#1. Tamil Nadu has introduced smart cards for the driving licence applicants
6 hours ago
Tamil Nadu has launched smart cards in place of printed documents for the driving licence applicants and vehicle owners in the city. The smart card, embedded with a computer chip, will have several security features.
The smart card system for licences and vehicle registration was inaugurated by Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar at a function at the Regional Transport Office South Chennai, Thiruvanmiyur.
The smart card would be produced according to the specifications issued by the Centre and will have two sections, VIZ (Visual Interpretation Zone) and MRZ (Machine Readable Zone). The smart card has several security features.
#2. Maharashtra Cabinet approved the implementation of a Women Safety Initiative scheme
9 hours ago
The Maharashtra State Cabinet approved the implementation of a ‘Women Safety Initiative scheme’ at a cost of Rs.252 crore. The initiative comes under the Centre’s Nirbhaya scheme, started in 2013 to enhance women’s safety. The Central government has approved implementation of the scheme under the Safe City Project to curb atrocities against women in public places. This will be implemented in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.
The Centre will spend 60% under the scheme, which works out to Rs.151.20 crore, while Maharashtra will spend 40% or Rs.100.80 crore.
The scheme includes enhancing existing CCTV systems and their reach. The funds will be used to initiate SOS hotspots and developing a ‘Track Me’ mobile application, which will be used to send alert messages to known persons in case of emergency. The project also aims to check online abuse of women.
#3. Maharashtra State Cabinet approved Rs.100 crore for the construction of a memorial of founder Bal Thackeray
9 hours ago
The Maharashtra State Cabinet approved Rs.100 crore for the construction of a memorial of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. The funds approved will come from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which will undertake the construction of the memorial and will later be refunded by the government.
In December, the Cabinet had waived Rs.14.41 crore in stamp duty on the lease agreement for the bungalow. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced in 2015 that the Thackeray memorial will be built at the Mayor Bungalow in Dadar.
#4. Svamaan Financial Services launched a microfinance venture
9 hours ago
Anushree Jindal founder of Svamaan Financial Services, a microlender, has launched a microfinance venture, initially in two States, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It aims in expanding into banking services in the future.
Svamaan Financial Services recently received Reserve Bank of India’s approval for starting operations, will offer financial products to unbanked and under-banked sections of the population.
Initially, the Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) will focus on Karnataka and Maharashtra with plans to enter the eastern markets of Orissa and Chhattisgarh by 2020. Svamaan aims to reach 100,000 customers by 2021.
#5. Researchers developed a system producing fuel from Carbon dioxide
9 hours ago
Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea, developed a system that can produce electricity and hydrogen fuel from carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming.
The Hybrid Na-CO2 system can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen through efficient carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion with the stable operation for over 1,000 hours. The key to that technology is the easy conversion of chemically stable CO2 molecules to other materials. The new system has solved this problem with CO2 dissolution mechanism.
#6. NWR won the Total Cleanliness Survey conducted by IRCTC
9 hours ago
North Western Railway (NWR) won the ‘Total Cleanliness Survey’ by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). IRCTC conducted a cleanliness survey that covered 209 trains. The survey aimed at the progress of the ‘Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat’ mission and promote healthy competition among trains.
North Western Railway (NWR) topped the zonal rankings in the ‘Premium’ category trains, and Southern Railway, which came out on top in the ‘Other than Premium’ category’ trains.
The ‘Premium’ trains included the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Tejas, and Gatiman while Sampark Kranti, Intercity, Jan Shatabdi and other Mail and Express trains were grouped under the ‘Other than Premium’ category.
#7. Jharkhand CM tabled an estimated Rs.85,429 crore budget in the SLA
10 hours ago
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das tabled an estimated Rs.85,429 crore budget for the financial year 2019-20 in the State Assembly. Out of the total budget, Rs.65,803 crore is on the head of revenue expenditure while Rs.19,626 crore is on capital expenditure.
25%, that is, Rs.27,142.60 crore has been earmarked for the development of ST/SC areas. Mr. Das, presenting his fifth straight budget who also holds charge of the Finance Department.
Governor: Draupadi Murmu
Chief Minister: Raghubar Das
#8. Omega Healthcare inks MoU with IIIT-Bangalore
14 hours ago
Omega Healthcare Management Services signed a pact with IIIT-Bangalore for advanced use of latest technology in providing healthcare solutions.
This MoU was signed to build industry-grade AI engines that can be embedded as part of Omega’s business solutions to solve healthcare business challenges.
#9. India decided to take back 31 stranded Rohingya refugees
14 hours ago
India has decided to take back 31 Rohingya stranded on the International Border between Bangladesh and Tripura and sent them to custody with the Tripura police.
The decision to take back the group of refugees ended a standoff between the Indian Border Security Force (IBSF) personnel, and the Border Guards of Bangladesh. India also contested claims by Bangladeshi officials that the BSF was forcibly pushing the refugees over the border from its side.
♦ Rohingya is a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar
♦ The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic-minority group lived for centuries in Myanmar. The majority are Muslim while a minority are Hindu
♦ According to Myanmar government, they are illegal immigrants migrated to Rakhine following Burmese independence and the Bangladesh liberation war
♦ UN's report 2013 stated that they are one of the world’s most persecuted minorities
#10. Facebook to Set Up Institute for AI Ethics with Initial Investment of $7.5 Million
14 hours ago
Social media giant Facebook announced that it will create an independent Institute for Ethics in Artificial intelligence (AI) with an initial investment of $7.5 million over a period of five years.
Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany will collaborate with this project which aims to explore fundamental issues affecting the use and impact of AI.
Initial funding will be provided by Facebook but the institute will look for other funding opportunities for additional partners and agencies in the coming years.
♦ Headquarters: California, US
♦ Co-founder, Chairman and CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
♦ Facebook India Head: Ajith Mohan
#11. India signed 11 MoUs worth $9.5 million with Afghanistan
15 hours ago
India signed 11 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Afghanistan for 26 projects worth 9.5 million dollars in the field of infrastructure, public services such as health clinics and governance-related projects.
The MoUs signed will involve the construction of classrooms, orphanages, health clinics, canal protection walls and enhancing economic opportunities for women.
The projects will be developed in seven provinces of Afghanistan- Balkh, Ghor, Herat, Kabul, Bamyan, Badghis and Kapisa.
It will help local communities in education, employment and livelihood generation and capacity building.
These projects which are part of 577 community-based Small Development Projects (SDP) are being funded by India from 2005-2021 and worth $120 million.
#12. Flamingo festival in Andhra Pradesh
15 hours ago
A visual treat for birdwatchers began.
The Flamingo Festival, kicked-off at Pulicat Lake and Nellapattu in Sullurpet mandal, Andhra Pradesh
Flamingo Festival is a 12-year-long tradition of the region.
The main highlight of this fest is the sight of colorful migratory birds from Siberia that visit the region for nesting and breeding.
#13. Assam govt to give 10% quota to economically weaker sections in general category
15 hours ago
Assam Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has approved 10 percent quota for the economically weaker sections of the general category in government employment and government education institutes.
The cabinet also approved the guidelines for disbursement of ₹5,000 each to five lakh farmers of the state under theMukhya Mantri Krishi Sa Sajuli Yozana for the purchase of farm tools and implements.
In another decision, the Cabinet approved a loan amount of ₹95 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) from NABARD, in-order to construct and strengthen embankments, dykes and other infrastructure across the state.
Furthermore, the cabinet also approved incentives for government doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers under Ayushman Bharat & Atal Amrit Abhiyan.
#14. India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference inaugurated in Mumbai
15 hours ago
The fourth edition International Exhibition & Conference on Steel Industry, India Steel 2019 Exhibition and Conference was organized by Ministry of Steel in association with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at NSE Complex Goregaon, Mumbai.
The theme of the event is “Balancing Steel Demand & Supply Dynamics: Building a New India”.
The three-day event provided an opportunity for all the stakeholders to deliberate and identify ways to contribute to building a robust roadmap for the further growth of the steel sector.
The biennial event will see over 250 exhibiting companies from 15 countries, over 200 International buyers and more than 10 thousand business visitors both from India and abroad.
A Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM) is also planned during India Steel Expo 2019 where more than 300 Foreign Buyers from Africa, CIS, Middle East, Developing Asia including SAARC and other important regions will be invited and hosted by the FICCI.
The India Steel-2019 is part of a series of initiatives to develop a globally competitive steel industry in line with National Steel Policy (NSP)-2107 which envisages production of 300 million tonnes of steels by 2030-31.
India becomes the second largest producer of crude steel during 2018.
#15. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate first interstate bridge in J&K
16 hours ago
Nitin Gadkari to inaugurate first interstate bridge in Jammu and Kashmir.It was built at a cost of Rs 150 crore in a span of three and a half years linking areas of Kathua district with Punjab.
The bridge also called a Keediyan-Gandiyal bridge is 1.2 km-long on the river Ravi.