About M-Pesa service
- A mobile money transfer and payment service that allows customers to transfer money to any mobile phone, remit money to any bank account, make utility payments, recharge of mobile, DTH payment and earn interest on deposits.
- Empowers the un-banked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services through the mobile phone.
- This service will now be available across 202 Tehsils, 24 Districts through 1350 specially trained authorized agents including 73 Vodafone exclusive stores in Odisha.
Apart from Odisha, ‘M-Pesa’ has been rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, West Bengal, Punjab, UP East, UP West, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam & North East and Haryana. It will be made available across the country in a phased manner.
The Government of India (GOI) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $275 million loan agreement to continue improving rural roads in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. The loan represents the second tranche of $800 million financing facility under the Rural Connectivity Investment Program (RCIP).
- Joint secretary of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Nilaya Mitash and Country Director of ADB, Ms. M. Teresa Kho signed the pact.
- Executing agency of the project: Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) at the central level, while the state governments of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal are charged with overall implementation at the state level for a period of 43 months.
- The loan will construct 3,693 km of all-weather rural roads in the states which will benefit nearly 1,800 rural habitations.
- Second phase of project is expected to be completed in June, 2017.
- The central government will provide counterpart funds of $81.56 million for a total second tranche project investment cost of $356.56 million.
Rural Connectivity Investment Programme (RCIP): A multi-tranche financing facility (MTFF) started by Asian Development Bank (ADB). RCIP will construct or upgrade the 9000 km of rural roads to an all-weather standard connecting around 4800 habitations in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
Note: The second tranche from the ordinary capital resources of ADB has a 25-year term including a grace period of 5 years, commitment charge of 0.15% per year, and interest rate to be determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility.
Legendary Bengali actress Suchitra Sen (82) passed way in Kolkata due to massive heart attack. She was the first Bengali actress to be honored at an international film festival (She received the Best Actress award for ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ at the 1963 Moscow film festival).
About Legendary Bengali actress Suchitra Sen
- Known for power-packed performances in highly acclaimed Bengali films viz. Deep Jwele Jaai, Uttar Falguni, etc and in Hindi movies viz. Devdas, Bombai Ka Babu, Mamta, Aandhi, Saat Paake Bandha, etc. She has been nicknamed as the Greta Garbo of Bengali cinema.
- Received the Best Actress Award for the film Devdas (1955), which was her first Hindi movie.
- Her role in Hindi film Aandhi opposite Sanjeev Kumar is memorable as well as controversial. She portrayed the character of Indira Gandhi in the film.
- Ms. Sen was the only celebrity to refuse the Dadasaheb Phalke Award just to avoid travelling to New Delhi.
She devoted her retirement years working for the Ramakrishna Mission.
A newly constructed railway platform in Gorakhpur, U.P. entered into the Limca Book of World Records for being world’s longest railway platform.
- Platform No. 1 of the Gorakhpur is 1366.33 metres with ramp and 11355.40 metres without it.
- Gorakhpur is headquarter of North Eastern Railways zone.
The World’s longest railway platforms are:
- Gorakhpur railway station (Uttar Pradesh, India): 1,366.33 m (4,483 ft)
- Kollam Junction Railway Station (Kerala, India): 1,180.5 m (3,873 ft)
- Kharagpur (West Bengal, India): 1,072.5 m (3,519 ft)
- State Street Center subway station (Chicago, Illinois, USA): 1,067 m (3,501 ft) (longest in United States)
- Cheriton Shuttle Terminal (Folkestone, United Kingdom): 791 m (2,595 ft) (longest in Europe)
- Bilaspur railway station (Chhattisgarh, India): 790 m (2,592 ft)
- Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh, India): 770 m (2,526 ft)
- East Perth railway station (Perth, Western Australia): 770 m (2,526 ft) (longest in Australia)
- Kalgoorlie railway station (Kalgoorlie, Western Australia): 760 m (2,493 ft)
- Sonepur railway station (Sonepur, Bihar, India): 738 m (2,421 ft)
After Gorakhpur,and Kollam, Kharagpur has the world’s third longest railway platform in the world with a length of 1,072.5 metres (3,519 ft).
Zones and Headquarters of Indian Railways
Indian Railways has 17 zones and each zonal railway is made up of a certain number of divisions, each having a divisional headquarters. There are a total of 68 divisions.
|Central (CR)||Mumbai||Bhusawal, Nagpur, Mumbai(CST), Solapur, Pune|
|East Central (ECR)||Hajipur||Danapur, Dhanbad, Sonepur, Mughalsarai, Samastipur|
|Eastern Coast (ECoR)||Bhubaneswar||Khurda Road, Waltair, Sambalpur|
|Eastern (ER)||Kolkata||Malda, Howarh, Sealdah, Asansol|
|North Central (NCR)||Allahabad||Allahabad, Jhansi, Agra|
|North-Eastern (NER)||Gorakhpur||Lucknow, Varanasi, Izatnagar|
|North-Western (NWR)||Jaipur||Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Ajmer|
|Northeast Frontier (NFR)||Guwahati||Katihar, Lumding, Tinsukhia, Alipurduar, Rangiya|
|Northern (NR)||Delhi||Ambala, Ferozpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, Delhi|
|South-Central (SCR)||Secunderabad||Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Guntakal, Vijaywada, Guntur, Nanded|
|South-East Central (SECR)||Bilaspur||Nagpur, Bilaspur, Raipur|
|South-Eastern (SER)||Kolkata||Kharagpur, Chakradharpur, Adra, Ranchi|
|South-Western (SWR)||Hubli||Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli|
|Southern (SR)||Chennai||Chennai, Madurai, Palghat, Trichy, Trivandrum|
|West Central (WCR)||Jabalpur||Jabalpur, Bhopal, Kota|
|Western (WR)||Mumbai||Bhavnagar, Mumbai Central, Ratlam, Rajkot, Vadodara*, Ahemdabad|
|Kolkata Metro Railway (KMR)||Kolkata||Kolkata metropolitan area, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas|