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Evening News Digest : 15 March 2018

World Consumer Rights Day: 15 March 2018

  • Every year 15 March is observed as the World Consumer Rights Day. The day is an opportunity to promote basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected. It also gives people a chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices.
  • Theme: It is an awareness day and theme for the year 2018 is 'Making Digital Marketplaces Fairer'. Several functions are being organised across the country to mark the occasion.
  • On this day in 1962, President John F Kennedy formally addressed the issue of consumer rights in US Congress.
  • He was the first world leader to do so, and the consumer movement now marks that date every year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights. The first World Consumer Rights Day was observed in 1983 and has since become an important occasion for mobilising citizen action.

PM launches campaign to eradicate TB by 2025

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline.
  • After inaugurating the Delhi End-TB Summit, the prime minister launched the TB-free India Campaign to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination.
  • The ministry has formulated the guidance document on nutritional care and support for TB patients which includes guidance on nutritional assessment, counselling and appropriate dietary advice. The programme is also facilitating the TB patients to avail various social support schemes of the state governments.

ICMR wins 2017 Kochon Prize for TB

  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has won the International Kochon Prize 2017 in New Delhi for encouraging research and development (R&D) efforts towards tuberculosis treatment.
  • Nature of Award: ICMR received the $65,000 award from the Kochon Foundation. The 2017 Kochon Prize is specifically about contributions to TB research. Since ICMR and several of its research groups — NIRT, JALMA and India TB Research Consortium — are engaged in TB research.
  • The Prize sends a strong message that investing in research is critically important to end TB epidemic. The recognition comes at a crucial time when the Indian government is increasing its commitment to end TB.

President Kovind inaugurates World Hindi Secretariat in Port Louis

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the World Hindi Secretariat building in Mauritius.
  • He also launched the World Hindi Secretariat's logo, an Early Digital Learning Programme as well unveiled foundation stones of a social housing project and a large ENT hospital being built with Indian assistance.
  • He will become the first Indian President to visit Madagascar.

IAF for first time landed C17 Globemaster at Tuting airfield in Arunachal Pradesh

  • The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) largest transport aircraft – C-17 Globemaster -made a historic landing at Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting Advanced Landing Ground.
  • The landing of the aircraft is seen as part of the IAF’s move to strengthen its overall operations in the strategically important border state.
  • The mammoth C-17 carried out an operational mission, airlifting 18 tonnes of load into the airfield. The C-17 is US Manufactured transport aircraft which is generally used to perform strategic airlift missions. It is 174 feet long and has wingspan of about 170 feet.

Government forms committee to probe illegal cultivation of HT Cotton

  • The government has constituted a committee to investigate into illegal cultivation of HT cotton in four states. There are several media reports and complaints regarding the illegal cultivation of HT cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • The government has constituted a committee on exports under the revenue secretary for evolving a suitable strategy for promoting exports post implementation of GST.
  • The Finance Ministry has been requested for allocation of appropriate funds under Rebate for State Levies (RoSL) Scheme for one time settlement of exporters' claim and faster and complete refund of Input Tax Credit.

Part of DMRC’s Longest Corridor Pink Line inaugurated

  • The newly-opened stretch of the Pink Line today took both the Delhi Metro and its riders to dizzying heights. The 21.56-km-long corridor is the longest stretch opened as part of Delhi Metro’s Phase 3 so far.
  • It consists of 12 stations and will connect Delhi University’s South Campus for the first time by Metro. This is also the first Metro corridor to come up on the capital’s arterial Ring Road.
  • Out of the 12 stations on the stretch, eight are elevated and the rest underground. The stations falling on the operational stretch are -- Majlis Park, Azadpur, Shalimar Bagh, Netaji Subhash Place, Shakurpur, Punjabi Bagh West, ESI Hospital, Rajouri Garden, Mayapuri, Naraina Vihar, Delhi Cantt and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus.

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India, Madagascar exchange two agreements

  • India and Madagascar have signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence.
  • Under the agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence. An amended air service agreement was also signed to support efforts towards improving connectivity between the two countries.
  • Both the countries will have a co-sharing agreement with Air Seychelles through Air India and Air Madagascar. India is ready to help in building infrastructure projects in energy, roads and port development, all of which are crucial to Madagascar’s development.
  • The defence agreement between the two countries focuses on friendly visits by Indian ships to Madagascar, and capacity building and training of Madagascar’s personnel. Kovind announced a donation of 1000 tonnes of rice and a cash grant of 2 million dollars towards multiple calamities relief in Madagascar.

Union Cabinet approves signing of 4 MoUs with Iran

  • The Union has given its ex-post-facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran. India and Iran has Signed 4 MoU:
  1. MoU in field of traditional system of medicine
  2. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Iran
  3. MoU for cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors
  4. MoU in the field of Health and Medicine
  • The MoU was signed on 17th February, 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran to India. Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed to monitor the activities carried out in fulfillment of this MoU.
  • A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

Cabinet approves continuation of Urea Subsidy Scheme upto 2019-20

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has approved the proposal of Department of Fertilizers to continue Urea Subsidy Scheme upto 2019-20 at a total estimated cost of Rs. 1,64,935 crore and for disbursement of fertilizer subsidy.
  • This decision implies that there will be no increase in price of urea, till 2020. Department of Fertilizers w.e.f 1st April, 2017 and is wholly financed by the Government of India through Budgetary Support.
  • It also includes freight subsidy for movement of urea across the country.This is in continuation to farmer-friendly policies of the Central Government. Earlier, 100% Neem Coated Urea was made mandatory in 2015. These steps have ensured continued easy availability of Urea to the farmers at an affordable price.

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