Current Affairs of 18 September 2015

1. Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) launched by Union Government
To transform the lives of people living in the areas which are affected directly or indirectly by mining, the Union Government   launched the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). 
The programme is meant for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).
DMFs were created under the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 in all the districts of the country affected by mining related operations.

The objective of PMKKKY
• To implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas that complement the existing ongoing schemes/projects of State and Central Government
• To minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts
• To ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas by including all aspects of living, to ensure substantial improvement in the quality of life. The aspects include  
a) High priority areas like drinking water supply, health care, sanitation, education, skill development, women and child care, welfare of aged and disabled people, skill development and environment conservation will get at least 60 % share of the funds. 
b) For creating a supportive and conducive living environment, balance funds will be spent on making roads, bridges, railways, waterways projects, irrigation and alternative energy sources. 

2. SC stays implementation of Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015
The Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the implementation of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015. The bill which was passed recently sets mandatory minimum qualification for candidates contesting Panchayati elections. The stayed order was issued by a SC bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on petitions challenging the validity of the Act. The SC bench also issued notices to the Haryana government and the State Election Commission seeking their response in 4 weeks.

3. Mahesh Rangarajan resigned as Director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
Mahesh Rangarajan  resigned as the Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML).
He was appointed as the Director of NMML in June 2014 by the then UPA government headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 
Rangarajan is a teacher, author and historian with a special interest in environmental history and colonial history of British and contemporary India.

4. 8th Edition of Global Innovation Index 2015 released
The 8th edition Global Innovation Index (GII) 2015 was released on 17 September 2015 jointly by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The GII 2015 was based on the theme of Effective Innovation Policies for Development.
The index shows the new ways through which emerging-economy policymakers can boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.
The index is topped by Switzerland for being the most innovative nation. Countries like China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, India, Jordan, Kenya and Uganda are among a group of countries outperforming their economic peers as per the GII 2015.
Although India's ranking has slipped further to 81 in the list, compared to 76 in 2014, but it remained at the top of the regional ranking of Central and Southern Asia.
Highlights of the GII 2015
• Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States of America are the world’s five most innovative nations.
• The United Kingdom (UK) with second place on the list is up from the 10th position in 2011. 
• In terms of innovation quality, US and the UK stay ahead of the pack, largely as a result of their world-class universities, closely followed by Japan, Germany and Switzerland. 
• Top-scoring middle-income economies on innovation quality are China, Brazil and India with China increasingly outpacing the others.
• A number of low-income economies are innovation achievers with Sub-Saharan Africa standing out- Rwanda at 94th place, Mozambique at 95th and Malawi at 98th. In addition, Kenya, Mali, Burkina Faso and Uganda are generally outperforming other economies at their level of development.
• India's ranking has slipped further to 81 in the list, compared to 76 in 2014.
• A number of eastern European countries like Bulgaria (39th), or Montenegro (41st) display dynamism and an upward trend. 
• In North America, The United States of America (5th) remains the top innovation performer, while Canada (16th) remains in the GII top 25 after slipping from the top 10 in 2012.
• Latin America and the Caribbean is a region with improving but largely untapped innovation potential. Brazil (70th), Argentina (72nd), and Mexico (57th) stand out as economies performing above the region’s GII average.
• In Western Asia, economies have started to diversify and spur innovation in new sectors. This has allowed for Saudi Arabia (43rd), United Arab Emirates (UAE) (47th) and Qatar (50th) to achieve top GII positions within the region.
• With half of its economies in the top 40, South East Asia and Oceania maintained its innovation dynamism with Singapore (7th) and Hong Kong (China) (11th) remain at the top of the regional rankings.

5. Ola inks pact with Andhra Pradesh; to invest Rs. 150 cr
Ola Cabs has partnered Andhra Pradesh government to invest Rs. 150 crore and add 40,000 vehicles to its platform over the next three years. At present Ola has over 10,000 vehicles on its platform in the State.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Ola will enable technology to bring support to ensure smart, reliable and safe transportation in the cities.
Mobile technology-driven transportation apps like Ola can play a major role in creating job opportunities for thousands of people in the state as well as provide timely and efficient transportation for all.

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