The Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Company Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal today inaugurated Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL)’s three 100 MW Solar Power Projects for commercial operation and dedicated these projects to the Nation .

The Solar Power projects situated at Thoppalaakkarai and Sethupuram in Virudhunagar District and Sellaiya Sezhiyanallur in Tirunelveli District, with an installed capacity of 100 MW each, were erected at a cost of Rs.1300 Crores, which includes Operation & Maintenance cost for 15 Years. The power produced from these units will be given to Tamilnadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) at a cost of Rs.4.41/- per unit.

Shri  Piyush Goyal  in his inaugural address  lauded the efforts of  NLCIL Management, Employees and trade unions  for their unstinting efforts for the growth of organization with a  new vision. He appealed to all employees to strive for the growth of the company with new vision to realize the New India to take care of future generations.

Shri  Piyush Goyal  also appreciated the CSR initiatives of the organization. He urged the management to co-ordinate with the Railways and to start free WiFi for students, open Jan aushadhi Kendras and make sanitary napkins available on all eight railway stations near Neyveli. He also suggested to explore the possibility that the old age home and orphanage, run by the PSU, should be run from a single complex, so that the integrated home can enrich both the children and the elders.

 A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed by NLCIL and Anna University in the presence of Hon’ble Minister, Chairman and Managing Director and other functional Directors of NLCIL. This MOU was signed by Dr. V. Manoharan, General Manager/Centre for Applied Research & Development, NLCIL, Neyveli and Dr. S. Ganesan, Registrar, Anna University, Chennai. The MoU would help set up a pilot project on solar drying of lignite, in order to increase its Caloric Value from 2700 Kcal to 4350 Kcal. The cost of the pilot project is Rs.2 Crore 69 Lakhs.

NLCIL is a 'Navratna' profit making, Government of India Enterprise engaged in mining of lignite and generation of power through lignite based thermal power plants. NLCIL was established by GoI in 1956, following the discovery of lignite deposits in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu.

 

 

 

 

Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble  Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Company Affairs and Dr. S.K Acharya CMD,NLCIL  and Shri Rakesh Kumar  Director (Finance) dedicating NLCIL's Three 100 MW Solar Power Projects  to the Nation at Neyveli ,on 14.06.2018

 

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Swajal Launched in 115 Aspirational Districts of India

Centre to Spend Rs 1000 Crores to Provide Clean Drinking Water to 27,500 Quality-Affected Habitations

A National Consultation on the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) and Swajal was held in the Capital today to discuss the reforms needed in NRDWP and to outline a road map for the Swajal scheme. The consultation was chaired by the Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushri Uma Bharti. The Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Ramesh Jigajinagi, was also present. Ministers-in-charge of Drinking Water from 13 States, including Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, attended the consultation and gave their views on the reforms needed in the ongoing Centrally-sponsored drinking water schemes being implemented in the respective states.

Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation announced that Swajal schemes in 115 aspirational districts of the country will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexi-funds under the existing NRDWP budget. These schemes will aim to provide villages with piped water supply powered by solar energy. The scheme will train hundreds of rural technicians for operation and maintenance of Swajal units. The Minister spoke about the relevance of Swajal in remote rural areas in the aspirational districts of the country.

The Minister also announced the modernisation of 2000 water quality testing laboratories spread across the country. She urged the State Ministers to closely monitor the functioning of the water laboratories so as to ensure safe drinking water for rural Indians. She further said that Rs.1000 crores will be earmarked for addressing the drinking water needs of 27,544 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations of the country in this financial year under the National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM). She also highlighted the importance of rain water harvesting and water conservation, announcing that a special communication campaign will be taken up in the country to create awareness on the same. Further, she called upon the States to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goal ‘safe drinking water for all’ is achieved in India by 2030.

Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, in the keynote address, outlined the reforms undertaken in NRDWP to make it outcome-based, sustainable and put a significant part of the programme on challenge mode to encourage healthy competition between States. Joint Secretary (Water), Smt. Radha V, gave a presentation on proposals to further strengthen the NRDWP and special features of Swajal scheme and its implementation plan.

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 Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project. The Agreement was signed in Bengaluru on Saturday (June 09, 2018) by Dr Vijayamohan K. Pillai, Director, CECRI and C. Narasimhan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of RAASI Group in the presence of  Union minister for Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan.

A group at CSIR-CECRI headed by Dr Gopu Kumar has developed an indigenous technology of Lithium-ion cells in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) New Delhi, CSIR- Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad. CSIR-CECRI has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype Lithium-Ion cells. It has secured global IPRs with potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production.

Currently, Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries. India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries.

“Today’s development is a validation of the capabilities of CSIR and its laboratories to meet technology in critical areas to support our industry, besides other sectors,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan after the signing ceremony. “It will give tremendous boost to two flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – increasing the share of Clean Energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be Solar and the second, National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, the project is in tune with Prime Minister’s vision of “Make in India”, to turn India into a manufacturing hub and to cut down outflow of foreign exchange.

Raasi Group will set up the manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu close to Bangalore. “We want to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below Rs. 15,000/- per KW to replace Lead Acid Battery,” said Narasimhan. “We also have plans to make Lithium Ion battery for solar roof top with life span of 25 years to make it affordable enough to drive the Photo Voltaic segment.”

Li-Ion batteries have applications in Energy Storage System – from hearing aid to container sized batteries to power a cluster of villages, Electric Vehicles (2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, 4-wheeler and Bus), portable electronic sector, Grid Storage, Telecom and Telecommunication Towers, Medical Devices, Household and Office Power Back (UPS), Powering Robots in Processing Industry. Lithium-ion batteries can power any electrical application without the need of physical wires-means wireless. 

 

Dr Jitendra Yadav, Director, CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bengaluru, Dr Vidyadhar Mudkavi, Director, CSIR-4PI, Dr. M. Annadurai, Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bengaluru were also present on the occasion. Dr Annadurai stressed, the Li-Ion cells developed by ISRO is primarily for space applications and there is room for convergence.

 

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SRD

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The following is the text of the speech of Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, at the World Environment Day 2018 celebrations:

“Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji,

My colleagues, Shri Manoj Sinha and Dr. Mahesh Sharma,

My colleague Ministers from various States of India,

Shri Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme,

  Shri C K Mishra

Distinguished members of this esteemed audience present here today.

I feel honoured and delighted to welcome our dynamic and visionary Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to inaugurate the global celebrations of the World Environment Day 2018. I extend a warm welcome to all the dignitaries and participants gracing this occasion today at Vigyan Bhawan, as well as to all those, who are watching this programme ‘Live’.

Indian civilization evolved with love and reverence for environment, forests and rivers, against all sorts of exploitation of nature right from its inception. Indian philosophy and lifestyle have long been rooted in the concept of co-existence with nature. Conservation is ingrained in the Indian ethos, not just in tradition-bound villages, but even in urban areas.

As an environmentally conscious and responsible country, we are extremely pleased to be the global host of the World Environment Day this year. Ever since our government took over, the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ has been passionately spearheaded by our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, through the revolutionary Clean India movement called ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.

Friends and colleagues, today,   plastic is not the real problem. It is what we do with it and how we use it. Plastic is a unique and miracle material with crucial applications in the health sector, in generation of clean energy from wind turbines to solar panels, as well as safe food storage. Plastic packaging accounts for around 50% of all plastic waste generated globally, much of which is single use.

The global plastic production is projected to nearly double within a short period of time. Eliminating single-use plastic, both from design chains to our consumer habits, is a critical first step to beat plastic pollution. Once in the environment, plastics don’t degrade easily, and eventually find their way into our food chain.

On this occasion of World Environment Day, we join the United Nations in appealing to the governments, industry, communities and individuals globally to come together and explore sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. These single use plastics are polluting our land and oceans, endangering marine life and impacting human health adversely.

Dear audience, to beat plastic pollution, we need an out-of-the-box approach to designing, producing, using and managing plastic products through solutions that lead to Green Good Behaviour. In India, we have framed comprehensive Plastic and Solid Waste Management Rules, which address all the concerns related to plastics. Also, taking cognizance of the environmental degradation arising from the use of plastics, our government has initiated action to ensure that all public buildings and public universities become free of single-use plastics.

However, for long-term sustainable living, the global community needs to rethink its energy and resource consumption patterns. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has provided the global leadership to address both these challenges. In March 2018, India hosted the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) as a common platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich nations. ISA has now transformed into a global inter-governmental organization headquartered in India that is helping us to harness solar energy at prices, which were unimaginable 3 years ago. Also, through the Swachh Bharat Campaign, the waste to wealth movement has gained strength. Today, for a vast and developing country like India he has given a mantra – ‘Swachh, Swastha and Sampann Bharat’, a clean, healthy and prosperous India - and that is a goal which we all shall pursue relentlessly.’

I am pleased to inform you all that to motivate and involve the masses in environmental protection, we prepared a compendium of Green Good Deeds, which has now been internationally acknowledged. The BRICS Environment Ministers’ meeting in Durban, last month, agreed to include Green Good Deeds in its agenda for the next meeting.

On this historic occasion today, we make a solemn pledge that by 2022 we shall eliminate all single use plastics from our beautiful country. Our beloved Prime Minister Shri Modi ji has envisioned a New India by 2022 - an India of our dreams which shall be clean, poverty-free, corruption-free, terrorism-free, casteism-free … and most of all … which will be a global superpower. This India of our dreams shall also be single-use plastic free. And, on the personal front, I pledge to henceforth completely do away with single use plastic in my life.

I am convinced that every Indian is interested and anxious to contribute towards protecting our environment. Every citizen has the potential to become a Green Ambassador. It is the Green Social Responsibility of every citizen to preserve the environment. If each and every one of us does at least one Green Good Deed daily as part of our Green Social Responsibility, there will be more than a billion green good deeds accomplished each day across the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, by hosting the World Environment Day 2018, India reaffirms its commitment to defeat plastic pollution. Governments, industries, and individuals will all have to play a major role in weaning society from its dependence on single-use plastic that continues to be an adversary to our natural environment. There is a need to raise consciousness about the impact plastics have on society and environment and to inform and educate people about alternate materials. I call upon all citizens and in particular, the civil society groups to be crusaders for realizing this goal. There is also an onus on the industry, as part of their green corporate responsibility to ensure that plastics they make are degradable, recyclable or reusable. I also make a fervent appeal to school and college children to take up the leadership of the Beat Plastic Pollution movement. You as Polio Sainiks for many years got us a polio free India.

 In the interest of our Mother Earth, let’s all strive in spirit and soul to accomplish this pledge to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

Namaskar and Jai Hind!”

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The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved an Agreement between India and Peru which was signed in May, 2018 at Lima, Peru.

The agreement aims to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The Agreement envisages establishing a Joint Committee to develop Work Plans in order to implement the Agreement.

  The Agreement will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

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Read more: Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Peru

The government, during the last four years, has been working on building an end-to-end, holistic scientific ecosystem. This includes enhancing the quality and quantity of impactful basic research to translation research to technology development, to technology transfer, to innovation and startups to enabling commercialization of indigenous technology.

Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences today briefed media about achievements of Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in last 4 years in New Delhi. The minister said, our science is now working to solve important challenges in the areas of water, energy, health, environment, climate, agriculture, food. At the same time, India is getting future-ready in launching ambitious missions in cyber physical system, Artificial Intelligence, Super Computing, Deep Ocean, biopharmaceuticals, and others, which will make us globally competitive in a rapidly changing world order, said Dr harsh Vardhan.

The government has also connected our science to our national needs, opportunities and priorities, such as those reflected in the national missions like Make in India, Start-up India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat and Swasth Bharat. Government emphasizes on new and strong connections with industry, education, with the line ministries and with other nations.

S&T collaborations with the best in the world benefit immensely our scientific community and R&D institutions. Some noteworthy international collaboration during the last four years are: India becoming a partner in the LIGO project for gravitational wave detection with agreement to set-up the detector station in India and India becoming an Associate Member State of CERN; Establishment of India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund, etc.

The investment in Science, Technology and related areas has gone up during the last four years starting 2014-15 to 2018-19, as against five years earlier, i.e., 2009-10 to 2013-14. The budget allocation to Department of Science & Technology was Rs. 19,764 crores, which is a whopping 90% increase. Similarly, there was an increase of 65% for the Department of Biotechnology; almost 43% increase for CSIR and 26% increase for Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The notable achievements during the last four years have been development of new technologies and transfer of over 800 technologies to the industry. A new synergy has been established between intra-ministry laboratories and inter-ministry institutions. Scientific laboratories have increasingly become problem-resolution hubs for many government agencies like Railways, Heavy Industry, Urban Development, Defence, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to name a few.

The approach has been realigned to have a mix of fundamental science and application science. This year’s budget announcement on Mission for Cyber-Physical Systems is one such example of application science. Mission-based projects on Supercomputing, Aroma, Sickle Cell Anemia and Biopharma are some illustrative examples of application and solution science initiatives.

S&T intervention in Agriculture sector to improve crop productivity makes a huge impact on rural economy. Ministry of Earth Sciences provides agro-meteorological advisories to 24 million farmers currently, which will be scaled up to 40 million by July 2018. The timely weather information has helped in farming activities, which had resulted in a positive economic impact of Rs. 50,000 crores to national GDP. During the last four years, the quality of weather and ocean forecast services has improved substantially. On 1st June, 2018 Ministry of Earth Sciences has commissioned the Ensemble Weather Prediction system, one of the best in the world, for generating probabilistic block level weather forecasts. This was possible due to the procurement of new Super computers Pratyush and Mihir with a combined capacity of 6.8 Peta Flops by the Ministry.

A similar kind of information is provided to fishermen in the country on potential fishing zones, on fish availability. These advisories reach more than four lakh users every day, a four-fold increase during the last four years.

A joint research by CSIR DBT and ICAR has developed blight resistant improved Samba Mahsuri Rice, which is now being cultivated in an area of 120,000 hectares in seven states. This variety of rice is amongst the low glycemic index, which is amongst the lowest value for several rice varieties tested and thus, is considered highly suitable for diabetic patients.

CSIR has launched a project in Mission-mode for development of Chemical Intermediaries and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), which would significantly reduce India’s dependence on imports, especially from China.

With India pledging to reduce fossil fuel, the new energy mix includes higher percentage of clean energy. Several technologies have been developed indigenously by CSIR, such as coal dust collecting and briquetting system, Solar Power Tree, Novel Hydro-Electric Cell, etc. India’s first Second-Generation (2G) Ethanol plant has been formally unveiled and transferred to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) to build commercial scale biomass ethanol plants.

In the area of Clean Energy India today occupies a leadership role in the 23 country Mission Innovation network. In less than 3 years, the investment in R&D has been doubled. India has announced the first International Clean Energy Incubator.

 

As several areas in the country are facing acute shortage of water or poor quality of drinking water, the Ministry has launched several initiatives during the last four years to augment safe drinking water at affordable cost through appropriate S&T interventions developed indigenously.

In order to boost the start-up ecosystem, government have increased the allocation by five times in DST alone. The Ministry has supported more than 5,000 Start-ups and 200 incubators. Apart from this, the ministry has also launched a programme called MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge), to trigger innovation among school children from 6th to 10th standard.

S&T manpower is the foundation of R&D. During the last four years, ministry has enhanced capacity building of scientists, teachers, young researchers and attracting students to science streams. Ministry supported around 11 lakh persons – right from school level to post-doctoral research. The Department of Science & Technology has launched several new schemes to attract young scientists.  The Ministry has successfully attracted more than 600 eminent scientists of Indian origin from overseas to return to the country.

 

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Read more: Indian Science & Technology takes strides...

My Ministerial Colleagues Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Shri Manoj Sinha

Executive Director, United Nations Environment Program

Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

Other Distinguished Dignitaries from India and Abroad

Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of the one point three billion people of India, I am delighted to welcome you all to New Delhi.

On the side-lines of this event, I hope the delegates joining us from abroad, shall have some time to see the history and splendour of Delhi.

We are proud to be the global host for World Environment Day, 2018. 

As we celebrate this important occasion today, we recall our ancient ethos of universal brotherhood.

This has been expressed in the famous Sanskrit phrase– VasudhaivaKutumbakam – the world is one family.

The same ethos was reflected in the doctrine of trustee-ship, advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. He had said that ‘Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’

Our traditions have for long stressed the importance of living in harmony with nature.

This is reflected in our reverence of the elements of nature. It is reflected in our festivals, and in our ancient texts.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

India is the fastest growing economy in the world today. We are committed to raising the standards of living of our people.

We are also committed to ensure, that we do so, in a way that is sustainable and green.

In this direction, we have given forty million new cooking gas connections in the last two years.

This has freed rural women from the misery of poisonous smoke.

It has also eliminated their dependence on firewood.

It is the same commitment, which has seen over three hundred million LED bulbs being installed across India. Besides saving electricity, this has also prevented huge additional amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

We are engaged in a massive push towards renewable energy generation. We have targeted generation of one hundred and seventy-five GigaWatts of solar and wind energy by 2022.

We are already the fifth largest producer of solar energy in the world. Not only this, we are also the sixth largest producer of renewable energy.

We aim to provide an electricity connection to every household, which will further reduce dependence on environmentally degrading forms of fuel.

We are reducing dependence on fossil fuels. We are switching sources of fuel where possible. We are transforming cities and public transportation.

We are a young Nation. To generate employment, we are working towards making India a global manufacturing hub.

We have launched the Make in India campaign. While doing so, we are laying stress on zero defect and zero effect manufacturing. This means manufacturing that is without defect, and which does not harm the environment.

As part of the Nationally Determined Contributions, India is committed to reducing thirty-three to thirty-five percent of emission intensity of its GDP during 2005 to 2030. We are on track to meet the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution.

According to the UNEP Gap Report, India is also on track to meet its Copenhagen Pledge. We will reduce the emissions intensity of India's GDP by twenty to twenty-five percent over 2005 levels by 2020.

We have a robust National Biodiversity Strategy. With only two point four percent of the world’s land area, India supports seven to eight percent of the recorded species diversity. At the same time, India supports nearly eighteen percent of human population. Our tree and forest cover has also increased by one percent in the last two years. 

We have also done well in the field of wildlife conservation. The population of tiger, elephant, lion rhino and other forms of wildlife is on the rise.

We also recognize the need to tackle the issue of water availability, which is becoming a major challenge in India. We have launched the massive Namami Gange initiative. This programme, which has already started giving results, will soon revive the Ganga, our most precious river.

India is primarily an agrarian country. Continued availability of water for agriculture is of importance. The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana has been launched to ensure that no farm goes without water. Our motto is ‘More crop, per drop.’

We have also launched a massive campaign to ensure that our farmers convert agricultural waste to valuable nutrients instead of burning them.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

While much of the world focuses on Inconvenient Truth, we have moved on to Convenient Action.

It was this call for Convenient Action that led India, along with France, to form the International Solar Alliance. This is perhaps, the single most important global development, towards the cause of environment, after the Paris Conference.

About three months ago, leaders from over 45 nations, and Heads of International Organizations, gathered here in New Delhi, for the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance.

Our experience shows that development can be environment friendly. It need not come at the cost of our green assets. 

Friends.

World Environment Day seeks to address a very significant challenge this year.

Plastic now threatens to become a menace to humanity. A lot of it never makes it to the recycling bin. Worse, a lot of it is non-bio-degradable.

Plastic pollution is already having a deadly impact on our marine ecosystem. Scientists and fishermen alike have pointed to signs of trouble. These include declining fish catches, warming ocean temperatures, and vanishing habitats.

Marine litter especially micro-plastic, is a major trans-boundary problem. India is preparing to join the “Clean Seas Campaign” and make its contribution towards saving our oceans.

Plastic pollution is now entering into our food chain. In fact, micro plastics have now even entered basic food like salt, bottled water and tap water.

Friends.

The per capita plastic consumption in India is much lower than in many parts of the developed world.

Our national mission on cleanliness and sanitation - Swachh Bharat Abhiyan - has a special focus on “plastic waste management.”

A short while ago, I visited the Exhibition set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. It showcases some of our success stories. Among its participants are United Nations, Union and State Governments, industry, and non-government organizations. I hope they continue to do exemplary work in curbing plastic pollution.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable, the most.

It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment.

As part of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the world had agreed to the theme of “Leave No One Behind.” This is not possible without ensuring that we all come together to protect what Mother Nature has given us. 

Friends.

This is the Indian way. And we are happy to share it again with the international community on the auspicious occasion of World Environment Day.         

 

In conclusion, as global host of World Environment Day 2018, I reiterate our commitment to sustainable development.

Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.

The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices.

Thank you.

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AKT/HS

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Giriraj Singh, Minister of State (I/C), MSME, addressing the press today.

 

 The Solar Charkha Mission of the Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will be launched by the President, Ram Nath Kovind on June 27, 2018 in New Delhi.  The Mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans. The Mission has been approved by the Government of India and will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crore to the artisans. This was informed by the Minister of MSME at a press conference in New Delhi today while releasing a booklet on the 4 years’ achievement of his Ministry.

 

The Minister further informed that 15 new state-of-the-art technology centers are being set up all over the country including North-East, of which 10 centers will become operational by March 2019. Each center is being built at a cost of around Rs. 150 crore. The 10 centers which will become operational soon are located in Durg (Chhattisgarh), Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Rohtak (Haryana), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Sitarganj (Uttarakhand), Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Bhopal (M.P.), Kanpur (U.P.) and Puducherry.

 

The Minister further informed that under Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) budgetary allocation for FY 2018-19 has been increased by 75% to Rs. 1,800 crore. In order to incentivize entrepreneurs, mainly women and SC/ST, Government will be making an investment of about Rs. 10,000 crore in the micro sector in this financial year.

 

The Minister also informed that work being done by the Ministry has promoted Ease-of-Doing-Business with the setting up of 4 portals: ‘MSME Sambandh’, MSME Samadhaan, Udyog Aadhaar and Udyam Sakhi.

 

He also informed that the Ministry of MSME has provided training to over 15 lakh people during the last 4 years through its various initiatives.

 

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'All meters to be smart prepaid in 3 years', says Power Minister; advises meter manufacturers to scale up production

This one step to bring about revolution in power sector, generate employment

"In next three years metering will go smart prepaid, and gone will be the days of bills reaching your house. So need of the hour is to scale up manufacturing of smart prepaid meters and to bring down their prices."said Shri R K Singh, Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy. Shri Singh was addressing a meeting of meter manufacturers called bythe Power Ministry here, today.

The Power Minister advised the manufacturers to scale up the manufacturing of smart prepaid meters as the demand would be huge in coming years. The Minister also advised the officials of the Ministry to consider making smart prepaid meters mandatory after a particular date.

This will revolutionise the power sector by way of reduced AT&C losses, better health of DISCOMs, incentivisation ofenergy conservation and ease of bill payments etc. Further, it will generate skilled employment for the youth.

The meeting discussed various aspects of smart meters e.g. BIS certification, compatibility with RF/GPRS, harmonisation with existing digital infrastructure etc. It was also agreed that all technical aspects will be further deliberated into in consultation with meter manufacturers, DISCOMs and system integrators.

ShriAK Bhalla, Secretary, Power;ShriSanjivNandanSahai, Additional Secretary;ShriArun Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Powerwere among the officials present from the Central Electricity Authority, PFC, REC, EESL and meter manufacturers.

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Read more: 'All meters to be smart prepaid in 3 years',...

  1. Last 4 years have been path-breaking in India’s renewable energy landscape.

 

  1. Renewable power installed capacity has already reached over 70 GW. Over 40 GW renewable power capacity is under construction/tendered.

 

  1. Globally, India stands 4th in wind power 5th in renewable power and 6th in solar power installed capacity.

 

  1. Solar energy capacity increased by over 8 times from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 22 GW.

 

  1. Wind energy capacity increased by 1.6 times from 21 GW in 2014 to 34 GW.

 

  1. Trajectories for bidding 115GW renewable power projects upto March 2020 have been announced.

 

  1. We are well on track to achieving 175 GW target of installed renewable energy capacity.

 

  1. Trends suggest that the target will not only be achieved but exceeded.

 

  1. New schemes at advanced stages of being launched:
  1. KUSUM (KisanUrja Suraksha evamUtthaanMahabhiyan)Scheme:
    1. 27.5 lakh solar pumps (17.50 lakh standalone + 10 Lakh Grid-connected)
    2. 10 GW of Solar Power Plants of intermediate capacity of 0.5–2 MW
    3. 50,000 Grid-connected tube-wells/lift irrigation and drinking water projects

 

  1. SRISTI (Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India) – new scheme for solar rooftop being formulated.

 

  1. Round the Clock renewables policy has been finalized.

 

  1. For realising 175 GW target a number of policy measures have been taken.

 

  1. Transparency is an overarching guidelines principle of our government. Transparent bidding and facilitation for procurement of solar and wind power through tariff based competitive bidding process have led to significant reduction in cost of solar and wind power. In the year 2017 competitive bidding guidelines for procurement of solar and wind power have been notified. The lowest tariff of Rs. 2.44 per unit for solar and Rs. 2.43 per unit for wind discovered. The first solar plant bid at Rs. 2.44 will be inaugurated in August 2018.

 

  1. We have waived the Inter State Transmission System charges and losses for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by March 2022. This will encourage setting up of the projects in states that have greater resource potential and availability of suitable land. It also helps in creating a pan-India renewable power market, as generation in excess of the state’s own requirement could be transmitted to the resource poor states without additional financial burden;
  1. In our efforts to send right signal about government of India’s commitment towards renewables we have notified Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) trajectory upto the year 2019. We are in a process to notify RPO trajectory upto the year 2022;

 

  1. For mainstreaming renewables, we have introduced Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO). This provision will encourage coal based thermal power generators to diversify in renewable energy portfolio;
  1. For optimizing land use and harnessing solar and wind energy potential optimally, we have notified Solar-Wind hybrid policy. This policy will help in better harnessing of renewable energyresources and to an extant also addressrenewableenergy variability, The Ministry has also brought out one tender for setting up 2000 MW solar-wind hybrid in existing projects;
  1. Target for Solar Parks has been enhanced from 20 GW to 40 GW. 41 Solar Parks in 21 States with aggregate capacity of over 26 GW have already been sanctioned. Largest Solar Park of 2 GW capacity in Pavagada, Karnataka is under implementation. New Solar Park policy has been announced to encourage participation by private parties and CPSUs in setting up Solar Parks.
  1. Off-shore from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat coast provides among the best locations from wind power generation.In order to harness this potential we have formulated offshore wind power policy and expression of interest for initial 1GW off-shore wind power have already been issued;
  1. Creating an ecosystem for domestic manufacturing of solarcells is our priority. We have issued expression of interest for setting up solar PV manufacturing capacities linked with assured off take of 20GW. This stimulus is expected to kick start domestic manufacturing in solar energy space;
  1. The Green Energy Corridor projects seek creation of grid infrastructure for renewable power evacuation and to reshape grid for future requirements.The intra state transmission scheme (InSTS) being implemented by eight renewable rich States with an investment of Rs. 10,141 crores will set up about 9400 ckm transmission lines and Substations of total capacity of approx. 19000 MVA to be completedMarch 2020.
  1. Over US$ 42 billion investment was made in renewable energy in India during last 4 years. New opportunities have emerged- altogether new business space has been created. Indian companies have begun to explore foreign stock exchanges as a source of funds. India is progressively becoming a most favored destination for investment in renewables.

 

Foreign investors can enter into joint venture with an Indian partner for financial and/or technical collaboration and for setting up of renewable energy-based power generation projects. 100% foreign investment as equity qualifies for automatic approval. Government of India is also encouraging foreign Investors to set up renewable energy-based power generation projects on build-own-operate basis.

 

  1.   Renewable energy projects set up in last 4 years have created around 10 million man day’s employment per annum. The Suryamitra program was launched for creation of a qualified technical workforce in 2015 and over 18,631 Suryamitras have been trained under the programme up to 31 March 2018.
  1. For quality assurance we have notified standards for deployment of solar photovoltaic systems/devices; and

11. On 6 December 2017, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) has become first international intergovernmental organization headquartered in India. ISA is part Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s vision to provide clean and affordable energy to all.

 

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JN/MS/SJ

 

 

 

Read more: A Path breaking Journey in Renewable Energy...

Shri Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has stated that Smart City Center project is a unique component of the Smart City Mission which is helping in improved and efficient delivery of public services. He was speaking while chairing the Consultative Committee meeting attached to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs held at Surat on 8th June, 2018.  Shri K.R.P. Prabhakaran, MP-LS, Shri RaghavLakhanpal, MP-LS, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, MP-LS, Shri Santokh Singh Chaudhary, MP-LS, Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary and senior officers of the M/o HUA attended the meeting.        

 During the meeting presentations were made by the CEO/representatives of Smart cities from Surat, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Pune, Visakhapatnam, NDMC & Bhubaneshwar.The presentations showcased the progress made by projects in various sectors like Smart class rooms (Visakhapatnam& NDMC), Social Equity Centre(Bhubaneshwar), Mayor’s Express(Bhopal), Disaster resilience mechanism adopted in smart cities located in coastal areas etc. The members of Consultative Committee were also shown some of the projects in Surat Smart City like Bamroli Tertiary Treatment Plan, Althan Water Treatment Plant, Visible Improvement of area-Smart Road, Affordable Housing projects, Vertical Garden, BRTS (Gujarat Gas Circle), Surat Fort and SMAC Centre.  

Currently nine Integrated Control and Command Centre at Ahmedabad, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara and Bhopal have become operational. Sh. Puri said that it has been observed that the cities are becoming cleaner due to monitoring of cleaning work through CCTV cameras leading to reduction in instances of thrown garbage, littering, urination in public and nighttime burning of garbage while increase in traffic challans issuance indicates an orientation for better traffic discipline. He further informed that Intelligent Transit Management System has helped Ahmedabad to improve its operational efficiency by reducing its operational cost while improving the service levels. He further said that Smart City Centers are also providing technological support in ensuring better safety of women on our streets, environment sensitivity of people, faster response and better preparedness for emergencies and disasters.

During the course of the meeting, the Minister further informed that around 1350 projects worth Rs.50,000 crore have been tendered in the Smart City Mission, of which work has begun or has been completed in 950 projects costing Rs 30,675 crore. Another 400 projects costing about Rs.20,000 crore are at tendering stage.  Other projects being implemented in the mission are Smart Roads which optimize the utilization of space and are adding universal accessibility in 31 cities.   47 cities are implementing more than 120 MW of solar projects promoting cleaner energy. Development of public spaces like riverfront, water fronts, rejuvenation of city lakes and ponds are a priority of the mission, he said.One innovative feature of the mission, is that our municipal bodies need to leverage their financial resources by municipal bonds, value capture finance, PPP, multi-lateral loans etc. It is noteworthy that 98 projects costing Rs. 6,000 crore are under implementation with Public Private Partnership (PPP). PPP projects are getting good responses not only in the big cities but even in the smaller towns.

Dwelling on the way forward, the Minister informed that making Urban Local Bodies financially self-sufficient is very important for sustainable development. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has also started a campaign to do the credit rating of cities, which has been completed in 412 cities. He informed that 155 cities have "investment grade".                   

 

RJ/SB

 

 

 

 

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Shri R K Singh chairs ‘Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM) Meeting’ with States and Power Utilities; asks States to speed up work under Saubhagya

Draft on amendments to Electricity Act to be circulated soon

Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R K Singhchaired the ‘Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM) Meeting’ with the Secretaries of Power/Energy Departments of the States/UTs and Managing Directors of the Power Utilities here, today. The meeting discussed the progress of work under Saubhagya, Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna. This was the first RPM meeting after achieving the 100 per cent village electrification.

Shri R K Singh congratulated all States for achieving the 100 per cent village electrification and exhorted them to work further for universal household electrification under Saubhagya.The Minister assured the States of all possible support in this regard. He also asked the State officials to give suggestions on the revised draft of tariff policy keeping in mind the long term health of the sector. Shri Singh said that draft on amendments to Electricity Act will also be circulated soon.

Addressing the meeting, Shri A K Bhalla, Secretary, Power asked the States to maintain the momentum generated by the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.

In the meeting, discussions were held on various aspects of the rural electrification e.g.- availability of trained manpower and material, incoming monsoon and tendering process at local level etc. Representatives of the States and Union Territories shared their experiences and best practices and expressed their commitment to worktowards the universal household electrification.

Presentations were made by the Union and State officials during the meeting and ‘Feeder Manager Awards’ for reduction in AT&C losses were given away by ShriSanjiv Nandan Sahai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India. Discussions were moderated by Shri Arun Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power.

Dr. PV Ramesh, CMD, REC and Shri Rajeev Sharma, CMD, PFC were among the officials present from the State/UT Governments and DISCOMs.

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JN/MS

Read more: Shri R K Singh chairs ‘Review, Planning and...

The two-day 49th Conference of Governors concluded at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (June 5, 2018).

In his closing remarks, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, expressed satisfaction that participants at the Conference contributed to meaningful discussions. He was confident the deliberations would strengthen our national effort to improve the lives of every Indian.

The President noted that today (June 5) is World Environment Day. The approach of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ is considered effective for environment protection. Keeping in mind the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Accord and the International Solar Alliance, local and state-level contributions are very important to achieving national goals. The Directive Principles of our Constitution specifically mention issues of the environment and conservation of forests and wildlife. In this context, Governors can make efforts to develop Raj Bhavan complexes and state universities as an environmental ideal.

The President said that Raj Bhavans must take the lead in adopting modern technology and methods. By using a wide variety of IT initiatives, including real-time dashboards, Raj Bhavans can create a demonstration effect and motivate other institutions.

The President said that Governors can inspire universities towards USR (University Social Responsibility). University students should visit villages at regular intervals. They should engage with residents of the village in regard to cleanliness, literacy, immunisation and nutrition programmes. Governors could hold discussions with Vice Chancellors to make the ‘Swachhta Internship’ programme more effective.

The President urged Governors to convene meetings of Vice Chancellors of state universities from time to time. He was happy that some Governors were already doing this. He emphasised that the agenda of such conferences could be decided in consultation with the VCs. And to find quick solutions, representatives of State Education and Finance Departments, as well as officials from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, the UGC and other institutions, could be invited.

The Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs also addressed the concluding session of the Conference. Earlier in the day, the Conference of Governors discussed ideas on the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Presentations were made on the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Swachhata Internship. Governors/Lt. Governors gave their suggestions.

Click here for the text of President's speech.

 

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AKT/SH/SK

 

 

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