Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata contributes PM National Relief Fund

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata contributes towards Jammu and Kashmir flood victims - PM National Relief Fund 

   The faculty and staff of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata (IISER) responded to the appeal of the Prime Minister made in the aftermath of severe floods in Jammu and Kashmir by making a contribution of one day of their salary. In their letter attaching the draft they said they are moved by the appeal of the Prime Minister to contribute to the PM National Relief Fund, posted on the PIB website- on 12th September 2014. They made a contribution of Rs. 3, 63,592/-

Commission constituted on Denotified and Nomadic Tribes 

The Government of constituted a Commission on Denotified and Nomadic Tribes for a period of three years, from the date of Gazette Notification or appointment of Chairperson. The terms of reference of the Commission include preparation of a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes and suggest appropriate measures in respect of Denotified and Nomadic Tribes to be undertaken by the Central Government or the State Government. The Commission shall consist of one Chairperson, One Member and one Member Secretary. Accordingly, Government has notified the name of Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate as Chairperson and name of Shri Shravan Singh Rathore as Member Secretary of the National Commission of DNTs. Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate and Shri Shravan Singh Rathore have taken charge as Chairperson and Member respectively on fore-noon of January 9th, 2015. The term of the Commission will be three years from 09.01.2015. 

Tribal Food Festival at Delhi 

The capital city of Delhi is all set to witness the first of its kind grand “Tribal Food Festival-2015” being organized by Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) on behalf of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India, at Rajiv Gandhi Handicrafts Bhawan, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi from 16th to 19th January 2015 (11.00 am- 8.00 pm). Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs will inaugurate the festival in the gracious presence of Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Shri Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, Managing Director, TRIFED. Both the Ministers shall also interact with the tribal master cooks who are participating in the food festival with their ethnic traditional delectable cuisines from all over the country. 

Tribal master cooks from States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and the North - Eastern States will offer mouth watering and finger licking dishes. 

The main objective of this unique event is to introduce and create awareness on the varieties of ethnic Tribal Foods to the food lovers of Delhi with a view to providing additional source of income to the tribals. 


Possible areas of cooperation between Kyoto and Varanasi discussed 

First meeting of Steering Committee on Kyoto-Varanasi held 

The similarities between the Japanese city of Kyoto and the Indian city of Varanasi and the probable areas of collaboration between the two cities were discussed in detail today at the first meeting of the Steering Committee on Kyoto-Varanasi Cooperation. The meeting was chaired by Shri Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary(Urban Development), who is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee, set up to operationalize the Agreement on Sister City Cooperation signed during the last visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Japan. 

The meeting was attended by Shri Ramgopal Mohley, Mayor of Varanasi, Vice-Chairman of Varanasi Development Authority, Director General of Archeological Survey of India (ASI), senior officials from the Ministries of External Affairs, Culture and Human Resources Development and officials from other concerned agencies besides officials from the Embassy of Japan. 

Shri Praveen Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development and Convenor of the Steering Committee made a presentation highlighting the similarities between Kyoto and Varanasi and the possibilities of sharing the experiences of Kyoto in emerging as the top ranked city in the world in the domain of leisure and tourism with development strategies centered around conserving its rich culture heritage. 

The similarities brought out included: both cities of tourism importance with Kyoto attracting about 50 million tourists every year and Varanasi receiving about 5 million visitors, three rivers flowing through both the cities besides both being the locations of rich cultural heritage with Kyoto being known as the city of one thousand shrines and Varanasi as the temple town. 

Three principles highlighted in respect of Kyoto’s initiatives were : conservation of culture, radical changes in town planning, drastic reduction in garbage generation and enhancing the appeal of city’s cultural visibility through measures like banning outdoor advertisements, river front development etc. The other measures taken by Kyoto included : Bio-energy applications and Bio-fuel development, Waste to energy, Life cycle greenhouse gas inventory of household waste, Application of Ozone to municipal sewage treatment and waste water treatment. 

Shri Shakar Aggarwal suggested that Kyoto’s initiatives and experiences be formulated into concrete areas of cooperation for possible implementation in Varanasi keeping in view its unique characteristics in collaboration with Kyoto. He also suggested firming up technical, financial and institutional arrangements for effective operationalization of the Partnership Agreement between the two cities. 

Reviving the soul of Varanasi through organizing regular fairs based on the rich and historical cultural traditions and creative skills of the people of the city were also discussed. 

Based on todays’s deliberations, actionable proposals would be evolved for further consideration by the Governments of India and Japan and the city of Kyoto. 


Shri Venkaiah Naidu call for a five pronged strategy to meet water demand 

Stresses on judicious use and inter-linking of rivers 

Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has expressed serious concern on water scarcity in the country and suggested a five pronged strategy to ensure adequate water for drinking and irrigation needs. Addressing the Plenary Session of ‘India Water Week – 2015’, a four-day international conference organized by the Ministry of Water Resources, here today, Shri Naidu suggested the following strategy for implement it on priority basis. 

(1) Create awareness among the people about the need for judicious use of and conservation of water 

(2) Inter-linking of rivers (Ganga – Cauvery) 

(3) Recycling and re-use of water 

(4) Rain water harvesting 

(5) Desalination plants for use of salt water 

Shri Venkaiah Naidu said water is a scarce resource and every drop of available water needs to be conserved. Stressing on the need to make rain water harvesting mandatory, the Minister said, he intended to recommend to the States to make it a mandatory provision while approving construction plans. He highlighted the need to have check dams at various levels in rural areas. 

Referring to the possibility of conflicts over water resources across the globe, Shri Naidu called for international cooperation to meet water demand. He said, India has a population of about 17% of the world but only 4% of water resources. In urban areas, while the requirement is 135 litres. per person per day, only about 70 litres are being provided. 

Mr. Naidu said that Water Resources Minister Ms. Uma Bharati is very focussed on rejuvenation of Ganga and linking of rivers hoped that these laudable goals of the Government would be realised. He felt that the people have to be educated about the advantages of river linking schemes. He recalled that the inter-linking scheme was enunciated and a task force was set up under Shri Suresh Prabhu’s leadership during the Vajpayeeji’s regime and that the scheme was found technically suitable and financially viable. He said the scheme would take care of the long term needs of the people and also address the issues of floods, droughts and shortage of drinking water. 


USAID, Bill & Milinda Gates Foundation to assist in Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas 
Sign Memoranda of Understanding and Cooperation with UD Ministry 
Model City Sanitation System to be achieved in Visakhapatnam on pilot basis with USAID support 
Shri Venkaiah Naidu and US Ambassador say, cooperation has exciting opportunities 

In a boost to implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have agreed to provide assistance in the critical areas of capacity building of implementing agencies including urban local bodies, technology transfer, technical support, sharing of best sanitation practices and implementation and monitoring. To this effect, USAID today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Urban Development while BGMF signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. These Memoranda were signed by Shri Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary(Urban Development) and Shri John Beed, Country Director of USAID and Shri Girindre Beehary, Country Director, BMGF. 

Minister of Urban Development Shri Venkaiah Naidu and US Ambassador to India Shri Richard Verma were present on the occasion. These Memoranda were signed in pursuance of the agreements reached during the Summit meeting between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and US President Shri Barak Obama in September last year. 

As per the MoU, USAID will assist in: 

1.Knowledge exchange and identification and sharing of best practices for water and sanitation services: 

This is aimed at effective knowledge transfer enabling more rapid delivery of services. State and City level implementation staff will be provided with necessary skills and incentives to deliver results under Swachh Bharat Mission and National Urban Development Mission for 500 cities and towns. 

2.Provision of targeted, demand driven technical assistance: 

Under this, performance indicators and city ranking systems will be introduced for incentivizing participation in Swachh Bharat Mission and triggering competition between cities. USAID will provide a broad spectrum technical support to demonstrate a fully functional sanitation system encompassing containment, collection, transport, treatment, reuse and safe disposal of fecal waste in Visakhapatnam. 

3.Promoting Public-Private Partnerships: 

Under this, USAID will assist in creating a profile consumer behavior and identify behavior changes relating to purchase of toilets and related services besides developing targeted and creative messaging for behavior changes to increase demand for toilets and supply of sanitation products and services. USAID will assist state governments in creating supporting regulatory environment for service providers for operation and maintenance of community and public toilets. 

USAID is likely to spend about US $ 2 million per year on these activities. 

Under the Memorandum of Cooperation, Bill and Milinda Gates Foundation will: 

1.Provide technical and management support and assistance in the implementation of the Mission; 

2.Fund National Level Program Management Unit for coordination of decentralized and non-sewered sanitation solutions; 

3.Award grants to organisations selected by the Ministry for delivering sanitation services; 

4.Release grant funds to grantees like NGOs, public or private organsiations annually, based on satisfactory performance in respect of milestones specified; 

5.Assist in capacity building for planning, project preparation, implementation and management through training and skill development focusing on towns with population of one to five lakhs located along the Ganga river at a cost of US $ 2.50 million per year; 

6.Support IEC and Behavior change Communications; and 

7.Extend Technology and Innovation support for Central Public Health Environmental Engineering Office(CPHEEO) of the Ministry. 

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said ‘More than funds, changing mindsets of the people towards safe sanitation practices and capacity building of implementing agencies are the key issues to ensure a Clean India. The Government is committed to Walk the Talk to realise the goals set under cleanliness mission in the next five years. US cooperation will go a long way in this regard.’ 

US Ambassador Shri Richard Verma said that ‘India-US cooperation has exciting prospects. On the eleventh day of being in India, I am delighted to be associated with this partnership initiative in the area of sanitation which has significant linkages with economic development.’ 


Uma Bharti Underlines the Importance of Dissemination of Data on Water Resources in Public Domain 
India Water Week 2015 Inaugurated 

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has said that dissemination of data in public domain constitutes the most important aspect of the water resources management for people’s participation and information sharing to increase transparency and public awareness. Inaugurating the India Water Week – 2015 here today she said, “to fulfill this objective the Central Water Commission in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre of ISRO has launched the project Generation of database”. 

The Minister said India has more than 18% of the world’s population, but has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources. There are further limits on utilizable quantities of water owing to uneven distribution of water over time and space. She said “with a growing population and rising needs of a fast developing nation as well as the given indication of the impact of climate change, availability of utilizable water will be under further strain in future with the possibility of deepening water conflicts among different user groups”. 

Sushri Bharti said our country has wide variation in water availability across various river basins. While Ganga and Brahmaputra river basins are well endowed with water, the basins in peninsular India are relatively water scarce and most of the them have already reached the stage of full development. She said it is in this context that the inter basin water transfer programme known as inter linking of river has been conceived for transfer of water from surplus basins to deficit basins. Sushri Bharti said “The program is based on creating relatively large storage to build resilience in the system and also provide an aggregate storage capacity needed for the country in an area where the topography and geology provide favourable condition. We will adopt a win-win strategy for implementation of the programme”. 

The Union Minister state for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Sanwar Lal Jat in his address said that increasing population is putting more pressure on the availability of water. He said we will have to adopt new techniques of irrigation based on less usage of water. The Minister said inter-linking of rivers will help in diverting the surplus water of rivers to drought prone areas. 

Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Urban Development Minister Shri M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Environment and Forest Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar also addressed the gathering. 

The theme of five day water week is “Water Management for Sustainable Development". India Water Week-2015 will address the issues of sustainability of water resources development and management in line with Sustainable Development Goals 2015 being finalized by UN. 

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 targeted at international and national audience comprising policy planners and technologists involved with water resources management in all key sectors of economy like agriculture, irrigation, energy, industry and drinking water supply. 

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. 

The IWW-2015 will also have running exhibition enriching the theme and showcasing the technologies and solutions available for the areas under deliberation of the meet. 

During the week, Hamara Jal – Hamara Jeewan initiative will be observed in every district of the country. This will be an initiative to engage scientists, engineers, water communities, PRIs, other stakeholders and NGOs to address the issues of water resources planning at the local level and to generate awareness regarding need for water conservation. Participation from school students will be an integral part of the programme for sensitizing the next generation for water conservation. This will also spread awareness regarding need to conserve water in the light of growing water scarcity. 

One day workshop will be organized in every district during the week to find indigenous solution for meeting the water related demands and suggest future road map to manage water for growth. During the workshop it is planned to prepare a profile of each district covering its source of water, utilization for various uses and constraint, possible local solutions for meeting the unsatisfied demands and future roadmap to manage water for growth. The States have been asked to submit a report in this regard after the workshop is over. The recommendations received during the deliberations of the workshop will also be used for preparation of an overview of State level recommendations. Such recommendations would enable Ministry to utilize the same for policy making. 

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.


Shri Arvind Panagariya assumes charge of the office of Vice Chairman NITI Aayog 

Shri Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog assumed charge of his office here today. 

Eminent economist, Arvind Panagariya was professor of Economics at New York`s Columbia University till recently. A Rajasthan University alumnus, Shri Panagariya holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University. 

A former chief economist at Asian Development Bank, Shri Panagariya has worked with International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and World Bank. He has written around ten books and the latest was “India: The Emerging Giant” published in 2008. 

Born on September 30, 1952, Shri Panagariya is the first vice chairman of the Niti Aayog-National Institution for Transforming India (NITI). Aayog has been established by the Government to function as both a think tank and a policy forum replacing Planning Commission. 

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata contributes PM National Relief Fund Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata contributes PM National Relief Fund Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:40 PM Rating: 5

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