• Narendra Modi headed the 30th PRAGATI platform interaction

PRAGATI is the Information and communications technology (ICT)- based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation. This is the first PRAGATI interaction of the new government.

In the session, Narendra Modi reviewed the progress in the resolution of grievances under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). He urged to achieve the government's objective of providing 'Housing for All by 2022'. He also suggested further improvements under the Ayushmann Bharat Scheme. 

He reviewed the progress of eight important infrastructure projects in the railway and road sectors spread over several states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.


  • India to become Open Defecation Free, thanks to Swachh Bharat Mission.


Upon the successful implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), rural India is to become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2 October, 2019. 

Swachh Bharat Mission :

The Swachh Bharat Mission is pan India campaign plan to clean India by streets, roads,cities,towns. The mission aimed to clean during a period of 2014-2019.
Swachh Bharat mission is one of the largest cleanliness drives in the world. It is an attempt introduced by the NDA-led government to initiate behavioural change.

Implementation of the Mission:

Centre is to expand the Swachh Bharat mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village, harnessing the latest technology. 
Under SBM, 9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since October 2, 2014. Nearly, 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free.
Under the mission, the 99.2% of rural India has been covered since 2014. 564,658 villages have been declared open-defecation free (ODF). As on 14 June 2019, 30 States and Union Territories are 100 per cent covered with an individual household latrine (IHHL). The SBM has significantly improved health outcomes
Benefits: The SB mission has also helped reduce diarrhea and malaria among children below five years, stillbirth and low birth weight (newborn with weight less than 2.5 kgs).

  • RBI relaxes ECB norms.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has further relaxed the norms related to external commercial borrowing (ECB). It loosened the end-use restrictions with regard to working capital, general corporate purpose and repayment of rupee loans. The move comes  after RBI received feedback from stakeholders.
  • As per the relaxation, all the eligible borrowers are allowed to raise following ECBs from recognised lenders with a minimum average maturity period of 10 years for working capital purposes and general corporate purposes. The foreign branches and overseas subsidiaries of Indian banks are exempted.
  • It also permits borrowing for on-lending by NBFCs for the above maturity and end-uses. 
  • Borrowers are allowed to raise ECBs with a minimum average maturity period of 7 years for repayment of rupee loans that can be availed domestically for capital expenditure.

  • Mohapatra takes charge as DG of India Meteorological Department.
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, 54, took charge as the Director General (DG) of India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi. He was appointed as DG by the Ministry of Personnel on 4 June 2019. He will replace K.J. Ramesh, who headed the weather department for over three years. IMD is to request the government to bring new technology for the weather forecasting and provide accurate information of weather.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra:

Mohapatra is Odisha-born scientist. He is the first Odia to reach at the top position in IMD. He has led the effective early warning systems for cyclones, including Phailin, Hudhud, Vardah, Titli, Sagar, Mekunu and Fani. 

India Meteorological Department:

Formed on: 1875
Headquarters: New Delhi
Functions under: Ministry of Earth Sciences
Minister responsible: Dr. Harsh Vardhan
Director General: Mrutyunjay Mohapatra
The IMD is responsible for the weather and climate-related forecasts in the country. It is also mandated to issue warning to people about severe weather phenomenon.

  • Ministry of Finance to conduct Indias first national Time Release Study for efficient trade flow.
The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance plans to conduct India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) between 1st and 7th August, 2019. The study is a part of the department's strategic commitment to improve the global trade. 

Time Release Study (TRS):

The TRS is an internationally recognized tool to measure the efficiency of the international trade flows. It is advocated by the World Customs Organization.

Aim:

The exercise aims to identify and remove the obstacles that are present in the trade flow. The exercise will benefit from the export oriented industry and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).  
 

Analysis:

The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurement. It will also standardize the operations and procedures across all ports. The Ministry will conduct the exercise across 15 ports, including sea, air, land and dry ports at the same time. The ports cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India.
Depending on the results of the TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will diagnose the existing and potential bottlenecks that are barriers to the free flow of trade. The government will take remedial actions for reducing the cargo release time.