- Madhya Pradesh may tax luxury cars for gaushalas
- The government in Madhya Pradesh is mulling a cow cess on “expensive cars” to find money to build gaushalas. If it does, it would be the first Congress government to levy a cess for cow welfare.
- The Kamal Nath government is studying the revenue model of BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan (where cow cess was charged by the erstwhile BJP govt), say sources. The animal husbandry department needs Rs 150 crore to build 1,000 cowsheds, housing 100 cows each, but it has a budget of Rs 50 crore.
- The government has also come up with a “sustainability model” for cow sheds, where it aims to make over 100 products from cow produce to meet routine expenditure of gaushalas.
- State government has already taken significant steps in cow welfare — it has already allotted 500 acres for setting up MP’s first Gokul Gram and increased the daily allowance to Rs 20 per cow.
- Dubai airport has been named the worlds busiest airport
- The Dubai International Airport (DXB) has been named as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers for the fifth consecutive year.The UAE’s aviation sector’s contribution to the country’s economy also grows steadily.
- Dubai became the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic in 2014 when it overtook London’s Heathrow Airport. Indian travellers emerging as the largest source of traffic for the airport which registered a record footfall of over 89 million. Dubai international airport was opened for civil aviation in July 1937.
· Japan to drive hybrid cars into India by end of 2021
- Suzuki Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have started developing strong or full hybrid cars for India and are expected to introduce them by the end of 2021,
- As part of its aim to curb rampant pollution in cities, the Indian government plans to promote the local manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries which can be used for both hybrid and electric vehicles.
- The next-generation City model will be launched in India by 2020 with petrol and diesel engine options, followed by the hybrid variant in 2021.
Gk bit – FAME India Scheme
- The FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in 2015 to incentivize the production and promotion of eco-friendly vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
- FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. Main thrust of FAME is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies. Vehicles in most segments – two wheelers, three wheelers, electric and hybrid cars and electric buses obtained the subsidy benefit of the scheme.
- At present, the FAME scheme gives incentives to electric scooters ranging between Rs 1700 to Rs 39,000. For three-wheelers, the incentives range from Rs 3300 and Rs 61,000 and for electric and hybrid cars, the benefits ranges from Rs 11,500 to Rs 1.43 lakh. Electric buses cost about Rs 55 lakh less under the scheme.
- FAME-India is part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), which was launched in 2015. Under the NEMMP scheme, the government aimed to invest Rs 14000 crore in creating infrastructure and promoting the use of electric vehicles.
- ICAR Launches National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP)
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.
- It is inaugurated at the fourth Convention of 2-day “Agrivision-2019” organized by Vidyarthi Kalyan Nyas in Pusa, New Delhi.
- This project (Rs 1100 crore) is to be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
· ISRO to get its new communication satellite
- TheIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is to get its new communication satellite GSAT-31 aloft in space on February 6 from French Guiana on a hired European rocket. GSAT-31 will replace the INSAT-4CR. GSAT-31 weighs roughly 2,500 kg.
- The latter with 12 Ku-band transponders was put to orbit in September 2007 to drive what was then a new DTH industry. The launch of Ariane-5 V247 mission is fixed for 2.31 a.m. IST on February 6.
· Himalayas fading owing to climate change: Experts
- The Himalayas support about 20 per cent of the world’s population. Bordering eight countries, the Himalayan mountain range is the tallest in the world but its present scenario rather appears to be bleak.
- The ecologically fragile region and the storehouse of the third highest amount of frozen wateron earth is highly vulnerable to climate change.
- “Studies have shown that the low-altitude Himalayan glaciers are losing waterat a faster pace than the ones in higher reaches due to rising temperatures creating water risk in these regions.
- The climate change in Himalayas will pave the way to warmer winter, lesser snow, erratic rainfall, longer drought periods and fewer days of intense rainfall.
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