The Vice President of India and the Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India’s keen desire for peace and prosperity all across is its strength and can give a befitting reply to sponsors of disruptive terror designs as demonstrated by the hugely successful air strikes yesterday. He further said that the operations of Indian Air Force were pre-emptive in nature and in defence of peace and prosperity in the country.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu was addressing and interacting, here today, with about 80 diplomats, researchers, academics and members of policy think tanks from 32 countries undergoing ‘Kautilya Fellowship Programme’ organised by the India Foundation. Shri Ram Madhav, Director, India Foundation and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the whole world is one big family) all along shaped the country’s interaction, outreach and external relationships with the countries, both near and far and its love for peace should not be taken as a weakness. 

Presenting the aerial strikes against terror camps in perspective, Shri Naidu asserted that “Ours (India) is a pacifist country with an earnest desire to foster peace everywhere. However, being non-violent and peace loving does not mean that we are weak or ignorant of threats to our security and integrity, he said. We are fully aware of these disruptive, destructive tendencies and forces that tend to derail our progress, he further said. We are committed to combat these forces and been fortunate to receive incredible, spontaneous support from several countries and we cannot be passive witness to terrorism and the rising tide of senseless violence, he added.

Elaborating on the grave consequences of rising terrorism across the globe for peace and development, Shri Venkaiah Naidu urged the world community to wake up and join hands in the concerted fight against terrorism and to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism proposed by India and pending before the United Nations since 1996. Stating that global conflicts and wars have retarded human progress, Shri Naidu stressed on the need to build strong defences against the forces that fuel hatred and cause untold human misery.

Shri Naidu called for measures to stop the sources of funding of terror and added that the perpetrators of terrorism should be “named and shamed”.

Charging the neighbouring country with aiding, abetting and funding terrorists and using terrorism as a State policy, he said it was trying to cripple the country.

Observing that India’s earnest desire was to foster peace everywhere, the Vice President said that peace was a necessary prerequisite for progress.

Talking about Kautilya, in whose name the fellowship programme has been established, Shri Naidu said that he was a visionary who wrote a comprehensive Treatise on politics, economics and governance and laid the theoretical foundations of a powerful, welfare State.

Shri Naidu also highlighted India’s efforts in making the economy inclusive and outlined various schemes launched by the government such as Jan Dhan and MUDRA. He also talked about India’s efforts to promote clean energy and the initiative of solar alliance.

The Vice President also gave a detailed account of the rich and diverse philosophical, spiritual and cultural heritage of the country and in promoting universal brotherhood, besides the policy initiatives taken over the last few years for building a modern and inclusive New India. He noted that the country’s vibrant democracy allows free flow of ideas and views and despite some shortcomings like the Emergency it has withstood the test of the times.




Read more: Peace loving pacifist India not weak; can strike...

Country on path to achieve 100% household electrification by 31 March, 2019; Next goal is 24*7 power for all households, Says Shri RK Singh

Power Minister launches Star Labelling for Energy Efficient Homes; this likely to save 90 Billion Unit annually by the year of 2030

 “Country on path to achieve 100% household electrification by 31 March, 2019 and our next goal is 24*7 power for all households” said Shri RK Singh Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy. He congratulated States for electrifying 2.5 crore households under Saubhagya in a record time of 17 months. Shri Singh was addressing the inaugural session of the Conference of Power and Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs at Gurugram today. The two-day Conference will review the implementation of various ongoing Schemes/ Programmes& deliberate on a host of issues pertaining to Power and Renewable Energy sectors.

Power Minister also felicitated State Power Departments and DISCOMs for their achievements under Saubhagya. Laying the roadmap for achieving 24*7 power for all, Shri Singh said that this will be done by strengthening the distribution network, improving the DISCOMs health, reducing the transmission & distribution losses, using technology to improve billing and collection efficiency and energy efficiency. Agriculture sector has been exempted from supplying 24*7 supply as it may lead to waterwastage and over exploitation of our already stressed ground water resources.

Addressing the conference, Shri Ajay Bhalla, Secretary, Power invited the States/UTs to share their views and work together to find solutions to the challenges faced by the Power Sector.

The Conference is being attended by the Ministers and Secretaries of the States and Union territories and senior officials of the power & renewable energy sectors and Public Sector Undertakings under them. In the next two days, the delegates will discuss issues like- 24*7 Power For All, present situation analysis of thermal power, Intra-state and Inter-state transmission status, promoting energy efficiency and renewables for a less carbon intensive economy. New reforms such as UDAY-II – use of technology, improving metering/billing/collection and solar irrigation will also be discussed during the conference.

Star Labelling for Energy Efficient Homes launched

During the inaugural Shri R K Singh also launched Energy Efficiency Label for Residential Sector in India.Developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), this under the aegis of Ministry of Power Energy efficiency label programme, for Residential Buildings will provide the information to consumers on the energy efficiency programme standard of the Homes to be constructed across India.

The objective of the labelling programme is to make an instrument over the energy performance of a home which will gradually lead to an effective tool while deciding over the home prices in future. It also aims to provide a benchmark to compare one home over the other on the energy efficiency standards so as to create a consumer driven market transformation solution for Energy Efficiency in housing sector.

The proposed labelling program is expected to save substantial amount of electric energy through various energy efficiency efforts in houses nationwide. With the implementation of Energy efficiency label for Residential Buildings it is estimated to achieve an energy saving of up to 40% over the conventional houses with annual savings of 90 Billion Units by the year of 2030. Further, the Labelling mechanism will reduce in energy bills for home buyers. The likely CO2 emission deduction by 2030 will be 320 MT CO2 annually.



Read more: Country on path to achieve 100% household...

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the presence of the Prime Minister and other dignitaries, at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (February 26, 2019).

The Gandhi Peace Prize was presented to the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari for 2015, jointly to the Akshaya Patra Foundation and the Sulabh International for 2016, to the Ekal Abhiyan Trust for 2017, and to Shri Yohei Sasakawa for 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Gandhian thinking, Gandhian modes of struggle and Gandhian ideals of achieving human liberty by conciliation, by appealing to the conscience of the opponent, have influenced some of the greatest of our age. From Martin Luther King Jr in the United States to Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Lech Walesa in Poland, a dazzling galaxy of statespersons has learnt and borrowed from Gandhiji. Gandhiji and his thoughts are invaluable to any understanding of contemporary human history, and of the quest to redress oppression and inequity.

The President said that Mahatma Gandhi remains relevant to 21st century concerns as well. In his advocacy of sustainability, ecological sensitivity and living in harmony with nature, he anticipated some of the pressing challenges of our times. The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations are Gandhian philosophy in action. India’s pivotal role in the International Solar Alliance and its domestic Swachh Bharat Mission – aimed at the universalisation of modern sanitation – too are reflective of Gandhiji.

Pointing to the contributions made by the awardees, the President said that the Vivekananda Centre has promoted self-help, sustainability and development throughout our country, especially in areas populated by tribal communities. It has built capacities in education and health, and in a sensitive and meaningful approach to rural development and harnessing of natural resources. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has advanced education and cognition by working to remove hunger and enhance nutrition. It has leveraged modern technology to provide quality meals to schoolchildren. The Sulabh International and its founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak were sanitation pioneers, advocating the merits of sanitation and advocating toilets in days and years when not many others were. The Ekal Abhiyan Trust is helping 2.2 million children – 52 per cent of them girls – access education. Many of its initiatives benefit tribal communities. Mr Yohei Sasakawa has been instrumental in helping us win crucial battles in the war against leprosy – to prevent and eradicate the disease, and to end stigma and discrimination.

Text of President’s address in English

Text of President’s address in Hindi



Read more: President of India presents Gandhi Peace Prize

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the Economic Times Global Business Summit.

He said from the days of 2013-14, when India was beset with problems such as runaway inflation, high fiscal deficit and policy paralysis, change is clearly visible today.

Hesitations have been replaced by hope, and obstacles have been replaced by optimism, he said.

The Prime Minister said that since 2014,India has made significant improvements in almost all international rankings and indices.

He said rankings are mostly lagging indicators, which change only after things have changed on the ground. In this context, he gave the example of Ease of Doing Business, where several parameters have visibly improved.

He said that as India’s rank in Global Innovation Index has gone up from seventy six in 2014 to fifty seven in 2018, the surge in innovation is clearly visible.

The Prime Minister drew a contrast between different forms of competition between now and prior to 2014.

He said that the competition now is on development, and achieving aspirational targets such as total sanitation, or total electrification, or higher investment. By contrast, he said that earlier, the apparent competition seemed to be on delays and corruption.

The Prime Minister strongly criticized what he described as a “narrative” that certain things are just impossible in India.

The impossible is now possible, he declared, as he spoke of the progress made in making India clean and corruption free; in the poorleveraging the power of technology, and in removing discretion and arbitrariness in policy making.

He said that a perception had been made that governments cannot be pro-growth and pro-poor at the same time,but people of India are making it possible.

He said that during 2014 to 2019, the country would register average growth of 7.4 percent and the average inflation would be less than four and a half percent. Post liberalization of the Indian economy, this will be the highest rate of average growth and lowest rate of average inflation witnessed during the period of any government, he added.

In the last four years, the amount of Foreign Direct Investment received in the country was almost equal to what was received in seven years before 2014, the Prime Minister said. He added that to achieve this, India needed reforms to transform. Through the Bankruptcy Code, GST, Real Estate Act to name a few, a solid foundation for decades of higher growth has been laid, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said that India is a country of 130 crore aspirations and there can never be a singular vision for development and progress. “Our vision of new India caters to all sections of the society, irrespective of their economic profile, their caste, creed, language and religion,” he added.

Shri Narendra Modi said “our vision of New India includes addressing the challenges of the future while also solving problems of the past.” In this context, he gave the following examples:

  • While India has made its fastest train, it has also eliminated all un-manned railway crossings.
  • While India is buildingIITs & AIIMS at a rapid pace, it has also built toilets in all schools across the country.
  • While India is building a 100 smart cities across the country, it is also ensuring rapid progress in over 100 aspirational districts.
  • While India has become a net exporter of electricity, it has also ensured that crores of households which were in darkness since independence have got electricity.

Speaking of positive interventions in the social sector, the Prime Minister said that the Government is reaching out to twelve crore small and marginal farmers by providing them a comfort of rupees six thousand every year. This will transfer 7.5 lakh crore rupees or about one hundred billion dollars to our farmers over the next ten years, he added.

The outcomes of our focus on Digital India, Start-up India, Make In India and Innovate India are converging and reaping rich dividends, the Prime Minister said. 44 percent of the startups registered in India are from tier 2 and tier3 cities, he added. Technology is bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots in our country, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the Government looks forward to making India a ten trillion dollar economy, lead the global drive towards renewable sources of energy, and make India a world leader in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.



Read more: PM addresses Economic Times Global Business Summit

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