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C-DOT reaffirms its commitment towards building “Atmanirbhar Bharat” with its indigenous tech. innovations

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Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), the premier Telecom R&D Centre of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, observed its 38th Foundation Day celebrations yesterday.

C-DOT has continued to organize technical workshops and seminars on contemporary themes related to the newly emerging dimensions of Telecom & ICT to mark its Foundation Day celebrations. Since the Covid pandemic is still there, C-DOT, this year organized the international technical conference in virtual mode as part of GB Meemamsi Lecture Series 2021, wherein several field experts, telecom veterans and academicians from around the world shared their insightful experiences and profound knowledge on the future Telecom technologies.

The technical conference was inaugurated by Anshu Prakash, Chairman, Digital Communications Commission & Secretary (Telecom), Government of India.

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Speaking at the event, Prakash exhorted the engineers to relentlessly work towards successful Proof of Concept (PoC) of C-DOT 4G LTE Core in BSNL network. He further stressed that it is a very opportune moment for the indigenous development of 5G NSA & SA by C-DOT, in the overall context of meeting the challenging communications requirements of the nation and realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

Deepak Chaturvedi, Member (Services), Digital Communications Commission, Government of India emphasized on the critical role of indigenous R&D in solving complex real-time problems, strengthening national networks & boosting socio-economic growth.

The event also witnessed the launch of C-DOT’s Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) lab by Chairman, Digital Communications Commission for the design, development and implementation of pan-India Integrated Alert System to be administered by NDMA for effective disaster management, public alerting & hazard notification in emergency situations.

The technical session covered a wide range of topics and featured interesting talks by various field experts. These included Eliot Christian, pro bono consultant on ITU – Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and its applications in Public Protection & Disaster Relief and Prof Sandeep Shukla, IIT Kanpur who gave novel insights into the Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) concept for a Digital wallet framework for users. Other distinguished speakers included Dr. Sriparna Saha from IIT Patna on Artificial Intelligence/Natural Language Processing, Dr. Ashutosh Dutta, Johns Hopkins University, USA on 5G Security, and Sameer Sharma, Sr. Advisor ITU – Geneva on the ITU Flagship Initiative “Connect2Recover” that has several applications.

Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, Executive Director, C-DOT and other senior officers also participated.

Source: PIB

NGT directs DM to look into encroachments on drain over Irrigation Dept. land

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GHAZIABAD: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed DM Ghaziabad to file a response over encroachment of land of Irrigation Department on Tikri Rajvaha Bhola Jhal (drain) joining Dasna drain in District Ghaziabad. The petitioner had filed a plea in NGT stating that private builders and a hospital have encroached upon the land. However, the DM later filed a status report saying that no such encroachments existed on the particular stretch of land despite the NGT asking him to take remedial action. The petitioner Ved Prakash Aggarwal, claiming to be a social worker, however was not satisfied and again approached the Tribunal stating that encroachments do exist and that the drain served important ecological functions. The NGT while admitting the plea directed the DM to give a report in one month stating the action taken.

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Nitin Gadkari emphasizes importance of well developed infra for enhancing level of economic activity

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Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has emphasized the importance of well developed infrastructure for enhancing the level of economic activity, creating additional fiscal space by improving the revenue base of the government . Addressing the 29th Annual General Meeting of the American Chambers of Commerce in India  on the theme ‘infrastructure propelling India in the global supply chain’ virtually he said that the bilateral trade between India and US has grown from 16 Billion US Dollars to 149 Billion US Dollars in the last 2 Decades and is projected to reach more than 500 Billion US Dollars by 2025. The Minister said the scope of technology transfer, innovation and research and development between India and the US must be further explored.

Gadkari said infrastructure development plays an important role in fulfilling the vision of India in becoming  5 Trillion Dollar economy in the next 5 years. He said government is investing 1.4 Trillion Dollars in infrastructure development through National Infrastructure Pipeline and soon going to launch the national master plan of Prime Minister Gatishakti Scheme of more than 100 lakh crores rupees for holistic and integrated infrastructure development in the country . He said The Gatishakti master plan will provide the framework for the NIP program and is aimed at making Indian products more competitive by cutting down the logistic costs improving the supply chains.

The Minister said India has about 6 million kms of the road network which is the 2nd largest road network in the world. The road infrastructure plays an important role in the Indian economy as 70% of the goods and nearly 90% of the passenger traffic uses the road network to commute. He said up keep and expansion of this network are critical not only from the supply chain perspective but also for the largest share of goods and passenger traffic that uses it.

Gadkari said to catalyze a long term investment into infrastructure, the Government is in a process of setting up a new development finance institution DFR. The institution is being set up on a capital base of Rs 20,000 Crore and will have a lending target of Rs 5 Lakh crores in 3 years. He said government Is developing integrated inland waterways, air connectivity and road network at large.

The Minister said India is becoming the largest EV market for electronic 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers and cars. He said the US based companies can collaborate with our Research and Development towards EV battery technologies and retrofitting industry

Gadkari said we are ready to adopt the world’s best technology without compromising quality, cost effectiveness and sustainability. He said he always use to say the American roads are not good because America is rich. But America is rich because American roads are good. He said our focus is on time bound, qualitative ,cost effective and sustainable world class infra development in this country.

Source: PIB

IIT Ropar’s startup company introduces world’s 1st ‘plant based’ smart air-purifier “Ubreathe Life”

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Budding scientists of Indian Institutes of Technology, Ropar and Kanpur and Faculty of Management Studies of Delhi University have developed a living-plant based air purifier “Ubreathe Life” that amplifies the air purification process in the indoor spaces. These indoor spaces can either be hospitals, schools, offices and your Homes.

 IIT Ropar’s startup company, Urban Air Laboratory, that has developed the product claims it to be world’s first, state-of-the art ‘Smart Bio-Filter’ that can make breathing fresh. It has been incubated at IIT Ropar, which is a designated iHub – AWaDH (Agriculture and Water Technology Development Hub) by the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.

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Image: Ubreathe Life – a living-plant based air purifier

The technology works through the air-purifying natural leafy plant. The room-air interacts with leaves and goes to the soil-root zone where maximum pollutants are purified. The novel technology used in this product is ‘Urban Munnar Effect’ along with patent pending “Breathing Roots” to exponentially amplify the phytoremediation process of the plants. Phytoremediation is a process by which plants effectively remove pollutants from the air.

‘Ubreathe Life’ effectively improves indoor air quality by removing particulate, gaseous and biological contaminants while increasing the oxygen levels in the indoor space through specific plants, UV disinfection and a stack of Pre-filter, Charcoal filter and HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter fitted in a specially designed wooden box. There is a centrifugal fan which creates a suction pressure inside the purifier, and releases purified air, formed at the roots, through the outlet in 360degree direction. The specific plants tested for air-purification include Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Spider plant etc. and all have given good results in purifying indoor-air.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report the indoor air spaces are five times more polluted than outdoor air space. That is a cause of concern especially in the present Covid pandemic times. A research, which has recently been published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), calls upon the governments to alter building designs by fixing air changes per hour (a measure of room ventilation with outdoor air). The ‘Ubreathe Life’ can be a solution to this concern.

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Image: Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Director, IIT Ropar (third from left) with other staff members

“This tested product ‘Ubreathe Life’ can be a game changer for maintaining clean air indoors. Reason being, the new research also suggests that Covid-19 vaccination by itself may not guarantee safety at workplaces, schools and even closed fully air-conditioned homes unless air filtration, air purification and indoor ventilation becomes part of the building design. The results of testing, conducted by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and the Laboratory of IIT Ropar maintains that the AQI (Air Quality Index) for a room size of 150sq.ft. drops from 311 to 39 in 15 minutes after using ‘Ubreathe Life’, claims Director, IIT, Ropar, Prof. Rajeev Ahuja. He claimed that this is first ever living plant based air-purifier in the world that can be a game changer.

Mr. Sanjay Maurya, CEO, Ubreathe claims that the product has certain biophilic benefits, such as supporting cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. Thus, it’s like having a bit of Amazon forest in your room. The consumer need not water the plant regularly as there is a built-in water reservoir with a capacity of 150ml which acts as a buffer for plant requirements. He says that the device supplies water to the roots whenever it gets too dry.

Recommending this researched product, Dr. Vinay and Dr. Deepesh Agarwal from AIIMS, New Delhi said that the ‘Ubreathe Life’ infuses oxygen in the room making it conducive to patients with breathing issues.

Prof. Ahuja assured that IIT is capable of producing the product in large quantity to market it.

Source: PIB

Ministry of Coal starts pilot project to replace use of diesel with LNG in dumpers

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In a big push to reduce its carbon footprint, national miner Coal India Ltd (CIL), Ministry of Coal has initiated the process of retrofitting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) kits in its dumpers – the big trucks engaged in transportation of coal in mines. This is significant as the world’s largest coal miner uses over 4 lakh kilolitres of diesel per annum with an annual expense of over Rs. 3,500 crores.

The company in association with GAIL (India) Limited and BEML Limited has taken up a pilot project for retrofitting LNG kits in its two 100 tonne dumpers operating at the subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). CIL has signed anMoU with GAIL and BEML to get this pilot project executed. Once the LNG kit is successfully retrofitted and tested, these dumpers will be able to run on dual fuel system i.e. both on LNG and Diesel and their operations will be significantly cheaper and cleaner with use of LNG.

“This will be a game changer. The company has over 2,500 dumpers running in its opencast coal mines. The dumper fleet consumes about 65% to 75% of total diesel consumed by the company. LNG will replace the use of diesel by about 30% to 40% and reduce the fuel cost by about 15%. The move will reduce carbon emission significantly and also save around Rs. 500 crores annually if all existing Heavy Earth Moving Machines (HEMMs) including dumpers are retrofitted with LNG kit. Getting rid of diesel pilferages and adulteration are other added advantages,” said a senior CIL executive.

The main goal of the pilot project is to monitor the replacement rate of diesel with LNG in different load and operating conditions and also to capture the details of any change in characteristics of the dumper including cycle time and engine performance parameters, the executive added.

The trial run of dumpers in dual fuel (LNG-diesel) system will be conducted for 90 days in different load and operating conditions. A techno-economic study will be done based on the data generated during the trial run to ascertain the feasibility of the system in CIL mining conditions. Based on the outcome of the pilot project, CIL will decide for bulk use of LNG in its HEMMs, especially dumpers. The company has also planned to buy HEMMs with only LNG engines if this ongoing pilot projects gets success. This move will help CIL reduce its carbon footprint drastically and achieve sustainable goals.

Notably, major mining dumper manufacturers worldwide are now switching over to manufacturing of dumpers having engines with dual fuel (LNG-Diesel) system. CIL’s effort is a big leap towards making a green and cost-effective operations of its machines already running in coal mines.

Source: PIB

Grant-in-aid amounting to Rs. 13,385.70 cr released to rural local bodies

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The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has on Monday released an amount of Rs.13,385.70crore to 25 states for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies.  This Grant-in-aidis the 1st installment of Tied grants of the year 2021-22.  The grants have been released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.

Tied grants are released to the Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) for improving two critical services namely (a) Sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status and (b) supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling.

Out of the total Grant-in-aid allocated for Panchayati Raj institutions, 60 percent is ‘Tied Grant’.  It’s earmarked for national priorities like drinking water supply, rainwater harvesting and sanitation. Remaining 40 percent is ‘Untied Grant’ and is to be utilized at the discretion of the Panchayati Raj institutions for location specific felt needs, except for payment of salaries.

Tied grants are meant to ensure availability of additional funds to the Rural local bodies over and above the funds allocated by the Centre and the State for sanitation and drinking water under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.

The States are required to transfer the grants to the Rural local bodies within 10 working days of their receipt from the Union Government.  Any delay beyond 10 working days requires the State Governments to release the grants with interest.

State-wise amount of Rural Local Bodies (RLB) grants released today and total RLB grants released so far is given below:

S. No.Name of the StateAmount of RLB Grants released on 31-08-2021(Rs. in crore)Total RLB Grants released so far in 2021-22.(Rs. in crore)
1Andhra Pradesh581.7969.50
2Arunachal Pradesh51142.75
3Assam355.8593.00
4Bihar1112.71854.50
5Chhattisgarh322.5537.50
6Gujarat708.61181.00
7Haryana280.5467.50
8Himachal Pradesh95.1158.50
9Jharkhand374.7624.50
10Karnataka713.11188.50
11Kerala360.9601.50
12Madhya Pradesh883.21472.00
13Maharashtra1292.12153.50
14Manipur39.365.50
15Mizoram20.734.50
16Orissa500.7834.50
17Punjab307.8860.00
18Rajasthan856.22392.50
19Sikkim9.315.50
20Tamil Nadu799.82783.23
21Telangana409.5682.50
22Tripura42.370.50
23Uttar Pradesh2162.43604.00
24Uttarakhand127.5212.50
25West Bengal978.31630.50
xTotal13,385.7025,129.98

Source: PIB

CSIR-NGRI have undertaken high resolution aquifer mapping & mngt. in arid areas of NW India to augment groundwater resources

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Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, latest state-of-the-art technology is being employed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for mapping ground water sources in arid regions and thus help utilise ground water for drinking to supplement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal” scheme.
The Minister disclosed that CSIR, along with National Geophysical Research Institute NGRI, have undertaken High Resolution Aquifer Mapping & Management in Arid Regions of North Western India to augment the groundwater resources. He said that the Heli-borne geophysical mapping technique of CSIR-NGRI provides a high resolution 3D image of the sub-surface up to a depth of 500 meters below the ground.

At a meeting of the CSIR attended by Prof K.VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Dr.Shekhar Mande DG, CSIR and other Chief Scientists, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt. of India has entrusted the responsibility to CSIR-NGRI for mapping ground water sources in arid regions.

Referring to Prime Minister’s 75th Independence Day speech, where he said that in just two years of the Jal Jeevan Mission, more than four and a half crore families have started getting water from taps, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Government is promoting Science and Technology (S&T) with emphasis on emerging areas and their application for bringing “Ease of Living” for common man.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that Arid areas in the north western India spread over parts of states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab cover nearly 12% of the total geographical area of the country and is home to more than 8 crore people. He said, with an annual rainfall in the range of less than 100 to 400 mm, this area faces acute shortage of water throughout the year and it is proposed to take up high resolution aquifer mapping and management to augment the groundwater resources.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that this technique is cost-effective, precise and is useful to map large areas (districts/states) within a short time to map the vast extent of groundwater resources in arid regions of our country. The entire work will be completed by 2025 with more than 1.5 lakh square kilometers of area with an estimated cost of Rs. 141 crores. He said, the ultimate aim of this project is to map the potential sites for groundwater withdrawal and conservation and results will be used to meet the broader objectives of aquifer mapping, rejuvenation and management of groundwater resources in the arid areas.

Source: PIB

CBDT extends due dates for electronic filing of various Forms under the IT Act, 1961

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On consideration of difficulties reported by the taxpayers and other stakeholders in electronic filing of certain Forms under the provisions of the Income-tax Act,1961 read with Income-tax Rules,1962 (Rules), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to further extend the due dates for electronic filing of such Forms. The further details are as under:

  1. The application for registration or intimation or approval under Section 10(23C), 12A, 35(1)(ii)/(iia)/(iii) or 80G of the Act in Form No. 10A required to be filed on or before 30th June, 2021, as extended to 31st August, 2021 vide Circular No.12 of 2021 dated 25.06.2021, may be filed on or before 31st March, 2022;
  2. The application for registration or approval under Section 10(23C), 12A or 80G of the Act in Form No.10AB, for which the last date for filing falls on or before 28th February, 2022 may be filed on or before 31st March, 2022;
  3. The Equalization Levy Statement in Form No.1 for the Financial Year 2020- 21, which was required to be filed on or before 30th June, 2021, as extended to 31st August, 2021 vide Circular No.15 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021, may be filed on or before 31st December, 2021;
  4. The Quarterly statement in Form No. 15CC to be furnished by authorized dealer in respect of remittances made for the quarter ending on 30th June, 2021, required to be furnished on or before 15th July, 2021 under Rule 37BB of the Rules, as extended to 31st August, 2021 vide Circular No.15 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021, may be furnished on or before 30th November, 2021;
  5. The Quarterly statement in Form No. 15CC to be furnished by authorized dealer in respect of remittances made for the quarter ending on 30th September, 2021, required to be furnished on or before 15th October, 2021 under Rule 37BB of the Rules, may be furnished on or before 31st December, 2021;
  6. Uploading of the declarations received from recipients in Form No. 15G/15H during the quarter ending 30th June, 2021, which was originally required to be uploaded on or before 15th July, 2021, and subsequently by 31st August, 2021, as per Circular No.12 of 2021 dated 25.06.2021, may be uploaded on or before 30th November, 2021;
  7. Uploading of the declarations received from recipients in Form No. 15G/15H during the quarter ending 30th September, 2021, which is required to be uploaded on or before 15th October, 2021, may be uploaded on or before 31st December, 2021;
  8. Intimation to be made by Sovereign Wealth Fund in respect of investments made by it in India in Form II SWF for the quarter ending on 30th June, 2021, required to be made on or before 31st July, 2021 as per Circular No.15 of 2020 dated 22.07.2020, as extended to 30th September, 2021 vide Circular No.15 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021, may be made on or before 30th November, 2021;
  9. Intimation to be made by Sovereign Wealth Fund in respect of investments made by it in India in Form II SWF for the quarter ending on 30th September, 2021, required to be made on or before 31st October, 2021 as per Circular No.15 of 2020 dated 22.07.2020, may be made on or before 31st December, 2021;
  10. Intimation to be made by a Pension Fund in respect of each investment made by it in India in Form No. 10BBB for the quarter ending on 30th June, 2021, required to be made on or before 31st July, 2021 under Rule 2DB of the Rules, as extended to 30th September, 2021 vide Circular No. 15 of 2021 dated 03.08.2021, may be made on or before 30th November, 2021;
  11. Intimation to be made by a Pension Fund in respect of each investment made by it in India in Form No. 10BBB for the quarter ending on 30th September, 2021, required to be made on or before 31st October, 2021 under Rule 2DB of the Rules, may be made on or before 31st December, 2021;
  12. Intimation by a constituent entity, resident in India, of an international group, the parent entity of which is not resident in India, for the purposes of sub-section (1) of section 286 of the Act, in Form No.3CEAC, required to be made on or before 30th November, 2021 under Rule 10DB of the Rules, may be made on or before 31st December, 2021;
  13. Report by a parent entity or an alternate reporting entity or any other constituent entity, resident in India, for the purposes of sub-section (2) or sub-section (4) of section 286 of the Act, in Form No. 3CEAD, required to be furnished on or before 30th November, 2021 under Rule 10DB of the Rules, may be furnished on or before 31st December, 2021;
  14. Intimation on behalf of an international group for the purposes of the proviso to sub-section (4) of section 286 of the Act in Form No. 3CEAE, required to be made on or before 30th November, 2021 under Rule 10DB of the Rules, may be made on or before 31st December, 2021.

CBDT Circular No. 16/2021 in F.No.225/49/2021/ITA-II dated 29.08.2021 issued. The said Circular will be available on www.incometaxindia.gov.in.

Source: PIB

Govt. introduces a new registration mark for new vehicles Bharat series (BH-series) to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles

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Government has taken a host of citizen centric steps to facilitate mobility. An IT based solution for vehicle registration is one such effort. However, one of the pain points in the vehicle registration process that needed attention was re-registration of a vehicle while moving to another state.

Station relocation occurs with both Government and private sector employees.  Such movements create a sense of unease in the minds of such employees with regard to transfer of registration from the parent state to another state as, under section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, a person is allowed to keep the vehicle for not more than 12 months in any state other than the state where the vehicle is registered, but a new registration with the new state- registering authority has to be made within the stipulated time of 12 months.

A passenger vehicle user takes the following steps to re-register a vehicle:

(i) No Objection Certificate from the Parent State for assignment of a new registration mark in another state. (ii) Assignment of new registration mark after the road tax on prorata basis is paid in the new State. (ii) Application for refund of the road tax in the parent State on pro rata basis.

This provision to get refund from the parent State on pro rata basis is a very cumbersome process and varies from one State to another. In order to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways vide notification dated 26 Aug 2021,  has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles  i.e. “Bharat series (BH-series)”. A vehicle bearing this registration mark shall not require assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one State to another.

Format of Bharat series (BH-series) Registration Mark –

Registration Mark Format: –

   YY BH #### XX

   YY – Year of first registration

   BH- Code for Bharat Series

   ####- 0000 to 9999 (randomized)

XX- Alphabets (AA to ZZ)

This vehicle registration facility under “Bharat series (BH-series)” will be available on voluntary basis to Defense personnel, employees of Central Government/ State Government/ Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more States/Union territories.

The motor vehicle tax will be levied for two years or in multiple of two. This scheme will facilitate free movement of personal vehicles across States/UTs of India upon relocation to a new State/UT. After completion of the fourteenth year, the motor vehicle tax shall be levied annually which shall be half of the amount which was charged earlier for that vehicle.

GSR 594(E) 26 .08.2021 BH series registration mark Rules

Source: PIB

Power Minister advices to use electric vehicles for all official purposes

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As part of its efforts to promote Electric Vehicles in the country, the Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy has written to all the Union Ministers including the Minster of States (Independent Charge) and Chief Ministers of all the States/UTs to join the Government of India’s initiative on transformative mobility and advice their respective Ministries/Departments to convert their fleet of official vehicles from present Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)/Petrol/Diesel Vehicles to Electric Vehicles for all official purposes.

Such an action is expected to set an example for the general public and encourage them to switch over to E-Mobility. The initiative is part of ongoing GO ELECTRIC CAMPAIGN launched by Government of India to promote Electric Vehicles (EVs) to meet multiple objectives – attaining goal of reduction in emission, energy security, energy efficiency etc.

Source: PIB

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