Current Affairs 2017 – May

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Union Cabinet Approves Allocation of 2.5% of Central Road Fund for National Waterways Development

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for allocating 2.5% of the Central Road Fund (CRF) for the development of the National Waterways.

Central Road Fund is a duty on excise and customs levied on petrol and high-speed diesel.

Significance

The allocation will provide around Rs 2000 crore annually for the development and maintenance of the National Waterways which in turn will boost inland water transport. According to the Inland Waterways Authority of India, the development of National Waterways would require Rs 25,000 crore till 2022-2023. The move is also expected to provide employment opportunities to 1.8 lakh persons in the next 5 years

A number of facilities like navigation aids, night navigation facility, facilities for embarking and disembarking at designated locations, facilities for expeditious crossing of the Farakka Navigation Lock, pilotage and assistance in distress will be provided by the IWAI.

Background

The National Waterways Act, 2016 was passed in 2016 for the development and maintenance of National Waterways. The act which came into force in 12 April, 2016 has declared 111 inland waterways across 24 states as national waterways. At present five National Waterways are operational.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory body in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. Its main function is to build the necessary required infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration and regulation.

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Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme Launched

The Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha has launched three new initiatives, namely, BSNL’s satellite phone service; Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award Scheme & Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme. 

Salient Highlights

BSNL’s satellite phone service will be offered in a phased manner. In the first phase, the service will be extended to the government agencies handling a disaster, state police, railways, Border security forces and other government agencies. In the subsequent phases, the phone service would be offered to those people who are travelling in flight and ships. Global satellite phone service is modern satellite phone service.

Under Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan Scheme, the ministry will impart training to 10,000 people from 10 States/UTs in the first phase. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Punjab and Haryana will get benefitted in the first phase. Further, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plans to established more than 1,000 Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratisthan in future.

In addition, a new award called Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award has been instituted to recognize achievers and talents in Telecom sector. 

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Ravichandran Ashwin Wins International Cricketer of the Year Award

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has won the international cricketer of the Year Award at the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2017. He was presented with an award at a function held at the Cricket Club of India by former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and Harsh Goenka of RPG Enterprises. Ashwin has taken 99 wickets in the past 12 months.
Batsman Shubhman Gill has been awarded with the Young Player of the Year award for his stellar performance during the India-England U-19 ODI series

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin is credited as the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 50-, 100-, 150-, 200-, and 250-wicket mark in Test Cricket. In 2016, he earned the distinction of becoming the third Indian after Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar to win the ICC Cricketer of the Year Award. Ashwin has received various other awards like Arjuna Award in 2014, BCCI’s International Cricketer of the Year Award for 2012-2013 season, ICC Test Cricketer of the Year Award in 2016 etc.

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