The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting here today to review the status of development projects and security related issues in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states.  During the meeting, the Home Minister said that the multipronged strategy comprising of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities should be vigorously pursued.

Shri Rajnath Singh reiterated the concept of ‘SAMADHAN’ given as new doctrine by him for use in security operations during the meeting of LWE affected states on May 08, 2017. The elements of this strategy are S for Smart Leadership, A for Aggressive Strategy, M for Motivation and Training, A for Actionable Intelligence, D for Dashboard-based Key Result Areas and Key Performance Indicators, H for Harnessing Technology,  A for Action Plan for Each Theatre and N for No access to Financing.

During the meeting different development projects including Road Requirement Plan, air connectivity, power, education, health and banking sectors were reviewed.  Under RRP-1, 4433 km roads have been constructed which include 1504 km road constructed during the last three years in the most difficult areas.  The Home Minister asked to expedite the remaining roads at the earliest.  While reviewing the progress of road connectivity under RRP-II, Shri Rajnath Singh expressed his concern over delay in submission of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) by the State Govts.

Regarding air connectivity, it was mentioned that the Jagdalpur airport will be operationalised shortly under Regional Connectivity Scheme.  It was also pointed out that there is a plan to connect Jeypore airstrip in Odisha under this Scheme.

Regarding electrification it was informed that the remaining 717 villages in LWE affected areas will be covered under intense electrification scheme shortly.  Eight solar parks are also planned for LWE affected areas for which land acquisition is under progress.  During the meeting, it was also informed that significant improvement has been made in filling up the vacancies in the security forces.  The opening of new bank branches and ATMs in 35 most LWE affected districts was also reviewed.

The Home Minister mentioned that all the ongoing development projects should be taken up with the concerned central Ministries and the State Govts. and it should be ensured that these are completed in a time bound manner.

The meeting was attended by the MoS (Home) Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, OSD (MHA) Shri Rajiv Gauba and senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the CAPFs.

***

KSD/NK/PK/KM

  

Read more: Union Home Minister reviews status of...

The Consultative Committee attached to Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy met here today under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal . The Committee reviewed the functioning of Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) and implementation of Wind Energy Programme.   

The Consultative Committee meeting started with a presentation on PGCIL by its Chairman and Managing Director, Shri I.S.Jha. The presentation gave an overview of areas of operation of PGCIL, initiatives being undertaken like Development of National Grid, Green Energy Corridors for Renewables , SAARC Grid , use of new Technology in Transmission ,  performance of financial parameters, the challenges ahead and the way forward. 

The second half of the meeting consisted of the presentation on Implementation of Wind Energy Programme by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The Hon’ble Members were apprised of growth of Wind Power in India and its share in overall Renewable Energy , installed capacity, Policy Changes, States with High Wind Potential, Domestic manufacturing, incentives for Wind energy, First Wind auction conducted successfully recently and challenges & future roadmap.
All members congratulated the Government & PGCIL for its overall performance. Members also appreciated Government’s increased focus on Renewable Energy and achieving record growth during the last three years. Members gave their valuable suggestions to further improve the efficiency and viability of power transmission projects being set up by PGCIL. Some members suggested that the quality of power distribution infrastructure needs to be monitored and accountability needs to be fixed on the ground level to ensure that there is last mile coverage of beneficiaries. 

Responding to the suggestions and queries raised by the Consultative Committee members, Shri Piyush Goyal assured Hon’ble Members that their valuable suggestions would be adopted by the Ministries & PGCIL 

The meeting was attended by Shri  Anurag Singh Thakur, Shri  Bharat Singh, Shri  Daddan Mishra, Shri Jugal Kishore, Sharma, Shri  Krishnan Narayanasamy  Ramachandran, Shri  Naranbhai  Bhikhabhai  Kachhadia, Shri  Rajesh Ranjan (Pappu Yadav), Shri Rajesh Pandey, Shri Rama Kishore Singh, Shri Sanjay (Kaka) Ramchandra Patil, Shri Shailesh (Bulo Mandal) Kumar, Shri  Sushil Kumar Singh and Shri  Uday Pratap Singh from Lok Sabha and Shri Bashistha Narain Singh, Shri Lal Singh Vadodia and Shri Mahesh Poddar from Rajya Sabha.


The Secretary, Power, Shri AK Bhalla and Shri Anand Kumar , Secretary MNRE ,  the Chairman cum Managing Director & Directors of PGCIL, and senior officials of Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy also attended the meeting.

 

RM/VM

Read more: Consultative Committee attached to Ministries of...

          The summary of the Index of Eight Core Industries (base: 2011-12) is given at the Annexure.

          The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).  The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stands at 121.0 in June, 2017, which was 0.4 % higher compared to the index of June, 2016. Its cumulative growth during April to June, 2017-18 was 2.4 %.

Coal

          Coal production (weight: 10.33 %) declined by 6.7% in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index declined by 4.4% during April to June, 2017-18 over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

          Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98 %) increased by 0.6 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index increased by 0.2 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

          The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88 %) increased by 6.4 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index increased by 4.3 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

 

Refinery Products

          Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04%) declined by 0.2 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index increased by 1.8 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizers

          Fertilizer production (weight: 2.63 %) declined by 3.6 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index declined by 1.9 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel

          Steel production (weight: 17.92 %) increased by 5.8 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index increased by 6.2 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement

          Cement production (weight: 5.37%) declined by 5.8 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index declined by 2.9 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity

          Electricity generation (weight: 19.85%) increased by 0.7 % in June, 2017 over June, 2016. Its cumulative index increased by 4.9 % during April to June, 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Note 1: Data for April, 2017, May, 2017and June, 2017 are provisional.

Note 2: Since April, 2014, Electricity generation data from Renewable sources are also   included.

Note 3: The industry-wise weights indicated above are individual industry weight derived from IIP and blown up on pro rata basis to a combined weight of ICI equal to 100.

Note 4: Release of the index for July, 2017 will be on Thursday, 31st August, 2017.

 

Read more: Index of Eight Core Industries (Base:...

The Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, while giving a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today, informed the House that Government has reviewed the status of 34 stressed Thermal Power Projects, as per the list provided by Department of Financial Services (DFS), with an estimated debt of about Rs. 1.77 lakh crore. The Minister also informed that as per DFS data, the total advances towards electricity generation sector reported by Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) is about Rs. 4.71 lakh crore and most of them are standard assets.

Shri Goyal stated that Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Limited (NLCIL) has identified Ragunathpur Thermal Power Station- Phase-I (2x660 MW), a stressed asset of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for acquisition. NLC has also shortlisted two suitable stressed power assets for possible acquisition to augment its power generation capacity. Currently, NTPC has no proposal to acquire stressed power projects or enable their lenders to operate on contract basis, the Minister added.

Government has identified the major reasons for stress in the Power Sector, which are as follows:

• Non-availability of regular fuel supply arrangements

• Lack of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) tie-ups

• Inability of the Promoter to infuse the equity and service debt

• Regulatory and Contractual issues

Shri Goyal informed that the Government has also taken a number of steps to ease stress in the sector. These include:

 For grant of regular coal linkages, Govt. of India has approved New Coal Allocation Policy, 2017, for Power sector, on 17.05.2017 viz. SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala Transparently in India) under which coal is made available to Public Sector Undertakings of Central and State Government, and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) against already concluded long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and long-term & medium-term PPAs, to be concluded in future.

 To encourage increased purchase of Power, following measures have been taken:

• Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme for Financial and Operational Turnaround of power distribution utilities (DISCOMs) of the country.

• Power For All (PFA) initiative with States and UTs for bringing uninterrupted quality of power to each household, industry, commercial business, small & medium enterprise and establishment.

• Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for Rural Electrification; strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the rural areas; separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders and metering of distribution transformers/ feeders/consumers in the rural areas.

• Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas; Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban areas and IT enablement of distribution sector.

• Augmenting Transmission capacity to remove transmission constraints.

• Flexibility in utilization of domestic coal for reducing the cost of power generation.

Shri Goyal also informed that RBI has notified schemes such as (i) Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) and (ii) Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR) for the revival of stressed assets. Due diligence and financial restructuring by Banks to make projects viable would attract new promoters or States to bring in fresh equity investments. The issue of setting up of a fund has been discussed among other options with stakeholders, he added.

*****

RM/VM  

Read more: Government takes steps to Ease Stress in Stalled...

         In pre GST regime there was Excise Duty on Coal @ 6% , Stowing Excise Duty @ Rs. 10 per tonne of coal production, VAT@ 5% (on intra-state sale), Central Sales Tax @ 2% (on inter-state sale, on submission of Form C) . Post implementation of GST all the above mentioned taxes and levies have been subsumed and GST @ 5% is being charged to consumers. This was stated by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy and Mines in a written reply to a question in the Lok  Sabha today.

 

       The Minister further stated that Clean Environment Cess @ Rs 400 per tonne was payable prior to GST which has been repealed and a new levy namely GST Compensation Cess has been introduced @ 400 per tonne of coal. However, previously VAT/CST was charged on Clean Environment Cess but no such taxes are levied on GST Compensation Cess.

 

Following Steps have been taken by Ministry of Coal to facilitate the stakeholders in the implementation of GST:-

 

i.               A facilitation cell, headed by JS & FA, Ministry of Coal and facilitation cells in CIL & its subsidiaries and NLCIL are functional. Toll free number has also been provided.

 

ii.               Various meetings at the level of Minister, Secretary & Additional Secretary were held with CPSEs and various stakeholders.

iii.               Help desk has been provided to the Stakeholders/ contractors for facilitating   registration on GST Portal/ clarifications.

 

iv.               The FAQs have been uploaded on the websites of CIL Subsidiaries, which were raised during the interaction.

 

v.               Awareness program has been organized with customers and suppliers at various places to sensitize them for migrating to GST system.

 

vi.               Training session was also conducted in association with CBEC for the officers / officials of the Ministry of Coal & its CPSEs .

 

vii.               Around 160 training programs were organized by Coal India Limited & its subsidiaries and NLC India Limited.

 

  RM/RS-  USQ3050 – LS

 

 

Read more: Post GST reduction of incidence of Tax on Coal...

Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, informed that NHPC is scheduled to generate 4458.69 Million Units (MUs) additional power (based on design energy) from two of its present under construction hydro projects, viz., Parbati-II H.E.P (800 MW) in Himachal Pradesh, scheduled to be commissioned in October, 2018 and Kishanganga H.E.P (330 MW) in Jammu & Kashmir scheduled to be commissioned in January, 2018.

Informing about the status of progress of hydro-electric projects in the country, Shri Goyal stated that presently 41 H.E.P. (above 25 MW), aggregating to 11792.5 MW, are under construction in the country. All the above projects are running behind schedule due to various reasons including natural calamities, geological factors, delays in forest clearances & land acquisition and law & order problems, the Minister added.

Shri Goyal informed the House about the steps taken by the Government for expeditious commissioning of pending projects, which are as follows:-

• Central Electricity Authority (CEA) is monitoring the under construction hydro power projects (above 25 MW) in pursuance of Section 73 (f) of Electricity Act, 2003. The progress of each project is monitored continuously through site visits, interaction with the developers & other stake holders. Chairperson, CEA holds review meetings with the Power Projects Monitoring Panel (PPMP) and monitoring divisions of CEA.

• Power Project Monitoring Panel (PPMP), set up by the Ministry of Power, independently monitors the progress of the hydro projects.

• Ministry of Power also reviews the progress of ongoing hydroelectric projects regularly with the concerned officers of CEA, equipment manufacturers, State Utilities / CPSUs / Project developers, etc.

• In case of Central Power Sector Undertakings’ (CPSUs) projects, the project Implementation parameters / milestones are incorporated in the annual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between respective CPSU’s and Ministry of Power (MoP) and the same are monitored during the quarterly performance review meetings of CPSU’s and other meetings held in MoP/ CEA. The issues related to erection and supply of Electro-Mechanical equipment is expedited with BHEL in various meetings held in CEA / MoP and other local issues affecting the progress of works are taken up with respective State Governments by the Concerned CPSU / MoP.

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VM

Read more: NHPC scheduled to generate 4458.69 MUs...

Government has taken several measures to encourage young scientists to undertake research work. The schemes / programmes are designed to identify promising young researchers with innovative ideas and provide them with training and research opportunities in niche areas of basic science and engineering. Some of the notable programmes of the Ministry targeted at young scientists include: Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), National Postdoctoral Fellowship (N-PDF), Early Career Research Award (ECRA), Research Associateship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Fellowship Schemes etc. These schemes provide a platform for young scientists to develop as independent researchers; and thereby elevating the S&T landscape of the country.

Ease of funding, speed of delivery, attractive fellowships etc. are some of the characteristics of the young scientist research programmes. The funds allocated/released exclusively for young scientist research programmes during 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and the current year by the Ministry of Science and Technology are Rs. 807.6 crore, Rs. 1083 crore, Rs. 1322.9 crore and Rs. 248.4 crore (first quarter of FY 2017-18) respectively.

The required age group for obtaining benefit from the following popular young scientist schemes are: upper age limit of 35 years with relaxation of five years to applicants belonging to SC/ST/OBC/Physically Challenged/Women categories for N-PDF; upper age limit of 37 years with relaxation of three years to applicants belonging to SC/ST/OBC/Physically Challenged/Women categories for ECRA; upper age limit of 35 years for CSIR Fellowship Schemes and upper age limit of 32 years with relaxation of three years to applicants belonging to SC/ST categories for INSPIRE Faculty Scheme. A number of quality publications in high impact journals and patents have emanated from the Young Scientist’s projects. The schemes have helped many young researchers in the progress of their career in S&T, got appointment in academic and research institutions and received recognitions in the form of awards, fellowship in science and engineering academies.

CSIR provides Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship to certain top ranking JRF- National Eligibility Test (NET) qualified candidates to nurture the budding scientific talent and to nourish the objective of pursuit of scientific research. Thematic Fellowship programmes in Solar Energy, Building Energy Efficiency Higher & Advanced Network, Bioenergy and Water Research have been initiated by DST to support young faculty and research scholars for conducting research in US R&D and academic institutions.

This information was given by Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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RDS/nb

Read more: Encouraging Scientists to Take Research Work

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on India-Spain Cooperation in renewable energy. The MoU was signed on 30th May, 2017 at Spain.

The MoU will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries with the exchange of expertise and networking of information.

Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages to establish a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.

****

AKT/VBA/SH

Read more: Cabinet apprised of MOU between India and Spain...

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that India is committed to the cause of Climate Change. Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the signing of Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) between Green Climate Fund (GCF) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) here today, the Minister said that India has been leading from the front in tackling global climate change issues and it will continue to do so in the future as well. “India, like other developing countries, can do more, if finance and technology development & transfer and capacity building support are ensured as per the convention and its Paris Agreement”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.

The Minister emphasised that climate justice demands that we remain mindful of the needs and aspirations of the poor. He pointed out that despite being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, India has a significant percentage of population living below the poverty line. “We need to take cognizance of the population size and income inequality and cannot ignore the basic requirement of electricity, housing and food for the poor. We expect GCF to partner with us on these issues and prioritize their work to overcome these challenges,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said. He highlighted that India is creating a network of strong institutions that can act as enablers for scaling-up climate action through technologically sound and innovative projects.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that environmental consciousness is the bedrock of our growth aspirations. “We are fully conscious of the need to pursue an ecologically sustainable development pathway. Our Prime Minister Modiji wants to build a new India by 2022 - riding on the demographic dividend and opportunities to use off beat solutions like solar and wind power, smart cities, incentivizing forestry, creating investment openings and overall, involving all in the development process”, the Minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director of GCF, Amb. Howard Bamsey said that India has been acknowledged as a strong proponent of climate change action and GCF looks forward to greater engagement with India.

Several of the mitigation and adaptation targets, articulated in India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to meet the international climate obligations are aligned with the Fund’s strategic impact areas - viz clean energy, energy efficiency, cities, transport, forestry, agriculture, water health and ecosystems. India’s NDC is among the few that make specific reference to the GCF specifically with regard to its role as a source for low-cost finance for its 40% non-fossil fuel based power target. India, with numerous climate change and developmental challenges, needs to engage more purposefully and actively with GCF. The accredited entities need to proactively engage with GCF to take advantage of the available opportunities.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the operating entities under financial mechanism set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide support to developing countries in combating climate change, with resources to be generated from funding by developed country Parties and various other public and private sources. It supports both climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.

So far, one project from India on “Installation of Ground Water Recharge System” in Odisha has recently been approved by the GCF for $34 million. Another proposal on coastal areas has already been submitted to the GCF Secretariat and several more projects are in the pipeline.

India has nominated a total of five direct access entities for accreditation by the GCF. Two of these from the public sector and three from the private sector for accreditation by the GCF. The public sector entities are NABARD and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The private sector entities nominated are YES Bank, IDFC Bank and IL&FS Environmental Services. So far, NABARD and SIDBI have been accredited by the GCF.

NABARD is the first entity from India to be accredited as Direct Access Entity (DAE). The signing of AMA between GCF and NABARD is an essential first step for accessing the GCF resources to help safeguard the lives, property and livelihoods of millions of people against climate change impact.

Board Member of GCF from India, Shri Dinesh Sharma, stressed upon submission of large size of proposals or multi state proposals from India to access the GCF resources and said that in coming years, GCF may play an important role in supporting climate change projects.

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HK

Read more: India all set to access resources under the...

English rendering of Speech by Shri Ram Nath Kovind on his Assumption of office as President of India

Respected Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji,

Shri Hamid Ansari ji,

Shri Narendra Modi ji,

Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan ji,

Shri Justice J. S. Khehar ji,

Excellencies,

Hon’ble Members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen, and

Fellow Citizens

I thank you for electing me to the responsibility of the President of India, and I enter this office with all humility. Coming here to Central Hall has brought back so many memories. I have been a Member of Parliament and here, in this very Central Hall, have had discussions with many of you. Often we agreed, sometimes we disagreed. But we learnt to respect each other. And that is the beauty of democracy.

I grew up in a mud house, in a small village. My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also. For all its problems, it follows that basic mantra given to us in the Preamble to the Constitution – of ensuring Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra.

I bow to the 125 crore citizens of this great nation and promise to stay true to the trust they have bestowed on me. I am conscious I am following in the footsteps of stalwarts such as Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, and my immediate predecessor, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whom we address out of affection as ‘Pranab Da’.

Our Independence was the result of efforts by thousands of patriotic freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Sardar Patel integrated our nation. Principal architect of our Constitution Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar instilled in us the value of human dignity and of the republican ethic.

These leaders did not believe that simply political freedom was enough. For them, it was crucial to also achieve economic and social freedom for millions of our people.

We would be completing 70 years of our Independence soon. We are also well into the second decade of the 21st century, a century that so many of us intuitively believe will be an Indian century, guided and shaped by India and its accomplishments. We need to build an India that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar. For us, those two touchstones can never be separate. They are and must forever be linked.

The key to India’s success is its diversity. Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. We are so different and yet so similar and united.

The India of the 21st century will be one that is in conformity with our ancient values as well as compliant with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is no dichotomy there, no question of choice. We must combine tradition and technology, the wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India.

As the gram panchayat must determine our consultative and community based problem solving, the Digital Republic must help us leapfrog developmental milestones. These are the twin pillars of our national endeavour.

Nations are not built by governments alone. The government can at best be a facilitator, and a trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts. Nation building requires national pride:

— We take pride in the soil and water of India;

— We take pride in the diversity, religious harmony and inclusive ethos of India;

— We take pride in the culture, heritage and spirituality of India;

— We take pride in our fellow citizens;

— We take pride in our work; and

— We take pride in the little things we do every day.

Each citizen of India is a nation builder. Each one of us is a custodian of India’s well-being and of the legacy that we will pass on to coming generations.

— The armed forces that protect our borders and keep us safe are nation builders.

— Those police and paramilitary forces that fight terrorism and crime are nation builders.

— That farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder. And we must never forget that so much of our farm labour comprises women.

— That scientist concentrating tirelessly and 24 x 7 to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine, is a nation builder.

— That nurse or doctor helping the sick to recover and fighting disease in a remote village, is a nation builder.

— That young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder. The start-up could be on a small farm, converting mangoes to pickles. Or in an artisans’ village, weaving carpets. Or at a laboratory lit up by giant screens.

— That tribal and ordinary citizen striving to preserve our ecology, our forests, our wildlife, to push back climate change and to advance the cause of renewable energy, is a nation builder.

— That committed and driven public servant who works beyond the call of duty, whether on a flooded road, directing traffic; or in a quiet room, poring over detailed files, is a nation builder.

— That self-less teacher who equips young children and shapes their destinies, is a nation builder.

— Those countless women who take care of families with so many other responsibilities, at home and work, and raise children to become ideal citizens, are nation builders.

People elect their representatives from the Gram Panchayat to Parliament. They vest their will and hopes in these representatives. In turn, the people’s representatives devote their lives to the service of nation.

But, our endeavours are not for ourselves alone. Down the ages, India has believed in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (वसुधैव कुटुंबकम) – the World is My Family. It is appropriate that the land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace, tranquility and ecological balance.

India’s voice counts in today’s world. The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks to us for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global.

This links us to our global family, our friends and partners abroad, and our diaspora, that contributes in so many ways across the world. It brings us to the support of other nations, whether by extending the umbrella of the International Solar Alliance or being first responders following natural disasters.

We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster should be relentless. This is especially so as we approach the 75th Year of our independence in 2022. What must also bother us is our ability to enhance access and opportunity for the last person and the last girl-child from an under-privileged family if I may put it so, in the last house in the last village. This must include a quick and affordable justice delivery system in all judicial forums.

The citizens of this country are the real source of strength to me. I am confident that they will continue to give me the energy to serve the nation.

We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji. These are integral to our sense of humanism. This is the India of our dreams, an India that will provide equality of opportunities. This will be the India of the 21st century.

Thank you very much!

Jai Hind

Vande Mataram

***

AKT/HS

Read more: English rendering of Speech by Shri Ram Nath...

Ministry of Mines has amended the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015, one of the important provisions being the introduction of section 9(B); for the establishment of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in districts affected by mining related operations. The object of DMFs is to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations, the DMFs will be funded by statutory contributions from holders of mining lease and in this regard, rules specifying rates of contribution to DMFs has been notified on 17.09.2015, which prescribes the rate of contribution to DMF as follows:

(a) 10% of royalty in respect of mining leases granted on or after 12.1.2015; and

(b) 30% of royalty in respect of mining leases granted before 12.1.2015

 

Contribution will directly go to the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) of the respective district.

            The Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) has been conceived by the Central Government which will be implemented by the District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) of the respective districts using the funds accruing to the DMFT. At least 60% of PMKKKY funds will be utilized for high priority areas like: (i) drinking water supply; (ii) environment preservation and pollution control measures; (iii) health care (iv) education;

(v) welfare of women and children; (vi) welfare of aged and disabled people; (vii) skill development; and (viii) sanitation.  The rest of the funds will be utilized for the following: (i) physical infrastructure; (ii) irrigation; (iii) energy and watershed development; and (iv) any other measures for enhancing environmental quality in mining district.

 

            Directions have been issued under section 20A of MMDR Act on 16.09.2015 to all States to incorporate the PMKKKY into the rules framed by them for the District Mineral Foundations.

 

            As per the information made available by Government of Maharashtra, total amount of Rs. 26.35 Crores has been collected by Pune District under DMF and Rs. 365.94 Crores has been collected by Government of Maharashtra under DMFs. As per Section 9(B)(2) of the MMDR Act, the manner in which the DMF shall work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations shall be prescribed by the State Governments through rules framed in this regard. The funds accrued to DMF will be utilized for the activities as per the PMKKKY. The details of the expenditure made in this regard are not maintained centrally by the Ministry of Mines.

This information was given by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministries of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

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YSK

Read more: Payment of Mineral Royalty to Districts

The Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, while giving a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today, informed the House that under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India [FAME-India] Scheme of the Government, 25 Charging Stations have been installed at 6 different locations in Bengaluru by M/s. Mahindra REVA Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, as a pilot project. Based on the proposals received under FAME Scheme, charging infrastructure in   selected   cities/ locations   would   be    sanctioned   by   the Department of Heavy Industries.

 

Shri Goyal also informed that the Project Implementation & Sanctioning Committee (PISC) under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Heavy Industrieshas sanctioned following proposal of charging infrastructures under FAME-India Scheme:

 

Sl. No.

Proposal

Implementing Organisation

Date of Sanction (Date of PISC Meeting)

1.

Proposal for setting up of 50 charging stations in Delhi NCR.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)

20th August 2015

2.

Proposal for setting up of 50 Charging Stations in Delhi NCR.

Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL)

20th August 2015

3.

Proposal for setting up of 200 charging stations (both AC and DC fast) in the cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Chandigarh.

Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL)

15th June 2017

4.

Proposal for providing 75 AC Smart Charger in Delhi NCR of Delhi.

Consortium of Mahindra Reva Ola Asia Electric

15th June 2017

5.

Proposal for 60 No. Charging Infrastructure in NCR of Delhi.

Lithium Urban Technologies Pvt Ltd.

15th June 2017

 

Supply of electricity in E-mobility business including setting up of vehicle charging infrastructure is also included in the long term corporate plan of NTPC, Shri Goyal added.

 

*****

RM/VM

 

 

 

 

Read more: 25 Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles...

V.O. Chidambaranar Port has bagged National Award for Excellence in Cost Management for the year 2016 from ‘The Institute of Cost Accountants of India’ under the category “Transportation and Logistics”.

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines gave away the award in the presence of Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs for the category Transportation and Logistics in a function held in New Delhi on 18.07.2017. The Port is has received this award thrice earlier, during the years 2008, 2012 and 2015 under the category “Service Sector”.

The award has been given for exemplary performance and initiatives of V.O. Chidambaranar Port towards reduction of cost per tonne, optimization of manpower, savings in electricity by installation of energy efficient LED lightings, implementation of solar energy systems, reduction of overall cost of handling by mechanization in port operation which resulted in improved efficiency, quick evacuation of cargo and reduction in logistics cost to the EXIM Trade. It is also pertinent to note that during the financial year 2016-17, the operating ratio of the Port was 41.46%, the best among the Major Ports of India.

***

NP/MS

Read more: V.O.Chidambaranar Port bags National Award for...

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