1. Under Van Dhan Scheme- the government has proposed to set up 3000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) across the country. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister on 14th April, 2018 during the celebrations of Ambedkar Jayanti at Bijapur Chattisgarh. This will help in empowering tribals by providing them skill up-gradation and capacity building training for value addition of forest produce for modernizing traditional tribal-rural economic system.
2. The Union Cabinet has approved Implementing Arrangement (IA) between India and France for pre-formulation studies of Maritime Domain Awareness Mission. The objective of the mission is to monitor the maritime traffic and identify non-compliant ships at maximum possible revisit frequency. The monitoring system will provide end to end solution for detection, identification, monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest for India and France.
3. French state-run power utility EDF and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) have signed strategic cooperation agreement with State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build for construction of 6 EPR (European Pressurized Reactors) type nuclear reactors of capacity 1,650 megawatt (MW) each at Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra. Jaitapur nuclear plant is proposed 9900 MW nuclear power project to come at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra (west coast of India). On completion, Jaitapur power plant would be world’s largest nuclear power generating station by net electrical power rating. It will also play pivotal role in achieving Union Government’s ambitious target of 22,480 mw nuclear power generation capacity by 2031.
4. The establishment of additional 6.5 Million Metric Tonne (MMT) Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) facilities at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka has approved by the Union Cabinet. It also approved construction of dedicated SPMs (Single Point Mooring) for the two SPRs. The SPR facilities at Chandikhol and Padur will be underground rock caverns. They will have capacities of 4 MMT and 2.5 MMT respectively. These facilities will provide an additional supply of about 12 days of petroleum reserves and is expected to augment India’s energy security.
5. India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Venu Rajamony voted against the draft decision at a special conference of the Organisation at The Hague, in the Netherlands. Rajamony said, it has been India's consistent position that the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anybody, under any circumstances, cannot be justified.
6. Law and Justice Ministry organised a joint secretary level meeting on the functioning of a web-based tool, Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) in New Delhi. This web-based online platform will be quite useful in monitoring and tracking various court cases of all the Ministries. LIMBS has been successfully implemented in all the 62 Ministries and has database of over 2.70 lakh court cases from 2100 courts and 1065 arbitration cases. The nodal officers from the various Ministries participated in the event.
1. 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.
2. 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. Pakistan had earlier been included in the ‘grey list’ from 2012 to 2015.
3. The United States has postponed the ‘2 plus 2 dialogue' with India scheduled to be held in Washington next week. Both the leaders agreed to identify new mutually convenient dates to hold the dialogue at the earliest, in India or in the US. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and expressed his regret and deep disappointment for having to postpone the dialogue due to unavoidable reasons.
1. The 3rd Annual Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was jointly organised by Department of Economic Affairs under Union Finance Ministry and AIIB concluded in Mumbai, Maharashtra in optimistic note to raise its lending capacity to boost prosperity and security in Asia. The theme of third meeting was ‘Mobilising Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration’. The fourth annual meeting will be held in Luxembourg in July 2019. Luxembourg is a founding member of AIIB.
2. The capital infusion of Rs. 2000 crore for strengthening of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) to enhance insurance coverage to micro, small micro, small medium enterprises (MSMEs) exports has approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The infusion of capital will enhance insurance coverage to MSME exports and strengthen India’s exports to emerging and challenging markets like Africa, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and Latin American countries. The amount will be infused in three financial years i.e. Rs.50 crore in 2017-18, Rs.1450 crore in 2018-19 and Rs.500 crore in 2019-20.
3. 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 fall can be attributed to the week-long rise in the crude prices amid concerns of higher inflation and current account deficit.
4. The Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) of the NITI Aayog signed five separate Statements of Intent (SoIs) with financial institutions and social organizations on June 27, 2018. 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.