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5,60,695 Houses Sanctioned Under PMAY(U) in the 43rd CSMC meeting
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs approved the construction of another 5,60,695 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) at the 43rd Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee meeting.
i. The cumulative number of houses sanctioned under PMAY(U) now is 79,04,674.
ii. A total of 1,243 projects with a project cost of Rs 33,873 crore with central assistance of Rs 8,404 crore has been approved in the meeting held under the Chairmanship of Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
“Aviation Conclave 2019” inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu”
On 27th February, 2019, Civil Aviation Ministry Suresh Prabhu has organized “Aviation Conclave 2019” in association with Airport Authority of India (AAI), Airport Authority of India – Cargo Logistics & Allied Services Company Limited (AAICLAS) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The theme of the Aviation Conclave 2019 was “Flying for all”.
i. The motive behind this conclave was to lay impact on new aviation business in India, manufacturing of aircraft in India, transforming Indian airports to next-generation aviation hubs, financing and leasing of aircraft from India by Indian and foreign airlines and unleashing the air cargo potential by merging every village of India in global value chains.
ii. Key issues were discussed by Over 30 industry leaders and 200 delegates on Drone-Ecosystem Policy Roadmap, roadmap for Manufacturing Aircraft, etc.
Government of India released passenger charter specifying rights of air travellers
During the ‘Aviation Conclave 2019’, Government of India has released the new rules which laid out passenger charter specifying rights of air travellers in case of delayed, cancelled or diverted flights and other issues.
i. In case the flight is delayed by up to 4 hours, passenger can avail free meal and refreshments.
ii. In case, the flight is delayed for more than 6 hours, passengers will be availed for option of an alternate flight or full refund of the ticket and will be provided free hotel accommodation in case the flight was scheduled between 20:00 and 3:00 hours.
iii. In case a person dies on-board or suffers body injury only due to the airline fault, airlines will be liable to pay Rs. 20 lakh.
iv. Airline must facilitate an alternate flight within one hour of the original flight on which boarding was denied due to over-booking.
CIPET centre inaugurated by Sadananda Gowda inaugurates in Tripura
Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, D V Sadananda Gowda, inaugurated a centre of the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) at Bodhjungnagar in Tripura.
i. The institute will produce 1500 skilled workers per annum.
- CIPET was established in 1968 by Government of India with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at Chennai.
- It is a premier national institution under the aegis of the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt. of India fully devoted to Skill Development, Technology Support Services, Academic and Research (STAR).
- The main objective of setting up of the institute was to develop manpower in different disciplines of Plastics Engineering & Technology as no similar institute was in existence in the country.
- Headquarters – Chennai
- Director General – Prof. (Dr.) S. K. Nayak
Skill Saathi Youth Conclave inaugurated by Dharmendra Pradhan in Odisha
Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, inaugurated the first-ever, Nua Odisha – Dharmapada Samvaad – Skill Saathi Youth Conclave at Rail Auditorium in Bhubaneswar which was aired live across 427 locations in Odisha.
i. He also interacted with youth at 5 remote locations, namely, Mayurbhaj, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Koraput and Berhrampur, through video conference.
ii. The following 5 young achievers from Odisha participated in the conclave and were also felicitated by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan:
- Shri Amarendra Sahu – Founder NestAway
- Flight Lieutenant Pallavi Mohapatra – Indian Air Force
- Shri Jogabyasa Bhoi – a mountaineer who has climbed the highest peaks of 5 continents
- Shri Chittaranjan Mohanty – Awardee of United Nations HiEERa (“heera”) award
- Shri Vishal Singh – Founder, Kaivalya Vichar Seva Samiti (KVSS) and Gram Samriddhi Trust.
iii. The Skill Saathi initiative has mobilized and counselled over 1 lakh candidate in Odisha and over 10 lakh youth across India in the past 3 months.
iv. It provides information on vocational training programs under the Skill India mission, conducts psychometric test and provide face-to-face counselling interventions to guide aspirants to make the right choice of based on their interest and aptitude.
2 new NIDs inaugurated at Bhopal and Jorhat by Suresh Prabhu
National Institutes of Design (NID) at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Jorhat in Assam were inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, through video conference from New Delhi.
i. They are autonomous institutions and under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT),Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
ii. NID Jorhat (Assam) is the first Design Institution at the national level in the North Eastern Region of India.
iii. The recommendation for setting up design institutes, on the lines of NID Ahmedabad, in other parts of India, in order to promote design programs, was given by National Design Policy (2007).
iv. 4 new NIDs have been set up in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) andHaryana (Kurukshetra) with a total outlay of Rs. 434 crore.
v. The project has been executed and implemented by NBCC (India) Ltd. (formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd.).
Titanwala Museum has been inaugurated by Smriti Irani at Bagru, Rajasthan
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the ‘Titanwala Museum‘ which showcases the Chhipa community’s art of traditional hand-block printing at Bagru, Rajasthan.
i. The initiative of setting up the museum was taken up by Suraj Narayan Titanwala, as an effort towards preserving the art of traditional Bagru block printing.
ii. The Museum will exhibit traditional tools and materials used in block making, historical wood blocks, raw materials for dyes and mordants, wide range of traditionally printed fabrics and the actual process of preparing the dyes, the act of dyeing, printing, washing and drying will also be showcased.
♦ Capital – Jaipur
♦ Chief Minister – Ashok Gehlot
♦ Governor – Kalyan Singh
Important Tribes of Rajasthan
Bhils , Damaria , Dhanka , Meenas(Minas) , Patelia , Sahariya
20th India-Italy JCEC session held in New Delhi
The 2-day long session of the 20th India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) was held in New Delhi and co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu and the Deputy Minister of Economic Development (Italy), Mr. Michele Geraci.
i. Both countries, through facilitating dialogue and enhancing cooperation in a wide range of sectors like machinery, infrastructure and engineering, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) including digitalization, agriculture and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), looked forward towards the development of bilateral economic and trade relations between them.
ii. The 19th Session of India-Italy JCEC was held in Rome in 2017.
♦ Capital – Rome
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Prime minister – Giuseppe Conte
800-kg “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” unveiled by Narendra Modi in Delhi
On 26th February 2019, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has unveiled a 800-kg “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” at ISKCON temple in Delhi. This book is the world’s largest sacred book and was prepared by ISKCON devotees.700 Sanskrit verses” after “original” and “along with the commentary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya)”.
i. The book measured around 2.8m by 2 meters, weighed over 800 kg, contains 670 pages and has the original verses of Bhagavad Gita.
ii. According to ISKCON, this book will have the largest principle sacred text ever to be printed.
iii.The book has an artistic touch of 18 exquisite paintings and an innovative elegant layout.The book has been printed in Milan, Italy, on YUPO synthetic paper so as to make it untearable and waterproof.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a worldwide confederation of above 400 temples and runs over 100 vegetarian restaurants and a wide variety of community-serving projects.
PRANAM Commission launched by Sarbananda Sonowal
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring (PRANAM) Commission, a panel set up to look after the issues with respect to the PRANAM Bill brought in for protection of parents of state government employees at Guwahati, Assam.
i. According to the Bill, if the PRANAM Commission gets a complaint that parents of a state government employee is being ignored, then 10% or 15% of the employee’s salary will be deducted by the government and paid to the parents or differently abled siblings.
ii. It is first-of its-kind Bill in India and would benefit 8 lakh parents of 4 lakh state government employees. It was approved by the state cabinet in 2018.
iii. Private companies’ employees and central government employees in Assam would also be covered by the Bill at a later stage.
iv. Chief commissioner V. B. Pyarelal and commissioners Dr Alaka Desai Sarma and Jugabala Buragohain of the PRANAM Commission were handed their appointment letters by the CM.
♦ Capital – Dispur
♦ Chief Minister – Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor – Prof. Jagdish Mukhi
BioAsia 2019-Asia’s largest Life-sciences and healthcare forum held in Hyderabad
From 25th – 27th February 2019, the 16th edition of BioAsia 2019 -Asia’s largest biotechnology and life-sciences forum was conducted in Hyderabad, Telangana. It was inaugurated by the Governor of Telangana –E.S.L Narasimhan .The theme of the conference was “Life Sciences 4.0 – Disrupt the Disruption”. BioAsia is an annual event organised by the Government of Telangana and it largely focuses on re-imagining healthcare after technological disruptions.
i. The Partner Country for the event is South Korea. South Africa and Spain are the international partners for the event.
i. A Vaccine Skilling Program of Telangana Government was launched to rope in skilled professionals for the growth of the industry.
ii. Genome Valley Excellence Award 2019was presented by the organising committee of BioAsia 2019. It was awarded to Dr. Don W Cleveland of the University of California. The award felicitates his work in cancer genetics.
iii. ‘Life Sciences 4.0: transforming health care in India’ was launched by EY. The report discusses the disruptive impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) on the health care ecosystem in India.
♦ Past editions of the conference have helped in bringing in investments of about Rs.15,000 crores and around 16,000 business partnering meetings have been organized during the event.
♦ Leaders and officers from 95 countries have attended the event and around 250 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) & Letters of Intent (LoIs) were signed at the forum.
♦ Capital- Hyderabad
♦ Chief Minister- K. Chandrashekar Rao
♦ Governor- E.S.L Narasimhan
India ranked 47th in the “inclusive internet index 2019”
India ranked 47th in the ‘Inclusive Internet Index 2019’ which was prepared by the ‘Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for Facebook. The index was expanded to include 100 countries representing 94% of the world’s population and 96% of global GDP.
i. Sweden topped the index whereas Singapore ranked 2nd and USA ranked 3rd. India maintained its previous year rank.
ii. The United Kingdom, Namibia and Ireland are top performers of the year on the parameter of gender equality.
iii. According to the index, there are provable benefits from digital skill programmes, comprehensive female e-inclusion policies and targets for women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
iv. The percentage of households connected to the internet globally increased from 53.1% to 54.8 % but the rate of growth in Internet Connections slowed in 2019 to 2.9% from the 7.7% of 2018.
♦ Headquarter: California, US
♦ Founder and CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
BANKING & FINANCE
Corporation bank, Allahabad Bank and Dhanlaxmi bank are out of PCA framework
On 26th February 2019, the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of the Reserve Bank of India has removed 2 public sector banks- Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank and 1 private sector bank – Dhanlaxmi Bank from PCA (Prompt Corrective Action) framework.
i. According to BFS, Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank had received Rs 6,896 crore and Rs 9,086 crore respectively which led to increase in their capital funds and also increased their loan loss provision.
ii. According to RBI, Dhanlaxmi bank was found to be not breaching any of the risk threshold of the PCA Framework, hence was removed out of the PCA Framework.
♦ Allahabad Bank CEO – CH. S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao, Headquarters – Kolkata (West Bengal)
♦ Corporation Bank CEO – P. V. Bharathi, Headquarters – Mangalore (Karnataka)
♦ Dhanlaxmi Bank CEO – T Latha, Headquarters – Thrissur (Kerala)
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
MoU inked between Inland Waterways authority of India and Indian Oil on fuel needs for national waterways
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for development of infrastructure for fuels, lubricating oil, LPG, Natural Gas and any other related fuel and gas for meeting the requirement of National Waterways.
i. Under the MoU, both the organisations jointly conduct techno-economic feasibility studies for preparation of detailed land requirement, storage facilities and other supporting infrastructure with details of the cost.
ii. IWAI will provide inputs and information pertaining to National Waterways and its terminals with IOCL for implementing projects. It will also provide land to IOCL on long term lease basis for developing facilities at existing terminals within the approved guidelines of land lease policy of the Government.
About National Waterways Act
♦ Launched in 2016.
♦ 106 new National Waterways have been declared apart from the already existing 5National Waterways.
♦ Capacity addition of National Waterway-1has been taken up under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) with financial help from the World Bank.
♦ Under the JMVP, multimodal terminals are being developed at Haldia, Sahibganj, Varanasiand Intermodal terminals are being developed at Ghazipur and Kalughat. Also, Least Assured Depth (LAD) will be provided between Haldia and Varanasi for safe navigation of vessels.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 Awards
The National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 awards were given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
i.The festival was launched with a theme “Be the Voice of New India” and “Find solutions and contribute to policy” by Sports and youth affairs minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on January 12 to encourage youth (18-25 years) to enagage with public issues.
ii.It was organised by National Service Scheme (NSS) in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), under the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
iii. The winners from the national level competition are:
- 1stposition- Shweta Umre from Maharashtra
- 2ndposition- Anjanakshi M.S from Karnataka
- 3rdposition-Mamta Kumari from Bihar
“Khelo India” app publicized during the event:
The “Khelo India” app, which has been developed by Sports Authority of India was also launched at the event. It provides services such as locating the sports facilities in the country, their availability, rules of the games and checking the fitness levels of users.
National e-Governance Awards 2019 was presented by Shri Jitendra Singh
On 27th February 2019, Minister of state in Prime Minister’s office, Dr. Jitendra Singh presented National e-Governance Awards 2019 in New Delhi with a view to recognize and promote excellence in implementation of e-Governance initiatives.
i. To recognize the achievements in the area of e-Governance, the awards will be given in 6 categories including excellence in adopting emerging technologies, excellence in providing Citizen-centric delivery, etc.
ii. Some of the best Government to Government (G to G), Government to Citizen (G to C) and Government to Business (G to B) initiatives taken by the Government departments are recognized in the award.
iii. The award also recognises initiatives in startups, academic research, institutions as well as initiatives in adopting emerging technologies.
iv. An experience sharing session on IRCTC Rail connect mobile app, UMANG, MDDA ERP, Punarvas, Hello Doctor 555 etc was part of the event.
About the Ministry:
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh.
CZPDC Bhopal and WZPDC Indore honoured with Saubhagya Award
The Central Zone Power Distribution Company (CZPDC), Bhopal and West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDC), Indore were conferred with the “Saubhagya Award” under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana at the National Conference of Energy Ministers by the Union Minister of State for Energy, R.K. Singh.
i. The award includes a cash prize of Rs 100 crore each.
ii. The CZPDC Bhopal is the first power distribution company in the India which has provided electricity to more than 7,85,000 houses and the WZPDC, Indore has done it for about 4,00,000 houses.
iii. The PM Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana- Saubhagya was implemented by the Central Government on 25th September, 2017, and intends to provide electricity to all Below Poverty Line (BPL) houses of rural and urban areas.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Govind Prasad Sharma appointed as NBT Chairman
On 26th February 2019, the autonomous organization under the Department of Higher Education, National Book Trust (NBT) appointed educationist and authorGovind Prasad Sharma as its new Chairman replacing Baldeo Sharma.
i. Govind Prasad Sharma authored more than 6 academic books and several research papers. He also served as Vice Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education.
ii. Mr. Sharma was born in 1939 and he had served as the Director of Madhya Pradesh Hindi Granth Academi and as the principal of Government PG College, Madhya Pradesh.
Hemand Bhargava appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of IDBI Bank
On 25th February 2019, IDBI Bank (Industrial Development Bank of India) appointed Hemand Bhargava as non-executive non wholetime Chairman for a period of 3 years or till he continues as the chairman-in-charge and MD of LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India).
i. Currently LIC is the majority shareholders in IDBI Bank with 51% stake. The Life Insurance has become the promoter of it after they acquired the stake from the Government of India.
ii. The name of the bank is proposed for a change by LIC to either LIC IDBI Bank or LIC Bank which was approved by the IDBI Bank board subject to a ‘no objection’ from RBI, shareholders and availability of name.
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)
♦ Headquarter: Hyderabad
♦ Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia
About IDBI Bank
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai
♦ MD and CEO: Rakesh Sharma
Muhammadu Buhari got his second term as Nigeria’s President
Muhammadu Buhari, who is a member of All Progressive Congress (APC) has defeated Atiku Abubakar with more than three million votes in the election to become the President of Africa’s most populous country – Nigeria for the second time.
♦ Capital – Abuja.
♦ Currency – Nigerian Naira.
♦ Prime Minister -Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
DAC consented to acquire Defence Equipment worth 2700 crores
On 27th February 2019, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved the acquisition of defence equipment at cost of Rs 2700 crores.
The following was approved:
- 3 Cadet Training ships for the Indian Navy to impart basic sea training for officer cadets and women officer trainees. These ships would perform hospital ship duties, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, undertaking search and rescue (SAR) missions and non-combatant evacuation operations.
Sanath Jayasuriya banned from all forms of cricket for 2 years
Former captain of Sri Lanka, Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from all forms of cricket for 2 years after admitting breaching two counts of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
He admitted to being in breach of the following provisions of the Code:
- Article 2.4.6 – Failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU.
- Article 2.4.7 – Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.
World NGO Day 2019 was observed on 27th Feb
On 27th February 2019, the human Right activists and all individuals celebrated world NGO Day 2019. It was officially recognized and declared by the 12 member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and first time marked by the rest of the world, UN, EU leaders and international organizations in 2014.
i. The day is for NGOs around the globe to display the efforts and achievements of non-profit and non-governmental organizations from all sectors. It also plays a significant role and is appreciated around the world.
ii. NGO Day serves as an opportunity to discuss the issues that affect their work and form partnership through which they can resolve a mutual problem.
iii. It aims to inspire people to encourage and become more active to be involved within NGOs, private and public sector for the betterment of society.
iv. It provides an opportunity to honour and remember NGO founders, employees, volunteers, members and supporters all around the world.
Economic Survey Report estimated Delhi’s economic growth at 8.6% in 2018-19
The Economic Survey Report put forth by the Delhi Government in the State Assembly estimated Delhi’s economy to have grown at 8.61% during 2018-19.
i. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices during 2018-19 is estimated to attain the level of Rs 7,79,652 crore at a growth rate of 12.98% over 2017-18.
ii. The Gross State Value Added (GSVA) at current prices for 2018-19 shows the contribution of the tertiary sector at 84.12%, secondary sector at 14% and the primary sector at 1.88%.
iii. The per capita income at current prices during 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 3,65,529 as compared to per capita income ofRs 1,25,397 at the national level.
iv. Education sector continued to be the top priority with maximum share of allocation of funds, 27.36% of the budget, followed by social security and welfare (16.63%), medical and public health (14.81%), housing and urban development (14.12%), transport (11.67%), and water supply and sanitation (10.68%).
v. The tax collection registered a growth of 14.70% in 2017-18 against the 3.03% growth in 2016-17. The tax collection for2018-19 is budgeted for a 17.59% growth over the previous year.The consistent Revenue Surplus during 2017-18 has been maintained at Rs 4913 crore.