- A fourth of Aravali hills in Rajasthan gone forever
- In a starting revelation, Supreme Court appointed central empowered committee(CEC) on Tuesday told the court that 31 out of 128 hills in Aravali region in Rajasthan have vanished in the last 50 years due to massive illegal mining, compelling the court to direct the state to stop illegal mining in a 115.34 hectare area in Aravali hills within 48 hours.
- CEC in its report said that illegal mining was going on in 15 districts in Rajastan and Districts of Alwar, Dungaarpur , Sikar were worst affected. It said that illegal mining was going on 115.34 hectare. It said that the majority of the mining leases in the state are granted in “clusters”.
· IATA expects India to be set as third largest aviation market
- Global aviation bodyInternational Air Transport Association (IATA) said that India will be the third largest aviation market globally a year sooner than was earlier predicted. It is now expected to be among the top three countries by 2024. India currently holds the seventh position.
- In its latest 20-year forecast for the aviation industry, IATA said that air passenger numbers worldwide could double to 2 billionin 2037. IATA added that the other south-east Asian countries predicted to grow rapidly include Indonesia, likely to be the fourth largest by 2030 from its current ranking of the 10th largest aviation market. Thailand, too, is expected to enter the top 10 markets in 2030.
- IATA is a trade association of the world’s airlines.
- It consists of 290 airlines, primarily major carriers, representing 117 countries, the IATA’s member airlines account for carrying approximately 82% of total Available Seat Miles air traffic.
· India and Japan signed a currency swap agreement worth USD 75 billion
- India and Japansigned a currency swap agreement worth$75 billion. The agreement happened during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement aimed at a great friendship between the two countries and to further strengthen the economic cooperation.
- It is expected that the swap arrangement should aid in bringing greater stabilityto foreign exchange and capital markets in India.
A currency swap involves the exchange of interest and sometimes of principal in one currency for the same in another currency
- Interest payments are exchanged at fixed dates through the life of the contract.
· A Rs.700 crore project to clean up courts has been proposed under Swachh Nyayalaya
- In the pre-launch function of the ‘Swachh Nyayalaya’ project, a Rs.700-crore project has been proposed to have clean courts, right from the Supreme Court and the High Courts to the 3,388 lower courts.
- Under the project, construction of toiletsfor both male and female lawyers and litigants, a facility that many courts sorely lack, has been planned. These toilets will be equipped with vending machines that will dispense sanitary napkins, toilet paper, band-aids, etc. Garbage segregation in courts is also being planned. Also, apart from the construction and maintenance of wash-rooms in over 16,000 courtrooms, a mechanism needed to be devised to deal with garbage, and to weed out old case files.
- The Supreme Court of India is set to launch the “Swachh Nyayalaya” project
- It would be undertaken by NITI Aayog and the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation along with the Department of Justice.
· Railways UTS app to book unreserved tickets online to go live from 1 November
- This scheme was introduced 4 years ago. It received a wide response only in Mumbai. Then, it was launched in Delhi-Palwal and Chennai city.
- Railways have already implemented the scheme in 15 of its zones. North East Frontier Railway and West Central Railway are the 2 zones, where it is yet to be implemented.
- This app is also available for buying tickets for traveling a long distance, platform tickets, and monthly passes.
· WhatsApp and CII collaborated to train SMEs, entrepreneurs in India
- Whatsapp partnered with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to train small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs on using the messaging platform.
- The main objective is to help connect and grow the SMe businesses through the social messaging platform.
It consist of on-ground training around the country to explain the features and best practices on the WhatsApp Business app that was launched in January 2018.
- CSIR develops Less Polluting Firecrackers named – SWAS, SAFAL and STAR
- CSIR scientists have developed Less Polluting Firecrackers which are not only environment friendly but 15-20 % cheaper than the conventional ones.
- These crackers have been named as safe water releaser (SWAS), safe minimal aluminium (SAFAL) and safe thermite cracker (STAR).
- Highlighting that the Indian Fireworks industry is over 6000-crore worth of annual turnover and provides employment opportunities to over 5 lakh families directly or indirectly