North East Current Affairs

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CCEA approves North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved North East Road Network Connectivity Project (NERNCP) Phase I for development of 403 kms of National Highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram.

Out of total 403 km, approximately 351 km will be in developed in Mizoram and 52 km in Meghalaya. The project will be executed in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) Mode.

Key Facts
  • The implementation of projects will start from the financial year 2017-18. The civil works are expected to be completed by 2021 and maintenance works by 2025.
  • The projects will encourage sub-regional socio-economic development by improving infrastructure in Mizoram and Meghalaya. It will also enhance connectivity with inter-state roads and International Borders.
  • The work for development of two lane standards under the scheme NERNCP Phase I will be financially supported by loan assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Background

The existing carriageway of all the stretches in Meghalaya and Mizoram are varying between Single lane to Intermediate lane. The condition of the pavement is also very poor and at some locations which is not in traffic worthy condition. In addition, these stretches also are in poor condition in the landslides areas/sinking zone. The development and updation of these stretches to the two lane will improve their standards and improve connectivity.

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Union Government revises North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has revised North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIP), 2007.

The revision of policy stipulates mandatory disbursal of subsidies payable to all industrial units in northeast through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism by Chief Controller of Accounts (Industry).

Key Facts
  • Industrial units which had commenced production on or after December 1, 2014 and on or before March 31, 2017 will be eligible for incentives as per the revised norms of subsidy.
  • It will also include existing units which go in for substantial expansion and commence commercial production on or before March 2017.
  • For this purpose, the industrial units need to get themselves registered on the e-payment portal by providing required bank details.
  • The subsidy for the existing and new industrial units going for substantial expansion will be limited Rs 3 crore per industrial unit operating in services sector and Rs 5 crore per industrial unit operating in manufacturing sector.
  • The limit for automatic approval of subsidy at the rate of 30% of the investment in plant and machinery will continue to be upto Rs 1.5 crore per unit.
  • In case for grant of capital investment subsidy higher than Rs 1.5 crore and upto a maximum of Rs 5 crore will be approved by empowered committee chaired by Secretary, DIPP.

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ISRO drones help to map disasters in north-east

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is using drones to map disasters in north-eastern States by collecting land details and add it to data from remote sensing satellites.

In this regard, ISRO’s Shillong-based North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) has tested unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to map various problems and disasters.

Key facts

  • NE-SAC has taken the initiative for design and assembling of UAVs for various applications to assess several regional problems in the northeast region.
  • UAVs can perform efficient surveys for disaster-prone or physically inaccessible areas. It can undertake quick damage assessment of floods, landslides and earthquakes and enable timely relief measures.
  • These drones providing ground-based details which are generally combined with data from ISRO’s remote sensing satellites.
  • Recently they were used for to map the area affected by landslides along NH40, Meghalaya’s life line. It also gave the extent of damage caused to pest-infested paddy fields in Naramari village of Assam.

About North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC)

  • NE-SAC is a joint initiative of Department of Space (DoS) and North Eastern Council. It was started in the year 2000. It is located at Umiam (near Shillong), Meghalaya.
  • It aims to provide developmental support to the North Eastern region using Space technology-based communication and technology.
  • Its mandate is to develop high technology infrastructure support to enable NE states to adopt space technology for their development.
  • NE-SAC provides developmental support by undertaking specific application projects using remote sensing, satellite communication, GIS and conducts space science research.

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