National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20)

In News

  • Recently, the National Health Accounts Estimates for India (2019-20) are being released.

Major Highlights

  • Share of Out-of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) in Total Health Expenditure declines from 62.6% in 2014-15 to 47.1% in 2019-20
  • Government Health Expenditure’s share in country’s total GDP increases from 1.13% (2014-15) to 1.35% (2019-20)
  • Additionally, in General Government Expenditure (GGE), the share of health sector spending has steadily increased from 3.94% to 5.02% between 2014-15 and 2019-20.
  • Private health insurance share is also going up which is a sign of maturity for a country in terms of the insurance arena. It complements the government system of primary, secondary and tertiary care.
  • The share of primary healthcare in Current Government Health Expenditure (CGHE) has increased from 51.3% in 2014-15 to 55.9% in 2019-20.  
  • The share of Social Security Expenditure (SSE) on health, which includes government-funded health insurance, medical reimbursement to government employees, and social health insurance programs, in THE (Total Health Expenditure) has increased from 5.7% in 2014-15 to 9.3% in 2019-20.
  • In per capita terms, Government health expenditure has doubled from Rs. 1,108 to Rs. 2,014 between 2014-15 to 2019-20
About National Health Account (NHA) estimatesThe National Health Account (NHA) estimates for India 2019-20 is the seventh consecutive NHA estimates report prepared by NHSRC, designated as National Health Accounts Technical Secretariat (NHATS) in 2014 by the Union Health Ministry.Related termsOut-of-Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) in health: Out-of-pocket expenditure is the money paid directly by households, at the point of receiving health care.This occurs when services are neither provided free of cost through a government health facility, nor is the individual covered under any public or private insurance or social protection schemeGeneral Government Expenditure (GGE):GGE involves all types of expenditure, current and capital. It includes all types of revenue. GGE includes funds that are provided by donors, and channeled through the government.It is not the same as the General Government Final Consumption, which comprises only current spending.

Understanding Temperature Anomalies

In News

  • March 2023 was the second warmest March on record. 

More about the news

  • Warm March:
    • March 2023 was the second warmest in the instrumental record. 
    • The warmest March occurred just a few years ago in 2016, when the biggest El Niño of the 21st century triggered a ‘mini’ global warming
    • In India, we expect March to be the beginning of the scorching summer season. 
    • But a particular year’s March may be cooler due to some other climate factors, such as a La Niña, and especially when averaged over a region as large as India or even an Indian State.
  • Heating of the Arabian Sea:
    • The Arabian Sea has also warmed more than expected this March. 
    • This situation can favour a stronger monsoon but may also enhance cyclogenesis (i.e. birth of cyclonic circulation) over the Arabian Sea.
  • Temperature anomaly:
    • The January-to-March average temperature anomaly ranks 2023 as the fourth warmest such period on record. 

About the “Temperature anomalies”

  • What is a temperature anomaly?
    • The term temperature anomaly means a departure from a reference value or long-term average.
      • A positive anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was warmer than the reference value, while a negative anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was cooler than the reference value.
  • Significance:
    • This product is a global-scale climate diagnostic tool and provides a big picture overview of average global temperatures compared to a reference value.
    • Global warming does not mean each month or each year will be warmer than the previous month or the previous year
    • Instead, a better place to begin would be by averaging the weather over a decade.
      • Decade-to-decade warming clearly shows that humans are now ensuring each decade is warmer than the one before.
  • What causes the anomalies?
    • The global distribution of temperature anomalies is due to land-ocean-atmosphere processes that dynamically determine the weather and climate. 

Rising global temperatures

  • Human induced warming:
    • Air temperatures on Earth have been rising since the Industrial Revolution
    • While natural variability plays some part, the preponderance of evidence indicates that human activities—particularly emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases—are mostly responsible for making our planet warmer.
  • What does the analysis say?
    • According to an ongoing temperature analysis led by scientists, the average global temperature on Earth has increased by at least 1.1° Celsius (1.9° Fahrenheit) since 1880. 
    • The majority of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15 to 0.20°C per decade.
  • Pattern of warming:
    • Global warming does not mean temperatures rise everywhere at every time at the same rate. Temperatures might rise 5 degrees in one region and drop 2 degrees in another.
      • For instance, exceptionally cold winters in one place might be balanced by extremely warm winters in another part of the world. 
    • Generally, warming is greater over land than over the oceans because water is slower to absorb and release heat (thermal inertia).
      • Warming may also differ substantially within specific land masses and ocean basins.
  • Influence of rise:
    • The temperatures we experience locally and in short periods can fluctuate significantly due to predictable, cyclical events (night and day, summer and winter) and hard-to-predict wind and precipitation patterns. 
  • Challenge for India:
    • India’s large population experiences adaptation challenges due to severe heat waves in the summer and extreme rainfall during the monsoon season.
      • Heatwaves cause mortality and pose challenges for public health infrastructure.
      • Prolonged extreme rainfall results in floods, which damage agriculture and infrastructure and cause human migration and loss of lives.

Possibility of intense heatwaves

  • Excessively hot summer:
    • The summer this year is predicted to be excessively hot because of the end of the strong La Nina phase in equatorial Pacific Ocean, something that has a general cooling effect on the earth’s atmosphere. 
  • Possibility of El Nino’s occurrence: 
    • New forecasts suggest that El Nino, which has the opposite impacts of La Nina, is expected to kick in from the May-July period itself, earlier than expected. 
    • El Nino also tends to result in suppression of monsoon rainfall over India. 
  • Shortfall in rain:
    • A shortfall in rains is already being apprehended, which could exacerbate the effects of a hot summer, even though the India Meteorological Department has predicted a normal monsoon.

Way ahead

  • Climate scientists need to provide the proper context when they compare and rank individual months against each other
  • This will help the people at large better understand global warming as well as its cascading effects on the weather they experience every day. 
  • And the better people understand the impact of global warming in their backyard, the likelier they can be engaged in climate action.

Gig Workers

In News

  • The Rajasthan Government is about to bring the Rajasthan Platform-based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023, which has stringent provisions against errant aggregators, including barring them from operating in the State. 

Highlights of the Bill

  • Rajasthan Platform-based Gig Workers Welfare Board: It will design welfare policies and hear grievances of the workers hired on a piece rate basis. The Bill gives powers to the board to decide the quantum of cess that every aggregator will have to pay towards this social welfare corpus. This cess shall be a percentage of every transaction that takes place on the platform. 
  • Unique ID: All platform-based gig workers registered with any platform shall be automatically registered with the board irrespective of the duration of their engagement with the platform. The board shall generate a unique ID for every platform-based gig worker registered with one or more aggregators in the State. This unique ID will be valid for three years. 
  • Penalty: Data of the gig workers employed with the board and sharing data of every transaction that takes place on their platform, can be fined up to ?10 lakh for the first contravention and up to ?1 crore for subsequent ones. 
    • The Bill also empowers the board to recommend suspension of operations of the errant aggregator temporarily or permanently in the State. 
  • The draft Bill that is with the Law department currently, will be put in public domain soon inviting feedback. 

Who are gig workers?

  • Non-standard or gig work consists of income-earning activities outside of standard, long-term employer-employee relationships. 
  • A gig economy is a labor market that relies heavily on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time permanent employees.
  • The term is borrowed from the music world, where performers book “gigs” that are single or short-term engagements at various venues.
  • The gig economy uses digital platforms to connect freelancers with customers to provide short-term services or asset-sharing.
  • Examples include ride-hailing apps, food delivery apps, and holiday rental apps.

Reasons for a rise in Gig Workers

  • Post Pandemic: The trend accelerated during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the gig economy experienced significant increases as gig workers delivered necessities to home-bound consumers, and those whose jobs had been eliminated turned to part-time and contract work for income. 
  • Freedom to work from anywhere: These types of positions facilitate independent contracting work, with many of them not requiring a freelancer to come into an office. 
  • Wide Range of Applicants: Employers also have a wider range of applicants to choose from because they don’t have to hire someone based on their proximity. 
  • Rise of Technology and Internet: Rise of fast internet and smartphones have made it easier to work from anywhere easily.
  • Convenient for Small Organisations: Employers who cannot afford to hire full-time employees to do all the work will often hire part-time or temporary employees to take care of busier times or specific projects.
  • More income with more work: People often find they need to move or take multiple positions to afford the lifestyle they want. It’s also common to change careers many times throughout a lifetime, so the gig economy can be viewed as a reflection of this occurring on a large scale.
  • Benefits Employers: Employers do not need to provide related benefits, such as medical insurance, Provident Fund, and year-end bonuses which make it a better option for them to pay only for work on a unit basis.
  • Work for All: Students can choose lower-skilled jobs and work without academic or professional qualifications. Retirees, housewives, etc. may find it difficult to find part-time jobs on weekdays, but now they can make good use of their spare time to earn extra money.


  • Hurdle in growth of full time employee: While not all employers are inclined to hire contracted employees, the gig economy trend can make it harder for full-time employees to develop in their careers since temporary employees are often cheaper to hire and more flexible in their availability.
  • Work-life balance: For some workers, the flexibility of working gigs can actually disrupt the work-life balance, sleep patterns, and activities of daily life
  • Can replace Full time employees: The number of full-time employees required by the company can be reduced as freelance workers take over the work.
  • No job security: In effect, workers in a gig economy are more like entrepreneurs than traditional workers. While this may mean greater freedom of choice for the individual worker, it also means that the security of a steady job with regular pay and benefits.
  • No regular job benefits: Many employers save money by avoiding paying benefits such as health coverage and paid vacation time. because there is no formal employment relationship with the platform company, there are usually no employee benefits in short-term contracts, which are less guaranteed than full-time and part-time jobs, and are difficult to write on resumes.

India and Gig Economy

  • In 2020, 7.7 million workers were engaged in the gig economy. 
  • The gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30. 
  • At present about 47% of the gig work is in medium skilled jobs, about 22% in high skilled, and about 31% in low skilled jobs. 
  • Trend shows the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.
  • It may be expected that while the domination of medium skills would continue till 2030, gig work with other skills will emerge.

Steps Taken by Government of India for Gig Workers

  • Code of Social Security, 2020: The Government has formulated the Code on Social Security, 2020 which envisages framing of suitable social security schemes for gig workers and platform workers on matters relating to life and disability cover, accident insurance, health and maternity benefits, old age protection, etc. However, these provisions under the Code have not come into force.
    • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms. Non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full time. 
  • e-Shram Portal: The Government has also launched e-Shram portal in 2021 for registration and creation of a Comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers including gig workers and platform workers. 
    • It allows a person to register himself or herself on the portal on a self-declaration basis, which is spread across around 400 occupations.

State of the Global Climate 2022 Report: WMO

In News

  • The State of the Global Climate 2022 report has been released by the World Meteorological Organization.

About the Report

  • It focuses on key climate indicators – greenhouse gases, temperatures, sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification, sea ice and glaciers. It also highlights the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.
  • It shows the planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean and in the atmosphere caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. 

Major Highlights of the Report

  • Increase in Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions: Global GHGs emissions continued to increase in 2022. Carbon dioxide is at 149% of pre-industrial levels, Methane is at 262% of pre-industrial levels, Nitrous oxide is at 124% of pre-industrial levels.
    • The annual increase of methane was 18 ppb from 2020 to 2021. This is the largest increase on record.
  • High Global Mean Temperature: In 2022, the planet was 1.15 ± 0.13 °C warmer than the pre-industrial (1850-1900) average, making the last 8 years the warmest on record.
    • Despite cooling  La Niña conditions , 2022 was the 5th or 6th warmest year. 
  • Above Normal Precipitation: In 2022, large areas with above normal precipitation included large parts of Asia and the south-west Pacific, areas of northern South America and the Caribbean, the eastern Sahel region, parts of southern Africa, Sudan, and eastern Europe.
    • Meanwhile, regions with rainfall deficits included western and central Europe, northwest Africa, parts of the Middle East, Central Asia and the Himalayas, Eastern Africa and Madagascar, central and southern South America, and central and western North America.
  • Ocean Heat Content: As GHGs accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures warm on land and in the ocean.  It is expected that the ocean will continue to warm well into the future – a change which is irreversible on centennial to millennial time scales.
    • In 2022, 58 percent of the ocean surface suffered at least one marine heatwave event and 25 per cent of the surface experienced at least one marine cold spell.
  • Rise in Sea Level: In 2022, global mean sea level continued to rise. The sea has risen approximately 3.4 ± 0.3 mm per year over the past 30 years .
  • Ocean Acidification: Global mean ocean pH has been steadily declining at rates not seen for at least the past 26,000 years.
  • Sea Ice Extent: Arctic sea-ice extent was below the long-term average for most of the year.
    • Antarctic sea-ice extent dropped to the lowest level and almost 1 million km 2  below the long-term (1991-2020) mean. The total extent of Antarctic sea ice continued to be below average.
    • The Greenland Ice Sheet ended with a negative total mass balance for the 26th year in a row. Summit Station, the highest point in Greenland, had its warmest September and experienced melting for the first time. Heavy rain fell on the ice sheet for the first time.
  • Glacier Mass Balance: The glaciers have been losing mass nearly every year.
    • Exceptional Melt in Swiss Alps: In Switzerland 6% of the glacier ice volume was lost between 2021 and 2022. 
    • For the first time in history, no snow outlasted the summer season even at the very highest measurement sites and therefore no accumulation of fresh ice occurred.
  • Extreme Events: Rising global temperatures have contributed to more frequent and severe extreme weather events around the world, including cold and heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires and storms.

Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts

  • Drought gripped East Africa: Rainfall has been below-average in five consecutive wet seasons, the longest such sequence in 40 years. As of January 2023, it was estimated that over 20 million people faced acute food insecurity across the region, under the effects of the drought and other shocks.
  • Record breaking rain: In July and August led to extensive flooding in Pakistan. There were over 1 700 deaths, and 33 million people were affected, while almost 8 million people were displaced. Total damage and economic losses were assessed at US$ 30 billion.
  • Record breaking heatwaves: It affected Europe during the summer. In some areas, extreme heat was coupled with exceptionally dry conditions. Excess deaths associated with the heat in Europe exceeded 15 000 in total across Spain, Germany, the UK, France, and Portugal.
    • China had its most extensive and long-lasting heatwave since national records began resulting in the hottest summer on record by a margin of more than 0.5 °C. 
  • Food insecurity: As of 2021, 2.3 billion people faced food insecurity, of which 924 million people faced severe food insecurity. Projections estimated 767.9 million people facing undernourishment in 2021, 9.8% of the global population. Half of these are in Asia and one third in Africa.
    • Heatwaves in the 2022 pre-monsoon season in India and Pakistan caused a decline in crop yields. This, combined with the banning of wheat exports and restrictions on rice exports in India after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, threatened the availability, access, and stability of staple foods within international food markets and posed high risks to countries already affected by shortages of staple foods.
  • Population Displacement: In Somalia, almost 1.2 million people became internally displaced by the catastrophic impacts of drought on pastoral and farming livelihoods and hunger during the year. Concurrently, Somalia was hosting almost 35 000 refugees and asylum seekers in drought-affected areas. A further 512 000 internal displacements associated with drought were recorded in Ethiopia.
    • The flooding in Pakistan affected some 33 million people, including about 800 000 Afghan refugees hosted in affected districts around 8 million people have been internally displaced by the floods. 
  • Environment: Climate change has important consequences for ecosystems and the environment. For example, a recent assessment focusing on the unique high-elevation area around the Tibetan Plateau, the largest storehouse of snow and ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic, found that global warming is causing the temperate zone to expand.
    • Climate change is also affecting recurring events in nature, such as flowering of cherry blossoms in Japan has been documented since AD 801 and has shifted to earlier dates since the late nineteenth century. In 2021, the full flowering date was 26 March, the earliest recorded in over 1200 years. 
  • Ecosystems: Ecosystems – including terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems – and the services they provide, are affected by the changing climate and some are more vulnerable than others.
    • Ecosystems are degrading at an unprecedented rate, limiting their ability to support human well-being and harming their adaptive capacity to build resilience.

Suggestions as per the Report

  • Adaptation: Early Warning Systems allow people to know hazardous weather is on its way, and informs how governments, communities and individuals can act to minimize the impending impacts.
    • However, even if adaptation is improved, the climate will continue to change unless the underlying drivers are addressed.
    • Without immediate and deep greenhouse gases emissions reductions across all sectors and regions, it will be impossible to keep warming below 1.5° C.
  • Mitigation: It is urgent to mitigate, or reduce, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels wherever possible.
    • Transitioning to renewable energy sources is a critically important part of reducing emissions. 
About World Meteorological Organization (WMO) It is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress. It was established by the ratification of the WMO Convention in 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General.Its  supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.

Vilakkumadom of Thirunelly Temple

In News

  • The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has urged the government to conserve the historically significant structures, including the 600-year-old ‘Vilakkumadom’.

About Vilakkumadom

  • Vilakkumadom is an exquisite granite structure believed to be constructed in the 15th century AD, at the Sree Mahavishnu Temple at Thirunelly in Wayanad district of Kerala.
  • It is said that the work of Vilakkumadom was launched by the king of Coorg without the permission of the temple’s custodianKottayam Raja. Later, the Kottayam Raja ordered the construction work, and the structure remained untouched afterwards.

Thirunelly Temple

  • The Thirunelly Maha Vishnu temple is an iconic temple in Wayanad, Kerala near to Brahmagiri hills. It is also known as ”Sahyamala Kshetram” and ”Kashi of the South”.
  • Thirunelli Temple is the only temple in the world where the devotees can perform all the rituals related to one’s life, starting from birth to death and life after death. 
  • The rituals are performed on the banks of the stream Papanasini which flows down from Mount Brahmagiri. 
  • On the western side of the temple is the cave temple Gunnika, dedicated to Lord Shiva. 
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)It is a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) was founded in 1984 in New Delhi with the vision to spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India.Since 1984, INTACH has pioneered the conservation and protection of India’s natural and cultural heritage.In 2007, the United Nations awarded INTACH a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Zero Shadow Day

In News

  • At 12:17 PM IST on April 25, Bengaluru and at all places along the 130  north Latitude experienced a ‘Zero Shadow Day’.

What is ‘Zero Shadow Day’(ZSD)?

  • A ZSD is a day on which the Sun does not cast a shadow of an object at solar noon, when the sun will be exactly at the zenith position(highest point in the sky)
  • ZSD happens twice a year for locations in the tropics (between the Tropic of Cancer at +23.5 degrees of latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn at -23.5 degrees of latitude). So, places north of Ranchi in India does not have Zero shadow day.
  • One ZSD falls during Uttarayan (movement of the Sun from south to north from winter solstice to summer solstice) and one other during Dakshinayan (back from north to south).   
  • The dates will vary for different locations on Earth.

Why does a ZSD happen?

  • Uttarayan and Dakshinayan happen because Earth’s rotation axis is tilted at an angle of roughly 23.5° to the axis of revolution around the Sun.
  • When the Sun is at the zenith its rays make the shadow exactly under it, making it look like no shadow.

Guaifenesin: WHO issues alert over India-made Cough Syrup

In News

  • The World Health Organization has said that a batch of contaminated India-made cough syrup has been found in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.


  • Guaifenesin is an expectorant used to relieve chest congestion and symptoms of cough.
  • Samples of the Guaifenesin Syrup TG Syrup from the Marshall Islands were analysed and it was found that the product contained unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants.
    • Diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol are toxic to humans when consumed, and can prove fatal.
  • The latest alert comes months after the WHO linked other cough syrups made in India to child deaths in The Gambia and Uzbekistan.

Regulation of Drugs in India

  • Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940: The Act regulates the import, manufacture, and distribution of drugs in India.
    • The primary objective of the act is to ensure that the drugs and cosmetics sold in India are safe, effective and conform to state quality standards.
    • The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was amended by the Drugs & Cosmetics
    • (Amendment) Act, 2008 to provide for more stringent penalties for manufacture and trade of spurious and adulterated drugs. 
  • New Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill, 2022: To accommodate changing requirements and encourage the adoption of new technology, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released a draft bill in July 2022 to replace the existing Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940. This act governs drug importation, production, and distribution across the country.
  • Central Drugs Standard Control Organization: It is the apex department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) of the Government of India.
    • CDSCO is a regulatory body for Indian pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
    • It comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Drugs Controller General of India: Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) is the head of department of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization of the Government of India
    • It is responsible for approval of licences of specified categories of drugs such as blood and blood products, IV fluids, vaccines, and sera in India. 
    • DCGI also sets standards for manufacturing, sales, import, and distribution of drugs in India.

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

  • The Indian pharmaceutical industry ranks third globally in pharmaceutical production by volume and is known for its generic medicines and low-cost vaccines.
  • India is a major exporter of Pharmaceuticals, with over 200+ countries served by Indian pharma exports. India supplies over 50% of Africa’s requirement for generics, ~40% of generic demand in the US and ~25% of all medicine in the UK.
  • India also accounts for ~60% of global vaccine demand, and is a leading supplier of DPT, BCG and Measles vaccines. 70% of WHO’s vaccines (as per the essential Immunization schedule) are sourced from India. 

Projects in Kerala and Dadra and Nagar Haveli

In News

  • PM lays the foundation stone and dedicates to the nation’s various development projects in Kerala and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

More about News

  • Projects in Kerala:
    • India’s First Water Metro launched at Kochi
    • Foundation stone of various rail projects and Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram
    • First Vande Bharat Express of Kerala
  • Projects in Dadra and Nagar Haveli
    • Dedicates NAMO Medical Education & Research Institute to the Nation
    • Hands over keys to beneficiaries of PMAY Urban
  • Kochi Water Metro
    • Kochi Water Metro — a first of its kind public boat service in India integrated with a metro rail network serving the Greater Kochi region in Kerala (connects 10 islands around Kochi through battery-operated electric hybrid boats)
    • Kochi Water Metro is a project being implemented by Kochi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRL) with the assistance of a German funding agency, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.
    • It will benefit backwater tourism in the state.
    • Kochi Water Metro will become a model for the other states in the country. 
  • Digital Science Park
    • Country’s first Digital Science Park will be established in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
    • Digital Science Park will house common facilities to support the development of products in the area of Industry 4.0 Technologies like AI, Data Analytics, Cyber Security etc.
    •  The state-of-the-art basic infrastructure will support high-end applied research by industries and the co-development of products in association with the Universities.
  • Vande Bharat Express  
    • Vande Bharat is India’s first indigenous Semi High-Speed Train.
    • The first ‘Vande Bharat Express’ train was flagged on the New Delhi – Kanpur – Allahabad – Varanasi- route in February 2019.
    • The Vande Bharat Express, earlier known as Train 18, is an electric multiple-unit train designed and manufactured by the government-owned Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. 
    • It can achieve high speeds due to faster acceleration and deceleration and also reduce journey time by 25% to 45%. 


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