MD, IMF meets PM

The Managing Director, IMF, Ms. Christine Lagarde calling on the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on March 16, 2015.

MD, IMF meets PM

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), met the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today.

Ms. Lagarde complimented the Government on the focused way in which it has been working to revive the economy. The results of this are visible and India`s growth rate has crossed 7.5%, she said, adding that it is the bright spot in the global economy. She expressed hope that India would continue on this growth path.

The Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde meeting the President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, in New Delhi on March 16, 2015.

The Prime Minister thanked Ms. Lagarde for her words. He stressed the importance of having a clear direction and focus. He said reforms are not restricted to legislation alone, and implementation and direction are equally important. He said that his focus, while promoting growth, is to create jobs, have inclusive growth, and focus on development of backward regions in Eastern and North-Eastern India. This region is rich in natural and human resources and we need to capitalize on this. The priority is on all fronts – agriculture, manufacturing and services, he added.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the need to have greater representation for Indians at the higher level of IMF, particularly at the Deputy MD level.


PM shares sorrow and pain of those affected by cyclone in Vanuatu

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, said he shares the sorrow and pain of all those affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

"The devastation caused by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu is extremely unfortunate. I share the sorrow and pain of all those who have been affected. MEA will provide immediate financial assistance to people of Vanuatu. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Vanuatu in this hour of grief," the Prime Minister said.


Cyclist on nationwide yatra to generate awareness about Swachhta Abhiyan, calls on PM

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today met Shri Abhishek Kumar Sharma, a youth who is undertaking a nationwide cycle yatra to generate awareness about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Abhishek says he was inspired by the Prime Minister`s call for Swachh Bharat, to undertake such a journey to motivate people towards this cause. He says he will devote an entire year to the cause of Swachh Bharat. He says he has so far traveled 4500 km across eight states, covering nearly 5000 villages and 350 towns, talking to people on the subject of cleanliness.

The Prime Minister complimented Abhishek for his unique effort, and wished him well for his future endeavours.


Rescinding of announcement for bye-election to fill vacancy in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh from 358-Rasara AC.

The Commission had announced the schedule of seven bye-elections, including bye-election from 358-Rasara AC in Uttar Pradesh, vide, its Press Note No.ECI/PN/23/2015, dated 10th March, 2015.

Hon’ble Supreme Court has stayed the above Press Note as far as 358-Rasara Assembly Constituency of the State of Uttar Pradesh is concerned, vide its Order dated 12.03.2015 passed in the SLP(c) NO. 7608/2015.

In view of the said order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Commission hereby rescinds its announcement of bye-election from 358-Rasara AC in the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh made vide its Press Note No.ECI/PN/23/2015, dated 10th March, 2015. Accordingly, no bye-election will be held from 358-Rasara Assembly Constituency for the time being.

The schedule of bye-elections in respect of other six Assembly Constituencies as per aforesaid press note shall remain unchanged.

Election Commission of India

New Delhi :16th March,2015


India and Canada discuss possible joint-ventures of mutual interest

The Canadian High Commissioner in India, Mr. Nadir Patel called on 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 here today and discussed some of the possible joint-ventures of mutual interest between the two countries. The Ambassador was accompanied by two NRI Canadian entrepreneurs Mr. Mukund Purohit and Mr. Vikram Khurana. The Canadian Ambassador expressed his government’s keenness to collaborate with India at various levels and in different areas. He said, the people of Canada were looking forward with great excitement and enthusiasm to the forthcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to Canada next month.

Mr. Patel was appreciative of the rapid strides made by India in space technology. He referred to the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) reported plans to develop capability for heavy and high throughput satellites. In this context, Canadian scientists are eager to share their technical know-how with the Indian counterparts, he added.

In response, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, most of the recent Space Missions by ISRO were more or less totally indigenous and lived up to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s inspiring concept of “Make in India”. To cite an example, he referred to Mars Orbiter Mission which had been 100% indigenously developed with 100% Indian infrastructure and human resource. This Mission, he said, had not only established India’s supremacy in Space technology but also paved the way for more advanced Space Missions to the Mars in the years to come.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also took up the issue of Northeast with the Canadian delegation and spelt out a number of plans envisaged for future with a view to promote outside investment in the region which could generate revenue as well as employment opportunities.

In response, the Canadian representatives assured the DoNER Minister that they would come back to him with a concept paper about several new ideas , schemes and trade ventures that they have been contemplating in the context of Northeastern region of India.


Compenstion for Dreamliners

The B787 aircraft deliveries have been delayed by about four years due to production problems experienced by Boeing, Air India has received compensation from Boeing on mutually accepted terms due to delay in delivery of aircraft. Boeing had given certain guarantee in regard to the fuel burn performance of the B787 aircraft. However, due to significant delay in delivery and changes in design specification, Boeing has not complied with the guarantee. Issues of compensation has been taken up with Boeing by Air India. The B787 aircraft, however, has given a better fuel burn as compared to similar type of aircraft, which has resulted in considerable savings in fuel cost.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Use of Drones

As of now, the Aircraft Rules do not cover use of drones as well as its sale and purchase. Directorate General of Civil Aviation has restricted civil use of drones/unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) vide public notice dated 07.10.2014 available on DGCA`s website However, DGCA is in the process of developing an interim operations guideline for civil use of UAS. Till such regulations are issued, no non government agency, organization or an individual will launch a UAS in Indian Civil Airspace for any purpose whatsoever.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Import of Coal

India has adequate coal reserves for meeting its coal requirements. The total coal reserves as on 1st April 2014 was 301.56 Billion Tonnes (BT) of which 125.91 BT is in the proved category and balance is indicated and inferred categories. At the present juncture, the actual production of coal however falls short of the overall demand for coal. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, (Minister of state (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today. Accordingly, the gap between total consumption and domestic supply is being met through import of coal. The domestic production of coal has been constrained due to problems in expanding the capacity arising from difficulties in land acquisition, R&R, geo-mining conditions, difficulties in obtaining environment clearance, restrictions arising out of imposition of Central Environmental Pollution Index guidelines and non-availability of forest clearances in time. Law and order condition in some areas and lack of adequate infrastructure for evacuation of coal including delay in construction of rail Infrastructure have also been constraining factor in some major coalfields.

The Minister further stated that the focus of the Government is to increase coal production to the extent possible by facilitating Environment & Forest clearances expeditiously, pursuing with State Government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal.


Panel for Vetting Coal Block Biddings

A Technical Evaluation Committee has been constituted for determining the technical eligibility of bidders in respect of e-auction of Schedule-I coal mines of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Second Ordinance, 2014 comprising of State Vigilance Commissioner, West Bengal (Chairman), Shri K.S. Ramasubban, IAS (Retd.), Shri Mohan Chuttani, Economic Advisor, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Shri P.K. Kanchan, Additional DG, Directorate General of Supply & Disposal, Shri R.M. Malla, CMD, PTC India Financial Services Ltd., Shri Major Singh, Member (Planning), Central Electricity Authority, Ministry of Power, Representative of Ministry of Finance, Shri R.K. Bagchi, Director, National Institute of Secondary Steel Technology (NISST), Ministry of Steel and Shri R.K. Chopra, Director(T/P&D), Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, (Minister of state (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Minister further stated that a total of 245 companies registered for e-auction/allotment for Schedule-II & Schedule-III coal mines of the Ordinance.


Coal Production

Enhancement in coal production in next five years as envisaged is expected to reduce the gap between demand and domestic supply to a large extent. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, (Minister of state (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Minister further stated that Coal India Limited (CIL) have been taken/contemplated several measures for enhancing domestic coal production which are as follows:-

An exercise has been carried out to prepare a roadmap for achieving the production level of One Billion Tonne coal by the year 2019-20. So far, mine/projects have been identified to produce about 908 Mt.

Up gradation and modernization of existing technology in phases. Mega opencast projects have been planned with higher size of equipment for excavation, transportation, drilling and other auxiliary operations of international standard.

Deployment a Continuous miners (CMs) for mass production technology & Long Wall Mining where ever geo mining conditions permits.

Periodical review at the Ministry level and by an inter ministerial committee set up under the Chairman, Railway Board with secretaries of Coal, Power, and Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) as members to expedite the railway projects aimed at enhancing the evacuation capacities.

Sh. Goyal further stated that steps are also being taken to improve quality of coal:

i. Selective mining for elimination of bands wherever necessary /feasible.

ii. Appropriate positioning of overburden (OB) and coal benches to avoid contamination.

iii. Scrapping/cleaning of coal benches before blasting.

iv. Installation of metal detectors / magnetic separators over running conveyors before coal loading.

v. Crushing arrangement for supply of sized coal.

vi. All the major projects having high capacity coal handling plants to dispatch sized and uniform quality of coal to suit the requirement of the consumers.

vii. Shale picking, if any, at mine face, stocks, sidings and from the wagons.

viii. Beneficiation of non-coking coal in washeries have been planned on “Build Operate & Maintain” (BOM) basis in addition to the existing capacity of non-coking coal washeries.


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