Video message by the President of India to award the Infosys Prize 2014




Video message by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee for the function organized by the Infosys Science Foundation to award the Infosys Prize 2014

Good evening, distinguished trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation; esteemed jury chairs, winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 and guests.


I am happy to address this distinguished gathering and I congratulate the Infosys Science Foundation for instituting these awards which recognize and honour outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across six categories.

India, under the guidance of our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, adopted science and technology as a priority from the early days of our independence.

The creation of institutions for research and higher education began from 1950 itself. As early as 1951, the country decided to set up an Atomic Energy Commission which has enabled India build her own nuclear reactors. Soon, our space programme started enabling us to launch satellites into space.

At the time of independence, our agriculture sector was under-developed and we were importer of food grains. The excellence of our scientists and toil of our farmers, together led to the Green Revolution of the sixties. Today, we are self-reliant in food and a major exporter of food grains. Such a transition has few parallels in human history.

The years that followed have seen the emergence of strong Information Technology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries.

A few months ago, we made history with the successful entry of the Mangalyaan into the Mars Orbit. India is the fourth in the world to reach the Mars. It is also the first to attain this goal in its very first attempt and at a cost of US$ 74 million, a fraction of the money spent by others.

While these milestones are a matter of pride for the nation, they also remind us of the distance still left to cover.

Science is one of the creative endeavours of human mind. It plays a vital role in the advancement of human life and is central to technological progress. A scientific culture must determine the choices and decisions made by individuals, societies and nations.

Research endeavours must advance the realms of knowledge and improve the lives of the common man. It must bring about social, environmental and economic betterment of our people.

I am convinced that India’s future is inextricably linked to the progress we can make in establishing strong foundations for scientific research within our country.

I congratulate all the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 and thank them for their contributions to the world of knowledge.

I am confident that their achievements will inspire our youth to dedicate themselves to the service of science and society.

Thank you,

Jai Hind.

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Research endeavours must advance the realms of knowledge and improve the lives of the common man, says President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has said that research endeavours must advance the realms of knowledge and improve the lives of the common man in a video message on the occasion of the presentation of Infosys Prize 2014 organized by the Infosys Science Foundation yesterday (January 5, 2015) in Kolkata.

The President congratulated the Infosys Science Foundation for instituting Infosys Prize 2014 which recognizes and honours outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across six categories. He congratulated the winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 and said he is confident their achievements will inspire our youth to dedicate themselves to the service of science and society.

The President said science is one of the creative endeavours of human mind. It plays a vital role in the advancement of human life and is central to technological progress. A scientific culture must determine the choices and decisions made by individuals, societies and nations. India`s future is inextricably linked to the progress we can make in establishing strong foundations for scientific research within our country.

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The Vice President, Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari lighting the lamp at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering, in Bangalore on January 06, 2015. The Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries are also seen.

A Well Educated Population, Equipped with Relevant Knowledge, Attitudes & Skills is Essential for Economic and Social Development in this Century-Vice President

Vice President Addresses at Golden Jubilee Celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering at Bangalore

The Vice President, Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari releasing a book titled “Spandana”, at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering, in Bangalore on January 06, 2015. The Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiah and other dignitaries are also seen.

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that Education is a critical tool for developing a modern economy, a just society and a vibrant polity. It provides skills and competencies for economic well-being and social mobility. Education strengthens democracy by imparting to citizens the tools needed to fully participate in the governance process. It also acts as an integrative force in society, imparting values that foster social cohesion and national identity. Addressing at the “Golden Jubilee celebrations of the R.V. College of Engineering (RVCE)” at Bangalore, Karnataka today, he said that a well educated population, equipped with the relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills is essential for economic and social development in this century.

The Vice President, Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari being presented a memento, at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering, in Bangalore on January 06, 2015. 

He said that we have made progress in the field of higher education since 1947. Today, India has the third largest higher education system in the world. We have around 652 universities and university level institutes that impart higher and technical education. They also provide affiliation to more than 33,000 colleges and institutes. However, our higher education system continues to be afflicted with the three problems of access, equity and quality. Enrollment rates in our higher education institutions have gone up to around 17% but are still well below the world average of 26 per cent. Wide disparities exist in enrolment percentages among the States and between urban and rural areas while disadvantaged sections of society and women have significantly lower enrolments than the national average.

The Vice President opined that Curricular and academic reforms are required to improve student choices, with a fine balance between the market oriented professional and liberal higher education. Higher education must be aligned to the country’s economy and also to the needs of the global market. Innovative and relevant curricula should be designed to serve different segments of the job market or provide avenues for self-employment. Emphasis must be given to the expansion of skill-based programmes in order to make our youth employable in the job market.

The Vice President, Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari addressing at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering, in Bangalore on January 06, 2015. The Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala and other dignitaries are also seen.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address :

“I am happy to be here today amongst you for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of R.V. College of Engineering.I congratulate the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the College and the Rashtreeya Sikshana Samithi Trust (RSST) on this landmark occasion. I understand that the R.V. College of Engineering is amongst the earliest self-financing engineering colleges in the country and is recognized as one of the leading technical education institutions in the country. The credit goes to the collective efforts of all stakeholders who have, over the last five decades, contributed to the positive evolution of the College. They are all equally deserving of our commendation and applause.

Imparting quality education to our youth is one of the highest forms of service, an individual or institution, can render to the nation. Its importance was best described by the Greek philosopher, Diogenes, who said ‘the foundation of every state is the education of its youth’.

Education is a critical tool for developing a modern economy, a just society and a vibrant polity. It provides skills and competencies for economic well-being and social mobility. Education strengthens democracy by imparting to citizens the tools needed to fully participate in the governance process. It also acts as an integrative force in society, imparting values that foster social cohesion and national identity. A well educated population, equipped with the relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills is essential for economic and social development in this century.

India has a younger population not only in comparison to advanced economies but also in relation to the large developing countries. In 2011, around 50% of our population was less than 24 years of age. By 2020, around two thirds of our population will be in the working age group (15-64 years). Over the next 20 years, labour force in India is expected to increase, while it will decline in industrialized countries and in China.

This demographic structure presents us with an opportunity of a potential ‘demographic dividend’, which tapped, could add to our growth potential, provided two conditions are fulfilled. First, higher levels of health, education and skill development are achieved. Second, an environment is e created in which the economy not only grows rapidly, but also enhances good quality employment/livelihood opportunities to meet the needs and aspirations of the youth. It is thus evident that education is a vital ingredient for actualizing the ‘demographic dividend’ and for achieving higher, sustainable and more inclusive economic growth. India has the potential to capture a higher share of global knowledge-based work, for example by increasing its exports of knowledge-intensive goods and services, if there is focus on higher education and its quality is globally benchmarked.

We have made progress in the field of higher education since 1947. Today, India has the third largest higher education system in the world. We have around 652 universities and university level institutes that impart higher and technical education. They also provide affiliation to more than 33,000 colleges and institutes. However, our higher education system continues to be afflicted with the three problems of access, equity and quality. Enrollment rates in our higher education institutions have gone up to around 17% but are still well below the world average of 26 per cent. Wide disparities exist in enrolment percentages among the States and between urban and rural areas while disadvantaged sections of society and women have significantly lower enrolments than the national average.

The higher education sector is plagued by a shortage of well-trained faculty, poor infrastructure and outdated and irrelevant curricula. The use of technology in remains limited and standards of research and teaching at Indian universities are far below international standard.

Curricular reforms leading to regular revision and upgrading of curricula, introduction of semester system, choice-based credit system, and examination reforms are yet to take place in higher educational institutions across the country. Exceptions apart, majority of our higher education institutions perform poorly in the area of quality on a relative global scale. Our system turns out nearly seven lakh science and engineering graduates every year. However, industry surveys show that only 25 percent of these are employable, without further training. The picture is more dismal in other disciplines if a recent, non-official, employability report is to be believed.

In recent years, the massive expansion in enrolment in higher education in the country has resulted in unbearable burden being put on the physical and pedagogic infrastructure of colleges and universities. This is reflected in overcrowded classrooms and distortion of desirable student-teacher ratios, overall shortage of teaching and tutorial space, overloading of laboratory and library facilities, and often a lowering of quality of teaching. All these issues require urgent correctives.

Curricular and academic reforms are required to improve student choices, with a fine balance between the market oriented professional and liberal higher education. Higher education must be aligned to the country’s economy and also to the needs of the global market. Innovative and relevant curricula should be designed to serve different segments of the job market or provide avenues for self-employment. Emphasis must be given to the expansion of skill-based programmes in order to make our youth employable in the job market.

Another aspect relates to the fact that today, around 60% of total enrolments in higher education are in private institutions. Some of them excel in their chosen areas. There also exist legitimate concerns about many of these institutions being substandard, exploitative and suffering from the general shortcomings mentioned earlier. Governance reforms are required to enable these institutions to have their autonomy to develop distinctive strengths, while being held accountable for ensuring quality and fulfilling their responsibility to society.

The future expansion of education would have to be carefully planned so as to correct regional and social imbalances, reinvigorate institutions to improve standards and reach international benchmarks of excellence, match demand with supply by improving employability, and extend the frontiers of knowledge. The reform of higher education system will require a comprehensive and collective efforts of the Government, private sector, academia and civil society, so that the three objectives of access and expansion, equity and inclusion, and quality and excellence can be achieved in a time bound manner.

Established institutions such as the R.V. College of Engineering have an important role to play in this national mission by providing high quality, relevant education for all, which matches the rapidly changing labour market needs and by setting global quality benchmarks, for other institutions to emulate. I once again extend my greetings and best wishes to all of you on this happy occasion. I wish you every success in the years ahead. I thank you for having invited me.

Jai Hind.”


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PM calls for swift action to stop pollution of River Ganga


The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has called for time-bound, swift action and single-minded focus to stop pollution of the River Ganga. He was chairing a high-level meeting on the ‘Namaami Gange’ project today.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the ‘Namaami Gange’ vision should focus primarily on two main areas to check pollution at the source. These include: urban sewage and industrial effluents. “Ganga ko ganda na karen,” the PM emphasized.

The Prime Minister was briefed extensively on critical hotspots along the stretch of the river, which generate the most pollution. The existing gaps in sewage treatment capacity were highlighted. A total of 764 grossly polluting industrial units have been identified along the stretch of the Ganga. Tanneries, pulp and paper and sugar industries account for over three-fourth of this number.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the need to promote recycling of industrial waste water. He said industrial units should be motivated suitably to stop pollution, failing which action should be initiated within the framework of existing laws.

The Prime Minister also called for exploring the possibility of setting up modern, environment-friendly crematoria along the River Ganga, through private initiative and enterprise.

The concept of a network of volunteers to help end pollution of the river – ‘Ganga Vahini’ – has been approved. Steps are being taken to operationalize this network. 118 Urban Local Bodies have been identified to be covered within five years, in a targeted attempt to control pollution.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on ongoing sewerage and river front development projects.

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Ms. Uma Bharati, Shri Prakash Javdekar and top Government officials.

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Press Note No. 1 (2015 Series) - Mapping of the sector specific FDI Policy in Consolidated FDI Policy 2014 in terms of National Industrial Classification (NIC)-2008

Chapter VI of the Consolidated FDI Policy 2014 issued vide DIPP circular dated the 17.04.2014 indicates sector specific FDI policy for industrial and other sectors such as permissibility of the activities under FDI policy, equity cap, whether under automatic or government approval route and conditions to be fulfilled, if any.

With the objective of improving ease of doing of business, an exercise has been undertaken to map the activities listed in Chapter VI of the Consolidated FDI Policy, 2014 with the National Industrial Classification – 2008.
          
Accordingly, a chart indicating mapping of the activities covered under Chapter VI of the Consolidated FDI Policy 2014 with NIC -2008 is attached.

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Army Conducting Land Yachting Expedition in Rann of Kutch

          On the occasion of the 22nd Corps Day of Army Air Defence, a Land Yachting Expedition is being conducted in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.  The expedition was flagged off on 05 Jan 15 through the Army Training Node for the sport and shall be flagged in on 10 Jan 15, coinciding with 22nd Army Air Defence Day. It will cover approximately 112 kms from Kuarbet to Karimshahi and back. The expedition team comprises of one officer, two Junior Commissioned Officers & twenty jawans. Conduct of the adventure activity would generate environmental awareness about the unique terrain and bio-diversity of the Kutch region amongst the troops, as also create awareness about the Indian Army in the rural areas of Gujarat.



Video message by the President of India to award the Infosys Prize 2014 Video message by the President of India  to award the Infosys Prize 2014 Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:13 PM Rating: 5

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