- Gujarat drafting seaplane tourism policy
- The Gujarat government has hit the drawing board to draft a policy promoting seaplane tourism in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had caused a buzz about seaplanes when he used one to fly from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi dam near Ambaji in December 2017, on the last day of campaigning for the 2017 assembly polls. The government has appointed a consultant to identify sites for possible seaplane tourism.
- A source privy to the development said, “After the response to the PM’s flight by seaplane from the Sabarmati riverfront to Dharoi dam, the possibility of a new tourism avenue has opened up. The government of India has also proposed a scheme in the Union budget, under which we expect incentives.”
- There are several likely sites like the Sabarmati riverfront, Dharoi dam, the Sardar Sarovar dam, Somnath, Bet-Dwarka, Saputara, Gandhinagar, Aji dam (Rajkot), Mandvi (Kutch) and a few places in South Gujarat where seaplane services can be started. With amphibious planes we see huge growth potential. It is more cost-effective than regular planes as as airports or land and other infrastructure are not needed. Only a small jetty like structure is needed to fly and land. The government has allocated Rs 1 crore for preparatory work. After a contract is signed, the government may need to spent Rs 6 to 7 crore a year as VGF subsidy. There is massive scope for development as a tourist attraction.
- India ranks 81 in global corruption perception index
- The 2017 corruption perception index, released by anti-graft watchdog Transparency International, has ranked India at 81 among 180 countries and territories.
- India’s score in 2017 is 40 — the same as 2016, and an increase since 2015, when it was 38.
- The index says New Zealand and Denmark are the least corrupt countries, while Syria, Sudan and Somalia figure are ranked the most corrupt.
- Among BRICS nations, South Africa has been ranked the least corrupt (71), while Russia (135) is the most corrupt.
- India signs MoU with Canada’s International Development Research Centre
- A Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of India and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), to usher the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges, was signed on 22 February, 2018.
- Since 1972, IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs.
- During the last five years (2012-17), 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million were funded by the IDRC in India.
· India offers $1 million aid to Tonga
- India contributed $1 million aid Tonga for rehabilitation efforts after the island was hit by Tropical Cyclone Gita which had caused massive destruction.
- Tonga was recently hit by worst Tropical Cyclone Gita. US’s National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had reported it Category 4 cyclone.
- Wind gusts of the cyclone with intensity between 225 and 279 km/hr had destroyed nation’s parliament and affected about 70% island’s population. Tongatapu.
- The fund is managed by UNOSSC.
- The fund prioritizes projects reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, education, and equality.
- It mainly focuses on transformational sustainable development projects in the least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States.
· India to host first International Solar Alliance summit
- India is going to host first International Solar Alliance (ISA)summit in March 2018 in New Delhi.
- It will be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by leaders from over 50 member countries.
- It will include French President Emmanuel Macron, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid. During the summit, two new programmes — on scaling solar e-mobility.
- Projects worth nearly Rs. 4,000 crore approved in 9th executive committee meeting of NMCG
- In the 9th Executive Committee meeting of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), projects worth nearly Rs 4,000 crore were approved including a 20 MLD Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for tannery cluster at Jajmau in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
- This 3-phased project at an estimated cost of Rs. 629 crore includes pre-treatment unit in 380 individual tannery units, a 20 CETP with physical, biological and tertiary treatment, installation of Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD)-based pilot plant of 200 KLD capacity among other components.
- The central share of this project is Rs. 472 crore.
- This is a major step forward in arresting the pollution in Ganga emanating from the crucial industrial town of Kanpur.
- The project will be executed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – Jajmau Tannery Effluent Treatment Association.
- India 7th Most Targeted Nation for Web Application Attacks
- Nearly 40 percent of over 53,000 cyber-attacks in India occurred in the financial services sector during 2017, placing it at the seventh spot in the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA), a new report said.
- Security incidents like phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and ransomware targeted the rapidly growing of the Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector in India.
- The report, titled “Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017,” also stated that the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack frequency in the BFSI sector increased by 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
· Union Minister Nitin Gadkari pitches for innovation to develop sustainable management of water resources
- It is necessary to study advanced technology and adopt them for the betterment of our country Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkariwhile addressing the 37th Annual General Meeting of the National Institute of Hydrology Society.
- Union Minister Nitin Gadkari called on research organizations to innovate in the area of water conservation and sustainable management of water resources.
- He has stressed upon the need to study advanced technologies and procedures like cloud bursting and water accounting being used in other parts of the world, and adopt those that are feasible for our country.
- The Minister further said that a lot of people and organizations are doing very good work in this field, and we need to network them on a single platform.
- Many departments are doing the same kind of work to achieve the same objective, but there is a lack of proper coordination and information sharing among them.
- Taking note of this Minister Gadkari suggested that a website should be created for sharing available resources, information and best practices available in different parts of the country.
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