- Guwahati-ASEAN direct flights stressed
- Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a meeting with MD and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Asia Amar Abrol in his office chamber and discussed the detailed modalities of starting direct flights between Guwahati with ASEAN countries.
- They discussed Air Asia’s plan to make Guwahati the principal hub for the company’s South East Asia operations. Abrol submitted a proposal to Sonowal of Air Asia’s expansion plan in Guwahati and to connect the city with frequent direct flights with Chennai, Hyderabad, Vizag, Bagdogra etc., besides ASEAN countries.
- Sonowal said the State government is working very seriously to make Guwahati the nerve of the Centre’s Act East Policy and therefore wants to start direct flights with ASEAN and BBN countries.
- Sonowal also informed Abrol that his government, in association with the Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is in constant touch with ASEAN countries to persuade them to set up their consulate offices in Guwahati.
· Maldives announces Presidential elections in September this year
- Despite facing these worse situations, Maldives started doing preparations for the upcoming Presidential elections to be held this year.
- The first round of the elections is to be held in early September.
- It is mentioned that the authorities welcome the election body to start the preparations for the elections.
- The Government took note of its announcement to hold the first round of Presidential elections during early September and encouraged all relevant stakeholders to offer the Commission their full, unreserved support for the conduct of their work.
Gk bit– What is Maldives issue:
- The Indian Ocean island nation of the Maldives is engulfed in a political crisis, after the President defied a Supreme Court ruling to reinstall opposition MPs and release political prisoners.
- President Abdulla Yameen instead declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest the chief justice a former President.
- Yameen came to power in 2013 in a disputed election that opponents say was rigged. Since then, he has been accused of eroding democracy, cracking down on dissent and jailing opposition leaders.
- In 2016, the Maldives withdrew from the UK Commonwealth after the association of former British colonies threatened to suspend it for chipping away at democratic institutions.
- Mohamed Nasheed, who became the country’s first democratically elected President in 2009 and achieved worldwide renown for highlighting the effect of global warming on the archipelago, was imprisoned in 2015 on terrorism charges that his supporters say were spurious.
- The simmering political crisis came to a head last week when the Supreme Court, in an unexpected ruling, ordered the release of nine dissidents and the reinstatement of 12 legislators who were fired for abandoning Yameen’s party. The ruling would have given the opposition a majority in the country’s legislative assembly.
- Yameen refused to comply, and instead dispatched the military to the Supreme Court in the capital, Male.
- India and the United Kingdom also issued travel warnings for archipelago.
- ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ under ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ begins in Madhya Pradesh
- To celebrate the idea of unity in diversity, Ministry of Culture is organising a Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat matrix in Madhya Pradesh beginning February 24 for a duration of 7 days.
- The States paired with Madhya Pradesh are Nagaland and Manipur.
- The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.
· Election Commission declares elections of 58 seats of Rajya Sabha
- TheElection Commission (EC) announced polls to 58 Rajya Sabha seats which will fall vacant in April this year. Polling for the 58 seats will be held on March 23
- The term of office of 58 members of the Upper House, elected from 16 states, is due to expire upon their retirement in April-May 2018.
- The maximum number of seats for elections are from the state of Uttar Pradesh i.e. 10, six each from Bihar and Maharashtra; five each from West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh; four each from Gujarat and Karnataka; three each from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Rajasthan; two from Jharkhand; and one seat each from Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates projects worth 1,000 crore rupees at Daman
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various developmental projects in Daman in Union territory of Daman and Diu.
- He launched the helicopter service between Daman and Diu. Mr. Modi also launched Air Odisha flight service connecting Ahmedabad with Diu under UDAN Scheme.
- Besides, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stones for various local developmental projects in Daman and Diu.
· RBI Launches Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs
- The Reserve Bank of India has launched Ombudsman Scheme for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs)for redressal of complaints against them.
- The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the scheme.
- The scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs, and based on the experience gained.
- The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at four metro centers – New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.
· India Successfully Test-Fires Dhanush Missile
- India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off Odisha coast.
- This naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal.
- It was developed bt the Defence Research and Development Organisation. ‘Dhanush’ missile is is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.
· RBI Sets Up Committee Under YH Malegam To Monitor Bad Loans
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI)constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of YH Malegam to look into a range of issues relating to classification of bad loans, rising incidents of frauds and effectiveness of audits.
- Y H Malegam is a former member of the Central Board of Directors of RBI.
- A K Misra – Executive Director of RBI will be the Member-Secretary of the committee.
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