First Tribal Tourist Circuit
- Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Union Ministry of Tourism has inaugurated India’s first tribal circuit in Chhattisgarh.
- This tribal circuit connects 13 tourist sites Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, and Tirthgarh.
- In Swadesh Darshan Scheme scheme total 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development viz. Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
- More tribal circuits are to be devloped in Nagaland and Telangana.
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme is 100% centrally funded scheme for the project components undertaken for public funding. It also has provision for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Government moves to stabilize Rupee
The government announced a set of five measures aimed at supporting the rupee.
- The government will take steps to reduce non-essential imports and increase exports.
- To push Indian corporates to take the masala bond route, the government has exempted all such bond issues until March 31, 2019, from withholding tax.
- The government will take steps to attract more Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) into the corporate debt market.
- The government will review the mandatory hedging condition for infrastructure loans borrowed under the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route.
- Manufacturing companies borrowing up to $50 million through ECBs will be able to do so only for a 1-year term.
Excellence Award to Hyderabad Airport
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad received Airports Council International Airport Service Quality World no.1 Airport Award in the 5-15 Million Passengers Per Year category.
- Earlier in 2016 also Hyderabad Airport won this award.
- It is operated and maintained by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, a public-private venture.
- Hyderabad airport is India's sixth busiest airport by passenger traffic.
- It was a greenfield airport started operating in 2008.
Coast Guard commissions patrol vessel Vijaya
- Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned indigenously built patrol vessel ICGS Vijaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
- It is second in the series of 98 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
- It is built by Indian conglomerate Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
- The OPV is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment and sensors.
- On joining the Coast Guard fleet, the ship will be based at Paradip.
- The Ship will be deployed extensively for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance, search and rescue and other ICG tasks.
NASA's ICESat-2 Launched
- The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) satellite has been launched recently by NASA. It is a laser-armed satellite capable of capturing 60,000 measurements per second.
- It has Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) measures height by timing how long it takes individual light photons to travel from the spacecraft to Earth and back.
- ICESat-2 will also measure changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice, average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica, the height of ocean and land surfaces, including forests.