- Current Affairs March 2018
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Current Affairs March 2018 - Regional
1 - First Mega Food Park organized in Maharashtra
First Mega Food Park named as M/s Satara Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd was inaugurated in the state of Maharashtra. Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.
Mega Food Park will leverage an additional investment of about Rs. 250 crores in 25-30 food processing units in the park and would eventually lead to a turnover of about Rs. 450-500 crore annually. The Park will also provide employment and benefit about 25,000 farmers.
2 - Odisha launched 'Ama Gaon, Ama Vikas' programme
The Odisha government launched a programme Ama Gaon, Ama Vikas (Our Village, Our Development) to reach out to the people in rural areas and involve themselves in the developmental activities.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off mobile video vans for ‘Ama Gaon Ama Vikas’ programme that will move across the State to highlight various welfare schemes at villages in the state. Through these Wi-Fi enabled latest technology video wall vans, people can directly send their grievances to the Chief Minister’s Office at the Secretariat in Bhubaneswar.
3 - Delhi government appointed panel to inspect child care facilities
Delhi government appointed a six-member state inspection committee under the chairmanship of the director of Women and Child Development, WCD, department, who is also member secretary of state child protection society. The committee will conduct random visits to all facilities housing children in the national capital and get feedback from the kids there.
The committee will also interact with children during their visits to determine their well-being and get their feedback and submit report. The district child protection unit will take necessary follow-up action on the report of the inspection committee.
4 - Karnataka to have world’s largest solar park
Since Karnataka has emerged as the third-largest producer of renewable energy in India, it was decided by Government to inaugurate world’s largest solar park in Karnataka, named as ‘Shakti Sthala’. Karnataka’s solar park will have 2,000 megawatt capacity and can generate 2000 MW power.
The project will involve 2,300 farmers as these farmers will provide their land for Rs 21,000 per acre per annum rent. The solar park will involve cost of Rs 165 billion at 13,000 acres spread across five villages.
5 - Neiphiu Rio selected as Chief Minister of Nagaland
NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio took over as Chief Minister of Nagaland for 4th term. Governor PB Acharya administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the Council of Ministers. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yanthungo Patton was selected as the Deputy Chief Minister. The new Chief Minister proved the majority and ensured that Nagaland's development will witness a new governance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's growth agenda.
Neiphiu Rio participated from Northern Angami II constituency and was declared elected unopposed.
6 - Conrad Sangma became 12th chief minister of Meghalaya
Chief of the National People's Party, Conrad Sangma became new Chief Minister of Meghalaya, replacing Mukul Sangma. He took oath in presence of Governor Ganga Prasad in Shillong. At present, he is a Lok Sabha MP from the Tura parliamentary constituency in Meghalaya.
Conrad Sangma became the 12th chief minister of Meghalaya with union of five parties, namely the National People’s Party, United Democratic Party (UDP), People’s Democratic Front, Hill State People’s Democratic Party and the BJP. He was known as the youngest finance minister of Meghalaya in 2008.
7 - Goa celebrated Shigmotsav 2018
Goa celebrated Shigmotsav 2018. The fest is also called as Shigmo. Shigmo fest is a folklore holiday of the oncoming spring season in Goa. It is one of the several cultural festivals of the coastal state and is celebrated with the performance of particular songs and dances with exact color of clothing, performances of significant Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata etc.
Shigmo is the biggest Hindu festival in Goa with processions and festivities taking place all across the state every year.
8 - Karnataka state launched 'Arogya Karnataka'
In order to ensure universal health coverage for all citizens of Karnataka state, Karnataka state unveiled ‘Arogya Karnataka’ programme. It is a health scheme to provide treatment of health at an affordable cost. It will provide medical cover to both Below Poverty Line and Above Poverty Line families in the state. The state will bear Rs. 2000 crore cost for ‘Arogya Karnataka’ programme to cover 1.4 crore families.
State government will bear 30% of bills up to Rs 1.5 lakh in case of ABL families and 100% of bills up to Rs 1.5 lakh for each BPL families.
9 - Odisha state launched KHUSHI scheme
In order to promote hygiene and empower women, Odisha state launched a scheme named as KHUSHI scheme, so as to provide free sanitary napkins to school girls across the state. The scheme benefitting 17 lakh girls, will cost 70 crores annually to the health and family welfare department of the state. Under this scheme, sanitary napkins will be provided at reduced cost to rural women as well.
Odisha state had previously introduced benefitting schemes such as Mission Shakti and Mamata.
10 - Biplab Deb became Tripura's new Chief Minister
Biplab Kumar Deb became new Chief Minister of Tripura and BJP MLA Jishnu Debbarma was selected as the deputy chief minister. Gadkari was appointed as observer by BJP president Amit Shah. As per demands of Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, the incumbent chief minister is from tribal community. Biplab Deb is the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party and will be known as 20th chief minister of Tripura. With this victory of Biplab Deb, BJP government has entered with power in Tripura state for the first time under the name of National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Biplab Deb served as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura since 7 January 2016.
11 - Bengaluru launched its first helicopter taxi service
India's first helicopter taxi service took off for the first time in Bengaluru, which carried nine passengers from Kempegowda International Airport and to Electronic City in just 12 minutes. It saved time of about 2 hours. The service will cost Rs 3,500 plus GST to the passengers. The heli taxi service allows to carry 15 kg luggage.
At present, heli taxi service is launched for only one route, ie. from KIA to Electronic City and vice-versa. The service was launched by Thumby Aviation Private Limited.
12 - Microsoft signed renewable energy deal for Bengaluru facility
Microsoft has inked its first renewable energy deal in India for powering its new facility in Bengaluru. As a part of the agreement, Microsoft will purchase 3 megawatts of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power for its new office building in Bengaluru. It will help meet 80% of the projected electricity needs at the facility.
The deal was Microsoft’s first solar energy agreement in India. Microsoft’s goal is to rely on wind, solar and hydropower electricity for at least 50% of its energy usage worldwide by the end of 2018.
13 - Rajasthan passed bill for death penalty for rape of girls below 12
Rajasthan Assembly approved a bill providing for death penalty to those convicted of raping girls under 12 years of age. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, seeks to add section 376-AA and 376-DD in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Two amendments are proposed in the bill including that the convict cannot come out of prison for life even after completing 14 years of the sentence. By doing so, it became the second state after Madhya Pradesh to award death penalty to child rapists.
14 - Telangana launched Start-up incubator for women 'We-Hub'
The Government of Telangana has launched Women Entrepreneurship Hub (WE- Hub) in Hyderabad which is India’s first state-led incubator exclusively for women entrepreneurs. WE Hub will be open for all kinds of startups led by women.
We-Hub is an entrepreneurial platform for aspiring women from rural and urban backgrounds helping them achieve being independent. Six MoUs were signed at the WE-Hub launch event. WE Hub will be temporarily based out of the office of T-SAT in campus in BR Ambedkar University in Hyderabad with 100 seats.
15 - Karnataka unveils its own State Flag
The Karnataka state government unveiled the State flag (nada dhwaja) for Karnataka. If consequently approved by the Union Government, Karnataka will be the second State to have a flag after Jammu and Kashmir. A State has no powers to announce its own flag.
The flag is tri-colored in yellow-white-red with the State emblem "Gandaberunda" at the centre. A nine-member committee had in February submitted a favorable report recommending such a flag for the state.
16 - Road Rehabilitation Projects approved for Punjab
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved the rehabilitation and upgradation of the national highway - 148 in Punjab. The road stretch between Moonaktown – Jakhal – BudhlanaBhikhi shall be rehabilitated and upgraded to two-lanes with paved shoulder under EPC mode. The approximate length of this stretch is 46 kms. The project will cost about Rs 293.10 crore.
Two flyovers are proposed on the stretch, with six minor bridges. Existing 108 culverts will be reconstructed.
17 - India's tallest flag hoisted in Karnataka's Belgaum
India's tallest national flag was hoisted in Belgaum in Karnataka. The 110m tall flag post at Kote Kere lake front is near the historic Belagavi fort. It is taller than the post in Pune (107 m) and the one at the Indo-Pak border at Attari (105 m).
The flag also beats the one at the India-Pakistan border at Attari in Punjab in terms of the size at 9,600 sq ft wide.
18 - Haryana passed bill to give death penalty to rapists of girls below 12
Haryana Assembly passed a bill proposing death penalty and rigorous imprisonment not less than 14 years in respect of rape/gang rape of girls below 12 years.
The punishment of 14 years may be extended to imprisonment for life that is for the remainder of the person's natural life, as per provisions in the Criminal Law (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2018 also proposes punishment not less than 2 years and up to 7 years in case of assault with intent to outrage the modesty of the girl.
19 - PM Modi, French President Macron Inaugurate UP's Biggest Solar Power Plant
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron today inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant (75 MW ) in Mirzapur district’s Chhanvey block.
The project has been built at a cost of Rs 500 crore by a French firm ENGIE at the Dadar Kalan village. 1,18,600 solar panels have been set up in over 380 acres. The plant will generate 15.6 crore units of electricity annually. Solar Energy Corporation of India has signed a Power purchase agreement for 25 years with the company.
20 - Floating Lab set up to monitor Manipur's Loktak Lake
The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Laboratory (IBSD), Imphal has set up a floating laboratory on Loktak laketo constantly monitor its water quality. Loktak is northeast India's largest freshwater lake.
The project is a joint venture between Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and ISBD. The project will help in conservation and sustainable development of the lake and further improve the life of the lake dwellers.
21 - Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly passes 'AP Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill 2018
The Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed the Arunachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill 2018. Now the state will have a two-tier Panchayati Raj System.
The 73rd amendment of the constitution allows states having population of less than 20 lakh to have a two-tier Panchayati Raj system, instead of a three. Arunachal Pradesh has a population of around 14 lakh only. The house also passed the Money Lending (Regulation) Bill 2018 to contain unregulated money lending prevalent in the state and The Arunachal Pradesh Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
22 - Telangana government signed MoU with Kay Ventures
The Telangana government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kay Ventures for setting up a ₹100-crore Apparel Super Hub in Sircilla. This will be set up in 20 acres of land and completed in three phases. The first and second phases will see the functioning of 1,000 sewing machines each, the third phase will add a 1,500 more.
The project is expected to be completely operational in 3 years. The entire capacity of the apparel hub is being tied up with leading national and international brands.
23 - Odisha Government to collaborate with RIMES for disaster management
The Odisha government is set to collaborate with the Thailand-based Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES). The Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority and RIMES would partner in the field of drought monitoring and early warning for different natural disasters.
RIMES is expected to provide a one-stop risk management system for all OSDMA needs. RIMES is already working with the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority.
24 - Maharashtra banned plastic bags and single-use plastic items
According to the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Store) Notification, 2018, the manufacture, usage, sale, storage and transport of products made from plastic and thermocol will be banned with immediate effect across the state.
The government has proposed fines of Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000 for the first three offences. However, plastic used for packing and packaging will be exempted.
25 - Centre approved to set up a plastic park in Deoghar district of Jharkhand
The Union Government has approved to set up a plastic park in Deoghar district of Jharkhand. The park is being set up at an estimated cost of Rs 120 crore and is spread over 150 acres of land.
The park will provide six thousand direct employments and 30 thousand indirect employments for the people. The Centre will also set up a plastic refining unit in the same area at the cost of Rs 3.5 crore.
26 - Karnataka State Cabinet approved ‘religious minority’ status to Lingayats
The Karnataka state cabinet has approved separate religion status for Lingayat community in the state. The government granted the status on the basis of the recommendations of the seven-member committee headed by the high court retired judge Nagamohan Das. The government has forwarded the recommendation to the Centre.
Lingayats, a distinct Shaivate religious tradition, are followers of the 12th century poet-social reformer Basaveshwara who rebelled against established Hindu tradition by defying the caste system and vedic rituals.
27 - Punjab government banned hookah bars permanently
In order to promote a healthy life, combat various smoking-related diseases and cease the use of tobacco, Punjab state permanently banned hookah bars in its state. State cabinet approved amendments to the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003 for the prevention and control of diseases caused by the use of tobacco products.
The proposed amendment passed by Punjab state cabinet will be placed before the assembly and, once passed by the House, will be reserved for the President’s assent. Prior to this, Gujarat has completely banned hookah bars and warned of stringent punishment if the orders are defied.
28 - Indian Oil Corporation launched home-delivery of diesel for the first time
It has been for the first time that Indian Oil promises to deliver diesel at customer’s doorstep. The services are launched in Pune on pilot basis. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation approved the services. Since petrol ignites easily and diesel does not ignite easily without pressure being applied this makes it easier to handle for home delivery.
IndianOil Corporation Ltd is India's largest commercial enterprise. The Indian Oil Group of companies owns and operates 10 of India's 20 refineries.
29 - Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Bihar Diwas celebrations
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated three-day Bihar Diwas celebrations in Patna. The Vice President also released four books- 'Ek Tha Mohan', 'Bapu Ki Chiththi', 'Champaran Ki Kahani' and 'Neel Ke Dhabbe' on this occasion.
Bihar celebrated its 106th foundation day on 22nd March 2018. It was on this day in 1912 that the state was carved out of a United Bengal. The theme for this year's celebrations was "Centenary of Champaran Satyagraha and Elimination of Dowry and Child Marriage."
30 - AAP government presented Rs 53,000 cr Delhi Budget for 2018-19
AAP government presented 53,000 crore rupees budget for 2018-19 in the Delhi Assembly. 26% of total budget allocation or 13,957 crore rupees, have been earmarked for education.
A total of 403 crore rupees have been set aside for 100 mohallah clinics. 440 crore rupees have been allocated for construction of new hospital and modernization and 1500 crore rupees for infrastructure development of unauthorized colonies. 1000 electric buses will be purchased.
31 - Andhra Government launched NAIPUNYA RATHAM or World on Wheels
The Andhra Pradesh Government launched, on 22nd March 2018, NAIPUNYA RATHAM or World on Wheels, a multi-utility vehicle which aims to bring technology to the remote corners. The Government will roll out 12 more Naipunya Rathams by May 2018.
As a part of the Smart village Smart Ward Programme, the Naipunya Rathaams will facilitate and look to improve digital literacy, digital skills and create an awareness on various government schemes that are underway in the new state of Andhra Pradesh.
32 - World’s longest sandstone cave discovered in Meghalaya
The world’s longest sandstone cave at 24,583 metres in length has been discovered in Meghalaya. The cave is called Krem Puri. The cave system has fossils of dinosaurs, especially the Mosasaurus, a giant reptile that lived 66-76 million years ago.
Krem Puri cave is more than 6,000 metres longer than the world record-holder, the Cueva Del Saman in Edo Zulia, Venezuela. It has also become India’s second longest cave in the general category after the limestone Krem Liat Prah-Umim-Labit system.
33 - Assam government started construction of 1 lakh toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission
The Assam government has started construction of one-lakh toilets across the state under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The toilets will be completed in 10 days. The toilets will be constructed in 33 districts of the state that will cover around 219 blocks.
The Assam government has planned to make the state ODF within this year. As of date, six out of 35 districts in Assam have been declared ODF along with 857 villages and 50 tea gardens covering 23 lakh households.
34 - AAI signed MoU with Assam government to develop villages in Kamrup
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has signed an MoU with Assam government under its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) initiative for sustainable development of human settlements at villages in Kamrup district.
AAI would provide financial assistance under its CSR initiative of Rs 4.58 crore for the Kamrup district as per the estimates prepared by the UNDP to improve the resilience of communities around Guwahati Airport.
35 - UP Assembly passed UPCOCA bill
The Upper House of the State Legislature in Uttar Pradesh passed UP Control of Organised Crime Act, UPCOCA Bill amid opposition's protest. The stringent Bill aims to curb organized crime and deal strictly with those trying to foment terror.
The Act provides death sentence or life imprisonment with a penalty of up to two lakh fifty thousand rupees. In other cases of organised crime, the offence would be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than 7 years and may extend to life imprisonment with a fine of one lakh fifty thousand rupees.
36 - Puri Jagannath temple Ratna Bhandar to be opened after 34 years
The Odisha government has granted permission to the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) of Puri to open the Ratna Bhandar after 34 years for inspection by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Orissa High Court had ordered the ASI to inspect the structural condition of the Ratna Bhandar on March 26 and 27 and submit a status report on March 29.
The Ratna Bhandar was last inspected in 1984. The High Court is monitoring the repair work undertaken by the ASI over a PIL seeking judicial intervention for an effective repair and renovation of the temple.
37 - India's first insect museum opened in Tamil Nadu
India's first insect museum was opened at the Department of Agricultural Entomology of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. The museum is established at a 6,691 sqft area with a cost of Rs 5 crore. The museum is fully dedicated to insects and houses 20,000 insects from 50 species.
The museum would display insects preserved as specimens as also live ones depicting their different developmental stages, images, videos and models of their unique behavior, habits and habitats.
38 - Rajasthan's first mega food park inaugurated in Ajmer
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first mega food park of Rajasthan, at Roopangarh village near Ajmer. The Food Park is set up at an investment of Rs 113.57 crore. Center has given Rs 50 crore subsidy for this project.
The mega food park would attract an additional investment of about Rs. 250 crore in about 30 food processing units in the park and to a turnover of about Rs 500 crore per annum. Rajasthan is the fourth largest producer of food grains in India.
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