Current Affairs October 2017 - Regional

1 - Gujarat to use Electronic Voting Machines in Assembly elections


Gujarat is all ready to become the second state after Goa to use the VVPAT system for assembly elections. It is for the first time that a big state will be using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in Assembly elections. This is the first time an entire assembly poll will be conducted using the EVMs.

VVPAT machines help in maintaining transparency as it is attached to the EVMs that allow voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Several awareness drives and demonstrations in public will be conducted to educate voters using VVPAT.

2 - Union Home Minister concluded a four-day visit to Uttarakhand


The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh concluded his four-day visit to the state of Uttarakhand. Shri Rajnath Singh visited ITBP camp at Gauchar and participated in ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign.

During his four-day visit, Shri Rajnath Singh visited Lapthal and Rimkhim Border out Posts (BOPs) of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and inaugurated the Civic Action Program and Blood Donation Camp at Joshimath. He also addressed Officers Trainees of 92nd Foundation Course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie in Uttarakhand.

3 - Andhra Pradesh launched 'Swachh Andhra Mission'

Swachh Andhra Mission

The Andhra Pradesh State Government launched Swachh Andhra Mission, a statewide cleanliness drive on Gandhi Jayanti. 'Swachh Andhra Mission' is aimed at plantation of plants, providing toilets and making state Open Defecation Free by March 2018. Olympic shuttler PV Sindhu has been chosen as the brand ambassador of Swachh Andhra.

According to recent reports, Andhra Pradesh has reported increase in construction of toilets from 30% to 60%. State government is all set to construct 22 lakh more toilets by March 2018.

4 - Madhya Pradesh launched Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Samvardhan and Kaushalya Yojana

Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Samvardhan

Madhya Pradesh state government launched Chief Minister's Skill Promotion and Skills Scheme to create job opportunities and training of youth. Schemes are named as Mukhya Mantri Kaushal Samvardhan and Kaushalya Yojana. It involves costing of 30 crores for schemes to be in operation from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Under Kaushal Samvardhan, Tribal Affairs Department of MP government will train Scheduled Tribe category educated youths and Self-help groups. Successful trainees will be offered placements. Under the Mukhya Mantri Kaushalya Yojana, women will be trained for entrepreneurship. Domestic worker and food processing sector will be provided free of cost training.

5 - Odisha Government is in the process of creating a land bank


In order to bring all industrial land under one umbrella for the industrial sector. Odisha government has created a huge land bank and has identified areas across the state. Odisha has created 1.2-lakh acre land bank across the state for allocation to the industrial sector to avoid a repeat of the Posco fiasco.

Government has come up with a model where basic amenities like water, power are in place and companies need to make the payment of base premium upfront for the land and the annual rent for rest of the 90 years (their lease).

6 - J&K Government launched special campaign under Mission Indradanush

Mission Indradanush

The Jammu and Kashmir Government launched a special campaign under Mission Indradanush to achieve full immunization in the state. The focus of this campaign is to accelerate and ensure full immunization coverage in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in areas where immunization coverage has been low.

The Health Minister Bali Bhagat along with Minister of State for Health Asiea Naqash launched the campaign at the Kote Bhalwal sub-district hospital. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has devised an aggressive action plan under the Mission to achieve full immunization by 2018.

7 - Karnataka introduced mid-day meals scheme for Pregnant Women


State government of Karnataka has come up with ‘Matrupurna’, a midday meal scheme for pregnant women and lactating women of particularly rural areas. Scheme is at aim to reduce malnutrition in children by ensuring pregnant women receive nutritious food and deliver healthy babies. Scheme is aimed to provide food, calcium and iron tablets to 53,812 women in the district level at their Anganwadi centers. There are overall 2,313 such centers across the district.

Scheme ensures to provide meals for atleast 300 days. Spending on each women under Matrupurna scheme is ₹21.

8 - Himachal Pradesh implements Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme


The Himachal Pradesh state Government has implemented the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS). The scheme will provide top-up coverage of Rs. 30,000 per senior citizen to all existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna smart card holders in addition to basic coverage of Rs.30, 000 in Trust/Society mode.

The scheme aims to provide access to curative geriatric health care services by way of additional insurance cover. If there are two senior citizens in a family then cover of Rs. 60,000 would be accessible on a floater basis to each the senior citizen.

9 - Andhra Pradesh tied up with VISA for Digital Dhan Sankalp Project

Digital Dhan Sankalp Project

The Andhra Pradesh government has tied up with VISA for Digital Dhan Sankalp project. It is an initiative to develop Visakhapatnam into India’s first ‘less cash’ city.

The digital payment-enabled services include property and water tax at Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, bus services run by APSRTC, iconic tourist locations under VUDA and utility services of EPDCL. The services will be extended all over Andhra Pradesh.

10 - Bihar Cabinet approved reservation for ‘Divyangs’ in government jobs


The Bihar state government approved reservations for differently abled persons in government jobs and educational institutions. The provision has been brought in accordance with the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

The cabinet also approved establishment of a state advisory board for the empowerment of 'Divyangjan' as envisaged in the Act. Secretaries of various departments will serve as members of the board. Two members from the state legislative assembly and one from the state legislative council will also be members of the board.

11 - Gujarat Government announced Garments & Apparel Policy 2017


In order to make full use of cotton grown in the state, Gujarat state government launched Garments and Apparel Policy-2017. The policy will not only bring employment opportunities for women through the apparel industry but also make Gujarat topmost in textile sector, which produces more of cotton.

Under the Garment and Apparel Policy, state government will pay Rs. 4,000/month to female workers working in the factories, Rs. 3200/month to the male workers and subsidy of Rs.1 per unit in the electricity bill of the industrial unit for 5 years.

12 - Madhya Pradesh government reduced VAT on petrol and diesel

VAT on Petrol and Diesel

Madhya Pradesh Government reduced Value Added Tax, VAT on petrol and diesel. VAT on diesel has been reduced by 5% and on petrol by 3%. The Government has also eradicated surcharge on diesel, making it further cheaper by 1.5 Rupees per liter.

This step was taken to ease the burden of common person and farmers. VAT and Surcharge surge will put two thousand crore rupees extra burden on the State. Decision was taken by committee under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

13 - Rajasthan Assembly became the first to call motions online

Digital India

In order to support ‘Digital India’ initiatives by Central government, Rajasthan assembly introduced attention and adjournment motions and proposals online from legislators to send them to the state government. This will save time, labour and enhance paperless activity in the functioning of the assembly.

With this initiative, Rajasthan assembly became the first in India to call attention and adjournment motions and proposals online. This will help in bringing attention to urgent public issues, exchange or share information or reports among respective departments through digital mode.

14 - Chhattisgarh government reduced interest on loan under Saksham Yojna

Saksham Yojna

Chhattisgarh government has reduced the rate of interest on loan given to women and their self-help groups- under Saksham Yojna from 6.5% to 5%.

The initiative will allow the women and SHGs to easily avail the loan facility for self-employment and thereby become self-dependent.

The Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh is operated by state's women and child development department to disburse easy term loans to women and SHGs.

15 - Odisha government hiked monthly remuneration of Anganwadi workers


The Odisha government has enhanced monthly remuneration of Anganwadi workers by 50%. The anganwadi workers will receive 6,000 rupees per month against 4,000 at present. Similarly, monthly remuneration of mini-anganwadi workers has been increased to 4,125 rupees against the existing amount of 2,750 rupees.

The Anganwadi workers will also be covered under the Chief Minister's Relief fund for treatment of critical diseases. The government also directed to constitute a Grievance Redressal forum for Anganwadi workers and to strengthen the infrastructures in 72,000 Anganwadi centers.

16 - Gujarat signed three MOUs under Make in Gujarat


Gujarat Government has signed three MOUs under Make in Gujarat with investment up to Rs. 10,400 crores. It will provide employment to more than 21,000 youths of Gujarat. The major chemical company Ms. United Phosphorous Ltd. signed MOU of investment of Rs. 6000 Crores for a project near Dahej Chemical Port.

The Industries and Mines Department of Gujarat state has also signed MoU of Rs. 4100 crores with Grasim Industries Ltd who are producers of manmade fiber. Arvind Limited shall start a garment-manufacturing unit at Dehgam by investing Rs. 300 crores.

17 - Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister launched 'Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana'

Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna’ at the Krishi Upaj Mandi in Khurai, Sagar district of the state.

The scheme is a Price Deficit Financing Scheme to hedge price risks in agriculture wherein farmers will be compensated for distress sales at prices below Union government-announced minimum support prices (MSP).

Currently, compensation under this scheme will be provided for 8 crops including oilseed and pulses.

18 - Maharashtra government released Rs. 4000 crore in phase 1 of Loan Waiver Scheme

Loan Waiver Scheme

The Maharashtra state government has released a sum of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the over Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme that will cover more than 8 lakh farmers.

Out of Rs. 4000 crore, Rs. 3,200 crore will be for writing off the loans of 4.62 lakh farmers. The remaining Rs. 800 crore will be in the form of incentive for 3.78 lakh farmers, who are paying their loans on time. The total cost of the scheme is Rs. 34,000 crore.

19 - Kerala government to provide sabbatical leave to faculty members to begin Startups


Kerala state government has given thumbs up to a proposal of the state Startup Mission (KSUM) to provide sabbatical leave to the faculty members of all colleges who intend to establish startups. An expert panel, headed by KSUM CEO Saji Gopinath, will select 10 faculty members on a pilot basis for the implementation of the project.

The new initiative would help members of the academic community in the state to become part of entrepreneurship. According to the proposal, teachers can start their own startups, form their groups or join as founders/co-founders along with students.

20 - Bengal Government to set up centers of National Institute of Virology


The West Bengal Government is going to set up centers for testing of viruses in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The decision was taken after it was found that cases of acute encephalitis went down due to effective testing of the blood samples sent to national institutes like National Institute of Virology, Pune, but reports from which places take three to four days to reach hospitals in the state.

With the setting up of the centers here, the State Government will get reports of blood samples of affected persons within 24 hours.

21 - Rajasthan Government introduces bill-prohibiting probes against judges, officers without sanction

Bill-Prohibiting Probes

Rajasthan Government has introduced The Code of Criminal Procedure (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the state assembly.

The Bill prohibits investigation without prior sanction against “a Judge or a Magistrate or a public servant” for any “act done by them while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of their official duties”. It replaces Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 promulgated in this regard. The media too cannot report on the accusation against such a person until the prosecution gets permission to proceed from the sanctioning authority.

22 - Meghalaya Election department enters Limca Book of Records

Limca Book

The Meghalaya Election department has entered the Limca Book of Records for the formation of a human logo by newly enrolled young voters of Meghalaya on 1 July 2017. It will feature in the forthcoming edition of the Book.

Around 2870 students from 113 schools, 3 colleges in the age group of 18 and 19 enrolled as new voters and formed a75 feet by 120 feet size human logo named - You 'N' I. The logo formation was part of the launching of the statewide special drive to enroll left-out voters with a special focus on first-time electors.

23 - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister laid foundation stone for Rs. 198 cr Aerospace Park

Aerospace Park

Tamil Nadu government laid the foundation stone for an aerospace park in neighboring Kancheepuram district, a facility that was expected to draw Rs 1,000 crore as investment in five years and create over 30,000 jobs.

The facility would come up over 245 acres of land at an estimated cost of Rs. 198 crore and was being implemented by State Industries Promotion Corporation Ltd (SIPCOT) and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDCO).

24 - Madhya Pradesh topped in terms of Digital Initiatives

Digital Initiatives

According to a report by Coeus Age Consulting, Madhya Pradesh has been ranked at the top in terms of digital initiatives undertaken, with a maximum score of 100.1 on performance index, followed by Maharashtra at 99.9 and Andhra Pradesh at 99.8.

Chhattisgarh (97.4) and Karnataka (95.3) occupied the fourth and fifth positions in the list, respectively. The report is based on a comparative assessment of digital initiatives by 36 states and Union Territories.

25 - J&K governor promulgates “The Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention and Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance 2017"


The Jammu & Kashmir Governor Mr. N N Vohra promulgated “The Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention and Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance 2017”, which amends the existing law relating to prevent the deleterious activities of individuals which result in damage to public and private properties.

The Ordinance states that whoever announces direct action in the form of strikes, demonstrations or other public forms of protests, which result in damage to public as well as private property can be punished with imprisonment for a period of 2 to 5 years with a fine equivalent to the market value of the property damaged.

26 - Karnataka cabinet cleared State Policy for Transgenders


Karnataka cabinet cleared the State Policy for Transgenders, 2017 with an aim of bringing the community into the mainstream and safeguarding them from exploitation. The policy had been drafted in compliance with a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court on transgenders in 2014. In the policy approved, the term third gender will be used in all documents and communications.

A special cell for transgender will be set up for initiating welfare programs. Counseling centers will be established to address stigma, violence, identification and certification besides legal support.

27 - Rajasthan Assembly passed bill increasing OBC quota to 26%

OBC quota

The Rajasthan Backward Classes Bill 2017 was passed by the State Assembly increasing the reservation of other backward classes from 21% to 26%. The total reservation in the state now stands at 54% from 50%.

According to the recommendation of the four commissions, the bill has been brought to the House and it will provide the benefit of reservations to five castes including Gujjars. The government had earlier given reservation to five castes including Gujjars under SBC, but the High Court has dismissed the SBC reservation twice.

28 - Uttar Pradesh introduced E-Office system in 22 departments at state secretariat

E-Office system

In Uttar Pradesh, E-Office system has been introduced in 22 departments at the state secretariat. Under the e-office system, physical files would be replaced with digital files, which would facilitate expeditious disposal of files.

Offices of the chief Secretary, Irrigation, Culture, Election, Sports, Youth Affaires, Milk Development, Khadi and Village Industry, Information, Mining, Minor Irrigation, Small and Medium Industry, Estate departments have also been connected with the E-office system. E Office system will be implemented at all departments at Lucknow by end of 2017 and all district headquarter by March 31 2018.

29 - Guwahati International Film Festival in Assam


The first international film festival in Assam, Guwahati International Film Festival 2017 (GIFF), began on 28 October. It will end on 2 November. Iranian movie The Salesman will be the inaugural movie. The festival is being organized by Jyoti Chitraban society, Assam government and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute.

Around 75 movies from 35 countries will be screened. The festival has sections like World Cinema, Indian Panorama and Cinema of Assam among others.

30 - Odisha Government to use Drones to survey slum


The Government of Odisha will use drones to conduct survey of slums in the state to know the exact areas and boundaries of the slums. During the first phase, slums in Konark of Puri district will be covered.

The State government had recently passed the “Odisha Land Rights to Slum Dwellers Ordinance, 2017” aiming to provide land and property rights to the economic weaker sections in towns and cities across the state.

31 - Karnataka inks MoU with Microsoft to use AI for digital agriculture


The Government of Karnataka has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft Corporation India Private Limited.

The MoU will experiment with the Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission (KAPC), Department of Agriculture to help improve price-forecasting practices to benefit farmers.

The MoU is also aimed at using digital tools that have the potential to deliver innovative innovations and artificial intelligence to help farmers get higher crop yields in the state.