· Polythene ban remains largely ineffective in State
ð Despite directions from the High Court on more than one occasion, followed by repeated instructions from the Chief Minister, the ban on polythene in the State has remained largely ineffective. The authorities concerned have failed to strictly enforce the ban on polythene and polystyrene disposables even in the provisional State capital Dehradun.
ð Observers opine that the authorities have so far not taken effective measures seriously to enforce the polythene ban.
ð One of the main chemicals used to produce plastics is bisphenol A, or BPA, an endocrine disruptor that is prevalent in a vast number of widely used products.
· India bagged 3 more gold medals in the Para Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia
- India won three more goldon the third day of competitions at the Para Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. India maintains its eighth spot.
- Ekta Bhyanin women’s F32/51 club throw event and Narayan Thakur in men’s T35 100m dash clinched gold. Manish Narwal, Indian para-shooter, bagged gold in the men’s SH1 10m air pistol event. So far, India has won 6 gold, 9 silver and 13 bronze medals in the Para Asian Games 2018.
- Microsoft and Niti Aayog partner to deploy AI solution
- The country’s premier think tank Niti Aayog and Microsoft India have signed a partnership to deploy artificial intelligence based solutions across various sectors such as agriculture and healthcare.
- Microsoft India will support Niti Aayog by combining the cloud, AI, research and its vertical expertise for new initiatives and solutions across several core areas including agriculture and healthcare and the environment.
- Microsoft will also accelerate the use of AI for the development and adoption of local language computing.
· Malaysia to scrap death penalty
- Malaysia’s Cabinethas decided to abolish the death penalty which was welcomed by rights advocates. There are more than 1,200 people on death row set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment. The move comes after the opposition of the public.
- Executions are currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging. Once the death penalty is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences abroad.
· Website for Aero India 2019 launched by Minister of Defence
- The portal facilitated payment of registration fee online for business visitors.
- Furthermore, it has been integrated with multi-currency Payment Gateway where Indian companies would be able to pay in Indian Rupees using Credit Card/Debit Card/Net Banking/UPI/NEFT/RTGS and foreign companies would be able to pay in US dollars using credit card/debit card.
· Shimla’s name may be changed to Shyamala
- The Himachal Pradesh government is considering renaming state capital Shimla to Shyamala, following a demand made by right-wing Hindu groups as part of efforts to remove “symbols of British rule”.
- The demand for changing Shimla’s name gained momentum after the Uttar Pradesh government renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj.
- The summer capital of India under the British from 1864 to Independence, and landmarks associated with the British.
· Railways to have pressurised water filling mechanism
- Railways is investing ₹500 crore for pressurised water filling system across a network of about 8,500 stations to improve punctuality. This will be the first time that Indian Railway is overhauling the way it fills water in trains.
- The pressurised water system will quickly fill the water and the train can continue its journey after a brief halt.
- Almost 30% of trains ran late in financial year 2017-18, the railways’ worst performance in three years.
- Apart from that, the Indian Railways is undergoing a phase of upgrades and renewal of tracks. Data shows that the number of train accidents fell to two-digit figures for the first time in 35 years in the previous fiscal.
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