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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HK

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

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

 

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

 

Sl. No.

Proposal

Implementing Organisation

Date of Sanction (Date of PISC Meeting)

1.

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

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)

20th August 2015

2.

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

Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL)

20th August 2015

3.

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

Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited (REIL)

15th June 2017

4.

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

Consortium of Mahindra Reva Ola Asia Electric

15th June 2017

5.

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

Lithium Urban Technologies Pvt Ltd.

15th June 2017

 

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

 

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RM/VM

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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NP/MS

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

Ms. Julie Bishop MP, Foreign Minister of Australia calls on PM

Ms. Julie Bishop MP, Foreign Minister of Australia called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

Prime Minister Modi warmly recalled the successful visit of Prime Minister Turnbull to India in April 2017, and said that the bilateral relationship has deepened a lot since his own visit to Australia in 2014.

Ms. Bishop briefed the Prime Minister on the progress in bilateral relations since the visit of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to India in April 2017.

The Prime Minister and Ms. Bishop also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed Australia’s joining of the International Solar Alliance, and said that Australia’s membership will provide a great boost to the Alliance.

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AKT/AK

Read more: Ms. Julie Bishop MP, Foreign Minister of...

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

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

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

• Non-availability of regular fuel supply arrangements

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

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

• Regulatory and Contractual issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Augmenting Transmission capacity to remove transmission constraints.

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

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

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

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal presided over the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for purchase of 1050 MW of wind power under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s first Wind Auction Scheme here today. The PPAs were signed between PTC India Ltd., the trading company, and the successful wind power developers.

As per the PPAs signed, Mytrah Energy, Inox Wind and Ostro Kutch Wind Pvt. Ltd. would supply wind power of capacity 250 MW each. Further, Green Infra would supply 249.9 MW and Adani Green Energy 50 MW from their wind power projects through inter-state transmission system at a tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh discovered through the open and transparent competitive bidding process. PTC India has tied-up this wind power for sale to DISCOMS of a number of States. Under this, Uttar Pradesh would get 449.9 MW, Bihar 200 MW, Jharkhand 200 MW, Delhi 100 MW, Assam 50 MW and Odisha 50MW for meeting their Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). 

For these projects Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) conducted e-reverse auction on 23rd February 2017 and issued Letter of Award (LoA) to the successful wind power developers on 5th April 2017. The wind power projects under first wind auction are likely to be commissioned by September 2018.

Congratulating all stakeholders of the sector on their coordinated efforts to drastically bring down renewable energy prices, Shri Piyush Goyal encouraged everyone to keep the interests of the end consumers as their priority. The Minister also floated the idea of doing away with the requirement of separate Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) for different renewable energy sources and allow the States to independently decide their energy mix.

Shri Goyal desired that wind energy bids should be brought out every month, though he also advised the senior officials of the Ministry to calibrate the pace of this process keeping in mind the affordability of renewable energy for common man. Industry players which are inefficient would either evolve and face competition in the sector or finally wind up. “I welcome the churning happening in the industry and look forward to healthy competition and affordable power for all through increase in scale”, the Minister added.

Shri Goyal also informed that the Ministry is working to bring robust guidelines for the wind energy bidding and is in discussions with regulators for better forecasting and scheduling of renewable energy in the grid. The Minister also informed that with every unit of renewable power generated in the country, jobs are being created to the tune of 5-7 times as compared to power generated through conventional energy sources.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary MNRE, Shri Anand Kumar informed that the Ministry has done away with the Inter State Transmission levies on transfer of Renewable Energy from windy States to non-windy ones, which would aid the latter to meet their RPOs and keep the costs of power affordable.

Earlier, MNRE had sanctioned a scheme for setting up of 1000 MW inter-state transmission system (ISTS) connected Wind Power Projects on 14th June 2016 with the objective to encourage competitiveness through scaling up of project sizes and introduction of efficient and transparent e-bidding and e-auctioning processes. 

Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri A.K. Bhalla, Secretary Power, Shri Deepak Amitabh, CMD PTC India, Dr. Ashvini Kumar, MD SECI and other senior officers of the Ministry and Industry partners.

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RM/VM

Read more: PPAs signed for first Wind Auction totalling...

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a miniratna Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Defence for the financial year 2017-18.

The MoU, which was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri AK Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), BDL Shri V Udaya Bhaskar, here today, outlines targets and various performance parameters for BDL for the year 2017-18.

The revenue from operations, as per the MoU, has been targeted at Rs 5300 crore, which is an increase of 20 percent over the previous year. BDL has planned to spend an amount of Rs 140 crore for modernization and Capital expenditure.

BDL has also drawn a roadmap to meet its scheduled delivery of ATGM and SAM to its customer for the year 2017-18. Continuing with its green initiative, BDL has planned 5 MW Solar Plant at its upcoming unit at lbrahimpatnam in Telangana.

A substantial emphasis has been made on R&D by the company in pursuit of its self-reliance. Design and development of Advanced Data Field Loader is planned for the year 2017-18.

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NAo/Nampi/Rajib
Read more: Mou Signed between Department of Defence...

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

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

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

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

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

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RDS/nb

Read more: Encouraging Scientists to Take Research Work

First meeting of Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council (IMAC) held on 19th July 2017

Petroleum Minister chairs meet of apex body on “Roadmap to achieve 10% reduction in import dependency in O&G by 2021-22”

Importance of concerted and coordinated efforts by all Ministries, stressed upon

Energy Conservation and efficiency, Oil demand substitution, tapping Bio-fuels, waste to wealth etc. highlighted at meeting

Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan chaired the first meeting of apex body for policy formulation and implementation of ‘Roadmap to achieve target of 10 % reduction in import dependency in oil and gas by 2021-22 under an institutional mechanism ‘Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council’ (IMAC) which was held on 19th July, 2017.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas prepared an elaborate roadmap to achieve the goal of 10% reduction in import dependency set by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during Urja Sangam. IMAC was envisaged to facilitate better coordination and comprehensive strategy for all energy resources by focusing on supply and demand side management.

IMAC is consisted of Secretary, Petroleum & Natural Gas and other Senior Officers from various Ministries such as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Road and Transport, Agriculture, Power/Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Rural Development, Finance, Petroleum Planning Analysis Cell, PCRA, DGH etc.

During Meeting, the Ministry highlighted major policy initiatives taken in recent past to enhance domestic production of Oil and Gas. Inter-alia, it includes measures like resource re-assessment, National Data Repository (NDR), Open Acreage Licensing policy (OALP), Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), Discovered Small Field Policy, tapping unconventional sources such as Coal Bed Methane (CBM) and Shale Gas besides enhancing production of bio-diesel and increased use of PNG and LPG.

The representatives of member Ministries, inter-alia, explained policies, schemes and project initiatives taken by them towards augmenting the supply of energy, energy saving and demand substitution / reduction through alternate modes. Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway highlighted measures such as e-tolling, notification of fuel efficiency norms for LCV, bio-diesel etc. Ministry of Rural Development stressed upon their bio-fuel scheme in rural sector. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) pointed out energy efficiency measures in industrial and transport sectors. MNRE elaborated on energy generation through renewable sources such as solar and wind power and their future strategy in this regard.

Shri Pradhan stressed on the importance of concerted and coordinated efforts by all Ministries to create an enabling environment for accelerated Exploration & Production activities. The Minister highlighted other measures like promoting conservation and energy efficiency, exploring opportunities for oil demand substitution, tapping the potential of bio-fuels (2G bio-ethanol, feedstock for bio-diesel, channelizing other feedstock for bio-diesel), waste to wealth etc. and said that these are also required to be perused in more aggressive and synchronized manner. Energy consuming Ministries and Ministries involved in technology etc. need to be brought under the ambit of IMAC, he added.

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RG

Read more: First meeting of Integrated Monitoring and...

 

The IX Phase of the prestigious Science Express exhibition train  which is on a Nationwide tour since 17 February 2017 reached Sindhudurg in Maharashtra today i.e. 17 July 2017. This phase of train is being referred as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ highlighting  the global challenge of climate change. 

 

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Inaugurated this Sindhudurg leg of Science Express today i.e. 17 July, 2017 through Video Conferencing from Delhi. SECAS is focusing on Climate Change and Science & Technology. The exhibition conveys message about Climate Change and is also a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion. This exhibition train will be available for public viewing at Roha Railway Station on 18th July and after that at Mumbai CST from 19 to 22 July 2017, then the train will move forward to next destinations as per its itinerary.

 

 

BACKGROUNDER-

Science Express is a flagship programme of the Dept. of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India. It is an innovative mobile science exhibition mounted on a 16 coach AC train, traveling across India since October 2007. Since then, it has made eight tours of the country, traveling about 1,53,000 km and exhibiting at 495 locations. Over its 1712 exhibition days, Science Express received an overwhelming response and 1.64 crore visitors. Science Express has become the largest, the longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition and has twelve entries in the Limca Book of Records.

 

Science Express Phase I to IV showcased cutting-edge research in Science and Technology being carried out worldwide. Phase V to VII was based on the theme of biodiversity and as ‘Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS)’, it showcased the rich biodiversity of India and its conservation measures. Phase VIII as ‘Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS)’ highlighted the global challenge of climate change.

 

The current ninth phase of the Science Express as SECAS II was flagged off on 17 Feb 2017 from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station by Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways; Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; and Late Shri Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of State (I/C) for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India. The current tour of SECAS is scheduled from 17 Feb to 8 Sept 2017, during which it will be exhibited at 68 stations across India, covering 19000 km. SECAS is focusing on Climate Change and Science & Technology. The exhibition conveys message about Climate Change and is also a good opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.

 

The SECAS II is a unique collaborative initiative of Dept. of Science & Technology (DST), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Dept. of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Railways, Govt of India; Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC).

 

Climate Change is an important environmental issue, with many short term and long term impacts. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are not just global in scope and unprecedented in scale but they also more severely affect the poor and marginalized people. However, there is very little understanding about climate change and its impacts. The state-of-the-art exhibition on board the SECAS aims to create awareness among various sections of society as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation.

 

The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 Nov 2016. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. The first session of the

 

Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) took place in Marrakech in November 2016. The Conference successfully demonstrated to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway and the constructive spirit of multilateral cooperation on climate change continues. Science Express, redesigned as SECAS, intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses. The previous 3 phases of Science Express were rolled out as a joint initiative of DST and MoEFCC as Biodiversity Special and showcased the myriad biodiversity of India. Thus it was rational to shift the focus to the theme ‘Climate Change’ as it will affect the biodiversity of not just India but the entire globe as well.

 

Of the 16 coaches of SECAS, exhibition in 8 coaches put up by MoEFCC, is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of Climate change, the underlying science, impacts, adaptation activities, mitigation solutions and policy approaches in a manner that is easy to understand and interesting for not just school students but also the masses. In rest of the rake, there are exhibits and activities put up by DBT and DST.

The broad theme covered in each exhibition coach is as follows:

 

·         Coach 1: Understanding Climate Change - Insights in the climate as a system, the greenhouse gas effect and the underlying reasons for climate change with key message that the current change in the climate is due to human activities.

 

·         Coach 2: Impact of Climate Change - How temperature rise, monsoon variations, sea level rise are predicted to affect vital sectors like water, agriculture, forests and biodiversity, and human health and ways to reduce these.

 

·         Coach 3 & 4: Adaptation - Concepts of adaptation and examples from day to day life, adaptation strategies and stories from field. Adaptation options in urban and rural contexts and the adaptation actions India is taking.

 

·         Coach 5 & 6: Mitigation - Concept and definition with examples, emphasis on restoring balance, enhancing sinks and reducing emission through Renewable Energy (RE) technologies. Various programmes implemented by India and low carbon strategies and ambitious goal to increase RE footprint.

 

·         Coach 7: International Negotiations for Climate Change - Introduction to UNFCCC, IPCC and internationally agreed action & targets. Explaining concept of equity and common but differential responsibility, Kyoto protocol & other key outcomes of major COP, Paris Agreement, etc.

 

·         Coach 8: Positive Actions - What can one do at school, on roads, at home and in offices and focus on concept of lifestyle choices with the key message ‘Increase your Handprint. Decrease your Footprint’.

 

·         Coach 9 & 10: Exhibition put up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India, covering themes like Biotechnology for bioresources and nature conservation with emphasis on Tiger Conservation and Chemical Ecology and India’s research and development initiatives in field of Biotechnology.

 

·         Coach 11: Exhibition put up by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) showcasing select innovations, demonstrating the ingenuity of common people and an innovative project which uses augmented reality techniques. Also, exhibition on themes like Innovations in S&T, Science Education, Technological solutions for societal development, etc.

 

·         Coach 12: A Kids Zone is set up for children from Std. 5 and below to participate in fun-filled activities, games and puzzles in science, mathematics and environment.

 

·         Coach 13: The Joy of Science (JOS) Hands-on Lab in this coach is a space where students from Std. 6-10 can perform experiments and activities to understand concepts in environment, science and mathematics in an interesting manner. A training facility is also set up for orientation of teachers here.

 

·         Solar panels have been installed on the rooftop of Science Express coaches 11-13, as a collaborative effort of DST and CEL, for harnessing solar energy.

 

At each halt of SECAS, activities are planned to engage visitors across different age groups to reinforce its message. An exciting and much sought-after Outreach Programme is also conducted in local schools/institutions along with activities on the railway platforms. In addition, informative take-away material is made available for wider distribution amongst schools and visitors.

 

DST has entrusted Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC), Ahmedabad with the task of managing the SECAS across India. VASCSC’s team of qualified, trained and highly motivated Science Communicators travelling with the train explain and interpret the exhibition, answers queries, facilitate the visitors and conduct complementary activities.

 

The exhibition is open to all but primarily targets students and teachers. More information is available on the website www.sciencexpress.in. For visit to the exhibition or any queries, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the team aboard the train on 09428405407. School students can participate in the JOS Lab in small batches of up to 20 students, by prior registration.

 

Team-SECAS solicits cooperation from all the concerned departments, media, institutions and individuals in giving wider publicity to this prestigious exhibition-on-wheels, so that a large number of visitors are benefited.

Please Note

 

·         The exhibition is open to all.

·         There is no entry fee for visiting the exhibition.

·     Not allowed on the Science Express: Items like mobiles, cameras, bags, match-boxes, cigarettes, beedis, tobacco, water bottles, any liquid, and any sharp/ pointed objects.

·         Venue: Railway station of the respective city

·         Timing: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

·         Refer schedule for the dates at respective halts.

 

Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS II)

Schedule

17 February - 8 September 2017

 

Read more: Minister of Railways Inaugurates Sindhudurg leg...

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

Respected Shri Pranab Mukherjee ji,

Shri Hamid Ansari ji,

Shri Narendra Modi ji,

Shrimati Sumitra Mahajan ji,

Shri Justice J. S. Khehar ji,

Excellencies,

Hon’ble Members of Parliament,

Ladies and Gentlemen, and

Fellow Citizens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— We take pride in our fellow citizens;

— We take pride in our work; and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you very much!

Jai Hind

Vande Mataram

***

AKT/HS

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

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Tuesday held a meeting with top scientific officials of the Government of India. These included Dr. V.K. Saraswat – Member, NITI Aayog; Dr. R. Chidambaram – Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India; and Secretaries related to scientific departments in the Union Government.

 

Officials briefed the Prime Minister on progress in various areas of scientific research.

 

The Prime Minister asserted that science, technology and innovation are the keys to progress and prosperity of India. He said that the Government’s priority in the science and technology sector is to apply science to solve our country’s problems.

 

Giving the example of talent spotting in sports, the Prime Minister said that mechanisms should be made to identify the brightest and best science talent among school students.

 

He said that a lot of innovation is happening at the grassroots level. Urging officials to break silos, the Prime Minister strongly emphasized that a mechanism should be formed to document and replicate successful innovations at the grassroots level. In this context, he also mentioned innovations being done by defence personnel.

 

In the agriculture sector, the Prime Minister identified high-protein pulses, fortified foods, and value addition in castor, as priority areas which needed to be speeded up.

 

In the energy sector, the Prime Minister said that the possibilities of solar energy should be pursued to the maximum, to reduce dependence on energy imports.

 

Expressing confidence in the abilities of Indian scientists to rise up to the challenges, and provide solutions to improve the lives of the common man in India, the Prime Minister asked the officials to draw up clear targets to be achieved by 2022, the 75th year of independence.

 

***

 

AKT/HS

 

Read more: PM meets top scientific officials of Government...

Command & Control Centre, Smart water and power grids, roads, parking, classrooms priority focus

HUA Ministry asks NDMC to lead by example in smart city making

Council asked to ensure all citizen services including bus schedules on Smart City 311 platform

NDMS seeks control over Central Vista for smart management

School enrollment and OPD registration increased after smart initiatives, says NDMC Chairman

                New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has been asked by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs to ensure completion of smart city projects ahead of time so as to lead by example in smart city making across the country. Timelines for the same have been fixed at a two hour review of implementation of NDMC’s Smart City Plan taken by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary (Housing & Urban Affairs) last evening. Shri Naresh Kumar, Chairman, NDMC and senior officials of the ministry and the Council attended the review.

                Of the Rs.1,800 cr Smart City Plan of NDMC, work on a range of major impactful projects will begin in phases by October this year, for which tendering is in progress. These include setting up of a Unified Command and Control Centre, Smart water and power grids, multi-level parking at Khan Market, sensor based smart parking, public bike sharing, converting an additional 333 classrooms into smart ones, Sewage Treatment Plants, smart public hygiene centres etc.  Smart redesign of 13 roads totaling 31 kms including seven roads leading to Connaught Place will begin much earlier.

                Implementation of projects worth another Rs.500 cr will begin by March next year. These include; India Investment Centre at Yashwant Place, Shivaji Terminal Transport Hub, World Class Skill Centre at Moti Bagh, Incubation Centre, Paryatan Bhawan etc.

                Presenting the details of projects implemented so far,  Shri Naresh Kumar, Chairman of NDMC asserted that “NDMC has made a quiet smart beginning with smart solutions initiatives already yielding positive results. Student enrollment and OPD registration have shown good improvement further to converting 444 classrooms so far into smart ones and online registration in hospitals run by the Council. Mobile app Smart City 311 is finding wider traction with citizens availing various services online”.

                Shri Mishra asked NDMC to include more services on 311 app like bus schedules and frequencies at all bus stops, information related to parking lots and availability of slots therein etc. He also directed the Council to ensure all residents of NDMC are brought on this platform besides promoting use of this app among the large floating population.

                Shri Naresh Kumar assured that with most of  the projects getting into implementation mode by October this year and the remaining by March next year, all smart city projects will be completed before the scheduled timeline of 2020.

                NDMC Chairman requested the Ministry of HUA to transfer ‘Central Vista’ to the Council for smart redesign and management and was told that it would be considered.

                Voicing concern over sub-optimal utilization of multi-level car parking at Sarojini Nagar, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra asked the Council to come out with an enforcement plan for its full utilization at the earliest. NDMC has also been asked to pursue pedestrianisation of Connaught Place and Khan Market with appropriate action plans.

                Appreciating the Council for the smart city projects implemented so far, Shri Mishra asked the Council to mount a special communication outreach plan for wider dissemination of information about the benefits of these initiatives among the people. He further stressed that benefits of Unified Command and Control Centre, smart water and power grids etc., that result in effective resource management need to be informed to the public for informed participation.

                Informing that NDMC has already commissioned 3.30 MW of solar power by installing solar panels on roof tops of buildings, Shri Naresh Kumar suggested to the Ministry to consider allowing NDMC to install solar panels on central government office buildings either free or on nominal charges.

                Shri D.S.Mishra also asked the Council to convert major parks into smart ones since the same  could be done with minimal investments for better feel and experience.

AAR/KM

July 16, 2017

Read more: NDMC Smart City projects given timelines;...

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