An old man once expressed his good will for your success”

Remember “An old man once expressed his good will for your success” says President to artists, writers and innovators at the end of their in-residence programme in Rashtrapati Bhavan

Ten innovation scholars, two writers and two artists who were part of the two week In-Residence programme called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee today (March 19, 2015) on the eve of the completion of their stay in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, all the participants in the In-Residence programme spoke emotionally about their experience. They informed the President that the programme has transformed their lives. Each one of them would carry memories of their experience in Rashtrapati Bhavan forever. All of them said that they have gained motivation and inspiration as a result of the opportunity to live in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

They found it to be a great platform to incubate their ideas and meet experts from various fields. They expressed immense gratitude to the President for having initiated this programme and given them the opportunity to be part of the same.

Responding to the innovation scholars, writers and artists, the President described them ‘as creative minds’ and ‘doers’. The President said he had initiated the programme because he felt he should do something to support creative minds. His goal was to demystify the Rashtrapati Bhavan which despite several decades in public life in Delhi was a mystery to him before he became President.

The President said the In-Residence programme was part of a demystification exercise and an effort to nurture creative minds. A painting or a good book leaves a permanent impression on its viewers and readers. It transports them into a different world and its impact lasts for long years. Few people can create such an impact on others. Creative minds are the real leaders and benefactors of society. The In-residence programme is an effort to stimulate their capacity to create through an opportunity to stay together, contemplate and reflect in the serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President expressed happiness that all participants had found the experience fruitful and enjoyed their stay. He was touched by the fact that some of the participants were as young as 14-15 years and staying away from home for the first time. He said Rashtrapati Bhavan is privileged to nurture such talented and creative persons who make important contribution to the progress of civilization and culture. The essence of democracy is the liberation of ideas and thoughts. True liberation can come only through creative minds and they must be therefore nurtured and supported.

The President concluded requesting the innovation scholars, writers and artists, especially the young amongst them, to remember in future when they are at the zenith of their creativity that “an old man once expressed his good will for your success”.

The innovators, writers and artists who were the part of two week long In-Residence Programme are:

Shri Vikram Sampath –Writer from Karnataka

Dr. Gayatribala Panda –Writer from Orissa

Shri Rajesh Kargutkar –Artist from Maharashtra

Shri Haobam Sanaton Singh –Painter from Manipur

Ms. Priyanka Mathikshara (15 years) – Innovator from Tamil Nadu who invented Super Stocker 3C a Ultra Model Dustbin

Master Diptanshu Malviya – Innovator from Rajasthan who invented Wrapper Picker

Shri Mansukh Jagani – Innovator from Gujarat who invented Bullet Santi a Multipurpose Agriculture Machine

Shri Rai Singh Dahiya – Innovator from Rajasthan who invented Biomass Gasifier System

Shri Kamruddin Saifi – Innovator from Uttar Pradesh who invented Chaff cutter with clutch and brake system

Shri T.S. Anand – Innovator from Tamil Nadu who invented Prosthetic knee for uneven terrain

Shri Shantanu Pathak – Innovator from Maharashtra who invented Care Mother a Mobile Pregnancy Care Kit

Shri Vikas Karade – Innovator from Maharashtra who invented 3D model generation from 2D X-Ray images

Shri Mohanlal – Innovator from Kerala who invented a reversible Reduction Gear for Marine Diesel Engine and Z-drive propeller

Master Sarthak Shukla (14 years)– Innovator from Uttar Pradesh who invented a cylindrical shaped refrigerator with rotatory tray

The ‘In-Residence’ Programme for writers and artists and innovators was launched by the President of India on December 11, 2013 with a view to encouraging senior as well as young and upcoming talent by facilitating them stay close to nature in the picturesque and serene surroundings of Rashtrapati Bhavan.


President of India congratulates Indian cricket team for victory against Bangladesh in ICC World Cup, 2015

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated the Indian Cricket team for victory against Bangladesh in the Quarter-final match of the ICC World Cup, 2015.

In his Tweet, the President said, “Congratulations Team India on the win against Bangladesh; sportsmanship of both teams commendable”.

President of India condemns the terrorist attack in Tunisia

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has strongly condemned the killings of innocent people in a terrorist attack in the Bardo Museum in Tunisia yesterday.

The President said such senseless acts must be met with determination and collective action by the world community. He assured the Government and people of Tunisia that India stands with them in dealing with this menace.

The President conveyed his condolences to the grieving families and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.


The Auction of Spectrum in 2015 in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz Bands Continues 86 Rounds of Bidding Completed at the End of DAY 14

          The Auction of Spectrum in 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz Bands re- commenced today at 09.00 A.M. and today 6 rounds of bidding were completed. Till now, 86 rounds of bidding has taken place.

          The bidding is taking place in all bands. Brisk bidding was seen on 14th day of bidding, with activity requirement set at 100%. There is robust bidding going on in 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands. At the end of 86TH round, over 89% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 86th round is over Rs.1,09,000 Crore. Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price. The competitive bidding is expected to continue. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold. Bidding would recommence tomorrow i.e. 20-03-2015 at 9AM.

          Detailed file is attached.
Click here to see Report 


India’s BVR Air-to-Air Missile ‘ASTRA’ Successfully Test Fired

India’s Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missile ASTRA was once again successfully test fired today by the Indian Air Force off the coast of Odisha near the Integrated Test Range, Balasore. The missile has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In today’s test flight an ASTRA missile carrying telemetry equipment in place of the warhead was fired from a Sukhoi-30 aircraft against a Lakshya (Pilotless Target Aircraft) target. The target was successfully engaged and it was captured by Telemetry and Electro-optical tracking stations.

A successful trial of ASTRA, conducted yesterday, was also launched from a Sukhoi 30 aircraft, which was aimed at confirming missile’s capability to undergo manoeuvre involving very high gravitational forces upto the order of 30 ‘g’. These fourth and fifth launch campaign were coordinated by Air Headquarters including the flight of Lakshya target.

The Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad of the Missile Complex is the primary development agency for the missile. Dr. K. Jayaraman, Director, DRDL was present at the mission centre overseeing the trials along with Dr. Subhash Chandran, the Programme Director. Dr. VG Sekaran, Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) has congratulated the team of designers, technologists, production and quality agencies, and Air Force for developing and testing such a complex system which is comparable with the best in the world.

The Project Director Dr. S Venugopal said that “the fourth and fifth Air Launch of ASTRA was once again perfect in all respect and engaged the target with precision. More tests will follow to prove its repeatability.” He said Astra has proved its capability as a formidable weapon.
Click here to see photo 


‘Seismicity & Earthquake Precursor’ Programme Initiated to Understand the Earthquake Generation Process

Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y. S. Chowdary in a written reply Rajya Sabha today said that efforts are being made world-over including in India, to monitor and study various earthquake precursory phenomena in critical seismotectonic regions. He sad this would not only help understand the earthquake generation processes better, but also lead to identifying possible earthquake precursors, which may serve as useful predictors in future. As part of this, a Program on ‘Seismicity & Earthquake Precursor’ has been initiated by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), through a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary mechanism to adopt an integrated approach of generation, assimilation and analyses of a variety of earthquake precursory phenomena in critical seismotectonic environments in the country. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has also initiated a major project on drilling a deep bore hole in the seismically active Koyna-Warna region in Maharashtra, to study in detail the ongoing earthquake generation processes in the region. The proposed scientific deep drilling investigations in the seismically active Koyna region will provide a unique opportunity and the much desired data sets to better understand the mechanisms of faulting, physics of reservoir triggered earthquakes and also contribute towards earthquake hazard assessment and develop models for earthquake forecast in future.

Government has taken several initiatives/ measures towards safety of people living in earthquake –prone zones. These include:

Guidelines have been published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures to minimize the loss of life and damage to property caused by earthquakes. These guidelines are in wide circulation amongst the public and the administrative authorities responsible for the design and construction of earthquake resistant structures in earthquake prone areas.

Loss of life and damage to property caused by earthquakes may be considerably reduced through proper planning and implementation of pre- and post- disaster preparedness and management strategies by respective State and Central Government agencies in a coordinated manner. As part of pre-disaster preparedness measure, Government of India has completed seismic microzonation studies of some of the major cities in the country such as, Jabalpur, Guwahati, Bangalore, Sikkim, Ahmedabad, Gandhidham-Kandla, Kolkata and Delhi.

Ministry of Earth sciences is also taking up microzonation of other megacities in a phased manner. These seismic microzonation maps are useful in land use planning and formulation of site specific design and construction criteria for the buildings and structures towards minimizing the damage to property and loss of life caused by earthquakes.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), other state Disaster Management Authorities, have also taken up various initiatives to educate and bring awareness amongst general public and school children on the general aspects of earthquakes, their impacts and measures to mitigate losses caused by them. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also functional under the general superintendence, direction and control of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the purpose of specialized response to natural and man-made disasters.

Timely dissemination of information pertaining to occurrence of earthquakes to various concerned state and central government authorities helps in planning and implementing various post-disaster mitigation and management related issues. National Centre for Seismology (NCS)/ Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is operating national seismological network to detect and locate earthquakes in the country and disseminate the information to all the concerned in least possible time.


Amended Exchange Rates of Foreign Currency Notified

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), the Central Board of Excise & Customs hereby makes the following further amendments in the Notification of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) No. 28/2015-CUSTOMS (N.T.) dated the 5th March, 2015 published in the Gazette Of India, Part-II, Section 3, Sub-Section (ii), Extraordinary vide number S.O.566(E) dated, the 5th March, 2015, namely:-

In the SCHEDULE-I of the said Notification, for Serial No. 9 and the entries relating thereto, the following shall be substituted, namely:-


These rates will be effective from 19th March, 2015


Impact of Lower Excise Duty on Industry

The production growth rate of Automobile Industry during the period April 2014 to  February 2015 compared to the same period of last year is as under:

The Government is taking steps to improve growth through policies like the JNNURM and support for improving exports. The vehicles manufacturers are launching newer and improved models to boost demand.

Excise duty was reduced w.e.f. February, 2014 to December, 2014 and thereafter the earlier higher duty level has been restored. Almost all the sectors had shown improvement in production during the lower excise duty phase and the previous negative trend was reversed. Comparative data of production during the period January-December, 2013 and January-December, 2014 is as under:

 This information was given by the  Minister  of  State in the Ministry of  Heavy Industries and      Public Enterprises Shri  G.M. Siddeshwara in reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha  today.


Delegation of Buddhist monks met MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju

Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju has said that India is the birthplace and the cradle of Buddhism. Interacting with a delegation of top Buddhist Supreme Head and high ranking monks of Sri Lanka and Supreme Monks from Mahayana sect of India and Tibetan group here today, Shri Rijiju said that the Government will ensure the upkeep and maintenance of all archaeological sites in the country.

The Buddhist monks participated in a two-day historic conclave that concluded in the city today. The event witnessed the coming together of two ancient Buddhist traditions – the Theravada tradition from Sri Lanka and the Nalanda tradition of Tibet and the Himalayas. A high powered delegation of monks and religious opinion makers from Sri Lanka, which included three Mahanayakas of various chapters, engaged in a “Dialogue on Vinaya” with their counterparts of the Nalanda tradition that included Ven. Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, former Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile. The Sri Lankan delegation also separately met His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a part of the programme.

This meeting of the two traditions, the first in 1300 years since the reign of King Harshavardhana in the 7th century, was organized by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), a world umbrella Buddhist body headquartered in India, that is universally acknowledged as the land of origin of Buddha Dharma, and was coordinated by the IBC Sri Lanka Chapter. The organization has a current membership of more than 300 Buddhist bodies spread over 39 countries. Its Patrons include His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Supreme Patriarchs from various Buddhist countries. Recognized by the Government of India as a “Cultural Organization with National Presence”, IBC aims to provide an international platform that will provide a Buddhist perspective to the ongoing global discourse on all issues of human concern.


Union Home Minister inaugurates International Counter-Terrorism Conference

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh has said that the appeal of ISIS to the young, educated people, in spite of its medieval ideology, is a cause for concern to the global community. The Union Home Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the International Counter-Terrorism Conference organised by India Foundation in association with Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice at Jaipur, Rajasthan, today.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that terror outfits like the ISIS do not believe in a pluralistic society and are extremely intolerant of a liberal and secular democratic order. They do not accept the fundamental fact that diversity of faiths and philosophies reflects the inherent beauty of human beings, he added.

The Union Home Minister said that these terrorists unleash the worst forms of violence to erase the diversity and destabilize the democratic order and are adept at using the latest technologies to propagate their beliefs and deeds. They extensively use modern technology to reach out to wider audience with susceptible minds, he added.

The Union Home Minister said that the influence of Islamic State on the Indian youth is negligible as just a handful of Indian youth have joined the ISIS and some have also returned after being persuaded by their families. The Union Home Minister further said that the failure of ISIS to attract Indian Muslims is due to the complete integration of Indian Muslims into the national mainstream. Indian Muslims are patriots and are not swayed by fundamentalist ideologies. Moreover, India, as a country is proud of all its diversity, he added.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that we also need to be concerned over the increasing possibility and opportunity to use available technology & cyberspace in a destructive manner. The menace of terrorism is greatly amplified in today’s digital world, he added. Shri Rajnath Singh said that today a ‘lone wolf’ or a ‘DIY (Do It Yourself) Terrorist’ can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without ever leaving home. We have recently constituted an expert committee to look into all possible avenues of cybercrime and its linkages with the terrorist world, he added.

The Union Home Minister has said that the source of most terrorist activity in India lies across our borders. It is unfortunate that even after paying such a heavy cost for itself, Pakistan and its associates find it difficult to understand that there are no ‘good terrorists and bad terrorists’, he added. The Union Home Minister said that Pakistan should seriously rethink its strategy of using terrorism as an ‘instrument of proxy war’, since this would be in her own national interest.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for the last several decades and terrorism knows no boundaries and doesn`t respect nations` sovereignties. They have become transnational in character and therefore International Cooperation is needed to build popular opinion and pressurise the countries that use terrorists as their strategic assets, he added. Shri Rajnath Singh further said that all countries should be aware of developments in this area, which is bound to affect them in some way, sooner than later.


Skill development vital for effective communication outreach- Col Rajyavardhan Rathore

1st National Workshop on Photography and Videography commences

Workshop attended by eminent professionals from the photography and videography domain

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Col. (Retd.) Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that the initiative of the Ministry in organizing the First National Workshop on Photography and Videography was based on the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, whose emphasis has been on upgradation of skills through appropriate training methods and tools. The workshop was designed keeping in mind the basic parameters of the “Skill India” initiative. Relying on the basic principles and outline of the ‘Skill India’ initiative, the workshop was an attempt to hone the skills of Government personnel associated with photography and videography. Speaking on the craft and art of photography, the Minister said that like any other art photography and videography could be mastered through right inputs. The workshop was an appropriate tool in this direction.  Shri Rathore stated this in his address at the 1st National Photography and Videography Workshop organized at the National Media Centre here today.

Shri Rathore further stated that as the initiative was innovative in approach involving the professionals associated from the concerned domains, the Ministry would explore the possibility of organizing similar workshops in other parts of the country including the North East wherein the potential was tremendous. The workshop would also act as a facilitating tool in carrying forward the messages of the Government across platforms accessed by different cross sections of the population. As technology was the principal driver of innovation, it had become a critical determinant and catalyst in enhancing the skills of the individual and organization. The impact of the dynamic growth of technology was self- evident as there was a proliferation of changes across formats. The enhanced reach, instant dissemination on social media had impacted the content style and precision of both, photography and videography. This had led to instant communication across different social media platforms.

Recounting the history of photography, Shri Rathore mentioned that pictures had a long lasting impact. Today historic occasions were remembered on several instances only through pictographic description. This was perhaps the reason for the immense popularity of ‘Coffee Table Books’ on different subjects.

            Speaking earlier, Secretary (I&B), Shri Bimal Julka said that the workshop had been designed to address the immense skill opportunities that had emerged in the media and entertainment sector. As ‘Skill Development’ was a comprehensive approach involving critical stakeholders in the Government, the endeavor of the ministry was to incorporate the skilling India initiative of the Government across its training programmes. The workshop also provided a platform for the Government to converge its expertise and skills, keeping in mind the challenges of assignments, events in the media space dominated by social media, emerging technologies and competitive environment.

Secretary mentioned that as key programmes and initiatives of the Ministry involved technological prowess and a thorough understanding of contemporary changes, the Workshop was certainly a step in the right direction. He specifically highlighted the role and relevance of the workshop in the context of the archival heritage of the Ministry across platforms. It was for this purpose that an attempt had been made to converge different aspects of technology for both, the photography and video segment. For this purpose professional agencies, specializing in digital technology, animation and graphics had been invited to provide value addition to the personnel associated from Photo Division and Doordarshan.

The workshop has been divided to cover four sessions covering the twin themes of photography and videography. The sessions include:

(i)                  Art / Visual appreciation, including history of photography
(ii)                Technical aspects of Cameras / Lenses
(iii)               Process involved in Picture capturing and processing of images and
(iv)              Editing and finished product highlighting editing tools and visual effects, including a session of Digitisation of archives.

The key highlight of the workshop was the Joint Session on the History of Art and Appreciation of Photography addressed by eminent photographer, Shri Rajesh Bedi and renowned cinematographer, Shri Santosh Sivan. Both shared their experiences involving the critical themes with regard to content presentation, layout, use of technology, etc. Shri S.N. Singh also gave a presentation on historical perspective and evolution of the issues involved in the History and Art appreciation of the subject.

The one day workshop has been organised with two parallel sessions being held concurrently on Photography and Videography. The parallel sessions have been organised keeping in mind the common themes and integration between platforms and the need of skills / tools and contemporary development in both the sectors. Approximately 25 organisations / Ministries of Government of India are attending the workshop.  Over 135 officers are participating in the Workshop.


Development of Court Infrastructure

The Thirteenth Finance Commission made a provision of grant of Rs. 5,000 crores over a period of 2010-15 aimed at providing support to States for improving Justice delivery system. Infrastructure components in this grant include (i) Establishing ADR Centres (ii) Maintenance of Heritage Court Buildings and (iii) Creations of State Judicial Academies. A statement of funds allocated, released and utilized so far is at Annexure. Further, in order to augment the resources of the State Governments, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary is being implemented under which central assistance is provided to the State Governments for the construction of court buildings for district and subordinate courts and residential units for judicial officers. During 2014-15, Rs. 933.00 crores have been released to State Governments and Union Territories under this Scheme.

There is significant progress in utilization of funds for the following components of the grant made by the Thirteenth Finance Commission: Lok Adalat and Legal Aid, Training of Judicial Officers, Training of Public Prosecutors and Mediators, setting up of ADR Centres, and setting up of State Judicial Academies. Utilization on morning / evening / shift courts has been very low due to the following reasons:

1. Resistance from Bar Associations

2. Geographical & local constraints particularly in NE States

3. Non-availability of retired Judicial Officers for these courts

Meetings of Law/Finance Secretaries of States and Registrar Generals of the High Court are periodically held for implementation of the Thirteenth Finance Commission Award. As regards development of court infrastructure across the country, on receipt of the complete proposals from the State Governments including utilization certificates for the funds released earlier, necessary financial assistance is sanctioned to the State Governments in terms of the guidelines of the scheme.

This information was given by Union Minister of Law and Justice Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Shortage of Raw Material in Electrical Equipment Manufacturing Industry

Certain critical inputs/ raw materials used in the manufacture of electrical equipment by the domestic industry such as Cold Rolled Grain Oriented (CRGO) Steel under BIS 3024 (used in manufacture of Transformers) and Steel Plates of thickness above 150 mm under BIS 2002 (used in manufacture of Generators) are not made/ manufactured in India. Moreover, the requirement of such critical inputs / raw materials is met through imports from a few worldwide manufacturers outside India.

The Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), in consultation with various stakeholders prepared the Indian Electrical Equipment Industry Mission Plan 2012-2022 with a view to boost and support the domestic electrical equipment industry’s future development and enhance its global competitiveness. The Mission Plan launched on 24th July 2013 recommended formation of a consortium of domestic steel manufacturers and user industry, to develop technology in India for domestic production of CRGO. Further, the issue of indigenous manufacturing of CRGO Steel has been discussed in various meetings held at Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Ministry of Steel and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) with participation from various concerned stakeholders.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Shri G.M. Siddeshwara in reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha today.


Mergers of National Tribunals

A large number of tribunals are functioning under the administrative charge of various Ministries/ Departments of India. Keeping in view the possibility that some of the tribunals can be converged/merged to avoid overlapping/identical functions being discharged by them, the Government is exploring the possibility of merging these tribunals. Accordingly, the Ministries/Departments which are administratively concerned with these tribunals have been requested to furnish information on the functioning of these tribunals and possibility to merge the functions of the tribunals with some other tribunals.

This information was given by Union Minister of Law and Justice Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


An old man once expressed his good will for your success” An old man once expressed his good will for your success” Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 12:30 PM Rating: 5

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