Polity & Governance
- Government’s Twitter Seva to address grievances of startups
- India overtakes China as top FDI destination: Report
Environment & Ecology
- Bird hit: NGT halts Tawang hydro power project
- Earth Day celebrated on 22nd April
- US Senate passes legislation for a modern energy landscape
Science & Technology
- ISRO’s New Light-As-Air Gel Can Keep Indian Soldiers Warm in Siachen Snow
Polity & Governance
Government’s Twitter Seva to address grievances of startups
The commerce and industry ministry has launched a ‘Twitter Seva’ to address queries and grievances on matters relating to the ministry.
- Through this Twitter Seva, queries on matters relating to Department of Commerce (DoC) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be answered.
- In particular, queries regarding the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Directorate General of supplies and Disposals, SEZs, tea, coffee, rubber, spices, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) would be addressed by the ministry.
- Issues related to manufacturing policy, industrial corridors, investment promotion, Make in India, Start up India, FDI, intellectual property rights will be addressed by the DIPP.
Under this, anyone who is desirous of assistance from the ministry can use the hashtag – ‘#mociseva’.[Ref: ToI]
India overtakes China as top FDI destination: Report
India, not China, is the world’s top destination for foreign direct investment for the year 2015, according to fDi Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times.
- In 2015, India was for the first time the leading country in the world for FDI, overtaking the US (which had $59.6 billion of greenfield FDI) and China ($56.6 billion)
- India attracted FDI worth $63 billion in 2015, emerging as the highest-ranked country by capital investment.
- Five Indian states were among the top 10 destination states for FDI in 2015. Gujrat emerged as top state for FDI with $12.4 billion in investment, while Maharashtra attracted FDI worth $8.3 billion in 2015.
- India is emerging as a key destination for renewable energy projects, helped by a wider government policy of incentives, infrastructure and programmes designed to attract investment
- Domestic market growth potential and proximity to markets are the two main reasons for rising FDI.
Environment & Ecology
Bird hit: NGT halts Tawang hydro power project
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has suspended the Union Environment Ministry’s clearance for the Rs. 6,400-crore hydro power project in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
- This move was particularly aimed at protecting the vulnerable black-necked cranein the region.
About the project:
- The clearance for the project was granted by the centre in 2012.
- The project was planned on the Nyamjang Chhu riverand was the largest of 13 hydro power projects to be built in the Tawang basin.
About black-necked crane:
Black-necked crane is a species that breeds on the Tibetan plateau and migrates to Tawang for the winter.
- The bird, most commonly found in China, is legally protected in Bhutan and Indiaand is considered sacred to certain Buddhist traditions.
- It is rated as ‘vulnerable’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of endangered species.
- It is also listed in India’s Wildlife Act as a Schedule 1 species, which gives animals and birds the highest legal protection.
- Other species that are found in the region include the red panda, the snow leopard and the Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala, a recently-described primate species in the area.
Earth Day celebrated on 22nd April
Every year Earth Day is being observed on the 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around the world.
- This year is 46th anniversary of Earth Day.
- Theme for Earth Day 2016:Trees for the Earth!
- Earth Day 2016 is particularly important as it will see nations across the world sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, set out in COP21 last year. The historic agreement saw countries pledge to limit global warming to below 2C on pre-industrial levels. From 22 April, it will be open for signatures for one year. The agreement will come into effect in 2020.
About Earth Day:
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. The idea for it was first proposed at a UNESCO conference a year earlier, when activist John McConnell suggested a day to honour the planet and the idea of peace.
- It was made into an international day in 1990 and now is celebrated by over 193 countries every year.
- The aim of the day is to bring attention to environmental issues to spark changes that will result in a healthy, sustainable environment. This includes addressing climate change and finding ways to protect the planet for future generations.
US Senate passes legislation for a modern energy landscape
The US Senate has passed the first broad energy Bill that reflects significant changes in U.S. oil and natural gas production over the past decade and boosts alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Significance of the bill:
- The bill would boost renewables such as solar and wind power, as well as hydropower, geothermal energy and even critical minerals such as cobalt, beryllium and lithium that are used in cell phones, computers and other electronics.
- The bill also would encourage so-called clean-coal technology, including projects to capture carbon dioxide generated by coal-fired power plants, and increase public-private partnerships to develop advanced nuclear technologies.
- The bill would update building codes to increase efficiency, strengthen electric-grid safety standards and reauthorize a half-billion-dollar conservation fund that protects parks and other public lands.
- The bill also would speed federal approval of projects to export liquefied natural gas to Europe and Asia, where prices are higher than in the U.S. following a yearlong boom in domestic gas production.
Science & Technology
ISRO’s New Light-As-Air Gel Can Keep Indian Soldiers Warm In Siachen Snow
ISRO scientists have developed the world’s lightest synthetic material called ‘silica aerogel’ or ‘blue air’ or ‘frozen smoke’.
What is Silica Aerogel?
Silica aerogel is a nano-structured material with high specific surface area, high porosity, low density, low dielectric constant and excellent heat insulation properties.
Applications of silica aerogel:
- Silica aerogel has excellent thermal resistance and if used as a filler in soldiers’ uniforms it can possibly help save many lives at the Siachen glacier.
- The material has uses both in space and on Earth.
- It can also be used in thermal jacket, foot insoles, as well as in window glazing. It is extremely useful for people working in very cold environments, in a very strategic way.