MANUSHI CHILLAR CROWNED MISS WORLD 2017 AFTER 17 YEARS

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Manushi Chillar is Miss World 2017

Manushi Chhillar has become the sixth Indian to be crowned Miss World. The 20-year-old will bring the crown back to India after 17 years. The last Indian to bag the title was Priyanka Chopra, who wore the crown in 2000.

Manushi took over from  Priyadarshini Chatterjee to become the 54th Miss India World, and floored the judges to bag the Miss World title. The medical student couldn’t believe herself when her name was announced and reacted with extreme joy. Her family, who were in the audience, couldn’t hold back their excitement as well.

Manushi, who won both the Head to Head challenge and the Beauty with a purpose segment of the Miss World competition, impressed the judges with her final answer as well.

When asked, which profession in the world deserves the highest salary and why, she replied saying, “My mother has been my biggest inspiration, so I have to say, a mother’s job. It is not always about cash, but love and respect as well. A mother deserves that the most.”

While Manushi was crowned Miss World, Miss Mexico was the first Runner’s Up and Miss England was the Second Runner’s Up. Earlier, she won the title of Miss India 2017.

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INDIA HAVING THE WORST 4G INTERNET SPEED

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India is seemingly improving its 4G landscape across the nation, but LTE speeds continue to be abysmal. In the latest report released by OpenSignal named ‘State of LTE’ India moved up a notch in 4G coverage.

India ranked 11th in OpenSignal’s ‘4G availability comparison.’ In its State of LTE report in June, India was ranked at 15th position globally.

The 4G LTE speeds being one of the fastest connection for a mobile internet user, averaged out to be 6.13 megabytes per second in India. These speeds were the worst in the world.

“Even though LTE speeds have declined in many countries, that doesn’t mean that the user experience has similarly declined. As 4G availability increases worldwide, consumers spend more time connected to faster LTE networks than to slower 3G networks,” the report added.

In the previous report by OpenSignal released in June this year, India’s 4G internet speed was equally bad as Costa Rica.

Though India has improved its 4G speed from 5.14 Mbps in June to over 6 Mbps, Costa Rica’s 4G LTE speed now stands at 6.98 Mbps from 5.14 Mbps earlier.

“The majority of the 77 countries in this report are clustered in the upper middle of our chart, landing with a range of 60% to 80% 4G availability and 10-25 Mbps speeds,” the report added.

“Though individual operators have broken the 50-Mbps barrier for average 4G download speeds, we’re still waiting for the first country to consistently provide LTE connections greater than 50 Mbps. South Korea and Singapore are the closest, averaging 45.9 Mbps and 46.6 Mbps respectively,” the report said.

Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani once boasted of improving India’s ranking in 4G coverage post the launch of Reliance Jio.

“Before Jio’s launch, India was 155th in the world in mobile broadband penetration. Now India is number 1 in mobile data consumption and well on its way to becoming number 1 in mobile broadband penetration, in the coming months.”

As pointed out in OpenSignal’s October report, Jio had the lowest 4G speed among incumbents. Its average 4G speed was calculated at 5.8Mbps; however, Jio was labelled as the ‘operator to beat.’ While Airtel had an average LTE download speed of 9.2 Mbps and 3G downloads of 3.6 Mbps.

“While speeds may be falling off in the top half of our table, they’re increasing in the bottom half. And many of these developing countries are having a significant impact on this metric given their huge population sizes,” OpenSignal report said.

DELHI METRO PUTS RESTRICTION ON BAGGAGE SIZE

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DMRC has started putting steel gauges on baggage scanners, to restrict the use of oversized baggage. As per rule, only bags that are 45cm in width and 25cm in height are allowed inside the Metro

The next time you use the metro to get to the airport or a railway station, check the size of your baggage.

For the first time, since starting operation 15 years ago, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has decided to put restrictions on the size of the baggage a passenger carries.

DMRC has started putting steel gauges on baggage scanners, to restrict the use of oversized baggage. As per rule, only bags that are 45cm in width and 25cm in height are allowed inside the Metro. The dimension of scanner installed at Metro stations across the Delhi NCR, however, is 60×40 cm, allowing passengers to carry bigger baggage.

The move to restrict bag sizes, however, is not likely to go down well with the airport and station bound travellers as they carry multiple and large size bags.

“To start with, steel barriers have been installed at five stations – Shahdara, Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar, Chandni Chowk and Barakhamba to see passenger response. It has allowed us to screen the baggage more carefully.

Passengers earlier used to pile bags on top of each other, making it difficult to screen. Also, the number of breakdowns has reduced as scanners are not getting damaged by the oversized bags,” said an officer of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

On an average, around 28 lakh passengers use the Delhi Metro and an additional 40,000 use the airport line daily. The size of scanner at airport line is bigger as those coming from airport usually carry large bags.

When they enter the normal Metro system, the baggage is not screened again. Those going to airport with large bags, however, are likely to face a problem with the new baggage rule.

“Baggage scanners at five metro stations across the network have been installed with steel gauge so that only baggage up to permissible limit only can pass. Baggage of the size of 60 x 45x 25 cms is permitted to pass through the scanners, as per DMRC rules. On many occasions, over sized baggage cause damage to the scanners and also cause inconvenience to other passengers inside the Metro train,” said a DMRC spokesperson.

Over 200 baggage scanners are operational across the entire Delhi Metro network.

DALVEER BHANDARI RE-ELECTED TO ICJ

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India’s nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the fifth and the last seat of the world court after Britain withdrew its candidate from the election.

Bhandari received 183-193 votes in the General Assembly and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The elections were held after United Kingdom, in a dramatic turn of events, withdrew out of the race for the Hague-based ICJ, thus paving the way for Bhandari’s re-election to the prestigious world court.

Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood were locked in a neck-and-neck fight for re-election to the ICJ.

The permanent members of the Security Council — USA, Russia, France and China — were understood to have been throwing their weight behind Greenwood. The UK is the fifth permanent member of the Security Council.

In a dramatic turn of events, the British Permanent Representative to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, wrote identical letters to the presidents of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council, before the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 3 pm for the 12th round of voting.

Read out simultaneously by both the presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council. Rycroft said that its candidate Judge Christopher Greenwood had decided to withdraw from the election to the 15-membered ICJ.

In the 11 rounds of voting, Mr. Bhandari had got nearly two-thirds of the votes in the General Assembly and in Security Council Greenwood consistently received nine votes as against five for his opponent. This resulted in a stalemate.

As per the letter read out simultaneously in the General Assembly and the Security Council, Rycroft said the current deadlock is unlikely to be broken by further rounds of voting.

As such he announced withdrawal from the race. With Mr. Bhandari being the only candidate left in the race, the General Assembly and Security Council still went through the formal motion of voting to complete the formalities.

Congratulating Justice Bhandari, the UK said it will continue to cooperate closely with India at the United Nations and globally.

“The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections,” Rycroft said.

Britain, he said, congratulates the successful candidates, including Judge Bhandari of India.

“We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates,” Rycroft added.

“If the UK could not win in this run-off, then we are pleased that it is a close friend like India that has done so instead. We will continue to cooperate closely with India, here in the United Nations and globally,” he said.

Britain’s withdrawal from the election to the prestigious world court would mean that there will not be a British judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its history.

DELHI-NCR HIT BY SEVERE SMOG, ONCE AGAIN!

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Delhi, and the National Capital Region (NCR) centered on it, came under a heavy blanket of smog today, with air quality reaching “severe” level. The situation is not expected to change for the next two days.

On Tuesday evening, Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announced that primary schools in the national capital will remain closed on Wednesday, adding, if needed, it will be extended. He also said the outdoor activities in schools will be stopped.

In a similar situation at the same time last year, multiple courts had passed several orders to control stubble burning in northern states and implementation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to tackle high levels of pollution.

But, so far, authorities have failed in preventing stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in winters, which intensifies air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region.

According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), air quality at the majority of the monitoring stations across Delhi and adjoining towns touched “severe” levels.

Overall, the air quality index (AQI) of Delhi on Tuesday evening was 443 (Severe). The average levels of two deadliest components in air pollution—Particulate Matter (PM) 10 and PM 2.5—across Delhi NCR on Tuesday was 418 µg/m³ (over four times the safe limit) and 439 µg/m³ (over seven times the safe limit) respectively.

The Indian Medical Association asked the Delhi government to stop all outdoor activities and sports in schools.

Earlier in the day, Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that considering the high levels of pollution, he has asked Delhi’s education minister Manish Sisodia to consider closing schools for a few days.

“Every year, this happens during this part of year. We have to find a solution to crop burning in adjoining states. All of us together have to find a solution to this. Delhi becomes a gas chamber for almost a month,” tweeted Kejriwal.

The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), which is tasked with implementation of GRAP, also met on Tuesday and asked governments of Delhi and adjoining states to take a series of immediate steps to control pollution.

When air quality touches “severe” level, it causes respiratory problems to even healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases. In such conditions, outside exposure and activities, including intense physical activities should be minimised.

EPCA also directed immediate measures like closing of brick kilns, stone crushers, intensification of public transport service, increasing frequency of service of Delhi Metro, intensification of mechanized road sweeping and sprinkling of water, continuation of the ban on use of generator sets in Delhi, immediate enhancement of parking fee by four times, ban on use of coal and firewood in hotels and eateries and others.

EPCA, however, noted that “given the prevailing conditions and the concern about the possible deterioration in weather conditions, it is possible that severe plus or emergency conditions would need to be imposed in the coming days” and directed governments in Delhi-NCR to ensure that all agencies are ready to implement tougher measures as laid down in GRAP.

Under GRAP, the task force led by CPCB has been monitoring air quality in NCR. During EPCA’s meeting, CPCB’s member secretary, A. Sudhakar explained the reasons behind high pollution.

“Currently, Delhi and its neighbouring region are seeing almost still conditions at the ground level, but in the upper atmosphere there are two wind masses—one from Punjab, which is bringing pollutants from crop burning and the other from eastern Uttar Pradesh, which is bringing moisture. These are colliding at the higher altitude. This is leading to conditions where there is both moisture and pollution as well as no wind at the ground level,” said Sudhakar while adding that it is expected that conditions will remain severe over the next two days as per the forecast made available by India Meteorological Department (IMD).

EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal said GRAP is an “emergency plan, which cannot become a substitute for long term and decisive action to cut air pollution”.

“We have achieved some things—often in the face of enormous odds—and we have provided some solutions. So far, every solution that has been suggested has been contested and delayed. Today, weather conditions in Delhi NCR are adverse, and the wind is bringing pollution from farm fires in Punjab and moisture from the east. In terms of air pollution, things are expected to get much worse in the coming days. We, therefore, need to act decisively,” Lal added.

It also asked all state pollution control boards to immediately impose fines on all road constructing agencies where there are inadequate dust control measures. In accordance of Construction and Demolition Rules, which allow for penalty of up to Rs. 5 lakh for construction dust mismanagement, EPCA directed for a fine of Rs. 50,000 per day per stretch for inadequate road dust control.

EPCA also called for intensifying the enforcement of non-destined goods traffic into Delhi by physically checking all vehicles and turning them back.

EPCA called for long-term actions and said unless that is done, air pollution levels cannot be brought down. It called for drastic actions like stringent monitoring of emissions in industrial estates and as well as from illegal industries, switch-over to gas in vehicles, power plants and industry, massive augmentation of public transport, massive action to change garbage management system and others.

WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID ELECTRIC TRAM LAUNCHED IN CHINA

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Image result for CHINA TRAM

The world’s first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells was recently launched in China, which marks a huge step in the application of green energy in public transport.

The tram was put into commercial operation for the first time, recently, in Tangshan, north China’s Hebei Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, according to PTI. China Railway Rolling Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Co is the maker of the tram.

It is the world’s first hybrid electric tram with hydrogen as the main power source. The research and manufacturing of the hybrid tram was done by Chinese locally. The tram doesn’t emit any pollutants, it only emits water.

It does not produce any nitrogen oxides as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius.

The distance between carriage floor of the tram and the rail is only 35 centimeters thanks to the latest low-floor technology, which can remove station platforms and thus making boarding easy for passengers.

The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.

The tram operates on a 136-year-old railway line in Tangshan City, one of China’s earliest industrial cities, and links several of its industrial heritage sites.

INDIA TO HOST UN WILDLIFE SUMMIT IN 2020

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India will host the next UN global wildlife conservation and international species protection conference in 2020.

An announcement in this regard was made on the last day of the week-long 12th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention in Manila, Philippines, on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals or CMS COP12, the only international treaty devoted exclusively to migratory animal species.

Delegates from 91 countries participated in the CMS COP held once in three years. This was for the first time the summit was held in Asia.

“An intensive week of negotiations have resulted in a stronger commitment by countries to step up their efforts to conserve the planet’s migratory wildlife,” an official statement quoting CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers said.

The CMS COP12 in Manila has been the largest-ever meeting in the 38-year history of the convention, which is also known as the ‘Bonn Convention’ after the German city in which it was signed.

The summit saw some notable outcomes, including a vulture multi-species action plan to better protect 15 species of Old World Vulture in more than 120 countries, comprising four that are critically endangered in India.

Governments also agreed to cooperate on reducing the negative impacts of marine debris, noise pollution, renewable energy and climate change on migratory species.

Other mammals that will benefit from the additional protection include the African wild ass — the most endangered wild equid in the world — Przewalski’s Horse and four species of Lasiurus Bat.

The proposal to add the Chinkara (Indian gazelle) was withdrawn.

Addressing the Plenary of COP12, UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim said the sustainable development goals were directed at both “people and planet”.

He added that new technologies and political commitment could protect both the planet and bring development to people with the same policies.