- Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line to be functional by 2024-25
- The 125 kilometres long Rishikesh-Karnprayag railway line comprising 12 stations, 17 tunnels and 35 bridges constructed at a cost of Rs 16,216 crore will start operating by 2024-25.
- The New Rishikesh-Devprayag rail line will become functional by 2023-24 and the Devprayag-Karnprayag stretch of the rail line will become functional by 2024-25. As part of the project, the Indian Railways will also construct a hospital at Srikot, a bridge and stadium.
- A 327.11 kilometre long rail line has been recommended for facilitating rail connectivity to the Char Dham shrines in Uttarakhand. The estimated cost for this would be about Rs 43,292 crore. The railway board has approved about Rs 120 crore in the current financial year for final location survey for this proposed rail connectivity.
- It should be mentioned here that the Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail project is being monitored as a project of national importance through the PRAGATI portal. The transfer of required forest and state government land for the project has been done while the acquisition of 167 hectare land in the four districts is in the final stage. About Rs 900 crore will be spent on the project in 2018, Rs 1050 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 2200 crore in 2020.
· Nobel Prize 2018: Nobel Prize In Physics Goes To Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou And Donna Strickland
- Nobel Medicine or Physiology Prize awarded to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”.
- This is for the first time that no Literature Prize will be given in 70 years because of a #MeToo scandal.
· India, Vietnam hold joint drill in Bay of Bengal
- The Indian Coast Guard conducted its maiden joint exercise with the Vietnam Coast Guard in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Chennai.
- The exercise — Sahyag HOP TAC-2018 — was aimed at enabling the Coast Guard units of the two countries to acquaint themselves with each other’s capabilities, strengthening the working-level relationship to rescue lives at sea and refining joint operation procedures
- Apple world’s top brand, Facebook slips to 9th spot
- Apple displaced Google to become the top brand in the world in 2018 while Facebook, mired in data breach controversies, fell to ninth place in the top 100 brands globally.
- According to global brand consultancy Interbrand’s “Best 100 Global Brands 2018” report, Amazon achieved a 56 per cent growth to become the third top brand globally.
- According to the ranking, Apple’s brand value grew 16 per cent (year-on-year) to $214.5 billion.
- It went on to become the first company in the US to hit the $1 trillion market cap.
· Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated World Peace monument
- Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the world’s largest dome at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology(MIT)’s World Peace University (MIT-WPU)campus at Loni Kalbhor. It was inaugurated to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The ‘World Peace Monument’ dome took nearly 13 years to be built. The monument is of 160 ft. in diameter and 263 ft tall. It is larger in area than the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
- The dome is built atop the MIT World Peace Library and the World Peace Prayer Hall, which are named after the 13th century poet-saint and philosopher Dnyaneshwar, a pivotal figure of the Bhakti movement in Maharashtra. Each of the 24 massive columns in the dome stands 63 feet tall. The prayer hall can accommodate 3,500 people and is embellished with portraits of more than 50 accomplished men globally.
- Round-shaped stamps on Gandhi
- In a first, India Post will issue a miniature sheet with seven round-shaped stamps on Mahatma Gandhi on Tuesday in connection with his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
- The seven stamps, of denominations ₹5, ₹12, ₹20, ₹22, ₹41, and two stamps of ₹25, will be released along with seven sheetlets of 20 stamps each.
- The face value of a set of seven round-shaped stamps is ₹150.
- As many as 5 lakh miniature sheets have been printed for sale in the country and abroad.
- Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018
- Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave awards to top Ranked State, District and State with maximum citizen participation based on the National Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 commissioned by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- Top 3 States-1) Haryana, 2) Gujarat 3) Maharashtra
- Top 3 Districts 1) Satara, Maharashtra 2) Rewari, Haryana 3) Pedapalli, Telangana
- States with maximum citizen participation 1) Uttar Pradesh 2) Gujarat 3) Maharashtra
- Districts with maximum citizens’ participation 1) Nashik, Maharashtra 2) Solapur, Maharashtra 3) Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.
· VAT rates on fuel has been reduced in 12 States
- Last month, Rajasthan had cut its state VAT on diesel and petrol by Rs.2.5 per litre, while Karnataka and Andhra Pradeshboth had cut their VAT rates by Rs.2 per litre. West Bengal and Kerala had cut their VAT rates on petrol and diesel by Rs.1 per litre in September and May, respectively. Karnataka and Kerala refused to cut rates further following day’s development.
- So far, the Modi’s government has raised the excise duty on diesel by Rs.14 and petrol by Rs.9 per litre. The Centre had hikedexcise duty by 10 and reduced it by only Rs. 2.50.
- An exciseor excise tax is any duty on manufactured goods which is levied at the moment of manufacture, rather than at sale.
- Excises are typically imposed in addition to an indirect tax such as a sales tax or value-added tax (VAT).
- The liability to pay tax excise duty is always on the manufacturer or producer of goods.
- Excise taxes are most often levied upon cigarettes, alcohol, gasoline and gambling.
- The term “excisable goods” means the goods which are specified in theFirst Schedule and the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, as being subject to a duty of excise and includes salt.