- Centre to release special funds for six Maoist-hit districts in state
- The Centre is to allocate special yearly funds to 35 different districts across seven states in India, including six districts in Bihar that are worst affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The funds are meant for development of public infrastructure and services and to fill the critical gaps hampering the area’s growth.
State home department sources said the funds would be allocated under Special Central Assistance (SCA) for three consecutive financial years starting from 2017-2018.
- Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui, Muzaffarpur, Banka and Nawada in Bihar would get funds under the scheme. Jharkhand has maximum number of 16 highly LWE-affected districts while Chhattisgarh has 8, Odisha two and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana one each to be covered under the scheme.
- According to sources, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) would allocate Rs28.57 crore to each of the 35 districts annually for carrying out public-oriented development works on projects and proposals after getting them approved from MHA.
- Bihar witnessed only 71 incidents last year, which is the least since 2007. Also, it was for the first time in the last 12 years that no security personnel were killed in LWE violence in 2017 although seven Maoists were neutralized.
- ‘Aadhaar’ is Oxford’s first Hindi word of the year
- Dictionaries at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
- ‘Aadhaar’ also becomes the first Oxford Dictionaries Hindi Word of the Year.
- The accompanying shortlisted words include Notebandi, Swachh, Vikaas, Yoga and Bahubali.
· India Cheapest Country To Live In After South Africa: Survey
- India is ranked second only to South Africa as the cheapest country to live or retire, according to a recent survey of 112 countries by GoBankingRates.
- The survey ranked nations on the bases of four key affordability metrics. The metrics are Local purchasing power index, rent index, Groceries index, and Consumer price index.
- India’s local purchasing power is 20.9% lower, rent is 95.2% cheaper, groceries are 74.4% cheaper, local goods and services are 74.9% cheaper.
- The top three most expensive countries in the survey are Bermuda (ranked 112), Bahamas (111), and Hong Kong (110).
· Economic Survey 2018: Brief Summary
- The Economic Survey, an annual publication of the Finance Ministry, is presented in both houses of Parliament during the Budget Session. It is a review of the developments in the country’s economy over the previous one year.
- Sticking to the practice started last year, finance minister Arun Jaitley will present Union Budget 2018 on 1 February.
- It presents a summary of the performance of the government’s major development programmes undertaken during that period.
- It also details the main policy initiatives of the government.
- The Survey sees FY19 GDPgrowing 7-7.5% vs 75% in FY18.
- The Due to higher expected increase in imports, net exports of goods and services are slated to decline in 2017-18.
- The Exports biggest source of the boost to growth.
- It points out that the GDP growth has averaged 7.3% for the period from 2014-15 to 2017-18, which is the highest among the major economies of the world.
- Demonetisation helped share of financial saving to rise.
- The ratio of domestic saving to GDP reached 29.2 percent in 2013 to a peak of 38.3 percent in 2007, before falling back to 29 percent in 2016.
- The Sanitation coverage in rural India increased substantially from 39 percent in 2014 to 76 percent in January 2018. With the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) on October 2, 2014, the sanitation coverage in rural India increased substantially.
- So far, 296 districts and 307,349 villages all over India have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
- India is gradually improving its performance in Science and Technology. In 2013, India ranked 6th in the world in scientific publications. Its ranking has been increasing consistently. The growth of annual publications between 2009 to 2014 was almost 14%. This increased India’s share in global publications from 3.1% in 2009 to 4.4% in 2014 as per the Scopus Database.
- The foreign exchange reserves grew by 14.1% on a year-on-year basis from the end of Dec 2016 to end of Dec 2017.
- The forex reserves as per 2016-17 were estimated at USD 370 billion. It grew to USD 409.4 billion in 2017-18.
· VINBAX: India and Vietnam hold first military exercise in Jabalpur
- The India-Vietnam Bilateral Army Exercise (VINBAX-2018)was conducted at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
- It is the first military exercise between the two countries.
- The six-day-long military exercise (from January 29 to February 3, 2018) was conducted as part of joint training undertaken with friendly foreign countries by Indian Army.
- VINBAX-2018 was Table Top Exercise to carry out training for Peace Keeping Operations under United Nations (UN) mandate.
- The Defence ties between India and Vietnam have been on an upswing with the primary focus being cooperation in the maritime domain.
· International Bird Festival To Be Held In Dudhwa National Park
- A three-day international bird festivalwill be held at the Dudhwa National Park, Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh in February 2018 with nearly 200 leading ornithologists expected to attend.
- The purpose of the international bird festival is to promote eco-tourism in Dudhwa and to give it a distinct international identity besides highlighting its traditional Tharu arts, culture, and heritage.
· Asias biggest auto testing track inaugurated in Madhya Pradesh
- Union Minister Babul Supriyo and Madhya Pradesh Industrial minister Rajendra Shukla inaugurated Asia’s biggest auto testing track in Pithampur of Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh.
- The country’s research and development activities in the sector of automobile engineering and technology will get a boost, due to the construction of the auto testing track in Pithampur.
- Pithampur will emerge as a hub of the automobile industry in future.
- Union Minister further mentioned that the state government has provided 4 thousand acre land to NATRiP and the National Auto Testing Track has been developed on 3 thousand acre land.
- Automobile units can be established by the industrialists on the remaining one thousand acre land.
· Sandeep Lamichhane Becomes 1st Nepal Player To Get IPL Contract
- Sandeep Lamichhane became the first cricketer from Nepal to land a deal an IPL contract.
- He was picked by Delhi Daredevils in the player’s auction.
- The 17-year-old, the only Nepal player in the IPL auction, was sold at his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
- The leg-spinner rose to prominence with a successful outing at the 2016 U-19 World Cup where he guided Nepal to a creditable eighth place.
- He hogged the limelight by becoming the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 14 scalps in six innings.
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