World Water Day: 22 March
World Water Day is an annual observance day on 22 March to highlight the importance of freshwater.
- It is also used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
- The first World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.
- The theme for the year 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’.
Vienna named the world’s most liveable city for the ninth year
The Austrian capital Vienna has been named the world’s best city to live in for the ninth consecutive year.
- Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey compared 231 major metropolises, examining factors such as crime, healthcare, education, public services, recreation, housing and personal freedom.
- Also, Baghdad remained the worst city to live according to the same survey.
Cabinet approves Opening of Missions in Africa to implement commitments of IAFS
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approvedthe opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021.
- The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome& Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo over a four year period from 2018-2021 thereby increasing the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.
- The decision will enhance India’s diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries.
- Opening of new Missions is also a step towards implementing the vision of enhanced co-operation and engagement with Africa.
Cabinet approves North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs.3000 crores upto March, 2020.
- Government will provide necessary allocations for remaining period of scheme after assessment before March 2020.
- NEIDS is a combination of the incentives covered under the earlier two schemes with a much larger outlay.
Cabinet approves Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the MoHFW.
- The scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
- The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database.
- AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes –Rashtriya Swasthya BimaYojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
Cabinet approves closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI)to enhance synergies in channelizing Diaspora’s contributions to Government of India’s flagship programmes such as National Mission for clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission.
- IDF-OI was set up by Government of India with the approval of Cabinet in 2008 as an autonomous not-for-profit Trust, to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.
- As the Foundation received only Rs. 36.80 Lakhs between December 2008 and March 2015 as donation from overseas Indian community, a comprehensive review of IDF-OI was undertaken in 2015.
106th edition of Indian Science Congress to be held next year in Bhopal
The 106th edition of the Indian Science Congress will be held next year from 3rd to 7th January at the Barkatullah University in Bhopal.
- General President-elect of the Science Congress Association, Prof. Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti announced that the theme of the meet will be ‘Future India: Science & Technology’.
Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands wins Abel Prize
Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands has won the prestigious Abel Prize for developing a programme connecting representation theory to number theory, Norway’s Academy of Sciences and Letters said.
- Langlands will be awarded the 6.0-million-kroner Abel Prize by Norway’s King Harald in Oslo on May 22.
- Named after the 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, the prize was established by the Norwegian government in 2002.
NHAI Receives Best Design Pavilion Award at 105th Indian Science Congress
The NHAI pavilion at 105th Indian Science Congress- Pride of India Expo held at Imphal from 16-20 March 2018 has been adjudged as BEST DESIGN PAVILION.
- The award was conferred by Dr. Najma Heptulla, Governor of Manipur.
- The NHAI had put up an exhibition stall to showcase its Projects and other initiatives like Electronic Toll Collection, Wayside Amenities, Incident Management, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Road Safety etc.
- Besides this, NHAI Exhibition stall at “Destination Bihar Expo 2018” held at Gandhi Maidan, Patna from 09-13 March 2018 ranked at Third Position in “Government Sector category”.
- The exhibition was jointly organized by Bihar Industries Association and Department of Industries, Govt. of Bihar.
India Post releases special cover on Stephen Hawking
India Post has paid tribute to theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking by issuing a special cover on him.
- Chief Post Master General (CPMG) of Maharashtra and Goa Circle H C Agrawal and Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) Dr Sandip Trivedi jointly issued the special cover.
- Hawking died at the age of 76 on March 14 in his home in Cambridge in the United Kingdom.