Thursday, 17 January 2019

5th National Swachh Iconic Places review in Mumbai

                                    Significant Progress in Sanitation at 20 Locations

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and State Government agencies, local administrations and the Trusts/ Boards of the Swachh Iconic Places (SIPs) came together for a two-day consultation in Mumbai, represented by over 100 delegates from across the country. The consultation included a field visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus where systematic Sanitation and restoration work is underway.

The Swachh Iconic Places initiative aims to achieve a distinctly higher level of sanitation at these places, especially in the peripheries and approach areas. Following the clarion call by the Prime Minister to make Swachhata everybody’s business, the Centre and selected States have taken up joint efforts for making the country’s iconic places Swachh. The special Swachhata initiatives at these places have received CSR support from public and private companies.

During the consultation, a review was also done of the work already taken up at the 20 Phase-I and Phase-II SIPs. These SIPs demonstrated significant progress in development of Sanitation facilities.

Presiding over the review, Secretary of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, while lauding the efforts made by this various teams, emphasized the importance of inter-sectoral collaborations in improvement of Sanitation.

Director General, Special Projects, Swachh Bharat Mission, Shri Akshay Rout, made a presentation on the progress of work at various iconic sites over last two years. The extensive Swachhata related efforts at these iconic places were exhibited at the consultation. Additional Chief Secretary Maharashtra Shri Sham Lal underlined the range of ODF sustainability measures taken up by the State.

Secretary, MDWS, also launched the Swachh Iconic Place (SIP) portal and logo created by the Ministry. The SIP portal is now live on

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

President of India to inaugurate Gandhian Resurgence Summit in Prayagraj tomorrow

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Uttar Pradesh (Prayagraj) tomorrow (January 17, 2019) to inaugurate the Gandhian Resurgence Summit. This Summit is being organised by the Parmarath Niketan, the Harijan Sevak Sangh and the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance.

Sangeet Natak Akademi launches second phase of the Web Campaign ‘SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR’

Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama will launched the second phase of the Web Campaign ‘SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR’ an initiative to document and promote the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and diverse cultural traditions of the country by direct public-participation.
This is a unique talent search where the participant will showcase their talent in the fields of music, dance, drama, puppetry, folk and tribal arts, culinary skills, painting, sculpture etc. The literal meaning of the termSĀNJHI is “to share” and “to partner”, and the cultural traditions of our country has developed and prospered on the notions of harmony.

The second phase of this campaign, SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR, has its main focus area- the folk, traditional, customary, socially events and ritualistic art forms- woven as a cultural fabric around the harvest festival season of January. It is celebrated all across the country, known as various nomenclatures like Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri, Bhogali Bihu, Torgya, Uttarayan, Attukkal Pongal etc.

It intends to bring forth such forms that are aligned with the domains of intangible cultural heritage as per the Convention of Safeguarding the ICH under UNESCO:

· Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;

· Performing arts;

· Social practices, rituals and festive events;

· Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;

· Traditional craftsmanship

The first phase of this campaign was earlier initiated in the month of November 2018 during the festival season of Diwali. There was mass participation and with great enthusiasm, people uploaded various audios and videos for music, dance, poetry recitation etc. and images for visual art forms like painting, craftwork, terracotta work, rangoli, written poetry, etc. More than 500 entries were received from various regions of the country. A Screening Committee, constituting of various Cultural Bodies and eminent artists availed the opportunity to witness the talent reservoir of the country and considered many as worthy for further promotion and commendation.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) is the nodal agency of the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India to coordinate the matters related to Intangible Cultural Heritage and various UNESCO Conventions addressing Cultural Diversity and promotion and dissemination of multifarious cultural traditions and expressions of the country.

The participants may log into the official website of Sangeet Natak Akademi ( and click on the link to SĀNJHI –MUJH MEIN KALĀKĀR,for more information. The portal for upload will be active during the period 12-31 January 2019

Numligarh Refinery Assam capacity to be expanded from 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA

Cabinet approves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and Product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri

Rupees 22,594 crore project to be completed in 48 months

Expansion to meet petroleum products demand in Northeast

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the project for capacity expansion of Numaligarh Refinery from 3 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) to 9 MMTPA. It involves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri at a cost of Rs.22,594 crore. The project is to be completed within a period of 48 months, after approval and receipt of statutory clearances.


The total project cost of Rs. 22,594 crore will be financed by a mix of debt, equity and Viability Gap Funding (VGF). The debt of Rs.15,102 crore will be raised by Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and apart from its internal accrual of Rs.2,307 crore, the promoters, namely, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Oil India Ltd & Government of Assam (GoA) will contribute to equity. The project will be supported by Viability Gap Funding of Rs.1,020 crore from the Government of India.


The expansion of the refinery will meet the deficit of petroleum products in the North East. It will also sustain the operations of all North East refineries by augmenting their crude availability. It will generate direct and indirect employment in Assam and is a part of the Government's Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the North East.

Cabinet approves recapitalisation of Export-Import Bank of India

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the recapitalization of EXIM Bank. The details are as follows:
Issuance of Recapitalization Bonds by Government of India to the tune of Rs.6,000 crore for capital infusion in Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).
The equity will be infused in two tranches of Rs. 4,500 crore in FY 2018-19 and Rs.1,500 crore in FY 2019-20 respectively.
The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorized capital of Exim Bank from Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 20,000 crore. The recapitalisation bonds will be on the lines issued to Public Sector Banks.
Major Impact:
Exim Bank is the principal export credit agency for India.
The infusion of capital into Exim Bank will enable it to augment capital adequacy and support Indian exports with enhanced ability.
The infusion will give an impetus to anticipate new initiatives like supporting Indian textile industries, likely changes in Concessional Finance Scheme (CFS), likelihood of new LoCs in future in view of India's active foreign policy and strategic intent.


Exim Bank of India (Exim Bank) was established in 1982 under an Act of Parliament as the apex financial institution for financing, facilitating and promoting India's international trade. The Bank primarily lends for exports from India including supporting overseas buyers and Indian suppliers for export of developmental and infrastructure projects, equipment, goods and services from India. It is regulated by RBI.

Cabinet approves ex-post facto approval for Agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements signed between India and Maldives

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval to the Agreement on the facilitation of visa arrangements signed between India and Maldives signed in December, 2018.
The Visa Facilitation Agreement signed during the visit of Maldivian President to India aims to further deepen people to people exchanges between the two countries making it easier for Maldivian and India nationals to travel to each others' countries for tourism, medical treatment, education as well as business and employment. The Agreement provides for 90-day visa free travel for tourism, medical and limited business purpose and also provides for easy conversion of such visa free entry to medical visa as well as visas for dependents of students and those pursuing employment in each other's territories.

India and Maldives share time tested and traditional bonds of friendship. Close people to people contacts constitute the foundation of special bilateral relation between India and Maldives, which received a positive momentum with the visit of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to Male in November, 2018 for the Inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Maldives, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, and the subsequent visit of the Maldivian President to India in December, 2018.

Cabinet approves expenditure sanction for Integrated E-filing and Centralized Processing Centre 2.0 Project

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to expenditure sanction of Rs.4,241.97crore for Integrated E-filing &Centralized Processing Center 2.0 Project of the Income Tax Department.

The Union Cabinet also approved the expenditure sanction for the consolidated cost of Rs.1,482.44crore of the existing CPC-ITR 1.0 project upto FY 2018-19.

The broad objectives of this project are listed as under:

a. Faster and accurate outcomes for taxpayer.

b. First time right approach,

c. Enhancing user experience at all stages.

d. Improving taxpayer awareness and education through continuous engagement.

e. Promoting voluntary tax compliance.

f. Managing outstanding demand.

This approval has significant benefits for the Department and taxpayers through various functionalities such as pre-filling of ITR and acceptance by taxpayer as a means to improve accuracy and to reduce refund/processing turnaround time drastically, facilitation to taxpayers in resolving outstanding tax demands; integrated contact centers for taxpayer assistance and tax payer outreach program through digital media and employer/partner accreditation program to bring significant enhancement in services to taxpayers.

The decision will ensure horizontal equity by processing returns filed by all categories of taxpayers across the country in a consistent, uniform, rule driven, identity blind manner. This will assure fairness in tax treatment to every taxpayer irrespective of their status.

By faster processing of returns and issue of refunds to the taxpayer's bank account directly without any interface with the Department, by adhering to international best practices and standards (ISO certification) and by providing processing status updates and speedy communication using mobile app, email, SMS and on the Department website, the decision will ensure transparency and accountability.

The proposal ensures the continuation of the Department's goal towards business transformation through technology. The E-filing and CPC projects have enabled end to end automation of all processes within the Department using various innovative methods to provide taxpayer servicesand to promote voluntary compliance.

5th National Swachh Iconic Places review in Mumbai

                                    Significant Progress in Sanitation at 20 Locations The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation...