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Bridge Over Teesta River In North Sikkim Opened For Traffic

The bridge will help the movement of logistics for the Armed Forces deployed in the forward areas. 

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GANGTOK (Sikkim): In a relief to the residents of Lachen in North Sikkim, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on March 21 opened for traffic 360 feet long bailey suspension bridge over Teesta River in Munshithang near Chungthang town.

The 86 Road Construction Company (RCC) of 758 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF), under Project Swastik, commenced the construction of the bridge in October 2019 and completed it in January 2020.

The approach roads to the bridge have also been constructed.


The bridge will give impetus to tourism and facilitate the movement of logistics for the Armed Forces deployed in the forward areas.

In June 2019, a steel bridge of 180 feet span at the same location was completely damaged due to a massive cloud burst resulting in severing the lines of communication in North District of Sikkim.

The connectivity was kept open by routing the traffic through restricted Army land.


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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

HISTORIC: Cabinet Approves Amendment To Essential Commodities Act

‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’ approved.

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NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet also approved The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020.

The ordinance will empower farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers and exporters on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation.

It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs.


It will reduce the cost of marketing and improve the income of farmers.

Briefing media in New Delhi, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, farmers, have been provided adequate protection.

Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery.


Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear timelines for redressal.

This Ordinance will act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for the supply of Indian farm produce to global markets.

About The Amendment, Ordinances:

While India has become surplus in most agri-commodities, farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to hanging sword of Essential Commodities Act. Farmers suffer huge losses when there are bumper harvests, especially of perishable commodities. With adequate processing facilities, much of this wastage can be reduced.

Benefits:

With the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from the list of essential commodities. This will remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations.


The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into the agriculture sector. It will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.

Safeguarding Interest of Consumers:

The Government, while liberalizing the regulatory environment, has also ensured that interests of consumers are safeguarded.  It has been provided in the Amendment, that in situations such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity, such agricultural foodstuff can be regulated.  However, the installed capacity of a value chain participant and the export demand of an exporter will remain exempted from such stock limit imposition so as to ensure that investments in agriculture are not discouraged.

The amendment announced will help both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability.  It will create a competitive market environment and also prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities.

Barrier-Free Trade In Agriculture Produce:

Cabinet approved ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’.

Farmers in India today suffer from various restrictions in marketing their produce. There are restrictions for farmers in selling agri-produce outside the notified APMC market yards. The farmers are also restricted to sell the produce only to registered licensees of the State Governments.

Further, Barriers exist in the free flow of agriculture produce between various States owing to the prevalence of various APMC legislation enacted by the State Governments.

Benefits:

The Ordinance will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy the freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce. It will also promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations.


This is a historic-step in unlocking the vastly regulated agriculture markets in the country.

It will open more choices for the farmer, reduce marketing costs for the farmers and help them in getting better prices. It will also help farmers of regions with surplus produce to get better prices and consumers of regions with shortages, lower prices.

The ordinance also proposes electronic trading in transaction platform for ensuring a seamless trade electronically.

The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce under this Act. Further there will be a separate dispute resolution mechanism for the farmers.

One India, One Agriculture Market:

The ordinance basically aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition.

This will supplement the existing MSP procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers.

It will certainly pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market and will lay the foundation for ensuring golden harvests for our hard-working farmers.

Farmers Empowered To Engage With Processors, Aggregators, Wholesalers, Large Retailers, Exporters:

Cabinet approved ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’.

Indian Agriculture is characterized by fragmentation due to smallholding sizes and has certain weaknesses such as weather dependence, production uncertainties and market unpredictability. This makes agriculture risky and inefficient in respect of both input & output management.

Benefits:

The ordinance will empower farmers for engaging with processors, wholesalers, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters etc., on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation.

It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce the cost of marketing and improve the income of farmers.

This Ordinance will act as a catalyst to attract private sector investment for building supply chains for the supply of Indian farm produce to global markets. Farmers will get access to technology and advice for high-value agriculture and get a ready market for such produce.

Farmers will engage in direct marketing thereby eliminating intermediaries resulting in full realization of price.

Farmers have been provided adequate protection. Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery. Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear timelines for redressal.

Other Measures:

A series of steps were announced as part of theAtmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan to provide a boost to those engaged in agriculture and allied activities.

These include the provision of concessional credit through Kisan Credit Cards, financing facility for agri-infra projects, Pradhan MantriMatsyaSampadaYojana and other measures to strengthen fisheries, vaccination against Foot & Mouth Disease and Brucellosis, Herbal Cultivation promotion, boost to beekeeping, Operation Green etc.

Through PM KISAN, over 9.54 crore farmer families (as on first June 2020) have benefited and an amount of Rs. 19,515 crore has been disbursed so far during the lockdown period.

An amount of Rs. 8090 crore has been paid during the lockdown period under PMFBY.

These steps are only the latest in a series of measures taken by the government, which shows its continuous commitment to championing the cause of welfare of the hardworking farmers of India.

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COVID-19: India Now Producing Over 3 Lakh PPEs And N95 Masks Every Day

States and UTs have been provided with around 111 lakh N-95 masks and 74.48 lakh PPEs. 

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NEW DELHI: The Health Ministry said that India has significantly ramped up its domestic production capacity related to Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs and N95 masks and the requirements of the States and Union Territories are being sufficiently met.

Today, the country is producing more than three lakh PPEs and N95 masks per day.

States and Union Territories, as well as Central Institutions, have been provided with around 111 lakh N-95 masks and 74.48 lakh PPEs.


Reacting to reports in a section of media expressing concern about the quality of PPE coveralls, the ministry clarified that HLL Lifecare Limited, HLL, procuring agency of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is procuring PPE coveralls from manufacturers and suppliers tested and approved by the labs nominated by the Ministry of Textiles.

Procurement is being done only after their products qualify in the test prescribed by the technical committee of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Ministry advised all the States and Union Territories to ensure procurement after following the prescribed testing for PPEs from Ministry of Textiles’ nominated labs. In addition, manufacturers who have got their products qualified from these labs are also being brought on Government e-Marketplace, GeM.


Information of manufacturers whose products have qualified the tests is available on the Ministry of Textiles’ website.

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1.50 Lakh MP Students About To Become Doctors, Engineers Under MMMVY

Madhya Pradesh government deposits fees worth Rs 326,,69,85,000 in the accounts of the students.

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BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): About 1,52,000 students in Madhya Pradesh are on the verge of becoming doctors, engineers, lawyers, architects, business managers etc. by availing the Mukhya Mantri Medhavi Vidyarthi Yojana launched in the academic session 2017-18 by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to remove the financial difficulties obstructing the education of meritorious students.

The government has deposited tuition fees worth Rs 326,69,85,000 of 1,52,278 students in the last three academic sessions.

This scheme of giving complete tuition fees for the education of meritorious students has been implemented for the first time in the country only in Madhya Pradesh. It is a scheme in which all the students of all classes can avail its benefits on the basis of merit.


Under the scheme, payment of Rs 88 lakh 66 thousand 671 of 22 IIM students, Rs 4,36,59.993 to 325 students of I.I.T., N.I.T., I.I.I.T., I.I.S.E.R., N.I.F.T. S.P.A. located in Madhya Pradesh and Rs 12 crore 23 lakh one thousand 701 to 1374 students of I.I.T., N.I.T., I.I.I.T., I.I.S.E.R., N.I.F.T. and S.P.A. located outside Madhya Pradesh has been made.

Rs 187 crore granted to 2832 students of medical (NEET)

Similarly payment of tuition fees of Rs 187 crore 41 thousand 460 to 2832 students of Medical (NEET), Rs 21 crore 13 lakh 36 thousand 892 to 3329 students of Technical Education, Rs. 5 crore 74 lakh 10 thousand 534 to 328 students of CLAT-NLIU, Rs 3 crore 59 lakh 70 thousand 724 to 251 students of private colleges outside Madhya Pradesh on the basis of J.E.E. rank, Rs 73 crore 38 lakh 79 thousand 774 to Rs one lakh 38 thousand 790 students in Higher Education and Rs. 18 crore 35 lakh 17 thousand 358 to 5027 students of other courses have been made by the government.


It may be noted that under the Mukhya Mantri Medhavi Vidyarthi Yojana, those bonafide students of Madhya Pradesh, who have passed with 70 per cent in the Board of Secondary Education Bhopal Class XIIth examination or with 85 per cent or more in the Class XIIth examination of CBSE / ISCSI can avail benefits.

The annual income of the parents of the students should be less than Rs 6 lakhs.

The entire tuition fee of these students is deposited by the government.

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