Twitter vs Indian government: Supreme court issues notices to both
In response to a petition filed by a BJP leader calling for curbs on the seditious and hate content on Twitter and other social media forums, the Supreme court issued notices to Twitter and the Union government. The petition talked about checking content on Twitter and advertisements spreading hate and also instigative messaging by fake accounts. The petitioner had asked for some kind of screening mechanism in order to check hate and seditious content.
After issuing the notice, the Supreme Court tagged the petition with other similar pending petitions seeking regulation of social media.
This also comes at a time when the Indian government has been pressing Twitter to block nearly 1,100 accounts and posts, alleging that these have been spreading misinformation and provocative content on the ongoing farmer protests in the NCR. Twitter, on its part, has said that it had not blocked all of these because the organisation felt that such governmental orders were not aligned with the laws of the land.
Read more: Mumbai’s support to Delhi’s farmer protests
Following Twitter’s stance, the government has formulated draft rules to regulate all social media, streaming or OTT (Over The Top) platforms and news-related websites. The rules call for a self-regulatory mechanism that will include a code of ethics and regular compliance reports. Sites should remove content flagged either by a court or a designated body within 36 hours of the report. No punishment, however, has been spelt out yet for violation.
Source: NDTV | Livemint
Six new air quality monitoring stations for Pune
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has decided to install six new air quality monitoring systems in Pune city. Presently, Pune has only a single air quality monitoring system. The city will receive funds of Rs 50 crore from the Union Budget 2021 to set up a continuous ambient air quality monitoring system (CAAQMS).
The MPCB has also decided to add 41 new stations across the state to monitor the air quality vis-a-vis industrial smoke, vehicular emission and biomass burning. At present, there are 101 air quality inspection centres in the state, out of which 23 are monitored via CAAQMS and the rest are wholly manual.
Source: Hindustan Times
Key redevelopment projects approved in Delhi
Projects worth Rs 450 crore have been approved by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) recently, which include a third Ring Road for the city.
The third Ring Road, also known as the Urban Extension Road-II project, will connect four national highways (NH-1, 10, 8 and 2) and provide seamless access between north, northwest Delhi and IGI airport and Gurgaon. A provision of Rs 100 crore has been made for it. According to officials, this will also help in improving traffic congestion, and hence air quality of the region.
Apart from the UER-II, some key projects are:
Cyber Hub: Three commercial centers — Nehru Place, Bhikaji Cama Place and Basant Lok Community centre will be upgraded.
Delhi Cycle Walk: The project has seen a budget allocation of 28 crore and will include a cycle and walking track in the South Delhi area. In phase-I which has already commenced, a 36-km long track will be constructed in the South Delhi areas of Tughlaqabad, Sangam Vihar, Saket, Greater Kailash and Sant Nagar.
Bharat Vandana Park: Already under construction at the Dwarka sub-city, the project has a total outlay of Rs 280 crore and is being developed over an area of 80 hectares.
In a separate development, the Union government has taken up the redevelopment of the New Delhi Railway Station on the basis of the public-private partnership (PPP) model. The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs 5000 crore.
The revamped station complex will provide modern facilities like congestion-free non-conflicting entry/exits to the station premises, segregation of arrival/departure of passengers, adequate concourse area without overcrowding, integration of both sides of the city and integration with other modes of transport systems.
Source: The Indian Express | India TV
India to get 14.5 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses
As the COVID-19 vaccination campaign expands, India has ordered 10 million more doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India and 4.5 million doses of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech. Russia’s Sputnik V and Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCov-D vaccines are also expected to receive the regulator’s nod shortly.
The vaccine campaign aims at vaccinating 30 crore people by August 2021 including healthcare workers, other frontline workers and elder people.
Till now, Serum Institute has supplied 11 million doses which have covered 6.3 million frontline workers since January 16th, whereas Bharat Biotech has supplied 5.5 million doses. According to the drug regulator, Covishield has an effectiveness of 72%; Covaxin’s final stage trial results are yet to come in and are expected in March.
Source: The Times of India
Goa introduces new electric mobility initiatives
The government of Goa has introduced a slew of new measures to promote green and clean mobility in the state. The clean mobility scheme will be applicable for the first 10,000 electric two-wheelers sold in the state.
As per the new scheme, a cash incentive will be provided to the person buying the electric vehicle. Waiver of registration fees and providing extra subsidies to make it more affordable for buyers are also components of the new scheme.
The scheme is being implemented by Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a Government of India company. CESL will also be making solar power chargers for the electric two wheelers sold under the scheme.
The government has claimed that the new scheme can result in reducing 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year and remove 10% of polluting vehicles from Goa’s roads.
Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava