Status-cum-Progress Report of “Special Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers”
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the progress report of Special Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers.
• The Status Report consists of substantial progress made in three priority links - Ken-Betwa Link, Damanganga-Pinjal Link and Para-Tapi-Narmada Link.
• It also gives status of other Himalayan and Peninsular links identified as per National Perspective Plan of 1980.
Baba Kalyani heads group to study SEZ Policy
• The Union Government has constituted a group of eminent persons headed by Baba Kalyani, Chairman of Bharat Forge to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy of India.
• The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the SEZ policy WTO compatible.
• The Group is required to submit its recommendation in 3 Months’ time.
Heli-taxis between Shimla-Chandigarh launched
• Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur flagged off a helicopter taxi service that will reduce the travel time between Shimla and Chandigarh to 20 minutes.
• The service is operated by Pawan Hans and can accommodate 19 persons.
• It will cost Rs 2999 per person.
India among top 5 countries in e-waste generation
• India is among the top five e-waste generating countries in the world besides China, the US, Japan and Germany, according to a report released by Assocham and NEC.
• Among states, Maharashtra contributes the largest e-waste of 19.8 percent but recycles only about 47810 tonne per annum (TPA).
• Tamil Nadu generated 13 percent e-waste and recycled about 52427 TPA.
India’s forest cover stood at 21.34 percent in 2015
• India’s forest cover stood at 21.34 percent in 2015, an increase of 1.29 percent from 2009, as per the Status of Environment Report India 2015 that was released by Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan.
• Mizoram has the highest forest cover among the states and Union territories in the country with 89 percent.
• Assam’s forest cover at 35 percent was the lowest.
India, US, Japan to begin naval war game
• India, the US and Japan will hold the Malabar naval exercise from next week off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea.
• It will deepen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region where China has been expanding its military footprint.
• Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
Agro-Processing Financial Institution as NBFC for food processing sector
• Food Processing Ministry will soon create the Agro-Processing Financial Institution which will exclusively fund food processing projects.
• The Agro-Processing Financial Institution will be a non-banking financial institution.
• This NBFC in food sector will create capacity building in the field of risk assessment and ease lending to food processing sector.
Centre to start measuring green GDP of States
• The government will begin a five-year exercise to compute district-level data of the country’s environmental wealth.
• The results of this study will eventually be used to calculate every State’s ‘green’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
• The metric will help in calculating compensation to be paid during land acquisition, calculation of funds required for climate mitigation, and so on.
Copper-Bronze age chariots discovered
• The “first ever” physical evidence of chariots dating from 2000 BC – 1800 BC has been found by the Archeological Survey of India.
• It was found during a trial excavation in Sanauli village near Baghpat.
• The findings will open up further research opportunities into the area’s civilisation and culture.