India Current Affairs 2017

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E-taxi trial run to begin in Nagpur

The country’s first electric taxi trial in the country would be launched in Nagpur from May 24. The first project of its kind will be undertaken by Nagpur Municipal Corporation. Mahindra and Mahindra is set to provide 200 taxis for the initiative.

Government initiatives

Government strives to address tackle increasing pollution in the country by unveiling various schemes. Electric car taxi is one of the ambitious projects and forms as a part of its UNDP millennium goals to tackle pollution. The government is also set to unveil Rs 5,763-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway project to decongest Delhi. After its completion, the road will become India’s first 135 km green road to be lit entirely by solar panels with advanced traffic system. The expressway will pass through Sonipat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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India to host 18th World Road Meeting

The International Road federation (IRF) has named India to be the host of the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017). WRM 2017 will be held on November 13, 2017. The theme of this year’s WRM is ‘Safe Roads and Smart Mobility: The Engines of Economic Growth’. India has been chosen to hold this event to reflect the growing importance of the country as a market for transport infrastructure and services. India’s growing demand for surface transport and mobility requires massive investments in the transport infrastructure. The WRM will provide an important platform for potential investors to partner and participate in the immense opportunities that are made available by the country. In addition, it will also provide a platform for sharing cutting-edge research, best practices and experiences, from around the globe.

The conference is expected to be attended by over 4,000 delegates across the world and will include plenary sessions with eminent and well-known speakers discussing important issues facing mobility sector.

World Road Meeting

The World Road Meeting is the biggest global platform for road engineers, safety and transport experts and companies engaged in road safety products to discuss issues pertaining to road infrastructure and mobility as well as to exhibit and showcase their products. WRM is held once in every four years. WRM is globally an important event for discussing important issues facing the road, transport and mobility sectors.

International Road federation (IRF)

The International Road Federation is a global not-for-profit organization founded in 1948. Its motto is “Better Roads. Better World”. It is headquartered in Washington DC. The IRF organizes seminars, workshops and events and seeks to promote the benefits of a sustainable road transport infrastructure across societies by providing world-class knowledge resources, advocacy services etc. IRF is funded primarily through member fees.

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Somnath Temple, Charminar among new places chosen for Swachh iconic places initiative

The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.

The ten new iconic places that will be undertaken in Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative are: Gangotri, Yamunotri. Mahakaleshwar Temple (Ujjain), Char Minar (Hyderabad), Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi (Goa), Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola, Baijnath Dham (Devghar), Gaya Tirth (Bihar) and Somnath temple in Gujarat.

The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi),  Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra, J&K),  Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).

The aim of this initiative is to make these places intensely clean and transform them as model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience of visitors from India and abroad.

Background

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, a special clean-up initiative will be carried out on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2 October 2014 to make India clean and open defecation free by 2019 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be the coordinating Ministry for this initiative, in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments. So far, under Swachh Bharat Mission, the sanitation coverage has increased to 64% with 1.92 lakh villages becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF).

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