30 April 2016

Research and Development to Increase Production of Pulses

Research and Development to Increase Production of Pulses

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is makingefforts and has taken a number of Research and Development (R&D) initiative towards pulses in the country. As a result, there has been about one-and-half-times improvement in the yield of pulses during the last 60 years from 500 kg/ha in 1954-55 to 728 kg/ha in 2014-15.

The systematic and concerted efforts of ICAR has led to the development of 59 high yielding climate-resilient varieties of pulses for different agro ecological situations during the last five years (2011-2015). Early maturing and thermo-tolerant varieties for newer niches and cropping systems have also been developed. To ensure availability of quality seed to the farmers, 69391 q breeder seeds of pulses were produced and supplied to different seed producing agencies for further multiplication during the last five years (2010-11 to 2014-15).

In order to boost the production of pulses in the country, the ICAR and DAC&FW under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, have jointly prepared roadmap and action-plan with two-pronged approach of productivity enhancement and increasing production through area expansion under various ongoing Central schemes. The strategy includes increasing productivity of pulses by reducing the yield gap at the farmers’ fields through a mission mode programme for promoting improved technology of pulses, improving seed replacement rate (SRR), provision for life saving irrigation, ensuring availability of critical inputs with corresponding policy support in the form of attractive MSP, procurement, credit, insurance, subsidies, etc. to protect the interest of pulse growers.

Encouraging Organic Farming

Encouraging Organic Farming

            Government is promoting organic farming across the country under various Central Sector Schemes viz. National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP), National Food Security Mission(NFSM) and Network Project on Organic Farming Under ICAR etc. The pattern of assistance is given below.

The Department has been focusing on creating awareness and educating the farmers about organic farming practices in the areas where clusters are formed, under PKVY. The scheme guidelines provide a sum of Rs.80,000 per cluster to undertake mobilization of farmers through exposure visits and training. The National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF), Ghaziabad, a unit under the department undertakes various extension and publicity activities like exhibitions, radio talks, TV programmes, distribution of literature on organic inputs/ organic farming etc to educate the farmers. NCOF is also publishing biannually Bio-Fertilizer Newsletter as well as quarterly Organic Farming Newsletter. In addition, various books on production and use of bio-fertilizers have been published in various languages for distribution to the farming community. Radio jingles on organic agriculture are broadcasted on 4 different FM Radio Stations including Delhi, Bangalore, Nagpur and Lucknow.

NCOF organizes 30 days certificate course on organic farming for skill development in organic agriculture sector for youth. It also conducts 10 days Refresher course for analysts under Fertilizer Control Order (FCO); 5 Days Trainers Training & 2 Days training for field functionaries and extension staff of the State Government.

NCOF has also been organizing farmers’ training and field demonstration programmes (FTFD) on organic farming since 2015-16 in various villages adopted by the Hon’ble Members of Parliament under “Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana” (SAGY), through its Regional Centres of Organic Farming (RCOFs). It has completed 300 no. of FTFD in 2015-16 and has scheduled 297 no. in the year 2016-17.

            Cost of organic agriculture largely depends on on-farm generation of inputs. When on-farm organic inputs are used, cost of production per unit area is less than by 13% under organic agriculture than inorganic management. However, if organic inputs from outside the farm are purchased and utilized, the cost of production increases by about 15-20% depending on the nature of inputs used. Integrated Organic Farming System (IOFS) models being developed under NPOF promises to meet 70-80% of organic inputs within the farm thus reducing the market input cost considerably.

   Government is providing assistance for establishment of large mechanised compost plants by State Governments/ other public sector/private industries/private entrepreneurs for fruit and vegetable waste/ agro waste compost unit. Also, assistance is provided to farmers for on-farm production of organic inputs.  The details of assistance are given below. The State-wise organic manure produced and available in the country is given below

A.    National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)-Organic & INM Component of Soil Health Management (SHM):

i)    Setting up of State of art liquid/ carrier based Biofertilizer/ Biopesticide units, 100% Assistance to State Govt/Govt. Agencies upto a maximum limit of Rs.160.00 lakh /unit and 25% of cost limited to Rs.40 lakh/unit for individuals/ private agencies through NABARD as capital investment of 200  Total Per Annum(TPA) production capacity.

ii)   Setting up of Bio-fertilizer and Organic fertilizer testing Quality Control Laboratory BOQCL) or Strengthening of existing Laboratory under FCO, assistance up to maximum limit of Rs. 85 lakh for new laboratory and up to a maximum limit of Rs. 45 lakh for strengthening of existing infrastructure to State Government Laboratory under Agriculture or Horticulture Department.

iii)  Promotion of Organic Inputs on farmer’s field (Manure, Vermi-compost, Bio-Fertilizers Liquid / solid, Waste compost, Herbal extracts etc.), 50 % of cost subject to a limit of Rs. 5000/- per ha and Rs. 10,000 per beneficiary.

iv)  Setting up of mechanized Fruit/ Vegetable market waste/ Agro waste compost production unit 100% financial assistance to State Government/ Government Agencies upto a maximum limit of Rs.190.00 lakh per unit and 33% of project cost maximum limited to Rs.63 lakh per unit for individuals/private agencies through NABARD as capital investment for establishment of agro/vegetable waste compost production units of 3000 Total Per Annum (TPA) production

v)   Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): The scheme is implemented by the State Governments on a cluster basis of 20 hectare each. The farmer within the cluster is given following financial assistance for Integrated Manure Management.

a)      Liquid Bio-fertilizer consortia (Nitrogen fixing/ Phosphate Solubilizing/ potassium mobilizing bio-fertilizer) @ Rs.500/acre x 50 of Rs.25000 per cluster in first year.

b)      Liquid Biopesticides (Trichoderma viridae, Pseudomonas, fluorescens, Matarhizium, Beaviourie bassiana, Pacelomyces, verticillium) 2 Rs.500/ acre x 50 of Rs.25000 per cluster in second year.

c) Phosphate Rich Organic Manure (PTOM) as per specification given in FCO,1985 @Rs1000/acreX50  of Rs   50000  in first year for procuring and application of PROM.

d)     Farmer can take up any pest control mechanism easily available in their local area @Rs 500/acreX50 of Rs.25000 in second year.

e) Vermicompost ( size 7’x3’x1) @ Rs 5000/unit X50of Rs 250000 will be assisted for procurement of earthworms, preparation of pits, etc for construction of vermi composting pits.

      The detail guidelines are uploaded in web site www.agricoop.gov.in.

B.     Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

1. Adoption of Organic Farming. -50% of cost limited to Rs. 10000/ha for a maximum area of 4 ha. per beneficiary, spread over a period of 3 years involving assistance of Rs.4000/- in first year and Rs.3000/- each in second & third year. The programme to be linked with certification.

2. Organic Certification - Rs. 5 lakh for a cluster of 50 ha which will include Rs. 1.50 lakh in first year, Rs. 1.50 lakh in second year and Rs. 2.00 lakh in third year.

3.  Vermi compost Units/organic input production - 50% of cost conforming to the size of the unit of 30’X8’X2.5’ dimension of permanent structure to be administered on pro-rata basis. For HDPE Vermibed, 50% of cost conforming to the size of 96 cft (12’X4’X2’) and IS 15907:2010 to be administered on pro-rata basis (Rs. 100,000/ unit for permanent structure and Rs. 16,000/unit for HDPE Vermibed).

C.  National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP): Financial assistance is being provided for different type of components including bio-fertilisers, Supply of Rhizobium culture/Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria (PSB)/ Zinc Solubilising Bacteria (ZSB)/ Azatobacter/ Mycorrhiza and vermi compost.

D.  National Food Security Mission (NFSM): Under NFSM, financial assistance is provided for promotion of Bio-Fertilizer (Rhizobium/PSB) @50% of the cost limited to Rs.300 per ha.

F.   Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY): Organic Farming projects are considered by respective State Level Sanctioning committee

G.  Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR): The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Pusa under Network project on Soil Biodiversity-Biofertiliser has developed improved and efficient strains of biofertiliser specific to different crops and soil types. Liquid Biofertiliser technology with higher shelf life has also been developed. The ICAR also imparts training, organizes Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) to educate farmers on all these aspect. ICAR through its Plan Scheme “National Project on Organic Farming” (NPOF) is undertaking research to develop location specific organic farming package of practices for crops and cropping systems. Presently, the project is being implemented in 20 centres covering 16 states

only two states give more than half of income tax

29 April 2016

Modi invited to address US Congress on June 8

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on June 8 during his visit here, Speaker of the US House of Representative Paul Ryan said on Thursday.

“The friendship between the United States and India is a pillar of stability in an important region of the world,” Ryan told reporters during his weekly press conference.

“This address presents a special opportunity to hear from the elected leader of the world’s most populous democracy on how our two nations can work together to promote our shared values and to increase prosperity. We look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi to the US Capitol on June 8,” he said.

Modi, who was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit when he was here for the nuclear summit, will be the fifth Prime Minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress.

The tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing Congress began with the Marquis de Lafayette of France, who spoke in the House chamber on December 10, 1824.

Ronak D Desai, a Fellow at New America and an Affiliate at the Belfer Center's India and South Asia Program at Harvard University, said, "an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress is significant, given past US policy towards Modi during his time as Chief Minister of Gujarat."

Modi's visit is likely to be the last official meeting between the two leaders during President Obama's final year in office.

Top American lawmakers welcomed the decision of Ryan to invite Modi to address joint meeting if the US Congress.

"I applaud Speaker Ryan for inviting Prime Minister Modi to address a Joint Meeting of Congress, and I look forward to welcoming the Prime Minister to the Capitol. This address will serve as a sign of the deep and important relationship between the US and India," said Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Our partnership in areas such as defence, nuclear power, renewable energy and space exploration is very strong, thanks to our many shared values. I look forward to hearing from Prime Minister Modi about how we can continue working together to promote peace and prosperity," Royce said.

"I look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Washington in June, where his address to a Joint Session of Congress will explore how our two nations can work together to further our shared values and interests," said Tulsi Gabbard, the first ever Hindu lawmaker elected to the US Congress.

"As the world's oldest and largest democracies, the US and India have many shared values and objectives. Since Prime Minister Modi was first elected in 2014, he has made active engagement with the US a priority on many levels including exploring mutually beneficial economic opportunities, stronger government-to-government relations, and enhanced security engagements," she said.

Earlier this month, Gabbard, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, wrote to Ryan encouraging him to invite Modi to address the Congress.

"I'm pleased that Speaker Ryan has granted my request," said Congressman Ami Bera, the only Indian-American in the current Congress.

"India is a key partner of the US, and this will be an opportunity for members of Congress to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing our two nations," he said.

Last week, Bera and Royce along with two other lawmakers had urged Ryan to invite Modi to address a joint session of Congress.

Earlier today, Ryan told reporters that Modi would be the leader to address a joint meeting of the Congress after he became the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

"This will be the first joint meeting of this speakership. We certainly look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi in the United States Capitol this summer, I believe it's June 8th," Ryan said.

"India is the most populace democracy and soon it's going to be the most populace country. The friendship between our nations is a pillar of stability in a very, very important region. This address presents a special opportunity for us to deepen our ties with our ally, India," he said.

"It is a chance to hear from the prime minister on how we can work together to promote our shared values and to increase prosperity," Ryan said.

  • Modi, who was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit when he was in the US for the nuclear summit, will be the fifth Prime Minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005
  • Earlier, Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994) and Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985) addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress

india's economy is expected to grow by 7.6 per cent in 2016-17,

india's economy is expected to grow by 7.6 per cent in 2016-17, largely on the back of urban household spending amid steady growth and low inflation, according to the (UNESCAP).

Growth is expected to edge upwards to 7.8 per cent in 2017-18. But a good monsoon could provide a fillip to growth, pushing gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 7.8 per cent in FY17 itself, said Nagesh Kumar, who headsSouth and South West Asia.

Downside risks to growth remain. Principal among them are a slowdown in China and exchange rate volatility due to a possible interest rates hikes by the US Federal Reserve, says Kumar. The US Fed, which has kept its benchmark interest rates between 0.25 per cent and 0.5 per cent since December last year, is expected to increase rates later this year as the economy strengthens and the job market firms up.
India to grow at 7.6% in FY17 on urban spending: UN report
With rural demand continuing to be weak after two years of back-to-back droughts, urban demand is expected to do the heavy lifting. Urban consumption is expected to get a boost with the government accepting the recommendations.

Exports, however, continue to be a major cause of concern. With global demand continuing to remain anaemic, exports are unlikely to provide the much needed stimulus to growth. India's exports contracted for 16 consecutive months in March. A big reason is the slowdown in China. According to UNESCAP, exports from all major Asian economies have collapsed.

"The overall strength of domestic demand will depend on progress made in implementing structural reforms and how rapidly large scale stalled infrastructure projects are unlocked" said UNESCAP.

"Some progress has been made in reforming fiscal policy such as rationalisation of fuel price subsidies, but the implementation of the goods and services tax remains an important reform that is being held up due to political deadlock" it added.

Speaking at the launch of UNESCAP's Economic and Social Survey of Asia and The Pacific 2016, Rathin Roy, director at the National Institute of Public Finance Policy said, while macroeconomic indicators suggest India is in a sweet spot, there are huge concerns on the project execution side and supply-side constraints continue to pose a challenge.

On the issue of monetary policy, while many are arguing for a 25-basis point cut, Roy says at the margin a cut of that size is unlikely to change the situation fundamentally. What is more important is to look at quantity restrictions on credit. The case for greater interest rate cuts largely rests on a benign environment.

With the India Meteorological Department projecting that monsoon is likely to be "above normal" this year, expectations are it will push agricultural growth, easing supply side constraints. Butprojects inflation to average 5.2 per cent in 2016-17, edging up to 5.6 per cent in 2016-17, leaving little room for the Reserve Bank of India to cut policy rates.

Policies for low carbon development

This article discusses some of the specific policies needed to achieve the low carbon outcome.
Energy pricing must support energy conservation
Energy prices are critical for promoting energy conservation because even if energy-efficient options exist, they will be adopted only if they are cost-effective. For example, improved pumps and foot valves in irrigation can save energy, but these pumps are more expensive, and farmers have little incentive to use them because electricity for agriculture is either free, or very heavily subsidized. It follows that if we want to promote energy conservation, we should avoid energy subsidies and set prices at a level that covers full economic costs.
Withdrawal of subsidies may seem to hurt the poor, but this problem can be addressed by compensating those really in need through cash transfers. The Aadhaar platform, combined with financial inclusion, provides an effective mechanism for making the change. This approach could be applied to both kerosene and cooking gas, which are still subsidized by the central government. About half the kerosene ostensibly supplied for the poor actually leaks into the black market, and is used to adulterate diesel, damaging the engines into which it is fed and also increasing the pollution load.
State governments also subsidize energy by underpricing electricity to farmers. This policy encourages excessive withdrawal of ground water, and has dangerously lowered the water table in Punjab and Haryana. States should be persuaded to introduce a programme to increase electricity tariffs for agriculture in a phased manner over a number of years, earmarking the resources saved for promoting water-saving irrigation methods and much-needed water conservation in rural areas. The central government could offer to match the funds mobilized through higher agricultural tariffs to expand watershed management programmes.
Taxation to offset social costs of fossil fuels
The use of fossil fuels produces global warming and also local air pollution because of particulate matter released by thermal power stations and automobile exhausts. Since these costs are borne by society at large and not the energy user, there is a case for imposing taxes on the polluting activity.
With global warming, the social cost is borne by the world as a whole. This problem cannot be addressed by an individual country acting alone. What is needed is a global effort with all countries imposing a carbon tax at a globally calibrated rate. If all countries join, there will be no competitive disadvantage for any individual country. We should be willing to join a global pact on this issue.
The situation regarding air pollution caused by fossil fuels is very different. These costs are internal to a country and a tax on all fossil fuels (not just coal) is justified irrespective of whether other countries follow suit. The appropriate level of the tax depends upon the estimated social cost of air pollution. We currently have a clean energy tax on coal, but its level is quite low. Several international studies suggest that quite high tax rates could be justified on these grounds. The methodology underlying these studies should be carefully examined to come up with appropriate estimates for India and the implications for taxing different fossil fuels. This task could be assigned to NITI Aayog, which should also build in the quantification of the pollution impact in the energy calculator.
Any proposal to impose taxes will meet with opposition. We need to explain that the purpose of these taxes is to discourage the use of polluting fuels. The resources mobilized by such a tax could, in principle, be returned to the community by lowering other taxes, but since there is a need to raise tax revenues to fund many socially desirable expenditures, it makes sense to use the revenues from the pollution tax for these, rather than lowering other taxes.
Promoting energy efficiency in industry
Industry is the largest single user of energy and there is scope for increasing efficiency in energy use in industry. The Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) initiative, started in 2012, has shown the way. In the first phase of this initiative, from 2012 to 2015, targets were set for almost 500 industrial units requiring reductions of between 3% and 5% in energy consumption per unit of output. Those failing to meet the targets could purchase credits from units exceeding the target. In the first phase, the energy reduction achieved exceeded the target. The second phase has commenced in 2016, with expanded coverage and more demanding targets. As the world focuses on increasing energy efficiency, the scope for efficiency gains will increase. PAT must be constantly strengthened to ensure that Indian industry stays ahead of the curve.
One reason for energy inefficiency in Indian industry is the unreliability of grid power, which forces many smaller units to invest in captive electricity generation, which is much less energy-efficient than grid-based supply. Improvement in the functioning of the electricity sector making captive generation unnecessary will improve overall energy efficiency. This lies entirely in the domain of state governments.
Energy conservation in transport
The transport of passengers and freight is another area which offers potential energy savings. Improved logistics would help by rationalizing the movement of freight and removing inter-state barriers and check posts with long waiting times. The introduction of a well-designed goods and services tax would be a major benefit in this context.
Reversing the historical decline of the share of the railways in carrying freight will help increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. A long-standing problem in this context is the distortion in the fare structure of the railways, with passenger fares kept very low and freight being overcharged to cover losses on the passenger side. High freight charges have, in turn, driven goods traffic increasingly to the roads. This problem has been emphasized repeatedly in Plan documents and committee reports, but no railway minister wants to face the ire of parliamentarians who seem wedded to keeping passenger fares low! The result has been falling internal resource generation, which limits the capacity of the railways to make the investments needed to improve the national transporter’s carrying capacity. Investments also need to be supplemented by extensive reform of the institutional structure. The transformation brought about by China in the structure of its railways is a good example to follow.
Impressive plans have been announced for expanding investment in the railways using borrowed funds and public-private partnerships. This is overdue, but its viability depends on being able to service the loans and, in the case of PPPs, to provide a return to investors. This will involve lowering freight charges to attract traffic away from road transport, and raising passenger fares to reduce losses in this segment. A Rail Tariff Regulatory Authority has been anno-unced, but has not yet been constituted.
Energy use in cities: buildings and urban transport
With growing urbanization, cities will account for a large part of total energy demand in the form of electricity used in buildings for lighting and other appliances, and petrol and diesel used for inner-city transport. There is huge scope for increased energy efficiency in both these areas.
Building design standards, which are set by state governments and local bodies, must be revised to make the buildings more energy efficient and also enforced in practice. The central government on its part could announce that all new central government buildings will meet the highest green standards. A good step that would capture the public imagination would be to announce a programme for tearing down all the 60-year-old ‘Bhavans’ housing government offices on Rajpath, and replacing them with state-of-the-art green buildings, with rooftop solar electricity. This could be a multi-year project capturing the public imagination as an effort to establish this part of the nation’s capital as a model of urban design and energy conservation.
There is a need to upgrade the statutory minimum energy efficiency requirements for all major appliances in line with the latest technological developments. These standards should be revised periodically to reflect new developments in these areas in the world. Simultaneously, there should be aggressive use of labelling to push consumers to greater energy efficiency.
A great deal can be done to increase energy efficiency in urban transport through better land use planning to reduce the demand for transport and by encouraging a shift from private transport to public transport. These areas are entirely in the domain of state and local governments. Land use planning is obviously easier in new cities than in existing cities, but some improvements are possible even in existing cities through rezoning, and especially where substantial expansion is being planned.
A shift to public transport is absolutely critical for achieving greater energy efficiency and reducing congestion and local pollution in our cities. Creating a good quality public transport system is a precondition for success and the initiative in this area lies entirely with state governments. Where a metro system exists or is planned, it should be integrated with the bus transport system to allow combined use by commuters. Electronically readable fare cards, which can be used in the metro system or in the bus system, will help achieve this objective.
Positive measures to promote public transport will have to be accompanied by disincentives for the use of private vehicles. A pollution tax on petrol and diesel will help. An annual registration fee which is effectively an annual tax on car ownership would also help, as would the introduction of much higher parking charges. The resources realized from these taxes should be earmarked to support public transport.
There is a strong case in the major metros for declaring that from a fixed date in future, all new taxis, including three-wheelers, will have to be electric. Indian automobile manufacturers have the capacity to respond provided they are given a clear signal in advance that the change is inevitable. There should also be a provision for importing such vehicles at a reasonable duty to encourage domestic manufacturers to meet the demand. Electrification of vehicles is a key element in a climate change strategy not only because they are more energy-efficient and reduce local pollution, but also because the electricity will increasingly come from renewables, reducing total pollution.
We also need to upgrade the quality of automotive fuels to reduce the pollution effect in cities. This would require upgrading of the refineries and the additional cost of doing so may need to be recouped by an increase in fuel prices.
Pricing issues for renewable energy
The costs of solar energy have been falling and the latest bids for solar projects have produced solar tariffs that seem comparable to the price of conventional electricity supplied to the grid. However, the supply of solar and wind energy is intermittent, and induction of large-generation capacity from intermittent sources into the system is only possible if the distribution companies contract balancing capacity for the lean period or there is scope for storing the electricity produced during the peak period and using it in the lean period to deliver a pattern of supply which matches the demand profile. In both cases, additional costs have to be incurred. These will have to be passed on as higher electricity tariffs.
To summarize, a number of policy interventions are needed in different areas to combat climate change. Some are in the domain of the central government, while others are in the domain of state governments. Within each government, action often lies with different departments, each of which typically works in a silo, and achieving coordination across these different actors is often difficult. Fortunately, all that has to be done doesn’t have to be done immediately. However, five years from now, when the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions are reviewed in the climate change negotiations, we should be in a position to show substantial progress in all these areas. For that, we need to start immediately to build public understanding about the need for these policies as part of the strategy to combat climate change.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia is former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.

28 April 2016

PSLV-C33 successfully launches

PSLV-C33 successfully launches

India's Seventh Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1G

In its thirty fifth flight (PSLV-C33), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 1425 kg IRNSS-1G, the seventh satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) today afternoon from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty fourth consecutively successful mission of PSLV and the thirteenth in its 'XL' configuration.

The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, heartily thanked and congratulated all the ISRO scientists and team ISRO for completing IRNSS constellation and dedicated IRNSS to the nation as ‘NavIC’ (Navigation Indian Constellation). He appreciated India’s space community for making the country proud through such achievements which have helped in improving the life of common man.

After PSLV-C33 lift-off at 1250 hrs (12:50 pm) IST from the First Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, heat-shield separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and satellite injection, took place as planned. After a flight of 19 minutes 42 seconds, IRNSS-1G was injected into an elliptical orbit of 283 km X 20,718 km inclined at an angle of 17.867 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) following which the satellite successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage.

After separation, the solar panels of IRNSS-1G were deployed automatically. ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, four orbit manoeuvres will be conducted from MCF to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at 129.5 deg East longitude.

IRNSS-1G is the seventh of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID, IE and 1F, the first six satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013, April 04, 2014, October 16, 2014, March 28, 2015, January 20, 2016 and March 10, 2016 respectively. All the six satellites are functioning satisfactorily from their designated orbital positions.

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS provides two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users and Restricted Services - (RS), provided to authorised users.

A number of ground facilities responsible for satellite ranging and monitoring, generation and transmission of navigation parameters, etc., have been established in eighteen locations across the country. Today’s successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and final member of IRNSS constellation, signifies the completion of the IRNSS constellation.

27 April 2016

Heritage Status to Indian Sites by UNESCO

Heritage Status to Indian Sites by UNESCO
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the nodal agency for forwarding any request for World Heritage status to any Indian site whether cultural or natural. Based on the proposals received from the Central or State Government agencies as well as management Trusts, etc., and after their due scrutiny, the Government forwards the nomination dossiers to the World Heritage Center. The list of places in India which have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO is given below in Table-1.

There are 10 enlisted criteria (given below) for determining Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for World Heritage nomination. The proposed nomination must satisfy at least one of these 10 criteria.



Name of Site
Ajanta Caves (1983)
Ellora Caves (1983)
Agra Fort (1983)
Uttar Pradesh
Taj Mahal (1983)
Uttar Pradesh
Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
Tamil Nadu
Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
Group of Temples, Khajuraho (1986)
Madhya Pradesh
Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
Group of Monuments, FatehpurSikri (1986)
Uttar Pradesh
Group of Temples, Pattadakal (1987)
Elephanta Caves ( 1987)
Great Living Chola temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram (1987 & 2004)
Tamil Nadu
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
Madhya Pradesh
Humayun’s  Tomb, Delhi (1993)
Qutb Minar Complex, Delhi (1993)
Prehistoric Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
Madhya Pradesh
Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park (2004)
Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007)
Hill Forts of Rajasthan
 (Chittaurgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer and Ranthambhore, Amber and Gagron Forts)      (2013)
(Amber and Gagron Forts are under protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums)
Rani ki Vav (2014)

Under Protection of Ministry of Railways

Mountain Railway of India ( Darjeeling,1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka-Shimla(2008)
West Bengal,  Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)

Under Protection of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya (2002)

Under Protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums Department

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)


Under Protection of Ministry of Environment & Forest

Kaziranga National Park (1985)
Manas Wild Life Sanctuary (1985)
Keoladeo National Park (1985)
Sunderban National Park (1987)
West Bengal
Nanda Devi  and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)
Western Ghats (2012)
Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu
Great Himalayan National Park (2014)
Himachal Pradesh


to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a   cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;

to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological   ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;

to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria.
to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;

to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;

to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

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