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  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of 75 additional Government Medical Colleges by 2021-22attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-III of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme.
  • For the schemes approved today to increase the availability of healthcare infrastructure and manpower, the Cabinet also sanctioned an expenditure of Rs. 24,375 crore during the 15lh Finance Commission period i.e. up to 2021-22.
  • The establishment of new Medical Colleges attached with existing District/Referral Hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in Government sector, utilize existing infrastructure of districts hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.

WORLD

U.S., Taliban Reach Agreement That Could Precede Peace Deal

  • A seven-day “reduction in violence” between the US and the Afghan Taliban has begun.
  • “This is an important step on a long road to peace, if successful, the two sides will then sign the first phase of a deal aimed at ending nearly two decades of conflict.
  • Taliban negotiators said “a suitable security situation” would be created ahead of signing a deal they hoped would “lay the groundwork for peace across the country with the withdrawal of all foreign forces”.

Sri Lanka to withdraw from co-sponsoring UN Human Rights Council resolution on war crimes

  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government will withdraw from co-sponsoring a UN Human Rights Council resolution on accountability for war crimes.
  • His statement came days after the U.S. imposed travel restrictions on Army Chief Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva and his immediate family members over alleged gross violations of human rights during the final phase of the island nation’s Civil War in 2009.
  • Prime Minister Mahinda said the government would no longer abide by a 2015 resolution calling for accountability for alleged excesses carried out by Sri Lankan troops and reparations for victims.
  • Sri Lanka co-sponsored the resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council along with 11 other countries calling for the investigation of allegations of wartime atrocities by both government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil minority.

Centre pays Rs 50,850 crore to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme.

  • The PM-KISAN was formally launched on February 24 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Centre on Saturday said it has disbursed Rs 50,850 crore to farmers so far under its landmark scheme PM-KISAN, enabling them to meet farm input cost and household expenses.
  • Under the scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal installments, directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.
  • Total number of beneficiaries covered under the scheme is about 14 crore, based on estimates of the Agriculture Census 2015-16.
  • The scheme initially provided income support to all small and marginal farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land up to 2 hectares.
  • All installments falling due on or after December 1, 2019 are being paid only on the basis of Aadhaar authenticated bank data of beneficiaries to ensure genuine beneficiaries and avoid duplicity in payments, except in Assam and Meghalaya besides the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, which are exempted from this requirement till March this year.
  • February 24, 2020 is the 1st anniversary of starting of a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN),”

CONFERENCE

International Judicial Conference 2020:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Indian judiciary for redefining environmental jurisprudence to strike a balance between development and ecological protection
  • He referred to laws on trans genders, ‘triple talaq’ and on the rights of ‘Divyang’ (persons with disabilities) and said the government has also taken steps to give rights to women in military services’
  • Modi said 1.3 billion Indians have disregarded apprehensions and “wholeheartedly” accepted recent critical judicial verdicts which were subjects of the global discussion.

SPORTS

PM Modi inaugurates first edition of Khelo India University Games

  • The inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games (KIUG) was launched during a dazzling opening ceremony, with Prime Minster Narendra Modi too gracing the occasion with his virtual presence.
  • Organizers from Odisha who have put together this spectacular event and about 3000+ youth athletes from across the country have participated in the Khelo India University Games.

Dubai Tennis Championships: Simona Halep captures 20th singles title with tiebreaker win over Elena Rybakina

  • Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina in the Dubai Championships final.
  • It was the second Dubai Tennis Championships title for the current Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.

Asian Wrestling C’ships: Ravi Dahiya clinches gold medal in 57kg category

  • Ravi Dahiya defeated Hikmatullo Vohidov of Tajikistan in the final to win India’s fifth gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships.
  • Apart from Bajrang (65kg), Gourav Baliyan (79kg) and Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg) also had to be content with silver medals