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Maharajas’ Express to begin new circuits 'Southern Sojourn' & 'Southern Jewels'

  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to launch two new circuits (Southern Sojourn & Southern Jewels) of its flagship luxury train Maharajas' Express this year.
  • The ‘Southern Sojourn’ will cover Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Ernakulam, Kumarakom and Trivandrum.
  • The ‘Southern Jewel’ will cover Chettinad, Mahabalipuram, Mysore Hampi and Goa.
  • The 23-coach Maharajas' Express has a capacity of 88 guests.
  • As with the Maharaja Express, seven-night-eight-day trips and guests get onboard dining and excursions and events at each destination.
  • Tariffs will ransom minor princelings Rs. 5,00,680 (plus taxes) gets you the entry-level deluxe cabin, Rs. 7,23,420 is the price of a junior suite and Rs. 10,09,330 is the bill for a suite.
  • The Presidential suite will set you back Rs. 17,33,410.


Haryana govt. to offer meals at subsidized rates for workers

  • The Haryana govt. has decided to open ‘canteens’ at subsidized rates to registered construction workers under the ‘Antyodaya Anna Yojana’ at 23 locations in the state.
  • The mobile food vans will be started at the sites which have a large number of workers.
  • The quality meals would be served in these canteens between 8 AM and 2 PM.


Madhya Pradesh assembly declares 'Narmada' living entity

  • The Madhya Pradesh govt. has passed a resolution granting river Narmada (1312-km-long) the status of a living entity and committed itself to the protection of its legal rights.
  • Earlier in its judgment, the Uttarakhand High Court had declared Ganga, Yamuna and their tributaries living entities with the status of a legal person.
  • The Narmada (also called the Rewa) is a river in central India and the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent.
  • It is also known as "Life Line of Madhya Pradesh" for its huge contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh in many ways.


Odisha govt. increases the pension of freedom fighters

  • The Odisha government has increased the pension of freedom fighters of the State.
  • The pension of jailed freedom fighters will get 10 thousand rupees per month (earlier 6 thousand rupees).
  • The freedom fighters who were not jailed and those who took part in the Goa Mukti Andolan will get pension benefit of 9 thousand rupees (earlier 5 thousand rupees).
  • Now, the state Token pension amount has been increased from 4 thousand rupees to 8 thousand rupees.
  • The state government had last increased the pension amount for freedom fighters in 2013.


34 MoUs worth Rs 2 lakh crores signed at India Integrated Transport & Logistic Summit

  • According to the union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, 2 lakh crore rupee investment has been signed at three-day India Integrated Transport and Logistic Summit in New Delhi.
  • Total 34 investment pacts committed and more than 15 pertain to setting up multi-modal logistics parks by state governments.
  • Agreements for port connectivity and land ports were also inked.


Union govt. declares entire Assam as 'disturbed' area under AFSPA

  • The union govt. has declared entire Assam (besides bordering areas of Meghalaya) as a disturbed area under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for three more months.
  • The violence perpetrated by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB, and others as the reason for enforcing AFSPA (effected from 3rd May).
  • AFSPA has been continuing in Assam since November 1990.
  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) are acts of the Parliament of India that grant special powers to the Indian Armed Forces in what each act terms "disturbed areas".
  • According to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain status quo for a minimum of 3 months.


Kerala govt reinstates TP Senkumar as police chief

  • Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has reinstated Senior IPS officer TP Senkumar as the police chief after Supreme Court order to restore his post.
  • Senkumar was moved out of the office the day Vijayan assumed office in May last year.
  • Senkumar is set to retire on 30th June.


Nepal's Supreme Court orders reinstatement of Chief Justice Sushila Karki

  • Nepal's first woman Chief Justice ‘Sushila Karki’ has resumed office after the Supreme Court (SC) ordered her reinstatement and directed Parliament to put on hold the impeachment motion against her.
  • The court issued the order saying that the impeachment move was against the spirit of the country's Constitution.
  • Earlier, Justice Karki was suspended after an impeachment motion was registered in Parliament.


RBI makes substantial changes in norms for dealing with stressed loans

  • The Reserve bank of India (RBI) has made substantial changes in the norms for dealing with stressed loans and warned the banks they will be penalized for missing Non-Performing Assets (NPA) resolution timelines. 
  • Any non-adherence to these instructions and timelines specified under the Framework shall attract monetary penalties on the concerned banks.
  • Earlier, the union government has notified an ordinance empowering the Reserve Bank to issue directions to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process in case of a default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.


Lionel Messi's suspension lifted by FIFA

  • The world soccer's ruling body FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) has lifted a four-match international suspension on Argentina forward Lionel Messi.
  • Earlier, he was banned for insulting an assistant referee during a qualifier against Chile in March.
  • The decision based on television images as the incident was missed by match officials.
  • Lionel Messi (29-year) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.
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