News: The Ministry of Railways has suspended all new/umbrella works included in the ‘Pink Book’ in 2020-21 in view of the unprecedented fall in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that brought passenger train operations to a grinding halt.
The Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) has been created in the form of a Reserve Fund.
The fund will receive a corpus of Rs1 lakh crore over a period of 5 years starting from 2017-18.
Safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and all possible steps are undertaken on a continuous basis to prevent accidents and to enhance safety.
These include timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies for upgradation and maintenance of track, rolling stock, signalling and interlocking systems, safety drives, greater emphasis on training of officials and safety inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices.
2. GANDHI – KING INITIATIVE
News: A Bill authored by American civil rights leader and lawmaker John Lewis, which seeks to establish an exchange programme between India and the U.S. to study the work and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., passed an important committee in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, days after Mr. Lewis’s death.
The Bill, co-sponsored by Indian American Congressman from California Ami Bera will establish annual scholar and student exchange programmes for Indians and Americans to study the leaders’ legacies and visit historic sites in India and the U.S., relevant to the India’s freedom struggle and the U.S.’s civil rights movement.
The Bill also seeks to establish the Gandhi-King Global Academy, a conflict resolution initiative based on the principles of non-violence. It proposes the establishment of the U.S.-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation set up by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the government of India, organised under Indian law.
The Foundation, which has a proposed budget authorised of up to $30 million per year for five years through 2025, is tasked with administering grants to NGOs that work in health, pollution and climate change, education and empowerment of women.