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- The Cabinet approved the draft National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCIM) Bill, 2018. The Bill seeks to replace the existing regulator Central Council for Indian Medicine (CCIM) with a new body to ensure transparency. It also proposes a common entrance exam and an exit exam, which all graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses. The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education of Indian medicine sector.
- The Union Cabinet was apprised of two Bilateral Memorandums of Understanding signed between India and Cuba, and India and Korea in the area of Biotechnology. The MoUs were signed in June 2018 at Havana, Cuba and in July 2018 at New Delhi, respectively. The MoUs were signed to work out the future agenda for the collaboration for Innovation to evolve a concrete strategic plan in the area of biotechnology education, training and research.
- The Union Cabinet approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification 2018 with periodic amendments to some clauses. The proposed CRZ Notification, 2018 will lead to enhanced activities in the coastal regions, hence, promoting economic growth while respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions. It is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress 2019 at Jalandhar, Punjab on 3 January, 2018. This will be the 106th edition of the event based on the theme ‘Future India: Science and Technology’. Indian Science Congress Association is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. The association started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and it meets annually in the first week of January.
- The government has appointed Sudhir Bhargava as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC). Mr. Bhargava was Information Commissioner in the CIC. President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the appointment of former IFS officer Yashwardhan Kumar Sinha, ex-IRS officer Vanaja N. Sarna, former IAS Neeraj Kumar Gupta and former law secretary Suresh Chandra as information commissioners in the panel. The sanctioned strength of CIC is 11 including the Chief Information Commissioner.
- India on 29 December, 2018 submitted its Sixth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). India has been investing a huge amount on biodiversity through several development schemes to the tune of 70 thousand crore rupees per annum as against the estimated annual requirement of over one lakh crores rupees. The country has nearly two-thirds of the population of wild tigers in the world. The population of the lion has risen from 177 in 1968 to over 520 in 2015 and elephants from 12 thousand in the 1970s to 30 thousand in 2015.
- The Union Home Ministry has come out with a booklet titled “A Handbook for Students on Cyber Safety” on cyber safety for teenagers that tries to address their increased use of smartphones, gadgets, online gaming, social media and fake news. It also deals with the problems of cyber bullying, cyber grooming and email fraud. The major focus is to create awareness among students on different cyber crimes.
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