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- As per Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, the redevelopment of the seven government colonies in Delhi will lead to an increase of the green area coverage by about 3 times from the existing green space area. The redevelopment of the seven colonies – Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Mohammadpur, Sriniwaspuri, Kasturba Nagar and Thyagaraj Nagar – is being done with complete adherence to environmental sustainability and green building concepts and special care and attention is being given towards retaining maximum number of existing trees and incorporating them in a large cluster, as an integral part of landscaping design scheme. The compensatory plantation of trees will be done in the ratio of 1:10 thereby resulting in enhanced tree coverage area.
- In a bid to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s propaganda on nationalism, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), for the first time, will hold a nationwide programme called samagrik jagaran (mass awakening) to celebrate Independence Day. The CITU, the labour wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)), will organise overnight demonstrations against the BJP-led government at the Centre on August 14. Samagrik jagaran is aimed at highlighting how the dreams of freedom fighters and values of Independence have been left unfulfilled by the Centre.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Vanijya Bhawan, a new office complex for the Union Department of Commerce, in New Delhi on June 22, 2018. While retaining the Central Vista architecture, the Vanijya Bhawan will have all modern technology-driven features. Once ready, it will accommodate about 1000 officers and staff. It will be a completely paperless office with state-of-the-art-facilities such as smart access control, central air-conditioning, video conferencing and completely networked systems. The new building aims to become a symbol of India’s growing economic might and the adoption and use of technology in governance.
- In order to strengthen the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs released a draft on cross-border insolvency that would help banks access overseas assets of a company undergoing resolution. Similarly, the Indian authorities will also be required to cooperate with foreign creditors to a domestic company. The draft favours adoption of the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Laws) model on dealing with cross-border insolvency.
- India hopes to make Iran’s Chabahar port operational by 2019, despite the threat of United States’ sanctions against Tehran looming large. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the opening of the port will make countries part of the Commonwealth of Independent States more accessible. In 2016, India entered into a trilateral treaty with Iran and Afghanistan to develop a new transportation corridor connecting the three countries and other Central Asian Countries, bypassing Pakistan.
- Under anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has banned al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP). AQIS, an affiliate of al Qaeda, is terrorist organisation, which has committed acts of terrorism in India’s neighbouring countries and ISKP is Afghanistan wing of Islamic State (IS) that promotes and encourages terrorism in Indian sub-continent.
- The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could wipe out entire regions or even continents. The National Science and Technology Council recently released a report calling for improved asteroid detection, tracking and deflection. NASA is participating, along with federal emergency, military, White House and other officials. NASA’s planetary defence officer, Lindley Johnson, said scientists have found 95% of all these near-Earth objects measuring one kilometre or bigger. But the hunt is still on for the remaining 5% and smaller rocks that could still inflict big damage.
- India has thrown open its satellite-building expertise to engineering graduates chosen from other countries. Starting this year, and for three years, a total of 90 qualifying engineers from various countries will be taught to build and test three small satellites each year. India is also ready to launch the small satellites built during the programme if they are good, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K. Sivan, and other ISRO officials announced at an event in Vienna, where the global space community is meeting from June 18 to 21.
- To leverage the potential of the region, the Haryana government plans to develop a new city next to Gurgaon in the National Capital Region. The new city, which is expected to be larger than Chandigarh, will also be planned and developed in a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The master plan for this new city will be prepared by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC).