- ADB funds for Bihar state highway upgrade
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a Rs 1,420-crore loan for the Bihar government to upgrade six state highways into two-lane roads.
- At present, Bihar has 4,006km of state highways of which 2,808km have already been converted into two-lane roads.
- The Nitish Kumar-led NDA government of November 2005 started bringing in improvements to Bihar’s road sector.
- At that time, part of Rs 5,000-crore central funds had been earmarked for road development projects.
- Even the ADB has been quite liberal in providing Bihar loans to improve its roads and the first such loan of Rs 1,667.22 crore had been provided in 2008. It was for upgrading 824.22-km of nine state highways.
- Another loan of Rs 1,500 crore came in 2010 for upgrading five state highways (374.25km) and Rs 1,800 crore in 2013 for four state highways (254.506km).
· WCCB won Asia Environment Enforcement Awards for combating transboundary environmental crime
- The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) was selected for the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award 2018, for its outstanding contributions in combating the trans-boundary environmental crime by United Nations Environment program. WCCB is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the government under the Environment Ministry to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.
- This is the second time in a row that the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.
- WCCB’s enforcement officer RS Sharath was also selected for Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards 2018 under the individual category.
· India ranked 5th in the list of most vacation deprived nation in the world: Expedia
- Expedia Vacation Deprivation Report 2018was released that stated that India is among the most vacation deprived nation in the world ranking 5th among the 19 surveyed countries.
- As per data, 53 percent of Indians take fewer vacation days than they get.
- 35 percent don’t take leave as work schedule does not allow for vacation.
- 68 percent of Indians have ended up canceling their vacation due to work.
· Sikhs celebrated the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak
- Sikhs celebrated the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. They celebrate the birthdays of all of their ten gurus as ‘Gurpurab‘. The birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak is known and celebrated as ‘Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav’. Sikhs celebrated 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
- It is one of the most sacred festivals for Sikhs and is celebrated on 23rd November 2018. Sri Guru Nanak Dev was born in 1469 in Talwandi, a village about 65 kilometers west of Lahore. During the course of his life, Guru Nanak traveled far and wide, teaching people the message of one God who dwells in every one.
· Institutions Innovation Council, innovation cell for higher education institutions launched HRD Ministry in New Delhi
- HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the Institution’s Innovation Council through video conferencing at the AICTE headquarters in New Delhi.
- The main objective of this initiative is to encourage, inspire and nurture young students by exposing them to new ideas.
- IMD develops new technology to monitor impact of rain & deal with natural disasters
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has developed a new technology to assess the rise of water level in rivers and reservoirs by rain.
- The technology, called ‘Impact Based Forecasting Approach’, which shows pre-event scenario, can help state governments to minutely monitor the impact of rain and take real-time decisions.
- As per officials, the department is in a position to use the technology into service to deal with natural disasters like the recent deluge in Kerala.
· India and Pakistan to commit to Kartarpur corridor
- India and Pakistan exchanged letters to commit themselves to build the required infrastructure for visa-free direct travel by Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan’s Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, allowing them to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devin November 2019.
- Pakistani Minister described the move as the “victory of peace lobbies”in both countries. Officials of both countries are to meet soon to discuss the logistics of the corridor and the point of border-crossing where the roads, which pilgrims on the Indian side will take from Dera Guru Nanak Dev in Gurdaspur district, will lead directly to the border, and from the Pakistani side of the border directly to the Kartarpur Darbar Sahib Gurdwara.
- Maharashtra emerges as a favorite NRI investment destination
- Maharashtra has emerged as a favorite NRI investment destination. In the last three financial years, NRIs have invested Rs 1,238 cr in the state which is 33% of the total investment of Rs 3,751 cr by NRIs during this period.
- According to the data presented by the ministry of commerce and industry to Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra is the only state in India which has received more than Rs 1000 cr investment by NRIs. The data also shows that the net position of investments made by NRIs in listed stock companies is of Rs 8,318 cr.
- Kerala has got NRI investment of Rs 706 cr followed by Delhi Rs 324 cr and GujaratRs 315 cr. Odisha and MP are among the states which have not received even 1% of the total investments made by NRIs in India in last three years. Goa, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh have got no NRI investment during this period.
- The extant FDI policy provides some of the special dispensations for investment by NRIs. Investments made by NRIs, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs) under Schedule 4 of FEMA (Transfer or Issue of Security by Persons Resident Outside India) Regulations on non-repatriation basis is deemed to be the domestic investment at par with the investment made by residents.
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