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

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: November 2014

  • Enforcement of Radiation Protection Rules (Free Available)
  • Shortage of Nuclear Fuel (Free Available)
  • Solar Powered Lighting Solutions (Free Available)
  • Steps to Make Farming More Profitable (Free Available)
  • Khadi and Village Industries (Free Available)
  • Impact of Global Warming and Climate Change on Rainfall Patterns (Free Available)
  • Saving Agriculture from Drought (Free Available)
  • Schemes and Programmes for the Benefit of Smalland Marginal Farmers (Only For The Subscribed Members)
  • Six-Seven Million Electric Cars and Two-Wheelers on Road by 2020 National Electric (Only For The Subscribed Members)
  • Digital India - A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge (Only For The Subscribed Members)
  • Govt to pump extra money for rural toilets for Swachh Bharat by 2019 (Only For The Subscribed Members)
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana Launched by The Prime Minister (Only For The Subscribed Members)
  • First Indigenously Built Stealth Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship- INS Kamorta- Commissioned (Only For The Subscribed Members)

Enforcement of Radiation Protection Rules

It is true that a large number of X-ray facilities have not obtained the necessary regulatoryauthorisation including those in Madhya Pradesh, inspite of periodical advertisementsand display on the website of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) about the regulatoryrequirements of obtaining authorisation from AERB.There are a large number of diagnostic X-ray units/facilities spread across the country and there is an accelerated growth in their numbers. However, the radiation risk/hazard involved in such facilities is generally very low. AERB has taken a series of measures to bring such units under radiation safety certification of AERB, which are detailed below: i. AERB has enhanced regulatory control on manufacturer/supplier by issuance of Licence/Authorisation. It is also mandatory for these stakeholders to guide their customers to obtain AERB license to operate their X-ray equipment. AERB safety code provides the regulations for users in X-ray diagnostic practice. ii AERB has launched an electronic web-based e-governance system (e-Licensing of radiation applications, e-LORA) to enable easy filing of applications and faster receipt of AERB Licence/ Registration for operation. As on June 30 th 2014, the number of X-ray equipment for which Licensing has been initiated is 7630. iii. Periodic advertisements are put out in the print media, as well as on AERB website, for users to buy AERB designapproved (type approved) equipment and to obtain the requisite Licence/Registration for operation, from AERB. iv. For establishing a more effective regulatory set-up for X-ray units, AERB has been pursuing with State Governments for formation of state level Directorates of Radiation Safety (DRS) under the Health & Family Welfare Department of the respective State Governments. v. AERB has established Regional Regulatory Centers (RRC) at different locations in the country for decentralization of regulatory functions. vi AERB regularly routinely promotes/participates in conferences/public awareness programmes organized by associations such as Indian Radiological Imaging Association (IRIA), Society of Indian Radiographers (SIR), Association of Medical Physicists of India(AMPI) etc., which helps in dissemination of radiation safety and regulatory information.

Shortage of Nuclear Fuel

The country has 20 nuclear power reactors under operation with an installed generating capacity of 4780 MWe. Under separation plan, ten reactors are currently placed under IAEA safeguards and are eligible for imported fuel. These reactors are RAPS 1 to 6 located at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan; KAPS 1&2 at Kakrapar, Gujarat and TAPS 1&2 at Tarapur, Maharashtra. These reactors normally operate at their full capacity. RAPS -1 is under extended shutdown for techno-economic assessment. In addition, two more reactors, Kudankulam (KKNPP) Unit 1&2, set up with the international cooperation with Russian Federation,at Kudankulam, in Tamil Nadu are also under IAEA safeguard. So far, 2,11,473 tonne of U 3 O 8 equivalent to 1,79,329 tonne of Uranium has been established by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) in various States of India. Following extensive work for exploration of Uranium in the country, the identified in-situ reserves of uranium in the country have been progressing. Consequent upon India signing the Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement with United States of America on 10.10.2008, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has been importing Uranium ore to supply fuel for Nuclear Reactors under IAEA Safeguards in the country as per the separation plan. The 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being constructed at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu is at an advanced stage of construction and commissioning. Erection of all major components of the reactor has been completed. The next stage in commissioning is preheating and filling of sodium into secondary and primary systems. The project has achieved overall physical progress of 97.6% as on 30.06.2014.

Solar Powered Lighting Solutions

The Government implements schemes for cost effective solar power lighting solutions for rural population in electrified/unelectrified areas and villages in the country that may have an impact on kerosene subsidy bill. Lighting up about 47 percent of the country population will depend on the fund availability in the respective programme. This Details of programme implemented by MNRE and Ministry of Power (MoP) are as under I. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is implementing Remote Village Electrification (RVE) Programme for providing financial support for lighting/basic energy using renewable energy sources including solar energy in those remote unelectrified census villages and unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid extension is not found feasible by the State Governments and hence are not covered under the Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY).

The programme is implemented in States by State Nodal Agencies. II. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is also implementing Off-grid and decentralized solar applications scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission for installation of solar PV systems and power plants in various parts of the country including power deficit areas/unelectrified areas. III. Ministry of Power is implementing Decentralised Distributed Generation (DDG) scheme under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) for electrification of villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective. In XII Plan, DDG has also been extended to the grid connected area where supply of electricity is less than 6 hours a day. Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) can be from conventional or renewable sources including solar energy. The RVE projects are taken up only in remote unelectrified census villages and unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid extension is not found feasible by the State Governments and hence are not covered under the RGGVY. The norms followed for solar photovoltaic (SPV) based DDG projects are that the average household load should not be more than 100 watt, population of the villages/hamlet should be more than 100 and cost norms of MNRE benchmark to be followed. Under the Off-grid and decentralized solar applications scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy provides 30% capital subsidy for installation of solar PV systems and power plants in various parts of the country including power deficit areas/unelectrified areas. (90% capital subsidy for Government organizations of special category States).

Steps to Make Farming More Profitable

Mission on Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) has been launched w.e.f.1.4.2014 to promote holistic growth of horticulture sector, including bamboo and coconut through area based regionally differentiated strategies which include research, technology promotion, extension, post harvest management processing and marketing in convergence with comparative advantage of each State/region and its diverse agro-climatic features. To make farming competitive and profitable as well as to step up investment, both public and private, in agro-technology development and creation and modernization of existing agri-business infrastructure, government has proposed to establish two more institutions of excellence in Assam and Jharkhand Ministry of Food Processing Industry has restructured the ongoing schemes from 12th Five Year Plan and accordingly under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme-National Mission on Food Processing, assistance is provided for implementation of the schemes for technology upgradation/establishment/modernization of food processing industries, cold chain, value addition and preservation infrastructure for non horticultural products, etc.

Khadi and Village Industries

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) undertakes various steps to introduce affordable technologies and facilities for the holistic development and promotion of khadi and village industries (KVI) which include

(i) establishment of design centre for khadi/textile garments,
(ii) introduction of technology for efficient and scientific harvesting of honey,
(iii) popularization of solar charkha,
(iv) soft and stiff finish technology,
(v) technology for bamboo based handicrafts,
(vi) technology package for value added product using local wool or blend of local and imported merino wool, etc. A number of new technologies have been developed/demonstrated by MGIRI for rural industries during the Eleventh Five Year Plan. A list of some of the technologies developed/ demonstrated by MGIRI during the Eleventh Five Year Plan is:

1. Low cost variable speed potter’s wheel
2. Technology for energy efficient pottery kiln
3. Soil binders for use in pottery
4. Technology for artisticpottery development
5. Ultra micro hydel turbines for rural energy system
6. Bio manures testing kit
7. Biogas engine conversion kit
8. Tamarind seed separation machine
9. Gear-operated passenger and transport of pedal rickshaws
10. Pedal operated forge hammer
11. Polishing machine for bell metal utensil
12. Soft and stiff finishing for khadi
13. Wrinkle-free finishing for khadi
14. Natural dyeing technology for khadi
15. Design and fabrication of hank dyeing machine
16. Design and fabrication of mercerization machine
17. Quality code for khadi
18. Solar charkha trial
19. Herbal products
20. Soap and detergent testing kit

Impact of Global Warming and Climate Change on Rainfall Patterns

Ministry of Environmental and Forests (MoEF), Govt of India had undertaken the Indian second National Communication to UNFCCC during 2009-2011(NATCOM-II). The communication had been a national effort which involved many multi-disciplinary scientific groups. Ministry of Earth Sciences carry out scientific studies on climate change and variability under Global and Regional Climate Change (GRCC) programme. Under GRCC programme of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Earth System Science organization (ESSO) has established a dedicated Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) under the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. Monsoon rainfall varies on different spatial and temporal scales. Extreme rainfall events that occur at some isolated places (viz. heavy rainfall over Mumbai or in Rajasthan) are highly localized and are part of the natural variability of the Indian monsoon system itself. Although, some recent studies hint at an increasing frequency and intensity of extremes in rainfall during the past 40-50 years, their attribution to global warming is yet to be established. Moreover, the report of the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change and our country’s own assessment using regional climate models indicate that the extremes rainfall events are likely to be more frequent in the later part of the 21st century in the world including India. As regards other extreme weather phenomena, there are many other reasons for their occurrence, which cannot always be related to climate change.

Summary of the observed long term changes so far include:

(i) Mean annual surface airtemperatures show a significant warming of about 0.5 degree C/100 years during the last century.
(ii) No significant long-term trends are reported in the frequencies of large-scale droughts or floods in the summer monsoon season.
(iii) The average seasonal rainfall over India has shown decline in the last five decades, especially after 1970, that is not found to be statistically significant. Further over core monsoon zone, the contribution from increasing heavy rain events is offset by decreasing moderate events and hence on the long term the change is not appreciable. Many studies have discussed the possible reasons for recent weakening monsoon.
(iv) Studies were undertaken in four climate sensitive regions of the country, viz. Himalayan Region, Western Ghats, North Eastern Region, Coastal Areas to assess the possible impacts on the four sectors viz. agriculture, water, forests and health. A Report entitled, Climate Change & India: A 4X4 Assessment - A Sectoral and Regional Assessment of Impact of Climate Change in 2030s, has been released by the Government during November, 2010 under the aegis of the Indian Network of Climate Change Assessment (INCCA).

Saving Agriculture from Drought

State Governments are empowered to initiate appropriate relief measures in the wake drought from funds readily available under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Additional financial assistance, over and above SDRF, is provided from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per established procedure and extant norms, upon receipt of detailed drought relief memorandum from the State Government. For current year (2014-15), Government of India has not received any drought relief memorandum from any State, so far. Government has taken several measures to address any situation arising due to deficiency in monsoon rainfall. Central Research Institute of Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities has prepared contingency plans for 551 districts for implementing location specific interventions to sustain agriculture production in the eventuality of weak monsoon/deficient rainfall. States have been advised to ensure availability of short duration and drought tolerant varieties of seeds so as to be in a position to supply them to farmers in case such a need arises and to keep aside 10% of funds available under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and other schemes for undertaking appropriate interventions to mitigate any situation arising out of Deficient rainfall. States have also been requested to construct water harvesting structures, restore irrigation infrastructure by desilting canals; energizing tubewells, replacing/repairing faulty pumps and arranging power to meet irrigation needs. Decisions have also been taken for introduction of diesel subsidy scheme, enhancement of seed subsidy, waiver of import duty on oil cakes to increase availability of feed ingredients, implementation of fodder development scheme and introducing interventions on perennial horticulture crops to cope with any eventual drought and rainfall deficit situation in the country. Government has already released 15% of funds earmarked for operation and maintenance (O&M) under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to States for utilizing during natural calamity such as drought for repair/maintenance of damaged water supply systems.

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