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Current Affairs for 27 February 2016
February 27, 2016
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ODISHA CABINET NOD FOR MEGA FOREST CONSERVATION PLAN

Odisha Cabinet on Friday decided to take up forest conservation through Vana Surakshya Samitis in villages bordering forest areas.

The State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave its go-ahead to ‘Ama Jungle Yojna’, a plan for undertaking regeneration of forests over 2,60,000 hectares from 2016-17 to 2021-22

The State government will spend Rs 1170.02 crore for the scheme. “The main objectives of the scheme is to achieve sustainable forest management in the project area through forest restoration initiatives, along with providing income and livelihood opportunities to the forest dependent communities, so that the pressure on adjoining forests is relieved,” said Suresh Mohapatra, Forest and Environment Secretary, here on Friday.

Fund to the tune of Rs. 521 crore would be sourced from Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), Rs. 285 crore from State plan, Rs 322 crore from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and rest from National Rural Livelihood Programme, Mr. Mohapatra said.


 

M.P. REDUCES VAT ON CSD CARS, GREEN VEHICLES AND SOYA MILK

The Madhya Pradesh government announced reducing VAT on a number of items such as CSD cars, soya milk and dialysis machine, while making battery-operated vehicles tax-free in the budget for 2016-17 presented in the Assembly on Friday.

Presenting his fourth budget, Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jayant Mallaiya also announced an entry fee of 6 per cent on goods in view of revenue “loss” due to the e-commerce trade.

The budget estimates a revenue surplus of Rs. 3,509.81 crore for financial year 2016.17. “The total expenditure is estimated to be Rs. 1,58,713.04 crore for 2016-17 while appropriation is estimated to be Rs. 1,70,753.99 crores,” Mr. Mallaiya said.

Mr. Mallaiya said the State which has received four Krishi Karman Awards in a row and the one is working tirelessly to make agriculture a profitable venture has earlier made tax free 38 agriculture equipment. And continuing with this practice, it has proposed to make machines used for making bio-fertilisers and for milk processing as tax-free.


 

MODI’S $ 1-BILLION CREDIT LINE TO MONGOLIA TO START ROLLING SOON

India and Mongolia are likely to kick off talks in March on the $ 1 billion credit line, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during his visit to the country in May 2015.

The plan for India-Mongolia dialogue is significant as it comes nearly nine months after Mr. Modi visited Mongolia and made the “in principle” credit line announcement.

India has an operational credit line of $20 million for Mongolia and out of that 1.5 million is being utilised for an IT consultancy project. An official of the Exim Bank working on credit lines to Mongolia, said that the bank expected most of the $1 billion credit line to be dedicated to infrastructure projects.


 

IRAN VOTES TO SHAPE POST-DEAL ERA

Millions of Iranians voted in high-stake elections on Friday that could shift the balance of power within the hardline-controlled Islamic elite by ushering in a reformist comeback or help conservatives tighten their grip on power.

The contest is seen by some analysts as a make-or-break moment that could shape the future for the next generation, in a country where nearly 60 per cent of the 80 million population is under 30.

There were early signs of enthusiastic participation in the first polls since a nuclear deal last year led to a lifting of sanctions and deeper diplomatic engagement abroad.

Long queues formed at polling stations in the capital and state television showed throngs of voters in Ahvaz and Shiraz. It was unclear how the turnout might shape the outcome.


 

INDIA HAS 3RD LARGEST BASE OF START-UP FIRMS

ithin a year, the number of technology start ups in the country has grown by 40 per cent to over 4,200, making India the third largest base of technology start-ups in the world, according to the Economic Survey 2015-16.

This has further helped create about 80,000-85,000 jobs during 2015. “India, home to a new breed of young start-ups, has clearly evolved to become the third largest base of technology start-ups in the world. Within one year, the number of start-ups in India has grown by 40 per cent and crossed the 4200 mark, an addition of nearly 1200, creating 80,000-85,000 jobs in 2015,” the survey said. Separately, the survey also stated that as of January 2016, there were 19,400 technology-enabled start-ups in India, of which 5,000 had been started in 2015 alone. “One part of the economy that is witnessing unusual dynamism is the start-up sector, focused on e-commerce and financial services,” according to the survey.


 

RAILWAYS TAKES GOLD

Internationals Arvind Panwar and Manohar Lal came to fore as Railways beat arch rival Services to win the 60km team time trial event in the 20th National road cycling championship here on Friday.

The Railways clocked 1:33:41.351s to win the gold. Services finished second in 1:35:10.805s while Rajasthan (1:41:59.445s) came third.


 

RANJI TROPHY: MUMBAI ACCOMPLISHES MISSION 41 IN STYLE

Mumbai stamped its authority in the domestic cricket circuit yet again with an exceptional performance in two sessions that turned the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra on its head and handed it a deserving 41st title, with a victory by an innings and 21 runs on the third day itself.

Starting the day with a narrow lead of 27 runs and crisis man Siddhesh Lad having just the last two men for company, the game was in the balance at the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s stadium in Gahunje.

However, Lad’s audacious batting, aided by No. 11 Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s sensible show, first took the game away from Saurashtra in the morning session. Mumbai’s four-pronged pace attack killed it in the afternoon, and completed the formalities 29 minutes after tea.

So strong was the onslaught of a relatively young Mumbai outfit, that Saurashtra crumbled even before realising the game was being taken away from it.

What worked against it, like on Thursday, was a dropped catch with Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip being the culprit this time around. He dropped a regulation edge off Lad, who was on 24 then, with the lead being 36.


ECONOMIC SURVEY PEGS GDP GROWTH AT 7-7.75%; PITCHES FOR MORE REFORMS, GST

In contrast, the Survey of last year had project growth rate level of 8.1-8.5 per cent for the financial year 2015-16, ending March 31.

Tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament, the Survey also said that “credibility and optimality” favours sticking to next year’s deficit target of 3.5 percent of GDP.

It also called for expeditious implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which it described as an unprecedented reforms measure.

The Survey projected a growth rate of 7-7.75 percent for the next fiscal as compared to 7.6 percent expected in 2015-16, with downside risks from the weak global economic scenario.