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ICMR released a report on NCDs titled “India: Health of the Nation’s States”
On July 2, 2019, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released a report on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) titled “India: Health of the Nation’s States”. Total death in the country due to NCDs was 61.8% in 2016, as compared to 37.9% in 1990. Some examples of common NCDs are diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis and cancers (Oral, Breast and Cervical cancer).
- Due to epidemiological transition fewer deaths were recorded for communicable, maternal, neonatal and nutritional diseases in the States of Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu.
- National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) was implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) to reduce NCDs…………………………..Click here to Read more
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, launched commemoration of four years of Digital India initiative
Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a commemoration of 4 years of Digital India initiative in an event at New Delhi. The Digital India initiative was launched on July 1, 2015. The minister also electronically launched the SAMEER Centre for Electromagnetic Environmental Effects in Visakhapatnam, Wi-Fi enabled Campus Networks at Osmania University, Hyderabad and at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong and a special issue of Yojana on Citizen Centric e-Services.
Railways aim to install CCTV cameras in over 7,020 train coaches by March 2021
On July 3, 2019, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal informed that Railways will install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in over 7,020 coaches of mainline passenger trains during Phase-I which is targeted to complete by March 2021. They are already installed in 1,300 coaches of mainline passenger trains.
UIDAI started its first Aadhaar Seva Kendra in Delhi and Vijayawada
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has operationalized its first “Aadhaar Seva Kendra” (ASKs) in Delhi and Vijayawada on a pilot basis. UIDAI has a plan to set up 114 such centres by the end of 2019 covering 53 Indian cities. The estimated cost of the project is between Rs 300-400 crore. These centers are similar to the concept of Passport Seva Kendras.Features of ASK:
i. It is owned by UIDAI.
ii. It will facilitate enrolment, updation and other activities through online appointment management system, which allow people to book a slot as per their convenience.
iii. ASK centres are addition to thousands of centers that are currently being run by post offices and banks and even in government premises (offering similar Aadhaar services).
iv. Delhi Centre – Located at Akshardham metro station premises, it has a capacity to handle 1,000 enrolment/updation requests a day. It is equipped with 16 workstations and will be operational 6 days a week including weekends. It will be closed only on Tuesday and public holidays.
v. Vijayawada Centre – The capacity in Vijayawada centre is 500 enrolment/updation requests a day
♦ CEO: Ajay Bhushan Pandey
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 28 January 2009
♦ Ministry: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
AYUSH collaborated with MeitY for digitisation of AYUSH sector
The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurvedic, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi for the digitization of the AYUSH sector.i. The partnership aimed for the transformation in the field of health care delivery at all levels, along with greater research, education, delivery of various health care programmes for the accomplishment of National Health Policy 2017 and e-governance initiative.
ii. As a part of partnership, the MeitY will provide technical support to the AYUSH Ministry for planning and development of AYUSH GRID Project.
♦ Founded: 9 November 2014
♦ Minister of State (Independent charge): Shripad Yesso Naik
♦ Founded: 19 July 2016
♦ Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad
♦ Minister of State: Surinderjeet Singh Ahluwalia
CCMB and CDFD sign MoU to develop newer genetic disease diagnostic methods
Hyderabad based Indian biotechnology research establishments, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable newer diagnostic methods to treat genetic disorders. Key points:
i. Objective: The MoU was signed with the aim to provide high quality DNA-based diagnostic services to the public at a lower rate and to engage in scientific research to improve understanding of human genetic disorders.
ii. Report: In India, more than 50 lakh babies are born each year with genetic disease.
iii. DNA sequencing technology: This will enable better ways of diagnosis and help in treating human genetic disease.
It is an autonomous organization funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and it is equipped with world class state-of-the-art instrumentation and computing infrastructure to facilitate working in frontier areas of research in Life Sciences.
It operates under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. (CSIR) The objectives of the Centre are to conduct high-quality basic research and training in frontier areas of modern biology.
Govt signs SoI with IBM to find a solution in the field of Agriculture through AI& weather tech
On July 3,2019 Union Agriculture Ministry signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with IT major IBM (International Business Machines) to provide Farmers with the weather forecast and soil moisture information. Key points:
i. SoI: It was signed in the presence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and junior minister Kailash Choudhary, and other senior officials.
ii. Study: Under the project, a pilot study will be undertaken for the Kharif crop season 2019 in three districts of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot(Gujarat )and Nanded (Maharashtra ).
iii. Solution: IBM’s Watson Decision Platform, a platform comprising next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things, and cloud solutions will give solution in the field of agriculture at village level or farm level to provide weather forecast and soil moisture information.
iv. Benefits: This will help farmers to increase their income and transform Indian agriculture.
♦ CEO: Ginni Rometty
♦ Founder: Charles Ranlett Flint
♦ Founded: 16 June 1911
♦ Headquarters: Armonk, New York, United States
IAEA confirms Iran breached enriched Uranium Stockpile limit set by 2015 nuclear deal
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran had exceeded a limit of 300 kilograms on its enriched uranium reserves set by a 2015 nuclear deal/Iran deal. Initially, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had made the announcement that Iran had crossed the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. About Iran Deal
It is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Iran Nuclear deal. It was signed on July 14, 2015, between Iran, P5+1 namely- France, United Kingdom, China, Russia, and the US (P5) plus Germany in Vienna, Austria.
As per the deal Iran could stockpile not more than 300kg of low-enriched uranium and was permitted to produce low-enriched uranium, which had a 3.67% concentration of U-235, an isotope of uranium, and could fuel a power plant only until 2031.
U.S. Senate passes a legislative provision to grant India a NATO ally-like status
On July 3, 2019, The US Senate (United States) has passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2020 to promote defense cooperation, which would make India’s status equal to the US-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) partners and countries like Israel and South Korea. This will result in increased defense & maritime cooperation between India and the US.
i. NDAA 2020: The bill was introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator John Cornyn with support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner and the bill will be signed into law by US President Donald Trump after it is approved from both chambers of the US Congress, House of Representatives and Senate.
ii. Defense collaboration: The amendment paves the way for US-India defense cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and special impetus on counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance.
iii. The benefit of the status for India: Makes India eligible for entry into cooperative research and development projects with the Department of Defense (DoD) on a shared-cost basis, Allows India to take certain counter-terrorism initiatives, purchase depleted uranium anti-tank rounds, etc
iv. Background: In 2016, India was recognized as a “Major Defence Partner” which gives access to advanced and sensitive technologies from the US at par with that of its closest allies.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI forms Working group under Tapan Ray to review the regulatory guidelines on core investment companies
On July 3, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a six-member working group to review the regulatory and supervisory framework for core investment companies (CIC).Key points:
i.Head: The group is to be headed by Tapan Ray, non-executive chairman, Central Bank of India and former Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and it will submit its report by 31 October 2019.
ii. The terms of reference: The panel tasked with examining the current regulatory framework for CICs in terms of adequacy, efficacy, and effectiveness of every component thereof and suggests changes.
iii. Background: In August 2010, RBI introduced a separate framework for the regulation of systemically important CICs, recognizing the difference in the business model of a holding company compared to other non-banking financial companies(NBFCs). Over the years, corporate group structures have become more complex involving multiple layering and leveraging, which has led to greater inter-connectedness with the financial system through their access to public funds
iv. CICs: These are NBFCs carrying the business of acquisition of shares and securities, with asset size of Rs.100 crore and above.
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
Airtel Payments Bank ties up with Bharti AXA Life Insurance to offer the Bharti AXA Life POS Saral Jeevan Bima Yojana
The first live payments bank in the country, Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Bharti AXA Life Insurance to offer Bharti AXA Life POS (Point of Sale) Saral Jeevan Bima Yojana, a pure life term insurance plan up to Rs 5 lakh which is aimed at the under-insured and uninsured segments in India.
i. The policy available at Airtel Payments Bank’s 25,000 retail outlets will be expanded to cover over 60,000 banking points.
ii. The customers are offered the option of life cover between 3-5 lakh and it will soon be extended up to Rs 25 lakh. Any individual between the ages of 18 and 55 can enroll for this product.
iii. In 2018 Airtel Payments Bank had also partnered with Bharti AXA Life Insurance to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY).
About Airtel Payment Bank
♦ CEO: Anubrata Biswas
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 2016
About Bharti AXA Life Insurance
♦ Founded: 2005
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Karnataka Bank launches web tool for NPA recovery process named ‘Vasool So-Ft’
Karnataka Bank Ltd’s Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mahabaleshwara MS launched the web tool named ‘Vasool So-Ft’ (Vasool So-Fast) for digitizing the Non-Performing Asset (NPA) recovery process of the bank in Mangalore, Karnataka.
i. The tool will enable easy and faster processing, real-time information and immediate decision making in the recovery area.
ii. It will also enable easy follow-up and enhance overall efficiency in the recovery efforts of the Bank.
About Karnataka Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mangalore, Karnataka
♦ Tag line: Your Family Bank, Across India
ICICI Bank tied up with IndoStar Capital for commercial vehicle financing
ICICI Bank tied up with IndoStar Capital, a non-banking financial company, for vehicle financing for small and medium fleet owners to buy new and old commercial vehicles. Key Points:
i. IndoStar will originate customers in tier-II, III, IV cities where it has a branch network of 322 branches and will provide the service to the customers through the entire loan life-cycle including sourcing, documentation, collection and loan servicing.
ii. ICICI Bank will provide funds to the customers.
iii. Services will be provided to the customers of the cities like Coimbatore, Salem, Tirunelveli, Kurnool, Calicut, Trivandrum, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jodhpur, Alwar, and Meerut.
About ICICI Bank:
♦ ICICI stands for Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi
♦ Tag line: Hum Hai Na, Khyal Apka
About IndoStar Capital:
♦ Founded: 2009
♦ CEO: R Sridhar
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Overview of Economic Survey 2018-19
On July 4, 2019, The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Economic Survey 2018-19. It was prepared by the Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian.
- Sustained real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 8% is needed for a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25.
- Decisions by real people deviate from impractical robots theorized in classical economics and Behavioral economics provides insights to ‘nudge’ people towards desirable behavior.
- Growth of GDP moderated to 6.8% in 2018-19 from 7.2% in 2017-18. The survey projects GDP to grow at 7% in 2019-20………………………………Click here to Read more
GOI Ratifies International convention to curb company profit sharing
The Government recently ratified the multilateral tax convention designed by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) to implement Tax treaty to combat Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). This has been done to shrink opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.
i. The convention measures to prevent BEPS (Multilateral instruments (MLI)) which was signed by India in 2017 in Paris.
ii BEPS: It is tax planning strategies by companies to shift their profits to low or no-tax locations where there is little or no economic activity, resulting in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.
iii. Background: The convention (MIL) is one of the outcomes of OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS Project) and it shall come into force from 1st October 2019 for India.
iv. Impact: The convention will modify India’s treaties in order to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and BEPS strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating profits are carried out and where value is created.
v. Applicability: MIL will operate to modify tax treaties between two or more Parties to Convention. It will not function in the same way as an amending protocol to a single existing treaty, which will directly amend the text of the Covered Tax Agreement. Instead, it will be applied alongside existing tax treaties, modifying their application in order to implement the BEPS measures.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
USISPF honors Wipro Chairman Azim Premji & Mastercard CEO and President Ajay Banga with Global Excellence Award 2019
On July 3, 2019, Indian multinational corporation Wipro’s Chairman, Azim Premji and Global Financial services company Mastercard’s CEO and President, Ajaypal Singh Banga have been chosen for 2019 Global Excellence Award of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) for their contribution to strengthening economic ties between the US and India.Key points:
i. The awards will be given at the USISPF Second Annual Leadership Summit in Washington on July 11, 2019.
ii. The United States President’s Senior Adviser, Jared Kushner will present the awards to Premji and Banga at the summit.
iii. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republic from Arkansas and Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Shringla will attend the leadership summit which going to highlight bilateral cooperation, trade and investment, strategic energy ties, manufacturing and innovation partnership of two countries.
CEO: Abidali Neemuchwala
Founder: M.H. Hasham Premji
Headquarters: New York, United States
Founded: 16 December 1966
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Economist David Lipton appointed as IMF interim leader
On July 3,2019 International Monetary Fund (IMF) appointed American economist David Lipton as its interim leader. He replaces Christine Lagarde who was nominated to head the European Central Bank. Key points:
i. Prior to this, Lipton was Special Assistant to the President and served as Senior Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Economic Council and National Security Council at the White House.
ii. He also worked as a Managing Director and Head of Global Country Risk Management at Citigroup.
iii. He also served as a secretary in the Treasury Department from 1993 to 1998 under the Clinton administration.
iv. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University in 1982 and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1975.
v. Christine Lagarde has been named as the first women to head of European Central Bank.
Formation: 27 December 1945
Headquarters: Washington D.C, U.S.
Parent organization: United Nations
AK Misra appointed as an additional director on Board of Directors (BOD) of Jammu and Kashmir Bank by Reserve Bank of India
On July 4, 2019, Reserve Bank of India has appointed AK Misra as an additional director on Board of Directors (BOD) of Jammu and Kashmir Bank. He was the former executive director of RBI. His appointment shall be for a period of two years with effect from July 3, 2019, to July 2, 2021, or till further orders.
About Jammu and Kashmir Bank:
Headquarter – Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Interim Chairman – Rajesh Kumar Chibber
Tagline – Serving to Empower
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Airtel completed the merger of Tata Tele’s consumer mobile business
On July 1, 2019, Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Hexacom Limited announced the merger of the consumer mobile businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited (TTML) with the two Bharti Group companies. Key Points:
i. In May 2019, Airtel had submitted a Rs 644 crore bank guarantee with the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for the Tata Tele merger.
ii. Airtel is authorized to hold TTSL’s consumer mobile businesses operations in 19 telecom circles -17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML (Maharashtra).
iii. All the customers, assets, spectrum, and agreed liabilities of the TTSL and TTML are merged with Airtel.
About Bharti Airtel Ltd:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ CEO: Gopal Vittal
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA successfully tests launch-abort system for moon-mission capsule
On July 2, 2019, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully conducted the test of a launch-abort system for the Orion capsule designed to take United States (US) astronauts to the Moon. It took place at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US. It was launched by a mini-rocket, a repurposed first stage of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
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Overview of Poznań Athletics Grand Prix 2019 held in Golęcin Stadium, Poznań, Poland
Indian sprint runner Hima Das, nicknamed ‘Dhing Express’ won the gold medal in women’s 200m with a timing of 23.65 seconds in Poznań Athletics Grand Prix 2019 held in Golecin Stadium, Poznań, Poland.Other winners:
In addition to Hima’s gold, other Indian Athletes won four bronze medal.
i. V.K. Vismaya won bronze medal in the women’s 200m with a timing of 23.75 seconds in which Hima won gold medal.
ii. In men’s 200m, Muhammed Anas won bronze medal with a timing of 20.75 seconds.
iii. In men’s 400-metre, KS Jeevan won bronze medal with a timing of 47.25 seconds.
iv. In men’s Shotput, Asian champion Tajinder Pal Singh Toor won bronze medal with a best effort of 19.62 metre. His national record while winning Asian Games gold last year stands at 20.75 metre.
Basant Kumar Birla, Indian industry stalwart and Birla group patriarch passed away at the age of 98 in Mumbai
Basant Kumar Birla, Indian businessman and Birla group patriarch passed away recently in Mumbai at the age of 98. He was born in Kolkata, West Bengal.KeyPoints:
i. He was the chairman of the Krishnarpan Charity Trust, BK Birla Institute of Engineering & Technology (BKBIET) and various educational trusts and institutes .
ii. He wrote several books including an autobiography titled ‘Svantah Sukhaya’.
Barun Haldar, veteran newsreader of All India Radio(AIR) passed away at the age of 85 in Kolkata
On 3rd July, 2019 Barun Haldar, veteran newsreader of All India Radio(AIR) passed away at the age of 85 in Kolkata. He was born in Kolkata, West Bengal.
He was a popular presenter of Western Music in AIR Kolkata. He was associated with AIR news till 1999.
Santosh Rana, one of the foremost leaders of the Communist Party of India passed away in Kolkata at the age 76 in Kolkata
Santosh Rana, one of the foremost leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML) passed away in Kolkata at the age of 76. He was born in Gopiballavpur, West Bengal, India. CPI-ML (PCC) (Provisional Central Committee) was one of the very first Naxalite groups to participate in elections. Political Career:
i. He served in Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) from 1969-1972 and served Provisional Central Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) from 1972-2016.
He received Ananda Puraskar award for his book Rajnitir Ek Jibon in 2018.
Delhi Police signs pact with SECI to implement Rooftop Solar Energy Systems
On July 3, 2019, The Delhi police signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), to set up rooftop solar energy systems in over 200 of its buildings in Delhi.
i. SECI will support the implementation of grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on the establishment of the Delhi police.
ii. Rooftop Solar Systems of total capacity of 3-4 Megawatt (MW) will be implemented across various Delhi Police buildings.
iii. The project will utilize vacant roofs of the buildings to harness solar energy which will reduce the electricity bill payments of the Delhi Police.
Gujarat FM presents the state’s highest budget pegged at over Rs 2 lakh crore for 2019-20
On July 3, 2019, Finance Minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel presented the Budget size of Rs 2,04,815 crore for the year 2019-20 for the state. The budget indicates the overall surplus of Rs 572 crore & additional tax income of Rs 287 crore.
i. Making History: This is the first time the State’s budget has crossed Rs.2 lakh crore.
ii. The budget estimates revenue receipts Rs 1,54,732 crore, and revenue expenditure of Rs 1,51,858 crore for the year 2019-20.
iii.Tap water to every household by 2022: The state government has allotted Rs.4,500 crore for this purpose.
iv. Clean energy in focus: In the clean energy space, the state plans to increase installed capacity to 30,000 megawatts (Mw) by 2022, from 8885 MW at present.
V. Sauni Yojana: Rs.7,157 crore has been allocated for this and other water supply schemes for irrigation and drinking water.
vi. Sardar Sarovar Narmada Yojana: To bring water to canal network to field the state allotted Rs.6,595 crore for this ambitious scheme.
vii. House for all: Rs.1248 crore budget has been made & 4.8 lakh housing units have been sanctioned.
viii. Infrastructure project: Rs.510 crore provisions are made for a metro project of the state.
ix. Vhali Dikri Yojana: The new scheme introduced to improve girl childbirth rate of the state. Financial assistance will be given to a girl child from Rs.4,000 to Rs.1 lakh.
♦ Capital: Gandhinagar
♦ Chief minister: Vijay Rupani
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
Operation Khumaar launched in J&K to make 312 panchayats free from tobacco
On July 2, 2019, In a major step aimed towards making ‘drugs-free panchayats’, district administration Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir (J&k) launched an anti Drug Campaign called “Operation Khumaar” in all 312 Panchayats of the district.
i. Resolution: Several Panchayats have already adopted a resolution on the occasion of International Day against Drug abuse and illicit trafficking (26th June 2019).
ii.Ban: Tobacco products cannot be sold to a person below the age of 18 years and in a place within 100 yards radius from the outer boundary of the Schools.
iii.COTPA act: The district Administration also decided to implement section 4 and section 5 of COTPA 2003, As per section 4 there is the prohibition of smoking in all public places and as per section 5, there is prohibition in the direct or indirect advertisement of Tobacco products.
iv. Counseling centers: The district directed Block Medical Officers to set up counseling centers at all Community Health Centres (CHCs) to help tobacco consumers to quit this habit.
♦ Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik
Glorious Jagannath Rath Yatra 2019 begins in Puri, Odisha
On July 4, 2019, The world famous Jagannath Rath Yatra 2019(also known as Chariot Festival) began at Puri in Odisha. The religious procession commemorates a journey by Hindu god Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, in specially made chariots as they travel to Gundicha temple, their birthplace.
. Key points:
i. The Rath Yatra draws lakhs of devotees from across the country.
ii. The Jagannath Rath Yatra in puri coincides with Gujarat’s Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra where its marks 142nd annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath.
iii. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted people on the auspicious occasion of Yatra.
♦ Capital: Bhubaneswar
♦ Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor: Ganeshi Lal
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