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Indian Railways launches India’s first Solar DEMU Train

  •  Today, the Union Railways Minister ‘Suresh Prabhu’ dedicated country's first solar powered DEMU train to the nation at an event in New Delhi.
  • The 1600 Horse Power (HP) train with solar powered coaches has the special battery bank for use during night hours.
  • There are 16 solar panels of 300 watts capacity each in a coach.
  • The train will run from Sarai Rohilla (Delhi) to Farukh Nagar (Haryana).
Note:
  • The train will save about 21,000 Litres of Diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs. 12 Lakh per year and the cost of these solar panels is nearly 54 lakh rupees.
  • The train is built at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai with a life of 25 years.

Centre, UP govt sign MoU to set up AIIMS in Gorakhpur


  • Uttar Pradesh government has signed Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for setting up of an All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Gorakhpur.
  • The hospital will have 750 free beds and the project will cost 1,750 crore rupees.
  • The OPD of the new AIIMS will start by September 2018 and trauma centers will be established by 2020.

Maharashtra social boycott Bill gets Presidential nod


  • Maharashtra is the first Indian state to formulate a law to punish social boycott.
  • Punishment for an offense under the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill includes a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment of up to seven years or both.
  • The social boycott for reasons such as religious rituals, inter-caste marriage, lifestyle, dress or vocation would also invite stringent punishment.
Note:
  • There is a provision for victims or any member of the victim’s family to file a complaint either with the police or directly to the magistrate.

Haryana government sets up Smart Gram Development Authority


  • The Haryana government has set up the ‘Haryana Smart Gram Development Authority’ (HSGDA) under the chairmanship of the chief minister to develop smart villages in the state.
  • The HSGDA would oversee the formulation and implementation of plans for converting villages into ‘smart grams’.
  • It would design a strategic long-term policy and programme framework to improve basic amenities like roads, power supply, drinking water, sanitation, and common government to consumer (G2C) services.

Railways Ministry launches RailCloud Project


  • Railways minister ‘Sri Suresh Prabhu’ has launched ‘RailCloud’, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that will enable faster connectivity at a reduced cost. 
  • It works on popular Cloud Computing system to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient, and safe operations. 
  • RailCloud has been developed by Rail Tel (rail PSU) as part of railway's strategic IT initiative, IR-OneICT.
Note:
  • Cloud computing is an emerging technology for faster and on demand commensurate deployment of server resources which results in reduced cost.

Odisha govt to set up Haj House in Bhubaneswar


  • The Odisha government will set up a ‘Haj House’ in Bhubaneswar for the welfare of Haj pilgrims.
  • The Odisha government has also sanctioned 5 crore rupees for the development of educational institutions in the state for welfare of minority community children.
  • A total number of 1,133 applicants evinced interest to go for Haj this year scheduled for 2nd Sep,2017.

Govt to introduce double decker luxury buses run on alternative fuels


  • The union Government is looking to revamp public transport through the introduction of double decker luxury buses run on alternative fuels, with an aim to curb private vehicle use.
  • According to Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Volvo is ready to run buses on methanol, which can easily be manufactured in the country.
  • The government is also planning to construct a separate lane for running electric trucks and buses on Delhi-Mumbai corridor, which can also run on diesel in city areas.
  • Running vehicles on alternative fuel is bound to reduce the logistic costs by 4 to 6%.

J P Nadda launched National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22)


  • The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare ‘Shri J P Nadda’ has launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22).
  • The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years.
  • This plan focuses on the states like Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

Indian scientists discover new supercluster of galaxies, ‘Saraswati’


  • Indian scientists have discovered an extremely large supercluster of galaxies, which is as big as 20 million billion suns.
  • Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) team of astronomers has named it ‘Saraswati’.
  • This is one of the largest known structures in the neighbourhood of the universe, 4,000 million light-years away from Earth and roughly more than 10 billion years old.
  • Its mass extends over the scale of 600 million light years.
Note:
  • Superclusters are the largest coherent structures in the cosmic web.
  • They are a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies.

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo passes away


  • Famous political prisoner of China, Nobel laureate ‘Liu Xiaobo’ (61-year) passed away in custody following a battle with cancer.
  • Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.
  • Xiaobo was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China’s political system.
  • In Dec 2009, he sentenced to 11 years in prison on the charges of subversion.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based Artificial Intelligence start up ‘Halli Labs’


  • Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence Startup 'Halli Labs' for an undisclosed sum.
  • The firm was founded with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems.
  • The company would be joining Google’s Next Billion Users team to help get technology and information into more people’s hands around the world. “We couldn’t be more excited,”.
Note:
  • Halli Labs was co-founded in early 2017 by Pankaj Gupta, former chief technology officer of online homestay aggregator Stayzilla.
  • Gupta is the alumnus of Stanford University and also worked as a senior data scientist at Twitter.

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on SDG index


  • India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on the 2017 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index and Dashboard report released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Bertelsmann Stiftung.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a set of 17 ‘Global Goals’ with 169 targets covering various sectors like health, education, and climate change among others.
  • India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and China.
Note:
  • 1st – Sweden (85.6).
  • 2nd – Denmark (84.2).
  • 3rd- Finland (84).
  • 4th- Norway (83.9).
  • 5th- Czech Republic (81.9).
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