“Wattan Ko Jano”

This is initiative being carried out by the Ministry of Home Affairs in coordination with the State Government.It sponsors youths from different regions to visit across India with the theme of “Know your Country”.

Recently many youths from Jammu and Kashmir are visiting across India as part of this scheme  , they are in the in the age-group of 15 to 24 and are mostly from militancy-affected families, orphanages, and weaker sections of society.

 Radicalization happens because of misinformation and wrong perception.By this initiative one gets to know the country and  it can be counted as a counter-radicalization strategy.

Stand Up India

“Stand Up India Scheme” to promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and Women entrepreneurs.

  • Provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
  • Creation of a credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company
  • Focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers

Government decides to directly shift from BS-IV to BS-VI Emission norms

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has decided to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms directly by 01.04.2020

What are BS norms?

Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.

The Bharat Stage norms are based on European regulations. In 13 major cities, Bharat Stage IV emission standards were put in place in April 2010. BS-IV norms were supposed to come into effect nationwide from April 2017.

Why the industry is resisting:

There are two major industries which now face problems: first is the oil refineries that will need a substantial investment to upgrade. These upgrades will allow the refineries to supply fuel types that can match the BS-V and BS-VI standards

Second, the automobile manufacturers also need to progress gradually and skipping a step like BS-V might put extra pressure on the manufacturers to produce compliant vehicles.

River Information System of India

Background:- Recently  Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways  inaugurated the River Information System (RIS) System.

The first of its kind in India, the new system will facilitate safe and accurate navigation on National Waterway – 1 on the Ganges River. RIS is being implemented under the overall responsibility of Inland Waterway Authority of India, a statutory body administered by the Ministry of Shipping.

River Information Services (RIS) are combination of modern tracking equipment related hardware and software designed to optimize traffic and transport processes in inland navigation. The system enhances swift electronic data transfer between mobile vessels and shore (Base stations) through advance and real-time exchange of information. RIS aims to streamline the exchange of information between waterway operators and users. This would facilitate:-

• Enhancement of inland navigation safety in ports and rivers.

• Better use of the inland waterways

• Environmental protection

RIS enables achievement of safe and efficient inland water transport by avoiding the following risks:-

i) Ship- to – Ship collisions

ii) Ship – Bridge collisions

iii) Groundings

Ganga Gram Yojana

Background -The central government recently launched Ganga Gram Yojana at a village in Uttar Pradesh.

  • 200 villages are selected for this scheme.The aim is to divert and create alternative drainage and sewage treatment on these river bank villages so as to keep Ganga clean.

Free Basics

Background – The Free basic ( name change from internet.org) is an initiative by Facebook and collaborating Internet service provider (ISP) to allow certain sites/application browsing charges to be made free.Though there exists a multitude of articles, debates and analysis , the issues as the name goes is pretty “Basic”

Is there anything basic about free basic:-

The simplest answer would be NO.However Facebook puts up a very compelling argument saying that ” Internet is basic ” and almost all its statements germinate from the idea of “Right to internet”

Indeed, Internet seems pretty basic in this world which one should have access to.However the collaborating ISPs , especially in India are known to charge exorbitant prices and the bad network coverage/call drops are well known. One would be surprised if a comparison of data charges made between India and developed countries.  Instead of creating a better infrastructure and working towards making data affordable , Facebook and ISPs are trying to provide Freebies , which of course is discriminatory.

One would not be supersized if Facebook puts the argument of “Positive discrimination ” (as in case of our constitution). Anyway , Internet is not basic as we think , at least in a country where millions don’t have access to the real basicsFood, Cloth and Housing.

And , given that India’s potential large user base , it is indeed fascinating for Facebook to come up with this idea.Internet is what it is becasue there exists no discrimination in accessing the Internet space, and it would not remain same if Free Basic goes ahead.

The real need of the hour is to make internet – affordable, available and accessible from any region at anytime.Freebies of this nature can do no good as long as India is concerned.

Here is an article if you like to read :- Click here

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