- President Ram Nath Kovind launches Solar Charkha Mission
The mission will entail a subsidy of Rs 550 crore in the initial two years for 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans.
- North Korea named as ‘worst human trafficking country’ for the 16th year
The North Korean government continued to use forced labour in prison camps and labour training centres and even encouraged forced labours of students and exported forced labour to foreign organisations.
- National Statistics Day 2018 observed in India
On the same occasion, Vice President released a commemorative coin of Rs 125 and circulation coin of Rs 5 denomination to pay homage to Prof. Mahalanobis.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Planning
• The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of 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.
• Under this MOU, capacity building programme in the field of planning, and waste water management, solid waste management, Intelligent Transport System and public financing would be undertaken.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) titled Joint Declaration of Intent between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation.
• The Joint Declaration will lead to promotion of safe, effective and efficient development of air transport between India and Germany.
• The MoU signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Germany, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism between the two countries.
• The two countries desired to strengthen and further develop the established relation promoting and facilitating exchange of knowledge and experience, cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation.
Cabinet apprised of agreement between India and Denmark on cooperation in the field of S&T
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the agreement between India and Denmark on Cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation.
• A historic milestone in the Indo-Danish Science and Technology relationship was reached through signing of this agreement.
• The objective of the Agreement is to encourage, develop and facilitate cooperation between India and Denmark in fields of common interest within Science, Technology and Innovation.
• Renewable energy, water, material science, affordable healthcare, synthetic biology, functional food, and blue economy were identified as potential areas for immediate collaboration.
Cabinet apprised of agreement between India and France on cooperation on maritime mission
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the Implementing Arrangement (IA) for Pre-formulation Studies of a Maritime Domain Awareness Mission signed between India and France on March 10, 2018.
• The proposed joint mission will be devoted to maritime domain awareness, with the objective to provide relevant data and services to both nations.
• The objective is to monitor the maritime traffic and to identify the non-compliant ships at the maximum possible revisit frequency.
• The monitoring system will provide an end to end solution for detection, identification, monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest for India and France.
• Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Centre Nationale Dètudes Spatiales (CNES) of France will jointly undertake various activities during these pre-formulation studies.
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Denmark for cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandry
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Denmark on April 16, 2018 for cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
• The MoU aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandly and Dairying for the purpose of broadening the existing knowledge base on dairy development and institutional strengthening.
• A Joint Working Group (JWC) consisting of representatives of each party will be formed to formulate joint programmes, facilitate cooperation and consultation and subsequent evaluation.
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Indonesia on technical cooperation in the railways sector
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of MoU between India and Indonesia on Technical Cooperation in the field of railways sector. The MoU was signed on May 29, 2018.
• The MoU will provide a framework of cooperation for focused approach in exchange of knowledge, technology, and institutional cooperation including capacity building.
• It will enable exchanges of construction and maintenance technologies for fixed infrastructure, including tracks, bridges, tunnel, overhead electrification and power supply systems.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bahrain on cooperation in the field of Healthcare
• The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bahrain on cooperation in the field of Healthcare.
• The MoU covers exchange of information including publications and research outcomes; encourages health and medical research activities at both the private-sector and the academic level.
• A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.
Cabinet approves the establishment of additional 6.5MMT Strategic Petroleum Reserves at Chandikhol
• The Union Cabinet approved establishment of additional 6.5 Million Metric Tonne (MMT) Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facilities at two locations, i.e. Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka, including construction of dedicated SPMs (Single Point Mooring) for the two SPRs.
• The SPR facilities at Chandikhol and Padur will be underground rock caverns and will have capacities of 4 MMT and 2.5 MMT respectively.
• The government had announced setting up of two additional SPRs during the budget announcement for 2017-18.
• Cabinet’s approval for establishing additional 6.5 MMT Strategic Petroleum Reserve facilities will provide an additional supply of about 12 days and is expected to augment India’s energy security.
Financial Action Task Force puts Pakistan on ‘grey list’
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on June 27, 2018 added Pakistan to its ‘grey list’ of countries involved in providing monetary assistance to terrorism and related causes. The decision was taken during FATF meeting on Money Laundering in Paris.
At the FATF talks in Paris, a delegation led by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Pakistani Interim Minister for Finance and Planning apprised the FATF of steps taken by Pakistan to curb terror financing and money laundering, pleading removal of Pakistan’s name from FATF grey list. Pakistan had earlier been included in the ‘grey list’ from 2012 to 2015.
Rupee falls to all-time low of 69.09 against US dollar
The rupee hit the all-time low of 69.09 against the US dollar on June 28, 2018, falling past 69 mark for the first time ever. The previous record low of rupee was 68.86 on November 24, 2016.
The rupee opened at an all-time low of 68.89 against the US Dollar. On June 27, 2018, it ended at 68.63, the worst ever closing since August 28, 2013, when it hit a record closing low of 68.82. The fall can be attributed to the week-long rise in the crude prices amid concerns of higher inflation and current account deficit.
NITI Aayog’s WEP signs five SoIs with financial institutions and social organizations
The Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) of the NITI Aayog on June 27, 2018 signed five separate Statements of Intent (SoIs) with financial institutions and social organizations.
The SoIs signed with financial institutions such as the Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance and SREI Infrastructure Finance will be included under the WEP-Finance vertical. These SoIs will provide financial assistance to women entrepreneurs and address the finance related challenges.
Emergency declared in Papua New Guinea over Polio outbreak
A public health emergency has been declared in three Papua New Guinea (PNG) provinces as the country responds to its first polio outbreak in 18 years when it was declared free of the disease.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), the virus was detected in a six-year-old boy in April this year. Later, it was found that the same virus stain has been identified in other healthy children in the same locality and community. That declared an official outbreak.
Government approves draft Act to replace UGC with Higher Education Commission
Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar on June 27, 2018 proposed a draft bill to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), a move that aims to reform higher education in India.
The Act entitled ‘Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act)’ revamps UGC Act, 1951 and its parent legislation completely. The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.