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Places in the News 2021

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Places in the News - Feburary 2021

Port Blair: Port Blair on South Andaman Island is the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal.

Recently, The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched the Composite Regional Centre (CRC) in Port Blair. CRC is an initiative of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The aim of the Central Government is to create resources and infrastructure required for developing services for persons with disabilities including human resource development and research. The centre aims at training of rehabilitation professionals and capacity building at centre, district and state levels.

The Composite Regional Centres in India are located in Kozhikode, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Guwahati, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Mandi and Suraghi (Chhattisgarh).

Telangana: Telangana is a state in India situated on the centre-south stretch of the Indian peninsula on the high Deccan Plateau. It is the twelfth largest state. Telangana is bordered by the states of Maharashtra to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the west, and Andhra Pradesh to the east and south. Chief Minister of Telangana is K. Chandrashekar Rao and the Governor of Telangana is Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Recently, world’s largest meditation centre was inaugurated at Kanha Shanti Vanam in Hyderabad, Telangana. This centre which is built on 30 acres is built to mark the 75th anniversary of the formation of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) and Heartfulness Institute.

The meditation centre has been carefully designed not just as a structure of physical importance but as an inspiration for all those who seek to better their lives through the practice of meditation. The meditation centre will have a central hall and eight peripheral halls to accommodate 100,000 meditation practitioners at a time.

Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Odisha. It is a centre of economic, educational and cultural importance of East India.

Recently, Indian Railways has commissioned the country's first governmental waste to energy plant in Mancheswar Carriage Repair workshop at Bhubaneswar under the East Coast Railway zone. The plant was jointly inaugurated by Rajesh Agarwal, a member of Rollin Stock and GM of East Coast Railway zone. It has been built at a cost of Rs 1.79 crore and has the capacity to dispose of 500 kg waste, including plastic and e-waste. This Waste to Energy Plant has been constructed in three months.

This waste-to-energy plant uses a patented technology called ‘Polycrack’ which is first-of-its-kind in Indian Railways and fourth in India. This process will produce energy in the form of light diesel oil which is used to light furnaces. Polycrack is the world's first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feedstocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.

West Bengal: West Bengal is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Its capital, Kolkata retains architectural and cultural remnants of its past as an East India Company trading post and capital of the British Raj. The Chief Minister and Governor of West Bengal is Mamta Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar respectively.

Recently, West Bengal has become the 4th state to pass resolution demanding scrapping of CAA. The West Bengal state government had introduced the resolution in the state assembly demanding that the controversial CAA law be repealed and NPR, NRC be withdrawn.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh is one of the 28 states of India, situated in the south-eastern part of the country. It is the eight-largest state in India. The Chief minister and Governor of Andra Pradesh are Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy and Biswabhusan Harichandan respectively.

Recently, The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly unanimously passed a resolution on January 27, 2020 to abolish the state legislative council. The YSR Congress Party-led government had approved the resolution at a meeting in the state capital Amaravati. The proposal will now be sent to the centre for further action.

The Parliament of India has to vote for approving on abolishing the state Council. Article 169 of the Indian Constitution empowers Parliament to enact legislation providing for the abolition of the Legislative Council of a state, if the Legislative Assembly of the state passes a resolution to that effect.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh is the second largest Indian state by area. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is Kamal Nath and the Governor of Madhya Pradesh is Lal Ji Tandon.

Recently, Madhya Pradesh won the award for implementation of PMMVY.The award was presented by Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smrity Irani to Madhya Pradesh Minister for Women and Child Development Imarti Devi and Principal Secretary Anupam Rajan for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana in MP. Indore district bagged the first place for better performance of the PMMVY scheme.

PMMVY: It refers to Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana. This initiative is a maternity benefit program run by the government of India. It was introduced in 2016 and is implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Under the programme, a cash amount of Rs 5000 is provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers. The scheme provides compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.

Jammu Kashmir: It is the new Union Territory which came into existance after Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019.

Recently, the Minister of North Eastern Development Dr Jitendra Singh chaired the meeting to fast track the implementation of Ujh Multipurpose (National) Project, Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was attended by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Power and other officers from state government of Punjab.

The Meeting was held to fast track complete utilization of India’s rights under Indus Water Treaty. The project which is to be constructed on across River Ujh is a tributary of River Ravi. This project will not only help India utilize the waters of Eastern Rivers but also help to store 781 million cubic meters of water of River Ujh.

Indus Water Treaty: The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan. The treaty was signed on September 19, 1960. The signing of the treaty was brokered by the World Bank. As per the agreement, the waters of eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej were given to India and the control over waters flowing in the western rivers Indus, Chenab and Jhelum were given to Pakistan.

Guwahati: Guwahati is the largest city in the Northeastern Indian state of Assam and also the largest metropolis in the northeastern India.

Recently, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) signed MoU with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CSIR-CFTRI). The MoU was signed to set up a Liaison Office in Guwahati, Assam with an aim to provide technical support to the food industries in the North East region.

CSIR−CFTRI: It is an acronym for Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Food Technological Research Institute. It is one of the constituent laboratory under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It was opened on 21 October 1950 in Mysore, Karnataka. The pioneering Institute works in the area of Food Science and Technology and Human Resource Development.

Telangana: Telangana is a state in India situated on the centre-south stretch of the Indian peninsula on the high Deccan Plateau. Its capital is Hyderabad. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Telangana is K. Chandrashekar Rao and Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan respectively.

Recently, India’s biggest rural technical festival named 'Antahpragnya 2020' was held in Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), Basar, Nirmal District, Telangana. District Collector of Nirmal, M Prashanthi, inaugurated the festival. The theme for this year's festival was “Spot and encourage rural tech innovators”. It was organized by the team of Antahpragnya in collaboration with SSERD (Society for Space Education, Research and Development) with an aim to create awareness about the exciting career in space.

The festival showcased 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation and others.
Maharashtra: Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. The state was founded on 1 May 1960. The day is celebrated as Maharashtra Day in the state. The capital of Maharashtra is Mumbai. The Governor and Chief Minister of Maharashtra are Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Uddhav Thackeray respecitvely.

Recently, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its in-principle approval for setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra. The new major port will be developed on land lord model. Total cost of the project is likely to be around Rs.65,544 crore.

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50% to implement the project.

The SPV will be responsible for the development of the port infrastructure, including construction of breakwater, reclamation with the establishment of connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities would be undertaken under public private partnership (PPP) mode by private developers.

With the development of Vadhavan port, India is expected to enter the list of top 10 container ports in the world.

Delhi Election Results 2020: In Delhi Assembly Election, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) scored a landslide victory for the second time in a row. AAP swept aside both BJP, which was again restricted to a single digit and Congress which could not win a single seat.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjeev Jha records the biggest victory margin of over 88,000 votes from Burari Assembly/Vidhan Sabha seat. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal won the elections from New Delhi while Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia from Patparganj Assembly/Vidhan Sabha seat. Chief of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal is set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi on 16 February in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi.

Vadodara: It is a large city in Gujarat. It is here that the 6th edition of the mega industrial exhibition ‘Engiexpo 2020’ is being organized by Federation of Small Scale Industries (FSSI). The event is being organized from February 15 to 17, 2020 to promote ‘Made in India’ products. Over 10,000 industrial products will be showcased in more than 300 stalls. Several companies from Uzbekistan are also participating in the exhibition.

FSSI: It refers to Federation of Small Scale Industries. It is headquartered in Vadodara, Gujarat. The current President of FSSI is Dhankesh Patel.

NIFM: It refers to the National Institute of Financial Management, Faridabad. NIFM was established in 1993 as a registered society under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It is a Center of Excellence specializing in capacity building of professionals in the fields of Public Policy, Financial Management and other governance issues for promoting highest standards of professional competence and practice. It is responsible for the training of officers of various Finance and Accounts Services recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as well as the officers of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS). The Union Finance Minister is the president of the NIFM society.

Recently, the Central Government has decided to remane NIFM as as the Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management (AJNIFM). Renaming was decided by the Government of India (GoI) so as to align the vision of the Institute for the future with the vision and contribution of Late Jaitley.

Late Shri Arun Jaitley was the former Union Finance Minister of India and a Padma Vibhushan awardee. He had played a stellar role during his career as the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs during the period May 26, 2014, to May 30, 2019.

UP Cabinet: The Uttar Pradesh Council of Ministers is the council in 17th Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath since 19 March 2017. As per the Constitution of India, the Uttar Pradesh Council of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, can have maximum 60 members. Currently there are 47 Ministers. Along with the Chief Minister, 25 are Cabinet ministers, 9 are State ministers with Independent charge and 13 are State ministers. Anandiben Patel is the present Governor of Uttar Pradesh.

Recently, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) state Cabinet, chaired by its Chief Minister(CM) Yogi Adityanath has approved the Ground Water Act-2020. The Ground Water Act-2020 has been approved with an objective of improving the falling groundwater level in the state.

Under this new Act, one has to register with the state records before installing submersible pumps either off-line or on-line. Online registration facility will also be available.

The farmers and domestic users need not pay any fee.

The cabinet has made it mandatory to install rainwater harvesting system in the buildings of all private and government schools and colleges through this act.

Registration is mandatory for boring companies along with the information update in every three months.

The act also provides for strict punishment and penalty against those who pollute the groundwater through boring pipes.

Manipur: Manipur is a state in northeastern India. Its capital city is Imphal. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west. Myanmar lies to its east. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Manipur are N. Biren Singh and Najma Heptulla respectively.

Recently, the Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh launched ‘Anganphou Hunba’ (Early Paddy Crop) programme at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal East. The State government has planned to provide irrigation water by the Minor Irrigation Department to places having adequate arable land and many farmers. The Government of Manipur has also taken up steps to produce sufficient quantity of fishes by providing loans to 800 selected fish farmers. The State Government seeks to save around 400 crore rupees spent every year in importing fishes from outside. Van Dhan Yojana too is being implemented in the hill districts to save horticultural products. The scheme will be introduced in the valley districts.

Varanasi: Varanasi also known as Benares, Banaras or Kashi is a city on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. The current Governor and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh are Anandiben Patel and Yogi Adityanath respectively.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 50 development projects worth over 1,200 crore rupees at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. During his day-long visit to his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, he flagged off the Mahakaal Express to link Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar via video conferencing. He also dedicated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre to the nation. This is the largest statue of the leader in the country.

These projects which the Prime Minister launched included a 430-bed super speciality Government hospital, a 74-bed psychiatry hospital and Centre for Vedic Research at Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya (BHU), at BHU. PM Modi also inaugurated the Chaukaghat Lehartara Overbridge in the city which will ease the traffic near the railway station.

Kochi: Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. The Governor and the Chief Minister of Kerala are Arif Mohammed Khan and Pinarayi Vijayan respectively.

Recently, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched “Yodhav” (Warrior) mobile app (application) at Kochi, Kerala. Yodhavu' (Warrior), is a mobile app through which public can inform police about drug abuse and its distribution. The app was introduced by the Kochi city police, as part of efforts to curb the growing menace in the State. The special feature of this app is that the informer’s identity can be kept secret.

The chief minister also inaugurated a most modern cyber doom cyber crime police station, the new building of the Infopark police station and regional forensic science laboratory’s upper and lower subordinate quarters at the TCS auditorium at Infopark. The chief minister also unveiled the model of Kochi city police’s new police complex being constructed at Marine Drive.

Patna: It is the Capital city of the state of Bihar. The current Governor and the Chief Minister of Bihar is Phagu Chauhan and Nitish Kumar respectively.

Recently, the Bihar government’s Department of Environment and Forest launched a Pyaar ka Paudha’ (a plant of love) campaign in Patna. This campaign is launched to encourage the practice of planting trees in the 08thstate. Department of Environment, requested the people to gift one plant of love to their closed ones and provide good care so as to make a small effort to take a big step towards making Bihar land green.

Goa: Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan. Its coastlines stretch along the Arabian Sea. The current Chief Minister and the Governor of Goa are Pramod Sawant and Mridula Sinha respectively.

Recently, the 5th edition of Difficult Dialogues began in Panji, Goa. It is an annual forum examining issues of contemporary relevance in South Asia, is being held from 14 to 16 February 2020. Difficult Dialogues (DD) 2020 will focus on the “State of Law”. The conference will bring together global experts, policymakers, community-level workers and leading thinkers to deliberate on issues related to law and the legal framework.

Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh is the northeastern most state of India. It borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south. It shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east, and China in the north, with which the border is the McMahon Line. It is the largest of the Seven Sister States of Northeast India. Its capital is Itanagar. The Chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh is Pema Khandu.

Recently, Arunachal Pradesh celebrated its 34th Statehood Day. Arunachal Pradesh became a state on 20 February 1987. The celebration was held at IG Park in Itanagar. The event was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Home Minister inaugurated a bouquet of projects and schemes for the State including Launch of Arunachal Pradesh Industrial and Investment Policy 2020. He also inaugurated the Joram-Koloriang Road constructed by BRO and laid the foundation stone of the new headquarters of the state police and along with other projects.

Meghalaya: It is a state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Its capital is Shillong. The current Governor and Chief Minister of Meghalaya are satya Pal Malik and Conrad Sangama respectively.

Recently, Meghalaya won the National Award for Best Electoral Practices 2020. President Ram Nath Kovind virtually conferred the award to Meghalaya CEO F.R. Kharkongor at the National Voters’ Day Award function held in New Delhi.

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya was selected for a Special Award for Information Technology applications in Elections by the Election Commission of India (ECI), in the National Best Electoral Practices Awards-2020.

The ECI has consistently been championing the use of Technology covering non-election period, such as voter portal, voter helpline app, SMS, 1950 helpline, political party registration and online tracking.

The ECI on Monday also launched digital radio “Hello Voters “ with a view to connect and engage with young voters.

About the award: The award recognizes the sustained and consistent IT application efforts in electoral activities being made by the Office of the CEO in the entire Enrolment to Elections (E2E) process and for leveraging technology for the benefit of all categories of voters, both general and persons with disabilities (PWDs). 

Republic Day Parade 2021 Awards: The Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju  presented the Republic Day Awards for 2021 Parade Tableaux.

In the parade of 72nd Republic Day, 32 tableaux participated. These Tableaux were selected from the 17 States and Union Territories (UTs). Six of the Tableaux were from the Defence Ministry while Nine were from other ministries, departments and paramilitary forces.

Best Tableau Award:

The Uttar Pradesh tableau was given the award for best tableau out of total 32. The theme of the UP tableau was “Ayodhya: Cultural Heritage of Uttar Pradesh”.

The tableau of Tripura was chosen as the second-best tableau. The Tripura tableau displayed the eco-friendly traditions to achieve the self-reliance in the socio-economic parameters.

The third best tableau award was presented to the tableau of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Tableau was displayed with the theme of the “Dev Bhoomi– The Land of the Gods”.

Other Awards:

Out of 9 tableaux of the different ministries, departments, and paramilitary forces, the Department of Biotechnology tableau was chosen for the top award. The department had presented the Tableau with the theme of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: COVID vaccine development”.

Apart from that, the tableau of Central Public Works Department (CPWD), with the theme ‘Amar Jawan’, bagged a special prize for paying tribute to the fallen heroes of the armed forces.

The award for best cultural performance was given to student of Mount Abu Public School and Vidya Bharti School Rohini, Delhi. In their performance they had displayed the vision for Self-Reliant India- Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Selection of tableauxs:

  • The tableaux are selected by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Republic day parade.
  • In order to shortlist the tableaux, an expert committee is set up by the defence ministry comprising of the distinguished people from various fields of arts.
  • The expert committee consists of prominent persons from the field of art, painting, culture, music, architecture, sculpture and choreography. 
  • States are given representation on a rotational basis.

Rajasthan's New M-sand Policy 2020: The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, has recently released the new M-Sand Policy of Rajasthan. The M-sand policy is in light with the government’s commitment to meet the quantity of sand which is needed for construction work.

The main aim of launching the M-sand policy is as follows:

  1. To reduce the dependency on the traditional sand from rivers.
  2. To encourage the use and production of manufactured sand or M-sand in the state.
  3. To solve the problem of waste generated from the mines in the mining areas of Rajasthan.
  4. To create huge employment opportunities at the local level.

The policy designated the M-sand units the status of an industry.

What is M-Sand?

M-Sand means Manufactured sand. It is a substitute of river sand for concrete construction. It is produced by crushed hard granite stone. The sand is derived from the minerals which are locally available such as granite, silica, basalt, sandstone and quartile. The crushed sand is of cubical shape with rounded edges, washed and graded to as a construction material. The crushed material is then segregated and used in differently based on the size. In order to reduce the impurities, the sand is washed after crushing it to make it more durable and suitable for construction process. The size of manufactured sand (M-Sand) is less than 4.75mm. The M-sand meet the standards of ISO code 383: 2016.

The need for M-sand Policy in Rajasthan:

The need for this policy is felt in the state of Rajasthan as the availability of sand is not as per the requirement of construction works. There is a demand of around 70 million tonnes of river sand for various construction works. But, only 20 M-sand units are operating in the state and they produce 20,000 tonnes of M-sand every day.  Now, with this new M-sand policy it will promote it as a long-term alternative to gravel and help in setting up of new mining units.

Usage of Manufactured Sand

Due to the fast-growing construction industry, the demand for sand has increased tremendously causing deficiency of suitable river sand in most parts of the world. Hence, to avoid the depletion of good quality river sand for the use of construction, the use of manufactured sand has been increased.

Benefits of M-Sand:

It is easily available and has less transportation cost.

  1. It does not contain organic and soluble compounds that affect the setting time and properties of cement, therefore the required strength of concrete can be maintained.
  2. M-Sand does not have the presence of impurities such as clay, dust and silt coatings which help in producing better quality concrete.
  3. In addition, it can also be dust-free and the sizes of m-sand can be controlled easily so that it meets the required grading for the given construction.
  4. It eliminates the environmental impact that occurred due to the lifting of natural sand from the river bed.

Dhannipur: It is a village of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh where the Dhannipur mosque project was formally launched on Republic Day at the five-acre plot.

The plot was allotted by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government on the directions of the Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid Ram Janmabhoomi title suit.

The Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) is overseeing the construction of the mosque.

The project would take around 30 months to be completed.

The project comprises three parts: a mosque based on a modern design; a multi-speciality 200-bed hospital and community kitchen; and an Indo-Islamic Cultural Research Centre.

Maharashtra: Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. It was formed on 1 May 1960 by merging the western and south-western parts of the Bombay State, Berar and Vidarbha, and the north-western parts of the Hyderabad State and splitting Saurashtra (in present-day Gujarat) by the States Reorganisation Act. Its capital is Mumbai. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Maharashtra are Uddhav Thackeray and Bhagat Singh Koshyari respectively.

Recently, Maharashtra has retained its top rank in the second edition of the India Justice Report (IJR) – 2020, which is India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people.

Maharashtra retained its number one position among 18 large and mid -sized states (with a population of over one crore each).

Tamil Nadu and Telangana were second and third respectively in the same category.

Among the 7 small states (where the population is less than one crore each), Tripura has topped the list followed by Sikkim and Goa.

About IJR: The India Justice Report (IJR) is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives. The rankings of the states are based on publicly available data of different government entities on the four pillars of justice delivery which are police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid.

The first edition of IJR was released in 2019.

Little Andaman: The little Andaman is the part of the Little Andaman Group. This is the fourth largest island in Andamans and is at about a distance of 120 Kilometers by sea from the Port Blair. It is famous for its main village and the largest settlement on the island called Hut Bay also known as the Kwate-tu-kwage.  The island is home to Onge Tribes apart from other multilingual settlers of Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Ranchi communities.

Recently, NITI Aayog (Think tank of India) has released its plan for Little Andaman named as “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island Vision Document”.

It has been planned for the sustainable and holistic development of the island in Andaman and Nicobar.

The Little Andaman is a 680 sq km fragile Island in the Andaman in the Andaman and Nicobar group. The fragile environment of the Island has raised alarm among conservationists. 

The Prime Minister, Modi also declared in the year 2020 that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will be developed as a “maritime and start-up hub”. The document by NITI Aayog has been formulated in that context only.

As per the document, the new little Andaman will be built through a new greenfield coastal city. This city will be developed as a free trade zone. It has planned to develop the city as a free trade zone. It will also compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.

The developmental plan has been divided into three zones:

Zone 1: It is being developed as the monetary district and is spread over 102 sq km in the east coast of Little Andaman. It would also comprise of medi metropolis and can embody an aerocity, tourism and hospital district.

Zone 2: It is a leisure zone that is spread over 85 sq km of pristine forest. It would comprise of movie metropolis, a residential district and a tourism Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Zone 3: It would be a nature zone and spread over 52 sq km of pristine forest.

The main Purpose of the Government is:

  • To invest in the strategic location and natural features of the island because this island is critical for India’s security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • To provide a better infrastructure and connectivity to the island that will, in turn, help India to enhance its military and naval strength in the islands.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union territory of India comprising 572 islands of which 37 are inhabited, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The Andaman Sea lies to the east and the Bay of Bengal to the west. The territory's capital is the city of Port Blair. The territory is divided into three districts: Nicobar District with Car Nicobar as capital, South Andaman district with Port Blair as capital and North and Middle Andaman district with Mayabunder as capital. The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces. The current Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island is Admiral D K Joshi.

West Bengal: West Bengal is a state in eastern India. It lies between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. It borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata. It was established on 26 January 1950. The current Chief Minister and Governor of West Bengal are Mamta Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar respectively.

Recently, West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who became the first woman to present the West Bengal Budget, has announced the setting up of ‘Netaji Battalion’ in Kolkata Police department in the coming months.

She had to present the West Bengal Budget 2021 as Finance Minister Amit Mitra has been placed ‘under medical supervision’.

In 2002, she had become the first woman to present the Union Railways Budget.

While proposing a budget of Rs 2,99,688 crore for 2021-22, she said that there would also be an Azad Hind Bhawan in all the districts besides the formation of Netaji State Planning Commission (similar to Niti Aayog) in West Bengal.

Earlier, she had announced to set up 'Narayani battalion', 'Gorkha battalion' and 'Jangalmahal battalion', considering the sentiments and struggle of Narayani sena, Gorkhas and tribal people in Bengal.

New Delhi: It is an urban district located in the city of Delhi. New Delhi officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is a city and a union territory of India. It serves as the capital of India is the seat of the State Government of Delhi and the Government of India, as well as the city or local governments as per the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. Union Territories are governed by the Union Government. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Delhi are Arvind Kejriwal and  Anil Baijal respectively.

Recently, Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal launched the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign. The campaign was launched to promote the use of electric vehicles.

The CM appealed to people to buy such vehicles to combat pollution in the city. He also appealed the big companies, market association, delivery chains, malls & Cinemas and resident welfare associations to promote the use of electric vehicles.

He further appealed them to set up the charging stations in their respective premises.

 He highlighted that his government will hire only electric vehicles for various purposes in the next six weeks.

Aim: The main aim of the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign is to create the awareness regarding the advantages of using electric vehicles and also raise the awareness about how it can help in combating the air pollution in Delhi and making Delhi clean and pollution-free.

Electric Vehicle Policy of Delhi: Under its electric vehicle policy, the Delhi government has planned extensive subsidies on purchase of electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers, besides waiving road tax and registration charges.

The government has also issued tenders for setting up 100 charging stations across the city.

The government has fixed an ambitious target of 25% electric vehicles among total vehicle registrations in Delhi by 2024.

Note: Ever since the electric vehicle policy was launched, over 6,000 electric vehicles have been sold out.

SAANS Campaign: The Madhya Pradesh health department has launched a new Social awareness campaign named SAANS to curb infant mortality or death rate due to pneumonia. SAANS stands for ‘Social Awareness and Action to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully’.

Under the SAANS campaign training will be imparted at the community and primary health centres.

The state has set up around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres for this purpose.

The MP State government has also developed training modules in partnership with PGIMER, Chandigarh, and UNICEF, which will be used to enhance the skills of health workers, including doctors and paramedical staff.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh (MP) is the second largest Indian state by area. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Its capital is Bhopal. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh are Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Anandiben Patel respectively.

Dhekiajuli: It is a historic “martyr” town in Assam where  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his recent visit laid the foundation stone for two medical colleges and launched a road and a  highway project.


Dhekiajuli is associated with the Quit India Movement of 1942. It was home to possibly the youngest martyr of the Indian freedom struggle.

On September 20, 1942, as part of the Quit India movement, processions of freedom fighters marched to various police stations across several towns in Assam.

These squads were known as ‘Mrityu Bahini’, or death squads. These squads had wide participation — including women and children who set out to unfurl the tricolour atop police stations, seen as symbols of colonial power.

The British administration came down heavily on them. At least 15 people were shot dead, three of them women, including the 12-year-old Tileswari Barua in Dhekiajuli.

Note: September 20 has for long been observed as Martyrs’ Day in Dhekiajuli town.

The Assam government recently restored and accorded the Dhekiajuli police station the heritage status.

Mukhyamantri Vigyan Pratibha Pariksha Scheme: The Delhi cabinet recently approved “Mukhyamantri Vigyan Pratibha Pariksha” scheme.

Under this scheme, an amount of Rs 5,000 will be provided to 1,000 meritorious students of Class 9 in schools of Delhi as a science scholarship. The scholarship will provide a boost to science education in secondary classes at the school level.

According to the release, the students studying in Delhi schools who have secured more than 60% in Class 8 are eligible for the examination. Students belonging to SC, ST, PH, or OBC category will be given a relaxation of up to 5% of marks.

Delhi government seeks to promote the pursuit of excellence and scientific temper among the children.

Delhi: It is an urban district located in the city of Delhi. New Delhi officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is a city and a union territory of India. It serves as the capital of India is the seat of the State Government of Delhi and the Government of India, as well as the city or local governments as per the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. Union Territories are governed by the Union Government. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Delhi are Arvind Kejriwal and  Anil Baijal respectively.

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM): The Government of Karnataka recently inaugurated the office of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) in Bengaluru. At the same occasion, the "Beyond Bengaluru" report which facilitates to achieve the target of increasing the contribution was also launched.

The mission was founded on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. In the mission, the industries like, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association, National Association of Software and Service Companies, The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and Vision Group Start-ups have 51 per cent stake.

Highlights about KDEM:

  1. This office has been opened with the objective of increasing digital economy’s contribution by 30% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
  2. To propagate the KDEM smoothly the state government has allowed for 51 per cent stakes to industry associations while retaining a minority holding of 49 per cent for itself.
  3. The state government seeks to act as a facilitator in the KDEM office rather than an authority.
  4. In order to strengthen the digital economy, the government will focus on providing connectivity even to remote parts, providing 24/7 electricity. The government will also reduce the rural-urban divide by establishing the needed infrastructure.
  5. KDEM aims to attract investments for the IT/ITeS sector in the state and to create 10 lakh jobs by 2025.
  6. The office will work to achieve the target with the focus on 5 verticals of Information Technology.

The 5 verticals are as follows:

  1. IT products and services.
  2. Innovation and Startups.
  3. Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).
  4. Beyond Bengaluru
  5. Talent Accelerator.

 KDEM has been established with an aim to reach the goal of 150 billion dollars in IT exports and also to become a 300 billion dollars economy by 2025.

Karnataka: It is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganization Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. Its capital city is Bangalore. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Karnataka are B. S. Yediyurappa and Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala respectively.

Vijayanagara District: The Karnataka government recently issued a notification demarcating boundaries of the newly-formed Vijayanagara district. Now, with Vijayanagara, Karnataka has 31 districts.

About Vijayanagara: Named after the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, the new district was carved out from Ballari under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.

It located in Hyderabad-Karnataka region and is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage sites – Hampi and Virupaksha Temple.

With Hosapete as its headquarters, Vijayanagara has 6 taluks  namely - Hosapete, Kudligi, Kotturu, Hoovina Hadagali, Hagaribommanahalli and Harapanahalli.

Vijaynagar Empire: Vijayanagara or “city of victory” was the name of both a city and an empire. The empire was founded in the fourteenth century (1336 AD) by Harihara and Bukka of Sangama dynasty. Hampi was its capital city.

Vijayanagar Empire was ruled by four important dynasties They are Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva and Aravidu.

The most famous ruler of Vijayanagara was Krishnadevaraya (ruled 1509-29) of the Tuluva dynasty. His rule was characterized by expansion and consolidation. He is credited with building some fine temples and adding impressive gopurams to many important south Indian temples. He also founded a suburban township near Vijayanagar called Nagalapuram after his mother. He composed a work on statecraft in Telugu known as the Amuktamalyada.

Places in the News - January 2021

Sikkim: It a state in northeastern India. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also located close to India's Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kangchenjunga lies in this state. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Sikkim was the first fully organic state of the country where all farming is carried out without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

SIFFCO: It refers to Sikkim Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Organics. Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang laid down the foundation stone of two Integrated Processing Units of Sikkim Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Organics Ltd.(SIFFCO) in Rangpoc East Sikkim. Sikkim IFFCO is a joint a joint venture between the world's largest fertilizer Cooperative, IFFCO and Government of Sikkim. SIFFCO aims to market and produce the organic produce of the country with its main focus on Sikkim and other north-eastern states of India. It will mainly operate in commercial crops that are ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat.

Hyderabad: It is the capital of southern India's Telangana state. It is a major center for the technology industry. Its historic sites include Golconda Fort, a former diamond-trading center that was once the Qutb Shahi dynastic capital and the Charminar which is a 16th-century mosque whose 4 arches support towering minarets.

IRCS: It refers to the Indian Red Cross Society. It is a voluntary humanitarian organization to protect human life and health based in India. It is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and so shares the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It was founded in 1920 by Claude Hill, headquartered in New Delhi.

Mobile app:  President Ram Nath Kovind launched a mobile app of the Indian Red Cross Society, Telangana State Branch at Raj Bhavan, Hyderabad. Telangana Centre for Good Governance developed this app which is accessible in all languages. The developers informed that the access to blood bank and Red Cross membership will become easy with the launching of the mobile app.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh is a state bordering India’s southeastern coast. Major cultural landmarks include Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, an ornate hilltop shrine to Hindu’s Vishnu, in the southern part of the state. It is the seventh-largest state in India. The chief Minister of Andra Pradesh is YS Jaganmohan Reddy and the Governor is Biswa Bhusan Harichanda.

Netanna Nestham: It is a welfare scheme for weavers. The Chief Minister of Andra Pradeesh launched Nethanna Nestham’ scheme at Dharmavaram in Anantapur district. The YSR Netanna Nestham scheme provides an annual incentive of Rs 24,000 for handloom weavers. The aim of the scheme is to help the weavers who have been facing financial crisis and heavy debts.

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu is the tenth largest state in India. The bordering states are Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the north west and Andhra Pradesh to the north. To the east is the Bay of Bengal and the state encircles the union territory of Puducherry. It was formed on 1 November 1956. Its capital is Chennai. The Chief Minister of TAmil Nadu is Edappadi K. Palaniswami

Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund:  The First tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed under Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund (FIDF) between the department of Fisheries Government of India, NARBARD and the Government of Tamil Nadu. The agreement was signed for the implementation FIDF.

FIDF: It refers to Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund. It was formed in 2018 to boost fish production to achieve the target of producing 15 million tonnnes of fish production by 2020 and 20 million tones by 2022-23 from current production of 11.4 million tones. The FIDF will provide finance to the eligible entities, cooperatives, entrepreneurs and individuals for development of identified fisheries infrastructure. The projects are to be implemented in the southern coasts of Tamil Nadu.

NLEs: It refers to Nodal Loaning entities. The NLEs for the fund are the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and all scheduled banks. The Fund provides concessional finance under the FIDF to take up investment activities of fisheries development.

NCDC: It is an abbreviation of National Cooperative Development Corporation. It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.  It has many regional centers to provide financial assistance to Cooperatives or Societies or Federations.

NABARD: It is the acronym for India’s apex development bank, which is the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. It was set up in 1982 after the recommendation of the Committee to Review Arrangements of Institutional Credit for Agriculture and Rural Development (CRAFICARD)

With headquarters in Mumbai, NABARD has branches across India. It was formed by a special parliamentary act. The main objective of the  organization was the advancement of rural India by enhancing the flow of credit for the upliftment of agriculture as well as the rural non-agricultural sector.

Jammu & Kashmir: It is a union territory of India (until October 31, 2019, a state). It is the northern-most state of India and shares its borders with Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, and the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan.

Chillai Kalan: The traditional 40-day period of harshest winter in Kashmir known as ‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on 21 December 2019. It begins with Winter Solstice, It is a period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent. The weather remains cold during this period as the day temperature also dips drastically, freezing most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake. Chillai-Kalan is followed by Chillai-Khurd and Chillai-Bachha. A 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) starts from January 31 to February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold) occurs between 20th February and 2nd of March.

Jharkhand: It is a state in eastern India, created on 15 November 2000.  Previously, it was the southern half of Bihar. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar to the north, Uttar Pradesh to the northwest, Chhattisgarh to the west, Odisha to the south and West Bengal to the east. It is also known as the bush land or the land of forests of India. Its capital and sub-capital is Ranch and Dumka respectively. The state is known for its waterfalls, hills and holy places like the Baidyanath Dham, Parasnath and Rajrappa.

Jharkhand Election 2019: The elections took place in five phases between November 30 and December 20. The JMM-Congress-RJD alliance staged massive victory with 47 seats in the 81-member Jharkhand assembly on December 23, 2019. JMM's Hemant Soren is likely to be the next Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Kerala: It is a state on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganization Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. It is the 23rd largest state in india by area. Its capital is Thiruvananthapuram. The Chief Minister of Kerala is Pinarayi Vijayan and the Governor is Arif Mohammad Khan.

Kerala has become the 1st state in the country to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act amid widespread protests across the country. The resolution moved by the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayee Vijayan was seconded by the Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. Kerala has also put on hold all the activities in connection with the National Population Register (NPR) considering the anxiety among people that it relates to the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Several other chief ministers of non BJP ruled states including West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi have also announced for not implementing CAA in their states.

Citizenship Amendment Act: The Parliament had passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 on December 11, 2019. The act had triggered widespread protests across India and created fear of discrimination based on religion.

Andhra Pradesh: It is a state bordering India’s southeastern coast. Major cultural landmarks include Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, an ornate hilltop shrine to Hindu’s Vishnu, in the southern part of the state. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 states that Hyderabad is common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states for a period of time not exceeding 10 years. Telugu is the major and official language of Andhra Pradesh and also one of the classical languages of India.

Sand delivery: The YS Jaganmohan Reddy government of Andhra Pradesh is planning to introduce door-delivery of sand from Jan 2, 2020. It will launch a pilot project in Krishna district on an experimental basis. If successful then it will be extended.

Under the new initiative, the government will collect transportation charges from the customers and deliver sand at door steps. In order to make the initiative successful, the AP Mineral Development Corporation will stock 15 lakh tons of sand per month for the next 4 months. The step taken by the government seeks to address issues of sand scarcity and sand mafia.

Andhra Pradesh Disha Act 2019: The Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019 has been drafted to speed up the trial process for severe crimes committed against women and children. Disha is the name given to the veterinarian who was raped and murdered in Hyderabad which sparked an outrage across country.

The Andhra Pradesh government appointed an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official Dr Kritika Shukla and Indian Police Service (IPS) official M Deepika, as Special Officers for implementing the Andhra Andra Pradesh Disha Act 2019. The new Act says trial must be completed within 14 working days, thus reducing the total judgment time to 21 working days.

The bill provides for awarding death sentence for rape if there is adequate conclusive evidence. This provision is given by amending Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860.

The AP Disha Act also prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.

In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states 2 years imprisonment for the first conviction and 4 years for second and subsequent convictions. A new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860 for this purpose. An electronic form called ‘Women & Children Offenders Registry’ will be established, operated and maintained by the AP Government.

To ensure a speedy trial, the state will set up exclusive special courts in all the thirteen districts to deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under POCSO Act.

Study in Gujarat Campaign: It is a campaign launched by the state education department of Gujarat government in order to transform the state into an educational hub at both national and international level.

Under this campaign a high level delegation will hold road shows in western Asian countries during 15th to 22nd January 2020 also hold roadshows in 10 cities of India including Shrinagar. Around 22 private colleges and government universities and 4 colleges are participating in the campaign.

Ahmedabad: It is here that the world’s 2nd tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the world was unveiled by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. It was unveiled at the Sardardham campus near Vaishnodevi Circle in Ahmedabad. The statue is a 50 feet tall bronze statue. It weighs 70 thousand kilograms.

The statue of Sardar Patel has been designed by Padma Bhusan Ram V. Sutar. He is the same sculptor who had designed the Statue of Unity.

UPSRTC: It refers to Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation. Transport minister Ashok Kataria has launched a dedicated women helpline, 'Damini', which is a calling and a WhatsApp service for the safety of women.

The unique number "81142-77777" has been subscribed for the helpline. The helpline is an extension of the 'Nirbhaya Yojana' that aims to ensure safety of women.

Using these helpline women passengers can lodge their complaints by calling the helpline number and by using WhatsApp service. These numbers will be visible inside the buses and bus stations by the 15th of January 2020.

Cyber Safe Women’ initiative: It is joint initiative of the Maharashtra state government, Maharashtra Cyber and Maharashtra police initiative launched by the Maharashtra Government. The initiative was launched commemorating the birth anniversary of Indian Social Reformer Savitribai Phule.

The rising instances of cyber-crime need to be curbed and so the government is looking to take all measures to ensure that women and children do not fall prey to these criminal activities. Under this initiative camps will be held across all the districts of the state regarding cyber safety. The aim of the initiative is to help in educating women about how the web is used by anti-social elements and child predators to commit various types of crimes. The campaign cover cybercrime crimes such as internet phishing, fraud identity on marriage site, cyber bullying, bank fraud, child pornography, photo shuffling, online gaming and false information sites.

Kochi: It is a major port city on the south-west coast of India bordering the Laccadive Sea. It has been a port since 1341 when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. It is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala and is often referred to as Ernakulam. Kochi is the most densely populated city in Kerala

It is in Kochi that the Global Investors Meet 'ASCEND 2020' is being organized by the Industries Department of the state government.

In the meeting, the government will highlight a Kochi-to-Palakkad integrated manufacturing cluster, a Rs.131 crore Defense Park at 60 acres in Ottapalam of Palakkad district and an electronic hardware park in Ernakulam district among 18 mega projects the state government.

On the occasion, The Government of Kerala state will highlight the 18 mega projects in the meet, The projects that will be showcased are Kochi-to-Palakkad integrated manufacturing cluster, integrated solid-waste management systems in Thiruvananthapuram, an electronic hardware park in Ernakulam district, Thrissur and Malappuram, a medium density fibreboard plant in Perumbavoor and a defense park at Ottappalam, and many other projects.

The meeting will also highlight the Invest Kerala Portal: “” The portal is a single-window facilitator for easy investment promotion under its Ease of doing business initiatives.

Maharashtra: It is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. It is best known for its fast-paced capital, Mumbai which was formerly called Bombay. This sprawling metropolis is the seat of the Bollywood film industry. Maharashtra was formed in 1 May 1960. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra is Uddhav Thackeray and the Governor is Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Journalists' Day was celebrated on 6 January 2020 in the memory of late thespian journalist Balshashtri Jambhekar. The day is observed every year in Maharashtra.

Balshastri Jambhekar: He is also known as The Father of Marathi Journalism for his efforts in starting journalism in Marathi language with the first newspaper in the language named 'Darpan' in the early days of British Rule in India. The newspaper Darpan was born out of this patriotism and social awareness. The first newspaper in the Marathi language was published on 6 January 1832. The release date also marks his birth anniversary. He was born on 6 January 1812 in Pombhurle in Devgad taluka in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. He dealt with the issues of widow re-marriage in his newspaper and he even fought to develop a scientific set of minds in the masses of uneducated India. He died on 18 May 1846.

Delhi: It is the capital city of India and is regarded as the heart of the nation. Delhi is of great historical significance as an important commercial, transport, and cultural hub, as well as the political centre of India. The Chief Minister of Delhi is Arvind Kejriwal.

Recently, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah laid the Foundation Stone of the 'Delhi Cycle Walk' project at Tughlakabad, New Delhi. The main aim of this project is to make the city most walkable and environment friendly. This cycle walk will cover abundant forests, dense residential areas and workplaces in close proximity to the city.

Uttar Pradesh: It is a state in northern India. It is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. The Governor and Chief Minister of UP is Anandiben Patel and Yogi Adityanath respectively.

Recently, the 2nd phase of Mission Indradhanush 2.0 rolled out at block level in 35 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The aim of the program launched by central government in 2017 is to achieve 90% vaccination coverage in children of less than 2 years in state. The program seeks to prevent 8 diseases under the mission.

Under the program the immunization activity will be in 4 rounds over 7 working days excluding the Regular immunization days, Sundays and holidays. About 66 thousand sessions will be organized for vaccination of more than 5.5 lakh children and around 1.3 lakh pregnant women of state. The focus of immunization is on urban, underserved population and tribal areas. Intensified Mission Indradhanush will be conducted till March 2020.

Gujarat: It is India's westernmost state and is bordered by Rajasthan to the northeast, Daman and Diu to the south, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra to the southeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west. Its capital city is Gandhinagar, while its largest city is Ahmedabad. The Governor and Chief Minister of Gujarat is Acharya Devvrat and Vijay Rupani respectively.

VSCIC: It is an acronym for Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that the State will set up the Vikram Sarabhai Children Innovation Center (VSCIC) in the state. The announcement was made at the Children’s Innovation Festival (CIF) held at Swarnim Sankul in Gandhinagar. The centre will be set up through a joint partnership between the Gujarat University and UNICEF to offer children with a platform to realize their innovation potential.

The main aim of VSCIC is to identify, nurture and promote innovative abilities of children in the state. The centre will work towards identifying children with ideas and then nurture and support them. The festival was exclusively organized for the school-going children up to 18 years old. The CIF is being organized by Gujarat University Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC). GUSEC is an incubation centre created by Gujarat University in collaboration with UNICEF.

West Bengal: West Bengal is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. Its capital, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), retains architectural and cultural remnants of its past as an East India Company trading post and capital of the British Raj. It is India's fourth-most populous state. Jagdeep Dhankhar is the governor of West Bengal and Mamta Banerjee is the Chef Minster of West Bengal.

The 4th 2020 edition of ‘Buxa Bird Festival’ began on Monday in Buxa National Park in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. Over 50 birdwatchers from across India and abroad have registered in the festival. More than 300 rare species including the Sultan Tit, Greater Spotted Eagle and Great Hornbill visit the national park during this time of the year. Buxa is a heaven for bird enthusiasts who watch and click photographs of the migratory birds. These migratory birds come from colder regions in the northern hemisphere.

Ahmadabad: Ahmadabad, in western India, is the largest city in the state of Gujarat and it is the former capital of the state. The Sabarmati River runs through its center. Mahatma Gandhi established Gandhi Ashram on the bank of river Sabarmati and selected Ahmadabad as his "Karmabhumi". Ahmadabad has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Government of India's flagship Smart Cities Mission. In July 2017, the Historic City of Ahmadabad or Old Ahmadabad, was declared as India's first UNESCO World Heritage

The 31st International Kite Festival has been launched at Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This festival is being hosted since 1989. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated the colourful kite festival. It will continue till 14th Jan- Makarsankranti- the festival of Kites in different parts of state.A large number of kite artists from across the world are participating in this event. The festival is also taking place at nine other places across the state including Statue of Unity-Kevadiya, Surat and Vadodara.

Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the western Himalayas. It is a mountainous state. It provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. Himachal Pradesh was declared as a Union Territory in 1 November 1956 and it became a full fledged state of the Republic of India on January 25, 1971. The Governor and Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh is Jai Ram Thakur and Bandaru Dattatraya respectively.

Recently, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched a portal “Himachal MyGov” portal and “CM App”. With the launch the state has become the eleventh state in India to have this facility. The portal aims to strengthen public participation in the governance process. With the help of portal, public will be able to communicate their views, suggestions, feedback as well discontentment to the state government. This will help the government to formulate policies and programs and make them more effective and result oriented. This unique platform also aims to enhance citizen partnership with the State Government and vice-versa. MyGov Himachal Portal and Chief Minister App would bring the administration closer to people and ensure a two-way communication between the government and the people.

Kolkata: It was previously known as Calcutta. It is the capital city of West Bengal. It is the seventh most populous city. It is the second largest city in India after Mumbai. It was established as an East India Company trading post. It was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911.

Recently, Kolkata Police started the 3rd edition of ‘Sukanya‘ project. The project aims to provide self-defense training to girls studying in schools and colleges in the city. The third batch of ‘Sukanya’ started at 100 city-based schools and colleges situated in Kolkata Police jurisdiction. Sukanya project which is an initiative of the Kolkata Police’s Community Policing Wing is to provide self-defense training to girl students of city-based schools, colleges and universities. The initiative is funded by Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department of the state government.

Andra Pradesh: It is one of the 29 states of India, situated in the south-eastern part of the country. It is the eight-largest state in India. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 states that Hyderabad is common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states for a period of time not exceeding 10 years. Amaravati is a proposed and planned capital city of Andhra Pradesh. The Governor and Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh are Biswabhusan Harichandan and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy respectively.

On January 9, 2020, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Amma Vodi Scheme in Chittoor. Amma Vodi can be translated as 'mother's lap' in Telugu. It is one of the nine flagship programmes called Navratanalu of the Government of Andra Pradesh. The scheme will be implemented from January 26, 2020 (Republic Day). The Amma Vodi scheme is one of its first kind scheme in the country, which seeks to bring significant changes in the education system of Andhra Pradesh. The State Government has allocated Rs 6318 crores under the scheme.

The scheme aims to support low-income families in educating their children. Under the scheme, an amount of 15000 per annum will be given to these students belonging to Below Poverty Line provided there should be 75% attendance at school. The amount will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries in January every year.

Kolkata: Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of India's West Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. Chief Minister and Governor of West Bengal is Mamta Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar respectively.

Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 150th celebrations of Kolkata Port Trust. The Kolkata Port was also renamed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port at the event. A commemorative Stamps of the port trust was launched and dedicated to the nation by PM Modi during the celebration. He also inaugurated the Kaushal Vikas Kendra and Pritilata Chhatri Avas for 200 tribal girl students from Sundarbans during the event.

At the event, two oldest pensioners of the Port Mr. Naresh Chandra Chakraborty (100 years old) and Smt. Nagina Bhagat (105 years old) were honored too.

Puri: Puri is a city and a Municipality in the state of Odisha in eastern India.It is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus. Puri is known by several names since the ancient times, and was locally known as "Sri Kshetra" and Lord Jagannatha temple is known as "Badadeula".

Puri district of Odisha has been awarded the Swachhata Darpan Awards 2019 for its initiatives for plastic waste management. The award ceremony was held during the Open Defecation Free Sustainability Workshop held in New Delhi which was organised by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) and Ministry of Jal Shakti. The award was presented by Indian Bollywood actor Aamir Khan who is also the Founder of Paani Foundation, to Puri Municipality Additional Executive Officer Saroj Kumar Swain.

Swachhata Darpan Award has been instituted under Swacha Bharat Mission to encourage the states and districts to focus on Open Defecation Free (ODF) sustainability and social and liquid waste management.

Delhi: The fourth edition of Raisina Dialogue was held recently, in New Delhi. It was held between January 14, 2020 and January 16, 2020. The dialogue which is held annually since 2016 is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation.

The 2020 Theme of the Dialogue was 'A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships'.

Foreign Ministers from 13 countries participated in the dialogue including Iran, Australia and Russia.

During the Resina dialogue, a defense agreement was signed by India and Finland and Russia announced that it supports India for the latter’s permanent membership at the UNSC (United Nations Security Council).

Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with Observer Research Foundation has organized the flagship annual geopolitical and geostrategic conference.

The dialogue is named after Raisina Hill, which is the seat of the Government of India, as well as the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics.

Sufal Bangla scheme: It is an initiative of the Government of West Bengal which was initiated in 2014. The scheme is being run with the assistance of Safal (National Diary Development Board, New Delhi). It is financially supported by Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana. The implementing agency is Paschimbanga Agri Marketing Corporation Ltd.

The scheme aims to help the farmer’s get premium price and have rational share in consumer’s price, to supply quality produce at less retail price to the consumers and to make fruit and vegetable producer’s retail market competitive.

Recently, the Government of West Bengal implemented the Sufal Bangla Scheme which have protected consumers from the spike in food inflation.

Gandhinagar: Gandhinagar is a planned city in the western Indian state of Gujarat. It is the capital of the state of Gujarat in India. It lies on the west bank of the Sabarmati River.

Recently, Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated various people centric projects of Gujarat Police and Indian Postal Department at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. The project includes‘Netrang’ project to establish Command and Control Room in 33 districts, online portal to pay E Challan and Cyber Crime Prevention Unit-AASHVAST and Video Integration and State Wide Advance Security-VISWAS project, which will have a dedicated service helpline for victims of cyber crimes.

Six different postal memory cards depicting various folk dances of Gujarat was also inaugurated by him.

Goa: Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. It is surrounded by the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth-smallest by population. Its capital city is Panaji.Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. The Chief Minister of Goa is Pramod Sawant and the Governor is Satya Pal Malik.

Recently, the Union minister for women and child development Smriti Irani launched 3 welfare schemes for women in Goa. The event was held at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium at Taleigao near Panaji. The schemes are Yashaswini Scheme for Women Entrepreneurship, Swasthya Sahayak Project and breast cancer screening initiative handheld device facilitating detection of cancer.

Yashaswini Scheme: Under the Yashaswini scheme, women self-help groups (SHGs) will be given interest-free loans of up to Rs.5 lakh for business. The scheme aims to strengthen the socio-economic empowerment of women in Goa. SHGs including Umang Self-Help Group, Adarsha Satari Mahila Mandal Guleli –Sattari, Salcete and Phoenix Womens Wing Self-Help Group Valpoi –Sattari were given loans under the newly launched scheme.

Swasthya Sahayak Project: Under the Swasthya Sahayak scheme, primary healthcare workers and Anganwadi workers will be given a diagnostic kit developed by the Public Health Foundation of India, in association with Procter and Gamble to manufacture and supply the kits using corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund. It will help them to conduct basic diagnostic tests at people's doorstep so that every individual will be given basic health care.

Breast cancer screening initiative: Under the breast cancer screening initiative, the Anganwadi and healthcare workers will screen women for breast cancer using handheld devices. The initiative aims to reach out to the women in rural parts of the state. It is expected that the delivery of health services will become more accessible and affordable.

Ladakh: Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir. It is located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Himalayas to the south. The capital of Ladakh is Leh, Kargil.

On 17 January 2020, NITI Aayog and Union Territory of Ladakh sign MoU to promote the development of key infrastructure sectors in the region. It was signed between NITI Aayog Senior Adviser Dr Yogesh Suri and Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Umang Narula. The agreement was executed in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

Under this agreement, NITI Aayog will provide support to the UT’s administration through its key initiative ‘Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects (D3S-i)’.

The MoU will help towards identification of high-impact priority projects, expedited project implementation, addressing structural-level issues and creating unique models of development for the Union Territory of Ladakh, especially in tourism, solar energy and basic infrastructure.

The main purpose of D3S-i projects is creating PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects. In 2018, phase I of the project was completed. In phase I, 10 projects were selected from 400 projects that were submitted by the states. In phase II, that was completed in the year 2018-19, the selected projects entered transaction stage.

Delhi: It is officially the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT). It is a city and a union territory of India. New Delhi which is a territory in Delhi, is the capital of India. It is bordered by the state of Haryana on three sides and by Uttar Pradesh to the east. New Delhi is jointly administered by the federal government of India and the local government of Delhi, and serves as the capital of the nation as well as the NCT of Delhi. It is also the centre of the National Capital Region (NCR), which is a unique 'interstate regional planning' area created by the National Capital Region Planning Board Act of 1985. The chief Minister of Delhi is Arvind Kejriwal.

Recently, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal who is also the Chief Minister of Delhi released the ‘Guarantee Card’ of his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on 19 January 2020. Guarantee Card comprises of listing 10 promises, including, cleaning landfill sites, free bus rides for students, free electricity up to 200 units, cleaning Yamuna River, reducing pollution in Delhi over the next five years and deployment of “mohalla marshals” for women’s safety. The “guarantee card” also promises more than 11,000 buses, ensuring education of a child born in Delhi till graduation and to increase the length of the Delhi Metro network to over 500 km. The move comes just ahead of the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections 2020.

Puducherry: Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, is one of the 9 union territories of India. It was formed out of 4 territories of former French India, namely Pondichéry, Karikal, Mahé and Yanaon, excluding Chandernagore. It is named after the largest district, Puducherry. The territory changed its official name to Puducherry on 20 September 2006. It lies in the southern part of the Indian Peninsula. The Cief Minister of Puducherry is V. Narayanasamy.

Recently, Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Kiran Bedi inaugurated the 12th National Tribal Youth Exchange Programme which began in Puducherry on 19 January 2020. The programme has been jointly organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Puducherry Govt. 200 youths from Naxal-affected districts of Chattisgarh are taking part in this programme. The programme aims to provide an opportunity to the tribal youth to understand the language, cultural ethos, lifestyles of the people depicting socio–economic and development process unity in diversity aspect of our national life.

NYKS: It stands for Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. It functions under the Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports. The scheme which started in 1972 for each district in India aims at providing rural youth avenues to take part in the process of nation building and opportunities for the development of their personality and skills.

Jharkhand: Jharkhand is a state in the northeastern part India. The 28th state of the Indian Union was brought into existence by the Bihar reorganization Act on November 15, 2000. It is bordered by the states of Bihar to the north, West Bengal to the east, Odisha to the south, Chhattisgarh to the west, and Uttar Pradesh to the northwest. It was formed from what was previously the southern half of Bihar. The Chief Minister of Jharkhand is Hemant Soren and the Governor is Draupadi Murmu.

Recently, Jharkhand Government again declared January 23rd as a public holiday to mark the 123rd birth anniversary of late freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The notification to this effect was issued following order of Chief Minister Hemant Soren. He said that Jharkhand was the 'karmbhoomi' of Netaji and his contribution in getting the Independence of India could never be forgotten and all the people should take inspiration from his life. The youth of today should follow the footsteps of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and contribute to the state and the country, The day was removed from the list of holidays between 2015 and 2019 as the BJP government in 2015 had cancelled public holiday in the state on Netaji’s birthday.

123rd birth anniversary of Netaji was celebrated in India. In order to commemorate his birth anniversary,Government of India (GoI) is inaugurating a temple at Varanasi in the name of the leader with a Dalit woman as a chief priest. The temple has been built to inculcate patriotism among Indian citizens.

Subash Chandra Bose: He was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism against the British regime made him a hero in India. He was born in 23 January 1897 in Cuttack and forged his death in a plane crash in Taiwan in 1945. He was known as Netaji. He was a participant of the noncooperation movement and a leader of the Indian National Congress (INC) from 1938 to 1939. He was part of the more militant wing and known for his advocacy of socialist policies.He founded the Azad Hind Army or Indian National Army with the help of Japan in 1942. He attempted to get rid of British rule in India during World War II with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Netaji's attempt was successful. He created the slogan 'Jai Hind'. He was the first to address Bapu as 'Father of the Nation'. Netaji Subhas Candra Bose jayanti commemorates his unmatched love and patriotism for India.

Kolkata: It was initially known as Calcutta. It is the capital of India's West Bengal state. It was founded as an East India Company trading post and was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. the current Chief Minister of West Bengal is Mamta Banerjee while the Governor is Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The 44th International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) will be held from 29th January to 9th February 2020 at the Central Park Mela Complex, Kolkata. About 20 countries will be participating in the 2020 edition of IKBF. The theme for IKBF 2020 is Russia. The theme gate will be a replica of the iconic Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

The book fair will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in presence of Russian ambassador Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev. International Kolkata Book Fair is the world’s largest non-trade book fair, Asia’s largest book fair and the most attended book fair in the world.

Daman: Daman is a city in the union territory of Daman and Diu, on India's west coast. It is the capital city of the Indian union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. Daman was incorporated into the Republic of India in December 1961 after a battle between the Portuguese and the Indians.

Recently, the Centre designated Daman as the headquarters of the merged Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Central government has also approved amendments or extension or repeal in the legislations and regulations dealing with Goods and Services Tax, Value Added Tax and State Excise. The decisions were taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Gurugram: Gurgaon, officially Gurugram, is a city located in the northern Indian state of Haryana. It is the second largest city in the state of Haryana. It is one of the major satellite cities of Delhi and is part of the National Capital Region of India. The city was named after revered teacher Dronacharya of epic Mahabharata. It is believed that Dronacharya was gifted this ancestral village by his disciples, the Pandavas and Kauravas. He gave spiritual instructions to them at this place.

Recently, the Minister of State for Skill Development, Raj Kumar Singh inaugurated India's first Centre of Excellence (CoE) for ‘skill development in the power sector’ in Gurugram, Haryana.

The CoE has been established in the campus of National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram, Haryana.

It has been set up by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India (GoI), in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education and Youth, Government of France and Schneider Electric.

It has high-end modern labs which are designed keeping in mind the future technology, that will further strengthen India and France’s relationship in the energy sector.

The CoE will serve as a platform to focus on creating a pool of highly skilled trainers and assessors for further training to increase employability of candidates in the field of Electricity, Automation and Solar Energy Sectors.

Schneider Electric: Schneider Electric is a French multinational company. It provides energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. It addresses homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries, by combining energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services. The current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Jean-Pascal Tricoire.

Punjab: Punjab is a state in northern India. It is bounded by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the northeast, Haryana to the south and southeast, and Rajasthan to the southwest and by the country of Pakistan to the west. Punjab in its present form came into existence on 1 November 1966. The city of Chandigarh, within the Chandigarh union territory, is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. Punjab means "The Land of Five Waters", which are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Punjab are Captain Amarinder Singh and V.P.Singh Badnore respectively.

Recently, the Chief Minister of Punjab launched a   Mobile Application and web portal called ‘PR Insight’. The application seeks to serve as a platform for receiving feedback for people, which in turn will enable Punjab Government remove deficiencies in programmmes and schemes implemented by it.

The main objective of PR Insight is to re-orient the existing schemes and programmes of the state government to the people’s satisfaction after meticulously monitoring their feedback.

PR Insight application has been developed by the Information & Public Relations Department to provide a single repository & dashboard of all the news articles & social media posts of the State.

As many as 31 leading Newspaper agencies/portals have been integrated online with PR Insight application & portal and all the State Departments’ news articles are fetched from these newspaper agencies on real time basis.

The news articles and social media posts will be analyzed using advance analytics and sentiment analysis tools to understand citizen feedback on Government policies and perception of Governance by the citizens.

The app will monitor the citizen’s feedback and subsequently ensure responsive and transparent administration in the State.

West Bengal: West Bengal is a state in eastern India. It lies between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. It borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata. It was established on 26 January 1950. The current Chief Minister and Governor of West Bengal are Mamta Banerjee and Jagdeep Dhankhar respectively.

Recently, the Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan dedicated West Bengal’s first oil and gas reserve, ‘Bengal Basin’, to the nation.

The Bengal Basin is explored and owned by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). It is the 8th producing basins of India by ONGC.

The others seven are:

  1. Krishna-Godavari (KG)
  2. Mumbai Offshore
  3. Assam Shelf
  4. Rajasthan
  5. Cauvery
  6. Assam-Arakan Fold Belt
  7. Cambay

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited commenced the production of crude oil from the Asokenagar-1 well, Bengal Basin in 24 Paragana district of the state on 20 December 2020.

Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Its Capital city is Lucknow. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Uttar Pradesh are Yogi Adityanath and Anandiben Patel respectively.

Recently, a special campaigned named “Varasat” (natural succession) was launched by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government. This is a first of its kind campaign that has been launched to curb property & land-related disputes in rural areas.

This initiative of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath aims is to put an end the land-related issues in the rural areas and eradicate the exploitation of the villagers over succession rights by land mafias, who generally target disputed properties. The two-month-long special drive will continue till 15th February 2020.

Under the arrangements:

  1. The villagers will get both online and offline facilities for registering their ‘Varasat’.
  2. For the people who have land in the village but are living at some other place, a special counter will be opened at the Tehsil-level where they can apply for the same.
  3. People will get proper paper documents for their land property.
  4. They can even avail loans from banks.
  5. It would be helpful in minimizing disputes and animosity within families and relatives. The people would also get rid of facing law suits that sometimes trail for generations.
  6. All the information related to such land will be uploaded on the website of the revenue board based on which the progress of the scheme will be reviewed.

Manipur: Manipur is a state in northeastern India. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Myanmar lies to its east. Manipur, literally means,”the jeweled land”. It was formed on 21 January 1972. Its Capital is Imphal. The current Governor and the Chief Minister of Manipur are Najma Heptulla and Biren Singh respectively.

Recently, several development projects were launched in Manipur by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. They are as follows:

He laid the foundation stone of projects, including the Churachandpur Medical College, IT-SEZ at Mantripukhri, Manipur Bhawan in New Delhi and the Integrated Command and Control Center at Imphal.

He also inaugurated the e-office and Thoubal Multipurpose Project (Thoubal Dam) in Imphal through virtual mode which will irrigate 35,104 hectares. The Thoubal irrigation project would irrigate vast paddy fields and provide potable water in several districts.

These projects aim to bring ample employment opportunities and boost the GDP of the state immensely.

Tamil Nadu: It is located in the extreme south of the subcontinent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the east and south and by the states of Kerala to the west, Karnataka (formerly Mysore) to the northwest, and Andhra Pradesh to the north. It was formerly the Madras Presidency of British India but was renamed Madras (State) after independence in 1947. Madras (State) was again renamed Tamil Nadu in 1968. Its Capital is Chennai. The Governor and Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu are Banwarilal Purohit and Edappadi K. Palaniswami respectively.

Recently, Tamil Nadu got Mayiladuthurai as its 38th district on 28 December 2020. The district has been carved out of Nagapattinam district. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami inaugurated the district.

With Mayiladuthurai as the new district, the total number of districts in the State becomes 38.

R Lalitha, who served as the special officer for district formation has taken charge as the district collector. IPS officer Srinatha has been appointed as the superintendent of police.

The district has been formed in the state for administrative convenience and acceleration of public welfare schemes.

Earlier, the CM had announced that few new districts will be formed in the state for administrative convenience and accelerating the public welfare schemes.

As per the announcement, Chengalpattu, Tenkasi, Kallakurichu, Tirupattur and Ranipet were announced as separate districts in 2020.

Odisha: Odisha also formerly Orissa, is an Indian state located on the eastern coast of India. It neighbors the states of West Bengal and Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and Andhra Pradesh to the south. It is an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal.The capital of Odisha is Bhubaneswar. The Governor and the Chief Minister of Odisha are Ganeshi Lal and Naveen Patnaik respectvely. 

Recently, twelve new projects were sanctioned by the  Odisha state government. These projects with the worth Rs 7,295.25 lakh in an effort toward achieving sustainable agriculture and doubling of farmers' income were sanctioned on the 31st December 2020.

The projects were sanctioned during a state-level sanctioning committee meeting, which was held virtually under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

They have been launched under the Remunerative Approach for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation.

These 12 projects will be financed by the centre and state governments on a 60:40 sharing basis.

The major ones include managing all armyworm and insects on crops, promotion of soil less nursery in tribal regions, planting material support for flower cultivation, supply of mix fruit plants for backyard plantation and e-paste surveillance and management.

Karnataka: It is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganization Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. Its capital city is Bangalore. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Karnataka are B. S. Yediyurappa and Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala respectively.

Recently, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa flagged off 40 Krishi Sanjeevani vans in Bengaluru.

These vans have been launched by the state Agriculture Department with Central assistance under National Krishi Vikas Yojana to take up this novel programme.

The main objective of the initiative is to take labs to the agriculture fields to study the conditions and address the needs of the farmers about  the fertility of the soil, pest control, weeds and suitable crops in the existing conditions so that farmers get support for their farming techniques.

The Agriculture Department personnel will also be able to suggest remedies, depending on the soil, water and pests inflicting the crops.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana: It is a State Plan Scheme launched by the Government of India (GoI) in August 2007 as part of the 11th Five Year Plan. The yojana launched under the aegis of the National Developmental Council aims at achieving 4% annual growth in agriculture as well as its allied sectors.

Journalist Day: The Journalist Day is observed by Maharashtra state government on 6th January every year. This day celebrated in the memory of late journalist Balshastri Jambhekar.

The first newspaper in the Marathi language named ‘Darpan’, was published on January 6, 1832, the date which also marks the birth anniversary of Balshastri Jambhekar.

Balshastri Jambhekar: Balshastri Jambhekar, born on 6 January 1812, is also known as ‘The Father of Marathi Journalism’, for his efforts in starting journalism in Marathi language, in the form of first Marathi newspaper and first Marathi monthly.

Maharashtra: Maharashtra is a state in the western peninsular region of India occupying a substantial portion of the Deccan Plateau. It was formed on 1 May 1960 by merging the western and south-western parts of the Bombay State, Berar and Vidarbha, and the north-western parts of the Hyderabad State and splitting Saurashtra (in present-day Gujarat) by the States Reorganisation Act. Its capital is Mumbai. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Maharashtra are  Uddhav Thackeray and Bhagat Singh Koshyari respectively.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh (MP) is the second largest Indian state by area. It borders the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the west, and Rajasthan to the northwest. Its capital is Bhopal. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh is Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Lal Ji Tandon respectively.

Recently, the MP Government launched a ‘Launch Pad Scheme’ for the boys and girls coming out of child care institutions and having completed 18 years of age.

This scheme has been launched by the Women and Child Development Department of the state with an aim to provide a platform to these youth, through which they will be able to become self-reliant by continuing their education and training.

Key Highlights of the scheme:

  1. The District Administration will provide space to these youths for the opening of stationery, photocopying, computer typing, coffee shops and DTP work.
  2. All the fifty two districts of the state have been divided into five clusters with headquarters at Indore, Sagar, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur.
  3. An amount of Rs 6 lakh will be provided by the Women and Child Development Department for the installation of each launch pad.
  4. These launch pads will be operated through non-governmental organizations.

Hisar Airport: Hisar Airport belongs to the Civil Aviation Department, Haryana. It is a public licensed airport that is suitable for 18 seat type aircraft. The development of the Hisar airport was undertaken by the MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) as it aligns with the dual objectives of the UDAN scheme; "letting the common citizen of the country fly" & make air travel affordable and widespread in the country.

Recently, Government of India (GoI), under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN), flagged off the first flight to the newly constructed Hisar airport in Haryana from Chandigarh to Hisar.

India's first air taxi services in Haryana from Chandigarh to Hisar were inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

The flight was flagged off by Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister, Haryana. The flagging off marks the operationalization of the 54th airport under the UDAN scheme.

To date, 307 routes and 54 airports including 5 heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.

The airline Aviation Connectivity & Infrastructure Developers Pvt. Ltd (Air Taxi) was awarded the Hisar – Chandigarh – Hisar route under the UDAN 4 bidding process.

The airline has become the first start-up airline of the country to assist the nation with Air Taxi services.

UDAN: The full form of UDAN is ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik’. UDAN is a regional connectivity scheme spearheaded by the Government of India (GoI). This scheme aims to develop smaller regional airports to allow common citizens easier access to aviation services.

UDAN was launched under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016.The first flight under the UDAN scheme was flagged in 2017 from Bhubaneswar to Varanasi route.

Objectives of the Regional Connectivity Scheme:

  • To provide connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.
  • To make travel affordable and accessible to all.
  • To boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure for development of all regions and states of India.

Due to this yojana many underserved and un served regional airports have received regular passenger air service.  Prominent amongst these regional airports are Bhatinda, Bikaner, Agra, Porbandar, Kadappa, Pondicherry, Kandla,  Nanded, Shirdi.

Hisar: Hisar is the administrative headquarters of Hisar district of Hisar division in the state of Haryana in northwestern India. It has been identified as a counter-magnet city for the National Capital Region to develop as an alternative center of growth to Delhi. The place is India's largest galvanized iron manufacturing city.

History of Hisar: The city of 'Hisar', was originally called 'Hisar Firoza (also Hisar-e-Firoza) or in other words the 'Fort of Firoz'. But as the days rolled by, the very word 'Firoza' was dropped from its original name.

Manipur: Manipur is a state in northeastern India.It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Myanmar lies to its east. Manipur literally means, “The jeweled land”. It was formed on 21 January 1972. Its Capital is Imphal. The current Governor and the Chief Minister of Manipur are Najma Heptulla and Biren Singh respectively.

Recently, Manipur has become the 4th State in the country to successfully undertake “Urban Local Bodies (ULB)” reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance in its letter to the States dated 17th May, 2020.

The state has now joined the three other States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, who have completed this reform.

The State has now become eligible to mobilize additional financial resources of Rs.75 crore through Open Market Borrowings.

Reforms in the Urban Local Bodies and the urban utilities reforms are aimed at financial strengthening of ULBs in the States and to enable them to provide better public health and sanitation services.

Economically rejuvenated ULBs will also be able to create good civic infrastructure.

The reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure to achieve these objectives include:

  • The State will notify (a) floor rates of property tax in ULBs which are in consonance with the prevailing circle rates (i.e. guideline rates for property transactions) and (b) floor rates of user charges in respect of the provision of water-supply, drainage and sewerage which reflect current costs/ past inflation.
  • The State will put in place a system of periodic increase in floor rates of property tax/ user charges in line with price increases.

Nubra: Nubra is a subdivision and a tehsil in the union territory of Ladakh. Its inhabited areas form a tri-armed valley cut by the Nubra and Shyok rivers.

The Shyok River meets the Nubra River (or Siachan River) to form a large valley that separates the Ladakh and Karakoram Ranges. The Shyok River is a tributary of the Indus River.

Recently, the first ever Ice climbing festival was celebrated in Nubra valley of Leh.

The Seven Day event was organized by Nubra Adventure Club.

Ice climbing is a popular winter sport abroad. Taking the cue, local adventure sports lovers have explored several ice climbing spots in Nubra valley to attract the adventure tourists to the region.

To promote winter tourism in Nubra valley, Nubra Adventure Club, with the help of Social activist Dr. Nordan Otzer organized the Seven Day Ice Climbing festival.

Leh:Leh is the joint capital and largest town of the union territory of Ladakh in India. Leh was an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China for centuries. The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) is in charge of governance in Leh. It has 30 councillors, 4 nominated and 26 elected. The Chief Executive Councillor heads and chairs this council. The 'Deputy Commissioner, Leh' also holds the power of 'Chief Executive Officer of the LAHDC'. The Current Deputy Commissioner of Leh district is Sachin Kumar Vaishya.

Health Ministry Kayakalp Awards: The Kayakalp awards for the year 2019-20 were recently presented to the Public and Private Health Facilities for high standards of Sanitation and Hygiene by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan.

The awardees are:

District Hospital Reasi of J&K won First prize under the Kayakalp scheme.

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) won Second Prize under the Kayakalp scheme.
  2. AIIMS Bhubaneswar was awarded best central government hospital under Category B of Kayakalp Awards for the third consecutive time.
  3. Rairangpur Sub Divisional Hospital of Mayurbhanj district was awarded best Sub-divisional hospital community health centre category of Kayakalp Awards.

About the Awards:

The government had launched a National Initiative ‘Kayakalp’ on 15th May 2015 to ensure hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness in Public Health Facilities in India.

Health Ministry had collaborated with Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra programme, under which, one community health centre (CHCs) situated within ODF block receives one-time grant of 10 lakh rupees for undertaking improvement activities, so that the CHC becomes Kayakalp CHC.

The factors considered to present Kayakalp Awards are - Waste Management, Hospital Upkeep, Sanitation and Hygiene, Infection Control, hygiene promotion, support services and beyond hospital boundary.

The main objective of the scheme is to incentivize public health care facilities that show high performance in following protocols, infection control, cleanliness and sanitation.

It inculcates a culture of peer review of performance related to sanitation, hygiene, and infection control.

It shares and creates sustainable practices related to improving cleanliness in public health facilities.

Swachh Swasth Sarvatra: Swachh Swasth Sarvatra scheme was launched in 2016. The Swachh Swasth Sarvatra aims to strengthen community health centres in open defecation blocks, especially in the region of those Public Health Centres or hospitals that have received the Kayakalp Awards.

The three main objectives of Swachh Swasth Sarvatra isto enable Gram Panchayats where the Kayakalp awarded Public Health Centres are located to become Open Defecation Free, to strengthen the Public Health Centres to reach the Kayakalp standards through support of Rs 10 lakhs under the National Health Mission and to build capacity through training in sanitation, water and hygiene.

Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K ) is a region administered by India as a Union Territory. It was a region formerly administered by India as a state from 1954 to 2019. Provisions for the formation of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were contained within the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. The current Lieutenant Governor of J&K is GC Murmu.

Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has taken a historical initiative by pushing for the geographical indication (GI) tag for Gucchi mushroom that are produced in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Gucchi mushrooms are highly expensive and are full of health benefits. 500 grams of Gucchi mushrooms cost Rs 18,000.

Gucchi mushrooms: Gucchi mushroom is a species of fungus belonging to the family Morchellaceae. They are pale yellow in colour with large ridges and pits on their cap. They are raised on a large white stem. The Gucchi mushrooms are called “Thuntoo” locally.

These mushrooms prefer limestone-based soils. They also grow in acid soil and are usually found in early spring.

 They are referred to “May Mushrooms” in North America.

The time of fruiting of the mushrooms varies locally from February to July. In Canada, they appear only after June.

The Gucchi mushrooms are highly expensive for the following reasons:

  1. The Gucchi mushrooms cannot be cultivated commercially due to their germinating nature.
  2. They germinate and grow in low temperature soil. They usually appear after a fire.
  3. The fruit of Gucchi mushroom requires alkaline conditions, that is, wood ash is mixed with water. These standards make Gucci's commercial cultivation extremely challenging.
  4. They grow in the coniferous forests of North Akanchar, Himalayas, Chamu and Kashmir. It takes villagers several months to collect these mushrooms, dry them and bring them to the market.
  5. It takes months for the villagers to collect these mushrooms, dry them and bring them to the market.

Gucchi mushrooms grow in clusters on rotting wood, humus soil and leaves of logs. They may not grow in the same place next season. This makes the process of collection process more cumbersome.

Benifits of Gucchi Mushrooms: Gucchi mushrooms are rich in nutrients like vitamins, potassium and also rich in copper. They are also rich in vitamin D. Furthermore, they are also rich in antioxidants, which can prevent health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

GI Tag: It refers to a geographical indication tag. GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin and in order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.

Ratle Hydro Power Project: The Union Cabinet recently gave its approval for the investment of Rs.5281.94 crore for 850 MW Ratle Hydro Electric (HE) Project.

The hydel project is to be located on river Chenab, in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and shall be commissioned within a span of 60 months.

It will be implemented by a new Joint Venture Company (JVC) to be incorporated between National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDCL) with equity contribution of 51% and 49% respectively.

Benefits: The Power generated from the Project will help in providing balancing of Grid and will improve the power supply position.

Orvakal Airport: The Directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has recently accorded aerodrome licence for public use to Orvakal greenfield airport on the outskirts of Kurnool city in Andhra Pradesh.

Orvakal is one of 50 low-cost airports proposed across the country to enhance air connectivity to remote areas by grounding no-frills facilities which are energy-efficient with minimum security hold.

The foundation stone for the airport was laid in June 2017 and inaugurated in January 2019.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh is situated in the south-eastern part of India. It came into existence in its present form in 1956 as a result of the demand of the Andhras for a separate state. Its Capital is Amaravati. The current Governor and the Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh is Biswabhusan Harichandan and Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy respectively.

Statehood Day: The Indian states of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya recently celebrated their 47th Statehood Day on 21st January. On 21 January 1972, all three states became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Reorganization) Act, 1971.

The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, 1971 was a major reform of the boundaries of India's North-East region into States and union territories.

Tripura, initially a category 'C' state post-merger in 1949 and a Union Territory since November 1956 had become a full-fledged state with effect from 21st January 1972. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb attended a 'Sadbhavna Yatra Programme' organized by the Yuba Vikash Kendra at Ujjayanta Palace.

In Manipur, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh graced the celebration held at 1st Manipur Rifles Parade Ground in Imphal.

In Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma led the celebration by sending out his greetings of the day to the citizens of Meghalaya. As part of the celebration, various awards were also given to those who have excelled in various fields including, sports, arts and culture and social work. Gallantry awards were also distributed to police personnel of the Meghalaya Police.

Note: Before the north-eastern area transformed into seven sisters with statehood of Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, the territorial creation of the North East involved Assam plains from the Old Assam Province, hill regions, and the North Eastern Frontier Tracts (NEFT) of North-Eastern border land.

Manipur and Tripura were merged into India in 1949 (as part C states) and were granted joint status of Union Territories in 1956.

According to the sixth timetable of the Indian Constitution, in Assam, Meghalaya obtained the status of an autonomous state through the Assam State Reorganization (Meghalaya) Act 1969.

Meghalaya obtained full statehood under the Northeast Region (Reorganization) Act of 1971.

Finally, in 1972, the Northeast Reorganization Act of 1971 granted Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur were granted full statehood.

OPGW: The full form of OPGW is Optical Ground Wire (OPGW). Recently, to improve telecom connectivity in hilly areas, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) signed an agreement with Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Ltd. (HPSEBL) in Shimla (H.P.) for utilization of 500 Kms of OPGW Telecom network.

Telecom Service providers, through this OPWG Network will be able to provide uninterrupted mobile/Internet services to the people of the state.

An optical ground wire is also known as an OPGW or, in the IEEE standard, an optical fiber composite overhead ground wire. It is a type of cable that is used in overhead power lines. Such cable combines the functions of grounding and communications.

This total 850 Kms long telecom network will enable POWERGRID Telecom to reach remote areas of Kangra, Una, Mandi, Kullu, Bilaspur, Sirmour, Palampur, Sundernagar, Banikhet, Amb, Paonta Sahib, Nahan etc.

Construction of OPGW:

  1. OPGW is optical fiber composite ground wire.
  2. This cable contains a tubular structure having one or more optical fiber and surrounded by layers of aluminium and steel wires.
  3. This layer of aluminium and steel wires serves to connect the tower to the ground.
  4. The optical fiber within the cable is used for the high speed data telemetry between the utilities or sold to some third parties for high speed fiber interconnection between the cities.

Note: The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), a ‘Maharatna’ CPSE under Ministry of Power, Government of India and Central Transmission Utility (CTU) of India, is India’s principal power transmission company and also one of the largest power transmission utilities in the world. It started its commercial operation in the year 1992-93.

Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh is a northern Indian state in the Himalayas. It is situated in the Western Himalayas, it is one of the eleven mountain states of India. Its summer capital is shimla and winter capital is Dharamshala. The current Governor and Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh are Bandaru Dattatreya and Jai Ram Thakur respectively.

ShramShakti: It is the name of the National Migration Support Portal. The ShramShakti portal wa recently launched by The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda in Panjim, Goa.

Objectives of the Shramshakti Portal:

  1. The portal will help the government in smooth formulation of state and national level programs for migrant workers. It will also address the data gap and empower migrant workers who generally migrate in search of employment and income generation.
  2. The various data that will be recorded via Shram Shakti include demographic profile, livelihood options, skill mapping and migration pattern.
  3. The government would also be able to link the migrant population with existing Welfare Scheme- under Atam Nirbhar Bharat.

In addition, the minister also launched “ShramSaathi”, a training manual for migrant workers, to ensure that the process of livelihood migration is safe and productive.

Apart from this, a dedicated Migration cell was too launched in Goa to facilitate and support migrants who come from different States to Goa.

This makes Goa first destination state of India to set up a dedicated migration cell to address diverse issues of migrant workers.