Dedicated Freight Corridor
Why in News
- PM Modi inaugurated Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) and an Operation Control Centre (OCC).
- The Corridor is 351-km section between Khurja and Bhaupur covering Uttar Pradesh.
- EDFC is an 1,839-km project considered as the largest rail infrastructure being built in India and has been in the construction since 2006.
Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC):
- It is a high capacity (goods & Heavy-duty materials, Mineral Ore: Coal etc) and high-speed railway corridor that is exclusively meant for the transportation of freight (goods).
- It basically decongests the passenger lines and set synergy between state PSU and their raw material producing centres.
- DFC consists of two Major Corridor
Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC):
- Starts at Sahnewal (Ludhiana) in Punjab and ends at Dankuni in West Bengal.
- The route has been chosen such that it connects major industrial centres and raw material (Mining centres) enroute.
- The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)
route has coal mines, thermal power plants and industrial cities in enroute states.
- Feeder routes are also being constructed which joins EDFC at Major industrial junctions.
- The EDFC route encompass six northern states Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal
- The major part of funding has been channelized through The World Bank for EDFC.
- The 351-km-long section will decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi main line and will double the speed of freight trains from 25 kmph to 75 kmph.
Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC):
- The other main corridor is the around 1,500-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor WDFC from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Mumbai, touching all major industrial centres and ports in Gujarat along the way.
- The WDFC comprise five states Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
- Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding the WDFC. JICA is japan governmental agency providing bulk of finical assistance to japan infrastructure projects.
- It also helps developing countries in funding Infra projects. Its broader aim is to develop and nurture internal cooperation across countries.
- The industrial corridor of Amritsar-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai are also being developed around both these DFCs to supplement the corridor efficiency and boosting the potential for freight services.
Why these corridors are significant:
- The DFC will reform the transportation sector and will create more capacity on prominent routes of Indian Railwaysas goods trains shall be able to run independently on freight corridors without any blockers imposed by movement of passenger trains (Frequent stoppages to give passage to Express Trains)
- Estimated70% of the freight trains currently running on the Indian Railway network are planned to shift to the freight corridors, leaving the railway network open for more passenger trains and Express Trains.
- Tracks on Freight corridors are designed to carry heavier. The nitty gritty to met business needs like huge go downs, warehouses, Container & Packaging centres will come around these corridors.
- Freight Corridor will levies track access charges from the parent Indian Railways division or Network authority, and also generate its own freight business and Revenue.
- Thus, in long tern the revenue can be used in upgrading and providing quality services to business.
- The new corridor (Section 351km long will) means on the Indian Railway main line (Passenger Lines),more passenger trains can run in and thus in turn, achieve better punctuality and timely services to passengers as well as freight services.
- Logistics costs will be reduced (especially transportation).
- Faster movement of goods (The transportation time for goods will reduce dramatically).
- It is environmentally friendly (Bulk of road transportation will reduce thus in turn the burning of fossil fuel to drive these vehicles will reduce and will bring down CO2 Emissions).
- It will provide ease of doing business promoting investor friendly services.
- Creating employment opportunities for youth.
Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd.
- It’s working under Ministry of Railways is a special purpose vehicle tasked with design, planning and completion of estimated 3600 kms of DFCs.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi
- It’s a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
- It engages in the planning and development, deployment of financial resources, building, management, operationand implementation of the DFCs.
Mission Sagar III: Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kiltan has arrived at Sihanoukville Port, Cambodia as part of ongoing Mission Sagar Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme.
Mission Sagar three is part of India’s HADR assistance to friendly foreign countries during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
- Earlier, the ship carried out a mission to deliver 15 Tons of HADR Stores for the flood affected people of
- Mission Sagar-II: In November 2020,as part of Mission Sagar INS Airavat delivered food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti
- Flagged of in May 2020, ‘Mission Sagar’was India’s proactive step to deliver Covid-19 related assistance and relief materials to the countries in the Indian Ocean Littoral states.
- The countries included were Mauritius, Madagascar, Maldives, Comoros and Seychelles.
- This Mission is being undertaken in accordance with India’s Security And Growth for All in the Region(SAGAR) vision and focusses on India’s position as a dependable partner, and the Indian Navy as the Preferred Security Partner and First Responder.
- Cambodia and Vietnam aremember nations of the ASEAN. Thus, it in turns the mission strengthen the bonds between India and ASEAN Nations.
Security and Growth for All in the Region
- Flagged of in 2015
- It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region(IOR).
- Through SAGAR, India tries to deepen economic and security tieswith its maritime neighbours and assist in building its maritime security capabilities and interoperability.
- Further, India tries to safeguard its own national interests and ensure the Indian Ocean Region to become more inclusive, collaborative and respect international law of Open Seas.
- The key relevance of SAGAR comes from the fact when we see them in collaboration with few other policies targeting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, focus on inclusive and secured maritime business.
Freedom of Religion Bill: Madhya Pradesh
- Tries to regulate inter-faith marriages in the state.
- The bill prohibits religious conversions or an attempt of conversion by means of allurement, threat, undue influence, misrepresentation coercion, marriage, and any other fraudulent means.
- The conspiracy and act of abetting a person for conversion has also been prohibited under the law.
- Forceful conversions and marriages will be a cognizable offence and be non-bailable.
- As we have seen Uttar Pradeshgovernment notified The Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 last month.
- Haryana and Karnataka announced intentions to enact laws on such lines. Then come Madhya Pradesh. Thus, it has become a crucial point, where we are heading as a secular democracy.
- The high handiness and populist measures which though look beneficial to politicians will in long tern damage our image and secular institution in name of securing religion or giving freedom of religion.
- This has made the topic debatable and significant to be looked at.
What critics say?
- These laws have come under sharp criticism from several legal scholars.
- Article 21 of the constitution guarantees individuals the right to marry a person of one’s choice.
- Also, under Article 25, freedom of conscience, the practice and conversion of religion of one’s choice including not following any religion, are also guaranteed.
Supreme Court verdicts on Marriage and Conversion:
SC Court of India in its several judgements has held that the state and the courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner.
Also, HC’s have been giving the judgements on lines of SC.
In Sarala Mudgal cases, SC has confirmed that religious conversions carried out for the sole purpose of deriving some legal benefit do not hold water.
Digital Ocean: Digital Platform
- Digital platform for Ocean Data Management.
- Developed by Ministry of Earth sciences in collaboration with Indian National Centre for Oceanic Information Services (INCOIS).
- It includes a set of applications developed to classify and present heterogeneous oceanographic data by implementing data analysis techniques in geospatial technology.
- It facilitates data visualization in the form of graphs, charts, data analysis to assess the evolution of oceanographic features and phenomena.
- Its centred around data fusion from various sources of ocean information.
Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation
What is Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation?
Established in 2000, Gavi is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private stakeholders together with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and crucial vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
On Board Members:
Gavi brings together developing country and donor governments like developed countries, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry in both industrialised and developing countries, research and technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists. These governments and organisations work under an umbrella to vaccinate the poor and needy countries where the health facilities are shady or not at all available.
- GAVI’s main mission is to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunisation in poor and vulnerable countries.
- It contributes significantly in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by focusing on performance, Implementation and strategizing the policymaking to achieve desired outcomes and results.
- Its partners provide monetary resources for vaccines and intellectual resources for research and implementation of health advancement.
Also contribute in strengthening the capacity of the health system to deliver immunisation and other health services in a sustainable manner and affordable manner.