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Current Affairs for 28 March 2016
March 29, 2016

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Syrian troops recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State on Sunday and pledged to build on the victory with an advance against other jihadist strongholds.

President Bashar Al-Assad hailed the victory as an “important achievement and fresh proof of the efficiency of the Syrian army and its allies in fighting terrorism.” The Army said pro-government forces had cleared IS fighters from the UNESCO world heritage site, where the jihadists sparked a global outcry with the systematic destruction of treasured monuments.“Palmyra will be the central base to broaden operations against Daesh in numerous areas, primarily Deir Ezzor and Raqa,” the Army said, using an Arabic name for IS. The northern city of Raqqa is the IS’s main Syrian bastion and the oil-rich eastern province of Deir Ezzor is another key stronghold.



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he Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited, a State-run power generating company, has installed a rooftop solar project on the existing plant switchyard building at its Banharpali-based Ib Thermal Power Station (ITPS) in Jharsuguda district as part of a demonstration project.

The OPGC is currently operating a coal power plant of capacity 2X210 mW (Unit1 and 2). As part of its capacity addition programme, the OPGC is expanding its power project of 2×660 mW (Unit 3 and 4) with a capital outlay of Rs.11,547 crore based on supercritical technology, adjacent to the existing power station at the same location. According to a statement released by the State PSU, the project is under advance stage of construction with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited as main plant contractor and BGR Energy Systems Limited as balance of plant contractor.



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The 52-km-long Manesar-Palwal stretch has been thrown open to traffic

Having missed several deadlines, the 52-km-long Manesar-Palwal stretch of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway has eventually been thrown open to traffic. The stretch is expected to be formally inaugurated by Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, in the first week of April.

The work on development of the KMP Expressway was started in 2006. For development of this project on BOT basis, Concession Agreement was signed with M/s KMP Expressway Ltd. As per the original time schedule, the expressway was to be ready by July 29, 2009. Forming a ring around the NCR area, the eastern (connecting Kundli, Ghaziabad and Palwal) and the western (Kundli, Manesar and Palwal) peripheral expressways were conceived to ensure that non-destined commercial vehicles, which are estimated to be more than 80,000 now, do not enter the city limits of Delhi.

The much-delayed project got a new lease of life last year when in pursuance to the Supreme Court orders dated January 30, 2015, the State government took the decision to terminate the contract of the old concessionaire and have a new concessionaire. While the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development (HSIIDC) Corporation allotted work for the Manesar-Palwal section on Item Rate Mode in March last, the work for the remaining Kundli-Manesar section was granted in July. The Kundli-Manesar section is expected to be complete in an year’s time.



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The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has formed a new inspection policy, as per which only less than 20 per cent of the total industries in Gurgaon will be inspected in any financial year.

A HSPCB official said industries would be selected on the basis of a computerised risk assessment process, considering the compliance requirements and prevailing categorisation of industry.

“Besides mandatory inspections, there may be a requirement to keep a tab on compliance with orders of various courts or Tribunals, orders issued from the Head Office for the purpose of verifying the compliance made by the unit, re-sampling on the request of unit itself, verification of complaints, and illegally established units,” the official said.

The official said that every inspection would be carried out after permission of the competent authority except in the case of inspection of units which are found to have been operating without Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) of the Board. A computerised system will be developed for allocation of the inspectors.

The same inspecting officer of the Board will not inspect the same unit twice consecutively.



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Periyar University has received a grant of Rs. 10 crore for its development activities under the RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) scheme.

The grant will be utilised for infrastructure development, to undertake renovation activities and procure equipment, a release from V-C C. Swaminathan said.

The funds were released as part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development scheme, RUSA.

There was a master plan under various schemes to all States to develop higher education in the country. Subsequently, the schemes would be funded partly by the State Government and the Centre in the ratio of 1:4 respectively.

Periyar University submitted proposals in areas of energy studies, textile technology, biological sciences, humanities and social sciences and language development as part of which had received a grant of Rs. 10 crore from the State Government including its own share, Mr. Swaminathan said.



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Reaching out to the Muslims in poll-bound West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paused for several minutes in the middle of his speech at a poll rally here as a muezzin called for prayers at a nearby mosque.

Mr. Modi, who had begun a tirade against the ruling Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M)-Congress alliance, was in full flow when he abruptly stopped his speech as the muezzin made the call for prayer.

‘This is our parampara’

The rally was being held at the BNR maidan here, which is located behind the Golbari Masjid.



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Tata Motors signed a follow-on contract with the Indian Army to supply an additional 619 units of its high-mobility vehicle (HMV) 6X6 multi-axle trucks for an unspecified amount. This is in addition to an earlier order for 1,239 units received in 2015.

Being built with a material handling crane, the Tata 6X6 HMV is meant for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.

The Tata 6X6 high mobility all-terrain all-wheel drive vehicle, has demonstrated maximum performance in the most demanding conditions and is built on a capable platform for diverse tasks. The vehicle has been designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads and have gone through trials including deep water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains and put through the VRDE’s (Vehicle Research & Development Establishment) “torture track.”