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National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs October 2nd Week 2017
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National Current Affairs October 2nd Week 2017

1. Axis Bank acquires Freecharge, appoints Sangram Singh as CEO.

The country`s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank today said it has acquired payments wallet Freecharge for Rs 373 crore in an all-cash deal and appointed Sangram Singh as its CEO.

"Pursuant to the receipt of approval for the said transaction from Reserve Bank of India, the bank has completed the acquisition of Freecharge for a cash consideration of 373.27 crore, on a cash free, debt free basis," Axis Bank said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges.

Sangram Singh has been appointed as the CEO of Freecharge Payment Technologies Private Ltd, it said.

The bank had in July announced plans to acquire Freecharge subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals.

Axis Banks had said the acquisition will double the customer base of the bank and leapfrog its digital journey by multiple years.

Freecharge presently has a revenue of about Rs 80 crore.

Snapdeal had bought Freecharge in April 2015 for an estimated USD 400 million or over Rs 2,500 crore at current rates. At that time, this was touted as the largest deal in the nascent start-up ecosystem in India.

Acquisition gives Axis Bank access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well as about 150 to 200 professionals.
 
2. Today Indian Air Force is celebrating its 85th anniversary at Hindon Air Force base in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 85th anniversary at Hindon Air Force base in Uttar Pradesh`s Ghaziabad district on Sunday. A series of scintillating air drills and parade was displayed by the IAF aircrafts. The celebrations were marked by various events and a stellar show in the skies. On this glorious day, the IAF also showcased its might with a display of its vintage, modern and fighter aircrafts. On this day, when the Indian Air Force completed 85 years of dedicated service to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a Gujarat visit, took to Twitter to wish the Indian Air Force on the occasion: “On Air Force Day, best wishes to our courageous air warriors & their families. Their determination & prowess ensure that our skies are safe.” The Indian Air Force was officially established on October 8th 1932. On April 1, 1993, its first ac flight came into being.
 
3. Indias first Marine Police Training Institute to be set up at Dev Bhoomi Dwarka.
Indias first Marine Police Training Institute to be set up at Dev Bhoomi Dwarka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the setting up of the country’s first “Marine Police Training Institute” at the newly created Dev Bhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat.
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Modi who arrived on a two-day tour of Gujarat, visited Dwarkadish temple at Dwarka and offered prayers. Later addressing a large gathering at a cricket ground in the temple town, Modi said, “The country’s first and biggest institute that will be train marine police from across the country will be set up at Dev Bhoomi Dwarka. It will be set up near Modak.”

“For the security of our coasts we are working to modernise our marine police force. The training will be different compared to the training to the police force, because they will be connected to providing security within 5 kilometers boundary along the coastline,” he added.

The PM said that the institute will train marine police force the way IAF (Indian Air Force) trains its pilots at Jamnagar. Earlier PM Modi pressed a remote and laid the foundation stones of four National Highway project costing Rs 5825 crore.
 
4. PM Narendra Modi inaugurate highway projects worth Rs.5,925 crore in Gujarat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of national highways projects worth Rs 5,825 crore in Gujarat tomorrow, the road, highways and transport ministry said today.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, shipping and chemicals & fertiliser Mansukh L Mandavia will accompany the prime minister, the ministry said in a statement.


Modi will lay the foundation for the construction of Rs 962 crore Cable Stayed Signature Bridge between Beyt Dwarka and Okha on NH-51, the ministry said.

"The other projects for which foundation will be laid include 4 laning of 116.24 km of Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore, 2/4 laning of 93.56 km of Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51 at a cost of Rs 370 crore and 6 laning of 201.31 km Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 and NH-27 at a cost of Rs 2,893 crore," the statement added.
 
5. Around 54,000 petrol pumps across India to remain shut on October 13.
Around 54,000 petrol pumps across India to remain shut on October 13
United Petroleum Front (UPF) on Saturday announced nationwide strike of dealers on October 13 to press for various demands including better margins and inclusion of petroleum products in the Goods and Services Tax.

It warned that if the demands were not met at the earliest, fuel dealers will be forced to stop, indefinitely, purchase and sale operations from October 27.

UPF represents over 54,000 dealers from the Federation of All-India Petroleum Traders, the All-India Petroleum Dealers Association and the Consortium of Indian Petroleum Dealers.

The strike is to press for long-pending demands ignored by the state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) since an agreement was signed last November, it said.

The demands include upward revision of the dealer margins every six months, better terms for return on investment, resolution of manpower issues, a fresh study of handling losses, and resolution of issues related to transportation and ethanol blending.
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The front alleged that the letters which it wrote to oil marketing companies as well as a letter from the Cabinet Secretariat dated June 28, did not elicit positive response.

Dealers also want the government to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime.

They are also upset with the marketing discipline guidelines announced by OMCs, which seek to penalise dealers for shortcomings up to Rs 2 lakh under a zero tolerance policy towards shortchanging of customers.

Fuel dealers are also opposed to the daily price mechanism introduced from July 1, saying it has benefited neither the consumers nor the dealers.

They are also against, citing safety concerns, a proposal of the government to allow home delivery of oil products.
 
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches `Intensified Mission Indradhanush.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches `Intensified Mission Indradhanush
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) that aims to reach every child under two years of age and pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the government’s routine immunisation programme against preventable diseases.

The special drive will focus on select districts and cities to ensure full immunization to more than 90% of children and pregnant women by December 2018. The target of at least 90% coverage was to have been achieved by 2020. With the launch of IMI, the date has now been advanced.

“The government has made immunization a people’s and a social movement,” Modi said while launching IMI in Vadnagar, Gujarat.

With a sharpened focus on high priority districts and urban areas, under IMI, four consecutive immunization rounds will be conducted for 7 days in 173 districts—121 districts and 17 cities in 16 states and 52 districts in 8 north eastern states—every month between October 2017 and January 2018. IMI will cover low performing areas in the selected districts and urban areas. These areas have been selected through triangulation of data available under national surveys, Health Management Information System data and World Health Organization concurrent monitoring data. Special attention will be given to unserved/low coverage pockets in sub-centre and urban slums with migratory population. The focus is also on the urban settlements and cities identified under National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).

“The 4 phases of Mission Indradhanush have reached to more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women with life-saving vaccines including 5.21 lakh children and 1.27 lakh pregnant women in Gujarat. Through this mission, we have accelerated our progress towards our target of 90% full immunization coverage. Earlier the increase in full immunization coverage was 1% per year which has increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of ‘Mission Indradhanush’,” said Union health minister J.P. Nadda.

IMI will have inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination, action-based review mechanism and intensified monitoring and accountability framework for effective implementation of targeted rapid interventions to improve the routine immunization coverage. IMI is supported by 11 other ministries and departments, such as ministry of women and child development, panchayati raj, ministry of urban development, ministry of youth affairs among others. The convergence of ground level workers of various departments like ASHA, Auxiliary nurse midwife (ANMs), Anganwadi workers, Zila preraks under National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), self-help groups will be ensured for better coordination and effective implementation of the programme.

IMI would be closely monitored at the district, state and central level at regular intervals. Further, it would be reviewed by the cabinet secretary at the national level and will continue to be monitored at the highest level under a special initiative, ‘Proactive Governance and Timely Implementation (PRAGATI)’.

IMI is based on information received from gap assessment, supervision through government, concurrent monitoring by partners, and end-line surveys. Under IMI, special strategies are devised for rigorous monitoring of the programme. States and districts have developed coverage improvement plans based on gap self-assessment. These plans are reviewed from state to central level with an aim to reach 90% coverage by December 2018.
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An appreciation and awards mechanism is also conceived to recognize the districts reaching more than 90% coverage. The criteria includes best practices and media management during crisis. To acknowledge the contribution of the partners/Civil Society Organization (CSOs) and others, Certificate of Appreciation will be given.

The Prime Minister during the launch also highlighted other achievements of the government including the new National Health Policy 2017 which has been unveiled after 15 years. “Regulating of the prices of stents has immensely helped a large section of the country by reducing the cost of healthcare on the middle income group and poor families,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also dedicated the GMERS Medical College, Vadnagar to the nation and launched the Innovative Mobile Phone Technology for Community Health Operation (ImTeCHO) for improving coverage of community-based maternal, neonatal and infant health services to reduce neonatal and infant mortality in Gujarat by empowering health staff through use of innovative mobile phone application. GMERS Medical College serves nearly 400-500 outdoor patients and 80-100 indoor patients daily.
 
7. GoM Set Up to Review Composition Scheme.
GoM Set Up to Review Composition Scheme
A group of ministers (GoM) has been set up under Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to make the composition scheme more attractive and also revisit GST rates on restaurants. The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and consisting of his state counterparts, had on Friday constituted the GoM, which will submit its report within 2 weeks.

    The other members of the GoM are Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Chhattisgarh Minister of Commercial Taxes Amar Agrawal, according to an office memorandum.

With only 15.50 lakh businesses out of the total 98 lakh registered under the goods and services tax (GST) regime opting for the composition scheme, the GST Council has decided to set up the GoM to examine measures to make it more attractive. Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1 crore can opt for the composition scheme and they can pay taxes in the range of 1-5 per cent and file returns quarterly.
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     The GoM has also been tasked with revisiting the tax structure of different categories of restaurants with a view to rationalising or reducing the rates. Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent on non-AC restaurants while it is 18 per cent in air-conditioned ones.  The GoM will examine whether the AC restaurants pass on the benefit of cost reduction under GST to consumers and if they are not, whether they should be disallowed input tax credit claims. To make the composition scheme more attractive, the GoM would look into whether turnover of exempted goods can be excluded from the total turnover threshold for levying tax under the composition scheme. 

  Also, whether the scheme can be extended to taxpayers dealing in inter-state supplies of goods. Besides, the panel will look at whether the manufacturers opting for the scheme can be given the benefit of input tax credit.  The GST Council, in its last meeting, hiked the threshold for availing of the composition scheme to Rs 1 crore, from the Rs 75 lakh set earlier. The tax rate for traders of goods in the composition scheme is 1 per cent while it is 2 per cent for manufacturers and 5 per cent for restaurants.
 
8. NMCG approves Eight Projects under Namami Gange Programme.
NMCG approves Eight Projects under Namami Gange Programme
National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved eight projects worth Rs. 700 crore, out of which four pertain to sewage management in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, three are related to treatment of drains through bio-remediation and one of inventorization and surveillance of river Ganga. 

On sewage management front, a project for pollution abatement in river Ganga at Bally in West Bengal has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 200.07 crore that would include construction of a 40 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity based PPP model among other works. Similarly, construction of a 65 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity model has been approved for Bhagalpur in Bihar at an estimated roject cost of Rs 268.49 crore. In Uttar Pradesh, sewage treatment related works at an estimated cost of Rs 213.62 crore have also been approved that includes construction of two STPs (28 MLD + 05 MLD) in Farrukabad and one 2 MLD STP at Bargadiya drain in Fatehpur. Pollution abatement works for river Ganga like interception, diversion and treatment of sewage in Bithoor have also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 13.40 crore. 
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Three projects of treatment of drains using bio-remediation technology have also been given a green signal at an estimated cost of Rs 4.29 crore. These are for Rajapur drain and Digha drain in Patna and Laksar drain in Haridwar. 

One project for pollution inventorization, assessment and surveillance on river Ganga has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 42.9 crore. Continuation of an ongoing exercise, the project aims to strengthen environmental regulation and water quality monitoring vis-à-vis river Ganga. 
 
9. Central Government imposes anti-dumping duty on imports of steel wire rods from China.
Central Government imposes anti-dumping duty on imports of steel wire rods from China
The Centre has imposed anti-dumping duty on imports of steel wire rods from China to protect domestic manufacturers from cheap in-bound shipments.

The department of revenue in a notification on Wednesday said anti-dumping duty is being imposed for six months on the import of wire road of alloy or non-alloy steel from China.

The measure follows a commendation by the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties that steel wire road was being exported by China "below the normal value" and "the domestic industry has suffered material injury" because of such imports.

In its September 27 finding, the DGAD also stated that "the injury has been caused by the dumped imports of the subject goods" from China.

An anti-dumping duty equivalent to the difference between the landed value of steel products and USD 499 per tonne will be imposed on products exported by Minmetals Yingkou Medium Plate Co Ltd. In case of other producers, the anti-dumping duty would be the difference between the landed value and USD 538 per tonne, the notification said.

"The anti-dumping duty imposed under this notification shall be effective for a period not exceeding six months (unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier) from the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette and shall be paid in Indian currency," the November 2 notification said.

The `landed value` of imports was defined as the assessable value as determined by the customs and includes all duties of customs.

Wire rod of alloy or non-alloy steel finds applications in many sectors such as automotive components, welding electrodes, fasteners, including nuts and bolts, nails, railway sleepers, general engineering, binding wires for construction industry and armoured cables.
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State-owned Steel Authority of India, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, Usha Martin and JSW Steel had jointly filed the application to probe the dumping of these products from China.

In its findings, DGAD concluded that the product has been exported to India at "below the normal value" due to which "the domestic industry has suffered material injury".

"The authority recommends imposition of provisional anti-dumping duty... so as to remove the injury to the domestic industry," DGAD had said.

Imports of these steel products have drastically increased to 4,95,732 tonnes during the period of investigation (July-December 2015) from 1,60,582 tonnes in 2012-13.

India has already slapped anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations, including China and South Korea.

While the DGAD recommends the duty to be levied, the finance ministry imposes it.

Anti-dumping measures are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic industry. They are not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products.

India has initiated maximum anti-dumping cases against "below-cost" imports from China. 
 
10. Union Government receives 260 applicants for visiting researcher Programme through VAJRA Scheme.
Union Government receives 260 applicants for visiting researcher Programme through VAJRA Scheme
The Centre’s Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty scheme, meant to attract top international talent to the country’s research and development ecosystem, has received 260 applications from foreign scientists- of whom 70 will be shortlisted this year. The pilot project by the Department of Science and Technology, launched in May, eventually intends to select 1,000 scientists every year.  Department secretary Ashutosh Sharma said the screening of applicants will start this months and the shortlisted scientists will begin work by December.

“Nearly 260 scientists have applied. Before shortlisting the names, we have to see that their expertise and our areas of interest match,” he said.  The department will look for scientists with experience in the fields of renewable energy, water and other technology in which Indian lack expertise, he said.

Science and technology department officials said the residency period will be for a minimum of a month and a maximum of three months. Public funded academic institutions and national laboratories are eligible to host VAJRA faculties.
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“These institutions should appoint them as adjunct visiting faculty and involve them in co-guiding and mentoring students and developing collaborative programmes. The faculty can also be allowed to participate in other academic activities,” Sharma said.

This is a multi-purpose project, he said. “We will be able to collaborate with the best scientific minds and our students pursuing their doctorate will receive their guidance. The students will also be exposed to international practices.” Scientists visiting Indian institutions under the VAJRA Faculty scheme would be provided with a lump-sum amount of US $15,000 in the first month of residency in a year and US $10,000 per month afterwards.
 
11. Uttarakhand Government Launched `Solar Briefcase` to Provide Electricity in Remote Areas.
 Uttarakhand Government Launched `Solar Briefcase` to Provide Electricity in Remote Areas
The Uttarakhand Government is committed to fulfil the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about providing power in every household and all the non-electrified houses in the State would be provided power either through grid or off grid by the year 2019. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said this while addressing a programme at his residence on Sunday. 

The Uttarakhand Government and a charitable funding agency on Sunday launched `Solar Briefcase`. In the programme, 101 families located in remote areas were provided solar briefcases and power packs by the Hans foundation.

Thanking Mata Mangala, Bhole Maharaj and designer of Solar Briefcase Manoj Bhargava the CM said that the Hans foundation in collaboration with the State Government has decided to provide off grid power to the deprived families by distributing 15,000 solar briefcases in Uttarakhand. He said that Manoj Bhargava has also prepared bio-manure ‘Shivansh’ which is easy to prepare. Rawat said that the demonstration of the bio-manure would soon be made in the CM house.

The chairperson of Hans Foundation, Shewta Rawat said that without the help of Government the task of providing power to all villages cannot be accomplished. She said that the Hans foundation would have electrified only two to three villages on its own but by associating with Government the plan is now to electrify 40-50 villages. Shweta said that the CM of Uttarakhand was instrumental in inspiring the foundation to take up such a big task. Speaking on the occasion Mata Mangla said that she is happy that this project has started in Uttarakhand.
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Congratulating the Uttarakhand Government and Hans foundation, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Prem Chand Agarwal said that the many houses that hitherto were in dark would get illuminated on this Diwali. Trustee of Hans Foundation Manoj Bhargawa said that while designing the solar briefcase he has taken utmost care on maintaining its quality. He disclosed that CM Rawat showed keen interest on the device it was shown to him. Secretary Power Radhika Jha informed that 98,000 families and 4,700 settlements in the State are still non electrified. She said that the office of CM takes a daily review on the progress of electrification in the State. Jha said that in last six months 20 villages have been electrified and three villages in Pithoragarh district were electrified in last week.

The programme was also attended by Minister of State Rekha Arya, MLAs Khajan Das, Ganesh Joshi, Mukesh Koli and others. Earlier in the day CM Rawat, Mata Mangla, Bhole Maharaj and Manoj Bhargava reached Kedarnath and handed over the first Power pack to the temple committee.
 
12. PNB MetLife appoints Ashish Kumar Srivastava as MD, CEO.
PNB MetLife appoints Ashish Kumar Srivastava as MD, CEO
PNB MetLife India Insurance has a new MD and CEO in Ashish Srivastava. He will be responsible for leading all aspects of the business in the country. Prior to this elevation, Srivastava was an interim CEO at PNB MetLife.

Srivastava had joined PNB MetLife in 2013 as the Head of HR for the India business, and moved to Dubai in 2015 joining the MetLife Middle East & Africa (MEA) management team. Effective January 2017, he has been in India managing the India business. Prior to joining PNB MetLife, Srivastava was Board member at Canara HSBC Oriental Life Insurance Company.

An industry veteran of nearly 25 years, Srivastava comes with extensive experience in multiple disciplines, including Strategy, Human Resources, Project management and operations, Infrastructure, Administration and Communications.
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Chris Townsend, Chairman of the Board, PNB MetLife, said, “Ashish is a seasoned and well-respected leader who is an excellent choice to lead our team at PNB MetLife. The Board and shareholders remain confident in the performance and potential of the company and believe that the combination of PNB`s extensive network and MetLife`s global strategy ensure that we are well-positioned to capture the opportunities in this fast-growing market.”

Commenting on his appointment, Ashish Kumar Srivastava said, “I am delighted to have been entrusted with this responsibility and excited to take our business to greater heights. We are confident we will build on and consolidate our strengths in the market while continuing to innovate and tap new opportunities for growth.”

It maybe recalled that Tarun Chugh, the erstwhile MD & CEO of PNB MetLife, had joined Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance as its Managing Director & CEO from April 1 this year.
 
13. Union Home Minister Inaugurated First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise.
Union Home Minister Inaugurated First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh will inaugurate the four-day First BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) here tomorrow. The Exercise will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.

The BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 is being conducted in two phases in Delhi and NCR. The main exercise will comprise of Table Top Exercise (TTX), Field Training Exercise (FTX) and After Action Review (AAR) which is scheduled for October 10-13, 2017. Earlier, the first phase comprising a Preparatory Meeting and field visit of site selected for FTX during the main exercise, was held in Delhi NCR on August 8-9, 2017.

Delegates from all seven nations of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping, - namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, representatives from Embassies/High Commissions of BIMSTEC nations in Delhi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and Senior Officers from the Nodal Ministries will participate in the event.
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This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries. The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the regions preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response. It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries. The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.
 
14. dia Water Week inaugurated by President.
dia Water Week inaugurated by President
I am happy to be here to inaugurate the Fifth India Water Week 2017. I would particularly like to welcome the international delegates, from the European Union countries and elsewhere. They are joining their Indian counterparts in discussions related to this extremely important subject.

As we all know, water is essential to human life. In fact, since 60 per cent of the human body is water, it can be said that water is life itself. Without water, no field of human activity can be complete. Today, the world is debating if the flow of information is more important than the flow of energy. That is a good question. But the flow of water is still more important. It is fundamental to the economy and to ecology – and to human equity. The issue of water is becoming still more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns.

In India, water is central to some of our flagship programmes. I would go to the extent of saying that the modernisation of India is dependent on the modernisation of its water management. This is not surprising since our country supports 17 per cent of the global population – but has only four per cent of the world’s water resources.

Better and more efficient use of water is a challenge for Indian agriculture and industry alike. It requires us to set new benchmarks in both our villages and in the cities we build.

In India, 54 per cent of people are dependent on farming for their livelihood. Yet, their share of national income is only 14 per cent. To make agriculture more remunerative and to improve the prosperity of farming communities, the government has introduced many new projects. These include:

1. ‘Har Khet ko Paani’– Water for Every Farm: This requires enhancing the supply and availability of water

2. ‘Per Drop, More Crop’: This requires using drip irrigation and related methods to improve farm productivity, while using the same volume of water

3. ‘Doubling Farm Incomes by 2022’: To achieve this, the government is rapidly expanding the area under irrigation, and completing 99 long-pending irrigation projects. Sixty per cent of these projects are in drought-prone areas

I move now to India’s industrialisation and the role that water will play there. Under the Make in India mission, India is working to sharply increase the share of manufacturing in our GDP. From the current 17 per cent of GDP, we are determined to take it to 25 per cent by 2025.

Industry requires a large volume of water. This is particularly true for the manufacture of electronic hardware, computers and mobile phones. And these are all focus areas for Make in India.

Currently, 80 per cent of water in India is used by agriculture and only 15 per cent by industry. In the coming years, this ratio will change. The total demand for water will also rise. Efficiency of water use and reuse, therefore, has to be built into the blueprint of industrial projects. Business and industry need to be a part of the solution. That is why I am glad large manufacturing companies are present at this conference.

Friends

India is urbanising at a rate not seen in its history. An effort is being made to build or upgrade 100 modern cities as part of the Smart Cities initiative. As we know, reuse of water, solid waste management and better sanitation infrastructure and practices are benchmarks to assess Smart Cities.

In urban India, 40 billion litres of waste water is produced every day. It is vital to adopt technology to reduce the toxic content of this water, and to deploy it for irrigation and other purposes. This has to be part of any urban planning programme.

I must also point to the significant regional variations in India when it comes to the experience with water. On the one hand, groundwater sources are being savagely exploited and depleted in some of our northern and western states. On the other hand, in eastern and North-eastern states, there is the challenge of overflowing rivers and of regular flooding. Year after year, this damages human habitation and is leading to tragedies in countless families.
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Only a multi-stakeholder and multi-pronged approach can address such calamities. This includes achieving an interlinking of rivers where feasible. It also necessitates a basin-wide management of river systems to both keep rivers clean as well as serve the purpose of different types of users. The Namami Gange project is a good start in this regard. We need to extend such thinking to other river systems in India and the Indian subcontinent, especially in the eastern part of our country.

In conclusion, I would urge a water management approach that is localised. It should empower village and neighbourhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources. Any 21st century water policy must factor in the concept of the value of water. It must encourage all stakeholders, including communities, to expand their minds – and to graduate from allocating a quantum of water to allocating a quantum of benefits.

Of course, this quantum of benefits will be dynamic. It will inevitably be linked to the mapping and forecast of livelihood patterns in human society. And these keep evolving.

15. Union Minister Smriti Irani inaugurates several development schemes in Amethi.

Union Minister Smriti Irani inaugurates several development schemes in Amethi
BJP chief Amit Shah and union minister Smriti Irani will visit the Congress bastion Amethi, three days after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi went there. While Ms Irani will reach Amethi today, Mr Shah will arrive tomorrow, the district administration said in a statement. Both are likely to announce a number of schemes at Amethi, which also happens to be Rahul Gandhi`s parliamentary constituency.

Sources said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will meet the two BJP leaders as they launch schemes and projects in Amethi, some 138 kilometres from state capital Lucknow.

Ms Irani is likely to attend the launch of a radio station at Gauriganj, a project for cleaning the Gomti river near Pipri village, and will inaugurate a tuberculosis unit at the district hospital and a primary health centre at Odari Tiloi.

She will then visit a unit of the Steel Authority of India in Jagdishpur, an industrial area in Amethi.

The district in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections saw an intense battle between Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani. Though the latter lost to the Congress leader, her entry is said to have reduced Rahul Gandhi`s victory margin from some 3.70 lakh votes in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014.

In this year`s Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the BJP took six of the 10 seats that come under the parliamentary constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli. Four of them were in Amethi.
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The two top BJP leaders are coming to Amethi to show that the party does not believe in step-motherly treatment to areas where the BJP has failed to make its mark, people in the BJP who are familiar with the matter said.

When he was at Amethi on October 5, Rahul Gandhi had said the centre and the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh were trying to re-inaugurate projects in the district which were in fact launched by the United Progressive Alliance government.

During a talk with farmers and Congress supporters in the district, the Congress leader had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over employment, asking him to create job opportunities instead of "wasting time". "Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to stop wasting time of the countrymen and start giving employment to the youth as promised," Rahul Gandhi had said.
 
16. Rajasthan is the first state to incorporate skill development program in higher education.
 
 
Rajasthan became first state in the country to incorporate skill development programme in higher education. In this regard, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with state’s Department of College Education has prepared 16 courses for entrepreneurship and skill development for colleges in the state.

Key Facts

Under the project, 12 certificates and 4 diploma courses will be run and each college will be required to choose five courses. 94 colleges have already joined the project and 5656 students have registered themselves in it. By next session, more than 10 thousand students will be enrolled in the programmes. Under it, practical training of the students pursuing the skill development courses will be done in different government departments.
 
17. Union Government approved Rs 2,000 crore to set up Aadhaar units in Post offices.
Union Government approved Rs 2,000 crore to set up Aadhaar units in Post offices
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs 2,000 crore specifically for setting up Aadhaar centres in post offices, a move that will see private contractors phased out from the data collection process.

The decision comes in the wake of complaints regarding private vendors on counts such as petty corruption and attempted frauds and the Supreme Court taking note of reports of alleged leakage of UID data.

Aadhaar enrolment and updation facilities will be available in around 15,000 post offices by March 31 next year and this will complement the earlier decision that bank branches will have similar centres by October 31. Around 5,000 post offices will have the facility by December this year.
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Though much of the data collection so far has been done by private vendors and Aadhaar procedures ensure that they cannot access the biometrics they record, the government believes the process would be best handled by agencies like post offices and public sector banks.

The centres will have machines approved by the Unique Identification Authority of India and personnel will be trained by the agency as well.

Banks already have 2,000 branches running centres. A total of 15,200 bank branches will have centres with Aadhaar facilities. The decision to sanction Rs 2,000 crore is intended to respond to issues raised by the court and activists and to ensure improved access to Aadhaar enrolment and updation. The post offices and banks will considerably extend the reach of UID, particularly in remote areas where they are often the only permanent presence in terms of government services.

Upholding the linkage of PAN with Aadhaar, the SC had said it was necessary to highlight that a large section of citizens were concerned about possible data leak, even as many supported the government`s initiative.
 
18. Vice President inaugurates the third International Conference on ‘Yoga for Wellness’.
Vice President inaugurates the third International Conference on ‘Yoga for Wellness’ Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate the two-day International Conference on Yoga for Wellness tomorrow at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik will preside over the inaugural function.
The conference is being organized by Ministry of AYUSH as a part of commemorating the celebration of 21st June as International Day of Yoga declared by the United Nations. Secretary (AYUSH), Shri C.K. Mishra, Special Secretary, Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha and Yoga Gurus of International repute will also be present. About 500 delegates including 69 from 44 overseas countries are registered to attend the conference.

Yoga focused deliberations of the conference will be organized in six technical sessions followed by Panel Discussion among 16 interdisciplinary experts from prominent scientific institutions. The thematic areas of deliberations include Yoga research in non-communicable diseases and scope of Yoga in Integrated Medicine, Control of Cancer, Depression, Gynecological disorders and Pain Management. 25 national and international experts will be the speakers and 11 highly reckoned resource persons of Yoga and Medical field as Chairpersons and Co-chairpersons of the technical sessions.
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The conference will conclude with a Valedictory Function to wrap up the proceedings in the presence of Minister of Road Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Gadkari as Chief Guest.

This conference will provide a common platform for the AYUSH and Allopathy Practitioners, Researchers, Academicians, Policy Makers and students and enable them to capture and understand various dimensions of yoga for wellness.

Interest and enthusiasm for Yoga has increased tremendously all over the world during the last three years with the UN declaration of International Day of Yoga and its global celebrations. The International Conference has been organized with the technical and logistic support of Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy and Moraji Desai National Institute of Yoga and it is an attempt to project the potential of Yoga in the management of certain health problems and for promotion of wellness and for sharing of scientific experiences.

This will be the third International Conference on Yoga organized by the Ministry of AYUSH. The last two International conferences on the themes of Yoga for Holistic Health and Yoga for Body and Beyond were organized in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
 
19. andard Chartered Bank opens new GBS centre in Bengaluru.
andard Chartered Bank opens new GBS centre in Bengaluru
Standard Chartered Bank today officially opened its new Global Business Services (GBS) centre in Bangalore. The new centre will complement Standard Chartered’s existing GBS centres in China, India and Malaysia which collectively provide employment opportunities to 19,000 talented people.

Over the next few years, it expects to have 30% of GBS employees based in Bangalore – doubling the current head count based in the dynamic city – from a combination of internal moves and selective hiring. This move is a part of the bank’s strategy to invest $ 3 billion over three years in technology and systems which it announced in 2015.

Spread over 43,000 square metres of space at the RMZ Ecoworld complex, the multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art GBS centre will deliver global support, client due diligence and advisory services for corporate and institutional banking, retail banking, compliance, human resources, risk management and finance using the latest technologies and practices in data, robotics and software development.

The new workplace design features an innovative floor plan to foster a collaborative environment for software development sprint teams using the Agile methodology and DevOps practices to deliver the bank’s market-leading digital banking products.

The Bangalore based GBS centre will also house the bank’s global centres of excellence (CoE) in specialised areas including data analytics, software development, anti-money laundering, financial crime surveillance and financial control – enabling the bank to achieve numerous benefits including efficiency gains and economies of scale in transaction monitoring, centralised client due diligence and the co-location of specialised risk management professionals.

“India is a key market for Standard Chartered and this investment in Bengaluru is another testament of our intent to grow our capabilities to remain at the forefront of banking with world-class business practices. As we move towards deeper digitisation, people who form a part of the technology-underpinned value chain will play an increasingly leading-edge role in shaping the banking and financial services landscape. With this continued investment in technology and people, I am confident that Standard Chartered GBS India will help maintain our competitive edge in the dynamic and ever-evolving global banking industry,” said Zarin Daruwala, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, India.
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“Technology is at the heart of Standard Chartered’s growth strategy. Our investment in Bengaluru is an important strategic step to enable access to a pool of highly skilled talent who can support our ambitions to be a digital bank with a human touch. We are here to attract the best minds in India’s Silicon Valley to join us in redefining banking for the world. Bengaluru will be a key location for several of our global centres of excellence, providing highly sophisticated and complex support as well as advisory capabilities to our businesses in 68 markets around the world,” said Dr Michael Gorriz, Group CIO, Standard Chartered.

As a network, Standard Chartered’s GBS centres in China, India and Malaysia are capable of managing complex, large scale, cross-border activities that keep the Bank running seamlessly, while ensuring clients globally are receiving reliable and secure banking services using state-of-the-art digital technology. Other capabilities which are setting the benchmark for the banking industry include cyber security, cyber forensics, regulatory compliance and banking operations.
 
20. ICICI Bank Aid to Armed Forces.
ICICI Bank, the country`s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, on Monday committed financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to the Indian armed forces.

The contribution, payable in two equal tranches this year and next year, will be utilised towards welfare activities and betterment of the families of ex-servicemen, who lost their lives guarding the nation, the bank said in a statement.

Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank, today handed over a cheque for Rs 5 crore to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a function in the Raksha Mantralaya.

Speaking on the occasion, Kochhar said, “The Indian Armed Forces bravely guard our borders and protect us. Many of these men have fought valiantly and made the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives for our country. While no amount of assistance is enough to fill the loss for the families, this gesture is our humble endeavour to contribute towards their betterment".

"Our assistance will aid the young children and widows of the soldiers to get an education, thereby, enabling them to gain knowledge, get jobs and earn a sustainable livelihood. This is our small contribution to these daughters of the nation and our thoughts and best wishes will always remain with the families,” she added.
 
21. Maharashtra Launched Web Portal with Information on New Government Schemes.
Maharashtra Launched Web Portal with Information on New Government Schemes
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday launched ‘MahaLabharthi‘, web portal that will help people get information about all the government schemes that they are eligible for. The government is now working to connect the web portal with other websites, to allow people to apply for the welfare schemes.

The web portal, https://www.mahalabharthi.in, works on the basis of personal, educational and professional information provided by a person while registering on it. Once the registration process is completed, it will provide the option of welfare schemes and the benefits for which he or she scan apply. However, the person has also to fulfil eligibility criteria to ensure he or she is eligible for it.

It then provides the information like where to apply and whom to meet for the schemes and benefits that they are likely eligible for. Currently, it will provide detailed information of 229 such government schemes.
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The state government, from time to time, implements a variety of schemes for the welfare of citizens. However, most of the time beneficiaries remain deprived of its benefits because of they are not aware of them.

Fadnavis said the Mahalabharthi platform will help in eliminating lack of awareness about government schemes, and enable more people to reap their benefits.

“The government will soon link the web portal with its other websites such as its direct beneficiary website — https://mahadbt.gov.in, enabling people to even apply for the various schemes from the same platform,” said a senior official from chief minister office. The web portal has been developed by Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd. (MKCL).
 
22. Chandrababu Naidu introduces Solid Waste Management vehicles to maintain cleanliness.
 
 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today flagged off thirty Solid Waste Management vehicles, a unique initiative of the state government in order to achieve the goal of Swach Andhra. Speaking at the function Naidu stated that the state government has set up new greenery and landscaping corporation for the clean and transparent environment.

Making an official announcement about the constitution of Swach Andhra Corporation the Chief minister underlined that AP is the first state to adopt such green initiate. The TDP supremo said that government will use new machines to clean street lights and pruning trees. The new venture will be carried out in the cities like Amaravati, Vijayawada, Guntur, Vizag, and Tirupati.

Elaborating on the future plans, Naidu opined that 22 lakh toilets will be constructed in next six months. The chief minister also mentioned that his government would install LED lights metalled roads and drainages to have a clean environment.
 
23. First Meeting of the Economic Advisory Council held in New Delhi.
First Meeting of the Economic Advisory Council held in New Delhi
The first meeting of the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) will take place on Wednesday at NITI Aayog. The Council was set up with the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26th September 2017 to halt the downhill movement of the Indian economy. India`s GDP growth slumped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent during the April-June period, lagging behind China for the second quarter in a row.

Key issues expected to come up for discussion include ways to boost consumer demand, attract private investments and measures to incentivise job creation in the country, ET reported.
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The Economic Advisory Council has renowned economists and experts under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Bibek Debroy. Other members include Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal as Member Secretary, along with Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal as part time members.

The Council is mandated to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise referred to it by the Prime Minister, and advising him thereon. It is also required to address issues of macro-economic importance and presenting views thereon.

In line with its stipulated duties, the EAC has held a brainstorming session with stakeholders on October 9 in the run up to the first meeting of the Council. The Council address all issues of emergent importance, engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and formulate advice accordingly, said a government statement.
 
24. Gujarat government to set up 16 new GIDC townships to encourage SMEs.
Gujarat Government will set up 16 new Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) townships in 2400 hectare area to encourage the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced this in a press conference at Gandhinagar early today. He said that this township will attract 15,000 industrial units. He said that new Garment and Apparel policy in the state will create job opportunity for one lakh people. He said that about 20,000 crore rupees investments is likely to come up in the state following this policy.

As per new Garment policy announced by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Garment makers will get 4,000 rupees subsidy per woman worker and 3500 rupees subsidy per male worker. In reply to question related to GST, Mr. Rupani said that various issues regarding GST will be sorted out in next two to three months.
 
25. India is second largest market for pharma: LinkedIn Report.
India is second largest market for pharma: LinkedIn Report
While advancements in science and research may have contributed to a huge growth in pharma and biotechnologies in the last few years, India has emerged as the second largest market for the pharma and biotech talent pool on LinkedIn, and contributes 13.7 per cent to the global pharma and biotech workforce. LinkedIn’s recently released e-book The Indian Pharma and Biotech Industry, provides insights on the industry landscape and the opportunities available for talent.

As per the report, the most in-demand occupations in pharma and biotech are trending in the areas of data, research, and regulatory affairs. Bioinformaticians, clinical research specialists, regulatory specialists, research analysts and data analysts are some of the most in-demand professionals in the pharma and biotech industry in India. In addition, talent in sales, operations, and research & development are highly sought after.

The report also suggests that in order to stay competitive globally and locally, Indian companies have increased their research & development (R&D) spends, leading to increased job opportunities and demand for R&D talent, making up for 15 per cent of total job switchers. This is aligned with the Central Government’s initiatives to encourage R&D in the pharma industry.

In fact, the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), has also been set up in locations including Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raebareli as part of this initiative.

The report shares insights on the state of the pharma and biotech talent pools in India, how it is moving and where to find them. According to the report, while India’s top metros, such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru have traditionally been hubs for biotech and pharma talent, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chandigarh are thriving grounds for talent in this sector.

The US is the most popular country for talent migration with respect to India. Close to 48 per cent of the talent from this sector in the US is moving to India and 36 per cent is migrating to the US from India. Moreover, 75 per cent of the talent outflow from India is to International HQ companies, with senior individual contributors and individual contributors accounting for 77 per cent of the migration out of India, even though they contribute 68 per cent of the total pharma and biotech talent pool in India.
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The report suggests that talent migrating to other countries mainly comprises researchers, scientists, quality assurance professionals, stats programmers and data analysts. Talent coming to India, however, includes professionals hailing from sales followed by quality assurance and research.

LinkedIn’s report further reveals that the pharma and biotech workforce in India is remarkably active on social media and increasingly aware of opportunities. More than 67 per cent of pharma and biotech professionals on LinkedIn follow a company (India average 50 per cent). Moreover, 68 per cent of the workforce follows an average of eight companies and this has been coupled with a 55 per cent increase in the number of jobs posted on LinkedIn by pharma and biotech companies, over the last 12 months.
 
26. LG India Ties up with Bajaj Finserv.
 LG India Ties up with Bajaj Finserv
Consumer Electronics major LG Electronics India on Wednesday announced the launch of an exclusive OEM co-branded card in partnership with Bajaj Finserv. The company said the co-branded card will enable customers to buy all LG products at no-cost EMI option across all LG formats.

It will be available to customers buying LG products on a minimum invoice amount of ?7,000 and maximum of up to ?2 lakh.

In a statement, Kim Ki Wan, MD, LG Electronics India, said, “As we enter this year’s festival season, we are introducing the first of its kind co-branded store card in a strategic partnership with Bajaj Finserv. This offering will enable us to strengthen our relationship with our Indian customers as now they will be able to buy the best of various products at easy payment options.”
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Amit Gujral, Chief Marketing Officer, LG Electronics India, added: “With growing aspirations, consumers are increasingly opting for financing options to upgrade their lifestyle by buying premium products. This is the first of its kind co-branded card which will offer consumers ease of purchase and enhance their buying experience while stimulating higher spends. We believe about 50 lakh consumers will avail this card in the next one year.”

He added that the company has seen good response from consumers and targeting 15 per cent growth in sales in this festival season period.

The South Korean consumer electronics major is eyeing double digit growth in turnover this fiscal on the back of expansion of its premium product portfolio.
 
27. Bihar Cabinet Approves Reservation for ‘Divyangs’ in Govt Jobs.
Bihar Cabinet Approves Reservation for ‘Divyangs’ in Govt Jobs
The Bihar cabinet has approved reservations for persons with disabilities in government jobs and educational institutions.

The cabinet gave its approval during a meeting presided by chief minister Nitish Kumar, Cabinet Secretariat Department special secretary Upendra Nath Pandey told reporters. The provision has been brought in accordance with the Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016, he said.

The cabinet also approved establishment of a state advisory board for the empowerment of ‘Divyangjan’ as envisaged in the Act, he has said. Secretaries of various departments will serve as members of the board, he said, adding the board will also comprise representatives from districts.
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Besides, two members from the state legislative assembly and one from the state legislative council will also be members of the board, Pandey said. The cabinet also decided to pay allowances to state government employees as per revised rates, Pandey said.

The decision comes just a week ahead of the Diwali festivities. As per the revised rates, house rent allowance (HRA) would now be 24% of the basic salary for employees stationed in Delhi, 16% for those at Patna, 8% for those in district headquarters, 6% for those in other towns and 4% for those posted in rural areas.

Emoluments like family planning allowance and special pay for secretariat employees, except those involved in engineering and research activities, have been scrapped.

 28. Government to commemorate 150th Birth Aniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Government of India will commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, during the period from 2nd October, 2019 to 2nd October, 2020. It has been decided to celebrate the event at both national and international levels, to propagate the message of the Mahatma. A National Committee (NC) headed by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been constituted for this purpose. This Committee includes the Chief Ministers of all the states of the country, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers, and eminent persons from all walks of life. The Committee will guide and approve policies/programmes/activities for the commemoration and will also supervise implementation of the decisions taken from time to time.
 
29. Indian Air Force launches health mobile App `MedWatch`. 
 
Indian Air Force will be launching two mobile apps for Air Force Cellular Network (AFCEL) called `MEDWATCH` and `AFCHAT` soon. This is in consonance with Government of India`s `Digital India` initiative.

"Various other initiatives like online testing & evaluation and online entrance examination to further the initiative will be covered. The new look Air Force Central Accounts Office (AFCAO) website with enhanced features will also be launched," said Indian Air Force.

It was announced during the bi-annual IAF Commanders` Conference which was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on October 10 at Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan), New Delhi.

Defence Minister stressed on the fact that IAF should focus on `Make-in-India` in Force.
"Air Force along with Ordinance Factory Board and DRDO should make an assessment about indigenisation under `Make-in-India` programme. The Government is committed to fill the gaps which have arisen due to lack of timely decision making in the last decade," said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing the Air Force.

The Chief of the IAF BS Dhanoa while addressing the commanders emphasised the need for continuous effort and training to maintain IAF`s cutting edge. He also reiterated the IAF`s role as the first responder in most contingencies and thus the need to sustain the ongoing process of capability enhancement making use of the government`s thrust on `Make-in-India` initiative. The Commanders` conference will be conducted over next three days till 12 October wherein discussions will take place on various subjects that will decide the future trajectory of the Indian Air Force which includes operations, maintenance issues and various administrative initiatives that will be taken to enhance the working environment of the IAF.
 
30. Union Minister launches Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana.
 
 
The Department of Post today launched Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana and expanded the coverage of Postal Life Insurance to professionals, as part of efforts to bring affordable life insurance services to people and promote financial inclusion.

The two initiatives were launched by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha here today.

Under the new Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana, a minimum of one village will be taken up in each of the districts of the country, and efforts will be made to cover all households of village with at least one Rural Postal Life Insurance policy each.

The second initiative involves expanding the ambit of Postal Life Insurance (PLI), which will now be available to professionals as well as employees of BSE and NSE listed companies.

The scheme was earlier confined to government and semi- government employees, but would now be available to doctors, engineers, management consultants, chartered accountants, architects, lawyers and bankers too.

The communications minister, who presides over Departments of Post and Telecom, said the scope of the scheme has been enlarged to bring maximum number of people under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) coverage.

He said that the postal policies have low premium and high bonus, unlike the private ones. (AGENCIES).
 
31. Graduate Muslim Girls to get Rs 51,000 Shaadi Shagun from Modi Government.
Graduate Muslim Girls to get Rs 51,000 Shaadi Shagun from Modi Government
To encourage the pursuit of higher education among Muslim women, those who obtain graduate degrees will soon be given a wedding gift of Rs 51,000 by the Modi government. The scheme has been christened Shaadi Shagun, to start with.

A website is currently being put up by Maulana Azad Educational Foundation where all details of the scheme would be made available. The Shaadi Shagun amount will be made available only to those graduate Muslim girls who have already received MAEF scholarships earlier.


Maulana Azad Educational Foundation, which works under the National Commission for Minorities, has decided to take this step to encourage Muslim women to opt for higher studies. MAEF says this scheme is tailored only for Muslim women and their guardians to egg them on to complete their studies at the college or university level.
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Recently the MAEF, headed by minorities welfare minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, held a meeting during which important decisions were taken vis-a-vis scholarships offered to Muslim women. Besides, it was also decided that a sum of Rs 10,000 would be awarded to Muslim girls studying in Classes IX and X. Up to now, only (Muslim) girls studying in Classes XI and XII were eligible to receive a scholarship of Rs 12,000 each.

MAEF treasurer Shakir Hussain Ansari said, "Girl children in a large part of Muslim society are deprived of higher education even today, often due to financial constraints. We mean to encourage girls and their parents and guardians to ensure that the students complete their graduation. Hence, we`ve decided on the Rs 51,000 wedding gift." He also said, "Though this isn`t a large amount, we do believe it would be firm step forward in encouraging higher education among Muslim women."

Attributing the welfare scheme to Nakhvi `under the able leadership of Prime Minister Modi`, Ansari said this shows how PM Modi has indeed walked the talk vis-a-vis his slogan `Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas`.
 
32. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair 2017 at Greater Noida.
 
 
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani today inaugurated the 44th edition of Indian Handicrafts and Gift Fair (IHGF) 2017 at India Expo Centre and Mart in Greater Noida.

The five-day extravaganza hosting a gathering of over 2,980 exhibitors will have buyers coming from around 100 countries including China, Australia, the US and the UK.

"The mega event is a platform for artisans and handicraft exporters... The Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) has been offering suggestion and giving feedback to the Ministry of Textiles that can help exporters," Irani said.

With around 2,000 products under 14 categories for sale, the event will see reputed Indian retail and online brands buying in bulk.

"Fab India, Westside, Trends, The Wishing Chair, Furniture Walla, Good Earth and many more will be there for volume buying from the show," Rakesh Kumar, executive director EPCH said.

The Limca Book of World Records has also recognised the IHGF-Delhi Fair as the world`s largest congregation of handicrafts exhibitors under one roof, Kumar claimed.

Live demonstrations, regional craft, seminars and much more are lined up for the latest edition of the fair.

During this edition, a pavilion of cane and bamboo products from the North Eastern region and the Jodhpur cluster will also be set up.

The exhibition will continue till October 15.

 

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