Railways Current Affairs

New Humsafar Express Flagged Off between Jodhpur and Bandra

Union Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal flagged off a new Humsafar Jodhpur Bandra Express. The train started its journey towards Bandra from Bhagat Ki Kothi Railway station in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur on 2nd June 2018.
Humsafar Express are a completely 3-tier AC sleeper trains which started their operation from December 2016.

  • Special features to be implemented in the train are, LED screen displays, Vending machines, bio- toilets, smoke alarms and CCTVs. Each coach is also planned to have heating chambers and refrigerating boxes to keep the homemade food of the passengers fresh.
  • Adequate arrangements have been made in the trains, including mobile charging points, CCTVs and Bio Toilets.

Railway Minister also highlighted that the current government has successfully doubled the ‘road under-bridges’. He also spoke about the increased investment for Railways from Rs. 682 crores earlier to Rs. 2,911 crores on average.

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India, France ink 14 agreements

India and France singed 14 key agreements in strategic areas of security, nuclear energy, protection of classified information and also in field of education, environment, urban development and railways.

These agreements were signed after extensive bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in New Delhi. French President Macron was in India on four-day official state visit. His visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral economic, political and strategic dimension of engagement between India and France.

Signed Agreement are

  • MoU on cooperation in the field of Environment.
  • MoU on technical cooperation in the field of Railways.
  • India-France Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement.
  • Agreement to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications.
  • Letter of Intent for creation of permanent Indo-French Railways Forum.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development.
  • MoU for co-operation in projects in ISA member countries in areas of solar energy
  • Implementing Arrangement for pre-formulation studies of a Maritime Awareness Mission.
  • Agreement regarding provision of reciprocal logistics support between their Armed Forces.
  • Bilateral Arrangement on cooperation in matter of Hydrography and Maritime Cartography.
  • Agreement regarding exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information
  • Credit Facility Agreement of Euros 100 million for funding of Smart City Projects through a Challenge Process
  • Industrial Way Forward Agreement between NPCL and EDF, France for construction of six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
  • Agreement on Prevention of Illicit Consumption and Reduction of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors and Related Offences.

India-France relations

India and France share close and friendly relation. The relationship is based on shared values and real convergence on a whole range of regional and global issues. Both countries had announced a Strategic Partnership’ in 1998 and since then, relationship has been further strengthened.

Both countries have enhanced and ongoing cooperation in defence, maritime, space, security, and energy-related sectors. They are also increasingly working together on all issues of concern including terrorism, climate change, sustainable growth and development, infrastructure, smart urbanization, S&T cooperation, and youth exchanges.

France is a major supplier of military equipment to India. It was one of few nations that did not condemn India’s nuclear tests in 1998. It was first country with which India entered into agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation in 2008. France is one of largest suppliers of nuclear fuel to India. It also supports India’s bid to become permanent member of UN Security Council (UNSC) as well as G-8.

The bilateral trade between India and France for period April 2016 to March 2017 had reached US$ 10.95 billion. France is 9th largest foreign investor in India with cumulative investment of US $6.09 billion from 2000 to 2017. Close to 1,000 French companies are present in India. About 120 Indian companies have invested in France and employ close to 7,000 people.

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