Centre approves mega Rs 7-lakh crore project to develop 83,000 km highways in 5 years
On October 24, 2017, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a mega plan to build thousands of kilometres of roads and highways across India over the next five years.
i. As per the broad contours of the plan, 83677 km of roads, highways, green-field expressways and bridges will be constructed in a phased manner.
ii. 34800 km of highways will be constructed in the first phase of this plan which will be completed by year 2022. The first phase will entail an investment of nearly 7 lakh crore…
Ministries of Power & Textiles jointly launches SAATHI to help small Industries
On 24th October 2017, Ministries of Power and Textiles jointly launched SAATHI (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries).
i. Under the SAATHI initiative, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), would provide energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits to the small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost. EESL is a public sector entity under the administrative control of Ministry of Power.
ii. The SAATHI initiative will be jointly implemented by EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner, all over India. To initiate the implementation, cluster wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organized in main clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.
iii. The use of these efficient equipments would result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner and he would repay in installments to EESL over a period of 4 to 5 years.
About Ministry of Textiles:
♦ Minister of Textiles – Smriti Irani
♦ Minister of State for Textiles – Ajay Tamta
Madhya Pradesh govt shelves plan to shift to Jan-Dec fiscal format
Madhya Pradesh State Government has shelved off its plan to switch to January-December financial year format from 2018.
i. In May 2017, Madhya Pradesh was the first state to announce that starting from 2018, it will switch to January-December financial from the existing April-March cycle.
ii. It was also announced that current fiscal works will be completed by December 2017 and next year’s budget will be presented by end of December 2017 or in beginning of January 2017.
iii. This decision by MP state government was inspired from PM Narednra Modi’s speech at NITI Aayog’s governing council meet in April 2017, in which he mentioned that there have been suggestions to change the financial year.
iv. However, on October 24, 2017, Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jayant Malaiyastated that, the state government will switch to the new financial year format only after Central Government does so.
Odisha will be the ‘Focus State’ at World Food India-2017
Odisha will be the ‘Focus State’ in the World Food India (WFI)-2017, the international food event to be held at New Delhi from 3 to 5 November 2017.
Odisha at World Food India-2017:
i. More than 200 global companies from 30 countries would participate in the World Food India-2017. Odisha will be the ‘Focus State’ in the event.
ii. Odisha would set up its own Pavilion with 12 stalls. It would showcase various processed food items of Odisha like spices, cashew, confectionary items, processed agro food and sea food.
iii. Odisha Sea Food Exporters’ Association along with directorate of fisheries would showcase items from sea food sector. Directorate of Horticulture and APICOL (The Agricultural Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited) along with local industry would showcase the processed agro food items and spices.
iv. 277 entrepreneurs from Odisha would participate in the event. A Seminar on “Potential of Food Processing Sector in Odisha” will also be held on 3rdNovember 2017.
About World Food India-2017:
♦ Dates – 3 – 5 November 2017
♦ Venue – Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi
♦ Organisers – Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
Chhat Pooja celebrations begin in Bihar
On 24th – 27th October 2017, Chhat Pooja is celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
i. Chhath Puja is one of the most ancient Hindu Vedic festivals. The festival is observed for 4 days. It is dedicated to lord Surya, the Hindu Sun god and his wife Usha.
ii. Pujas are performed to obtain their blessings and support to sustain life on earth. The main day, or Chhath, falls on October 26. It is named so, because chhath means sixth, which is the sixth day of the month of Kartika.
iii. The first day is known as Nahay Khay. Devotees take holy dip in river Ganga to cleanse themselves of sins and fasts are observed by women. On the second day, devotees observe Lohanda and Kharna and some women observe fast from sunrise to sunset.
iv. On the third day (Chhath), devotees observe fast without even drinking water. Offerings to the setting sun, known as Arghya are performed on this day. After fasting for 36 hours the fast is broken on the final day.
Other festivals celebrated in Bihar:
♦ Sama Chakeva – celebrated when the birds migrate from the Himalayas towards the plains
♦ Shravani Mela – celebrated during the month of Shravan (July-August)
♦ Sonepur Cattle Fair – Asia’s largest cattle fair which takes place in the town of Sonepur in Bihar
Madras High Court bans photos of living persons on banners
On 24th October 2017, the Madras high court banned the use of pictures of living persons on banners and hoardings in Tamil Nadu.
Photos of living persons on banners banned:
i. The Madras High Court has banned the use of photographs or pictures of living persons on banners, flex boards and signboards in Tamil Nadu.
ii. The order states that, pictures of the chief minister, ministers or politicians cannot be used in posters or hoardings. It has also banned the use of photos of people sponsoring the pictures.
iii. The Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu government to make sure that provisions of the Tamil Nadu open places (prevention of disfigurement) act, 1959, were amended from time to time.
About Madras High Court:
♦ Chief Justice – Indira Banerjee
♦ Principal Seat – Chennai
♦ Circuit Bench – Madurai