Current Affairs March 2017 - Regional
News 1 - 'Amma Kalviyagam' portal launched in Tamil Nadu
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam launched a portal, “ammakalviyagam.in” which will be a “hub of learning, interaction, opportunity, and connection.” It was an initiative in line with Jayalalithaa’s Vision TN 2023.
This portal will help students get assistance from reputed teachers free of cost. It is a platform for learners, experts, academic and industry professionals, and recruiters to meet, gain and provide skills, and discover and hone talent. The initiative was based on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) model.
News 2 - Aashray signed MoU with Jharkhand, to set up incubation centre for start-ups
Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation, has signed an MoU with the Jharkhand government’s Department of Information Technology and e-Governance (DoIT) to establish an incubation centre for start-ups in the state.
Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd is a Gujarat-based company. The MoU was signed during the ‘Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors’ Summit 2017’. As part of the MoU, Ashray Foundation will incubate at least 20 start-ups certified by the Jharkhand State Evaluation Board.
News 3 - World Bank offered over $1-billion loan to Maharashtra
World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva announced that the World Bank is working closely with the Government of Maharashtra to deliver a proposed assistance program of over $1 billion in the areas of urban transport and climate resilient agriculture over the next 2-3 years.
Over the last five years, World Bank has invested over $1.4 billion in Maharashtra in urban transport, rural water supply and agriculture. The cumulative assistance of the World Bank to Maharashtra has amounted to around $4 billion.
News 4 - Odisha Government signed MoU with Invest India
The Odisha government has signed an agreement with Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries, to promote start-ups in the state.
A toll-free start up helpline, 1800-345-7100, was launched. Startup Odisha Initiative and Startup India Hub run by the Invest India will help Odisha in achieving the Mission-1000 Startups by the year 2020 and help the youth in realising their dreams. It is in line with the Prime Minister’s initiative Start-up India.
News 5 - Kerala State Government Budget to make Internet facility a right of citizens
Kerala State Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac presented many proposals under state budget, where one of the major announcement was made to make internet facility, a right of citizens. The decision has been taken due to economic slump faced by people during demonetization. It has been announced to provide basic free internet services to 20 lakh poor families.
Other announcements made were like budget of Rs 68 crore for women protection, Rs 127 crore for Suchitwa Mission, Rs 150 crore on water conservation projects and many social welfare measures were announced in the Budget.
News 6 - Delhi government approved wages hike of skilled, semi-skilled & unskilled workers
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal approved Delhi government’s hike proposal of increasing minimum wages of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Government had approved a 36% increase in the minimum wages benefitting 50 lakh workers’ families.
As per the approved wages, skilled workers will be paid from Rs. 11,830 to 17,604 rupees per month, semi-skilled workers will be paid from Rs. 9,724 to 14,698 rupees and unskilled workers will be paid from Rs. 10,764 to 13,350 rupees per month.
News 7 - Assam celebrated the 8th international Guwahati Film Festival
In Assam, the two-day long Guwahati Film Festival held at Guwahati. The festival was organized by Chalachitram, Directorate of Film Festival and state Cultural department. Several films and documentary were screened during the festival at three places in Guwahati. ‘The Pride of Assam’ was selected as the best film at heritage short film competition which was held as a part of the festival.
More than 20 films were screened during festival. It was organized with aim to celebrate diversity of languages, literature, culture, society, traditions, music, identity, media of the north-eastern region of the country.
News 8 - Yatra.com signed an MoU with Madhya Pradesh Government to promote homestays
Online travel company Yatra.com inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Madhya Pradesh Government to jointly promote homestays in the state to give tourists a very homely experience. Yatra.Com had recently signed MoU with Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat Governments.
As a part of the MoU, Yatra will list over 90 properties on its website and promote all the state tourism approved homestays, where travellers can book a room with a local family or the entire house.
News 9 - Odisha achieved the highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate
Odisha has achieved the highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). As per the 4th round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-2015-16, Odisha's IMR is 40 per 1000 live births, which is lower than the national average (41).
The IMR in Odisha was 96 per 1000 births in 2000. During the same period, the national average of IMR was 68. Odisha’s IMR is better than six major States Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
News 10 - Google India signed an MoU with the Telangana Government
Google India has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telangana Government to support the digitisation efforts of the state. Google India will provide Google Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible start-ups engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative.
As a part of the MoU, Google India and the Telangana Government will also work on promoting digital literacy among rural women through program ‘Internet Saathi’.
News 11 - West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017 passed
The West Bengal State Legislative Assembly passed the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Bill, 2017. It repeals the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010.
The legislation seeks to bring transparency, end harassment of patients and check medical negligence in private hospitals and nursing homes. It brings clinics, dispensaries and polyclinics under its purview. The Bill also seeks for a 13 member West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission to monitor activities of private hospitals.
12 - Assam Cabinet Declares Sanskrit as a Compulsory Subject up to Class 8th
The State Cabinet of the Assam Government announced to make Sanskrit along with computer education mandatory in all the schools up to Class VIII. Teachers will also be appointed for this purpose. The Government is also planning to connect each panchayat of the state with Internet facility by the end of next financial year.
The cabinet also decided to appoint a special teacher to monitor cleanliness at all high schools in the state. These teachers will be appointed in high schools under Swachh Bharat Mission.
13 - West Bengal government gave official status to Tribal Language 'Kurukh'
The West Bengal government has granted official status to the Kurukh language as well as to the Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri language on the occasion of International Mother Language Day.
Kurukh is spoken by Oraon and Kisan tribes while Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri is spoken by the Koch Rajbanshi community. Kurukh is a Dravidian language and written in Devanagari. UNESCO has listed it in a "vulnerable" state. The state government has also set up a committee, headed by Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, which would help create a written form for Rajbanshi-Kamtapuri.
14 - Haryana Government announced Tirtha Darshan Scheme
The Haryana State Government announced the Tirtha Darshan scheme under which senior citizens belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and of Haryana domicile would be able to go on a pilgrimage within the country. The government would bear the entire cost of the tour.
The government would bear only 70% of the cost for senior citizens of non-BPL families. Over 400 destinations can be visited under the scheme. The maximum number of pilgrims would be only 250 every year.
15 - Kerala tops in GST registrations
Kerala has achieved the maximum number of registrations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the registrations being complete in all aspects. 60% of an estimated 2.5 lakh traders in the state have migrated to the new platform.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a proposed system of indirect taxation in India merging most of the existing taxes into single system of taxation. A business entity that is currently registered under any of the existing tax regimes is compulsorily required to enrol under GST law.
16 - Haryana State Budget
Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu presented a budget of Rs. 1,02,329.35 crore, which is an increase of Rs. 9,041.59 or 13.18% from the last budget. The budget comprises 21.88% as capital expenditure of Rs. 2,393.52 crore and 78.12% as revenue expenditure of Rs. 79,935.84 crore.
Highlights of budget allocation:
- No new taxes were introduced
- Agriculture and allied: Rs. 4963.09 crore
- Education: Rs. 15546.65 crore
- Health and Family Welfare: Rs. 3839.90 cores
- Industries and Minerals: Rs. 399.88 crore
- Social Welfare, Women and Child Development: Rs. 6859.55 crore
17 - Kerala State Budget
Kerala's Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac presented the 68th state budget in the Assembly.
Highlights of the budget:
Rs. 150 crore for water conservation and Rs 201 crore for soil and land conservation
Rs. 350 crore for Karunya scheme
Rs. 100 crore for Smart City mission
Rs. 2600 crore has been announced for SC welfare and Rs 750 crore for ST welfare
Primary health sector to get Rs. 2,000 crore
18 - Ola inked MoU with Government of Madhya Pradesh
Ola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Madhya Pradesh State Skill Development Mission (MPSSDM) and Directorate of Skill Development (Technical Education and Skill Development Dept.) Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.
The MOU is focused towards training, skill development and empowerment of 25,000 driver partners by 2019. Ola along with the State's Skill Development Department will provide essential training infrastructure, utilities and technology for an improved employment scenario in Madhya Pradesh.
19 - Tumke Bagra elected Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker
Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly has unanimously elected TumkeBagra as the Deputy Speaker of the house. Mr. Bagra represents Along West constituency. He has been elected to the post for the second time. The seat of the deputy speaker fell vacant after T Norbu Thondok resigned from the post.
The Assembly also passed the Arunachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory Commission) Bill 2017 and the Arunachal Pradesh Anatomy Bill 2017.
20 - China overtook Eurozone as the world’s biggest bank system
As per a report by Financial Times, China's banking system has overtaken the Eurozone to become the world’s biggest by assets.
Chinese bank assets hit $33tn at the end of 2016, versus $31 trillion for the Eurozone, $16 trillion for the US and $7 trillion for Japan.
The value of China’s banking system is more than 3.1 times the size of the country’s annual economic output, compared with 2.8 times for the Eurozone.
21 - Shiv Sena's Vishwanath Mahadeshwar elected as the new Mumbai Mayor
Vishwanath Mahadeshwar of the Shiv Sena was elected as the new Mayor of Mumbai, with the support of the BJP. He defeated the Congress nominee Vitthal Lokare by 171-31 margin. He was elected the 76th Mayor of Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
Out of the 227 corporators, 218 participated in the voting. Mahadeshwwar is a former Principal of Raje Sambhaji Vidyalaya and Junior College in Santacruz East. He is a three time municipal corporator from Bandra.
22 - Delhi Government presented Rs. 48,000 crore budget for 2017-18
The Delhi Government presented a Rs. 48,000 crore budget for 2017-18 in the Assembly. In its third Budget, the Delhi Government abolished the plan and non-plan expenditure heads and presented it in terms of revenue and capital classification in line with the Centre's decision.
A few main points are:
11300 crore rupees for education sector out of which 17 crore rupees have been set aside for libraries for nursery and primary classes. - 5736 crore rupees for health sector.
7,571 crore rupees for the civic bodies.
VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel will be brought down from 25% to 1% for flights to remote areas such as North Eastern states to compliment Centre's regional connectivity scheme.
23 - Vasundhara Raje presented Rajasthan budget 2017 in state assembly
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the state budget 2017-18.
Rs. 1,399 crore has been allotted for higher education in the budget.
Deemed Assessment Scheme has been introduced for VAT, Entry Tax, Luxury Tax and Entertainment Tax in the state.
Roads of 410 km in Rajasthan and 5000 km of rural roads would be revamped at a cost of Rs. 800 crore
Launch of Project Leopard to conserve the big cat in select areas
Rs. 6000 crore on clean drinking water scheme
24 - Haryana: Girl child ratio increased to 938 per 1000 male
In Haryana, girl child ratio has increased to 938 per 1000 male children in February. It was 879 girls per 1000 boys as per 2011 census.
In January 2017, the registered girl child ratio was 922. The gradual increase in the ratio of girl child is result of effective implementation of 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme implemented by Prime Minister from Panipat in the country.
25 - Odisha launched a helpline number for distressed women
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a helpline number 181 for women in distress on the International Women’s Day. The toll free helpline number will be available 24/7 in all the 30 districts of the state.
The helpline will provide information about women-related government schemes and programmes. It will also extend support to women affected by violence. Through the helpline, women can lodge police complaint and get medical, legal as well as counselling services.
26 - Tamil Nadu Government launched Rs. 1,580 crore Housing Scheme
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami launched a housing scheme estimated at Rs. 1,580 crore with Central assistance for the economically poor. The Chief Minister gave away work orders to five beneficiaries in order to mark the launch.
The Government will construct concrete houses for 50,170 beneficiaries in town panchayat limits in the year 2016-17.
27 - Himachal Pradesh launched mobile app 'Mera Hunar HP'
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh launched a mobile app and website titled 'Mera Hunar HP' or 'My Talent'. It will directly connect prospective employers with job aspirants as the latter's resume will contain addresses and contact numbers.
The Chief Minister said this initiative will supplement the state's skill development scheme and be of great help to pass outs of industrial training institutes. This initiative will also make available real-time employment data of the state.
28 - Arunachal Government launched a new scheme called as the Adarsh Gram Yojana
The Government of Arunachal Pradesh has launched a new scheme - Adarsh Gram Yojana - with a view to reach to the poor people in rural areas. The programme has been launched in line with the basic philosophy of the Prime Minister - Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas.
Under the scheme, 123 villages, comprising one village per circle, are to be developed as ‘model villages’ during the fiscal year 2017-18. A corpus of 93 crore rupees has been earmarked in the next year’s budget.
29 - Women Safety app ‘Ammavin Aran’ launched by AIADMK
The IT wing of the AIADMK launched a app called "Ammavin Aran" meaning 'mother's fortress' It is a first of its kind women safety application in Tamil Nadu.
The app will give the user details about the nearest police station and hospital along with map details and phone number. There is an in-built whistle, which can manipulate the phone speaker to create a loud noise when pressed by anyone in distress. Also the app carries an in-built call recorder and and 'Tips' icon to provide life-saving information.
30 - Karnataka announces Rs10-crore fund for women entrepreneurs
As a celebration of International Women’s Day, Information Technology (IT) Department of Karnataka has announced a fund of Rs. 10 crores to engage more women in entrepreneurship.
This Idea2POC fund will benefit the women entrepreneurs by providing them a support of up to Rs. 50 Lakhs for ideas that disrupt technologies. Under the scheme, they would also be provided legal, and mentoring support to the women willing to start a business in the information technology space.
31. Telangana proposed Rs. 605-crore ‘KCR Kit’ scheme for pregnant women and new born
The Telangana state government has come out with a new Rs. 605 Crore innovative scheme named as KCR Kit. The scheme is designed to focus on women welfare and new born. The kit would consist of soaps useful for mother and child, baby oil, baby bed, mosquito net, dresses, sarees, hand bag, towels and napkins, powder, diapers, shampoo and toys for the kid.
The KCR Kit will be useful for up to three months. It will help address the complications during the time of pregnancy and help reduce infant mortality rate.
32 - Gujarat State Government to provide e-marketplace for businesses
The Gujarat Government has signed an agreement with a global cloud-based solution provider cloudBuy.com to develop a B2B marketplace for small and large business units in the state.
The e-marketplace will help promote businesses in the state on one single platform. The participants can trade with each other and across India and globally. VISA AP will facilitate transactions on the portal via purchase cards.
33 - World Bank loan for MP solar plant
The World Bank will finance loan to develop internal transmission arrangements of the upcoming Rewa Ultra Mega Solar project in Madhya Pradesh.
The World Bank will provide 25 per cent of the loan amount under its Clean Technology Fund, where the money will be provided at an interest rate of only 0.25 per cent.
This would be the first solar power project of the country to receive a loan under CTF.
34 - Karnataka State Budget 2017-18
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddramaiah presented a soft budget without any fresh taxes for 2017-18 in the State Assembly. The State would end the year with an overall deficit of Rs. 196 Crores, with capital account deficit being Rs. 332.54 Crores and a revenue surplus of Rs. 136 Crores (as against Rs1062.51 crore for current fiscal).
The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 was estimated at Rs. 33,359 crores, which accounted to 2.61 percent of the State Gross Domestic product (GSDP).
35 - AP Budget 2017-18
The Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, presented the Budget for Andhra Pradesh for financial year 2017-18 on March 15, 2017.
Some of the highlights of this budget are:
Total expenditure for 2017-18 is estimated to be Rs 1,56,999 crore
Total receipts (excluding borrowings) for 2017-18 are estimated to be Rs 1,26,968 crore
Revenue deficit for the next financial year is targeted at Rs 416 crore. Fiscal deficit is targeted at Rs 23,054 crore.
Rs 3,600 crore has been allocated for the Agriculture Debt Redemption Scheme.
1,10,000 houses are proposed to be undertaken in 2017-18 under the Affordable Housing Projects.
36 - Telangana State Budget
The Finance Minister of Telangana, Mr. Eatala Rajender, presented the Budget for Telangana for financial year 2016-17.
Some of the highlights of this budget are:
The Gross State Domestic Product of Telangana for 2016-17 is estimated to be Rs 6,70,756 crore.
Total expenditure for 2016-17 is estimated to be Rs 1,30,416 crore
Revenue surplus for the next financial year is targeted at Rs 3,718 crore
Fiscal deficit is targeted at Rs 23,467 crore
Rs. 24,132 crore to be spent on irrigation in the state
Two lakh two bed room houses to be built for eligible poor people.
Mission Bhagirath scheme to provide drinking water supply to all houses in the state.
37 - The Current Northeast Budget is around Rs. 50,000 Crores: Dr. Jitendra Singh
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh said that the current budget for Northeast for 2017-18 is around Rs. 50,000 crore.
The 10 % contribution from budget of the each of the 56 non-exempted Union Ministries earmarked for Northeast, amounts in total to over Rs. 43,000 crore which was earlier around Rs. 33,000 crore. The Railway budget for Northeast is Rs. 5,500 crore, the budget for special roads scheme for Northeast is Rs. 150 crore and the budget for BTC, KAATC & DHATC amounts to about 120 crore.
News 38 - HIMURJA implementing Himachal Pradesh Roof Tops Solar Energy Program
The Himachal Pradesh Government Energy Development Agency - HIMURJA is implementing the Roof Tops Solar Energy Program of the Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy in Himachal Pradesh.
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has released an instalment of 5 Crore rupees under the Roof Tops Solar Energy Program for Himachal. The beneficiary will get seventy percent subsidy on commissioning of one megawatt project on their roof. They will also sell their surplus energy to the state electricity board which would provide them additional income.
News 39 - Punjab to provide 33% reservation for women in Government jobs
Punjab cabinet has decided to provide 33% reservation for women in all government jobs. The cabinet also decided to increase representation of women in the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies from the present 33% to 50%. A series of decisions were also taken for the benefit of freedom fighters.
The cabinet has decided to provide a house to every freedom fighter and 300 units of free electricity every month. It was also decided to provide one out-of-turn tube well connection to the freedom fighters and to exempt them from paying toll tax for state highways.
News 40 - Haryana Government notified AYUSH Medicine Procurement Policy 2016
Haryana Government has notified Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy Medicine Procurement Policy, 2016.
It is with the objective of ensuring uninterrupted supply of good quality AYUSH medicines free of cost to the people through Government Hospitals, Prathmik Swasthay Kendras, Government Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and Unani Dispensaries, Panchkarma Centres and National Health Mission (NHM) Institutions in the State. Every batch of medicines would undergo testing before it is distributed.
News 41 - Assam Government Signed an MoU with SBI
The Assam Government signed two MoUs with SBI, which are:
To provide housing loan at subsidised interest rates of 5% for its women employees and 5.5 % for men.
Education loan for higher education for their children at 4%.
The housing loan for the employees will come under the state government's scheme "Apun Ghar” with a cap of Rs 15 lakh. The state government will provide interest subsidy at the rate of 3.50% for housing loan while it will provide suitable subsidy rate to bring down the interest on education loan at 4%.
News 42 - AP tops in Aadhaar seeding of Jan Dhan accounts
Andhra Pradesh has topped the list of states with the highest seeded Aadhar numbers. AP has linked 87.73% of its Jan-Dhan accounts with Aadhaar numbers as on 15th March. Tripura ranked second in the list with 87.08% and Telangana at third position with 83.56%.
The total PMJDY accounts has gone up to 28.01 crore after demonetisation. 63.61% of these accounts are successfully seeded with Aadhar numbers.
News 43 - Odisha became the first state to bring banking to remote rural areas through SHG
Odisha became the first state in the country to carry financial inclusion and extend banking services to unbanked areas through Self Help Groups. The state government has signed an agreement with State Bank of India to provide banking facilities to people in unbanked areas.
In the first phase SHGs would be engaged as Banking Correspondents in around 1,000 remote Gram Panchayats having no banking facilities. Gradually it would be extended to 4,000 non-banked panchayats.
News 44 - BPL households in UP to get free electricity connections
Urban and rural BPL households of Uttar Pradesh will receive free electricity connections. Besides, APL households will get electricity connections at reasonable EMIs under a 100% financing option.
The UP government also decided to waive interests on electricity dues and provision of option of EMIs to pay off the principal amounts. The Union Ministry for Power has directed state-run EESL and the 4 DISCOMs in the state to make 10 crore LED bulbs freely available under UJALA scheme and increase awareness among the common people for the same.
News 45 - UP to become 27th State to sign an MoU with Centre for Power-for-All Project
Uttar Pradesh will be the 27th state to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Centre to implement Power-for-All Project in the state. The state has targeted to provide power connection to every house in the state before 2019.
Implementation of Power-for-All project will help in achieving the target. The Uttar Pradesh Government is preparing a road map to control power theft and distribution loss to improve the power condition in the state and to get objective of 24 hours supply to consumers.