Himachal Pradesh Government on 30 March 2015 launched part one of E-Vidhan Mobile apps. E-Vidhan Mobile apps will enable all 68 members of state assembly to get the entire House business on their smartphones and tablets, laid in the House 45 minutes before the beginning of the daily proceedings. With this Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha became the first state assembly in the country to launch this app to facilitate smart-working.
The app will provide notifications of the Vidhan Sabha’s press releases, bulletins, budget speeches, documents and the bills tabled in the House to members. The bills introduced or laid for discussion in assembly will be made available to the members. The reports laid in the house by the committees, information about government notification, budget speech and salary and perks’ drawn by members will be viewed on the apps. The information provided on the apps could be corrected on line. To access the apps, wi-fi service will be made available to the members in side assembly complex during the session. The hi-tech E-Vidhan system will help state government to save 8 crore rupees per annum spent on the paper. Next phase i.e. part two of E-Vidhan Mobile apps will be launched later. Part two of E-Vidhan Mobile apps will facilitate MLAs in their constituency management works. It will also help to attend grievances of the people online and also interact with officials of the constituency.
Researchers have discovered rare huntsman and jumping spider in the Western Ghats belong to the Sparassidae and Salticidae families. They were discovered by the research team of arachnologists led by Dr. P.A. Sebastian, Director of the Division of Arachnology in Sacred Heart College, Kochi in Kerala.
Huntsman spider- It was sighted at Ponmudi, Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. These spiders are known for their speed and unique hunting mode. Sometimes they hide in the ambush and surprise the prey. Some of these spiders make a substrate-borne sound when they detect a chemical left by a nearby female of their species. Jumping spider- It was sighted at the Malayattoor and Bhoothathankettu reserve forest. These spiders jump from one place to another like a grasshopper. The jumping spider was given the name Stenaelurillus albus due to the presence of a unique whitish area on the copulatory organ of the male spider. The discovery is considered unique as only 17 species of jumping spider having mating plugs have been reported of the approximate 5,800 jumping spiders recorded.
Andhra Pradesh government, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have signed MoU to work on Ease of Doing Business in the state. It was signed for cooperation in relation to ‘Masterplan on Ease of Doing Business in Andhra Pradesh (MEDBAP): Vision 2020′. The tripartite MoU will be effective from April 1, 2015 and valid for three years i.e. upto March 31, 2018
All parties will collaborate to conduct joint-research programmes on issues such as strategies and assessment on ease of doing business and enhance the economic competitiveness. In this regard, factors like starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, land acquisition and registration of property, getting credit, protecting minority interests, paying taxes etc will be assessed for business friendliness. The MoU also envisages regular visits of delegations through exchange of ideas and research strategies formulation, holding joint seminars. In these visits, parties will assess and update their progress on the project. The signatory parties will also prepare a joint Annual Progress Report (APR) which will summarize and detailed the activities and any research output.
New Zealand cricketer and former captain Daniel Vettori has announced his retirement from international cricket. He made this announcement after playing last match in ICC World Cup 2015 Final against Australia. Earlier in 2011, he had retired from Tests and Twenty-20s cricket format. He had started his international cricket career in 1996–97 at the age of 18. He was the youngest player to represent New Zealand in Test cricket. He was considered as New Zealand’s most-capped test cricketer. In his one day international’s (ODIs) career he had played in 295 matches and had batted in 187 innings. He had scored 2253 runs in ODIs. He also had bowled in 277 ODI innings and took 305 wickets. He took his 300th ODI wicket against Afghanistan at Napier during the just-concluded ICC World Cup 2015, becoming the 12th bowler to achieve the mark. In his test career, Vettori has played in 1113 matches and had batted 174 innings and had scored 4531 runs. His highest score was 140. In test career, he had bowled in 187 innings and took 362 wickets. He is eighth player achieve 300 wickets mark in test cricket and to score 3000 runs. Vettori had captained New Zealand’s International cricket team from 2007 to 2011.
Delhi Government on 30 March 2015 banned sale, purchase, storage and manufacturing of all forms of chewable tobacco including guktha and pan masala containing tobacco. In this regard, Delhi Government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has issued notification banning all products of chewable tobacco in all forms. The ban on all such products will continue for next one year owing to public interest and thereafter, government will extend the ban all these products every year. To implement the ban various citizen’s monitoring committees will be formed in every constituency in order to educate the masses. Previously in September 2012, Delhi government had issued notification to ban gutkha. It was issued in pursuance of series of directions from the Supreme Court to ban gutkha. However the banning of gutkha was not served as the notification only had mentioned gutkha products and not banned the tobacco products. The new proposal bans all the raw chewable tobacco products in Delhi and takes strict action against the violators. But no such ban has been enforced on cigarettes in Delhi.
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) the corporate entity of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) on 31 March 2015 launched novel green project that can generate 120 MW power. It is first of its kind green project launched in Indian Steel Industry that can generate pollution free captive power using 100 per cent Blast Furnace Gas and Coke Oven Gas. The plant consists of state-of-the-art Boiler Turbo Generator (BTG) Power Plant technology in order to efficiently utilise the surplus Blast Furnace Gas (BFG). This Power Plant is designed for firing 100 per cent BFG and Coke Oven Gas for the new captive power plant of 120 MW-capacity. The plant is built at a cost of Rs 676 crore. It will help VSP to move step towards achieving self-sufficiency in power generation and to reduce dependency on the State Grid in the process of steel making. Presently, RINL is having three turbo generators each 60 MW (180 MW) capacity and two turbo generators of 67.5 each (135MW) capacity. Thus, having total captive power generation capacity of 315 MW.
Union Government on 31 March 2015 approved amendments to the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) guidelines. The approved amendments seek to enhance financial support to projects in infrastructure sector. Decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Amendments approved Change in the definition of a Private Sector Company in the guidelines for financial support to PPP in Infrastructure under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme. The definition of a Private Sector Company means a company which is not a Government Company. In this case Government company is defined as any company in which more than 51 per cent of the paid-up share capital is held by the Union Government or State(s) Government or partly by Union Government and partly by State Government (s). It also includes a company which is a subsidiary company of such a Government company. This decision was taken to remove any ambiguity in interpretation of the term Private Sector Company in order to align it with the definition of Government Company defined under Section 2 (45) of the Companies Act, 2013.
The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on 31 March 2015 passed Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015. It is third time this controversial Bill being passed by state assembly. Earlier, passed bill was rejected two times by the then Presidents in 2004 and 2008 for reconsideration.
GUJCOC Bill, 2015 is a modified version of the original 2003 Gujarat Control of Organized Crime Bill. It still contains the provisions that had led to its rejection by Presidents in the past. The bill aims to empower the law enforcing authorities to intercept and record phone calls as evidence. It also puts the onus of proving the innocence on an accused. Clause 14 of the Bill mentions that evidence collected through interception of wire, electronic or oral communication shall be admissible as evidence against the accused in the court. Background In 2004, the bill was passed for first time and was returned by then President APJ Abdul Kalam after he had objected clause-14. He had asked state government to remove the clause. In 2008, the bill was again passed after clause 14 was deleted as per recommendation of President. However, then President Pratibha Patil again rejected it and had suggested to eliminate the provision related to confession made before a police officer to be admitted in the court as evidence. In 2009, the bill was again passed for third time without making recommended amendments and was sent for President’s assent. It is still pending with the President for assent.
Vice Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema on 31 March 2015 took over the reins of the Western Naval Command as Flag Officer Commanding-in-chief. He took charge from Vice Admiral Anil Chopra at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra in Mumbai. With this, he has the unique distinction of shouldering responsibilities as commanding-in-chief for the fourth time. Earlier, Cheema while serving in Mumbai had commanded INS Nishank, INS Trishul and INS Virat. Prior to this appointment SPS Cheema was Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba on 30 March 2015 had taken over charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command form SPS Cheema.
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