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Uttarakhand’s First Heli Service Under UDAN lagged off In Dehradun

The service from Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur had been the long pending demand.

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DEHRADUN (Uttarakhand): Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) today operationalized the first-ever helicopter services from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar, and Chinyalisaur under the Regional Connectivity SchemeUde Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of Government of India.

The inauguration of the heli routes in the Uttrakhand region is in line with the objective of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to enhance the aerial connectivity of the hilly areas in the country.

MoCA awarded the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route to Heritage Aviation under the UDAN 2 bidding process.  Heritage Aviation will operate helicopter services from Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur twice daily.


For the Heli services, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is provided under UDAN to keep the fares affordable for the common people. The State Government of Uttrakhand is also providing additional incentives to make the scheme more attractive.

The helicopter services from the Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur had been the long pending demand of the people residing in the hilly areas.

The services on this route will boost the tourism sector in the Uttrakhand region and will also assist the Chaar Dhaam Yatra pilgrims as Gauchar is en route to Badrinath and Chinyalisaur is en route to Gangotri in the Uttarkashi district.

Heli services under UDAN are currently being operationalised between Chandigarh to Shimla, Shimla to Dharamshala & Shimla to Kullu.

With the commencement of the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized 260 routes under UDAN. Furthermore, Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) is also going to commence the operations under UDAN from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun to New Tehri, Srinagar (Chamoli, UK) & Gauchar.


With an aim to efficiently connect high priority regions (NER, Hilly States, J&K, Ladakh, and Islands) for the masses, MoCA recently invited the 4th round of bidding under UDAN which is under progress.

Senior officials of MoCA and State Government were also present at the inauguration of the route.

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IDSA Renamed as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar.

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NEW DELHI: The Government has decided to rename ‘The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses’ (IDSA) as ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies andAnalyses’. The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar. It will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence Institute with the contribution of the former Raksha Mantri and Padma Bhushan awardee.

Raksha Mantri chairs the Executive committee of the lnstitute’s society.

An epitome of integrity and dedication in public life, throughout his career, late Manohar Parrikar showed a tremendous fighting spirit, taking on the odds with fearlessness. He was Raksha Mantri from November 9, 2014 –March 14, 2017, and steered the Ministry through the tough challenges of attacks like Pathankot and Uri and responded to these with exemplary boldness.


When late Manohar Parrikar was Raksha Mantri, India witnessed a series of decisions that enhanced India’s security capacities, boosted indigenous defence production and bettered the lives of ex-servicemen.

His biggest contribution was towards the implementation of long-standing One Rank One Pension (OROP) demand for the Armed Forces.

He initiated major military reforms with the objective of having a better teeth-to-tail ratio by setting up an expert committee under Lt Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar for enhancing combat capability and rebalancing defence expenditure.

An autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence, IDSA was established as a registered society in New Delhi in 1965, dedicated to objective research and policy-relevant studies on all aspects of defence and security.

Its aim is to promote national and international security through the generation and dissemination of knowledge on defence and security-related issues. To achieve its goals, the institute undertakes scholarly research, policy-oriented research, dissemination of research findings, training and capacity building and public education.


The IDSA has a well-qualified multi-disciplinary research faculty drawn from academia, defence forces etc., representing a diversity of views. Research at the Institute is driven by a comprehensive agenda and the need to provide impartial analyses and policy recommendations.

Since its inception, IDSA has served as a forum to debate important aspects of national and international security.

The institute conducts several national and international conferences every year and regularly holds round tables and workshops on important developments.

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Atal Bhujal Yojana: India, World Bank Sign $450m Loan To Improve Groundwater Mgmt In 7 States

The states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains.

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NEW DELHI: The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a $450 million loan agreement to support the national programme to arrest the country’s depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions.

The World Bank-supported Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) – National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme will be implemented in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and cover 78 districts.

These states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains.


The states were selected based on several criteria, including degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.

The programme will, among others, enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce water conservation practices; promote activities related to water harvesting, water management, and crop alignment; create an institutional structure for sustainable groundwater management; and equip communities and stakeholders to sustainably manage groundwater.

Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that in India groundwater is an important source for rural and urban domestic water supplies and its depletion is a cause of concern. The Atal Bhujal Yojana intends to strengthen the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and encourage behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management. The use of cutting-edge technology, involving Artificial Intelligence and space technology will further help in better implementation of the programme.


The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India and Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.

Mr Junaid Ahmad said that groundwater is India’s most crucial water reserve and managing this national resource is the need of the hour. This programme will contribute to rural livelihoods and in the context of climatic shifts, build the resilience of the rural economy. But its impact will also be felt globally as it stands as one of the important programmes of groundwater management worldwide.

The last few decades saw exponential growth in the exploitation of groundwater through the construction of millions of private wells. Between 1950 and 2010, the number of drilled tube wells increased from 1 million to nearly 30 million. This allowed the area irrigated by groundwater to increase from approximately 3 million ha to more than 35 million ha. Groundwater currently provides approximately 60 per cent of irrigation water. Over 80 per cent of the rural and urban domestic water supplies in India are served by groundwater making India the world’s largest user of groundwater.

If the current trends persist, 60 per cent of districts are likely to reach a critical level of groundwater depletion within two decades, which in turn will render at least 25 per cent of the agriculture production at risk. Climate change will likely exacerbate current pressures on groundwater resources.

The programme will introduce a bottom-up planning process for community-driven development of water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs). Water budgets will assess surface and groundwater conditions (both quantity and quality) and identify current and future needs. The WSP, on the other hand, will focus on improving groundwater quantity and incentivize selected states to implement the actions proposed. Such community-led management measures will make users aware of consumption patterns and pave the way for economic measures that reduce groundwater consumption.


“The Programme will support on-ground actions that are based on community ownership and judicious management of water resources. Reversing groundwater overexploitation and degradation is in the hands of the hundreds of millions of individuals and communities – they need the right incentives, information, support, and resources to move to a more sustainable development and management of groundwater resources,” said Abedalrazq Khalil and Satya Priya, Senior Water Resources Management Specialists and World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for the programme.

Crop management and diversification will be the other focus areas. Studies indicate that a one per cent increase in the area irrigated with groundwater leads to a 2.2 per cent increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, a one per cent increase in irrigation efficiency will reduce GHG emissions by 20 per cent. The programme will support the adoption of micro-irrigation systems, including sprinkler and drip irrigation to increase productivity and support farmers to shift to low water-intensive crops.

To facilitate this process, the government will transfer a significant portion of the money (nearly 80 per cent) to local governments, including districts and gram panchayats, as incentives for achieving targets in groundwater management. The remaining funds will be used for providing technical support for sustainable management of groundwater and strengthening institutional arrangements in the selected states.

The $450 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 18 years.

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First Inter-City Electric Bus Service In Maharashtra Inaugurated By Nitin Gadkari

The 43-seater capacity bus, manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, runs 300 KM on a single charge.

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PUNE (Maharashtra): Union Minister for Transport, Highways, and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari on Friday inaugurated the first inter-city electric bus service, between Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.

The 43-seater capacity luxury electric bus, manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, has a range of 300 kilometres on a single charge and would be operated twice daily between the two cities, the operator Prasanna Purple Mobility Solutions said.

The company, which claims to already have around 1,300 electric buses in operation, is also looking to extend these services in other parts of Maharashtra and adjoining states, it’s Chairman and Managing Director Prasanna Patwardhan told reporters.


“This new move in the electric vehicle space gives us yet another opportunity to serve our customers. We also plan to extend this service to other routes within Maharashtra and adjacent states,” Patwardhan said.

Speaking at the event Gadkari said his efforts in the last 4-5 years have been to see that electric buses run in large numbers on the country’s highways. He also said various corporations, state government corporations and private operators might order some 10,000 electric buses this year.

“We are also planning to build e-(electric) highways,” he said.


Recently, we had reported that the minister had urged industry players to join hands with the government for the proposed electric lane on Rs 1.03 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway while promising to provide policy support to serious players.

“Indian investors should come forward for investing in electric lane stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway to be built at a cost of Rs 1.03 lakh crore within three years,” the Minister had said while addressing a conference on ‘Developing a Roadmap for Low Carbon & Sustainable Mobility in India’ by FICCI.

The minister had also said that the government is ready to provide policy support to serious investors and also appealed them to come forward in the field of alternative fuel including bio-CNG and electric vehicles. This could cut India’s huge Rs 7 lakh crore crude imports, he said. Stressing on modern transport infrastructure, he said he will also take up the issue of electric highways during his ensuing visit to Sweden this month.

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