1. President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, laid the foundation stone of ‘NYAYA GRAM’ Project of High Court of Allahabad.
2. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, dedicated the 60 MW Tuitial Hydroelectric Power Project (HEPP) to the Nation in Aizawl, Mizoram on December 15, 2017.
The Tuirial HEPP has been constructed as a Central Sector Project and implemented by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) cleared the Project for implementation in July 1998 with commissioning scheduled in July 2006.
After completion of about 30% of the project activities, the works were totally suspended w.e.f. June 2004 due to local agitation.
With sustained efforts by NEEPCO and with the active support of Ministry of Power and Ministry of DoNER, Government of India and Government of Mizoram, the stalled works of the project were resumed in January 2011.
However, with all efforts from the agencies concerned, the project works were completed successfully, leading to commissioning of Unit-I on 25-08-2017 and Unit-II on 28-11-2017.
The Project has been built at a cost of Rs.1302 crore.
The Project is the biggest power project located in the State of Mizoram and will feed the entire energy to be generated to the home State, which will facilitate all-round development of the State and achieving Government of India’s ambitious and flagship Mission ‘24×7 Affordable Clean Power for All’.
3. 19th triennial General Assembly of International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) International was held at New Delhi from 11th to 15th December 2017.
The Indian National Committee of ICOMOS hosted the General Assembly. It was organized for the first time in India was attended by nearly 900 professionals from more than 80 countries.
At the event, the Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma awarded the Gazzola Prize of the 19th General Assembly of ICOMOS to Professor Saleh Lamei Mostafa (Egypt) for his contribution in the fields of engineering, architecture, and archaeology.
Honorary membership was conferred by the General Assembly to Architect Salvador Aceves Garcia (Mexico), Professor Mario Mendonca De Oliveira (Brazil), Blanca Niño Norton (Guatemala), Professor Dr. Leelananda Prematilleke (Sri Lanka), Professor Dr. Isabel Rigol Savio (Cuba) and Leo Van Nispen Tot Sevenaer (Netherlands).
5. The 24th Meeting of the GST Council held on December 16, 2017, through video conference under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley.
The nationwide e-way Bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by 16th January, 2018. Trade and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16th January, 2018.
The Rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for Inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from 1st February, 2018. This will bring uniformity across the States for seamless inter-State movement of goods.
While the System for both inter-State and intra-State e-way Bill generation will be ready by 16th January, 2018, the States may choose their own timings for implementation of e-way Bill for intra-State movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018.
The Uniform System of e-way Bill for inter-State as well as the intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018.
The System to be ready by 16th of January, 2018; The Uniform System of e-way Bill for Inter-State as well as Intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018.
6. The 90th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of FICCI was held on December 13-14, 2017 in New Delhi.
The AGM was inaugurated by Shri Narendra Modi, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
FICCI was established in 1927, is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India.
FICCI is a non-government, not-for-profit organization.
It provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policymakers and the international business community.
7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 14, 2017, dedicated India’s first Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari in Mumbai and described it as a ‘prime example of Make in India’.
The Scorpene-class submarine is named after a tiger shark, Kalvari (in Malayalam), which is a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean.
The submarine’s motto is “Ever Onward”.
The erstwhile INS Kalvari, the first Indian submarine, was commissioned on 08 Dec 1967, under the command of Commander K.S.Subra-Manian at the Soviet seaport of Riga. Since then the day is aptly celebrated as “Submarine Day” by the Indian Navy.
The 1,565-tonne submarine is designed by French naval defense and energy company DCNS and made by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
The construction of the Submarine, designated as MDL Yard 11875 commenced with the first cutting of steel at MDL on 14 Dec 2006. Kalvari first put to sea on 01 May 2016. On completion of trials, the boat was delivered to the Indian Navy by MDL on 21 Sep 2017.
The diesel-electric submarine is equipped with sea-skimming SM-39 Exocet missiles, the heavy-weight wire-guided surface along with underwater target torpedoes.
This is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines handed over by MDL in Mumbai as a part of the “Project-75” of the Indian Navy.
The second one INS Khanderi is expected to be commissioned by mid-2018 which will be followed by the third INS Karanj by early-2019.
8. India Signed a loan Agreement with World Bank for US$ 250 Million for “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion” (SANKALP) Project in December 2017.
The Financing Agreement was signed in New Delhi by Joint Secretary.
The Objective of the project is to enhance institutional mechanisms for skills development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for the work force.
The closing date for the project is 31st March, 2023.
9. The government on December 13, 2017, extended the deadline for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar and PAN for all bank accounts and certain financial transactions by three months until March 31, 2018.
The government had made quoting of the 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar mandatory for old and new bank accounts as well as for any financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above.
Under the provisions of Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, published in the Extraordinary Gazette of India vide G.S.R. 538 (E) dated 01.06.2017, deadline was December 31, 2017.
10. The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the High-Level Committee (HLC) on December 13, 2017, for Central Assistance to the States of Manipur, Mizoram in the wake of the flood, landslides and to Kerala in the wake of drought (rabi & Kharif) of 2016-17.
The HLC approved the assistance of Rs. 130.65 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) in respect of the state of Manipur.
The HLC also approved Rs 49.02 crore for the state of Mizoram, including Rs 42.77 crore from the NDRF and Rs 6.25 crore from National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).
The Committee also approved Rs.125.47 crore in respect of Kerala, including Rs 112.05 crore from the NDRF and Rs 13.42 crore from NRDWP.
11. In a significant move to enhance transparency in the processing and settlement of bills, Indian Railways have introduced a bill tracking system for contractors/vendors of Indian Railways to track the status of their bills.
This is in line with the emphasis given by Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal on increased use of information technology to go digital and online with a view to promote transparency and efficiency in the system.
12. A MoU was signed on December 12, 2017, between Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for facilitating the supply of sand for highways construction work.
DCI intends to do dredging operations at locations in South East Asia, generating large volumes of sand. This dredging will be done for the purpose of obtaining sand.