CHHATTISGARH CURRENT AFFAIRS 2019 for cgpsc 2019 prelims mains GK GENERAL KNOWLEDGE last one year cg latest news for cgpsc prelims vyapam Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission


CHHATTISGARH CURRENT AFFAIRS 2019 for cgpsc 2019 prelims mains GK GENERAL KNOWLEDGE last one year cg latest news for cgpsc prelims vyapam Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission

 



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CHHATISGARH

CURRENT AFFAIRS

2017 TO 2018 to 28 january 2019 

Chhattisgarh HC Makes Aadhaar Mandatory for Bail

  • Chhattisgarh High Court has issued a directive to all trial courts in the state to mandatorily obtain Aadhaar Cards of accused persons and sureties before issuing release warrant of a prisoner/accused.

  1. The order is an attempt to curb the rampant practice of obtaining bail on the basis of forged revenue papers or by impersonating the realsurety.

  2. Chhattisgarh High Court has also instructed that trial courts should verify the genuineness of Aadhaar card and revenue papers. In case if these documents are found to be forged,a First Information Report (FIR) should be lodged against such person.

India’s First Garbage Festival ‘Kachra Mahotsav 2018’ organised in Chhattisgarh

  • On 19th to 21st January 2018, ‘Kachra Mahotsav 2018’, India’s first garbage festival was organised by the Raipur Municipal Corporation in Chhattisgarh.

  1. Kachra Mahotsav’s aim was to increase awareness, utilise the waste accumulated in a creative way, and to display various techniques for reusing things that are branded as garbage.

  2. Workshops, talks, and performances were conducted as a part of the event.

Chhattisgarh’s first Governor D N Sahay passes away

  • On 29th January 2018, Dinesh Nandan Sahay, Chhattisgarh’s first Governor passed away in Madhepura, Bihar.

  • Dinesh Nandan Sahay was the first Governor of Chhattisgarh during the period 2000 -2003. He was also the former governor of Tripura.

  • He was born on 2nd February 1936 in Madhepura, 1960.

Bhalupani village in Chhattisgarh gets electricity for first time

  • Residents of Bhalupani village in Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh finally got electricity connection for the first time after the district administration installed solar panels for every family.

  • It is located in the Naxal dominated region of Chhattisgarh.

  • Owing to Naxal dominance, Government developmental initiatives failed to reach the village, and the residents had to spend their lives in darkness for a very longtime.

  • However, Naxal influence has vanished and the village is now getting benefits of Government schemes.

  • District collector, Avinash Kumar Sharan has stated that apart from the electrification, the village will soon have a proper road facility and Anganwadi centre.

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Agri science centre in Chhattisgarh gets award for integrated farming model

  • Chhattisgarh’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra has been named the best such centre in India for its initiatives like nutrition gardens and integrated farming techniques.

  • The Krishi Vigyan Kendra is located in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. It is affiliated to the IGKV (Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya). It has been named the best of the 650 agriculture science centres inIndia.

  • Dr S K Patil, vice chancellor of IGKV in Raipur, and Birbal Sahu, coordinator of Kanker Krishi Vigyan Kendra, received the ‘Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Award- 2017’ from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17th March 2018 in NewDelhi.

  • The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh for infrastructure development and a citation certificate.

Chhattisgarh bags ‘Water Digest Award’ for best water conservation and irrigation facility

  • Chhattisgarh has won the National ‘Water Digest Award’ for Water Conservation-Diversion and increasing the irrigation capacity in Chhattisgarh.

  • On 21st March 2018, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Megwal presented the award to Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department Secretary Sonmoni Borah, in NewDelhi.

  • ‘Water Digest’ magazine gives away this award every year. Chhattisgarh was presented this award for improving irrigation capacity, community participation, water management, water diversion, water conservation, work on inter-linking of rivers, enhancement of irrigation facilities, etc.

PM Modi arrives in Chhattisgarh, to launch various schemes

  • On April 14, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Chhattisgarh for two-day state visit. During the course of this visit, he will launch various welfare schemes.

  • PM Modi to inaugurate first health centre under Ayushman Bharat Scheme-

          On April 14, 2018, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, Prime Minister Modi launched first of 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, planned under the recently launched Ayushman Bharat Scheme, at Jangla village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

  • Under this scheme, Government has set a target to set up 1.5 lakh wellness centres by 2022 to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare. Other component of this scheme is to provide insurance cover to most deprived Indian population.

PM Modi to visit Jangala Development Hub

  • During the course of this visit, PM Modi will be visiting Bijapur district’s Jangala Development Hub, situated in a panchayat that has emerged as a modelpanchayat.

  • It is to be noted that, despite this place being at the epicentre of Left Wing Extremism, it has performed very well, especially post the launch of Aspirational District programme on January 5,2018.

  • Other Highlights of PM Modi’s Chhattisgarh visit:

  • PM Modi has become first Indian Prime Minister to visit tribal district Bijapur, which was till now considered as one of the most backward regions of India.

  • During this visit, PM Modi inaugurated Van Dhan Yojana aimed at empowering tribal communities.

  • He also flagged off a train between Dalli Rajhara and Bhanupratappur and thereby dedicating the Bhanupratappur-Gudum railway line to thenation.

First ever “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” to come up at Bijapur, Chhattisgarh

  • Union Ministry of Tribal affairs has approved establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh for value addition of Forest Produce.

  • Van Dhan Vikas Kendra will be an important part of Central Government’sscheme

  • of “Mechanism for marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support price (MSP) and development of Value chain for MFP”.

  • The first “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh will provide skill upgradation and capacity building training and will have primary processing and value addition facility.

  • Initially, this Kendra will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging

Chhattisgarh Govt to distribute free smartphones to over 50 lakh people

  • In a bid to reduce the digital divide, from May 2018, Chhattisgarh State Government will start distributing free smartphones to over 50 lakh people across the state under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY).

  • Distribution of smartphones will start during the ‘Vikas Yatra’ campaign of Chief Minister Raman Singh. The Yatra has been organised to create awareness about developmental activities undertaken by the incumbent BJP Government under Mr. Raman Singh.

  • Women heads of households will be the priority recipients of the smartphones as out of 50 lakh smartphones, 40 lakh will be given to women heads of households in villages having population of more than 1000, 5 lakh phones will be given to women heads belonging to poor families living in urban areas and 5 lakh phones will be given to college students.

  • On account of this scheme, 13900 villages of Chhattisgarh will get better phone connectivity.

Chhattisgarh awarded ‘State of the Year’

  • On 6th April 2018, Chhattisgarh won the ‘State of the Year’ Award under the ‘business leader’ category at the India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) in New Delhi.

  • The India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) was organised by CNBC-TV18 channel. Union Information Technology and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad presented the award to Chhattisgarh Minister Prem Prakash Pandey.

  • Chhattisgarh’s growth has been attributed to various policy decisions taken by Chhattisgarh Government in business sector and its effective implementation.

  • Prem Prakash Pandey said that, Chhattisgarh occupies 4th rank in World Bank’s list of ‘Ease of doing Business’.

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Chhattisgarh CM to launch Vikas Yatra

  • On May 12, 2018, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh launched Vikas Yatra from Dantewada district aimed at spreading awareness about the development the state has witnessed during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Govt’s tenure in the state.

  • During the course of this Vikas Yatra, Raman Singh will distribute free pesticides to

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, MoS railways Ranjan Gohain flag off Antyodaya Express

  • On 1st May 2018, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and union minister of state for railways Ranjan Gohain flagged off Antyodaya Express.

  • Antyodaya Express began its service from Raipur, Chhattisgarh on its first day.It is a fully unreserved, well-equipped weekly train between Durg and Firozpur Cantt.

  • The train features modern coaches, RO drinking water, mobile charging facilities, bio-toilets, LED lights etc.

  

Roll out of e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods

  • Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Odisha and Punjab are implementing e-way bill system for intra-state movement of goods from 1st June 2018.

  • Tamil Nadu will implement e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods on 2nd June 2018 and West Bengal on 3rd

  • The e-Way Bill system for inter-State movement of goods was launched from 1st April2018.

  • It is said that, the e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods will be implemented all over India latest by 3rd

CRPF raises ‘Bastariya Battalion’ to combat Naxals activities

  • On 21st May 2018, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commissioned the Bastariya Battalion in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.

  • In order to improve combat capabilities in Naxal affected Bastar district the CRPF decidedto include local representation in a specialunit.

  • The special unit was numbered as 241 and named as ‘Bastariya Battalion’. All the candidates have been selected from 4 highly Naxal affected districts of Chhattisgarh: Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.

  • The Bastariya Battalion consists of 739 local tribal youths. In this battalion, representation of 33 % female candidates is maintained as per policy of the government.

Chhattisgarh to get specialised combat unit ‘Black Panther’: Rajnath

  • On 22nd May 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that, Chhattisgarh will get a specialised anti-Naxal combat force named the “Black Panther” in line with the Greyhoundsunit.

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  • Rajnath Singh Singh made this announcement at a meeting in Naya Raipur. Greyhounds is a special force in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh that is specialised in anti-insurgency operations against Naxals and Maoists.

  • He said that, the government is making all possible efforts to stop the resource flow to the Maoists, including seizure of illegally procured properties.

PM inaugurates Integrated Command & Control Centre in Chhattisgarh; dedicate the modernized & expanded Bhilai Steel Plant

  • On 14th June 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a modernised and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh.

  • Narendra Modi also laid the foundation stone for the permanent campus of Indian Institue of Technology (IIT) Bhilai.

  • He unveiled the commencement of phase-2 of BharatNet (Bharat Broadband Network Limited). He also visited Naya Raipur Smart City, and inaugurated the Integrated Command and Control Centre for thecity.

  • The BharatNet project aims to link Gram Panchayats with underground optical fibre network. He also inaugurated air services between Jagdalpur and Raipur.He distributed laptops, certificates, and cheques etc. to beneficiaries under several schemes.

Chhattisgarh Govt approves merger of around 1.50 lakh ‘shikshakarmi’, with state school education department

  • On June 19, 2018, The Chhattisgarh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh approved merger of ‘shikshakarmi’ with the state school education department.

  • This will be effective from July 1,2018, and will benefit around 50 lakhshikshakarmi.

  • In the first phase, the merger of 03 lakh shikshakarmi who have completed eight years of service will be carried out from the July1.

  • The remaining 48,000 shikshakarmi will become eligible for merger into the school education department as and when they complete eight years ofservice.

  • The shikshakarmis will get the benefit of Pay Commission recommendations, pay scale, allowances and other facilities such as appointment on compassionate grounds and promotions to which regular teachers areentitled.

Chhattisgarh: CM Raman Singh launches online pension system ‘Aabhar-Aapki seva ka’

  • On July 19, 2018, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launched an online portal and mobile app called ‘Aabhaar-Aapki seva ka’ for the online pensioners of thestate.

  • This would be implemented by Online Pension ManagementSystem.

  • 80,000 pensioners would get information related to pension through the app andportal.

  • Pensioners will get the benefit of senior pension with the State government’s 7th pay scale before January 1,2016.

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  • According to which an increased Basic Pension of 2.57 per cent would be received bythem.

  • This online management system has been prepared by the Department of Finance for the pensioners by the Directorate of Funds, Accounts andPension.

  • This will entail an additional expenditure of Rs 500 crore on the StateGovernment.

  • Additionally, the Gratuity of officers-employees had been hiked from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20lakh.

Tribal museum to be set up to exhibit culture of SCs in Naya Raipur: Chhattisgarh Govt

  • On July 1, 2018, The Chhattisgarh government set up a tribal museum in the state’s upcoming new capital Naya Raipur . The decision was taken during a meeting of Chhattisgarh State Tribal Advisory Council chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at New Mantralya.With an Objective to exhibit culture and tradition of scheduled tribes.

  • The tribal museum will be built at the cost of Rs 27 crore in an area of around 22 acres in Naya Raipur.

  • It will be named after Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh, a freedom fighter from the state who had made a tremendous contribution in the freedom struggle of1857.

  • Reorganization of Raipur based Tribal Caste Research and Training as a society.This would enable it to directly receive the financial aid from the Union Tribal AffairsMinistry.

  • A separate secretariat would be constituted as per the requirement of the Chhattisgarh Tribal Advisory Council to ensure the official works of the council are done in a smooth and organised manner.

  • Members of the state Cabinet, MPs, MLAs, and nominated representatives will have a seat in this secretariat.Duties of the secretariat would include: redressal of the problems and requirements for conservation of tribal culture, dialect, language, traditions, musical instruments etc.

  • Nodal Officer in this secretariat will be selected from the tribal community only.Documentation of tribal community’s activities will also be done. Tribal Culture and Language Academy will also be set up in the state.

The former and first finance minister of Chhattisgarh Ramchandra Singhdeo, passed away

  • On July 20, 2018, The 88 year old former and first finance minister of Chhattisgarh, Ramchandra Singhdeo, had passed away in Raipur.

  • He was born on February 13, 1930 in Baikunthpur in the Koriya district ofChhattisgarh.

  • He had a Masters Degree in Science and doctorate (PhD) in life science.

  • He served as the Minister of Water Resources before Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in2000.

Chhattisgarh CM & actress Kangana Ranaut launch mobile distribution scheme ‘Mobile Tihar’

  • On 30th July 2018, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and actress Kangana Ranaut launched ‘Mobile Tihar’, a smartphone distribution scheme under the Sanchar Kranti Yojna (SKY) in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

  • The scheme has been launched to distribute smartphones to women and students. It will benefit more than 50 Lakh people.

  • As a part of this scheme, 556 new mobile towers will be set up in Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh first state to provide Right to Skills’ Development to youth

  • Chhattisgarh has become the first state in India to provide Right to Skills’ Development to the youth.

  • This was said by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh after he flagged off 15 Skill Chariots to launch the government’s ‘Skills on Wheels’ project in Chhattisgarh.

  • The chariots are aimed to spread awareness about the project. They will tour 13 districts in the first phase and the remaining 14 districts in the second phase

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Anandiben Patel takes oath as Governor of Chhattisgarh

  • On 15th August 2018, Madhya Pardesh Governor Anandiben Patel was sworn in as Governor of Chhattisgarh.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave Anandiben Patel the additional charge as Governor of Chhattisgarh following the death of Chhattisgarh governor Balramji DassTandon.

  • Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi administered the oath of officeto Anandiben Patel.

  • Anandiben Patel will perform additional duties as Chhattisgarh governor until regular arrangements for the office of the governor of Chhattisgarh aremade

Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Dass Tandon dies

  • On 14th August 2018, Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Dass Tandon, died following a heart attack, in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

  • Balramji Dass Tandon was 90 years old. He was born on 1st November1927.

  • In 1953, he became a Corporator in Amritsar Municipal Corporation. He was a six-timeMLA.

  • He was also deputy chief minister of Punjab. He was jailed from 1975 to 1977 during Emergency.

  • He was one of the founding members of Jan Sangh, BJP’s parent organization. He became the Governor of Chhattisgarh in July2014.

Cabinet approved new BG Electrified Line of 294.53 route Kms from Katghora to Dongargarh in Chhattisgarh

  • On September 26, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the New Broad Gauge Electrified Line of 294.53 route Kms from Katghora to Dongargarh.

  • This project would cost Rs. 5950.47 crore and would be implemented by a Project SPV namely Chhattisgarh Katghora-Dongarhgarh Railway Limited and Government of Chhattisgarh through Chhattisgarh Railway Corporation Ltd (CRCL) and privatestakeholders.

  • It will provide rail connectivity to unserved areas of Chhattishgarh for industrial movement to Jharsuguda-Nagpur section of Howrah Mumbairoute.

  • The Korba, Bilaspur, Mungeli, Kabirdham and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh will be benefitted by this new railline.

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  • About Chhattisgarh Railway Corporation Ltd. (CRCL):

  • It is a Joint Venture between Ministry of Railways (MoR) and Chhattisgarh Government on 49:51 basis in the form of a company under theCompanies Act 2013.

First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh Darshan Scheme inaugurated by Tourism minister in Chhattisgarh

  • On September 14, 2018, Union Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons inaugurated the country’s first tribal tourism circuit in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh.

  • This is the second project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.

  • Ministry of Tourism in February 2016 Sanctioned Rs. 99.21Crores.

  • Objective:

  • To showcase the state’s rich and diverse tribal culture and traditions to the tourists.

  • Key Points:

  • The project wil be developed under the Swadesh Darshanscheme.

  • It will be developed by Chhattisgarh TourismBoard.

  • The key components for development under the projectare:

    • Ethnic TouristVillage,

    • Ethnic TouristDevelopment,

    • Destination Development and Waysideamenities.

  • It covers 13 sites in Chhattisgarh including Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot andTirthgarh.

  • Other News:

  • Under the tribal circuit theme of the scheme the Ministry has sanctioned 4 projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs. 381.37 Crores.

About Swadesh Darshan:

  • Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of tourism, for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth Rs.

  • 47 Crore to 31 States and UTs.

PM Modi’s 1 day Visit to Chhattisgarh:

  • On September 22, 2018, PM Modi reached Chhattisgarh.

  • It was his sixth visit to the state in fouryears.

  • On his visit, the followinghappened:

    • He participated in Janjgir Champa in Chhattisgarh for a farmersrally.

    • PM Modi inaugurated two projects of National Highway Authority of India in Chhattisgarh. These were four-lane roads between Bilaspur-Pathrapali and another between Sargaon- Bilaspur.

    • He laid foundation stone for the Rs 1697.79 crore Bilaspur-Anuppur Third Rail Track Project in Bilaspur-Anuppur section of South East CentralRailway.

    • The 152 km rail route runs for 119.55 km in Chhattisgarh and 32.45 km in Madhya Pradesh.

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Home Ministry exempts Sikh women from wearing helmet in Chandigarh

  • On 11th October 2018, Home Ministry issued an advisory asking the Chandigarh administration to exempt Sikh women from wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers.

  • This decision has been made following the representation of Sikh bodies, led by Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to Home Minister RajnathSingh.

  • Home Ministry has directed Chandigarh administration to follow Delhi government’s notification, with an exemption to Sikh women from wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers inChandigarh.

  • Delhi government’s transport department notified on June 4, 1999, to carry out the amendment in Rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicle Act 1993, which makes it optional for women whether riding on pillion or driving motorcycle to wear ahelmet.

  • The rule has been further amended through a notification on August 28, 2014, in which the word “women” has been replaced by “Sikhwomen”.

General election of 2018 Legislative Assemblies to commence; Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.

  • On October 12, 2018, the schedule for holding 2018 general election to the Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana, was announced.

  • The EC stated the Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which prohibits displaying any election matter by means of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency.

  • The detailed provisions stated in the Act are as follows:

    • Prohibition of display of content related to election matters during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion ofpoll,

    • Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment up to a period of two years, or with fine or both.

    • “Election matter” has been defined as promotion of any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants for gain of any individual party and that may affect the result of an election.

    • It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.

    • Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules.

    • Publishing of false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate is to be refrained.

    • The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/government in power.

    • All paid content should be clearly marked as “Paid Advertisement” or “Paid Content” in compliance with the “Norms & Guidelines on Paid News”.

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Chhattisgarh’s Veena Sendre is India’s first Trans Queen

  • On 7th October 2018, Veena Sendre from Chhattisgarh was selected as India’s first ‘Miss Trans Queen’, in Mumbai.

  • Veena Sendre defeated Namita Ammu of Tamil Nadu and won the title at the national-level beauty contest.

  • Veena Sendre is a former Miss Chhattisgarh. She hails from Mandir Hasaud village in Raipur.

  • She had dropped out of school when she was in 5th standard. She has participated in various ramp walks at Lucknow and Bengaluru fashion weeks.

Chhattisgarh Government Implements 7th Pay Commission for State Employees from April 2017

  • The state government of Chhattisgarh has announced to implement the Seventh Central Pay Commission for the state government employees from April 1, 2017, the beginning of new financial year.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Presents Rs 76,032 crore Budget for 2017-18

  • The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh presented the annual budget of Rs 76,032 crore for 2017-18 in the state legislative assembly on March 6, 2017.

  • Salient Features of the Budget 2017-18

  • The estimated expenditure is 7.58 percent higher than the revised estimate of2016-17.

  • The revenue surplus is estimated at Rs 4,781 crore, the Gross fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 9,647 crore, which is 3.49 percent of the GSDP.

  • The budget allocates 36 percent of expenditure for the development of scheduled tribe sector and 12 percent for the scheduled caste sector.

  • The social sector expenditure is estimated at 41 percent and economic sector expenditure is 38 percent of the total expenditure.

  • Allocation for agriculture has been increased by 26 percent to Rs. 10,434crore.

  • Irrigation facilities: Rs. 5243crore

  • Organic Farming Mission: Rs. 25crore.

  • Divyang (specially-abled people) college at a cost of Rs 2.56 crore will be set up at Raipur for educational up liftment of special children.

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  • Allocations for Schemes

  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: Rs. 1605 crore (urban) and Rs. 2841 crore(rural)

  • Suchna Kranti Yojna (SKY): Rs. 200 crore for 2017-18. Under the scheme, 45 lakh smartphones will be provided to family belonging to below poverty line (BPL) and college students. The beneficiaries would also get SIM cards along with the phone.

  • Tourism: Rs. 100 crore, to develop 14 tourists place in 7districts.

  • Saur Sujala Yojana: Rs. 554 crore for solar powered irrigation scheme.

  • Chhattisgarh Food Security Act: Rs. 3500crore

President Appoints New Chief Justices in MP, Patna, Kerala, Chattisgrah, Jharkhand HCs

  • The President of India, ShriPranab Mukherjee announced the appointment of new Chief Justices in the state of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Patna and Jharkhand HighCourts on March 10, 2017.

  • Chhattisgarh High Court: Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan, Judge of the Kerala High Court was appointed as Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.

After MP CM Shivraj , Chhattisgarh’s Raman Singh announces phased liquor ban

  • Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh impose liquor ban in Chhattisgarh after his meeting with Bihar Chief minister Nitish kumar.

  • Chhattisgarh CM announced and imposes a ban on liquor. He made the announcement in Munger.

  • He will first impose a ban on villages which has a population of more than3000.

  • Chhattisgarh has now become the second state to declare a ban on alcohol.

  • The CM mentioned in his speech that first phase has already done with the government closing down all the liquor shops located within a radius of 5km.

CRPF Command Shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh

  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has shifted its strategic anti-Maoist command headquarters from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh.

  • Its aim is to bring focus on combing operations in Chhattisgarh.

  • The move is in line with the Centre’s plan to redeploy its forces from peaceful West Bengal to Maoist of Abujmad in

Chhattisgarh govt. targets planting 8 crores saplings by end of August

  • The govenment of Chhattisgarh has targeted planting over 8crore saplings by the end of August this year. It has been announced on 20th July 2017.

  • Chief minister Raman Singh has called for active participation of people in the ‘Hariyar Chhattisgarh’campaign.

  • Oxy-zones will be developed in all the 27 districts of the Chhattisgarh

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Raipur Swami Vivekananda Airport ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey

  • Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, has ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey among 49 airports in India.Raipur Airport has scored highest, 4.84 on a five point scale index in the latest Customer Satisfaction Index Survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017.

    • It has topped this survey for the third consecutive time in the past two years.

    • Raipur Airport is followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively

Chhattisgarh government reduces interest on loan under Saksham Yojna

  • Chhattisgarh State Government has reduced the rate of interest on loan given to women and their self help groups (SHGs) under ‘Saksham Yojna’ from 6.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

  • More Details:

  • This decision was taken by Chhattisgarh Women and Child Development Minister Ramsheela Sahu while chairing a meeting of ‘Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh’(CMK)’.

  • Through various schemes, ‘Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh’ (CMK) disburses easy term loans to women and SHGs in Chhattisgarh.

  • Saksham Yojana too is operated by Chhattisgarh Mahila Kosh, under which loans to the tune of Rs 72 lakh had been distributed to about 111 SHGs during current fiscal year2017-18.

Chhattisgarh bans Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) used in carry bags

  • Chhattisgarh Government has completely banned the usage of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) carry bags in their state. The government also banned the manufacture, storage, import, sale, transport and use of such plastic-borne goods.

 Fomer Union minister Purushottam Lal Kaushik passed away

  • On 5th October 2017, Former Union minister and socialist leader Purushottam Lal Kaushik died in Chhattisgarh’s Mahasamund district

Dantewada Holds India’s 1st Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit

  • India’s 1st Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit was held in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on November 14, 2017.

  • More Information about India’s 1st Tribal Entrepreneurship Summit:

  • The summit was inaugurated by Y S Choudhary, Union MoS Science and Technology.

  • It has been organised as a run up to the upcoming 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will be held in Hyderabad from 28th – 30thNovember, 2017.

  • The Summit was organised by NITI Aayog in association with Government of United States of America. Eminent speakers from NITI Aayog, health and agri-pharma sectors addressed

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ADB approves $500 mn loan for rural roads in 5 states

  • On November 29, 2017, Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it will provide a $500 million loan to improve rural road connectivity in five states of India.

  • $ 500 mn loan has been approved by ADB for the ‘Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme’ to improve rural roads in West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

  • Entire loan amount will be spent to construct and upgrade over 12000-kilometre rural roads in these five states.

Chhattisgarh bans crackers in six cities during winter

  • On December 1 2017, Chhattisgarh government has passed an order regarding a ban on the use of firecrackers during winter in six major cities Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Bhilai, Raigarh and Korba.

  • State Environment Ministry and the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board had passed the order and it will be came to effect from December 1 to January 31.

Chhattisgarh village ‘Jokpatha’ gets electricity for the first time since Independence

  • Jokapatha village, a tribal village in Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh got electricity connection for the first time since independence.

  • In context of this news, it is important to note that in September 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli HarGharYojana ‘Saubhagya’ scheme with an aim to provide electricity connections to over 4 crore families in rural and urban areas by December 2018.

  • Total financial outlay of the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme is Rs 16320crore.

Tendu leaf bonus festival inaugurated in Bijapur

  • On December 2, 2017, Tendu Leaf Bonus Festival was inaugurated in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

  • At the inauguration of Tendu Leaf Bonus Festival, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh distributed bonus to the tendu leaf collectors of Bastar and Bijapur.

  • 247 crore bonus will be distributed during the course of this 10-day Tendu Leaf Bonus Festival

Tribal Festival “Adivasi Mahotsav” organised in Chhattisgarh

  • On 10th and 11th December 2017, the Tribal Development Department organised a two-day Tribal Festival, “Adivasi Mahotsav” in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

  • Adivasi Mahotsav is celebrated to commemorate the martyrdom day of freedom fighter and great revolutionary from Chhattisgarh, Shahid Veernarayan Singh.

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Proposals for implementation of Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme approved

  • The proposal from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh for the implementation of Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme has been approved by the union government.

  • Haryana was the first state to adopt the initiative of Mahila Police Volunteer at Karnal and Mahindergarh District on a pilot basis under the Nirbhaya Fund during the financial year 2016-2017.

  • Mahila Police Volunteer Scheme

  • The Mahila Police Volunteer was initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The salient features of the scheme are:

  • A Mahila Police Volunteer could be any woman who is socially and voluntarily committed towards empowerment of women and girls, willing to raise her voice against gender-based violence and support the police in creating a gender just society free from violence.

  • A Mahila Police Volunteer should be minimum 21 years of age and possess at least 12th pass certificate.

  • A Mahila Police Volunteer must be from the same geographical area and conversant with the local dialects.

  • No criminal proceedings must have been instituted against her and she must not have been convicted or imprisoned for the violation of any criminal law.

  • A Mahila Police Volunteer should not be a member of any political party.

  • The Mahila Police Volunteers in the States/UTs will act as a link between police and community and help women in distress.

  • There will be one Mahila Police Volunteer per Gram Panchayat.

  • Mahila Police volunteers will directly report to the Circle Inspector in the Police Thana.

  • The Mahila Police volunteers are required to mobilize the community to form Mahila and Shishu Rakshak Dals (MASRD) to act as community watch groups.

  • The broad mandate of the Mahila Police Volunteer is to report incidences of violence against women such as domestic violence, child marriage, dowry harassment and violence faced by women in public spaces.

  • A Mahila Police Volunteer is an honorary position and they are paid an honorarium of Rs 1,000 per month.

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has requested Chief Secretaries of all States and UTs to adopt this initiative in their respective States.

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Bhupesh Baghel to become the new CM of Chhattisgarh

  • Bhupesh Baghel, who is also the president of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee, will be the new chief minister of Chhattisgarh state. Bhupesh Baghel has been named as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) by the newly elected legislators in Raipur on 16th December 2018.

  • 2018 Assembly Elections in Chhattisgarh:

  • The Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly elections in 2018 took place to elect members of the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) of Chhattisgarh. The elections in Chhattisgarh were held in two phases:  the first phase of elections for 18 seats in South Chhattisgarh was held on 12 November 2018 and the second phase of elections for the remaining 72 took place on 20 November 2018.

  • The elections were held for a total of 90 Assembly seats.

  • The Indian National Congress won 68 seats out of 90 seats winning the majority to form the government.

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party could win only 15 seats.

  • The Incumbent Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Sh. Raman Singh resigned from his post on 11th December 2018.

  • Baghel will be sworn in as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh by Governor Anandiben Patel in a ceremony in the state capital Raipur on 17th December 2018.

cVigil: Election Commission launches app to report model code violations

  • The Election Commission of India has launched Cvigil mobile application for citizens to report any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections.

  • The app aims at empowering people across the country to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates and activists directly with ECI.

  • At present its beta version has been released and will be made available for use during forthcoming Assembly elections Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan.

  • Features of cVigil

  • It will allow anyone in election-bound state to report violations of MCC.

  • By using this app, vigilant citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct anonymously and in real-time by clicking picture or record video of upto two minutes and uploading it on the app.

  • The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential and will be provided with Unique ID to track and receive the follow up updates on the mobile.

  • It will be active only in States where elections have been announced.

  • The app also facilitates sharing of geo-tagged photographic and video evidence without disclosing identity of sender.

  • The uploaded information will be transmitted to control room and from there to field units or flying squads, mapped on Geographic Information System (GIS) for further action.

India’s Current Maternal Mortality Ratio is 130:

  • The registrar general of India has released new data showing significant decline in maternal mortality ratio of the country. The relevant facts and data are as follows:

Maternal Mortality and MMR

  • According to WHO, Maternal Mortality is death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

  • Maternal Mortality Rate is death of such women per 100,000 live births. Maternal and child mortality and morbidity are taken as important health health indicators because they reflect the state of female healthcare.

Global Maternal Mortality Rate

  • The global MMR for year 1990 was 385. In 2015, this number stood at 216, showing a drop of 44% in 25 years. Most of the global maternal deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa (66%), followed by South Asia (22%).

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  • Maternal Mortality Rate in India and its states

  • In the 2011-13 period, India’s MMR was 167. As per the recently released data, the MMR during 2014-16 period stands at 130. Among states, the three best and worst states and their respective MMR are shown below:

  • Significant decline (246 to 188) was seen in the so called Empowered Action Group (EAG) states and Assam. EAG states are are those states where economic and development indicators are a particular concern. Such states include Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Maternal Mortality Ratio is one of the important measures of the quality of safe deliveries and maternal care and India has lagged behind China, Maldives and Sri Lanka in its neighborhood.

Tata Trusts signs MoU with Government to provide development support in Naxal-hit districts

  • Tata Trusts has signed MoU with Government to provide development support in eight worst Naxal-affected districts in Chhattisgarh.

  • These eight worst Naxal-affected districts are covered under Transformation of aspirational districts Programme of NITI Aayog.

  • The eight worst Naxal-hit districts chosen for programme and will be helped by Tata Trusts are Kanker, Rajnandgaon, Bijapur, Bastar, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur and Sukma.

  • Tata Trusts will provide government technical and human resource assistance to Government to special development programme. It will help government in conducting surveys and providing ground level and technical support in raising living standards of citizens and ensuring inclusive growth for all.

Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ programme

  • NITI Aayog had launched this programme in January 2017 with an aim to quickly and effectively transform some of most underdeveloped districts of the country.

  • Over 100 districts from across the country were chosen to implement ambitious programme.

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Cabinet approves proposal to set up 4072 towers in Left Wing Extremism Areas

  • Union Cabinet has approved Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA’s) proposal of setting up 4,072 mobile towers to improve telecom connectivity network in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Areas.

  • This network would be used by security personnel deployed in LWE affected areas.

  • These towers will be set up at cost of Rs. 7,330 crore in 96 districts of 10 naxal affected states through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

  • These states are Jharkhand (1,054 towers will be installed), Chhattisgarh (1,028), Odisha (483), Andhra Pradesh (429), Bihar (412), West Bengal (207), Uttar Pradesh (179), Maharashtra (136), Telangana (118) and Madhya Pradesh (26).

  • The project will also provide mobile services to help residents in unconnected inhabited villages which will improve economic activities in region.

  • It will give impetus to e-Governance activities in backward and LWE affected area with availability of digital mobile connectivity.

  • In the phase-I of the telecom connectivity network project, budget for providing mobile services using 2G technology in LWE areas was sanctioned at cost of Rs. 4080.78 crore. It is on completion stage and there are 2,335 tower sites functioning of total 2,355 approved.

  • In phase-II, MHA in consultation with concerned states had identified 4,072 tower locations for communication need of security personnel deployed in 10 states and provided to DoT in October 2017. It has upgraded telecommunications technology from 2G and 4G according to the requirement of stakeholders.

President inaugurates Integrated Centre for Crisis Management for CBRN emergencies at BARC

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Integrated Centre for Crisis Management (ICCM) at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

  • The ICCM will help nation to respond more effectively to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies. It will monitor radiological data from a network of 504 radiation sensors across the country.

Other launches

  • Multi-leaf collimator system: It has been developed by BARC. It is used radiotherapy as it enables gamma radiation to be exposed only on cancer-affect organs.

  • Trombay Chhattisgarh Dubraj Mutant-1: It is high-yielding dwarf variety of Dubraj mutant rice. It is 43rd high-yielding crop variety developed by BARC.

  • President Kovind also remotely inaugurated three other nuclear facilities of Department of Atomic Energy (DEA).

          They are-

  • Metal fuel pin fabrication facility: It has been jointly developed by BARC and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It will help to increase plutonium production in fast breeder reactors.

  • Integrated enriched boron tri-fluoride gas generation facility: It was developed by Heavy-water Board in Odisha. It will be used in neutron detectors.

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India, Nepal flag offs bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya under Ramayan Circuit

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated direct bus service between Janakpur (Nepal) and Ayodhya (India).

  • Both are sacred cities for Hindus and bus service was launched as part of India’s Ramayan Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India.

15 destinations under Ramayan Circuit

  • The government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under Ramayana Circuit theme under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

  • They are Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Nashik and Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu).

CCEA approves restructured National Bamboo Mission

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under National under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) during remaining period of 14th Finance Commission (2018-20) with an outlay of Rs. 1290 crore.

  • The restructured mission will ensure holistic development of bamboo sector by addressing complete value chain and establish effective linkage of of producers (farmers) with industry.

Objectives of restructured NBM

  • Increase area under bamboo plantation in non-forest Government and private lands to supplement farm income and contribute towards resilience to climate change.

  • Improve post-harvest management through establishment of innovative primary processing units, treatment and seasoning plants, primary treatment and seasoning plants, preservation technologies and market infrastructure.

  • Promote product development at micro, small and medium levels and feed bigger industry. Rejuvenate the under developed bamboo industry in India.

  • Promote skill development, capacity building, awareness generation for development of bamboo sector.

Beneficiaries:

  • The restructured mission will benefit directly and indirectly farmers as well as local artisans and associated personnels engaged in bamboo sector including associated industries.

  • It will directly benefit about one lakh farmers as it has proposed to bring about one lakh ha area under plantation.

  • It is expected to establish about 4000 treatment and product development units and bring more than 100000 ha area under plantation.

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States/districts to be covered:

  • The restructured mission will focus on development of bamboo in limited states where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in North Eastern region and in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

National Bamboo Mission (NBM):

  • NBM, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme was started in 2006-07. It was subsumed under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) during 2014-15 and continued till 2015-16. It aims to promote growth of bamboo sector through area based regionally differentiated strategy.

 

Objectives:

  • Increase coverage area under bamboo in potential areas, with improved varieties to enhance yields.

  • Promote marketing of bamboo and bamboo based handicrafts.

  • Establish convergence and synergy among stake-holders for the development of bamboo.

  • Promote, develop and disseminate technologies through seamless blend of traditional wisdom and modern scientific knowledge.

  • Generate employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youths.

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GoM recommends uniform road tax structure for vehicles across country

  • The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed One Nation One Tax policy for seamless movement of commercial vehicles across the country.

  • The two day meeting of GoM held in Guwahati, Assam was attended by transport ministers from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Kerala, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya and Jharkhand.

  • The GoM is headed by Rajasthan transport minister Yoonus Khan.

Recommendations of GoM

  • Uniform road tax for vehicles across states:

  • It will allow transfer of vehicles from one state to another without levying road tax.

  • It will put check on people registering their vehicles in low tax states and running them in other states.

  • It will also bring necessary relief to genuine cases requiring transfer of vehicles.

  • Tax Structure:

  • Centre has the powers to decide principles on which  motor vehicles tax can be levied.

  • The uniform tax should be based on invoice price of vehicles in three slabs. 8% tax on vehicles below 10 lakhs, 10% for vehicles costing between 10 -20 lakh, and 12% for vehicles above 20 lakh.

  • Diesel vehicles may have to pay 2% extra taxes, while electric vehicles will be given 2% discount.

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First regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources held in Kolkata

  • The first regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources was held in Kolkata, West Bengal in bid to address outstanding water resources issues.

  • It was conveyed by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.

  • The conference was aimed at addressing outstanding water resources issues, inter-state issues, intra and inter-basin issues among five eastern states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.

  • It was attended by Water Resources ministers and secretaries of the five states and chairman of Central Water Commission.

  • It also deliberated on finding solution to mitigate intra and intra-basin issues relating to water resources in these five state.

  • It also discussed on the issue of interlinking of rivers. Issues pertaining to unified and scientific control of all reservoirs, erosion on banks of of river Bhagirathi and non-availability of 100% central grant for 19 anti-erosion work executed near international border with Bangladesh during 12th Plan period were also discussed.

Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken gets Geographical Indication tag

  • Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) Tag to Madhya Pradesh’s Kadaknath chicken.

  • The GI tag will ensure that no one else can use name Kadaknath Chicken while selling any other black chicken.

  • It will also translate into higher prices for producers.

Kadaknath Chicken

  • Kadaknath chicken breed is unique for its black colour due to its black-feathers.

  • Its black colour stems from the deposition of melanin pigment.

  • Kadaknath chicken contains 25-27% of protein in comparison with other breeds of chickens that contain 18% protein.

  • It is also known for its high iron content.

  • Recently, Kadaknath chicken had virtually became bone of contention between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with both the States staking claim over its nativity for GI tag.

  • Both States had filed applications with the Geographical Indication Registry office in Chennai for the ‘GI tag’ for this black-winged chicken variety.

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93% rural households with access to toilets using them: NARSS 2017-18

  • According to National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2017-18, over 93% households in villages who have access to toilets are using them and about 77% homes in rural areas have got toilets.

  • The survey was conducted by Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under World Bank support project to Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G).

  • The survey was conducted between mid-November 2017 and mid-March 2018.

  • It covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States/UTs of India.

  • It also covered schools, anganwadis and public/community toilets in these villages.

  • It used the PPS (Probability Proportion to Size) sampling methodology and its data was collected using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) platform.

Key findings of NARSS 2017-18

  • 77% of households were found to have access to toilets.

  • 4% of people who had access to toilets used them.

  • 6% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF were confirmed to be ODF. The remaining 4.4% villages also had sanitation coverage of over 95%.

  • 70% of villages surveyed found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water.

Outcomes

  • Over 6.5 crore toilets were built across rural India under SBM. Over 3.38 lakh villages and 338 districts were declared ODF, along with 9 ODF States/3 Union Territories, namely Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. Over, 300 million people have stopped defecating in open since launch of SBM.

India inks $120 Million Loan agreement with to improve Rail Infrastructure

  • Government has inked $120 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for completion of projects to improve Rail Infrastructure along high-density corridors and operational efficiency of Indian railways.

  • The loan has 20-year term, including grace period of 5 years and have annual interest rate determined according to ADB’s London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) based lending facility, and commitment charge of 0.15% per year.

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Rail Infrastructure Improvement Project

  • The loan amount is 3 tranche of $500 million multi-tranche financing facility for Railway Sector Investment Program approved by ADB Board in 2011.

  • The loan amount will be used to complete the ongoing works commenced under earlier tranches.

  • The project is aimed at enhancing efficiency of rail infrastructure through electrification, introduction of modern signaling system and doubling rail tracks on key routes in country.

  • It will help to develop energy-efficient, safe, and reliable railway system that will result in reduced travel time along project rail routes and improved operational and financial efficiency.

  • Funding will contribute towards achieving overall program outputs of double-tracking about 840 kms of rail routes and electrification of 640 kms of rail routes and electrification of 640 kms of tracks along high density corridors.

  • It will also help to implement new accounting systems and provide additional safety measures including collision avoidance equipment.

  • The loan proceeds will be used for busy freight and passenger routes in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, including “Golden Quadrilateral” corridor that connects Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Government forms Tribunal to solve Mahanadi Water dispute between Odisha & Chhattisgarh

  • The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal for adjudication of longstanding disputes between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi river water.

  • The tribunal was formed under Section 4 of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 following directives of Supreme Court on January 2018.

  • Since mid-80s, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are locked in dispute over sharing of water of Mahanadi River.

  • Odisha has claimed that Chhattisgarh government has been constructing dams in upper reaches of Mahanadi, depriving its farmers who are heavily dependent on river water.

  • Odisha Government had moved to Supreme Court in 2016 seeking direction to Chhattisgarh Government to stop all construction of barrages and dams on upper stream of river.

  • Following the apex court order, Union Cabinet in February 2018 had approved proposal to constitute tribunal.

Composition:

  • The tribunal will have three members. Chief Justice of India (CJI) has nominated Supreme Court Judge A M Khanwilkar as chairman of Tribunal.

  • The two other members are Justice Ravi Ranjan of Patna High Court and Jusitce Indwermeet Kaur Kochar of Delhi High Court.

  • It will be provided with services of two assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues.

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Mandate:

  • The tribunal will determine water sharing among basin States on basis of overall availability of water in complete Mahanadi basin, contribution and present utilisation of water resources in each state and potential for future development.

Term:

  • The tribunal will be headquartered in New Delhi. It is required to submit its report and decision within three years which can be extended to maximum two years due to unavoidable reasons.

Death penalty should stay: 12 out of 14 states/Uts

  • The 12 out of 14 states/UTs have replied to Home Ministry that capital punishment or death penalty should stay, as it serves to act as deterrent in cases of heinous crimes such as murder and rape.

  • The Home Ministry had forwarded proposal to abolish death penalty to states/UTs based on recommendation of Law Commission of India (LCI).

  • The states/UTs that vetoed abolition of capital punishment were Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

  • Only two states, Karnataka and Tripura, want practice to be done away with.

  • In 2013, the Supreme Court had asked Law Commission to examine whether death penalty is deterrent punishment or is retributive justice or serves an incapacitative goal.

  • In its report in 2015, Law Commission, ten headed by Justice A P Shah, had proposed abolition of capital punishment for non-terrorism cases (i.e. it should be abolished for all crimes other than terrorism related offences and waging war).

  • According to Law Commission’s Report, India is among handful of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq that still carry out executions.

  • At end of 2014, 98 countries had abolished death penalty, 7 had abolished it for ordinary crimes, and 35 were abolitionists in practice, making 140 countries abolitionists in law or practice.

Kunwar Bai: 106-year-old icon for Swachh Bharat campaign passes away

  • Kunwar Bai, a 106-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh who was chosen as mascot for `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, passed away after a prolonged illness.

  • She had shot to fame in 2016 when story of her selling goats to build toilet at home had got nationwide publicity.

  • She was felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at public meeting at Kurrubhat village in Rajnandgaon district and later made a mascot for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

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First sale of electoral bonds from March 1, 2018: Finance Ministry

  • The first sale of electoral bonds will start from March 1, 2018 for period of 10 days at four main branches of State Bank of India in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi.

  • These bonds will have a life of 15 days, and citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in the country can purchase them.

Electoral bonds

  • The electoral bonds scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017 with an aim for increasing transparency in political funding.

  • It makes India first country in the world to have such unique bonds for electoral funding.

  • It aims at rooting out current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to generation of black money in the econmy.

  • These electoral bonds can be bought for any value in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore after fulfilling all existing Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and making payments from bank account. It will not carry name of payee.

  • The sale of electoral bonds comes ahead of elections in number of states through year.

  • Karnataka is likely to go to polls in April-May followed by elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram later in year.

India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 released by MoEFCC

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017.

  • It has revealed that total forest and tree cover in India has increased of over 8,021 sq km (about 80.20 million hectare) which is one percent increase from 2015.

ISFR 2017

  • The increase in the forest cover has been observed as 6,778 sq km and that of tree cover as 1, 243 sq km.

  • The total forest and tree cover is 24.39% of geographical area of the country.

  • The increase in forest cover has been observed in Very Dense Forest (VDF) which absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  • It is followed by increase in forest cover in open forest.

India’s Global Position

  • India is ranked 10th in world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4 % of the world surface area and sustains needs of 17 % of human and 18 % livestock population.

  • India was placed 8th in list of Top Ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area.

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State-wise break-up

  • 15 states/UTs have above 33% of geographical area under forest cover. About 40% of country’s forest cover is present in 9 large contiguous patches of the size of 10, 000 sq.km, or more.

  • 7 States/UTs have more than 75% forest cover: Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur.

  • 8 States/UTs have forest cover between 33% to 75%: Tripura, Goa, Sikkim, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam.

  • Top 5 States with maximum increase in forest cover: Andhra Pradesh (2141 sq km), followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km), Odisha (885 sq kms) and Telangana (565 sq kms).

  • Top 5 States with maximum Forest cover (in terms of area): Madhya Pradesh (77,414 sq km) Arunachal Pradesh (66,964 sq km) and Chhattisgarh (55,547 sq km).

  • Top states with highest Forest cover in terms of percentage geographical area: Lakshadweep with (90.33%), Mizoram (86.27%) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (81.73%).

  • Top 5 states where forest cover has decreased: Mizoram (531 sq km), Nagaland (450 sq km), Arunachal Pradesh (190 sq km), Tripura (164 sq km) and Meghalaya (116 sq km). These states are in North Eastern region of the country where total forest cover is very high i.e. more than 70% in each state.

Government inks $250 Million Loan Agreement with ADB to Improve Rural Connectivity in 5 States

  • The Union Government has inked $250 Million Loan Agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Improve Rural Connectivity in 5 States viz. Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

  • The loan proceeds will be used to finance the construction of 6,254 kilometres all-weather rural roads in these 5 States under the PMGS).

  • It is first tranche Loan of the $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program for India approved by the ADB Board in December 2017.

  • The program is aimed to improve rural connectivity, facilitate safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for for rural communities through improvements to about 12,000 kms Rural Roads across 5 States.

Significance of ADB-funded investment program

  • Provide continued assistance to PMGSY and support the Government’s long-term goal for rural development.

  • It will have transformative impact in terms of rural economy and will bring greater efficiency in terms of access and connectivity for rural people in 5 States.

  • Under it about 2,000 technical personnel will be imparted training on road safety and maintenance.

  • It will also support Government’s drive for innovative approaches to reduce costs, conserve non-renewable natural resources and promote use of waste materials in rural road construction.

  • It builds upon $800 million ADB-financed first Rural Connectivity Investment Program in 2012 that added about 9,000 kms of all-weather rural roads in the same States.

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2018 Republic Day parade: Maharashtra wins best tableau prize

  • Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave away Republic Day Parade 2018 best tableau award to Maharashtra and best marching contingent award to Punjab Regiment Contingent.

  • The ceremonial Republic Day Parade 2018 was held on 26 January 2018 at Rajpath to celebrate 69th Republic Day. It was presided over by President Ram Nath Kovind and 10 leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were guests of honour.

  • India’s military might was fully displayed during the annual celebrations. Total of 23 tableaux (14 from States & Union Territories, 2 from Ministry of External Affairs and rest of the tableaux from other Ministries/Departments) participated in this year’s Republic Day Parade.

  • Ministry of External Affairs 2 tableaux depicted long socio-cultural, religious, educational & trade relations between India and 10 ASEAN countries.

Republic Day Parade 2018 Awards

  • Best marching contingent

  • Among Three Services: Punjab Regiment (1st).

  • Among para-military and other auxiliary forces: Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Best Tableau – State wise

  • First: Tableau from Maharashtra depicting coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was awarded first prize.

  • Second: Tableau from Assam depicting traditional masks and sastras begged second prize.

  • Third: Tableau of Chhattisgarh depicting Ramgarh’s ancient amphitheatre along with artistes performing dance, based on Kalidasa’s Meghadootam was awarded third prize.

  • Union Ministries/Departments Category: Tableaux of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports depicting ‘Khelo India’ was given first prize.

School children items category

  • First prize: South Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur (Maharashtra) performing ‘Baredi Dance’ from Madhya Pradesh.

  • Consolation prizes: It was awarded to North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur (Nagaland) for performing Sangrai Mog Dance of Tripura and Oxford Foundation School, Najafgarh, Delhi for performing Shikshit Bharat, Shashakt Bharat dance.

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2018 Padma Awards

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has announced names of recipients of year 2018 Padma awards viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

  • He approved conferment of Padma Awards on Padma Awards, the country’s highest civilian awards bestowed for distinguished service of high order in various disciplines- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

  • The 2018 list includes 3 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri Awardees. 14 awardees are women, 16 awardees are from category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs while 3 are posthumous awardees.

  • The list also includes unsung persons and also people who rendered selfless service at the grassroots.

PADMA VIBHUSHAN

  • It is the second highest civilian award.

          No     Name                                        Field                     State

          1        Illaiyaraja                                  Art-Music           Tamil Nadu

          2        Ghulam Mustafa Khan          Art-Music           Maharashtra

          3        Parameswaran                        Literature and           Kerala

                     Parameswaran                       Education

Padma Bhushan

  • It is the third highest civilian award.

No     Name                                        Field                                                     State

  • Pankaj Advani                      Sports- Billiards/Snooker                    Karnataka

  • Philipose Mar Chrysostom Others-Spiritualism                                Kerala

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni Sports-Cricket                     Kerala

  • Alexander Kadakin (Foreigner) Public Affairs                     Russia

  • Ramchandra Nagaswamy Others-Archaeology        Tamil Nadu

  • Ved Prakash Nadda (OCI)           Lit&Edu.                          US

  • Laxan Pai                      Art-Painting                     Goa

  • Arvind Parikh           Art-Music                       Maharashtra

  • Sharda Sinha           Art-Music                       Bihar

Padma Shri

  • It is the fourth highest civilian award.

No.    Name                                                   Field           State

  1. Abhay Bang (Duo)    Medicine           Maharashtra

  2. Rani Bang (Duo)           Medicine             Maharashtra

  3. Damodar Ganesh Bapat Social Work          Chhattisgarh

  4. Prafulla Govinda Baruah Lit&Edu                Assam

  5. Mohan Swaroop Bhatia       Art-Folk Music          Uttar Pradesh

  6. Sudhanshu Biswas Social Work          West Bengal

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Cabinet approves establishment of new AIIMS at Bilaspur

  • The Union Cabinet approved establishment of new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

  • The new AIIMS will be completed in a period of 48 months. It will consist of a hospital with a capacity of 750 beds and trauma centre facilities and have 20 Speciality and Super-Speciality Departments including 15 Operation Theatres.

  • It will also have Medical college with an intake of 100 MBBS students per year and Nursing college with an intake of 60 B.Sc. (Nursing) students per year.

Maharashtra tops in GST collection in first five months

  • Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are top contributors among states and Union Territories in the first five months since the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in July 1, 2017.

  • The data was revealed by Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

  • State GST (SGST) collections: Maharashtra tops SGST collections with Rs 18,701 crore. Tamil Nadu is at the second spot with Rs 8,739 crore collection followed by Karnataka and Gujarat with SGST collections of Rs 7,736 crore and Rs 7,375 crore, respectively.

  • Cess Collection: Maharashtra garnered Rs 3,702 crore and Uttar Pradesh collected Rs 3,549 crore through cess levied on sin and luxury goods. Karnataka ranks third with cess collection of Rs 3,110 crore, followed by Chhattisgarh that raised Rs 2,288 crore as cess. The Central Government has garnered Rs 30,224 crore as cess from July November 2017 period.

  • Total Collection: In July November 2017 period, government has garnered Rs 30,224 crore as cess. about Rs 59,048 crore as Central GST (CGST) and Rs 87,888 crore as SGST.

  • Integrated GST (IGST): Rs 1.91 lakh crore has been collected as IGST. Out of the total IGST collection, Rs 90,038 crore has been collected through imports.

  • The GST regime implemented from July 1, 2017 has tax four slabs of 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28%.

  • Additional cess ranging from 1 to 290% is levied over and above highest tax rate of 28% on sin and luxury goods such as tobacco, cigarettes and luxury cars.

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12th meeting of Standing Committee of Inter-State Council held

  • The 12th meeting of Standing Committee of Inter-State Council was held in New Delhi.

  • The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission on Centre-state relations.

  • The meeting was chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

  • The members of the 12th standing committee include Sushma Swaraj (Minister of External Affairs), Arun Jaitley (Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs), Nitin Gadkari (Minister of Road, Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation),  and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot. The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh, who are the members of the Standing Committee, also attend the meeting.

About Interstate council

  • Inter State council is a constitutional body under Article 263 of the constitution. It was established by Presidential Order dated 28th May, 1990 on recommendation of Sarkaria Commission. The purpose of the Interstate council is to facilitate coordination between states and the centre.

Composition of Inter State Council

  • The Council is headed by Prime Minister (Chairman).

  • Besides, Chief Ministers of all states and UTs (having legislative Assembly) are its members.

  • Six Union ministers of cabinet rank nominated by the Prime Minister are also members..

Improved Samba Masuri: CCMB-IIRR develop low Glycemic Index rice

  • The Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in association with Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR) has developed Improved Samba Masuri (ISM) variety rice with low Glycemic Index (GI).

  • Rice with low GI is considered suitable for people with diabetics. Consumption of food with low GI results in slow release of glucose into the bloodstream reducing the ill-effects of diabetes.

Improved Samba Masuri (ISM)

  • ISM has lowest GI of 50.99 against the normal 53 to 70 in several rice varieties.

  • It also has shown better yield and fine grain type, enhancing its market potential and profit for farmers.

IPPB Bank to become operational in 650 districts by April 2018

  • The Union Government has announced that India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) will become operational in all 650 districts of the country by April 2018 to facilitate financial inclusion.

  • These banks will be linked to 1.55 lakh rural post offices for its operations and carry out banking services. This will be largest banking network in the country. Two such banks are already operational in Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh).

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India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)

  • IPPB has been set up as a Public Limited Company under Department of Posts with 100% Government of India (GOI) equity.

  • It leverages DoP’s network, resources and reach to make low-cost, quality and simple financial services easily accessible to customers in the country..

  • Its purpose is to further cause of financial inclusion by providing basic banking, remittance services and payments services to customers.

Telangana tops state-wise ease of doing business ranking in 2017

  • Telangana has topped the yearly state-wise ranking on assessment of implementation of ‘Business Reforms Action Plan’ (BRAP) in 2017.

  • Last year, Telangana was the joint topper with Andhra Pradesh in the ranking.

  • Telangana with an implementation score of 61.83% was followed by Haryana (54.03%), Odisha (45.70%), Chhattisgarh (45.43%), and West Bengal (44.35%).

  • The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under Commerce and Industry Ministry is the nodal body at Centre for the exercise.

About State ease of doing business index

  • In 2014, Government requested World Bank Group to support India’s efforts to enhance India’s competitiveness and increase manufactured exports. ‎DIPP then decided to start similar initiative to promote competitiveness among states by taking cue from World Bank’s “Ease of doing business index.

  • The DIPP hosted website for states to update their performance on pre-identified parameters on real-time basis and prepared a report card on the same.

  • The parameters are assessed by both World Bank and DIPP. Stakeholders, including companies or individuals also gave feedback on portal about improvements made by states on each of those parameters.

Hemidactylus kangerensis: New species of large gecko discovered in Eastern Ghats

  • Researchers have discovered new species of gecko at Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park in Eastern Ghats.

  • It common name is the Kanger valley rock gecko and scientific name is Hemidactylus kangerensis, named after the valley were it was discovered.

RBI to soon launch financial literacy drive in 9 states

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to launch financial literacy drive in 80 blocks in 9 states on pilot basis to educate people on e-transaction, formal sector borrowings and insurance purchases.

  • It will be commissioned in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by 6 NGOs in collaboration with sponsor banks.

  • The aim of initiative is to inculcate habit of making household budget and recording financial transactions, encourage transactions in savings account, and active saving by depositing in banks through recurring deposits and fixed deposits.

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Gurusaidutt wins Bulgarian International

  • Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt won men’s singles title at Bulgarian International Future Series tournament. In final match, he defeated Muhammed Ali Kurt 21- 17, 21-16

Anupama Ramachandran wins World Open U-16 Snooker Championship

  • India’s Anupama Ramachandran won World Open Under-16 Snooker Championship title in girls category held at St. Petersburg in Russia.

  • In final match, she defeated her compatriot and top seed Keerthana Pandian 3-1 scoreline. Earlier in semifinals, she defeated Albina Leschuk of Belaru 3-0 and Alexsandra Riabinina of Russia in quarterfinals by 3-0 scoreline.

  • Dylan Emery of Wales (England) won title in boys category.

  • Federation of Billiards Sports of Russia had hosted this first ever World Open championships for Under-16 boys and girls.

American Morgan Hurd wins all-around title at gymnastics world championships

  • American Morgan Hurd (16) won all-around title at gymnastics world championships in Montreal, Canada.

  • She won by edging out Canada’s Elsabeth Black 55.232 to 55.132.

  • With this Hurd became youngest Olympic or world all-around champion since Aliya Mustafina in 2010.

  • It was US’ seventh straight Olympic or world all-around title.

  • Russia’s Elena Eremina took third spoty with total of 54.799. Japan’s Mai Murakami was fourth, followed by Melanie de Jesus dos Santos of France.

Chhattisgarh bans use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride

  • Chhattisgarh Government has banned use of chlorinated plastic and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with immediate effect.

  • This decision is with an objective to conserve and improve the environment.

  • The state government also has banned manufacture, storage, import, sale, transport and use of such plastic-borne goods.

  • It also has banned advertising and promotion materials like PVC banners, flex, and hoardings.

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World Dental Show 2017 opens in Mumbai

  • The ‘World Dental Show 2017’, 3-day international exhibition was opened in Mumbai, Maharashtra to showcase evolving global technologies and techniques in dentistry.

  • It was hosted by Indian Dental Association (IDA) and  witnessed participation from international exhibitors from China, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, Russian, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UK and US.

Renowned filmmaker Kundan Shah passes away

  • Renowned filmmaker Filmmaker Kundan Shah passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

  • He was 69. He was director of romantic drama ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’.

  • He is known for his comedy classic ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ and his 1985–1986 TV series Nukkad with Saeed Akhtar Mirza.

  • He was best known for his wonderful usage of humour and satire to showcase the life & struggles of common citizens .

India registers significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate

  • According to recently released Sample Registration Bulletin (SRS), India has registered a significant decline of 8% in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in 2016.

  • IMR in India has declined by three points from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016.

  • Infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age.

  • Moreover, India has also recorded major drop in birth cohort, which has for first time came down to below 25 million. India has registered 90000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

  • The total number of estimated infant deaths have come down from 9.3 Lakhs in 2015 to 8.4 lakhs in 2016.

  • The gender gap in India for child survival is also reducing steadily. The gender difference between female and male IMR has reduced to below 10%, giving major boost to Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.

  • Among Empowered Action Group (EAG) states and Assam, all states except Uttarakhand have reported decline in IMR compared to 2015. The decline is in IMR compared to 2015.

  • The decline is reported as 4 points in Bihar, 3 points in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam respectively and two points decline in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.

Newton: India’s official entry to Oscars 2018

The Film Federation of India (FFI) has selected Hindi film Newton, a black comedy on foibles of democracy to represent India in Best Foreign Language category at 90th Academy Awards (Oscars) to be held in February 2018.

  • It was unanimously chosen by FFI’s selection committee, headed by Telugu producer C V Reddy from 26 entries received this year.

Newton

  • The movie has been directed by Amit Masurkar. It stars Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi and Raghubir Yadav.

  • The film is political satire revolving around an honest election officer’s (Newton Kumar) attempt to conduct a free and fair poll in naxal-controlled town in the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.

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Health Ministry launches two new contraceptives 

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched two new free contraceptives Antara and Chayya in 10 states under Mission ParivarVikas, a central family planning initiative. These 10 states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi and

  • Antara is injectable contraceptive, effective for three months drug whereas Chayya is contraceptive pill, effective for one week. Both of contraceptives are safe and highly effective.

  • They will be available for free in medical colleges and district hospitals in 10 states.

  • The introduction of these new contraceptives will expand the basket of choices for country’s population to meet their family planning needs.

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Family Planning Logistics Management Information System (FP-LMIS)-

  • To help improve the supply and distribution of contraceptives, the health ministry recently had launched Family Planning Logistics Management Information on demand and distribution of contraceptives to health facilities and ASHAs.

Jharkhand Governor gives assent to Religious Freedom Bill, 2017

  • Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu gave her assent to the Jharkhand Religious Freedom Bill, 2017.

  • The state government will now issue notification on the Religious Freedom Bill, after which it will become an Act.

  • With this Jharkhand, become seventh state in the country to have anti-conversion law.

  • Other six states with similar law are Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Jharkhand Religious Freedom Bill, 2017

  • The Bill seeks to bring stringent anti-conversion law in place under which forceful or allurement induced religious conversion will be non-bailable criminal offence.

  • It defines allurement for religious conversion and also includes religious conversion based on cash or economic benefits under the definition .

  • The Section 3 of Bill prohibits forceful conversion. The violation of this section will result in punishment upto 3 years imprisonment or Rs 50000 penalty or both.

  • If the religious conversion crime involves a minor, woman or person from S ST community than prison term would be up to 4 years and a penalty of Rs.1 lakh.

Union Government inks Global Environment Facility Grant Agreement with World Bank

  • The Union Government has inked US $24.64 million Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for Ecosystem Service Improvement Project.

  • The Project will be entirely financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is of five years.

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Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  • GEF is a multilateral financial mechanism that provides grants to developing countries for projects that benefit the global environment and promote sustainable livelihoods in local communities.

  • Projects under it address six designated focal areas: biodiversity, international waters, climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation and and Persistent Organic Pollutants. It was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

ADB commits USD 10 billion to support development of States in India

  • The Asian Development Bank has committed USD 10 billion to support infrastructure building and to cater to the immediate development needs of less-developed States in India.

  • This has been stated by ADB President Takehiko Nakao during his 3-day visit to India.

Salient Highlights

  • The ADB president has said that the bank is ready to meet immediate critical infrastructure needs of less developed states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh over a period of five years.

  • ADB’s President has also in-principle accepted India’s suggestion of setting up a regional hub in New Delhi to cater to the needs of the South Asia region.

  • As per the estimates of ADB, India is expected to grow by 7.4% in the current financial year and 7.6% in 2018-19.

  • ADB is multilateral lending agency based in Manila, Philippines. It was established on 19 December 1966.

Government announces 30 new Smart Cities.

  • Union Minister for Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, M. Venkaiah Naidu has announced a new batch of 30 smart cities under Smart City Mission, which was launched on June 25, 2015. 

  • The newly selected cities include Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala,  Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Rajkot in Gujarat, Amravati in Andhra Pradesh, Patna in Bihar, Karimnagar in Telangana, Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Puducherry, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, Karnal in Haryana, Satna in Madhya Pradesh, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra, Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu in Jammu & Kashmir. Dahod in Gujarat, Tirunelveli, Thootukkudi and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, Aizawl in Mizoram, Allahabad and Aligarh in U.P. and Gangtok in Sikkim.

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  • With the addition of these 30 smart cities, the total cities picked up under the Smart City Mission has reached 90.

  • The government has selected 30 cities against the available 40 smart city slots to ensure feasible and workable plans that fulfill the aspirations of the citizens.

  • Out of the 30 cities, 26 had proposed affordable housing projects, 26 had proposed new schools and hospitals and 29 had proposed redesign and development of roads.

  • The government will further select 10 more cities under smart city mission as 100 cities were supposed to be selected for the Smart Cities Mission in total.

  • The remaining 20 cities that will be contesting for the remaining 10 slots are:

  • Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Biharsharif (Bihar), Diu (Daman & Diu), Silvassa (Dadra and Nager Haveli), Kavaratti (Lakshadweep), Navimumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati (Maharashtra), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dindigul and Erode(Tamil Nadu), Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia (West Bengal), Meerut,Rai  Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Sharanpur and Rampur (UP).

  • Total proposed investment for the development of 30 cities is Rs.57,393 crores. It includes Rs.46,879 crores for ensuring core infrastructure and Rs.10,514 crores technology-based solutions for improving governance, service delivery and utilization of infrastructure.

George Kurian Appointed as Vice-Chairman of National Commission for Minorities

  • The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has appointed a renowned social and educational activist George Kurian as Vice-Chairman of National Commission for Minorities.

  • The other appointed members of the National Minority Commission are social activist Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi (Chairman), former Maharashtra minister Sulekha Kumbhare, Jain representative Sunil Singhi and Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor.

  • For the first time a Jain member has been appointed to the panel after the community was notified as minority in January 2014. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Parsi and Jain are the six notified minority communities in the country.

Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed CRPF chief

  • IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar has been appointed as the Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

  • The appointment has come two days after 25 CRPF personnel were ambushed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

  • The CRPF was functioning without a head for the past two months after the retirement of K. Durga Prasad on February 28, 2017.

  • In another key appointment, IPS officer R.K. Pachnanda has been named the director general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

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Newton’ wins Jury Prize for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival

  • Hindi film ‘Newton’ has won the Jury Prize for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Earlier, the film had its world premiere at Berlinale and got its first global recognition by winning the Art Cinema award for the Forum section at Berlinale.

  • The film also went to 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival.

  • Newton is a political comedy film directed by Amit Masurkar. The story revolves around a clerk on election duty in a conflict-ridden region of Chhattisgarh.

BP Kanungo takes over as RBI Deputy Governor

  • BP Kanungo took over as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Mumbai.

  • He was appointed by Government in March 2017 for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, he was holding the position of Executive Director of RBI.

  • He also had served as the head of regional offices of RBI at Jaipur and Kolkata besides holding the position of the Banking Ombudsman for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Justice Navniti Prasad Singh took oath as Chief Justice of Kerala High Court

  • He was administered oath to the office by Governor P. Sathasivam at Raj Bhavan in Thiruvanathapuram.

  • Justice Singh was a former judge in the Patna High Court.

  • He was transferred to Kerala High Court after Justice TB Radhakrishnan, who had been serving as the acting Chief Justice was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court.

Four States come together for elephant census

  • For the first time in India, four states Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have decided to conduct a synchronised elephant census in May 2017.

  • These four together have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in India.

  • This decision was taken by senior Forest Department officials of the four States during a regional workshop.

  • These states will conduct the census based on an identical set of rules using the direct and indirect counting methods.

  • As per the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants while Jharkhand has 700, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal had approximately 275 and 130 elephants, respectively.

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Odisha for first time achieves highest decline in IMR

  • For the first time in 16 years, Odisha has achieved highest decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).

  • This decline is far better than the national average.

  • According to the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Odisha’s IMR has come down by 29% between 2005 and 2015 which is highest trend in the country. It was 96 per 1000 births in 2000 has been reduced to 40 in 2015-16.

  • The IMR in the state has gone down by 25 points between NFHS 3 (2005-06) and NFHS 4 (2015-16), as against national average of 16.

  • According to NFHS-4, the Odisa’s IMR is better than six major States Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan and Jharkhand. In 2000, Odisha was only above Chhattisgarh in the national ranking.

  • Institutional delivery in Odisha was recorded at 85.4% in NFHS-4 as against the national average of 78.9%. Similarly, 78.6% children (aged 12 and 23 months) were fully immunised as against national average of 62%.

  • State also has achieved increase in institutional deliveries, family planning and antenatal care of mothers. It has as also registered significant decline in under-five mortality rate, anaemia and malnourishment.

NFHS 4 shows improved sex ratio, decline in infant mortality rate

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare unveiled last National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) for 2015-16.

  • It has shown positive trends in key health indicators, including an decline in infant mortality rate (IMR) and improvement in sex ratio at birth during 2015-16.

  • The survey was conducted after collecting information from 6 lakh households, 7 lakh women and 1.3 lakh men. For the first time it provides district level estimates.

Key Highlights from NFHS-4 

  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): It has declined from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4.

  • IMR has declined substantially in almost all the states during the last decade. It dropped by more than 20% in Tripura, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha.

  • It reflects that concerted efforts and focussed interventions in the sector can translate to improved outcomes.

  • Sex ratio at birth (number of females per 1,000 males): It has improved from 914 to 919 at the national level over the last decade. It is highest in in Kerala (1,047), followed by Meghalaya (1,009) and Chhattisgarh (977). Haryana also witnessed a significant increase from 762 to 836.

  • Institutional births: Increased by 40 percentage points from 38.7% in NFHS-3 to 78.9% in NFHS 4. There was an increase of 34.1% institutional births in public facility, while Assam has experienced more than a 40 percentage point increase.

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  • Proportion of women who received at least 4 antenatal care visits for their last birth has increased by 14 percentage points from 37% to 51.2% over the decade (2005-15).

  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR): It also has declined to 2.2 children per woman from 2.7 in NFHS-3. Thus, it is moving closer to target level of 2.1.

  • There was considerable decline in TFR in each of the 30 states/UTS, maximum decline was observed in Uttar Pradesh (1.1 child), Nagaland (1.0 child), Nagaland (1.0 child), Arunachal Pradesh (0.9 child) and Sikkim (0.9 child). Bihar failed to register substantial decline.

  • Full immunization coverage: Children within the age of 12-23 months have been fully immunized (BCG, measles and 3 doses each of polio) and DPT increased by 18 percentage points to 62% in NFHS-4 from 44% in NFHS-3.

  • Underweight children: There was a decline by 7 percentage points, a consequence of improved child feeding practices and focus on nutritional aspects of children.

  • The maximum decrease was reported in Assam with 34 percentage points followed by Chhattisgarh (30% points), Mizoram (26% points) and Odisha (20% point ) and Odisha (20% points).

  • Contraceptive prevalence rate among currently married women: It has increased by 7 percentage points from NFHS-1 (41%) to NFHS-2 (48%), 8 percentage points from NFHS-2 to NFHS-3 (56%).

  • However, the rate decreased by 2 percentage points from NFHS-3 (56%) to NFHS-4 (54%), but pills and condom usage have shown increasing trend.

Nand Kumar Sai takes charge as Chairperson of NCST

  • Senior tribal leader from Chhattisgarh and ex-parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai (71) took charge as Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in Delhi.

  • Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in Delhi. He succeeds Rameshwar Oraon, whose tenure had ended on October 31, 2016. He will have tenure of three years and has been given the rank of Union Cabinet Minister.

India signs $201.50 million Financing Agreement with World Bank for TEQIP III

  • The Union Government has singed Financing Agreement for IDA credit of $201.50 million with World Bank for the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme’ (TEQIP III).

  • Programme’ (TEQIP III). The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Direct World Bank India.

  • The aim of the TEQIP III programme is to enhance quality and improve efficiency of the Engineering Education System.

  • The objective of agreement is to improve Engineering Education sector in 8 states viz. Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • The project has been designed as a disbursement linked one to the effect that the loan will be handed over only on completion of certain fixed outcomes. The closing date of TEQIP III is March 31, 2022.

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Ministry of Power unveils World’s Largest Street Light Programme

  • The Union Ministry of Power unveiled world’s largest street light replacement programme in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area.

  • It is implemented under LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Union Ministry.

  • Under SLNP, 2 lakh street light will be replaced with LED lights in SDMC area. It will result in cumulative annual energy savings of 2.65 crore kWh and daily reduction of 22,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

  • The programme will provide benefits to the residents of SDMC area as it would lead to a reduction in dark spots and increased security.

  • It will result in cumulative savings of Rs. 135 crores in next 7 years and Rs. 50 crores per annum. Thus, help in investment in social development initiatives and that too without any extra money.

  • Besides EESL Complaint App for SDMC was also launched. It will allow users can now lodge complaints about faulty street lights.

Chhattisgarh to rename Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar

  • The state government of Chhattisgarh has decided to rename the state’s new capital city Naya Raipur as Atal Nagar in the memory of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • The decision was taken during the state’s cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh on August 21, 2018. 

  • The Chhattisgarh government has decided to develop an Atal Memorial in an area of five acres at the state’s new capital. 

  • It has also decided to install a statue of the former Prime Minister in the state capital and district headquarters of all 27 districts.

  • The Bilaspur University will now be known as Atal Bihari Vajpayee University and Narrow Gauge Line as Atal Path and a central park, being constructed beside the Collectorate, will be named as Atal Park.

  • Vajpayee, one of India’s tallest leaders, passed away at the age of 93 on August 16 in New Delhi following a prolonged illness. His last rites ceremony was held with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in the national capital on August 17. The late Prime Minister was also accorded gun salute during the cremation ceremony.

  • The state cabinet also approved the renaming of the second phase of Singh’s Vikas Yatra as Atal Vikas Yatra.

  • Besides this, the state is planning to name a battalion of the state police force as Pokharan battalion to commemorate Vajpayee’s contribution to the Pokhran Nuclear Test.

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Startup India Yatra launched in Chhattisgarh

  • The Startup India Yatra was launched on July 30, 2018 in Raipur, the capital city of Chattisgarh. The first boot camp saw a large number of students queue up to register themselves. 

  • From there, the Startup India yatra van travelled to Bilaspur for the second boot camp at the Government Engineering College in Bilaspur on July 31.

  • The startup India yatra van is equipped with facilities for individuals and startups to pitch their ideas. 

    The Yatra conducts boot camps where students are taught lessons in business planning.

     The boot camps also include presentations on Startup India and Chhattisgarh Startup Policy followed by extensive ideation workshops.

  • The lessons and presentations are followed by an idea pitching session to select the best ideas and Startups. 

  • Shortlisted business ideas get incubated in state-run incubators.

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs can register at ‘startupindiahub.org.in’ to participate in the Yatra.

  • Startup India Yatra has previously been held in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Raman Singh announces liquor prohibition in Chhattisgarh

  • Raman Singh, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, on 11 April 2017 announced that his government will impose an alcohol ban in Chhattisgarh in coming days. The ban or prohibition will be regulated in a phased manner.

  • The announcement of liquor ban was made after his meet with Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, in Patna. It was announced from Munger, Bihar. Singh was on a two-day personal visit to Bihar, he visited the state to meet Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati at Munger Yogashram.

  • The liquor ban in two states can also be linked to two different events that occurred in recent past.

  • 1st event: Supreme Court’s order to ban the sale of liquor on national and state highways. This ban would force the liquor sellers to shift their shop into villages and residential areas, which should be stopped.

  • 2nd event:Anti-liquor protest marches by women groups in several states of India including Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

  • At present, Gujarat and Bihar are only the two states that have a complete ban on alcohol.  Other states that tried to impose such liquor ban but failed includes

  • Tamil Nadu –It tried to experiment such a liquor ban more than once but failed to implement it.

  • Andhra Pradesh – It tried to do so in the 1990s but the efforts went into vain.

  • Mizoram – It was withdrawn in 2014 after 17 years of enforcement.

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Chhattisgarh HC orders state to grant books, uniform instead of cash to BPL students

  • The Chhattisgarh High Court on 18 September 2017 ordered the state government to grant books and uniform instead of cash to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) students studying in private schools under Right to education.

  • The High Court issued the order to the Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh Government, stating that the government should start providing free uniforms, textbooks, and stationery to BPL children studying in private schools from the present session.

  • The decision was taken by a divisional bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Sharad Kumar Gupta while hearing a PIL.

  • In the PIL, the petitioners had stated that the state government was granting only Rs 650 per year instead of providing free books, uniforms and other stationary items. It stated that the amount provided by the government was not sufficient for BPL students studying in private schools to buy books and uniform.

CGECB notice to Bharat Aluminium Company for closure of thermal power plant

  • The Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CGECB) in September 2017 issued notice for the closure of1200 MW thermal power plant of Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO).

  • The decision was taken following major breach in its ash dam wall recently. The power plant is located in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district.

  • The notice pertaining to the closure mentioned that ash slurry water from the damaged ash dam is polluting water of a Belgiri nullah passing near the plant that drains into Hasdeo river. Water of the river is mostly used for irrigation and at some places for drinking purpose in the region.

  • Taking serious cognizance of violation of environment norms, Aman Kumar Singh, the Chairman of the CGECB, asked the boards regional officer for immediate necessary action in the direction to shut the plant under provisions of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act 1974.

  • The Board has also asked BALCO for immediate measures to repair the dam, so that ash slurry could be prevented from going into the canal.

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