- Action plan for five cities in state on track: Govt report
Even as experts called for regional emission inventory of air pollution sources for quick response and development of localised graded response action plan (GRAP) to fight the rising pollution, Rajasthan’s action plan for control of air pollution in five “non-attainment” cities is on track.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 102 “non-attainment” cities in India, including Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota and Udaipur in Rajasthan, where the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are violated.
An attainment area is a politically or geographically defined region that is in compliance with the NAAQS, as set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The plan includes action by various departments such as the traffic police, the transport department, the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) and the local self-government (LSG) department.
Under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), launched in January this year to reduce air pollution by at least 20% in next five years, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) made guidelines on April 24 this year. This called for setting up of three committees, two at the state level and one at the level of districts.
The three committees include a state-level steering committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary, a state-level monitoring committee under the chairmanship of principal secretary of the environment department, and district implementation committees under district collectors of five non-attainment cities.
AQI under 50 is considered good, between 51 and 100 is satisfactory, between 101 and 200 is moderate, between 201 and 300 is poor, between 301 and 400 is very poor, between 401 and 500 is severe and more than 500 is considered to be an air emergency.
The major pollutants in Jaipur are PM 2.5 (ultrafine particles of the size 2.5 microns or less) and PM 10. PM 2.5 concentrations over 250 micrograms per cubic metre and PM 10 concentrations more than 430 micrograms per cubic metre for 48 hours is considered bad for air.
- 1st-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise – Dustlik-2019 begins
The first-ever India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise – Dustlik-2019 will begin at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov presided over the Curtain Raiser of the military drill.
The exercise, which will focus on counter-terrorism, will continue till November 13.
During the exercise, an Indian Army contingent will train along with Uzbekistan Army.
India and Uzbekistan have signed three Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of Military Medicine and Military Education.
● The US, Bangladesh Navy exercise began in Chattogram
A naval exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2019 between the US and Bangladesh, began in Chattogram, Bangladesh, on 4 November 2019. It was announced by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing of Bangladesh armed forces. The exercise is provided with different subject-based training and exercise.
Exercise CARAT aims to provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the operational activities of the US and Bangladesh navies of the two countries. The main objective of the naval exercise is to get acquainted with advanced technology through various theoretical and practical training.
Exercise CARAT is bilateral military exercises conducted by the United States Pacific Fleet every year with ASEAN member countries. Currently, the navies of Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand participated.
The exercise aims to enhance regional cooperation, friendships, and professional skills among the countries. In 2010, Cambodia and Bangladesh became the first participants to join the exercise.
- Finance Minister launches IT initiatives ICEDASH, ATITHI for improved customs clearance
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled two new IT Initiatives – ICEDASH and ATITHI for improved monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods and facilitating arriving international passengers.
ICEDASH is an Ease of Doing Business monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports.
The ATITHI app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.
● Mergers and acquisitions in India to remain stable
Baker McKenzie reported that in 2019, India is expected to see mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals of over $52.1 billion. Baker McKenzie released its fifth annual Global Transactions Forecast 2020. It was published jointly with Oxford Economics.
Despite various global issues, the mergers and acquisitions in India are expected to remain stable in the next few years, with private investments that will revive the backdrop of a more favorable business environment.
The reports said India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow by 7% through 2019-2022, whereas the global GDP average growth rate will be 2.8% for the same period.
● Centre, IBM to launch the Skills Build platform
Centre is to launch the Skills Build platform in collaboration with IBM. It was announced by the Directorate General of Training (DGT), which functions under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
This initiative by the Centre is aimed to help the youth to scale themselves as per the changing market trends. The government is planning to use technology effectively to benefit the public and to bring innovation in welfare schemes. The Skills Build platform initiative is a part of IBM’s global commitment that aims to create a job workforce and to build the next generation of skills needed for new collar careers.
Under the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking, and cloud computing will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs). The was co-created and designed by IBM.
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