- Two Bihar cities in new list of 30 for Smart City Mission.
- The central government on Friday announced a new list of 30 cities to be developed into ‘smart cities’, with Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram topping the list.
- The latest list — including 12 state capitals — takes the number of cities chosen so far to 90 under the Smart City Mission.
- In the new list, the Kerala capital is followed by Chhattisgarh’s new capital Naya Raipur.
- The winter and summer capitals of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu and Srinagar respectively, also feature among the chosen ones.
- The other state capitals are Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Aizawl (Mizoram), Gangtok (Sikkim) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
- A total of 45 cities contested for 40 available Smart City slots but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans that match the aspirations of the citizens. Bihar Sharif (Bihar) is another city has been chosen.
- State sees jump in tax revenue
- Cash-strapped Bihar is probably the happiest state in the country following implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Bihar is expecting 15 to 20% rise in its tax revenue with the implementation of GST.
- Annual growth in tax revenue to the state exchequer with implementation of GST is expected to be around Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.
- The average growth rate of tax revenue of commercial taxes department in Bihar has been 20% in the past five years, except 9% in the last fiscal, which was the lowest in last 10 years. However, since Bihar is a consumer state and central government has assured to compensate the state if their tax growth rate under GST is less than 14%, it will witness 25% growth rate.
- China launches its first X-ray space telescope.
- China launched its first x-ray telescope, a significant step in the country’s race to develop a space program that can rival that of the US or Russia.
- The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) took off from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the country’s first satellite launch site, located in Inner Mongolia via a domestically-developed Long March-4B rocket.
- Once in orbit, the telescope will be used to observe high-energy entities like black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts in order to understand more about their energy sources.
- World’s first train that runs on virtual tracks in China
- China has unveiled the world’s first ‘railless’ train – a train that runs on virtual tracks.
- China is also testing a bus that can straddle the road, and allow traffic to pass under it.
- New train is part of China’s attempts to develop “intelligent rail express system”. Instead of railway tracks, the train runs on rubber tyres.
- The train can move at a maximum speed of 70 km/hour.
- 65 million people displaced in 2016: UN
- Record 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes owing to conflict or persecution by the end of 2016
- It includes 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million internally displaced people and 2.8 million asylum seekers.
- For the third consecutive year, Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, with 2.9 million people.
- It was followed by Pakistan (1.4 million), Lebanon (1 million), Iran (979,400), Uganda (940,800), and Ethiopia (791,600)
- Union Government launches National Biopharma Mission
- The Union Ministry of Science & Technology has launched National Biopharma Mission, a first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in India.
- Under this mission, the ministry also launched Innovate in India (i3) program to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.
Indian biopharmaceutical industry is still 10-15 years behind their counterparts in the developed countries and faces stiff competition from Korea, China and others.
- Innovate in India (i3) program is a flagship program of the Government of India in collaboration with World Bank. It is committed to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products and solutions.
It promises to boost the growth of domestic biopharma industry by accelerating the translation of research concepts into viable products and supporting clinical validation.
National Biopharma Mission
- The mission aims to enable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceuticals to be globally competitive level over the next decade.
- The mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU of Department of Biotechnology. It will bring together expertise from national and international corridors
- KK Venugopal appointed as Attorney General of India
- President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed senior advocate and constitutional expert K K Venugopal (86) as the new Attorney General of India. He will be 15th Attorney General of India. He succeeds Mukul Rohatgi as the country’s top law officer. Earlier, in the Morarji Desai’ government (1977-79), Venugopal had served as Additional Solicitor General of India
Gk byte – Attorney General of India
- Attorney General for India is the Indian government’s chief legal advisor, and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India.He is appointed by the President of India under Article 76(1) of the Constitution and holds office during the pleasure of the President. He is part of Union Executive.
- Attorney General is the first law officer of the government of India and acts as top advocate for Union Government. He is responsible for giving advice to President/ Union Government upon such legal matters and to perform such other duties of legal character which are assigned to him by the President.
- He has right of audience in all courts within the territory of India. He has also the right to speak and take part in proceedings of both the houses of parliament including joint sittings. But cannot vote in parliament. Further, he can also be made a member of any parliamentary committee but in the committee also, he has no power to vote.
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