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(1) 29th Accountants General Conference
• The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 29thAccountants General Conference in New Delhi.
• The 29th Accountants General Conference is the right occasion and opportunity to introspect and deliberate on what needs to be done to further our mission of promoting accountability, transparency and good governance.
• The theme of this year’s Conference is “Auditing and Accounting in a Digital Era”.
• The institution of CAG has come out with a data management policy and is increasingly using data analytics in its audit work.
• The use of data analytic techniques the CAG can assist in not only giving insights for the present but also aid in providing credible forecasts.
• With the tools appropriate to managing and examining the expanding data in a digital economy, the CAG is positioned to anticipate long-term trends and emerging issues related to the economy, education, health, environment, national security among others. These warrant the attention of lawmakers and the executive.
• A number of welfare schemes are also implemented through urban local bodies and panchayats.
• The social audit to account whether the money was spent properly, and made the intended difference, is mostly conducted by the scheme beneficiaries.
(2) MoU between India and Lebanon
• The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
Bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture will be mutually beneficial to both the countries.
• The MoU will promote understanding of best Agricultural practices in the two countries and will help in better productivity at farmer fields as well as improved global market.
• The MoU will help to increase agriculture production and productivity by getting access to best practices and market worldwide. It will lead to innovative techniques for increasing production and productivity, leading to strengthening of food security.
(3) Memorandum of Understanding between India and Romania
• Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Romania in the field of tourism.
• To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector
• To exchange information and data related to tourism. To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including Hotels and Tour operators.
Investment in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors
• To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism
• To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management.
• Foster bilateral cooperation through film tourism for promoting the two countries as attractive tourism destinations and
• To promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.
• Facilitate the movement of tourism between the two countries
• India and Romania have enjoyed a strong diplomatic and long economic relationship.
• The two parties now desiring to strengthen and further develop the established relationship have signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Tourism Government for the Romania for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
(4) Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Finland
• The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Finland on Environmental Cooperation.
The areas of cooperation include:
1. Air and water pollution prevention and purification, remediation of contaminated soils;
2. Waste management including hazardous wastes, and waste-to-energy technologies;
3. Promotion of circular economy, low-carbon solutions and sustainable management of natural resources including forests;
4. Climate change;
5. Environmental and Forest monitoring and data management;
6. Conservation of Marine and Coastal Resources;
7. Integrated water management of Oceanic/Sea Islands; and
8. Any other areas jointly decided upon.
• The concerns of rising environmental issues are not limited to any country but pose a serious challenge to the entire Globe.
• India is one of the emerging economies in the world with vast coastline and rich bio-diversity.
• Finland’s main environmental issues are air and water pollution, and the preservation of its wildlife.
• Industrial pollutants from within the country and surrounding countries affect the purity of both the nation’s air and water supplies.
• It also faces challenges like water pollution and increased demand for natural resources.
• Both the Countries face many environmental challenges like waste water management, conservation of threatened species, control of air and water pollution and increased demand for natural resources.
(5) National Council for Vocational Training, NCVT and National Skill Development Agency
• The Union Cabinet has approved the merger of the existing regulatory institutions in the skills space – National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) into the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).
• NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities.
• Functions of NCVET:
• recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers;
• approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs);
• indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies;
• research and information dissemination;
• grievance redressal.
The Council would be headed by a Chairperson and will have Executive and Non-Executive Members.
• This institutional reform will lead to improvement in quality and market relevance of skill development programs lending credibility to vocational education and training encouraging greater private investment and employer participation in the skills space.
• This will help achieve the twin objectives of enhancing aspirational value of vocational education and of increasing skilled manpower.
• In an effort to realize India’s demographic dividend, its workforce needs to be equipped with employable skills and knowledge so that they can contribute to economic growth in a substantive manner.
• In the past, most of the country’s skill training needs were met through courses offered by the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and under the Modular Employable Scheme (MES), regulated by NCVT. Since this infrastructure was not enough to meet the increasing skill requirements of the country as well as the skilling needs of the growing workforce, the Government took a number of initiatives to scale up the skilling efforts.
• NCVET is envisaged as an institution which will perform the regulatory functions so far vested in NCVT and NSDA. Regulatory functions currently being carried out by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) will also be housed in the NCVET.
(6) Cyclonic Storm ‘TITLI’
• Cyclonic storm over west central Bay of Bengal (BoB) moved west-north-westwards, intensified into a severe cyclonic storm in the early morning and into a very severe cyclonic storm around noon of today, the 10thOctober, 2018.
• It is very likely to re-curve north-eastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually.
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