1. Government Approves Draft Act To Replace UGC With HECI
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) proposed a draft bill to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). This move that aims to reform higher education in India. The HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that the draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of Government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate the holistic growth of the education system.
The Act entitled ‘Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act)’ revamps UGC Act, 1951 and its parent legislation completely.
2. NITI Aayog’s WEP Signs SoI With Financial Institutions & Social Organisations
NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurs Platform has signed five Statements of Intent (SoIs) with financial institutions and social organizations to provide assistance to women entrepreneurs and address the finance-related challenges faced by them. The SoIs were inked with Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited, Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited, Sreemanta Sankar Mission and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
The WEP was established on the occasion of International Women's Day (8 March) to substantially increase the number of women entrepreneurs who will create and empower a dynamic New India.
NITI- National Institution for Transforming India.
NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman- Rajiv Kumar, CEO- Amitabh Kant.
3. Government Approves 2 More Strategic Oil Storages in Odisha and Karnataka
The government has decided to set up two more underground crude oil storages in Odisha and Karnataka to increase emergency stockpile cover by 12 days to 22 days. The Cabinet has approved setting up of 4 million tonnes (MT) storage at Chandikhole in Odisha and 2.5 MT storage at Padur in Karnataka. The announcement was made by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi. The storages will be additional to the existing rock caverns to shore 5.33 MT of crude Visakhapatnam (1.33 MT), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).
Dharmendra Pradhan is the present Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
4. Pakistan Placed On FATF’s ‘Grey List’
Pakistan has been placed on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to curb anti-terror financing despite its diplomatic efforts to avert the decision. The decision was taken at the global financial watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) plenary session in Paris where Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar represented Pakistan.
The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
5. ‘Sagarmala’ Receives Gold Award At 52nd Skoch Summit 2018
The Ministry of Shipping’s flagship programme for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ received the ‘Gold Award’ in infrastructure sector in the recently concluded 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi. The Sagarmala Programme also received the ‘Order of Merit’ at the Summit. The Skoch Awards recognize leadership and excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes.
6. Exim Bank Extends $10 mn Loan Facility To Seychelles
The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) announced that it has extended $10 million worth of line of credit (LOC) to Seychelles. This is for healthcare and procurement of goods and projects. It is the first tranche of the $50 million sanctioned by the Exim Bank to the country. With this agreement for $10 million, Exim Bank has extended two LOCs to Seychelles, taking the total value to $28 million.
Exim Bank Headquarters in: Mumbai, Founded in: 1982, CEO- Shri Yaduvendra Mathur.
7. BHEL Inks Pact With Korean Firm for Emission Controlling Equipment
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) has inked a pact with South Korean firm NANO Co Ltd for design and manufacture of emission control devices for coal-based power plants. The Technology Collaboration Agreement (TCA) with NANO Co is for design and manufacture of SCR Catalysts for De-NOx application in coal-fired plants. The pact will enable BHEL to enhance its offerings for emission control systems (De-NOx applications).
South Korea Capital- Seoul, President- Moon Jae-in.
8. HCL Tech Acquires German IT Firm H&D
HCL Technologies has acquired German IT and engineering services provider H&D International Group. Through this deal, HCL Tech will attain significant in-country front office and delivery capabilities, which will further enhance its domain expertise in the global automotive sector. The H&D Group, one of the largest IT service providers in the German automotive industry, has extensive expertise in SAP, computer-aided technologies (CAx), engineering services and customer-specific product development.