The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has held high level talks with the leadership of Paraguay, in Asuncion today, in a bid to extend India’s outreach in the Latin American region and strengthen bilateral ties.

The Vice President who is on a two-day visit to the Latin American Country, is the highest-level representative of the Republic of India to visit Paraguay in the last 58 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on 13 September 1961.

Shri Naidu is accompanied by a high-level delegation consisting of the Minister of State for Tourism (I/C), Shri Alphons Kannanthanam, the Member of Parliament, Shri Ram Kumar Kashyap and senior officials from the Government of India.

The Vice President called on the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Mr. Mario Abdo Benítez, the Vice President, Mr. Hugo Velázquez, and the President of the National Congress (Senate), Mr. Silvio Ovelar.

Both sides agreed that terrorism posed a grave threat to global peace and stability, stressing that there could be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. Outlining a common desire to take an uncompromising stand against terror, India and Paraguay have agreed to cooperate to deal with the menace of terror.

During the Delegation Level Talks, the Paraguayan leadership decried the brutal terrorist attack that took place in Pulwama. The leadership of Paraguay said that they were on the same page as India as far as the issue of terrorism is concerned and extended heartfelt condolences to those who had lost their loved ones in the Pulwama terror attack. They stated that India could always count on Paraguay´s support in the fight against terrorism and in voicing India’s concerns on terrorism in the international fora.

Shri Naidu, during his interactions, particularly emphasized the scourge of cross border terrorism in India and stressed upon the need to take strong measures against terrorists, terror organizations, their networks and all those who encourage, support, finance and provide safe haven to terrorists and terror groups.

Paraguay’s leadership affirmed its support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism proposed by India. Furthermore, Paraguay assured that they would support India’s candidature to various UN and other multilateral bodies including the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

The Vice President emphasized that Paraguay was an important partner of India in the Latin American and Caribbean region and said that the bilateral relations between the two nations have been showing an upward trend. He opined that India and Paraguay shared common values, interests, aspirations and promising futures.

Observing that there was a feeling of mutual admiration and appreciation among the people of the two nations for each other, Shri Naidu underscored the deep faith in democracy that both nations held.

Talks were held in a warm and cordial atmosphere when the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

The Indian and Paraguayan dignitaries noted with satisfaction the strengthening of the bilateral relations over the years and the bilateral trade has increased almost ten-fold over the last ten years. They agreed that there is an ever-greater scope to increase trade volume and diversify the trade basket.

Shri Naidu applauded Paraguay’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance soon, an initiative by India and France, aimed at combating the threats of climate change and global warming.

The Vice President urged the Paraguayan leadership to explore new areas of collaboration including agriculture, hydroelectric and solar energy, health, pharmaceuticals, traditional medicine, Information and Communication Technology, agriculture machinery and biotechnology. Both sides agreed to facilitate promotion of exchanges between academics and universities and also between travel professionals and stakeholders in tourism.

Shri Naidu urged Paraguay to facilitate the convening of the next round of expert level discussions between MERCOSUR and India to take forward the shared agenda of the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

Narrating the fascinating story of growth and development that India was witnessing, the Vice President said that India was seeing a steady GDP growth rate of 7.5%, which made it the sixth largest economy in the world. India today has emerged as a major global business destination’, he added.

The Vice President also applauded Paraguay’s sustained growth rate in times of economic difficulties around the world.

Shri Naidu underlined the tremendous opportunities that India had, ranging from its huge market with a middle class of 300-350 million people to dynamic and investigative press and media to independent judiciary, and evolved corporate laws and business practices.

Paraguay joined India in remembering the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of the 150th Birth Anniversary of the Mahatma. Shri Naidu along with the Vice President of Paraguay, Mr. Hugo Velazquez jointly unveiled a special commemorative postage stamp on Mahatma Gandhi. Shri Naidu requested the leadership of Paraguay to collaborate to install a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at a prominent location in Asuncion.

The Vice President also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India. Decision was made to task experts from both nations to finalize pending agreements including Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Bilateral Investment Treaty and for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance.

Shri Naidu also attended a reception hosted by the members of the Indian Community in Paraguay. He said that the continued interest in India in Paraguay is due to the Indian diaspora. ‘Each member of the Indian Diaspora is a cultural Ambassador’, he observed.

The Vice President opined that there is a new dynamism in India’s diaspora policy & outreach and added that there is a much greater connect today between India & the Indian diaspora than ever before. Shri Naidu said that the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in Delhi and our Embassies are available round the clock to our people in need. He also spoke about the zeal with which India celebrated the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Varanasi.

Shri Naidu complemented the achievements of the Indian diaspora in Paraguay and expressed hope that, through the diaspora, the ties between the two countries would be further strengthened. He expressed hope that the endeavors of Indian diaspora would be a constant source of satisfaction and pride for the country.

The Vice President thanked the people and the Government of Paraguay for their hospitality and warmth during his visit.

The Vice President underscored the importance of strengthening Parliamentary linkages and invited President of Paraguay, Mr. Abdo Benítez to visit India at a mutually convenient time.

 

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

Read more: Paraguay is an important partner of India in the...

Govt issues model guidelines for Development & Regulation of Retirement Homes

Elderly Friendly Design, Gas Leak Detection Systems, Power Back Up facilities in Corridors, Lobby, Lifts & Apartments. Compliance with Green Building Principles & Use of Non-Polluting & Renewable Energy 24x7 Water & Electricity Supply, Hygiene, Indoor & Outdoor Recreation Facilities, Security & Housekeeping, Single Window Facilities & Helpdesk, Transportation Assistance, Yoga & Fitness Facilities, Care Giving Facilities, etc. 24x7 On-site Ambulance Service, Mandatory Tie up with nearest Hospitals & Pharmacy, Medical Emergency Room, Regular Medical Check-Up of Residents Customised Services over & above Basic Common Services also prescribed Retirement homes to be Friendly for differently Abledprovision of Lifts, Signage & Signalling systems mandatory

Sh Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs has informed that the model guidelines for development and Regulation of Retirement Homes which have been prepared by his Ministry prescribe an elderly friendly built environment, physical standards and specifications. Providing details of the guidelines he informed that the Model Guidelines address the special needs and protect the rights of senior citizens and retirees living in Retirement Homes who aspire to spend their retired life independently in a safe, secure and dignified environment.  The Guidelines provide option to senior citizens and family members, who are willing and can afford to purchase a living space for their parents. The guidelines states that:

 

  • Retirement Homes should be aligned with the Principles, Guidelines, Norms etc. as prescribed in ‘National Building Code’ (NBC), ‘Model Building Bye Laws’ and ‘Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for persons with Disability and Elderly Persons’.

  • Elderly friendly built environment like lifts with audio and visual signage and signalling systems, wheel chair accessibility, mandatory ramps, design of spaces to enable barrier free movement, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms and stairs, elderly friendly design of door-knobs, hand rails, furniture, etc., kitchens with gas leak detection systems, power back up facilities in corridors, lobby, lifts and apartments.

  • Compliance with Green Building Principles as provided in Model Building Bye Laws and use of non-polluting and renewable energy.

  • Provision of common basic services like 24X7 water and electricity supply, maintenance of proper hygiene, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, security and housekeeping, single window facilities and helpdesk, transportation assistance, yoga and fitness facilities, care giving facilities, etc.

  • Provision of basic medical, safety and security services like 24x7 on-site ambulance service, mandatory tie up with emergency facilities with the nearest hospitals and pharmacy, medical emergency room, regular medical check-up of residents, emergency alarm systems, trained and skilled security personnel, CCTV cameras in common areas, prior police verification of all the personnel deployed in the Retirement Homes.

  • Customised services over and above the basic common services like internal and external housekeeping, managing dining services, assistance with legal services, etc., if required by the residents has also been prescribed.

 

From approximately 7.6 crore in 2001, the number of senior citizens in India, has increased to 10.4 crore in 2011.  This number is expected to grow to 17.3 crore by 2025 and about 24 crores by 2050.  By the end of the century, senior citizens will constitute nearly 34 percent of the total population of the country.The salient features of these Model Guidelines are:

 

  • Keeping in view the requirement of independent lifestyle choice, these Guidelines provides that any person can buy such apartments but has to be solely used by a senior citizen.

  • Resident of Retirement Homes will be any person who is 60 years of age or above.

  • Promoter/ Developer can build and manage the Retirement Homes or engage a ‘Service Provider’ or ‘Retirement Home Operator’ for management of Retirement Homes.  Such Service Providers will be required to be registered with appropriate State Authorities.

  • building category under ‘Residential’ land use in respective Master/Zonal/Local Area Plans, determination of requirement of land as per demand survey, indicative size of dwelling unit ranging from 30 sq.mt to 60 sq.mt., Group Housing norms in hilly and plain areas with minimum plot sizes of 1,500 sq.mt and 3,000 sq.mt respectively, open space up to 65% of the site area, minimum 15 sq.mt. per 25 Dwelling Units (DUs) space standards for medical emergency room. Flexibility is given to States/UTs to modify the planning norms as per the local geographical and other related parameter.

  • To encourage participation of promoter/ developer and financial institutions to develop such projects enhanced Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is proposed.

 

Transparency in fund utilisation

 

  • Provision of a twofold mechanism in the form of refundable Interest Free Maintenance Security Deposit (IFMS) and Maintenance Charges. IFMS to be paid by the Allottee which is refundable within a maximum period of three months from the date of refund application. Maintenance Charges to be paid by the resident on lump-sum or monthly/ quarterly/ yearly instalments on mutually agreed terms.

 

Regulation of Retirement Homes

 

  • Retirement Home apartments can only be sold after registration under the respective Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) of the States/Union Territories. To protect the rights of the residents a list of ‘Basic Rights of the Allottee/Resident of a Retirement Home’ has been stipulated.

  • The Model Guidelines provides for disclosure of technical skill of the Service Provider at the time of executing the ‘Agreement to Sale’ in the form of a ‘Tri-Partite Agreement’ to be executed among the Developer, Service Provider /Retirement Home Operators and Allottee.

  • To ensure implementation of the Guidelines, a Task Force for constant dialogue with States/UTs and other stakeholders will be set by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

  • Setting up of appropriate Monitoring Committees by the State/UT Authorities for timely implementation of all applicable laws, regulations, rules and guidelines governing the Retirement Homes, under the supervision of MoHUA.

  • The Model Guidelines will encourage inclusive growth wherein States/UTs are required to review and align their policies and regulations and institutionalise appropriate mechanisms on Retirement Homes.

  • The Model Guidelines will enable all States/UTs to align their policies and regulations in line with these Model Guidelines to ensure the protection of rights of the senior citizens and promote a dignified life after retirement.  The implementation of these Guidelines will boost investment in the Retirement Home segment, contribute in employment generation in service sector industries associated with Retirement Homes.  

 

RJ

Read more: Govt issues model guidelines for Development &...

Smriti Zubin Irani addressing on the launch of development of knitting and knitwear sector

Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, launched a comprehensive scheme for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector under PowerTex India in New Delhi today.The Textiles Minister also interacted with industry associations related to knit wear sector in three clusters of Kolkata, Tirupur and Ludhiana through video link.

Smriti Zubin Irani said knitting and knitwear sector is predominantly MSME in size and mainly located in decentralized sector and is one of the major employment generator sector. It also has a significant contribution on the exports of textiles. Knitting is a major segment in the entire textile value chain. The Minister further said that knitted fabrics contribute to 27% of the total fabric production in India and 15% of knitted fabric is being exported.

Textiles Minister assured that to look into the demand for creation of knitwear mark to give quality assurance to the customers. The main components of the scheme are:

  • Creation of new service centers on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by industry and association in the knitting and knitwear clusters.

  • Modernization and upgradation of existing power loom service Centers (PSCs) and institution run by Textile Research Associations (TRAs) and Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) Association in knitting and knitwear clusters.

  • Group work shed scheme.

  • Yarn bank scheme.

  • Common facility centerscheme.

  • Pradhan mantra Credit Scheme.

  • Solar Energy Scheme.

  • Facilitation, IT, awareness,studies, surveys, market development and publicity for knitting and knitwear units.

There is an installed capacity of nearly 12,000 knitting machines under SSI fold and nearly 4600 knitting machines under non-SSI fold, besides a number of household knitting machines. Some of the major clusters in the knitted garment sector are Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, Ludhiana in Punjab, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata in West Bengal. Tirupur is the most important export cluster, followed by Ludhiana. More than 90%mof the garment is manufactured in Tirupur are exported. 

TheMinistryhas approved combined SFC of PowerTex India Scheme and Knitwear Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 487.07 crores. Out of this Rs. 439.35 crore is for PowerTexfor 3 years from 1.4.2017 to 31.03.2020 and Rs. 47.72 crores for Knitwear for the remaining period of 2018-19 and for 2019-20.

***

MM/ SB

Read more: Textiles Minister Launches Scheme for...

 

Suresh Prabhu addressing the Italian delegation during the 20th Session of India-Italy JCEC

 

The 20th Session of India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) was held on 26 – 27 February, 2019 in New Delhi. The JCEC is an institutional mechanism for bilateral trade engagement. The meeting was co-chaired by the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, from the Indian side and by Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Michele Geraci, from the Italian side.

Both sides reiterated the importance of the JCEC towards development of bilateral economic and trade relations through facilitating dialogue and enhancing cooperation in a wide range of issues of mutual interest like machinery, infrastructure and engineering, ICT including digitalization, agriculture and IPR.           

Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Minister highlighted the importance of Italy as a trade partner for India and said that Italy is India's 5th largest trading partner in the European Union and 25th in the World during 2017-18. Italy has inherent strengths in manufacturing, design and innovation and skills training while India has a vast pool of skilled human resources, competitive wage rates and an edge in sectors such as leather, gems and jewellery, auto components and textiles. There is an immense potential for Italian and Indian industries to have partnership and cooperation.

Suresh Prabhu informed that bilateral trade with Italy showed growth of 18.41% at USD 10.42 billion during 2017-18.  Exports to Italy registered growth of 16.47% at USD 5.71 billion during the period. Imports from Italy also saw a growth of 20.84% to USD 4.71 billion in 2017-2018 as compared to the last year. Total bilateral trade during first ten months of the current year increased by 5.62% at 9.02 billion with export decreased by 2.73% at USD 4.53 billion and imports increased by 15.61% at USD 4.49 billion. He said that both sides should make a concerted effort to promote and expand bilateral trade between the two nations.India’s bilateral trade with Italy during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 were USD 8.30 billion, USD 8.80 billion and USD 10.42 billion respectively. Bilateral trade during the recent years has been increasing despite global slowdown.

The Commerce Minister said India has an attractive foreign investment policy and a number of liberalization measures have been undertaken in recent years. Italy ranks 17th in FDI inflow in India during April, 2000 to December, 2018.  Total FDI inflows from Italy are USD 2.72 billion during this period.

Suresh Prabhu thanked the Italian side for submitting the evaluation report on Tricyclazole (TCA) in rice to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and removing the alert on Indian Incense Sticks from RAPEX portal.

The Indian Commerce Minister reiterated that India is committed to an early and balanced outcome of India-EU BTIA (Broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement) negotiations.

Mr. Michele Geraci,Deputy Minister of Economic Developmentof Italy said that Italian companies are keen to invest in India and it is time to put in place practical mechanism on the line of the working group on agriculture that has been set up to facilitate investment joint venture agricultural sector both countries. Mr.Geraci further said Italy is looking to work in areas like financial services, renewable energy, infrastructure, transport development in railways, construction and the auto motive sector.

Both Ministers reiterated that issues of market access for business and investment in both countries will be smoothened which will definitely have a positive impact on trade relations of both countries.

The meeting took place in an amicable atmosphere, reflecting the strategic nature of the partnership among the two countries and the desire to further develop and strengthen their economic and commercial ties on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.

As per the agenda of the 20th Session, the two sides reviewed the following issues of mutual interest:

1.   Economic Developments in India and Italy

2.   Trade (Bilateral Trade and Diversification of Trade)

3.   Bilateral Investment (Including Make in India, Startup India)

4.   Economic & Industrial Cooperation

 

The two Sides agreed to hold 21th Meeting of the Joint Commission in Italy in 2021.

***

MM/ SB

Read more: Commerce Ministers of India and Italy Co-Chair...

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for development and maintenance of Inter-Modal Station - IMS at Ajni Railway Station in Nagpur today. IMS is a passenger terminal infrastructure which integrates various transportation modes like rail, road, mass rapid transit system (MRTS), bus rapid transit (BRT) and other para-modal transportation modes. Inter-modal stations allow passengers to change transportation modes during transit without leaving the station premises.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari stressed upon adopting new ideas for improving transport facilities in towns and cities. He also called upon planners to aim for reducing city congestion by aggregation of transportation nodes in the city, by effective city evacuation, and by eliminating traffic due to transit passengers. The Minister emphasised on providing better passenger convenience for various transport modes and to bring synergies into the available infrastructure.

The IMS facility will include world-class amenities like Integrated ticket counters, transit platforms, travelators, lifts, spacious waiting rooms, retail shops, food courts etc. leading to improved convenience and comfort for transit passengers. the station has been designed for horizon year 2050 with the capacity to handle 3.24 lakh passengers every day. The capital cost of this project is Rs. 1588.81 crore out of which cost of development of IMS Nagpur including relocation of Railway Quarters, Structures is Rs. 1288.81 crore, while the cost of improvement of road connectivity to IMS Nagpur is Rs. 300 crore.

The project includes construction of an environment-friendly building – its roof will be designed so as to collect rain water for harvesting, and for installation of solar panels to reduce the overall energy consumption. The complex will provide world-class amenities like integrated ticket counters, Kiosks, transit platforms, travellators, escalators, lifts, spacious waiting rooms, retail shops, food courts etc. leading to improved convenience and comfort for transit passengers. It will have car parking for 1000 cars, 148 Bus Bays, Internal roads for circulation.

 

 

 

 

***

NP/MS

Read more: Shri Nitin Gadkari Lays Foundation Stone 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 134.8 in January, 2019, which was 1.8per centhigheras compared to the index of January, 2018. Its cumulative growth during April to January, 2018-19was 4.5per cent.

Coal

3.       Coal production (weight: 10.33per cent)increased by 1.7 per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 7.1 per centduring April to January, 2018-19over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

4.       Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98per cent) declinedby 4.3 per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index declined by 3.8 per centduring April to January, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

5.       The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88per cent) increased by 6.2per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 0.5 per centduring April to January, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Refinery Products

6.       Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04per cent) declined by 2.6 per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 3.4 per centduring April to January, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizers

7.       Fertilizers production (weight: 2.63 per cent) increased by 10.5 per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index declined by 0.3 per centduring April to January, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel

8.       Steel production (weight: 17.92per cent)increasedby 8.2 per cent in January, 2019 over January, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 5.0per centduring April to January, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement

9.       Cement production (weight: 5.37per cent) increasedby 11.0per cent in January, 2019over January, 2018. Its cumulative index increased by 13.6per centduring April to January, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity

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

Note 1: Data for November, 2018, December, 2018and January, 2019are provisional.

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

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

Note 4: Release of the index for February, 2019 will be on Monday, 1st April, 2019.

 

Annexure

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Yearly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2011-12=100

 

Index

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Jan 2017-18

Apr-Jan 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

103.2

104.2

112.6

118.0

121.8

124.9

117.0

125.3

Crude Oil

8.9833

99.4

99.2

98.4

97.0

94.5

93.7

94.2

90.7

Natural Gas

6.8768

85.6

74.5

70.5

67.2

66.5

68.4

68.9

69.3

Refinery Products

28.0376

107.2

108.6

108.8

114.1

119.7

125.2

125.1

129.3

Fertilizers

2.6276

96.7

98.1

99.4

106.4

106.6

106.6

107.0

106.7

Steel

17.9166

107.9

115.8

121.7

120.2

133.1

140.5

139.1

146.1

Cement

5.3720

107.5

111.5

118.1

123.5

122.0

129.7

126.9

144.2

Electricity

19.8530

104.0

110.3

126.6

133.8

141.6

149.2

149.7

158.3

Overall Index

100.0000

103.8

106.5

111.7

115.1

120.5

125.7

124.7

130.3

 

Growth Rates(in per cent)

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Jan 2017-18

Apr-Jan 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

3.2

1.0

8.0

4.8

3.2

2.6

1.8

7.1

Crude Oil

8.9833

-0.6

-0.2

-0.9

-1.4

-2.5

-0.9

-0.7

-3.8

Natural Gas

6.8768

-14.4

-12.9

-5.3

-4.7

-1.0

2.9

3.5

0.5

Refinery Products

28.0376

7.2

1.4

0.2

4.9

4.9

4.6

4.7

3.4

Fertilizers

2.6276

-3.3

1.5

1.3

7.0

0.2

0.03

-0.7

-0.3

Steel

17.9166

7.9

7.3

5.1

-1.3

10.7

5.6

5.7

5.0

Cement

5.3720

7.5

3.7

5.9

4.6

-1.2

6.3

4.0

13.6

Electricity

19.8530

4.0

6.1

14.8

5.7

5.8

5.3

5.3

5.7

Overall Index

100.0000

3.8

2.6

4.9

3.0

4.8

4.3

4.1

4.5

 

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

Jan-18

149.5

93.8

67.6

135.4

105.5

145.0

140.6

149.5

132.5

Feb-18

143.2

86.1

62.1

120.9

102.2

141.7

138.0

136.1

123.2

Mar-18

184.9

95.8

69.8

130.3

107.0

153.2

149.6

156.7

138.5

Apr-18

118.8

91.8

67.1

119.1

93.1

138.1

149.1

153.7

124.3

May-18

125.2

94.8

68.7

131.6

106.6

142.8

145.3

164.7

131.9

Jun-18

120.0

90.9

67.4

133.8

108.3

143.8

150.7

159.9

131.2

Jul-18

108.1

91.2

68.5

134.1

110.0

140.3

136.0

162.1

129.2

Aug-18

103.8

91.6

70.2

127.7

109.4

144.5

134.5

167.2

128.8

Sep-18

109.8

88.1

67.6

125.8

108.0

143.2

133.9

162.9

127.2

Oct-18

132.9

90.9

70.3

133.8

103.3

150.2

148.4

166.0

134.8

Nov-18

138.4

87.6

68.9

128.9

102.7

145.5

136.5

147.2

128.4

Dec-18

144.1

90.2

72.2

126.6

109.4

155.8

151.0

150.3

132.2

Jan-19

152.1

89.7

71.8

131.9

116.6

157.0

156.1

149.0

134.8

 

 

Growth Rates (in per cent)

Sector

Coal

Crude Oil

Natural Gas

Refinery Products

Fertilizers

Steel

Cement

Electricity

Overall Index

Weight

10.3335

8.9833

6.8768

28.0376

2.6276

17.9166

5.3720

19.8530

100.0000

Jan-18

3.8

-3.2

-1.2

11.0

-1.6

1.7

19.6

7.7

6.2

Feb-18

1.3

-2.4

-1.8

7.8

5.2

5.0

23.0

4.6

5.4

Mar-18

9.1

-1.6

1.0

1.1

3.2

4.7

13.5

6.0

4.5

Apr-18

15.2

-0.8

5.7

2.7

4.6

3.0

21.9

2.1

4.7

May-18

12.0

-2.9

-1.4

4.9

8.4

-0.1

13.0

4.1

4.1

Jun-18

11.5

-3.4

-2.7

12.1

1.0

4.2

14.2

8.4

7.8

Jul-18

9.8

-5.4

-5.2

12.3

1.3

6.9

11.2

6.7

7.3

Aug-18

2.4

-3.7

1.0

5.1

-5.3

4.0

14.6

7.6

4.7

Sep-18

6.4

-4.2

-1.7

2.5

2.5

3.2

11.8

8.2

4.3

Oct-18

11.3

-5.0

-0.9

1.3

-11.5

2.4

18.4

10.9

4.8

Nov-18

3.7

-3.5

0.5

2.3

-8.1

5.8

8.8

5.1

3.4

Dec-18

1.1

-4.3

4.2

-4.8

-2.4

12.9

11.6

4.4

2.7

Jan-19

1.7

-4.3

6.2

-2.6

10.5

8.2

11.0

-0.4

1.8

 

***

MM/ SB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

***

AKT/BK/MS/RK

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

Hon’ble Vice-President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today laid the foundation stone of Kaushal Bhawan, the proposed office of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and several of the Government offices which are part of the Ministry. The Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, local MP Mrs Meenakshi Lekhi, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri K.P.Krishnan, Director General of Training Shri Rajesh Aggarwal and CMD, NBCC Shri A.K.Mittal were present on the occasion.

Kaushal Bhawan will be coming up on a plot of 1.354 Acre in New Moti Bagh, New Delhi. Being built at the cost of about Rs 172 Crore, it will comprise of 3 basements and 8 floors above, consisting of modern offices, auditorium, mini convention centre, training rooms, yoga hall, crèche, sports facilities and Gym. It is imagined as a future ready building, with state of the art Building Management Systems. The new office building of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which will be ready in 18 months, shall fulfill the objectives of safe, convenient and efficient work environment. The building will be energy efficient and use solar energy for common area and exterior lighting.

 Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, speaking after laying the foundation stone, said that India is young and aspirational as 65% of the population is below 35 years of age. There is 48 crore workforce in the country, and 1 crore more are added every year. He said that getting demographic dividend for India is a unique opportunity as well challenge. Skills and knowledge are driving forces of economic growth and development, and hence they need to be updated regularly and effectively. The Vice-President said that International agencies have increased India’s ratings and rankings on various parameters, and job opportunities are galore in different sectors. There is need to equip people to the demands of market and time so that the opportunities can be utilized. Besides, the entrepreneurial spirit of our people need to be harnessed, by upgradation of skills and imparting of knowledge. Shri Naidu said that skill needs to be imparted to 40 crore people. Being a mammoth task, it requires dedication and sustained efforts.

  Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan narrated the large progress made by the youngest ministry of the Government of India. He said that within 5 years of its establishment, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has brought about a paradigm change in the sector, by upgradation of skills and talents of large number of people. Shri Pradhan described it a pleasant coincidence that the plot for the Kaushal Bhawan was allotted during the tenure of Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu as the Urban Development Minister, and now the Foundation stone is also being laid by him. He said that new office building will not only be modern and full of facilities, but will also reflect positivity. He said Kaushal Bhawan is designed to usher in new work culture, which should contribute in building new India.

*****

YB

Read more: Vice-President of India lays foundation stone of...

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan today handed over the 100th Letter of Intent (LOI)  to the Compressed Bio-Gas(CBG) Entrepreneur (producer) under the SATAT scheme. SATAT is an initiative aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pradhan hailed the occasion as a breakthrough in realizing the vision of a clean and green India as envisaged by the Government of India. He also reiterated that spreading the gas grid fed by CBG from thousands of such plants across the country would significantly reduce India's import burden and provide an economical and environment-friendly alternative to conventional petroleum fuels. Shri Pradhan said that it is a waste to wealth venture. He said that the scheme is lucrative for the prospective entrepreneurs, as it provides guaranteed rate of return, assured take-off by Oil marketing companies, there is availability of abundant raw material, and with no condition of any technology. The Minister said that the banks are ready to provide support to such projects due to their good viability. The Government is in talks with the UN environment Fund and Japanese Government for providing soft loans for such projects. The Minister said that CGD system will be available in 400 districts, providing ready market for the Compressed Bio-gas. Lauding the efforts of PSUs involved in the project, he said that within 5 months of its launch, over 100 LOIs have been issued. He expressed the hope that within a short period, thousands of such plants will be operational in the country, providing employment, reducing import dependence, helping in garbage management, and also enhancing the income of farmers.

SATAT was launched with a four-pronged agenda of utilising more than 62 million metric tonnes of waste generated every year in India, cutting down import dependence, supplementing job creation in the country and reducing vehicular emissions and pollution from burning of agricultural / organic waste.

Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 90%.

Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. CBG can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel. Given the abundance of biomass in the country, CBG has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years.

There are multiple benefits from converting agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste into CBG on a commercial scale:

  • Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution
  • Additional revenue source for farmers
  • Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment
  • Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals
  • Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil
  • Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations

Compressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs. CBG produced at these plants will be transported through cascades of cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.

YB

Read more: Shri Dharmendra Pradhan hands over 100th Letter...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Star Labelling for Energy Efficient Homes launched

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

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

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

*****

RCJ/MS

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

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Tajikistan on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy. The MoU was signed on 8th October, 2018.

Benefits:

The MoU will enable establishment of a basis for a cooperative institutional relationship between India and Tajikistan to encourage and promote bilateral technical cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.  It will focus on development and deployment of new and renewable energy, and storage technologies. It will further cooperation between the two countries through exchange and training of scientific and technical personnel, exchange of scientific and technological information and data, organization of workshops, seminars and working groups, transfer of equipment, know-how and technology on non-commercial basis, development of joint research or technical projects on subjects of mutual interest; and other modalities as may be decided by the two countries.

*******

AKT/SH

Read more: Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and...

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, presented the National e-Governance Awards, 2019 at a function organised by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, here today. With a view to recognize and promote Excellence in implementation of e-Governance initiatives, the Government of India presents National Awards on e-Governance every year.  The 14 Awards were given in 6 categories to recognize achievements in the area of e-Governance, with Gold and Silver Awards in each category. A Special Jury Award is also being presented in Category-I for IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narednra Modi had taken over with the commitment to give "maximum governance, minimum government" and the Government has been able to fulfill this commitment to a greater extent. He said that the Government’s emphasis has been on the digitization in the functioning of various schemes and the award winners have made an effort in this direction. The Minister congratulated the awardees for making these efforts. He said that the regional conferences organised by the DARPG in various parts of the country indicate that the Ministry of Personnel has taken these conferences out of  Delhi and moved to different places of country. The DARPG Ministry has held conferences at various places such as Guwahati, Jammu, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur and Hyderabad, among others.

The Minister said the Department received about 16 lakh grievances this year compared to about 2 lakh grievances four years ago. This is due to the better and prompt response from the government, he added. He called upon the State governments to follow the best practices developed by the DARPG and activate their grievance cells for prompt response to the citizens.  The Minister also expressed satisfaction that now about 99% grievances are being disposed by the Department. He also mentioned some other government decisions like self-attestation, doing away with the interviews for lower level posts in the government, Anubhav awards initiative, increasing the minimum pension amount, Pensions Portal and Employees Online (EO) app etc. These measures help in ease of living of citizens and shows trust shown by the Government in its youth, he added. Dr Jitendra Singh also spoke about the revolutionizing changes made in the format of PM Excellence Awards where the young bureaucrats are competing for the best performance in implementing flagship schemes of the Government.

On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also released a compendium and a booklet on excellence in e-governance. This Event also included an Exhibition where best practices, innovative technologies and ICT solutions were showcased.

The Secretary, Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare and Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Shri K.V. Eapen, said that awarding the best practices provides an opportunity for mutual learning for the participants and for the whole country. He said that the theme of this year is “Digital India: Success to Excellence”. This will help us to achieve good governance as a whole, he added.

The Additional Secretary, Shri V. Srinivas, said that the awards have been selected through a 3-month long process of selection, where 256 entries were shortlisted for the first round after receiving 411 nominations in 6 categories. After that, 100 nominations were recommended for spot study and 46 were selected for jury presentation, out of which 14 awards have been given in these 6 categories.

The Event also included an experience sharing session and presentations on some of the awarded initiatives such as: IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App, UMANG, MDDA ERP, Punarvas, Hello Doctor 555, Wind Power forecasting services for the State of Tamil Nadu and Ultra Resolution UAV based Geo ICT enabled Property Tax Management System for Municipal Area of Bhiwani.

During presentation on Rail Connect Mobile App, it was disclosed that it has contributed to a large number of average daily Mobile bookings, which has resulted into the increase in revenue. The presentation also included data on average daily downloads, average daily logins and railway customer care services. The other presentation on UMNAG which stands for Unified Mobile Application for New Age, stated that this is one mobile app used for many Government services. It is available in 13 languages. Many services related to education, health, skill transport, income tax and housing were available here. Speaking about Wind power forecasting services for Tamil Nadu, the DG, National Institute of Wind Energy said that forecasting provides operational planner to schedule the generation and be able to manage the grid. He also spoke about the intra-day module and mixed physical statistical approach. He added that the institute is in the process of creating a resource data analytics portal. The District Magistrate, Bhiwani gave presentation on the property tax management for Municipal Council through Ultra Resolution UAV based Goe-ICT. He spoke about category wise property tax distribution, single window web-enabled solution and its impact on property tax base. Speaking about the Punarvas, the ADM of Srikakulam district said that this project aimed at computerization of all activities related to land acquisition for proposed nuclear power plant. He also spoke about the compensation payment and disbursement through digital payments in a transparent manner.

The National e-Governance Award recognizes some of the best Government to Government (G to G), Government to Citizen (G to C), Government to Business (G to B) initiatives taken by government departments. It also recognizes initiatives in Start ups, Academic Research Institutions as well as initiatives in adopting emerging technologies. The focus is on Citizen Centric Services and application of technology for encouraging development. 

The details of the awards are as follows:

 

 

CATEGORY I – EXCELLENCE IN GOVERNMENT PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

 

Award

 

Awarded Project

 

Gold

 

Digital Land (Comprehensive System of Land Management)

Board of Revenue, Uttar Pradesh

 

Silver

 

Khanij Online

Mineral Resources Department, Government of Chhattisgarh

 

Special Jury Award

 

IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App

Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), Government of India

 

CATEGORY II EXCELLENCE IN PROVIDING CITIZEN-CENTRIC DELIVERY

 

Gold

 

UMANG

National e-Governance Division, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

(MeitY), Government of India

 

Silver

 

MahaRERA

Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority Authority, Government of Maharashtra

 

Silver

 

National Scholarship Portal 2.0

National Informatics Centre, New Delhi

 

CATEGORY III – EXCELLENCE IN DISTRICT LEVEL INITIATIVE IN E-GOVERNANCE

 

Gold

 

MDDA ERP

Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

 

Silver

 

Hello Doctor-555

Office of District Magistrate, New Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand

 

Gold

 

Punarvas

Srikakulam District Administration, Government of Andhra Pradesh

 

 

CATEGORY IV – OUTSTANDING RESEARCH ON CITIZEN CENTRIC SERVICES  BY ACADEMIC/RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS

 

Gold

 

Wind power forecasting services for the Whole state of Tamil Nadu

National Institute of Wind Energy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India

 

Silver

 

Targeted Intervention to Expand and Strengthen TB Control Among the Tribal Population under RNTCP, India

National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Government of India

 

CATEGORY V – INNOVATIVE USE OF ICT IN E-GOVERNANCE SOLUTIONS BY STARTUPS

 

Silver

 

www.chemical4construction.com

Giribala Creative Ventures Pvt Ltd, Gujarat

 

CATEGORY VI – EXCELLENCE IN ADOPTING EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

 

Gold

 

Ultra Resolution UAV based Geo-ICT enabled Property Tax management system for Municipal area of Bhiwani

District Administration Bhiwani, Haryana

 

 

Silver

 

iStart Rajasthan

Department of Information Technology & Communication, Government of Rajasthan

 

 

 

 

LINK  OF CITATIONS FOR NATIONAL E-GOVERNANCE AWARD WINNER, 2019. 

 

 

********

 

BB/NK/PK/SS

Read more: Dr Jitendra Singh presents National e-Governance...

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

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

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

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

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

Text of President’s address in English

Text of President’s address in Hindi

*****

AKT/KP/SBP

Read more: President of India presents Gandhi Peace Prize

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