- Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh plans to give free mobile phones to 55.60 lakh people
- Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has planned to give free mobile phones to 55 lakh 60 thousand people within two-and-a-half-years in the state.
- Under the Chhattisgarh Communication Revolution Scheme (SKY), the highest priority of Chief Minister Raman Singh, a plan of Rs. 230 crore has been prepared in order to provide free mobile phones to 55 lakh 60 thousand people within two-and-a-half-years in the state.
- Out of this, 50 lakh 80 thousand beneficiaries will be distributed mobile phones in the current financial year 2017-18 and the next financial year 2018-19.
- These will include 5,10,00,000 students of technical and non-technical colleges, including 40 lakh 10 thousand rural beneficiaries and 5 lakh 60 thousand urban poor. In the first phase, it is estimated to cost Rs. 1128 crore.
- The remaining 4 lakh 80 thousand families will be given mobile phones in the financial year 2019-20, which will cost an estimated cost of Rs. 102 crore.
- In the first phase, all the villages having a population of more than one thousand and villages with less than one thousand people will be included in the current fiscal year 2017-18 and in the next financial year 2018-19, where presently mobile phones coverage is available fully or partially.
- Smart phones will be provided to the rural families, urban poor families and college youth.
- In the second phase of the plan, which will be in the year of 2019-20, villages with less than one thousand population will be covered, where mobile phone coverage is not available.
- The main objective of this scheme is to provide government services to the general public through the general service centers, extension of banking services through non availability and access.
· Angola Swears in its First New President After 38 Years
- Angola swore in Joao Lourenco as the country’s President making him the first new President of the country in 38 years.
- He served as Angola’s Defence Minister earlier, vowed to attract more foreign investment.
- The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA)governed since Angola’s hard-fought independence from Portugal in 1975 with Dos Santos taking power in 1979.
· Veteran actor Tom Alter dies at 67
- Veteran film, television and theatre actor and Padma Shri Tom Alter died at aged 67. Alter acted in over 300 movies apart from numerous TV shows, most famously as the gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.
- In addition to acting, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s. Alter has written three books, one non-fiction, and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
· Union Government finalising Electoral Bonds Scheme
- The Union Government is finalizing electoral bonds schemein order to bring greater transparency in the funding of political parties.
- The scheme was announced in 2017-18.
- According to Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), most political parties use lax regime on donations to accept cash donations from anonymous sources.
- Nearly 70% of Rs.11,300 crore in party funding over an 11-year period came from unknown sources.
· Union Government notifies Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notified new Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017 to prohibit range of activities in wetlands.
- Wetland is transitional land between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or it may be land covered by shallow water.
- There are 115 wetlandsofficially identified by Central Government and of those 26 are identified as wetlands of international importance under Ramsar Convention (an international intergovernmental treaty for the conservation of wetlands to which India is a party).
· President Ram Nath Kovind appoints five new state Governors
- President Ram Nath Kovind appointed five new Governors for the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and Meghalaya.
- (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Bihar.
- Banwarilal Purohit as the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
- Prof Jagdish Mukhi as the Governor of Assam.
- Ganga Prasad as the Governor of Meghalaya.
- Devendra Kumar Joshi as the Governor of Andaman & Nicobar islands.
· Union Government Keeps Interest Rates Unchanged on Small Savings Schemes
- The Small Saving Schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi for October-December quarter. Investments in the Public Provident Fund (PPF) scheme will fetch annual rate of 7.8 percent while Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)investments will yield 7.5 percent and mature in 115 months.
- The one for girl child savings, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme will offer 8.3 percent annually.
- Similarly, the investment on 5-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme will yield 8.3 percent.