8th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting at Durban

8th BRICS Health Ministers Meeting at Durban
The 8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting was held at Durban, South Africa. The meeting was led by Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health who stated India’s commitment to eliminate TB by 2025. India has achieved the reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77% to 130 per 1 lakh live births as recommended by WHO SEARO. The 1st BRIC Summit was held in 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab
The state govt of Punjab dissolved Right to Service Commission which was created by the former SAD-BJP govt under Punjab Right to Services Act of 2011. The act has been replaced by Punjab Transparency and Accountability in Delivery of Public Services Act, 2018. The Right to Service (RTS) Act was set up by former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to provide citizen services through Sewa Kendras.

Turkey lifts state of emergency after 2 years

Turkey lifts state of emergency after 2 years
In Turkey, the state of emergency, which was imposed after the failed coup two years ago, came to an end on 19th July. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared emergency on 20th July 2016, five days after warplanes bombed Ankara and clashes broke out in Istanbul that claimed 249 lives. Under Turkey’s constitution, emergency provision lasts three months which was extended seven times.

‘Arth-art for Earth’ exhibition

Union Minister of State for Culture Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated exhibition titled “Arth – art for earth” at IGNCA, New Delhi. It consists of “Excavations in Hymns of Clay” – a suite of environmental art installations by Manav Gupta weaving all of them with a storyline and poetry. The exhibition is available for public viewing until the 22nd of October 2018.

GST Diwas marked in Uttar Pradesh

The GST Diwas was marked in Uttar Pradesh with the state govt launching a scheme under which Commercial Tax department officials to contact the traders & resolve their issues. The ‘Vaanijya Kar, Aapke dwaar’ (commercial tax at your doorstep) will be implemented from July 1 to August 31. Its main aim is to stop the exploitation of the traders, & making commodities available at fair price.

States got ` 10,000 cr tax online post e-gov

States have collected taxes worth 10,000 crore online since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Centre’s e-Governance initiative, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said. Over 19 crore vehicles and 10 crore driving license records have come under the National Register, it said. The ministry added that over 50 lakh national permits have been issued online.

Composite Water Management Index by NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog has come up with the Composite Water Management Index as a useful tool to assess and improve the performance in the efficient management of water resources. This index is an attempt to inspire States and UTs towards efficient and optimal utilization of water. The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Departments.

President appoints Odisha, Mizoram governors

26 : President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed new Governors of two states – Odisha and Mizoram. President Kovind appointed Professor Ganeshi Lal as the Governor of Odisha while Kummanam Rajasekharan has been appointed as the Governor of Mizoram. Rajasekharan will replace incumbent Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma.

J&K Chief Secretary got extension

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B B Vyas has been given one year extension in service, beyond May 31, 2018. The move came days after the Centre amended a rule to provide a longer tenure to the Chief Secretary. With regard to others states, a Chief Secretary may get an extension in service, beyond the superannuating age, for a period not exceeding six months.

4 states ink MoUs with Centre on health

The states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Uttarakhand agreed to implement the ambitious national health protection mission (NHPM). NHPM aims to provide an annual coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family. The scheme will target poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families. It will be cashless and paperless access to services.

NITI Aayog to rank states on SDG parameters

NITI Aayog will soon come out with the Sustainable Development Goals Index to rank states based on their performance in this field. SDGs comprise 17 goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, quality education, gender equality, clean water, sanitation & energy. Prime Minister’s Office in 2017 appointed NITI Aayog as the supervising agency for SDGs to improve India’s global performance.

Govt. collects Rs 7.41 trillion from GST

Govt. has collected Rs 7.41 trillion in taxes in the first year of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) between August 2017 and March 2018The revenues for four months have not been accounted for because of the mid-year rollout and an accounting lag. Under GST, the tax levied on consumption of goods or rendering of service is split 50:50 between the Centre and the states.

Forest cover in India grew by over 6,700 sq km

According to the Forest Survey of India, Forest cover has increased by 6,778 sq km in the country during the last two years.States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have made a significant contribution. The total forest and tree cover in India, according to the current assessment is 8,02,088 sq km, which is 24.39% of the country’s geographic area.

States to allow private licence for taxis

Centre has asked states to allow drivers to use private licence for driving taxis and light vehicles for commercial purposes.However, commercial driving licences would be required for trucks, buses, heavy commercial vehicles and other medium.Exemption from obtaining the endorsement for commercial vehicles would apply to motor cycles and light motor vehicles like taxis, e-rickshaw/e-cart.

UN launches road safety trust fund

The United Nations took a major step to address the tragedy of road accidents by launching the UN Road Safety Trust Fund.The trust fund will support efforts along with the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety. The UN General Assembly – the UN body with universal membership of all 193 Member States – adopted a resolution on road safety on 13th April.

E-way bill to be rolled out in 5 states

E-way bill system for the intra-state movement of goods is scheduled to be implemented from April 15 in five states.The new system is being implemented from the aforementioned date in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. E-way bill system for all inter-state movement of goods was rolled out from April 1.

Assam’s Spring Festival began

The 2-day Assam Spring Festival began at the Manas National Park on 7th April, where visitors will get to experience the state’s local food, music, handloom and handicrafts.The aim of the event is to promote the local food and culture of the fringe villagers. The National park which is also a tiger and rhino reserve covers five districts of Assam.

India, Pak to resolve harassment of diplomats

Ind & Pak have agreed to resolve the matter in line with provisions of a 1992 pact on treatment of officials posted at diplomatic missions.Code states that 2 sides will not resort to intrusive & aggressive surveillance & actions such as verbal & physical harassment Both sides have accused each other of harassing & ill-treating diplomats, taking bilateral ties to a fresh low.

Cabinet approved scheme for School Education

The Cabinet has approved an Integrated Scheme on School Education by combining Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Teacher Education from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2020. The aim is to support the States in universalizing access to school education from pre-nursery to XII across India. The main emphasis of the scheme is to improve the quality of school education.

3.21 lakh houses under PMAY(U)

The Centre has approved construction of over 3.21 lakh houses for urban poor under its flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). Haryana was sanctioned the highest number of houses for construction, followed by West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Mizoram. The projects were sanctioned across 523 cities in various states.

Cabinet approves NEIDS 2017

The Union Cabinet has approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017. In order to promote employment in the North East States, Government is incentivizing primarily the MSME Sector through this scheme. The newly introduced scheme shall promote industrialization in the States of the North Eastern Region and will boost employment and income generation.

Gulf Shield 1 military exercise

The Gulf Shield–1 military exercise of 23 countries including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states was held in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. It was organised by Ministry of Defence of Saudi Arabia. The training aims to raise the military readiness of participating countries, modernise joint mechanisms and enhance coordination and cooperation.

GST e-way bill must from April 1

Goods and Services Tax Council has mandated the use of electronic way (e-way) bills from April to track inter-state movement of goods. From April 1, transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 will have to generate e-way bills. For intra-State movement, the e-way bill will be rolled out in a phased manner beginning April 15, and will cover all the States by June 1.

Death penalty for crime against girls

Rajasthan became the 2nd State, after Madhya Pradesh to pass a Bill providing death penalty to those convicted of raping girls of 12 years and below. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 had inserted two new sections, 376-AA and 376-DD, in the IPC. Section 376-AA and 376-DD provide for capital punishment or rigorous imprisonment ranging from 14 years to lifelong imprisonment.

First cyber police station of Haryana

The first cyber police station of Haryana has been established in Gurugram where cyber offences related cases will be registered. The cyber police station was inaugurated by the chief executive officer, Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority, Gurugram. The police station would work under the direct supervision of ACP Crime/DCP Crime Gurugram.

PM inaugurated National Legislator Conference

PM Narendra Modi inaugurated National Legislators Conference on the theme =We For Development‘ in New Delhi. The motive of the conference is to bring MPs and MLAs on a single platform where ideas and plans for development can be exchanged. The conference will hold discussions on how women help in the development work being done for the country where ideas on projects and plans can be debated

‘WINGS INDIA 2018’ Event

The four-day biennial event =WINGS INDIA 2018′, jointly organized by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India and FICCI took off in Hyderabad. WINGS INDIA 2018 is a platform for interactions, forging alliances, investments and air connectivity between the States and the global aviation players & stakeholders. The theme of the event is =India-Global Aviation Hub‘.

Karnataka flag unveiled

The Karnataka Chief Minister unveiled the State flag (nada dhwaja) for Karnataka. The yellow-white-red flag has the State emblem ?Gandaberunda? at the centre. If approved by the Centre, Karnataka will be the second State to have a flag after Jammu and Kashmir. The proposal will be now sent to the Union Home Ministry for approval since a State has no powers to announce its own flag.

A new state of matter created

An international team of physicists have successfully created a ‘giant atom’ and filled it with ordinary atoms, creating a new state of matter termed Rydberg polarons. These atoms are held together by a weak bond and are created at very cold temperatures. A ‘Rydberg atom’ is an atom in which an electron has been kicked out to a very large orbit.

Net neutrality preserved by Washington

Washington State has signed a law that bars service providers from blocking websites or offering fast lane net access to companies willing to pay. Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. At least 20 other states are considering similar legislation.

Jhunjhunu has best sex ratio in Rajasthan

Rajasthan‘s Jhunjhunu district, which had the lowest sex ratio at birth (SRB) in the state in 2011, has become the district with the highest SRB in the state. The district has increased its ratio from 837 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 to 955 girls in December 2017. The district administration said its crackdown on sex-determining centers caused the improvement.

A robot to eradicate manual scavenging

The Bandicoot Robot, developed by a start-up in Kerala, GenRobotics, is a semi-automatic robotic system for manhole and sewer line cleaning. Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), a start-up incubator under the Kerala government, funded the project proposed by GenRobotics to find a solution for manual scavenging. Kerala will become the first state in India to be manual scavenging-free.

BJP won Tripura for 1st time

The BJP defeated the CPI(M) in Tripura to form the state government for the first-ever time after winning 35 seats. The CPI(M), which ruled the state for 25 years, reportedly won 16 seats in the 60-member Assembly with 43% vote share. BJP-ally Indigenous People‘s Front of Tripura (IPFT) won 8 seats after fielding candidates in 9 constituencies.

Public banks’ staff involved in 2450cr frauds

Over 1,200 Public Sector Bank frauds cumulatively worth Rs.2,450 crore were carried out across India with the help of bank staff between April 2013 to June 2016, RBI data has revealed. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra witnessed the most number of cases. The highest amount of money was swindled in Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi and West Bengal.

Race to save 3,000-year-old treasures in A.P.

A small village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh is yielding clues to life in the region some 3,000 years ago. The State Archaeology department has dug up artefacts from burial sites here dating back to 1000 B.C. and the megalithic era. However, it faces a challenge to complete the excavations early because the area will be flooded by the Polavaram project.

Bacteria survive for years in desert

1 : Mars could harbour life, scientists believe after finding bacteria in Chile‘s Atacama Desert that can lie dormant without rain for a decade before being reactivated‘. Atacama, which gets less than 20 millimetres of rainfall annually, is considered Earth‘s driest place. As the moisture left the soil, after a year or two, the microbes began to revert to their dormant state.

RBI launches Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs

The RBI launched ‘Ombudsman Scheme’ for redressal of complaints against NBFCs.“The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme,” the central bank said. The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at 4 metro centres – Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket

Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket, which carried two test satellites for its planned global internet broadband service.The rocket also carried Spanish company Hisdesat’s PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit as payload. The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States.

First sale of electoral bonds from March 1

The first sale of electoral bonds will start from March 1 for a period of 10 days at 4 main branches of SBI in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.These bonds will have a life of 15 days, and a citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in the country can purchase them. Bonds can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 cr.

Niti Aayog making new list of sick PSUs

Government think-tank NITI Aayog is preparing another list of sick PSUs that can be privatised.PMO had asked the think- tank to look into the viability of sick state-run companies.The Aayog has already recommended strategic divestment of 40 sick public sector units.

Privatisation of cooperative spinning mills

Maharashtra govt has decided to allow privatisation of spinning mills & powerloom societies that are operated on cooperative basis across the state.It will be allowed to be privatised provided they are ready to return the govt equity, loan & interest thereupon. State’s new textile policy allows them to change land use, which means they can use it for reasons other than industrial purpose.

Sex ratio at birth dips in 17 of 21 States

The sex ratio at birth saw a decline in 17 out of 21 large States of the country, with Gujarat recording an alarming dip of 53 points.Gujarat is followed by Haryana, which registered a drop of 35 points, Rajasthan (32 points), Uttarakhand (27 points), Maharashtra (18 points). Improvement in SRB was witnessed in Punjab, which registered a rise of 19 points, followed by UP & Bihar.

Odisha Govt to sponsor Indian hockey team

Indian hockey has got a new sponsor in state govt of Odisha, which has decided to support the game for next 5 years.It is for the 1st time a state is sponsoring a national hockey team. Odisha is regarded as the cradle of hockey & has produced greats like Dilip Tirkey & Ignace Tirkey. Odisha has been supporting the game with various initiatives & also won the Kalinga Lancers in the HIL.

Cauvery Water Dispute

Declaring Cauvery a national asset & upholding principle of equitable apportionment of inter-State river water among riparian States, the SC reduced the allocation of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.Karnataka would now need to supply 177.25 TMC rather than 192 TMC Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Court has also granted global status to Bengaluru, hence it will get more Cauvery water.

WADA suspends Romanian laboratory

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has suspended Romania’s drug-testing laboratory for six months.WADA has imposed the sanction on the lab in Bucharest due to a number of non-conformities with regulations. The lab is now forbidden from testing any samples and must transfer any in its possession to another laboratory.

GST will replace excise, VAT on crude

Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that excise duty and VAT on crude oil will be replaced with Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the coming one to two years.He added that the shift will happen gradually as many states are worried if their revenue collection might decline once GST is implemented.

Government Extends Anti-Narcotics Scheme

15 : The government has extended the anti-narcotics scheme for 3 more years to combat illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substance.The purpose of the scheme is to assist states and Union Territories, which are contributing in controlling the inter-state and cross-border drug trafficking. The scheme was first launched in 2004 for a period of five years.

Int. Conf. on ‘Indian Power Stations 2018’

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh inaugurated the ‘Indian Power Stations 2018’ in New Delhi.It is the three-day International Conference on Operations and Maintenance. The Minister exhorted the NTPC to become India’s power sector multinational by setting up power plants in other Nations and become world’s largest power producer.

India posts marginal increase in forest cover

India posted a marginal 0.21% rise in the area under forest between 2015 and 2017, according to the biennial India State of Forest Report 2017.The document says that India has about 7,08,273 square km of forest, which is 21.53% of the geographic area of the country. Getting India to have at least 33% of its area under forest has been a long standing goal of the government since 1988.

Gerber ‘Spokesbaby of year’

Baby product company Gerber has selected a one-year-old baby with Down syndrome as its ‘Spokesbaby of the year’ for the first time in over 90 years.Lucas Warren, who is from United States’ Georgia, was selected from around 1.4 lakh entries submitted online.Gerber CEO Bill Partyka said, “Lucas’ smile and happy expression captured the hearts of the Gerber team.”

People blowed ‘shankh’ to create world record

A record was set on the second day of Rajim Kumbh Mela in Chhattisgarh after over 2,100 saints and locals blew ‘shankh’ (conch shells) together.Golden Book of World Records certified the record.Adding that the sound of conch shells soothed the environment, the state minister Brijmohan Agrawal said, “We wanted to send message of peace and prosperity.”

Goa to launch bike ambulances in the state

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is planning to launch 20 bike ambulances to deal with casualties in the state’s tourism belt.The ambulances will be equipped with basic life-saving equipment and two oxygen cylinders to serve as rapid service at places where four-wheeler ambulances cannot reach.A total of 100 bike ambulances will be introduced in the next six months.

UP Government launches DASTAK Campaign

UP State government in association with UNICEF has launched massive door to door campaign DASTAK to eradicate deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis disease in the state.DASTAK stands for ‘Darwaja Khatkhatao, AES aur JE ko bhagao’.In DASTAK campaign, whole state machinery with the help of UNICEF will now literally go door to door in 38 JES and AE affected districts.

Student’s Credit Card loan through govt body

Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi announced that the state government would set up a corporation to disburse loans for Student’s Credit Card scheme.Banks will continue to disburse education loans as it has been doing along with the SCC scheme.Bihar launched SCC scheme on October 3, 2016. Under the scheme, students are able to get education loan of upto Rs 4 lakh for pursuing higher education.

Separate Karnataka flag not against Const.

7 : A nine-member committee has concluded in its report to the Karnataka government that having a separate flag for the state is not against the Constitution, reports said.The committee was formed in July 2017 following demands from Kannada activists for an independent state flag.An unofficial Karnataka flag, red and yellow in colour, is often seen hoisted at public places.

FSSAI asks states to ensure ‘hygenic’ prasad

The country’s food safety regulator has asked the states to roll out a project to ensure that devotees were served safe prasad at places of worship.FSSAI said these places are requested to roll out the project BHOG.Blissful Hygienic Offering to God, or BHOG, is a part of FSSAI’s safe and nutritious food bouquet of initiatives launched a year ago.

US begins withdrawing troops from Iraq

U.S. forces have begun reducing their numbers in Iraq after Iraqi authorities declared “victory” over Islamic State.Iraqi forces backed by a US-led international coalition last year captured all the territory that fell under Islamic State control in 2014 & 2015 including the northern city of Mosul.The US had more than 5,500 troops in Iraq at the height of the battle of Mosul in July 2017.

Mughal-themed Taj Mahotsav to start

5 : This year’s ‘Taj Mahotsav’ will start with a dance-drama based on Lord Ram instead of the usual theme based on Mughal culture.The move has led to the state government being accused of ignoring the Mughal history.The government has, however, denied any role in the decision, saying that the event is organised by local administration.

Modi Inaugurates Global Investment Summit

The first two-day Global Investment Summit has been organized in Assam.The summit emphasises on promoting investments in the state and the North East.The conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Investor’s from Bhutan, Bangladesh, Germany and Japan as well as ASEAN countries will attend the summit.

India-US trade to have touched $140b in 2017

Trade between India and the United States is estimated to have jumped substantially from $118 billion in 2016 to $140 billion in 2017.It is according to an advocacy group that aims to promote bilateral trade.In 2016, India was the ninth largest trading partner of the US and one of the major countries with which America has had the trade deficit of more than $30 billion.

Rajasthan gave 1% quota to MBC

Rajasthan has issued orders for granting 1% reservation to the Most Backward Classes, within the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court.The overall reservation in the State stood at 49% before the decision. Along with Gujjars, nomadic communities Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya were included among the Other Backward Classes for quota in the govt jobs & educational institutions.

Scheme for Power supply: Haryana

Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur launched integrated power development scheme at Nagrota Bagwan to provide 24×7 power supply in 54 towns of the state.This will include strengthening of power distribution system, setting up new transformers. The scheme envisages to strengthen the basic infrastructure and upgradation of a power supply and substations.

Govt signs $250m Loan Agreement With ADB

31 : Asian Development Bank and India has signed a 250 million dollar loan to finance the construction of over 6200 km all-weather rural roads in 5 states.These states are Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood.

India Ranks 6th In Wealthiest Countries

India has been ranked sixth in the list of wealthiest countries with the total wealth of 8,230 billion US dollars.The list was topped by the United States of America. It is according to New World Wealth report.India was the best-performing wealth market globally in 2017 as it registered a 25% growth.

5 states account for 70% of exports

The Economic Survey 2017-18 has revealed that five states– Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Telangana, accounted for 70% of India’s exports for the first time.The survey found that states’ export performance and their standard of living were strongly interrelated. It also noted that India’s internal trade in goods and services accounted for an estimated 60% of GDP.

Punjab launches benefits under MGSVY

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh launched the release of benefits under ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Vikas Yojana’.It is aimed at the inclusive growth of the distressed sections of the society. He appealed to the state’s debt-ridden farmers not to commit suicide.

PM Modi to visit Palestine, UAE and Oman

PM Modi will be on a state visit to Palestine, UAE and Oman from February 9-12.This will be the first-ever visit by an Indian prime minister to Palestine. Modi would be addressing the 6th World Government Summit being held in Dubai. Modi’s visit to Palestine assumes huge significance in the sense that India was one of the first countries to recognise the state of Palestine in 1988.

‘one district, one product’ scheme in UP

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved ‘one district, one product’ scheme to promote products indigenous to every district.Implementation of the One District, One Product will boost economic development of the state, and also help in generation of five lakh new jobs annually. Under this, one product indigenous to every district would be showcased at the three-day UP Diwas event.

Chief Guests of 69th Republic Day

Heads of ten ASEAN countries are chief guests.Hassanal Bolkiah-Sultan of Brunei, Hun Sen- PM of Cambodia, Rodrigo- Pres. of Philippines, Joko Widodo- Pres. of Indonesia, Najib Razak- PM of Malaysia, Nguyen Xuan- PM of Vietnam, Halima Yacob- Pres. of Singapore, Htin Kyaw- Pres. of Myanmar, Suu Kyi- state counsellor of Myanmar, Prayuth Chan- PM of Thailand & Thongloun Sisoulith- PM of Laos.

ONGC borrows Rs 4K crore from ICICI Bank

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has borrowed Rs 4,000 crore from ICICI Bank.ONGC has already borrowed over Rs 18,000 crore from three other banks to part finance its Rs 36,915 crore acquisition of HPCL. ICICI Bank has extended one-year loan to ONGC to fund the acquisition of government’s 51.11 percent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL).


Around 40%, or 129, of the 325 air routes awarded under the second phase of the regional connectivity scheme were for Northeastern and hill states.These include strategic airports such as Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakyong in Sikkim where civilian air connectivity will be provided for the first time. UDAN was launched on 27 April 2017.

Homeopathy Research Institute in Jaipur

Minister of State, for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik laid the foundation stone for Central Research Institute in Jaipur.This will be the 3rd CRI under the aegis of Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. In his address during the stone laying ceremony, Sh. Naik stated that Ministry of AYUSH is determined towards a focused infrastructural push to Homoeopathy and other systems of AYUSH.

Andhra-Zurich Sign Sister State Agrmnt.

The Andhra Pradesh Government and the Canton of Zurich signed a letter of intent, to promote mutual prosperity and development.The agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu. This will bring the State of Andhra Pradesh and Canton of Zurich closer and ensure that a framework is created, which supports the exchange between both the parties.

WW II Memorial Museum in Changlang

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated the World War II Memorial Museum here in the state’s Changlang district bordering Myanmar.It is expected to boost international and domestic tourist inflow especially from Southeast Asian countries. It also showcases traditional items from indigenous Tangsa community.

OPV Vijaya launched

23 : The second offshore patrol vessel (OPV) built by the Larsen and Toubro Shipyard for the Indian Coast Guard was launched.The indigenously built vessel ‘Vijaya’, equipped with state-of art radar, navigational and communication system, will be utilised for day and night patrol and surveillance. The first OPV, to be built in a private shipyard, was launched in October 2017.

NGT orders survey of rivers in U.P.

NGT has ordered an “intensive survey” of the Kali, Krishna and the Hindon rivers in western Uttar Pradesh.The order comes after a plea filed by an NGO alleged that 50 villagers have died of cancer in western U.P. A Bench headed by acting chairperson Justice U.D. Salvi constituted a committee to jointly inspect and carry out survey of the rivers and groundwater in six districts of the State.

Lakhtakia appointed new NSG chief

CRPF special DG Sudeep Lakhtakia has been appointed as the new chief of National Security Guard.Lakhtakia will take over from S P Singh, the current chief of the elite counter-terror force. NSG is special forces unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs which was raised in 1984 for combating terrorist activities with a view to protect states against internal disturbances.

Initiative to make 100 sites accessible

In an initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 websites of various State Govts/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched. Accessible Websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web. ERNET India (MEITY) is executing the project which is funded by DEPwD under Accessibility India Campaign.

Maharashtra Unveils Public Cloud Policy

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country that has come out with a public cloud policy, virtually mandating its departments to shift their data storage onto the cloud.This move has created a USD 2- billion opportunity for the industry. The policy will result in additional private sector investments as the government is one of the biggest creators and consumers of data.

Turkey extends state of emergency

Turkish parliament has ratified a motion extending the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey for 3 months.This is the sixth time the state of emergency has been extended since a failed coup in summer 2016.Emergency powers have allowed the govt to rule through decrees, often by-passing parliament & to launch a crackdown against people suspected of links to coup-plotters.

India International Garment Fair

60th edition of India International Garment Fair was inaugurated by MoS for Textiles, Ajay Tamta at New Delhi.IIGF is a platform which brings together overseas garment buyers & exporters with almost half of Indian states participating in the fair. Total of 294 exporters from 11 states participated in the event while International buyers from 95 countries registered to participate in the fair

GPS, panic buttons mandatory on vehicles

The government has made it mandatory to have Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in passenger transport vehicles from April 1.All taxis, buses and public transport vehicles, except three-wheelers and e-rickshaws, will have to install GPS and an alert button. The road transport ministry has reiterated the deadline amid reports that most of the states had not done much to meet the target.

Odisha launches MMKSJ

On January 15, 2018, Odisha State Government announced ‘Mukshyamantri Kalakar Sahayata Jojana’ (MMKSJ), under which artists from across the state will get a monthly assistance of Rs 1200.This scheme of giving Rs 1200 per month as artist assistance was announced by Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. Around 50000 artists across Odisha will be benefited from this scheme.

BJP leader Pharande passes away

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former chairman of the state legislative council N S Pharande passed away. He was 78.Pharande suffered intracranial haemorrhage, a bleeding in the skull, which caused paralysis on January 4. Pharande was a patient of hypertension.

Lifeline for Jewish cemetery likely

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to promise help to develop a 143-year-old Jewish cemetery in Vadodara into a memorial and tourist attraction.They will also be visiting the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Vadrad in Sabarkantha district in the State since Israel specialises in farming in dry areas. In 1875, the 50,000-sq.ft plot was given by Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad to Jews.

7th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav begins

The seventh edition of the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav, under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat matrix, is set to begin in Karnataka.The state paired with Karnataka is Uttarakhand.The event will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk, music and dance, theatre to literature and visual arts.

49% teenage girls married in Jharkhand

Among all the states, Jharkhand has the highest proportion of girls aged 15-19 years currently married at 49%.The proportion of married girls aged 15-19 years ranged from 13% to 49% across four states–Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and Rajasthan. The data comes from the 2017 report More than Brides Alliance: A Baseline prepared by non-profits Population Council, Save The Children and Oxfam.

E-way bill to make GST simpler

From February, transporters will not need separate transit passes for moving goods from one state to another, thanks to E-way bill.Inter-state movement of goods beyond 10 kms, with a value of Rs 50,000 above, will mandatorily require e-way bill from February 1. The e-way bill rules provide for random verification which can be done by a tax officer.

Chhattisgarh gets new chief secretary

Senior IAS officer Ajay Singh, of 1983 batch, has been appointed Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh on Thursday, replacing Vivek Dhand.Mr. Dhand, of 1981 batch, was Chief Secretary for four years and was to retire in March. He was named the chairman of the state’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority but opted for voluntary retirement.

Karnataka Tops the investment list

Karnataka topped all states with investment intentions of Rs. 1.49 lakh crore till October 2017.It is according to R V Deshpande, Karnataka Minister for Large, Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development. The investment was 43% of the country’s total investment intentions. Karnataka has topped in FDI inflows and has performed well in exports.

India, UK to ink MoU on illegal migrants

India will sign a pact with the United Kingdom for a return of illegal Indian migrants within a month of their being detected by authorities.The memorandum of understanding comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit in March. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju will lead a delegation to the U.K. this week.

WB Unveils Official Emblem of Government

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unveiled the official emblem of the state government, which was recently approved by the centre.The logo highlights the Ashoka emblem on the top with the theme of “Biswa Bangla” at the centre. Ms Banerjee has also contributed to the design of the emblem. This new logo will be used in all government documents, including government letterheads.

Assam inaugurates skill dev. centres

With an aim to promote skill development in northeast India, the centre and the states have been rolling out various projects. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated various skill development centres across the state. Sonowal recently inaugurated around 249 skill centres in the state to impart vocational training to the native youth and help them become financially independent.

East Jerusalem for Palestinian capital

Arab states will push for the international community to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.This announcement comes a month after US President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital.Many Arabs consider the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

States ranked on logistics performance

The commerce ministry will come out with a Logistics Performance Index (LPI) on January 8, ranking states in terms of the logistical support they provide to promote trade.The index will act as a dynamic tool for the ministry to identify bottlenecks in this area. The ranking is based on about eight parameters such as transportation facilities available in states and documentation procedures.

A. Sivanandan passes away

Sri Lanka-born British writer Ambalavaner Sivanandan, theorist of state racism and Black liberation politics and founding editor of Race & Class journal, passed away in London. He was 94.He is best known for his political essays and his novel When Memory Dies. Mr. Sivanandan was a writer who focussed on ‘racism that kills’ as opposed to ‘racism that discriminates’.

US puts Pakistan on watch list

The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for what it claims are “severe violations of religious freedom”.The State Department said it has also re-designated 10 countries as “countries of particular concern”.It is done under country’s International Religious Freedom Act.

Six countries enter UN Security Council

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the UNSC.The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent ones – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.The six countries who left the UN Security Council on December 31 are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.

New AIIMS in Bilaspur

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the establishment of new AIIMS in Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh).It will be set up at cost of Rs.1351 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).Under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), AIIMS on the pattern of AIIMS, New Delhi have been established in Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Raipur, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, and Patna.

Solar plants mandatory in new buildings

The Haryana government has mandated installation of Solar Photovoltaic Power plant in new buildings as per specified norms.This has been done in a move to conserve electricity and use it efficiently. The government says the move aims to efficient use of electricity and its conservation in the state.