India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) today successfully launched the RISAT-2B satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This was the 72nd launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and 36th launch from the First Launch pad.

PSLV-C46 lifted-off at 05:30 Hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad and injected RISAT-2B into a orbit of 556 km, about 15 minutes and 25 seconds after lift-off. After separation, solar arrays of RISAT-2B were deployed automatically and ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.

RISAT-2B is a radar imaging earth observation satellite weighing about 615 kg. The satellite is intended to provide services in the field of Agriculture, Forestry and Disaster Management.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the launch vehicle and satellite teams involved in the mission. “With this launch, PSLV lofts 50 tonnes to space by launching 354 satellites, including national, student and foreign satellites.”

Dr. K Sivan also commended the efforts of the team involved in the realization of the piggyback payload carried onboard this mission namely, Vikram processor and low cost MEMS based Inertial Navigation System (INS) developed by Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Chandigarh and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit, Thiruvananthapuram respectively. “RISAT-2B is an advanced Earth Observation satellite with an advanced technology of 3.6m radial rib antenna”, he added.

A total number of 5,000 visitors witnessed the launch live from the Viewer’s Gallery, which is opened to the public.

ISRO is now gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 onboard GSLV MkIII during the window of July 09, to July 16, 2019, with an expected Moon landing on September 06, 2019.

******

BB/NK/PK/SS

Read more: PSLV-C46 successfully launches RISAT-2B

On the penultimate day of his four-day official visit to Vietnam, the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu continued his high-level engagement by holding talks with Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc on a wide range of issues and underscored the importance of strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two nations to ensure peace and security in the region.

The Vice President, who is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations on May 12, reiterated during his talks with the Prime Minister that cordial and friendly relations between India and Vietnam have been strengthened by bonds of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Referring to the growing cooperation between two nations in different fields, Shri Naidu informed the host Prime Minister that India was ready to partner with Vietnam in satellite construction, both for civilian and non-civilian uses. He also assured him that India remains committed to extend cooperation in training and capacity building of Vietnam's defence forces as that country’s requirement.

On bilateral trade, the Vice President expressed confidence of achieving the target of USD 15 billion by 2020.

Observing that Indian companies were increasingly looking to invest in emerging sectors like renewable energy and energy conservation, infrastructure, agriculture, agro-products, textiles, pharma and oil and gas, Shri Naidu informed him of India’s commitment to address various issues relating to market access and trade barriers.

Seeking Vietnam Prime Minister’s personal intervention in facilitating the entry of Indian pharmaceutical products into their country, the Vice President assured him that the Indian companies can provide high tech health systems and medicines for public health in Vietnam at an affordable cost. This will make health services more affordable and reduce the insurance burden on the Government of Vietnam, he added.

Regarding oil and gas exploration in Vietnam, Shri Naidu sought an extension of up to 10 years for OVL (ONGC Videsh Limited) contract, which is due to expire in 2023. He said that OVL has invested more than USD 530.00 million in exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in Vietnam and was exploring possibility of another gas discovery that may entail additional investment of around USD 136.00 million. He also wanted extension of Production Sharing Contract by Petro Vietnam by two years.

The Vice President also reiterated India’s support to Vietnam for the non-permanent membership of the UNSC for 2020-21 and thanked Vietnam for its support to India to be a permanent member of an expanded UNSC.

Shri Naidu said that India has strong interest in Indo-Pacific region. India’s approach and vision to Indo-Pacific is SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

Earlier, inaugurating a ‘Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp’ held at the Indian Embassy under ‘India for Humanity’ programme to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Vice President said the core philosophy of India from time immemorial has been to share and care and emphasized the need to pay attention to the deprived sections.

Stating that the iconic Jaipur Foot provided mobility, a sense of dignity and an ability to live life fully to the differently abled, Shri Naidu lauded Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti, for providing the services free of charge.

Earlier in the morning, the Vice President visited Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and paid homage to the Vietnamese Revolutionary Leader, Ho Chi Minh.

The Vice President also attended a Gala Dinner Reception hosted by the Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at the National Convention Centre.

 

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu calls for...

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 145.0 in March, 2019, which was 4.7 per cent higher as compared to the index of March, 2018. Its cumulative growth during April to March, 2018-19 was 4.3 percent.

Coal

3.     Coal production (weight: 10.33per cent) increased by 9.1 per cent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 7.3 percent during April to March, 2018-19over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

4.       Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98per cent) declined by 6.2 per cent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index declined by 4.1 percent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

5.       The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88per cent) increased by 1.4 per cent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 0.8 percent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

 

Refinery Products

6.       Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04 percent) increased by 4.3 percent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 3.1 percent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizers

7.       Fertilizers production (weight: 2.63 per cent) increased by 4.3 percent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 0.3 per cent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel

8.       Steel production (weight: 17.92 percent)increasedby 6.7 per cent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 4.7 percent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement

9.       Cement production (weight: 5.37 percent) increased by 15.7 per cent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 13.3 percent during April to March, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity

10.     Electricity generation (weight: 19.85 percent) increased by 1.4 percent in March, 2019 over March, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by5.1 percent during April to March, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Note 1: Data for January, 2019, February, 2019 and March, 2019 are provisional.

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

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

Note 4: Release of the index for April, 2019 will be on Friday,31stMay, 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

Apr-Mar 2017-18

Apr-Mar 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

103.2

104.2

112.6

118.0

121.8

124.9

134.1

Crude Oil

8.9833

99.4

99.2

98.4

97.0

94.5

93.7

89.8

Natural Gas

6.8768

85.6

74.5

70.5

67.2

66.5

68.4

69.0

Refinery Products

28.0376

107.2

108.6

108.8

114.1

119.7

125.2

129.1

Fertilizers

2.6276

96.7

98.1

99.4

106.4

106.6

106.6

107.0

Steel

17.9166

107.9

115.8

121.7

120.2

133.1

140.5

147.1

Cement

5.3720

107.5

111.5

118.1

123.5

122.0

129.7

147.0

Electricity

19.8530

104.0

110.3

126.6

133.8

141.6

149.2

156.8

Overall Index

100.0000

103.8

106.5

111.7

115.1

120.5

125.7

131.0

 

 

 

Growth Rates(in per cent)

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Apr-Mar 2017-18

Apr-Mar 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

3.2

1.0

8.0

4.8

3.2

2.6

7.3

Crude Oil

8.9833

-0.6

-0.2

-0.9

-1.4

-2.5

-0.9

-4.1

Natural Gas

6.8768

-14.4

-12.9

-5.3

-4.7

-1.0

2.9

0.8

Refinery Products

28.0376

7.2

1.4

0.2

4.9

4.9

4.6

3.1

Fertilizers

2.6276

-3.3

1.5

1.3

7.0

0.2

0.03

0.3

Steel

17.9166

7.9

7.3

5.1

-1.3

10.7

5.6

4.7

Cement

5.3720

7.5

3.7

5.9

4.6

-1.2

6.3

13.3

Electricity

19.8530

4.0

6.1

14.8

5.7

5.8

5.3

5.1

Overall Index

100.0000

3.8

2.6

4.9

3.0

4.8

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

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

152.0

151.0

150.3

131.5

Jan-19

152.1

89.7

71.8

131.9

116.6

153.0

156.1

150.7

134.5

Feb-19

153.8

80.8

64.4

120.0

104.8

148.6

149.1

137.7

125.9

Mar-19

201.7

89.9

70.7

135.9

111.5

163.4

173.2

159.0

145.0

 

 

 

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

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

10.1

11.6

4.4

2.1

Jan-19

1.7

-4.3

6.2

-2.6

10.5

5.5

11.0

0.8

1.5

Feb-19

7.4

-6.1

3.8

-0.8

2.5

4.9

8.0

1.2

2.2

Mar-19

9.1

-6.2

1.4

4.3

4.3

6.7

15.7

1.4

4.7

 

 ***

 

MM/ SB

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

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

Read more: Low-carbon, green and climate resilient urban...

The Vice President of India, Shri  M. Venkaiah Naidu emphasized the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law and expressed the hope that the concerned countries would be able to reach a consensus on Code of Conduct in South China Sea.

On the second day of his four-day official visit to Vietnam, Shri Naidu held wide-ranging high-level talks with top Vietnamese leadership, including the Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms. Nguyen Kim Thi Ngan and attended a Banquet Lunch hosted in his honour.

Shri Naidu said that his talks with Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, this morning, were extensive and productive. “Our discussions covered the whole range of bilateral and multilateral cooperation”, he added.

In a joint press statement issued along with Vietnam’s Vice President, Ms. Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Shri Naidu said that both India and Vietnam were fully committed to an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture based on freedom of navigation and over flight, unimpeded economic activities and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the international law.

During his talks with the Vietnamese leadership, the Vice President expressed confidence that the interactions would provide a new direction, momentum and substance to the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. He told them that the exchange of high level visits from both the sides was a clear indication of the commitment of both the countries to further strengthen Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. India’s commitment to be a reliable development partner was stronger than before, he added.

Describing Vietnam as a “strategic pillar of India’s Act East Policy and our key interlocutor in ASEAN”, the Vice President said India’s commitment to be a reliable development partner was stronger than before. He said that both the countries agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in defence and security, outer space, science and technology, oil and gas, renewable energy, infrastructure development, agriculture and innovation-based sectors. 

Stating that the bilateral defence and security cooperation between the two countries was robust, Shri Naidu said India was providing extensive training support to Vietnamese Armed Forces and the implementation of the Line of Credit of US Dollars 100 million for building high speed patrol vessels for Vietnamese Border Guards was progressing satisfactorily.

Referring to bilateral trade, which stood at nearly US Dollars 14 billion last year having nearly doubled from US Dollars 7.8 billion three years ago, the Vice President expressed confidence of achieving bilateral trade target of US Dollars 15 billion by 2020.

Calling for relaxing trade barriers and facilitating free trade between the two countries, he said the huge potential for expanding bilateral trade and should be fully realized.

Shri Naidu also said that he was looking forward for direct air connectivity between our two countries with the Indian civil aviation carrier Indigo planning to start direct flights between India and Vietnam later this year. This step would go a long way in boosting bilateral trade and tourism exchanges.

The Vice President assured that India would continue the long-term and short duration scholarships and training programmes provided under ITEC programme and by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. These programmes have been most effectively used in the agriculture sector, making a tangible difference in the lives of the Vietnamese people.

The Vice President also extended an invitation to his Vietnamese counterpart, Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, who accepted the same.

Shri Naidu was also appreciative of the Vietnamese cuisine and the traditional Vietnamese music played during the Banquet Lunch.

Earlier, the Vice President visited the Monument of National Heroes and Martyrs and paid tributes.

 

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: On 2nd day of Vietnam visit, Vice President,...

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu called for a re- look into the way students are trained in colleges and schools and said that there is need to move away from textbook knowledge, rigid ideas and examination marks and to focus on well informed, open debates.

Addressing the 55th Annual Prize Distribution Ceremony of Shyam Lal College in New Delhi today, the Vice President asked centres of higher education to replace long hours of lecturing with newer teaching methods using case studies, problem solving and role playing, to improve employability.

Saying that acquisition of employable skills and knowledge were tools to succeed in modern day careers, Shri Naidu urged Institutions of higher education to develop an industry focus and encourage students to take up live projects, internships and enable them to constantly interact with industry and corporate bodies.

Expressing concern over the poor global ranking of Indian institutions, the Vice President said that our quest for excellence in education would remain unfulfilled if we fail to achieve international standards in higher education.

Asking higher educational institutions such as Shyam Lal College to strive for excellence, Shri Naidu opined that excellence was always the result of unwavering dedication, intelligent planning, and relentless determination and focused effort.

Talking about India’s incredible demographic dividend, Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to educate the burgeoning youth population and equip them with employable skills to harness the immense youth power to make India a global leader.

Opining that neglecting education would adversely impact growth of the nation as a whole, the Vice President said that there was an urgent and imminent need to re-think and re-engineer the entire education system.

Shri Naidu stressed upon the need to fundamentally re-cast the education system, institutions, pedagogy, teaching and learning methods and said that a beginning must be made from primary education. He opined that ensuring access, diversity, equity and quality in primary education was an essential component in all such efforts.

Shri Naidu also suggested increasing investment in education from the current 3% of GDP to at least 6% by 2022, as recommended by NITI Aayog. He wanted institutions especially schools in rural areas, to ensure not only 100% enrolment but also make sure that all children learn at a high level of proficiency and make sure that no child was left behind.

In order to improve the state of primary education, the Vice President suggested a renewed focus on childhood nutrition. He said we must not let education be held hostage in the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition He also wanted special attention towards children belonging to vulnerable sections such as the differently abled.

Pointing out that Vedic Age presented equality of opportunity and freedom of thought and expression to both men and women, Shri Naidu opined that educating the girl child was the most essential component of women empowerment. He added that programs for educating girl children should become people’s movements if their objectives are to be achieved.

The Vice President distributed prizes to meritorious students and lauded the efforts of the institution in providing education to poor and marginalized sections of society at the heart of the national capital.

Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, the Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Smt. Savita Gupta, Chairperson Governing Body, Prof. Rabi Narayan Kar, Principal, Shyam Lal College, faculty and students of Shyam Lal College were present at the venue.

The following is the full text of the speech:

I am delighted to be here today among so many bright and talented youngsters for the Annual Prize Distribution Ceremony of Shyam Lal College.

Shyam Lal College, a constituent college of the University of Delhi, was established in 1964 by the great visionary and entrepreneur Padmashree (late) Shri Shyam Lal Gupta, the then Chairman of Shyam Lal charitable trust. I am told that the foundation stone of the College was laid down by none other than Dr. Zakir Hussain, the former Vice President of India.

I am delighted to know that SLC has celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2014.

I am also pleased to know that this College has become a center of academic excellence and is counted among the best institutions in the University of Delhi.

I am also happy to know that SLC has, since its inception attempted to make quality education accessible to students, especially girls, from economically and educationally disadvantaged communities of East Delhi.

What is particularly noteworthy is that SLC is fully powered by renewable energy and has taken up several green initiatives and recycling efforts.

I understand that SLC, in a visionary move to maximize teaching-learning outcomes, has established six important centers for Industry Interaction, skill development, women empowerment, Gandhi studies etc for the all round development of its students.

My dear young friends,

The Annual Day function of an institution is a culmination of all the activities for the year and a celebration of the achievements of its students and teachers.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have been awarded medals and prizes here today. These honors are a recognition of your hard work, your talent and your commitment to excellence.

Excellence is never an accident or a happy coincidence. It is always the result of unwavering dedication, intelligent planning, relentless determination and focused effort.

Excellence is not a destination. It is a continuing process of setting higher goals and preparing yourself to achieve them. It is a consistent process of self improvement, the unlimited capability to adapt and reform.

I hope that these accolades that you receive today will set the stage for an illustrious life filled with many such achievements and triumphs.

My dear young friends,

India has a rich and glorious history of pursuit of excellence in education.

It has been estimated that the history of education in India is nearly 5000 years old.

Ancient scriptures known as Vedas formed the strong foundations of Indian civilization.

The Vedic Age presented equality of opportunity and freedom of thought and expression to both men and women. Personality development and learning through practical experiments and activities was given utmost importance.

Education during the Vedic age was a journey from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality, from chaos to order and from misery to spiritual bliss.

The Middle Ages in Indian history was a rather dynamic time for education. It was during this period that the famed citadels of learning, the Nalanda and the Vikramshila Universities thrived, attracting seekers of knowledge from far and wide. 

Since independence, India has made many gains in the field of education. India's higher education system is the world's third largest in terms of students, next to China and the United States. India is all set to be one of the largest education hubs of the world.

India is also one of the youngest nations in the world with nearly 242 million 10-24 year olds. 65% of our population is below 35 years of age.  This is an incredible demographic dividend waiting to be exploited. We will be successful in harnessing this immense youth power only if we educate, skill and gainfully and meaningfully employ this burgeoning youth population.

Unfortunately, our education system is fraught with a number of challenges. We have to address these challenges systemically and systematically.

If we neglect education, we neglect growth of the nation as a whole.

Investing in education is investing in the future of the vibrant nation, which is why the Kothari Commission had said that “the destiny of our country is being shaped in our classrooms”.

We have to begin by increasing this investment from the current 3% of GDP to atleast 6% by 2022, as opined by NITI Aayog in its report published in December last year.

I believe that there is also an imminent need to re-think and re-engineer our entire education system.

We need to fundamentally re-cast our education system, our institutions, our pedagogy, our teaching and our learning methods and we must start from the very roots, from primary education.

It is an imperative to consistently ensure not only 100% enrolment but also make sure that all children learn at a high level of proficiency.

No child must be left behind.

We must ensure access, diversity, equity and quality in primary education. 

Improving the state of primary education would also require a renewed focus on childhood nutrition.

We must not let education be held hostage in the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition.

Special attention must be given to children belonging to vulnerable sections such as the differently abled.

Gender equality must be one of the strong pillars upon which we rebuild our education system.

Swami Vivekananda once remarked that ‘The present system of education is all wrong. The mind is crammed with facts before it knows how to think’.

Textbook knowledge, rigid ideas, and examination marks should not take precedence over informed, open debates

India now faces equity, quality and employability issues.

Employability is not just the ability to get a job, but the acquisition of skills, knowledge and tools to succeed in careers.

Employability is possessing creativity, problem-solving skills and an ability to work in a highly inter-connected, interdependent global work environment.

Our centres of higher education must move away from long hours of lecturing and take up newer teaching methods using case studies, problem solving and role playing to improve employability.

Institutions of higher education must have an industry focus and encourage students to take up live projects, internships and enable them to constantly interact with the industry and corporate bodies.

My dear young friends,

Education consists of three important pillars: Knowledge, skills and attitudes.

All three are equally important.

Practical application based education is the need of the hour.

There has to be more emphasis on theoretical knowledge till now. This must change.

Our graduates are good at routine, transactional work but often fail when it comes to researching and innovating.

We need to emphasize creativity and critical thinking to produce graduates who can confidently navigate the uncertain world of work and learning in the 21st century.

Skill development should also be an integral part of education. Apart from imparting skills which aid in the performance of jobs, we must also nurture skills such as conflict resolution and team building, along with soft skills such as language proficiency and communication.

Another important skill we need to impart in our youngsters is that of calculated risk taking. We are doing our best to promote entrepreneurship and the ability to take risks in a country that is culturally risk averse. This is the key to entrepreneurial success.

Flexibility, adaptability and the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn at a fast pace are also crucial to flourish in a technology driven world of automation, where  new jobs emerge as old jobs become extinct at a rapid pace.

Education is also a process through which we reform and refine our mindsets and attitudes

I sincerely believe that perseverance and empathy are crucial qualities that we must nurture in young people. In a world that is ridden with violence, discrimination and injustice, it is important that our children grow up with love and compassion for their fellow human beings. Education which does not build character was among the seven deadly social sins enunciated by Gandhi ji.

The education we provide our children must enable, empower and enlighten them to rise above the narrow walls of community, caste, race and gender that divide us and persevere to create a unified, peaceful and progressive world.

My dear sisters and brothers,

Even as we aspire to be a world leader, we must also anchor ourselves firmly in the moral values and ethical principles which bring peace and contentment in life.

Let me conclude with a thought that Mahatma Gandhi once enunciated. He said, ‘Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit."

I hope that this temple of learning imparts education that brings out the best in every learner.

Thank You!

Jai Hind!

 

**********

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Move away from textbook knowledge, rigid ideas,...

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

Read more: Cabinet approves Cooperation Agreement between...

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) held a ‘Chintan Baithak’ with the stakeholders of Renewable Energy sector here today. The ‘Baithak’ (meet) was chaired by Secretary, MNRE, Shri Anand Kumar and saw good participation from Renewable Energy (RE) sector including the representatives of major RE developers, equipment manufacturers, financers, regulators, think-tanks, industry bodies and skill developers.

The day long meet deliberated upon various issues pertaining to the RE sector viz. solar, wind, bio-energy, small-hydro, regulatory issues, bidding & pricing, demand forecasting, financing of RE projects, energy storage, Make in India, skilling India’s RE work force etc. Various policy interventions were suggested for the sector by the stakeholders at ‘Chintan Baithak’ and MNRE will consider these suggestions.

Shri Praveen Kumar, Additional Secretary, MNRE and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present during the meet.

*****

RCJ/MS

Read more: MNRE holds ‘Chintan Baithak’ with the...

The Delhi Unit of the Directorate General of Income-tax(Investigation) initiated search and seizure action on a Group in NCR, Bhopal, Indore and Goa based upon credible information of large scale collection, possession and movement of unaccounted assets, a few weeks back. 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had earlier issued a Press Note pertaining to searches conducted in MP. As some new developments have taken place, this Press Release is being issued pertaining to search and seizure operation carried-out in NCR on 07th April, 2019 on a leading Solar Power Group connected in the matter. 

Some of the significant transactions detected during the search operation are detailed here under:- 

  •      Accommodation entries of Rs 370 crore: During the search, a maze of shell companies used as mere conduits for providing entries to the group have been detected. Accommodation entries in the garb of bogus unsecured loans/share application money to the tune of Rs. 370 crore have been found.

 

  •    Bogus billing of Rs. 330 crore: Evidence of inflation of expenses through bogus billing to the tune of around Rs. 330 crore has been detected in the case of a power plant of the said group. The money so siphoned off was collected in USD through hawala operators.

 

  •    Unaccounted diary transactions of Rs240 crore:  A handwritten diary containing records of out of books cash receipts to the tune of around Rs.240 crore was seized from the office of the group. The entries therein have been admitted by the persons concerned.

 

  •    Bogus loans of Rs. 30 crore in a group company: Investigations reveal that a loan entry of Rs. 30 crore in one of the group companies was an accommodation entry arranged by an entry operator against equivalent cash.

 

  •    Over-invoicing of imports and round tripping of Rs. 252 crore: During the search, evidence was found indicating that the group grossly over-invoiced its imports from original manufacturers by re-invoicing it through a shell company of a person who is an accused in a major defence scam. The surplus so created was ploughed back in the books as FDI through another shell company of the same person.

 

  •   Unaccounted foreign investments/expenses: Enquiries reveal that the Group used the services of a Dubai based operator to park unaccounted foreign remittances in overseas jurisdictions. Out of such remittances, approximately Rs. 27 crore was paid towards credit card expenses and Rs. 72 crore for purchase of a property abroad.

 

  •     Apart from the above, unaccounted payment of Rs. 9 crore towards purchase of a property has also been detected.

 

  •    Seizure of unaccounted assets of Rs. 3 crore has been made during the search.

 

The search action was undertaken on the basis of credible information and has led to detection of large scale tax evasion of more than Rs. 1350 crore.

 

***

 

DSM/RM/PD    

Read more: Note on search conducted in NCR on a Group in...

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...
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