- 24,10,388 families in State to get power connections by next year
- Power Minister Pallab Lochan Das today told the Assembly that 24,10,388 families of Assam are yet to get power connections to their homes, even as all the villages covered by the 2011 Census have almost been covered by the rural electrification programme. Das stated this in a written reply to questions put by Phani Bhusan Choudhury of AGP. He further said the above families would be provided power connections under the Saubhagya Scheme by 2019. The government is also making efforts at fully electrifying those villages, which are partially covered under the rural electrification programme in 2018-19.
- The progress attained so far in implementing the Rs 262.02-crore, 70-MW Lakwa Replacement Power Project is 97.8 per cent, while the progress attained in implementing the Rs 145.95-crore, 13.5-MW Meintreng Small Hydroelectric Power Plant is 94.5 per cent.
- The Minister further told the Assembly that 90 per cent progress has been made in implementing the Rs 693.73-crore, 100-MW Namrup Replacement Power Project. He said the bids against the tender floated for the Rs 26.81-crore, 70-MW Amguri Solar Park would be opened on April 4. The Solar Energy Corporation of India has been entrusted with the job to select the developer for the Park.
· Bloomberg Billionaires Top 100 Index Released
- Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani have been ranked 19th on Bloomberg Billionaires Top 100 Index as he becomes the third richest Asian on the list.
- With a net worth of approximately $38.3 billion, Ambani’s wealth is pegged at about over 1.5 percent of India’s GDP.
- While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has added $21.8 billion to his fortunes this year and takes the top spot, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was ranked 2nd.
- From Asia, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (ranked 13th) is the richest with a net worth of $47.2 billion and is followed by Tencent co-founder and CEO Pony Ma (17) with a $41.1 billion net worth.
- Delhi becomes first city to roll-out Euro VI fuel
- With an aim to combat the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR region, petrol pumps in the capital started supplying ultra-clean Bharat Stage VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel).
- This move makes New Delhi the first city in the country to switch from BS-IV grade fuels to BS-VI.
- Other cities like Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Faridabad along with 13 major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, will also switch over to cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 1 next year.
- However, BS- VI fuel will be rolled out in rest of the country by April 2020.
Gk bit– Euro IV / Bharat IV
- India’s vehicle emission standards are modelled on the Euro emission standards that define limits for harmful exhaust emissions. The emission standards are primarily focused on the reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. As per the Indian government’s original roadmap, Bharat Stage IV (the equivalent of Euro 4) was to be implemented across the country by April 1, 2017, Bharat Stage V in 2019 and Bharat Stage VI in 2023. While the scheduled roll-out of emission standards put India a few years behind Europe, it did allow ample time for Indian vehicle makers and, equally importantly, fuel suppliers to upgrade and be ready to meet the requirement.
- However, vehicle makers and fuel suppliers were caught off-guard by the government’s shock announcement in early 2016 of skipping BS-V altogether and bringing forward the introduction of BS VI norms to 2020.
- The majority of India’s carmakers have already expressed concerns on the scale of the challenge to meet BS-VI norms in 2020. So you can pretty much rule out any mass market car to be BS-VI-ready when the compliant fuel goes on sale in Delhi in 2018. In effect, the first real beneficiaries of the higher grade fuel would be cars imported from abroad that already come built to meet Euro 6 standards courtesy technology like diesel particulate filters. What would be interesting to see is the strategy employed by the Volkswagen Group in India that has made considerable investments to downgrade its Euro 6-compliant 2.0-litre diesels to run on lower-grade Indian BS-IV fuel.
- Six monuments in North Eastern States identified for listing under World Heritage Site
- As many as 6 monuments/historical sites in the North Eastern states have been identified tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site.
- Details of monuments/sites identified/placed under tentative list for listing under world heritage in the north eastern states are given below:
- Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh
- Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India
- Moidams – the Mound – Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam
- Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
- River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam
- Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal Pradesh
- Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan-launched
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan (RAA), a convergent framework across School Education and Higher Education aiming to encourage children towards learning Science and Mathematics.
- One of the interventions under RAA is strengthening of school Science and Mathematics laboratories, through the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
- Under RMSA, an amount of Rs. 179.73 crore has been approved in 2017-18, for in-service training of science and maths teachers.
- Mamata Banerjee govt rolls out ‘Rupashree’ for marriages of poor women
- The West Bengal government has rolled out Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project ‘Rupashree’ which provides one time financial support to the marriages of poor women.
- ‘Rupashree’ scheme follows the chief minister’s ambitious ‘Kanyashree’ project which has drawn global applause.
- For the ‘Rupashree’ scheme, a woman has to fill the application form before her marriage and submit it to the Block Development Officer (BDO) or Municipality Office.
- An amount of Rs 25,000 will be credited to her bank account before her marriage.
- A sum of Rs 1500 crore has been earmarked for the project.
· SIDBI Foundation Day Launches ‘Samridhi- Virtual Assistant’ & ‘ Bankability Kit
- SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India)celebrated its foundation day(2nd April 1990) as the day of Sampark (connect), Sanwad (interaction), Suraksha (security) and Sampreshan (disseminate). Chairman Managing Director of SIDBI Mohammad Mustafa launched a series of initiatives from its Lucknow bank headquarters.
- A MoU was signed with The New India Assurance Co. Ltd. and two MSMEs were issued insurance policies.
- He also launched ‘Samridhhi- the virtual assistant’ on banks revamped universal loan portal www.udyamimitra.in.
- During the day, a ‘Bankability Kit’ (brought in partnership with Bank of Baroda and IDBI Bank) was also launched.
· NHAI Awarded Projects Worth Rs 1.22 Lakh Crore In FY18
- National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)awarded 150 road projects of 7,400 km worth Rs. 1,22,000 crore in the In Financial Year 2017-18.
- In last 5 years, the average length of road projects awarded by NHAI was 2,860 km with 4,335 Km awarded in the last financial year.
- In comparison, the length of projects awarded in FY 2017-18 is an all-time high and a record achievement by NHAI since its inception in 1995. Under the new protocol, the NHAI board was delegated full powers for sanctioning EPC projects.
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