Thursday, 24 May 2018

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare meets Ms. Carola Schouten, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of Netherlands

India & Netherlands discuss ways to strengthen partnership in agriculture and allied sectors

Union Agriculture Minister stresses on need for infusing modern technology in India’s agriculture with focus on making technology affordable to small and marginal farmers


Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh today met Ms. Carola Schouten, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Netherlands in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi and expressed his desire to further strengthen the existing partnership between the two countries in agriculture and allied sectors.

Shri Singh reiterated the Government’s resolve to double the income of farmers by 2022 and the initiatives taken & stressed on the need for infusing modern technology in India’s agriculture. He further added that Netherlands is a global leader in construction of greenhouses as well as in the cultivation of flowers, plants and vegetables, and the diversification of agriculture sector into areas like livestock and plant-cultivation sectors.”

Shri Singh expressed happiness at the regular convening of Joint Working Group, the 5th having been held in March 2018, where discussions on a wide range of issues took place and extended the Action Plan till 2021.

Union Agriculture Minister said a major success of the Indo Dutch collaboration has been the commissioning of the Centre of Excellence (CoEs) for vegetables at Baramati in Maharashtra. The second CoE for flowers at Talegaon, Maharashtra will be ready soon. Others are in various stages of completion and the focus is on making technology affordable to the small and marginal Indian farmers.

Shri Singh said other identifiable areas of interest for further cooperation such as technology for crop residue management and cooperation in the field of bovine breeding; dairy development, animal health and porcine development etc. are also being looked into.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Education must aim at holistic development of an individual: Vice President

Students should also consider becoming entrepreneurs, job givers;

Addresses students of Mizoram University

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that education must aim at holistic development of an individual by imbuing the right qualities of head and heart. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Academic & Seminar Complex and laying the foundation stone for Students and Research Scholars’ Hostel at Mizoram University, in Aizawl, Mizoram today. The Governor of Mizoram, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma, the Chief Minister of Mizoram, Shri. Lal Thanhawla and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President said that better infrastructure creates better conditions for quality learning to take place. He further said that it is a necessary catalyst for improving the quality in any educational institution. This campus with its infrastructure and lively environment will be a congenial place for youngsters to pursue academic ambitions and realize their dreams, he added.

The Vice President said that education must prepare the students of today to take on the challenges of tomorrow. It must not only equip them with the latest knowledge but also impart the required skill sets to enable them to be successful in their chosen fields, he added.

The Vice President advised the students also to consider becoming entrepreneurs, job givers and not merely job seekers. He further said that they have a number of alternative career paths and choose the one that they feel passionate about and work to build up their skill set accordingly. Education is for enhancement of our competence, for empowerment, for enlightenment and for employment and enhancing our employability, he added.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

“I am indeed extremely pleased to join you all at the inauguration of the Academic and Seminar Complex and laying of the foundation stone for Students and Research Scholars’ Hostel in this beautiful campus of Mizoram University.

Better infrastructure creates better conditions for quality learning to take place. It is a necessary catalyst for improving the quality in any educational institution. I am, therefore, pleased that these new buildings are being inaugurated and for another set of buildings, foundation has been laid.

Mizoram University, I am hopeful, will make use of these facilities and emerge as one of the leading institutions in the country.

I strongly believe that it will become an important centre of education and research not only for the students of Mizoram, but for all those living in the North East India. This campus with its infrastructure and lively environment will be a congenial place for youngsters to pursue academic ambitions and realize their dreams.

I am pleased to see that the University has made tremendous efforts in promoting academics in the fields of Science, Arts, Commerce, and Engineering.

I am aware that Mizoram University with two campuses is striving hard to provide quality education to the people of Mizoram with 32 affiliated colleges in the state of Mizoram. I am told that Mizoram University was ranked 81th under the ‘University Ranking’ by NIRF, MHRD.. There is lot of scope for improvement and I am sure the University’s ranking will improve in the coming years.

I am happy to note that Mizoram University, located amid scenic hills, is home to regenerating tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, including a protected forested water catchment reserve in the north and a small biodiversity park. You are truly blessed to have such wonderful natural surroundings.

I am also happy to note that major energy needs of the campus are met through solar power.

Sisters and Brothers,

Education must prepare the students of today to take on the challenges of tomorrow. It must not only equip them with the latest knowledge but also impart the required skill sets to enable them to be successful in their chosen fields. Education must aim at holistic development of an individual by imbuing the right qualities of head and heart.

Education is for enhancement of our competence, for empowerment, for enlightenment and for employment and enhancing our employability.

Education must lay the foundation for a strong character with uncompromising integrity, ethical values and inclusive outlook. It is imperative for today’s youngsters to be the torchbearers of a New India that will take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

The biggest strength of our country is the human resource capital—today about 65 per cent of the population is below the age of 35 years. We need to fully tap this human resource potential to make India a leading economic power in the world. For that to happen, institutions like Mizoram University must play a pivotal role and reorient their syllabi as also the teaching methods.

Dear students,

India has made rapid strides in various fields since attaining Independence. Yet the country is still grappling with problems like poverty, illiteracy, atrocities on women and weaker sections, religious fundamentalism and terrorism. We have to collectively strive to eradicate various problems hampering the progress of the country. 

Students are the future citizens of the country. In this globalized, highly competitive era, possessing a graduation or post-graduation degree is not enough and one needs to undergo job-oriented training. The universities in collaboration with the industries must initiate training programmes that are in tune with the demands of the market. On its part, the government has launched a massive Skill India programme to provide employment avenues to lakhs of youth across India.

As a matter of fact, the employers are facing difficulty in finding recruits with requisite competencies. Hence, skills training helps develop job-related competencies to enable the candidates excel in their career. The students must utilize various opportunities provided by the Government of India particularly for improvement of skills, through various skill development courses. Depending on the type of career or profession you choose, specific skills and abilities have to be acquired, apart from possessing a sound knowledge required for the job.

Dear Students,

You should also consider becoming entrepreneurs, job givers and not merely job seekers. You have a number of alternative career paths. Choose the one that you feel passionate about and work to build up your skillset accordingly.

Sisters and brothers,

I am glad that this University is focusing on research and there are quite a few researchers in the audience today. Research and teaching are two main functions of any University. It is important that we must improve the quality of both these. We should focus on relevant research so that we find practical solutions to contemporary problems.

I am very happy to note that Mizoram University has introduced several MOOC courses, job oriented certificate and diploma courses, and skill development courses for training of students. 

Sisters and brothers,

As the country’s economy moves on to a higher trajectory, more and more opportunities will open up for the youth. In fact, a news report recently stated that a study by a global executive search firm had forecast that India will be the only major economy with potential for talent surplus by 2030.

With the Union Government’s Look East and Act East policy, a lot many opportunities will most likely open up. Please try to keep yourself aware of emerging opportunities and seize them- first to enhance your knowledge and later to access career opportunities.

My suggestion to all of you is not to tread on beaten paths. Be creative, innovative and explore unchartered territories for making a mark in your career. Finally, I would like to recall the advice given by former President A P J Abdul Kalam—dream big and work hard to achieve your goals. There is no substitute to hard word, dedication and perseverance. Remember that there are no short cuts either to success. 

In fact, Dr. Kalam and Prime Minister, Shri Narendrabhai Modi are the best examples of how an ordinary citizen through hard work and dedication can rise to occupy the highest positions in the country. Both of them coming from very humble backgrounds are a source of inspiration to all Indians.

Dear students, our country has a rich civilizational history and culture, which has survived through the ages. It is important for all you to remain connected with our culture, traditions, heritage, customs and ethos, irrespective of time and place. With the campus located in such exquisite natural surroundings, I am sure all of you are aware of the importance to co-exist with the nature. Live with nature and promote culture for a better future.

I hope that the Mizoram University will emphasize these aspects and achieve the objectives of the University by imparting quality education and training to students.

My best wishes to students, scholars, faculty and employees of the University for a great future ahead.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Secularism, Social-Communal Harmony and Tolerance is in the DNA of India: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that "secularism, social-communal harmony and tolerance" is in the DNA of India and compared to the entire world, constitutional, social, cultural and religious rights of minorities are more safe and secure in India.

During a meeting with a delegation of “Diocese of Delhi- Church of North India” Shri Naqvi said that the Central Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is working with commitment to “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” and “Development with Dignity” with complete honesty and without any discrimination.

He said that the Government has broken every barrier including caste, religion, region and it is moving forward towards “inclusive growth” to ensure that not a single Indian is deprived of the light of development. He added that the government is committed to protect all constitutional institutions, democratic values and religious rights of all sections. Shri Naqvi called for caution against those forces who want to disturb the atmosphere of trust and development due to their “prejudiced mindset and vested interests”. He said, that social-communal harmony is our culture and tolerance is our commitment and we all have to work together to protect and strengthen this culture and commitment.

Shri Naqvi said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is working for all religions and castes without any discrimination. The Government's “Jan Dhan Yojana”, "Skill India", "Start Up India", "Stand Up India", "Mudra Yojana”, "Ujjwala Yojana" have benefited a large number of poor, weaker sections, minorities and women. The Minister said that the work done for the socio-economic-educational empowerment of minorities in the last 48 months had not been done even in 48 years. Programmes such as "Garib Nawaz Kaushal Vikas Yojana", "Hunar Haat", "Nai Manzil”, “Seekho aur Kamao”, "Begum Hazrat Mahal Girls Scholarship", "Nai Udaan”, “Naya Savera” etc have proved to be the milestone for the empowerment of minorities.

The Minister said that he regularly meets with various delegations of Minority communities to take a stock of ground reality to ensure that schemes aimed at their socio-economic-educational empowerment are implemented effectively.

The thirteen member delegation, led by Revd. Dr. Suresh Kumar, vice-president of Diocese of Delhi (CNI), comprised of people from various fields such as- Revd. Kamal Jerald Rodgers Mall, Revd. Mohit Heinz Hitter, Mrs Anuradha Amos, Principal; Mrs Poornima Lall, Principal; Mrs K Sudha, Principal; Ms Swati Paul, Principal; Ms Olivia Biswas, Teacher; and others.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

CVC calls for preventive vigilance to check malpractices

The Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Shri K.V. Chowdary has called for preventive vigilance to check occurrence of corrupt practices. Speaking at the inauguration of a workshop on “Preventive Vigilance- Dissemination of Good Practices” here today, he said, this can be achieved by identifying and plugging vulnerable areas through systemic improvements and structural remedies. He said these measures fulfil the objective of preempting corrupt practices and further enhance the organisational efficiency. 

Shri Chowdary said while probable vulnerable areas are unique to organisations, few commonly occurring corrupt practices are in areas like procurement, sale of goods and services, human resource management, delivery of services to public and enforcement. He called for improving existing systems, reviewing processes for simplification, leveraging technology, reducing personal discretion, effective control and supervision, educating citizens and training for bringing about transparency and accountability in organisations.

The one-day workshop has five sessions where government organisations and Public Sector Undertakings including Financial Institutions gave presentations and shared good practices adopted by them. Some of the themes for discussion included IT-based recruitment system, use of geospatial technology for infrastructure and planning, vehicle monitoring system, leveraging technology for preventive vigilance, digitisation of land records and systemic improvements in concept of concurrent audit.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Commerce Minister Releases Strategy Paper on Computer Software and Electronics Exports

Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has prepared a strategy paper for augmenting software exports to US$ 178 billion by 2022. Union Commerce &Industry and Civil AviationMinister Suresh Prabhu, released the strategy paper in New Delhi yesterday. The Minister praised the efforts by the ESC for taking this initiative to prepare a strategy for boosting India’s computer software &ITeS and electronics export. The Minister further added that Government of India will extend all possible support to the industry for intensifying the exports to traditional markets and to make forays into the alternate markets like Africa, Latin America and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). He said that the government is taking proactive steps for making ICT exports more vibrant and to motivate more units to focus on exports.

The strategy paper highlights the need for some policy level changes that are critically needed, such as resolving visa problems with the US, greater access of professionals to European countries, early signing of Totalisation Agreement with the US, setting up of incubation centres and language proficiency facilities in major IT hubs. The current business model for export of software and ITeS is relevant for outsourcing work. For the emerging markets like Africa and Middle East, a different model, is required since India mostly offers product solutions. Although potential for export of software &ITeS in US and Europe is high, the smaller companies are grossly underperforming because of innovation andtechnology leadership gaps. The paper also spells out specific policy prescriptions, market destinations and other enabling inputs that can bring about transformational changes in the Indian software and services exports. Specific suggestions include judiciously blending software and hardware, creating newer export outlets, fiscal incentives, country specific software export promotion measures.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

PM’s interaction through PRAGATI

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his twenty-sixth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

The 25 PRAGATI meetings so far have seen a cumulative review of 227 projects with a total investment of over Rs. 10 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed across a range of sectors.

Today, in the twenty-sixth meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to post offices, and railways. He stressed on the importance of increasing digital transactions across the postal and rail networks, especially using the BHIM App.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress of nine infrastructure projects in the railway, road, petroleum, and power sectors. These projects are spread over several states including Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. These projects include the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, and the Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress in implementation of the AMRUT Mission. He also reviewed the programme for End-to-End Computerization of Targeted PDS Operations.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Cabinet approves waiver of Penal Interest on Government Loans advanced to Paradip Port Trust



The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for waiving of Penal Interest on Government Loans to Paradip Port Trust (PPT) as per following:
Waiver of penal interest amounting to Rs.1076.59 crore in respect of PPT as on 31.03.2017 and further accruals thereon till date of approval of waiver.
PPT to pay penalty @ 0.25% of Penal Interest as on the date of approval of waiver of penal Interest.
PPT to start the re-payment of outstanding principal of Rs. 387.74 crore and outstanding interest as on date of approval of the waiver and the re-payment to be completed in two instalments in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Background:

Paradip Port Trust (PPT) had availed Rs.642.69 crore of loan under different heads at different points of time beginning from 1967 to 2002 to finance its various infrastructure projects. Each loan was to be repaid in 20 yearly installments with a five year moratorium period. PPT was incurring losses upto the year 1987-88 and there was huge deficit in revenue account due to insufficient cargo. As a result of which PPT could not start its repayment as per schedule. As on 31.03.2017, PPT has a total loan liability of Rs. 1743.69 crore (Rs.387.74 crore towards defaulted principal, Rs.279.36 crore towards interest and Rs. 1076.59 crore towards penal interest).

Further, the Port has a future fund requirement of around Rs.6,695 crore for different upcoming developmental projects and employees’ pension liabilities upto 2018-19. Therefore, the Port is not in a position to repay the total loan liability of Rs.1,743.69 crore.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare meets Ms. Carola Schouten, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of Netherlands

India & Netherlands discuss ways to strengthen partnership in agriculture and allied sectors Union Agriculture Minister stresses on nee...