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Punjab Current Affairs 2018 (April 2018- June 2018)

April 2018

NIRF India Rankings 2018: Five Punjab institutes among top 100
➢ Five Punjab institutes have made it to the top 100 institutions of India, as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)-2018, released by the Union ministry of human resource development (HRD)
➢ These are: Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh- 33 ; Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana- 60; Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar- 86; Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET), Patiala- 50; and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali-55
➢ Panjab University (PU) has been ranked 33rd in overall category and 20th among universities. Last year, it was ranked 54th in overall category and 33rd among universities

Punjab to soon have children-friendly police stations

➢ The crime wing of the Punjab Police has sent a proposal to the state Home department to make all police stations in the state child-friendly institutions.
➢ The proposal recommends setting up of a child-friendly room with special furniture, toys, games and decorated with posters and equipped with CCTV cameras
➢ It include provision for audio and video recording of the statements of children and juveniles.
➢ Additionally, a police officer (not be below the rank of assistant sub-inspector) designated as child welfare police officer (CWPO) will be deployed at every police station.
➢ The stations will also have a separate facility for clean drinking water and a separate toilet.
➢ The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had recently asked the state governments to form similar guidelines for child-friendly police stations.

Uzbekistan keen to boost business ties with Punjab in the areas of agriculture, education and tourism.
➢ Uzbekistan's ambassador to India Farhod Arziev met Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here today, and discussed cooperation in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of both countries.
➢ The chief minister suggested export of various commodities, including wheat and rice, to Uzbekistan, pointing out that the direct air connectivity with Uzbekistan and Amritsar (Punjab) offered vast potential for trade promotion.
➢ Uzbekistan was also keen to utilise the air route to further bolster trade in fresh fruits, such as mulberry, apricot and peaches, as well as dry fruits that were organically produced in Uzbekistan.
➢ A suggestion was made during the meeting by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal to host exchange programmes for students from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU). Singh asked his officials to explore the possibility of knowledge sharing and transfer of agricultural technologies in coordination with the Uzbek embassy.


First all-woman Post Office Passport Seva Kendra starts operations in Phagwara
➢ The 192nd Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) run by an all-woman team began its operations Phagwara, Punjab.
➢ It is first one to be operated by an all-woman team.
➢ Union Minister Vijay Sampla and Regional Passport Officer Harmanbir Singh Gill inaugurated the passport office.
➢ It was part of the Centre’s initiative for women empowerment.
➢ Phagwara Kendra will be headed by department’s Verification Officer Madhuri Bhavi.
➢ Additional information:
○ POPSK is Government initiative led by Ministry of External Affairs (India) (MEA) and Department of Posts (DoP).
○ The first POPSK was inaugurated at the Mysuru Head Post office in Karnataka on January 25, 2017.

Shri Gadkari Inaugurated Two National Highways and Lay Foundation Stone of a Highway Project in Punjab

➢ In a move to boost infrastructure in Punjab, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari is inaugurated two big road projects.
➢ The first road project is the upgraded 4-lane NH-15 from Amritsar to Bathinda and the second road project is the NH-64 from Zirakpur to Bathinda.
➢ The move will benefit people travelling between Amritsar and Bathinda as now it will just take two hours to travel between these two cities.
➢ He also laid the foundation stone of 2-laning with paved shoulders of the Munak-Jhakhal- Budhlana section of NH-144B in Punjab.
➢ The development of the 45.89 km 2-laning with paved shoulders of the Munak-Jhakhal-Budhlana section of NH-144B in Punjab will be done at a cost of Rs 293 crore.

First organized census of Indus Dolphins begins in Punjab

➢ Looking towards the conservation of Indus Dolphins -- one of the world's rarest mammals -- Punjab government along with WWF-India are conducting a first organised census.
➢ Found only in India and Pakistan, the Indus Dolphins are confined to only 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in India's Beas river in Punjab.
➢ The census was conducted for five days by two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India.
➢ Indus dolphins are listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species.
➢ Experts say they were also found in Sutlej decades back, however, river pollution is believed to be a major cause of their extinction from the habitat.
➢ Survey has found 5-11 “breeding population” of the endangered Indus River Dolphins in Punjab's Beas River.

Punjab Signs MoU with UK for Setting Up Bio-Gas, Bio CNG Plants
➢ Punjab Government signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pave the way for setting up of bio-gas and bio-CNG plants in the state, as a part of the state’s concerted efforts to find sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning, which has emerged as a major environmental concern.
➢ The MoU was signed with Rika Biofuels Development Limited UK by Punjab Bureau of Industrial Promotion (PBIP) and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).
➢ Rika plans to build in excess of 10 Bio CNG plants with a total investment of 100-150 million USD, creating up to 1,000 jobs across the whole operation and supply chain with the aim of having the first plant operational in 2019.
➢ Intake capacity of each plant will be around 100 MT per day.
➢ These plants will be based on a new patented Anerobic Digester concept and Straw Extruding Technology.

June 2018

Punjab government launches ‘i-Hariyali’ app’ to increase state’s green cover
➢ Aimed at increasing the state's green cover, the mobile application would enable the users to order free plant saplings.
➢ The 'i-Hariyali' app, under ‘Mission Tandarust Punjab’ can be downloaded from the app store for free.
➢ The app aims to inspire more and more people to plant maximum saplings during current monsoon season so as to save environment from pollution hazards.
➢ users can book sapling of their choice, a maximum of 25 per person, from nearby government nursery.

106th Science Congress to be hosted by Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar
➢ The 106th Science Congress will be held from January 3-7,2019 on the private varsity's campus with about 15,000 delegates, including 300 top scientists and Nobel Laureates, from across the world, attending the meet.
➢ It will be organised by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
➢ It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
➢ The theme for the five-day science congress is ‘Future India: Science & Technology’.
➢ Five day event will have 18 plenary sessions, including those of medical, chemical, environmental and other science domains.
➢ In parallel, there will be four mega events, including Children Science Conference; Women Science Conference; Science Communicators' Meet; and Science Exhibition.

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