Rajya Sabha Current Affairs - 2020

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Indian Railways conducting trials of Tri-Netra technology

Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal during Question Hour informed Rajya Sabha members that Indian Railways is conducting TRI-NETRA (Terrain Imaging for Drivers Infrared, Enhanced, Optical & Radar Assisted) technology for detecting obstructions on tracks.

Key Highlights

Background: First in 2002-03 India Railways has developed a modern technology and tried it extensively but it was found to be not successful. So the project was aborted and subsequently another technology of Fog-past devices for seeing in fog was developed. Thus, TRI-NETRA system is another attempt by Indian Railways to develop modern technology.

Trial & Test: Indian Railways is conducting extensive trials of Tri-Netra technology so as to be sure that it is perfect in detecting any obstruction on tracks during fog. Therefore without proper testing it cannot be implemented as it does not give Railways the confidence to implement technology.

About TRI-NETRA

TRI-NETRA is abbreviation for Terrain Imaging for Drivers Infrared, Enhanced, Optical & Radar Assisted system.

It comprises of infrared camera, optical camera and radar assisted imaging system for assisting loco pilots in identifying obstructions on tracks, mainly in foggy conditions.

This device is making an attempt during fog via ultrasonic waves by help of which it will be able to detect any obstruction on tracks.

The field trials being undertaken is for proof of concept and its testing on all parameters will be done after its procurement.

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Government to launch Universal Smart Card Driving License

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to modify the format of driving licenses to smart card type driving licences so as to follow a standardised format nationwide.

Key Highlights

Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highways Minister in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, notified that MoRTH has prescribed a common standard format and design of Driving Licence for Pan India.

Need: Around 30% of Indians drive with fake or bogus licenses. Police reports in just of Delhi NCR region suggests that, cases of underage driving have jumped to 589% and in 1st 15 days of January 2019, 61 unpermitted juvenile cases were registered and issued with challans. A report from Nissan India and road safety NGO SaveLIFE Foundation highlighted worrying part of underage driving. Thus, ministry’s move to this new format is expected to help curb this situation to some extent.

Proposed Changes: MoRTH seeks to modify current format of driving licenses to laminated card without chip or smart card type driving licences and which will include nationwide standardised format of placement of information, standardization of fonts etc.

For this purpose, RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) should issue a uniform format of driving licenses across nation using a universal smart card driving license format.

Implementation: The desired changes to Pan India Licence format will be implemented through MoRTH’s flagship application called SARATHI (for Driving License).

About SARATHI

The application is developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre).

It has a common countrywide database of all driving license holders, with almost 15 crore driving license records being available in its central repository, which is a part of National Registry.

No Duplication: SARATHI has a unique feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and can also access information about challans if any, this then facilitates licencing authority that offender drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.

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