Thursday, March 22, 2018

India to be Self-Reliant in Silk Production by 2020

Posted On: 22 MAR 2018 5:21PM by PIB Delhi
India will be self-reliant in the production of silk by 2020

The Minister of Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani interacting with media today regarding efforts of the Govt. of India to make the country self-reliant in silk production
New Delhi: 22nd March 2018: (PIB//Punjab Screen Bureau)::
India will be self-reliant in the production of silk by 2020, said the Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani in a media interaction today. The Union Cabinet’s decision approving the Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry will help increase the production of Bivoltine silk (high quality) by 62 percent by 2020. The Minister further said the aim of the government is to increase the number of people engaged in the silk sector from 85 lakhs to one crore in the next three years. She said, 50 thousand people will be trained in this sector. Smt. Irani told media that an inter- ministerial committee of related ministries will be set up under the Textiles Ministry to disburse a sum of Rs. 1000 crores for development of Research & Development.
Seed production units will be equipped and strengthened, besides increasing the production capacity to cater to the increased demand for silk in the future. Elaborating further the Minister said that under Digital India, web-based solutions will be provided to farmers engaged in seed production and other allied activities. Farmers and seed producers will get all subsidy by Direct Benefit Transfer.
The minister informed that market development is a very important area and 21 cocoon testing centres are being set up in the main silk producing states of the country. Apart from this, 19 basic silk seed farms, 20 silk worm seed production centres, 131 chawki rearing centres and 500 acres of land is being set aside for improved varieties.
Infrastructure development by individual farmers and silk producers will be financially supported by the Central Government which will bear 50% of the costs.  For beneficiaries belonging to SC or ST category, the Centre will bear 65% of the cost. In case of beneficiaries from North East States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the Centre will bear 80% of the cost.  A Helpline will be set up for timely redressal of grievances and all outreach programmes.
Smt. Irani informed that the State Governments have been urged to participate in implementing the Scheme as they have an important role to play in increasing the silk production of the country. The Minister said that out of 26 silk producing and consuming states, only 17 have a separate Department or Directorate of Sericulture.

President of India presents Standard to the 51 Squadron

Posted On: 22 MAR 2018 11:18AM by PIB Delhi
Colours to the 230 Signal Unit of the Indian Air Force
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind,presented the Standard to the 51 Squadron and Colours to the 230 Signal Unit of the Indian Air Force at Halwara, Punjab, today (March 22, 2018).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the 51 Squadron and the 230 Signal Unithave distinguished themselves in service to our nation. They have a rich history of professional excellence and have served India with honour and distinction, during peace and hostilities. It is a proud moment for him to honour the units for their dedication, professional conduct and courage.  He complimented the personnel and families, past and present, of these units for their selfless sacrifice and service to the nation.

The President said that the Indian Air Force symbolises our military excellence. The performance of its personnel in exercises, both at home and abroad, is a glowing testimony to its high standards. The Indian Air Force, besides safeguarding our sovereign skies, has always been at the forefront of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The resilience, tenacity and zeal of our valiant Air Warriors is a source of pride for every Indian.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gurdev Singh Khush foundation holds event at PAU

Fri, Mar 9, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Diversification to maize can be an important change for Punjab
Ludhiana: 9th March 2018: (Punjab Screen Bureau)::
We need to  consider quantity rationing  of water usage by stopping free electricity and curb the subsidy on fertilizer over five years, said Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, eminent economist and former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Government of India while delivering his talk on " Challenges in Agriculture: Some Policy Options” at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. 14 students and scientists of PAU were awarded the G.S. Khush travel grant for participation in conferences in India and abroad, while another 38 from PAU and 14 from GADVASU  were bestowed with the G.S. Khush Merit Scholarship at the annual award ceremony of the  Gurdev Singh Khush Foundation for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences. The dignitaries on the dais also included Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, PAU alumnus and father of the rice revolution, Mrs Harwant Khush, Dr B.S. Dhillon, PAU Vice Chancellor, Dr S.S. Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Dr K.S. Gill, former Vice Chancellor, PAU, Dr A.S. Nanda, Vice Chancellor, GADVASU and Dr D.S. Brar, Secretary, Khush Foundation.
 Dr Ahluwalia, while addressing a huge gathering of faculty members at the Pal Auditorium emphasized on the need to have an educated and informed electorate so that government leaders can be held accountable for relevant targets. He also pointed the absence of a risk mitigating system in agriculture that is one of the chief reasons of farm distress. While stressing on the need for pro farmer policies Dr Ahluwalia recalled the period from 2004 to 2011 when the country reported increase in farm income and biggest decline in poverty. “The factors responsible were better land productivity, supportive prices for farmers, boom in construction investment and increase in farm product prices”, he elaborated.  Dr Ahluwalia further stressed on the need to diversify from cereals to horticultural crops and setting of transformational targets to capture these changes over a period of ten years. “ Diversification to maize can be an important change for Punjab as also dairy if the CM’s objective of getting out of paddy is to be achieved”, he observed.  While suggesting the development of integrated value chains as a part of the ‘plough to plate’ approach, Dr Ahluwalia appealed for conviction on the part of the policy makers towards eliminating policy constraints.  He highlighted the imminent need for judicious use of water which he said can be achieved by having public sector pumps responsible for quantity rationing.  Voicing his concern in the field of research, the economist said that we need to think about institution structures and vested interests in the system that deny flexibility to the academia to do ground breaking research.  He called for shift in attitude and more clarity towards the requirement of GM crops, failing which we will be negatively unique in the world, given the high degree of threat of climate change that looms in front of us. Dr G.S. Khush congratulated the award winners and motivated them to strive for further excellence in their fields. He also urged the rural students to dream and work hard to achieve them.  
Earlier Dr Dhillon welcomed the dignitaries and formally introduced the speaker of the day. He dismissed agricultural distress in the state citing record productivity in non basmati rice, wheat and cotton, and rather stressed on the need for strong policy interventions to boost agriculture in Punjab.