Pandemic slows education loan disbursals in Gujarat
With most students either shelving foreign education plans or opting for online courses from foreign universities, disbursals for education loans have taken a hit.
Education loans worth Rs 256 crore were disbursed across 9,481 accounts during the quarter ended September. The disbursals accounted for just 13% of Rs 1,982 crore targeted to be disbursed under Service Area Credit Plan (SCAP) for the year 2020-21, states a report by the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC). Against this, education loan disbursals worth Rs 698 crore took place in the same quarter of 2019-20. This means, education loan disbursals declined 63% in the second quarter, year-on-year.
India to get UN tag of international disaster response force for NDRF
India could soon be a part of the United Nations (UN) mandated international disaster rescue operations as its country’s federal contingency force, NDRF, is expected to obtain a globally recognised standardisation later this year.
The authorisation will be done by the Switzerland-headquartered INSARAG (or the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group) which is a network of more than 90 countries and organisations under the UN umbrella to deal with urban search and rescue related issues.
An INSARAG committee, comprising Australian and Singaporean experts, has conducted preliminary review of NDRF teams in September, 2019, but the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic put the process on a back burner for a while.
The National Disaster Response Force was raised in 2006 to undertake specific tasks of relief and rescue during natural and manmade disasters or life threatening situations.
National Youth Festival to be organized from January 12
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is organizing a week long National Youth Festival in the country commencing from the 12th of this month.
Every year, the festival is being held to commemorate the birth anniversary of youth icon Swami Vivekananda.
This year the festival has been organised in virtual mode and talent from every state has been included.
The objective of National Youth Parliament Festival is to hear the voice of youth between 18 and less than 25 years of age, who will join various careers in coming years, including public services.
Suriname’s Indian-origin President to be Chief Guest at Republic Day 2021
Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Indian-origin President of Suriname, will be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade on January 26, 2021.
The news comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India.
The Suriname President was earlier the Chief Guest at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
Chandrikapersad Santokhi was sworn in as the 9th President of the Republic of Suriname in July 2020 after his party- Progressive Reform Party won the 2020 General Elections by claiming 20 out of the total 51 seats.
Brazil seeks two million doses of Covishield vaccine from India on priority basis
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has requested India for 2 million doses of Covishield vaccine produced indigenously by the Serum Institute of India, Pune.
Mr Bolsonaro has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the shipment of Covishield vaccine to Brazil without affecting India’s vaccination program.
Brazilian National Immunization Program has finalized the Covishield and Covaxin for emergency use in the country.
Earlier, the federally funded Fiocruz biomedical center had requested an emergency use authorization for Covishield vaccine coming from India.
India to rollout world’s largest vaccination drive on Jan 16
The vaccination drive for COVID 19 will kick off on 16th January in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the preparedness for COVID vaccination.
Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – which have established safety and immunogenicity.
The vaccination exercise is underpinned by the principles of people’s participation, utilizing experience of elections and Universal Immunization Program.
LiDAR (Aerial Ground) survey starts on Delhi – Varanasi bullet train project
The proposed Delhi Varanasi High-Speed Rail (DVHSR) corridor with a length of about 800 km gained momentum.
The LiDAR survey for Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor started from Greater Noida where a Helicopter fitted with state of art Aerial LiDAR and Imagery sensors took the first flight and captured the data related to ground survey.
National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited is adopting Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) technology which provides all the ground details and data in 3-4 months wherein this process normally takes 10-12 months.
The ground survey is a crucial activity for any linear infrastructure project as the survey provides accurate details of areas around the alignment.
Government to soon come out with model tenancy law
Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the government will soon come out with the model tenancy law, giving a major boost to real estate sector especially rental homes.
The ministry had in July 2019 floated the draft model tenancy law.
Mishra pointed out that 1.1 crore homes were vacant as per 2011 census as people fear to give their homes on rent.
The model tenancy law will eliminate anomalies and give a boost to real estate sector, he said.
The Centre will send the Model Tenancy Law, after approval from the Union Cabinet, to States for its adoption. The draft model tenancy law proposes that landowners will have to give a notice in writing three months before revising rent. It advocated appointing a district collector as rent authority and heavy penalty on tenants for overstaying.
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