Daily Current Affairs 29th April, 2017
First book village in the country to come up in Maharashtra
- From May 4, Bhilar, a tiny hamlet in Satara district of Maharashtra is all set to become India’s first ‘book village’.
- The concept of book village is inspired by Britain’s Hay-on-Wye, which is a Welsh town located in the United Kingdom, famous for its bookstores and literature festivals. Under this initiative, tourists and locals can come and read books, magazines, newspapers stacked at 25 artistically decorated locations around the village.
- The books on wide-ranging subjects and 15,000 books in Marathi would be made available on these premises.
- Some of the books that will be available for the readers are very rare and out of publication, including novels, reference books about Maharashtra and Marathi culture written by prominent authors.
- To make sure that the books are returned by the tourists, tourists will be made to pay a nominal deposit.
- Bhilar has been chosen as already it attracts a number of tourists who throng the village to taste the locally produced strawberries.
- The state government has chosen Bhilar to further promote tourism and the Marathi language.
Government launches Test and Treat policy for HIV
- Union Health Minister JP Nadda has launched the Test and Treat policy for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients.
- As per this new policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost. Anyone found positive will be provided with ART (Anti- Retroviral Therapy) irrespective of his CD count.
- The scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme.
- All men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.
- HIV destroys the CD4 T cells in the human body and weakens the immunity levels. A person who has CD4 cell count below 200 is considered to be at significant risk of developing serious illnesses. Before the announcement of this new policy, the government was providing free treatment to people with a count of 400 and below.
ECONOMY, BANKING AND FINANCE
India’s Forex reserves increase by $1.25 billion
- According to the Reserve Bank of India’s weekly statistical supplement, India’s foreign exchange (Forex) reserves have increased by $1.25 billion to reach $371.13 billion from $369.88 billion as on April 21, 2017. The current reserves are just short of a lifetime high of USD 371.99 billion reached in the week to September 30, 2016.
Over 21 lakh LED Street Lights installed across India under Street Light National Programme
- Under the Government of India’s Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) over 21 lakh conventional street lights have been replaced with LED street lights across the country.
- The installation of LED street lights has resulted in Annual energy savings of 295 million unit kWh, avoided capacity of over 73 MW and reduction of 2.3 lakh tonnes of CO2 annually.
- Rajasthan had the highest replacement of LED bulbs.
- Under Street Light National Programme (SLNP), Government aims to replace 1.34 crore conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights.
- The project has been implemented across 23 states and union territories. Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a Public Energy Services Company under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India (GoI) is the implementing agency for SLNP.
- EESL also undertakes social audits in all states post the completion of the project.
- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a joint venture of NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) was set up under Ministry of Power (India) to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.
Campaign sends 596 dropouts to school
- Altogether 596 students who had dropped out of school have returned for admissions to them in Tripura under a special campaign by the State’s School Education Department and the Centre’s Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). The campaign was carried out in all eight districts of the State.
- Tripura had an alarming rate of school drop-outs at the height of insurgency, when scores of schools became non-functional, mainly in the hilly areas. Most had left school in Classes VIII or IX mainly due to family reasons. The majority of school drop-outs are girls.
- The scheme was launched in March, 2009 with the objective to enhance access to secondary education and to improve its quality. It is envisaged to achieve an enrolment rate of 75% from 52.26% in 2005-06 at secondary stage of implementation of the scheme by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of any habitation.
- The other objectives include improving quality of education imparted at secondary level through making all secondary schools conform to prescribed norms, removing gender, socio-economic and disability barriers, providing universal access to secondary level education by 2017, i.e., by the end of 12th Five Year Plan and achieving universal retention by 2020.
- Important quality interventions provided under the scheme are: (i) appointment of additional teachers to reduce PTR to 30:1, (ii) focus on Science, Math and English education, (iii) In-service training of teachers, (iv) science laboratories, (v) ICT enabled education, (vi) curriculum reforms; and (vii) teaching learning reforms.
- Important equity interventions provided in the scheme are: (i) special focus in micro planning (ii) preference to Ashram schools for upgradation (iii) preference to areas with concentration of SC/ST/Minority for opening of schools (iv) special enrolment drive for the weaker section (v) more female teachers in schools; and (vi) separate toilet blocks for girls.
- Implementation mechanism of the Scheme: The scheme is being implemented by the State government societies established for implementation of the scheme. The central share is released to the implementing agency directly. The applicable State share is also released to the implementing agency by the respective State Governments.
Indian Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik wins gold medal in Moscow competition
- Internationally renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik from Odisha won the jury prize gold medal at the 10th Moscow Sand art Championship.
- The competition was held between 22nd and 28th April at Kolomenskoye, Moscow in Russia. The theme for the competition was “The world around us”. Pattnaik was the Indian representative in the competition, where twenty-five sculptors from different countries participated.
Jehan Daruvala becomes 1st Indian to take pole in FIA F3 European Championship
- Jehan Daruvala, in his rookie season at the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, is already making waves.
- The 18-year-old product of Force India Academy, became the first Indian to take pole in the F3 European series, securing the top spot on the starting grid for Race 1 of the second round of the championship in Monza, Italy.
- However, he was unable to translate that into a race victory, and finished the hard-fought race in second place, behind his Carlin Racing teammate Lando Norris of the UK.