PIB News 8th Nov, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Claims through Affidavit Form no longer required now under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana (ABVKY) of ESIC
Claim to be submitted online alongwith scanned copies

The ESI Corporation in its Meeting held on 20.08.2020 had extended the Scheme, ‘Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana’ from 01.07.2020 to 30.06.2021. It was also decided to enhance the rate of relief under the scheme from present 25% of the average daily earning to 50% of average daily earning and also relax the eligibility conditions for the period 24.03.2020 to 31.12.2020 to provide relief to the workers who have become unemployed during COVID-19 Pandemic.

While analyzing the response of the beneficiaries to the Scheme under relaxed conditions, it was found that the condition of submitting the claim in Affidavit Form is causing inconvenience to the claimants. Considering the difficulties faced by the beneficiaries, it has now been decided that the claimant who has submitted the claim under Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana online and uploaded the scanned copies of the required documents i.e. copies of Aadhar and Bank details need not submit the physical claim. If the documents are not uploaded at the time of online filing of the claim, claimant will submit the printout of the claim duly signed along with the required documents. Condition for submitting the claim in Affidavit Form has been dispensed with.

ESI Scheme in India

The Employees' State Insurance Corporation is a pioneer Social Security organization providing comprehensive social security benefits like reasonable Medical Care and a range of Cash Benefits in times of need such as employment injury, sickness, death etc. It is covering about 3.49 Crores of family units of workers and providing matchless cash benefits and reasonable medical care to its 13.56 crore beneficiaries. Today, its infrastructure has increased many folds with 1520 Dispensaries (including mobile dispensaries)/307 ISM Units and 159 ESI Hospitals, 793 Branch/Pay Offices and 64 Regional & Sub-Regional Offices. The ESI Scheme today stands implemented in 566 districts in 34 states and Union Territories of the country.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Dr. Harsh Vardhan holds first of its kind policy consultations with Indian Scientific Diaspora on STIP-2020 in a virtual meeting
Invites them to play active role in STIP 2020 formulation exercise
There is a huge potential in connecting and engaging with Indian scientific diaspora - not only for benefit of our national development but also for global welfare: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Union Minister for Science Technology, Earth Sciences, and Health & Family Welfare, Dr.Harsh Vardhan chaired thefirst of its kind policy consultation with the highly-skilled Indian diaspora to facilitate channels for them to contribute to India’s Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) 2020, on Saturday evening in New Delhi.The consultation meeting was attended by Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Professor K. VijayRaghavan; Secretary Department of Science & Technology, Professor Ashutosh Sharma; Healthcare-Biotech Consultant, Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale; Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs Ms. Renu Pall, and several dignitaries among the Indian Scientific Diaspora from across the globe.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the landmark policy initiative has been started as India and the world reorient in the present context of the COVID-19 crisis and emphasised,“The consultation aims at generating and streamlining key ideas in the making of STIP 2020 and involving the Indian diaspora as one of major stakeholders in the policy formulation process.”He encouraged the Indian Scientific diaspora to share their suggestions on the policy adding that these suggestions would be collated and considered to be included in the draft STI policy.

“It is important to build policy level mechanisms that enable creation of suitable opportunities for attracting best talents back home. The upcoming policy aims to address both the first and secondgeneration diaspora by facilitating institutional mechanisms for engagement with Indian ecosystem,” Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out. He underlined that “The VAIBHAV Summit and the recently launched dedicated, one-stop platform for S&T diaspora engagement, “PRABHASS” are some proactive steps of the Government towards this engagement”.

Acknowledging the huge untapped potential of the diaspora, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the scientific diaspora contributes a lot in both internationalization of science and technology development and boosting the country's technology intensity. He mentioned the significant contributions of the large and highly skilled Indian diaspora communities in forging the development of Indian IT and Biotech industry.

Paying tributes to the Nobel Laureate and Bharat Ratna Prof. C. V. Raman on his birth anniversary yesterday, Dr Harsh Vardhan pointed out that the past few years have witnessed accelerated national growth placing India as a global STI leader. “There has been a significant rise in the country's performance in terms of publications, patents and quality of research publications. Per capita R&D expenditure has also increased with greater participation from the private sector. Participation of women in extramural R&D projects has almost doubled. India is also actively engaged in emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. The country’s capacity in inclusive and frugal innovation has been recognized globally”, he said.

Dr Harsh Vardhan stressed that India aims to connect the diaspora back to Indian scientific and economic ecosystem to accelerate the growth in STI. “Reinforcing their engagement will enable India to leverage its S&T expertise across the globe for robust growth in all areas of Science, Technology and Innovation”, he said.

Appreciating the suggestions put forward by diaspora scientists, the Science & Technology Minister said, “Indian scientific diaspora is considered one of the most vibrant diaspora communities around the world. People of Indian origin holding leadership roles in academia, industry, and also the Government, even in some of the technologically most advanced countries are revealing evidence of that”. “There is a huge potential in connecting and engaging with the Indian scientific diaspora - not only for the benefit of our national development but also for global welfare”, the Union Minister stressed.

Outlining the new policy under formulation, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “The core vision of STIP 2020 is the decentralization of policy designing by making it a bottom-up and inclusive process. It aims to realign priorities, sectoral focus and methods of research and technology development with the goals of larger socio-economic progress. The proposed STI policy is expected to leverage the astounding progress that the STI system has witnessed in recent years and build a longterm pathway which must be able to fulfil the dreams and aspirations of millions of young Indian scientists and students. This can be done only when we make policy formulation totally inclusive and participatory”.

Prof Vijay Raghavan spoke about the role of India diaspora in India's development and said that STIP2020'sextraordinary consultation process would be important in factoring their expertise for the future of India's S&T. Ambassador Renu Pall, spoke about the role of diaspora in connecting corridors of emerging technologies.

Professor Ashutosh Sharmasaid, “STIP 2020 is not just a wishlist but a compendium of actionable plan process.”He highlighted the importance of deep connected minds for the framing of a profound policy which is connected to the people and future ready. Dr. Vijay Chauthaiwale, Healthcare-Biotech Consultant, appealed to the diaspora to contribute their expertise under various schemes and participate wholeheartedly in the formulation of STIP2020.

The formulation of STIP 2020 is driven by 4 interrelated tracks, 21 expert-driven thematic groups, and focused public discussions/consultations. The process aims to define priority issues for the national STI ecosystem, recommendations with aligned implementation strategies, expected deliverables, and a rigorous monitoring mechanism.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)

PM inaugurates Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira
Flags off Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat
Renames Ministry of Shipping as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
Gujarat has increased its sea trade potential in past two decades: PM
Government's effort is to restart the ferry service between Ghogha-Dahej very soon: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flagged off the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat through video conferencing. He also interacted with the local users. He renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said today, people of Gujarat have got their Diwali gift. Everyone will benefit from this better connectivity.  He added that business will be boosted and connectivity will become faster. He further said RO-PAX service between Hazira and Ghogha has made dreams come true for the people of Saurashtra and South Gujarat, as the journey is shortened from 10-12 hours to 3-4 hours. He said this will save time and expenses will also be reduced. He said about 80000 passenger trains and 30000 trucks will be able to take advantage of this new service in a year.

Shri Modi also said better connectivity between Saurashtra and Surat is going to change the life of the people in these regions. He added fruits, vegetables and milk can now easily be transported and pollution will also be reduced due to this service. He thanked all those engineers, workers, who remained courageous to develop the facility amidst a lot of challenges. He wished the people for this new maritime connectivity established between Bhavnagar and Surat.

The Prime Minister lauded the way Gujarat realized its maritime potential in the last two decades and gave priority to port led development and said it is a matter of pride for every Gujarati. He listed the initiatives of the State Government in developing the maritime potential of the state like drafting a Shipbuilding policy, construction of Shipbuilding Park and Specialized Terminals, promotion of Vessel Traffic Management system and GroundBreaking Connectivity project. He said with these initiatives the port sector has got a new direction. He stressed that efforts were made to modernize the entire ecosystem of the coastal area in addition to developing the physical infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said today, Gujarat has become a gateway of prosperity due to the efforts of the government in ensuring the development of all types of infrastructure in the coastal area. He said over the past two decades, a unique model of integrated port has evolved from traditional port operations in Gujarat and has developed as a benchmark today. He said the result of these efforts is that the ports of Gujarat have emerged as major maritime centers of the country. Last year, it accounted for more than 40 percent of the country's total maritime trade.

The Prime Minister remarked that today, maritime business-related infrastructure and capacity building in Gujarat is in full swing. Many facilities are getting ready in Gujrat like Gujarat Maritime Cluster, Gujarat Maritime University and country’s first CNG Terminal at Bhavnagar. Gujarat Maritime cluster ports to be built in GIFT city would be a dedicated system to address Ports to sea based Logistics. He said that these clusters would help in strengthening the cooperation between the government, industry and educational institutions and will also help in value addition in this sector.

The Prime Minister said that in the recent past India’s first Chemical Terminal was established in Dahej, India’s first LNG terminal was established, now India's first CNG terminal is going to be installed at Bhavnagar Port. In addition facilities like Ro-Ro terminal at Bhavnagar port, Liquid cargo terminal and a new container terminal are being prepared. He said with the addition of these new terminals, the capacity of Bhavnagar port will increase manifold.

The Prime Minister said the government is making efforts to restart the ferry service between Ghogha-Dahej very soon. He said many natural challenges have arisen in this project and efforts are being made to remove them through modern technology. He added Gujarat Maritime University is a big center for getting trained manpower and experts ready for maritime trade. Today, this University provides opportunities to pursue maritime law and international trade law and also MBA in Maritime Management, Shipping and Logistics. He said apart from the university, work is also going on to build the first National Museum to preserve the country's maritime heritage in Lothal.

The Prime Minister said facilities like today's Ro-Pax Ferry service or Sea Plane inaugurated a few days ago, is giving a lot of momentum to water-resource based economy. He said that over the years, serious efforts have also been made to strengthen the Blue Economy in the country. He listed the ecosystems and many schemes made over the years to help the fishermen like financial aid to fishermen for modern trollers or navigation systems that provide accurate information of weather and sea routes. He assured that safety and prosperity of fishermen is the priority of the Government. He added recently launched Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana is also promoting fish related trade. Under this scheme, Rs 20 thousand crore would be spent for infrastructure related to fisheries in the coming years.

The Prime Minister said that today, the capacity of the ports have been increased across the nation and construction of new ports is also going on at a faster pace. He added efforts are made to put maximum use of about 21000 km of waterway in the country, for the development of the country. He added today, under the Sagarmala project, work is going on over 500 projects across the country. He said that transportation by waterways is many times cheaper than road and railways and also causes less damage to the environment. Yet work has been done with a holistic approach in this direction only after 2014. He said today work is going on in inland rivers across the country, to connect many Land-locked states to the sea. He added today in the Bay of Bengal, we are developing our capabilities in the Indian Ocean unprecedentedly. The maritime part of the country has emerged as an important part of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

The Prime Minister renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. He said in most of the developed countries the Ministry of Shipping handles Ports and Waterways. He added now with more clarity in name, there will be more clarity in the work.

The Prime Minister said to strengthen the Blue Economy's stake in AtmaNirbhar Bharat, there is a great need to strengthen the maritime logistics. He was concerned that today, the cost of carrying goods from one part of the country to another is more than other countries. He suggested that the cost of Logistics can be reduced by water transport. Therefore, he said our focus should be to create an ecosystem where there can be seamless movement of cargo. He added the country is now making rapid strides in the direction of Multimodal Connectivity to reduce logistics costs and efforts have been made to improve connectivity between road, rail, air and shipping infrastructure and also to overcome the silos. He said Multimodal Logistics Parks are being constructed in the country. He added that Multimodal connectivity is being developed with our neighbouring countries also. He wished that with these efforts the cost of Logistics in the country should come down and give impetus to our economy.

The Prime Minister also urged the people to go Vocal for Local during this festive season. He insisted on buying things from small traders, small artisans and rural folks. He said by these efforts light could be lit in the homes of the rural artisans also during Diwali.




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