26, October 2016

1.Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Going to Initiate Integrated Farming on 100 KVKs

Source: PIB

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) set up throughout the country play very important role to enhance the income of the farmers and promote agriculture.

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare appealed KVKs and state level agriculture officials that they should work with the farmers in very much closed affinity. They were called for to extend their contribution to the farmers for enhancing their income.


2.e-Postal Ballot System for Service Voters

Source: PIB

The Government has issued Notification amending rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enabling service voters, including armed forces personnel, to cast their vote in elections through e-postal ballot.

Under this system a blank postal ballot paper would be transmitted to them electronically.

Major Impact:

  • This would cut short the delay experienced in the present system in two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services.
  • The armed forces personnel serving in remote and border areas would be greatly benefitted since the present system of two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services has not been able to meet the expectations of the service voters.
  • One-way electronic transmission of blank postal ballot would considerably cut short the delay in receipt of the marked postal ballot by the Returning Officers on or before the date fixed for the counting of votes.
  • Major beneficiaries would be the entire category of service voters as stated above, especially the armed forces personnel posted in border and remote areas of the country.

The government had approached the Election Commission to help mitigate the difficulties faced by service voters while exercising their franchise. The issue had also come up before the Supreme Court where it was pleaded that an effective mechanism be created for armed forces personnel and their families to exercise their right to vote easily and effectively

3.National tribal carnival

Source: PIB

The first National Tribal Carnival was recently inaugurated in New Delhi. The carnival seeks to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals.

Key facts:

  • Main purpose of the carnival is to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals.
  • About 1,600 tribal artists and around 8,000 tribal delegates from across the country took part in the carnival.
  • Besides, eminent tribal personalities who have excelled in various fields like sports, arts and culture, literature, academics and medicine were also invited.
  • The underlying idea is to preserve and promote various facets of the tribal life relating to culture, tradition, customs and their skills, and to expose it to the general public with a view to utilise the potential for overall holistic development of the Scheduled Tribes.
  • Activities like displaying documents on traditional socio-culture aspects, exhibition of art/artifacts, cultural performances, demonstration of skills like sports, paintings, traditional healing practices, etc. were part of the event.
  • There were workshops on issues like implementation of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), its benefit to tribal community and its drawbacks, implication and reservation of Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, in politics and recruitment.

4.Mitra Shakti 2016


  • It is the fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise. It is being conducted at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka.
  • The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate.
  • The previous exercise with the Sri Lankan Army was successfully conducted in the month of September 2015 at Pune in India.

5.India ranked at lowly 87 in gender gap index

Source: Indian Express

India was ranked 108th on the annual Global Gender Gap index compiled by Geneva-based World Economic Forum.

India has closed its gender gap by 2 per cent in a year and its gap now stands at 68 per cent across the four pillars that WEF measures — economy, education, health and political representation.

The major improvement has been in education where “India has managed to close its gap entirely in primary and secondary education”, WEF, adding that in the economic sphere, “much work remains to be done”. India ranks 136 in this pillar out of 144 countries.

On educational attainment, India was ranked at 113th place; in terms of health and survival, it was a placed at a lowly 142, while on political empowerment it was among the top 10 countries.

Highlights of the report:

  • The 11th edition of the WEF’s report said the global gender gap is widening and it will take at least 170 years for women to earn as much as men and for them participate equally in the workforce.
  • WEF has called for urgent action, saying that progress on the gender equality front was actually slowing down and even reversing in some countries – last year it had predicted these changes would take 118 years.
  • While differences in access to education are reducing, researchers found that that the gap in income and employment has widened over the past four years – it currently stands at 59%.
  • According to the report, the average pay gap for women around the world is nearly half of what men earn, and most of them work longer hours when unpaid labour is factored in. Moreover, women are less likely to be given senior roles in organisations or be retained in the workforce after having children.
  • The best performing countries on the list were Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda. The poorest were Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The United States stood at 73rd while the United Kingdom was ranked 20th.

6.India ranks 130 in ease of doing business, moves one place: World Bank report

Source: The Hindu

India has moved up only one rank on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking this year.

India is ranked 130 out of 190 countries in World Bank Group’s annual report on the ease of doing business, Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All.

 Even the one rank improvement is because India had been downgraded in the 2016 edition to 131 from 130 earlier.


The World Bank report, however, recognised the concerted efforts made by India, and set aside a special section “India has embarked on an ambitious reform path” to list the developments.

 In the ranking, India has made a substantial improvement in some areas such as Trading Across Borders, electricity connection, including payment of taxes and enforcing contracts, prevented improvement on the rankings that is followed widely by global investors, but slippage in other areas.

Other countries:

New Zealand is followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea and Norway.

Performance of BRICS nations: Brazil-123, Russia-40, South Africa-74 and China-78.

India’s performance:

The country has embarked on a fast-paced reform path, and the Doing Business 2017 report acknowledges a number of substantial improvements,

Mentioning electricity connections to businesses, paying taxes, electronic system for paying employee state insurance contributions, electronic filing of integrated customs declarations, the Companies (Amendment) Act, passage of the commercial courts and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

7.Urja Ganga

Source: PIB

PM Modi recently launched Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gas pipeline project in Varanasi.

The government estimates that around 5 lakh gas cylinders will be sent at rural areas annually.

  • The gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking gas to residents of Varanasi within two years and, in another year after that, cater to millions of people in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.
  • From Varanasi’s perspective, an 800-km long MDPI pipeline will be laid and 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get PNG and CNG gas respectively
  • According to GAIL, with the Urja Ganga project, 20 lakh households will get PNG connections. The project is said to be a major step towards collective growth and development of the Eastern region of India.
  • GAIL has built a network of trunk pipelines covering the length of around 11,000 km. With Urja Ganga project, this number will further increase by 2540 km.
  • Work on the 2540-km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas pipeline project will begin and will be completed between 2018 and 2020.
  • The total cost of project is 12,940 crores of which the union government has sanctioned a grant of Rs 5,176 crores.






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