The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon town planners to make sustainable solutions such as harvesting solar energy, enhancing green cover and water conservation an essential part of town planning.

 

Shri Naidu, while addressing the 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress 2019 organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). Here today, asked municipal administrators to accord priority to tree plantation, solid waste management, protection and rejuvenation of water bodies.

 

Observing that a massive migration from rural to urban areas has become a reality, the Vice President said that education, entertainment, enhanced medical facilities and employment were the main drivers of such migration. He asked for collaborative efforts of governments at state and centre to reduce the divide by providing urban amenities in rural areas.

 

Opining that economic growth must take environmental protection into consideration, Shri Naidu observed that dependency on fossil fuel must be reduced and new forms of energy sources such as solar must be explored.  ‘It cannot be business as usual as far as development is concerned,’ he added

 

The Vice President called upon all the representatives of provinces and cities of various countries presented to adopt multi-dimensional and innovative approaches to ensure low emissions oriented development. He urged them to promote public transport in cities to reduce congestion and air pollution. 

 

Observing the green infrastructure was the need of the hour, he stressed the need to promote resource efficiency to achieve climate resilient urban development. Moving away from traditional metrics of measuring development, Shri Naidu called for new urban infrastructure that was low-carbon, green and climate resilient. He also called for measures to ensure that urban solid waste is converted wealth by learning from the best practices followed globally.

 

Saying that one must draw inspiration from our cultural roots, especially the civilizational values that revered and urged us to protect natural resources, the Vice President said that adopting green solutions, providing good governance and building urban resilience was the way forward.

 

Observing that rise in global temperature was going to result in several aspects of human activity including farming, Shri Naidu wanted planners to factor in changing climate and its likely impacts in all development strategies. He called for up-scaling climate mitigation measures to reduce climate-related risks in the future.

 

Pointing that more than 60% of the world’s population resides in Asia and the region was most affected by natural disasters, the Vice President said that governments in Asia must build climate resilient habitats. He further said that Asian cities must emphasize biodiversity and healthy, functioning ecosystems. With pollution reaching hazardous levels in cities, utmost priority needs to be accorded to promote clean and green technologies, he added.

 

The 4th Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific (RCAP) Congress 2019 organized by the organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) in association with South Delhi Municipal Corporation witnessed the presence of more than 200 delegates from around 30 countries.   

 

The Chargé d'affaires, Embassy of Switzerland in India, Ms. Tamara Mona, the Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan, Mr. Raimund Magis, the Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Shri Emani Kumar, the Commissioner, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Shri Puneet Kumar Goel, Town planners, Mayors from countries such as Bhutan, Japan, Switzerland, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, Vietnam, European Union, China and other dignitaries were present at the venue. 

 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

 

It is my pleasure to address this august gathering of leaders from several cities, practitioners, policy makers and researchers from Asia and other parts of the globe.

I extend a hearty warm welcome to you all to India –a country which has traditionally looked upon every creature as a friend. As the ancient Indian text, Rigveda, had said,

Mitrasyaham Chakshusha Sarvani Bhutani Sameekshe Mitrasya Chakshusha Smeeksha Mahe

“Look at every entity of Nature with the eyes of a friend. May we look upon one another with the eye of a friend”.

I understand that we are gathered here today to deliberate on the most important challenge confronting all of us. That is the challenge of climate change.

I hope your discussions will lead to a better understanding of this challenge and illuminate the alternative pathways for collective action.

The impact of climate change is especially relevant to our cities and towns in Asia. Floods, cyclones, wild fires and hurricanes continue to disrupt life on an almost regular basis.

Temperatures are rising and a drought like situation is gripping cities in the summer with water scarcity being a regular challenge. Our cities are battling the consequences of climate change on a daily basis.

India, I must proudly say, is now one of the global leaders in addressing this challenge head-on. As recently announced at the 24th Conference of Parties on Climate Change, in Katowice, Poland, our country is well on its way to achieve our stated Nationally Determined Contributions.

Economic growth should take environmental protection into consideration. The dependence on fossil fuel must be reduced.

India has defined an ambitious target of deploying 175GW of renewable power by 2022. This target is now further raised to 227 GW of renewable energy capacity, considering that we are well on our way to exceeding the previously set target.

Dear sisters and brothers, it should be noted that climate vulnerability and likely impacts should be factored in all development strategies.

Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Globally, if we continue with our current development trajectory, we are certain to breach the 1.5 o c target in the coming 30 years.

This increase in global temperature is likely to result in an increase in mean temperature over most land and ocean regions, hot extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions. Future climate-related risks can be reduced by up-scaling climate mitigation measures.

Dear sisters and brothers, more than 60% of the world’s population resides in Asia. Nearly half of this population resides in cities and towns. It is the region that is most affected by natural disasters. In the light of these realities, the governments in Asia should build climate resilient communities

According to the United Nations, “hundreds of millions of people will be vulnerable to coastal flooding and related natural disasters as global warming increases. Moreover, it will be the poorest countries and people who will be most vulnerable to this threat and who will suffer the earliest and the most”. Poor adaptive capacities will disrupt energy supply, mobility, economy, health and our lives in general.

It is extremely crucial to link every aspect of urbanization with sustainability. Cities account for two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of carbon emissions. With urbanization expected to reach 67% globally by 2050, cities will be the centers of economic growth and likely to contribute 80% of global GDP. As such, cities need to take the lead for transition to a low-carbon economy, particularly in emerging economies in Asia.

We need to change our development paradigm and aim for climate resilient development, moving away from traditional metrics of measuring development. The new urban infrastructure should be low-carbon, green and climate resilient.

We are running out of time and we need innovative solutions that will help the cities to achieve the hitherto elusive trio of development, sustainability and climate resilience.

I call upon all the city, province and country representatives present here to adopt various multi-dimensional and innovative approaches, as a part of their endeavour to achieve the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, to ensure low emissions oriented development. The need of the hour is to encourage green infrastructure, enable a circular economy and promote resource efficiency to achieve climate resilient urban development.

The cities must enhance access to basic services and adequate housing and focus on redesigning cities to reduce air pollution, congestion, traffic accidents and better management of waste, investment in smart infrastructure for public transport, clean energy as well as on creating green and
blue public spaces.


Asian cities must emphasize biodiversity and healthy, functioning ecosystems. With pollution reaching hazardous levels in cities, utmost priority needs to be accorded to promote clean and green technologies. The city administrations should focus on protecting local water bodies and take steps for conserving scarce water resources.

Accent should be on incentivizing e-Mobility and public transportation.

Dear sisters and brothers,

I am aware that cities face a major constraint in terms of accessing finance considering the current scale of urbanization and future trends. Enabling public private partnerships, involving local banking institutions, blended finance models, municipal bonds and green bonds are all effective means towards enhancing access to finance.

The challenge before us huge. It is a challenge that will get only more formidable with each passing day. Time is of the essence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary to policymakers released in October 2018 indicates that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have to be reduced by 45% before 2030.

It is a challenging mission but not an impossible one. A recent report estimates that implementing circular economy globally makes the Paris Agreement target achievable.

Circular economy strategies, like increasing the share of renewables in a country’s energy mix, improving energy efficiency are required.

Dear sisters and brothers, we all have an onerous responsibility in making sustainable development our core agenda and transforming the planet so that the future of our posterity is not jeopardized in any manner.

To ensure a brighter future for all our citizens, especially those living in urban centres, we must also focus on reducing the rural-urban divide and involve all people as agents of change.

At the same time, we should recognize the perils of unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

As Mahatma Gandhi had said many years ago: “The earth has enough resources for our need, but not for our greed." We should promote a lifestyle that takes sustainability and environmental integrity as key factors.

We must draw inspiration from our cultural roots, especially the civilizational values that revered and urged us to protect natural resources. As the ancient Indian sages had said in the Rig Veda: "Do Not Harm The Environment; Do Not Harm The Water And The Flora; Earth Is My Mother, I Am Her Son; May The Waters Remain Fresh, Do Not Harm The Waters”.

It cannot be business as usual as far as development is concerned. We must strive to adopt green solutions, provide good governance and build urban resilience. We must collectively get together by forging meaningful public-private partnerships for advancing on our agenda.

I hope the forum generates new ideas for catalyzing progress in the Asia Pacific region. I look forward to learning about some of the takeaways from this conference.

JAI HIND!

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for a Cooperation Agreement between Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India and Ministry for Energy, Utilities and Climate of the Kingdom of Denmark on strategic sector cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy with a focus on Offshore Wind Energy and a Letter of Intent to establish an Indo-Danish Centreof Excellence for renewable energy in India.  The Agreement was signed in March, 2019 in New Delhi.

The objective of the Cooperation Agreement is to promote cooperation between the twocountries in the field of renewable energy with special focus on Off-shore wind. The areas of cooperation would include technical capacity building for management of off­shore wind projects, measures to develop and sustain a highly efficient wind industry, onshore as well as offshore; measures to 'ensure high quality of wind turbines, components, and certification requirements; forecasting and scheduling of off-shore wind

The Indo-Danish Centre of Excellence in Integrated Renewable Power would work on Renewable energy resource assessments with focus on onshore and offshore wind; Hybridisation of wind, solar, hydro and storage technologies; integration of renewable energy inch high level of wind energy, Testing and R&D; and skill development / capacity building.

The signing of the documents will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

****

AKT/SH

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India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C45) today successfully launched EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR in Sriharikota. This flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors.

PSLV-C45 lifted off at 9:27 Hrs (IST) from the Second Launch Pad and injected India’s EMISAT into a 748 km sun-synchronous polar orbit, 17 minutes and 12 seconds after liftoff. After separation, the two solar arrays of EMISAT were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

Following the separation of EMISAT, the vehicle’s fourth stage engines were restarted twice to place the 28 international customer satellites precisely into a sun-synchronous orbit of 504 km height. The last customer satellite was placed into its designated orbit 1 hour and 55 minutes after lift-off.

About 3 hours after lift-off, the fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle was moved to a lower circular orbit of 485 km after two restarts to establish it as an orbital platform for carrying out experiments with its three payloads.

EMISAT is a satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite-2 bus weighing about 436 kg. The satellite is intended for electromagnetic spectrum measurement.

The 28 international customer satellites, together weighing about 220 kg, are from four countries, namely, Lithuania (2), Spain (1), Switzerland (1) and USA (24). These foreign satellites were launched as part of commercial arrangements.

The payloads carried by PS4 are Automatic Identification System from ISRO, Automatic Packet Repeating System from AMSAT, India and Advanced Retarding Potential Analyzer for ionospheric studies from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in the mission.

 “Today’s PSLV mission was unique in several ways. It was a four strap-on new variant, the vehicle achieved three different orbits and for the first the PS4 stage is powered by solar panels,” Dr Sivan said. He added that a new PSLV team executed today’s mission.

Dr Sivan also placed on record the significant involvement of the industry in this mission.

So far, PSLV has launched 46 national satellites, 10 satellites built by students from Indian Universities and 297 international customer satellites, including the satellites launched today.

In its next mission, PSLV-C46 will launch RISAT-2B in May 2019.

*****

BB/NK/PK

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The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for a faster and more inclusive growth. He said that knowledge is going to be the driver of the growth of Indian Economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of the people. He called upon Indian Universities to rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system to be globally competitive and to realign their research goals to meet real challenges that India faces.

He was addressing the 16th Convocation of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, established by the Reserve Bank of India, in Mumbai today. He applauded the Institute for having established itself as one of the excellent centers of higher learning and as an influential center of discourse on national and global development concerns. The Vice President gave away degrees to 43 graduating students and presented one gold medal for excellence.

On the occasion, the Vice President spoke about growth and development and highlighted the rapid economic progress and fiscal consolidation that India had undergone.  Shri Naidu said that an emerging economy like India would constantly bring in new laws and regulations at par with international best practices. He observed that tax reforms were slowly increasing India’s tax base and shifting the social norms from one where it was alright to avoid taxes to one where the majority is willing to pay.

The Vice President opined that India’s demographic dividend was an opportunity and a challenge. He said that finding jobs for 12 million young people entering the labor force each year and millions transferring out of low productivity agricultural jobs is a major and continuing task. 

Shri Naidu stressed that education is not only for employment, but also to empower the individual with knowledge and wisdom to sift the wheat from the chaff. ‘Access to quality education for all and at all levels is equally essential to ensure inclusive growth and prevent any kind of discrimination’, he added.

The Vice President emphasized that it was time for India to once again emerge as the global knowledge hub. He called upon the seats of learning, especially the universities, to reinvent themselves as hubs of vibrant intellectual pursuit with academic excellence and social relevance as the key touchstones of success. The Vice President also opined that our system of education and skill-training needs to respond to the demands of industry and services sector.

Touching upon agriculture and its importance in Indian economy, the Vice President said that we must not hesitate to introduce a number of structural changes in our agricultural sector to make it profitable. He highlighted initiatives like National Agricultural Market or e-Nam and spoke of the need to diversify crops further and increase the coverage of crop insurance.

Shri Naidu spoke of the need to augment our social infrastructure such as primary education, health care etc. Referring to Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s dream of providing urban amenities in rural areas, he said that we have to aspire to provide amenities like drinking water, street lights, education, healthcare and telecom services to the country’s rural areas, bringing them at par with urban areas in terms of ease of living and working.

The Vice President said that India has to reach out to other countries to access cost-effective technology, investment, and energy to manage its domestic challenges. He called for appropriate economic and foreign policies to navigate through this emerging and uncertain landscape.

Shri Naidu urged scientists, technologists and engineers to keep abreast of the developments and absorb new technologies as they occur. He reasoned that this absorption is necessary for our progress in a fast integrating world. ‘We must identify areas and spheres where we have comparative advantage and push ahead’, he emphasized.

He urged the graduating students to learn to preserve the best of traditional values, shun negativism, develop a positive attitude and be socially conscious, peace loving and empathetic.  ‘Develop a constructive attitude and focus more on achieving perfection in whatever you do’, he said.

The Director of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Dr. S. Mahendra Dev, the Dean, Dr. Jayati Sarkar and others dignitaries were present on the occasion.

 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

 

I deem it a matter of great privilege to be invited to address the 16th Convocation of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. Over its life of over three decades, the Institute has established itself as one of the excellent centres of higher learning. The Institute has emerged as an influential centre of discourse on national and global development concerns. Under the able leadership of its present Director Professor Mahendra Dev, the Institute has not only continued to build further on its initial strength but has added more dimensions.

Addressing such a learned gathering as we have today, I would like dwell upon a few thoughts on some of the issues pertaining to Indian economy.

Accelerated economic growth has been a major factor bringing down Indian poverty ratios, which were above 50 % in the 1960s. In 2011, after a series of global shocks, India’s macro economy was fragile, with a depreciating rupee, widening current account deficit, and high food inflation. Policy actions since helped improve these fundamentals.

A path of fiscal consolidation and implicit flexible inflation forecast targeting was adopted in 2014. Be it in the overall macro-economic context or specifically in finance, an emerging economy like India is constantly bringing in new laws and regulations at par with international best practices.

Tax reform is slowly increasing India’s tax base and shifting the social norms from one where it was alright to avoid taxes to one where the majority is willing to pay. Incentives are also working in that direction.

Looking ahead, for India to be a USD ten trillion-dollar economy in 2030 its real rate of growth must be at least 7% per annum. If we can achieve this, we will shift firmly from the World Bank’s lower income group to the upper-middle income group, which starts at a per capita income of USD 3856.

India has to grow out of many bottlenecks including inadequate public services, congestion and pollution, issues in health and education, bottlenecks in land, labour and financial markets etc. An arduous path lies in front of us.

For us to move to this growth path, we need to focus on research, innovation, sincere implementation and constant monitoring by following reform path.

An economy in transition should be one which is innovating. New technologies that leverage youthful skills and reduce prices to target low income masses can give India a special advantage. Aadhar and GST give one of the world’s largest data base that can be used for various innovations including in fintech. Internet based businesses including retail will be a major source of innovations given India’s large consumer base. Shifting to renewable energy sources and environment friendly technologies will be another.

India’s demographic dividend is an opportunity and a challenge.

By 2020 its estimated average age of 29 will be among the lowest in the world.

But finding jobs for 12 million young people entering the labour force each year, and millions transferring out of low productivity agricultural jobs is a major and continuing task.  

In order to achieve the demographic dividend, some of the challenges for the country include improving healthcare, improving education facilities, skill development, developing good quality and low-cost housing, investment in physical infrastructure and and promoting small and medium enterprises while bolstering larger enterprises with global reach.

Please remember that knowledge is going to be the driver of Indian Economy and will play a vital role in improving the living conditions of the people. Therefore, India must rise to the occasion and reorient its higher education system to be globally competitive.

The education system should be reoriented by moving away from the colonial mindset and teach history in an objective manner as it actually unfolded, the richness of ancient civilization, culture and heritage and instill the values of nationalism among the students.

Education is not only for employment. It should empower the individual with knowledge and wisdom to sift the wheat from the chaff. Access to quality education for all and at all levels is equally essential to ensure inclusive growth and prevent any kind of discrimination.

I would like to emphasize that the time has come for India to once again emerge as the global knowledge hub. For that to happen, the seats of learning, especially the universities, must reinvent themselves as hubs of vibrant intellectual pursuit with academic excellence and social relevance as the key touchstones of success.

India’s development trajectory thus far stands out among other countries in that the economy has transformed from being predominantly agricultural in 1947 to being services dominated, largely bypassing the phase of rapid industrialization that other high income countries witnessed during their own development.

While agriculture now accounts for less than a fifth of GDP, it still remains the main source of employment for nearly half the labour force.

For the unskilled workers migrating out of agriculture it is the low value services and not manufacturing that is the first port of call.

Share of manufacturing in total employment has remained fairly low at about 12 percent. This is in sharp contrast, not just with the developed countries, but even with Asian peers such as China and South Korea where it is higher at around 16 percent to 19 percent. The government’s “Make in India” initiative is driven by its desire for rapid structural change and growth.

An important feature of Indian agriculture is the presence of very large number of farmers (about 90 million farm households), and the very low average farm size – majority of farms are less than 1 hectare. These millions of farmers typically sell their produce in to wholesale markets. Consequently, farmers do not benefit from high prices at the retail end. This market structure is an important reason for the low labour productivity in the sector. To improve labour productivity in agriculture, we need (i) innovative institutional arrangements for some form of “collective” marketing by farmers (e.g., cooperatives, farmer producer organization, etc.) to improve their bargaining strength in the market; (ii) greater on-farm value addition / agro-processing (cleaning, cutting, packaging, etc.), (iii) development of agricultural marketing chains and agriculture specific infrastructure, and (iv) development of agro-processing industries.

Thus, we must not hesitate to introduce a number of structural changes in our agricultural sector to make it profitable.

Initiatives like National Agricultural Market or e-nam have helped in improving the profitability of agriculture by better access to markets and information.

We must also focus upon diversifying of crops further and increasing the coverage of crops under insurance.

Goal 8 and Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are directly relevant in the context of labour and employment. To recall, Goal 8 is “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, while Goal 5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. On both these aspects several issues confront the country.

How to facilitate job creation for people looking for jobs and that are entering the labor force? The annual addition to working age labor force (those falling in the age bracket 15-59) is estimated to be in the range of 5.8 million for the period 2015 to 2030. It is estimated that India will have to absorb around 16 million persons in new jobs over the next 15 years.

The future skill-profile of workers demanded by Industry and services sector could undergo dramatic change. Our system of education and skill-training needs to respond to the demands of industry and services sector. The pace of skill development would also be important if we have to benefit from the demographic transition.

We need to focus on skill upgradation and promote innovative entrepreneurship to meet the demands of various sectors, including agriculture.

We must also promote self employment, set up and empower more self help groups and promote village and cottage industries.

Large proportion of India’s labor force is engaged in informal work or work in informal enterprises. The challenge is two-fold. How to incentivize the entrepreneur to set up new enterprises in the formal/organised segment of the economy? How to encourage currently operating enterprises in the informal segment to move into the organised sector?

Gender disparity in labor market which has many dimensions needs to be addressed. The low share of women workers in organized sector and the lower wage per day of work for women in all types of wage employment are the striking features.

Developing countries need, among other things, an infrastructure push to sustain growth over the next generation. Infrastructure can be divided into three parts: trade and transport corridors, industrial zones, and social infrastructure.

Over the past decade, the importance of the West as the dominant source of international export demand has declined. Developing countries are confronted with the need to find newer markets within their boundaries and in other countries in the global south. This requires reorientation of westward trade channels through massive investment in intra-national (Bharatmala Project and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor), inter-national (India-Afghanistan air corridor, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project connecting India and Myanmar, and India-Bangladesh rail, road, and sea transport projects), intra-regional (BBIN /Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal projects), inter-regional (India-Iran-Afghanistan International Transport and Transit Corridor and India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway), and inter-continental (International North-South Transport Corridor and Asia-Africa Growth Corridor) physical connectivity. This is the context for the growing interest in domestic and transnational infrastructure over the past decade.

As far as the Social Infrastructure is concerned, building primary education, health care, and waste management facilities across the country, development of new small towns and renovation of existing towns and connecting them with local labour intensive manufacturing and services industries, and decongestion of existing metropolitan cities would be of utmost importance.

We have to aspire to achieve Former President Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s dream of providing urban amenities in rural areas, which he termed as “PURA”. 

The social inclusion programme he envisioned aims at providing amenities like drinking water, street lights, education, healthcare and telecom services to the country’s rural areas, bringing them at par with urban areas in terms of ease of living and working.

What will the world look like in 2030? Where do we see ourselves in that world? How should we choose our objectives? How should we build capacity to pursue those objectives? The answers to these questions have to be located in our interlocked domestic and international contexts. 

To manage its domestic challenges, India has to reach out to other countries to access cost-effective technology, investment, and energy. India needs appropriate economic and foreign policies to navigate through this emerging and uncertain landscape.

Our scientists, technologists and engineers must keep abreast of the developments and absorb new technologies as they occur. In a fast integrating world, this absorption is necessary for our progress.

We must identify areas and spheres where we have comparative advantage and push ahead.

Our development challenge can only be met by focusing on the expansion of the knowledge base. We must focus on improving the quality of research and fostering innovation.  That alone will be the required game changer.

That is why we need institutions of excellence like Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research. May I wish everyone of you success in your future endeavors.

My dear young friends who are being conferred with prestigious degrees today,

Convocation is a crucial ceremony in your life. It marks a significant transformation in your life.

Let me impress upon you that the nation looks up to you with great many expectations.

You must learn to preserve the best of traditional values, shun negativism, develop a positive attitude and be socially conscious, peace loving and empathetic.  Develop a constructive attitude and focus more on achieving perfection in whatever you do.

You should learn to love nature and live with nature and care for the preservation of natural resources and environment to create a more sustainable planet.

As you strive to reach these goals, you will face a number of challenges your way.  You will see as many setbacks as victories.

But I am confident that you will surge ahead, armed with knowledge and wisdom and the many great qualities that this great institution has nurtured in you.

I am confident that you will be the authors of New India’s growth story.

Let me congratulate you once again on this accomplishment.

I wish each and every one of you and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research a very bright future.

Jai Hind!”

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Vice President calls for faster and more...

Green Urban Areas play an important role in the social and natural sustainability and improve quality of life. This was the focus of a National Seminar on “Greenery and Landscaping” organized by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) here today, as a part of its continued effort for green and clean sustainable development The Seminar was inaugurated by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Horticulturists, Architects and Engineers from within CPWD and from other Government and Private organizations participated in the Seminar. Over 40 papers were received for the Seminar and presentations were made by the eminent experts. CPWD Publications and e-Modules were also released during the function.

Addressing the participants, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra stated that sustainable development by optimal harnessing of scarce resources of water, air, energy, land, biodiversity and use of new technologies, renewable energy, conservation of water, reuse of the waste water, rainwater harvesting etc. are the need of the hour. He appreciated CPWD for taking a lead role in adoption and dissemination of sustainable development measures in its works in particular and in construction sector in general.

Shri Prabhakar Singh, Director General, CPWD spoke about the achievements of CPWD in the recent past, in terms of adoption of the sustainable development measures, human resource management, speedier and quality construction, adoption of new technologies, completion of projects on time with quality and economy, adding new clients, signing new MoUs and implementation of new policy initiatives for the growth of Department with the support and guidance of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Following recommendations were made during the Seminar :

• Green Urban Areas play an important role in the social and natural sustainability and improve quality of life.

• Greenery and Dense plantation have a major impact on the conservation of energy, and reduce the energy requirement of the building.

• In order to maintain sustainable environment, pollution free clean air, it is essential to take up the plantation work.

• Cost of land has increased manifold and high rise buildings are coming up, people are getting hardly any area for the greenery. Keeping in view the same, plantation, greenery and other environment friendly applications should be planned around the building by way of dwarf trees, small shrubs, ground covers, hanging baskets, creepers, etc.

• There is need to adopt wood alternative in building construction. Use of alternate materials like Bamboo needs to be encouraged.

• Orientation and proper training should be imparted to the persons engaged in landscaping and Horticulture, for implementation of the new technologies in this field to save the labour and cost of the project in long run.

• Emphasis should be given for conserving and transplanting indigenous and grown up trees.

• Herbal and medicinal plants need to be encourage. Herbal plants are useful for keeping the life healthy.

• Application of Organic Manure needs to be adopted for healthy and nutritious food.

• Water conserving irrigation method like drip irrigation, Sprinkler irrigation and pop up system needs to be adopted.

• Plants and greenery help in reducing adverse effects of climate change. Therefore every individual should adopt minimum one tree.

• Green initiative needs to be taken up on a mission mode by every nation, every city, every society and every individual so that future generations may lead happy and healthy life.

***
RJ/KGS
Read more: Sustainable development by optimal harnessing of...

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, landed at the Viru Viru International Airport, Santa Cruz, Bolivia in the evening of March 28, 2019, where he was received by Mr Evo Morales Ayma, the President of Plurinational State of Bolivia and other dignitaries. He was accorded ceremonial welcome on the occasion. This is the first ever high-level visit between India-Bolivia since the establishment of diplomatic relations. 

Yesterday (March 29, 2019), the President commenced his engagements with meeting his counterpart, Mr Evo Morales Ayma. During the one-to-one discussions with President Morales, the President said that he was honoured to pay the first ever State Visit from India to Bolivia. He thanked President Morales for special welcome and affection. 

Subsequently, the President led delegation-level talks between the two sides. Speaking on the occasion, he said that it is encouraging to see that India-Bolivia bilateral trade has picked up in the last two years and it stood at US$ 875 million in 2018. 60% of Bolivian gold is exported to India. Bolivia is the 8th leading trading partner of India in Latin America region. He emphasised that there is a need to diversify our trade basket to further strengthen the bilateral trade. 

The President said that we are keen to enhance our exports in the pharma sector. India is recognized globally for its high quality medicines at affordable prices. Indian pharma companies can help Bolivia in its noble vision of health for all. 

Both sides also agreed to work together for exploration and extraction of the vast Lithium deposits of Bolivia. Lithium is a key resource used in making of batteries that India needs for its clean technology initiatives such as increased use of electric cars. 

The President said that India takes pride in its development cooperation partnership with Bolivia under the framework of South-South Cooperation. He announced a US$ 100 million Line of Credit to Bolivia for financing development projects in sectors that Bolivia may choose. He also offered doubling of training slots to 10 under Indian Technical Economic Cooperation programme to Bolivia.  

To mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India offered two busts of Gandhiji to Bolivia. The Bolivian side accepted the offer and is likely to place the busts in its capital La Paz and its largest city Santa Cruz. 

Following the delegation-level talks, the two Presidents witnessed the signing and exchange of eight MOUs that concern fields of culture, visa waiver for diplomats, exchange between diplomatic academies, mining, space, traditional medicine, establishment of Centre of Excellence in IT and the Bi-Oceanic Railway project. India offered to explore the possibility of Indian Railways working with Bolivia on this project that is crucial for Bolivia. Further, Bolivia also joined the International Solar Alliance by signing the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance. 

Subsequently, President Morales conferred the highest State Honour of Bolivia - Condor de los Andes en el Grado de Gran Collar - on President Kovind. The President dedicated the award to the friendship between India and Bolivia. A Press Statement was also issued (attached).  

In his next engagement, the President attended a luncheon banquet hosted by President Morales. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity defines our people, and unity in diversity is our shared achievement. There is much that India and Bolivia can contribute to each other’s march towards progress and development. 

Later in the evening (March 29, 2019), the President visited the Universidad Autonama Gabriel Rene Moreno where he unveiled a plaque naming the University’s auditorium after Mahatma Gandhi. Addressing the students, he said that Gandhiji remains extremely relevant to 21st century global concerns. 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. 

In the final engagement of the day (March 29, 2019), the President addressed the India-Bolivia Business Forum. Addressing the gathering, the President said that both our countries have their economic strengths, and the two can complement each other for growth and prosperity. India manufactures everything from satellites, light aircraft, cars to major high technology industrial products and has the third largest scientific human resource pool in the world. All these aspects, coupled with our large middle-class market of over 400 million, a vibrant business ecosystem fostered under stable democratic governance systems, position India as a unique destination for international trade and business. 

The President said that India has a focused business approach to the Latin American region. We hold the India-Latin America and Caribbean Conclaves annually to deepen our business collaborations. These Conclaves have served us well. Several Indian global majors have made entry into Bolivia through them, bringing cutting-edge technology, products and services to the people.  He noted that there are immense opportunities for collaboration between India and Bolivia in various fields such as automobiles, healthcare, IT, renewable energy, Lithium, agriculture, space, developing modern infrastructure- from railways, highways, waterways, airways to energy pathways. 

Today (March 30, 2019), the President will leave for Chile - the last leg of his visit to three nations – Croatia, Bolivia and Chile. Prior to his departure, he will address an Indian Community Reception in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

***** 

AKT/KP

Address by the President at India-Bolivia Business Forum

Remarks by the President at the Banquet

Media Statement by the President 

Address by the President at GRM Autonomous University, Santa Cruz

Read more: President of India in Bolivia; leads Delegation...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for fully tapping the enormous potential of the Blue Economy for the country to achieve higher economic growth.

Observing that the objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities through maritime economic activities, the Vice President wanted appropriate programs to be initiated for sustainable harnessing of ocean resources.

Interacting with the Scientists of National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), in Dona Paula, Goa today, Shri Naidu pointed out that India was meeting most of its oil and gas requirements through imports and urged the scientists to step up their research in areas such as ocean energy and marine energy. “Scientists should study the potential of renewable energy derived from the ocean-- from wind, wave and tidal sources”, he added.

Asking the Institute to act as a nodal centre for Blue Economy related research and technology development, Shri Naidu said there was a need to focus on ocean centric technology to harness the marine resources for sustained growth of India. Development of technologies for deep sea mining, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics for extraction of minerals should be initiated. “NIO should also undertake research on development of drugs from the sea”, he added.

The Vice President said that a focused approach in some of the areas such as minerals from the ocean, energy from ocean can make India a global leader and serve our national goals. ‘However, while pursuing the “blue growth”, every effort must be made by all the stakeholders, including private and public sectors, to prevent further degradation of the ocean and its ecosystems’, the Vice President cautioned.

In view of global warming, resource degradation and marine pollution, we have to conserve and sustain our oceans as time is running out, Shri Naidu said and advised CSIR-NIO to play a major role through its ocean observation studies in understanding different ocean processes due to climate change.

Shri Naidu lauded NIO for providing specialized services to society in addressing ocean-related problems. He also expressed happiness that the institute helped in preparing India’s claim for an extended continental shelf with an area of about a million square kilometres.

The Vice President also attended a presentation on various aspects and applications of Oceanography and visited laboratories and exhibition galleries at NIO. He applauded the good work being done by the Scientists and Scholars of NIO, especially in the field of conservation.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"I am delighted to visit this institute and address all of you. After becoming the Vice President, I have decided to visit various scientific and research institutions to interact with scientists for a better understanding of the work being undertaken by them and share my thoughts.

I am glad to interact with all of you and get a deeper appreciation of the excellent work being done by you. Oceans are of vital importance for the wealth and the well-being of present and future generations. They hold 97 per cent of the planet’s water, while two per cent is found in glaciers and ice caps and only one per cent comprises earth’s fresh water. 

We are aware of the fact that oceans produce more than 50 per cent of the world’s oxygen and absorb 40 per cent of the carbon dioxide, buffering the impact of global warming, underlines the crucial role played by them. Thus, they help in regulating the global climate.

Oceans cover 72 per cent of the surface of our blue planet and provide humankind with food, minerals, energy, fresh water and oxygen. They regulate climate, emission absorption and shoreline protection and support livelihoods as well as job creation. Indeed, oceans are our life support system.

Currently, it is estimated that more than three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. Enhancing more than 80 percent of global trade, marine and coastal environments constitute a key resource for economic development.

Considering the importance of oceans on the life and sustenance of humanity, the United Nations has taken steps to declare the period 2021–2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Further, the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG-14) proposed by UN, which deals with life below the waters, emphasizes the importance of oceans in modulating and sustaining life.

With this background, it is important to prioritize our efforts in ocean science and technology to achieve the national goal of transforming India to be the third largest economy in the coming 10-15 years.

I am happy that CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India is doing research on different aspects of Ocean such as the impact of climate change, marine biodiversity, coastal hazards such as coastal erosion and storm surge, marine hazards like tectonics and slumping of seabed.

I understand that foundation of ocean science is mostly based on observations. To take up ocean observation studies, scientists like you need appropriate tools and platforms. I am told that research vessels are an ideal platform to do ocean observations. Research vessels and their equipment represent a significant technological asset.

I am glad that two dedicated ocean-going vessels, RV Sindhu Sankalp and RV Sindhu Sadhana are managed by CSIR-NIO.  With these two dedicated vessels, I am sure that CSIR-NIO will be able to carry out all the relevant studies in India's Exclusive Economic Zone, which constitutes 2/3rd of our land area.

From the presentations made to be me by different groups, I understand that CSIR-NIO is playing a major role in understanding science of the North Indian Ocean such as dynamics of its circulation, basin-wide bio-geo-chemistry and tectonic framework of basin evolution.

I am informed that the efforts of CSIR-NIO led to establishing India as a pioneer in poly-metallic nodule mining with an allocated mining site of 75,000 sq. km in the central Indian Ocean.

I am glad that CSIR-NIO helped to prepare India’s claim for extended continental shelf with an area of about a million square kilometres and this institute launched India’s Antarctic research programme in the early 1980s.

I am also happy to note that the CSIR-NIO provides specialized services to society in addressing ocean-related problems, in addition to its planned research projects. I am happy to learn that this institute has successfully carried out more than 1300 projects funded by oil & gas companies, ports, power plants, chemical industries, municipalities and industrial estates.

I understand that CSIR-NIO has also carried out Marine Environmental Impact Assessments for several prestigious and nationally important developmental projects such as Sea Bird Project of Indian Navy at Karwar and others involving offshore prospecting for oil and gas by ONGC, HPCL, IOC and BPCL among others.

Dear sisters and brothers, development along the coast has been increasing over the years. I have been informed that the Government of India has already planned development of ports and allied facilities through Sagarmala. Different coastal economic zones are planned. The Sagarmala project, which seeks to modernize ports through IT enabled services, is expected to give an impetus to the economy.

With India looking towards oceans for the economic growth through the Blue Economy, important institutions like NIO will have to step up their research in areas such as ocean energy and marine energy. It should be noted that India is meeting most of its oil and gas requirements through imports. Scientists should study the potential of renewable energy derived from the ocean-- from wind, wave and tidal sources.

The objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities through maritime economic activities within the Indian Ocean region.

All of you will agree that, India should fully tap the enormous potential of the Blue Economy to achieve higher economic growth trajectory and initiate appropriate programs for sustainable harnessing of ocean resources, research and develop relevant sectors of oceanography.

However, while pursuing the “blue growth”, every effort must be made by all the stakeholders, including private and public sectors, to prevent further degradation of the ocean and its ecosystems.

In view of global warming, resource degradation, and marine pollution, we have to conserve and sustain our oceans as time is running out. Hence, CSIR-NIO should play a major role through dense ocean observations and high-resolution ocean models over the Indian Ocean to meet the challenges in understanding different ocean processes due to climate change.

The Institute should also act as a nodal centre for Blue economy related research and technology development. There is a need to focus on ocean centric technology to harness the marine resources economically for sustained growth of India. Development of technologies for deep sea mining, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics for extraction of minerals should be initiated. NIO should also undertake research on development of drugs from the sea.

I strongly feel that focused approach in some of the areas such as minerals from the ocean, energy from ocean can make India a global leader and serve our national goals.

I wish all the success to each one of you ,the scientists and staff of CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography in your future missions.

 

JAI HIND!"

 

***

 AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Prevent degradation of ocean and its ecosystem:...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for the promotion of new and renewable energy in a big way. He said moving to renewable would not just ensure energy security but also protect the climate, reduce pollution.

‘Adequate growth in renewable energy would serve dual purpose - firstly, it would contribute towards achieving energy security to the nation and it would address the environmental concerns, which need to be tackled on a war-footing,’ he said.

Addressing gathering after inaugurating the GRIDTECH 2019, an International Exhibition and Conference, organised by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited to deliberate on new technologies in transformation, distribution, renewable integration, Smart Grid Communication, the Vice President asked experts to find out new technologies to harness renewable energy to fulfill India’s energy demands and also to fulfill India’s international commitment to de-carbonize the electricity generation.

Shri Naidu also called for the promotion of clean and green mode of transport, such as Electrical Vehicles (EVs) on a large scale. He said that they have the potential to save foreign exchange on crude oil import apart from reducing carbon emissions. He also called for inclusion of renewable energy provisions right from the planning of towns. 

The Vice President said that world was looking towards India for investments and opined that India's economic growth was the main factor for the new found enthusiasm of the world community.

Opining that rapid urbanization led to increased energy demand and rise of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, Shri Naidu urged technologists to find new methods for tapping the huge potential in the renewable energy sector and also wanted them to educate the common man on the need to cut down GHG emissions.

Pointing that connectivity and electricity were key to development, Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to address challenges such as pilferages in transmission and distribution. He suggested developing a suitable transmission and distribution system to facilitate renewable integration. ‘Smart grid technologies used by many countries would have the potential to solve the challenges,’ he added.

The Vice President had earlier inaugurated the GRIDTECH 2019 exhibition, went around the stalls and interacted with the presenters at the stalls. He said he was happy to have met and interacted with students who were showcasing their innovative ideas to promote, use renewable energy.

The Secretary, Ministry of Power, Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the officials of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, representatives from Conventional and Renewable energy sector, students from  prestigious institutions such as the IITs and others were present on the occasion.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:  

It is a matter of immense pleasure for me to address you at the inauguration of GRIDTECH 2019.

This international conference and exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for Power System professionals in Industry and Academia to exchange ideas and deliberate on environment friendly solutions to overcome the challenges faced in the energy sector.

In view of the increasing demand in the power sector with each passing day, we need to fully tap the potential for sustainable and environmental-friendly energy. We need to find out new technologies to harness renewable energy in a big way.

As you all are aware, India has made an international commitment to de-carbonize the electricity generation. Towards this end, India has set a time-bound target of installing 175 GW of renewable generation by 2022, comprising 100 GW Solar, 60 GW Wind and 15 GW of other forms of renewable generation.

With the focus increasingly shifting to clean energy in recent years, India has become an attractive destination for investments in renewable energy sector.

Dear friends, the rapid urbanization, we are witnessing, has become an irreversible phenomenon and is leading to increased energy demand as also release of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. I would like technologists to not only find new methods for tapping the huge potential in the renewable energy sector, but also educate the common man on the need to cut down GHG emissions.

India, like some other countries, is planning to develop solar cities and I would like the urban local bodies to be in the forefront in adopting renewable energy technologies and converting their cities into renewable energy cities. I am told that under the “Solar City” concept, it is aimed to reduce the projected demand for conventional energy by 10 per cent at the end of five years by enhancing supply from renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures.

Dear sisters and brothers, please note that adequate growth in renewable energy would serve dual purpose-- firstly, it would contribute towards achieving energy security to the nation and it would address the environmental concerns, which need to be tackled on a war-footing.

However, the generation of renewable power has quite a few challenges. Unlike conventional power generation, renewable generations are intermittent and variable in nature, posing a challenge towards maintaining energy balance in real-time. It also has low gestation period compared to conventional generation. Hence, the associated transmission and distribution system should be developed in a suitable manner to facilitate renewable integration.

Presently, electricity is flowing across the country through the robust National Grid, without many constraints in the network. I am told that facilitating large scale renewable energy integration with grid would require more flexible generation from conventional energy sources, grid scale energy storage facilities, flexible transmission system and demand side management through customer participation.

Further, distribution sector is the most crucial link in the electricity supply chain.  While the government is making concerted efforts to improve the distribution sector through various programmes, I am told that the aim is to bring down AT&C losses to the level of 15% or below and improve efficiency in the distribution sector.

Experience of various countries worldwide has shown that emerging smart grid technologies have the potential to solve the challenges posed by the distribution sector. They can also help in better integration and distribution of large scale renewable energy. As a matter-of-fact, several smart grid projects are being undertaken in India.

In our endeavour to promote sustainability and clean and green mode of transport, Electrical Vehicles (EVs) are being encouraged on a large scale. Electrical Vehicles have the potential to save foreign exchange on crude oil import.  I am told that the Ministry of Power is facilitating this initiative by formulating necessary polices and regulations to ensure the availability of EV-charging infrastructure for customers.

Friends, challenges are many and unprecedented. It is prudent that, experts from the Industry, academia and policy makers have gathered here to find sustainable solutions to these problems.

Further, it is also important for the upcoming young engineers and researchers from technical institutions to keep abreast with cutting edge technologies.

GRIDTECH 2019 is an excellent platform for evolution of new ideas in the energy sector through brainstorming by seasoned professionals. I am glad that GRIDTECH 2019 also has a Student Pavilion and I hope this will give the young students an opportunity to showcase their own innovative ideas.

I am hopeful that GRIDTECH 2019 will serve as a platform for continued cooperation between all the stakeholders and will help the power sector to grow and meet the aspirations of the common people at large.

I wish all the best for a successful GRIDTECH 2019.

Thank You

JAI HIND!”

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Promote new & renewable energy to ensure energy...

As part of the rehabilitation activities being undertaken by the Southern Naval Command after the devastating floods of August 2018, Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (C-in-C), Southern Naval Command, handed over the keys of newly constructed houses to three smiling families of Cheriya kadmakkudi on 28 Mar 19.  The houses that were sponsored by the Indian Navy belong to Shri Binu PP of Puliyal Parambil House, Mrs Mariyamma of Pashni Parambil House, and Shri Joseph Antony of Madathil Parambil House, and have been constructed at a total cost of Rs. 28 lakhs. These new houses were built as per specific suggestions and requirements of each house owner. Each house has bedrooms, drawing room and kitchen with modern amenities such as vitrified tiles in all the rooms and electrical fittings etc. The project was being steered by INS Venduruthy and has been completed in precisely five and a half months. 

In addition, the Navy is installing solar power equipment in all the 55 houses of Cheriya Kadmakkudi, of which 30 have been completed, including the three newly constructed houses. Cheriya Kadamakudi, will therefore be a fully Green Village in the next few weeks. 

The residents of the village were in for a big surprise, when the C-in-C announced construction of a steel Arch Bridge connecting Cheriya Kadamakudi with Pizhala Island and laid the foundation stone for the same. The residents have been requesting for a new bridge since the floods receded, as the existing concrete walkway bridge has been in a dilapidated condition for long, and it was recently declared unsafe even for pedestrian traffic by the PWD. The new bridge will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge and will be 50 metres long and 3.5 metres wide. Vehicles up to 4 tons will be able to ply on this bridge, thus providing the much-needed connectivity to the villagers.  

The C-in-C was accompanied by Mrs Sapana Chawla, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (Southern Region), and few other senior officers. Vice Admiral Chawla was taken around the new constructions and had a good interaction with the happy families. Mrs Chawla also distributed sweets to these families. 

The Rehabilitation Package was earlier announced by Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff during his visit to Muttinakam in Aug 2018, and has been funded by the Indian Navy, which includes contributions from service personnel of Southern Naval Command.

*****

DKS/SW/AC                                                                                                        Koc/34/Mar19

Read more: Navy brings cheers to the residents of Cheriya...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has underscored India’s stand as a peace loving nation but determined to combat terror in all its forms and manifestations. He was interacting with the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Prime Minister of Guinea, Dr. Ibrahima Kassory Fofana and the Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho, Mr. Monyane Moleleki, who called on him, at his residence here today. The Spouse of the Vice President, Smt. Usha Naidu and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President welcomed the dignitaries with Anga Vastrams (traditional Indian attire) and Smt. Usha Naidu offered traditional Shawls to the spouses of the visiting dignitaries.

At the luncheon meeting hosted by the Vice President of India, the leaders shared their happiness at the traditionally close ties between their countries with India, underpinned by shared vision and values of peaceful co-existence and natural respect, democracy and rule of law.

Shri Naidu said that noted with satisfaction that there was strong economic co-operation between the countries and that all countries were growing at a fast pace. He further observed that each of our countries has natural, financial and human resources and that we have to tap into our material resources, enrich our human resources and transform our economies through partnership.

Recounting a number of high level visits between India and these countries including President of Ghana’s visit to India last year for the founding conference of International Solar Alliance; President of India’s visit to Ghana in 2016; the President of Guinea’s visit to India in 2015; His Majesty King Let Sie-III King of Lesotho’s visit in December, 2017 and of Prime Minister of Lesotho in 2018, the Vice President desired that these high level visits deepen our mutual ties and must continue. In this connection, he mentioned the possibility of his own State visit to Lesotho later this year.

He expressed pleasure that quite a few collaborative projects have been completed like the work on the Tema-Akosombo railway line has started (approx 400 Million USD) and India-Ghana Kofi Annan Centre ($ 2.86 million) set up training 20,000 students for excellence in IT in Ghana and India-Lesotho Centre for Advanced Information Technology started in 2017. He reiterated India’s support for electricity, hospitals, transportation – as well as in telemedicine (e-Arogya Bharati) and digital learning (e-Vidya-Bharati) in Guinea.

“There is immense scope for further enhancing bilateral trade and commercial cooperation between our countries”, he added.

The Vice President expressed the hope that in all our countries, we would be able to translate economic growth into inclusive, sustainable development and referred to Indian government’s resolve to transform governance and ultimately the lives of the people.

Shri Naidu thanked the leaders for their support to India in international forums, especially on the issue of India’s non-permanent membership of UNSC for 2020-21 and various candidatures in other UN bodies and stressed the need for democratizing UNSC as wells as by including India as member.

The Vice President highlighted the rising tide of terrorist violence across the globe including the recent incidents of Pulwama, Christchurch and Utrecht. He underscored India’s stand as a peace loving nation but determined to combat terror in all its forms and manifestations. The Vice President explained the recent preemptive counter terror air strikes by India

All the three leaders expressed unequivocal support to India’s actions and condemned the brutal assault at Pulwama. They reaffirmed their commitment to combat the menace and stated that even the African Union has taken a considered position against terror.

The Vice President hosted a traditional Indian Lunch along with Smt. Usha Naidu to those dignitaries and their delegations at the Vice President’s house.

 

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

 

Read more: India is a peace loving nation but determined to...

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

2.       The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).  The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 125.8 in February, 2019, which was 2.1per centhigheras compared to the index of February, 2018. Its cumulative growth during April to February, 2018-19was 4.3per cent.

Coal

3.       Coal production (weight: 10.33per cent)increased by 7.3 per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 7.1 per centduring April to February, 2018-19over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

4.       Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98per cent) declinedby 6.1 per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index declined by 4.0 per centduring April to February, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

5.       The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88per cent) increased by 3.8per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 0.8 per centduring April to February, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Refinery Products

6.       Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04per cent) declined by 0.8 per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 3.0 per centduring April to February, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizers

7.       Fertilizers production (weight: 2.63 per cent) increased by 2.5 per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index declined by 0.02 percent during April to February, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel

8.       Steel production (weight: 17.92per cent)increasedby 4.9 per cent in February, 2019 over February, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 4.7per centduring April to February, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement

9.       Cement production (weight: 5.37per cent) increasedby 8.0per cent in February, 2019over February, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 13.0per centduring April to February, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity

10.     Electricity generation (weight: 19.85per cent) increased by0.7per centin February, 2019over February, 2018. Its cumulative indexincreased by5.4per cent duringApril to February, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Note 1: Data for December, 2018, January, 2019and February, 2019are 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 March, 2019 will be on Tuesday,30thApril, 2019.

 

 

Annexure

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Yearly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2011-12=100

 

Index

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Feb 2017-18

Apr-Feb 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

103.2

104.2

112.6

118.0

121.8

124.9

119.4

127.9

Crude Oil

8.9833

99.4

99.2

98.4

97.0

94.5

93.7

93.5

89.8

Natural Gas

6.8768

85.6

74.5

70.5

67.2

66.5

68.4

68.3

68.8

Refinery Products

28.0376

107.2

108.6

108.8

114.1

119.7

125.2

124.7

128.5

Fertilizers

2.6276

96.7

98.1

99.4

106.4

106.6

106.6

106.6

106.6

Steel

17.9166

107.9

115.8

121.7

120.2

133.1

140.5

139.4

145.9

Cement

5.3720

107.5

111.5

118.1

123.5

122.0

129.7

127.9

144.6

Electricity

19.8530

104.0

110.3

126.6

133.8

141.6

149.2

148.5

156.5

Overall Index

100.0000

103.8

106.5

111.7

115.1

120.5

125.7

124.5

129.8

 

 

Growth Rates(in per cent)

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Feb 2017-18

Apr-Feb 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

3.2

1.0

8.0

4.8

3.2

2.6

1.7

7.1

Crude Oil

8.9833

-0.6

-0.2

-0.9

-1.4

-2.5

-0.9

-0.8

-4.0

Natural Gas

6.8768

-14.4

-12.9

-5.3

-4.7

-1.0

2.9

3.0

0.8

Refinery Products

28.0376

7.2

1.4

0.2

4.9

4.9

4.6

4.9

3.0

Fertilizers

2.6276

-3.3

1.5

1.3

7.0

0.2

0.03

-0.2

-0.02

Steel

17.9166

7.9

7.3

5.1

-1.3

10.7

5.6

5.7

4.7

Cement

5.3720

7.5

3.7

5.9

4.6

-1.2

6.3

5.6

13.0

Electricity

19.8530

4.0

6.1

14.8

5.7

5.8

5.3

5.3

5.4

Overall Index

100.0000

3.8

2.6

4.9

3.0

4.8

4.3

4.3

4.3

 

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Monthly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2011-12=100

Index

Sector

Coal

Crude Oil

Natural Gas

Refinery Products

Fertilizers

Steel

Cement

Electricity

Overall Index

Weight

10.3335

8.9833

6.8768

28.0376

2.6276

17.9166

5.3720

19.8530

100.0000

Feb-18

143.2

86.1

62.1

120.9

102.2

141.7

138.0

136.1

123.2

Mar-18

184.9

95.8

69.8

130.3

107.0

153.2

149.6

156.7

138.5

Apr-18

118.8

91.8

67.1

119.1

93.1

138.1

149.1

153.7

124.3

May-18

125.2

94.8

68.7

131.6

106.6

142.8

145.3

164.7

131.9

Jun-18

120.0

90.9

67.4

133.8

108.3

143.8

150.7

159.9

131.2

Jul-18

108.1

91.2

68.5

134.1

110.0

140.3

136.0

162.1

129.2

Aug-18

103.8

91.6

70.2

127.7

109.4

144.5

134.5

167.2

128.8

Sep-18

109.8

88.1

67.6

125.8

108.0

143.2

133.9

162.9

127.2

Oct-18

132.9

90.9

70.3

133.8

103.3

150.2

148.4

166.0

134.8

Nov-18

138.4

87.6

68.9

128.9

102.7

144.8

136.5

147.2

128.3

Dec-18

144.1

90.2

72.2

126.6

109.4

155.8

151.0

150.3

132.2

Jan-19

152.1

89.7

71.8

131.9

116.6

153.0

156.1

150.7

134.5

Feb-19

153.6

80.8

64.4

120.0

104.8

148.6

149.1

137.1

125.8

 

 

Growth Rates (in per cent)

Sector

Coal

Crude Oil

Natural Gas

Refinery Products

Fertilizers

Steel

Cement

Electricity

Overall Index

Weight

10.3335

8.9833

6.8768

28.0376

2.6276

17.9166

5.3720

19.8530

100.0000

Feb-18

1.3

-2.4

-1.8

7.8

5.2

5.0

23.0

4.6

5.4

Mar-18

9.1

-1.6

1.0

1.1

3.2

4.7

13.5

6.0

4.5

Apr-18

15.2

-0.8

5.7

2.7

4.6

3.0

21.9

2.1

4.7

May-18

12.0

-2.9

-1.4

4.9

8.4

-0.1

13.0

4.1

4.1

Jun-18

11.5

-3.4

-2.7

12.1

1.0

4.2

14.2

8.4

7.8

Jul-18

9.8

-5.4

-5.2

12.3

1.3

6.9

11.2

6.7

7.3

Aug-18

2.4

-3.7

1.0

5.1

-5.3

4.0

14.6

7.6

4.7

Sep-18

6.4

-4.2

-1.7

2.5

2.5

3.2

11.8

8.2

4.3

Oct-18

11.3

-5.0

-0.9

1.3

-11.5

2.4

18.4

10.9

4.8

Nov-18

3.7

-3.5

0.5

2.3

-8.1

5.3

8.8

5.1

3.3

Dec-18

1.1

-4.3

4.2

-4.8

-2.4

12.9

11.6

4.4

2.7

Jan-19

1.7

-4.3

6.2

-2.6

10.5

5.5

11.0

0.8

1.5

Feb-19

7.3

-6.1

3.8

-0.8

2.5

4.9

8.0

0.7

2.1

 

***

MM/SB

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

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that farmers were critical for the well-being of the nation and they play a huge role in ensuring and maintaining home grown food security in India. He was delivering the keynote address at the annual event 'Connect Karo', organized by the WRI India, here today.

The Vice President said that collective actions were needed to correct development strategies to include preservation of nature. Talking about the serious impacts of Climate change, he opined that it was necessary that government, people and the private sector join hands to restore the balance that had wittingly and unwittingly disturbed.

Opining that everybody has stakes in the survival of the civilization, Shri Naidu called for constructive people’s movement on initiatives such as tree plantations, keeping surroundings neat and clean, educating the women and girl child, changing lifestyles to avoid the disease burden and others to correct the maladies in our society and to make our civilization environmentally sustainable. School children must be taught about the importance protecting and preserving the nature right from their school days, he added.

The Vice President said that increase in urbanization, cutting of forests, rise in energy consumption by way of increased use of cars, electricity, and others have led to indiscriminate use of resources across the globe and accelerated climate change. To arrest such trends, he advised for judicious and sensible use of natural resources and consciously adopt a low carbon growth path, without compromising on our economic development. 

Shri Naidu said that in the Indian context, the cultural traditions of worshipping nature can provide additional inspiration for concrete, accelerated action. We should love and live with nature and preserve nature and culture for a better future, he added.

The Vice President stressed upon the need to take steps to make agriculture more remunerative and sustainable. In order to increase farmer’s income, we have to enhance their access to markets and equipped them to produce adequate quantity of nutritious food to ensure home grown food security, he added.

Shri Naidu called for efforts from scientists, agriculturalists and the policy makers to see that land resources were used efficiently by reducing intensity of harnessing vital natural resources like land and water for producing per unit of nutrition. Constructive debate must take place on the rise and impact of population and its growth based on the availability of resources and its impact on environment, he added.

Saying that India’s commitment towards renewable energy sources had led to the setting up of the International Solar Alliance, the Vice President said that the sector has the potential to create new jobs for men and women across India, contributing to the overall GDP of the country even as we find solutions for complex problems of clean energy. He also called for the urgent need to take systematic measures to improve air quality as it adversely impact the health and well-being of city residents, especially our children.

The Vice President said that climate change was the most common challenge faced by the world and said that the best way to face the challenges of climate change was to be friendly with nature and live in harmony with it. Nature culture together for better future, he added.

 

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“Today, as we gather on this platform, we are looking at one of the major problems facing the world today.  We are all together fighting the common challenge of climate change that threatens our planet. And as we brace ourselves to cope with this challenge, we will have to marshal all our intelligence, knowledge, science and understanding of nature to do that.

Climate change is upon us.

But we must admit, it has given us ample warnings.

Across the world, weather related disasters have been increasing in frequency and intensity.From wildfires to hurricanes, droughts, flash floods, the world has been ravaged by natural calamities all through last year.

India has had its own share of disasters. In 2018 alone, Kerala saw the worst floods in 100 years;in North India, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and a few other states, were hit by a massive dust storm; and in Maharashtra, several districts suffered severe drought even as Mumbai experienced erratic rainfall throughout the monsoon months – from two deluges in June and July to almost no rainfall in August and September. There were many others.

In view of India’s high population density, any disaster in India impacts many more people than it does in other parts of the world. We know that India is going to become the most populous country in the world within the next generation. More than half our population will live in cities by then. Delhi will become the most populous city in the world, overtaking Tokyo.

Even as our population grows, our economy is also growing. India is set to become the third largest economy in the world.

As incomes grow, people legitimately want better lifestyles. They want bigger houses, more cars, more air-conditioning, more energy and bigger offices.  But, this also means more urbanization, more energy consumption, more carbon emissions, more waste generation, more air pollution and a higher demand for land.

All of these will accelerate climate change, unless we are careful and consciously adopt a low carbon growth path, without, in any way, compromising on our economic development. It is, therefore, imperative that we use our natural resources sensibly.

This is possible and several countries, which also have limited natural resources, have shown that it is possible to chart out a low carbon path. We must learn to maximize our resources and not be wasteful in our behavior.

Having said this, let me dwell on a few important challenges that India is facing and what we are doing to deal with them.

The country is seeing a rapid demographic transformation. Urbanization is taking place rapidly. From just 62 million people in 1951, our cities had over 377 million people in 2011, as per our last census. The share of the urban population went up from 17.3% in 1951 to 31.2% in 2011. Today, we understand that it has risen even further - to 34 % according to the UN - and predictions are that it will exceed 35 % by the next Census year 2021.

While this is a good sign and a manifestation of our shift from being a predominantly agricultural economy to a manufacturing and service sector economy, it also means a need to invest in our cities.

Studies have shown that we need to invest over Rs. 34 lakh crores in our urban infrastructure in the next 20 years. However, the public budget cannot afford this and resources have to come from other sources.

The private sector will need to invest in a big way. Private capital has to be tapped by making our investments bankable. The limited public funds have to be leveraged for this. The smart cities mission launched by the government seeks to do precisely this.

A growing urban population, along with growing income, has led to rapid motorization. This has meant severe congestion that adversely impacts the economic efficiency of our cities. It has also led to poor air quality and an increasing incidence of road accident deaths. Unfortunately, we are seeing nearly 400 road accidents deaths every day, causing untold misery to those who lose their near and dear ones.

The government has been according high priority to investments in public transport systems, including metro rail systems. These need to be planned well and as part of a comprehensive mobility plan. Stand-alone metro systems are not effective and need a holistic approach.

Globally, the mobility sector is also witnessing several new paradigms. Shared mobility systems, electric vehicles, bicycles and connected vehicles are beginning to occupy center stage in the global mobility systems. These are welcome changes and will have the impact of reducing traffic congestion, cleaning up the air and reducing the need for parking space. We have to leverage these changes and mainstream them into India’s mobility planning.  We have to also focus more on the Inland Water transportation and utilize the vast river resources we have in our country.

Let me now turn to our electricity sector. Today we can rightfully say that the era of shortages in electricity is gone. We are producing enough electricity today. However, we do have the challenge of distribution. Electricity needs to reach the remotest of homes and this has been problematic. Over 200 million people have extremely poor access to electricity. India, like most other countries of the world, has invested in a big way in coal-based thermal power. Coal fired power is expensive, unsustainable, highly water intensive and contributes to massive air and water pollution.

It is imperative that we enhance the share of the electricity we generate from cleaner sources like wind and solar.

We have taken up an ambitious program to enhance our solar energy capacity.

In the 2015 Paris Agreement, India made an ambitious commitment that by 2030 about 40 per cent of the nation’s installed energy capacity would be from ‘non-fossil fuel’ sources.

Our commitment towards renewable energy sources has led to the setting up of the International Solar Alliance, the first treaty based international inter-governmental organization headquartered in India.

India’s installed solar generation capacity has grown over 10 times in the last five years.  Today, this sector is creating new jobs for men and women across India, contributing to the overall GDP of the country even as we find solutions for complex problems of clean energy.

Our air quality has been a matter of concern. Every winter many parts of the country face ambient air quality that is extremely poor. This cannot be allowed to go on. We need to systematically identify the sources of the problem and deal with them. Otherwise this will adversely impact the health and well-being of city residents, especially our children.

Let me now turn to our food systems. Our farmers are critical to our well-being as a nation, as they feed us. We must not forget that farmers are the lifeline of urban India. The wellbeing of our hard-working farmers, plays a huge role in ensuring and maintaining home grown food security in India. Agriculture must become more remunerative and sustainable. In order to increase farmer’s income, we have to enhance their access to markets. Schemes like E-NAM should be expanded to cover entire country. 

As our numbers grow, we will need more food, and our farmers will have to be equipped to produce it in adequate quantity. We need to  ensure home grown food security.

Our land area is already limited, as I have mentioned earlier. So, we have to produce more from the same land. This can only happen if we use our land resources efficiently.

This will mean better cropping practices like “ Per Drop More Crop”and reduced waste in the movement of food from the “farm to the fork”. The objective is to reduce intensity of harnessing vital natural resources like land and water for producing per unit of nutrition. Perhaps, what we should measure is not the tons of paddy produced per hectare, but the units of nutrition produced per hectare.

Greater tree cover can improve the use of dry and degraded land and also remove carbon from the atmosphere. It is for this reason that we have committed to restore 13 million hectares of degraded landby 2020 and an additional 8 millionhectares by 2030. We have also committed to sequester 2.5 – 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by improving our tree cover.

Many of the challenges we face today need innovative solutions. Business as usual will not work.

As a means to promote innovations and encourage young innovators, the government has opened its doors to startups through platforms like Standup India, Startup India, Digital India, etc., which will bring smart initiatives on a level platform and encourage innovations.

I am glad that there is a growing recognition of the contribution that small businesses and startups can make towards addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development. I am also happy that special benefits and incentives are being given to startups today.

We need to build 1.8 million affordable houses by 2022. The time is short and funds are limited. We also want to use clean technologies. With a view to bring in new technologies the Government has taken up a global housing construction technology challenge, to get the best technologies around the world – technologies that are clean, cheap and allow quicker construction.

I am delighted to learn that WRI India has been a knowledge partner to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in this.

I am also delighted to learn that WRI India has contributed to seeking innovative solutions for last-mile connectivity to metro rail stations and to promoting better bus systems. These will prove extremely useful.

I am told that WRI India has also been working with the Governments of Maharashtra and Haryana towards promoting safety in transport systems. I compliment them for these efforts. These are examples of how we can all work together towards a sustainable future.

Our lofty goals will compel us to carve a path that is both innovative and holistic at the same time. Innovative, because it will be making a major departure from the profit-at-any-cost developmental model we are used to. Holistic, because it will set an example by building a circular economy based on reducing waste, recycling, reusing and respecting our natural resources.

Beyond Public-Private binary in our discourse, we should strive to build Public-Private Partnership where both the sectors bring synergy in their respective strengths to bring about public welfare through innovative private enterprise.

We are poised to become a five trillion dollar economy by 2024. Our sights are higher - to become a 10 trillion dollar economy in eight years thereafter.

I am hopeful and confident that, with a wise and stable approach, we can support our burgeoning urban and rural population -- to live well and with dignity, with access to safe and affordable living spaces, clean air, water, healthy and nutritious food, well-networked and equitable transport. We will also strive to make India pollution free again.

Climate change is threatening us, but it has also brought many of us together, those who sincerely care about it.

That is why events like WRI India’s Connect Karo, which strive to bring together a variety of stakeholders on the same platform, are of great value today. It brings us together in the true sense – a single connected nation, society, and world.

It is also an opportunity for us to restore the balance we had wittingly and unwittingly disturbed.

We should probably say “Correct Karo” in addition to “Connect Karo” so that we collectively correct our development strategies to include preservation of nature. 

In the Indian context, the cultural traditions of worshipping nature can provide additional inspiration for concrete, accelerated action. We should love and live with nature. Preserve Nature and culture for a better future.

We need to ameliorate certain unwarranted bye-products of our energy-intensive civilization. We all have stakes in the survival of our civilization. It is a task which cannot be done by the Governments alone. It will be my earnest appeal to help create people’s movement for Swachh Bharat, for Tree Plantation, for Per Drop More Crop and for the sake of our daughter Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. Government programmes can supplement but not substitute constructive people’s movement to correct the maladies in our society and to make our civilization environmentally sustainable. Each one of us have stake in the success of these programmes. Each one of us have a stake in a better brighter future. 

We have a huge task ahead of us.  I am glad that WRI is taking the initiative to connect all the stakeholders and move forward towards concrete action.

I wish you all the best and echo the collaborative approach ancient sages of India had envisaged when they said, “Let us move and work together, let us share a meal together, let us acquire knowledge together and let us put our knowledge to good use”.

Jai Hind!

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

 

Read more: Farmers are critical for the well-being of the...

The Government of India has recently approved scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar power plants. Administrative Approval for the scheme has been issued by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on 08.03.2019. DISCOMs and State Nodal agencies shall be implementing this scheme for which the detailed guidelines will be issued shortly. 

It has been noticed that few websites have cropped up claiming to be registration portal for KUSUM Scheme. Such websites are potentially duping general public and misusing data captured through fake registration portal. 

In this regard, MNRE hereby advises all potential beneficiaries and general public to avoid depositing any registration fee or share their data on such websites. They may contact their DISCOMs / State Renewable Energy Nodal Agencies for any information in this regard. Any suspected fraudulent website if noticed by anyone may be reported to MNRE. For Guidelines and scheme implementation procedure, official portal of the Ministry: www.mnre.gov.in may be visited.

****

MS/RCJ

Read more: Advisory to General Public : Fraudulent websites...

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