Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Majid Majidi, Ishaan Khatter & Malavika Mohanan attend the press conference of Opening Film ‘Beyond the Clouds’

After showcasing the movie, ‘Beyond the Clouds’ at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017, the cast and crew of the movie featuring actors Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan, producers Punit Goenka (Zee Entertainment Enterprise, MD & CEO), Shareen Mantri, Kishore Arora, Reza Tashakkori and Sujay Kutty (Zee Studios Business Head) and director Majid Majidi attended the press conference of their film on 21st November, 2017. 

‘Beyond the Clouds’ is an extension of Majidi's cinematic beliefs, the roots of which lie in human values, love, friendship and family bonding. 

The film is a story of a brother and sister like Children of Heaven, with the difference being that the siblings are grownups and tackle greater conflicts with the backdrop of the bustling city of Mumbai. The film is a vindication of Majid Majid’s firm view that human emotions have no barriers of language and geography. 

The acclaimed Iranian filmmaker, who is also the recipient of several prestigious awards, has made a film out of this country, an experience which he describes as “one waiting for years to happen”. 

Majid Majidi says, “Working with the exceptionally talented cast and crew of India in ‘Beyond the Clouds’ has been an amazing experience. Ishaan and Malavika has done full justice to their characters and portrayed them very well. The subject of ‘Beyond the Clouds’ has got a universal appeal and I hope the subject resonates with audiences across the globe after its release.” 

Ishaan Khatter informs, “It was a great learning and interesting experience working with all the stalwarts associated with ‘Beyond the Clouds’ including Majidi sir, Anil Mehta sir, Vishal Bhardwaj sir and A R Rahman sir. It’s indeed a strong team to be working with. Mr Majidi has the strong leadership qualities. It is incredibly empowering in the sense that there was so much to learn from all these talented people. For instance, working with Vishal sir and speaking his dialogues was surreal. Everybody worked in tandem with the same goal – to satisfy Majidi sir’s vision as a filmmaker.” 

Sujay Kutty, Zee Studios Business Head, said, “Zee Studios has completed 25 years and it was a great experience collaborating with ‘Beyond the Clouds’ and what you see on screen is something extra ordinary with brilliant artists being part of the film including Vishal Bhardwaj, A R Rahman, Anil Mehta and our lovely cast Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan. We want to create content which people across the globe would like to see. The opening ceremony was brilliant and people really appreciated our film and we will strive to make such films.” 

Malavika Mohanan said, “When it comes to working with a filmmaker like Majid Majidi, there was nothing to think about. What he brings to the screen is simply outstanding. So it was a no-brainer. I am a lover of cinema and passionate about it. I would like to portray interesting roles on screen and something that would challenge me as an actor. It was a blessing.” 

The 48th Edition of IFFI is scheduled from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017 in the beach state of Goa. 

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Subhash Ghai Releases special edition of FTII academic journal "Lensight" at IFFI Goa.

“There is need for more Research publications on Film and Media. – Subhash Ghai

Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune released a special issue of its quarterly academic journal LENSIGHT in Panaji, Goa today to coincide with the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.

Subhash Ghai, renowned film maker and FTII alumnus launched the October-December 2017 issue of the prestigious journal on film and media which has been standing out for its scholarly content since last 26 years. Bhupendra Kainthola, Director FTII Pune and Amit Tyagi (Dean Films) were present at the launch.

"LENSIGHT journal publishes articles and research papers by film scholars, researchers, academicians and various other subject experts in the field from India and abroad. There's a need to have more such journals to broaden and deepen the understanding of cinema", said Subhash Ghai in his address.

Addressing the event, Bhupendra Kainthola said, "The theme that each practitioner resonates with is the universally important question of Reality and Imagination. This is what we deal with in Cinema, where the real challenge lies and also the joy of creation. This makes it a unique exercise in understanding the process, with its pains, joys, sorrows, difficulties in a transparent and vulnerable way, opening an intimate space for dialogue between the makers, and the lovers of cinema who wish to always know more."

Rajula Shah, FTII alumna has guest edited the issue. A sensitive film maker Rajula's work falls in the interstice of poetry, cinema and anthropology. She doodles, writes, makes books, installations, web portals and tends towards the constantly evolving, changing, mutating forms of creative practice.

Says Rajula Shah, "This being the academic journal of the film school, we have kept it focused on the ‘process’, ‘learning’, the ‘making’ of a film and a filmmaker. For this reason, it becomes imperative that we have the practitioners writing about it rather than the critics or theoreticians. Cinema has so many dimensions, that there is hardly anything that falls outside the domain of a filmmaker. And this issue has tried to project the multi-faceted aspect by inviting diverse voices from Film Direction, to Cinematography, Sound, Music, Art et al.”

‘LENSIGHT’ was launched in 1991 initially with a focus on technical articles to enlighten technicians about new technology and equipment used in filmmaking and video productions. It was repositioned in 2008 with emphasis on film-related articles especially on aesthetic values.

The special issue has diaries and notebooks of prolific makers, as testimony of their everyday practice. It also has essays, memoirs, articles, specially written. The contributors hail from our FTII's luminous alumni that include expats like Nandini Bedi, and important voices like RV Ramani as also musician of the high stature of Moushumi Bhowmik and even a neuroscientist based in the US. Hansa Thapliyal, Amit Dutta and Payal Kapadia, a current student at FTII whose film THE AFTERNOON CLOUDS was India's only entry to Cannes this summer.

The frames running on the edge of both pages are from early cinema and contemporary cinema, a wish to bring in the cinematic movement in to print, a remembering of a pre cinema device, in the manner of a flipbook that delights young and old equally.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Megastar Sridevi inaugurates Indian Panorama Section at the 48th International Film Festival of India

Megastar Sridevi, who celebrates 50 years in the Indian film industry this year, inaugurated the Indian Panorama Section of the 48th International Film Festival of India.

The inaugural ceremony scheduled on 21st November, introduced audiences to IFFI's official selection of 26 Feature & 16 Non-Feature films under the Indian Panorama 2017 category.
Sridevi, who made her presence felt at the opening ceremony of the festival, felicitated the renowned and upcoming filmmakers and presented to them certificates of participation at the Indian Panorama 2017.

Talking about the festival Sridevi said, “It is my honour to be with you all for the inaugural ceremony of the Indian Panorama. It’s one of the most exciting segments of the International Film Festival of India. Indian Panorama 2017 is a special selection of feature and non-feature multilingual films from various regions. The films of Indian Panorama have been chosen by the esteemed jury. Having worked in various industries over the last fifty years, this segment is something I am really excited about. It is my pleasure to declare the Indian Panorama 2017 officially opened.”

IFFI Festival Director Sunit Tandon adds, “It’s indeed a great pleasure to be with you all here at the Indian Panorama ceremony. It’s an integral part of IFFI and the aim of it is to select feature and non-feature films of cinematic and aesthetic excellence promoting films in India and abroad and the bilateral cultural exchange programmes and others. Over the years, Indian Panorama is proud to be associated with the best of cinema and we are proud to say that this year is going to be no exception.”

The 48th Edition of IFFI is scheduled from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017 in the beach state of Goa.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Review Meeting to examine the draft of National Policy of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Maps) of India to be held tomorrow

Ministry of AYUSH is organising a day long review meeting on “Draft of National Policy of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) of India” tomorrow at Pusa Campus, New Delhi. The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH Shri Sripad Yesso Naik will address the inaugural session of this meeting. To improve and finalize the proposed draft Policy Document, National Medicinal Plant Board along with Federation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Stakeholders are jointly organizing the one day review meeting.
Shri Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH; Ms. Shomita Biswas CEO, National Medicinal Plants Board; Mr. Pankaj Asthana, IGF, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Ms. Alka Bhargava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will also be present on this occasion. This will be followed by 8 brainstorming sessions of more than 35 panellists on various topics.
The important areas of Medicinal Plants Sector like Forest & Conservation, Infrastructure, Marketing & Trade, Cultivation, Sustainable Harvesting & Post harvest Management, Quality & Certification, Research & Development, Regulatory & Legal framework, Networking & IT/Space Intervention, Finance and Information, Education & Communication and Capacity Building are proposed to be covered in the 8 sessions by specialists from all over the country.
During the Inaugural session, NMPB will also launch the “Voluntary Certification Scheme of Medicinal Plants Produce (VCSMPP)”, designed by NMPB through Quality Councils of India (QCI).
The main outcome of the excise shall be the final Draft Policy on National Medicinal Plants of India which will be reviewed by the Ministry of AYUSH.


Sustainable Waste Management is the Need of the Hour: Puri

National Workshop on “Processing and Use of Construction & Demolition Waste on Deconstruction & in-Situ Processing for Ecology and Economics Inaugurated
“Sustainable waste management is the need of the hour, which involves managing waste in an environmentally sound, socially satisfactory and techno-economically viable manner. The waste management hierarchy demands firstly, avoiding generation of waste, followed by reducing, reusing, recycling, recovering, treating and disposing whatever wastes produced. The fundamental objective should be to maximize re-use and recycling so that minimum land space is occupied for disposal and at the same time, natural resources and energy are saved” said the Union Minister of state (I/C) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs at the National workshop on “processing and use of construction & demolition waste on deconstruction & in-situ processing for ecology and economics which he inaugurated here today. Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, M/o Housing & Urban Affairs, Govt. of India, Dr. Shailesh Kr Agrawal, Executive Director, BMTPC and senior officials were also present at the workshop.

During his address, Sh Puri stated that there is pressing need to bring awareness about the problem of waste management and the necessity to adopt proper procedure of collection, processing, recycling and use of C&D wastes in manufacturing of building components among different stake holders of the country. “In order to meet requirements of urban transformation and flagship programmes of our Government as regards housing and infrastructure, it is known fact that we can not continue to make use of conventional building materials which continue to depend on finite natural resources mainly drawing upon the carrying capacity of the eco system and often causes irreparable environmental damages. It is being increasingly recognized that raw materials from natural resources are being used at a faster rate than they are being replenished or alternatives being It is being increasingly recognized that raw materials from natural resources are being used at a faster rate than they are being replenished or alternatives being found. The challenge posed by the emerging trends of higher consumption levels has to be met within the concept of sustainable development, of which gainful utilization of waste is one of the important components”, he added. 

Highlighting the problem, Sh Puri stated that often it is seen that building owners, waste haulers and demolition contractors improperly and illegally dispose off these wastes in gravel pits or ground water recharge areas, on farm land and prime residential property, borrow pits and low lying areas. Such stacks of wastes may choke the surface drains causing flooding of roads and low lying areas while wastes from individual house construction or demolition, often find its way to nearby municipal waste storage bin, waste storage depots, making the municipal wastes very heavy and unsuitable for further treatment, he said. The wastes which are buried at site itself, form impervious layer, which adversely affect the growth of vegetation and prevents the infiltration of surface runoff into the ground water table. Therefore, it is essential to properly manage the C&D wastes. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, under Environment Protection Act, 1986 has recently notified Management of Construction and Demolition Wastes Rules 2016 to provide an institutional framework for management of C&D Wastes. This gives timelines for the state government to formulate policy, identification of sites for collection and processing facility, commissioning and implementation of the facility and monitoring by State Pollution Control Boards, the Minister informed. 

The proper implementation of the Notification is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders gathered here. Guidelines on Environmental Management of Construction & Demolition Wastes was brought out by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in March, 2017. CPCB guidelines address the issues pertaining to abatement of adverse environment impacts specifically arising from C&D waste management activities. BMTPC has also published Guidelines on Utilization of C&D Wastes as a useful resource for building materials and components. All these guidelines supplement each other and provide a technical and legal framework for effective utilization and management of C&D waste. In many developed countries, substantial part of its construction & demolition waste are re-used and recycled. In India, there are some significant initiatives such as C&D waste processing plants at Burari & Shastri Park in Delhi, use of C&D waste in East Kidwai Nagar Project in Delhi by NBCC and C&D Waste processing plant at Ahmedabad. 

The minister also mentioned that major municipalities like Surat, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Rajkot have floated tenders and are at the verge of putting up C&D waste processing plants and many more processing plants are also understood to be in the process of getting installed in other parts of the Country. 


Shri J P Nadda inaugurates ‘1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health’

India is deeply committed nationally and globally to achieving all public health goals: J P Nadda
“India is deeply committed nationally and globally to achieving all public health goals and also focusing on developing India as a hub for affordable medical devices.” This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at the inauguration of ‘1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, here today. The Health Minister further stated that there is a need for promoting industry and academia collaboration for developing affordable medical products such that innovations and advances in medical sector reach a vast population.

Smt. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (HFW), Dr. V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Govt. of India, Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary, Dept. of Health & Research (DHR) and DG, ICMR and Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Director General Health Services also graced the occasion.

Highlighting the importance of transparency between regulatory authorities and pharma sector, Shri Nadda stated that the coordination between the National Regulatory Authorities and pharmaceutical sector will enable launch and registration of new health technologies. He further said that the dialogue on role of competition in competitive pricing and discussion on related WTO agreements influencing health should lead to a larger umbrella of suggested policy options for the government.

Shri Nadda stated that the 2015 National Medical Device Policy will enable local manufacture in the multiproduct, multidisciplinary industry. “In India, nearly 150 thousand orthopaedic knee procedures are done every day. More investments and more players in the medical devices sector will lead to lowering down of prices and access to medical products as most of the governments are sensitive to access and pricing of medical products,” he added. 

Addressing the conference via video link, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State (HFW) said that research and development in public health should focus on two main aspects. To enable safe, effective and quality medical products for the diseases and rolling out the innovations and inventions along with the learning’s from the field to the people. He further stated that the research and development should focus on making the cost of medical devices/products affordable to the people and highlighted the issue of Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR). 

Speaking at the function, Smt Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (HFW), stated that India is committed to attainment of the highest possible standards of health for its citizens. She further said that at the national level, access to medical products (medicines, vaccines, medical devices & diagnostics) is an important facet in the health system as a whole and at the international level, access to medical products is a critical factor for the success of the 2030 sustainable development goals agenda that aims to ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being of people of all ages. 

Dr. V.K. Paul, Member, NITI Aayog, Govt. of India stated that there is a need for investment in medical products for preventive therapy and treatment and highlighted the importance of affordability, quality, domestic production capacity and to create an eco-system of policy and innovation for greater accessibility of affordable medical drugs and devices. Dr V K Paul further said that technology is an integral block for strengthening medical systems in any country and must also ensure timely maintenance of medical equipment by suppliers in remote and rural areas such that equipment functions effectively. 

Smt Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) spoke about the issues of access of medicines and medical products. She said that safe medical products should be available at affordable prices. She further reiterated that the Health Ministry is committed to robust regulatory systems for ensuring safety, quality and efficacy of drugs. 

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary (DHR) and DG, ICMR highlighted issues such as how to use TRIPs flexibilities; alternative models for affordable medicines and devices such as voluntary licensing; clear predictable regulatory pathways; more investment in R&D and publicly funded R&D; innovative healthcare service delivery models; anti-biotic stewardship; and collaboration between the public and private sectors including academia to reduce cost of production and delivery. 

The Conference is being organized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare with the support of WHO Country Office for India and in partnership with Indian Society of International Law. The objective of the Conference is to exchange knowledge and expand understanding on contemporary issues in international trade laws and research and innovation for access to medical products to achieve SDG 2030 agenda. 

Also present at the event were, Dr. R.K. Vats, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Dr. Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India; and Dr. EMS Natchiappan, President, Indian Society of International Law, India along with other senior officers of the Ministry, delegates from various countries and representatives of development organisations. 


Monetary Allowance for Widows of Gallantry Awards Recipients

Recipients of the gallantry awards are entitled to the monetary allowance as per the letter of 1972 of Ministry of Defence (MoD), superseded by letter in 1995 of the MoD, which have been revised from time to time. As per the existing condition for grant of monetary allowance, the allowance shall be admissible to the recipient of the award and on his death to his widow lawfully married by a valid ceremony. The widow will continue to receive the allowance until her re-marriage or death. The payment of the allowance will, however, be continued to a widow who re-marries the late husband’s brother and lives a communal life with the living heir eligible for family pension.

Representations were received from various quarters to remove the condition of the widow’s remarriage with the late husband’s brother for continuation of the monetary allowance.

This issue was considered by the Government of India and it has now been decided to remove the condition of the widow’s remarriage with the late husband’s brother for continuation of the monetary allowance vide MoD letter dated November 16, 2017.

The revised condition for grant of monetary allowance for recipients of gallantry awards is as under:-

The allowance shall be admissible to the recipient of the award and on his death to his widow lawfully married by a valid ceremony. The widow will continue to receive the allowance until her death. 


Majid Majidi, Ishaan Khatter & Malavika Mohanan attend the press conference of Opening Film ‘Beyond the Clouds’

After showcasing the movie, ‘Beyond the Clouds’ at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017, the cast a...