Home ministry to launch initiatives for safety of women
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister for Women and Child
Development Maneka Gandhi today launched a range of citizen safety
initiatives in New Delhi.
It includes the Emergency Response Support System, ERSS, for women
safety in 16 states and Union territories.
The ERCs are connected to District Command Centres and the
Emergency Response Vehicles, and assistance to victims is facilitated
through them. An amount of over 321 crore rupees has been provided for this
initiative through the Nirbhaya fund.
Mr Singh also launched DNA analysis facilities for States. The DNA
analysis centres will have facilities like refrigeration of samples,
automated DNA extractor and sequencer, centrifuges and genetic analysers,
among others. A sum of 79 crore rupees has been sanctioned for this
He said, a separate Women Safety Division has been established in
the Home Ministry and many existing laws have been amended. The Minister
said, a national database of sexual offenders has been released.
Mr Singh said, projects launched today will be very effective for
the protection of women. He expressed confidence that the police will be
able to take strict and timely action against those who commit crimes
In her address, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi
said, Government has been pro-active towards critical issues of women safety
and also adopted solution-driven approach.
She said, in the last four and half years, Narendra Modi led
Government has undertaken a slew of initiatives towards strengthening women
Army confirms elimination of masterminds behind Pulwama attack
The Army today said it has eliminated the top leadership of Jaish-e-Muhammad
in less than 100 hours of the Pulwama terror attack on the CRPF convoy.
Briefing media in Srinagar this morning on yesterday's encounter
in Pinglena area of the district, the commander of the 15th Corps, Lt
General K S Dhillon said the JeM leadership based in Pakistan and supported
by ISI was behind the CRPF convoy attack.
He said Kamran, the top commander of the JeM which carried out the
attack on the CRFP convoy in Lethpora area of Pulwama on the 14th of this
month has been eliminated.
He said the role of those involved in the attack is being
investigated. General Dhillon informed that the injured CRPF jawans are
doing well. He appealed to parents in the Valley to ask their children
involved in militancy to surrender.
RBI to transfer dividend to central government
Ending the suspense, the Reserve Bank of India announced on Monday
that it would transfer Rs. 28,000 crore to the Centre as interim surplus for
the half-year ended December 2018.
This will take the Centre’s total receipts from the RBI as surplus
transfer in 2018-19 to Rs. 68,000 crore. The central bank had earlier paid
Rs. 40,000 crore to the government as its final share of surplus for
2017-18. The RBI follows July-June accounting year.
The interim surplus transferred by the RBI now is crucial to the
Centre’s ability to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4% for this
“Based on a limited audit review and after applying the extant
economic capital framework, the board decided to transfer an interim surplus
of Rs. 280 billion to the Central government for the half-year ended
December 31, 2018.
This is the second successive year that the Reserve Bank will be
transferring an interim surplus,” the RBI said in a statement.
Sources indicate the system of audit of balance sheet twice a year
would be continued for the coming years also in order to decide on the
interim surplus. Last year, RBI had transferred Rs. 10,000 crore as interim
The government had been putting pressure on the central bank to
transfer more funds from the contingency reserves. A panel, headed by former
RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, had been formed to review the economic capital
framework of the bank.
IOC signs deal with U.S to buy crude oil
In the first-ever deal by an Indian company, Indian Oil
Corporation (IOC) on Monday said it had signed an annual deal worth $1.5
billion to import 3 million tonnes of crude oil in the fiscal year beginning
This is the first time any Indian refiner has signed an annual
contract, since the country in 2017 began importing crude oil from the U.S.
“IOC has finalised a term contract for import of up to 3 million tonnes of
crude oil of U.S. origin grades as a part of its strategy to diversify term
crude sources,” the company said in a statement.
The contract was finalised on February 15. The term contract
follows IOC signing up to buy crude oil from the U.S. through a term-tender
deal in August last year.
It had, at that time, bought about 6 million barrels of U.S. crude
oil under a single tender for delivery between November 2018 and January
“The approximate value of the contract works out to $1.5 billion,”
the IOC statement said. “This is the first term contract finalised by any
Indian PSU oil company for import of U.S. origin crude oil grades.”
Prior to this, IOC and other state-owned oil firms bought crude
oil from the U.S. on a spot or current tender basis which comprised one
shipload of oil.
India- Morocco sign MoU's on trade and defence cooperations
India and Morocco on Monday signed four MoUs following the
delegation-level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and
her Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita in Rabat.
Briefing media after the meeting, Mrs Swaraj said, the MoUs
include setting up of Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Cooperation
in Housing and Human Settlement, Reciprocal facilitation of procedures for
issue of Business Visa and Cooperation in Youth Matters.
In a series of tweets, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson
Raveesh Kumar said, both countries agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on
Counter Terrorism to develop a comprehensive approach to combat the menace,
including cross- border terrorism, terrorist financing and recruitment of
He said, Mrs Swaraj and her Moroccan counterpart discussed ways to
enhance bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including defence and
security, counter-terrorism and trade and investment.
Mrs Swaraj reached Rabat on her maiden visit to Morocco from
Bulgaria yesterday. She is on a four-day three-nation tour to Bulgaria,
Morocco and Spain as part of India's efforts to strengthen ties with these
countries and expand avenues of cooperation.
Saudi agrees to de escalate Indo-Pak tensions
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister vowed to “de-escalate” rising
tensions between Pakistan and India as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
prepares to travel to New Delhi.
Adel al-Jubeir spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as
Pakistan recalled its envoy from New Delhi for “consultations” after last
week’s terror attack in Pulwama. “Our objective is to try to de-escalate
tensions between the two countries, neighbouring countries, and to see if
there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully,” said Mr.
After his arrival late on Sunday,MBS signed $20 billion in
investment deals with cash-strapped Islamabad and vowed to free thousands of
Pakistani prisoners in Saudi custody.
Islamabad is facing a serious balance of payments crisis and hopes
the huge deals signed over the two-day visit seven separate agreements and
memorandums of understanding will boost its struggling economy. Pakistan
laid on a lavish welcome for the Prince, including a 21-gun salute, fighter
jet escort and honour guard. He also received the country’s highest civilian
award Monday, the Nishan-e-Pakistan (Order of Pakistan).
Pakistan has also been accused by its western neighbour Iran of
harbouring militants who carried out an attack that killed 27 Revolutionary
Guards last week.
The Guards’ commander has also vowed to make Pakistan pay. Mr.
Jubeir also noted that Riyadh continues to participate in a months-long push
by Washington for peace talks in Afghanistan, saying that if the war-torn
country can be stabilised “it will be to benefit the region as a whole”.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Study reveals relationship between synthetic fibres and pollution
Polyester and other synthetic fibres such as nylon are major
contributors of microplastic pollution in the environment, say researchers
and suggest switching to biosynthetic fibres may help prevent this.
“These materials, during production, processing and after use,
break down and release microfibres that can now be found in everything and
everyone,” said Melik Demirel, professor at the Pennsylvania State
University in the US.
Synthetic fibres are petroleum-based products, unlike natural
fibres such as wool, cotton and silk, which are recyclable and
Mixed fibres that contain both natural and synthetic fibres are
difficult or costly to recycle.In the oceans, pieces of microscopic plastic
are consumed by plants and animals and enter the human food chain through
In the study, Mr. Demirel suggested few things to prevent this:
minimising the use of synthetic fibres and switching to natural fibres such
as wool, cotton, silk and linen, even though synthetic fibres are less
Substituting synthetic fibres with biosynthetic fibres, that are
both recyclable and biodegradable; and blending synthetic fibres with
natural fibres to lend them durability and make them recyclable.
Chris Gayle announces retirement from ODI's
West Indian batsman Chris Gayle has announced that he will retire
from One-day Internationals after the forthcoming World Cup.
The 39-year old left-hander has scored 9,727 ODI runs, second only
to the legendary Brian Lara among West Indians in 284 matches. He needs 677
more runs to surpass Lara as the West Indies' all-time record ODI runscorer,
a feat he will be hoping to achieve at his fifth World Cup.