Daily GS Mains Notes or Mains Content Enrichment for Civil Services
Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
- Fresh push for pedal power in smart cities
Why in news
With public transport affected due to the spread of COVID-19, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has invited cities to come up with quick solutions for promoting cycling.
- The ‘India Cycles 4 Change Challenge’ and an online portal for cities to submit their proposals were launched by the Smart Cities Mission of the Ministry.
- Cities would be encouraged to create extensive cycling networks using low-cost methods like pop-up cycle lanes and non-motorised zones and set up community-led cycle rental schemes.
- to further scale-up the initiatives in stage two, which will be held until May 2021.
- The programme would be supported by the India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
After camel back, drones used for cross-border smuggling
Why in news
Pakistan-based criminal syndicates and terror outfits that smuggled drugs, weapons and other illegal goods on camel back across the vast Thar desert in Rajasthan and through well-trained foot couriers, are taking to drones.
- The latest case of arms dropping through a Pakistani drone was detected when the Border Security Force shot down the UAV near Rathua village in the Hira Nagar sector of Jammu.
- Also, a weapon consignment was dropped through three drone sorties in the Dera Baba Nanak area of Punjab’s Gurdaspur.
- Quadcopters are also being deployed by Pakistani agencies for spying activities in the border areas.
- With the increasing use of drones for cross-border smuggling, the Indian security agencies must look for various ways to put in place reliable systems as part of a smart border management mechanism for deterrence.In terms of border security, drone jammers may not prove to be more effective. There is a need to reinvent border management through other viable options for surveillance, detection and use of anti-drone techniques.
IAF gets last of 5 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing
Why in news
Boeing has handed over the last of the five AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- India contracted 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing through the Foreign Military Sales programme of the U.S. government in September 2015 under a $3 billion deal.
- During the India visit of President Donald Trump in February 2020, India and the U.S. signed a deal for six additional Apaches for the Army.
- Boeing’s joint venture in Hyderabad, Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both the U.S. Army and international customers.
- Earlier, Boeing handed over the last five of the 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF.