Government is to allot 6 Coal Mines to reduce coal imports:
- On 13 December 2019, the Ministry of Coal initiated the auction process of coal mines. The move by the government is to reduce coal imports.
- After the poor participation of investors in the previous rounds of coal auctions, the government is now finally considering allotment of six mines soon.
- It initiated the auction process for 27 coal mines under tranches 8, 9 and 10 for the non-regulated sector.
Over 1,65,000 lakh farmers across India have been registered on e-NAM:
- Government said that over 1,65,000 lakh farmers across India have been registered on the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform.
- The announcement was made by the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
- 585 wholesale regulated markets have been integrated with e-NAM platform. An additional of 415 markets have been approved for integration with it.
Government invoked DPCO, 2013 for the first time:
- The Government invoked Drug Price Control Order, 2013 on 13 December 2019 for the first-time. It aimed to increase the prices of 21 medicines to ensure their availability.
- The pharma industry persuaded this for almost 2 years. The industry faced a steep rise in prices of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or bulk drugs largely imported from China.
- The prices of API have gone up in the range of 5.88% depending on the products
Puducherry unveiled a startup policy of the Industries Department:
- The Union Territory Puducherry unveiled a startup policy of the Industries Department. It was announced by Puducherry Industries Minister Shajahan.
- The policy lays emphasis to provide financial grants, monthly stipend, fiscal incentives to interested entrepreneurs and bring new business ventures to the Union Territory.
- The policy creates a corpus fund of Rs.10 crore to support the setting up of startup incubators and to develop co-working spaces.
PM led the first meeting of the National Ganga Council was held in Kanpur:
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh on 14 December.
- The first meeting of the Council was aimed to reinforce the importance of a Ganga-centric approach in all departments of the concerned states and relevant Central Ministries.
NASA select site Nightingale for observation:
- NASA has finally selected a sample collection site on asteroid Bennu after the arrival of OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in December 2018.
- The OSIRIS-Rex mission team has selected the site designated Nightingale, which is located in a crater high in Bennu’s northern hemisphere.
- The team has also selected site Osprey of Bennu as a backup sample collection site.