Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has released reorganized “Drone Rules, 2021” for public consultation.
Draft rules were built on premise of trust, self-certification and non-intrusive monitoring.
It will replace UAS Rules 2021 that was released on 12th March 2021.
Draft Drone Rules 2021
As per new rules, there will be minimal human interface on digital sky platform and most permissions will be self-generated.
It will also notify safety features such as ‘No Permission – No Take-off’ (NPNT), real-time tracking beacon, geo-fencing etc. in future.
Under the rules, import of drones & drone components will be regulated by Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
All drone training and testing will be carried out by an authorised drone school.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation will prescribe training requirements, look after drone schools and provide pilot licences online.
Standard operating procedures (SOP) and training procedure manuals (TPM) will be provided by DGCA on digital sky platform for self-monitoring by users.
Operating drones with no unique identification number will not be allowed unless it is exempted. Drone operators are required generate a unique identification number of drones by providing requisite details on digital sky platform.
Three zones in airspace map
Drone Rules 2021 provides for an interactive airspace map with green, yellow, and red zones. These zones will be displayed on digital sky platform. Yellow zone has been reduced to 12 km from 45 km from nearby airport perimeter. In green zones, no flight permission is required up to 400 feet and up to 200 feet in area between 8 to 12 km from airport perimeter.
Digital sky platform
This initiative was started by MoCA to provide a secure & a scalable platform to support drone technology frameworks like NPNT. It was designed to enable flight permission digitally and managing unmanned aircraft operations & traffic efficiently.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the third long duration hot test of liquid fuel powered, Vikas Engine.
With this testing, ISRO has moved further for its first human space mission Gaganyaan.
Third long duration hot test of liquid propellant Vikas Engine was conducted for core L110 liquid stage (engine) of human rated Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV Mk III).
This test was a part of engine qualification requirements for Gaganyaan Programme.
Engine was fired for 240 seconds at engine test facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
ISRO have planned to fly two human rated unmanned GSLV-Mk III rockets before sending Indian astronauts in third rocket.
Gaganyaan Mission is planned by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Under the mission three flights will be sent into orbit. It will comprise of two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight. Gaganyaan system module called Orbital Module will carry three Indian astronauts, including a woman. Spaceflight will move around the Earth for 5 to 7 days at low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from Earth.
Payloads of Mission
The payload of the mission comprises of-
Crew module, which will carry human beings.
Service module, which will be powered by two liquid propellant engines. It will comprise of emergency escape and emergency mission abort.
How it will be launched?
Gaganyaan mission will be launched through a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle called GSLV Mk III or LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) because it has necessary payload capability.
How astronauts will be Trained?
Human Space Flight Centre of ISRO and Russian government-owned Glavkosmos signed a deal in June 2019 to provide Russian support in selection of candidates, their medical examination and space training.
Delhi government has partnered with tech giant Google to launch a system to enable commuters to access real-time information about buses.
Google will be providing real time information including arrival time, departure time and their routes.
Deal was inked between Google & Delhi Transport Ministry to provide such information.
Under the deal, Users will get an estimation of how long their trip is going to take and if their bus is delayed.
Google Transit will automatically update times in line with new conditions.
Currently, status of 3,000 buses is live and more DTC buses will be integrated soon.
Significance of the move
This deal will provide seamless, real-time information about public transport.
People will be able to plan their journeys to minute and cute waiting time. It will also reduce crowding at bus stops.
It will also encourage several transit apps to tap into open data portal of transport department which in turn will create innovative solutions to make Delhi’s public transport system a default choice for everyone.
How this project will work?
Once the project is implemented, static & dynamic location data of Delhi buses will be available in real-time. Passenger will get information of all the routes, bus stops, bus arrival & departure times and bus numbers. Delay time will also be updated.
Delhi government had published Open Transit Data in 2018 with technical support of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. Open transit data was published to provide real-time data such as geo-coordinates of all bus stops, route maps, timetables and real-time GPS feeds of bus locations. These data could be used by third-party app developers and researchers.
European Union’s executive branch released new legislation to meet its pledge of cutting emissions of gases causing global warming by 55% this decade.
About “Fit for 55” legislation
EU’s ‘fit for 55’ legislation includes a controversial plan to tax foreign companies for pollution caused by them.
Legislation also provides for de-facto phasing out of gasoline and diesel cars by 2035.
It comprises of new levies on gases from heating buildings.
It also involves a revamp of bloc’s emissions trading program. Under this programme, companies pay for carbon dioxide they emit.
Taxes on shipping and aviation fuels was also introduced for the first time.
It also provided for a “Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.” This plan imposes duties on foreign companies that in turn will increase price of certain goods like steel, aluminium, concrete and fertilizer.
Endorsement of legislation
Legislation provided that, most of the proposals were built on existing laws and are designed to meet EU’s old goal of 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels. It must be endorsed by 27 member countries and EU lawmakers.
Aim of the legislation
‘Fit for 55’ legislation was released by EU with the aim of freeing the continent from fossil fuels and take better care of environment by policy design as opposed to being forced into desperate measures at future climatic tipping point.
Paris Climate Deal
EU’s legislation was released in line with the Paris Climate deal. World leaders had agreed six years ago in Paris to make efforts towards keeping global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, ideally no more than 1.5 degrees C by the end of century.
Social Climate Fund
EU also proposing for creation of “social climate fund” worth several billion euros. This fund will be used to help those who might be hardest hit and support income & investments to tackle energy poverty. It will also cut bills for vulnerable households and small businesses.
Central Government has directed all states and Union Territories to ask police stations under their jurisdiction to withdraw FIRs registered under Section 66 of Information Technology Act, 2000.
Government also directed not to register cases under repealed Section 66A.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also asked states and UTs to sensitise law enforcement agencies for compliance of order issued by Supreme Court on March 24, 2015.
What is section 66A of IT Act?
Section 66A of IT Act provided for punishment of a maximum of three years in jail and a fine to a person accused of sending “offensive” messages using computer or any other communication device like mobile phone or tablet. This section was used to punish online communications which are considered “offensive & menacing and false to cause annoyance, inconvenience, insult, danger, injury, hatred, criminal intimidation or ill will.”
When did SC Struck this provision?
SC had struck down section 66A on March 24, 2015 after noting it as “vague and arbitrary”. It was dubbed as “draconian” because it allowed arrest of several innocent persons. It was declared unconstitutional in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India case on March 24, 2015.
Recent plea in SC
Recently, SC issued notice to central government while hearing plea filed by PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties). Plea mentioned that even after 7 years of law being struck down, 745 cases are pending and active before district courts in 11 states in which accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of IT Act. Plea was filed after data collated by Internet Freedom Foundation, which was tracking cases under “Zombie provisions”. As per data, even after of March 2015, around 1307 cases were registered under it. Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, informed in Supreme court that statute books still carry Section 66A of IT Act even though it was declared unconstitutional.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on July 15, 2021 on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day 2021 and 6th anniversary of Skill India Mission.
In his address, Prime Minister highlighted “Skill development of youth of new generation is a national need and a huge foundation for self-reliant India”.
According to PM, under Skill India Mission, 1.25 crore youth have been trained till date.
Programmes to be launched for skill development
PM announced about 75 newly approved JSS (Jan Shikshan Sansthan) and portal for JSS, which would help in providing vocational skill training at a minimum cost.
An agreement will be signed between Jan Shikshan Sansthan and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
Blended learning courses would also be announced by releasing a booklet keeping in mind the youth of the country.
Syllabus of 57 industry new courses will be started by Directorate General of Training (DGT). Toppers will be honored from DGT academic session 2018-20.
Another MoU will be signed between National Council of Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) and DigiLocker.
About Skill India Mission
Skill India Mission initiative was launched by Government to train over 40 crore Indians in different jobs related to industry. Under this mission, government seeks to create an empowered workforce by 2022 with the help of several schemes and training courses.
Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS)
Jan Shikshan Sansthans were launched with the aim of providing vocational training to non-literates, neo-literates and school dropouts in rural areas. Vocational training will be provided by identifying skills which might be relevant to market in that region. They were launched with the objective of uplifting rural population economically by providing skills training and enabling local trades to grow & create new opportunities.
India, during SCO meeting in Dushanbe, has called on members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to act against terrorism and terror financing.
Meeting was dominated by deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
Meeting was attended by representatives from countries having observer status with SCO and SCO members.
External affairs minister of India, S Jaishankar, raised these issues when he joined his counterparts from SCO states.
Three prominent issues discussed by members were Afghanistan, public health and economic recovery. Apart from that, issues of combating terrorism & extremism were raised. These issues are key purpose of SCO.
India sought to stop terror financing and deter digital facilitation.
It also urged the need of early universal vaccination against Covid-19.
Indian minister also spoke on reformed multilateralism.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
SCO, also dubbed as Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic & security alliance. Announcement for creating SCO was made on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai, China. This proposal was put forward by leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Which charter led to creation of SCO?
Shanghai Cooperation Organization Charter was signed in June 2002 that formally established the organization. SCO entered into force on September 19, 2003.
Original five members of SCO; China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; were previously members of Shanghai Five group that was founded in April 1996. Since then, organization has expanded its membership to eight states. Newest members of SCO are India and Pakistan. Both the countries joined as full members on June 9, 2017 at Astana summit of SCO.
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Russia on cooperation in coking Coal. Coking coal is used for Steel making. MoU was signed between Ministry of Steel (India) and Ministry of Energy (Russia).
Benefits of MoU
MoU will benefit entire steel sector by reducing their input cost.
It will reduce cost of steel and promote equity & inclusiveness.
An institutional mechanism for co-operation in coking coal sector will also be provided by MoU.
Objective of MoU
MoU was signed with the objectives of strengthening cooperation between India and Russia in steel sector. The activities involved in cooperation aims to diversify source of coking coal.
What is Coking Coal?
Coking coal, also known as Metallurgical coal, is a grade of coal which can be used to produce good-quality coke. Coke is an essential fuel and reactant in the process of blast furnace for primary steelmaking. Demand for coking coal is highly coupled to demand for steel. Primary steelmaking companies also comprises of division producing coal for coking in order to ensure a stable and low-cost supply.
Where does it come from?
Coking coal comes mainly from Canada, United States, and Australia.
Characteristics of Coking coal
This coal has low content of ash, moisture, sulphur and phosphorus. It is usually ranked as bituminous. Such coal produces strong, low-density coke when it is heated under low-oxygen environment. Strength and density of coke are particularly important while using it in blast furnace because coke supports part of ore and flux burden inside furnace. Coking coal is different than thermal coal because thermal coal does not produce coke when heated.
Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (India) and Ministry of Health (Denmark) on Cooperation in areas of Health and Medicine.
Benefits of MoU
Bilateral MoU will encourage cooperation between both the ministries by joint initiatives and technology development in health sector and strengthen bilateral ties of India and Denmark.
It will also encourage cooperation through joint initiatives and development of research in health sector.
MoU will facilitate for improving public health status of people in both the countries.
India- Denmark relations
Both the countries have set up a diplomatic relation by establishing Denmark’s embassy in New Delhi and India’s embassy in Copenhagen. Relation between both the countries are cordial and friendly. It is based on cooperation in the fields of politics, economics, academic and research. Both the countries hold periodic high-level visits.
Foundation for a friendly relationship between India & Denmark was laid by Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He visited Denmark in 1957 after India’s independence in 1947.
Bottlenecks of relation
Government of India decided to scale down its diplomatic ties with Denmark in 2012 after Denmark refused to appeal in their Supreme Court against decision by its lower court of rejecting extradition of prime accused of Purulia arms drop case, Kim Davy.
Danish Colony in India
Tranquebar was a Danish Colony in India from 1620 to 1845. Tranquebar is a town in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was sold, along with the other Danish settlements in India, to Great Britain in 1845. Nicobar Islands were also colonized by Denmark and were sold to British in 1868.
Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved continuation of National AYUSH Mission (NAM).
NAM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme that has been extended from 01-04-2021 to 31-03-2026.
Total financial implication will be of Rs. 4607.30 crore. Rs 3,000 crore will be Central Share and Rs. 1607.30 will be State Share.
This scheme was launched on September 15, 2014.
About National AYUSH Mission
National AYUSH mission is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. It is being implemented by Ministry of AYUSH. It was launched with following objectives:
To provide cost effective AYUSH Services,
To provide a universal access by upgrading AYUSH Hospitals & Dispensaries,
To co-locate AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) & District Hospitals (DHs)
To strengthen institutional capacity at State level by upgrading AYUSH educational institutions
To set up of up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital,
To implement AYUSH Public Health programmes and
To operationalize 12,500 AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres in order to provide services of holistic wellness model.
Significance of the mission
This scheme is addressing the gaps in health services by supporting efforts of State or UT Governments to provide AYUSH health services or education across India. Under the scheme, special focus is given on specific needs of far-flung areas in order to allocate higher resources in their Annual Plans.
Benefits of AYUSH Mission
It provides a better access to AYUSH healthcare services by increased healthcare facilities. With this scheme, there is a better availability of medicines & trained manpower.
It also improves AYUSH education by enhancing the number of well-equipped AYUSH Educational institutions.
It focuses on reducing communicable and non-communicable diseases by targeted public health programmes.
Union minister for commerce, consumer affairs and food & textiles, Piyush Goyal, is set to replace Thaawar Chand Gehlot as leader of House in Rajya Sabha.
This replacement signals the induction of younger leader for a role which is usually handled by veterans.
Piyush Goyal was deputy leader when Gehlot was leader of the house.
Thaawar Chand Gehlot has been now appointed as governor of Karnataka.
Before becoming a minister in 2014, Goyal was BJP treasurer. He was also engaged in poll management activities.
Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha
Leader of House is the “leader and parliamentary chairperson” of majority party in Rajya Sabha. Leader is usually either a cabinet minister or another nominated minister. Leader of the House organizes government meetings and business in House.
Is it a constitutional post?
No. Office of leader of the House is not enshrined in constitution. It is provided under Rules of Rajya Sabha.
Rajya Sabha or Council of States
It is the upper house of bicameral Parliament of India. It has a maximum membership of 245 as of 2021. Out of 245, 233 members are elected by legislatures of states and union territories by single transferable votes through Open Ballot. 12 members are nominated by President for their contributions in the fields of art, science, literature and social services. Maximum seating capacity of Rajya Sabha is 250 in which 238 can be elected and 12 are nominated. Article 80 of Constitution provides that, members sit for staggered terms lasting six years. Elections are held every year with about a third of 233 designates up for election every two years.
Parliament of Pakistan has passed a bill to criminalise torture and prevent custodial killings by police or other government officials on July 12, 2021.
This bill was adopted by Senate which is the upper house of bicameral parliament.
It was moved by Pakistan Peoples’ Party Senator Sherry Rehman and was supported by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.
Torture & Custodial Death (Prevention & Punishment) Bill, 2021
As per this bill, public servant involved in torture will face up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs. 2 million.
If a public servant, charged with duty of preventing torture, either intentionally or negligently fails to prevent it, he or she will be imprisoned up to five and will be imposed a fine of up to Rs. 1 million.
Whoever commits, abets or conspires to commit offence of custodial death or custodial sexual violence, will be punished with imprisonment for life and a fine of up to Rs. 3 million.
If a public servant, charged with the duty of preventing custodial death and custodial sexual violence, intentionally or negligently fails to do so, he or she will be imprisoned for seven years with a fine of up to Rs. 1 million.
No one would be taken into custody to “extract information regarding whereabouts of a person accused of any offence or to extract evidence.
Women would be taken into custody by a female official.
Provision with respect to fine
As per bill, fine will be paid to victim or their legal heirs. If fine is not paid, public servant will face additional imprisonment of up to three years & five years
Adani Group led by Gautam Adani has completed the takeover of ‘Mumbai International Airport’ from GVK group.
With this takeover, Adani group has become the top company in terms of airport infrastructure companies in India.
India is going to become world’s third largest aviation market by 2024.
addition of Mumbai International Airport to Adani Group’s existing portfolio of six airports will provides a transformational aviation platform will allow Adani Group to interlink its B2B [business-to-business] and B2C [business-to-consumer] business.
It will also help Adani group to create several strategic adjacencies its other B2B businesses.
Adani Airport Holdings presently own a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport.
With the takeover, Adani group’s airports now account for fourth of total footfalls at airports across India, and third of total air cargo handled.
Airports operated by Adani Group
Mumbai International Airport will be operated by Adani Airport Holdings which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises.
Thus, the company now operate six airports. Three airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru are being operated by Adani group already while takeover of three airports in Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur is to be complete.
Adani Group will also set up an airport in Navi Mumbai for which company will achieve financial closure in next 90 days. Group has planned to operationalise Navi Mumbai airport by 2024.
Bids for operating these airports were won by Adani Group for a period of 50 years after participating in tendering process of Airports Authority of India.
An Indian multinational conglomerate, headquartered in Ahmedabad, was established by Gautam Adani in 1988. It was founded as a commodity trading business under name Adani Enterprises Limited. Its diverse businesses include port management, airport operation, mining, electric power generation & transmission, renewable energy, natural gas, food processing and infrastructure. The group is carrying operations at 70 locations in 50 countries. Group became third Indian conglomerate to cross $100 billion in market capitalization in April 2021.
UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat released first official draft of a new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
This framework will be used to guide actions worldwide through 2030 in order to preserve and protect nature & its essential services to people.
Framework comprises of 21 targets for 2030.
Key provisions of framework
Framework calls for:
Conservation of 30% of land and sea areas by effective, equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas.
50% reduction in rate of introduction of invasive alien species and controls or eradication of such species in order to eliminate or reduce their impacts.
Reduction of nutrients lost to environment by half & pesticides by two thirds and elimination of discharge of plastic waste.
Nature-based contributions towards global climate change mitigation efforts of 10 GtCO2e per year. All mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity.
Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives which are harmful for biodiversity.
Four Goals for 2050
Draft framework proposes four goals in order to achieve humanity “living in harmony with nature,” by 2050.
To enhance the integrity of all ecosystems by increasing 15% in area, connectivity and integrity of natural ecosystems.
Contributions of Nature to people have been valued, maintained or enhanced by conservation & sustainable use that supports global development agenda to benefit all.
Benefits from utilization of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably by increasing monetary and non-monetary benefits shared, for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Gap between available financial and other means of implementation is closed.