PM Shri Narendra Modi previews exhibition on the theme “Uniting India: Sardar Patel”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Thursday previewed the exhibition – “Uniting India – Sardar Patel” set up by the Ministry of Culture, at National Science Centre in New Delhi. 

This digital exhibition, which showcases the integration of India, and the contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, has been prepared with the inspiration of the Prime Minister. 

The exhibition has around 30 exhibits, and features about 20 different kinds of interactive and media experiences. It provides visitors with a range of opportunities to engage with various digital installations which explain the role of Sardar Patel in the unification of India. Technologies like 3D films (without glasses), Holographic Projection, Kinetic Projection, Oculus based Virtual Reality experience etc have been used in the exhibition. 

The relevant documentation has been sourced by the Ministry of Culture, from the National Archives of India. The design of the exhibition has been conceptualized by the National Institute of Design. 

The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on October 31, 2016 – the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

President Shri Pranab Mukherjee ’s message on the eve of National Day of Turkey

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and the people of the Republic of Turkey on the eve of their National Day (October 29, 2016).
In a message to His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of the Republic of Turkey, the President has said, “On behalf of the Government and the people of India and on my own behalf, I have pleasure in extending greetings and warm felicitations to Your Excellency and to the people of the Republic of Turkey on the occasion of your National Day.
Our two countries have rich historical links. Shared belief in democracy, secularism and market economy have built the foundation of our close bilateral ties. I firmly believe that our relations will get stronger in the coming years, bringing further benefits to the citizens of our two countries.

I would also like to take this opportunity to convey my best wishes for Your Excellency’s continued good health and well-being and for the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of the Republic of Turkey”.

Cabinet approves New Productivity Linked Reward Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to New Productivity Linked Reward Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18.
The new PLR scheme applicable from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018 will benefit about 37870 Port and Dock workers/employees in all the Major Port Trusts and the yearly outgo will be Rs. 49.58 crore.
Ministry of Shipping has formulated a New Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) Scheme for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18. PLR will be calculated on the enhanced wage ceiling for calculation of Bonus at Rs. 7000/- per month. PLR shall be paid annually on the basis of 50% weightage given to all India Performance and 50% weightage given to the individual Port Performance. The arrear payments of PLR for the year 2014-15 to the employees/workers by the Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board will be calculated on the enhanced wage ceiling of Rs.7000/- per month for calculation of Bonus instead of Rs.3500/- per month on the existing methodology of combined All India Port Performance.
For the year 2014-15, an amount of Rs 25.93 crore has already been paid to about 41,492 Major Ports & Dock workers/employees as per wage ceiling of Rs.3500/-. The total additional outgo for all Major Ports & Dock workers/employees on account of payment of arrear of PLR for the year 2014-15 as per enhanced wage ceiling of Rs. 7000/- will be about Rs. 25.93 crore.
There is an existing scheme of Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) for the employees/workers of Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board, wherein Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) was granted on yearly basis based on the settlement arrived at between Management and the Labour Federations of the Major Port Trusts.
The new PLR Scheme will foster better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the Port Sector, apart from stimulating better productivity.

Cabinet approves release of an instalment of Dearness Allowance to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief to Pensioners due from 01.07.2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to release an instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to Pensioners w.e.f. 01.07.2016 representing an increase of 2% of the revised Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise. The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be Rs. 5622.10 crore per annum and in the Financial Year 2016-17 for the period of 8 months (i.e. from July 2016 to February 2017), it would be Rs.3748.06 crore. About 50.68 lakh Government employees and 54.24 lakh pensioners will be benefitted.

Clarification regarding reports on Downgrading of status of Military Officers

There have been reports in the media that the Govt has issued a new order lowering the status of Military officers with respect to their civilian counterparts in the Armed Forces Headquarters. These reports, quoting a letter dated 18 Oct 2016 issued by the Ministry of Defence, are erroneously stating that the equivalence has been disturbed and status of Service officers has been downgraded.
It is clarified that there has been no down-gradation or any change in the existing equivalence of the Service ranks whatsoever. The existing functional equivalence as clarified in 1991 and further reiterated in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2005 has only been re-affirmed.
It is further clarified that the present reiteration of rank equivalence, is only for matters of assigning duties and functional responsibilities as is already existing in different offices of the respective Service HQrs of the Army, Navy and Air Force having component of Service personnel as well as Civilian officers. It has no bearing on civilian employees outside these offices of the Service HQrs. It is reiterated that there is no change in the rank structure or the status of the Armed Forces personnel.

Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers, Shri. Mandaviya visits Indian Maritime University

Union Minister of State for Shipping and Road Transport & Highways and Chemical & Fertilizers, Shri. Mansukh Lal Mandaviya visited Indian Maritime University in Chennai today and interacted with the faculty and students. The university was established through an Act of Parliament (Act 22) in November 2008 as a Central University, and is poised to play a key role in the development of trained human resource for the maritime sector. IMU is in the category of a professional university intended for fulfilling the requirements of the maritime sector.
Addressing the students and faculty of IMU Shri Mandavia said that his government was committed to provide quality education in all areas including maritime sector. He said he saw a lot of potential in the university, and urged the management to provide for more international exposure and interaction so that the quality of its output could be at par with the best in the world. The Minister called for on board training for the students to provide them with the best practical knowledge about the industry. He also called upon private players to participate in the training as this would help bridge the demand supply gap of marine experts.
Shri. Mandaviya also urged IMU to start a new course in ship breaking and hazardous waste management. Environment friendly ship breaking is in high demand in the current scenario and IMU should cater to this, he said.
In order to boost maritime education the present government has increased the budget for IMU to Rs. 40 crore per year, from the earlier allocation of Rs. 6 crore for five years under the last government. The Minister assured students that many opportunities awaited them as the Union government is taking many initiatives push growth of the maritime sector.
IMU Vice Chancellor Shri. Ashok Vardhan Shetty, Registrar Shri. S.V. Durga Prasad, Finance Officer Shri. G. Venkatesh and Deputy Registrar Ms. Sini Manchala were also present on the occasion.

PM’s interaction through PRAGATI

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his sixteenth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
The Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, which largely include EPFO, ESIC, and Labour Commissioners. Secretary (Department of Labour) outlined the improvements brought in the grievance redressal system, such as introduction of online transfer of claims; electronic challans; mobile applications and SMS alerts; linking UAN to Aadhaar numbers; introduction of tele-medicine; and empanelling of more super-speciality hospitals.
Expressing concern at the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries, the Prime Minister said that Government must be sensitive to labourers’ needs. He said that in a democracy, the labourers should not have to struggle to receive their legitimate dues. He also requested introduction of a system so that the process of finalization of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance. In case of an untimely death, he said the papers should be completed within a specified time, and officers should be made accountable for the same.
During a review of the progress of the e-NAM initiative, officials mentioned that e-NAM which began in April 2016 with 21 mandis spread over 8 states, has now expanded to 250 mandis spread over 10 states. 13 States have completed the process of amending the APMC Act. The Prime Minister urged the remaining states to quickly make the required changes in the APMC Act, so that e-NAM could be enabled across the country. He said the farmer can benefit only if Assaying and Grading facilities are made available, so that the farmer can market his produce in mandis across the country. He also invited Chief Secretaries of States to give their suggestions on e-NAM.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the railway, road, power and natural gas sectors, spread over several states including Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar. The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of completing projects in time, so that cost overruns could be avoided, and the benefits of projects could reach the people, as originally envisaged. Among the projects reviewed today are: Phase-II of the Multi-Modal Transport System for Hyderabad and Secundarabad; the Angamaly-Sabarimala Railway Line; the Delhi-Meerut Expressway; the Renok-Pakyong Road project in Sikkim; and Phase-5 of the project to strengthen power infrastructure in Eastern India. Progress of the Phulpur-Haldia gas pipeline project in Uttar Pradesh was also reviewed.
The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). He requested all Chief Secretaries to ensure that safe drinking water is made available to the residents of all 500 towns under AMRUT. He said the word “NAGAR” in Hindi can be taken to mean provision of “Nal” (Drinking Water), Gutter (Sanitation) and Rasta (Roads). He said AMRUT should focus on citizen-centric reforms.
Connecting related issues, the Prime Minister said such reforms should extend to all departments of the Government. Mentioning the World Bank’s latest Report on Ease of Doing Business, the Prime Minister asked all Chief Secretaries and all Secretaries of the Government of India to study the report, and analyze the potential areas where there is scope for improvement in their respective departments and states. He asked for a report from all concerned in this regard, within a month, and asked the Cabinet Secretary to review the same thereafter.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Union Budget presentation is being advanced by about a month to ensure speedier implementation of projects and schemes. He urged all States to align their plans with this advancement, so that they could take maximum advantage of this move.

On the upcoming occasion of Sardar Patel Jayanti, the Prime Minister urged all Secretaries and Chief Secretaries to work towards ensuring that at least one website out of the departments and organizations under them, is available in all officially recognized Indian languages.