Vice President Venkaiah Naidu to embark on 3-nation visit to Serbia, Malta, Romania
• Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will embark on a three-nation visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania on September 14, 2018. During the seven-day visit, Naidu will first reach Serbia where he will meet the leadership of that country.
• Several MoUs including in the field of Agriculture and Tourism are expected to be signed during Vice President's visit to these countries.
• In the second leg of his visit, Naidu will arrive in Malta on September 16, where he will meet the country's leadership and discuss issues of mutual interest. Growing economic linkages between the two sides will figure during the talks.
• In the last leg of his visit, the Vice President will reach Romania on September 18, 2018.
Government approves over Rs 150 crore additional drought relief to UP
• The Union Government has approved an additional assistance of Rs 157.23 crore for Uttar Pradesh and Rs 60. 76 crore for Maharashtra.
• The assistance has been approved from National Disaster Response Fund for Uttar Pradesh affected by drought in rabi season during 2017-18 and for Maharashtra which was hit by pest attack and cyclone in 2017.
• The decision was taken at a meeting of High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
India’s first Tribal Tourism Circuit to be launched in Chhattisgarh
• India’s first tribal circuit tourism project under the Swadesh Darshan scheme will be inaugurated at Gangrel in Chhattisgarh on September 14, 2018.
• Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons will inaugurate the project. It covers 13 sites in Chhattisgarh that include Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot and Tirthgarh.
• The Swadesh Darshan scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and it is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism, for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner.
• Till now, the Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth six thousand crore rupees to states and union territories. Out of this, 30 projects are expected to be completed this year. Under the tribal circuit theme of the scheme the Ministry has sanctioned 4 projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs 380 crore.
• The major components sanctioned in the tribal circuit theme include eco log huts, craft haats, souvenir shops or kiosk, open amphitheatre, tribal interpretation centres, tourist amenities centres, last mile connectivity, wayside amenities, viewpoints, nature trails, solar illuminations and solid waste management among others.
Jammu and Kashmir administration launches e-plant clinics
• The Jammu and Kashmir administration launched e-plant clinics in Udhampur district on September 12, 2018 to make technological innovations and advancement in research in the agriculture sector easily accessible for farmers for enhanced production.
• The e-plant clinics were inaugurated by District Development Commissioner Ravinder Kumar in presence of Chief Agriculture Officer Ashok Verma.
• Around four e-plant clinics have been established by the agriculture department in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) which will cover the entire district, besides providing guidance to the farmers and staff of the department.
• The main objective of launching the facilities is to reach out to farmers easily and take technological innovations and research with the advancements in the agriculture sector to increase production.
Indo-Bhutan Border centre inaugurated in Assam
• Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on September 12, 2018 inaugurated the Indo-Bhutan Border Centre at Darranga in Assam's Baksa district to strengthen bilateral trade with the neighbouring country.
• The inauguration of the trade centre is a spontaneous response of the people of Assam, especially the people residing in the four BTAD districts of Baksa, Udalguri, Chirang and Kokrajhar, to the prevailing peaceful situation in the state.
• On the occasion, Assam CM Sonowal thanked both Bhutan and Bangladesh for opening their consulates at Guwahati which has given renewed thrust to the relations with the neighbouring countries with Assam. He further vowed to strengthen bilateral relation of India with ASEAN and BBIN countries.
• Referring to Indo-Bhutan relations, Sonowal said the recently introduced Druk Air flight connecting Paro-Guwahati-Singapore would take India’s relation with ASEAN countries to new heights.
Tamil Nadu’s ruling party- AIADMK launches its own news channel
• The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on September 12, 2018 made a soft launch of its own channel 'News J' named after its late supremo J Jayalalithaa.
• The launch comes in the backdrop of Jaya TV, once considered the party's mouthpiece, being in the control of sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran's relatives.
• The AIADMK had in February launched "Namathu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma", its party organ as "Dr Namadhu MGR" which was founded by Jayalalithaa and previously the its official Tamil daily, is now aligned towards Dhinakaran and V K Sasikala, who is in jail.
• Chief Minister and party joint co-ordinator K Palaniswami, deputy chief minister and co-ordinator O Panneerselvam formally unveiled the logo, mobile application and website of the channel 'News J' at a function in Chennai.
EU Parliament votes to punish Hungary for breaching democratic norms
• The European Union legislators have voted overwhelmingly in favour of launching punitive action against the Hungarian government for flouting democratic rules.
• More than two-thirds of members of the European Parliament backed the censure motion, the first such vote against a member state under EU rules.
• The unprecedented vote in parliament in the French city of Strasbourg could allow Hungary's EU voting rights to be stripped.
• Since sweeping to power in 2010, Prime Minister of Hungry Viktor Orban has pressured courts, media, and non-governmental groups, as well as refusing to take in asylum seekers arriving in Europe.
Assam Government to distribute over 1 lakh pump sets to double farmers’ income by 2022
• The Assam government has decided to distribute over 1 lakh pump sets to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
• The pump sets will be distributed under NABARD’s Rural Infrastructure Development Project. They will include 60 thousand diesel sets, 11 thousand solar and 30 thousand electrical operated pump sets.
• Besides, around 75 to 85 percent subsidy is to be given to the farmers to purchase pump sets. The initiative aims to help the farmers in irrigation facilities.
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