- New panchayats to become functional from August 1
- The State will see around 4,000 new gram panchayats becoming functional from August 1 in line with the new Panchayat Raj Bill passed by the State Legislature during the budget session.
- The government has added 3,965 new gram panchayats to the existing 8,786 taking the total number of panchayats to 12,751.
- The term of the exsiting panchayats is coming to an end on July 31 and the government had decided to conduct elections to the newly created panchayats along with the elected bodies whose term expires this month end. However, with the election process hitting a legal hurdle due to reservations to the Backward Classes, officials are now focussing on the creation of necessary facilities for the new panchayats.
- Accordingly, officials are evaluating the availability of facilities like buildings and related infrastructure to house these new panchayats and it has been decided in principle to rent the premises in the event of absence of required infrastructure in the villages.
- Efforts have also been initiated to devolve functions like collection of cess, taxes and issuance of certificates relating to births, deaths and nativity among others to the newly constituted panchayats.
- Nepal to host BIMSTEC Summit on Aug 31
- Nepal is set to hold a two-day Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit, starting from August 31, in Kathmandu.
- Nepal, the host nation and the current chair of the BIMSTEC, has made preparations to discuss over the trans-border crimes, terrorism, natural calamities, extremism, and illegal trade of arms, ammunition and drugs.
· India joined European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- India became 69th member of London-based multilateral lender, “European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)”.
- EBRD bank has already worked with Indian companies on joint projects worth almost 1 billion euros ($1.18 billion), including investments with Tata, SREI, Jindal, and Mahindra and Mahindra.
· Global Innovation Index: Switzerland Tops, India Ranks 57th
- This year, India rankedas the 57th most innovative nation in the world, and has improved its ranking from 60th position last year.
- Since 2011, Switzerland has been ranked at the top every year.
Top 5 Countries in Global Innovation Index 2018 are:
2. The Netherlands,
4. The United Kingdom,
· Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 to be held at Varanasi
- The 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention is being organized by Ministry of External Affairs in association with the State Government of Uttar Pradesh in January 2019 (Jan. 21 – 23, 2019).
- Theme of 2019 event is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India”.
- Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is annually celebrated on January 9 to mark the contribution of Overseas Indian community towards their homeland.
- Ministry of Water Resources Launches “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao” Contest
- In an attempt to engage with the people of India on the important issues of water conservation and water management, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched a video contest titled “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”.
- The Ministry has joined hands with MyGov portal of the Government of India to run the contest.
- The fortnightly contest which was launched through MyGov, will last till 4thNovember 2018.
- Three winners will be chosen every fortnight.
- PM to inaugurate new ASI Headquarters in New Delhi
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will inaugurate the new Headquarters building of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), at Tilak Marg in New Delhi on July 12, 2018.
- The new Headquarters building has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including energy efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting.
- It shall include a Central Archaeological Library with a collection of about 1.5 lakh books and journals.
· Government approved Net Neutrality, new telecom policy
- To ensure open and free Internet in India, the government has approved the principle of net neutrality, which means that telecom and Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, site, platform, or application.
- They cannot engage in practices such as blocking, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content.
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in November 2017, batted in favour of net neutrality – which has been one of the most hotly debated topics in India for over 4 years now.
· BSNL launched India’s first internet telephony service, to enable making calls without SIM
- Now BSNL customers will be able to make calls using the company’s mobile app “Wings” to any phone number in the country.
- Registration for the service will start this week and the services will be activated July 25
- Telecom Commission, the highest-decision making body of the Department of Telecom, had allowed companies who hold valid telecom licence, to provide app-based calling serviceeven by using wi-fi connection.
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