1. PM launches ‘Saubhagya’ plan for household electrification
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “The welfare of the poor is linked to the identity of the NDA government”
He was speaking at the launch of a Rs. 16,000 crore scheme, Saubhagya, under which households across the country that have no access to electricity, will be given power connections free of cost.
2. Economic panel to be revived
With the economy hitting a rough patch in recent months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to reconstitute the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, rendered defunct after the previous UPA government demitted office in May 2014.
NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy has been picked as the Chairman of the Council, which will include NITI Aayog’s Principal Adviser and former Finance Secretary Ratan Watal as its member-secretary.
3. SC refuses more time for medical admissions
The Supreme Court has refused to extend the deadline for filling up vacant seats in medical super-speciality, post-graduate and MBBS courses.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra refused to extend the September 14 time limit, especially in the case of super-speciality courses.
4. Mattis may push for Indian troops in Afghanistan
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in India for his maiden three-day visit, the first by a Cabinet member of the Trump administration.
Officials said the focus was on deepening the defence partnership and expand the high technology cooperation, and among the key focus areas of discussion would be the situation in Afghanistan.
5. Merkel faces tough coalition talks
Germany’s Angela Merkel began the tough task of trying to build a government after securing a fourth term as Chancellor, urging the centre-left Social Democrats not the shut the door on a re-run of their “grand coalition”.
6. Database of savings schemes linked with Aadhaar in offing
The Cabinet Secretariat is keen on a central database of government and private sector employees who have subscribed to the general provident fund (GPF), public provident fund (PPF) and employees’ provident fund (EPF) with Aadhaar as the primary identifier.
It has directed the various departments monitoring such savings schemes to ensure that 100% Aadhaar seeding of all salaried accounts takes place by December 31.
7. South Korea for widening FTA scope to boost trade
Even as the India-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will soon be expanded to boost bilateral trade and investment, New Delhi has conveyed to Seoul about concerns over low utilisation of the FTA by India due to the ‘complicated’ provisions in the pact as well as South Korea’s regulations.
8. Telcos want TRAI to defer new call drop rule by six months
Telecom operators have requested the sector regulator TRAI to defer new call drop rules by six months in order to tune their networks as per the new norms.
COAI director general Rajan S. Mathews told “We have written to TRAI that give us two quarters to actually tune networks to implement the new regulation. TRAI has said that they would consider it. However, the regulator has not come back to us. It is a measurement issue. We are facing problem in getting space for installing cell towers,”
9. Sports Ministry recommends P.V. Sindhu for Padma Bhushan
Olympic silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu has been recommended for the prestigious Padma Bhushan, country’s third highest civilian award, by the Sports Ministry.
A two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu has been simply unstoppable ever since becoming the first Indian to win a silver at Rio Games last year.
10. SBI lowers minimum balance to ₹3,000
The country’s largest lender State Bank of India on Monday lowered the minimum average monthly balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to ₹3,000 from ₹5,000, in addition to revising downwards penalties for non-adherence.
The revised MAB requirement and charges will become applicable from October, the bank said in a statement.
11. All help, but no troops to Afghanistan
India ruled out deploying troops in Afghanistan even as it pledged to expand development and medical assistance for the strife-torn nation.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in response to questions on the issue, “We have made it very clear that there shall not be boots from India on the ground”
12. A.P. opts for green fleet of e-buses
A week after Himachal Pradesh flagged off India’s first commercial electric bus (e-bus) service on the Kullu-Manali-Rohtang pass, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has set in motion plans to replicate similar e-bus services in the State, starting with the ghat road connecting Tirupati and Tirumala.
13. Note ban only a temporary fix: Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, once considered a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation project.said “Demonetisation is not a magic potion that can eradicate black money and corruption”
He has been advocating that the Rs. 2,000 note should be phased out.
14. Committee to review policy hurdles: Suresh Prabhu
The Centre will soon set up a ‘regulatory review committee’ to address policy-related roadblocks and other factors inhibiting the country’s industrial growth as well as impacting the ‘ease of doing business’ and private investments.
15. Centre forms group to work on plans for 5G roll-out by 2020
The government has formed a high-level panel to evaluate and approve road maps and action plan to achieve the target of rolling out 5G technology in India by 2020. The Centre has created a support fund of about Rs. 500 crore to facilitate research and development for 5G.