Union Government Abolished its Dual Freight Policy for Iron Ore
- To boost freight traffic volumes, the Indian Railways has abolished its dual freight policy for carrying iron ore on May 11, 2016.
- According to a 2008 policy, the tariff for transportation of iron ore to ports for the purpose of exports is 3 times the rate charged for transporting the same commodity for domestic use in steel and cement industries.
- A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament last year pointed out that the freight business suffered losses due to the dual pricing system for transporting iron ore. It had found that iron ore was carried at lower domestic rates but was diverted for exports resulting in huge losses to the exchequer.
Union Government Set-up Panel to Frame Policy for Taxi Operators
- The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways constituted a three-member committee to prepare a policy framework for taxi and other transport operators on May 10, 2016.
- The committee will be headed by Secretary, Sanjay Mitra in Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and other members of committee are Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Delhi Transport Commissioner.
- It will look into these issues and come up with appropriate policy recommendations to address the same in a time bound manner.
Parliament Approved Anti-hijacking Bill
- The Parliament on May 9, 2016 gave nod to the Anti-Hijacking Bill that provides for death penalty to the offenders in case of death of hostages or •security personnel.
- Under the new law, the Central government may confer powers of investigation, arrest and prosecution on any officer of the Central government or the National Investigation Agency.
- An accused cannot be released on bail or bond unless among other things, the designated Court is satisfied that there is reason to believe the accused is innocent and is unlikely to commit any offence while on bail.
- The accused in the hijacking cases have to be tried by a session’s Court which is notified to be a designated court by the State government concerned. In case the investigation is carried out by the National Investigation Agency, the designated court shall be a court set-up under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.
- The Bill amends the 1982 Act. which only provided for death penalty for the hijackers only in the event of death of the hostages.
Commemorative Coin Released on Maharana Pratap
- Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma released a commemorative coin of Rs 100 and a Circulation coin of Rs 10 in New Delhi on May 9, 2016.
- The Ministry of Culture celebrated the 475th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap during 2015-16 in association with the State government of Rajasthan.
- A Conference and Special Lecture on Maharana Pratap was organised by Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) in the University of Rajasthan. This was fully financed by the Ministry of Culture.
- The government of India and the State government of Rajasthan decided to create a multi-purpose indoor stadium at Khel Gaon, Udaipur in his memory.
Manamadurai-Rameswaram Rail Track became First Green Corridor
- Manamadurai-Rameswaram rail track formally declared as green corridor in the last week of May, 2016 to make rail tracks discharge free zones.
- It is nearly 114 km train route between Rameswaram and Manamadurai in Tamil Nadu. There are about 14 stations between Rameswaram and Manamadurai.
- It forecast all trains passing on that particular route would have bio-toilets which eliminate open discharge of waste on the tracks.
Indian Railways Launched Tourist Train for Pilgrims
- The Indian Railways launched (he Bharat Darshan tourist train on May 8, 2016. The train comprises 10 coaches and the bookings are being done by 1RCTC.
- According to the package, a person has to pay Rs 830 per day to selected destinations in the East or the South of the country to visit major religious sites.
- Bharat Darshan will mainly cover pilgrimages destinations like Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya, Banaras and Ayodhya.
- It will also cover the ‘7 Jyotirlinga’ and ‘Dakshin Darshan with Shirdi’ tour package that will cover Shirdi, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore and Bangalore.
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