Rupee pact with Iran
- The Indian pharma industry now has an opportunity to increase exports to Iran, following a rupee payment mechanism agreed upon recently by India and the Persian Gulf nation.
- Under the agreement, Indian refiners make payments in rupee for oil imports from Iran, to designated accounts maintained with UCO Bank.
- A portion thus received is to be used by Iran to pay for imports from India, including pharmaceuticals.
- The rupee payment agreement came within weeks of the sanctions to cover oil imports from Iran.
- While imposing the sanctions again, the U.S. provided a time window of exemption under which India and a few other countries could continue to import oil for some time, but of relatively less quantity.
- Constituting mostly APIs (bulk drugs), Indian pharma exports to Iran have been declining in recent years.
Young Scientists Programme
- For the first time, ISRO has announced the ‘Young Scientists Programme’ to encourage the scientific talent and increase scientific pool in the country.
- Under this programme 3 students from each state and UT will be selected for ISRO programme for one month during which they will visit ISRO centres, interact with senior scientists and will have access to Research and Development facilities.
Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY)
- Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY), the flagship scheme of the Central Government for employment generation has crossed the milestone of one crore beneficiaries.
- PMRPY was announced in 2016 and is being implemented by Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
- Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12% (towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both), for a period of 3 years in respect of new employees who have been registered with the EPFO on or after 1st April 2016, with salary up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
- The entire system is online and AADHAR based with no human interface in the implementation of the scheme.
- India to train experts from 45 countries India will train 45 countries in nano-satellite making through a new capacity building programme.
- The programme is named Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training(UNNATI).
ISRO has initiated ‘Samvad with students’ programme where ISRO chairman meets the students during his outstation visits and address their queries and quench the scientific thrust.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed Volkswagen India to deposit ₹100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).