Tripura – Bangladesh ‘Maitre Setu’
By providing access to the Chittagong seaport, the Rs.128.69 crores project of Maitre Setu connects South Tripura with Ramgarh of Bangladesh, is all set to be opened in a few months. Its construction was started in 2017 but due to COVID-19 pandemic it got delayed.
- The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) has taken over the bridge, the safety standards of the work will be rechecked by the project execution authority.
- After the confirmation of schedule from the Prime Ministers of India Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hassina the bridge will be dedicated to the nation.
- 1.9 Km long Feni Bridge (also called as Maitree Setu) is built over Feni River.
Benefits of Maitri Setu:
– Currently, Haldia port covering road distance of 600Km to 1200 Km is the only sea trade access point of North-eastern states but after Maitri Setu is built, it will reduce this distance from 75Km to 600Km for all North-eastern States.
-Also, by making Tripura as a trade hub, it will open up new opportunities of development for the Southeast Asian countries.
Other Projects in the state of Tripura:
– A 12.03-km long new broad gauge railway line is being constructed by the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) from Agartala (Tripura) to Akhaura in Bangladesh.
-Soon a new airport in Agartala with all international amenities will be initiated.
– Development of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Sabroom, Tripura will be there.
Regional Forum to Conserve Wildlife Habitats: Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) will be co-chaired by India
A regional forum to conserve wildlife habitats, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) to be co-chaired by India for three years. India will assist other Asian countries in this tenure to manage their protected areas.
- South Korea which held this position for three years till November, 2020 will be replaced by India. In particular, IUCN Asia leads the APAP and it is co-chaired by an APAP country member.
- After successfully increasing the population of wild animals such as tigers, leopards & lions through protecting their habitats, India got this golden opportunity.
In 2014, APAP was formally launched at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia. It is a platform that enables collaboration to help governments and other stakeholders for more effective management of protected areas (PA).
- Members: 21 from 17 countries.
- 17 Member Countries are – Thailand, Laos, Maldives, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Japan, China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Mongolia.
India’s Success Story:
– In 4 years the number of Leopards grew by 62%. It was 7,910 in 2014 and in 2018 it increased to 12,852.
-The highest number of Leopards are found in Madhya Pradesh which is 3,421, followed by Karnataka at 1,783 and Maharashtra at 1,690.
– In 12 years, the tiger population also doubled from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,967 in 2018.
– 75% of the tiger’s global population is found in India.
-An increase of 29% was also noted in the population of Asiatic Lions, living in Gujarat Gir Forest in India, in the past five years from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020.
-Also there is an increase in the number of other species such as snow leopard, Indian Gangetic Dolphin and Great Indian Bustard.
Prime Minister lays foundation stone of 6 light house projects; PMAY (Urban) Awards-2019 Conferred
- On January 1, 2021, the foundation of six Light House Projects (LHPs) was laid down virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Rajkot (Gujarat), Agartala (Tripura), Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
- Using six distinct technologies these will be developed as a part of the Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC- India) initiative, and under this initiative 1,000 houses at each location are to be constructed in a year (12 months).
iii. GHTC- Aimed to adopt innovative technologies in the housing construction sector.
- The PM gave away annual “Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Awards-2019” for excellence in six categories for the implementation of PMAY-U.
About Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA):
Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) – Hardeep Singh Puri.
About Light House Projects:
– At such a large scale for the first time in the country, the best use of new-age alternate global technologies, processes and materials in the construction sector will be showcased in the LHPs.
-These houses will be more economical, sustainable, durable and of high quality in comparison to the conventional brick and mortar construction.
Technologies to be used:
- Indore: Prefabricated sandwich panel system technology would be used.
- Rajkot: Tunnelling, monolithic concrete construction system from France.
- Chennai: From the USA & Finland Precast concrete technology will be used in Chennai.
- Ranchi: From Germany 3-D technology.
- Agartala: For constructing earthquake resistant houses Steel-frame technology would be used.
- Lucknow: Pre-constructed wall technology from Canada.
List of Schemes under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs – Smart Cities Mission, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Urban Transport, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
COVISHIELD gets go ahead from Expert panel
The COVIDSHIELD vaccine was sent for approval by the Drugs Controller General of India by expert panel on January 2, 2021. The COVAXIN was recommended by the committee for restricted use in an emergency situation subject to multiple regulatory conditions. The central drugs standard control organisation operated Subject Expert Committee.
New covid-19 strain that was first reported in UK is being cultured by ICMR
The new coronavirus strain that was first reported in the UK has been successfully cultured by the Indian Council of Medical Research on January 2, 2021, announced the council.
Human Rights cell will now be led by new Major General
A new Human Rights cell headed by major General of India was created by the Indian Army recently. For greater transparency and probity in the functioning of Indian Army in disturbed areas such as north east and Jammu and Kashmir the cell has been created. General Gautam Chauhan has taken charge as the first additional director general Human Rights at the army headquarters in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi laid down the foundation stone of the permanent campus of IIM Sambalpur in Odisha, on 2nd January, 2021.
Legal age of smoking
The age of shopkeepers selling cigarettes and tobacco products will be increase from 18 years to 21 years, according to a bill recently proposed by the Government of India.