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Cabinet approves conversion of Government of India loan into equity and waiver of interest in respect of Richardson & Cruddas (1972)
Sep 21,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for enabling M/s Richardson & Cruddas (1972) Limited (R&C), a Central Public Sector Enterprise, to come out of purview of Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). For this purpose Cabinet approved the conversion into equity of the Government of India loan of Rs 101.78 crores given to the Company, alongwith the interest amounting to Rs 424.81 Crore accrued on this loan.

The Cabinet further approved in principle, the strategic disinvestment of Nagpur and Chennai units of the Company and shifting of operations from Mumbai land to other locations of company. However the Companys land at Mumbai will be converted from lease hold to Occupation Class II so as to enable the company to identify the best use of this piece of land for optimal utilization as per Government guidelines.

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Cabinet approves provision of submarine optical fibre cable connectivity between mainland (Chennai) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Sep 21,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for provision of a direct communication link through a dedicated submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) between Mainland (Chennai) and Port Blair & five other islands viz. Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1102.38 crore including operational expenses for 5 years. The project is likely to be completed by December 2018.

The approval would equip Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) with appropriate bandwidth and telecom connectivity for implementation of e-Governance initiatives; establishment of enterprises & e-commerce facilities. It will also enable the provision of adequate support to educational institutes for knowledge sharing, availability of job opportunities and fulfil the vision of Digital India.

Background:

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are of immense strategic significance for India. The geographical configuration and the location of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands chain in the Bay of Bengal safeguard Indias eastern seaboard. Provision of secure, reliable, robust, and affordable telecom facilities in these islands is of importance from a strategic point of view to the country and also an important requirement for the socio-economic development of the islands.

Currently the only medium of providing telecom connectivity between Mainland and Andaman & Nicobar Islands is though satellites, but the bandwidth available is limited to 1 Gbps. Satellite bandwidth is very costly and its availability is limited due to which future bandwidth requirement cannot be met solely through it. Then, there is an issue of redundancy, that is, no alternate media is available in case of any emergency. Lack of bandwidth and telecom connectivity is also hampering socio-economic development of the islands. Hence it is essential to have submarine OFC connectivity between the Mainland India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, being the only option for catering to projected future bandwidth requirements.

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Cabinet approves enactment of Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016 and to repeal five archaic admiralty statutes
Sep 21,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the proposal of Ministry of Shipping to enact Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill 2016 and to repeal five archaic admiralty statutes.

The Bill consolidates the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues. It also repeals five obsolete British statues on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters, namely, (a) the Admiralty Court Act, 1840 (b) the Admiralty Court Act, 1861, (c) Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, (d) Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891, and (e) the provisions of the Letters Patent, 1865 applicable to the admiralty jurisdiction of the Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts.

Salient Features of Admirability Bill, 2016

This legislative proposal will fulfil a long-standing demand of the maritime legal fraternity. The salient features are as follows:-

n++ The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends upto territorial waters.

n++ The jurisdiction is extendable, by a Central Government notification, upto exclusive economic zone or any other maritime zone of India or islands constituting part of the territory of India.

n++ It applies to every vessel irrespective of place of residence or domicile of owner.

n++ Inland vessels and vessels under construction are excluded from its application but the Central Government is empowered to make it applicable to these vessels also by a notification if necessary.

n++ It does not apply to warships and naval auxiliary and vessels used for non-commercial purposes.

n++ The jurisdiction is for adjudicating on a set of maritime claims listed in the Bill.

n++ In order to ensure security against a maritime claim a vessel can be arrested in certain circumstances.

n++ The liability in respect of selected maritime claims on a vessel passes on to its new owners by way of maritime liens subject to a stipulated time limit.

n++ In respect of aspects on which provisions are not laid down in the Bill, the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 is applicable.

Background:

India is a leading maritime nation and maritime transportation caters to about ninety-five percent of its merchandise trade volume. However, under the present statutory framework, the admiralty jurisdiction of Indian courts flow from laws enacted in the British era. Admiralty jurisdiction relates to powers of the High Courts in respect of claims associated with transport by sea and navigable waterways. The repealing of five admiralty statutes is in line with the Governments commitment to do away with archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance.

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Union Cabinet approves raising extra budgetary resources to augment infrastructure spending
Sep 21,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister has given its approval for raising a total of Rs 31,300 crore in the financial year 2016-17 and to service the principal and interest against the Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) of Rs 16,300 crore by Government of India to augment infrastructure spending.

Out of the EBR of Rs 31,300 crore, it is proposed to finance the funds to be raised by Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) by Government of India.

This implies that the principal and the interest in respect of the EBR of Rs 16,300 crore to be raised by PFC, IREDA, IWAI, and NABARD shall be financed by Government of India by making suitable budget provisions in the Demand of respective Ministries/Departments.

The move is intended to supplement the efforts of the Government to improve infrastructure spending and to improve the revenue-capital mix of the expenditure for a more sustainable growth.

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Cabinet approves Capital Grant to GAIL for development of Gas Infrastructure in Eastern part of the country
Sep 21,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved viability gap funding / partial capital grant at 40 percent (Rs. 5,176 crore) of the estimated capital cost of Rs. 12,940 crore to GAIL for development of 2539 km long Jagdishpur-Haidia and Bokaro-Dhamra Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project. Government of India has taken this historic decision to provide Capital Support for developing this gas pipeline. JHBDPL project will connect Eastern part of the country with National Gas Grid.

It will ensure the availability of clean and eco-friendly fuel i.e. Natural Gas to the industrial, commercial, domestic and transport sectors in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. This Capital Grant will encourage the supply of eco-friendly fuel at affordable tariffs to industries and will encourage industrial development in these states.

Further, the CCEA has approved the simultaneous development of City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks in cities namely Varanasi, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Cuttack etc. en-route of JHBDPL project. These distribution networks will be developed by GAIL in collaboration with the concerned State Governments.

It will bring clean cooking fuel at the door step of Domestic households as well as provide clean fuel to transport sector in the eastern region. About 1.25 crore population living in these cities will be directly benefitted by the establishment of these CGD networks. All these projects will generate direct as well as indirect employment for about 21,000 people and will boost socio-economic development in the eastern part of the country.

Cabinet earlier had approved the revival of three Fertiliser Units (FCIL- Gorakhpur, HFCL- Barauni and FCIL-Sindri) along the route of this pipeline project. On revival, these units will be the anchor gas customers for JHBDPL project and gas to these plants will be supplied under the Gas Pooling Scheme for urea sector at pooled price.

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CCEA approves winding up of Hindustan Diamond Company
Sep 21,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for initiating the process of winding up of Hindustan Diamond Company (HDCPL), a 50:50 joint venture of the Government of India and De Beers Centenary Mauritius (DBCML).

The HDCPL was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 in 1978. The objective of formation of the Company was to supply rough diamonds to diamond processing industry in India, particularly to small and medium diamond jewellery exporters, who had no direct access to rough diamonds from Diamond Trading Company (DTC), London, the marketing arm of De Beers who held a very large chunk of worlds rough diamonds market.

The winding up of HDCPL is not likely to affect supply of rough diamonds to Indian diamantaires as Indian diamond industry has grown in these years and several Indian players are sightholders with top diamond producers now. Also, with the objective to facilitate the constant supply of rough diamonds and to make India an International Diamond Trading Hub, the Government has created a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at Bharat Diamond Bourse, Mumbai in 2015. At present viewing operations are being carried out in the SNZ at Mumbai wherein Foreign Mining Companies (FMCs) only display their rough diamond lots to the Indian manufacturers and then take them back. Thereafter the sales are carried through e-auction from offices situated in other countries to Indian manufacturers. This facility has enabled even smaller Indian players to have direct access of supply of rough diamonds.

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National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test - Post Graduate (Dental) (NEET-MDS)
Sep 21,2016

The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for entrance to MDS Courses in terms of Section 10 of the Dentists Act, 1948 as amended in 2016 shall be conducted by the National Board of Examinations.

1. The examination shall be held in 86 test centers at 41 cities from November 30th - December 3rd, 2016. The examination shall be held as a Computer Based Test and shall comprise of 240 Multiple Choice Questions from the BDS curriculum followed at dental colleges in India duly prescribed as per the Graduate Dental Education Regulation notified by Dental Council of India with prior approval of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

2. NEET-MDS is a single window entrance examination for entry to Dental post graduate courses. No other examination either at state level or institutional level entrance examination conducted by dental colleges /institutions shall be valid as per the Dentists Act, 1948 with effect from 2017 admission session.

3. Scope of Examination: NEET-MDS 2017 shall be the single eligibility cum entrance examination namely National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to Postgraduate Dental Courses for the academic session 2017-2018 which will include the following:

i. All India 50% quota seats for MDS courses (all states except Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana)

ii. State quota seats for MDS courses for all States/Union territories of India (including the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Telangana)

iii. MDS Diploma courses at all Private Dental Colleges, Institutions & Universities all across the country

iv. MDS courses at Armed Forces Medical Services Institutions.

4. The website for NEET-MDS shall be available with effect from 24/09/2016 and online registration for the NEET-MDS shall commence from 0700hrs on 26/09/2016 till 31/10/2016 (23:59hrs). The entire procedure for registration and application for the examination is online.

5. A toll free number 1XXX XX 1700 is available with effect from 26/09/2017. Further details about the exam shall be available at www.nbe.edu.in

The AIIMS, New Delhi Dental institution is not covered by centralized admissions for MDS seats through NEET-MDS for 2017 session.

National Board of Examinations is an autonomous organization established by Government of India in 1982 with prime objective of conducting post graduate examinations on all India basis.

National Board of Examinations also conducted the NEET-PG for MD/MS/PG Diploma admissions in 2013 and All India Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination (AIPGMEE) during the period 2014 - 2016.

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Will take 126 years for India to reach education standards of developed nations: ASSOCHAM Paper
Sep 21,2016

India does have ambitions to reach the level of developed nations in education, but it will take at least six generations or 126 years to scale up to the top standard , if the country continues at its present pace in one of the most vital sectors, an ASSOCHAM Paper has said.

n++Though India has made rapid strides, the yawning gap between the standards of education does not seem to bridge soon as the developed world has not slowed down spending on educationn++, the paper noted.

It said with India spending mere 3.83 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education, it is not sufficient to catch up. n++It will take six generations or 126 years to catch up with developed countries if we do not change our education system dramaticallyn++.

The US spends 5.22 per cent of its GDP on education, whereas for Germany it is 4.95 per cent and UK 5.72 per cent. n++With the GDP base of these developed counties so high, the absolute money earmarked for education is huge. For instance the size of the US GDP would be something like seven times the size of the Indian GDP and then on top of it, its ratio on education on a higher base would be very significantn++, said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

The ASSOCHAM Paper also noted, however, that India has a resource constraint, but then, the country must catch up to reach the levels of spending as recommended by the United Nations, which wants countries to spend at least six per cent of their GDP on education.

If India steps up its resource commitment to education, it can really become a major source of talent to the rest of the world, given the demographic advantage it has. With 315 million students, it has the largest pupil population in the world, besides being the youngest country.

Shortages of quality teachers are among the major challenges for the education sector, the paper said. At present, the shortage of teachers has been measured at 1.4 million. Besides 20 per cent of the teachers do not measure up to the standards of the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE).

Also, due to absence of focus on effective skill development, India is one of the least skilled countries. n++Majority of the college graduates and post graduates have employability challengesn++. This is ironical because India has a surplus work force but it is not skilled enough.

n++In our country only 4.7 per cent of the work force has any formal training, whereas this figure is 80 per cent for Japan, 95 per cent for South Korea, 75 per cent for Germany, 68 per cent for UK and 52 per cent for the USn++.

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Silent Revolution on within govt. for path-breaking reforms, GST likely to be implemented as schedule: Cabinet Secretary
Sep 21,2016

The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Pradeep Kumar Sinha re-assured India and its trade and business including international community, emphasizing that the goods and services tax (GST) and other path breaking reforms that the government has committed to its people will be implemented as promised since it is working overtime to accomplish the targets.

Addressing a Chief Secretaries Conclave- Accelerate Ease of Doing Business to the Next Orbit organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Mr. Sinha also stressed n++a silent revolution is underway and despite teething problems, India would move on to accomplish the objectives and targets set in by its government in all sectors of economic activities with increased participations of all stakeholders to further improve the spirit of governancen++.

n++The entire infrastructure sector, be it roads, civil aviation, energy, conventional and non-convention, power and petroleum including railways and host of other areas in infrastructure have improved their performance as per targets and the civil aviation sector has begun to grow at the rate of 20%, pausing a serious challenge to railways in terms of its trafficn++, pointed out Mr. Sinha.

Referring to the GST implementation roadmap, the Cabinet Secretary exuded confidence that since government has been working overtime to make sure that the path breaking legislation is implemented as per intended deadline.

The stuck-up projects have already been facilitated for implementation in all segments of Indian economy and whatever remaining needed to be done would be completed as the government has turned out much more serious for its projects implementation in comparison with past practices, concluded Mr. Sinha.

President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta demanded for enactment of laws that would lead to de-criminalization of business activities as also sought that practices be put in place so that entry into business and exit from it becomes hassel free.

Secretary General, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal complimented the government of the day on moving in right direction to smoothen ease of doing business as it would empower the entrepreneurs and make Indian economy reach double digit growth trajectory.

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Amritsar tops the list of 27 new smart cities
Sep 21,2016

The Golden Temple city of Amritsar topped the list of 27 new smart cities announced by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu here today. Eight other cities of pilgrim and tourism importance that made  to the third list of smart cities are ; Ujjain, Tirupati, Agra, Nashik, Madurai, Thanjavur, Ajmer and Varanasi. With this the number of cities selected under Smart City Mission for financing implementation of smart city plans has gone up to 60.

Announcing the cities that were selected in a competition among 63 cities, Shri Naidu said The willingness and enthusiasm among cities to participate in more than one round of competition is a clear evidence of the urban renaissance set in motion. Competition bases selection has made the cities rediscover themselves as they are undertaking a thorough assessment of gaps in the present levels of infrastructure and service delivery and come out with comprehensive, credible and actionable plans for area based development and technology based Pan-city solutions

The Minister informed that the new 27 smart cities have proposed an investment of Rs.66,883 cr under smart city plans including Rs.42,524 cr under Area Based Development and another Rs.11,379 cr for technology based Pan-city solutions that benefits all the citizens of respective cities. With this, the total investment proposed by the 60 cities selected so far has gone up to Rs.1,44,742 cr, he said.

The 27 cities selected in the latest round of Smart City Challenge competition in order of the marks scored by them are:

S.NoCityState1

Amritsar

Punjab

2

Kalyan-Dombivili

Maharashtra

3

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

4

Tirupati

Andhra Pradesh

5

Nagpur

Maharashtra

6

Managaluru

Karnataka

7

Vellore

Tamil Nadu

8

Thane

Maharashtra

9

Gwalior

MP

10

Agra

Uttar Pradesh

11

Nashik

Maharashtra

12

Rourkela

Odisha

13

Kanpur

UP

14

Madurai

Tamil Nadu

15

Tumakuru

Karnataka

16

Kota

Rajasthan

17

Thanjavur

Tamil Nadu

18

Namchi

Sikkim

19

Jalandhar

Punjab

20

Shivamogga

Karnataka

21

Salem

Tamil Nadu

22

Ajmer

Rajasthan

23

Varanasi

UP

24

Kohima

Nagaland

25

Hubbali-Dharwad

Karnataka

26

Aurangabad

Maharashtra

27

Vadodara

Gujarat

The 27 smart cities announced today are from 12 States including 5 from Maharashtra, 4 each from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 3 from Uttar Pradesh and 2 each from Punjab and Rajasthan. Nagaland and Sikkim have made it to the smart city list for the first time.

With todays announcement, implementation of smart city plans is now spread over 27 States and UTs, said Shri Venkaiah Naidu. 9 States/UTs still to enter implementation phase are; Uttarakhand, J & K, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman & Diu and Dadra, Nagar& Haveli.

Stating that Smart City Mission is running ahead of schedule, Shri Venkaiah Naidu informed that the next round of competition to select the remaining 40 cities would begin in January next year.

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Rapid Growth key for Indias Economic Transformation, says CEO NITI Aayog
Sep 21,2016

NITI Aayog emphasized that India needs to inch towards rapid growth for its economic transformation and that States and UTs need to be partner with it for fulfilling the desired objectives, says its CEO, Mr. Amitabh Kant

In order to grow at the rapid rate of growth, the States and UTs should have a growth rate of 12 per cent per annum, only then the intended growth level will be realized, he added.

In his Key Note Session at Chief Secretaries Conclave, organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, the CEO also said that the NITI Aayog would support all those States that strive for higher growth rate with pro-active policies so that industry is activated to committing investments in them as growth and investments are key to economic transformation as well as job creation.

n++A minimum of 12 States of Indian union will have to grow at 12 per cent rate to avail of NITI Aayogs handholding and support. With this approach, India would move on an overall growth rate of 9-10 per cent and even beyondn++, said Mr. Kant.

He lamented that education and other such activities that should have been reformed objectively in the last 68 years, could have led to betterment of Indian economy as a whole, however, with new focus on such activities, India might regain a new strength to recover to attain the desired objective.

Mr. Kant also made a prognosis that with jump in reformative spirits in the list of ease of doing business, a minimum of two per cent growth rate could be added to existing rate of growth and that is why there is clamor within all states and UTs for increasing ease of doing business, India would be attractive hub for economic activities through a spirit of partnership between domestic and global industries.

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EESL Raises Domestic Bonds to Fund Energy Efficiency Projects in India
Sep 21,2016

Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) has made its maiden issuance of bonds in the domestic market to fund energy efficiency projects in India. Domestic bonds worth Rs. 500 crore were issued to investors on private placement basis at a coupon rate of 8.07% per annum. These bonds have been rated AA by ICRA and CARE. The maturity of the bonds range from 3.5 to 7 years on STRPP basis. Meanwhile, Trust Investment Advisors is the sole arranger of the issue.

The bonds are proposed to be listed in WDM segment of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The issuance has been fully subscribed showcasing the faith investors have in the energy efficiency business of the company.

The access to Indian bond markets will be a key milestone for EESL to channelize more investments in the energy efficiency market. For FY 2016-17, the capex requirement of EESL is Rs.3500 crore. Aiding this requirement, these corporate bonds will be the first of many tranches.

EESL is also planning to introduce Green Masala Bonds worth USD 100mn (approx. Rs.700 crore) in November. The company has also tied up funding from multi-lateral agencies like KFW, AFD and ADB for funding its energy efficient projects.

Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL said, n++Our requirements from the markets is quite high; however, we are confident of a great response from investors looking at our unique model.n++

Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a JV of NTPC, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL), Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India, is working towards mainstreaming energy efficiency and is responsible for the worlds largest energy efficiency portfolio (worth 13 BLN USD over a period of 4 years).

EESL aims to unlock the energy efficiency (EE) and demand side management (DSM) market valued at Rs. 1.5 Lakh crore, and implement large-scale EE projects. It seeks to create market access, particularly in the public facilities (municipalities, buildings, agriculture, industry etc.), implement innovative business models, handhold private sector Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) in an effort to ensure replication.

For the year ended March 31, 2016, the company reported total revenue of Rs.715.65 crore and profit before tax (PBT) of Rs 48.12 crore compared to total revenue of Rs.71.10 crore and a PBT ofRs.13.57 crore in the previous year.

EESL has implemented energy efficiency programs in domestic and street lighting, buildings, agriculture, etc., at a scale, which no organization has been able to achieve. The growth of the company during FY 2015-16 has been 10 times in terms of turnover as compared to FY 2014-15. The growth is built on careful design of projects in consultation with stakeholders, robust business models, structured strategy of market aggregation, transparency in operations, addressing barriers for different programs and a professional team of 450+ dedicated officers. With strong linkages to national policies such as NMEEE, UDAY, 24X7 Power for All, EESL seeks to create market access for energy efficiency, particularly for domestic consumers and public facilities like municipalities, buildings, agriculture, industry, etc.

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IIMs to participate in developing 20 world class institutes in the country
Sep 21,2016

IIMs shall be forerunners in developing world class education system in the country. This was stressed by the Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadkar during an interaction with the Press after the meeting with Chairpersons and Directors of IIMs in Shillong today. He said that few important decisions have been taken during the meeting to cater to the increasing demands of quality education in the country.

Firstly, IIMs will submit plans for expansion of their intake capacity, so that more students get opportunity to enroll themselves in the best institutes. Directors of IIMs pondered upon the possibility of the extent of increasing the intake capacity in their respective institutes and assured of submitting the proposals at the earliest.

The Union HRD Minister also said that possibility of expansion of Doctoral programmes was discussed. The Union Minister expressed that creating more quality Ph.D programmes will address the issue of shortage of faculties in institutes. And for creating more PhDs, the Minister said that, better avenues of fellowship will be offered to willing candidates. The Minister also said that in line with the IIT Council, where it has been decided to award PMs scholarship for Ph.D programme, government approval will be sought for PMs scholarship for best of PhD scholars in IIMs. Final decision in this regard will be taken with Cabinet approval, the Minister said.

Also, it was decided that IIMs will participate in a new initiative of government to make 20 world class universities/institutes. Of these 20 world class institutes that the government wishes to build, 10 institutes will be in government sector and 10 in private sector. IIMs will actively participate in creating contents for SWAYAM which is an Information Technology platform hosting Open Online Courses and will provide high quality education on various subjects from 9 to Under Graduate and Post Graduate students -- covering all disciplines. SWAYAM is a free course which can be availed online and shall be a complete channel of new Open Learning system comprising of lectures, reading materials, tutorials, mid exams, final exams and certification.

While replying to one of the query of the reporters regarding reservation in education policy, the Minister reiterated that as far as reservations are concerned, it is the constitution which provides for it and the government has no plans to make changes in reservations.

Earlier in the morning the Minister interacted with the students of IIMs. Remembering the great teacher Late A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the minister said that there is a need to inculcate the willingness for adopting teaching profession among students as the country requires 10 million good teachers to improve the quality of education from primary to higher education; and from higher education to research and innovation. While reiterating the fact that India is the youngest nation with the youngest population, he said that unless there are good passionate teachers to educate these young minds they would not turn into be dividends. He ended his interaction with an appeal to the students to ponder upon the need for research and innovation for developing good quality education.

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HUDCO Pays Dividend of Rs. 120 crore
Sep 21,2016

Dr. M Ravi Kanth Chairman & Managing Director, HUDCO presented the dividend cheques for the financial year 2015-16 to Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, Honble Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information & Broadcasting.

HUDCO has declared a total dividend of Rs. 120.37 crore (inclusive of dividend tax of Rs. 20.36 crore) for the financial year 2015-16 to the Government of India. Out of the total dividend paid, Rs. 69.20 crore to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Rs. 10.08 crore to the Ministry of Urban Development and Rs. 20.73 crore to the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.

In the financial year 2015-16, HUDCO registered highest ever profit after tax of Rs.783.79 crore.

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Under 5 Child Mortality Rate falls significantly by 4 points during 2014
Sep 20,2016

Focussed, committed and targeted interventions of the Government have borne positive fruits in 2014. The Under-5 Child Mortality has fallen by a significant four points during 2013-14. This was stated by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda.

Shri Nadda further mentioned that the recent RGI data released for the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) for the year 2014 indicates 8.16 percent decline in under-five mortality (during 2013-2014) as compared to 5.76 percent decline during 2012-2013. The U5MR in 2014 is 45 compared to U5MR in 2013, which stood at 49 indicating a 4 point decline. While the decline between 2012-13 was by three points ( it was 52 in 2012 and 49 in 2013). This implies that about 1.26 lakh additional under-five deaths have been averted in 2014. The Union Health Minister stated considering the significant progress in 2014, India is set to achieve MDG4 target of under-five mortality of 42 per 1000 live births in 2015.

Significant point decline (4 points and more) in the U5MR has been recorded in 15 states. These are: Assam (7), U.P (7), Rajasthan (6), Chattisgarh (4), Delhi (5), Gujarat (4), Haryana(5), Odisha (6), Himachal Pradesh (5), Jammu & Kashmir (5), Jharkhand (4), Karnataka (4), Madhya Pradesh (4), Punjab (4), West Bengal (5). 16 out of 20 states have shown a decline of more than and equal to 3 points.

Moreover, the rural urban differential in under-five mortality is reduced to 23 points in comparison to 26 points in 2013 indicating good progress in rural areas.

The success has been possible due to dedicated efforts during the neonatal period through establishment of special new-born care units (SNCU), systematic home visits by ASHA workers to all new-borns for improving breastfeeding practices, improvement in quality institutional delivery.

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