Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.
Prime Minister Modi To Inaugurate Western Peripheral Expressway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today inaugurate the Kundli-Manesar stretch of the Western Peripheral Expressway, which will connect with its Eastern counterpart -Eastern Peripheral Expressway - to form a ring around Delhi. The other part of the expressway, the 53-km Manesar-Palwal stretch, was opened for public use in April 2016. Work on the project, which was conceived during the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003, began under the Congress-led government in 2006, with a completion date of 2009 being set.
Over 7 lakh tonnes of cement and 65,000 tonnes of steel were used to complete the 83 km Kundli-Manesar stretch. The 135-km expressway connects four of the busiest National Highways (NHs) - NH1 near Kundli, NH10 near Bahadurgarh, NH8 at Manesar, and NH2 near Palwal. A 35 per cent drop in the number of vehicles entering Delhi is expected after the it is opened. The design speed of the expressway is 120 km per hour for light vehicles and 100 km per hour for others.
India Carving Out The World’s First Glaciated Road In Ladakh
Under Project Himank, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is carving out the world’s first glaciated road, that will pass through world’s highest glaciers in Eastern Ladakh. The road, a motorable link between Sasoma to Saser La, will come up at an altitude of around 17,800 feet above the mean sea level.
Earlier, the BRO had also constructed the world’s highest motorable road in the Ladakh region, passing through Umling La Top at a height of over 19,300 feet, under project Himank. The 86-km-long strategic road through Umling La Top connects Chisumle and Demchok villages. Other roads built under the project include the ones near Khardung La at an altitude of 17,900 feet and Chang La Pass at 17,695 feet connecting Nubra valley and Durbuk valley.
Police May Question Congress’ Digvijaya Singh In Urban Naxals Case
In what may turn out disastrous for the Congress ahead of the elections in Madhya Pradesh, the Pune Police have found that Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s cellphone number is mentioned in one of the letters it has seized from the arrested activists in the Urban Naxals case. In the letter, dated 25 September 2017, ‘Com Prakash’ has told ‘Com Surendra’ that Congress leaders were “very much willing to assist” in their efforts to “intensify nationwide protests using students”. It is in this letter that ‘Com Prakash’ mentions Sing’s number and asks to contact him “in this regard”, reports say.
According to Pune police’s interpretation, ‘Com Surendra’ is Surendra Gadling and ‘Com Prakash’ is one of the top CPI (Maoist) commanders. Gadling is one of the many ‘activists’ arrested in the case by the police. When the content of the letter was revealed for the first time, Singh had challenged the government to arrest him. The police is likely to question him today.
Railways To Build 3,000 Kilometre Wall To Guard Tracks
The Railways has decided to build 3,000 km of walls to fence its tracks and ward off trespassers in residential areas. The decision has been taken after a train mowed down 60 people who had gathered on the tracks to watch a Ravan effigy being burnt in Punjab’s Amritsar. The Railways is planning to build 2.7 meter high reinforced cement concrete walls and has estimated that the project will cost it about Rs 2,500 crore. At least 49,790 people have been mowed down by trains in the last three years.
The decision is also linked to the fact that the safety clearance needed for train speeds of 160 km per hour can only be obtained if the tracks are fenced or walled. Multiple tracks, including the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonals, will be fenced.
RBI Board Meeting Today
Amid an ongoing stand-off with the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank will hold a crucial board meeting today. The meeting, where the two sides will try to find common ground, may witness discussions on the government’s proposal to change rules to enable tighter supervision of the country's central bank, its reserves and the credits for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Easing of ‘Prompt Corrective Action’ provisions may also come up for discussion. The government is against the existing framework and claims that it is hurting credit flow in the economy but the bank is averse to any change. The RBI's board currently has 18 members, including Governor Urjit Patel, his four deputies as 'full-time official directors' and 13 nominated by the government.
At Least 35.5 Lakh Out Of 40 Lakh Yet To Apply For Assam NRC Inclusion
Out of the total 40 lakh people who were excluded in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), nearly 35.5 lakh have not yer applied for inclusion in the Supreme Court-monitored list, The Tribune has reported. According to the daily, the authorities have received around 200 applications challenging the inclusion of suspected illegal immigrants. Recently, the Supreme Court had extended the deadline for filing of claims and objections for draft NRC from 25 November to 15 December 15. Initially, the process had begun as early as 25 September 2018.
The Chandavaram Loot – How Andhra Pradesh Is Missing An Opportunity To Go After Heritage Smugglers: It has been two years since the heritage artefacts from the Chandavaram site in Andhra Pradesh that had been stolen over a decade and a half ago were returned to India by Australia. But no effort has been made to pin down those who smuggled these and many other pieces of heritage.
A Scientific Approach To Sabarimala Controversy: Faith and reason stand at odds with each other. Applying reason in the matters of faith, therefore, doesn’t work. That is the folly in making the Sabarimala issue about gender equality.
A Biography Of India’s Banking Sector: Lucid storytelling meets economic history - Rahul Bajoria’s “The Story of the Reserve Bank of India” is a delightful read.
Of Windows, ‘World Knots’, And The View Of Life: We, in the Hindu culture, have a unique opportunity of windows, a variety of them, through which we can shape our personal lives, our intellectual quests, our explorations into nature, and our experience of the universe.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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