- Chhattisgarh to Distribute Free Smartphones to Over 50 Lakh People
- Chhattisgarh government will start distributing smartphones to over 50 lakh people for free from May under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY), months ahead of assembly polls in the state.
- Women heads of households will be the priority recipients of the smartphones.
- The Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) has started the preparation for the distribution of phones, as per the announcement made by the chief minister last year to reduce the digital divides.
· Official Mascot of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Unveiled
- Son of Dreams’ was unveiled as official Mascot of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019in China.
- The selection of Son of Dreams as China 2019’s Official Mascot was the culmination of a unique process by FIBA.
- The mascot finalists were Chinese dragon (‘Son of Dream’), a Siberian tiger (‘Speed Tiger’) and a lion (‘Qiu Qiu’).
- For the first time, there are 32-team in FIBA Basketball World Cup.
- The tournament will take place in eight Chinese cities from August 31 until September 15.
- India is world’s sixth largest economy
- India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clocked in at $2.6 trillion for 2017, according to the database of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) for April 2018.
- India is now the world’s sixth largest economy, displacing France.
- The five economies ahead are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and United Kingdom
· India to launch gas trading hub
- The government plans to launch a natural gas trading hubby October
- It will also be creating an Indian gas benchmark which will spark a surge in consumption of the cleaner-burning fuel
- Oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)has sought bids to hire a consultant to help develop a regulatory framework for operationalizing the gas trading/exchange hub
- Currently, the government fixes the price of the bulk of domestically produced natural gas
- The rate is arrived at using price prevalent in gas-surplus nations of US, Canada, UK, and Russia
- A hub is used as a central pricing point for a network that could aid better price discovery for domestic as well as imported gas
- India is not only country launching trading hub
- China plans to launch a natural gas trading hub in Chongqing this year
- First Ever International SME Convention-2018 in New Delhi
- One hundred and fifty participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India will participate in the four day International SME convention being held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April.
- The Ministry of MSME has engaged with over 35 International Trade Development organisations to attract and invite able and willing entrepreneurs.
- The convention has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in the Make in India program & empowering women entrepreneurs.
· Vehicles made on or after Jan. 1 to have High Security Registration Plates
- From January 1, 2019, all classes of motor vehicles will come fitted with tamper-proof High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) that have a host of in-built security features.
- They are expected to offer increased protection against theft.
- The HSRP was made mandatory in some States 13 years ago but failed to take off. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) last week published new draft rules that make it mandatory for automobile manufacturers to provide, and dealers to affix, the “security licence plate, including the third registration mark” for all new vehicles manufactured on or after January 1 next year.
- A chromium-based hologram will be applied by hot stamping on the top left corner of the number plates both at the front and back. A permanent identification number with a minimum of 10 digits will be laser-branded into the reflective sheeting on the bottom left of the registration plate.
· GoM on transport moots uniform road tax for entire country
- A group of ministers (GoM) on transport has recommended a uniform road tax structure for vehicles across states.
- A meeting was held in Guwahati to deliberate on proposals for ‘One Nation-One Tax’ and ‘One Nation-One Permit’.
- The GoM observed that a uniform tax structure will put a check on people registering their vehicles in low-tax states and running them in other states. This would also bring necessary relief to genuine cases requiring transfer of vehicles.
· Centre proposes relaxation of coastal regulation zone norms
- The Centre has allowed India’s coasts to be made more accessible to tourism and industrial infrastructure and given individual States considerable leeway in development plans.
- The coastal regulation zone, or CRZ, 2011, refers to regions in the proximity of India’s 7000-km-long shoreline where buildings, tourism facilities, industrial projects, residential facilities etc are highly regulated.
- The CRZ-1, for instance, includes the most ecologically sensitive areas and according to current laws is off-limits for tourism activities and infrastructure development except for defence, strategic and rare public utilities projects.
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