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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What is the meaning of a special status to an Indian state? What are the criteria to get it, and how does it help a state to grow well?

The special status is granted to the states on different parameters.
1. Hilly and difficult terrain
2. Low population density
3. Strategic location along the borders of the country
4. Economic and infra structure backwardness
5. Non-viable nature for state finances.

Because the special category status will get benefits like
1. 90% grants and 10% loans while for normal states these are 70 and 30 respectively
2. Concession of excise duty (attract the industrial investments)
3. Preference in central financial assistance i.e, funding
By granting special category status, the residual part will get benefits and will be able to attract more investments which help it to revive its economy.

There is a huge difference between the terms ‘Special Status’ and ‘Special Category Status’
» Special status is guaranteed by the Constitution of India through an Act passed by the two-third majority in both houses of the Parliament, as in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, whereas Special Category Status is granted by the National Development Council (NDC), an administrative body of the government.

» Special Status empowers legislative and political rights while Special Category Status deals only with economic, administrative and financial aspects.

» The concept of a special category state was first introduced in 1969 when the 5th Finance Commission sought to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment in the form of central assistance and tax breaks
» Initially three states Assam, Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir were granted special status but since then eight more have been included (Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand).

» So, currently total 11 states enjoy the Special category status.
1. Arunachal Pradesh
2. Assam
3. Himachal Pradesh
4. Jammu and Kashmir
5. Manipur
6. Meghalaya
7. Mizoram
8. Nagaland
9. Sikkim
11. Uttarakhand

The special status is given to states based on certain parameters. Which are
· Low resource base
· Hilly and difficult terrain
· Low population density
· Sizable share of tribal population
· Hostile location

» The benefits that a state gets under the provision of being a 'special state' are -
· Preferential treatment in getting Central funds assistance

· Concession on excise duty, this attracts industries to the state

· Significant 30% of the Centre’s gross budget goes to the Special category states

These states avail themselves of the benefit of debt swapping and debt relief schemes

· In centrally sponsored schemes and external aid special category states get it in the ratio of 90% grants and 10% loans, while other states get 30% of their funds as grants.

Special Category states like Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland were given preference. Their needs should first be met out of the total pool of Central assistance.

» The remaining balance of the Central assistance should be distributed among the remaining states on the basis of the following criteria:

1. 60 per cent on the basis of population;
2. 7.5 per cent on the basis of tax effort, determined on the basis of individual State's per capita tax receipts as percentage of the State's per capita income;
3. 25 per cent on the basis of per capita state income, assistance going only to States whose per capita incomes are below the national average;
4. 7.5 per cent for special problems of individual states.


Odisha Sand Artist Sudarsan Pattnaik pays heartfelt sand art tribute to Bismillah Khan on 102nd birth anniversary March 21,2018

On the 102nd birth anniversary of the legendary Shenai Ustad, Bismillah Khan, renowned sand artist from Bhubaneswar, Sudarsan Pattnaik paid a heartfelt sand art tribute to the maestro at Puri beach, Odisha.

Tributes to the great soul Bharat Ratna Ustad ,on occasion of his birth anniversary. One of my SandArts.

Google Doodle celebrates 102nd birth anniversary of Ustad Bismillah Khan March 21,2018


Ustadji played at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947 when India was declared Independent.

Ustad Bismillah Khan, who popularised the humble shehnai with an unparalleled exploration of its musical capacity, was born on March 21, 102 years ago.

Music was in the genes for this Bharat Ratna. He was born in the small town of Dumaraon in Bihar, to shehnai player Paighamber Bux. It is believed that when the news reached his grandfather, the latter exclaimed 'Bismillah!' in gratitude and that's how the name came into being. He was formally named Qamruddin to rhyme with his brother’s name, Shamsuddin. As the magic of his mastery grew, people honoured him with the title of 'Ustad'.

Bismillah Khan got his training under Ali Bux, his maternal uncle, known for his unorthodox style of teaching. The musical genius came from a very humble background.

Bismillah Khan's performance at the All India Music Conference at Kolkata in 1937 became one of the defining moments of his career. Ustadji played at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947 when India was declared Independent. To this day, the Republic Day celebration broadcast begins with his musical notes

It was his ability to mix emotions with melody on the shehnai, often criticised for being loud and shrill, that made him one of the greatest exponents of the instrument, and of Indian classical music itself.

Other than bringing the instrument to concerts for a global audience, he also delved into film music for a bit but on his own terms. “He played for films but on his own terms — no head phones and the seating would be like in a concert. His playing for the song Karedaru Kelade sung by S. Janaki, under G.K. Venkatesh’s baton, is still remembered by Kannada film music lovers. Even today in my concerts in and around Karnataka, when I play these bits, the crowd goes into raptures. Ustad has also played in a few Hindi films, the most notable being Gunj Uthi Shehnai,” Pt S. Ballesh, a disciple of Bismillah Khan, recalled

A secular artist, known for his simplicity and dedication to his craft, he remains unparalleled till date. Today's Google doodle captures the colourful world Ustad Bismillah Khan created with his powerful, distinctive music.

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw Resigns

Myanmar's President Htin Kyaw resigned suddenly on Wednesday leaving the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi without a close confidant and political ally as she faces rising international opprobrium over the Rakhine crisis.

The president is an old school friend of Ms. Suu Kyi, serving as her proxy in an office she was barred from occupying according to Myanmar's military-drafted constitution.

His role was largely ceremonial given Ms. Suu Kyi had awarded herself the title State Counsellor and called the shots within her civilian administration.

But he was nonetheless the country's head of state and a key domestic ally for Ms. Suu Kyi within her party.

Speculation had swirled for months about the health of Mr. Htin Kyaw, 72, who had recently lost weight and has had heart problems in the past.

''Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw resigned on March 21, 2018," a statement on the president's official Facebook page said.

His office did not give many details for why he resigned Wednesday, only saying that "he wanted to take a rest from his current duty".
It added that a new leader will be selected in "within seven working days".

What happens in an internet minute

A lot can happen in 60 seconds on the internet and the data below is proof of it. In 2017 around 38 lakh Google searches and 15.6 crore emails were sent every minute in 2017, compared to 24 lakh Google searches and 15 crore emails sent in 2016.

 In terms of interactions on social media, 3.5 lakh tweets and 2.9 crore WhatsApp messages were processed in 2017 against 3.47 tweets and 2.08 crore WhatsApp messages in the previous year.

Every 60 seconds on the internet


Who Spends The Most Time Eating & Drinking Per Day

Time over a meal differs across countries.

 It is a much faster experience in India where people spend only an hour and 27 minutes a day, countries like France spend on an average 2 hours and 13 minutes on meal per day, according to data released by the OECD.


How Much Does A Loaf Of Bread Cost In Most Expensive Cities?

Seoul has the highest average price for a loaf of bread, according to a worldwide Cost of Living report.

 On average, South Koreans have to pay $15.6 for a 1kg loaf of  bread in their capital. With that much money, one can get 14kg of bread in India.

How much does a loaf of bread cost in most expensive cities_