- New illegal wall comes up along leopard corridor in the Aravalis
- A 100m-long boundary wall has been illegally built in the Raisina area of the Aravalis. This is the third such illegal construction in the area in the past three months, which continues brazenly despite the forest department removing an illegal construction in December last year and the Haryana State Pollution Control board (HSPCB) serving a notice.
- Once built, boundary walls help land mafia to encroach upon the area enclosed to build farmhouses. A typical modus operandi is to first fell trees along the boundary of the area chosen for building a farmhouse. A wall is then erected around the area, to cut off view from outside. Trees inside the walled area are then felled to make space for the farmhouse.
· SpaceX successfully launcheda new astronaut capsule to ISS
- SpaceX successfully launched a new astronaut capsule on a week-long round trip to theInternational Space Station (ISS). It is a key step towards resuming manned space flights from U.S. soil after an eight-year break. The new capsule blasted off aboard the Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, lighting up the coastline.
- In this trip, the only occupant on boardSpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule was a dummy named Ripley. But NASA plans to put two astronauts aboard in July, although that date could be delayed.
· India signed deal with Russian firm to produce 7.5 lakh AK-203 rifles
- For the AK-203Assault Rifles, the deal was signed between the OFB (Ordnance Factories Board) and the Russian company Concern Kalashnikov.
- The AK-203rifles, the latest derivative of the AK-47 rifles, will be produced at the Indian Ordnance Factory at Amethi’s Korwa.
- The new 5 lakhrifles will replace the indigenous INSAS rifles in the Army, Air Force and Navy.
- AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, is the most basic model followed by AK 74, 56, 100 series and 200 series.
- Abhinandan Varthaman to get Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar
- Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be the first recipient of the ‘Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar’.
- The award is instituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti.
- Varthaman, piloting a Mig-21 Bison, shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 with an R-73 air-to-air missile in a dogfight on February 27.
- The award, instituted this year, carries a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh, a memento and a citation and will be presented to Varthaman on April 17
· April 2019 to March 2020 declared as Construction Technology year
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaredApril 2019-March 2020 as Construction-Technology year at the Construction Technology India-2019 Expo-cum-conference in New Delhi.
- Construction-Technology year emphasizes the role of advanced technology to meet the increasing demand for housing in the country. The declaration of Construction year aimsto give the housing sector a new pace by using the latest technologiesavailable in the world. India has even launched the Global Housing Technology Challenge to fast-track the construction of affordable housing and meet the target of constructing 1.2 crore houses by 2022.
- eCourts app brings reforms in justice delivery system
- eCourts services is touted as a revolution in court management in the country and is expected to speed up India’s quest for attaining top ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. A new digital app, available on both android and iOS, has already seen 17 lakh downloads within few months of its launch, recording almost 5,000 downloads a day, making it so popular that it has bagged the top Digital India award this year.
- This mobile application gives case status and entire case history of almost all 3.2 crore pending cases across 21 high courts and about 18,000 district & subordinate courts in India. Barring the Supreme Court and four high courts of Delhi, Bombay, Karnataka and MP, all 21 other HCs in the country have been linked through the app along with subordinate courts giving details of all pending cases.
- Using the app, litigants and lawyers can e-pay court fees, have a one-point solution to view entire case history, cause list, download judgments and can store multiple cases within the app to monitor their progress.
- 3 European countries sign pacts to join India’s river rejuvenation project
- Three European countries signed agreements with India to support the country’s river rejuvenation project under the India-EU water partnership (IEWP) framework.
- The pacts will enable the implementation of EU innovative technologies for the river rejuvenation programme. The river project initiative also helped 50 EU and Indian businesses come together and will enable them to share their expertise and technologies.
- The IEWP aims to develop an integrated and holistic river basin management plan for the Tapi basin blending the technical expertise of India and the EU, and will also bring together Gujarat, MP and Maharashtra that share the basin.
- Natgas service to cover 70% of India’s population: Dharmendra Pradhan
- More than 70% of India’s population will get access to piped natural gas services, up from 20% five years back, once the projects awarded in the 10th auction of licences for setting up CNG and PNG networks are completed.
- The government is concentrating on increasing domestic production of gas along with the expansion of the gas distribution network.
- CNG and PNG cost less than convention fuels – petrol or diesel and LPG, respectively – because these services are fully run on domestic gas, which is cheaper than natural gas imported in ships.
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