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Head: Bajaj Auto extends support to the Indian Armed Forces and Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Pune

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Pune: 6th March: Bajaj Auto has donated Rs one crore to the Armed Forces Flag Day Fund (AFFDF) as well as an amount of Rs 31 lakh towards Pune-based Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre (PRC). A cheque for AFFDF was recently handed over to Honourable Shri Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, Government of India in New Delhi by Shri C P Tripathi, Advisor (CSR), Bajaj Auto, in the presence of the officials of AFFDF.

Bajaj Auto, the leading manufacturer of two-wheelers and three-wheelers in India, has for long placed corporate social responsibility at the heart of all its endeavours, directly as well as through Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha and other NGOs and trusts. It reaches out to underprivileged sections of the society in the areas of education, healthcare, environment and social and economic development.

 

Limiting proportions to 1:2 & lowering centre of gravity of any building should be mandatory

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Ghaziabad: Col Tyagi, through the medium of slides, explained in details that by controlling water cement ratio, by giving a slant in the roof, by providing a RCC Shear Wall in the tall Buildings, by ensuring that beams are lighter than columns stability can be achieved in any Building. He further said that by limiting the size proportions to 1:2, by using the breathing surface finishes, by using more insulators than conductors-harmony can be achieved in any Building. All these aspects have a solid science and engineering basis which are well covered in the ancient text of  VAASTU in Mayamattam, Samrangan Sutradhar, Mansara etc. However, you need an engineer to comprehend the ancient text. Unfortunately, the commercial pseudo Vaastu Consultants are swindling the people’s money in the name of “ Vaastu Upchar” without understanding even  a bit of the engineering aspect of construction as covered in the ancient text of Vaastu Shastra.

Giving an example, Col Tyagi  brought out that newly constructed  multi-storey buildings collapsed while the ancient temples remained intact during the BHUJ Earthquake. One of the reason is lower center of Gravity of Temple as compared to the vertical cubicals of Multistorey Buildings. We can provide relative stability to any building by simply giving a slant/slope in its roof.

Covering the aspect of harmony in any building, Col Tyagi suggested to adopt the Divine Ratio. In fact, nature exist in a spiral form. Everything which God has made contains an inbuilt spiral in it. The ratio of this spiral is called DIVINE RATIO. It can be achieved by selecting a square or rectangular shape. The Chairman of the Institution of Engineers and Pro Vice Chancellor of Mewar University Dr Hari Shankar Sharma congratulated Col T.P. Tyagi for clearing a big confusion created by the mushrooming of Vaastu Consultants. The Secretary of the Institution Shri Satish Chand Gupta proposed to organize a big SEMINAR on the issue so that people, at large could be saved from being  cheated by pseudo Vaastu Specialist. The proposal was okayed unanimously and it was decided there and then that a National Seminar on Vaastu Science for Promoters will be organized in JUNE 2017 with the AIM of recommending a group of Individuals to the Government of India to draft mandatory Guide lines for the Vaastu Consultants.

 

No misuse of Aadhaar biometrics leading to identity theft or financial loss: UIDAI

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There has been no incident of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics leading to identity theft and financial loss during the last five years when more than 400 crore Aadhaar authentication transactions have taken place, according to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

In a comprehensive clarification with regard to misinformation in some news items and articles appearing in various print and social media during the last few days alleging breach of Aadhaar data, misuse of biometrics, breach of privacy, and creation of parallel databases etc., UIDAI said that it has carefully gone into these reports and would like to emphasise that there has been no breach to UIDAI database of Aadhaar in any manner whatsoever and personal data of individuals held by UIDAI is fully safe and secure.
In a statement, UIDAI has said that Aadhaar based authentication is robust and secure as compared to any other contemporary systems. Aadhaar system has the capability to inquire into any instance of misuse of biometrics and identity theft and initiate action.
UIDAI uses one of world’s most advanced encryption technologies in transmission and storage of data. As a result, during the last 7 seven years, there has been no report of breach or leak of residents’ data out of UIDAI, the statement adds.
UIDAI is continuously updating its security parameters looking at the new threats in cyber space. It also undertakes security audits and takes necessary steps to augment its security features. UIDAI has decided to have registered devices for capturing biometrics data and further that such biometrics will be encrypted at the point of capture itself. This will further strengthen the security features of Aadhaar eco system.

With reference to an incident of misuse of biometrics reported in a newspaper, UIDAI said that it is an isolated case of an employee working with a bank’s Business Correspondent’s company making an attempt to misuse his own biometrics which was detected by UIDAI internal security system and subsequently actions under the Aadhaar Act have been initiated.

Responding to media reports about on boarding of the ecosystem partners UIDAI said that the regulations under the Aadhaar Act strictly regulate the on-boarding, functioning including the data sharing restrictions imposed on the companies which want to use Aadhaar information.
On reports of misuse of e-KYC data by various agencies and also allegations that the e-KYC API is available in public domain, the Authority said that E-KYC APIs are available only to authorized Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) and e-KYC User agencies (KUAs) through authorized Authentication Service agencies (ASAs) which have established secured network connectivity for the purpose of authentication with the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR), in compliance with the Regulations, specifications, standards and technology architecture as prescribed by UIDAI.
With reference to reports that there are no extant regulations available to prevent storage and misuse of e-KYC data while citing instances like capturing IRIS from high resolution photograph, UIDAI states that there are stringent provisions in the Aadhaar (Authentication) Regulations governing the usage of e-KYC data including storage and sharing, resident consent being paramount in both the cases. Any unauthorized capture of IRIS or fingerprints or storage or replay of biometrics or their misuse is a criminal offence under the Aadhaar Act.

The statement says that news reports also speak of private agencies hired by mobile operators and banks for eKYC leading to availability of these data in parallel database and the vulnerabilities in the scenario where there is no Privacy Law in the country. In this regard, the statement points out that Aadhaar authentication or eKYC is only available to authorised agencies whose appointment, responsibilities, statutory obligations, penal provisions for contraventions are clearly provided for in the Aadhaar Act and the regulations framed thereunder. Banks or mobile operators have to become UIDAI’s AUA/ASAs to obtain E-KYC data of their customers from UIDAI. The E-KYC data can be given by UIDAI to these agencies only after they obtain consent of their customers and can be used only for the purpose for which it was obtained. For example, a telecom operator can obtain the E-KYC data of its subscribers and will keep them in their records without biometrics and use them only for the purpose of proving telecom services. Similarly a bank, after obtaining the E-KYC information of its account holders, will keep the information without their biometrics within the bank and will use it only for the purpose of providing banking services and cannot use it for any other purpose without obtaining consent of the customer. Violations of above provisions attract strict penalties under the Aadhaar Act which will be enforced strictly.
An important tool of good governance and empowerment of people, Aadhaar has helped more than 4.47 crore people to open bank accounts through Aadhaar E-KYC. It has enabled the government to do Direct Benefit Transfer under various schemes such as LPG Subsidy under Pahal, Scholarships, MNREGA, and Pensions directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries eliminating corruption, diversion, and leakages by middlemen etc. Through Aadhaar based Direct Benefit Transfers the government has saved over Rs 49,000 Crore during the last two and half years. Aadhaar based Public Distributions System is benefitting people by ensuring that their food grain entitlement are given only to the deserving beneficiaries and are not cornered by unscrupulous and corrupt elements. These are just few examples of how Aadhaar is changing lives of common men and women of India, a task that the UIDAI is steadfastly committed to performing in a citizen-friendly, inclusive and secure manner.

India-Canada Trade and Investment Relations taken further

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A bilateral meeting was held on 03-03-2017 in New Delhi between visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade, Mr. François-Philippe Champagne and Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

The two Ministers carried forward the discussion from the bilateral meeting held on the side lines of World Economic Forum at Davos in January, 2017. The discussion focussed on expanding bilateral trade and investment between the Countries. Both the Ministers agreed to expedite the conclusion of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Canadian Trade Minister pointed out regarding the interest shown by Canadian Pension Funds in the Indian market and emphasised on the need for FIPA which will provide the required predictability and protection to investments. Addressing the issues of MFN, ratchet, ISDS etc. raised by the Canadian side, the Commerce Minister, Smt. Sitharaman clarified that the negotiation should not get lost in peripheral issues and should focus on bringing in promotion and protection elements, which provide stability and predictability to investments in each other’s country. She said that India has approved the model text as a template and the negotiation under FIPA should go forward in accordance with the model text. However, both sides should remain flexible to incorporate the essential elements of investment protection while negotiating the Agreement.

The Commerce and Industry Minister, Smt. Sitharaman also raised the issue of reforms in the Temporary Foreign Workers Programme (TWFP) which has been made more stringent by Canada and which adversely impacts the services trade from India. She discussed the importance of the ease of movement for intra-company transferees on short term visa for filling in certain crucial and specialized activities. She gave example of a few Indian companies who have made investments in Canada but are finding it difficult to source key employees from India as intra-company transferees. The Canadian Trade Minister assured that a number of steps have been taken to facilitate the ease of movement for professionals into Canada. He described the recent initiative under the Global Skill Strategy Programme wherein the visa application for high skilled technicians, Professors, Researchers etc. will be disposed of within two weeks’ time. Similarly, for professionals visiting for less than a year, a fast track process is being set up which will be similar to a concierge service. This will be extended to companies invested in Canada on a priority basis.

Both the Ministers agreed that the present trade which is in the range of $ 8 billion is much below its potential and there is a need to conclude CEPA in a time bound manner for ensuring higher levels of trade in goods and services. They directed the respective Chief Negotiators on both sides to agree on a time line and conclude it as per the agreed time line.

The Canadian Trade Minister raised the issue of the fumigation requirement for the pulses being imported into India and the need for a resolution to the issue. The Commerce and Industry Minister assured to look into the issue in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture. Smt. Sitharaman also raised the issue of organic equivalence to India’s National Programme on Organic Production (NPOP) by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Trade Minister from Canada agreed to take up this issue with the Canadian Agriculture Ministry.

Both the Ministers also discussed the potential benefit of business to business interface and, therefore, the importance of CEO Forum to provide the required perspective for improvement in bilateral trade and investment. While the Indian side of the CEO Forum has been reconstituted, the Canadian side will have to reconstitute the Forum. It was agreed by the Trade Minister of Canada to reconstitute the CEO Forum by the end of March. Both the Ministers agreed on ensuring that the business leaders from both sides should meet at the earliest and provide key inputs for furthering our bilateral relationship.

Both sides also agreed for better mutual cooperation on issues of common interest at the International Fora. Both the Ministers resolved to take forward the momentum for enhanced bilateral trade.

 

President presents ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to mechanical training institute of IAF

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The President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, Shri Pranab Mukherjee releasing the First Day Covers of Mechanical Training Institute (MTI) Tambaram and 125 Helicopter Squadron Pathankot, during the presentation of the prestigious President’s Standard and Colours, at Air Force Station Tambaram, Tamil Nadu on March 03, 2017. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa is also seen.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force today (March 3, 2017) at Air Force Station, Tambaram, Tamil Nadu.

Speaking on the occasion, the President complimented the 125 Helicopter Squadron and Mechanical Training Institute of Indian Air Force and said these units have a glorious past, embedded with rich heritage, stellar efforts and selfless service to the Nation. For their unflinching devotion, professionalism, ethos and courage, the Nation honours them with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation.

The President said that India is a responsible and emerging power in a multipolar, multilateral world. The ever changing socio-economic and geo-political scenario in our region of influence demands a strong deterrent against those with nefarious designs to affect the progress, prosperity and security of our Nation. Apart from providing deterrence against inimical entities, both external and internal, our Armed Forces have been at the forefront of providing succour to our citizens during natural calamities. The relentless and selfless operations showcase the fortitude and determination of its gallant air warriors.

The President said that the Indian Air Force has evolved into a technologically advanced entity whilst safeguarding the sovereignty of our Nation. The resilience and tenacity displayed by the air warriors is worthy of emulation by the youth of our country.

 

Oil India Limited celebrated 58th Foundation Day

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Oil India Limited (OIL), India’s second largest National Exploration & Production Company, celebrated its 58th Foundation Day with full fervor and zeal at it’s Corporate Office in NOIDA on 18th February, 2017. Various events were organized for observing the company’s 58th Foundation Day, which received a large participation from all personnel and their family members. The activities included Pledge taking, wherein Sri Utpal Bora, Chairman & Managing Director, OIL administered the Pledge to all employees of the company’s Corporate Office; a talk on health and holistic wellbeing by Dr. Ritu Gaur, Director of Saksham Yoga & Naturopathy Treatment Cum Research Centre, New Delhi; talk on building harmony in relationships by Sri B.K. Pius, Director, Prajapita Brahmakumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya; and a Walkathon & a Cleanliness Drive in Sector 15 A, OIL Residential Complex, Noida. Like in the Corporate Office, the Foundation Day was celebrated across all offices of the company across the country

NITI Aayog to partner with eminent Civil Society organizations

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Recognizing the important role played by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in effective implementation of government policies/schemes, NITI Aayog organized an interaction with the leading CSOs and key ministries of the Union Government in the national capital on Wednesday, March 01, 2017.

Over 17 leading voluntary organizations and 15 central ministries took part in the deliberations to take forward the social sector initiatives of the government. The voluntary organizations from all over the country, working across the spectrum of social sector services from education, health, geriatric care, women’s empowerment, rural development to handlooms, interacted with senior officials from Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development, FSSAI, Ministry of Minority Affairs, among others.

Highlighting the crucial role of CSOs in ensuring inclusive growth and development down to the last mile, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Dr. Arvind Panagariya said, “An effective partnership between the government and the CSOs will go a long way in efficient utilization of government resources, especially in the social sector.”

Emphasizing the potential of a collaborative approach to create a lasting impact on the lives of all citizens, NITI Aayog CEO, Mr. Amitabh Kant said that innovative solutions to eliminate poverty, hunger and all other forms of deprivation can emerge through greater coordination between CSOs and the government.

The meeting identified effective ways of strengthening partnership between CSOs and the government at the national, state/district and ground level for improving service delivery of major government schemes.

A range of issues pertaining to social sector service delivery from allocation of funds to monitoring and evaluation processes, including self-regulation of CSOs, were discussed at the roundtable. Elucidating the nature and impact of work performed by the organization, each CSO brought to the table specific sector-wise recommendations to collaborate with government ministries and departments. Suggestions were made by leading voluntary organizations including Pratham, Help Age India, Sulabh International, Pradhan, Akshaya Patra and Prayas for developing a sustainable partnership between voluntary organizations and the Government.

Carrying forward the spirit of partnership, it has been decided that similar interactions to build strong partnerships for effective governance will take place at regular intervals.

 

Furnishing of Aadhaar mandatory for final settlement of Pension claims

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The EPFO has clarified that obtaining of Aadhaar should be mandatory for the time being only for final settlement of Pension and not in withdrawl cases. The EPFO had extended the date of submission of Aadhaar Number authentication by the members of Employees’Pension Scheme 1995 upto 31st March 2017.
However, news item appearing in few dailies suggested that Aadhaar is not required in settlement of pension claims. Accordingly, the EPFO reiterated that the requirement of submitting Aadhaar is not insisted for the time being only in withdrawal benefit cases under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995. Furnishing of Aadhaar is still mandatory for final settlement of pension and scheme certificate cases.

Rs. 16,097 cr foreign exchange earned through tourism in Jan. 2017

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Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the month of January 2017 were Rs.16,097 crore as compared to Rs.13,669 crore in January 2016 and Rs.12,100 crore in January 2015. The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during January 2017 over January 2016 was 17.8% as compared to the growth of 13.0% in January 2016 over January 2015. Based on the credit data of Travel head as available from Balance of Payments of RBI for the previous year, Ministry of Tourism estimates and releases the data of Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism in India, both in rupee and dollar terms, for the current month applying suitable inflation factor and current month Foreign Tourist Arrivals data.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

  • FEEs  during the month of January 2017 were Rs.16,097 crore as compared to Rs.13,669 crore in January 2016 and Rs.12,100 crore in January 2015.

 

  • The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during January 2017 over January 2016 was 17.8% as compared to the growth of 13.0% in January 2016 over January 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

  • FEEs in US$ terms during the month of January 2017 were US$ 2.364 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 2.032 billion during the month of January 2016 and US$ 1.945 billion in January 2015.

 

  • The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in January 2017 over January 2016 was 16.3% compared to a positive growth of 4.5% in January 2016 over January 2015.

 

India signs Financing Agreement with World Bank for US$ 63 Million for Tejaswini

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A Financing Agreement for IDA credit of US$ 63 million (equivalent) for theon 23rd February, 2017. The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. A Project Agreement was also signed by Mr. Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Principal Secretary, Department of Women, Child Development, Government of Jharkhand and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank.

The project seeks to empower the adolescent girls with basic life skills and thereafter provide further opportunities to acquire market driven skill training or completion of secondary education, depending on the inclination of the beneficiary. The project will be delivered in 17 Districts of Jharkhand. The project has three main components, (i) Expanding social, educational and economic opportunities (ii) Intensive service delivery (iii) State capacity-building and implementation support. About 680,000 adolescent girls and young women in the project Districts are expected to benefit from the program.

The closing date for the project is 30th June, 2021.

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