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Jan 2020

Jan 31, 2020

TN Chief Minister Announces New Business-friendly Measures

  • The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami unveiled industry-friendly measures to improve the ease of doing business and attract investments.
  • At the 125th celebration of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he announced a 'Direct CTO scheme for green industries' to relax the process for pre-establishment clearances for green category industries.
  • Under the new scheme, the units just have to apply for consent-to-establish. They don't have to wait till final approvals to start project construction work.

Cabinet Approves Bill to Raise Upper Limit for Abortions

  • The Union cabinet approved a bill that proposes to permit the termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks from the existing 20 weeks. The bill will be introduced in the ensuing budget session of Parliament.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 aims to expand access of women to safe and legal abortion services on therapeutic, eugenic, humanitarian or social grounds. The proposed amendments include substitution of certain sub-sections and insertion of certain new clauses under some sections in the existing Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, with a view to increase the upper gestation limit for termination of pregnancy under certain conditions and to strengthen access to comprehensive abortion care, under strict conditions, without compromising service and quality of safe abortion.
  • Other amendments proposed in the bill are the requirements for opinion of one doctor for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation, and introducing the requirement of opinion of two doctors for termination of pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.

Jan 30, 2020

Government Extends Reward Scheme

  • The Union Cabinet approved extension of the current Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) Scheme beyond 2017-18 to benefit 28,821 major port trusts and dock workers annually. The yearly estimated outgo will be Rs. 46 crore. This scheme is fostering better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the Port Sector. PLR is granted to employees on the basis of the composite Ports Performance Index every year. It is also based on the settlement arrived at between management and labour federations of major port trusts.

Jan 27, 2020

Maharashtra Launches Rs. 10 Lunch Plate Scheme

  • The Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government launched its much-awaited 'Shiv Bhojan' scheme, which is aimed at providing a meal to the poor for just Rs. 10, on the occasion of the 71st Republic Day.
  • Under the scheme, which was launched on a pilot basis, thalis or lunch plates would be available to people at designated centres/canteens during a stipulated time in all the districts.
  • Launching of the scheme was one of the poll promises made by the Shiv Sena, which shares power with the NCP and Congress in a coalition government.
  • In Mumbai, district guardian minister Aslam Shaikh inaugurated the "Shiv Bhojan Thali" canteen at the civic-run Nair hospital.
  • A similar centre was unveiled by Tourism Minister and Mumbai suburban district guardian minister Aaditya Thackeray at the collector's office in Bandra.
  • Guardian ministers of Pune and Nashik, Ajit Pawar and Chhagan Bhujbal formally launched the scheme in their respective districts.

Countering Malware Threat Focus of Cyber Security Policy

  • Authorities are putting the finishing touches to the Cyber Security Policy, 2020, which will lead to the creation of a centralised repository for detecting, reporting and analysing malware in India, and for devising countermeasures.
  • The policy seeks to create safe, secure, trusted, resilient and vibrant cyberspace for India's economic progress.
  • The new policy will focus on issues such as mandatory courses in schools and colleges on cyber hygiene, which relate to online security, and indigenization, especially of anti-virus programmes.
  • The new policy will be circulated among ministries before it is placed before the Union cabinet for its clearance. The new policy is likely to come up before the Cabinet in a couple of weeks. A cyber security policy adopted earlier in 2013 was aimed at creating safe and secure cyberspace.
  • The new policy will lay special stress on cybersecurity awareness among young adult. The human resources development ministry will be roped in to design and run mandatory courses in schools and colleges on "cyber hygiene". "Cyber hygiene is critical in an increasingly connected world and [good cyber] habits will have to be developed from a very young age," the second official said on condition of anonymity.

Jan 26, 2020

Telangana State Election Commission Successfully Tests Facial Recognition Technique

  • The Telangana State Election Commission successfully tested the facial recognition application for voter verification at polling stations using real time authentication capabilities.
  • The application using latest technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning was uploaded in mobile phones and tested in 10 polling stations for urban local body elections in Kompally Municipality.
  • According to SEC officials, testing of the application became necessary in view of the cases of impersonation in the voting process, as could be seen from the request for tendered votes coming up with every passing election.

Jan 16, 2020

NHA signs MoU with ITC e-Choupal to help farmers avail Ayushman Bharat scheme

  • The National Health Authority, the apex body implementing the Centre''s flagship Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme, has signed an MoU with ITC e-Choupal to help farmers avail benefits under the programme.
  • As part of the MoU signed, ITC will conduct awareness camps through 400 Village Health Champions (VHCs) covering over 800 villages across 10 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on a pilot basis.
  • These VHCs will make women and adolescents aware of the programme through group meetings and door-to-door campaigns.
  • ITC e-Choupal is a network of 4 million farmers in over 35,000 villages across 10 states -- Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Through this collaboration, the NHA and ITC e-Choupal will spread awareness about the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya scheme and conduct outreach and training activities.
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