News Bulletin : June 2021 – Issue 1

1. Launch of World’s most powerful tidal turbine: FLOATING STRUCTURES

The world\’s most powerful tidal turbine has taken the next step towards deployment in the Orkney Islands, an archipelago off the north-eastern coast of Scotland and home to some of the strongest tidal currents across the globe. Constructed by Scottish engineering company Orbital Marine Power, the so-called Orbital O2 will ultimately be connected to the local electricity grid to help provide clean and sustainable energy to the communities of Orkney. The Orbital O2 was developed and constructed with partial support from the EU-funded FloTEC and OCEANERA-NET COFUND projects. With its construction completed, the turbine was launched from the Port of Dundee on 22 April 2021 and arrived in Orkney waters 2 days later. The Orbital O2 was towed to Orkney by the C-Force, a 27.7-m multiact vessel belonging to Orbital\’s project supplier Leask Marine. Source: Tech Explore

2. Cisco digitising select seaports, inland waterways in India : INLAND WATERWAYS

Technology company Cisco has partnered some of the largest Indian seaports and inland waterways, including Visakhapatnam, Deendayal, Kolkata Port and IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India), to transform them by digitising their processes. The company is currently working on 14 projects across seven ports in India, of which three projects have been completed, and 11 are in various stages. This partnership is aligned with India\’s Maritime Vision 2030, which focuses on boosting productivity and performance of nation\’s maritime sector over the next decade. Source: Business Today

3. In Kerala, Infrastructure Projects Amplified Cyclone Tauktae’s Impact : COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE

An eerie silence is still prevailing over Chellanam, a coastal village panchayat located between Ernakulam and Alappuzha in Kerala, where cyclone Tauktae barrelled dangerously into the tiny houses of COVID-battered fish workers a few days ago. Over 500 houses of the village were inundated in the worst-ever sea attack since Cyclone Ockhi of 2017. The primary health centre at Kandakkadavu in the middle of the panchayat was seen fully submerged in waist-high water due to Tauktae. With the help of fire and rescue workers, health department officials were able to retrieve medicines and equipment stored there, especially those required for COVID-19 treatment. According to panchayat president K.D. Prasad, Chellanam witnessed a spike in COVID-19 cases when the cyclone Tauktae wreaked havoc in all 21 wards. There were 601 active COVID-19 cases in the panchayat area, and even the facilities where the patients got accommodated were destroyed in surging waves. He said high waves continue to hit the coastal settlements despite cyclone moving away. Source: The Wire

4. AI and Machine Learning Drive the Future of Supply Chain Logistics : LOGISTICS

Artificial intelligence (AI) is more accessible than ever and is increasingly used to improve business operations and outcomes, not only in transportation and logistics management, but also in diverse fields like finance, healthcare, retail and others. An Oxford Economics and NTT DATA survey of 1,000 business leaders conducted in early 2020 reveals that 96% of companies were at least researching AI solutions, and over 70% had either fully implemented or at least piloted the technology. Nearly half of survey respondents said failure to implement AI would cause them to lose customers, with 44% reporting their company’s bottom line would suffer without it. Source: Supply And Demand Chain Executive

5. Govt nod to permission-compliant drone operations in 166 more green zones : ECONOMIC ZONES AND BUSINESS PARKS

The Civil Aviation Ministry Saturday said it has permitted drone operations, which are in compliance with its no-permission-no-take off (NPNT) scheme, up to 400 feet above the ground in 166 new green zones across the country. The NPNT scheme requires an operator to take permission from aviation regulator DGCA, using an app, before each drone flight. If this permission is not received, the drone itself will not function. Source: Business Standard

6. Delay in land acquisition hits railway projects in several States : RAILWAYS AND METROS

New lines/gauge doubling projects worth several hundred crores of rupees have been stalled in at least a dozen States due to delay in land acquisition. Even after depositing about ₹3,600 crore for acquiring vast stretches of land in these States, the process has not been completed, delaying the execution of the projects. Also, projects approved on cost-sharing basis remained a non-starter since many States had not deposited their share totalling to the tune of ₹7,473 crore. Earlier this month, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wrote to Chief Ministers of the 14 States, requesting them to expedite the process of land acquisition and expressed concern that the funds were lying idle with the States. He also called for early deposit of the State’s share in cost-sharing projects. Source: The Hindu

7. Acer commits to the RE100 initiative – 100% Renewable Energy use by 2035 : RENEWABLE ENERGY

The Acer Group has announced that is joined the RE100 initiative, sharing a pledge to achieve 100% renewable energy use by 2035. In addition, Acer declared its mission to help tackle environmental challenges with its “Earthion” platform that unites the strengths of its employees and supply chain partners and expands the circle of impact of its sustainability efforts. Acer joins more than 310 other companies in the RE100 group, including tech companies like Adobe, Airbnb, Apple, Sony, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, HP, Intel, Accenture, Steelcase, Autodesk, Atlassian. VMware, Salesforce, SAP, eBay, Etsy, Logitech, Lyft and more. You’ll also find some Aussie companies like Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and Woolworths in the list. Source: techAU

8. IEA releases India Energy Outlook 2021 report : RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

The International Energy Agency has released the India Energy Outlook 2021 report which examines the opportunities and challenges faced by the planet’s third-largest energy-consuming country as it seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The ability of India to ensure affordable, clean and reliable energy for its growing population will be vital for the future development of its economy, according to the report. Avoiding the kind of carbon-intensive path previously followed by other countries will require strong policies, technological leaps and a surge in clean energy investment, states the report. Source: Smart Energy International

9. Government working on 22 green highways across the country: Gadkari : ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said the government is making massive investment in the highways sector and emphasised on developing ways to cut down usage of steel and cement in construction of roads and bridges. The road transport minister further said that steel and cement players are indulged in cartelisation in the country. Addressing an event virtually, Gadkari said the government is constructing 22 green highways and now India has the largest road network. \”Massive investment is made in the highways sector in India… Without compromising on quality, we need to reduce the cost of construction of roads and bridges,\” the minister said. Gadkari said the government officials should positively support new ideas. Source: Business Standard

10. Blue-Green Infrastructure: An Opportunity for Indian Cities : WATER AND ENVIRONMENT

As the threat from climate hazards rise, several global cities have altered their urban planning and design approaches to incorporate nature-driven solutions as a counter to conventional infrastructure practices by harnessing blue elements (for instance, seas, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and water utilities) alongside the green (such as trees, parks, gardens, playgrounds and forests). This paper explores the emerging concept of blue-green infrastructure and analyses existing plans and projects in India and globally. It also identifies opportunities in the blue-green space to help India’s cities respond to climate hazards, promote equity and resilience, and catalyse economic transitions for sustainable urban futures. As countries around the world embark on economic recovery plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is widespread acknowledgement of the need for sustainable revival focussed on adapting to and mitigating climate change. For India, which aims to grow into a US$5 trillion (INR 364 trillion) economy by 2024, climate-proofing the economy and building resilient development sectors is a priority. This necessitates a policy and investment response addressing the three linked aspects of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Source: Observer Research Foundation

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