- Naveen Patnaik too seeks special category status for Odisha
- After Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, Naveen Patnaik too has once again raised the demand of special category status for Odisha, citing its backwardness and high percentage of ST and SC population.
- With high percentage of population belonging to the Schedule Tribes and Scheduled Castes and the state facing frequent natural calamities, Odisha deserves to be accorded ‘special category status’ to fast-track its ongoing development and may be treated at par with North-Eastern and Himalayan states for the sharing pattern of Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
- The Centre had then provided for special allocation for the poverty prone KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region. Like provision for the SCS states, the Centre was providing funds in the ratio of 90:10 ratio under Centrally Sponsored Schemes for the KBK region. This facility, however, was withdrawn after the fall of the Vajpeyee government.
- India to host European Union Film Festival
- Putting aspotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium.
- With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years’ film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts.
- The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.
- The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18thJune till 31st
· McDonalds to ban plastic straws in all of its restaurants in UK and Ireland
- As both the UK government and the EU are considering restrictions on single-use plastic products, McDonald’s plans to ban plasticstraws at all of its UK and Ireland restaurants by next year.
- The company had found two suppliers to meet its needs for paper straws, the start-up Transcend Packaging based in Wales, and Huhtamaki, a global company which will produce the straws at its plant in Belfast. They will use paper coming from certified sustainable sources.
- Other companies making the move away from plastic versions include Burger King, JD Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
- USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 FIFA World Cup
- The World Cup is to return to North America for a fourth time after FIFA members voted to award the right to host the 2026 tournament to a joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
- The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer’s biggest international tournament.
- The “United” bid received 134 of the 203 votes cast at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, while Morocco polled 65.
· India and Nepal To Have Four New Air Gateways
- India has agreed to open four new air entry points to Nepal in the eastern and western parts of the country.
- This aims at facilitating movement of international traffic.
- The four routes that India agreed to make two-way are
3) Kathmandu-Janakpur-Patna in the eastern part of Nepal and
4) Kathmandu-Mahendranagar-Delhi (L626) in the west.
· Indias exports hit 6 month high of 28.86 billion dollar in May
- Indias exports hit 6 month high of 28.86 billion dollar in May. Costlier crude also caused imports to grow 15% in the month, leaving a four month high trade deficit of $14.62 billion, or about Rs 99,975 crore.
- Major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year included petroleum products (104.47%), organic and inorganic chemicals (34.21%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (25.67%), cotton yarn (24.7%), and engineering goods (14.77%).
· States have collected taxes worth 10,000 crore rupees since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project
- States have collected taxes worth ₹10,000 crore online since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Centre’s e-Governance initiative.
- Over 19 crore vehicles and 10 crore driving license records have come under the National Register.
- Two flagship applications under Transport MMP — “Vahan” and “Sarathi”are implemented.
- Vahan — deal with vehicle registration, taxation, permit, fitness and associated services;
- while Sarathi is related to driving licence, learner licence, driving schools and related activities.
- Over 50 lakh national permits have been issued online.
· Government to launch single solar power bid of One Lakh Megawatt
- The government will bring single solar bid of 1 lakh MW, which would also include storage and solar equipment manufacturing components.
- The biggest (renewable energy) tender was floated in Spain.
- Indian Government also brought out single tender of 10,000 MW which would be opened in July.