Assistance for reconstruction of Tourism Assets in Uttarakhand

Assistance for reconstruction of Tourism Assets in Uttarakhand

An amount of Rs. 72.55 cr has been sanctioned till date by the Union Ministry of Tourism for rebuilding and reconstruction of the damaged tourism assets in Uttarakhand due to natural calamity that occurred there. The total amount released so far to the State is Rs. 14.51 cr (for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15).

The State Government has informed that the utilization of the released amount is under process. The State of Uttarakhand has not sought any additional financial relief from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Ministry of Tourism had announced a special financial package of Rs. 100 cr for reconstruction of tourism assets in Uttarakhand after the natural calamity there.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Use of Satellite Phones by Tour Operators for Adventure Tourism

The Union Ministry of Tourism has finalized a scheme for Procurement, Registration and use of Satellite Phones by the Tour operators which has been concurred to by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) had requested the Ministry of Tourism to lift the ban on use of Satellite Phones for Tourism purposes.

Lack of communication facilities has affected some adventure sports like high altitude mountaineering, trekking etc. The various adventure sports available in India are mountaineering, trekking, river rafting, parasailing, paragliding, bungee jumping etc.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Steering Committee set up to take forward Kyoto-Varanasi Partner City Agreement

Urban Development Ministry has set up a 11-member Steering Committee to operationalize the ‘Partner City Affiliation Agreement’ between the cities of Varanasi and Kyoto, Japan. Headed by Secretary (Urban Development), Government of India, the other members of the Committee include: Director General, Archeological Survey of India (ASI), Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary concerned of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Joint Secretary level officers of the Union Ministries of Culture, Human Resource Development, Finance, External Affairs and Urban Development besides Mayor and Municipal Commissioner of Varanasi and Chairman/Commissioner, Varanasi Development Authority.

The Partner City Affiliation Agreement between Varanasi and Kyoto was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Japan during August – September, 2014. This agreement referred to culture, art, academics, heritage conservation and city modernization as potential areas of cooperation.

The Steering Committee will facilitate actions pertaining to:

1.Modernisation of Varanasi, including upgradation of water management and sewage facilities, waste management, urban transportation etc., drawing upon the Japan’s expertise and technologies;

2. Application of Japanese practices, techniques and management for conservation of rich heritage of Varanasi; and

3.Exchanges between Kyoto University and Banares Hindu University, as well as religious organisations.

Mayor of Kyoto Shri Daisaku Kadokawa is scheduled to visit India during the end of this months for further talks will all the concerned in this regard.

No shortage of Barat Ghars and Community Centres in Delhi

Uninterrupted connectivity from Rajghat to Vijay Ghat to be available by September,2015

There is no shortage of Barat Ghars and Community Centres in Delhi. This information was given by the Minister of State for Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri Babul Supriyo to Lok Sabha today. In a written reply, the Minister stated that based on the information furnished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB) and Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board(DUSIB), there is no shortage of such facilities. DDA has received five proposals from the Delhi Government for allotment of land for construction of Community Halls/Barat Ghars. DUSIB has received a proposal for construction of a Barat Ghar in JJ Colony, Madangir under MLA Fund.

Shri Babul Supriyo also informed the House that uninterrupted connectivity between Rajghat and Vijay Ghat will be made available by the end of September next year. He stated that such connectivity is already available between Rajghat and Shakti Sthal and work is in progress to extend it to Shantivana, Rashtriya Smriti and Vijay Ghat.

The Minister informed the House that DDA is making efforts to refund the security deposit to the unsuccessful applicants of the DDA Housing Scheme, 2014 with in one month of the draw held on 25.11.2014, though the guidelines provides for 90 days for such refund. Shri Supriyo informed that if there is a delay in making refund, simple interest of 8% per annum will be paid on the deposit.
Newly constituted Governing Board of RMK holds its 52nd meeting RMK should assist at least ten lakh women over the next three years: Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

The Governing Board of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) under the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, held its 52nd meeting along with its newly appointed members in New Delhi today. The meeting was chaired by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development. Addressing the members, the Minister said that the Board has been reconstituted to make it more effective. The RMK should assist women in various ways including training, marketing as well as financial assistance, she said. Setting the target, the Minister said that at least 10 lakh women should be covered under RMK over the next three years. She asked the members to draw plans within a month to identify states and clusters along with timelines, number of women and skills to be imparted as well as the financial assistance to be given. The RMK should also identify partners already working in the field, to increase its outreach as suggested by the restructuring committee appointed earlier in August, 2014, she said.

The new members of RMK said that a wide range of areas are available across the country to train women. They also felt that it is important to provide forward and backward linkages to make the projects taken up under RMK sustainable. The members suggested that the targets and goals of RMK must be identified clearly to be achieved within a specified time and Standard Operating Procedures should be developed for better management especially financial management of RMK. Some members suggested that there is a great demand by banks for hiring of business correspondents in rural areas and this offers a big potential for generating employment for women. Some of the other areas identified by the members include Information Technology and other soft skills, organic farming, plumbing, mobile repair, operating machines, among others. Women can be attached to companies/factories for acquiring skills and given hands-on training to increase their job prospects, they proposed.

A presentation was also made on the report of the Committee which was constituted in August 2014 to suggest restructuring of the RMK. Secretary, M/o Women & Child Development, Sh. V S Oberoi, Joint Secretary, Sh I.S. Chahal, Adviser (Planning Commission), newly appointed members and officials of RMK were among those who attended the meeting.
National Sports Policy

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the National Sports Policy, 2001 is already in existence. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today he said, the salient features of the National Sports Policy 2001, are as under:

(i)         Broad basing of sports and achievement of excellence;

(ii)        Up-gradation and development of infrastructure;

(iii)       Support to National Sports Federations and other sports bodies;

(iv)       Strengthening of scientific and coaching support to sports;

(v)        Special incentives to promote sports;

(vi)       Enhanced participation of women, scheduled tribes and rural youth;

(vii)      Involvement of corporate sector in sports promotion; and

(viii)     Promote sports mindedness among the public at large.

The details of the funds allocated and funds released viz. category-wise and year-wise for sports in the country during the last three years are given in Annexure.

Promotion of sports amongst young boys and girls

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that Sports Authority of India (SAI) under Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports through its National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) Scheme is making every effort to engage young boys and girls in the age group of 8-14 years from school and nurture them by providing scientific training. Following are distinct Schemes of NSTC:

i) Indigenous Games and Martial Arts (IGMA)

ii) Akharas

iii) Regular School of NSTC Scheme

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, the Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC) Scheme is joint venture of the Army and SAI wherein boys in the age group of 8-16 years are inducted under the scheme and after attaining the age of 17 ½ years, the trainees are enrolled in Army.

In addition to above, the Government is also considering a proposal known as National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) under which it is proposed to identify sporting talent among students in the age group of 8 to 12 years and to nurture them so as to enable them to participate in National and International sports events. At present this is at a conceptual stage only.

Funds are made available to sportspersons under National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) for promotion of sports, to individual sports person for achieving excellence at national and international level, for development of infrastructure, for supply of sports equipments and to take up research and development studies for providing support to excellence in sports.

Reputed organization/institutes engaged in promotion of sports activities, can also get financial assistance for creation of sports infrastructure, procurement equipments etc under the NSDF.

In addition, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has also formulated a scheme namely, NSDF Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme with aim of identifying/selecting and supporting talented medal prospect for 2016 and 2020 Olympic games.

Sports Sciences and Sports Medicine facilities are provided to elite athletes in Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NS NIS), Patiala; SAI Regional Centres Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Kolkata and Delhi. Currently 24 Scientific /Medical Officers are working at various SAI centres across the country. Furthermore, process to recruit another 30 Scientific /Medical staff is being initiated by SAI to strengthen the scientific cadre.

In addition to above a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sri Ramachandra Medical University has been entered into by SAI, where National teams will be deputed for sport science support and analysis.

The Society for National Institute of Physical Education and Sports (SNIPES) established the Faculty of Sports Sciences on 22-1-1983 at Sports Authority of India, NS NIS with eight (8) different sports science departments. One of the major aims of establishing Faculty of Sports Science at SAI NSNIS, Patiala was to promote sports amongst young boys and girls. Besides promotion of sports, another one of the broad aims was to identity, select and develop talent, both amongst boys and girls for different sports disciplines.

In additional, there are proposals for setting up Indian Institute of Sports Science and Research for advance Research work, extension support services certification of neutraceuticals and for coordination between faculty of sports science and sports medicine within India and abroad. Proposal has also been initiated to fund Six Universities for setting up of Faculty of sports science and Six Medical Universities/Institute/Collages for setting up of Department of sports medicine in the country. However, at present these proposals are at conceptual stage only, the Minister added.

Introducing professionalism and transparency amongst sports officials

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that ‘Sports’ is a State subject.  The National Sports Federations (NSFs) are registered under Societies Act/Companies Act and are autonomous in their functioning.  For good governance in the NSFs, Government has been taking steps from time-to-time.  This is an ongoing process.  The Government has, inter-alia prescribed age and tenure limits in respect of office bearers of the NSFs as follows:

        i)            The President of any recognized NSF, including the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) can hold the office for a maximum period of 12 years with or without break.

      ii)            The Secretary (or by whatever other designation such as Secretary General or General Secretary by which he is referred to) and the Treasurer of any recognized NSF, including the IOA, may serve a maximum of two successive terms of four years each after which a minimum cooling off period of four years is required to seek fresh election to either post.

    iii)            The President, the Secretary and the Treasurer of any recognized NSF, including the IOA, shall cease to hold that post on attaining the age of 70 years.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today Shri Sonowal said, to bring transparency in the functioning of NSFs, Government has also issued instructions to all the major NSFs to place on their website, various details of the international events held in India and abroad such as notification of selection criteria for such events well in advance alongwith the details of time and venue for selection, list of core probables and basis of their selection, details of coaching camps organized including venues, dates and lists of participants, list of the athletes selected, performance criteria which formed the basis of selection, actual performance in terms of timing, distance, etc. and the position obtained by each athlete/team, etc.  These instructions have also been made an integral part of the National Sports Development Code of India.

He said, although, promotion and development of various disciplines of sports is primarily the responsibility of the States and of the relevant NSFs, Government has introduced a number of schemes for promoting sports in the country.  Under Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan which has been introduced during the current year, it has been decided to construct integrated sports complexes, each costing Rs.1.76 crores in rural block panchayats in the country. Under the scheme, sports competitions are conducted to identify sports talent.  Under Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme, assistance from Rs. 4.5 crore to 6 crore is provided for laying of synthetic athletic track and synthetic hockey field and construction of multipurpose hall.  Under National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), assistance is given to outstanding athletes for customized training abroad. Sports Authority of India also runs promotional schemes in which training by experienced coaches with scientific back-up is provided to players to achieve excellence at national/international level. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Department of Sports) have formulated ‘NSDF TOP Scheme’ with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

The Minister said, besides above, with a view to achieving excellence, Government provides financial assistance to the athletes and their support personnel under the following Schemes:-

(i)          Scheme of Assistance to NSFs – Under this Scheme, financial assistance is provided for participation of sportspersons/teams in international sports events abroad, training/coaching of sportspersons/teams through Indian and foreign coaches, procurement of equipment and consumables etc.

(ii)        Scheme of Human Resources Development in Sports - Under this Scheme, focus is given on developing human resources in sports sciences and sports medicine for the overall development of sports and games in the country so that self reliance is achieved in these fields over a period of time.

Shri Sonowal said, development of sports in the country is an ongoing process. Steps are taken from time-to-time for broad-basing of sports, promotion of excellence in sports, up-gradation of training centers and skill development in sports, etc. During this year’s budget, the following new schemes / initiatives for Sports have been announced:

1)            Setting up of National Sports University in Manipur.

2)            National Sports  Talent Search Scheme

3)            Renovation and creation of sports infrastructure facilities in Jammu & Kashmir.

4)            Organization of sports competitions in Himalayan region.

5)            Setting up of Sports Academies.

Improving coaching standards

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that upgrading knowledge and skills of coaches is an ongoing process. Necessary steps are being taken on regular basis in this regard by Sports Authority of India (SAI).

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today he said, out of the 1137 regular coaches in SAI, 718 are above 50 years of age which is about 63% of the present strength. Foreign coaches do report to the Government and SAI. However, certain technical issues such as training of elite athletes and their participation in International Competitions are the prerogative of the concerned National Sports Federation (NSF). Hence, Foreign Coaches also interact with NSFs concerned in this regard.

Assistance for reconstruction of Tourism Assets in Uttarakhand Assistance for reconstruction of Tourism Assets in Uttarakhand Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 10:46 PM Rating: 5

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