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CSIR-CMERI unveils ‘Aqua Rejuvenation Plant’ which facilitates an Organic Farming Model through treated Waste Water

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CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur unveiled the first-ever Waste Water Treatment Technology Model which purifies Waste Water for Irrigation/Farming purposes. Prof. (Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI inaugurated the ‘Aqua Rejuv’ along with Subhendu Basu, Additional District Magistrate (Zila Parishad), Paschim Bardhaman and Additional Executive Officer, Paschim Bardhaman Zila Parishad today at CSIR-CMERI colony in Durgapur (West Bengal).

During his inaugural speech Prof. Hirani said that he wanted the solution for the society from Carbon Dioxide, frequent chockage of the drainage system and the discharge of sewage water through application of basic sciences. He also referred to different studies where it has been outlined that the COVID virus have the potential to survive up to 34 days in the sewage water. Keeping in mind these societal aspects, he envisioned this technology following the norms of the National Green Tribunal, which is the statutory body for handling the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues in our country.

Aqua Rejuvenation Plant (ARP) is an Integrated Waste Water Rejuvenation Model which has Six-Stage purification profile for comprehensive treatment of Waste Water, based upon diverse purification parameters. The approx. 24,000 litres of water that can be rejuvenated using ARP will be sufficient for almost 4 acres of Agricultural Land (barring seasonal variations in water requirements). The used filtration media have been specially developed to handle Indian Sewage Water Parameters and based upon Geographical Variations they may be modified. The filter media is also locally source-able, so as to ensure that there would not be any stress in the Supply Chain for scaled-up Manufacturing of ARP. The treated water which is now being used for irrigation can be used even for drinking purpose also when little more time is given for settling.

The system has dual benefit as while the treated water is being used for irrigation purpose, the filtered sludge generated is also utilized as manure / fertilizer. The bio char prepared from dry leaves falling in autumn season is also used for mixing in soil as it reduces the water requirement for irrigation thus saving precious water. The Institute was earlier also using alternate technologies like sprinkle system and others for reduced water requirement for such purpose. Prof. Hirani urged the different stake holders of the Society, Civic bodies, Governmental authorities, NGOs to come forward and work with the scientific community. 

Subhendu Basu appreciated the scientific efforts of the Institute and stated that this technology is a much needed one in the present environment. He said that shortly the Municipal Corporation, Irrigation Department and the District Administration would arrange a seminar with CSIR-CMERI to discuss the issue for its proper implementation  at the required places.  Basu expressed confidence  that  CSIR-CMERI  has the potential and R&D solutions to the Industrial pollution related issues including waste water management.

Source: PIB

MoU signed for continuation of MoRTH Professorial Chair at IIT Roorkee

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Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today for continuation of MoRTH Professorial Chair focusing on research and development, teaching and training in the area of Development of Highway Infrastructure. The MoU was signed by Indresh Kumar Pandey, Director General – Road Development & Special Secretary and Prof. Manoranjan Parida, Deputy Director and Professor of Civil Engineering, IIT Roorkee. Secretary-MoRTH, Giridhar Aramane presided over the MoU signing ceremony.

This collaboration of MoRTH with IIT-Roorkee will strengthen R&D activities in Road Sector and the Chair professor is expected to provide leadership in conducting and coordinating research, development and teaching in the area of Development of Highway Infrastructure.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Roorkee is among the foremost of institutes of national importance in higher technological education and in engineering, basic and applied research. Since its establishment, the Institute has played a vital role in providing the technical manpower and know-how to the country and in pursuit of research. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Government of India is responsible for development & maintenance of National Highways across the country. It has been agreed by both the organizations to continue the MoRTH Professorial Chair at IIT-Roorkee to provide leadership in the following areas:

  1. To act as an ambassador of the MoRTH for highway development in the country.
  2. To catalyse innovation, research and development in highway sector in IIT-Roorkee and Indian academia.
  3. To facilitate or undertake highway studies in IIT-Roorkee and Indian academia on environment and social impacts of highway development projects.
  4. To facilitate or undertake dissemination of technology upgrades in planning, design, construction and operation & maintenance for highway development through standards, guidelines, seminars, training and user manuals etc.
  5. To help find solutions to the practical problems of highway through scientific research by facilitating partnership of MoRTH with IIT-Roorkee and Indian academia.
  6. To utilize and expand the Highway Engineering related resources in IITR and other educational institutions working on highways and all related aspects.
  7. Any other related activity.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary-MoRTH, Giridhar Aramane said that the government supports the enhancement of quality research through partnerships and mentorship programmes. This MoU sets a new benchmark of Government-Academia partnership that can enhance learning and open up new opportunities for development of faculty in IIT & Ministry’s technical officers and will be useful in internal capacity building so that we can take the benefits to society.

Director General – Road Development & Special Secretary in the Ministry Indresh Kumar Pandey said, the decision to formalize the partnership through this MoU, a key milestone for both MoRTH and IIT-Roorkee community in their long-term relationship, was made after extensive evaluation and identifying the core competencies and strong synergies between the two of them.

The partnership is a manifestation of the initiative taken by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, for developing indigenous and apt technologies to bring down the cost of construction and reduce the construction period of road/bridge/tunnel projects. The expertise available in the country with Research Institutes and Academia is being harnessed to fulfill this objective.

Source: PIB

Air Quality Commission ropes in top technical institutions to set up a Decision Support System

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Representational pic (pollution)

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR and adjoining areas has begun the process of setting up a Decision Support System (DSS) having a web, GIS and multi-model based operational and planning decision support tool. 

This tool will help immensely in capturing the static and dynamic features of the emissions from various sources. It will have an integrated framework to handle both primary and secondary pollutants using chemical transport model. The system will also be able to handle the source specific interventions with the framework to estimate benefits of interventions and will focus on presenting the best results in a comprehensive user friendly and simple format for different users.

The Commission has entrusted the task to expert groups from reputed knowledge institutions of the country given belowfor framework development of Air Quality Management DSS for Delhi:

Description: http://static.pib.gov.in/WriteReadData/userfiles/image/image0013KOG.png

The Air Quality Management Decision Support Tool (DST) integrates an emissions inventory development application and database; regional, local and source–receptor modelling; and Geographical Information System (GIS) based visualization tools in a software framework so as to build a robust system to formulate and implement source specific interventions to improve the air quality over targeted sectors of Delhi / NCR.Identification ofsource specific interventions by the DST is deliberated with the involvement of stake holders.

The sources covered will include industries, transport, power plants, residential, DG sets, road dust, agricultural burning, refuse burning, construction dust, ammonia, volatile organic compounds, landfill etc.  For instance, municipalities, industrial associations, industrial development authorities etc. would be the stake holders for identifying interventions related to waste burning, industrial source pollution, respectively.

Upon identification of feasible interventions, the artificial intelligence based expert system which has a hierarchical data base of simulated scenarios, potentially assessing the impact of the identified feasible intervention which would be implemented by the regulatory organization such as CPCB and state PCBs. The on-field implementation is monitored by credible citizen watch groups and professional NGOs independently. Finally, air quality data collected in the vicinity of the area where intervention is implemented will be analysed to understand the real-world benefits of such intervention. 

Source: PIB

CCI approves acquisition of a minority stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited by Flipkart Investments Pvt Ltd

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of a minority stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) by Flipkart Investments Private Limited (FIPL).

FIPL is a newly incorporated company and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Flipkart Private Limited (FPL). FPL belongs to the Walmart Group, which comprises Walmart Inc. (Walmart) and its affiliates. The Walmart Group undertakes various business activities in India, such as wholesale trading of products, providing e-commerce marketplace services and digital payments services.

ABFRL is a public limited company incorporated in India and is part of the Aditya Birla conglomerate. ABFRL (including through its subsidiaries) is engaged in the business of manufacturing and retailing branded apparels, footwear and accessories, through its retail stores, multi-brand outlets, departmental stores, online retail platforms and e-commerce marketplaces, across India.

The proposed combination relates to acquisition by FIPL of a minority shareholding of 7.8%, on a fully diluted basis in ABFRL, by way of subscription equity shares.

Source: PIB

PM releases financial assistance to over 6 lakh beneficiaries in UP under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi released financial assistance to over 6 lakh beneficiaries in UP under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin through video conference. He interacted with the beneficiaries. Union Rural Development Minister, Governor of Uttar Pradesh and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh were present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister wished the beneficiaries and extended greetings on the occasion of Prakash Purab. PM Modi bowed to Guru Gobind Singh ji on his Prakash Purab. He greeted the nation on this auspicious occasion. He said that he feels that Guru Sahib has been very kind to him and given him ample opportunity to serve him. Guru Saheb’s life and message inspires us to take on the challenges while following the path of service and truth. This level of strength and courage emanates from the spirit of service and truth, and the country is moving on this path, shown by Guru Gobind Singh Ji,  said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that unprecedented work is being done to change the lives of the poor, deprived and exploited. He recalled that he launched the PM Awaas Yojna from Agra five years ago. This scheme has started changing the face of Indian villages. This scheme is linked with the hopes of millions and has given the poorest of poor the confidence that she can be a homeowner.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that Uttar Pradesh is among the states that are moving the fastest on building houses for the  poor. He informed that today, 6 lakh families of the state will get a total of more than Rs 2600 crores in their bank account. Out of these 6 lakh families, 5 lakh will get the first installment which means that, for 5 lakh families, their life’s wait is over. Similarly, 80 thousand families got their second installment which means that by next winter they will have their own house,said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister asserted that Aatmnirbhar Bharat is directly linked to the self-confidence of the country’s citizens and a house of one’s own enhances this self-confidence manifold. A self-owned house brings assurance in life and also the hope of coming out of poverty.

 The Prime Minister recalled that during the time of previous governments, the poor did not have the confidence that the government could be of any help in getting their house constructed. He also said that the quality of the houses made in the earlier scheme was also not up to the mark. The poor had to face the brunt of wrong policies, said the Prime Minister. Keeping in Mind this plight, PM Awas Yojna was started with an aim to provide every poor family a house before completion of 75 years of independence. 2 crore housing units have been constructed in rural areas during recent years, PM Awas Yojna has accounted for 1.25 crore units with central government’s contribution being about 1.5 lakh crore rupees. The Prime Minister also recalled the lack of response from the previous governments in the state. He informed that in Uttar Pradesh 22 lakh Garmin Awas are to be constructed out of which 21.5 lakh have been approved for construction. 14.5 lakh families have already got their house mostly, under the present government.

The Prime Minister said that, keeping in mind the bad experience of past, few things have been kept in mind such as those poor families who have lost hope of owning a house should be given priority, second, transparency in allocation, third, ownership to be vested preferably with women, fourth, monitoring via technology and finally a house equipped with all the basic amenities. The housing units are benefiting poor families who were living in kachcha houses, local workers, small farmers and landless labourers with no hope of owning a house. PM Modi underlined the aspect of women empowerment in the scheme as these units are mostly in the name of women of the family. Landless families are getting the documents of the land and all the money is being transferred directly in the account of the beneficiary to prevent any corruption.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the effort is to reduce the gap between amenities of rural and urban areas and aim is to make life for rural people as easy as urban population. Therefore, basic amenities such as toilet, lighting, water and gas connection are also added to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. The objective is that a poor person should not have to run around for basic facilities.

The Prime Minister remarked that PM Swamitva Yojana would be a game changer in improving the lives of the villagers. And UP is one of the pioneer states where it has been implemented. Under this scheme, the villagers will get their land along with ownership papers of the house. Drones are being used for surveys in thousands of villages in UP, mapping is being done so that people’s property remains registered with the government and land disputes come to an end. He said the biggest benefit of this scheme will be that villagers will be able to take loans from the bank by mortgaging these houses. This will have a positive impact on the prices of the rural property. This work is over in 8.5 thousand villages of the state and people are getting digital certificates after the survey, locally called ‘Gharoni’. More than 51 thousand such certificates have already been distributed in Uttar Pradesh, informed the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said when so many schemes are reaching villages, not only are the facilities increasing, but also the rural economy is gaining momentum. He said roads built under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana are making the life of the people of the village easy. He said work is going on to provide fast internet access to more than 6 lakh villages through Optical fibers. This project would also create new employment opportunities for the villagers. He said UP is ranked first in the country by generating 10 crore ‘mandays’ of employment through Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan to support the migrant laborers who returned during Corona period. He said this has improved the ease of living of the villagers. He listed various initiatives to improve the ease of living like Ayushman Bharat Scheme, National Nutrition Mission, UJALA scheme which has given UP a new identity. He listed the infrastructure projects like expressway and projects like AIIMS commissioned in UP and said it would help in accelerating the pace of development in UP. He cited this as the reason why many big companies are coming to invest in UP today. He said avenues are also open for small companies through ‘One District One Product’ where local artisans are getting benefitted.

Source: PIB

‘75% marks in class 12’ eligibility criteria under JEE (Main) 21-22 waived off

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Considering the decision taken for IIT JEE (Advanced) and in line with the decision taken for the last academic year, the Ministry of Education had decided to waive off the 75% marks (in class 12 exam) eligibility criteria under Joint Entrance Examination (Main) for the next academic year 2021-2022 in respect of NITs, IIITs, SPAs and other CFTIs, whose admissions are based on JEE (Main).

The admissions to various Under Graduate (UG) programmes of the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur (West Bengal) and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs – excluding IITs) are made on the basis of ranks / merit secured by the candidates in Joint Entrance Examination (Main) conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

For the candidates to qualify for admission in the IITs / NITs / IIITs and such other CFTis whose admissions are based on the JEE Ranks, they should have secured at least 75% marks in the 12th Class exam, or be in the top 20 percentile in the 12th Class exam conducted by the respective Boards. For SC/ST students, the qualifying mark in 12th Class exam is 65%.

While declaring the date of JEE (Advanced) exam, the Education Minister has announced to waive off the 75% marks (in class 12th exam) eligibility criteria for admissions to the academic year 2021-2022 for the ease of students.

Source: PIB

Inspection teams to abate dust and related air pollution levies charges of nearly Rs 76 lakh on non-compliant entities

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With a view to abate dust and related air pollution from the construction and demolition activities, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for Delhi-NCR and adjacent areas, directed the Central Pollution Control Board, the State Pollution Control Boards of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to constitute special teams and launch inspection drives in the project premises and transportation of materials related to Construction &Demolition activities in the NCR.

Inspections were conducted by these agencies from 31.12.2020 to 15.01.2021 by constituting about 174 teams at more than 1600 C&D sites of which about 119 sites were found to be non-compliant with the various C&D Waste Management Rules / Guidelines and dust mitigation measures stipulated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Central Pollution Control Board.  An amount of approx. Rs.51 lakhs was levied as environment compensation charges against the defaulting agencies, besides orders for stoppage of work at 27 locations. 

Compliance with respect to transportation of materials related to C&D activities was also checked by the inspecting teams.  About 563 vehicles, not in conformance with guidelines related to transportation of C&D materials, were levied environment compensation charges of approximately Rs. 25 lakhs. 

The CAQM has asked state pollution boards that such fortnightly drives be continued to enforce compliance of the C&D waste management rules and related guidelines to abate dust pollution from C&D sector, which contributes significantly to poor air quality in the region.

Source: PIB

One held by CGST Delhi East officials for availing fake input tax credit of Rs 82.23 cr

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In the ongoing drive against availment of inadmissible ITC, officers of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Commissionerate, Delhi East unearthed a multi-layered network of fictitious firms being used to generate and pass on fake ITC.

Through the use of extensive data analytics, officers identified and searched 21 premises between 15/01/2021 and 17/01/2021, leading to the unraveling of a network of fake firms that were operating since 2017 to pass on fake ITC.

The network of fake firms was being operated by one Arvind Kumar, who used to pass fake ITC for a commission of 4 to 4.5% of the invoice amount. Investigation conducted so far has revealed 46 firms to be fictitious which were being controlled by Arvind Kumar and his associates. These firms had no business activity and had been created solely for the purpose of passing on fake ITC. The total fake ITC quantified so far is Rs. 82.23 crore generated out of the fake billing of Rs. 541.13 crore which is expected to increase as the investigation progresses.

Arvind Kumar was arrested under Section 69(1) of the CGST Act, 2017 and produced on 17/01/2021 before the Duty Magistrate, who remanded him to judicial custody of 14 days till 31/01/2021. Further investigation in the case is under progress.

It is pertinent to mention here that since the inception of GST Central Tax, Delhi Zone has made 19 arrests in various cases involving GST evasion amounting of more than 3766.69 crore.

Source: PIB

GDA demolishes illegal constructions long Meerut Road areas

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Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) today demolished illegal constructions at village Morti and village Ator alog Meerut Road on khasra nos 256, 259 & 260 at Morti and on khasra nos 859 and 446 at Ator.

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Unprecedented work done in the last few years to modernise the railways: PM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined change in approach in railways infrastructure development in recent times. This change has led to unprecedented progress in modernization in Indian Railways. Shri Modi was speaking after  flagging off eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Kevadiya  in Gujarat and inaugurating several railways related projects in the state, via video conferencing.

The Prime Minister said that earlier focus was limited to keeping the existing infrastructure running and there was little attention on new thinking or new technology. It was imperative to change this approach. In the recent years,  work was done on comprehensive transformation of entire railway system and it wasn’t limited to tinkering with budget and new train announcements. The transformation took place on many fronts. He gave example of the present project of connecting Kevadiya where multi-pronged focus led to completion of the task in record time.

The Prime Minister also presented Dedicated Freight Corridor as an example of change in approach from earlier times. The Prime Minister dedicated the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors recently. This project was under progress and between 2006-2014 work was done only on papers with not even a single kilometre track laid. Now a total of 1100 Kilometre are about to be completed in next few months.

Source: PIB

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