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Wed, Sep

Union Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri has said that urban areas in India faced multi-pronged challenges and a complex ecosystem in ensuring housing for all, technology-based solutions to enhance service delivery, better mobility and greener transport, smart governance and in doing more with less.  Addressing the inaugural session of Project Managers Global Summit 2018 on "Powering India’s Breakthrough Growth: New Dimensions in Project Management" here today, he said that meeting these challenges requires efficient project management which means translating vision into reality.  Shri Puri said professionalism is essential in project management and not populism saying the processes must be carried out in a transparent manner and through competitive bidding.

The Minister  said that India has undertaken the "most comprehensive" planned urbanization programme in the world and stressed that India still had to build 70 per cent of the new urban infrastructure required by 2030 and this has to be green and resilient. At present, over 30 per cent of India's population, on a base of 1.2 billion, lives in urban centres, as compared to 17 per cent of the population living in urban areas at the time of India's independence in 1947. The flagship programmes being implemented by the Indian government were moving in a direction to ensure that India succeeds in the 2030 Agenda, he added and pointed out that the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or the Prime Minister's scheme on Affordable Housing for All is the world's largest housing programme for the poor under which the government aims to build 11 million affordable homes for urban Indians by the year 2022. India is in the process of creating 100 Smart Cities to strengthen urban infrastructure by applying smart solutions, he further added.

The Minister said that the Smart Cities Mission envisaged area-based interventions for developing urban areas or cities. Following citizen consultations with more than 2.4 million people, 100 cities are now implementing concepts such as smart roads, smart solid waste management, solar rooftops and smart schools, to name a few. He said, “smartness, whether of building or a city, is not something on which you have a choice. It’s an imperative with thrust on your current existence. When we talk smart cities it includes host of things—greens, sustainable infrastructure, safety for everyone, surveillance ensuring safety for women. So it is an ongoing process”.

Shri Puri said, by December 2018, you can start getting physical contours of what a smart city looks like. Different cities are in different stages of processing, tendering, he said.  The Minister said, in democracy you cannot tell people where to live and nor can we stop migration, adding that we have to tackle it by creating infrastructure, adding that we have to look at urbanization as a great opportunity for economic growth.

Shri Puri pointed out that, cities were selected through a competitive process for funding under a Government of India programme, and added that the programme design was based on comprehensive citizen engagement, leveraging the power of technology at our disposal.

The Minister underlined that “new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities”. This phenomenon is embedded in the concept, design, and implementation of India’s Smart Cities Mission, he said.

He pointed out that every Smart City will have a Smart City Centre (SCC) (i.e. Integrated Command and Control Centre). The SCC functions as a city’s nervous system where digital technologies are integrated with social, physical, and environmental aspects of the city, to enable centralized monitoring and decision making. SCCs have already been set up in 11 cities.   Twenty eight other cities have started work on setting up such centres.

Shri Puri said,  proactively improving the urban space will require a reform of the “enabling environment”, which includes governance frameworks, policy protocols, capacities of urban local bodies, and the nature of citizen-government engagement.

On the occasion, awards for Excellence were given to NBCC and DMRC.

***

RJ/KGS

Read more: Efficient Project Management is Translating...

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is organising the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA); the 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, (REINVEST- 2018) from 2nd to 5th October 2018 in New Delhi.

The three events will be inaugurated in a common function by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in the presence of Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations on 2nd October 2018 in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The Business and Technical Sessions of ISA Assembly, IORA Meet and RE-INVEST 2018 Expo will be held at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, UP.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA), an Indian initiative, was launched jointly by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and H.E. François Hollande, Hon’ble President of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Alliance, recognising that solar energy provides potential member solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, with an unprecedented opportunity to bring prosperity, energy security and sustainable development to their peoples, opened ISA Framework Agreement for signature on 15 November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco, on the side-lines of COP-22.

In conformity with the ISA Framework Agreement, 30 days after ratification by the 15th country, on 6 December 2017, ISA became the first full-fledged treaty based international intergovernmental organization headquartered in India. Through this initiative, the countries, inter alia, share the collective ambition: (i) to address obstacles that stand in the way of rapid and massive scale-up of solar energy; (ii) to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments by 2030. The Government of India has committed Rs.175 crore for setting up of ISA and till date released a sum of Rs 140 crore for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure.

On 11 March 2018, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of France, H.E. Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). Forty eight countries, including India participated in this conference. In addition, there were representations from the United Nations, Multilateral Development Banks, energy-related think tanks, corporate sector and civil society.

The Delhi Solar Agenda, adopted in the Founding Conference of the ISA, states that the ISA member States inter-alia have agreed to pursue an increased share of solar energy in the final energy consumption in respective national energy mix, as a means of tackling global challenges of climate change and as a cost-effective solution by supporting and implementing policy initiatives and participation of all relevant stakeholders, as applicable, in respective States.

Consequent to the Founding Conference, the first Assembly of ISA will be held from 2nd to 5th October 2018. Till date, out of 121 prospective member countries that lie either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, 68 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA. Out of 68 countries that have signed Framework Agreement of the ISA, 44 countries have deposited the instrument of ratification.

The first Assembly, in a way, will lay the foundation for global Solar Agenda. The Assembly, as supreme decision making body of the ISA, will steer the process to significantly harness solar energy for achieving universal energy access at affordable rates. The Assembly will adjudicate upon various administrative, financial and programme related issues. Hon’ble Ministers from ISA Treaty Framework signatory countries have been invited for the Assembly. The countries that have ratified the ISA Treaty Framework will attend the Assembly, as Members. Countries that have signed but are yet to ratify the ISA Treaty Framework will attend the Assembly as Observers.

Till date, we have received delegation confirmation from 18 ministerial-level delegations for attending the 1st Assembly of ISA besides many partner organisations and observers. The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region with 21 Member States and 7 Dialogue Partners. The last Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting was held on 21st January, 2014 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Subsequently, during the meeting of IORA Council of Ministers, held in October, 2016 in Bali, Indonesia, it was decided that the next conference will be held in India. In line with the commitment made, India will be hosting 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial meet from 2nd to 4th October, 2018. In this meeting, Ministers and delegates from all 21 member-countries are expected to participate. India, Australia, Iran IR, Indonesia Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius, Madagascar, UAE, Yemen, Seychelles, Somalia, Comoros and Oman are members of IORA.

 

The 2nd RE-INVEST aims at accelerating the worldwide effort to scale up renewable energy and connect the global investment community with Indian energy stakeholders. 2nd RE-INVEST will include a three-day Conference on renewables, cleantech and future energy choices, and an Expo of renewables-related manufacturers, developers, investors and innovators.

The 2nd RE-INVEST will provide a great opportunity to various organisations to showcase their business strategies, achievements and expectations. It would facilitate collaboration and cooperation with key stakeholders in India, which has today emerged as one of the world’s largest renewable energy markets.

The 2nd RE-INVEST is expected to be attended by Ministerial Delegations from across the world, including ISA and IORA Member Countries, over 600 global industry leaders, and 10,000 delegates.

 

*******

RDS/RP

Read more: First assembly of ISA, Second ministerial of...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the Romanian Businessmen to create a genuine, multifaceted Indo-Romanian partnership. He was addressing the India-Romania Business Forum Meeting, in Bucharest, Romania today. The President of the Senate of Romania, Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the Vice Prime Minister of Romania, Dr. Ana Birchall, the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President invited Romanian businessmen to partner with India in its exciting and transformative journey.  He further said that India-Romania annual bilateral trade has risen to US $ 810 million in 2017-18, a 40% increase over last year (USD 575 million). This is a huge development in our bilateral economic relations and we need to sustain this momentum to scale it up even higher GFX out, he added.

Saying that India’s economic transformation in recent past presents fresh opportunities in multiple sectors for Romanian entrepreneurs, the Vice President invited them to invest in India. With a growth rate over 8%, India is one of the fastest growth rates in the world for a large economy, he added.

The Vice President said that India has managed a positive swing in stock market indices, foreign exchange reserves, and public investment in infrastructure and welfare measures. Government investment in infrastructure development has increased exponentially and it is already visible in the improved railways, roads, airports and shipping infrastructure in our country, he added.

Saying that India has one of the best regulated financial systems in the world, the Vice President highlighted how India became the most attractive FDI destinations in the world. He further said that demonetisation and the GST have been successfully implemented for India to emerge as a transparent, modern and unified market. Greater ease of doing business is being reported from different corners of the country and tax rates are harmonised across the country, he noted. More than 320 million bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana for the first time enabling direct cash benefit transfers and millions of LPG connections have been given to rural women, he added.

 

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

 

"I am delighted to be here amongst large gathering of eminent Romanian business leaders this afternoon. Your presence here is an affirmation of your continued and renewed interest in exploring business opportunities. I hope the interactions among the business leaders of the two sides during the course of the day have been fruitful.

India-Romania annual bilateral trade has risen to US $ 810 million in 2017-18, a 40% increase over last year (USD 575 million). This is a huge development in our bilateral economic relations. We need to sustain this momentum to scale it up even higher

India has embarked on the path of economic transformation and this presents fresh opportunities in multiple sectors for Romanian entrepreneurs. Indian economy is growing at over 8%, which is one of the fastest growth rates in the world for a large economy. We have managed a positive swing in stock market indices, foreign exchange reserves, public investment in infrastructure and welfare measures. Government investment in infrastructure development has increased exponentially and it is already visible in the improved railways, roads, airports and shipping infrastructure in our country.

We are committed to build a five trillion dollar economy by 2025, making us the 3rd largest consumer market in the world. India has climbed 42 placed in the World Bank’s Ease of Business Index. We are strengthening the manufacturing sector through the Make in India program even as our services sector remains robust and high-tech.

India also has one of the best regulated financial systems in the world.  It is now ranked as one of the most attractive FDI destinations in the world. We have a TRIPS compliant IPR regime and our multi-party democracy ensures essential stability and predictability.

Demonetisation and the GST have been successfully implemented for India to emerge as a transparent, modern and unified market. Greater ease of doing business is being reported from different corners of the country and tax rates are harmonised across the country. More than 320 million bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana for the first time enabling direct cash benefit transfers. Millions of LPG connections have been given to rural women.

We have launched flagship programs including the Swachh Bharat i.e. Clean India, Skill India, Make in India, Digital India, Industrial Corridors and Smart Cities development programs.  I encourage Romanian companies to participate actively in these and reap the dividends from these profitable flagship programmes.

Today, I had meaningful discussions with Prime Minister Madam Dancila, on taking forward India-Romania multifaceted relations, with special emphasis on our economic ties. We are both convinced that there is immense potential to take the relationship, to a higher level.

Our economies have significant complementarities which can be leveraged for mutually beneficial cooperation. Several Indian companies in the sectors of IT, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare have made their mark in Romania. These companies have invested significantly and have created thousands of jobs to benefit the local communities and economy. I am told that Genpact and WIPRO each have engaged more than 4000 employees.

Romanian companies are also operating in India and the cumulative FDI inflows from Romania to India is around USD 7.5 million. There are opportunities for bilateral investment flows between a growing Romanian economy and a huge Indian market in sectors such as IT, automobiles, mining, agriculture and food processing, tourism, healthcare products and energy. India stands ready to welcome more Romanian investors and I encourage Romanian entrepreneurs to partner in Indian growth story.

India has emerged as one of the leaders in renewable energies and my Government has launched a massive push for clean power.  We aim at installing 100 GW of solar power by 2022.  Solar power prices in India have hit a record low, thus bringing us close to achieving our goals under the Paris Climate Change accords.  In this sector therefore, we offer one of the most exciting opportunities for Romania.

Earlier this evening Bucharest Chamber of Commerce of Romania signed 3 MoU with with leading chambers of commerce CII, ASSOCHAM and PHDCCI will  surely pave the way for greater and better exchange of information and cooperation in the trade and investment sectors.

In conclusion, I invite you all to partner us in India’s exciting and transformative journey which is going to usher in a new era not just for India and Romania but also for the world. Let us use our imagination to open up exciting and growing opportunities in many spheres with a friendly democratic partner and create a genuine, multifaceted Indo-Romanian partnership. 

 

Thank you!"

***

AKT/BK/RK

Read more: Foster a genuine, multifaceted Indo-Romanian...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Indian Community living abroad is making the country proud and contributing immensely to both the country they are residing and to the motherland. He was addressing the Indian Community Reception hosted by the High Commissioner of India to Malta, in the Capital Valletta last night. The Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, the High Commissioner of India to Malta, Shri Rajesh Vaishnaw and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

 

The Vice President said that a resurgent India will always be with people of Indian Origin and asked them not to forget the motherland that has given them a great upbringing. He further said that the role of Indian community is crucial for taking the message of India to the word in Art, Culture, Ethos and Traditions.

 

Stressing the need to strengthen India Malta relations, the Vice President said that despite being a small nation Malta has shown good growth and India and Malta can have a long term relationship. The size of the country is not important but the growth is, he added.

 

The Vice President said that Indian population can excel in all spheres and they integrated well with societies across the globe. Geographical boundaries do not separate India and Malta, he added.

 

Highlighting the Indian growth story, the Vice President said that the nation is witnessing a stable growth and is on the rise. Systematic government reforms are making an inclusive society and the efforts are in full swing to make India a formal Economy, he added.

 

Saying that India is at the cresp of transformation that is unprecedented, the Vice President added that digitization of economy, financial inclusion, GST and Jan Dhan have brought in revolutionary change in Indian Economic scenario. Road and Telecom network changed India and the communication system in vast country like India is revolutionary, he reminded the steps taken by former Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

 

The Vice President said that Indian art Yoga, Ayurveda becoming popular all over the world. India has become a health destination and it launched an ambitious healthcare system- Ayushman Bharat, a program recently launched will change the Healthcare system in India.

 

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

 

"Namaskar to all of you. I bring you the warmest of greetings from India.

 

I thank all of you for welcoming me and my delegation members with such warmth and affection. I am accompanied by Hon’ble Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Shiv Pratap Shukla and Mr. Prasanna Acharya, Mrs. Vijila Sathyananth and Ms. Saroj Pandey, Hon’ble Members of the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and Mr. Raghav Lakhanpal, Hon’ble Member of the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha). 

 

I am delighted to visit this beautiful and historic city of Vellatta. I would like to thank the Government of Malta for extending warm hospitality to me and my delegation members. During the visit, I look forward to fruitful interactions with President, Hon’ble Speaker of the House of Representative of Malta, Acting Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition of Malta.  I will also have an opportunity to address India-Malta Business Forum during the visit.  

 

Sisters and brothers,

 

In this distinguished gathering, some of you are professionals, researchers, students or businessmen. Some of you may have come to this country decades ago, some of you may have arrived only a few years ago. I am so pleased that you have integrated into the Maltese society and made valuable contributions in sectors like pharmaceuticals, information technology, and healthcare and tourism service industry.

 

 It is not surprising that the vast and growing Indian diaspora is doing so well everywhere. There is within each one of us that invisible common thread of essential Indian-ness. For us, the whole world is actually a large family. The geographical boundaries do not limit us nor do the linguistic and cultural differences. We learn and appreciate good ideas irrespective of where they originate from. “Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides” said our ancient sages.  

 

I am happy to note that the Indian community enjoys the reputation of being peace loving and able to assimilate into the local environment. You are making a contribution in the socio economic development of Malta by way of investments, knowledge transfer, philanthropic engagements, and catalysing demand of Indian goods in their countries of settlement. 

 

Sisters and brothers,

 

I feel very proud that I represent an India that is at the cusp of a transformative movement.

 

I am happy to inform you that India is in the midst of an unprecedented economic and social transformation. The economy is growing at a steady pace and the systemic governance reforms are creating a more inclusive society.

 

India has climbed 30 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index this year and IMF has forecast that India will grow at more than 7 percent in 2018 and 2019, ahead of other major economies.

 

A number of economic reforms have been undertaken by Indian Government including digitisation of the economy, financial inclusion, tax reforms like Goods and Services Tax (GST). More than 326 million persons have opened bank accounts in the last four years making financial inclusion a reality. Tax base has been widened and tax compliance has increased.

 

India is rapidly expanding its infrastructure. For instance, over 9829 Km national highways were constructed during the year 2017-18 as compared to 8231 km during the previous year.

 

The policy initiatives taken by the Indian government such as Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Start-up India are opening up new opportunities.

 

India is creating an enabling eco system that will spur growth, skill youth and foster entrepreneurship. India, today is a veritable land of opportunity for those who want to connect, innovate, trade and invest

 

India is contributing to and witnessing the onset of an information technology revolution which is changing the way a government engages with its citizens. A revolution, which rests on digital infrastructure that allows free flow of information, innovation and ideas on the information high-ways.

 

Dear Sisters and brothers,

 

We have also set the goal of providing affordable and inclusive healthcare to the citizens and to realise this goal we have launched  the world’s largest and India’s most ambitious healthcare program, Ayushman Bharat — National Health Protection Mission,  announced in our Union Budget of 2018 and reiterated by our PM on 15 August this year.  The scheme will provide a health insurance cover to 100 million families.

 

India has taken the lead in the field of energy, and we have set a goal of 175 Gigawatts of renewable energy. We hosted the founding conference of International Solar Alliance in Delhi in March this year. This is one of the largest commitments to financing solar energy projects around the world.

 

We are a young nation of 800 million strong youth. This demographic advantage is being converted into a demographic dividend. We are upgrading the competence of this aspirational, young population through “Skill India” programme.

 

Sisters and brothers, 

 

You represent India in Malta and Malta in India and your role in both connecting and developing our ties is very important. 

 

Your presence in Malta from different parts of India helps in creating awareness about the rich cultural diversity of India, and taking the message of Indian music, art, dance, and other heritage, like Yoga and Ayurveda to our Maltese friends. 

 

A resurgent India awaits you. We have taken several steps towards eliminating barriers of your connect with India. It has been our resolve to be available to overseas Indians and to ensure that interface between our government and you remain smooth and a pleasurable experience. I am sure, you are taking advantage of the e-Visa scheme of India launched in 2015 and further liberalised last year for business, tourism and health purposes.

 

To facilitate easy stay of foreigners of Indian origin in India, we offer OCI cards. I would encourage you to join the scheme and enjoy the facilities offered under it and strengthen the bonds with the country of your origin and the country of your ancestors.

 

In order to engage with our vast Diaspora and to bring their knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform, we have created a new facility- the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra- in New Delhi, as a one stop resource center for our diaspora. You must visit it whenever you come to India. Our Government also runs a special programme – the Know India Programme- to bring our diaspora youths together and expose them to India.

 

The Government and people of India are thus proud of your achievements.  The decision to open a resident Indian High Commission in Malta has been taken with the desire to connect with you all.

 

It has been a pleasure and privilege for me to connect with you. Each one of you, member of the Indian diaspora, have made us proud because of your accomplishments, your acceptance within the country of your adoption and your well-recognized contribution to the development of the society which you have adopted. 

 

You are the face of India in Malta exemplifying to the people you interact with, the mind and heart of Bharat.

You are the inheritors of the universal vision that India has been expounding since time immemorial. You are the valuable human resource for India bringing in new Knowledge, skills and attitudes to accelerate India’s growth.

 

I thank you all once again for being here today and welcoming me with so much warmth.

 

I wish you all the best in your endeavors to make Malta and India come closer, grow together and share a prosperous future. 

 

Jai Hind.

***

AKT/BK/RK

Read more: Never forget the motherland that has given you a...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Scientists play a key role in providing data and should focus on the requirements of the common man, more importantly of the farmer, and help in formulating strategies for better Governance. He was addressing the Scientists and Researchers at the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), in Hyderabad today. The Chairman, ISRO, Dr. K. Shivan and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that ISRO with its state-of-the-art facilities has been harnessing space technology for rural and urban development. He further said that ISRO maintains one of the largest fleet of communication and remote sensing satellites with the versatile workhorse, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) becoming a favoured carrier. After making every Indian proud with the success of Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, now ISRO is gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 early next year, he added.

The Vice President said that rural development is vital for the country’s growth and several national flagship programmes are being implemented in the country for the same. For effective implementation of those schemes, there is a need for optimal utilisation of satellite data for mapping and monitoring the resources and also take up impact assessment studies, he added.

Saying that India is committed to accord high priority to water conservation and its management through Watershed Development Component of Kisan Sinchaayi Yojana, the Vice President said that satellite data is being used to verify the execution of works under watershed development programme and also to assess the impact in terms of additional crop area.

While lauding ISRO for its innumerable achievements, the Vice President asked the prestigious organisation to take up futuristic, innovative projects for societal benefits.

The Vice President said that in view of the increasing demand for citizen centric services NRSC has to play an important role in providing Satellite Data and expand its technical interactions with various states for capacity building. Based on its expertise and capability, he was confident that NRSC will intensify its efforts to come up with innovative citizen-centric applications for national flagship programmes, he added.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"I am happy to be here today amongst the ISRO scientific community and understand firsthand the excellent work being carried out in this important centre.

I am also glad to see lot of youngsters here and appreciate them for choosing to work at ISRO. I am sure that many of you will get opportunities to work on challenging scientific projects and prove your calibre.

Since the launch of the first satellite, Aryabhata in 1975, Indian space programme has made rapid strides with India becoming a hub for the launch of Indian and foreign satellites.

With the successful launch of two satellites belonging to UK earlier this month, ISRO has so far launched 239 foreign satellites of 28 countries and proved to be a reliable and affordable global space agency. I am sure that in the coming years, ISRO would be a leading player in the commercial satellite launch market in the world.

Let me first congratulate all scientists for the success of the missions such as the launching of 104 satellites at a time, development of testing Crew Escape System which is a critical technology for human spaceflight GAGANYAAN and the launch of GSLV Mk-III with fully indigenous cryogenic technology.

ISRO with its state-of-the-art facilities has been harnessing space technology for rural and urban development. I am aware that ISRO maintains one of the largest fleet of communication and remote sensing satellites with the versatile workhorse, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) becoming a favoured carrier.

Remote sensing satellites have enabled India to map, monitor and manage its natural resources. Data generated from them is being used for a variety of applications covering agriculture, water resources, urban planning, environment, forestry, ocean resources, hydrology, disaster management, biodiversity, drought monitoring, flood risk zone mapping and mineral prospecting.

After making every Indian proud with the success of Chandrayaan-1 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, I am glad to know that ISRO is gearing up for the launch of Chandrayaan-2 early next year.

I had visited this Centre in 2002 when I was Union Minister for Rural Development. I am happy to be here again after 16 years and share my thoughts with all of you. There have been several satellite missions every year since then.

Scientists play a key role in providing data and should focus on the requirements of the common man, more importantly of the farmer, and help in formulating strategies for better Governance.

When you look at the flagship programmes which are being implemented by various ministries, it is clear the data acquired from Earth Observation Satellites play a major role in generation of information. Frequent observations recorded by satellites are useful to know the past and current status as also the future scenario.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Rural development is vital for the country’s growth. Hence, several national flagship programmes are being implemented in the country. For effective implementation of those schemes, there is a need for optimal utilisation of satellite data for mapping and monitoring the resources and also take up impact assessment studies. I am glad  that ISRO has facilitated geo-tagging of nearly 3.68 Crores of assets created under MGNREGA and uploading the details on Bhuvan geo portal.

I am told that Cartosat satellite data was extensively utilised by NRSC for monitoring the progress of 100   irrigation projects. Satellite derived information on periodic rainfall and groundwater prospects has facilitated the water resource planners for prioritisation of works. Satellite-based information should be available for supporting the management plans for rural development, particularly at village / taluk level to enable decentralised planning. 

India is committed to accord high priority to water conservation and its management through Watershed Development Component of Kisan Sinchaayi Yojana.  Satellite data is being used to verify the execution of works under watershed development programme and also to assess the impact in terms of additional crop area.

I am aware that the major efforts of NRSC will help the planners in relation to mapping of various cropping systems, analysing drought scenarios, preparing plans for crop intensification and locating the available proximate water resources.

I am glad that high resolution satellite data is being utilised in AMRUT scheme, which seeks to provide basic amenities and improve urban transport in 500 cities, as part of enhancing the quality of life of the people, especially the poor.

Periodic mapping, monitoring of natural resources like landscape changes, land utilisation, land degradation, wasteland database would facilitate several projects of rural development. Potential estimate of power generation in waste lands or suitable land parcels through satellite derived solar parameters is a classic case of utilisation of satellite data to harness the renewable energy.

While lauding ISRO for its innumerable achievements, I would like the prestigious organisation to take up futuristic, innovative projects for societal benefits.

It should take up the challenge to provide web-based analytics from satellite images for various users.

Inter-linking of rivers is a major effort which is under discussion for a long time and requires huge information in spatial domain from satellites. Several plans have to be drawn with the help of aerial / satellite data and I assume that ISRO has the capability to support this planning activity with help of high resolution satellite data and terrain / elevation information retrieval methodologies. I am told that a few river link studies have already benefitted from your expertise.

It is very difficult to manage disasters like Kerala floods or  other such events due to the devastation caused by them. While the Disaster Management Support Programme of ISRO at NRSC is providing flood-related information to the State and Central Relief departments, I would like ISRO to come up with early flood warning and Inundation Simulation of all vulnerable river reaches and reservoirs for preparation of evacuation plans.

This may require launching of all weather satellites, experiments with unmanned aerial flights with imaging sensors to provide information to the field teams at frequent intervals during the floods. I am sure ISRO would take up this challenge.

Landslides are one of the major concerns for the country in hilly regions in eastern part of India and also in other areas. Hence, NRSC should utilise satellites to monitor landslide susceptible areas and prepare hazard zonation maps. I am sure this noble task would save many lives. We need an efficient retrieval of sufficient information for disaster risk reduction.

Though NRSC data is extensively utilized in forest management, there is a need to provide location specific information in near real time with greater accuracy.

Institutions like NRSC should also focus on ocean atmosphere studies in view of global warming and climate change. There is a need to look into climate patterns and atmospheric interaction processes for more reliable prediction of cyclones, their genesis, prediction of track, land fall and genesis of Tsunami, among others. As these processes are global in nature, we need to think of global collaborations and the utilisation of Indian and global satellites

In view of the increasing demand for citizen centric services NRSC has to play an important role in providing Satellite Data and expand its technical interactions with various states for capacity building.

Based on its expertise and capability, I am confident that NRSC will intensify its efforts to come up with innovative citizen-centric applications for national flagship programmes.

I am told that ISRO’s future plans include development of heavy lift launchers, human spaceflight projects, reusable launch vehicles, semi-cryogenic engines, development and use of composite materials for space applications. It is also aiming to conduct 12 launches per year.

My best wishes to ISRO Chairman and his team for their future endeavours.

I wish you all a grand success for your targeted 12 launches per year.

Thank you all."

***

AKT/BK/RK

Read more: Science and Research should be useful to the...

The 28th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council was held under the Chairmanship the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in Bengaluru today.  The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Puducherry; Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu; Finance Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment and Minister for Tourism, Karnataka; Minister for Health, Puducherry and Minister of State for Home, Govt. of India, Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and senior officers from Central and State Governments.

The Council expressed deep sorrow and sympathy to the people who lost their lives and property in the floods caused by the fury of the Monsoon in the Southern part of the country. The Council was informed that Central Government would not lag behind in providing the requisite assistance to the States concerned in this regard.

The Council reviewed the progress of the implementation of the recommendations made at the last meeting relating to security to fishermen, introduction of peninsular tourism trains, uniformity in allocation of funds in proportion to population of SC/ST for scholarship for all the courses, optimum harnessing of renewable energy available in the Southern States without endangering grid security and development of Puducherry Airport. Thereafter, the Council took up issues which relate to Pulicat lake dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu fishermen over fishing rights, menace of red sander smuggling in the holy Seshachalam hills, supply of Krishna water to augment the drinking water supply to Chennai city, issues relating to fishing in coastal States in Southern Zone, checking of Antibiotic residues in aquaculture shrimp export, scheme for modernization of State Police Forces in the States of Southern Zone, issuance of 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) for LPG godown site plan, issues pertaining to Biofuels programme, etc. Out of the 27 items discussed today, 22 were resolved in the meeting.

Prior to this Council meeting, the Standing Committee of the Council met on November 28, 2017 at Bengaluru. In the meeting seven issues  were resolved i.e. extension of High Speed Rail corridor between Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore upto Udupi, revision of ceiling on Profession Tax by the Government of India, giving Infrastructure status to Housing by the Central Government, Inter-State Animal Movement, promotion of Oil seeds and Oil palm cultivation to augment availability of Vegetable Oils, inclusion of Puducherry in Central Finance Commission and security of fishermen from Puducherry.

The five Zonal Councils (Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Center Zonal Councils) were set up under the States Re-organisation Act, 1956 to foster Inter-State cooperation and coordination among the States. The Zonal Councils are mandated to discuss and make recommendations on any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning, border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport etc. They are regional fora of cooperative endeavour for States linked with each other economically, politically and culturally. Being compact high level bodies, specially meant for looking after the interests of respective Zones, they are capable of focusing attention on specific issues taking into account regional factors, while keeping the national perspective in view.

It was emphasized that it has been the objective of the present Government to strengthen the institution of the Zonal Councils as well as the Inter-State Council in order to promote and maintain a good federal atmosphere of cooperation among the States and between the Centre and the States as well. As a result, during the last four years, two Council meetings and three Standing Committee meetings of the Southern Zonal Council were held. Apart from this, eight Council meetings and twelve Standing Committee meetings of other Zones were also held. In these meetings, about 600 issues were discussed, out of which 406 issues were resolved.

Today’s deliberations of the Council were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere in the true spirit of cooperative federalism and ended with the decision to host the next meeting in Tamil Nadu.

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BB/PK/SS

 

Read more: Union Home Minister chairs Southern Zonal...

Shri. K.J Alphons, the Minister of State for Tourism (IC), Government of India will be inaugurating the project “Development of Tribal Circuit: Jashpur- Kunkuri- Mainpat- Kamleshpur- Maheshpur- Kurdar-Sarodadadar- Gangrel- Kondagaon- Nathiya Nawagaon- Jagdalpur- Chitrakoot- Tirthgarh in Chhattisgarh” implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, in Gangrel, Chhattisgarh on 14th September 2018. This is the second project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.

 

This project which is to be inaugurated was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in February 2016 for Rs. 99.21 Crores. The project covers thirteen sites in Chhattisgarh i.e. Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainpat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurdar, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathiya Nawagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot, Tirthgarh. 

 

Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry of tourism, for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritised manner. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth Rs. 5997.47 Crore to 31 States and UTs. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.

 

Development of Tribes and Tribal Culture is one of the prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the tribal region.  The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan. Under the tribal circuit theme of the scheme the Ministry has sanctioned 4 projects to Nagaland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for Rs. 381.37 Crores.

 

Chhattisgarh is known for its exceptional scenic beauty and uniquely rich cultural heritage. The state has always been synonymous with tribes and tribal culture. Over one third of the state population is of tribes, the tribes here are unique in their lifestyles and have beautifully retained their own culture and traditions for centuries. Given the significant dominance of indigenous population in the region, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has selected Chhattisgarh to be included in the Swadesh Darshan Scheme under Tribal Circuit theme, with an objective to acknowledge the sovereignty of tribes, promote the rich and diverse primitive assets in the state.

 

Major components sanctioned include eco log huts, craft haats, souvenir shops/ kiosk, tourist reception & facilitation centres, open amphitheatre, tribal interpretation centres, workshop centres, tourist amenities centres, last mile connectivity, wayside amenities, viewpoints, nature trails, solar illuminations, signages solid waste management etc. These components are perceived to improve existing tourist facilities and enhance the overall tourist experience, therefore, help in getting more visitors which in return will increase job opportunities in the area. 

 

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JP/PS

Read more: First Tribal Circuit Project under Swadesh...

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi yesterday inaugurated a new airport in Jharsuguda - also known as the powerhouse of Odisha. Governor of Odisha, Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister of the State, Shri Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Shri. JualOram  were among those present on the occasion.  The Prime Minister also flagged off the UDAN flight on Jharsuguda-Raipur sector.

Jharsuguda is the second airport of Odisha after Bhubaneswar to become operational and the first one to provide necessary connectivity to Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Ranchi under RCS UDAN. In Odisha, other than Jharsuguda, three more airports, namely, Jeypore in Koraput District, Rourkela in Sundargarh District and Utkela in Kalahandi District are being developed to provide connectivity to remote and far flung areas of the coastal state. For revival and upgradation of these four airports within the state of Odisha, Rs. 370 Crores has been allocated under the Regional Connectivity Scheme.

Jharsuguda Airport has been developed by the Airports Authority of India, in collaboration with Govt. of Odisha at an estimated cost of Rs.210 Crores with a contribution of Rs. 75 Crores from the State Govt.Spread across over 1027.5 acres of land, the area of terminal Building of the airport is 4000 sqm. The Airport has been developed for all weather operations including night operations for A-320 type of aircraft.

The Terminal Building of Jharsuguda Airport, is a RCC composite structure equipped with state-of-the-art passenger facilities. The interiors of the building depict local handicrafts, artwork and tourist destinations of the state highlighting rich ethos and culture of the region. The city side is being aesthetically landscaped with lush green areas connecting passengers to the nature.

With a 2390 metre-long runway, the airport will be able to park A-320 type aircraft. The Terminal Building has five check-in counters and one arrival carousel with peak hour handling capacity of 300 passengers. Apart from the New Terminal Building, the airport infrastructure also includes Isolation Bay, New Technical Block-cum-Control Tower, Fire Station Category-VII, MT Workshop and essential Navigational & Visual Aids.

An efficient sewage treatment plant, reuse of treated water for horticulture and air-conditioning purposes, rain-water harvesting system to recharge groundwater, sewage treatment plant, solar power system, energy-efficient chillers and a green belt along the approach road of the airport are few other green features of the airport development project. 

The new airport at Jharsuguda will play a significant role in the development of Western Odisha and will give impetus to the growing tourism industry in the region.

UDAN (UdeDesh Ka AamNaagrik) is a flagship scheme of the Government of India introduced to enable air operations on unserved routes, connecting regional areas, to promote balanced regional growth and to make flying affordable for masses.

***

 

Photo caption:, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiaddressing the audience on the occasion of inauguration of Jharsuguda Airport, Odisha in the presence of the Governor of Odisha, Chief Minister of the State, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and other dignitaries.

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RJ/KGS

Read more: PM inaugurates Jharsuguda Airport and flags off...

The Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurated the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM 2018) in the presence of Union Tourism Minister, Shri K J Alphons and the Tourism Minister of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid, in New Delhi today. The India Tourism Mart is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism from 16th to 18th September 2018, in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with support of State /UT Governments. The function was held in presence of the Secretary, other senior officials of Tourism Ministry and Chairman/members of FAITH and also delegates from India and across the world.

 

Inaugurating the event, Shri Piyush Goyal wished the best to the Tourism Ministry to reach the ambitious goal of US$100 billion FTA receipts/year within 5 years. The Minister said that unless the infrastructure/fundamentals are set up, India can’t come up as a well sought after destination and he said that the present government has been developing these like ensuring 24 hour power supply, promoting renewable energy forms, and improving connectivity by effectively connecting the remotest destinations. The Minister also added that the most important element that will help promote Tourism in a complete way is the Government’s cleanliness drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan, which will ensure India becoming a preferred destination for all international tourists. Mentioning the income multiplier effect in the Tourism sector, the Minister said that Tourism generates a number of employment opportunities in formal and informal sectors and can change the destiny of the country. The Railway Minister added that the youth of the country can be entrepreneurs, service providers, interpreters etc in the sector and ascertained that India with its varied features has tremendous potential and we just need to leverage from it.

 

Speaking at the event, the Tourism Minister announced that ITM will be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and it will be held in the month of September. The Minister said that India is so vast that there will be something new for everyone to see and experience in this country with its varied geography, culture, traditions, architectural marvels, religions. Shri Alphons also added that visiting the country has become easier with the new e-visa regime which is now open to 166 countries.

India Tourism Mart (ITM) is being held for the first time and the Tourism industry stakeholders are coming together for such a large scale event with Ministry’s support. FAITH is the apex organization of all the important trade and hospitality associations of the country with all the 10 major Tourist organizations like FHRAI, HAI, IATO being involved in this mega event and India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) is coordinating the whole event.  This is a Business to Business Event.  The objective  of  the event  is  to  create  an annual Global  Tourism  Mart  for  India  in line with  major  international  travel  marts  being  held  in  countries   across  the world. The Mart  provides  a  platform  for  all stakeholders  in the  tourism  and   hospitality industries  to  interact  and   transact  business  opportunities.

 

The ITM 2018 has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and Media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc.  The international   delegates from overseas markets   will   interact with Indian seller delegates and the buyers  will   include  current buyers  who  are  already  marketing India as a tourist destination as  well  as  potential  buyers  who  are  not  marketing India as a tourist destination at  present  but  have  shown interest  in  the  country. The  event also  provides  an  opportunity  to  the  buyers  to  see  the world class  tourism facilities  available  in our  country  such  as  Airports, Hotels,  Tourist  destinations,    upcoming  facilities,  MICE  facilities,  possibility in the field  of  adventure  tourism and other  niche  products.

Around 225 stalls have been provided to the sellers to enable them to interact with the buyers.  These include  pavilion  for  States & Union Territories to  showcase  their  unique  tourism  destinations  and  products. The B2B meetings between buyer and seller delegates are being held during these 3 days. 

 

The FAITH and State Governments is also offering a pre and post event FAM trips (Familiarization trips) for the buyer delegates from overseas.

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NB/JP/PS

 

 

Read more: Shri Piyush Goyal inaugurates the first ever...

The Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, today, inaugurated the Global Mobility Summit in New Delhi.  

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister said that India is on the move, in terms of its economy, infrastructure, youth and many other areas. He said that mobility is a key driver of the economy; it can boost economic growth and create employment opportunities. 

Prime Minister also outlined the vision for the future of mobility in India based on 7 C’s. The 7 C’s are Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge. 

 

Following is the full text of PM’s address: 

“Excellencies, 

Distinguished Delegates from across the World, 

Ladies and Gentlemen. 

 I welcome you all to the Global Mobility Summit.  

Move - The name of this Summit captures the spirit of India today. Indeed, India is on the Move: 

Our economy is on the Move. We are the world’s fastest growing major economy. 

Our cities and towns are on the Move. We are building one hundred smart cities. 

Our infrastructure is on the Move. We are building roads, airports, rail lines and ports at a quick pace. 

Our goods are on the Move. The Goods and Services Tax has helped us rationalize supply chains and warehouse networks. 

 Our reforms are on the Move. We have made India an easier place to do business.  

Our lives are on the Move. Families are getting homes, toilets, smoke-free LPG cylinders, bank accounts and loans. 

Our youth are on the Move. We are fast emerging as the start-up hub of the world. India is moving ahead with new energy, urgency and purpose   

 

Friends,

 

We all know that, mobility has been key to the progress of humanity. 

The world is now in the middle of a new mobility revolution. It is, therefore, important to understand mobility as a wider construct.  

Mobility is a key driver of the economy. Better mobility reduces the burden of travel and transportation and can boost economic growth.  It is already a major employer and can create the next generation of jobs.  

 Mobility is central to urbanization. Motorized personal vehicles require ever-growing road, parking, and traffic infrastructure.  

Mobility is a key element of ‘ease of living’. It occupies the minds of virtually every person: in time spent to get to school and work, in frustration with traffic, in the cost of visiting family or moving goods, in access to public transport, in the quality of air our children breathe in concerns around the safety of travel.  

Mobility is critical to preserving our planet. Road transport accounts for one fifth of global Carbon dioxide emissions. This threatens to choke cities and raise global temperatures.  

Creating a mobility eco-system that is in sync with nature is the need of the hour.  

Mobility is the next frontier in our fight against Climate Change. Better mobility can provide for better jobs, smarter infrastructure, and improve the quality of life. It can also reduce costs, expand economic activity and protect the planet. Thus, the mobility sector impacts larger public outcomes.  

 Mobility, especially the digitization of mobility, is disruptive. It has big potential for innovation and it has been setting a searing pace!

Already, people are calling taxis on their phones, sharing bicycles in cities; buses are running on clean energy, cars are going electric. 

 In India, we have been laying emphasis on mobility. We have doubled our pace of construction of highways.  

We have re-energized our rural road-building programme. We are promoting fuel efficient and cleaner fuel vehicles. We have developed low-cost air connectivity in under-served regions. We are also starting operations on hundreds of new air routes. 

We are pushing waterways in addition to traditional modes like rail and road. 

We are reducing travel distances in our cities by efficient location of homes, schools and offices.  

We have also started data-driven interventions such as intelligent traffic management systems. 

However, we also need to encourage pedestrians and cycling by taking steps ensure their safety and priority.

 

Friends,

 

 In a rapidly transforming mobility paradigm, India has some inherent strengths and comparative advantages. Our starting point is fresh. We have little of the legacy of resource-blind mobility.  

We have fewer vehicles per capita than other major economies. Thus, we do not carry much of the baggage of other economies that were built on the back of private car ownership! This gives us the window of opportunity to create an all-new, seamless mobility eco-system. 

On the technology front, our strengths lie in information technology, big data, digital payments, and the internet-enabled shared economy. These elements are increasingly becoming the drivers of the global future of mobility.

 Our unique identity program, Aadhaar, and its India-stack eco-system, has laid down a comprehensive public digital infrastructure. It has digitally empowered 850 million of our citizens. India can demonstrate how such digital infrastructure can be combined with new mobility business models. 

Our renewable energy push will ensure that the environmental benefits of electric mobility can be fully realized. We plan to draw 175 GigaWatts of energy from renewables by 2022. We are already the fifth largest producer of solar energy in the world. We are also the sixth largest producer of renewable energy. We have also championed the cause of solar energy globally through the International Solar Alliance.  

We have a fast growing manufacturing base, especially in the automotive sector.  

We also have a large, digitally literate, young population. This provides millions of educated minds, skilled hands and aspirational dreams for powering the future.  

Therefore, I am convinced that India is best placed globally, to be an early mover in the ‘Mobility Economy’.  

My vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 C’s – Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge. 

1.     Common: Public Transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives. New business models driven by digitization, are re-inventing the current paradigm. Big Data is enabling smarter decision-making by better understanding our patterns and needs.  

Our focus must also go beyond cars, to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws. Large segments of the developing world depend on these vehicles for mobility. 

2.     Connected mobility implies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The internet-enabled Connected Sharing Economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility.  

We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling and other innovative technical solutions to improve private vehicle utilization. People from villages should be able to bring their produce to the cities with ease and efficiency.  

3.     Convenient mobility means safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society. This includes the elderly, the women and the specially abled. We need to ensure that public transport is preferred to private modes of travel. 

4.     Congestion free mobility is critical to check the economic and environment costs of congestion. Hence, there should be emphasis on ending bottlenecks of networks. This would result in fewer traffic jams and lower levels of stress for people travelling.   It would also lead to greater efficiency in logistics and freight. 

5.     Charged mobility is the way forward. We want to drive investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to Electric Vehicle manufacturing. India’s business leaders and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology.  

The India Space Research Organization uses one of the best battery systems to run satellites in space. Other institutions can partner with ISRO to develop cost effective and efficient battery systems for electric cars. We want to build India as a driver in Electric Vehicles.  

We will soon put in place a stable policy-regime around electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Policies will be designed as a win-win for all, and enable huge opportunities in the automotive sector.  

6.     Clean Mobility powered by Clean Energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against Climate Change! This means a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards for our people.  

We should champion the idea of ‘clean kilometres’. This could be achieved through bio-fuels electric or solar charging. Electric Vehicles in particular can complement our investments in renewable energy.  

We will do whatever it takes, because this is our commitment to our heritage, and our promise to future generations. 

7.     Cutting-edge: Mobility is like the Internet in its early days. It is Cutting-edge.  It is the next big innovation sector. The ‘Move Hack’ and ‘Pitch to Move’ events organized over the past week show how young minds are coming up with creative solutions.

 Entrepreneurs should see mobility as a sector with immense opportunity for innovation and growth. It is a sector where innovation can help solve problems for public good.

Friends,

 

I am convinced that the ‘Mobility Revolution’ is an enabler of our growth and development. When India transforms mobility, it benefits one fifth of mankind. It also becomes a scaled success story, for others to replicate. 

Let us build a template, for the world to adopt. 

 In conclusion, let me particularly appeal to the youth of India.  

My young, dynamic friends, this is your opportunity to lead a new era of innovation.  This is the future. This is the sector that will absorb everything from those with doctors to engineers to drivers to mechanics. We should embrace this revolution early, and leverage our strengths to lead the mobility innovation ecosystem both for ourselves and for others.  

The Talent and Technology assembled here today, has the capability of making a transformative mobility shift for India and the World.  

This shift will be based on ‘Caring for our World’, and ‘Sharing with Others’.  

 To quote from our ancient scriptures:

 

  सह नाववतु

सह नौ भुनक्तु

सह वीर्यं करवावहै

तेजस्वि ना वधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै

 

Which means:

May we all be Protected.

May we all be Nourished

May we work together with great energy

May our intellect be Sharpened

 

Friends!

 

 I look forward to see what we can do together.  

This summit is just the beginning. Let us Move ahead. 

Thank you.

Thank You Very Much!

 

******

AKT/VJ

Read more: Text of PM’s address at the Global Mobility...

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu was on an official Visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania from September 14-20, 2018 and returned today after a successful official visit.

The visit was characterised by extremely cordial discussions with Heads of Governments, PMs and other senior political leaders. The visit helped in deepening bilateral ties with each of these three countries.

Some key outcomes:

  1. Support for India’s aspiration to be on UNSC and for taking forward UN reforms.
  2. Endorsement of India’s stand on terror and support for early adoption of United Nation’s Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  3. Strong support for resuming EU-India trade agreement after Romania assumes Presidency of EU.
  4. Business Forums generated a good deal of enthusiasm among the industrialists and businessmen in every country as they got to listen to the Vice President about India’s transformative initiatives.  The growth story and the reports from World Bank, IMF quoted by Vice President enhanced awareness.
  5. The leaders in all the countries expressed unequivocal admiration for India’s economic growth and were eager to engage and partner with India politically, economically and culturally. In Romania, there was a special interest in Space and Aerospace. Malta expressed its desire to join the International Solar Alliance.
  6. There was a clear demand for Parliamentary friendship groups and frequent visits by Parliamentarians.
  7. The visit gave an opportunity for the members of India Diaspora to listen to the Vice President about the transformative agenda of the government and encouraged them to think of various ways in which they can contribute to the country’s development. The vice President underscored the growing importance of India on the world stage and drew attention to four key features that need to be recognised. He called them 4Ds – Democracy, Demographic dividend, Demand and Diaspora.
  8. The visit evoked a lot of interest among the top political leadership and there was an air of bonhomie in all the meetings. The banquets hosted by the President of Serbia and Malta as well as by the President of Senate of Romania provided an opportunity for sharing views on bilateral and multilateral issues with rare candour.
  9. The address to the Serbian Parliament was very well received and the admiration for India as the largest democracy and a vibrant, well functioning polity was more than evident in the standing ovation the Vice President received at the end of his address.
  10. MOUs entered into related to plant protection, tourism, air services, oil research, diplomatic training and maritime cooperation.
  11. In all the three countries, there was considerable interest in Yoga and Ayurveda and in Romania, the Vice President launched two books on Ayurveda and inaugurated an Ayurveda Information Centre.

The Vice President was accompanied by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, the Minister of State in Ministry of Finance, three Members of Parliament from Rajya Sabha - Shri Prasanna Acharya, Smt Vijila Sathyananth, Ms. Saroj Pandey and one Member of Parliament from Lok Sabha - Shri Raghav Lakhanpal and other officials.

Following is the detailed Press Note:

"The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu was on an official Visit to Serbia, Malta and Romania from September 14-20, 2018 and returned today.

On the first leg of his three-nation tour, the Vice President visited Serbia from September 14-16, 2018 at the invitation of the President of Serbia, Mr. Aleksander Vucic. 
During the visit, the Vice President had a meeting with President of Serbia, Mr. Aleksander Vucic, who hosted a Banquet in the honour of the Vice President. There were also separate meetings of Vice President with Ms. Maja Gojkovic, Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia and  Ms. Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia hosted a lunch for the Vice President. The Vice President laid a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Serbia.

Marking the revival of the spirit of warmth and cooperation of Marshal Tito-Pandit Nehru years, the Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu was extended the rare honour of addressing the special session of the Parliament of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade. It was in the same hallowed hall of the National Assembly of Serbia that former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the world leaders while launching the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) along with the veteran leader of Yugoslavia  Marshal Tito in 1961.

Speaker of the Serbian Parliament received Shri Naidu and escorted him to the podium and introduced him to the Members of the House.

The Vice President’s address was applauded quite a few times and particularly when he said that Marshal Tito was a household name in India when he (Shri Naidu) was a school student. The Vice President received huge standing ovation on the conclusion of his address to the law makers of Serbia.

During the day, Shri Naidu held detailed discussions on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues with President Mr. Aleksander Vucic, the Prime Minister Ms. Ana Brnabic and Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia Ms. Maja Gojkovic besides addressing a business forum.

During the joint media briefing along with Shri Naidu, President of Serbia Mr. Aleksander Vucic complimented the Indian political leadership for stellar economic results. He said “India is witnessing exceptional economic progress. We are happy for the country who has been our long time friend and well wisher”. He also thanked India for recognizing Serbia’s territorial integrity. Mr. Vucic stressed that Serbia is keen to engage with India on agriculture, pharmacy, IT and generic medicines. He evinced interest in defense cooperation.

On the occasion of 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Serbia Post and India Post have released commemorative stamps on renowned Serbian Physicist and Innovator Nikola Tesla and Swami Vivekananda. Shri Naidu noted that Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts and ideas left a deep impression on Tesla’s works.

In the presence of the President of Serbia and the Vice President of India agreements were signed. Agreement on Plant Protection and Quarantine that seeks to enhance trade in fruits, vegetables and processed foods and revised Air Services agreement aims at promoting connectivity boosting trade and tourism including direct air link between the two countries.

He also addressed the business representatives of India and Serbia at a Business Forum and interacted with the Indian Community during the visit.
The Vice president visited Malta from September 16-18, 2018 at the invitation of the President of Malta, Ms. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. India was one of the first countries to recognize Malta in 1964 and established diplomatic relations soon after the independence of Malta.

During the visit, the Vice President had a meeting with President Ms. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. The two leaders discussed the whole gamut of bilateral relations and also our cooperation in multilateral and international forums. President Coleiro acknowledged Indian diaspora’s positive contribution to the Maltese society especially in sectors like Health care and Information Technology. The fact that both Indian and Maltese economies are performing very well, the scope of mutual cooperation is very high in several sectors such as ICT, pharmaceuticals & health care, maritime cooperation, tourism etc.

President Coleiro thanked the Government of India for opening a Resident High Commission of India in Malta. The two leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, saying that there could be no justification for terrorism. There is an urgent need to strengthen the global counter-terrorism legal framework to combat this global menace.

The two leaders expressed concern about issue of global warming and climate change. President Coleiro commended India’s effort to focus on renewable energy and the initiative of International Solar Alliance. Malta is giving a positive consideration to joining the ISA as a partner country.

Malta confirmed its support to India’s candidature in various multilateral forums.

Three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) namely; (i) MoU on Maritime Cooperation between Ministry of Shipping, India and Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Malta; (ii) MoU on mutual cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute, India and The Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta, and (iii) MoU in the field of Tourism Cooperation between India and Malta, were signed in the presence of the two leaders.
The Vice President also had a meeting with Dr. Angelo Farrugia, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Malta and Mr. Evarist Bartolo, Acting Prime Minister of Malta. Later in the day, the Vice President addressed the business representatives of India and Malta at a Business Forum and the Indian community during the visit.
The Vice President visited Romania from September 18-20, 2018 at the invitation of the Mr. Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the President of the Senate of Romania. The Vice President, Shri Naidu was received by President of Senate Tariceanu and was accorded a very warm welcome.
The visit is coincided with the 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Romania and the Centenary year for Romania. It was also the fifth year of Declaration of Extended Partnership between India and Romania.

The Vice President had a separate meetings with the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romanian Parliament, Mr. Nicolae Liviu Dragnea, and the Prime Minister of Romania, Ms. Vasilica Viorica Dancila.

The bilateral talks with the Romanian leadership were held in a warm, cordial and positive atmosphere, reflecting the long-standing and friendly bilateral relationship between India and Romania.

Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Tourism, Memorandum of Understanding between Petroleum-Gas University, Ploiesti and Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar and three Memorandums of Understanding of Bucharest Chamber of Commerce each with CII, ASSOCHAM and PHDCCI were signed during the visit.

Both sides appreciated a long tradition of the Indology and welcomed the growing popularity of Yoga in Romania. Given the increasing interest in Ayurveda in Romania, the Vice President of India inaugurated the AYUSH Information Cell and unveiled a Book on Ayurveda.

The Romanian  leaders offered their support for resumption of negotiations for early conclusion of India-EU Broad based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) with balanced outcomes, especially in the context of Romania’s upcoming Presidency of EU Council from January 2019.

Both sides affirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council. In this context, President Iohannis and Prime Minister Dancila reaffirmed the Romania's endorsement of India's aspirations to become a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council.

Both sides expressed satisfaction regarding mutual support for each other’s candidatures for international organizations. Both sides affirmed commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism, its financing and safe havens. In this context, Romanian side expressed its support to developing consensus on draft UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

The Vice President Naidu addressed India-Romania Business Forum meeting along with Romanian President of Senate, Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. This kind of Business Forum was being held after almost a decade and was co-ordinated by Bucharest Chambers of Commerce and Indian Chambers of Commerce like CII, PHDCCI, and ASSOCHAM. The presence of larger number of Romanian business people indicated growing interest in investing in India, especially in the sectors like Petroleum and Natural gas Information technology, manufacturing, defence, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, real estate, tourism etc.

The Vice President Naidu addressed the Prahova Chamber of Commerce in Ploiesti and also addressed the vibrant Indian diaspora in Romania on 20 September.

The Vice President was accompanied by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, the Minister of State in Ministry of Finance, three Members of Parliament from Rajya Sabha - Shri Prasanna Acharya, Smt Vijila Sathyananth, Ms. Saroj Pandey and one Member of Parliament from Lok Sabha - Shri Raghav Lakhanpal and other officials.

 

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AKT/BK/RK

 


 

 

Read more: Vice President returns after successful visit to...

The Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal formally inaugurated the ‘first ever’ India Tourism Mart (ITM 2018) in presence of Union Tourism Minister, Shri K J Alphons and the Tourism Minister of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid, in New Delhi today. The India Tourism Mart is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism from 16th to 18th September 2018, in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with support of State /UT Governments. The function was held in presence of the Secretary, other senior officials of Tourism Ministry and Chairman, members of FAITH and also delegates from India and across the world.

 

Inaugurating the event, Shri Piyush Goyal wished the best to the Tourism Ministry to reach the ambitious goal of US$100 billion FTA receipts/year within 5 years. The Minister said that unless the infrastructure/fundamentals are set up, India can’t come up as a well sought destination and he said that the present government has been developing these like ensuring 24 hour power supply, promoting renewable energy forms, and improving connectivity by effectively connecting the remotest destinations. The Minister also added that the most important element that will help promote Tourism in a complete way is the Government’s cleanliness drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan, which will ensure India becoming a preferred destination for all international tourists. Mentioning the income multiplier effect in the Tourism sector, the Minister said that Tourism generates a number of employment opportunities in formal and informal sectors. Shri. Goyal added that the youth of the country can be entrepreneurs, service providers, interpreters etc in the sector and ascertained that India with its varied features has tremendous potential and we just need to leverage from it.

 

Speaking at the event, the Tourism Minister announced that ITM will be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and it will be conducted in the month of September. The Minister said that India is so vast that there will be something new for everyone to see and experience in this country with its varied geography, culture, traditions, architectural marvels, religions. Shri Alphons also added that visiting the country has become easier now with the new e-visa regime which is now open to 166 countries.

India Tourism Mart (ITM) is the first time that the Tourism industry stakeholders are coming together for such a large scale event and with Ministry’s support. FAITH is the   apex organization of all the important trade and hospitality associations of the country with all the 10 major Tourist organizations like FHRAI, HAI, IATO being involved in this mega event and India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) is coordinating the whole event.  This is a Business to Business Event.  The objective  of  the event  is  to  create  an annual Global  Tourism  Mart  for  India  in line with  major  international  travel  marts  being  held  in  countries   across  the world. The Mart  provides  a  platform  for  all stakeholders  in the  tourism  and   hospitality industries  to  interact  and   transact  business  opportunities.

 

The ITM 2018 has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and Media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc.  The international   delegates from overseas markets   will   interact with Indian seller delegates and the buyers  will   include  current buyers  who  are  already  marketing  India  as a tourist destination as  well  as  potential  buyers  who  are  not  marketing  India at  present  but  have  shown interest in the country. The  event also  provides  an  opportunity  to  the  buyers  to  see  the world class  tourism facilities  available  in our  country  such  as  Airports, Hotels,  Tourist  destinations,    upcoming  facilities,  MICE  facilities,  possibility in the field  of  adventure  tourism and other  niche  products.

Around 225 stalls has provided to the sellers to enable them to interact with the buyers.  These include  pavilion  for  States & Union Territories to  showcase  their  unique  tourism  destinations  and  products. The   B2B meetings between buyer and seller delegates are being held during these 3 days. 

 

The FAITH and State Governments is also offering a pre and post even FAM trips (Familiarization trips) for the buyer delegates from overseas.

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NB/JP/PS

 

Read more: Shri. Piyush Goyal inaugurates the India tourism...

Emphasising that circular economy and resource efficiency can provide solutions to the challenges posed in the process of reconciling economic growth with environmental sustainability, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has pointed to the need for corporate participation in building resource efficiency and a circular economy. Addressing the 13th Sustainability Summit with the theme – “Everyone’s future” here today, Dr. Vardhan underlined the growth of Indian economy, along with successful management and development of forests, wildlife habitats and ecosystems. He stated that India has registered 1 per cent growth in its forest and tree cover, according to the latest report of Forest Survey of India. The Minister stressed that while talking about sustainable development, economy and ecology must go together. “The present Government has given equal thrust to both these components and we are marching towards the path of Sustainable Development”, he said. Dr. Vardhan referred to the recent implementation of ‘PARIVESH’- a single window clearance system in the spheres of Environment, Forest, Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone. He pointed out that the automated system will help applicants track the application status, as well as help in improving environmental compliance. The Minister highlighted India’s affirmative action in embracing a sustainable lifestyle by aligning the 5 Ps – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

 

Acknowledging that the quality of air is an environmental issue that impacts the health of the country’s citizens, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the National Clean Air Action Plan and air quality monitoring infrastructure are the Government’s key areas of focus. The Minister averred that environmental challenges necessitate coordinated action from all sections of the society. He said that human beings have put immense pressure on the systems of nature, which has resulted in the emergence of global challenges such as climate change, melting of glaciers, loss of biodiversity, poverty and growing inequity. Dr. Vardhan alluded to the development of strategies for proper segregation of municipal solid waste and utilisation of plastic waste for recycling and recovery. “We have engaged with various municipal authorities and state pollution control boards to facilitate better understanding of regulatory frameworks to ensure an efficient waste collection and disposal system”, Dr. Vardhan said.

 

The Minister also invited the industry representatives to join hands with the Government on various initiatives such as air pollution control, waste management river conservation, or biodiversity conservation.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Housing and Urban Development, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri said, “India’s development trajectory will be ‘green’ and in consonance with the ethos of the 2030 development agenda”. He stated that India stands united in its efforts against rising global temperatures and elaborated that a quick glance at India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions reaffirm this point and referred to the target of 175 GW renewable energy capacities by 2022 as unprecedented. He  averred that the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 recognized the intrinsic linkages between climate change and urbanization. “Goal 11, titled “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” has embedded in it, critical elements of climate action. Solid waste management, air pollution, slum housing, and water related disasters, are just some of the climate-related aspects covered in Goal 11”, he outlined.

 

Pointing to the objective of the Swacch Bharat Mission (SBM) to make India ODF and have 100% scientific solid waste management by October 2, 2019, the Minister suggested that SBM is not only about infrastructure, but also bringing about behavioural and cultural changes among citizens. He added that to ensure India’s city driven development is sustainable, the government has embarked on the world’s largest planned urbanization programme. The key to the process is “integration”, meaning all policies, projects, and proposals are considered in relation to one another, he added.

 

Shri Puri stated that the use of new and alternate construction technologies in the construction of houses, locally available eco-friendly materials suited to local climatic conditions are being encouraged, reducing not only the cost of construction but also the resultant carbon footprint. He also emphasised on affordable, eco-friendly and modern urban transportation services and said that Delhi Metro is today comparable to the best in the world.

 

Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, European Commissioner, Mr. Karmenu Vella and representatives from industry and civil society were among those present on the occasion.

 

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HK

 

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