What is COMCASA Agreement?
India and the United States on September 6, 2018 signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). The agreement was signed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
The Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) is one of the four foundational agreements that a country needs to sign to become a major defence partner of the United States. The agreement comes into effect immediately and has a lifespan of 10 years. COMCASA is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA).
Section 377 verdict: Supreme Court legalises homosexuality, partially strikes down Section 377
A Five Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 decriminalised Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) by partially striking down some of its provisions.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra; Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra ruled that Section 377, to the extent it criminalises sexual acts between consenting adults, whether homosexual or hetrosexual, is unconstitutional.
However, bestiality will continue as an offence. Any kind of sexual activity with animals shall remain penal offence under Section 377 of the IPC.
2+2 Dialogue: India-US sign historic COMCASA agreement
India and the United States signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) during their first-ever ‘two plus two’ dialogue, which was held in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.
The key agreement will open up the way for the sale of more sensitive US military equipment to India. It will help India obtain critical and encrypted defence technologies for the Indian defence platforms from the US.
The high-level talks were held between the foreign and defence ministries of the two nations. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hosted the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis for the inaugural dialogue.
Telangana Cabinet passes resolution to dissolve Legislative Assembly
The Telangana Cabinet on September 6, 2018 passed a resolution calling for the dissolution of the Telangana Legislative Assembly.
The state’s Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had convened the meeting of his Council of Ministers to dissolve the Legislative Assembly and seek fresh elections six months ahead of schedule. The CM submitted a one-line resolution of the cabinet dissolving the assembly to the state’s Governor ESL Narasimhan immediately after the meeting.
The Governor asked Rao and his council of ministers to continue as the caretaker government.
PTI's Arif Alvi wins Pakistan Presidential Election 2018
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) candidate, Arif Alvi on September 4, 2018 won the Pakistan Presidential Election 2018, defeating his two rival candidates Fazal-ur-Rehman and Aitzaz Ahsan. Fazal-ur-Rehman is the joint candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and some other opposition groups, while, Aitzaz Ahsan belongs to the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Alvi will replace incumbent President Mamnoon Hussain as the 13th President of Pakistan with a term of five years. Hussain’s five-year term will end on September 8, 2018. Before taking oath as the President of the country, Alvi will have to resign from the National Assembly, as per the Pakistan's Constitution.
The National Nutrition Month is being celebrated across the country in September to mark the fight against malnutrition. During this month, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development will organise various programmes to spread broad awareness on issues related to malnutrition like stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight in children.
The month will focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers to eliminate the deficiencies prevailing in the Health sector.
The WCD ministry is trying to reach about 11 crore women and children during this month through various grass-root activities with the convergence of different ministries.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on September 3, 2018 asked all scheduled commercial banks with more than 10 branches to appoint an Internal Ombudsman.
The Scheme covers appointment and tenure; roles and responsibilities; procedural guidelines and oversight mechanism for the Internal Ombudsman. All Scheduled Commercial Banks in India having more than 10 banking outlets are required to appoint IO in their banks.
The IO will examine customer complaints referring to the deficiency in service on the part of the bank that are partly or wholly rejected by the bank.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches India Post Payments Bank
The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on September 1, 2018 launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. The initiative seeks to leverage the expansive network of the postal department to ensure financial inclusion for the masses.In fact, simultaneous launch events were held for the IPPBs at 650 branches and 3,250 access points.
The objective of IPPB is to build the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man, spearhead the financial inclusion agenda by removing the barriers for the unbanked and reduce the opportunity cost for the under banked populace through assisted doorstep banking.
Vodafone-Idea merger completed; creating India’s largest telecom service provider
The merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular completed on August 31, 2018, creating India's biggest telecom service provider with over 408 million subscribers. With this, Aditya Birla Group led Idea Cellular was renamed as the Vodafone Idea Limited. Both Vodafone and Idea brands will continue to operate.
The equity infusion of Rs.67.5 billion at Idea and Rs.86 billion at Vodafone along with monetisation of towers of both companies for an enterprise value of Rs.78.5 billion, provides the company a strong cash balance of over Rs 193 billion, after payout of Rs 39 billion to Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
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