Extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme to China, Hong Kong and Macau from tomorrow




Extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme to China, Hong Kong and Macau from tomorrow 


The Government has finalised arrangements to extend and implement the e-Tourist Visa facility to the passport holders of People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region with effect from the July 30, 2015, as announced by the Prime Minister during his recent visit to China. The total number of countries/territories covered under the e-Tourist Visa scheme will go up from 74 to 77, with the inclusion of these countries/territories. 

The 74 countries already included are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See and Vietnam. 

The e-Tourist Visa scheme launched by the Government of India on the November 27, 2015 has been extended to 77 countries/territories so far. The scheme will be extended to more countries/ territories in a phased manner. Under this scheme, tourists with e-Tourist Visas can arrive at nine designated airports (Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai & Trivandrum). Since the launch of the scheme, about 2,00,000 (Two lakh) e-TVs have been issued to nationals of different countries. 

During the last three years, a total of 1,79,873 (one lakh seventy nine thousand eight hundred seventy three) tourist visas have been issued to nationals of Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR. It is expected that extending the e-Tourist Visa facility to the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR will boost the tourist arrival from these regions and strengthen bilateral ties among people of these territories. 

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21 NDRF teams deployed in Gujarat and Rajasthan so far 

The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary discussed the flood situation of Gujarat with the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh. Shri Chaudhary asked for maximum Central assistance including rescue teams for flood affected areas of Gujarat. He assured of full Central assistance to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt. Anandiben Patel and asked for greater coordination in Central and State rescue operations. 

In the wake of heavy rains leading to a flood like situation in parts of Gujarat and South Rajasthan and India Meteorological Department prediction of heavy to very heavy rains in next 48 hours in the region, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as a part of proactive measures has mobilized its 21 Search and Rescue teams to the flood affected areas from its Pune (Maharashtra), Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and Ghaziabad (U.P) base to assist the respective State Administration in rescue and relief works. 

15 Search and Rescue teams of NDRF Consisting of 510 trained responders along with 57 rubber boats have been deployed at various flood affected parts of Gujarat, like Tehsil –Suigam (01 team), Tehsil Deesa (02 teams), Hahara (01 Team), Banaskantha (02 Teams), Bhuj (01 Team), Ahmedabad (04 Teams). Further 02 teams are being airlifted from Bhisinia Airfiels to Gandhinagar, Gujarat and 02 teams from Pune airport to Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 

06 Search and Rescue teams of NDRF consisting of 228 trained responders along with 30 rubber boats have been deployed at Jhalawar (01 Team), Jaipur (01 Team), Udaipur (01 Team) and Jalore (03 Teams). 

06 Additional NDRF teams have been put on standby at NDRF base Ghaziabad, Arakkonam and Pune. 

So far, NDRF have evacuated 283 persons (including 111 persons at Village Varun and 87 persons at Village Chatara, Distt Banaskantha) from affected areas to safer place. 

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Union Home Minister assures full support to Gujarat 

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh spoke to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt. Anandiben Patel to assess the flood situation in the State. Seven NDRF teams are already deployed in the rescue operation and four more teams from Pune have been rushed. 

Two Helicopters from Indian Air Force and one from Border Security Force are being deployed. The Union Home Minister assured full central assistance to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. 

The Centre is monitoring the flood situation in Gujarat and other flood affected areas in the country. 

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NDRF deployed in Gujarat and Rajasthan 

A meeting was held at NDMA on July 28, 2015 to review National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployment in Gujarat and Rajasthan in view of the heavy to very heavy rains forecast over the next 72 hours over the region. 

The Member Secretary, NDMA, Shri R.K. Jain chaired the meeting which was attended by Director General, India Meteorological Department, Director General, NDRF and the Resident Commissioner of the two states. Additional NDRF teams have been rushed to both the states while more forces have been put on standby. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the flood situation in different parts of the country. 

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E-Auction of First Batch of Private FM Radio Phase III Channels Continues, 12 Rounds of Bidding Completed at End of Day 3 

E-Auction of the First Batch of Private FM Radio Phase III re-commenced today on 29th July 2015 at 09.30 A.M. and during the day, four rounds of bidding took place. Till now, 12 rounds of bidding are over. The first batch auction for135 FM Channels in 69 existing cities of Phase II began on 27th July 2015. 

At the close of third day of bidding, 80 channels in 55 cities became provisionally winning channels with cumulative provisional winning price of around Rs 549 Crore against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 377 Crore. 

The Auction resumed today with Auction Activity Requirement set at 80%. Daily auction report for day 3 of e-Auction has been put on MIB website, www.mib.nic.in. Bidding will re-commence tomorrow on 30th July, 2015 at 09.30 AM. 

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Bangladesh PSC Chairman calls on Dr. Jitendra Singh 

The Chairman of the Bangladesh Public Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Ekram Ahmed, currently on a visit to India, today called on the 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 and discussed a wide range of issues related to the functioning of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India and that of Government of India’s Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), both of which are dealt with by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. 

Giving an overall resume about the functioning of DoPT and the UPSC, Dr. Jitendra Singh explained to the visiting dignitary as to how discretely the most crucial task of holding IAS/Civil Services Exam and then allocating State Cadres is carried out by the two institutions. While the UPSC, as an independent body, is responsible for conducting the IAS/Civil Services Exam with utmost transparency and impartiality, soon after the declaration of results the DoPT takes over the equally important task of allocating different State Cadres to the successful candidates based on a criteria which is absolutely objective, transparent and impartial. 

Dr. Jitendra Singh also spoke about the functioning and curriculum of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) at Mussoorie, which is an institution of pride for India and which offers training not only to the civil servants from India but also from neighbouring countries including Bangladesh and Bhutan. He also referred to recent inauguration of a new academic block at the Academy, which would increase the capacity for wider training and a comfortable study environment for trainees from India and abroad. 

Of late, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, the DoPT has also been receiving internees from among the newly qualified civil servants and administration appointees from European and other developed countries who find themselves benefitted by the experience of working in diverse conditions in the Indian set up. In addition, he reiterated the Modi Government’s resolve to ensure “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government”. 

Mr. Ekram Ahmed, who is also an academician and a scholar of history besides being a civil servant, said that his India tour was meant to acquaint himself with the various standards of functioning laid down by the present government. He was highly appreciative of the interaction that he had with Dr. Jitendra Singh, whom he described as a Minister with vision and commitment. 

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu approves an award of Rs. 50000 to railway employee Shri. Ashwani Kumar 

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has approved an award of Rs. 50000 to railway employee Shri. Ashwani Kumar for his alertness and courage in detecting the bomb and saving the lives of hundreds of passengers in Punjab. Shri. Ashwani Kumar is working as Keyman of a gang on pathankot- Amritsar section of Firozpur division of Northern Railway. 

On 27-07-2015 a terrorist attack was made in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in early morning hours. A suspected bomb type object was planted on bridge no 236 on Pathankot-Amritsar Railway Line (near Dinanagar). Keyman Shri. Ashwani Kumar while doing patrolling duty detected the same at around 6:00 hrs. He immediately swung into action and ran in the direction from where Train No 54612 was approaching towards the bridge. Without caring for his personal safety, he managed to stop the train before the bridge. 

The daring act of Shri. Ashwani Kumar, Keyman saved the lives of hundreds of passengers who were travelling in the train and saved major bridge from damaging in Pathankot- Amritsar section. On account of his attentiveness and vigilance, a major mishap was thus averted. 

He has now been awarded for his commendable performance, courage and dedication to duty. 

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Minister of State for Science & Technology and for Earth Sciences Dr. Y.S.Chowdary Extends his Deep Felt Condolences to the Elder Brother and Other Family Members of the Former President of India Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam 

I believe everyone who directly or indirectly knows the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, is now deeply saddened at his demise. I am sure that everyone would agree that he is one of the most loved intellectual, President, a Personality, a Scientist, Statesman and none the less a great human being that we all came across in the recent times. 

His humanness is reflected by the fact that he declared that we should all work extra for the country as a mark respect to him on his demise and not take a holiday to mark the occasion. 

He is a visionary who directly contributed through his endeavors in the field of Science and Technology. He also inspired one and all, particularly youth of the nation through his books and multitude of direct contact programs with children and young people. He departed from amongst us even as he carried on such a yeoman service. 

I also, as a minister in the Ministries of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences today, strongly miss him along with the entire scientific community of the country. Dr. Kalam is an ardent lover of Science whom everyone deeply loved. 

I would like to extend my deep felt condolences to his elder brother and all other family members of this great departed soul as his mortal remains will be laid to rest. I pray god to give them all strength in this hour of grief. 

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Delhi, MP, Karnataka, Tamil Naidu, AP and Goa lead awareness campaign about Swachh Bharat in urban areas 

Over 3.50 lakh students in 15 States and UTs participate in first round of quiz contest 

UD Ministry releases Rs.160 cr to States/UTs for awareness generation 

            Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Goa are in the forefront of generating awareness about Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas. Of the 15 States and Union Territories that have undertaken awareness campaign in urban areas at the behest of the Union Ministry of Urban Development, these six States have emerged as lead performers.

            Under the awareness generation campaign launched, 1,129 urban local bodies from 15 States and UTs have organized Quiz Contests to sensitize students about the Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas and also the need for cleanliness, during the last week. A total of 3,53,788 students from 14,141 schools and colleges have participated in the competition.

            Karnataka led the campaign with the participation of 96,524 students in the competition followed by Delhi(47,000), Tamil Nadu (45,650), Madhya Pradesh (45,302), Goa (35,000) and Andhra Pradesh (30,871).

            A total Prize Money of Rs.54.95 lakhs has been distributed for the winners of the Quiz Competition. The next round of competition will be held in the first week of August, 2015.

            Awareness generation in urban areas is a priority area under the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas with a total cost of Rs.66,009 cr, out of which Rs.1,800 cr has been earmarked for IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities. The Ministry of Urban Development has so far released Rs.160 cr to States and UTs.

            Details of participation in the first round of competition are as below:

S.No
State
Total no. of ULBs
participated
Total no of schools
and colleges participated
Total no of students participated
1
Madhya Pradesh
378
6018
45302
2
Tamil Nadu
237
776
45650
3
Karnataka
200
3094
96,524
4
Andhra Pradesh
100
1608
30871
5
Maharashtra
55
453
7083
6
Gujarat
47
130
15341
7
Jharkhand
22
248
17747
8
Goa
14
170
35000
9
Haryana
13
40
2476
10
Manipur
4
75
580
11
Punjab
3
45
5000
12
Delhi
3
1155
47,000
13
Jammu & Kashmir
1
6
4,000

Chandigarh
1
22
1200

Mizoram
1
7
14

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Government is Focused on Youth-Led Development: Sarbananda Sonowal 

The Minister of State (IC) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, is focused on youth-led development. The Government firmly holds the view that the Youth should be active drivers and not just passive recipients of the development process. ‘Facilitating youth participation at all levels of governance’ is one of the key objectives of the current National Youth Policy of India. Speaking at the Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting here today, he said, participation of youth in governance process is an article of faith for the current Government in India. He said, on the personal initiative of the Prime Minister Shri Modi, a portal called MyGov.nic.in has been set up, on which the youth can give their suggestions on a wide-ranging governance issues. Government Ministries are consulting youth on policy issues using various online and offline channels. The Minister said, a National Youth Advisory Council, is being set up to advise the Government of youth issues. The council will have youth representation from every single State/ UT of the country. 

Here is the full text of Shri Sarbananda Sonowal’s speech:

“Firstly, I would like to pay my profound tribute to the great ideal teacher, statesman, visionary, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, whose sudden demise shocked the Nation. The Nation still mourns the loss of the Great Soul. 

I extend a warm welcome to you all to this first Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting. It was indeed very appropriate that in the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in April 2013 in Papua New Guinea, it was decided to hold regional meetings in the mid-term between 4-yearly Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meetings, inter-alia, to consult on regional priorities in youth development. We are privileged to host the first such regional meeting for the Asia Region. 

The Theme of the Conference, namely, “Youth Participation at the Heart of Sustainable Development” is of great significance. Youth are the most dynamic and vibrant section of the Society. Youth are the future of this world. Fortunately, the world today has more young people living in it than any other time in history. About 60% of the world’s youth in 15-24 years age-group live in Asia, most of them in commonwealth member countries. In India, about 65% of the population is under 35 years of age. This ‘demographic dividend’ offers a great opportunity. 

The challenge before all of us is to develop and empower the youth, to enable them to realise their full potential and to contribute to the development of their respective nations. This would, inter-alia, involve, providing the right education to the youth, imparting necessary skills to make them employable, developing them as entrepreneurs, making them healthy individuals and inculcating the right social and moral values among them. Youth can be great messengers of peace. Each country has some strengths and weaknesses. We should learn from the strengths of other countries in order to remove our own weaknesses. 

Success with sustainable human values is always helpful with true growth of human society in the world. The World-over, there is a realization that the youth have a key role to play in the development process. The youth have made a valuable contribution to the shaping of the ‘Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda’ through participation in the MyWorld Survey, national consultations, etc. The youth participation is increasing in various International Forums. The recent BRICS Summit was preceded by a BRICS Youth Summit and the youth from the BRICS nations provided valuable inputs to the BRICS leaders. I am glad that Commonwealth is following similar structure for these regional meetings and that a separate Youth Leaders’ Forum has been organised. I am sure the Ministers will find the inputs from the Youth Forum to be very insightful and valuable. 

In India, the Government, under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, is focused on youth-led development. The Government firmly holds the view that the Youth should be active drivers and not just passive recipients of the development process. ‘Facilitating youth participation at all levels of governance’is one of the key objectives of the current National Youth Policy of India. 

In fact, participation of youth in governance process is an article of faith for the current Government in India. On the personal initiative of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji, a portal called MyGov.nic.in has been set up, on which the youth can give their suggestions on a wide-ranging governance issues. Government Ministries are consulting youth on policy issues using various online and offline channels. A National Youth Advisory Council, is being set up to advise the Government of youth issues. The council will have youth representation from every single State/ UT of the country. 

I am glad to inform this august House that a very significant recent initiative in the direction of promotion of youth participation in governance in India is the ‘Neighbourhood Youth Parliament’ Programme. Under the Programme, the village-based youth clubs are being enabled to function as youth parliaments. Initially, the capacity building of the youth club leaders is done through Block-level Youth Parliament Programmes and then, they are expected to organise similar programmes in their youth clubs. In the Neighbourhood Youth Parliament Programmes, the youth are educated about contemporary socio-economic development issues confronting local communities in general and the youth in particular and are involved in debate/ discussions on such issues. The youth make recommendations to the local administration and the elected bodies through these programmes. 

I am sure each of the commonwealth countries in Asia Region is taking innovative initiatives for promotion of participation of youth in the development process. The Conference provides a unique platform to share our best practices and to learn from each other. 

We have tried to make best possible logistic arrangements for our honoured guests. We hope you will have a pleasant stay in India. Please try and take some time out to experience India. 

I am confident that we will have very useful deliberations over the next two days. At the end of the Conference, we should come out with concrete recommendations for empowerment of the youth of Asia Region and for projecting the concerns of youth from Asia in the Global sustainable development agenda. 

I once again extend very hearty welcome to all of you.” 

Extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme to China, Hong Kong and Macau from tomorrow Extension of e-Tourist Visa scheme to China, Hong Kong and Macau from tomorrow Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 9:29 AM Rating: 5

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