By: D.K Choudhary
Centre Approves Ordinance to Allow Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu
i. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, O. Paneerselvam has send a draft ordinance to the centre seeking an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and removal of “bull” from the list of “performing” animals. This will ensure that provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act will not apply to the bull.
ii. Chief Minister O. Paneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 19, 2017 to seek help over the Jallikattu issue.
iii. Further, the Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao approved the ordinance by the state government on January 21, 2017 with the first Jallikattu game post the protest to be conducted in Alanganallur, Madurai on January 22, 2017.
AYUSH, ASCI sign MoU to co-regulate advertisements in AYUSH sector
i. Ministry of AYUSH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to curtail malpractices in the advertisement of AYUSH drugs in New Delhi on January 20, 2017
ii. The agreement was signed by Dr.Dinesh Chan Katoch , Advisor (Ayurveda), Ministry of AYUSH and Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman of ASCI .
iii. According to the MoU, ASCI will report to the Ministry of AYUSH, all advertisements in potential violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules under as well as non-compliance of ASCI’s CCC recommendations for the Ministry of AYUSH to take further action.
First Strategic Dialogue Between India UAE held in New Delhi
i. India and UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue on January 20, 2017 in New Delhi in an attempt to finalise the cooperation agreement.
ii. It was the first meeting since the decision taken by the two countries to elevate their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the exchange of the visits at the highest level between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August 2015 and February 2016 respectively.
iii. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash.
iv. The main area of discussion during the meeting included cooperation in the areas of trade and investments, expanding the bilateral cooperation to new areas under the strategic India & UAEpartnership, energy security and renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and information technology and space.
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Bihar Government Launches ‘Nasha Mukt’ State Campaign
i. The state Government of Bihar led by Nitish Kumar launched a ‘Nasha Mukt’ (Addidction-Free) State Campaign on January 21, 2017 with the formation of world’s largest human chain across the state.
ii. The move aims towards making the state free from intoxicating substance and tobacco products.
iii. Over two crore people participated in human chain including teachers and students of schools and colleges. The human chain that lasted for 45 minutes and was 11,292 km in length covering all panchyats and blocks of the state.
iv. Satellite, drones and low flying aircraft were deployed for taking images of the human chain.
v. Earlier, Bangladesh made the record of creating 1050 km of human chain for similar act.
India Innovation Index will Measure Innovation Performance of Indian States
i. Government of India Think Tank NITI Aayog together with International bodies World Economic Forum, World Intellectual Property Organization and the Cornell University will develop an India Innovation Index to rank the Indian states so as to develop an innovative spirit among them.
ii. The index will measure and rank the innovation performance of all Indian states and hence drive India towards an innovation-driven economy.
iii. The Index would encourage the states to compete with each other and in turn lead to better policies for inclusive growth. The first ranking is expected to be released at the India Economic Summit in New Delhi on October 4-6, 2017.
iv. For the development of the Index, each partnering organisation will nominate a working group member to work on the index.
v. The index will be based on key pillars of innovation such as strength of institutions, capacity of human capital and research, supporting infrastructure and the level of business sophistication among others and sub-indices that together will assist in framing policies to promote inclusive growth.
Govt. of Jharkhand Signs Joint Venture Agreement with the Ministry of Railways
i. The Indian Railways signed a joint venture agreement with the state government of Jharkhand on January 20, 2017 for the development of railway infrastructure in the State.
ii. Aim: The JV agreement would enable to provide active representation to States in the Indian Railways on the way to Digitalization Launched 3 IT enabled projectsPlanning and Implementation of Railway Infrastructure Projects, take up railway project on state’s priority basis and generate more financial resources through participation of State & other stakeholders in the project specific subsidiaries.
iii. Initially the Jharkhand government would take up 3 projects including Namkum-Kandra, Giridih-Parasnath-Madhuban, Tori-Chatra Rail Line covering a length of 222 km at a cost of Rs. 2150 Crore.
iv. The Jharkhand government will hold 51% equity in the JV agreement. It is the 9th State to form a Joint Venture Company with the Ministry of Railways. Earlier Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have already signed JV agreement with Ministry of Railways.
Indian Railways Set to Raise $5 billion Railway Development Fund
i. The Indian Railways has decided to set up a $5 billion Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF) so as to support commercially viable projects in railway sector in India.
ii. The World Bank would fund 80% RIDF while 20% fund would be raised by the Indian railways itself and managed independently by a non-government entity.
iii. Projects which can give early returns such as freight lines and electrification projects would be funded by the RIDF.
iv. The national transporter hopes to set up this fund by the end of the first quarter of the 2018.