24 26 Felicitation Sulabh Visit Mithila Ratna Award for Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
29 32 Assam Newsmakers
“From Revolt to Revolution, Dr Pathak’s Story”– Neetu Chandra
Determined efforts from villagers turned Barren land into oasis
Two women fighter pilots among over 100 Flying Officers in IAF
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RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561
INSIDE 1. SANITATION
Key to healthy workforce 2. HEALTH
Emphasis on accessibility 3. EDUCATION
Skilling the youth 4. GENDER
Better scope than ever 5. AGRICULTURE
Farmers adopt technology 6. WATER
Effficient use of scarce resource 7. EMPLOYMENT
Creating jobs for all
8. MAKE IN INDIA
Thumbs up for local enterprises 9. SCIENCE
Reaching out to the moon 10. TECHNOLOGY
Crossing new boundaries
Countering climate change 12. TAX
Incentivising compliance 13. STARTUPS
Push for the brave innovators 14. DIGITAL PLAY
Bringing in the future
Making a home a basic right 16. AADHAR
Making things transparent 17. ROADWAYS
Highways to development
Lifeline of India
A GOOD NEWS WEEKLY Turnaround in global economy good news for the country
03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 20 21 22 23
REASONS TO SMILE IN 2018
Vol - 2 | Issue - 03 | January 01 - 07, 2018 | Price ` 5/-
PARSA VENKATESHWAR RAO JR
HE New Year brings glad tidings for India. A research agency, Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) has said that India will become the fifth largest economy in the world in dollar terms, overtaking France and Britain, in 2018. CEBR also says that in 2032, China will take the first place in world economies, with the United States in the second and India in the third places. It will apparent as to why this is a natural outcome as you look at the 18 reasons that our team has singled out, which signal the tremendous transformation that is taking place in the country through the policy measures initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in the fields of social and physical infrastructure. The country will have not only a more efficient railway and roadways systems, but it will also have the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) reaching out to the moon, and the education – school and college – system getting a strong online push. With focus on skill development, greater number of Indians will have the right work skills and they will find work not only in India but in the world markets as well. More people will be living in urban areas, and smart cities will become home to millions of the urbanites and they will be digitally connected. In many ways, the country is ready to take its place at the high table of the comity of nations because it is preparing itself for the big role. All assessments of economic experts shows that the world is at last coming out the 2008 global financial meltdown, and after a decade there is the prospect of worldwide economic growth. The revival in the global economy brings cheers to Indian exporters and it would also mean that the country ’s Information Technology (IT) work force will be in greater demand.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: SANITATION
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Clean India Cornerstone Of Healthy Nation CONSTRUCTION OF TOILETS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS BEING DONE ON A WAR FOOTING
018 will be a good year for sanitation in India. With the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan gaining significant momentum, many states are set to be Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2018. The centre has wholeheartedly acknowledged the fact that proper sanitation is a cornerstone in the well-being of the population as unsanitary surroundings form the base for spreading numerous diseases due to the associated issues like bacteria from open defecation and poor waste disposal. Here we feature some news from around the country highlighting what’s going to happen in the sanitation world in 2018. SWACHH SURVEKSHAN-2018 The results for the nationwide sanitation survey will come out in 2018. The Central Government launched ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ to rank all the 4,041 cities and towns of the country based on infrastructure development for improved sanitation services and their sustainability, outcomes, citizen connect and visible impact on ground. Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar launched the survey, the third in the series and released a comprehensive Survey Tool Kit, explaining the methodology, weightages and new features and thrust areas that help cities and towns prepare for the field survey over the next six months. Tomar said that this first pan-India sanitation survey will assess sanitation levels in all the cities and towns of the country impacting the lives of about 40 crore urban people and is the largest of its kind in the world. SWACHHTA TUNES OF 2018 In-line with the Swachh Sarvekshan 2018 survey, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs released a song with the opening line ‘Swachhata Ki Jyot Jagi Hai’(The flame of sanitation has been lit). This song will accompany the ministry’s social media interactions in 2018.
Sanitation coverage is increasing exponentially along with encouraging government initiatives like the Swachh Survekshan rankings This song is to be used as the anthem for the survey in 2018. It has been released by Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. The song conceived by Supriyo has been scripted by renowned lyricist Prasoon Joshi and visualized free for the ministry by producer Mukesh Bhatt. Shankar Mahadevan provided the music. The song will be dubbed into regional languages for wider outreach. STATES THAT WILL BE ODF IN 2018 India has made fast and remarkable progress with sanitation coverage increasing to around 66.5% with 2.25 lakh villages and 169 districts becoming ODF. We are well on our way to achieve the 2019 goals. 1. Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reiterated the commitment to make the entire state ODF by December 2018 and stressed that SBM is among the top priority programmess in the state.
A major step has been taken in the direction of cleaning the holy river Ganga by putting the required famework in place. 30 Swachhta Raths have been flagged off in U.P. jointly by the chief minister, central ministers Uma Bharti and Tomar. The Raths are mobile vans equipped with LED panels for screening Swachhta films and also a Nukkad Natak Team for community engagement in villages. The Raths would tour the entire state and create mass awareness and would help in triggering behaviour change among the community members. About 300 Raths in many states will tour thousands of villages to disseminate message of swachhta. 2. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu announced that Andhra Pradesh will be declared ODF by March 2018. This was announced during a Collectors’ Conference in Vijayawada, as a part of the Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign.
Smile Please! Government launched ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018 Andhra Pradesh will be declared ODF by March 2018 Yogi commitment to make the entire state ODF by December 2018
Adding momentum to this drive more than 2 lakh toilet pits were dug on September 17, 2017. These are targeted to be converted into one lakh toilets by 2nd October. 3. Chhattisgarh While the Swachh Bharat target for the country is October 2019, the State of Chhattisgarh will become ODF by the end of 2018 itself. This was announced by Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh in Raipur. He was speaking at a 2-day Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) National Conclave organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Raipur for District Collectors and officers from the Phase 1 focus districts for SBM. The Chief Minister went on to stress the importance of involving women and children as the ambassadors for SBM, adding that girls in Chhattisgarh have started keeping the presence of a toilet as a pre-condition for marriage into a family. On its part, the Government of Chhattisgarh has decided to give preference to its ODF blocks in schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) for distribution of LPG connections, he added, to incentivize more blocks and districts to achieve ODF status. BIO-TOILETS MAKE A COMEBACK IN 2018 Almost every person in the country can corroborate the fact that they have travelled in the railways at least once in their lifetime. Catering to the travel needs of an economy as large as India’s, which alone comprises 17.74 per cent of the total world population, management and maintenance of rail infrastructure is a mammoth task in itself. Until the much recent introduction of bio-toilets, there was no provision to treat the human waste except letting the discharge flow onto the rail tracks. In line with Swachh Bharat and ODF campaigns, bio-toilets were introduced to curb this unhygienic practice, and at present, more than 900 trains have been augmented with bio-toilets in either all or some coaches of the trains.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: HEALTH
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Big Measures To Make Medical Care Accessible
Syringes and other medical equipments will cost less in 2018
POLICIES IN PLACE TO CONTROL PRICES OF MEDICINES AND MEDICAL ACCESSORIES WHICH WILL HELP THE POOR
Measles Rubella Vaccination Drive will be completed in 2018
018 will bring with it a host of reforms and plans introduced by the government that follow the trend of ‘conscious policies’. From the cost of syringes going down to nation-wide vaccination campaigns, 2018 will be a good year for healthcare in the country. Here we feature some of the reasons why the health care scenario appears to be optimistic about 2018. SYRINGES WILL COST LESS IN 2018 The implementation of this directive has to be done by January 26, 2018. A circular was issued after a meeting called by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on December 18. NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh advised the manufacturers of syringes and needles to regulate the prices themselves and provide a voluntary cap, failing which would impact the government to take steps, as it did with the capping of the rates of stents and orthopaedic implants. “AISNMA’s executive and the larger membership decided that it was important to protect patients and the reputation of the industry. Hence it decided to impose a voluntarily capped trade margin of 75% over the discounted net ex-factory price (including GST),” the circular explained. The decision will have all syringes and needles – disposable, auto-disable, reuse prevention and insulin pen needle alike under its purview. Their collective move to print MRP on a 75% margin will act as a voluntary cap by the association itself. It is assumed that this will push f o re i g n
Centre’s Action Plan against diseases for 2018 and beyond
manufacturers to adopt the practice as well due to market pressure. All manufacturers have been given time until January 2018 to help clear current stocks and make a hassle-free transition. CENTRE’S ACTION PLAN AGAINST DISEASES FOR 2018 AND BEYOND Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley while presenting the General Budget 201718 said that Government has prepared an action plan to eliminate kala-azar and filariasis by 2017-2018, leprosy by 2018 and measles by 2020. Elimination of tuberculosis by 2025 is also on the cards. Similarly, action plan has been prepared to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from 39 in 2014 to 28 by 2019 and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) from 167 in 2011-13 to 100 by 2018-2020. 1.5 lakh Health Sub Centres will be transformed into Health and Wellness Centres. STEPS TO STRENGTHEN TRAINING IN MEDICINE Finance Minister Jaitley said that to strengthen secondary and tertiary levels of health care, adequate availability of specialist doctors is needed. We have therefore decided to take steps to create additional 5,000 postgraduate seats per annum. In addition, steps will be taken to roll-out DNB courses in big district hospitals; strengthen PG teaching in select ESI and Municipal Corporation Hospitals; and encourage reputed private hospitals to start DNB courses. The central government will work with the state governments to take these tasks forward. The Government is committed to take necessary steps for structural transformation of the regulatory framework of
Government is committed to take necessary steps for structural transformation of the regulatory framework of medical education medical education and practice in India. This will translate to a host of changes in the medical training framework in 2018. DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES TO BE AMENDED The Budget also proposed to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules to ensure availability of drugs at reasonable prices and promote use of generic medicines. New rules for regulating medical devices will also be formulated. These rules will be internationally harmonised and attract investment into this sector. This will reduce the cost of such devices. MEASLES RUBELLA VACCINATION DRIVE WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2018 The expert group consisting of national and international experts complimented India on the growing trend in MCV (measles containing vaccine) coverage, and the significant reduction in MCV-1st dose and MCV2nd dose dropout rate which declined
from 44% to 13%. There has also been a reduction of DPT booster dose and MCV2 missed opportunities from 43% to 7% . The group has advised for the MR vaccination campaign to cover the whole country by 2018. At present, 13 states have been covered by the vaccination campaign. The most recent campaigns in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were reviewed in detail, and the experts complimented both states for excellent performance and their innovations to achieve very high coverage. The Group has recommended strengthening the surveillance for MR and to expand the MR laboratory network. Measles kills an estimated 49,000 children in India each year, which is about 37% of the global deaths. India has set an ambitious goal to eliminate measles from the country. Measles Rubella vaccine has been introduced in 13 states. It is planned to expand across the country, covering 41 crore children by the end of 2018.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: EDUCATION
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Indian Education System Future-Ready In 2018
Access to SWAYAM education portal online, with 350 online courses
THE TOTAL CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON EDUCATION IN 2017-18 IS 3.7% OF INDIA’S GDP
National Testing Agency will conduct major entrance examinations
The government laid out the plan forenergizing the youth of the country, 2018 is going to be an intersting year for Education Sector
HE Indian education sector is poised at an interesting juncture. There is a growing focus on achieving learning outcomes. Also, ed-tech platforms are being adopted quickly and content is being rewritten and redesigned to adapt to a variety of emerging media. Today, the emphasis is on creating adequate skills to enable the student who has passed out to find employment and earn his or her livelihood. Skill development is undoubtedly a primary goal of education. The government laid out the plan forenergizing the youth of the country. It is done by creating an environment conducive to innovation and scientific thought process. 2018 promises to be an interesting year for education. DIGITALLY IMPARTED EDUCATION To give an impetus to online education, Swayam, or Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), aimed at skill development and employment generation, is being set up. This initiative will offer upto 350 online courses which will be transmitted through Direct-To-Home (DTH) channels. This move will help the student learn from the best faculty in India. Government focus on making education more
EDTECH: UPTURN EDUCATION IN 2018
examinations and focus its primary task of disseminating quality education. accessible to educationally backward blocks, along with the steps taken to ramp up the Skill India Mission, will also help in maximizing the potential and capabilities of youth in the country. NATIONAL TESTING AGENCY The Human Resources Development (HRD)Ministry also proposed the setting up of a National Testing Agency (NTA) for all entrance exams. The step is proposed to release CBSE from the additional task of conducting such
ACCREDITATION SYSTEM Government will implement a national ranking and accreditation system. The colleges will be identified based on accreditation and ranking, and given autonomous status. This would provide an increased focus towards Quality Education. 100 INTERNATIONAL SKILL CENTRES The Government have decided to open 100 international skill centres. Work is already in progress to map India skills
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) AR/VR technologies help learners experience and interact with digital learning objects to support their learning. Educators can leverage these high-fidelity educational experiences to achieve better learning outcomes.
Learning Analytics It can become an important source of information and insight for decisionmaking for educators. The implications of a data-driven approach will be farreaching and will permeate not just teaching and learning but other areas, including guidance on career choices.
Adaptive Learning Through Artificial Intelligence It has the potential to solve a crucial challenge in classroom learning-how to engage learners of different abilities in the same classroom. In the hands of teachers it can become an important tool to ensure more uniform learning.
Online Assessments Online assessment solutions are clearly more customizable, interactive, secure and quick to deliver. They work across multiple platforms and offer detailed interactive dashboards to analyze performance from various aspects.
Sankalp, a market related trading programme,to be launched
sector and superpose it on the international skills sector. These 100 international skills centres will go a long way towards providing skilled manpower for the international market. SANKALP PROGRAM- SKILL DEVELOPMENT The continued focus on Skill Development is heartening. The Government promised that Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra centres are going to be state-of-the-art skill centres to be set up across 600 districts. A big obstacle that skill development faced till now was paucity of finances for creating awareness among youth and influencers, but with Rs4000 crore set aside towards SANKALP programme for Skill Development for training of 1 crore youth. INNOVATIVE FUND The government also proposes to create an innovative fund for secondary education for ensuring universal access, gender parity and improvement in quality. This will include information and communication technology (ICT) enabled learning, transformation, and the focus will be on 3,479 educationally backward blocks. ANNUAL LEARNING OUTCOME The Government have proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning outcomes in schools. Emphasis will be on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local, innovative content. ‘CHUNAUTI 2018’ Students from Class 6 to 9 will be mapped and the weakest students will be provided with “special focus” to enhance learning levels. The “best and dynamic teachers” would work on the weakest students in all the schools, besides holding extra remedial classes for them.The government will focus on the “weakest students” of class 9 to help ensure that they successfully clear class 10 by 2018, a move aimed at ‘leaving no child behind’ in its schools.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Making 2018 A Year Of Opportunity For Women
Smile Please! Jayapal’s name in the first Power List of ‘Politics’ 2018 Mahila Shakti Kendras(MSK) will be set up in 50 backward districts
GOOD DAYS FOR INDIAN WOMEN STARTED IN 2017 WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE IN 2018
The centre is considering 50 percent reservation for women
Bachao Yojana by government is now self-evident. At the same time, the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme for girls of 0-10 years has worked to secure the future of the daughters of the country.
OMEN constitute half of the country. In order to make this country a fully powerful country, women empowerment is necessary. Empowering women means understanding their rights, their need to be independent in every area which is necessary for their proper growth and development. In 2017 women have proclaimed their success in various fields, from sports to strategic security, while the government has also taken many important steps towards women empowerment. This is expected to continue in 2018. The NDA government is giving new dimension to women empowerment. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central government is fully committed to protect women’s rights, women empowerment and women’s safety. QUOTA FOR WOMEN IN PANCHAYAT ELECTIONS Government of India is considering 50 per cent reservation for women in the Panchayati Raj Institutions along with the Women’s Reservation Bill. If things go as planned, then both these measures should go through. This will ensure 33 per cent women’s participation in Lok Sabha and
SCHEME FOR ADOLESCENT GIRLS APPROVED GOVERNMENT
“To awaken the people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the nation moves”- Jawaharlal Nehru Legislative Assemblies, and 50 per cent women participation in Panchayat elections. So far, only 33 percent seats are reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions. The government has not only given place to women in the cabinet, but it has proved through its policies that it considers the issues of women’s rights and empowerment to be of great
importance. In addition to the implementation of schemes for women empowerment, the government is working to promote women in every area of the society.
Government has approved expansion and universalisation of the Scheme for Adolescent Girls in a phased manner i.e. in additional 303 districts in 2017-18 and the remaining districts in 2018-19 with the simultaneous phasing out of Kishori Shakti Yojana. Thus at present, 508 districts in the country are covered under Scheme for Adolescent Girls. In the identified areas of remaining districts KSY is implemented. All the districts in the States including North-Eastern region are covered under the scheme in its
AMOUNT RELEASED (RS. IN LAKH) Scheme for Kishori Shakti Year Adolescent Yojana Girls (SAG) (KSY)
PROMOTE FEMALE EDUCATION For the education and prosperity of women, the government has left no stone unturned. The success of Beti
phased expansion. Funds allocated by the Ministry under SAG and KSY schemes during the last three years and the current year are as above.
NO MORE INJUSTICE The NDA government is fully in favour of women’s liberation and justice. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (“WCD”) had launched an online complaint platform named “SHe-Box”, which stands for “Sexual Harassment Electronic Box”. SHe-Box has been introduced to allow female employees or visitors a platform to raise complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace. This facility has also been extended to private sector employees WOMEN SKILLS Under the Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojana, more than 11 lakh women have been trained in different types of skills to make them eligible for employment. Work has been done to promote women entrepreneurship and women’s skills. 70% of the beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s scheme are women. MAHILA SHAKTI KENDRA Government of India has approved Mahila Shakti Kendra for implementation during 2017-18 and 2019-20 to empower rural women. It will enable rural women to approach the government for availing their entitlements and it empowers them through training and capacity building. In the first year (2017-18), Mahila Shakti Kendras (MSK) will be set up in 50 of the 115 backward districts. Four hundred blocks (there are eight blocks in every district) are to be covered under the block level initiative. In the second year (2018-19), remaining 65 districts will be taken up along with the 50 districts from previous year. In the third year, activities will be taken up in all 115 backward districts covering 920 blocks (i.e. 8 blocks per district) for six months.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: AGRICULTURE
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Framing Looks Mighty Easy In 2018 Focussing On Rural India AGRI-TECH IS GOING TO BE A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO MAKING AGRICULTURE MORE REMUNERATIVE IN
Smile Please! Coverage of e-NAM will be expanded from 250 to 585 APMCs Government will set up new mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras Addition of Rs 20,000 crore to the corpus of Long Term Irrigation Fund
• Rs 850 crore for four dairying projects - ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds.
FARMER’S WELFARE Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness
GRICULTURAL production prov ides income, employment and food at affordable prices as well as raw material for the processing industry and foreign exchange from exports. Creating a sustainable agricultural development path means improving the quality of life in rural areas, ensuring enough food for present and future generations and generating sufficient income for farmers. India’s government will likely increase funding for the farm and rural sectors in the budget for the coming fiscal year. Next year government will focus on farmers, rural jobs and infrastructure while making all attempts to follow a fiscal prudence path. CHANGES IN AGRICULTURAL LAWS To help farmers get better value for their produce, a model law on contract farming will be circulated among states. According to Indian finance minister reiterated the government’s earlier goal of bringing in more regulated agricultural markets on the electronic National
Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform. The central government will urge state governments to deist perishables such as vegetables and fruits Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) and allow farmers to sell such items directly to consumers to get a better price. Currently, farmers are required to sell such produce in markets managed by APMCs. Funding for the rural and agriculture sector would be increased by 24% in fiscal 2017-2018 to Rs 1.87 trillion. AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES The government has been also focusing on agricultural subsidies to increase productivity and yields from cultivation. The central government launched the direct benefit transfer (DBT) for fertilisers in various states in the month of October 2017. The government provides short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7 percent per annum. FASAL BIMA YOJANA The government announced increasing coverage under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to Rs 13,240 crore for the
• ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana’ to be implemented in mission mode. 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation. • Implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which are languishing for a long time, will be fast tracked • A dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund will be created in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs 20,000 crore • Programme for sustainable management of ground water resources with an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore will be implemented through multilateral funding • 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up under MGNREGA • Promote organic farming through ‘Parmparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ and ‘Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region’. next financial year, 2018. The scheme will target to cover 40% of the crop area next year and 50% year after. The government has increased the allocation from Rs 5,500 to Rs 9,000 crore in 2017-18 for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. DEVELOPMENT THROUGH NABARD The government relied more on routing finances through financial institutions like the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development
RURAL SECTOR • Every block under drought and rural distress will be taken up as an intensive Block under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mission • A sum of Rs 38,500 crore allocated for MGNREGS. • 300 Urban Clusters will be developed under the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission • 100% village electrification by 1st May, 2018. • District Level Committees under Chairmanship of senior most Lok Sabha MP from the district for monitoring and implementation of designated Central Sector and Centrally Sponsored Schemes. • Priority allocation from Centrally Sponsored Schemes to be made to reward villages that have become free from open defecation. • A new Digital Literacy Mission Scheme for rural India to cover around 6 crore additional household within the next 3 years. • National Land Record Modernization Programme has been revamped. New scheme Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan proposed with allocation of Rs 655 crore. (NABARD) rather than increasing budgetary allocation for programs. This will ensure the proper management and applications of the funds allocated for targeted cause. Under the ‘Har Khet Ko Pani’ initiative, it allocated of Rs 5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated micro-irrigation fund under NABARD. Additionally, it also allocated of Rs 8,000 crore for the setting up of a dairy development fund under NABARD.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: WATER
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Meeting The Rising Demand In Efficient Ways 285 NEW IRRIGATION PROJECTS AND 30 RIVER-LINKS ON THE CARDS FOR 2018
Centre has proposed various schemes, projects and initiatives for sustainable management of water in the country
ATER is life, and clean water means health. But we never know the worth it holds, till it dries up. Hence, of late, water has become a keyword in our society, and a hot topic of concern and discussions. India annually extracts 245 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) of groundwater which accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the total global groundwater abstraction. About 222 BCM out of
245 BCM of groundwater is being used annually for irrigation while remaining 23 BCM is consumed by domestic and industry sector. As many as 112 districts in India have less than 20 per cent irrigation coverage and time bound actions are
THE ‘ENGINEERING MIRACLE’ OF SARDAR SAROVAR DAM
The Sardar Sarovar project was a vision of the first deputy prime minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961 after carrying out a study on the usage of the Narmada river water. On the occasion of his 67th birthday in September of 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river and gave Sardar Patel’s vision a shape. The project which was much debated for decades is now reported to be one of the largest dams in the world. Having a length of 1.2 kms and a
needed to meet the challenges of water scarcity and flood management. Thus, the Centre has proposed various schemes, projects and initiatives for sustainable management of water in the country. depth of 163 metres, the dam is expected to be shared among the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Of the 35 billion cubic metres of water available for consumption from the dam, Madhya Pradesh would receive 65 per cent, Gujarat 32 per cent and Rajasthan and Maharashtra would be eligible for the remaining 3 per cent. The project has the potential to feed as many as 20 million people, provide domestic and industrial water for about 30 million, employ about 1 million, and provide valuable peak electric power in an area with high unmet power demand.
Smile Please! Water has become a keyword in society, and topic of concern 30 river-linking projects have been approved and will be implemented The government bets on 285 new irrigation projects by end of 2018
RIVER LINKING Inter-linking of rivers is very important to save people from floods and droughts. In this regard, 30 projects for river linking have been approved by the government, out of which work on three projects, namely Ken- Betwa, Par- Tapi Narmada and Daman Ganga Pinjal, are expected to start in the new year. With the river linking regime, the government is exploring the possibility of creating a large fund for inter-liking of rivers. The government is of the view that new ways have to be found for use of treated waste water, and it is emphasising on the need for inventing innovative methods for using 70 per cent of river water which goes into seas. Facing a sharp decline in groundwater level in many parts of the country due to over-exploitation of existing resources, the Centre has proposed in 2017 a new World Bankbacked Rs 6,000 crore scheme to manage groundwater resources in India. Called the National Ground Water Management improvement scheme, the project is meant for sustainable management of ground water by addressing supply as well as demand side to reduce ground water consumption. 285 NEW IRRIGATION PROJECTS The government bets on as many as 285 new projects which are scheduled to be taken up to provide irrigation for 1.88 crore hectare of land by the end of 2018. Through the plethora of projects, drip irrigation and irrigation through pipeline will be the priority areas for the government as this will save large amounts of water and also cut down the cost involved in acquiring land. The government is keen to provide safe drinking water to every household and irrigation water for every farm, with clear targets for groundwater recharge, water use efficiency and aquifer protection to various states.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: EMPLOYMENT
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Come 2018, Job Opportunities and Fatter Wallets Await THE NEW YEAR 2018 IS SET TO SWING THE PENDULUM INTO THE JOB GROWTH ZONE
NDIA had had a rough ride on the job front in 2017. Over 10 million youth join the workforce every year, but there are not as many jobs. But the story of job scarcity could be a thing of the past. 2018 is set to swing the pendulum into the job growth zone. Experts opine that businesses in almost all sectors -- especially financial services, retail and e-commerce, and media and entertainment -- are looking to hire at a faster pace. It is not just jobs. India Inc is also promising better pay hikes of 10-15 per cent for the “right talent” in 2018 after a challenging year for the job market, stunned by postdemonetisation layoffs in traditional sectors like textiles and the advent of artificial intelligence in new-age ones. The turn in the tide is discernible on multiple counts: quantum of job offers, national employment policy, salary hikes, diversity of recruiters, continental spread and the number of pre-placement offers (PPOs). CAMPUS PLACEMENTS Campus placements are signalling green shoots to India’s frosty job market. PPOs have risen 25-30 per
BE A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IN 2018
Smile Please! Campus placements are signaling green shoots to India’s job market Government is expected to introduce National Employment Policy in 2018 India Inc is also promising pay hikes of 10-15%
IT sector boom in 2018. Many first-time recruiters like US-based cloud data manager Rubrik, Amsterdam’s Optiver and UK’s Halma are hiring from Indian campuses. Besides American and European MNCs, Asian companies from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore are making both domestic and global job offers.
The governmnet in the next budget might introduce a National Employment Policy to generate quality jobs in every industry cent in top colleges. Job offers have increased across campuses. Amazon, aggressive on India, is set to visit 90 engineering colleges and B-schools to fill a 25 per cent rise in
S per the budget documents, the workforce of the central government establishments would be 35.67 lakh in 2018, about 2.83 lakh more than the actual head count of 32.84 lakh in 2016. The Home Ministry will add 6,076 more personnel to take its strength to 24,778 in 2018. About 1.06 lakh more workforce will be added in police departments to take the total head count to 11,13,689 in 2018. There will be an estimated increase of 2,109 persons in the External Affairs Ministry as against its actual strength of 9,294 in 2016. In newly created Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the government is estimated to add 2,027 jobs by 2018. Its
jobs at the company in 2018. At IIT-Bombay, international offers have risen from 50 in 2016 to 60 in 2017, and are likely to witness a further spurt on the back of expected
actual strength in 2016 was 53 only. There would be an estimated 1,045 more staff in 2018 in the Ministry of Civil Aviation from its actual strength of 1,141 in 2016. In the Department of Posts, there would be 20,442 more workforce from its strength of 4,48,840. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will add 2,165 more jobs in 2018 to take its strength to 5,094. An estimated 91 people will be part of the workforce in the Minority Affairs Ministry in 2018, in addition to its actual strength of 169 in 2016. The Mines Ministry will have 1,351 more jobs to take its strength to 9,481 and the Department of Space will have an estimated 17,894 personnel, 3,068 more.
EMPLOYMENT POLICY Prompted by rising unemployment in the country, the government in the next budget might introduce a national employment policy outlining a comprehensive blueprint to generate quality jobs in every industry. The policy blueprint will be shaped by economic, social and labour policy interventions. The employment policy is likely to have multiple goals. It will incentivize employers to create more jobs, introduce economic reforms, appealing to companies along with supporting the medium and small scale industries which provide a huge chunk of the jobs. Another significant aim of the policy would be to engage more workers in the country’s organised sector because that would ensure minimum wages and social security. The policy is likely to have a huge impact as over 90 per cent of workers in India are engaged in the informal sector and hence do not have access to social security of any kind or even the statutory minimum wage. The government is reportedly closely assessing the current employment situation in the country, including the macroeconomic environment, demographic context and sectoral challenges in generating jobs, following which it will set targets and monitor them. Given that the upcoming budget is the last full one to be presented by the current government before general elections in 2019, it does not have a lot of room to dither if it wants to make the NEP a reality.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: MAKE IN INDIA
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
MAKE IN INDIA
Tax Incentives To Make Manufacturing Attractive
Scheme for creating employment in leather and footwear industries
GOVERNMENT KEEN TO IMPROVE INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT INDUSTRY
New Central scheme with a focus on export infrastructure
HE “Make in India” initiative is based on four pillars, which have been identified to give boost to entrepreneurship in India, not only in manufacturing, but also in other sectors. The four pillars are: NEW PROCESSES ‘Make in India’ recognizes ‘ease of doing business’ as the single most important factor to promote entrepreneurship. A number of initiatives have already been undertaken to ease business environment. NEW INFRASTRUCTURE Government intends to develop industrial corridors and smart cities, create world class infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology and high-speed communication. Innovation and research activities are supported through a fast paced registration system and improved infrastructure for IPR registration. The requirement of skills for industry are to be identified and accordingly development of workforce to be taken up. NEW SECTORS FDI has been opened up in defence production, insurance, medical devices, construction and railway infrastructure in a big way. NEW MINDSET In order to partner with industry in economic development of the country, Government shall act as a facilitator and not a regulator. While 2017 saw ‘Make in India’ progress, 2018 will be even bigger for the programme. Here we feature what’s to come in 2018 under the ‘Make in India’ programme. THE MAKE IN INDIA BUDGET AND PROPOSALS FOR 2018 Then Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has
Government intends to develop industrial corridors and smart cities, create world class infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology and highspeed communication welcomed the Union Budget 201718 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley which provides renewed impetus to manufacturing and Make in India, export, infrastructure and Government e-marketplace. Several measures have been announced in the Budget 2017-18 to provide impetus to commerce and industry. The key initiatives include: A special scheme for creating employment in leather and footwear industries is proposed to be implemented, on the lines of the scheme in textile and apparel sector. The long standing demand of startups has been accepted and the profit (-linked deduction) exemption available to them for 3 years out of 5 years is changed to 3 years out of 7 years. For the purpose of carry forward of losses in respect of startups, the condition of continuous
holding of 51% of voting rights has been relaxed subject to the condition that the holding of the original promoter/promoters continues. Further liberalisation of FDI policy is under consideration and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was abolished in 2017-18. In order to make MSME companies more viable, income tax for companies with annual turnover up to Rs. 50 crore is reduced to 25%. About 96% of companies will get this benefit of lower taxation. This will make our MSME sector more competitive as compared to large companies. Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) credit is allowed to be carried forward up to a period of 15 years instead of 10 years at present. For creating an eco-system to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing a provision of Rs. 745 crores in 201718 in incentive schemes like M-SIPS and EDF. The incentives and allocation has been exponentially increased following the increase in number of investment proposals. Inverted duty has been rectified in several products in the chemicals and petrochemicals, textiles, metals, renewable energy sectors. Duty changes to improve domestic manufacturing of medical devices, those used for digital transactions
Liberalisation of FDI policy is under consideration
and capital goods have also been announced. Infrastructure – a key pillar under the Make in India programme – has been strengthened with a large budgetary allocation. The total allocation for infrastructure development in 2017-18 stands at Rs. 3,96,135 crores. A specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi-modal transport facilities, to be drawn up and implemented. Tourism is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy. Incredible India 2.0 is proposed to be launched to promote tourism and employment. Five Special Tourism Zone, anchored on SPVs in partnership with the States would be set up. Modernisation and upgradation of identified corridor railway lines of 3,500 kms will be commissioned, 25 stations are expected to be awarded for station redevelopment and 500 stations will be made differently abled friendly by providing lifts and escalatorsduring 2017-18. These provide large opportunities under the Make in India initiative Initiatives in Skill Development provide essential support for the Make in India sectors to thrive. Launch of SANKALP scheme to provide market relevant training to 3.5 crore youth and STRIVE scheme to improve the quality and market relevance of vocational training. A new and restructured Central scheme with a focus on export infrastructure, namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) was launched in 2017-18. The Government e-market place which is now functional for procurement of goods and services, has been selected as one of the winners of the South Asia Procurement Innovation Awards of the World Bank.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: SCIENCE
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Somewhere, Something Incredible Is Waiting To Be Known
ISRO will finally go ahead with the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2018
FROM THE CHANDRAYAAN 2 MISSION TO INDIA’S FIRST ‘DESI-GPS’, SCIENCE IN 2018 WILL SEE MAJOR BREAKTHROUGHS
ISRO will join the league of ‘lunar landers’
CIENTIFIC breakthroughs and groundbreaking discoveries have been part and parcel of the Indian scientific atmosphere. From launching hundreds of satellites to launching India’s own GPS, 2018 is going to be a fantastic year for science in the country. Here we feature some of the reasons why science will be awesome in 2018! ISRO’S 2018 GAMEPLAN ISRO has set new goals for 2018. Not only will ISRO launch at least one mission every month, it has also decided to join the league of ‘lunarlanders’ and finally go ahead with the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2018. “We are planning to have at least one launch mission a month in 2018 to deploy satellites in the earth’s orbit for various applications,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar in an interview. Kumar also mentioned that there has been an increase in the budget. ISRO was given a budget of about Rs
9,000 crore for 2017-2018. “For 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years, we are looking to receive increased budgets stet, in view of the missions,” he further added while addressing the press at the inauguration of a Gallery on Space Technology at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum in Bengaluru. The Cartosat-2E remote-sensing spacecraft along with 28 nano and micro-satellites will be the first mission, which would be launched by early January if not by its planned date.
TeamIndus, the Indian team amongst the five finalists competing for the $30Amillion Google Lunar XPRIZE. They are working to fly a 600kg spacecraft designed by TeamIndus on its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) before March 31, 2018 for the competition. Kumar said that discussions are still going on for this launch.“It is never too late to do anything in science and technology. We can always make a mark. When we put in our best efforts, no one can beat us,” the ISRO head said.
REACHING FOR THE MOON The Chandrayaan-2 mission will include ISRO’s second lunar orbiter, a lander, and a lunar rover. The agency explains it will be launched into Earth orbit by a GSLV Mark II rocket. The orbiter will then take the package to lunar orbit, 100 km above the surface, from which the lander will descend. In 2017, the successful launch of the GSLV Mark III rocket put India in the select club of nations with a heavy-lift rocket. ISRO is also teaming up with
NAVIC – THE ‘DESI’ GPS The seventh instalment of the sevensatellite constellation launched by ISRO is now complete. The IRNSS1G was the last satellite to its constellation of seven satellites needed to complete the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System + (IRNSS). NavIC [Navic] means ‘sailor’ or ‘navigator’ in Hindi. The system will provide accurate geographic location information to users within the country. Features of Desi-GPS: 1. While the American GPS system consists of 24 satellites in constellation, the NavIC will only have seven. The US GPS system covers the entire globe whereas these will
2018 will be a fantastic year for science in India including ISRO’s missions and the nobel prize series being held in India in Goa
Nobel Prize Series to be held in India from February 1-28, 2018
be focused on India and its surroundings. The system will reach eastern parts of Arabian peninsula in the west and also reach parts of China in the east. In the south, the NavIC’s signals will touch Malaysia. 2. Our ‘Desi-GPS’ will be more accurate than its American counterpart. Where the regular US-GPS provides an accuracy of 20-30m, the NavIC will provide an accuracy of 5m. 3. The overall cost of the indigenous navigation system for ISRO comes to `1,420 crore. 4. The navigation system will aid terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. It will also help vehicle tracking and fleet management in addition to disaster management, mapping, geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers. 5. The service can also be integrated with mobile phones and used as a navigation tool for hikers and travellers. 6. The restricted service will also be put to use in the military for missile delivery, navigation and tracking of aircraft. The Indian Air Force has already set up receivers to use the system. NOBELS IN GOA A trilateral Memorandum of Understanding was executed between the Goa government, Department of Bio-Technology, Government of India and Nobel Media, Sweden to hold the 2018 Nobel Prize Series in India. The event will be held from February 1-28, 2018 along with a month-long exhibition introduced by the Nobel Museum in Sweden. The event will be jointly organised by Department of Bio-Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in collaboration with Nobel Media, Sweden and Department of Science and Technology. Vijay Raghavan, Director, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, said the Ministry is very excited to host the event in Goa.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: TECHNOLOGY
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Technology Makes More technology Possible-The E-Status Of 2018
India’s first self-propelled train is hitting the tracks in 2018
INDIA’S TECH SECTOR IS BOOMING AND 2018 WILL BE EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER
Village panchayats will get high speed broadband connections
DARPAN IS COMING! With the completion of the DARPAN
iPhone SE2’s will be manufactured under ‘Make-In-India’ in Bengaluru
in the initial stages of production at Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. While the Bengaluru facility was originally established for assembling iPhone SE models in 2017, the iPhone SE2 present better prospects for both Apple and Indian workers. Apple is already enjoying reduced tariffs by adhering to ‘Make-in-India’ which is leading to cheaper market prices on iPhones. The local manufacturing process is already helping Apple maintain an affordable price of the iPhone SE in India. This trend would continue with its fresh version. According to the FDI, foreign companies producing goods in the country need to source 30 percent of their components locally. Therefore, the iPhone SE 2 is likely to be marketed as “Made in India, Designed by Apple in California”
ECHNOLOGY is booming in India. From the silicon parks of Bengaluru to the latest iPhones being launched, India has indeed become a hub of the tech sector. With increased investments in IT by the government along with government initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, and DARPAN are bringing cultural, technological, and social advancement to India in a holistic way. Just as 2017 saw the introduction of cutting edgetechnology from around the world, 2018 is going to witness even bigger things! Here we feature some of the reasons to look forward to 2018 SELF-PROPELLED TRAIN India’s first self-propelled train is hitting the tracks in 2018. The Train-2018 project will be a 16 coach train set based on the Delhi-Metro design, albeit on a much higher scale. These self-propelled locomotives will run at speeds of 160 km/h and would cover long distances as well. The coaches of the train will be individually powered by a propulsion system. Ravindra Gupta, a member of the Railway Board, said in an interview “This will be India’s first indigenous train set and will be rolled out on the tracks by December 2018.” Gupta also added that the trains sets will have a faster turnaround and speed. This will allow the trains to reach their destinations quicker. These train sets will also be the first to have automatic doors, which will open and close at stations, reducing the risk of accidents. Additionally, the trains will have wider windows and ergonomically designed seating, making them more comfortable. The fully air-conditioned train sets will also be equipped with biotoilets.The project is named Train-2018 and will be manufactured at “half the cost” of importing a similar set.
From indigenous self-propelled trains to iPhones being ‘made in India’, tech in 2018 is going to be revolutionary project, which aims at digitalising rural post offices, there will be a big change in the lives of rural people, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said. Manoj Sinha said 650 India Post Payments Banks (IPPBs) will start working by March 31, 2018. “As you know, by 31 March, the Indian postal department will establish 650 India Post Payments Banks. This was a big challenge for us which has now reached its last phase,” Sinha said at an event. “Another great challenge that the department has taken up is to connect these 650 IPPBs to the 1.5 lakh post offices in the country.” The DARPAN project -- Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for a New India -- is a part of the larger IT modernisation project being undertaken by the Department of Posts at an outlay of around Rs 1,400 crore. “The goal of the project is to provide a low power technology solution (information and communications
technology device) to each Branch Postmaster which will enable each of approximately 1.29 lakh Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states,” a statement from the Department of Posts said. iPHONE SE2, ‘MADE-IN-INDIA’ Apple will present the ‘Made-In-India’ iPhone SE2’s in 2018 Tech giant Apple will be launching the successor to iPhone SE in early 2018. These new iPhones will be manufactured by a Taiwanese manufacturer, Wistron, at its Bengaluru factory which has already produced the original iPhone SE. According to reports, the new device will be unveiled by Apple in the first quarter of 2018. The reported launch schedule appears to be in line with the original iPhone SE that debuted in March last year. Further, the new lowend iPhone model is reportedly already
BROADBAND TO 2.5 LAKH VILLAGE PANCHAYATS BSNL, under the Digital India programme, is going to introduce cutting edge NG-OTN technology to bring broadband internet to village panchayats in 2018. In sync with Digital India Programme the Prime Minister, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL); which is providing integrated Telecom Services to the Nation has introduced state of art 100G Optical Transport Network (NG-OTN) across India for providing Super Express Highways. The NG-OTN was launched by Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Communication (Independent Charge). The Government has set a target of providing broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh village panchyats by the end of December 2018. So far more than 1 lakh villages have been already provided with optical fiber broadband connectivity. NG-OTN will also be helpful to service Central Government projects like Bharatnet, SWAN, NKN etc. Anupam Srivastava ,CMD BSNL, expressed confidence in collaboration between BSNL and Fibre Home to provide several such more projects to the country.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: ENVIRONMENT
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Greener India And Cleaner Environment For You
There is an increased awareness about the environment among Indians
2018 WILL BE CLEANER AND GREENER INDEED AS WE MOVE TOWARDS A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS SOCIETY
Concepts like Bengaluru’s ‘Bus Day’ will solve problems like smogs
ne of the reasons to be optimistic about 2018 is the growing awareness about the importance of environmental protection and conservation. With governments and corporations going green at a faster rate, 2018 will see a plethora of ecofriendly initiatives in the form of cleaner railways, solar power systems, less air pollution. GIVING YAMUNA A NEW LEASE OF LIFE K ICK-starting the long-awaited ambitious plan, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will now follow through on its promises to give a new lease of life to the Yamuna river by developing the water front. The total cost of developing the western bank is estimated at
approximately Rs 10 cr. According to a notification by the DDA to the monitoring authority, National Green Tribunal, the first of the four phases of development of the western bank will be completed by April 2018. A 300m green buffer will be developed from the edge of the river and will comprise floodplain forests and grasslands. While the DDA has already planted over 800 trees on the floodplain, the next phase of action is to develop the area around Golden Jubilee Park in Yamuna Pushta. A 3.5 km long, 100-150m wide strip
will be developed along the Salimgarh Bypass and utilised as ‘’greenway’ for cyclists. A 2.5 km walkway will also be constructed. The rationale behind the project is to help Delhi connect to nature and help restore the river contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage to its former glory. DDA may undertake a separate water treatment solution for the Yamuna too. LESS TRAFFIC DAY As the nation’s capital struggles to solve the smog problem this winter,
From greening the Yamuna Banks to Increased Solar power generation capacities, India is headed towards a greener future in 2018
The government and corporates of India are going green
Karnataka state government is taking steps to ensure that Bengaluru isn’t subjected to the same turmoil. The government’s plan is to launch a campaign to ease the number of private vehicles plying on city streets. Transport Minister H.M Revanna has said, “We already have 64 lakh private vehicles on the road and would like to avoid a smog situation in Bengaluru. While we are not banning private vehicles on Less Traffic Day, we will try to create awareness among Bengalureans to utilise public transport or hire yellow-board vehicles to avoid pollution in the city.” The last such concept, “Bus Day” was well-received by the citizens. The use of public transport was encouraged, and ambient air quality went up. However, it did not permeate all sections of society. “Less Traffic Day” hopes to have a more significant impact. Especially, in cases where one person is driving an empty car. BOLD SOLAR PLANS FOR 2018 The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released a roadmap for India’s solar sector until 2019-20. The government is planning to auction 20 GW in 2017-18, 30 GW in 2018-19 and another 30 GW in 2019-20. According to IHS Markit, a London based analysis company, out of the 20 GW of expected installations in 2018, 1.3 GW of capacity has already been commissioned via the Andhra Pradesh Solar Park and Rajasthan Solar Park. In Andhra Pradesh, projects were commissioned by Softbank, Azure Power, Greenko and Adani Power at tariffs ranging from INR 4.63 ($0.072) to 5.13 ($0.08)/kWh, via 25 year power purchase agreements (PPAs). Another 2.3 GW of tenders have been awarded, with the projects currently under construction. Out of this, 1.1 GW were awarded to various developers, at tariffs ranging from INR 2.44 ($0.037) to 4.36 ($0.068)/ kWh.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: TAXATION
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Bonanza For Tax-Payers – Less To Pay, Easy Resolution Of Disputes PM NARENDRA MODI MAY FINALLY REDUCE INCOME TAX BURDEN IN 2018-19
N the New Year, the country will get good news on the economic front. As the fastest growing economy, the world’s highest rating agencies are happy and it is believed that India will overake Britain and France and it will be the world’s fifth largest economy in 2018. Given that 2018-19 budget is to be presented on February 1, being the last full budget of PM Modi’s current tenure, the chances of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announcing measures to make the tax system reasonable and simple, are quite high. Demonetization will play an important role in increasing income
PROVIDING CERTAINITY IN TAXATION • Committed to providing a stable and predictable taxation regime and reduce black money. • Domestic taxpayers can declare undisclosed income or such income represented in the form of any asset by paying tax at 30%, and surcharge at 7.5% and penalty at 7.5%, which is a total of 45% of the undisclosed income. Declarants will have immunity from prosecution. Surcharge levied at 7.5% of undisclosed income will be called Krishi Kalyan surcharge, to be used for agriculture and rural economy.
Smile Please! Economic growth rate may be 8% - World Bank Measures to make tax system reasonable & simple, are quite high PM Modi has already hinted at the need to lessen the direct tax burden
tax revenues. In the first three quarters of the current fiscal, advance tax (the personal income tax) grew some 34.8% Tax exemptions will be a relief to middle class, promote digital economy and affordable housing. Capital gains tax-holding period for immovable property to be reduced to 2 years from 3, tax to be levied for unoccupied houses a year after getting completion certificate. Boost for affordable housing with more realistic size limits set. Capital gains exemption investment basket of instruments to be made expanded. The government might make some changes to laws or even pass a new law to confiscate assets of offenders,
• New Dispute Resolution Scheme to be introduced. No penalty in respect of cases with disputed tax up to Rs 10 lakh. Cases with disputed tax exceeding Rs 10 lakh to be subjected to 25% of the minimum of the imposable penalty. Any pending appeal against a penalty order can also be settled by paying 25% of the minimum of the imposable penalty and tax interest on quantum addition. • High Level Committee chaired by Revenue Secretary to oversee fresh cases where assessing officer applies the retrospective amendment. Onetime scheme of Dispute Resolution for ongoing cases under retrospective amendment. • Disallowance will be limited to 1% of the average monthly value of investments yielding exempt income, but not exceeding the actual expenditure claimed under rule 8D of Section 14A of Income Tax Act. • Time limit of one year for disposing petitions of tax payers seeking waiver of interest and penalty. • Mandatory for the assessing officer to grant stay of demand once the assessee pays 15% of the disputed demand, while the appeal
is pending before Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals). • Monetary limit for deciding an appeal by a single member Bench of ITAT enhanced from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. SIMPLIFICATION AND RATIONALIZATION OF TAXES • 13 cesses, levied by various Ministries in which revenue collection is less than Rs 50 crore in a year to be abolished. For non-residents providing alternative documents to PAN card, higher TDS not to apply. • Additional options to banking companies and financial institutions, including NBFCs, for reversal of input tax credits with respect to nontaxable services. Customs Act to provide for deferred payment of customs duties for importers and exporters with proven track record. Customs Single Window Project to be implemented at major ports and airports starting from beginning of next financial year. • Revision of return extended to Central Excise assessees. • Increase in free baggage allowance for international passengers. Filing of baggage only for those carrying dutiable goods.
Indian economy is on the cusp of a cyclical recovery and government has continued to implementstructural reform including those who have fled the country to escape legal consequences.
Indian economy is expected to witness sharp recovery in the January-March quarter and its GDP growth likely to be around 7.5% for 2018, says a global investment bank Nomura report. The Indian economy is on the cusp of a cyclical recovery and the government has continued to implement structural reforms and prudent macro policies, the tangible benefits of which may be harder to pinpoint right now, but over time will be positive for growth. Given the base effects, Nomura expects the growth in the first half of 2018 to be at 7.8 per cent, higher than the 7.1 per cent of the second half of 2017. The reflationary effects of demonetization are yet to be seen. We expect cash-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, construction, real estate, trade, transport, hotels and communications to benefit most.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: STARTUP
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Roller-Coaster Ride For Young Entrepreneurs VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS PLAYING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN STARTUPS
017 was a year when Indian startups came of age, on the back of Softbank’s big bucks. But the year also proved to be a roller-coaster ride for these young entrepreneurs. Despite the sharp rise in fund inflows this year, compared to the previous three years, the number of such deals and companies that received investments was far lower than in 2016 because a major chunk of the money went to a handful of unicorns. It has been two years since the nation witnessed the launch of its flagship scheme Startup India. And while on the one hand the initiative has helped make India the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, on the other hand industry feedback shows that a lot of issues need to be urgently addressed in order to continue fostering the entrepreneurial culture in the country. The trends in 2018 are expected to have a higher note of positivity, in line with increasing venture capital and bullish government sentiments.
In 2017, more than 20 new Venture
THE GRAND AGRI-TECH CHALLENGE!
Smile Please! It has been two years since the launch of flagship ‘Startup India’ 2018 promises to be the year that the VC industry finds its feet Government plans to change its tax policy for startups in 2018 budget
India has also seen an increase in micro VC funds, largely in line with global trends. 2018 is expected to see increased competition amongst funds for early-stage deals. Large corporates are seeking to increase M&A activity. These will be focused around acquiring startups which have unique IPs and strong tech teams. Overall, 2018 promises to be the year that the VC industry finds its feet. The industry has a healthy mix of portfolio diversification with consumer, enterprise, deep tech startups finding favour. The rise of sector-specific micro VCs augurs well for the industry and will bring in fresh ideas.
India plans to change its tax policy for startups in budget of 2018 to make the space more attractive on the investments front Capital (VC) funds were launched, and many existing ones raised large new funds. Indian VC funds have risen in excess of $4 billion in the past two years, but new investments by
The Ministry of Agriculture has a challenge round the corner for agritech startups coming up in 2018. The ministry wants these young and innovative entrepreneurs to solve 12 key problems facing India’s farm sector. As a reward, a total of 24 startups – meaning thereby two solutions for each problem – would be shortlisted and get incubation support to go from an idea to prototype. They would get hand-holding support from domain experts in agriculture along with realtime testing for the proof of their concept. Already established startups will receive a three-month market access program which would help
these firms have decreased by more than 30 per cent since 2016. 2018 will see increased early-stage investing by these firms, with 2019 seeing a new peak in terms of deal activity.
them scale their solutions. They’d also get access to the real-time agriculture market. The Ministry of Agriculture, along with Invest India, has listed 12 problems on the Startup India website. The deadline for applying to the challenge is January 15, 2018, according to details released on the Startup India website and the winner will be announced on February 1. India is one of the top six active geographies for deals in the agri-tech space. The grand challenge could turn out to be a double opportunity for the agri-tech sector which has been growing fast and, of course, for the startups as well.
POLICY REVIEW & TAX TWEAKS
The government is not only paying heed to the industry feedback, but it is also taking steps to proactively refine the policy. According to reports, the government is reviewing the regime for startups, especially on the taxation side of things, in an attempt to make it more attractive for entrepreneurs. Plus, India plans to change its tax policy for startups in budget of 2018 to make the space more attractive on the investments front, as revealed by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek in an interview. No changes in tax proposals with regard to startups are unlikely rto happen before Budget 2018, though some of the procedural issues can be fixed earlier if they only require a change in rules through notifications. If that comes through, India’s ongoing startup boom – thousand ventures have reportedly launched operations in 2017 – will only accelerate further in the new year. In the meantime, entrepreneurs can just wait and avail of the many benefits already extended to them, like the three-year income tax holiday in the first seven years of business for startups incorporated after March 31, 2016.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: DIGITAL INDIA
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
It’s Digital all The Way Future of Digital Payment in 2018 THE GOVERNMENT HAS A CLEAR FOCUS ON BUILDING LONG-TERM INFRASTUCTURE AND CASHLESS ECOSYSTEM FOR THE COUNTRY
Smile Please! Government will put restrictions on cash transations up to a certain limit Dedicated CERT for the financial sector Aadhaar based smart cards to be introduced for senior citizens
RIVING the nation to a digital future continues to be a priority for Government of India (GoI), which will help bring the informal economy into the formal framework. Use of digital platforms will increase with the new programmes that have been announced. Digitisation has been the calling card of the Modi government ever since it came to power in 2014. It has tried to launch initiatives in this regard across several areas, such as monetary transactions, launching and running of businesses, railways, education, and governance. In a bid to curb black money and run the government’s welfare programme smoothly, government will put restrictions on cash transactions up to a certain limit. During the demonetization phase, it was noticed that black money was transacted in huge cash dealings and a large amount of unaccounted wealth was not known to the government as it was being used in the form of cash. In order to achieve the mission of the government to move towards a less cash economy to reduce generation and circulation of black money, it is proposed to insert section 269ST in the Act to provide that no person shall receive an amount of Rs 3 lakh or more (a) in aggregate from a person in a day (b) in respect of a single transaction: or (c) in respect of transaction relating to one event or occasion from a person, otherwise than by an account payee bank draft or use of electronic clearing system through a bank account It recommended a total ban on cash transactions of Rs 3 lakh and above and that “an Act be framed to declare such transactions as illegal and punishable under the law”. Besides, PAN has been made mandatory for any purchase of above Rs1 lakh. The difference between demonetisation and this is that the former is used to destroy the stock of black money while the ban will prevent
We will explore the mysteries of science & harness the power of technology and innovation. We will realise the opportunities of the digital worldModi
the future flow of black money. If you cannot transact beyond a limit in cash, where will you use your black money? BHIM GETS NEW STRENGTHS The government is set to launch two new schemes to promote the use of BHIM - referral bonus scheme for individuals, and cash-back scheme for merchants. The announcement of an ambitious target of Rs 2500 crore worth of digital transactions across payment platforms such as UPI, USSD, IMPS, Aadhaar Pay, tax exemptions on digital transaction equipment, referral bonus and cash-back for consumers and merchants to promote BHIM are all evidence of the government’s vision of a digital India.The government has a clear focus on building long-term digital infrastructure and cashless ecosystem for the country which, experts believe, is likely to help accelerate quality of services and innovation at large. PAYMENT THROUGH AADHAAR An Aadhaar –based payment system will be launched soon which will use
biometrics to make payments. The system is to benefit the rural population who have not seen the light of digital literacy and who are not equipped to use debit or credit cards or for that matter any mode of digital payment. The government has been working to implement this mode of transaction for some time now, which is currently being implemented on a pilot basis in Andhra Pradesh. DIGITIZATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS Aadhaar-based smart cards containing health information are introduced for senior citizens. A new digital pension distribution system has been announced, through which retired defence personnel will have easier access to their funds. The Government’s focus on introducing Aadhaar-based smart cards would require immense technological support and the government is confident that it has the technological capability. CYBERSECURITY To bring in more security in the financial sector, the government will set up a dedicated Computer Emergency
Response Team (CERT) for the financial sector. The CERT consists of computer experts and computer scientists to help secure government’s online presence. Regulators such as SEBI and RBI will be linked and this will be a step towards digitization. A strong public-private partnership with a security provider is essential for the government to safeguard emerging Digital India. OPTICAL FIBRE ROLLOUT The government has allocated Rs 10,000 crore for the BharatNet Project that involves laying optical fibre in 1.5 lakh village panchayats. This will enable the setting up of wi-fi hotspots and provide access to inexpensive digital services. This move will not only improve the rural connectivity but also will go a long way in bridging the digital divide between the rural and urban areas. The government will also launch a “DigiGaon” (digital village) initiative to provide telemedicine, education, and skills through digital technology to rural households.
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect-but there is something behind the will which is free
NISHANT ARORA Nishant Arora is a journalist at the Indo-Asian News Service
INDIA WITNESSED INFUSION OF AI ACROSS INDUSTRIES HAPPY NEW YEAR
The millennials turn 18 this year, whichn makes an important milestone
HE new century is turning 18. Those who have been born in 2000 will be 18 this year. For many of the young people in India, 2018 will be a momentous year. They will turn into young adults, going into college or pursuing a vocational course, getting ready to take up their responsibilities in the world. They may not yet be sure as to what they would want to be. They see many possibilities for themselves, and their dreams are unlimited. It is not going to be a smooth affair. There will be confusion and agitation, both internal and external. The dreams are not to be realized without struggle. There is need for grit and imagination to stay the course. Those at the helm in families, in communities and in the country owe it to the young people of this century and of this country that the young have opportunities to fulfill their dreams. It is not easy to guide the young. It is a delicate task, but it has to be carried out firmly. The leaders have to have their own vision which they can pass it on to the young. And the vision of the elders has to be inspiring enough, and it has to show a peaceful path towards progress of society and nation. The young have their own dreams and goals, and they will use the vision of the elders as a beacon in their onward journey.
KUMAR DILIP Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
AI is touted as the most promising and Indian enterprises across the spectrum began embracing it to enhance real-time user experiences
HEN it comes to disruptive technologies that will drive businesses in the coming years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is touted as the most promising and Indian enterprises across the spectrum began embracing it to enhance real-time user experiences. Picking up the pace globally, AI gradually cemented its position as the technology is quite a transverse and perceived as less gimmicky, impacting several functions to improve productivity and business results, says Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester. From flushing out fake and terror-related content to making sense of humongous data for self-driving cars, from helping identify when someone might be expressing thoughts of suicide on Facebook to empower NASA to explore space communications, AI-based tools gained a definite momentum. Microsoft pledged $50 million over the next five years to put AI technology in the hands of those who are working to mitigate climate change. When it comes to India, AI started playing a significant role in not just developing smart devices but in improving engagement with end-consumers -- be it government or corporates. Aiming to reduce the possibilities of signals failing, Indian Railways introduced remote control monitoring of its system to predict failures through the effective use of AI. The national transporter is using non-intrusive sensors for continuous online monitoring of signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems including the voltage and current levels, relays and timers etc. The system entails the collection of inputs on a predetermined interval and sends this to a central location for
data analysis. Several financial institutions in India started adopting AI in automating their operational processes. AI is now helping banks build chatbots that are interacting with customers and gaining valuable data. Since its launch in March, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based chatbot ‘Eva’ -built for HDFC Bank by Bengaluru-based Senseforth AI Research -- has interacted with over 530,000 unique users holding 1.2 million conversations and addressing their 2.7 million queries with ease. Leading AI banking platform Payjo launched a chat assistant called SIA for the State Bank of India (SBI) that addresses customer enquiries instantly and helps them with everyday banking tasks just like a bank representative. SIA is able to handle nearly 10,000 enquiries per second or 864 million in a day. Watch-maker Titan also launched a chatbot to engage better with millennials in its e-commerce store. According to a Genpact study, 88 per cent of senior executives at companies that are leaders in AI expect the technology will drive better customer experiences within three years. “Indian businesses today are actively looking to AI and machine learning algorithms
Microsoft pledged $50 million over the next five years to put AI technology in the hands of those who are working to mitigate climate change
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Amid the thrust over AI, the country also realised the need to skill its workforce for the evolving technology trends in a bid to smooth processes and make well-informed decisions. Businesses are harnessing AI to gain a competitive advantage and increase profitability in a global economy,” Makarand Joshi, Area Vice President and Country Head, India Subcontinent, Citrix, told IANS. To explore the possibilities of putting AI into driving domestic economic transformation, the Commerce Ministry in August formed an 18-member task force that will explore possibilities to leverage AI for development across various fields. Amid the thrust over AI, the country also realised the need to skill its workforce for the evolving technology trends. Sensing the urgent need to train youth in the emerging field of AI, Intel India this year collaborated with 40 academic institutions, that are using the technology for scientific research, and 50 public and private organisations across e-commerce, healthcare, technology, defence and banking and financial services sectors. Having trained more than 9,500 developers, students and professors across 90 organisations this year, the initiative is reducing AI entry barriers for developers, data scientists and students. “AI capabilities are greatly supplementing humans to do great work in less time in sectors like healthcare, banking and finance, transport, energy and robotics, etc. It will be interesting to see how this whole AI thing evolves with time,” Bob Rogers, Data Scientist, AI and Analytics, Data Center Group at Intel, told IANS. Google has also come up front and, along with technology learning platform Pluralsight and educational institution Udacity, announced a new scholarship programme that will help train 1.3 lakh developers and students across the country. The scholarship would enable students to gain access to advanced learning curriculum and further their employability in AI and other emerging technologies. The growth of AI start-ups in the country is also driving the adoption not only for big companies but also for small and medium enterprises (SMBs). “Technology like AI can not only play a big role in the supply-demand mismatch in India but empower rural people where health and education facilities are scarce. In order to do that, everyone needs to be connected first,” stressed Chandrakant Patel, Chief Engineer at HP Inc.
Why Optimism Is Better
Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
Let’s start 2018 with optimism as our life’s philosophy
ccording to the dictionary definition of the word, optimism means – ‘hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something’. Optimism doesn’t deny reality. It embraces it with a positive attitude. The root of the word ‘optimism’ comes from the Latin origin – optimum. A more thorough definition of the word would be – a doctrine that this world is the best of all possible worlds. Optimism is an attitude, a way of life. It is not an opinion about one’s reality but rather a starting point in dealing with one’s reality. At any moment in life, one can decide whether one is in the best situation when handed with a challenge. This is optimism. To take things in your stride is optimism. Optimism is looking for that “YES!” in every situation and finding it. Just as someone wise once said, “When in a problem, if you have a solution, then no need to worry and if you don’t have a solution, then no point in worrying”.
We have a unique way of finding answers via expanding our awareness. This is the reason that optimism (the art of tackling problems by finding solutions) is the more rational approach to life rather than a pessimistic worldview that denies any kind of positivity. While no one’s life is perfect and one can be dealt some bad hands from time to time, to expect that one doesn’t encounter any problems in life is a misconception that is enriched by modern consumerism in our society that offers quick ‘feel-good’ solutions for just about every inconvenience. Resilience is something that goes hand in hand with optimism. And resilience is something that is embraced more than sustainability. Sustainability is a static concept. It prevents change. Resilience, on the other hand, is something that encourages optimism in the face of adversity. An optimist always focuses on the potential change. He/She embraces the ‘Yes’ in life and fights the ‘No’. The optimist makes a conscious decision to
endure in times of adversity and hardship. It is illuminating that the Chinese use the same character for ‘enduranceas’ for patience: the patience required to wait for the moment when you can once again act effectively. Optimism, persistence, and resilience go hand in hand. One can’t find answers or solutions to one’s problems if one isn’t ready to keep looking and digging. At the same time, one can’t find those answer if one doesn’t first accept the truth at the deepest level. That’s often a painful process. Optimism isn’t always fun and happy but it surely makes life more tolerable and enjoyable.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR show how far the swachhta clarion call of PM modi has reached. Conscious citizens coupled with excellent campaigns and initiatives of the government is making sbm a true success. The school kids were so ingenious in coming up with the idea of using water cans as urinals for their school and it truly made a difference to what they had to face everyday with the stench of urine and infections due to no urinals being available. Manu pandey, Gaya DIY URINALS! The story about the school students making water can urinals for their school was an amazing read. It just goes to
SUCCESSFUL SWACHHTA From the Namami Gange programme to Swachh Survekshan, SBM got a significant boost in 2017.
The best of SBM 2017 section was very informative and it showed the actual statistics of where we have reached in our Swachh Bharat goals and ODF goals. Even the swachhta action plan is an amazing idea put forth by PM Modi wherein making swachhta everyone’s business is their main goal. Imparting proper sanitation education with good hygiene values is the perfect formula for a truly Swachh Bharat. Its really good to see such kind of updates wherein one can actually see for themselves just how many toilets were built and understand the impact of this nation wide initiative. Numbers don’t lie! Karan Sehgal, Chandigarh
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A fan of Dr Pathak comes calling Filmmaker Neetu Chandra visited Sulabh Gram in New Delhi. She acknowledge in a gratitude the help that Dr Pathak gave her at the beginning of her taekwondo career.
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
The filmmaker was shown around the gram and the many innovative facilities in it. she expressed her admiration for the work being done
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: HOUSING
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Housing & Real Estate Sector: Positive Outlook for 2018
Construction of 10 million houses for the rural poor by December 2018
FAIR AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING A BASIC RIGHT FOR ALL INDIANS
DDA will launch a new housing scheme offering 21,000 flats
SAUBHAGYA YOJANA Saubhagya, also known as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, is a
NHB will refinance individual housing loans worth 20,000 crore
10 MILLION HOUSES FOR RURAL POOR The ministry of rural development is aiming to complete the construction of 10 million houses for the rural poor by December 2018—three months in advance of the March 2019 deadline set by the National Democratic Alliance government. More than five million houses are to be completed by March 2018, one million houses had been completed and another three million are in various stages of construction. To ensure that the target of building 5.1 million houses is met by 31 March 2018, the rural development ministry has in partnership with state governments taken many steps including setting month-wise targets for completion of houses.
NDIA is undergoing rapid urbanization now. This requires expansion of urban amenities. With a clear focus on affordable housing for homebuyers, the government proposed to assign infrastructure status to affordable housing projects and facilitate higher investments, in line with the government’s aim to provide housing for all by 2022. Finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed various measures and improvements to make affordable housing wide-reaching and providing developers better credit facilities. The National Housing Bank will refinance individual housing loans worth Rs20,000 crore in 2017-18. The various steps taken by the Centre including the introduction of Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) along with Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) will help improve transparency in the long run and thus increase investor confidence in the real estate sector. While 2017 was the year of consolidations, the sector’s growth prospects for 2018 would be ‘brighter than ever’ as the impact of the regulations would unfold throughout this year.
100% deduction for profits to an undertaking in housing project for flats upto 30 sq. meters in four metro cities and 60 sq. meters in other cities Rs 16,000-crore scheme by the Government of India to deliver free electricity connections by December 2018 to four crore families deprived of regular power. The scheme reflects Modi government’s focus on delivering on • Real estate developers look forward to better business in 2018. For sure, home buyer confidence is reviving, and more fence-sitters will spring into action in 2018. • Overall, 2018 will be a year of market recovery defined by restricted new launches, gradually improving sales and declining unsold units • With a massive focus now on affordable housing, this segment will be the poster boy of 2018 • A notable phenomenon in 2018 will be a large-scale consolidation of developers and brokers, and distressed assets changing hands. • Distribution made out of income of
schemes like housing, power, loans and farm insurance to key sections of the electorate. Alongside electrification, the PM Awas Yojana has sanctioned more than 26 lakh houses for the urban poor and more than 1.76 lakh units have been constructed.
SPV to the REITs and INVITs having specified shareholding will not be subjected to Dividend Distribution Tax, in respect of dividend distributed after the specified date. • Exemption from service tax on construction of affordable houses up to 60 square meters under any scheme of the Central or State Government including PPP Schemes. It is certain that whatever recovery and growth we see from here onward will be sustainable and backed by stronger market fundamentals than ever before. The days of speculative peaks and troughs are safely behind us.
DDA HOUSING SCHEME 2018 The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will launch a new housing scheme offering 21,000 flats of different categories around July next year. The construction of flats located in Narela, Dwarka, Rohini, Vasant Kunj and Jasola in the National Capital Region (NCR) is likely to be completed by March 2018. The next scheme will be rolled out after completing all formalities and allotment of the present offer.In 2018, the flats will be offered for all income groups — LIG, MIG, HIG and EWS. PM AWAS YOJANA SCHEME The government has also increased the budget for the PM’s Awas Yojana, launched in 2015 to achieve the government’s mission of “Housing for ALL by 2020,” to Rs 23,000 crore from last fiscal’s Rs 15,000 crore. The government has granted infrastructure status to affordable housing, extending tax benefits and the borrowing cost. The central government announced that the benefit of interest subsidy of about Rs.2.60 lakh on home loans under Pradhan Mantri (PM) Awas Yojana (Urban) for middle income groups (MIG) has been extended by 15 months. After the extension, the benefit of Rs. 2.6 lakh subsidy will be available till March 2019.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: AADHAAR
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
The ‘Aadhaar’ To A Corruption-Less India AADHAAR IS BEING USED FOR MANY SERVICES WHICH WILL MAKE THINGS EASIER FOR BENEFICIARIES
HE Central Government passed the Prevention of Money-Laundering (Maintenance of Records) law to put an end to corruption. Under this law, the government made it mandatory to link various schemes and services with Aadhaar. Corruption is curbed by the linking of the Aadhaar and the benefits of schemes reach the right people. So far, 14 crore out of 30 crore PAN cards have been linked with Aadhaar cards. Also, 70 per cent of the 100 million bank accounts in India have been linked. Furthering the deadline of the linking-process, the last date is now March 31, 2018, which means 2018 will witness a complete linkage with Aadhaar. AADHAAR FOR PENSIONS Digital Life Certificate has been launched for pensioners on the base of their Aadhaar. Following which, the pensioners will not have to be physically present to claim their pensions. They can showcase their Aadhaar number at any CSC centre for the same. From old-age pensions to pensions for widows, it is mandatory to register the Aadhaar number in the government departments. With this, so far, a large number of pseudo pensioners were identified, 70 thousand in Uttarakhand alone. AADHAAR FOR INVESTMENTS Aadhaar number has been made mandatory not only for investments in the stock market, but also for mutual fund schemes, life insurance and health insurance. People used to hide their earnings to save on income tax in the ITR. It will not be possible now to do so. AADHAAR FOR REGISTRY Aadhaar is a must for registration of properties, to curb the ‘benaami’ properties. It is mandatory to
mention the Aadhaar of both the buyer and the seller for a new registry. Those who do not have Aadhaar cards are being first registered for Aadhaar numbers at the registry office itself. The government is now in the process of shaping a campaign to link the old registries, farms and other properties as well with the Aadhaar. ONE PERSON, ONE PF ACCOUNT The government has mandated
of PF account on the basis of Aadhaar database. AADHAAR-BASED DIGITAL LOCKERS In order to keep the essential documents online, the government has given the facility of digital lockers, where you can store important documents like birth certificate, passport, educational qualification documents online. To get this feature you just have to have
The deadline of the linking-process is now March 31, 2018, which means 2018 will witness a complete linkage with Aadhaar Aadhaar for Provident Fund (PF) accounts. A separate PF was allotted each time to an employee during his course of employment at different companies. With the PF account linked with Aadhaar, it has now become easier to connect different accounts with a single one. People have started benefiting from it. There is no possibility of any errors in verification of accounts with the introduction of the online settlement
a Aadhaar card. The special feature of this facility is that once you upload your documents to the locker, you will then never be required to produce the original copy of your certificates anywhere. Just the link to your digital locker will be sufficient. AADHAAR-VOTER CARDS CLUBBING Under the national election
Smile Please! 14 crore of 30 crore PAN cards have been linked with Aadhaar The deadline for Aadhaar linking has been pushed till March 31, 2018 2018 will see a linkage with Aadhaar as a means against corruption
certification procedure, Aadhaar card, mobile number and e-mail ids of voters are now included in the database. This will not allow any person’s name to reflect in more than one voter list. False voting will be controlled and the process of voting will be transparent. AADHAAR FOR SCHOLARSHIP Earlier there were frequent reports of bribery, brokerage and fraudulent practice in the procedure of claiming scholarships, but since the linking of Aadhaar, these have been put an end to. Now, ea forgery is detected due to the Aadhaar number. The Aadhaar linkage has put a full stop to frauds in scholarships. FASTER TDS RETURNS The Income Tax department has made it mandatory to link PAN and Aadhaar for filling the return. With this, e-validation facility is now available through the tax payer’s Aadhaar number. After linkage, e-verification is easily done during the ITR submission by merely inputting the OTP. Under this, after filling the ITR, there is no further requirement to sign an acknowledgment paper and send it to the Central Process Centre. This has not only accelerated the income tax return procedure but also fastened the TDS returns. PASSPORT IN 10 DAYS Aadhaar number is mandatory while applying for a passport. During the online application for a passport, the applicant has to just mention his Aadhaar number as proof of identity and address. After submitting the Aadhaar number, passport will be issued within 10 days. The applicant for the passport will get an appointment within 3 days and within seven days the passport will be processed and reach one’s home. Even the police verification required to issue the passport will be done at a later date.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: ROADWAYS
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
‘Milestones’ Set to Mark Indian Roads in the Coming Year IN THE YEAR 2018, THE NATION IS SET TO WITNESS AN ADDITION OF 83,877 KM ROAD SWASTIKA TRIPATHI
ITH the stretch of 2018 ahead of us, audacious bets await the infrastructural development of Indian roads for a smooth commute and even smoother movement of people, goods and services. India has the second largest road network across the world at 5.4 million kilometres. This road network transports more than 60 per cent of all goods in the country and 85 per cent of India’s total passenger traffic. The recent award of contracts in the road sector have been changing, especially with the shift from the BOT (build-operate-transfer) to EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) framework and to HAM (Hybrid Annuity Model) by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). According to a Nomura Securities report, the Authority awarded more than 55 per cent of the projects under HAM, 35 per cent under EPC and 10 per cent under BOT in FY2017. What is driving India’s road-building frenzy? It is the government’s thrust on infrastructure, with the highest allocation made to roads. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways intends to take the total of projects awarded in FY 2017-18 to 20,000 kilometre and
INDIA MAJORLY RUNS ON ITS ROADS
Smile Please! India has the second largest road network across the world at 5.4
Government has approved construction of 2,000 km of roads Road development agenda is majorly fuelled by the Bharatmala Pariyojana
Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with the improvemnet in connectivity between cities, towns & villages
targets to award projects of 25,000 km in FY 2018-19. In the year 2018, and years ahead, the nation is set to witness an addition of 83,677 km roads on the back of a staggering Rs 7 lakh crore government spending. This is the largestever outlay for road construction in India and the length of the proposed roads is more than twice the Earth’s circumference (around 40,000 kms). BHARATMALA PARIYOJANA The ambitious road development agenda is majorly fueled by the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’, involving an extensive
O say that India relies heavily on roads is an understatement. As much as three-fifths of transport in India happens through roadways, far higher than some other regions. In the US, the share of road transport is 37 per cent, while it is far lower at 10 per cent in Europe. India’s reliance on road transport is twice that of China’s 30 per cent share, data collated by Nomura Research show. The reason India relies so much on roads is simply that the network is better than other modes of transport. Factors such as last-mile connectivity, time taken by other modes of transport and limited coordination among road, rail and waterways have led to greater dependence
highway network of 34,800 km connecting India’s western border to the eastern one, which is earmarked to roll out before the end of 2018 with a likely investment of Rs 5,35,000 crore. Bharatmala is the biggest ever roadbuilding programme, after National Highways Development Project (NHDP) that saw development of about 50,000 km of roadways, and aims at improving connectivity in border and other areas. The project includes 9,000 km of economic corridor to smoothen connectivity of manufacturing hubs, and 6,000 kmsof inter-corridor and feeder
on roads in India. Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with the improvement in connectivity between cities, towns and villages in the country. Sales of automobiles and movement of freight by roads is growing at a rapid rate. A report by Nomura Research highlights that the costs are the highest in the road sector. It costs Rs 2.5/tonne per km to transport goods by road, compared with Rs 1.06 by water and Rs 1.36 by rail. Further, logistics costs are 2.5-3.5 per cent of the sales costs in India, compared with 0.8-1.5 per cent globally. Three-fourth of this is spent on movement and storage of goods.
routes will be constructed to ensure holistic connectivity. The government has also approved construction of 2,000 km of roads along the eastern and western borders of the country to boost border roads and international connectivity. Another Rs 1,57,000 crore will go towards building 48,877 km of roads by the state-run National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. NHAI’S TOT MODEL Apart from policy logjam and clearances for smooth project execution that’s being put in place, steady fund flow is another challenge in infrastructure. The NHAI’s decision to tap funds through innovative methods brings hope to developers. The offer to roll out a TOT (tolloperate-transfer) model for maintenance of existing highways is a carrot for the developers. A report by Crisil Research forecasts a reasonable 12-13 per cent internal rate of return for participants in TOT projects based on NHAI’s estimated “concession value” for the first bundle of nine projects on offer. Taking forward its commitment to providing more efficient transportation, the government has debottlenecked the roads sector and significantly stepped up the highway development and road building programme.
NEW YEAR 2018 SPECIAL
18 Reasons to Smile: RAILWAYS
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Lifeline of the Nation Focus of 2018
Bio toilets in all rail coaches by December 2018
INDIAN RAILWAY IS LOOKING AT INNOVATIVE WAYS TO FINANCE ITS EXPENDITURE AND IT DOES NOT NEED TO SEEK FUNDS
Centralized defense system for soldiers for railway bookings
BIO-TOILETS BY DECEMBER 2018 We often complain about the rail coaches and toilets being extremely dirty and in unhygienic conditions. As much as it is the responsibility of the cleaning staff to keep the coaches spick and span, the ownership should also be shouldered by the commuters who use these facilities -- something that is often overlooked. Until the recent introduction of bio-toilets, there was no provision to treat the human waste except letting the discharge flow onto the rail tracks. Fitted below the coach floor underneath the lavatories, these toilets incorporate microbes with an anaerobic digestion process to digest human excreta. The collected waste is acted upon by a colony of anaerobic bacteria, which converts the waste into water and biogases.
500 stations will be made differently-abled friendly
partnership with 18 logistics players, who would provide both front and back end connectivity. Rolling stocks and practices will be customised to transport perishable goods, especially agricultural products. As part of accounting reforms, accrual-based financial statements will be rolled out by March 2019.
ESPITE extraordinary expansion of airlines with affordable travel options, Indian Railways continues to be hailed as the national transporter for obvious reasons. India has the world’s fourth-largest railways network. The 162-year-old Indian Railways is also the country’s largest employer, providing jobs to as many as 1.54 million people. Almost every person in the country will corroborate the fact that he or she travelled on a train at least once in their lifetime. Catering to the travel needs of a country as large as India’s, which comprises 17.74 percent of the total world population, management and maintenance of rail infrastructure is a mammoth task in itself. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Railways will focus on four major areas — passenger safety, capital and development works, cleanliness and finance and accounting reforms.
METRO RAIL POLICY A new Metro Rail Policy will be announced with a focus on innovative models of implementation and financing, as well as standardisation and indigenisation of hardware and software. A new Metro Rail Act will be enacted by rationalising the existing laws. This will facilitate greater private participation and investment in construction and operation.
Government proposed to introduced the ‘Coach Mitra’ facility, a single-window interface to register all coach related complaints and requirements In line with Swachh Bharat and Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaigns, bio-toilets were introduced to curb this unhygienic practice of littering the tracks. At present, more than 900 trains have been augmented with bio-toilets in either all or some coaches of the trains. The Railway Ministry now aims to expand the facility 100 percent and intends to achieve the target by December 2018.
RASHTRIYA RAIL SAMRAKSHA KOSH The government will create a Rashtriya Rail Samraksha Kosh that will build up a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore over the next five years to be used for safety works. As part of modernization and up-gradation of identified corridors, 3,500 km of new lines will be commissioned and the government will also spend Rs 1.31 lakh crore for capital and development expenditure in 2017-18.
The Ministry has also promised redevelopment of at least 25 stations during 2017-18 and 500 stations will be made differently-abled friendly by providing lifts and escalators.
SWACHH RAIL Emphasising the government’s focus on ‘Swachh Rail’ a series of steps were proposed to enhance cleanliness in Railways, of which, an SMSbased ‘Clean My Coach Service’ has already started. It is now proposed to introduce the ‘Coach Mitra’ facility, a single-window interface to register all coach related complaints and requirements. In line with the plans to go green, 7,000 railway stations will begin to use solar power in the medium term; work is already underway at 300 of them. To fight off competition in freight from the private sector, Indian Railways will begin end-toend integrated transport solutions for some commodities through a
FOCUS MORE ON WOMEN, CHILDREN SAFETY For the year 2018, the Railway Ministry’s task will be to fight crimes against women and children. “We will take 2018 as a year where we collectively fight against atrocities against women and children, especially human trafficking. That will be a focused effort across Indian railways,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said at a press conference. Railway Ministry are paying greater attention to security issues. They are thinking of providing internet connectivity and CCTV on trains. Discussions are on to provide CCTV on all trains across India. 100% LED LIT As an eco-friendly measure to cut power consumption, the Indian Railways planned to make all stations cent per cent LED lit by March 31, 2018. The railways said it was actively working to provide 100 per cent LED lighting for energy needs in railway staff colonies, stations and platforms. It is a huge initiative to provide energy efficient lighting which will eventually help in the conservation of environment as well.
Mithila Ratna Award
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018 Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presenting Mithila Ratna award to Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
DR BINDESHWAR PATHAK
Land of Vidyapati honours one of its own The Akhil Bhartiya Mithila Sangh felicitates Mithila’s heroes
AYODHYA P SINGH
HE Akhil Bhartiya Mithila Sangh celebrated its Golden Jubilee celebration at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on December 24, 2017. Thousands of Mithila residents came together from 24 states and participated in the programme. On this occasion, Bihar’s very own, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, was awarded the ‘Mithila Ratna’ award. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh honoured Dr Pathak by presenting him with garlands and souvenirs. Puri Peethadheeshwar Jagadguru Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati was also present at the event. On this occasion, the JanuaryMarch issue of the quarterly, Akhil
Bhartiya Mithila Sangh Research Journal, ‘Tirabukhti’ was also launched. The function was attended by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Prabhat Jha, Madhubani MP, Hukmdev Narayan Yadav, and Akhil Bharatiya Mithila Sangh National President, Vijay Chandra Jha. “PATHAK JI IS KNOWN WORLDWIDE”- SUMITRA MAHAJAN Addressing the gathering, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan praised Dr Pathak and said that the work of people like Dr Pathak exemplifies the Indian tradition. She said that our country’s soil gives birth to people like Dr Pathak who dedicate their lives to the salvation of the backward people in our society. The whole world praises Dr Pathak due to the work he has accomplished and the lives he has changed. She said that the land of Mithila has always imparted
the tradition of sacrifice and service for the country. Starting from people like Kapil Muni and Raja Janak, and to Phaniswaranath Renu, they all have given something significant to our country. Democracy itself originated from Mithila. She assured that she would request the government from her side to build the temple for Mother Sita at Sitamarhi, who has recently become the subject of faith-related discussions in the country. “GANDHI’S STICK BELONGS TO MITHILA” - RAJNATH SINGH Home Minister Rajnath Singh referring to the Maithili language said that he is proud that the Maithili language was included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Describing the cultural heritage of Mithila as great, he said that as a mark of respect for
Quick Glance Akhil Bhartiya Mithila Sangh celebrated its Golden Jubilee celebrations at New Delhi Resolve to build a grand temple of Mother Sita in Sitamarhi, Bihar Rajnath Singh said that Mahatma Gandhi’s stick was from Mithila
the famous Mithilanchal epigraph (hat), the Indian government had issued a stamp of it in August, 2017. He praised Maithili literature and said that Mahakavi Vidyapati had developed a love for the language. In
JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Mithila Ratna Award
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the gathering
Dr Pathak paying his respects to Puri Peethadhishwar
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh placing the ceremonia cap on Dr. Pathak
Maithili literature, the Vidyapati era is compared to Shakespeare’s period in English. Speaking of Mithila’s contribution to Yoga, Singh said that Yoga originated in India and the beginning of yoga in India was in Mithila. The Bihar Yoga School in Munger is world-renowned. On the contribution of Mithila in the freedom struggle, Singh said that the stick on the support of which Gandhiji brought freedom to India had given by Mithila villagers to him on October 12, 1934, at Gorghat village. “PEOPLE FROM NEPAL AND INDIA SHOULD COME TOGETHER” - PURI PEETHADEESHWA JAGADGURU SWAMI NISHCHALANAND SARASWATI Puri Peethadheeshwar Jagadguru Swami Nishchalanand Saraswati, who
was born in Mithila, said that some areas of Mithila fall in the neighbouring country of Nepal. In the future, there should be a programme wherein both the residents of Mithila in India and in Nepal can get together. This would further strengthen the ‘Roti-Beti’ relationship between India and Nepal. He said Mithila’s intelligence and the power of its labour is known in the whole world. The Bihar government should also utilise this power and make the state better. “SWEARING AN OATH IN MAITHILI” - HUKMDEV YADAV BJP MP from Madhubani, Hukmdev Yadav said “In the Lok Sabha, I was told that I had to take the oath in Hindi or English. I declined and after 3 days, I took my oath in Maithili.” “We Mithila residents can leave everything except our language. We
will always fight for its honour,” he added.
He reiterated his commitment to restoring the birthplace of the Mahakavi Vidyapati, Vespi. Jha had “HOPING THAT MOTHER SITA’S also urged the government to restore GREAT TEMPLE GETS BUILT” the residence of the famous Maithili PRABHAT JHA resident, Mandana Mishra, Convenor of the who was the rival and ceremony and BJP’s disciple of Adi Rajya Sabha MP S h a n k a r a c h a r ya. Mithila’s Prabhat Jha said that Maithili’s famous intelligence and the Ram temple in author Laxman Jha the power of its Ayodhya should Sagar has received labour is known in also be built the Babu Sahib the whole world, quickly because Chowdhury Award said the Puri that’s what we all on the occasion. want. Also in Senior writer Peethadheeshwar Sitamarhi of Mithila, Virender Malik was Mother Sita should given the Bhogendra have a grand temple. Jha honour. Maithili He said, “I have requested senior writer Dr Bhima Jha the State and Central governments was also honoured. Dr Abha Jha regarding the temple of Mother Sita Chaudhary was given the Mithila and, fortunately, the work has started.” Vibhuti honour.
Neetu Chandra in Sulabh
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Quick Glance NEETU CHANDRA IN SULABH
“From Revolt to Revolution, Dr Pathak’s Story”– Neetu Chandra
“Dr Bindeshwar Pathak’s work is innovative”
“Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is an angel sent by God”
“Cinema should be promoted in regional languages”
Filmmaker keen to make a biopic on Dr Pathak
OUNDER of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, is truly a real hero of the country. The way he has given new lives to those deemed untouchables in our society and how he has fought for them is noteworthy. Dr Pathak’s journey is one from revolt to revolution indeed. “God has sent very few angels on earth, and Dr Pathak is one of those them” said Bollywood actress and producer Neetu Chandra during her visit to the Sulabh Gram in New Delhi. She felt very touched after her meeting Dr Pathak. She said that his work is beyond comparison and that we all should learn from him so we can also bring happiness to the lives of people from the oppressed sections of society.
FILM ON DR PATHAK’S LIFE Neetu Chandra appreciated Dr Pathak’s work and said that the work he has done his entire life has changed the lives and livelihoods of many people. There should be a beautiful biopic made on him so that the whole world can see his work and get inspired. She said his story is so wonderful and humane that a film on him would definitely make it to international film festivals, including the Oscars. As a producer, Dr Pathak himself showed interest in making such a film. “DR PATHAK HELPED ME DURING CHILDHOOD” – NEETU CHANDRA Chandra is a black belt champion in Taekwondo martial arts and has represented India three times at international events. While recollecting an episode from her school days, she said that when she was studying in class 7th, it
was for the first time that she had to go out of the country to represent India, but nobody was ready to sponsor her. That is when Dr Pathak helped her and sponsored her to send her abroad. This is why she has such a grateful attachment to Dr Pathak and Sulabh. She described Dr Pathak’s work and the Sulabh Gram as a great innovation. “CINEMA, EVEN IN SMALL TOWNS, IS A WONDERFUL TOOL FOR JOB CREATION” – NEETU CHANDRA Talking about films, she said that cinema is a great way to create jobs. People get hired in the cinema industry even in small towns. Chandra emphasized promotion of cinema, especially cinema made in regional languages. She said that it is our duty to promote our regional languages. Regarding her production house ‘Champaran Talkies’, she said, “Last year
we had made ‘Mithila Makhan’ film in a regional language under a banner. I received the National Award for this film”. She added. The film was been directed by her brother, Nitin Chandra. She said “Recently, we have made a film in Bhojpuri -- ‘Deswa’ which is available on the YouTube channel named ‘Neobihar’”. This is the first Bhojpuri film in the last 54 years which was shown in India’s International Film Festival in Goa. It was also shown at various foreign film festivals. Chandra said she is working to promote regional language films. At the same time, people are also getting employment at the local level. She said that most of the actors in ‘Deswa’ are from Bihar. At the same time, the environment is more conducive to making films in Bihar. She also voiced her request to the Government to make policies that give subsidies to films.
Neetu Chandra in Sulabh
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it can help in reducing pollution. Before anyone from the outside comes and takes this technology to claim it as their own, our government should pay attention to publicizing this technology all over India.” She used the biogas stove connected to the gas of biogas plants. She even saw the functioning of the gas burner mantle lamp. She followed this by visiting the different toilet models in Sulabh Village.
Chandra being shown the innovative Mantle Lamp
Neetu Chandra observing toilet model
Neetu Chandra interacting with the Sulabh Members
Chandra being shown the Bio-gas plant
Dr Pathak presenting his book on PM Modi to Chandra
“MY STORY RECEIVED A NAME” – DR BINDESHWAR PATHAK Dr Pathak on this occasion wished Chandra and said that he was so proud that a girl from Bihar is doing such good work. Dr Pathak said, “I am writing my autobiography and was looking for an appropriate title for it and I got it today”. While listening to his childhood story he said that the scene was very frightening when he touched a person who was considered an untouchable and how his entire family freaked out and started exploring ways to purify his body and soul. Perhaps there was a rebellion against the society that started and that finally turned into a revolution. Therefore, as Neetu suggests, I will name my autobiography -- From Revolt to Revolution. “WANT TO PRESENT A PLAY AT SULABH” – NEETU CHANDRA Chandra mentioned the popular HindiUrdu drama -- ‘Umrao Jaan’ during her
SULABH PUBLIC SCHOOL, EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE Chandra also visited Sulabh Public School during her tour. School provides education to the children of scavengers and follow the ratio of 60-40. Sulabh is not only providing them with an education but is also focusing on refining their skill development so as to increase their employment opportunities in the future. She was very happy to see this and said that this initiative of Sulabh was very important for the children. From embroidery to typing, beauty care, fashion designing, and sanitary napkins production, the one year course is available to all students in the school. She advised the children to take part in sports and said that sports should be an integral part of life for everyone.
SULABH MUSEUM Chandra intently observed every toilet model present in the Sulabh Toilet Museum. From seeing the toilets from the Harappa civilization to the Mughal period, and from the British rule to the present modern toilets, she thoroughly enjoyed her visit to the museum. On this occasion, the chairman of the Sulabh organisation, SP Singh, expressed appreciation for the initiatives of the Chandra addressing the inmates government on cleanliness and said that Dr Pathak’s work is now being implemented throughout the visit where she has been playing the payment platforms in the Sulabh country. Singh described character of Umrao Jaan for the last toilets, she said that it is very cinema as a mirror of our several years. In this drama, she plays the important to stay updated society and said that character from a 17-year-old girl to a over time. She said cinema can be a tool 65-year-old woman. She mentioned that “While the government “Sulabh is also focusing on for bringing change a monologue about the freedom of girls is becoming digital. associated in the play. She expressed her digitalization, Sulabh and that Chandra is hope that she gets invited to the Sulabh is also becoming doing that through This is really village to show her play. digital. This is really her work. Abha very good, “ says very good” Kumar thanked TOURING SULABH GRAM Chandra was very Chandra for her visit filmmaker Chandra Chandra looked very happy during her happy to see the to the Sulabh village tour of the Sualbh Gram. She was curious in-house sanitary and hoped that he about the various technologies developed napkins as well as the would revisit soon. and employed by Sulabh. Firstly, she arrangement of its disposals Earlier, Chandra was visited the Sulabh water ATM, where for women in the toilet for only welcomed with bouquets and people get pure drinking water of Rs. 1 Rs 2. garlands on her arrival at the Sulabh per litre. She was amazed by the fact that Gram. Rehabilitated scavengers and the there was an ATM developed for water. SULABH TECHNOLOGY widowed mothers of Vrindavan While visiting the Sulabh health centre, She was surprised to see the biogas plant welcomed her with garlands. Dr Pathak she was informed about its operations by during the Sulabh village tour. Seeing the honoured Neetu with a toilet model as a Dr Namita Mathur about how people get power and mechanisms of the plant, she souvenir on this occasion. He also cheaper medical treatment at the Sulabh said that the government should pay presented his book “The Making of a Health Centre. attention to this technology. Legend” written on Prime Seeing the arrangement of digital She said “This technology is amazing and Minister Modi.
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DARRANGIRI GOING BANANAS! With digitisation, what was arguably the largest, but forlorn banana market of Asia, the village market will soon get global
MANIPUR ZOO SCRIPTS CONSERVATION SUCCESS SSB BUREAU
ANIPUR Zoological Garden (MZG) has earned accolades for successful breeding of nine of its inmates. There were as many as nine births Manipur Brow Antler Deer (Sangai), Hog deer (Kharsa), Spotted deer, Sambar (Sajal), Barking deer, Purple swamphen - during OctoberDecember. While the mothers are protective of their babies and secretive in hiding its babies from strangers, the young ones are now out of its hiding place and are actively exploring their exhibits, a zoo official said. The official said sufficient roosting place and bedding were provided for the breeding species and dietary habits were improvised as per the animal requirements. Infant development is being closely monitored and their dietary needs by a team of Veterinary unit as per guidelines of Central Zoo Authority, Ministry of Forest, Environment & Climate Change, Government of Manipur. The facility, located at Iroisemba, also received a five day one Barking deer from Tengnoupal district handed over by one Ngamkhulal Mate and team of Tengnoupal Range Office. The barking deer was abandoned by its mother in the wild. The rescued baby barking deer was given neonatal intensive care and hand reared with formulated milk by a team of Veterinary unit and dedicated animal attendants. Now, the baby barking deer is a healthy two month old calf. The Zoo authority also received three month old barking deer from Kangpokpi Forest Division officials.
BOUT 60 km from Guwahati, Darrangiri in Assam’s Goalpara district is billed as Asia’s biggest banana market. So far, Darrangiri has just been a meeting place for buyers and tribal farmers, many of who descend from the adjacent hills of Meghalaya as well. It had lacked even the basic facilities for transacting business in this digital age. Online transactions had been a myth in this market, and it has also not qualified for a nationalised bank branch or an ATM. The nearest ATM today is located about 12 km away in Dudhnoi. However, with digitalization fast catching up in the country, Darrangiri is set for a turnover. These local fruit growing entrepreneurs are bracing to get into the electronic mode of marketing to boost their trade across the continent. State’s Agriculture commissioner Amlan Baruah said the government is planning to streamline the banana market. “We have already asked the
Assam Agriculture Marketing Board (AAMB) to see the facilities of banana stocking and grading. Accordingly they have submitted their plan. After such facilities are made available, we can start stocking, grading and the process of e-marketing of the bananas can be started simultaneously,” Baruah added. The monthly turnover of Darrangiri is four crore while it is the highest in the three months of September, October and November with about 50 trucks getting loaded with bananas every day. Bananas from here reach the markets as far as Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bhutan and even Nepal. During season time, 150-200 trucks transport the fruit out of the State every week. “The market is held on Mondays and Thursdays. Some 500 traders from various states pour down in this otherwise sleepy town during the banana season. Some buyers stay here permanently. We have arranged quarters for their accommodation,” Ranjit Kumar Bose, president of the Darrangiri Anchalik Unnayan Committee said.
The Unnayan Committee is also in the process of writing to the Asia Book of Records for the official recognition of the market as the biggest in Asia
Snapshots So far, Darrangiri has just been a meeting place for buyers and tribal farmers Bananas from here reach the markets as far as Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bhutan and even Nepal However, with digitalization fast catching up in the country, Darrangiri is set for a turnover
The committee, which looks after the banana market, was registered way back in 1976 and has braved odds to promote the market. The committee has arranged a few sheds for the sellers in a 7-bigha plot along the highway which was brought around ten years back. Those sheds and a few quarters for the traders are the only infrastructure the market boasts today. The Agriculture commissioner said that marketing has to be perfect as this instant energy-giving fruit is also popular in the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The electronic marketing for bananas will help the traders to get updated information about market rates of bananas in other part of the continent. At the same time, the State agriculture board will also be able to let people of other countries know about the price of bananas in Darangiri. The Commissioner further said that earlier the government and farmers used to focus more on production. But now with ample production, they are focusing more on marketing and distribution. The work for e-marketing of Darrangiri banana market is at its initial stage. Once the process goes full swing both the traders as well as the consumers will be able to reap the benefits towards the fag end of 2018 The Assam State Agriculture Marketing Board has planned to set up a marketing complex, with an auction centre, banking and other online facilities, restaurant, etc. “There is so much scope for trade and employment here. Today you will find bananas in every household in and around the area. Associated industries like wafers, etc., could have flourished, but due to lack of infrastructure there has been no investment,” the optimistic growers say. The Unnayan Committee is also in the process of writing to the Asia Book of Records for the official recognition of the market as the biggest in Asia.
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BARREN LAND TURNED INTO OASIS Determined efforts from villagers have turned a completely denuded stretch of land into a forest
Snapshots Rampant felling since 1980s completely denuded this once lush forest in Assam In 2007, people from six villages under a Joint Forest Management Committee decided to act The area, near the Dhansiri River is now an abode of khoir, gamari, simul and sisum trees etc
22.24 square kilometre area of Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest (RF) in Assam’s Udalguri district was left without a single tree by early 1980s due to rampant illegal felling. In 2007, people from six villages under the banner of a Joint Forest Management Committee ( JMFC) began a plantation drive in the area. Today, ten years later, the 550 hectare of land is a spectacular forest and a paradise housing various species of flora and fauna. The area, near the Dhansiri River at Bhairabkunda, the meeting point of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan, is now an abode of khoir, gamari, simul and sisum trees etc. The people of the six villages - No.1 Mazorgaon, No. 2 Mazorgaon, Bhairabpur, Goraimari, Sonaigaon, Sapangaon – who have shot to fame following the achievement have also won a number of awards with the plantation of more than 15 lakh valuable saplings which have grown now, virtually transforming the landscape of the area into a ever-green paradise. The regenerated forest land now has rich vegetation and has given shelter to wild elephants, leopards, deer, pythons, wild boars, monkeys, bear etc. A small river with several canals, a few of them man-made run through the forest providing replenishment for the green cover.
The JFMC Bhairabkunda has won ‘Life time Achievement Award’ from Kaziranga Wildlife Society in 2016 and Special Appreciation Award from Balipara Foundation in 2017. In the latest addition to the success story, the members of JFMC Bhairabkunda are now ready to welcome tourists from India and abroad at the picturesque man-made forest with the development of an ecotourism hub. The JFMC secretary Esmail Daimari said that they have arranged accommodation and meals for eight to ten people along with friends and family members including children in their JFMC camp with all the basic amenities during 2017-18 season for the first time. “People who love nature and love to stay away from hustle and bustle of town and city life, can enjoy a calm and serene atmosphere here,” Daimari said. With rivers crisscrossing the verdant Assam-Arunachal-Bhutan border and Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest providing some undulating trekking trails, the spot is bound to become attractive to tourists. Interested people can book rooms etc., well in advance. “Accommodation charge is minimum and sight seeing etc., can be arranged with our members at an additional charge,” Daimari said. He also said the there will be no security problems at all as their members would be with the visitors most of the time.
MEGHALAYA HIGHER EDUCATION
COMMUNITY COLLEGES RAJ KASHYAP
N an unique initiative, Meghalaya government has decide to promote community colleges in the state to make higher education accessible to students, especially those from rural areas. The government will invest Rs 50 crore for setting up nine community colleges.“The state government has decided to support community colleges with an aim to develop selfreliant educational institutions. The community as a stakeholder will play
a vital role in running the institutions and the government will act as a facilitator and regulator. We want to ensure that Meghalaya has self-sufficient and self-reliant institutions,” Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said. Sangma said the one-time capital expenditure for the colleges will be Rs 50 crore, while recurring expenditure would stand at Rs 53.11 crore. The state cabinet has given its nod to the initiative. There will be two categories of community colleges – Ground Field and Green Field.
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MANGALURU TO GET INDIA’S FIRST 3D PLANETARIUM Dubbed as a game-changer in teaching, the planetarium has been built at a cost of Rs 36 crore
SULABH DHAM! TORCH BEARER OF CLEANLINESS Dr Hari Vilas Chaudhary ‘Shaktibodh’ established a Children’s Library in Gorakhpur
ULABH Sanitation Campaign with its new embodiment of Sulabh Dham has now become oriented towards those villages of India, where the public and schools are still indifferent to cleanliness. Under the program of Nagrik Swavlamban Evam Swabhiman Vikas Parishad, its founder, Dr Hari Vilas Chaudhary shaktibodh established a Children’s Library on Rural Education Awareness day in Gajpur village of Gorakhpur district (UP) on November 19, 2017. This work was done under the chairmanship of Chief Guest, Prof. Gaurishankar Rai, well-known educationist and Satish Chandra
Snapshots Satish Chandra Tripathi emphasized the need of good governance Gauri Shankar Rai explained the importance of elementary education Hari Vilas Chaudhary asked people to follow the footstep of Dr Pathak
Tripathi, the litterateur of Hindi. Dr. Hari Vilas Chaudhary ‘Shaktibodh’ gave a message of encouragement to the people in the villages to increase the awareness of education in the villages, and awareness of cleanliness should be its first step. ‘Sulabh International Social Service Organization’ as ‘Sulabh Dham’ established by ‘Karmaveer’, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak is a symbol of cleanliness in the country and people should follow its path. He also said that with cleanliness and hygiene the desire to read books and attain knowledge also get increase. He said that establishment of children library in backward rural areas is the basic foundation of education for these areas. Addressing the public and children from different schools, Prof Gauri Shankar Rai explained the importance of elementary education and described cleanliness as a form of God. He also suggested keeping elementary education in the school free from professionalism. In his speech, Mr. Satish Chandra Tripathi emphasized the need for maintaining good governance and improving the education in the village area and keeping the books in library clean.
3D planetarium, first of its kind in the country, will be inaugurated at the PilikulaNisargadhama by January end or first week of February. Dubbed as a game-changer in teaching, especially the science subjects, the planetarium has been built at a cost of Rs 36 crore. It is expected to be hugely beneficial to the school and college students of Mangaluru and surrounding areas. The state-of-the art Swami Vivekananda Planetarium has the most advanced digital immersive dome system, Itwill have shows on astronomy, natural sciences, global warming, history, geography and others which is part of different syllabi and will have a seating capacity of 200. As per the technical details available the digistar 6 system in the facility is a custom package with Active Stereo 3D, a Megastar IIA Optical Hybrid system and 5.1 surround sound system. It uses five Christie Mirage 4K 3D stereo projectors and a Spolitz Nanoseam projection surface. The hybrid system enables the planetarium to present classic opto-mechanical star projection in addition to ultra-highresolution full-dome projection of prerendered shows and real time image generation.
Snapshots Swami Vivekananda Planetarium has the most advanced digital immersive dome system The digistar 6 system in the facility is a custom package with Active Stereo 3D The hybrid system enables the planetarium to present classic opto-mechanical star projection
According to Mr AbhijitShetye, CEO of Mumbai -based Infovision Technologies Pvt Ltd, which has installed the facility, such a hybrid planetarium has been installed for the first time in entire Asia. “There are 35 domes in India but this one is Nano Seam and Opto Mechanical which will be more effective in understanding the shows, he adds. One has to wait and see how this is going to be different but it is interesting to note that it is being set up in Mangaluru which has a lot many educational institutions in and arlound including the Manipal Institute of Technology.
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EVENTS & MORE...
ACROSS 2. Which country has won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup for the year 2016? 4. Martin Crowe was a cricketer from which country?
6. Santosh Trophy is related to which sports? 7. Which cricket team has won the 201516 season’s Ranji Trophy title? 9. K Garudachar, who died recently, was related to which sports?
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SSB CROSSWORD NO. 3
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12. Apurvi Singh Chandela, who qualified for the 2016 Olympics, is associated with which sport? 13. The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be hosted by which country? 15. Lalita Babar is associated with which sports? 17. Winner of 2016 Santosh Trophy National Football Championships title? 18. The 13th South Asian games will be held in which country? 19. “Hopman cup” is related to which sports? 20. The 2016 International Abilympics (IA) has started in which country? DOWN 1. Gurmeet Singh is associated with which sports?
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3. Tarun Kona is related to which sports? 5. Which team has won 2016 Irani Cup Cricket Title?
SOLUTION OF CROSSWORD NO. 2
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8. Johan Cruyff, who died recently, was a football legend of which country?
11. Mohiniyattam 12. 1913 13. Sholai 14. Sairandri 15. Alamara 16. Ramrajya 17. Mumbai 18. Dilipkumar 19. Pran 20. Nagris
10. Which country has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2016? 11. Shiva Thapa, who qualified for 2016 Olympics, is associated with which sport? 14. The National Special Olympic for special children was organized in which city? 16. Which company has become the BCCI’s official associate sponsor for next four years?
SOLUTION OF SUDOKU-2
1 2 3 4 7 9 6 8 5
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6 3 8 2 5 4 1 9 7
4 7 2 9 1 3 5 6 8
9 5 1 6 8 7 3 4 2
3 9 4 7 2 6 8 5 1
8 1 7 3 4 5 9 2 6
2 6 5 8 9 1 4 7 3
1 7 6
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE BY DHIR
5 1 8 1 4 9 6 8 4 9 1 7
3 6 3
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JANUARY 01 - 07, 2018
Whiz-kid speaks sense AI shouldn’t be used to replace human intelligence: Indo-Canadian whiz kid
MERGING technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) should not be used to replace human intelligence, instead it should be used to amplify and augment their intelligence, says Indo-Canadian teen prodigy Tanmay Bakshi, known as the world’s youngest IBM Watson programmer. Bakshi believes that like every technology AI also has some ill effects, but technology is not going to overthrow humanity anytime soon. “AI in its present form is nowhere near likely to overthrow humanity. The chances are very low and seems impossible for the next many decades.” Bakshi, who is one of the youngest cloud computing developers in the world, started computer programming as fun and games at the age of five. By eight, Bakshi designed his first major application. He released his first iOS app, called ‘tTables,’ that helped kids learn multiplication tables, at nine. At 12, Bakshi became IBM Watson’s youngest programmer and even detected a bug in the system. Bakshi also started his own YouTube channel “Tanmay Teaches” that is aimed at educating the youth on computing, programming, machine learning, math, science and neuro network.
Shivangi Singh & Pratibha
Breaking Into All Male Spaces Two women fighter pilots among over 100 Flying Officers commissioned into IAF
VER 100 officers, including two women fighter pilots, were commissioned in the Indian Air Force on December 23, 2017 during the Combined Graduation Parade of Pilots and Ground Duty Officers at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal near here. According to an official statement, the event marked the passing out of 105 Flight Cadets as Flying Officers of the IAF, including two women fighter pilots - Flying Officer Shivangi Singh and Pratibha, out of a total of 15 women who joined the elite cadre of IAF officers. The occasion also marked the passing out of the 200th Pilot’s course of IAF officers. Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba was the chief guest at the parade. He conferred the President’s Commission to the graduating Flight Cadets who successfully completed their basic and professional training. Present on the occasion was Air Marshal S.R.K. Nair, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Training.
Sounds Of Silence Inspired by a poem, Kolkata driver abstains from honking for 18 years
silent revolution has been taking place in the traffic-packed, honkabused streets of this eastern metropolis. Dipak Das, a driver has been chauffeuring around without honking since the last 18 years. Das was awarded the Manush Samman at the second edition of the Manush Mela (Humanity Fair) after verification of his ‘nohonking’ feat. Celebrated musicians who had availed of Das’s service vouched for his no-horns policy. “It’s a combination of time, speed and pace. If these are synchronised, then you don’t need to honk. Without the horn blaring you can actually drive with more concentration and safely. No matter where I have driven in the city or across the state, it’s without honking,” Das said in an interview. The 51-year-old’s turning point in life came when over 18 years ago he sat reading a poem celebrating the serenity in nature penned by famed Bengali poet Jibanananda Das. “I was in a very tranquil area in south Kolkata surrounded by greenery and bird calls. Jibanananda’s poetry spoke about peace, silence and being surrounded by nature. And as I was soaking in the aura, suddenly there was a cacophony of honking horns. It broke my reverie. “A school in the neighbourhood had just closed for the day and cars and buses were in a frenzy to take the children home. It was then that I realised I should do something,” he explained. Since then he has never looked back. “Horn is a concept. I care for your heart”, says the placard that Das proudly displays on vehicles he drives.
RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 VOLUME - 2, ISSUE - 03 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain