1. India and Philippines have signed and ratified an agreement on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters was approved by the Union Cabinet. The agreement will help in availability of relevant information for prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement will provide legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between Customs authorities of two countries. It would help in proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and facilitation of legitimate trade.
2. The Union Cabinet approved revision in salaries, gratuity, allowances, pension etc. of Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts and retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts. The increase in salary and allowances will benefit 31 Judges of Supreme Court (including the CJI) and 1079 Judges (including the Chief Justices) of High Courts. Besides, it will also benefit approximately 2500 retired Judges. The decision follows implementation of recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission in respect of Civil Servants.
3. The Union Cabinet has approved continuation of scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) for another three financial years (FYs 2017-18 to 2019-20). IICA is an agency under the aegis and jurisdiction of Ministry of Corporate Affairs. It handles and deal with various subjects, matters and affairs of corporate affairs regulation, governance and policy. It was established in 2008 at Manesar, Gurgaon (Haryana). This decision will make IICA self-sustainable by the end of FY 2019-20.
4. The fifth edition of Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. It is for first time organized in India. The theme of the two-day conference is “Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development “GCCS is one of world’s largest conferences on cyber space. The National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) is main agency to organize GCCS 2017 on behalf of Government of India. Representatives from 124 countries and 33 Ministerial delegates from 31 countries are attending GCCS 2017. Objectives of GCCS 2017 are to promote importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy, defend the status quo of open, interoperable and unregimented cyberspace, create political commitment for capacity building initiatives to address digital divide and assist countries, and develop security solutions in balanced fashion that duly acknowledge importance of the private sector and technical community. The first edition of GCCS was held in London in 2011. Later it was held in Budapest (2012), Seoul (2013), The Hague (2015).
5. Government will soon initiate a comprehensive ‘safe city’ plan for women in eight metropolitan cities of the country. Decision in this regard was taken Steering Committee meeting under chairmanship of Union Home Secretary. It will be implemented in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The Safe city plan will serve as robust emergency response system and provides police-verified public transport will come into place. In the meeting,it was decided that police and municipal corporations of these metropolitan cities will frame plan of action.
6. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra’ scheme for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20. It aims at empowering rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realise their full potential. The scheme is part of Umbrella Scheme “Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women” of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. It aims to improve declining child sex ratio (CSR), ensure survival and protection of the girl child, ensuring her education and empowering her to fulfil her potential. Through this scheme, government plans to reach 115 most backward districts in the country with 920 Mahila Shakti Kendra.
7. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved expansion of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Yojana for a pan India coverage from 2017-18.to 2019-20. The expansion of scheme was approved based on its successful implementation in 161 districts. The expansion includes multi sectoral intervention in 244 districts in addition to existing 161 districts. 235 districts will be covered through alert district media, advocacy and outreach, thus covering all 640 districts of the country. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP). The specific objectives of the scheme are preventing gender biased sex selective elimination, ensuring survival and protection of the girl child and ensuring education and participation of the girl child.
8. The Union Cabinet has approved India’s Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development . The minimum initial investment towards the membership of EBRD will be 1million Euros. This assumption is based on India’s decision to buy the minimum number of shares(100) required for obtaining the membership.
9. The Union Cabinet approved the Wage policy for the 8th Round of Wage negotiations For Workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). There are about 12.34 lakh employees in 320 CPSEs in the country.
10. The Union Government has constituted a task force for drafting New Direct tax legislation. The task force will draft an appropriate Direct tax legislation keeping in view the direct tax system prevalent in various countries, international best practices and economy needs of the country. CBDT member Arbind Modi will be convener of task force. Chief Economic Adviser Dr. Arvind Subramanian will be its permanent Special Invitee. During 2017 Rajaswa Gyan Sangam held in September, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had observed that IT Act, 1961 was drafted more than 50 years ago.
11. The annual Sangai Festival was celebrated in the northeastern state of Manipur. The festival showcases tourism potential of Manipur in field of arts & culture, handloom, handicrafts, indigenous sports, cuisine, music and adventure sports of the state etc. The focus areas of the festival will reflect Manipur’s proud cultural heritage and love for art which is inherent amongst various tribes inhabiting st ate. ‘Ras Leela’, state’s classical dance form along with various other folk dance performances like Bamboo dance, Maibi dance, Kabui Naga dance, Lai Haraoba dance, Khamba Thoibi dance etc. which will be showcased at the festival. The festival is named after state animal, Sangai, the critically endangered brow-antlered deer found only in Manipur’s Keibul Lamjao National Park, only floating national park in the world. It was started in 2010. It is grandest festival of the state to promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination.
12. The Union Cabinet has approved signing an Agreement on Cooperation between India and Russia in field of combating all forms of terrorism and organized crime during upcoming visit of Indian Delegation led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Russia in November, 2017.
13. The first ever North East Development Summit (NEDS) 2017 organised by Delhi-based think tank India Foundation in collaboration with Union Government and Manipur government was held in Imphal, Manipur was inaugurated by President of India Ram Nath Kovind. NEDS 2017 aims to boost trade and investment in underdeveloped region of North East. It also aimed at building confidence and altering perception among visiting delegates and investors.
14.The world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test fired from Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet for the first time. It was for first time that missile was successfully tested from fighter aircraft against sea-based target. It makes IAF first air force in world to have successfully fire air-launched 2.8 Mach surface attack missile of this category. The missile was gravity dropped from Su-30MKI from its fuselage and two-stage missile’s engine fired up and was propelled towards the intended target in Bay of Bengal.