The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu visited the Republic of Paraguay from 5-7 March 2019 and the Republic of Costa Rica from 7-9 March 2019. This was the first high-level visit from India to both these countries. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation including the Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Shri Alphons Kannanthanam, the Members of Parliament and senior officials from the Government of India. 

Paraguay

The Vice President met with the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr. Mario AbdoBenítez, the Vice President, Mr. Hugo Velázquez, and the President of the National Congress (Senate), Mr. Silvio Ovelar. He also addressed the India-Paraguay business forum and interacted with the Indian Diaspora in Paraguay.

During the Delegation Level Talks, the Paraguayan leadership decried the brutal terrorist attack that took place in Pulwama. The leadership of Paraguay said that they were on the same page as India as far as the issue of terrorism is concerned and extended heartfelt condolences to those who had lost their loved ones in the Pulwama terror attack. They stated that India could always count on Paraguay´s support in the fight against terrorism and in voicing India’s concerns on terrorism in the international fora.

The Vice President emphasized that Paraguay was an important partner of India in the Latin American and Caribbean region and said that the bilateral relations between the two nations have been showing an upward trend. He opined that India and Paraguay shared common values, interests, aspirations and promising futures.

Talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere when the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Shri Naidu applauded Paraguay’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance soon, an initiative by India and France, aimed at combating the threats of climate change and global warming.

Shri Naidu urged Paraguay to facilitate the convening of the next round of expert level discussions between MERCOSUR and India to take forward the shared agenda of the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

Paraguay joined India in remembering the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma. Shri Naidu along with the Vice President of Paraguay, Mr. Hugo Velazquez jointly unveiled a special commemorative postage stamp on Mahatma Gandhi.  Shri Naidu requested the leadership of Paraguay to collaborate to install a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at a prominent location in Asuncion.

The Vice President also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India.

Shri Naidu also attended an Indian Community reception in Paraguay. He said that the continued interest in India in Paraguay is due to the Indian diaspora. ‘Each member of the Indian Diaspora is a cultural Ambassador’, he observed.

Shri Naidu complemented the achievements of the Indian Diaspora in Paraguay and expressed hope that, through the diaspora, the ties between the two countries would be further strengthened. He expressed hope that the endeavours of Indian diaspora would be a constant source of satisfaction and pride for the country.

The Vice President said that there was immense scope for the Indian companies for investments in Paraguay, especially in Automobile, Pharmaceuticals & Engineering Goods. ‘Given its strengths in agriculture, Paraguay can become an important partner for India as a source of agro products’, he added.

Shri Naidu invited Indian and Paraguayan businesses to partner with each other for trade, technology and investment collaboration. He also urged Paraguayan businessmen and women to visit India to experience first-hand the major transformation underway in the country.

The Vice President underscored the importance of strengthening Parliamentary linkages and invited President of Paraguay, Mr. AbdoBenítez to visit India at a mutually convenient time. 

Costa Rica

The visit of Vice President to the Republic of Costa Rica was the first ever high-level visit from India to the nation.

The Vice President met the President of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Alvarado Quesada and held Delegation level talks with him which was followed by a joint press statement. He also met the President of the Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica, Ms. Carolina Hidalgo Herrera and attended a luncheon hosted by the first Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Ms. Epsy Campbell Barr. The Vice President addressed the business community of Costa Rica and interacted with the Indian Diaspora in Costa Rica.

Shri Naidu also witnessed the signing of two crucial documents; a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Costa Rica on the waiving of Visa requirement for Diplomatic and Official Passport holders and the signing of a letter of intent to collaborate in the field of biotechnology.

At the Delegation level Talks, the Vice President said that India and Costa Rica have close and cordial ties, based on shared commitment to the pursuit of democracy, pluralism, multiculturalism, freedom of Press, equitable human rights and other such important values and principles. 

The Vice President invited Costa Rican companies to invest in and benefit from India, the fastest growing large economy.  

Speaking of Indian medicines which are highly economical and FDA Approved, he urged Costa Rica to Fastrack approval process for pharmaceuticals to facilitate wider availability of Indian generics in Costa Rica. 

The Vice President opined that India and Costa Rica could collaborate in various aspects of skill development such as social and community mobilisation, training in Soft Skills, Entrepreneurship, Financial and Digital Literacy. 

He also said that India would be happy to collaborate to set up a Chair for pursuit of Indian studies at the University of Costa Rica in view of keenness on the part of the local Costa Rican population in pursuing such studies. 

Referring to the dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian security forces on February 14, 2019 in Pulwama, J&K by Jaish-e-Mohammed, he said that there was a need for decisive action by international community against individuals and terrorist groups engaged in terrorist activities.  

 

Speaking of the need to reduce carbon footprint and conserve the environment, Shri Naidu expressed happiness to have Costa Rica on board with us on the global platform of International Solar Alliance which has clean energy targets of 175 GW solar power. 

The Vice President requested Costa Rican leadership to extend support for initiating reforms in the UN Security Council and asked for their valuable support for India’s candidatures coming up for elections to a number of multilateral fora including the a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-2022. 

During the Meeting with the President of the Congress of the Republic of Costa Rica, Ms. Carolina Hidalgo Herrera, the Vice President highlighted India’s areas of strength that Costa Rica can benefit from, including Information Technology, Biotechnology, Space Technology, pharmaceuticals, hydroelectric generators, power plant equipments and railway construction. 

The Vice President also attended a Luncheon hosted by the first Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Ms. Epsy Campbell Barr. The two leaders discussed topics such as youth empowerment, promoting tourism, healthcare, financial inclusion, e-governance, space program, early childhood education programs, public transport and e-mobility.  

The Vice President addressed the Indian Community in San Jose, Costa Rica and complimented the members of the diaspora for Costa Rica for the esteem that they have won for themselves and India because of their high professional skills and competence. 

The Vice President said that India has been a votary of peace and non-violence from time immemorial.  He strongly condemned the destructive forces of terrorism that continue to be a festering challenge, distracting our attention from development. ‘Peace will not thrive if the forces of terror continue their unchecked run’, he asserted. 

Speaking from Costa Rica, a peace loving country, the Vice President called for a united, global response to the pervasive menace of terror. He also appealed for a concerted action at the global level on terror by concluding the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on international Terrorism.

Sri Naidu urged all the nationsto realize the ever increasing serious threat of terror and come together to name and shame and isolate all forms of terror. He called for an effective global response to this global challenge. 

At the India – Costa Rica Business Forum, the Vice President said that India and Costa Rica could collaborate in areas such as Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology, Digital Sciences and telecommunications, Agriculture and Food Processing, Renewable Energy, Space Research and Climate Change.

Shri Naidu applauded the hard work and enterprise of Costa Rican entrepreneurs and engineers which made Costa Rica an important economy and a leading services sector hub in Central America.

The Vice President said that Costa Rica is an attractive tourist destination and could be brought on to the tourist circuit of Indian travelers.

Honorary Doctorate from University for Peace

The Vice President was also conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the University for Peace founded by the United Nations for his contribution “to the Rule of Law, democracy and sustainable development in India”. 

In his acceptance speech, Shri Naidu said “This (Honorary Doctorate) is more an honour for my country than to me as an individual. It is an honour bestowed on a country, a civilization and a culture that has been an ardent and consistent champion of peace since time immemorial. I am privileged to receive this honour when the world is commemorating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhi Ji, the extraordinary apostle of peace”. 

The visit of Vice President to the two countries has advanced India’s outreach to the important countries in the region. This visit will give an opportunity to provide impetus to bilateral relations in trade and investment, ICT, renewable energy including hydel energy, education, healthcare, space and people to people linkages.

During the visit to both the countries there were fruitful and cordial exchanges covering a range of areas of mutual interest spanning bilateral, regional and multilateral fields.

 

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AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Vice President concludes his visit to Paraguay...

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the Foundation Stones of Buxar and Khurja Thermal Power Plants digitally from Greater Noida today. These plants, 1320 MW each are situated at Buxar (Bihar) and Bulandshahar (Uttar Pradesh) respectively.

The Prime Minister said that the thermal power plants launched at Buxar and Khurja will accelerate India’s growth and will transform the power availability in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other neighbouring states. He spoke about the huge jump in power generation in the past four and half years.

Speaking about the Government’s initiative towards improving the power sector in India, Prime Minister said that his government focused on all four aspects of power generation, ie, Production, Transmission, Distribution and Connection. He said that such an approach has completely transformed the power sector and One Nation- One Grid has now become a reality. The Government has also given right impetus to renewable energy sector also, PM said. He added that his dream is ‘One World, One Sun, One Grid’.

Shri RK Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy graced the foundation stone laying ceremony at Chausa, Buxar in Bihar. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the Project will bring many benefits to the region. It will give impetus to the industrial development of the region and generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the youth.

Shri Nand Lal Sharma Chairman & Managing Director, SJVN expressed hope that the project would also act as a multiplier for employment generation and overall growth of the entire region. The project is planned to be commissioned during the year 2023-24.

The project has been planned with special features to perform as per the latest environmental norms. The project is based on Super Critical technology, closed cycle water re-circulation system for zero discharge concepts. The coal requirement for the project has been tied-up and it will be supplied by Central Coal Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) while the State Transmission Utility, Bihar has already approved power evacuation system for this project.

In terms of the Power Purchase Agreement entered into with the Government of Bihar the project will provide at-least 85% of power generated to the state which will not only reduce demand supply deficit of Bihar in terms of current power scenario but will also boost industrial activity in the state.

 The foundation stone laying ceremony at Chausa, Buxar, Bihar was graced by the Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Energy Minister of Bihar, Shri Bijender Prasad Yadav and People’s representatives from the area and senior officials from the SJVN.

Details of the both projects are given below:

1-  Buxar Thermal Power Project in Bihar 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, had given its approval (on 7th March, 2019) for investment approval for 2x660 MW Buxar Thermal Power Project (Buxar TPP) in District Buxar of Bihar.

The project will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs. 10,439.09 crore and implemented by SJVN Thermal Private Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of SJVN Ltd., a Mini Ratna CPSU under Ministry of Power, Government of India.

The Buxar TPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of 660 MW each, equipped with latest emission control technology to protect the environment and has high efficiency and use less fuel to generate power. The Buxar TPP will improve the deficit power scenario in Bihar and Eastern region. Govt. of Bihar has already signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for supply of not less than 85% of generated power.

The project is expected to generate substantial direct and indirect employment apart from various other socio-economic development in the project area. The Buxar TPP will start yielding benefits from 2023-24.

2-  Khurja Super Thermal Power Project in Uttar Pradesh

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the investment approval (on 7th march, 2019) for 2x660MW Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in District Bulandshahar of Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs.11,089.42 crore and Amelia Coal Mine in District Singraulli, Madhya Pradesh. 

The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 1587.16 crore and will be implemented by THDC India Limited, a Mini Ratna CPSU under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

The Khurja STPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of capacity 660 MW each, equipped with latest emission control technology to protect the environment and has high efficiency and uses less fuel to generate power. Amelia Coal Mine was allotted to THDC India Limited by Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India in January, 2017.The Khurja STPP will improve the deficit power scenario of Northern Region and particularly of Uttar Pradesh, which has already signed Power Purchase Agreement with THDC India Limited for purchase of 60% Power from the Project and the other beneficiary states i.e. Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.

The project is expected to generate substantial direct and indirect employment and overall development of District Bulandshahar and nearby districts of Western Uttar Pradesh. The Khurja STPP will start yielding benefits from 2023-24.

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RCJ/MS

Read more: PM lays foundation stone of Buxar and Khurja...

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today, visited Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, and launched various development projects.

At Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology, the PrimeMinister flagged off the Noida City Centre – Noida Electronic City section of Metro through video link.He also laid the foundation stone of two 1320 MW Thermal Power Plants at Khurja in Uttar Pradesh and Buxar in Bihar.

The Prime Minister inaugurated the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology. He unveiled a statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya at the campus and paid floral tributes. Later he also visited the Deendayal Museum in the Institute campus.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister said that Noidahas been completely transformed. Noida is now known for development and creating employment opportunities for youth, PM said.He added that Noida is being developed as the Make in India hub of the nation. In this context, Prime Minister mentioned about the presence of various electronic companies in Noida, including the world’s largest mobile factory.

The Prime Minister said that the country’s biggest airport is being built in Jewar, in Uttar Pradesh. Once completed, Jewar airport will not only bring ease of living but also will be economically beneficial to Uttar Pradesh.He also mentioned about the various airports being built all around the country. He added that the Union Government is committed towards providing air connectivity to smaller cities through UDAN Yojana.

Speaking about the Government’s initiative towards improving the power sector in India, Prime Minister said that his government focused on all four aspects of power generation, ie, Production, Transmission, Distribution and Connection. He said that such an approach has completely transformed the power sector and One Nation- One Grid has now become a reality. The Government has also given right impetus to renewable energy sector also, PM said. He added that his dream is ‘One World, One Sun, One Grid’.

The Prime Minister said that the thermal power plants launched at Buxar and Khurgawill accelerate India’s growth and will transform the power availability in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other neighbouringstates. He spoke about the huge jump in power generation in the past four and half years.

Inaugurating the Pandit Deendayal UpadhyayaInstitute of Archaeology, Prime Minister said that the institute will provide modern amenities for research scholars and students from India and all over the world.

The Prime Minister said that a New India is being created.  He added that this has been possible due to the strength and support given by 125 crore Indians. He reiterated the Union Government’s commitment towards eliminating corruption in the country.Saluting the bravery of the soldiers in giving a befitting response to terrorists, Prime Minister said that the Government will continue to take strong decisions against terrorism.

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AKT/SH

Read more: PM launches development projects at Greater Noida;

Today CSC SPV organized a National workshop on “Celebrating 2 Crore PM-JAY and 1000 Digital Villages” at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justicewhile inaugurating the event, appreciated the efforts of the CSC VLEs and said, “Recently, Hon’ President of India and Hon’ Prime Minister appreciated CSCs’ efforts. In last 4 years, our VLEs have become change agent of rural India. I feel proud that we have 67,463 women VLEs in India.” He also launched the completion of 1000 Digital Villages and congratulated HDFC for supporting in Digital Village initiative. “CSCs will become case studies in Harvard like global institutions very soon. Once, Hon’ PM said that I want to see the governance on the palm of every citizen and I can see it in villages of our country.” He asked VLEs to complete the registrations in Ayushman Bharat to 5 crore in next two months. “I wish the Village Level Entrepreneurs of CSC all the best and hope they will truly be the harbingers of digital revolution in India and enable us to create digitally and financially inclusive society. I and my government will always support CSCs in enabling delivery of services.” 

CSC SPV and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have partnered to implement the Ayushman Bharat scheme through the CSC network across the country. Under the partnership CSCs will help the beneficiary to identify his/her name in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare database and his/her entitlement for the scheme. CSCs will also help beneficiary to scan/upload his/her KYC documents for verification of his/her identity and claim his/her entitlement. The Beneficiary will have facility to print his/her Ayushman Scheme card through CSC. Hence, CSCs will also provide requisite information about the scheme and promote it among citizens, so that maximum number of beneficiaries can avail the benefit.

As part of their social responsibility, HDFC has collaborated with CSC SPV to transform and develop villages and hamlets across the country as Digital Villages, which enables rural citizens to access G2C, education, health and financial services.

CSC SPV is implementing the Digital Village Programme (Digi Gaon) in rural and remote areas of the country, with the mandate of the Ministry of Electronics & IT, where citizens can avail of various online services of the central and State government, and private players alike. These Digital villages are positioned to be the change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and livelihood through community participation.

These Digital Villages have been equipped with solar lighting facility in their community center, LED Bulb assembly unit, sanitary napkin unit, and Wi-fi Choupal; an initiative towards developing a Rural Wi-Fi infrastructure. These villages would also have the regular online services available through the Common Services Center like G2C and B2C, Banking and Insurance, Health, Education and other utility services of the State government.

NNK/MD

Read more: Register 5 Crore beneficiaries under Ayushman...

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