1. Important Cabinet Approvals- 04th April 2018
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows-
ii. The Cabinet has approved-
1. Cooperation Arrangement between India and Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas,
2. MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures
2. Cabinet Approves Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018
i. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Protection of Human Rights (Amendments) Bill, 2018 for better protection and promotion of human rights in the country.
ii. Salient Features of the Bill are as follows:
- It proposes to include “National Commission for Protection of Child Rights” as deemed Member of the Commission;
- It proposes to add a woman Member in the composition of the Commission;
- It proposes to enlarge the scope of eligibility and scope of selection of Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission as well as the State Human Rights Commission; and
- It proposes to incorporate a mechanism to look after the cases of human rights violation in the Union Territories.
3. EAM Sushma Swaraj on 3-Day Visit to Azerbaijan
i. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has begun her three-day visit to Azerbaijan to participate in the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku.
ii. Ms Swaraj held bilateral consultations with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov.
- President of Azerbaijan- Ilham Aliyev, Capital- Baku, Currency- Azerbaijani manat.
4. Russia Starts Building Turkey’s 1st Nuclear Power Plant
i. The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) was awarded a construction licence for Akkuyu NPP, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is being built in Mersin province, in southern Turkey. JSC Akkuyu Nuklear is the Russian-owned company which is responsible for the project.
ii. The USD20 billion project to build the four-unit, 4800 MWe plant is part of Erdogan’s ‘2023 Vision’ marking 100 years since the founding of modern Turkey and is intended to reduce the country’s dependence on energy imports.
- Turkey Capital- Ankara, Currency- Turkish lira, President- Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
5. 1st Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released by RBI
i. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0%.
ii. Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate (RRR) under the LAF remains at 5.75%, and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25%. India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth marginally upward to 6.6% from 6.5% in the first advance estimates.
iii. Retail inflation, measured by the year-on-year change in the CPI, fell from a high of 5.1% in January to 4.4% in February due to a decline in inflation in food and fuel. CPI inflation excluding food and fuel remained unchanged at 5.2%.
- Dr Urjit Patel is the 24th Governor of RBI.
- RBI Headquarters in Mumbai.