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Dharamsala declared as second capital of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on 19 January 2017 declared Dharamsala town of Kangra district as the second Capital of the State.
●    Dharamsala is located at some 250 km from the state capital Shimla. It has its own significance and history to make it the second capital of the state.
●    This announcement is significant as 25 out of 68 assembly seats of the state fall in Kangra, Una and Hamirpur districts and Dharamsala was important for lower areas of Himachal Pradesh including Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur and Una districts. 
●    The people of these areas will now be benefitted of this special status as now they will no longer travel longer distance to Shimla for their work.
●    Dharamsala is a city in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and was formerly known as Bhagsu. Kangra is the largest district in the state with 15 of 68 assembly seats.

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10th Jaipur Literature festival begins

The 10th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is all set to begin tomorrow with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, veteran lyricist Gulzar, American poet Anne Waldman and spiritual writer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, inaugurating the five-day event. 
●    Touted to be world's largest free literary festival, this year JLF has been themed on "The Freedom to Dream: India at 70" and will see over 250 authors, thinkers, politicians and popular culture icons engaging in stimulating discussions and sessions at the historic Diggi Palace here.
●    The opening session will see Sadhguru, Founder of Isha Foundation in conversation with Sanjoy Roy, the festival director, during which he will discuss his latest book "Inner Engineering - a Yogi's Guide to Joy". 
●    The bestselling book offers readers a "sophisticated" guide to self-empowerment and a means to create a framework of inner balance and well being, based on the science of yoga. 

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J&K Legislative Assembly passes resolution on return of Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir

The Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on 19 January 2017 passed a resolution on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants back to Kashmir valley. 
●    The resolution was passed unanimously in the house.
●    Various members of the assembly also rendered their full support to the motion. 
●    They said with the improvement in situation government should facilitate the return and rehabilitation of Kashmir migrants who have to shun their places due to militancy.
●    The issue of return of Kashmiri Pandits was raised in the assembly by the leader of opposition Omar Abdullah. 
●    The former Chief Minister of the state said that the Assembly should pass a resolution that calls for the return of Kashmiri Pandits along with other migrants.
●    Calling for the resolution, Abdullah also said that 27-years-ago, unfortunate circumstances in the state forced Kashmiri Pandit community, along with Sikh community and few Muslims to the migrant.

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President Inaugurates Centenary Celebrations of Jhalda Satyabhama Vidyapith, Purulia, West Bengal

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary celebrations of Jhalda Satyabhama Vidyapith today (January 18, 2017) at Jhalda, Purulia, West Bengal. 
●    Speaking on the occasion, the President called upon the students to uphold the values of our civilization through the attainment of education. 
●    He appreciated the effort by Jhalda Satyabhama Vidyapith to mark its Centenary by setting up a museum on the freedom struggle on the occasion of its centenary. 
●    He paid homage to five young men of this area who, inspired by revolutionary patriot, Satya Kinkar Dutta, laid down their lives in the freedom struggle. 
●    The President said these martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice for our independence must be saluted. 
●    People should be educated about their sacrifice and also, about the Chuar uprising, a glorious chapter in our struggle for freedom whose epicentre was Jhalda. 
●    The President quoted Swami Vivekananda, and said the aim of education is to become a real man. 
●    He urged students to have a common goal of attaining education and to uphold the qualities of tolerance, determination and honesty. 
●    He said they would hold thereby the flag of our great civilisation high.

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J P Nadda inaugurates the National Workshop on ‘Life and Fire Safety in Healthcare Facilities in India’

“We have to aim to ensure “zero tolerance” with regard to risk of fire. With this aim in the focus, we have to align all our efforts and converge to achieve this goal.” This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare while inaugurating a National Workshop on ‘Life and Fire Safety in Healthcare Facilities in India’, here today. The workshop wasjointly organized by Ministry of Health and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi with active participation of School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Delhi Fire Services, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi and Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize the hospital administrators and engineering heads about important issues related to life and fire safety in healthcare buildings.  
●    Speaking at the function, ShriNadda said that sensitization towards fire safety is key to preventing any untoward incident in hospitals. “The dos and don’ts must be understood first and should be strictly followed. We must also make sure that it goes down to every level,” ShriNadda added. The Health Minister further said that doctors and engineering staff should be fully aware of their role towards fire and life safety. “Our nurses and doctors are the first responders in such an eventuality. In fact, doctors and nurses would provide the guidance and support if patients are to be moved and where they have to be moved considering the condition of patients,” ShriNadda stated.  
●    Laying stress on having safe evacuation during emergencies,ShriNadda said that it has been noticed that corridors, staircases are not properly maintained to provide safe egress, sometimes emergency doors are locked even when patients are in a position to move out. “This is fundamental but often ignored, due to security reasons. Hospital administrations should resolve this problem in consultation with security experts. Please ensure that access and egress is not compromised and proper fire escape routes and measures are in place especially in operation theatres and ICUs so that patients inside these rooms can be evacuated properly during emergencies,” Shri Nadda elaborated. 
●    Shri Nadda also emphasized on the need for training and capacity building among the hospital staff especially doctors, nurses and attendants so that they can undertake routine assessments of emerging risks, including those arising due to alterations and also conduct audits through internal technical staff.Shri Nadda also directed the officials of the participating Institutions/Hospitals to develop time bound fire safety action plan of the building/block of their Hospital/Institution. He further instructed them to undertake quarterly fire drills so that the hospital staff is sensitized and is aware of their responsibility. Shri Nadda also asked the participants to conduct fire audits regularly which will be monitored by the Ministry.  
●    The workshop was attended by Heads of 23 Hospitals/ Institutes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and their concerned officers.  A mock drill was also conducted in the premises of AIIMS, New Delhi.  In the workshop the participants got a comprehensive understanding of the scope of life and fire safety in healthcare buildings in terms of best practices as well as applicable codes and standards by participants. 
●    Also present at the function were DrArun Panda, Additional Secretary (HFW), Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, Addl. Secy (HFW), Dr B D Athani, Special DGHS, Dr. M.C.Misra, Director AIIMS, New Delhi

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India's first Madame Tussauds Museum to open in Delhi in June

The first wax museum attraction Madame Tussauds will debut in Delhi this June with its operator Merlin Entertainments foraying into India with an investment plan of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years. 
●    UK-based Merlin Enterprises runs 116 attractions in 24 countries and the company will be foraying into the Indian market with the launch of Madame Tussauds in the national capital.
●    Merlin Entertainments India General Manger and Director Anshul Jain said: “We are looking at bringing in other brands but our priority is to launch Madame Tussauds in Delhi. We plan to invest 50 million pounds over the next 10 years.”
●    The company has made in opening its first Madame Tussauds attraction in India, Jain said: “We cannot give specific details but we are launching India with 50 figures with a minimum investment of Rs 1.5 crore for each figure.”
●    The museum will be housed in the Regal Cinema building at Connaught Place and will be spread over two floors.

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Liquor banned in three Uttarakhand districts

The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the state government to impose a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in three districts of the state.
●    The ruling came in response to a writ petition filed by Udit Narayan Tiwari, seeking a ban on a bar serving liquor in Haridwar, stating that it violated the government order passed in February 2002.
●    The order had prohibited the sale and consumption of liquor in Haridwar given its religious prominence.
●    The PIL was heard by a division bench comprising Justices Rajeev Sharma and Alok Singh who ordered a complete ban on liquor in Rudraprayag, Chamoli, and Uttarkashi districts, effective from next fiscal year.
●    These districts are home to the highly religious Char Dham temples. While Kedarnath and Badrinath are located in Rudraprayag and Chamoli respectively, Gangotri and Yamunotri both are located in Uttarkashi.
●    The bench stated that though the sale of liquor is already prohibited in the area, a complete ban is essential, especially considering the growing tendency of drinking among youngsters. 
●    Along with this, the bench of justices also directed the state government to ban public drinking and keep a check on ‘large drunken gatherings’.

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Narmada Seva Yatra launched in Madhya Pradesh

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, on 11 December 2016 launched Narmada Seva Yatra at Amarkantak. 
●    The yatra that will continue till 11 May 2017 (about five months) aims at turning the River Narmada pollution free and unceasing.
●    This Narmada Sewa Yatra that will cover more than 1900 kilometres (from Amarkantak to Sondwa (Alirajpur)) in 16 districts will also help in making people aware about the conservation of the river.
●    Before kick starting the campaign, Chouhan performed all religious rituals and invited religious leaders to join the yatra. He said that he will join the campaign every week.
●    All villages that lie on the bank of the river will have its own Narmada Sewa Samiti, which will undertake the follow-up action on measures for its preservation.
●    Sewage water that flows into the river will be treated before being released into the river.
●    Trees will be planted along the banks of the Narmada.
●    During the 118 day, journey will be monitored by a core team of fifty persons.
●    The yatra will comprise of workshops and public meetings.

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UP relief for deaths in bank queues

Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to announce compensation for families of those who died standing in bank or ATM queues after November 8, when the Prime Minister made the demonetisation announcement.
●    A press statement from the Akhilesh Yadav government said, "It is unfortunate that people have died after standing in ATM and bank queues in the state because of 'notebandi' (demonetisation). 
●    The chief minister has announced to give Rs 2 lakh each from his discretionary fund to the families of all such people who were from a poor background." 
●    Officials have been directed to probe all such deaths.
●    In the same statement, the government announced Rs 5-lakh compensation for the family of a daily wage earner who committed suicide after failing to exchange old currency notes in a bank.
●    BJP criticised the move, saying SP was politicising the miseries of the poor. 

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Delhi Deer Park Closed Down Due to Bird Flu Scare

The Hauz Khas lake inside the Deer Park was shut down Thursday after five ducks were found dead, amid a bird flu scare. 
●    A notice on the park’s main gate stated that the lake would be shut to visitors till October 25.
●    On Tuesday, the Delhi zoo had been shut down after eight water birds died mysteriously, and three of the deaths were later confirmed to be due to bird flu.
●    However, the Delhi government said it had adequate stocks of Tamiflu antivirus to tackle a possible outbreak, though there was no immediate threat to human beings.
●    The total number of bird deaths has gone up to 20, said a senior official in the animal husbandry department.
●    The Delhi government has also urged the municipal corporations to keep 10 reserve teams on stand-by.

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