Haryana government to institute award after Kalpana Chawla
• The Haryana government on September 25, 2018 decided to institute Kalpana Chawla Haryana Solar Award, named after the India-born US astronaut, to encourage the participation of scientists in the solar sector.
• The main objective of the award scheme is to create a platform for participation of women and men scientists in the solar energy sector.
• The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Haryana Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, in Chandigarh.
• Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-origin woman to travel to space. She was one of the seven crew members who died in the Space Shuttle Colombia disaster in 2003 when the spacecraft disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Assam government to introduce universal old age pension scheme
• The state cabinet of Assam has decided to introduce a universal old age pension scheme to cover all BPL and APL ration card holders above the age of 60 years.
• The cabinet, in its meeting in Guwahati on September 25, 2018, decided to launch the pension scheme on October 2.
• The cabinet also decided to bring an amendment in the Assam Special Land Act, 1990 by which exemption on 10 paisa tea cess will be given to small tea growers.
• The state cabinet decided that those exporting tea from the Export Tea Centre at Amingaon in the state will get Rs 6 per kg rebate as agriculture income tax for improving tea export promotion.
• The cabinet also decided to bring an amendment in the Assam GST Act to increase the annual turnover limit for mandatory registration under the legislation from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
DAC clears procurement of engines worth Rs 2300 crore for T-72 tanks
• The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on September 25, 2018 approved procurement of 1,000 engines for fitment in T-72 tanks of the Indian Army at an approximate cost of over Rs 2,300 crore.
• The engines are expected to enhance mobility, agility and acceleration of T-72 tanks, making them more versatile and effective in the battlefield. Post-transfer of technology, most of these engines will be manufactured by the Ordnance Factories Board.
• The DAC has also approved several amendments to Defence Procurement Procedure 2016, the manual governing the defence procurements. The decision has been taken to reduce timelines in defence procurement and streamline the process.
• The significant changes include limiting the time period for executing Repeat Order to five years after the date of completion of warranty of final delivery in the previous contract.
• The Repeat Order provisions have also been extended to procurements by other services like the Central Armed Police Force and Border Roads Organisation.
India, China to sign internal security cooperation agreement
• India and China to sign an internal security cooperation agreement during the forthcoming visit of China's Minister of Public Security, marking a new beginning in bilateral relations.
• China's Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi is expected to visit India next month and hold meetings with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during which they will discuss various aspects of security cooperation between the two countries.
• Further, an agreement on internal security cooperation between the two countries will also be signed during the Minister’s visit.
• The proposed pact is expected to cover areas of intelligence sharing, exchange programme, sharing of best practices and cooperation in disaster mitigation besides others.
Second Global RE-INVEST to be held in New Delhi
• The second Global RE-INVEST will be held in New Delhi from October 3-5, 2018. Addressing a press conference in the city, Power Minister R K Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the meet.
• The event is expected to witness participation from 15 countries and it will have over 150 speakers including 55 international ones. The different sessions of the Re-Invest will be held at India-Expo Mart at Greater Noida.
• The 2nd Global RE-INVEST will also host the first assembly of International Solar Alliance.
• As per the Paris Accord on Climate Change, India made a pledge that by 2030, 40 per cent of the installed power generation capacity should be based on fossil fuel based sources.
UAE, South Africa sign 2 extradition and legal assistance agreements
• UAE and South Africa on September 26, 2018 signed two extradition and legal assistance agreements.
• The agreements were signed by Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, UAE Minister of Justice, and Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services of South Africa.
• The UAE Minister of Justice praised the bilateral cooperation with South Africa and the close ties between the two countries, highlighting the importance of enhancing ties in the judicial and legal sectors, including extradition treaties and legal assistance.
• Minister Masutha added that the signing of the agreements with the UAE Ministry of Justice represents the strong judicial ties with the country. The agreements will promote judicial and legal sector cooperation in the best interest of the two friendly nations.
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