High Level Committee Meets for Central Assistance to States

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh chairing a meeting on the enrollment of Service Voters in Electoral Rolls, in New Delhi on January 14, 2015. The Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Union Minister for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Cabinet Secretary, Shri Ajit Seth are also seen.
High Level Committee Meets for Central Assistance to States 

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the High Level Committee for Central Assistance to States affected by natural disasters here today. The Union Minister for Finance Shri Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister of Agriculture Shri Radha Mohan Singh and Senior Officers of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance and Agriculture attended the meeting. 

The Committee examined the proposals for financial assistance to Andhra Pradesh for Hudhud cyclone, Arunachal Pradesh for floods and landslides and Karnataka for some parts of the State affected by floods and some parts affected by drought. The Committee also examined the proposal for financial assistance to Uttar Pradesh where some parts of the State were affected by hailstorm and some parts affected by drought. The Committee took decisions on assistance from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) as per the guidelines of NDRF. 

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh formally handed over Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers, in New Delhi on January 14, 2015. The Union Minister for Defence, Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan and the Director General (Coast Guard), Vice Admiral Anurag G. Thapliyal, the Secretary (BM), Smt. Sneh Lata Kumar and the General & Census Commissioner, India, Dr. C. Chandramouli are also seen.
Home Minister hands over Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers to Chief of Naval Staff and DG Coast Guard 

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh formally handed over Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers here today to Admiral R.K.Dhowan, Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, Director General (Coast Guard) in the presence of Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar. 

One of the measures to strengthen coastal security was the creation of National Population Registrar (NPR) in 3,331 coastal villages in the 9 maritime states and 4 UTs and issue of Resident Identity Cards (RIC). The scheme of issuing Resident Identity Cards is being implemented by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Under the scheme more than 65 lakh people have been issued Resident Identity Card. 

The Smart Card readers are capable of demographic and biometric authentication on an offline mode and are manufactured indigenously by M/s ITI Limited & M/s Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL). 

The Card readers work on the principle of Key Management System and the cards can be read only when the key present in the RIC is authenticated by the Verification Authentication (VA) card. 

The RIC reader is tamper-proof and self-destructs if it is opened in an unauthorized manner. The card reader has been put through sea-trials by the Navy and Coast Guard. 

The office of Registrar and Census Commission has incorporated all the suggestion given by the Navy and Coast Guard in the designing of the RICs. These cards readers will initially be issued to the Navy and Coast Guard and later to the Maritime Police stations and State Governments. 

Secretary (BM) Smt. Sneh Lata Kumar, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India, Dr. C. Chandramouli and Senior Officers of MHA and MoD were present on the occasion. 


Government Approves Augmentation of High Power Short Circuit Facilities and Establishment of New Test Facilities in CPRI With Outlay of Rs.996 Crore 

In order to serve the growing needs of Research & Development in the Indian Power Sector including, development of advanced Testing Facilities, Government has accorded investment approval of Rs.996 crore for capital projects of Central Power Research Institute (CPRI). This will support augmentation of High Power Short Circuit Facilities as well as establishment of new test facilities in existing laboratories of CPRI, located at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkota, Guwahati, Noida and Nagpur. In addition, a new laboratory will also be established in Western Region at Nasik. 

CPRI, with its headquarters at Bengaluru, is an autonomous society under the aegis of the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India. It was set up to serve as a National level laboratory for undertaking applied research in electrical power engineering, besides functioning as an independent test and certification authority for electrical equipments and components for ensuring reliability in the power system. 

The main facilities proposed to be set up/augmented under the approved projects, include the following: 

i. Short Circuit Test Facilities 

ii. Transmission Tower Test Facility 

iii. Facilities for Switchgear Testing & Development v iv. Facilities for testing of transformer oil 

v. Relocation and augmentation of thermal research centre at Nagpur. 

vi. Establishment of new unit at Nasikv vii. Establishment of Phasor Measurement Unit System and Smart Grid Research Laboratory. 

On commissioning of the above mentioned facilities, CPRI shall be able to test Transformers and other Switchgears of higher rating equipments used for 400 KV and above. The Smart Grid Research Laboratory will provide necessary support for developing Smart Grid Devices needed for Indian Smart Grid Mission and Smart City projects. The Phasor Measurement Unit System will support the efforts towards Grid Security. 

The Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy witnessing the signing of the Tripartite Agreement between the National Skill Development fund (NSDF), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), in New Delhi on January 14, 2015. 
Rajiv Pratap Rudy Calls Upon the Corporate Sector and PSUs to Participate in Skill Development Initiatives 

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy today called upon the corporate sector and PSUs to contribute in the skilling initiatives of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). According to him India has focussed in the domain of education for many years and needs to now place its attention to skilling people and creating jobs such that the large demographic dividend is employed. He indicated that such an initiative requires scale that could be achieved through public-private partnerships. 

The Minister said, the country is lagging behind in skill development for at least 50 to 55 years. He said, we have been focussing on education but not on skill development. The next 5 to 10 years are crucial to meet the emerging challenges in making India a great power amongst the comity of nations. He said, India has merely 2% skilled people vis-a-vis many growing and developed economies. 

In a first of its kind partnership, National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI), have signed a tripartite agreement with that will see PGCI contribute its CSR funds for NSQF (National Skill Qualification Framework) aligned skill development activities in the country. The event was graced with the presence of the Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy MoS (Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) and Secretary Shri Sunil Arora. 

The event marked a historic day since it is the first time NSDF received funding from a PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) under CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Acknowledging the same Shri Rudy said, today is the beginning of the activities government had envisioned while setting up this Ministry and its role. He further added, companies should be encouraged more to contribute from their CSR funds to the NSDF. He indicated that PGCI has taken the leap in this direction and partnerships with private stakeholders have begun with the government. 

According to him, if the corporate sector and PSUs join the initiatives of the Ministry, it would be an institution that would facilitate skilling of people, making India the skill capital of the world. 

The MoU was signed by Shri Pawan Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer (CEO) NSDF; Shri I. S. Jha, Director (Projects), Power Grid Corporation of India and Shri Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, NSDC in the presence of Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy. 

The Director (Projects) Shri I. S. Jha, PGCI described it as a great initiative by the Ministry towards building an advanced nation. Government of India has committed to provide 24X7 power supply to all by 2019. A huge investment has been envisaged for additional generation of capacity and development of matching transmission and distribution infrastructure. He said, towards this availability of skilled manpower is a big challenge and such programs of skill development will help achieving this ambitious target. 


United Nations top energy official discusses Solar Energy with Shri Venkaiah Naidu 

Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations Organization and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All today urged the Minister of Urban Development Shri Venkaiah Naidu to promote Solar Energy Generation in the country. Dr. Yumkella, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All Initiative met Shri Naidu and discussed the issue in detail. 

The UN Official stressed on the need for promotion of renewable energy sources to mitigate climate change and its consequences which are emerging as a major threat by the day. He emphasized the need for enhancing solar power generation through collaborative effort of all stake-holders. He has complemented the Government of Gujarat for their initiative in this regard. Dr. Yumkella noted that India has great potential in this regard. 

Shri Venkaiah Naidu, while agreeing with the concerns and suggestions of Dr. Yumkella gave an account of the initiatives taken by the Government of India in the matter. Shri Naidu said his ministry has recently come out with a policy of achieving 100 MW of Solar power generation through roof top solar panels to be installed over the buildings owned and managed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) across the country. He also referred to the initiatives of replacing halogen lamps with LED bulbs which has substantial potential of saving power. 

Experts accompanying Dr. Yumkella said that efforts are on to promote increase use of Solar Panels and related equipment by reducing their weight to 20% of the present load per square meter. 


Madhya Pradesh CM discusses State projects with Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu 

Seeks assistance for Ujjain Kumbh Mela and Institute of Governance and Urban Management 

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan has sought central assistance for Sinhasth Kumbh Mela to be held at Ujjain next year and the proposed National Institute of Governance and Urban Management to set up at Bhopal. Shri Chauhan today met Urban Development Minister Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi and discussed various other projects pertaining to Madhya Pradesh. 

Shri Chauhan sought enhanced FAR limits for the State Bhavan of Mahdya Pradesh to be constructed in the National Capital in place of the existing one. He said, the present building located in Chanakyapuri falls out side the Lutyens Zone and is entitled to enhanced FAR limits as per the recent relaxations approved by the Ministry of Urban Development. Shri Naidu directed concerned officials to examine the same for further consideration. 

The Chief Minister sought release of funds for completion of various projects sanctioned under JNNURM which are in various stages of implementation. He said that release of further central assistance as committed earlier would enable completion of these projects resulting in better use of central assistance already provided. Shri Naidu said that this issue is under consideration and an appropriate view would be taken soon as similar requests have been received from several states. 

Regarding extending financial help to Ujjain Kumbh Mela, Shri Naidu said that a few such requests have been received from other states as well and a view needs to be taken in consultation with other concerned ministries at the centre. 

The Urban Development Minister said that his ministry is keen to launch institutions for capacity building of Urban Local Bodies and other stake holders in the context of enhanced focus on urban development and Madhya Pradesh Government’s proposal would be considered appropriately once the scheme for capacity building is firmed up. 

Regarding Bhopal Metro Project, Shri Naidu said that it will be given an expeditious consideration when the DPR for the same is received in the Ministry. 


Uma Bharti Inaugurates India Water Week Exhibition 

Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti inaugurated the India Water Week exhibition in Pragati Maidan today. The exhibition will conclude on 17th of this month. 

Australia is the partner country for this event and 30 Australian companies are participating in the exhibition to showcase the technological advancement in the area of water resources. Maharashtra is associated as partner State. 

The event is being organized in co-ordination with nodal Ministries of Agriculture, Environment & Forests and Climate Change, Rural Development, Urban Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Power and NITI Ayog along with their associated expert organizations and Public Sector Units, key international bodies and private and public business houses. 

There exhibition showcases the technologies, latest development and solutions available for the areas of water management for sustainable development in agriculture and irrigation, drinking water supplies in rural and urban, industrial water use. It provides a unique networking opportunity to the exhibitors for exposing their products and services to the practicing water resource professionals from various countries. Exhibitors will also have a unique opportunity to spread their network in this region and find new joint ventures and profit from the growing business in this emerging and technologically important area. Business firms will have the opportunity of direct contact with thousands of potential clients, highly qualified visitors including decision makers, enormous PR and promotional opportunities, to find joint ventures to enable them to expand their business in the rapidly growing India water market and to increase brand visibility/image and free hosting of exhibitors profiles and company website links on event web portal. 

Conceptualised and organised for the first time in 2012, the India Water Week is an annual forum where the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India discusses, talks, strategizes with eminent stakeholders through seminars, exhibitions and sessions to build public awareness to get support to implement key strategies for conservation, preservation and optimum use of available water. This is the third event in line with the theme “Water management for sustainable development”. The second event namely India Water Week-2013 with the theme “Efficient Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities” was organised during 8-12 April, 2013 at New Delhi. 

High Level Committee Meets for Central Assistance to States High Level Committee Meets for Central Assistance to States Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:54 PM Rating: 5

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