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‘Dhanu Jatra’ the 11-day long festival begins at Bargarh in western Odisha

The famous 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’, considered as the largest open-air theatre festival of the world, that finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, begins at Bargarh in western Odisha. The annual festival came into being in 1947-48 to celebrate Indian’s Independence and to symbolize the victory of good over evil.

The Jatra is based on the mythological story of Lord Krishna and his demon uncle King Kansa. It is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle King Kansa.

Over 70 artists performed and another 45 artists played different roles at Gopapura during the festival. Around 3,000 artists of 120 cultural troupes from across the state and from neighboring states will perform at the Raj Durbar, Nanda Durbar, and Rangamahal during the festival.

The department of Culture of the Government of India has accorded National Festival status to Dhanu Jatra in November 2014.

E-certificate project launched by Odisha government

The Odisha government has launched a unique “people-friendly” project to provide official documents such as income, residence and similar other certificates online without any fees and without visiting government offices. The e-certificate project launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the Revenue and Disaster Management department as part of the 5T model of governance aims at benefiting over 5 million applicants annually, revolutionising peoples life.

Patnaik also launched “Pauti”, an App to facilitate online payment of land revenue and people need not visit government offices for the purpose. They can download the application and make payment.

Atal Canteen launched by Haryana CM in Karnal

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the state’s first Atal Kisan-Mazdoor canteens( Atal Canteen) constructed by the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board at a cost of Rs 4 lakh. It is very pocket friendly as farmers and labourers coming to the mandi will get a wholesome diet from the canteen at a price of Rs 10. The food will include four rotis, pulses, vegetables and rice

The canteen will function from 11am-3pm everyday and for now, it has the capacity to serve 300 persons. Ten women from a self-help group (SHG) have been appointed to prepare the food.

The canteens are named after former PM late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the government failed to launch it on his birthday on December 25. Haryana CM unveiled a 14-foot statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Atal Park.

Kerala Becomes First State To Pass Anti-CAA Resolution

Kerala became the first state to pass a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act amid widespread protests across the country. Kerala is now the first state to go down the legislative route to register its opposition.

Chief Ministers of several non-BJP ruled states including Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, had also previously voiced their opposition to the law.

Kerala Travel Mart to support Green Cochin Mission

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) Society is set to implement the initiatives under the nascent Green Cochin Mission as its major policy programme to speed up the ongoing efforts to free Kerala’s top tourist city of waste.

The Green Cochin Mission is aiming, among others, to rejuvenate the city’s canals and check encroachment so as to achieve its zero pollution of soil and water alongside greening Kochi. Its social media wing, too, is working full swing, while trying to rope in taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers besides roadside vendors.

The Green Cochin Mission, inaugurated on December 20, enjoys the assistance of Kochi Corporation, district administration, Kerala Suchitwa Mission, Indian Medical Association, Childline India, Justice Brigade, Haritha Keralam, National Health Mission and Motor Vehicles Department besides educational institutes, NGOs and other private agencies.

Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu dies of lung cancer

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader and Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu passed away at the age of 67 on Monday, 31st Dec at a hospital in Mumbai after battling lung cancer for several months.

Yhoshu was elected to the state Assembly thrice from Southern Angami-1 constituency in Kohima district. He had won the seat as a candidate of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in 2008 and 2013 and served as Advisor and Parliamentary Secretary of various departments. He was elected as Speaker of the state Assembly in 2018 assembly election.

Ritualistic festival ‘Lai Haraoba’ begins in Tripura

In Tripura, Lai Haraoba, a ritualistic festival observed by Manipuri meitei communities began in Agartala. The 5-day long festival is jointly organised by the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of Tripura, Puthiba Lai Haraoba Committee and Puthiba Welfare & Cultural Society, Agartala.

Lai Haraoba is celebrated through oral literature, music, dance and rituals. A cultural troupe from Manipur has also come to take part in the festival. They will be performing various cultural and traditional musical skits including Manipuri martial arts, folk music and folk dances during the festival.

The five-day long festival was inaugurated by Speaker of state legislative Assembly, Rebati Mohan Das. The festival aims to uphold tradition and cultural values of Meitei community.

Piyush Jaiswal honored with Global Bihar Excellence Awards 2019

Piyush Jaiswal was awarded the Global Bihar Excellence Award 2019. This award was presented by Rajya Sabha MP and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. CP Thakur and Bihar Women Commission president Dilmani Devi in Patna to promote women empowerment.

The award was given to recognize and felicitated Piyush Jaiswal’s contribution towards social welfare, women empowerment and introducing new talent in the field of arts and culture.

Piyush Jaiswal was recently awarded the humanitarian award with the Global Peace Excellence Humanitarian Award 2019 on the occasion of International Human Day.

‘Damini’ helpline service for women launched by UPSRTC

UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) has launched ‘Damini’ helpline service considering the safety of the women passengers. As the extension of ‘Nirbhaya Yojana’ the unique number “81142-77777” has been subscribed for this helpline. Women passengers can lodge their complaints by calling the helpline number and by using WhatsApp service.

The service will be functional from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and will be exclusively handled by women officers at the UPSRTC headquarters and regional offices. Women passengers can lodge their complaints on the general helpline number, 1800-180-2877, after 6 p.m.

A new campus of NFSC in Nagpur inaugurated by Home Minister

Union Home Minister Amit Shah dedicated the new campus of National Fire Service College (NFSC) under the Ministry of Home affairs. NFSC campus spread across 42 acres is fully equipped with the international standards. The four-year Bachelor level course in Fire Engineering approved by the All India Council for Technical Education along with the short and long-term courses in Emergency Management, Medical Life Support Management, and Disaster Management will be taught in this college.

In the same function, the Minister also laid the foundation stone for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Academy which will be established near Suradevi village of Nagpur. 15 President’s Fire Service medals for gallantry were also awarded by the Minister to the awardees including Fire Service Officers and Firemen from different parts of the country.

Govt approves release of Grant-in-Aid of Rs 2.6 cr to J&K Pollution Control Board

Environment and Forests Ministry has approved the release of Grant-in-Aid of 6 crore rupees to J&K Pollution Control Board. Under this scheme, the JK PCB shall provide financial assistance to 3742 number of Eco Clubs of registered schools in both the regions of J&K along with 96 Eco-Clubs for registered Colleges.

The environment education, awareness and Training scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India for National Green Corps (Eco-Clubs) which was closed for over a decade has been revived for J&K.

Recent Schemes Launched in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath to launch integrated emergency number 112. Kanya Sumangala Yojana launched in UP for families with girl child. UP launches online driving licence tracking facility.

Uttar Pradesh government launched a dedicated web portal and e-Ganna App, a mobile application at a function in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The Uttar Pradesh Government haslaunched a three-day campaign against Filaria as GoI has set a target of eradicating Filaria completely by 2021.

Pragati Maidan metro station renamed as Supreme Court metro station

The Kejriwal government in Delhi announced the renaming of Pragati Maidan metro station as the Supreme Court metro station.

The committee has also decided to rename Mukarba Chowk on Delhi’s Outer Ring Road and its flyover after Kargil war martyr Captain Vikram Batra and MB Road as Acharya Sri Mahapragya Marg and the Lajpat Nagar flyover as Shri Jhulelal Setu among others.

‘Cyber Safe Women’ initiative launched by the Maharashtra Government

Maharashtra Government has launched a ‘Cyber Safe Women’ initiative under which awareness camps will be held across all the districts of the state regarding cyber safety. The initiative will help in educating women about how the web is used by anti-social elements and child predators to commit various types of crimes.

CM Uddhav Thackeray stated rising instances of cyber-crime need to be curbed and the government is looking to take all measures to ensure that women and children do not fall prey to these criminal activities.

‘Go Green’ campaign launched in Bhubaneswar

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation launched a campaign for the protection of the environment and encourage exchange eco-friendly gifts this new year. The ‘Go Green’ campaign was carried out in five different places in the city where municipal officials distributed saplings, books and cotton bags.

The campaign was launched at Chandrasekharpur, Ganganagar, Saheed Nagar, State Museum and ‘I Love Bhubaneswar’ plaza on Janpath road. Similarly, officials in collaboration with Axis Bank launched ‘Mu Safaiwala’ public van.

Malavath Poorna scales the highest mountain in Antarctica

Malavath Poorna, 18-year-old girl from Telangana has conquered Mt Vinson Massif, the Antarctica continent’s highest mountain peak (4,987 mts). She has become the first and youngest tribal woman in the world to set foot on the six tallest mountain peaks across six continents.

So far, Poorna scaled Mt Everest (Asia, year 2014), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa, 2016), Mt. Elbrus (Europe, 2017), Mt. Aconcagua (South America, 2019) Mt. Cartsnez (Oceania region, 2019) and Mt. Vinson Massif (Antarctica, 2019).

World’s 2nd tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel unveiled

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani unveils the 2nd tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the world at the Sardardham campus near Vaishnodevi Circle in Ahmedabad. 

The 50 feet tall bronze statue with a weight of 70 thousand kilograms has been designed by Padma Bhusan Ram V. Sutar, the same sculptor who had designed the Statue of Unity. It was built at a cost of Rs 3.25 crores.

Gujarat: KVIC opens 1st silk processing plant

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) opened its first “Patola Saree” silk processing plant at Surendranagar in Gujarat with the aim to make silk readily available to Patola saree manufacturers to boost its production. Patola is the trademark saree of Gujarat.

The Patola silk was founded by the Salvi caste (Scheduled) in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. They moved to Gujarat in the 12th century in order. They are highly expensive and were once worn only by royal aristocratic families.

2020 declared as AI year by Telangana Govt, signs 8 MoU

Telangana state government declared 2020 as the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and signed eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with various companies and educational institutes to pave way for upcoming technological advancement in the state.

US-based tech major NVIDIA will partner with the state government to setup a High-Performance AI Computing (HPAIC) Centre in Telangana. They will also assist in startup incubation, host AI training sessions to support women & minority groups and organise hackathons.

Kerala: K-RERA launched by CM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the Kerala Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) with an aim to boost the confidence of customers and bring in more transparency in the real estate sector, 

Passed by the Parliament, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, had directed the state governments to establish RERA for effective regulation of the real estate sector and also for speedy dispute redressal.

As per the Act, buildings with more than eight apartments and real estates projects with 500 square metres of land or more will have to be registered with RERA.