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#YearEnders2018

Year End Review – 2018- Ministry of Finance

Year End Review – 2018- Ministry of Finance 

The Indian Government has made significant strides in the last 4 years in taking India to new heights in terms of the welfare of the citizenry, the overall structure& growth of the economy, and creating a strong presence as an emerging global power.

To fuel such achievements, the Government has worked tirelessly for shouldering a number of bold and important socio-economic reforms. The Government has undertaken its reform drive with the spirit of inclusiveness of the marginalized and hitherto socio-economically neglected classes in the overall development process. To this end, right at the beginning of its term, the Government came-up with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana(PMJDY) in August 2014, for giving space to the deprived classes into the formal banking system and making Financial Inclusion as its prime goal. Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana’s success has led to the creation of the much needed financial infrastructure, which serves as a runway for taking-off other Social Security Schemes like Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana(PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana(PMJJBY).

Taking a step further towards up-liftment of the neglected, the Government recognized the need for targeted welfare reforms to cater to special needs of certain sections of the society. In this direction, the Government came-up with Pradhan Mantri Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, which provides financial security to the girl child when she grows up.

Not only financial security, but also the financial independence of the women was taken care of through Stand Up India Scheme, which expands its ambit to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. Stand Up India gives subsidized loans to harness and ignite the latent entrepreneurial zeal of the hitherto disadvantaged communities.

Financial needs of all the stakeholders ranging from the budding entrepreneurs to the hard-working farmers have also been catered to through various initiatives.An important initiative in this direction is the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana. During the Financial Year 2018-19, the number of loans sanctioned are 2,81,08,814 with total amount sanctioned worth Rs.1,48,503.57 Crore, with total amount disbursed Rs.1,42,009.91 Crore.

Alongside the farmer’s needs have also been addressed. The Kisan Credit Card Scheme (KCC) was strengthened for contributing towards the liberation of peasantry from the shackles of exploitative money lenders by improving their access to formal credit.

Reforms and initiatives like GST, Demonetization, Operation Clean Money and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code have made the Indian economy more efficient and transparentand haveensured financial discipline along with better compliance.

The success of Government’s policies is further reaffirmed and underscored when the International Organizations like the World Bank and IMF recognize India as the fastest growing Emerging Economyin the world and applaud the resilient and stable growth India has witnessed.

According to a recent World Bank report, India is a top improver in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings for the second year in a row. India has improved 65 places from 142 to 77 in span of last 4 years which is a remarkable achievement in itself.

A Department-wise description of the Major Activities undertaken during the year 2018 is as follows.

Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)

Overall fundamentals of the economy remained strong for the Year 2018-19

Macroeconomic Indicator For Year 2018-19
GDP Growth Rate (%) 7.1 (Up to Q2)
CPI 3.9% (Q2)
WPI 4.64% (over November, 2017)
Current Account Deficit (CAD) US$ 15.8 billion (Q1)
Trade Deficit US$ 45.7 billion (Q1)
External Debt to GDP Ratio (%) 20.5% ( till March, 2018)
FDI Inflows US $16,868 million (April –June, 2018)
Foreign Exchange Reserves US$ 393.7 billion

(As on November 30, 2018)

(Source; RBI Bulletin,PIB Website)

GDP and the Economy

The Indian Economy is on track to maintain a high growth rate in the current global environment.

The share of Indian economy in world(measured as a ratio of India’s GDP to world’s GDP at current US$) increased from 2.6 percent in 2014 to 3.2 percent in 2017 (as per World Development Indicators database). The average share of Indian economy in world during 1960 to 2013 was 1.8 percent. The average growth of the Indian economy during 2014-15 to 2017-18 was 7.3 per cent, fastest among the major economies in the world.

Indian economy is projected to be the fastest growing major economy in 2018-19 and 2019-20 (International Monetary Fund October 2018 database). This is borne by GDP growth of 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2018-19.

The Second Quarter has seen a reasonable overall GDP growth of 7.1%.  The H-1 2018-19 growth of the GDP is 7.6% and the H-1 GVA growth is 7.4%.  The Growth in the Second Quarter is on higher base compared to the growth of the First Quarter.

The Manufacturing Growth on a base of 7.1% in Q2 2017-18 has been 7.4% in Q2 of 2018-19.  The Construction Sector has grown by 7.8%.  The Gross Fixed Capital Formation as a ratio of GDP has increased by almost 1.3 percentage points over Q2 of last year.  The Exports for Q-2 have grown by 13.4%.  The Government consumption for the Quarter has also significantly increased by 12.7%.

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This is ratified in the reports of International Organizations like World Economic Forum.

As per the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 Report of the United Nations, the outlook for India remains largely positive, underpinned by robust private consumption and public investment as well as ongoing structural reforms.

According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 Report, India’s ranking improved by 65 positions to 77th rank in 2018. 

The Government of India has taken various initiatives to improve the confidence in the Indian economy and boost the growth of the economy and which, inter-alia, include; fillip to manufacturing, concrete measures for transport and power sectors as well as other urban and rural infrastructure, comprehensive reforms in the foreign direct investment policy, special package for textile industry, push to infrastructure development by giving infrastructure status to affordable housing and focus on coastal connectivity.

Inflation during 2017-18 Averaged to the Lowest in the Last Six Years 

Inflation in the country continued to moderate during 2017-18. Consumer Price Index(CPI) based headline inflation averaged 3.3 per cent during the period which is the lowest in the last six financial years. This has been stated in the Economic Survey 2017-18 placed in Parliament by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley.

This progress is a result of a number of initiatives and reforms undertaken by the government which follows in the subsequent pages.

Curbing Black Money

 The Government first targeted the black money outside India.  Asset holders were asked to bring this money back on payment of penal tax. Those who failed to do so are being prosecuted under the Black Money Act.  Details of all accounts and assets abroad which have reached the Government resulted in action against the violators.

 Steps for Curbing the Black Money stashed abroad has led to Positive Results

The Government of India has taken various steps for curbing the black money stashed abroad, which has led to positive results. These steps include the following:

  1. India has been a leading force in the efforts to forge a multi-lateral regime for proactive sharing of Financial Information known as Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) which will greatly assist the global efforts to combat tax evasion. The AEOI based on Common Reporting Standard (CRS) has commenced from 2017 enabling India to receive financial account information of Indian residents in other countries.
  2. India has also entered into information sharing agreement with the USA under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of USA. The exchanges under FATCA have taken place for the financial years 2014, 2015 and 2016.
  3. Indian Money in Swiss Bank: The data collected by Swiss National Bank in collaboration with Bank for International Settlements (BIS) shows that the loans and deposits of Indians, other than Banks, in the Swiss banks decreased by 34.5% in the year 2017 as compared to 2016. Further, there has been significant reduction in Swiss non-bank loans and deposits of Indians by 80.2% between 2013 and 2017.

  Unearthing Benami Property

  • Income Tax Department steps-up actions under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act : Benami properties of more than Rs. 3,500 crore in more than 900 cases attached

Cabinet approves appointment of Adjudicating Authority and establishment of Appellate Tribunal under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. The approval will result in effective and better administration of cases referred to the Adjudicating Authority and speedy disposal of appeals filed against the order of the Adjudicating Authority before the Appellate Tribunal.

  • New Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 was launched by the Income Tax Department’

Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs. One crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) in Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Department about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

With the assent of the President of India, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 was promulgated; New law laid down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to introduce the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament.  The Bill would help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

 The cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs.100 crore or more, will come under the purview of this Bill.

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 Impact:

The Bill is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

  • ShellCompanies

Task Force on Shell Companies took pro-active and coordinated steps to check the menace of shell companies: The major achievements of the Task Force include the compilation of a database of shell companies by SFIO. This database, as on date, comprises of 3 lists, viz the Confirmed List, Derived List and Suspect List. The Confirmed List has a total of 16,537 confirmed shell companies on the basis of the information received from the various Law Enforcement Agencies of the companies found to be involved in illegal activities.

Push to MSME sector:

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched historic Support and Outreach Initiative for MSME Sector

  • 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs
  • Mandatory 25 percent procurement from MSMEs by CPSEs
  • Ordinance for simplifying procedures for minor offences under Companies Act

The Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi, launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country.

The Prime Minister said that the success of economic reforms launched by the Union Government can be gauged from the rise in India’s “Ease of Doing Business Rankings,” from 142 to 77 in four years.

The Prime Minister said that there are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees. He said that as a Diwali gift for the sector, the 12 announcements he is making, will address each of these five categories.

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Access to Credit

As the First Announcement, the Prime Minister announced the launch of the 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. He said that loans uptoRs. 1 crore can be granted in-principle approval through this portal, in just 59 minutes. He said a link to this portal will be made available through the GST portal. The Prime Minister asserted that in New India, no one should be compelled to visit a bank branch repeatedly.

The Prime Minister mentioned the Second Announcement as a 2 percent interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. For exporters who receive loans in the pre-shipment and post-shipment period, the Prime Minister announced an increase in interest rebate from 3 percent to 5 percent.

The Third Announcement made by the Prime Minister was that all companies with a turnover more than Rs. 500 crore, must now compulsorily be brought on the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS). He said that joining this portal will enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based ontheir upcoming receivables. This will resolve their problems of cash cycle.

Access to Markets

The Prime Minister said that on access to markets for entrepreneurs, the Union Government has taken a number of steps already. In this context, he made his Fourth Announcement thatPublic Sector Companies have now been asked to compulsorily procure 25 percent, instead of 20 percent of their total purchases, from MSMEs.

The Prime Minister said his Fifth Announcement is related to women entrepreneurs. He said that out of the 25 percent procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3 percent must now be reserved for women entrepreneurs.

The Prime Minister said that more than 1.5 lakh suppliers have now registered with GeM, out of which 40,000 are MSMEs. He said transactions worth more than Rs. 14,000 crore have been made so far through GeM. He said the Sixth Announcement is that all Public Sector Undertakings of the Union Government must now compulsorily be a part of GeM. He said they should also get all their vendors registered on GeM.

Technology Upgradation

Coming to technological upgradation, the Prime Minister said that tool rooms across the country are a vital part of product design. His seventh announcement was that 20 hubs will be formed across the country, and 100 spokes in the form of tool rooms will be established.

Ease of Doing Business

On Ease of Doing Business, the Prime Minister’sEighth Announcement was related to pharma companies. He said clusters will be formed of pharma MSMEs. He said 70 percent cost of establishing these clusters will be borne by the Union Government.

The Prime Minister’s Ninth Announcement on Simplification of Government Procedures was that the return under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations must now be filed only once a year.

The Prime Minister’s Tenth Announcement was that now the establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through a computerised random allotment.

The Prime Minister noted that as part of establishing a unit, an entrepreneur needs two clearances namely, environmental clearance and consent to establish. HisEleventh Announcement was that under air pollution and water pollution laws, now both these have been merged as a single consent. He further said that the return will be accepted through self-certification.

As the Twelfth Announcement, the Prime Minister mentioned that an Ordinance had been brought, under which, for minor violations under the Companies Act, the entrepreneur will no longer have to approach the Courts, but can correct them through simple procedures.

Social Security for MSME Sector Employees

The Prime Minister also spoke of social security for the MSME sector employees. He said that a mission will be launched to ensure that they have Jan Dhan Accounts, Provident Fund and Insurance.

The Prime Minister said that these decisions would go a long way in strengthening the MSME sector in India. He said the implementation of this Outreach Programme will be intensively monitored over the next 100 days.

SIDBI launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, UdyamAbhilasha (उद्यमअभिलाषा) in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2018 -19: TheGovernment of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds-2018-19. The Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued every month from October 2018 to February 2019.

Fifteenth Finance Commission constituted a High Level Group to examine the strengths and weaknesses for enabling balanced expansion of Health Sector
The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a High Level Group consisting of eminent experts from across the country in Health Sector. Dr. RandeepGuleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi will be its Convenor.

International Agreements and Engagements

There have been a number of International Agreements and Engagements that has helped India to increase and enhance its Global Presence.

Some of the International appointments and engagements are as under:

  • India became the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation(WCO) for a period of two years, from July, 2018 to June, 2020.

 Some Important Loan Agreements: 

  1. Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $80 million loan agreement to help boost youth employability in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  2. The Government of India and World Bank signed $100 million project to boost rural economy of Tamil Nadu.
  3. The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $250 million loan to improve rural connectivity in the 5 states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under PMGSY.
  4. Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $75 million loan to improve urban services in 4 Karnataka towns
  5. Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $200 million loan to improve State Highways in Bihar
  6. Government of India and the World Bank signed $310 million loan agreement for Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to provide reliable, quality, and affordable 24×7 electricity to the citizens of Jharkhand
  7. Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $105 million loan to Support Hydropower Transmission in Himachal Pradesh
  8. Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $300 million loan to support India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL)in India
  9. Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $169 million loan to provide water and sanitation services in Tamil Nadu
  10. India and Japan signed a loan agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for the ‘Project for the Construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I)’contributing to the industrial development and living standard improvement in the state of West Bengal.
  11. Indo- Japanese agreements for bilateral currency swap arrangement of seventy five billion dollars
  12. Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding between India and Singapore on setting up of a Joint Working Group on FinTech
  13. Cabinet approved signing of bilateral investment agreement between India Taipei Association in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India
  14. India and ADB signed $110 Million Loan to improve rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh
  15. Government of India and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $100 million loan agreement to expand sewerage and drainage coverage in Kolkata
  16. Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $ 150 million loanagreementto support India’s first global skills park in state of Madhya Pradesh
  17. India and ADB signed $240 million loan to provide safe drinking water service in 3 West Bengal districts
  18. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed $150 million loan to improve regional connectivity
  19. India and Japan signed loan agreement for construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project (I) and Kolkata East West Metro Project (III) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  20. India signed financing loan agreement with the World Bank for US$ 74 million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP)
  21. Cabinet approvedMoU on collaborative research on distributed ledger and block chain technology in the context of development of digital economy by Exim Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism
  22. Government of India and ADB signed $346 million loan to improve state highways in Karnataka
  23. Government of India and ADB signed $375 million loan to improve irrigation efficiency in Madhya Pradesh
  24. Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA in insurance regulatory sector
  25. Government of India and the World Bank signed $300 million agreement to help scale-up India’s Energy Efficiency Program
  26. The Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and World Bank signed a $250 million agreement to support electricity distribution sector reforms in Rajasthan
  27. Indo-German Government to Government Umbrella agreements worth Euro 653.7 million (approx. Rs. 5253 crore) on Financial Cooperation and Technical Cooperation 2017 were signed.
  28. India signed loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 21.7 million for strengthening the Public Financial Management in Rajasthan Project;
  29. Cabinet approvedMoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey
  30. CBDT notified the protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait
  31. India signed loan agreement with World Bank for US$ 125 million for “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”
  32. Government of India and World Bank signed agreement to improve rural road network in Madhya Pradesh
  33. India signed loan agreement with World Bank for USD 48 million for Meghalaya community – led Landscapes Management Project
  34. Government of India,Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signeda new project to benefit over 25 million small and marginal farmers in Maharashtra.
  35. India and ADB signed $120 million loan to improve rail infrastructure
  36. Cabinet approved agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between India and Iran
  37. Cabinet approved agreement between India and Jordan on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters
  38. Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed $ 84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in the state of Bihar
  39. Government of India signed a MoU with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in national capital​.
  40. India and Iran signed in New Delhi an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  41. Cabinet approved signing and ratification of protocol amending the agreement between India and China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion
  42. Cabinet approved signing of India-Australia Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for Secondment Programme.

Department of Revenue

GST

 This year on 1st July 2018, theGovernment of India celebrated the 1st GST Day.

GST Revenue Collections

The GST Revenue collection for the month of November 2018 has crossed Ninety-Seven Thousand Crore rupees. The total gross GST revenue collected in the month of November, 2018 is Rs. 97,637 crore of which CGST is Rs. 16,812 crore, SGST is Rs. 23,070 crore, IGST is Rs. 49,726 crore (including Rs. 24,133crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs. 8,031 crore (including Rs. 842 crore collected on imports).   

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GST Council: Important decisions

GST Council 31st Meeting:

GST Rate Cuts on Goods

GST Council in the 31st Meeting held on 22nd December, 2018 at New Delhi took following major decisions relating to changes in GST rates, and clarification (on goods). The decisions of the GST Council have been presented for easy understanding. The same would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.

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  1. GST rate reduction on goods which were attracting GST rate of 28% :
  2. 28% to 18%
  • Pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gear boxes etc., falling under HS Code 8483
  • Monitors and TVs of uptoscreen size of 32 inches
  • Re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of rubber;
  • Power banks of lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are already at 18%. This will bring parity in GST rate of power bank and lithium ion battery.
  • Digital cameras and video camera recorders
  • Video game consoles and other games and sports requisites falling under HS code 9504.
  1. 28% to 5%
  • Parts  and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons
  1. GST rate reduction on other goods,-
  1. 18% to 12%
  • Cork roughly squared or debagged
  • Articles of natural cork
  • Agglomerated cork
  1. 18% to 5%
  • Marble rubble
  1. 12% to 5%
  • Natural cork
  • Walking Stick
  • Fly ash Blocks
  1.  12% to Nil:
  • Music Books
  1. 5% to Nil
  • Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boilinginwater), frozen, branded and put in a unit container
  • Vegetable provisionally preserved (for example by sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions), but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption.
  1. Miscellaneous
  • Exemption from GST on supply of gold by Nominated Agencies to exporters of article of gold Jewellery.
  • Exemption from GST on proceeds received by Government from auction of gifts received by President, Prime Minister, Governor or Chief Minister of a State and public servants, the proceeds of which is used for public or charitable cause.
  • Exemption from IGST/Compensation cess on vehicles imported for temporary purposes under the Customs Convention on the Temporary importation of Private Road Vehicles (carnet de passages-en-douane).
  • Rate of 5%/18% to be applied based on transaction value of footwear
  • Uniform GST rate of 12% on Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) from existing 5%/12% (depending on the value)

GST on solar power generating plant and other renewable energy plants

  • GST rate of  5% rate has been prescribed on renewable energy devices & parts for their manufacture (bio gas plant/solar power based devices, solar power generating system (SGPS) etc) [falling under chapter 84, 85 or 94 of the Tariff]. Other goods or services used in these plants attract applicable GST.
  • Certain disputes have arisen regarding GST rates where specified goods attracting 5% GST are supplied along with services of construction etc and other goods for solar power plant.
  • To resolve the dispute the Council has recommended that in all such cases, the 70% of the gross value shall be deemed as the value of supply of said goods attracting 5% rate and the remaining portion (30%) of the aggregate value of such EPC contract shall be deemed as the value of supply of taxable service attracting standard GST rate.

GST Rate Cuts on Services

GST Council in the 31stmeeting held on 22nd December, 2018 at New Delhi took following decisions relating to changes in GST rates, ITC eligibility criteria, exemptions andclarificationson connected issues.The decisions of the GST Council have been presented in this note in simple language for easyunderstanding. The same would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.

 Reduction in GST rates/exemptions on Services:

  1. GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reducedfrom 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets uptoRs. 100 from 18% to 12%.
  2. GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles shall be reduced from 18% to 12%
  3. Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.
  4. Services supplied by rehabilitation professionals recognized under Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992at medical establishments, educational institutions, rehabilitation centers established by Central Government / State Government or Union Territories or entity registered under section 12AA of the Income-tax Actshall be exempted.
  5. Services provided by GTA to Government departments/local authorities which have taken registration only for the purpose of deducting tax under Section 51 shall be excluded from payment of tax under RCM and the same shall be exempted.
  6. Exemption on services provided by Central or State Government or Union Territory Government to their undertakings or PSUs by way of guaranteeing loans taken by them from financial institutions is being extended to guaranteeing of such loans taken from banks.
  7. Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements shall attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in Economy class (i.e. 5% with ITC of input services).

 Rationalization

  1. Parliament and State legislatures shall be extended the same tax treatment with regard to payment of tax under RCM (reverse charge mechanism)as available to Central and State Governments.
  2. Security services (supply of security personnel) provided to a registered person,except Government Departments which have taken registration for TDS and entities registered under composition scheme, shall be put under RCM.
  3. Services provided by unregistered Business Facilitator (BF) to a bank and agent of Business correspondent (BC) toa BC shall be put under RCM.

GST Council’s 30th Meeting:

During the 30th Meeting of the GST Council, the proposal of the State of Kerala for imposition of Cess on SGST for rehabilitation and flood affected works was discussed in detail.  The Council decided to constitute a 7-Member Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine this issue in depth.  Accordingly, the Union Finance Minister, Shri ArunJaitley, had approved the constitution of a Group of Ministers on 28thSeptember, 2018 to examine the issue regarding ‘Modalities for Revenue Mobilization in case of Natural Calamities and Disasters’ 

GST Council :28th Meeting:

The GST Council in its 28th Meeting took the following decisions on GST Rate on Goods and Services.

GST Rate on Goods:

  1. GST rates reduction on 28% items:
  1. 28% to 18%
  • Paints and varnishes (including enamels and lacquers)
  • Glaziers’ putty, grafting putty, resin cements
  • Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment including water cooler, milk coolers, refrigerating equipment for leather industry, ice cream freezer etc.
  • Washing machines.
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Domestic electrical appliances such as food grinders and mixers & food or vegetable juice extractor, shaver, hair clippers etc
  • Storage water heaters and immersion heaters, hair dryers,  hand dryers, electric smoothing irons etc
  • Televisions upto the size of 68 cm
  • Special purpose motor vehicles. e.g., crane lorries, fire fighting vehicle, concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries
  • Works trucks [self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment] of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short transport of goods.
  • Trailers and semi-trailers.
  • Miscellaneous articles such as scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, powder-puffs and pads for the application of cosmetics or toilet preparation.
  1. 28% to 12%
  • Fuel Cell Vehicle. Further, Compensation cess shall also be exempted on fuel cell vehicle.
  1. Refund of accumulated credit on account of inverted duty structure to fabric manufacturers: Fabrics attract GST at the rate of 5% subject to the condition that refund of accumulated ITC on account of inversion will not be allowed. However, considering the difficulty faced by the Fabric sector on account of this condition, the GST Council has recommended for allowing refund to fabrics on account of inverted duty structure. The refund of accumulated ITC shall be allowed only with the prospective effect on the purchases made after the notification is issued.

III. GST rates were recommended to be brought down from,-

  1. 18%12%/5% to Nil:

o    Stone/Marble/Wood Deities

o    Rakhi [other than that of precious or semi-precious material of chapter 71]

o    Sanitary Napkins,

o    Coir pith compost

o    Sal Leaves siali leaves and their products and Sabai Rope

o    PhoolBhariJhadoo [Raw material for Jhadoo]

o    Khali dona.

o    Circulation and commemorative coins, sold by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd [SPMCIL] to Ministry of Finance.

  1. 12% to 5%:

o    Chenille fabrics and other fabrics under heading 5801

o    Handloom dari

o    Phosphoric acid (fertilizer grade only).

o    Knitted cap/topi having retail sale value not exceeding Rs. 1,000

  1. 18% to 12%:

o    Bamboo flooring.

o    Brass Kerosene Pressure Stove.

o    Hand Operated Rubber Roller.

o    Zip and Slide Fasteners.

  1. 18% to 5%:

o    Ethanol for sale to Oil Marketing Companies for blending with fuel

o    Solid bio fuel pellets

  1. Rate change made in respect of footwear

o    5% GST is being extended to footwear having a retail sale price up to Rs. 1000 per pair

o    Footwear having a retail sale price exceeding Rs. 1000 per pair will continue to attract 18%

V.GST rates were recommended to be brought down for specified handicraft items [as per the definition of handicraft, as approved by the GST council]

  1. 18% to 12%:

o    Handbags including pouches and purses; jewellery box

o    Wooden frames for painting, photographs, mirrors etc

o    Art ware of cork [including articles of sholapith]

o    Stone art ware, stone inlay work

o    Ornamental framed mirrors

o    Glass statues [other than those of crystal]

o    Glass art ware [ including pots, jars, votive, cask, cake cover, tulip bottle, vase ]

o    Art ware of iron

o    Art ware of brass, copper/ copper alloys, electro plated with nickel/silver

o    Aluminium art ware

o    Handcrafted  lamps (including panchloga lamp)

o    Worked vegetable or mineral carving, articles thereof, articles of wax, of stearin, of natural gums or natural resins or of modelling pastes etc, (including articles of lac, shellac)

o    Ganjifa card

  1. 12% to 5%:

o    Handmade carpets and other handmade textile floor coverings (including namda/gabba)

o    Handmade lace

o    Hand-woven tapestries

o    Hand-made braids and ornamental trimming in the piece

o    Toran

  1. Miscellaneous Change relating to valuation of a supply

o    IGST @5% on Pool Issue Price (PIP) of Urea imported on Government account for direct agriculture use, instead of assessable value plus custom duty.

o    Exemption from Compensation cess to Coal rejects from washery [arising out of cess paid coal on which ITC has not been taken].

GST Rate on Services

The GST Council in its 28th meeting took following decisions relating to exemptions / changes in GST rates / ITC eligibility criteria, rationalization of rates / exemptions and clarification on levy of GST on services.

It would be noted that multiple reliefs from GST taxation have been provided to following categories of services –

(i) Agriculture, farming and food processing industry,

(ii) Education, training and skill development,

(iii) Pension, social security and old age support.

Hotel industry has been given major relief by providing that the rate of tax on accommodation service shall be based on transaction value instead of declared tariff.

Services provided in sectors like banking, IT have been provided relief by exempting services supplied by an establishment of a person in India to any establishment of that person outside India [related party].

As a green initiative, GST on supply of e-books has been reduced from 18 to 5%.

EXEMPTIONS / CHANGES IN GST RATES AND SERVICES

Sector –Farmers/ Agriculture/ Food Processing

  1. Exempted services by way of artificial insemination of livestock (other than horses).
  2. Exempted warehousing of minor forest produce in line with exemptions provided to the agricultural produce.
  3. Exempted the works of installation and commissioning undertaken by DISCOMS/ electricity distribution companies for extending electricity distribution network upto the tube well of the farmer/ agriculturalist for agricultural use.
  4. Exempted services provided by FSSAI to food business operators.

Education/ Training/ Skill Development

  1. Reduced rate of GST from 18% to 5% on supply only of e-books for which print version exist.

Social Security/ Pension Security/ Senior Citizens

  1. Exempted services provided by Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisationto the PF subscribers from the applicability of GST on the lines of EPFO.
  2. Exempted supply of services by an old age home run by State / Central Government or by a body registered under 12AA of Income Tax Act) to its residents (aged 60 years or more) against consideration upto Rupees Twenty Five Thousand per month per member provided consideration is inclusive of charges for boarding, lodging and maintenance.
  3. Exempted GST on the administrative fee collected by National Pension System Trust.
  4. Exempted services provided by an unincorporated body or a non-profit entity registered under any law for the time being in force, engaged in activities relating to the welfare of industrial or agricultural labour or farmer; or for the promotion of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, art, science, literature, culture, sports, education, social welfare, charitable activities and protection of environment, to own members against consideration in the form of  membership fee up to an amount of one thousand rupees per member per year.

Banking/ Finance/ Insurance

  1. Exempted Reinsurance Services provided to specified Insurance Schemessuch as Pradhan MantriRashtriyaSwasthyaSuraksha  Mission (PMRSSM) (Ayushman Bharat), funded by Government.

Government Services

  1. Exempted services provided by Government to ERCC by way of assigning the right to collect royalty, DMFT etc. from the mining lease holders.
  2. Exempted the guarantees given by Central/State Government/UT administration to their undertakings/PSUs.

Miscellaneous

  1. Exempted GST on import of services by Foreign Diplomatic Missions/ UN & other International Organizations based on reciprocity.
  2. Exempted services supplied by an establishment of a person in India to any establishment of that person outside India, which are treated as establishments of distinct persons in accordance with Explanation I in section 8 of the IGST Act provided the place of supply is outside the taxable territory of India in accordance with section 13 of IGST Act
  3. Prescribed GST rate slabs on accommodation service based on transaction value instead of declared tariff which is likely to provide major relief to the hotel industry.
  4. Prescribed GST rate of 12% with full ITC under forward charge for composite supply of multimodal transportation.
  5. Rationalized thenotificationentry prescribing reduced GST rate on composite supply of works contract received by the Government or a local authority in the course of their sovereign functions.
  6. Rationalized entry relating to composite supply of food and drinks in restaurant, mess, canteen, eating joints and such supplies to institutions (educational, office, factory, hospital) on contractual basis at GST rate of 5%; and making it clear that the scope of outdoor catering under 7(v) is restricted to supplies in case of outdoor/indoor functions that are event based and occasional in nature.

Also, the GST Council in its 28th Meeting had approved the New Return Formats and associated changes in law. It may be recalled that in the 27thMeeting held on 4thof May, 2018, the Council had approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalize the return formats and changes in law. The formats and business process approved in 28th meeting were in line with the basic principles with one major change i.e., the option of filing quarterly return with monthly payment of tax in a simplified return format by the small tax payers.

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GST Refunds

Total GST refunds to the tune of Rs 91,149 crores have been disposed by CBIC and State authorities out of the total refund claims of Rs 97,202 crores received so far. Thus, the disposal rate of 93.77 per cent has been achieved. The pending GST refund claims amounting to Rs 6,053 crores are being expeditiously processed so as to provide relief to eligible claimants. Refund claims without any deficiency are being cleared expeditiously.

GST Evasion

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E-way Bill System

 The E-way Bill System had been introduced nation-wide for inter-State movement of goods with effect from 1st April, 2018 while the States were given the option to choose any date till 3rd June, 2018 for the introduction of the E-way bill system for intra-State supplies. The objectives of E-way bill system are as below:

  1. single and unified E-way bill for inter-State and intra-State movement of goods for the whole country in self-service mode,
  1. enabling paperless and fully online system to facilitate seamless movement of goods across all the States,
  1. improve service delivery with quick turnaround time for the entire supply chain and provide anytime anywhere access to data/services,
  1. to facilitate hassle free movement of goods by abolishing inter-State check posts across the country

Demonetization and Unearthing Black Money

The larger purpose of demonetisation was to move India from a Tax Non-compliant society to a compliant society.  This necessarily involved the formalization of the Economy and a blow to the black money.

Demonetization compelled holders of cash to deposit the same in the banks.  The enormity of cash deposited and identified with the owner resulted in suspected 17.42 lakh account holders from whom the response has been received online through non-invasive method. Larger deposits in banks improved lending capacity for the banks.  A lot of this money was diverted to the Mutual Funds for further investments.  It became a part of the formal system.

The impact of demonetization has been felt on collection of personal income tax.  Its collections were higher in Financial Year 2018-19 (till 31-10-2018) compared to the previous year by 20.2%.  Even in the corporate tax the collections are 19.5% higher.  From two years prior to demonetization, direct tax collections have increased 6.6% and 9% respectively.  In the next two years, post demonetization the increase by 14.6% (part of the year before impact of demonetization in 2016-17) and an increase of 18% in the year 2017-18.

Appropriate action by the Income-tax Department (ITD) and other Law Enforcement Agencies has been taken against those involved in the misuse of the Scheme of Demonetization.

During the period November 2016 to March, 2017, ITD conducted searches in 900 groups, involved in various activities and business, leading to seizure of Rs. 900 crores, including cash seizure of Rs. 636 crores. During the same period, 8239 surveys were conducted leading to detection of undisclosed income of Rs. 6745 crores.

With the objective of obtaining people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and reduce tax evasion, a new reward scheme titled “Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018” has been issued by the Income Tax Department, superseding the earlier reward scheme issued in 2007.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into nine more Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) during the month of July, 2018. With the signing of these Agreements, the total number ofAPAs entered into by the CBDT has gone up to 232, which includes 20 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (BAPAs). 

Direct Tax

There has been continuous increase in the amount of income declared in the returns filed by all categories of taxpayers over the last three Assessment Years (AYs). For AY 2014-15, corresponding to FY 2013-14 (base year), the return filers had declared gross total income of Rs.26.92 lakh crore, which has increased by 67% to Rs.44.88 lakh crore for AY 2017-18, showing higher level of compliance resulting from various legislative and administrative measures taken by the Government, including effective enforcement measures against tax evasion.

Refunds amounting to Rs.1.23 lakh crore have been issued during April, 2018 to November, 2018, which is 20.8% higher than refunds issued during the same period in the preceding year.

So far as the Growth Rate for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) is concerned, the Growth Rate of Gross Collections for CIT is 17.7% while that for PIT (including STT) is 18.3%.

According to the Direct Tax Statistics released by CBDT:

  • There is a constant growth in direct tax-GDP ratio over last three years and the ratio of 5.98% in FY 2017-18 is the best DT-GDP ratio in last 10 years.
  • There is a growth of more than 80% in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 (base year) to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18.
  • The number of persons filing Return of Income has also increased by about 65% during this period from 3.31 crore in FY 2013-14 to 5.44 crore in FY 2017-18.

Department of Financial Services

Reforms for addressing the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs):

The government has strongly come out with key measures and reforms in order to address the increase in NPAs, which are detailed as under.

  1. Recapitalization of Public Sector Banks (PSBs):

Government moved proposal in Parliament for enhanced bank re-capitalisation outlay from Rs.65,000 crore to Rs.1,06,000 crore in the current financial year to propel economic growth, cementing India’s position as the fastest growing economy of the world. This would enable infusion of over Rs.83,000 in Public Sector Banks (PSBs). 

The enhanced provision is aimed at:

(1)  Meeting regulatory capital norms

(2)  Providing capital to better-performing PCA Banks to achieve 9% Capital to Risk-weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR); 1.875% Capital Conservation Buffer and the 6% Net NPA threshold, facilitating them to come out of PCA

(3)  Facilitating non-PCA banks that are in breach of some PCA thresholds to not be in breach

(4)  Strengthen amalgamating banks by providing regulatory and growth capital

Following comprehensive clean-up of the banking system under Government’s 4R’s approach of Recognition, Resolution, Recapitalisation and Reforms, the envisaged recapitalisation would equip banks financially at levels higher than the global norms. In this connection, it is pertinent that India’s capital norms for banks are 1% higher than the norms recommended under the global Basel-III framework. Further, unlike the early intervention regime of other major economies, India’s PCA framework for weaker banks has more onerous thresholds, viz., higher capital thresholds and a Net NPA threshold that further embeds capital requirement on account of provisioning of NPAs. Today’s proposal in an expression of Government’s commitment that each PSB is an article of faith, and aims at securing compliance even for the higher regulatory norms.

  1. One market place for Public Sector Bank loans

The reforms agenda aimed at Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE), encapsulates a synergistic approach to ensuring prudential and clean lending, better customer service, enhanced credit availability, focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and better governance.

  1. Consolidation of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)

With a view to enable Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to minimize their overhead expenses, optimize the use of technology, enhance the capital base and area of operation and increase their exposure, the Government has sought comments of respective State Governments and Sponsor Banks on a roadmap for Amalgamation of RRBs within a State.

Apart from these measures, a number of other measures have been undertaken. As a result, PSBs recovered an amount of Rs. 1,58,259 crore, during the financial years 2015-16 to 2017-18.

  1. To avoid recurrence and for stringent recovery, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has been enacted to create a Unified Framework for resolving insolvency and bankruptcy matters.
  2. The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 was amended, to provide for authorization to RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate the insolvency resolution process under IBC. Under this, by adopting a creditor-in-saddle approach, with the interim resolution professional taking over management of affairs of Corporate Debtor at the outset, the incentive to resort to abuse of the legal system was taken away. This coupled with debarment of wilful defaulters and persons associated with NPA accounts from the resolution process, has effected a fundamental change in the creditor-debtor relationship.
  3. Further, as per RBI’s directions, cases have been filed under IBC in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in respect of 39 large defaulters, amounting to about Rs. 2.69 lakh crore funded exposure (as of December 2017).
  4. In addition, recapitalisation of PSBs, announced and initiated by the Government, has enabled upfront provisioning, easing apprehensions in actively pursuing resolution.
  5. Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) has been amended for faster recovery with a provision for three months imprisonment in case the borrower does not provide asset details and for the lender to get possession of mortgaged property within 30 days. Also, six new Debts Recovery Tribunal have been established to expedite recovery.
  6. PSB Reforms Agenda announced by the Government, PSBs have committed to strengthen recovery mechanism by setting-up Stressed Asset Management Verticals for focussed recovery, clean and effective post-sanction follow-up on large-value accounts by tying up with Agencies for Specialized Monitoring for loans of Rs. 250 crore and above, and strict segregation of pre- and post-sanction roles for enhanced accountability.
  7. To reduce incidence of default on account of and to effect recovery from wilful defaulters, as per RBI’s instructions, wilful defaulters are not sanctioned any additional facilities by banks or financial institutions, their unit is debarred from floating new ventures for five years, and lenders may initiate criminal proceedings against them, wherever necessary.
  8.  Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations have been amended to debar wilful defaulters and companies with wilful defaulters as promoters/directors from accessing capital markets to raise funds.
  9.  Further, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been amended to debar wilful defaulters from participating in the insolvency resolution process.

Global Recognition of Government’s Reform Drive

The reform drive undertaken by the government has been recognized by International Organizations like Standard &Poor’s which states, inter-alia, that “the worst is almost over for India’s banks”. It states that the Government is working on a four-pronged strategy to improve the health of the banking sector: recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reform (“4Rs”), and that their stable outlook on the banks reflect their view that the “4Rs” and other initiatives taken by the Government and RBI will strengthen the banking system over the next couple of years.

Streamlining of National Pension System (NPS) 

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The Union Cabinet in its Meeting on 6th December, 2018 has approved the following

Financial Inclusion

Finance Ministry launches Mobile Application “Jan DhanDarshak” as a part of Financial Inclusion

Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre  (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile app called Jan DhanDarshak as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative . As the name suggests, this app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

Major Schemes and their Improvements:

Issue of Kisan Credit Cards

There is positive growth in terms of both individual policies as well as first year premium during 2017-18. Apart from interest rates, there are other factors which affect the life insurance growth such as overall economic growth, sales force, product portfolio, level of competition with other financial products etc. 

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Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): Under Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana33.4 Crore beneficiaries banked so far ₹85,494.69 Crore balance in beneficiary accounts as on 17th December, 2018

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana extended up to March 2020: Exemption of Interest Income on deposits increased to Rs 50,000. Existed limit on investment under PMVVY enhanced to Rs 15 lakhs.

Sukanya Samridhi Account Scheme: Until 30 June, 2018 more than 1.39 crore accounts have been opened across the country in the name of girl-child securing an amount of Rs.25,979.62crore.

Atal Pension Scheme: The Subscriber base under APY has crossed 1.24 crore mark; More than 27 lacs new subscribers have joined the Scheme during the Current Financial Year 2018-19 (As on 2nd November,2018). The Scheme is very easy to understand and it is very transparent. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are the top contributors in APY enrollment. The Scheme allows any Indian Citizen between the age group of 18-40 years to join through the bank or post office branches where one has the savings bank account.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana(PMSBY) and  Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)

  • Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana:  As per data uploaded by banks, the number of persons enrolled under Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana (PMSBY) as on 31.10.2018 is 14.27 Crores.
  • Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana:5.47 crore subscribers under Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana (PMJJBY) with 1.10 lakh claims, involving an amount of Rs. 2,206.28 crore settled so far. (As on 8th September,2018)

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. During the financial year 2018-19, the number of loan sanctioned are 2,92,30,665 with total amount sanctioned Rs. 1,53,783.83Crores, with total amount disbursed Rs.1,47,115.20Crores (As 14th December,2018)

Stand Up India Scheme

Progress around Stand-Up India Scheme is as under

    Performance under Stand Up India Scheme   (Amt. in Rs. Crore)
          SC     ST       Women     Total
  Date                                    
  No Of Sanctioned   No Of Sanctioned No Of   Sanctioned   No Of   Sanctioned
           
    A/Cs Amt.   A/Cs   Amt. A/Cs   Amt.   A/Cs     Amt.
  31.10.2018 9175 1776.87   2770 557.35 54135   12096.91   66080   14431.14
                                 

 Rates of Small Saving Schemes was increased for Financial Year 2018-19.

 

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) Achieves a Historical Record Breaking Volume of Digital Transaction

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is an ambitious project of Government of India being implemented by Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance. PFMS has proved as a robust digital platform towards Prime Minister’s vision of DIGITAL INDIA.

On 28th March, 2018, an historic amount of Rs. 71,633.45 crore has been digitally transacted/routed through PFMS Portal for 98, 19,026 transactions in a single day.

  1. Department of Disinvestment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)
  • As on 11th December, 2018, the Government had realized Rs. 34,005.05 crore as disinvestment proceeds against the BE of Rs. 80,000 crore during the current financial year (2018-19).
  • The FFO 3 of CPSE-ETF in November 2018 was the biggest disinvestment transaction through ETF raising Rs. 17,000 crore.
  • Total disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18 was Rs. 1,00,056.91crorevis-a-vis the revised target of Rs. 1,00,000 crore.
  • CPSEs constitute 8.81% and 8.89% of the total market capitalisation of companies listed at BSE and NSE respectively (as on 7th December, 2018)
  • The Initial Public Offering (IPO) of CPSE IRCON had been subscribed 9.5 times. The Government expected to raise Rs 466 crore from the issue. IRCON is the second CPSE to launch an IPO in the Current Fiscal besides being the second Railway CPSE to be listed on the stock markets after RITES in June this year.
NAME OF CPSES % OF GOIS SHARES DISINVESTED RECEIPTS (In Crores) GOIS SHAREHOLDING POST DISINVESTMENT
Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd. (MIDHANI) 25 434.14 75%
Bharat 22 ETF 8325.26
RITES 12.60 460.51 87.40%
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. 25.5 342.90 74.5%
Coal India Ltd. 3.19 5218.30 75.46%
KIOCL Ltd. 1.983 205.34 99.06%
HSCC (India) Ltd. 100 285.00
CPSE-Exchange Traded Fund (FFO3) 17000.00
National Aluminium Company Ltd. 1.80 260.41 56.77%
NLC India Ltd. 989.86
Coal India Ltd. 0.01 17.33 75.12%

(Source – DIPAM site)

  • Further Fund Offer of Bharat – 22 ETF had been a resounding success with strong participation of FIIs.
  • Also, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi had given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India’s shares in DCIL to consortium of four ports namely, Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, JawaharLal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.
  • In January, The Government of India had also entered into an agreement with ONGC for the strategic sale of its 51.11% equity share-holding in HPCL at a consideration of Rs. 36,915 crore.

Department of Expenditure

  • The Finance Minister said that in order to impart unquestionable credibility to the Government’s commitment for the revised fiscal glide path, he proposed to accept key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee relating to adoption of the Debt Ruleand to bring down the Central Government’s Debt to GDP ratio to 40%. The Government also accepted the recommendation to use Fiscal Deficit target as the key operational parameter.
  • Presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament here, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri ArunJaitely  said that the total earmarked allocation for SCs in 279 programmes had been increased from Rs.34,334 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.52,719 crore in RE 2017-18.  Likewise, for STs, earmarked allocation had been increased from Rs.21,811 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.32,508 crore in RE 2017-18 in 305 programmes.  The Finance Minister said that earmarked allocation had been further increased to Rs.56,619 crore for SCs and Rs.39,135 crore for STs in BE 2018-19.
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has approved to release an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 01.07.2018 representing an increase of 2% over the existing rate of 7% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.
  •  Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) had been made applicable across the country vide M/o Finance OM dated 12.12.2014. Till 15/02/2018, 366 such schemes/components were identified where cash was directly transferred to bank account of the beneficiaries. Till 15/02/2018, Rs. 2,64,113 crore was transferred to the beneficiaries in the Cash Schemes.
  • Total Agriculture Credit Disbursement increased from Rs. 9,15,509.92 Crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 11,68,502.84 Crore in 2017-18
  • To enhance their skills and keep pace with the changes in the World Global Environment, the Department of Expenditure took the lead role in the capacity building of Financial Advisers

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Year End Review: Ministry of Coal

Achievements of Ministry of Coal in the Year 2018

The production of raw coal during April-November 2018-19 was 433.896 Million Tonne (MT) compared to 394.910 MT during the corresponding period of previous year.

Coal production and coal dispatch/off-take of CIL during April-November 2018-19 was 358.322 MT and 392.091 MT respectively.

SHAKTI policy has allowed continuation of the existing coal supply to the capacities of about 68,000 MW at the rate of 75% of Annual Contracted Quantity (ACQ). The coal supply may further be increased in future based on coal availability.

During the period 2017-18, CIL has approved five opencast projects having an annual total capacity of 24.85 MTY and sanctioned capital of Rs 4264.90 Crore.

In order to address the issue of evacuation of coal from three potential coalfields, Government of India has taken up implementation of Three Railway Projects in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

UTTAM APP launched in April, 2018 to help all consumer/stakeholders as well as Coal Companies access the decl.

COAL PRODUCTION

  • The production of raw coal in the country during April-November 2018-19 was 433.896 Million Tonne (MT) compared to 394.910 MT during the corresponding period of previous year.
  • The overall growth in Coal production during April- November, 2018 was 9.8%.
  • Coal India Limited (CIL) Coal Production and Off-take (during April-November 2018)
    • Coal production and coal dispatch/off-take of Coal India Limited (CIL), the state sector coal mining company, during April-November 2018-19 was 358.322 MT and 392.091 MT respectively.
    • Production and dispatch growth of CIL was 8.8% and 6.6% respectively during April-November 2018-19.
    • Generally, it is observed that coal production slows down considerably between June–September every year.
    • The production has picked up from October onwards.
Fact Apr-Nov. 2018 Apr-Nov 2017 Increase in absolute term Growth
Production of CIL (in MT) 358.322 329.297 29.025 8.8%
Dispatch of CIL (in MT) 392.091 367.805 24.286 6.6%

All India month wise progressive coal production (in million tonnes)

  Apr Till

May

Till Jun Till  Jul Till  Aug Till  Sep Till  Oct Till

Nov

2018-19

(Till Nov. 2018)

53.78 110.53 165.08 214.06 260.97 310.73 370.95 433.90
2017-18

(Till Nov. 2017)

46.05 95.86 144.22 188.85 234.65 281.32 335.34 394.91

Monitoring of coal supplies to Power Utilities

The stock positions of Power Houses having critical and super critical stock for the year 2015-16 to 2018-19 (till Nov) is as under:

Date Quantity

(in MT)

No. of Critical Power Houses No. of Super Critical Power Houses Total Stock

(in days)

31.03.2015 26.10 12 6 18 18
31.03.2016 38.87 0 0 0 27
31.03.2017 27.74 1 0 1 19
31.03.2018 16.27 10 18 28 10
30.11.2018 12.94 12 11 23 8

In addition to the monitoring mechanism available at coal companies and CIL, coal supplies to Power Utility Sector is monitored regularly by an Inter-Ministerial sub-group comprising representatives of Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Railways constituted by Infrastructure review Committee of Cabinet Secretariat. This Sub-Group takes various operational decisions for meeting any contingent situations relating to Power Sector including critical coal stock position for power plant.

Power Sector Linkage Policy – SHAKTI

CCEA on 17.05.2017 approved fading away of the existing LoA-FSA regime and introduced Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (Coal) Transparently in India (SHAKTI), 2017, which was issued by Ministry of Coal on 22.05.2017. The Policy provides for the following:

  • SHAKTI policy has allowed continuation of the existing coal supply to the capacities of about 68,000 MW at the rate of 75% of Annual Contracted Quantity (ACQ). The coal supply may further be increased in future based on coal availability. Also, the policy has enabled about 19,000 MW capacities out of the 68,000 MW which have delayed in commissioning for signing of Fuel Supply Agreements (FSA) provided these plants are commissioned within 31.03.2022. The plants to whom LoAs were issued have been made eligible for signing of FSAs under para A (i) of SHAKTI Policy. As per Para A (i) of SHAKTI Policy dated 22.05.2017, FSA may be signed with the pending LoA holders after ensuring that the plants are commissioned, respective milestones met, all specified conditions of the LoA fulfilled within specified timeframe and where nothing adverse is detected against the LoA holders.

With these, the old regime of LoA-FSA came to finality and fade away:

Following are considered under new more transparent coal allocation policy for Power Sector, 2017-SHAKTI (Scheme for Harnessing and Allocating Koyala (coal) Transparently in India):

  • CIL/ SCCL may grant coal linkages to State/Central Gencos/JVs at notified price on recommendations of Ministry of Power.
  • Linkages to IPPs having PPA based on domestic coal but no linkage.
  • Linkages to IPPs/ Power Producers without PPAs shall be on auction basis where methodology would be similar to that followed under linkage auction to non-regulated sector.
  • Coal linkages may also be earmarked for fresh PPAs, by pre-declaring the availability of coal linkage with description, to the States. States may indicate these linkages to Discoms/ SDAs.
  • Power requirement of group of States can also be aggregated and procurement of such aggregated power can be made by an agency designated by Ministry of Power or authorized by such States on the basis of tariff based bidding.
  • Linkages shall be granted for full normative quantity to Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) incorporated by nominated agency for setting up Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) under Central Government initiative through tariff based competitive under the guidelines for determination of tariff, on the recommendation of MoP.
  • Ministry of Coal in consultation with Ministry of Power may formulate a detailed methodology of a transparent bidding process for allocating coal linkages to IPPs, having PPAs based on imported coal, with full pass through of cost saving to consumers.

As of now, coal linkages have been granted under Para A (i), B (i) & B (ii) of the aforesaid Policy. During the period of January to November, 2018, 12 Fuel Supply Agreements have been signed by Coal India Limited under the SHAKTI Policy, 2017.

Details of coal linkages granted under various provisions of SHAKTI as of now are as under:

  • Under paraA(i) of SHAKTI: Clearance has been given for signing of FSA for 6 power plants with a total capacity of 4730 MW.
  • Para B(i) of SHAKTI:18 TPPs granted linkage for a total capacity of 21880 MW.
  • Para B(ii) of SHAKTI: Linkage auction under para B(ii) of SHAKTI policy was conducted in Sep’17 whereby 27.18 MT of annual coal linkage was booked by ten provisional successful bidders for 9045 MW capacity. Fuel supply Agreement has been executed with seven of ten successful bidders, as of now.

Auction of Linkages of Non-Regulated Sector

Policy for Auction of Linkages to Non-Regulated Sector was issued on 15.02.2016. All allocations of Linkages/LoAs for non-regulated sector viz. Cement, Steel/Sponge Iron, Aluminium and others (excluding Fertilizer (urea) sector), including their CPPs, shall be auction based. Till 10th October, 2018, 71.72 MTPA of coal quantity have been booked under the linkage auctions conducted by Coal India Limited in 4 tranches. The percentage gain over notified price of non-power is 17.90%. Fourth tranche of auction is underway from June, 2018 onwards. A total quantity of 26.54 MT has been booked by Sponge Iron, Cement & CPP sub sector in the fourth tranche of auction till 10th October, 2018 and the average gain over notified price for the above 3 sub sectors have been 30.25%.

  • Rationalization of Coal Linkage

An Inter-Ministerial Task Force (IMTF) was constituted in June, 2014 to undertake a comprehensive review of existing sources of coal with a view to optimize transportation cost and materialization under the given technical constraints. The report of the IMTF duly approved by the Competent Authority was circulated to the concerned. On the recommendation of the IMTF, three stage rationalization was undertaken. The linkage rationalization for State/Central PSUs was implemented initially, based on IMTF recommendation and carried forward by CIL based on coal availability and requests of PSU TPPs. Overall movement rationalization of 55.66 MT of coal has taken place with annual potential savings of Rs. 3359 Crore.

Recently, Ministry of Coal has issued the Policy for Linkage Rationalization for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) vide its letter dated 15.05.2018 which started with rationalization of linkages of State/ Central Gencos. As per this policy, CIL has rationalized for a quantity of 5.42 MT for State/Central Gencos with a potential savings of 292 Crores (approx., as estimated by the power plants) which is under the process of implementation.

In addition, an Inter Ministerial Task Force has also been constituted on 18.10.2018 to examine the possibility of further rationalization of Coal linkages, including swapping of imported coal being transported to hinterland with domestic coal transported near coastal areas. Four meetings of the IMTF has been held.

  • Bridge Linkage

Policy for grant of ‘Bridge Linkage’ to specified end-use plants of Central and State Public Sector Undertakings (Both in Power as well as Non-Power sector) which have been allotted coal mines/ blocks was issued on 08.02.2016. Bridge Linkage shall act like a short term linkage to bridge the gap between requirement of coal of a specified end use plant of Central and State PSUs and the start of production from the linked allotted coal mine/block. So far, Bridge Linkages have been granted to 31 TPPs and 1 CPP. During the period between January, 2018 to 22nd November, 2018, Bridge Linkages have been granted to 2 TPPs.

  • Third Party Sampling

Guidelines on Third Party Sampling at the loading end – Standard Operationg Procedure were issued on 26.11.2015. CIMFR has also been permitted for undertaking of sampling and analysis of coal at unloading / receipt end by the Thermal Power Plants. The progress of the Third Party Sampling is being reviewed periodically by a Committee jointly chaired by Joint Secretary (Coal) and Joint Secretary (Thermal).

CIMFR has completed signing of tripartite agreement for a quantity of 548 million tonne on annual basis. Sampling for almost entire supply to power utilities under FSA / MoU has already been covered by CIMFR.

In addition, Third Party sampling has been extended to Non-Power consumers taking coal under different FSAs and e-auction on optional basis. IIT-ISM and QCI have been engaged for undertaking Third Party Sampling for Non-Power consumers and Power consumers taking coal under forward e-auction.

An APP named as UTTAM (Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal) has been launched in April, 2018 and all consumer/stakeholders as well as Coal Companies can access the declared grade, third party sample analysis results and referee analysis results through this APP.

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Now, coal supply under all FSAs and e-auction for both power utilities and non-power consumers have been covered under Third Party Sampling. Consumers are now paying the coal value for the quality of coal supplied to them based on analyzed grade given by independent third party agencies.

Disinvestment during FY 2018-19

  • Coal India OFS: Disinvestment of 10% paid up equity capital in CIL was approved by the CCEA in November, 2015. Out of the above, during FY 2018-19, 3.19% shares were disinvested through Offer For Sale (OFS) mode.
  • BHARAT 22 ETF: Consequent upon the CCEA’s authorisation, the alternative mechanism has approved the creation of a new exchange traded fund namely Bharat 22 ETF. As per the composition of the basket, CIL & NLC will have weight of 3.3% & 0.3% respectively in the above Equity Traded Fund(ETF).

During FY 2018-19, 0.225% of CIL’s Shares and 0.10 % of NLCIL Shares was divested through Bharat 22 ETF.

  • NLCIL’s Buyback: During current year i.e. 2018-19, buyback of 14,19,31,818 fully paid-up equity shares of Rs.10 each at a price of Rs.88 per equity share has already been approved by NLCIL’s Board. Ministry of Coal also conveyed the approval of Government from promoter vide letter dated 09.10.2018 to support the proposed buy back of shares by NLCIL.
  • CPSE ETF: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 2nd May 2013 has approved the setting up of CPSE-ETF comprising equity shares of listed CPSEs.

Accordingly, shares of CIL was disinvested by way of placement in CPSE-ETF Scheme in three installments of 0.35% in March 2014, 0.67% in January 2017 & 0.25 % in March 2017.

Further, DIPAM vide OM dated 06.11.2018 informed about Further Fund Offer of CPSE ETF wherein the composition of basket has been revised. Earlier only Coal India Limited was the part of basket but now NLCIL has also been included in the basket

Shares for the above FFO3 of CPSE ETF has already been transferred to DIPAM. 2.21% & 1.62% shareholding of GoI in CIL & NLCIL, are disvested through FFO3 CPSE ETF. Balance shares are yet to be received from DIPAM.

Allocation of Coal Blocks/Mines under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015

  • Under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and Rules made there under, so far 85 coal mines have been successfully allocated (originally 92 coal mines were allocated, later on Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement were terminated in respect of 7 coal mines). Of these 85 coal mines, 25 have been allocated through Electronic Auction (24 to private companies and 1 to a Government Company) and 60 have been allocated to Government Companies through Allotment. Out of these 85 coal mines, 48 coal mines have been allocated to the regulated sector i.e. power, 21 coal mines to the non-regulated sector (NRS) i.e. iron & steel, cement and captive power as well as 16 coal mines for sale of coal. Allotment/ Vesting Orders have been issued for 77 coal mines. During the year 2018, 3 coal mines have been allotted to Coal India Ltd. These are Bijahan, East of Damogoria and Utkal – A. The auction process of 18 Coal mines and allotment process of 8 coal mines have been initiated.
  • The coal mines allocated under the said Act are to be developed as per the terms and conditions as well as milestones listed in Schedule-E of Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement (CMDPA)/ Allotment Agreement entered by the Successful Bidders / Allottees with the Nominated Authority. Any violation of the stipulated terms and conditions is to attract action as appropriate under provisions of the agreement. During the year 2018 an amount of Rs. 428 Crore  have been recovered as appropriated amount from Performance Security as Bank Guarantee.
  • It may be noted that a High Power Expert Committee (HPEC) was constituted to examine efficacy and challenges in the current bidding system and suggest changes for conducting auction of coal mines in future which submitted its report on 12.07.2018. Upon examination and detailed deliberations on the said report of HPEC and recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries thereon, vide O.M. dated 12.10.2018, directions containing guidelines for future allocation of Coal Mines has been issued to Nominated Authority for taking further necessary action accordingly.

Operationalization of allocated Coal Blocks/Mines under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015

  • During the year 2018, 6 Coal Mines have become operational:
  1. Aradhagram
  2. Manoharpur
  3. Gare Palma IV/8
  4. Talaipalli
  5. Dulanga
  6. Pachwara North
  • In order to monitor the development of Coal mines, regular meeting by Secretary (Coal) and Nominated Authority are being held. .During the year 2018, Secretary (Coal) has held 7 meetings on 11/01/2018, 27/02/2018, 19/04/2018, 23/07/2018, 01/08/2018, 05/09/2018 &14/11/2018. Meeting of Nominated Authority was conducted on 20/09/2018 and 05/11/2018.
  • Auctioned coal mines– Out of the 15 operational (Schedule II) coal mines auctioned under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, mining operations have commenced/mine opening permission granted in 12 coal mines. The remaining 3 Schedule II coal mines are awaiting various clearances for operationalization. In respect of these 3 non-operational Schedule II coal mines, action has been/is being taken as per the provisions of Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement.
  • Further, out of the 10 Schedule III coal mines, 1 coal mine was granted Mining Opening Permission. Remaining Schedule III coal mine are scheduled to be operational from June 2018 onwards as they were not operational at the time of the allocation.
  • Allotted coal mines– Out of the 18 operational (Schedule II) coal mines allotted to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)/GENCOS, 4 coal mines are operational as on date. Out of 42 Schedule III & I coal mines (24 Schedule III+ 18 Schedule I) 06 coal mines have been granted Mining Opening Permission. Schedule III & I coal mines are scheduled to be operational from June 2018 onwards as they were not operational at the time of the allocation.
  • Status of Coal  Production:

A total of 56.13 MT coal has already been produced till October 2018 from the operational coal mines after allocation under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act’ 2015.

  • Revenue Generated:

A total revenue of Rs. 6096.50/- Crores (excluding Royalty, taxes, cess, etc.) comprising of the upfront payments and monthly payments upto November 2018 , has already been generated from the coal mines on account of auction/allotment proceeds from allocation of said mines.

  • Coal Block Allocation under MMDR Act, 1957
    • Identification of 137 additional Non-CIL coal blocks out of which 89 coal blocks are available for allocation under MMDR Act, 1957.
    • Deocha Pachami Coal Block has been allocated under MMDR Act, 1957 to the West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) on 06.06.2018.
    • 6 Coal Blocks have been decided to allocate under MMDR Act, 1957 to Coal India Ltd./its Subsidiaries.
    •  Agreement on one Lignite Block (Bharkandam) has been signed on 30.01.2018.
  • Exploration of Coal

CMPDIL drilling target for FY 2018-19 under the sub scheme of Promotion (Regional) Exploration is 2,22,000 Meters which is 47,000 Meters more than previous year drilling. And under the sub scheme of Detailed Drilling in Non-CIL blocks is 512500 Meters which is 13000 Meter more than previous year drilling.

  • Safety Audit

Mine Rescue Team of WCL, a subsidiary of CIL achieved “Most Active Team” Award in the International Mines Rescue Competition (IMRC) 2018 held at Yekaterinburg, Russia. An in-house Rock Testing Laboratory established in Nagpur, WCL for determination of Rock Mass Rating (RMR) of strata was accredited with NABL certificate.

  •  Grading of Quality of Coal

During 2017-18, random sampling (3 sets) by CCO teams for 333 seams/seam fractions & sidings of CIL Subsidiaries and SCCL were carried out under the Colliery Control Rules, 2004 and the Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Rules, 2011 for approving grades for FY 2018-19. No. of mines involved were 177, in which re-gradation was done for 124 mines which resulted in down gradation of 78 mines and up gradation of 46 mines.

Research and Development

The research & Development (R&D) activity is administered through an Apex Body namely, Standing Scientific Research Committee (SSRC) with Secretary (Coal as its Chairman.

As on 01.04.2018, there were Seventeen (17) on-going research projects, out of which four (4) projects have been completed till date.

Ongoing research projects cover the following Areas:

  • Improvement in production, productivity and safety in coal mines,
  • Coal beneficiation
  • Protection of environment and ecology.
  • Clean coal technology

Total approved outlay of the 17 on-going research projects are amounting to Rs. 104.57 Crore.

Status of ongoing projects

  • There are 117 ongoing mining projects costing Rs 20 crore and above under implementation in CIL. Out of these 117 projects, 63 projects (54%) are on schedule and 54 projects (46%) are delayed.  In SCCL, there are 20 Mining projects (14 opencast and 6 underground) costing Rs. 20 Crore and above under various stages of implementation in SCCL with sanctioned capital cost of Rs. 6865.72 Crore, of which, 14 Projects are on schedule (as per FR/RCE), 6 Projects are delayed.
  • The main reasons for delay are Forestry Clearances, land acquisition and related R&R problems, adverse geo-mining conditions etc. Coal companies are regularly monitoring implementation of the project at various levels and interacting with concerned authorities at State and Central levels to resolve the issues coming in the way of projects implementation.

New Projects

  • During the period 2017-18, CIL has approved five opencast projects having an annual total capacity of 24.85 MTY and sanctioned capital of Rs 4264.90 Crore.

Rail infrastructure for evacuation of coal

  • In order to address the issue of evacuation of coal from three potential coalfields viz. North Karanpura in Jharkhand, lb-valley in Odisha and Mand-Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, Government of India has taken up implementation of 3 railway projects namely Tori-Shivpur-Katotia in North Karanpura, Jharkhand; Jharsuguda-Barpalli-Sardega in lb-valley, Odisha and Bhupdeopur-Korichapar-Dharamjaigarh in Chhattisgarh.
  • The construction of the Tori-Shivpur new BG Rail line of 44.37 km, with a revised capital outlay of Rs. 2399 Crore has been completed in the month of September 2018 (single line). The doubling of the rail line, OHE and signaling works are in progress. The works are being executed by East Central Railway. The construction of the Shivpur-Kathotia section of 49.085 km length, with a revised capital outlay of Rs. 1799.64 Crore has been taken up by a Rail JV company “Jharkhand Central Railway limited” (JCRL) formed with CCL (64%), IRCON (26%) and Govt. of Jharkhand (10%). The DPR and Inflated Mileage have been communicated by EC Railway and Railway Board on 27-02-2018 and 13-06-2018 respectively. Signing of Concession Agreement with EC Railway and Financial Closure of JCRL is under progress. Centre line pegging has been completed; physical work is expected to start by Jan. 2019 after financial closure and forest clearance
  • The construction of the Jharsuguda-Barpali-Sardega new BG Rail line of 52.41 km, with a revised capital outlay of Rs. 1044 Crore has been completed in the month of March 2018. The single line was commissioned on 08.03.2018 and coal loading started from 05.04.2018. The work was executed by South East Railway.
  • For development of Bhupdeopur-Korichapar-Dharamjaigarh Rail infrastructure two Special Purpose Vehicle (SPVs) were formed to develop the East and West coal corridors, namely Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL) & Chhattisgarh East-West Railway Limited (CEWRL) with equity participation of SECL (64%), lRCON (26%) and Govt. of Chhattisgarh (10%).
  • Land acquired under CBA(A&D) Act, 1957:

Land acquired under Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957 [CBA (A&D) Act, 1957] during the period from 01.04.2018 till date are as under:

S.No Name of the Company Name of the Project Area in Hectares
1 RRVUNL (A state Govt. undertaking) Parsa Coal Block, District Surguja and Surajpur, Chhattisgarh 1252.447
2 DVC (A Govt. Corporation under M/o Power Tubed Coal Block, Distt. Latehar, Jharkhand 460.00
3 SECL Risdi-Sonpuri Block, District Korba, CG 1050.593
4 ECL Jhanjra-Jamgora Block, Distt. Burdwan, WB 30.00
5 CCL Pichhri Opencast Project-II, District Bokaro, Jharkhand 31.93
Total:   2824.970

International Co-operation

An MOU was signed between Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDI) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia on 16.11.2018.

A key focus of this MOU will be on fostering opportunities for innovative collaboration among scientific leaders and the focus areas would be:

Encourage substantial research cooperation in some or all of the fields of:

  • 2D/3D Seismic Data Analysis for Mapping Coal Seam Including Thin Seams
  • Hydro-Geological Modelling
  • Thick Seam Mining Using Long wall Technology Top Coal Caving
  • High Productive Underground Mining Technology
  • Coal Mine Methane
  • Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation Technologies
  • Drill Hole Geophysical Logging and Data Analysis for Geotechnical Characterisation
  • Mine Gas Capture and Utilisation
  • Strata Control in Underground Coal Mines
  • Slope Stability in Opencast Mines and Overburden Dumps Stability
  • Remediation of Dust from Opencast Mines
  • Coal Cleaning and Preparation (Development of Cost-Effective and High Efficiency Technologies)
  • Coal Blending for Combustion and Gasification Applications
  • Elemental Study (Ash Analysis) for Coal Characterisation
  • Study of Trace Elements and Rare Earth in Coal and Non-Coal Strata
  • Mine Reclamation and Rehabilitation Using Remote Sensing
  • Intelligent Mining, Sensing, and Automation
  • Data Driven Mining Decisions
  • Online Coal Quality Monitoring and Management

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Year End Review – 2018 Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence

It was an eventful year for Ministry of Defence. Government of India took policy decision to set up two Defence Production Corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu. These would go a long way in making India self-reliant in defence production through ‘Make in India’ initiatives. It was also a year of another milestone for women empowerment in the country when the first-ever all-women crew circumnavigated the globe in an indigenously built 56-foot Indian Navy Sailing Vessel, ‘INSV Tarini’.

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The achievement can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi started his address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day this year mentioning the feat only. He aptly said, “We have been celebrating this festival of independence, at a time when our daughters from states of Uttarakhand, Himachal, Manipur, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have come back after circumnavigating the seven seas. They have come back amongst us by (unfurling tricolour in seven seas) turning the seven seas into the colour of our Tricolour.”

The 10th edition of biennial ‘DefExpo’ was organised from April 11-14, 2018 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu successfully. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on April 12, 2018.

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The tagline of the event was ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’. India joined the elite group of nation which have developed the Air-to-Air refuelling system for military class aircraft when Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1,900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker on September 10, 2018.

Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ on November 27, 2018. The main idea behind this is to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Air Force Station, Jodhpur on September 28, 2018 and also launched ‘Parakram Parv’, there. Ministry of Defence enhanced financial decision-making powers of the Vice Chiefs of the three Services by five times to Rs 500 crores in order to expedite the decision making process involved in the revenue procurements of the Armed Forces.

Raksha Mantri took this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of State of the United States Mr Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mr James Mattis had inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on September 6, 2018.

The four span of temporary bridge on the old Ferozpur-Lahore highway over river Satluj River (Hussainiwala Barrage) connecting Hussainiwala Enclave from Ferozpur has been replaced by constructing a new bridge. The bridge was dedicated to the nation by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on August 12, 2018. Hussainiwala is the place where freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who made supreme sacrifice for their motherland, were cremated.

Whenever the nation has faced calamities, the Armed Forces have been standing firm with helping hand in trying times. This year was no different. Armed Forces played pivotal role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during natural disasters that include cyclone‘Titli’, Kerala floods, cyclone ‘Gaja’ saving many lives, livestock and property.

Department of Defence Production

  • Government of India has decided to set up two Defence Production corridors, one each in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Tamil Nadu. The Prime Minister during the UP Investors Meet held on February 21 to 22, 2018 alsoannounced setting up of one such corridor in the Bundelkhand Region of UP. For setting up of the proposed Corridor in UP, six nodal points have been identified viz. Aligarh, Agra, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow. The proposed corridors in Tamil Nadu are: Chennai, Coimbatore, Hosur, Salem and Tiruchirappalli. The scheme envisages support to 06 to 08 Defence Testing Infrastructure (DTI), depending upon the requirement of the lab, to be set up with a total assistance grant ofRs 400 crore. The assistance for individual DTI set up under the scheme shall be 75 per cent of the approved project cost. The implementation of the scheme will be through a Special Purpose  Vehicle(SPV) which will carry out the business of setting up, operating and maintaining the DTI or througha Government agency.
  • The 10th edition of ‘DefExpo’ was organised from April 11 to 14, 2018 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The DefExpo 2018 was formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister on April 12, 2018. It for the first time projected India’s Defence manufacturing capabilities to the world. This was also reflected in the tagline for the Expo i.e. ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’.
  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) a scheme of Department of Defence Production (DDP), formulated in collaboration with Start Up India and Atal Innovation Mission, with the objective of bringing Start-ups to solve problems of defence production, innovate new technologies required by defence forces and reduce dependence on imported technology was launched by the PM during DefExpo 2018 on 12.04.2018. iDEX is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry outR&D.
  • Asregardsland systems, OFB unveiled its 155mmx52Calibre Mounted Gun System (MGS) and also showcased it prime product 155mm x 45 Calibre ‘Dhanush’ Artillery gun, Tank T-90, T-72 Bridge Layer Tank as part of live demonstration equipment. OFBdisplayed its various weapon systems along with ammunition and related accessories. The other attractions of OFB pavilion was its AK-630 Naval gun, CRN-91, 20mm Anti Material Rifle “Vidhvansak”, 7.62×51 mm Assault Rifle, 7.62x39mm Assault Rifle “GHAATAK”, JVPC, 12 Bore Pump Action Gun, Assault Rifle 5.56mm INSAS IC, .32 revolver and dummy of large, medium and small calibre ammunition as well as special protective clothing.
  • A Defence Investor Cell has been made functional in Department of Defence Production (DDP). It will play an important role in acting as one-step solution for all types of defence production related queries. Nodal Officers have been designated, subject wise to respond to the queries.
  • A new and simplified Make-II procedure has been launched in January 2018 for simplification of collaboration between Government and Private Indian Industry for indigenous design,development and manufacture of defence equipment.
  • Maiden flight of indigenously developed Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) integrated on LCH has been conducted successfully by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on January 31, 2018. The flight was of 20 min duration and engagement of this system was flawless through out the flight.
  • The improved design of HTFE-25(Core-2)engine run was successfully carried out by HAL on January 10, 2018. The HTFE-25 Core-2 light up was flawless in the very first attempt. Its engine has an improved HP Compressor spool configuration to cater to upcoming twin-spool Full Engine development.
  • 3rd Scorpene Submarine of Project-75, ‘Karanj’ was launched by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited(MDL) on 31.01.2018.
  • DDP has declared 236 items as Non-core in two phases which are being produced by Ordnance Factory Board(OFB). Incontinuation to the same, 39 more items have been added to the list on 16.01.2018. Therefore, we have now 275 items in total which have been declared as Non-core and these items can be procured by the Indian Defence Forces directly from the trade without seeking No Objection Certificate (NOC) from OFB.
  • AoN (Acceptance of Necessity) has been accorded for procurement of 7.44 lakh nos of Assault Rifles, 3.64 lakh nos of Close Quarter Carbines and 0.41 lakh nos of Light Machine Gun from the Indian Defence Industry. Twenty-five per cent of the above quantities have been reserved for OFB and the remaining 7 per cent will be procured from Indian Defence Industry through competitive bidding wherein OFB would be allowed to participate.
  • Raksha Mantri and Telangana Minister for Industries and Information and Technology, Shri KT Rama Rao inaugurated the Tata Boeing Aerospace facility, a joint venture between Boeing Corporation and the Tata Group firm Tata Advanced Systems (TASL), for manufacturing of the fuselage for the AH-64 Apache combat helicopters at Hyderabad on March 1, 2018. The Company expects to begin commercial supply from its newly-opened facility by the end of the year.
  • The 3rd submarine of the Scorpene/Project-75 (Karanj), was launched by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) on January 31, 2018.
  • Prime Minister of Sri Lanka commissioned GSL built ‘SLNS Sindurala’ in Sri Lanka Navy on 19 April 2018 at Colombo Port. With delivery of this vessel on 22 March 2018, GSL has successfully completed this prestigious export project for constructing two large sized Advanced Off shore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) for Sri Lanka Navy.
  • All the DPSUs have migrated their website from.(dot)com to.(dot)in.
  • An Intellectual Property Rights Facilitation Cell has been created in DGQA with members drawn from OFB and DPSUs to facilitate innovations from the Ordnance FactoriesandDPSUs. It is established to create a structured mechanism and to boost IP culture which would enhance the intellectual capital i.e., vital for encouraging in house R&D in these organisations. Some of the role and responsibilities of the IPF Cell are to provide general advisory about IPRs, such as patents, trademarks, designs and copyrights etc. For initiating, the IPR training and lectures are being conducted.
  • As per provisional figures, Value of Production in respect of OFB and DPSUs has been increased by 8.21 per cent CAGR in Financial Year 2017-18 to Rs 58,759 crore against Rs 55,357 crore last FY

(Rs in crore)

SI. DPSU 2016-17 2017-18 CA GR
1 OFB 14825 14,829 9.28%
2 HAL 17104 17,200 1.83%
3 BEL 9244 10,667 17.01
4 BEML 2624 3,196 7.12%
5 BDL 4661 4,584 18.28%
6 MDL 3523 4,250 5.76%
7 GRSE 928 1,343 -5.92%
8 GSL 1030 1,370 33.95%
9 HSL 618 590 27.90%
10 MIDHANI 800 730 4.48%
TOTAL 55357 58,759 8.21%

  • All DPSUs have registered on Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform which enables buyers to negotiate better terms with MSME vendors and facilitates financing of Trade receivables of MSME.
  • A comprehensive Cyber Security Framework for DDP has been formulated to ensure a strong, robust and resilient Cyber Security environment within DDP and organizations under it. The Framework is based on a comprehensive risk management approach and its governance by considering Cyber Security risks. As a capacity building activity, workshop for CISOs of various subordinate offices of DDP is proposed to be conducted on November 19,2018 in NewDelhi.
  • On 26/06/2018, the Department of Defence Production notified a simplified procedureforissueofAuthorisationforexportofdefenceitems.Thesimplificationsinclude thefollowing:-
    • In repeat orders of same product to the same entity, consultation process has been done away with and permission is issued immediately.
    • For the repeat order of same product to different entity, the consultation earlier done with all stake holders is now limited only with MEA.
    • In Intra-Company business (which is especially relevant for outsourcing of work by defence related parent company aboard to its subsidiary in India), the earlier requirement of getting End User Certificate (EUC) from the Government of importing country has been done away with and ‘Buying’ Company is authorized to issue theEUC.
    • The legitimate export of the parts and components of small arms and body armour for civil use are now being permitted after prior consultation with MEA.
    • For export of items for exhibition purposes, the requirement of consultation with stakeholders has been done way with (except for select countries).
    • Delegation of powers to DRDO, DGOF, and CMD’s of DPSUs for exploring export opportunities and participation in global tenders.
  • Ordnance Factory in Avadi, Chennai ‘Engine Factory Avadi (EVA)’ has successfully indigenised two tank heavy vehicle engines viz. 1000 HP engine V92S2 engine for T-90 Bhisma Tank and V-46-6 engine for T-72 Ajeya Tank and its variants which were hitherto imported. The cost of indigenised engine is nearly 50 per cent of imported engines and based on committed demand of Indian Army. This effect is expected to save Rs800 crore to Government over next 10 years.
  • Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Defence India Startup Challenge‘ in Bengaluru on 4, August 2018 with the overall objective of making India self-reliant for meeting the requirements of national defence.

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  • In addition, following initiatives were launched by RM in this event.
    • SPARK: Support for Prototype & Research Kickstart (in Defence)
    • Framework for iDEXPartners
    • ‘Promotion of Startups under Make-II procedure of DPP 2016’
  • As a major boost to Defence export, the Department of Defence Production notified an Scheme for Promotion of Defence Exports on 04.10.2018. The Scheme provides two options:
    1. Ministry of Defence will certify products “Fit for Indian Military Use” if technically qualified during procurement process but not eventually selected for procurement.
    2. Potential Defence Exporters can get certification of products by Ministry of Defence (against a given set of specifications) even if product is not required by Indian Defence Forces. The scheme is expected to address a long-standing demand of defence and aero space industry.
  • It has been decided to hold the 12th edition of “Aero India 2019” at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, from 20 to 24 February, 2019. This five-day event will combine a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with public air shows. Aero India is a flagship event of MoD held every two years. banner3banner4As envisaged in Digital India Programme of Government of India, Aero India portal www.aeroindia.gov.inis the single window online facility for all interfaces with industry and public. It has made an arrangement for registration by participants, booking of space by exhibitors, bookings of meetings/venues, etc. completely online through website (https://aeroindia.gov.in/Aero­India).The payments being received for these booking are totally online and the exhibitors are able to monitor online the space booked by them. This has made the system easy and transparent with no room for interference from any one, which is similar to other world famous international events being organised these days. Till 31st October,almost70 per cent ofthe space available at the venue is already booked. Since, early bird discount was offered up to that date.
  • HAL’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ has successfully completed mid-air refuelling trial by wet (actual) engagement, transferring 1900 kgs fuel from IAF IL78 mid-air refuelling tanker on  September10, 2018. The refuelling was carried out at an altitude of 20,000 feet and air craft speed of 270k not store fuel all the internal tanks and droptanks. With this, India joins the elite group of countries who have developed the Air-to-Air (AAR) refuelling system for military class of aircraft.
  • In order to simplify Defence Exports, DDP has further amended the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on 01.11.2018. This is third such amendment which has significantly enhanced ease-of-doing business in defence exports. A new software for submission of application by the Industry and for processing the application in the Department has also been launched in the month of October, 2018. The digitally signed export authorisation is accessible to the exporters. The new online system also provides for online consultation with the stakeholders including MEA, DRDO, Indian Army, Air Force and Navy.
  • Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman launched ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ on November 27, 2018. It is part of the ongoing initiatives to enhance self-reliance in defence, the Department of Defence Production has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ which aims to provide a boost to the Intellectual Property Rights culture in indigenous defence industry. DtEcr0rWoAIz4Aldefence_minister_launches_mission_raksha_gyanshaktiThe main idea behind this is to migrate from the culture of seeking Transfer of Technology (ToT) from foreign sources to generating Intellectual Property in India, to achieve the goal of self-reliance in Defence sector.
  • Ministry of Defence enhanced financial decision-making powers of the vice chiefs of Tri-Services by five times in order to expedite the decision making process involved in the revenue procurements of the Armed Forces. With the new delegation, the Vice Chiefs will be able to exercise financial powers upto five times more than the existing powers with an enhanced ceiling of Rs. 500 crores. This is likely to give another fillip to the capacity of the three Armed Forces. Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman took this important decision to augment the arms and ammunition reserves of the Armed Forces to enhance their operational preparedness.
  • Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defence Smt Nirmala Sitharaman and Secretary of State of the United States Mr Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mr James Mattis had inaugural India-US Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue in New Delhi on September 6, 2018. 636718710429295984.22-wave-@USAmbIndiaCelebrating over 70 years of diplomatic cooperation, they reaffirmed their view that India and the US, as sovereign democracies founded on the values of freedom, justice and commitment to the rule of law, must continue to lead global efforts to promote peace, prosperity and security. Recognising their two countries are strategic partners, the Ministers committed to work together on regional and global issues, including in bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral formats. The Ministers reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s designation as a Major Defense Partner (MDP) of the United States and committed to expand the scope of India’s MDP status and take mutually agreed upon steps to strengthen defence ties further and promote better defence and security coordination and cooperation.

Indian Army

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  • Internal Security Situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K): The security situation in J&K despite a lot of challenges has been brought under control. Relentless operations by the Army both, along the Line of Control (LoC) and in the hinterland have thwarted the designs of giving a fillip to the proxy war being waged against India. Army along with CAPF and JKP continues to put in pressure to bring back normalcy to the Kashmir Valley.
  • Internal Security Situation in North East: Intelligence based operations have been launched along the Inda-Myanmar border to maintain peace in the region and to effectively neutralise the terrorists. Indian Army has continued the people friendly operations to help the locals.
  • Situation along LAC: Indian Army is well poised all along the LAC and status quo is being ensured.

Training Events & Military Exercises

  • lndo-French Joint Military Exercise: lndo-French joint military exercise was conducted at Mailly Le Camp, France from January 28 to February 04, 2018. The aim of the exercise was to acquaint both forces with their operating procedures for counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations under UN mandate.
  • lndo-Malaysian Joint Military Exercise: The first ever joint exercise between Indian and Malaysian armies ‘HARIMAU SHAKTI – 2018’ was held from April 30 to May 13, 2018 in the forests of Sengai Perdik Hulu Langat, Malaysia. 4 grenadiers from Indian Army and 1 Royal Ranger Regiment and Royal Malay Regiment participated in the exercise. The first ever such exercise between the two countries aimed at training of troops in counter insurgency operations in jungle terrain. It has laid the groundwork for future editions.
  • lndo-Nepal Joint Military Exercise: ‘SURYA KIRAN – XIII’ was conducted in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand from May 30 to June 12, 2018. The battalion level exercise focused on counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain.
  • lndo-Thailand Joint Military Exercise: lndo-Thai Joint Military Exercise ‘MAITREE’ was held in Thailand from August 06-19, 2018. The exercise was aimed at training the troops in counter insurgency & counter terrorism operations under the United Nations mandate. Both sides jointly trained, planned and executed a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
  • Multinational Joint Military Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018: India participated for the first time in the fifth edition of the joint multinational military exercise SCO Peace Mission between August 24-29, 2018. The joint exercise exhibited the combat power and dominance of the participating armies over extremist groups in simulated realistic situation.
  • lndo-US Joint Military Exercise: The 14th edition of lndo¬ US Joint military Exercise ‘YUDHABHYAS 2018’ was conducted at Chaubatia, Uttarakhand from September 16 to 29, 2018. The two week-long event saw both the armies hone their tactical and technical skills in countering insurgency and terrorism in a UN peacekeeping scenario involving a combined deployment at a brigade level. The Indian contingent was represented a battalion from Garud Brigade, Surya Command while the US contingent was from 1st Infantry Battalion of 23 Infantry Regiment, 2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 7 Infantry Division.
  • lndo-Kazakhstan Joint Military Exercise: The third edition of joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army was held at Otar Military station, Kazakhstan. Ex KAZIND 2018, a 14 day long joint exercise was conducted from September 10 to 23, 2018. The Kazakh contingent was represented by Military Base 85395 while the Indian side was represented by 5 Ladakh Scouts Regiment. Both sides jointly trained, planned and executed a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
  • Multinational Joint Exercise of BIMSTEC Nations: Military field training exercise for BIMSTEC nations, MILEX-2018, was conducted between September 10-16, 2018. Aaim of the exercise was to collectively train BIMSTEC nations in planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in a semi urban focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban and semi-urban terrain. Training contingents comprised of platoon strength from 1st Gorkha Rifles of the Army and 32 Regiment from Japanese ground Self Defence Forces.
  • lndo-Japan Joint Military Exercise: The first of its own kind, an lndo-Japan joint military exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN 2018 was conducted at CIJWS, Vairengte from November 01 to 14, 2018. The primary aim was to in and equip the contingents undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in urban and semi urban terrain. The training contingents comprised of platoon strength from 1st Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army and 32 Regiment from the Japanese ground Self Defence Forces.
  • lndo-Russia Joint Military Exercise: Tenth edition of lndo-Russian joint military Exercise INDRA was conducted at Sabina Military station from November 18 to 28, 2018. The aim of the exercise was to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability of the two armies in peace keeping and enforcement environment under the aegis of United Nations.
  • lndo-Maldives Joint Military Exercise: Ninth edition of lndo-Maldives joint military exercise EKUVERIN 2018 was conducted at Maafilaafushi, Maldives between December 14-29, 2018. The Indian Army contingent comprised of officers and troops from the MADRAS Regiment while Maldives was represented by officers and marines of MNDF. The primary focus of the exercise was to train and equip the contingents to undertake joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural/ urban environment.
  • Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai training Afghan lady officers: As part of a continued effort of training being imparted by the Army to women officers from abroad, the women officers of the Afghan Army and Air Force were trained on basic military aspects including physical training, weapon training, tactics, communication skills and leadership at OTA, Chennai from November 26 to December 22, 2018.
  • lndo-China Joint Military Exercise: 7th Sino -India joint exercise Hand-in-Hand 2018 was held from December 10 to 23, at Chengdu, China. Company size contingents of 11 SIKHLI from Indian Army and a regiment from Tibetan Military District of People’s Liberation Army participated in the exercise. The Indian contingent was led by Col Puneet Pratap Singh Tomar, Commanding Officer, 11 SIKHLI, while the Chinese contingent was led by Col Zhou Jun. The exercise will consist of a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities: The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of the joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency/counter terrorism environment under UN mandate.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

  • Floods in North Eastern States of India (June 2018): Army columns were deployed for rescue and relief operations during floods and landslides in the north eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. Approximately six lakh people were affected by the floods. A total of 430 people in Manipur and 930 people in Tripura were rescued by Assam Rifles and Indian Army.
  • Kerala Floods (August 2018): Army columns were deployed for rescue and relief operations in the devastated flood affected areas Kerala’s Kannur, Wayanad Kozhikode Malappuram, ldukki and Ernakulam districts. Indian Army deployed ten columns and ten Engineering Task Force (ETF) teams with 60 boats and 100 life jackets. Army also constructed 13 temporary bridges to reconnect 38 remote areas and evacuated 3,627 people.

Sports & Adventure

  • Asian Dragon Boat Championship: Naib Subedar Suraj Singh Negi participated in the 5th Asian Dragon Bat Championship at Dali, China between May 05-08, 2018 as captain of 10 metre mixed 500 metre event and won bronze medal for the country.
  • Youth Olympic Games: Jeremy Lalrinnuga, trained in Boys Sports Company, Army Sports Institute Pune created history by lifting total of 274 kilogramme of weight and winning first ever Gold medal for India in 62 kg weight category in the 3rd Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Asian Yoga Sports Championship: Gunner (Operator) Sandeep Chate of Artillery Regiment bagged a Gold representing India and beating 15 other participants from different countries at 8th Asia Yoga Sports Championship held at Thiruvananthapuram between September 27-30, 2018.
  • Junior Asian Athletics: Recruit Ajeet Kumar of Madras Engineers Group, Bangalore won Gold in 5,000 meter race in Junior Asian Athletics Championship held at Gifu.

Miscellaneous Events

  • President awards Padma Shri Sepoy Murlikant Rajaram Petkar (Retd): President Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented Padma Shri to Sepoy Murlikant Rajaram Petkar, retired war veteran of victorious 1965 war on March 20, 2018, who later won Paralympic Gold in 50 metre free style swimming. He sustained grave injuries, including multiple gunshot wounds but trained relentlessly and achieved inspiring glory.
  • Visit of President to Siachen Glacier: President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Supreme commander of armed forces, visited the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen Glacier on May 10, 2018. He addressed troops at the Siachen Base camp and profusely praised the efforts of the soldiers deployed in the harsh climatic conditions assuring that their interests are paramount in the heart of the nation.
  • Army’s Kashmir Super-30 (Medical) Initiative: On June 12, 2018; a prestigious centre for Kashmir Super 30 (medical) project was inaugurated by the Chinar Corps commander, Srinagar. The project has been conceptualised by the Army which is a residential programme providing coaching and guidance to children for medical coaching and guidance to children for medical entrance exam for 12 months.
  • Samba Super 40: Samba Super 40 Project under the aegis of Gurj Div was initiated to provide quality training to young NOA/CDS aspirants of Samba area as per UPSC curriculum. The project involved identification, screening and selection of potential candidates. Extensive interactions were done by Army officers of Samba brigade at Samba, Vijaypur and Kathua schools and colleges. 36 students were shortlisted out of which two boys and one girl have cleared the written exam. They will now be coached further for SSB.
  • Rescue by Indian Army in Arunachal Pradesh: Indian Army rescued locals and tourists in 320 vehicles who were stuck in sub-zero temperature on March 12, 2018 in an unexpected heavy snowfall near Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh. Three teams of Indian Army worked relentlessly till the last person and vehicle were brought to safety.
  • Celebration of Parakram Parv: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the Combined Commanders Conference at the Air Force Station in Jodhpuron September 28, 2018 and also launched ‘Parakram Parv’ there.
  • He also paid homage to martyrs at Konark War Memorial in the city. In the visitors’ book, the PM wrote that the country is proud of the Armed Forces who are dedicated and committed to protecting the Motherland. Raksha Mantri Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated ‘Parakram Parv’ celebrations at India Gate on September 29, 2018. The ceremony was attended by military and civil dignitaries and large number of school children and NCC cadets. Similar celebrations were observed at various locations around the country.

Indian Navy

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Overseas Operations

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  • Western Fleet (WF) Overseas Deployment (OSD): Western Fleet ships comprising Mumbai and Trikand were deployed for Western FleetOverseas Deployment from April 15 to May 23, 2018. During the deployment, the ships along with P8I aircraft participated in Phase III of EX-VARUNA, at/off Reunion Island, from May 01-07, 2018. Western Fleet ships comprising Kolkata and Trikand participated in exercise IBSAMAR at Simons Town, South Africa from October 01-13, 2018.
  • Malabar 18 and RIMPACEastern Fleet ships comprising SahyadriKamorta and Shaktiwere deployed for Eastern Fleet Overseas Deployment. The ships along with P8I aircraft participated in Exercise Malabar at Guam. On completion of Malabar 18, Kamorta and Shaktireturned Visakhapatnam on July 07, 2018. Sahyadri thereafter participated in exercise RIMPAC at Hawaii and Kakadu at Darwin and finally arrived at Visakhapatnam on September 29, 2018.
  • International Fleet Review at Jeju: Eastern Fleet ship INSRana was deployed for Eastern FleetOverseas Deployment from September 17 to November 24, 2018. The ship participated in International Fleet Review at Jeju, South Korea between October 08-15, 2018. The ship participated in IND-INDO Bilateral exercise at Surabaya, Indonesia from November 12-16, 2018.
  • Overseas Deployment of 1 Training Squadron (1TS): Ships of 1 Training Squadron consisting of IN Ships Tir, Sujata, Sudarshini, Shardul and ICG Ship Sarathi were deployed in South-East Asia as part of training deployment from September 20 to October 22, 2018. The ships visited Lumut, Malaysia, Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia. During the deployment IN ships Tir, Sujata and Shardul were diverted off Palu, Indonesia, to provide relief assistance to the Tsunami affected Island of Sulawesi.

Naval Operations/activities

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  • Mission Based Deployments Mission Based Deployments were implemented by Indian Navy (IN) in a phased manner, with an aim to safeguard national maritime interests and maintain continuous/near continuous presence in areas of significant maritime importance in the IOR. These deployments are in consonance with the PM’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’. Since the inception of Mission Based Deployment in June 2017, IN ships and aircraft are being regularly deployed in the Gulf of Oman/Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden/Red Sea, South and Central Indian Ocean Region (IOR), off Sunda Strait, Andaman Sea/ approaches to Malacca Strait and Northern Bay of Bengal.
  • IN Operational Exercises: In order to remain combat ready at all the time IN conducted Command level operational exercises ENCORE-18 (Eastern Naval Command), XPL-18 (Western Naval Command) and SHIKSHA-18 (Operational level war gaming exercise). These exercises also saw participation from the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. The exercises facilitate refining of IN war plans, address Op Logistics issues and provide platform for smooth transition from peace to conflict.

Foreign Cooperation

  • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS):     The IONS presently has 24 member countries with eight countries with observer status. Iran is the current ‘Chair’ of IONS. The construct has become an important Maritime construct to promote maritime cooperation amongst the member countries. During the Conclave of Chiefs held in Tehran in April 2018, it was decided to conduct the IONS Anti-piracy exercise by Iran in 2019 and India assumed Chairmanship of IWG Information Sharing and Interoperability (IS&I). Indian Navy also conducted commemorative activities for IONS 10th anniversary between November 13-14, 2018 at Kochi. Events included commemorative Seminar, Tall ship sail together from Kochi to Muscat and release of Special Day cover. Chiefs of 11 navies and 27 countries participated in the event.
  • MILAN-18 MILAN-18 was conducted at Port Blair from March 06-13, 2018. More than 30 delegates from 16 countries and 11 ships from eight countries participated in the MILAN. A Table-Top Exercise focussing on ‘Enhancing Regional Cooperation for Combating Unlawful Activities at Sea’ and a seminar on the theme ‘In pursuit of Maritime Good Order – Need for Comprehensive Information Sharing Apparatus‘ was conducted during the ‘Harbour Phase’. In the ‘Sea Phase’ participating ships undertook various exercises aimed at harnessing inter-operability in a variety of maritime scenarios including ‘Search and Rescue’ and ‘Maritime Interdiction Operations’.
  • Supply of 2nd Dornier to Seychelles Second Dornier aircraft was handed over to Seychelles Air Force on June 25, 2018 at a ceremony held in New Delhi. Deputy Chief of Naval Staff represented IN along with other Flag Officers during the ceremony. The first Dornier was supplied to Seychelles in January 2013.
  • 37th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica: Hydrographic survey team consisting of one Long Hydrography course qualified officer and one Hydrographic sailor participated in the 37th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica from December 2017 to March 2018 for surveying India Bay area.

Important Events of Interest

  • MLAs/MPs/State Government Officials Day at Sea: Prime Minister during Combined Commanders’ Conference 2015 directed IN to conduct day at sea for MP/MLA and State Government officials of the Coastal states of India. Till date, familiarisation sorties have been conducted for the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. MLAs/ MPs/State Government officials ‘Day at Sea’ for Maharashtra was conducted on April 08, 2018, off Mumbai. A total of 146 MPs/MLAs/State Government officials including the Chief Minister embarked five IN ships for the ‘Day at Sea’.
  • North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission: The 18th North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission (NIOHC) Conference was conducted from April 09-12, 2018 at Vasco-da-Gama, Goa by the Indian Naval Hydrographic Department (INHD). The Conference was chaired by VAdm Vinay Badhwar, NM, Chief Hydrographer and Chairman NIOHC. A total of 64 foreign delegates from International Hydrographic Organisation, Member States/countries and industries participated.
  • Artificial Intelligence: In pursuance of Govt. of India’s initiative for harnessing technological advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a Task Force to study strategic implementation of AI for National Security and Defence was set up by MoD/DDP in February 2018. The Task Force consisted of eminent personalities from DRDO, BARC, IITs, Defence PSUs, industry and members from the three services. The Task Force report, which was submitted to Raksha Mantri on June 30, 2018, broadly included AI ‘Use Cases’ for implementation by three services, allocation of a portion of defence budget for AI projects, building up AI expertise and setting up AI command structure. INon its part has divided the AI use cases on the basis of short, medium and long term basis for implementation and is progressing four AI based proof-of-concept projects.
  • Navika Sagar Parikrama: INSV Tarini returned to India on May 21, 2018, on completion of the first Indian all-women circumnavigation of the globe. This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.The vessel was flagged-in by Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman at Goa. The crew met Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiin New Delhi on May 23, 2018 and President at Rashtrapati Bhawan on June 01, 2018. The vessel covered 22,300 Nm during the voyage and met all the following criteria of circumnavigation. The expedition was in consonance with the National policy to empower women to attain their full potential. It also depicted ‘Nari Shakti’ on the world platform and helped discard the societal attitudes and mindset towards women in India by raising visibility of their participation in challenging environs. Also, the indigenously built 56-foot sailing vessel, INSV Tarini showcased the ‘Make in India’ initiative on the International forum.

SAR and HADR

  • Diving and Rescue Assistance:  The Navy continued to provide rescue assistance to local authorities for Search and Rescue (SAR) of personnel having fallen into water bodies or drowned therein. In the on-going year, assistance has been provided for 110 requests. For SAR of a boat capsized in Godavari river on May 15, 2018, extensive air searches were provided by two Chetak helicopters, one UH3H and one DO.
  • Cyclone Berguitta – Mauritius:  A Tropical depression ‘Berguitta’ crossed Mauritius on January 18, 2018. Based on request from HCI, Mauritius and MoD directives, INS Sarvekshak handed over relief materiel comprising provisions, clothing items and medicines to the Government of Mauritius on January 27, 2018.
  • Transhipment of Humanitarian Aid to Chittagong: IN ship Airavat was deployed for transhipment of Humanitarian aid to Chittagong from 05 – 14 May 18. A total of 345 tons of relief material was handed over to the Bangladesh Government.
  • Very Severe cyclone’Titli’:  On October 11, 2018, information was received at Eastern Naval Command, Vishakhapatnam regarding landfall of Very Severe cyclone‘Titli’ at Srikakulam. Based on assistance sought by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, IN provided HADR and SAR assistance including air dropping of 3,000 food packets and 5,500 kgs of relief material at various locations, in coordination with the State administration. The IN teams were de-inducted on October 15, 2018.
  • Golden Globe Race:  Commander Abhilash Tomy participated in the Golden Globe Race 2018, which is a 30,000 nautical mile solo sailing race around the world. It was started on July 01, 2018 from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. On September 21, 2018, whilst Cdr Abhilash Tomy was contesting in the 3rd position, his yacht ‘SV Thuriya’ dismasted in rough seas in the Indian Ocean, injuring him. He was stranded 3,200 km off the coast of Western Australia after the incident. In a joint rescue operation (India, France and Australia), led by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Canberra, Cdr Tomy was rescued on 24 Sep 18 by the French fishing vessel Osiris and brought to Ile De Amsterdam for receiving medical care. IN ship Satpura embarked Cdr Tomy from Ile De Amsterdam and brought him back to India.

International Level Sports Championships

  • Hong Kong Gymnastics Championship: Rakesh Patra, (CPO PT), participated in Honk Kong Gymnastics Competition held between January20-21, 2018 and won 03 Gold medals.
  • President Cup:NT Lalbiakkima, SEA II (GS), of Navy Boxing team represented the country during President Cup held between June04-11, 2018 at Astana, Kazakhistan and won Bronze medal.
  • International Masters, Dubai: Rohit Kumar, PO ELA (R) and Surjeet, PO (GS), of Navy Kabaddi team represented the country in International Masters, Dubai from June 22-30, 2018 and won Gold medal.
  • Asian Wrestling Championship: Sachin Rathi, Sea II (GW), of Navy Wrestling team won Gold medal during the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship held from July 20-22, 2018 at New Delhi.
  • 2018 World Wrestling Championship: Vijay, SEA II (GW), won silver medal the World Wrestling Championship held between September 17-23, 2018 at Tranav, Slovakia.

Mountaineering Adventures

  • All Women Expedition to Mt Deotibba: An all women Naval Mountaineering Expedition to Mt Deotibba was successfully conducted from May 28, 2018. Mt Deotibba is the second highest peak (6,001 mtr) in the Pir-Panjal range of Himachal Pradesh. The expedition has laid foundation for all women mountaineering team to scale many more challenging peaks in the near future. The team summited the peak on June 10, 2018.
  • Mt Menthosa (6,443 mtr) Expedition  A ten member mountaineering expedition to Mt Menthosa was flagged off from Kochi on Sep 21, 2018. The team successfully submitted the peak on Oct 16, 2018. The team comprised of three officers and seven sailors.

THE INDIAN AIR FORCE

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Acquisition

  • Rafale Rafale is an omni-role fighter aircraft which will provide long range capability to engage targets in depth and will provide a strong weapons and systems capability edge over our adversaries. The weapon package includes air-to-air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) METEOR missile and long range SCALP precision guided air-to-ground weapon. In addition, the Rafale for IAF has specific enhancements, including capability for high altitude engine start for undertaking high altitude operations.
  • Hercules C-130J-30:C-130J is a medium sized, all weather transport aircraft capable of inter theatre and intra theatre airlift operations. It is capable of delivering combat troops/personnel or cargo by airdrop or air-landed operations.  IAF has also enhanced the night operational capability of the aircraft by procuring latest generation Night Vision Goggles.
  • Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters: Fifteen Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters will be delivered to the IAF from March 2019 onwards.  A team of aircrew and ground crew have commenced training on the Chinook in USA.

Upgrades

  • Mirage-2000 Upgrade: Upgrade of Mirage-2000 aircraft is being undertaken by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The upgrade programme includes a new, more powerful upgraded radar, new avionics suite and integration of weapons. The upgrade was undertaken in two phases. Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) Design and Development (D&D), was completed at OEM facilities’ in France and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) D&D was completed in March 2018.
  • MiG-29 Upgrade: The MiG-29 Upgrade Contract was signed with the OEM for upgrade and life extension of MiG-29 aircraft. The first phase of the project was Design & Development (D&D), which was completed on six aircraft in Russia. The second phase was Series Upgrade of the remaining aircraft at the Base Repair Depot of the Indian Air Force. The upgraded aircraft are now being used for routine operations in frontline squadrons. The upgraded aircraft is equipped with state of the art avionics, an array of smart air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and in-flight refuelling.
  • UAV Upgrade: A combined case for upgrade of Heron UAV systems for three Services (IAF-10) is in progress and IAF is the lead service. Identification of Friend or Foe and Traffic Collision Avoidance System are some features that will be part of the upgrade. Contract negotiations have been concluded.

Operations

  • Aircraft Accident Rates:   The annual aircraft accident rates, calculated as number of Cat I accidents per 10,000 hours of flying during the financial year, have shown a progressive decline over the years.
  • Flying Effort:  There has been an increase in flying effort and reduction of accident rate, which indicates proactive safety measures undertaken by the IAF. Financial year wise flying efforts by IAF for the past ten financial years are as follows:

Make Projects

  • AEW&C (Indigenous): The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) sanctioned the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Project on October 06, 2004. Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) was designated as nodal agency to indigenously design and develop operational AEW&C systems for IAF. The AEW&C System is a system of systems consisting of Primary Radar (PR), Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, and Communication Support Measures (CSM) system, Self-Protection Suits (SPS), Mission Communication System (MCS) and Data Links on board Embraer-145 aircraft. The aircraft is capable of air-to-air refuelling for achieving extended endurance.
  • AWACS (India): Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS-India) consists of sensors mounted on a transport aircraft for locating airborne and sea surface targets and picking up hostile emissions. The aircraft sensors provide comprehensive information to the onboard mission controllers and ground stations through a sophisticated communication data link. The system provides advance warning for approaching low flying hostile targets.

Exercise

  • Ex Gagan Shakti: IAF conducted PAN India Exercise Gaganshakti 2018 between April 08-22, 2018. The aim of the exercise was real time coordination and employment of air power in a short and intense battle scenario. A major highlight of the exercise was a very high availability and reliability of all combat assets including aircraft, missile systems and radars. High tempo operations also enabled the IAF to ascertain sustainability of the logistics chain.
  • Ex Pitch Black-2018(OUT EX): Ex Pitch Black (Ex PB) is a biennial exercise conducted by Royal Australian Air Force. Ex PB-18 was the inaugural exercise for IAF conducted from Jul 19 to August 18, 2018, at Darwin, Australia. IAF participated with 04 x Su-30MKI, 01 x C-17 and 01 x C-130J aircraft along with 145 IAF personnel. Hop exercise was conducted at Subang, Malaysia during the transit to Malaysia.
  • International Army Games-2018 (OUT EX): Two observers (each) represented IAF in “UAV Competition” at Kazakhstan from 06-08 Aug 18 and in “Ex Aviadarts (Air to Ground firing competition)” at Russia from August 03-04, 2018.
  • Ex Aviaindra-2018 [Phase-I (IN Ex) & Phase-II (OUT Ex)]:  The exercise was planned in two phases. Phase-II was held at Lipetsk, Russia between September 17-28, 2018 and Phase-I was held at Jodhpur, India from December 10-21, 2018. Russian IAF participated with 30 members during the exercise.
  • Ex Cope India-18:  United States Air Force and Indian Air Force participated in an exercise, ‘Cope India’. It was conducted at Kalaikunda and Panagarh from December 03-14 18. USAF participated with 12X F15 C/D and 03XC-130. Observers from Japan Air Self Defence Force also participated in the exercise.

HADR

  • HADR Seminar: HQ Western Air Command conducted a seminar on Human Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in May 2018. It was attended by representatives of the Army, HQ Integrated Defence Staff and State Disaster Management Authorities of J&K, HP, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
  • Annual Jt HADR Exercise: Based on the directions of Prime Minister, Annual Jt HADR exercise was conducted at Allahabad between September 25-26, 2018. Scenario of earthquake along Dehradun, Bareilly and Gorakhpur axis was simulated as part of the exercise. The exercise was conducted by IAF and various agencies involved in HADR operations including NDMA, NDRF, state govt and other civil agencies till the municipal level participated in the exercise.
  • Flash Floods Maharashtra: On 07 Jul 18, helicopter undertook rescue of five stranded civilians near Chinchoti waterfall in Palghar, Maharashtra.
  • Flood Relief in Kerala. IAF launched rescue and relief operations after the devastating floods in Aug 2018. Fortyseven aircraft (05xC-17, 03xIL-76, 05xC-130 and 10xAn-32 and 24 helicopters) took part in the rescue and relief operations in Kerala. During the HADR mission, IAF ac airlifted 4,209 passengers and 1,554 T of load and flew 1,121 sorties and 1404 hrs.

Publicity Efforts

  • Maintenance of Career Website: IAF maintains a career website www.careerindianairforce.cdac.in, which contains all the induction and selection related information. The website is used for online registration and conduct of online examination. Information regarding various stages of selection process i.e., from releasing of advertisement to final merit lists are upgraded regularly on the website.
  • Print Advertisement:  Advertisement for all the entries is released in Employment News, various magazines and also as newspaper advertisement in vernacular language on pan India basis.

Training

  • e-Training.  In line with Digital India initiative of Government of India, IAF has taken a lead to bring about a paradigm change in the present training methodology for ab-initio air-warriors. Towards this, a pilot e-training project was introduced for 400 ab-initio trainees of Elect fit trade at Electrical and Instrumentation Training Institute (E & ITI) at Air Force Station Jalahalli, Bengaluru. Trainees and instructors were provided with ‘tablets’, integrated through a wireless network. Users are able to refer to training material loaded into a central server at their own place, within the Wi-Fi coverage area of the unit. The Pilot Project (Phase I) to implement e-training has proven to be very successful and is planned to be implemented at all training establishments and training institutes.

Women Empowerment

  • Induction of Women Pilots in the Fighter Stream.  The IAF has been at the vanguard of providing greater opportunities to women and has pioneered the entry of women as officers in the flying and ground duty branches.  Since 1993, women are being inducted as Short Service Commissioned officers in all branches and streams of the IAF except the fighter stream. The IAF has recently revised Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme to induct women into the fighter stream on an experimental basis for a period of five years. The first batch of three women officers were commissioned into the fighter stream in 2016.  These three women fighter pilots are posted to frontline fighter squadrons.

Miscellaneous

  • Vintage Flight.  IAF maintain and operates Tiger Moth, Harvard and Dakota vintage aircraft. These aircraft represent an important part of Indian aviation and IAF heritage. These aircraft are presently operating in IAF colours and have regaled audiences all over the country, as they have been an integral part of most flypasts and air displays of National importance. Their presence over Indian skies serves to remind Indian Citizens of our rich aviation heritage and motivates countless youngsters to become a part of the IAF.
  • ATF Online Payment.  CDA (AF) has started releasing payment online to M/s IOCL against the ATF bills received through ‘ATF DIP’ (OJAS) software and the same has been successfully implemented by IAF.

Indian Coast Guard

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Operations

  • Extended EEZ surveillance: In addition to undertaking maritime surveillance in Maritime Zone of India, ICG ships and aircraft are also deployed for undertaking maritime surveillance of littoral states. In 2018, ICG undertook three extended EEZ deploymentsin the Maldivian EEZ, by ICG ship Sarathi in February-April, 2018 and ICGS Samarth in April-May, 2018 followed by one ICG Dornier Aircraft in July-August 2018.

Coastal Security

  • Coastal Security Exercises:   Indian Coast Guard, in coordination with Navy, has been undertaking patrolling and surveillance of the entire coastline.  Since 2009, a total of 180 Coastal Security Exercises have been conducted for ensuring effectiveness of the coordinated patrolling and validation of Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Coastal Security Operations:   With the sustained impetus on Coastal Security total of 351 Coastal Security Operations have been conducted since 2009, in coordination with all stakeholders.

Search and Rescue

  • Indian Coast Guard is the national coordinating agency for maritime search and rescue in the vast 4.6 million square kiolometres of Indian Search and Rescue Region. Director General Indian Coast Guard is the Chairman of National Maritime Search and Rescue Board which is responsible to coordinate M-SAR related matters.
  • Distress Beacon Exercise:   In order to enhance efficacy of M-SAR construct, series of Beacon exercises are being conducted. The 14th and 15th exercise was conducted on May, 23-25 and September, 26-28, 2018 respectively. Active participation was witnessed from Defence and Civil and a total of 96 beacons were tested in 2018.
  • SAR Exercises: With imperatives to validate the National Maritime SAR plan and to exercise the resource agencies for enhanced operability towards collaborative approach for strengthening the maritime SAR mechanism, Maritime Search and Rescue exercises were conducted under the aegis of NMSAR Board. Large scale participation of National Maritime SAR Board Member agencies, stake holders, resource agencies, national and international observers was witnessed during the exercises conducted in 2018 which are as under:-
    • National Maritime Search and Rescue Workshop & Exercise (SAREX-18) conducted between January 16-17, 2018 off Chennai. The SAR exercise was in series of the biennial exercise conducted by ICG.
    • Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise Mar 19 & 21, 2018 off Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Maritime SAR Workshop & Interactive Sessions  Under the aegis of NMSAR Board, ICG took the initiative of conducting Maritime SAR Workshop & interactive session for mariners, fisherman and stake holders. These initiatives were aimed towards building up a collaborative approach for strengthening safety of fisher-folks and mariners and enthusing safety consciousness among coastal communities.
  • SAR Communication Exercise: With a view to reinforce our operational linkages with leading Maritime SAR service providers in the Indian Ocean Region, MRCC (Mumbai), MRCC (Chennai) and MRCC (Port Blair) conducted Search and Rescue Communication  Exercises (SARCOMEX) with friendly countries in the year 2018, that include Oman, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, South Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Australia.
  • XVII National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSAR) Board Meeting.The XVII National Maritime Search and Rescue (NMSARB) meeting was held at Vigyan Bhawan Annex, New Delhi on Jul 05, 2018 under the chairmanship of Director General, ICG and Chairman, National Maritime Search & Rescue Board, Shri Rajendra Singh.The meeting was attended by all the board members alongwith other special invitees alongwith Fisheries department representatives from five States.  Various issues related with safety of fishermen and mariners were reviewed and discussed.  During the meeting annual NMSAR awards were also distributed by the Chairman, NMSAR Board. The ‘ICG SAR Award for Fisherman’ was awarded to Shri Milan Shankar Tare, Owner & Master of fishing boat ‘Dharti’ for saving 12 lives from sinking fishing boat ‘Shivneri’ 33 NM off Tarapur, Maharashtra.

Aid to Civil Authority

  • Ganesh Utsav-2018:   During immersion ceremony of idols of Lord Ganesh along the Mumbai coast, CGRHQ (West) conducted ‘Operation Utsav’ from 13 – 23 Sep 18 to carry out surveillance and provide SAR cover during the ceremony. ICG ships and aircraft provided search and rescue cover to the devotees on September 14, 17, 19 and 23, 2018.
  • Assistance to Civil Authority – Kerala Flood: In response to the Kerala floods in August 2018, ICG launched a large scale Disaster Response & Relief Operation code named ‘Op Rahat’. ICG mobilised eight ships, four Dorniers and three helicopters during the operation. Thirty six Disaster Response Teams, each comprising 7-9 ICG personnel were deployed in the flood affected districts of Kerala.
  • ICG Efforts Towards cyclone ‘LUBAN’ in Arabian Sea:   Consequent to formation of cyclone Luban in South East Arabian Sea on October 01, 2018, ICG launched a large scale rescue and relief operation. CG Disaster Response teams were formed at Kochi and Gemini, life boats were kept standby for deployment at short notice. On an average 10-12 Ships, 05-06 Dornier aircraft and 01-02 helicopter were deployed for warning/ sensitizing fishermen at sea and guiding them to return harbour.
  • ICG Efforts Towards cyclone ‘Titli’ in Bay of Bengal: ICG again launched a large scale rescue and relief operations during the onset of cyclone ‘Titli’, which formed in the Bay of Bengal on October 08, 2018. Three CG Disaster Response teams were employed at Gopalpur while 04 CGDRTs at Paradip and 06 CGDRTs at Haldia were kept standby. On an average 08 Ships and03-04 Dornier aircraft were deployed for warning/ sensitizing fishermen at sea and guiding them to return harbour.
  • ICG Efforts Towards cyclone ‘Gaja’:   Consequent to formation of low pressure in North Andaman sea around November 08-09, 18, Indian Coast Guard initiated series of pre-emptive measures from November 09, 2018 onwards to ensure safety of fishermen operating at sea.

International Cooperation

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) India has acceded to various international conventions dealing with maritime safety and security and marine environment protection. Accordingly, ICG endeavours for making seas safe, secure and clean with its international partners. ICG has signed MoUs with the Bangladesh CG, Japan CG, Korea CG, Royal Oman Police CG, Sri Lanka CGand Vietnam CG for cooperation on CG-relevant maritime issues. In addition ICG and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency have established a communication link as part of MoU between the Ministries of Defence of both Governments.

Bilateral Interactions

  • Signing of MoU between ICG and SLCG: A Memorandum of Understanding between ICG and the Coast Guard of Sri Lanka was signed on May 09, 2018 in Colombo for the establishment of a collaborative relationship to combat transnational illegal activities at sea and develop regional cooperation between the ICG and Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

Joint Exercise

  • Joint Exercise with Bangladesh Coast Guard: BCG ship Tajuddin visited Chennai between May 25-28, 2018 for joint exercise under the provisions of MoU. The ship also visited Vizag from May 30 to June 02,  2018 for professional interaction with ICG.
  • Joint Exercise with Japan Coast Guard: ICG-JCG annual joint exercise was conducted off/at Chennai between January 16-17, 2018. The JCG ship Tsugaru ship alongwith integral helicopter participated in the joint exercise.

Marine Environment

  • Signing of MoU for Cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region: Director General ICG on behalf of Government of India has deposited instrument of consent to Director General, South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), Colombo, Sri Lanka on               May 12, 2018 in respect of MoU for cooperation on the response to oil and chemical pollution in the South Asian Seas Region (comprising of maritime nations – India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
  • International Coastal Cleanup Day – 2018:  Towards ongoing efforts of the Government for the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and Prime Minister’s appeal for mass cleanliness and sanitation campaign, through “Swachhta Hi Seva”, the Indian Coast Guard conducted International Coastal Cleanup Day-2018 (ICC-2018) in all Coastal States/Union Territories on September 15, 2018. Nationwide, a total of 22,026 volunteers participated in the ICC-2018 campaign, which resulted in collection of 71,220 kilogrammes of marine litter.

Fisheries Protection   

  • Apprehension of Foreign Fishing Vessels:   Coast Guard apprehended 04 foreign fishing boats alongwith 26 foreign crew under the provisions of the MZI Act, 1981 since January 2018.
  • Repatriation of Indian and Foreign Fishing Boats:   The repatriation operations are directly coordinated by the Coast Guard Headquarters which involves extensive committed liaison with MEA, the Indian High Commission in the respective countries, State Fisheries departments and District Administration. Coast Guard repatriated 11 Sri Lankan and 26 Pakistani fishermen from India and 155 Indian fishermen from Sri Lanka have been undertaken since January 2018.

Aviation

  • 16 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) MKIII: Contract towards supply of 16 ALH MK-III has been concluded with M/s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on March 29, 2017 and successful ground run of first Green aircraft has been carried out in June 2018. Integration and certification of systems is in progress and delivery of first two helicopters is scheduled in March 2020. These helicopters are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and are capable of surveillance, interdiction, standoff support for ship boarding parties and pollution response from ships.

Defence Research and Development Organisation 

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  • Long Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile ‘Agni-5’: During the year, Agni-5 was successfully flight tested thrice in Jan, June& December 2018. A total of seven flight trials have been conducted so far and all the missions have been successful.
  • Ballistic Missile Defence (Programme AD): Interceptor missiles have been developed by DRDO as a strategic weapon against ballistic missile attacks. Successful trials of endo interceptor missile (AAD) and exo interceptor missile (PDV) were carried out in August 2018 and September 2018 respectively.
  • Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile ‘Astra’: Beyond visual range air-to-air missile ‘Astra’ possessing high single shot kill probability has been developed by DRDO to engage and destroy highly manoeuvring supersonic aerial targets. A series of flight trials of the missile by IAF were conducted at ITR, Balasore as part of final development trials of the missile in September/October 2018.
  • New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM): DRDO is involved in the design and development of NGARM having a range of 100 km. AKU-58 launcher after suitable modification will be used for missile integration on Su-30 MKI aircraft. Successful static firing of integrated P-I & P-II rocket motor was conditioned at high & low temperatures in Jun & Jul 2018 respectively. Captive Flight Trials were also successfully conducted in September 2018.
  • Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM): MPATGM is a 3rd generation ATGM with ‘Fire & Forget’ and ‘Top Attack’ capabilities, which can be day and night. Design & development of MPATGM weapon system is undertaken for deployment by Infantry and Parachute Battalions of the Army. During the year, sub-systems for control flight trial were acceptance tested and lined up for missile integration which was followed by successful Program Control Flight Trials of the missile system in September 2018.
  • Stand-off Anti-Tank (SANT) Guided Missile: During the year, SANT Guided Missile mission-01 campaign was conducted during May 2018 at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan during which successful firing of SANT from Mi-35 helicopter platform was demonstrated. SANT Release Flight Trials (RFT) with mathematical model of seeker was also conducted in Nov 2018 wherein safe separation from Mi-35, transfer alignment algorithm, launch release sequence and latex/roll control auto pilot algorithms was demonstrated.
  • Smart Anti Air Field Weapon (SAAW): SAAW is long-range, stand-off, precision air-to-surface weapon capable of engaging ground targets. Impact trial of SAAW was conducted in May 2018 to access penetration capability of SAAW in full configuration mode. Three tests of SAAW were also carried out during August 2018 from IAF aircraft. The weapon has undergone eight developmental flight trials till date.
  • Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ‘TAPAS BH’: TAPAS-BH, a multi-mission UAV is being developed with an endurance of 24 hours to carry out the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces. It is being designed to operate at 30,000 ft Above Mean Sea Level (AMSL) altitude and is capable of carrying Electronic Warfare and Electro-Optic & Synthetic Aperture Radar (EO & SAR) payloads. During the year, a total of 63 taxi trials (LSTT & HSTT) have been completed. The first block of User Configuration flights commenced in February 2018. As on date, 25 User configuration flight trials have been completed.
  • Guided Pinaka Rocket System: Guided Pinaka Rocket system is being developed by DRDO to engage targets from 20 km to 80 km range. The rocket uses propulsion system developed for Pinaka Mk-II rocket and has canard based aerodynamic control and Inertial Navigation System (INS)/Global Positioning System (GPS) based guidance. The system was successfully test fired from PXE, Chandipur in May 2018 and met all its mission objectives.
  • New Family of Munitions (NFMS): Six types of munitions are being designed and developed by DRDO viz. Soft Target Blast Munition ‘NIPUN’, Anti-Tank Point Attack Munition ‘VIBHAV’, Anti-Tank Bar Munition ‘VISHAL’, Directional Fragmentation Munition ‘PARTH’, Anti-Tank Munition ‘PRACHAND’ and Jumping Fragmentation Munition ‘ULKA’ to improve the existing munitions and enhance its performance. During the year, PSQR based User Trials of PRACHAND was completed.
  • Arjun Armoured Recovery and Repair Vehicle (Arjun ARRV): ARRV is intended for carrying out recovery, repair and replenishing functions pertaining to MBT Arjun in operational areas under a wide variety of field conditions. During the year, 1st prototype was successfully demonstrated during DRDO internal trials and 2nd prototype is under developmental trials.
  • Advance Light Towed Array Sonar (ALTAS): ALTAS is an efficient sensing system for detection, localization and classification of submarines operating especially in the below surface layer ocean conditions. It is useful in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations and is the apt sensor for warships to locate silent submarines capable of launching high speed torpedoes. User Evaluation Trials of the system onboard INS Sharda are under progress. Almost 75 NSQR parameters including parameters pertaining to towing characteristics and functions of launch/recovery unit have been demonstrated during the trials.
  • USHUS – 2: USHUS-2 is submarine sonar to be installed onboard four EKM submarines considering the long term requirements of the submarine arm and to combat the component obsolescence in the existing Russian sonars onboard these submarines. Design and development of engineered model of USHUS-2 is carried out in NPOL and produced at M/s. BEL, Bengaluru. During the year, Sea Acceptance Trials (SATs) Phase-1 of USHUS-2 onboard INS Sindhukesari was completed successfully in Russia.
  • Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS): DRDO/NPOL is involved in the design and development of a PDDS system that is capable of detecting small targets such as divers and diver delivery vehicles in and around harbours. It will be deployable and retrievable as and when required. During the year, PDDS deployment system has been developed. Field evaluation of the deployment system will be by early 2019.
  • Advanced Light Weight Torpedo (ALWT): ALWT is an anti-submarine torpedo launched from ship, helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. It has dual speed capability and endurance of 25 km at low speed (25 knots) and 12 km at high speed (50 knots). During the year, discharge test of 70 kw battery was conducted with full torpedo assembled. Static test was conducted at sea off Vizag to prove operation of recovery aids used in ALWT viz. STRS, IPRS, Noise maker and BSAT. Automated electrical firing of it from single tube launcher and dynamic sea trials was conducted wherein torpedo made full run as per mission sequence.
  • Software Defined Radio (SDR): The development of a family of network-enabled, interoperable and modular SDRs is to provide wireless secure communication capability to both mobile and fixed forces as required by the Navy are: Naval Combat (SDR-NC), Tactical (SDR-TAC), Airborne (SDR-AR), Manpack (SDR-MP) and Hand held (SDR-HH). During the year, Acceptance Test (ATP) and User Evaluation Trials of SDR-TAC were completed on five ships at Vizag. Flight trials of SDR-AR for selected bands were also completed.
  • Air Defence Fire Control Radar (ADFCR) ‘Atulya’: ADFCR ‘Atulya’ in conjunction with anti-aircraft guns, forms a ground based air defence system whose main purpose is effective point defence against all air threats at short and very short ranges during day and night. During the year, DRDO evaluation of the radar system was completed and integrated test firing of ADFCR with guns and targets were carried out. 18.
  • Air Defence Tactical Control Radar (ADTCR): ADTCR has been developed for Army AD for surveillance, tracking and Identification of Friend/Foe (IFF) of aerial targets and transmission of data to multiple Air Defence command posts/weapon systems. During the year, DRDO internal evaluation of ADTCR system was completed. All the PSQR parameters were complied and verified by demonstration/analysis. The system is ready for User trials.

Border Roads Organisation

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Landmark events/achievements pertaining to Border Roads Organisation are as under:

At present, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working on 883 roads of length 27,404.18 kilometres, out of which 352 roads of length 7,991.98 kilometres are under maintenance only and balance roads are under construction/improvement to double lane. BRO is also maintaining seven airfields besides snow clearance of 126 roads (4,800 kms) to ensure connectivity of border regions with rest of the country.

Achievements of work targets: BRO has achieved the following targets of road construction during the period from January 2018 to November 2018.

Item     A/U      Achievement upto November 20, 2018

Formation Works                                Kms     Eqvt Cl-9          843.40

Surfacing Works                                  Kms     Eqvt Cl-9          1,716.24

Resurfacing Work                               Kms                             1,945.37

Permanent Works                               Lakhs                           1,19,248.28

Major Bridges                                     Mtr                              2,290.18

Tunnel                                                 Lakhs                           31,531.28

Details of Important works undertaken during this FY are as under:

(a) Connectivity on Op Critical ICBR up to Bidak (Km 16) on Tama Chung-Chung- Maja Road: A significant boost was given for this task last year by launching 200 ft Bailey bridge at Gelensiniak (the first single span bridge over the River Subansiri on October 24, 2017) which provided additional attack points to speed up the pace of work. Accordingly road connectivity to Bidakh established on January 30, 2018.

(b) Launching of 60 ft Bailey Bridge: Launching of 60 feet Bailey bridge at Km 31.36 on road Tama-Chung-Chung-Taksing was completed on January 31, 2018 by air lifting stores weighing almost 40 MT from Limeking, now the road will remain through for traffic even during the monsoon season.

(c) Re-launching of 190 ft TDR: Existing 190’ Double Double Bailey bridge   (Cl-24) at Gangori Garh at Km 31 on Dharasu-Gangotri road on NH-34 collapsed on April 01, 2018 due to plying of heavy loaded civil  vehicles. The alternative diversion was made operational using Hume pipes within 12 hrs and traffic was restored. Now Triple Double Reinforced 190 ft BB of Cl-40 was launched on April 20, 2018.

(d) Inauguration of Kawaranglui Bridge: Construction of Multi Span PSC Box Girder permanent bridge 72.50 m span over river Kawaranglui on road Lawngtlai-Dirtlang-Parva has been completed and inaugurated by Governor of Mizoram Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhaya Sharma, on February 12, 2018.

(e)  Inauguration of Theng Tunnel: To negotiate frequent landslides at Km 86.00 on road Gangtok-Chungthang, a Horse Shoe shaped tunnel of NHDL specification having length 542 m has been completed. This tunnel has been dedicated to the nation by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre on June 07, 2018.

(f) Inauguration of Damchu-Chukha Road in Bhutan: The Damchu-Chukha Road, 29.20 Km to Assian Highway Standards constructed by BRO, was formally inaugurated by His Excellency Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgey, Prime Minister, Royal Government of Bhutan on July 18, 2018. New road will reduce the travel time between Phuntsholing –Thimphu by one hour and reduce journey by around 19.5 Km of steep uphill driving.

(g)  Inauguration of Hussainiwala Bridge: The four span of temporary bridge on the old Ferozpur-Lahore highway over river Satluj River (Historical Hussainiwala Barrage) connecting Hussainiwala Enclave from Ferozpur has been replaced by constructing a new bridge with load class 70 R at the cost ofRs 238 Lakh. The bridge was dedicated to Nation by Raksha MantriSmt Nirmala Sitharaman on August 12, 2018.Hussainiwala is the place where freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who made supreme sacrifices for the motherland, were cremated. A memorial has been built as a mark of respect for these brave hearts, whom the whole nation can never forget.

(h) Approval of Alignment Plan Akhnoor – Poonch Road: Alignment Plan of the road has been approved by MoRT&H vide letter No RW/NH-12037/1214/Misc-New NHs/2014/NH-I/Zone-II dated 05 Sep 2018 Approved final alignment plan with feasibility report submitted by consultant to BRO on September 06, 2018.

(i)   Launching of Composite Bailey Bridge: A composite br (BSB 400 ft+140 ft DSRBB & 2X130 ft DSRBBs) across the Lohit River was launched at Meshai/in Lohit Valley of Arunachal on Sep 25, 2018.

(j)  Sela tunnels: Administrative Approval for design and construction of two tunnels of length 0.475 kilometre and 1.79 kilometre at Sela Pass along with the approach Roads of length 9.775 Km on B-C-T Road for Rs 687.11 crore has been accorded and further tendering action is under process.

(k) Chardham Projects: Prestigious Chardham Pariyojana Projects have been started. Preparation of DPRs for 18 packages on Chardham Roads through EPC Mode are under process. Out of which BRO has awarded contracts for 8 packages and balance are under progress.

(l)  Progress on Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs):   Out of 61 ICBRs of length 3,418 kilometre have been entrusted to BRO, 28 roads have been completed. Work on the balance roads are in different stages of completion. However, out of 3418 kilometre overall completed length of ICBR is 2316.62 kilometre (68 per cent) and connected length is 3144 kilometre (90 per cent). The package wise status of connectivity of ICBRs are as under:

Moreover, Border Roads Organisation has taken initiative for updating the data of personnel by launching GREF Abhilekh Application. Lt Gen Harpal Singh, AVSM, VSM, DGBR implemented and launched the Mobile App ‘GREF ABHILEKH’ which will immensely benefit the 36,000 GREF Personnel serving in remote areas of our country. The Mobile App will provide real time personnel and career management information to all serving GREF Personnel. The App is compatible with all Android / Window / ioS based mobile phone.

Ex-Servicemen Welfare

Resettlement

  • Employment Generated by DGR: The details of employment generated by the DGR under various schemes during 2014 to 2018 (Till Nov 2018) are as under:
Location Date Participation Job Vacs

(Approx)

Secunderabad 20 Jan 2018 35 1552 1493
Kochi 08 Mar 2018 32 1400 765
Chandigarh 26 Jun 2018 30 1307 525
Mumbai 24 Oct 2018 35 1095 1874
Chennai 14 Nov 2018 49 1056 6025
Nagpur 29 Nov 2018 36 567 3280
Pune 06 Dec 2018 31 9001 709
Bangalore 26-28 Dec 18 Scheduled to be organised.
  • Achievements in DGR Resettlement Training Courses

The details of resettlement training imparted for Officers & JCOs/OR during   the last five years (FY) are as under:

Sl No. Category 2018-19
(a) Officers 360
(b) Junior Commissioned Officers/Other Ranks 3,434
  Total 3,794

* Courses at Regimental Centres being conducted by Service HQs.

  • ESM Healthcare
    • Orders issued for empanelment of 85 medical facilities with ECHS vide letter No. 22B(l5)/2017/WE/D(Res-I) dated January 04, 2018.
    • Sanction issued for shifting of polyclinic from Shimla to Ranrnur with the approval of Raksha Rajya Mantri vide letter No.22D(29)/2017/WE/D(Res) dated March 26, 2018.
    • Orders shifting the PCs from Along and Khonsa to Tenga and Twang in Arunachal Pradesh issued vide letter No. 22D(29)/2017/WE/D(Res-I) dated May 7, 2018.
    • The Orders regarding supply of medicines to ECHS beneficiaries was amended making it easier for empanelment of Authorised Local Chemists in smaller towns & cities, rural areas and remote and far flung areas vide letter No. 22D(02)/2016/WE/D(Res-I) dated June 25, 2018.
    • Vide letter No. 18(54)/2018/WE/D(Res-I) dated August 2, 2018 the system of referral was changed by the Government to exclude name of the empanelled centre of ECHS and enable ECHS beneficiaries to go to any ECHS empanelled centre of their choice.
    • Vide letter No. 22D(l8)/2017/WE/D(Res-I) dated Aug 7, 18 the travelling allowance Rule for medical treatment of ECHS beneficiaries was liberalised to include journeys by the private car and taxis.
    • Vide letter No. 22B(06)/2017/WE/D(Res-I) dated August 8, 2018 ECHS beneficiaries have been permitted to avail medical facilities under the alternative system of medicines Ayush in Government Ayush Hospitals/Colleges/National Institutes of Ayush/all government dispensaries/Distt. Hospitals/Sub Distt. Hospitals/PHC/CHC/Municipality Hospitals funded by Central/States/Local Government and having facility for treatment in Ayush system of medicines.
    • Vide letter No. 18(77)/2017/WE/D(Res-I) dated September 18, 2018 sanction of the competent authority was granted to make the provisions of the OM No.4-24/96-C&P/CGHS(P)/EHS dated May 7, 2018 of MoH&FW applicable to ECHS beneficiaries in r/o dependent unmarried sons of ECHS beneficiaries beyond 25 years of age w.r.t. definition of ‘permanent disability’.
    • Vide letter No. 18(107)/WE/D(Res-I) dated September 28, 2018 approval of the Government was granted for establishment of a new type D ECHS polyclinic at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
    • Raksha Rajya Mantri inaugurated the Polyclinics at Tenga and Tawang on October 16, 2018. With operationalisation of both PCs all 426 PCs sanctioned by MoD will have become functional.

Welfare Measures

  • Financial Assistance

An amount of Rs. 46,16,84,000/- (Rupees forty six crores sixteen lakh eighty four thousand only) was disbursed to 14,205 beneficiaries under the welfare schemes of the RMEDF in the year 2018-19. This has resulted in much higher user satisfaction amongst the ESM, and much fewer complaints.

  • 57,545 beneficiaries were disbursed an amount of Rs. 146.99 crore during 2014-15 to 2017-18 under PM’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS). 11,572 beneficiaries were disbursed Rs 29.79 crore (March-December 2018) under PM’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS).
  • Disbursal of Central share to States/UTs amounting to total of approx. Rs 25.67 crore (March-December 2018) out of Defence Services Estimates.
  • Pension

(i) Inclusion of Line of Actual Control (LAC) for the purpose of Liberalised family pension:

Vide Govt. order No. 2(3)/2012/D(Pen/Pol).Vol. II dated 7.3.2018, following amendments have been carried out under Category D of Para 1 clause (iii) of Ministry’s letter No. 2(1)/2011/D(Pen/Policy) dated 3.2.2011:

“Accidental death/injury sustained due to natural calamities such as flood, avalanches, landslides, cyclone, fire and lightening or drowning in river while performing operational duties/movement in action against enemy forces and armed hostilities in operational area to include deployment on International Border or Line of Control or Line of Actual Control.

(ii) Enhancement of Ex-gratia ad-hoc allowance:

Vide Govt. order No. 1(5)/2017/D(Pen/Policy) dated April 9, 2018, it has been decided to sanction enhancement, on compassionate grounds, ex-gratia ad-hoc allowance to following category of pensioners/ family pensioners from Rs 3,500/- per month to Rs 9,000/- pm with effect from January 1, 2016.

  1. Armed Forces pensioners/family pensioner migrated from Pakistan.
  2. Burma Army pensioners/family pensioner who are Indians and drawing their pension in India.
  3. Burma Army pensioners of Nepalese origin who are drawing pension in Indian and Indian Embassy, Pension Paying Offices in Nepal.

(iii) Revision of Non-practicing Allowance (NPA):

Vide Govt. order No. 1(7)/2014-D(Pen/Policy) dated May 24, 2018, it has been decided that all kind of pension/family pension in respect of Medical officers of Armed Forces who retired/died during January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 and were drawing NPA at old rates on the date of retirement/death, shall be further revised w.e.f. 1.7.2017 by adding NPA@ 20 per cent to the basic pay on the date of retirement.

 (v) Orders for delinking of qualifying service in the cases of PSU Absorbee:

Vide Govt order No. 1(04)/2007/D(Pen/Pol) dated June 20, 2018, it has been decided that while determining the revised pension of those Defence pensioners who had drawn lump sum payment on absorption in Public Sector Undertaking/Autonomous Bodies after expiry of commutation period of 15 years from the date of payment of 100 per cent lump sum amount, with effect from January 1, 2006, the pension/family pension shall also be revised in accordance with the provisions contained in this Ministry’s letter dated September 30, 2016.

National Cadet Corps

Activities & Achievements

  1. Training of the cadets is the core function of National Cadet Corps (NCC). Training curriculum has been designed to achieve the objectives, which have been delivering desired results. However, in the recent past there has been a growing perception that our training philosophy has to be suitably modified to accommodate the changing aspirations of our youth, and expectations of our society from our youth.  The activities of the NCC as follow:
  2. Institutional Training: This forms the major portion of the total training peculiar to Army Wing, Naval Wing and Air Wing and is carried out in schools and colleges. Respective services provide all facilities for contact programmes/affiliated training.
  3. Camp Training: Camp training constitutes the most important part of NCC training. Every cadet in the NCC is expected to attend at least two camps. Therefore, nearly 70 per cent of the enrolled strength gets this opportunity every year. Various camps conducted during the year are Annual Training Camps (organised at state level), Centrally Organised Camps including 35 Ek Bharat Shrestitha Bharat (EBSB) camps, Six  Leadership Camps, Thal Sainik CampVayu Sainik CampNau Sainik Camp, Eight  Rock Climbing Camps and the Republic Day Camp (RDC).
  4. Army Wing Activities: There are 677 Army units covering all the States and Union Territories. In addition to Institutional Training, NCC Army Wing cadets are also given an opportunity to live and work in regular service units in the form of Attachment Training. Every year 440 officers and 20,000 cadets including 60 women officers and 560 senior wing girl cadets get attached to various units of the Army for a duration of two weeks. Around 1,000 senior wing girl cadets are also attached with various military hospitals every year. In addition, every year 120 SD cadets are given attachment training with Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and 48 SW girl cadets are given attachment training with Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai. This year during the ThalSainik Camp, conducted at New Delhi between September 17-28, 2018; a total of 1,360 cadets (680 SD and 680 SW) participated.
  5. Naval Wing Activities: There are 62 Naval Units covering all States and Union Territories. Naval training activities conducted during the year included Sea Training and attachment, Naval Academy attachment, scuba diving, sailing expeditions, technical camps for engineering and electrical students at Technical College of Navy and the All India Yachting Regatta (INS, Chilika, Orissa). A Nau Sainik Camp is conducted to train 600 naval cadets each year at Karwar.  This year a special training camp for yachting was organised in Goa.
  6. Air Wing Activities: At present, there are 61 Air Squadron, including 50 Flying Squadron and 11 Technical Squadron. These Air Squadron cover most of our States and Union Territories. The major Air Wing activities include Microlite Flying, Aero Modeling and attachment training. A Vayu Sainik Camp conducted each year at Jodhpur to train 600 Air Force.
  7. Social Service & Voluntary Community Development Programmes: The aim of Social Service and Community Development programmes is to sensitise the youth to the problems faced by society and help them to contribute positively towards solving them. The various Social Service and Community Development activities in which the cadets take part are:
    1. Environment Protection Project: Drives to generate awareness about ill effects of using plastic was conducted by all Directorates during the year, wherein NCC cadets actively participated in Tree Plantation drives/door to door campaigns/interaction with local residents to spread awareness. Over 1.25 lakh saplings were planted.
    2. Anti Drugs/Tobacco Programme: As part of National Drive approx. 78,000 NCC cadets participated in various Anti Drugs activities on June 26.
    3. Mission Indradhanush: To assist in the national goal of immunising children in the affected districts pan India NCC cadets have ensured this year atleast 14,700 children have been immunised.
    4. International Yoga Day:In keeping up with its set tradition this year also on June 21 on International Yoga Day over 7 lakh cadets participated in the event in around 6000 different venues.
    5. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: A massive focus is laid each year on swachhta based programmes throughout the different states.  From September 15 to October 02, this year over 10.5 lakh cadets took part voluntarily in various cleanliness drives.
    6. Swasth Bharat Yatra: To commemorate 150 yrs of Mahatma Gandhi birth centenary, ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’, a pan India Cyclothon and related events is being organised by FSSAI. The event is partnered by 14 Ministries of the UOI including MoD and the related departments of all State Govts and UT Administration. The “Yatra” envisages covering a distance of 18,000 kilometre split over six cycling legs of about 3,000 kilometre each. Each leg of yatra will cover approximately 50-60 kilometre each day with 25 cyclists each. The yatra will commence simultaneously from each of the six legs on Octber 16, 2018 and culminate simultaneously on January 27, 2019 at New Delhi.
    7. Disaster Relief: NCC has always extended a helping hand during natural and other calamities. Over the years, NCC cadets have rendered a yeoman service during floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other natural disasters. NCC cadets were actively involved in assisting the civil administration in relief operations during the Kerala floods and the damage due to cyclone in Kerala.
  1. Youth Exchange Programme (YEP): The aim of YEP is a country to country exchange of cadets belonging to NCC/equivalent Govt/Youth Organisations of friendly countries and participation in NCC activities of the host country to create an increased awareness among participants and appreciation of each other’s socio-economic and cultural realities. The exchange program acts as the ‘third tier of diplomacy’ by supplementing the efforts of our diplomats and leaders in building bonds with other friendly nations. Presently, the NCC has youth exchange with Eleven countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Maldives and Kyrgyzstan) on reciprocation basis.
  2. Sports: (a) All India Mavalankar Shooting Championship (2018). Firing being one of the core training activities of NCC, shooting discipline enjoys special place in NCC sporting activities. NCC conducts inter NCC State Directorate competition to select the NCC team which participates in the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) events like All India GV Mavalankar Shooting Competition (AIGVMSC). The NCC shooting teams have been performing well in this event for several years. This year 55 cadets participated and NCC shooting team won following medals in all India GV Mavlankar shooting Championship Competition 2018 :-

(i)         Gold                             –           03

(ii)        Silver                           –           05

(iii)       Bronze                         –           01

            Total                                        09

 (b) Subroto Cup Football Tournament: NCC teams in Jr Boys, Sub-Jr Boys and Junior Girls categories participated in the prestigious Subroto Cup Football Tournament 2018, where they played against some of the best National and International teams. This year, our Under 14, sub Jr Boys team from Odisha reached the finals.

(c) Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Cup: NCC teams in Junior Boys, Junior Girls and sub Jr Boys participated in the tournament.  This year in Jr Boys category our team from Odisha also reached the finals.

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2018 – The Highway Construction Year

Year end Review: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

HIGHLIGHTS OF ACTIVITIES

Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Construction of national highways
  3. Road safety
  4. Initiatives in transport sector
  5. Green initiatives
  6. E- initiatives
  7. International cooperation
  8. Others

INTRODUCTION

The year 2018-19 was declared by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways as the  YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION. This was a year for consolidating the gains that have accrued from major policy decisions taken in the previous four years, a time for monitoring of ongoing projects, tackling road blocks and adding to the already impressive pace of work achieved last year. The Ministry took a decision to complete all ongoing projects that had been awarded upto 2015-16, and placed the highest ever target  of constructing at least 12,000 kms of national highways as against 9829 kms achieved during 2017-18, and make special efforts to take this length to 16000 km. Overall, more than about 61,300 km length of road projects, costing more than Rs. 6.48 lakh crore, are in progress at present. The balance ongoing works (which have been awarded, appointed dates declared and works going on at sites) are more than 30,200 kms during the year. In the first nine months of FY 2018-19, 5,759 km has been completed in 18-19 against 4,942 km up to same period in last year.

In order to achieve this target the Ministry brought in policies, guidelines and practices for expediting pre-construction activities and bringing in more efficiency and transparency in the process. The Bidder Information Management System (BIMS)was developed to streamline the process of pre-qualification of bidders for contracts on EPC Mode.

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BhoomiRashi portal is being used extensively for expediting the process of notification for land acquisition. The portal BIMS and BhoomiRashi portals have further been linked with Public Financial Management System(PFMS) to facilitate real time payment to beneficiaries.

On the finance front too, National Highways Authority of India did a successful financial closure of its first project under Toll- Operate –Transfer this year andoffered 586 km of national highways under the second bundle. The first TOT bundle of 9 projects, totaling approximately 681 KM of roads in two states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, was awarded earlier during the year for Rs. 9,681 Crore, which was 1.5 times the Authority’s estimate. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also got an unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 crore from State Bank of India for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. This is the largest amount of loan to have been sanctioned to NHAI in one stroke by any institution. This is also the largest long term unsecured loan sanctioned by SBI at a time to any entity.

The year has also seen a lot of movement in the transport sector, with focus on reducing carbon footprint while enhancing road safety, efficiency and convenience of road users. An MoU signed with Transport for London’ (TFL) to revamp the public transport system in the country, building mini wayside amenities at toll plazas, establishing a quality – based ranking system for toll plazas, simplification of Driving License application,  notifying  emission standards for construction equipment vehicles andtractors, issue of guidelines to set up well equipped  and  competent  Driving  Training Centres (DTC) at district levels and for granting financial assistance to NGOs for undertaking road safety advocacy, launch of SukhadYatra App and Toll Free Emergency Number, the decision to allow free passage to user in case of malfunctioning of Electronic Toll Collection infrastructure, compensation of Rs. 5,00,000/- to road accidentvictims, notification regarding blending of gasoline with methanol in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and import burden and linking of vehicle emission data with State/Central Register ofVehicles are all notable initiatives taken by the Ministry in this direction.

CONSTRUCTION OF NATIONAL HIGHWAYS

Award / Construction Statistics:

A two days long exercise was conducted to review of over 700 ongoing National Highway projects in the country, and over 300 projects were identified to be completed by 2019 achieving the highest ever construction in financial year 2018-19.

The table below details the trends of NH construction over the years.

Year Award (kms) Construction (kms)
2014-15 7972 4410
2015-16 10098 6061
2016-17 15948 8231
2017-18 17055 9829
Note: In FY 2018-19, 5,759 km of Highways have been constructed till 30.11.18 as against 4,942 kms during the corresponding period last year. The Ministry’s focus is to ensure that pre-construction activities are substantially completed before award of projects.

Progress of Major Programmes/ Landmark Projects:

Bharatmala Pariyojana: Phase-I

This is the umbrella program for the highways sector unrolled in 2017-18, that aims to optimize the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. 34,800 km of National Highways are to be constructed under the Phase-I of the programme between 2017-18 to 2021-22 in a phased manner at a cost of Rs. 5,35,000 crore. This includes 5,000 kms of the National Corridors, 9000 kms of Economic Corridors, 6000 km of Feeder Corridors and Inter-Corridors, 2000 kms of Border Roads, 2,000 kms of Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity Roads and 800 kms of Green-field Expressways.

Projects for 6,407 km road length have been awarded under the BharatmalaPariyojana(including residual NHDP) till the end of October this year.  DPRs are being prepared for projects for the balance length. De- congestion projects have been completed for 13 out of 191 congestion points identified, and are under progress for de-congestion of 80 other points. In addition, DPRs are being prepared for 93 congestion points.Out of the 35 locations identified for Multimodal Logistics Parks, DPRs have been initiated for 7 locations and availability of land parcels is being confirmed with State Governments for the rest of the locations.

Setu Bharatam

In order to ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic, Ministry has envisaged a plan for replacement of Level Crossings on National Highways by ROBs/ RUBs under a scheme known as SetuBharatam. Under this programme, out of 174 ROBs/RUBs which are to be constructed, 91 have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs.7,104.72 crore.  Out of 91 sanctioned, 59 ROBs/RUBs have been awarded which are in various stages of progress.

Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna

The project envisages development of easy access to the four prominent Dhams, namely, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedranath and Badrinath, situated in the state of Uttrakhand. These four Dhams are prominent pilgrimage centres. The project entails development of 889 km of roads with configuration of two-lane with paved shoulders at an estimated cost of about Rs. 12,000 crore. The projects are being taken up on EPC mode and the programme is targeted for completion by March, 2020.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway– Western Peripheral Expressway

The two projects of Peripheral Expressways around Delhi, comprising 135 km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), and 135 km Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) connecting NH-1 and NH-2 from Western and Eastern side of Delhi was completed this year and inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister in May 2018 and November 2018 respectively. The EPE was constructed by NHAI and WPE by Haryana Government. The two expressways were envisaged with the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting the traffic not destined for Delhi.

The EPE stretches from Kundli on NH 1 to Palwal on NH 2, and was constructed at a cost ofRs. 4617.87 crore, in addition to Rs. 5900crorewere spent on acquiring 1700 acres of land. It was completed in a record time of about 500 days against the scheduled target of 910 days.  It is a fully access-controlled six-lane expressway with a closed tolling system. The expressway has an iconic toll plaza equipped with electronic toll collection infrastructure, ITS control system of the entire EPE and a digital art gallery, with holographic models of major structures and making of the EPE.    Weigh-in-Motion equipment at all 30 entry points, solar power on the entire length, eight solar power plants with a capacity of 4000 KW, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and 36 replicas of monuments depicting Indian culture and heritage are major features of this expressway.  This project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days.

Delhi-Meerut Expressway

Delhi-Meerut Expressway aims to provide a faster and safer connectivity between Delhi and Meerut and beyond this, with Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The alignment of DME starts from Nizammudin Bridge from Delhi and follows existing NH 24 uptoDasna. While one leg of DME will continue from Dasna on NH 24 to Hapur, a Greenfield alignment has been planned from Dasna to Meerut. The Expressway is being constructed in 4 packages. The total length of the project is 82 km, of which the first 27.74 kms will be 14-laned, while the rest will be 6-lane expressway. The project is likely to cost Rs 4975.17 crore.

The 8.36 km long Package -1 of the projects was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister in May this year. It is a 14 lane, access-controlledsection stretching from Nizammudin Bridge to Delhi UP Border, and was completed in a record time of 18 months as against the earlier expected construction period of 30 months, at a cost of about Rs. 841.50 crore. This is the first National Highway in the country with 14 lanes, and has several features that would help reduce pollution. These include a 2.5-metre-wide cycle track on either side of the highway, a vertical garden on the Yamuna Bridge, solar lighting system and watering of plants through drip irrigation only.

Package II from UP Border to Dasna(19.28 km), Package –III – Dasna to Hapur( 22.27) km and Package –IV – Green-field Alignment from Dasna to Meerut –(31.78 km) are under construction and are likely to be completed by March 2019.

Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway

The 473 km expressway will link Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway to Mumbai-Pune Expressway thus providing Expressway connectivity from Ahmedabad to Pune for a length of about 650 Km.

Delhi – Mumbai Expressway

This 1250 km Expressway is being developed along a new alignment between Delhi and Mumbai, which passes through backward and tribal districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

A sum of one lakh crore rupees will be spent on this expressway.It will reduce the distance between Delhi and Mumbai from the present 1450km through NH 8 to 1250 km, and the travel time to 12 hours. The sections of proposed highway from Delhi to Dahod in Rajasthan are under tendering, while the section between Vadodara to Ankleshwar in Gujarat have already been awarded. The DPR is under progress for the remaining sections.

Bangalore-Chennai Expressway

DPR is under progress for this 260 km Expressway. This is a green-field alignment. There are two existing roads connecting Bangalore-Chennai, one is via Hoskote (Bangalore)-AP then to Chennai & second is via Electronic City (Bangalore) Hosur(Tamil Nadu) and then to Chennai. The alignment of the proposed expressway is passing in between these two stretches.

Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway

Greenfield alignment is being explored for this 500 km long proposed Expressway.

Nagpur-Hyderabad-Bangalore (NBH) Expressway

DPR has been awarded and alignment finalization is under progress for the new green-field 940 km Nagpur – Hyderabad – Bangalore EXP.

Kanpur Lucknow (KL) Expressway

DPR is in progress for 75 km of Kanpur – Lucknow EXP

Varanasi Airport Road and Ring Road

Hon’ble Prime Minister inaugurated the 16.55 km, Rs 759.36 crore Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I and 17.25 km, Rs 812.59 crore Babatput-Varanasi road on NH-56 in November. It has reduced the travel time from Varanasi to the airport, and is proving a big relief to the people of Varanasi and to tourists providing a more convenient access to Sarnath, an important site for Buddhist pilgrimage.

ByetDwarka – Okha Bridge

The Ministry has taken up construction of a signature 4-lane Bridge to connect the mainland at Okha to Byet-Dwarka Island off the Gujarat Coast with this Signature Bridge spanning a length of 2.32 kms.

Signaturebridgenedelhi.png

The Project has been awarded on 01.01.2018 at a cost of Rs. 689.47 crores. This will be the longest span cable stayed bridge in India with the main span of 500 mtrs. The project is scheduled to be completed in a period of 30 months.

Bridge over Ganga in Phaphamau in Allahabad

Approval has been given for a project for construction of 9.9 km long new 6 – lane bridge across river Ganga on NH – 96 at Phaphamau in Allahabad with total capital cost of Rs. 1948.25 crore. The construction period for the project is three years and likely to be completed by December, 2021. The new bridge will resolve the traffic congestion on existing old 2 – lane Phaphamau bridge on NH-96 at Allahabad. The new bridge will also facilitate to the large congregation of people at Holy City Allahabad during Kumbh, Ardh-Kumbh and other yearly ritual baths at SANGAM in Prayag. This will give a boost to pilgrimage tourism and local economy of Holy city of Prayag. This new 6 – lane bridge will also be beneficial for the Lucknow / Faizabad bound traffic coming from Madhya Pradesh via National Highway – 27 and National Highway – 76 through Naini Bridge. In addition, this project of new bridge will generate direct employment during construction for about 9.20 lakh mandays.

Bridge over River Kosi at Phulaut in Bihar

Approval was given to a project for construction of 6.930 km long 4-lane bridge at Phulaut in Bihar, along with approval for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing Birpur- Bihpur section of National Highway-106. The construction of this new Bridge will fill the existing 30 km long gap between Udakishanganj and Bihpur of National Highway Number 106 in Bihar, which will provide through connectivity between Nepal/ North Bihar/ East-West Corridor (passing through NH- 57) and South Bihar/ Jharkhand/ Golden Quadrilateral (passing through NH -2), besides full utilization of National Highway Number-31.

Logistics Parks

A network of 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks had been identified for development in the Phase – 1 of BharatmalaPariyojana. The availability of the land parcels for development of Multimodal Logistics Parks has been confirmed at 7 locations and DPRs have been initiated in all the nodes.

Zojila Tunnel

This is a project for constructing a 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia.

The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.

Silkyara- Bend – Barkot Tunnel

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the construction, operation and maintenance of the 2- Lane, 4.532 Km long Bi-directional Silkyara Bend – Barkot Tunnel on Dharasu-Yamunotri section along NH -134 in the State of Uttarakhand. The project forms part of the Chardham Plan. The construction period of the project is 4 years at an estimated cost of Rs. 1383.78 crore. Once complete, this stretch will reduce the travel distance from Dharasu to Yamunotri by about 20 Km and travel time byaboutanhour.It will also provide all weather connectivity to Yamunotri, encouraging regional socio-economic development, trade and tourism within the country. The project will be implemented by National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL).

Highways Projects in the North East

Around Rs. 1,90,000 crore worth of projects have been sanctioned for the construction of road projects for over 12,000 km in the North East region. The projects being executed by NHIDCL are to the tune of Rs. 1, 66,026 crore, covering 10,892 km of roads in all the eight NE states. Projects costing Rs. 17,257 crore have been allotted to the respective state PWDs. Further, projects costing Rs. 7,000 crore are entrusted to the NHAI.

Funding Models and Other Policies to Facilitate Construction of National   Highways:

Measures to revive Languishing stalled projects

The Ministry has focused on completion of on-going projects along with sanction and award of new projects. A total of 73 projects (8,187 km) worth an estimated investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore wereidentified as Languishing Projects. The reasons for delay were identified and policy interventions undertaken to address the same.

Toll-Operate-Transfer Model

The Ministry is monetizing its road assets constructed with public funds through Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) scheme. The scheme envisages bidding of bundled national highways for a concession period of 30 years. The first bundle comprised 9 projects, totalling 681 km of roads in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. It was awarded in 2018 to Macquarie for Rs. 9,681 Crore, which was 1.5 times the NHAI’s estimate.The second bundle comprises over 586 kms spread over four states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar. The offer has 12 toll plazas across four highways.

MoU between NHAI and SBI

TheNational Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU)with the State Bank of India to receive Rs.25,000 crore as a long-term,unsecured loan for 10 years. This is the largest amount of loan to have been sanctioned by the SBl in one go. This is also the largest ever fund that NHAI has ever received in one go.

Guidelines for alignment of National Highways

The Ministry has issued detailed guidelines for determination of proper alignment of NH projects, advising executing agencies to examine the feasibility of a green- field alignment, especially in the case of economic corridors, instead of widening existing highways. This has been done because widening involves acquisition of land for Right of Way (RoW), shifting of utilities and demolition of built up structure, all of which involves a lot of time and cost. Also, earlier highways were largely planned to be serpentine, linking all possible towns in the vicinity. This road geometry has been found to be sub optimal, especially in case of economic corridors. BharatmalaPariyojanaalso calls for a corridor approach for economic corridors. It has also been found in a few test cases that it is feasible to acquire a RoW of 60 to 70 mtrs for a green field road project at the same cost as involved in the expansion of an existing road, especially when the associated costs and time taken in utility shifting, tree felling, additional compensation for demolition of structures coming in the RoW under expansion are taken into account.

Platform for e-Gazettingand Payment of Compensation for LandAcquisition through PFMS

A Web Utility has been developed where by the land acquisition procedure for the NH projects, including processing of all LA related gazette notifications, are being done through a common platform called “Bhoomi Rashi”. The Utility has been linked with the e-gazette platform of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, for publication of Gazette Notifications. The use of Bhumi Rashi has helped in cutting down the processing time from 2 to 3 months earlier to one to two weeksnow.

BhoomiRashi has also been integrated with the Public Financial Management System(PFMS)platform of the Ministry of Finance for deposit of compensation in the accounts of landowners/interested personson areal time basis, instead of being parked with CALA.

Bidder Information Management System

The Ministry has developed a Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) to streamline the process of pre-qualification of bidders for contracts on EPC mode for all NH works and centrally sponsored works.BIMS acts as a data base for allbasic details of bidders like civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc,. This allows quick pre-qualification assessment of bidders based on evaluation parameters like threshold capacity and bid capacity from already stored data. Technical evaluationcantherefore be carried out faster using this information.

Launch of Annual Awards for Excellence In National Highways Sector

Annual awards for excellence in National Highways sector has been instituted from this year onwards for recognizing concessi on aire sand contractors who have been performing exceptionally well.

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Applications have been invited from all the concessionaires and contractors working in the field of highways construction and tolling. These awards are designed across the five categories of construction management, operation and maintenance, best toll plaza, safest highway, innovation in design and construction technology.

Highway Capacity Manual

India’s first Highway Capacity Manual developed by CSIR-CRRI was launched this year. The manual is designed to be a tool for guiding road engineers and policy makers in the country. It lays down guidelines for the development and management of different types of roads, based on traffic characteristics on such roads having varying lane configurations.

Workshop on issues relating to Land Acquisition, Contract Document etc.

The Ministry has organized a workshop on 18.12.2018 in Delhi for Regional Officers of Ministry, NHAI and NHIDCL to discuss the issues relating to land acquisition, contract document (EPC/DPR) and E-Disha (ERP projects), new standards and technical specifications. A Manual of Guidelines on Land Acquisition for National Highways under the National Highways Act, 1956 has also been released for seamless process of Land Acquisition for National Highways.

ROAD SAFETY

Reduction in number of road accidents

As per the Ministry’s annual report on road accidents based on the data reported by Police authorities throughout India, there has been some marginal reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities in 2017, as can be seen from the table below.

Parameter 2016 2017 % changeover previous year
Number of road accidents 4,80,652 4,64,910 (-) 3.3
No. of persons killed 1,50,785 1,47,913 (-) 1.9

The Ministry has been making concerted efforts to address the problem of road safety through a series of measures that include improving road infrastructure, road safety audits, identification and rectification of black spots on roads and strengthening the automobile safety standards, organizing road safety awareness programmes and strengthening enforcement etc. These efforts have started showing some results.

Rectification of Accident Black Spots

The Ministry has so far identified 789 road accident black spots in various States of which 651 ON National Highways and 138 are on State roads. Work for rectification of these black spots is at various stages of completion.

Guidelines for setting up Driver Training Schools in districts

The Ministry has been working in association with States, Vehicle manufactures and NGOs for strengthening the driving training.  Institute of Driving training and Research (IDTRs), Regional Driving Training Centres (RDTCs) and Driving Training Centre (DTC) have been established which act as model Driving Training Centres with state of art infrastructure.  Ministry has also launched a scheme for creating driving training centres in all the districts of the country and support refresher-training programme for heavy commercial vehicles drivers.  The Ministry is implementing a scheme for setting up of Model Institute of Drivers Training and Research (IDTR) by States/UTs.  So far 24 (nos.) ITDRs have been sanctioned in different States/UTs and bout 16 are complete and functioning.

Guidelines for financing NGOs for road safety advocacy

The Ministry has issued guidelines associating Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for promoting awareness about road safety under a scheme titled “Grant of financial assistance for administering Road Safety Advocacy and awards for the outstanding work done in the field of Road Safety”. It is envisaged that the NGOs will undertake activities for creating road safety awareness among citizens.

Sukhad Yatra App and Toll-Free Emergency Number

A mobile App and Toll- free Emergency number 1033 for highway users, developed by NHAI, were launched in March this year. The SukhadYatra mobile application provides information on toll gates. The key feature of the app includes a provision for the user to enter road quality-related information or to report any accident or pothole on the highway. It also provides users with real-time data related to waiting time expected at  toll plazas and various facilities like points of interest, highway nest/ nest mini, etc. The app can also be used to purchase FASTags.

The toll-free number 1033 will enable users to report an emergency condition, or highway-related feedback, across the highway. The service has also been integrated with ambulance / tow away services along the roads.

Observance of the 29th National Road Safety Week

This Ministry observed the 29th National Road Safety Week from 23rdto 30thApril 2018. This year’s focus was on schools and commercial drivers and the theme was “Sadak Suraksha JeevanRaksha”. In the opening ceremony the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways emphasized the Ministry’s priorities in ensuring safety of road users in the country.

Awards were given to 10 school children who won the national level essay competition on road safety. The Hon’ble Minister also administered the road safety pledge to all those present on theoccasion. A variety of programmes related to the Road Safety were also organized in several cities across the country to enlighten people on Road Safety, and Driving Rules. Many NGOs participated in the Ministry’s efforts to create awareness about the issue.

GoM on Road Safety

The Ministry had constituted a group of State Transport Ministers under the Chairmanship of Shri Yunus Khan, Transport Minister of Rajasthan to work out interstate issues and reach a consensus on adoption of uniform rates of taxation, permits and other issues. A Group of Transport Ministers from 13 states met in Guwahati on 18-19 April this year and adopted a 9-Point Guwahati Declaration aimed at harmonization of taxes and permits, road safety measures, policy changes and measures for strengthening State Road Transport Undertakings. The most important decisions taken by during the meeting included the recommendation for One Nation One Tax for the diverse road tax structure, which would ease travel.

Rs. 5 Lakh Compensation to accident victims:

In order to help accident victims in getting reasonable and fast compensation from insurance companies, the Ministry revised the relevant rules of the Motor Vehicles Act according to which every accident victim or his next of kin will be entitled to a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in case of death, and uptoRs 5 lakh, proportionate to the extent of injury in case of grievous hurt and disablement. Accident victims can claim higher compensation through court if they are not satisfied, but with this rule even the poorest of the poor will get a fast and reasonable compensation.

CCTV installation at Toll Plazas:

A Central Command and Control Centre is being set up at the NHAI HQ for CCTV surveillance and Monitoring of Vehicular Congestion at 210 Fee Plazas of National Highways that have higher traffic volumes. it is proposed to be connected with Regional Offices and the project execution is on service model for a period of five years.

Films on Road Safety:

Three short films for generating public awareness for the need to comply with the rules of the road, eventually contributing to the cause of road safety, were launched by Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways, on 14th’ August, 2018. Film actor Shri Akshay Kumar who featured in these films on pro bono basis, has also been appointed as Road Safety Brand Ambassador by the Hon’ble Minister.

Capacity Building in the area of Road Safety:

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has designated the Asian Institute of Transport Development as an apex body for capacity building in the area of road safety. The objective is that this centre would act as a depository of research studies and best practices.Human resource development and exchange of knowledge form an important component of its activities. Up to October 2018, the National Centre for Road Safety has been able to train over 1,400 professionals in road safety and road safety audit by conducting 31 courses pan India.

INITIATIVES IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR:

The Ministry took several initiatives in the transport sector during the year to make road travel more convenient for people. Some of these areas under-

Simplification of Driving License Application

To improve ease in licensing, this Ministry has simplified the driving license application form. Four forms i.e. (a) Learner License, (b) Driving License, (c) Renewal of License, and (d) updation of Address – all have been consolidated into one. The new form will enable Aadhar based verification of the applicant’s identity to provide online services for renewal, change of address etc. Another highlight of the new form is that it would capture an applicant’s willingness for organ donation.

Revision of Axle Weight:

The permissible safe axle weight of goods vehicles was revised and increased by about 15% to 20 % for different configurations of axles. The decision was taken with a view to help in increasing the carrying capacity of goods transport vehicles and bring down logistics cost. The amendment will increase the carrying capacity of goods vehicles by about 20-25 % and lower logistics costs by about 2%. It will also bring down the incidence of overloading. While automobile technology and road construction quality have improved greatly over the years, the axle loads have remained the same since 1983 when they were last notified. There was a felt need to harmonize the axle load with international standards.

Launch of Ranking System for Toll Plazas

NHAI has developed a matrix-based methodology to rank the Fee Plazas on parameters such as electronic tolling, time taken in clearance of FASTag lanes, display panels, staff behaviour, cleanliness, etc. The data for the matrix is to be collected by the Regional Officers who will use the same to rank the Fee Plazas under their jurisdiction. Meanwhile, a countrywide drive was launched by NHAl on more than 300 toll plazas across the country on 10 February, 2018, to address issues that affect highway users. Officers visited toll plazas and addressed issues of user convenience and took feedback from the people.

Revision in Maximum Speed of vehicles

The Ministry has revised the maximum speed of various classes of vehicles vide notification dated 6th April 2018. The notification prescribes the speed of various classes of vehicles. Thus a passenger vehicle with not more than 8 seats including driver can have a maximum speed of 120 km/hr on expressways and 70km/hr on municipal roads.

Acceptance of Documents through DigiLocker and mParivahan Platform

An advisory has been issued by the Ministry to all the States / UTs to accept the documents in electronic form through DigiLocker platform of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and the mParivahan mobile app of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Such electronic records available on DigiLocker or mParivahanare deemed to be legally recognized at par with the original documents as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  This will also address Grievances / RTI applications of the citizens and facilitate promotion of Digital India campaign.

Notification regarding Vehicle Location Tracking Device and Emergency Button in all public service vehicles

With a view to enhancing the safety of women passengers, detailed standards for Installation of Vehicle Location Tracking Device (VLT) and Emergency Button on public service vehicles have been notified on October 25, 2018. The States/ UTs have been mandated to ensure compliance of the rule and check fitment and functional status   of the VLT device in the public   service vehicles at the time of checking of the vehicles for fitness certification. The Command and Control   Centres in the States will be used to provide interface to various stakeholders such as  State  emergency  response  centre,  the  Transport  authorities of  the  state  and  central  governments,   device  manufacturers   and  their  authorized dealers, testing agencies etc. The Command and control Centre will also be able to provide feed to the VAHAN database or the relevant data base of the state with regard to over speeding and the health status of the device.

 Fitness Certificate in respect of Transport Vehicle

As per this notification the renewal of the fitness certificate in respect of transport vehicle up to eight years old shall be done for two years and for one year for vehicle older than eight years. No fitness certification shall be required at the time of registration for the new transport vehicle sold as fully built vehicle and such vehicle shall be deemed to be having certificate of fitness for a period of two years from the date of registration.     

 Use of Dual Fuel

The Ministry has issued a notification for Dual fuel usage which covers Emission of smoke and vapour from agriculture tractors, power tillers, construction equipment vehicles and combine harvesters driven by dual fuel diesel with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engines.

GREEN INITIATIVES:

Electric, Ethanol and Methanol Vehicles exempted from Permit       

Keeping in view the need for promoting electric mobility and alternate fuels, the Ministry, vide notification issued on October 18, 2018, has exempted Battery Operated Vehicles, as well as vehicles driven on Methanol fuel or Ethanol fuel, from the requirement of permit for carrying passengers or goods.

Advisory on Linking of PUC data (emission related data) with the VAHAN database

A system has been developed and tested by this Ministry for linking of Pollution Under Control (PUC) data with the VAHAN database. An advisory dated October 1, 2018 has been issued to all the States by the Ministry wherein all the PUC vendors have been directed to comply with the guidelines and facilitate electronic uploading of emissions test data to VAHAN database.

Notification regarding Registration Mark of Battery Operated Vehicles

To give a distinct identity to the electric vehicles, it has been decided that the registration mark will be exhibited on a number plate with Green background. A notification to this effect was issued on 7th August, 2018.

M 15 (15%) Methanol blending with Gasoline

The Ministry issued a notification regarding the blending of Gasoline with methanol in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and also to reduce the import burden on account of crude petroleum from which gas olineis produced.The Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced an ambitious target of reducing 10% import dependence of oil and gas by 2022 from 2014-15 levels. Methanol can be used as an alternative transportation fuel thereby reducing Import dependence to some extent.

Requirement of PUC Certificate for vehicle insurance/ renewal of insurance

The Ministry has requested IRDA and the MDs / Chairpersons of all general insurance companies on to ensure that no third-party insurance policy is issued or renewed without ascertaining the availability of a valid PUC. This has been done following orders of the Supreme Court of India.

Emission Standards for Construction Equipment Vehicles and Tractors

The Ministry has notified emission standards for Construction Equipment Vehicles and Tractors. These standards would be implemented w.e.f. 1st October, 2020 (Trem IV) and from 1st April, 2024 [Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem)-V]. This would help in ensuring environment friendly construction / mining activities.

Quadricycles included as Non-Transport Vehicles

The Ministry notified the insertion of the item ‘Quadricycle’ as a ‘non-transport’ vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. A Quadricycle is a vehicle of the size of a 3-wheeler but with 4tyres and fully covered like a car. It has an engine like that of a 3-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last mile connectivity. Quadricycleswere only allowed for transport usage under the Act, but now has been made usable for non-transport also.

E INITIATIVES:

National Award on e-Governance to INAMPRO

The “INAMPRO” project initiated by NHIDCL, a CPSE under this Ministry, has been conferred with a ‘Gold’ award under Category- I “Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering” for the National Award in e-Governance by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)

The Electronic Toll Collection Program has seen exponential growth in terms of number of Fastags sold and user fees collected electronically.

With a total number of 440 Toll Plazas, more than 34.3 lakh Fastags units have been issued till October this year, and 25 to 27% of the revenues are being collected using the ETC mode. Use of FASTag has also seen significant growth, both in terms of user fees collected and penetration, from Rs 210.1 Cr with 13.1% penetration in April 2017 to Rs 44ó. 8 Cr with 24.8% penetration in the month of August 2018.

Linkage of PFMS with Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and             Bhoomi Rashi

The two IT initiatives of this Ministry, which are aimed at expediting pre- construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively, have now been integrated with the Public Financial management System (PFMS). The Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) is aimed at streamlining the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway works with enhanced transparency and objectivity. The Bhoomi Rashi portal of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways allows for totally digital and paper-less processing of land acquisition cases, and has resulted in transparent, quick, corruption-free and error-free  handling  of  land  acquisition  cases. It has alsomade the possible  real-time tracking  of  activities  and  generation  of  reports  relating  to  land acquisition. Revenue records of about 7 lakh villages across the country have been integrated in the portal. This digital change has drastically reduced the time taken for issuance of land acquisition notifications from 3-6 months to 1-2 weeks. Over 2000 notifications have already been issued by the Ministry in the first eight months of this financial year that while during the past two years, about a thousand land acquisition notifications could be issued every year. The process has also brought transparency in the system. Earlier the approved compensation amount used to be parked with the CALA (Competent Authority  for  Land  Acquisition)  but  with  BhoomiRashi  portal  this  amount  directly transferred into the account of the person concerned, through Public Financial Management System  which  is  an  integral  part  of  the  portal.  In addition  to  this,  the  process  is  also environment  friendly  since  there  is  no  physical  movement  of  files  –  all  work  is  done digitally.

 Advisory regarding keeping transport related documents in an electronic form

An advisory has been issued by this Ministry wherein the citizen can produce the transport related documents such as registration, insurance, fitness and permit, the driving licence, certificate for pollution under check and any other relevant documents, if required, in physical or electronic form, on demand by any police officer in uniform or any other officer authorized by the State Government in this behalf. This would enable the use of digital platforms for carrying and verification of the documents and is a step towards citizen facilitation and to ensure so that citizen are not harassed/ inconvenienced.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

MoU with Transport for London

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways signed a MoU with Transport for London (TFL) on 10thJanuary, 2018. TFL is an agency that manages the transport system for Greater London, and has demonstrated its capability by creating strong and dependable public transport system in the city of London. It has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand. The MoUis aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in the country.

2NDmeeting of India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Working Group

After a long hiatus, the 2nd meeting of India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Working Group was held at Kathmandu on 23rd February, 2018 under the India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement for regulation of vehicular traffic between the two countries. It was agreed to start regular bus services on the new routes of Mahendrangar- Dehradun, Nepalgunj- Haridwar, Nepalgunj-Lucknow, Nepalgunj -Delhi and Kathmandu-Gorakhpur, through designated operators from Nepal and India. It was also agreed to start operation of bus services on Kathmandu -Siliguri and Janakpur- Patna routes. Both sides also noted with mutual interest the possibility of opening of other routes to be considered on the basis of commercial demand and availability of infrastructure by mutual consent.

Bus trial run across Bangladesh, India and Nepal

Taking another step towards furthering seamless passenger vehicle movement across Bangladesh, Indiaand Nepal (BIN) under BBIN MVA signed in June 2015.Atrial run of two passenger buses from Dhaka, was conducted in April, 2018, with 43 passengers.  The trial run started from Dhaka on 23rd April and reached Kathmandu on 26th April 2018. The participating countries have also agreed to conduct more trial runs for cargo vehicles under the agreement.

First Working Group Meeting of BIMSTEC

The first Working Group meeting of BIMSTEC to negotiate the draft text of Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of passenger and cargo vehicular traffic among and between member states was held in April this year. Delegations from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar attended the meeting. The draft text of the agreement was discussed and amended. The member countries will further examine the amended text.

MoU between India and Uganda

An MoU was signed between the Central Materials Laboratory (ML), Kampala, Uganda and the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) under Ministry of Road Transport &Highways, India, during the visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India  to Uganda on 24-25 July, 2018, for establishment of a Regional Materials Testing Laboratory for Highways in Uganda.

65th India-Japan Joint Working Group Meeting in the Roads and Road Transport Sector

The 5th India-Japan Joint Working Group Meeting in the Roads and Road Transport Sector was held on 12th November, 2018 in New Delhi as provided under the Framework of Cooperation (FoC) between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), India and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan. In the meeting, information regarding the latest technological developments in “Operation and Maintenance of Expressway”, “Development of Mountainous Road in North East Regions” and “Countermeasure of Aging Structure” etc. was shared.

MoU of India with Russia

The proposal for a MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport & Road Industry sector, between Ministry of road transport & Highways and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, has been approved by the Union Cabinet in its meeting on October 3, 2018.

OTHERS:

Wayside Amenities and Highway Nest (Mini)

While the procurement process is under way for the development of Wayside Amenities of larger sizes in PPP mode along the National Highways, the NHAI has taken up construction of 314 numbers Highway Nest (mini). These are being developed near Toll Plazas, approximately 200 meters downstream on a 10mX20m paved platform and comprises of facilities like toilets, water, ATR, a small kiosk with Tea / Coffee vending machine and packaged food items for Highway users.

Swachhta Pakhwada and ’Swachhta Hi Sewa’ Campagin (SHS)

The SwachhtaPakhwada was organised by the Ministry between September 15, 2018 and October 2, across all National Highways. Several activities related to shramdaan and cleaning of schools in villages adjacent to the National Highways were also organized by the NHAI during the period. Construction of toilets, both for men and women, installation of litter-bins and hoardings at NHAI toll plazas have been taken up by the Ministry under Swachh Bharat Mission. The Ministry was conferred with a special award for its implementation of the Swachhta Action Plan for 2017-18 by the nodal Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

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Initiatives & Achievements of Ministry of Railways in the year 2018

Ministry of Railways in the year 2018

Safety First : Elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings, Use of Technology , Online Monitoring of Rolling Stock and Switch over to LHB coaches for safety of Railway Passengers

Boosting ‘Make in India’ by indigenous manufacturing of Semi High Speed (160 Kmph) self propelled Train 18, with contemporary features as per global standards

Massive Push to Capacity Augmentation by commissioning strategic projects like Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).

Connecting North East: India’s longest Rail-Road Bridge Connecting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Transformational Reforms speeded up: Emphasis on cultural, process & structural reforms, empowerment/ strengthening of field level units

Speedy and Smooth Passenger Services via Improved Coaches and Trains, UTS Mobile App, VIKALP Scheme and boosting Digital Transactions for Online Ticket Reservations

Swachch Rail: Bio Toilets, Clean-My-Coach SMS Services, Coach Mitra Initiatives for cleanliness in Trains and Railway Stations

65 stations across Zonal railways have been beautified under Station Beautification initiative by using local art form, painting style, local themes 

Use of Robotics and Industry 4.0 Technologies in Production Units of Indian Railways

‘Mission Raftar ‘ to Speed up, Contribute and Participate in the Growth Story of India

Brighter and Energy efficient Railways with 100% LED lights at all Railway Stations 

India’s first Rail and Transportation University commenced its first session in 2018

Promoting Tourism through Vistadome Coaches 

Preserving Railway Heritage eternally on Digital Platforms

Indian Railways achieved all- round progress during the year with firm focus on safety and passenger services by leveraging the latest in technology and marshalling the inherent strength of a highly dedicated workforce. Some of the significant achievements of the year are highlighted below:

Enhanced Safety

Safety continues to be the foremost priority of Railways and is accorded the greatest consideration. During the current year, MoR launched following four safety drives on all Zonal Railways with a view to preventing accidents and strengthening safety on Indian Railways:-

  • On 13.04.2018, all zonal railways were advised to launch a one month safety drive particularly focusing on strict observance of shunting practices with compliance of rules/instructions contained in G&SR etc.
  • On 08.05.2018 all zonal railways were advised to launch a 30 days safety drive specially targeting safety at manned/unmanned level crossings.
  • On 19.06.2018 all zonal railways were asked to launch a safety drive to prevent accident due to cyclonic storm, heavy rains, landslides etc. during monsoon season.
  • On 16.10.2018, zonal Railways were advised to launch a special safety drive for a period of fifteen days with special emphasis on safety of work sites, stacking and handling of railway material near track and maintenance of points & crossings.

Some of the significant steps taken to enhance safety are:

  • Induction of technology for safety improvements – Smart Coach Smart coach with diagnostic system monitor bearing vibrations provides advance information on health of bearing wheel & track.
  • In addition, coach has been provided with wheel slip protection monitoring.  Further improvements are being brought about to provide fire safety through fire and smoke detection unit integrated with passenger announcement and information system for emergency evacuation and video analytics with phased detection and unusual occurrence features to further enhance safety and security.
  • On-line Monitoring of Rolling Stock (OMRS) Implementation of OMRS is the first step towards predictive maintenance for its Rolling Stock. OMRS monitors the health of each rolling stock and identifies the defective bearings and wheels. Real time alarm is generated to take corrective action before the line failure of the rolling stock. OMRS equipment will also trend the condition of bearing when implemented in whole rail network of IR.
  • Complete switchover to LHB: Indian Railways have decided to completely switch over to manufacture of LHB design main line coaches from 2018-19 onwards. The production of LHB coaches in Production Units has continuously increased over the years Production of LHB coaches from 2004-05 to 2013-14 was 2327 coaches, whereas 5548 coaches were produced from 2014-15 to 2017-18. During 2018-19, it is proposed to manufacture 4016 coaches.

As a result of relentless efforts put in by Railways, consequential train accidents decreased from 104 to 73 during 2017-18 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.  In the year 2018-19 (from 1st April, 2018 to 30th November, 2018) consequential train accidents decreased further from 51 to 44 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.  Category-wise break-up of accidents is given in the following table:-

Type of Accident (April to March)

2016-17

(April to March)

2017-18

2017-18

(1st April to

30th November)

2018-19

(1st April to

30th November)

Collision 5 3 3 0
Derailments 78 54 39 35
Manned Level Crossing Accidents 0 3 1 3
Unmanned Level Crossing Accidents 20 10 8 3
Fire in Trains 1 3 0 2
Miscellaneous 0 0 0 1
Total 104 73 51 44

Elimination of Level Crossings

  • 3478 unmanned LC gates have been eliminated during the current year so far.
  • In effect, all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge over Indian Railway have been eliminated except one.  This will also be eliminated in the current financial year.
  • Out of 16, total 15 Zonal Railways are now unmanned level crossing free on broad gauge.
  • Accidents on unmanned level crossings have reduced from 20 in 2017-18 to 3 in the current year upto Dec., 2018.

New Initiatives In Track Maintenance

  • Highest ever rail renewal of 4405 km was carried out in 2017-18 and 5,000 km has been planned during the current year with outlay of 11,450 crores. 2812 km has been completed during the current year so far.
  • Exclusive RRSK fund amounting to Rs 1 lakh crore for safety related works including Track Renewal for a period of 5 years, with Annual Budgetary Outlay of Rs 20,000 crore has been created in 2017.
  • Trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System for detection of Rail/Weld breakage has been started on NR and NCR on 25 km track length each. After successful completion of trials, the system will be utilized over Indian Railway for timely detection of Rail/Weld fractures.
  • GPS based trackers have been provided to Keymen and Patrolmen to get real time information of any untoward incidents/emergencies to avert derailments.
  • Trials for VHF based Approaching Train Warning System to pre-warn the Trackmen working on running line, for any approaching train have been completed on five Zonal Railways and instructions have been issued for providing the system on Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonal routes over Indian Railways. This will help in ensuring personal safety of  Track Maintainers while working on track.

Mechanization of Inspection, Monitoring And Maintenance Of Track

  • Highest ever sanction of Track Machines : Average sanction of machines per year for complete mechanization has been increased to 117 costing about 1547 cr during 2014-18 compared to 63 nos costing about 560 cr prior to 2014. Highest ever 538 machines costing Rs. 7268 cr were sanctioned in the current year Budget to give fillip to mechanization.
Item Year
Average sanctions of machines 2004-09 2009-14 2014-18 2018-19
  1. Funds    (Rs. In Cr.)
433 563 1547 7268
  1. Machines (Nos.)
63 52 117 538
  • Seven numbers of High Output Integrated Track Machines, giving 60% more output in the same duration of effective block hours, were inducted for the first time in Indian Railways Maintenance Fleet.  Order for 22 more such machines were placed and for 24 more machines will be placed in the current year to cover entire high density routes. This will result in better utilization of traffic blocks on busy routes for improved safety and economy in machines working for track maintenance.
  • High output BCM (HOBCM) with double the output of present machine along with stabilizer and ballast regulating system is planned for commissioning by March, 2019 for the first time over IR. This will improve safety and economy in track maintenance along with better utilization of maintenance slots on busy routes.
  • A new 3D state-of-the-art tamping simulator for practical hands-on training for operating advanced track maintenance machines has been installed and commissioned for the first time at Indian Railway Track Machine Training Centre Allahabad (IRTMTC) for skill development of track machine operator’s. This type of advanced technology simulator is now available only in five countries including India. This will result in improved training for better utilization & maintenance of state of art tamping machine.    
  • Leveraging technology for reducing reliance on human interface Selected best available technology to improve safety by reducing reliance on human interface and efficient allocation of resources. Induction and proliferation of following new technologies have been decided for improved track inspection, maintenance and monitoring.
  • Ground Penetration Radar (GPR) for monitoring health of track ballast bed ( Clear ballast cushion, Caked up ballast & ballast penetration in formation) and to prioritize deep screening of track in place of present practice of periodic screening every 500GMT or 10 Yrs.
  • Axle Box Mounted Accelerometers on pilot basis in 40 rakes in fastest train on selected high density trunk routes to monitor track requiring urgent attention and generate alerts to maintain organization on daily basis.
  • Track Component Condition Monitoring System with Machine vision is planned to be fixed on 16 LHB based OMS Coaches for intermediate inspection by Zonal Railways to get defect list of track components to reduce reliance on human inspection.
  • Rail Grinding Machines with complementary Switch Grinding Machines and RIV are planned to cover entire Indian Railway track for maintenance of rails to control fracture due to rolling contact fatigue. It will improve reliability of asset by reduction in fractures. Order for 2 nos. Switch rail Grinding Machine (SRGM) & 2 nos. Rail Inspection Vehicle (RIV) have been placed for the first time on IR.
  • Long Rail Panel Handling:- State-of-the-art mechanized system for loading/unloading of long rail panels for safe handling of long rail to improve in service performance of rail has been sanctioned.
  • Vehicular USFD (SPURT Cars) to cover entire Indian Railways network for monitoring and identification of propagation of rail/weld defects for improving safety of track has been sanctioned.
  • Laser based Integrated Track Recording Cars with facility of Component Monitoring, Axle box acceleration measurement and Clearance measurement System, to cover entire Indian Railway network has been sanctioned.

Make In India

  • Induction of semi-high speed Train-sets to European standard: ICF took up manufacturing of Semi High Speed (160 Kmph) Self Propelled Train-set with indigenous efforts, termed Train-18, with contemporary features as per global standards. The first trainset has been rolled out by ICF in October 2018 and will shortly be ready for service after testing & trials.
  • ICF shall be making at least two more such rakes this year. Depending on feedback and requirements target for induction in 2019-20 shall be communicated in due course.
  • 100% indigenization has already been achieved in manufacturing of around 20-25% of total fleet of the track machines such as Utility Vehicles (UTVs), Rail Bound Maintenance Vehicles (RBMVs), Track Laying Equipment (TLE), Rail Threader & Rail-cum-Road Vehicles (RCRVs) over IR.
  • 70% of existing fleet of machines have been manufactured by a world’s leading manufacturer with a local content in the range of 20% to 50%.
    • Now the local content is being further increased to minimum 51% to 80% under Make in India Policy.
    • Encouraged by Make in India, one more manufacturing plant by a world’s leading manufacturer of track machines is being set up in Gujarat and expected to start production by May’2019.

Technological Development

Improvements in AT Welding technology has been carried out to improve quality of welds for enhancement in safety.

  • Thick Web Switches: Policy decision has been taken to use only Thick Web Switches on IR network. This enhances mobility due to higher permitted speed for loop lines, improves safety and maintainability.
  • Weldable CMS Crossing : It is planned to provide Weldable CMS Crossings on all important routes on Indian Railways. For the first time, order for manufacturing and supply of about 4000nos.Weldable CMS Crossings has been placed.Instead of importing the finished weldable CMS crossings, the working agency is required to set up requisite infrastructure in the country which besides ensuring transfer of technology will also contribute towards ‘Make in India’ mission.
  • Advancements in Ultrasonic Testing of Rails and Welds: Analogue USFD testing machines have been replaced by digital USFD testing machines capable of data logging, saving and transferring testing results to on-line Application TMS and PCs.
  • Bridge Management System: This Web-enabled IT Application covers all aspects of Bridge Master Data, drawings, photographs, etc.  This will be a single IT-based repository for all aspects related to bridges on Indian Railways viz. Master Data, condition, inspections, design drawings, etc.The Application was launched by Minister of Railways on 12th July, 2018. It is being further developed to incorporate various bridge inspections.

Improved Sleepers And Fittings

  • Improvement in Concrete Sleeper: In order to strengthen track structure, a wider and heavier sleeper has been developed in 2014 which is fit for 25 t axle load at 100 kmph. After successful field trial over five Zonal Railways wider and heavier sleeper has been adopted and approved for full use from FY 2019-20. This is done in a record time of 3 years from drawing board to insertion in field for trial against normal period of 8-10 years.
  • Web base system for track crossing permission – A web based system for granting permission of track crossing related to various public utilities i.e. water/sewerage/gas pipeline, OFC Cable etc. has been developed and made operational on Indian Railways since 01.04.2015. This system provides submission of online application and knowing status of the same till permission is granted. This avoids the frequent visits of the user to the Railway Offices for knowing the status of application.
  • To expedite clearance of track crossing cases, power to accord sanction is delegated to DRM for all the cases.
  • Land Data Management – A web based application called Land Management Module integrated with Track Management System (TMS) of Indian Railways has been developed, for maintaining centralized land data i.e. details of acquisition/area/usages and land plans of Land Bank of Indian Railways in digitized form. Indian Railways has already completed most of the work related to digitization of land record.
  • Indian Railways have also digitized details of  vacant land plots measuring more than one acre .

Infrastructural Development

Capacity Augmentation through Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs)

  • Thrust is to commission strategic projects like Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
  • Work on both Eastern & Western Dedicated Freight Corridors progressed on full speed during the year culminating in successful trial of freight train over Phulera- Atari section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor & Khurja- Bhadan section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor(EDFC) in August & November 2018 respectively. The trials of Freight trains will be completed on extended sections of Rewari – Madar section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) & Khurja – Bhaupur section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor by the end of the financial year.
  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor will be fully commissioned in phases by March 2020.
  • Part sections of Western and Eastern DFCs viz 190 km Ateli-Phulera section of WDFC opened on Aug 15, 2018 and 194 km New Khurja – New Bhadan section of EDFC opened on Nov 23, 2018.

NL, GC and Doubling Commissioning:

NL, GC and Doubling Commissioning
S.N. Item Average of 2009-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 Target 2018-19
1 New Line 345.5 380 813 953 409 1000
2 GC 799.5 880 1042 1020 454 1000
3 Doubling 375 723 973 882 999 2100
4 Total 1520 1983 2828 2855 1861.94** 4100
5 Avg Km/Day 4.16 5.43 7.75 7.82 5.10 11.23
  • **During 2017-18, 1862 Km commissioning( Reduction due to diversion of Rails to Rail Renewal from Safety Consideration)
  • The progress of Track Renewal in 2016-17 was 2597 TKM, in 2017-18 track renewal was 4405 TKM( Track Kilometres).
  • During 2004-14, average commissioning of 4.1 km per day (1496 km per year).
  • Since 2014-18, average commissioning of 6.53 km per day (2382 km per year).
  • Commissioning of 7.75 km per day in 2015-16 (2828 km).
  • During 2016-17, 2855 km track (7.8 km/day) has been commissioned by introducing passenger services which is highest ever progress.
  • Expenditure:
    • Average Expenditure per year in New line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling Projects in 2009-14 was  Rs 11,527cr.
    • Average Expenditure per year in New line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling Projects in 2014-18 is Rs  24,461 cr. which is 112% higher than average of 2009-2014.
    • Expenditure in first 7 months ( upto Oct.’18) is Rs 15,090 cr which is much more than the expenditure of whole year in the past.
  • Further, Budget allotment of Rs 34,835 cr (NL/GC/ DL) has been planned for 2018-19.

Doubling/3rd& 4th Line:

  • In 2009-2014, Only 5970 km of Doubling/3rd& 4th line works were included in the budget.
  • Also, till 2013-14, due to overall limited availability of funds, most of the projects were not progressing satisfactorily.
  • This has resulted into serious traffic constraint and availability of traffic maintenance blocks on existing network, Safety concern etc.
  • Since 2014-15, 14,480 km of Doubling/3rd& 4th line works have been included in the budget.
  • To expedite these capacity Enhancement Projects, Funds have been arranged through institutional financing.
  • Also, based on physical progress of projects, last mile connectivity projects and projects for decongesting the existing routes, sufficient funds are being allotted to each project.

Commissioning:

Item Average of 2009-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Progress Target Planning
Commissioning of Doubling 375 723 973 882 999 2100 4430 3985 3800
  • 2009-2014           : 1875 km   ( i.e. 375 km/yr.)
  • 2014-17               : 2578 km   ( i.e. 859.3 km/yr.)

229% higher than previous period.

  • 2017-18               : 999 km (Highest ever)
  • 2018-19               : Target 2100 Km

Expenditure:

  • 2009-2014       : Rs 12,307 cr ( Rs  2462 Cr. /yr.)
  • 2014-2018       : Rs 51,149 cr ( i.e. 10,229 cr /yr.)

415%  higher than previous period.

  • 2018-2019     : Rs 17,359 Cr

(705 % more than average allotment during 2009-2014)

Railway Development in North East Region

 The following are the most noticeable achievements of the last four years in NE Region:

Major Works and On-going Projects:

  • 970 km Gauge Conversion completed in NE region in last 4 years. Thus, all MG sections converted to BG and there is no MG operation in entire North East Region.
  • 353.15 km of New Line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling commissioned per year during the period 2014-15 to 2017-18 as against on average of 110 km commissioning per year in NE Region in period from 2009 to 2014.
  • 15 New lines projects of 1,397 km length having a total cost of Rs. 47,695 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the NE states.
  • 6 Doubling projects of 482 km length having a total cost of Rs. 9,305 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the states of NE Region.

Connectivity to North Eastern States:

The Seven Sister States of North Eastern India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) have been connected by Rail Network.

  • Meghalaya came on the rail map with the flagging off the first ever train from Guwahati to Mendipathar in Meghalaya on 29.11.2014 by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi.
  • Tripura has been put on broad gauge railway map. On July 31, 2016, the  then Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu flagged off the Agartala-New Delhi ‘Tripura Sundari Express’.
  • The Agartala-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was launched on October 28, 2017. It trudges the longest route (2,422 km) for any Rajdhani Express in service.
  • Jiribam, the first railway station in Manipur was connected by broad gauge line. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi flagged off the first passenger train service to Jiribam on May 27, 2016. The passenger train service to Bhairabi in Mizoram was also flagged off by him.
  • Lumding – Silchar Broad Gauge section inaugurated after Gauge Conversion on November 20th, 2015, giving seamless BG connectivity to Barak Valley of Assam.

Connectivity to State Capitals:

  • As per Indian Railways’ vision for North East region, all eight North East state capitals are to be linked with broad gauge rail link by 2020-21. Previously, only Guwahati had broad gauge railway linkage. Further, Arunachal Pradesh & Tripura State capital has been connected.

Marvels of Railway Engineering:

  • Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal New line Project 
  • India’s tallest bridge with pier height of 141 m is being constructed on Irang River at Noney in Tamenglong district, Manipur as part of the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new line project. Its height will be almost equal to two Qutub Minars combined.
  • There will be six tall bridges having pier height more than 70m in the Bhairabi-Sairang new line Project (51.3 km).

Mega Projects (Commissioning of Bogibeel Bridge):

  • It is longest Rail-cum-Road Bridge of India.(4.94 Km long Bridge)
  • Across River Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh in the State of Assam
  • Dedicated to the Nation by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi Ji on 25th December, 2018.
  • Double line track with 3 lane Road and 74 km of total Railway track
  • This Project was sanctioned in 1997-98 at a cost of Rs.1000 crore and the work was commenced in April, 2002 by Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, the then Prime Minister of India.

The completion cost of the project is Rs.5820 crore (approx.).

  • DEMU services were introduced in Tinsukia Division of NF Railway in 2016-17. New coaching depots have become functional at Silchar in Barak valley region of Assam and at Agartala in Tripura. These measures have provided better connectivity to the isolated region of North East.  The following projects have also been sanctioned for the North East region:
  • Workshop for refurbishing of LHB coaches at New Bongaigaon at the cost of Rs 90 Crore, sanctioned in the year 2017-18. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Provision of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit / Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit Shed at Lumding at the Cost of Ra. 73.67 Crore, included in Pink Book 2018-19. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.

Station Beautification

  • Indian Railways has launched an innovative initiative for the station beautification with wall art of paints and graffiti or local arts with participation of local artists, private groups and volunteers. 65 stations across Zonal railways have been beautified under this initiative by utilizing skills of local artists, mostly using local art form, painting style, local themes or contemporary arts. This initiative provided forum for expression of the emerging talents in the area and visibility of local art forms to the travellers.
  • Balharshah & Chandrapur Railway stations (Central Railway) Madhubani Railway station (East Central Railway) & Madurai Railway station (Southern Railway) Gandhidham Railway station (Western Railway), Kota Railway station (West Central Railway) & Secunderabad Railway station (South Central Railway) etc. have been beautified.
  • Indian Railways has also commenced work on soft upgradation of 68 stations . This is  targeted to be completed by 31st March, 2019. This initiative is to give substantial improvement to various passenger amenities like traffic circulation, inter platform transfer, waiting halls, facade improvement, lighting and accessible stations to Divyangjan.

Initiatives for Station Redevelopment over Indian Railways

  • The Cabinet approved on 03.10.2018, for redevelopment of Railway Stations, through simplified procedures adopting various business model, commercial as well as residential development at railway stations and for longer lease tenure upto 99 years.
  • Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) has been entrusted with all the stations to conduct techno-financial feasibility studies and prepare the business plan.
  • Four stations are under progress i.e. Habibganj(Bhopal), Gandhinagar, Lucknow (Charbagh), Lucknow Gomtinagar.
  • Habibganj and Gandhinagar are targeted to be completed by Feb 2019.

Improved Passenger Services

Indian Railways has introduced the following new Modern Trains/Coaches :

  • Humsafar Trains: Humsafar trains having additional amenities in the coaches have recently been introduced for providing comfortable Air-Conditioned III Tier travel. So far 29 Humsafar rakes (9 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18, 10 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by the Production Units.

Following major features have been introduced:-

  • GPS based Passenger information system,
  • Passenger announcement system,
  • Dust bins in each bay,
  • Coffee vending m/c,
  • Improved aesthetics pleasing colour scheme,
  • Passenger announcement System,
  • Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) based surveillance system,
  • Integrated Braille displays etc.
  • Antodaya trains: Long distance fully unreserved train, LHB general second class coaches with vestibules, cushioned luggage racks, additional hand hold in doorway area for the comfort of standing passengers, provision of J hooks near longitudinal luggage racks for hanging carry bags, enhanced number of mobile charging points, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, more pleasing colour scheme for interior and exteriors, provision of MU cable in each coach for running train service with loco at both ends. So far, 15 Antyodaya rakes (3 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18 and 3 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by Production Units.
  • Deen Dayalu Coaches: Main additional features of Deendayalu coaches are -Cushioned luggage racks, Additional hand hold in doorway area, provision of J hooks for hanging carry bags, Toilet occupation indication display board, Enhanced mobile charging facility, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, Water level indicator, Pleasing Interiors, Improved exterior colour scheme with anti-graffiti coating, polymerized floor coating in toilets. So far more than 1100 Deen Dayalu coaches have been turned out by Production Units.deen-mainhumsafar2-1
  • Tejas trains: One Mumbai CST-Karmali Tejas train is plying between Mumbai CSTM to Karmali/Goa has been started on 24.05.2017. Two more Tejas rakes have been turned out of the PUs in the current year. These Ultra modern trains with speed potential of 200 kmph have following major distinguished features:
  • Automatic entrance doors,
  • Passengers Information display system (Electronic Reservation chart System),
  • GPS based Passenger information system,
  • Fire and Smoke detection system,
  • Superior toilet fittings,
  • Sealed vestibules,
  • LED lights,
  • CCTV,
  • Aesthetically pleasing colour scheme.
  • Vistadome Coaches: These coaches are provided with enhanced viewing area including on roof to enable tourists to enjoy panoramic view while travelling. The feature has been well received. Total of four such coaches are in service on scenic sections.
  • Model Rakes : Model Rakes include following features :
  • Modular Panels,
  • Superior material for panels,
  • Ergonomically designed ladders,
  • Aesthetically appealing toilet modules,
  • Large size mirrors, Platform washbasin,
  • Controlled discharged water taps,
  • Odour control system,
  • Dustbin inside the toilet,

First Model rake named as New Delhi-Varanasi Mahamana Express was started in Jan’16. Bhopal MLR Workshop has turned out more than 120 model rake coaches. ICF has also turned out 24 Model rake coaches. A total of four such rakes are in service on date.

Upgradation of coaches:

  • Project Swarn was started to upgrade the condition of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express Trains, with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience across 9 dimensions which include coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, staff behavior, catering, linen, punctuality, security, on-board entertainment. Real time feedback is also a part of Project Swarn. Under this scheme total 29 trains as targeted have been covered@ Rs. 50 lakh per rake.
  • Project Utkrisht has been launched to improve condition of 66 important Mail/ Express trains, @Rs. 60 lakhs per rake, consisting of 140 rakes. As a part of this project improvement in coach interior, coach exterior, toilets, lighting and passenger amenity items will be carried out. This is targeted for completion in 2018-19. Phase II of Project Utkrisht has also been sanctioned in which 500 rakes of mail express trains will be upgraded targeted for completion in 2019-20.
  • LED Lights in Coaches: All CFL/FL lights in all TL/AC and self propelled (EMU/MEMU/DEMU) coaches are being replaced with LED lights which is likely to save electrical energy to the tune of Rs. 19764/- per AC coach per Annum and Rs. 8424/- per non AC coach per annum.
No. of coaches in 2014-15 to 2016-17 No. of coaches during 2017-18 No. of coaches during 2018-19
820 coaches 4180 coaches
  1. coaches

Promotion of Digital Transactions:

To promote cashless and digital transactions, Ministry of Railways took the following steps :

  • Installation of Point of Sale (POS) machines at various Passenger Reservation System (PRS)/Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) booking offices & Parcel and Goods location for acceptance of payment through credit/debit cards.
  • Acceptance of Unified Payments Interface (UPI)/Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) as a payment option for booking of reserved/unreserved tickets.
  • Withdrawal of service charge on online booking of tickets.
  • Withdrawal of service charge applicable on transactions against credit/debit cards for purchasing journey tickets at PRS/UTS counters.
  • 0.5% discount on season tickets purchased through digital means.
  • 5% discount on reserved counter ticket subject to maximum discount of `50 for tickets of value of `100/- or more for payments made through UPI/BHIM.
  • Provision of 5% of the recharge value as bonus at the time of recharge of
    R-wallet in case of unreserved ticket booking through mobile phone.
  • Provision of 3% bonus on every recharge of Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM) card as an incentive for promotion of ticket booking through ATVM.

Enhancing Passenger Convenience:

To provide passengers with an elevated level of comfort and a highly satisfying experience, MoR has taken the following steps :

  • Introduction of ticket booking through mobile phone – UTSONMOBILE App for unreserved ticket booking and IRCTC RAIL CONNECT App for reserved ticket booking.
  • Establishment of Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSK) on public private partnership basis for issuing of tickets.
  • Launch of the Next Generation E-ticketing System (NGeT) for improving accessibility and enhancing the overall experience of e-ticketing.
  • Introduction of Defence Travel System enabling online booking of tickets for defence personnel.
  • Provision of concessional online ticket booking facility to persons with disabilities and accredited press correspondents.
  • Streamlining of Computerised Passenger Reservation System to facilitate timely preparation of Reservation Charts and transfer of vacant berths to next remote location.
  • Introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme known as VIKALP scheme on all trains to provide confirmed accommodation to waitlisted passengers.
  • Provision of SMS alerts facility to passengers in case of change in train running status like cancellation/delay of trains for more than one hour etc.
  • Acceptance of downloaded Aadhaar (e-Aadhaar) & m-Aadhaar also as one of the proof of identity for undertaking journey in any reserved class.
  • The concept of ‘Train Captain’ as a single person/leader responsible for coordinating the entire team and facilitating all services during the complete journey of the train has been introduced.
  • For the first time, passenger amenities are being provided at stations on the basis of passenger earnings as well as passenger footfalls. Revised criteria for categorization of stations has been issued on 22.11.2017. The revised criteria aims at providing higher level of amenities at bigger stations, commensurate with the earnings/passengers handled. Revised comprehensive instructions for provision of passenger amenities at various categories of stations has been issued.
  • Foot Over Bridge and High Level Platforms have been included in minimum essential category for all stations and accordingly all stations over Indian Railways will be provided with FOB and High Level Platforms in a phased manner. Also all new stations shall now be constructed with High Level platforms and Foot Over Bridge at all categories of stations on broad gauge including Halt stations.
  • Complete decentralization of powers to DRM and Field officer for fixation of Reserve Price for Parking, Pay & Use Toilet, charges for Retiring Rooms/dormitory, Portage charges etc.
  • Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) have been empowered to extend the period of contract of physically handicapped PCO booth holders upto ONE year at a time on the basis of satisfactory performance of licensee.
  • Zonal Railways have been advised to provide one wheelchair per platform and in case of island platforms one wheelchair per two platforms at all A-1 and A category stations. General Managers have also been authorised to reduce/increase the number of wheel chairs to be provided at stations based on the passenger traffic handled at the station and assessed requirement of wheel chairs at the stations.
  • Provision of a segregated area within waiting halls to be known as feeding corner for feeding the babies by lactating mothers.
  • Online booking of Retiring Rooms with the provision of hourly booking.
  • Launch of ‘Sarathi Sewa’ for provision of Battery Operated Vehicles (BOVs) at stations through publicity route or CSR.
  • Launch of ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ at major stations for booking of wheel chair service cum porter services etc.

Cleanliness

Important measures include :

  • Integrated mechanised cleaning was provided at 488 Railway stations up to March 2018. It is now provided at 697 stations.
  • Independent third party Survey of passenger perception on Cleanliness standards of 407 major railway stations carried out first time in 2016 and repeated in 2017 and 2018.
  • On Board House Keeping Service (OBHS) is being provided since 2008-09. Starting from 2008-09, OBHS was provided in 416 pairs of trains up to March, 2014. 448 pairs of trains added in 3 years from 2014-15 to 2016-17. Another 139 added in 2017-18 and 65 more in 2018-19. A total of 1068 trains are presently having facility of this service.
  • All Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and other important long distance Mail/Express trains are provided with OBHS for cleaning of coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains.
  • Service is supported by sms based on demand “Clean-my-Coach” service in 1059 trains, augmented to “Coach-Mitra”, since 2017-18 to cover over 1020 trains presently.
  • Railways are setting up mechanized laundries for improving quality of washing of linen provided to AC coach passengers. Starting from 2009-10, 25 Mechanized laundries were set up till March, 2014. 32 more mechanised laundries were set up from 2014-15 to 2018-19. Orders for 14 more mechanized laundries with total capacity 81 tonnes per day (TPD) have been placed. Nearly 283 TPD is presently being supplied from mechanised laundries. Target is to cover 100% linen washing requirement by mechanised laundries in next financial year.
  • Automatic Coach Washing Plants :  These not only clean exterior of coaches more effectively and efficiently, they also reduce the direct water requirement by avoiding wastage. In addition these also come with water recycling facility thereby further reducing the requirement. Based on the location feasibility, initially 122 locations have been identified for provision of ACWP. 10 plants have been installed and LOA has been issued for 7 more locations.
  • Zonal Railways are tendering for provision at 31 locations. COFMOW has opened a tender on 17-10-18 for 21 more locations, likely to be finalised by end of December 2018. COFMOW has also floated a tender for Rate Contract for additional 80 locations.
  • Bio-Toilets: As a part of “Swachh Bharat Mission”, IR is proliferating bio-toilets on all its coaching stock so that no human waste is discharged from coaches on to the track. During 2017-18, against the target of 40000, 57429 bio-toilets have been provided in 15017 coaches, as compared to 10159, 15442 and 34134 bio-toilets in 3374, 3961 and 8788 coaches in last three years.
2004-2014 2014-2017 2017-2018 2018-19 (upto Nov)
Bio Toilets 9587 59735 57086 40937
Coaches 3647 16123 15017 11107
    • The work is targeted to be completed next year with provision of bio-toilets in balance approx 13000 coaches.
  • Bio-Vacuum ToiletVacuum flushing system toilets substantially reduce the requirement of water for flushing, while ensuring effective/ proper flushing of faecal matter from the pans. Bio-vacuum toilets have been provided in one train “Tejas” running between Mumbai & Goa. Vacuum toilets are being provided on all newly manufactured Tejas and Humsafar coaches from 2018-19 onwards. Procurement of another 2000 bio-vac toilets is under process. Railways have been instructed to provide Bio-vacuum toilets in coaches of all premium trains to begin with, to ensure proliferation of vacuum toilets at an accelerated pace. PUs shall be providing these in all new production w.e.f 2019-20.

Make in India : Coaches

  • Smart Coach: MCF has rolled out a smart coach in Sept’18, providing better safety passenger amenities as well as enabling predictive maintenance. Diagnostic system monitor bearing vibrations provide advance information on health of bearing wheel & track.  In addition, coach has been provided with wheel slip protection monitoring, water level indicator, Wi-Fi, infotainment system with emergency talk back and passenger announcement and information system alongwith digital destination board.

Further improvements are being brought about to provide and monitor improved air conditioning which will monitor particulate pollution inside the coach along with quantum of fresh air and power consumption.  Fire safety through fire and smoke detection unit integrated with passenger announcement and information system for emergency evacuation and video analytics with phased detection and unusual occurrence features would further enhance safety and security.

Tender for 150 smart coaches is under finalization. Production is expected to start from January, 2019.

  • Air conditioned EMU rakes: Prototype full air conditioned EMU rake was introduced in service on 25.12.2017 in Mumbai suburban area.  Six more rakes are expected induction during the current year.  This will be followed by more such rakes in 2019-20 along with partial air conditioned rakes for the first time in the history of suburban service.  It is planned to partially air condition 78 existing EMU rakes of Mumbai suburban.  Target for induction of first such rake is later part of 1st quarter of 2019.
  • Three phase MEMU rakes: Three MEMU rakes equipped with 3 phase IGBT based electrics have been turned out from ICF in July, 2018.  These are undergoing prototype test and trial under RDSO.  The rakes will be inducted in passenger service after successful completion of trials.  The technology is not only energy efficient in traction but also equipped with regenerative braking to save energy during braking.
  • Comparative performance coach manufacturing:
  • The coach production from production units has been increasing exponentially.
Coach Production – Production Units
Production Units 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2018-19
Target Actual upto Nov ‘18
RCF 1550 1480 1603 1489 1251 1374 837
ICF 1604 1678 1997 2215 2397 3156 2062
MCF 130 140 285 576 711 1232 844
Haldia 5 16 48 0 85 30 49
G.Total 3289 3314 3933 4280 4444 5792 3792
  • Capex on Infrastructure Production Units: The infrastructure spending has increased and therefore also the works getting completed as shown from following table:
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 Unit
Budget Grant vs. Final Expenditure BE 2624.2 3679.98 3339.27 2579 Rs. Crore
FM 2027.97 2951.91 2386.7 Rs. Crore
Works Completed No. 0 112 75 105 Numbers
Cost 0 1103.6 1775.4 2393.5 Rs. Crore
  • The increased spending and execution has also given a boost to “Make in India” through following projects:
  • A new coach manufacturing factory has been sanctioned at Latur in Maharashtra, at an estimated cost of Rs. 492.73 crore. The factory will manufacture 250 MEMU coaches per year, which will replace slow moving conventional passenger trains. Construction work of boundary wall, test shops, ancillary building and track connectivity is under progress.
  • The following projects have been sanctioned for the North East region:
  • Workshop for refurbishing of LHB coaches at New Bongaigaon at the cost of Rs 90 Crore, sanctioned in the year 2017-18. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Provision of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit/Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit Shed at Lumding at the Cost of Ra. 73.67 Crore, included in Pink Book 2018-19. Tender awarded, ready to start shortly.
  • Indian Railways are also ramping up the production capacities of its coach production units. This will enable Indian Railways to run more trains with safer, more modern and comfortable coaches. A sanction of Rs 486.76 crore has been provided for augmenting the capacity of Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, from 1700 to 2750 coaches per year. Work is under progress. Similarly, a work of Rs. 480 crore has been sanctioned for augmentation of production capacity of MCF Rae Bareli from 1000 to 2000 coaches per annum. Tender is under finalization.
  • Robotics and Industry 4.0 in PU production: Industry 4.0 is Smart manufacturing based on Cyber Physical system. It includes end-to-end digitization and integration into digital eco-system with all value chain partners interacting seamlessly. System includes- Proactive Production Monitoring, Integrated Maintenance Analytics, WIP Inventory and Manufacturing Analytics Dashboard.  Robotics is being used in MCF for manufacturing, who are also implementing Industry 4.0. This would be duplicated over ICF and RCF also.

Railway Electrification

  • During year 2017-18, 4,087 RKM of BG routes have been commissioned on electric traction against target of 4,000 RKM. During previous (2016-17),  achievement on electrification was 1,646 RKM, thereby increase of 148%. For period 2014-18, routes of 8,411 RKM have been commissioned on electric traction against 3,038 RKM commissioned during 2009-14, thereby increase of 177%.  For the current financial year (2018-19) target for electrification has been set as 6,000 RKMs. Up to 15.12.18, 1,667 RKMs has been commissioned on electric traction in 2018-19. Achievement on electrification during corresponding period of 2017-18 was 1,648 RKM.
  • With a view to transforming Indian Railways into “Green Railways” and to capture the economic benefits of electric traction in an accelerated manner, Indian Railways has planned to electrify balance BG routes by 2021-22. Accordingly, the work for electrification of balance un-electrified BG routes of IR covering 13,675 route kilometers has been approved by CCEA at a cost of Rs.12,134.50 crore.  To achieve ambitious target for electrification of balance route, following strategic policy decisions have been taken:
  • Base of executing agencies have been broadened and  projects covering 1735 RKM have already been entrusted to Govt. PSUs i.e. IRCON, RITES and PGCIL.
  • Timelines and approving authorities for various drawings/schematic/plan approval for RE projects have been re-defined.
  • It has been decided that “Henceforth, where, electrification and doubling works are sanctioned; both works shall be executed by the same agency.
  • Adoption of EPC mode of contraction for larger size projects i.e. 300/500/1000/1500RKMs.
  • Emphasis on mechanized execution of OHE construction works.
  • Design for Cylindrical cast in-situ and prefabricated foundation developed for expeditious and mechanised execution of foundation works.
  • Anchor bolt type foundation developed in rocky soil to speed up foundation work.
  • OHE design revisited for low density traffic routes; to reduce the cost of electrification and also expedite execution of the work.
  • Diesel Locomotives Works, Varanasi & Diesel Modernization Works, Patiala have been repurposed for manufacturing Electric locomotives and have already manufactured more than 50 electric locomotives by using existing resources & electric supply chain.
  • Diesel loco sheds are being progressively repurposed for maintenance of Electric locomotives.

Important Projects

Electric Locomotive Factory, Madhepura in Bihar (A make in India Project):

  • As a first step of attracting private investment and FDI in Indian Railways, contract for setting up Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura/Bihar to manufacture 800 nos High Horsepower Electric Locomotive (12000 hp capacity) was signed between Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Limited (MELPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and Alstom Manufacturing India Limited.
  • First phase of the factory has been completed. First locomotive has been rolled out from the factory and is undergoing tests & trials. Further four locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.

Diesel Locomotive Factory, Marhowra in Bihar (A make in India Project):

  • Contract for setting up Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra/Bihar to manufacture 1000 nos High Horsepower Diesel Locomotive (4500/6000 hp capacity) was signed between GE Diesel Locomotive Private Limited (GEDLPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and GE Global Sourcing India Limited.
  • Construction of the factory is ongoing as per schedule. Two Prototype locomotives (4500 hp) were handed over to Indian Railways in February, 2018 by the company. After tests/trials these locomotives have been accepted for commercial service. 50 locomotives have been supplied and out of 50 locomotives 19 are in commercial service. Total 98 locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.

Electric Locomotives:

  • New Era of Green Technology- HOG power supply:

All Passenger (WAP7) locos turned out by CLW during 2017-18 are fitted with Hotel Load Converters. The main benefits of this system are supply of pollution free and cheaper power from OHE as compared to End on Generation (EOG) system besides other advantages like reduction of carbon emission, noise level and consumption of fossil fuels helping in protecting the environment. There is a saving of around Rs. 1.5 lacs per day per pair of rake by using HOG supply.

47 locos have been provided with HOG during the first nine months of 2018-19 (upto October, 18) as compared to 43 during last year.

  • WAP-5 locomotive in push-pull mode:

Operation of Twin WAP5 loco in push-pull mode has been planned which has faster acceleration, faster braking and substantially lowered coupler forces.

One pair of WAP-5 loco and rake has been modified and Confirmatory Oscillograph Car Runs (CoCR) Trial has been carried out by RDSO from Delhi (NZM) to Mumbai (Bandra Terminal) from 07.10.18 to 13.10.18. During the trials, a saving of 83 minutes running time was recorded.

  • Upgradation of Electric locomotives:

It is planned to upgrade the existing 6000 HP WAG9H locos to 9000 HP to improve the hauling speeds of freight trains. It’s a make in India initiative already started at CLW. First locomotive is expected to be commissioned by Jan’2019.  Similarly, it has been decided necessary to upgrade existing WAP-7 locomotives from 6000 HP to 9000 HP to haul 24 coach trains at balancing speed upto 140 kmph.  Process of development of High Horse Power Passenger locomotives (9000 hp) has already been initiated by CLW. First locomotive is expected to be commissioned by Mar’2019.

Design review for enhancement of speed from 140 kmph to 160 kmph has been completed and manufacturing process has been initiated at CLW and first locomotive is to be rolled out by January, 2019.

  • Provision of Regenerative braking feature in WAG-7 locomotives:

Conventional Electric locomotives (fitted with DC Traction motor) are provided with Rheostatic braking wherein energy generated during braking is dissipated in dynamic Braking Resistance (DBR) resulting in wastage of energy. Regenerative braking feature in WAG-7 locomotives is being developed and one WAG-7 locomotive no 24571 fitted with re-generative converter is under testing. Saving due to regeneration braking would be around Rs 24.6 lakhs per loco per year.

  • Development of Battery cum 25 kV AC operated Shunting Locomotive:

The Battery operated shunter is capable of shunting up to 59 BOXN/5800T train load/24 coach rake from one line to adjacent line at a speed of 10 – 15 kmph on level track. Development has been initiated at CLW & KPA/ER Workshop.

  • Provision of EP Assisted system:

The purpose of EP assisted system is to minimize response time during braking and release, and to make braking simultaneous along the whole length of the train. This helps in reducing braking distance and facilitates quick release of brakes. Procurement action has been initiated at CLW and 20 passenger locomotives will be fitted on trial basis.

  • Conversion of a locomotive from diesel to electric traction:         

Indian Railways has created history by first-ever conversion of a locomotive from diesel to electric traction. The conversion of Diesel locomotive into Electric locomotive is a highly specialized and unique work which was not done earlier in traction application worldwide.

Two diesel locos (Alco) have been successfully converted to electric and sanction for operation of twin WAGC3 Electric locomotive converted from WDG3A Diesel locomotives has been issued.

Diesel HHP locomotive have also been successfully converted to electric and are under trial.

  • Electric loco production at CLW:

CLW has produced 350 electric locos during the year 2017-18 as against 292 in 2016-17. A new milestone has also been set by CLW in the process by becoming largest loco manufacturer in the world under single roof.

  • Manufacturing of Electric Locomotive at Diesel Modernization Works, Patiala:

In order to cater to the enhanced requirement of electric locomotives commensurate with 100% electrification and to utilize the infrastructure & manpower of DMW, mainly a Diesel loco rehabilitation workshop, DMW was entrusted with the responsibility to manufacture Three Phase IGBT based electric locomotives during current FY 2017-18. With enormous efforts put in by officers and staff, DMW has turned out two electric locomotives during 2017-18.

DMW has turned out 21 WAP-7 locomotives during the current year (upto November).

  • Crew Voice/Video recording system (CVVRS):
  • First electric loco no. 32001 fitted with Crew Voice/Video recording system (CVVRS) has been commissioned in Dec’2017.
  • The system ensures the effective and temper proof video and voice recording of locomotive cab for post failure event analysis.  CVVRS is being planned for 20 loco sets at CLW initially.
  • Provision of Simulator:

A work for setting up of simulators amounting Rs. 350 crore for training of running staff for minimizing the accidents has been sanctioned under  M&P (Plan head-41) against Pink Book no. 1177 of 2018-19.

  • Diesel Locomotives:
  • LCAVR (Loco Cab audio video Recording System)  This system provide invaluable data to investigators which helps them in understanding the sequence of events leading up to an accident and for identifying operational issues and human factors, including crew performance. 23 Diesel locomotives have already been equipped with LCAVR while tenders for further 3000 have been floated recently by DMW/PTA against RSP.
  • Distributed Power Control System (DPCS) – DPCS provides real time communication between lead and remote locos through wireless data radio to synchronize locos. Main advantages of DPCS are increased hauling capacities and reduced crew requirements. DPCS has been fitted in 145 Diesel Locos (HHP-95 and ALCO-50) till date. NFR has started its successful running in critical graded LMG- BPB new BG section. Furthermore ECR has also been running freight train with DPCS which has enhanced wagon turn round and thus has increased mobility.
  • Diesel loco sheds are being progressively repurposed for maintenance of Electric locomotives.
  • Air Conditioning of Running Rooms – Provision of adequate quality of rest in Running Room and provision of adequate facilities in crew lobby has always been priority of IR. Accordingly, an umbrella work for upgradation of Running Room for Loco Pilots & Guards on IR” has been sanctioned under Pink Book 2018-19 at anticipated cost of Rs.225 crs. A Budgetary outlay of Rs. 200 crs. has also been granted and works are in progress over IR.

Energy Efficiency

  • All railway stations (more than 8000) have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries.
  • 99% of service buildings provided with 100% LED lights over IR.
  • This will save 240 Million Units of electricity per annum amounting to Rs.180 Crores reduction in annual electricity bill of IR.
  • So far, 574 no of escalators and 407 no of lifts have been provided covering 215 stations and 180 stations respectively.
  • So far, 71.19 MW of Solar plants have already been installed (68.19 MW rooftop + 3 MW land based at MCF Raebareli).So far, 36.5 MW Wind power plant has been installed.

Open Access

  • IR is presently drawing about 1100 MW through Open Access, in 10 States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Delhi, U.P. and also in Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
  • Railway have saved Rs. 1249 Cr. from April’18 to Sept’18.
  • Indian Railways is doing much better than what was targeted in Mission 41K and till Sept’ 18, it saved about Rs 8902 Cr. This is more than 16% the proportionate target of Rs7653 Cr, as envisaged in “Mission 41K.”

Automatic Switched Neutral Section (ASNS)

  • Successful trials of ASNS have been carried out in the month of Oct’18(under the supervision of RDSO).
  • This is going to be very important as Indian Railways have decided to run trains at 160 kmph.
  • This will help in reduction of stress to Loco Pilots thereby efficient and safe operation of trains.
  • This will also ruled out any damage to OHE due to Loco Pilots entering neutral section with DJ opening.

100% Green Powered station:

  • Indian Railways’ go green and save electricity initiative has proved to be immensely beneficial.
  • Malwal Railway station of Northern Railway under Firozpur Division is the first Green Powered station commissioned in India (Jan’11). It is meeting all its power needs like lighting and fans load from solar power only.
  • Asangaon Railway station of Central Railway under Mumbai Division has been second 100 % Green Powered station powered with windmill & solar panels (March’18).
  • On similar lines, Guwahati Railway station in the Northeast has become the first Railway station in northeast to run completely on solar power (May’18).
  • Railways are making extensive efforts in this direction to make more and more 100% green powered stations.

Important Milestones for the current year

  • Indian Railways has been consistently trying to improve the illumination levels at various stations. Various policies have been issued from time to time to improve the illumination levels. The last major decision taken in this regard was to switch over to 100% LED on all Railway Stations.
  • As per the direction of Minister of Railways, Indian Railways has switched over to 100% LED lights stations as on 30.03.2018; a day before the targeted date. This has improved the illumination levels considerably. This was done as Phase-I of the project for improvement in illumination, wherein the existing lights were replaced by LED lights on one is to one basis.
  • PAT: Indian Railway is continuing on its path towards achieving higher energy efficiency & shall achieve the targets set for it under Govt. of India’s Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) cycle-II and in the next cycle and shall strive for maximizing its gains through earning of more & more energy saving certificates (ESCerts).
  • Railway is also working on plans to install solar panels on vacant Railway Lands along the tracks and other land parcels for generating power to meet its Traction energy requirement. This would be done First time in the World.

Mission Raftaar

Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) along with diagonals carry approximately 58% of freight traffic and 52% of coaching traffic with a share of only 16% of the network (~10000km) taken up for initial emphasis. Major impediments to mobility have been identified viz. ~70% of the routes having sectional speed of less than 130kmph. 2736 level crossings, averaging one LC at every 3-4km. 730 locations speed restrictions (Average one SR at every ~15-20km). ~10% (~900) turnouts of speed of less than 30kmph.  A road map has been developed to overcome the existing impediments in a systematic manner. All but 28 unmanned LCs removed on IR.A speed policy framework has been developed to address this issue of the mismatch between speed potential of rolling stock and fixed infrastructure.  It has been decided to upgrade 10000km of Golden Quadrilaterals and diagonals for 160 kmph speed and remaining routes for 130 kmph speed.  Some of the important elements of the policy are :

  • Replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU trains: MEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment of up to 20kmph in comparison to loco driven passenger trains.  Busy Ghaziabad- Allahabad – Mughalsarai route has been made free from conventional trains by replacement by MEMU.  For replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with MEMU trains on six routes, total 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. IR has planned to ramp up the production of MEMU rakes to 1232 coaches in next three years (approximately three times existing level) for ensuring full implementation. Total 124 pair passenger services have been replaced by MEMU/DEMU services on Indian Railways. The travel time has been reduced by 5-20 minutes in these services. Delhi- Mumbai, Delhi- Howrah and Mumbai- Chennai will be completed in Yr 2018-19. All routes will be made free from conventional commuter trains by Yr 2021.
  • Right Powering of freight trains: Over the years Horse Power to trailing load ratio has deteriorated due to longer trailing loads. This has adversely affected average speed of freight trains. New policy introduced for right powering arrangement for freight trains with a horse power to trailing load ratio of 1.5-2.0 to bring it at par with international standards. For eight major railways out of the requirement of 663 additional locomotives, 300 locomotives have been provided.
  • Introduction of Twin Pipe Air Brake System on freight trains: Twin piped braking system saves on an average ~90 seconds in every event of braking, which becomes significant over a long distance. All new wagons are being manufactured with twin pipe system. Retrofitment of all 1.7lac wagons has been sanctioned. Approximately 11000 wagons have been retrofitted.
  • Procedural Improvements: Policy circular 6 which governs increasing speed of trains has been rationalized. It will enable faster realization of gains from new technology and various speed raising initiatives.
  • Decision has been taken to stop the manufacture of conventional ICF coaches and replace them with LHB coaches with speed potential of 160kmph. Successful trial of T-18 by ICF has been done and the same is in the process of commissioning.
  • Standardization of coaching rakes enables first-in-first-out/ reduce rescheduling/ avoid out of path running of trains. In the new time table 960 rakes out of 2732 rakes have been standardized.

Technology for practical uses

  • Quick Watering Facilities: This facility allows quick filling of water in coaches, which is also essential to maintain cleanliness in them. 7 stations (Ajmer, Jaipur, Abu Road, Vijayawada, Villupuram, Erode and Vadodara stations) have been provided with quick watering facilities. Sanction for provision in 47 more stations has been obtained. For another 66 stations, work for out of sanction in Supplementary Demands for Grants 2018-19 at a cost of about Rs 230 cr has been planned and processed at Railway Board level. Instructions have been issued to all Zonal Railways to be in readiness to award the work as soon as sanction is received for above work. Further, Zonal Railways have been also processed sanction for 27 locations at their level.
  • Monitoring of punctuality through Data Loggers: To authentically report train timings, a system of integrating data-loggers with the Control Office Application (COA) software has been started in Jan’08. Train timings are captured in real time at zonal interchange points and important inter divisional exchange points, there are 168 such points over IR.

Green Initiatives: Care for Environment

  • Assessment and rating of IRs Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification of 2 Workshops and 1 Production unit in 2016-17. 31 more Workshops, 4 more Production Units, 2 Diesel Sheds, one Stores depot and 2 STCs  have been ‘GreenCo’ certified since. 22 of these units have been certified in current financial year      2018-19.
  • Eight Railway Stations and two Railway Schools have achieved Green Certification. 6 out of these 8 railway stations achieved Green Certification in 2018-19. Rail Nilayam/ Secunderabad, IRICEN/Pune and Administrative building of ICF/Chennai are also certified as Green buildings. Railway Hospital Ajmer is the first railway hospital to achieve Green rating recently.
  • Head On Generation (HOG) System: EOG system requires diesel fuel besides having other problems related with maintenance & pollution. In Head on Generation (HOG) electric power for the coaches is received from over head lines through two 500 KVA converters fitted in electric locomotive. This helps in eliminating noise and reduction in carbon foot print. Average saving with HOG on an average is around Rs.70000 per trip per train as it varies with duration of journey.

After development of concept in 2013-14, Production Units have been turning out all LHB coaches as HOG compliant since December, 2016. A total of 126 EOG trains have been converted to HOG i.e. operating with HOG compliant locomotives. Year wise progress:

2014-15 to 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 (Upto Nov’18)
22 40 trains 64 trains

Promoting Tourism

  • Vistadome Coaches & Hill Railways : These coaches are provided with enhanced viewing area including on roof to enable tourists to enjoy panoramic view while travelling. The feature has been well received. Total of four such coaches are in service on scenic sections.

Preservation of Heritage in Railways

In 2018, Railways implemented various policy reforms for meaningful preservation of Railway Heritage and promoting steam heritage tourism. These include creation of budget head for funding heritage related activities, unified structure of zonal level heritage committees, special delegation of powers to Divisional Railway Managers for promoting steam tourism, provision of engagement of retired railway officials for heritage preservation etc. As a result of these reforms, this year witnessed inauguration of steam charter services over Kangra Valley Railway (KVR) and Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR), special steam hauled round trip services over Kalka Shimla Railway & Nilgiri Mountain Railway, introduction of AC coaches over Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, introduction of weekly steam service between Garhi Hasru – Farukhnagar in Delhi Division, steam tourist specials in South India hauled by EIR-21 (Express) which is one of the World’s oldest working steam locomotives (Year built 1855) etc. All these have immensely helped creating interest in steam heritage tourism in the country.    Steps taken include :

  • As a major Digital India initiative in recent years, Ministry of Railways partnered with Google’s nonprofit Arts & Culture initiative to make India’s railways century old heritage accessible worldwide using advanced digital technologies through online storytelling and virtual reality. This is a first of its kind effort of Indian Railways to digitize its heritage and bring it online for universal access.
  • The project, named Lifeline of a Nation (accessible at https://g.co/indianrailways) was launched by Minister of Railways on 28th September, 2018.  The online platform brings together a collection of digital storytelling with more than 3,000 images, 150 videos and 150 iconic locations of Indian Railways across India.  The project offers insights regarding the lesser known stories and heroic efforts of people like track men, station charges and workshop engineers, to celebrate their contribution to India’s Railways.
  • On 15th August, 2018, Railways launched digital museums at selected railway stations in India to spread awareness among public about the rich heritage of railways. The effort aimed at showcasing the more than century old the legacy of Indian Railways via one to two minute-long movie clips on digital LED screens at the entrance gate of railway stations and also at different comfort areas. The short films will showcase heritage buildings, locomotives and much more to make people aware of the rich heritage of Indian Railways. With a target to reach 100 stations, so far these screens are operational at more than 30 stations.
  • As a living example of industrial heritage and to depict technological development over Indian Railways, five meter gauge (MG) and three narrow gauge (NG) lines have been identified for preservations and further developing them as heritage tourism destinations.
  • In December, 2018, Railways notified the Indian Railways Heritage Charter (IRHC) -2018, for the first time in its history, outlining its commitment and providing broad guidelines for restoration, preservation and conservation of century old rich railway heritage of India.
  • Revival of steam locomotives: To preserve the rich heritage of Indian Railways, vigorous efforts of revival of steam locomotives, since 2017 has been taken. This has resulted in to revival of EIR 21, the oldest steam locomotive in the world by Golden Rock Workshop of Southern Railway, Beyer Garratt by Kharagpur Workshop of South Eastern Railway, ZB 66 in Kangra Valley section and Miss Muffet by Jamalpur Workshop of Eastern Railway.

Customer Focused Policies for Freight

To make the rail transportation attractive to its customers, various initiatives were taken in 2017-18 which includes tariff rationalisation, classification of new commodities, expansion of freight basket through containerisation, new delivery models like RORO services, Long Term Tariff Contract policy with key customer, Station to Station rate, Double Stack Dwarf Container (DSDC), Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy,Electronic Registration for Demand of Wagons (e-RD) etc.

These policies launched in 2017-18 have been further extended upto March 2019.

The main initiatives undertaken during 2018-19 are:-

Electronic Transmission of Railway Receipts (eT-RR)

With introduction of E-RD (Electronic Registration for Demand of wagon), eT-RR has been implemented which use a user-friendly and paperless transaction system where Railway Receipt is generated and transmitted electronically to customer through FOIS and delivery of goods is given through e-surrender of eT-RR. That is, customer is saved the hassle of carrying physical Railway Receipt from originating to destination station. After success of pilot project at one terminal namely HPCL/Loni of Central Railway, it has been implemented over Northern Railway in second phase in March 2018. Proliferation on pan India basis is on anvil.

Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy

  • Zonal railways have been empowered to permit weightometer / pre-weighbin system of weighment in private siding on case- to- case basis w.e.f. 18.06.2018.
  • Dispensation from mandatory (100%) weighment in the case of container rake loaded with containers carrying standard bags of uniform size.
  • Exemption from weighment has been granted in case of loading of standard Bags of uniform size in container. Low density commodities like Pet Coke, Met Coke, Chuni and De-oiled cake have been exempted from mandatory weighment.
  • Designed tare weight of new wagons namely BOXNS, BCFC, BRHNEHS, BOBRNHS, BOBRNEL, BOBYNHS, BFNSM 22.9 has been notified

Issue of multiple Railway Receipts (RRs) for container traffic

  • Indian Railways had extended facility of multiple RRs in favour of more than one Container Train Operator for a single container train (w.e.f.20.04.2017). The guidelines have been implemented recently in September 2018. This facility has come in on an opportune time as M/o Shipping has now relaxed ‘Cabotage’ law for foreign vessels on transportation of loaded for empty containers between Indian ports. With this relaxation, aggregation of containers at ports is likely to get a fillip. The facility of multiple RRs(Railway Receipts) for each operator shall further aid aggregation and promote economic growth. In addition, it is in sync with GST requirements and shall help each operator to avail Input Tax Credit(ITC) as per freight paid.

Promoting containerization

To promote containerisation, following measures have been taken: –

  • Introduction of new delivery model of Double Stack Dwarf Container to be charged by applying 17% concession on FAK rate has been extended upto 31.03.2019.
  • The methodology for levying Terminal Access Charge (TAC) for handling container train in railway terminal has been liberalised from 1.5 times to one time in case of double operation (i.e. unloading followed by loading), reduces non-freight cost to customer.
  • With effect from 11.07.2018, movement of CP Coke, a restricted commodity, has now been permitted in transportation in container at CCR (Container Class Rate) i.e. by applying 15% concession on Applicable class rate published in Goods tariff.
  • Decision has been taken to transport empty containers and empty flat wagon for private container rakes at a discount of 25%. The move is likely to give a thrust to movement of empty container by rail towards ports to return as loaded, thus profiting Indian Railway with higher container share.

Liberalised Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Empty flow Directions

This scheme has been issued w.e.f.01.01.2017. Under this scheme loaded traffic in empty flow direction is being charged at LR1 (with certain conditions), which amounts to average discount of 30 – 40%.  In the revised policy, benefit has been extended to the traffic booked from originating Division to intermediate point on that O-D division. Further, rebate has also been extended to the traffic booked from originating division to all the other divisions (not listed in the empty flow direction) of the destination zone. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes. This scheme has further reviewed and revised guidelines have been issued w.e.f. 01.10.2018. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes.

Freight Heavy Haul Initiatives:

  • Prototype of the 25T axle load BOXNS wagons was made in Oct’15. The wagon will run at 100 kmph in loaded and empty condition with pay load to tare ratio of 4.1 as compared to conventional BOXNHL wagons, which have payload to tare ratio of about 3.6. These wagons will achieve increased throughput per rake by 14.8%. 25t wagons are required for operation on DFC, which were tried upto 110/100 kmph on SER successfully. Induction of these wagons has already started, till Nov. 2018, 2600 wagons are in operation and another 2400 are in the pipe line.
  • For increasing throughput of finished goods and other containable goods, a dwarf container has been designed which can be moved in double stack loading even under electrified sections of IR. This enables increase in throughput of containable commodity even on electrified lines. This service has been opened on Jamnagar-Ludhiana route and efforts are on to proliferate on other routes also.
  • In the area of multimodal transport, the concept of Road-Railers which was under trial for past few year has been finalized in 2016-17. The commercial operation of the train has started in August, 2018. This allows for specially designed road trailers to bring container load form the customer premises to Railway sidings where it gets converted to train and goes to the destination. This initiative brings door to door delivery for container traffic without need for any container handling at railway premises.
  • In the area of transportation of finished steel namely hot rolled and cold rolled steel coils, new wagon BFNSM has been designed which is specifically designed for increasing the throughput of steel coil by more than 35% per rake compared to other similar wagons. Safety approvals for this have been obtained and induction of these wagons has started in 2018 already.

Transformation of Indian Railways

  • Large scale process and cultural reforms are being introduced in order to steadily transform Indian Railways into a more vibrant and efficient organization and make it an engine of economic growth and development of the country. Empowerment of General Managers (GMs), Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) and frontline staff and comprehensive delegation of powers have been done so as to fast track decision making, Deliverance and overall working of Railways. Model Schedule of Powers has also been issued from Railway Board in October 2017 (revised version in July 2018) for the first time to bring uniformity in delegations across zones.
  • The enhanced delegations and empowerment will improve safety, give faster access to work and breakdown sites, improve station and passenger interfaces, ease of procurement by user departments, improve upkeep of equipment, improve cleanliness and hygiene at stations and in trains and enhance training and capacity building of staff.
  • Stress on integrity and ethics – Prime thrust of Indian Railways is on transparency in its functioning and on impeccable integrity of its employees at all levels. In this aspect, a policy of zero tolerance against corruption is being followed. Mission Satya Nishtha has been launched on 27 July 2018 across IR to inculcate the culture of honesty and transparency.
  • Workshop on Leadership and Emotional Intelligence for GMs and DRMs has been organized at NAIR to further align the top management of the Railways with the Transformation initiatives (Workshop for GMs held on 10  & 11 Nov’ 2018, for DRMs on 17 & 18 Dec 2018 and 8 & 9 Dec 2018). This is being further proliferated to the level of Principal Heads of Departments.

Personnel & Educational Initiatives

  • Two recruitment drives were launched by the Railways in the first half of the year:-
  • For 27,795 ALPs and 36,576 Technicians (Total – 64,371).
  • For 62,907 vacancies in Level I including Trackmen.
  • The first stage examination involving 47.56 lakh candidates have been successfully completed on 04.09.2018 with record attendance percentage of 77%.
  • For Level I, a total of 1.90 crores have been called for examination which commenced on 17th September, 2018 and ended successfully on 17th December, 2018. Total attendance in this examination was about 61%. It is a paperless and computer based test.
  • Thus in a short time of less than nine (9) months, the Railway has not only called for the applications, but shortlisted them and organized the recruitment examinations too. It is the biggest computer based test involving about 2.40 crore candidates.
  • To address the problem of inaccuracies and deficiencies in the assessment of vacancies on Indian Railways and their linkages to RRBs, Online Indenting and Recruitment Management System (OIRMS) has been implemented in recruitment processes against latest Centralized Employment Notifications (CENs) No.01/2018 for the posts of ALP & Technicians and 02/2018 for vacancy assessment by Railways/PSUs, and online indenting of the same have been carried out with the help of OIRMS software.

India’s first Rail and Transportation University

National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI), Vadodara has begun its first academic session with two under-graduate programmes from 05th September, 2018.  A total of 103 students (17 girls and 86 boys) have joined the two courses (62 in B.Sc. and 41 in BBA).  The Courses are:-

  • B.Sc. in Transportation Technology
  • BBA Programme in Transportation Management
  • The NRTI was dedicated to the nation on 15th December, 2018.
  • Employees grievance redressal and health check up camps across Indian Railways
  • In September 2017 Zonal Railways and Production Units organized grievance redressal camps at various field locations for redressal of employees grievances. This was combined with health checkup of employees.  In the above camp the service records of the employees were shown to the employees and copies also supplied to them.
  • 9025 health camps were held throughout the country for employees during last 12 months. 12 lakh employees were covered in this drive.

Training under ‘Project Saksham’

  • A massive training programme named as ‘Project Saksham’ has been launched this year for giving 5 days on the job training to all 12 lakhs employees of Indian Railways.  This will help in competence building of employees and thereby productivity and efficiency of the organization.  We have by now trained more than 12 lakhs employees which is a record in itself.

Introduction of objective type question in Departmental promotion examination in Railways.

  • In order to bring objectivity in the selection procedure in departmental selections, Ministry of Railways has introduced a system of 100% objective question for departmental selection in non-gazetted categories by way of either computer based test or by OMR sheets.  The benefits of objective type question paper are – greater coverage of subject questions, transparency in selection, quick declaration of result and avoidance of complaint from candidates.  A question bank on each of the subject will be prepared, to be updated from time to time.

Introduction of Mobile application on staff matter.

  • Various Zonal Railways have launched Mobile applications to cater to service request for Railway employees.  This will improve the grievance redressal mechanism and help in better productivity of staff as satisfaction level of staff will improve.

Scanning of service records of all employees.

  • Ministry of Railways has had scan more than 12 lakh service records of its employees.  This will improve access of service records to employees.  Our further aim is to use the scanned records for development and launch of HRMS application.

Development and updation of data on COMPTRAN

  • A portal named as COMPTRAN (Common Portal for Mutual transfer) for employees desiring mutual transfer to their place of residence has been developed which helps in online search for mutual partners for employees’ inter Zonal transfers. Recently, the Zonal Railways have been asked to update the data on the portal so that it is helpful for employees as regards search for their mutual partner is concerned. This is a welfare scheme for employees of Indian Railways.

Aadhar Enabled Bio-metric Attendance System (AEBAS)

  • AEBAS has been implemented on Indian Railways in compliance with DOPT’s instructions contained in their OM No.11013/9/2014-Estt(A-iii) dated 21.11.2014.  This will improve monitoring of staff attendance and hence improve productivity.

Sports

Continuing with its winning spree, RSPB has been doing fabulously in 28 game disciplines on national and international sports arena and is a established and one of the most prestigious Sports Bodies in India today. Indian Railways is a proud institutions today having 162 Arjuna awardees, 21 Padmashree and 5 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees on its roll besides thousands of national and international talented athletes. Indian Railways performance in the field of sports has been unparalleled.

Railway Sports Promotion Board made a number of policy changes in the larger interest of sports and brought out following changes during January-November 2018:

  • To pave the way of becoming officer, RSPB has made provisions more easier to its athletes who are representing India in various international championships.
  • RSPB has introduced 3-4 coaching camps and started fielding its teams atleast 4-5 national level tournaments and has started giving hotel accommodations to its athletes participating in national/international tournaments.
  • As a result, RSPB has been able to get podium performances from its athletes in 40 national championships, best ever performance of RSPB till date. Internationally also, RSPB has come out with 10 gold medals in Commonwealth games and 27 medals in Asian Games besides other various international tournaments.
  • RSPB successfully hosted the World Cycling Championship at Bikaner in North Western Railway recently.

Research and Development

  • Streamlining of vendor registration process of RDSO: A number of steps have been taken by RDSO towards streamlining new vendor registration process.  The process of vendor registration has been made completely online and there has been reduction in average time of fresh registration cases from existing 30 months to 6 months. EOI has been floated by RDSO open for application throughout the year. Hence suppliers based outside Lucknow, now have the provision of online vendor registration application and the whole process of registration is completed within a specific timeline.  There was also an emphasis to resolve all the pending vendor registration cases in within reasonable time frame. There were 691 old pending cases initially by October’17 which have been brought down to 98 by December’18.
  • Collaboration with Other Research and Academic Institutions: IR has made a significant move by engaging with IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) to leverage their core competencies in developing new technologies and products. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)s have been signed in the between Ministry of Railways and these institutes for establishing Centre of Railway Research (CRR)s. The research domains allocated to these CRRs’, based on their competencies, have been listed below:
Name of Institution Domain Areas
IIT Madras Signaling & Communication,
IIT Kanpur Loco propulsion technologies, Traction Installtion/OHE
IIT Roorkee Track, Bridges, Structures
Mumbai University Financial management, human resource management and Operation research.

Other Notable Initiatives

  • ‘SAMANVAY’ Portal for co-ordination with State Governments: A ‘SAMANVAY’ portal (www.railsamanvay.co.in) has been developed for online reporting of issues pending with State Governments pertaining to infrastructural developmental projects which are being undertaken by different Railway agencies. Concerned State Governments were requested to go through the pending issues of Railways in States which are uploaded on SAMANVAY portal and take needful action to help Railway expedite its developmental/expansion projects.
  • Rail Good Work Portal: With a view to generate numerous innovative yet practical ideas across the most critical areas of Railways Operations, the Railway board has undertaken several initiatives from time to time.  Rail Good Work Portal is an on-line platform for all units under IR, where they can showcase the various good works being done by them. An exercise has been undertaken to identify the best and the most impactful entries uploaded on the good works portal and ask the innovators for descriptive videos for mass scale implementation across IR and to further encourage the habit of doing good work and reporting thereon.

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Year End review: Department of Space

Year End review 2018: Department of Space

Announcement of Manned mission

While addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 72nd Independence Day, the Prime Minster, Shri Narendra Modi announced that India has resolved to send manned spacecraft to the space by 2022 and India will be the fourth country to do this. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions. While addressing a press conference in New Delhi on 28th August, ISRO Chairman, Dr. K. Sivan said that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has the capabilities to accomplish this task by the given timeframe.

ISRO has developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system etc. required for this programme. Some of these technologies have been demonstrated successfully through the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2007), Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE-2014) and Pad Abort Test (2018). These technologies will enable ISRO in accomplishing the programme objectives in a short span of 4 years.

Launches by ISRO

i). ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty second flight, PSLV-C40 successfully launched the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Remote Sensing Satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites on 12th January, 2018, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

The 11 kg INS-1C and the 100 kg class Microsat were the two Indian co-passenger satellites of Cartosat-2. The 28 international customer satellites belonged to Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and the USA.

ii). India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) successfully launched GSAT-6A Satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on 29th March, 2018. This was the fifth consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage. GSAT-6A is a communication satellite built by ISRO to provide mobile communication services through multi beam coverage. For this, it is equipped with S and C band transponders.

iii). In its forty third flight, ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 successfully launched the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite on 12th April, 2018, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. IRNSS-1I is the latest member of the ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC)’ system. NavIC, also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 km around the Indian mainland.

iv). The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42) of ISRO successfully launched two satellites — NovaSAR and S1-4– from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on 16thSeptember, 2018. The satellites belong to UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), which has a contract with Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO. NovaSAR carries S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and an Automatic Identification Receiver payloads. The satellite applications include forestry mapping, land use and ice cover monitoring, flood and disaster monitoring and maritime missions. It will be operated from SSTL’s Spacecraft Operations Centre in Guildford, UK. S1-4 is a high resolution earth observation satellite meant for surveying resources, environment monitoring, urban management and disaster monitoring.

v). ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C43) successfully launched 31 satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) on 29th November, 2018, in Sriharikota. HysIS is an earth observation satellite built around ISRO’s Mini Satellite2 (IMS-2) bus weighing about 380kg.

The mission life of the satellite is five years. The primary goal of HysIS is to study the earth’s surface in both the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. HysIS had the company of one micro and 29 nano-satellites from eight countries, including Australia (1), Canada (1), Columbia (1), Finland (1), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (1), Spain (1) and USA (23).

vi). India’s GSAT-29 communication satellite was successfully launched by the second developmental flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV MkIII-D2) today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, on 14th November, 2018. GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

GSAT-29 is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies. Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.

vii). ISRO’s heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours on 5thDecember, 2018.

GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band.

viii). ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11) successfully launched the communication satellite GSAT-7A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota on 19th December, 2018.

GSAT-7A is the heaviest satellite launched by GSLV with an indigenously developed cryogenic stage. GSAT-7A is an advanced communication satellite with a Gregorian Antenna and many other new technologies.

On 6th June, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the PSLV Continuation Programme (Phase 6) and funding of thirty PSLV operational flights under the Programme. The Programme will also meet the launch requirement of satellites for Earth observation, Navigation and Space Sciences. This will also ensure the continuity of production in Indian industry. The total fund requirement is Rs. 6131.00 Crores and includes the cost of thirty PSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, Programme Management and Launch Campaign.The Cabinet also approved funding for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III) continuation programme (Phase-I) consisting of ten (10) GSLV (Mk-III) flights, at a total estimated cost of Rs. 4338.20 crores.

Discovery of a sub-Saturn or super-neputune size planet

A Team of scientists and engineers led by Prof. Abhijit Chakraborty of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, discovered a sub-Saturn or super-neputune size planet (mass of about 27 Earth Mass and size of 6 Earth Radii) around a Sun-like star. The planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. With this discovery, India has joined a handful of countries, which have discovered planets around stars beyond our solar system. Further, PARAS is the first of its kind spectrograph in Asia, which can measure the mass of a planet going around a star. Very few spectrographs exist around the world that can do such precise measurements.

Pad Abort Test successful to qualify Crew Escape System required for Human Spaceflight

The ISRO carried out Pad Abort Test successfully to qualify Crew Escape System required for Human Spaceflight, on 5th July 2018 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. As part of the activities for development of critical technologies for future Human Spaceflight, Pad Abort Test was carried out to demonstrate the Crew Escape System during any exigency at launch pad. The Crew Escape System is configured using specially designed quick acting solid motors that deliver a relatively large thrust to take the crew module to a safe distance. Experimental data from this mission will serve as a useful input to undertake human spaceflight programme. An amount of Rs.173.00 crores is approved for development of critical technologies including Crew Escape System.

Transfer of the in-house developed Li-ion cell technology to competent Indian Industries.

One of the major Centres of ISRO, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), offered to transfer the in-house developed Li-ion cell technology to competent Indian Industries on non-exclusive basis to establish Li-ion cell production facilities in the country. This initiative is expected to enable Zero Emission Policy of India and accelerate the development of indigenous electric vehicle industry.

MoU between ISRO and Central University of Jammu

ISRO signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) in Jammu for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University, on 11th October, 2018. Another MoU was signed between CUJ and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO) to create awareness about space research and to motivate young minds to take up research related to space, astronomy, geology, atmospheric sciences and related fields, a two day workshop was also inaugurated at the CUJ campus.

MoU between MHA and ISRO

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and ISRO, Department of Space signed a MoU in New Delhi on 20th September, 2018, for setting up of an state-of-the-art Integrated Control Room for Emergency Response (ICR-ER) in Ministry of Home Affairs. ISRO will render its technical expertise for setting up of proposed ICR-ER whereas the project will be executed under overall supervision of MHA. The proposed Control Room is expected to be established in next one-and-a-half year.

MoUs with foreign countries

During the year 2018, India signed various MoUs with foreign countries. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of these MoUs. These agreements are:

MoU between India and Tajkistan on Cooperation on Peaceful uses of Space Technology for Development. The MoU was signed on 8th October 2018 at Dushanbe, Tajkistan. The MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and the State Committee of Land Management and Geodesy of Republic of Tajikistan, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.

Agreement between India and Uzbekistan on Cooperation in the exploration and uses of Outer Space for peaceful purposes. The Agreement was signed on 1st October 2018 at New Delhi during the State visit of the President of Uzbekistan to India. The signing of the Agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Uzbekistan and would provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.

MoU between India and Morocco for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer SpaceThe MoU was signed at New Delhi on 25th September 2018. The MoU would lead to set up a Joint Working Group, drawing members from DOS/ISRO and Royal Centre for Remote Sensing (CRTS) and the Royal Centre for Space Research and Studies (CRERS), which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the MoU.

Agreement between India and Algeria on Cooperation in the field of Space Sciences, Technologies and Applications. The Agreement was signed at Bengaluru on 19th September 2018. Signing of the Agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Algeria, and provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth, satellite navigation, space science and exploration of outer space.

MoU between India and Brunei Darussalam on Cooperation in the operation of Telemetry Tracking and Telecommand station for satellite and launch vehicles, and for cooperation in the field of Space Research, Science and Applications. The MoU was signed in New Delhi on 19th July 2018.

MoU between India and South Africa on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The MoU was signed in Johannesburg on 26th July 2018. Signing of this MoU shall enable pursuing the potential areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground systems; and application of space technology.

MoU signed between India represented by the ISRO and Oman represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, in February, 2018 at Muscat. This MoU shall enable the following areas of cooperation such as, space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth; satellite based navigation; Space science and planetary exploration; use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system; and application of space technology.

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Year End Review: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Year End Review: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

The year 2018 was a testimony to India’s leadership and commitment on environmental issues as the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi was awarded the United Nation’s highest environmental honour – Champions of the Earth Award.

The UN recognised the Prime Minister in the Policy Leadership category for his bold environmental leadership on the global stage. His pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance where the country heralded a global coalition of nations to tackle climate change by leveraging the power of solar energy which has been lauded globally. Some of the major highlights of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in the year 2018 are outlined below:-

World Environment Day

Considering India’s global leadership in environmental protection and climate change sectors, the UNEP had chosen India to be the global host for World Environment Day (WED) on 5th June, 2018.

The main event was organized in Delhi and included a series of conferences in Vigyan Bhawan, a mega exhibition in Rajpath Lawns behind Vigyan Bhawan and the concluding event was graced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister and dignitaries from UN also attended the event. This WED, 2018 focused on “Plastic Pollution” which is one of the most challenging environmental concerns today.

single-use plastic pollution was being done through Eco-clubs in States/UTs. Some of the major activities undertaken were cleaning of identified beaches, river stretches and Mini- marathon on 3.6.2018. In consultation with State Nodal Agencies implementing the Eco-club programme, 24 beaches and 24 river stretches were identified for intensive cleaning drives which began with a mega inaugural ceremony at Goa on 14.5.2018. Students from various schools and colleges participated in this drive. Various cultural programmes, quiz competition, debate, awareness rallies etc were organized. Besides the above mentioned cleanliness drives, Mini Marathon was held at Vinay Marg, New Delhi on 3.6.2018 to spread awareness on proper utilization of plastic. The marathon was attended by around 10,000 Ecoclub students from Delhi – NCR. Also mini- marathons were also organized in other five cities namely Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Gangtok, Bhopal and Bhubaneswar.

Green Good Deeds Campaign

Green Good Deeds, the societal movement launched by the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan to protect environment and promote good living in the country, has earned worldwide accolades.

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“Green Good Deeds” is an idea to take environmental awareness to the people and get them involved. Formally launched in January 2018, the campaign lauds small positive actions performed by individuals or organisations to strengthen the cause of environmental protection. The Ministry has drawn up a list of over 600 Green Good Deeds and asked people to alter their behaviour to Green Good Behaviour to fulfill their Green Social Responsibility. These small, positive actions, to be performed by individuals or organisation to strengthen the cause of environmental protection have been enlisted on a mobile App called Dr Harsh Vardhan App.

spread awareness amongst the general public of India about Green Good Deeds, MoEFCC has prepared high quality Audio-visual creatives (2 video spots : GGD plea and GGD montage + 3 audio jingles: No Plastic, Air Pollution and Save Water) in collaboration with Shri Amitabh Bachhan. MoEFCC has released the same on various media platforms viz. TV News Channels, Digital Cinemas, FM Channels, Doordarshan, Lok Sabha and Raj TV etc. .

Students under Eco-clubs are implementing the Green Good Deeds (GGDs) initiative which seeks to transform the people’s behaviour into Green Good Behaviour and fulfil Green Social ResponsibilityA ten point agenda has been developed to implement the GGDs through Nodal agencies in State/UTs implementing the Ecoclub programme. Various activities covered under GGDs like cleanliness drives within the school campus, carry out waste segregation into biodegradable and non-biodegradable, paper re-cycling and conducting tree plantation drives etc are being implemented across the country by the students. The green attitude is visible in their actions. Further GREEN GOOD DEEDS event was successfully organised on 6.10.2018 at India International Science Festival (IISF) 2018 held at Indira Gandhi Prathishthan, Lucknow. Event was inaugurated by Dr. A.K. Mehta Additional Secretary, MoEFCC. Exhibition showcasing the success stories under Ecoclub programme. Around 200 Ecoclub students from Uttar Pradesh participated in the Drawing and Essay competitions.

Clean Air Campaign

Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a joint campaign, with Delhi Government, NDMC, CPCB and other municipal agencies, for clean air in Delhi from 10-23 Feb 2018.

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The campaign is aimed to sensitise ground-level functionaries and general public to enforce the habit of environmental protection. 66 teams were formed led jointly by one officer each from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and one officer from the State Government of Delhi. These officers were assisted by officers from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and respective municipal corporations. The teams were provided with check lists focussed on activities on mitigation of pollution, including effective measures for dust mitigation, solid waste management and prevention of garbage burning. Keeping in view of the success of the campaign, second round was also held for 10 days in November 2018.

Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP)

In order to skill youth in environment, forest and wildlife sectors and enable them to be gainfully employed/ self-employed, MoEF&CC launched a Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) in June, 2017 on a pilot basis. The programme is now being scaled to an all India level. More than 30 skilling programmes are being conducted during 2018-19, covering diverse fields-pollution monitoring (air/ water/ soil), STP/ETP/CETP operation, waste management, forest management, water budgeting & auditing, conservation of river dolphins, wildlife management, para taxonomy, including PBRs, mangroves conservation, bamboo management and livelihood generation.

During 2018-19 from August till date, 944 candidates have successfully completed the different skilling courses. Currently, 568 candidates are enrolled in various ongoing courses. The objective of creating a pool of Master Trainers during 2018-19 is also being met as 283 of the successful trainees have offered to be Master Trainers, who would skill more youth across the country in various skill sets, related to environment, forest and wildlife. A mobile app giving information about the training programme being conducted under GSDP, list of the Institutes offering these programme and other details has been also launched.

Green (Harit) Diwali

“Harit Diwali – Swasth Diwali” campaign which was launched on 22.10.2018 in MoEF&CC wherein around 500 students from schools in Delhi/NCR region participated.

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Advisories were issued to Nodal agencies implementing the Eco-club programme to celebrate environmental-friendly Diwali include cleaning of houses, renovating and decorating homes with diyas, lighting up candles, lamps; donating clothes/books to needy; making colourful rangoli etc.

Reclassification of Bamboo & Removal from Category of Tree

The Government of India has made concerted efforts to promote bamboo cultivation right from enabling regulatory provision, to supporting the bamboo plantation on a large scale by launching newly restructured National Bamboo Mission with a budget outlay of Rs 1290 crore.

The amendment in Indian Forest Act, 1927, will facilitate the inter-state movement of bamboo, as there will be no requirement of permit during transit from one State to another. It will ultimately result in reducing the gap of availability of resources from bamboo-surplus states to bamboo-deficit states. As a result, both producers and consumers will be benefitted.

Climate Change

The Climate Change Division of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) looks after the issues related to climate change including the international negotiations and domestic policies and actions. India is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocol.  The Division is also responsible for submission of National Communications (NATCOMs) and the Biennial Update Reports (BURs) to UNFCCC. Several domestic programmes/ schemes have been initiated in the recent years for addressing climate change. Some key initiatives include the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP) and State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) among others. In order to create and strengthen the scientific and analytical capacity for assessment of climate change in the country, different studies have also been initiated under CCAP.

During the year 2018, many important bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations on climate change were held in the run up to the 24th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC (COP-24), in which Hon’ble Minister, EF&CC and senior officials of the Ministry participated. The Ministry hosted international meetings of the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) on 1st and 2nd November 2018 and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) countries on 19th -20th November 2018. The meeting has helped in strengthening and securing common interest and positions of the developing countries in the run up to COP-24 to the UNFCCC.

Twenty Fourth Conference of Parties (COP-24) in Katowice, Poland was successful in adopting Paris Agreement Work Programme. The conference was significant one which focused on other key issues including the conclusion of 2018 Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue and the stocktake of Pre-2020 actions implementation and ambition. India engaged positively and constructively in all the negotiations while protecting India’s key interests including recognition of different starting points of developed and developing countries; flexibilities for developing countries and consideration of principles including equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). India re-affirmed its commitment to multilateralism and international cooperation and its image has undergone a positive change

An India Pavilion was also setup during Twenty Fourth Conference of Parties (COP 24) of UNFCCC held in Katowice, Poland from December 3rd to 14th, 2018. The theme of pavilion this year was ‘One World One Sun One Grid’ based on an ambitious target set by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance on October 2018 that 40 percent of its installed power capacity will be from non-fossil fuels by 2030. Eminent dignitaries from the other participating countries of Japan, Qatar, Austria, Maldives, UK and the host country Poland visited the India Pavilion and gave remarkable feedback. The India Pavilion also became a platform to bring together 43 different stakeholder institutions including Central Ministries, State Governments/ Departments, Think Tanks, Civil Society Organisations, etc. to showcase their climate change action taken in various sectors through 20 side events. A footfall of about 14-15,000 people at India pavilion during the course of COP-24.

In 2018, under National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), a total amount of Rs. 42.16 crore has been released to seven (07) ongoing projects to support adaptation activities in Rajasthan, Sikkim, H.P., Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Manipur and Kerala. Till date 27 projects (including one regional project) have been approved at a total cost of Rs. 673.63 crore and Rs. 369 crore have been sanctioned.

Under Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP) scheme, a total amount of Rs. 2.15 crore has been released for capacity building in Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Telangana and two demonstration projects in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Ministry is also implementing two scientific programmes under CCAP namely, National Carbonaceous Aerosols Programme (NCAP) and Long Term Ecological Observatories (LTEO).

India will be submitting its Second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to UNFCCC in late December 2018 to comply with the reporting obligations under the convention. The report among others, contains information on the national GHG inventory for the year 2014.

Some Other important Initiatives/Policy decisions during – 2018

  • A meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment Pollution of Rivers including Spring-fed Rivers and its impact on ecology was held.
  • The 1st India- Morocco Joint Working Group meeting was held in February, 2018 to serve as a platform for both the countries to explore different areas in the field of Environment for cooperation.
  • A new Indo-German Technical Cooperation project on Human-Wildlife conflict mitigation in India was conceptualized. The project is commissioned by Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and is being implemented by MoE&CC.
  • OM dated 27.4.2018 regarding exemption from public consultation for the projects/ activities located within the Industrial Estates/ Parks was issued.
  • Powers have been delegated to concerned SEIAAs and SEACs to appraise and accord Environmental Clearance for Category B violation proposals.

Vide the notification dated 6th April, 2018 a six-month opportunity for all mining project which were granted EC under the EIA Notification 1994 but not obtained EC for expansion/ modernization/amendment given in the light of order passed by Hon’ble Supreme Court.

  • Prior Environment Clearance for all minerals (Major and Minor) irrespective of size of mine lease has been made mandatory for Aravali Region.
  • Under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP), administrative approval for expenditure of Rs. 94.66 Crores has been granted.
  • Cabinet note for adoption of a strategy for increasing tree cover outside forests under tripartite agreement between land owning agencies, concerned State Govts. And public and private organizations for taking up plantation on non- forest government land has been drafted and circulated for consultation.
  • Cabinet note for guidelines for public participation in an afforestation of degraded forest have been circulated for consultation.
  • An MoU between MoEF&CC, GOI and Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Govt. Of the Republic of Cyprus on cooperation in the areas of environment was signed.
  • The National Action Plan of the Central Asian Flyway, one of the nine flyways in the world, has been launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change which will enable effective management of the migratory birds, connected wetlands and the entire ecosystem associated with it.
  • In order to reduce cost, time and for streamlining activities of Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife(SCNBWL), the Wildlife Division has initiated video-conferencing of all issues related to SCNBWL. It has resulted in prompt perusal of issues related to Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife.
  • In order to train the Veterinary doctors in wildlife disease management, the Ministry has initiated a training course for the Veterinary doctors of the country in wildlife disease management at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izzatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
  • To stop burning of crop residue that may lead to higher level of air pollution in Delhi NCR especially during adverse meteorological conditions in early winter in North India, the Central Government has approved a new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi for the period from 2018-19 and 2019-20 with an outlay of Rs. 1151.80 crore. This year’s allocation of Central funds of Rs. 591.65 crore has been released to the concerned States except Delhi.
  • A web-based portal currently provides real-time AQI, air quality status, information on likely health impacts associated with AQI values for the cities. Air quality bulletins are also issued on daily basis.
  • The Central Government had notified a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on 12th January 2017 for Delhi and NCR, which comprises measures such as prohibition on entry of trucks into Delhi; ban on construction activities, introduction of odd and even scheme for private vehicles, shutting of schools, closure of brick kilns, hot mix plants and stone crushers; ban on diesel generator sets, garbage burning in landfills and plying of visibly polluting vehicles etc. The nature, scope and rigor of measures to be taken is linked to levels of pollution viz. severe plus or emergency, severe, very poor, moderate to poor and moderate, after due consideration by authorities concerned. The actions are to be implemented in the entire NCR.
  • A comprehensive set of directions have been issued under section 18 (1) (b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1986 for implementation of 42/31 measures to mitigate air pollution in major cities including Delhi and NCR cities comprising of control and mitigation measures related to vehicular emissions, re-suspension of road dust and other fugitive emissions, bio-mass/municipal solid waste burning, industrial pollution, construction and demolition activities, and other general steps.
  • Notification of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 to make pet shops accountable and prevent the cruelty incurred to animals there.
  • In the financial year 2018-19 funds earmarked under the NPCA scheme for conservation and management of wetlands and lakes is Rs. 66 crore. A total of Rs. 34.22 crore is allotted for conservation and management of 5 lakes in 4 states and Rs. 27.344 crore for 35 wetlands in 12 States & 1 UT during the time-frame of 01.01.18 – 31.12.18. Also, an amount of Rs. 41.086 lakh has been allotted for R&D and other activities related to the conservation and management of wetlands and lakes under NPCA.
  •  WCCB received UNEP Award: Excellent work done in combating trans-boundary environmental crime by WCCB has been recognized by United Nation Environment Programme by awarding Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018. The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating trans-boundary environmental crime in Asia. WCCB has been conferred this award in the Innovation category. WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of trans-boundary environmental crimes in India. Notably it has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India. In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.

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Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

171 Bills enacted in 16th Lok Sabha, 30 during January-November, 2018

Amendments to the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament carried out through Finance Act 2018

e-office implemented in the Ministry to increase productivity and better record keeping

MoPA implementing National e-Vidhan Application in mission mode to make functioning of Legislatures across the country paperless

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairsis one of the key Ministries of the Union Government. The task of efficiently handling diverse and enormous parliamentary work on behalf of the Government in the Parliament has been assigned to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. As such, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs serves as an important link between the two Houses of Parliament and the Government in respect of Government Business in Parliament. The given details below depict the achievements of the Ministry since May 2014, with special emphasis on achievements of the year 2018.

Legislative Business

Bills Pending before 16th LS in Rajya Sabha -120

Bills Pending before 16th in Lok Sabha – 00

Legislative Business of Parliament in 16th Lok Sabha Rajya Sabha Lok Sabha Total
Bills introduced 07 204 211
Bills Passed 189 145 334
Bills enacted 171

Legislative Business of Parliament from 1stJanuary, 2018 to 30th November, 2018. Rajya Sabha Lok Sabha Total
Bills introduced 01 30 31
Bills Passed 17 30 47
Bills enacted 30

Special Mention/ Rule 377 in 16th Lok Sabha Total Reply Pending
Special Mention 373 78 295
Rule 377 2283 721 1562

Special Mention / Rule 377 from 1stJanuary, 2018 to 30th November, 2018. Total Reply Pending
Special Mention 111 11 100
Rule 377 694 163 531

Meeting with Leaders of various Political Parties

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs holds meetings with the Leaders of various political parties /groups in Parliament prior to each Session to discuss matters of mutual interest.  During the period (May, 2014 to 31st December, 2017), 13 such meetings were held. From 1stJanuary, 2018 to December, 2018, 3 such meetings were held.

Goodwill Delegations

The Parliamentarians of a country play a significant role in determining the policy of the country and strengthening of relations with other countries.  More particularly, it is indeed useful  and necessary for a democratic and developing country like India to select some Members of Parliament and distinguished personalities and utilize their services in projecting our policies, programmes and achievements in different fields with their counterparts and other opinion makers in other countries and secure their support in favour of India.

With these objectives in view, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs sponsors Goodwill Delegation of Members of Parliament to other countries and receives similar Government sponsored delegations of parliamentarians under the exchange programme from other countries through the Ministry of External Affairs.

From May, 2014 to 31st December, 2017, 5 Goodwill Delegations led by Union Minister/Minister of Statefor Parliamentary Affairs, comprising of Members of Parliament of various political parties visited various countries. From 1st January, 2018 to December, 2018, 1 Goodwill Delegation visited various countries.

All India Whips Conference

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs organizes All India Whips conference to establish suitable links among the Whips of various political parties at the centre and the states, to discuss matters of common interest and to strengthen the institution of Parliamentary democracy. The following Conferences have been held by this Ministry since May,2014.

 

Sixteenth

 

13-14 October,2014

 

Goa

Seventeenth 29-30 Sept. ,2015 Visakhapatnam
Eighteenth 08-09th  January, 2018 Udaipur

Amendments to various Acts

Amendments to the Salary, Allowances of Officers of Parliament Act, 1953 has been carried out through the The Finance Act, 2018, according to which the salary of the Hon’ble Chairman, Rajya Sabha has been increased from Rs. 1.25 lacs to Rs. 4 lacs.

Amendments to the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954 have been carried out through the The Finance Act, 2018, according to which the salary of Members of Parliament has been increased from Rs.50,000/- per month to Rs.100,000/- per month.  The Pension of Ex-MPs has been raised from Rs.20,000/- per month to Rs.25,000/- per month and additional pension of  Rs.15,00/- per  month  has also been increased to Rs.2,000/- per  month for every year served in excess of five years.

Union Cabinet, in its meeting held on 28.2.2018, has approved the proposal of this Ministry to amend (i) The Housing and Telephone Facilities (Members of Parliament) Rules, 1956 (ii) The Members of Parliament (Constituency Allowance) Rules, 1986 (iii) The Members of Parliament (Office Expense Allowance) Rules, 1988.

Gazette Notifications giving effect to the above amendments in the relevant Acts have been issued by Ministry of Law and Justice vide 29thMarch, 2018. The relevant Rules under the Act incorporating the changes as mentioned in para 4 above have been notified by the respective Secretariat of Parliament vide Gazette Notifications dated 28thMarch, 2018.

Implementation of e-Office in the Ministry

The Ministry has implemented e-office to increase productivity and better record keeping. This online method of file submission and movement, leave management, receipt management etc. and has enabled speedy disposal of files. Now the Ministry is on complete automation through e-office and for this Ministry has been awarded a certificate of Appreciation from Minister of State for Personnel, P.G. and Pensions.Manual of Parliamentary Procedure in the Government of India has been updated in May, 2018.

National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA)

NeVA – a Member- centric application, addresses issues of day-to-day functioning of the House. Moreover, all the 40 Houses are at one App making it truly a National App thereby proving the concept of “One Nation One Application”. NeVA is a work-flow based App deployed in Cloud (Meghraj) for managing the functioning of the House including preparation of List of Business, Q&A, Reports and other related documents. Mobile App is the core strength of NeVA Application.

NeVAwill be used by the Legislatures as well as all the Government Departments at both Centre and State Level to make a sea level change in the working of Houses as it would make the Members handle their legislative responsibilities smartly by putting entire information they need in their pocket.

Various States have adopted the NeVA a project for digital legislature and have started working on it.  With the sole objective of knowledge transfer for the sake of capacity building of the officials  of the Legislatures, CPMU, NeVA have started in house training/workshop in association with the concerned Assembly /Council/State NIC. Following workshops were held in various legislatures:

Punjab Legislative Assembly on 16-17 October, 2018 in Chandigarh

Telangana Legislatures on 23-24 October in Hyderabad

Sikkim Legislative Assembly on 2-3 November, 2018 in Gangtok

Karnatka Legislatures on 2-3 November 2018 in Bengaluru

Bihar legislature on 5-6 November 2018 in Patna

Manipur Legislature Assembly on 19-20 November, 2018 in Imphal

Nagaland Legislative Assembly on 19-20 November, 2018 in Kohima

Gujarat Legislature Assembly on 26-27 November 2018 in Gandhinagar

Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on 26-27 November 2018 in ltanagar.

Culling, Monitoring and Laying of Assurances

Assurance (Rajya Sabha)

1 Total Implementation Reports received 378
2 Letter received 786
3 Debates received 54
4 Assurances culled out 389
5 Implementation Reports laid on Table of the House (January to November 2018) 375
6 Disposed off 1607

Assurance (Lok Sabha)

1 Total Implementation Reports received 944
2 Letter received 1150
3 Debates received 54
4 Assurances culled out 553
5 Implementation Reports laid on Table of the House (January to November 2018) 552
6 Disposed off 1333

Initiatives

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs conducted training programme for the nodal officers of all Ministries/Departments on 24.4.2018 & 1.5.2018 regarding monitoring to launch the online assurance monitoring system (OAMS).

Youth Parliament Competitions

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs runs following four Schemes of Youth Parliament Competition:-

Youth Parliament Competition for Delhi Schools

National Youth Parliament Competition for KendriyaVidyalayas

National Youth Parliament Competition for JawaharNavodayaVidyalayas

National Youth Parliament Competition for Universities / Colleges

Achievements regarding the Schemes in the last 12 months : –

Sl. No. Scheme Achievement
1. Youth Parliament Competition for Delhi Schools The 52nd edition of the Competition was organized successfully. A Prize Distribution Ceremony was held on October 23, 2018 in GMC Balayogi Auditorium, PLB, New Delhi to distribute prizes to the prizewinners of the Competition.  Orientation Course for the 53rd edition of the Competition were organized in May, 2018.
2. National Youth Parliament Competition for KendriyaVidyalayas

 

The 31st edition of the Competition was organized successfully. A Prize Distribution Ceremony was held on September 12, 2018 in GMC Balayogi Auditorium, PLB, New Delhi to distribute prizes to the prizewinners of the Competition. Orientation Course for the 32nd edition was organized in April, 2018. Regional level Evaluations were completed in  the months of July – August, 2018. Zonal Level Evaluations were held in October – November, 2018
3. National Youth Parliament Competition for JawaharNavodayaVidyalayas The 21st  edition of the Competition was organized successfully. A Prize Distribution Ceremony was held on September 7, 2018 in GMC Balayogi Auditorium, PLB, New Delhi to distribute prizes to the prizewinners of the Competition. The evaluations of the 32nd edition of the Competition were completed in  December, 2018.
4. National Youth Parliament Competition for Universities / Colleges The 14th edition of the Competition was organized successfully. A Prize Distribution Ceremony was held on September 20, 2018 in GMC Balayogi Auditorium, PLB, New Delhi to distribute prizes to the prizewinners of the Competition. The Group level evaluations for the Competition were held in September – November, 2018.

Apart from the above Schemes, the Ministry also provided financial assistance to Various States/UTs for organizing Youth Parliament Competitions in their respective territories. In this regard, the Ministry provided financial assistance to the following States / UTs this year :-

Sl. No. Name of State / UT Financial assistance provided
1. Madhya Pradesh Rs 5,00,000/-
2. Haryana Rs 3,00,000/-

The Ministry  of   Parliamentary  Affairs also  Coordinated  the  organization  of Exhibition-cum-Cultural Programme  in  association  with  Central  Public  Sector  Units  (CPSUs), DAVP ,  Song & Drama Division and Delhi Doordarshan at 39 places ( Annexure) across  the  county  on  the  theme  ‘Naya  Bharat  –  KarkeRahenge’  or  ‘New India  – We Resolve to Make’ to commemorate the 75 years of Quit India Movement and  forthcoming  75  years  of   Independence  in  2022 in August – September last year.

राजभाषा संबंधित

वर्ष  2014

  1. 1से15 सितम्बर, 2014 के दौरान मंत्रालय में हिंदी पखवाड़ा मनाया गया।
  2. भारतके माननीय राष्ट्रपति द्वारा हिंदी दिवस अर्थात 14 सितंबर,2014 को मंत्रालय को इंदिरा गांधी राजभाषा पुरस्कारों (2012-13) का प्रथम पुरस्कार प्रदान किया गया।
  3. भारतके माननीय राष्ट्रपति द्वारा 15 नवंबर, 2014 को मंत्रालय को इंदिरा गांधी राजभाषा पुरस्कारों (2013-14) का तृतीय पुरस्कारप्रदान किया गया।

वर्ष  2015

  1. 24जुलाई, 2015को मंत्रालय की हिंदी सलाहकार समिति की बैठक आयोजित की गई।
  2. 1से 14 सितम्बर, 2015 के दौरान मंत्रालय में हिंदी पखवाड़ा मनाया गया।
  3. भारतके माननीय राष्ट्रपति द्वारा हिंदी दिवस अर्थात 14 सितम्बर,2015 को मंत्रालय को राजभाषा कीर्ति पुरस्कारों (2014-15) काप्रथम पुरस्कार प्रदान किया गया।

वर्ष  2016

  1. 30मार्च, 2016 को मंत्रालय की हिन्दी सलाहकार समिति समिति की बैठक आयोजित की गई।
  2. 14से 28 सितम्बर, 2016 के दौरान मंत्रालय में हिंदी पखवाड़ा मनाया गया।
  3. भारतके माननीय राष्ट्रपति द्वारा हिंदी दिवस अर्थात 14 सितंबर,2015 को मंत्रालय को राजभाषा कीर्ति पुरस्कारों (2015-16) काप्रथम पुरस्कार प्रदान किया गया।

वर्ष  2017

  1. दिनांक17.5.2017 और 6.12.2017 को मंत्रालय की हिंदी सलाहकार समिति की बैठकें आयोजित की गई।
  2. 1से14 सितम्बर, 2017 के दौरान मंत्रालय में “हिन्दी पखवाड़ा” मनाया गया।
  3. योगदिवस समारोह के भाग के रूप में दिनांक 24.5.2017 को मंत्रालय में एक योग प्रशिक्षण कार्यक्रम का आयोजन किया गया।

वर्ष  2018

  1. 14से 28 सितम्बर, 2018 के दौरान मंत्रालय में हिंदी पखवाड़ा मनाया गया।
  2. भारतके माननीय राष्ट्रपति द्वारा हिंदी दिवस अर्थात
  3. सितंबर, 2018 को मंत्रालय को राजभाषा कीर्ति पुरस्कारों (2017-18) का द्वितीय पुरस्कार प्रदान किया गया।
  4. कर्मचारियोंको हिंदी भाषा, राजभाषा अधिनियम और राजभाषा नियमों की जानकारी देने के लिए दिनांक 12.2.2018 को एक विशेष कार्यशाला का आयोजन किया गया
  5. चौथेअंतर्राष्ट्रीय योग दिवस के उपलक्ष्य में दिनांक 13.6.2018 को योग पर एक विशेष कार्यशाला का आयोजन किया गया।

***********

Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

More than One Crore youth annually joining and benefitting from the Skill India program;

Core focus on converging all skill development initiatives in the country under one National Skills Qualification Framework;

Skill India– Highlights 2018

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This year, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) completed its4 successful years, since its inception in 2014. For the first time, a ministry created by the Government of India,is keeping its core focus on converging all skill development initiatives in the country under one National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).Annually, more than One Crore youth, have been joining and benefitting from the Skill India program, a mission under the Ministry to equip youth with skills for better livelihood.

Some of the key achievements of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship are:

I. Policy, Framework & Standards

  • Launch of the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2015: First ever comprehensive policy framework for skill development of the country
  • National Skill Development Mission,launched in 2015 by Hon’ble Prime Minister – First ever national implementation plan covering all states, territories and people
  • Common Norms – launched in 2015 to provide harmonization of training costs, processes, assessments, certification and outcome. Presently over 20 Ministries are implementing skill development schemes
  • Common Norms Alignment with other schemes and programs; 18 out of 20 Ministries aligned; Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) exempted because of special nature
  • Enforcement of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) –more than 2,000Qualification Packs developed in four years

II. Programs/Initiatives

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY): It is one of the flagship schemes of the Ministry aimed at providing free-of-cost skill training to over 1 Crore youth in 4 years in 221+ job roles;offering short term training between 2 months to 6 months.

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  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK): It is an initiative towards creation of “Model TrainingCenters”with standardized infrastructure for delivery of skill development training to be opened in every district of India; aiming to make benchmark institutions that can demonstrate aspirational value for competency based skill development amongst key stakeholders- industry and trainees.
  • National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS): The scheme is aimed to increase the involvement of industries and employers in engaging youth as apprentices and providing on-the-job skill training to create a ready workforce. The government reimburses part of stipend paid by the employer.
  • Establishing Academic Equivalence: Skill India aimsto make skilling aspirational and bring vocational training in equivalence with the academic education system, especially to provide horizontal and vertical mobility pathway to candidates pursuing vocational education. The Directorate General of Training wing under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) under Ministry of Human Resource Development have signed a MoU to put in place a system for academic equivalence to vocational/ITI qualification, thereby opening gatewayto meet aspirations of ITI candidates to attain high academic qualification in addition to their skills. This MoU also opens pathways for ex-trainees of ITI, holding National Trade Certificate (NTC) to earn secondary/senior secondary qualification.
  • Capacity building in long term skill development: One of the initiatives towards building capacity of the skill ecosystem is uniform nomenclature of all the skill institutes across country as National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), and merging of NSTIs, with courses in ITIs, establishment of Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) and inspections and de-affiliation of various ITIs etc.

Investment in Skill Development Infrastructure

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras: In year 2018, MSDE focused extensively on building industry standardized infrastructure for driving skill development training under Pradhan MantriKaushalKendras (PMKK). PMKK has the potential to become the benchmark of skill development infrastructure, training, and placement in the respective district and; also in the country. Its objective is to make skill development quality oriented, sustainable and aspirational.
  • As on December 2018, 719 PMKKs have been allocated across 29 States and 6 UTs, covering 631 Districts and 521 Parliamentary Constituencies (PC). Out of which, 515 PMKKs have been established and work is under progress to establish 204 additional PMKK Centres. Further, 419 PMKKs have been inaugurated by Local Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly and other dignitaries. A total of 100 PMKKs have been inaugurated and 65 PMKKs established in 2018.
  • National Skill Training Institute (NSTI): MSDE also laid down the foundation stone of the first National Skill Training Institute (erstwhile RVTI) in Telangana, Hyderabadby the Hon’ble Vice President of India. The foundation stone for NSTI(W) Mohaliwas also laid down by the Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Sh. Dharmendra Pradhan in July 2018.
  • National Skill Training Institute (W): Under the Central Scheme, regular vocational training programmes are being conducted through an Institutional Network of 18 central Institutes called National Skill Training Institute for Women, providing training facilities exclusively for women in skills having high wage-employment and self-employment potential besides Instructor training programmes.
  • The NSTIs(W), Noida, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Allahabad, Kolkata, Tura, Panipat, Vadodara and Indore are housed in their own permanent premises. NSTI(W) Mumbai is currently under operation from a two-floor building provided by the State Government of Maharashtra. NSTIs(W) at Shimla, Mohali, Trichy, Agartala, Patna, Goa and Hyderabad are functioning from temporary buildings provided by the respective State Governments. Besides these 18 operational institutes, the land has been identified for NSTI (W) in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • Regular skill training programmes are being organized under Craftsmen Training Scheme (CTS) and Craft Instructors Training Scheme (CITS) in trades/areas having high demand for wage/self-employment/Trained Instructors. A total of 4,904 regular seats (2784 CTS+2120 CITS) have been sanctioned in the NSTIs(W) in 2018-19 as on November 2018. Besides this, in CTS/CITS courses 2nd units are also being conducted in the trades having high demand.
  • Long Term Training is presently conducted in functional areas such as Office Management, Electronics, Architecture, Computer, Dress Making, Cosmetology, Fruits and Vegetables Processing, Desktop Publishing, Surface Ornamentation Techniques, Fashion Design & Technology, Catering and Hospitality, Sewing Technology, Travel & Tour, Computer Aided Embroidery & Designing, Food and Beverages Service Assistant, Food Production (General), Draughtsman Civil, and Interior Decoration & Designing etc. Besides these, Short Term Training is also provided in 18 NSTIs(W) in the above-mentioned trades. Placement support is also provided to the pass out trainees by organizing Campus Interviews. Apprenticeship Training support is extended to the trainees. Off-campus Short Term Training programsare being conducted by the NSTIs(W).
  • Indian Institute of Skills (IIS): These state-of-the-art centers of excellence are being set up across four regions of India, on the lines ofpremiere global institutes such as Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore. The Hon’ble Prime Minister had launched the first IIS in Kanpur in December 2016, which was conceptualized by the Prime Minister during his visit to ITE Singapore. M/S NBCC has been hired for planning, designing and construction of new building for IIS Kanpur. M/S NBCC has hired an agency and construction work has started. Further, IIS Mumbai will be set up in collaboration with TATA group. Total budget of Rs. 476 Crore has been laid down for building IIS, which will provide hands-on training in advanced courses such as energy efficient construction, industrial electronics and automation etc.

Programs and Achievements made

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is implementing flagship scheme known as Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana (PMKVY) on pan–India basis.
  • PMKVY (1.0) was launched as a pilot in 2015, as a reward based scheme providing entire cost of training as a reward to successful candidates. The scheme was designed as a skill certification and reward scheme with an aim to enable and mobilize a large number of Indian youth to take up skill training and become employable for sustainable livelihood. Under the scheme, monetary reward was provided to successfully trained candidates. During its pilot phase, PMKVY (1.0) trained over 18 Lakh candidates in 375 job roles.
  • Owing to its successful first year of implementation, the Union Cabinet approved the Scheme for another four years PMKVY (2.0)(2016-2020) to impart skilling to 1 Crore youth of the country with an outlay of Rs. 12,000 crores.PMKVY(2.0) enables large number of prospective youth which also includes tribal community, persons with disability and other disadvantaged youth, to take up Short Term Training (STT) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) through accredited and affiliated training partner/training centers.
  • The schemes runsacross more than 250 job roles related to nearly 38 Sector Skill Councils for Short term training, Special Projects (SPL) and RPL, which is a diverse and exhaustive representation of the industry.
  • Under PMKVY(2.0), as on December 12, 2018, 33,43,335(STT+SPL+RPL) candidates have been trained (23,32,544 STT + 9,38,420 RPL + 73,389under SPL) and undergoing training (82,482STT as on 12thDec,2018) under Short Term Training and 9,951 for SPL and 5,680 for RPL.
  • In FY 2018-19, till December 12, 2018,under PMKVY (2.0)6,88,388 candidates under STT, 2,35,258candidates under RPL and 41,939 candidates under Special Projects have been trained. 10,07,292 candidates were assessed and 9,44,455 candidates were certified in FY 2018 – 19, under the program.
  • Under the Centrally Sponsored State Monitored (CSSM) component of PMKVY (2.0), wherein the skill training is managed by the states, however, funded by the centre – as on 12th December 2018, a total of 1.82 lakh candidates have been enrolled and 94,349 candidates have been trained. A total of 87,722 candidates are currently undergoing training across 169 job roles.
  • The flagship program PMKVY has successfully registered close to 10 lakh placements in 2018. The scheme emphasizes on bringing scale and speed to standards in the skill ecosystem and creating employment opportunities for the youth and women. Encouragingly, women have outshone men with over 5 lakhs registering for the placement drive. The number of male registrations is just a shade under 4.5 lakh and expected to climb in a few months.
  • Since 2018, as a new initiative, each candidate certified under PMKVY (2.0) also gets covered under Personal Accident insurance sum of 2 lakhs which is valid upto 2 years. The cost of this insurance is being covered by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)with Best in Class Employers: RPL certifies the skills of people with prior experience or those trained informally. Since 2016, the program has benefitted close to 8 lakh people across the country. To scale up this initiative, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship launched RPL with Best in Class Employers in 2018 – an initiative to directly collaborate with reputed employers across various sectors. The event saw commitment made by Sector Skill Councils and prominent employers across sectors. A few are listed below:
    • Hydrocarbon Sector – Targeted to certify more than 9 Lakh candidates in partnership with 3 employers
    • Retail Sector – Targeted to certify more than 5 Lakh candidates across 60+ employers
    • Tourism Sector – Targeted to certify more than 5 Lakh candidates across 24 employers
    • Life Sciences Sector – Targeted to certify more than 75 thousand candidates with more than 21 employers
    • Plumbing Sector – Informal and unorganized sectors such as plumbing are also coming along to collaborate for this ambitious initiative in a big way
  • MSDE launched a dedicated portal for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program which will provide a platform for individuals to get information of RPL Centers across the country and register for an upcoming batch.

Fee Based Trainings:  Under the student paid model for skill trainings being implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)approved training providers, over 104 lakh trainings have been conducted till December 13, 2018 since inception. In FY 18-19 till November 2018, more than 23 lakh trainings have been reported in high demand job roles, across 35+ priority sectors, which include renewable energy efficiency specialist, smart cities – concept and implementation, solar technicians, rooftop gardening and F&B services specialist amongst others.

Long Term Training: Under the Long-term training module, there are a total of 15,042 ITIs in the country, out of which 2,229 ITIs got affiliated in 2108.  The seating capacity of the ITIs in the country has been increased by 2,94,196 including supernumerary. Directorate General of Training (DGT) which is governing ITIs around the country, published under “Affiliation Norms 2018” which is available on www.ncvtmis.gov.in

    • Grading of ITIs: Directorate General of Training under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launched grading exercise for ITIs to provide “Star Rating” to the performing institutes and gave an opportunity to the others to improve upon. The first phase of grading process commenced in November2017 and the entire process has been completed by June 2018. A Total 4811 ITIs including 2940 Pvt. ITIs have been graded and final grades were published on DGT/NCVT MIS website in June 2018.
    • Directorate General of Training is in process of launching the second phase of grading, addressing the feedback received from Phase I and recommendation of the core grading committee. The second phase of grading process will be launched with the aim of grading all the remaining ITIs in the country.

Dual System of Training: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship signed 27 MoUs with varied industries under the dual system of training (DST) in six states – namely, Odisha, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Around 80 more MoUs are in the pipeline for Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The DST scheme is inspired by the German Vocational Training Model, whichenables industries to partner with Government and Private Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for conducting training programmes under high employability courses to fulfil the needs of industries. The ITI and industry have the freedom to choose the training pattern either in a block mode (i.e. few months in ITI then few months in industry) or mixed mode (i.e. few days in a week shared between ITI and industry). The dual system of training is currently available in 16 trades for one and two year’s duration. The theory portion and basics about safety and tools, equipment along with foundation practical is conducted in the ITIs. And the industrial training relevant to practical/ lab training portion of the curriculum is taught in the industry. The students are paid a small amount of stipend in their training period at the industry and are awarded National Trade Certificate in dual mode on the successful completion of trainings

  • SANKALP: Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) project aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM), which was launched on 15th July by Ministry of Skill Development through its core sub-missions. The project will be implemented in mission mode through World Bank support.

The project was made effective in January 2018 with 28 States and 7 UTs across the country having submitted their consent for participating in SANKALP. The process of disbursements of funds to States/ UTs is underway. Regional workshops with States/ UTs are also being held to facilitate roll out. To promote decentralized planning, “Award for excellence in District Skill Development Planning (DSDP)” has been launched under SANKALP. 223 districts across 19 States/ UTs participated in this. To provide support to aspirational districts in skill development, Aspirational Skilling Abhiyaan has been launched by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. Financial assistance of Rs 10 Lakh is provided to each aspirational district through the SANKALP fund. Some other highlights under SANKALP projects are as below:

    • To strengthen the decision making and brining more transparency in the vocational education and skill training system, the Skill India portal has been launched under SANKALP. In the coming years, Skill India portal will be a platform where most of skilling schemes related data of Central & State/ UT will be available.
    • A Global Skill Gap study has been undertaken to evaluate the current scenario and future-outlook for overseas employment of skilled workers from India.Collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic is aimed to strengthen the academies for training of trainers and assessors.
  • STRIVE: “Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE)” is aRs 2,200 crore – central sector project, with half of the project outlay as World Bank assistance. STRIVE is an outcome-based project, marking a shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results building in a strong shift to an outcome-based skill ecosystem. The STRIVE project aims at creating awareness through industry clusters/ geographical chambers that would address the challenge of involvement of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). The Project would also aim at integrating and enhancing delivery quality of ITIs. These ITI would be competitively selected for upgradation under the project in order to ensure achievement of the outcome. Currently the operations manual of the project is been prepared which would lay down the standard operating procedure to be followed by the various implementing agencies. Post finalization and approval of the operations manual the implementation phase of the project would commence.
  • National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET):The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the merger of the existing regulatory institutions in the skills space – National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) into the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET). NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term, and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities. The primary functions of NCVET will include – recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers; approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs); indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies; research and information dissemination; and grievance redressal.
  • Jan Shikshan Sansthan(JSS) – The JSS component of schemeof support to voluntary agencies for adult education has been transferred from Ministry of Human Resource Development to Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on 2nd July, 2018. At present, 271 Jan ShikshanSansthansarepresent in 27 States and 2 UTs in the country. As on December 2018, 247 JSSs are functional. The Jan ShikshanSansthans are set up under the aegis of either a voluntary organization (as its Parent body) or a University or as an Independent agency under Act 1860 of Societies Registration. JSS is funded through 100% annual grant from the Government of India. The affairs of the Jan ShikshanSansthans are managed by its independent Board of Management constituted with the concurrence of Government of India for a period of three years.
  • Jan Shikshan Sansthans are imparting vocational skill training programmes at the door step of the beneficiaries with a minimum cost and infrastructure. The JSS are not working in isolation, but also conduct convergence programmes with different departments. JSS impart training in various types of trades/courses such as cutting & tailoring, soft toys making, bag making, beauty culture, electrical repairs, food processing, welding, auto repairing, plumbing, zari work etc.The Scheme of Support of Jan ShikshanSansthan (NGOs) for Skill Development under MSDE was approved by the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) in its meeting held on 4thSeptember2018,upto March 2020.

CONVERGENCE WITH OTHER MINISTRIES

  • Skill India for farmers: In order to develop skills and increase productive of the rural youth, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) inked an agreement. Both MSDE and MoA&FW recognize the importance of providing employable skills to the youth, to improve their livelihood. Under the MoU signed, MSDE will identify job roles to attract rural youth towards agriculture sector in order to fulfill their needs and aspirations.  To begin with the Pilot at a few selected KrishiVikasKendras involving aspirational and technologically oriented job roles (Micro irrigation Technician, Green House Operators, Green House Fitter, Aquaculture technicians) under Agriculture / Allied Sector, Food Processing and related sectors can lay a very strong foundation for new Pan India Model. The MoUhas been signed for duration of five years andaims to encourage youth to undergo skill training on various vocations in agriculture for gainful wage or self-employment.
  • Skill India and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation have joinedhands to train 50,000 masons in four states: While starting with the training of a thousand masons from Jhansi and the surrounding areas, more such training sessions are currently underway in other regions, with an approximate target of skilling 50,000 masons by NSDC and their training partners. Depending on the skill levels of the masons, they are undergoing Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) which is a seven-day training program designed to recognize and certify the informal learning and on the job skills that the candidate may have picked up and giving it equal acceptance as the formal NSQF levels. The masons receiving the skill training are being taught to construct a much smaller and cheaper twin pit system. This method involves the construction of two leach pits, with a ‘Y’ junction, so that one pit can be filled at a time. The practice being to fill one pit, which may take the average family five to eight years, cover it over when nearly full, and to leave it to stand while the second pit is used.
  • Inter-ministerial collaborations – Recognizing that skilling is not the sole mandate of MSDE, but a key requirement of several other ministries to implement their flagship program, MSDE is collaborating with several national missions, projects and ministries.
    • MSDE is providing bridge training to electrical lineman involved with Saubhagya scheme which is initiated by the Ministry of Power
    • Assisting in the upgradation of skills of railway staff under the Swarna Project under Ministry of Railway
    • Contributing to the Swacchh Bharat Mission by skilling quality masons who are key to our move to Open Defecation Free India – by constructing quality toilets speedily
    • Supporting the Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project and NamamiGange.
    • Supporting the “Transformation of Aspirational Districts” program of NITI Aayog, which was formally launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in January 2018, will cover 117 districts across India. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) commenced its “Aspirational Skilling Abhiyan 2018-19”.
      • Aspirational Skilling Abhiyanhas been conceived to aid and complement the Transformation of Aspirational Districts program. The campaign will support the skilling initiatives/component of the aspirational districts by addressing district level challenges. Dedicated team of over 150 officers from MSDE, Directorate General of Training (DGT), National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) are being deputed to work with these districts in three phases. Through this program, MSDE endeavors to facilitate strengthening of governance and institutional infrastructure in the aspirational districts.

Other Developments

  • MSDE also signed an MoU with social media platforms like Facebook and Adobe, to leverage their platform for youth empowerment
  • Operational Framework for Apprenticeship: Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship have brought about comprehensive reforms in the Apprenticeship Act in 2014 & the Apprenticeship rules in 2015 to make apprenticeship more industry friendly. MSDE launched an Operational Framework for the Apprenticeship Actin 2018 which provides operational guidelines listing out roles & responsibilities of the stakeholders at the National and State level. This also provides detailed information regarding the execution of National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) which incentivize corporates to engage apprentices across different sectors.

The reforms also saw launch of Guidelines for Training of Trainer (ToT) and Training of Assessors (ToA) for short-term skill development programs to further strengthen the teaching pedagogy in the ecosystem. This was done in partnership with Temasek Foundation and technical support from Singapore Polytechnic. These would enable convergence of multiple stakeholders such as DGT, NSDC, SSCs, Skill universities and private partners for ToT and ToA programs.

The NAPS scheme aims to promote apprenticeship training and incentivize employers who wish to engage apprentices extending them an opportunity to earn while they learn by enrolling into on the job training. The financial benefit to establishments under NAPS includes i) sharing of 25% of the prescribed stipend, subject to a maximum of INR 1,500 per month per apprentice and ii) sharing of cost of basic training with basic training providers; upto INR 7,500 for 3 months.  The apprenticeship scheme engages students from ITIs, Polytechnics, schools, colleges and short-term courses (PMKVY, DDU-GKY, SDI and others). It was earlier restricted to only the manufacturing sector; but the government sees more opportunity for engagement of apprentices in service sector now.

The employers are also given the freedom to build their own curriculum under to conduct the apprenticeship scheme.  These reforms have been brought about in the Apprenticeship Act of 1961 so that both the industry and the candidate can get more benefit and equal opportunities of growth. More than 4.8 Lakh candidates and more than 74,000 establishment have registered under the Act since the launch of NAPS.

  • Skill India Portal: Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhanannounced the launch of Skill India Portal. This improved skill development management system will provide an end-to-end solution to bring all the stakeholders in the skill ecosystem to a robust unified platform. The Skill India portal aims to bring the entire candidate and training partner database on a single platform. This would be a unified interface which would act as an integrated platform for all skilling initiatives and schemes run by various Central Ministries, state governments, NSDC and Corporates among others. This portal will help in empowering skill training by creating a repository of candidates, their skilling lifecycle, placement etc. and would be a rich data pool for better analytics, which would empower informed decision making for future development programs.
  • MSDE conducted nearly 400 RozgarMelas between April’18 and November’18 covering 24 states and 250 districts. There have been 1.37 lakh registrations and around 65,000 candidates have been shortlisted. So far over 800 employers have participated in RozgarMelas.
  • Agreements and partnerships have been struck with the private sector to boost the Skill India programme. Collaborations with corporates like NASSCOM, SAP, IBM, Adobe helped create curriculum aligned with jobs of the future. The programme will help to facilitate development of skills, including in areas of new-generation technology like artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and block-chain technology
  • Skill Saathi – A Mega Counselling Program – Skill India has also created a platform to provide skill-based career counselling to potential candidates through initiatives like Skill Saathi. Guidance and counselling is an important aspect of developing skillful youth. It is an important part of a pupil’s support system and should be provided at all levels. It helps candidates develop their skills and learning abilities.Initiatives like Skill Saathi also keep in mind the demand side of industry and business by providing the potential workforce with decision-making skills, pre-employment skills, increased worker maturity, reduction in the rate of attrition, increase in the rate of productivity and employment of candidates as per their areas of interest, aptitude and training.
    • Through the counselling model under Skill India, MSDE is making an endeavor to introduce youth to non-traditional education pathways in the technical and vocational streams including:
      • ITI courses on offer – including those aligned to the new age Industrial 4.0 skills of AI, IoT, AR/VR technologies
      • Short term courses – with guidance on how to contact and connect with Training Providers
      • Apprenticeship Opportunities – both in Short-term and Long-term training courses
      • Degree Apprenticeship Opportunities – an earning while learning program recognized by UGC and set to be offered by select Universities
      • Skill Universities
    • The objective is to spread awareness on a large scale about the avenues available for those uninterested in academic routes, while also providing more avenues to those seeking higher education in a formal setup.
  • Special Projects under PMKVY especially focused on tribal populations have been initiated in 2018.Below are few of them:

(i) Bru Project: The project aims for skilling of   BRU TRIBE of Mizoram, who were displaced   and currently living in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in the districts of North Tripura. Under the project, 556 candidates have been benefited.

(ii) Katkari primitive tribe: Project aims to skill 1020 candidates from the Katkari tribe in Maharashtra.

(iii) Skill Development scheme for LWE districts:Government is taking many initiatives to bring back the Naxalites to the mainstream of our country.We are implementing the scheme “Skill Development in 47 Districts Affected by Left Wing Extremism”, in the 47 districts affected by LWE.The scheme is assisting State Governments to establish 1 new ITI in each of 47 affected Districts. Out of the 47 districts, 39 districts are Aspirational.Apart from that, 2 Skill Development Centers are also being established in each of 34 affected districts.It will help the local youth to lead a decent livelihood by way of acquiring skill in these institutes.

  • In 2018, DGT relaxed the entry qualification to ITIs for surrendered Naxalites, as per policy of Government, under which the beneficiary will undergo one-year pre-ITI Foundation course.
  • The foundation course will enable them to fill the gap of regular academic attainment and enable them to understand the ITI curriculum. On successful completion of the course, they will be admitted to ITI for one- or two-year duration regular trades.
  • These candidates will also be eligible for one year “National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)” after successful completion of ITI Program.
  • Every beneficiary will be eligible for a monthly stipend of Rs. 6000/- for a maximum period of 36 months under the scheme “Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme of Left Wing Extremists” being implemented by MHA.

(iv) Common Facility Centre for Filigree Craftsman: Odisha has a rich heritage of art and crafts that has been made popular by the work of local artisans, work that dates back over 1000 years. In an endeavor to further upgrade the skills of these talented artisans, and make them self-reliant, the Skill-cum-Common Facility Centre for Filigree Craftsman at Cuttack was launchedin April 2018.The centre enables further industry level training using/in latest technology. It also provides training on marketing strategies, including ecommerce, so that the artisans can be self-sustained and engage directly with buyers. The Common Facility Centre equipped with the relevant machinery and latest technology will be accessible to practitioners wanting to generate their own livelihood, towards promoting self-employment.The centre carries the aim to train future goldsmiths, while also serve as the cornerstone of revival of Filigree handicraft. The vision of the program is to have an international-level Filigree exhibition-cum-workshop in Cuttack to provide wider opportunities to Filigree Craftsmen living in rural areas.

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has partnered with Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to conduct the following programs:
    1. Support MoLE’s skill development scheme for persons with disabilities which is run through the Vocational Rehabilitation Centers (VRCs)
    2. To address the issue of Child Labour by empowering them through training under Jan SikshanSansthan Scheme and Pradhan MantriKaushal Kendra Scheme. 4 pilot programs are underway across 4 districts
    3. To support the skilling and rehabilitation of bonded labour identified by MoLE under a pilot project in 5 districts
    4. Skilling of building and other construction workers and their family members will be facilitated under PMKVY in all job roles identified by Construction SSC under both the models i.e. Short-Term Training (STT) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) under PMKVY for capacity building and empowerment
    5. Skill training will be imparted for providing alternative employment/livelihood for Beedi workers and their dependents with funding initially by Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana (PMKVY), as for other traineeInternational Collabo International Collaboratons and forms of engagement

Internatiol Collabortions and Platforms of engagement

  • MoC with Government of Japan: A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) was signed between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Government of Japan at Tokyo. The first batch of 17 students has completed pre–departure training at CII’s Chennai facility and have received their Internship Offer Letters form a leading Automotive manufacturer in Japan. They have been trained by native Japanese Trainers, engaged specifically for the programme to ensure high quality training in varied divisions like production, quality department, technical department etc. These interns mostly hail from rural villages of Southern Tamil Nadu. They belong to economically weaker sections of the society with average family income ranging from INR 40,000 – INR 80,000 per annum. As per the Program requirement they come with an experience of 6 months to 1 year. Most of them were engaged in the manufacturing sector where they earned INR 8000 to INR 10000 per month. Under the Program, they are receiving nearly INR 65000 per month, post statutory deductions. The program is giving them a huge financial and professional advantage, which will not only enhance their standard of living but will also benefit their families.
  • India Skills Finals: Team India is all set for 45th World Skills International competition to be held in Kazan in Russia.
    • India Skills 2018, the biggest skills competition of the country, designed to encourage and prepare the youth for the global stage, ended on a grand note in New Delhi in October 2018. More than 400 competitors from 27 states displayed their skills in 46 skills, 7 traditional skills and 4 demo skills, before experts and jury members. More than 15,000 visitors attended the IndiaSkills 2018 competition. A total of 164 winners were awarded medals in their respective skill categories. Of these, 45 won gold medals, while 47 won silver and the bronze medal went to 43 winners. Maharashtra topped the medals tally with 23 medals, followed by Odisha, which had 21 winners. Karnataka and Delhi came third with 16 medals each, while Chandigarh finished in the fifth position with 12 medals. The finalists will represent India at the 45thWorldSkills Competition to be held in 2019.
    • Team India is led by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the guidance of the MSDE at the event. 2017 saw one of the most successful year for Team India, which won 1 Silver, 1 Bronze and 9 Medallions for Excellence at the World Skill competition held in Abu Dhabi in 2017. This is the best medal tally that India had since it started participating at these competitions in 2007.
    • Euro Skills 2018: Euro Skills is the European Championship of young professionals, a promotion of latest skill development around Europe. EuroSkills was held at Budapest, Hungary, from 26th to 28th September 2018. It has more than 28 countries participating in the competition out of which India was one of the guest countries, along with other countries like Japan, UAE and Korea.

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