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Indian Railways launches Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims

Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims to visit Shirdi, Tirupati, Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham and Jyotirlingams among others has been launched by Indian Railways.
•    The tourist train comprises 10 coaches and bookings are being done by IRCTC wesbite. 
•    The service offers budget-friendly package for pilgrims. The package includes train journey, road transportation, accommodation, sightseeing at tourist locations and onboard and off-board meals.
•    Bharat Darshan will cover pilgrimages destinations like Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya, Banaras and Ayodhya. 
•    It will also cover 7 Jyotirlinga package and also offers “Dakshin Darshan with Shirdi” tour package that will cover Shirdi, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore and Bangalore.
•    Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. 
•    It is one of the world's largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km (71,000 mi) of track over a route of 65,808 km (40,891 mi) and 7,112 stations. 

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Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Ballia

On 1 May 2016 Indian PM launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh.
•    The scheme aims to provide cooking gas connections to five crore BPL beneficiaries over.
•    LPG spread predominantly in Urban and Semi Urban Areas 
•    But the rural poor have limited access to Clean fuel (LPG).
•    Use of fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung are having serious health implications for women and Children.
•    According to WHO,5 Lakhs die every year due to heart disease, pulmonary diseases etc.
•    5 crore LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with 1600 rupees.
•    Connections will be given in the name of Women.
•    EMI Facility for meeting the cost of Stove and Refill cost.
•    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is an ambitious social welfare scheme of Narendra Modi Government. 
•    Under the PM Ujjwala Yojana, the government aims to provide free LPG connections to BPL households in the country. 
•    The scheme is aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).

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MoC between Ministry of Women & Child Development and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

On 4 May 2016  Union Cabinet approved the signing of Memorandum of Co-operation between Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
•    The MoC will be signed for the cooperation in Information and Communication Technology Enabled Real Time Monitoring of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).
•    The MoC will cover 162 high malnutrition burden districts of eight states. 
•    Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are those 8 states.
•    The phase-I of ISSNIP will roll out ICT-RTM through one Lakh Anganwadi Centers (AWCs) in 162 high burden districts of eight participating States.
•    Technical support at the national and state level for strengthening their capacities to deliver nutrition especially during pre-conception, pregnancy and first two years of life.
•    The Common Application Software (CAS) will be developed by the BMGF with support of their partners. 
•    It will be made available to the Ministry free of cost along with its Source Code for hosting by MWCD with NIC.

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Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched Wi-Fi hotspot at Vijayawada, Kachiguda and Raipur

On 5 May 2016 Suresh Prabhu launched a high speed Wi-Fi hotspot at the three Railway Stations. 
These stations are Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, Kachiguda in Telangana and Raipur in Chhattisgarh.
•    RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. has been mandated by Ministry of Railways to provide Wi-Fi 
•    RailTel engaged with Google as the technology partner for setting up high speed Wi-Fi network.
•    RailTel will upgrade its backbone infrastructure to backhaul high speed connectivity of approximately 1Gbps per station.
•    Wi-Fi services to passengers will be provided under Railwire the retail Broadband distribution model of RailTel.
•    Designed to offer users the best Internet experience, Railwire Wi-Fi will be available to any user who has a working mobile connection on a smart phone.
•    Users will be able to easily stream a high definition video and surf the web.
•    RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. is a Miniratna enterprise of Government of India.
•    It is one of the largest neutral telecom services providers in the country owning a Pan-India optic fiber network.
•    It covers all important towns and cities of the country and several rural areas covering 70% of India’s population.

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Lok Sabha passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015

On 3 May 2016 Lok Sabha passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund bill, 2015.
It is intended to establish setting up of a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund and also a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund.
•    The Bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
•    These Funds will receive payments for: (a) compensatory afforestation, (b) net present value of forest (NPV), and (c) other project specific payments. 
•    These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover
•    The Bill establishes the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities to manage the National and State Funds.
A High Level Committee on Environment Laws said that quality of forest cover has declined between 1951 and 2014, with poor quality of compensatory afforestation plantations being one of the reasons behind the decline.

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Union Commerce Ministry launched EXIM Analytics Dashboard for export, import data

Minister of State (I/C) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman on 3 April 2016 launched EXIM Analytics Dashboard to provide an easy access to detailed trade data of the country.
•    It will ensure the following:
•    The export turnover of the country, how it performs over time?
•    What are the export destinations?
•    What items are being exported?
•    Which are the ports – inland, sea or airports from which the exports are taking place?
•    This will enable small and upcoming businessmen to foray into global trade based on reliable information directly accessible through government sources.
•    Export Overview: It provides analysis of data by time period, export destinations and ports of export.
•    Import Overview: It provides analysis of data by time period, countries of Import and ports of import.
•    Balance of Trade (BOT): BOT can be analysed over time periods for different Regions, Countries and Ports.
•    The data for analysis is presented as a month’s aggregate at its lowest granularity, namely, at the level of country, commodity, port etc.
•    At present, monthly data from April 2014 till January 2016 has been provided on the analytics. Progressively additional dashboards and data for older period will be added.

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Parliament passes Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Parliament has passed Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 so as to include certain communities in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) from four states. 
•    The bill was introduced in the Parliament by Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.
•    These are the various states and casts to be added :
•    Chhattisgarh: Sais, Sahis, Sarathi, Soot-Sarathi, Thanwar communities. 
•    Haryana: Aheria, Aheri, Hari, Heri, Thori, Turi and Rai Sikh communities.
•    Kerala: Peruvannan community in the list and specification of Malayan community area has been modified. 
•    West Bengal: area restriction of Chain community removed.
•    Odisha: Exclusion of Bariki and Kummari communities.
•    Article 341 empowers Parliament to include or exclude castes from the list of Scheduled Castes in the notification. 
•    The Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are official designations given to various groups of historically disadvantaged indigenous people in India. 
•    The terms are recognized in the Constitution of India and the various groups are designated in one or other of the categories. 
•    During the period of British rule in the Indian subcontinent, they were known as the Depressed Classes.

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Parliament passes Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

On 28 April 2016 The Rajya Sabha passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015. 
•    Lok Sabha passed the bill on 10 December 2015.
•    It was introduced by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman.
•    Now, it is going to be sent to the President for his assent.
•    The Union Government conformed to the Supreme Court order in the Bihar Distillery versus Union of India case. 
•    The Supreme Court of India in its judgment on January 20, 1997, demarcated the regulation of production of alcohol between centre and states (Bihar Distillery and another vs. Union of India and others). 
•    The 1951 Act provides for development and regulation of certain industries including metallurgical, telecommunications, transportation, fermentation (which includes production of alcohol) among others.
•    The court ruled that centre should regulate the production of alcohol for industrial use and states should regulate the production of alcohol for potable purpose (domestic consumption).  The Bill conforms to the Supreme Court’s decision.

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