- Now power generation from pine needles
- The Uttarakhand Cabinet approved a policy for harnessing forest pine needles an alternative source of energy for generating power and it also approved the allocation of a piece of land in Haridwar to Uttar Pradesh in lieu of Alaknanda resort.
- The Department of Power and Department of Forest will be the nodal agencies for the implementation of the policy. “Pine needles are spread in an area of around 4 lakh hectare, which is around 16.36 per cent of the forest land. Upon the implementation of the policy, we would be able to produce around 100 mega watt of electricity per year and also set up units for producing Pine Needle Briquettes (PNB) and bio fuel oil.
- The government intended to steadily increase the production of pine needle biomass beginning with 1 mega watt in 2019 and scaling it to 100 mega watt in the coming years.
- Further, the policy proposes to fix a base price (maximum) of Rs 5.36 paise for buying electricity generated through the pine needle biomass from individuals.
· India and Nepal IGC Meet Begins In Kathmandu
- India-Nepal Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC)meeting on trade, transit and cooperation to Control Unauthorised Trade started in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- The Indian side is led by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia.
- The main focus of the two-day meeting will be on further strengthening trade and investment ties between both the countries.
- The IGC meeting provides a regular platform to review the implementation of past trade and transit agreements besides discussing new measures to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.
· World Bank loan for Biopharma Mission
- The government has secured a loan of about ₹1,600 crore from the World Bank to develop new vaccines, medical devices and medicines.
- The money will be disbursed over five years and is part of the Department of Biotechnology-led National Biopharma Mission.
- The goal is to have 6 to 10 new products in the next five years and in the process create a slew of jobs.
- It was approved by the Cabinet in May 2017 and launched on June 30, 2017.
- NITI Aayog announces the launch of Atal New India Challenges
- The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of the NITI Aayog today announced to launch the Atal New India Challenges, which came into being following Prime Minister’s clarion call to bring innovations and technologies relevant to the people.
- Applicants showing capability, intent, and potential to productize technologies will be awarded grants up to Rs. One crore.
- This grant support will be supplemented by mentoring, handholding,incubatingand other support as neededat various stages of commercialisation. while generatingwider deployment.
- Coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ held in Kerala
- A two-day coastal security exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ was held to strengthen and assess the loopholes in the coastal security mechanism along Kerala shores.
- Apart from the Coast Guard, the Navy, Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement wing and various other security stakeholders were also participating in the exercise.
- Three ships of the navy, 10 of Coastguard, four fishing boats, besides 20 coastal police stations from Vizhinjam to Kasaragod were among those took part in the drill held twice a year.
· Coastal Security Exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ Held In Kerala
- Exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ is being conducted to strengthen and assess the loopholes in the coastal security mechanism along Kerala shores.
- Along with Coastal Police and Marine Enforcement wing, Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy is also participating in Exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’.
- 10 ships of Indian Coast Guard, three ships of the Indian navy, four fishing boats, and 20 coastal police stations from Vizhinjam to Kasaragod are among those taking part in this exercise.
- The Exercise ‘Sagar Kavach’ is held twice a year.
· Railways to eliminate all unmanned level-crossings by March 2020
- Railways said it will eliminate all unmanned level-crossings (UMLCs) by March 31, 2020.
- Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani also said no step the national carrier takes could be completely foolproof against negligence of people and urged them to be careful while crossing tracks.
- The railways has built over bridges and subways for people to cross the tracks — while 1,354 ROB/RUB were built in 2016-2017 and the target is 1600 in 2018-2019.
· Indu Malhotra First Woman Lawyer Appointed As SC Judge
- Senior lawyerIndu Malhotra was sworn in as the judge of the Supreme Court in the presence of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
- The appointment was made by the President Ram Nath Kovind.
- Malhotra has now become the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as a Supreme Court judge.
- In 2007, Mrs Malhotra was only the second woman to be appointed a senior advocate by the apex court, three decades after Leila Seth first made history.