United States Of America Current Affairs - 2019

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Smart City Indicator Survey

The Ireland-based Johnson Controls Building Technologies and Solutions has released its report for the second annual smart city indicator survey. The survey tracks key drivers, organisational barriers, technology trends, and the status of smart city solution implementations around the world. The survey queried over 330 city leaders.

The survey was conducted in 20 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, France and the United States, besides India.

Findings about India

  • The survey reports that about four per cent of buildings in India are “green” but a lack of technical expertise to execute projects and funding to pay for improvements is the biggest barriers to investment in India.

Green Building

Green building refers to both a structure and the application of processes which are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition

  • India even though a slow starter is catching up. About 46 per cent of the organisations surveyed in India are willing to pay a premium to lease space in a green building.
  • India is on track to be consistent with the global average of 14 per cent.

The survey notes that cities are increasingly looking to implement applications that will improve sustainability and the environment while creating jobs, improving public safety and reducing costs.

The Survey also enumerated some of the key drivers in energy investments like greenhouse gas footprint reduction, increasing energy security and increasing building resilience.

Navy Drill of Iran Velayat 97

Iran will hold a three-day navy drill Velayat 97 in a vast area of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean including a sensitive global shipping route.

Features of the Velayat 97

  • The three-day navy drill would be held in the waters of Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and the north of the Indian Ocean, covering 2 million square kilometres.
  • The navy drill Velayat 97 aims to evaluate the navy’s equipment, practice launching weapons and enable the troops to gain readiness for a real battle.
  • The three-day drill will showcase Iran’s submarines, warships, helicopters and drones, according to the admiral.
  • The drill also includes missile launches from the vessels.

Will Velayat 97 further heighten the tensions?

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital international transit route. American forces routinely pass this route and it has earlier witnessed some tense encounters between American and Iranian forces.

Iran’s show of military might through Velayat 97 comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran’s main regional rival Saudi Arabia and with the United States of America which last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.