Kidambi Srikanth wins Australia Open Super Series

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BAI announced a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakhs for Kidambi Srikanth forwinning Australia Open Super Series. He won his fourth superseries title

Badminton, ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth today lifted the Australian Open Superseries trophy in Sydney. In the summit clash, 11th world ranked Srikanth stunned former world number one and Rio Olympics Gold medalist Chen Long of China in straight games, 22-20, 21-16. It was Srikanth’s first victory over the Chinese in 6 matches.

The trophy is Srikanth’s second this season and fourth overall. He had won the Indonesian Open last week.

National Mission for Clean Ganga: The challenges ahead

National Mission for Clean Ganga: The challenges ahead:                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                   K.N.Pathak

Before the advent of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ganga, the most revered and national river of India, was facing the challenge to its existence due to discharge of increasing quantities of sewage, trade effluents and other pollutants on account of rapid urbanization and industrialization. The stretch of Ganga covers a length of 2525 kilometers across five states namely Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It has a catchment area of 8,61,404 square km covering over a quarter of country’s land area and sustaining 46% of the total population of the country. It touches 118 towns and 1657 Gram Panchayats across 66 districts of 5 states of India.

 

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), created in June, 2014, is being supported by State level Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and west Bengal. The main activities undertaken under Namami Gange include sewage and effluent management including creation of new and rehabilitation of existing STPs, complete sanitation coverage of Gram Panchayats, development of model cremation/dhobi ghats, development of decision support system in GIS platform for efficient planning and monitoring and creation of an IT based monitoring centre with capabilities of real time alerts and prediction. For long term protection and rejuvenation, a provision has been made for 100% funding for the entire life time cost of the treatment of assets created including O&M cost for 10 years. Due importance has also been accorded to bio diversity, conservation, maintenance of flow in the river and afforestation along river side with medicinal and native plant species along with conservation of aquatic species.

 

The expenditure incurred on Namami Gange in the first three years, (ie; 2014-2015 to 2016-17) is Rs 3673.00 crore. For the current year (2017-18), an amount of Rs 2300 crore has been allocated in the budget. It is however, observed that the pace of utilization of fund under this programme has not been satisfactory. The slow implementation of project is attributed to delay in tendering, retendering, non- availability of land, legal issues, natural calamities, delay in permission for road cutting, crossing, local festivals, higher fund requirement and pending  approvals of state Cabinet etc.  Regular monitoring meeting of NMCG with concerned state is expected to help in expediting the pace of the projects implementation and eliminating bottlenecks in making land available and clear the projects through tendering.

 

The Order issued through the Gazette of India on 7thOctober, 2016 constituting River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and management) Authorities under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 lays down a new institutional structure for policy and implementation in fast track manner and empowers NMCG to discharge its functions in independent and accountable manner. The said Authority has its jurisdiction spread over 5 states along the main stem of Ganga and 5 states and Union territory of Delhi along the major tributaries of the river Ganga.

 

The key principles identified for the Authority are:

 

1)      Maintaining the continuity of the flow without altering the natural season variations.

2)      Restoring and maintaining the integral relationship between the surface flow and sub-surface water (ground water),

3)      Restoration and maintenance of the property and quality of water in time bound manner.

4)      Regenerating and maintaining the lost natural vegetation in catchment area,

5)      Regeneration and conservation of the aquatic and riparian biodiversity in river Ganga basin,

6)      To keep the bank of river Ganga and its floodplains as construction free zone to reduce pollution sources and maintain its natural ground water recharge functions

7) Making public participation as integral part of process of rejuvenation, protection and management of the river.

 

River surface cleaning work has been undertaken in major cities on the bank of River Ganga in collaboration with Corporate bodies and Public Sector undertakings. Under Rural Sanitation programme, NMCG has provided Rs 263 Crore to Ministry of Drinking Water &Sanitation for construction of toilets. About 11 lakh toilets have been constructed so far. For renovation/modernization and construction of crematoria based  on standard design, initially, 20-25 urban local bodies (ULBs) are being taken up  with the target of developing 100 crematoria in a year’s time.

 

River front/ ghat development work has been taken up in 7 towns of Kedarnath, Haridwar, Delhi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi & Patna in addition to repair and modernization of existing ghats. Under medium term plan Effluents Management activity, real Time Effluent Monitoring stations have been installed in 508 out of 764 grossly polluting industries of distillery, pulp and paper; tanneries; textile and sugar. Regarding Zero Liquid Discharge, action plan has been under implementation for distilleries since the last quarter of 2016. Vigilance squad of Central Pollution Control Board is closely monitoring for improved compliance.

 

Biodiversity Conservation is being implemented in association with Wildlife Institute of India to cover Golden Mahaseer, Dolphins, Crocodiles, Turtles and Otters etc under conservation programme. 30,000 Hectares of land is targeted to be covered under afforestation programme. For water quality monitoring, in addition to 57 Manual monitoring stations, 113 Real-time monitoring stations are being set up with display boards at selected locations. Steps are being taken for public outreach. Resource materials such as posters, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, hoardings etc. have been circulated/displayed among stake holders.

 

Awareness activities are taken up through Pad Yatras, cleanliness drives, painting competitions for children, shramdaan, talk-shows and dialogues etc. Namami Gange song has been released and played on digital media and during public events. In addition to that featured articles and advertorials through audio-visual media have also been introduced. Regular updates are shared on Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and You tube etc. Mass awareness campaigns, photo exhibitions , setting up Pavilions/Stalls at national/ International events have also been organized. For involvement of public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga, Bhuvan-Ganga Web App and mobile app have been launched.

 

In view of multi stakeholder  nature of the Ganga rejuvenation challenge, 7 Ministries of Govt of India are working together on an action plan since June,2014. Besides, MoU has also been signed between NMCG and 11 Ministries of the Govt of India to ensure convergence of their activities in protection and rejuvenation of river Ganga. MoU has also been signed with National Remote Sensing Centre, a department under Indian Space Research Organization ISRO.

 

For Pollution abatement and cleaning exercise  in river Ganga, the policy making authorities at higher level have emphasized the need of close monitoring, focus on minimizing waste generation and disposal of waste in eco- friendly manner and  publicizing the use of electric crematoria for enhancing its acceptability  among the masses. Uploading the monitoring reports in public domain has been recommended.

 

A number of decisions taken recently indicate that the pace of project implementation has picked up momentum for pollution abatement and making the flow of river incessant. State Ganga Committees and District Ganga Committees have been formed to ensure effective implementation and Participation of people in protection &rejuvenation of Ganga.

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*Author is an independent researcher and writes on socio-economic issues. He is former Joint Adviser of Niti Aayog, Govt of India.

These are the author’s views.

Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor will meet country’s demand for Clean Energy

Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor

It will meet country’s demand for Clean Energy in the immediate and the long-term future

*Srikumar Banerjee

Government’s announcement for the plan of construction of ten new Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) of 700 MWe capacity vindicates the confidence in the indigenous PHWR technology which has been built over a period of nearly four decades. The performance of the present sixteen indigenously built PHWRs is demonstrated by an average capacity factor of about 80% over last five years, their uninterrupted operation over extended periods, the longest being 765 days for a Rajasthan Reactor, RAPS-5 securing the second world ranking and a very low average electricity tariff which is next to that of the hydroelectric power. More than anything else, is the fact that 100% of all their components are manufactured by the Indian industry. Dr. M.R.Srinivasan in a recent column in The Hindu (appeared on May 19,2017) has succinctly outlined the history of the development of the PHWR technology and the near-term strategy of the growth of nuclear power capacity. The evolution of the PHWR technology and the upgradation of their safety features have been covered in a series of scientific papers published in a special section of the April ‘17 Issue of “Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science’- a journal published by American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

 

The PHWR technology in India started in the late nineteen sixties with the construction of the first 220 MWe reactor, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, RAPS-1 with a design similar with that of the Douglas Point reactor in Canada under the joint Indo-Canadian nuclear co-operation. Canada supplied all main equipment for this first unit. India retained responsibility for construction, installation and commissioning activities. For the second unit (RAPS-2), import content was reduced considerably and indigenization was taken up for major pieces of equipment. Following the complete withdrawal of the Canadian support in 1974 after Pokhran-1, Indian nuclear engineers completed the construction and the plant was made operational with majority of the components made in India. From the third PHWR unit (Madras Atomic Power Station, MAPS-1) onwards, the evolution and indigenisation of the design began with the objective of keeping abreast with evolutionary changes taking place worldwide and of meeting new safety criteria. Improvements were also incorporated for reduction of the construction time and cost, and enhancing reliability of operation leading to better capacity factors. The first two units of PHWR using indigenously developed standardized 220 MWe design were set up at the Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS). This standardized and optimised design had several new safety systems which have been incorporated in five more twin-unit atomic power stations with capacity of 2 x 220 MWe located at Kakrapar, Kaiga and Rawatbhata. For realising the economics of scale, the design of 540 MWe PHWR was developed and two such units were constructed at Tarapur. Further optimisations were carried out by utilising the excess thermal margins and improve the economics and NPCIL modified the 540 MWe PHWR design to that of 700 MWe capacity without much design changes. Four units of this design are being constructed at Rawatbhata and Kakrapar at present.

 

As far as the safety is concerned, the PHWR technology scores well in terms of its several inherent safety features. The biggest advantage of the PHWR design is the use of thin walled pressure tubes instead of large pressure vessels used in pressure vessel type reactors. This results in a distribution of pressure boundaries to large number of small diameter pressure tubes. The consequence of an accidental rupture of the pressure boundary in such a design will have a much less severity than that in a pressure vessel type reactor. The PHWR core is always uniquely surrounded by huge quantity of low temperature and low pressure water in the calandria vessel and in the calandria vault. These coolant inventories significantly delay the progression of the event and, thereby, provide adequate time for interventions and corrective actions by operators to mitigate the consequences. In fact, the large quantity of vault water can serve as a core catcher for in-vessel retention of disintegrated fuel debris in the case of a very low probability core melt accident. These inherent heat sinks are required only when the primary heat sink through steam generators or the shutdown cooling system becomes unavailable in the most severe accident scenario.

 

In addition, the Indian 700 MWe PHWR design has enhanced safety through dedicated Passive Decay Heat Removal System which has the capability of removing decay heat from core without requiring any operator actions similar with the technology adopted for Generation III+ plants to address the Fukushima type accident. The 700 MWe Indian PHWR has steel-lined containment to reduce the leakages and containment spray system to reduce the containment pressure in case of a loss of coolant accident and for scrubbing radio nuclides in case of their release beyond the design limit.

 

The main reasons for selecting PHWRs in the 1960s for the First Stage of the Indian nuclear power programme have been the use of natural uranium oxide as the fuel, the best utilisation of mined uranium in energy production and the prospect of establishing a completely self-reliant technology. Over four decades of relentless research, design and development work in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Nuclear Power Corporation and the matching contributions of some of their industry partners who had shown the courage in taking up the challenging manufacturing and construction work have enabled India in establishing the technology in totality. Mastering the entire fuel cycle including prospecting of minerals, mining, processing and manufacturing of fuel and structural materials, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and immobilization of radioactive waste has given India a unique position of self-reliance in the atomic energy domain. The constraint of a limited reserve of uranium in the country which earlier impeded a rapid growth in nuclear power has now been eased by augmented production of indigenous uranium and import of uranium under the civil nuclear co-operation agreements with several countries. During the last financial-year Nuclear Fuel Complex had a record production of nuclear fuel exceeding 1500 tonne and new uranium deposits discovered by Atomic Mineral Division for Exploration and research have taken the uranium reserve in the country to a level of 200000 tonne.

 

India is now poised for a rapid growth in the nuclear power capacity which is essential for meeting the demand of clean electricity. The per-capita electricity consumption in India (now close to 1000 KWh) is nearly one-third of the world average and there is an obvious need for a substantial enhancement of non-carbon electricity production to improve the quality of life of our people. The impressive growth in the solar and wind power has made a visible impact in increased availability of electricity in many areas. However, it needs to be emphasized that the distributed and intermittent sources of energy such as solar and wind cannot meet the base load demand very effectively. The nuclear energy source is concentrated, continuous and reliable and, therefore, can be complemented by solar and wind energy in meeting the overall demand of electricity with practically zero carbon foot-print. While the huge electricity demand from large cities and industrial complexes require uninterrupted and concentrated form of energy, there is an equally big demand of distributed energy in our rural areas. Energy planners are, therefore, combining these different patterns of energy requirement to achieve an optimised solution.

 

The next issue which needs to be addressed is the speed at which we can grow our nuclear power capacity. In this context one can examine the experience of France and USA in nineteen seventies and of China in the recent years. They all have achieved very impressive rapid growth by adopting a convoy or a serial mode of installation of nuclear power plants of a few standardised designs. In such a strategy, the industry can gear up their dedicated production lines for sophisticated nuclear components and construction companies can deploy their manpower and skill-set most effectively. The decision that 10 PHWRs of 700 MWe will be installed in the immediate future will generate enough enthusiasm in the industry for taking up the challenge of serial production of nuclear components of exacting specifications. The expansion in nuclear power activity will not only broaden the supplier base but also make the participating industry more quality conscious. They can even qualify to be exporters of nuclear grade components. A reduction in the gestation period of construction of nuclear plants will have a strong impact in reducing the cost of electricity.

 

As has been mentioned by Dr.Srinivasan, India is now in a position to embark upon building 900 MWe Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs) of her own design. The capability of making large size pressure vessel is now available within the country and our own isotope enrichment plants will be able to supply a part of the required enriched uranium fuel within a decade. These will be in addition to imported PWRs from Russia, France and USA with the aim of an accelerated growth of nuclear energy in the country. The signing of the recent agreement between India and Russia for the construction of two more 1000 MWe PWRs (Units 5 and 6) in Kudankulam confirms this overall plan. The convenience of operation and a high average capacity factor have made PWRs the most sought after nuclear power reactors in the world, nearly 85% of all power reactors being the PWR type.  There will be a special advantage of operating a mix of PWRs and PHWRs in India as the spent fuel of the former which will contain more than 1% of uranium-235 can be reprocessed and further utilized as the fuel in PHWRs operating in tandem. This evolving fuel cycle will eventually extend the power generation from the First Stage of the well- known three stage programme quite significantly.

 

The merit of the closed fuel cycle which has been adopted right from the beginning of the Indian programme is not only in multiplying the fuel resource but also in reducing the radio-active burden of the nuclear waste dramatically. In this context, the successful development of separation of minor actinides from the nuclear waste in India, deployed in pilot plant scale, has drawn world-wide attention. Plutonium recovered by reprocessing of spent fuel from operating PHWRs has been used in making the plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel for the full core of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) which has initiated the commissioning activities before commencing operation. With the entry of India in her Second Stage of nuclear power programme in which Fast Breeder Reactors will not only enable the growth of the installed nuclear capacity, but also generate more fissile materials, plutonium-239 and uranium-233 by conversion of fertile isotopes, uranium-238 and thorium-232 respectively. An enhanced scope and an accelerated implementation of the First Stage of the programme will make a far- reaching impact on securing the energy self-reliance of the country. By operating multiple recycles in the uranium-plutonium fuel cycle the supply of fissile material is expected to be enhanced by a factor of 60 and by using the huge reserve of thorium, the current estimate being four times that of uranium, India can sustain the supply of clean nuclear energy for several centuries.

 

Dr Srikumar Banerjee is a former Chairman AEC & Secretary DAE. Currently he is Homi Bhabha Chair Professor, DAE; Chancellor, Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) and Chancellor Kashmir University.

PM Narendra Modi arrives in Washington

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in US capital Washington this morning on the second leg of his three nation tour. Indian Ambassador to US Navtej Sarna and Charge de Affairs of US Embassy Marykay Loss Carlson received Mr Modi at the Andrew’s Air Force Base. Large number of NRIs present outside the base greeted Mr Modi upon his arrival.

In the US, Mr Modi will attend a community reception today and hold talks with President Donald Trump tomorrow. Ahead of his US visit, Mr Modi said he is looking forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views. In a tweet, Prime Minister said his US visit is aimed at deepening ties between the two countries which will benefit the two nations and the world. Apart from official meetings with Mr Trump and his cabinet colleagues, Mr Modi will be meeting some prominent American CEOs.

Calling Mr Modi a true friend, President Trump said he looks
forward to welcome Prime Minister Modi and discuss important strategic issues.

The two leaders will hold talks tomorrow in the White House. They will spend several hours together in various settings including one-on-one and delegation level meetings, a reception and a working dinner. The working dinner that Mr Trump is hosting for Mr Modi is the first of its kind under the present administration. A senior US official said this will be the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this administration.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Indian community has the capacity to incorporate every diversity in the world into itself. Addressing Indian origin people at Radhakrishna Temple complex in Portugal capital Lisbon this evening, he praised Indian diaspora saying they are working as the true ambassadors of India across world.

Mr Modi said, wherever Indians have gone, they have maintained the Indian cultural heritage and also have dedicatedly contributed to the country of their residence.

Reiterating his confidence in Indian youth, Mr Modi said over 65 percent of Indians today are below 35 years of age. He said, the country that has such youthful resource also has youthful dreams and is today progressing fast in every field.

The Prime minister said India and Portugal share democratic values and can contribute together in global welfare by bringing together people of all communities. He also lauded efforts of Portugal in taking forward the ‘Yoga movement’ in Europe.

Later, Mr Modi headed towards US capital Washington DC where he will hold talks with President Donald Trump.

The magic of Yoga takes over in Latin America  

The magic of Yoga takes over in Latin America:     *Huma Siddiqui

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Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to India, Ms. Mariela Cruz Alvarez practicing Yoga.

There is no better feeling than to feel one with one’s inner self. For centuries Yoga is known to awaken in one, the inner peace and tranquility we often go looking for in material things.

 

Little surprise Latin Americans are clued in to this brilliant science. I fact they rightly consider India a land of yoga, meditation, philosophy, wisdom, culture and spiritualism. Yoga schools can be found all over the region. Yoga and meditation are taught in some Latin American jails to calm down the convicts.  With miles of untouched natural habitat and the deeply held spiritual traditions of the Maya and Incan civilizations, Central and South America is the perfect place to embark on a spiritual journey.

 

Though Yoga has been practiced in the region for last several years, yet in last couple of year, the kind of ‘explosion’ in yoga seekers and awareness in Indian culture has increased rapidly.  Infact, Yoga is now set for promotion in Peru, Bolivia and adjoining parts of Latin America, with a MoU being signed in New Delhi in this regard recently. The Embassy of India in Peru’s capital Lima has taken up the responsibility for the promotion of Voluntary Scheme for Evaluation and Certification of Yoga Professionals, developed by the Quality Council of India (QCI) at the bidding of the Ministry of AYUSH.

 

Little surprise then that Latin America is the destination of choice among yoga enthusiasts looking for ways to spice up their yoga retreat experiences – the region just never seems to run out of sizzling options. Countries including Costa Rica, Nicaragua,  Peru; Brazil; Honduras; Guatemala; Mexico; Ecuador;  Chile, all are sought after destinations by the yoga enthusiasts.

 

A small country Costa Rica has an Indian population of 200 in 5 million populations.  But these 200 people have engaged a larger population of Costa Ricans to be looking at India with high esteem, for cultural, technological and economic reasons. Costa Rica is known as a jewel in Central America region for its natural beauty, peace and economical stability which have also led to expansion of seekers of healthy lifestyle. About a decade ago when an Indian company Havells acquired business of Sylvania worldwide, a young family moved to Costa Rica to manage the regional interest of the company. They not only managed the company, but also expanded the knowledge of India and aroused interest in the spiritual aspect of the Indian culture by opening up Indian restaurants in the country.

 

 

Keeping with the spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for June 21 to be International Yoga day, Kapil Gulati the owner of “Taj Mahal” restaurant developed an area to have regular Yoga sessions and Indian classical dance sessions, in addition to Indian cuisine cooking classes.  The whole idea is to make mini India at Taj Mahal, where the mystique of India and its culture can be experienced by people living so far away from home. To add to the ambiance the owner has three peacocks –India’s national bird, which seems to love dancing in the wonderful weather of Costa Rica while locals are doing Yoga. The musical instruments at restaurants, Yoga classes, Indian classical dance classes, Hindi language classes, Indian cuisine cooking classes, Indian festival celebrations, Bollywood themed Costa Rican movie,   … the Indian culture is blossoming in Costa Rica… and now Costa Rican Ambassador in India is herself a fine example how Indian culture has impacted positively to Costa Ricans.

 

“The world is going through a lot of havoc in the Kali Yuga and as long as we remain connected to whom we are and know where we are going and why we will help balance the chaos. Yoga is one of the many options to do this.  Yoga is not a religion but a science and art and it can benefit all humanity, says Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica, Ms. Mariela Cruz Alvarez.

 

The yoga passionate who is a grandmother but doesn’t look it, says, “I got interested in yoga through a personal crisis.  I started searching within for answers to my heart and my search took me here to India.  After my first three trips to the north as a tourist I felt the calling to go south and I found my Guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath Joisin Mysore, Karnataka, back in 2003.”

 

Ms Alvarez has been to India 14 times including this assignment as an ambassador to India.  “The last 11 trips to my school in India to practice Ashtanga yoga with Guruji and now Sharathji after his grandfather passing in 2009.  My school is very popular in the West and many students from all over the world are appreciating the benefits of yoga as a traditional classical method. The source of yoga is India and that is very important to know because now many teach in the west with no qualifications.  A lot of commercial yoga is watered down yoga as fitness or social gig, instead of a spiritual sadhana,” she says.

 

Yoga is getting very popular in Costa Rica and we are a hub for international teachers, yoga retreats, nature and practice.  Costa Rica has amazing venues in the beaches, volcanes and jungle and yoga practice transforms us to appreciate beauty, peace and freedom- those values my country deeply understands.  We are a nation of democracy and green development, small in size but big in heart and principles.

 

In her first mission as a diplomat after almost 30 years of raising a family and being an ambassador for Ashtanga yoga in the world, she says, “My intention in India as a diplomat is to meet my colleagues with an open heart,  no matter if they practice or not.  One of the gifts of this practice is acceptance of who we are and acceptance and unconditional love for others.  I feel so grateful to know them and admire them all deeply.  The blessing my Guru Sharath Jois gave me to teach has put me in touch with many wonderful people in Latin America, Europe and India.  I have no words to thank him for his trust in me.”

 

She says that “I deeply admire India in all senses and that the wisdom that I have found here has transformed my life and the lives of those around me beyond any expectations. My Guruji used to say:  Practice and all is coming.  I have been through hard times as any soul in this life and yoga has supported me and healed me.  My intention here now in my tenure is to promote peace and stability,   the main value that Costa Rica has to offer the world besides our concern with the environment and our efforts for education and healthcare.  I feel proud to be a Costarican and my country is very much interested in creating a deep relationship with yours.  We may be small in size and population but big in intention.  India has taught me so much:  I hope I can serve my country in the best way and yours as well.”

 

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*The Author is Senior Correspondent with the Financial Express and writes extensively about Latin America.

 

View expressed in the article are author’s personal.

Please also see the picture below

 

PM Modi calls upon people to use E-GEM

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon the people to use Government -E- Marketplace, E-GEM portal to sell their products or services to the government. Sharing his Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio with the countrymen and the people abroad today, the Prime Minister said, the E-GEM portal is an excellent example of minimum government and maximum governance. He said, its objective is minimum price and maximum ease, efficiency and transparency. The Prime Minister referred to the experience of a lady from Madurai in Tamil Nadu, who had got money from the MUDRA Scheme for starting her business through this portal. She used the portal to sell her products. He said, had she not written to him, he would not have realised that because of E-GEM, a housewife running a small business can have the items on her inventory purchased directly by the Prime Minister’s Office.

On International Day of Yoga which was celebrated just a few days back, Mr Modi said, Yoga has permeated the entire world and its threads have bound everyone together and have become the means to unite the world. He said, in a small country like Singapore , programmes were organised at 70 places with a week-long campaign and the United Nations released ten stamps on this day. He said, Yoga has created a world record again this time with Ahmedabad setting a new record where around 55 thousand people performed Yoga together. Referring to the benefits of practicing Yoga, Mr Modi said, now the health conscious society is taking steps from fitness to wellness realising that Yoga is the best way for true wellness.

Referring to landmark achievements in space science, the Prime Minister said whereas Indians have their feet firmly on the ground with Yoga, they have also their dreams to soar beyond horizons to far away skies.He said, India’s flag is flying high not only on earth but also in space and just two days ago, ISRO launched 30 nano Satellites with Cartosat-2 series. He said, the Satellites will give a lot of help in the field of agriculture and dealing with natural disasters. The Prime Minister also mentioned Mars Mission which has completed one thousand days in orbit. He said, the mission which had a life of six months, has not only crossed its life- span but even after thousand days Mangalyaan Mission is at work sending images, providing information and collating scientific data.

On increasing inclination of youth to the field of sports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, if children are interested in sports they should be encouraged and supported by the school, college and family. He said, promotion of sports creates spirit of sportsmanship and it has a great significance in overall development of personality. Mr Modi said, every Indian sportsman should nurture dreams for the next Olympics. He also congratulated Badminton player Kidambi Shrikant for winning Indonesia Open.

On cleanliness drive, Mr Modi said, it has become a mass movement and is no longer confined to being a government programme. Referring to Mubarakpur village of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh which has set an example of constructing toilets out of their own resources, the Prime Minister felicitated the residents of the village for transforming the pious occasion of Ramadan into opportunity for social welfare. He said, the village returned the 17 lakh rupees financial assistance received from the government saying this sum be used for other facilities in the village. He also thanked the people and administration of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand and Haryana for achieving the objective of Open Defecation Free status.

Mr Modi also referred to another example of Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh where District administration constructed 10 thousand household toilets with public participation in one hundred hours making 71 villages Open Defecation Free.

The Prime Minister called for further fortification of the strength and spirit of democracy which pervades the very being of Indian. In this context, he mentioned a letter written by Prakash Tripathi reminiscing about the emergency which was imposed on 25th of June in 1975. He said, democracy is not only a system but also a sanskar a part of ethos. Mr Modi said, there is a need to be constantly alert about democracy and the events that inflicted harm upon democracy must be remembered. He reminded that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. He said, 25th June 1975 was a dark night which no one can ever forget.

The Prime Minister urged people to welcome their guests by books or handkerchiefs instead of bouquets. He said, use of khadi handkerchiefs can be a support to innumerable underprivileged engaged in Khadi and Village Industries.

The Prime Minister also extended his heartiest greetings to all countrymen on the occasion of the Rath Yatra, Car festival of Lord Jagannath and Eid-ul- Fitr saying India’s diversity is its strength.

“Transforming India Dialogues’ being organised on June 28th

Dear Sir/ Madam
Namaskar
 
This is to cordially invite you to “Transforming India Dialogues‘ being organised on June 28th at 4.00PM at Deputy Chairman Hall, Constitution Club of India (Nearest Metro Station-Patel Chowk).
 
Speaker – Shri. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation
 
Chair – Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Vice Chairman of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini
 
Invitation card – Enclosed

Kindly note that the invitation is non-transferrable and entry is by invitation only. 
 
A line of confirmation would be very helpful.
 
Sincerely
—–
Prashant Chauhan
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini