Bhabha Atomic Research Centre - Diamond Jubilee celebrations

Dr Jitendra Singh visits Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

Diamond Jubilee celebrations plans discussed

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 visited the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai where he convened a meeting of scientists to assess the status of different ongoing projects, went around various sections of the Centre and discussed plans to celebrate later this year the Diamond Jubilee of India's first- ever Center and Department of Atomic Energy.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, when Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha and his colleagues set up the Centre, they had undertaken this initiative against several odds. First, he went on to explain, there was a world-wide opinion against the promotion of atomic or nuclear energy in the aftermath of Hiroshima - Nagasaki in World War II. Secondly, he said, India had recently attained independence and therefore, the advanced nations of the world did not take us seriously when we expressed our determination to go ahead with an atomic and nuclear energy programme of our own, purely for peaceful purposes. It is, therefore, an obligation for all the scientists of the present generation to live up to the legacy of Dr. Homi Bhabha and at the same time, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the grand institution set up by him exactly 60 years ago, he added.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India is currently going through the best of the times and particularly in the field of science, we are being looked up with awe and envy by all other countries of the world. The scientific fraternity of the country has a special advantage of having a Prime Minister who has a natural inherent scientific temper and is always ready to offer generous liberal patronage to every new scientific endeavour, he observed and said, the last ten months of the present government have encouraged and inspired tremendous new strides in the field of scientific research, including atomic energy.

Taking pride in the present status of the research in atomic energy by the Indian scientists, Dr Jitendra Singh said, we have some of the best nuclear reactors of the world, which are indigenously developed and indigenously managed. In addition, he said, BARC has also over the years, emerged as an important seat of learning and hundreds of students from across the country in different universities are coming over hereto pursue their research programmes and PhD projects.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, however, suggested to the scientific community to make an extra effort to generate more public awareness about the kind of atomic and scientific potential available over here, so that young researchers and scientists are inspired to carry forward the mantle of India’s atomic energy mission into the next generation.

The Chairman Atomic Energy & Secretary DAE Dr. R. K. Sinha, Director Sekhar Basu,CMD NPCIL K.C. Purohit and Scientific Officer RP&AD BARC Dr. Nagesh Bhat were among the prominent scientists who accompanied Dr. Jitendra Singh during his visit to the Centre.


Dr. Jitendra Singh to Chair 64th Plenary of the North Eastern Council

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh will chair the two-day 64th Plenary Meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) beginning here tomorrow. Governors and Chief Ministers of all eight North Eastern States (NER) and Senior Officers from State Governments, Central Ministries and Organizations will attend the meeting.

Dr. Jitendra Singh will make his inaugural address tomorrow followed by sector-wise discussions on the progress of major infrastructure projects in the North Eastern Region in which various Ministries will give Power Point Presentations. The Ministry of Home Affairs will give a presentation on Border Trade - status on Integrated Check-Posts (ICPs), Land Custom Stations, Border Haats, Banks, Visa facility, etc. The Department of Financial Services will give a presentation on financial inclusion and Banking Services Issues in the NER including Low Credit Disbursal Ratio (CDR) and Agri Credit.

On Friday, the Governors and Chief Ministers of North Eastern States will make their remarks. During the two-day meeting, the Annual Plan and the Gross Budgetary Support of the NEC for 2015-16 is also expected to be approved.


Central Government’s Initiative to Address the Issue of Crop Damage because of recent Unseasonal Rains

As per the latest information received from States, the area damaged due to untimely rains and hailstorm has been reduced to 85 lakh hectares. This is a substantial drop in contrast to earlier report of 113 lakh hectares.

Prime Minister has today made two major announcements. He has increased the relief by 50% given to farmers from NDRF as well as reduced the minimum area of damage for relief to 33% from the existing 50%. These benefits would be applicable to states affected with recent hailstorm. Distressed farmers will be benefitted from this.

The Agriculture Ministry has directed states to disburse relief from SDRF without any delay and in case of shortfall, they should use their State Contingency Funds as well as submit their memorandums to avail assistance from NDRF. Memorandums have been received from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has been set to Uttar Pradesh and is going soon to Haryana and Rajasthan.

Agriculture Ministry has also directed the State Governments to ensure faster processing of claims under the agriculture insurance schemes.

Agriculture Ministry has also asked states to facilitate timely restructuring of crop loans by holding meetings of State Level Bankers’ Committee. With this, the loan repayment period would be extended by one year.

The Home Ministry has also written to states to keep 10% of SDRF fund reserved for “local disasters” such as heavy rain which are to be declared at par with national disasters and use this money for distressed farmers.

In view of damage to onion and potato crops, the Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has written to all states including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal where there is likelihood of increase in their prices, to purchase and maintain stocks of the same.

Under Market Intervention Scheme, Agriculture Ministry has written to West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to make assessments of damaged crops of onion and potato and send proposals as per guidelines.


Medical Devices parks to be set up in the country; Recommendations of the Task Force on Promotion of Domestic Production of High End Medical Devices released.

The Government is going to set up Medical Devices Parks in the country, and first such park will come up in Gujarat soon. The Union Minister of Chemicals and fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar said this while releasing the recommendations of the Task Force on Promotion of Domestic Production of High End Medical Devices & Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Equipment here today. He said that only 30% of the country’s requirement of Medical Devices is being met through indigenous production, and that of low end category. The Minister said that the Government is taking several steps to boost the domestic production of high end medical devices & pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment. He said that NIPER, Ahmedabad will be the nodal institute for undertaking research and development in the area. Shri Ananth Kumar said that the recommendations made by the Task force will be implemented in a time bound manner. He said that the Department has already taken up issues of incentives and taxation on such devices with the finance Ministry so that the indigenously produced medical devices can compete with the imported ones. The minister said that need is being felt to have a separate department to handle the issues of facilitation and regulation of high end medical devices & pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, as their consumption is increasing very fast and there is need to make India self-dependent in the sector. He said that on the lines of National List of Essential Medicines, there should be a National List of Essential Medical Devices to enable providing affordable, quality products to masses easily.

The Minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers Shri Gangaram Hansraj Ahir said on the occasion that the Government is working hard to achieve the objective of “Make in India”.

Medical devices’ industry is a multi-product industry, producing wide range of products. Taking all the products category of ‘Medical Devices’ together, India is importing around 69% of its total requirement. The imports of high-end Medical devices are much higher, going up to around 87% for the category of Medical Electronics, Hospital Equipment, Surgical Instruments. In view of the prevailing scenario, the Task Force on ‘Promotion of Domestic Production of High-end Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Equipment’ was set up by the Department of Pharmaceuticals as an initiative to implement the PM’s visions of ‘Make in India’. The Task Force was headed by Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals and consisted of representatives from Planning Commission, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Health Research, DCGI, Department of Commerce, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Department of Electronics and Information Technology and various Industry Associations including AIMED, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, FOPE etc.

The Task Force has given recommendations to address concerns and constraints facing the sector and suggested measures that would augment domestic production of medical devices. The Task Force has recommended measures to enhance policy and institutional support; suggested strengthening of infrastructural support; and, recommended fiscal and financial support to the sector. In addition, the Task Force has also recommended measures for creating an institutional set-up for efficacy & safety testing, promoting skill development aligned to the need of the industry, strengthening the R&D Capability of the sector, pricing strategy for the sector and conducive regulatory environment.


Meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers held

A meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers was held here yesterday. The topic for discussions was “Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs)” and Plastic Parks. In the meeting, the Union Minister of Chemicals& Fertilizers,Shri Ananth Kumar said that today’s challenge in the sector is value addition and for that value addition,milking the crude for further proliferation of the downstream industries is needed. The target of Modi Government is to achieve an investment of Rs.7,62,000 crores and generate employment for 34 lakh people in PCPIRs in time bound manner. Already there has been an investment Rs1,06,000 crores which has generated employment for 2.23 lakh people in various PCPIRs.

The Minister informed the Committee Members about Government’s initiatives to increase the number of plastic parks from 4 to 10 to catch up with the increasing demand. He also mentioned that the number of Central Institutes for Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) will be increased from 23 to 100, to create additional capacity for skill development in the area.

Shri Ananth Kumar said that the Government is emphasizing on reducing the consumption of non-biodegradable plastics, and re-using and re-cycling of other graded polymers. He said that the Government has instituted awards for Green Technology in plastic processing, to promote environment-friendly efforts in the industry.

The Minister responded to various queries and concerns raised by the Members of Parliament who took part in the meeting. The Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Shri HansrajGangaramAhir also attended the meeting.


DGCA Upgraded to Category-I Status

Secretary, US Department of Transportation, Mr. Anthony Foxx informed the Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has conveyed that Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been upgraded to Category-I status. He was leading a high level US delegation for a meeting with Civil Aviation Minister and key officers of the Ministry here today.

This meeting succeeded the series of meetings held by US President Mr. Barack Obama and the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. On the occasion, a presentation was made on the growth of civil aviation sector in India to identify areas in which partnership, technical cooperation and “Make in India” can be developed. During the meeting, opportunities of collaboration in development of infrastructure, air safety, aviation security, skill development, MROs, National Aviation University and manufacture of aircrafts were discussed. Two sides agreed to develop a productive relationship by establishing a Joint Working Group between the two countries.

The US delegation included Ms. Susan Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs and Ms. Leocadia Zak, Director US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).


PM alongwith German Chancellor Angela Merkel to open Hannover Messe 2015

Hannover takes Partner Country's message to the world: Come, Make in India

 As Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair, is gearing up to receive the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for the grand opening ceremony this Sunday, April 12, at the Hannover Congress Centre, the stage is now set for official Partner Country India to showcase its technological expertise and investment opportunities to the world. Its participation in Hannover Messe 2015 has been engineered to amplify its clarion call to the world—‘Make in India’.

Depicting India as a design, innovation, manufacturing and export hub, India Pavilion will be jointly inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, the following day and later both the leaders will walk the fairgrounds to view selected pavilions of the two nations. Exuding the opportunities that characterize India as a vibrant investment destination, the exhibitions and interactive installations are ready to demonstrate the depth of what India has to offer as a manufacturing partner: 1.2 billion empowered citizens, a vast pool of resources, unstoppable entrepreneurial energy and a highly investor-friendly business environment.

The pavilion’s design strategy is centered on portraying the economic potential of the country’s most fertile sectors—biotechnology, renewable energy, space, IT & BPM, industrial corridors and smart cities, wellness, and the demographic dividend it aims to reap. A prominent section has been dedicated to Indo-German alliances, potential avenues for partnership, and initiatives to harmonize the interests of both nations. Major national programs such as Skill India and Digital India have also been represented, thereby charting India’s economic road map for the next decade.

India’s participation in the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology that is expected to attract over two hundred thousand global leaders in business, technology, industrial scientists and policy makers this year stands as the most significant international statement the Make in India program has made to date. The official partner country’s delegation comprises over 350 companies spread across 10 sectoral halls; 6 Government of India Ministries/Departments participating through 6 seminars; 14 state governments participating through 6 seminars; and over 120 top Indian CEOs. Well-known industry leaders and policymakers, along with apex national level industry organizations have come together to forge new relationships and strengthen India’s economic engagement with the world.

Speaking at the opening press conference, Atul Chaturvedi, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India emphasized, “As an emerging economic superpower, the opportunities and aspirations of this young nation are symbolized in the Prime Minister's vision of 'Make in India'. Returning to Hannover Messe as a Partner Country this year, we are energized to leverage this global platform to position India as a manufacturing hub and investment destination. With a strong mix of policymakers, industry leaders and over 350 companies keen to take India's message to the world, we are confident of showcasing the opportunities and strengthening the world's economic and intellectual engagement with India. We believe that this summit will not only be a forum for Germany with its core competencies in engineering, innovation and skills to participate in India's growth story, but also for the world to see the reasons to make in India."

In order to facilitate progressive dialogue between India and Germany, the Indo-German Business Summit has been conceptualized as a discussion forum for CEOs from both nations. Germany’s core competencies in engineering, skills and innovation make it a valuable partner and contributor to India’s growth story. The summit aims to explore the possibilities of India’s economic interactions with Germany’s industrial prowess, while positing strong reasons to invest in India.

This was supported by Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) Managing Director and CEO Erich Nesselhauf  who said "India is now evolving and aiming at encouraging growth, ease of doing business, harnessing talent and rekindling the growth story. The world is looking at the new resurgent India with renewed faith and investors are keenly evaluating opportunities of economic engagement. For many years, Hannover Messe has been fostering deeper ties with Indian industry and returning in the role of official Partner Country this year after 2006, provides India a global platform to showcase its engineering prowess, skilled manpower and the sheer positive shift in its economic environment that are contributing towards realization of the 'Make in India' vision.” He highlighted the case study of Daimler which has made India its biggest low cost manufacturing hub for export to the global markets.

Six State Governments have scheduled seminars to highlight investment and infrastructure opportunities in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Government of India's  Ministries and Departments will present 6 seminars involving panel discussions led by Indian and German CEOs, and top officials of the Department of Commerce, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy among others. Discussions will include Indo-German collaboration across sectors ranging from renewable energy, electronics to heavy engineering and automation. Seminars such as  Smart Cities – the Urban Challenge, Towards a Strategy Skilling India, Collaboration on Digital India among others will focus on avenues for partnering and utilizing German technology for various initiatives by the Indian government as well as  investment facilitation.
The proceedings of the fair will be interspersed with detailed yoga demonstrations and audio-visual sessions on meditation, business yoga, and the relevance of yoga in the Western world. Yoga, a celebrated Indian science, represents classically Indian values: strength, peace and endurance.

The Night of Innovation, hosted at Hall No. 2, will showcase the great Indian folk festival, with a diverse range of performing artists accompanied by samplers of Indian cuisine prepared by chefs from India.

These efforts have been channelized to confidently present to the world India’s unique character: an ancient, ingenious culture that has embraced and mastered technology and enterprise. India’s participation at Hannover Messe paves the path for the transformation of the world’s largest democracy into the world’s most powerful economy.


Norms relaxed for wheat procurement in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and being relaxed for other states

The Centre is very sensitive about the loss and damage to the crops due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms in various States. Hence, has relaxed the wheat procurement norms on the basis of requests received from States. The norms have already been relaxed for Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where procurement has started. Relaxed norms for these States are as under:

Briefing the media about the Government’s decision, Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that wheat is yet to arrive in Haryana and UP. Both the States have been requested to collect the wheat samples from affected areas jointly with FCI and get them tested in regional FCI labs to avoid delay and submit report to the centre.  The Department will consider the relaxations in these States on the receipt of report. The Department is ready to consider relaxation in norms in other States also on the receipt of their requests.
It may be mentioned that Uniform specification norms for foodgrains procurement are decided before every procurement season by an expert committee which included the State Food Secretaries also. These specifications should conform to the norms prescribed under Food Safety and Standards Act/ Rules. Norms for wheat for RMS 2015-16 are as follows;
     Wheat should have natural size, shape, colour and luster. The maximum permissible limits of different refractions in fair average quality of wheat are as under;

Regarding moisture content it is allowed upto 14% which is the maximum permissible limit for human consumption under the regulations of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Expressing concern over increasing sugar cane arrears pay able to farmers Shri Paswan said that his Ministry had convened a meeting of States Government and other stake holders on April 16, 2015 to discuss the issue and measures to facilate payment.
Shri Paswan said in view of a poor implementation Food Security Act in Bihar, he had decided to organize of Khadiya Surakash Panchayat (Food Security Panchayat) at Patna on April 19, 2015. All stake holders and Member of parliament have been invited for the Panchayat. Senior officials of Centre and State Government will also discuss the status of implementation of the Act.


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