Places in News Current Affairs - 2019

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Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple adjudged as cleanest iconic place

The Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) was adjudged as the cleanest iconic place in country under Swachhta Hi Seva (cleanliness is service) programme.

The temple earned top slot from among 10 iconic places selected by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharath Mission. It has piped other iconic places such as Taj Mahal, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Golden Temple, Tirupathi temple and Sri Vaishno Devi temple.

Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple

It is historic Hindu temple located on southern bank of Vaigai River in temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is dedicated to Meenakshi, a form of Parvati, and her consort, Sundareswar, a form of Shiva. It was built during reign of Pandyas. It houses 14 gopurams (gateway towers), ranging from 45–50m in height and tallest is southern tower, 51.9 metres high. It also has two golden sculptured vimanas, shrines over garbhagrihas (sanctums) of main deities.

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Government signs $76 Million loan deal with JICA to Upgrade Alang-Sosiya Shipyards

The Union Government signed $76 million loan deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for starting upgradation project related to environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling shipyards in Gujarat.

The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022. The total cost of project is $111 million out of which $76 million will be provided by JICA as soft loan. Out of remaining amount, $25 million will be borne by Gujarat Government as taxes and fees and balance $10 million will be shared by Ministry of Shipping.

Benefits of the project

This project will help Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations. This will attract more business at recycling facilities at Alang, thereby further consolidate India’s share in global ship-recycling industry.

It will also help in safeguarding marine and coastal environment. The use of advanced decontamination technology will rule out possibility of fire accidents in oil and chemical tankers, thereby ensuring workers safety.  The project is expected to increase in direct employment from 50,000 to 92,000 people and in-direct employment from 1.5 lakhs to 3 lakh people.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The JICA is governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for government of Japan. Its mandate is assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and promotion of international cooperation.

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