India and Georgia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Electoral Cooperation

India and Georgia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Electoral Cooperation 

Georgia interested in advanced vote counting technology, Says Chair, Georgian Central Election Commission 

India and Georgia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi, for cooperation in the field of election management and administration. 

The MoU was signed by the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. Nasim Zaidi, and Ms. Tamar Zhvania, Chairperson, Central Election Commission, Georgia. Election Commissioner of India, Shri. A. K. Joti; diplomats, and senior officials of the Election Commission of India and Government of India were present at the signing ceremony. 

The major aims of MoU are: promotion of exchanges of knowledge and experience in electoral processes; exchange of information, materials, expertise and training of personnel; production and distribution of materials pertaining to electoral systems, voting technology, voters’ education and awareness, and participation of women and minorities in electoral process. 

Dr. Nasim Zaidi expressed his confidence that the MoU would be an important mechanism for strengthening and deepening mutual collaboration between ECI and the Central Election Commission of Georgia, in electoral management and administration. He also stated that the partnership between the two organizations augurs very well for EMBs of the Eurasian Region, and also for other EMBs.

Election Commissioner, Shri. A. K. Joti, in his welcome remarks, referred to the ancient linkages between India and Georgia, and provided an overview of the Indian Electoral system, the structure, role and functioning of ECI and use of technology in the electoral process. 

Ms. Tamar Zhvania praised the expertise and professionalism of ECI in conducting the largest elections in the world in a peaceful, transparent and credible manner, and on a very massive scale. She expressed her interest in exploring advanced counting technologies, which would enable quick counting and declaration of election results. She identified some areas of cooperation with ECI, including Voter Education, new Technologies and capacity building of electoral stakeholders. 

Election Commission of India has so far signed twenty MOUs with Election Management Bodies and international organizations across the world. Some of the MoUs signed recently are with the Kyrgyz Republic, Yemen, Mauritius, Egypt, Venezuela and Republic of Korea. 

Election Commission of India 

New Delhi : 13th July,2015 

'DoNER at Doorstep' experiment widely hailed: Dr. Jitendra Singh 

"DoNER at Doorstep", a unique new experiment initiated by the Ministry for Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) from February this year, was widely hailed at an interactive intellectual meet held here today, to mark the release of a research book titled “Socio-Economic Development Policies for Manipur and Nagaland”. 

In his address after releasing the book, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he often heard the suggestion that Northeast needs to be brought closer to mainstream India, but it occurred to him that why not also devise means to bring the mainstream India closer to Northeast and that is how the concept of "DoNER at Doorstep" developed, wherein a rotational camp secretariat of the Ministry for Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) will be functioning in each of the eight North-Eastern States by turn on monthly rotation basis. This will not only help officials of the Ministry to have an on-the-spot assessment of the works going on there and to receive the ground inputs, but will also send out a strong positive message that for redressal of each grievance, the people of Northeast need not travel all the way to Delhi because Delhi and the Ministry for DoNER can also travel to their doorstep and hence, the name “DoNER at Doorstep” (DaD), he added. 

Dr. Jitendra Singh said, another thought that occurred to him was that if India was to effectively follow its “Act East” policy and build up its presence with the territories beyond eastern borders, then it was equally imperative that we should also effectively act proximal to the eastern borders which in other words mean ‘act east proximal to be effective to act east distally’. Inspired by this thought, he said, the DoNER Ministry had got a Northeast Helpdesk set up in Delhi with the help of Chamber of Commerce and at the same time, hosted a day long workshop in which Cabinet Ministers from the eastern countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar participated. 

Dr. Jitendra Singh said, each of the eight States of Northeast has its own peculiarities and if India is known as a country of "unity in diversity", then Northeast is the most striking example of “diversity within diversity”, but he hastened to add, this should not be seen as a disadvantage, but rather an advantage because it enriches the vast potentials and the driving spirit among the people of the region, who enjoy a very high literacy rate and a small State like Mizoram has a literacy rate of 92-93% which is next only to Kerala. 

Referring to vast unexplored potential resources of Northeast, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, under the guidance of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, we have taken up an ambitious organic farming mission which would enable us to make the best use of agricultural and fruit products which are going waste. There is also immense potential for the bamboo industry to be promoted, particularly in the State of Mizoram, he added. 

Earlier, former Governor of Mizoram, Shri A.R. Kohli, while speaking on the research book written by Ms. Dnyanada Palkar, said that this is a very methodically researched documentation with statistics and figures which would help develop strategies for a strong framework for future growth on the region. 

Civil Aviation Minister Launches GAGAN System 

Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, formally launched the GAGAN system (GPS AIDED GEO AUGMENTED NAVIGATION) at a function here today. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister congratulated the entire team on development of the GAGAN project. 

GAGAN is the first SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) in the world certified for Approach with Vertical Guidance operating in the Equatorial Ionospheric region and the third SBAS to have achieved this feat, after WAAS of USA and EGNOS of Europe. GAGAN was already certified for en route operation since 30th December 2013. 

GAGAN is a joint effort of Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). In the aviation field, GAGAN will support more direct air routes, reduce fuel consumption and improve safety. In addition, GAGAN provides benefits to agriculture, all modes of transportation and public services such a defence services, security agencies and disaster recovery management by aiding in search and rescue to locate the disaster zone accurately. 

Since 14th February 2014, GAGAN has been continuously providing navigation signals from GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 satellites launched by ISRO, augmenting the performance of GPS signals received over Indian Airspace. 

Shri R.N.Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Smt M.Sathiyavathy, Director General of Civil Aviation, Shri R.K.Srivastava, Chairman, Airports Authority of India, Dr. Y.V.N.Krishnamurthy, Scientific Secretary,ISRO were also present on the occasion. 

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Visits Malaysia 

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry is currently on an official visit to Kuala Lumpur from July 12-14, 2015. 

Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry is leading the Indian delegation to attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meetings and related meetings. 

Earlier this morning, Hon’ble Minister attended the RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meetings. She reiterated the importance attached by India to RCEP negotiations and conveyed India’s continued commitment to work with other countries to conclude a mutually acceptable RCEP Agreement. 

Hon’ble Minister also met her Malaysian counterpart H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Government of Malaysia. The two Ministers discussed issues relating to the ongoing RCEP negotiations as well as ways and means to enhance bilateral trade and investment. MOS (IC) welcomed greater participation from Malaysian companies in the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Malaysian companies have invested around US $ 6 billion in India over the years and additionally taken up several billion US dollars worth of projects in India, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors. Both Ministers agreed to take our bilateral economic and commercial engagement to a much higher trajectory. 

Malaysia India Business Council (MIBC) later hosted a dinner in honour of the Hon’ble Minister, where nearly 100 CEOs from Malaysian and Indian companies participated, including from the Consortium of Indian Industries in Malaysia (CIIM). Speaking on this occasion, Hon’ble Minister conveyed the commitment of India to deepen the Strategic Partnership with Malaysia and make it truly multi-dimensional. She recalled the fruitful meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries in November last year in Nay Pyi Taw and expressed her hope that Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Malaysia later in the year will open a new chapter in our bilateral Strategic Partnership. She mentioned that Malaysia was key to India’s economic engagement with South East Asia and outlined the series of new initiatives taken by the Government of India to attract FDI into the country as well as improve the ease of doing business in India. She invited the Malaysian business community to participate in India’s growth story. 

Intellectual Property Initiatives to Drive “Make in India” 

Several measures have been taken to ensure continuous and unending improvement of the Indian IP ecosystem in the country. To this effect, Department of Industrial Policy and Planning (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has formulated a multipronged strategy to develop an Intellectual Property regime in the country to promote creativity and to develop the culture of respect for innovations and creativity.
During the year, the Intellectual Property Office has been radically transformed through numerous initiatives that have contributed tremendously to easing of access to the IP system, efficiency in processing of IP applications, uniformity and consistency in the examination of applications, transparency and dissemination of IP information, bilateral cooperation at the international level, and raising the awareness level of the public.
Several measures have been taken to create a strong and vibrant IP regime in India.  These are:

Modernization of administration:  Creation of a highly transparent, e-enabled, efficient and accessible IP ecosystem in India that provides legal certainty to the industry.

A.  Human Resources:    An additional 1033 plan posts have been created, including 666 posts for Patents & Designs and 367 posts for Trademarks and GI at various levels. Already, recruitment is underway. Patent and Trademarks examiners are also being taken on contract to deal with the backlog.
B.  Ease of access: The IP system embarked on its e-journey by introducing the complete electronic processing of Patents and Trademarks applications through specialized modules. To cater to the immense flow of the papers filed, a single central server at IPO Delhi is in place. Since India has a unique intellectual property office wherein there are 4 patent offices and 5 trademark offices, there is need for strong intra-office connectivity. The system is unique in itself since there is automatic generation of application numbers as also automatic allotment of the request for examination which is sequential and thus transparent and user-friendly.

a)     Online e-filing facilities- Comprehensive online e-filing facilities for patent and trademark application were introduced in 2013-15 which provided the stakeholder 2 major advantages. First, an applicant can file an application virtually 24x7 and secondly, applications can be filed from the comfort of their workplace/ homes.
b)    Comprehensive payment gateway-   The IPO allowed the e-filers the facility of using debit cards, credit cards and internet banking. This year, e-filers were given the facility of using debit cards, credit cards and internet banking of over 70 banks for making payment of fees for all forms.
c)    10% rebate on online filing- To encourage online filing of the applications, a 10% rebate on online filing of applications and documents has been introduced; online filing has jumped from under 30% to over 80% in just a year.

Transparency and dissemination of information: The official website provides vast information relating to patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications. The real time status of IP applications with entire file wrappers and e-registers is now open to the public, providing a strong tool to the public that can now be an integral part of the IP system. An innovative tool, showing the stock and flow of patents and trademarks applications at every stage of its processing, has ushered in transparency.

Fee Concession for MSME: MSMEs account for 45% of total industrial production and the total contribution of MSMEs to India’s GDP is 38%. To encourage them to innovate and seek protection for their inventions, a 50 % fee reduction has been provided for MSMEs.

Madrid Protocol: The operationalization of the Madrid protocol for international protection of trademarks provides the user the facility of protecting his trademark in 90 countries by filing a single application in one language with one set of fees filed at the Trademarks Registry. Till June 2015, 13,666 international applications designating India have been received at the Trademarks Registry, India.

International Search Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority: India has been recognised by the World Intellectual Property Organization as the 17th International Search Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority in the world. It began its operations in 2014 and till date, 758 international applications have been received and 575 reports issued. India prides itself on providing quality reports at the lowest cost among the international players like USPTO, EPO, JPO etc.  At present it has been recognised as ISA/ IPEA for nationals of Republic of Iran.

6.      IPR Awareness Programmes: Awareness creation is one of the major planks of the modernization scheme of IP system, as this will educate the stakeholders about the benefits of registration of their rights as also educate the general public, particularly the business community, on perils of infringement of IPRs held by others/ dealing in pirated and counterfeit products. These programmes are also expected to sensitise the enforcement agencies such as state police forces, and the judiciary.

a)      IP Training, Awareness and Outreach Activities:  Awareness/ sensitization programs on IPR are organized by IPO as well as with industry associations, Chambers of commerce, academic institutions etc.
b)      National and international symposia/ seminar/workshops on IP are organized for potential IP users.
c)      e-learning resources: To educate the public via the internet media, a portal on the website of office of the CGPDTM has presentations uploaded on various aspects of IPR.
d)     Kids Nook: A corner to educate and inculcate the culture of respecting and protecting IPR’s among the next generation has been undertaken via uploaded comics which are based on basics of IPRs.
India and Georgia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Electoral Cooperation India and Georgia Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Electoral Cooperation Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 2:14 PM Rating: 5

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