- After Meghalaya, Assam in line to be free of Afspa
- The government is considering Assam as the next state from where it may remove the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa) after Meghalaya, as high-level consultations are going on between the Centre and state for the possible road ahead.
- Sources told ET that the Centre is examining the issue and will reassess the security situation in the state after a Supreme Court-ordered count for the national register of citizens is completed by May-end.
- The Centre and the state are in broad agreement that the Act needs to be removed as the situation gradually becomes normal in the state and a window for broader consultations opens up before the end of August this year, when the current extension of Afspa comes to an end.
- While all concerns will be taken into account before taking a call in Assam, sources said security forces feel while the situation in several districts has normalised, violence in the state has still not ebbed, pointing to recent incidents.
- Walmart acquires 77% stake in Flipkart
- The world’s largest retailer Walmart will acquire a 77 percent holding in Flipkart Group for $16 billion, the companies said in a statement.
- Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and other shareholders will hold the remainder.
- Japan’s Softbank to exit Flipkart by selling entire 20 per cent stake to Walmart.
- Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal to exit company by selling his 5.5 pc stake to Walmart.
· Nisha Bhalla Conferred With ‘WEF 2018’ Award
- Nisha Bhalla, a 46-year-old holistic coach and consultant from Mumbai was felicitated at the recently concluded Annual Women Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 Awards.
- WEF is the largest global gathering of women entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide.
- This annual event recognizes the most successful women across all fields, with guests like Nobel laureate Ouided Bouchamaoui.
- The event was held in Delhi.
- Nisha was presented the ‘Excellent Woman of Excellence’ award for her spiritual service at the event.
· Fifteenth Finance Commission Constituted Advisory Council
- The 15th Finance Commissionconstituted an advisory council to advise and assist the commission.
- six-member council will be headed by the President of Forum for Strategic Initiatives, Arvind Virmani.
- The role and functions of the council will be to advise the commission on any issue or subject related to the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Commission.
- Besides, the council will also assist the commission in the preparation of any paper or research study which will enhance the Commission’s understanding on the issues containing in its ToR.
· Madhya Pradesh launches Indias first Integrated Control and Command Centre for its smart cities
- Bhopal Smart city Development Corporation Limited (BSCDCL) launched India’s first cloud-based common Integrated Data Centre, Disaster Recovery Center and integrated control and command center.
- It is powered by Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise’s universal Internet of Things.
- ICCC will enable Madhya Pradesh State Administration to monitor and administer multiple cities civic utilities and citizen services across seven smart cities include Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Indore, Ujjain, Satna, and Sagar.
- It will also enable statewide monitoring of these cities from central command view and result in significant cost savings as compared to deploying full-fledged data and discovery data along with the control centers in each center in every seven cities.
· Centre to roll out triple-drug therapy to eliminate filaria
- The Union government has approved the roll-out of the WHO-recommended new triple-drug therapy (TDT) in four select districts, including one in Maharashtra, to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF) from the country. TDT, which uses Ivermectin, Diethylcarbamazine Citrate (DEC) and Albendazole, will also be rolled out in one district each in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
- The studies carried out in other countries have shown that TDT is more effective than the existing two-drug therapy in permanently eliminating the micro-filariae infection. Thus, it becomes all the more important for a country like India, which bears approximately 40% of the global LF burden. In India, 650 million are people at the risk of contracting the disease across 256 districts in 21 states and Union Territories.
· Govt sets up multi-disciplinary group to crackdown on funding of Left-wing extremists
- The home ministry, in a bid to crack down on funding of Left-wing extremists and ensure confiscation of their ill-gotten properties, has set up a multi-disciplinary group comprising officers of intelligence and investigative agencies of the Centre and affected state governments.
- The Central agencies represented in the group include Intelligence Bureau, CBI, Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, NIA, CBDT and CBI, while the state agencies are the police, state intelligence and CID. The agencies have been coordinating their actions and holding regular meetings. A home ministry officer on Monday said the actionable intelligence gathered through their “painstaking work” has achieved substantial success in tracking and choking the financial supply lines of Maoists, particularly in Bihar and Jharkhand.
- In another measure, the home ministry has initiated the process for creation of a separate vertical in NIA for probing important cases relating to Left-wing extremism.
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