- Government forms panel to fight rising air pollution in Kolkata
- The state government has set up an inter-departmental committee, under the chairmanship of environment minister Sovon Chatterjee, for a concerted effort to combat air pollution. The committee will come up with a detailed road map — short-term and long-term — to maintain ambient air.
- Kolkata has hit the headlines in recent times for being the second worst polluted city in India after Delhi.
- The committee will have several sub-groups, including an air quality monitoring committee which would use the data manually collected by the PCB to understand the trend of region-specific pollution levels and adopt specific mitigation measures. Even the manual reading of the Air Quality Index (AQI) showed abnormal rise of PM10 and PM2.5 levels.
- While PM2.5 is finer particulate matter that directly goes to our lungs as we breath in, PM10 is coarser.
- Malta’s Valletta becomes Europe’s Capital of Culture
- Valletta has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture.
- Over 140 projects and 400 events have been planned in 2018 around three main themes: Island Stories, Future Baroque and Voyages.
- With about 6,000 inhabitants, Valletta is the smallest capital in the European Union.
- It is located in a fortress and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
· China adds 24 GW in just two months making it biggest producer of solar energy
- Renewable energyuse is increasing day by day almost everywhere.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi also weighed on the increase in the use of solar power and also brought ‘Suryaputra’ nations together for better and cleaner future.
- Solar energy use was noted by China when the country managed to add 10.52 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity to its national total over the course of July 2017, in addition to the 24.4 GW of capacity that was installed over the first six months of the year.
- The country is already the biggest producer of solar energy in the world, and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.
- In the last two months alone, China has added 24.02 GW of solar capacity.
- To put that into context, figures from earlier this year put Australia’s total capacity at around 6GW, a figure that’s projected to double by 2020. The US currently has a total capacity of 44.7 GW.
- Meanwhile, China already cleared its goal of reaching a capacity of 105 GW by the end of 2020.
· Sri Lanka bans import of non-airbag equipped vehicles from July 1
ð Sri Lanka restricted the import of the vehicles which do not carry airbags for driver and front seat passenger, Anti-Locking Breaking System standards (ABS) and three-point seat belts for driver and passengers traveling front and rear seats.
ð This decision after considering the representations made by motor vehicle importers and manufacturers for a lead time to make required adjustments to comply with the proposed emission standards and safety measures.
ð Accordingly, the importation of motor vehicles, which are below emission standards of the Euro IV or its equivalent and not complied with the following safety standards, will totally be prohibited effective from 1st July 2018.
· West Indies to Host 2018 Womens World T20
- The International Cricket Council (ICC)announced the 2018 edition of the Women’s World T20 will be hosted by West Indies in November 2018.
- Hosts Windies will defend the title they won over Australia in Kolkata in 2016.
- The three venues were selected by Cricket West Indies through a bidding process and have been ratified by the ICC.
- The November event in the Caribbean will be the first stand-alone ICC Women’s World Twenty20 after the past five events were played alongside the men’s event.
· India is the 5th Most Attractive Market for Investments: PwC Survey
- India emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level, as per the survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC.
- The US remains the top spot for global investment. Around 46% of global CEOs consider the US as one of the three most important countries for growth, followed by China (33%) and Germany (20%) at second and third places, respectively. India (9%) bumps Japan (8%) as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.
- Centre bans import of pet coke for trading purpose in Delhi and NCR
- As part of measures to control air pollution, the Union environment ministry has banned import of pet coke for purpose of trading in Delhi and its neighbouring states.
- It has notified do’s and don’ts for its sale and use in cement plants and other end user industrial units, including refineries.
- The ministry listed 13 points to regulate use of pet coke which is one of the key sources of air pollution in the region.
- The notification was issued in compliance with the 2017 Supreme Court order
Gk bit- Pet coke
- Petroleum coke, or petcoke, is a byproduct from the refining of crude oil. It consists mostly of carbon, with variable amounts of sulfurs and heavy metals. It has many industrial uses, including the production of batteries, steel, and aluminum. Lower grade petcoke, which contains higher concentrations of sulfur, is used as fuel in coal-fired power plants and cement kilns. Lower grade coal is estimated to represent 75% to 80% of all petcoke produced.
- The increased demand for coal to replace petcoke, which will largely have to be met by imports, coincides with increasing coal consumption in India for power generation.
- India is the world’s second-biggest buyer of foreign coal even though imports have held steady in the last two years because of rising local output.
- RIL becomes India’s first firm to cross Rs 6-lakh crore market cap
- Reliance Industries (RIL) become the first Indian company to cross the Rs 6-lakh crore mark in market capitalisation as its shares touched a 52-week high of Rs 974.5.
- RIL is owned 40% by its chairman Mukesh Ambani, making him the richest Indian with personal wealth of $40.7 billion and the 20th richest globally.
- India’s largest software exporter, Tata Consultancy Services follows RIL with market capitalisation of Rs 5,95,946 crore.
- HDFC Bank become the first bank to cross market capitalisation of Rs 5 lakh crore recently.
· Union Government Announces List of 9 New Smart Cities
- Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced the list of nine new Smart Cities, which have emerged winners in Round 4.
- These nine cities are, Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Erode in Tamil Nadu, Diu in Daman and Diu, Bihar Sharif in Bihar, Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep.