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- The Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari announced that the Centre would soon take up a major project to Link Rivers Godavari and Cauvery. The project aims to make good use of about 1100 tmc ft of Godavari water that is currently getting drained into the Bay of Bengal. The project would take the water from river Godavari to the tail end of Tamil Nadu.
- The Global Talent Competitive Index prepared by the INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group was released on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2019. Switzerland topped the list. Even though India has moved up one position to rank 80th on the global talent competitive index, India remains a laggard among the BRICS nations.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated two surveys namely, Industrial Outlook Survey (IOS), and Services and Infrastructure Outlook Survey (SIOS). The two quarterly surveys aim to examine the current situation including the job scenario in India’s manufacturing, services and infrastructure sectors. The IOS and SIOS would provide useful insight into the performance of the manufacturing sector and services and infrastructure sectors in India respectively.
- A Fitch Group company, India Ratings has released its report on states’ finances. The states revenue account on aggregate is expected to clock a deficit of 0.5 per cent of GDP in the financial year 2019-20 due to higher growth in revenue expenditure than in revenue receipts. Loan waiver and other support measures for farmers are expected to raise the aggregate fiscal deficit of states to 3.2 per cent in 2018-19.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana. Under the scheme, a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year. The first batch of 40 people participated in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 held in Varanasi. People of Indian-origin aged 45 to 65 can apply can avail the benefits under the scheme.
- The Supreme Court has announced that it would take ‘in-chamber’ decision on listing of plea challenging Article 35-A. Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to decide who all are ‘permanent residents’ of the State and confer on them special rights and privileges in public sector jobs, acquisition of property in the State, scholarships and other public aid and welfare. Article 35A was incorporated into the Constitution in 1954. A petition has been filed by NGO ‘We The Citizens” challenging the constitutional validity of both Article 35A and Article 370.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23, 2019 inaugurated the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose museum at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi to mark the leader’s 122nd birth anniversary. The museum showcases various artefacts related to Subhash Chandra Bose and Indian National Army. The PM also unveiled two more new museums inside the Red Fort compound – the Yaad-e-Jallian Museum (museum on the Jallianwala Bagh and World War I) and the Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence.
- The Government on January 21, 2019 constituted a Standing Committee headed by NITI Aayog to oversee the drug pricing regime. The constitution of the Committee is seen as a move that would curb the powers of the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) when it comes to regulating the prices of medicines in the country. The setting up of the Committee comes in the backdrop of recent clashes between the health and pharma ministries over regulating the prices of drugs and medicines.
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