Union Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda Presented Rail Budget 2014-15: 
Union Rail Budget
2014-15 was presented by the Union Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda on 8 July
2014. This is the first rail budget presented by any Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) minister and it is also Gowda’s first rail budget.

Union Rail
Budget 2014-15: Highlights
Railways to build FOB and escalators, toilets on all stations

• Railways also
proposes to set up Food Courts at major stations

• RO drinking water
facilities to be installed at stations

• Separate
housekeeping wing at 50 major stations

• CCTV to monitor
cleanliness activities

• Mechanized
laundry will be introduced

• Dedicated freight
corridor on Eastern and Western corridors

• Tourist trains to
be introduced to link all major places of tourist interests across the country

• 4000 women
constables to be recruited to ensure safety of women

• 17000 Railway
Protection Force (RPF) constables to provide safety to passengers

• Setting up of
Railway University for technical and non-technical study

• Ultrasonic Broken
Rail Detection System (UBRD) to detect problem in track

• Proposal to start
Bullet trains in Mumbai—Ahmedabad route

• Diamond
Quadrilateral project of high speed trains to connect all major metros

• Efforts will be
made to increase speed of trains to 160-200km/h on select sectors. The
identified sectors are: Delhi-Agra; Delhi-Chandigarh; Delhi-Kanpur;
Nagpur-Bilaspur; Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai; Mumbai-Goa; Mumbai-Ahmedabad;
Chennai-Hyderabad and Nagpur-Secunderabad.

• E-ticketing
system to be improved. Future e-ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minute
& to allow 120000 simultaneous users

• Wi-fi in A1 and A
category stations and in select trains. Internet-based platform and unreserved

• Will develop 10
metro stations with state-of-the-art facilities

• Outsourcing at 50
major stations; on board housekeeping to be extended to more trains; launching
feedback service through IVRS on the quality

• Hospital
Management Information System to integrate all railway health units and

• Special milk
tanker trains to be introduced

Temperature-controlled storage for fruits and vegetable

• setting up of
Railway University for technical and non-technical subjects, tie-up with
technical institutions

• Paperless office
of Indian railways in 5 years. Digital reservation charts at stations

• Ready-to-eat
meals to be introduced in phased manners

• New trains in
Rail Budget: 5 Jansadharan, 5 Premium, 6 AC, 27 express trains, 8 passenger, 5
DEMU & 2 MEMU services; 11 train extensions

• Office-on-wheels:
Internet and workstation facilities on select trains

Temperature-controlled storage for fruits and vegetable
approves $180 mn loan to help Nepal overcome power shortages
i. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 180
million dollars loan to help Nepal overcome its crippling power shortages and
export surplus power to neighboring India.
ii. The loan will help Nepal Electricity
Authority (NEA) finance a substantial upgrade and expansion of transmission and
distribution lines and sub-stations, allowing the transfer of up to 2,000
megawatts (MW) of power to main load centers in the Kathmandu Valley.
iii. According to ADB, besides meeting
domestic needs, this network expansion will give Nepal the ability to export at
least 1,200 MW of electricity to India, once a second 400 kilovolt cross-border
transmission line from Bardaghat to Gorakhpur in India is complete.
iv. With six new hydropower plants due to come
on stream over the next three to six years, the country expects to have a
substantial wet season supply surplus for export by 2018
3.    India successfully test-fired BrahMos supersonic
cruise missile
i. India successfully
test-fired an advanced version of the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise
missile from Chandipur-on-Sea off Odisha coast. It was test-fired from a mobile
launcher from launch complex number three of the Integrated Test Range (ITR),
About the BrahMos
supersonic cruise missile

• BrahMos
supersonic cruise missile is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of 300
kilogram and operates on ‘Fire and Forget Principle’, adopting varieties of
flights on its way to the target

• BrahMos is the
first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service

• BrahMos with a
top speed of Mach 2.8 is about three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk
cruise missile
Amritraj announces
launch of Champions Tennis League
i. Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj on Monday
announced the launch of Champions Tennis League (CTL) in India with an aim of
taking the sport to new levels of awareness and popularity in the country.
ii. The CTL will
feature six city based teams, who will play 13 matches over a 10-day period
from November 17 to 26. 
iii. The teams will be structured into two groups, each having
three sides each, where they would play each other in a home and away format.
The teams topping their respective group will play each other in the grand
finale for the prize money of Rs. 1 crore. The runner-up will receive Rs. 50
iv. CTL teams will feature male and female players with
international rankings between No. 5 and No. 25.

v. Each
of the six teams will also have an international legend as their playing
captain, apart from a noted Indian male tennis player, plus a top ranked junior
Indian girl and boy from each city. 
5.    Granville Austin, the scholar of Indian constitution
i. Granville
Austin, the eminent scholar of the Indian Constitution died in Washington DC.
ii. He died at the age of
87. He described Indian Constitution as first and foremost a social document that
embodied the objectives of a social revolution.
About Granville Austin

• He authored two
books on Indian Constitution. These are

a) The Indian
Constitution – The Indian Constitution: A Cornerstone of a Nation 

b) Working a
Democratic Republic: The Indian Experience

• In 2011, he was
awarded with fourth highest civilian award in India, Padma Shri. He was awarded
in recognition of his writings on the framing and working of the Indian

• He worked as a
journalist and photographer 

• He was born in
1927 at Norwich, Vermont 
6.    Alfredo Di Stefano, the Real Madrid FC legend died
i. Alfredo
Di Stefano, the legend of Real Madrid Football Club, died on 7 July 2014 at the
General Universatario Gregorio Maranon Hospital in Madrid. He was 88. He died
after suffering a heart attack.

ii. Stefano was a football player, who played for three
different nations at international level but never appeared at the world cup.
He played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain.
7.    Eduard Shevardnadze, the ex-President of Georgia died
at 86
i. Eduard Shevardnadze,
the former President of Georgia died on 7 July 2014. He died after prolong
illness at the age of 86. 

ii. He
became the second President of Georgia in 1992 after disintegration of Georgia
from the erstwhile Soviet Union. He had succeeded Zviad Gamsakhurdia. He was
toppled in November 2003 after the Rose Revolution led by Mikheil Saakashvili.
leads ICC test rankings; India in fourth place
i. Australia leads the latest ICC test rankings followed by
South Africa, England with India in the fourth place.
ii. Men in Blue played test cricket after
a long gap in Bangladesh last month and the tour of England will provide them
yet another opportunity to improve their ranking.
Mirza achieves career-best fifth rank in WTA doubles ranking
i. Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has achieved a career-best
rank of number five in the world as the new WTA Doubles chart was released
ii. Sania has entered the top-five for
the first time in her career. Sania and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black could
not go deep in the just concluded Wimbledon championships, but a second round
appearance fetched her crucial 130 ranking points which was enough to push her
in the top-5.
of FIFA World Cup begins tonight; hosts Brazil vs Germany
i. The semi-final stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup begins
tonight, with hosts Brazil clashing with Germany at Belo Horizonte. The match
will kick off at 1:30 AM Indian Tim
ii. The title clash of the World Cup will
take place at Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, with the match for the third place
scheduled for the day before at Brasília.