By: D.K Choudhary
Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa on Seven Day Visit to India
i. The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa was on a seven-day long official visit to India from January 6 to January 12, 2017. Costa who traces roots from Goa was accompanied by several ministers
ii. India and Portugal signed 7 MoUs on January 7, 2017 in New Delhi to deepen bilateral ties between the two economies.
iii. MoUs signed included cooperation in areas of Defence, information technology and electronics, agricultural trade including market access for agricultural products, deeper engagement in renewable energy and marine research.
iv. Visiting PM Antonio Costa concluded his visit with a two day trip to Goa from January 11 to January 12, 2017 during which he visited his ancestral house in Margao City in South Goa and attended a host of events in the coastal state.
Uhuru Kenyatta , President of Kenya Three Day State Visit to India
i. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta paid a state visit to India from January 10-12, 2017 on an invitation extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since 1981, this is the first state visit from Kenya to India
ii. The two countries signed 2 MoU in the area including:
1.Cooperation in the agriculture and allied sector
2.Line of Credit for US$100 million for agricultural mechanization
iii. After delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyian President Uhuru Kenyatta in New Delhi on January 11, 2017, MoU was signed for cooperation in the agriculture sector and allied sector.
iv. India also signed an agreement with Kenya on January 11, 2017 announcing to contribute $100 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanization.
International conference on Disability Communication held in Mumbai
The 3 day international conference on Disability Communication ICDC-2017
held at Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini in Mumbai, Maharashtra from January 9-11, 2017 with curriculum outline of disability communication for the University of Mumbai
♦ Aim : To build a foundation for the master’s degree in Disability communication and the main area of interest is accessibility for those who want to deal with disability communication and explore in this field.
Highlights of the conference :
i. The conference was organized by the Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Mumbai, in collaboration with AYJNISHD (D) Mumbai and the research group Communication, Culture & Diversity (CCD) at Jonkoping University, Sweden.
ii. The need of developing an Indian Sign Language (ISL) akin to Muaritian Sign Language (MSL) should be developed to be recognised as a bonafide language.Governments of India and Mauritius are going to sign a memorandum of understanding in this regard
46 Constituencies in UP to have Urdu Electoral Rolls for the First Time
i. The State Election Commission (SEC) of Uttar Pradesh has decided to include, for the first time, voter’s list printed in Urdu which was so far only printed in Hindi and English.
ii. In Uttar Pradesh about 46 constituencies in 22 districts will have voters’ list printed in Urdu as well as Hindi & English, where Assembly elections will be held in February 2017. But in case of a dispute, the Hindi version of the rolls will be held as valid.
iii. The state has at least 30 percent of Muslim voters mostly in Western UP who will be benefitted from this move. Well versed staff in Urdu would also be deployed at voting centres so that they could guide the voters and help them get the required information.
Jitendra Singh Announces Rs. 9000 Minimum Pension for Central government Employees
i. The Union Minister of state for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh while addressing the 29th meeting of the Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (Scova) in New Delhi on January 12, 2017 informed that the minimum pension for central government employees has been increased to Rs. 9,000 per person and ex-gratia amount has been increased from Rs. 10-15 lakh to Rs. 25-35 lakh.
ii. The Scova meeting was organised by the Department of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoP&PW).
iii. There are about 50-55 lakh pensioners in the country and almost 88% of pension accounts have been seeded to Aadhaar.
Kerala Launched its First Solar Powered Boat Aditya
i. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the first solar-powered boat of the state water transport department, “Aditya” on January 12, 2017 at a function held in Vaikom boat Jetty in Kerala.
ii. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with independent charge for New & Renewable Energy, was the chief guest.
iii. The 75 seating capacity boat has been built by Kochi-based NavAlt Pvt Ltd. The construction of the Rs 1.50-crore boat took nearly two years and will do service between Vaikom and Thavanakkadavu.
iv. Before the launch the boat went trial run for a week. The boat is 20 metre long and 7 metre wide. It can travel at a speed of 14 km per hour and is less expensive while do not cause pollution.
v. Compared to ordinary boats that takes 15 minutes to reach Thavanakkadavu from Vaikom the solar boat will take only half that time.
vi.The state government seeks the Central financial assistance to roll out 10 more such passenger boats to replace the existing fleet of diesel boats with solar-powered ones.
Govt forms panel to look into Haj subsidy issue
i. The minority affairs ministry lead by Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi formed a high-powered six-member committee on January 12, 2017 to look into whether giving subsidy has benefits to Hajj pilgrims.
ii. The decision has been taken in light of a 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing subsidy given to pilgrims by 2022
iii. The committee will figure out whether the pilgrims can travel to Saudi Arabia paying less in the absence of such subsidy.
iv. Those who go through Hajj committee pay around 1.8 lakh and they go via Indian state carrier that charges around Rs 40-45,000 for ticket. Now those who go via private airlines pay around 3.5 lakh to begin with.
v. Minister Naqvi also announced setting up of five new minority educational institutions and the committee was supposed to finalise the modalities.
DEFCOM 2017 to be held in March 2017
i. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in association with Corps of Signals of Indian Army is organizing DEFCOM 2017 on March23-24, 2017.
ii. The theme of the 2017 DEFCOM is Digital Army Infrastructure and Skilled Human Resource.
iii. The objective of the conference is to harness planned aspect to develop a synergistic National Endeavour towards equipping Defence Forces for Net Centric Warfare.
iv .Many inspiring personalities from Indian Industry, Academia, R&D Organisations and Defence services will assemble to analyse critical aspects for development of Information, Communications, Technology, Electronics and Cyber (ICTEC) infrastructure to meet the requirements of India’s Digital Army.