Current Affairs May 2016 - Regional


News 1 - Madhya Pradesh High Court calls reservation in promotions as unconstitutional

Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court division bench chaired by Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar has termed reservation in promotions in the state as unconstitutional. The petitions were filed by several employee associations and social organizations challenging the rules of the state government which provided reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes.

The Court clearly stated that reservations in promotions frustrate talented people. Giving priority to reserved categories over general classes in promotions is not justice.

News 2 - MoU inked for setting up of educational hub IIT-Jammu


Jammu and Kashmir government inked Memorandum of Understanding for setting up of educational hub IIT, Jammu on 625 acres of land. It was mentioned by Deputy CM that the setting up of this IIT, will help the students of the State to study in various branches of engineering and technology parallel to other IIT's in the country.

The MoU was signed by Secretary, Higher Education Department Hemant Kumar Sharma and Director, IIT Delhi Prof V Ramgopal Rao. According to Deputy CM, IT Jammu has been established at Jagti Nagrota on about 5000 kanal of land and the regular classes will commence from the current session in the temporary campus.

News 3 - Chandranna Bima Yojana launched by AP Govt

Chandranna Bima Yojana

On the occasion of May Day, AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu flagged off Chandranna Bima Yojana in Vijayawada, covering 1.5 crore workers of the state. It is an insurance scheme for the working class people. The Chief Minister informed that the government will conduct enumeration and ensure enrollment of all the eligible workers under the scheme. He said the government would earmark 132 crore rupees for its implementation.

Under this scheme any insured worker who meets an accidental death and permanent disability will be paid 5 lakh rupees. Any worker who suffers partial disability will be paid a sum of 3 lakh rupees.

News 4 - Agriculture project ‘Harita-Priya’ of Andhra Pradesh won WSIS prize 2016


Harmonized Information of Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation for a Transformation Agenda- Precision Technology for Agriculture or HARITA-PRIYA has won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 prize in the e-Agriculture category at Geneva. HARITA-PRIYA is a pilot project assigned to C-DAC, Hyderabad by Andhra Pradesh State Government, India to acquire micro-climate information from farmer fields using Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN).

The award was declared in Geneva by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

News 5 - Sulabh group to set up ‘hybrid toilet complexes’ in 9 Odisha cities

hybrid toilet complexes

The Odisha government signed a memorandum of understanding with Sulabh International Social Service Organisation for construction and maintenance of ‘hybrid toilet complexes’ in its nine cities. The hybrid toilet complexes having 5,957 seats will come up in urban centers under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Yojana.

The hybrid complexes comprising five, seven and 10 toilet seats with urinal will be maintained by Sulabh International for 10 years with a renewal provision for another 10 years. The State government has targeted to end open defecation in all municipal areas in the State by October 2nd, 2019.

News 6 - Banks in Telangana to provide Rs. 6000 crores worth loans to the poor under Mudra Yojana

Mudra Yojana

Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has informed that the banks in Telangana state will provide 6000 crores worth loans to the poor under the Mudra Yojana this year which will benefit about 8 lakh people for their small business. About six lakh poor entrepreneurs have been benefited through loans to a tune of over 4500 crore rupees in the state during the last financial year.

He also informed that the Agriculture loans to a tune of 40000 crore rupees will be disbursed during the current year. Mr. Dattatreya further requested the state government to release the third instalment of farm loan waiver program in the state.

News 7 - Karnataka Government to establish Asia's first Rice Technology Park in Gangavati

Rice Technology

The Karnataka Government will establish Asia’s first-ever Rice Technology Park at Navali-Karatagi villages on the outskirts of Gangavati along with a Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur in Haveri district. Gangavati is often known as Rice Bowl city of Karnataka.

These parks will be established under public private partnership (PPP). The Rice Technology Park will help convert Gangavati into a major agri-business centre in the State. It will also end the dependence of rice growers in the region on mills in neighboring States for processing paddy. The maize technology park would be established at a cost of Rs. 111 crores and will have a storage capacity of 32,000 tonnes.

News 8 - Gujarat Government grants minority status to Jain community

Jain community

The Gujarat Government has accorded minority status to the Jain community. The previous UPA Government at the Centre had conferred the minority status on the community at the national level in January 2014. Jains are the 6th community to have minority status after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.

The poor among the Jain community will be benefitted with this move of the government as they can avail of various scholarships, government welfare schemes. In addition, Jain institutions will get special status like those granted to Christian and Muslim institutions.

News 9 - SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring Service of Nagaland bags National Award for smart policing

Nagaland police

The Nagaland police has bagged a National Award for Smart Policing instituted by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for its SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring System. The SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring System was executed by Ben Imchen, a post-graduate from IIT Delhi and proprietor of Elysium Enterprises for Nagaland Police Department.

The project which was launched in April last year provides an easy platform for policemen and citizens to report vehicle theft and alert the various field formations of police across the state by sending one SMS. Nagaland Police was among the six state police selected for making presentations on the best smart policing initiatives across the country.

News 10 - MP Tourism wins “Best Indian Destination for Wildlife Award”

MP Tourism

The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department (MPT) won the Best Indian Destination for Wildlife Award presented by the Lonely Planet Group.

Madhya Pradesh has 25 wildlife sanctuaries including nine National Parks. Among them Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench are ideal habitat for tigers. Kanha and Pench were regarded as the most beautiful national parks in Asia while Bandhavgarh and Pench are known world over because of their tiger reserves.

News 11 - UP Government approved bicycle highway between Taj and lion safari in Etawah

UP Government

The Uttar Pradesh Government has given approval for developing a 197 km long bicycle highway from Agra to the lion safari in Etawah with an aim to promote eco-tourism in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal.

Starting from the eastern gate of the Taj Mahal, it will cover areas such as Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, Bateshwarnath Temple, Mela Kothi Jarar, and Naugava ka Quila and other rural areas to reach the lion safari in Etawah.

News 12 - Haryana Government approves the up-gradation of five roads under the PMGSY

Haryana Government

The Haryana Government has approved the proposal of up-gradation of five roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). The roads with a total length of 52.56 Kilometers would be upgraded at the cost of Rs. 47.07 crores which includes 60 percent share of the Centre and 40 percent of the State.

These five roads include Budain-Makhand-Sandlana length, NH-352 Dumerkha Khurd-Sudkain Kalan-Kabarchha-Alipura-Karsindhu-Uchana, Kinana to Brar Khera to Buwana to Kharanti to Karela Jhamola, Barwala Matloda Sandlana road and Jatai to Pur via Village Talu.

News 13 - Delhi is not the most polluted city in the world: WHO


According to the latest air quality report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi is no longer the most polluted city in the world.

The most polluted air was recorded at Zabol in Iran. Four Indian cities are among the world’s ten most polluted in terms of PM 2.5. Ten out of the top 20 are also in the country. Gwalior and Allahabad come a close second and third, while Patna and Raipur are ranked 6th and 7th. PM 2.5 refers to atmospheric particulates with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers. The report compared data collected from 795 cities in 67 countries between 2008 and 2013.

However, New Delhi was the most polluted, followed by Cairo and Bangladesh's capital Dhaka in terms of PM10 levels.

News 14 - Maharashtra declares drought in 29000 villages

Maharashtra declares drought

The Maharashtra government has declared drought in over 29,000 villages of the state, most of them in parched Marathwada and Vidarbha regions.

The state government had informed the High Court that all relief prescribed in the Drought Manual, 2009 would be provided. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested Rs. 10,000 crores as relief. Of this, Rs. 7,500 crores were to be spent on completing irrigation projects in Marathwada and Vidarbha over the next three years, while the remaining would be used for projects in Western Maharashtra.

News 15 - The second phase of the Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana launched at Dahod in Gujarat

Ujjwala Yojana

The BJP National President Amit Shah inaugurated the second phase of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Dahod in Gujarat. He congratulated the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan for this unique scheme.

In the second phase of the scheme, free LPG connections will be given to BPL families in tribal district of Dahod. The second phase will also cover the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh along with Gujarat.

News 16 - The World’s largest Single Rooftop Solar Power Plant inaugurated in Punjab

Rooftop Solar Power Plant

The World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant was inaugurated in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab. The plant has been set up with the cost of Rs. 139 crores. It is spread at a single rooftop stretch of 42 acres at Dera Baba Jaimal and has 11.5 MW capacity. The EPC contractors for the project were Tata Power and Larsen and Toubro.

The seven other rooftop solar power plants of 8 MW capacity were also inaugurated in the campus. Punjab aims to generate solar power of close to 1000 MW by the end of FY 2016-17. Solar projects have been executed on BOO (built-operate-own) basis in the state.

FYI: GoI has set a target of power generation of 40,000 Mw from different resources of renewable energy to be achieved by 2022.

News 17 - Odisha Government to launch Green Passage Scheme for Orphan Students

Green Passage Scheme

The Odisha government has decided to launch a Green Passage scheme to provide free of cost higher education in the state for orphan students. As per the scheme, orphan students pursuing higher education from Plus-II level to post-graduation level, will no longer have to bear the education expenses. This scheme will function under the higher education department. They will be provided free hostel facilities and food also.

According to the sources, 16,382 orphans are currently pursing higher studies in 272 institutions in the State. The state government will bear all cost of the orphan students.

News 18 - Driverless Metro Train on trial run flagged off

Driverless Metro Train

The trial run of India’s first ever Metro train, equipped to run on the ‘Unattended Train Operation’ mode, was ceremonially flagged off by the Union Minister for Urban Development, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister, Shri Arvind Kejriwal.

This trial run started at the Mukundpur depot of Delhi Metro and ended at Majlis Park station on the Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar corridor of phase 3. The driverless train is manufactured at Changwon in South Korea.

News 19 - Odisha issues alert on Cyclonic storm ROANU to strike Andhra Pradesh coast

Cyclonic storm

The Odisha government today issued an alert in at least 12 districts and asked the authorities to be prepared to face cyclonic storm ROANU that emerged in the west central Bay of Bengal. At present, ROANU is moving northeastwards and lay centered at the south-southeast of Machilipatnam, about 290 kms south-southwest of Visakhapatnam and 160 kms south-southwest of Kakinada.

The IMD has issued heavy to very heavy rainfall warning to coastal Andhra Pradesh, coastal Odisha and coastal Gangetic West Bengal under the influence of the cyclonic storm coupled with gusty winds speeds reaching 90-100 kmph. The districts have been told to keep food stuff and other essential materials ready and Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea.

News 20 - Jayalalithaa's AIADMK retains power in Tamil Nadu


For the first time in 32 years, Tamil Nadu has chosen to give a consecutive term to one party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was able to retain the power. Election Commission on 19 May 2016 announced results of 2016 Legislative Assembly Election in the state of Tamil Nadu.

It was a prediction by many exit polls that the 67-year-old's arch rival, M Karunanidhi and his DMK would return to power of which Tamil Nadu has been a long-time subscriber. Ahead of the election, Jayalalithaa promised to gift voter’s cellphones and other freebies – her last election campaign five years ago pledged mixer-grinders to housewives. Her Amma canteens, which provide highly subsidized food, have been a runaway success.

News 21 - Mamta Banerjee’s AITMC storms in with two-third majority in West Bengal

Mamta Banerjee

Led by Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress stormed back to power in West Bengal defeating her nearest Congress rival Deepa Dasmunshi by over 25 thousand votes, more than two-thirds majority decimating the opposition Left-Congress alliance while BJP captured three seats.

This historic win could be attributed to her campaign “Maa, Maati, Maanush”. It has been assumed that the huge margin of victory signifies that Mamta is heading on the way in which she will break the record of late Communist leader Jyoti Basu, who remained chief minister of West Bengal for 23 consecutive years.

News 22 - The Left Democratic Party regains power in Kerala

Democratic Party

The CPI(M)–led LDF returned to power in Kerala getting a majority of 84 seats out of 140 assembly seats to the ruling Congress-led UDF. While BJP created history by making its single seat win in Nemom, a suburb of state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up new Chief Minister of the state, V S Achutanandan and congratulated him for the LDF’s resounding victory.

In the 140-member assembly, LDF won 91 seats, UDF 47, BJP and Independents, one each. Elated over the victory, 92-year-old Achutanandan, said it was an LDF wave and the victory was a reflection on the anger of the people on the “corrupt and anti-people policies of the UDF government.

News 23 - PEHAL initiative launched in Shimla by the Himachal CM


The Shimla District Administration has introduced PEHAL program in the district to identify certain thrust areas which have a direct impact on the lives of the people such as Primary Education, Forest Rights, Health and Sanitation, Campaign against drugs and skill development and Women Empowerment.

Various stakeholders will also be involved for the development of district. Shimla is first such district where PAHEL scheme was introduced. The district authorities have already begun works on all these areas with a distinct strategy.

News 24 - Sarbanand Sonowal to take oath as the Assam CM

Sarbanand Sonowal

The BJP leader Sarbananda Sonowal will take oath as Assam’s new Chief Minister at an event to be attended also by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP president Amit Shah. The oath-taking ceremony will be held at Khanapara field in Guwahati.

The BJP is in alliance with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodo Peoples Front who won 14 and 12 seats respectively. The result was historic because it was for the first time that BJP is forming government in Assam.

News 25 - Universal Health Insurance Scheme approved by Goa Government

Universal Health Insurance Scheme

The Goa Government will introduce its universal health insurance scheme on 30th May. It is the first of its kind in the country in the name of Deendayal Swasthya Seva Yojana. The State Government expects returns of about Rs. 50 crores from the government hospital bills paid by the insurance company. The patients will start getting the insurance cover benefit from the next Independence day. The medical insurance cover will be of Rs. 2.5 lakhs for a family of 3 members and Rs. 4 lakhs to the family of 4 or more persons annually.

Out of a total 950 ailments, 447 ailments are listed for Insurance and 226 ailments will be looked after by the state run hospitals. The government hospitals will provide free of cost services to the people for the remaining 500 ailments.

News 26 - Gujarat introduces ‘Smart Village’ program for its villagers

Smart Village

The Gujarat Chief Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel launched the Smart Village Program on the second anniversary of her government by selecting 300 villages across the state and transforming them into ‘Smart Village’ in the first phase.

These villages will get Rs. 80 lakhs to Rs. 2 crores cash assistance to improve public facilities in the villages and assistance of Rs.5000 will also be given for retaining services of consultants or experts to prepare and implement development plans. Villages having 100% toilet facility available will be felicitated. She shared that over 12.58 lakh toilets have been constructed in rural areas across the state in last two years only.

News 27 - LDF’s Pinarayi Vijayan takes charge as Kerala CM

Pinarayi Vijayan

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government’s CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan took over charge of office at the Central Stadium after taking oath from the Governor P. Sathasivam. This ceremony was attended by the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President H.D. Deve Gowda, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, party politburo member Prakash Karat, Former Chief Ministers Oommen Chandy and V.S. Achuthanandan as well.

The 72-year-old CPM leader, took oath as the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala.

News 28 - Punjab to set up its First Women’s Drug Rehab Center

Women’s Drug Rehab Center

The State’s first drug rehabilitation centre for women was inaugurated by Punjab health and family welfare principal secretary Vini Mahajan. This drug rehab centre is the first in the region to have a complete woman integrated treatment (WIT), which will involve families of those woman addicts.

This rehab centre has been established as separate wing of the already-running family rehab home ‘Hermitage’ and would become a residence for women along with their families. The arrangement is for 25 patients and they would be charged according to their addiction levels. The best part of the program is that besides doctors, therapists, and counsellors, there is a dedicated team of nearly 30 women who have themselves fought addiction.

News 29 - Execution of Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016

Odisha Official Language

The state government of Odisha has issued an ordinance to make use of Odia language compulsory in all official communication in the state. The Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, empowers the state to make rules, review and monitor whether the direction contained in sub-section 2 of Section 2 of the 1954 Act has been implemented.

The Odisha Official Languages Act was passed in 1954 by the Nabakrushna Choudhury government, but it was not enforced. According to the 1954 Act, Odia language and numerals have to be used for all official purposes.

News 30 - Centre approves third NIMZ of India in Odisha


The Centre has approved the Odisha government's proposal to set up a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at Kalinga Nagar in Jaipur district. It would be the third Investment and Manufacturing Zone of India involving a massive area of 163 sq. km.

A total of Rs. 4,241 crores will be invested and the first phase of the project will be completed by 2020 with initial investment of Rs. 3,816 crores. The NIMZ would create estimated employment opportunities for over 1.5 lakh people. It would be a mega industrial zone having a world-class township to cater to the needs of the investors.

News 31 - Lakshadweep signs 24x7 ‘Power for All’ document

Power for All

Lakshadweep became the first Union Territory (UT) to sign “24x7 Power for All” document. The document chalks out a plan to increase solar capacity of the region from 2.15 MW to 8.45 MW.

As a part of the energy efficiency measures, 1 lakh LED bulbs will be distributed by UT administration and 3000 conventional street lights will be replaced with LED street lights. The aim is to provide each household access to electricity, 24×7 Power supply by 2019. 22 States have already signed the ‘24×7 Power for All’ Documents.

News 32 - V Narayanaswamy to be Puducherry Chief Minister

V Narayanaswamy

Congress leader V Narayanaswamy has been named as the new Chief Minister of Puducherry. Mr. Narayanasamy did not contest in the Assembly polls. Senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit and party general secretary Mukul Wasnik attended the meeting as AICC observers.

Mr. Narayanasamy was a three-time Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. He became the Union Minister of State for PMO in the UPA II Government.