- U.S. Pacific Command renamed U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
- The United States renamed its strategically important Pacific Command (PACOM) as the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM).
- It has been renamed to Indo-Pacific instead of Asia-Pacific.
Convergence between India and USA
- S. Indo-Pacific Command is critical for “a region open to investment and free, fair and reciprocal trade”.
- The US shares India’s concerns about China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy for the region.
Waiver for India from anti-Russian sanctions
- India is currently caught in the crossfire of anti-Russian sanctions mandated by the U.S Congress and the US has called for a waiver for India.
- This is because India has significant defence cooperation with Russia.
Implications of the Renaming of PACOM
- The renaming reflects the existing geographic coverage of the command and the acknowledgement of the increasing connectedness between the two oceans i.e. the Pacific Ocean and the Indian ocean.
- Renaming the combatant command is strategically significant as it reflects a recognition within the U.S. government that East Asia and the Indian Ocean Region are gradually becoming a single competitive space.
- It’s also a way of reaffirming to New Delhi and to the rest of the world that India is an indispensable pole of the future Asian order.
The flip side
- Such a step can have organizational implications, and affect the policy debate outside government as well.
- Moreover, the US and India have different ideas of what constitutes the Indo-Pacific.
- United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) is a unified combatant command of the United States Armed Forces responsible for the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
- It is the oldest and largest of the unified combatant commands.
Source: The Hindu
- Government launches India’s first ever guidelines for Adventure Tourism
- The Government is for the first time issuing guidelines for Adventure Tourism in India.
- The guidelines on Safety and Quality Norms for Adventure Tourism in India have been formulated along with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI).
- In an effort to make adventure sports safer, the set of guidelines list out the basic minimum standards required for adventure tourism activities in India.
- Adventure tourism has grown rapidly over the past few years playing a vital role in the economic growth of India as well as attracting a large number of travellers from across the globe to the country.
- The sole aim of this initiative is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner.
- These guidelines cover land, air and water-based activities which include mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, river rafting and many other sports.
- The Ministry of Tourism along with ATOAI and all the tourism stakeholders are committed for India to be looked at as one of the best adventure tourism destinations, with a strong safety management system in place.
What is adventure tourism?
- Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism, involving exploration or travel with a certain degree of risk (real or perceived), and which may require special skills and physical exertion.
- BCCI and UN Environment sign agreement to promote Green Cricket in India
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signed Letter of Intent (LoI) with UN Environment to promote green’ cricket in India.
- The partnership aims to spread greater awareness about key environmental challenges India is facing and highlight alternate and more sustainable solutions.
- Through this LoI, BCCI will endeavour to reduce its environmental impact by greening its operations and engaging cricketers and fans in green initiatives.
- It will also focus on phasing out single-use plastic across stadiums in the country.
Green Cricket Initiatives
- The film with messages from captains of various franchises will be aired in stadiums highlighting hazards of plastic pollution during the course of Indian Premier League (IPL).
- At the four matches played at Holkar Stadium in Madhya Pradesh, a Green Protocol based on the concept of 3Rs – to reduce, reuse and recycle was implemented.
- M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka replaced plastic cups and bottles with environment-friendly alternatives.
About the BCCI
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the national governing body for cricket in India.
- The board was formed in December 1928 as a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.
- It is a consortium of state cricket associations and the state associations select their representatives who in turn elect the BCCI officials.
- Today, the BCCI has 30 full-time members.
- It organizes – among others – the Indian Premier League.
Source: Hindu Business Line
- Gaj Yatra launched in Garo Hills of Meghalaya
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) rolled out ‘Gaj Yatra’, an awareness campaign to protect elephants from Tura in Garo Hills of Meghalaya.
- It was organised by the Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with the State Forest Department.
- It was launched to the acknowledged good gesture of villagers from Garo Hills who had set aside part of their community-owned land to create village reserve forests for human-elephant harmony.
- Gaj Yatra is an 18-month-long national campaign aimed to protect elephants in 12 elephant range states.
- The elephant is India’s national heritage animal.
- It was launched in August 2017 by Environment and Forest Minister Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of World Elephant Day 2017.
- It aims to involve people from all walks of life in the conservation of elephants.
- Win-Win: The aim this project is to rehabilitate people affected by man-elephant conflict in corridor areas while ensuring uninterrupted movement of elephants between key habitats.
About the Wildlife Trust of India
- The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is an Indian nature conservation organisation to conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals.
- WTI was formed in November 1998 in response to the rapidly deteriorating condition of wildlife in India.
- WTI is a registered charity in India.
Source: The Hindu
- Mission Raftaar
- The Indian Railways conducted a one-day workshop ‘Mission Raftaar’ in which officials discussed ways to increase the average speed of freight and passenger trains.
- Issues such as punctuality, rolling stock, removing bottlenecks in terms of traffic, elimination of unmanned level crossings were discussed at the workshop.
What is Mission Raftaar?
- ‘Mission Raftaar’ aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of coaching trains by 25 kmph over a five-year period.
- Increasing the average speed of trains is considered essential for reducing travel time for passengers, transit time for cargo, operational cost, and improving revenues and the railway’s market share.
Source: Zee News