Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

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Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel acquires ‘Image Trademark’ 

Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace hotel has acquired an ‘image trademark‘ under the Trademark Act of 1999, making it is the first building in the country to acquire intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. Henceforth, the image of Taj Mahal Palace hotel’s dome and exterior can be used only with the consent of Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris.

The hotel which was opened on December 16, 1903, has a distinctive red-tiled Florentine Gothic dome and sits 240 feet above the street level. The dome for a long time has been used by the Indian Navy as a `triangulation point’ which guides its vessels to the harbour. The architects of the dome have modelled it on the dome of the Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus).

The Taj Mahal Palace hotel has hosted many celebrities like Neil Armstrong, John Lennon and Barack Obama.

The other trademarked properties around the world include Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Trademark Act of 1999

The Trade Marks Act of 1999‘ replaced the ‘The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act of 1958‘ as the current governing law relating to registered trademarks. The Act deals with the precise nature of rights one can acquire in respect of trademarks.

Henceforth, as the Taj Mahal Palace hotel has acquired image trademark, no one can use the Taj Mahal Palace’s images for commercial purposes without paying the company a licensing fee. Violators are liable to be prosecuted. However, the locals and tourists can click pictures of the iconic building as long as they do not use it for commercial benefits.

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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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India ratifies UN TIR Convention in a bid to Counter China’s OBOR

India has become the 71st nation to join the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention. India’s decision to join the convention is part of its multi-modal transport strategy that aims at integrating Indian economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.

In March 2017, Union Cabinet had approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under TIR Convention. The UN has confirmed that the TIR Convention will enter into force in India in 6 months.

TIR

The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under Cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention) is an international customs transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) with the widest geographical coverage. It is more than a transport convention. At present, there are 70 parties to the convention including the European Union.

The TIR is managed and developed by International Road Transport Union (IRU) which is the world road transport organisation. The TIR procedure facilitates movement of goods under customs control across international borders without the payment of the duties and taxes. It provides a robust guarantee mechanism facilitating the higher growth of Intra-regional trade.

Significance

Accession to TIR will help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement which it has already entered into this year.

With China’s ambitious ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) project, India has no other option other than to join TIR if it wants to be counted as a serious rising power. China is already a TIR member.

Accession to TIR will ensure enhanced security in the supply chain as it allows only approved transporters and vehicles to operate under the terms of the Convention.

The Indian traders will get access to fast, reliable and hassle-free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means.

It will improve India’s cross-border road transport. On the eastern front, it will help in integrating with Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. On the western front, it will help in transporting cargo along the International North-South Transport Corridor via Chabahar port in Iran. Further, it will give access to landlocked Afghanistan and the energy-rich Eurasian region.

It can help in implementing the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement by addressing policy incompatibility issues among the BBIN nations.

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