Uttarakhand government to hire consultant to ‘double’ economy in 5 years
The Uttarakhand government is in the process of engaging US-based consultancy firm McKinsey Global for two years to help it in drafting and implementing policies to double the state’s economy in 5 next years. Talking about the need to rope in the global firm, officials said the state government has set a target to double the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) from Rs 2.73 lakh crore to Rs 5.5 lakh crore by achieving a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15% in the next five years.
In the first six months, the consultancy firm will carry out diagnostic study and in the remaining 1.5 years, it will do the handholding in the implementation of projects.
Besides tourism, the focus areas will be agriculture, horticulture, urban (brownfield and greenfield cities), service sector, infra projects (core as well as social sectors) and new cities.
In Uttarakhand, the government is targeting seven to eight products that have great potential and can prove a game changer in future.
Downgrades Status of Southern White Rhinos
In a major hurdle to Africa’s rhino conservation efforts, CITES COP19 has recently accepted the proposal to downgrade the status of southern white rhinos from Appendix I to Appendix II. The southern white rhino is one of the two subspecies of white rhinos, with the other being the northern white rhino. It is one of the largest and heaviest animals in the world.
A proposal by Namibia and Botswana to transfer the southern white rhinos from Appendix I to Appendix II allows the trade of live animals for conservation purposes and hunting trophies only.
Animals in Appendix II may not necessarily be on the brink of extinction but the trade of such species is regulated to protect their existence.
This amendment is restricted to the downgrading of live animals only for in situ conservation purposes.
India – malaysia joint military exercise harimau shakti – 2022 commences at pulai, kluang, Malaysia
India – Malaysia joint military Exercise “Harimau Shakti -2022” commenced at Pulai, Kluang, Malaysia on 28th November and will culminate on 12th December 22. Exercise HARIMAU SHAKTI is an annual training event between the Indian and Malaysian Army which is being conducted since 2012.
Joint field training exercises, joint combat discussions and joint demonstrations will culminate with a two-day validation exercise, where special emphasis will be on enhancing tactical skills and enhancing inter-operability between the forces and to promote Army to Army relations.
“Exercise HARIMAU SHAKTI” will enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army and the Malaysian Army, which in turn will further foster the bilateral relations between the two nations.
Union Budget 2023-24: 300-400 Vande Bharat trains may be announced in Budget
The government is likely to announce another 300-400 Vande Bharat (VB) trains in the next Budget. The railways is also targetting to manufacture the first “standard gauge” (SG) version of this semi-high-speed train in the next one year, which will pave way for its export to markets in Europe, South America and east Asia by 2025-26.
The announcement of the new VB trains will be in addition to the already announced plan to making 475 such semi high-speed trains operational in the next 3-4 years. Sources said the ultimate aim is to sanction 300-400 such trains annually to meet the growing demand and to provide better riding experience to passengers.
On the plan to improve upon the design of these trains to increase their speed on existing tracks, a railway ministry official said India will get its first set of trains with tilting technology by 2025-26. Nearly 100 VB trains out of the already sanctioned 475 will use this technology, which enables trains to maneuver curves at higher speeds.
ISRO successfully launches its PSLV mission with nine satellites
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Saturday successfully launched nine satellites aboard its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C54 (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, located in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh. This was the 56th PSLV flight of ISRO and the last one for the year.
The launch of the satellites aboard PSLV comes nearly a week after the entry of the private sector into the space industry.
Under ‘Mission Prarambh’, Vikram-S, a small-lift launch vehicle, named in honour of Vikram Sarabhai, the pioneer of India’s space programme, was launched into orbit by Skyroot Aerospace, a private space company.