The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 20 July 2016 gave its approval for installation of Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) of 1980 MW capacity through a Joint Venture Company.The Joint Venture Company is named as Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited (NUPPL). The company is formed jointly by Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC) and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (UPRVUNL).The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of 17237.8 crore rupees.The estimated cost includes Interest During Construction component of 3202.42 crore rupees.The commissioning of Unit I, II and III will be 52 months, 58 months and 64 months respectively from starting date.The benefits of the generation will be available in the XIII Five Year Plan.The energy generated by the project (about 14000 MU/annum) will mainly be supplied to Uttar Pradesh.Ministry of Coal had allotted Pachwara South coal block in Jharkhand State for meeting the coal requirement of the GTPS.
Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigation in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri title suit, died on 20 July 2016 due to heart-related complications in the temple city of Ayodhya. He was 95.Ansari, born in Ayodhya, was one of the seven main litigants from Muslim side in the 1949 Babri Masjid case regarding placing of Lord Rama idols in the premises. He was the lone surviving litigant of the case.
Hashim Ansari:He was among the persons who were arrested for breaching public peace after the episode in which idols of Lord Ram were planted in the mosque.In 1952, he was sentenced to two years in jail by a Faizabad court for giving the azaam, a call for namaz, in the disputed mosque.In 1961, he along with six others became the main plaintiff in the ‘Ayodhya title suit’ filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board in the court of Faizabad civil judge.
The annual ‘Ramayana Month’ began in Kerala with temples and Hindu houses across the state resonating with the chanting of the epic Ramayana. Karkkidakam’, the last month in the Malayalam almanac, is observed as the auspicious Ramayana month in the kerala.
It has been a decades-old tradition that devotees, especially elders, recite “Adhyatma Ramayana” authored by medieval devotional poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, in the next one month to mark the period.Special Ramayana recital and classes were held in major temples in the state as part of the beginning of the month.Spiritual classes and discourses on Ramayana by experts would be conducted in various temples, including at the famed Sree Krishna Temple in Guruvayur till the end of the ‘karkkidakam’ month.The ritualistic ‘Anayoottu’, a feeding ceremony of elephants, at Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur also used to fall on the first day of ‘karkkidakam’.A number of elephants were fed with jaggery, ghee, rice, coconut, sugarcane, medicinal herbs and so on at the grand old temple today as part of the feast.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on 20 July 2016 announced that launch of National Electoral Roll Purification (NERP) 2016 programme across the country.The programme was launched to improve health of Electoral Rolls (ERs) and to optimize the Polling Station (PS) location and area across the country.The motto of ECI for the year 2016 is No voter to be left behind.
Objectives of NERP 2016:
Improving Health of ERs by inclusion of all eligible citizens in mission mode by: ERs to be made free from errors.Single ER entry for every eligible elector with unique Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number.Removal of all Absent (A)/ Shifted (S)/ Dead (D) electors’ entries and Repeat Entries (REs).Ensuring Photo Electoral Rolls (PERs) with good quality correct images of every elector confirming to ECI standards, and linking Electors with ECI by obtaining their contact details.
The Union Cabinet on 20 July 2016 approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 to protect transgenders from discrimination.Through this Bill, the Government aims to evolve a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of the transgenders.
• The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society.
• It will lead to greater inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.
• It will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Bill.
• It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Union Government and State Governments for issues concerning Transgender persons.
The Union Cabinet on 20 July 2016 approved signing of the Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique.Till now, there was no Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique. In order to promote the air connectivity between the two countries, the two sides initiated the process of consultation in 2011 to finalize the text of Air Services Agreement.
Highlights of the Air Services Agreement:
• Multiple designation of Airlines by each party.
• The designated Airline of each party can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party, other party and that of a Third party.
• It allows designated airlines of either countries to establish offices in the territory of other country for the promotion and sale of air services.
• The designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes.
• It also has the provisions relating to Suspension of Operating Authorization, Principles governing operations of agreed services, commercial opportunities, safety and security related clause.