- Niti Aayog ranking: Ranchi, Begusarai worst performers on growth indices
- Bihar’s Begusarai and Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi are among the worst performing districts, as per the first Delta rankings that show incremental progress for the aspirational districts, released by Niti Aayog recently.
- Launched by the Prime Minister in January, the ‘Aspirational Districts’ programme aims to quickly and effectively transform these districts. The incremental improvement of aspirational districts captures development in districts on health, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development as well as basic infrastructure indices.
- The results show that Telangana, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have achieved maximum progress while Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir along with UP have to work a lot harder to achieve their targets.
- Out of 108 districts identified from 28 states, Begusarai in Bihar with 0.8 points is ranked 107th while Ranchi is one notch above at 106th rank with 1.2 points. Banka (103) and Khagaria (104) in Bihar and Simdega (105) in Jharkhand are the other worst performing districts.
- Begusarai, as per the baseline ranking done in March 2018, was ranked 43rd while Ranchi stood at 32nd spot.
- The only solace for these two states is the performance of Ramgarh (17th rank, Jharkhand) and Aurangabad (21st rank, Bihar). Both these districts were ranked 29th and 52nd, as per the baseline ranking.
- Other Bihar and Jharkhand districts that figure in top 50 are Khunti (31), Pakur (34), both in Jharkhand and Gaya (43), Sitamarhi (50) in Bihar.
- In health and nutrition sector, which focuses on antenatal, postnatal care, gender parity, health of newborn, growth of children, health infrastructure, etc., Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi is ranked 107th and Bihar’s Jamui 106th, signifying least development in this sector. However, Jharkhand’s Khunti district is ranked fifth in the same segment.
- Jharkhand’s Ramgarh, Khunti, Purbi Singhbhum and Latehar have performed well in infant’s health category while Bihar’s Nawada and Muzaffarpur have developed medical infrastructure considerably.
- PM’s flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana for skill development saw Jharkhand’s two districts, Palamu (3rd) and Lohardaga (4th), improve their ranking.
· UK launched new visas for Indian scientists, academics
- The new UKRI Science, Research and Academia scheme opened for researchers, scientists and academics from outside the European Union (EU) to come to the UK for up to two years.
- The scheme will be operated by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
- This Scheme is being added to the already existing Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa route.
- The Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange (GAE) is the principal visa route by which professionals from outside the European Economic Area who wish to undertake training and work experience are able to come to the UK.
- First ever ‘India Tourism Mart’ to be hosted in New Delhi
- The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, Shri. K. J. Alphons announced that the Tourism Ministry in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with the support of State /UT Governments will organize the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM) from 16th to 18th September, 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
- The objective of the event is to create an annual Global Tourism Mart for India in line with major international travel marts being held in countries across the world.
- The Mart will provide a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to interact and transact business opportunities.
- Govt sets norms on noise at airports
- The Union environment ministry has issued a notification setting noise standards for all airports across the country. The limits, however, exclude defence aircrafts, and those that are landing and taking-off.
- The notification issued on June 18 states that noise standards within the overall boundary for various airports are equivalent and applicable as ‘Industrial Zones’
- The noise limits specified shall replace and supersede the ambient air quality in respect of noise limits of existing zones: silence, residential, and commercial areas.
- The rules state that busy airports — a civil airport with more than 50,000 aircraft movements per year (take-off or a landing) – should not exceed noise levels beyond 75 dB(A) Leq (decibels) during the day time (6am to 10pm) and 65 dBA during the night (10pm to 6am).
· Central government granted ‘Institution of eminence’ status to 6 institutes
- IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, BITS Pillani and Jio Institute have been granted ‘Institution of eminence’ tag by Human Resource Development Ministry.
- Government institutions with this tag will get special funding of Rs 1,000 croreover the next five years.
- The aim of the “Institutions of Eminence” scheme is to bring selected higher educational institutions in top 500 of world ranking in the next 10 years and in top 100 eventually overtime.
- The scheme has been launched with an objective to provide world class teaching and research facilitiesto Indian students within the country and enhance general level of education of the country.
· Centre announces cities to compete to get the loan of Rs. 809 crore lent by France for 15 Smart Cities projects
- Four months afterAgence française de développement(AFD), the French development bank, signed a €100 millionloan agreement for Smart Cities Mission, the Centre has now announced a new challenge process to select 15 projects for the funding in one of the four sectors: sustainable mobility, public open spaces, urban governance and ICT and organisational innovation in low-income settlements.
- Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri announced that every city should compete to get the funding. The challenge process would be conducted by the National Institute for Urban Affairs. The duration of the programme will be three years, till 2020-21.
· The telecommunication ministry approved merging of Idea and Vodafone
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved the merger of VodafoneIndia and Idea Cellular which will create the country’s largest mobile services operator.
- The department has asked Idea Cellular to pay Rs. 3,926 crore in cash for Vodafone’s spectrum and furnish a bank guarantee of Rs. 3,342 crore.
- The combined operations of Idea and Vodafone will create the country’s largest telecom operator worth more than over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore, with a 35% market share and a subscriber base of about 430 million.
· ASI found an ancient water tank in Hampi
- TheArchaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found a water tank within the precincts of the Virupaksha Temple at Hampiof the Vijayanagar empire.
- The tank measures around 20×10 feet and is 9 feet deep. It had a water supply connection through a channel going by the Basavanna sculpture, in the south side facing the north in the tank, with an opening in the mouth.
- The top layer of stones around the tank has beautiful embossed carvings of the Vijayanagara period, depicting dancers, musicians, yogis, animals, birds, and a bullock.
Gk bit – Hampi
- Hampi, a village and a temple town in Karnataka is one of the most historically rich places. Listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Group of monuments at Hampi
- Hampi is also known as Pampa Kshetra, Kishkindha kshetra and even Bhaskara kshetra. These names were derived from the famous Tungabhadra River Pampa.
· Five initiatives launched under AMRUT and Sensible Cities Mission
- Ministry of Housing and City Affairs, Hardeep S Puri launched a number of new initiatives below AMRUT and the “Sensible Cities Mission” namely,
? India Sensible Cities Fellowship (ISCF) Program,
? India Sensible Cities Internship (ISCI) Program,
? The Sensible Cities Digital Funds Awards (SCDPA) 2018,
?Cities Funding To Innovate, Combine and Maintain (CITIIS) problem below the Sensible Cities Mission and
? the Native Space Plan (LOCAL AREA PLAN – shortly LAP)/City Planning Scheme (TOWN PLANNING SCHEME – shortly TPS) to be carried out in 25 cities on pilot foundation below AMRUT.
- These iniatives and internship program will provide the youth an opportunity to experience the aspects of Urban planning and governance.