States - 2015 April

April 1

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Launches Subsidised Food Scheme 'Aahar'.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched ‘Aahar’ scheme in Bhubaneswar to provide subsidised food to the urban poor. The scheme is also simultaneously operational in five cities of the State.
Patnaik announced that ‘Aahar’ will provide rice and dalma during lunch time to the poor at Rs. 5 in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Berhampur.
He will also formally launch the scheme at the government hospital in Rourkela later in the day on the ocassion of the state’s foundation day ‘Utkal Divas’.
The government aims to provide cheap meals to some 25,000 people per day during the lunch time.
Punjab Government launches Padho Punjab - Khedo Punjab Mission.
Punjab Government has launched ‘Padho Punjab - Khedo Punjab Mission’ which means Learn Punjab - Play Punjab Mission.
It is a special mission launched to provide school students a separate period in the curriculum for playing along with studies and the mission is to encourage more youngsters towards sports to produce quality players for the country.
Under this mission a 40 to 50 minute special period has been kept for sports. During this period students of middle schools will be taught various games including the games played locally.
Mission’s pilot project was launched by State Education Minister Dr. Daljeet Singh Cheema at a government girl’s school in Rupnagar district of state.

April 2

Maharashtra Govt to Build 56 Lakh Toilets by 2019.
Maharashtra Government has decided to construct 56 lakh toilets in the state by 2019 under the cleanliness campaign of central government.
The central and state governments' provision for building personal toilets has been increased to Rs. 12,000 from Rs. 4,000 earlier.
Sanitation parks will be set up at tehsil level, which will enable gram panchayats to check various models of toilets and select any of them for building in their village.
Rajasthan introduces Bill against witch-hunting.
Rajasthan government has introduced a bill to prevent witch-hunting and practice of witch-craft in the State.
The Rajasthan Prevention of Witch-Hunting Bill, 2015, tabled in the Assembly, provides for life imprisonment if witch-hunting causes death, and imprisonment up to five years and fine for practising witch-hunting and witch-craft and other similar practises.
At least 60 per cent of the fine will be given to the victim for treatment and rehabilitation.
According to the Bill, the term “witch” means a woman, locally known as “Dayan”, “Dakan”, “Dakin” who has been identified by any person or persons believing her to be in possession of, or as having, any evil power for causing any harm to any person or property.
Tirupati to host ANGRAU’s 45th convocation.
Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU) has chosen Tirupati for its 45th Annual Convocation, the first to be held after state bifurcation.
The memorable occasion, which also marks the completion of the varsity’s 50th year, will be held at Mahati Auditorium on April 4.
Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Deputy Director-General (Operations) Daniel Gustafson, will deliver the convocation address, while the Governor-cum-Chancellor E.S.L. Narasimhan will preside over the proceedings.
'Operation Olivia' to save turtles.
With a view to preventing further mortalities of Olive Ridley turtles, the Coast Guard has launched ‘Operation Olivia’ to enforce the provisions of the Marine Fishing Regulatory Act.
The operation area covers the coastal area from Porto Novo (Parangipettai) in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu to Nizampatnam in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
The Assistant Solicitor-General placed the comments and recommendatory note of the Coast Guard when a suo motu PIL plea for protection of sea turtles came up before the Madras High Court First Bench comprising Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh.

April 3

Harvard University set to open office in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The US prestigious Harvard University is set to open its international offices in India, China and South Africa to facilitate research and academic work for its affiliates in those regions.
Harvard is awaiting approval from the Indian government for its School of Public Health to open an office in Mumbai.
Apart from Mumbai, Harvard has authorised the formation of new international offices in Cape Town and Beijing and each office is in a different stage of development.
These offices, to be used for research and academic work for Harvard affiliates in those regions, would join 16 other Harvard offices across the globe.
Harvard University President Drew Faust has undertaken several measures to expand Harvard’s international presence, visiting India in 2012 and China in March this year.
Gujarat leads in implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Gujarat tops the list of states for the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission, while Odisha has done the best as far as construction of community toilets is concerned.
According to the Ministry of the 2,70,069 household toilets constructed during the last financial year under the Mission.
Gujarat alone accounted for 60 per cent of them having built 1,65,376 household toilets. Madhya Pradesh has constructed 99,151 household toilets followed by Karnataka with 4,697.
Launched on October 2, 2014, the Mission has an objective of ensuring cleanliness in all the 4,041 statutory cities and towns of the country by October 2, 2019 which marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Assam achieves 100% success in implementing PM Jan Dhan Yojna.
Assam has achieved 100 percent success in implementing ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna.
As per the details, over 41 lakh 64 thousand new accounts have been opened.
Over 30 lakh rural accounts have been opended while in urban area the figure is over 11 lakh. Rs. 329 crore have been deposited through these new accounts in bank.
Altogether 28 banks both from private and public sectors have contributed in the success of the scheme.

April 4

Marathi literary fest begins in Punjab.
Prominent names in Maharashtra politics and literature are set to arrive in the nondescript village of Ghuman in Gurdaspur district as the 88th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan.
For the three-day conference — the second to be held in northern India after 1964 when New Delhi hosted one — the SAD-BJP government is trying to provide a single platform showcasing Punjab and Maharashtra.
The conference will be dedicated to Bhagat Namdev (Sant Namdeo), who spent nearly two decades in Ghuman towards the end of his life and died there.
It was in Ghuman that he was believed to have composed his shlokas in Awadhi, Marathi and Punjabi.

April 5

Maharashtra tops in solid waste generation.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has indicted Maharashtra for generating the highest amount of solid waste in the country.
According to the 38-page CPCB report, the State generates a staggering 26,820 tonnes of solid waste per day (TPD), way more than any other State, including Karnataka. Of this, a mere 4,700 TPD was being treated.
Seventy cities have an estimated waste generation between 100-500 TPD, the urban pockets of Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, heaving under the stench and piles of trash, are the major contributors of municipal waste far exceeding the figure of 500 TPD.
Uttar Pradesh comes next to Maharashtra, generating 19,190 TPD solid waste while managing to treat barely a fourth of its trash.
Commonwealth Speakers’ meet in Vizag from April 8.
Presiding officers of parliaments of 10 countries and 20 States in India along with Chairpersons of Legislative Councils and Assembly Secretaries are participating in the three-day Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference to be held at a hotel on the beach road here from April 8.
The theme of Visakhapatnam conference, being organised by the AP chapter of CPA, is ‘Parliament and Media Law’.
All MPs, MLCs and MLAs of Andhra Pradesh have been invited to participate in the conference.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will inaugurate the conference on April 8 at Hotel Novatel. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu would also attend.

April 6

Delhi anti-corruption helpline relaunched by Arvind Kejriwal.
AAP government's anti-corruption helpline, re-launched in Delhi, has received 12,731 calls in 24 hours, with most of them wanting to know about the process of registering a graft case.
Most of the calls received at helpline were made to inquire about how to register corruption case with the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB).
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched the 24x7 helpline, which can answer over 10,000 calls a day.
In order to strengthen the Anti Corruption Branch, government has increased its strength from 30 to 40 inspectors who work with 40 teams to investigate cases of corruption at any point of time.
Besides increasing its staff strength, Delhi Government has directed to increase the budget allocation to the anti-graft wing to Rs. 15 crore from Rs. 8 crore.
Radha Mohan Singh Urges Initiatives Towards Bringing Green Revolution and Increasing Agriculture Productivity to Eastern Region.
Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh emphasised the need for bringing Green Revolution to Eastern Region of the country. Inaugurating a workshop on “Agriculture Scenario in Eastern India, Review and Future Prospects”, in Pusa, New Delhi.

Proper care has to be taken by balanced usage of fertilisers in bringing 2nd Green revolution, particularly in eastern region of the country.
Under this, soil health card is being implemented in Mission Mode and every farmer of the country will be provided with Soil health card in next three years and they will be empowered with complete details about soil nutrient for effective crop management.

April 8

Wheat procurement norms relaxed for Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan.
The Centre being sensitive about the loss and damage to the crops due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms in various States has relaxed the wheat procurement norms on the basis of requests received from States.
The norms have already been relaxed for Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where procurement has started.
Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan said that wheat is yet to arrive in Haryana and UP.
Both the States have been requested to collect the wheat samples from affected areas jointly with FCI and get them tested in regional FCI labs to avoid delay and submit report to the centre.
Regarding moisture content, it is allowed upto 14%, which is the maximum permissible limit for human consumption under the regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.
MGNREGA rates hiked by Rs. 13 in Karnataka.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as the wage rate per day has been revised with effect from April 1. It has gone up from Rs. 191 in 2014–15 to Rs. 204 in 2015-16, an increase of Rs. 13 per day.
With this, the wage rates have been revised nine times since the launch of the job scheme in 2006-07 by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
In 2006-07, the daily wage was Rs. 69. The revision in the wage rate, indexed to the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPIAL), came into effect retrospectively from April 1 and will be for 2015-16.
The State is expected to get Rs. 2587.35 crore during 2015-16 for taking up various works under the scheme. The State had spent Rs. 1683.65 crore against the allotment of Rs. 3151.76 crore in 2014-15.
According to the Centre’s notification, unskilled workers in Haryana would get the highest daily wage of Rs. 251.
It has been fixed at Rs. 229 in Kerala, Punjab – Rs. 210, Goa – Rs. 208 and Karnataka – Rs. 204. Six states with low wages are Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – Rs. 159, Uttar Pradesh – Rs. 161, Meghalaya – Rs. 163, Bihar – Rs. 162 and Arunachal Pradesh – Rs. 167.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 was later renamed as the "Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act" is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the 'right to work'.
It aims to ensure livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Starting from 200 districts on 2 February 2006, the NREGA covered all the districts of India from 1 April 2008.

April 9

Kerala Tourism to Launch 'Visit Kerala 2015'.
‘Visit Kerala 2015’, a new initiative of Kerala Tourism to promote the State’s destinations, will be launched this year from April 1, with a series of events ranging from arts to sports.
The Minister for Tourism Mr. A.P. Anilkumar said “The main focus of ‘Visit Kerala 2015’ will be to strengthen the promotion of tourism products including Ayurveda, Responsible Tourism and Spice Route-Muziris".
‘Visit Kerala 2015’ will also promote Kerala Tourism products like cultural festivals, weddings, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) and adventure tourism, besides cycling.
Kerala Tourism will also launch a new theme campaign to showcase Kerala and its unique attractions, to strengthen Kerala’s position as ‘God’s Own Country’ and to create a destination pull.
Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam have offered smart transport solutions by US.
The US Department of Transportation has agreed to offer sustainable transport solutions for the cities of Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.
Bilateral cooperation in the field of transportation was discussed during a meeting between the visiting US Secretary of Transportation Shri Anthony Foxx and Minister of Urban Development Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu.
The two sides focused on cooperation on the transportation elements of smart cities including efficient public transportation systems, Intelligent Transport Systems, Traffic Information and Control, multimodal integration and capacity building and training in the field of urban transportation.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu gave a detailed account of initiatives being taken in the urban sector including building of 100 smart cities, New Urban Rejuvenation Mission for 500 cities.
Rajasthan to cover 4 lakh children under immunization plan.
Rajasthan will immunise four lakh children from the vulnerable sections of society under Mission Indradhanush, launched nationally on April 7.
The immunisation campaign will focus on unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children below the age of two.
Rajasthan’s immunisation coverage is 73 per cent and the government has an ambitious target of 90 per cent by 2020.
The programme provides immunisation against seven life-threatening diseases - diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B.
About Mission Indradhanush:
Mission Indradhanush was launched by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on December 25, 2014.
It aims to immunize all children against seven vaccine preventable diseases namely diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B by 2020.
The Minister launched the Mission on Good Governance Day to mark the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malaviya and birthday of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

April 10

Thane (Maharashtra) wins ''National Earth Hour Capital 2015'' title.
Recognizing the city’s focused actions on aggressive renewable energy targets, energy efficiency and multiple solar energy projects, Thane has been declared as the National Earth Hour Capital 2015.
Thane succeeds Coimbatore, which was the National Earth Hour Capital for the year 2014.
For its city mobility plan and solar and waste-to-energy initiatives, Pune received a special mention from the jury.
Rajkot was felicitated for the city’s performance in the field of renewable energy.
Railways to set up its own design centre in the campus of 'national institute of design' Ahmedabad.
Adding yet another milestone by fulfilling another commitment announced in the Railway Budget 2015-16, the Indian Railway will be setting up its own Railway Design Centre in the campus of National Institute of Design (NID), Ahemdabad.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ministry of Railways and (NID) in the presence of the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industries Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
This MoU has been formulated for setting up a ‘Railway Design Centre’ in the campus of NID. Ahmedabad, which will be operated by the interest accrued on the endowment fund of Rs. 10 crore.
Rajasthan Assembly passes bill to hike pension for MLAs.
Rajasthan Legislative Assembly has passed a Bill to hike allowances for all sitting MLAs and those who have been members of the House since April 1, 2012.
The Bill was passed during the Budget Session of the House last night before the Assembly was adjourned sine die and will be implemented with effect from April 1, 2015.
Previously Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had earlier announced an increase in pension and constituency allowance in the House on March 26.

While the minimum monthly pension of those who have been MLAs since April 1, 2012 have been hiked to Rs. 15,000 from the present amount of Rs. 7,500, constituency allowance of sitting legislators have been increased to Rs. 50,000 from the current grant of Rs. 40,000.
The provisions, under Rajasthan Legislative Assembly (Officers and Members Emoluments and Pensions) Amendment Bill-2015, will involve recurring expenditure of about Rs. 7.98 crore per annum.

April 11

India's first IFSC becomes operational at GIFT City in Gujarat.
India’s first International Financial Services Centre, IFSC, has became operational at GIFT City in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unveiled the rules and regulations for this global financial hub at a special ceremony organized at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.
IFSC rules allow companies incorporated outside India to raise money in foreign currencies by issuance and listing of their equity shares on stock exchanges within the IFSC, where individual and institutional investors from India and abroad including NRIs, would be allowed to trade.

About IFSC:
The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is a major financial services centre in North Wall, Dublin, Ireland.
The Finance Act, 1987 (Section 30) allowed for the designation of an area exempt from normal taxation laws.

April 12

'Idea Sangama' project launched in Bidar, Karnataka.
The Bidar district administration launched “Idea Sangama”, a project to crowd-source technical solutions to problems faced by farmers and others.
Students of veterinary college, Horticulture College, engineering colleges and first grade colleges participated. Each student was asked to come up with at least one common problem and suggest solutions.
Farmers suffer from various problems like scarcity of custom made farm equipment, damage to appliances due to low quality power supply, wastage of agriculture and horticulture products due to lack of processing facilities and cold chain storage.
The government will facilitate the development of the technology by logistics support and mentoring by professionals.

April 13

Haryana Government gives yoga guru Ramdev Cabinet Minister Status.
Haryana government decided to give status equivalent to state Cabinet Minister to yoga guru Ramdev.
Earlier in January 2015, state government had appointed him as its brand ambassador to promote yoga and ayurveda.
By promoting yoga and Ayurveda, Haryana state government is seeking amalgamation of tradition and modernity in order to turn Haryana into a model state based on Indian values and traditions.
In this regard state government is also planning to include yoga in the school syllabus and develope herbal forest in the state under the supervision of yoga guru Ramdev which will include thousands of species of ayurvedic herbs.
State government will also construct yogshalas in all the towns and about 6,500 villages of the state to make Yoga a compulsory subject in Haryana’s schools.
Gujarat government launches industrial tourism to showcase development.
Gujarat government has launched industrial tourism package to promote its development by showcasing its major industrial installations which have earned global acclaim for state.
It is a first of its kind initiative India, offered by Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL) in collaboration with Ahmedabad based Akshar Travels Pvt Ltd.
The tour package is called as Industrial Tour of Gujarat and will cover some of the major industrial attractions of the state. It includes Tata Nano plant in Sanand, Amul Dairy in Anand, Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar and Pipavav port near Amreli.
It will also include Mrbi-based ceramic industry, Tata Chemicals factory in Mithapur, Asia’s biggest Ajanta clock factory, Reliance Refinery in Jamnagar.
The package will also take tourists to salt pans near Okha and  Kadi in Mehsana, which has the highest number of cotton gins in Asia.

April 14

FM transmission of Vividh Bharati launched in Delhi by Arun Jaitley.
The popular ‘Vividh Bharati’ services of All India Radio (AIR) will now be available to listeners in and around Delhi on mobile handsets with the launch of FM transmission of the channel.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley, who launched the FM transmission, also delivered a message to the listeners of the channel, saying Vividh Bharati services would reach people within a range of 60-65 km with much clarity at all times in all weather conditions.
Vividh Bharati offers a mix of film music, skits, short plays and interactive programmes. It is known to have the largest collection of film and non-film songs in the country.
The I&B minister Arun Jaitly also said the Doordarshan’s ‘Kisan’ channel could be launched in May.
About Vividh Bharati
The Vividh Bharati Service of All India Radio was conceptualized to combat Radio Ceylon on 3 October 1957.
The service provides entertainment for nearly 15 to 17 hours a day.
Programmes are produced centrally at Vividh Bharati Service, Borivali, Mumbai and up-linked to the satellite.
40 Vividh Bharati stations across the country down-link these programmes through captive earth stations provided at each of these AIR stations.
These 40 Vividh Bharati stations are known as Commercial Broadcasting Service Stations and are located at all major and commercially vibrant cities covering 97% of the Indian population.
India's Fourth Lighthouse Museum Set to Woo Visitors in Kannur, Kerala.
Aiming to promote lighthouse tourism, India's fourth lighthouse museum, depicting the story of its evolution and history, is all set to be opened in the northern district of Kannur in Kerala.
The Directorate General of Lighthouse and Lightships (DGLL) has set up the lighthouse museum adjacent to the historic Kannur lighthouse in Payyalmbalam beach, a few kilometres away from Kannur town.
They have already set up similar museums in Alappuzha, Chennai and Mahabalipuram.
A gigantic optic, used in Lakshadweep Lighthouse during the 1885-1962 period, a 19th century double-wick lamp of Kannur Lighthouse, a huge fog-bell used to alert shipmen and a deep-sea buoy are some of the exhibits to be displayed at the Kannur lighthouse museum.
Around Rs. 2 crore was estimated as total cost for the Kannur lighthouse museum.

April 15

Delhi government launches de-worming programme.
The Delhi government launched a statewide campaign to deworm the children in schools and anganwadis.
The campaign aims to cover over 3,032 schools and 11,500 anganwadis as part of the deworming process on April 16 and a mop-up day is scheduled for April 20 to cover all those children who were absent.
World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that parasitic worms are a significant public health concern for India, with 241 million children aged between one and 14 at risk.
The programme is the third mass deworming round in the capital city since 2012. The current round targets 3.7 million children.
"Over 25 percent of the children in Delhi are suffering from worm infestations. These worms act as parasites and suck up all the nutrition.
About De-warming programme:
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda has declared 10 February as the National Deworming Day.
National Deworming Day is an initiative which is focused on reducing the threat of parasitic worm infections, a widespread health issue affecting over 24 crore children in India alone.
The day will be observed in 11 states and Union Territories including Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and Haryana. The initiative will be aimed at providing Albendazole tablets to children (half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years).

April 16

OIL commissions 54 MW wind energy project.
Oil India (OIL), the second largest Government owned Exploration and Production Company in the country, has commissioned a 54 MW wind energy project in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Saddled between the two states, the project is split between a 16 MW capacity plant at Patan in Gujarat and a 38 MW at Chandgarh in Madhya Pradesh.
The project cost Rs. 439 crore - Rs. 126.5 crore for the Gujarat side and Rs. 312.45 crore for the Madhya Pradesh location.
"With this, OIL's installed renewable energy capacity (commercial wind energy and solar energy projects) stands at an impressive 126.60 MW".
"The Project, fully funded by OIL, is being run by Gamesa Wind Turbines, Chennai, who are the project developers.
About Oil India Limited:
Oil India Limited (OIL) is the second largest hydrocarbon exploration & production (E&P) Indian public sector company and operational headquarters in Duliajan, Assam, India under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Government of India.
Founded 18 February 1959 and chaired by Mrs. Rupshikha Borah.
Gujart forms task force to devise strategy to eliminate poverty.
The Gujarat government formed a task force comprising several ministers to device a new strategy to eliminate poverty in the state and provide suggestions to the government to achieve this objective.
Gujarat's Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramanlal Vora has been appointed chairman of this task force.
The task force also comprises two Ministers of State (MoS), including Urban Development Minister Shanker Chaudhari as well as Women and Child Development Minister Vasuben Trivedi.
Principal Secretary (Planning) of the General Administration Department has been designated as the task force's member-secretary.
Haryana government notified that Aravali not a forest.
The Haryana forest department has reversed its earlier order and asked officials not to designate lands in the range as forests, other than those formally recorded as such.
The order implies that vast tracts of forests, including most parts of the sacred Mangarbani grove, would now be recorded as 'not forest'.
This reverses the department's March order in which it was decided to record the entire Aravali range as forest while carrying out ground surveys of natural conservation zones (NCZs) in NCR.
This latest decision of Haryana government to free up about 80000 hectares of land is seen by activists and local villagers as a result of constant lobbying by builders.
Earlier in March 2015, it was decided to record the entire Aravali range as forest while carrying out ground surveys of natural conservation zones in NCR.

April 17

Punjab to release Gharials in rivers to promote eco-tourism.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal approved release of Gharials in Sutlej and Beas rivers in the state to promote eco-tourism.
To promote eco-tourism in Punjab, government has chalked out a programme for release of Gharials - the last surviving species of the family Gavialidae - in the river Sutlej-Beas with Harike Wildlife Sanctuary as the starting point.
Initially 10 Gharials would be released in the Harike Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of 'Gharial Recovery Action Plan' in the state during September this year and around 100 Gharials will be released in the rivers during a span of two years.
Union Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change had accorded permission for release of Gharial in Harike Wildlife Sanctuary under Section 12 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
About Gharials:
The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), also known as the gavial, and the fish-eating crocodile, is a crocodilian of the family Gavialidae, native to the Indian Subcontinent.
It is now the most endangered large animals and in India only 200 breeding adults of Gharials are left.
Historical records reveal that Gharial, one of the three crocodilian species found in India, was present in Indus River system, including Beas and Sutlej rivers, indicating healthy river system.
Avian flu outbreak triggers alert in Telangana.
The Telangana government has set out to cull as many as 1.45 lakh poultry birds after samples tested at a farm on the city’s outskirts identified H5N1 Avian Influenza outbreak.
National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal received 10 dead birds from Srinivas Reddy Poultry Farm, village Thorrur, block Hayathnagar in distt. Rangareddy, Telangana.
Animal husbandry authorities got word of infection from the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal, which confirmed ‘positive strong’ infection in all 11 samples within 24 hours of receiving them.
About Avian Influenza:
Avian influenza, known informally as avian flu or bird flu - refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds. The version with the greatest concern is highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
"Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "swine flu'', "dog flu'', "horse flu'', or "human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.
All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species influenza A virus.

April 18

President Inaugurates Centenary Celebrations of Patna High Court.
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary Year Celebrations of Patna High Court today (April 18, 2015) at Patna, Bihar.
The foundation-stone of the Patna High Court building was laid on December 01, 1913.
The President said that the many legal luminaries of the Patna High Court included the first President of India and one of the chief architects of our nation, Dr. Rajendra Prasad who was a practitioner before this Court. Shri Syed Hasan Imam who presided over the Indian National Congress in 1918 was also a member of the Patna High Court Bar.
The first President of the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Sachchidanand Sinha was a member of the Bar of this Court. Three Chief Justices from Patna High Court namely, Justice B.P. Sinha, Justice Lalit Mohan Sharma and Justice R.M. Lodha went on to become the Chief Justice of India.
About Patna High Court:
Patna High Court is the High Court of the state of Bihar.
It was established on 3 February 1916 and later affiliated under the Government of India Act 1915.
The court is headquartered in Patna, the administrative capital of the state.
Maharashtra Govt Sets Up Task Force on Agriculture Development.
The Maharashtra government has set up a task force on agriculture development and poverty alleviation to address the issues.
The 12-member task force for agriculture development will be headed by the additional chief secretary (Agriculture).
At the first meeting of National Institution for Transformation of India (NITI) on February 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested to all state governments to set up such panels.
The state government in a separate Government Resolution said another task force has been set up for poverty alleviation to be headed by principal secretary (Social Justice Department).
Secretaries of the departments of finance, planning, cooperation, water resources, water conservation, forest, dairy development are the members of the task force on agriculture.
The task force on poverty elimination comprises secretaries of departments of tribal development, rural development, finance, housing, urban development, labour and public health.
Andhra Pradesh Government inks MoU with IISL Company to replace streetlights in 13 municipalities with LED lights.
Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IISL Company to replace the existing streetlights in 13 municipalities with LED lights in the state.
MoU was signed by Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development P. Narayana and IISL’s representatives in Amaravati, the new capital state.
As per the agreement, IISL will maintain replace and maintain LED streetlights in the 13 municipalities for seven years.
The all existing streetlights in all the municipal corporations and municipalities will be changed to LED streetlights in a phased manner.
By installing LED streetlights, state government aims to reduce the power consumption by 50 per cent.
No More Guard of Honour for Maharashtra Ministers.
The Maharashtra government has decided to discontinue the colonial-era practice of according police guard of honour to ministers. The directive will also apply to all the ministers and senior state officials.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the state police to discontinue the practice of giving the guard of honour in every district.
The guard of honour for a visiting VIP is a tradition handed down by the British. The honour was reserved then for Governor Generals and Viceroys.
Soon after being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on October 31 last year, Mr Fadnavis had spoken of discouraging the 'VIP culture' in the state.
Ration shops in Mumbai to be linked with biometric system.
The Maharashtra government has decided to link all ration shops in Mumbai and suburban Thane district with a biometric system by November with a view to check irregularities in the public distribution system (PDS).
The linking will be done in a phased manner where all ration shops in Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivali region will be linked by Diwali, which falls in November this year, and thereafter the government will shift focus on Nagpur-Pune and Aurangabad districts.
Government is keen on curbing illegal distribution of food grains by rationing shops and has even alloted Rs. 100 crore in the budget for this purpose.
There are around 3,000 rationing shops in Mumbai and about 1,000 in Thane that will be linked to the biometric system.

April 19

GAGAN kicks off new forest database.
Karnataka is set to be the first State to initiate what will be a new, accurate and publicly available satellite based database of its forestlands.
The work also makes the Forest Department an early non-aviation user of GAGAN, the Indian augmentation of Global Positioning System (GPS).
The maps are meant to rid authorities of ambiguities related to forest boundaries and give clarity to forest administrators, revenue officials as also the public, according to R.K. Srivastava, Chief Conservator of Forests (Headquarters).
Estimated at over Rs. 27 crore, the geospatial database of forestlands pilot has used data from the Cartosat-2 satellite.
About GAGAN:
The GPS aided geo augmented navigation or GPS and geo-augmented navigation system (GAGAN) is an implementation of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) by the Indian government.
The project has established 15 Indian Reference Stations, 3 Indian Navigation Land Uplink Stations, 3 Indian Mission Control Centers, and installation of all associated software and communication links.
It will be able to help pilots to navigate in the Indian airspace by an accuracy of 3 m.
Uttarakhand to use RFID system to rescue pilgrims.
The Uttarakhand government plans to use the radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to track and rescue pilgrims visiting the Char Dham shrines of Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Badrinath.
RFID tags would be attached to the IDs issued to the pilgrims which will enable us to track them and rescue them if need be.
The proposal has been sent to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its approval is awaited.
Haryana plans Insurance Corporation for farmers.
With farmers facing heavy losses on account of crop damaged by freak weather conditions, the Haryana government announced bringing all growers under insurance scheme by setting up an insurance corporation.
This is aimed at ensuring proper compensation for their crop loss due to adverse weather conditions.
Mr. Dhankar the Haryana’s Agriculture Minister said that the State government was in the process of identifying suitable insurance companies for entering into a tie-up to undertake crop insurance activity in the State.
Agriculture Insurance Company Of India Ltd implements three crop insurance schemes — National Agricultural Insurance Scheme, Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme.
In these schemes, farmers are charged in the range of 1.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent of scale financing from farmers as premium while 5 per cent each is contributed by State and Centre.

April 20

Kerala government launched Subodham project to end liquor abuse.
The Kerala government launched a major campaign "Subodham" to help people in the state overcome alcohol, drug and other substance abuse.
The project was launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar here in the presence of religious leaders, representatives of student organisations and NGOs working against drug abuse.
"The state government aims to wipe out the menace of substance addiction from our society through 'Subodham'.
The "Subodham" project, envisaged by the excise department, will be implemented by a high-level committee comprising experts from various fields.
"'Subodham' heralds the first step towards 'Punarjani 2030 Project', a state government initiative to completely eradicate the menace of substance abuse in Kerala''.
US pharma plans to invest $ 5 billion in A.P.
US-based Mylan pharmaceutical company is looking to expand its presence in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of $5 billion.
The company had invested Rs. 2,500 crore in its manufacturing facility in Visakhapatnam.
A delegate from Johnson & Johnson evinced interest in working with the State on reducing infant and maternal mortality rate, women health and hygiene.
USIBC’s Ms. Diane Farrell informed the Chief Minister that the USIBC was expediting the work on making Vizag a smart city.
By 2019, Maharashtra government targets 14400 MW power Generation.
To cut down cost and reduce carbon footprint, Maharashtra government has decided to exploit non-conventional resources to generate 14,400 MW electricity by 2019.
For this, the government is inviting private companies and these companies will invest a total of about Rs. 70,000 - 80,000 crore for the purpose.
Briefing on the sources of generation of electricity, solar energy will generate 75000 MW, while wind mills will generate 5000 MW of power.
Sugar industries will help in creating 1000 MW, cogeneration will generate 200 MW, biogas will generate 300 MW and industrial waste will generate 400 MW.
Prez to release commemorative postage stamp of Old Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala.
President Pranab Mukherjee will release a commemorative postage stamp on the bicentennial of the Orthodox Theological Seminary or Old Seminary, Kottayam, Kerala.
President Mukherjee will release the commemorative postage stamp at a function, which would be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

April 21

Maharashtra government targets 14400 MW power generation by 2019.
In a bid to cut down cost and reduce carbon footprint, Maharashtra government has decided to exploit non-conventional resources to generate 14,400 MW electricity by 2019 and will soon come out with a policy on it.
About Maharastra:
Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
Governor: Kateekal Sankaranarayanan.
Capital: Mumbai.

April 22

Tamil Nadu shows Coca-Cola the door after stir.
Tamil Nadu government cancelled allotment of land for Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd to set up a bottling unit in Perundurai SIPCOT complex in Erode district, amid growing protests by local residents over possible exploitation of groundwater.
The government took the decision to cancel the lease agreement, blaming the firm for "not complying with the terms". Sources, however, said mounting pressure from locals forced the government to scrap the project.
It blamed the government for the inordinate delays in granting pre-requisite approvals for commencing construction and sought refund of the entire money paid for these approvals. In a statement, the beverage company said it could not apply for 'consent to establish' despite sending repeated reminders to SIPCOT. "These inordinate delays, coupled with local activism against the project, could not have been foreseen nor prevented by us. Despite best efforts to address.
About Tamil Nadu:
Chief Minister: O. Panneerselvam.
Governor: Konijeti Rosaiah.
Capital: Chennai.

April 23

J&K separatist Masarat Alam slapped with Public Safety Act.
Separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat has been booked under Public Safety Act for anti-national activities. Under the strict law, authorities can keep him in jail for two years without trial.
The 45-year-old hardliner was arrested from his home in Habbakadal area of the city early morning and slapped with charges of leading seditious activities and waging a war against the nation.
In a rally in Srinagar which was organised to welcome Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on his return after four months, Masarat, was seen chanting slogans in support of Pakistan and his supporters waving Pakistani flags.
About J&K:
Chief Minister: Omar Abdullah.
Governor: Narinder Nath Vohra.
Capital: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer).
Over 3,000 farmer suicides in the last 3 years in Maharashtra.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, the total of number of suicides committed by farmers for agrarian reasons in the last three years stands at 3313.
Maharashtra is by far the epicentre of the crisis, with over 10,000 recorded farm suicides between 2011 and 2013. This year, the Marathwada region alone has seen over 200 farmer suicides in just three months.
About Maharashtra:
Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
Governor: Kateekal Sankaranarayanan.
Capital: Mumbai.
'Saraswati Revival Project' launched in Haryana.
The Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal inaugurated the excavation work on the Rs. 50 crore ‘Saraswati Revival Project’ at Rolaheri village in Yamunanagar district.
It is said that river Saraswati flows through 41 villages of Yamunanagar district. It originates from Adi Badri and its water falls in Somb river.
About Haryana:
Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar.
Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki.
Capital: Chandigarh.

April 24

Nitish Kumar constituted panel on salary revision for fixed pay teachers.
The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar constituted a high level committee to consider demand of hike in pay for fixed pay teachers. The four member committee headed by Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh has been asked to submit its report to the government in one month time.
Other members of the committee are Development Commissioner, Principal Secretary Finance, Education and Principal Additional Advocate General Lalit Kishore.
About Bihar:
Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar.
Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi.
Capital: Patna.

April 25

Andhra Pradesh Government constituted SIT to probe Chittoor firing.
Andhra Pradesh Government constituted an eight-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Chittoor firing case in which 20 people were killed in Seshachalam forest area of Chittoor district.
The SIT will be led by Ravishankar Ayyanar, an IPS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre.
Twenty people were gunned down inside the red sanders forests in Seshachalam hill ranges of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh in an operation by the police.
The state police had registered an FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) against unknown task force personnel on the complaint filed by Muniyammal, the wife of one of the victims Sashi Kumar.
About AP:
Capital: Hyderabad.
Governor: E.S.L. Narasimhan.

April 26

37th Himalayan expedition flagged off from Mysuru.
The 37th Himalayan Expedition by the city-based International Academy of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (IAMAS) was officially flagged off.
There are nearly 40 participants from Mysuru who are part of the 69-member trekking team from across India.
Key Points:
State: Karnataka
Capital: Bengaluru
Chief Minister: Siddaramaiah
Governor: K. Rosaiah

April 27

Army conducts major defence exercise in Rajasthan.
The Army conducted a major exercise, ‘Akraman-II’, in Rajasthan to test a new generation of weaponry and platforms employed in the desert region, with providing ‘real time battle and situational awareness’ to its commanders.
The Akraman-II exercise also tested the capabilities of Indian Air Force in launching deep insertion of helicopter-borne and airborne army units.
The exercise envisaged at orchestration of an integrated battle field scenario in network-centric environment.

April 28

AP Government appointed Chadalavada Krishnamurthy as Chairman of TTD.
The Andhra Pradesh Government appointed Chadalavada Krishnamurthy as the Chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board of Trustees, a body which administers Tirupati's Lord Venkateswara temple.
Moreover, Principal Secretary of the Revenue (Endowments) Department, Commissioner of Endowments Department and Executive Officer of TTD would also be ex-officio members of the Board.
About Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD)
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board was established in 1932 as a result of the TTD Act of 1932. It is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh.
TTD is a conglomeration of temples, brought under the First Schedule 2 of the A.P. Charitable & Hindu Religious Institutions & Endowments Act (1987). The Board of Trustees is constituted by members appointed by the government.
It maintains 12 temples and their sub-shrines, and employs about 14000 persons. TTD has dedicated itself to serving pilgrims who visit Tirumala and Tirupati.
Maharashtra collaborates with Israel on Smart Cities.
In a key stride in collaboration between the State and Israel, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai agreed to cooperate in building smart cities.
Maharashtra has decided to create sustainable and friendly urban spaces that integrate the use of technology, social media, community participation and e-governance to build smart cities of Maharashtra like Nagpur, Mumbai, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nashik to a global standard.
Agritech Israel 2015 is one of the world's most important exhibitions in the field of agricultural technologies.
About Maharashtra:
Capital: Mumbai.
Governor: Vidya sagar Rao.
Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
About Israel:
Capital: Jarusalem.
Currency: Israeli New Shekel.
Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu.
President: Reuven Rivlin.
Haryana announces Rs. 1,092 crore farmer compensation.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced compensation of Rs. 1,092 crore to farmers affected by inclement weather conditions, to be disbursed by May 15.
Of the total amount, Rs. 720 crore will be provided by the Centre while rest will be provided by the state government.
3.17 lakh acres was hit with crop loss between 76 to 100 per cent, 1.92 lakh acres with crop loss between 51 to 75 per cent and 8.24 lakh acres between 25 and 50 per cent.

April 29

AAP government gives nod to farmer scheme named after Gajendra Singh.
Government of Delhi gave its approval for setting up of a farmer compensation scheme named after Gajendra Singh.
Gajendra Singh is the person who allegedly committed suicide during an AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) rally by hanging himself with a tree.
The decisions were taken during a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Arvind Kejriwal promised to provide a job to any child of the family after he or she attains the age of 18.