Monday, April 24, 2017


24.04.2017 15:17:12 - Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan Singh launches the second poster of Diljit Dosanjh’s Super Singh! 

( - Posted on April 24, 2017

Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan Singh launches the second poster of Diljit Dosanjh’s Super Singh!

After launching the spectacular first look of India’s first Punjabi language superhero film, Super Singh, Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures and Pawan Gill’s Brat Films launched the second poster of the movie in the presence of the lead actor Diljit Dosanjh and
Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan Singh.
The first poster of Super Singh launched across the national level has never happened for any Punjabi film ever before and considering the humongous response, the superhero film was trending on Twitter all India at No 3 on the day of the launch, followed by unveiling the second poster of the movie by Diljit and Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan Singh on the sets of the singing reality show, Rising Star.
The launch weekend of Super Singh saw Harjit Sajjan Singh – first Sardar to hold such a high honour outside India having a positive interaction with Super Singh Diljit Dosanjh on the sets of the singing reality show.
Harjit Singh gave his badge of honour that the government of Canada bestowed upon Diljit since he is proud of him and all that the actor is doing to inspire kids around the world. The Defence Minister also said it’s great that we achieve super heights in life but it’s even more important to give back to society because that makes us even more super.
On interacting with Diljit and launching the second poster of Super Singh, the minister wrote on his social networking site, “Had a unique opportunity to meet the famous and very humble @diljitdosanjh. Great discussion on his work to inspire the next generation. It was terrific to hear his message and how he shares the same vision for empowering the youth. I also got a chance to see his movie poster of his upcoming film, Super Singh.”
Produced by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures and Anurag Singh & Pawan Gill’s Brat Films, Super Singh starring Diljit Dosanjh and Sonam Bajwa is gearing up for summer release on June 16, 2017worldwide.

Shraddha Kapoor’s Transformation For Haseena
Shraddha Kapoor who will soon be seen essaying the role of Haseena Parker in Apoorva Lakhia’s film looks extremely convincing in the character.
In the film Shraddha will be portraying Haseena from the age of 17 till her late 40’s. From being a teenager to a married young mother to a woman in her 40’s, Shraddha has managed to look the part effortlessly but not without hard work.
To go right with the physicality of Shraddha’s character between the age of 35-45, bodysuits and prosthetics were used. Apoorva went back and forth with makeup artist Subhash Shinde, hairstylist Simran Devi, stylist Eka Lakhani and costume designers Harpreet and Ajay for almost a year to nail the perfect look.
Since Shraddha was busy with prior commitments, the trials of prosthetics were done with her body double. Shraddha being dedicated to nailing her character used to arrive a few hours early and sometimes even before everyone else came. The prosthetic and make up application was time consuming and often the make-up would melt because of which she would have to redo it all at lunch.
Shraddha started costume and make-up trials almost two months before the shoot and she and Apoorva gave a lot of inputs. It took them one month and 12 trials to get the perfect look.
Haseena is all set to release on July 14 this year. The film is produced by Nahid Khan with Swiss entertainment and co-produced by Sameer Antulay and Babu Tyagi.

Divya Dutta Won Literary Excellence Award.

Divya Dutta has been receiving a lot of praise and love for her book ‘Me and Ma’ and she feels like she’s on top of the world.

From appreciation from her industry friends to love and warmth from her fans, Divya is enjoying every bit of the success of her book.

Yesterday, on April 23rd, Divya was felicitated with the ‘Literary Excellence Award’ for her book ‘Me and Ma’.

Divya has penned down all the special moments and instances she shared with her mother who she still holds very close to her heart.


Rajkummar Rao & Shruti Haasan’s Behen Hogi Teri to release on 2nd June 2017!

Oddball Motion Pictures’ maiden production venture Behen Hogi Teri is now going to release on June 2nd, worldwide. The movie starring Rajkummar Rao and Shruti Hassan in the lead has been extensively shot in Lucknow at the turn of the year. Now the filmmakers are currently working on the post-production of the film.

A desi romantic comedy, Behen Hogi Teri is being directed by debutant Ajay K Pannalal and produced by Anthony D’Souza, Amul Vikas Mohan and Nitin Upadhyaya together. The trailer of the film is going to launched next week. And the full-blown promotions of the movie will also kick start from the first week of May.

The movie also stars Gautam Gulati, Herry Tangiri, Darshan Jariwala, Ranjeet and Gulshan Grover. Music by Rishi Rich, Jam8 and Jaidev Kumar.

Oddball Motion Pictures present Behen Hogi Teri is produced by Antony D’souza, Amul Vikas Mohan and Nitin Upadhyaya, directed by Ajay K Pannalal. The movie starring Rajkummar Rao, Shruti Haasan, Gautam Gulati, Gulshan Grover, Ranjeet and others releases worldwide on June 2nd, 2017.
Contact information:
Sagar Media Inc

Contact Person:
Naresh sagar

eMail: eMail

Naresh Sagar
Phone: 9810974027

ECI issues letter of intent for purchase of 16,15,000 VVPATs

Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a letter of intent for purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails( VVPATs) at an estimated cost of Rs 3,173.47 crore during 2017-18 and 2018-19 from PSUs BEL and ECIL. In its letter sent to CMDs of ECIL and BEL on Friday (21st April) , the Commission has communicated its intent for purchase 8,07,500 VVPATs from each PSUs by September 2018.

These VVPATs shall be manufactured by both PSUs only as per the design approved by the Commission based on recommendation of the Technical Experts Committee on EVMs constituted by the Commission & comprising of eminent technical professors from IITs. The Commission shall closely monitor the production of VVPATs for timely delivery well before General Elections 2019.

Explaining the importance of this step , the Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi said " This will enhance transparency and uphold the voters’ right to know which party he or she has voted, thereby increasing voters’ confidence in the free & fair electoral process. "
On 19th April, 2017, in compliance of the order of Hon’ble Supreme Court and as per the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, the Government had approved Rs 3173.47 crore for the procurement of 16,15,000 VVPATs to be used in ensuing elections and General Elections 2019. 


Please find enclosed the invitation.
A Line in confirmation will be highly appreciated.
Dr. Anirban Ganguly
Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi
Co-Convener, Library & Documentation Department, BJP
Member, Policy Research Department, BJP
Member, Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), MHRD
Visiting Faculty, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi
9, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
Twitter: @anirbanganguly


Britain’s immigration officials have detained 38 Indians, including nine women, for overstaying their visas or working illegally after conducting raids in two clothing factories in the city of Leicester.
The UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement team raided two firms in the city in the East Midlands region of England last week and held 38 Indians and one Afghan man. Leicester Mercury reported that of those detained, 31 had outstayed their visas, seven had entered the country illegally and one was working in breach of their visa conditions.
The officials took 19 people into detention pending their removal from the UK while remaining 20 were ordered to report regularly to the Home Office while their cases are dealt with.
The two firms could face fines of up to 20,000 pounds for each illegal worker, if it is proven they did not take steps to establish their employees’ legal status. The two factories are yet to comment on the raids.


France, voting for the second round of the Presidential election will be held on May 7th as no candidate has secured 50 per cent votes in the first phase.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are set to face each other in a May 7 runoff for the French presidency. In first round of voting, Macron came first, while Le Pen was second, according to multiple projections.
Though Macron, 39, is a comparative political novice who has never held elected office, opinion polls in the run-up to the ballot have consistently seen him easily winning the final clash against the 48-year-old Le Pen.
Sunday’s outcome spells disaster for the two mainstream groupings that have dominated French politics for 60 years, and also reduces the prospect of an anti-establishment shock on the scale of Britain’s vote last June to quit the EU and the election of Donald Trump as US president.
In a race that was too close to call up to the last minute, Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister who founded his own party only a year ago, was projected to get 24 per cent of the first-round vote by the pollster Harris, and 23.7 per cent by Elabe.
Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front, was given 22 per cent by both institutes. Macron’s supporters, gathered at a Paris conference centre burst into singing the national anthem, the Marseillaise, a few seconds after results came through. Many were under 25, reflecting some of the appeal of a man aiming to become France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon.
Le Pen, who is herself bidding to make history as France’s first female president, follows in the footsteps of her father, who founded the National Front and reached the second round of the presidential election in 2002. Jean-Marie Le Pen was ultimately defeated when voters from right and left rallied around the conservative Jacques Chirac.
Defeated Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and defeated right-wing candidate Francois Fillon all urged voters to rally behind Macron in the second round.
The final outcome on May 7 will influence France’s standing in Europe and the world as a nuclear-armed, veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council and founding member of the organisation that transformed itself into the European Union.


China has been making unilateral claims on its buffer states after it maneuvered to get its hand to Tibet an autonomous state, with Pakistan China followed same policy.With present China’s false claim on Arunachal Pradesh. China is unilaterally claiming this territory.  All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union today took out a protest rally against China’s claim over the and renaming 6 places in the state. The Students’ organization also burnt the effigy of the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
AAPSU said that Arunachal Pradesh was a part of India and will remain a part of India. Hundreds of students and general public participated in the protest rally.
The simmering issue of the China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh gained momentum with the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to the state earlier this month. Beijing had opposed the visit of the Tibetan Spiritual leader to the state and warned the Indian government of serious consequences if it permitted him to do so.
Just after the weeklong tour of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal ended, China had officially renamed 6 places in Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang, which according to them are part of Southern Tibet.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

PM delivers opening remarks at 3rd Meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today said that as a former Chief Minister, he is convinced that the vision of “New India” can only be realised through the combined effort and cooperation of all States and Chief Ministers. Delivering the opening remarks at the third meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said that “Team India” has once again assembled today to discuss and reflect on ways to prepare India for changing global trends. He said the meeting today would be an opportunity to exchange views on policies and implementation.

The Prime Minister said that it is the collective responsibility of this gathering to envision the India of 2022 – the 75th anniversary of independence – and see how we can swiftly move forward to achieve these goals.

Recalling the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of the centenary of the Champaran Satyagraha, the Prime Minister said NITI Aayog has been taking steps to transform India, with fresh vigour. He said the Government, private sector and civil society, all need to work in sync. He noted that NITI was a collaborative federal body whose strength was is in its ideas, rather than in administrative or financial control. He pointed out that the Chief Ministers did not have to come to NITI for approval of budgets or plans. He said NITI Aayog had gone beyond relying on government inputs and taken on board a number of outside specialists, subject experts, and Young Professionals; and States can also contribute to policy formulation. He gave the example of e-NAM, where experiences of States played a key role in the final policy.

The Prime Minister noted that sub-groups of State Chief Ministers had given vital inputs on subjects such as Centrally Sponsored Schemes, Swachh Bharat, Skill Development and Digital payments. Stressing the importance given to the views of Chief Ministers, he noted that it was the first time Chief Ministers had been asked to recommend the list of Centrally sponsored schemes and the sharing pattern; despite funding constraints, the recommendations were accepted immediately.

The Prime Minister mentioned that while there has been a 40 percent increase in overall fund allocation to States between 2014-15 and 2016-17, the percentage of funds tied to central schemes has declined from 40 percent of the earlier total, to 25 percent of the enhanced total with a corresponding increase in the untied share.

The Prime Minister urged States to speed up capital expenditure and infrastructure creation.

Speaking of the historic change in budget presentation date, the Prime Minister said this would enable timely availability of funds at the beginning of the financial year. Earlier, budgeted scheme funds were generally not approved by Parliament till May, after which they would be communicated to states and ministries. By that time, the monsoon arrived. Hence the best working season for schemes was typically lost. He also mentioned the ending of the distinction between plan and non-plan expenditure, based on the recommendation of the Rangarajan Committee in 2011, which had found the distinction to be counter-productive. Several important items of expenditure were included as ‘non-plan’ and hence neglected. Hereafter the emphasis would be on distinguishing between development and welfare expenditure on one hand, and administrative overheads on the other.

The Prime Minister said that the Goods and Services Tax shows the strength and resolve of the federal structure. He gave credit to all Chief Ministers for coming on one platform for this cause, keeping aside ideological and political differences. Thanking the Chief Ministers, he said consensus on GST will go down in history as a great illustration of cooperative federalism. He said GST reflects the spirit of “One nation, One aspiration, One determination.”

The Prime Minister called for carrying forward the debate and discussion on simultaneous elections.

He said the NITI Aayog is working on a 15 year long term vision, 7 year medium term strategy, and 3 year action agenda. He said this effort needs support of States, and will eventually reflect in benefits to States. 


France, voting for presidential election has begun at 8 am local time amid high security following a deadly attack on Paris police three days ago. About 50,000 police and 7,000 soldiers are being deployed across the country to secure polling.
Eleven candidates are vying to be the country’s next president, with leading candidates spanning the political spectrum from far-left to far-right. The two with the most votes will go to a run-off round in a fortnight’s time.
Four candidates are currently seen as being within reach of the presidency: the conservative François Fillon, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, liberal centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
French nationals from Puducherry and regions coming under the jurisdiction of that nation’s consulate, cast their votes in the first round of French Presidential elections. Polling which began at 8 AM would go on till 7 PM.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing the third meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council which will deliberate on the 15-year vision document to accelerate the country’s economic development.
Cabinet ministers, chief ministers, officials, members of NITI Aayog and special invitees are attending the meeting.
Some non-BJP Chief Ministers like Mamata Banerjee and Mukul Sangma have skipped the meet and sent their ministers instead.
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra is attending the meeting on behalf of Banerjee.
However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Congress’ Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh are present for the meeting. Chief Ministers of Left-ruled states, Manik Sarkar of Tripura and Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala are also present there along with Tamil Nadu’s E Palaniswamy.
The Modi government has already made it clear that it was dumping the Soviet-era relic, the five-year-plans, since it was too short a period to plan, and too narrow an approach. All previous schemes under this format ended this year.
Unlike the five year plan, the vision document will not only have broad targets for the economic and social sector but also map the objectives in internal security and defence.


The president of war-torn Afghanistan is creating a tourism ministry in a bid to attract visitors to the country endowed with stunning landscapes and archaeological sites, but wracked by nearly four decades of conflict. Ashraf Ghani issued a presidential decree this week ordering the ministry be established and naming Ghulam Nabi Farahi, a former parliamentary affairs minister, as the new “state minister for tourism affairs.” The order, criticized by many because it had bypassed parliament, included no other details, such as the ministry’s aims or budget. Afghanistan has welcomed travel to what it considers safe areas where Taliban militants are not deemed a threat.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have agreed in a phone call to launch a joint working group in the near future to find ways of normalizing relations between the two countries, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said. The two diplomats also discussed the developments in Syria, with Lavrov expressing regret over the US rejection of Russia’s proposal to send experts to the site of the alleged chemical attack Idlib on April 4 at the OPCW (Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Executive Council. During the conversation, the sides agreed that the chemical weapons watchdog should again study the possibility of an objective investigation into the incident.


Roman Seleznev, the son of a lawmaker in the Russian State Duma who was sentenced to 27 years by a US court on Friday, was “virtually kidnapped from a third country” by the US, Russia’s embassy in Washington said, calling the man’s arrest “illegal.” Seleznev was captured by the US Secret Service agents in the Maldives in 2014 and transferred to the US, where he stood trial on over 30 counts of cyber fraud. US District Court in Seattle found him guilty of credit card theft, resulting in some $170 million losses for entities and individuals. Seleznev, who pleaded guilty to all charges in a written confession, compared the court’s ruling to a “death sentence.”


Canada’s Minister for National Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan visited the Western Naval Command headquarters in Mumbai today. A release from Defence spokesperson said that Sajjan interacted with Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra.
The minister highlighted areas of congruence between India and Canada and the need to further enhance cooperation between both nations. The discussions looked at continuing the current level of military interactions and the possibilities of increased cooperation.
The release added that enhancement of maritime and naval cooperation and visit of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg were also discussed. The minister also visited the Indian Navy’s indigenous guided missile destroyer, INS Kochi. According to the defence release, India and Canada are poised to enhance defence cooperation in fields of counter terrorism, cold climate warfare, peace keeping and Naval cooperation.


World Book and Copyright Day (WBCD) is being observed today. The day seeks to raise awareness about importance of reading and promote publishing and the protection of copyright around the globe.
It is a yearly event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The focus, this year is on the visually impaired to have easy access to printed materials. In 1995, UNESCO at its General Conference held in Paris chose 23rd of April to celebrate World Book Day as it is a highly symbolic date for world literature.
It is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
In a message, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said, there is currently a book famine in the world because people with visual impairments as well as physical and learning disabilities don’t have access to a lot of books that are specifically made for them.
Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry – publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period that starts every April 23.
Ms Bokova said for 2017, Conakry in Guinea has been designated World Book Capital 2017. A series of events, conferences, debates, exhibition, workshops are being held around the world to mark the day.


Mr. Naresh Kumar Sagar interacting with the panelists during Press Meet
Delhites  are not showing any interest in the election of local self government as the performance of MCD is very shabby with Congress and BJP at the helm of affairs and AAP at Delhi city government has also been not very impressive being new out fit the leaders are harping on the critical aspects of two popular brands.The Congress old guard with its cancer of perpetual disintegration at all levels is making difficult to keep its presence. BJP with its top leadership in dramatic mode of working but in actual and factual keeping the option open for both development and mustering mass and rampant corruption now-where to stop as the system has eroded at all levels and institutions are falling castle of cards harping on schemes which are remote possibilities bullet trains,smart cities,Ganga cleaning, environmental degradation,professional and experts wandering jobless or under employed and many ignored for no reason and rhymes.   Voters seem to have lost faith in local self government as none has been able to give the audience of Delhi,the  smart city of handling waste or recycling waste of various nature. Thus Delhi people are in state of flux in their mind to publicly support any three which are unable to put before the delicious deal to garner votes for their party.
The polling begun for three Municipal Corporations of Delhi at 8 this morning and will end at 5:30 in the evening. Over 2,500 candidates are in the fray.
Delhi Lt.Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal and Union Minister Dr.Harshvardhan were among the voters who cast their votes in the early hours of polling for the MCD elections.
Mr. Baijal exercised his franchise at a polling station in Greater Kailash area while Mr. Kejriwal cast his vote in Civil Line. Dr.Harshvardhan cast his vote in a polling booth in Krishna Nagar area. Congress Delhi Unit Chief Ajya Maken also exercised his franchise in Rajouri Garden.
Meanwhile, Municipal elections in Maujpur in East Delhi and Sarai Pipal in North Delhi wards have been postponed due to the death of two candidates. Both candidates belonged to the Samajwadi Party.
Now, polling in Maujpur will be held on 14th of next month while in Sarai Pipal it will take place on 21st May.
Delhi Election Commission has set up over 13,000 polling booths out of which over 3,000 have been identified as sensitive while around 1,500 booths are hypersensitive.
Around 57,000 police personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls in the national capital. In view of the MCD elections, the Delhi government has ordered that dry days will be observed in the national capital till the polling day.
AIR correspondent reports that BJP, Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are main contenders in this civic bodies polls. The MCD polls are being watched keenly by the people as BJP, AAP and Congress have left no stone unturned to woo the voters.


Confluence 2017- Unification of Leadership, Knowledge, Skill and Empowerment
28th-30th April 2017, at 10.00 A.M. AT PHD House, New Delhi

Greetings from PHD!!!

You are cordially invited to Confluence 2017- Unification of Leadership, knowledge and Skill Empowerment being organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in association with Indi Group and All Ladies League, New Delhi from 28th-30th April 2017 at 10.00 AM at PHD House, New Delhi.

The objective of the three-day long exhibition is about crafting alliances, rekindling the desire to buy artifacts & handicrafts made by talented unsung artisans (mainly from the rural background), bringing them into the limelight and thus creating a connection between creator and consumer.
A line of confirmation from your good office in this regard would highly be solicited at sanjeev@phdcci.inalong with the duly filled-in registration form appended below.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


22.04.2017 15:35:51 – Indian Economy Monthly Report
( – Significant Achievements of NITI Aayog over the last three years.
I. Vision Document, Strategy & Action Agenda beyond 12th Five Year Plan: Replacing the Five Year Plans beyond 31st March, 2017, NITI Aayog is in the process of preparing the 15-year vision 
document keeping in view the social goals set and/ or proposed for a period of 15 years; A 7-year strategy document spanning 2017-18 to 2023-24 to convert the longer-term vision into implementable policy and action as a part of a “National Development Agenda” is also being worked upon. The 3-year Action Agenda for 2017-18 to 2019-20, aligned to the predictability of financial resources during the 14th Finance Commission Award period, has been completed and will be submitted before the Prime Minister on April 23rd at the 3rd Governing Council Meeting
II. Reforms in Agriculture:
a. Model Land Leasing Law
Taking note of increasing incidents of leasing in and out of land and suboptimal use of land with lesser number of cultivators, NITI Aayog has formulated a Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016 to both recognize the rights of the tenant and safeguard interest of landowners. A dedicated cell for land reforms was also set up in NITI. Based on the model act, Madhya Pradesh has enacted separate land leasing law and Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have modified their land leasing laws. Some States, including Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, are already at an advance stage of formulating legislations to enact their land leasing laws for agriculture.
b. Reforms of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act
NITI Aayog consulted with the States on 21 October 2016 on three critical reforms –
(i) Agricultural marketing reforms
(ii) Felling and transit laws for tree produce grown at private land
(iii) Agricultural land leasing
Subsequently, Model APMC Act version 2 prepared. States are being consulted to adopt APMC Act version 2.
c. Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index
NITI Aayog has developed the first ever ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ to sensitise states about the need to undertake reforms in the three key areas of Agriculture Market Reforms, Land Lease Reforms and Forestry on Private Land (Felling and Transit of Trees). The index carries a score with a minimum value “0” implying no reforms and maximum value “100” implying complete reforms in the selected areas.
As per NITI Aayog’s index, Maharashtra ranks highest in implementation of various agricultural reforms. The State has implemented most of the marketing reforms and offers the best environment for undertaking agri-business among all the States and UTs. Gujarat ranks second with a score of 71.50 out of 100, closely followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Almost two third States have not been able to reach even the halfway mark of reforms score, in the year 2016-17. The index aims to induce a healthy competition between States and percolate best practices in implementing farmer-friendly reforms.
III. Reforming Medical Education
A committee chaired by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog recommended scrapping of the Medical Council of Indi and suggested a new body for regulating medical education. The draft legislation for the proposed National Medical Commission has been submitted to the Government for further necessary action.
IV. Digital Payments Movement:
a. An action plan on advocacy, awareness and co-ordination of handholding efforts among general public, micro enterprises and other stakeholders was prepared. Appropriate literature in print and multimedia was prepared on the subject for widespread dissemination. Presentations/ interactions were organized by NITI Aayog for training and capacity building of various Ministries/Departments of Government of India, representatives of State/UTs, Trade and Industry Bodies as well as all other stakeholders.
b. NITI Aayog also constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers on Digital Payments on 30th November 2016 with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, as the Convener to promote transparency, financial inclusion and a healthy financial ecosystem nationwide. The Committee submitted its interim report to Hon’ble Prime Minister in January 2017.
c. To incentivize the States/UTs for promotion of digital transactions, Central assistance of Rs. 50 crore would be provided to the districts for undertaking Information, Education and Communication activities to bring 5 crore Jan Dhan accounts to digital platform.
d. Cashback and referral bonus schemes were launched by the Prime Minister on 14.4.2017 to promote the use of digital payments through the BHIM App.
e. Niti Aayog also launched two incentive schemes to to promote digital payments across all sections of society – the Lucky Grahak Yojana and the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana –Over 16 lakh consumers and merchants have won Rs. 256 crore under these two schemes .
f. Digi Dhan Melas were also held for 100 days in 100 cities, from December 25th to April 14th.
V. Atal Innovation Mission: The Government has set up Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in NITI Aayog with a view to strengthen the country’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by creating institutions and programs that spur innovation in schools, colleges, and entrepreneurs in general. In 2016-17, the following major schemes were rolled out:
a. Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs): To foster creativity and scientific temper in students, AIM is helping to establish 500 ATLs in schools across India, where students can design and make small prototypes to solve challenges they see around them, using rapid prototyping technologies that have emerged in recent years.
b. Atal Incubation Centres (AICs): AIM will provide financial support of Rs.10 crore and capacity buidling for setting AICs across India, which will help startups expand quicker and enable innovation-entrepreneurship, in core sectors such as manufacturing, transport, energy, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, etc.
VI. Indices Measuring States’ Performance in Health, Education and Water Management: As part of the Prime Minister’s Focus on outcomes, NITI has come out with indices to measure incremental annual outcomes in critical social sectors like health, education and water with a view to nudge the states into competing with each other for better outcomes, while at the same time sharing best practices & innovations to help each other – an example of competitive and cooperative federalism..
VII. Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes: Based on the recommendations of this Sub-Group, a Cabinet note was prepared by NITI Aayog which was approved by the Cabinet on 3rd August, 2016. Among several key decision, the sub-group led to the rationalization of the existing CSSs into 28 umbrella schemes.
VIII. Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:Constituted by NITI Aayog on 9th March, 2015, the Sub-Group has submitted its report to the Hon’ble Prime Minister in October, 2015 and most of its recommendations have been accepted.
IX. Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Skill Development:Constituted on 9th March, 2015, the report of the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Skill Development was presented before the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31/12/2015. The recommendation and actionable points emerging from the Report were approved by the Hon’ble Prime Minister and are in implementation by the Ministry of Skill Development
X. Task Force on Elimination of Poverty in India:Constituted on 16th March, 2015 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, the report of the Task Force was finalized and submitted to the Prime Minister on 11th July, 2016.The report of the Task Force primarily focusses on issues of measurement of poverty and strategies to combat poverty. Regarding estimation of poverty, the report of the Task Force states that “a consensus in favour of either the Tendulkar or a higher poverty line did not emerge. Therefore, the Task Force has concluded that the matter be considered in greater depth by the country’s top experts on poverty before a final decision is made. Accordingly, it is recommended that an expert committee be set up to arrive at an informed decision on the level at which the poverty line should be set.” With respect to strategies to combat poverty, the Task Force has made recommendations on faster poverty reduction through employment intensive sustained rapid growth and effective implementation of anti-poverty programs.
XI. Task Force on Agriculture Development: The Task Force on Agricultural development was constituted on 16th March, 2015 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog. The Task Force based on its works prepared an occasional paper entitled “Raising Agricultural Productivity and Making Farming Remunerative for Farmers” focusing on 5 critical areas of Indian Agriculture. These are (i) Raising Productivity, (ii) Remunerative Prices to Farmers, (iii) Land Leasing, Land Records & Land Titles; (iv) Second Green Revolution-Focus on Eastern States; and (v) Responding to Farmers’ Distress. After taking inputs of all the States on occasional paper and through their reports, the Task Force submitted the final report to Prime Minister on 31st May, 2016. It has suggested important policy measures to bring in reforms in agriculture for the welfare of the farmers as well as enhancing their income.
XII. Transforming India Lecture Series:As the government’s premier think-tank, NITI Aayog views knowledge building & transfer as the enabler of real transformation in States. To build knowledge systems for States and the Centre, NITI Aayog launched the ‘NITI Lectures: Transforming India’ series, with full support of the Prime Minister on 26th August 2016. The lecture series is aimed at addressing the top policy making team of the Government of India, including members of the cabinet and several top layers of the bureaucracy. It aims is to bring cutting edge ideas in development policy to Indian policy makers and public, so as to promote the cause of transformation of India into a prosperous modern economy. The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Shri Tharman Shanmugaratnam, delivered the first lecture on the topic: India and the Global Economy. On November 16th, 2016, Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, delivered the second lecture in the series under the theme: ‘Technology and Transformation’.
ü Major steps taken by Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DAHDF) to discourage the Adulteration of Milk and Milk products in coming summer season, 2017 – Adulteration in Milk is harmful to health even while it is an unfair trade practices. Further, it is a market fraud and affects the honest efforts of the milk producers. Government of India has enacted Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act -2006 in August 2006 to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 is implemented by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India through the State Food Safety Commissioners in each State. The State Government machinery is equally responsible in controlling the menace of sale of adulterated/synthetic milk. Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries is regularly reviewing the availability of milk situation in the country with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and State Milk Federations. The Department is observed that due to increase in the international and domestic prices there will be less availability of milk and milk products in the ensuing summer season which may effect the quality of milk and milk products.
ü India and Republic of Korea sign Inter-Governmental MOU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding – India and the Republic of Korea (RoK) signed an Inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding here today. The MoU was signed by Secretary (Defence Production), Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta from the Indian side and Hon’ble Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), Mr. Chang Myoung-Jin from the RoK side. The MoU will help the ‘Make in India ’ initiative of the Government of India. The Inter-Governmental MoU, was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both sides as declared in the Joint Statement of the Prime Minister of India and the President of RoK in May 2015. To substantiate the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’, the two sides had inter-alia agreed to encourage greater co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector. Accordingly, it was decided to sign an inter-governmental MoU on ‘Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding’. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has accorded its approval for signing the above MoU with RoK and also for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam from the Indian side for the collaboration. RoK will indicate the name of its recommended organisation for the collaboration in due course of time.
ü Date for filing of declaration under PMGKY extended up – The Taxation and Investment Regime for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana,2016 (PMGKY) had commenced on 17th December, 2016 and was open for declarations up to 31st March, 2017. Representations from stakeholders have been received stating that in some cases tax, surcharge and penalty have been paid on or before 31st March, 2017 but the corresponding deposit under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme, 2016 (Deposit Scheme) could not be made by the said date. Accordingly, DEA vide notification S.O.1218(E) dated 19th April, 2017 has extended the date of making deposit under the Deposit Scheme upto 30th April, 2017 in respect of cases where tax, surcharge and penalty under PMGKY has been paid on or before 31st March, 2017.
ü World Bank Approves $ 375 Million Loan for Developing National Waterway-1 – In a major boost towards realising country’s ambitious inland waterways project, the World Bank has approved a $375 million loan for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1(River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP). The government is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under JMVP from Haldia to Varanasi (1390 Km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5369 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT. Under the project, there are going to be three multi-modal terminals–one each at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Sahibganj (Jharkhand), and Haldia (West Bengal), two inter-modal terminals- at Kalughat and Ghazipur, a new Navigation Lock at Farakka, five Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) terminals, development of Ferry services at Varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Munger, Kolkata and Haldia and Vessel repair and maintenance facilities.
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