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- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 18, 2018 gave its approval to the proposal to grant special remission to prisoners as part of commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Under the scheme, certain categories of prisoners including women, transgenders and physically disabled, will be set free on satisfying the given criteria. The special remission will, however, not be given to prisoners who have been convicted of an offence for which the sentence is death or where the death sentence has been converted to life imprisonment. The convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes like dowry death, rape, human trafficking and those who have been convicted under POTA, UAPA, TADA, FICN, POCSO Act, money laundering, FEMA, NDPS and Prevention of Corruption Act will also not be eligible for the remission.
- The Parliament passed the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on July 18, 2018 which seeks to amend the Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill in December 2017. It was moved by Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The bill will help bring justice to those whose land was taken without proper notice. This is the 12th amendment that is being introduced to the bill. The bill has been amended 11 times before. The amendment has been introduced solely for defence and national security purpose.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 19, 2018 approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) amongst BRICS Nations on the Regional Aviation Partnership Cooperation. The BRICS nations include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The main objective of the MoU is that BRICS countries would benefit from the establishment of an institutional framework to cooperate in the field of civil aviation.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Cuba on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. The MoU was signed on June 22, 2018. The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 18, 2018 approved the “Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)” signed in 2010 and also gave its approval for a fresh MRA between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Ireland. The MoU aims to promote mutual co-operation framework for the advancement of accounting knowledge, professional and intellectual development and positively contributing to the development of the accounting profession in Ireland and India.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), India and National Agency for Drug and Food Control (BPOM), Indonesia on cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products, pharmaceutical substances, biological product and cosmetics regulatory functions. The MoU was on signed on May 29, 2018 in Jakarta. The MoU will establish a framework for fruitful cooperation and exchange of information between the two countries in matters relating to Pharmaceutical products regulation on the basis for equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.
- Keeping in view the interest of sugarcane farmers, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane for sugar season 2018-19 at Rs 275 per quintal for a basic recovery rate of 10 per cent, providing a premium of Rs 2.75/qtl for each 0.1 per cent increase in recovery over and above 10 per cent. The FRP is higher by 77.42 per cent over production cost thereby ensuring the farmers a return of more than 50 per cent over their cost.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathwada, Vidharbha and drought-prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra. The completion of these projects will ensure an assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the state government of Uttar Pradesh for the establishment of a new medical college at Deoria at a cost of Rs 250 crore under Phase-II of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Under Phase-II of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing District/Referral hospitals, the criteria for one medical in every three parliamentary constituencies and one government medical college in each state was adopted. Accordingly, a requirement of 24 additional medical colleges including eight medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh has been approved.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017 to abolish the “no detention policy” in schools has been passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. The Bill empowers Union and State governments to decide whether to not hold back child in any class till completion of elementary education. Further, Union or State governments will decide manner and conditions subject to which child may be held back.
- Parliament has passed State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017 to merge six subsidiary banks with State Bank of India after it was approved by Rajya Sabha. The bill already has been passed in Lok Sabha in 2017 Monsoon session of Parliament. The bill repeals two Acts namely State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, and State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956. By repealing these two acts, five subsidiary banks will be merged with SBI. The bill also seeks to amend State Bank of India (SBI) Act, 1955 to remove references to subsidiary banks and powers of SBI to act as an agent of the RBI for subsidiary banks.
- Union Finance Ministry is planning to infuse additional capital close to Rs 11,336 crore in 5 more public sector banks (PSBs) by September 2018-end. These five state-owned banks are Punjab National Bank (PNB), Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). This capital infusion by Government will be only for purpose of meeting minimum regulatory requirement and will be not growth capital which will be provided in second half of current fiscal year.
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