Government to adopt land-pooling method for airport expansion
- The central government has been working on the policy of the land-pooling methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports. This will be the on the overcome of the challenge of the unavailability of land due to the surge in compensation cost for airport expansion projects since January 2015, In the starting of the time setting the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, kicked in.
- “If the proposal receives an approval at the Government of India level then states will probably have to adopt some of the features of land-pooling in their respective state acts to give it legal teeth. It may take some time but the way I look at it, it is the way forward to plan airports in Indian cities,” Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra told reporters here.
- “Most of the airports are in congested parts of the city now that there is no scope for growth, and land acquisition in fully constructed areas around airports is difficult. The ministry is looking at the land-pooling method, which has been done in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra,” he said on Thursday.
- “On the effectiveness of land-pooling” as an alternative to land acquisition for developing urban infrastructure. “Based on that, we gave an assignment to the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad for three greenfield airports to see whether they can be planned using land-pooling, and three brownfield airports to see whether they can be expanded.” Mohapatra said.
- “We showed an alternative airport model to Bihar Chief Minister, who asked his officials to examine this. Earlier we received a proposal to build an airport near Nalanda, and the site was examined by AAI several years ago. This was then given to CEPT to find out if we require 800 acre of land to build an airport that can accommodate landing A320 or B737 aircraft, how much of land will need to be taken up under land-pooling,” he said.
Union Cabinet approves Creation of National Testing Agency (NTA)
- The Union Cabinet on Friday has given the approval for the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) to take the entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
- “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Society Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions,” said a press release.
- “The entrance examinations will be conducted in online mode at least twice a year, thereby giving adequate opportunity to candidates to bring out their best,” the release added. “In order to serve the requirements of the rural students, it would locate the centres at sub-district/district level and as far as possible would undertake hands-on training to the students.”
- “Establishment of NTA will benefit about 40 lakh students appearing in various entrance examinations. It will… also bring in high reliability, standardized difficulty level for assessing the aptitude, intelligence and problem solving abilities of the students,” the release said.
- The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in the Republic of India
- It consists of senior ministers, called “Cabinet Ministers”, junior ministers, called “Ministers of State” and deputy ministers
- It is led by the Prime Minister
- Number of houses: 2
IT employees get nod to set up trade union in Karnataka
- Trade unions has working on the mobilise technology employees grappling which will give the most change in the India’s IT industry have made their first breakthrough.
- “This is a significant moment for us, being the first dedicated IT employee union,” said Vineeth Vakil, general secretary of KITU, which presently has about 250 members. “The formation of the union was possible because there were enough number of IT employees facing (various) issues. We will be able to address these issues with vigour with the formation of an IT union.”
- “A registered union will definitely encourage more distressed employees to approach us without any worry,” said Vakil.
- “Ultimately, any union is the collective voice of the people. IT companies have been the best paymasters and there has been no need for one,” said Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, 5F World, a startup focused on skill development and the social and digital sectors. “The only companies that should be concerned are the ones that haven’t been giving a fair deal to their employees. Companies should be transparent and communicative while letting go of employees.”
- That said, Natarajan insisted that the progress of technology cannot be thwarted and “anyone who wants to be relevant in the future will have to reskill themselves. Forming lobby groups is not going to come in the way of technology.”
US Congress authorises $700 million for reimbursing Pakistan
- The United States Congress has given the approval to the military aid package of $700 million in Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to reimburse Pakistan for the activity that has been taken by the US operations in Afghanistan, but half of the package needs the approval of US Defense Secretary James Mattis.
- “The United States has been very clear about the direction we want to go, and we hope to see some change in the coming weeks and months,” added the NATO Commander.
- “Obviously, there are ways we can reward Pakistan, and there are ways we can ensure they are held to account,” Mattis said.
- “We are going to work with Pakistan and make this work,” he added.
- “The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honouring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Trump said following their recovery.
- It said, “The US administration would release the restricted amount of $350m if the secretary of defence certified to the congressional committees that Pakistan continued to conduct military operations that were contributing to disrupting safe havens, fundraising and recruiting efforts, and freedom of movement of the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan.”
BSF, Pakistan Rangers to hold Commandant-level talks
- In the drop of taking the next level to the India’s western front, the border guarding forces of India and Pakistan have decided to resume periodic commandant-level talks for maintenance of peace and exchange of information on the border. These movies has been taken from the past one-and-a-half years because of tension between the two countries.
- “The talks were held in a constructive atmosphere. The need for cooperation to maintain the sanctity of the borders was stressed upon. The Indian side firmly and strongly took up specific issues of concern, including incidents of unprovoked cross- border firing, smuggling of narcotics, infiltration attempts, tunneling and defence construction activities. The issue of inadvertent crossing over by the border population and ways to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed. It was agreed upon in deliberations that utmost caution and care should be exercised in dealing with the civilians,” a BSF statement said.
- “The need for timely exchange of information at the field level with increased frequency of field commanders-level meetings, simultaneous coordinated patrolling etc were also discussed,” the statement said. It was agreed to hold the next round of talks in Pakistan, BSF sources said.
Banking and Finance
PNB MetLife to sell policies to Bahrain Bank customers
- Private sector life insurer PNB MetLife has been taken in the rank with the some of the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) to sell retail and group insurance products of the company to the foreign banks customers in India.
- “As a part of this tie-up, PNB MetLife will offer its wide array of best-in-class and innovative insurance solutions to BBKs India customers spread across its branches,” PNB MetLife said in a statement.
- “Bancassurance tie-up forms an important part of the PNB MetLifes growth strategy and the company has forged many successful alliances, to enhance its distribution footprint in the country,” it said.
- PNB Metfile MD & CEO Ashish Srivastava said, “It will be able to offer customised insurance solutions to BBK customers.”
- Mallikarjun Kota, Country Head and Chief Executive Office,r said: “Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait has been operating in India for over 30 years…BBK intends to leverage its strong presence in the region and amongst the Indian diaspora to serve with most suitable solutions.”
HAU, Netherlands to jointly work on crop residue management
- Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, and the Netherlands government has been taken to start the structure like the some of the like crop residue management and work on bio-defence strategy, protected cultivation, peri-urban and urban horticulture, floriculture and hydroponic vegetables.
- In term of this there will be the project will go into setting up of an Indo-Dutch Horticulture Centre at Jhajhar, an agri-business incubation centre and explore the scope for teacher-student training, exchange programme, special short-term training programme and knowledge gap analysis.
- This was decided at a meeting of the Joint Working Group of the Indo-Dutch Collaboration presided over by HAU Vice-Chancellor, K P Singh, on the university campus, yesterday, an official release said here today.
- Addressing the meeting, Singh sought collaboration of Netherlands in tackling the problem of brackish water in Haryana so that the water could be used for irrigation purposes.
Science and Technology
Google Arts and Culture unveils its first lab experiment in India
- At the event of the launch of Future Relics, an interactive installation that takes participants on a shared journey, connecting the past with the present at the term of the current of the future, Google Arts and Culture unveiled its first lab experiment in India on Friday.
- Part of the landmark “India and the World: A History in Nine Stories,” exhibition that opened at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) on Friday, the Future Relics project blends ancient craft and modern technology to build relics for the future.
- As visitors navigate the museum and come across the Future Relics installation, they will be asked to react to the question: “What object would you like archaeologists 1,000 years from now to remember our present day culture by,”
- Speaking at the launch, Freya Murray, Programme Manager and Creative Lead, Google Cultural Institute Lab said: “Google Art and Culture brings cultural treasures of the world to the fingertips of art enthusiasts and culturally curious people. With our first-ever cultural lab experiment in India, we want to craft new bridges between technology and culture whilst giving audiences a new perspective of archeology in the digital age. We hope that visitors will enjoy interacting with Future Relics and becoming a part of a time capsule that will capture, as a growing landscape of pots, the most popular objects reflecting our lives today.”
Awards and Recognitions
NINL gets prestigious Kalinga Safety Award
- Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) has given the most prestigious “Kalinga Safety Award” in the 8th Odisha State Safety Conclave today.
- The Odisha-based NINL has recieved this award as the gold category for best safety performer of the year 2016.
- S B Jagdale, Jt Managing Director, NINL received the award from Odisha Governor S C Jamir at a ceremony held here.
- “The Odisha State Safety Conclave was organised by Institute of Quality and Environment Management Services (IQEMS) and institute of Public Enterprises,” a company statement said.
- In the starting, NINL had also won the prestigious Ispat Suraksha Puraskar-2017 in the “No fatal accident for Integrated Steel Plant” category for the third time in a row.
- NINL – promoted by MMTC, Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (IPICOL) and Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) – has set up an 1.1 million tonne integrated iron and steel plant at Kalinga Nagar, Odisha. Presently it produces steel billets, pig iron and lam coke along with nut coke, coke breeze, crude tar, ammonium sulphate and granulated slag.