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  1. Niti Aayog proposed a 15-point action plan ‘Breathe India’ to combat air pollution in ten most polluted cities
  • Niti Aayog has proposed a 15-point action plan to combat air pollution in ten most polluted cities in the country, including Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.
  • The draft action plan titled ‘Breathe India’ includes encouraging electric vehicles, phasing out private diesel vehicle and development of crop residue utilisation policy.
  • The action plan also includes expediting strategic decommissioning of old and inefficient power plants and implementation of a large-scale feebate programme from 2020 onwards.
  • The report also said there is a need to enact strong measures to curb vehicular emissions.
  • It also called for concerted action from all levels of governance, cutting across ministries and departments.

Related Information

  • According to a recent WHO database (2018), Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Varanasi, Agra, Gurgaon, Muzaffarpur, Lucknow and Patna are the top ten most polluted cities in India.

Topic- GS-3- Environment

Source- AIR

  1. Gujarat government gave approval for Rs 39-crore ‘Seema Darshan’ project
  • Gujarat government has given in-principle approval for the 39-crore rupees ‘Seema Darshan’ project.
  • The project is for developing more infrastructure facilities from T-Junction to Zero Point at Nadabet near Suigam in Banaskantha district to instil patriotism through a unique Gujarat initiative for border tourism.
  • The project being developed on Wagah Border pattern, entails an exhibition hall, a parade ground with the amphitheatre for 5,000 people.
  • They decided to send a proposal to the Union Home and Tourism Ministries for financial assistance.
  • The phase-1 of the project worth 22-crore was launched on December 24, 2016.
  • The project demonstrates BSF jawans’ tryst with protecting the border as round-the-clock sentinels.
  • The project will encourage local economic activity in the Rann region, alongside the visit to adjoining flamingo and wild ass sanctuaries.

Topic- GS-2- Schemes

Source- AIR

  1. India’s first private UAV factory to come up in Kota
  • India’s first private sector unit for manufacturing unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and light bulletproof vehicles (LBPV) will be set up by DCM Shriram Industries Group on the campus of Shriram Rayons in Kota.
  • These UAVs and LBPVs are likely to be used by defence and para-military forces in the country.
  • The UAVs will be able to fly to a height of 500 to 2000 km, while LBPVs can operate in difficult terrains and has off-road abilities.

Related Information

  • In April 2018 the Central govt set up a 13-member task force to prepare a roadmap and fast-track the implementation of UAV technology headed by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

Important UAV in India

  • DRDO Abhyas
  • DRDO AURA
  • DRDO Lakshya
  • DRDO Netra
  • DRDO Nishant
  • DRDO Rustom
  • DRDO Ulka
  • Gagan UAV Israeli model
  • Pawan UAV

Rustom

  • The Rustom is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) being developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation for all three services.
  • Rustom is derived from the NAL’s LCRA (Light Canard Research Aircraft) developed by a team under the leadership of late Prof Rustom Damania in the 1980s.

Topic- GS-3- Defence

Source- Hindustan Times

  1. Net Neutrality rules approved by Telecom Commission
  • India’s Internet will be governed by the rules of net neutrality as the Telecom Commission has accepted the recommendations made by regulatory body TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Association of India).
  • The net neutrality rules mean that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot discriminate against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access.
  • India’s acceptance of Net Neutrality is a big victory for the open Internet movement.
  • It also means that zero-rating packages like says a Facebook Free Basics, where certain content is provided for free like access to Facebook, also remain illegal in India.

US and Net Neutrality

  • In the United States, the Net Neutrality rules expired recently after the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted against them in November 2017.
  • In the US, with no Net Neutrality, it is no longer illegal for ISPs to slow, block or offer “paid prioritisation” to some websites as long as they disclose these practices.
  • This reversed the initial pro-Net Neutrality rules from 2015.

What is out of the purview of Net Neutrality?

  • The Telecom Commission has kept some mission-critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars out of the purview of this framework.
  • TRAI in its recommendations had also kept CDN or content delivery networks out of the purview of Net Neutrality.
  • CDNs allow a telecom company to deliver content on their network, without accessing the public internet.
  • In order to access the content provided by them, the user has to be on the respective network.

Topic- GS-3- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Source- Indian Express

  1. Nepal, India to expedite Raxaul-Kathmandu rail project
  • Nepal and India have agreed to seal an agreement for preliminary engineering cum traffic survey for building a rail link that will connect Raxual in Bihar to the Nepalese capital.
  • This agreement was signed weeks after Nepal and China agreed on a feasibility study for a railway line connecting Tibet with the Himalayan nation.
  • Apart from Raxaul-Kathmandu railway line, India has already started building five cross-border railway lines between Nepal and India.

Topic-GS-2- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Source- Indian Express

  1. Satyarup Siddhanta scales world’s highest volcano
  • Satyarup Siddhanta has become the 2nd Indian mountaineer (first- Malli Mastan Babu) to climb the highest volcano in the world, Mt Ojos del Salado.
  • Nevado Ojos del Salado is a stratovolcano in the Andes on the Argentina-Chile border.
  • It is the highest active volcano in the world at 6893 metres.

Topic- GS-1-Indian Geography, Important for PCS Exams

Source- Times of India