Places in News 2017

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India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake

India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur.

The first of its kind school aims to provide education to drop outs students as well as illiterate adults. Currently it will provide education to around 40 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers.

It was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA). 

Background

The school was established to arrest the sudden high dropout rate of children living in the Champu Khangpok floating villages who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis. More than 700 floating huts were removed by Loktak Development Authority as part of clearing encroachment in the lake under the Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006. It had resulted in displacement of the fishing community and their children who were forced to discontinue their education.

About Loktak lake

  • Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. It is referred as the lifeline of Manipur and plays an important role in the economy of Manipur.
  • The ancient lake is famous for the phumdis (also known as “phumshongs”), the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it.
  • It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation for the local people. It is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman.
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park is one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
  • It was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.
  • It is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds. In recent times human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.

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Bengaluru ranked world’s most dynamic city: JLL Index  

According to recently released Jones Lang LaSalle’s City Momentum Index (CMI), Bengaluru (capital of Karnatak) has emerged as the most dynamic city in the world.

The index tracks the speed of change of a city’s economy and commercial real estate market. It covers 134 major established and emerging business hubs and ranks them on parameters like technology, connectivity, population, education and real estate investments. 

Key Facts
  • Top 10 cities in 2017 CMI: Bengaluru (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Silicon Valley (US), Shanghai (China), Hyderabad (India), London (UK), Austin (US), Hanoi (Vietnam), Boston (US) and Nairobi (Kenya).
  • Most dynamic cities around the world share the ability to embrace technological change, absorb rapid population growth and strengthen global connectivity.
  • Cities in India, China and Vietnam, along with several in the United States head the list of the world’s fastest changing cities.
  • In this edition of CMI, cities from Asia-Pacific region comprise half of the top 30 fastest-changing cities. India has over taken China as home to some of the world’s most dynamic cities.
  • Six Indian cities feature in the CMI Global Top 30 that includes Pune (13th rank), Chennai (17th), Delhi (23rd), Mumbai (25th).

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India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery to be set up in Punjab

The foundation stone of India’s first 2G (Second Generation) Ethanol Bio-refinery was laid at Tarkhanwala village in Bathinda, Punjab.

 Central Government Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is setting up this project at a cost of 600 crore Rupees.

Key Facts
  • HPCL’s bio-refinery will produce 100 kilolitres of ethanol per day i.e. 3.20 crore litres per annum from agricultural residues.
  • It will be sufficient to meet the 26% of the ethanol blending requirement of Punjab. It will also produce about 30,000 tonnes of bio-fertiliser per annum to enhance soil nutrients.
  • It will also produce more than 1 lakh kilograms of Bio-CNG per annum which can cater to transport and clean cooking requirements.
  • It will generate employment for about 1,200-1,300 persons in the biomass supply chain. It will also generate an additional income of approximately 20 crore Rupees per annum for farmers through purchase of their agriculture residues.
  • The project will also significantly help in reducing CO2 emissions from the paddy straw which currently is being burnt after harvesting.
Background

HPCL and other state-run oil firms are planning to set up 12 2G ethanol bio-refineries across 11 states at an estimated cost of 10,000 crore Rupees. These Bio-refineries will be significantly contributing towards the Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) for achieving 10% Ethanol Blending in Petrol from current 5% by producing around 35-40 crore litres of ethanol annually. Read more

About 2nd generation ethanol

2nd generation ethanol is a fuel that can be manufactured from various types of biomass. Whereas 1st generation ethanol is made from the sugars and vegetable oils found in arable crops, which can be easily extracted using conventional technology. In comparison, 2nd generation ethanol is made from lignocellulosic biomass or woody crops, agricultural residues or waste, which makes it harder to extract the required fuel using conventional technology.

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