National - 2018 FEBRUARY

February 1

Home Ministry allots Rs. 370 crore to strengthen border infrastructure
Laying emphasis on building infrastructure along the Indo-Pak and Sino-India borders, the government has sanctioned nearly Rs. 370 crore to the BSF and the ITBP for construction of bunkers and special climate- controlled huts in forward areas
A total of Rs. 369.84 crore has been sanctioned by the Home Ministry for construction of infrastructure for Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The amount will be spent for construction of bunkers, fortifying border out posts of the BSF along the Indo-Pak border, construction of climate-controlled huts, and procurement of snow scooter for the ITBP besides other necessary works of the two forces.

Punjab govt bans sale of Endosulfan, Other insecticides
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh approved a ban on the sale of Endosulfan and 19 other insecticides reported to be harmful for human beings as well as from the environmental sustainability and economic viability aspects.
Acting on the recommendations of the Registration Committee, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), and the Punjab State Farmers' Commission (PSFC), the chief minister, who also holds the agriculture portfolio, gave his nod to the ban, to be effective from February 1.
Making it clear that no laxity would be tolerated in this regard, the chief minister directed that the ban be implemented meticulously and stringently.

Centre sanctions Rs 1500 crore for organic farming in Uttarakhand
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,500 crore for three years to promote organic farming in Uttarakhand.
The amount was sanctioned by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh when Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat met him in New Delhi.
This is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of developing Uttarakhand as an organic state which he spelt out during his visit to Kedarnath.
The Union minister also cleared a proposal worth Rs 2,600 crore for the co-operative sector in the state.

Indian Railways set to get 1st high-speed electric locomotive in March 2018
Indian Railways' all new 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive being produced in collaboration with AlstomBSE -0.56 % of France and which can run at speeds of up to 120 kmph would be rolled out in March when French President Emmanuel Macron visits India.
The assembly of the first 12,000 hp locomotive at Bihar's Madhepura plant is complete and its trials are on.

Indian Railways to set up Coach Factory in Maharashtra
A high level meeting was held today between Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, to discuss the setting up of a massive rail coach factory in Latur, Maharashtra by Indian Railways.
This plant would manufacture Electric Multiple Units for suburban trains and coaches for metros.
Work on this project will be done on high priority with fast track processing of all approvals. Maharashtra Government has offered several concessions including in land, taxes and etc.

February 2

Surajkund crafts mela begins, UP is the theme state for the first time
The Haryana tourism department disclosed that Uttar Pradesh would be the theme state for the 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which would be organized at Surajkund, Faridabad. Apart from all other states, about 24 countries would also participate in it.
The international crafts fair had made special contribution in furthering and preserving Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage, it also provided a world-class platform for handicrafts from around the world to showcase their skills.

February 3

Maharashtra launches four schemes in agriculture and allied sectors
The state government launched four schemes to promote entrepreneurship in agriculture and allied sectors among the economically backward segments. It would include imparting training to 2.5 lakh youths across rural Maharashtra.
Apart from providing loans and interest subsidies, there is a provision to impart skill development training in fields related to agro-industries and allied services. The larger objective is to generate employment avenues for rural youths in agriculture and related industries.
From group farming to self help groups, all segments have been considered under the new project.

Government to launch Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme
Power and Renewable Energy Minister, R K Singh announced that, government will implement a Rs 140000-crore Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme as announced in Union Budget 2018.
KUSUM is aimed at promoting use of solar energy for pumps and encourage use of barren land for setting up decentralised solar power plants.
This scheme will not only lead to increase in farmers’ income by giving them option to sell additional power to the grid but will also reduce their dependence on diesel pumps.

Uttar Pradesh gets its first butterfly park in Kanpur
Uttar Pradesh State Government inaugurated state’s first ever butterfly park in Kanpur.
Estimated cost for constructing this butterfly park is Rs. 1 crore.
In order to attract butterflies, 100 species of flowers have been planted in the park. So far, more than 50 species of butterflies have already been spotted in this park.
The Butterfly Park in Kanpur will open for public by March 2018.

February 4

Centre Sanctions New Project to Control Pollution of River Sal at Navelin, Goa
Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has sanctioned a new project to control pollution in River Sal at Navelim town in Goa.
This project has been sanctioned under National River Conservation Plan.
It envisages construction of 32 kms of sewers and sewage treatment plant of 3 million litres per day (MLD).
Estimated cost for this project is Rs. 61.74 crore, which will be shared by Centre and State in 60:40 ratio.

Environment Ministry launches ‘Green Good Deeds’ campaign for climate change and global warming
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan appealed to the teaching community to join the ‘Green Good Deeds’ campaign.
This campaign has been launched by Environment Ministry to sensitise students about climate change and global warming.
’Gree Goof Deeds’ campaign is based on the premise that it is the moral responsibility of current generation to restore and return the clean and green environment to the next generation.
A mobile application – ‘Dr Harsh Vardhan’ has also been launched to reach out to people across India and provide information about ‘Green Good Deeds’ campaign.

2018 Kala Ghoda Arts festival organised in Mumbai
Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is an annual multicultural festival held in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai. Kala Ghoda Arts festival 2018, which is the 20th edition of this festival.
This year’s theme is ‘Hara Ghoda’ (Green Horse) focusing on sustainability and environment-friendliness.
Art enthusiasts can witness an amalgamation of contemporary art illustrations, dance, theatre, music, literature and food during the course of this 9-day art festival.

Vice President Naidu Inaugurates First International Kala Mela in New Delhi
Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the First International Kala Mela (Art Festival) at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
This festival has been organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, India’s premier institution for the promotion of Art and Culture.
During the course of this festival (4th – 18th February, 2018), around 800 artists will showcase their art works.
Main objective of this festival is to facilitate direct interaction between artists and the experts of the art forms and also to raise awareness about the art.

February 5

Maharashtra to become first state to have Transgender Welfare Board
Maharashtra Minister of state for Social Justice Dilip Kamble has announced that, Maharashtra State Government will set up a Transgender Welfare Board in a month’s time.
Board’s primary task will be to look after education, employment, housing, and health schemes for transgenders and also to protect their Constitutional and human rights.
Maharashtra will thus become the first Indian state to have such a board.
It is to be noted that Maharashtra State Government has made a provision of Rs 5 crore for welfare of the Transgender community.

India achieves 20 GW of installed solar capacity within eight years
India has achieved a milestone 20 GW in cumulative solar installations in eight years. The National Solar Mission had initially set the target of 20 GW installed capacity by 2022.
This has been achieved four years ahead of time. The government is working to achieve the revised target of 100 GW solar by 2022.

Assam got investment proposals of 70,000 crore
The first-ever global investors summit in Assam has seen investment commitments to the tune of nearly Rs 70,000 crore in various sectors, including petroleum, telecom, health and tourism.
Nearly 200 initial pacts worth nearly Rs70,000 crore were signed at the Advantage Assam summit.