PMO concerned about slow pace of progress in railway projects
- The Prime Minister’s Office is concerned about the less than satisfactory performance of railway in certain areas and is pushing the railway ministry to speed up key projects.
- Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Prime Minister Modi added that he was confident that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu would live up to expectations and take the monopoly state-run transporter toward the path of development.
- The concern of the PMO was over the slow progress of projects such as station development and high-speed services which are futuristic projects and must be implemented with proper planning and vision .
- Senior railway officials said there was pressure to speed up projects with “visible results.” Among the projects that Modi is said to be especially keen on is the high-speed train service and that this was nothing but a matter of “routine monitoring” by the PMO.
Cabinet Nod for Rs 8,000 crore Air Force radar system
- The Cabinet committee on security also cleared an 8,000 crore project for the extension of IAF’s fully automated air surveillance and defence network to the whole country.
- The IAF has already established five nodes of the IACCS (integrated air command and control system) in the western sector facing Pakistan at Barnala (Punjab), Wadsar (Gujarat), Aya Nagar (Delhi), Jodhpur (Rajasthan) and Ambala (Haryana) with help from defence PSU Bharat Electronics.
- Now, as was first reported by TOI, four new major nodes and 10 sub-nodes will come up under Phase-II of the IACCS. While three nodes will be in eastern, central and southern India, the fourth is meant for the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago.
- The aim is to ensure any intrusion by a hostile aircraft, helicopter, drone or micro-light can be detected and tackled as soon as it takes place. The composite air picture will be available in real-time at centralised locations and the national command post.
- Some of the new nodes will be located in underground complexes to improve survivability in face of enemy attacks, even as the entire IACCS infrastructure is also being upgraded with advanced early-warning, jam-resistant radars and the like.
India will provide 24×7 power across the country by 2019: Piyush Goyal
- Power Minister Piyush Goyal has stated that India will provide 24×7 power across the country by 2019 by creating cost effective infrastructure which is sustainable and inclusive of clean energy solutions .
- He also elaborated on India’s ambitious plans for deployment of 175 GW Renewable Power capacities by 2022, including 100 GW of Solar and 60 GW of Wind, which may require investment of around $150 billion in the next seven years.
- He also stressed on government’s objective of construction of 100 smart cities which would include in its blueprint adequate provisions for power generation, usage of renewables and energy efficiency technologies and waste to energy technologies etc.
- Goyal pointed out that India-US collaboration in the energy sector offer great potential, in view of India’s enormous energy needs and the US’ resources, capabilities and technology.
Xi Jinping seeks to fast-track Sino-U.S ties
- Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun a much anticipated visit to the United States in an attempt to woo US corporate giants amid the economic slowdown being faced by China.
- He is expected to address prickly issues such as cyber security and the South China Sea which have began to sully Sino-US ties.
- President Xi called for the establishment of a high-level joint dialogue mechanism with the United States on fighting cyber-crimes and stated that the Chinese government will not engage in commercial theft in any form whatsoever.
- The President sought to reassure his hosts that China would not drive down the value of the yuan to boost exports and will never seek to incite a global currency feud and the recent devaluations were to control the impact of the recession faced by the chinese.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1. India is building the heaviest and largest parts of the Tokamak, the machine behind the biggest scientific collaboration on the planet till date. The project called ITER, includes 34 nations and is aimed at producing cheap clean and safe energy through
(1) Nuclear fission
(2) Nuclear fusion
(3) Solar Energy
(4) Wind Energy
Answer: Nuclear Fusion
A) Bajrangi Bhaijaan