Union Cabinet Approves PM-eBus Sewa Scheme: Boosting Electric Public Transportation
In a significant move towards enhancing urban transportation and promoting electric mobility, the Union Cabinet has given its nod to the “PM-eBus Sewa” scheme. This initiative is aimed at expanding city bus operations by deploying 10,000 electric buses through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Union Cabinet Approves PM-eBus Sewa Scheme: Boosting Electric Public Transportation
Scheme Cost and Support: The PM-eBus Sewa scheme is projected to incur a total cost of Rs 57,613 crore. To facilitate its implementation, the Central government will provide financial support of Rs 20,000 crore. The scheme’s scope extends over a period of 10 years.
Coverage Criteria: The scheme will encompass cities with a population of three lakh and above as per the 2011 census, including capital cities of Union Territories, the North Eastern Region, and Hill States. A notable emphasis will be placed on cities lacking organized bus services.
Direct Job Creation: Implementation of the scheme is projected to result in the creation of 45,000 to 55,000 direct job opportunities. This will be accomplished through the deployment of approximately 10,000 buses for city bus operations.
Segment A: Augmenting City Bus Services: One segment of the scheme, labeled Segment A, is dedicated to enhancing city bus services across 169 cities. This component will primarily focus on expanding the availability of electric buses for urban transportation.
Segment B: Green Urban Mobility Initiatives (GUMI): The second segment, Segment B, targets 181 cities and revolves around green mobility initiatives. These include the implementation of bus priority measures, development of multimodal interchange facilities, integration of NCMC-based Automated Fare Collection Systems, establishment of charging infrastructure, and more.
Operational Framework: The responsibility of operating the bus services and making payments to bus operators will rest with the respective states and cities. The Central Government’s role will involve extending subsidies as outlined in the scheme to support these operations.
Promoting E-Mobility: The scheme places a strong emphasis on promoting electric mobility. It provides substantial support for the creation of necessary behind-the-meter power infrastructure. Additionally, cities will receive assistance for establishing charging infrastructure as part of Green Urban Mobility Initiatives.
Environmental Benefits: The transition to electric mobility will yield positive environmental outcomes. It will contribute to the reduction of noise and air pollution while curbing carbon emissions. A shift towards increased bus-based public transportation will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, promoting a more sustainable urban environment.
President Murmu Launches INS Vindhyagiri
In a significant stride towards bolstering India’s maritime prowess, President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the latest addition to the Indian Navy’s fleet, INS Vindhyagiri. The launch event was held at the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
Following the launch of INS Vindhyagiri, the vessel will join its sister ships, INS Himgiri and INS Dunagiri, at the Outfitting Jetty at GRSE.
A Name Rooted in Valor: INS Vindhyagiri’s Inaugural Journey
The vessel derives its name from the mighty Vindhya mountain range, symbolizing strength, determination, and unwavering resolve. As INS Vindhyagiri touches the waters of the River Hooghly for the first time, it embarks on a journey that mirrors the resilience of the mountains after which it is named, upholding the cherished values that define our nation.
Boosting Indigenous Defense Manufacturing: A Step Towards Self-Reliance
One of the cornerstones of the launch of INS Vindhyagiri is the profound impact it has on bolstering India’s defense industrial base.
The Defense Ministry officials express that this landmark achievement reduces India’s reliance on foreign suppliers, aligning seamlessly with the nation’s ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat‘ (self-reliant India) vision championed by the Narendra Modi-led union government.
More than 75% of the Project 17A orders have been entrusted to indigenous firms, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and ancillary industries, epitomizing India’s journey towards self-sufficiency.
Project 17A: A Showcase of Technological Excellence
Project 17A serves as a demonstration of India’s impressive technological achievements and unwavering commitment to enhancing its maritime capabilities.
The frigates incorporate cutting-edge attributes such as enhanced stealth capabilities, advanced armament, sophisticated sensors, and state-of-the-art platform management systems.
The propulsion system’s exceptional performance, enabling speeds surpassing 28 knots, further solidifies the vessels’ forefront design and engineering.
Noteworthy among the Project 17A frigates are INS Himgiri and INS Dunagiri, with dimensions spanning 149 meters in length and a displacement exceeding 6,670 tonnes.
The Largest Contract in GRSE’s History
The Project 17A frigates represent a monumental achievement for the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, boasting a contract value of approximately ₹19,200 crore. This contract marks the largest ever executed by GRSE, underscoring the shipyard’s capabilities and contribution to India’s maritime self-sufficiency.
Dutee Chand gets four-year ban for failing dope test
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, renowned as India’s fastest female athlete and holder of the national 100m record, has been handed a significant blow with a four-year ban following her failure in an out-of-competition dope test. The test revealed the presence of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), leading to the decision to suspend her from competitive sports. Chand’s remarkable athletic career has now been marred by this doping incident.
Doping Violation and Ban Details
Chand’s ban, which commences from January 3, 2023, stems from her failed out-of-competition dope test for SARMs, which occurred on December 5, 2022. As a consequence of her violation, all competitive outcomes she achieved from the date of sample collection will be annulled. This includes the forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes she earned during this period. The verdict, delivered by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), found Chand in breach of “article 2.1 and 2.2 of the NADA,” resulting in a four-year ineligibility period under “article 10.2.1.1 of the NADA ADR 2021.”
Challenges and Appeal
Chand is faced with a difficult situation, given the ban’s far-reaching implications on her athletic career. However, she does have the opportunity to challenge this decision. The verdict provides Chand with a 21-day window to submit an appeal to the anti-doping appeal panel (ADAP). The appeal must be lodged within 21 days of receiving the decision, providing Chand with a limited opportunity to contest the ban and present her case.
Chand’s Remarkable Career and National Record
Prior to this setback, Dutee Chand had established herself as a prominent figure in Indian athletics, capturing attention with her outstanding achievements. She holds the esteemed national record for the 100m sprint, setting an incredible time of 11.71 seconds during the 2021 Indian Grand Prix. Her performances were a source of pride for the nation, but this doping violation has cast a shadow over her remarkable accomplishments.
The news of Dutee Chand’s four-year ban due to a doping violation has sent shockwaves through the world of Indian sports. Her remarkable career achievements are now overshadowed by this unfortunate incident, which underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of sports through stringent anti-doping measures. Chand’s decision regarding a potential appeal will determine the course of her athletic journey, as she faces the challenge of navigating the aftermath of this ban and its impact on her future in competitive sports.
AFI chief Adille Sumariwalla elected to World Athletics Executive Board
Adille Sumariwalla has been elected as one of the four vice presidents of World Athletics, the highest post ever held by an Indian in the global track and field governing body. The 65-year-old Sumariwalla, who is the president of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI), received the third-highest number of votes cast during the WA elections held on Thursday in Budapest, Hungary. He will serve a four-year term.
In his new role as vice president, Sumariwalla will be responsible for helping to shape the future of athletics at the global level. He will also be involved in decision-making on a range of issues, including the development of the sport, anti-doping, and the World Championships. The other three vice presidents elected were Ximena Restrepo (Colombia), Raul Chapado (Spain), and Jackson Tuwei (Kenya).
About the Adille Sumariwalla
Sumariwalla is a former Olympian who competed in the 100 meters at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. He has been president of the AFI since 2012 and has been a member of the WA Council since 2015.
Sumariwalla’s election is a major coup for Indian athletics and is a recognition of his work in the sport over many years. He is a passionate advocate for athletics and is committed to helping the sport grow and prosper in India.
Sumariwalla’s election is a significant step forward for Indian athletics and is a sign that the sport is on the rise in the country. He is a well-respected figure in the sport and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable in his new role.
Here are some additional details about Sumariwalla’s election:
He was the only Indian candidate in the running for the vice presidency.
He received 42 votes, which was the third-highest number of votes cast.
The other candidates who were elected were Ximena Restrepo (Colombia), who received 49 votes, Raul Chapado (Spain), who received 45 votes, and Jackson Tuwei (Kenya), who received 44 votes.
The election was held two days ahead of the World Championships, which are being held in Budapest from August 15-24.
Sumariwalla’s election is a significant achievement for Indian athletics and is a sign that the sport is on the rise in the country. He is a well-respected figure in the sport and his experience and knowledge will be invaluable in his new role. I am sure he will do a great job representing India on the World Athletics Executive Board.
Amrit Brikshya Andolan 2023: Registration, Objectives and Benefits
The Assam Government has embarked on a significant endeavor known as the Amrit Brikshya Andolan, under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Hemanta Biswa Sarma. This initiative aims to foster a greener and more sustainable environment in the state by planting one crore seedlings. The Andolan, officially launched on June 8, 2023, holds the promise of enhancing the state’s green cover and promoting a tree-based economy.
Objectives of Assam Amrit Brikshya Andolan
Planting 1 Crore Seedlings: The primary goal of the Amrit Brikshya Andolan is to plant one crore seedlings across Assam, contributing to a significant increase in the state’s greenery.
Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT): The initiative seeks to provide financial aid to participants through a Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, incentivizing their active involvement in tree planting.
Promoting Tree Economy: By encouraging the growth of trees, the Andolan aims to stimulate the tree-based economy within the state, generating sustainable livelihoods and income opportunities.
Enhancing Green Coverage: A key objective is to surpass previous levels of green coverage, contributing to the overall environmental well-being of the state.
Benefits of Assam Amrit Brikshya Andolan
Improved Green Landscape: The state will witness a marked improvement in its green landscape, contributing to a healthier and more vibrant environment.
Free Seedlings: All participating individuals and groups will receive seedlings free of cost, eliminating financial barriers and ensuring widespread participation.
Boost to Tree Economy: The Andolan will actively promote and stimulate the tree-based economy, unlocking various economic opportunities for the people of Assam.
Financial Grant: Upon planting a seedling and uploading a geotagged photo onto the dedicated portal/app, participants will receive a financial grant of Rs. 100 from the State Government. Additionally, an extra Rs. 200 will be awarded by the government in the third year to support plant survival.
Community Engagement: Amrit Brikshya Andolan will engage a diverse range of participants, including Self Help Groups, ASHA workers, educational institutions, and various community bodies.
Eligibility and Participation
Residency: Applicants must be permanent residents of Assam to be eligible for participation.
Geotagged Photos: Participants must upload geotagged photos to access the financial grant.
Eligible Groups: The Andolan invites participation from various groups, including Self Help Groups, ASHA workers, educational institutions, Village Defence Party members, Anganwadi Workers, Tea Garden Workers, and individuals.
Visit the Portal or App: To initiate the registration process, access the Amrit Brikshya Andolan Portal or ABA App.
Category Selection: Choose the appropriate category that corresponds to your affiliation.
Provide Basic Information: Fill in essential details such as name, age, father’s name, and mobile number.
Address Details: Enter your complete address for accurate seedling distribution.
Seedling Collection and Bank Details: Specify your preferred seedling collection point and furnish your bank details.
Identity Verification: Upload the necessary identity documents for verification.
Mobile Number Verification: Confirm your mobile number and finalize your submission.
The Assam Amrit Brikshya Andolan stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to environmental preservation and sustainable growth. With its innovative approach to tree planting and nurturing, coupled with generous financial incentives, the Andolan has the potential to create a profound impact on Assam’s green ecosystem while uplifting local communities and promoting a more prosperous and sustainable future.
Dutch Economy Enters Recession
The Dutch economy has entered a recession, shrinking 0.3% on a quarterly basis in the second quarter. This is the first recession since the pandemic, and follows a 0.4% contraction in the first three months of the year. The eurozone’s fifth largest economy was driven by a drop in consumer spending and exports. Consumer spending fell 1.6%, while exports were 0.7% lower than in the first three months of the year. Inflation in the Netherlands has dropped since hitting a peak of 14.5% in September 2022, but was still relatively high at about 6% in the second quarter of 2023.
The Dutch economy is facing a number of challenges, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and the war in Ukraine. These challenges are likely to continue to weigh on the economy in the coming months, and it is possible that the recession could deepen.
Here are some additional details:
The recession is expected to have a negative impact on employment, with the unemployment rate rising from 3.5% to 4% in the coming months.
The government is expected to take measures to support the economy, such as increasing spending on infrastructure and providing tax breaks to businesses.
The outlook for the Dutch economy is uncertain, and it will depend on how the global economy evolves in the coming months.
Countries who came under Euro zone:
For the unversed, the ‘Eurozone’ is a currency union of 20 member nations of the European Union that have adopted the Euro as their primary currency and legal tender.
The list of countries that are part of the Eurozone includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
Cabinet approves seven rail projects worth ₹32,500 crore to boost connectivity
The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for seven ambitious railway projects, signaling an investment of ₹32,500 crore. These projects, announced by Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, are set to revolutionize Indian Railways’ efficiency and capacity through transformative initiatives. The projects, adopting the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) model, are expected to usher in a new era of connectivity and accessibility across various regions.
Unveiling the Transformation
Cabinet approves seven rail projects worth ₹32,500 crore to boost connectivity
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in a recent briefing, unveiled the strategic significance and anticipated impact of the seven multi-tracking projects. Emphasizing a holistic perspective, Vaishnaw highlighted the interconnected nature of these initiatives, positioning them as catalysts for the modernization of Indian Railways.
Enhancing Connectivity and Accessibility
The cumulative span of the projects is projected to extend by 2,339 kilometers, effectively expanding the existing rail network. This expansion will play a pivotal role in bolstering connectivity and accessibility, enabling smoother transportation across 35 districts in states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
Relieving Congestion and Boosting Efficiency
Beyond mere expansion, the projects are geared toward alleviating congestion and elevating operational efficiency within the rail system. The focus on augmenting freight capacity holds the potential to accommodate an impressive 200 million tonnes of additional freight traffic annually.
Central Government’s Wholehearted Funding
An outstanding feature of these initiatives is the complete funding provided by the central government, reflecting a steadfast commitment to revitalizing the nation’s rail infrastructure. This financial backing underscores the government’s dedication to ensuring the success of these transformational projects.
Catalysts for Employment Generation
The impact of these projects extends beyond infrastructure improvements. With an eye on employment generation, the initiatives are set to create approximately 7.06 crore person-days of work, benefiting residents in the states where the projects are being executed. These projects include crucial routes for transporting a diverse range of commodities such as foodgrains, fertilizers, coal, cement, iron and steel, and more.
Key Projects and Their Significance
Gorakhpur-Cantt-Valmiki Nagar Doubling: Enhancing connectivity for a critical transportation route.
Son Nagar-Andal Multi Tracking: Boosting efficiency through multi-tracking technology.
Nergundi-Barang Third Line: Addressing congestion and enhancing operational flow.
Khurda Road-Vizianagaram Third Line: Expanding capacity for smoother transportation.
Mudkhed-Medchal and Mahbubnagar-Dhone Doubling: Unlocking potential for increased freight movement.
Guntur-Bibinagar Doubling: Strengthening transportation infrastructure for varied commodities.
Chopan-Chunar Doubling and Samakhiali-Gandhidham Quadrupling: Streamlining transportation for diverse goods.