The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): April 2014

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: April 2014

VVIP Choper Agreement

The Government of India has terminated with immediate effect the Agreement that was signed with M/s. AgustaWestLand International Ltd. (AWIL) on 08 February, 2010 for the supply of 12 VVIP/VIP helicopters on grounds of breach of the Pre-contract Integrity Pact (PCIP) and the Agreement by AWIL.

Based on the opinion received earlier from the Attorney General of India, it has been the view of the Government that integrity-related issues are not subject to arbitration. However, AWIL has since pressed for arbitration and appointed an arbitrator from its side. In view of this, MoD sought afresh the opinion of the Attorney General. With a view to safeguard the interests of the Government, MoD has nominated Hon’ble Mr Justice BP Jeevan Reddy as its arbitrator.

PARAM Supercomputer

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has achieved a significant milestone with PARAM Yuva II supercomputer being ranked 1st in India, 9th in the Asia Pacific Region and 44th in the world among the most power efficient computer systems as per the Green500 List announced at the Supercomputing Conference (SC‘2013) in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Supercomputers, in general, consume a lot of electrical power and produce much heat that necessitates elaborate cooling facilities to ensure proper operation. This adds to increase in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a supercomputer. To draw focus towards development of energy efficient supercomputers, Green500 ranks computer systems in the world according to compute performance per watt, thus providing a world ranking based on energy efficiency.

Energy consumed by supercomputers is measured at various Levels – L1, L2, L3 - for purpose of reporting. As the level increases, accuracy and rigor of measurement exercise also increases. It is also a measure of our capability and noteworthy that C-DAC is the second organization worldwide to have carried out the Level 3 measurement of Power versus Performance for the Green500 List.

PARAM Yuva – II uses hybrid technology – processor, co-processor and hardware accelerators - to provide the peak compute power of 520.4 Teraflop/s using 210 kiloWatt power. The interconnect network comprises of homegrown PARAMNet-III and Infiniband FDR System Area Network. This system is designed to solve large and complex computational problems. The system has 200 Terabytes of high performance storage, and requisite system software and utilities for parallel applications development.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2013

The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 has been in force for over 17 years. In order to harmonize the provisions of this Act in line with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the Act has been reviewed and a new Bill namely Rights of Persons Disabilities Bill, 2013 was finalized after extensive consultations with the Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments/UTs and various stakeholders. Accordingly, the Department moved a Cabinet Note on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2013 to replace the existing Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 on 11.12.2013. The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 12.12.2013 approved the proposed RPwD Bill, 2013.

Security for women in public road transport in the country

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved setting up of a unified system at the national level (National Vehicle Security and Tracking System) and State level (City Command and Control Centre) for Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of the location of emergency buttons in and video recording of incidents in public transport vehicles, in 32 cities of the country with a population of one million or more according to the 2011 census.

The implementation of the project will help in:

(i) Mapping of routes of public vehicles;
(ii) Tracking of vehicles on the route;
(iii) Highlighting of violations through visual and text signals;
(iv) Panic button alert to transport and police through visual, text and voice.
(v) Permit, registration and licence cancellation based criteria for enforcement.
(vi) Providing safety and security to women / girl child in distress in minimum response time.

The total estimated cost of the project will be Rs.1405 crore. The project will be implemented within a period of two years after allocation of funds to set up a National Level Vehicle Security and Tracking System and City Command & Control Centre with installation of GPS / CCTV / Panic buttons in public road transport.

The scheme for security for women in public road transport has been formulated with purpose of improving safety and protection of women from violence by using information technology in the following manner:

  1. Tracking of all public transport vehicles: This shall be done in accordance with Sections 72, 74, 75 and 76 of Central Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. Defaults will be reported and updated on the data base of the vehicle.

  2. Emergency button in all public transport vehicles: The button will generate an alarm in the system. For vehicles which are also provided with facilities for video recording, the City Command and Control Centre can receive pictures of actual incidents and raise an alarm with the nearest police and transport patrol to reach the bus.

  3. Video recording in public transport vehicles with large seating capacity: Incidents recorded will be kept for seven days in the on-board unit and can be used as evidence and arrest of accused in case of any incident.


Women play an important role in the economy, politics and social sectors of a country. People from smaller towns, including a large number of women, move to cities in search of jobs or studies. With increasing participation of women in the economic sphere, safer mobility of women is essential. As most people, particularly women and the girl child, cannot afford their own transportation, they depend on public transport.

The Justice JS Verma Committee constituted in December, 2012 to look into the possible amendments in the criminal laws related to sexual violence against women made various recommendations for public transport vehicles in its report.

The Report of Justice (Retired) Ms. Usha Mehra, Commission of Enquiry constituted under the Commission of Enquiry Act, 1952 to look into the incident of gang-rape and assault on a woman on 16.12.2012 in Delhi suggested measures for safety and security of women in the NCT of Delhi and NCR.

Criteria for Giving Arjuna Award

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has finalized the criteria for giving Arjuna Award to the sportspersons. The criteria would be applicable for selection of sportspersons for Arjuna Awards for the year 2014 onwards. Following is the new criteria:

  • 90 % weightage will be given for the medals won in various International championships and sports events of the disciplines covered in Olympic Games (Summer, Winter and Paralympics), Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. Points for winning medals will be given to each eligible sportsperson for his/her performance during the last 4 years .

  • Equivalence of any other sports discipline/tournament, will be decided by the Selection Committee with reference to above-mentioned six categories of sports tournaments and the points will be allotted accordingly.

  • 90 marks will be given to the sportsperson getting maximum points as computed in the table above. Rest of the sportspersons will be given marks proportionately to the said sportsperson. For example, if a sportsperson ‘A‘ has got highest points say 45 points as per the table above and another sportsperson ‘B‘ has got 40 points as per the table above, then ‘A‘ will get 90 marks and ‘B‘ will get ( 90 x 40 /45 ) = 80 marks.

  • 10 % weightage will be given to the marks given by the Selection Committee for assessment of the eligible sportsperson keeping in view factors like profile and standard of the sports events in which he or she has won medals and qualities like leadership, sportsmanship, team sprit, fair play, sense of discipline.

  • Winners of medals in Olympics and Paralympics will automatically be considered for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna Awards, depending on the type of medal won, if they have already not been conferred with either of the two Awards.

  • For cricket and indigenous games, not included in Olympic / Asian Games / Commonwealth Games disciplines, the Selection Committee will recommend the number of awards, (not exceeding two), to be given for Cricket/Indigenous Games and recommend the sportspersons taking into consideration their individuals performances and qualities of sportsman spirit, leadership, sense of discipline etc.

  • Ordinarily, not more than one award will be given in each discipline in a particular year subject to deserving sportspersons being available. Adequate representation would be insured for physically challenged and women.

  • The principle of one award per discipline will not be applicable in case of team sports and across gender. That is to say that, the Selection Committee may recommend, in deserving cases with proper justification, more than one sportsperson in respect of team sports and sportspersons of both the genders.

  • Normally not more than 15 awards could be given in any calendar year. However, keeping in view the performance of Indian sportspersons in the Commonwealth, Asian Games and Olympic Games during a particular year and for the reasons given in para 7 above, Selection Committee may recommend more than 15 sportspersons for Arjuna Award.

  • In a particular sports discipline, names of not more than 4 sportspersons (2 male and 2 female) with the highest marks as per the criteria brought out in the table above will be considered by the Selection Committee.

  • Sometimes, the Selection Committee may feel that as per the given criteria, a very deserving sportsperson may not get Arjuna Award. In such a situation, it may recommend such name giving full justification in writing.

  • Selection Committee will recommend the final list of sportspersons for Arjuna Awards as per the marks obtained in terms of the criteria indicated above.

  • The recommendations of Selection Committee will be placed before the Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports for the final decision.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2014

India’s efforts to engage with the India Diaspora received a shot in the arm when the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 7, 2014to January 9, 2014 is organised in Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan which sought to connect persons of Indian origin and non-resident Indians across generations. The main event was inaugurated on January 8, 2014 by the Prime Minister of India.

The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, delivered the valedictory address on January 9th and conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards.

The PBD Convention provides a unique platform for overseas Indians to interact among themselves and with the Government of India and the Governments of various Indian States. It is forum where the Government of India showcases investment opportunities in India and its potential in various sectors.

Sh Ravi said that the key focus area of PBD 2014 is Youth PBD on January 7th. India is fast emerging as a youthful and exuberant nation where approximately 50 percent of the working population falls in the age group 18-35 years. There has been a sharp reversal in migration trends and a number of experienced and educated NRIs are now returning home to use their knowledge to build an inclusive and economically sound future for the country. This led to the creation of a unique synergy where in young Indians worldwide are now set to shape the future of the Indian growth story. This synergy is expected to be directed by the core principal of inclusive prosperity and driven by innovation and technology.

The final day of PBD witnessed sessions on ‘Investment Opportunities in State’ and “Parallel State Sessions’ Concurrent sessions on ‘Innovation and Technology’; ‘Healthcare Opportunity in India’; ‘Meeting of Diaspora organization’; ‘Making India the Hub of Media & Entertainment Industry’ and “Issues of NRIs in the Gulf’ .

PBD 2014 showcased the participation of the state governments, corporate, financial institutions, NGOs and other sectors through the Exhibition that is behind the Vigyan Bhawan.

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