[Newsbits] 7-8.03.2024: Sangam Initiative, CSpace & More

newsbits mindmap notes
/ Species
Supreme Court Bans Tiger Safari in Core Areas of Jim Corbett National Park mind map
Recent News
Imposed by Supreme Court
Former Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat
Former divisional Forest Officer Kishan Chand
Result of
Illegal construction
Felling of trees
CBI to file status report within three months
Petition by
Environment activist and lawyer, Gaurav Bansal
Nexus of officers identified
Committee formed
To examine safari permission in buffer areas
Quoted Mahabharata
"The forest perishes without the tiger"
Earlier Case
Uttarakhand High Court ordered CBI inquiry
September last year
For illegal construction and felling of 6,000 trees
High Court's suo motu cognizance
From media reports
CBI to conduct investigation
ED's action
Raided residences of Rawat and Chand
To protect wildlife habitat
Balance tourism interests
Tiger safaris banned in core areas
Permitted in peripheral and buffer zones
Aimed at wildlife protection
Judiciary's commitment underscored
Quotation from Mahabharata on tiger's significance
Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
Harak Singh Rawat
Former Uttarakhand Forest Minister
Kishan Chand
Former divisional Forest Officer
Gaurav Bansal
Environment activist and lawyer
Justices BR Gavai, Prashant Kumar Mishra, and Sandeep Mehta
Involved in ruling
Directed CBI for investigation
Committee formation for buffer area examination
Protection of wildlife habitat
Reduction in tiger poaching acknowledged
Illegal construction and deforestation
Way Forward
State's responsibility in restoring forest status emphasized
Restoration and recovery from responsible parties

The Supreme Court of India has recently banned tiger safaris in the core areas of Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, following concerns over illegal construction and deforestation activities. This decision aims to protect the park’s wildlife habitat while balancing the interests of tourism. The court criticized former Uttarakhand Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat and former Divisional Forest Officer Kishan Chand for their roles in these activities and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to report on the case. Additionally, a committee has been formed to examine whether safaris can be allowed in buffer or fringe areas of national parks across the country​​​​.

/ Elections & Democracy
Indelible Ink for Lok Sabha 2024 Polls mind map
Recent News
Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL)
Sole supplier
Gearing up for Lok Sabha elections 2024
Received biggest order till date
70% complete
Rest to be completed by March 15
Order details
26.55 lakh vials
Worth ₹55 crore
For Lok Sabha elections 2024
Production completion by March 15
To prevent electoral fraud
Ensure no multiple voting
Indelible ink vials
Leaves deep purple mark
Applied on voter's left forefinger
Cost revision
Upward to ₹174 from ₹160
Due to fluctuating price of silver nitrate
Exploring alternatives
Developing marker pens
Mysuru-based company
Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL)
State-owned enterprise
Exclusive manufacturer for Election Commission
Ink applied on left forefinger
Received largest order from Election Commission
Fulfilling both domestic and export orders
Export Orders
Past couple of months
Small orders from Cambodia, Fiji Islands, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau
Processing orders from Mongolia, Fiji Islands, Malaysia, Cambodia
Safeguards integrity of electoral process
Unsung hero in democracy
Prevents electoral fraud by ensuring voter's mark
Price increase due to silver nitrate cost
Need for alternative solutions like marker pens
Way Forward
Complete remaining production timely
Develop and introduce marker pens as alternative

The indelible ink used in the Lok Sabha 2024 polls is supplied by Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL), the sole supplier for such ink in India. The company is currently preparing for the elections, having received its largest order to date, with 70% of production already completed and the remainder expected to be finished by March 15. This ink is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the electoral process by preventing multiple votes from a single individual. The cost per vial has increased due to the rising price of silver nitrate, a key ingredient. MPVL is also looking into developing marker pens as an alternative to traditional glass vials for future elections. In addition to domestic demands, MPVL caters to international orders from countries like Cambodia, Fiji Islands, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau, showcasing the global reliance on its indelible ink for fair voting processes​​​​.

CSpace - India’s first state-run OTT mind map
Recent News
March 7, 2024
Event Location
Kairali Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram
India's first government-owned OTT platform
Prior to March 7, 2024
March 7, 2024
Provide meaningful infotainment
Streamline content selection and propagation in OTT sector
Bridge gap between traditional and digital distribution
Serve as digital archive for Malayalam cinema
Managed by
Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC)
Content Selection
Panel of 60 cultural experts
Artistic and cultural merit
National or state awards
Featured in major festivals
Content Types
Feature films
Short films
Initial Lineup
42 films including six documentaries
Revenue Model
Pay-per-view basis
Feature films at ₹75
Shorter content at lower price
Revenue Sharing
Half to content providers
App available on PlayStore and App Store
Usage on three devices per UserID
Kerala, India
Kerala Government
Cultural Affairs Department
Kerala State Film Development Corporation
Launch Event
Kairali Theatre
9:30 AM
App Deployment
App Store
Revenue Model
Revenue sharing with content providers
Supports Malayalam cinema
Promotes cultural diversity
Transparent content selection
Fair revenue sharing model
Requires time to stabilize
With existing OTT platforms
Way Forward
Suggestions and innovations welcome
Addition of government and Chalachitra Academy content

CSpace, Kerala’s first government-owned OTT platform, was launched on March 7, 2024, marking a significant move towards digitizing the state’s entertainment sector. Managed by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC), it aims to offer a mix of meaningful infotainment by carefully selecting content that meets specific artistic and cultural standards. The platform differentiates itself through a transparent selection process involving a panel of 60 cultural experts and a fair revenue-sharing model with content providers. CSpace offers a variety of films, including award winners and festival features, on a pay-per-view basis. This initiative not only supports the Malayalam cinema but also addresses the challenges of content selection and propagation in the OTT sector, offering a new chapter for digital entertainment in Kerala​​​​​​.

/ Railways
India’s First Underwater Metro Tunnel in Kolkata mind map
Recent News:
By: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Date: Not specified in provided information
Expected completion: 2023
Decongest traffic
Transform lives near Hooghly river
Length of corridor: 16.6 km
Underwater stretch: 520 meters
Depth below riverbed: 33 meters
Depth below surface: 13 meters
Construction cost: Rs 8,600 crore
1.4m-wide concrete rings
Hydrophilic gaskets to prevent water ingress
- Esplanade
- Mahakaran
- Howrah
- Howrah Maidan
Travel time reduction:
Sector V to Howrah
Howrah to Sealdah: 40 minutes (from 1.5 hours)
Under Hooghly river
Howrah and Kolkata
IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan
Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC)
Site Supervisor: Mithun Ghosh
Twin tunnel over 500 meters
Tunnel boring:
First tunnel: May end or first week of June 2017
Second tunnel: July end 2017
Restrictions: Only one tunnel boring machine operational at a time
First of its kind in India
Expected to be at par with Eurostar (London to Paris)
Helps reduce travel time
Aids in traffic decongestion
Technical challenges:
Underwater construction complexities
Evacuation passages for emergencies
Way Forward:
Not specified in provided information

The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation is set to complete India’s first underwater metro tunnel, connecting the East and West metro corridors under the Hooghly river between Howrah and Kolkata. This 520-meter stretch, part of a 16.6 km east-west corridor, is designed to significantly reduce travel time and decongest traffic in the area. The project, costing Rs 8,600 crore, includes safety features like walkways for emergency evacuation and is built 33 meters below the riverbed. The underwater tunnel will connect the IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan, crossing the river. With stations at Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah, and Howrah Maidan, the metro aims to transform transportation in Kolkata, making it akin to international standards similar to the Eurostar connection between London and Paris​​​​​​.

/ Korea
10th India-South Korea Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) mind map
Recent News
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's visit
Focus on Indo-Pacific region
Discussions on trade and economic cooperation
Date of meeting
March 2024
Jaishankar's visit
Four-day visit
To strengthen bilateral relations
Review and explore new avenues for partnership
Shared convergences in Indo-Pacific
Regional and global issues
Trade and economic cooperation
Seoul, South Korea
Indian External Affairs Minister
S Jaishankar
South Korean counterparts
National Security Advisor
Chang Ho-jin
Foreign Minister
Cho Tae-yul
Trade, Industry and Energy Minister
Ahn Dukgeun
Think tank representatives
Meetings and discussions
Review of bilateral cooperation
Enhanced Special Strategic Partnership
Diverse areas of cooperation
Science and Technology
Way Forward
Further strengthen partnership
Explore new avenues for cooperation

The 10th India-South Korea Joint Commission Meeting (JCM), co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yul, took place in Seoul, South Korea, marking a significant step in bolstering the bilateral relations between the two nations. This meeting focused on enhancing cooperation in various domains, including trade, defense, education, and technology, amidst discussions on regional and global issues, particularly concerning the Indo-Pacific region. The engagement aimed at reviewing the extensive partnership and exploring new avenues for collaboration, emphasizing the shared interests and strategic convergences between India and South Korea. The visit underscored the commitment of both countries to deepen their Special Strategic Partnership and address contemporary challenges together, reflecting a robust and dynamic relationship with potential for future growth and mutual benefits.

/ Banking
RBI Directs Card Issuers to Provide Multiple Network Options mind map
Recent News
RBI issues directions
Applies to banks and non-banks
Effective from September 6, 2024
Directions issued on March 6, 2024
Enhance customer choice
Address arrangements not conducive to customer choice
Options for multiple card networks
Card issuers with own networks
Issuers with less than 10 lakh active cards
Authorised card networks
American Express Banking Corp
Diners Club International Ltd
MasterCard Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
National Payments Corporation of India - Rupay
Visa Worldwide Pte Limited
No restrictive arrangements or agreements
Option to choose network at issue and renewal
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Apex bank in India
Non-bank card issuers
Guidelines issued
Circular on March 6, 2024
Feedback from stakeholders sought in July 2023
Increased choice for customers
Promotes competition among networks
Implementation challenges
Adherence to new requirements
Impact on existing agreements
Way Forward
Compliance monitoring
Feedback and adjustments

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks and non-bank lenders to provide customers with the option to choose from multiple card networks (such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) at the time of issuing or renewing debit, credit, and prepaid cards. This directive aims to enhance customer choice and promote competition among card networks. Exemptions apply to issuers with their own networks or those with fewer than 10 lakh active cards. The policy is set to take effect from September 6, 2024, and was announced after the RBI sought feedback from stakeholders in July 2023​​​​.

Sangam: Digital Twin Initiative mind map
Recent News
Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
Unveils Sangam: Digital Twin initiative
Posted On
15 FEB 2024
Deadline for EoI response
15th March 2024
To harness unified data and collective intelligence
For transformative infrastructure planning and future design
Digital Twin Technology
Creates virtual replicas of physical assets
Allows real-time monitoring, simulation, and analysis
Proof of Concept (PoC) in Two Stages
First Stage
Exploratory phase
For clarity of horizon
Creative exploration
Second Stage
Practical demonstration of specific use cases
Generating a future blueprint
For collaboration and scaling successful strategies
Demonstrate practical implementation of innovative solutions
Develop a model framework for faster, effective collaboration
Provide a roadmap for scaling and replicating successful strategies
Conducted in one of India's major cities
Invited Participants
Industry pioneers, startups, MSMEs, academia, innovators
Inviting Expressions of Interest (EoI)
Collaborative approach integrating advanced technologies
5G, IoT, AI, AR/VR, AI native 6G
Engage in a whole-of-nation approach
Bridging the gap between conceptualization and realization
Pioneering a sustainable, efficient, and innovative future for infrastructure
Leadership in digital infrastructure and innovation
Bridging gap between conceptualization and realization
Holistic approach to innovation

The Sangam: Digital Twin Initiative, unveiled by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on February 15, 2024, is an innovative project designed to revolutionize infrastructure planning and design through the use of digital twin technology. This technology creates virtual replicas of physical assets for real-time monitoring, simulation, and analysis, facilitating experimental iterations and feedback loops to adapt to changes for optimal outcomes. The initiative is structured around a Proof of Concept (PoC) that will be carried out in two stages in one of India’s major cities. The first stage focuses on exploratory activities to clarify horizons and unleash potential, while the second stage involves practical demonstrations of specific use cases to generate a future blueprint for collaboration and scaling successful strategies in infrastructure projects. This initiative seeks to demonstrate the practical implementation of innovative infrastructure planning solutions, develop a model framework for faster and more effective collaboration, and provide a roadmap for scaling and replicating successful strategies in future projects​​​​.

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