- New policy set to redraw Bihar’s sand mine map
- The state government is drafting the Bihar State Sand Mining Policy 2019, a move required to incorporate the new rules of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the union ministry of environment, forest and climate change. The new policy will also be tailored after taking into account the problems faced by the state government while handling leased out sand ghats in the past five years.
- The last time a Bihar sand mining policy was made was in 2013. After Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, the latter has been left with only a few commercially valuable minerals. Besides stone quarrying, royalty from sand mining gives the state government a handsome income.
- Sand mining has been a controversial issue in Bihar. Illegal sand mining has led to major crimes and gang wars in the state.
- under the new draft policy, there is a proposal to cut the sand mining ‘districts’ number to 15, but increase the sand mining sites within each unit.
- The new sand mining policy would also incorporate the changes in environment laws, as proposed by the Centre.
- Saudi Arabia becomes the first Arab country to be granted full membership of FATF
- Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
- It has gained this status following the group’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Florida.
- The Kingdom had obtained observer status in the Group in June 2015 and completed the mutual evaluation process in June 2018.
- The FATF now has 39 full members, including the permanent members of the UN Security Council and most countries of the G-20.
- The group is responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation.
- Mexico became the first country to ratify the trade deal to replace NAFTA
- Mexico became the first country to ratify the trade deal to replace 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- The trade deal is known as the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The USMCA (NAFTA 2.0) modified for automakers, stricter labor, and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and digital trade provisions.
- US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s and President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the deal in November 2018 need to ratified by all three governments.
- Government to launch Universal Smart Card Driving License
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to modify the format of driving licenses to smart card type driving licences.
- Ministry has prescribed a common standard format and design of the Driving Licence for the whole of the country.
- This Ministry, through its flagship application called SARATHI developed by NIC, has a common countrywide database of all driving license holders.
- The SARATHI application has the feature to identify duplicate records online in real time and access information about the challans if any.
- The code name of Balakot strike: Operation Bandar
- The air strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on a terrorist training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, was code-named ‘Operation Bandar’.
- It was IAF’s first strike inside Pakistan since the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
- The airstrikes were conducted 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Kashmir.
- IAF had deployed 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets for the attack.
- The two pilots launched Israeli-made Spice 2000 satellite-guided bombs at the target.
- RBI advises commercial banks to adopt Education Loan Scheme
- Reserve Bank of Indiaadvised all Scheduled Commercial Banks to adopt Education Loan Scheme.
- The schemes are formulated by the Indian Banks Association.
- The salient features are Collateral free loans up to Rs 7.5 Lakh under the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans (CGFSEL).
- No Margin for a loan up to Rs 7.50 Lakh.Repayment period of 15 years
Loan up to Rs 10 lakh for study in India and up to Rs 20 lakh for study abroad.
- One Year Moratorium for repayment after completion of studies in all cases.
Moratorium taking into account spells of unemployment/underemployment say two or three times during the life cycle of the loan.
- NSIC signs MoU with CSC e-governance services India
- National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed an MoU with Common Service Centres (CSC) e-Governance Services India to enhance new offerings for the MSME sector.
- This MoU enables CSCs to utilize a plethora of NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal.
- He facilitates VLEs and MSMEs through digital empowerment in accessing NSIC integrated support services encompassing Marketing, Finance, Technology.
- The MoU special focus on providing services to village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to exponential growth of Village Entrepreneurs in the country.
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