Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - , , , 0 comments

Rajasthan General Knowledge (GK) Notes in Hindi : An Introduction to Rajasthan - Facts at a Glance

Sunday, June 10, 2012 - , , , 0 comments

Northeast India's first IIIT coming up in Tripura


Agartala, June 8 — Northeast India's first IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology) will be set up in Tripura, a minister said here Friday.


Tripura Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters: "Union Human Resource Development and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal informed at a meeting in New Delhi Tuesday that northeast's first IIIT would be set up in Tripura."


"The HRD ministry has decided to establish 20 more IIITs in the country in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. In the first phase, five IIITs would be set up in different parts of India, including one in Tripura," he said quoting Sibal.


Currently, there are four IIITs in India -- Allahabad, Gwalior, Jabalpur and Kanchipuram. These autonomous institutions are providing undergraduate as well as postgraduate technical education.


"The central government has decided to provide more financial aid to the northeastern states than the other parts of the country to set up the IIITs," Chakraborty added.


On an average, Rs.128 crore would be invested to set up each IIIT.


"To establish the IIITs in the northeast, the central government would provide 57.5 percent share of the total cost while the state government would give 35 percent share and the private or industrial houses' share would be 7.5 percent," the minister said.


To set up the IIITs in the other parts of India, excluding the northeast region, the central government's share would be around 50 percent and the industrial share would be around ten percent.


The Tripura minister quoted Sibal as saying that "as India is emerging as a global player in the field of information technology and the IT industry is expanding rapidly, manpower requirement is growing exponentially. In order to develop manpower for different areas of the knowledge economy, education and training of information technology, the centre has decided to set up more IIITs in the country."


Sibal chaired Tuesday's conference of state and union territories' education ministers in New Delhi.


Source : NYDailyNews.com
IANS
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NIOS to open study centre at Gaghidh central jail


Jamshedpur : In a boost to increase educational opportunities for inmates of the Gaghidih central jail, the prison administration has joined hands with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).


The NIOS regional office has agreed to open study centre in the Gaghidih jail next month. To start with, 30 inmates of the jail will pursue matriculation and senior secondary board examinations through NIOS study centres.


"Initially, 30 inmates will pursue their academic career through NIOS and the classes shall begin by July," said jail superintendent Tushar Ranjan Gupta. The state government will bear the study expenses of the inmates.


The NIOS will charge about Rs 2,000 from each inmate who seeks to appear in any of the two examinations. The institute will conduct biennial examinations In April and October every year.


According to sources, out of the 12-odd CPI (Maoist) rebels who are currently lodged in the jail, a few have expressed their desire to pursue studies through NIOS.


"At least, three Maoist rebels, including a woman, whose school education received a break for some reasons in the early years of their lives have expressed desire to finish their matriculation through the NIOS study center," said a jail official.


The authorities are expecting a rise in the number of the inmates willing to pursue their education through NIOS study centre once the proposed centre starts operations.


"It is just a beginning, once the NIOS introduces its vocational training centres on the (jail) campus, I am sure many more inmates will be keen to take up," said the jail officer.


Vocational courses like mobile phone repair, electronic gadget repair and courses like that shall be introduced in the jail at later stages. "The basic aim is to enable the prisoners eke out a decent living once they are out the jail," said a junior rung official at the NIOS's regional office.


Recently, the Gaghidih jail received a feat with the introduction of e-mulakat scheme on the campus. Located on the outskirts of Jamshedpur, Gaghidih jail has over 1,100 inmates. Several Naxalities and dreaded gangster like Akhilesh Singh are currently lodged in the jail.


Source : Times of India

ZNMD, Rockstar rocks IIFA awards



Singapore, June 10 — Zoya Akhtar's "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" and Imtiaz Ali's "Rockstar" triumphed at the 13th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards Saturday, with each winning four trophies.
"Zindagi Na.." won the awards for best film, best story, best actor in supporting role for Farhan Akhtar and best director for Zoya. "Rockstar" won the best actor in the leading role for Ranbir, best music direction for A.R. Rahman, best lyrics for the song and best playback singer male for Mohit Chauhan for "Nadaan Parindey".
Ranbir, who played the role of an aspiring singer who aims to make it big, beat actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, to walk away with the trophy.
On the other hand, actress Vidya Balan continued her winning streak by picking up the award for best actress in a leading role for "The Dirty Picture". She emerged victorious among Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Mahie Gill and Kangna Ranaut.
The award for best playback singer female went to Shreya Ghoshal for her song "Teri Meri" from the film "Bodyguard".
Parineeti Chopra was in for a surprise and couldn't control her tears when she won two awards for best debut female and best actress in a supporting role female for "Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl".
Actor Vidyut Jamwal walked away with an award for best debut male for his performance in "Force".
Veteran actor Prakash Raj won the IIFA award for best performance in a negative role for "Singham". He was nominated alongside Naseeruddin Shah for "The Dirty Picture", Irrfan Khan for "7 Khoon Maaf", Boman Irani for "Don 2" and Vidyut Jamwal for "Force".
The award for best performance in comic role went to Riteish Deshmukh for the film "Double Dhamaal".
While, hosts Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar kept audience in splits with their wit and humour, the show saw star-studded performances by Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Prabhu Deva, Priyanka Chopra, Shahid, Rishi and Ranbir Kapoor.
Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy was honoured at the gala for his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, while veteran actress Zohra Segal received a special award for her contribution to 100 years of Indian cinema, though she couldn't make it to the event.
Yesteryear's actress Rekha was honoured for her outstanding achievement in Indian cinema, while Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann was given an award for her contribution to international cinema.
Though this year's IIFA awards had its own appeal, the actors who were missed by all included Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, John Abraham, Saif Ali Khan, Anil Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, and Sonam Kapoor.

Source : NY Daily News
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AIEEE Result 2012 published : Check here


Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has finally published the results of more than 1.1 million candidates who appeared in the 11th All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination this year which can be checked now on the official results portal on this direct link :

http://cbseresults.nic.in/aieee/aieee_cbse_2012.htm

The cut-off for General, OBS, SC/ST categories and Physically Handicapped candidates have been set as 48, 45, 18 and 18 marks respectively for the online counselling for B.E/B.Tech and B.Arch/B.Planning which will be conducted later this month by Central Counselling Board.

Sanjeet Patri of Delhi has topped the exam this year securing the top position scoring 346 out of 360. IIT JEE Topper from Faridabad has secured 9th place where Mansee Sood, among the girls is AIR rank 6. About 4,10,000 students have crossed the cut off marks i.e. 48 and would sit for online counselling.

Seats availability and counselling related information can be checked on www.ccb.nic.in

Saturday, June 9, 2012 - , , 1 comments

Answer writing for Main Examination


( By : Rugved Thakur )

Answer writing is the key to getting good marks in Main Examination. 2 Main areas of concentration should be Meeting expectation of UPSC answering style and Presentation.


When an answer requires 250 words or more, it is better to prepare synoptic notes in rough. This involves quickly jotting down the main points we are to write in the answer. Arranging the points in order of importance. This gives a good structure and flow to the answer.


Try as far as possible to stick to the word limit mentioned in the question. Good control over language will help you to write more points in lesser number of words. Read the editorials of the newspaper and try to use that language in your answers. Exceeding the word limit may lead to problems in completing the paper. There is no need to count the exact number of words in the answer. During preparation itself one should know the length of the page that one needs to write for a 100, 200, 250, 300 and 600 words answer.


Non completion of any paper is an unforgivable offence for an UPSC Civil Services aspirant. Gauge the question paper quickly and assess whether it will be difficult to complete - in such cases reduce the length of certain answers but ensure that all questions are given due respect and the paper is completed.


Answer writing in UPSC Examination
  1. Specificity - One has to be very specific in the answer with regard to scope or focus of the question. The answer should be such that it satisfies the demand of the question. Vague and round about answering will not fetch marks. Write answer to the question that is asked, not what we know about the topic.
    • It will be helpful if one is able to gauge the purpose of the question. eg: Essay on "Women Empowerment.", "Women Empowerment?" and "Women Empowerment!" would be different - not from content point of view but orientation of the essay.
    • eg: in history if a question is asked regarding "rise of Gandhiji in India", write the answer related to Gandhiji's arrival in India and his initial activities that made him a leader. Confine the answer to "rise" do not write about the 1920s, 1930s etc.
  2. Introduction - The introduction to the answer should contain a brief of what is to follow in the answer. By reading the introduction the examiner will come to know that you have understood the question. The examiner will also be aware of your viewpoint and will not have to search for it in the answer. 
    • This type of introduction is different from an introduction in an university examination - In an University examination, the introduction would contain the background of the topic you are dealing with in that particular answer.
    • eg: If we are asked a question in polity - "President of India is a mere rubber stamp. Comment". In the introduction itself we will say that "Our parliamentary system necessitates presence of Article 74 in the constitution, but in spite of Article 74 the president can act on his own in certain circumstances if required". The rest can be explained in the main body of the answer. 
  3. Conclusion - This is the place for suggestions or improvements (if any). The conclusion should always be positive even if the answer has a negative tone to it. 
    • eg: If one is asked to "enumerate the problems in India's PDS system". Conclude by suggesting some steps to tackle the problems. 
  4. Analytic Approach - This is the essential requirement of an administrator. Thus answers should be analytic and not merely chronological. Also the answers should not be a collection of facts. Facts should be provided in support of an analytic point that we have made.
    • eg: If we are required to write about "India - Israel relations". Then instead of just enumerating various events/ aspects like RADAR transfer, Satellite launching etc we should divide the answer into political, social, economic, cultural, military etc relations.
  5. Diagrams - Diagrams give a good impression of the understanding of a subject to the examiner. Thus if we can come up with diagrams relevant to the answer, it would help in getting a few additional marks. We have to think about what diagrams to draw beforehand during the preparation itself. It is very difficult to think about diagrams in the exam hall. Diagrams can be very simple - consisting of a few boxes, arrows etc.
  6. Lateral Thinking - This involves thinking about as many angles as possible related to the answer. The more the number of perspectives/ viewpoints/ angles to the answer, the more the marks.
    • eg: If we are required to write an answer to some latest drug discovery in science and technology section - mention its social benefit (if any) in addition to the obvious health benefits.   
Presentation
    These are common points some of which we are following since 10th standard examination.
    1. Write answers in paragraphs - Preferably 1 point per paragraph.
    2. Underlining the main points in the paragraph.
    3. Clean and legible writing. Spacious writing.
    Friday, June 8, 2012 - , , 0 comments

    Enhancing Milk Production Through National Dairy Plan



    FEATURE

    Agriculture

    Sant Bahadur*

                    Dairy sector in India has acquired substantial growth momentum from 9th Plan onwards, producing 121.8 million tonne milk during 2010-11.  Per capita availability of milk reached 269 grams per day in 2010-11. This has not only placed the country on top of milk producing countries in the world, but also demonstrated sustained growth in the availability of milk and milk products for the burgeoning population.
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    Setting up of 'North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR)’ under Department of Science & Technology



    The Union Cabinet today approved setting up of an Autonomous Organization named `North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach` (NECTAR) at Shillong, Meghalaya as a Society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, under the Department of Science & Technology w.e.f 2012-13.

    The total expenditure involved will be Rs.292 crore during the 12lh Plan period.

    The Ministry of Science and Technology proposes to establish a nodal centre in the North Eastern Region in the form NECTAR as a society under the Societies Registration ACT 1860. NECTAR would promote deployment of carefully selected technologies, emanating from the public funded research institutions under Government of India and State Governments, in consultation with the respective state governments, after assessing their application potentials.

    Source : Press Information Bureau
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    CCEA approves enhanced allocation for sanitation;Total Sanitation Campaign rechristened as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan


    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave the nod for more than doubling the amount for construction of individual household latrines from the existing Rs.4600 to nearly 10,000 rupees and also scrapped the distinction of BPL/APL families to achieve the total sanitation target in the country in the next 10 years. The Total Sanitation Campaign will now be known as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Briefing the media about the CCEA decision here, Union Rural Development Minister and the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Jairam Ramesh said, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab have demanded fair allocation for achieving the sanitation goals. At present out of Rs.3400 allocated for individual toilets, Centre gives Rs. 2100, State’s share is Rs.1000 and Rs. 300 comes from the beneficiaries, while Rs.1200 is leveraged through MGNREGA works as was approved last year. But now after the Cabinet approval, Centre has to dole out Rs.3200, States have to give Rs.1400 and families have to provide Rs.900, while MGNREGA funds will be to the tune of Rs.4500. Shri Ramesh informed that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh laid stress on linking sanitation programme in 200 such districts, where the problem of mal-nutrition is acute saying there is a close link between lack of hygiene and mal-nutrition. The Minister also informed that the Planning Commission has approved Rs.36,000 crore for drinking water and sanitation programmes in the 12th Five Year Plan as opposed to Rs.7,800 crore allocated in the 11th Plan. The Cabinet also made toilet construction mandatory for availing funds for Indira Aawas Yojana henceforth, while the Minister added that allocation for IAY will also be raised from existing Rs.45,000 to Rs.75,000 by end of July. Shri Ramesh said, for the first time solid and liquid waste management has been approved for the villages on the model of towns and cities and Gram Panchayats will get from 7 lakh rupees to 20 lakh rupees for the same depending on the size of the population. The Minister said, Sikkim has become the first Nirmal Rajya( that is hundred percent open defecation free) and this year Kerala and Himachal Pradesh will also follow suit, while Haryana has resolved to achieve the target in next two years, Punjab in next five years, and the rest of the states in 10 years time.

    Source : Press Information Bureau

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    Thursday, June 7, 2012 - , , , 0 comments

    Major Incentives in Scholarship Schemes for Minorities



    FEATURE

    Minority Affairs

     

     Sapna*

    The Prime Minister’s New 15-Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities is an initiative of the Government to bring the people of minority classes in the mainstream of development.
     This Programme for the Welfare of Minorities was announced in June, 2006 under the Ministry of Minority Affairs to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the minorities. The purpose was to facilitate the formulation of overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities.
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    Beauty Spot on Sun: Transit of Venus



    From children to elders in all sections of society witnessed today the Transit of Venus which is among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena. The Transit of Venus began at 5:22 am and finished at 10:22 am. In the early morning hours there were heavy clouds but as the sun started to rise it was a spectacular view when the planet Venus appeared as a small, dark disk moving across the face of the Sun. There were around 300 viewers at the office campus and they all enjoyed it.  The next pair of transits will occur on December 2117 and December 2125. Scientists, students, media and general public they all enjoyed the rare celestial event in full volume.
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    Gold Medallist Doctor takes Charge of Medical Services in Navy


    Surgeon Vice Admiral AC Anand
    takes over as DGMS (Navy) 
    Surgeon Vice Admiral Anil Chandra Anand took over as the Director General Medical Services (Navy) on 01 June.

    A gold medallist from the King George Medical College, Lucknow, he was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on 30 Nov 1975. The surgeon specialised in Medicine and super specialised in Gastroenterology. As a gastroenterologist the Flag Officer pioneered a state of the art `Liver Transplant Centre` at the Army Hospital (R&R) from conceptualisation and development to operationalisation.

    A researcher & teacher par excellence, the Surgeon Admiral is an academician with over 250 scientific papers in National and International medical journals including the Lancet and the European Journal of Gastroentronology.

    Some of his previous prestigious appointments include Professor & Head of Department of ‘Medicine’ at AFMC Pune and at Army Hospital (R&R) at Delhi, Commandant of Command Hospital (SC) Pune, Senior Consultant (Medicine) and DG(Org & Pers) in DGAFMS Office.

    Source : Press Information Bureau
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    On ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ today Global Deployment of IPv6 begins



    Architectural Change in Internet Addressing System to enhance addressing capacity
    Major ICT Stakeholders to Permanently Enable IPv6 for Products and Services
    27 Indian Websites brought on IPv6 Platform
    All Government Websites to migrate to IPv6 by December 2012

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    Prime Minister's Meeting on Targets for Infrastructure - FY 12-13



     A meeting was held by the Prime Minister today to finalise the targets for infrastructure for the year 2012-13. The meeting was attended by the Ministers and Secretaries of key infrastructure Ministries - Power, Railways, Roads, Shipping, Civil Aviation and Coal.
    Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - , , 0 comments

    Strategy to Tackle the Issue of Black Money Stashed Abroad



    INFO-NUGGETS

    FINANCE


    Shamima Siddiqui*
      
                The Government has adopted a five-pronged strategy to tackle the sensitive issue of Black Money –
    Joining the Global Crusade Against Black Money

    ·           Issues of tax evasion and Exchange of Information have been incorporated in G 20 communiqué due to efforts of India in the recent ministerial meetings.
    ·           India is playing a key role in Global Forum on Transfer Pricing and Exchange of Information for tax purpose, as Vice Chairman of Peer Review Group.
    ·           Joined FATF, Task Force on financial integrity and Economic Development and Eurasian Group.
    ·           India is participating in policy groups of OECD and UN on Exchange of Information, International Taxation and Transfer Pricing as observer and member respectively.

    Creating an Appropriate Legislative Framework

    ·         Started renegotiation with 75 countries to broaden the scope of Article concerning Exchange of Information, and negotiation of DTAA and Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with new countries and 22 priority countries/jurisdictions (no tax or low tax countries/jurisdictions) respectively.
    ·         India has signed the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax matters on 26 January, 2012. This Convention shall expand the scope of India’s treaty network on tax matters.
    ·         Enacted legislation incorporating counter measure against non-cooperative   jurisdiction (section 94 A in Finance Act 2011).
    ·         Tightened provisions of transfer pricing.
    ·         Proposed GAAR and reporting requirement of foreign asset in the Finance Bill, 2012.
    ·         28 of existing DTAA also contain article for assistance in collection of taxes including taking measures of conservancy. Government is trying to have this Article in other treaties as well.

    Setting up Institutions to Deal with Illicit Funds

    ·       Ten Income Tax Overseas Units in various Indian Missions abroad have been created and out of which two are already functional. The remaining 8 Units shall be made operational very soon. Creation of more ITOUs is under active consideration.
    ·      To effectively handle the increase in tax information exchange and transfer pricing issues, a dedicated Exchange of Information unit (EOI Unit) has been set up.

    Developing Systems for Implementation

    ·      New policy for deployment of manpower to Directorate of Transfer Pricing and International Taxation is implemented.
    ·      Manpower of FT&TR Division in CBDT has been doubled.

    Imparting Skills to the Manpower for Effective Action

    ·      Officers are being imparted specialized training abroad in field of International Taxation and Transfer Pricing. 
    ·      International seminar on transfer pricing was held in India in month of June 2011.

                India played a major role in G-20 discussions and highlighted the importance of automatic exchange of information and importance of obtaining past banking information. India has also obtained useful information about Indians having bank accounts in Swiss bank. This is under investigation. Further a dedicated Exchange of Information Cell has been created to handle the work related to exchange of information in line with latest international standards. (PIB Features.)
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    World Environment Day



    Following is the address by Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Environment & Forests, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan on World Environment Day Celebration today.
    The Minister alongwith Delhi Chief Minister Smt. Sheila Dikshit flagged off Science Express – Biodiversity Special train at Safdarjang Railway Station in New Delhi
    “This is indeed a very important day to celebrate in recognition of the value of the environment around us and its significance for our lives. 
                The World Environment Day is celebrated every year, to not only create awareness but also to reaffirm our commitment to protect and safeguard the environment for us and our future generations. It’s a call for a positive environmental action to save our planet from further degradation. As so rightly said: "Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."(American Indian proverb)
    Our own scriptures are replete with conservation ethos:

    Rising or sitting, standing or walking,
    May we, either with our right foot or our left,
    Never totter on the earth.
     (hymn to Earth : Atarva- veda)

                World Environment Day celebration that began in 1972, is now a global movement that has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political & social attention and action. It enables enable everyone to realize that not only it is their responsibility but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.
                India is blessed with rich natural resources, from the mighty Himalayas to the Gangetic plains to the Deccan; from the deserts to the lush greens in the North east; the Western Ghats, the coasts and the islands. No wonder our country is one of the 12 mega-diverse countries in the world, rich in biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge. It is not just about the tigers and the elephants, but it is also about the algae and the fungi, and the microbes that build up our systems. This biodiversity can only be protected for future use through informed and responsible decision making and by sustainable use by the communities. This requires understanding the value of the ecosystems to the benefit of the communities. Being aware of the biodiversity is the key to protecting the fragile ecosystem and threatened species. One of the example is that the tiger. The tiger population estimates, through sustained interventions, has increased in numbers from 1411 in 2006 to 1706 (about 20% increase).
                The mosaic of environment conservation is interwoven with sustainable livelihoods through implementation of programmes at the local level, creating awareness and fostering partnerships. To fight degradation of the ecosystem and biodiversity, the policies of the Ministry aim at a convergence between sustainable natural resources management and livelihood enhancement programmes. These innovative approaches are aimed to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water while providing sustainable livelihoods. 
    The current decade (2010-2020) has been declared as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity and United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification. With India is hosting the Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), from 8- 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad. This CBD COP 11 assumes immense importance considering that it is being held in the 40th anniversary year of Stockholm Conference held in 1972, 20th anniversary year of Rio Earth Summit held in 1992, and 10th anniversary year of World Sustainable Summit held in 2002.  This would also be the first CoP in the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020. About 10,000 delegates and participants from 192 countries are expected to participate in the event, making in one of the largest global event.
    In an effort to highlight the multifaceted dimension of biodiversity, the Ministry of Environment & Forests is flagging off the “Science Express- Biodiversity Special” - a collaborative initiative between the Ministry and the Department of Science & Technology.
    The train “Science Express” with the theme on Biodiversity, very clearly enunciates our commitment to the creating awareness on the diverse ecosystems that sustains us and way and means to conserve the same. The Science Express- Biodiversity Special- “Biodiversity on Wheels” is an exhibition - an expression of our existence!
    Why the train? One would ask.

    The Ministry chose the Science Express train as a medium to reach out to the far flung areas through its extensive networks that will enable reaching out to the masses and create widespread awareness on the rich biodiversity of our country and the issues associated thereof. The Science Express- Biodiversity Special will be traversing across the country over two years, halting at more than 100 plus stations. Between 5 June 2012 & 22 Dec 2012, the train will travel almost 18,000 km, halting for 3-4 days at each of the 52 locations. It is expected that the train will be visited by a wide range of people, especially school & college students, directly engaging more than 15 lakh visitors and engaging over 50 lakhs people indirectly.  Platform and outreach activities are being planned at each halt and will actively engage Ministry’s National Environment Awareness Programme (NEAC) and National Green Corps (NGC).
    The train’s 8 coaches devoted to show-case the biodiversity of the country through different lens and include exhibits on bio-culture heritage, biodiversity-livelihoods linkages, and the also domestic biodiversity. The train also has four other coaches dedicated to climate change, biodiversity & water and energy conservation, supported by other agencies, like HSBC, PCRA and the Swiss Embassy & Nestle. One coach is dedicated to the Joy of Science Lab which throws open the door of scientific experimentation to students specially school children.
                            The exquisiteness of the train is the collaborative effort between multiple stakeholders, including government ministries, scientific organizations, the civil society organizations and the corporate in bringing together the significance of biodiversity in our lives.
    I take this opportunity to invite you all to visit the Science Express- Biodiversity Special and experience the unique biodiversity that our country that so proudly boasts of. I also call upon each of us present here to pledge our allegiance to the future generation by leaving behind a ‘living & thriving planet’. Lastly, I would like to share with you the slogan of the UN CBD COP meeting that summarizes our relationship with nature - ‘Prakriti Rakshati Rakshita” - Nature protects if she is protected.”

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    Vice Admiral DK Joshi Will be the Next Navy Chief



    The Government has appointed Vice Admiral DK Joshi, presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Western Naval Command, as the next Chief of the Naval Staff with effect from afternoon of August 31, 2012. The present Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral NK Verma retires from service on Aug 31, 2012.

    Born on July 04, 1954 Vice Admiral Joshi was commissioned on April 01, 1974 in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy.

    During his long and distinguished Service spanning nearly 38 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. Vice Admiral Joshi`s Sea Command includes Guided Missile Corvette Kuthar, Guided Missile destroyer Ranvir and the Aircraft Carrier Viraat. Before taking over as FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, he has served as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Commander- in-Chief of A&N Command (CINCAN) and the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).

    Vice Admiral Joshi is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College, USA, an alumnus of the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and the prestigious National Defence College, New Delhi. He was Defence Advisor in the Indian High Commission at Singapore from 1996 to 1999.

    Vice Admiral Joshi has been decorated with ParamVishistSeva Medal (PVSM), AtiVishistSeva Medal (AVSM), YudhSeva Medal (YSM), NauSena Medal (NM) and VishistSeva Medal (VSM). He is one of the Honorary ADCs of the Supreme Commander.

    He is married to Mrs. Chitra Joshi and the couple have two daughters.

    Source : Press Information Bureau
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    ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ and IPv6 Implementation in India


                                                                                                                                                  

    Today, the traditional communication networks are undergoing a big change and are converging into packet based Next Generation Networks (NGN) which run on Internet Protocol (IP). The Internet Protocol is basically acommunications protocol used for relaying packets of data across a network. The current version of the Internet Protocol IPv4 is about 27 year old l having many limitations. It is to be replaced by Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to overcome the limitations.
    On the occasion of the ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ tomorrow  (on 6th June 2012), major Internet Service Providers, networking equipment manufacturers and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services. This day, being organized by Internet Society, represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6.It builds on the successful one-day ‘World IPv6 Day’ event held last year on 8 June wherein , top websites and Internet Service Providers around the world, joined together for a successful 24-hour global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6.
    As a result of the initiatives undertaken by Department of Telecommunication (DoT), majority of the major service providers in India are ready to handle traffic & offer IPv6 services at present. Despite the readiness of the major service providers, there are issues to be addressed so as to ensure that the complete ecosystem migrates to IPv6. The service providers have mainly three challenges i.e. readiness of the content providers, equipment vendors and end user devices. To tackle the above challenges, a lead has been taken by DoT and the respective stakeholders are being pursued with by DoT through extensive discussions and meetings. 
    India has at present 35 million IPv4 addresses against a user base of about 360 million data users. In addition, Government is planning to have a target of 160 million and 600 million broadband customers by the year 2017 and 2020 respectively. Moreover, there is a strong security requirement to provide unique IP address to each individual data user. As IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4, the transition to IPv6 is likely to be a complex, mammoth and long term exercise during which both IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist.  In order to facilitate the widespread introduction of IPv6 in India, a policy document titled ‘National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap’ was released by the DoT in July 2010. The first initiative of its kind by a Government anywhere in the world, the roadmap’s main focus was to educate/ sensitise the Indian ecosystem about the issues related to IPv6 and enable it to take the first step in the transition towards IPv6. Accordingly, following policy decisions were taken:
    i)                 All major Service Providers will target to handle IPv6 traffic and offer IPv6 services by December-2011
    ii)                All Central and State government ministries and departments, including its PSUs, shall start using IPv6 services by March-2012.
    iii)               Formation of IPv6 Task Force
    An India IPv6 Task Force Task Force headed by Secretary (T) was formed and has a 3-tier structure consisting of Oversight Committee, Steering Committee and 10 Working Groups. Each tier has members from different organizations / stakeholders in PPP mode.
                The current version of the Internet Protocol IPv4   has many limitations. The biggest limitation is its 32-bit addressing space resulting in about 4.3 billion IP addresses.  The rapid growth of internet, wireless subscribers and deployment of NGN technology  has accelerated consumption of IP addresses with the result that IPv4 addresses are almost exhausted today. To overcome this problem of shortage, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) way back in early 1990s. The IPv6 improves on the addressing capacities of IPv4 by using 128 bits addressing instead of 32 bits, thereby practically making available an almost infinite pool of IP addresses. Besides, it also offers several other advantages over IPv4. IPv6 has been designed with many new features which make it possible to develop entirely new applications which are not possible in the IPv4 protocol, supports end-to-end security, autoconfiguration simplifies network configuration and IP Host Mobility etc.
    There was a need to have IPv6 test bed in India so that the vendors and stakeholders can test their equipments for IPv6 compatibility and readiness. Accordingly, a IPv6 test bed has been installed by Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), a technical wing of DoT, to foster explicit IPv6 harmonisation across the entire ecosystem.
    To address the various problems being faced by the stakeholders regarding IP address allocation from APNIC, the National Internet Registry (NIR) has been approved by APNIC in India for allocation of IPv6 address in a systematic manner with a big pool to cater to all future requirements and will start functioning shortly.

    Monday, June 4, 2012 - , , , 0 comments

    Indian Railways Continue its March Towards the Path of Growth & Development


       

    Feature - UPA

    Railways

    H. C. Kunwar*

                In its endeavour to become an excellent rail transport network of the world, the Indian Railways during the year 2011-12 has helped launch itself towards a path of gigantic growth and development, keeping in view the future transportation needs of the economy like construction of 727 kilometres of new line, gauge conversion of 856 kilometres and doubling of 752 kilometres of Railway line besides improving punctuality by six per cent and improving safety by seven per cent.  The year 2011-12 has been significant for the Railways in achieving goals and targets.

    Revenue Generation 

                The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during the financial year 2011-12 were Rs. 104278.79 registering an increase of 10.15 per cent.  The total goods earnings were Rs. 69675.97 crore during financial year 2011-12, registering an increase of 10.70 per cent. The total passenger revenue earnings during fiscal 2011-12 were Rs. 28645.52 crore, registering an increase of 10.15 per cent.Indian Railways have carried 969.78 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during fiscal 2011-12 registering an increase of 5.24 per cent.   

    Fresh Measures to Prevent Misuse of Train Tickets

                In a   move to prevent misuse of Reserved Train Tickets and reduce cases of travelling on transferred tickets, the Ministry of Railways decided that anyone of the passengers undertaking journey in AC-3 tier, AC-2 tier, 1st AC, AC Chair Car and Executive Classes were to carry one of the nine prescribed proofs of identity (in original) during the journey.  Meanwhile, Agents /Rail Travel Service Agencies (RTSAs) have been disallowed booking Tatkal tickets at the counters between 08.00 hrs. and 10.00 hrs. on the opening day of Tatkal Advance Reservation Facility  for booking with train starting date. Moreover, Tatkal tickets booking are being booked only on production of self attested photocopy of one of the nine prescribed Identity cards as proof of identity.

    SMS at Par with Ticket & Reservation Through Mobile Phone

                 In a move to further make Train Reservation Ticketing System passenger friendly, the Ministry of Railways has decided to permit Short Messaging Service (SMS) sent by its PSU, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) containing vital details as an instrument on par with the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS). This has come into effect from 1st February, 2012.   The SMS would contain all the vital ticket details like PNR, Train Number, Date of Journey, Class, Name & Number of Passengers, Coach & Seat Number and Fare paid. Also if feasible, the SMS will accommodate the names of all passengers booked on the e-ticket, otherwise maximum number of passengers.
                For the convenience of the rail users, Indian Railways through Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railway, has started the service of booking e-ticket over the mobile phone. After initial registration and downloading of suitable software on the mobile handset with internet facility, it is  quite easy for the mobile users to book a reserved ticket through their own mobile. 

    Real Train Information System Opened to Public

                In a major passenger friendly move, Indian Railways opened the first phase of the Real Train Information System (RTIS) in October 2011 to public for accurate train tracking thus heralding a new era of application of advanced communication and information technologies in various Railway related activities. This new tracking system is based on Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (SIMRAN) and has been developed jointly by the Ministry of Railways’ Research arm namely Research, Design and Standards Organization (RDSO), Lucknow and IIT, Kanpur. This information is available on website “http://www.simran.in”.  To begin with, at present, this service is available for six pairs of  Rajdhani & Shatabdi trains and would be expanded further in due course of time.

    Adarsh Station Scheme

    A total of 929 stations have been identified during 2009-10 to 2012-13 for development under ‘Adarsh’ station scheme.  A total of 550 stations have been developed under ‘Adarsh’ station scheme so far. Out of the remaining 370 stations, 295 stations are targeted for completion in 2012-13 and the remaining 84 stations, which were identified for development under this scheme during Railway Budget, are planned for completion in the next financial year. Adarsh Stations are provided with basic facilities such as drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for lady passengers, better signage etc.

    Developments on Dedicated Freight Corridor Project

                The Dedicated Freight Corridor project will connect a land mass over 3300 kilometers in the country and could prove to be a backbone of India’s economic transport facility. The Western corridor from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Mumbai will be 1499 kilometers.  The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni will be 1839 kilometer long. The nodal authority Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation India Limited (DFCCIL) is overseeing progress of work with the target project completion rate of March 2017.  Presently, 67 per cent of the land acquisition has been completed and as of now the project by and large is on target.  Funding has been tied up with the World Bank for 1183 km section of Eastern DFC from Khurja to Mughalsarai for US$ 2.72 billion  in May 2011 and Loan Agreement for US$ 975 million for the first sector viz Kanpur-Khurja, (343 km) has been signed in October. 2011.  Construction work of 54 major and important bridges in Vaiterna-Bharuch section of Western DFC is in progress and five major bridges have been completed.

    Development of Multifunctional Complex

                A new concept of development of Multi Functional Complexes (MFCs) with Budget Hotels, was introduced in Rail Budget 2009-10 so that important facilities may be available to the rail users in a separate complex in the vicinity of circulating area in station premises.    So far, a total of 198 stations have been identified since 2009-10 (67 in 2009-10, 93 in 2010-11 and 38 in 2011-12).  Task of development of 198 MFCs has been assigned to Zonal Railways and various executing agencies under the Ministry of Railways. Construction of MFCs has been completed at 24 stations. The progress of MFCs has been affected as long-term leasing of land now requires Cabinet’s approval. A Cabinet note, in this regard, is under process.

    New Train on Longest Ever Route Flagged Off

                “Vivek Express” on longest ever route from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari covering a distance of 4286 kilometers was flagged off on 19th November, 2011. This weekly trains leaves Dibrugarh on every Saturday and reaches Kanyakumari on Wednesday.  In return direction, it will leave Kanniyakumari on every Saturday at 14.00 hrs  reaching Dibrugarh on Wednesday.  It will run via Goalpara, New Bongaigaon, Alipurduar, Maldah Town Durgapur, Asansol, Adra, Midnapur,  Vijaywada, Jolapettai, SalemCoimbatore, Ernakulam, Thiruvanantapuram & Kanyakumari.                                                                

    Country’s First Ever AC Double Decker Train Flagged Off

                Country’s first air conditioned superfast Double Decker train was flagged off from Howrah station for Dhanbad on 1st October 2011.  This train will consist of 9 coaches including 7 air-conditioned Double Decker chair cars having 128 seats in each coach and 2 generator cars.  This train will stop at Barddhaman,Durgapur, Asansol, Barakar and Kumardhubi on both ways en-route.  This train will have maximum permissible speed of 110 kilometre per hour

    Longest Tunnel Made Through Pir Panjal in Jammu & Kashmir

                Indian Railways achieved another milestone with final breakthrough of Pir Panjal Railway tunnel inJammu and Kashmir on 14th October 2011. This Tunnel with a length of 11.176 Kilometers is not only the longest Transportation Tunnel in the country but has also the highest point (1753 Meters above sea level) on Broad Gauge Railway System in the country.

    Strengthening of Security at Railway Stations

    Indian Railways are implementing Integrated Security System at 202 important and sensitive stations of the country in first phase. The system will likely become functional at all 202 stations during the current financial year.   This system provides for multiple screening/checking of passengers right from the point of entry.  The ‘Integrated Security System’, comprising of latest machines and software, will supplement conventional methods of security which are also being strengthened. There will be dedicated control rooms at strategic locations for round the clock monitoring through the Close Circuit TV (CCTV) based surveillance system.

    Setting up of Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd Proposed

                It has been decided to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) “Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd to meet the aspirations of rail users and to provide better passenger amenities & facilities at railway stations.  This SPV will be constituted with equity participation of Ircon International Ltd. (IRCON), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory authority under the Ministry of Railways.

    Railways Electrification

                Electrification of Railway routes has yielded good results. During 2011-12, the target of 1110 route kilometres plus 220 track kilometres has been achieved. Railways have fixed an even higher target of 1500 route kilometres for the current year.  By the end of XI Five Year Plan, the percentage of electrified network on Indian Railways is likely to go up to 34.61%.  As on 01.04.2011, 21304 Route Kilometers (RKM) have been electrified. This constitutes 32.88% of Indian Railways network, hauling about 2/3rd   freight and nearly half of passenger traffic.

    Green Initiatives

                In a significant move towards clean environment in platforms and railway tracks, Indian Railways has inducted biotoilets (green toilets) on certain trains. This type of toilets has been designed jointly by Indian Railways and DRDO. These biotoilets are well suited to unique requirement of Indian Railways passenger coaches. Eight trains are presentably running with approximately 500 biotoilets and the results are very encouraging. It is now planned that 2500 biotoilets will be inducted in the next year.

    More Concession For Senior Citizens

                The Ministry of Railways has decided to reduce the minimum age for availing concession from 60 years to 58 years in case for women senior citizens.  It has also been decided to increase the element of concession in case of men senior citizens from 30 per cent to 40 per cent with effect 1st June 2011. Meanwhile, it has also been decided to grant concession in train fares to patients suffering' from Sickle Cell Anaemia/Aplastic Anaemia, when travelling for treatment/periodical check-up to the Government recognized hospitals, and return after treatment/periodical check-up. The element of concession is 50 per cent in the basic fares of Sleeper, AC Chair Car, AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier classes.

    MoUs with State Governments

                The Ministry of Railways and State Government of Chhatisgarh signed an MoU on Development of Rail Corridors in Chhattisgarh.  The Ministry of Railways and Government of Jharkhand State signed an MoU on ongoing Railway Projects in Jharkhand.

    Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited Offers Tax Free Bonds 

                Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited (IRFC), the financing arm of Indian Railways, issued Tax Free, Secured, Redeemable, Non-Convertible Bonds of face value of Rs. 1,000 each in the nature of Debentures, having benefits under Section 10(15)(iv)(h) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended (‘Bonds’)aggregating to  Rs. 3,000 crore with an option to retain oversubscription of upto the shelf limit of` Rs. 6,300 crore (‘Issue’).

    Railways Extend Advance Reservation Period to 120 Days

                The Ministry of Railways increased the advance reservation period for booking reserved train tickets from 90 days to 120 days on experimental basis (excluding the date of journey) with effect from March 10, 2012. 

    Arrangements to Clear Extra Rush of Traffic for the Summer, April to June 2012

                Indian Railways have made elaborate arrangements to clear extra rush of traffic for the ensuing summer season from April 2012 to June 2012.   More than 5600 trips of special trains have been planned to handle the rush during the ensuing summer period.  These special trains have been planned over approximately 44 different popular routes to clear extra rush of traffic. 

    High Level Committees

                Safety in train operations is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and all measures are being taken on a continual basis to prevent accidents and enhance safety. A High Level Safety Review Committee, headed by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission submitted its report suggesting a significant road map on safety related issues.  In addition, to give further impetus to Railways’ modernization plans, an Expert Group constituted under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sam Pitroda also submitted its report recommending ways and means to modernize Indian Railways.

    India and Bangladesh Constitute Joint Group

    The Governments of India and Bangladesh constituted an Empowered Joint Group to suggest measures to ease travel by Maitree Express, the direct passenger carrying train between Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka, introduced in April, 2008. Both sides agreed that Maitree Express is a symbol of people to people connectivity and the deep abiding friendship between the two countries.  To make this bi-weekly train more popular, the Empowered Joint Group decided that they would formulate certain short term, medium term and long term measures to ease the travel by this train.
     (PIB Features.)

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