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Important Current Affairs 18th July 2021

NATIONAL

Centre to set up cultural centre in Haryana

•The Haryana government has got in-principle approval to set up a cultural centre in Kurukshetra from the central government, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said on Saturday. Further, the Centre and the Haryana government will work together to expand and develop ‘International Surajkund Craft Mela’ into a grand affair.

•Khattar held talks with Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy in New Delhi during the day. In-principle approval to set up a ‘North Zone Cultural Centre’ in Kurukshetra has been given by the central government, the chief minister said. Currently, there is a ‘North Zone Cultural Centre’ in Patiala.

•A detailed project description of a museum to be established at Jyotisar in Kurukshetra has been submitted by the Haryana government.

Chhattisgarh Terminates 158 MoUs, Citing No Progress In Execution

•The Chhattisgarh government has cancelled 158 memoranda of understanding (MoUs), signed between different departments and companies between 2001 and 2018, after no progress was made in their execution.

•The 158 MoUs, 103 were signed during the Global Investors' Meet in 2012 during the tenure of the Raman Singh-led BJP government in the state.

•The decision in this regard was taken during the 15th meeting of the State Investment Promotion Board chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives hold virtual trilateral exercise TTX-2021

•Top defence officials from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives participated in a virtual trilateral tabletop exercise “TTX-2021”. The exercise focused on maritime crimes like curbing narcotics and assistance in maritime search and rescue in the region. The two-day exercise, TTX-2021 aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and exchange of best practices procedures for countering common transnational crime was coordinated by the Maritime Warfare Centre, Mumbai.

•TTX-2021 exemplifies the deep trilateral engagement between India-Maldives-Sri Lanka which has strengthened immensely in the maritime domain over the past years.

•Interaction between the three neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India”s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First” and vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR).

Andhra Pradesh government announced 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections

•The Andhra Pradesh government announced a 10% reservation for the Kapu community and other Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) for appointments in the initial posts and services in State government in accordance with the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019. The 10% reservation in employment will benefit Kapus who are neither benefited under BC quota nor under EWS quota and other Open Competition (OC) sections who are deprived of the benefits of reservation thus far due to non-implementation of the EWS quota.

•Persons who are not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and whose gross annual family income is below Rs 8 lakh are to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation.

•The income includes income from all sources i.e. salary, agriculture, business, profession etc. for the financial year prior to the year of application.

Digital Platform “Kisan Sarathi” launched by Narendra Singh Tomar,

•In order to facilitate farmers to get ‘right information at right time’ in their desired language, a digital platform namely ‘KisanSarathi’ was launched jointly by Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. This initiative of KisanSarathi empowers farmers with technological interventions to reach farmers in remote areas.

•The ICAR Scientists to take-up research on new technological interventions in the area of transportation of farmer’s crop from their farm gate to warehouses, markets and the places where they want to sell with minimum damage. Union IT Minister assured that Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Communications will always be ready to provide all necessary support to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying for Empowerment of Farmers. He also mentioned that the Ministry of Railways is making a plan to minimise the time taken for the transportation of crops.

Kerala government’s campaign ‘Mathrukavacham’ for pregnant women 

•The Kerala government’s campaign ‘Mathrukavacham’ to vaccinate all the pregnant women in the state against C-19 infection was inaugurated at the district level recently. Spot registrations for vaccination of pregnant women would be carried out at various government hospitals. Pregnant women can receive the C-19 vaccine at any time during their pregnancy. The special vaccination drive comes as a strong defence to protect pregnant women.

•Vaccination will be made available in all district hospitals as part of the model program. In the beginning, the C-19 vaccine will be given to 100 pregnant women through spot registration.

•The State Health Ministry assured that in the coming days, C-19 vaccination for more pregnant women will be made accessible in all hospitals, depending on the availability of the vaccine.

Maharashtra government launched new Electric Vehicle Policy 2021

•The Maharashtra state government has launched the new Electric Vehicle Policy-2021. The policy announced by the State Environment Minister, Aaditya Thackeray aims to accelerate the adoption of Battery Electric Vehicles in the country. The new EV policy introduced in Maharashtra is a revision of the 2018 policy. It is introduced with an aim to make Maharashtra the “topmost producer of battery-powered electric vehicles in India.”

•The policy also aims for electric vehicles (EVs) to make up 10 per cent of all new vehicle registrations, by 2025. For this ambitious mission, the state government has rolled out an Rs. 930 crore policy, valid up to 31st March 2025. To make this successful, EVs will be exempted from road tax and registration charges.

Harela, The Folk Festival Of Uttarakhand

•The Harela festival in the mountain state of Uttarahand is all about thanksgiving for Nature’s beauty, generosity and bounty. It is a time when Nature is allowed to do her job and people pause from their hectic lives to enjoy her biodiversity.

•Acouple of decades ago, when 45-year-old J P Maithani was a young boy living in Pipalkoti village of Chamoli in Garhwal division of Uttarakhand, gorging on a delicious meal of puri, pakodi and halwa was how the morning of Harela festival started.