- Bonds soon to meet power subsidy to agriculture connections
- The State government’s subsidy bill towards agricultural connections is on the rise during the last four years with the demand for connections increasing significantly. It has to foot a subsidy bill of about ₹6,030 crore during the current fiscal. As the budgetary allocations do not match the demand, it is contemplating issuing bonds in near future.
- The subsidy on the connections was ₹3,186 crore during 2014-15, the year of bifurcation. Since then, the subsidy payable as per tariff order of the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has been increasing. It was ₹3,700 crore during the last fiscal, 2017-18.
- The government has already given 2,69,303 agriculture connections.
- The number of connections across the State stands at 17.20 lakh. And, more than 1.79 lakh applications were received so far. Of this, 23,776 services were released and the remaining were being released in a phased manner.
- Vajra Prahar: India-USA joint military exercise commences in Jaipur
- India, US Joint Special Forces Exercise 2018 named Vajra Prahar commenced at Mahajan Field Firing Range (MFFR), Bikaner in Rajasthan. The exercise was called between Special Forces of both countries to deal with operations for counter-terrorism and is being done at unit as well as sub-unit levels.
- For this exercise, US Army is represented by contingent of one officer and 10 Other Ranks from Special Forces Group of United States Pacific Command.
- They will carry out 12 days rigorous joint training in semi desert and rural terrain with aim to enhance inter-operability of the two armed forces and further military to military co-operation.
- Ministerial meet of BASIC Countries held in India
- The meeting of BASIC countries was organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in New Delhi and was addressed by Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
- The BASIC group consists of countries; Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
- Although BASIC group of countries are the leading emerging economies, still they have significant percentage of the world’s poorest people.
- Ministers welcomed the 184 ratifications, till date, of the Paris Agreement adopted under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
- Union Government to set up a first National Institute of Inter-Faith Studies in Punjab
- The Centre Government will set up a first-of-its-kind institute of Inter-Faith Studies in Punjab to promote brotherhood and diversity. It is being to commemorate 550th birth anniversary of first Sikh Guru and founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak.
- The institute will be set up on lines of teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji who preached qualities of brotherhood, diversity and the concept of unity in diversity.
- Government will also develop Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent most of his life.
- Centre for Science and Environment awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development
- Delhi-based environment think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) will be awarded Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2018 for its work in environmental education and protection.
- CSE is being awarded prize for its steady fast advocacy of measures to combat environmental deterioration and for its success in influencing public policies and programmes that have benefitted social and economic development in India.
- It was selected for this award by international jury, chaired by former president Pranab Mukherjee.
· Technical snag hits the first reactor of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project
- The first reactorof the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), which resumed power generation only on 17th November stopped operations due to a technical snag in the turbine section. The reactor resumed its function after being idle for about 108 days. KKNPP has not given the details on the nature of the snag that paralyzed power generation within just 48 hours.
- Govt OKs pvt role in farm produce procurement
- The Centre approved a new umbrella scheme for procurement of notified farm produce on minimum support price (MSP), involving private sector for the first time in the process and linking central support with states moving on agriculture market reforms as one of the key conditions.
- Financial assistance to the states will, however, be limited to procurement up to 25% of the total produce. The cost of procurement beyond that will be borne by the states. The procurement under the scheme will begin from the upcoming kharif marketing season, beginning October.
- The umbrella scheme, called PM-AASHA (Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan), comprises of three sub-schemes Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPSS). However, only PPSS among these three subschemes is new.
- Though the PSS will focus on procurement of pulses, oilseeds and copra, the PDPS — which provides for direct payment of the difference between MSP and modal sale price to pre-registered farmers on the lines of MP government’s Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana — will only be meant for oilseeds. The focus on oilseeds assumes significance ahead of assembly polls in three major oilseeds producing states of MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
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