Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chairs 20th Meeting of the Central Zonal Council

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh addressing at the University of Lucknow Convocation ceremony for the year 2014, in Lucknow on January 19, 2015.
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chairs 20th Meeting of the Central Zonal Council 

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the 20th Meeting of the Central Zonal Council in Lucknow today. Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, - Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chhattisgarh, - Dr. Raman Singh and Uttarakhand, - Shri Harish Rawat, besides Uttar Pradesh, - Shri Akhilesh Yadav and senior officials of the four states attended the deliberations. 

Terming the Central Zonal Council Meeting as crucial, Shri Rajnath Singh remarked that it is meeting after two decades. He said that this Council was constituted under the State Reorganization Act but it could not meet after a couple of meetings in the Fifties and Eighties. The Union Home Minister said that the Eastern Zonal Council Meeting was held in Patna only last week at his initiative. He said that the Zonal Councils are an important forum to resolve Inter-State issues. Shri Rajnath Singh said that the development of the states leads to the development of the country. 

On the occasion the Chief Ministers of respective States presented a report on their developmental works and achievements. 


Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh calls for Holistic Education 

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has said that the students should strive to inculcate education in such a manner which can develop their personality in a comprehensive way. Addressing the 57th convocation of Lucknow University in Lucknow today, he said that education is the force behind the comprehensive development of human beings. While expressing concern over the growing tendency of a section of highly educated youth in the country towards extremism and radicalization, he exhorted the youth to build the nation with all their might. 

Shri Rajnath Singh said that our great nation is filled with wisdom and age old education. He said that "the principle of uncertainty" and the quadratic equation etc were propounded in our country thousands of years ago before the Western world came to know about it. Shri Rajnath Singh said that Swami Vivekananda was the first `global youth` of India. The Union Home Minister called upon the students of the country to unite together to make India an economic superpower and also to make it a superpower of spiritualism. 


National Investigation Agency Day Celebrated 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) celebrated its 2nd NIA day here today by organising the Second R.V.Raju Memorial Lecture on “Pakistan and Neighbourhood: A Hawkish Agenda” by Shri Shekhar Gupta Editor, Columnist and Author. 

Shri Shekhar Gupta elaborated the subject in detail citing examples of India’s relation with her neighbours and the ways to work with the neighbours which is acceptable to them. 

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju presided over the function. Shri Rijiju mentioned that the NIA is the specialised investigative agency and is actively co-ordinating investigations with the Government of States and UTs and other Law Enforcement Agencies. He mentioned that the agency has opened its six branches and keeping in view the present requirement, some more offices may be opened in due course at other places. 

Shri Kiren Rijiju presented the Indian Police Medal for meritorious service to the NIA officers. These officers included Sajid Farid Shapoo, Deputy Inspector General, Shri Sudesh Kumar Rana, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shri Anil Kumar, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shri Pradip Baburao Mane, Inspector and Shri Rajesh Bhabhor, Constable. 

The function was attended by Shri Anil Goswami, Union Home Secretary and senior officers of MHA, Intelligence Agencies and Central Armed Police Forces. 



In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Shri Pahlaj Nihalani as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 19th January, 2015 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. 

Further, In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint the following persons as members of the Central Board of Film Certification with immediate effect for a period of three years and until further orders 

Shri Mihir Bhuta 

Prof. Syed Abdul Bari 

Shri Ramesh Patange 

Shri George Baker 

Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi 

Ms. Jeevitha 

Ms. Vani Tripathi Tikoo 

Shri S. Ve Shekhar 

Shri Ashoke Pandit 


India Signs MoU with South Africa for Developing Youth Enterprises 

NSIC a public sector enterprise under the Ministry of MSME, Government of India signed an MoU of Cooperation with Black Business Council (BBC) of South Africa for developing youth owned enterprises in South Africa in the presence of Shri Kalraj Mishra, Minister of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises in South Africa today. 

The MoU, besides cooperation in MSME sector, also focuses on BBC’s efforts to economically empower the marginalized group in South Africa through NSIC’s Rapid Incubation Programme. BBC plans to establish five such Rapid Incubation Centres in South Africa in cooperation with NSIC.

On the occasion Shri Kalraj Mishra said that the signing of MoU between the two organizations will further strengthen our commitment to cooperate with South Africa in developing MSMEs in the country thus, be partner in economic transformation of South Africa. 

While addressing the Conference on Cooperation in MSME Sector organized by NSIC and the High Commission of India in cooperation with Black Business Council, South Africa Shri Kalraj Mishra said that it would not have been more opportune time for me to be here, when India is celebrating the 100th year of return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. It is my privilege to be in a nation from where Mahatma Gandhi gave the world Mantra of Non-violence. 

I must commend the organizers for their efforts in organizing this event and thereby providing a platform for the enterprises of India and South Africa to explore opportunities for collaborations especially in areas like technology and investment. I would also like to thank the Government of South Africa for inviting us here. 

India-South Africa cooperation is about sharing knowledge and expertise, exchange of best practices, supporting innovation and building capacity and skills. That is the objective of this Conference and also the Memorandum of Understanding being signed today between National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Black Business Council of South Africa for promoting cooperation in the field of MSMEs. 

We believe that these two nations have great prospects for synergizing their complementarities in areas of industry, services, trade and technology especially in the field of Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

Coming to the MSME sector, I would like to stress that these dominate the industrial landscape of India. MSMEs number about 44 million units and provides employment to some 80 million people. They also contribute 45% of manufacturing output and over 40% of India’s aggregate exports. With the spectacular growth being maintained by MSME sector in the overall manufacturing output of the country, we are focusing on maintaining the growth of this sector which is a very important constituent of Indian economy. MSMEs will play an important role in realizing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of “Make in India” i.e to make India a manufacturing hub with zero defect products and zero effect on environment policy. 

With South Africa, although our political relations are warm and friendly, economic ties have to be further nurtured to emerge stronger, given the geostrategic position of both countries. South Africa as a member of SADC can be a good partner for Indian businesses. Its manufacturing and technical capabilities make it a good springboard for doing business in Africa. Similarly, India offers South African companies an excellent location for addressing the huge domestic Indian market as well as the wider Asian market. 

Some other sectors of bilateral cooperation that we are highlighting include Auto Component industry, Machine Tools industry, Leather and Leather Goods, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, Fruit and Food processing and Textiles, among others. These are the industries where Indian companies especially SMEs have been performing well and have made their presence felt on the global marketplace. I would urge South African companies to examine the opportunities in these and other sectors closely to reveal the underlying synergies of both countries. 

I believe that there is still much untapped potential that can be leveraged by MSMEs of both countries. Only a small fraction of MSMEs are aware of bilateral business opportunities and have the skill, risk appetite and resources to address these opportunities. We need to comprehensively build linkages among small enterprises of both nations and interaction can go down to the next level. In today’s technologically connected and digitally linked world, this task has become easier. E-commerce and online businesses are emerging in a major way and I would not be surprised if down the road, e-businesses became as important as brick and mortar enterprises. 

In this regard, I would like to appreciate the initiative of NSIC to launch “Build SMME” web portal dedicated to India-South African MSMEs. I am sure MSMEs of both the countries would be taking full benefit of this portal to enhance the technical and business linkages between the two countries. 

Also, Coinciding with the India International Trade Fair (being held in New Delhi, during 14 – 27 November every year), NSIC with my Ministry organizes Techmart India (an exhibition of Small & Medium Enterprises). A large number of MSMEs from across the world participate in this event and it helps build greater understanding and connectivity among MSME for business. I would like to invite South African SMEs to participate in this event annually and network with progressive Indian MSME units. Similarly, NSIC is regularly organizing the participation of Indian MSMEs to SAITEX Exhibition. 

There is still a lot of scope in enhancing cooperation between the MSMEs of both the countries. I would like to emphasize that the Indian government is keen to promote cooperation in MSME sector with South Africa. Let me here reiterate Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Slogan “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” i:e “participation of all for development of all.” 

With this, I would like to thank you again for your patient listening and sparing your valuable time to attend this conference. I am confident that we will see the contours of a new bilateral economic relationship between India and South Africa emerge today and the MSME delegates of NSIC, who have come all the way from India, will initiate technical and business alliances with their South African counterparts. 


MMDR Ordinance will prove to be a milestone in the revolution for transparency –Shri Narendra Singh Tomar 

Minister meets states to prepare implementation roadmap 

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Steel and Mines has  said that the MINES AND MINERALS (DEVELOPMENT AND REGULATION), (MMDR) Ordinance is a revolutionary step in revival of mining sector in the country, hitherto stagnated due to various reasons. Addressing a meeting of mines ministers and secretaries from across the country here today, the minister said that auction will bring in greater transparency and higher revenue for the states.  Simultaneously simplification and transferability will also attract private investment. He added that the classification of minerals will lead to their better scientific exploration and with more power to the states mining process will be expedite. The meeting was organised for preparing a roadmap for implementation of Ordinance was attended by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, mining ministers from 11 states, Secretary (Mines) Shri Anup K Pujari, Additional Secretary (Mines) Shri R Sridharan, and senior officials from the Ministry of Mines.

Pressing upon the need for developing a sound database for minerals in India, Shri Tomar averred that detailed exploration is the first step in mining and to set realistic goals and make workable plans, it is imperative to know the true measure of our resource base. He stated that as per preliminary assessment, 199 cases of various states would be ready for auction with some effort. But such auctions would also depend on the finalisation of modalities for conducting auction and subordinate rules therein. The Minister pointed out other provisions of the Ordinance, such as, stricter penalties for illegal mining, establishment of National Minerals Exploration Trust (NMET) to give impetus to exploration, removal of prior approval of the centre to eliminate delays, and provision for District Mineral Foundation (DMF) to address the concerns of mining-affected people. Citing the example of falling levels of iron ore production in the country, Shri Tomar urged states to revive mining in all earnestness. Acknowledging the uniqueness of different minerals and different regions, Shri Tomar solicited opinions and suggestions of state representatives for firming up a holistic implementation plan to further strengthen the ‘Make in India’ vision of the government.

Mining ministers and secretaries from different states expressed optimism over the amendments, and offered constructive suggestions for its implementation on the ground level. It was agreed that delays in environment and forest clearances had to be resolved by MoEF for providing unhindered support in growth of mining.

Following are the key features of the Ordinance:

·           Removal of discretion; auction to be sole method of allotment: The amendment seeks to bring in utmost transparency by introducing auction mechanism for the grant of mineral concessions {Section 10 B &11}. The tenure of the mineral concession have been increased from the existing 30 years to 50 years {Section 8 A (1), (2), (3) and (4)}.

·           Impetus to the mining sector: The mining industry has been aggrieved due to the second and subsequent renewals remaining pending. In fact, this has led to closure of a large number of mines. The Ordinance also addresses this issue. Sub-Section 5 and 6 of Section 8(a) of the Ordinance provides that the Mining Leases would be deemed to be extended from the date of their last renewal to 31st March, 2030 (in the captive miners) and till 31st March, 2020 (for the merchant miners) or till the completion of the renewal already granted, if any, whichever is later.

·        Safeguarding interest of affected persons: There is provision to establish District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in the districts affected by mining related activities {Section 9 (B)}.

·        Encouraging exploration and investment: Further, the Ordinance proposes to setup a National Mineral Exploration Trust created out of contribution from the mining lease holders, to have a dedicated fund for encouraging exploration in the country {Section 9 (C)}.

·        Simplification of procedures and removal of delay: The amendment removes the need for “previous approval” from the Central Government for important minerals like iron ore, bauxite, mangese, etc., thereby making the process quicker and simpler. Similarly, under Section 5(2)(b), the State Governments to devise a system for filing of a mining plan obviating need for approval by the Central Government. The Ordinance also provides that the tenure of any Mining Lease would now be 50 years in place of 30 years in the existing Act.

·        Stronger provisions for checking illegal mining: In order to address the escalating problem of illegal mining, the penal provisions have been made further stringent- Higher penalties up to 5 lakh rupees and imprisonment up to 5 years.


Yemen delegation meets Dr. Jitendra Singh 

India to exempt customs duty for Yemen 

India has offered unilateral concession to Yemen to exempt Yemeni exports to India from customs duty under India’s “Duty-Free Tariff Preference” (DFTP) scheme as part of the Narendra Modi Government`s commitment to render economic assistance to the “Least Developed Countries” (LDCs). This was stated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh while speaking to a delegation of the Republic of Yemen which called on him, here today. 

Dr. Jitendra Singh said that it is a providential coincidence that a delegation of Yemen is visiting New Delhi on the eve of India’s Republic Day which commemorates the implementation of Constitution of India and this is also the time around when the Republic of Yemen is engaged in giving final touches to its own constitution. 

Recalling the long history of people-to-people contact between India and Yemen, Dr. Jitendra Singh revealed that large number of people of Yemeni origin are settled in Hyderabad and their forefathers worked in the security forces of the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad. On the other hand, it is significant to note that about one lakh people of Indian origin have settled in Yemen, he added. 

Welcoming the formation of the Yemen Government under Prime Minister, Mr. Khaled Bahah, Dr. Jitendra Singh hoped that the Al Houthis and Southern Movement issues will be resolved amicably. 

Underlining the common commitment of the two nations to the values of democracy, Dr. Jitendra Singh appreciated the fact that like India, Yemen also follows a multiparty democracy with a bicameral legislation and the Lower House or Lok Sabha in India is called ‘Majlis-e-Nuwab’ there while the Upper House or Rajya Sabha here is known as ‘Majlis-e-Shoura’ there. 

In the years to come, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Indian Government headed by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is keen to establish comprehensive economic partnership with Yemen, particularly in the fields of oil, gas, minerals, power, infrastructure and telecom. In this context, he referred to figures of previous years and stated that during the current financial year, the bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to cross over Two billion US dollars. 

The Head of the Yemen Delegation, Ms. Afrah Saleh Mohammed Badwilan conveyed ‘Republic Day’ greetings to India on behalf of the Government of Yemen. She said that there are many things in common between the two countries including the appearance and lifestyle of the people. Yemen is keen to learn from India’s expertise in various fields and India’s capability to confront various contemporary challenges, she added. 


ACC Appointment 

The Competent Authority has approved the assignment of additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Higher Education to Ms. Vrinda Sarup, IAS (UP:81), Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy from 19.01.2015 to 25.01.2015 during the absence of leave of Shri Satya N. Mohanty, IAS (AP:80). 

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chairs 20th Meeting of the Central Zonal Council Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chairs 20th Meeting of the Central Zonal Council Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:37 PM Rating: 5

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