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All India Radio News Summary: 04 JANUARY 2018

All India Radio News Summary: 04 JANUARY 2018

  1. Prime Minister of India and Russian President reiterate their commitment to strengthen Indo-Russia strategic ties.

Prime Minister and Russian President have vowed to strengthen Indo-Russia strategic ties. During a telephone conversation, the two leaders discussed the intensification of bilateral relations between India and Russia and their cooperation in the international fora.

Both leaders agreed to further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.

They positively reviewed the exchanges between the two countries in 2017.


  1. Government makes packaging of 90 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent of sugar products in jute material mandatory to support farmers and workers of the jute sector

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), given its approval for mandatory packaging of food grains and sugar in jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18.  

  • The decision would sustain the core demand of the jute sector and support the livelihood of workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
  • The Jute Year 2017-18 period is from 1st July 2017 to 30th June, 2018.
  • The approval mandates that 90 per cent of food grains and 20 per cent of sugar products will be mandatorily packed in jute bags.
  • The decision will benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura.


The CCEA has given its nod for the implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project, JMVP for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank.

The alternative mode of transport will contribute in bringing down logistics costs in the country.


  1. Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing

The Cabinet has approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing.

  • The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries.
  • It will also facilitate the movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries.
  • The Agreement is an enabling arrangement for movement of people across the India-Myanmar border.


  1. Pre-delivery hubs for pregnant women

A committee in its report tabled in Parliament recommended that hubs or centres near hospitals where pregnant women can stay for around a week before their due delivery date must be set up to help reduce maternal deaths during childbirth.

In a report named “Women’s Healthcare: Policy Options” the committee said that such pre-delivery hubs will reduce travel time and also help bring down out-of-pocket expenses for poor families for hiring a vehicle to take the expectant mother to a far-off hospital.


  1. A spot fine of 500 rupees for open defecation

The Maharashtra Government announced a spot fine of 500 rupees for open defecation. In a Government Resolution (GR) issued by the urban development department recently, the state government has empowered various municipal corporations and councils to levy spot fines on people and institutions for littering, spitting and urinating in public places.

  • Any person or institutions found guilty of throwing garbage, dirt or waste material on roads and highways shall have to pay spot fines ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 180.
  • Anyone found spitting in public places will have to pay spot fines ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 150 while urinating in public will attract spot fines ranging from 100 to 200 rupees.
  • The GR will be implemented under the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Act, 2016 with immediate effect.  


  1. A nation-wide cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan’ has commenced

The survey will be conducted in over 4,000 cities and with the population of more than 40 crores to evaluate the achievements in the cleanliness level in urban areas.

  • The third edition of the survey will run till 10th of March this year.
  • Prime Minister had urged the youth to come forward and contribute to the survey so that their cities do not lag behind in survey rankings.
  • The main objective of Swachh Survekshan is to encourage large-scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a cleaner and better place to live in.

The cleanliness survey was launched in 2016 as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.    


  1. External Affairs Minister left on a 5-day visit to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore

On the first leg of her visit, minister will reach Thailand and hold a meeting with Thai Foreign Affairs Minister.

  • All aspects of bilateral relations with Thailand will be discussed with particular focus on political, defence and economic ties and on further enhancing India’s engagement with ASEAN countries.
  • During the visit to Indonesia, mnister  will co-chair the 5th meeting of India-Indonesia Joint Commission with her Indonesian counterpart.
  • The Ministers will also inaugurate the second meeting of ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks.
  • In Singapore, the External Affairs Minister will inaugurate the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas of ASEAN countries on 7th of this month.


  1. North Korea reopened a border hotline with South Korea

North Korea reopened a border hotline with South Korea restoring a channel of direct dialogue and signalling a possible thaw in relations between the two rivals after months of acrimony and fears of war.

The return of the telephone hotline at the village of Panmunjom came two days after North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, made a rare overture to the South.

The village falls in the Demilitarized Zone which is the world’s most heavily guarded border.


The United Nations has welcomed the re-opening of a hotline between North and South Korea. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced hope for more diplomatic initiatives to end the peninsula’s nuclear standoff.


  1. A rare winter storm has hit the Southeast United States

A rare winter storm has hit the Southeast United States, dumping snow on Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, for the first time in three decades. The governors of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia declared states of emergency, warning residents to expect icy roads and freezing temperatures. Schools have also been shut down in New York City due to the weather. The National Weather Service said, New York could see 5 to 8 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 80 kilometres per hour today.


  1. National Siddha Day is being celebrated

National Siddha Day is being celebrated marking the birth anniversary of the Siddhar or Yogi called Agaththiyar who contributed the most to the ancient medicinal system.

  • Siddha system of medicine is popular in several southern states including Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
  • 18 Siddhar’s several millennia ago are said to have developed the system using a combination of herbal formula and minerals.
  • In several clinics being run under the Central Government Health Scheme, especially in Tamil Nadu, Siddha units are functional since long.
  • As a holistic system of ancient medicine, Siddha is said to be attracting more and more patronage. 


  1. Government charges Opposition with obstructing the path of justice for Muslim women by stalling the passage of Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha.

The fate of Triple Talaq Bill hangs in balance, with disagreement between government  and the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on sending it to the Select Committee.

Just one day is left in the Winter Session of Parliament and the stalemate over the Bill continued.


  1. Finance Minister says structural reforms by the government will show positive results in the economy in long term. 

Finance Minister said the government has taken steps for structural reforms of the economy and it will show positive results in the long term.

He said the structural reforms have been taken despite global weakness and back to back droughts in the previous years.

He said the Indian economy was the fastest growing economy in the world for the three consecutive years and despite structural changes it is expected to be the 2nd fastest growing economy next year.


  1. Lok Sabha has passed the Supplementary Demands for Grants- (Third Batch) for 2017-18

The Lok Sabha has passed the Supplementary Demands for Grants- (Third Batch) for 2017-18.

  • Under it, the government has sought Parliament’s approval for additional expenditure of 80,000 crore rupees for recapitalisation of public sector banks.
  • The additional expenditure of this amount for this fiscal is a part of 1.35 lakh crore rupees recapitalisation bond for banks.
  • The government had announced to infuse 2.12 lakh crore rupees  for recapitalisation of PSUs Banks.Finance Minister, this will enhance the lending capacity of banks as large NPAs have dented their capacities.

Later, the House also passed the appropriation bill to authorise payments from the consolidated fund.


  1. The Lok Sabha has passed the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed the High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017.

The bill proposes to revise the salary of the Chief Justice of India from one lakh rupees to 2.80 lakh rupees per month.             

Similarly, judges of the Supreme Court and Chief justices of the High courts will draw a monthly salary of 2.50 lakh rupees from the current 90 thousand rupees.

Judges of the High Courts, who get 80 thousand rupees per month, will now get 2.25 lakh rupees per month.

The bill seeks to enhance the remuneration in alignment with 7th pay commission. The revised salaries would come into force from 1st of January, 2016.