U’khand’s three capitals: Summer, temporary and a permanent one that never was
Despite 20 years of its existence, the state of Uttarakhand is yet to get a ‘permanent’ capital. The difficulty here is not one that stems from having few options, rather it’s a paralysing problem of too many choices. The hill state recently announced Gairsain — where it has been holding assembly sessions for a few years now — as its summer capital. At the time of the state’s formation in 2000, Dehradun was named its temporary capital.
The first chief minister of the new state — Nityanand Swami — formed Justice (retd) Virendra Diskhit Commission on January 11, 2001 to suggest a suitable state capital. Seven years later, the commission handed over its report to the then CM B C Khanduri.
According to political expert Jay Singh Rawat, the commission had highlighted 17 points – like poor connectivity, lack of infrastructure, seismic zone, water problem, low possibilities of expansion — against Gairsain being the capital but also listed points in its favour such as less travel for people in the hills.
On March 4, this year, CM Trivendra SIngh Rawat after reading out the budget announced Gairsain as the summer capital.
The Ramon Magsaysay awards cancelled
The Ramon Magsaysay awards, regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize, have been cancelled this year due to the global pandemic.
This is the only third time the annual awards were disrupted in six decades.
The awards were also cancelled due to a financial crisis in 1970 and a disastrous earthquake that hit the Philippines in 1990.
The Ramon Magsaysay awards are named after Ramon Magsaysay, the third president of the Republic of the Philippines after World War II.
CeNS develops low-cost catalyst for hydrogen generation from water
Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) scientist has discovered that a low cost and efficient way to generate hydrogen from water using Molybdenum dioxide as a catalyst.
They have found that Molybdenum dioxide (MoO2) nanomaterials annealed in hydrogen atmosphere can act as efficient catalysts. Using this, Hydrogen can be generated from water and produces water on energy generation without any carbon footprint.
President promulgates 2 Ordinances to boost rural India and agriculture
The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the two Ordinances namely the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020.
The ordinance aims to boost rural India for farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities.
The two ordinances will enable barrier-free trade in agriculture produce, and also empower the farmers to engage with sponsors of his choice.
It provides the freedom to the farmers, which is of paramount importance.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020:
The ordinance will support the farmers and traders relating to the sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
It will promote transparent, efficient, and barrier-free inter-State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce that are produced outside the deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations.
Also, the Ordinance will provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020:
The ordinance will provide for a national framework on farming agreements.
It will protect and empower farmers to engage with agri-business firms, wholesalers, exporters, or large retailers.
The ordinance will enhance farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework and transparent manner.
MHRD launched TULIP, an Internship Program with ULBs across the country
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) launched The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP), an Internship Program with Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the country.
The first of its kind initiative TULIP is a program for providing internship opportunities to fresh graduates in all ULBs and Smart Cities across the country.
TULIP programme is expected to provide access to internship opportunities through 4400 Urban local bodies and smart cities pan India.
TULIP platforms will provide an opportunity for youth to generate news ideas to reform Urban local bodies through modern techniques and innovative methods.
TULIP aims to enhance the value-to-market of graduates in India.
The platform also aims to create a potential talent pool in diverse fields like urban planning, transport engineering, environment, municipal finance, etc.
Validity period of hotel approval & classification extended till June 30
In a major relaxation to the tourism industry, the validity period of approval and classification of hotels and accommodation units has been extended till 30th June by the Government.
The Ministry of Tourism classifies hotels under the star rating system.
Under this system, hotels and accommodation units are given various ratings ranging from one to five stars, five Star deluxe, legacy vintage, home stays , guest houses including others.
The Government has decided that validity of approval or certifications of hotels and other accommodation units whose project approvals and classification status have expired or are likely to expire in the period from 24th March till 29th June will be extended till 30th June.
In addition to this, the tourism ministry has also allowed a six month extension to the approvals granted to all categories of tour operators, travel agents and tourist transport operators.
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