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Development Watch – January Week #3

Image : Indicative view of luxury train (Source : ToI / IndiaTimes)

Government announces India’s first ever livability index

The housing and urban affairs ministry has decided to assess the livability standard of 116 Indian cities, which include the identified Smart Cities and few more cities with a population of over 1 million.

The cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters like governance, social infrastructure, education, employment, health and safety and security. The ‘Livability Index‘ will also take into account physical infrastructure like housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid waste management and pollution, among others.

This piece of information augurs well for LocalFeedback team and we would be actively covering news related to the index.

India’s first garbage festival organized in Chhattisgarh

The Raipur Municipal Corporation in Chhattisgarh had organised the city’s first garbage festival that ended on Sunday, January 22. It was also known as “Kachra Mahotsav 2018”.

India ranked 62nd on WEF’s Inclusive Development Index

India has been ranked 62 out of 74 emerging economies on a metric focused on the living standards of people and future-proofing of economies by the World Economic Forum. Pakistan ranks 47, Sri Lanka is at 40, and Nepal at 22; Uganda (59) and Mali (60) are also higher on the index.

This Inclusive Development Index has been developed as a new metric of national economic performance as an alternative to GDP. There has been a 2.29 per cent improvement in the overall five-year trend of the IDI for India. Though the incidence of poverty has declined in India over the past five years, six out of 10 Indians still live on less than $3.20 per day.

Govt to set up Rs. 2200 crore fund to finance solar projects

India is setting up a $350-million solar development fund to support financing of solar projects, according to minister of state for new and renewable energy Raj Kumar Singh. India will achieve its target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity well before 2020, said Mr. Singh while Delivering the keynote address at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Forum in Abu Dhabi.

ISA is an alliance of sunshine-rich countries set up jointly by India and France on the sidelines of the historic Paris meeting on climate change in November 2015. The forum was one of its first outreach programmes. So far, 19 countries have ratified and 48 signed the ISA Framework Agreement.

National Family Health Survey : Most Indians eat unbalanced diet

Over half of all Indians, especially women, eat an unbalanced diet devoid of fresh fruits, green vegetables, pulses, meat and milk products that are needed to lead a healthy life.

Recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16 by the health ministry revealed that fewer than half (47%) of all women consume dark green, leafy vegetables daily and another 38% eat them only once a week.

Indian Railways has Plans to Monetize its Assets

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has said financial wing of Railway’s – Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) – will soon expand its footprint into newer business lines. the Railways is planning to change some existing guidelines on monetizing land and station assets. The lease period may be increased from 45 yrs to 99 years and would allow participants to have multiple leases.

On January 8, railway officials had said drones fitted with a camera would monitor railway projects, aid crowd management and even oversee maintenance works across its zones. The West Central Railways, headquartered at Jabalpur (MP), will be the first zonal railway to procure drone cameras and it has already conducted a trial run of the cameras last week in its 3 divisions.

NIIF and DP World to create a platform to invest in ports, logistics and terminals

DP World, a Dubai-based maritime company, and India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) are to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India. The platform will invest up to US$ 3 billion of equity to acquire assets and develop projects in the sector.

The partnership follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in May 2017 along with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi’s visit to India, and DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (February 2016). The platform will also consider areas like river ports and transportation, freight corridors, inland container terminals, port-led special economic zones and logistics infrastructure including cold storage.

20% Reduction in Travel Time with ‘Made in India’ Luxury Trains

Faster, ‘world-class’ self propelled trains could cut down travel time by at least 20%. They will replace locomotives that use brakes, with acceleration and deceleration that increase travel time. Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has designed two fully-air-conditioned train sets, called ‘Train 18’ (manufactured by June 2018) and ‘Train 20′ (to be ready by 2020).

These trains can travel at speeds of 160 kmph and are likely to replace the Shatabdi trains. Other amenities include on-board Wifi with infotainment, GPS-based passenger information and interiors with diffused LED lighting. The toilets of these coaches will be fitted with zero discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets and touch-free fittings.

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