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1. The Health Ministry has announced a national program of free treatment for patients suffering from hepatitis C. There are about 60 lakh such patients in India. The government will spend between Rs. 8 to 10 thousand crore on their treatment. This will be under the national health mission. The normal treatment is quite expensive per person, and the news comes as a boon to people suffering from the liver disease.
2. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval along with top Security officials of the BRICS nations called on Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. The meeting comes amid a standoff between China and India in Doklam area in Sikkim.
3. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth 293 crore rupees in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam case in which thousands of people were allegedly cheated in West Bengal and Odisha. The ED’s regional office in Kolkata issued the provisional attachment order under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
4. The Lok Sabha has passed the Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017 by voice vote. The bill seeks to declare certain Institutes of management to be institutions of national importance with a view to empower them to attain standards of global excellence in management, management research and allied areas of knowledge.
5. North Korea has conducted a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Test, second in a month. In a statement, US military said, the latest missile was launched last night from an arms plant in Jagang province and landed about 1,000 kilometers from the launch site.
6. Russia’s foreign ministry has announced counter measures in response to tough new sanctions proposed by the United States. Moscow ordered Washington to reduce its diplomatic presence in Russia to 455 diplomats and staff and also barred it from using a Moscow summer house and storage facility.
7. Sri Lanka’s cabinet has cleared a revised agreement for leasing majority stake in Hambantota port to a Chinese state owned company. The agreement tries to allay concerns by several other countries saying Sri Lanka will have control over port activities including security. Under the new deal, the Sri Lankan government has sought to limit China’s role to running commercial operations at the port while it has oversight of broader security.
8. The Country’s Foreign Exchange Reserves have touched a new record high of 391 billion dollar. According to RBI data, Foreign Currency Assets, which are a key component of overall reserves, surged by over 2 billion dollar to 367 billion.