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The Weekly Recap: 6 Major News Stories

Feb week 2 news
Image of Haryana winners at 1st Khelo India School Games (Source: The Hindustan Times)



Central Govt saved Rs. 56,000 Cr through Aadhaar-enabled DBT

During the World Government Summit in Dubai, Indian PM Narendra Modi said in his keynote address that the Centre has saved Rs 56,000 crore through Aadhaar-enabled Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of about 400 government schemes. The government’s e-market programme of GEM has witnessed transactions worth Rs 4,500 crore in a very short span of time. Government e-Marketplace is meant for online purchase of commonly used goods and services by various central government ministries and departments.

In the mean time, Aadhaar issuing authority UIDAI cautioned that printing of “Aadhar Smart Cards” was not authorized. UIDAI further asserted that the Aadhar letter, its cutaway portion, downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are “perfectly valid”.



Election Commission demanded right to de-register political parties

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India (EC) has sought powers to deregister a political party, and to be able to issue orders regulating registration and derecognition of political parties. The EC contended that at present it only has the power to register a political party. This is laid down in Section 29A of the Representation of People Act. The Commission’s affidavit in the apex court was filed in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) by Delhi BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, who has sought a ban on convicted people from forming political parties.

India and Palestine signed bilateral agreements worth Rs. 272 Cr

On February 10 2018, 6 MoUs were signed between India and Palestine, and are worth US$ 40 million (INR 272 Crores). Mr. Vijay Gokhale, Foreign Secretary of India, briefed the media in Abu Dhabi. Several new projects have been taken up by India – a specialty hospital of 100 beds, a women empowerment and skill development centre, and providing machinery to the national printing press.

During the 3-nation tour, the PM also visited Oman and UAE for bilateral meetings. Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas also conferred the “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine” on PM Modi. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine.

Haryana won 1st khelo India School Games with 38 Gold medals

Haryana topped the overall medal tally after claiming 38 gold medals in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India School Games that concluded in New Delhi on Thursday. Overall, Haryana won 102 medals, with 26 silver and 38 bronze. Maharashtra (110) finished second overall while Delhi (94) came third.

Government has redefined MSMEs based on annual revenue

According to the government’s new definition, this is how businesses are now classified based on revenue:

  • Revenues up to Rs. 5 Crores – Micro Enterprise
  • Revenues between Rs. 5 Cr to 75 Cr – Small Enterprise
  • Revenues between Rs. 75 Cr and Rs. 250 – Medium-sized Enterprise

Finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed a 25% corporate tax rate for entities with sales of up to Rs 250 crore in the union budget 2018. The earlier criteria was based on investment in plant and machinery and made it ambiguous.

Maldives Chief Justice arrested after Declaration of Emergency

The declaration of a state of emergency for 15 days followed a tense stand off between Abdulla Yameen and the Supreme Court which had ordered the release of nine political prisoners. Maldives chief justice Abdulla Saeed and another Supreme Court judge were arrested at dawn on Tuesday February 6, hours after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on February 5.


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