18 October 2015



Blood banks can borrow from one another  –   (Health)

  • In a major modification to the National Blood Policy, blood banks will now be able to borrow units from one another in case of a shortage.
  • The Union Health Ministry took the decision on Friday as part of reforms to the handling of blood units in the country.



Godavari to be declared national waterway  –    (Environment)

  • The Centre has agreed to include the stretch of the river Godavari from Nashik in Maharashtra to Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh in the revised National Waterways Bill, 2015, Minister for Roads and Buildings Tummala Nageswara Rao said on Saturday.
  • A letter to this effect from Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari was received by the State Government recently in response to the request of the Telangana Government to include the stretch of the Godavari from Kaleshwaram to Bhadrachalam as part of the National Waterway-4 from Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry, already declared in May this year.


Defence procurement policy coming soon: Parrikar  –    (Defence)

  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday reiterated that the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) will be announced by the end of this month or next month.
  • Speaking at a panel discussion along with Union Minister for Coal and Power Piyush Goyal and Minister for Railway Suresh Prabhu on the second day of the Global Business Forum 2015 organised by IIT Bombay Allumni Association here, Mr, Parrikar said DPP would be announced by 2015 itself.


Keep off Madhesis, India told  –    (International Relation)

  • Two days after Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli extended to India his greetings for Vijaya Dashami, questions have been raised by the leading lights of the country over Mr Oli’s plans to resolve the double jeopardy of a perceived economic blockade by India and the explosive political fissures.
  • The first need is to restart dialogue with the Madhesis, says Mr Oli’s opponent Shekhar Koirala of Nepali Congress, who said that Mr Oli would have to take risks while bringing in constitutional amendments for addressing the Madhesis’ concerns and in dealing with the tricky issue of territorial demarcation of the Madhesi provinces.


‘China has filled vacuum left by India’    –    (International Relation)

  • After hours of brain-storming in Singha Durbar, Nepal’s new Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa left for Delhi and a little later, an electricity outage reminded Nepal of the need to bring an end to the fuel blockade, which is Mr Thapa’s task in Delhi.
  • But irrespective of Mr Thapa’s success or failure in Delhi, Nepali diplomats and politicians say that India-Nepal ties are now damaged. Ramesh


It will be a blunder if Modi visits only Israel: Palestine diplomat    –    (International Relation)

  • The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Palestine policy is different from that of other major political parties in India, though there is no change in the Indian state’s approach towards the Palestinians, says Husam Zomlot, a senior foreign policy adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Speaking to presspersons in Ramallah recently, Dr. Zomlot, who is Palestine’s Ambassador at Large, expressed the hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit Palestine when he visited the region.


GM cotton: whitefly attack raises anxiety among farmers  –   (Environment)

The ineffectiveness of genetically modified (GM) cotton against the recent whitefly attack in Punjab and Haryana, which witnessed widespread protests by farmers, has raised concern among agricultural experts and farmers over the growing dependency on Bt cotton.

They believe it is time for India to actively promote and involve public-private partnership (PPP) model in GM crop technology and also focus on developing new technologies to fight pest infestation on cotton and other crops.



Global tensions reinforce Sino-Russian bonds   –    (International Relation)

  • Growing tensions between the U.S. and China over the South China Sea and the ongoing crisis in Syria are reinforcing Sino-Russian bonds, with Washington as the focal point.
  • Two write-ups — one in the state-run tabloidGlobal Times , and a commentary relayed by thePeople’s Daily — underscore the growing rift, with serious geopolitical implications, between the Sino-Russian combine and the U.S.


Jaitley pledges a friendly tax regime, 25% corporate tax  –    (Economics)

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday reiterated the government’s commitment to bring in a “reasonable and globally-competitive tax regime” through reduction in corporate tax rate to 25 per cent over the next four years.
  • Emphasising that direct taxation in the country has to be “reasonable and globally competitive”, he said he would try to bring down corporate tax to 25 per cent from the prevailing 34 per cent in a staggered manner.


Green worries keep foreign banks away from $3.3 billion CIL sale  –    (Economics)

  • India’s plan to raise as much as $3.3 billion from selling a 10 per cent stake in Coal India Ltd. (CIL) could be thrown off course by global investment banks under pressure from environmental groups to steer clear of the share sale.
  • Several senior executives at foreign investment banks in Mumbai said ‘green’ concerns had clouded CIL since its listing five years ago, and few were keen to take on a deal that could tarnish their public image.



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