Current Affairs 2017 - April

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IOC to build new oil terminal at Motihari to supply fuel to Nepal

The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has planned to build a new oil terminal at Motihari in Bihar to supply fuel to Nepal via the planned pipeline up to Amlekganj in Nepal. The old terminal functioning at Raxaul in Bihar will be shut down as it does not conform to the current OISD (Oil Industry Safety Directorate) guidelines. The decision to shift the terminal from Raxaul to Motihari has been taken keeping in mind the current safety guidelines.

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) is a technical directorate that formulates the regulatory measures to enhance safety of the Indian oil and gas industry. It functions under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

The 69-km Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline will be built at a cost of Rs.325 crore. Nepal is giving at most importance to the project by giving it a national priority status. Also, as per the initial agreement, a new 200 km pipeline would be laid between Patna and Motihari and will be utilised if there is a delay in operation of the new terminal at Motihari. Already a pipeline between Barauni (where a refinery exists) and Patna exists. IOC expects to operationalise the Motihari-Amlekganj pipeline after 30 months of receiving statutory clearances. Nepal wants the pipeline to be extended up to Chitwan for which the IOC has been asked to prepare a detailed feasibility report (DFR).

Background

In August 2015, the India and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a product pipeline. As a follow-up, IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation entered into a MoU for laying down of the pipeline. At the beginning, it was decided that the pipeline would be laid from Raxaul to Amlekganj, but later it was decided to extend it till Motihari. Recently, the fuel supply agreements between India and Nepal have been extended to five years. Nepal receives around 2 lakh kilolitres of fuel from IOC every month.

 

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Uttar Pradesh cancels 15 government holidays

Uttar Pradesh state government has cancelled 15 public holidays marking the birth or death anniversaries of eminent personalities. Alternatively, on these days, the school and college students would be taught about these public figures through various programmes. Out of the 42 public holidays observed by the state, 17 pertained to birth anniversaries. The move was taken at the backdrop of increasing concern over the shrinking academic session due to increased holidays. It is held that in the state 220-day academic session has been reduced to only 120 days due to the celebration of such holidays.

The previously ruled Samajwadi Party had declared holidays on the anniversaries of the following personalities: Former PM Chandrashekhar (April 17), Maharishi Kashyap and Maharshi Nishadraj Jayanti (April 5), Hazrat Ajmeri Garib Nawaj Urs (April 26), Maharana Pratap Jayanti (May 9) and the death anniversary of Ambedkar (December 6).

The state government would soon publish the revised list of holidays.

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Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar appointed CRPF chief

IPS officer Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar has been appointed as the Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The appointment has come two days after 25 CRPF personnel were ambushed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. The CRPF was functioning without a head for the past two months after the retirement of K. Durga Prasad on February 28, 2017.

Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar is a 1983 batch IPS officer belonging to the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He is the Director General of the Narcotics Control Bureau.

In another key appointment, IPS officer R.K. Pachnanda has been named the director general of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). R.K. Pachnanda is a 1983 batch IPS officer of West Bengal cadre. He will take charge after the retirement of Krishna Chaudhary in June-end.

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