- Govt ready to grant conditional approval for some non-ncert books
- In a significant development in the ongoing controversy over the State Government making it compulsory for all CBSE private schools in Uttarakhand to prescribe only NCERT books, the State Education Minister Arvind Pandey has stated that he is ready to allow private schools to prescribe books of private publishers in subjects for which there are no NCERT books available if the price of these additional books is equivalent to that of NCERT books.
- This is important as principals and management of private CBSE schools opposing the government order state that since from classes I to V, NCERT has only three subjects– English, Hindi and mathematics– a Government order making it compulsory to prescribe only NCERT books would lead to the removal of other important subjects from the school curriculum affecting the learning of students.
- The key arguments being given by the schools against the order are that the content of primary school NCERT books is substandard and will lead to a dip in the learning level and all round development of children.
- India Signs MOU With World EXPO 2020 Dubai
- India and World Expo 2020 signed participants contract for India’s pavilion in the prestigious World Expo 2020 held once in 5 years.
- The contract provides for the setting up of India pavilion at Expo 2020 on an extra large plot (about one acre) in the ‘Opportunity’ segment. This is tune with the great opportunity for economic activity that India provides today on the way to becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
- Focus will be given to India’s advances in Space, Pharma, IT, Renewable Energy, Telecom sectors.
· Singapore and China Signed MoU Along Belt And Road Initiative
- Singapore and China signed a MoU in Beijing, China to promote greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies in third-party markets along the Belt and Road.
- Under the MOU, theMinistry of Trade and Industry (MTI),NDRC (China’s lead agency for BRI) and Enterprise Singapore will form a working group to identify sectors and markets of mutual interest, and organise business matching activities and forums to facilitate third-party market cooperation between Singapore and Chinese companies along the Belt and Road.
- Transgenders to be recognised as independent gender category in PAN
- The government has amended Income Tax rules that will now allow transgenders to be recognised as an independent category of applicants for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) for their tax-related transactions.
- The move is to help transgenders obtain their PAN card and help them link it with their Aadhaar cards.
- Till now, only male and female gender categories were available to be chosen on the PAN application form.
· New norms for global projects
- The Central Vigilance Commission has drawn up a new set of guidelines for projects funded by international agencies such as the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank.
- The new guidelines will put an end to existing practice of government departments and agencies adhering to the guidelines of foreign donors, while ignoring Indian government rules, in concluding contracts for projects funded by them. The new guidelines also draw a distinction between grants-in-aid and loans.
- The decision could open up a debate on whether Indian guidelines that insist on the lowest financial tender to be selected, even if quality questions remain, is better than standards followed by the international agencies.
- The earliest record of a formal clarification that allowed government agencies to ignore Indian norms for such contracts is an order issued on October 1, 1999 by the then CVC. It amended the 1998 guidelines on post-tender negotiations by government departments.
- More than a decade later, on October 28, 2011 the Commission clarified that the CVC guidelines “would not be applicable in projects funded by the World Bank, ADB etc. if found to be in conflict with the applicable procurement rules of the funding agencies.” The new guidelines, issued on April 6, overturn those norms.
· Internal e-waybills in 5 States from April 15
- The Union government on Tuesday announced that it would be rolling out the e-waybill system for intra-State transport of goods in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh on April 15.
- The countrywide e-waybill system for the inter-State movement of goods was rolled out on April 1. “Till April 9, 2018 more than 63 lakh e-waybills have been successfully generated,” the government said. The GST Council had said it would roll out the system for the intra-State movement of goods in four phases. The April 15 roll-out will mark the first of these phases.
- Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have taken the lead over other States and have emerged as the top States in terms of number of e-waybills being generated.
- With the roll-out of e-waybill system in these States, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single e-waybill system.
· Tenth DefExpo India Begins In Tamil Nadu
- The tenth edition of a biennial exhibition of weapons and military hardware – DefExpo India- 2018begun at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu.
- The four-day long defense expo was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Indigenously developed military helicopters, aircraft, missiles and rockets, capabilities to manufacture submarines, frigates and corvettes would be showcased at the event.
- Over 700 exhibitors from over 50 countries are participating in the Defence Expo.