Delhi electric Vehicle Policy
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched “Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy”. Under the new policy, the State Government of Delhi will waive registration fee and road tax. Also, it will provide an incentive of up to Rs 1.5 lakhs for new cars in the NCR region.
The policy aims to boost economy, create jobs and reduce pollution levels. Also, it aims to constitute 25% electric vehicles by 2024. Currently, constitution of electric vehicles in capital is 0.29%. The main highlights of the policy are as follows:
Key features of the Policy:
The policy includes the following key features:
In the last five years, air pollution in the National Capital Region has reduced by 25%. The Government plans to reduce it further with the new policy.
GoI extends Line of Credit worth 18 million USD to Maldives
The Government of India has extended Line of Credit of worth 18 million USD to Maldives to expand fishing facilities at Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO).
The funds granted to Maldives are to be used for the following:
The above projects will help Maldives to increase fish collection and storage capacity. It will help the country acquire new markets in the fisheries sector.
Maldives is important to India for its strategic location. In Indian Ocean, Maldives archipelago comprises of 1,200 coral islands. They lie next to the shipping lanes that ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to India, China and Japan.
Maldives is important to India for the following reasons:
India has offered assistance to Maldives whenever required. India was the first to provide with relief when Maldives was badly hit by Tsunami. Also, GoI has launched several operations as in need to help save Maldives.
India launched Operation Cactus in 1984 and saved Maldives from a coup.
This operation was launched by the Indian Government to help save Maldives from major fire that broke out in a Male Water and Sewerage company.
Indian Railways to transport dyes to Bangladesh from Gujarat after Chillies from AP
The Indian Railways is to operate first parcel special train to Bangladesh under Ahmedabad division. The train is to traverse 2,110 km to reach Benapole in Bangladesh. The Western Railways sent goods train earlier with loaded wagons of onion to Bangladesh.
The Western Railway Zone has achieved record by sending a parcel train from Gujarat to Bangladesh. The train is to carry denim cloth, dyes and colours. This is to generate a revenue of Rs 31 lakhs.
Earlier, the Indian Railways operated the first ever special parcel train to Bangladesh transporting dry chillies from Andhra Pradesh. The western Railways has transported commodities weighing 92,000 tonnes in its parcel special trains. This mainly included medicines, milk, agricultural produce, milk, etc. This generated revenue of about Rs 29 crores.
Irritants between India and Bangladesh
National Register of Citizens:
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) left out 1.9 million Assamese from the list of groups labelled as “Illegal Immigrants”. However, according to Bangladesh Government no migrants travelled to Assam illegally during 1971 war of independence.
Bangladesh is facing challenges in providing shelter to over a million of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution from their own country, Myanmar. India has refused to share the burden.
Teesta River sharing:
The West Bengal State Government refused to endorse water sharing terms agreed in 2015. This has created the current impasse. The lack of water to 100,000 hectares of land in Bangladesh because of this has led to contamination of soil and has increased cost of pesticides.
The bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh was over 9 billion USD in 2017-18. The Bangladeshi exports increased by 91% and reached 1.25 billion USD in 2018-19. Also, in 2018, Bangladesh imported 660 MW of power. A 1,600 MW of power station is to be developed to boost power trade between the countries.
India bans 101 Defence items
Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh announced that India has put ban on 101 items to boost indigenous production. The list of 101 items was prepared by the Defence Ministry. This is being done to make India self-reliant under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
The decision has been made to provide opportunity to the defence industries of the country to manufacture items in the embargoed list. The industries can adopt their own design or adopt technologies developed by DRDO.
Around 260 schemes are involved in the selected 101 items. They were contracted by the tri-services at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crores between 2015 and 2020. Also, contracts worth Rs 4 lakh crores are to be placed upon domestic industries in the next 6 to 7 years. Hence, this is of great boost to the domestic industries. This will help India become self-reliant.
Of the 101 items, almost Rs 1,30,000 crores are anticipated for army and Indian Air Force.
The embargo on the imports is to be implemented between 2020 and 2024. The Indian Army is to import wheeled 200 armoured fighting vehicle by December 2021. It is of worth Rs 5,000 crore.
Embargo is the official ban on trade and other commercial activity in the country.
The Defence Ministry for the year 2020-21 has bifurcated the capital procurement as domestic and foreign capital procurement. A separate budget of Rs 52,000 crores has been create for domestic procurement.
The Defence Procurement Procedure, 2020 that was unveiled in March 2020 aims to increase indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment. It is to support “Make in India” initiative. A new category of Buy (Global-Manufacture in India) has been introduced with minimum 50% indigenous content.
The Defence Procurement Procedure was promulgated in 2002 and has been revised several times since then to provide impetus to the growing domestic industry and achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
The Procedure mainly contains processes that simplifies defence procurement procedure and help India achieve its self-reliance in meeting all the security needs of Indian Armed Forces.
Envistats India 2020 report
The National Statistical Office recently released the Envistats India 2020 report. The report says that the number of heat wave days in 2019 increased over 80%. The report was prepared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The National Statistical Office (NSO) operates under this ministry.
Key Findings of the report:
The average number of heat wave days increased 82.6%. It was 157 in 2019.
The highest number of heat wave days was recorded in Rajasthan followed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The number of average cold wave days had also increased. It was 45 in 2018 and 29 in 2017.
The deaths due to acute respiratory infection in 2018 were 3,740. This was the highest in six years. The highest number of deaths due to respiratory infection were reported in West Bengal.
The Particulate Matter size was the highest in Delhi among the metropolitan cities.
The tube well and hand pump were the primary source of drinking water in rural India with a share of 53.8%. On the other hand, piped water, public tap, stand pipe were the primary source in urban areas with a share of 65%
Among Urban Areas, Daman and Diu had the highest share of households in choosing bottled water as drinking water source.
Delhi had the highest number of registered motor vehicles in the country followed by Bengaluru.
Andhra Pradesh had the highest number of slum population followed by Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
Deaths due to Heat Waves:
The deaths due to heat wave in 2019 saw a sharp jump from 26 in 2018 to 373 in 2019. However, it was slightly lower than 375 in 2017. In 2015, the number of deaths due to heat waves were 2081, 510 in 2016.
India needs to redouble its national sustainability efforts. The country needs to focus largely on biodiversity, climate change and air and water quality. India ranked 168 in the Environment Performance Index, 2020. It measured the environment performance of 180 countries.