National - 2017 MARCH

March 1

Jindal Stainless enters defence arena, teams up with DRDO.
Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd has announced its entry into the Indian defence market in collaboration with Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) for producing High Nitrogen Steel (HNS) used in armaments.
The hardwork and perseverance of 10 years of JSHL with the Ministry of Defence has culminated in a fantastic result for the country in line with Prime Minister's vision of Make in India.
The usage of HNS instead of the existing imported Rolled Homogenous Armour (RHA) will result in 50 per cent cost efficiency for armour applications. Besides, this will also reduce the weight of equipment.

Appraisals go online for IPS officers now.
Appraisals of officers in the Indian Police Service (IPS) will be done online as part of a move to introduce greater transparency in the process, it is learnt.
Appraisal of officials of the Indian Administrative Service has been done through an online process since 2011.
The government has introduced the Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW), under which the entire yearly performance review will be conducted online with set deadlines both for the appraisee and the appraiser.
The system makes its binding on the appraiser to key in his or her comments while appraising an officer. In the past, officers used to document their performance report in writing.

International Yoga Festival begins in Rishikesh.
Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul inaugurated the 29th edition of the InternationaI Yoga Festival at Rishikesh, and the event was growing in stature and helping the state become a sought-after destination for spiritual tourism.
It is from Devbhumi Uttarakhand that Yoga originated and has now spread in the entire world.
The week-long event, jointly organised by the AYUSH ministry, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, Parmarth Niketan and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, was inaugurated at Parmarth Niketan along the banks of the Ganges River.
It is only apt that the festival coincides with the spring season when the holy Ganga has clear pristine water from the snows which have just begun to melt in the Himalayas and there is fragrance of spring flowers in the air.

Assam govt to appoint teacher in all high-schools to monitor cleanliness.
The Assam government has decided to appoint a teacher in all high-schools to monitor cleanliness.
The teachers will be appointed in high-schools under Swachh Bharat Mission and responsible to maintain cleanliness.
The Sanskrit has been made mandatory to class eight standard in Assam.

'Swachh Shakti Saptah' launched in Haryana.
Launching the 'Swachh Shakti Saptah' in Haryana, union minister Narender Singh Tomar, "swachhta" (cleanliness) has become a movement which now needs to made a mass movement in the country.
Now it needs to made a mass movement with significant contribution of women, the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
Haryana Development and Panchayat Minister Om Prakash Dhankar was also present on the occasion.
Women sarpanches, Anganwadi workers, ANMs, ASHA workers and members of women self-help groups of all six districts of Gurugram division participated in the programme.

March 2

Kerala Tops Among All Other States In GST Registration.
Kerala has achieved the maximum number of enrollment and registrations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime when compared to other states of India.
The state has recorded nearly 60 per cent registration of an estimated 2.5 lakh traders in Kerala migrating to the new platform.
The Commercial Taxes Department of Kerala has also given some relaxation to the migration and has extended the enrollment and registration dates till March 15 as to give easy time for traders to migrate in a proper manner who have not been able to do it until now.
Propreitorship businesses have been provided the facility of E-sign using the Adhaar number to register without digital signatures. This facility is available on the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in).

Assam govt. makes Sanskrit compulsory.
The Assam Cabinet’s decision to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject till Class VIII has evoked sharp criticism from students organisations and opposition political parties in the State.
The All Assam Students Union (AASU) has criticised the decision to make Sanskrit compulsory instead of promoting Assamese in schools.
We are not opposed to the Cabinet decision but the government should clarify whether now there will be the four-language formula in Assam instead of the three-language formula followed in other States, AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya.

Delhi Metro will soon play music on Airport Line.
Commuters on the Airport Line will finally be able to pull those earphones out: the Delhi Metro is set to introduce music at its stations.
The move comes after a passenger satisfaction survey conducted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) revealed that 80 per cent of commuters in Delhi wanted some light music to play at stations. If the idea is a hit, the Metro will extend it to other stations.

Delhi govt extends midday meal scheme for girls up to class 12.
Come April, girl students up to class 12 in all Delhi government schools will get midday meal facility.
The city government will earmark separate funds in its budget proposals for extending the scheme - which as of now covers boy and girl students till class 8 only.
The government claimed that Delhi will become the "first state" in the country to serve midday meal up to class 12.
The Delhi government will start serving midday meal to girl students of class 9 to 12 from April 1 onwards. For this, the government will set aside Rs. 50 crore, Atishi Marlena, the advisor to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Non-subsidised LPG cylinder price increased by Rs. 86.
State-run oil marketers have raised the price of non-subsidised Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by a steep Rs. 86 a cylinder.
With effect from March 1, 2017, non-subsidised price of LPG cylinder has increased by Rs. 86.
A non-subsidised 14.2 kg cylinder will now cost Rs. 737.50 in Delhi.
Oil companies also raised the price of subsidised cooking gas by a marginal 13 paisa to Rs. 434.93 per 14.2 kg cylinder.
The rates of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) were also raised by Rs. 214 a kilolitre to Rs. 54,293.38 a kl. Rates vary at airports as per local taxes.

March 3

Health Ministry approves 4,000 PG seats in medical colleges, hospitals.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda had been a total addition of 4,193 PG seats in the country so far, and a further addition of more than 1000 seats is likely during March 2017
For the academic session 2017-18, the Central government has approved over 4,000 Post Graduate seats in medical colleges and hospitals across the country.
Terming it an ''all time record number'', these 4000 seats will take the total number of Post Graduate (PG) seats to 35,117.

Indian Railway starts RO-RO service to carry trucks; aimed at unclogging Delhi roads.
Railways launched Roll-on Roll-off (RO-RO) service from Gurugram to carry loaded trucks on wagons to decongest roads in the national capital region.
About 30 loaded trucks were transported on the flat wagons from Garhi Harsuru station in Gurugram for Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
RO-RO service aims to reduce carbon emission and congestion on the roads of the national capital region (NCR) as about 66,000 diesel-guzzling trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas in a day.
There are about 20,000 trucks which are not meant for the NCR, but enter the region to travel further. There are eight entry/ exit routes in the NCR which will be utilised for RO-RO service to take trucks off the road.

Navy successfully test-fires anti-ship missile from Kalvari submarine.
Navy successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile for the first time from an indigenously built Kalvari class submarine.
These missiles will provide the vessels the ability to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.
The Navy described the launch as a significant milestone in enhancing its "sub-surface" warfare prowess.
The weapon was fired from the submarine, the first of India's six Scorpene-class submarines which are being built under the Project 75, and it "successfully hit" a surface target during the trial in the Arabian Sea.

Haryana govt to open dialysis centres in 14 districts.
The Haryana government will open dialysis centres in 14 districts in the first phase under public private partnership mode, in an effort to provide affordable dialysis facility.
The other 10 civil hospitals that would be covered in first phase include Ambala Cantonment, Bhiwani, Rewari, Panipat, Sonepat, Faridabad, Hisar, Yamunanagar, Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh.
The remaining districts in the state would be covered in the second phase.
These centres would provide dialysis facility at Rs. 959 and Rs. 1,130 as compared to Rs. 2,000 or more being charged in the private sector.

Proposal for setting up AIIA is sent to Centre by Tripura govt.
Tripura government has sent a proposal to the Centre to set up the All India Institute of Ayurveda, AIIA in the State.
The state Health Minister Badal Chowdhury handed over the proposal to the Union Minister for Ayush Shripad Yesso Naik in Agartala who was on a tour to the state.
The state government has also proposed for setting up of a regional research Institute in Ayurveda, claiming the state is enriched with abundant plant bio-diversity.

March 4

100 districts in India Declared ODF under Swachh Bharat Mission.
The Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has informed that the number of ODF (Open Defecation Free) districts in India has crossed 100, making it a milestone achievement under the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Besides, over 1.7 lakh villages over the country have also become ODF.
Shri O.P. Dhankar, Haryana Minister for Development & Panchayats, and Agriculture declared that Haryana will become an ODF State by November 2017.
Deputy Commissioners of 11 ODF districts of Haryana were honoured on the occasion.

Not just mid-day meals: Aadhaar made mandatory for 11 more schemes.
The central government mandating that children will not be served mid-day meals at school without Aadhaar cards from June.
The central government continues to violate a Supreme Court order of October 2015 specifying that the Universal Identification Document, commonly known as Aadhaar, cannot be made mandatory for any government scheme.
It can only be used as voluntary identification for five specific government programmes: public distribution scheme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, National Social Assistance Programme, Jan Dhan Yojana and for LPG subsidies.
No schemes of this sort are among the 14 notifications from the Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment, Human Resource Development, Health and Family Welfare, Labour and Employment, and Women and Child Development issued since February 21.

Yatra inks MoU with Madhya Pradesh govt to promote homestays.
Online travel company Yatra.Com, it has signed an agreement with Madhya Pradesh government to jointly promote homestays in the state.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Yatra will promote all the state tourism approved homestays, where travellers can book a room with a local family or the entire house.
As a part of this partnership, Yatra will list over 90 properties on its website and encourage the growth of homestays in Madhya Pradesh, giving tourists a very homely experience.
With an aim to establish itself as the largest homestays curator of over 3,000 homestays across 130 cities across the country, this month the portal is planning to sign two more MoUs with the Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments.
Yatra.Com had recently signed MoU with Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat governments.

President presents 'Standard' to 125 Helicopter Squadron.
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee presented the 'Standard' to 125 Helicopter Squadron and 'Colours' to Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu.
These units have a glorious past, embedded with rich heritage, stellar efforts and selfless service to the Nation. For their unflinching devotion, professionalism, ethos and courage, the Nation honours them with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation.
The President of India is a responsible and emerging power in a multipolar, multilateral world.
The ever changing socio-economic and geo-political scenario in our region of influence demands a strong deterrent against those with nefarious designs to affect the progress, prosperity and security of our Nation.

Maharashtra unveils policy to draw $5 billion defence investments.
The Maharashtra government released a draft defence and aerospace policy to attract investments of $5 billion and create 100,000 jobs in the next five years.
The proposed investments are expected in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad.
The state government aims to establish Maharashtra as the preferred destination for domestic and aerospace manufacturing, promote indigenous and modernised technological capabilities, develop world-class manpower and support MSMEs to be globally competitive.
In an attempt to cut red tape and remove procedural hurdles, the defence industry will be declared as essential services under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act.

Government to launch anti-troll app for women.
Women internet users threatened with physical violence or trolled on social media websites will be able to seek help from an 'I am Trolled' app to be launched soon by the government, Union minister Maneka Gandhi.
The app will be launched soon to counter physical violence threats and trolls on social media.
It is unfortunate to see that women are equally abusive on social media as men, at an event ''Wellness Rules-Proactive Well Being'', organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation at New Delhi.
Her ministry is also planning to add 600 new one-stop help centres ''Sakhi'' in two years wherein women can seek help on domestic violence, health and legal issues etc.

March 5

With Punjab poll announcement round the corner, EC issues to-do list to CEOs, chief secys.
With the announcement of assembly polls in Punjab and four other states expected by January 4, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has sent an advisory to chief electoral officers (CEO) of these states to get into action immediately for subsequent enforcement of the model code of conduct.
Along with the CEOs, chief secretaries have also been told to pitch in and make arrangements for activating flying squads soon after the announcement to check flow of liquor, cash and narcotics.
Punjab CEO V.K. Singh, who has been called to Delhi for a meeting with chief election commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi on January 3. Speaking on arrangements once the poll code is imposed.

36,000 farmers switch to high end organic farming in Himachal.
In Himachal Pradesh, nearly 36,000 farmers have switched over to high end organic farming during past few years.
These farmers covering about 76,000 hectare area and are producing 16.50 lakh metric tons of vegetables.
To ensure the balanced use of nutrients in fields, about 3 Lakh 89 thousand Soil Health cards have been issued to the farmers.
4,395 metric tons vermin compost is being producing annually in 517 units while 659 hectare of area has been brought under the micro irrigation.

Remnants of pre-harappan civilisation found in Fatehabad.
In the series of steps being taken to revive the Saraswati River, the excavations along the river course at village Kunal in district Fatehabad revealed remnants of pre-harappan civilisation, which are said to be of more than 6,000 years old.
An official of Haryana Archaeology and Museums department so far, this civilization could be the oldest as the Harappan civilisation was about 3,500 years old and the pre-harappan civilisation was about 5,000 to 6,000 years old.
The excavation team found ornaments, beads and bones. These remnants are priceless and the Archaeology and Museums Department would keep them in museum.

Aadhaar data of individuals fully safe and secure, assures UIDAI.
The Unique identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rebuffed the reports of misuse and breach of security of Aadhaar data of the individuals.
The UIDAI's clarification has come in the wake of reports claiming that Aadhaar data was breached and biometrics were misused for creation of parallel databases by some interested parties.
Terming such reports as 'misinformation', the UIDAI- the agency that handles Aadhaar project- asserted that there has been "no incident of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics leading to identity theft and financial loss''.

Dr. Jitendra Singh lays foundation stone of 10 KW FM Radio Station at Malhar in Udhampur.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh laid the foundation stone of 10 KW FM Radio Station at Malhar village in Udhampur district, Jammu.
Director General All India Radio, Shri Fayyaz Sheheryar also spoke on the occasion and expressed his gratitude to the Minister for laying the foundation stone of FM Radio Station at Udhampur.
The project will be completed at the cost of Rs. 9.24 crores excluding the cost of the land and shall take about one and a half year for getting completed. The land has been donated by Shri Kaka Ram who was felicitated on the occasion by the dignitaries.

March 6

WCD Ministry to set up Women's Entrepreneurship Council.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed the setting up Women’s Entrepreneurship Council for taking up with the government the problems faced by business women.
The Council will be modeled on the lines of chambers of commerce; it will seek to resolve issues through policy changes.

Government approves strategic sale of state-owned SAIL's 3 special steel plants.
The Centre has approved outright sale of state-owned SAIL’s three special steel units, including the Salem and Alloy Steel plants.
In pursuance of the decision, SAIL has now sought advisers, including legal and merchant bankers, to carry out the strategic sale along with transfer of management control in the three steel plants - Alloy Steels Plant, Salem Steel Plant and Visvesvaraya Iron Steel Plant.
The government has budgeted to raise Rs. 15,000 crore from strategic disinvestment in 2017-18.
The Centre currently holds 75 per cent stake in SAIL, which is the largest steel producer in India.

Haryana Presents Over Rs. 1,02,329.35 crore Budget for FY 2017-18 in State Assembly.
Haryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu resented the state budget in which no fresh taxes were proposed and the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was expected to grow at 9 per cent in 2017-18.
This is the first time in the state that the budget has crossed the figure of one lakh crore, excluding food grain procurement operations. The budget outlay comprises 21.88 per cent as capital expenditure of Rs. 22393.51 crore and 78.12 per cent as revenue expenditure of Rs. 79935.84 crore.
For the next fiscal 2017-18, capital expenditure is proposed to double it to Rs. 14932 crore, over RE 2016-17. In addition, capital expenditure to the tune of Rs. 4725 crore is likely to be incurred by public sector units in 2017-18. Hence, total capital expenditure is estimated to be Rs. 19657 crore in 2017-18.

Bihar government cut tourism budget by 84 per cent.
The tourism sector in Bihar suffered a jolt when the government decided to downsize its budget for next fiscal year to one-sixth of what it was last year.
Against an allocation of Rs. 672.49 crore in 2016-17, the Bihar government pegged the tourism budget for 2017-18 at Rs. 109.87 crore - down by 84 per cent.
The cut in budget is expected to hit government’s ambitious plan to upgrade its hotels and to develop some star category facilities in the state.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 3 day trip to UAE.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is on a three day visit to UAE with focus on seeking investment in Indian Railways and redevelopment of stations.
Mr. Prabhu is likely to have several bilateral discussions with the UAE government in a bid to seek major infrastructure investment from the Gulf region to India.
Meeting with the captains of the Indian business community in the UAE is also on the agenda.

March 7

First bike taxi service 'Baxi' to be introduced in Noida.
Following the approval of the regional transport authority, Noida is all set to get its first bike taxi service after the state assembly election results.
The bike taxi service is being introduced by Baxi, an operator that already runs its service in Gurgaon.
Initially, 10 bikes will be stationed at the Noida City Centre Metro stations, subsequently; the number of bikes across the city will be increased.
The bike taxi service will boost last-mile connectivity to offices, schools, colleges and residential areas from the city’s metro stations and bus stops.

Bicycles on rental to be offered by Noida Metro.
The Noida Metro Rail Corporation, in a bid to improve last-mile connectivity options from metro stations, is planning to set up a bicycle stand at metro stations across the city.
As per the plan, 50 bicycle stands will be set up at present, and more locations are being identified for setting up bicycle stands.
The service will be operated by a private agency, after a tender process.

Special row reserved by SpiceJet for solo women passengers.
After Air India, now SpiceJet has also announced its decision to reserve a row of seats for solo women travellers.
That will start from the International Women's Day the fourth row of the airline's Boeing 737s and Q-400s reserved for women flying alone.
Air India's move came after a woman passenger on a Mumbai-Newark flight last December was reportedly molested by a person who left his business class seat to sit next to her in the economy section.

Special Commemorative Postage Stamp released by PM Modi marking of 100 years of Yogoda Satsang Math.
Special Commemorative Postage Stamp marking 100 years of Yogoda Satsang Math was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in New Delhi.
Yogoda Satsang Society of India was founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1917. It is a non-profit religious organization.
Outside the India, it is known as the Self-Realization Fellowship.
The word Yogoda was coined by Paramahansa Yogananda. It is fusion of Yoga, union, harmony, equilibrium and da meaning ''that which imparts''.

'Surya Kiran-XI' Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise starts at Uttarakhand.
A joint military exercise 'Surya Kiran-Xi' between India and Nepal will begin in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand.
This is a battalion level joint exercise between the two armies.
The two-week long exercise is aimed at training of both the troops in the area of various counter insurgency operations over a prolonged period.
It will also focus on other important aspects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and environmental conservation.

Minister Giriraj Singh Launches 'AC Jacket' With Climate Control Buttons.
Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Giriraj Singh launched an 'AC jacket' in Bihar.
The jacket has been designed in such a way that it facilitates cooling and warming according to the personal choice of the user.
This self-cooling linen jacket provides two buttons- red to make it warm and green to cool it down.
The creators of this jacket say that the temperature range is of 20 degrees. The jacket is fitted with cold and hot air fans which operate on a battery.
The 'climate gear' technology used has been devised by an MIT graduate.

Manipur High court declares economic blockade illegal.
The full bench of Manipur High Court has declared the over four-month-old economic blockade of the state as "illegal".
The full bench, comprising Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, and Justices N. Koteswor and K. Nobin, passed the order in this regard. 
The high court ruling stated that the persons and organization imposing the economic blockade are "violating the fundamental rights of the citizens. 

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Presents Rs. 76,032 crore Budget for 2017-18.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh presented the annual budget of Rs. 76,032 crore for 2017-18 in the state legislative assembly giving thrust on digital inclusion and infrastructure development.
In a major initiative, the state government announced to launch Suchna Kranti Yojna (SKY) under which 45 lakh smartphones will be provided to family belonging to below poverty line (BPL) and college students.
The beneficiaries would also get SIM cards along with the phone.
The state budget underlined that the estimated expenditure is 7.58 per cent higher than the revised estimate of 2016-17.

March 8

Rs. 48,000 crore budget plan presented by Delhi govt for 2017-18.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government presented a Rs. 48,000 crore tax-free budget for Delhi for 2017-18, with focus on improving education, transport, health and water distribution.
Taking cue from the Centre, the AAP government's third budget has also done away with Plan and non-Plan expenditure heads this year.
Delhi's contribution to the country’s GDP has increased from 3.94 per cent in 2011-12 to 4.08 per cent in 2016-17.
According to Delhi’s Economic Survey, the national capital’s economic growth is likely to slow down to 8.26 per cent during 2016-17, from 8.82 per cent last year.

Girl child ratio of Haryana increases to 938 per 1000 Male.
In Haryana, girl child ratio has increased to 938 per 1000 male children in February. Haryana government informed this in the house during ongoing budget session of the State Assembly.
This is due to ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' programme implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In January 2017, the registered girl child ratio was 922.

Ex-gratia grant rate to be enhanced by Haryana govt for CPMF's family members.
Haryana government announced to enhance the rate of ex-gratia grant to be given to the family members of armed forces personnel from the state, who die in harness in the performance of their bonafide official duties while serving in war or operation, in operational area, terrorist or militant attacks or border skirmishes and united nation peace keeping force.
The revised rate of ex-gratia for battle casualties has been enhanced from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh.
It is in case of death in war or IED blast and action against militants or terrorist or border skirmishes.

Amendment bill for Thackeray Memorial got clearance from Maharashtra Assembly.
The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed the bill to lease out a plot at nominal rates for a memorial for the late Sena founder Bal Thackeray at the mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar.
No Sena minister was present in the House when the bill came up for discussion and was cleared.
According to the existing provision, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cannot sell, lease or transfer any plot for less than its market value.
With this amendment, the BMC will be able to lease out the up-market plot for the memorial at nominal rates.

Committee set by Sports ministry to look over women players' grievances.
The sports ministry decided to constitute a high level committee to resolve the grievances and complaints of women sports persons in India.
The committee under the chairmanship of joint secretary sports will comprise athletes, advocate and senior officer of MYAS and sports journalist - all women.
On the occasion of the International Women Day, the sports ministry organized a conference on 'Women and Sports’ in India to deliberate upon various issues for encouraging more women to take up sports.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah launches ''Pratibimba'' to project achievements.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched a comprehensive web-based platform showcasing the governments performance and achievements to the citizens.
Developed as the Chief Ministers dash board, Pratibimba, which means reflection, will serve as a tool to improve efficiency in governance and allow citizens to track government’s progress.
Karnataka is the second state in the country after Andhra Pradesh to have such a dash board.

March 9

1 lakh 80 thousand BPL families offered LPG connections by Haryana.
Haryana government has so far provided one lakh 80 thousand 848 LPG connections to BPL families under Pradhanamntri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY).
This was stated by Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Karan Dev Kamboj in the state assembly.
The state government will carry out a fresh survey to cover those poor families, who were not included in the existing list.

Karnataka govt declared Rs. 10 crore fund for women entrepreneurs of the state.
Karnataka has announced fund of Rs. 10 crore for women entrepreneurs.
Under this scheme, the Karnataka Department of IT, BT and S&T will fund upto Rs. 50 lakh for any woman innovator looking for funds for Proof of Concept validation, certification, and cover costs in manufacturing of pilot devices.
Karnataka govt assured women entrepreneurs of full support of the State government, with any funding, legal or mentoring related issues.
The government announced an open house for women entrepreneurs, where there will be able to put forward their issues and problems to the government.

Aadhaar card made mandatory for crop insurance policies by govt.
The government has made Aadhaar mandatory for availing crop insurance policies from the upcoming kharif sowing season.
The Agriculture Ministry has issued a directive to rural financial institutes to comply with the new rule from this summer, starting April 1.
In the same notification the government has clarified that till the time Aadhaar is assigned to an individual, crop insurance under any of the government-run schemes, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather-based Crop Insurance (RWBCI), may be availed by farmers by furnishing documents such as bank passbook, Aadhaar enrolment ID slip, voter ID and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) job card.
The government has notified that farmers availing crop insurance schemes administered/ implemented by the Department of Agriculture from kharif 2017 are hereby required to undergo Aadhaar authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar.

Aadhaar made mandatory for poor women to avail free LPG connection.
The government has made an Aadhaar card is a must for women living in Below Poverty Line (BPL) households to avail of free cooking gas (LPG) connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
The government launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana last year to provide free LPG connections to 5 crore poor women in three years.
Individual beneficiary desirous of availing the benefit under the scheme [PMUY] is hereby required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication.

Vasundhara Raje Presented Rs. 1,66,000 crore Rajasthan Budget 2017-18.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje presented a Rs. 1,66,000 crore budget in the State Assembly while announcing a slew of measures and financial allocations for infrastructure development, transport, agriculture, higher education and water resources.
Except a 15 per cent increase in the value added tax on tobacco products, no new tax proposal was made in the Budget.
The budget projected an estimated fiscal deficit for 2017-18 at Rs. 24,753 crore, which is 2.99 per cent of the GSDP and the estimated total revenue receipt for the financial year at Rs. 1, 30,162 crore. The estimated own tax revenue for 2017-18 was 8.34 per cent of GSDP.

Odisha govt launches 181 helpline for distressed women.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a helpline number 181 for women in distress in Odisha on the occasion of International Women's Day.
Mr. Patnaik launched the toll free helpline which will be available 24 hours in all the 30 districts of the state.
The helpline will extend prompt response to women affected by violence; provide information about women-related government schemes and programmes and a range of other services.
More than 25 lakh women have also been benefited by about Rs. 1100 crore by availing incentive through Mamata Yojana, a pregnancy related welfare scheme of the state government.

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami Launches Rs. 1580 crore Housing Scheme.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami launched a housing scheme estimated at Rs. 1,580 crore.
The scheme was being implemented by the state government with Central assistance for the economically poor.
In the year 2016-17, concrete houses will be constructed for 50,170 beneficiaries in town panchayat limits.

March 10

First woman driver employed in Karnataka Transport Corporation.
32-year-old Sridevi has become the first woman driver of Karnataka state government-owned North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation which runs buses in Hubli.
Sridevi, the daughter of a driver from nearby Yamnur village, started earning by doing some small works in her village after completing her 10th exams.
Inspired by her father's profession, she always dreamt to learn driving and decided to choose driving.

India to project ease of doing business during UK Commonwealth.
India's key messages during the Commonwealth summit being held in London this week will focus on ease of doing business in the country and creating a strong export economy.
To a large extent there is a recognition that India is doing well in this area and gone up in the World Bank rankings.
The opening day of the meeting, jointly convened by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) and the Commonwealth Secretariat, was focused on a series of roundtables as an exchange of ideas between the member- countries.
India is being represented at the meeting by Commerce Secretary Rita Neotia.

Lok Sabha Clears Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016 To Raise Maternity Leave to 26 Weeks.
Women working in the organised sector will now be entitled to paid maternity leave of 26 weeks, up from 12 weeks, as Parliament passed a Bill in this regard that will benefit about 1.8 million women.
The new law will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more people and the entitlement will be for only up to first two children. For third child, the entitlement will be for only 12 weeks.
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha, months after the Rajya Sabha approved the measure that takes India to the third position in terms of the number of weeks for maternity leave after Canada and Norway for them 50 and 44 weeks, respectively.

Women Safety app 'Ammavin Aran' launched by AIADMK.
The women safety app 'Ammavin Aran' was officially launched by the party's Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran.
The AIADMK IT Wing has launched the first-of-its-kind women safety application in Tamil Nadu. The app is called 'Ammavin Aran' meaning 'mother's fortress.
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.
Punjab University Develops 3 Bt Cotton Varieties.
Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana has announced that it has developed the country's first genetically-modified varieties of cotton - the seeds of which could be reused by farmers with no commercial restrictions, resulting in savings on repeat purchases every season.s
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has identified three Bt cotton varieties – PAU Bt 1, F1861 and RS2013 – for cultivation in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The new cotton variety is among few others identified by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for cultivation in North region.

March 11

53 Indian fishermen set released by Sri Lankan govt as goodwill gesture.
53 Indian fishermen were released from a Sri Lankan jail, after the two countries decided to release fishermen in each other's custody to defuse tension following the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Lankan navy.
Sri Lanka had earlier informed the Indian High Commission in Colombo that it will release all 85 Indian fishermen in their custody.
Sri Lanka and India agreed to release fishermen held in each other's custody after a high-level discussion between the two sides in Colombo in a bid to defuse the tension following the killing of an Indian fisherman.

Following TN, Coca-Cola and Pepsi products to be banned by Kerala traders.
Following the footsteps of traders in Tamil Nadu, Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) has decided to stop sale of drinks produced by multinational cola companies to register their protest against exploitation of ground water by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo companies as the State is reeling under the threat of a severe drought.
The traders would make a formal announcement of the boycott after seeking support of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The traders have decided to promote local brands-mainly lime soda and tender coconut to fight against the aerated drinks produced by multinational companies.
Around seven lakh shops and traders will join the boycott and it will be a major setback to the two companies.

Pilot project on ornamental fisheries estimated over Rs. 61 crore to be launched by Centre.
Recognizing the potential and scope of ornamental fisheries, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has envisaged a program to unlock the country's ornamental fisheries sector through a special drive by launching a pilot scheme for the development of ornamental fisheries with a total outlay of Rs. 61.89 crore.
Implementation of the pilot-scale Ornamental Fisheries Project focuses mainly on creating an enabling environment for a sustainable and holistic development of Ornamental Fisheries for the socio-economic development of the people involved in this activity as well as for exports.
The thrust areas have been identified for enhancing ornamental fisheries production through cluster-based farming and conservation of natural resources.
For the purpose of implementation of the pilot project, a total of 8 potential States have been identified, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Haryana CM announce about opening of All India Institute of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy in state.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced the decision to open Shri Mata Mansa Devi All India Institute of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy at Panchkula, and 500 new vacancies of traffic police each in Gurgaon and Faridabad.
The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences under the Union Ministry of Ayush has approved the proposal to open institute in Panchkula.
This institute would be developed on the pattern of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Six subjects made mandatory for Class 10 board exams: CBSE.
The CBSE has made it mandatory for the students appearing for Class 10 board exams from next year to study six subjects instead of five.
Currently, the Class 10 students have to study two languages along with social science, mathematics and science.
However, it will be compulsory for Class 10 students to study a vocational subject from 2017-18 academic years.

Arunachal Pradesh Finance Minister Presents Rs. 285 crore deficit budget for 2017-18.
Arunachal Pradesh finance minister Chowna Mein presented a Rs. 285 crore deficit budget for the 2017-18 fiscal with major thrust on women empowerment, infrastructure development and law and order.
Tabling the budget in the state Assembly, Chowna Mein stated Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was estimated to be Rs. 21,414 crore in 2016-17.
The share of central taxes have grown from the actual receipt of Rs. 7075.58 crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 8388.3 crore in the revised estimates of 2016-17.
In the budget estimate of 2017-18, the state was projecting a revenue receipt of Rs. 14,599 crore and a capital receipt of Rs. 1,436.75 crore.

Rajya Sabha Passes Enemy Property Amendment Bill.
Rajya Sabha passed a Bill to amend a 49-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China, amid a walkout by the entire Opposition.
The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amends the Enemy Property Act 1968, was passed by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha despite the opposition demanding deferring of the debate on the draft legislation for a threadbare deliberation next week.
The measure was passed by the Lok Sabha in March last year. After this, the Rajya Sabha had sent it to a select committee, following whose recommendations,the government had moved a number of amendments to it.

March 12

Goa BJP MLAs pass resolution to make Parrikar CM.
The Goa BJP MLAs, in the state's party legislature meeting passed a resolution to make Union Minister Manohar Parrikar as state Chief Minister.
The MLAs have also written a letter to BJP President Amit Shah requesting him to send Parrikar back to Goa.
BJP has reportedly claimed to have got support from Goa Forward Party and MGP.

Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 passed in Lok Sabha.
The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha.
The Bill aims to establish a legal framework to consolidate the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues.
It also aims to replace archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance.
The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends upto territorial waters.
The Minister of State (RT&H, S, C&F), Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, presented an overview of the Bill in the House, highlighting the need for repealing five obsolete British statutes on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters, which are 126 to 177 years old.
The Bill provides for prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, charterers, operators, crew members and seafarers at the same time.

SSB signed MoU with NSDC and NSDF for skill development for its personnel's.
The National Security Guard (NSG) sign an MoU with two entities under the Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry for skill training of the children and wives of its commandos
A MoU on skill development will be signed amongst NSG, National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) at Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) headquarters.
The aim of signing the pact is to expertise the children and wives of our wards in some basic skills like computers.

March 13

Assam govt hopes on achieving target of Indian Rhino Vision 2020.
The Assam government is hopeful of achieving the target of Indian Rhino Vision 2020.
As per Indian Rhino Vision, a target has been set to increase the number of rhino population to 3,000.
State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma stated a fresh rhino census at Kaziranga national park will be held next year.
Ms. Brahma stated 28 rhinos have been translocated to Manas national park from Kaziranga national park and they gave birth of 14 rhinos.
Kaziranga national park is home to the highest number of one horn rhinos in the world.

Arunachal pradesh launches adarsh gram yojana.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has launched a new scheme ''Adarsh Gram Yojana'' for rural poor.
The purpose of the scheme is to reach the poor people in rural areas of the state to serve them better.
Under the scheme, 123 villages (comprising one village per circle) will be developed as 'Model Villages' during the fiscal year 2017-18.
The state government has allocated an amount of Rs. 93 crore in the Budget 2017-18 for infrastructure development and for creating employment opportunities and community assets for the people of those villages.

Holi festival of colours celebrated across India.
Holi is a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal, also known as the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love".
The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.
It lasts for two days starting on the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar month of Falgun, which falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar.
The first day is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the second as Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi or Dhulivandan.

March 14

Kathua of J&K receives Rs. 169 crore for 2017-18 annual plan outlay.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has granted around Rs. 169 crore plan outlay for the border district of Kathua for the financial year 2017-18.
The District Development Board (DDB) of Kathua, tunder the chairmanship of state Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary, and approved around Rs. 169 crore annual plan outlay for the district.
The approved capital plan proposal includes Rs. 11.47 crore for regular schemes, Rs. 22.10 crore as loan component, Rs. 122.92 crore central share and Rs. 12.58 crore as state share for centrally sponsored schemes.
The deputy Chief Minister apprised the board that 50 per cent of the budget outlay has been disbursed in advance to give pace to development works, while the remaining half will be given in May.

Drivers' ID of Uber India to be checked with selfies as real time verification.
Uber is rolling out a 'realtime ID check' feature to ensure the driver using the app matches the account registered with the ride-hailing platform.
The feature is being launched in five cities in India - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
With the new feature, drivers will be asked periodically to take a selfie in the Uber app before they accept rides.
Then using Microsoft's Cognitive Services, the selfie is compared to the one corresponding with the account on file.
If the two photos do not match, the account is temporarily blocked while Uber looks into the matter.
In India, Uber has 4 lakh driver partners registered on its platform and operates in 29 cities.

Mission Fingerling with a total expenditure of about Rs. 52000 lakh to achieve Blue Revolution.
Recognizing the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, Government of India has envisaged a program named ''Blue Revolution'' to unlock the country's latent potential through an integrated approach.
The Blue Revolution, in its scope and reach, focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of the fishers and fish farmers.
Thrust areas have been identified for enhancing fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt in 2020-21.
Greater emphasis will be on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers.
Productivity enhancement shall also be achieved through employing the best global innovations and integration of various production oriented activities such as: Production of quality fish seeds, Cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc.

March 15

Rs. 100 crore alloted by Karnataka govt to open Namma Canteens.
The budget has announced that the subsidised canteens will provide breakfast at Rs. 5, lunch and dinner at Rs. 10 to the common man at an affordable price.
Namma Canteens will be set up one in each of 198 wards in Bengaluru city, at a cost of Rs. 100 crore.
The budget has also announced the chief minister's 1 lakh Bengaluru Housing Scheme, where government land will be given for cross-subsidised development of upto 25 per cent for the urban poor.
Further, the State lifted VAT on liquor, announced free eggs for Anganwadi workers and free LPG service for 5 lakh poor families.

Phones, sarees offered for sterilisation by Jhalawar district admin of Rajasthan.
Jhalawar district administration in Rajasthan has launched an initiative offering 4G Android smartphones to men and sarees to women who opt for sterilization.
With a view to further boost its family planning measures, the district's medical and health department is offering lucrative sops to its residents.
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje's home district may have topped the state in terms of family planning in 2015-16, but it’s in no mood to rest on its laurels.

Govt launched Bharat Net project in mission mode to connect all Gram panchayats.
The government is working on a mission mode to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country through high-speed internet by 2018, the Lok Sabha was informed.
The project is being implemented with the objective to create network infrastructure for providing Broadband connectivity of 100 mbs per second to nearly two lakh fifty thousand Gram Panchayats in the country.

Karnataka govt seeks to legalise manual scavenging.
The Karnataka government has proposed to 'legalise' manual scavenging, which was banned by the Centre following a Supreme Court order.
Karnataka Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya proposal was for emergency situations if men are required to enter manholes when there is no choice.

Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha.
A bill to upgrade the Footwear Design and Development Institute to deal with international standards and address the shortage of trained human resource in the sector was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
India is the third biggest market of footwear and a prominent exporter of the footwear and leather goods.
The bill seeks to declare the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) an institution of national importance for the promotion and development of quality and excellence in education, research and training in all disciplines relating to footwear and leather products design.
The global footwear market is expected to reach USD 220.2 billion by 2020 from the current level of USD 198.7 billion.
The Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill 2017 was introduced by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Centre Launches New Scheme TIES for Developing Export Linked Infrastructure.
The government has launched a new scheme TIES for developing export linked infrastructure in states with a view to promote outbound shipments.
The Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) seeks to bridge the infrastructure gap and provide forward and backward linkages to units engaged in trade activities.
An inter-ministerial empowered committee for sanctioning and monitoring of the project was set up for the scheme; It will be headed by the commerce secretary.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Presents Rs. 1236 crore Deficit Budget.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma tabled a Rs. 1,236 crore deficit budget for the financial year 2017-18, in which he increased the tax slabs for transportation to raise additional revenue.
The Chief Minister also announced merger of the plan and non-plan expenditure to rationalise its budgetary allocations with a focus on development expenditure and synchronise the budgetary framework with that of the Union Government.
The total expenditure is estimated at Rs. 12873 crore of which the revenue expenditure is estimated to be at Rs. 10,648 crore while Rs. 2225 crore as capital expenditure.
The state government has also pledged a development plan outlay of Rs. 1731.57 crore for Rural Development as against Rs. 274.1 crore only last year.

Centre Approves 20 Ganga Cleaning Projects Worth Over Rs. 1,900 crore.
As part of its ongoing 'Clean Ganga' mission, the Centre has approved 20 additional projects worth nearly Rs. 1,900 crore for Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi.
Most of the projects are related to setting up new sewage treatment plants (STPs), upgradation of existing STPs and laying of sewage network in cities in the river basin. 
These projects were approved by executive committee (EC) of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG). The projects in the national capital also come under the purview of the NMCG approval as the central body deals with the Ganga river basin covering the river and its tributaries, including Yamuna. Thirteen of the 20 approved projects are in Uttarakhand. 
They include creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of approximately Rs. 415 crore. 


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