Friday, 17 May 2019

Vice President Greets people on the eve of Buddha Purnima

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’. In a message, he said that Lord Buddha was one of the most illustrious spiritual leaders to have walked this earth. His eternal message of non-violence and compassion continues to inspire humanity across the globe, he added.

Following is the text of Vice President's message:

"I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to the people of our country on the auspicious occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’. 

Lord Buddha was one of the most illustrious spiritual leaders to have walked this earth. He preached the most profound truths. His eternal message of non-violence and compassion continues to inspire humanity across the globe to strive towards a more fulfilling life and a world where all people live together and shaping it together into a peaceful, inclusive, sustainable globe.

On this happy occasion, let us commit ourselves to the path of Dharma (righteousness), Karuna (compassion) and Maitri (universal friendship) shown by Lord Buddha."


President’s Buddha Purnima greetings

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in his message on the eve of Buddha Purnima has said:-

“On the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, I offer warm greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens as well as followers of Lord Buddha across the world.

The values of non-violence, peace, compassion and service to humanity embodied in the teachings of Lord Buddha have profoundly influenced human history and the course of civilization. These teachings have become even more relevant in the present times.

May Lord Buddha’s message infuse our thoughts, words and deeds and guide us towards greater compassion, love and fraternity”. 


Israel proposes India to be the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020

Indian Delegation explores co-production opportunities with Film Commissioners of Participating Countries at Cannes

India positioned at Cannes as an attractive global filming destination

We need to explore creative collaborations through co-creation of content: I&B Secretary Amit Khare

India featured prominently on the Pocket Guide of Marche Du Film

The Indian Delegation led by I&B Secretary Shri Amit Khare today met Film Commissioners of participating countries at Cannes Film Festival. During the meeting, India was positioned as an attractive filming destination by highlighting the steps taken to easy the process of obtaining permissions for filming in India through the Film Facilitation Office which facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers. The steps taken by the India Government to combat film piracy were also discussed.

The Indian Delegation highlighted the opportunity of utilizing the abundant talent pool of skilled professionals and technicians and projected the possibility of India emerging as a major post production hub. The focus of the discussion was exploration of co-production opportunities with the participating countries and forage opportunities of collaborations for films with international production houses. The rebates and incentives being explored by the government to incentivize foreign filmmakers further to shoot in India were also highlighted.

During the discussions, Shri Amit Khare talked about the possibility of filmmakers of different countries coming together under bilateral co-production agreements which would also forge new markets and wider audiences by making India a hub for shooting world class international movies. He also talked about the opportunity of creative collaborations in terms of content exchange and explored the idea of cultural exchange through co-creation of content.

The key principles involved in the meeting were Cine Tirol Film Commission, Austria, Ms, Angelika Pagitz, Film Commissioner; Costa Rica Film Commission, Costa Rica, Mr, Castro, Costa Rica Film Commissioner; Film Commission Norway, Norway, Mr, TrulsKontny, Head of Film Commission Norway; Film Development Council Of The Philippines, Philippines, Ms, Mary Liza Dino, Chairperson / CEO; Italian Film Commissions, Italy, Ms, StefaniaIppoliti, President IFC; Location Austria - The National Film Commission, Austria, Mr, ArieBohrer, Film Commissioner; Netherlands Film Fund / Netherlands Film Commission, Netherlands, Ms, Doreen Boonekamp, CEO; Swedish Film Commissions, Sweden, Mr, Marketing, Mikael Svensson, Certified Film Commissioner; Swedish Film Commissions, Sweden, Ms, Mia Uddgren, Film Commissioner; Taipei Culture Foundation - Taipei Film Commission, Taiwan, Ms, Jennifer JAO, Director; Telefilm Canada, Canada, Ms, MariellePoupelin, Director, International Promotion.

The Indian Delegation also met Mr. Marc Tessier, President, Film France. The Delegates talked about amendments in the already existing co-production treaty between India and France to include animation, gaming and visual effects. The idea of conducting workshops to further the deep cultural connection between the two countries was also discussed.

The Delegation further met Ms.Eti Cohen, Director of Film Department and Council, Ministry of Culture and Sports,Israel. During the meeting, Israel proposed India to be the focus country inJerusalem Film Festival, 2020. The buzz created by the Hindi movie Newton in Israel was also highlighted by the Israeli Delegation. Israel also proposed the idea of making concept based films in India, with a focus on regional and small budget films.

In order to further enhance the appeal of India as the go-to destination for filming, India has been positioned prominently on the Pocket Guide of Marche Du Film, Cannes Film Market, which celebrates Indian cinema as the world’s largest film industry.


Seventh and final Phase of General Elections-2019 on 19 May

59 Lok Sabha Constituencies across 7 States and a Union Territory headed to Polls
Over 10 crore 1 lakh 75 thousand voters to decide fate of 918 candidates
Over 1 lakh 12 thousand polling stations in place for smooth conduct of polls



Number of Parliamentary Constituencies in Phase 7

Total Number of voters

Number of Male Voters

Number of Female Voters

 Number of  Voters of Third Gender

Number of

Number of Polling Stations
Himachal Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal
No of States/ Union Territoryin Phase 7


Thursday, 16 May 2019

Finance Commission holds meetings with Finance Ministry

The Finance Commission held consultations with senior officials of the Ministry of Finance on yesterday on the overall economic situation and key economic variables. These discussions are credible to the ongoing work of the Commission to reach an appropriate conclusion on both the vertical and the horizontal devolution. Apart from the Commission’s Chairman & Members Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Dr. Anoop Singh, the Finance Ministry were represented by Shri Subhash Chandra Garg Finance Secretary, Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey Revenue Secretary, Shri Girish Chandra Murmu, Expenditure Secretary, Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian Chief Economic Adviser, Shri P C Mody Chairman CBDT, Shri P.K. Das, Chairman CBIC and other senior officials of the Finance Ministry and the Finance Commission.

The Commission observed that the GDP numbers have somewhat fluctuated within the overall global trend which suggests continued high growth trend over the medium term. The Commission also noted that the revenue projections on the Direct Taxes are healthy though on Indirect Taxes, there have been periodic fluctuations. On the expenditure trend, there were discussions in regard to the rationalisation of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes in sync with the new life cycle, they being co-terminus with the Finance Commissions.

Detailed discussions have continued over the last few months with the Finance Ministry on the issues of the consequences of UDAY and 7th Pay Commission particularly in the context of the finances of the States. 

The Finance Ministry presented before the Commission some preliminary views of the Government on the Financial Terms of Reference of the Commission. The economic development in the last 5 years were analysed in detail with specific focus on Growth, Investments, Industrial Production, Banking and Payments, Inflation and Monetary Policy, External Sector, Medium Term Outlook. The Ministry made its projections for 2018-19 and 2019-20 to the Commission along with its projections for the award period of the XVFC, which is 2020-21 to 2024-25.

The Finance Ministry gave some accounts and overviews of Receipt and Expenditure Forecast including a fiscal overview of XIVFC vs. XVFC both a percentage of GDP and as percentage of GRR. They also made a resource forecast which included tax projections; and a comparative picture of tax growth and buoyancy. The expenditure projections made by the Ministry included expenditure classifications and requirements; expenditure of the Central Government during the award period of the XIVFC and the expenditure requirements during the award period of the XVFC.

The Ministry and the Commission had a detailed discussion on fiscal management in which the Ministry put up a number of suggestions for consideration of the Commission. Discussions were also held on GST issues, local body grants and population data.

The Commission is now awaiting the full Memorandum of the Government of India through Finance Ministry which is expected to be delivered soon.


India sets the tone at COP meetings of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions held in Geneva

The joint meetings of three conventions on chemicals and waste that is the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (COP 14) was held along with the ninth meeting of the COP to Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the ninth meeting of the COP to Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The theme of the meetings this year was “Clean Planet, Healthy People: Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste”. 

An Indian delegation of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and comprising other ministries such as Agriculture, Chemicals, and Electronics and Information Technology participated in the meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29 April to 10 May 2019.

In Basel Convention, two important issues were discussed and decided, i.e. technical guidelines on e-waste and inclusion of plastic waste in the PIC procedure. The draft technical guidelines stipulated the conditions when used electrical and electronic equipment destined for direct reuse, repair, refurbishment or failure analysis should be considered as non-waste. India had major reservations regarding these provisions as in the name of re-use, repair, refurbishment and failure analysis there was a possibility of dumping from the developed world to the developing countries including India in view of the growing consumption of electronic equipment and waste across the world. The Indian delegation strongly objected the proposed decision on these guidelines during plenary and did not allow it to be passed by the conference of the parties (COP).

Many rounds of multilateral and bilateral negotiations happened under the aegis of the Convention Secretariat in order to address India’s concerns which were supported by a large number of other developing countries. On the final day of the COP, a modified decision was adopted in which all the concerns raised by India were incorporated.

These were: dumping of e-waste in developing countries; recognition that the interim guideline has issues and further work is required specially on the provision on distinguishing waste from non-waste; the guidelines were adopted on an interim basis only; the tenure of the expert working group was extended to address the concerns raised by India; and the usage of interim guidelines to be done only on a pilot basis.

Due to the strong intervention by the Indian delegation, it was possible to defend the country’s interest against the potential dumping of e-waste by developed countries and thereby opened a window for further negotiations and corrections in the interim technical guidelines on e-waste. 

Under the Basel Convention, another major achievement of COP 14 was the decision to amend the convention to include unsorted, mixed and contaminated plastic waste under PIC (Prior Informed Consent) procedure and improve the regulation of its transboundary movement. This is a significant step taken towards addressing plastic pollution which has become a major environmental concern across the globe.

Further, Basel Convention has also adopted partnership on plastic which was welcomed by the Indian delegation. These steps will help prevent the illegal dumping of plastic wastes in developing countries. India has already imposed a complete prohibition of import of solid plastic waste into the country. India has also made an international commitment to phase-out single-use plastic. India fully supported this exercise and one of the members of the Indian delegation was co-chair in the contact group which negotiated this agreement for amendment in the annexes of Basel Convention to bring plastic waste under PIC procedure.

Under the Stockholm Convention the COP decided to list “Dicofol” in Annex A without any exemption. The “PFOA” was also listed with some exemptions in the Annex A of the Stockholm Convention. Under the Rotterdam Convention, two new chemicals (Phorate and HBCD) were added in the list for mandatory PIC procedure in international trade. 


Website of Lokpal inaugurated

The Website of the Lokpal was inaugurated by the Chairperson, Justice Shri Pinaki Chandra Ghose in presence of all the Members of Lokpal today. The DG, NIC, Smt. Neeta Verma was also present on the occasion. The Website has been developed by NIC and provides the basic information with respect to the working and functioning of the Lokpal. The Website can be accessed at

The Lokpal is the first institution of its kind in independent India, established under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 to inquire and investigate into allegations of the corruption against public functionaries who fall within the scope and ambit of the above Act.

The Government appointed Justice Shri Pinaki Chandra Ghose, as the first Chairperson of the Lokpal who was administered oath on 23rd March, 2019 by the President of India. The Government has also appointed four Judicial and four non-Judicial Members. The office of Lokpal is temporary functioning from the Hotel Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. 

The process of notifying the rules and regulations including the format for receiving complaints is being developed. All complaints which were received till 16th April, 2019 have been examined by the Office of Lokpal and disposed accordingly. The Complaints received thereafter are under examination.


Vice President Greets people on the eve of Buddha Purnima

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’. In a message, h...