- Govt to carry out mass surveys of irrigation infra
- A comprehensive and phased survey of more than 300 small irrigation projects for their full capacity utilisation will be carried out in Chhattisgarh, officials informed.
- The survey would be done for 1698 small irrigation projects, 766 anicuts, stop dams and 585 diversion projects.
- The survey of canals and barrages would also be carried out. An elaborate action plan would be prepared for carrying out the surveys.
- Notably, the State Water Resources Department is gearing up to inaugurate and also lay foundation of 72 irrigation projects worth nearly Rs 1400 crore in Chhattisgarh during the next two months, officials informed.
- Chief Minister Raman Singh has been invited for inauguration and foundation laying of these projects.
- Under the special campaign launched by Prime Minister. Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers, micro irrigation schemes are being focussed upon in Chhattisgarh, so that the policy of each drop more crop could be materialized in order to boost agriculture production further, officials informed.
- With this objective, Water Resources Department has started preparing for inauguration-foundation laying of 72 small irrigation projects worth more than Rs 1400 crore.
- Preparations for inauguration of 29 projects worth Rs 928 .46 crore and foundation laying of 43 projects worth nearly Rs 491.66 crore is in progress. This includes projects related to stop dam, anicut, new ponds, barrage, flood control etc.
- The Chhattisgarh Government on March 21 , 2017 had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NABARD with the latter agreeing to provide loan worth nearly Rs 715 crore for completion of three incomplete major irrigation schemes under Prime Minister Agriculture Irrigation Scheme.
- These schemes include– Kelo Major Irrigation Project, Kharang Canal Lining Project and Maniyari Canal Lining, which are to be completed by year 2019 to meet the target. The completion of these projects will expand irrigation facility in 47,685 hectares, officials informed.
· World Press Freedom Day is celebrated on 3rd May
- Every year 3 May is a date which celebrated as the World Press Freedom Dayto evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
- This year’s global theme for WPFD is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and The Rule of Law’.
- In 2018, UNESCO will lead the 25th celebration of World Press Freedom Day.
- The main event, jointly organized by UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, will take place in Accra, Ghana.
- India into world’s top five defence spenders
- India has joined the U.S. and China as one of the world’s five biggest military spenders, reflecting geopolitical tensions as well as the country’s reliance on imported weapons and sprawling personnel costs.
- India’s defense spending rose by 5.5 percent to $63.9 billion in 2017 and has now passed France, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report
- According to the arms watchdog, the five top military spenders in 2017 were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India.
- 14 of world’s 15 most polluted cities in India
- The WHO global air pollution database reveals that India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations, with the worst being Kanpur.
- Kanpur topped the 2016 list with a PM 2.5 concentration of 173 micrograms per cubic metre, followed by Faridabad, Varanasi and Gaya.
- 14 out of top 15 cities are Indian. Ali Subah Al Salem (Kuwait) ranked 15th.
· Union Cabinet Approves Accession to Protocol under WHO Framework Convention
- The Union Cabinet gave the approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO)Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
- It will be applicable to both smoking and chew or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms as negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
India is a party to WHO FCTC.
- Cabinet approves Doubling of Investment Limit for Senior Citizens PMVVY
- The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for extending the investment limit from Rs 7.5 lakhs to Rs 15 lakhs as well as extension of time limits for subscription from 4thMay 2018 to 31stMarch, 2020 under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandan Yojana (PMVVY) as part of Government’s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.
- Further, as a boost to the Social Security initiatives for senior citizens, the investment limit of Rs 7.5 lakh per family in the existing scheme is enhanced to Rs 15 lakh per senior citizen in the modified PMVVY, thereby providing a larger social security cover to the Senior citizens.
- It will enable upto Rs.10000 Pension per month for Senior Citizens.
- The PMVVY is being implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) to provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
- The scheme provides an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly / quarterly / half yearly and annual basis.
- The differential return, i.e. the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.
- PMSSY approved beyond 12th Five Year Plan
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) beyond 12th Five Year Plan for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a financial outlay of Rs. 14,832 crores.
- Expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister for his constant support, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said that the Government is consciously working towards improving health infrastructure as well as health manpower in the country.
- Cabinet approves continuation of Umbrella Scheme ‘Green Revolution’
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, “Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” in agriculture sector beyond 12thFive Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with the Central Share of Rs. 33,269.976 crore.
- The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions.
- These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity andbetter returns on produce.
- The Schemes will be continued with an expenditure of Rs.33,269.976 crore for three financial years, i.e., 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
· Maharashtra Becomes first to Provide Digitally-Signed Documents
- Maharashtra became the first state to provide digitally-signed land record receipts (also known as 7/12 receipts), which Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed would check irregularities and bring in transparency.
- The 7/12 receipt is the most important document which establishes the ownership of the land and is primarily used by farmers while applying for loans.
It is also used by the government during crop surveys and to extend various facilities.
· Union Government Releases Draft New Telecom Policy
- The union government released the draft of the new Telecom policy named National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.
- The policy aims at creating 40 lakh new jobs by 2022, attracting 100 billion US dollars investment in the sector and ensuring broadband coverage at 50 Mbps for every citizen.
- The draft proposes one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022. It also proposes to address woes of the Telecom sector by reviewing license fees, spectrum usage charges, the universal service obligation fund levy for enhancing ease of doing business in the sector.