26.12.22 KPSC Daily Current Affairs

Karnataka government may end 100% road tax exemption for EVs
 In a move that could affect electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Karnataka, the state transport department is mulling ending 100% road tax exemption given to battery-run vehicles. If approved, EVs will be costlier in the state.
Sources in the transport department said discussions are going on to include this proposal in the upcoming budget. “By 2030, a significant number of vehicles will be electric, especially in Bengaluru. Motor vehicle tax is one of the major revenues of the state government and any shortfall will affect infrastructure and social welfare schemes. There will be a separate tax slab for EVs. But talks are in early stages. The state government will have to approve the proposal,” the sources said.
Karnataka has more than two crore registered vehicles of which EVs are only 1.5 lakh till December. Between May and December 2022, 61,598 EVs were registered in the state.
In March 2016, the state government exempted all EVs from paying road tax. In Karnataka, however, only road tax exemption with no registration fee is given to EV customers. Many other states/UTs offer financial subsidies for EVs along with road tax exemption.
Karnataka is also the first state in the country to come up with an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy in 2017. Experts fear a move to impose MV tax on EVs is likely to discourage prospective buyers. Many are reluctant to shift to EVs due to the high initial cost and inadequate number of charging stations.
At present, Karnataka imposes the highest road tax for non-EVs in the country. For cars below Rs 5 lakh, for instance, it is around 13% of the actual price, 14% for Rs 5 lakh-Rs 10 lakh, 17% between Rs 10 lakh-Rs 20 lakh and 18% for above Rs 20 lakh.
World’s first Palm-leaf Manuscript Museum in Kerala capital
Kerala Chief Minister(CM) Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the Palm leaf Manuscript Museum with modern audio-visual technology at the renovated Central Archives, Fort area in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The Museum, promoted as “World’s First Palm-Leaf Manuscript Museum” was set up by the Archives Department in association with the Kerala Museum of History and Heritage at a cost of Rs 3 crore.
The museum is a repository of curious nuggets of administrative, socio-cultural and economic facets of the Travancore kingdom which lasted for 650 years till the end of the 19th century. It had been the Central Vernacular Records Office since 1887 before becoming a museum.
Odisha wins World Habitat Award 2023 for its JAGA Mission
Odisha won the UN-Habitat’s World Habitat Awards 2023 for Jaga Mission, a 5T initiative of the state. The awards recognise and highlight innovative, outstanding and revolutionary housing ideas, projects and programmes from across the world. The Jaga mission is the land titling and slum upgrading program that aims at empowering the lives of slum dwellers.
Jaga mission is the world’s largest land titling and slum upgrading program which aims at empowering the lives of slum dwellers. Under the inspiring leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Government of Odisha has set itself the ambitious target of becoming the first slum-free state in India and is leading the Jaga Mission programme to upgrade all of the state’s 2,919 slums. In the last 05 years of the initiative, 1,75,000 families have been granted land tenure security. 100% households in 2,724 slums have been provided with pipe water connections, 707 slums transformed fully into Liveable Habitats, 100% households in 666 slums have individual toilets, and 8 cities have become slum-free.
Cabinet Approves Rs 19,744 Cr for National Green Hydrogen Mission
The Union Cabinet approved an initial outlay of Rs 19,744 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission. Addressing the nation on its 75th Independence Day in 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a national mission for green fuels in line with the Centre’s stated target of making India energy-independent before completing 100 years of Independence. The mission will have four components that aim at enhancing domestic production of green hydrogen and promote the manufacturing of electrolysers — a key constituent for making green hydrogen.
The initial outlay for the mission will include Rs 17,490 crore for strategic interventions for green hydrogen transition (SIGHT) programme, Rs 1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs 400 crore for research and development (R&D), and Rs 388 crore towards other mission components.
PM Launches Aspirational Block Programme Aimed at Spurring Development Parameters
Prime Minister has launched the government’s Aspirational Block Programme (ABP), which is aimed at improving the performance of blocks lagging on various development parameters. The Aspirational Blocks Programme is on the lines of the Aspirational District Programme that was launched in 2018 and covers 112 districts across the country.
The Centre had announced its intention to launch this initiative in the Union Budget 2022-23.
The programme will cover 500 districts across 31 states and Union Territories initially.
Over half of these blocks are in 6 states—Uttar Pradesh (68 blocks), Bihar (61), Madhya Pradesh (42), Jharkhand (34), Odisha (29) and West Bengal (29).
However, states can add more blocks to the programme later.
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