Budget 2021 - expansion of Metro Rail and bus services
Comfortable, safe and affordable commuting
Covid - safety of personal car and two-wheeler bubbles
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of Central funding of ₹1,957 crore, ₹63,246 crore and ₹14,788 crore for the Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru Metro projects, respectively.
Less certain, however, is the impact of the proposed ₹18,000 crore plan to augment public bus transport using a PPP model that will enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses.
NITI Aayog data: India’s ratio of buses to population is a low 1.2:1000 people
Thailand - 8.6:1000
South Africa - 6.5:1000
State governments, which retain effective control over urban development rather than city administrations, have failed to operationalise the umbrella authorities to regulate transport.
Common mobility cards
Census 2011 showed that the number of Census Towns, which are urban for census purposes but not named urban local bodies, grew tremendously over a decade.
Only integration can bring about inclusive urbanisation.
Smart walls’ for Indian borders
The ‘smart wall’ technology could solve border security issues without the need for a physical barrier.
Along with surveillance towers and cameras, thermal imaging would be used, which would help in the detection of objects.
The system would even be capable of distinguishing between animals, humans, and vehicles, and then sending updates to handheld mobile devices of the U.S. patrol agents.
Can we secure Indian borders using such tech?
The terrain in the region is rugged, and, furthermore, not even clearly defined.
Some other benefits of smart wall
less damage to the environment
fewer land seizures
Towards sustainable growth
Lessons from Covid-19
It made us realise that we are a part of nature
Protect ecological functions of biosphere
Globally, the GDP is expected to contract 2.4% to 8% in 2020.
WEF: the global cost of dealing with the pandemic could be from $8.1 trillion to $15.8 trillion
Preventing such pandemics will cost only a fraction of this amount, estimated at $22.2 billion to $30.7 billion a year, and this is without factoring in the human suffering.
No natural environment – no economy
India is placed on the list of countries experiencing the highest rates of negative change.
Additionally, there is a strong correlation between human density, richness of biodiversity, and the emergence of zoonotic pathogens of wild origin, which renders India particularly vulnerable.
The WEF’s Global Risks report for 2021 states that environmental risks continue to threaten the global economy.
The top 5 risks are extreme weather, climate action failure, human environmental damage, infectious diseases and biodiversity loss.
Destructing environment in the name of development is not acceptable anymore.
A study by Swiss Re Institute published in 2020 introduces a new biodiversity and ecosystem services index.
It found that globally, 20% of countries, including India, have fragile ecosystems.
It also states that 55% of the global GDP depends on high-functioning biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Economic decision-making must have biodiversity and ecosystems
Come up with a form of national accounting that is different from the GDP model
A National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well-Being has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.
No to vaccine nationalism, yes to global cooperation
Vaccine diplomacy has become a hot topic
Global South countries, India and China, which have provided a ray of hope to most countries.
Duke University: the European Union, two times, the United States and the United Kingdom, four times, and Canada, six times.
And, 82% of Pfizer’s production in 2021 and 78% of Moderna’s have already been advance purchased by rich countries.
India has displayed empathy
India has taken a position that a significant percentage of the approved doses will be permitted for exports.
Brazil has received 2 million doses of vaccine from India (as of January 23).
The COVAX project is a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
The intranasal version of Covaxin, which has been approved for phase I could further facilitate vaccinating the global population.
PM to inaugurate Chauri Chaura centenary celebrations in UP’s Gorakhpur district at 11 AM today
India can be net security provider in Indian Ocean Region says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Prominent Indians including Lata Mangeshkar & Sachin Tendulkar support govt's stand on farmers protest
US extends New START Nuclear Arms Control Treaty with Russia for five years
Finance Ministry releases 14th weekly instalment of Rs 6000 crore to states to meet GST compensation shortfall
HM Amit Shah says no propaganda can deter India’s unity
No proposal to launch new pension policy for central civil pensioners: Govt
India to host Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers’ Conclave today