New Delhi-Varanasi train journey to be covered in just 8 hours Train will Run on all days Except Mondays and Thursdays Speed, Scale and Service-Hallmarks of Vande Bharat Express A Make-in-India Success Story The ‘Make in India’ effort of Indian Railways has culminated into India's first Semi High Speed Train, "Vande Bharat Express".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off the maiden run of the train on New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route train tomorrow morning from the New Delhi Railway Station. He will inspect the facilities in the train and address a gathering on this occasion. Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal will lead the team of officials and media persons aboard the train on its inaugural run tomorrow. It will stop at Kanpur and Allahabad where it will be received by dignitaries and the people.
Vande Bharat Express can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph and has travel classes like Shatabdi Train but with better facilities. It aims to provide a totally new travel experience to passengers. The Train will cover the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in 8 hours and will run on all days except Mondays and Thursdays.
All coaches are equipped with automatic doors, GPS based audio-visual passenger information system, on-board hotspot Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes, and very comfortable seating. All toilets are bio-vacuum type. The lighting is dual mode, viz. diffused for general illumination and personal for every seat. Every coach has a pantry with facility to serve hot meals, hot and cold beverages. The insulation is meant to keep heat and noise to very low levels for additional passenger comfort.
Vande Bharat Express has 16 air-conditioned coaches of which 2 are executive class coaches. The total seating capacity is 1,128 passengers. It is much more than the conventional Shatabdi rake of equal number of coaches, thanks to shifting of all electric equipment below the coaches and seats in the driving coach also.
Adding up the green footprints, the train has regenerative braking system in the Vande Bharat Express coaches which can save up to 30% of electrical energy.
Speed, Safety and Service are the hallmarks of this train.Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, a Railways Production unit, has been the force behind a completely in-house design and manufacture, computer modelling and working with a large number of suppliers for system integration in just 18 months.
Context: The government has commissioned Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park at Tundurru Village in Bhimavaram Mandal, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.
This is the 1st Mega Aqua Food Park operationalised exclusively established for fish and marine products processing in the State of Andhra Pradesh. It will provide a platform and establish backward and forward linkages covering the entire aqua food processing value chain, quality assurance, food safety and implementation of best practices in post-harvest management.
Mohar reservoir project: Context: The Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department (CWRD) commenced the work on Mohar Reservoir Project in Balod district without ensuring the land required was acquired and obtaining environment and forest clearances, says the latest Comptroller and Auditor General report on Chhattisgarh.
Key facts: The Mohar reservoir project is proposed across the confluence of river Dangarh and Dalekasa with a catchment of 143 square km. The gross command area of the project is 1100 hectares. The proposed project is expected to irrigate 800 hectares of Kharif paddy and supply 1000 million cubic (1 TMC) water by feeder canal to Kharkhara reservoir for 500MW power plant of NSPCL in Bhilai.
Crying Keelback: Context: Researchers find new snake in Arunachal- Crying Keelback (named for the mark below its eyes, that gives the illusion that it is crying) snake or the Hebius lacrima. The Crying Keelback has a set of characteristics that together make it different from other species in the Habeas genus: the mark under its eyes, the interrupted pale head stripe, among others.
Summary: The editorial discusses about the rich inherited biodiversity, the need to protect and use sustainably, issues associated, the role of CBD and what needs to be done in near future.
Background- principle of ‘Commons’: For thousands of years, humans have considered natural resources and the environment as a global public good, with communities having diligently managed these resources using the principle of ‘Commons’. In simple terms, these are a set of resources such as air, land, water and biodiversity that do not belong to one community or individual, but to humanity. All developments we see in the establishment of civilisations across the world as well as agricultural development feeding the world today are a result of such ‘Commons’ being managed by communities for centuries.
Significance of Commons: According to estimates, a third of the global population depends on ‘Commons’ for their survival; 65% of global land area is under ‘Commons’, in different forms.
At least 293,061 million metric tonnes of carbon (MtC) are stored in the collective forestlands of indigenous peoples and local communities. This is 33 times the global energy emissions in 2017. The significance of ‘Commons’ in supporting pollination (the cost estimated to be worth $224 billion annually at global levels) cannot be overlooked. In India, the extent of ‘Common’ land ranges between 48.69 million and 84.2 million hectares, constituting 15-25% of its total geographical area. ‘Common’-pool resources contribute $5 billion a year to the incomes of poor Indian households.
Around 77% of India’s livestock is kept in grazing-based or extensive systems and dependent on ‘Commons’ pool resources. And 53% of India’s milk and 74% of its meat requirements are met from livestock kept in extensive ‘Common’ systems. ‘Commons’ are now a major provider of livelihood options for both urban and peri-urban populations. The relevance of ‘Commons’ impacting urban dwellers cannot be overlooked with more urbanisation happening.
What are the main concerns now? With money and power to privatise these natural resources for individual prosperity in the form of property management principles, intellectual property rights and others, the benefits of these natural resources are not being shared equally.
In one form the CBD — a multi-lateral environmental agreement that has provided legal certainty to countries through the principle of sovereign rights over biodiversity — also contributed to states now owning the resources, including their rights on use and management.
The intent of the CBD and having sovereign rights was to manage resources better. But the results of such management have been questionable. A key reason cited is that ‘Commons’ and common property resource management principles and approaches are ignored and compromised.
India’s case: Despite their significance, ‘Commons’ in India have suffered continued decline and degradation. National Sample Survey Office data show a 1.9% quinquennial rate of decline in the area of ‘Common’ lands, though microstudies show a much more rapid decline of 31-55% over 50 years, jeopardising the health of systemic drivers such as soil, moisture, nutrient, biomass and biodiversity, in turn aggravating food, fodder and water crises. As of 2013, India’s annual cost of environmental degradation has been estimated to be ₹3.75 trillion per year, i.e. 5.7% of GDP according to the World Bank.
Why worry about this? ‘Commons’ becoming uncommon is a major socio-political, economic and environmental problem. While the state can have oversight over resource management, keeping people away from using and managing ‘Commons’ is against effective governance of ‘Commons’. The sovereign rights provided for, legally, under the CBD should not be misunderstood by the state as a handle to do away with ‘Commons’-based approaches to managing biodiversity, land, water and other resources.
Need of the hour: Current discussions under the United Nations should focus on how and why ‘Commons’ have been negatively impacted by progressive pronouncements to save the earth and people. There needs to be a review of current governance of biodiversity and natural resources.
In addition to seeking more money, time and capacities to deal with biodiversity and natural resource management, we need to focus on three specific approaches:
To re-introduce more strongly, the management and governance principles of ‘Commons’ approaches into decision-making and implementation of conservation, use and benefit sharing action. To use Joseph Schumpeter’s approach of creative destruction to put resource management in the hands of the people. To re-look at Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel Prize winning principles of dealing with ‘Commons’.