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[Newsbits] 2.01.2024: Sagar Parikrama, Leap Year 2024, NEDFi & more

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The 16th Finance Commission of India was constituted on December 31, 2023, with Dr. Arvind Panagariya as its chairman. Its main task is to determine the distribution of tax proceeds between the Central and State Governments, establish the principles for grants-in-aid from the Consolidated Fund of India to the states, and suggest measures for augmenting state funds to support Panchayats and Municipalities. The Commission will also review financing for Disaster Management initiatives. It is expected to present its report by October 31, 2025, covering a five-year period from April 1, 2026.

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The North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation (NEHHDC) is a significant organization in India, dedicated to the development and promotion of indigenous crafts in the North Eastern Region. It plays a vital role in connecting artisans to markets, enhancing their skills, and promoting their products both nationally and internationally. The establishment of facilities like Ashtlaxmi Haat & Experience Centre underlines its commitment to providing economic, cultural, and social opportunities for artisans and weavers in the region.

/ Fisheries
Sagar Parikrama mind map

The “Sagar Parikrama” initiative, launched by the Indian government’s Department of Fisheries on March 29, 2022, as part of the 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, is a significant outreach program. It aims to connect with the fishing community across India’s coastal states and UTs. The program’s primary objectives include understanding the issues faced by fishermen, disseminating information about government schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, and enhancing the economic wellbeing of fishers and related stakeholders. Implemented in phases along predetermined sea routes, it also focuses on promoting responsible fisheries practices and protecting marine ecosystems​​​​​​​​​​​​.

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The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFi) is a public limited company established in 1995 to foster economic growth in Northeast India. It provides financial assistance and advisory services to various enterprises, ranging from micro to large scale, focusing on industrial, infrastructure, and agri-allied projects. Additionally, NEDFi offers microfinance through MFI/NGOs and conducts sector-specific studies under its Techno-Economic Development Fund. The corporation has achieved significant milestones in loan sanctions and project support, reflecting its commitment to promoting financial inclusion and regional economic development.

/ Geography
Leap Year 2024 mind map

Leap Year 2024 is special because it includes an extra day, February 29, making it a 366-day year. This adjustment is necessary due to the astronomical year being slightly longer than 365 days. To maintain alignment with Earth’s revolution around the sun, an extra day is added every four years, a practice dating back to the Julian calendar introduced by Julius Caesar and later refined in the Gregorian calendar. For a year to be a leap year, it must be divisible by 4, with an exception for century years which must also be divisible by 400. This system helps keep our calendar in sync with the astronomical year. Leap Day babies, those born on February 29, celebrate their birthdays every four years, with notable examples including Gioachino Rossini and Ja Rule.

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