India, China agree to deepen defence cooperation to avoid Doklam-like standoffs
India and China on August 23, 2018 decided to work towards a new bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Exchanges and Cooperation to replace the MoU signed in 2006. The decision was taken during a meeting between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe.
They agreed to increase interactions between their military at multiple levels to avoid Doklam-like standoffs along the disputed border. The two sides also decided on early operationalisation of the proposed hotline between the two armies as part of the confidence building measures.
Asian Games 2018: India clinches gold in Tennis men’s doubles, settles for silver in women's Kabaddi
The Indian tennis duo of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinched the 5th gold medal for India on Day 6 of Asian Games 2018, after they beat Kazakhstan's Denis Yevseyev and Aleksandr Bublik 6-3, 6-4 in the men's doubles tennis event. The win takes India to the 7th position in the overall medal tally.
The day began on a high for India with Indian rowers bringing home one gold and two bronze medals. India’s Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh won India’s 5th gold medal by finishing at the top in quadruple sculls event. Among the expected medal winners, the most disappointing finish for India was in the women's kabaddi final, when the defending champions had to settle for silver after being defeated by Iran 27-24.
India declines UAE’s Rs 700 crore offer for Kerala floods
Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on August 21 that the United Arab Emirates has promised assistance worth Rs 700 crore for the state’s reconstruction. The Union Government has, however, decided to decline all offers of financial help from foreign countries.
The state has reportedly suffered damages worth over Rs 20,000 crore, which includes damaged highways covering about 10,000 kilometres, damaged buildings, crops lost and shutdown of one of the state’s three international airports - Cochin International Airport- following heavy flooding.
The state government has demanded a minimum of Rs 2000 crore to help with rehabilitation and reconstruction work.
Arun Jaitley resumes charge as Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs
President Ram Nath Kovind on August 23, 2018 reassigned the Finance and Corporate Affairs portfolios to Union Minister Arun Jaitley.
With this, Jaitley will now resume the charge of Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The temporary charge of both the ministries was given to Union Minister Piyush Goyal as Jaitley had undergone a kidney transplant at AIIMS on May 14, 2018 and was recovering from it. However, Jaitley continued in the Cabinet as a Minister without a portfolio. He was active on social media, and wrote blogs on various issues like National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the no-confidence motion in Parliament, and on the controversy over the Rafale fighter jet deal.
President Ram Nath Kovind appoints 7 new Governors; Satya Pal Malik replaces NN Vohra in J&K
President Ram Nath Kovind on August 21, 2018 appointed Governors for seven states inluding Bihar, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Tripura.
In this major reshuffle, Governor Satya Pal Malik was transferred from Bihar to Jammu and Kashmir, replacing NN Vohra. On the other hand, senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon was appointed as the Governor of Bihar. Tripura governor Tathagata Roy was now appointed as Governor of Meghalaya, replacing Ganga Prasad.
Chhattisgarh to rename Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar
The state government of Chhattisgarh has decided to rename the state’s new capital city Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The decision was taken during the state’s cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh on August 21, 2018.
The Chhattisgarh government has decided to develop an Atal Memorial in an area of five acres at the state’s new capital. It has also decided to install a statue of the former Prime Minister in the state capital and district headquarters of all 27 districts. It will also be renaming few other places and institutions including Bilaspur University and Rajnandgaon Medical College after Vajpayee.
Ministry of Health notifies new Health Warnings on Tobacco Products Packs
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on August 20, 2018 notified new sets of specified health warnings for all tobacco product packs. The new set of health warnings was notified through an amendment in the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labeling) Rules, 2008.
The words ‘Quit Today Call 1800-11-2356’ will be inscribed in white on a black background along with the pictorial warning from September 2018. The quit line number 1800-11-2356 is an online on-call assistance facility launched for those people seeking support to quit the use of tobacco products.
Madras HC orders CBSE to publicise 'no homework, no bag' rule for Class I & II
The Madras High Court on August 20, 2018 ordered the Central Board of Secondary Education to publicise in media that stringent action would be taken against institutes not following the board's 'no homework' rule for class I and II students.
The order was passed by Justice N Kirubakaran on a plea by advocate M Purushothaman seeking direction to the CBSE to follow only those books and syllabus, which have been prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
The high court had earlier directed the Centre to instruct the state governments to make sure that no school in the country prescribed homework for students studying in Classes I and II.
NOTA option not applicable for Rajya Sabha Elections: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on August 21, 2018 ruled that the ‘None of The Above’ (NOTA) option will not be applicable for voting in the Rajya Sabha elections.
The ruling was made by a bench of Justices comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. The bench held that the NOTA option is meant only for universal adult suffrage and direct elections and not for the polls held by the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as done in the Rajya Sabha.
Health Insurance companies to cover mental illness under medical insurance policies: IRDAI
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on August 16, 2018 directed all the insurance companies to make a provision to cover mental illness also in insurance policies.
The authority referred to Section 21(4) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2O17 which states that every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness. The Act came into force on May 29, 2018.
Thus, all insurance companies were directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 with immediate effect.