Current Affairs February 2018 - Regional


1 - IREDA and RUMSL inked agreement for Large-Scale Solar Parks in Madhya Pradesh


Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) signed an agreement for financing the shared infrastructure of two large Solar Parks in Madhya Pradesh.

IREDA has sanctioned its first loan of Rs. 210.62 Cr. to RUMSL to finance the two solar parks at a fixed interest rate of 8.5% p.a. for entire loan tenure, moratorium from principal repayments upto 5 years and loan repayment period of upto 20 years.

2 - MoU signed for Twin tower trade centre in Guwahati

Twin Tower Trade Centre

The Assam government signed an MoU with National Building Construction Corporation (India) Ltd for setting up a Twin Tower Trade Centre at Guwahati. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1.950 crore in self-financing mode.

Guwahati is one of the 99 smart cities and is being established as a regional hub for North East India. The Government of India has planned an investment to the tune of approx. Rs 45,000 crore for the development of India's North-Eastern regions bordering China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

3 - Maharashtra government gave nod to new wildlife sanctuary

Maharashtra Government

The Maharashtra government has approved Ghodazari in Chandrapur district as a new wildlife sanctuary in the state. The sanctuary will include 159 sq km of Brahmapuri forest. The forest includes 10 to 15 tigers and 23 leopards.

Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife took the decision to build the sanctuary in the North East of Tadoba. The board also approved various proposals for development works within national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

4 - Government launched KUSUM Scheme to provide additional income to farmers

KUSUM Scheme

The Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme was launched by Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar Singh. The Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme would provide additional income to farmers, by giving them option to sell additional power to the grid, through solar power projects set up on their barren lands.

The scheme will give a boost to the farmer-oriented scheme involving decentralized solar power production up-to 28250 MW over a period of five years.

5 - Government gave nod to new project to control pollution of River Sal at Goa

Government Nod Project

The Centre sanctioned a new project to control pollution in River Sal at Navelim town in Goa. The project would cost of Rs. 61.74 cr. Both the Centre and State will share the cost on 60:40 basis. Under the project, around 32 kms of sewers will be laid and sewage treatment plant of 3 million litres per day (MLD) constructed. The project is scheduled for completion by January 2021.

The project will help in reduction of pollution load in the river and improvement in its water quality, besides improving the environment and sanitation in the town.

6 - Ola signed MoU with Assam Transportation for River Taxi Service

Assam Transportation

Government of Assam and Ola signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pilot an app-based river taxi service in Guwahati. Bringing water taxis on the online platform, a localised and key mode of commute in the capital city will further strengthen the transportation ecosystem.

The river taxis will be a machine-operated boat, which is faster and safer than the conventional ones. Ola will pilot high-speed taxis on the Lachit Ghat, Machkhowa to North Guwahati route, bringing the commute time down 2-5 minutes from 45 minutes by road.

7 - Andhra Pradesh observed first-ever pelican festival at Atapaka bird sanctuary

First-ever Pelican Festival

Andhra Pradesh observed first-ever pelican festival at Atapaka bird sanctuary on the borders of the Krishna and the West Godavari districts. Folk artists and local fishermen displayed rally with pomp and gaiety and the ‘dappu’ and metallic beats from Kaikaluru. The helium-filled balloons were also released on the occasion.

Many villagers witnessed the festival and enjoyed sand art, games and sports events, food at the food court organised as part of the festival.

8 - Arunachal Pradesh CM laid Foundation Stone for Rhododendron Park

Rhododendron Park

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu laid the foundation stone for Rhododendron Park in Tawang.

The park would be built in a total area of 1.15 hectares and would be partly funded under Border Area Development Programme (BADP). The park will have more than 30 species of rhododendrons. Tawang is home to more than 50 different varieties of the species.

9 - Bihar government banned sale of loose cigarettes

Loose Cigarettes

The Bihar government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes in the state. Bihar is the 12th state in the country to enforce such a ban. As per the Tobacco Control Act, anyone selling loose cigarettes would be liable for fine.

According to a survey, 80% people use loose cigarettes, 54% adults in Bihar use tobacco products and 9% of them are smokers. Around 12 lakh tobacco-related deaths occur in the country every year.

10 - UP Government launched DASTAK campaign to eradicate Japanese Encephalitis

DASTAK Campaign

The Uttar Pradesh Government in association with the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) has launched a door-to-door campaign “DASTAK" against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrom (AES).

The war cry of DASTAK is “Darwaja khatkhatao, AES aur JE ko bhagao.” The vaccination work will be completed by March-April 2018. 38 districts of Uttar Pradesh are affected with AES and JE. Children of 600 schools in the affected areas will also be part of this campaign.

11 - Assam government introduced 'The Assam Yoga Council Bill, 2018' in State Assembly

Assam Yoga Council Bill

The Assam government introduced a Bill in the state Assembly to set up a yoga council for regulating the teaching and practice of yoga.

The council is proposed to be set up in order to assure quality of service and avoid misinterpretation and misuse of the system. Besides, it will ensure that yoga institutions offer safe, reliable and quality medical healthcare. The council will be empowered to grant affiliation and accreditation to institutions teaching yoga as well as withdraw the same.

12 - Maharashtra signed deal with Virgin Group for World’s First Hyperloop

Virgin Group

Maharashtra has inked an "intent agreement" with the Virgin Hyperloop One to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai, beginning with an operational demonstration track. Virgin Hyperloop One is a patof Virgin group chaired by Richard Branson.

Hyperloop has the capability of going up to 1,000 km an hour. The journey to Pune would take about 14-25 minutes at 350 kmph. Currently, it takes about 3.5 hours.

13 - Kerala to use robots to clean up manholes

Clean Up Manholes

The Kerala state government, in a first of its kind move, is planning to deploy robots to clean sewer holes. The government had held a successful trial run of the robot. The project is supported by Kerala Water Authority (KWA).

The robots are developed by a startup company, Genrobotics. The robot is equipped with Wi-Fi, Blue Tooth and control panels has four limbs and a bucket system attached to a spider web looking extension to scoop out the waste from sewers. The robotic system is aimed at the complete elimination of manual scavenging.

14 - Two-day UP investors' summit held in Lucknow

Two-day UP investors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day ‘UP Investors Summit’ in Lucknow. The focus sectors of the summit were civil aviation, dairy, electronics manufacturing, tourism, renewable energy, film, handloom and textile, agro and food processing, IT and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Uttar Pradesh has signed 1,045 pacts worth Rs4.28 trillion. Netherlands, Japan, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovenia, Mauritius and Thailand were the seven partner countries of the summit.

15 - Assam worst in MMR, spent just 13.58% of NHM fund in 2017-18

NHM fund

Assam ranks at the bottom of the list with regard to maternal mortality rate(MMR). The MMR of Assam is 300 against the national average of 167. Centre had allocated Rs 1,056.25 crore for Assam under National Health Mission (NHM) for 2017-18. However, the spending was just 13.58%.

MMR is the annual number of female deaths per 1,00,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management. The infant mortality rate(IMR) in Assam is 44 against the national figure of 37.

16 - Highlights of UP Budget 2018

UP Budget 2018

The UP state government presented a budget of over Rs 4.28 lakh crore which is 11.4% higher than last fiscal.

Some of the highlights:

  • 20 new agriculture centres to be opened

  • 5500 centres to be opened to procure wheat from farmers

  • Rs 50 crore allocated to handicraft and handloom sector

  • Rs 150 crore allocated to provide subsidized electricity to weavers

  • Rs 8815 crore located to women and child welfare programs

  • Chief Minister Self Employment Scheme has been allocated Rs 100 crore

  • Start-up fund of Rs 250 crore has been created

17 - Maharashtra Government to launch Asmita Yojana to provide cheap sanitary pads

Asmita Yojana

The Maharashtra state government is all set to launch its “Asmita Yojana” on the ocassion of International Women’s Day on March 8. As a part of the scheme, girls in Zilla Parishad schools will get a sanitary napkin packet at Rs 5 while rural women can avail it at a subsidised rate of Rs 24 and Rs 29.

The beneficiary girls will be given “Asmita Cards”. The state government has appointed “Umed’- the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission, as a nodal agency for effective implementation of the scheme.

18 - Delhi Government to launch 'Mission Buniyaad'

Mission Buniyaad

The Delhi government announced the launch of "Mission Buniyaad" for improving learning skills of children studying in state and municipal-run schools.

Under the programme which will run from April to June for Class 3 to 5 in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools and for Class 6 to 8 in government's schools, children will undergo a reading level assessment based on which they will be enrolled in specialised "Mission Buniyaad" classes.

19 - New Health Policy in Kerala made vaccination certificate mandatory for school admission

New Health Policy

The Kerala state cabinet has approved a new draft health policy which has made vaccination certificate mandatory for admission to class-I from the next academic session with an aim to ensure that all children below the age of five are immunised.

The government has also decided to set up special clinics for transgenders in taluk and district-level hospitals. The new health policy also proposed a comprehensive trauma care facility at every 10 kilometre.

20 - Jaipur's Gandhinagar railway station becomes 1st fully women operated station of India

Jaipurs Gandhinagar Railway Station

The Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur became India's first major railway station to be fully-managed by women. There are 40 women staff at the station. Also, women personnel of the railway protection force have been deployed at the station.

More than 50 trains pass through the station out of which 25 halt at the station. The station has footfall of more than 7,000 passengers every day.

21 - Mizoram to get first regional agricultural centre with Israeli collaboration


Mizoram will get a first of its kind regional agricultural centre in the North Eastern Region. The Centre for Agriculture was set up with Israeli collaboration with a cost of Rs 8-10 crore.

The centre is exclusively for processing of citrus fruits. The project has been set up with the tripartite collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Government of Israel and State Government of Mizoram. It will cater to the whole northeast.

22 - Telangana inked agreement with Taiwan for better technology partnership

Technology Partnership

The Telangana Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Taoyuan City of Taiwan for better technology partnership in the state. The MoU was signed at the closing ceremony of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018.

The two sides have agreed to partner for mutual economic development. Government of Telangana and Taoyuan City will engage in economic exchange of technology companies that have operations in either Telangana or Taoyuan City.

23 - Second defence industrial corridor to come up in UP

Second Defence Industrial Corridor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the government would establish a defence industrial production corridor in Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore. The corridor will link Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Chitrakoot. It will help create employment for 2.5 lakh people.

The first of the two corridors will be constructed between Chennai and Bengaluru, linking Kattupalli port, Chennai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Hosur.

24 - Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed $ 84 million loan for Bihar

Asian Development Bank

The Government of India and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar.

The tranche 2 loan is part of the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012 to provide sustainable urban infrastructure and services in four towns in Bihar. The loan finances will support civil works subprojects and would benefit 1.1 million people and train 400 urban local body (ULB) staff in the management and operation and maintenance.

25 - Uttar Pradesh government inked pact with Amazon India

Uttar Pradesh Government

Khadi and Village Industries Board of Uttar Pradesh signed agreement with Amazon India to promote online sale of Khadi products via Amazon e-commerce website. This MoU will compel Amazon India to guide, train and enable rural khadi artisans to directly sell their products to customers. MoU will generate employment among Khadi artisans and make them comfortable with Digital initiatives in Khadi industry.

The sale of product portfolio online will include Khadi shirts, kurtas, dhotis, towels and gourmet food, as per the emerging demand in urban areas.

26 - Andaman & Nicobar Command to Host Milan 2018

Andaman and Nicobar

The Andaman & Nicobar Command will host a multinational mega event MILAN 2018. It is being held at Port Blair from 06 March to 13 March 2018. With the underlying theme of 'Friendship Across the Seas', MILAN 2018 will witness a diverse mix of professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures.

The theme of this year’s MILAN International Maritime Seminar is ‘In Pursuit of Maritime Good Order - Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus’. MILAN 2018 aims to showcase the rich heritage and pristine natural beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the foreign visitors.

27 - West Bengal became first state to opt out of "ModiCare"


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced the decision to opt out of Centre’s ‘Modicare’ scheme and the state thus became the first state to withdraw from the ambitious programme.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) on February 1. Bengal has a similar program called ‘Swasthya Sathi’ where already 45 lakh families covering 2.5 crore population are already enrolled.