Ministry to work as a facilitator in the developmental process: Shri Prakash Javedekar;

Ministry to work as a facilitator in the developmental process: Shri Prakash Javedekar;

Minister launches smart e-Book of the Ministry

Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javedekar said that the ministry will work as a facilitator in pursuing the goal of sustainable development by bring in transparency , removing bottlenecks and encouraging people’s participation. Shri Javedekar, said this while launching the e-book of the ministry.

While outlining the vision for the ministry in 2015, Shri Javedekar said that sustainable development without destruction, green growth and poverty eradication were the principles that would guide the initiatives and policies of the ministry. Unveiling the agenda for the year 2015 for the ministry , the minister said that bringing transparency in processes, bringing in time bound disposal of applications, stress on compliance through monitoring, public participation, priority for greening the degraded forest, providing ease of doing business by removing bottlenecks were being given high priority. Shri Javedekar stressed the need for India to effectively put forward its stand in Conference of Parties –CoP21 that is scheduled to be held in Paris this year.

Stressing that people’s participation was central to the developmental process, Shri Javedekar said that his ministry would initiate several public campaigns for turning degraded lands into urban greens, making the environment plastic bags free, restoration of lakes and rivers. Youth would be the special focus of these campaigns.
The Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Shri Prakash Javadekar launching the E-book of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in New Delhi on February 23, 2015. The Secretary, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Ashok Lavasa is also seen

While launching the E-book of the ministry, Shri Javedekar said that the Smart E-book designed to give maximum impact with least text using videos, audio and images. The e-book will also be launched in Hindi and is friendly for the differently-abled. The Smart E-book is Mobile friendly and can be easily readable on all mobile platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows.

The Smart E-book titled “Development without Destruction “captures some of the important initiatives taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in the last eight months. It allows users to share the E-book on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google plus. This is the First of its kind Smart Ebook that incorporates an audio book feature with text to help users listen to each topic in the Ministry. The Smart E-book contains an interactive feature of an Environment Wall showcasing the varied events which can be updated at frequent intervals.


New Website of National Pension System Trust Launched; To Provide Proper and Effective Information Dissemination to the Stakeholders and Provide Ease of Access to Various Beneficiaries Under NPS

            The National Pension System Trust has been set-up and constituted by Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) for taking care of the assets and funds under the National Pension System (NPS) in the interest of the beneficiaries (subscribers).

The National Pension System Trust has launched its new website here today.. The website was launched by Shri G. N. Bajpai, Chairman & Trustee of the Board of NPS Trust. The website is aimed to provide proper and effective information dissemination to the stakeholders and provide ease of access to various beneficiaries under NPS.


India Signs Loan Agreement with ADB for US $350 Million Loan to Upgrade District Roads in State of Madhya Pradesh

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) India signed here recently an agreement for a US $350 million loan to upgrade district roads in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh (MP) District Connectivity Sector project will improve about 1,600 kilometers of major district roads in Madhya Pradesh through lane widening, surface improvements, strengthening of culverts and bridges.

Shri Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed the loan agreement on behalf of Government of India said that the project will lead to improved road transport connectivity in Madhya Pradesh (MP) through reconstruction and rehabilitation of major district roads to all-weather standards. The project will have innovative elements like creation of State Highways Fund on PPP model, toll plus annuity on hybrid model of BOT (Toll) & BOT (Annuity), Border Checkposts, also on PPP model to increase the revenue and control overloading and damage to state roads.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Teresa Kho, Country Director of ADB`s India Resident Mission, who signed the agreement for ADB said that the loan is ADB’s first in the district roads sector in India, and will address a neglected part of ongoing road network upgrades in the country for these secondary roads, which provide a key link between rural roads and state highways. She further said that this will help to cut travel times, improve traffic flow and road safety, and provide better access to markets and social services for poor and remote communities. The project agreement was signed by Sh. Vivek Aggarwal, Secretary, Public Works Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, and Shri Arun Paliwal, General Manager, Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation (MPRDC).

In addition to improving the roads, the project envisages to include five-year performance-based maintenance contracts integrated as an adjunct to the construction contracts, to ensure road assets are constructed to higher standards and well maintained after initial work is completed. The project roads will also be covered under an accident response system being developed by the state, with assistance under ADB’s prior loans.

ADB’s loan will cover 70% of the total project cost of $500 million, with the state government of Madhya Pradesh providing the balance of $150 million. It is expected to be completed by April 2018. Madhya Pradesh has a road network of about 127,000 km, including 4,700 km of national highways, 11,000 km of state highways, and 20,000 km of major district roads. Rural roads make up the balance.


India Signs Loan Agreement with ADB For $50.2 Million Loan to Support Assam’s Power Sector Improvement

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed here a $50.2 million loan agreement to continue to support improvements to transmission and distribution systems in the State of Assam for better electricity service to end users.

The fourth tranche loan under the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility for the Assam Power Sector Enhancement Investment Program will build on earlier loans which aimed to improve operational efficiency in the sector through better transmission and distribution networks.

Shri Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed the loan agreement on behalf of Government of India said that this loan will help strengthen the state’s sub-transmission and distribution system, improve energy efficiency and reduce technical and commercial losses,” said He added that project will also undertake modernization of metering and maintenance of repair system.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Teresa Kho, Country Director of ADB`s India Resident Mission, who signed the agreement for ADB said that the increased access to electricity in remote communities can help meet growing demand and reduce poverty. Sh. V. B. Pyarelal, Additional Chief Secretary (Power), Government of Assam signed the agreement on behalf of the State Government along with Shri K. V. Eapen, Chairman, Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL).

The project, which is expected to be completed by December 31, 2018, will help APDCL add an additional 222 megavolt amperes (MVA) substation capacity and reduce system losses by 4%. Part of the loan will be used to enhance energy efficiency through renovation and modernization of existing 33/11 kilovolt (kV) substations. It will also deliver a dedicated power supply to tea estates by undertaking feeder separation for better service to the economically important tea sector.

The loan of $50 million from ADB’s ordinary capital resources makes up to 74% of the total project cost of almost $68 million, with the Government of Assam providing counterpart finance of $18 million.


Mineral Production during December 2014

The index of mineral production of mining and quarrying sector for the month of December (new Series 2004-05=100) 2014 at 131.6, was 3.2% lower as compared to December 2013. The cumulative growth for the period April – December 2014-15 over the corresponding period of previous year stands at (+) 1.7%.

The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during December ( 2014 was Rs. 19684 crore. The contribution of: coal was the highest at Rs. 7386 crore (38%). Next in the order of importance were: petroleum (crude) Rs. 5834 crore, iron ore Rs. 2397 crore, natural gas (utilized) Rs. 2302 crore, lignite Rs. 473 crore and limestone Rs. 422 crore. These six minerals together contributed about 96% of the total value of mineral production in December 2014.

Production level of important minerals in December 2014 were: coal 558 lakh tonnes, lignite 41 lakh tonnes, natural gas (utilized) 2783 million cu. m., petroleum (crude) 32 lakh tonnes, bauxite 2345 thousand tonnes, chromite 160 thousand tonnes, copper conc. 7 thousand tonnes, gold 143 kg., iron ore 92 lakh tonnes, lead conc. 17 thousand tonnes, manganese ore 194 thousand tonnes, zinc conc. 143 thousand tonnes, apatite & phosphorite 100 thousand tonnes, dolomite 439 thousand tonnes, limestone 230 lakh tonnes, magnesite 24 thousand tonnes and diamond 2874 carat.

The production of important minerals showing positive growth during December 2014 over December 2013 include ‘magnesite’ (34.9%), ‘gold’ (17.2%), ‘zinc conc.’ (14.5%), ‘lead conc.’ (7.1%), ‘lignite’ (5.3%), ‘coal’ (2.8%), ‘limestone’ (1.7%). The production of other important minerals showing negative growth are: ‘petroleum (crude) [(-) 1.4%], ‘natural gas (utilized)’ [(-)4.2%], ‘diamond’ [(-) 10.4%], ‘bauxite’ [(-) 18.2%], ‘manganese ore’ and ‘copper conc.’ [(-) 31.2%] each, ‘dolomite’ [(-) 35.6%], ‘iron ore’ [(-) 38.3%], ‘apatite & phosphorite’ [(-) 40.9%] and ‘chromite’ [(-) 49.4%].


National Sports Awards Schemes Revamped

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has revised the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.

In the revised Schemes, following major amendments have been made:

(i) Selection Committee for Arjuna Award will be headed by Retired Judge of Supreme Court/High Court.

(ii) A sportsperson of eminence/sports administrator/sports expert belonging to para sports will be member in Selection Committee for Arjuna Awards.

(iii) Not more than one sportsperson of eminence/coach from a particular sports discipline shall be a member of the Selection Committee to avoid any bias in favour of a particular discipline.

(iv) Nomination agencies are expected to send nominations of most deserving sportsperson(s)/coach(es) irrespective of whether sportspersons/coaches have applied to them for awards.

Last year, Selection Committee for Arjuna Awards headed by Shri Kapil Dev made several suggestions for improving the Scheme of Arjuna Awards. Most of the suggestions have been accepted by the Government.

In the marks criteria, more marks will be given for medals won in individual events. For team events, marks will be computed taking into consideration strength of the team.

For Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards and Dronacharya Awards, the weightage for performance in sports events has been reduced from 90% to 80% and weightage of marks to be given by the Selection Committee for factors like profile and standard of sports events has been increased from 10% to 20%. This will increase say of the Selection Committee in the process of selection and give sufficient paly to the profile and standard of sports events in determination of awardees.

Following decisions have also been taken:

(i) Proceedings of Selection Committee will be videographed.

(ii) Detailed internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prepared to deal with nominations received from NSFs etc.

(iii) Views of discipline experts to be obtained for shortlisted nominations in team games.
Ministry to work as a facilitator in the developmental process: Shri Prakash Javedekar; Ministry to work as a facilitator in the developmental process: Shri Prakash Javedekar; Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 11:24 AM Rating: 5

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