Current Affairs June 2016 - Regional
News 1 - Chief Minister of Haryana lays the foundation stone for Jai Jawan Awas Yojna
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, laid the foundation stone of Jai Jawan Awas Yojna (JJAY). It is an initiative to provide affordable housing for the serving and retired JCOs and Other Ranked officials.
This project is being executed by the Army Welfare Housing Organization. This housing project has been named in the memory of Late Major Rajiv Joon, recipient of the Ashok Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.
News 2 - LDF Candidate Sreeramakrishnan elected as the Kerala Assembly Speaker
The Ruling LDF candidate P. Sreeramakrishnan has been elected as the Speaker of the 14th State Assembly in Kerala. He won the contest against the opposition UDF candidate V. P. Sajeendran.
The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and other legislative party leaders congratulated Mr. Sreeramakrishnan. The House is scheduled to reassemble on the 24th June, when the Governor will make a policy declaration of the Government.
News 3 - Odisha demands rollback of 1% Cess Hike on Service Tax
The Odisha Government demanded the rollback of 1% cess hike of service tax increased in past one year. The centre had earlier raised the Service tax from 14% to 14.5% with the imposition of 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess from November 2015. The Centre has further raised it from 14.5% to 15% by imposition of 0.5% Krishi Kalyan Cess on all taxable services with effect from beginning of this month.
The State Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said he has written a letter to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to lodge Odisha’s protest against increase of cess and surcharge.
News 4 - Odisha becomes the first state to give social welfare benefits to the transgender community
Odisha became the first state to provide social welfare benefits – such as a pension, free housing and 100 days of paid work annually as well as loans to start up their own businesses to the transgender community with an aim to improve their overall social and economic status. They would also be entitled for 5 kgs of food grains every month under the National Food Security Act.
The Members of the Community will be given Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards that will allow them to access benefits under various Government Welfare Programs.
News 5 - Assam Assembly passes Ease of Doing Business Bill 2016
The Assam Assembly has passed Assam Ease of Doing Business Bill, 2016. The bill has the provision for speedy processing of applications and issue of clearances for setting up industries. It will help the state attract fresh investment through an easy computerized clearance system.
The basic aim of this bill is to create an investment friendly environment for economic development of the state. A bureau will be formed under the name and style of Assam Bureau of Investment Promotion that will take care of overall supervision and administration of the speedy processing of applications and issues related to various clearances.
News 6 - Bihar Government launches Right to Public Grievance Redressal Act
The Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar launched the Right to Public Grievance Redressal Act. The act seeks disposal of peoples' complaints or redressal of grievances from Government officials within 60-days. All the 42 Departments of the State government will be covered under the new Act and has strict provisions in non-compliance of applications. Officials not adhering to provisions of the law could be dismissed from service or face a penalty of from Rs. 500 to Rs. 5000.
The Government has designated one Grievance Redressal Officer in each department as well as first and second Appellate authorities. Complaints relating to subjects covered under the Right to Information Act, Right of Public Service Act and cases pending in courts will not be entertained under Right to Public Grievance Redressal Act.
News 7 - V Narayanasamy takes oath as the Puducherry CM
Former Union Minister of State and AICC General Secretary V. Narayanasamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry. Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Narayanasamy and the five Ministers namely – A. Namassivayam, Malladi Krishna Rao, M. Candassamy, M.O.H. F. Shahjahan and R. Kamalakannan.
Mr. Narayanasamy, for whom this is the first term as the Chief Minister, is the second Congress leader after P. Shanmugam, to head a Ministry without being a member of the Assembly.
News 8 - Gujarat Government revealed the IT and Electronics Start-up Policy 2016
The Gujarat Government announced its first IT and Electronics Start-up Policy, implementing subsidies and state assistance for incubators and start-ups over the next five years where the State Government will develop 50 incubators to mentor and guide 2000 start-ups by 2020.
The subsidy will be provided upon capital investment, software purchase, and waiver of stamp and registration fees, among others, for startups and incubators. The incubators will get 5 lakh rupees per annum. The State Government will allot around 10 lakh sq. feet of land for development of these incubators. The State Government in this field has special focus on encouraging new ventures by providing them various incentives and subsidies.
News 9 - Guwahati announces the Gangetic River Dolphin as its ‘City Animal’
Guwahati announced the Gangetic River Dolphin as its City Animal, which is also called as ‘Sihu’. The ‘Sihu’ lives in River Brahmaputra along Guwahati. Online voting was made open by District Administration for public to opt among 3 endangered species which were – Gangetic River Dolphin, Black Softshell Turtle (Bor Kaso) and the Greater Adjutant Stork (Hargila).
Assam's Guwahati became the first city in the country to have its own city animal. In the three-month long voting process Gangetic River dolphin received 24247 votes out of 60003 total votes.
News 10 - Green Data Centre to be established by Himachal Pradesh
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister announced establishment of eco-friendly State Data Centre designed using green data centre concept, to offer 101 people-oriented service online through an integrated data base by minimizing power requirement and maximizing power utilization efficiency.
Its online facility will save infrastructure cost. It is the first SDC in the country which has been designed using green data centre and implemented cloud technology. It costs Rs. 58 crores to implement this technology.
News 11 - Mobile App Raj Vayu and Drishti launched by the Rajasthan Govt to check air pollution
A mobile app 'RajVayu' and ‘Drishti’ was launched by Rajasthan government on the World Environment Day, for sharing information about air quality index of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur and monitoring pollution levels in industrial regions respectively. The Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) is the first state Board in the country to have this app for its citizens.
The weather sensors of app will check pollutant levels, temperature, humidity, wind speed and weather forecast.
News 12 - Govt and ADB inked a $120 million loan agreement for Odisha
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $120 million loan agreement to improve irrigation and water management infrastructure in Odisha. It is purposely for modernizing seven irrigation subprojects resulting in improved irrigation in over 100,000 hectares, and strengthening of Water User Associations (WUAs) and the institutional capacity of Odisha’s Department of Water Resources.
The project will complete by September 2018 thus improving existing irrigation infrastructure, operation and maintenance, and water use efficiency that will lead to higher agricultural productivity.
News 13 - ADB and Union Government signed Loan Agreement to upgrade 176 Kms of roads in Jharkhand
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed an agreement for $200 million new loan to upgrade 176 Kilometers of State roads in the State of Jharkhand. The financing for the Jharkhand State Roads II Project will upgrade the existing sections of four State roads to two lane standard and will also support improvements in the design, safety and maintenance of the network.
Several safety and environmentally friendly features included in the project design, which include over 60 bus stop shelters; 50 kms of raised sidewalks in urban areas; 4 kms of dedicated bicycle lanes; and solar-powered street lights.
News 14 - UP Govt constitutes Mirza Imtiyaz Judicial Commission to probe Mathura violence
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav constituted a one-member judicial inquiry headed by retired High Court judge, Justice Mirza Imtiaz Murtaza, into the Mathura violence. Justice Murtaza has been given two months to submit the report.
The commission has been mandated with 6 key tasks, the reasons for which the violence erupted and led to the death of 29 persons. Measures to prevent such incidents from re-occurring would also be suggested.
News 15 - Google and Tata’s joint-initiative, Internet Saathi, launched in West Bengal
Google and Tata Trusts have jointly launched an initiative called ‘Internet Saathi'. The initiative is initially rolled out in 400 villages of Purulia district in West Bengal. It will focus on training women and larger communities in the state to learn and explore various uses and benefits of the Internet.
The initiative is a part of Google's 'Helping Women Get Online' campaign, designed to create awareness about the benefits of Internet among women in rural India. It was launched in July 2015 and has trained and benefitted over 2 lakh women across villages in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
News 16 - ADB approved $100 million loan for irrigation system and water management in TN
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $100 million loan to strengthen a key irrigation system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu. The project will strengthen the embankments of six major irrigation water channels in Vennar system to make them more resilient to floods and upgrade water regulators, sluices and pump stations.
The work is expected to be completed in December 2020. The Cauvery delta, on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, is considered as the ‘Rice Bowl’ of the state.
News 17 - Researchers at the Assam Agricultural University develop two new rice variants
Researchers at the Assam Agricultural University have developed two new rice varieties – Ranjit Sub-1 and Bahadur Sub1 to get better yields under submerged conditions. The farmers of the Barak Valley have already been farming the Ranjit and Bahadur Varieties for more years. The variants are suitable for Kharif season which is from July–October during the south–west monsoon in the Barak Valley.
An additional gene has been incorporated in the new variants which ensure productivity even if the crops remain submerged during flash floods.
News 18 - NRDC inks MoA with the Andhra Pradesh Government to start Agribusiness Incubation Centers
The Andhra Pradesh Government has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) to strengthen the Agribusiness & Food Processing sector by establishing Smart Agribusiness Platform Networks of Andhra Pradesh (SAPNAP). These networks will focus on accelerated growth of agribusiness.
SAPNAP will have two key development platforms:
Smart Agribusiness Value-chains − will focus on Intelligence / Analytics / Big Data, Innovations and Partnerships.
Smart Agribusiness Incubators & Accelerators − will focus on establishment of 13 district level incubators with enabling infrastructure and ecosystem for startups, enterprise development and FPO mentoring.
News 19 - Telangana Government to set up a 12,500-acre Pharma City near Hyderabad
The Telangana government has ordered setting up of a ‘Pharma City’ on 12,500 acres of land in the Rangareddy and Mahbubnagar districts. The Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) shall send a detailed project proposal (DPR) to the Government.
The proposed park will have components and other related activities with regard to antibiotics, fermentation products, synthetic drugs, vitamins, vaccines, drug formulations, nutraceuticals, herbal medicinal products etc.
News 20 - FICCI to be the National Partner at the 8th Vibrant Gujarat Summit
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has been appointed as the National Partner for the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017 organized by the State's Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb). The core theme of the eighth edition of the biennial industrial extravaganza will be 'Connecting India to the World'. The event will be organized during January 10-13, 2017 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar.
FICCI would work closely with another premier industries body Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for the biennial summit.
News 21 - V Vaithialingam elected unopposed as the Puducherry Assembly Speaker
Former Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader, V. Vaithilingam, has been elected unopposed as the Speaker of the Puducherry Legislative Assembly. V. P. Sivakolundu has also been elected unopposed to the post of Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Vaithilingam will be the 19th Speaker of the Assembly. He was the Chief Minister between 1991-1996 and replaced Rangasamy as the Chief Minister of the Congress Government in 2008. He was also the Leader of Opposition in the last Assembly. Mr. Vaithilingam was elected for the third successive term from the Kamaraj Nagar constituency.
News 22 - Sikkim becomes India’s first State to launch an Open Government Data Portal
Sikkim became the first Indian State to have an Open Government Data Portal, ‘Sikkim.data.gov.in’ and Open Government Data Platform (Sikkim). The portal was launched by the Lok Sabha MP, P D Rai. The portal has been developed by the Government of Sikkim’s Information Technology Department and NIC team from Delhi.
On the Open Government Data Portal, the data produced or commissioned by the government or government controlled entities can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone.
News 23 - Assam Government announces free education up to undergraduate level
The Assam Government today announced free education up to undergraduate level for all the students from poor and lower middle class families.
The Government has decided that all admission, tuition and allied fees for admission into higher secondary first year, degree first year and diploma polytechnic first year classes from this session will be completely waived for students whose family income does not exceed Rs One Lakh per annum.
News 24 - Use of Plastic Waste in Building Roads, an initiative introduced by Maharashtra Government
The Government of Maharashtra introduced a way to use plastic waste, along with tar for construction of roads to improve the durability and longevity of asphalt roads and reduce soil pollution.
It has been decided that initially municipal corporations with a population of over 5 lakh and municipal councils that have a population of over 2 lakhs will be asked to include plastic waste for building roads in the 50-km radius. Studies have revealed that plastics waste have great potential for use in bituminous construction as its addition in small doses. The use of waste plastic thus contributes to construction of green roads.
News 25 - Rs. 2,070 crore highway project approved by the Punjab Government
The Union Cabinet approved a Rs. 2,070 crore highways project on 383.22-hectares of land in Punjab to ensure faster movement of traffic between Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Under this project, two major and one minor bridges will be built besides a 7.9 kms bypass at Samrala. Six or four laning of Kharar to Ludhiana section of NH 95 (New NH 5) has been approved by the Cabinet.
Under the hybrid annuity mode, the government will bear 40% of the cost to the developer while the remaining 60% has to be contributed by concessionaires.
News 26 - Andhra Pradesh to Start Internet-based Phone Service
The Telecom Ministry has started its own Internet Protocol based Television network — as part of its Fiber Grid project. Andhra Pradesh can issue phone numbers starting with the ‘797’ series. Another benefit from the project is that the Government can provide free telephone services within the region through internet which means one can also make free internet skype calls.
For a basic cost of Rs. 149 per month, the AP Government aims to make available interactive connections with digitized channels, internet, Wi-Fi and net telephony. It aims at providing affordable net connectivity to the State.
News 27 - Madhya Pradesh creates Guinness World Record for Karma Dance
Close to 3,049 people of Madhya Pradesh State entered the Guinness Book of World Records for performing the largest Karma Naach dance at an event held in Mandla district. This dance was choreographed for a minimum of five minutes to celebrate the culture and history of the Gond tribes of Central India organized by the district administration association.
The participants formed 61 large circles of 50 people and performed the traditional tribal dance. India has already played host to a multitude of impressive mass participation dances, including the Largest Bollywood dance, which took place in Amritsar in January with 8,726 people.
News 28 - Andhra Postal Circle Releases Stamps on Yoga Booklet
The Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle released “Information Booklet, Stamps on Yoga” and “12 stamps on Suryanamaskarams” to commemorate the 2nd International Day of Yoga. The booklet contained illustrations and description of 24 yoga asana (postures) while 12 stamps on Suryanamaskarams were released. It also provides a brief description on the various Yoga postures depicted in the original Stamps.
The booklet contains 4 Commemorative stamps released in 1991 on various yoga postures- Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana, Ushtrasana and Utthita Trikonasana. The booklet and stamps were released to encourage customers and employees to take to yoga.
News 29 - Maharashtra Government Accords Minority Status to Jews
The Maharashtra State Cabinet, based on the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission Act, 2004, which empowers the government to declare a community as minority, approved the decision to grant minority status to the Jews.
Maharashtra thus became the second state in India to grant minority status to the Jewish Community in the country. There are 2,466 Jews in the state. The status will now make the community eligible to avail various development schemes that the state launches for the minority communities.
News 30 - Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple in Assam begins
The annual Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple in Assam began on the 22nd of June and lasted till the 26th June.
It is the most important festival of the Kamakhya Temple of Guwahati. The Ambubachi is a ritual of asceses observed with “Tantrik means”. It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch.
News 31 - Nagpur and Jinan city of China become 'Sister Cities'
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Jinan Municipality in the People's Republic of China, entered into an agreement to develop a sister city relationship between the two cities for exchange of ideas and technology in the field of Education, Urban Planning, Youth Affairs, and Sports.
This is for the first time that Nagpur has developed a sister city concept with any foreign city. There are also plans to execute similar agreements with Santa Clara in California.
News 32 - President Pranab Mukherjee returned 3 bills for reconsideration of the Manipur Legislative Assembly
President Pranab Mukherjee returned the following 3 bills to the Manipur Legislative Assembly for reconsideration after the bills had triggered violence leading to the death of nine people in the State:
The bills are:
- The Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015.
- The Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2015.
- The Manipur Protection of Peoples Bill, 2015.
News 33 - Odisha Government approves 500 new Gram Panchayats
The Odisha Government approved the proposal of the Panchayati Raj Department for 500 new Panchayats in the State. The new Gram Panchayats will be added before the 2017 three-tier panchayat polls. The decision has been taken based on the recommendation received from the district level.
Presently, the state has 6,211 Panchayats. The new Gram Panchayats are being created by bifurcating the Gram Panchayats that had population of over 10,000 people.
News 34 - Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the Child Labour Tracking System
The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the 'Child Labour Tracking System (CLTS)'. It will help to keep a track of rescued Child Labour for their proper rehabilitation. The Chief Minister also announced a financial help of Rs. 25,000 for every rescued child labour to be given from Chief Minister's Relief Fund. The money would directly be credited to their bank account.
The Chief Minister also announced setting up a committee headed by Chief Secretary for implementation of children's demands.
News 35 - Government Sanctions Rs. 164 Crores for Rajasthan, Rs. 156 Crores for Telangana for Compensatory Afforestation
The Union Government has sanctioned Rs. 164 crores for Rajasthan and Rs. 156 crores for Telangana, following a meeting on Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) with the two States. The money was sanctioned for afforestation, relocation and other biodiversity works in the two states. As per the court’s guidelines, only 10% of the funds can be released this year.
The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar expressed the hope that the Compensatory Afforestation Bill will be passed in the Monsoon session, making available more money for afforestation and related activities.
News 36 - Ministry of Railways Signs JV Agreement with Government of Odisha
The Ministry of Railways signed a Joint Venture Agreement with the Government of Odisha for the formation of a Joint Venture Company towards the development of Railway Infrastructure in the State. The company shall identify projects to be developed and find avenues for financing of the same. Ministry of Railways and the Government of Odisha shall be essentially funding a part of such identified projects.
About 17 State Governments consented for the formation of these Joint Venture Companies in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways. MoUs have already been signed by the Ministry of Railways with seven State Governments viz. Odisha, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Haryana.
News 37: Punjab Government launched Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund
Punjab became the first State in the country to provide free treatment to confirmed cases of Hepatitis C after the state government created a special fund with an initial contribution of Rs.20 crore called the Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund for this purpose.
Free treatment for Hepatitis C would be provided to the patients in the state government medical colleges at Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot besides 22 district hospitals. The patient has to pay only for the viral load and the genotype of the Hepatitis C Virus for which the Punjab Government has also done rate contract with Lal Path Laboratories.
News 38: Nagaland Governor Launches Women's Helpline Number '181'
Nagaland Governor P B Acharya launched a women helpline – 181 in the premises of the District Hospital Dimapur in Nagaland. He also inaugurated Sakhi, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, a one stop Centre which is intended to support women affected by violence both in private and public spaces under one roof.
The Governor highlighted the multiple roles played by women as home makers, guardians of children and the hard work put in by them in every field.
News 39: Andhra Pradesh becomes the 13th State to join the UDAY Scheme
Andhra Pradesh became the 13th State to sign the agreement and formally join the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), a central scheme for reviving financially-stressed electricity distribution utilities. The move will help Andhra Pradesh’s electricity sector get a Rs. 4,400 crore benefit over the next three financial years.
The Andhra Pradesh Government will take on Rs. 11,000 crore of debt at its electricity distribution utilities, which would help them save Rs. 330 crores of interest cost a year. Andhra Pradesh is one of the top three states for achieving 100% electrification. The other two are Gujarat and Punjab.
News 40: Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana launched by the Odisha Government
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana (KSSY). Under this scheme, the state government will provide education loan at 1% interest to students for pursuing higher studies. The state government will meet the fund requirement of about Rs 500 crore from its own resources.
Poor students aspiring to pursue professional and technical education can now avail themselves of study loan up to 10 lakh rupees at the 1% interest rate.
News 41: World Bank approves $63 million for Tejaswini Project in Jharkhand
The World Bank Board approved US$ 63 million for Tejaswini Project in Jharkhand. Tejaswini: Socioeconomic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls & Young Women Project will support adolescent girls and young women, ages 14- 24, to complete their secondary level education and acquire relevant skills for the job market. The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.
This is the first World Bank project in India that is solely focused on the welfare of adolescent girls and young women. It is expected to benefit about 680,000 adolescent girls and young women in the 17 project districts.