May 2008

India News

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e-Shishu project receives PM Award in Public Administration

Project e-Shishu, floated in Orissa has received the prestigious Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration. e-Shishu, is implemented by the Primary Education Project Authority and supports the creation and maintenance of a comprehensive database of all children ranging from newborn to 14 years old.

The database details every information on Orissa's children. e-Shishu also features a 'child tracking system' that registers child and guardian's name. e-Shishu was designed to meet the goals of  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and to track 10.8 million children. The project was also supposed to map around 70,000 schools and identify 1.48 lakh teachers across the state.


e-Stamping system in Maharashtra, India

In a recent  initiative, the Government of Maharashtra has planned to introduce an e-Stamping system for registration of property documents at the sub-register offices across the state. To foster the introduction of e-Stamping system, the state government has decided to float a pilot project in the next 15 days. The project will be subsequently rolled out in a phased manner in rest of Maharashtra.  

The e-stamping system is in line with the e-Governance policy of the state. The move will enable the citizens to download stamp paper at the click of the mouse. The system will also reduce the cost of  stamp paper printing, freight and safe custody. Also, as the system will provide greater control over the sale of stamps, chances of fake stamps getting circulated will be eliminated. The department will also launch a new website which will enable the citizens to carry out valuation of their property on-line and citizens will be able to calculate the stamp duty required.


60 cities into solar townships plan on anvil, India

Following the European and American solar township models, the Government of India has planned to convert 60 cities into solar townships. This is a move to reduce power consumption by at least 10% and also to move towards renewable energy resources. Under the 11th five-year plan, the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been entrusted with the responsibility of identifying 60 such cities with population strength ranging from five lakh to 50 lakh. In north-eastern states, where population falls below 5-50 lakh and falls out of city limits, the government would allow some relaxations and special regulations while identifying solar townships.  

The government has proposed a scheme to support the initiative by providing soft grant to municipalities of the chosen cities to draw up a master plan looking at the current use of power and projected growth over 10 years. Initially, the ministry will disburse funds up to INR 10 million for planning. This initial funding will be supplemented by funding from sources like the Planning Commission for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) programme or the Bureau of Energy Efficiency's various schemes or the ministry itself. A green venture fund is also in the plan to help the municipalities take city-wide action in changing street lights and reworking on existing buildings to be more energy efficient designs.  


Pharma industry to receive soft loans from India Government

The Government of India plans to provide soft loans (to the the level of of INR one billion) in the current financial year to promote research and development in the pharmaceutical sector. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Chemicals, Steel and Fertilisers, while addressing the Lok Sabha, stated that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) would provide soft loans of INR one billion under Drugs and Pharmaceutical Research Programme. 

Paswan further added that the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) would continue to carry out new drug development in parasitic and microbial diseases, anti-cancer, diabetes and asthma among others.

The Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals would assist National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research to carry out R&D activity for diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria and leishmaniasis among others, as per the statement.


500 million mobile subscribers in India by 2010

Indian mobile industry is expected to reach new heights with the number of mobile subscribers increasing day by day. A projection says that by 2010, mobiles will reach to 500 million people in India. At present the number of mobile subscribers is 240 million. After China, India is on its way to becoming the largest telecom market in the coming years.

At 'Connecting Rural communities Asia forum 2008', B K Syngal, Former Chairman, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), stated that India is becoming the largest telecom market due to the policies implemented by the Union Government especially policies relating to universal access in rural and suburban areas of India.

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