To bring momentum in skilling through collaborative efforts, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh along with Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan here today inaugurated India's first Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) for Skilling in Smart Cities, in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). The ministers also laid the foundation for a Skill Development Centre at Moti Bagh and a Centre of Excellence at Dharam Marg, New Delhi.

Affirming synergies with the Government of India’s flagship programs, the new skill development centres underscore the commitment of the Ministry of Urban Affairs & Housing (MUHA) and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to support skilling in smart cities. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), an executive arm of MSDE, has collaborated with New Delhi Municipal Council Smart City Limited (NDMCSCL) to extend cooperation for setting up of PMKK Centres for Smart Cities, to provide skill training for unemployed youth through its short-term training (STT) module and contribute to the capacity building of municipal employees through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program.

The event also had graceful presence of dignitaries such as Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, New Delhi; Shri Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC; Shri Karan Singh Tanwar, Vice – Chairman, NDMC; Shri Surender Singh, MLA & Member, NDMC and other senior officials from MUHA, MSDE, NSDC and NDMC.

Inaugurating the skill development centres, Shri Rajnath Singh said, “India which has the privilege of being a young nation, would gain from this demographic dividend to become a superpower and be amongst the top three counties in the world by 2030. The key to reach this milestone is by investing in our youth and making them skilled.” Shri Rajnath Singh added, “A skilled person gets respect, recognition and honor due to his hard work. I strongly believe that these skill development centres would aspire youth to take up vocational training to make themselves self-reliant.”

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Collaboration is the need of the hour to support inclusive and sustainable development in the country. Today’s event signifies integration and convergence approach towards Respected Prime Minister’s two most ambitious projects – the Skill India Mission and the Smart City Mission. Skilled workforce is required for effective development of any big or small project. We aim for recognition and respect to this workforce through skill training.”

Special Guest at the event Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, MP Lok Sabha said, “I would like to applaud the efforts of both the ministries and its nodal agencies NSDC and NDMC for pioneering steps to bring in equitable growth and development. I am confident that such centers would deliver quality by extending access to trained youth, which would catalyse the creation of smart cities in the country.”

President, NDMC Shri Naresh Kumar said, "National Skill Mission will prove to be a milestone for the developed India. NDMC supports inclusive development by introducing best practices in skilling and is determined to leave no stone unturned to achieve the mission”.

The newly inaugurated Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra leverages NDMC infrastructure for skilling initiatives. Located at Mandir Marg, New Delhi, the NDMC-PMKK Centre for Skilling in Smart Cities is an exemplary heritage building of approx. 30,000 sq.ft., with a capacity of skilling 4,000 youth annually. Catering to healthcare and solar energy sectors, the centre will be managed by one of NSDC’s affiliated training partners - Orion Edutech, which has an impeccable record of training nearly 3 lakh candidates through its network of over 275 skill development centres across the country. On this occasion, a solar-power lab powered by Schneider Electric was also inaugurated.

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Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh administered oath of office and secrecy to Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh, here today, on his appointment as member of the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Manipur and Mizoram. The JERC is a two-member Commission, each member representing the respective participating State.

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh has been appointed as the member from the Manipur side for a period of 5 years, with effect from the date of his taking charge of the post or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest.

Shri Ngangom Sarat Singh holds B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and has retired from the post of Superintending Engineer (Electrical) in the Electricity Department of Government of Manipur.

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A meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre and Minister for Energy, New & Renewable Energy, State Excise, Government of Maharashtra Shri Chandrashekhar Bawankule here today to discuss on various issues related to Defence land at Nagpur District and Kamptee Cantonment Boards.

During the meeting various pending defence land transfer issues with Maharashtra Government and development projects pertaining to Kamptee Cantonment Board with the financial assistance from the State Government were discussed.

Officials from Ministry of Defence, Govt. of Maharashtra, Directorate General of Defence Estates (DGDE), Army Headquarters (AHQ) and Local Military Authorities from Nagpur were also present.

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India throws open its Science & Technology (S&T) Institutions to its friendly neighbouring countries and announces a slew of R&D programs for capacity building in these countries.

The Scientific Ministries and Departments of the Government of India have active international collaboration in science and technology both at the bilateral and regional level. Today India is engaged in active R&D cooperation with more than 44 countries across the globe including advanced, emerging and developing nations.

As a part of India’s foreign policy initiatives of the present government like “Neighbours First”, “Act East”, and “India-Africa Partnership”, India has now embarked upon a visible path of developmental diplomacy using science, technology and innovation that will not only help towards capacity building in R&D but also address the needs of the people through the application of science technology and innovation. To this end, for the first time, a Science and Technology Ministers Conclave was organised as a part of the 2017- India International Science Festival (IISF) being held in Chennai from 13-16 Oct. Invites were extended to S&T Ministers from  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Inaugurating the Conclave, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, informed that the purpose of the S&T Ministers Conclave was to build and strengthen partnership between the countries by identifying the priorities, needs and mechanisms that will enable a fruitful cooperation through sharing and complementing each other’s strength and resources. Afghanistan Minister of Higher Education, Abdul Latif Roshan, Bangladesh Minister of Science and Technology, Yeafesh Osman and Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y. S. Chowdary, outlined the priorities, challenges and opportunities in science and technology in their respective countries.

The common denominators for the scientific cooperation which emerged from the Conclave included the need to address societal challenges through application of science and technology in emerging areas such as Affordable Health care, Water security, Climate change adaptation, Agricultural science, Renewable energy, Information & Communication Technology and Natural disaster prediction and management. Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that this would be achieved by sharing best practices access to scientific opportunities in India to individuals from across our neighbourhood nations who desire and deserve it, promote connectivity and capacity building by fostering research and education linkages with scientific and academic institutions of India and facilitate transfer of such knowledge and technologies from India which are affordable and accessible for larger public and societal good in our neighbourhood countries.

In order to enable active collaboration, the Minister also announced that the Ministry of Science and Technology would offer concrete programs supported by India for desiring and deserving neighbouring countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The bouquet of schemes announced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan includes:

(1) For human capacity building in S&T, the 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship (ISRF) scheme will provide a fully paid fellowship to researchers, scientists and academicians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka to undertake research and development work of their choice at any premier research and academic institution in India upto a period from 3 to 6 months.

(2) In order to address the need to support PhD students, a new element has been added in the 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship. The scheme for the first time will also include doctoral students in science, engineering and medical fields to undertake project related research work in any premier research and academic institution in India upto a period of 6 months. This will help to connect the next generation of the scientific community with India. The Department of Science and Technology will support this Fellowship scheme.

(3) Towards Training of Researchers the science agencies in India including CSIR, DBT, MOES, IMD, DST and SERB organizes tailor made hands-on training programs and advanced schools for Indian researchers. India would like to throw open these specialized training programs to participants from our desiring and deserving neighbouring countries to participate in these. 200 travel slots every year was announced for the researchers from these countries to be supported by the Department of Science and Technology to enable them to make the best use of these advanced training programs offered by India. This would help in capacity building and will also foster research networks with Indian scientific institutions.

(4) For institutional capacity building and technical assistance in Science and Technology a twinning program between Indian institution and a R&D or Academic institution in the neighbouring country was also committed by India. It was informed that a successfully model between the Institute of Biotechnology in Bangladesh with ICGEB, Delhi where scientists from Bangladesh undertake regular research and training immersions and Indian scientists travel to Bangladesh to assist in setting up the technical infrastructure of the new laboratory in making is being implemented. On a similar fashion, thiswill be replicated in other desiring countries in atleast one such institution in each of the mentioned neighbouring countries.

(5) One of the key aspects agreed was a mechanism for knowledge transfer and adoption for societal development. India offered a Technology Transfer Program, the objectives of which will be to match the socio-economic needs of our neighbouring countries by linking the public and private enterprises with leading edge Indian technologies and innovations. India will share a basket of demonstrated and validated Indian technologies and innovations developed by our scientific institutions. A need based select list of such technologies can be transferred using a Business to Business or Business to Government model of joint venture through a process of adaption and adoption.  It will replicate the model which we are already implementing in African countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda and South Africa. The joint ventures created will deliver sustainable social enterprises that will stimulate economic impact development including the components of skilling, training, mentoring along with capacity building and business planning in our neighbouring countries.

It is expected that these schemes will help to develop a close and robust partnership in science, technology and innovation with our friendly neighbouring countries based on the principles of mutual trust, friendship and goodwill. The visiting Ministers were also exposed to the Science Park in IIT-Madras where technology start-ups are being incubated, at CLRI where clean technologies for leather industry are being developed and were showcased the advanced marine technologies at NIOT, Chennai. 

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