GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

World’s First Trackless Train Begins Operating In China.



  • World first smart, track-less trains have begun the test runs in China. China had unveiled the train that runs on “virtual tracks” in the city of Zhuzhou and the rail system successfully began the test runs in the Chinese city 23th October, 2017. Promoted as the ‘World’s First smart train,’ the vehicle operates on virtual rail lines and could travel as quickly as 70 km/hr.
  • The smart train is called Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) and was created to cope with the urban traffic problems. According to the information, the world’s first track-less trains began operations on October 23. The sporty train was first shown to the world in June , 2017 and has been developed by one of the world’s largest train manufacturers, CRRC Corporation Limited.


Highlights Of The Development–

  • Being cited as a hybrid between a bus and tram, the train runs on virtual railways that are represented by white lines and is 3.75 meters wide. The virtual train system is said to be much cheaper than the tram and subway system and the engineers are expecting this chic ride option to help beat the urban traffic. The train itself endorses a sleek body with comfortable seating and runs on rubber wheels with a plastic core.
  • The sensor technology helps the train in understanding the roads and helps the train to glide through. The operations on the road of Zhuzhou is a way of testing the smart trains, and several passengers were seen boarding the vehicle. The vehicle will begin full-fledged operations in spring and the three compartment train can carry as many as 300 passengers comfortably through the city.
  • Feng Jianghua, chief engineer of the train was quoted saying that it would cost around 150 to 200 million yuan (Rs 147 to Rs 196 crore) to build one kilometer of the tramway in China while the virtual railway line would reduce the cost to 50 to 100 million Yuan ( Rs 49 to 98 crore). While these trains are currently run by motormen, the project also aims at making them automated in the near future.



GS Paper II- Governance.

Under ‘SAATHI’ Initiative, Power And Textiles Ministries Join Hands To Help Small Scale Industries.


  • Under the new initiative ‘SAATHI’ (Sustainable and Accelerated Adoption of efficient Textile technologies to Help small Industries), Ministries of Power and Textiles came together with help small-scale industries.
  • The SAATHI initiative will be jointly implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited EESL and the office of the Textile Commissioner on a pan-India basis.
  • Under this initiative, EESL would procure energy efficient Powerlooms, motors and Rapier kits in bulk and provide them to the small and medium Powerloom units at no upfront cost.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • To kick-start, the implementation, cluster-wise demonstration projects and workshops will be organized in key clusters such as Erode, Surat, Ichalkaranji, etc.
  • The use of this efficient equipment would result in energy savings and cost savings to the unit owner and he would repay in instalments to EESL over a 4 to 5 year period.
  • With a view to upgrading the technology, the Government of India has been implementing the INSITU upgradation of plain Powerlooms as part of Power Tex India under which plain Powerlooms are attached with process control equipment leading to higher productivity, better quality and more than 50 percent additional value realization.
  • So far 1.70 lakhs plain Powerlooms have been upgraded under the scheme, with a total Government of India subsidy of Rs. 186 Crores.
  • The Powerloom sector in India is predominantly an unorganized sector and has a large number of micro and small units which produce 57 percent of the total cloth in the country. There are 24.86 lakhs Powerloom units in this country, most of whom use obsolete technology.



GS Paper IV- Integrity.

PM Modi Inaugurates International Conference On Consumer Protection In New Delhi.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated international conference on consumer protection for east, south and southeast Asian countries on 23rd October, 2017.
  • It is for the first time an international conference on consumer protection was organised by India for countries of the region.
  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) organized the International Conference on Consumer Protection for South, South East and East Asian Nations on the theme “Empowering Consumers in New Markets” on 26-27 October 2017 in New Delhi.


Highlights Of The Development-

  • The two-day conference was based on theme ‘Empowering Consumers in New Markets’ against the backdrop of the new UN guidelines on consumer protection calling for greater international cooperation, and provided a platform to discuss and deliberate upon different aspects of consumer protection.
  • It is aimed at shared learning and will explore a way forward for enhanced regional cooperation on the subject.
  • A total of 22 countries from east, south and south-east Asia, which account for a majority of the global consumers and share common challenges and experiences, were participating.
  • The conference had six working sessions on the subjects of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection and Implementation, stakeholder participation in consumer protection, protection of online consumers, stakeholders’ participation, fostering consumer inclusion in financial services, protection of vulnerable groups of consumers and consumer empowerment through education.

Sources- Business-Standard.