4th December, 2021 Current Affairs
PM Modi inaugurates, lays foundation stone for multiple projects worth around Rs. 18,000 crore in Dehradun
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple projects worth around 18,000 crore rupees in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
- This includes the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor which will be built at a cost of around 8300 crore rupees. It will significantly reduce the travel time from Delhi to Dehradun from six hours to around 2 and a half hours.
- It will have Asia’s largest wildlife elevated corridor of 12 km for unrestricted wildlife movement. The Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor will also have arrangements for rainwater harvesting at intervals of 500 meters and over 400 water recharge points.
- The greenfield alignment project from Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor, connecting Halgoa, Saharanpur to Bhadrabad, Haridwar will be constructed at a cost of over 2000 crore rupees. It will provide seamless connectivity and reduce travel time from Delhi to Haridwar as well.
- The Dehradun - Paonta Sahib (Himachal Pradesh) road project, to be constructed at a cost of around 1700 crore rupees, will reduce travel time and provide seamless connectivity between the two places. It will also boost inter-state tourism.
- A bridge across River Ganga next to the LakshmanJhulawill also be constructed. The world-renowned LakshmanJhula was constructed in 1929, but has now been closed due to decreased load-carrying capacity.
Airports to get facial recognition from 2022
- The air passengers can use a face scan as their boarding pass from 2022. The first airports to roll out the facility are Kolkata, Pune, Varanasi and Vijayawada.
- The NEC Corporation Private Limited has been chosen by the Airport Authority of India to implement the project.
- The details of face recognition data are to be stored in Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem.
- To avail the service, the passenger has to send PNR, pax details and facial biometrics to the Biometric Boarding System of the departing airport through a mobile application. The passenger can also choose not to opt for the service.
- The Facial recognition is to be done using software designed by National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- The project is to be implemented as part of Digi Yatra Policy. This policy is being implemented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Under this, the ministry aims to provide biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports. This helps the passengers to walk through the security scanners swiftly. It removes redundancies and enhances resource utilization.
Three – dose ZyCov – D to be launched in seven states
- ZyCov – D is the second indigenous vaccine next to COVAXIN. The unique feature of ZyCov – D is that it is needle – less vaccine. At first, the ZyCov – D vaccine is to be launched in seven states. They are Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Punjab, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
- The vaccine is to be administered only persons in the age group of 12 to 19 years.
- The ZyCov – D is administered using a needle – free applicator.
- It is a three dose vaccine. It is taken at 28th day and 56th day of the first dose.
- The cost of ZyCov – D is Rs. 376.
- The ZyCov – D showed 66.6% efficacy.
- The vaccine was developed by the Indian Pharmaceutical company called Cadila Healthcare.
India-UAE to conclude negotiations for CEPA from 6th to 10th Dec
- Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal met the representatives of Aluminium, Copper, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Industry in New Delhi as part of the ongoing multi-stakeholder consultations related to the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, CEPA negotiations.
- The third round of India-UAE CEPA negotiations are scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 6th to 10th of this month wherein both sides aim to conclude the negotiations. Mr. Goyal apprised the representatives from the Industry sector about the importance of the CEPA in elevating the overall economic and commercial relations with UAE which in turn will not only benefit bilateral trade but also create new jobs and provide wider social and economic opportunities.
- Providing a way forward on these discussions, Mr. Goyal appreciated the accommodative spirit of the Industry and urged the Industry representatives to continue to support the CEPA negotiations in the same spirit in the wider interests of the nation contributing to the holistic development of multi-sectoral economic value chains in the country.
- The Minister also stressed the potential benefits from the envisaged CEPA agreement for Industries that are labor intensive in nature and also on the numerous complementary spill-over economic benefits, including increased investments, job creation and employment opportunities.Industry representatives were also apprised of the strategic importance of the agreement which encompasses deeper bilateral economic engagement and wider market access.
- The stakeholders expressed gratitude to the Union Commerce Minister for taking into consideration concerns of Indian Industry and providing constructive inputs on this matter with a view to ensure overall balance between market access and domestic sensitivities.
RBI report on State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2021 – 22
- The Reserve Bank of India recently released its report on “State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2021 – 22”. According to the report, the combined debt – to – GDP ratio of states is to remain at 31% till March 2022. This is worrying as the set target was 20%.
- The report says that the finances of municipal corporations and urban local bodies have deteriorated.
- There has been lack of funds from the state governments during the second wave of COVID-19.
- The revenue of 70% of municipal corporations declined.
- 43% of the participants of the survey said that they used grants from the state governments.
- Around 19% reported that they used reserve funds to meet the resource gap.
- 6% of the corporations borrowed from state government
- 2% of the corporations borrowed from banks
- RBI suggests that there is a need to increase financial autonomy of the civic bodies. It is essential to strengthen the governance structure of the civic bodies.
- The State Governments should set up the State Finance Commissions at regular intervals in order to prevent such losses in the future.
India's Ananya Bansal wins Silver at Asia Youth Paralympic Games in Bahrain
- India's Ananya Bansal won the country's first silver medal in shotput in the F-20 category at the Asia Youth Paralympic Games in Manama, Bahrain.
- Ananya Bansal is an athlete with an intellectual impairment. Deepa Malik, the President of the Paralympic Committee of India lauded Ananya for her performance in the showpiece event.