Union Government launches first ever pilot programme for running two-wheelers on CNG
On 23rd June 2016, Union Government introduced first ever pilot programme for running two-wheelers on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). The program will be launched in the capital city, New Delhi. The programme is one-of-its kind and will be implemented by IGL (Indraprastha Gas Limited) and GAIL. Dahrmendra Pradhan (State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas) and Prakash Jadavkar (State Minister for Forests, Environment and Climate Change) launched the programme. This pilot-programme has been implemented under the HBM (Hawa Badlo Movement). It will involve 50 two-wheelers retrofitted with CNG. The scooters will be from IMIPL (Ituk Manufacturing India Pvt. Ltd.).
Union Cabinet approved biggest-ever Spectrum Auction
On 22nd June 2016, Prime Minister chaired Union Cabinet approved the biggest-ever Spectrum Auction in India. As per reserve price, the exchequer will be fetching about INR 5.5 Lakh Crore with this move. This is 5 times higher compared to the auction amount fetched in 2015. About 2000 MHz airwaves will be put up for sale in this auction. Prices have been fixed for different spectrum airwaves such as INR 2873 Crore for 1800 MHz, INR 3341 Crore for 2500 MHz spectrum.
Odisha Government launched KSSY (Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana)
Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik launched the KSSY (Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana) on 27th June 2016. The objective of this scheme is providing educational loans at 1% interest rate to deserving students. Consequently, this scheme will help students to pursue higher studies. Furthermore, the scheme has been dedicated to Biju Patnaik (Former Odisha Chief Minister) by state government. Patnaik has been responsible for institution of Kalinga UNESCO trophy. His most noteworthy objective was popularizing science. The program will allow poor students to avail loan of up to INR 1 Lakh. The total cost for this scheme will be almost INR 500 crore.
Mori village from Andhra Pradesh selected for Smart Village Development
On 19th June, the government announced that it has chosen Andhra Pradesh’s Mori District for its Smart Village Development Project. This village is situated across the East-Godavari district. Under this project, it will be turned in to a global standards village. During this announcement, the project developers also confirmed that they will be ready with the prototype by December 2016. The project developments will be using SCSBM (Self-contained Sustainable Business Model). The project will also involve usage of digital tools, uninterrupted internet connection and real-time information. Some of the facilities that will be provided as per this project are 24×7 supplies of power, e-commerce and organic farming. Other facilities will include direct marketing opportunities and fiber-optic connectivity.
Mercer’s COLS- 2016 (Cost of Living Survey 2016) released; Mumbai India’s costliest city
On 22nd June 2016 Mercer released COLS (Cost of Living Survey) 2016. Asia dominated this year’s rankings with top 5 cities in the list. Hong Kong and Luanda took top two places. The Mercer’s COL survey is carried out considering many factors. Some factors include cost inflation, currency fluctuations, unstable accommodation prices etc. The survey included about 370 cities across the world. Out of them, 209 cities were ranked across 5 continents. New York is taken as the base city for all cost comparisons & currency movements. The list included 5 Indian cities, Mumbai (62), New Delhi (130), Chennai (158), Kolkata (194) and Bangalore (180). The top 5 cities were Hong Kong, Luanda, Zurich, Singapore and Tokyo.
Using Potassium Bromate (KbrO3) as a food additive banned by Union Government
On 20th June 2016, usage of a common food additive Potassium Bromate (KbrO3) was banned by Union Government. The move came after similar recommendations from the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). Earlier during May 2016, FSSAI recommended the ministry of health to ban potassium bromate from its list of approved food additive, after it was found that it has cancer causing chemicals. FSSAI made the recommendation after claims from the CSE (Centre for Science and Environment) that the commonly used food additive potassium bromate is classified under the 2B-Category Carcinogen and can cause cancer among humans.
Punjab government launched MMPH-C (Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis-C) Relief Fund
On 18th June 2016, Chief Minister of Punjab PS Badal launched the MMPH-C (Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis-C) Relief Fund. Under this fund, free treatment will be provided to patients who are suffering from Hepatitis-C. With this fund, Punjab becomes the first state in India to offer free treatment for confirmed Hepatitis-C cases. The initial corpus given to the program will be INR 20 Crore. Apart from the 22 Punjab-District Hospitals, free treatment will also be provided across GMCs (Government Medical Colleges) in Punjab.
Union Minister for Railway initiates CSE (Champaran Satyagrah Express) at Motihari
On 10th June 2016, Suresh Prabhu (Union Railway Minister) gave a go ahead to the weekly CSE (Champaran Satyagrah Express) at Motihari area of Bihar. During this occasion, six railway facilities were inaugurated by the Railways Minister. The first facility included three ROBs (Road Over Bridges) at the Motihari, Danapur (Patna) and Begusarai railway stations. The second facility was BG (Broad Gauge) conversion of the Banmankhi-Purnea railway section. The third facility to be included was conversion of Piprahan station to crossing station. This CS express train was initiated to mark hundred years completion of the significant Champaran Satyagraha initiated in 1917. It was India’s first satyagrah.
Government of Telangana to establish pharmaceutical city in Mahbubnagar and Rangareddy districts
On 10th June 2016, the Government of Telangana decided to establish pharmaceutical city in Mahbubnagar and Rangareddy districts. This Pharma city will be built on 12500 land acres across the Mahbubnagar and Rangareddy districts of Telangana. Traditionally, Telangana has been known as India’s capital for bulk drugs as about one-tired of India’s total production (in value terms) comes from Telangana. In order to maintain the leading status in this sector, the government has decided to set up this facility with most modern equipment and state-of-the art infrastructure.
Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar inaugurates CLTS (Child Labour Tracking System)
On 12th June 2016, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar inaugurated the CLTS (Child Labour Tracking System). The objective of this system will be to track the rescued child labours for their correct rehabilitation. Apart from this, it was also announced that a committee will be set up for implementing the demands of children which will be headed by the Chief Secretary. As per the system, every child rescued under this program will get a sum of Rupees 25000 from the CM Relief Fund.
MLC (Money Laundering Court) declares Vijay Mallya as a Proclaimed Offender
On 14th June 2016, MLC (Money Laundering Court) declared Vijay Mallya as a Proclaimed Offender. MLC is a specially allocated court under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering) Act. He was proclaimed in Mumbai for a loan-diversion case and the proclamation was issued under the sector 82 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Court) against Mallya. This move was made after Enforcement Directorate, an investigation firm under the Finance Ministry filed petition against Mallya. The petition was filed after Mallya was suspected of having diverted a loan of Rupees 430 crore to his KAL (Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.) company.
JV Agreement signed between Odisha Government and Railway Ministry
On 14th June 2015, a Joint Venture (JV) agreement was signed between Odisha Government and Railway Ministry. Sanjay Rastogi (Pr. Secretary of Transport) from Odisha Government and VP Dudeja (Railways Ministry) signed the agreement. In this JV, the Odisha state government will be having a stake of 51 percent and the Railways will have a stake of 49 percent. The JV Company will be primarily identifying projects as well as reliable financing avenues apart from the Union and State Government. After Financial tie-ups, project specific SPV (Special Purpose Vehicles) will be formed.
Union Government launched Scheme for establishing 1000 Mega Watt WPP (Wind Power Project) linked to CTU
On 15th June 2016, The MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) announced the launch of a new Scheme for establishing 1000 Mega Watt WPP (Wind Power Project) linked to CTU (Central Transmission Utility) transmission network. The objective of this launch is facilitating wind power supply to non-windy states. The price has been fixed through a transparent bidding system. This launch is a part of the government’s bigger target of reaching a target of 175 GM energy from renewable fuels by 2022. Of this, 60 GW will be coming from the Wind Power
RAPID, a five-point charter outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the tax administrators,
RAPID; R stands for Revenue; A stands for Accountability; P stands for Probity; I stands for Information; D stands for Digitalization. On 16th June 2016, Narendra Modi launched a new scheme RAPID for the tax officials. This scheme was launched during the inauguration of RGS (Rajasva Gyan Sangam), Annual two-day conference of STAa (Senior Tax Administrators). This scheme will support in sensitizing people to respect rules of law and avoid evading taxes.
Kolkata-Ashuganj-Tripura transit system becomes operational
On 16th June 2016, Kolkata-Ashuganj-Tripura transit system between Bangladesh and Indian became operational. This facility was opened as per the revised IWTTP (Inland Water Transit and Trade Protocol), 2016. The signing of this new transit facility scheme was done during Indian Prime Minister’s Dhaka visit. The objective of this visit was boosting trade as well as facilitating smooth movement of merchandise across Bangladesh region. This facility will reduce the trade journey between Bangladesh and India from 1600 Kms to 800 Kms.
Union AYUSH Ministry releases Yog Geet (song) for IDY (International Day of Yoga) 2016
On 17th June 2016, Union AYUSH Ministry launched Yog Geet (a song) for celebrating the IDY (International Day of Yoga) 2016. The song runs for 3 mins and 15 secs and the language is in Hindi. The writer and producer of the song is Deeraj Saraswat and the voice has been given by Gatha Jadav and Gandhar Jadhav. Sumanto Ray has composed the music. A national-level Yog Geet competition was organized on the occasion of 2nd IDY (International Day of Yoga). There were about 1000 entries received for this competition which was chaired by Dr. H.R. Nagendra.
Gangetic-River Dolphin declared as Guwahati ‘city animal’
On 6th June 2016, Guwahati became the first city across the Indian nation to declare its own mascot or ‘city animal’. The mascot chosen by the KM (Kamrup Metropolitan) District Administration is Gangetic-River Dolphin. Locally called as ‘Sihu’, the number of these dolphins has become limited to around 2000 across the Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam. The mascot was chosen through an off-line and online voting system organized by district administration. The three creatures included in the competition were Bor Kaso (Black Softshell Turtle), Hargila (Hreater Adjutant Stork) and Sihu (Gangetic River Dolphin), all of whom are quickly becoming extinct.
Union Government introduces IYA (International Yoga Award) Scheme
On 8th June 2016, Union Government of India introduced a landmark IYA (International Yoga Award) Scheme. This award scheme has been introduced with the objective of promoting yoga across the nation. AYUSH Ministry has been designated with the task and the awards will be presented from 2017 onwards. SY Naik, AYUSH State Minister launched the plan during the NHE (National Health Editor’s) Conference. The conference was held to educate yoga benefits to the larger audiences.
Assam Researchers developed two new variants of rice, Bahadur Sub-1 and Ranjit Sub-1
Researchers as the AAU (Assam Agricultural University), Assam developed two new variants of rice, Bahadur Sub-1 and Ranjit Sub-1. These variants were developed for getting better rice yields under the submerged conditions across the state, mainly at the Barak Valley. Most of the Assam including the valley is susceptible to regular flash floods leading to loss of crops. The new varieties have an extra gene for improved productivity even during submerged crop fields.
IRB (Indian Reserve Battalion) to be renamed after Rajput Ruler, Maharana Pratap
8th June 2016, Rajnath Singh (Union Home Minister) while launching a new IRB (Indian Reserve Battalion) in Rajasthan announced that its name will be after Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap. The name of the Battalion will be ‘Maharana Pratap Reserve Battalion’. Maharana Pratap was one of the greatest fighters of Mewar Region. The scheme for IRB was established by the government in 1971 and till now 153 battalions are functional across various states.
RG (Rajiv Gauba) Committee submitted report on Delhi Traffic Decongestion
On 5th June 2016, the RG (Rajiv Gauba) Committee submitted a report on the on Delhi Traffic Decongestion to the Ministry of Union-Urban Development. The report included 4 long-term strategies with the objective of ensuring a sustainable, safe, equitable, accessible, affordable, environment friendly and comfortable public transportation system across the city. These strategies included dis-incentivizing private vehicle usages, traffic and road safety, enhancing the institutional capacity, UMTA (Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority) and other measures.
Himachal Pradesh launches first-ever green-concept based STC (State Data Centre)
On 5th June 2016, Himachal Pradesh launched it’s first-ever green-concept based STC (State Data Centre). With this, it also became the first state in India to launch such a program. The STC was launched in Shimla by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh. This SDC’s design uses green data-center concept. This data center will also be offering 101 people-oriented schemes in online mode through this integrated database system. The total expenditure of this program was Rupees 58 crore. The websites from various departments will be integrated in the system.
Union Government approves CHS (Central Health Services) doctor’s retirement age to 65
On 31st May 2016, Union Government gave a go ahead to extending the superannuation age of all CHS (Central Health Services) doctor’s retirement age to 65 years. This new amendment will be effective from 31st May 2016. The proposal was given by Heath & Family Welfare Ministry with the objective of strengthening and improving the healthcare industry in the nation. This new scheme will increase the total pool of doctors in the nation. The government will be able to retain doctors for longer period. The present retirement age for government sector doctors is 60 years and 62 years.
World ‘No Tobacco’ Day 2016 celebrated across the globe
On 31st May 2016, World ‘No Tobacco’ Day 2016 was celebrated across the globe. On this occasion, WHO (World Health Organization) and WHO-FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) urged nations to start plain packaging for tobacco products. Every Year on this occasion, WHO and partners closely collaborates with various governmental as well as non-governmental agencies to organize workshops, events and seminars for raising awareness regarding the harmful effects of processing tobacco, trade as well as usage to the policy makers and the masses.
NBCC to initiate ‘Ganga cleaning project in Bihar
On 31st May 2016 NBCC (National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited) announced the launch of their project for cleaning the Ganga River in Bihar. In the last month of 2015, the WRRDGR (Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation) Ministry hired NBCC for carrying out a conditional assessment and feasibility study of the Ganga cleaning project in Bihar. Under this project, NBCC will be undertaking debris cleaning, construction of new Ghats, modernizing existing Ghats, repairing and cleaning of river surface and construction of various public facilities.
Anti-Drug Campaign by Kerala Government to use the name of Sachin Tendulkar
On 1st June 2016, Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan announced that Anti-Drug Campaign launched by the Kerala Government will be using the name of Sachin Tendulkar. The CM announced approval and consent of the cricketer in using his name that will help in strengthening this campaign against drug abuse and liquor intoxication in Kerala. Tendulkar is one of the co-owners of KBFC (Kerala Blasters Football Club) Football Club.
CCEA approved MTRL (Mau-Tarighat Railway Line) project
On 1st June 2016, the CCEA (The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs) gave a go ahead for the construction of new BGL (Broad Gauze Line) between the Mau Station (North Eastern Railway) and Tarighat Terminal (East Central Railway). This broad gauge-line will be of 51 kilometers length. It is estimated that the project will cost around Rs. 1765.92 crore and the expected cost of completion is Rs. 2109.07 crore. The objective of this project is to provide shorter and alternative transport infrastructure that will be better and convenient and will help in minimizing transport difficulties and improve socio-economic development of the nation.
Asia’s first GVR (Gyps Vulture Reintroduction) Programme launched
On 3rd June 2016, the Government of Haryana inaugurated Asia’s first GVR (Gyps Vulture Reintroduction) Programme. The programme was launched at the JCBC (Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre) in Pinjore. This vulture conversation and breeding center is considered as an important step in saving this endangered species. Himalayan ‘Griffon’ Vultures were the first breed released in the wild from the center. Vultures are important to the food chain as they keep a clean environment and it is important to increase their breed.
Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar launched RTPGR (Right to Public Grievance Redressal) Act
On 5th June 2015, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar launched the RTPGR (Right to Public Grievance Redressal) Act. The objective of this act is to dispose the complaints of people as well as grievance redressal from the Government officials in a time period of maximum 60 days. There are strict provisions against non-compliance of any application. Officials who do not adhere to these provisions can face penalty or be dismissed. The Act will cover all 42 State Departments.