Places in News Current Affairs - 2019

Places in news and current affairs for preparation of the Geography papers and map locations for UPSC Civil Services and State related examinations of 2019.

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Govt. opens up 137 Himalayan Peaks to foreign mountaineers and trekkers

It is an historic step towards promoting adventure tourism in the country, Government of India has allowed access to 137 mountain peaks to foreigners desirous of obtaining Mountaineering Visa (‘MX’) for mountaineering and trekking. These peaks are located in States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

In recently concluded National Tourism Conference, New Delhi, in which Tourism Ministers from States/UTs participated, the Tourism Minister emphasized on utilizing the adventure tourism potential in Indian economy and the need for ensuring safety of those travellers going for adventure tourism.

Key Highlights

Out of 137 Mountain peaks, the highest number of 51 peaks have been opened to foreigners in Uttarakhand and 15 peaks of Jammu and Kashmir have also been included in list.

Current Scenario: Until now the foreigners have to seek permission from Defence Ministry and Home Ministry to climb these peaks. Now with government opening them up, foreigners can now directly apply to Indian Mountaineering Foundation for permits. This decision comes following a proposal from tourism ministry to Home Ministry for opening up mountaineering and trekking in all Himalayan states.

Rule to be followed:

Home ministry has clarified that for carrying satellite phones the expedition teams have to take prior permissions from department of telecommunication and all information gathered during journey have to be shared with locals formations.

The expedition team is not allowed to take any photos of any installations without consent and also will have to limit itself to approved routes.

Way Ahead

States must exercise utmost caution while registering adventure tourism operators and should ensure that Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines 2018 are followed by States. The Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines 2018 cover land, air and water-based activities including mountaineering, trekking, paragliding, bungee jumping, river rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling and many other sports.

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2nd UDAY Express to run between Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada

Indian Railways’ 2nd UDAY (Utkrisht Double Decker Air Conditioned Yatri) Express will run between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to cater to busy route in East Coast Railway zone (ECoR), one of 18 railway zones of Indian Railways. The 1st double-decker UDAY Express started service between Coimbatore and Bangalore in June 2018. Another Uday Express is proposed between Bangalore City and Chennai Central.

About UDAY Express

It is a specially-designed double decker air conditioned train with chair car coaches which is primarily allocated to routes with heavy passenger traffic. It is equipped with WiFi facility, have striking interiors, cushioned seating, and display screens.

2nd Uday Express:

Train consists of 9 double-decker coaches and 2 power cars.

This new UDAY Express will boast several modern features such as cushioned seating, LED screen in pantry-cum-dining area for entertainment of passengers, automatic food and beverages vending machine, smoke detection alarm system, modular bio-toilets among others.

Passenger Capacity– It will have a carrying capacity of 50 passengers on upper deck, 48 on lower deck and 22 on ends.

Coaches: Out of 8 coaches, 3 coaches will have dining facilities with a seating capacity of 104 passengers each and other 5 coaches will be without dining area with seating capacity of 120 passengers.

Schedule: Departure time of train number 22701 Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada Uday Express from Visakhapatnam is 05:45 am and it will reach Vijayawada at 11:15 am. On its return journey, train number 22702 will leave Vijayawada at 5:30 pm and reach Visakhapatnam at 10:55 pm.

Train Stoppages between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada: Duvvada, Anakapalle, Tuni, Samarlakota, Rajamahendravaram, and Eluru.

Date of introduction of train has not been decide yet.

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