Showing posts with label DAILY DOSE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DAILY DOSE. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Unit 5 of RAPS became second longest running nuclear reactor of World

Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station on 6 September 2014 became the second longest running reactor in the world.
The Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) is a 220 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR). The power station is in uninterrupted operation from 2 August 2012 and it has been operating at full power with a capacity factor of 105 per cent. 
The unit 5 has been in operation for 765 days continuously. It has since then generated around 4258 million units of electricity.

World’s first
Unit 7 of Canada's Pickering nuclear plant holds the world record of running the largest operating plant that ran continuously for 894 days. There are only 10 reactors in the world that have crossed 500 days of uninterrupted operation. 
About the plant
The plant was commissioned in February 2010. It has been running at the capacity of 98.5 per cent and until now generated 8663 million units of electricity.
RAPS Unit 1 was commissioned in August 1965 with a gross capacity of 100 MW.
RAPS have 6 units of which five are in operation. 
Work on units 7 and 8 are expected to be in operation by 2017-2018.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

India and Japan - Partners for Common Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on an official visit to Japan from 30 August - 3 September 2014. He held the Annual Summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today. The two Prime Ministers issued a Joint Statement thereafter. They instructed respective relevant authorities to further enhance cooperation in the following cooperation programmes and projects.


1. The Japanese side announced the launch of a feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of a project for setting up of a 10 MW canal-top grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat as a model for next generation infrastructure. 

2. The Indian side appreciated Japanese yen loan pledges of 50 billion yen (approximately 500 million US dollars) for the Public-Private Partnership Infrastructure Financing Project to the India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL), and of around 15.6 billion yen (approximately 156 million US dollars) for the Guwahati Sewerage Project in Assam.

3. Both sides emphasized that the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project should result in a new era of industrial infrastructure development with the creation of new generation Smart Community projects across six states in India. 

4. Both sides acknowledged that in addition to new manufacturing hubs, the DMIC Project will envisage the development of infrastructure linkages like power plants, assured water supply, high capacity urban transportation and logistics facilities as well as important interventions like skill development programme for providing employment opportunities to youth. 

5. Both sides welcomed the progress made in the development of industrial cities at Dholera in Gujarat and Shendra-Bidkin in Maharashtra, and integrated industrial townships at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Vikram Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. 

6. Both sides expressed their expectation for introducing Japanese technologies and expanding Japanese investment in Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS) with the possibility of adopting the most suitable financing scheme. Both sides directed the respective relevant authorities to start a feasibility study by JICA on a potential yen loan project for the MRTS between Gurgaon and Bawal in Haryana.

7. Welcoming the progress achieved in the Smart Community projects, viz. the Logistics Data Bank project, the Mega Solar Power project at Neemrana and the Seawater Desalination project at Dahej, both sides instructed their officials to accelerate the implementation of these Smart Community projects. The Indian side assured to resolve the outstanding issues regarding the Seawater Desalination project at Dahej, including tariff, water quality parameters, water sales, etc. Both sides hoped that these projects will demonstrate the uniqueness of cutting-edge Japanese technology in India. 

8. Welcoming the rapid progress made in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), including the finalisation of the perspective plan and the designation of three cities, viz. Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka, as potential industrial nodes, both sides instructed their officials to expeditiously finalise the Master Plan and the Development Plan of the three cities by the end of March 2015. Prime Minister Modi directed relevant authorities to ensure the timely development of the infrastructure stipulated in Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme (TNIPP), such as road development and, power and water supply. The Japanese side welcomed it.

9. Taking into account the positive effects of the TNIPP on India’s business environment improvement and infrastructure development, both sides shared the view that a similar programme may be extended to the state of Karnataka.

10. Both sides welcomed the signing of a Framework of Cooperation between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan in the Roads and Road Transportation Sector. 

11. The Indian side sought Japanese support in upgrading the ship-breaking yard at Alang Sosiya in Gujarat.

12. The Japanese side underlined Japan’s policy to promote people-centered investment with an emphasis on inclusiveness to have as many people as possible enjoy economic benefits of investment, enhanced social resilience to climate change, natural disasters, and capacity building. The Japanese side emphasized that promotion of such investment will lead to sustainable development. The Indian side welcomed this policy.

13. Both sides urged and supported the Asian Development Bank to enhance its capacity to address the region’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.


14. Both sides appreciated the report submitted by the Business Leaders’ Forum and welcomed the proposal of a visit to India of a high level economic mission organized by Nippon Keidanren.

15. Both sides welcomed Japan becoming the partner country of the 21st International Engineering & Technology Fair (IETF 2015) to be held in New Delhi and expressed their expectation that this would lead to expansion of trade and investment between the two countries.

Energy & Natural Resource

16. Both sides affirmed their intention to continue working together to further strengthen energy cooperation including energy efficiency, renewable energy and coal-fired generation technology field through the India-Japan Energy Dialogue.

17. Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in the field of new and renewable energy.

18. Both sides welcomed enhanced cooperation in construction of highly efficient and environment-friendly coal-fired power plants and progress on cooperation in Clean Coal Technologies (CCT) such as renovation and modernization of the plants and underscored the importance of cooperation in promoting these environment-friendly technologies in international fora.

19. Both sides welcomed the signing of the loan agreement between the State Bank of India and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the super-critical coal-fired power project in Meja in Uttar Pradesh and the launch of a feasibility study by JICA of a potential yen loan project for Barauni super critical thermal power plant in Bihar. 

20. Both sides welcomed substantial agreement on the commercial contract between Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) for the production of rare earths as a significant step in India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership, and reiterated their strong will for the finalisation of the commercial contract as well as the commencement of commercial production at the earliest.

21. Both sides welcomed progress of cooperative efforts in energy efficiency improvement, including steel, cement, and mechanical tools in India. Both sides applauded the MOU signed in August 2014 for the model project by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) for energy management system in telecommunication towers. Both sides applauded progress of discussion on business cooperation in renewable energy after the first India-Japan Public-Private Round Table for Renewable Energy held in India in January 2014.

22. Both sides welcomed the technology exhibition and business matching activities being held by NEDO in India in September 2014. 

23. Both sides welcomed progress in renewal of iron ore trade arrangement in 2015. Both sides recognized the importance of further cooperation regarding technologies and investments in iron and steel industry in India.

Agriculture and Food

24. Recognizing the importance of agricultural development and establishing food-related infrastructure in India, both sides welcomed Japanese initiative to establish food value chain through Public-Private Partnership by introducing advanced irrigation systems and farming machines, and supporting the food industrial parks and cold chains development projects implemented by Indian government.


25. Both sides welcomed the issuance of the interim report of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway, and expressed hope that the joint feasibility study will be completed by July 2015.

26. Both sides acknowledged continuing cooperation on upgrading the speed of passenger trains on the existing route to Semi-High Speed Railway system.

27. The Indian side appreciated the important role of Japanese ODA for various Metro and other urban transport projects in India. Both sides decided to cooperate on the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project. Both sides decided to explore ways to enhance participation by Indian and Japanese industries in appropriate infrastructure projects in India including metro and other urban infrastructure projects. Both sides affirmed the importance of continuing ODA assistance for future Metro projects in a mutually beneficial manner.

Civil Aviation

28. Both sides fully understand the importance of the enhancement of the bilateral relationship in the field of civil aviation, which would contribute to promotion of mutual exchange, and decided to strengthen cooperation including the acceleration of Preparatory Survey for New Dholera International Airport Development Project.

Skill Development

29. Acknowledging the effort of ongoing planning for establishment of advanced skill development centers, both sides affirmed the importance of skill development as an important tool for promotion of skills and capacity enhancement of the local youth in the industrial corridors being developed in India and appreciated support of The Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA) in their efforts to promote skill development in the DMIC Project.

30. Both sides highly appreciated the achievements of the Champions of Societal Manufacturing (CSM) Project as a valuable Japanese contribution to the development of the manufacturing sector in India. The Indian side welcomed Japan’s intention to launch a new sub-project named Village Buddha, which aims at leadership development for self-help groups in rural areas, taking into account the important role played by women in such groups.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

31. Both sides welcomed further progress in ICT cooperation through activities of the Joint Working Group under India-Japan ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of India and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. 

32. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the launch of concrete joint projects, such as Green ICT and Cyber Security Cooperation based on agreement of the first Joint Working Group in February 2014, and reaffirmed to enhance cooperation in the field of ICT.

Disaster Risk Reduction

33. The Indian side welcomed Japan’s hosting the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in March 2015. Both sides affirmed active participation in and close cooperation for the conference in order to adopt the succeeding framework of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. 

Regional Connectivity and Cooperation 

34. Both sides welcomed the study by JICA on regional connectivity between North-East India and the neighboring countries, and instructed respective related authorities to proceed to realizing Japan`s ODA in transport infrastructure projects in the region. Both sides also welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Export-Import Bank of India and JBIC for enhancing infrastructure development collaboration between India and neighboring countries and promoting cross border business activities. 

35. Both sides decided to strengthen cooperation in the field of connectivity and socio-economic development in Northeast India. The Japanese side announced a survey by JICA to identify possible cooperation including road connectivity projects in Northeast states of India. The Indian side appreciated assistance by Japan to Northeast India, including a number of projects in the field of forest resource management as well as those currently under feasibility studies by JICA such as a potential yen loan project for water supply improvement in Imphal, Manipur.

Cooperation in Africa

36. Both sides expressed their commitment to strengthening their cooperation on Africa, including that for promoting business activities by Indian and Japanese investors in Africa. Both sides confirmed the importance of the next round of India-Japan Dialogue on Africa.

Maritime affairs

37. Both sides directed the Joint Working Group to accelerate progress in the discussions and preparations for a road map for the development of the Indian aircraft industry through US-2 amphibian aircraft cooperation including the transfer of the aircraft and its technology to India. 

38. The Indian side expressed its intention to strengthen defence equipment and technology cooperation and conveyed its interests in this regard. Both sides decided to discuss further to identify future areas of cooperation, taking into consideration specific interests.

39. Both sides welcomed the Dialogue between the Director General of Indian Coast Guard and the Commandant of Japan Coast Guard and the joint exercise between Indian and Japanese Coast Guards conducted off the coast of Kochi in January 2014. Both sides expressed their desire to further promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation on maritime issues and decided to hold the next bilateral dialogue in Tokyo and joint exercise off the coast of Haneda between Indian and Japanese Coast Guards in October 2014.

Science & Technology

40. Both sides welcomed the developing researchers’ network through the alumni association organized by Indian researchers who have research experience in Japan under fellowship programme of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

41. The Indian side welcomed Japanese side’s intention to invite young Indian researchers and students to Japan through JSPS Fellowship Program and Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science. 

42. Both sides welcomed the signing of the Letter of Intent between the Ministry of Earth Sciences of India and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) to launch new cooperation in the field of ocean and earth science & technology, which includes ocean observation, climate variability, and geophysical studies in the Indian Ocean and deep sea technologies.

43. Recognizing the successful operation of the Indian Beam Line at High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) at Tsukuba as a flagship cooperative activity, both sides announced their decision to take forward this collaboration in structural materials science area to the second phase for the study of advanced materials. 

44. Both sides decided to pursue further cooperation in the field of space through approaches such as Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and expressed their expectation that Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) would work together to further strengthen its cooperation.

45. Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan in the field of healthcare. 

46. Both sides also expressed their expectation to enhance development of medical devices which meet Indian needs through new initiative of joint research and development on medical devices of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Osaka University.

47. Both sides also noted with satisfaction the recent progress of the promotion of business under cooperative framework between Japanese company and Indian hospital in terms of establishment of advanced cancer diagnosis and treatment center in India. 

Humanities and Social Science Cooperation

48. Both sides welcomed that the signing of two memoranda between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), and between JSPS and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). 

People-to-people exchanges

49. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing plan of exchange of approximately 1300 youth between the two countries under JENESYS 2.0 program.

50. The Indian side welcomed the Japanese initiative to support Japanese universities’ educational collaboration with Indian Universities, and engagements including dispatching coordinators to India.

51. Both sides emphasized the importance of cooperation in tourism and welcomed current efforts of promotional activities through Tourism Expos to encourage their citizens to travel to each other`s country.

52. Both sides decided to continue efforts to revise the Memorandum on Simplifying Visa Procedures between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of Japan which would further enhance people-to-people exchanges in business and tourism area. The Japanese side welcomed the decision by India to grant residence permits to Japanese nationals holding employment visas and their dependants, co-terminus with their visas.

53. Indian side welcomed the expansion of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) including the decision by the Government of Japan to dispatch a JOCV in the field of nursing to the state of Mizoram as the first JOCV in Northeast India.

54. The Japanese side welcomed a Festival of India in Japan which has been scheduled in two phases from October 3 - 31, 2014 and March - May 2015. The events in the festival would include 17 dance programmes covering 13 cities of Japan, the Buddha Mahotsava of Central Institute of Himalayan Studies, the Buddha Charica Exhibition by Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Buddhist Art Exhibition by Indian Museum, Kolkata, an International Buddhist Conference by the International Buddhist Confederation, a Food Festival by Ministry of Tourism, a Film Festival by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, a Literary Festival by Sahitya Akademy, folk dance performances by the Zonal Cultural Centres, and exhibitions covering the areas of yoga, information technology and space.

Women empowerment

55. The Japanese side briefed the Indian side about the international symposium on women, the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo (WAW! Tokyo 2014) to be held in September 2014.

56. Both sides welcomed the Programme on Empowerment for Women Leaders in India to be held in November 2014 in Tokyo by HIDA.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Judicial appointments commission bill introduced

The Union Government has introduced national Judicial appoints commission bill, in Lok Sabha. The NDA government has withdrawn the previous government’s bill which was introduced through 120th amendment bill. Now the 121st amendment bill was introduced. This bill is aimed insertion of new articles 124A, 124B and 124C

The Constitutional Amendment Bill……….
  • Scraps the Collegium System and establishes a six-member body for appointment of judges
  • It is proposed that the Chief Justice of India will head the commission
  • The judiciary will be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court
  • Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the proposed body
The other important points are…………
  • It provides for the establishment of a six-member Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to make recommendations to the President on appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary.
  • ouraging collaborations between the judiciary and executive, the members constituting JAC will comprise of the Chief Justice of India, two other senior most judges of the Supreme Court, the Union Minister for Law and Justice, and two eminent persons to be nominated by the Prime Minister, the CJI and the Leader of Opposition of the Lok Sabha. Law Commission of India Chairman and former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah has recommended the strength of the body be raised to seven.
  • sic function of the JAC would include making recommendations for appointments of the CJI, SC judges, Chief Justice and other High Court judges, and even the transfer of HC judges.
  • would empower the Parliament to pass a law providing for the composition, functions and procedures of the JAC.
  • e entire process under the JAC will be aimed at ensuring transparency. It has been suggested that the entire record of the process, starting from the nominations received up to the final recommendation made to the President, must be publicly disclosed.
  • e JAC will work in a stipulated time frame. It provides time periods within which vacancies will be filled up. Even the government has time limit of upto 2 months to intimate the Commission of the vacancy.
The Standing Committee report to Rajya Sabha in December 2013 noted that, "Because of its inherent deficiencies in the collegium, as many as approximately 275 posts of judges in various High Courts are lying vacant, which has direct bearing upon justice delivery system and thereby affecting the 13 institutional credibility of judiciary.

Other suggestions to the JAC urge to provide it constitutional validation, thus making it a permanent body and not an ad hoc set up. It is also recommended that its decision be binding on the President and in case the President rejects any name, it should be open to judicial review.

Jaitley, Karan Singh, Sharad Yadav felicitated with Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards

President Pranab Mukherjee on 12 August 2014 conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards on Arun Jaitley, Dr Karan Singh and Sharad Yadav. The awards were given for their invaluable contribution in discharge of their parliamentary duties. The awards were given at Balyogi Auditorium in Parliament Library, New Delhi. 

• BJP leader Arun Jaitley received the award for the year 2010
• Congress Veteran Karan Singh received the award for the year 2011
• JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav received the award for the year for 2012

President while conferring the awards asked all Parliamentarians to uphold the prestige and dignity of Parliament, as it’s a responsibility of every Parliamentarian. 

About Outstanding Parliamentarian Award

The Outstanding Parliamentarian Award was instituted in 1992 by Shivraj Patil who was then the Speaker of Lok Sabha from 1991-96. The award is given by the Indian Parliamentary Group to an outstanding sitting Member of the Indian Parliament for overall contribution in Indian Parliament. 

Previous important Parliamentarians to be awarded include

• Indrajit Gupta was honoured with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1992
• Atal Bihari Vajpayee was honoured with the award in 1994
• Pranab Mukherjee r was honoured with the award in 1997
• Lal Krishna Advani was honoured with the award in 1999
• Manmohan Singh was honoured with the award in 2002 
• Sushma Swaraj was honoured with the award in 2004
• P Chidambaram was honored with the award in 2005
• Murli Manohar Joshi was honoured with the award in 2009

Former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan to head the Expenditure Management Commission

The Union Government decided to appoint former RBI governor Bimal Jalan as the head of the Expenditure Management Commission on 12 August 2014. He would be tasked to suggest ways for managing public finances by reducing food, fertiliser and oil subsidies to include fiscal deficit. 

Expenditure Management Commission
Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the setting up of an Expenditure Management Commission in the Union Budget 2014-15 in July 2014. The purpose of setting up the commission is to cut-off the spending and review government expenditure to get maximum output.
The Commission will submit its interim report before the Budget of 2015-16 and its final report before the Budget of 2016-17.

Subsidies on Food, petroleum and fertilisers
In revised estimates for 2013-14, the subsidy bill on food, petroleum and fertilisers was 245451.50 crore rupees. For 2014-15, the subsidy bill is estimated to be 251397.25 crore rupees. 

The increase in subsidy bill for 2014-15 is due to the increased allocation for fertiliser sector. The government estimated total fertiliser subsidy bill of 72970.30 crore rupees than the amount of 67970 crore rupees that was proposed in the interim budget.

The government allocated the total amount of 115000 crore rupees which includes a provision of 88500 crore rupees for the implementation of National Food Security Act.

Previous Expenditure Reforms Commission
During the year 1999-2000, Atal Bihari Vajpayee government initiated Expenditure Reforms Commission (ERC) headed by former finance secretary K P Geethakrishnan. This commission recommended for reducing the central government machinery and winding up of some government departments. Certain recommendations of the commission were implemented during the reign of finance minister Yashwant Sinha. 

In 2002, UPA government appointed Vijay Kelkar Committee, former finance secretary, for fiscal consolidation plan which included reduction in subsidies. His panel suggested increasing diesel and cooking gas prices gradually. His recommendations are followed today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

National Policy for Older Persons

The National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 envisages State support to ensure financial and food security, health care, shelter and other needs of older persons, equitable share in development, protection against abuse and exploitation, and availability of services to improve the quality of their lives. The policy also covers issues like social security, intergenerational bonding, family as the primary caretaker, role of Non-Governmental Organizations, training of manpower, research and training. 

The Ministry of Rural Development has been implementing Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) since 1995 with the aim to provide financial security to senior citizens living below the poverty line. Under the Scheme Central assistance is given towards pension @ Rs. 200/- per month to persons above 60 years and @ Rs. 500/- per month to persons above 80 years of age. 

The National Council of Older Persons was constituted in 1999 to monitor the implementation of the Policy and advise the Government on issues related to the welfare of senior citizens. The Council has been reconstituted in 2012 as National Council of Senior Citizens with wider national impact. Similar Councils have been constituted at the State level also. Further, the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act has been enacted in 2007 for providing more effective provisions for maintenance and welfare of senior citizens. 

Due to continuous increase in the life expectancy, there is an increase in the population of senior citizens. Ensuring that the senior citizens lead a secured, dignified and productive life, the allocation of funds under Integrated Programme for Older Persons (IPOP) for the current financial year (2014-15) has been increased from 45 crores (2013-14) to Rs. 51 crores. 

Setting up of Export Promotion Mission

The Export Promotion Mission as announced in the budget of 2014-15 is aimed at preparing a comprehensive policy for promoting foreign trade which will include deeper involvement of States in achieving targets to be fixed under the Foreign Trade Policy. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Global Innovation Index 2014

India is placed at the 76th position, a slip of 10 places from last year, in the annual Global Innovation Index (GII) survey for 2014 released by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Among the BRICS nations India is the worst performer and China is the best among BRICS nations at 29th position, 6 places up from last year. Brazil climbed three positions to 61, Russia rose 13 rungs to 49, and South Africa five places to 53

This is the fourth consecutive year that India performed poorly on GII. It occupied 62nd rank in 2011, 64th in 2012, and 66th in 2013.

Singapore and Hong Kong are the only two Asian countries that find a place among the top 10 in the GII. Singapore displaced Hong Kong to lead the continent in overall innovation performance. Switzerland topped the Index followed by UK, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands. 

Top ten countries:

1. Switzerland
2. UK
3. Sweden
4. Finland
5. Netherlands 
6. US
7. Singapore
8. Denmark
9. Luxembourg
10. Hong Kong

President confers Gandhi Peace prize on Chandi Prasad Bhatt

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for 2013 upon environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt. The 80-year-old Bhatt, a true Gandhian and member of the Sarvodaya movement, has organized the Dashauli Gram Swarajya Sangh in 1964. Through the Sangh he tried to improve the lives of villagers by providing employment near their homes in forest-based industries, and fighting against wrong policies through Gandhian non-violent satyagraha. In 1973 he started Chipko movement for the redressal of the legitimate rights of the hill people to collect wood and fodder and saving them from natural calamities owing to large scale deforestation.

The Gandhi Peace Prize which carries a plaque, citation and an amount of Rs. 1 crore was instituted by the government in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The previous recipients of this award are: former Tanzanian President Dr Julius K Nyerere, founder President of Sarvodaya Sharamadana movement in Sri Lanka Dr A.T. Ariyaratne, Dr Gerhard Fischer of Rama Krishna Mission in Germany, Baba Amte, Dr Nelson Mandela and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh (jointly), Dr John Hume of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan in Ireland, former Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Havel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

Bor Sanctuary becomes 47 Tiger Reserve of India

The Minister of State (Independent Charge), Environment, Forests & Climate Change Prakash Javadekar approved the recommendation on a proposal from the State of Maharashtra for notifying the Bor Sanctuary, New Bor Sanctuary and the New Bor Extended Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve.

Bor is the 47th tiger reserve in the country and the 6th tiger reserve of Maharashtra. With the approval of this sanctuary as tiger reserve it would receive funding and technical support which would strengthen tiger conservation, besides eco-development to benefit fringe people.

The Bor Wildlife Sanctuary, notified by the State in 1970, is rich in biodiversity with a wide variety of flora and fauna, including tiger, co-predators, prey animals and birds. The habitat is scenic and is on the boundary of Nagpur and Wardha districts, amidst the Satpura-Maikal landscape, forming catchment of the river Bor. The sanctuary, which covers 138.1214, is also an important corridor between Tadoba-Andhari and Pench Tiger Reserves of the State. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

India figured among top 10 markets for Australia - AIBS

India has figured among the top 10 markets for the international business community in Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS). India has also emerged as the most challenging of the top 10 countries to do business with.

The AIBS found that India ranked as ninth important market currently. The country was also seen as the third important future market. The survey found that the most important market for international business for the participants varied by the industry. For India it is education and training industry stood as the most important market for Australian international business community. On the list of top most important overseas markets in terms of international revenue, India stood at the ninth position, while US and China took the first and second rank respectively. 

On rating the ease of doing business in their most important markets as compared to Australia, only 9 per cent of businesses perceived India as an easier or much easier market than Australia, with 81 per cent regarding it as more or much more difficult.

While strong growth prospects are the most important reason provided for planning on doing business in India in the future, personal contacts/networks do play a secondary role.

AIBS 2014, a comprehensive study of Australian companies involved in international business, was commissioned by Export Council of Australia with the support of Austrade and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, and conducted by University of Sydney between October and December last year.

The survey captured data from more than 1,600 Australian businesses, reflecting the opinions of a wide range of firms from diverse industries operating in over 120 markets.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cabinet Ministers of India 2014

Cabinet Ministers
● Narendra Modi – 
Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, All important policy issues and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister 
● Rajnath Singh 
– Home Affairs 
● Sushma Swaraj – External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs 
● Arun Jaitley – Finance, Corporate Affairs, additional charge of Defence 
● M Venkaiah Naidu – Urban Development, Housing, Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs 
● Nitin Gadkari – Road Transport and Highways, Shipping 
● DV Sadananda Gowda – Railways 
● Uma Bharati – Water resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation 
● Dr Najma Heptulla – Minority Affairs 
● Gopinath Munde – Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation 
● Ramvilas Paswan – Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution 
● Kalraj Mishra – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 
● Maneka Gandhi – Women and Child Development 
● Ananthkumar – Chemicals and Fertilizers 
● Ravi Shankar Prasad – Communications and Information Technology Law and Justice 
● Ashok Gajapathi Raju – Civil Aviation 
● Anant Geete – Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises 
● Harsimrat Kaur Badal – Food Processing Industries 
● Narendra Singh Tomar – Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment 
● Jual Oram – Tribal Affairs 
● Radha Mohan Singh – Agriculture 
● Thaawar Chand Gehlot – Social Justice and Empowerment 
● Smriti Irani – Human Resource Development 
● Dr Harsh Vardhan – Health and Family Welfare

Ministers of State (Independent Charge) 
● General VK Singh – Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs 
● Inderjit Singh Rao – Planning (Independent Charge), Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), Defence 
● Santosh Gangwar – Textiles (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation 
● Shripad Naik – Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) 
● Dharmendra Pradhan – Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge) 
● Sarbananda Sonowal – Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge) 
● Prakash Javadekar – Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge), Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs 
● Piyush Goyal – Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) 
● Dr Jitendra Singh – Science and Technology (Independent Charge), Earth Sciences (Independent Charge), Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space 
● Nirmala Sitharaman – Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge), Finance, Corporate Affairs

Ministers of State 
● GM Siddeshwara – Civil Aviation 
● Manoj Sinha – Railways 
● Nihalchand – Chemicals and Fertilizers 
● Upendra Kushwaha – Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation 
● Pon Radhakrishnan – Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises 
● Kiren Rijiju – Home Affairs 
● Krishan Pal – Road Transport and Highways, Shipping 
● Dr. Sanjeev Balyan – Agriculture, Food Processing Industries 
● Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava – Tribal Affairs 
● Raosaheb Danve – Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution 
● Vishnu Deo Sai – Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment 
● Sudarshan Bhagat – Social Justice and Empowerment

Sunday, May 25, 2014

General Elections 2014: Lowest ever Number of Independent Candidates Elected

General Elections 2014 has seen the lowest ever number of Independent candidates getting elected. Out of a total of 8251 contestants, 3234 were Independent candidates; out of this, 3 candidates have been elected. In the previous General Elections held in 2009, the total number of Independent candidates was 3831 out of which 9 were elected. The highest ever number of Independents elected is 42 (Second General Elections, 1957); the number of Independent candidates contested was highest at 10635 in 11th General Elections, held in 1996.

Table 1:  Performance of Independent Candidates in General Elections 1951-52   ̶  2014

General Elections
Total No. of Contestants
Total No. of Independent Candidates
No. of Independent Candidates Elected
1951 - '52
1984 -'85
1991 -'92
Source: Election Commission of India