9th Meeting of Special Task Force on Women’s Safety held today

9th Meeting of Special Task Force on Women’s Safety held today

Union Home Secretary Reviews its Working

The Union Home Secretary Shri L.C. Goyal chaired the 9th Meeting of the Special Task Force set up to look into issues related to Safety and Security of Women here today. The meeting was attended by the Chairperson Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), Chief Secretary Delhi, Commissioner of Police Delhi, heads of different departments of the Delhi Government and senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs and other concerned Ministries of Government of India. The representatives of the Government of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh also attended the meeting.

The Commissioner of Police Delhi informed that the chargesheets are now being registered in the shortest possible time and the quality of investigation is being improved. Delhi police has planned to train about one lakh girls in self-defence training and about 66,190 girls have been trained in this field so far during current calendar year. The Task force was also informed that self-defence is being included in the syllabus of schools by the concerned authorities.

The Home Secretary asked the officers to focus on the issues of GPS and GPRS based tracking system and CCTVs in DTC busses. Street light and last mile connectivity to the houses from metro stations through suitable mode such as e-rickshaws, autos, shuttle service or any other cheap transport should be encouraged.

Shri Goyal asked the officers to implement all developmental works required for growth of Delhi as a Smart City. He also asked the NDMC and MCDs to improve the condition of roads, water and sewerage in their areas.


Minister Food Processing Industries meet Families of Indians Abducted in Iraq

Families of Indians abducted in Iraq have met Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal along with Union Minister for External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and demanded safe release of their kins from Iraq today.

Both Smt. Sushma Swaraj and Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal assured the families that Government of India is relentlessly working for release of their kins from Iraq and efforts are underway from all quarters to obtain their release.

Families have expressed serious concerns about well being of their kins and requested Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to ensure that their kins are safe in Iraq. Minister External Affairs assured them that according to the information available through Indian Government sources in Iraq that all their kins are safe and secure.

Government of India has been making all-out efforts for release of people abducted in Iraq. Since most of these families hail from Punjab, the families have been requesting Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who has been taking up this issue with the External Affairs ministry for nearly a year, said, that “I am satisfied with the progress and current information that External Affairs Minister shared with me that all are safe and secure”.

Families also expressed satisfaction and thanked Smt. Badal and Smt. Swaraj for their efforts.

Films an important constituent of Government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives - Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore

Minister Inaugurates India Pavilion at Cannes

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Retd), today inaugurated the India Pavilion at Cannes Films Festival. Speaking at the packed inaugural session of the India Pavilion the Minister said, “New Government at the Centre was certainly more decisive and focused and is constantly working towards taking India to higher levels of growth which is inclusive. The government was channelizing that objective through campaigns like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ and realizes that the film industry is an important part of these campaigns given its tremendous potential towards job creation”.

The Minister further stated that “India had already signed coproduction agreements with a slew of countries. In the last one year five co-productions had been undertaken with France alone. We need to take these partnerships to the next level now. He added that the government was rigorously working towards providing a seamless work environment for the film industry by establishing a single window clearance mechanism. Also, a center of excellence for gaming and visual effect s has been announced. The government would do its best to be an infrastructure partner and would like to have faculty coming from the industry itself and looks forward to more faculty exchanges.

The session also saw unveiling of the 46th IFFI, 2015 regulations and ‘India Film Guide’ by the Minister. The India Film Guide is a comprehensive booklet with information on policy initiatives by the government pertaining to film sector, the listing of Indian companies at Cannes Film Market, Indian Films at Cannes and contacts of important people in the business of film making.

The session was attended by luminaries such as Dr Mohan Kumar, Ambassador of India to France, Mr. Bobby Bedi, Film Maker, Ms. Nandita Das, Actor/Film Maker, Mr. Roshan Baig, Minister of Information and Public Relations, Government of Karnataka, Mr. K Sanjay Murthy, Joint secretary, Films, Ministry of I&B, Government of India and Mr. Ravi Kottarakara, Former President, Film Federation of India.

Mr. Bobby Bedi, Film maker, in his welcome address said that, “India’s presence at Cannes had increased tremendously over the past decade and we have seen an increase in representation in terms of quantity and an improvement in the quality of content as well”. Dr Mohan Kumar, Ambassador of India to France said that the ambition should be to get Indian films in the most important category of films at Cannes. He added over the next two to three years he would strive to work on that. The quality of films from India had been rich in content and quality.

Mr. Ravi Kottarakara, Former President, Film Federation of India felt that India has on offer some of the best shooting locations. There has been a tremendous change in the Indian film landscape and the sector is definitely going to grow by leaps and bounds. We should try to experiment more to have a wider global acceptability. Also, India’s linguistic cinema which includes films in Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Bhojpuri are as good as mainstream Bollywood films and should get an equal opportunity to be showcased. Ms. Nandita Das, Actor/Film maker said that she would like to raise the issue of censorship in India. As we mature, it is important to promote freedom of expression rather than curtailing voices. Mr. Roshan Baig, Minister of Information and Public Relations, Government of Karnataka suggested that it will be really great if the regional film industry is showcased as a part of the delegations to some of the major international film festivals. Mr. K Sanjay Murthy, Joint Secretary, Films, Ministry of I&B, Government of India said that over the course of next few days they hoped to learn from various film commissions and carry back new partnerships and learning experiences


Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, MoS (I&B) leads Indian delegation to the 68th Cannes Film Festival

Participation to focus on ‘Make in India’ campaign, Potential to become Entertainment Hub, Film Tourism and co-production agreements

In a major initiative to promote the potential of the Make in India campaign in the Media and Entertainment domain, Minister of State (I&B), Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is leading the Indian delegation to the 68th Cannes Film Festival. During the visit, Col. Rathore is expected to have extensive discussions with critical stakeholders of the global film industry to promote the essence of ‘Make in India’ in the context of the Media and Entertainment industry. This will be the key issues in view of the entertainment industry being identified as one of the 25 focus areas picked up by the Government under the ‘Make in India’ campaign. The Minister would also be inaugurating the India Pavilion which will showcase the strengths of India having the potential to become an Entertainment Hub for the global film industry. The Minister will be at Cannes from May 14th – 16th 2015.

The visit of the delegation assumes importance in the light of the Government has been supportive of letting the sector leverage its full potential by taking various initiatives such as digitizing the cable distribution sector, increasing FDI limit in Cable and DTH satellite platforms. In addition, the Digital India Campaign is expected to have a facilitating impact on the media and entertainment industry as well. Co-production agreements signed would be another issue for discussion as the signing of such agreements have provided the platform for Indian films beyond the domestic borders and also given an impetus to the ‘Film influenced Tourism’. The issue also assumes importance in view of it making lucrative and viable providing access to public and subsidized funds to film makers and increases sales and chances of syndication in the international space. Co-production agreements not only enrich bilateral relations through cultural exchanges, but it also gives an impetus to economic activity in the concerned countries through employment generation and improved foreign earnings. It creates incredible opportunities to market high tech production facilities and equipment and encourages knowledge sharing.

Col. Rathore is also expected to promote the idea of India as a filming destination in view of it offering to the world filming community in terms of locations as well as a strong infrastructure. Minister would also make a strong pitch in view of the Government taking a number of measures towards promoting India as a filming destination and facilitating film shootings in India. In this context, Col. Rathore will also provide a roadmap to the industry in achieving this objective to ensure a facilitation point for the producers on issues related to permissions, information on shooting locations and facilities available with the film industry for production and post-production.

During his visit to Cannes, Col. Rathore will also have extensive discussion regarding the branding of IFFI 2015 and the possibility of collaborative partnership with leading film entities. This would be one of the main points of discussion with the CEO of Toronto International Film Festival, Mr. Benoit Ginisty of FIAPF; Carolle Brabant , CEO, Telefilm Canada and Jerome Paillard, Executive Director, Marche du Film, Festiva de Cannes.

Col. Rathore is expected to have extensive discussions with eminent personalities including Mr. Benoit Ginisty, Director General, FIAPF (International Federation of Film Production Associations); Jerome Paillard, Director, Marche Du Film; discussions with Toronto International Film Festival Director Piers Handling; Ms Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, British Film Institute; Karen Thorne-Stone, President-CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation and Ms Shivani Pandya, Managing Director, Dubai International Film Festival.


Structured Training vital for addressing emerging challenges in media space: Shri Arun Jaitley

Minister inaugurates seminar on “Establishment of a Communication University”

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley has said that a structured training programme was important to address the needs of the fast evolving and expanding media landscape in the country. Skill Development was an important step to equip the challenges faced by journalists in responding to the requirements of varied target audience/viewers. The discussion on the establishment of the Communication University would enable stakeholders to focus on the new and emerging facets of media world including the technological changes, innovations, skill requirements and the emerging needs of the media fraternity. Shri Jaitley stated this while delivering the Keynote Address at the Inaugural Session at the seminar on “Establishment of Communication University” organized by the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, under the aegis of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said today the definition of news had undergone a change, with the media playing a pro-active role, setting the agenda for what constituted news. The influence of camera was evident in the prioritization of news across platforms. The impact of technology on news dissemination was evident in view of instant and faster communication. Touching upon issues related to financial modeling, the Minister said that the absence of a viable financial model at times created discrepancies leading to higher cost of distribution, race for eye balls and quality of content being compromised. The Minister further added that the emerging scenario led to debates becoming shriller. However, enough scope existed for the reader / viewer to get authentic information and news based on facts. There was enough opportunity for conventional news to emerge stronger and counter news that was at times one sided. In the given scenario, the consumer was king as he had the power to dissect the news which was closest to reality.

Secretary I&B Shri Bimal Julka said that an approach to establishing a Communication University for India would have to be evolved after taking into consideration the best international models available vis-a-vis Indian Media and Entertainment sector. He further added that the seminar would involve consultations with various stakeholders for their views on possibility of establishing such an over-arching Communication University in the country. In this fast emerging media scenario, there was an urgent need to have a close look at how the current generations would be equipped to meet the complex challenges in view of the increasing need and demand for professionals in the media industry. Shri Julka in his address also gave an overview of the media industry touching upon the convergence scenario in the media space, the paradigm shifts in relation to the social media and the innovations brought about vis-à-vis tools and dissemination process. This was critical in view of audiences becoming fragmented across regions and the growing range of delivery platforms.

Justice Mukul Mudgal, Chairman Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) who was also present on the occasion said that the seminar would lead to deliberations to decide the feasibility of setting up a Communication University in India.

The Seminar seeks to explore the possibility of establishing a Communication University in the country, by attempting to enlist the views of major stakeholders, including universities and institutions in the government and private sectors, as well as leading practitioners in the field in three sessions. Session I seeks to analyze the Status of Media and communication Education in India along with its emerging issues, gaps and challenges. Session II will explore the need for introducing new and advanced courses like digital marketing, social media, internet governance, cyber security, and the like, keeping in view the significant changes taking place in the media & entertainment industry and the rising demand for trained professionals and academics. Session III will involve discussions on a roadmap for establishment of a Communication University and to evolve a futuristic vision and strategy in the context of the contemporary situation.


Mineral Production during March 2015 (Provisional)

The index of mineral production of mining and quarrying sector for the month of March (new Series 2004-05=100) 2015 at 148.5, was 0.9% higher as compared to March 2014..The cumulative growth for the period April- March 2014-15 over the corresponding period of previous year stands at (+) 1.4%.

The total value of mineral prduction (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during March 2015 was Rs. 22352 crore. The contribution of: coal was the highest at Rs. 9377 crore (42%). Next in the order of importance were: petroleum (crude) Rs. 5865 crore, iron ore Rs. 2535  crore, natural gas (utilized) Rs. 2255 crore, lignite Rs. 775  crore  and limestone Rs. 468  crore. These six minerals together contributed about 95% of the total value of mineral production in March 2015.

Production level of important minerals in March 2015  were: coal 688 lakh tonnes, lignite 62  lakh tonnes, natural gas (utilized) 2727  million cu. m., petroleum (crude) 32  lakh tonnes, bauxite 1585  thousand tonnes, chromite 365 thousand tonnes, copper conc. 8 thousand tonnes, gold 124 kg., iron ore 122 lakh tonnes, lead conc. 23 thousand tonnes, manganese ore 195  thousand tonnes, zinc conc. 168  thousand tonnes, apatite & phosphorite 163  thousand tonnes, limestone 260 lakh tonnes, magnesite 22 thousand  tonnes  and diamond  3590 carat.                                                                                                                                                                                                            

The production of important minerals showing  positive growth during March 2015 over March 2014 include ‘zinc conc.’  (38.3%), ‘lead conc.’ (28.0%), ‘lignite’ (25.3%) ‘magnesite’ (17.9%), ‘coal’ (5.2%) and ‘petroleum (crude)’ (1.7%). The production of other important minerals showing negative growth are: ‘limestone.’ [(-) 0.6%], ‘natural gas (utilized)’ [(-) 2.4%], ‘bauxite’ [(-) 6.9%], ‘apatite & phosphorite’ [(-) 8.4%], ‘chromite’ [(-) 20.9%],  ‘manganese ore’ [(-) 23.0%], ‘iron ore’ [(-) 26.1%], ‘diamond’ [(-) 29.9%], ‘copper conc.’ [(-) 30.7%] and ‘gold’ [(-) 49.8%].


India & Congo explore mutual areas of cooperation in the field of Mining

A business delegation from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) led by H. E. Mr. Raymond Tshibanda N'Tungamulongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Democratic Republic of Congo met Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar at Udyog Bhawan today. H. E. Mr. Francois Balumuene, Ambassador of DR Congo in India and senior officials from Ministry of Steel & Ministry of Mines were present on the occasion.

Union Steel & Mines Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in his address said, “Bilateral relations between India and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have always been warm and friendly. We hope that both countries would continue to strengthen the bilateral engagement in various spheres. We would like to assure you of India's continued cooperation in providing technical and financial support for capacity building and skills development. We would like to offer Indian expertise to assist DRC in various priority areas identified by your side and would welcome concrete proposals for collaboration. We are aware of the rich mineral resources available in your country. Our cooperation in this sector can be hugely mutually beneficial. This can extend to our assistance in exploration. Our Industry would also be interested in availing opportunities in the mining sector in addition to procurement of various metals. We would be interested to know about existing mining opportunities and any studies conducted about further exploration works.”

H. E. Mr. Raymond Tshibanda N'Tungamulongo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Democratic Republic of Congosaid, “India, the largest democracy in the world is an important country for us. Congo is area-wise the 2nd largest country in Africa and 4th largest country on population basis. As per IMF data, it is one of the fastest growing countries in the region. There are complementarities between the two countries and to strengthen them we have to translate our vision into a concrete action plan in the coming weeks. We are keen to benefit from the new initiatives taken by the new government in the area of mining and would seek inputs and cooperation on that front. “


Promotion and Conservation of Vast Mineral Resources

As per National Mineral Policy 2008, conservation of mineral shall be construed not in the restrictive sense of abstinence from consumption or preservation for use in the distant future but as a positive concept leading to augmentation of reserve base through improvement in mining methods, beneficiation and utilisation of low grade ore and rejects and recovery of associated minerals. The Government is aiming for an adequate and effective legal and institutional framework mandating zero waste mining as the ultimate goal and a commitment to prevent sub-optimal and unscientific mining. Mineral Sectoral value addition through latest technique of beneficiation, calibration, blending, sizing, concentration, pelletisation, purification and general customising of product is being encouraged.

The Government has amended the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act 1957, through the MMDR Amendment Act 2015 with effect from 12.1.2015, for promoting the mining sector. The amendments in the MMDR Act, 1957 will give impetus to the sector by:

(i) removing discretion in grant of mineral concessions, as mineral concessions will now be granted through auction by competitive bidding;

(ii) allowing opening of mines which were closed due to pendency of decision on applications for second or subsequent renewal through extension of validity of lease period of the existing leases;

(iii) providing security of tenure of mining lease period with a uniform lease period of 50 years;

(iv) simplification of procedure, and removal of delay by eliminating requirement of prior approval of Central Government for grant of mining lease through auction;

(v) establishment of National Mineral Exploration Trust, a dedicated fund to encourage exploration to augment mineral resources;

(vi) allowing easy transferability of mineral concessions granted through auction, which would facilitate investments into the mining sector;

(vii) establishment of District Mineral Foundation, which will work for the interest and benefit of persons, and areas, affected by mining related operations.

The Central Government has further empowered State Governments in respect of 31 minerals, which have been notified as ‘minor’ minerals on 10.2.2015, for regulation of grant of mineral concessions and for purposes connected therewith.

This information was given by Minister of State Sh. Vishnu Deo Sai in reply to a question Rajya Sabha yesterday.


Curbing the Illegal Mining of Iron-Ore and Bauxite

As per section 23C of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 state governments have been empowered to make rules for prevention of illegal mining and for purposes connected therewith. Therefore, matters relating to regulation and control of illegal mining, etc are all matters which lie in the domain of state governments.

However, the Ministry of Mines in co-ordination with State Governments has taken the following steps to curb and check illegal mining in the Country:

(i) Regular monitoring of framing of rules by the State Governments to control illegal mining as per Section 23C of MMDR Act (so far 20 States have framed the rules under section 23C of MMDR Act, 1957 to curb illegal mining);

(ii) Regular monitoring of setting up of Task Forces at State and District level to control illegal mining since the year 2005 (so far 23 States have reported to have constituted the Task Forces);

(iii) Regular monitoring of setting up State Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (SCEC) to coordinate efforts to control illegal mining by including representatives of Railways, Customs and Port authorities (13 State Governments have set up a Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee);

(iv) Regular follow up with State Governments to adopt an Action Plan with specific measures to detect and control illegal mining including, use of remote sensing, control on traffic, gather market intelligence, registration of end-users and setting up of special cells etc;

(v) A Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee set up under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Mines) on 4.3.2009 and reconstituted on 20.10.2011 holds quarterly meetings to consider all mining related issues, including matters relating to coordination of activities to combat illegal mining;

(vi) Ministry of Railways have instituted a mechanism on 16.4.2010 to allow transportation of iron ore only against permits issued rake-wise and verified by State Government, apart from taking measures to fence and set up check post at the railway sidings;

(vii) D/o Revenue (Customs) has issued instructions to all its field units to share information on iron ore exports with the State Governments;

(viii) Ministry of Shipping has directed all major Ports in the country to streamline the verification procedures for movement of iron ore, and to check whether royalty has been paid for the consignment;

(ix) Government has notified amendment in Rule 45 of Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988, on 9.2.2011 making it mandatory for all miners, traders, stockists, exporters and end-users to register with IBM and report their transaction in minerals on monthly basis for a proper end-to-end accounting of minerals; and

(x) Indian Bureau Mines has constituted Special Task Forces for inspection of mines in endemic areas by taking the help of Satellite imageries.

This information was given by Minister of State Sh. Vishnu Deo Sai in reply to a question Rajya Sabha yesterday.

9th Meeting of Special Task Force on Women’s Safety held today 9th Meeting of Special Task Force on Women’s Safety held today Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 11:19 AM Rating: 5

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