Chairperson of Press Council of India
⇒ The Government of India has appointed Smt Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai as Chairperson of Press Council of India in June 2022.
- Smt Desai became the first women chairperson of the Press Council of India (PCI).
- The post of the PCI chairman was lying vacant since Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad (retd) completed his term and demitted office last November.
» Smt Justice Desai is a retired Judge of Supreme Court of India. Before her stint in the Supreme Court from September 13, 2011 to October 29, 2014, she was a judge of the Bombay High Court. Justice Desai, 72, had recently headed the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir which was set up to redraw the Assembly constituencies of the Union Territory.
- The Press Council of India was first set up in the year 1966 by the Parliament on the recommendations of the First Press Commission with the object of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of press in India.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visits Gujarat
⇒ Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Gujarat on 17th and 18th June 2022.
» During the visit, Prime Minister inaugurated the redeveloped temple of Shree Kalika Mata at Pavagadh Hill.
- The redevelopment of the temple has been done in 2 phases. The inauguration of the first phase of redevelopment was done by the Prime Minister earlier this year in April. The foundation stone of the redevelopment of the second phase, which was inaugurated in the programme, was laid by the Prime Minister in 2017.
- This includes expansion of the temple base and ‘parisar’ at three levels, installation of amenities like street lights, CCTV system etc.
Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan:
Prime Minister also participated in the Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan at Vadodara, where he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 21,000 crores.
» The Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various Railway projects worth over Rs 16,000 crores.
- These include dedication to the nation of 357 Km long New Palanpur – Madar Section of Dedicated Freight Corridor; Gauge Conversion of 166 Km long Ahmedabad–Botad Section; electrification of 81 Km long Palanpur – Mitha Section, among others.
- The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of redevelopment of Surat, Udhna, Somnath & Sabarmati Stations, along with foundation stones of other initiatives in the railway sector.
- These projects will help lower logistics cost and boost industry and agriculture sector in the region.
- They will also improve connectivity in the region and enhance passenger amenities.
» Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a total of 1.38 lakh houses will be dedicated by the Prime Minister, including houses worth around Rs 1,800 crore in urban areas and houses worth over Rs 1,530 crores in rural areas. In addition, Khat Muhurat of around 3000 houses worth over Rs 310 crores was also done.
» During the programme, the Prime Minister dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various development works at Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, and Panchmahal, worth over Rs 680 crore, which are aimed at furthering ease of living in the region.
» The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of Gujarat Central University in Kundhela village of Dabhoi taluka of Gujarat. Located at about 20 km from Vadodara city, the University will be constructed at a cost of around Rs 425 crores and will cater to higher education needs of over 2500 students.
» With a focus on improving maternal and child health, the Prime Minister launched ‘Mukhyamantri Matrushakti Yojana’, which will have an outlay of Rs 800 crores.
- Under the scheme, pregnant and lactating mothers will be given 2 kg of chickpeas, 1 kg of tur dal and 1 kg of edible oil free of cost from Anganwadi Centres every month.
- The Prime Minister also dispersed around Rs 120 crores towards ‘Poshan Sudha Yojana’, which is now being extended to all tribal beneficiaries in the state. This step is being taken after the success of the experiment of providing pregnant and lactating mothers from tribal districts with Iron and Calcium tablets and education on nutrition.
Union Minister proposed setting up of Innovation Bank
⇒ Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has proposed setting up of Innovation Bank for new ideas, research findings and technologies to focus on ‘Quality’ in infrastructure development.
Virtually addressing the inaugural function of the 222nd Mid-Term Council Meeting of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) he said new initiatives are expected from IRC, Innovation should be the focus area for all Engineers.
- He said IRC should develop a World-class state-of-art laboratory with the help of IITs and global institutions in the world.
- The Minister said we are ready to adopt World’s best and most successful technology and new materials for construction. He said use of Proven Technology and Reduction in Construction Cost are the two most important driving forces for us. We need to reduce the cost of construction while maintaining quality.
Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
⇒ India hosted ASEAN Foreign Ministers and Secretary General for a Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (SAIFMM) on 16-17 June 2022 to commemorate 30 years of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.
The SAIFMM was co-chaired by Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India and Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore.
- The Meeting was also attended by Foreign Ministers of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and representatives of Foreign Ministers from Lao PDR, Philippines, and Thailand along with Secretary General of ASEAN.
- The Ministers reviewed the status of ASEAN-India Partnership and set out the path for the coming decade.
- The discussions included key focus areas of Covid-19 & Health, Trade & Commerce, Connectivity – physical and digital, Education & Capacity Building, as well as implementation of ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
- The Ministers also exchanged views on important regional and international developments and post pandemic economic recovery.
» The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ and ASEAN Secretary General also called on Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
» During this visit, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, ASEAN Secretary General and Representatives of Foreign Ministers along with Dr. Jaishankar also addressed the Ministerial Session of 12th edition of Delhi Dialogue (DDXII).
- It was focused on 30 years of ASEAN-India relations with the theme ‘Building Bridges in the Indo-Pacific’.
- Launched in 2009, Delhi Dialogue is India’s premier annual Track 1.5 Dialogue, which aims to strengthen ASEAN-India relations in the context of contemporary global and regional scenario.