The Centre has launched the second phase of the Swachh
Bharat Mission (Grameen)- SBM(G) Phase-II. It will be implemented from
2020-2021 to 2024-2025 in a mission mode with an outlay of one lakh 40
thousand 881 crore rupees.
Union Minister of JalShakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today
launched the second phase of the mission at a National Dissemination and
Consultation workshop in New Delhi today.
The second phase will focus on sustaining the gains made under
the programme in the last five years in terms of toilet access and usage,
ensuring that no one is left behind. It will also ensure that effective solid
and liquid waste management (SLWM) is instituted in every Gram Panchayat of the
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shekhawat lauded the enormous
success of Phase-I of the SBM (G) and said that the cabinet approval of Phase II
is a great recognition to the signification achievements made under the mission.
It will continue to generate employment and provide impetus to the rural economy
through the construction of household toilets and community toilets.
Union Minister released a study done by the UNICEF and Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on the impact of the SBM(G) on rural women. The
study titled Impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) on the convenience,
safety and self-respect of women in rural India - surveyed 6,993 women across
the 5 states in February this year.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside an April 6, 2018,
circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that prohibited banks and
entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual
“Till date, RBI has not come out with a stand that any of the
entities regulated by it namely, nationalised banks/scheduled commercial
banks/cooperative banks/NBFCs, have suffered any loss or adverse effect directly
or indirectly, on account of VC exchanges,” a Bench comprising Justices
RohintonNariman, Aniruddha Bose and V. Ramasubramanian observed in a 180-page
Besides, the court found that the RBI did not consider the
availability of alternatives before issuing the circular.
On November 2, 2017, the Centre constituted an Inter-Ministerial
Committee, which initially recommended the ‘Crypto-token Regulation Bill of
This Bill found a complete ban on VCs an “extreme tool” and
suggested regulatory measures. At that point, the committee was even fine with
the idea of allowing the sale and purchase of digital crypto assets at
After the U.S. Federal Reserve reduced interest rates on
Tuesday to fight the economic slowdown due to the spread of COVID-19, there
is growing expectation in the domestic market that the Reserve Bank will
Bond yields softened on Wednesday amid rate cut hopes, with the
yield on the 10-year government bond dropping 12 bps to close the day at 6.23%.
After cutting interest rates by 135 bps between February and
October 2019, the central bank has hit the pause button. At the same time, it
introduced long-term repo operationsthrough which it lends to banks at rates
cheaper than prevailing market rates.
“We see 50 bps risk to [first half of 2020] growth if the COVID
infection worsens. As it is, we see FY20 growth at 4.9% and FY21 at 5.6%,”
BofaML said in a note, adding that rate cut could happen during the June-August
and Oct.-Dec. periods.
The rupee, which weakened in the last three sessions, ended 4
paisa higher on Wednesday amid a volatile trading as it hit the day’s low of
73.63 a dollar, closing at 73.19.
Sri Lanka will lead the science, technology and innovation
sector in the BIMSTEC and a facility for technology transfer is planned to
be opened in the future.
This was agreed during the 20th Session of the senior officials’
meeting chaired by Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary RavinathaAryasinha in Colombo
yesterday. A press statement issued today said, Sri Lanka,will also appoint a
Director to the BIMSTEC secretariat in June.
Foreign Secretary Aryasinha said, Sri Lanka had sought to
reinvigorate the 20-year-old organization since it assumed the chair last year.
He said, Sri Lanka had focused on the need for institutional building through
the finalization of the BIMSTEC charter and the allocation of defined areas of
cooperation among the member states.
He added that Sri Lanka scheduled to hand over the chairmanship
to Thailand later this year is keen for cooperation in the fields of trade,
investment, technology, tourism and connectivity, ahead of the summit, scheduled
later this year.
BIMSTEC Secretary General Shahidul Islam emphasized the
importance of sectoral meetings for more comprehensive cooperation and called
for the support of all member states on this front, as well as in negotiation on
BIMSTEC free trade area.
On March 3, 2020, on the sidelines of the World Wildlife Day
celebrations, Global Coalition for Biodiversity was launched. The initiative
was launched by the European commission. The coalition was named “United for
The Global Coalition is constituted of national parks,
aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens and science museums that are spread all over
the world.The Coalition has called the institutions all over the world to join
before the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China.
The Convention is to be held in China in October 2020. The
coalition has been welcomed by several organizations including United Nations
The Coalition cited Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity
and Ecosystem Services findings that more than 1 million species are under risk
The Coalition hence adopted a pledge to appeal to visitors of
the institutions associated with it to “raise voice for Nature”.=
IPBES is Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It was established in Panama City in 2012
by 94 countries.It is not a part of United Nations. However, on the request of
IPBES, the United Nations Environment Programme provides secretariat services to