What is meant by 'PRASAD' ?



PRASAD Scheme of Ministry of Tourism 

Twelve cities namely Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Gaya(Bihar), Dwaraka(Gujarat), Amritsar(Punjab), Ajmer(Rajasthan), Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu), Vellankani(Tamil Nadu), Puri(Odisha), Varanasi(Uttar Prasesh), Mathura(Uttar Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Kamakhya (Assam) have been identified for development under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) by the Ministry of Tourism. 


The Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme aimed at preserving and revitalizing the soul and unique character of the heritage cities in India, has been approved by the Ministry of Urban Development for the Twelve cities under the scheme in the first phase, namely; Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh); Gaya (Bihar); Dwarka (Gujarat), Badami(Karnataka); Puri (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab); Ajmer(Rajasthan); Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu); Vellankani(Tamil Nadu); Warangal (Telangana); Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh); and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). 

The criterion for selection of these cities is their rich heritage and cultural history. 

To implement the PRASAD scheme a Mission Directorate has been set up in the Ministry of Tourism. The Budget provision of Rs.15.60 crore has been made in Revised Estimate (RE) 2014-15. For Development of basic facilities at Vishnupad Temple, Gaya in Bihar under this Scheme first installment of Rs.85.78 lakh has been released. 

For the HRIDAY scheme under the Ministry of Urban Development, an amount of Rs.453.90 crores has been allocated to the HRIDAY scheme for implementation and development works. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha today. 


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Youth potential of Northeast under-utilised: Dr. Jitendra Singh 

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that the youth potential of Northeast has remained hugely under-utilized. Speaking at “AAROHAN-2015” student festival, organized by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in collaboration with the Skills Institute of Technology and Management, in Guwahati today, Dr. Jitendra Singh said this is due to lack of exposure of Northeast to the outside world as well as lack of awareness among the people outside Northeast about the multifaceted talent and aptitude of the youth from this region. 

Dr Jitendra Singh said that one of the serious problems faced by Northeast is the mass exodus of youth occurring partly in search of higher standard education in other parts of country and partly because of lack of avenues of employment. To address both these issues, the Ministry of DoNER has undertaken a number of initiatives, including opening up of hostels for Northeast students in Delhi and other parts of the country, setting up counseling and coaching centers for the students from Northeast and establishing Northeast study cells in some of the reputed Universities in Delhi and other places. 

On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh also announced the setting up of a Skill Development Center by the DoNER Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development and also referred to the announcement recently made by him to set up Brahmaputra Study Center under the auspices of Gauhati University. The exact format and the spectrum of research and study to be undertaken in this center is being worked out in consultation with scholars and teachers, he added. 

Complimenting ABVP for having organized the Aarohan festival, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the ABVP is among the oldest and largest student organizations of the country and even though it was visibly active even before the Independence, its present format under present nomenclature came into existence in 1948, which in other words means that the journey and growth of ABVP has been closely in tandem with the journey and growth of independent India. He particularly congratulated National General Secretary, ABVP, Sreehari for the commendable work being done by him in imparting quality skills, quality education and quality cultural ethos to the student community in Northeast. He assured of all possible support on behalf of the Ministry of DoNER for any constructive student activities planned for the region by ABVP and other organizations in the future. 

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Twentyfour Airports Identified for Domestic Cargo Terminals 

Twentyfour airports at Tier-II/III (non-metro) cities have been identified where Common User Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT) is proposed to be established by carrying out cargo feasibility study and minor modifications in the old/redundant passenger terminal buildings. 

Keeping in view the requirements, time to time cargo feasibility is conducted based on which basic infrastructure is provided. Moreover, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to utilise old/redundant passenger buildings with minor modifications such as civil/electrical works or by creating a new facility for International cargo operations. AAI has already established Common User Domestic Air Cargo Terminals at Coimbatore, Jaipur and Lucknow airports. 

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

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Accident Prevention Programme to Avert Air Mishaps 

As part of the Accident Prevention Programme following steps have been taken to avert the recurrence of air mishaps and impending eventualities at airports in the country: 

Accident / incident data is regularly analyzed and based on the analysis, Air Safety Circulars are issued to bring important observations/findings to the notice of the operators to avoid the recurrence of the accidents. 

Recommendations emanating from the accident/incident investigation reports are implemented to prevent such mishaps. 

As per the annual surveillance programme, audit of the operators are carried out. Recommendations emanating from such reports are followed up with the operator for implementation. The compliance of the action taken by the operator is further verified during the next audit. 

The Government appoints various Committees of Inquiry as per the provisions of Aircraft (Investigation of Accidents and Incidents) Rules, 2012 to investigate the aircraft accidents on case to case basis. The reports submitted by these Committees usually indicate technical and human factors as the probable causes of these accidents. The salient steps taken to ensure the safety of air passengers are as follows: 

(i) Implementation of recommendations emanating from investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents. 

(ii) Dissemination of Safety Information amongst the operators, pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers. 

(iii) Surveillance of various operators by Flight Operations Inspectors. 

(iv) Periodic regulatory audit of operators and maintenance organizations. 

(v) periodic spot checks on the operations and maintenance activities of operators. 

(vi) Special Operating Precautions in poor weather conditions. 

(vii) 100% Monitoring of Flight Data Recorders. 

(viii) Installation of Minimum Safe Altitude Warning System, Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSRs), Airborne Collision Avoidance System and Ground Proximity Warning System. 

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

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Modernisation of Coal Mining Technology 

Technology upgradation is a continuous process and Coal India Limited (CIL) is adopting technologies as appropriate to a given mine/area as per the specific geo-mining conditions. In case of open cast mining, CIL is adopting contemporary technologies using heavy earth moving machinery like draglines, shovel dumper combination, surface miners etc. as per the specific geo-mining conditions. 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. In case of underground mines technologies deploying load haul dumpers/side discharge loaders have been introduced in most of the mines and continuous miner technology has been successfully introduced in some of the underground mines. Similarly, long wall mining has also been introduced in some mines and work order has been issued for development of five underground mines through long wall technology in Bharat Coking Coal Limited and Eastern Coalfields Limited. Recently, a study has been conducted by M/s. KPMG for assessment of the need for upgradation of technology presently under practice in CIL mines and scope for further modernisation. The consultant has submitted their report and the same is under examination for implementation. 

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Independent Regulator for Coal Sector 

A provision has been made in Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 to appoint an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India to be the Commissioner of Payments. Accordingly, the Central Government has appointed Coal Controller as Commissioner of Payments on 11.11.2014. 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 after detailed consultations with various stake holders as well as concerned Ministries/Departments, the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 was approved by the competent authority on 27.06.2013 and the same was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 13.12.2013, to regulate and conserve resources in the coal sector, protect the interest of consumers and producers of coaland for matter connected therewith. 

The Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 that was introduced in the Lok Sabha has lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha on 18th May, 2014. The proposal for re-introducing the same in the Lok Sabha is under consideration for further inter-ministerial consultations, the Minister added. 

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Telecom Service Providers Told to Improve Service & Transparency 

In recent times, several issues pertaining to Quality of Service (QoS) in Telecom Networks all over the country, viz., frequent call drops, consequent inflated billing, non-transparency in the billing have been raised in the Parliament including by way of Calling Attention Motion, in various public forums as well as in the media. 

To have a comprehensive review of the issues, a meeting of all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the country was held today (27.04.2015) in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The meeting was chaired by Shri Rakesh Garg, Secretary (Telecom) & Chairman, Telecom Commission. 

The Secretary (Telecom) briefed the Telecom Service Providers about the falling perception in the public with regard to poor Quality of Telecom Services in the country in general and with special emphasis on degrading Quality in Metros. It was indicated to the TSPs that the public in general is highly dissatisfied with frequent and heavy call drops during the calls throughout the day and not confined to peak calling hours which shows poor quality of the telecom networks. The TSPs were also told about the perception of the public that such call drops are deliberate attempts by the TSPs to have multiple charging and consequent commercial gain. It was also noticed that the billing by TSPs is not transparent and there are frequent changes in the package rates, contrary to initial agreed upon package, without any consent of the customer. In case of international roaming, TSPs do not have any warning system about the tariffs to be charged for various applications, e.g., data download which result in many complaints of heavy charging of the customer. There have been frequent complaints of charging even though the customer has already disconnected or has not used the services of the TSPs. 

The TSPs assured to look into the billing complaints on priority basis and set up a transparent system to educate the customers about various tariffs being charged so that the billing complaints are minimized. The TSPs also highlighted the delay in acquisition of new sites for additional towers because of fear of EMF radiation in the public, closure of existing tower sites because of local bodies’ regulations and delay in getting permission from local bodies for laying/ repair of cables etc. 

Secretary (Telecom) emphasized the need for utmost integrity of the billing system and charging of the telecom customers and to bring in place a transparent and foolproof billing mechanism with provisions for timely intimation and consent of the customer to effect any changes in the tariff plan, especially in case of national and international roaming. It was also emphasized that TSPs should take further steps to educate the public about the stringent EMF norms being followed in India. It should be highlighted through seminars and public meetings that there are no harmful effects of tower radiations. The education material as well as seminars should also be conducted in vernacular languages.To improve the quality of the network to reduce frequent call drops, it was emphasized that the TSPs should optimize their RF network extensively in a regular and routine matter. DoT has also written from time to time to various State Governments/ Local Bodies to facilitate the acquisition of tower sites, permissions for laying/ repair of cables in line with guidelines issued by the Department. The TSPs should also follow the guidelines issued by local bodies in this regard. He emphasized that in no case these can become shield for poor service in the public perception and all the TSPs should take all possible steps to improve the quality of service and deal with customers’ complaints promptly. 

All the TSPs assured to take all necessary measures to bring transparency in the billing system and to improve the overall quality of telecom services in the shortest possible time. 

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Study on Taj Mahal by NEERI 

Conservation work of Taj Mahal is attended regularly within the available resources and it is in a good state of preservation. 

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has not submitted its final report of the study on carrying capacity of Taj Mahal. However, the draft report has been received and is under examination and review. Based on the final recommendation of NEERI report to determine carrying capacity of Taj Mahal, maximum no. of tourists visiting the monument will be worked out. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha today. 

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Silk Road Programme 

The Government of India is regularly attending the meetings of coordinating Committee on serial nomination of Silk Road sites and has agreed to follow the corridor strategy adopted in this connection by UNESCO. The Conservation team of ASI has proposals to work in Nepal and Srilanka. A collaborative programme on Silk Route may enhance sustainable tourism development along the historic Silk Route. It may stimulate investment and promote the conservation of the route’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Archaeological Survey of India has not received any communication regarding the merger of Silk Road Programme with India’s Mausam. 

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha today. 

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What is meant by 'PRASAD' ? What is meant by 'PRASAD' ? Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:31 PM Rating: 5

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