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- Kerala Government has decided to appoint KPMG as project consultant partner for rebuilding state ravaged by recent massive floods. This decision was taken at state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Beisdes, Tata Project Ltd was entrusted with task of reconstructing roads, buildings and bridges destroyed in rain fury at Pamba, the foothills of famous Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala. The services of KPMG rendered for projects related to revamping to Kerala will be free of cost.
- Union Home Ministry has announced that Census 2021 for the first time in independent India will collect data on Other Backwards Castes (OBCs). This comes more than 25 years after implementation of 27% reservation for OBCs based on Mandal Commission’s recommendations on basis of last castes data collected in 1931 census. This decision was taken in meeting the roadmap for undertaking the Census in 2021 chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. This census data on OBCs will play an important role in sub-categorisation.
- The merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India has been completed after it was cleared by National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). This merger has created India’s biggest telecom service provider. The merged entity is named Vodafone Idea Ltd and dislodges current market leader Bharti Airtel from top position, by its sheer size and scale. New board has been constituted for merged entity with 12 directors (including six independent directors) and Kumar Mangalam Birla as its chairman.
- With signing and adoption of Kathmandu Declaration by all the seven members (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand) the 4th BIMSTEC Summit concluded in Kathmandu. 18-point Kathmandu Declaration aims to enhance effectiveness of BIMSTEC Secretariat by engaging it in various technical and economic activities in the region. After conclusion of summit, current chair of BIMSTEC, Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli also handed over Chairmanship of next (fifth) BIMSTEC Summit to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. During this summit, foreign ministers of BIMSTEC member countries had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection.
- China-Maldives Friendship Bridge was recently opened for traffic. It is first cross-sea Bridge to be built in Maldives. It was China’s flagship infrastructure project in Maldives. It is considered as iconic project of China and Maldives cooperation towards building 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China-Maldives Friendship Bridge connects Maldives capital city Male and neighbouring Hulhule Island where island country’s main international airport is located. It is 2.2 km long bridge and has four vehicle lanes and two pedestrian lanes.
- Union Ministry of Women and Child Development recently had inaugurated widows’ home ‘Krishna Kutir’ at Vrindavan in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Krishna Kutir is special home for 1000 widows set under Swadhar Greh scheme and is the largest ever facility of its kind created by government organization. It was constructed to mitigate the plight of widows living in pathetic condition in Vrindavan. Swadhar Greh Scheme is implemented by Union Ministry of Women and Child Development with an aim to ensure economic and social security to women in distress.
- The 3rd edition of world’s biggest open innovation model ‘Smart India Hackathon 2019’ was launched by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. The 2019 edition is a nationwide initiative, which aims to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems faced by people in their daily lives and thus, inculcate a culture of product innovation and a mindset of problem-solving.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for implementation of an umbrella scheme ‘Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)’ during the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 at an overall cost of Rs 1623 crore. The scheme covers a total of 16 sub-projects, which address ocean development activities. The implementation of the scheme will help address issues related to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which emphasises on the conservation of the oceans and marine resources.
- Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh for the construction of the Rs 3966.51 crore Lakhwar Multi-Purpose projects in the Upper Yamuna Basin near Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The Lakhwar project was initially approved in 1976 but work on the project was suspended in 1992. The Lakhwar project envisages construction of a 204 m high concrete dam across river Yamuna near Lohari village in Dehradun with a live storage capacity of 330.66 MCM. This storage will provide irrigation for 33780 hectares land and availability of 78.83 MCM water for domestic, drinking and industrial use in the six basin states.
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