Friday, 22 March 2019

Indian Air Force to participate in Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA) 2019

Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) is planned in Langkawi, Malaysia from 26 March 2019 to 30 March 2019. Indian Air Force is participating in the Maritime Aero Expo for the first time, during which it will showcase its indigenously developed LCA fighter aircraft. The team departed from Air Force Station Kalaikunda for Langkawi today i.e 22 March 2019 via Myanmar (Yangon).

Participation of IAF in LIMA-2019 will provide an opportunity to air-warriors to interact with their Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) counterparts and foster close relationship between the two services. This will serve as a foundation for any future interaction with the Malaysian Air Force. It will also provide an opportunity to RMAF to assess the capabilities of LCA.

IAF contingent consists of 02 x LCA, 01 x C-130J and one x IL-76 ac along with 27 officers, 42 air-warriors and 11 HAL personnel.


Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) presents its Report on Sample Size of VVPAT Counting to Election Commission of India

Indian Statistical Institute(ISI) today presented its Report on the sample size of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slip counting to the Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra. The Report was presented by Prof. Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre. It may be recalled that in view of the varying demands for enhanced percentage of VVPAT Slip count during elections in the country, the Commission had engaged the Indian Statistical Institute to systematically analyse and scientifically examine the issue of VVPAT Slip verification with electronic count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

ISI is one of the most prominent and reputed national institution devoted to research, teaching and application of statistics and sampling methodology in the country. Keeping in view their domain expertise and subject specialization, the Commission decided to engage the Institute in arriving at mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent solutions to the issue of a number/percentage of VVPAT slip counts to done during the elections.

Apart from Prof Abhay G. Bhatt, Head ISI, Delhi Centre, the Expert Committee also consisted of Prof Rajeeva L. Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and Shri Onkar Prosad Ghosh, Dy. Director General (Social Statistics Division), Central Statistics Office, MOSPI, who was nominated by Director General, National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Before finalizing its report, the Expert Committee had wide ranging consultations with other experts in the field of statistics and examined suggestions received from other groups. This Expert Committee has submitted its Report titled 'Random Sampling For Testing of EVMs via VVPAT Slip Verification' to the Commission today i.e. 22nd March 2019. 

The Report submitted by the Expert Committee shall now be examined by the Commission and necessary action initiated.


Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Fifteenth Finance Commission holds meeting on issues of Environment, Forest and Climate change

As per the terms of reference of the Fifteenth Finance Commission –

“The Commission may consider proposing measurable performance-based incentives for States, at the appropriate level of government, in following areas (i) Achievements in implementation of flagship schemes of Government of India, disaster resilient infrastructure, sustainable development goals, and quality of expenditure; (ii) Progress made in sanitation, solid waste managementand bringing in behavioural change to end open defecation.”

In this regard, the Commission headed by its Chairman, Shri N. K. Singh and including its Members, held a detailed discussion with the senior officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Discussions were held on the proposed formula for Forest Sector Based Tax Devolution along with a proposed catchment area treatment and forest restoration grant.

The meeting also discussed in detail the proposed recommendations for environment (pollution sector) and the proposed pollution abatement performance grant along with proposed formula for the purpose. 

The recommendations for climate change under the NDC Goal 5 were also discussed in the meeting. The Commission considered the proposed formula for climate change ( NDC Goal 5 Grant) and the possibilities of climate change grant conditionality. 


Fifteenth Finance Commission to visit Mizoram

As part of its visit to the different states across the country before submitting its recommendations, the Fifteenth Finance Commission shall be visiting the State of Mizoram on 25-26 March, 2019. This will be the 20th State that the Commission will be visiting.

Prior to the visit, the Commission was briefed in details on the Finances of the Government of Mizoram by the Principal Accountant General of Mizoram, in New Delhi today. 

As part of its visit the Commission will be holding detailed meetings with the Chief Secretary and Senior officers of the State and will be given presentation by the State Department of Finance, Urban Development and Rural Development. 


International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure-2019 concludes successfully

The two-day International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) successfully concluded here today. Experts from 33 countries representing a wide variety of development and disaster risk contexts, multilateral development banks, the United Nations, the private sector, academia, policy think tanks and other stakeholders participated in the workshop.

In his special address, the Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission of India, Shri N. K. Singh called for collective action on resilient infrastructure so that people-centric solutions are found.

“As millions of people will continue to move to towns and cities in the near future, urban resilience will be the key for sustainability”, said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, while delivering the inaugural address. He added “it is the States where all the action happens and urged working in collaboration with State Governments for better results.

Reiterating the importance of disaster resilient infrastructure in achieving sustainable development goals, the Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P. K. Mishra proposed three mantras for achieving sustainability in DRI - the need to focus on the poor and the vulnerable; to follow an inclusive approach of collaboration with multiple stakeholders; and ensure proactive connectedness with other Global Processes in DRR.

good practices of disaster risk management in key infrastructure sectors such as Transport, Energy, Telecom and Water. It also discussed emerging technologies and nature-based innovation in the context of climate change and its impact on creation, operation and maintenance of infrastructure. The need and practical issues concerning finance and insurance for infrastructure were also discussed during the workshop.It set 

The CDRI is envisaged as a knowledge exchange and capacity development partnership. India had announced the creation of a CDRI soon after the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which was held in New Delhi in 2016.

, and in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.

Various international agreements have also reiterated the importance and long-term benefits of investing in resilient infrastructure. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030, which is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, identifies investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience and to build back better in reconstruction as priorities for action towards reducing disaster risk. Similarly, Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes disaster resilient infrastructure as a crucial driver of economic growth and development.


Indian Navy - first Responder to Cyclone 'IDAI' in Mozambique 19 March 2019

The ships of First Training Squadron of Indian Navy (Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul) operating in the Southern Indian Ocean were diverted to Port Beira, Mozambique based on request received from the Government of Mozambique to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the local population post the devastation caused by cyclone 'IDAI' which struck the coast of Mozambique on 15 Mar 19. INS Sujata along with ICGS Sarathi arrived at Port Beira morning of 18 Mar 19 whilst INS Shardul arrived on 19 Mar 19 and are providing necessary support to the local administration. Upon arrival at the port, the IN ships shifted from anchorage and berthed alongside taking advantage of the tide and commenced liaison work with local authorities immediately.

Cyclone 'IDAI' made landfall at Beira, Mozambique in early hours of 15 Mar 19 causing widespread damage and loss of human life in the Central and Northern provinces of the country. Preliminary inputs indicate that city of Beira faced the maximum devastation with large scale damage to infrastructure. There are also reports of about 5000 personnel marooned at Buzi near Port Beira requiring immediate evacuation. The safe evacuation of the affected personnel by IN ships is being coordinated in consultation with local authorities. The disembarkation of HADR stores including food, medicines and clothing to the Mozambique Defence authorities has been completed. Arrangements are in progress to disembark potable water.

The Hon'ble Defence Minister of Mozambique visited IN ships to oversee the relief efforts. The Senior Officer of First Training Squadron, Capt Varun Singh, NM embarked onboard IN Ship Sujata has indicated to the Mozambique Navy that no effort would be spared by the INships in providing HADR/ SAR effort. The helicopter from IN Ship Shardul is operating from the local airport for reccee and SAR. The boats, Landing Craft Assault and Gemini rubberised craft with divers would be used to render assistance for evacuation of marooned personnel.

The IN ships are likely to setup medical camps and provide food, water, blankets and other necessary relief items, as required by the local authorities. The situation is being monitored closely and the Indian Navy is prepared to render all necessary assistance to the local population in Mozambique.

Curtain Raiser: Indo-Sri Lanka joint Exercise Mitra shakti-VI

Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka. The joint exercise for the year 2018-19 will be conducted from 26 March to 08 April 2019 in Sri Lanka. Troops from 1st Battalion the BIHAR Regiment of the Indian Army and Gemunu Watch Battalion of Sri Lankan Army would be jointly undertaking the exercise.

The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist environment under United Nations mandate. Exercise MITRA SHAKTI-VI will go a long way in further cementing relationship between both the nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grassroots levels between both the armies.

Indian Air Force to participate in Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA) 2019

Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) is planned in Langkawi, Malaysia from 26 March 2019 to 30 March 2019. Indian Air For...