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NGT directs UP SEIAA to explain how EC was given for sand mining over faulty geo-coordinates among others

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had asked State Environment Impact Assessment Authority or SEIAA as well as DM Bulandshahar to explain with regard to a petition as to how environmental clearance for sand mining was given by the SEIAA despite two major objections by the petitioner. These are: public hearing was held on 23.10.2018 and the EIA report was filed on 19.02.2020 and, how the geo-coordinates mentioned by the District Magistrate in the letter dated 23.07.2020 do not match with those mentioned by the project proponent in the EIA. The map is flawed on account of which demarcation could not be done, it was alleged.

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Voluntary participation of industries crucial towards low carbon industries transition: Prakash Javadekar

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Union Environment, Climate Change and Forest Minister, Prakash Javadekar has said, people and industries are key drivers in our efforts towards mitigating the climate change.  The minister speaking at the high level segment of the industry transition leadership summit pointed out that industry contributes directly around 30 percent of the global CO2 emissions, and transition of hard to abate industries towards low carbon pathways is key to combat climate change.

Javadekar informed that CO2 emissions have been cut down by top industries in the country voluntarily without any diktat and also renewable energy consumption is being actively promoted in the country by several companies. “This is the way forward and we need to encourage voluntary participation of the industries towards cutting down carbon emissions,” added the Environment Minister.

Speaking on the issue of finance Javadekar said, funds should be mobilised at a larger scale and use of technology has to be there to deal with climate change issue. He said affordable technologies and research studies need to be shared with developing countries so that they can work in the direction of saving environment. 

Javadekar also highlighted that countries must not forget that every Climate Action has a cost and if we consider Climate Change as a disaster, then nobody should profit from this disaster. The Minister said that this will be tantamount to a kind of double taxation on the poor of the developing countries, which is not Climate Justice.

Addressing the summit, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabelle Levin said, India and Sweden have to work together to deal with climate change issue. She said, best practices and experiences need to be shared to cut down carbon emissions. The Swedish Deputy Prime Minister also pitched for mobilising the finances to deal with carbon emissions and said, the Government of Sweden is committed to work in this direction.

The event was organised by Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT). LeadIT is launched by India and Sweden along with the World Economic Forum with the support of Stockholm Environment Institute in 2019 during the United Nations Secretary General Climate Action Summit. Currently, the Group has membership of 13 countries and 15 companies, including Dalmia Cement, Mahindra Group and SpiceJet from India, committed towards low carbon industry transition. 

LeadIT organised the virtual industry transition leadership summit to build momentum to accelerate the process of industry transition as the world marks the five years of the Paris Agreement. The event highlighted making a business case for industry transition for catalysing demand and acceleration of diffusion and scale-up technology for industry transition. 

The virtual event was attended by heads of global companies like Scania, FLSmidth, LKAB, LafargeHolcim, SSAB, Vattenfall, as well as Indian companies like Dalmia and Mahindra Group. The event also witnessed the participation of global think tanks and Ministers/representatives of countries like the UK, Luxembourg, EU and Germany.

Source: PIB



PM inaugurates 6-lane widening project of Varanasi-Prayagraj section of NH-19

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Representational pic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated six-lane widening project of the Varanasi – Prayagraj section of NH-19 today in Varanasi. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said we are now seeing the outcome of the work of connectivity alongwith the beautification of Kashi done in the past. He added that the unprecedented work has been done on new highways, pull-flyovers, widening of roads to reduce traffic jams in and around Varanasi.

The Prime Minister remarked that our farmers would benefit greatly when modern connectivity expands in the area. He said over the years, efforts have been made to create infrastructure like cold storage alongwith modern roads in the villages. A fund of 1 lakh crore rupees has also been created for this.

The Prime Minister cited an example of how the farmers are benefiting from the government’s efforts and modern infrastructure. He said black rice was introduced 2 years ago in Chandauli to increase the income of the farmers. Last year, a farmer committee was formed and around 400 farmers were given this rice to grow in the Kharif season. While normal rice sells for Rs 35-40 a kg, this black rice was sold for up to Rs 300 a kg. For the first time, this rice has been exported to Australia, that too at the rate of around Rs. 800 per kg.

The Prime Minister said India’s agricultural products are famous all over the world. He asked why farmers shouldn’t have access to this big market and higher prices. He said new agricultural reforms have given farmers new options and new legal protection and at the same time the old system also continues if someone chooses to stay with that. He said earlier, transactions outside the mandi were illegal but now the small farmer can take legal action on the transactions outside the mandi also.

The Prime Minister said Governments make policies, laws and regulations. Criticizing the opposition, he said earlier the decisions of the government were opposed but now the criticism is based on mere apprehensions. He said confusion is spread in society about what has not happened yet, which will never happen. He said these are the same people who have consistently tricked the farmers for decades.

Continuing on the duplicity of the past,  the Prime Minister said MSP was declared, but a very meager MSP purchase used to take place. This deception went on for years. Large loan waiver packages were announced in the name of farmers, but they did not reach the small and marginal farmers. He added big schemes were announced in the name of farmers but earlier regimes themselves believed that out of 1 rupee, only 15 paisa reached the farmer, which is deceit in the name of schemes.

The Prime Minister said when history has been full of deception, then two things are natural. The first is that there is decades of history behind the farmers being apprehensive about the promises of governments. Secondly, it has become a compulsion for those who break the promises, to spread the lie that what used to take place before, is still going to happen. He said when you see the track record of this government, the truth will come out automatically. He said the Government delivered on the promise of stopping the black marketing of urea and giving enough urea to the farmers. He said the Government delivered on the promise of fixing MSP at 1.5 times the cost in line with the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission. This promise was not only fulfilled on paper, but has reached the bank account of the farmers.

The Prime Minister said in the five years before 2014, pulses of around Rs 6.5 crores were procured from the farmer. But in the subsequent 5 years, pulses worth about Rs 49000 crore were procured, that is, about 75 times increase. In the 5 years prior to 2014, paddy worth Rs 2 lakh crores were purchased. But in the subsequent 5 years, we have passed 5 lakh crore rupees as MSP of paddy to the farmers. That is, almost two and a half times more money has reached the farmer. He added in the 5 years before 2014, farmers got around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore on the purchase of wheat. In the subsequent 5 years, wheat farmers have got Rs 3 lakh crores i.e. around 2 times. He asked why the Government would spend so much if the mandis and the MSP were to be dismantled. He stressed that the government is spending crores of rupees to modernize the mandis.

Criticizing the opposition, the Prime Minister said, these are the people who used to raise questions about PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, spreading the rumor that this money is being given in view of the elections and after the election the same money will have to be given back with interest. He added that in a state, where the opposition government is there, due to its political interest, farmers are not allowed to take advantage of this scheme. He said assistance is being provided directly to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmer families of the country. So far, about 1 lakh crore rupees have been reached the farmers.

The Prime Minister said decades of deceit make farmers apprehensive but now there is no deceit, work is being done with intentions as pure as Gangajal. He remarked that the truth of those who spread illusions on the basis of mere apprehensions is being constantly exposed before the country. When farmers understand their lies, then they start spreading lies on another subject. He added the government is also constantly answering those farmer families who still have some concerns. He expressed confidence that those farmers who have some doubts on agricultural reforms today, will also take advantage of these agricultural reforms in future and increase their income.

Source: PIB

Govt. launches mission COVID Suraksha to accelerate Indian COVID-19 vaccine development

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The Government of India (GOI) has announced the third stimulus package of Rs. 900 cr for Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development MissionThis grant will be provided to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for Research & Development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.

The COVID-19 vaccine development Mission with end-to-end focus from preclinical development through clinical development and manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment, would consolidate all available and funded resources towards an accelerated product development. This will help accelerate development of approx. 5-6 vaccine candidates and ensure that these are brought closer to licensure and introduction in market for consideration of regulatory authorities for introduction in public health systems, to combat further spread of COVID infection.

The important objectives of the fund will be accelerating pre-clinical& clinical development; licensure of COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical stages or ready to enter clinical stage of development, establishing clinical trial sites, and strengthening the existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities and other testing facilities to support COVID-19 vaccine development. The other important objective will be supporting development of common harmonized protocols, trainings, data management systems, regulatory submissions, internal and external quality management systems and accreditations.   Capabilities for process development, cell line development and manufacturing of GMP batches for animal toxicology studies and clinical trials will also be supported under the Mission. A key element will be development of suitable Target Product Profile so that vaccines being introduced through the mission have preferred characteristics applicable for India.

Led by Department of Biotechnology and implemented by a dedicated Mission Implementation Unit at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC),the existing activities under National Bio Pharma Mission (NBM) and Ind-CEPI Mission will provide complementary strengths to this Mission.

Phase-I of the COVID Suraksha Mission has been allotted Rs.900 Crore for a period of 12 months.

A total of 10 vaccine candidates have been supported by Department of Biotechnology so far at both academia and industry and as on date, 5 vaccine candidates are in human trials including the Russian Vaccine Sputnik-V with at least 3 more in advanced stages of preclinical to enter human trials shortly. 

Dr RenuSwarup, Secretary Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology   and Chairperson BIRAC said, “Mission COVID Suraksha is our targeted effort to enable development of indigenous, affordable and accessible vaccines for our country and will complement the National Mission of AtmanirbharBharat”.“India has exhibited enormous strength in vaccine manufacturing and through this National COVID Vaccine Mission, we are confident that our vaccine manufacturers will develop affordable and accessible vaccine not only for India but the world”, she added.

Source: PIB

PM reviews vaccine development and manufacturing process at 3 facilities

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PM Narendra Modi today undertook a three city tour to conduct extensive review of the vaccine development and manufacturing process. He visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune.

The scientists expressed joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts at this critical juncture in the vaccine development journey. Prime Minister expressed pride in the fact that India’s indigenous vaccine development has progressed at such a rapid pace so far. He spoke on how India is following sound principles of science in the entire journey of vaccine development, while also asking for suggestions to make the vaccine distribution process better.

Prime Minister stressed that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also as a global good, and it is India’s duty to assist other countries, including the nations in our neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the virus.

He asked the scientists to express their free and frank opinion on how the country could further improve its regulatory process. The scientists also presented an overview of how they are also developing various new and repurposed drugs to better fight COVID-19.

Upon his visit to Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister said, “Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work. Government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey.”

After undertaking the visit to Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, the Prime Minister said, “At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress.”

After visiting the Serum Institute, the Prime Minister tweeted, “Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility.”

Source: PIB

Delhi: AATS Dwarka team arrests 2 notorious criminals

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In a major crackdown on criminals, the sleuths of AATS/ Dwarka District have arrested two top dreaded criminals and recovered a loaded pistol and a button-operated knife from them when they were to commit a heinous crime near MTNL Office on Palam – Dabri Road in the jurisdiction of Dabri police station, Delhi. The two accused persons, namely Sandeep alias Sanju alias Nepali, s/o Bobby Kumar r/o Vijay Enclave, Dwarkapuri, Delhi, age 35 yrs and Raju alias Jadu, s/o Radhey Shyam, r/o, Sitapuri, Delhi, age 26 yrs have been booked in an Arms Act case vide FIR No. 916/2020 dated 26.11.2020 u/s 25/54/59 Arms Act P.S. Dabri, Delhi. 

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PM inaugurates RE-Invest 2020; says India has shown sound environmental policies can also be sound economics

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo (RE-Invest 2020) through video conferencing. The summit is organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The theme for RE-Invest 2020 is ‘Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition’.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that in the renewable energy sector, within a short time the progress from megawatts to gigawatts in generation capacity and “One Sun, One World, One Grid” are becoming a reality, all of which were discussed in the earlier editions. He added in the last 6 years, India is travelling on an unparalleled journey. He pointed out that India’s generation capacity and network is being expanded to ensure every citizen of India has access to electricity to unlock his full potential. He showcased that today, India’s renewable power capacity is the 4th largest in the world and is growing at the fastest speed among all major countries. The renewable energy capacity in India is currently 136 Giga Watts, which is about 36% of our total capacity.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that India’s annual renewable energy capacity addition has been exceeding that of coal based thermal power since 2017. He highlighted that in the last 6 years, India has increased installed renewable energy capacity by two and half times. He said investing in renewable energy early on even when it was not affordable has helped in achieving the scale, which is bringing costs down. He said we are showing to the world that sound environmental policies can also be sound economics. He said we have ensured energy efficiency is not limited to one ministry or department, instead it has been made a target for the entire government. All our policies have a consideration of achieving energy efficiency.

The Prime Minister said after the success of Performance Linked Incentives (PLI) in electronics manufacturing, we have decided to give similar incentives to high efficiency solar modules. He stressed that ensuring “Ease of doing business” is our utmost priority and dedicated Project Development Cells have been established to facilitate investors. He announced that there are huge renewable energy deployment plans for the next decade and are likely to generate business prospects of the order of around $ 20 billion per year. He invited investors, developers and businesses to join India’s renewable energy journey.

Source: PIB

GDA demolishes illegal floor in Vrindavan Gdn, Sahibabad

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GHAZIABAD: Acting against illegal constructions,  a team of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) today partly demolished a building on plot no S-11, Vrindavan Garden in Sahibabad area. An extra floor built illegally was demolished by the GDA team.

-delhincrnews.in reporter

Gadkari to lay foundation & inaugurate 16 highway projects worth nearly Rs 7,500 cr in UP

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Representational pic

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate and lay foundation stone of 16 highway projects in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will preside over the virtual function, to be attended by MoS-RTH Gen (Retd) V K Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Keshav Prasad Maurya, and Ministers from the State.

These projects for inauguration and foundation laying carry a Road length of 505 kilometers, involving construction value of  nearly Rs7500 crore. Paving the way for development of Uttar Pradesh, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in the State.

List of Projects :

Sl. No.Name of ProjectLength in kmCost in Rs. crore
Dedication to Nation NH Project
1.Widening to 4-lane from Meerut to Bulandhshahar of NH-23561.192407.91
2.Construction of 4-lane Gorakhpur bypass from JungalKaudiya of NH-24 to Kaleshwar on NH-2717.66866.00
3.Rehabilitation & Up-gradation of NH-76 from Kabrai to Banda in district ofMahoba& Banda37.00215.16
4.Rehabilitation & Up-gradation of NH-76 from Mau to Jasra in district ofChitrakoot&Prayagraj53.55218.94
5.Rehabilitation & Up-gradation to 4-lane of NH-96 from Pratapgarh to Prayagraj bypass in district ofPratapgarh&Prayagraj34.70599.35
6.Rehabilitation & Up-gradation of NH-730 from Barhani to Kataya in district of Siddharthnagar35.00209.10
7.Rehabilitation & Up-gradation of NH-730 from Bahraich to Shrawasti in district of Bahraich&Shrawasti61.90388.83
8.Construction of ROB in lieu of COD crossing (LC no.79D) in Kanpur district1 Job¼790m½50.74
E-Foundation NH Projects
9.Strengthening of NH-75E in the district of Sonebhadra from MP/UP border to UP/Jharkhand border65.2157.50
10.Strengthening of NH-75E in the district of Sonebhadra from MP/UP border to UP/Jharkhand border26.8129.63
11.Widening & Strengthening of NH-91A from BharthanaChowk to Kudarkoot in district of Etawah&Auraiya40.00262.37
12.Widening & Strengthening of NH-135C from Drumandganj to Halia in district of Mirzapur18.4039.37
13.Widening & Strengthening of NH-135C from Rampur to Bhadewara in district of Prayagraj15.0076.23
14.Widening & Strengthening of NH-227Abetween Sikringanj& Gola in district of Gorakhpur9.0037.52
15.Widening & Strengthening of NH-730 between Tamkuhiraj&Padrauna in district of Kushinagar19.0069.67
Start of Work (KaryaSubharambh)
16Construction of 6-lane bridge parallel to the existing bridge on Ganga river on NH-96 in Phaphamau in district of Prayagraj9.901948.25
 Total504.327476.57

Source: PIB

Cabinet approves amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Ltd

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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited (DBIL). On 17.11.2020, to protect depositors’ interest and in the interest of financial and banking stability, on RBI’s application under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, LVB had been under moratorium for a period of 30 days. In parallel, RBI, in consultation with Government, superseded the Board of Directors of LVB and appointed an Administrator to protect the depositors’ interest.

After inviting suggestions and objections from the public and stakeholders, RBI prepared and provided a scheme for the bank’s amalgamation for the Government’s sanction, well in. advance of end of the period of moratorium so that restrictions on withdrawal faced by the depositors are minimised. With the approval of the scheme, LVB will be amalgamated with DBIL from the appointed date, and with this there will no further restrictions on the depositors regarding withdrawal of their deposits.

DBIL is a banking company licenced by RBI and operating in India through wholly owned subsidiary model, DBIL has a strong balance-sheet, with strong capital support and it has the advantage of a strong parentage of DBS, a leading financial services group in Asia, with presence in 18 markets and headquartered and listed in Singapore. The combined balance-sheet of DBIL would remain healthy even after amalgamation and its branches would increase to 600.

The speedy amalgamation and resolution of the stress in LVB is in line with Government’s commitment to a clean banking system while protecting the interests of depositors and the public as well as the financial system.

Source: PIB

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