Government developing framework for repowering wind farms: Piyush Goyal – (Environment)
- With a view to ensure better capacity utilisation of wind energy projects, the Union Power Ministry is developing a framework for repowering wind farms from 200-300 watt units to 2-5 MW that are available in the market, Minister for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal said at an Assocham event held in New Delhi on Friday night.
A hotbed of innovation – (Governance)
- It seems the very fact that Bengaluru has been the centre for start-ups in India, has ensured that Karnataka has become the testing ground for socially centred, rural-based start-up ideas.
- No other State, according to experts, has as many rural start-up ideas being experimented upon. And they have not restricted themselves to just the core areas such as health and education.
- Though e-commerce industry is booming in the cities, it has done little to sell products to rural consumers and create jobs in remote areas.
Policymakers need to change regulatory mindset: Jaitley – (Economics)
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said policymakers need to change their regulatory mindset asserting that role of state should be minimised and government monopoly must end wherever possible.
- Speaking at the National Workshop on Citizen-Centric Governance, he said the economic reforms, which seek to promote easing of doing business, would continue as these are ‘never-ending processes and do not have a finishing line.’
- Mr. Jaitley said policymakers in India still have a ‘regulatory mindset’ which needs to change even as he spoke of the urgency for policing reforms to make police-citizen interaction more civilised.
Hizbul now biggest militant group – (Security)
- Kashmir has witnessed a dramatic shift in the nature of militancy in recent months, resulting in the end of the supremacy of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), with a majority of members from Pakistan. The indigenous Hizbul Mujahideen, with almost all members from Kashmir, is now back as the number one militant group.
- Many see it as a warning to policymakers in both New Delhi and Srinagar to wake up to the new tide of local youths joining militancy, and the dramatic indigenisation of militant violence, which since the late 1990s was dominated by LeT. The shift also means that the attacks are getting milder, and suicide raids are no more routine.
Government plans defence tie-ups with private sector – (Defence)
- In an effort to speed up defence procurements and build domestic expertise in critical areas, the government is planning to build “strategic partnerships” with the private sector and has appointed a committee to formulate the guidelines for forging such partnerships.
- The committee has been appointed under the chairmanship of VK. Aatre, former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to formulate the guidelines in six critical areas and is expected to submit its report in 3-4 weeks.
Mumbai meat ban raises key constitutional question – (Indian Polity)
- The two-day Mumbai meat ban raises an important constitutional question for the Supreme Court as to whether a short-duration ban can be accepted as a “reasonable restriction” on the citizen’s fundamental rights.
- Legal experts ask whether courts would consider a ban unreasonable only if it goes on for a “considerable period of time”.
BSF, Pak. Rangers to float new CBMs – (International Relation)
The border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers decided to ensure the well-being of the border population, the worst affected by ceasefire violations and cross-border firing, during talks that concluded on Saturday.
- The two sides particularly agreed on sending back people who inadvertently cross the border within 24 hours after recording their fingerprints and other details.
Malkha weaves a success story – (Indian Culture)
- At a time when power looms are playing havoc with the livelihood of the artisans depending on traditional looms, weavers from this tiny village in East Godavari district are holding their own.
- An artistic blend of ‘Malmal’ and ‘Khadi,’ ‘Malkha’ is a fabric that is popular in fashionable circles.
- Also known as ‘freedom fabric,’ Malkha was introduced to the members of the Pulugurtha Handloom Weavers Cooperative Production and Sale Society three years ago. The weavers live about 30 km from Kakinada.
Poachers go all out to net Indian Roller – (Environment)
- It is officially Telangana’s State bird but the next few days will test the survival instincts of the Indian Roller (‘Pala Pitta’ in Telugu and ‘Neelkanth’ in Hindi), a bird widely considered to be sacred in the State. The bird catchers are out there scouring agricultural fields to catch the Indian Roller for the upcoming Dasara festivities.
- The Indian Roller ( Coracias benghalensis ) is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Any violations of this protection (such as capturing the bird, keeping the bird in captivity, etc) attract a penalty of Rs. 25,000 or imprisonment up to three years or both.
Grand start to maiden maritime exercises – (Defence)
- The first edition of the biennial bilateral maritime exercises between the two major Indian Ocean naval powers – Australia and India – AUSINDEX 15 began on board Indian Navy stealth frigate INS Shivalik on Saturday.
- The bilateral exercises that have been a long time in the making got a push after the Prime Ministers of the two countries signed a Framework for Security Cooperation in 2014.