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Evening News Digest : 24 April 2018

Diu Smart City becomes first to run on 100% Renewable Energy

  • Diu, part of union territory of Daman and Diu has become the first city in India that runs on 100 per cent renewable energy during the daytime, setting a bench-mark for other cities to follow.
  • Diu had been importing 73 per cent of its power from Gujarat till last year. Diu also offers its residents a subsidy of Rs 10, 000-50,000 for installing 1-5 -KW rooftop solar panels.
  • The city is saving about 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
  • On other smart cities, Bengaluru Smart City is working on implementation of solution to improve traffic management, while Jaipur Smart City Ltd (JSCL) has planned to develop night bazaar at Chaura Rasta, in the heart of Pink city.

Prime Minister to launch Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

  • On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Madhya Pradesh's Mandla district to launch the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.
  • Aim: The scheme will focus on training, building infrastructure and stepping up initiatives for e-governance under the e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project.
  • Prime Minister Modi will felicitate village Sarpanches which have achieved 100 percent smokeless kitchens, 100 percent vaccination under Mission Indradhanush and 100 percent electrification under Saubhagya Scheme.


National Panchayati Raj Day: April 24

  • Every year 24 April is observed as the National Panchayat raj day in India. It is also called as National Local Self-government day and is a national day of India.
  • National Panchayat raj day was inaugurated in 2013 by then Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh. The major idea behind celebrating such a day is if Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs) functioned properly and participated in the development process of the country then the threat of Maoist could be countered.
  • On the Occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, PM Modi will also unveil a roadmap for overall development of tribal’s during the next five years which will highlight the focus on Sabka saath sabka Vikas.

Uttarakhand to get Rs 1,700 crore aid from ADB for Infrastructure development

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed in principle to give an aid of Rs 1,700 crore to Uttarakhand for infrastructure development and creation of sewerage treatment facilities in urban areas.
  • Infrastructure development in the urban areas was one of his government's top priorities and 100 per cent of the aid given by the institution will be utilised for the purpose.
  • The Rs 1,700 crore aid will be given for the creation of infrastructural facilities, sewer treatment plants and water supply facilities in urban areas of Uttarakhand.

Armed Forces Special Power taken off in Meghalaya

  • 27 years after the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) was imposed in Meghalaya, the centre has withdrawn the act completely from the north-eastern state. The Act has also been withdrawn from eight police stations (out of 16) in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Act was withdrawn from Tripura in May 2015 and with its withdrawal from Meghalaya, the number of states in India under AFSPA is only 6.
  • With insurgency levels in Assam being record low, the state is expected to decide soon AFSPA withdrawal from some districts. Right now, apart from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is in force in 5 north-eastern states, which are Arunachala Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • Armed Forces Special Powers Act AFSPA: The Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA gives extraordinary powers and immunity to the armed forces to bring back order in the disturbed areas. The army can arrest anyone without a warrant or stop and search any vehicle or vessel, with legal immunity to armed forces personnel for their actions.

EU-UN to co-host Conference on Syria aid

  • The EU and the UN will co-chair a two-day international conference, aiming to pump financial aid for Syrians and garner political support for UN-led intra-Syrian talks.
  • The conference, the second of its kind since 2017, will bring together participants from more than 85 countries and organisations at the ministerial level, as well as those from over 200 non-governmental organisations.
  • The first day's meeting will focus on dialogues with NGOs from Syria and the region. The EU and its member states are the top donors in Syria and the region, having mobilised over 10.6 billion euros in humanitarian aid and stabilisation assistance since 2011.

Dakota DC-3 to be inducted into Vintage Aircraft Fleet of IAF

  • Dakota DC-3 aircraft of 1940's vintage would be inducted shortly into the Vintage Aircraft Flight of the Indian Air Force.
  • In 1988, a large fleet of Dakota DC-3 served in the Indian Air Force. It was one of the most versatile transport aircraft of its time.
  • The aircraft was obtained from scrap in 2011 and was restored to flying condition in UK by Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Rajeev Chandrasekhar for gifting it to the IAF. The aircraft successfully completed all test flights and commenced its journey from the UK on 17 April 17, 2018. It is being flown to India by a joint team crew of the IAF and M/s Reflight Airworks Ltd.

First ever International SME Convention held in New Delhi

  • One hundred and fifty participants from 31 countries and 400 entrepreneurs from India participated in the four day International SME convention held in New Delhi from 22ndto 24th April.
  • The convention has specific focus on inclusion of MSMEs in the Make in India program & empowering women entrepreneurs.
  • The MoMSME recognizing the potential of sustainable Indian SMEs in collaborating with International Companies not only for setting up manufacturing operations in India but also for utilizing the reach and market access of International Counterparts for promoting and exporting Made in India products and services.


Justice Rajesh Bindal Committee submits report on Inter-country removal & retention of children

  • The Committee headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal, Judge, High Court of Punjab & Haryana, Chandigarh, submitted its report on legal issues related to inter country removal & retention of children.
  • Stressing upon the need for mediation as the first step, the Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’.
  • The Committee has recommended that the Authority may examine the inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis the cultural context, merit of the case, and the best interest of the Child.

TCS becomes first IT firm to cross $100 bn in market cap

  • India's largest software services exporter Tata Consultancy Services became the first listed Indian IT firm to cross the $100-billion market-capitalisation level.
  • The feat gave the Tata Group flagship entry into the elite club of world's 100 most valued organisations, ranking at 97. There are 96 firms with over $100 billion market cap.
  • TCS crossed the coveted mark within the first hour of trade, registering a market valuation of Rs 6.81 lakh crore. The achievement also helped TCS beat US-listed rival Accenture's market capitalisation of $98 billion, though Accenture ended financial year 2017-18 with revenues of $34.90 billion, far higher than TCS' $19.1 billion.
  • The Mumbai-based Tata group flagship started trading in 2004 and became a $25-billion company in 2010. It is now the country's most valued firm followed by Reliance Industries.

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