Current Affairs May 2017 - Regional
News 1 - Union Government released ₹714 Cr to Karnataka government for implementing various schemes
Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu released 714 crore rupees to the Government of Karnataka which included 428 crore rupees for Smart City Mission, 191 crore rupees for ATAL Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Trasportaion (AMRUT), 36.7 crore rupees for Swachch Bharat Mission and 58.3 crore rupees for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
Bengaluru will be added under the Smart City scheme in the second phase. The State government was being funded with 4953 crore rupees worth central schemes for urban development.
News 2 - Centre sanctioned ₹588 crores as drought relief for Rajasthan
The Union Government has sanctioned Rs 588 crore as drought relief for Rajasthan. The decision was taken at a meeting of a High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley among others.
The committee took the decision based on the report of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team, which visited the drought-hit state. The assistance was approved from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
News 3 - Uttarakhand becomes fifth state to pass GST bill
Uttarakhand Legislative assembly has passed State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) bill unanimously and thus became the fifth state to pass the GST bill. It was tabled by the Finance Minister Prakash Pant who informed that liquor and five petro products will be out from the GST. Farmers will also be exempted the GST.
The Centre plans to launch the Goods and Services Tax in the country on July 1. The other states to have passed the Bill are Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
News 4 - First automatic weather station of Maharashtra inaugurated in Nagpur
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the state’s first automatic weather station in Nagpur. The government has plans to set up around 2065 such weather stations across the state on public private partnership (PPP) model this year, and 1,000 of these to be set up by June 2017.
The weather conditions for farmers in different regions will be available on Mahavedh portal (Maharashtra agriculture weather information network) and mobile application of Skymet Weather Private Ltd.
News 5 - AIIB approved $160 million loan for power project in Andhra Pradesh
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved 160 million dollar loan for a power project in Andhra Pradesh. It is the first credit from the bank for an Indian project.
The project is part of the Government of India’s Power for All Program to provide an affordable 24*7-electricity supply to all citizens.
The AIIB has approved the project with the objective to strengthen power transmission and distribution system in Andhra Pradesh. The project is co-financed by the World Bank.
News 6 - Assam to provide Rs. 5000 each to divyangs for their development
The Assam government will provide five thousand rupees each to five lakh divyangs for their development for which a survey is being conducted to know the exact number of divyangs in the state. As per the 2011 census, there are 68 thousand divyangs in the state.
Under budget of Assam, announced in April 2017, state has allocated around Rs 250 cr for Deen Dayal Divyank Sahajya Achani. Under this scheme, 4.5 lakh divyanks will be given Rs 5000 each.
News 7 - Madhya Pradesh state legislative assembly passed GST Bill
Madhya Pradesh state legislative assembly passed the Madhya Pradesh Goods and Services Tax Bill. A one-day special sitting of the state legislative assembly was held in Bhopal to pass the Bill.
The GST bill is a transparent system that will benefit small traders. Madhya Pradesh is the sixth state of the country to pass the bill. A help-centre would also be established and officials will help for the implementation. All the decisions in this regard would be taken by the GST Council, which included representatives of 21 states.
News 8 - Madhya Pradesh became the 1st state to shift to calendar year as the financial year
In the first of the states, Madhya Pradesh switched to the January-December financial year from April – March financial year. With this, it became first state to announce shifting of its financial year format to January-December from the present April-March cycle. Thus, the Budget session of the next financial year will be held in either December 2017 or January 2018.
The Central Government had constituted a high-level committee under former Chief Economic Advisor Shanker Acharya to prepare a quarterly, half-yearly and annual road map of works to be done with fixed deadlines.
News 9 - Haryana Assembly passed state GST Bill
The Haryana Assembly passed the state Goods and Services Tax Bill 2017. More revenue is likely to accrue by broad basing the tax base, better reconciliation of business transactions and input tax credits, with the help of GST bill.
The Section 164 of the bill empowers the state government to make rules to carry out the purpose of the Act and 101st Amendment, Act, 2016 empowers the state government to levy tax on intra state supply of Goods and services by subsuming value added tax, entry tax, luxury tax, advertisement tax except VAT on alcohol and petroleum products.
News 10 - West Bengal announced to distribute free ration to mothers with new born babies
The West Bengal Government will distribute free ration to mothers with new-born babies across the State so that they do not suffer from malnourishment. The State Food department will distribute coupons to around 30,000 mothers across the state.
The mothers can now show the coupons to ration shops where they will be supplied with rice, wheat, grams and lentil every month.
The State government has taken such step to tackle malnutrition figures among the new mothers belonging to the economically weaker class.
News 11 - Madhya Pradesh opens India's first private small arms manufacturing unit
Madhya Pradesh in union with Israel opened India’s first private small arms manufacturing plant at Malanpur, Madhya Pradesh. It is a joint venture between Indian defence conglomerate Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) to develop a hub for providing weapons not only to Israel and Indian markets, but also to the world markets.
This deal is a part of ‘Make in India’ project. Weapons like X95 assault rifle, Galil sniper, Tavor assault rifle, Negev light machine gun and the Ace assault rifle will be manufactured under this deal.
News 12 - Narmada River announced as living entity by Madhya Pradesh Assembly
Madhya Pradesh government passed a resolution bill-stating river Narmada as a living entity and committed itself to the protection of its legal rights. As of now, other rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries have been declared as living entities by Uttarakhand High Court.
The living entity status means granting Narmada, owner of all property and litigation for its conservation and legal case could be initiated on the river’s behalf against anyone exploiting river. In this way, the river’s biodiversity will be protected.
News 13 - Odisha introduced boat ambulances in four districts
Odisha introduced boat ambulance service in four districts where people face difficulties in getting health service. The boat ambulance service will be available in Koraput, Malkangiri, Kendrapara and Kalahandi districts where people face problems in availing the 108-ambulance service due to intervening large water bodies in the form of rivers and dams disrupting road communication.
The state government has sanctioned six boat ambulances for these areas, which will be part of the 108-ambulance service.
News 14 - Haryana Government to offer affordable meals to Antyodaya Anna Yojana workers
In order to provide meals at reduced rates to registered construction workers under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, Haryana government will be opening canteens at 23 locations in the state and mobile food vans would be established at 23 places with huge number of workers. Canteens will be opened from 8 am and 2 pm.
The Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) is a Government of India sponsored scheme to provide highly subsidized food to millions of the poorest families. It was first implemented in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
News 15 - Haryana approved over Rs. 52.16-crore for construction of roads in four districts
Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal accorded administrative approval amounting to over Rs 52.16 crore for construction of different roads in four districts of Nuh, Faridabad, Palwal and Jind. Over 26.20 crore rupees have been approved for construction of Ring road in Nuh district.
Around 21.84 crore rupees have been approved for construction of road on Yamuna riverbank in Faridabad district. A sum of over 2.50 crore rupees have been approved for construction of road in Palwal district. About 1.61 crore rupees have been approved for upgradation of road in Jind district.
News 16 - Oracle inked MoU with Jharkhand to offer cloud-based citizen services
A MOU was inked between the Government of Jharkhand and Oracle to improve cloud based citizen services. Oracle Corporation is a multinational computer technology corporation, headquartered in California.
As part of the agreement, the Government of Jharkhand and Oracle will unanimously explore and identify areas of growth in which Oracle’s latest cloud-based technologies can be used to meet the state’s citizen and business requirements. Jharkhand wants its state to become an attractive destination for start-ups.
News 17 - NITI Aayog to collaborate with Uttar Pradesh for holistic development
The delegation led by NITI Vice Chairman, Dr. Arvind Panagariya held daylong deliberations in Lucknow on developmental challenges before Uttar Pradesh.
The delegation met UP CM Yogi Adityanath along with seniors Ministers and officials of the state government and it was agreed that NITI would partner with UP in areas such as doubling the farmers’ income, livelihood opportunities, enterprise, investment and growth in the State, among others.
NITI Aayog Member Agriculture, Shri Ramesh Chand shared in great detail issues related to the growth of agriculture and possible solutions for doubling farmers’ income in UP.
News 18 - Haryana to conduct survey to provide affordable houses to people in urban areas
Haryana Government has decided to conduct a survey to provide affordable houses under ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna-Housing for All’ to the people living in urban areas.
The residents living in urban areas as on June 17, 2015, would be eligible to participate in the survey. Only those applicants would be given the benefit of the scheme who would have Aadhar card, a bank account and nobody in his family have any pucca house in any locality.
Those who have been benefited under any Central or State Housing Scheme would not be eligible to avail the benefit under this scheme.
News 19 - Assam assembly passed State GST Bill
Assam Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017, was unanimously passed by the state legislative assembly. Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presented the Bill in the assembly.
Assam passed the Bill on the last day of a three-day special session called for its passage. In August 2016, the assembly ratified the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax, making Assam the first state in the country to do so.
News 20 - Telangana became the first state with logo for hearing impaired drivers
Telangana became the first state in the country to introduce a logo for identifying vehicles driven by persons with hearing impairment. The logo consists of a hearing-impaired mark along with text saying, “Driver is deaf — please watch out.
The logo, that hearing impaired drivers will have to fix on their vehicles, was designed by city-based graphic designer Manikanta Annapragada. He also became the first person to obtain a driving license in the ‘hearing impaired’ category in the country.
News 21 - Aadhaar not mandatory for PAN, ITR in J&K, Assam & Meghalaya
Government has exempted the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Meghalaya and citizens above 80 years from mandatory quoting of Aadhaar to obtain PAN cards and file tax returns. The exemption will also apply on non-residents and non-citizens.
The government, under the Finance Act 2017, has made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of the Aadhaar application form for filing tax returns. Besides, quoting Aadhaar has also been made mandatory for applying for PAN with effect from 1st of July.
News 22 - Maharashtra Government to provide medical tests for certain diseases free-of-cost
The Maharashtra government has decided to provide medical tests for some specific diseases free-of-cost to poor patients. The cost of medical tests for 44 critical diseases, like cancer and thyroid, will be borne by the state government.
The service of free medical tests for certain critical illnesses is already available in 16 districts of Maharashtra. Now, it will be expanded across the state for the benefit of poor patients. Maharashtra government has tied up with private diagnostic centre to open at least one laboratory in every district to carry out such tests for patients from government run hospitals.
News 23 - Gujarat Government launched implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has launched the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojna. The scheme will cover more than 14,000 homeless families in the rural areas in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Anand, Aravalli and Kheda districts.
Under this scheme, the rural homeless people can build their own house with 20% subsidy to be directly deposited in their bank account. State Government has made provision of Rs.1372 crore in the budget for Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana.
News 24 - Deputy CM RC Laloo released Meghalaya Disaster management plan
Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya Prof RC Laloo released the Meghalaya State Disaster Management Plan- 2016 during a one-day Incidence Response System (IRS) Training for the State Response Team in Shillong.
The State Government has come up with the Disaster Management Plan-2016 in consultation with NDMA by putting special focus on preparedness and mitigation in times of disasters. The training will enhance the ability of the Government functionaries in management and execution of different tasks in the event of any disaster.
News 25 - UP Assembly passed state GST bill
Uttar Pradesh passed Goods and Service Tax bill in Assembly. This bill was tabled in house by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. After passage from the lower house, it will now be taken to upper house of legislature -Legislative council. GST is the biggest economic reform by the union government, eliminating and multiple taxes on any single transaction.
Different indirect taxes like the central excise duty, central sales tax and service tax are to be merged with the C-GST, while S-GST will subsume state sales tax, VAT, luxury tax and entertainment tax.
News 26 - West Bengal announced to accept Aadhaar as proof of residence for caste
The West Bengal Government decided to allow the use of Aadhaar card as proof of identity as well as residence for issuing cast certificates.
A notification issued by the Backward Classes Welfare Department in Kolkata announced Aadhaar card to be treated as a valid document for residential proof and identity of the applicant, applying for Schedule Caste, Schedule Tribe and Other Backward Class certificates. It is stated that Aadhaar cards needs to be treated as a valid document about proof of identity and local residence.
News 27 - PM Modi launched Narmada Seva Mission in Madhya Pradesh
Narmada Seva Mission was launched by Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi in Amarkantak for the conservation of the Narmada River. Narmada Seva mission plan document prepared by the Madhya Pradesh government was appreciated by Prime minister.
The Narmada River captured the attention of the nation when it became the centre of a decades-long struggle to stop the raising of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Since the Central Pollution Control Board recently found that at least in three stretches of the Narmada, water quality is not even good for bathing; campaigns are being launched by state government to keep it pollution free.
News 28 - Telangana organized Videsh Sampark
‘Videsh Sampark’ is first outreach programme of the Ministry of External Affairs to engage the State governments and make them aware about various programmes of the Ministry such as schemes and initiatives launched by the Ministry with regard to consular and passport services; engagement with overseas Indians; and welfare and protection of overseas Indians.
The first such programme was hosted by Telangana state and inaugurated by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V.K. Singh, said Regional Passport Officer E. Vishnuvardhan Reddy.
News 29 - Over 28 lakh benefited from Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Scheme in Bihar
Over 28 lakh households have been benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Scheme in Bihar. About 60 lakh families would be covered under this ambitious scheme in next two years. Around 47% households of the state have come under coverage of LPG connection.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is a welfare program of the government of India, launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. The stated objective of the program is providing 5,00,00,000 LPG connections to women from families below the poverty line. As of 3 April 2017, twenty million LPG connections had been completed.
News 30 - Chennai to set up India's first ornamental fish park
Under Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiatives of the state, India's first Aquatic Rainbow Technology Park will be established at the cost of 10 crore rupees. It will have an ultra modern facility for ornamental fishes equipped with multi-species hatchery, breeding technologies and live feed culture units, to be operational in 3 months.
The MPEDA had also been extending financial help and technical experts to various states in the area of freshwater and marine ornamentals to have a quarantine lab where exotic fish varieties imported from other countries would be treated from viral infections.
News 31 - Odisha Legislature passed SGST Bill and VAT Amendment Bill 2017
The Odisha Legislature passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Bill and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment Bill 2017 by voice-vote. State finance minister Shashi Bhusan Behera had moved the two bills in the two-day special session of the Assembly.
The passage of State GST bill paved the way for introduction of a uniform tax structure in the State. As per the decision, the Odisha government would impose State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) on all items barring petrol, diesel, petroleum crude, ATF, natural gas and alcoholic liquor for human consumption.
News 32 - Haryana launched e-textbook portal for school students
Haryana has launched the e-textbook portal. Students can download schoolbooks instantly from the e-textbook portal of the Haryana School Education Board.
Around 26 textbooks of classes IX to XII have been uploaded on the portal and these can be easily converted into audio files. These included 11 books of class IX, 9 books of class X and 3 books each of classes XI and XII.
The portal also provides a facility to highlight certain portions of the e-textbooks making it easier for students to study.
News 33 - Puducherry CM Narayanasamy presented 6945 crore rupees budget for 2017-18
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy presented 6945 Crore-rupee budget for the current fiscal. Chief Minister who holds the finance portfolio allocated 2500 crore rupees under plan head and set aside 4445 crore rupees for non-plan expenditure. No new taxes were proposed despite the Union Territory's poor finances. About 16 percent of the outlay goes for debt servicing alone.
The Chief Minister also announced a slew of schemes to better the power distribution system in the Union Territory. Under the Clean Puducherry initiative, the Government is constructing 10,000 household toilets and plans to declare the Union Territory Open Defecation Free.
News 34 - Centre initiated various reforms in Meghalaya
Centre initiated various reforms to ensure development, transparency and accountability in governance. The Government has brought a sea change in administrative functioning by introducing e-governance, adhering to the National e-Governance Plan.
Applications of schedule caste or tribe certificates are being done online. This has immensely helped people in terms of time, money and transportation cost.
The Meghalaya Government has made sure that people opt for digital payment in all form of economic activities. People now pay electricity, water bills and even taxi fare through various electronic mode of payment.
News 35 - UP launched JE vaccination drive in 38 districts
In Uttar Pradesh, a massive immunisation drive was launched in 38 districts to eradicate Japanese Encephalitis (JE). The government has fixed the target of immunisation of over 88 lakh 55 thousand children in the age group of one to 15 during the drive in the targeted districts.
The government also launched a special cleanliness drive in all 38 districts along with the vaccination drive, as poor hygiene was the main reason for this disease.
News 36 - Mizoram Legislative Assembly passed state GST bill
The Mizoram Legislative Assembly passed the Mizoram Goods & Service Bill. With the new taxation regime coming in place, the present three taxation systems in the state, namely the Mizoram Sales of Petroleum and Petroleum Products including Motor Spirit and Lubricants Taxation Act, 1973, the Mizoram Entry Tax Act 2015 and the Mizoram Entertainment Tax Act 2013 will have to be removed.
Under the Mizoram GST Bill, a person not from the state should possess valid Inner Line Permit (ILP) for a minimum of two years in order to take up business activities in Mizoram.
News 37 - Tripura assembly passed the State GST Bill
Tripura assembly passed the Tripura State Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The proposed bill would replace most of the indirect taxes currently levied by the central and state governments. It will lead to substantial increase in the collection of tax revenue. Additionally, the scope of tax evasion will be diminished.
Then, there would be more transparency in the proposed tax system and cascading effect on tax on price of goods and services will be diminished. GST will remove multiplicity of taxes and bring uniformity in rate of taxes all over the country.
News 38 - MP Government and IIT-Kharagpur inked MoU for measuring the Happiness Index
In order to measure the well-being of the people of the state, the Madhya Pradesh Government inked a MoU with IIT Kharagpur's Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness.
IIT-KGP will formulate the index and analyse data collected by the state government to assess the level of happiness and suggest suitable recommendations that can be used to enhance happiness.
IIT will provide online courses on happiness through online screening and assessment system, available at the Centre for Educational Technology of IIT-KGP.
News 39 - India’s First Fleet of 200 Electric Vehicles Launched in Nagpur
The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis launched India’s first multi-modal electric vehicle project at the Nagpur airport complex.
This unique project brings together e-buses, e-cabs, e-rickshaws and e-autos on a single platform, the Ola App, which will enable commuters in Nagpur to book them.
The fleet of 200 vehicles consists of 100 of Mahindra’s new e20 Plus vehicles, besides those from other manufacturers like Tata Motors, Kinetic and TVS.
News 40 - PM Modi inaugurated India's longest bridge in Assam
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s longest bridge - the Dhola-Sadia Bridge in Assam. Mr Modi named the bridge after legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika. This three lane, 9.15 Kilometre Bridge has been built over the Brahmaputra River. It links Dhola to Sadia, both in Assam.
The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour, a total five-hour reduction. This will result in saving of petrol and diesel worth 10 Lakh rupees per day. Road connectivity will ease, as this bridge will fill a huge connectivity gap.