IASbaba PIB Weekly : Press Information Bureau – 8th Jan to 12th Jan, 2018

  • IASbaba
  • January 14, 2018
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IASbaba Press Information Bureau 8th to 12th January, 2018



Report card on BharatNet Phase 1

(Topic:  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

Achievement: Government has achieved a significant milestone under the BharatNet by completing Phase-1 of the project by connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline.

BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages: Delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.


  • World’s largest rural broadband project created on the mantra of Create, Collaborate and Conquer
  • Aims to provide affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in rural and remote areas, in partnership with States and the private sector.
  • BharatNet infrastructure is expected to catalyse digital delivery of services for the rural poor – viz. health, education, livelihood, skills, e-agriculture and e-commerce.
  • The project achieved a global record of laying of 800 kilometres of optical fibre per day

Must Read: Link 1 + Link 2

Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017

(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

  • Section 53 of the Companies Act, 2013 prohibited issuance of shares at a discount. The Amendment Act now allows companies to issue shares at a discount to its creditors when its debt is converted into shares in pursuance of any statutory resolution plan such as resolution plan under the Code or debt restructuring scheme.
  • Section 197 of the Companies Act, 2013 required approval of the company in a general meeting for payment of managerial remuneration in excess of 11 percent of the net profits. The Amendment Act now requires that where a company has defaulted in payment of dues to any bank or public financial institution or non-convertible debenture holders or any other secured creditor, the prior approval of the bank or public financial institution concerned or the non-convertible debenture holders or other secured creditor, as the case may be, for such payment of managerial remuneration shall be obtained by the company before obtaining the approval in the general meeting.
  • Section 247 of the Companies Act, 2013 prohibited a registered valuer from undertaking valuation of any assets in which he has a direct or indirect interest or becomes so interested at any time during or after the valuation of assets. The Amendment Act now prohibits a registered valuer from undertaking valuation of any asset in which he has direct or indirect interest or becomes so interested at any time during three years prior to his appointment as valuer or three years after valuation of assets was conducted by him.

Cabinet approves

MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology: The MoU will provide a mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between R&D and academic institutions of India and Canada.

Salient features:

  • An innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented under a MoU concluded by the Department of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
  • Under this MoU, the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme will be supported to promote India-Canada multidisciplinary research partnerships.
  • The R&D projects will be aimed at accelerating social transformation by providing solutions through application of science and technology.
  • The participants will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia and R&D laboratories from India and Canada.
  • Identified areas of mutual cooperation include safe and sustainable infrastructure and integrated water management.
  • This will help to develop institutional networking and support the establishment of connections between scientific organizations, scientists and specialists of India and Canada.

Amendments in FDI policy

  • 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading
  • 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development
  • Foreign airlines allowed to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India
  • FIIs/FPIs allowed to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market
  • Definition of ‘medical devices’ amended in the FDI Policy

Continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme beyond 12th Plan

MPLAD Scheme: Ongoing Central Sector Scheme which was launched in 1993-94 – The Scheme enables the Members of Parliament to recommend works for creation of durable community assets based on locally felt needs to be taken up in their constituencies in the area of national priorities namely drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads etc.

  • The MPLAD Scheme has resulted into creation of various durable community assets which have impacted the social, cultural and economic life of the local communities in one way or the other.
  • The entire population across the country stands to benefit through creation of durable assets of locally felt needs, namely drinking water, education, public health, sanitation and roads etc., under MPLAD Scheme.

Please note:

  1. Aanchal Thakur: Won India’s first international medal in skiing at FIS International Skiing Competition in Turkey
  2. Matunga Railway Station in Mumbai Division of Central Railway enters Limca Book of Records 2018 for posting all women staff on the station
  3. Ministry of Railway launches Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI) Application: Smart Freight Operation Optimisation & Real Time Information (SFOORTI)
  4. Pradhan Mantri Har Ghar Sahaj Bijli Yojana (SAUBHAGYA) has been launched by Government of India with the objective of achieving universal household electrification by providing last mile connectivity to all household in rural and urban areas
  5. ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launches 31 satellites in a single flight. So far, PSLV has successfully launched 51 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.

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