UPSC 2017: Best of PIB – March 31

India’s longest road tunnel
  • The Prime Minister will be dedicating to the nation, India’s longest road tunnel – the 9 kms long “Chenani – Nashri Tunnel” – on April 2nd, 2017
  • The tunnel on NH-44 will connect Jammu with Srinagar
  • It will reduce travel time between the two cities by two hours
  • It achieves a distance-reduction of 31 kilometres, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches
  • The tunnel will provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur, to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar

 

India signs First Loan Agreement with New Development Bank
  • It will provide financing of US$ 350 Million for Development and Upgradation of Major District Roads Project in Madhya Pradesh
  • This is the First Loan Agreement for NDB assisted project in India

 

Environment Minister Launches Online Filing of Access and Benefit 
Sharing Applications 
  • This is another important step towards contributing to and promoting Digital India and Ease of Doing Business
  • It’s a JV between The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) with the National Informatics Centre (NIC)

 

Implementation of various measures for liberalization, simplification 
and rationalization of Visa regime from tomorrow
  • From April 1, 2017, e-Visa will be of 3 categories
    • e-tourist visa
    • e-Business visa
    • e-Medical visa
  • E-visa facility has been extended to the nationals of 161 countries for entry through 24 airports (E-visa service was earlier granted through 16 airports) and 3 Indian Ports i.e. Cochin, Goa and Mangalore to tap the potential of cruise tourism from different countries (This service will also be provided from Mumbai and Chennai seaports shortly)
  • The window for application under e-visa scheme has been increased from 30 days to 120 days and duration of stay on e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on e-Tourist and e-Business visa and triple entry on e-Medical visa
  • Separate immigration counters and facilitation desks to assist medical tourist have been provided at Indian airports namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
  • The Multiple entry Tourist and Business visas for a period of 5 years will now be available to nationals of most of the countries
  • Upon urgent requests, business visa and medical visa will be granted within 48 hours of application
  • A new category of visa titled Intern (I) Visa has been rolled out with effect from 1st March, 2017
    • It will be issued to a foreigner intending to pursue internship in Indian companies, educational institutions and NGOs, subject to certain checks and conditions
    • The period of visa is restricted to the duration of internship programme or one year, whichever is less
    • The intern visa will be granted immediately after completion of graduation/post-graduation
    • Intern Visa will be issued with prior clearance from Ministry of Home Affairs in case of Internship in NGOs or internship involving visit to protected and restricted areas
  • Another new category of Visa, titled Film (F) Visa has also been introduced with maximum duration of one year with multiple entry facility