- SC exempts hilly areas of Uttarakhand from highway liquor ban.
- In a big relief to the state government which had been grappling with protests on liquor vends shifting to residential areas following the Supreme Court’s 500-metre directive for alcohol shops located on highways, the apex court on Friday allowed nine hill districts and seven tehsils falling in hilly areas of the state to open liquor shops on highways.
- Hilly regions of the state had been witnessing continued protests since the past few months as liquor shops had started opening in residential areas following the enforcement of the 500-metre direction. This was being objected to by locals especially women who had risen in protest.
- Liquor industry insiders said that the exemption will help the state government reach its excise revenue target which has been set at Rs 2,310 crore this year. Meanwhile, liquor shop vendors while welcoming the SC directive expressed apprehension at fresh protests breaking out.
- Qatar to become first Arab state to offer permanent residency to some non-citizens.
- Qatar’s Cabinet approved a draft law making permanent residency available to some non-citizens of the country.
- Under the new law, Residency permits will be granted to children of Qatari women married to foreigners.
- Gulf Arab countries have a high number of expatriate workers but do not allow naturalization of foreigners except in rare cases.
GK bit – Qatar
- Qatar (Capital Doah) is a high-income economy, backed by the world’s third-largest natural-gas reserves and oil reserves. The country has the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar is classified by the UN as a country of very high human development and is the most advanced Arab state for human development. Qatar is a significant power in the Arab world, supporting several rebel groups during the Arab Spring both financially and through its globally expanding media group, Al Jazeera Media Network. For its size, Qatar wields disproportionate influence in the world, and has been identified as a middle power. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to do so.
- In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, among other Gulf states, cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting and funding terrorism and manipulating internal affairs of its neighboring states, causing the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis.
- Hassan Rouhani sworn in as Iran’s president for a second term.
- Hassan Rouhani officially was sworn in as the President of Iranfor a second term.
- As per Iran’s Election Law, a President Elect is required to get the Leader’s approval before being sworn-in before the Parliament.
- Rouhani won the re-election in May 2017, after securing 57% of the votes. He defeated his main contender Ebrahim Raeisi.
- ISRO Launched indigenous Global Positioning System:NavIC
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has deployed an indigenous regional positioning system named as “Navigation with Indian Constellation” (NavIC).
- It consists of seven satellites in a constellation to provide Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in Indian mainland and surrounding region up to 1500 Km.
- Maharashtra Government launches two online portals MahaDBT, MahaVASTU
- Maharashtra Government launched two online portals MahaDBT and MahaVASTU to streamline the process of direct benefit transfer(DBT).
- It is the first state in the country to launch such a system that will provide direct benefits with Aadhaar authentication.
- MahaDBT portal: It is an Aadhaar-authenticated electronic mechanism that will enable direct transfer of benefits for over 40 schemes.currently implemented.
- MahaVASTU portal:It is an online building permission management system, through which construction approvals will be sanctioned with full transparency.
- Second Agri UDAAN Program Launched.
- The Union Government launched the 2nd AGRI-UDAAN Programin New Delhi.
- The program focuses on catalyzing scale-up stage food and agribusiness start-ups through rigorous mentoring, industry networking and investor pitching.
- The 6-month program is a unique platform for scale up stage innovators, entrepreneurs and startups in the Food and Agribusiness sectors.
- The programme will help convert innovative ideas from India’s rural youth into viable businesses startups and help them connect with potential investors. It aims to attract the youth from rural India and elsewhere, and train them so they can add value to the farmers’ produce.
- IRCTC Launches Book Now, Pay Later Scheme For Tatkal Tickets
- Customers can book their Tatkal railway ticket and choose to pay later under the new scheme announced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC).
- The users can use ‘pay on delivery’ option to save payment time, increasing their chances of booking a confirmed ticket under the Tatkal quota.
=> Till now, this service was available only for General reservations.
- ISRO, NASA working towards realisation of NISAR Mission by 2021.
- ISRO and NASA are jointly working on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission to co-develop and launch a dual frequency synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite by 2021. The satellite will be the world’s most expensive earth-imaging satellite till date, costing around $1.5 billion. It aims to study global environmental change and natural disasters.
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