Current Affairs, News & Facts of 28 Mar 2015

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  • Railways moves further up the North-East; Lumding-Silchar (Assam) 'Broad Gauge' railway line becomes operational. - read more cat
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  • Mohd Jamshed submits report of the 'Committee' - constituted to suggest measures on Railway Traffic Optimization - to the centre. 

     

    Some Observations and Suggestions

    • Factors impacting the growth of Indian railways includes; Development of infrastructure, Augmentation of capacity and Saturation levels of all high density routes.
    • Identified specific bottlenecks requiring urgent attention including completion of last mile projects
    • Decline in number of passengers in both sub-urban and non-sub-urban short route traffic; needs rationalisation of fares to reverse the trend.
    • The long distance reserved category traffic has shown robust growth, which has to be doubled during the next three years.
    • Full load running of trains, induction of DMUs and MEMUs, dynamic pricing for all Mail/Express trains and changes in scheduling of trains and their maintenance are some of the areas requiring attention.
    • Also suggested using satellite for Indian Railways' operation and safety needs.
    • Indian Railways freight loading has the potential to grow between 9 to 15 per cent during the next 4 years against the growth of around 4% recorded during the last four years.
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  • ISRO bags 'Gandhi Peace Prize' for the year 2014
    • The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in the year 1995.
    • The Award comprises an amount of Rupees One crore and a citation.
    • Prominent Awardees: Dr. Nelson Mandela, Mr. Vaclav Havel, Dr. Julius K. Nyerere, Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Ramkrishna Mission.
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  • Centre inaugurates Urja Sangam 2015 - India's biggest global hydrocarbon meet with aim to achieve energy security and reliance. 
    • Urja Sangam aims to market nation's potential in the hydrocarbon globally to bring investment and expertize to provide the necessary boost to this sector.
    • He urged all stakeholders to increase the domestic production of Oil and Gas to reduce import dependence from 77 % to 67% by the year 2022, and down to 50 % by the year 2030.
    • National gas grid network to be increased from its current length of 15,000 kms pipeline to 30,000 kms cross country gas pipeline.
    • The said move would help connect Eastern states with the rest of the country which will boost industrial development.
    • India currently has 99 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves and 800 MMT of oil reserves.
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  • Vikas Swarup - author of 'Slumdog Millionaire' - replaces Syed Akbaruddin as the new Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs
    • The senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer is also a novelist and the famous film 'Slumdog Millionaire' was based on one of his books.
    • Syed Akbaruddin will be promoted as Additional Secretary and has been appointed as 'Chief Coordinator' of the Indo-Africa Forum Summit.
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  • Kerala Tourism bags the national Web Ratna Award for 2014 for ‘exemplary e-governance initiative through the Internet.’ 
    • Their website www.keralatourism.org gets the Golden Icon award in the 'outstanding content' category of the Web Ratna Awards.
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  • PM launches "Give it up" campaign for voluntarily giving up LPG subsidy
    • He appealed to well-off sections of society to voluntarily give up LPG subsidy, so that the benefit of the same could reach those who genuinely deserve it.
    • 2.8 lakh people from across the country had already given up LPG subsidy.
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