s 10m air pistol shooter has risen to the top of the world rankings in men’s in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), riding on his silver medal-winning performance in the just-concluded World Cup in Changwon, Korea to ensure his elevation as the world’s number one shooter in the men’s 10m air pistol Olympic discipline.

 

  • World champion Vetter Neeraj Chopra breaks own  national record: After winning Commonwealth Gold, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra came up with a massive 87.43m throw at the season-opening Doha Diamond league to rewrite his own national record and finish fourth in the 10-man competition.

 

  • Indian archers Priyadharshini and Aman clinch gold: Tamil Nadu triple jumper Priyadharshini Suresh and Haryana's 400m hurdler Aman had won gold in the South Asian junior athletics championships (SAJAC) at Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo. At the end of two-day meet, they bagged 20 gold, 22 silver and eight bronze medals to put India on top of the medals table. Sri Lanka (12-10-19) and Pakistan (0-1-1) took second and third positions. Indians also created new meet records in the men's long jump, triple jump, women's triple jump, 100m hurdles, javelin throw and 1500m events.

 

  • Juventus rout AC Milan won Coppa Italia for fourth straight season:  Juventus won the Coppa Italia for the fourth consecutive year and a record 13th time with a crushing 4-0 victory over AC Milan who suffered a second-half meltdown in the final.

 

Key Updates: April 2018

 

  • Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth has emerged as World Number 1 in the men’s single category according to the latest edition of the BWF (Badminton World Federation) rankings. Kidambi Srikanth has replaced Denmark's Viktor Axelsen to become World Number 1. He has become the first Indian male player to achieve this mark. Earlier, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian girl to become World No.1 in 2015.

 

  • India’s Leander Paes has became the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup. He has broken the 46-year-old record of Italian player Nicola Pietrangeli with his 43rd double win in the competition held in Tianjin, China. During his long and illustrious career, Paes achieved the feat of longest unbeaten winning streak of 24 matches in Davis Cup with Mahesh Bhupathi.

 

  • The 2018 Commonwealth Games were held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018. Among the 71 participating countries, Australia topped the medal chart followed by England and India. Indian team won 26 gold medal, 20 silver medals and 20 bronze medals.

 

  • Indian Badminton players, PV Sindhu & Kidambi Srikanth have been named 'Sportspersons of the Year' at the inaugural ESPN Multi-Sport Awards. Coach Pullela Gopichand has been adjudged 'best coach'. Indian National Women's Hockey Team was adjudged the 'Team of the Year'.

 

  • According to the latest FIFA rankings, Germany is at the numero uno position followed by Brazil in the second position.

 

Key Updates: March 2018

 

  • Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro defeated top-ranked Roger Federer to win his first Indian Wells title and second consecutive ATP crown.

 

  • Seventh seeded Shi Yuqi from China defeated fellow national Lin Dan to win final of the All England Open badminton championships in Birmingham. In the women's final, top seed and defending champion Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan defeated second seeded Akane Yamaguchi from Japan .

 

  • Indian Men Cricket Team won Nidahas Trophy in a thrilling final opposite Bangalesh.

 

  • H.S. Prannoy and P.V Sindu have reached quarterfinals of the All England Badminton Championship.

 

  • Maharashtra’s Sanjivani Jadhav won the women’s bronze in the 14th Asian Cross Country Championships at Guiyang, China. She was the World University Games 10,000m silver medallist last year. The Asian Cross Country Championships is a biennial regional cross country running competition for athletes from Asia. It is organised by the Asian Athletics Association and was first held in 1991 in Fukuoka, Japan.

 

  • Australia clinched the 2018 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at 27th edition of the tournament held in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, early this month. Six teams participated in the tournament with India finishing at 5th spot.

 

  • The All England Championship, one of the badminton’s most prestigious and oldest sports tournaments is set to begin on March 14 in Birmingham. Fourth seed P. V. Sindhu and the unseeded Saina Nehwal lead India's challenge in women’s category. India’s men championship hopes are on K. Srikanth (3), who is in a great form lately. Previously only Prakash Padukone (1980) and Gopichand (2001) from India have won this tournament.

 

  • As per the latest rankings released by United World Wrestling, reigning Asian champion Navjot Kaur has became World No. 2 in the 65 kg category. In men’s ranking, Vinesh Phogat is No. 2 in the 50kg category behind Lei Chun of China.

 

  • Indian junior archers bagged three gold and three bronze medals to finish their Archery Asia Cup on a high note. Trio of Akash, Gora Ho and Gaurav Lambe, Promila Daimary and Muskan Kirar triumped with gold medals.

 

  • Indian shooter Anjum Moudgil won silver medal in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was India’s eighth medal in the competition and the first silver after having won three golds and four bronze medals already, in the ongoing event.

 

  • Manu Bhasker (16 yrs) from Haryana became the youngest Indian to win a World Cup gold in shooting (women’s 10m air pistol) at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.

 

  • Navjot Kaur becomes first Indian woman to win gold medal (65 kg freestyle wrestling category) at Asian Wrestling Championship held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In the same event, bronze medals were won by Bajrang Punia (65 kg freestyle) and Vinod Kumar Omprakash (70 kg freestyle).

 

Key Updates: January 2018

 

  • The new Khelo India logo, reflecting the freshness, agility and vitality of New India was launched at a ceremony by the Union Minister of  State Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore.The Khelo India School Games, to be broadcast by Star Sports, is being held in collaboration with the School Games Federation of India and National Sports Federations by setting up an Organizing Committee as per procedure of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. SGFI and NSFs will draw up and conduct an annual calendar of competitions leading up to the Khelo India School Games.

 

Key Updates: December 2017

 

  • Australia defended the Hockey World League title that they won in Raipur two years ago by claiming a 2-1 triumph over reigning Olympic champions Argentina, in Bhubaneswar. India finished with the bronze medal by defeating Germany.

 

Key Updates: November 2017

 

  • Indian wrestler Ritu Phogat has clinched the silver medal in Under-23 (48 Kg. category) Senior World Wrestling Championship at Poland. The 23-year-old, lost against Turkish Wrestler Demirhan in the gold medal bout of women's 48 kilogram category.

 

  • In the National Wrestling championship currently being held in Indore, two-time Olympic-medallist Sushil Kumar (silver medallist in 2012 London Olympics and bronze medallist at 2008 Beijing Olympics, India's lone woman Olympic medal winner Sakshi Malik (Bronze medallist in 2016 Rio Olympics) and Geeta Phogat (winner of India’s first ever gold medal in Commonwealth Games 2010) won gold medal in their respective categories in the event.

 

  • Mary Kom has won the gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships in the Light Flyweight category, defeating DPR Korea's Kim Hyang Mi. This is Mary Kom's sixth medal in the Asian Women's Boxing Championships which includes four gold medals and one silver medal won in previous editions of the tournament.

 

  • Women's Asia Cup hockey 2017 title is won by Indian team which defeated China in the finals. The tournament was held in Japan. As the winner of the tournament India also qualified for the world cup tournament to be held in England in 2018.

 

  • Held every fourth year, the women’s Asia cup hockey tournament was started in 1985.

 

  • Indian shooters Prakash Nanjappa, Amanpreet Singh and Jitu Rai made a clean sweep in the 50m pistol event at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships at Gold Coast in Australia. Prakash won the coveted gold medal, Amanpreet the Silver and Jitu settled for bronze medals.