Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Vice President to participate in International Yoga Day Celebrations at Mumbai

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being held at Bandra Reclamation Sealink Promenade, Mumbai on June 21, 2018.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis will also attend the event which is being organized by a voluntary organization from Mumbai.

Recognizing that Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga. Since the first International Day of Yoga held on June 21, 2015, the event is being celebrated in many countries across the world every year to raise awareness on the benefits of practicing Yoga.

The theme for this year is ‘Yoga for Peace’.


PM to lead 4th International Yoga Day Celebrations in Dehradun

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lead the 4th International Yoga Day Celebrations in Dehradun on June 21, 2018.

The Prime Minister will join thousands of volunteers, performing Yoga asanas in the lawns of Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, located in the lap of the Himalayas.

A series of Yoga related events are being organized across the world to mark the occasion.

The Prime Minister had earlier participated in Yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.

Greeting Yoga enthusiasts across the world on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that Yoga is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.

“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well,” the Prime Minister said.

“In a world of excess, Yoga promises restraint and balance. In a world suffering from mental stress, Yoga promises calm. In a distracted world, Yoga helps focus. In a world of fear, Yoga promises hope, strength and courage,” the Prime Minister added.

In the run-up to International Yoga Day, the Prime Minister has also taken to social media to share the intricacies of various Yoga Asanas. He has also shared pictures of people performing Yoga, at various locations across the world.


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Chief Ministers Subgroup Constituted to Coordinate Policy Approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS

Unanimous Decision taken during the Fourth Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog yesterday

Government has set up a Chief Ministers Subgroup to Coordinate Policy Approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as the Convener and CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim along with the Member NITI Aayog, Shri Ramesh Chand as its members. The move comes in the backdrop of the vision of the Prime Minister towards Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 which requires a multi-dimensional and inclusive approach. It comes close on the heels of the unanimous decision taken at the 4th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on 17thJune. During the deliberations it was suggested to come out with approaches with special emphasis on pre-sowing and post-harvest interventions using MGNREGS, for creating durable assets that double incomes of farmers and reduce agrarian distress. 

The Prime Minister nominated the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to convene a Sub-Group of seven Chief Ministers for coordinated policy approach on the Agriculture Sector and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).Subsequently the Chief Ministers Sub-Group has been constituted with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as its Convener. The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim, and Shri Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, have been named has Members of the Sub-Group. The Sub-Group will be serviced by the NITI Aayog.

Terms of Reference of the Sub-Group has tentatively been assigned as follows:
(i)     To suggest a wider choice of State specific interventions both for pre-sowing and post-harvest to further improve the thrust on incomes, water conservation and waste to wealth.
(ii)    To align works under MGNREGS fully to the requirements of achieving the goal of Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022.  This will improve thrust on Water Conservation, individual Beneficiary Schemes, Construction of Rural Haats, Vermi-Composting etc.
(iii)   To make recommendations on interventions of MGNREGS that can facilitate reduction of agrarian distress including work availability, wage rates, seasonality etc.
(iv)   To explore the possibilities of MGNREGS as a livelihood resource for development and diversification of livelihoods of small and marginal farmers specially belonging to SC/ST households.
(v)    To suggest ways of aligning MGNREGS and its livelihood thrust with women Self Help Groups (SHGs), producer Groups, and Producer Companies to enable a better use of resources for livelihood.
(vi)   To explore successful convergence of program resources across Departments to ensure optimal fund utilization, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.

The Sub-Group will submit its report within three months from its date of constitution. The first meeting of the Sub-Group is expected to be held within the next month, as per the convenience of the Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh.


President of India addresses a foreign policy think tank in Athens

Says India-EU must work together to combat terrorism and radicalisation

Calls for further strengthening India-EU economic ties

Also addresses India-Greek business forum; invites Greek shipping companies to participate in Sagarmala project

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed a gathering of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens today (June 19, 2018) on the subject “India and Europe in a Changing World”. The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.

The President said that India is committed to world peace. He said that India sees peace not just as the absence of conflict but as a reflection of sustainable development and indeed of any effort that anticipates and prevents strife and suffering. When we work for combating climate change, we contribute to world peace. When we assist other developing countries, as per their priorities, and strive for a less unequal world we contribute to world peace. When we rescue and evacuate not just our own citizens from troubled regions, but those of 40 other countries – as we did during the Yemen crisis of 2015 – we contribute to world peace. When we put considerable troops and resources at the disposal of United Nations peacekeeping operations, we contribute to world peace.

President said that radicalisation and terrorism are pressing global concerns. Pockets of instability and extremism can be found in the region to Europe’s east and India’s west. They are a worry for both Europe and India. Promotion of terrorism by state and non-state actors; extremism in a variety of forms and rooted in senseless hate; the proliferation of sensitive weapons; the use of regular communication and financial channels by terror groups – these pose a challenge to not one nation or the other but to all humanity.

The President said that India and the EU must persuade the world to not distinguish between so-called “good” and “bad” terrorists, to shame and sanction state sponsors of terrorism, and to strengthen multilateral platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum. He expressed India’s willingness to share its domestic experiences and success stories in a manner that may be useful to EU.

On clean energy and climate change, the President said that India and the EU are united in their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. India is scaling up the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix. This will go up from the current 31 per cent to 53 per cent by 2027. We are targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, of which 100 gigawatts will be solar energy, he said. The President invited Greece to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA). He also expressed happiness at the European Investment Bank’s willingness to mobilise finance for affordable solar energy projects in ISA member countries.

The EU is among India’s largest trading partners. President said that EU is a critical source of investment and technology, especially for sustainability programmes. Indian companies are significant investors in the EU, in industries as far apart as pharmaceuticals and automobile components. President Kovind said that India remains committed to an India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), to be achieved in a generous spirit of mutual accommodation and of pragmatism.

Earlier in the day, the President addressed the India – Greek Business Forum meeting in Athens.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India-Greek bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below its potential. With some efforts this can easily be made to cross US Dollars 1 billion in the next few years and India is keen to take lead in this effort.

The President said that there are clear complementarities between the Indian and Greek economies. He urged Greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie-up openings in India. He stated that there are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in India's ambitious Sagarmala project. He also touched upon the opportunities to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well.

Yesterday evening (June 18, 2018), the President attended a banquet hosted in his honour by the President of Greece. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that both India and Greece have a common stake in promoting multilateralism and global peace and security. He thanked the Government of Greece for its consistent support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. He also highlighted the possibility of collaborating in areas of renewable energy and climate change.

Later in the day (June 19, 2018), the President departed for Suriname – the second leg of his visit to three countries – Greece, Suriname and Cuba.


Address by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the India-Greece business forum meeting

  1. I am happy to  address the India-Greece Business Forum.  First of all, I would like to thank Entreprise Greece for bringing us together this morning. I am  happy that  30 companies from India, led by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture and the Trade Promotion Council of India are participating in this business engagement.
  1. India and Greece are two ancient civilizations. Our economic, trade and cultural engagement go back over 2500 years. There was flourishing trade network between Greece and India as early as the 3rd century  BC.  With such rich history of engagement to inspire and build on, one cannot, perhaps, be more optimistic of the future of India-Greece trade and investment relations.  
  1. Yesterday, I had meaningful discussions with President Pavlopoulus on the way forward for India-Greece relations.  Both of us were convinced that there is immense potential to take India-Greece economic ties to a higher level. Similar sentiments were echoed in my interaction with Prime Minister Tsipras There are ample opportunities for our businesses to grow in the areas of trade, technology and investment.  
  1. Our bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below what had been achieved in the past, and what possibly could be a reasonable target for the future. As per market survey, with some efforts this can easily be made to cross US Dollars 1 billion in the next few years. My Government is keen to take lead in this effort. We have accepted the Greek Government’s invitation to be the “Honoured Country” at the ThessalonikiInternational Fair, Greece’s flagship business event, to be held in September 2019.  I hope this will   give a major boost to our bilateral trade. And while the two Governments are taking lead, we would expect Chambers of Commerce, Export Promotion Councils and Industry Groups to participate in the Thessaloniki fair in large numbers and make our partcipation a grand success. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
  1. There are clear complementarities  between the Indian and Greek economies. Both have their strong points. India happens to be the fastest growing major economy in the world with a growth rate of 7.7%.  We have undertaken  an ambitous plan to build next-generation infrastructure including 100 Smart Cities, airports, high-speed trains, highways and cyber connectivity. Last year, we built nearly 10,000 kilometers of national highways – that is 27 kilometers daily, almost double the speed few years  ago.  Our Sagarmala project proposes to develop a string of new ports including  5 major ports along our vast coastline. It has initiated a robust programme for portled industrialisation and connectivity. We have  also designated 111 rivers as National Waterways. In addition, we have opened coastal shipping  to international players. These measures will change the way we harness our maritime and inland river transport corridors in India.

  1. To boost our manufacturing sector and Make In India programme, we have undertaken pathbreaking reforms. The most transformative of them has been the introduction of Goods and Services Tax which makes India into a single unified tax market  for the first time in its modern history.  We have repealed over   1400   outdated laws. Both the Central and State Governments have undertaken over 10,000 measures to make it easier for business to establish and grow in India.  Due to these reforms, we have jumped 42 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index in the last four years. As a result, Foreign Direct Investment flows into India have risen from US dollars 36 billion in 2013-14 to US dollars 60 billion in 2016-17.  All in all, India is set to be a 5 trillion dollar  economy by 2025 with the 3rdlargest consumer market in the world. This sort of growth and demand opens up immense business  opportunities.

  1. The Greek economy has global reputation in several  fields including shipping, tourism and agriculture. I would encourage greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie-up openings in India. There are lucrative opportunities for the Greek Shipping Industry in the Indian growth story. Greece is also a frontrunner in agriculture and food processing sectors. We have a target to double farm incomes by 2022 in India.  This represents major prospects for Greek agro-based companies. There are opportunities for us to collaborate in defence manufacturing, pharma, tourism, real-estate, entertainment, infrastructure and technology sectors as well. Both our countries have a strong renewable energy programme, especially in the solar energy sector. India’s target is to produce 175 Gigawatt of renewable power by 2022.  We should explore how we can leverage each other’s strength in the field. On the Start-up side, India has the third largest network in the world. I undertand that Greece also has a niche start-up sector in place.  We should explore opportunities in this sector as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
  1. Indian companies have a  global standing in the fields of IT, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, automobiles, energy, technology,  entertainment and hospitality sectors. We have our business representatives from these sectors present here. There are still others here from agriculture, electronics, real-estate, footwear, mining and skill development  sectors.  I am hopeful they  would all  have an engaging day ahead with their greek counterparts. On skills side, I must highlight that we have an ambitious Skill India programme to train 150 million youth by 2022. Greece with its proven capacity in the tourism sector could be a potential partner for developing skills for the hospitality sector in India.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  
  1. Opportunities before us are manifold. It is for us  to  see how we convert them into real business prospects. I wish the participants in this business engagement a fruitful day of deliberations and discussions.  

Thank you.


Workshop on Cyber Security Framework - 2018

A workshop on Cyber Security Framework for Department of Defence was organised by DDP, Ministry of Defence. The workshop was inaugurated by RakshaMantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman.

During her address, Smt Sitharaman stressed upon the fact that Defence sector is more prone to the cyber threats and hence it becomes important to safeguard our cyberspace with anticipation of possible attacks. The RakshaMantri congratulated Department of Defence Production for formulating Cyber Security Framework for DDPand also establishing Cyber Security Cells at various levels to handle cyber security related issues. She further touched upon the requirement of creating the work force in all establishments in accordance with the nation’s vision to become a dominant force in cyber space.

Earlier addressing the participants Secretary (Defence Production)Dr. Ajay Kumar emphasised that all Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories are increasingly relying on Information Technology. However, any compromise in Information and Cyber Security in Defence Production environment can have far reaching consequences on effectiveness of our defence forces and national security. Therefore, it is important to establish a strong, robust and resilient cyber security infrastructure on priority basis.

Joint Secretary and Chief Information Security Officer of DDP, Dr Amit Sahai who welcomed the participants to the workshop, explained that this one day workshop has been organised by the Ministry of Defence to bring in synchronised approach for cyber security based on frame work document released by the Department of Defence Production in 2018. The framework which is in line with National policies & guidelines, provides a common mechanism for all organisations to describe their current cyber security posture & the target area for cyber security, identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement and continuously assess progress towards the target area. More than 100 Chief Information Security officers from Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA), Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), Directorate of Standardisation, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories are participating in the workshop.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to hold a direct dialogue with the farmers across the country and discuss various initiatives related to doubling the income of farmers by 2022 with farmers

For the first time, Prime Minister is going to have a direct dialogue with farmers across the country, in which various initiatives related to doubling the income of farmers by 2022 will also be discussed. This was stated by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the farmers of the country on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at 9:30 am. It will be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s, Common Service Centers (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country. People will also be able to interact with Hon’ble Prime Minister through “Narendra Modi App”.


Vice President to participate in International Yoga Day Celebrations at Mumbai

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu will participate as Chief Guest at the International Yoga Day 2018 Celebrations being ...