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Assam Becomes 1st state to ratify GST Amendment Bill

The Assam Assembly on 12 August 2016 passed a resolution to become the first state to ratify The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 8 August 2016 and by the Rajya Sabha on 3 August 2016.
•    The GST will have two components keeping in mind the federal structure of India: the Central GST (CGST) and the State GST (SGST).
•    For goods and services that pass through several states, or imports, the Centre will levy another tax, the Integrated GST (IGST).
•    Alcohol for human consumption has been kept out of the purview of GST.
•    It empowers the centre to impose an additional tax of up to 1% on the inter-state supply of goods for two years or more. This tax will accrue to states from where the supply originates.
•    Initially, GST will not apply to (a) petroleum crude, (b) high speed diesel, (c) motor spirit (petrol), (d) natural gas and (e) aviation turbine fuel. The GST Council will decide when GST will be levied on them.
•    Tobacco and tobacco products will be subject to GST. The centre may also impose excise duty on tobacco.
•    Parliament may provide for compensation to states for revenue losses arising out of the implementation of GST for up to 5 years, based on the recommendations of the GST Council.

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Maharashtra Government launched Quit India 2 Movement

Commemorating the Platinum Jubilee anniversary of the Quit India Movement the Government of Maharashtra today launched the Quit India Movement 2 against various social ills, in the presence of Union Minister Shri M Venkaiah Naidu. 
•    The launch took place at the historic August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai, from where Mahatma Gandhi had given the clarion call of Quid India in 1942.
•    He said, poverty has to be completely eradicated from the country. “Providing education to all, creating employment, combining development with welfare measures are all part of the larger ‘Quit Poverty” campaign and every Indian should supplement the efforts of the government in this regard. Antyodaya is the way forward” he asserted.
•    Shri Naidu further said, for the nation to achieve faster progress on all fronts, every section of the society irrespective of caste, creed, religion and region should be part of the growth story. 
•    The Minister said we need to say ‘Quit India’ to illiteracy, discrimination, disunity and disharmony, terrorism and anti-nationalism to take the country from ‘Swaraj’ to ‘Suraj’•    Earlier, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Ministers Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Shri Vinod Tawde and others paid their respects at the August Kranti Diwas Memorial at Mumbai’s August Kranti Maidan.

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The Odisha Government had launched Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana

The Odisha government on 7 August 2016 launched a special assistance scheme for elderly weavers, ‘Baristha Bunakar Sahayata Yojana’, to mark the National Handlooms Day.
•    Under the scheme all weavers above the age of 60 years would get a monthly pension of 500 rupees, and those above 80 years would get 700 rupees.
•    The scheme is aimed at improving the financial condition of over 8000 weavers, who have been working in this field for the last 20 years.
•    The pension amounts would be directly sent to the beneficiaries bank accounts.
•    On the occasion, chief minister Naveen Patnaik also gave away awards to weavers' cooperative societies who have been relentlessly promoting and producing the traditional weaves of Odisha.
•    As per reports, Odisha a home of nearly 1.5 lakh weavers including 78% women engaged in handloom production produces handloom fabrics worth 160 crore rupees. 
•    Some handloom products of Odisha include tie and dye, Sambalpuri, Khandua, Berhampuri Pata, Saktapar sari, Maniabandha, Bomkai and others.

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Telangana and ISRO sign MoU over water info system 

Telangana State Government on 6 August 2016 launched a unique Water Resources Information System to assess accurate reserves of water in thousands of Tanks and reservoirs across the state.
•    For this purpose, the Telangana Irrigation Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization over sharing satellite data.
•    The new system will be set up by ISRO's National Remote Sensing Centre.
•    The unique system will help the government authorities to plan for new irrigation projects as well as maintaining transparency in governance. 
•    The Water Resources Information will also pave way for other states to explore possibilities to utilize technology.
•    The Indian Space Research Organization is the space agency of the Indian government headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. 

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National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi continues to be a Union Territory

Delhi High Court on 4 August 2016 held that Lt. Governor is the administrative head of the National Capital Territory.
•    A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed AAP Government's plea challenging the Union Government’s 21 May 2015 notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.
•    The court said AAP government's contention that LG is bound to act on advice of Council of Ministers is without any substance and cannot be accepted.
•    AAP Government had contended that the notification barring Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) from proceeding against Central Government employees is neither illegal nor unsustainable.
•    Ruling that the Service matters were outside the jurisdiction of Delhi Legislative Assembly, the court said that LG exercising the powers is not unconstitutional.
•    The court also held as illegal AAP government’s order appointing Commission of Inquiry in the CNG fitness scam and DDCA scam since the same was issued without concurrence of LG.

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Vijay Rupani named new Gujarat Chief Minister

Vijay Rupani will take over as the new chief minister of Gujarat. Nitin Patel will be the deputy chief minister of Gujarat. The oath taking ceremony will take place on Sunday, 7 August, 2016.
•    Rupani was picked by party MLAs at a meeting on Friday. 
•    The meeting saw the participation of BJP president Amit Shah and senior leader Nitin Gadkari as observers.
•    Vijay Rupani is the state president of the BJP and was the minister for transport, water supply, labor and employment in Anandiben's cabinet. 
•    He was elected an MLA for the first time in 2014, winning the Rajkot West seat vacated by Vajubhai Vala. 
•    Rupani was considered the most non-controversial prospect as her successor, and enjoys wide acceptance among party cadre. 

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Amendments in the Central List of OBCs applicable to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs by way of inclusion/correction/deletion of castes/communities applicable to the State of Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed State of Telangana as per the advice received from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). 
•    A total of 35 changes recommended by NCBC in respect of Andhra Pradesh and 86 New Entries in respect of Telangana State will be notified. 
•    The changes will enable the persons belonging to these castes/ communities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per extant policy. 
•    They will also become eligible for benefit under the various welfare schemes, scholarships etc. being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to the persons belonging to the Other Backward Classes.

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Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to approve sewage and waste water policy.

Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to approve sewage and waste water policy. 
•    The first of its kind policy was approved by the State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur. 
•    Under this policy, all district headquarters, heritage cities, and cities in the state which have more than one lakh population will be included. 
•    Waste water treated under it will be used in irrigation and agricultural work. 
•    The requirement of next 30 years will be covered in this poilcy. 
•    It will be compulsory for every house in the state to connect with sewage system in those cities which have 100% sewage system in next five years.
•    Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprises the erstwhile nineteen princely states, two chiefships, and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara.
•    Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Chittorgarh), Alwar and Dhundhar (Jaipur) were some of the main Rajput princely states. 

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BJP Parliamentary Board accepts resignation of Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel

BJP Parliamentary Board on 3 August 2016 accepted the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. She will meet State Governor OP Kohli to submit her resignation.
•    Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP General Secretary Saroj Pandey have been appointed as the observers to oversee the election of new legislature party leader in the State.
•    Anandiben Patel offered to resign on 1 August 2016, ahead of the state assembly elections expected in 2017, citing her age. The term of the current assembly ends in January 2018.
•    Born on 21 November 1941, Patel was sworn-in as the first woman Chief Minister of Gujarat on 22 May 2014.
•    She is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1987.
•    Being a strict administrator, she has served the state under the then Narendra Modi led government in portfolios like roads and buildings, revenue, urban development and urban housing, disaster management and capital projects from 2007 to 2014.
•    She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1994.
•    She represented India at the Fourth World women’s Conference at Beijing in 1994
•    She has served Gujarat as a school teacher of Mohniba Vidyalaya in Ahmedabad in 1970
•    In 1987, she was awarded with state government’s gallantry award.

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Jharkhand fastest growing tourist place in India

According to the latest tourism statistics by the government, Jharkhand is the fastest growing tourist destination in India. 

•    The state recorded a 40% increase in tourism from 2012 to 2014, with Ranchi being the most popular destination among tourists. 
•    As per the statistics, Tamil Nadu emerged as the top destination for foreign tourists.
•    The state recorded a 40% increase in tourism from 2012 to 2014, with 33.5 million visitors in 2014, including 158,000 foreign tourists, up from a miniscule 3111 foreign visitors in 2001. 
•    The exact reasons for Jharkhand’s growing popularity are unclear, but one likely factor is the improving security situation since the centre approved the creation of the state from the southern part of Bihar to appease tribal separatists in 2000.

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