Current Affairs, News & Facts of 17 Jul 2015

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  • INS Astravahini decommissioned

     

    • Indigenously built Torpedo launch and recovery vessel (TLRV) 'INS Astravahini' has been decommissioned after almost 31 years in service to the nation.
    • 'INS Astravahini' was decommissioned at a ceremony presided over by Commodore K A Bopanna, Naval Officer-in-Charge ( Andhra Pradesh Division) at the Ship Building Centre. 
    • The vessel was developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) 
    • Astravahini was auxiliary vessel of TLRV class, the ship was commissioned on November 5, 1984 at Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command 
    • The only one of its class the ship was extensively used by NSTL as a test platform to launch and recover experimental torpedoes prior to their induction into the Navy.

    Image credit :indianexpress

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  • Indian-American woman Sunita Viswanath honoured with 'Champion of Change' award

     

    • Indian-American woman Sunita Viswanath is one of the tewlve eminent persons who has been honoured with  'Champions of Change' award by the White House for her effort in protecting environment and communities from the effect of climate change.
    • Sunita  Viswanath was the only Indian American to figure in the list, and was selected for her work in encouraging Hindus to take care of the environment
    • Viswanath,  has worked in women's and human rights organisations for almost three decades she is the  co-founder and active board member of the 14-year-old front-line women's human rights organisation, Women for Afghan Women.She is also the co-founder and board member of 'Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus'.
    • Sunita  Viswanath was born in Chennai , currently she lives in Brooklyn in New York with her husband Stephan Shaw and their three sons Gautama, Akash and Satya.
    • Viswanath was a 2011 recipient of the "Feminist Majority Foundation's Global Women's Rights Award" for her work with WAW.
    • One of the project of Sadhana is Project Prithvi, a grassroots green project as part of Project Prithvi, Sadhana is involved with cleaning up a beach in Jamaica Bay, Queens which is a place of worship for Hindus.

    Image credit:the indianpanorama

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  • Govt approves the proposal to redevelop 400 railway stations

     

    theindiandiaspora

    • Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a proposal to redevelop 400 railway stations using a contract method called the “Swiss challenge”.
    • Under this model, interested parties coming through open bids would develop the stations with their designs and business ideas while commercial development of real estate would be allowed by the Zonal Railways
    • These 400 stations are to be developed by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations
    • These categories of stations are generally located in metros, major cities, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations across the country

    What is Swiss Challenge ?

    Any person with credentials can submit a development proposal to the government for the development of classified railway stations. That proposal will be put on the Internet and a second person can give suggestions to improve or beat that proposal. An expert committee will accept the best proposal and the original proposer will get a chance to accept it if it is an improvement on his own proposal.The Swiss method, however, is already in use in states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat for road and housing projects.

    How are A-1 and A category railway stations categorised ?

    Indian Railway categorises as A-1 and A category based their earning. A-1 category railway stations are those non-suburban stations that have earning of 50 crore rupees and above annually while A category railway stations comprises non-suburban stations with 6 crore to 50 crore rupees annual passenger earnings.

    Image credit :theindiandiaspora

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  • Govt approves composite foreign investment cap

     

    • Union Cabinet has cleared the policy for composite foreign investment limits by including foreign direct investment (FDI), foreign institutional investors (FII) and other routes like NRI investments.
    • Under the existing policy, there are different caps for separate investment categories like FDI, FII and NRI but from now onwards under the new policy, FDI, foreign portfolio investment and investments by non-resident Indians would be clubbed together under a composite cap
    • The proposal is aimed at simplification of FDI policy with a view to attract foreign investments and also improving ease of doing business in India.
    • The composite foreign investment cap have been suggested for agriculture, manufacturing, airports, real estate, telecom and other sectors
    • In 2014-15, investment by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) grew over seven times to $40.92 billion. FDI grew 27 percent to $30.93 billion in the previous fiscal.

    Image credit:financialexpress

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  • Cabinet approves intra-state transmission system 

     

    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the creation of an intra state transmission system in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan 
    • The estimated cost of  intra state transmission system project is Rs 8548.68 crore with Government of India contribution from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) of Rs 3419.47 crore (40 percent of the total estimated cost of project). 
    • Under the project, 48 new grid sub-stations with total transformation capacity of around 17100 MVA will be established and over 7800 ckt-kms of transmission lines will be installed. The project is proposed to be completed within a period of three to five years. 
    • The cost on creating intra-state transmission system is proposed to be met through KfW loan (40 percent of the total cost), NCEF grant (40 percent of the total cost) and the remaining 20 percent as State contribution.
    • These 7 States are rich in renewable resource potential and large capacity renewable power projects are planned there. Creation of an intra state transmission system will facilitate evacuation of renewable power from generation stations to load centres. 

    Image credit :andhrapatrika

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