India, Japan hold Maritime Affairs Dialogue

India, Japan hold Maritime Affairs Dialogue
India and Japan held the fourth round of Maritime Affairs Dialogue here during which key issues related to the Indo-Pacific region and maritime security. The two sides exchanged views on a range of contemporary disarmament and non-proliferation related issues. The two sides exchanged views on topics of mutual interest including the Indo-Pacific region, maritime security and disaster relief.

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab

Right to Services Act repealed in Punjab
The state govt of Punjab dissolved Right to Service Commission which was created by the former SAD-BJP govt under Punjab Right to Services Act of 2011. The act has been replaced by Punjab Transparency and Accountability in Delivery of Public Services Act, 2018. The Right to Service (RTS) Act was set up by former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to provide citizen services through Sewa Kendras.

FASTags compulsory to obtain national permit

Vehicle tracking systems and FASTags for electronic toll collection will be made mandatory for all commercial vehicles obtaining the national permit. The proposed amendment also provides that driving license and pollution control certificates can be carried in physical or digital form. It also provides that no fitness certification at the time of registration for new transport vehicles.

FASTags compulsory to obtain national permit

Vehicle tracking systems and FASTags for electronic toll collection will be made mandatory for all commercial vehicles obtaining the national permit. The proposed amendment also provides that driving license and pollution control certificates can be carried in physical or digital form. It also provides that no fitness certification at the time of registration for new transport vehicles.

Gadkari inaugurates projects in Vizag

13 : Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways will inaugurate five port projects worth Rs 1062 Crores in Vishakhapatnam (Vizag). The major project to be inaugurated includes upgradation of existing iron ore handling facility at Outer Harbour of Vizag Port at a cost of ` 580 Crores. This will enhance the capacity of Vizag port under Sagarmala Project.

Railways introduces double container service

10 : In a bid to capture lost traffic & to enhance its freight revenue, Indian Railways has introduced Double Stack Dwarf container services. The containers are shorter in size and can run on electrified tracks. They can hold a capacity of 30,500 kgs. By using the dwarf containers, the cost will be significantly reduced since rail transport is cheaper than road.

Bills of ` 29.41 crore raised by IAF

Over ` 29.41 crores were spent to ferry the newly-issued Rs 500 and ` 2000 currency notes after demonetisation using Indian Air Force’s ultra-modern transport aircraft. IAF aircrafts C-17 and the C-130J Super Hercules undertook 91 sorties for transporting the currency. RBI had spent ` 7,965 crore in 2016-17 post-demonetisation for printing the new ` 2000 and ` 500 notes.

Surat Selected for best smart city award

Surat city has been awarded best city award under the Smart City Mission’s award for implementation of projects in urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development. Bhopal and Ahmedabad have been selected as joint winners under innovative idea award category. The Ministry of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs issued the award.

States got ` 10,000 cr tax online post e-gov

States have collected taxes worth 10,000 crore online since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the Centre’s e-Governance initiative, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said. Over 19 crore vehicles and 10 crore driving license records have come under the National Register, it said. The ministry added that over 50 lakh national permits have been issued online.

IISc developed ‘LifeBox’ to transport organs

Researchers at IISc Bangalore have developed a ‘LifeBox’ that can extend the preservation time of organs, specifically the heart, and allows for increased travel time and distances. Researchers said that transport of organs using drones could cut down the transportation time by at least 50% compared to green corridors. The technology was used to transport a payload for 10 km.

Yudhvir Malik got extra charge of NHAI chief

Yudhvir Singh Malik, the Secretary of Ministry of Road, Transport, and Highways, has been given additional charge of the post of NHAI chairman.Deepak Kumar, the chairman of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), was sent back to his cadre state Bihar before completion of his tenure. Kumar, a 1984 IAS officer of Bihar cadre, had taken over as the NHAI chief on June 28 last year.

E-Way Bill system in Assam & Rajasthan

The E-way bill system for intra-State transport of goods in Assam and Rajasthan will roll out on May 16 and May 20 respectively. This would take the total number of States under the system to 21. E-Way Bill system for inter-State movement of goods has been rolled out from 01st April 2018. E-Way Bill is electronically generated for the consignment/movement of goods from one place to another.

First record of invasive aphid in Kashmir

The brown peach aphid – an insect that attacks temperate fruit trees – has been found in Kashmir Valley for the first time. Aphids feed on the saps of plants, attacking plant tissues that transport food to all different plant parts. The brown peach aphid is a notorious pest of peach and almond trees in the Mediterranean regions.

Dakota aircraft joined IAF again

A restored Dakota aircraft has joined the Indian Air Force more than 4 decades after the fleet was phased out following an illustrious service record. Dakota popularly known as Gooney Bird was the 1st major transport aircraft inducted in the Indian Air Force. Restored Dakota rechristened as Parashuram will join Vintage Fly of one each of Tiger Moth & Howard raised at Hindan air force station

NASA mission to study heart of Mars

NASA is set to launch Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) on May 5. InSight will be the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes. It will use the seismic waves generated by mars quakes to develop a map of the planet’s deep interior.

Indian Navy inducts 3rd LCU at Port Blair

The Indian Navy has inducted the third ship of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk-IV project at Port Blair.LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship and is capable of transporting combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72, and other Armored Vehicles. The command oversees India’s Andaman and Nicobar Island territories, including the strategic Strait of Malacca in the Indian Ocean.

Road safety week 2018

With the objective to sensitise people about road safety, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is organizing the 29th edition of Road Safety Week from 23rd to 30th April.During the week, creating awareness about various causes of road accidents & measures to prevent them will be highlighted through various activities. 1.5 lakh persons in India are killed in road crashes every year.

India, Sweden to cooperate in Smart Cities

India & Sweden have agreed to deepen their cooperation in Smart Cities initiative, transport & energy sectors.The 2 countries will exchange knowledge & explore cooperation on smart cities, including transit-oriented urban development, air pollution control & waste management. Both sides will also exchange know-how & explore cooperation in areas of electro-mobility as well as renewable fuels

Ola acquires transportation app Ridlr

Cab aggregator Ola announced the acquisition of end-to-end public transport ticketing and commuting app, Ridlr.Ridlr enables users to search and book public transport options on their mobile phones. Combining Ridlr’s innovations in mass transit with Ola’s mobility products will enable true multi-modal mobility solutions for users.

E-way bill system comes into force

The Uniform System of e-way Bill for inter-State movement of goods has come into force from April 1, 2018.Under the new system, every transporter will have to carry a system-generated bill to move goods from one place to another. The e-way bill will be mandatory for inter-state transportation of goods with a value of 50 thousand rupees and above.

Vienna is world?s most liveable city

Austria‘s capital Vienna once again defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world in an annual survey from consulting firm Mercer. Vienna is followed by Switzerland‘s Zurich and then New Zealand‘s Auckland and Germany‘s Munich in joint third. The criteria to rank the cities were political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

IAF lands its heaviest aircraft in Arunanchal

15 : The Indian Air Force (IAF) for first time flawlessly landed its largest transport US-manufactured aircraft, C-17 Globemaster at strategic Tuting Advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The landing of this aircraft is seen as part of IAF‘s move to strengthen its overall operations in the border state. The aircraft is used for airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo.

Eight sectors added 1.36 lakh jobs

Employment in eight key sectors, rose by 1.36 lakh on the net basis in July-September this fiscal compared to the previous quarter. The manufacturing sector added 89,000 jobs, education sector added 21,000 jobs while transport sector saw an addition of 20,000 jobs. Out of the total estimated change in employment of 1.36 lakh, female workers accounted for 74,000 and 62000 male workers.

GST e-way bill must from April 1

Goods and Services Tax Council has mandated the use of electronic way (e-way) bills from April to track inter-state movement of goods. From April 1, transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 will have to generate e-way bills. For intra-State movement, the e-way bill will be rolled out in a phased manner beginning April 15, and will cover all the States by June 1.

“Freight village” in Varanasi

The government is planning to develop a ?freight village? in Varanasi. The freight village to be developed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) would reduce logistics cost in the eastern transport corridor and its influence zone. It envisages the establishment of multimodal logistics hub in Varanasi to promote the use of waterway transport on river Ganga.

Nitin Gadkari to launch Sukhad Yatra App

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari will launch a mobile App and Toll-free number. Sukhad Yatra mobile application has been prepared by NHAI, to empower the Highway user. A toll-free number, 1033, will enable users to report an emergency condition, or highway-related feedback, across the highway.

Transport free in Brussels on high pollution

Belgium’s capital Brussels will provide free public transport on days of excessive air pollution under new emergency rules.Speed limits of cars would be reduced by a third and wood fires will be banned unless they are the only source of heating for households. Brussels has also launched an app for citizens to monitor air quality levels.

Transport plane Saras to be fast-tracked

The government will fast-track the revived light transport plane Saras towards production and begin the feasibility study for a 70-seater regional transport aircraft RTA-70.The improved 19-seater would be first produced for the Indian Air Force by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Saras would be a good fit for regional travel under the subsidised UDAN scheme.

India’s 1st Ever Highway Capacity Manual

The Minister of Road Transport & Highways Mr Nitin Gadkari released India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) in Delhi.The manual is also known as Indo-HCM and it has been developed by CSIR. CSRI is developing it on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like a single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads etc.

World’s 1st Autonomous Pods Unveiled In Dubai

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority launched the first tests of the world’s first autonomous pods at the World Government Summit.The pods are launched in cooperation with Next Future Transportation and are designed to travel short and medium distances in dedicated lanes. They can be coupled together in as little 15 seconds or detached depending on the riders’ destination in five seconds.

Akshay Kumar to be ambassador for road safety

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said he has requested actor Akshay Kumar to become the brand ambassador for the government’s road safety awareness campaign.Adding that the actor promised full cooperation, Gadkari said celebrity ambassadors “will have a positive impact on the new generation”.Earlier, Kumar was appointed ambassador for UP government’s cleanliness campaign.

4 Rivers in J&K declared ‘Nat Waterways’

Four major rivers, including Jhelum and Chenab, in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared “national waterways”.It paved the way for inland navigation on them to boost water transport and tourism.The Union government has declared four rivers namely Chenab, Indus, Jhelum and Ravi as national waterways, which would be developed in a phased manner.

Min. of Road Transport signs MoU

An MoU was signed between NHIDCL and M/S IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd.It is for construction of the 14.150 m long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh.

Upgraded version of Saras comes

The new upgraded version of SARAS, the indigenous transport aircraft developed by National Aeronautics Laboratory, “successfully” made its maiden flight in Bengaluru.SARAS PT1N, a 14-seater passenger aircraft, is an upgraded version of the plan. It is designed and developed by CSIR-NAL, a frontline aerospace research laboratory.

GPS, panic buttons mandatory on vehicles

The government has made it mandatory to have Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in passenger transport vehicles from April 1.All taxis, buses and public transport vehicles, except three-wheelers and e-rickshaws, will have to install GPS and an alert button. The road transport ministry has reiterated the deadline amid reports that most of the states had not done much to meet the target.

US slaps anti-dumping duty

Trump Administration has slapped anti-dumping duties on stainless steel flangs & finer denier polyester staple fiber from China & India.In 2016, imports of stainless steel flanges from China and India were valued at an estimated $16.3 million and $32.1 million, respectively. Exporters from China and India received countervailing subsidies of 41.73 to 47.55% and 9.50 to 25.28%, respectively

E-way bill to make GST simpler

From February, transporters will not need separate transit passes for moving goods from one state to another, thanks to E-way bill.Inter-state movement of goods beyond 10 kms, with a value of Rs 50,000 above, will mandatorily require e-way bill from February 1. The e-way bill rules provide for random verification which can be done by a tax officer.

7 years’ jail for benami transactions

According to Income-Tax Department, people indulging in benami transactions can be prosecuted for imprisonment up to seven years.“Benamidar [in whose name benami property is standing], beneficiary [who actually paid consideration] and persons who abet and induce benami transactions are prosecutable. It is according to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

India Tops Domestic Air Traffic Demand

12 : India’s domestic air passenger traffic grew by 16.4 percent in November 2017, topping the growth chart worldwide, according to the global aviation body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA).Globally, the total revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) increased 8 percent compared to November 2016. The available seat kilometers (ASKs) or capacity grew by 6.3 percent.

India & UK sign MoU for public transport

The government approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and London’s transportation authority to improve public transport in the country.The MoU is aimed at improving the overall public transport system, improve passenger services and promote the use of high capacity buses in India.MoU is signed by Ministry of Road Transport.

Assam gets fund for water transport

Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced that ` 1,250 crore has been sanctioned for overall development of inland water transport of Assam.Of this amount, Rs 32 crore will be utilised for constructing 56 terminals and Rs 60 crore for Ro-Ro service, an official release said.Ro-ro is ‘roll-on, roll-off’ ferry service in which people and goods including vehicles would be ferried.

Cargo Movement On Brahmaputra starts

In a major boost to the inland waterway transport system in the northeast, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off cargo movement on the Pandu-Dhubri route of the Brahmaputra river.It is on the National Waterway 2.Transportation of cargo from Pandu in Guwahati to Dhubri along the Assam-Bengal border would reduce logistics cost and save 300-km road travel.

Israel to name a station after Trump

Israel’s transport minister wants to dig a railway tunnel under Jerusalem’s Old City and name a station next to the Western Wall after US President Donald Trump.Yisrael Katz said he wanted to honour the US president for his decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital.The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray.

India’s 1st Rail and Transportation Univ

The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved the Ministry of Railways’ initiative to set up India’s first ever National Rail and Transport University.The university set up in Vadodara, Gujarat will skill its human resources and build capability.The University will be set up as a Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per the UGC Regulations, 2016.

Trainers programme for Sendai Framework

Shri Kiren Rijiju, inaugurated the first national-level training of trainers programme to sensitise various Central Ministries and Departments.This workshop will sensitise the participants and will help in building capacity of the trainers’ utilization of Sendai Monitor for developing Action Plans for DRR.The Programme has been organised by the NDMA in collaboration with the UNISDR-GETI.

Nod for mandatory e-Way Bill

GST council has decided to go for early implementation of e-Way Bill for inter-state movement of items from Feb 1 & uniform mandatory compliance from June 1 next year.The bill will bring uniformity across the states for seamless inter-state movement of goods.An e-Way Bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000.

Panel to review flexi-fare system

14 : Railway Board has initiated process of reviewing flexi-fare system in premium trains by comparing prices with that of other modes of transport in the same sectors.The Board has formed a six-member committee to review the system and submit a report in 30 days.The committee consists of railway board officials along with Ravinder Goyal, Adviser, NITI Ayog

$1 bn credit for connectivity with ASEAN

India has proposed $1 bn line of credit to promote sea, air & road connectivity projects with ASEAN. It was announced by Nitin Gadarki during ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit jointly organised by CII & ASEAN India Centre. ASEAN & India have also agreed to establish a maritime transport working group among India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam to examine feasibility of shipping networks.

Govt signs pact with German firm

Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry has inked an agreement with Germany’s GIZ for technical cooperation in implementation of transport projects in Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar & Kochi.Main objective of the agreement is to improve planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport.An amount of euro 4 million (Rs 29 crore) through GIZ is envisaged for this purpose over a period of 3 years.

ASC celebrates 257th Corps Day

Army Service Corps on 8th Dec celebrated its 257th Corps Day at The Headquarters Central Command in Lucknow.Army Service Corps is the backbone of logistic to Armed Forces, provisioning rations, petroleum products & animal transport support to formations deployed across the country.On 8 December 1967 the first colours of the ASC were presented by President Zakir Hussain.

India and UK to sign a MoU

India and UK will soon sign a MoU in the urban transport sector for cooperation in policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation. It seeks to facilitate cooperation in the transport sector and enable the sharing of expertise and latest technology to promote efficient mobility solutions. It will also establish the terms on which such assistance can be provided.

West Bengal to get World Bank subsidy

West Bengal State Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari has mentioned that the state government has negotiated with the World Bank to avail subsidy to buy 130 electric buses. World Bank has agreed to provide a subsidy of Rs seven lakh per bus. Out of the 130 electric buses, 100 would operate in Kolkata and the remaining 30 will operate in industrial towns of Durgapur and Asansol.

India to assist Kabul in Renovation

India will provide USD 2.87 million to Afghanistan for refurbishment (renovation) of 350 buses that will help in strengthening the public transport system of Kabul. The Indian Embassy in Kabul said that an MoU in this regard was signed by Manpreet Vohra, Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, and Afghan Transport Minister Hameed Tahmasi. The buses are expected to be operational by end of 2018.

Delhi signs agreement with Seoul

Delhi Government signed a twin city agreement with the Seoul (South Korea) Metropolitan Government. Its objective is to strengthen cooperation between two cities in the fields of the smart city, e-governance, climate change and transportation. The twin city agreement between Delhi and Seoul will come into effect after being approved by Union Government.

National Cycling Championships in Delhi

With a direct relation between cycling and conserving transport fuel, the Petroleum Conservation Research Association organised the capital’s first Saksham Pedal Delhi “cyclothon” event. It included the National Cycling Championships as a component feature. The event on November 5, slated to start at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium where more than 5,000 participants participated.

Conference on “Ramayan Circuit”

A two day International Conference on “Ramayan Circuit and Mithila-Awadh Relations” was organised from 3-4 November at Janakpur. Eminent experts and academicians of India and Nepal have stressed upon further strengthening age-old cultural ties between both the countries. During conference 11 resolutions were adopted including launch of bus and train service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.

4 wheels to be fitted with FASTags

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notified that all four-wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December 2017, will have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle. FASTag is a simple to use, a reloadable tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges. It lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.

RORO ships Chennai Port to Bangladesh

Nitin Gadkari digitally flagged off a Roll-On/Roll-Off (RoRo) ship from Chennai Port to Mongla port in Bangladesh. M.V. IDM DOODLE, a RoRo cum general cargo vessel carried an export consignment of 185 trucks by Ashok Leyland to Bangladesh. Export of these trucks was earlier done through land route. Transport through the sea route will save about 15-20 days of travel time.

World’s first hydrogen tram

The world’s first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China. It is a big step in the application of green energy in public transport. With water being its only emission,the tram emits no pollutants. No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius.

Chhattisgarh bans PVC used in carry bags

Chhattisgarh Government has completely banned the usage of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) carry bags in their state. The government also banned the manufacture, storage, import, sale, transport and use of such plastic-borne goods. It is on the lines of article 48-A of the Constitution of India, which expects that every state will try to conserve and improve the environment.

No service charge on train till March

Rail passengers will continue to enjoy service charge exemption on tickets booked online till March 2018. The government had waived service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking. Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.

MobiKwik partners with IRCTC Rail

Digital payments firm MobiKwik announced its partnership with IRCTC Rail connect app, which will allow customers book railway tickets using the former’s payment gateway. Mobikwik’s Payment Gateway currently powers payments for more than 3,000 e-commerce websites and apps. The tie-up is aimed at simplifying payment systems by introducing MobiKwik’s easy-to-use interface for all.

‘Pratham-Shyok’ bridge

Def Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated Pratham-Shyok Bridge that will link Leh to the Karakoram, providing connectivity on Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde axis for military transport. The state-of-the-art bridge is a major development on Shyok Gong River which will enhance travel of locals as well as Army in this strategic region. It will increase travel & communication for strategic transport

ADB plans to raise annual lending

Asian Development Bank is planning to raise annual lending to India to a max of $4 bn per year during 2018-22 to accelerate inclusive economic transformation. ADB will focus on boosting economic competitiveness to create well paid jobs, improved access to infrastructure & addressing climate change. In private sector, it will support transport, power and affordable housing among others.

Intelligent transport system in India

NITI Aayog has signed an agreement with Geneva-based International Road Federation for cooperation in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems & to design a policy framework for the same. ITS policy will cover various sectors including traffic management, electronic enforcement of traffic rules & regulations. It would also cover fleet management & monitoring & education in the field of ITS.

Uber loses its licence

London’s transport authority has decided not renew Uber’s license, saying the company is not “fit and proper” to operate in the city. According TfL Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility which could have potential public safety and security implication. Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London.

World’s fastest bullet train launched

21 : China began the process to restore the world’s fastest bullet train, running at 350 km/hr, from Beijing to Shanghai, 6 years after it reduced the speed of its trains. A ‘Fuxing’ bullet train, which will enjoy the high-speed, departed Beijing South Railway for Shanghai. The Fuxing has a 30-year life, 10 years more than the existing model, and consumes 10% less power when running at 350 km/hr.

Export of tur, moong and urad

Govt has opened up exports of tur, moong & urad dal after more than a decade. India had banned export of pulses in 2006, which was extended from time to time. It will help support prices of urad & moong currently being harvested & bumper tur crop, which will hit the markets in a next 2/3 months. At present, only organic pulses & kabuli chana are allowed to be shipped in a limited quantity.

Inland Water Transportation Summit

Kochi will host the 5th edition of Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transportation Business Summit 2017. The summit will be an initiative to explore immense potential of coastal shipping & waterways as well as an effort to build a shared commitment. It will create a platform to discuss various topics such as Indian Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport: Policies, Current Updates & Vision.

Online platform for food inspection

To bring transparency in food safety inspection & sampling, FSSAI has put in place a nationwide online platform. The web-based FoSCoRIS system will help verify compliance of food safety & hygiene standards by food businesses as per govt norms. States have been told to appoint a nodal officer for this purpose & send details of officers of state food authority for integrating them with FoSCoRIS

India, Afghanistan exchange four pacts

India and Afghanistan exchanged four pacts in areas of health, transport, space and new development partnership. The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani in New Delhi. India will also supply wheat to Afghanistan in coming weeks through Chahbahar port.

Foundation for smart city project

Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone of Greenfield Smart City at Ranchi in Jharkhand. The Greenfield Smart City will cost Rs. 10,000 crore and will also have 16,000 residential flats for 70,000 residents. The smart city will have modern transport system, world class education hub, 24 hours water and electricity, wi-fi, public toilets at every 200 meters and will be carbon free zone.

China, Pak Air Forces Joint Exercise

Air forces of China & Pakistan began a joint training exercise in China & deployed their latest fighter jets & AWACS aircraft. China has dispatched J-11 fighters, JH-7 fighter-bombers, KJ-200 AWACS aircraft & ground forces including surface-to-air missile & radar troops to join the exercise, named Shaheen VI. The “Shaheen” joint training was launched by Chinese & Pakistani air forces in 2011

Forces, UTs to source goods from GeM

All central armed police forces & Union Territories have been asked to procure goods & services from govt’s e-market place (GeM) to meet their requirements at competitive prices. The move is aimed at bringing in more transparency & streamlining procurement process of these forces, which include CISF,CRPF & ITBP. So far, these forces & UTs are sourcing goods & services through tendering process

Petronet to set up LNG terminal

Sri Lankan govt has decided to go ahead with the setting up of an LNG terminal near Colombo with Indian & Japanese companies. It is part of MoU for cooperation in economic projects signed between the 2 countries this year. Indian company Petro net LNG will form the joint venture meant to provide re-gasified natural gas to various power plants, domestic & transport sectors in Sri Lanka.

Railways to get Swiss tilting trains

India will collaborate with Switzerland for developing trains which will tilt on approaching a bend, just like a motorbike on a winding road. Tilting train rounds a curve at speed it cause objects to slide about. During a curve to the left, the train tilts to the left and vice versa. Such trains are now operational in 11 countries including China, Russia, Germany, and Romania.

Government notifies e-way bill

Govt has notified e-way bill keeping some items of mass consumption such as vegetables, fruits, food grains, bread, books & jewellery out of its ambit. It will provide the framework for transport of goods under the GST. E-way bill is required to transport any item worth more than Rs. 50,000 within the country. E-way bill can be generated by registered supplier or recipient or the transporter

Jammu gets Rs. 200 crore funds

Over Rs. 200 crore funds have been allocated for Jammu under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. Several major towns of the state would also be covered under the AMRUT programme so that they are replete with all modern facilities of urban living. Funds have been allocated for development of various sectors like urban transport, green spaces, drainage, and sewerage.

Uber introduces 2 new features

Ridesharing app Uber has announced a phased rollout of two new features, namely ‘In-app chat’ and ‘multi-destination’. The in-app chat feature aims to help riders and driver partners get in touch with one another to provide information such as their exact location. The multi-destination feature enables riders to add multiple stops along their route.

Canada to allow gender-neutral passports

Canadian citizens who do not identify as male or female will soon be able to mark “X” on their passports and other identity documents. The step has been taken so that Canadians are able to better reflect their gender identity. This measure will advance equality for all Canadian citizens irrespective of their gender identity and expression.

Kuvera ties up with Uber

Kuvera, a wealth management platform, has partnered with Uber to offer invest-ment products & financial planning services to Uber’s driver partners. Through the partnership, Uber drivers will get access to investment schemes and advisory services on Kuvera. Kuvera lists “direct only” mutual fund plans, allowing its users to create and monitor their portfolio on the platform.

Interline partnership with Vistara

22 : Qatar Airways has entered into an interline partnership with Vistara, under which customers of 2 carriers will have seamless travel to & from India to over 150 destinations. Interline arrangement refers to a pact to issue & accept tickets for flights that are operated by partner airline. Qatar Airways operates to 13 cities in India from Doha while Vistara operates to 18 domestic destinations

Goa govt launches biofuel-run buses

Goa govt has launched 3 biofuel-powered buses on a pilot basis. The project is a part of the state govt’s comprehensive mobility plan announced in the recent budget. The bus will be operated by Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL), a state-run body. The ticketing would be done through an automated system, bus will have swiping machines. One can enter the bus after swiping the card.

Common use items exempt from e-way bill

LPG, kerosene & currency are among the common use items that have been exempted from e-way bill provision. Council has approved a list of 153 items that have been exempted from obtaining e-way bills. GST mandates obtaining e-way bills for transporting goods consignment of more than Rs. 50,000 in value. E-way bill is not required if goods are transported by non-motorised conveyances.

India’s first disaster village

India’s first ‘Railways disaster management village’ is expected to come up on the outskirts of Bengaluru by December next year. The village, about 25 km from Bengaluru, will also have a virtual reality centre for analysis of railway accidents. Overaged rolling stock will be used to replicate train accidents so that real time rescue operations could be carried out to improve such efforts.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

Govt has decided to launch a new sub-scheme named Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana as part of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission. Self Help Groups under DAY-NRLM will operate road transport service in backward areas & will provide safe, affordable & community monitored rural transport. AGEY will be initially implemented in 250 Blocks in the country on pilot basis.

Finance Ministry to subsidise losses

Prime Minister’s Office has directed Ministry of Finance to fund losses incurred by railways in operating non-profitable trains on strategic lines & backward areas. Losses on operating strategic lines accounts for over Rs. 34,000 crore borne by railways towards social service obligation. After merger of Railway & Union Budget FM discontinued the practice of providing annual subsidy to railways.

GST Council clears e-way Bill

GST Council has given an in-principle approval to e-way bill, to keep tabs on the movement of goods. Once the e-way bill is implemented, all goods and services worth Rs. 50,000 or more would need to be registered before these are moved 10 km for sale. There would be very few check posts to ensure the smooth transport of goods. These rules would not be applicable for exempted goods.

Face recognition surveillance

Germany has test launched a face recognition surveillance system at Berlin’s railway station that would contribute to anti-terrorism efforts. It aims to determine whether cameras can automatically recognize faces of specific persons & single them out from crowd. When a criminal/terrorist suspect enter/exit public transport facility, system would immediately warn police to take prompt action.

Cash-on-delivery for tatkal tickets

Railways has announced that people can now book their ticket under the tatkal quota on IRCTC website & can pay later. For tatkal tickets IRCTC users will be able to pay via cash, debit card or credit card by opting to have tickets delivered at their doorstep. The new feature eliminates transaction failures as often the money gets debited and the ticket is not issued due to multiple reasons.

Largest carmaker in world

With record profit and profitability in first half of the year the Renault-Nissan Alliance has overtaken Volkswagen & Toyota to become the largest carmaker in the world. The group sold 5,268,079 cars around the world, largely due to addition of Mitsubishi to the alliance’s stable last year. Its operation in Russia, which had been heavily loss-making, posted a profit of € 3 million.

Proposals for high-tech public transport

Niti Aayog has cleared 6 proposals of transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. Mass rapid transportation technologies such as hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses & freight rail road are part of transport ministry proposal. Transport ministry has formed a 6 member committee to study safety parameters associated with these technologies & global practices.

IRCTC to take over catering services

According to railways, Catering services in all trains with pantry cars will be handed over to IRCTC by the year-end. Till now, zonal railways were managing catering services in majority trains as per the catering policy 2010. This is being done in order to improve onboard food quality. Railways will also conduct 3rd party audit at pantry cars & base kitchens to ensure best practice.

Yatra acquires ATB

Online travel firm Yatra Online has acquired corporate travel services provider Air Travel Bureau. Yatra has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of ATB and assume its debt. Acquisition will significantly strengthen the Yatra’s position in the large and growing corporate travel market in India. ATB is India’s largest corporate travel services provider with gross bookings of Rs. 1,500 cr.

Ola invests in car leasing subsidiary

Cab aggregator Ola has invested Rs. 100 crore in its car leasing subsidiary. Through Ola Fleet Technologies, Ola focuses on building its own fleet and skilling drivers. Under the programme, drivers could lease a car for a minimal initial deposit and then pay monthly lease payments with an option to own the vehicle after a period of three years.

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

Ministry of Rural Development will launch a new sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana which will be called Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana. It will provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of SHGs by facilitating them to operate public transport in backward areas. It will provide safe & affordable rural transport services like e-rickshaws to connect remote villages.

Railway food unfit for consumption

The food served by Indian Railways is unfit for human consumption, an audit report on catering services conducted by the CAG has found. The CAG had conducted a joint inspection of 74 stations and 80 trains selected across Zonal Railways. The audit examination, which was conducted from 2013-14 to 2015-16, said the quality of catering services had not improved over time.

World’s First Drone Destroyer Laser

U.S. Navy successfully tested world’s 1st laser gun system that has been designed to target drones. Laser Weapons System gun was tested by the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship on a mock enemy drone. The laser moves at the speed of light, is “more precise than a bullet” and is expected to be used in combat by the year 2020. It is operated by electricity derived from a small generator.

Customer Satisfaction Index Survey

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport has been ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 49 airports in the country. Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a 5 point scale index followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively. Survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness etc.

Iran Air appoints first female CEO

Iran has appointed a female CEO to lead its national airline, Iran Air, for the first time since its inception in the 1940s. Iran’s Transport minister appointed Farzaneh Sharafbani as the CEO of Iran Air. Farzaneh Sharafbani holds a PhD in aerospace engineering and has previously served on the board of Iran Air. Iran is in the process of revamping its ageing passenger fleet.