Union Cabinet Approved Six New IITs
- The Union Cabinet on May 25, 2016 gave ex-post facto approval to a law on setting-up six new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the country. The new IITs will come up at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa and in Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir).
- The approval will bring the six new IITs and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (ISM) within the ambit of the Act of 1961 and declare them as institutions of national importance.
Union Government Announced 13 more Smart Cities
- The Union government on! May 24, 2016 announced the names of 13 more cities that will be developed under the Centre’s ‘Smart City Mission’. Lucknow in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh tops the list, followed by Warangal (Telangana) and Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh).
- These cities were chosen from the 23 that failed to get representation in the first round of a competition held in January, and participated in the fast-track competition.
- Other cities on the list are Chandigarh, Raipur (Chhattisgarh), New Town Kolkata, Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana).
NGT Banned over 10-year-old Diesel Vehicles in 6 Cities of Kerala
- The circuit bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 23, 2016 banned light and heavy diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old in six municipal corporations in Kerala.
- As per the order, all diesel vehicles in the category of light and heavy vehicle which are aged more than 10 years will not be allowed to ply in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur, the six municipal corporations in Kerala.
- After one month, vehicles found violating the order will be fined Rs 5000 as environmental compensation. The traffic police or State pollution control board will be assigned to collect the amount, which will be used to clean up the environment in those cities.
- The bench, comprising Justice Swatantra Kumar and member Bikram Singh Sajwan, was worked on a petition from the Lawyers Environmental Awareness Forum.
Centre Set-up Panel to Relook Defence Spend.
- On May 20, 2016, the government appointed a committee of experts to recommend measures to enhance the combat capabilities of the over 13-lakh strong armed forces and rebalance the overall defence expenditure in view of the escalating salary and pension bills.
- The 11 -member committee is headed by Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (Retd.). It includes several other top military officers as well as civilian experts.
- This move is aimed at ensuring leaner, meaner and cost-effective fighting forces. It has been given three months to make an action plan.
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