Current Affairs National

  The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the merger of loss-making telecom firms BSNL and MTNL as part of a revival package. The Cabinet has also given in-principle nod to the merger of BSNL and MTNL and till modalities are in place, MTNL will be a subsidiary of BSNL The revival package includes raising sovereign bonds, monetising assets and voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees. The revival package for BSNL and MTNL includes raising of Rs 15,000 crore sovereign bonds and monetising Rs 38,000 crore of assets in next 4 years. Under the package, 4G spectrum worth Rs 20,000 crore will be administratively allotted to the two firms.
Source: The Hindu

  Indian Railways has installed the most advanced Electronic Interlocking System on the Grand Chord route. The measure is expected to help Indian Railways speed up trains and achieve the objective of reducing the travel time between Delhi and Howrah to about 12 hours from the existing 17 to 19 hours. Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. The new Electronic system has replaced outdated 65-year old mechanical signalling system at Tundla Junction in Uttar Pradesh on the route.
Source: The News on AIR

  IIM Kozhikode and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd. have announced a special drive Labelled as “La Eve (meaning The Woman)” to support women entrepreneurs in the country. The initiative aims to identify innovative, promising women-founded start-ups to provide a comprehensive start-up support programme. The initiative would be steered by the institute’s entrepreneurship development centre, Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship or IIMK LIVE. Under the drive “La Eve” IIMK LIVE would identify women-founded, innovation-led start ups and provide incubation that would provide access to the institutes intellectual, network and infrastructural resources. MRPL would provide seed fund assistance from the start funding initiative under start-up India Program.
Source: The Business Standard

  Government of India has decided to open the entire area from Siachen base camp to Kumar Post for tourism purposes. The step has been taken to boost tourism in Ladakh. It will also give people a window to appreciate the tough work done by Army jawans and engineers in extreme weather and inhospitable terrains. The Siachen Glacier at the height of around 20,000 ft in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds. The Glacier came under the strategic control of India in 1984 following ‘Operation Meghdoot’.
Source: The Business Standard

  The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a cinema advertisement campaign ‘Feed Our Future’ to raise awareness and take steps against hunger and malnutrition in India. This programme held in Facebooks Mumbai office, Maharashtra with support from UFO Moviez India Limited and Indian digital cinema distribution network. The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization committed to saving lives in emergencies and changing lives through sustainable development. In India, WFP has been working in partnership with the Government for more than 50 years to contribute to its efforts to achieve food and nutrition security. WFP does this by demonstrating scalable pilots, providing specialised knowledge and international experience for effective implementation of food safety nets and supporting research and monitoring efforts.
Source: The Business Standard

  Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel launched the E-Portal of Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) ‘Digital Bharat Digital Sanskriti’ and CCRT YouTube Channel in New Delhi. For this initiative, CCRT has tied up with Routes 2 Roots, an NGO, for connecting seamlessly all the CCRT Regional Centres i.e., Guwahati, Udaipur and Hyderabad. On this Occasion Union Minister also released a film ‘Rahas’ directed by Sunil Shukla. Rahas is basically Raaslila of Chhattisgarh. Subsequently, he released a book “Dewas ki Sanskritik Parampara” written by  Jeewan Singh Thakur. CCRT should provide a platform for specifically dropout children so that they can join the mainstream and pursue their dreams.
Source: The Press Information Bureau

  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Col. Chewang Rinchen Setu (Bridge) which has been constructed at an altitude of 14,650 feet in the forward area of Ladakh region. It is named in honour of Colonel Chewang Rinchen who was one of the highly decorated officers in Indian Army from Ladakh. He was also a Maha Vir Chakara awardee (1952). The Bridge, which is 1400 feet span, is constructed by the Border Road Organization. According to BRO, micropile technology was used during the foundation of the bridge to overcome the technological challenges in this remote area of Ladakh. The construction of the Bridge was completed within 15 working months using 6900 cubic meters of concrete and 1984 metric tons of steel.
Source: The News on AIR

  NITI Aayog with Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner released the India Innovation Index (III) 2019. Karnataka is the most innovative major state in India. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh form the remaining top ten major states respectively. Sikkim and Delhi take the top spots among the northeastern & hill states, and union territories/city-states/small states respectively. Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh are the most efficient states in translating inputs into output. The study examines the innovation ecosystem of Indian states and union territories. The aim is to create a holistic tool which can be used by policymakers across the country to identify the challenges to be addressed and strengths to build on when designing the economic growth policies for their regions.

  Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan released a postal stamp to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the city-based ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) at a function held at Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi. The postal stamp has been brought out under the ‘Corporate My Stamp’ scheme of India Posts. About 5,000 stamps with a face value of ?5 each have been printed and the India Posts would print an additional 1,000 sheets for sale online at the e-post office and for display and sale at national and global philately exhibitions by the Department.
Source: The Hindu

  Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced the naming of new National Highway No. 703AA as “Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji Marg.” The road starting from Kapurthala connecting Goindwal Sahib and terminating near Taran Taran in Punjab. The naming would be effective from next month. The decision has been taken to mark the 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev.
Source: The DD News


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