Places in News 2017

Akodara becomes India’s first Digital Village

Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the coveted tag of becoming India’s first digital village.

The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses a various cashless system for payments of goods and services. All transactions in the village are carried out through digital modes like SMS, net-banking or debit cards.

Key Facts

  • The village was adopted by ICICI Bank under its Digital Village Project in 2015 and made cashless by adopting digital technology.
  • The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence.
  • All households in village have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch. The bank has provided training to villagers to embrace digital technology to reduce dependence on cash.
  • The village has almost 100% financial rate and all mobile banking is done in Hindi, English and Gujarati languages. It also has its own official website.
  • The villagers’ most important transactions selling agri-produce at the local market or mandi or selling milk at the co-operative society have been made cashless.
  • It has primary, secondary and higher secondary schools equipped with smart boards, computers and tablets.
  • It can be said that this village has become prime example of how e-banking can be practically implemented in Indian villages without much difficulty to make India cashless economy.

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India’s longest expressway inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh

India’s longest expressway connecting Agra and Lucknow was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Bangarmau in Unnao district of UP.

It has been built by the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in a record time of 23 months.

Key Facts

  • The Agra-Lucknow Expressway is six-lane greenfield expressway having total length of 302-km. It has a design speed of up to 120 kms per hour.
  • It starts from Agra and passes through Firozabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kannauj, Hardoi, Unnao, Kanpur to reach Lucknow.
  • It passes through four National Highways, two state highways and five rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Sai, Isan, and Kalyani.
  • The expressway will help cut down the time between Agra and Lucknow to just 3.5 hours, from the current 7 hours.
  • Moreover, it is expected to reduce the road travel time between Delhi and Lucknow to anywhere between 5 to 6 hours.
  • The expressway has 2 km dedicated stretch built for fighter jets to land and take-off in times of “war-like emergencies”. The six-lane expressway also can be expanded to 8-lane
  • It also has State-of-the-art Advance Traffic management System for safe & secure transit and reducing road accidents and helping even at the time of fog.
  • The entire Expressway is lined with metal beam crash barrier on both sides and wire fencing for safe & secure transit.

Note

During the inauguration ceremony, six fighter jets (Three Mirage 2000s and three Sukhois) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) touched down on a stretch of the expressway in simulated landings. This was the first time that IAF fighterjets took part in the inauguration of an expressway as part of Union Government’s plan to increasingly use highways as landing and take-off strips. In May 2015 an IAF Mirage 2000 had landed on the Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh making it India’s first road runway.

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