1. Vice President Inaugurated Smart City Expo India 2018
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the creation of pedestrian non-motorized zones is the need of the hour curb traffic congestions.
- He was addressing the inaugural session of the Smart City Expo India 2018, in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Near about 6000 delegates from MNC’s of different countries, researchers, CEO’s of different Smart cities, Mayors and corporates are participating in the expo.
- The object of this three days long expo is to have discussions among different experts and groups to utilize benefits of new technology, town planning, capacity management, challenges before socio-economic development and development of networking in the Smart City sector.
2. Cabinet approved National Digital Communications Policy-2018
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.
- These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.
- The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and Communications needs of citizens and enterprises by the establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable Digital Communications Infrastructure and Services.
- The key objectives of the policy are provisioning of Broadband for all; creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017; propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017; enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and ensuring Digital Sovereignty.
3. Finance Ministry Launched Mobile Application “ Jan Dhan Darshak”
Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre have jointly developed a mobile app called Jan Dhan Darshak as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative.
- While over 5 lakh FI touch points (Bank branches, ATMs, Post Offices) have been mapped on this App, approx. 1.35 lakh Bank Mitras would be on-boarded by 01.12.2018.
- As the name suggests, this app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.
4. Cabinet cleared a proposal to convert GSTN into govt entity
The Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to convert GST Network (GSTN), which provides IT infrastructure for the new indirect tax regime, into a 100 percent government-owned company.
- Currently, the Centre and states together hold 49 percent stake in the GST Network.
- Briefing about the decisions taken in the Cabinet meeting, the finance minister said after the restructuring of GSTN, ownership will be equally divided between the Centre and states.
Shares for each state will be worked on a pro-rata basis.
- The remaining 51 percent is held by five private financial institutions — HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co, and LIC Housing Finance Ltd.
5. Researchers announce that the worlds biggest bird was Vorombe titan
A study released by the British scientists suggested that one species of elephant bird with a specimen weighing an estimated 860 Kg, about the same as a fully grown giraffe.
- Scientists suggest that they couldn’t have definitely flown as they couldn’t have supported anywhere near their weight.
- By examining the bones, it is found that the elephant bird bones are found around the world. The data collected were thus fed into a machine-learned algorithm to create a spread of expected animal sizes. The bird was named Vorombe titan, Malagasy for “big bird”. It would have stood at least three meters, i.e,10 feet tall, and had an average weight of 650 kg.
6. Supreme Court scrapped Section 497 IPC, says ‘Adultery not a crime’
The Supreme Court on September 27 unanimously struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that makes adultery a punishable offense for men.
- The petition seeking the repeal of Section 497 IPC was filed by a non-resident Keralite – Joseph Shine.
- A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the 158-year-old law was unconstitutional and fell foul of Article 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and Article 14 (Right to equality).
7. Three jailed Saudi human rights activists awarded ‘Alternative Nobel’
The Right Livelihood Award – known as the ‘Alternative Nobel’ – has been given to three jailed Saudi human rights defenders and two Latin American anti-corruption crusaders.
The laureates are:
- Abdullah al-Hamid, Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani and Waleed Abu al-Khair from Saudi Arabia;
- Thelma Aldana of Guatemala, and
- Ivan Velasquez from Colombia.
8. Japan became world’s first to land rovers MINERVA-II1 on asteroid Ryugu
Japan became the world’s first country to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. This is the first time that the world will observe the surface of an asteroid via moving robots.
- Ryugu is a blackish colored, diamond-shaped asteroid. It rotates on its axis once every 7.5 hours.
- MINERVA-II1 separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, is a 3.3 kg compact rover consisting of two cookie-tin shaped rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B, which are now operating on the asteroid surface.
9. Modi was awarded Champions of the Earth award
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded the United Nation’s highest environmental honor ‘Champions of the Earth’ for his leadership of the band pledge to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. Six of the world’s most outstanding environmental changemakers were awarded the honor.
- The award identifies the combination of bold, innovative and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues of the times.
- Cochin International Airport was honored with the award for Entrepreneurial Vision, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.
Six Laureates Champions of the Earth:
1. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India – Policy leadership
2. Cochin International Airport, World’s first solar power airport – Entrepreneurial vision
3. Emmanuel Macron, President of France – Policy Leadership
4. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat (together) – Science and Innovation
5. Joan Carling, Environment and indigenous rights defender – Lifetime achievement
6. Zhejiang, Zhejiang’s Green Rural Revival Programme – Inspiration and action
10. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Inaugurated Smart City Expo India-2018 in Jaipur
Vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated Smart City Expo India-2018 in Jaipur Wednesday. Addressing the inaugural function, Mr. Naidu said that state govt. is doing well for linking of rivers. He stressed the need for water harvesting.
- Near about 6000 delegates from MNC’s of different countries, researchers, CEOs of different Smart cities, Mayors and corporates are participating in the expo.
- The main of the expo is to have discussions among different experts and groups to utilize benefits of new technology, town planning, capacity management, challenges before socio-economic development and development of networking in the Smart City sector.