Karnataka Assembly passes anti-superstition bill

Karnataka Legislative Assembly unanimously passed ‘Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017’.
Key provisions of ‘Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017’

This anti-superstition bill is aimed at preventing and eradicating inhuman evil practices propagated and performed in the name of black magic by a conman to exploit the common people.

Madhya Pradesh launches Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat Yojana

Madhya Pradesh is the partner state of Manipur and Nagaland under ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ Yojana. Thus, Madhya Pradesh State Government has assigned the task of implementing this scheme to Higher Education Department of State.

This yojana was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2015 (celebrated as Ekta Diwas) on the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

Maharashtra government sets up committee headed by Sudhir Shrivastav to curb custodial deaths

Maharashtra government set up a seven-member committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Sudhir Shrivastava to recommend ways to stop the custodial deaths.

Minister of State for Home (Rural) Deepak Kesarkar informed that the committee will recommend measures so that people get proper treatment at police stations.

The committee will also take into account the government circulars issued in the past and the judgments of the high court and Supreme Court.

Highways to be rated on safety features under India Road Assessment Programme (IndiaRAP)

India Road Assessment Programme (IndiaRAP) was launched to rate highways’ safety levels, and to eliminate the most unsafe roads.

The ratings through IndiaRAP are assigned on the basis of the level of safety which is ‘built-in’ to a road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Five-star roads are the safest and one-star roads are the least safe.

Maharashtra bans Plastic Bottles at Government Offices, Hotels

Maharashtra government announced a ban on plastic bottles, with effect from 18 March 2018, which will cover government offices, functions and state educational institutes before it is extended to private institutes.

Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam announced the new measures on plastic bottles ban, at a meeting with municipal officials in Mumbai.
It was said that plastic bottles will be prohibited at the Mantralaya – the state government headquarters, before the statewide ban comes into effect on Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year, in March 2018.



Shagun Chowdhary crowned National Women’s Trap champion at 61st National Shooting Championship

Shagun Chowdhary bagged a national championship crown when she won the women’s trap event at the 61st National Shooting Championship, in New Delhi.

Shagun Chowdhary represented ONGC. She is the first Indian woman trap shooter to win an Olympic berth. She overcame the challenge from Punjab’s Rajeshwari Kumari to score 41-38 in the final.

N Nivetha of Tamil Nadu won the Junior Women’s title in the same event shooting 37. Rajeshwari led a team consisting Sukhreet Kaur and Inaya Vijaya Singh to claim the women’s team trap gold. Madhya Pradesh won medals both in the senior and junior women’s team events.

France to host Rugby World Cup 2023

France will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup to stage one of the World’s best attended and lucrative sporting events.

The country beat strong bids by South Africa and Ireland.

Leander Paes and Raja lifts Knoxville challenger title

Indian tennis duo of Leander Paes and Purav Raja lifted the Knoxville Challenger Title after clinching a fighting win in the finals of men’s doubles event in Tennessee.

The top-seeded pair fought hard in two consecutive tie-breaks to defeat the American-Australian duo.


Centre approves Rs 10,000 crore for 107 Maharashtra irrigation projects

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the Centre has given an in-principle approval to provide an assistance of Rs 10,000 crore to fund 107 irrigation projects in drought-hit Vidarbha and Maratha regions of Maharashtra.

Devendra Fadnavis said that the completion of the projects will ensure large-scale irrigation facilities in the districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada, known for suicides by farmers, besides in North and Western Maharashtra.
Maharashtra government had submitted proposals to obtain the Central government’s assistance to complete the 107 irrigation projects.

Fortnight-long Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav” held in New Delhi

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ a fortnight-long tribal festival at Dilli Haat, in New Delhi.

The theme of the festival is ‘A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce’. More than 750 tribal artisans and artisans from over 25 states are taking part in the festival.
The inaugural function was presided over by Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram. Aadi Mahotsav is organized at four venues throughout Delhi.
It showcases tribal lifestyles. It will be conducted until 30 November 2017. It features exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewelry etc. A special feature of the festival is tribal India cuisine, recreated and presented to suit urban tastes by special tribal chefs.

Canada declared as World’s Best Travel Destination for 2017

Major travel publication Travel+Leisure has named Canada ‘the destination of the year’ in their recent feature.

The selection was based on data from polls conducted on travel agents, arrival statistics and cultural relevance for the year 2017.
The magazine concluded that in 2017, travelers around the world were constantly buzzing about Canada, and so it was the clear-cut pick for the destination of the year. Also, Canada was described as a cheerful and polite nation.

WHO Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB held in Russia

This conference aimed to accelerate implementation of the WHO End TB Strategy in order to reach the End TB targets set by the World Health Assembly and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ministers of Health and Ministers from other sectors including from the top 40 highest TB and Multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) burden countries, leaders of UN organizations, development agencies, regional bodies, NGOs, academic and research institutions, etc. participated in the conference.

A Ministerial Declaration was signed at the Conference, containing bold commitments by countries to accelerate action to end TB and meet the milestones towards the 2030 SDGs.

Paytm, ICICI Bank collaborate to offer short-term instant digital credit

Digital payments services company Paytm has entered into a tie-up with ICICI Bank to jointly launch ‘Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid’, that offers short-term credit to their common customers.

Under this facility, real-time credit assessment of customers is done through  Big Data based algorithm of ICICI Bank. The algorithm takes into consideration several parameters such as the digital behavior of the customer, credit bureau check, purchase patterns and frequency of online purchases to ascertain the creditworthiness of a customer and derives a credit score within few seconds.


India’s first mega Coastal Economic Zone to come up at JNPT in Maharashtra

Central Government has given approval for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra.

The objective of this programme is to promote the development of industrial clusters around ports, reduce logistics cost, reduce cargo movement time and create hubs of job creation around the ports.

This concept was the brainchild of erstwhile NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya.

RBI panel proposes list for hedging commodities in global markets

A panel formed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under Chandan Sinha (former Executive Director of RBI) has recommended a list of commodities which can be hedged in the overseas markets by all Indian residents.

The panel has outlined that exposure of Indian entities to commodity price risks has increased on account of growing integration of India economy with the rest of the world and rising volumes of cross-border trade.

Thus it has recommended a list of commodities (which includes gold, silver, zinc, tin, crude oil, and its derivatives, coal, natural gas, tea, coffee, sugar, and cocoa) which can be hedged in the overseas markets by all residents i.e. by both domestic users and exporters/importers.

Yes Bank ties up with Centre Denmark India for fintech collaboration

Yes Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Innovation Centre Denmark – India (ICDK India), to bring financial technology innovations and startups from Denmark to India, and facilitate entry of Indian startups in Denmark.

ICDK is a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

This collaboration will not only promote innovation in fintech space but will also assist fintech companies in India and Denmark to gain entry in each other’s markets.

Moody’s upgrades Sovereign Credit Rating of India to Baa2 from Baa3

India’s rating has been upgraded by Moody’s after a gap of 13 years. It had last upgraded India’s sovereign credit rating in January 2004 to Baa3 (from Ba1).

In the accompanying report, Moody’s has stated that India’s rating has been upgraded on expectations that major economic and institutional reforms undertaken by Government of India will enhance India’s high growth potential over a period of time and will help stabilize rising levels of debt.

Karnataka partners with Nasscom for CoE in data science and artificial intelligence

The Centre of Excellence is based on a public-private partnership model. It will accelerate the ecosystem in Karnataka by the development of data science and artificial intelligence.

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will provide high-end technology capabilities, data, expertise, thought leadership, and curated programmes to augment capabilities across academia, enterprises, government, innovators and advanced start-ups.

The cost for setting up the CoE is outlined as ?40-crore. IBM, Intel, Digital Ocean, and NVIDIA have in-principle agreed to support this programme.