Polity & Governance
- Delhi government releases the blueprint for its odd-even vehicle formula
- 25th December: Good Governance Day
- Philippines is first Asian country to approve dengue vaccine- Dengvaxia
- Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries – a Central Sector Scheme on Blue Revolution
- First cable-stayed bridge in north India opens in Jammu and Kashmir
Science & Technology
- INS Godavari decommissioned
Polity & Governance
Delhi government releases the blueprint for its odd-even vehicle formula
The Delhi government has released the blueprint for its odd-even vehicle formula, which comes into force from January 1 for a 15-day trial.
- The formula is India’s first attempt at controlling air pollution by disallowing vehicles with odd and even registration plates to ply on roads on alternate days.
- Violators will attract a penalty of Rs 2,000.
- The car rationing scheme, which has received a mixed response from experts and general public, would apply from 8 am to 8 pm on all days except Sundays – for cars with registration number plates from the national capital region, as well as other states.
- What came to many as surprise was the fact that two-wheelers, among the biggest polluters of the city’s air, were kept outside of the ambit of the odd-even formula.
- Vehicles of very important persons (VIPs),
- Those carrying differently-abled people,
- Ambulances, fire brigade, hospital, prison and hearse vehicles.
- Vehicles that are run on compressed natural gas (CNG).
- Women bikers if she is accompanied by female co-passengers or children up to the age of 12 years.
- The cases of medical emergencies would be treated on the “basis of trust”.
- Embassy vehicles bearing CD numbers, cars with defence ministry number plates, vehicles with pilots or escorts have also been exempted.
The Delhi government has said if the number of violators was huge, it would imply the citizens of the national capital were not in favour of the odd-even formula; this would be taken as a signal to discontinue the plan.
[Courtesy: Business Standard]
25th December: Good Governance Day
Good Governance Day is a day of national importance in India observed annually on the 25th of December, the birth anniversary of former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- Good Governance Day was established in 2014 to honour Prime Minister Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the Indian people of accountability in government.
- In keeping with this principle, the Government of India has decreed Good Governance Day to be a working day for the government.
Criticism by opposition:
The opposition party criticizes the ruling party for both setting Good Governance Day on the same date as Christmas as well as for declaring this date as a government working day.
[Courtesy: Business Standard, Wiki]
Philippines is first Asian country to approve dengue vaccine- Dengvaxia
The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world’s first-ever dengue vaccine- Dengvaxia.
- Dengvaxia, manufactured by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, secured its first regulatory approval in Mexico a fortnight ago. Mexico became the first country to allow the vaccine
- It is hoped the drug could eventually help prevent millions of deaths from dengue, the world’s fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease.
- The World Health Organization says as many as 400 million people are infected worldwide every year, and two-thirds are in Asia.
- The WHO says cases have risen 30-fold over the last 50 years, with more than half the world’s population potentially at risk.
- It was once considered a disease of the tropics, endemic in only nine countries, but globalisation, urbanisation, climate change and jet travel are helping it to move into more temperate zones.It is now endemic in more than 100 countries.
- Other pharmaceutical companies are developing dengue vaccines, including US firm Merck, Japan’s Takeda and Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, but Sanofi is ahead of the competition.
[Courtesy: Business Line]
Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries – a Central Sector Scheme on Blue Revolution
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for implementation of an umbrella scheme for integrated development and management of fisheries at an outlay of Rs.3,000 crore, for a period of five years.
- The Central Sector Scheme covers development and management of inland fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries including deep sea fishing, mariculture and all activities undertaken by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) towards realizing “Blue Revolution”.
- The Central Sector Scheme aims at a focussed and integrated approach for development and management of fisheries and aquaculture sector to ensure a sustained annual growth rate of 6% – 8% as against an overall annual growth rate of about 4% during the 11th Five Year Plan period.
The scheme has the following six broad components:
- National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) and its activities,
- Development of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture,
- Development of Marine Fisheries, Infrastructure and Post Harvest Operations,
- Strengthening of Database & Geographical Information System of the Fisheries Sector,
- Institutional Arrangement for Fisheries Sector and
- Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) and other need-based Interventions.
Features of the Scheme:
- The scheme provides for suitable linkages and convergence with the “Sagarmala Project” of the Ministry of Shipping, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNAREGA), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) etc.
- The scheme with its multi-dimensional activities, focuses mainly on increasing production and productivity from aquaculture and fisheries resources, both inland and marine.
- The scheme is intended to utilise most of the unutilised fisheries resources keeping in view the overall sustainability, bio-security and environmental concerns.
- The scheme would also encourage increasing private investment, entrepreneurship development, more Public Private Partnership (PPP) and better leveraging of institutional finance. Besides, the scheme encompasses skill development and capacity building in fisheries and allied activities; and creation of post-harvest and cold chain infrastructure facilities.
Fisheries sector in India:
- Fisheries is a sunrise sector with varied resources and potential, engaging over 14.50 million people at the primary level and many more along the value chain.
- Transformation of the fisheries sector from traditional to commercial scale has led to an -increase in fish production as well as export earnings
- With an overall annual growth rate of about 4% during the 11th Five Year Plan period, the sector contributed about 0.92% to the National Gross Domestic Production(GDP) and 5.58% to the agricultural GDP (2013-14).
- Constituting about 6.30% of the global fish production and 5% of global trade, India today has attained the status of the second largest fish producing and second largest aquaculture nation in the world.
First cable-stayed bridge in north India opens in Jammu and Kashmir
North India’s first cable-stayed bridge – the fourth of its kind in the country that will provide close connectivity among the three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab – was thrown open to public recently.
- The bridge named ‘Atal Setu’ on river Ravi at Basholi in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district.
- Described as an engineering marvel, the Basohli bridge is the fourth of its kind in India.
- The 592-metre span bridge was constructed by Border Roads Organization (BRO) at a cost of Rs 145 crore.
- It is a joint venture of Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON) and SP Singla Construction group.
The other three cable-stayed bridges are
- Hooghly bridge in Kolkata,
- Naini bridge in Allahabad and
- Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link in Mumbai.
- The bridge is strategically important from the defence point of view as well.
- With the bridge thrown open, connectivity and tourism among the three states are expected to improve.
- These bridges have a low centre of gravity which makes them efficient in resisting earthquakes.
- Cable-stayed bridges provide outstanding architectural appearance due to their small diameter cables and unique overhead structure
The work on the maiden cable-stay bridge in Jammu and Kashmir started in September 2011 on the demand of people of Basohli where over 22 villages were submerged in water and evacuated to other places after the construction of Ranjit Sagar dam.
[Courtesy: Times of India]
Science & Technology
INS Godavari decommissioned
The country’s first indigenously designed and built warship Indian Naval Ship (INS) Godavari was recently decommissioned, thirty-two years after it was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
- Over the past three decades, Godavari has successfully been deployed in numerous operations including:
- Operation Jupiter—1988 (Sri Lanka),
- Operation Shield and Operation Bolster—1994 (de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia) and
- Patrol of Gulf of Aden (PoG)—2009 and 2011 (anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden).
- Being the first indigenously designed and constructed ship, INS Godavari was showcased around the world as a symbol of India’s growing military might and self-reliance and the warship has also participated in numerous operations and deployments, across the expanse of the Indian Ocean and beyond.
- Godavari class frigates were armed with surface to surface and surface to air guided missiles.
- INS Godavari was also among of the first frigates in the world capable of carrying two Sea King helicopters.
[Courtesy: Business Standard, Wiki]