GM to invest $1 bn in Talegaon by 2020, shuts down Halol plant in Gujarat

World’s second largest automaker General Motors (GM) has announced to invest USD 1 billion (6, 400 crore rupees) in India by 2020 and has decided to close its loss making plant at Halol, Gujarat. This announcement was part of its prior decision to invest over USD 5 billion in global markets like China, India, Brazil and Mexico.

On priority company to make investments to expand capacity of Talegaon Plant in Maharashtra from 1,30,000 to 2,20,000 units per year by 2025.

GM is India’s eighth largest carmaker that forayed in Indian auto market in 1996 and established its first plant at Halol, Gujarat. Second plant was established at Talegaon (Maharashtra) in 2010 and has invested USD 1 billion in India up till now.

GM decided to close its Halol facility by 2016 due to labour unrest and operational losses, which has a manufacturing capacity of 1,10,000 units per year. First labour strike to place in 2010 lasted for 3 days and second in 2011 that lasted for six weeks.

It should be noted that GM chose expansion of Talegaon facility due to its good infrastructure and favourable ecosystem for production and is also aiming to export 30 per cent by 2025.


Union Government, 3 states to start artificial breeding of Great Indian Bustard

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the 3 state governments will soon start an artificial breeding programme of Great Indian Bustard (GIB).

Under this integrated collaborative effort, 3 states viz. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra will take part to boost the population of GIB, one of the critically endangered flying bird species in the world.

The artificially breeding operations of GIBs will begin in 2016 across these 3 states and they will be later released from captivity to semi-captivity after some time of initial operations.

Artificial breeding programme of GIB

  • 1st initiative of the programme: Seek to establish a captive stock of GIB which will lay eggs. It will be followed by hatching of the eggs and then they will become chicks.
  • Later, the chicks will be reared to become adult and will be used to increase population in captivity, before they are being released in semi-captivity.
  • Technical expertise: Regarding the breeding programme, will be provided by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous institution of the MoEFCC.
  • WII will provide expertise in planning, breeding, conserving, hatching of egg of GIB along with scientific information related to the ecology of the species, its functional dynamics, physiology and behavioural aspects.
  • Respective participatory state governments will help in preparing favourable habitat like arid and semi-arid grasslands needed for GIB.

About Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

  • Scientific name: Ardeotis Nigriceps.
  • Appearance: It is 1 metre in height and weighs nearly 15 kilos. It has black crown on the forehead with contrasting pale neck and head.
  • Found in: Once it was found in large number across the grasslands of India and Pakistan, but now it is restricted to small and isolated fragments in three Indian western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Protection Status: Critically Endangered (CR) species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
  • Threat: GIB has been exterminated from almost 90 per cent of their former range even though it has ability to survive in harsh weather conditions. The main reasons are Habitat loss and poaching.


Annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra begins in Puri, Odisha

The annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, largest-ever religious congregation in Odisha has begun at Puri district on 18 July 2015.

This edition of yatra is the Millennium’s first Nabakalebar Rath Yatra meaning all the Lords of Puri Jagannath Temple will get new avatar after nineteen years. Thus, Nabakalebara marks the re-embodiment of deities.

The Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) is 9 day-long event I which congregation of more than 50 lakh devotees from across India and abroad come together. It is celebrated annually to mark the annual visit of Deities Lord Jagannath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra who are taken in their respective chariots.

These deities will be brought out of the temple and will be taken by chariot to Gundicha temple which is place of their aunt’s house and indicates the feminine creative aspect of divinity. They will stay in the Gundicha temple for a week and then return.

During this traditional procession, the chariots carrying these deities will be pulled by thousands of devotees.

While in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Rathyatra of Lord Jagannath began from the 400-year-old Jagannath temple in Jamalpur area. The tradtional ‘Pahind-rituals’ i.e. the symbolic path cleaning on chariot of Lord Jagannath at temple was performed by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.