India Current Affairs 2017

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Railways to launch Operation Swarn to revamp Rajdhani, Shatabdi Trains 

Concerned over the complaints received from the public over the premium trains of Indian Railways like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express, Railways have decided to launch “Operation Swarn (‘gold’)“. The operation is aimed at improving the services in these premium trains. The Railways have decided to launch this operation after it received complaints from passengers regarding the sanitation, food quality and delay in train arrivals etc.

Salient Highlights

Under the operation, in the first phase, Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express will be upgraded. More trains will be identified for upgradation in a phased manner

Under the initiative, Indian Railways will work towards improving 10 aspects, namely, punctuality, cleanliness, linen, coach interiors, toilets, catering, staff behaviour, security, entertainment, housekeeping and regular feedback.Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping.

Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping.

Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.

Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.

The upgraded trains will also have improved coach interiors, better furnishing and new comfortable seats.

In future, these premium trains will also be upgraded with services like Wi-Fi, infotainment screens, coffee vending machines etc.

Premium Trains

Among the premium trains in India Rajdhani and Shatabdi are the well known. They are transporting people who were able to afford more fare for a somewhat luxurious travel. But after years of service, these trains have begun to lose their sheen.

In May 2017, first high-speed premium train Tejas Express between Mumbai and Karnali in Goa was launched. The train has a lot of facilities like LCD screen on every seat, improved interiors, coffee vending machines, automatic doors, fire repression system, bio-vacuum toilets, attendant call buttons, reading LED lights and free Wi-Fi connectivity.

The railways have also launched a new series of fully air-conditioned express trains like Humsafar, Mahamana and Gatimaan for overnight travel. The Humsafar Express has features like CCTV cameras, coffee vending machines, fire and smoke detection systems, new interiors with comfortable seats. The Mahamana Express has ladders for climbing to upper berths, snack tables for side berths, windows with powered Venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights as berth indicators, LED reading lights, fire extinguishers and electrically operated chimney in the pantry car, among others.

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Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 Launched

Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines has launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). This updated version of the Code prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.

Salient Highlights

The Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017) has been developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with technical support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.

The code provides present as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to cut down building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth.

The code sets clear criteria for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design through the inclusion of passive design strategies.

ECBC 2017 aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants. The code aims to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

Apart from the current and futuristic advancements in building technology, the new code takes into account market changes, and energy demand scenario of the country. The code has been set in such a way that it will set a benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally.

To be ECBC-compliant, the new buildings should be able to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%. Energy savings of 35% and 50% will enable the buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status respectively.

The adoption of ECBC 2017 is expected to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030 which will translate into energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030. It will result in expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and reduction of 250 million tonnes of CO2.

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Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga” Launched

Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan has launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”. The Mobile App has been developed by Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology on the occasion of International  Yoga Day 2017. The aim of the app is to popularise Yoga and encourage people to practice yoga for a scientifically healthy living.

In 2015, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) had also launched a research programme “Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM)” under its Cognitive Science Research Initiative (CSRI).

Salient Highlights

Celebrating Yoga App provides a platform to share information and create awareness into the participation of yoga events on the occasion of the International Yoga Day 2017.

The mobile app will help in capturing mass yoga events being organised in public places, schools and office complexes across the country.

The app will be connected with Google Map where shared information can be viewed by the app users.The information gathered by the mobile app will be shared with the  Ministry of AYUSH to complement their efforts.

The information gathered by the mobile app will be shared with the  Ministry of AYUSH to complement its efforts.

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