Thursday, April 9, 2015

 The 2015 Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR) was launched by Smt Smriti Zubin Irani. The Minister for Human Resource Development  today at an event organized by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with the UNESCO GMR at New Delhi. This is the first international launch of the GMR report outside of Paris and New York.  Holding the international launch in New Delhi is a tribute to India’s progress in school education.  The event was attended by national and international guests. The 2015 Global Monitoring Report is the 12th and the concluding in the series and is aptly based on the theme ‘Education for All 2000-2015; achievements and challenges.
The event included a brief video address by the UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon who called upon the nations to harness the power of education to build a better future for all. The presentation by Mr Aaron Benevot, Director GMR on the key finding of the report highlighted the unfinished EFA agenda also indicated at the progressive gains made in reducing the out of school children, increased enrolment at the primary level and encouraging trends in participation of the girl child.
Smt Smriti Zubin Irani in her address highlighted the strides made by India in reducing the out of school children and achieving gender parity at elementary level thereby contributing to the global progress in the EFA goals. She also elaborated on the recent measures taken by the government in harnessing technology for extending quality education and using education as a means pillar for nation’s character building. 
Nobel laureate 2014 Shri Kailash Satyarthi focused on the issue of the challenge of reaching out to the most marginalized children. The presentation by Mr Chernor Bah, member of the High level Steering Committee for the UN Secretary General’s  Global Education First Initiative shed light on the rising aspirations of youth viz-a-viz education and the need of national governments to keep pace with the same. Prof R. Govinda, Vice Chancellor, National University for Educational Planning and Administration elaborated on the India’s progress towards the EFA and steps to meet newer challenges in India. Mr Gatchew Enigada in his closing remarks dwelled upon the need to sustain the progress to cover the unfinished EFA agenda during the post 2015 SDG regime and the importance of international collaboration in building capacities for harnessing technology for education.
The launch event also included an exhibition put together by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) entitled’ Shaping the Future Education Agenda’ with participation from the following :
1.      National council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
2.      United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
3.      National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)
4.      National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD)
5.      National Literacy Mission Authority, Directorate of Adult Education
6.      Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) Karnataka
Piyush Goyal : Affordable Power for all by 2019

Conference of Power, Renewable Energy and Mines Ministers of States and UTs Begins at Guwahati
New Delhi: For the first time in the North Eastern region of India, especially in Assam, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India is organizing a 2-day conference of Power, Renewable Energy and Mines Ministers of States and UTs. The Conference took off today at The Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati, which was inaugurated by Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & NRE.

In his inaugural address, Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The Government is committed to provide affordable, 24 x 7 power to all households by 2019. An efficient, resilient and financially healthy power sector is essential for growth and poverty reduction. The availability of quality, reliable and affordable power helps in the rapid socio-economic growth of the country especially the backward region”. Shri Goyal said that, the Government has launched Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) with the objective of separating agriculture and non agriculture feeders to facilitate Discoms in the judicious rostering of supply to agricultural and non-agricultural consumers, strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure including metering in Rural areas and rural electrification including micro grid and off grid distribution network. The scheme is an improvement over the previous programmes as it provides cafeteria approach to the States in prioritizing their needs rather than a straight jacketed approach of ‘One Size Fits All’.

Shri Goyal said, “All states should sort out the procurement to generate more power. It will give all the States employment opportunities as well as power. We have specially taken a big CSR initiative as we are going to establish 5 cancer hospitals in coal mining areas in the country.”

The Minister expressed great satisfaction that during 2014-15 against the target of 20882 ckm of transmission lines and 47871MVA of transmission capacity have been 22100ckm & 65554 MVA respectively, which is the highest achievement ever in a year. Emphasizing on the efficient use of energy, Shri Goyal said that Domestic lighting & Street Lighting system is already progressing towards efficiency through utmost use of LED lights.

Shri Goyal said that his Ministry has recently concluded e-auction of 29 coal mines in 2 phases. The total proceeds from the coal mines auction cave crossed Rs. 1.93 lac crore surpassing CAG estimate of Rs. 1.86 lac crore losses on account of allocation of 206 captive coal blocks without auction since 1993. On major initiatives and achievements, the Minister said there is huge increase in thermal based electricity, doubling the coal production to 100 crore tons by 2020, more than One Lac Twenty Five Thousand (1,25,000) toilets for schools will be constructed as part of Swach Bharat Abhiyan, the Minister said.

Shri Piyush Goyal said, “The Government has embarked on Rs. 10,000 crore project, to serve all North Eastern Region.” On Subansiri Project, he hoped that “A consensus would emerge among stakeholders for speedy implementation as this would expand opportunities to all especially irrigation, job creation, and affordable power to all. Accept it as a shared responsibility.” The Minister said this conference is a demonstration of true co-operative federalism.

The two day conference is being attended by Power, Renewable Energy & Mines Ministers from 23 States and UTs.

In a national conference of non- corporate sector held yesterday at New Delhi on prospects of “MUDRA” the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on April 8, 2015 at New Delhi, more than 200 leaders of leading Organizations of different stakeholders of non-corporate sector from all over the Country have termed “MUDRA” as a milestone in economic development of unincorporated sector in India. The Conference was held by the Action Committee for Formal Finance to this sector, the umbrella body representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses. The Action Committee has been strongly advocating the need for a separate financial architecture for small business since August 2014.

Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, National Coordinator of Action Committee informed that in a unanimous resolution adopted at the Conference it was said that “The PM has a large vision for MUDRA. He has challenged the banking sector that within a year, the banks will all be interested in lending to MUDRA, and increasing their participation in the small business sector of the country. This is hugely exciting since the flow of funds to this sector will increase manifold. Since it is a truly visionary step and will be a game-changer for the non- corporate small business sector of the Country, the Action Committee will soon launch a nationwide campaign to promote “MUDRA” in small business segment”. Under the campaign Conferences will be held in all States beginning with a Conference on 5th May at Chennai. 

MUDRA has three levels of loans – below Rs 50,000, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakhs and from Rs. 5 to 10 lakhs. Continued Khandelwal: “We know this is a good starting point. To fully cover the small business sector including the trucking sector, the loan size should be increased from 10 lakhs to 25 lakhs, and over time up to 50 lakhs. This will complete the MUDRA mandate and over time fulfill the requirements of small businesses, the real drivers of the economy.”  

Mr. B C Bhartia, National President of Confederation of All India Traders, a key constituent of the Action Committee, said: “MUDRApromises to be a unique institution. Instead of creating a new ecosystem, it promises to work in close partnership with the existing private finance companies, both micro-finance companies and other NBFCs catering to the sector. For the first time, it recognizes that small business finance is a separate category. And as a regulator for this sector, it will steer clear of unrealistic rules and thus help develop the sector. This is a major positive departure that we welcome.”    
MUDRA is expected to channel vast resources to the micro/small business sector and this will surely transform the economic well-being of millions of small people. “MUDRA is being created with a corpus of Rs 20,000 crs. Over time we expect this corpus to increase, through own funds and from market borrowings, to lakhs of crores. When that becomes reality, MUDRA would have fulfilled its goals of transforming the small business sector” said Khandelwal.

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