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The Assam Government has launched a unique initiative ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ to link primary schools to high schools to colleges

The Assam Government has launched a unique initiative ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ to link primary schools to high schools to colleges. 
•    The purpose of the programme is to change the mindset of the teachers, as in some places in states teachers of a school considered it below their dignity to teach the lower level students.
•    Under the initiative, college teachers will take classes in high schools and high schools teachers will teach in primary schools voluntarily. 
•    The basic idea of implementing the initiative is to improve quality of school students and create better synergy in education sector.
•    Assam state Education department has launched a unique programme ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ in Sivsagar district to link primary schools to high schools to colleges.

•    Under the initiative, college teachers are taking classes in high schools and high schools teachers are teaching in primary schools voluntarily.

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Sikkim becomes India’s first State to launch open government data portal

Sikkim became the first state in India to have an open government data portal linked ‘sikkim.data.gov.in’. 
•    The portal was launched by Lok Sabha MP, P D Rai and also launched Open Government Data Platform (Sikkim). 
•    The portal has been developed by Government of Sikkim’s Information Technology Department and NIC team from Delhi. 
•    The open government data portal facilitates free use, reuse and redistribution of data produced or commissioned by the government or government controlled entities by anyone.
•    Sikkim is a landlocked state of India, the last to give up its monarchy and fully integrate into India, in 1975. 
•    Located in the Himalayan Mountains, the state is bordered by Nepal to the west, China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the east. 
•    The Indian state of West Bengal lies to the south.

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V. Vaithilingam elected as Speaker of Puducherry Assembly

Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V Vaithilingam was on Friday unanimously elected as Speaker of the 14th Puducherry Assembly. 
•    As soon as the proceedings began, Protem Speaker V P Sivakolundhu announced that Vaithilingam has been elected unanimously as Speaker as he was the only candidate who had filed papers when the deadline ended on Friday afternoon.
•    66 year old Vaithilingam was escorted to the chair by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, his ministerial colleagues, DMK legislator R Siva and opposition AIADMK legislature wing leader A Anbalagan.
•    All eight legislators of the opposition AINRC, including former Chief Minister N Rangasamy, were conspicuous by their absence throughout the day’s sitting of the House. 
•    After assuming office Vaithilingam announced that Protem Speaker Sivakolundhu was elected unanimously as Deputy Speaker as his was the only nomination filed for the post.
•    V. Vaithilingam is an Indian politician who is the former Chief Minister of Puducherry.
•    He held that position from 1991 to 1996 and has been Chief Minister again from 2008-2011. 
•    Vaithilingam is credited with leading a stable and efficient government in Puducherry State through a complete five-year term during his prior period in office. 
•    He is a senior legislator serving six consecutive terms.

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NRDC inks MoA with Andhra Pradesh government to establish smart agribusiness platform networks

National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) on 9 June 2016 inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the AP Food Processing Society of Andhra Pradesh Government to establish Smart Agribusiness Platform Networks of Andhra Pradesh (SAPNAP).
These networks will strengthen the agribusiness and food processing sector by focusing on creation of enabling ecosystem for accelerated growth of agribusiness by involving all the stakeholders.
• It is an initiative to increase food production and food processing units under AP Food Processing Policy 2015-20.
• It will have two key development platforms, they are:
(i) Smart Agribusiness Value-chains:
•These chains focus on intelligence, analytics, big data, innovations and partnerships.
•Farm-to-Fork value chains will be mapped and developed for existing and potential crops, commodities and products
(ii) Smart Agribusiness Incubators and Accelerators:
•These focuses on establishing 13 district level incubators which will enable infrastructure and ecosystem for start ups, enterprise development and FPO mentoring.
•They will have Office or lab spaces, trial fields, common facilities, pilot equipment and start up ecosystem to help new enterprises take off.
• It is an enterprise of the department of Scientific & Industrial Research under Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
• It shall be the knowledge partner in the programme and would provide the required technologies, know-how, IPRs and other value added techno-commercial services to the start-ups of SAPNAP and linkages to the stakeholders of national and international level.

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Internet Saathi, Google and Tata’s joint-initiative, launched in West Bengal

Internet search engine Google and Tata Trusts’ joint initiative Internet Saathi was launched on 8 June 2016 in Kolkata, West Bengal.
•    The initiative aims at reducing the digital gender gap in rural areas of India such as Purulia, where girls have now been trained to use the Internet and teach others in turn.
•    Internet Saathi had been successfully launched in five states. In July 2015, it began in four more states including West Bengal.
•    About Internet Saathi - Internet Saathi aims at empowering women and their communities by providing basic training on the usage and benefits of the internet.
•    The programme is driving a meaningful impact in improving the lives of women and their communities in rural India.
•    It focuses on training women in rural India to explore the various uses of Internet, who then impart training to the larger rural community in their own and neighbouring villages.
•    Google helps in training the Saathi’s and provides data enabled devices along with the training material.
•    On ground training classes is conducted by involving self help group federations and local NGO members who are supported by Tata Trusts on-ground network.
•    In the last ten months, the initiative has been active in villages across five states in India, namely Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

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India has signed loan agreement of US 12 crore dollars with the Asian Development Bank

India has signed loan agreement of US 12 crore dollars with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve irrigation and water management infrastructure in Odisha.
On 7 June 2016 India signed loan agreement of 12 crore ($120 million) US dollars with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve irrigation and water management infrastructure in Odisha.
•    The financing will be used for modernizing seven irrigation subprojects resulting in improved irrigation in over one lakh hectares.
•    It will also help in strengthening of Water User Associations (WUAs) and the institutional capacity of Odisha’s Department of Water Resources.
•    The project aims to improve existing irrigation infrastructure, operation and maintenance, and water use efficiency that will lead to higher agricultural productivity.
•    The selected areas for the investment program are the Baitarani, Brahmani, Budhabalanga, and Subernarekha river basins and part of the Mahanadi delta.
•    The loan is the second tranche of a 157.5 million dollar financing facility under the Orissa Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Investment Program.
•    The second tranche loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 20-year term. 
•    The State of Odisha, acting through its Department of Water Resources is responsible for implementing the tranche 2 activities and overall program, which are both due for completion by September 2018.

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Guwahati 1st Indian city to have a city animal

Guwahati on 6 June 2016 became first city in the country to have its own ‘city animal’ with Kamrup metropolitan district administration declaring Gangetic River Dolphin as its mascot.
•    Gangetic River Dolphin is locally known as ‘Sihu’ and fewer than 2000 such animals remain in the River Brahmaputra along Guwahati.
•    In the three-month long voting process Gangetic River dolphin received 24247 votes out of 60003 total votes.
•    On the other hand, the Greater Adjutant Stork got 18454 votes while the Black Softshell Turtle got 17302 votes.
•    The Gangetic Dolphins are also called as the ‘Tigers of Ganga’ as it enjoys the position in Ganga that is equivalent to that of the tiger in the forest.
•    Its scientific name is Platanista gangetica.
•    Ganges River Dolphins prefer deep waters, in and around the confluence of two or more rivers. They share their habitat with crocodiles, fresh water turtles and wetland birds.
•    The distribution range of the Ganges River Dolphins in India covers seven states namely, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
•    Rivers where these dolphins are found: River Ganges, Chambal (Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh), Ghaghra, Gandak (Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), Sone and Kosi rivers (Bihar), River Brahmaputra from Sadia up to Dhubri and Kulsi River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra river,
•    The Ganges River Dolphin has a sturdy, yet flexible, body with large flippers and a low triangular dorsal fin. It weighs up to 150 kg. Females are larger than males.
•    The Gangetic Dolphins are generally blind and catch their prey by emitting an ultrasonic sound which reaches the prey.
•    A Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Programme was initiated in 1997 to build a scientific database of the population status of the species and study the habitat quality of the dolphins' distribution range.

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Rajasthan Government has launched mobile application RajVayu for sharing information about air quality index

On 5 June 2016 Rajasthan Government launched mobile application RajVayu for sharing information about Air Quality Index of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. 
•    The app was launched by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on the eve of World Environment Day.
•    With this, Rajasthan became first state in country to launch such app for sharing information about air quality index of cities.  
•    The app has been designed by Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) jointly with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). 
•    It will share details about the air quality, such as levels of pollutants likes SOx, NOx, CO, Ozone particles and Particulate Matter (PM) with the city residents and tourists. 
•    It will also share temperature, wind speed, humidity, weather forecast and advisories. 
•    This app is based on the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR-India) which is presently connected in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. 
•    By 2017, the services of this application would be expanded in other cities in the state including in Ajmer, Alwar, Bhiwadi, Kota and Pali.

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Haryana Chief Minister lays foundation stone for Jai Jawan Awas Yojna

Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar on 3 June 2016 laid foundation stone of Jai Jawan Awas Yojna (JJAY) at Bahadurgarh, Haryana.
Jai Jawan Awas Yojna is an initiative to provide affordable housing to serving and retired JCOs and Other Ranks.
•    The project is being executed by Army Welfare Housing Organization.
•    It aims to provide low cost housing.
•    This housing project has been named in the memory of Late Major Rajiv Joon, recipient of Ashok Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. 
•    Major Joon had attained martyrdom fighting militants in Anantnag district of Jammu & Kashmir.
•    The residential project at Bahadurgarh will be pitched at a very low cost for the benefit of JCOs and Other Ranks.
•    The Chief Minister had granted dispensation in construction which permitted construction of about 500 dwelling units instead of 400 planned earlier.

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Delhi Government approves solar policy with 1 GW target by 2020

The Delhi Government on 6 June 2016 announced implementation of its solar policy.
•    The policy aims at making the national capital a solar city with installation of 1 GW solar power capacity by 2020. 
•    This target is proposed to double it to 2 GW during further next five years.
•    The policy has been prepared by the Delhi Government in consultation with the Dialogue and Development Commission after extensive consultations with local and international experts.
•    Mandatory deployment of solar panels on the government or public institutions.
•    Virtual net metering to give access to the solar net metering facility to the consumers who do not have a suitable roof for installing a solar system.
•    Group net metering to encourage solar plants on rooftops of buildings that cannot consume all of the energy generated locally.
•    Generation based incentive for three years.
•    Amendment of the building bylaws for rooftop solar installations.

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