Current Affairs, News & Facts of 22 Jan 2015

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  • Centre clears proposal of four laning of the Ramban-Banihal (32 km) and Udhampur-Ramban section (40 km) of National Highway-1A (now NH-44) in Jammu & Kashmir. 

     

    • The projects - under NHDP (National Highways Development Project) Phase-2 - seek to provide all-weather-connectivity from Jammu to the Kashmir valley.
    • The route is of both economic and strategic importance of India due to its geopolitics.
    • It falls under North-South corridor of NHPD Phase-2 and aims to connect Srinagar to Kanyakumari through first-grade road network spanning 7300 km.
    • The Other corridor to be developed under it is East-West corridor.
    • The project is to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard.
    • National Highways account for only about 2% of the total length of roads, but carry about 40% of the total traffic.
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  • European Commission lifts ban on import of Mangoes from India
    • In May, 2014 a ban was imposed by the European Commission on imports of mangoes, bitter gourd, egg plant, snake gourd and taro leaves from India on grounds of interceptions of harmful organisms leading to fears on account of biosecurity of the region.
    • The decision has adversely impacted farmers and exporters in India who lost precious revenue due to the same.
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  • Muslims rising: population increased by 24% between 2001-2011; more than the national growth of 18% in population as per the Census 2011.  
    • The community share in the overall population thus rises from 13.4% to 14.2%.
    • However, its a good news that the rate of growth has come down from 29% between 1991 and 2001 to just 24% now.
    • Assam (34%) and West Bengal (27%) account for the highest proportion of Muslims in the country; primarily due to influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
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  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) makes its way into Guinness book of World Records for most bank accounts opened in single week.  
    • 1,80,96,130 bank accounts were opened as part of this financial inclusion scheme from August 23-29, 2014.
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  • Centre kickstarts National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) to preserve and rejuvenate the rich cultural legacy of heritage cities of the country. 
    • Centre has sanctioned Rs 500 cr for 12 cities under the scheme; few prominent beneficiary are - Varanasi (Rs 89 cr), Amritsar (Rs 69 cr), Ajmer (Rs 40 cr) and Dwaraka (22.26 cr).
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