By: D.K Choudhary
India’s first 2G Ethanol Bio-refinery set up in Punjab
i. The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking, is setting up India’s first 2G (Second Generation) ethanol bio-refinery at village Tarkhanwala in Bathinda, Punjab.
ii. The foundation stone laying ceremony for the project was held on December 25, 2016 by the Minister of Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimarat Kaur Badal jointly with the Minister of State (I/C) Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal.
iii. The purpose of the bio-refinery is to encourage production of Second Generation (2G) Ethanol from agricultural residues.
iv. The approximate investment of the project is estimated to be Rs 600 Crores.
Centre & Maharashtra Inked Agreements For New Railway Projects
i. The union government and Devendra Fadnavis lead Maharashtra government signed agreement for new railway projects worth Rs 45,000 crore in Maharashtra said by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
ii. The ministry of railway planning to increasing connectivity in Maharashtra with an outlay of Rs 22,000 crore.
iii. It will be used for laying of new railway lines, increasing capacity of railway stations and converting some single line to double line.
♦ The Mumbai Suburban Railway is the first railway built by the British in India and it is the oldest railway system in Asia.
Centre sanctions action plan for three year under AMRUT
i. The Centre has decided to step down the usual practice of annually sanctioning the action plans under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and has given a one go clearance for the scheduled plans for the remaining three years of the five-year scheme.
ii. AMRUT was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015. It focuses on ensuring water supply and improving the sewerage network and drainage systems in cities for urban transformation.
iii. The new practice was launched to enable states to plan projects in a “comprehensive and holistic manner”, and for the timely execution of work.
iv. However, the plans for the scheme’s final three years were being approved after verifying the progress of plans cleared during the last and current financial years.
MEA Launches Twitter Seva for speedy redressal of citizen’s querry
i. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on December 23 launched a live customer service resolution platform, ‘Twitter Seva’, to provide speedy resolution to visa and passport queries of the customers.
ii. The service launched by the Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will enable timely, transparent and large scale response to citizen’s Tweets in real-time and enhance scalability and speed the process of dealing with requests by Indian and global citizens.
iii. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with 6.8 million followers has been extremely active on Twitter to extend help and support to Indian and global citizens. With the deployment of Twitter Seva, the Ministry aims to ensure public service redressal in the most effective manner.
iv. The Seva service will be supported by 198 Twitter accounts of Missions and High Commissions across the world and 29 Regional Passport Offices (RPOs) in India and eight other handles such as @MEAIndia, @Indiandiplomacy and @MEAQuery.
v. Both Indians and non-Indians can simply tweet with their query relevant to any of these handles which will go to the Twitter Seva platform.
vi. The request will activate the concerned office nationally or across the world and address a various range of issues under the MEA, enabling the quick resolution of grievances.
vii. Earlier, the Telecom Ministry launched Twitter Seva in August 2016 while the Commerce and Industry Ministry, too, launched a Twitter Seva service in April.
Amazon India Report Indicates Delhi as most well-read city in India.
i. As per a survey conducted by Amazon India the national capital, Delhi, has emerged as the most well-read city in India for the fourth consecutive year followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai taking the second and third spot, respectively.
ii. According to the ‘Annual Reading Trends Report for 2016’ conducted by Amazon.in, Karnal, Vadodara and Patna are first-time entrants in the Top 20 list having bought more books than cities like Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Lucknow in 2016.
iii. Amazon.in conducted a readers poll on its website where it invited people to vote for their favourite book across eight categories. Each category had the top 5 best-sellers of the respective genre and readers were asked to vote for their favorite among these. The poll ran for 8 days (from 5th – 12th December 2016).
iv. Among the most sold books, Chetan Bhagat’s One Indian Girl emerged as the highest selling book of 2016 followed by JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I and II. The third spot was taken by exam preparation book Word Power Made Easy written by Norman Lewis.
♦ The Amazon.in marketplace is operated by Amazon Seller Services Private Limited, an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc.
♦ Amazon.in seeks to build the most customer-centric online destination for customers to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online by giving them more of what they want – vast selection, low prices, fast and reliable delivery, and a trusted and convenient experience.
Govt launch mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ & OCMC to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances
i. The Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched a mobile App ‘Smart Consumer’ and an ‘Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC)’ to provide speedy redressal of consumer grievances in New Delhi on the occasion of National Consumer Day on December 24, 2016
ii. The mobile app of the Consumer Helpline and the Smart Consumer App for accessing product information and online communities will benefit the consumers in the digital world
iii. He also launched the Microsite based on the theme Digitally Safe Consumer Campaign to help consumers for being vigilant and not falling prey to cyber frauds.