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- Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, on July 9, 2018 launched several new initiatives under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and the Smart Cities Mission. These included the India Smart Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program; India Smart Cities Internship (ISCI) Program; Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018; and CITIIS Challenge under the Smart Cities Mission. The Ministry also announced the implementation of the Local Area Plan (LAP) or Town Planning Scheme (TPS) in 25 cities on pilot basis under the AMRUT.
- The Union Government has granted the Institutions of Eminence (IoEs) status to six institutions including 3 from Public Sector and 3 from Private Sector. The decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations given by an Empowered Expert Committee (EEC). The aim of the Institutions of Eminence scheme is to bring the selected higher educational institutions in the worlds top 500 in the next 10 years and eventually in top 100. The scheme has been launched with an objective to provide world-class teaching and research facilities to Indian students within the country and enhance general level of education of the country.
- Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, formulated an action plan for realising the full potential of Cruise Tourism in the country. The Action Plan focuses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and lays a lot of emphasis on publicising the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise Tourism in the country and areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort in the city, and nearby areas like Kanhoji Angre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg, would be developed as attractive tourist destinations.
- The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched Saathi, a mobile help centre to reach out to people undertaking annual pilgrimage to 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath. It will provide help and information to yatris staying in camps outside the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu. This will be in addition to security provided by CRPF to the yatra routes. CRPF personnel of Saathi mobile help centre will be visiting various camps in Jammu and apprise pilgrims about security measures to be kept in mind. CRPF is the largest central armed police force or paramilitary force in India with total 246 Battalions. It functions under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Fertiliser cooperative major IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited) has entered into strategic partnership with two leading South Korean firms to explore business opportunities in agri-machinery and farm credit sectors. These two firms are LS Mtron Ltd, a South Korean agriculture equipment manufacturer and NH Capital co. Ltd., South Koreas leading financial services provider. IFFCO is large scale fertiliser cooperative federation in India which is registered as Multistate Cooperative Society founded in 1967 headquartered in New Delhi.
- The first India Tourism Mart (IMT) will be held in New Delhi from 16 September 2018 to create a global tourism mart for India on lines of major international travel marts. It will be organized by Ministry of Tourism in partnership with Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH). India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) will coordinate the whole event. IMT will provide platform for States to showcase their products to international buyers, opinion makers and bloggers and attract more tourists to their respective states.
- Gujarat Government has granted religious minority status to Jews living in the state. In this regard, States Department of Social Justice and Empowerrment has issued GR to this effect. Gujarat is third state in India to grant religious minority status to Jews after West Bengal and Maharashtra (first). As religious minority members professing faith of Judaism, Jews in the states will get religious minority rights envisaged in Constitution of India and various acts and rules of the state government.
- China successfully launched two remote sensing satellites PRSS-1 and PakTes-1A of Pakistan on board of Long March-2C rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was overall 279th mission for the Long March rocket series (mainly used to send satellites into low Earth or Sun-synchronous orbits) and first international commercial launch in nearly two decades after it carried Motorolas Iridium satellites into orbit in 1999. The launch of the two satellites marks another-space cooperation between China and its all-weather ally Pakistan.
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