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AAI Starts Taking Bids Under UDAN 4.0; Focus On Northeast India, J-K

To create an enabling ecosystem to enhance connectivity to remote regions via optimum incentives, operational flexibility.

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NEW DELHI: The Union Government has launched the fourth round of the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN 4.0 to boost connectivity to more remote and regional areas of the country.

Interested bidders and airline operators can view the bidding details of UDAN 4 on the Airports Authority of India (AAI) site or on the e-commerce company, MSTC’s portal.

UDAN, which stands for ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’, aims to make air travel affordable and widespread. The UDAN 4.0 will focus on the priority regions including the northeast, hilly states, Jammu and Kashmir UT, Ladakh and islands.


The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the 4th round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN following three successful rounds of bidding to enhance connectivity in the remote and regional areas of the country.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Tuesday initiated the process of taking bids from airlines for various routes under the fourth round of bidding of its regional connectivity scheme UDAN.

Airports that have already been developed by AAI would be given higher priority for the award of VGF (viability gap funding) under the scheme, followed by airports…located in priority areas…followed by airports located in areas other than priority area(s),” it said.


UDAN 4.0: 

Revision of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – The VGF provision for Category 2 / 3 aircraft (with more than 20 seats) has been enhanced for the operation of flights under RCS to priority areas.

The VGF cap applicable for operation of category 1 / 1 A aircraft (below 20 seaters) has also been revised to incentivize the operation of smaller aircraft under the scheme.

Priority Areas:

The priority areas include the two new union territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir, hilly states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, north-eastern states and island regions of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.


Short-haul routes:

The VGF provision would be restricted to routes with stage length of up to 600 km for the operation of category 2 / 3 aircraft. Beyond this, no monetary support would be provided. The table for the provision of VGF for various stage lengths would be available for stage length up to 500 km.

Prioritization framework:

Under the scheme, airports already developed by the Airport Authority of India will be given higher priority for the Viability Gap Funding. The airports not part of the list but are located in the priority areas will be given priority next, followed by airports located in other areas.

Flexibility to change the flight operation frequency:

The Selected Airline Operator (SAO) will be allowed to change the flight operation frequency during the tenure of flight operation of the given route. However, this will only be allowed when the total scheduled flight operation, which was submitted as a part of the Technical Proposal, was conformed and adhered to within a year.

Inclusion of helicopter and seaplane operation:

The operation of helicopter and seaplane would be allowed under round four of the UDAN scheme under the NSOP license.

History:


The UDAN scheme was launched in October 2016 to make air travel affordable by providing connectivity to the under-served areas in the country by the revival of existing airports and airstrips.

Till date, under the scheme, a total of 688 routes connecting 137 cities have been awarded to airlines.

MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) aims to operationalise 1,000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next five years. This would be achieved by focusing on operationalising routes in priority areas,” it said.

On November 28, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha that flight operations have begun on 232 routes — connecting 43 small cities — out of total 688 routes awarded under UDAN scheme.

Besides making travel affordable and accessible to all, the UDAN scheme aims to boost inclusive national economic development, development of air transport infrastructure in all regions and job growth.

In the last three years, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation completed three rounds of bidding under the scheme in the last three years and awarded around 700 routes, many of which will be operationalized during the winter schedule 2019. The Ministry is working to develop more airports and operationalize the pending routes.

Overall, the Civil Aviation Ministry aims to operationalize around 1000 routes and develop more than 100 airports in the next five years. The Ministry aims to achieve this by focusing on operationalizing routes in the priority areas.

The Aviation Ministry aims to develop short-haul routes. The Airport Authority of India also aims to develop no-frills airports in the future and the routes connecting such airports will be prioritized for awarding the Viability Gap Funding.

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Covaxin, India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine Gets DCGI Approval For Human Trials

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials.

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HYDERABAD (Telangana): India-based biotechnology company Bharat Biotech has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to advance its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, into human clinical trials.

The Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from pre-clinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020, the release said.

This marks the first regulatory approval for India’s domestic vaccine to enter trials. DCGI’s approval will enable the company to conduct Phase I and II studies, which are set to begin next month.


Covaxin has been developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology. The inactivated vaccine was manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad, India.

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said: “We are proud to announce ‘Covaxin’, India’s first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19.

“The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO have enabled approvals to this project.”


Bharat Biotech’s track record in developing vero cell culture platform technologies has been proven in several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika. The company is proficient in conducting extensive multi-centre clinical trials, having completed more than 75 trials in over 300,000 subjects globally, the release said.

In April this year, Bharat Biotech partnered with FluGen and University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoroFlu.

CoroFlu will be administered intranasally with an aim to induce multiple immune responses.

Later in May, Bharat Biotech entered into an exclusive agreement to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate created at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, US.

Thomas Jefferson professor developed this vaccine candidate in January using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins.


Besides Bharat Biotech, at least five other Indian companies are working on a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus while similar efforts are underway in different countries.

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Uttar Pradesh Will Generate 1.25 Cr Jobs: PM Modi

PM Modi praised the UP govt for their unprecedented work in ensuring that the poor don’t go hungry.

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NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh will generate 1.25 cr employment opportunities, primarily in rural areas and across small-scale industries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. Since the lockdown was announced on 25 March, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from UP have returned to the state after losing their livelihood.

At the virtual launch of the ‘Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyaan’, along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Modi said the scheme was a “qualitative and quantitative expansion” of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA), a new central job scheme. He said investors from India and abroad were looking to set up businesses in Uttar Pradesh.

“Uttar Pradesh has increased the scope of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. While the scheme started by the Centre had 25 programmes under it, the Uttar Pradesh government has not only added more schemes, but has made a quantitative and qualitative improvement [on the GKRA]. Uttar Pradesh government is expected to employ 1.25 crore people under these schemes, of which 60 lakh will get employment in rural areas, and 40 lakh under micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” Modi said.


The ‘Abhiyan is intensely focused towards providing employment, promote local entrepreneurship and create partnership with industrial associations and other organisations to provide employment opportunities’.
Around 50 per cent number of the jobs will be provided under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

The Uttar Pradesh CM had asked the state authorities to map the skill of the workers returning from different states so that they can be provided employment as per their expertise.

The state has around 1.80 crore MGNREGS job cardholders, out of which, 85 lakh have been active.
Commenting on the state government’s initiative, Chief Secretary RK Tiwari said, “We are roping in all major departments to provide work in addition to jobs being provided under the MGNREGS. The micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) department, public works department, horticulture department and the agencies constructing the expressways will also contribute in a big way in the creation of more jobs.”


The Centre had announced the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package to stimulate various sectors. In order to generate employment with a thrust towards creating infrastructure in backward regions of the country, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan was launched on June 20, 2020.

The PM lauded the courage and wisdom shown by Uttar Pradesh when Corona is in such a major crisis in the world. He said that the way the state succeeded and the way it handled the situation is unprecedented and is praiseworthy.

PM Modi praised the contribution of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff, police, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, banks and post offices, transport services and workers in UP.

PM Modi lauded the Government of UP making efforts to bring back the migrant labour belonging to the state, by facilitating hundreds of Shramik Express Trains.

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PM Launches Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan For Migrant Employment

‘Till now you were developing cities, now you will help your village,’ PM Modi tells migrant workers.

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a massive rural public works scheme, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, in six states. He said, this Abhiyan will provide livelihood opportunities to the migrant workers and will help in the development of rural areas by creating local infrastructure.

At the outset, the Prime Minister paid his homage to the martyr who sacrificed their lives while protecting the borders in Ladakh saying that he wants to assure that the entire country stands with the Army and families who lost their beloved ones.

PM Modi said that the government is making every effort so that people do not have to take loans from anyone while living in the villages during this corona pandemic crisis. He said, the self-reliant India campaign-Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan started with the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and within a few weeks, about 1.75 lakh crore rupees were spent on the scheme. He further said that:


Free ration and pulses have been provided to 80 crore poor people in three months.

More than 10,000 crore rupees have been transferred to 20 crore women-Jan Dhan’s accounts.

He said this was made possible due to the infrastructure created in the past years for the smooth transfer of money directly in the accounts of the poor people.

He said that for a self-reliant India, self-reliant farmers are equally important and by keeping this in mind, the government has abolished several discriminatory laws in the past few days.

Now, farmers can sell their produce to anyone and anywhere without any hurdle and it will empower them.

Prime Minister launched the campaign through remote from Telihar village in Khagaria District of Bihar in presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar along with other Chief Ministers and Union Rural Development Minister.


The campaign will be operationalized through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the districts.

The Abhiyaan is being introduced through the coordinated effort of 12 different Ministries and Departments namely Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.

The campaign of 125 days will be implemented on a mission mode. It will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country.

A total of 116 Districts with more than 25 thousand returnee migrant workers across six States, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 Aspirational Districts. These districts are estimated to cover about two-thirds of such migrant workers.

In Jharkhand, three aspirational districts of Hazaribagh, Godda and Giridih out of the 116 selected districts have been covered under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyaan Rozgaar Abhiyaan inaugurated online today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Migrants who have returned to their native places post the COVID -19 lockdown situation are hopeful of finding a job based on their skills.


The new scheme shall provide employment opportunities to around 45000 thousand people who have migrated back in these three districts, and are hopeful of finding skill-based jobs in MSME, small sector units, agricultural and telecom units.

According to the government’s data, around 5 lakh twelve thousand migrant labourers have returned to the state so far.

Deputy Commissioners of all three Aspirational districts of the state have been instructed by Secretary of Rural Development Department Aradhana Patnaik to work as per the plan charted out for employment generation to the migrants.

Giridih DC has also planned to introduce a skill-based apprenticeship certification programme for the migrants.

Migrant labourer Md Amin says that the lockdown did not provide work for months in Mumbai, and is now happy to work in the village and live with the family.

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