UPSC 2017-18: PIB Summary and Analysis Oct 30

Exercise Indra-2017 Concluded in Vladivostok

  • It is Indo-Russian military Exercise
  • In the joint tactical exercise which began on 19 October 2017, the two countries conducted training focused on combating terrorism.
  • In the series of bilateral exercises under this banner, the exercise this year focused on conduct of counter insurgency / counter terrorist operations under United Nations mandate in a joint service environment.
  • The exercise also provided an opportunity to both the armies for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust and co-operation.


India, Italy ink six pacts to bolster bilateral cooperation

  • Joint Declaration of Intent of Cooperation for Safety in the Railway sector
  • MoU on 70 years of diplomatic relations between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Government of the Republic of Italy
  • MoU on cooperation In the field of Energy
  • Executive Protocol on Cultural Cooperation
  • MoU between the Training Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Government of the Republic of Italy and the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of the Republic of India
  • MoU for promoting mutual investments between Italian Trade Agency and Invest India


Government of India and World Bank sign $200 Million Loan Agreement for the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project

  • The Project will support the Government of Assam to facilitate agri-business investments, increase agriculture productivity and market access, and enable small farm holders produce crops that are resilient to recurrent floods or droughts in the state.
  • The Government of Assam aims to double farm incomes in the State and transform the agricultural sector into a stable source of growth and economic development.
  • He said that this project will serve as the nucleus to fulfill the State’s much larger vision of an agriculture-based rural transformation.

Mode of implementation

  • The focus on geographic clustering of the production base for certain commodities will help agri-enterprises take advantage of existing and future market opportunities that they may not necessarily achieve alone.
  • The cluster approach will allow for combining efforts, making use of synergies, and pooling resources to increase the competitive advantage of these products, while at the same time share the risks involved in introducing improved products or entering previously untapped markets.
  • Successful clusters will also continuously innovate and adapt ‘best practices’ across agricultural value chains.


MHA gives a boost to “Make in India” in the field of manufacturing of arms

The salient features of the liberalised rules are:

  • The license granted for manufacturing shall now be valid for the life-time of the licensee company. The requirement of renewal of the license after every 5 years has been done away with.
  • Similarly, condition that the small arms and light weapons produced by manufacturer shall be sold to the Central Government or the State Governments with the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs has been done away with.
  • Further, enhancement of capacity up to 15% of the quantity approved under licence will not require any further approval by the Government. The manufacturer will be required to give only prior intimation to the licensing authority in this regard.
  • The licence fee has been reduced significantly. Earlier the licence fee was Rs. 500/- per firearm which added up to very large sums and was a deterrent to seeking manufacturing licenses. The licence fee will now range from Rs. 5,000/- to the maximum of Rs. 50,000/-.
  • The fee for manufacturing licence shall be payable at the time of grant of license rather than at the time of application.
  • Single manufacturing licence will be allowed for a multi-unit facility within the same State or in different States within the country.


MSME Samadhaan

  • Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Shri Giriraj Singh launched MSME Delayed Payment Portal – MSME Samadhaan

What it does?

  • It empowers micro and small entrepreneurs across the country to directly register their cases relating to delayed payments by Central Ministries/Departments/CPSEs/State Governments

Present Status

  • As per the provisions, the buyer is liable to pay compound interest with monthly rests to the supplier on the amount at three times of the bank rate notified by Reserve Bank in case he does not make payment to the supplier for the supplies of goods or services within 45 days of the day of acceptance of the goods/service or the deemed day of acceptance.


  • The CEO of PSEs and the Secretary of the Ministries concerned will also be able to monitor the cases of delayed payment under their jurisdiction and issue necessary instructions to resolve the issues.
  • The portal will greatly facilitate the monitoring of the delayed payment in a more effective manner.
  • The information on the portal will be available in public domain, thus exerting moral pressure on the defaulting organisations.
  • The MSEs will also be empowered to access the portal and monitor their cases

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