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iMinistry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:29 IST

International Financial Services Centre (IFSC)

An International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is set up at Gandhinagar, Gujarat


as a part of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). To operationalise the IFSC, a
Notification under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)
shall be issued by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in March 2015, making regulations
relating to financial institutions set up in the IFSC. The key features of these
regulations will be that any financial institution (or its branch) set up in the IFSC,a)

shall be treated as a non-resident Indian located outside India,

b) shall conduct business in such foreign currency and with such entities, whether
resident or non-resident, as the Regulatory Authority may determine, and
c)
subject to certain provisions, nothing contained in any other regulations shall
apply to a unit located in IFSC.
2.
Pursuant to the Regulations issued under FEMA, the respective regulators
would frame regulatory framework for provisions of financial services. IRDA of India
would be permitting insurers including foreign insurer or reinsurers to set up branch
in IFSC. Similarly RBI would permit the setting up of IFSC Banking Units (IBUs) by
banks. Government would be permitting IRDA of India to allow such life and non-life
insurance services, health insurance services and reinsurance services, as may be
specified. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would allow setting up
of exchanges and allow other activities for fund raising, merchant banking,
brokerage, fund management, private equity, etc. Activities like currency
derivatives, NIFTY futures, Depository Receipts, etc. would take place on the
exchanges like any other IFSC.
3.
RBI has also formulated a Draft Scheme for the setting up of IFSC
Banking Units (IBUs) by banks, whose broad contours may be summarised as
follows:
i.
Setting up of IBUs: Eligible banks intending to set up IBUs (which would be
regulated and supervised by RBI) would be required to apply to the Department of
Banking Regulation (DBR) of RBI under Section 23 of the Banking Regulation Act,
1949. To begin with, only Indian banks (public and private, authorised to deal in
forex) and foreign banks having a presence in India would be eligible to set up IBUs.
Banks already having offshore presence would be preferred and each bank would be
permitted to set up only one IBU in one IFSC.
ii.
IBUs vis--vis foreign branches of banks: For most purposes, the IBU will
be treated on par with a foreign branch of an Indian bank, like the application of
prudential norms, the 90 days Income Recognition Asset Classification and
Provisioning norms, adoption of liquidity and interest rate risk management policies.

iii.
Role of the Parent Banks Board: The banks Board would set
comprehensive overnight limits for each currency for IBUs, may set out appropriate
credit risk management policy and exposure limits, and monitor overall risk
management and ALM framework of the IBU.
iv.
Capital Requirements: The parent bank would be required to provide a
minimum of USD 20 million upfront as capital, and the IBU shall have to maintain
minimum capital on an on-going basis as may be prescribed.
v.
Liabilities and Advances: The IBUs liabilities will be exempt both CRR and
SLR. But liabilities only with original maturity period greater than one year are
permissible, although short-term liabilities may be raised from banks subject to RBI
prescribed limits. Deposits will not be covered by deposit insurance and RBI shall
not provide liquidity or Lender of Last Resort support. Funds may be raised only
from entities not resident in India, though the deployment may also be with entities
resident in India, subject to FEMA, 1999. Advances by IBUs shall not be a part of the
Net Bank Credit of parent banks.
vi.
Permissibility of activities: Opening of current or savings accounts and
issuance of bearer instruments is not allowed. Payment transactions can only be
undertaken via bank transfers. IBUs can undertake transactions with non-resident
entities other than retail customers/HNIs, and can deal with WOS/JVs of Indian
companies abroad. They may undertake Factoring/Forfaiting of export receivables,
but are prohibited from cash transactions.
vii.
Ring Fencing: All transactions of IBUs shall be in currency other than INR,
and IBUs would operate and maintain balance sheet only in foreign currency, except
a Special Rupee Account to defray administrative and statutory expenses. Separate
Nostro accounts will have to be maintained by IBUs with correspondent banks. IBUs
will not be permitted to participate in domestic call, notice, term, forex, money and
other onshore markets and domestic payment systems.
Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:24 IST
Banking Reforms
Performance of Public Sector Banks has remained sub-optimal so far. The
Government is taking various steps to improve the situation both on governance
side and otherwise. The focus of these reforms is to improve the quality of
deliberations in bank boards, leading to better asset quality and further resulting in
better market valuations.
What has been done
(i) Separation of the post of Chairman and Managing Director.
(ii) Enabling provision for the appointment as MD & CEO in five major banks, so that
wider choice is available. Both Public Sector and Private Sector bankers can apply.
Higher salary can be given in appropriate cases.

(iii) Revamping of present selection system which inter-alia includes structured


three separate interviews, allotment of banks on merit-cum-preference basis.
(iv) Blue print for road map for reforms on the basis of deliberations carried out in
GyanSangam, a two days top level retreat organised by the department.
(v) Allocation of capital purely on the basis of efficiency parameters so that banks
start focusing on these.
(vi) Clear instructions from the department regarding no interference whatsoever in
any matter whether related to HR issues or credit decisions or even otherwise.
What Next
(i)
In order to improve the Governance of Public Sector Banks, the Government
intends to set up an autonomous Bank Board Bureau with professionals as its
members. It would be responsible for search and selection of heads of PSBs, as also
for Non-Official Directors on the Boards of Banks. This would be an interim step
towards moving in the direction of having a Bank Investment Company.
(ii)
Guidelines relating to appointment of non-official directors is being revisited
to ensure that bank boards get people with relevant expertise. Anybody eligible
would be able to apply through a website which will soon be available in the public
domain.
(iii)
Governments role in relation to public sector banks is that of promoter. As a
promoter, the banks have been entering into anMoU for achieving certain objectives
known as Statement of Intent. The whole system of Statement of Intent is being
revised with provision for higher cash incentives.
(iv) Government wants to encourage Bank Boards to restructure their business
strategy and also suggest way forward for their consolidation and merger with other
banks if it is win-win for both.
Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:22 IST
Changes proposed in priority sector lending (psl)-regarding
Since the vision of Priority Sector Lending (PSL) first took shape, the structure of the
Indian economy, the contribution by various sectors to GDP and the demographic
profile has changed significantly. These emerging realities have also shaped the
perception of national priorities. Total credit extended by Banks in Priority sector
Lending is Rs.2154356.29 Crore. There is a need to increase employment, create
basic infrastructure and improve competitiveness of the economy, thus creating
more jobs. It is, therefore, time to re-orient the Priority Sector Lending Guidelines
towards todays growth and inclusion agenda.
The following changes are being proposed in the Priority Sector lending:-


To enhance credit to Small and marginal farmers, a separate sub limit of upto
8% (for 1st year - 7% and 2nd year - 8%) is being introduced for the first time.

Loans for agri-processing & agri-infrastructure would be included in PSL


without any limit on the size of loans.

Loans to Medium Enterprises being included in PSL.

For the first time a separate sub limit of 7.5% of ANBC is being created for the
Micro Enterprises.

Loans upto Rs.5 crore for Social infrastructure, like schools and health care
facilities, drinking water facilities, sanitation facilities etc. are being included under
PSL, for towns of less than 1 lac population.

Renewable Energy sector is being added to the PSL, upto Rs.10 crore loans.

Introduction of Priority Sector Lending Certificate (PSLCs), which will provide a


market-driven incentive for efficiency, will enable banks to sell their surplus lending
and thus earning a premium for their efficiency/geographical spread.

Progress to be monitored quarterly and not at the end of the year.

Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:20 IST


Steps Being Taken for Increasing Financing to Micro, Small And Medium
Enterprises (Msmes)

Debt Financing:

1)

Loans to Medium Enterprises are being brought under Priority Sector Lending.

2)
A separate sub-limit of 7.5% in Priority Sector Lending is being created for the
Micro Enterprises.
3)
RBI has received 72 application for setting up Small Banks. As per license
conditions, the small finance banks are required to extend 75% of Adjusted Net
Bank Credit to Priority Sector and 50% of loan portfolio to be upto Rs. 25 lakhs.
Therefore, once set up, the Small Finance Banks would augment supply of credit to
small business units, micro and small industries etc. through high technology & low
cost operations.
Equity Financing:

1)
Tax pass-through status for equity funds has been rationalized for
supporting the venture capital eco-system.
2)
A Fund of Funds has been set up in SIDBI to act as a catalyst to attract Private
Capital by way of providing equity, quasi equity and other risk capital for start up
companies.
Receivable Financing:
1)
A significant part of working capital requirement of an MSME arises due to long
receivables realization cycles. To implement corrective and supportive policies for
the sector, Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDs), an electronic platform
for facilitating financing of trade receivables from corporate and other buyers
through multiple financiers, is being set up. This platform will deal with both
receivables factoring and reverse factoring so that higher transaction volumes come
into the system and facilitate better pricing.
Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:17 IST
Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (Mudra) Bank

According to the NSSO survey of 2013, there are 5.77 crore small business units,
mostly individual proprietorships, which run small manufacturing, trading or
services activities. Most of these own account enterprises are owned by people
belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Other Backward Classes. Only 4%
of such units get institutional finance. Providing access to institutional finance to
such micro/small business units would turn them into strong instrument of GDP
growth and also employment.
Micro Finance is an economic development tool whose objective is to assist the poor
to work their way out of poverty. It covers a range of services which include, in
addition to the provision of credit, many other services such as savings, insurance,
money transfers, counseling etc. The players in the Micro Finance sector can be
qualified as falling into 3 main groups:- the SHG-Bank linkage model started by
NABARD, the Non Banking Finance companies and the others including Trusts,
Societies etc.

The government proposes to set up a Micro Units Development and Refinance


Agency (MUDRA) Bank through a statutory enactment. This Bank would be
responsible for regulating and refinancing all Micro-finance Institutions (MFI) which
are in the business of lending to micro/small business entities engaged in
manufacturing, trading and services activities. The Bank would partner with state
level/regional level co-ordinators to provide finance to Last Mile Financer of
small/micro business enterprises.
The MUDRA Bank would primarily be responsible for

1)

Laying down policy guidelines for micro/small enterprise financing business

2)

Registration of MFI entities

3)

Regulation of MFI entities

4)

Accreditation /rating of MFI entities

5) Laying down responsible financing practices to ward off indebtedness and


ensure proper client protection principles and methods of recovery
6) Development of standardised set of covenants governing last mile lending to
micro/small enterprises
7)

Promoting right technology solutions for the last mile

8) Formulating and running a Credit Guarantee scheme for providing guarantees


to the loans which are being extended to micro enterprises
9) Creating a good architecture of Last Mile Credit Delivery to micro businesses
under the scheme of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
A sum of Rs 20,000 crores would be allocated to the MUDRA Bank from the money
available from shortfalls of Priority Sector Lending for creating a Refinance Fund to
provide refinance to the Last Mile Financers. Another Rs 3,000 crore would be
provided to the MUDRA Bank from the budget to create a Credit Guarantee corpus
for guaranteeing loans being provided to the micro enterprises.
The above measures would not only help in increasing access of finance to the
unbanked but also bring down the cost of finance from the last Mile Financers to the
micro/small enterprises, most of which are in the informal sector.
Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:15 IST
Introduction of the Atal Pension Yojana
The Government of India is extremely concerned about the old age income security
of the working poor and is focused on encouraging and enabling them to join the
National Pension System (NPS). To address the longevity risks among the workers in
unorganised sector and to encourage the workers in unorganised sector to
voluntarily save for their retirement, who constitute 88% of the total labour force of
47.29 crore as per the 66th Round of NSSO Survey of 2011-12, but do not have any
formal pension provision, the Government had started the Swavalamban Scheme in
2010-11. However, coverage under Swavalamban Scheme is inadequate mainly due
to lack of clarity of pension benefits at the age after 60.

2.
The Finance Minister has, therefore, announced a new initiative called Atal
Pension Yojana (APY) in his Budget Speech for 2015-16. The APY will be focussed on

all citizens in the unorganised sector, who join the National Pension System (NPS)
administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme. Under the APY,
the subscribers would receive the fixed pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000
per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the
age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the
age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum
age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under
APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of fixed pension would be guaranteed
by the Government. The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the
subscribers contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible
subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, i.e., from 2015-16 to
2019-20, who
join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not income tax payers. The
APY would be launched from 1st June, 2015. The existing subscribers of
Swavalamban Scheme would be automatically migrated to APY, unless they opt out.
3.

A copy of the Note on APY is enclosed.

Note on Atal Pension Yojana

Benefit of APY: Fixed pension for the subscribers ranging between Rs. 1000 to
Rs. 5000, if he joins and contributes between the age of 18 years and 40 years. The
contribution levels would vary and would be low if subscriber joins early and
increase if he joins late.
Eligibility for APY:
Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account
holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.
Age of joining and contribution period: The minimum age of joining APY is 18
years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by
the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
Focus of APY:

Mainly targeted at unorganised sector workers.

Enrolment and Subscriber Payment:


All bank account holders under the
eligible category may join APY with auto-debit facility to accounts, leading to
reduction in contribution collection charges.
Enrolment agencies: All Points of Presence (Service Providers) and Aggregators
under Swavalamban Scheme would enrol subscribers through architecture of
National Pension System.
Operational Framework of APY: It is Government of India Scheme, which is
administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. The
Institutional Architecture of NPS would be utilised to enrol subscribers under APY.

Funding of APY: Government would provide (i) fixed pension guarantee for the
subscribers; (ii) would co-contribute 50% of the subscriber contribution or Rs. 1000
per annum, whichever is lower, to eligible subscribers; and (iii) would also reimburse
the promotional and development activities including incentive to the contribution
collection agencies to encourage people to join the APY.
Age of Joining, Contribution Levels, Fixed Monthly Pension and Return of
Corpus to the nominee of subscribers
The Table of contribution levels, fixed monthly pension to subscribers and his
spouse and return of corpus to nominees of subscribers and the contribution period
is given below. For example, to get a fixed monthly pension between Rs. 1,000 per
month and Rs. 5,000 per month, the subscriber has to contribute on monthly basis
between Rs. 42 and Rs. 210, if he joins at the age of 18 years. For the same fixed
pension levels, the contribution would range between
Rs. 291 and Rs. 1,454, if
the subscriber joins at the age of 40 years.
Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:12 IST
Highlights of The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
(PMJJBY SCHEME 2 - FOR LIFE INSURANCE COVER)
Eligibility: Available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 and having a bank
account. People who join the scheme before completing 50 years can, however,
continue to have the risk of life cover up to the age of 55 years subject to payment
of premium.
Premium: Rs.330 per annum. It will be auto-debited in one instalment.
Payment Mode: The payment of premium will be directly auto-debited by the
bank from the subscribers account.
Risk Coverage: Rs.2 Lakh in case of death for any reason.
Terms of Risk Coverage: A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can
also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing, in which case his account will
be auto-debited every year by the bank.
Who will implement this Scheme?: The scheme will be offered by Life Insurance
Corporation and all other life insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up
with banks for this purpose.

Government Contribution:
(i)
Various other Ministries can co-contribute premium for various categories of
their beneficiaries out of their budget or out of Public Welfare Fund created in this
budget out of unclaimed money. This will be decided separately during the year.

(ii)

Common Publicity Expenditure will be borne by Government.

Ministry of Finance01-March, 2015 20:10 IST


Highlights of the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (Pmsby Scheme
1 - for Accidental Death Insurance)
Eligibility: Available to people in age group 18 to 70 years with bank account.
Premium: Rs.12 per annum.
Payment Mode: The premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the
subscribers account. This is the only mode available.
Risk Coverage: For accidental death and full disability - Rs.2 Lakh and for partial
disability Rs.1 Lakh.
Eligibility: Any person having a bank account and Aadhaar number linked to the
bank account can give a simple form to the bank every year before 1 st of June in
order to join the scheme. Name of nominee to be given in the form.
Terms of Risk Coverage: A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can
also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing in which case his account will be
auto-debited every year by the bank.
Who will implement this Scheme?: The scheme will be offered by all Public
Sector General Insurance Companies and all other insurers who are willing to join
the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.
Government Contribution:
(i)
Various Ministries can co-contribute premium for various categories of their
beneficiaries from their budget or from Public Welfare Fund created in this budget
from unclaimed money. This will be decided separately during the year.
(ii)

Common Publicity Expenditure will be borne by the Government.

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs01-March, 2015 12:03 IST


Parliament to take up Ordinances Replacement Bills in the second week of
Budget Session
Both the Houses of Parliament will take up the important legislative business of
considering the Bills to replace the Ordinances promulgated during the inter-session
period in the second week of the ongoing Budget session beginning Monday i.e
March 2, 2015. Briefing media at Hyderabad today on the business for the second
week, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said that Bills to replace
six Ordinances on different issues will be taken up first in the Lok Sabha. Business
Advisory Committees of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have discussed the
Legislative Business proposed by the Government for the second week of the
Parliament session and alloted time for different Bills.

In the Lok Sabha two Bills for replacement of Ordinances viz., The Citizenship
(Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)
Amendment Bill, 2014 have already been listed for consideration and passing on
March 2, 2015. Statutory Resolutions disapproving the respective Ordinances will be
also be taken up along with the Bills. Two other Ordinance Replacement Bills viz.,
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Coal Mines (Special Provisions)
Bill, 2015 have been listed for introduction on Monday while the Bill to replace the
Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance has been listed for introduction in the Lok
Sabha on March 3, 2015. The sixth Ordinance related to amending the Right to Fair
Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Act, 2013 has been introduced in the lower house last week. The
Government earlier withdrew the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2014 pending
before Lok Sabha before introducing the new Bill to replace the related Ordinance.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 is listed for introduction
in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Government has also proposed consideration and
passing the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which
has been passed by the Rajya Sabha last week. The Upper House also passed the
Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2014, passed
by the Lok Sabha during the last winter session with two amendments relating to
substitution of two words.
Rajya Sabha will take up further discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the
Presidents address during the second week. This will be followed by Consideration
and Passing of The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Regional Rural
Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The upper house is likely to take up two Ordinance
Replacement Bills pertaining to Citizenship and Mines and Minerals, after they are
passed by the Lok Sabha. The Governmnet has also proposed consideration and
passing of Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
The first week of Budget session that began with the Presidents Address to the
Members of both the Houses concluded with the presentation of the General Budget
for 2015-16 by the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely on Saturday , the 28th
February, 2015 and laying of the same on the Table of Rajya Sabha.
The inaugural week of Budget session began on a promising note with the Rajya
Sabha passing two Bills on the first full working day on February 24, 2015. The
highlight of the first week in the Lok Sabha has been the marathon 13 hour debate
on the Motion of Thanks to the Presidents Address and the reply of the Prime
Minister Shri Narendra Modi before the Motion was adopted by the House.
Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri J.P.Nadda made a suo-moto statement on
Swine Flu in both the Houses in the first week.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that during the first week of the current session, the
Government has moved motions for withdrawal of three Bills pending in the Rajya
Sabha pertaining to allocation of coal mines through open bidding, introduction of erikshaws and hiking FDI in Insurance sector and the same have been put on hold
further to some issues raised by the opposition members.

The Government is of the view that new laws by virtue of promulgation of three
related Ordinances are in force rendering the pending Bills infructuous and it is with
in its right to introduce new Bills in the Lok Sabha.
As per the provisions of the Constitution, all the six Ordinances have to be replaced
by Acts of Parliament by April 5, 2015.
Ministry of Human Resource Development02-March, 2015 17:13 IST
Incentives for Girl Students
The enrolment of girls has been steadily increasing at all stages of education. The
ratio of girls to boys enrolment is 0.94 at elementary level and 0.90 at secondary
level (U-DISE 2013-14). This has been possible through the following interventions.
To encourage the participation of all girls at elementary level, the Sarva Shiksha
Abhiyan (SSA) provides for the opening of schools in the neighborhood to make
access easier for girls, the appointment of additional teachers including women
teachers, free textbooks, free uniforms, separate toilets for girls, teachers
sensitization programmes to promote girls participation, gender-sensitive teaching
learning materials including textbooks and the scheme of Kasturba Gandhi Balika
Vidyalayas as residential upper primary schools for girls belonging to SC/ST/Minority
Communities, BPL families and girls in difficult circumstances.
Under the Rashtriya Madyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) interventions to promote
girls participation in secondary schools include the opening of new schools, the
strengthening of existing schools, the appointment of teachers, the construction of
residential quarters for teachers in remote/hilly areas, hostel facilities for girls,
teacher sensitization programmes and separate toilet blocks for girls. In addition,
the National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for Secondary Education (NSIGSE),
exemption from paying tuition fee in Kendriya Vidyalayas, and 33% reservation for
girls in Navodaya Vidyalayas, have been implemented.
This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister,
Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question.
Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises02-March, 2015 16:04 IST
Make in India Policy for MSME Sector
The Make in India Policy aims to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance
skill development and build an Eco-system for manufacturing infrastructure in the
country. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been implementing a
number of programmes and schemes in the areas of finance, technology,
infrastructure, marketing and skill development to facilitate aims of the Make in
India Policy. The Ministry is proposing to rise to the challenge through action plans
directed at enhancement of the provision of collateral free credit through creation of
state verticals for extending guarantees to the entrepreneurs of particular state with
financial support from state governments, creation of similar verticals for women
entrepreneurs and youth among SC/ ST and NE Regions. Augmentation of 18
existing Technology Centres (TCs) is to be supported by cluster network Mangers
and a National Portal. Efforts are on to bridge the gap between Research Institutions
and Industries through signing of MOUs with IISc and CSIR. Defence offset policy is

being leveraged for creating ecosystem of defence manufacturing by MSMEs. A


comprehensive skill mapping is also proposed as a first step towards alleviating the
existing skill deficit. The funds are allocated to the Schemes as a whole, and it is
difficult to delineate the amount earmarked for the Make in India component.
Moreover, all the Schemes of the Ministry are Central Sector Schemes and specific
data on allocation to States/UTs are not maintained.
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been receiving numerous
comments and suggestions at various fora, but none of the comments and
suggestions related to Make in India has taken the shape of any concrete proposal.
This information was given by the Minister of State, Micro, Small and Medium
Enterprises, Shri Giriraj Singh in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha here
today.
Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises02-March, 2015 16:02 IST
Promotion of Traditional Industries
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been implementing various
schemes for the promotion of traditional artisans through Khadi and Village
Industries Commission (KVIC) and Coir Board, which include:

(i)
Workshed Scheme for Khadi Artisans for providing assistance for
construction of worksheds for better work environment.

(ii)
Khadi Reform and Development Programme (KRDP) to revitalize the
khadi sector with enhanced sustainability of khadi, increased incomes and
employment for spinners and weavers, increased artisans welfare and achieve
synergy with village industries.

(iii)
Market Development Assistance (MDA) under which assistance is
provided@ 20% of value of production khadi and polyvastra to be shared among
artisans, producing institutions and selling institutions in the ratio 25:30:45.

(iv)
artisans

Khadi Karigar Janashree Bima Yojana to provide insurance cover to khadi

(v)
Mahila Coir Yojana envisages distribution of motorised ratts for spinning
coir yarn to women artisans after being trained.

(vi)
Coir Udyami Yojana(CUY) to provide financial assistance for replacement
of outdated ratts/looms and for construction of worksheds so as to increase
productivity/production and earnings of workers.

(vii)
Coir Workers Group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme to provide
insurance cover to coir workers.

In addition, a specific cluster-based scheme named Scheme of Fund for


Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) is being implemented by the
Government in the Ministry of MSME for promotion of traditional industries, under
which khadi, village industries and coir clusters have been taken up for
development by providing them with improved equipments, common facilities
centres, business development services, training, capacity building and design and
marketing support, etc. 101 clusters (29 Khadi, 47 Village Industries and 25 Coir
clusters) have been developed under this scheme.

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises02-March, 2015 16:00 IST


Research and Development by KVIC
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) together with Mahatma
Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization(MGIRI) have taken a number of steps in
research and development for promotion of khadi which include establishment of
design centre for khadi/textile garments, quality assurance manual for khadi, low
cost hank dyeing machine, improved dyeing process for khadi fabric, development
and popularization of e-charkha, technology for soft and stiff finish of khadi fabric
and technology package for value added products using local wool or blend of local
and imported merino wool, etc.
Besides, KVIC has been implementing a specific programme for cluster
development, namely, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries
(SFURTI), under which assistance for replacement of obsolete equipments, setting
up of common facilities centres, product development, market promotion and other
supports are provided. SFURTI Scheme has been revamped in XII plan and 71
clusters with an outlay of Rs. 149.44 crore are proposed to be developed in the Ist
phase.
With a view to popularize and promote khadi and village industries (KVI) products,

KVIC has been organizing District, State and National level exhibitions in
collaboration with State/UT Khadi and Village Industries Boards. During the last
three years (2011-12 to 2013-14), KVIC has organised a total of 103 such
exhibitions/events in the country. KVIC also focuses on quality participation in
international exhibitions to tap new/ emerging markets for KVI products.
KVIC has initiated a number of steps to re-vitalize the khadi sector. These include a
comprehensive reform package for the khadi sector, namely, the Khadi Reform and
Development Programme (KRDP), which includes capacity building of 300 khadi
institutions and improved marketing. KRDP is being implemented with an assistance
of US$ 150 million from Asian Development Bank (ADB). Government has also
introduced in 2009-10, a scheme for Strengthening of Infrastructure of Existing
Weak Khadi Institutions and Assistance for Marketing Infrastructure, which provides
assistance for revitalization of sick and problematic khadi institutions and helps in
renovation of sales outlets.
A KVI Programme has also been launched in the Hill, Border & Left Wing Extremism
(LWE) affected areas in respect of 100 institutions with financial assistance
amounting to Rs.76 crores i.e. Rs.76 lakh/institution under KRDP, in which relaxation
has been given in criteria of selection of institutions and in minimum number of
artisans associated with the institutions of Hill, Border & LWE affected areas.
Government has introduced, a flexible, growth stimulating and artisan oriented
Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme, in place of the erstwhile system of
Rebate. Under MDA, financial assistance is provided to institutions @ 20% of the
value of production of khadi and polyvastra, to be shared among artisans, producing
institutions and selling institutions in the ratio 25:30:45. MDA provides institutions a
flexibility to use the assistance for improving the outlets, products and production
processes, besides giving incentive to customers, etc. and is also directed towards
revitalizing the sector.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy 02-March, 2015 17:08 IST
Encouragement of Solar Power Projects
The Government encourages setting up of solar power projects through various
measures like:-

(i)

Grant of subsidy on off-grid applications.

(ii) Provision for renewable purchase obligation for solar has been made in the
National Tariff
Policy.
(iii) Concessional Import duty/Excise duty exemption for setting up of solar power
plants,
accelerated depreciation and tax holiday.

(iv) Generation based incentive and facility for bundled power for Grid connected
Solar Power
Projects through various interventions announced from time to time.
(v) Several R&D efforts have been initiated for new technologies and improvement
in efficiency.

Government of India has accorded in-principle approval for setting up Solar Parks in
the State of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab and Telangana. Projects under
Central/State Schemes shall come up in these Solar Parks. This was stated by Sh.
Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy
(Independent Charge) in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy 02-March, 2015 17:05 IST
Clean Energy Co-Operation Between India and US
India and USA have undertaken new initiatives to enhance clean energy cooperation
as follows:
i. Launched Innovative Finance Forum.
ii. Established PACESetter Funds to support innovative clean energy access
projects.
iii. Both the countries desire to expand current Partnership to Advance Clean Energy
Development (PACE-D).
iv. Renewed commitment to expanding Partnership to Advance Clean Energy
Research (PACE-R).
A Joint Indo-US PACESetter Fund has been established with a contribution of US$ 4
million (INR 25 crores) from each side for providing grants for seed capital for
innovative clean energy projects. There is no financial commitment from
Government of India for PACE-D and PACE-R. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal,
Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (Independent
Charge) in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
Ministry of Railways02-March, 2015 18:20 IST
Go India Smart Card for Train Tickets
Go-India smart card scheme has been launched on pilot basis on two sectors i.e.
New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah. At present, the Go-India smart card
enables passengers to pay for reserved and unreserved tickets. The smart card can
be used at nominated Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)/Passenger Reservation
System (PRS) counters and at Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on these

two sectors for issuing tickets. The salient features of the Go-India smart card are as
under:

Initially, the card can be get issued by paying minimum Rs.70/- where
passenger will get Rs.20/- balance. After that, card can be recharged for Rs.20/- or
in multiple of Rs.50/- upto Rs. 5000/-.

Maximum limit on Go-India smart card is Rs.10,000/-.

Go-India smart card has life time validity. In case of no usage in six months
from the date of last transaction, smart card will be temporarily deactivated which
can be activated again by paying Rs.50/- as activation fee.
The scheme is intended to reduce the transaction time at the booking
counters for the convenience of passengers as it facilitates cashless transaction.
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways02-March, 2015 13:52 IST
Committee Set up to Formulate Safety Standards for Car Manufactures
In order to formulate safety standards for car manufacturers to make safe car, a
committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary (Transport)
with the following terms of reference:

(i)
The testing requirement/test protocols and rating system for the
Programme keeping in view of the international experience and the national
conditions.
(ii)

Mechanism and methodology for selection of vehicles for assessment.

(iii)
Permanent administrative set up required for implementation and
monitoring of the programme.
(iv)
Assessment of fund requirement for the implementation of the
programme and mechanism therefore.
(v)
Identification and accreditation of test facilities for conducting the
required tests.
(vi)

To recommend time schedules for :

(1) Launch of BNVAP; and


(2) Implementation of BNVAP in consultation with the automobile industry on: (a)
voluntary basis; (b) mandatory basis.

Provisions regarding construction, equipment and maintenance of motor


vehicles are contained in chapter VII of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act) and
chapter V of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVRs). Rule 126 of CMVRs
requires every manufacturer of motor vehicles other than trailers and semi-trailers
to submit the prototype of the vehicle to be manufactured by him for test by any of
the agencies specified therein for granting a certificate as to the compliance of the
provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act) and CMVRs. Rule 126A of
CMVRs requires the test agencies, referred to in rule 126, to also conduct tests on
vehicles drawn from the production line of the manufacturer to verify whether these
vehicles conform to the provisions of rules made under section 110 of the MV Act.
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment02-March, 2015 14:48 IST
Meeting of UN-ESCAP working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of
Persons with Disabilities Gets Underway
The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot,
inaugurated a two-day Meeting of Second Session of the UN-ESCAP Working Group
on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022here today.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister stated that hisGovernment is fully
committed to the cause of empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(PWDs)and
implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilitiesas well as the Incheon Strategy.
He said that we are presently focussing on enactment of a new comprehensive law
to fulfil our international obligations following ratification of the UNCRPD; using
technology to deliver low-cost home-based education through e-learning and
providing Identity Cards to all Persons with Disabilities so that they can avail
Government benefits.
The Minister said that his government is also committed to ensureeasy access of
PWDs to public facilities, public buildings and transport; develop income generation
models to ensure their economic independence, and provide support to voluntary
organizations working in this sector.
He further said that India is eager to provide necessary technical support to
UNESCAP in all its efforts and learn from the best practices in this region.We in this
region have adopted the Incheon Strategy to declare our regional cooperation and
commitment to build a better future for persons with disabilities, he said. The
slogan of this Strategy is to Make the Right Real.
Some of the important goals of Incheon strategy are: Reduction of poverty,
Enhancement of accessibility, education and employment, Special focus on children
and women, Promotion of social protection and political participation, and
Strengthening of international cooperation etc.
Shri Gehlot said that we have chalked out a road map with specific time-frames to
implement the Incheon Strategy and achieve these goals.

The Minister expressed the hope that the Working Group would recommend
constructive steps towards achieving disability-inclusive development for our region
and the deliberations would provide valuable inputs in the international level as
well, in the true spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, that is the entire world is one
family.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Lov Verma, Secretary, Department of Empowerment
of Persons with Disabilities stated that India is focussing on a multi pronged
approach involving various Central Ministries to implement the Incheon Strategy to
make right real. Various steps taken by the Government included ensuring
accessibility, education and employment.
Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary in the Departmentof Empowerment of
Persons with Disabilities, Shri Nagesh Kumar, Director ESCAP Sub-Regional Office,
South and South-West Asia, New Delhi and Mr Kang Inchul, Director, Ministry of
Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea also spoke on the occasion.
India is hosting this meeting in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and
Social Commission for Asian and Pacific (UNESCAP). About 70 delegates
participated, which included representatives from 13 Member States, including
China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines,
Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Thailand and 14 Civil Society
Organisations in the region.
Later India and China were elected Chair and Vice-Chair of the Working Group,
respectively.
Ministry of Tourism02-March, 2015 18:43 IST
50 circuits have been identified across India for the development of
tourism
The Ministry of Tourism has identified 50 circuits for development of tourism. These
circuits/destinations cover major and relevant tourist places and attractions and
have a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritualism and ecotourism to give
tourists a holistic perspective of the country. Port Blair-Neil Havelock-Little Andaman
(Andaman and Nicobar), Kashmir Circuit (Jammu and Kashmir), Desert circuit
(Rajasthan), Nature Tourism Circuit (West Bengal), Braj-Agra Circuit (Uttar Pradesh),
Gangtok (Sikkim) are the circuits identified circuits among others.
The Ministry has formulated a plan scheme SWADESH DARSHAN for integrated
development of tourist circuits around specific themes. The five circuits indentified
under this scheme are: Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna
Circuit and North-East Circuit.
The Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to various State
Governments/Union Territory Administrations for various tourism projects prioritized
every year in consultation with them subject to availability of funds, inter-se priority,
liquidation of pending utilization certificates against the funds released earlier and
adherence to the scheme guidelines.
In 2012-13, a total of 136 projects were sanctioned to the states and an amount of

Rs 929 crores was sanctioned to them for these projects. In 2013-14, the number of
projects sanctioned to the states was 261 and an amount of Rs 1801 crores was
sanctioned to them. In 2014-15 (till December, 2014) a total of 53 projects were
sanctioned to the states and a sum of Rs 333 crores was sanctioned to them for
these projects
Election Commission03-March, 2015 11:37 IST
Election Commission launches National Electoral Roll Purification and
Authentication Programme (NERPAP) from today
The Election Commission of India has launched National Electoral Roll
Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) throughout the country
from today with the prime objective of bringing a totally error free and
authenticated electoral roll.
During the programme, EPIC data of electors will be linked with Aadhar data of
UIDAI for the purpose of authentication. NERPAP will focus on improving image
quality of electors along with sorting issues like corrections of errors etc.
Electors have been provided the facility to feed their respective Aadhar number
through sms, email, mobile application and National Voters Service Portal (NVSP)
using web services through election commission website. Electors can also feed
Aadhar number by making a call at 1950 to state call centres or by submitting the
details of Aadhar number and EPIC number in a hard copy of duly filled up Form
along with photocopy of both the documents, namely EPIC and Aadhar card.
Besides, collection and feeding of Aadhar will also be done by Electoral Registration
Officer (ERO) by organizing Special Camp, Voter Facilitation Centres, e-Seva centres
and Citizen Service Centres authorised by the DEOs. Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will
also collect the details of electors during door to door survey. To ensure maximum
public participation, nationwide special camps will be organized by the Electoral
Registration Officer on 12.04.2015
Under NERPAP, facility has also been provided for voluntarily Disclosure of Multiple
Entries by the Voters. The electors with multiple registrations in electoral roll(s) are
advised to fill Form-7 for deletion of their names from the places except where they
ordinarily reside. The electors may submit Form-7 through Web Portal of NVSP or at
EROs Facilitation Centres /Special Camps/Other Centres such as E-Seva, CSC and so
on.
Ministry of Agriculture03-March, 2015 16:01 IST
GIS System for Fisheries Sector
The components of the scheme for strengthening of database and geographical
information system GIS for fisheries sector are as under:
(i).
Sample Survey for Estimation of Inland Fishery
Resources and their Potential
(ii).

Census on Marine Fisheries

(iii).

Catch Assessment Survey Inland and Marine Fisheries

(iv).

Development of Geographical Information System

(v).

Development of database of fishery cooperative of

India,
(vi).
Mapping of smaller water bodies and development of
Geographical Information System based fishery management system,
(vii).
(viii).
(ix).

Strengthening of Statistical Unit at Headquarter,


Evaluation Studies/ Professional services,
Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS).

The component-wise earmarking of funds to various states is not done under the
scheme.
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers03-March, 2015 17:03 IST
Scheme Approved for Setting UP of Plastic Parks
The Government has approved a Scheme for setting up of need based Plastic Parks,
with requisite state-of-the-art infrastructure and enabling common facilities, to
assist the sector move up the value chain and contribute to the economy more
effectively. Under the scheme, Government of India provides grant funding up to
50% of the project cost, subject to a ceiling of Rs.40 crore per project. Proposals for
setting up of Plastic Parks in Assam (Tinsukia district), Odisha (Siju village, Kujanga
tehsil, Jagatsinghpur district) and Madhya Pradesh ((Tamot village, Gohargunj tehsil,
Raisen district) have received final approval, whereas the proposal for a Plastic Park
in Tamil Nadu (Voyalur village, Ponneri Taluk, Thiruvallur district) has been given in
principle approval.
The objectives of the scheme, inter-alia, are to increase competitiveness and
investments, achieve environmentally sustainable growth and adopt the cluster
development approach to consolidate the capacities in plastic sector. The
Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals has released first instalment of Rs.8
crore of grant-inaid for setting-up of Plastic Parks at Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and
Assam in the year 2013-14. Detailed Project Report for setting-up of a Plastic Park in
Tamil Nadu is awaited from the State Government. Further, the setting up of six
additional plastic parks has been approved by the Competent Authority.
Implementation of the scheme for setting up of Plastic Parks in an area is based on
proposals received from the State Governments, in accordance with the approved
scheme guidelines.
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution03-March, 2015 13:10 IST
Measures to ensure remunerative prices for farmers

The Government procures foodgrains directly from farmers to ensure that farmers
are able to get remunerative price for their produce. Before the start of each
Marketing Season, Government of India convenes a meeting of State Food
Secretaries, Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials and other stake holders to
discuss various arrangements made by FCI and State Agencies to ensure payment
of Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers for procurement of paddy and wheat
from farmers. All the foodgrains conforming to the prescribed specifications offered
for sale at specified centers are bought by the public procurement agencies at the
Minimum Support Price (MSP). The producers have the option to sell their produce
to FCI/State Agencies at MSP or in the open market as is advantageous to them.
Foodgrains procured by the State Governments and their agencies are ultimately
taken over by the FCI for distribution throughout the country. In consultation with
FCI and State Agencies sufficient number of procurement centres are opened during
every marketing season to ensure purchase of paddy and wheat from farmers.
Review of arrangements are made periodically and if required, additional purchase
centres are also opened during the procurement season. This information was given
by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri
Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The Minister said that as on 31.12.2014 the total manpower in FCI in position is
23946 and presently FCI is effectively handling the procurement operations with
their support. FCI is also supported by the State Government Agencies in its
procurement operations, which in turn involve cooperative societies, self help
groups, arthias etc/ in reaching out to farmers.
He said that in order to ensure that the farmers get remunerative prices/MSP for
Wheat and paddy, following mechanism have been put in place:
1. Keeping in view the procurement potential areas, procurement centres for MSP
operations are opened by Government agencies, both FCI and state Government,
after mutual consultations.
2. Farmers are made aware of the MSP operations by way of advertisements like
displaying banners, pamphlets, announcement for MSP and specification in print
and electronic media.
3. Payment for the wheat and paddy procured from farmers is either made directly
to the farmers or through arthias/co-operative societies as per prevailing system of
the State. Payment to farmers are also made through A/c payee cheque/electronic
mode. Even in respect of paddy purchased by millers, GOI has already advised state
Government to ensure payment to farmers by millers/Pvt. traders through A/c payee
cheque so that trail of payment can be made while issuing MSP certificate to millers
for delivery of levy rice to State Government/FCI.
4. State Governments are encouraged to undertake decentralised procurement, so
as to enhance the procurement of food grains.
5. MSP has been enhanced from time to time to encourage delivery of foodgrains
into central pool purchase.

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution03-March, 2015 13:08 IST
End-to-End Computerisation of PDS as a Mission Mode Project
A scheme on End to end Computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System
(TPDS) Operations with a total approved cost of Rs.884.07 crore is being
implemented throughout the country. Under the Scheme, financial and technical
assistance is being provided to States/Union Territories (UTs). Government of India
has so far released an amount of Rs.257.01 crore to the States/UTs, National
Informatics Centre (NIC), Consultancy services and the States have so far reported
to have incurred an expenditure of Rs.58 crore. Based on receipt of proposals from
the States/UTs, the Central Government releases the funds to them in instalments in
accordance with the guidelines of the Scheme. This information was given by the
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb
Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The Minister said that the Scheme has been declared as a Mission Mode Project
(MMP) by the Government with National Informatics Centre (NIC) as the technical
partner to provide technical support to the States/UTs for computerisation of the
TPDS. The key activities under the scheme include digitization of beneficiary
database, computerisation of Supply Chain Management, installation of Grievance
Redressal Mechanism and Transparency Portal. Expenditure under the scheme is to
be shared between Central and State Governments. Central Governments share for
the North Eastern States is 90% while in the case of rest of the States/UTs, it is 50%.
The Scheme will enable correct identification of beneficiaries; removal of bogus
cards and better targeting of food subsidies, timely availability of foodgrains to
intended beneficiaries at Fair Price Shops (FPS); check leakages/diversion etc.
He said that the original timelines of the Scheme are well past. In view of the slow
and uneven progress across the States/UTs, no fresh timelines have been
prescribed. They are however being regularly pursued to ensure early completion of
various activities under the Scheme.
Shri Danve clarified that to monitor and supervise the implementation of the
Scheme in the country, a Central Project Monitoring Unit (CPMU) has been created
in the Centre. Further, as per the MMP guidelines of National eGovernance Plan
(NeGP), a Joint Secretary of the Government has been designated as the Mission
Leader for Scheme who periodically reviews the progress under the Scheme through
review meetings/ video-conferencing with the States/UTs.
Ministry of Defence03-March, 2015 16:06 IST
Condition of Border Roads at Indo-China Border
There is large number of passes along the border and some are located in
inaccessible areas. Border Road Organization (BRO) is entrusted with works on the
following passes on the Indo-China Border:(i)

Nathula Pass in Sikkim

(ii)

Mana Pass in Uttarakhand

(iii)
(iv)
(v)

Niti Pass in Uttarakhand


Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand
Shipkila Pass in Himachal Pradesh.

73 roads are identified as strategic Indo-China border roads (ICBR), out of which 61
roads have been entrusted to Border Roads Organisation (BRO) with a length of
3410 km. Out of 61 ICBRs with BRO, 19 roads of length 625 km have been
completed and connectivity has been achieved on 24 roads.
Army has taken cognizance of the development of infrastructure by China along the
India-China Border and consequently upgradation and development of infrastructure
along the Northern Borders of the Country to meet the defence forces requirement
is planned out in a holistic and comprehensive manner. There are certain delays in
execution of road projects mainly due to the following reasons:

Delay in Forest/ Wildlife clearance.

Hard rock stretches.

Limited working season.

Difficulties in availability of construction material.

Due to natural disaster such as flash flood of Leh in 2010, J&K flood in 2014
and earthquake in Sikkim in 2011, resources are diverted.

Delay in land acquisition.

Government has taken following measures to expedite the pace of road projects:
Chief Secretaries of various State Governments have been requested to constitute
Empowered Committees under their chairmanship with Secretaries of concerned
departments as members to resolve issues related to land acquisition, forest/
wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc.
Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) has given the General Approval under
section 2 of forest (conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land required for
construction /widening of roads entrusted to BRO in the area falling within 100
kilometers aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and for link roads
between Border Roads in the area within 100 kilometer aerial distance from the
Line of Actual Control (LAC) and National Highways/State Highways/Other roads
subject to certain conditions.

Outsourcing has been allowed to

augment capacity of BRO.

Long Term Roll On Work Plan (LTROWP) and Long Term Equipment Plan (LTEP)
have been approved.

Enhanced financial and administrative powers have been given to the


executives of BRO.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare03-March, 2015 14:24 IST
Revision of National Health Policy
The health status of the population especially that of rural population requires
improvement. However, the condition of the health services in rural areas of the
country has improved after the launch of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
As per National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 2004-05, the health worker
density in rural areas is 11.74 per 10,000 populations while in urban areas, the
density is 40.46 per 10,000 populations. As per the 2011 National Health Profile,
there are 1, 60,862 hospital beds in rural areas out of the total 7, 84,940 hospital
beds available in the country.
Public health being a state subject, the primary responsibility to provide health care
facilities lies with the state governments. To address the healthcare challenges,
particularly in rural areas, the NRHM was launched in 2005 to supplement the
efforts of the State/UT governments to provide accessible, affordable and quality
healthcare. The NRHM has now been subsumed under the National Health Mission
(NHM) as its sub-mission, along with National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) as the
other sub-mission.
Under NRHM, high focus States that are economically and socially backward and
have poor health indices are provided with higher per capita allocation as compared
to rest of the states. Further, within the States, to ensure equitable healthcare and
to bring about sharper improvements in health outcomes, a systematic effort to
effectively address the intrastate disparities in health outcomes has been
undertaken. At least 25% of all districts in each state have been identified as High
Priority Districts based on a composite health index. All tribal districts which are
below the states average of composite health index have also been included as
high priority districts. These districts receive higher per capita funding, enhanced
monitoring and focused supportive supervision, and are supported to adopt
innovative approaches to address their special healthcare challenges.
Under NHM, financial support is provided to States to strengthen their health care
systems including support for infrastructure, equipment, human resource and other
resources based on the requirements posed by the States in their Programme
Implementation Plans. Besides the support for medical human resource, support is
also provided for programme managers, finance managers and accountants, data
managers etc for effective programme implementation.
The draft National Health policy, 2015 has been placed in public domain seeking
suggestions from stakeholders.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare03-March, 2015 14:21 IST
Effective Implementation of PNDT Act

The Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy including schemes and


programmes and awareness generation/advocacy measures to build a positive
environment for the girl child through gender sensitive policies, provisions and
legislation. The measures include the following:-

Intensified effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal


Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 and amended various
provisions of the Rules, viz. programme review at the state level. Five regional
review workshops for North, West, central, north east and Southern regions were
organized at Srinagar, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bhopal during 2013-14 to
evaluate and review the progress of implementation of the PC&PNDT Act, 1994 in
the country. During the current financial year 2014-15, four review workshops for
North, West, north east and Southern regions were organized.

The Government provides financial support to the States and UTs for
operationalization of PNDT Cells, Capacity Building, Orientation & Sensitization
Workshop, Information, Education and Communication campaigns and for
strengthening structures for the implementation of the PC & PNDT Act, 1994 under
the National Health Mission (NHM).

The Minister of Health and Family Welfare has requested all the State
Governments to strengthen implementation of the Act and to ensure timely steps to
stop illegal sex determination.

Directions given vide Order dated 04.03.2013 by the Honble Supreme Court
in the matter of WP(C) 349/2006 were communicated to the States/ UTs at the level
of Health Minister to Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries to ensure immediate
compliance.

Inspections by the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) have


been scaled up. In year 2014-15, 16 inspection visits were undertaken in the States
of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka,
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Delhi (Twice), Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Manipur,
Jharkhand, Tamilnadu and Gujarat.


States have been advised to focus on Districts/Blocks/Villages with low Child
Sex Ratio to ascertain the causes, plan appropriate Behaviour Change
Communication campaigns and effectively implement provisions of the PC & PNDT
Act, 1994.

The Central Supervisory Board (CSB) was constituted by the government under
Section 7 of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of
Sex Selection) Act, 1994, with the mandate to review and monitor implementation
of the Act and rules made there under. A total of 22 meetings of the CSB were held
since inception of the Act to review the implementation of the Act.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare03-March, 2015 14:20 IST
Strategy for Handling Genetically Transmitted Cancer Disease
Cancer can be diagnosed and treated at various levels in the government health
care system. The data for medical infrastructure and the quantum of shortage of
specialists for Cancer treatment is not centrally maintained. The number of
teletherapy machine in the country is less than the norms of World Health
Organisation (WHO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Government of India has approved a scheme for enhancing the Tertiary Care
Cancer facilities in the country. Under this scheme, the Government of India will
assist 20 State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and 50 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres (TCCC) in
different parts of the country. Oncology in its various aspects has focus in case of
new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya
Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). Setting up of the National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar
(Haryana) and 2nd campus of the Chittranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata has
been approved.
The Government of India had launched a comprehensive National Programme for
Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
(NPCDCS) in 2010 with focus on 3 types of cancer namely breast, cervical and oral
cancer. From 2013-14 onwards, interventions under NPCDCS for prevention, early
detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, which can be taken up upto district
level, have been brought under the umbrella of National Health Mission (NHM).
The treatment in government hospitals is either free or subsidized. In addition to
cancer diagnosis and treatment by the state governments health institutes, the
central government institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences,
Safdurjung Hospital, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER
Puducherry, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, etc. provide facilities for
diagnosing and treatment of Cancer.
The list of medicines specified in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)
which are included in the First Schedule of Drug Pricing Control Order (DPCO), 2013
also contain drugs used for the treatment of cancer. 489 NLEM (drug formulations)
medicines for which ceiling prices have been notified under DPCO, 2013, include 47
anti-Cancer medicines. No person is authorized to sell any such formulation to any

consumer at a price exceeding the ceiling price fixed by the National


Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
Financial assistance to Below Poverty Line (BPL) patients is available under the
Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN). Besides this, the Health Ministers Cancer Patient
Fund (HMCPF) within the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi has been set up in 2009 where in
27 erstwhile Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs) are provided with revolving funds to
provide immediate financial assistance upto Rs.2.00 lakh to BPL cancer patients
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare03-March, 2015 14:19 IST
Disposal and Recycling of Medical Wastes
Public health being a State subject, it is the primary responsibility of the concerned
State/UT governments to take appropriate actions for proper management and
disposal of bio-medical waste at public health facilities through the State Pollution
Control Boards in pursuance of Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules,
1998 of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The Pollution
Control Boards/Committees are empowered to ensure the compliance of provisions
of these rules. Further, in so far as major hospitals like AIIMS are concerned; they
are managing their Bio-medical wastes in accordance with Biomedical Waste Rules
1998 and Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

National Guidelines on Hospital Waste Management based on Bio-medical waste


(Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 have been developed by Ministry of Health
and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and circulated to all State/UT in the year 2002 for
implementation.

Further, in addition, a National Policy Framework document and Operational


Guidelines for Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres and Sub-centres
have also been developed by MoHFW in 2007, for implementation of Infection
Management and Environment Plan (IMEP) under Reproductive and Child Health
Programme, to address the issues relating to infection control and waste
management. The same are also available in public domain at
http://nrhm.gov.in/nhm/nrhm/guidelines/nrhm-guidelines/infection-managementand-environment-plan-imep.html

Under National Health Mission (NHM), financial assistance is provided to State/UTs


Governments within their resource envelope for Bio-medical waste management
and infection control activities in public health facilities based on their proposals in
Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) of NHM. This includes support for Civil Works
for Operationalising Infection Management & Environment Plan at health facilities,
Human Resource for Biomedical waste management activities such as Incinerator
Operators, procurement of equipment such as trolleys, autoclaves, incinerators,
colour coded bins, and buckets etc., IMEP training of medical officers, district and

state programme managers, health staffs etc., in Biomedical Waste Management


Practices, IMEP protocols and activities.

Further, Government of India has recently released Operational Guidelines for


National Quality Assurance in Public Health Facilities for supporting states efforts
to improve the quality in District Hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary
Health Centres wherein all State/UTs have been requested to get their facilities
certified as per National Quality Assurance Standards (NQAS) which inter alia
requires the facilities to conform to Bio-medical waste (Management and Handling)
Rules, 1998. A provision of incentives has also been made for the facilities which are
able to achieve and retain the certification. The operational guidelines are available
in public domain at http: //nhsrcindia.org/index.php?
option=comcontent&view=article&id=171&Itemid=647.

Further, in major Central Government Hospitals like AIIMS regular training


programme are conducted in Bio-medical waste management for all categories of
Health Workers. Information, Education and Communication activities are
undertaken regularly to bring awareness about safe and effective bio-medical waste
management amongst the hospital staff.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare03-March, 2015 14:17 IST
Affordable Geriatric Healthcare
The proportion of elderly population has been increasing steadily. It has increased
from 5.1% in 1991 to 7.4% in 2001 and 8.6% in 2011.
The Government of India had launched National Programme for Health Care of
Elderly (NPHCE) during the year 2010-11 for providing dedicated health care
facilities to senior citizens (above 60 years of age) at primary, secondary and
tertiary health care delivery system. The essential components of the Programme
are:
Setting up Geriatric department in identified Regional Geriatric Centres
(RGCs) with OPD care services and 30 beds Geriatric ward for providing indoor
services. RGCs will also undertake PG Courses in Geriatric for developing Human
Resource.
Setting up of Geriatric units at all District Hospitals that will provide OPD care
services and 10 bed Geriatric Ward for providing indoor services.
Establishment of Rehabilitation unit at all Community Health Centres (CHCs)
and Geriatric clinic twice/week.
Setting up weekly Geriatric clinic by trained Medical Officer at Primary Health
Centres (PHCs).

IEC on healthy life style, home care to the bed ridden and supportive devices
for the needy elderly persons at sub-centre level.
Ministry of Minority Affairs03-March, 2015 17:04 IST
Action Taken on The Report of Amitabh Kundu Committee
The Ministry of Minority Affairs constituted a Committee on 05.08.2013 under the
Chairmanship of Professor Amitabh Kundu of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
primarily to evaluate the process of implementation of decisions taken by
Government of India on the recommendations of Sachar Committee and to assess
the efficacy of the Prime Ministers New 15 Point Programme, and to recommend
interventions and corrective measures in policies and programmes. The Committee
has since submitted its Report on 09.10.2014.
The Report was examined in this Ministry. In the meeting held on 23.01.2015, the
recommendations of the Committee were discussed in detail and it was decided
that the views of the concerned Ministries/ Departments should be obtained.
Accordingly, the recommendations have been sent to all the concerned Ministries/
Departments and NITI Aayog. Their response is awaited.
The Amitabh Kundu Committee has observed that available financial
resources and physical targets have been meagre in relation to the deprivation of
the minorities, especially Muslims, and for some of the schemes this meagre
amount has not been fully utilised and this requires that allocation of resources to
the Ministry of Minority Affairs be increased. With regard to the schemes of the
Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Committee has recommended, inter alia, that there
is a need to make the number of scholarships demand-driven, allocation under
Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) need to be increased and allocation
for Leadership Development Scheme for Minority Women needs to be substantially
enhanced.
Ministry of Shipping03-March, 2015 15:22 IST
Nitin Gadkari Launches Shipping Samvad
Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari launched
a website Shipping Samvad here today. The objective of the website is to invite
innovative ideas and suggestions from general public and experts related to Indian
maritime sector for improvements in the shipping, ports and inland waterways
sector. The ideas and suggestions submitted through this portal will be further
examined for implementation by Ministry of Shipping and the workable ideas and
suggestions will be published on this website. The Ministry of Shipping will also
select the best five contributions in the year.
The Ministry will also upload the draft policies/new initiatives from time to time on
the portal for the valuable suggestions/feedback from the citizen. This will help
Ministry of Shipping in bringing transparency and blue revolution in the country. The
initiative is meant to engage the experts and common public in the development of
Shipping, Ports and Inland Waterways in India and will provide impetus to the
Ministry of Shipping in its efforts. The portal may be visited at http:
/shipmin.gov.in/samvad/index.php

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports03-March, 2015 16:40 IST


National Service Scheme
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri
Sarbananda Sonowal has said that at present, there is no such proposal under
consideration for de-linking of National Service Scheme (NSS) operation from
funding for the institutions under consideration by the Government. The average
expenditure on NSS youth per annum is Rs.475/- Some of the colleges/schools do
charge one time registration fee of about Rs.20/- per youth. This is a meagre
amount and not a burden on students.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, NSS has remained
immensely popular among the student youth. However, it is not possible to fund all
the institutions due to budgetary limitations. As per experience NSS continues
smoothly to function with or without funds from the Government.
He said, there are many elite and private institutions, which are self-sufficient in
funding and do not require financial assistance from Government of India but would
like to avail the opportunity of NSS for their students. By allowing them to open NSS
units on self-financing basis, the limited budget of NSS is better utilized for other
deserving and needy institutions. This twin approach provides benefits of NSS to
maximum student youths of the country. In the background, SFUs were set up.
The Minister said, at present 2545 Self-Financing Units (SFUs) have been set up in
the country. A total of 1038 applications have been received during the year 201415 for setting up of new SFUs. A total of 2,34,036 volunteers were registered during
the year 2014-15 under SFUs of NSS. SFUs on an average incur expenditure of
Rs.47,500/- per unit (100 volunteers) per year for the regular and special camping
programme.
Department of Atomic Energy04-March, 2015 17:17 IST
NPCIL pursuing various public outreach programmes in Kudankulam and
its surrounding areas
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is pursuing its public outreach
programme at Kudankulam, its surrounding areas and Tamil Nadu state to reach out
to all sections of the society and allay the apprehensions about the safety of nuclear
power, the project and all related issues in a credible manner. A multi-pronged
approach has been adopted in this regard. Some of the main initiatives undertaken
include:
Creation and distribution of single sheet pamphlets on various aspects of nuclear
energy in simple local language
Distribution of books, comics, CDs etc. about the project
Organising site visits
TV Commercials, Radio Jingles and short films in theatres
Organising Exhibitions

Lecture Presentations in Schools and Colleges


Media Briefings and scientific meets for Journalists
Briefing of Sarpanchs, Peoples representatives, community leaders, state and
local officials etc.
E awareness through NPCIL website.
Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), a public sector undertaking of
this Department which is constructing a Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor of 500 MW
capacity at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu has also taken up neighborhood development
activities focusing on four broad areas viz., Education, Health, Infrastructure and
Environment and skill development.
Department of Space04-March, 2015 14:14 IST
ISRO to carry out a test flight of Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology
Demonstrator (RLV-TD) by second quarter of 2015
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will carry out a test flight of Reusable
Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) by second quarter of 2015.
Technology Demonstrator winged body vehicle weighing 1.5T will be lofted to a
height of 70 km using solid booster, thus attaining 5 times the speed of sound.
Thereafter it will descend by gliding and splashing down into the sea. This test flight
would demonstrate the Hypersonic aerodynamics characteristics, Avionics system,
Thermal protection system, Control system and Mission management.
Development of Reusable Launch Vehicles is a technical challenge and it involves
development of many cutting edge technologies. The magnitude of cost reduction
depends on development and realization of fully reusable launch vehicle and its
degree of reusability.
ISRO has taken steps to develop next generation launch vehicle GSLV MkIII, capable
of launching 4 ton class communication satellites to Geo-synchronous Transfer
Orbit, which would bring down the cost of satellite launches.
Department of Space04-March, 2015 14:13 IST
Department of Space has taken multi-pronged approach to provide Space
education to the youths in the country
The Department of Space has taken multi-pronged approach to disseminate or to
provide formal education on important subjects coming under Space Technology,
Space Science and Space Applications to the youths in the country as under:
Department of Space (Dos) has established an academic institution viz., Indian
Institute of Space Science and Technology (lIST) at Thiruvananthapuram with a
prime objective of providing highly specialised academic programmes in the niche
areas of Space. The Institute is offering Undergraduate programmes, Post graduate
programmes and Doctoral programmes to the youth of the country.

Dos has established an academic and training institute viz., Indian Institute of
Remote Sensing (IIRS) at Dehradun. The institute offers Post graduate diploma and
Masters courses in Remote Sensing, Geo-informatics, Environment and Atmospheric
sciences, Urban planning, etc.
The Department has developed curriculum in the areas of Remote Sensing & GIS
for PG programme and assisted various academic institutions to establish the
required laboratory infrastructure and administer the academic programme.
The Department has also provided technical and scientific support to students and
faculty members of various academic institutions to design, develop and realise
small satellites by the respective institution. The Department has also extended the
support of free launch services to place the students` satellites in orbit.
The Department has also tied up with various academic institutions to undertake
research and related activities in the field of Planetary Science and Exploration.
To promote Space Science education amongst the youth, the Department has
identified few academic institutions to support and strengthen the research in space
sciences in the universities through guidance and funding.
The Department has also encouraged academic institutions to participate in the
scientific satellite missions by providing flight worthy payloads duly developed by
the academia.
The Department has also instituted Research Fellowships Scheme in academia to
promote space science research work at national laboratories.
The Department has involved many academic and autonomous research
institutions to work in the areas of climate and weather of the Sun-Earth system
through funding and definition of research themes.
As a collaborative approach with academic institutions and research institutions,
the Department has been running the Joint Astronomy Programme, where in the
selected student will pursue research in Astronomy and Astrophysics leading to
award of Ph.D degree.
Ministry of Commerce & Industry04-March, 2015 14:41 IST
Initiatives to Arrest Slowdown in Industrial Production
The industrial growth, measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), has
declined during the last three years from 2.9% in 2011-12 to 1.1% in 2012-13 and
further to (-) 0.1% in 2013-14. IIP has thereafter, recorded a positive growth of 2.1%
(Provisional) during April-December in 2014-15.
Several initiatives have been taken recently to give the necessary thrust for pacing
up the industrial sector which enhances job opportunities, through policy
amendments, procedural simplifications as well as promotional measures. These
include pruning the list of industries that can be considered as defence industries
requiring industrial license, two extensions of two years each in the initial validity of

three years of the industrial license permitted up to seven years, removal of


stipulation of annual capacity in the industrial license, and deregulating the annual
capacity for defence items for Industrial License. Certain instances of inverted duty
structure affecting domestic industry have been addressed. The recent
amendments in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy include allowing FDI in
Defence up to 49% and FDI in Railway infrastructure up to 100%, easing the norms
for FDI in construction and exempting FDI in medical devices from sectoral
restrictions of pharmaceuticals.
Improvement in Ease of Doing Business in India through simplification and
rationalization of the existing rules and use of information technology to make
governance more efficient and effective has been taken up. Integration of 14
Central Services through the e-Biz Platform has been already completed. The
Government has launched a Make in India initiative with 25 thrust sectors to
provide a major push to manufacturing in India. Information on the thrust sectors
has been put up on Make in Indias web portal (http://www.makeinindia.com) along
with details of FDI Policy, National Manufacturing Policy, Intellectual Property Rights
and the envisaged National Industrial Corridors including the Delhi Mumbai
Industrial Corridor. An Investor Facilitation Cell, with back end support up to the
State level has also been created in Invest India to assist, guide, hand-hold and
facilitate investors during the various phases of the business life cycle. The
ordinance has been issued to make land acquisition easier for important projects.
The Government has also developed unified Web Portal Shram Suvidha facilitating
industries in allotment of Unique Labour Identification Number (UN) to units;
allowing filing a single self-certified online return for 16 labour laws; enabling
random computerized inspections based on objective criteria and facilitating reports
to be uploaded by inspectors within 72 hours of inspection.
Ministry of Commerce & Industry04-March, 2015 14:38 IST
Effect of Receding Economy of China on India's Global Market
Government is not of the view that Chinas economy is receding. It is up to the
businessmen and industrialists of the country to identify opportunities, consolidate
the advantage and increase their market share in the respective sector by
manufacturing and supplying quality goods to the world market at competitive
prices.
No specific study has been carried out to identify Indias export strength vis--vis
China. However based on export-import profile analysis of India-China trade, sectors
like Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology (IT) & Information Technology Enabled
services (ITES), Auto Components, Agro Products, Tourism, Film & Entertainment are
potential sectors of Indias export interest to China.
The Prime Minister of India launched Make in India global initiative on 25th
September, 2014 from Vigyan Bhawan. Make in India initiative intends to invite
both domestic and foreign investors to invest in India.
Make in India has identified 25 sectors in manufacturing, infrastructure and service
activities and detailed information including existing opportunities for investment is
being shared with investors through meetings, seminars interactive web-portal and
professionally developed brochures.

Ministry of Home Affairs04-March, 2015 17:07 IST


Union Home Ministers Statement on BBC Fours Storyville in Rajya Sabha
Following is the text of the Statement made by the Union Home Minister Shri
Rajnath Singh in the Rajya Sabha today on BBC Fours Storyville to broadcast
documentary titled Indias Daughter.
A No Objection Certificate (NOC) to shoot the documentary featuring interview of
convicted inmates in Tihar jail of cases related to atrocities against women was
given by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 24 July, 2013 and thereafter the
permissions were given by the jail authorities to shoot the documentary to Ms.
Leslee Udwin and Ms. Anjali Bhushan with the following conditions:(i)
Prior approval of jail authorities is to be taken for publishing the research
paper or for releasing the documentary film which is being made for purely social
purposes without any commercial interest as conveyed.
(ii)

To interview only such convicted prisoners who give written consent.

(iii)
The complete unedited footage of shoot in the Tihar Jail premises will be
shown to the jail authorities to ensure there is no breach of Prison security.
This documentary, inter alia, features interview of one of the accused of the
Nirbhaya case.
It came to the notice of the jail authorities that the permission conditions
have been violated and hence a legal notice was issued to them on 7 th April, 2014 to
return the unedited footage within 15 days and also not to show the film as it
violates the permission conditions.
Subsequently, the documentary film was shown to the jail authorities where
it was noticed that the documentary film depicts the comments of the convict which
are highly derogatory and are an affront to the dignity of women. It was also
noticed that the film shown was the edited version and not the unedited as per
permission conditions. Hence, they were requested to provide full copy of the
unedited film shootout for further review by the authorities and that they were
asked not to release/screen the documentary till it is approved by the authorities.
Now, it has come to notice that on 8 March, 2015, BBC Four is going to
telecast this documentary film. The Government has taken necessary legal action
and obtained a restraining order from the court disseminating the contents of the
film.

Our Government condemns the incident of 16 th December, 2012 in the


strongest possible terms and will not allow any attempt by any individual, group or
organization to leverage such unfortunate incidents for commercial benefit. The

respect and dignity of women constitute a core value of our culture and tradition.
Our Government remains fully committed to ensuring safety and dignity of women.
Ministry of Home Affairs04-March, 2015 16:53 IST
Fencing Along Indo-Bangladesh Border
The Government has sanctioned fencing to the extent of 3326.14 km along the
Indo-Bangladesh Border under two phases. The Phase-I project has been completed
in the year 2000 under which 854.35 km fence was erected. Under Phase-II,
1973.572 km fence work has been completed.
An expenditure of Rs.1059 crore was incurred for construction of fence and roads
under Phase-I. The Government has sanctioned 2468.77 km of fence and 1512.68
km of roads under Phase-II project at an estimated cost of Rs.4393.69 crore. The
Phase-II project was targeted to be completed by 31.03.2014. However, the same
has spilled over due to delay in land acquisition by the State Government
concerned, public protest, delay in forest/wildlife clearances, difficult terrain,
prolonged monsoon season in North Eastern areas, etc.
The other measures taken by the Government to prevent infiltration along the IndoBangladesh border are as follows:
Effective domination of the border by the Border Security Force (BSF) through
carrying out round the clock surveillance of the border by patrolling nakas (border
ambushes) and by deploying observation posts all along the Indo-Bangladesh
border.
The riverine segments of Indo-Bangladesh Border are being patrolled and
dominated with the help of water crafts/speed boats/floating Border Out Posts
(BOPs) of BSF water wings.
Usage of Hi-Tech surveillance equipments along with day and night vision devices
for further enhancing the border domination.
Vulnerability mapping of the Border Out Posts (BOPs) which are sensitive with
regard to illegal migration/human trafficking along the Border has been carried out.
These identified BOPs have been strengthened by deploying additional manpower,
Special Surveillance Equipment, vehicles and other infrastructure support.
Ministry of Home Affairs04-March, 2015 17:00 IST
Development Schemes in the Naxal Affected Districts
The Additional Central Assistance (ACA) for the LWE affected districts, being
implemented by the NITI Aayog and the Road Requirement Plan (RRP-I), being
implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, are the two major
developmental schemes, which focus specifically on the LWE affected districts.
The Additional Central Assistance for LWE affected districts, which focuses on
creation of public infrastructure and services, was earlier being implemented as the
Integrated Action Plan (IAP) since the year 2010-11. The continuation of IAP as ACA
Scheme for the remaining years of 12th Five Year Plan was approved by the
Government on 01.08.2013. The Scheme which initially covered 60 districts, now

covers 88 districts including 76 LWE affected districts in the 10 LWE affected States
(Andhra Pradesh-04, Bihar-11, Chhattisgarh-14, Jharkhand-17, Madhya Pradesh-10,
Maharashtra-04, Odisha-18, Telangana-04, Uttar Pradesh-03 and West Bengal-03).
The fund allocation per district per year under the scheme was Rs. 25.00 crore in
the year 2010-11 and Rs. 30.00 crores in the subsequent years.
Under the scheme, out of 1,60,908 projects taken up in 10 LWE affected states,
1,29,037 projects have been completed up to 26.02. 2015 and against a total
Central funds of Rs. 9,059.00 crores released, the expenditure reported is Rs.
8149.61.00 crore. The amount of central assistance released to Bihar and Jharkhand
are Rs. 1013.38 crore and Rs. 1894.19 crore respectively.
RRP-I, being implemented since 2009-10 in 34 LWE affected districts of 08 States
(Telangana-01, Bihar-06, Chhattisgarh-07, Jharkhand-11, Madhya Pradesh-01,
Maharashtra-02, Odisha-05, and Uttar Pradesh-01) envisages development of 5,477
kms of roads at an estimated cost of Rs.7,300.00 crores. Out of total 5,469 kms
length sanctioned, 3,387 kms has been completed upto 31.01.2015 with an
expenditure of Rs. 4,511.00 crore. The total funds allocated to Bihar and Jharkhand
upto 2014-15 are Rs. 656 crore and Rs. 805 crore respectively.
Besides, two Skill Development related Schemes, namely, ROSHNI and Skill
Development in 34 Districts affected by Left Wing Extremism are also being
implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Labour and
Employment respectively.
ROSHNI is a special initiative under, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen
Kaushalya Yojana (Formerly Ajeevika Skills), launched in June 2013 for training and
placement of rural poor youth from 27 LWE affected districts in 09 States (Andhra
Pradesh-01, Bihar-02, Chhattisgarh-08, Jharkhand-06, Madhya Pradesh-01,
Maharashtra-01, Odisha-06, Uttar Pradesh-01 and West Bengal-01). So far two
Roshni projects for skilling 1085 candidates in Bihar at a total cost of Rs. 16.82 crore
and eight Roshni projects for skilling 3956 candidates in Jharkhand at a total cost of
Rs. 100.96 crore have been sanctioned.
Main objectives of the Scheme Skill Development in 34 Districts affected by Left
Wing Extremism under implementation from 2011-12 are to establish 01 ITI and 02
Skill Development Centres each in 34 LWE affected districts of 09 States (Telangana01, Bihar-06, Chhattisgarh-07, Jharkhand-10, Madhya Pradesh-01, Maharashtra-02,
Odisha-05, Uttar Pradesh-01 and West Bengal-01) and to run demand driven
vocational training courses comprising Long Term training and Short Term training
and Instructor Training courses. Funds allocated to Bihar and Jharkhand are Rs.
41.69 crore and Rs. 69.48 crore respectively.
In addition, the Ministry of Communication & IT is implementing the Universal
Service Obligation Fund (USOF) supported Scheme of Mobile Services in LWE
affected areas in the 10 LWE affected States. The project was approved by the
Government on 20.08.2014 to provide Mobile Services in 2199 locations (Andhra
Pradesh-41, Bihar-184, Chhattisgarh-497, Jharkhand-782, Maharashtra-60, Madhya
Pradesh-22, Odisha-253, Telangana-186, Uttar Pradesh-78 and West Bengal-96)
including 363 sites (Andhra Pradesh-01, Chhattisgarh-351, Maharashtra-03, Madhya

Pradesh-06 and Telangana-02) already installed by the BSNL. The estimated project
implementation cost is Rs. 3567.58 crore. An amount of Rs. 596.51 crore has been
disbursed to BSNL under this Scheme.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs04-March, 2015 16:53 IST
Indians Abroad
The minister of state for Overseas Indian Affairs General V. K. Singh (retd.) Informed
the members of lok sabha today that the India Centre for Migration, the research
think tank of the Ministry has undertaken studies pertaining to migration in the
India-EU corridor focusing on migration, mobility, ethnicity, diaspora identity,
remittances to India from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and other aspects related
to migration of Indians. Reports of ICM are providing useful inputs to this Ministry
with regard to issues related to overseas employment and other aspects of
migration of Indians.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs had collected estimates of NRIs and PIOs from
Indian Missions abroad in 2012. The details are as per Annexure.
The exercise of updating the data is ongoing.

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs reviews its schemes for the diaspora from time to
time based upon feedback received from overseas Indians and others to ensure that
these programmes benefit Indians abroad.

This Ministry does not promote emigration, including by housemaids and nurses.
This Ministry facilitates safe and legal migration. In addition to other safeguards
provided for emigrants, special protection measures for women domestic sector
migrants are:

Women below 30 years are not permitted to obtain emigration clearance


Minimum Referral Wages
security of US $2500 to be deposited with Indian Mission

Compulsory attestation of employment documents by the concerned Indian


Missions.

Shelter home for distressed emigrants by Indian Mission.

The Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) was established in 2009 to meet
contingency expenditure incurred by the Indian Missions and Posts abroad for
carrying out various on-site welfare activities for Overseas Indian Citizens who are in
distress. ICWF has enabled the following services for Indian nationals abroad:

a.
Boarding & lodging for distressed Overseas Indian workers in household
/domestic sectors & unskilled laborersfor a maximum of 30 days
b.

Emergency medical care and initial legal help in deserving cases

c.

Air passage to stranded overseas Indians

d.
Airlifting of mortal remains to India or local cremation/burial of deceased
Overseas Indians.
e.
Penalties for illegal stay of overseas Indians in host country where worker is
not at fault.
f.

Small fines/penalties for release of overseas Indians in jail/detention center.

India signed Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with the following Countries:

a.

Belgium

b.

France

c.

Germany (Social Insurance)

d.

Switzerland

e.

Luxembourg

f.

The Netherlands

g.

Hungary

h.

Denmark

i.

South Korea

j.

Finland

k.

Sweden

l.

Czech Republic

m.

Norway

n.

German (Comprehensive SSA)

o.

Canada

p.

Japan

q.

Austria

r.

Portugal

s.

Quebec (Province of Canada)

t.

Australia

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs04-March, 2015 16:51 IST


India Development Foundation
The minister of state for Overseas Indian Affairs General V. K. Singh (retd.) informed
the members of the Lok Sabha today that the India Development Foundation of
Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) is a not for profit Trust established in 2008 by the
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to serve as a credible institutional avenue to
enable overseas Indians to engage in philanthropy to supplement Indias social
development efforts.
Objectives of IDF-OI are to:

1.
2.
NRIs/PIOs.
3.
India.

Lead overseas Indian philanthropy into India.


Provide a list of credible institutions, projects and programmes to
Function as a clearing house for all philanthropy related information on

4.
Partner with and encourage credible philanthropic organizations in the
sectors that best match need based philanthropy.

IDF-OI has helped in channelizing contributions from overseas Indian donors


towards social development projects in Assam, Rajasthan and Gujarat in the areas
of water conservation, rainwater harvesting, education and mainstreaming of
differently abled children, womens education and sustainable livelihood
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship04-March, 2015 16:23 IST
India-EU Skill Development Project

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship


Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said that the India-EU project is a technical assistance
project for vocational training under which experts provided by the EU provide
advice and guidance on implementation of National Skills Qualifications Framework,
setting up Labour Market Information System and capacity building of the National
Skills Development Authority, three State Skill Development Missions and six Sector
Skills Councils. The various trainings provided by the India-EU skills development
project
include:
i. Modular Training Programme for NSQF Stakeholders: 3 modules delivered to date.
All 12 modules to be delivered by the end of May 2015. 25 Participants nominated
by
concerned
Institutions.
ii. NSDA Strategic orientation and Training needs analysis. Training sessions
conducted for NSDA staff on National Qualifications Frameworks, LMIS, Training of
Trainers.
iii. Study visit to France and Germany on the National Qualifications Framework in
these
countriesReport
produced
for
this
visit.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Shri Rudy said, the partner organisations
involved
in
the
project
are:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

The
Ministry

National
of

Ministry
National

Labour
of

Skill
and

Development
Employment

Human
Skill

(DGET

Resource
Development

Agency;
and

NCVT);

Development
Corporation;

v. Six Sector Skills Councils for Plumbing, Beauty & Wellness, Logistics and
Transportation,
Capital
Goods,
Construction
and
Healthcare;
vi. Three State Skills Development Missions of Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and
Uttar Pradesh
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship04-March, 2015 16:21 IST
Employability of Trained Persons
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said that National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) had
an evaluation study conducted by the World Bank of five national level skill
development programs (SDPs). The objective was to understand and learn from the
performance of these five SDPs in the states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha,
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and to generate lessons that can benefit all
stakeholders in their efforts towards workforce development in India. The five
programmes chosen for the study were:
I. Skill Development Initiative Scheme (SDIS) of the Ministry of Labour and
Employment

II. The Swarn Jayanti Grameen Rojgar Yojana and its successor scheme Aajeevika
Skills of the Ministry of Rural Development
III. Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) of the Ministry of Rural
Development
IV. Skill Training for Employment Promotion amongst Urban Poor (STEP-UP)
component of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) of the Ministry of
Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
V. Training provided by training providers who have been funded by the National
Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today Shri Rudy said, as per the interim findings
of the report, 27% of candidates enrolled in the above skill development
programmes find employment. Some of the reasons for non-employment include
resistance to migration, pursuit of higher education etc.
He said, the Government has taken various steps to ensure employability of the
skilled persons. The recent amendments to the Apprentices Act, 1961, would
facilitate the industrys ability to take on apprentices. The Government has notified
the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) to integrate general and
vocational streams of education, which will facilitate and make transparent, the
various pathways of mobility, both within and between general and vocational
streams. The NSQF would ensure that each level is defined in terms of
competencies that would need to be achieved.
Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation04-March, 2015 18:12 IST
Government takes several steps to fight inflation and revive growth of the
economy
The Government has undertaken several steps to revive the growth of the economy
and thereby increase Per Capita Income. The measures outlined in the Union Budget
2014-15 and subsequent measures taken by the Government included: fillip to
industry and infrastructure through fiscal incentives and concrete measures for
transport, power, and other urban and rural infrastructure; measures for promotion
of Foreign Direct Investment in selected sectors; deregulation of diesel prices and
finalization of natural gas pricing policy; Make in India initiative along with the
attendant investment facilitation measures; labour reforms, mainly related to
inspection and apprenticeship; amendments in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation
and Resettlement Act 2013 and Coal Mines Ordinance 2014; financial inclusion and
boost to saving through Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana; initiatives under Skill India
and initiatives under direct benefit transfer (DBT), have all have a direct bearing on
the income of the people.
In addition to these growth-oriented measures, Union Budget 2015-16 includes
measures to boost employment and income with an increased focus on-(i) irrigation,
traditional agriculture, enhanced agricultural credit, rural infrastructure and rural
employment; (ii) micro unit development refinance and credit to SC/ST enterprises;
and (iii) self-employment and talent utilization along with consolidation of skill

development initiatives.
Government has taken a number of measures to curb inflation, particularly food
inflation. Some of the major steps taken by the Government are: higher allocation of
rice under Public Distribution System (PDS) and higher allocation of wheat under
Open Market Sales Scheme (Domestic) for 2014-15; moderation in increases in the
Minimum Support Prices; advisory to the states to allow free movement of fruits and
vegetables by delisting them from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee
(APMC) Act; improving availability of essential commodities by facilitating import of
various items of mass consumption at zero or concessional import duties together
with restriction on export, prescribing stock holding limits under Essential
Commodities Act in respect of onion and potato, pulses, edible oil and edible
oilseeds and fixing of Minimum Export Price (MEP) for potatoes and onions
Ministry of Urban Development04-March, 2015 13:04 IST
Smart City Task Forces for Ajmer, Allahabad and Visakhapatnam set up
Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has set up city-wise Task
Forces for drawing up concrete Action Plans for development of Ajmer, Allahabad
and Visakhapatnam as Smart Cities. These Committees have representatives of the
Ministries of Urban Development and External Affairs, respective state governments
and cities and the United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA).
Setting up of these Task Forces is in pursuance of the decision taken at a recent
meeting between Shri Venkaiah Naidu and the US Secretary of Commerce Ms.Penny
Pritzker in New Delhi. USTDA and the three respective state governments signed
Memoranda of Understanding for cooperation in developing Ajmer, Allahabad and
Visakhapatnam as Smart Cities on January 25, 2015.
During the last visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to the USA and the
strategic and commercial dialogue with President Barack Obama, the US offered to
assist in the development of these three cities as smart cities.
Prime Minister's Office05-March, 2015 14:33 IST
PM's remarks on the occasion of dedication to the nation of Stage 1 of
Shree Singaji Thermal Power Plant at Khandwa
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today said amendment of the existing Land
Acquisition Act is essential to enable creation of rural infrastructure including roads,
houses for poor, schools, hospitals and irrigation projects. The Prime Minister made
a strong appeal to all sections of the Rajya Sabha, to support initiatives of the Union
Government that would enable fulfilment of the mandate for development given by
the people of India. He also made a passionate appeal to farmers not to be misled
by those who were trying to project the Government`s initiatives for development,
as being "anti-farmer."
Shri Narendra Modi was addressing a large gathering of farmers and people from
rural areas, on the occasion of the dedication to the nation of Stage-1 (2x600MW)
and laying of Foundation Stone of Stage-2 (2x660MW) of Shree Singaji Thermal
Power Project, at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.
The Prime Minister said the large gathering of people from rural areas, to grace the

occasion of the dedication to the nation of a power plant, even on the festival of
Holi, shows how committed people are towards the cause of development.
The Prime Minister described energy as the key to development. Describing energy
as an integral part of modern life, the Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to
deliver power to all. He said power generation has gone up by about 11 per cent in
the last 9 to 10 months, since the new Government assumed office.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of saving energy, and mentioned
the Government`s programme of LED bulbs for homes and street-lighting.
Shri Narendra Modi said the Government is committed to curbing corruption, and
gave the example of successful auctioning of coal blocks, which would also benefit
Madhya Pradesh in a big way.
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution05-March, 2015 17:29 IST
There will be no cut in the coverage of National Food Security Act Shri
Ram Vilas Paswan
Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
has said that the Government has decided not to accept the recommendation of
High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI regarding cut in the coverage of the
National Food Security Act. He clarified that beneficiary coverage at the level of 67
percent as provided by the Nations Food Security Act would continue. He said his
Ministry has submitted its views to the Prime Ministers office regarding all the
recommendations of the committee.
Addressing the media here today, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that his Ministry has
already taken several steps to improve the management of foodgrains. As a result
of timely allocations of foodgrains and efficient open market sale policy now there is
no old stocks piling up in FCI godowns. After the current month no stock more than
one year old will be in FCI godowns. The Minister said that FCI has also been
directed to ensure that movement of foodgrains from CAP storage should be made
within six months to avoid any damage.
The Minister said that the Government has allocated more budget to the ongoing
schemes of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. This will
certainly help in modernization of Public Distribution System and to augment
Consumer Protection Mechanism.
He said that end to end computerization Scheme of the Department will get major
boost as Budget allocation in the FY 2015-16 is 80 crore while according to Revised
Budget Estimates for FY 2014-15 it was Rs. 35 crores. Similarly, allocation for
Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority for 2015-16 is Rs 30 crore,
significant increase from Rs.13.81 of the Revised Estimates for 2014-15. The Budget
for Strengthening of quality control mechanism for non-building assets has also
been increased to Rs. 5 crore from Rs. 3.50 crore. Sugar Development Fund of the
Department has also got more allocation in the budget which is Rs. 500 crore while
was Rs. 396.45 crore in the Revised Estimates of 2014-15..
He said that allocation for Consumer Protection Activities and programmes have

been more than doubled. Allocation for FY 2015-16 is Rs. 43.00 crores while
allocation for the same was Rs. 17.72 crores in the Revised Budget Estimates for FY
2014-15.Bureau of India Standards, which is almost a self finance autonomous body
of the Ministry working in the area of Standardization and quality control has also
been got almost double allocation in the budget from RE of 2014-15. Total plan
Budget of the Department of Consumer Affairs has been proposed to Rs. 180.00
crores in the Budget while in the Revised Estimates of 2014-15 it was 140.00 crores.
Ministry of Defence05-March, 2015 17:44 IST
India Reaches out to Nepal to Help Clear Blocked Runway
In a fantastic display of coordination and synchronization between the Indian Air
Force (IAF), Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation
(DGCA), an Accident Recovery Kit was airlifted from Delhi to Kathmandu to remove
the Turkish Airlines airbus that blocked the runway at Kathmandu following a
landing accident.
The request for assistance was received at about 1900 hrs at Air HQs on 04 Mar 15.
The Operations Staff at Air HQ and at the Hindan based C-130J Unit swung into
action and planning continued till late in the night. In the wee hours of 05 Mar 15,
the Accident Recovery Kit had already been brought in by Air India from Mumbai to
Delhi and by 0515 hrs, the loading of the kit into the C-130J had started. Whilst the
loading was underway, the technical crew of Air India arrived from Mumbai by flight.
The customs and immigration formalities of these personnel was organized by the
Air Force authorities at Palam.
The synchronization between the various elements of the government machinery
worked to such perfection that the C-130J was airborne at 1107 hrs for Kathmandu,
with 7.5 Tone of load and 11 technical crew from Air India.
The C-130J was chosen for the mission not only because of its load carrying capacity
and range but also its capability to land on restricted surfaces. The usable runway
length at Kathmandu had been reduced to only about 5000 ft, which made it
impossible for any commercial aircraft to land.
The operation not only highlights the efficiency of the government machinery but
also the governments resolve to help friendly foreign nations in distress.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare05-March, 2015 14:58 IST
Health Ministry to celebrate International Womens Day as Safe
Motherhood Day: Shri J P Nadda
In a major initiative towards ensuring better health for women of the country, a
three-day special nationwide campaign is being launched by the Union Health and
Family Welfare Ministry from 8-10 March, 2015.
The Union health and Family Welfare Minister Shri J P Nadda stated, Under the
initiative, special health check-up camps will be held at the District Hospitals, Subdistrict Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centers (CHCs) on three days, on
8th, 9th and 10th March 2015. These will offer free of charge health check-up to all
women, including pregnant women across the country.

We are committed to better health of women of the country and this initiative will
go a long way in helping us reach this objective, the Minister said. The Ministry of
Health & Family Welfare is organising various activities to mark the International
Womens Day (8th March 2015) as its commitment to womens health, Shri Nadda
added.
The CHCs/SDHs/District Hospitals will screen and carry out necessary investigation,
as needed, of all the women who visit during the three days and treatment, if
required, shall be provided free of cost. All women aged 40-60 years will be
screened for breast cancer and between 30-60 years for cervical cancer, the
Minister said.
The Minister further stated that antenatal and postnatal care services will also be
provided and Mother and Child Protection (MCP) cards will be issued to the women.
Identified high risk pregnant women will be flagged on the MCP cards. If needed,
such cases will be referred to higher level health facilities. Family Planning services
will also be offered free of cost at the camps. The women will be counseled on birth
preparedness, danger signs during pregnancy, nutrition, institutional delivery and
Post-Partum Family Planning (PPFP), care during pregnancy and postnatal care,
breastfeeding and complementary feeding, importance of nutrition including ironfolic acid consumption and calcium supplementation, importance of institutional
delivery, identification of referral transport, entitlements under Janani Suraksha
Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK).
In New Delhi, such health check-up camps are also being organized at Dr. RML and
Safdarjung hospitals, the Health Minister informed.
In addition, one ASHA will be felicitated in each Block in the States for her
contribution to womens empowerment and community healthcare
Ministry of Human Resource Development05-March, 2015 12:23 IST
Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched Swachh Vidyalaya
Programme under Swachh Bharat Mission with an objective to provide separate
toilets for boys and girls in all government schools within one year. The Ministry
financially supports States/Union Territories inter alia to provide toilets for girls and
boys in schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik
Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). Under SSA and RMSA 88,728 toilets have been sanctioned
during 2014-15. 1.58 lakh toilets as well as dysfunctional toilets have been taken up
by Public Sector Undertakings/Corporates for construction/repairs. Besides an
amount of Rs. 56.51crore has been allocated from the Swachh Bharat Kosh for reconstruction/repairs of the dysfunctional toilets.
Ministry of Human Resource Development05-March, 2015 12:19 IST
Education to Minorities
The Government has been implementing various minority education schemes
especially for Muslims. A total of 15% of the outlay under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan

is targeted for the Minority Concentration Districts (MCD)/Areas to achieve the goal
of universalisation of elementary education, to meet infrastructure gaps for schools,
classrooms, teachers and providing access by opening new schools. Other initiatives
which also benefit minorities and Muslims include the Scheme for Providing Quality
Education in Madarsas (SPQEM), the Scheme of Infrastructure Development in
Minority Institutions (IDMI), the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme (JNV), setting
up of Girls Hostels, Model Schools under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan
(RMSA), the Mid-Day-Meal Scheme, Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS), establishment of
the Model Degree Colleges, Women Hostels and Polytechnics in the Minority
Concentration Districts. Setting up of Block Institutes of Teacher Education,
Appointment of Language Teachers, providing modern education to Madarasas
under National Institute of Open Schooling and the easing of norms for affiliation of
Minority Educational Institutions, are some of the important initiatives undertaken
by the Government.
The achievements made under the affirmative interventions under various
schemes for promotion of education of the minorities have been quite encouraging.
Trends indicate consistent increase in the enrolment of Muslim children at the
elementary level. The enrolment of Muslim children at Primary level as a percentage
of total enrolment has increased from 9.4% in 2006-07 to 14.2% in 2012-13, and at
the Upper Primary level, the enrolment has increased from 7.2% to 12.1% during
the same period. This has induced the Govt. to further intensify its continued efforts
for the promotion of education of the minorities, especially of Muslims.
The University Grants Commission is implementing the following schemes for
minority communities in Central Universities during XI and XII Plan:i)
Centre for Professional Development of Urdu Medium Teachers in three
central universities.
ii)
Establishment of Residential Coaching Academy for Minorities, SC/ST and
Women in four Central Universities and one in Deemed University.
iii)
Establishment of Satellite Campus for undergraduate, Postgraduate,
Programmes in Arabic and Persian.
iv)

Establishment of two Campuses of Aligarh Muslim University.

v)
Establishment of Model School, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), B.Ed.
Colleges, Polytechnics under the ambit of Maulana Azad National Urdu University.
vi)
Since 2009, the UGC has been implementing the scheme of Maulana Azad
National Fellowship for Minority Students which is being funded by Ministry of
Minority Affairs, Govt. of India. Under this scheme, the UGC provides financial
assistance to selected candidates belonging to minority communities for pursuing
M.Phil./Ph.D. research in University/College/Institution and Non-Institutions in the
country.

The other schemes of UGC from which Minorities can benefit are:(i)
Remedial Coaching For SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) and Minority
Community Students
(ii)
Coaching For NET/SET for SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) &Minority
Community Students
(iii)
Coaching Classes for Entry into Services for SC/ST/OBC (Non Creamy
Layer) and Minority Community Students
(iv)
Coaching Scheme for Residential Academies for Minorities/SC/ST and
Women.
Bottom of Form
In all the Scholarship/Fellowship Schemes, 30% of the physical targets are
earmarked for girl students. The annual physical targets for fresh scholarships/
fellowships are distributed State/UT-wise and Community-wise on the basis of their
minority community population as per 2001 census. These are Central Sector
Schemes with 100% Central funding.
The Department of Financial Services has provided the list of Minority
Concentration Districts to all the Scheduled/Commercial Banks who have been
asked to ensure that the minority communities receive a fair and equitable portion
of credit within the overall target of the priority sector. Pursuant to the Cabinet
decision in June, 2007, the Public Sector Banks have been advised by the
Government to step up their Minority Community Lending (MCL) to 15% of their
Priority Sector Lending (PSL). Loans to individuals for educational purposes including
vocational courses upto Rs.10.00 lakh for studies in India and Rs.20.00 lakh for
studies abroad are covered under Priority Sector lending. Thus, minority community
students are benefitted from the provisions of 15% of PSL to Minority Communities.
President's Secretariat07-March, 2015 15:17 IST
Innovation is the key to progress and prosperity, says President
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a week long Festival of
Innovations today (March 7, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan and gave away National
Biennial Awards for Grassroots Innovations. The President also interacted with a new
batch of Innovation Scholars In-Residence and Writers In-Residence.
Speaking on the occasion the President said Innovation is the key to progress and
prosperity. The process of innovation converts knowledge into social good and
economic wealth. It encourages the engagement of talent with the society to
improve the quality of life. India always has had a strong tradition of knowledge. Our
knowledge system offer tremendous scope for research involving land-to-lab
investigation and lab-to-land transfer of technology. It is important that the vast
repository of indigenous knowledge is protected, documented and preserved in
active collaboration with prominent practitioners of traditional knowledge.

The President said building viable linkages between formal and informal sectors also
call for deepening the involvement of the leaders of technological, financial and
educational sectors with the creativity of common people and young students. A
Festival of Innovation has been started at the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year. It will
help to provide a platform to bring different stakeholders together and make these
entities active partners in inclusive innovation. The innovators participating in this
programme have come from various parts of our country. I hope that an empathetic
value chain for disseminating good ideas can be built upon this initiative.
The President said India has the potential to be at the forefront of innovation. The
encouraging steps in this direction notwithstanding, our country lags behind many
others. India is ranked 76th in the Global Innovation Index 2014, much below China
which is at the 29th position. Even Russia, at the 49th place and Brazil at 61,
performed better than us.
The President called upon all the innovators present here to continue generating
ingenious solutions to overcome poverty, create employment and make the society
healthier, happier and harmonious.
Prime Minister's Office09-March, 2015 18:53 IST
PM launches first indigenously developed and manufactured vaccine
against Rotavirus
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the first indigenously
developed and manufactured Rotavirus vaccine: `Rotavac.` The indigenously
developed vaccine will boost efforts to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
Each year, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus results up to 10 lakh hospitalizations and
kills nearly 80 thousand children under the age of 5 years. Besides causing
emotional stress to the affected families, it also pushes many Indian families below
the poverty line and also imposes significant economic burden on the country.
The Prime Minister felicitated all the partners in the development of the first
indigenous rotavirus vaccine, which involved the complete cycle from basic
research to product development of this advanced vaccine in India.
The Prime Minister also lauded this initiative as an example of India`s capabilities
for high-end research and development; manufacture of sophisticated
pharmaceutical products in India; and, effective Public-Private-Partnership model for
finding affordable solutions to societal challenges.
The Prime Minister remarked that India is characterised by large size and diversity;
and, continues to face a number of socio-economic challenges. He hoped that the
development of the rotavirus vaccine would inspire higher levels of research,
development and manufacturing activities in India, not just in medical science, but
also in other advanced areas of science and technology. Prime Minister felt that
solutions found in India would have great relevance to the rest of the world,
especially the developing world.
He also highlighted the vaccine as a successful example of collaboration between

India and the United States in the area of medical research, for the benefit of
ordinary citizens.
The vaccine has been developed under an innovative public-private partnership
model. It involved partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology, the
institutions of the US Government, various government institutions and NGOs in
India, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Funding by Government of India supported basic research in educational and
scientific institutions in India. This was also supplemented by the support of U.S.
Government institutions like the National Institute of Health. The Gates Foundation
and Bharat Biotech India Limited contributed towards product development and
testing. The successful launch of the first indigenously developed and produced
vaccine today was the result of an extraordinary effort spread over the last 25
years.
The Bharat Biotech India Limited that was involved in the development and
production of the vaccine was selected in 1997-1998 by the India-U.S. Vaccine
Action Programme and the standard government procedures. The company has
been given undertaken to keep the cost of the vaccine at US$ 1 per dose. This is the
third such vaccine available globally against Rotavirus and, at the current prices,
the cheapest.
Ministry of Culture09-March, 2015 14:47 IST
Government to establish cross cultural linkages with 39 Indian Ocean
Countries under Project Mausam
The Government has proposed to establish cross cultural linkages and to revive
historic maritime cultural and economic ties under Project Mausam with 39 Indian
Ocean countries. The 39 countries include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China,
Egypt, Iraq, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand , Yemen, South Africa, Philippines,
Pakistan among others.
Project Mausam was launched in the 30th Session of World Heritage Committee
meeting which was held at Doha, Quatar in June, 2014 and since then it has
received positive response from countries such as China, UAE, Qatar, Myanmar, Iran
and Vietnam. Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with State Govt.of
Kerala organized a National Conference on Project Mausam in Kochi in November
2014.Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art (IGNCA) has constituted an Academic
Committee and a temporary research unit in this regard.
The Government has formulated action plan for achieving a World Heritage
transnational nomination for Indian Ocean Maritime Routes. The Plan envisages
joint initiative of India and various member states for implementation of UNESCO
Cultural Conventions of World Heritage and Intangible culture. It further promotes
joint research and selection of appropriate sites to prepare application of transnational nomination of Maritime Routes & Coastal Cultural Landscape sites. The
Standing Financial Committee (SFC) memorandum is under consideration.
Ministry of Culture09-March, 2015 14:46 IST
Conservation and promotion of Culture through National Culture Fund

A large number of projects, both in the form of tangible projects like restoration,
conservation of old ASI monuments , provision of Tourist Amenities at the historical
sites; and intangible projects like capacity building of artisans, training programmes,
books publications , cultural events , etc. have been undertaken through the
National Culture Fund (NCF) of Ministry of Culture.
The contributions to NCF are made by the corporate houses to undertake
development of Tangible & Intangible heritage on a project mode basis.
NCF already has such partnerships with some Corporates like NTPC, ONGC,SAIL ,
HUDCO , REC , Apeejay Group etc. who have provided funds for such heritage
projects.
The National Culture Fund was established by the Government of India (Ministry of
Culture) as trust under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890 vide notification
published in the Gazette of India dated 28th November 1996.
NCFs primary mandate is to establish & nurture Public Private Partnerships in the
field of heritage and mobilize resources for the restoration, conservation, protection
and development of Indias rich , natural , tangible and intangible heritage
The proposals received under NCF from the state of Kerala include Restoration and
conservation of Synagogue Clock Tower, Cochin, Conservation of Sivanarayana
Temple , Angamalli and conservation of Koothattukulam Mahadev Temple among
others.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare09-March, 2015 15:35 IST
Involve public representatives in communicating best practices and
features of schemes to people: Shri J P Nadda
While there is substantial amount of good work being carried out in various
institutions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there is need to
communicate this to the people. The peoples representatives can be involved to
carry the message of schemes of the government, the best practices evolved and
the work undertaken by the different institutions. Health & Family Welfare Minister
Shri J P Nadda stated this at the 38th Annual Day celebration of the National
Institute of Health & Family Welfare, here today.
Speaking at the occasion, the Health Minister said that the peoples representatives
not only represent the people but also interact closely with them on a regular basis.
They are among the best medium to spread the message of the schemes and
benefits that people can avail of under different schemes of the government. He
added that in keeping with this philosophy, he is soon meeting various MPs to seek
their suggestions and views on the implementation of Mission Indradhanush which
the Health Ministry will shortly launch. The Mission Indradhanush aims to cover all
those children who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against
seven vaccine preventable diseases which include diphtheria, whooping cough,
tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B. He informed that a Mission
Mode has been adopted to achieve target of full immunisation coverage by 2020.
Pointing out that health is a subject which is significantly influenced by various

socio-economic determinants, Shri Nadda urged the faculty and staff at the Institute
to think in a holistic manner while conducting research, and evaluation or
monitoring of schemes. Convergence of knowledge from diverse sectors will make
the research and monitoring outcomes rounded and more realistic, he stated. While
one can always learn from best practises around the world, the Health Minister
encouraged the faculty and staff at the NIHFW to contribute to the emerging best
practises in the health sector. He urged them to be attentive to the quality of
research, training and other services that provide to the various healthcare
providers across the country.
The Health Minister also inaugurated the National Cold Chain and Vaccine
Management Resource Centre (NCCVMRC) and a Skill Lab at the Institute. The
NCCVMRC will function as the nodal institution for supporting, facilitating and
coordinating the cold chain and vaccine management functions of the Immunization
Division of the Health Ministry. Whereas, the Skill Lab will provide training to
improve the skills of healthcare providers and to enhance their capacity to provide
quality RMNCH+A health services.
Ministry of Human Resource Development09-March, 2015 18:01 IST
Toilets in Government Schools

Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme annual maintenance grant


@ Rs. 5000/- per school per year for schools with three classrooms and Rs.
10000/- per school per year with schools more than three classrooms, for
the maintenance of school infrastructure including toilets, is provided. In
addition to this school grant is also provided @ Rs. 5000/- per primary
school per year and @ Rs. 7000/- per upper primary school per year.
Similarly, under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)
programme school grant @ Rs. 50,000/- is provided in secondary schools.
In pursuance to the national call to provide functional toilets for girls and
boys in the schools, the Public Sector Undertakings / Private corporate
have committed re-construction of 69083 dysfunctional toilets. Rs.
56.51crore has been allocated from the Swachh Bharat Kosh for reconstruction / repairs of 5245 dysfunctional toilets till February 28th, 2015
Ministry of Human Resource Development09-March, 2015 18:03 IST
Budget for Girls Education
The Gender Budget of the Ministry of Human Resource Development provided for a
total budget of Rs. 19985.47 crore for the year 2014-15 (RE) for girls education.
The Centrally sponsored scheme, National Scheme of Incentive to Girls for
Secondary Education provides Rs. 3,000/- which is deposited in the name of
eligible unmarried girls below 16 years as fixed deposit, who are entitled to
withdraw it along with interest thereon on reaching 18 years of age and after
passing class X. The scheme covers (i) all girls belonging to SC/ST communities,
who pass class VIII and (ii) all girls who pass class VIII from Kasturba Gandhi Balika
Vidyalayas (KGBVs) and enrol in class IX in Government, Government-aided and
local body schools.
Ministry of Human Resource Development09-March, 2015 16:04 IST

Digital Gender Atlas for Girls Education in India Launched

The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education


and Literacy, presented the Digital Gender Atlas for Advancing Girls Education in
India to the media in New Delhi today. The Secretary, School Education and Literacy,
Ms. Vrinda Sarup was also present on the occasion. The tool, which has been
developed with the support of UNICEF, will help identify low performing geographic
pockets for girls, particularly from marginalised groups such as scheduled castes,
schedule tribes and Muslim minorities, on specific gender related education
indicators.
The Atlas is placed on the MHRD website and available and ready to use by
States/Districts/Blocks education administrators or any other interested group. In
order to plan and execute educational interventions, the purpose of the Gender
Atlas is to help identify and ensure equitable education with a focus on vulnerable
girls, including girls with disabilities. To ensure this is feasible, the Gender Atlas has
been developed as a hands-on management tool to enable critical decisions and
actions in pockets where gaps are to be met.
The Atlas provides comparative analysis of individual gender related indicators over
three years and that enables a visual assessment of the change and an
understanding of whether some intervention introduced in a geography at a
particular point in time has worked or not. It is constructed on an open source
platform with an inbuilt scope of updating data by authorized persons to retain its
dynamic character.
Using available Government data such as the Unified District Information System for
Education (U-DISE) data (2011-2014), Census 2011 data and District Level Health
Survey (DLHS) 2007-08, the Gender Atlas enables the user to navigate between
geographical representation and numeric data at state, district and block levels and
gives information on key indicators for girls education at primary, upper primary
and secondary level. No primary data has been generated for the development of
the atlas.
India has achieved high enrolment rates for girls at primary and upper primary
levels of schooling. However, at the secondary level girls enrolment remains lower.
While in upper primary the representation of girls in the total enrolment is 48.66%,
the percentage in secondary is 47.29%. Girls comprise half the population of school
age children, and therefore, it is important to understand the multiple vulnerabilities
they face in different areas in order to plan and prioritise inclusive interventions.
Also present on the occasion were Additional Secretary (School Education and
Literacy), and other senior officers and dignitaries from the Ministry of HRD as well
as the UNICEF. The Media persons from various newspapers organisations also
attended the event.
Components of the Digital Gender Atlas

1.
The main components of the Gender Atlas are : (i) Composite Gender Ranking
(ii) Trend Analysis of Gender Indicators (iii) Vulnerabilities based on educational
indicators in districts with substantial tribal, schedule caste, minority population in
educationally backward blocks and in left wing extremist districts, and the low sex
ratio districts seleced uner Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
2.
Composite Gender Ranking: Selected gender related indicators have been
identified for primary, upper primary and secondary education. A composite gender
index has been developed using the formulae that are used for calculating the EDI
in DISE. But for gender elated indicators. Accordingly, the selected gender
indicators have been grouped into four Access, Infrastructure, Teachers and
Outcomes. The Atlas provides an aggregated picture of performance through a
comparative visualization of composite gender index based quartile ranking of
gender related indicators at National, State, District and Block levels.
3.
Trend Analysis for Gender Related Indicators: The Atlas enables a trend
analysis and tracking of performance of individual gender related indicators (that
have been used for the composite gender ranking) across a period of three years
4.
Spatial Display of Pockets with Multiple Disadvantages Related to
Education: Spatial identification of pockets in states or blocks in districts where
juxtaposition of key relevant gender indicators reveal maximum disadvantages, viz.,
education development
5.
Vulnerabilities: This component of the Atlas visualizes the vulnerability
status of an area based on a composite index of three broad indicators (i) rural
female literacy from Census 2011 (ii) percentage girls/boys married below the
legal age of marriage DLHS and (iii) working children (bifurcated by gender and
age groups of 5-14 years and 15-19 years Census of India 2011. These maps are
available up to the district level.
6.
Children with Disabilities: This part of the Atlas visualizes the performance
status of a single indicators related to children with disabilities, particularly girls,
based on quartile ranking across three years i.e. 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The performance status of an individual indicator can be visualized at state and
district level.
Ministry of Law & Justice 09-March, 2015 20:29 IST
Disposal of Commerical Disputes
The Government has accorded high priority for improving the ease of doing
Business in India to facilitate the Make in India campaign. Enforcing contracts is
one of the areas which affects Indias ranking on ease of doing business index. The
ranking on the enforcing contracts indicator is based on the assessment of the
procedures, time and cost involved in resolving a commercial dispute.
The Law Commission of India has recently submitted its Two Hundred and Fifty Third
Report titled Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High
Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015. The Report, inter-alia, defines commercial
disputes and recommends the establishment of commercial Courts and Commercial

Division and Commercial Appellate Division in the High Courts in order to ensure
speedy disposal of high value commercial suits. At present commercial disputes fall
within the broader category of civil cases. No separate data on commercial disputes
is maintained centrally.
The Government has adopted a co-ordinated approach for phased liquidation of
arrears and pendency in judicial administration by providing support for better court
infrastructure including computerisation, encouraging increase in the strength of
subordinate judiciary, promoting dispute resolution through alternative mechanisms
and initiating policy and legislative measures in the areas prone to excessive
litigation.
Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises09-March, 2015 15:33 IST
Promotion of Coir Industry
Coir Sector is developing in all coconut growing States, through the process of
mechanization and modernization. Coir industry is getting better remuneration as
there is zero wastage and all its by products are also used for value addition. The
minimum wages are ensured in coir industry as per concerned state governments
norms. Coir board is implementing Coir Udyami Yojana with 40% subsidy, 5%
beneficiary contribution and 55% composite loan with working capital of 25% of
project cost upto Rs.10 lakh. This Scheme helps the traditional industry to gear up
towards mechanization by adopting all new technologies developed by State
Governments and Central Research Institute. This will enhance the productivity and
also result in better remuneration to the artisans.
Coir Board is also implementing various programme in all the coconut growing
States in order to ensure the better productivity through mechanization and to
improve quality to get better price for Coir products. These include:
a)

Science & Technology

b)

Skill Upgradation and Quality Improvement & Mahila Coir Yojana

c)

Development of Production Infrastructure (DPI)

d)

Domestic Market Promotion (DMP)

e)

Export Market Promotion (EMP)

f)

Welfare Measure (Insurance to Coir Workers)

g)

Trade and Industry Related Functional Support Services (TIRFSS)

h)

Coir SFURTI Clusters

Coir workers are getting fair rates for their products which is fixed from time to time
taking into account fluctuations in the market rate of raw material, wages
enhancement etc. Coir Board has introduced a Human Resource Development

Programme for the enhancement of entrepreneurship which include different areas


such as quality management, salesmanship, marketing networks, consortium
approach etc. A Group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme for Coir workers is being
implemented by the Coir Board for the welfare of the Coir Workers.
Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises09-March, 2015 15:32 IST
Indian Entrepreneurs Delegation

The Ministry of MSME is implementing the International Cooperation (IC) Scheme,


which is an ongoing Plan Scheme, under which financial assistance is provided on
reimbursement basis to the State/Central Government organizations,
industries/enterprise associations and registered societies/trusts and organizations
associated with MSME for deputation of MSME business delegations to other
countries for exploring new areas of technology infusion/upgradation, facilitating
joint ventures, improving market of MSMEs products, foreign collaborations etc.
During the year 2013-14, 56 delegations consisting of 700 entrepreneurs were
supported with financial assistance of Rs.4.44 crore under International Cooperation
Scheme. The countries which the delegations have visited include Italy, South
Africa, China, USA, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Japan etc.
Marketing Assistance Scheme is also an ongoing Plan Scheme of the Ministry which
is being implemented by National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC), a Public
Sector Enterprise of the Ministry. NSIC acts as a facilitator to promote marketing
efforts and enhance the competency of the small enterprises for capturing the new
market opportunities by way of organizing/participating in various domestic and
international exhibitions/trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, intensive
campaigns/seminars and consortia formation.
Under International Cooperation Scheme, the beneficiaries are free to choose an
international event of their choice for participation, whereas under Marketing
Assistance Scheme the events of importance are identified by NSIC in advance and
interested MSMEs could apply for participation. Moreover the focus of International
Cooperation Scheme is on international events whereas Marketing Assistance
Scheme focuses on domestic events.
NSIC has signed a MoU with Black Business Council (BBC) of South Africa on 19th
January, 2015 for Cooperation in the development of Micro & Small Enterprises
(MSEs) in South Africa. Black Business Council in South Africa implements programs
that assist businesses owned by marginalized groups which also comprise of women
and youth. The main areas of cooperation between the two organizations covers
conducting feasibility studies; developing policy & institutional framework;
exchange of business missions to enhance enterprise to enterprise cooperation,
initiate business alliance between enterprises of the two countries; exchange of
information on products, services fairs & exhibitions and conducting virtual
exhibitions on each others web portals; facilitate technology transfers to South
Africa; and consultancy to BBC, South Africa for the development of Rapid
Incubation Centres, which aims at developing unemployed youth for selfemployment.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy 09-March, 2015 15:08 IST


Subsidy on Rooftop Solar Power Plants
The Ministry has proposed to reduce the subsidy on rooftop solar power plants to
15% from the present level of 30% due to decline in price of solar panels, large
target set for rooftop solar power plant and limited availability of funds for subsidy.
This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and
Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in a written reply to a question in the
Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister further stated that several steps are being taken by the
Government which are as follows:
(i) The Ministry is implementing a Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power
Plants Programme that encourages the installation of solar rooftop systems across
the country.
(ii) There are provisions of concessional import duty/excise duty exemption,
accelerated depreciation and tax holiday for setting up of grid connected rooftop
power plants.
(iii) Department of Financial services has instructed to all Public Sector Banks to
encourage home loan/ home improvement loan seekers to install rooftop solar PV
plants and include cost of system in their home loan proposals.
(iv) With constant effort of the Ministry, State Electricity Regulatory Commissions
of seventeen States have notified regulatory framework on net-metering/feed-intariff to encourage rooftop solar plants.
(v)
Public awareness is being created through electronic & print media,
workshops, seminars and capacity building programmes.
(vi)
Subsidy is being provided to make the scheme more attractive and online
submission of proposals is being encouraged.
(vii)
Implementation is being done through State Nodal Agencies, Multi
Government Agencies, Solar Energy Corporation of India, Distribution Companies
etc. to ensure better reach across the country.

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs09-March, 2015 19:17 IST


Government willing to consider safeguards to ensure minimum land acquisition, says Shri
Venkaiah Naidu
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu today said that the
Government is willing to consider some further amendments to ensure minimum
land acquisition based on the views and suggestion of the opposition parties. He
said so while intervening in the debate on the proposed Right to Fair Remumeration
and Transparency in Rehabilitation and Resttlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the

Lok Sabha today.


Shri Naidu observed that the Government could consider deleting social
infrastructure projects from the exempted categories, states coming out with land
banks of vacant lands for acquistion for developoment projects, hassle free
mechansim for redressal of grievances of land losers, mandatory employment for
losers of livelihoods on account of land acquisition etc. He said that the Minister of
Rural Development Shri Birendra Chowdhary, who is a farmer himself, would come
forward with official amendments in this regard.
During his 40 minute intervention, Shri Naidu asserted that the Governments
decision to issue an Ordinance on land acquisition was not an unilateral one but was
based on the suggestions and views of all the states, reflecting their collective
yearning for an enabling legislation that will not stifle developoment. He referred
extensively to the views and suggestions made by the states at a Conference
organised by the Government in June, 2014 and letters written by former
Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Prithivraj Chavan and former union Commerce
Minister Shri Anand Sharma, expressing serious reservations about the adverse
consequences of the Land Acquisition Act of 2013.
Shri Venkaiah Naidu said that without compromising on the remuneration of four
times the market value to be paid to land owners against acquisition of their land,
the Governmnet has proposed some amendments to the Land Act of 2013 to
facilitate development by adding only five more categories like defence and
national security, infrastructure includng rural infrastructure, housing for the poor
and affordable housing, industrial corridors including PPP projects where the land
ownership will be with the government to be exempted from the provisions of the
Act of 2013. He further said that 13 more categories have been brought under the
purview of the new Bill which would immensely benefit the farmers.
Appealing for a practical approach, Shri Venkaiah Naidu noted that experience has
shown that it would be next impossible to complete infrastructure projects like
laying of new railway lines in five years and hence, an amendment has been
proposed in this regard.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister stated that the amendments have been proposed
keeping in view the interests of rural people and farmers and infrastructure
development will significantly enhane the land value benefitting farmers. Giving an
example, Shri Naidu said that his family had sold an acre of land for just Rs.800
when he was a child and later for Rs.8,000 when he became an MLA in the 70s and
the land in his native village adjoining the highway is costing Rs.80 lakh per acre.
Denouncing the disinformation campaign that the Government is pro-corporate, Shri
Venkaiah Naidu asserted that the Government led by Shri Narendra Modi is for the
poor people, farmers, youth, women and the weaker sections and will not do
anything against their interests.
Stating that the central government is deeply committed to protecting the interests
of the farmers who have been at the receiving end all along being unorganised, Shri
Naidu urged all parties not to politicise the issue of land acquisition.

Reacting to the suggestion of Shri Mallikharjuna Kharge of the Congress to refer the
Bill to the Standing Committee, Shri Naidu said that so much time is not available
since the Land Ordinance lapses by April 5, 2015 and the same is to be replaced by
an Act of Parliament by March 20 when the Parliament will be adjourned for a
month.

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas09-March, 2015 17:35 IST


National Gas Pipeline Authority
TheMinisterofState(I/C)forPetroleum&NaturalGasShriDharmendraPradhaninformedthe
LokSabhainawrittenreplytodaythatthe details of existing natural gas pipelines along with
their capacity to transport the gas is enclosed as Annexure-I.
Inordertocompletethegasgridacrossthecountry,about11,900kmofpipelineshave
alreadybeenauthorizedbyPetroleum&NaturalGasRegulatoryBoard(PNGRB)/Government
ofIndiaand1200kmofpipelineisunderbiddingprocessbyPNGRB.Forcompletionofgas
grid,2500kmofpipelineshavebeenidentifiedfordevelopmentthroughPPPmode.
Presently, there is no proposal with PNGRB for setting up a National Gas Pipeline
Authority.
ThedetailsoftheBhatindaJammuSrinagarandJagdishpurHaldiapipelineprojectsalong
withthecurrentstatusisenclosedatAnnexureII.
Theonusforarrangingoffundsforlayingofnaturalgaspipelinesvestswiththeentity
authorizedbyPNGRB/Government.
ForworkingouttheimplementationoftheBudgetannouncement,Ministryhasidentified
variouspipelinesandspurlinepipelinesectionstobedevelopedtocompletetheNationalGas
Grid.Further,Ministryhasidentified3pipelinesectionsofthetotallengthofabout2500kmfor
implementationthroughPPPmodewithViabilityGapFunding(VGF).Ministryhasapproveda
pipelinesection(RanchiTalcherParadip)forimplementationthroughPPPmodeaspilotproject
andtheremaining2pipelinesectionsviz.,BarauniGuwahatiAgartalaandHaldia
Paradip/SrikakulamwouldbeconsideredthroughPPPmodewithVGFaftersuccessful
completionofthepilotproject.
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas09-March, 2015 17:34 IST
Green Fuel Projects
The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan informed the
Lok Sabha in a written reply today that presently, Govt. is broadly following the undermentioned order of priority in allocation of domestic gas:
(i)ExistingGasbasedUreaplants.

(ii)ExistingGasbasedLPGplants.
(iii)Existinggridconnectedandgasbasedpowerplants.
(iv)CityGasDistribution(CGD)networkfordomesticandtransportsectors
(v)Othersectorsincludingsteel,refineries,petrochemicals,CGDforindustrialand
commercialcustomersetc.
However, in order to comply with the orders of Honble Supreme Court in the case of
M.C. Mehta Vs UOI & Ors. in WP 13029/1985, April, 2002 directing to accord highest priority
to transport sector in allocation of natural gas, it has been decided to meet the entire requirement
of CGD entities for CNG (transport) and PNG (domestic) segments through domestic gas.
PNGRB has envisaged a phased roll out plan for development of CGD networks in several
Geographical Areas (GAs) in various States depending on the natural gas pipeline
connectivity/natural gas availability. The GAs are included in bidding rounds in a phased manner
taking into account the natural gas pipeline connectivity/natural gas availability and feasibility
for grant of authorization to develop CGD networks. PNGRB has been considering entire
districts, which includes small towns/less populated villages, as GAs for development of CGD
network.
Ministry of Railways09-March, 2015 15:07 IST
Railways Takes Measures to Enhance Safety & Security of Passengers
The measures taken by the Railways to improve safety and security of passengers are as under:1.
Onvulnerableandidentifiedroutes/sections,1300trains(onanaverage)are
escortedbyRailwayProtectionForcedaily,inadditionto2200trainsescortedbyGovernment
RailwayPoliceofdifferentStatesdaily.
2.
An Integrated Security System consisting of electronic surveillance of vulnerable
stations through Close Circuit Television Camera Network, access control, Anti-sabotage
checks has been finalized to strengthen surveillance mechanism over 202 sensitive Railway
stations.
3.
Security Helpline Number 182 has been operational at all zonal railways to
enable all rail passengers including ladies in distress to seek security related assistance round
the clock.
4.
To empower the RPF to create a more effective security mechanism over Indian
Railways, a proposal for amendment in the RPF Act has been moved by the Ministry of
Railways with the approval of the Ministries of Law and Justice and Home Affairs.

5.
RPF holds regular coordination meetings with State Police at all levels to ensure
proper registration and investigation of crime by Government Railway Police (GRP).
Policing on Railways is a State Subject and prevention of crime, registration of cases and their
investigation in Railway premises as well as on running trains including creation of secure
environment for women passengers are, therefore, the statutory responsibility of the State
Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP) of the States
concerned. However, Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of Government
Railway Police by deploying its staff for escorting of important trains in affected areas and
access control duties at important and sensitive stations.
Ministry of Railways09-March, 2015 15:05 IST
Government Encourages Private/Foreign Direct Investment in Railway Sector
The Ministry of Railways has issued Sectoral guidelines for Domestic/Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) in November, 2014. The following areas have been identified for
Private/Foreign Direct Investment: (i) Suburban corridors through Public Private
Partnership (PPP); (ii) High speed train projects; (iii) Dedicated freight lines; (iv)
Rolling stock including trains sets and locomotive/coaches manufacturing and
maintenance facilities; (v) Railway electrification; (vi) Signaling system; (vii) Freight
terminals; (viii) Passenger terminals; (ix) Testing facilities and laboratories; (x) NonConventional Sources of Energy; (xi) Railway Technical Training Institutes; (xii)
Concessioning of standalone passenger corridors (branch lines, hill railways etc.);
(xiii) Mechanized Laundry; (xiv) Rolling stock procurement; (xv) Bio-toilets; (xvi)
Technological solutions for manned and unmanned level crossings; (xvii)
Technological solutions to improve Safety and reduce accidents.
Modernisation of existing assets and improvement in passenger amenities is an
important and ongoing process on Indian Railways. The areas include track and
bridges, mechanized maintenance of track, automatic signalling, higher capacity
wagons, electrification, new generation diesel and electric locomotives, green toilets
on passenger trains, modernization of stations and terminals, quality of bed linen,
provision of 24X7 helpline, ticketing, catering services, entertainment facilities onboard, enhancement of train capacity, Wi-Fi facility at stations etc.
Also a Participative Policy for rail connectivity and capacity augmentation was
issued on 10.12.2012 which provides five models for building rail connectivity.
No specific investment proposal has been received since the opening of FDI in Rail
Transport. However, approximately ` 10,000 crore private investment have been
committed for 19 projects under different participative models.
An Investors Meet was organised on 5th December, 2014 and discussions with
potential investors have been held to attract private investments.

Ministry of Railways09-March, 2015 14:56 IST


Construction of High Speed Dedicated Freight Corridors on Railways

The Ministry of Railways has sanctioned implementation of Eastern Dedicated


Freight Corridor (EDFC) and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) with freight
train speeds of maximum 100 Kmph.
Alignment for both WDFC & EDFC has been finalized. WDFC starts from Jawaharlal
Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai and passes through the States of Maharashtra,
Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and terminate at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh. The total
length of the Western DFC is about 1500 Kms.
The Eastern Freight Corridor, starts from Sahnewal near Ludhiana in Punjab and
passes through the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and
terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal, total length being 1856 Kms.
As regards land acquisition, award of 20 F (Compensation Award) under Railway
Amendment Act 2008, for 80% of land has been completed. Civil Contracts of about
1100 km and System Contract of 945 km have been finalized. Civil works are
progressing in Khurja-Kanpur, Mughalsarai-Sonnagar Section of EDFC and in RewariPalanpur Section of WDFC.
Excluding Sonnagar Dankuni Section of EDFC, WDFC and EDFC is targeted to be
completed in December 2019. Project implementation schedule, timelines have
been drawn up and are being monitored on regular basis.
Apart from EDFC & WDFC, Preliminary Engineering Cum Traffic Surveys (PETS) have
been taken up for the following DFCs: East-West Corridor (Kolkata-Mumbai) - It will traverse through the States of West
Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
North-South Corridor (Delhi-Chennai): - It will traverse through the States of
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu.
East Coast Corridor (Kharagpur-Vijaywada): - It will traverse through the States of
West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Southern Corridor (Chennai-Goa): - It will traverse through the States of Tamil
Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa.

Ministry of Shipping09-March, 2015 17:32 IST


Government Takes Steps to meet the Target for Each Port
The steps taken by the Government to fulfil the shortfall regarding target set for
each port within the remaining period of Twelfth Five Year Plan:(i) Enhanced delegation of financial powers to Shipping Ministry to accord
investment approval for PPP projects.
(ii) Upto 100% FDI under the automatic route is allowed for port development
projects.

(iii) Income tax incentives are allowed as per Income Tax Act, 1961.
(iv) Bidding documents like RFQ, RFP and Concession Agreement have been
standardized.
(v) Streamlining of security clearance procedures.
(vi) Close monitoring of developmental projects in the Major Ports.

Ministry of Tourism09-March, 2015 15:00 IST


News schemes PRASAD and SWADESH DARSHAN launched by the government to
promote Tourism

In pursuance of the budget announcement 2014-15, the Ministry of Tourism has launched
two new plan schemes (i) National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual
Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) and (ii) SWADESH DARSHAN. Both the schemes are
to be implemented in mission mode. Developing world-class infrastructure in the respective
destinations/circuits is one of the mission objectives of the schemes.
Under PRASAD, initially, twelve cities namely Amritsar, Ajmer, Amaravati, Dwaraka,
Gaya, Kanchipuram, Kedarnath, Kamakhya, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi and Vellankani
have been identified for development.
Ministry of Water Resources09-March, 2015 16:48 IST
Cleaning of Ganga

National Ganga River Basin Authority has resolved that by the year 2020 no
untreated municipal sewage or industrial effluent will be discharged into River Ganga.
Pollution abatement and cleaning of river Ganga is an ongoing and collaborative
effort of the Central and State Governments. Namami Gange, an Integrated Ganga
Conservation Mission has been set up under NGRBA for rejuvenation of river Ganga and
its tributaries. Incorporating the existing projects under the NGRBA, the Ganga
rejuvenation plan provides for Short-term (3 years), Medium-term (5 years) and Longterm (10 years and more) action plan. The Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry
of Drinking Water and Sanitation have also drawn action plans under Swachh Bharat
Mission (Urban and Rural) to address the sanitation issues, which will minimise the
domestic/ municipal pollution load in the rivers of the country.
The Honble Supreme Court of India has made certain observations in some of the
recent
orders during the year 2014 and 2015 on:
1. Stage-wise developments for cleaning the river Ganga.
2. Status of Ganga River Basin Management Plan prepared with the help of
Consortium of
seven IITs.

3. Follow up action taken in relation to Bhagirathi ecological sensitive zone


notification.
4. Industrial pollution abatement.
Status on these have been submitted by the Government to the Honble Supreme Court.
President's Secretariat10-March, 2015 20:07 IST
Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the inauguration of the
commemorative exhibition on the theme India and World War- I at the Manekshaw
Centre
1. It gives me immense pleasure to be here this evening at the Manekshaw Centre
for inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition on the theme, India and World War
I. At the outset, let me compliment the Indian Armed Forces for organizing this
exhibition to walk down the memory lane to recognize and celebrate the bravery of
the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the First War.
2. The centenary of the First World War is an important landmark in world history.
This occasion reminds the world community of the immense loss of life and material
that the world had to endure in pursuit of global peace and stability. In this effort the
Indian soldiers played an important role in the various theatres of the War. The
Indian contribution of a volunteer army to the war effort was large in comparison to
many other contributing nations.
3. During the War, Indian soldiers were in active service on virtually every war front.
They carved a niche for themselves by their outstanding loyalty, courage and
selfless service and played a significant role in influencing the outcome of the War.
The Allied Forces were also in a position to sign an armistice because of the support
of the Indian soldiers.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
4. A hundred years ago, the world was different. Even though our country was under
colonial rule, Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their
bravery and valour. The gallantry of the Sikhs and Gurkhas in the battlefields of
Gallipoli is well-known. So is the bravery of the Garhwali, Dogra, Punjabi and
Maratha Soldiers, who fought in the battlefields of Flanders and Somme. These
soldiers not only won the pickets and trenches but also the hearts of the local
population. The humble upbringing of these soldiers in their villages, the teachings
of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, infused in the Indian soldiers conscience a
strong set of values the value of being just in their dealings with those whom
they have vanquished and of resolute stance against the adversary when under
siege. These values made them a formidable fighting force.
5. There are numerous battles of this War which highlight the perseverance of the
Indian soldiers where along with the British battalions they stoically withstood the
fierce attacks of their adversaries. It was for the fine soldierly attributes that by the
end of the Great War, the Indian soldiers were decorated with 11 Victoria Crosses, 5
Military Crosses and numerous other awards.
6. To my mind, these men made their sacrifices with a sense of pride and
righteousness. This needs to be recognized and celebrated. Today, we pay our

respects and honour these men.


Ladies and Gentlemen:
7. A hundred years ago, the youth of many a nation was wasted on account of
human greed and misguided notions. Today, conflicts arising out of pernicious
designs of some terror outfits are claiming thousands of valuable lives in many parts
of the world. The rise of non-state actors and lethal terrorist entities is a threat to
our nation.
8. The Armed Forces of our nation are capable of meeting all challenges and threats
to our national integrity and contribute to world peace and security. We have
developed an effective deterrence and stand ready to defend our territorial integrity.
The professionalism which our armed forces display today is a continuation of what
was so bravely exhibited by the Indian soldiers in the First World War.
9. It is to acknowledge the role played by the Indian soldiers during this historic War,
that this Commemorative Event has been organized. It will remind us all once again
about the sacrifices made by our valiant soldiers and the role they played for peace
and security in the world. I once again compliment the Indian Armed Forces for
organizing this memorable event. I wish all of you the very best for the future.

President's Secretariat10-March, 2015 19:59 IST


Indian soldiers etched their name in world history through their bravery and valour, says
the President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a Commemorative Exhibition on the
theme India and World War-I in New Delhi today (10 March, 2015). He also released First
Day Cover on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion the President said, Indian soldiers etched their name in world
history through their bravery and valour. They carved a niche for themselves by their
outstanding loyalty, courage and selfless service and played a significant role in influencing the
outcome of the World War I. Allied Forces were in a position to sign an armistice because of the
support of the Indian soldiers.
The President said, Indian soldiers not only won the pickets and trenches but also the hearts of
the local population. The humble upbringing of these soldiers in their villages, the teachings of
the Ramayana and Mahabharata, infused in the Indian soldiers conscience a strong set of values
the value of being just in their dealings with those whom they have vanquished and of
resolute stance against the adversary when under siege. These values made them a formidable
fighting force.
The President said numerous battles of World War I highlight the perseverance of the Indian
soldiers where along with British battalions, they stoically withstood the fierce attacks of their
adversaries. Indian soldiers were decorated with 11 Victoria Crosses, 5 Military Crosses and
numerous other awards for their fine soldierly attributes.

The President said, the centenary of the First World War is an important landmark in world
history. This occasion reminds the world community of the immense loss of life and material
that the world had to endure in pursuit of global peace and stability. Indian soldiers played an
important role in the various theatres of the War. Our men made sacrifices with a sense of pride
and righteousness which needs to be recognized and celebrated. The professionalism which our
armed forces display today is a continuation of what was so bravely exhibited by the Indian
soldiers in the First World War.
The President said, a hundred years ago, the youth of many a nation was wasted on account of
human greed and misguided notions. Today, conflicts arising out of pernicious designs of some
terror outfits are claiming thousands of valuable lives in many parts of the world. But the armed
forces of our nation are capable of meeting all challenges and threats to our national integrity
and contribute to world peace and security.
AYUSH10-March, 2015 14:31 IST
Scientific Validation of Unani Medicines
Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), an autonomous
organization under Ministry of AYUSH is engaged in the Scientific validation of Unani
Pharmacopoeial formulations in various diseases, since 2012. So far validation
studies on 20 Pharmacopoeial formulations in 10 disease conditions have been
completed and in another 41 formulations, in 27 disease conditions is in progress.
The Government has taken following steps to increase the volume of research in
Unani system of medicines and develop safe and cost effective treatment for
various deadly diseases:
(i) time bound research projects have been allotted under the Intramural Research
policy.
(ii) greater emphasis has been laid on undertaking collaborative research studies
with reputed scientific organizations and allopathic hospital like AIIMS, New Delhi.
(iii) randomized Control Trials in different non-communicable diseases such as
Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Vitiligo have been carried out at different institutes
under CCRUM.
(iv) research projects on Unani medicine have also been awarded under the EMR
scheme of Ministry of AYUSH to different scientific institutions/colleges/Universities.
(v) the institutes under CCRUM have also been suitably strengthened by providing
better infrastructure.

Ministry of Agriculture10-March, 2015 12:41 IST


Drought Management Policy
There is a Crop Weather Watch Group (CWWG) representing concerned Central
Ministries/Departments under Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) which
meets on regular basis to take stock of rainfall, weather forecast, progress of
sowing, crop health, level of water in the major water reservoirs in the country, etc.
The meeting of CWWG is coordinated by the National Crop Forecasting Centre
(NCFC) under the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation. The information
received on rainfall and its forecast, water storage in reservoirs, pest control, inputs

availability, crop sowing status and prices are shared among the members of the
Group for formulating strategy to meet the contingencies, if any. The findings of
CWWG and India Meteorological Department reports are also discussed by Secretary
(A&C) with the Senior Officers and the requirements for agricultural and allied
sector are assessed and appropriate actions taken by the Central Government. The
State Governments are also advised suitably and their efforts are supplemented
from the Central resources, whenever the situation warrants for immediate
intervention for mitigating the hardships of agricultural sector.
DAC is the nodal department for coordination of relief efforts necessitated by
drought. The Crisis Management Group on drought headed by the Central Drought
Relief Commissioner reviews situation with the representatives of all the Line
Departments, as and when warranted. A Crisis Management Plan is released
annually to guide and formulate the Contingency Plan for all the sectors linked with
the impact of drought to mitigate the impact of drought situation. State
Governments are also advised to prepare district-wise contingency plans
accordingly. Contingency Plan has been prepared in 580 districts.
In case of severe drought situation in the country, the National Crisis Management
Committee (NCMC) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary also reviews the
situation and takes necessary decisions to mitigate the drought situation. Separate
Minister-level and Secretary level committees are in place to tackle the situation.

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers10-March, 2015 17:15 IST


Nutrient Based Subsidy Scheme for Fertilizers is Being Implemented
TheNutrientBasedSubsidy(NBS)Policyisbeingimplementedw.e.f.1.4.2010bythe
DepartmentofFertilizersandunderthesaidpolicy,afixedamountofsubsidydecidedonannual
basis,isprovidedoneachgradeofsubsidizedPhosphatic&Potassic(P&K)fertilizersdepending
onitsNutrientContent.Atpresent22gradesofP&KfertilizersarecoveredundertheNBS
policy.
Thebenefitsaccruingtothefarmersareasunder:
i.TheP&Kfertilizersaremadeavailabletofarmersinadequatequantities.
ii.MoregradesofP&KfertilizershavebroughtunderthepurviewoftheNBSSchemegiving
thefarmerswiderchoicetousecomplexfertilizergrades.
To improve fertility of soil and promote sustainable agriculture in the county, the Government is
implementing the following schemes/projects:
I.SoilHealthManagement(SHM)programmeunderNationalMissionforSustainable
Agriculture(NMSA)assistsStateGovernmentsinfollowingcomponents:
iSettingupofstatic/mobilesoiltestinglaboratories(STLs).

ii.Strengtheningofstatic/mobileSTLs.
iii.Traininganddemonstrationsonbalanceduseoffertilizers.
I.Incurrentyear,SoilHealthCardSchemehasbeenintroducedtoassistStateGovernments
toissuesoilhealthcardstoallfarmersinthecountry.Soilhealthcardwillprovideinformation
tofarmersonnutrientstatusoftheirsoilalongwithrecommendationonappropriatedosageof
nutrientstobeappliedforimprovingsoilhealthanditsfertility.SoilHealthstatuswillbe
assessedregularlyinacycleof3yearssothatnutrientdeficienciesareidentifiedand
amendmentsapplied.

Under SHM Programme, during the current year, 9 new static Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs),
56 new mobile STLs, strengthening of 2 STLs have been sanctioned to States, apart from 354
training and 420 demonstrations.
Under Soil Health Card scheme, a sum of Rs. 23.59 crore has been released to States towards
soil sampling, training, awareness creation.
Ministry of Communications & Information Technology10-March, 2015 17:11 IST
Ravi Shankar Prasad Seeks Support of CSCS in Popularising Government Initiatives in
Rural India
Community Service Centres should become engines of change in Rural India and
assist Government in carrying forward initiatives aimed at making rural India a truly
vibrant society. Union Minister for Communication and IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad
said this here today while presiding over a conference called to encourager role of
women in community service in under developed areas. He said women
empowerment through ICT especially those living in rural India is an integral
component of Digital India Initiative of the Government.
Ensuring women at the fore front of Digital India would result in a new social order
where women play the role of Change Agent in building a society free of caste,
creed, colour or gender discrimination. Digitally empowered women especially in
rural India, can bring about a paradigm shift in encouraging and empowering rural
communities.
He emphasized the need for Government Vision for a new emerging India where
every citizen is empowered, self reliant and secure so that he or she can express his
opinion without any fear or favour.
Minister highlighted the Governments new initiative of JAM Jandhan, Aadhar and
Mobile for building a new India where citizens are empowered to access
Government services. He emphasized the need for enabling every person to have
mobile and all Government services to be delivered in the format so that Prime
Ministers vision of providing Government into the hands of every citizen is fulfilled.

Minister also requested the women VLEs to support the Government initiative of
Beti Bachao Beti Padhoa across the Country. He was delighted to see the
confidence of the women entrepreneurs from various part of the country and
believed that they can play the role of a new India.
Minister mentioned the commitment of Government in extending NOFN (National
Optical Fibre Network) for 2.5 Lakh Panchayat by end 2016 to address the issue of
connectivity and enable delivery of Online education health , e-Commerce and other
related services to citizens. Accordingly he mentioned that Government propose to
set up at least 2.5 lakh CSCs - 1 in every Panchayat so that the services can be
extended to citizen close to their place of residence.
In order to make the CSC sustainable and create long term business opportunity, he
desired that CSCs should be utilized for exploring the emerging potential of eCommerce in India. He said the centre can be utilized in providing pan cards to the
citizens also.
On the occasion, the Minister also launched a book Felicitating 40 Women VLEs.
The confidence which some of the women VLEs namely Vaijainti Devi from Bihar,
Tanuja Raichuria from Chhattisgarh and Kaluri Katyani from Telangana spoke and
presented their journey in establishing CSC was appreciated by the Honourable
Minister and other dignitaries. On the occasion, award was given to 10 best VLEs.
The conference was attended by VLEs from all the states of the country including
VLEs from Leh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
He requested women entrepreneurs to organize as society and set up an effective
service delivery structure based on the pattern of Amul. Such a structure will make
the CSCs more vibrant and sustainable. They can also be effective in participating in
empowering other women in the village and contribute to the National Agenda of
Digital Empowerment. While concluding, the Minister mentioned that his dream is
that Digital India initiative should help in training and empowering the poorest of
the poor, the Dalit and other deprived sections of the Society in a manner that they
are able to manage and operate the Common Service Centres and generate
sustainable livelihood opportunities for themselves and their family.
He requested all the women VLEs to fulfil the pledge of making at least 100 people
digitally literate by end of 2015. This would help us to create a digitally empowered
and enlightened society.
The Conference was also addressed by Shri R.S Sharma, Secretary, Deity who
mentioned that CSC is one of the integral components of Digital India initiative. He
also mentioned about the new scheme and opportunities such as digital locker,
DISHA, e-Commerce and Pan Card.

Ministry of Defence10-March, 2015 11:20 IST


Commemorative Celebrations of World War -1
Indian Army is Commemorating the Centenary of the First World War from 10 Mar to 14 Mar
2015 in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian Soldiers who fought in the war and over
74000 who made the supreme sacrifice. 10th March coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle

marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade &
Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The time period 2014 to 2018 is being
commemorated as the Centenary of World War-1.
As part of the Commemorative Events, a wreath was laid at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate by The
Honble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi on 10 Mar 15. Raksha Mantri, Rajya
Raksha Mantri, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and senior serving officers of the Regiments
that took part in the War, also graced the occasion.
A Commemorative Exhibition is also being held at Manekshaw Centre from 10 to 14 Mar 2015.
A Veterans Run to be flagged off by Vice Chief of Army Staff will carry the inaugural Flame
Heritage Torch from Commonwealth War Cemetery, Brar Square to Manekshaw Centre,
Delhi Cantt. The last Veteran Runner Honorary Captain (Retd) Bana Singh, PVC, will hand over
the Heritage Torch to the Honble President for lighting the symbolic Flame of
Remembrance (Inaugural Flame) and inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition at 6 PM
today.
The Chief of the Army Staff will address the dignitaries and highlight the role and sacrifices of
the Indian Soldiers during the First World War. The President will thereafter release a
Commemorative First Day Cover. The President will also view the exhibition which includes a
Gallantry Hall, highlighting how the Great War was fought and won, its impact on Indian
Soldiers lives on the frontline and at home. It will showcase 13 Campaigns, wartime weapons
and equipment, memorabilia and various artifacts.
The Corner of Remembrance in the exhibition will display old letters, an old home in neglect
with belongings of Soldiers and depicting a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for
their dear ones to return home. The Sacrifice Hall will include replicas of Amar Jawan Jyoti,
Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross Winners in India & abroad.
The outdoor props of the exhibition will give a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers and
guns. A replica of miniature Brighton Hospital will depict the treatment and the trauma that the
Indian Soldiers went through. The live props will highlight the role played by various
Arms/Corps in the War including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Signals and ASC. A
dynamic band display by the Indian Army brass & pipe bands will also be conducted as part of
the mega event.
The descendants of some of the Victoria Cross Awardees and the Param Vir Chakra Awardees
of Independent India will also be present for the function and will interact with the Honble
President.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries10-March, 2015 14:49 IST
Encouraging Setting up of New Food Processing Industries and Cold Storages/Cold Chains
The Government is implementing various schemes to encourage setting up of new
food processing industries and cold storages/cold chains. Central Sector Scheme of
Cold Chain, Value Addition & Preservation Infrastructure is being implemented by
the Ministry of Food processing Industries which aims at providing integrated and

complete cold chain and preservation facilities without any break from the farm
gate to the consumer. The admissible grant for Cold Chain project is in the form of
grant-in-aid @ 50% the total cost of plant, machinery and technical civil works in
general areas and 75% for difficult areas (North-East States including Sikkim and
J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand) subject to a maximum of Rs 10 Crore.
Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition & Preservation Infrastructure (for NonHorticultural Products) as a component of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of
NationalMission on Food Processing (NMFP) is also being implemented by the
State/UT Governments since 01.04.2012.
Department of Agriculture & Cooperation is implementing Mission for Integrated
Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for development of Horticulture in the country
which includes assistance for creation of post-harvest infrastructure including
establishment of cold storage, processing units, pack houses, pre-cooling units,
controlled atmosphere storage, reefer vans and setting up of ripening chambers.
Under Post harvest component credit linked back ended subsidy @ 35% of the
project cost in general areas and 50% in case of hilly and schedule areas is
available.
Under the Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) sub scheme of the integrated
Scheme for Agricultural Marketing being implemented by Department of Agriculture
and Co-operation, subsidy is available for construction of Cold storages when
created as part of Integrated Value Chain (IVS) Projects @ 33.33% in case of NorthEastern (NE) States, Sikkim, UTs of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands,
hilly areas, Registered FPOs, Panchayats, Women, SC/ST entrepreneurs and their
cooperatives and Self-help groups. Subsidy is @ 25 % for all other categories of
beneficiaries.
Under its XII Plan Scheme, APEDA provides 90 per cent grant-in-aid to State
Government agencies for setting up of cold storage facilities for common use for
exports. Assistance to private exporters is also provided up to 40% as subsidy with
a ceiling of Rs. 7.5 lakhs to Rs. 75.00 lakhs for different components of Cold Chain.
Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) also has Scheme for Support of Public Private
Partnerships in Infrastructure which is available for capital investment in the
creation of modern storage capacity including cold chains and post-harvest storage.

Government has established the National Centre for Cold-chain Development


(NCCD). NCCD provides technical guidance, conducts knowledge dissemination
activities and addresses industry concerns on development matters.
To promote setting up of new food processing units as well as technological up-

gradation and expansion of existing food processing units in the country, a Central
Sector Scheme of Technology Up-gradation/Establishment/Modernisation of Food
Processing Industries is being implemented by Ministry of Food Processing
Industries. The scheme envisages financial assistance @ 25% of the cost of Plant &
machinery and technical civil works, subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs in
general areas, @33.33% of the cost of Plant & machinery and technical civil works,
subject to a maximum of Rs. 75 lakhs in difficult areas (i.e. Jammu & Kashmir,
Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep) and
Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) areas and @50% of the cost of Plant &
machinery and technical civil works, subject to a maximum of Rs. 100 lakhs for
North-Eastern States including Sikkim. This scheme has been subsumed in the
National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) with effect from 1st April, 2012 which is
being implemented through State/ UT Governments. Under the Mission, State
Governments are empowered to receive the applications, sanction and release the
grants-in-aid to the eligible beneficiaries. Mission provides flexibility to States / UTs
in the selection of beneficiaries and location of projects etc. as per their specific
requirement and priorities so as to better ensure the development of food
processing sector.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries10-March, 2015 14:48 IST


Total 42 Mega Food Parks have been Sanctioned by the Government
A total 42 Mega Food Parks (MFPs) have been sanctioned by the Government for
setting-up in the country. Out of these, 21 Mega Food Parks have been accorded
final approval and are at various stages of implementation, while 4 Mega Food Parks
are progressing towards meeting the conditions for final approval.
The Scheme of Mega Food Parks is aimed at providing modern infrastructure
facilities along the value chain from farm gate to the market with strong backward
and forward linkages. It is expected to facilitate the efforts to increase the level of
processing of agricultural and horticultural produce, with particular focus on
perishables, in the country and thereby to check the wastage. The Scheme has a
cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. It includes creation of
infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of
Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common
facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC). The PPCs
are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply
of raw material to the Central Processing Centres. CPC has need based core
processing facilities and basic enabling infrastructure to be used by the food
processing units setup at the CPC. The minimum area required for a CPC is 50 acres.
The scheme is demand-driven and would facilitate food processing units to meet
environmental, safety and social standards.
Mega Food Park project is implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is
a Body Corporate registered under the Companies Act. State Government/State
Government entities/Cooperatives applying for setting up a project under the
scheme are not required (w.e.f 10.02.2014) to form a separate SPV. Implementation

period of a Mega Food Park project is 30 months. The financial assistance for Mega
Food Park is provided in the form of grant-in-aid @ 50% of eligible project cost in
general areas and @ 75% of eligible project cost in NE Region and difficult areas
(Hilly States and ITDP areas) subject to maximum of Rs. 50 crore per project. It is
expected that on an average, each project will have around 30-35 food processing
units with a collective investment of Rs 250 crores that would eventually lead to an
annual turnover of about Rs 450-500 crores and creation of direct and indirect
employment to the extent of about 30,000 persons.
It has been experienced during implementation of the Scheme of Mega Food Parks
that the major challenges being faced by the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in
implementation of the Mega Food Park projects, include acquiring contiguous land
of 50 acres or more in the name of SPV, obtaining term loan from the Banks,
difficulties in obtaining various statutory clearances from the State Government
Departments/Agencies, timely contribution of equity by the promoters, lack of
cohesiveness amongst the promoters etc. Ministry has made various amendments
in the scheme and its guidelines from time to time to address these challenges to
improve the pace of implementation of MFPs.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare10-March, 2015 13:32 IST


Policy to Check Rise in Population
TheGovernmenthastakenanumberofspecificinitiativesforpopulationstabilizationunder
NationalHealthMission(NHM). The details of which may be seen in the given below:

1. Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs wherein ASHAs are delivering
contraceptives from door to door in the community.

2. Scheme for ASHAs to ensure spacing in births wherein ASHAs are being utilized for
counseling newly married couples to ensure delay of 2 years in birth of first child after marriage
and couples with 1 child to have spacing of 3 years after the birth of 1st child. The scheme is
being implemented in 18 states of the country (8 EAG, 8 NE, Gujarat and Haryana).

3.
Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors under which MoHFW provides
compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for
conducting sterilizations. Compensation for sterilization acceptors has been enhanced further
recently for 11 high focus states, with high TFR.

4. Compensation scheme for PPIUCD under which the service provider as well as the ASHA
who escorts the clients to the health facility for facilitating the IUCD insertion are compensated.

5. Scheme for provision of Pregnancy Testing Kits at sub centres as well as in the drug basket
of the ASHAs for use in the communities for early detection of pregnancies.

6. National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) under which clients are insured in the
eventualities of deaths, complications and failures following sterilization and the providers/
accredited institutions are indemnified against litigations in those eventualities.

7. World Population Day: It is being observed all over India since 2009 and the event is
conducted over a month long period, split into two fortnights:

i. June 27 to July 10: Dampati Sampark Pakhwada or Mobilisation


Fortnight.

ii. July 11 to July 24 Jansankhya Sthirtha Pakhwada or Population


Stabilisation Fortnight.

8. Special emphasis on Postpartum Family Planning (PPFP) services- GoI has now improved
the basket of choice for PPFP with an introduction of a new method i.e. PPIUCD. There is also
continued emphasis on Post-partum sterilization.

9. Adoption of Fixed day Fixed Place Family Planning mode: Availability of Fixed Day Static
Services at all facilities round the year.

10. Engaging mobile teams for improving the access to sterilization services in underserved,
hard to reach, tribal and strife prone areas where there is huge demand but lack of providers.

11. Accreditation of more private/NGO facilities to increase the provider base for family
planning services under PPP.

12.

Increasing male participation and promotion of Non Scalpel Vasectomy.

13. Appointment of RMNCH+A Counselors (Reproductive Maternal Newborn and Child


Health) at the district hospitals and other high case load facilities to ensure counseling of the
clients visiting the facilities.

14.

Improving contraceptives supply management up to peripheral facilities.

15. Quality care in Family Planning services being ensured by establishing Quality Assurance
Committees at state and district levels.

16.

Conducting Onsite training through dedicated mobile training teams.

17. Augmenting demand generation activities in the form of development of new audio visual
software, display of posters, billboards and other materials in the various facilities.
Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises10-March, 2015 16:30 IST
National Electric Mobility Mission Plan
Government of India launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)
2020 in 2013. It aims to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and
electric vehicles in the country. There is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million
sales of hybrid and electric vehicles year on year from 2020 onwards. Government
aims to provide fiscal and monetary incentives to kick start this nascent technology.

With the support from the Government, the cumulative sale is expected to reach 1516 Million by 2020. It is expected to save 9500 Million Liters of crude oil equivalent
to Rs. 62000 Cr. savings. Government has launched the scheme namely Faster
Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME India) under
NEMMP 2020 in the Union Budget for 2015-16 with an initial outlay of Rs. 75 Cr. The
scheme will provide a major push for early adoption and market creation of both
hybrid and electric technologies vehicles in the country. The thrust for the
Government through this scheme will be to allow hybrid and electric vehicles to
become the first choice for the purchasers so that these vehicles can replace the
conventional vehicles and thus reduce liquid fuel consumption in the country from
the automobile sector. It is envisaged that early market creation through demand
incentive, in-house technology development and domestic production will help
industry reach a self-sufficient economies of scale in the long run by around the
year 2020.
As per the data available, around 42000 electric vehicles were sold in 2012-13 and
nearly 20000 hybrid and electric vehicles were sold in 2013-14. In the year 2012-13,
most of the electric vehicles sold were electric low speed scooters. It is expected
that with the launch of the aforementioned scheme, market for hybrid and electric
vehicles will gain momentum for all the vehicles segments including 2W, 3W, 4W,
LCVs and Buses.
In the aforementioned Government plans to incentivize buyers while purchasing
these hybrid and electric vehicles by providing monetary support. Department of
Heavy Industry, M/o HI&PE has finalized the details of the scheme including the
monetary support for various hybrid and electric vehicles (incentive per vehicletechnology segment) under the FAME scheme just approved. The incentive shall be
administered through an efficient and effective electronic mechanism/portal for
incentive disbursement. Under this mechanism the manufacturer will reduce the
purchase price of a hybrid and electric vehicle (the purchase price will be reduced
by the level of the eligible predetermined incentive amount) at the time of selling to
the buyer, and the same will be reimbursed to them by the Government.

Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises10-March, 2015 16:29 IST


Providing Thrust to Core Sectors
The Industry associations of machine tools, textile machinery, process plant
equipment, construction machinery, plastic machinery, electrical equipment
industry have been raising the issues for the level playing field against the lower
rate of duty as well as zero duty on imported equipment on FTA affected due to
specific notifications from the Government. This situation leads to under capacity
utilization and resource crunch which could have been used for their plant
modernization and technology purchase/R&D, etc. The industry associations
represent their cause of concern to the Department along with their suggestions in
their pre-budget memorandum which are examined and the same are forwarded to
the Ministry of Finance for consideration.
Ministry of Commerce has informed that FTAs are arrangements between two or
more countries or trading blocks that primarily agrees to reduce or eliminate
customs tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantial trade between them. In order to
protect the interest of the domestic industry and agriculture sector, these

agreements provide for maintaining sensitive/ negative lists of items on which


limited or no tariff concessions are granted under the FTA. In addition, in case of a
surge in imports and injury to the domestic industry, a country is allowed to take
recourse to the measures such as anti-dumping and safeguards. Every FTA has
provisions for review and implementation. This is normally done at specified
intervals and there is an institutional mechanism to undertake such a review.
Regular outreach programmes are also run to make stakeholders including industry
aware of the various provisions of FTAs.
FTAs with different countries cover different Heavy Engineering Goods under
different ranges of duty. A number of FTAs between India and other countries allow
import of such products at zero duty which are made in India. For example under
the Agreement between India and Korea Injection Molding Machinery, Process Plant
Equipments like heat exchangers, pressure vessel, cooling tower, storage tank etc.;
bulldozer, excavator, shovel loader; oil well drilling machinery, combine harvester;
textile machinery such as carding machine, combing machine, roving machine,
spinning machine, weaving machinery, bleaching machine, dying machine, finishing
machine, etc.; machine tools such as lathes, machining centre, grinding machine,
forging hammers, hydraulic presses, etc. are some of the products imported on zero
duty even though these are manufactured in India.
Representations from Industry for review of import duty with a view to attain a level
playing fields are examined and taken up with the Ministry of Commerce and/ or
Ministry of Finance. This is an ongoing process.

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises10-March, 2015 17:12 IST


Eleventh Meeting of the National Board for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
The National Board for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (NBMSME) in its 11th
meeting today deliberated upon various aspects of the Micro, Small & Medium
sector. The special focus of the meeting was on action plan for Make in India,
creation of Reliable Database of MSMEs, evolving Industry-driven-Skill-Development
Model, promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro Industry and the
progress on the new MSME Policy Framework etc. Shri Kalraj Mishra, Minister of
Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises chaired the meeting. Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister
of State for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Vice-Chairman of the National
Board was also present.
Shri Kalraj Mishra in his opening remarks described several initiatives of Ministry of
MSME for overall development of the sector and emphasized that the Ministry of
MSME is going to be a major plank in the Governments Make in India initiative.
The objective of Make in India is to enhance productivity, competitiveness and that
of creating an Eco-system for quality manufacturing. The Minister said the Ministry
will rise to the challenge through action plans directed at Incubation, Clustering,
Credit Guarantee and Skill Development.
Shri Giriraj Singh also stressed on the need for developing the MSME Sector to
enable the upliftment of the rural masses.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment10-March, 2015 15:41 IST

New Schemes for Economically Backward Classes


The following new schemes for the welfare of Economically Backward Classes
(EBCs) have been launched in 2014-15 with the approval of the competent
authority:(i) Dr. Ambedkar Central Sector Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loan for
Overseas Studies for Economically Backward Classes (EBCs)
(ii) Dr. Ambedkar Post-Matric Scholarship for the Economically Backward Class
Students (Centrally Sponsored Scheme).
Further, the Government of India through Ministry of Human Resource Development
runs a Mid-Day Meal Scheme under which mid day meal is provided on each school
day at prescribed norms to children studying in the classes I- VIII in Government,
Government aided, and Special Training Centers including Madrasas & Maqtabs
recognized under SSA irrespective of class, caste and gender of the student.

Prime Minister's Office11-March, 2015 12:19 IST


Prime Minister's statement to the Media during his visit to Seychelles
I regret that this is a very short visit. I would have loved to stay longer. Anyone who
visits this wonderful country will find it hard to leave.
Short it may be, but this visit has been very productive.
It is no surprise that Seychelles is my first destination in the Indian Ocean Region.
We regard Seychelles as a vital partner in our Indian Ocean neighbourhood.
Our relationship is unique and special. It is founded on deep sense of mutual trust
and confidence. It is marked by a spirit of respect and equality; and enormous
goodwill and warmth.
It draws strength from our shared values of democracy and inclusiveness. It is
nurtured by a common purpose - progress of our people and peace and prosperity in
the Indian Ocean Region.
Seychelles has made impressive progress. It has shown that size is no barrier to the
scale of achievements.
This visit and my conversation with President Michel have reinforced my conviction
in the strength and the importance of this relationship.
Our security partnership is strong. It has enabled us to fulfill our shared
responsibility to advance maritime security in the region.
It is a privilege to be a partner of Seychelles in the development of its security
capabilities.
Today, I am pleased to announce that we will be giving one more Dornier aircraft to
Seychelles.

Later today, I will have the honour to launch the Coastal Surveillance Radar Project.
This is another symbol of our cooperation.
These steps will enable Seychelles to secure these beautiful islands and the vast
expanse of waters around them. Seychelles will also continue to make an enormous
contribution to the safety and security of the Indian Ocean Region.
Our agreement today on hydrographic survey adds a new dimension to our
maritime cooperation. I thank Seychelles for their confidence in India.
We also hope that Seychelles will soon be a full partner in the maritime security
cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.
President Michel and I also underlined the importance of comprehensive
cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region. We expressed support for a more active
and productive Indian Ocean Rim Association.
Our development partnership is also a strong pillar of our relations.
Our agreement today on the development of infrastructure in the Assumption Island
gives a strong boost to this partnership.
We are pleased to be a partner in development of human resources and capacity
building in Seychelles. Indeed, Seychelles is one of the largest recipients of Indian
assistance in this area. We intend to expand this further in the future.
Seychelles is a leader in advancing the concept of Blue Economy. We also believe
that the Ocean Economy is indispensable to meeting our future challenges.
Today, President Michel and I have agreed to establish a Joint Working Group to
expand our cooperation on the blue economy.
This cooperation will increase our understanding of marine ecology and resources.
We will improve our ability to harness new possibilities of the ocean in a sustainable
and balanced manner.
This is a major step in advancing our scientific and economic cooperation.
We stressed our support for expansion in our modest trade and investment
relations. We are confident that we can achieve it, especially as Seychelles looks to
a future in which information technology and services play an increasingly
important role.
I also expressed hope that Seychelles would be able to quickly utilize the committed
75 million dollars in grants and credit in accordance with its priorities.
We deeply value the close and warm ties between our people. I welcomed the
launch of direct air services to India by Air Seychelles last December.

We have decided to grant free visas for three months to the citizens of Seychelles.
We will also extend to you the facility of visa-on-arrival.
I thanked President Michel for his Government`s consistent support to India in
international forums. This includes the endorsement for India`s permanent
membership of the United Nations Security Council.
We had strong convergence of views on climate change. We are two nations that
are vulnerable to its impact. And, we are deeply committed to combating it.
We stressed our shared commitment to strong national action. We also called for a
strong and ambitious global effort, especially from the developed world, on climate
change.
I reiterated our consistent support to the position of the Small Island Developing
States. Equally, I renewed India`s strong commitment to our partnership with Africa.
Our relationship is a powerful example of warm friendship and productive
partnership. For India, this relationship means a lot.
This visit has reinforced the special warmth in our ties and taken our strategic
partnership to a new level. I am grateful to President Michel and the people of
Seychelles for this.

Department of Atomic Energy11-March, 2015 15:05 IST


Various welfare activities are being undertaken by the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd.
in Jaduguda as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility
UraniumCorporationofIndiaLimited(UCIL),aPublicSectorUndertaking(PSU)underthe
DepartmentofAtomicEnergy(DAE)undertakes welfare activities through a wellstructuredCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program in consultation with local village
bodies. The major welfare activities as a part of CSR are as follows:

(i) Provision of drinking water facilities including installation of new bore wells, repair and
maintenance of existing bore-wells,supplyofwaterduringlocalfunctions/festivals.
(ii) Impartingvocationaltrainingwhichconsistsofcomputertraining,agriculturaltrainingon
modernfarmingpractices,creationofamarketforlocalproducts,andtrainingvillagersinself
employmentvocations.OneIndustrialTrainingCentreisinoperationatTuramdihwhichimparts
freevocationaltrainingmodulesoftwoyearsfortradesrelatedtomechanics,electrical&
weldingtodisplacedandotheraffectedpersonsinthearea.
(iii)
Development of infrastructure facilities like community centers, construction &
renovation of local school buildings; Repair and maintenance of village roads, bio-gas plant at

Bhadudih, irrigation projects, construction of sanitation & other facilities, and boundary walls at
tribal worship places.
(iv)
Promotion of sports by construction/renovation of village football grounds, conducting
of football & archery coaching camps and promotion of tribal games & arts.
(v) Provision of Medical Facility by conducting weekly rural medical camps at villages located
close to UCIL units and providing free treatment and medicines. UCIL has established a rural
medical centre at Narwapahar.
(vi)
Education:Constructionofschoolbuildings,improvementofsanitationinschools,
providingfurniture,computersetc.atschools,providingfreeeducationtoeconomically
disadvantagedchildrenthroughtalentnurturescheme.
Ministry of Commerce & Industry11-March, 2015 14:24 IST
Make In India Programme
Government of India has launched the Make in India Programme to promote
manufacturing in India and develop it as a hub for manufacturing, design and
innovation Certain important steps taken to gear up manufacturing include (i)
creation of an investor facilitation cell (ii) dissemination of information on twenty
five priority sectors on Make in Indias web-portal (http://www.makeinindia.com)
along with details of FDI Policy, National Manufacturing Policy, Intellectual Property
Rights, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and other National Industrial Corridors (iii)
issuance of Ordinance to make land acquisition easier for important projects (iv) a
number of items taken off the licensing requirement from Defence products list,
etc. and (v) Sector wise plan of action has been prepared with time lines of one year
and three years.
Government has undertaken a number of steps to improve Ease of Doing Business
in India. A large number of components of Defence Products list have been
excluded from the purview of Industrial Licensing. The application process for
Industrial Licence and Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum has been made easy
by simplification of forms and making the process online 24x7. The validity period of
the Industrial Licence and security clearance from Ministry of Home Affairs has been
increased. The process of registration with Employees Provident Fund Organization
and Employees State Insurance Corporation has been made on line and real-time.
Process of obtaining environment and forest clearances has been made online. The
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has advised Ministries and State
Governments to simplify and rationalize the regulatory environment through
business process reengineering and use of information technology. 14 Government
of India services have been integrated with the eBiz portal.
As an outcome of the recently concluded visit of the Prime Minister of India to Japan,
a special management team has been set up to facilitate and fast track investment
proposals from Japan. Government has also constituted a Core Group under the
chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary on India-Japan Investment Promotion
Partnership. Some Japanese companies have shown their interest to invest in India.

In the Budget for 2015-16, measures have been announced to set right the inverted
duty structure on a range of items, reduce tax on labour intensive leather sector
and provide impetus to start ups, venture funds and entrepreneurship.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry11-March, 2015 14:20 IST


Promoting Export by Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
For technology up-gradation to Micro and Small Enterprises in the pharma sector, Ministry of
Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) is running Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme
(CLCSS) under which Micro and Small Enterprises are entitled to take loan up to Rs. 1.00 crore
with 15% subsidy.

Drugs for sale or for export are manufactured under license granted by State Licensing
Authorities appointed by State governments. Central Drugs Standard Control Organization
(CDSCO) has not received any such information that majority of small pharmaceutical
manufacturers are doing job work/contract work for bigger pharmaceutical units which export
the same under their brand name.

Some of the measures taken by the Government to promote exports by small and medium
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are:

i)FinancialassistancethroughPharmexcil,anExportPromotionCouncil,isprovided
underMarketDevelopmentAssistanceandMarketAccessInitiativeSchemestoexportersof
Pharmaceuticalproductsparticularlysmallandmediumsizeexporterstopromotetheirexports
invariouscountries.

ii)TradeDelegations/BuyerSellerMeets(BSMs)tovariouscountriesareorganized,
whereOnetoOnemeetingswithlocalbuyers/importers,FDA/Regulatoryofficialsarearranged
forthebenefitofexporters.

iii)ParticipateinInternationalexhibitionsandassistsmallandmediumscalecompaniesby
wayofprovidingspaceinthoseexhibitionsatreasonablecosts.

iv)BusinessMeetsareorganizedinIndiabyinvitingbuyers/importers/FDAofficialsto
Indiaandonetoonemeetingsarearranged.Thesemeetshelptheindustry,particularlysmall
andmediumexporters.

v)PharmexcilorganizesitsownExpoinIndiaviz.IPHEXeveryyear,whichishelping
thesmallandmediumexporters.

vi)PharmexcilhasseparateCells/desksforIPRandAYUSHsectortohelpthesmalland
mediumexporters.

vii)IncentivestoPharmaceuticalindustryareavailableinvarioustradepromotionschemes
likeFocusMarketScheme,FocusProductScheme,AdvanceAuthorizationSchemeetc.inthe
ForeignTradePolicy(FTP)whichalsohelpstheSmallandMediumexportersforpromoting
theirexports.
(viii)IndiaBrandPharmaCampaignlaunchedsinceMarch,2012promotesquality,affordable
&reliabilityofIndianmedicines
Ministry of Culture11-March, 2015 18:58 IST
Culture Minister inaugurates the curtain raiser of the year long celebrations of 125th
Anniversary of National Archives of India
The Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge)
and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the curtain raiser of the year long
celebrations of 125th Anniversary of National Archives of India(NAI) in New Delhi today. The
National Archives of India was established on 11th March, 1891 at Calcutta as the Imperial
Records Department.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that history is very important for a country
because it has the potential to contribute to nation building. It is due to this reason that we must
make the valuable age-old records available with us transparent and accessible to the people, the
Minister explained. The Minister said that these archives and records contain a wealth of
knowledge and through them we can take the cultural heritage of the country to the people.
Dr Mahesh Sharma said that this is the era of E-Governance and the digitization of records will
help to preserve these archives over the future generation. Not only this, digitization also helps
to add to the ease of accessing these records, he said. The Minister added that once these records
are digitized, it will facilitate the introduction of our cultural heritage to the youth of the country.

The Minister inaugurated i) A Logo for the 125th Year Celebration of the National
Archives of India; ii) an Online Search Portal entitled Abhilekh-PATAL, which puts the
catalogue of over 2 million records in the public domain together with over 2000 digital images
of records; iii) a Virtual Exhibition: Gandhi-Mandela that was displayed at Johannesburg as a
part of the Festival of India in South Africa and iv) 3 New publications of the department on
the occasion.
Secretary Culture, Shri Ravindra Singh said that the computerization of records is proceeding at
a rapid pace. Under the Swachha Bharat Mission started by the Prime Minister, nearly 6 lakh
files were transferred to NAI and several more lakh files are also in the process of being
transferred, he added.
Dr. Tridip Suhurd, Director, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust, Ahmedabad
delivered the 125th Foundation Day Lecture entitled From Scriptorium to Variorum: The
Journey towards Digital Archives on the occasion.
An exhibition entitled Treasures of National Archives of India has also been organised in the
National Archives Museum premises which will remain open for public till 10 April 2015.During
the yearlong celebrations, the National Archives of India has plans to release a series of
publications, launch the renovated National Archives Museum, organise archival exhibitions to
raise the archival awareness amongst masses, arrange workshops and seminars for the
professionals to highlight the role of Archives in Society as well as in the administration.
National Archives of India was established on 11 March 1891 at Calcutta as the Imperial
Record Department, and later shifted to New Delhi following the transfer of the capitalfrom
Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. The present building of the National Archives of India was constructed
in 1926, and the transfer of all records was completed in 1937. Today, it has one Regional Office
at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Puducherry.
This department is the custodian of the non-current records of the Government of India and is
holding them in trust for the use of the records creators and the users at large. Archives are the
priceless documentary heritage of any nation and as the premier archival institution in the
country, and play a key role in guiding and shaping the development of archives both at the
national as well as international level.
Ministry of Home Affairs11-March, 2015 20:02 IST
CCTNS project to make landmark change to Internal Security scenario in the country:
Kiren Rijiju
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju has said the ongoing
Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) project when completed
will mark a revolutionary change to manage and monitor the Internal Security
situation in the country. Addressing the 30th Raising Day function of the National
Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) here today, Shri Rijiju said it will see the dawn of new
age projects including the e-courts, e-prisons and e-hospitals. He said the CCTNS
project was conceived by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs as part of Police
Modernization programme under the National e-Governance project. The CCTNS
software application is being developed in consultation with various stakeholders

particularly the States and UTs which can also make need-based alterations
according to local requirements.
Lauding the NCRB, Shri Rijiju said that despite acute staff crunch, the NCRB has
contributed effectively and the information they provide acts as backbone of all law
and order related departments. He said the world is becoming increasingly
complicated by the day and the role of NCRB is going to be crucial in the scenario of
security challenges to come.
While giving welcome address, the Director General of NCRB, Shri R.R. Verma said
under the CCTNS project police stations have already started generating online FIRs
and a database of crime records and criminals is being prepared that will enable
tracking of criminals anywhere at the press of a button.
About 58 percent of Police Stations across the country are presently generating FIR
through the CCTNS system. As on February 20, 2015, 88 percent of total sites are
ready for CCTNS implementation, 59 percent of the ten years legacy data has been
digitized and 76 percent of the total sites have been provided network connectivity.

Ministry of Human Resource Development11-March, 2015 16:11 IST


National Mission on Teachers and Teaching
The Government will set up 50 Centres of Excellence for Curriculum and Pedagogy
with necessary emphasis on Maths and Science; under the newly launched Scheme
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching
(PMMMNMTT). The Mission will provide an integrated platform for building synergies
among all the existing initiatives, providing oversight to the existing activities and
also carry out new activities aimed at gap filling so that a comprehensive vehicle for
Teacher/Faculty related programmes and schemes is created. Ongoing programmes
will also be revitalized through this Mission on Teachers and Teaching. PMMMNMTT is
mandated to ensure a coordinated approach so as to holistically address the various
shortcomings relating to teachers and teaching across the educational spectrum
ranging from school education to higher education including technical education;
using the best international practices for excellence. It will also empower teachers
and faculty through training, re-training, refresher and orientation programmes in
generic skills, pedagogic skills, discipline specific content upgradation, ICT and
technology enabled training and other appropriate interventions. The various
components of PMMMNMTT, such as, setting up 30 Schools of Education, 50 Centres
of Excellence for Curriculum and Pedagogy, two Inter University Centres, National
Resource Centre, five Centres of Academic Leadership and Educational
Management, Subject Based Networks and Workshops and Seminars, which will
strengthen teachers, are, in fact aimed at improving the understanding of the
students to grasp basic concepts and help them learn better

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs11-March, 2015 17:06 IST


Social Security Agreements
TheGovernmenthassignedSocialSecurityAgreements(SSAs)withBelgium,France,
Germany,Luxembourg,Switzerland,Netherlands,Denmark,SouthKorea,Hungary,Finland,
Sweden,theCzechRepublic,Norway,Canada,Japan,Austria,Portugal,AustraliaandQuebec

(ProvinceofCanada)fortheprotectionofIndianprofessionalsworkinginthesecountriesfrom
makingdoublecontributionofsocialsecurityinthehomecountryaswellasinthehostcountry
onthesameincome.
The salient features of these Agreements are:
(i)
Exemptionfromsocialsecuritycontributionfortheposted(detached)workers
providedtheworkeriscoveredundertheIndiansocialsecuritysystemandcontinuestopayhis
contributiontotheIndiansystemduringtheperiodofcontract.
(ii)
ExportabilityofbenefitsincaseofrelocationtoIndiaoranyothercountryafterhaving
madesocialsecuritycontribution.
(iii)
Totalizationoftheperiodsofcontributionpertainingtobothcountriesforthepurposeof
assessingeligibilityforbenefit/pensionunderthelegislationofeachcountry.
(iv) ItalsomakesIndiancompaniesmorecompetitivesinceexemptionfromsocialsecurity
contributioninrespectoftheiremployeessubstantiallyreducescosts.

No instances of violation of any of the provisions of these Agreements have come to the
notice of the Government during the last three years.
The Government is in negotiation with various other countries to sign such Agreements.
Additional countries are also being identified with whom signing such an agreement would be in
the interest of Indian workers/companies. These are international Agreements, and their
successful conclusion depends on the mutual convenience of both the negotiating sides. It is not
possible to indicate a definitive timeline by which they are likely to be signed.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs11-March, 2015 17:06 IST
Welfare Schemes for Overseas Indians
The Ministry has information on number of Indian workers who emigrated abroad through
Emigration Clearance to notified Emigration Clearance Required countries only. The detail
particulars gender-wise, State-wise and country-wise during the last one year are given in
Annexure I, II and III respectively.
The schemes for welfare of Indian workers/Non-Resident Indians are:
(i)

Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana

(ii)PravasiBharatiyaBimaYojana(PBBY)
(iii)

Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana (MGPSY)

(iv)

Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF)

(v)

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children

(vi)

Scheme for Legal/ Financial Assistance to Indian Women Deserted by their NRI Husbands

Ministry of Science & Technology11-March, 2015 17:38 IST


Minister for Science & Technology Expresses Confidence That India will Achieve its Goals
for Solar Power Sector
TheMinisterofScience&TechnologyandEarthSciencesDr.HarshVardhanexpressed
confidencethatthegoalsetbyShriNarendraModigovernmentforSolarPowergenerationin
thecomingyearswillbesuccessfullyachieved.HewasmakingastatementintheParliament
todayonthehistoricallandingoftheworldsfirstSolarpoweredaircraftat11.24pm,Lastnight
atAhmedabad.TheaircraftbeganitsglobaltouronMonday,the9thMarch,2015.TheMinister
describeditasadevelopmentintheworldofscienceandtechnologywhichisofmostprofound
importanceforthefutureofnotonlyIndia,itseconomyandsociety,butalsothesurvivalofthe
humancivilizationwhichisthreatenedbyoverexploitationofnatureandtheclimatechange.
Thisaircraft,namedSolarImpulse2(Si2),iscapableofflyingdayandnightsolelyon
solarpower.Itisonamissiontospreadinformationaboutthefantasticpossibilitiesoflifefree
offossilfuels.ItssuccesswillservetoconvinceallhumanitythattheSunisthesupremesource
ofenergywithlimitlesspowers.Itisalsothemajorsourceofpowerwhichrenewsitselfevery
dayandforever,Dr.HarshVardhanadded.
Hecongratulatedthescientists,technicians,publicistsandthepilotsofSi2fortheir
commitmentanddedicationtothevisionofacleanerandgreenerworld.Hesaidtheentire
communityofIndianscientistsworkingonmakingthesolarpowercheaperandmoreefficient
shouldbegreatlyenthusedbylandingofSi2inourcountry.
Theplaneismadeentirelyofcarbonfiberandhasawingspanof226feet.Butitweighs
only2.3tonnes.ItisalmostasbigasanAirbusA380whichiscurrentlythebiggestaircraft
poweredbyfossilfuels,butabout250timeslighter.Si2carriesmorethan17,000photovoltaic
cellsratedat66kilowattspeak.HecalledupontheMembersoftheParliamenttocarrythe
messageingrainedintheSi2mission,thatistoRecognizeandcelebrateSuryaShaktithe
powerofthesun.
TheMinistersaidthatthesignificanceofAhmedabadaschoiceoffirstlandinginIndia
shouldnotbemissed.ItisthecapitalofGujarat,thestatethathaspioneeredlargescale
harnessinganddistributionofsolarenergyforeverydayuse.
In2009,GujaratbecamethefirststateinIndiaandAsiatohaveestablishedaDepartment
ofClimateChangetocounterthethreattotheplanetposedbyoveruseoffossilfuels.Shri
NarendraModi,whowasthentheChiefMinister,madetheGujaratSolarParkthelargesthubof
solarpowergenerationinAsia,currentlyproducingmorethan1,000MW,theMinisteradded.

Dr.HarshVardhansaid,nowasPrimeMinister,ShriModihassetsightsonIndia
generating100Gegawattsofsolarpowerby2022.HesaidthepresenceofSi2inourmidst
todayshouldmakeusbelievethatthisisapossibletarget.TheMinistersaidthataircraft
manufacturingcompaniesareboundtomakesolarbasedplaneswithinthenext1015years.
Healsourgedthepeopletoensurethatcoal,oil,woodandalltraditionalformsofenergy,
usedfordailyneeds,aremadeahistory.
HethankedtheGovernmentofSwitzerlandandthelargenumberofR&Dandbusiness
organizationsbothinIndianandinothercountriesthathavemadeSi2possible.Theaircraftand
itscrewareexpectedtotakeoffforVaranasionMarch15thandafterthatitwillflytoMyanmar
andthentoChina.ItsbiggestfeatwouldbetocrossthePacificOceantotheUnitedStatesand
thentheAtlanticOceantoEurope.
OnbehalfoftheentirescientificcommunityofIndia,theParliamentandthepeopleof
thecountry,hewishedtheprojectallsuccess.
Ministry of Tribal Affairs11-March, 2015 16:18 IST
Implementation of Tribal Sub Plan
Recently erstwhile Planning Commission got a holistic evaluation study conducted
through a third party agency on the effectiveness of the TSP strategy in terms of
delivery and goods services to the tribal population. The report of the Study was
made public during May 2013. The Study, inter alia, reported underperformance of
TSP funds in fetching tangible results and for that matter triggering development of
tribals. Besides, the Ministry held several consultations with the stakeholders in the
Central Governments as well as State Governments and outside experts / agencies
to gauge the deficiencies confronting tribal development with the desired pace.
In nutshell, besides other things, the prominent reasons for underperformance of
TSP funds have been identified as (i) Lack of unified planning, implementation and
monitoring mechanism (ii) Lack of effective mechanism to gel central plan TSP
funds and State Plan TSP Funds (iii) Scattered financial resources used in a
scattered manner (iv) Lack of location specific perspective plan (v) Lack of gap
analysis (vi) Weakening of institutions specifically meant for delivery of goods and
services to tribal population i.e. Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) /
Integrated Tribal Development Projects / Tribal Research Institutes (TRI) and other
Micro Projects. (vii) Utilization of TSP funds was more ritualistic than outcome based
initiative based on gap analysis in HDI. (viii) Inadequate and insufficient
administrative and financial powers with the Tribal Welfare Departments in the
States and Ministry of Tribal Affairs at Centre.
The erstwhile Planning Commission in consultation with the Ministry has issued
revised Guidelines during 2014 for implementation of Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) by the
States /UTs and Central Government Ministries/Departments keeping in mind the
holistic development of tribal people. The Guidelines, inter alia, reiterate the resolve
of the Government for allocation of funds under TSP out of total Plan Outlays not
less than the population proportion of STs in State as per 2011 census. The
Guidelines further stipulates for non-diversion of funds meant for tribal areas and

comprehensive monitoring framework with well-defined indicators, covering


provisioning, service delivery standards as well as outcomes. The Guidelines
recognizes respective Tribal Welfare Department in the States as the Nodal nodal
department authorized to lead the process of TSP development.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has also issued Operational Guidelines for Formulation,
Implementation and Monitoring of Tribal Sub-Plan and Article 275(1) grants in the
month of March, 2014 for effective implementation of Schemes administered by the
Ministry wherein issues related to allocation of funds, priority areas, need for nodal
Department in States, judicious utilization of TSP fund, institutionalizing the
instruments for ensuring transparency, accountability and social audit have been
addressed. The Operational Guidelines have laid special emphasis on strengthening
of institutions viz. Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) / Integrated Tribal
Development Project (ITDP), Tribal Research Institutions (TRIs) through which tribal
welfare programmes are implemented in the State. Further provision has been
made for appraisal and approval of the proposals received from the States by a
Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) consisting of Secretary (Tribal Affairs) as
chairman with representatives of Planning Commission, Financial Advisor and
representatives of the State as members/invitees.

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports11-March, 2015 17:25 IST


Facilities for sportspersons
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda
Sonowal has said that the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports provides Special Awards to Medal
winners for the medals won in International Sports Events. Medal winners in National Games are
not covered in the Ministrys scheme of Special Awards.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, as Sports is a State subject, the
primary responsibility for promotion and development of sports including identification and
nurturing of potential talent is that of States. However, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports
and the Sports Authority of India, an autonomous body under administrative control of the
Ministry, supplement the efforts of the States under the following schemes:
I.
Schemes being implemented by the Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs
& Sports
(i)RajivGandhiKhelAbhiyan(RGKA),a centrally sponsored scheme introduced
in 2014-15 in place of erstwhile Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan, aims at construction of
Integrated Sports Complexes in all block panchayats of the country in a phased manner and
providing access to organized sports competitions at block, district, state and national levels.
(ii)
Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme, introduced in 2010-11, envisages
development of playfields by the State Governments through Playfield Associations, coach
development programme through Central and State Governments, creation of infrastructure
includinglayingofartificialturfsforhockey,footballandathletics,andconstructionofmulti

purpose hall. Under the Scheme, State Governments, local civic bodies, schools, colleges,
universitiesandsportscontrolboardsareeligibleforassistance.
(iii)SchemeofAssistancetoNationalSportsFederations(NSFs)forconductof
NationalChampionshipsatSenior,Junior,SubJuniorlevelformenandwomen,conductof
internationaltournamentsinIndia,participationofsportspersonsininternationalsports
competitions,organizingcoachingcamps,engagementofforeigncoaches,andprocurementof
sportsequipments.
(iv)NationalSportsDevelopmentFund(NSDF)for various activities including giving
assistance to elite athletes, who are medal prospects for their customized and tailor-made training
and competition exposure.
(v)SchemeofHumanResourceDevelopmentinSportsfocusses on developing
human resources in sports sciences and sports medicine for the overall development of sports and
games in the country. The scheme also provides assistance to coaches and referees / judges to
upgrade knowledge / accreditation level and assistance for participation in and conduct of
seminars in India, etc.
(vi)SchemeofSpecialCashAwardsfor Winners of medals in international sports
events and their coaches.
(vii)SchemeofPensiontoMeritoriousSportspersons after they retire from active
sports career with the objective of providing them financial security and incentivizing sporting
achievements.
(viii)SchemeofNationalSportsAwards, viz, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards,
Dronacharya Awards, Dhyanchand Awards for honouring them for their achievements and
contributions as sportspersons and coaches.
(ix)NationalWelfareFundforSportspersons for providing lump sum financial
assistance to sportspersons now living in indigent conditions for their medical treatment etc.
(x)SchemeofSports&GamesforPersonswithDisabilitiesforbroadbasingof
sportsamongdifferentlyabledsportspersonsbywayofconductoftrainingforcommunity
coaches,conductofsportscompetitionsandprovidingassistancetoschools/instituteshaving
differentlyabledsportspersonsontheirrollsforprocurementofsportsequipmentsand
engagementofcoachesoncontractbasis.

II.

Schemes being implemented by Sports Authority of India

(i) National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC): The main objective of the scheme is to identify
gifted and talented sportspersons among school children in the age group of 8-14 years.

(ii) Army Boys Sports Companies (ABSC) is implemented in collaboration with the Army.
Children in the age group of 8-16 years are imparted scientific training to achieve excellence at
national and international levels. The scheme also provides job opportunities in the Indian
Army. Similar arrangements are proposed to be made in Central Para-military forces.
(iii) Special Area Games (SAG): This Scheme follows an area-specific approach to scout and
nurture talent for modern competitive games and sports from tribal, rural, coastal and hilly areas
of the country. The main objective of the scheme is to train talented and meritorious
sportspersons in the age group of 12-18 years.
(iv) SAI Training Centres (STC): Under this scheme, talented youth in the age group of 12-18
years are given the option to join the scheme on residential or non-residential basis.
(v) Centres of Excellence (COE):Themainobjectiveofthisschemeistoidentifyandtrain
outstandingsportspersonswhoaremedalprospectsforthecountryininternationalcompetitions.
President's Secretariat12-March, 2015 14:21 IST
President inaugurates International Seminar on Clean and Capable India of Gandhis
Dream
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an International Seminar
on Clean and Capable India of Gandhis Dream in New Delhi today (12 March,
2015).
Speaking on the occasion the President said Gandhijis dream is our dream; his
vision must lead us through the challenges of the present towards a clean, green
and self-sufficient Bharat.
The President said that we have recently embarked upon two important initiatives:
(i) Swachh Bharat Mission to achieve a Clean India by 2nd October 2019, to
coincide with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji; and (ii) Make-in-India
campaign aimed at enhancing the manufacturing capability of our nation.
The President said Gandhiji visualized cleanliness as having three dimensions - a
clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Holding that cleanliness is next
to godliness, he had said: We can no more gain Gods blessing with an unclean
body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city.
The President said a winning strategy to achieve a state of cleanliness would
comprise engaging the citizenry, addressing the reduction of waste and improving
the processing of waste.
The President said the Make-in-India campaign envisages turning Gandhijis dream
of a self-sufficient and productive India into a reality. It aims at India becoming
Samarth on all fronts of economic development by facilitating investment,
promoting innovation, fostering skill development and establishing best-in-class
infrastructure.

The President said a comprehensive strategy is required to usher in a world-class


manufacturing set-up in our country. Steps in this direction include: a facilitatory
governance mechanism; building of smart cities and industrial clusters;
development of specialized skills in the youth; and establishment of dedicated
freight corridors for improved connectivity.
The President said select domestic companies having leadership position in
innovation and new technology should be identified to turn them into global
businesses. Advanced and environmentally-sensitive manufacturing companies
should be encouraged to make them an important part of the global value-chain.
Overall, the Make-in-India programme should lead to an attitudinal shift in how
India relates to investors: not as a permit-issuing authority but as a true business
partner.
The President said a concerted effort to refurbish India will help realize Gandhijis
dream of a Swachh and Samarth Bharat. The support and contribution of the wider
section of society, including key stakeholders, is necessary. Gandhijis dream was
guided by the light of knowledge and wisdom gained over centuries. Hence, a great
responsibility is on the shoulders of those who understand his vision, to play a key
role in this transformation.

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers12-March, 2015 15:44 IST


Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar launches Pharma Jan
Samadhan scheme
The Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar launched Pharma
Jan Samadhan scheme here today. It is a web enabled system for redressal of
consumers grievances relating to pricing and availability of medicines, created by
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). Shri Ananth Kumar also released
Compendium of Ceiling Prices of Essential Medicines 2015 prepared by NPPA.
Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Sh. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and the
Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals Dr. V.K. Subburaj were also present
during the launch ceremony.
The Pharma Jan Samadhan scheme has put in place a speedy and effective
complaint redressal system with respect to availability and pricing of medicines. It
would serve as a robust e-governance tool for protection of consumers interests
through effective implementation of the Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013. Pharma
Jan Samadhan will provide consumers and others with an on-line facility to redress
their complaints relating to over-pricing of medicines, non-availability or shortage of
medicines, sale of new medicines without prior price approval of NPPA, and refusal
of supply for sale of any medicine without good and sufficient reason. NPPA will
initiate action on any complaint within 48 hrs of its receipt.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Sh. Ananth
Kumar said that the new initiative shows that the government or NPPA is not only
regulator but more of a facilitator. He said that this phama-literacy initiative would
create awareness among the people and would act as a deterrence against blackmarketing, spurious medicines, and inflated cost of drugs. Shri Ananth Kumar said
that the pharma industry stands on three pillars- quality, availability and

affordability, and Pharma Jan Samadhan is a step in this direction. The Minister
said that pharma is the sun-rise sector of the country and considering the size, it
seems to be a fit case to make a separate Ministry to handle issues relating to
pharmaceutical industry. Lauding the NPPA initiatives the Minister said that this
would help in making the Prime Ministers vision of Make in India a reality.
Earlier speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers
Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that this is a step in empowering the common
man. He said that the health is the prime issue for the people and making them
aware about availability and pricing of medicine would help in improving the
system. On the issue of Compendium he said that this would be helpful for both
consumers as well as pharma industry.
The Secretary, Department of Pharmaceutical Dr. V.K. Subburaj said that the webbased portal will de-mystify the pricing of essential medicines. He said the
Government is working to make drugs available at affordable rates. He said that the
drugs made in India are cost-effective and jan-aushidhi scheme is being re-designed
to provide quality medicines at cheaper rate to the poor people.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy 12-March, 2015 15:55 IST


Potential of Renewable Energy in Desert Area
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had assigned a study to the
Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) to identify likely renewable power
potential in desert regions in the states of Rajasthan (Thar), Gujarat (Rann of Kutch),
Himachal Pradesh (Lahul&Spiti) and Jammu & Kashmir ( Ladakh). This was stated by
Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (IC)
in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.
The Minister further stated that in December 2013, the PGCIL had submitted a study
report titled Desert Power India- 2050 assessing renewable power potential,
transmission infrastructure requirement, balancing reserve etc in the identified
desert regions. The report has assessed the total available potential of 315.7 GW of
solar and wind power in these regions. The report has further estimated that the
investment requirement for harnessing the available potential upto 2050 would be
Rs 43,74,550 crore.
The investments in renewable energy power projects are mainly by private sector.
Government provides some incentives in the forms of generation based incentives,
viability gap funding. Besides, fiscal incentives such as accelerated depreciation,
concessional customs duty, excise duty exemption, income tax holiday for 10 years
and preferential tariff are provided for renewable energy power projects, the
Minister added.

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions12-March, 2015 16:12 IST


Amendments in Whistle Blowers Protection Act
The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011 was passed by the Lok Sabha on the 27th
of December, 2011 and was transmitted to the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, it was
noticed that some of the provisions in the Bill needed a relook with a view to
strengthening the safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the
sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the State, etc. Accordingly,

notices for certain official amendments were given to Rajya Sabha Secretariat from
time to time. The Bill was finally taken up for consideration and passing on 21st
February, 2014. However, as the Bill was taken up on the last day of the last Session
of the 15th Lok Sabha, the official amendments which had been given notice of,
were not moved during consideration and passing of the Bill on the said date.
The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha without any amendments (i.e., in the same
form as passed by the Lok Sabha) on 21st February, 2014. The Bill has received the
assent of the President on 9th May, 2014 and has become the Whistle Blowers
Protection Act, 2011 (No. 17 of 2014). In view of this, the Whistle Blowers Protection
Act, 2011 requires some amendments (aimed at safeguarding against disclosures
affecting sovereignty and integrity of India, Security of the State, etc), before it is
brought into force. A draft Note for the Cabinet has been referred to the Ministry of
Law and Justice (Legislative Department) with a request to provide a draft of the
amendment Bill in this regard.

Ministry of Planning12-March, 2015 16:46 IST


Measures to improve the quality of life of the people and to reduce poverty
The Government has initiated various measures to improve the quality of life of the
people and to reduce poverty in the country through direct intervention by
implementing specific poverty reduction and mitigation programmes. This includes
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Rural Livelihoods Mission
(NRLM), National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), Jawaharlal Nehru National
Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Indira Awas Yojana (IAY),
National Health Mission (NHM), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Mid-Day Meal Scheme
(MDMS), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Rajiv Gandhi National
Drinking Water Mission (RGNDWM), National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP),
Swachh Bharat Mission, etc. These interventions are expected to yield better results
over time in terms of reduction in poverty in the country.

Ministry of Power12-March, 2015 15:52 IST


Initiatives to Improve the Efficiency of Coal Based Power Plants
India has abundant domestic reserves of coal. In order to secure energy
requirement of the country, coal based generation will remain important for power
generation of India. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power,
Coal & New and Renewable Energy (IC) in a written reply to a question in the Lok
Sabha today. The Centre for Science and Technology in its report Green Rating of
Coal-Based Thermal Power Plants has given suggestions for improving the
efficiency of thermal power plants in India.
The Minister further stated that Government of India has already taken following
initiatives to improve the efficiency of coal based power plants and to reduce the
carbon footprint of the power sector:
(i) Out of about 87,000 MW thermal capacity under construction, about 48,000 MW
is based on supercritical technology, which uses less coal.
(ii) Supercritical technology has been made mandatory for Ultra Mega Power
Projects (UMPPs) being implemented.

(iii) In 13th Plan, all coal fired capacity addition shall be through supercritical units.
(iv) An Advanced Ultra Super Critical Technology R&D Project has been approved by
Government at a cost of Rs.1500 Crore involving BHEL, NTPC and Indira Gandhi
Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) to achieve higher efficiency, reduce carbondioxide emissions and coal consumption for coal based power plants.
(v) Renovation, Modernization and Life Extension of old thermal power generating
units and retirement of old and inefficient thermal generation units, in phased
manner, is being undertaken. A total capacity of 3,000 MW has been retired till
date.
(vi) Government of India have issued policy on automatic transfer of linkage in case
of scrapping of old units and replacing them with new supercritical plants.
(vii) Doubling coal cess from Rs.100 per tonne to Rs.200 per tonne for funding
projects under National Clean Energy Fund as announced in the Budget Speech of
2015-16.
(viii) Increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall power generation in
the country.
(ix) Perform Achieve Trade (PAT) Scheme under National Mission on Enhanced
Energy Efficiency is under implementation by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). In
this Scheme, individual target for improving energy efficiency has been assigned to
144 number of thermal stations.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways12-March, 2015 12:21 IST


New Bill aims for Safe Transport System
The new Road Transport and Safety Bill 2015, in place of Motor Vehicle Act 1988,
proposes to constitute a National Road Transport and Multimodal Co-ordination
Authority and State Transport Authority with an objective and power to plan and
develop integrated, safe and sustainable transport systems that contribute to an
inclusive, prosperous and environmentally responsible India under Sections 109 to
145 of Chapter-VI. In Section 139 of the proposed bill, the primary objective of State
Transport Authority includes the following:(1) to ensure, in collaboration with National Transport Authority, other state
transport bodies and public entities, urban local bodies and land holding agencies
and the traffic police, that the public transport system is planned and operated as
part of an integrated transport system which seeks to meet the needs of all
transport system users within the state;
(2) to organize and regulate the public transport system in a manner which supports
a multi-modal integrated transport system within the state by
(i) increasing the share of public transport trips within the state;
(ii) actively promoting public transport usage;

(iii) improving the environmental performance and minimizing the adverse


environmental impacts of the public transport system;
(iv) contributing to social well-being by providing access to livelihood opportunities
and supporting social interaction amongst members of the community;
(v) promoting economic prosperity through efficient and reliable movement of
public transport users while also supporting the movement of livestock and freight;
and
(vi) Collaborating with relevant bodies including the Central Government, the State
Government, National Transport Authority, State Road Transport Corporations, public
and private transport operators, urban local bodies, the National Authority, the
State Safety Authority, State Police and other such bodies, in order to improve the
efficiency of public transport for public transport users.
The Government of India has undertaken a project Security for Women in public
road transport in the country. The objective of the scheme is to ensure safety of
women and girl child in public transport by monitoring location of public road
transport vehicles to provide immediate assistance in minimum response time to
the victims in distress.
The proposed scheme under the Nirbhaya Fund envisages setting up of a unified
system at the National Level (National Vehicle Security and Tracking System) and
State level (City Command and Control Centre) for GPS tracking of the location of,
emergency buttons in and video recording of incidents in public transport vehicles,
in 32 cities of the country with a population of 1 million or more.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed Road Transport and Safety
Bill, 2015, in Chapter XI, provides for constitution of a Motor Vehicle Crash Fund.
The following shall be credited to the fund:
i) A cess or tax or payment of a nature notified and approved by Central
Government.
ii) Any grant or loan made to the fund by the Central Government.
iii) Any other source of income as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

Ministry of Shipping12-March, 2015 15:59 IST


Government Takes Measures to Deal with Sea-Piracy
To deal with the hostage situation arising out of the hijacking at sea of merchant
vessels with Indian crew, an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMGO) was set up by the
Government under the Ministry of Shipping. Government has also approved the
Contingency Plan for dealing with piracy and hijacking of merchant ships and
constituted a Committee of Secretaries on Anti-Piracy and Hijacking at sea
(COSAPH) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary for crisis management and
to advise the Government on major policy and strategy decisions. In addition to this,
the following steps have been initiated by Government as part of various

preventive/mitigating security measures to deal with sea-piracy:


(i) Guidelines for anti-piracy measures to be implemented on Indian Ships through
issue of Merchant Shipping Notice No.1 of 2011 dated 14.1.2011. The guidelines
provide for elaborate anti-piracy measures (Best Management Practices), including
safe house/citadel for vessels.
(ii) Banning of sailing vessels to ply in waters south or west of the line joining
Salalah and Male through Merchant Shipping Notice No. 3/2010 dated 31.3.2010.
(iii) Naval escort provided by Indian naval ships in the Gulf of Aden since 2008.
(iv) Enhanced vigil by the Indian Navy in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
and westward upto 65 degree east longitude.
(v) Active participation of India in the security meetings of the International
Maritime Organization, Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
and other international fora.

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship12-March, 2015 16:07 IST


Special Scheme for Skill Development of SC/ST
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy has said that there are over 20 Central
Ministries/Departments involved in implementation of more than 70 schemes for
various skill development/entrepreneurship programmes. The target of all these
schemes taken together for 2014-15 is Rs. 105.07 lakhs.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Shri Rudy said, these Schemes have
provisions for equal access to skill development for all social groups including
people with disabilities, SC/ST and minority. Under the scheme of Deendayal
Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) opportunities for the differently abled
persons in the field of education and employment are provided. The major
components of the scheme are:- (i) Vocational Training Centres, (ii) Sheltered
Workshop, (iii) Special Schools and (iv) Project for Pre-School and Early Intervention
and Training. In addition, National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation, a
Public Sector Undertaking under Department of Disability Affairs, provides financial
assistance for wide range of income generating activities for the persons with
disabilities. These schemes have imparted skills and helped differently-abled
persons to obtain employment/self employment.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment12-March, 2015 16:30 IST


Proposal for Construction of Hostel in Rajasthan
Under the Schemes, namely, Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojna (BJRCY) and
Construction of Hostels for OBC boys and Girls, proposals for construction of total
22 hostels, i.e. 16 hostels for Scheduled Castes and 06 hostels for Other Backward
Classes students, respectively, have been received from the Government of
Rajasthan.
Of these, all the complete proposals in all respects would be processed for approval

within this financial year, subject to availability of funds.


No proposal has been received from the Government of Rajasthan for construction
of hostels for Scheduled Tribe students.
The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment provides financial assistance
under the Scheme, namely, Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojana (BJRCY) to the
eligible implementing agencies for construction of hostel buildings/expansion of the
existing hostel facilities for Scheduled Caste students. In addition, one-time grant of
Rs. 2500/- per student is provided for making provision of a cot, a table and a chair
for each student.
At the beginning of each financial year, the State Governments/UT Administrations
are intimated their Notional Allocation under the Scheme for the respective financial
year with a request to send fresh proposals as per scheme guidelines. Further, the
cost norms under the Scheme have been revised during 2014-15, which would be
applicable for the proposals received in the Ministry on or after 01.01.2015 to
provide for escalation in cost of construction.

Ministry of Water Resources12-March, 2015 16:16 IST


German Offer for Ganga Rejuvenation
German Government has offered 3 million Euros for supporting Ganga Rejuvenation
during the Indo-German Government Negotiations held in November 2014. An
appraisal mission for this purpose is expected shortly to formulate concrete projects
for initial assistance.
Many countries such as Germany, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Netherlands, etc
have expressed interest to support Ganga Rejuvenation through
knowledge/technology sharing and providing financial/technical assistance for
cleaning up Ganga, capacity building, research and development, sharing of
experiences, expertise and best practices, etc. National Mission for Cleaning Ganga
is in continuous dialogue with the relevant organizations of these countries to
facilitate a fruitful involvement of foreign countries in Ganga Rejuvenation.

President's Secretariat13-March, 2015 17:54 IST


Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Roundtable on financing
of Innovations with Leaders of Banking and Financial sectors
1. It is my pleasure to attend this concluding session of the Festival of Innovations.
To begin with, I thank NABARD for taking the initiative to organize a Round-table on
financing of innovations with leaders of the banking and financial sectors. It is
heartening to see the enthusiastic participation of many leading banks and financial
institutions in todays forum.
2. The high growth that we have envisaged is possible only with productivity
improvements across all sectors of the economy. Innovations in different segments,
at different levels and for different sections will aid this process in no small
measure. The course of development of innovation involves the conversion of a
novel idea into a viable product. Financing of innovation, being a critical step, the
role of the banking system is paramount in the entire innovation value-chain.

3. A nation which performs high on innovation has, among other factors, a buoyant
and supportive financial sector to leverage innovations. In India unfortunately, there
are many instances of innovations that are languishing for want of financial support.
There is an urgent need to deliberate on the strategy required for changing the
climate of cooperation between innovators, investors and entrepreneurs. I am told
that this week-long festival was marked by fruitful interactions between grassroots
innovators and various stakeholders of the innovation eco-system, both within and
outside the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
4. The government has taken several initiatives to encourage innovations and startups that will help generate jobs and overcome poverty. Under the Pradhan Mantri
Jan Dhan Yojana, the banking sector - primarily the public sector banks successfully embarked upon an ambitious drive to provide access to the weaker and
poorer sections to a bank account and other financial products. Within a span of six
months, the coverage under the scheme has been close to hundred percent, with a
record 13.2 crore new bank accounts opened, 11.5 crore RuPay debit cards issued,
and over Rs. 11,000 crore deposited.
5. Despite the achievements, there are challenges to overcome still. Only a small
number of those who open accounts have access to credit for improving their
livelihood opportunities. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the
financial needs of our ingenious youth both in rural and urban areas that are yet to
be adequately met by the banking sector. It would be appropriate if banks open
dedicated counters in towns and cities to meet the needs of innovators.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
6. Grassroots innovators are constrained by the lack of a well-established market.
Some do not even possess the requisite skills and acumen to convert their
innovations into sustainable and marketable products. These potential
entrepreneurs require technical assistance. Hence provision of financial assistance
apart, mentoring is also a significant influencing factor in the innovationdevelopment framework. For want of mentoring and financing, many bright
students who possess innovative solutions to problems either go abroad or pursue a
different profession, resulting in what one may call brain drift. Arresting this trend
calls for the formulation of special schemes in the banking sector to make the ideasto-market transformation possible.
7. The banking system, in collaboration with the National Innovation Foundation,
can help create a pool of mentors in every district to assess and meet the financial
needs of the innovators. Bankers have to take the initiative to reach out to the

innovators, mentor them, and wherever possible, connect them with their other
clients who may help them in expanding their market. This role of creating linkages
between creative people and successful clients could be a game-changing
institutional innovation. A bank manager can open more doors for an innovator in
an hour than what an innovator could possibly be able to do in a year. The banks
would do well to have in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure managerial
facilitation for innovators. An increased awareness amongst the innovators - that
help is round the corner - is required to be built up.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
8. It is pertinent that sensitization and capacity building form an important agenda
of inclusive innovation system. In this context, I urge the banks present in this
forum to consider sending some of their managers to the Festival of Innovations
next year. This will provide the banking personnel an opportunity to interact with
the innovators and gain insights about how best to support them.
9. Central universities, IITs and NITs have set up Innovation Clubs to build linkages
with the grassroots innovators. Banks may also join hands with these clubs to
provide them requisite advice about taking innovative ideas forward.
10. New inclusive institutional arrangements are needed to give innovators and
innovation-based enterprises a fair chance of success. Recent initiatives like the Atal
Innovation Mission and the Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) scheme
will help spring up thousands of start-ups across the country. The banking network
in our country should be fully geared to meet the challenge of supporting these new
entrepreneurial ventures.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
11. I have fond remembrance of the time 32 years back when, during my first
tenure as the Finance Minister, NABARD was established. Over these years, NABARD
has carved a special place for itself in unfolding the story of Indias economic
development. I applaud NABARD for incorporating in its corporate mission the
promotion of innovative initiatives, and for working towards its achievement
through a systematic and strategic approach. Particularly, the effort of NABARD in
the sphere of financing rural innovations through the creation of a separate fund is
praiseworthy. Leveraging its experience of over three decades, NABARD will have an
important role to play in fulfilling the objectives of an innovation-oriented India.
12. I once again compliment NABARD for organizing this meaningful dialogue on
financing of innovation. I call upon all the concerned agencies to start working on
the various recommendations that have emerged from the deliberations. I urge the
Ministry of Finance to support the banks in whatever manner possible to enable

them to be more accessible and accountable towards innovators.


13. In the end, I compliment the National Innovation Foundation for their singular
contribution in making this first Festival of Innovations a great success. I declare the
Festival closed.

Prime Minister's Office13-March, 2015 18:37 IST


Text of PMs remarks at the Business Meeting hosted by the Ceylon Chambers of
Commerce in Colombo, Sri Lanka
I said at the SAARC Summit that barriers of boundaries inhibit progress;
international partnerships give it speed. That is why we see a rising tide of regional
integration and cooperation across the world.
Our region is rich in resources. We constitute a large market. We complement each
other. Therefore, our cooperation can be of huge benefit to all of us. There are
already powerful examples in South Asia that show us that difference in size is no
constraint to beneficial partnerships, if we use our strengths and seize our
opportunities.
Bhutan benefits from hydropower exports to India. Nepal has significant
manufacturing exports to India in part driven by Indian investors. Infrastructure,
energy, supply chains, traditional handicrafts, modern manufacturing, tourism and
services there are no limits to our possibilities.
I hardly need to tell this informed audience about the transformation unleashed in
India over the past ten months. There is new purpose and clarity in our policies; a
new vision for inclusive development; new standards in our governance; and, a new
level of energy in our economy. Last quarter, India was the fastest growing global
economy. We are confident that we can grow even faster.
The progress of one-sixth of humanity is a major economic opportunity for the
world.
The global confidence in India has been restored. The world`s engagement with
India is at a new level. But, the first claim on us should be that of India`s
neighbours. And, I will be happy if India is a catalyst for economic growth in our own
region. That is why I speak of a neighbourhood where trade, investment, ideas and
people move easily across the borders.
And, as I said in Kathmandu, Nepal, in November, India will do its part for the
region. We will work to integrate our markets more. We will make trade smoother
and possible through the most direct routes. We will invest in regional connectivity.
And, we will share our capabilities in science and technology with South Asia, from
advanced medicines to disaster management or space science.
As a friend and neighbor, we attach the highest importance to Sri Lanka`s economic
progress.
Sri Lanka is a nation of many achievements and great strengths. It has education,

skills and enterprise. It has an excellent location. And, it has won peace now. Sri
Lankan businesses have shown that they can compete with the best in the world.
Our garments and tea industry know that!
We are pleased to be Sri Lanka`s largest trading partner and one its largest sources
of investment. Our Free Trade Agreement in 2000 was a pioneering initiative in the
region. It has given a big boost to our trade. Sri Lanka`s exports to India have grown
sixteen times yes, sixteen times since then. This is impressive by any standards.
I know there are concerns here about the huge trade imbalance. I am prepared to
work with you to address them. I want balanced growth in trade. We will try to make
it easier and smoother for you to access the Indian market. That is part of my
philosophy of ease of doing business in India. Our agreement on Customs
cooperation is a step in that direction.
India is opening up to the world. We offer duty free access to Least Developed
Countries, including in South Asia. And, India has Free Trade Agreements with
ASEAN and others.
We should ensure that Sri Lanka does not fall behind in the changing and
competitive world. That is why India and Sri Lanka should move boldly to conclude a
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. You should also attract
investments from India for exports to India. That should be the natural outcome of
our proximity and your strengths.
Indian investments can also upgrade and expand your infrastructure. It is also
natural that Indian investors are more likely to invest here because of familiarity
and proximity. They are already here. And, I know that there are many large
commitments in the pipeline. They are looking for your support.
During this visit, I am pleased with progress on Sampur Thermal Power Project and
the Trincomalee Oil Farm. That is good for Sri Lanka`s energy security and for our
partnership.
Sustainable development of the Ocean Economy can be a huge area for
cooperation.
I also believe that when we connect the lives of people, we strengthen the bonds
between nations. We have extended visa on arrival facility to Sri Lanka from April
14. We should do more to connect our countries by air and sea.
India and Sri Lanka were, in some ways, better connected in the past than we are
now! In the past, a person could buy a rail ticket in Colombo and travel to Chennai
by rail and ferry! Air India`s decision to launch direct flight between our capitals will
help reverse that trend.
Tourism unites people and creates economic opportunities. India is already the
biggest source of tourists here. We will work together to increase that flow.
In conclusion, let me return to the point I had made at the beginning. India`s

progress gives us the ability to create opportunities for our neighbours. Our
development partnership has injected commitments of 1.6 billion dollars in
assistance from India. That has helped rebuild and upgrade infrastructure in Sri
Lanka.
Today, we have offered another Line of Credit of about 318 million dollars for the
railways sector. Reserve Bank of India has agreed to provide Central Bank of Sri
Lanka a currency swap arrangement for 1.5 billion dollars. This will increase the
stability of Sri Lankan Rupee.
It is not just in development partnership. We will also be supportive in advancing
your commercial interests. I believe in Sri Lanka`s capabilities. We should engage
more. We should open up to each other more.
We should move forward with greater belief in our own strengths; more trust in each
other; and, with more confidence in the fruits of our partnership.
As I was saying before, Sri Lanka has the potential to be our most important
economic partner in the region. We count on your support to make it happen.

Ministry of Agriculture13-March, 2015 20:52 IST


Union Agriculture Minister underlines the importance of water security and organic
farming at 4th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian Development in
Brasilia, Brazil today
Participating in 4th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Agriculture and Agrarian
Development in Brasilia, Brazil today, Union Agriculture Minister, Shri Radha Mohan
Singh, said that the Government is committed to promote Organic Farming that
improves soil health and leads to better quality crops. From the current financial
year, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, a new scheme to develop organic clusters
and make available chemical free inputs to farmers will be implemented. He also
referred about the Gokul Mission, a dedicated intervention to improve cattle
progeny so as to improve milk yields and farmers income.
Shri Singh said that a significant part of India is still under rainfed agriculture which
is characterized by low levels of productivity and low input usage. Vagaries of the
monsoon result in wide variation and instability in yields. However, if managed
properly, rainfed areas have the potential to contribute a lot in foodgrain
production, he said.
On this occasion, Shri Singh said that In order to counter the adverse effects of
climate change and the vagaries of nature, India has undertaken a National Action
Plan on Climate Change. Another initiative in the direction is National Mission for
Sustainable Agriculture which seeks to transform Indian Agriculture into a climate
resilient production system through suitable adaptation and mitigation measures
such as promoting location specific integrated/ composite farming systems, soil and
moisture conservation measures, comprehensive soil health management, efficient
water management practices and mainstreaming of rainfed technologies, he said.
Shri Singh said that the Government of India is committed to giving top priority to

water security. In this context, he referred to the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee
Yojana with the motto of water to every farm Har Khet Ko Paani. He mentioned
that the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana aims at providing end-to-end
solutions in irrigation supply chain, viz. water sources, distribution network and farm
level applications. He said that Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana will not only
focus on creating sources for assured irrigation, but also creating protective
irrigation by harnessing rain water at micro level. Micro irrigation will be popularized
to ensure Per drop- More crop, he said.
Shri Singh said that ample scope exists for cooperation among BRICS countries in
the areas of productivity enhancement in horticulture crops, exchange of
processable varieties and development of cold chain facilities.

Ministry of Agriculture13-March, 2015 13:42 IST


Increasing the Population of Cattle
In order to complement and supplement the efforts made by the States for
development & conservation and increasing population of cattle and other livestock
species in the country the Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying & Fisheries is
implementing the following major schemes: a) National Programme for Bovine
Breeding & Dairy Development; b) National Dairy Plan-I; c) Dairy Entrepreneurship
Development Scheme; d) National Livestock Mission; e) Livestock Health and
Disease Control; f) Central Cattle Breeding Farms and g) Central Herd Registration
Scheme.

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers13-March, 2015 17:54 IST


Revamping of Jan Aushadhi Scheme
178JanAushadhiStoreshavebeenopenedacrossthecountrysincetheinceptionofthescheme
againstwhichonly98arefunctionalasondate.TheSchemeisbeingrevisitedtoexpandits
reachacrossthecountry.DetailsarebeingworkedoutbyBureauofPharmaPublicSector
UndertakingsofIndia(BPPI)inconsultationwithDepartmentofPharmaceuticals.

ThethirdpartyevaluationofPublicHealthFoundationofIndianotedfivemajorreasons
forunderperformanceofthescheme:

(a)

OverdependenceonsupportfromStateGovernment;

(b) PoorSupplyChainManagement;
(c)

NonprescriptionofGenericMedicines;

(d) HealthPoliciesofCentral/StateGovernmentsFreeSupplyofDrugs;

(e)

Lackofawareness

WhereverJanAushadhiStoreshavebeenopened,theconcernedStateGovernmentsareissuing
instructions/guidelinestotheirDoctorsintheGovernmentHospitalstoprescribegeneric
medicines.SimilarinstructionsarealsoreportedtohavebeenissuedbytheMinistryofHealth
&FamilyWelfaretotheDoctorstoprescribemedicinesingenericnames.InadditionBPPIis
engagingIndianMedicalAssociationandotherDoctorsintheinitiative.
Ministry of Commerce & Industry13-March, 2015 14:37 IST
Social Security for Tea Workers
The workers and their dependents in tea gardens are provided basic welfare
services and amenities e.g. housing, medical and primary education, water supply,
sanitation etc. under the Plantation Labour Act, 1951. The Act provides for
compensation only to a worker in plantation in case of accident in accordance with
the provisions of the Workmens Compensation Act, 1923.
Besides, the government implements through the Tea Board various welfare
activities for tea plantation workers and their dependants in tea estates. The welfare
activities undertaken by the Tea Board under the Human Resource Development
(HRD) Scheme aim at improving the health and hygiene of workers, education of
wards of workers and imparting training to improve skills for growers/workers.
Under the health and hygiene programme, financial support is provided for
augmenting the infrastructure of the tea garden hospitals/health centres and
procurement of medical equipment, and accessories, ambulance etc. Family welfare
education programme and scouting and guiding activities are also supported for the
benefits of children of the workers. Financial assistance is given to physically
challenged plantation workers and their wards by providing crutches, caliper shoes,
artificial limbs etc.
Under the Education and Training support programme, books, uniforms and
educational stipends are given to the wards of workers. Vocational training
programmes are organised for skill improvement and self employment of the
dependants of the workers.
During the XI Plan Period (2007-12) the total amount disbursed for these purposes
by the Tea Board was Rs.20.15 Cr. During the first two years of the XII Plan i.e.
2012-13 and 2013-14, the Board has spent Rs.14.31cr.and Rs.8.93 Cr. respectively
on such programmes.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry13-March, 2015 14:37 IST


FDI Policy in Pharmaceutical Sector

As per extant FDI policy, FDI, upto 100%, is permitted, under the automatic route
for greenfield, and under the government approval route for brownfield
pharmaceuticals sector. Further, FDI, upto 100%, under the automatic route, is
permitted for manufacturing of medical devices/ equipments both for greenfield and
brownfield investments.
There is, at present, no proposal under consideration of the Government to review
the extant FDI policy in the medical devices/ equipments.
In order to protect the domestic pharmaceuticals sector, FDI policy provides that
Non-compete clause would not be allowed except in special circumstances with
the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. In addition, Government
may incorporate appropriate conditions for FDI in brownfield cases, at the time of
granting approval. Further, with a view to incentivize investment in the
manufacturing of medical devices, the sector has been placed under the automatic
route.
As per extant FDI policy, FDI, upto 100%, is permitted, under the automatic route
for greenfield, and under the government approval route for brownfield
pharmaceuticals sector.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry13-March, 2015 14:35 IST


Export Opportunities for India under Indo-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (IK-CEPA)
India and the Republic of Korea signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (CEPA) on 7th August, 2009, which has come into force from 1st January,
2010. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement covers a number of
areas including trade in goods, trade in services, rules of origin, intellectual property
rights, investment, etc. The agreement promotes stronger trade and commercial
ties between two countries, and opens up opportunities for exporters and investors
to expand their business in the tariff lines which are opened or in which tariff is
reduced. During the period 2009-10 to 2013-14, bilateral trade between the two
countries increased from US $ 12 billion to US $ 16.68 billion, including increase in
Indian exports from US $ 3.42 billion to US $ 4.20 billion. There are export
opportunities for several Indian products in Korean market including, inter-alia,
mineral fuels/ mineral oils, iron and steel, organic chemicals, aluminium and articles
thereof, residues and waste from food industries, cotton products etc. In services
sector, India has negotiated a Trade in Services chapter under India-Korea CEPA
wherein Korea has taken commitments in a number of sectors/sub-sectors that are
commercially meaningful for India. Under sub-sector Other Business Services,
Korea has taken commitments in many services including, inter-alia, advertising,
management consulting, project management, technical inspection, placement of
personnel etc., the benefits of which is available to Indian service suppliers. The
Government on its part organises outreach programmes in various parts of the
country to spread awareness among the Industry people/exporters/ service
providers about the opportunities available under India-Korea CEPA to boost exports
to Korea

Ministry of Finance13-March, 2015 19:33 IST


Major Highlights of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 Passed by Parliament;

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 4th March, 2015
and by the Rajya Sabha yesterday i.e. on 12th March, 2015.The passage of the Bill thus paved
the way for major reform related amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938, the General Insurance
Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority
(IRDA) Act, 1999. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act 2015 to be so enacted, will seamlessly
replace the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, which came into force on 26th
December 2014. The amendment Act will remove archaic and redundant provisions in the
legislations and incorporates certain provisions to provide Insurance Regulatory and
Development Authority of India (IRDAI) with the flexibility to discharge its functions more
effectively and efficiently. It also provides for enhancement of the foreign investment cap in an
Indian Insurance Company from 26% to an explicitly composite limit of 49% with the safeguard
of Indian ownership and control.

2. Capital Availability: In addition to the provisions for enhanced foreign equity, the amended
law will enable capital raising through new and innovative instruments under the regulatory
supervision of IRDAI. Greater availability of capital for the capital intensive insurance sector
would lead to greater distribution reach to under / un-served areas, more innovative product
formulations to meet diverse insurance needs of citizens, efficient service delivery through
improved distribution technology and enhanced customer service standards. The Rules to
operationalize the new provisions in the Law related to foreign equity investors have already
been notified on 19th Feb 2015 under powers accorded by the ordinance.
The four public sector general insurance companies, presently required as per the General
Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 (GIBNA, 1972) to be 100% government owned,
are now allowed to raise capital, keeping in view the need for expansion of the business in the
rural and social sectors, meeting the solvency margin for this purpose and achieving enhanced
competitiveness subject to the Government equity not being less than 51% at any point of time.

3. Consumer Welfare: Further, the amendments to the laws will enable the interests of
consumers to be better served through provisions like those enabling penalties on
intermediaries / insurance companies for misconduct and disallowing multilevel marketing of
insurance products in order to curtail the practice of mis-selling. The amended Law has several
provisions for levying higher penalties ranging from up to Rs.1 Crore to Rs. 25 Crore for various
violations including mis-selling and misrepresentation by agents / insurance companies. With a
view to serve the interest of the policy holders better, the period during which a policy can be
repudiated on any ground, including mis-statement of facts etc., will be confined to three years

from the commencement of the policy and no policy would be called in question on any ground
after three years.
The amendments provide for an easier process for payment to the nominee of the policy holder,
as the insurer would be discharged of its legal liabilities once the payment is made to the
nominee.
It is now obligatory in the law for insurance companies to underwrite third party motor vehicle
insurance as per IRDAI regulations. Rural and Social sector obligations for insurers are retained
in the amended laws.

4. Empowerment of IRDAI: The Act will entrust responsibility of appointing insurance agents
to insurers and provides for IRDAI to regulate their eligibility, qualifications and other aspects. It
enables agents to work more broadly across companies in various business categories; with the
safeguard that conflict of interest would not be allowed by IRDAI through suitable regulations.
IRDAI is empowered to regulate key aspects of Insurance Company operations in areas like
solvency, investments, expenses and commissions and to formulate regulations for payment of
commission and control of management expenses.
It empowers the Authority to regulate the functions, code of conduct, etc., of surveyors and loss
assessors. It also expands the scope of insurance intermediaries to include insurance brokers, reinsurance brokers, insurance consultants, corporate agents, third party administrators, surveyors
and loss assessors and such other entities, as may be notified by the Authority from time to time.
Further, properties in India can now be insured with a foreign insurer with prior permission of
IRDAI; which was earlier to be done with the approval of the Central Government.

5. Health Insurance: The amendment Act defines `health insurance business` inclusive of travel
and personal accident cover and discourages non-serious players by retaining capital
requirements for health insurers at the level of Rs. 100 Crore, thereby paving the way for
promotion of health insurance as a separate vertical.

6. Promoting Reinsurance Business in India: The amended law enables foreign reinsurers to
set up branches in India and definesre-insurance to mean the insurance of part of one insurers
risk by another insurer who accepts the risk for a mutually acceptable premium, and thereby

excludes the possibility of 100% ceding of risk to a re-insurer, which could lead to companies
acting as front companies for other insurers. Further, it enables Lloyds and its members to
operate in India through setting up of branches for the purpose of reinsurance business or as
investors in an Indian Insurance Company within the 49% cap.

7. Strengthening of Industry Councils: The Life Insurance Council and General Insurance
Council have now been made self-regulating bodies by empowering them to frame bye-laws for
elections, meetings and levy and collect fees etc. from its members. Inclusion of representatives
of self-help groups and insurance cooperative societies in insurance councils has also been
enabled to broad base the representation on these Councils.

8. Robust Appellate Process: Appeals against the orders of IRDAI are to be preferred to SAT as
the amended Law provides for any insurer or insurance intermediary aggrieved by any order
made by IRDAI to prefer an appeal to the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).
9. Thus, the amendments incorporate enhancements in the Insurance Laws in keeping with the
evolving insurance sector scenario and regulatory practices across the globe. The amendments
will enable the Regulator to create an operational framework for greater innovation, competition
and transparency, to meet the insurance needs of citizens in a more complete and subscriber
friendly manner. The amendments are expected to enable the sector to achieve its full growth
potential and contribute towards the overall growth of the economy and job creation.
Ministry of Finance13-March, 2015 18:12 IST
Digital Life Certificate for Pensioners; More Than One Crore Pensioners May be
Benefitted by the Scheme
Under the Digital India Mission, Government has launched Jeevan Pramaan an Aadhaar
based Digital Life Certificate for pensioners on 10.11.2014. This facility provides an option to
the pensioners to submit their life certificate digitally by authenticating biometrically using
UIDAI Database. The pension disbursing agencies integrated with the Jeevan Pramaan Portal
will get access to digital life certificate. The pensioners need not go to the pension disbursing
agency in person.
Aadhaar numbers is used for bio-metric authentication of pensioners. All pensioners having
Aadhaar number may avail this facility. More than one crore pensioners may be benefitted by the
scheme.
Government has taken a number of steps to bring awareness among the pensioners regarding the

digital life certificate scheme such as publicity through leading newspapers, organization of
camps for pensioners, regular meetings with pension disbursing agencies etc.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare13-March, 2015 12:53 IST
Free Generic Drugs
Public Health being a state subject, it is for the States/UTs to draw up such action
plans as per their need. Under the National Health Mission (NHM), financial support
is provided to the States/UTs for strengthening their healthcare delivery system
including support for provision of free drugs to those who access public health
facilities based on the requirement posed by the States/UTs in their Programme
Implementation Plans. An incentive of up to 5% additional funding (over and above
the normal allocation of the state) under the NHM is provided to those states that
introduce free medicines scheme. Under the NHM-Free drug service Initiative
substantial funding is available to States for provision of free drugs subject to
States/UTs meeting certain specified conditions. The number of free drugs provided
by the States varies from State to State and most States have their own list of
essential medicines.

The steps taken by the Government to check Spurious/Sub-Standard Drugs in the


country include:
(i)amendingtheDrugsandCosmeticsAct,1940bytheDrugs&Cosmetics(Amendment)Act,2008to
provideformorestringentpenaltiesformanufactureandtradeofspuriousandadulterateddrugs.

(ii)makingprovisionsintheDrugs&Cosmetics(Amendment)Act,2008forsettingupofSpecial
designatedcourtsforspeedydisposalofcasestodealwiththecasesofoffencesundertheDrugsand
CosmeticsAct.

(iii) issuanceofguidelinesfortakingactiononsamplesofdrugsdeclaredspuriousornotofstandard
qualityinthelightofenhancedpenaltiesundertheDrugs&Cosmetics(Amendment)Act,2008onthe
Website of CDSCO for purpose of uniform implementation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act in the
Country.

(iv) initiationofWhistleBlowerSchemetoencouragevigilantPublic Participationinthedirectionof


Movementofspuriousdrugsinthecountry.

(v)providingassistanceforupgradingoftestingfacilitiesandestablishingnewdrugtestinglaboratories
undertheCapacityBuildingprojectthroughWoldBank,soastoenhancethecapacityofthe
laboratoriestotestlargenumberofsamples.

(vi)overseeinginspectionofdrugmanufacturingsitestoensurequalityofimportedbulkdrugs.

(vii)amendmentofScheduleMtotheDrugsandCosmeticsRules,1945,pertainingtoGood
ManufacturingPracticesin2001tomakeitatparwiththeinternationalstandards.Itismandatoryfor
themanufacturersofdrugstocomplywithrequirementsofthisscheduleforqualitycontrolofthe
drugsmanufacturedbythem.

(viii)introductionofGoodlaboratoryPractices.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare13-March, 2015 12:51 IST


Programmes/Schemes Launched by the Government to Promote Family Planning in the
Country
The following programmes/schemes have been launched by the Government to
promote family planning in the country:
1. Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs wherein ASHAs are
delivering contraceptives from door to door in the community.
2. Scheme for ASHAs to ensure spacing in births wherein ASHAs are being utilized
for counseling newly married couples to ensure delay of 2 years in birth of first child
after marriage and couples with 1 child to have spacing of 3 years after the birth of
1st child. The scheme is being implemented in 18 states of the country (8 EAG, 8
NE, Gujarat and Haryana).
3. Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors under which MoHFW provides
compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider
(& team) for conducting sterilisations. Compensation for sterilization acceptors has
been enhanced further recently for 11 high focus states, with high TFR.
4. Compensation scheme for PPIUCD under which the service provider as well as the
ASHA who escorts the clients to the health facility for facilitating the IUCD insertion

are compensated.
5. Scheme for provision of Pregnancy Testing Kits at sub centres as well as in the
drug basket of the ASHAs for use in the communities for early detection of
pregnancies.
6. National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) under which clients are
insured in the eventualities of deaths, complications and failures following
sterilization and the providers/ accredited institutions are indemnified against
litigations in those eventualities.
7. World Population Day: It is being observed all over India since 2009 and the event
is conducted over a month long period, split into two fortnights:
i. June 27 to July 10: Dampati Sampark Pakhwada or Mobilization Fortnight
ii. July 11 to July 24 Jansankhya Sthirtha Pakhwada or Population Stabilization
Fortnight
8. Special emphasis on Postpartum Family Planning (PPFP) services- GoI has now
improved the basket of choice for PPFP with an introduction of a new method i.e.
PPIUCD. There is also continued emphasis on Post-partum sterilization.
9. Adoption of Fixed day Fixed Place Family Planning mode: Availability of Fixed Day
Static Services at all facilities round the year.
10. Engaging mobile teams for improving the access to sterilization services in
underserved, hard to reach, tribal and strife prone areas where there is huge
demand but lack of providers.
11. Accreditation of more private/NGO facilities to increase the provider base for
family planning services under PPP.
12. Increasing male participation and promotion of Non Scalpel Vasectomy.
13. Appointment of RMNCH+A Counselors (Reproductive Maternal Newborn and
Child Health) at the district hospitals and other high case load facilities to ensure
counseling of the clients visiting the facilities.
14. Improving contraceptives supply management up to peripheral facilities.
15. Quality care in Family Planning services being ensured by establishing Quality
Assurance Committees at state and district levels.
16. Conducting Onsite training through dedicated mobile training teams.
17. Augmenting demand generation activities in the form of development of new
audio visual software, display of posters, billboards and other materials in the
various facilities.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare13-March, 2015 12:51 IST

Steps Taken Under NRHM to Reduce Neonatal Mortality Rates in the Country
ThefollowinginterventionshavebeentakenunderNRHMtoreduceneonatalmortalityratesin
thecountry:

1)PromotionofInstitutionalDeliverythroughJananiSurakshaYojana(JSY)andJanani
ShishuSurakshaKaryakram(JSSK):PromotingInstitutionaldeliverytoensureskilledbirth
attendanceiskeytoreducingbothmaternalandneonatalmortality.JSYincentivizespregnant
womentooptforinstitutionaldeliveryandprovidesforcashassistance.JSSKentitlesall
pregnantwomentoabsolutelyfreeandzeroexpensedeliveryincludingcaesareansection
operationinGovernmenthealthfacilitiesandprovidesforfreetoandfrotransport,food,drugs
anddiagnostics.Similarentitlementshavealsobeenputinplaceforsickneonates.

2)StrengtheningFacilitybasednewborncare:Newborncarecorners(NBCC)arebeingsetup
atallhealthfacilitieswheredeliveriestakeplacetoprovideessentialnewborncareatbirthtoall
newbornbabies;SpecialNewBornCareUnits(SNCUs)atDistrictHospitalsandNewBorn
StabilizationUnits(NBSUs)atFRUsarebeingsetupforthecareofsmallandsicknewborn.As
ondate565SNCUs,1904NBSUsand14163NBCCsarefunctionalacrossthecountry.

3)HomeBasedNewbornCare(HBNC):HomebasednewborncarethroughASHAhasbeen
initiatedtoimprovenewborncarepracticesatthecommunitylevelandforearlydetectionand
referralofsicknewbornbabies.

4)EnsuringsingledoseofInjectionVitaminKprophylaxisinallthebirthsinallthepublic
andprivatehealthfacilitiesevenatthesubcentrebyANM.

5)ProvisionofSupportintheannualstateplansforupscalingofKangarooMotherCare
(KMC)inallhealthfacilities.

6)Empoweringfrontlinehealthserviceproviders(ANMs)togiveaprereferraldoseof
antenatalcorticosteroid(InjectionDexamethasone)topregnantwomengoingintopretermlabour
andprereferraldoseofInjectionGentamicinandSyrupAmoxicillintonewbornsforthe
managementofsepsisinyounginfants.


7)Capacitybuildingofhealthcareproviders:Varioustrainingsarebeingconductedunder
NationalRuralHealthMission(NRHM)tobuildandupgradetheskillsofdoctors,nursesand
ANMforearlydiagnosisandcasemanagementofcommonailmentsofchildrenandcareof
newbornattimeofbirth.

8)ManagementofMalnutrition:Emphasisisbeinglaidonreductionofmalnutritionwhichis
animportantunderlyingcauseofchildmortality.891NutritionalRehabilitationCentreshave
beenestablishedformanagementofSevereAcuteMalnutrition(SAM).Exclusivebreastfeeding
forfirstsixmonthsandappropriateinfantandyoungchildfeedingpracticesarebeingpromoted
inconvergencewithMinistryofWomanandChildDevelopment.

9)VillageHealthandNutritionDays(VHNDs)arealsobeingorganizedforimparting
nutritionalcounsellingtomothersandtoimprovechildcarepractices.

Ministry of Railways13-March, 2015 16:59 IST


Railway takes steps under swachh rail swachh bharat mission
Under the Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Mission, regular events on cleanliness are
planned to be organized Railways at all railway premises. The focus of Indian
Railways is to ensure clean and hygienic toilets, maintenance of cleanliness at
stations, trains etc., tree plantation, and removal of encroachments, improving
drainage, public awareness campaign and periodic monitoring of the mission.
Detailed instructions regarding waste management have been issued to Zonal
Railways for prompt disposal of waste arising out of catering services at stations
and in trains in order to maintain hygiene and cleanliness at all catering units. In
order to segregate the garbage, the refuse bins (with three colours) so nominated
are prominently painted in Green (for Bio-degradable waste), White (for recyclable
waste) and Black (all other waste i.e. other than bio-degradable waste and
recyclable waste) of sufficient size to ensure all collections.
Disposal of garbage is done by handling over the garbage to Municipal Authorities,
through incineration, dumping in identified landfill sites and composing pit etc.
Similarly, hazardous waste is also disposed off as per extant statutory guidelines.

Ministry of Railways13-March, 2015 16:57 IST


Steps Taken to Upgrade and Modernise Railway Network
Modernization and technical up-gradation on the Railways is an ongoing process. To
meet the demands of modern railway network, the steps taken by Railways are as
under:

Track: Laying of modern track structure consisting of 60 kg/90 Ultimate Tensile


Strength (UTS) rails on Pre-stressed Reinforced concrete (PSC) sleepers with 1660
sleepers per km at the time of renewals, laying of longer rails, minimizing the use of
Almino Thermic Welding and adoption of better welding technology for rails i.e.
Flash Butt Welding, maintenance of track with the help of track machines, Ultrasonic
testing of rails to detect flaws, etc.
Bridges: Repair/strengthening/rehabilitation/ rebuilding of bridges is a continuous
process on Indian Railways and is undertaken whenever so warranted by their
physical condition as ascertained during regular inspection by the designated
officials.
Signalling: Progressive upgradation of Signalling System to meet the essential
requirements of Signaling like Electrical/Electronic Interlocking with Centralized
operation of Points and Signals, Multiple Aspect Colour Light Signalling with LED
signals, complete track circuiting of the station, Digital Axle Counters, Automatic
Signalling, Train Management Systems (TMS) etc. Adoption of new technologies
such as Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), Train Collision Avoidance System
(TCAS) as means of Automatic train protection to further improve safety.
Telecommunication: Introduction of Mobile Train Radio Communication (MRTC)
system based on Global System for Mobile Communication, use of Modern Optical
Fibre Communication System on entire railway network.
Government of India has permitted 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in
construction, operation and maintenance of : (i) Suburban corridors through Public
Private Partnership (PPP); (ii) High speed train projects; (iii) Dedicated freight lines;
(iv) Rolling stock including trains sets and locomotive/coaches manufacturing and
maintenance facilities; (v) Railway electrification; (vi) Signaling system; (vii) Freight
terminal; (viii) Passenger terminal; (ix) Infrastructure in industrial park pertaining to
railway line/siding; (x) Mass Rapid Transport System. No proposal has been received
for investment in Railways so far.

Ministry of Women and Child Development13-March, 2015 15:10 IST


Relief and Rehabilitation of female victims of violence
24 States & 7 UTs have formulated the Victim Compensation Scheme under
provisions of Section 357 A of Code of Criminal Procedure.
The compensation part of the rehabilitation of victims of violence including rape is
governed by provision of Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure which
states that every State Government in co-ordination with the Central Government
shall prepare a scheme for providing funds for the purpose of compensation to the
victim of crime including rape. As per section 326 A of the IPC, Criminal Law
Amendment Act 2013 apart from making punishment stringent, for acid attack, it
provides for just and reasonable fine to meet the medical expenses of the victim

and this shall be paid to victim. The amendment also provides that all the hospitals,
public or private, have been mandated to provide free medical treatment to all
victims of acid attack and rape. The Ministry is implementing Ujjawala- a
Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation, ReIntegration and Repatriation of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual
Exploitation.
Under the Legal Service Authority Act 1987, all women are entitled to free legal aid.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), has introduced a Centrally
Sponsored Scheme for setting up One Stop Centre (one Centre in every State/UT).
The scheme aims at facilitating/providing medical aid, police assistance, legal
counseling/court case management, psycho-social counselling and temporary
shelter to women affected by violence for implementation during the remaining
period of 12th Five Year Plan i.e. 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is also administering Swadhar and
Short Stay Home Schemes for relief and rehabilitation of women in difficult
circumstances, including the victims of rape.

President's Secretariat14-March, 2015 20:46 IST


Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the 58th Session of the All
India Ayurvedic Congress in Chandigarh

It is indeed a privilege to address this distinguished assembly of Vaidyas and


practitioners of Ayurveda. I would like to, first of all, congratulate the All India
Ayurveda Mahasammelan and Vidyapeeth for organising this 58th All India
Convention on Ayurveda and providing an important forum for the experts in this
field to exchange views, deliberate on the modern application of this ancient
science and collectively address the task of promoting its use.
Ladies

and

Gentlemen,

2. Ayurveda, as a science, belongs to India. It is the oldest surviving system of


medicine in the world. Its origins have been traced back more than 5000 years. It is
believed that the concepts of Ayurveda were known to the people of the Indus
Valley Civilization. The science was significantly developed during the Vedic period
of our history. In fact, the main source of knowledge in this field are the Vedas
particularly the Atharvaveda believed to have been written around 1000 B.C. We
know that in the 5th Century the erudite treatises of the greatest of our Vaidyas,
Sushrutha and Charaka were translated from Sanskrit into Chinese and in 700 A.D.
Chinese scholars were studying medicine in India at the University of Nalanda. By
the 8th Century, these texts were translated into Arabic and Persian. We see that
Arabic works derived from our Ayurvedic texts reached Europe by the 12th Century.
Today, it is a matter of satisfaction that Ayurveda has not only sustained itself in
many of the countries of South Asia, but is also popular across the seas in some of
the countries of Europe and in the United States of America.
3. In India, most of us consciously - or as a matter of traditional practice - are
relying on Ayurveda in our daily lives. Even those of us who are not formally trained
in Ayurveda have embraced its principles in our dietary preferences and day to day
routine. In all the diverse cultures of the different regions of India, herbs, spices,
plants, leaves, flowers and oils, in countless combinations are prepared by
households and administered as preventive supplements or medicinal remedies for
addressing ailments - big and small. There is, for example, a specific reason for
turmeric to be a key ingredient in our everyday food; the tulsi leaf is, similarly,
incorporated in the holy water or charan amrit consumed after daily prayers and
ghee made of cows milk has been a staple cooking medium down the ages. Due to
the simple nature of the ingredients in Ayurvedic remedies, many of us prefer to
rely upon Ayurveda to avoid the harmful side effects of modern medicine.
Distinguished

participants.

4. It is unfortunate that Ayurveda, as a science, had been suppressed for a long


period when India was under colonial rule - due to which training and education in
this
ancient
science
suffered.
5. Fortunately, in post-Independence India, both our Central and State Governments
have taken a number of steps to revive this invaluable treasure of ancient medicinal
secrets. Government of India has, today, a full-fledged Ministry of AYUSH for the
development and promotion of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and
Homoeopathy. This Ministry has been working with the practitioners of our
indigenous medicinal systems to develop and strengthen education and training in
these sciences. The Sushruta Samhita and Charaka Samhita are now available to

students in Hindi and English. I am confident that such efforts will significantly
encourage the development of Ayurveda in our country and abroad.
Ladies

and

Gentlemen,

6. I would like to emphasise that Ayurveda should not be regarded as merely a


system of healthcare: it is, rather, a set of disciplines that work together to create
balance and harmony within us. It is based on the perception that life represents a
relationship between the atma or soul, mana or mind, indriya or senses and sarira
or body. It is a unique combination of science and philosophy for balancing the
bodys physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components. Ayurvedic doctors
believe that this equilibrium is necessary for good health. Creating such a balance
helps to heal the sick, to maintain the health of those who are well, and to prevent
disease
and
promote
quality
of
life.
7. For too long has Ayurveda been dismissed as an unproven discipline. I would
like to see Ayurvedic medicine being demystified and popularized through
informative marketing and user friendly packaging; I would like to see the day when
we have mobile clinics delivering Ayurvedic treatment and medicine through the
villages in all parts of India. I would particularly like to encourage the youth of India
to study, safeguard, practice and propagate this ancient knowledge system.
8. It is believe that centuries ago, the medicinal systems of Ayurveda and Siddha
had laid down protocols for successfully treating diseases that resembled the
diseases that we know today as HIV and tuberculosis. If these remedies could be
researched and the findings pursued, they could bring new hope to millions and
revolutionize modern medicine. To achieve this, I would like to see greater
collaboration between ayurvedic and allopathic researchers to widen the database
of treatment protocols and successful medical practices for the benefit of our
people. It would also be appropriate to establish channels of direct connectivity
between Ayurvedic laboratories and drug manufacturers. Some modern hospitals
are additionally offering Ayurveda in the name of integrative medicine. I would
definitely encourage hospitals all over India to add the facility and service of
Ayurvedic treatment in whichever way they can. In the same context, the
importance of Yoga has been acknowledged for protecting health and curing
disease. This year, the United Nations adopted without a vote, a resolution,
declaring June 21st as International Day of Yoga, recognizing that Yoga provides a
holistic approach to health and well being. As Yoga and Ayurveda are
complimentary to each other - and the practice of Yoga can increase the beneficial
effects of Ayurveda a combination of yoga and ayurveda can go a long way in
giving
good
health
and
preventing
disease.
9. I am confident that the deliberations at this 58th Convention will serve to give a
new impetus to the awareness and practice of Ayurveda and enhance its relevance
in our contemporary society by simplifying and popularizing it through modern
scientific interventions.

Vice President's Secretariat14-March, 2015 13:37 IST


Vice president inaugurates international conference on global environment issues

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that Environmental
degradation and climate change are amongst the foremost challenges confronting
human civilization in our times. The protection and preservation of environment and
its sustainable management are essential for the survival of humanity and our
planet, as we know it. Delivering inaugural address at the International Conference
on Global Environment Issues organised by the National Green Tribunal in
association with the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change,
Government of India here today, he said that Environment is a public good. It is not
owned by any one individual. Human activities result in significant environmental
changes that cause damage to species, ecosystems and ecological processes.
Preservation of the integrity of these ecological components is critical, considering
they provide the bio-physical base necessary for human life, such as water, land,
air, forests, biodiversity.
He expressed his concern that the threat of climate change is a serious global
concern. There is near consensus among scientists that climate change is
unequivocal. Increase in anthropogenic activities has built up concentration of
Greenhouse Gases in our atmosphere, leading to global warming. This in turn, could
lead to changes in rainfall patterns, disruption in hydrological cycles, melting of ice
caps and glaciers, rise in sea levels, and increase in frequency and intensity of
extreme events such as heavy precipitation or cyclones. These developments can
have a serious impact on sustainability of water resources, agriculture, forests and
ecosystems, affecting the well-being of billions of people.
The Vice President opined that Sustainability of economic development crucially
hinges on the protection of environment. For us in India, challenges of arresting the
pace of degradation of environment are formidable due to the imperatives of
maintaining high economic growth, increasing trends of urbanisation, population
growth, industrialisation, unmet basic needs, life style changes and biotic pressures.
We, therefore, need to pay greater attention to management of all natural resources
through appropriate eco-friendly policies, regulatory frameworks, pricing of natural
resources and making pollution costlier for the polluter.
He said that in India, protecting and improving the natural environment is a
fundamental duty of every citizen as per the Constitution. Domestic policies have
been tailored to take into account the environmental impact assessments.
Institutions to implement and monitor these policies have been set up at the centre
and state level. India has also been active in international forums relating to
environmental protection, and is party to 94 multilaterals environmental
agreements. However, much more needs to be done to translate commitments into
action and results.
The Vice President said that Globally, Indias policy goal of achieving sustainable
development and addressing emerging global environmental concerns, such as,
climate change, ozone depletion and bio-dieversity loss, is guided by the principle
of common but differentiated responsibility. India prefers an aspirational rather
than a mandatory or prescriptive approach. We believe that the issue of
sustainable development should be approached with a sense of equity; and the
development aspirations of the developing countries should be built into the green
economy principles being evolved at the international level. Whatever our

respective national positions on these issues, the protection and preservation of


environment is the common responsibility of all humanity. This calls for closer
cooperation among nations and a holistic approach. Failure to do so would have
serious consequences for our very survival as a species.

Ministry for Development of North-East Region14-March, 2015 20:28 IST


Northeast region is the Economic Corridor of India: Dr. Jitendra Singh
The Union Minister of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra
Singh described Northeast region as the Economic Corridor of India for entry into
international market beyond the eastern borders of the country. He was addressing
at the inaugural session of the Northeast Business Summit hosted by the Ministry of
DoNER in collaboration with Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), here today. Senior
government representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar are
participating in this summit. To act east distal to the eastern borders of India, we
will first need to successfully act east proximal to the Indian borders within the
eight Northeastern States, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, during the past over 100 days ever since he was entrusted
the responsibility of looking after the Ministry of DoNER, what precisely he has
learnt is that in a country like India known for its diversity, Northeast is the best
example of diversity within diversity.
Referring to several new initiatives undertaken by him, Dr. Jitendra Singh said,
beginning from January this year, he has introduced the practice of holding a camp
secretariat office by rotation every month in each of the eight States of Northeast
and informed that two such Secretariat Camps have already been held in Manipur
and Arunachal Pradesh respectively, in the months of January and February while
the camp in March will be held in Mizoram. This, he said, will send out a loud
message to the people of Northeast that they do not need to travel to New Delhi
each time when they have a grievance. On the contrary, it is New Delhi which will
reach out to them, he added.
Inspired by Prime Ministers Make in India initiative, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, a
concept paper titled Make in Northeast has been prepared and he is personally
trying to reach out to industrial houses to promote organic farming and food
processing which will generate revenue as well as employment in the region. He
appealed to leaders of the business community including Indian Chamber of
Commerce (ICC) to become active participants in this initiative and to inspire
potential investors and entrepreneurs to supplement the DoNER Ministrys efforts in
the region. This will not only help in promoting industry and business but will also
bridge the psychological barriers and bring Northeast closer to mainstream Indias
brisk march on the road to development and growth, he observed.
Minister for Industry and an influential member of Peoples Representative of
Bangladesh, Alhaz Amir Hossain Amu and Bhutan Health Minister Tandin Wangchuk
expressed their enthusiasm to do business with India and appreciated the initiative
taken by DoNER Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh. In response, Dr. Singh assured the
representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar that in near future, not only
the Northeastern region of India will succeed in attracting investors from other parts

of country but would also provide tempting potential to its neighbouring countries
for mutually beneficial joint business ventures.
Civil Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju profusely praised the focused work
style of Dr Jitendra Singh and complimented him as one of the most efficient
colleagues in the Union Ministry. Responding to the concerns over poor air
connectivity, Raju said, he was keenly following up the matter and expected more
cooperation in this regard from the various State governments in the Northeast.

Ministry of Home Affairs14-March, 2015 16:39 IST


Country Statement made by Rajnath Singh in the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk
Reduction
Following is the text of the Country Statement made by the Union Home Minister,
Shri Rajnath Singh in the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, in
Sendai, Japan on March 14, 2015:
It gives me immense pleasure to be a part of the Indian delegation for the Third
World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. On behalf of the Government and the
people of India, I wish to congratulate the United Nations and the host, the
Government of Japan, for organizing this event.
The Hyogo Framework for Action has provided a blue print for disaster risk reduction
activities including promotion of culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness and
resilience at all levels. Since then, considerable progress has been made by
investing resources and enhancing capacities in dealing with the disasters.
However, much needs to be done in the future.
Recent events in India such as the landslides and floods of 2013 in the Himalayan
State of Uttarakhand, cyclone Phailin in Odisha in 2013, the floods and landslides
in Jammu & Kashmir and cyclone Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh in 2014 have once
again brought into focus the need for multiplying our efforts towards disaster risk
reduction. The unplanned development of cities and lack of proper infrastructure are
the major challenges of the future. While communities, particularly women and
children, exposed to these events are trying to adapt to these regular occurrences,
the economic and social costs continue to mount year after year.
In India, our ancestors gave us the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which
means that the whole planet -- with all its human beings, plants, animal, birds and
natural resources -- is one family. This ancient realisation of our inter-connectedness
is even more relevant and urgent today. I would like to call upon this august
gathering to embrace this notion and enhance international cooperation through
sharing of technology, expertise and necessary resources. Here I would also like to
reiterate the commitment made by our Prime Minister in SAARC Summit last year by
ensuring Indias help and expertise to the neighbouring countries.
India hosts the SAARC Disaster Management Centre which is working towards
putting in place a framework to reduce disaster risks and promoting knowledge
sharing among the SAARC countries. The Indian National Centre for Ocean
Information Services operates the Tsunami Early Warning System. This is a State-ofthe-Art warning system which benefits not only India but also the littoral countries

of Indian Ocean. Our National Disaster Response Force which has the expertise in
addressing national disasters also attends to disasters in the region and beyond.
The National Institute of Disaster Management organizes trainings on various
thematic domains of disaster risk management. We are keen to share our expertise
and help other countries in disaster response and capacity building. We envisage a
bigger role in capacity building in the Asia Pacific region and look forward to build
sustained regional and international partnerships under the post-2015 Framework.
Apart from the role of specialised agencies, I would also like to note the importance
of indigenous technical knowledge and community based methodologies to deal
with natural disasters.
I would like to share that the Government of India has mainstreamed disaster risk
reduction in its development policies at all levels. By taking adequate measures for
preparedness to handle disasters at all the levels, we were able to limit the loss of
human lives to 44 in the State of Odisha due to Cyclone Phailin. This is in contrast
with the death of over 8900 persons in the Super Cyclone that struck the State in
1999. This substantive reduction could be brought around through regular
investments in improving our forecasting systems, apart from capacity building
measures involving the communities. More number of multi-purpose cyclone
shelters were constructed during this period. More than a million people were
evacuated and brought to safe places, before the cyclone Phailin made the land fall.
Our Finance Commission, a constitutional body that recommends distribution of tax
proceeds between the federal government and the states, in its recent report has
called for hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment in all our states. This will be an
important step in ensuring that over time, notions of risk reduction are embedded in
every penny we spend on development. We are promoting cooperative federalism
and devolving more power and resources closer to the ground of action.
Before concluding, we pledge our support to the post-2015 Framework, its goals and
priorities. We commit ourselves to work with countries in the region and beyond in
building resilient nations and communities, against disasters. We would also like to
call upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support
mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern
technology for capacity-building and enabling institutional and policy environment
at all levels.

President's Secretariat15-March, 2015 15:14 IST


Knowledge and Innovation are the Keystones of Progress, says President
A speech of the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of the
Second convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi was read out in
abstentia today (March 15, 2015) by Shri M. Natarajan, Chairman of the Board of
Governors. The President was unable to reach Mandi from Chandigarh due to bad
weather.
The President said in his speech that India`s technical institutions must usher in
social consciousness amongst our budding engineers and scientists. Along with
professional competence, these centres of scientific learning must inculcate a social
orientation in students. Our higher educational institutions are an integral part of

the local eco-system. They must assume greater responsibility for overall
development. The Government has taken important initiatives, aimed at financial
inclusion, creation of model villages, Clean India and building of digital
infrastructure. Institutions of higher learning including IIT Mandi should adopt five
villages each and convert them into model villages in line with the Sansad Adarsh
Gram Yojana. He also asked them to play a key role in realizing the objectives of the
Digital India programme.
The President said the growing demand for engineering education has resulted in
the establishment of a number of technical institutions. Yet in this proliferation
drive, quality of instruction and physical infrastructure has taken a backseat.
Rejuvenating our higher education sector calls for greater dynamism on the part of
our institutions. They must identify one or two departments, in which they have
core competence, and nurture them into centres of excellence. The quality of
faculty must be of a high order to provide students world-class instruction. With fast
occurring changes in various disciplines, the faculty must keep themselves abreast
with the latest developments.
The President said to bring about qualitative changes in teaching, the newlyestablished IITs must leverage the expertise available in the older IITs. The National
Knowledge Network offers a platform for academic institutions to collaborate
through peer group learning in emerging areas. Additionally, this network can
compensate for shortages in faculty, infrastructure and resources. Our educational
institutions must also make an effort to develop linkages with international
academic institutions.
The President said knowledge and innovation are the keystones of progress.
Competitive advantage can be derived from an eco-system conducive to new
learning, research and innovation. Inter-disciplinary approaches in course curricula
and research, strengthening under-graduate research and making research integral
to the teaching-learning process must gain focused attention. Strong linkages must
be built with the Industry. The success of initiatives like the Make in India
programme depends on the manufacturing of quality industrial products. Good
academia-industry interface can play a critical role in this regard.
The President said higher educational institutions, particularly engineering
institutes, must promote a scientific temperament and spirit of inquiry in their
students. They must encourage their students to follow their curiosity and explore
their creativity. They must equip students to think beyond their textbooks and come
up with ingenious ideas.