Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy chairs the meeting of BRICS tourism ministers
Union minister G Kishan Reddy chaired the BRICS Tourism Ministers’ meeting as part of India’s BRICS chairship and said it was important for member countries to understand the tourism products of each other.
Ministers of all BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- participated in the meeting, an official statement said.
India organised the BRICS Tourism Ministers’ meeting as an effective means to promote tourism cooperation among member countries, it said.
The meeting reviewed the intra-BRICS tourism cooperation. A significant aspect of the meeting was the adoption of the Ministers’ Communique, an outcome document on cooperation and promotion of tourism between BRICS countries.
The Ministers’ Communiquerecognised that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely endangered public health and has presented immense challenges to the implementation of sustainable development goals.
"It is important of the BRICS member states to have a good understanding of each other’s tourism products and offerings so as to encourage further growth of tourist inflow between the BRICS member countries.
"The common tourism products in BRICS countries such as heritage, culture, tourism, nature, wildlife, eco-tourism present an opportunity for greater cooperation and exchange of information and best practices," Reddy said.
Further, to promote tourism for the future, it was recognised that BRICS alliance for green tourism can accelerate the recovery and development of tourism on sustainable lines.
Pakistan: Senate passes bill to criminalize torture, custodial deaths
The bill, which was presented by PPP Senator Sherry Rehman and supported by Minister for Human Rights ShireenMazari, states that any public servant involved in torture would face up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs2 million.
If a public servant, whose duty it is to prevent torture, either intentionally or negligently fails to prevent it, he/she will face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs1m, it adds.
"Whoever commits, abets or conspires to commit the offence of custodial death or custodial sexual violence, shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine, which may extend to Rs3m," it further states.
In addition, if a public servant, whose duty it is to prevent custodial death and custodial sexual violence either intentionally or negligently fails to do so, he/she will be punished with at least seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs1m.
The fine will be paid to the victim or their legal heirs, according to the bill. If the fine is not paid, the public servant involved would face additional imprisonment of up to three years and five years, respectively, the bill states.
Maharashtra announces incentive of up to Rs 20 lakh for electric vehicles from two wheelers to buses
The Maharashtra Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy-2021 was announced by the State Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray. The objective of the policy is to accelerate the adoption of BEVS such that they contribute 10 per cent of new vehicle registration by 2025.
Under the policy, incentives will be given to buyers of electric vehicles. Likewise, those purchasing two-wheelers will be given an incentive of Rs 10,000, for three-wheeler the incentive will be Rs 30,000, for four-wheeler Rs 1,50,000 and for e-buses it will be Rs 20 lakh.
The Policy also states that at least 25 per cent of urban fleet aggregators/ operators in Maharashtra to be electric by 2025. Further, starting April 2022, all new government vehicles (owned/ leased) operating in the major cities to be electric. The policy specifically mentions that all-electric vehicles sold in the state shall be exempted from road tax. In addition to this, all electric vehicles eligible under the policy shall be exempted from registration charges.
One of the key provisions of the policy is that it aims to create a ‘State EV Fund’ which will be used to promote EV adoption including providing incentives for EVs and EV infrastructure. Besides, urban local bodies will be encouraged to provide property tax rebates to residential owners for installing private charging infrastructure within their premises. The government said, maximum budgetary provision for ‘Demand side’ and ‘Charging infra’ incentives is Rs 930 crore for four yrs. The policy implementation can be funded through a green tax levied on re-registration of old vehicles, fuel cess etc.
:: SCIENCE AND TECH::
The United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (CBD) released the first draft of a new global biodiversity framework to guide actions around the world by 2030
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat on 12 July 2021 released the first official draft of a new Global Biodiversity Framework to guide actions worldwide through 2030 to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people.
The framework includes 21 targets for 2030 that call for, among other things:
At least 30% of land and sea areas global (especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people) conserved through effective, equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas (and other effective area-based conservation measures)
A 50% of greater reduction in the rate of introduction of invasive alien species, and controls or eradication of such species to eliminate or reduce their impacts
Reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds, and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste
Nature-based contributions to global climate change mitigation efforts of least 10 GtCO2e per year, and that all mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity
Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives harmful for biodiversity, in a just and equitable way, reducing them by at least $US 500 billion per year
A $US 200 billion increase in international financial flows from all sources to developing countries.
Former cricketer Yashpal Sharma, Indian team passed away
Former India cricketer and a member of 1983 World Cup-winning squad Yashpal Sharma passed away due to cardiac arrest at the age of 66.
Born in Ludhiana on August 11, 1954, Sharma was regarded as one of the finest middle-order batsmen. After making his international debut in 1979 against England, Sharma played 37 Tests for India, scoring 1606 runs with two centuries and nine fifties.
He made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 1978. He had represented India in 42 One Day Internationals in which he scored 883 runs. He was known for his stroke-filled half-century in the semifinal against England in the 1983 campaign at Old Trafford will forever be etched in the public memory.