States Current Affairs – 2017

Current Affairs 2017, 2016 of all States with latest updates. Current Affairs will list latest developments, issues in all states

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West Bengal makes Bengali Mandatory in all Schools

West Bengal State government has made Bengali mandatory in all schools, including private English medium schools. Henceforth, it would be compulsory for all schools including English medium schools affiliated to boards other than West Bengal Board of Secondary Education to teach Bengali as an optional subject from Class I so that students can study it either as a second or third language.

At present, teaching of Bengali is not mandatory in the schools. Apart from Bengali, English and Hindi, students can opt for other languages such as Urdu, Gurumukhi, Nepali and Ol-chiki as the medium of instruction in schools of the State.

Background

The decision of the West Bengal government making Bengali compulsory in schools comes at the backdrop of Kerala government’s recent promulgation of an ordinance in April making Teaching of Malayalam compulsory in all schools of Kerala.

Earlier, the Left Front government had abolished teaching of English in primary sections of West Bengal in 1984. But teaching of English was reintroduced in 1992 to Class V, in 1998 to Class III and finally in 2003 to all classes from Class I onwards.

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Vijayawada Airport becomes International Airport

The Union Cabinet has granted international airport status for the Vijayawada Airport. The approval was given as per provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The decision was taken as the airport is witnessing significant growth in passenger traffic and also to cater to the demands made by airlines as well as the Andhra Pradesh government. The airport is currently undergoing infrastructural upgradations and improvement in facilities for international operations. The upgradation works are being carried out by the Airports Authority of India.

Significance

The international status accorded to the airport will help in boosting the domestic and international tourism besides promoting socio-economic development. It will also improve connectivity to the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Vijayawada

Vijayawada is metropolitan city situated on the banks of the River Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. The city forms a part of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region and the hosts the headquarters of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority. The city is one of the major trading and business centres of the state and hence called as “The Business Capital of Andhra Pradesh“.

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Odisha’s Sualgiri, Swalgiri Communities Notified as Scheduled Castes

Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities of Odisha have been notified as Scheduled Castes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017. Last month, Rajya Sabha had passed the bill after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March. Accordingly, the Sualgiri, Swalgiri communities have been notified as Scheduled Castes in the modified list for Odisha.

Similarly, the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 has replaced the term Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry.

Benefits

The Constitution provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. The Scheduled Castes status will entitle these communities to get reservation in government jobs and admission into educational institutions in addition to some other financial benefits. The government implements various schemes for the benefit of the Scheduled Castes like post-matric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi national fellowship, concessional loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, provision of hostel facilities for the SC boys and girls etc.

Background

The constitution of India empowers the Parliament of India to modify the list of notified scheduled castes, which upon receiving the assent of the President of India can be notified as Scheduled Castes. Under the provision of Article 341, list of SCs in relation to a states/UT is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consulting concerned state Government. But the clause (2) of Article 341 envisages that, any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected only through an Act of Parliament.

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