May 25th Current Affairs

National Issues


An agreement was signed for the manufacture of spare parts of railways at Jalingham near Nandigram in West Bengal, between Indian Railways, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), the State Government and Burn Standard Company.

In the 50 acre of land of Burn Standard, Rail and SAIL will jointly manufacture railway coaches and couplings. The Chairman and Managing Director of SAIL Mr. C.S. Verma said that 2 hundred and 2 crore rupees will be invested in the project. About 300 people will get employment.





The Congress-led UDF Government in Kerala announced a ban on the manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco in the
state with immediate effect.

Announcing the decision at a press conference here, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the ban on gutka and pan masala containing tobacco and nicotine was enforced under the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Regulation Act, 2011.

Kerala is the second state to ban the use of gutka and pan masala after Madhya Pradesh.

The increasing incidence of gutka-induced diseases like oral cancer had prompted the government to ban the products. He said, the government would strictly enforce the ban and take strong action in case of any violation.





The Government is soon to come up with a new legislation for empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, in harmony with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD. 

Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik stated this in a message which was read out at the inaugural function of a national conference on livelihoods for persons with disabilities in New Delhi. Mr Wasnik said, it is the government's endeavor to create an inclusive environment where PWDs could enjoy their rights and fulfill their responsibilities.





The Union Minister for labour and employment Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge inaugurated National Instructional Media Institute at Chennai.





Sikkim to host the 2nd Sustainable Mountain Development Summit, beginning in Gangtok from May 25th. Over 250 delegates from eleven mountainous States and the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal will be deliberating on key issues of the Indian Himalayan region including the North East for two days.

The summit is organized by the Eco-tourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim in collaboration with the Central Himalayan Environment Association.

The Convenor of the Summit and Lok Sabha Member from Sikkim Mr. PD Rai told that the 2nd Sustainable Mountain Development Summit will be concluding with the ‘Sikkim Declaration’ that will highlight key concerns of the Himalayan region.





The Planning Commission has constituted an expert group headed by noted Economist C.Rangarajan to review the Tendulkar Committee methodology for estimating poverty. Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar told reporters that the expert group is expected to submit its report in 7-9 months.

Outlining the need for revisiting the methodology for estimating poverty, the Minister said, that People's perspective about poverty has changed and there is a need to take a fresh look into the methodology for estimation of poverty in the country.

The Commission's estimates, based on the Tendulkar Committee methodology, that people spending more than 28.65 per day in cities and 22.42 in rural areas are not poor, had triggered a controversy which even rocked Parliament.





The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh convened a meeting of ministers and senior officials to examine the report of the Ashok Chawla Committee on Allocation of Natural Resources. The committee on allocation of natural resources was constituted to examine the approach to allocating natural resources such as land, coal, minerals, petroleum and natural gas.

The purpose was to obtain recommendations which would enhance transparency, effectiveness and sustainability in the allocation, pricing and utilization of natural resources through open, transparent and competitive mechanisms and to suggest changes in the legal, institutional and regulatory framework to implement the recommendations.

The recommendations of the Committee had been examined by the Group of Ministers on corruption headed by the Finance Minister. The GoM had accepted 69 of the 81 recommendations given by the Ashok Chawla committee.





The Government said that 90 percent of all rural households in the country will be covered by tapped water system by 2022, as the focus now is shifted from the hand pump approach to the surface water supply system. Briefing the media after a two-day Conference of State Ministers in charge of Rural Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, Rural Development Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh said here that at present only 35 percent households in rural India has piped water system. 

Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh have more than 80 percent rural areas covered by tapped water supply, in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar less than 10 percent areas are under the piped water scheme, as the focus in these North Indian States are more on hand pumps. Shri Ramesh said, due to absence of electricity in rural and extremely backward areas, some States have demanded solar-energy based drinking water system.


Awards


Indian-American students have swept the prestigious National Geographic Bee in United States, bagging the top four positions of this year's tough national competition. The difference this year was the particpation by US President Barack Obama, who played a quizmaster in this National quiz contest .

In the competiton, 14 years old Rahul Nagvekar from Texas bagged the first position, by beating 13-year-old Vansh Jain from Wisconsin at the finals of the annual competition held. Both are class eighth students. The third and fourth positions went to Varun Mahadevan from San Francisco and Raghav Ranga from Arizona respectively.


Sports


India defeated South Korea 2-1 in 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey tournament at Ipoh, Malaysia. Sandeep Singh put India in the lead in the 12th minute. However, Nam Hyum brought parity for South Korea in the 65th minute. In the last minute, S. K. Uthappa scored the decider, ensuring victory for India.



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