CCEA approves proposal of DIPAM for strategic disinvestment:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the proposal of Department of Investment and public Asset Management, DIPAM for the strategic disinvestment. The approval will help in speedy completion of strategic disinvestment transactions.

(i) For setting up an Alternative Mechanism (AM) consisting of the Finance Minister, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Minister of Administrative Department, to decide on the matters relating to terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of Express of Interests (Eols) till inviting of financial bid; and

(ii) For empowering the Core Group of Secretaries (CGD) to take policy decisions with regard to procedural issues and to consider deviations as necessary from time to time for effective implementation of decisions of CCEA. 

Cabinet approves raising of over 9000 cr through NABARD for completing irrigation projects under PMKSY:

The Union Cabinet has approved raising extra budgetary resources up to 9,020 crore rupees for Long Term Irrigation Fund in 2017-18. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the amount will be raised by NABARD through Bonds.

The Fund seeks to make loans from NABARD attractive for states by ensuring lending rate of 6 per cent per annum. The loans are for implementation of Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme works of 99 ongoing prioritised irrigation projects under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.


  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Chairman: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala

Govt. clears Tamilnadu NEET ordinance:

The Union Law Ministry forwarded to the President the Tamil Nadu government’s proposed ordinance on one-year exemption from NEET. The ordinance will be applicable for only government medical colleges in the State.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cleared the proposed ordinance based on the opinion of Attorney General K.K. Venugopal. 

Cabinet approves completion of balance works of North Koel Reservoir Project:

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar at an estimated expenditure of Rs.1622.27 crore to be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project.

The Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve. 

NHAI takes steps to facilitate availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection:

In order to facilitate the availability of FASTags for Electronic Toll Collection, NHAI has taken two revolutionary steps in consultation with RBI and NPCI. These include online sale of FASTags and offline sale through Common Services Centre (CSC) near toll plazas.

FASTag can also be purchased online from Issuer Banks websites / NHAI website / IHMCL website and will be delivered by courier at the door step of the purchaser. It is expected that this move will increase the sale of FASTags by improving availability and access. 

North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre to be set up in Delhi: Dr. Jitendra Singh:

The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that a North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre will be set up in Delhi soon. The project is expected to be completed within 1-2 years and at a cost of approximately Rs. 50-55 crores. It will act as a hub for cultural and convention related activities of North East. 

Karnataka launches ‘Indira Canteen’ in Bengaluru:

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi launched the Indira Canteen scheme a state government initiative named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi aimed at providing food at low cost to the urban poor. 


  • Capital: Bengaluru
  • Chief Minister: Siddaramaiah
  • Governor: Vajubhai Vala 

EESL and IOCL, BPCL & HPCL sign MOUs for distribution of Energy Efficient appliances UJALA:

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), under the Ministry of Power, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) for distribution of energy efficient appliances under the flagship Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and appliances for All (UJALA) scheme.

According to the agreement, Oil Marketing Companies- IOCL, BPCL and HPCL will take up distribution of LED Bulbs, LED Tubelights and energy efficient Fans from select retail outlets across the country. In the first phase, distribution will commence from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The consumer can purchase high quality 9W LED Bulbs for Rs 70, 20W LED Tubelight for Rs 220 and Five-Star Rated Ceiling Fan for Rs 1,200/-.

Currently, over 25.5 crore LED Bulbs, over 30.6 lakh LED Tubelights and around 11.5 lakh energy efficient fans have been distributed in the country under the UJALA scheme. 


US President Trump signs bill expanding college assistance for Veterans:

President Donald Trump has signed into law an updated veterans’ education bill that marks the largest expansion of college assistance for military veterans in a decade.

The Forever GI act immediately removed a 15-year time limit on the use of GI benefits. The measure also increases financial assistance for thousands serving in the National Guard and Reserve, building on a 2008 law that guaranteed veterans a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university, or a similar cash amount to attend private colleges.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who joined Trump for the signing, said the new law also provides benefits to Purple Heart recipients whose injuries forced them to leave the service.


  • President of the United States: Donald Trump
  • Currency: United States Dollar
  • Capital: Washington, D.C. 

India, China to join Indian Ocean exercise:

Despite growing tensions with China, official sources said the Indian Navy would join the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in a maiden maritime search and rescue exercise to be chaired by Bangladesh at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in November this year.

Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS, an official source said.

The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states, represented by their Navy chiefs, launched by India in February 2008. It presently has 23 members and nine observers.


  • CurrencyRenminbi
  • CapitalBeijing
  • Prime minister: Li Keqiang
  • President: Xi Jinping 

Nepal govt announces to release Rs.1 billion to flood, landslide victims:

The Nepal government has announced to release Rs.1 billion to flood and landslide victims. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund Committee held at Kathmandu.

According to a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister Rs 50 crore would be released immediately to carry out rescue operations, distribution of relief materials and providing compensations to the flood and landslide victims.


  • Prime minister: Sher Bahadur Deuba
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee
  • Capital: Kathmandu 

India, Russia to hold joint military exercise in October:

India and Russia will hold a mega military exercise in October involving their armies, navies and the air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties.

The exercise “Indra”, which will be held in Russia from 19 to 29 October, will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario, military officials said.

It will be for the first time that India will participate in a tri-services military exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force (IAF).


  • Russian President: Vladimir Putin
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • Capital: Moscow

Israel fence systems, quick response team at Pakistan, Bangladesh borders:

India is deploying along its volatile border with Pakistan a smart Israel-developed fencing system having a ‘quick response team’ mechanism which strikes when the CCTV-powered control room detects an infiltration attempt. The BSF is implementing an ambitious project called the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) as part of the Narendra Modi government’s plan to completely seal the Indo-Pak and India-Bangladesh borders in the next few years. The BSF is tasked with guarding the over 6,300-km-long two borders and its chief.


  • Currency: Israeli new shekel
  • Capital: Jerusalem 

Norway Has World’s Fastest Mobile Internet:

According to the global leader in broadband testing Ookla, Norway has the fastest mobile Internet in the world. In only 13 months, Norway has jumped from 11th to first place on the list of world best providers of fast Internet connection.

The development has been specially noticed after Telenor, a major operator in Norway, increased the speed on individual subscriptions last September.  The Netherlands and Hungary are ranked number two and three on the list of the world’s fastest mobile networks, the report said.


  • Currency: Norwegian krone
  • Capital: Oslo


RBI makes Aadhaar linkage mandatory for farmers to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18:

Reserve Bank has made Aadhaar linkage mandatory for farmers who wish to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18. In a notification issued from Mumbai, RBI has advised banks to make Aadhaar linkage compulsory to ensure hassle-free benefits to farmers under the Interest Subvention Scheme.

RBI has clarified that farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to 3 lakh rupees at subsidised interest rate of 7 percent in FY18 to the farmers, with an interest subvention of 2% per annum to lending institutions like Public Sector Banks (PSBs), private banks on use of their own resources.

Meanwhile, in order to discourage distress sale and encourage farmers to store produce in warehouses, banks will provide subvention benefit to small and marginal farmers with Kisan Credit Cards for a further period of up to 6 months post-harvest. 

BSE’s IndiaINX to commence gold options from Aug 30 at GIFT IFSC:

The international exchange from BSE, IndiaINX, received an approval from the regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to commence trading in Gold Options contracts – the first for India at GIFT IFSC.

The exchange at GIFT City was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year and commenced its operations on January 16. The trading in gold options will commence from August 30, 2017.

BSE’s IndiaINX has one of the most advanced technology platforms with a turn-around time of 4 micro seconds and operates for 22 hours a day to allow international investors and Non Residents Indians to trade from anywhere across the globe. 

KVGB bags best performer award:

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has conferred the ‘best performance award’ for 2015-16 and 2016-17 to Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) for its work in the field of credit-linking joint liability groups (JLGs). 

City Union Bank offers instant credit cards:

The Kumbakonam-headquartered bank introduced the option of an “instant credit card” for free for its Net banking customers. And, the product, which was soft-launched, seems to have caught the fancy of its customers instantly.


  • Headquarters: Kumbakonam
  • CEO: N Kamakodi 

India signs Global Environment Facility (GEF) Grant Agreement with the World Bank for USD 24.64 Million for “Ecosystems Service Improvement Project”:

A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” was signed by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo Kahin, Acting Country Director for India on behalf of the World Bank. The project’s duration is 5 years. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will implement the project in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education under the National Mission for Green India.

The objective of the project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in central Indian highlands.

World Bank

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • President: Jim Yong Kim


US Scientists Develop A Plant-Based And Safer Vaccine For Zika Virus:

US scientists have been successful in developing a plant-based Zika vaccine that could be more effective and economical to produce than other Zika medicines.

The vaccine developed by researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) in the U.S. works against a part of a Zika viral protein, called DIII, that plays a key role for the virus to infect people. 


Lakshya wins Bulgaria Open Int’l Series

Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.