Current Affairs 2019 – Current Affairs Today
2nd UDAY Express to run between Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada.
Indian Railways’ 2nd UDAY (Utkrisht Double Decker Air Conditioned Yatri) Express will run between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to cater to busy route in East Coast Railway zone (ECoR), one of 18 railway zones of Indian Railways. The 1st double-decker UDAY Express started service between Coimbatore and Bangalore in June 2018. Another Uday Express is proposed between Bangalore City and Chennai Central.
About UDAY Express
It is a specially-designed double decker air conditioned train with chair car coaches which is primarily allocated to routes with heavy passenger traffic. It is equipped with WiFi facility, have striking interiors, cushioned seating, and display screens.
2nd Uday Express:
Train consists of 9 double-decker coaches and 2 power cars.
This new UDAY Express will boast several modern features such as cushioned seating, LED screen in pantry-cum-dining area for entertainment of passengers, automatic food and beverages vending machine, smoke detection alarm system, modular bio-toilets among others.
Passenger Capacity- It will have a carrying capacity of 50 passengers on upper deck, 48 on lower deck and 22 on ends.
Coaches: Out of 8 coaches, 3 coaches will have dining facilities with a seating capacity of 104 passengers each and other 5 coaches will be without dining area with seating capacity of 120 passengers.
Departure time of train number 22701 Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada Uday Express from Visakhapatnam is 05:45 am and it will reach Vijayawada at 11:15 am.
On its return journey, train number 22702 will leave Vijayawada at 5:30 pm and reach Visakhapatnam at 10:55 pm.
Train Stoppages between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada: Duvvada, Anakapalle, Tuni, Samarlakota, Rajamahendravaram, and Eluru.
Date of introduction of train has not been decide yet.
Iceland holds funeral for Okjokull: 1st glacier lost to climate change
As the world recently marked warmest July ever on record, Iceland held funeral for Okjokull glacier, country’s 1st glacier lost to climate change. Nation commemorated the once huge Okjokull glacier with plaque. The commemoration ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister of Iceland Katrin Jakobsdottir.
People in Iceland gathered together to commemorate loss of glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at age of 700.
People who attended ceremony walked up volcano northeast of capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to future and warns action is needed to prevent climate change.
First monument to a lost glacier: A bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on barren terrain once covered by Okjökull glacier in western Iceland. Plaque is also labelled ‘415 ppm CO2’, which refers to record level of carbon dioxide measured in atmosphere last May. This monument acknowledges that we know what is happening and what needs to be done.
About Okjokull glacier
Okjokull is 1st Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier and in next 200 years countries all main glaciers are expected to follow same path.
The glacier was officially declared dead by Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) when it was no longer thick enough to move.
Concern: Iceland has marked its 1st-ever loss of a glacier to climate change as Okjokull which was once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano. Scientists warn that hundreds of other ice sheets on subarctic island risk same fate.
Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of ice/year. Scientists fear that all of island country’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200.
All CAPF personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years: Govt
As per a recent order issued by Union Home Ministry, all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years instead of 57 years for certain rank of officials. All these forces come under ambit of Union Home Ministry and are deployed across India to render a variety of internal security duties including border guarding, counterterrorism, anti-Naxal operations, and maintenance of law and order.
Home Ministry Order
The order issued by Home Ministry has corrected anomaly where CAPF personnel between ranks of Constable to Commandant in 4 forces- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) superannuated at age of 57, instead of 60. While officers from rank of Deputy Inspector General upto top-most rank of Director General in these 4 forces retired after attaining age of 60.
Those personnel who have retired at 57 years in between court order and Home Ministry directive will now have two options-
either to join service after returning all pensionary benefits (or)
straightaway get all pension benefits as due to them as on completion of 60 years of service.
While those CAPF personnel who had retired and approached court for clarification or were granted stay will be deemed as ‘not superannuated’ and will continue their service till 60 years of age.
According to existing policy, all personnel in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Assam Rifles (AR) retire at age of 60. However, in CRPF, ITBP, SSB and BSF personnel from ranks of constable to commandant retire at age of 57, while those above them superannuate at age of 60.
Delhi HC Order: This development of uniform age pertains to a January order given by High Court of Delhi, where it had called current policy of different age of superannuation in these 4 forces (CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB) as ‘discriminatory and unconstitutional’ and said such difference creates two classes in uniformed forces. Recent order issued by Home Ministry direct all forces to comply with court order and amend provisions of rules.
Five forces namely, CISF, CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB which come under Union Home Ministry were earlier considered paramilitary forces, but from March 2011 have been reclassified as Central Armed Police Forces to avoid confusion.
Also ‘Paramilitary forces’ in India has not been defined officially or in any acts, however they are currently used to refer-
Assam Rifles (AR): It under administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs but operational control under Indian Army.
Special Frontier Force (SFF)