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- Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam Project on river Ravi in Punjab. It also has approved central assistance of Rs. 485.38 crore (for irrigation component) over five years period from 2019 to 2023. It will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectares in Punjab and 32,173 hectares in Jammu & Kashmir on completion. According to Indus Water treaty signed in 1960, India got the full rights for utilization of waters of three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Satluj.
- The Union Government has notified four commonly used medical devices including nebulisers, blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers and glucometers as drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. All these devices will have to be registered under the quality parameters prescribed under Medical Devices Rules 2017 and other standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) certification. Therefore, the number of medical devices that will now fall under the definition of drugs under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act add up to 27.
- Swaraj India, has launched a new platform, Indian Citizens Action for Nation 2019 (iCan19), to encourage ordinary citizens to intervene in electoral politics, set an agenda and select independent candidates who will speak on behalf of farmers and youth. With its slogan: Hindu na Musalman, Bas Kisan-Naujawan (Neither Hindus nor Muslims, [focus] only on farmers and youth), the iCan19 campaign aims to mobilise and train more than 1,000 volunteers by January.
- The Union Home Ministry has notified amendments to the Citizenship Rules, 2009, to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities-Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs and Christians-from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Centre has made the changes under Section 18 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. A parliamentary committee chaired by Rajendra Agarwal has been examining the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 proposes citizenship to these minorities who came to India before 2014.
- A risk assessment draft on talc published by Health Canada, the country’s public health department, states that talcum powder is harmful to the lungs when inhaled during breathing and could possibly cause ovarian cancer when used by women in the genital area. In India, the talcum based market is estimated to be worth about ₹700 crore.
- For the first time, the country’s civil aviation exhibition will be subsumed into the upcoming edition of Aero India to be held from February 20 to 24, 2019. So far, Aero India has been defence-oriented while a separate civil aviation exhibition is held in Hyderabad. The biennial Aero India began in 1996, and has emerged as the largest aerospace exhibition in Asia. Yelahanka Air Force station in Bengaluru has hosted all the 11 editions so far.
- India’s Manushi Chhillar, who won the Miss World pageant last year, on Saturday passed the baton to Mexico’s Vanessa Ponce De Leon at a glitzy ceremony, where the first runner-up title went to Thailand’s Nicolene Pichapa Limsnukan. Having pursued a degree in International Business, Vanessa, is currently on the board of directors of a rehab centre for girls and volunteers for ‘Migrantes en el Camino’. She is a speaker for the National Youth Institute as well as working as a model and a presenter.
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