Ken-Betwa rivers linking to benefit nine districts
or the people of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the day of 8 December 2021 brought such good news, which the whole Bundelkhand will remember forever. On this day, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the project of interlinking of Ken-Betwa rivers. This project is the first step towards realising the vision of the country’s former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s River Link Campaign to tackle drought and floods simultaneously. Along with approving the project, the Union Cabinet has also fixed the time for completion of the project by sanctioning an amount of 44 thousand 605 crores for the scheme on the basis of the prices of the year 2020-21.
This unique project, first of its kind in the country, will change the fate of lakhs of farmers and will now saturate the thirsty throats of the people of drought-affected Bundelkhand. About 12 lakh hectare dry land of both the states will get the benefit of irrigation from this project. 9 districts of Madhya Pradesh namely Raisen, Vidisha, Sagar, Damoh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Tikamgarh, Shivpuri and Datia along with Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur districts of Uttar Pradesh will get the benefit of drinking water besides irrigation.
Chouhan said that the project will become the lifeline of Bundelkhand. With this, 8 lakh 11 thousand hectares of unirrigated area will get the benefit of irrigation in 9 districts of Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. About 42 lakh people will have easy availability of drinking water. The land of Bundelkhand is very fertile, which has been a victim of drought due to lack of water.
India signs Air bubble agreement with Australia
Indian government has signed an air bubble agreement with Australia, under which all eligible passengers will be allowed to travel between both the countries.
Australian airline Qantas has started flights between Sydney and New Delhi, recently. It is also set to start flights between New Delhi and Melbourne before Christmas.
Air India also operated direct commercial flights to connect New Delhi with Melbourne and Sydney before Indian government suspended scheduled international flights.
Air India flights between India and Australia will resume in coming days, said a senior official with the airline.
Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code’
Central government noted in Lok Sabha that there is no proposal under its consideration to do away with the sedition law.
- As per a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stated that, on May 31, 2021 Supreme Court in its order on a writ petition had observed that “ambit & parameters of provisions of Sections 124A, 505 and 153A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 requires interpretation, especially with respect to right of electronic & print media to communicate news”.
- As per minister, SC has also issued notice to Centre on a plea in which petitioners have asked for an appropriate writ, order or direction to declare Section 124A of IPC, 1860 unconstitutional and void.
NITI Aayog’s ‘e-Sawari India E-Bus Coalition’
NITI Aayog in association with the Convergence Energy Service Limited (CESL) & World Resources Institute, India launched the “e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition” (e-Sawari India e-Bus Coalition). This coalition is also supported by Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI).
With the launch of “e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition”, central government agencies, state government agencies, city-level government agencies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), transit service providers, financing institutions, and ancillary service providers would be able to share their learnings and knowledge on e-bus adoption in India.
Significance of the launch
In India, electrification of public transport especially across bus sector is key to decarbonization strategy. The launch of e-Sawaari India Electric Bus Coalition is a step of ensuring steady and paced electrification of bus transport system in the country. It will help in address the challenges of procurement, operations & financing e-bus deployment in a bid to achieve net zero emissions.
MeitYorganised Digital Payment Utsav
As a part of ‘Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav’, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) hosted a unique event called ‘Digital Payment Utsav’ on December 10, 2021.
Under the Digital Payment Utsav, the journey and rise of digital payments in India was celebrated.
It brought the leaders from Government, fintech companies, banking sector, and start-ups, together.
Digital Payment Utsav witnessed the launch of innovative solutions such as:
- Payments On the Go: “Rupay-on-the-Go” was launched by City Union Bank as wearables have re-defined the true paperless contactless payments.
- Inclusive Credit for All: Credit cards are the next big in fintech & contactless. To drive this way forward to the next level, India Post Payments Bank-Punjab National Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Bank and City Union Bank launched Contactless Credit cards on RuPay network.
- SOFTPOS- Empowering Small Merchants: India has around 1.5 crore retail stores or Kiryana stores. The SOFTPOS android-based mobile app has been launched by Union Bank for point of sales. This app will help in furthering the cause of digital payment adoption.
140 million free health IDs generated
Minister of state for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar informed in Lok Sabha that, government has made a provision to generate a health ID for every citizen free of cost.
As of now, more than 140 million health IDs have been created.
Creation of Health IDs is voluntary.
The National Health Authority is creating awareness among citizens regarding the usage and advantages of Health IDs for ensuring their maximum participation.Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission also aims to provide digital health IDs for all Indian citizens in order to provide health records electronically to the hospitals, insurance firms, and citizens, when required.
The health ID works as the health account of citizens. It comprises of all the details ofevery disease, every test, the doctors visited, the diagnosis and the medicines taken.