- Railways to show green signal to a train in Andaman and Nicobar
Environment & Ecology
- Committee of Secretaries to take up fleet policy for nod this week
Bilateral & International Relations
- WLPGA 2017 Asia LPG Summit
Science & Technology
- Data speeds 10 times faster than 5G achieved by terahertz transmitter
Key Facts for Prelims
- SC approves govt plan to verify mobile users’ identity through Aadhaar
- Andhra Pradesh gets its first smart police station in Guntur city
- BioAsia 2017
- India’s first social innovation centre
- Indian-origin artist wins Genesis Prize 2017
Railways to show green signal to a train in Andaman and Nicobar
The Union Railway Ministry has approved 240-KM broad-gauge railway line project in Andaman and Nicobar.
- The first railway line on Andaman and Nicobar Islands will connect Port Blair (capital) in the south with Diglipur, largest town on the north Andaman Island.
- Currently both destinations are linked by a 350-km bus service that takes over 14 hours and a ship that takes around 24 hours and there is no air connectivity.
- As soon as the line is commissioned, it will give fillip to tourism from the current 4.5 lakh visitors a year to around 6 lakh a year.
About Andaman and Nicobar Islands:
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. It is one of the seven UTs of India.
- It comprises two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 10°N parallel.
- The islands host the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service geographical command of the Indian Armed Forces.
- The islands are home to the only known Paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people, who have no contact with any other people.
Environment & Ecology
Committee of Secretaries to take up fleet policy for nod this week
The Committee of Secretaries (CoS) will take up for approval the fleet modernisation policy that proposes to remove old and polluting trucks and other commercial vehicles bought before April 2005 from the roads.
Highlights of the proposed policy:
- Under the proposed policy, commercial vehicles bought before April 2005 will be eligible for incentives if replaced by new ones.
- The policy proposes three incentives for the vehicles scrapped —
- Half the regular excise duty at the time of purchase of new vehicle,
- Fair value for the scrap and
- Discounts from automobile manufacturers.
- The policy recommends complete excise exemption for state transport buses to encourage public transport to shift to newer and higher capacity buses which will also help de-congest roads.
- Under the plan, those opting to scrap old commercial vehicles will have to deposit documents relating to the vehicle at the recycling centre. After verification, the owner will get a certificate and the price for the scrap. He has to provide certificate to the dealer while buying the new vehicle to avail of the discount.
Significance of the policy:
- According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the policy has the potential to reduce vehicular emission by 25% and save oil consumption by 3.2 billion litres a year.
- The reduction in oil consumption by new vehicles will help save nearly Rs 7,000 crore in oil import.
- Incentives under the policy are likely to cut the cost of a new vehicle for the buyer by 15% on an average.
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has proposed a concept note on Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme (V-VMP) and it was circulated for inter-ministerial consultation
- The fleet modernisation proposal mooted by the roads transport and highways ministry has been awaiting clearance for almost a year now.
Bilateral & International Relations
WLPGA 2017 Asia LPG Summit
The WLPGA 2017 Asia LPG Summit was recently inaugurated in Delhi.
- The Asia Summit will be accompanied by the India LPG Summit ‘Emerging Trends’.
About Asia LPG Summit:
The WLPGA (World LPG Association) is organizing its major global event ‘the WLPGA Asia LPG Summit’ for the first time in India in partnership with the major Oil PSUs Indian Oil, HPCL, and BPCL.
- At this event, India will showcase its various initiatives such as the Ujjwala, Direct Benefit Transfer and ‘Give-it-up’ schemes aimed at increasing access of its population to LPG.
- The deliberations at the summit will focus on the need for replacing the use of traditional fuels such as firewood and charcoal with LPG among populations of the developing world as part of global efforts to increase access to clean energy.
- The discussions will focus on finding new ways to improve access and delivery of LPG to the last household by involving the LPG sector, independent organizations working in the field and government agencies from across the world.
- More than 600 delegates from over 35 countries are attending the prestigious event.
- India is today the world’s second biggest consumer of LPG in the domestic sector with annual consumption exceeding 18 million tonnes and about a 10% annual growth.
- In the last two years, India embarked on an unprecedented expansion of its LPG reach through some hugely successful programmes that have ensured LPG access to over 800 million plus people.
- The key objectives of these programmes are to provide LPG connections to BPL households.
About World LPG Association:
The World LPG Association (WLPGA) is the authoritative global voice for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry and the worldwide industry association which represents the interests of the LPG industry globally.
- The WLPGA promotes the use of LPG to foster a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous world.
- With over 200 members headquartered in more than 125 countries, the WLPGA represents the interests of private and public companies from the entire LPG value chain under one umbrella.
- Its mission is to:
- Demonstrate the benefits of LPG and inform, educate and influence all stakeholders.
- Support the development of LPG markets.
- Promote compliance with standards, good business and good safety practices.
- Identify innovation and facilitate knowledge transfer.
- The WLPGA provides a platform for the exchange of best practices, facts and figures among its members.
- The Association regularly organises interactive meetings between technical experts, members and key stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of LPG.
- The WLPGA was officially granted Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1989.
- Publications such as its Annual Statistical Review have become LPG industry references.
Science & Technology
Data speeds 10 times faster than 5G achieved by terahertz transmitter
Scientists from Japan have developed terahertz (THz) transmitter technology, a next generation system which can transmit digital data over 10 times faster than 5G mobile networks.
- It will pave transmitting digital data at a rate exceeding 100 gigabits per second (gbps) over a single channel using the 300-gigahertz band.
What is Terahertz (THz) transmitter technology?
Terahertz wireless is high-data-rate minimum-latency communications.
- The THz band is a new and vast frequency resource expected to be used for future ultrahigh-speed wireless communications.
- The THz transmitter achieves a communication speed of 105 gigabits per second using the frequency range from 290 GHz to 315 GHz.
- These range of frequencies are currently unallocated but fall within the frequency range from 275 GHz to 450 GHz.
Significance of the technology:
- Terahertz could offer ultrahigh-speed links to satellites, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds.
- Its possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations.
Key Facts for Prelims
SC approves govt plan to verify mobile users’ identity through Aadhaar
- The Supreme Court approved the Centre’s plan to register details of the identity of over 100 crore mobile phone subscribers on the basis of e-KYC within one year.
- The move is aimed to enhance national security and prevent fake users.
- The Court has asked the government to put in place the mechanism within a year.
- It held that the mechanism should cover at least 100 crore mobile phone subscribers, 90% of whom use pre-paid cards.
- The apex court was considering a petition by NGO Lokniti Foundation, which had contended that fake SIM cards were a major threat to national security.
Andhra Pradesh gets its first smart police station in Guntur city
- Andhra Pradesh has officially inaugurated first of the kind Smart Police Station in Guntur.
- It is one of the two model Smart Police Stations constructed in Guntur as a pilot project.
- Andhra Police administration is planning to build another 100 Smart Police Stations across the state.
- Emulating the best of corporate look, the new smart police station is also equipped with a ‘custody room’ and complete supervision under CCTV network.
- The police station has a staff room, a dormitory, mini control room, reception chamber and individual rooms for station house officer and three sub inspectors.
- The color of the uniform is also different.
- 14th edition of Bio Asia BioAsia has begun in Hyderabad.
- It is, the annual flagship event of the Telangana government, organized by the Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana.
- The event agenda will touch upon many areas ranging from innovation and R&D, manufacturing, digital healthcare, diagnostics and hospital infections to anti-microbial resistance.
- BioAsia seeks to enhance, enrich and encourage newer innovations, path-breaking discoveries and effective solutions in the industry by offering a vibrant global platform for convergence of the key stakeholders – Biotech & Biopharma Companies, research institutions, investors, service providers, policy makers, regulators and analysts.
- This event has emerged as a preeminent technology and bio-business convention in Asia for Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
- Around 1,500 delegates from over 50 countries are taking part in this event.
India’s first social innovation centre
- Recently, India’s first social innovation centre “Kakatiya Hub for Social Innovation” has been launched by the Telangana government in Nizamabad.
- It will function like a rural incubator to encourage entrepreneurship at grassroots level.
- Its purpose is to create a model for promoting entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas in the country.
- The incubator will be run through Kakatiya Sandbox, a centre that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation modelled after Deshpande Foundation’s Hubli Sandbox.
- The hub is expected to be run by September 2017.
Indian-origin artist wins Genesis Prize 2017
- Indian-origin British artist Anish Kapoor was named the winner of Israel’s prestigious Genesis prize.
- Dubbed as the Jewish Nobel, Kapoor was given the US$ 1 million award for his “long history of social activism and commitment to social justice”.
- For many years, Anish has been a public advocate for the cause of refugees and an outspoken advocate for displaced people everywhere.
- He also had created the Holocaust Memorial for Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London in 1996.