18th National Conference on e-Governance

Theme: Digital Governance-New Frontier 
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, in association with the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India and Government of Gujarat, is organising the 18th National Conference on e-Governance on January 30-31, 2015 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Senior Officers from the Government, Industry, academicians, technical experts and NGOs will participate in the event.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt. Anandiben Patel, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh; will be present during the inaugural session on January 30, 2015. The occasion will also be attended by Secretary, DARPG, Government of India, Shri Alok Rawat; Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Shri R. S. Sharma; Chief Secretary, Gujarat, Shri D. J. Pandian; President NASSCOM, Shri R. Chandrashekhar; Special Secretary, DARPG, Shri Arun Jha; and other Senior Officers from the Government of India and various State/Union Territory Governments.

National e-Governance Awards for the year 2014-15 will be presented in 12 different categories concerning various aspects of e-Governance during the inaugural session by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India and the Minister of State in the Prime Minister Office and Personnel. The Valedictory session will be graced by the Governor of Gujarat, Shri O.P. Kohli and the Minister of Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat, Shri Govindbhai Patel. The National e-Governance Awards recognise some of the best Government to Government (G2G), Government to Citizen (G2C), Government to Business (G2B) initiatives taken by various government departments and also initiatives of public sector units and Non-Government Institutions. The Conference along with the Exhibition is a forum to showcase best practices, innovative technologies and ICT solutions. The 18th National Conference on e-Governance, with the theme “Digital Governance-New Frontier”, will explore the benefits of the use of ICT, how e-Governance leaders can act as the agents of change, integrated service delivery and use of mobile platform for expanding access rapidly. Focus sector of the year is “Skill Development and Employability”.

The inaugural session will be followed by a session on “Digital India” and plenary session on “Digital Governance-New Frontier”. Other interactive sessions will include discussions on a wide range of topics such as “e-Governance Leaders as Change Agents”; “Accountable Governance through Social Media and Citizen Engagement”; and “Integrated Service Delivery-Standards and Interoperability”; “Use of Mobile Platform for rapidly expanding access”; “Skill Development and Employability”; Partnership with Industry – New Business Model and Service Delivery”; and “Citizen Services in a Smart City – New Paradigm”.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Mines Ministry holds one-day Workshop in Odisha with State Governments and other stakeholders to explain the provisions of MMDR Ordinance

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Ordinance, 2015 has been promulgated on 12.1.2015. A meeting was taken by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Mines and Steel with State Mining Ministers on 19.1.2015 in New Delhi to discuss the roadmap for implementation of provisions of the Ordinance. It was decided in the meeting to hold a one-day Workshop in States with officials of State Governments and other stakeholders to explain the provisions of the Ordinance and obtain feedback. 

Shri Naresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India visited Odisha on 28.1.2015. Two separate sessions were held with State Government officials and other stakeholders. The first session was held with senior officers / officials of State’s Department of Steel and Mines, Directorate of Mines and Odisha Mining Corporation which was also attended by Shri R. K. Sharma, Principal Secretary, Department of Steel and Mines. This session primarily focused on the provisions of the Ordinance, the process for its implementation by the State Government at all levels, and clarification on any issues connected therewith. The senior, middle and junior level officers actively participated during the discussions. The second session was attended by the representatives of the mining and mineral sector of the State of Odisha, State / Central Public Sector Units, private companies and officials of Directorate of Mines and Geology, Odisha. Issues raised by the stakeholders during the discussions were clarified by Shri Naresh Kumar. Stakeholders were also requested to give specific suggestions which will be considered while framing of rules and regulations for implementing the provisions of the Ordinance. 

It was emphasized that allocation of mineral resources through the auction process will ensure greater transparency and give impetus to the mining sector. The provisions of the Ordinance will simplify the process of grant of mineral concessions and their easy transferability, which will attract private investment. It was stressed upon the representatives of the State Government to expedite the identification of mineral blocks to make them available for auction. Concerns were raised by the State Government on the provision of deemed extension for a period of fifteen years for captive users and five years for merchant miners. It was stated that such a provision has been kept in the Ordinance to ensure that supply of raw material to the manufacturing sector is not adversely affected during the transition period. 

Shri Naresh Kumar met Shri G.C. Pati, Chief Secretary, State of Odisha and Shri Aditya Prasad Padhi, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister of Odisha and sought their valuable suggestions which will be considered while framing the rules and regulations to implement the provisions of the Ordinance. A need to immediately put in place a mechanism to expedite identification of mineral blocks for auction was also discussed. The State Government was assured that Geological Survey of India and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited will extend full cooperation and assistance in identification of minerals blocks. 

The Workshop, interactions and discussions were held in a very cordial environment where all the participants freely expressed their views. The State Government and all other stakeholders participants were assured that their valuable suggestions will be considered while framing of rules and regulations for implementation of the provisions of the Ordinance.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Curtain Raiser – Beating the Retreat Ceremony 2015

This year the Indian tunes will be the flavour of the ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony here, tomorrow. As many as 20 out of 23 performances have been composed by Indian musicians. This year some ‘desi’ new tunes are being played for the first time like ‘Vir Bharat’, ‘Chhana Bilauri’, ‘Jai Janam Bhumi’ and ‘Athulya Bharat’. Other tunes are ‘Deshon Ka Sartaj Bharat’, ‘Cutty’s Wedding’, ‘Piper O’ Drumond’, ‘Gorkha Brigade’, ‘Ocean Splendour’, ‘Blue Field’, ‘Battle of the Sky’, ‘Anandloke’, ‘Dashing Desh’, ‘Flying Star’, ‘Glorious India’, ‘Bhupal’, ‘Indian Soldiers’, ‘Hathroi’, ‘Salam to the Soldiers’, ‘Giri Raj’, ‘Drummers’ Call’, ‘Abide With Me’ and lastly the ever-popular ‘Sare Jahan Se Acha’. 

The ceremony at the Vijay Chowk on January 29th every year marks the culmination of the four-day-long Republic Day celebrations. This year, 15 Military Bands, 18 Pipes and Drums Bands from Regimental Centres and Battalions are participating in Beating the Retreat Ceremony. Besides one each of Indian Navy and Indian Air Force band will also form part of the event. 

The principal conductor of the Beating Retreat ceremony will be Major Girish Kumar U while military bands conductor will be Subedar Suresh Kumar and Navy and Air Force bands commander will be Master Chief Petty Officer (Musician-I) Ramesh Chand. Buglers will perform under the leadership of Subedar Prabhakaran and pipes and drums bands will play under the instructions of Subedar Mitter Dev. 

‘Beating the Retreat’ has emerged as an event of national pride when the Colours and Standards are paraded. The ceremony traces its origins to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. ‘Beating Retreat’ marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates a nostalgia for the times gone by.

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Grant of subsidy to Jute Corporation of India to maintain its infrastructure for MSP operations

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved providing financial support to the JCI, it has been decided to provide subsidy to Jute Corporation of India (JCI) on a continuous basis to off-set the losses on account of Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations by JCI. The quantum of subsidy will include the difference between the Purchase and Sale Price of MSP Raw Jute. The quantum of subsidy will also include fixed overhead costs incurred by JCI in maintaining its infrastructure for MSP operation. The reimbursement of fixed overhead cost would be maintained albeit at a reducing amount as per the details given below:
In Rs. Crore





Annual  subsidy/  Grant for maintaining its infrastructure for MSP operations.





The decision will provide financial support to Jute Corporation of India to protect the interest of the Jute Growers through procurement of Raw Jute under the MSP fixed by the Government of India and also to stabilize the raw jute market for the benefit of the 40 lakh farm families and the jute economy as a whole.
JCI is the Price Support Agency of the Govt. of India for jute to protect the interest of the Jute Growers through procurement of Raw Jute under the MSP fixed by the Govt. of India from time to time and also to stabilize the raw jute market for the benefit of the jute farmers and the jute economy as a whole. To enable JCI to conduct MSP operation and be in preparedness for MSP at the start of every year, yearly grant is provided to the JCI to meet its operational expenditure & overheads for MSP preparedness.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Signing of MoU between India and Oman in the field of tourism

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism, between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Sultanate of Oman
The main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding, amongst other things, are:
a.  To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector.
b.  To exchange information and data related to tourism.
c.  To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators.
d. To establish exchange programme for cooperation in Human Resource Development.
e.  To invest in the tourism and hospitality sectors,
f.   To exchange visits of tour operators / media /opinion makers for promotion of two way tourism.
g.  To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management.
h.  To participate in travel fairs /exhibitions in each other`s country and,
i.        to promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.
India and Oman have enjoyed a strong historical and long economic and political relationship. The Sultanate of Oman is a strategic partner for India in the Gulf region and an important interlocutor in the bilateral, Arab Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League and the Indian Ocean Rim Association contexts. The two countries are linked by geography, history and culture. Both countries also enjoy warm and cordial relations, which can be ascribed to historical maritime trade linkages, intimacy of the Royal family with India and the seminal role of the Indian expatriate community in the building of Oman.
In recent years Oman has emerged as an important tourism source market for India in the West Asian region. During 2013, India received 62,252 visitors from Oman. Similarly India has emerged as one of the important source market for Oman in the field of tourism. Considering the mutual benefits, both India and Oman would like to create an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in this sector. The signing of the MoU will further strengthen and further develop the established relationship between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Oman for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism on reciprocal basis.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Spectrum Auction for 2100 MHz Band in February 2015

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to proceed with auction in 2100 MHz band alongwith 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands. 

The Reserve price approved for 2100 MHz Band is Rs 3705 crore pan-India per MHz. 

A 5 MHz Block will be offered in all service areas except Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab. Thus a total of 85 MHz in 17 Licensed Service Areas (LSAs) is being put to auction. 

Salient condition of payment terms and eligibility criteria are given in the Annexure. 

The estimated revenues from the auction of 2100 MHz Band are Rs.17555 crore of which Rs.5793 crore is expected to be realized in the current financial year. 


Eligibility Criterion 

(i) Any licensee that holds a Unified Access Service (UAS)/ Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS) / Unified License (Access Service) UL(AS) / UL licence with authorization for Access Services for that Service Area; or 

(ii) any licensee that fulfils the eligibility for obtaining a UL with authorization for AS; or 

(iii) any entity that gives an undertaking to obtain a UL for access service authorisation through a New Entrant Nominee as per the DoT guidelines/licence conditions. 

can bid for the Spectrum (subject to other provisions of the Notice). 

Payment Terms 

Successful Bidders shall make the payment in any of the following two options: 

(a) Full upfront payment within 10 days of declaration of final price or pre-payment of one or more annual instalments; or 

(b) deferred payment, subject to the following conditions: 

(i) An upfront payment; of 33 percent in the case of 2100 MHz band. 

(ii) There shall be a moratorium of two years for payment of balance amount of one time charges for the spectrum, which shall be recovered in 10 equal annual instalments. 

(iii) The first instalment of the balance due shall become due on the third anniversary of the scheduled date of the first payment. Subsequent instalment shall become due on the same date of each following year. Prepayment of one or more instalments will be allowed on each annual anniversary date of the first upfront payment, based upon the principle that the Net Present Value of the payment is protected. 

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Reconstitution of Empowered Committee regarding setting up of Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) manufacturing facilities in the country

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved to reconstitute the Empowered Committee to setup the Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) projects, with the following composition: 

a) Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog ….. Chairman 

b) Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation 

c) Secretary, Department of Expenditure 

d) Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion 

e) Dr. M.J. Zarabi, Former CMD, Semiconductor Complex Ltd. (SCL) - Technical Expert 

f) Prof. Narendra Krishna Karmarkar, Distinguished Visiting Professor, IIT-Bombay 

g) Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology - Member Convener 

h) Empowered Committee may co-opt any other experts 


The Government had in 2011 constituted an Empowered Committee to identify technology and investors and to recommend incentives to be provided to set up two FAB facilities in the country. This Committee submitted its recommendations to the Government. Based on the recommendations of the Empowered Committee, the Union Cabinet accorded approval for establishing two FAB manufacturing facilities by two consortia, one led by M/s Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. along with M/s IBM (USA) and M/s Tower Jazz (Israel) and the other led by M/s. HSMC Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. along with M/s ST Microelectronics (France/Italy) and M/s Silterra (Malaysia); and authorized the Empowered Committee to take all decisions to implement the FAB projects in furtherance of the decision of the Cabinet Letters of Intent have been issued to the two consortia on 19.03.2014 for setting up FAB facilities in India. 

The setting up of Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication units is a critical pillar required to promote Electronics System Design and Manufacturing in India which will stimulate the flow of capital and technology, create employment opportunities, help higher value addition in the electronic products manufactured in India, reduce dependence on imports, and lead to innovation. 

Courtesy: pib.nic.in