Why in News?
On 30 March 2023, Anuj Sharma, Associate Dean of the Innovation & Incubation Center of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) said that AKTU has developed a robot that can be guided using the fingers of both hands using machine learning techniques.
- The technology has been developed by Anuj Sharma, Associate Dean, Innovation & Incubation Center of AKTU and his student team.
- The associate dean of AKTU said that the robot with machine learning technology will not only follow the gestures of the fingers but will also perform all the programmed tasks. People with different disabilities, especially the visually impaired, deaf & mute and senior citizens can also use these robots for various tasks.
- This technology has been developed with the help of computer vision and artificial intelligence. If there is more than one robot with fingers on the right hand, they will be selected. For example, a robot whose information is recorded on the thumb will start. Similarly, the robot will work on other fingers as well.
- The robot can be operated with the help of a computer and desktop. The right-hand finger will be used to select the robot while the left hand will be used for instructions like asking the robot to turn on the fan using the thumb and so on.
Why in News?
An agreement has been signed between Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Department, Ministry of Finance, and Suzuki Hiroshi, Ambassador of Japan to India, in New Delhi on 29 March 2023, under which the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will give Rs 5,509 crore for the metro rail project being built in Patna, the capital of Bihar.
- It is noteworthy that this MoU was signed with Arunish Chawla (IAS), Managing Director of Patna Metro Rail Development (PMRC) and Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Urban Development and Housing Department (UDHD).
- The project aims to ease the growth in traffic demand in Bihar's capital Patna by building new Metro Corridors 1 and 2 thereby improving the urban environment and growing the economy as well as climate change through urban development focused on public transport contributions.
- The project will contribute to the achievement of SDG goals 8, 9, 11 and 13.
- As per the plan, JICA will appoint consultants to provide consultancy services (including construction supervision) for the Patna Metro Rail Project by June 2023.
- The preliminary procurement package for international competition on project construction will be launched in June 2023. The loan amount has been sanctioned for a repayment period of 10 years with a grace period of 30 years.
- Patna Metro's 14.05 km Corridor-2 will connect Patna Railway Junction to Patna Junction (interchange with Corridor-12), New Interstate Bus Terminal with 1 station at Akashvani, Gandhi Maidan, PMCH, Patna University, Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium, Rajendra Nagar, Malahi Pakdi, Khemni Chak (interchange), Bhoothnath, Zero Mile and New ISBT.
- Out of these, a 5 km stretch with 6 stations will be isolated and the remaining 8 km stretch will be made underground with 7 stations.
- The estimated cost of the Patna Metro Rail Project is Rs 13,365.77 crore. The project is expected to be commissioned by the year 2028.
- Patna Metro will have its depot at Bairia, Sampatchak near Patliputra Bus Terminal.
Why in News?
On 30 March 2023, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot approved the setting up of an Information Commission bench in Jodhpur for the effective implementation of the Right to Information (RTI).
- Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has also approved 12 new posts and necessary financial provisions for the operation of the office. Of these new posts, one post is that of the Information Commissioner, whose appointment will be done as per the rules.
- Apart from this, one post for each Personal Assistant, Reader, Information Assistant, 2 posts of Senior Assistant and 3-3 posts of Junior Assistant and Class IV employee have been included.
- Rs 20 lakh has also been sanctioned for necessary resources etc. for the Bench of the Information Commission.
- It is notable that the Chief Minister had announced the establishment of the bench in the budget for the year 2023-24.
Why in News?
On 30 March 2023, the 74th Foundation Day of Rajasthan was celebrated. On this day, 30 March 1949, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inaugurated Greater Rajasthan at a function in Jaipur.
- Significantly, on 14 January 1949, in a public meeting in Udaipur, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel announced the merger of the princely states of Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer in principle.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel inaugurated Greater Rajasthan at a function in Jaipur on 30 March 1949, to give shape to this declaration, hence Rajasthan Day is celebrated every year on March 30.
- Before independence, Rajasthan was known as 'Rajputana'. Historians believe that George Thomas gave the name 'Rajputana' in the year 1800 AD. Historians also claim that Colonel James Tod named this state Rajasthan. In the local literary language, the region where the kings lived was called Rajasthan.
- At the time of independence, there were a total of 22 princely states in Rajasthan. In present-day Rajasthan, kings used to rule in the then-19 princely states. Whereas, there was a chiefship in three princely states (Neemrana, Luv and Kushalgarh). The Ajmer-Merwara province here was ruled by British rulers.
- The process of merger of the erstwhile princely states lasted from 18 March 1948 to 1 November 1956. This process was completed in seven steps.
- The Government of India merged the British-ruled Ajmer-Merwara province with Rajasthan on 1 November 1956, on the recommendation of the States Reorganization Commission headed by Afzal Ali.
- During this period, the village Sunel Tappa of Mandsaur tehsil of Madhya Pradesh was also included in Rajasthan. Whereas village Sironj in the Jhalawar district of Rajasthan was included in Madhya Pradesh.
- On 7 September 1949, Jaipur was made the capital of the state of Rajasthan on the basis of the recommendations of the Rao Committee constituted by the Government of India.
- Rajasthan is the largest state in the country. Its area is three lakh 42 thousand 239 square kilometres. This is 1/10th of the country's land.
- According to the 2011 census, the population of Rajasthan is 6.89 crore, which is 5.66 percent of India's population. According to population, it is in seventh place in the country.
- Till now there were seven divisions and 33 districts in Rajasthan. On 18 March 2023, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced the formation of 19 new districts and three new divisions by merging two districts. Since then, there are now 10 divisions and 50 districts in Rajasthan. However, the notification of new districts and divisions has not been issued yet.
- Rajasthan is adjacent to the neighbouring country Pakistan. It shares an international border of 1,070 km with it. The Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan share their international border with Pakistan. Kuldhara village is the oldest village in the Jaisalmer district, adjacent to the international border. It is believed that this village has been deserted for 200 years.
- Rajasthan's 4850 km border meets other states of the country, in which Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are the border states of Rajasthan.
- Rajasthan has a special identity on the tourism map. There are dozens of tourist places here, where thousands of domestic and foreign tourists come daily. On the other hand, Jaisalmer, the land of Dhors, has its own distinct identity. There, hitchhiking tourists can be seen enjoying Camel Rides. Be it the City of Lakes Udaipur or Pink City Jaipur, there are many places to visit from the point of view of tourism.
- There are many forts in Rajasthan, and 13 are the main ones. Among these, the Amer and Jaigarh forts of Jaipur, Mehrangarh fort of Jodhpur, Kumbhalgarh fort of Rajsamand, Ranthambhore fort of Sawai Madhopur, Junagarh fort of Bikaner, Lohagarh fort of Bharatpur have worldwide recognition. Other forts and palaces include Gaagraun Fort, Jaisalmer, Sirohi's Achalgarh, Nagaur's Ahichhatragarh, Jalore Fort, Sirohi's Khimsar Fort, Alwar's Nimrana Fort, City Palace etc. are also famous. Along with the impregnable forts, luxurious palaces were also built for the queens to live in.
- Rajasthan has preserved the history of warriors & heroes like Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga, and Rana Kumbha. In the country and the world, Rajasthan is recognized as the land of heroes. The Battles of Haldi Valley, the battles of Chittor, Khanwa, Tarain, and Ranthambhore took place on the land of Rajasthan only.
- At present, the Indian Army has a large number of youths from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan (Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu). To serve the country, a maximum number of youths from Shekhawati in Rajasthan go to the army.
Why in News?
In the 8th Smart City, India-2023 Expo held in New Delhi from 27 to 29 March 2023, out of a total of 16 categories, smart cities of Madhya Pradesh have received awards in 7 categories.
- State's Urban Administration and Development Commissioner Bharat Yadav said that Smart City Indore and Jabalpur got 2 awards each and Bhopal, Sagar and Ujjain got one award each.
- Smart City Indore has received the award in Best Startup & Best Water Management category, Jabalpur in Governance & Economy (311 Apps) and City Leader (Best Smart City CEO) category.
- Similarly, Smart City Bhopal has received a special award for Smart Parking Category, Sagar for Clean City Category and Ujjain for Ujjain Mahakal Mahalok.
- It is notable that nominations were taken from January to February 2023 in 16 categories for the award.
- Nomination categories include the Governance and Economy Award, Smart Urban Mobility, Best Water Management, Best City Leader, Best Health Care Initiative, Clean City, Digital City, Public-Private Partnership, Safe City, Smart City of the Year, Smart Energy Project, Smart Waste Disposal, Special Category, Best Startup Initiative, Smart Parking Initiative and PPP Initiative Categories
Why in News?
On 30 March 2023, Haryana's Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala along with Urban Local Bodies Minister Dr. Kamal Gupta inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of projects worth crores of rupees in various assembly constituencies of Hisar district.
- Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala under the Chief Minister's announcement in the Nalwa assembly constituency of Hisar inaugurated the Hisar-Mangali-Syahadwa four-lane road built at a cost of Rs 1552.04 lakh, the Hisar-Mangali-Syahadwa ROB built at a cost of Rs 4781.78 lakh and two-lane ROB on Rewari-Bathinda railway line LC-76 at a cost of Rs 2796 lakh. An amount of Rs 9129.82 lakh will be spent on these three projects.
- The foundation stone of 8 roads to be built with an amount of Rs 2622.09 lakh in Uklana assembly constituency and 10 roads worth Rs 2424.67 lakh in Barwala assembly constituency were also laid.
- In the projects for which crores of rupees will be spent for different assembly constituencies, among them foundation stone was laid for five projects worth Rs. 2612.31 lakh in the Narnaund assembly constituency, 17 projects worth Rs. 2510.290 lakhs in the Nalwa assembly constituency and 22 projects worth Rs.2612.31 lakh in Adampur assembly constituency.
- In addition to laying the foundation stone of these projects, an amount of Rs 2627.88 lakh will also be spent on the construction of an emergency exit and perimeter road for Maharaja Agrasen Airport and the construction of an explosive disposal area (cooling off pit) in the operational area and construction of RCC security watch tower.
Why in News?
Recently, in the All India Children's Educational E-Content Competition organised at the All India level for the year 2022-23 by the Central Institute of Educational Technology, National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi, Dr. Vijay Chawla, Hindi Professor, Aarohi Adarsh Senior Secondary School, Gayong, Kaithal district, Haryana, and his team have won 3 awards for their significant contribution in preparing children's educational e-content.
- Haryana's School Education Minister Kanwarpal said that Dr. Vijay Chawla and his team have brought laurels to Haryana by winning the All India Children's Educational E-Content Competition for the third consecutive time.
- In the All India Children's Educational E-Content Competition, 657 entries were received from all over India out of which only 77 entries were selected for the award.
- National Innovation Awardee teacher Dr. Vijay Chawla from Haryana Education Department sent four entries from Aarohi Adarsh Senior Secondary School. Out of these four, three of his entries have been selected for the All India level award.
- In this competition, the program developed by Dr. Chawla under the 'Skilled India Mission' for developing the learning outcomes of basic literacy through interactive and infographic techniques won the award.
- Apart from this, the second award has been given to the best program for the games of student Himanshu in the assessment program of Hindi grammar skills through digital games prepared by him.
- In the program 'Samajhdaar Chidiya', a story prepared to achieve the goals of basic literacy and numeracy under the Nipun Bharat Mission, student Ritika has received the Best Anchor Award for successfully using puppets as per the National Education Policy 2020.
- It is known that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has set a target of implementing the new National Education Policy, 2020 in the state by 2025, while it will be implemented by the Central Government by the year 2030.
Why in News?
On 29 March 2023, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) organized a State Credit Seminar at Jharkhand Mantralaya Auditorium in Ranchi, in which NABARD presented a state credit plan of Rs. 43,725 crores for Jharkhand in the year 2023-24.
- This credit scheme is about Rs 9,267 crore more than Rs 34,458 crore for the financial year 2022-23.
- The theme of the program was 'Proliferation of State Budget with Credit Plan'.
- On this occasion, MS Rao, CGM of NABARD highlighted the importance and purpose of the State Credit Seminar and emphasised the formation of more Farmer Producer Organizations in the state and the adoption of hi-tech agriculture by them for the benefit of the farmers. He presented the State Focus Paper on behalf of NABARD.
- It has been clarified in the state focus paper that in all 24 districts of the state, banks can give loans of Rs 15,000 crore against the state's agricultural loan of Rs 4000 crore. Financial assistance has been increased in several schemes for the farmers, women and youth of the state. By giving priority to this sector, the situation of unemployment, poverty and migration can be controlled.
- This time, like the central government, the focus of NABARD was seen on micro, small and medium industries. Considering the maximum loan potential of 51% in this sector, a loan proposal of Rs 22071.87 crore has been made in micro, small and medium industries.
Chhattisgarh is among the Leading States in the Maintenance & Renovation of Roads Constructed under PMGSY
Why in News?
Giving information on 30 March 2023, Chhattisgarh's Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ravindra Choubey said that Chhattisgarh is the leading state in the country in the maintenance and renovation of roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. A total of 8193 roads whose length is 40,234 km have been completed since the inception of the scheme in the state.
- The Panchayat and Rural Development Minister said that this achievement has been achieved due to the regular provision of the budget by the state government for the renovation of roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana on the initiative of Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel.
- Minister Ravindra Choubey said that in the financial year 2022-23, the maximum budget of Rs 700 crore was received from the state government for the maintenance of roads constructed under this scheme. The target set in the financial year is 6000 km, so far 5436 km of renovation work has been completed against the target of renewal of roads.
- Remarkable progress has also been made in the maintenance and renovation work of roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the highly sensitive Naxal-affected Bastar division of the state. 75 roads whose length is 231 km were maintained at a cost of Rs 37 crore in the most sensitive Naxalite-affected area of the division.
- Similarly, 146 roads of the tribal-dominated Surguja division whose length is 560 km were maintained at a cost of Rs 90 crore. Under Narayanpur district where no renovation work was done earlier, renovation work of 4 roads whose length is 10.50 km. is done for the first time after the construction of the road is being done.
- The Panchayat and Rural Development Minister also informed that an amount of Rs 779 crore is proposed for the maintenance of 782 roads whose length is 2915 km for renovation work in the financial year 2023-24.
- He said that Chhattisgarh is at the leading position in the country in the renovation work as a result of the regular budget being made available by the state government for the renovation work in the roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
- The Panchayat Minister said that the responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the roads constructed under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana rests with the State Government. No amount is given by the Government of India for this. The Government of India has also been requested to give a central share in this regard.
- A total of 8193 roads whose length is 40,234 km have been completed since the inception of the scheme in the state. 10,590 eligible habitations have benefited. The roads built by the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana are the only all-weather means of transportation for the rural population. The roads of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana are like lifelines for the villagers.
- The Panchayat Minister said that after the completion of the work, the responsibility of regular maintenance work for 05 years is of the contracting contractor. Out of the total constructed roads, 3664 roads whose length is 17,577 km. are under regular maintenance for five years, the rest of the roads are in a state of renewal after the completion of five years of construction. So far, renovation work has been completed for a total of 5609 roads whose length is 22,700 km.
Why in News?
On 30 March 2023, Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the computerization of Uttarakhand's Multipurpose Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies (MPACS), Joint Cooperative Farming, Jan Suvidha Kendras and Janaushadhi Kendras in Haridwar.
- Amit Shah said in his address that for the first time in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the work of computerization of the Primary Agricultural Credit Committee (PACS) started in Uttarakhand on 30 October 2021 and today computerization of all 670 PACS in the state has been completed.
- The work of setting up 95 MPACS in Uttarakhand has already been completed. Along with this, Uttarakhand is the first state to start 95 Jan Aushadhi Kendras and Jan Suvidha Kendras under cooperative societies.
- The Union Home Minister and Cooperative Minister said that the Prime Minister formed a separate Ministry of Cooperatives with the vision of 'Cooperation to Prosperity'. The computerization of all 65,000 active PACS in the country has started through the Ministry. Many facilities including 307 District Cooperative Banks have also been computerised. Today, by completing the computerization of 307 cooperative bank branches and 670 MPACS, the Uttarakhand government has achieved the first position in the country in the cooperative sector.
- He said that computerization would bring complete transparency in the system and online audits would improve the financial discipline of PACS. 95 Jan Suvidha will take more than 300 schemes of the Central Government and State Government directly to the villages. About 50 to 90 percent cheaper medicines will be available to the people through cooperative Jan Aushadhi Kendras.
- Union Home Minister and Cooperative Minister Shah also launched the model of integrated collective cooperative farming in 95 development blocks of Uttarakhand.
- The Cooperative Minister said that the government is making National Cooperative University, National Cooperative Policy and Cooperative Database, and multi-state cooperative societies have been formed for marketing of seeds, organic farming and export of farmers' produce. Along with this, multi-state cooperative societies have been formed for the marketing of seeds, organic farming and export of farmers' produce.
- He said that in the coming days, the Nal Se Jal (Nal Se Pani) scheme would be handed over to PACS as in the model bylaws of the multidimensional PACS sent by the Government of India, the PACS would also be able to provide water to the village.
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