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- The new government of Rajasthan has abolished the condition of a minimum educational qualification to contest local body elections. The cabinet also decided on holding the election of mayors and chairman’s in corporations through the direct system instead of the indirect method introduced by the previous government through the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015.
- The oil marketing companies have launched Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Initiative, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Odisha. Around 100 local manufacturing units will be set up by oil marketing companies at Common Service Centres (CSCs) across 93 blocks in all 30 districts of Odisha. The oil companies have started this initiative on a pilot basis and would be expanded across the state if the module gets success.
- Khushi scheme of Odisha aims to provide good menstrual hygiene care to women of the state. The initiative aims to promote health and hygiene among school going adolescent girls leading to higher retention in school and greater empowerment of women. The scheme is being implemented at a cost of Rs 70 crore per year. The government of Odisha is also providing sanitary napkins to rural women at subsidised rates of Rs. 6 for six napkins through ASHA workers.
- The Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the loan subsidy for the middle-income group under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) has been extended till 31st March 2020. The Minister said that more than Rs 6900 cr interest subsidy on housing loans has been disbursed to over 3.14 lakh beneficiaries of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
- India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year. Mandhana was also adjudged as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year. Smriti Mandhana has become the second Indian woman player to win an ICC award after fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, who was named the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007.
- Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured her third consecutive term and fourth overall in the nation’s general elections. The results were announced by the Election Commission on December 31, 2018. Sheikh Hasina’s ruling party Bangladesh Awami League and its allies won 288 of the 299 parliamentary seats contested. The ruling coalition has reportedly won more than 80 per cent of votes, making it the strongest governments in South Asia.
- The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said that India will witness strong economic growth in 2019, despite external vulnerabilities arising from rising oil prices, the US-China trade war and America’s monetary tightening. CII said better demand conditions, settled GST implementation, capacity expansion from growing investments in infrastructure and improved credit off take will sustain the robust GDP growth in the range of 7.5 per cent in 2019.
- The Delhi government has decided to erect ‘Welcome Gate’ at 12 border points of the national capital by next year. The welcome gates will be put up at Delhi’s main border points. The new welcome gates are expected to have an attractive look with colourful lights and an inscription reading ‘Welcome to Delhi’ on the top. The move is aimed at giving a pleasing look to the commuters entering the capital. The project will be executed by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC).
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