News - Government

India Census 2011 – A Story of Innovations

By Dr. C Chandramouli

The author is Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India.

New Delhi, Aug 16, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) Indian Census is the single largest source of a variety of statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India. It is the most credible source of information on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing & household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, language, religion, migration, disability and many other socio-cultural and demographic data.

With a history of more than 130 years, this reliable, time tested exercise has been bringing out a veritable wealth of statistics every 10 years, beginning from 1872 when the first census was conducted in India non-synchronously in different parts.

The recently concluded Census 2011 is the 15th National Census of the Country in the unbroken series since 1872 and the seventh after Independence. It is remarkable that the great historical tradition of conducting a Census has been maintained in spite of several adversities like wars, epidemics, natural calamities, political unrest etc. Very few countries in the world can boast of such a glorious tradition.

The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India (ORGI) under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, which includes conceptualization, planning and implementation of the Census operation in the country. The organization has field offices in all the States and Union Territories (except the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and the Union Territory of Daman and Diu, which are attached to the office at Gujarat). The field officers are headed by the Directors of Census Operations, who are responsible for the conduct of Census in their respective jurisdictions.


India Launches Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) to Protect Against Bio Piracy

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By Samir K. Brahmachari

The author is Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Govt. of India

New Delhi, Aug 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) TKDL is a collaborative venture between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, and Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and a maiden Indian effort to prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge belonging to India at International Patent Offices. TKDL has overcome the language and format barriers by scientifically converting and structuring the traditional medical knowledge of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga in 34 million A4 size pages of the ancient texts in languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Tamil into five international languages, namely, English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish, with the help of information technology tools and a novel classification system - Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC). Today, India through TKDL is capable of protecting about 2.45 lakh medicinal formulations similar to those of neem and turmeric. TKDL access has been given to eight International Patent Offices which are European Patent Office (EPO), Indian Patent Office, German Patent Office (GPO), United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKPTO), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), IP Australia and Japan Patent Office (JPO) under Access (non-disclosure) agreement. Based on the third party observations submitted by the TKDL team so far 53 patent applications of the pharma companies of United States, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, China, etc. have been either set aside or withdrawn/cancelled or declared as dead patent applications based on the information present in the TKDL database at no cost and in few weeks time after filing of the third party observations whereas cancellations of patents have been known to take 4-13 years of legal battle. Considering the novelty, utility and its effectiveness in preventing the grant of wrong patents several countries and organizations have expressed their keenness in replicating the TKDL model for their own countries. World Intellectual Property Organization including the global community has recognized India’s leadership in the area of Intellectual Property Rights and Traditional Knowledge.

Genesis of TKDL Initiative

E-Office for Effective and Transparent Governance in India

New Delhi, Aug 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Government is a vast store house of information that is critical for decision-making. Automating the internal functioning of the Government is one of the key components for bringing in total and effective Governance. In the past, every department had developed systems based on its individual needs, resulting in the creation of independent systems with very little information sharing even across the systems of one department.

Initiatives for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs): Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) Scheme, Representation of Peoples Amendment Act

New Delhi, Aug 9, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) Scheme was formerly launched in January, 2006 by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 to facilitate life long visa free travel to India and certain economic education educational and cultural benefits to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs).  As on  on 30th June,  2011, a total number of 8,61,726  PIOs have been registered as OCIs.

Voting Rights To NRIs

The Representation of Peoples Amendment Act 2010 has been passed which gives voting rights to overseas Indian passport holders. Notification dated 3rd February 2011 has been issued allowing overseas electors for their names to be included in the roll pertaining to their locality in which his place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located. Overseas electors are required to apply in the requisite form alongwith copies of all the documents mentioned in the said form to the concerned registration officer directly or send the application to him by post.

The Rules allow self-attestation of documents by the applicants.

Overseas Workers Resource Centre

Earth System Science Organization of India

By Dr. Shailesh Nayak
Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India

New Delhi, Aug 4, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) Recognizing the importance of strong coupling among various components of the earth, viz. atmosphere, oceans, cryo-sphere and geo-sphere the Ministry of Earth Sciences was found in 2006.  Soon after in 2007 came in a virtual organisation, an executive arm of the Ministry,  the Earth System Science Organisation (ESSO).  It has three major branches of earth sciences viz., (i) Ocean Science & Technology (ii) Atmospheric Science & Technology and (iii) Geoscience and Technology. The sole purpose of the endeavor was to address holistically various aspects relating to earth processes for understanding the variability of earth system and for improving forecast of the weather, climate and hazards.

Primarily  aimed to develop  and improve capability to forecast weather, climate and hazard related phenomena for societal, economic and environmental benefits including addressing aspects relating to climate change science, climate services and integrated Himalayan meteorology, the ESSO is also responsible for development of technology towards the exploration and exploitation of marine resources in a sustainable way for the socio-economic benefit of the society by taking into account the global developments in the field of marine environment.

The Vision

Rajiv Awas Yojana - India Takes on Slums & Urban Poverty

By Alok Deshwal
Dy. Director (M&C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi

New Delhi, August 1, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) The urban population of India has grown rapidly over the past few decades. In 2001, 27.8 per cent of Indian citizens (286 million) lived in urban areas[1], which has increased to 31.2 per cent (377 million) in 2011[2]. In addition, India is expected to represent 26 per cent of Asia’s proportion (54 per cent) of the world’s urban population by 2050[3]. However, this large growth in urban population has posed a serious challenge with regard to the provision of civic amenities, shelter and livelihood for the vast sections of population especially those that belong to the Lower Income Groups (LIG) as well as the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).   A majority of these  reside in slum- 93 million in 2011[4]. The housing shortage, estimated at 24.71 million in 2007, is expected to grow to 26.53 by the end of the current plan period[5].

Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission: A Success Story in India

Access to drinking water in third world

Access to drinking water in the 3rd world - Image via Wikipedia

To wrap up, one must say; the greatest strength of democracy is that under this system of governance, the people are the masters of the destiny and also of their own developmental works. The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had always underlined this theme. The Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission is truly one such scheme.

By Nirendra Dev
Special Representative, The Statesman,  New Delhi
PIB Features

New Delhi, July 26, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) The provision of drinking water supply is an imperative need of the society. Ensuring adequate and effective supply of drinking water in rural areas is one such important priority area and was thus incorporated as one of the six key components of Bharat Nirman programme under the UPA government in 2004. During the Bharat Nirman Phase – I period itself, over 55,000 un-covered and about 3.31 lakh slipped-back habitations were covered with provisions of drinking water facilities. In addition over 2 lakh quality-affected habitations were to be addressed for water quality problem.

The Planning Commission documents say, the national goal of achieving universal access of the mammoth rural population to adequate potable drinking water at a convenient location at all times is truly a daunting task. Thus it is not without good reason that a national water supply and sanitation programme was introduced in the social welfare sector way back in 1954.

Balance of Plants : Bridging the Gap between Electricity Demand and Supply in India

Logo of National Thermal Power Corporation

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By Mayank Agrawal
Director ( M & C), Press Information Bureau, New Delhi.

New Delhi, July 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) On the path of a fundamental transformation with the main objective of providing reliable electricity to all households at reasonable rates, Power Sector in India has witnessed a major thrust in power generation in the last 4-5 years. However, in spite of manifold increase in generation capacity, the country is facing a peaking power shortage though the power generation is showing increasing trend. In the beginning of 11th Plan, peaking shortage was 13 per cent and energy shortage was 10 per cent and it has come down to 10 per cent and 7.5 per cent as on 31.3.2011. In order to bridge the existing gap between demand and supply and to meet the rapidly growing future requirements, there is a need to increase the installed capacity in the country. Fuelling this growth is going to be an enormous task ...

International Seminar on Defence Acquisition in India : a curtain raiser

New Delhi, July 11, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) Raksha Mantri Shri AK Antony will inaugurate an International Seminar on Defence acquisition in New Delhi tomorrow.  The objective of the seminar is to share the experiences of major countries in the matter of defence acquisition policies, procedure and best practices.  In a three-day seminar the participants will discuss among other things, the different aspect of acquisition, its legal perspectives, International best practices in acquisition and experiences of the different countries.

India's Jan Lokpal : Cure Worse than the Disease (Part-II)

Kapil Sibal, Union minister in Ministry of Sci...

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By Kapil Sibal
Union Cabinet Minister and a Member of the Joint Drafting Committee of the Lokpal Bill, Govt. of India

New Delhi, June 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB-India) The jurisdiction of the Jan Lokpal Bill is all pervasive. It covers all public servants including members of the higher Judiciary. This Legislation seeks to break new ground. It is an attempt to reign in and discipline members of the higher Judiciary. This has far reaching consequences. First, some eminent Jurists believe it might fall foul of the basic structure of the Constitution. The autonomy and independence of the Judiciary is protected under the Constitution, which allows a member of the higher Judiciary to be removed only through the cumbersome impeachment process. The intent was to ensure that justice is administered without fear or favour. Instead, we need a robust Judicial Accountability Bill.

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