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Govt to lease degraded forest land to industrialists

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New Delhi: The government will soon announce a scheme to allow private players to develop degraded forest land under the private-public partnership model, a union minister said on Tuesday.

prakash-javadekar“We have forest land where there are no forests. We have already formulated a scheme and it will be put on the ministry’s website soon,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on the sidelines of Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) 10th Sustainable Summit.

He said the degraded forest land would be given on lease which industrialists, who otherwise import wood, could harness for commercial purposes.

However, he said, it would be mandatory to grow local tree species on 10 per cent of such land for sustainability of flora and fauna.

The minister said the scheme would benefit the industry as their dependence on imported wood would be reduced and will provide employment for the locals.

Javadekar said the land ownership would, however, remain with the government.

(IANS)

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JNU was awarded ‘Best University’ for its good works, not for Hostage Drama, says HRD Minister

"Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don't come into the limelight"

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JNU

New Delhi, March 28, 2017: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) got the best university award for its good work and not for the controversy last year during which the Vice Chancellor was taken hostage’. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar remarked this statement while discussing a bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

“Recently JNU was given best university award. This was not given for making the Vice Chancellor hostage but for the good works done by the university. These good works don’t come into the limelight,” Javadekar said in the Lok Sabha while concluding the debate on the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016.

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Javadekar’s comments came after Congress pioneer Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the Minister’s reference of vacancies in JNU.

Pointing out to the vacancies of professors in JNU, Javadekar said: “There are over 100 vacancies for SCs/STs in JNU while around 25 posts of disabled professors are vacant since long ago.”

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Karge objected to it by stating that it’s not only in the JNU, but in many central universities, teaching posts are lying vacant for many years. It’s the duty of the minister to respond to such obligations.

“I know why you are raking up JNU only,” Kharge said.

Last year in October, Students of JNU had staged protests outside the administrative Block, forcing the Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar and Rectors to remain confined inside the building, over the disappearance of student Najeeb Ahmed.

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Earlier, three of its students were arrested on sedition charges in connection with an event on the campus during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

Responding to members’ queries, Javadekar said that vacancies in universities are a serious issue and there are many reasons for it.

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“There are vacancies in central universities, state universities and also in private universities. We are trying to constitute a dynamic platform where all vacancies will be exhibited on our website,” he said.

The Minister said that for filling up the vacancies the government needs to create an atmosphere where students prefer to be teachers and professors.

”We need to create interest among students so they could prefer this profession,” he said.

Javadekar said that whenever he visited any university, he always asked students: “Who wants to be a teacher? Who wants to be a professor?”

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“Recently I visited an IIT where I asked the same question to students. I was very happy when majority of students said they want to join the teaching line,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the cases of suicides on campuses.

“Even a single case of suicide in campuses is unfortunate,” the minister said.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

 

 

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3-Day International Hindi Conference to take place in Visakhapatnam: Bridging the gap between Hindi and Other Language Speakers

the first International Hindi Conference outside USA bring together more than 200 scholars in the field of Hindi language from all around the world

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Visakhapatnam, Dec 29, 2016: The fourth International Hindi Conference will be held from January 6 to 8, 2017, in the port city of Visakhapatnam.  The main motive of the conference is to bridge the gap between experts of the language in India and abroad. It will be inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan. Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will also be present at the conference.

It is jointly arranged by the Hindi Sangam Foundation, (New Jersey and New Delhi) and Lok Nayak Foundation of Visakhapatnam. This is the first time the conference is taking place outside the USA.

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According to PTI reports, former MP and organising committee chairman Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad said that around 200 Hindi scholars and professionals from around the world are expected to join the conference. Many leading Hindi scholars from US universities, including New York University, Columbia, Duke, City University of New York, Pace and Pennsylvania State University, would attend the conference along with academicians from all over India.

The theme of the conference hosted by Gitam University on its campus at Rishikonda is “Teaching Hindi to Other Language Speakers: Pedagogical Perspectives, Language Planning and Program Development.”

Famous Hindi scholar and author, Prasad said, “The conference will be a unique forum for dialogue among Hindi scholars and administrators and will allow for partnerships and project collaborations with the goal to expand, enrich and further promote Hindi education.”

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The Padma Bhushan awardee also mentioned, “This conference is the result of a new initiative introduced in the field of Hindi education that aims to create a bridge between the pedagogical experts of the language in India and the pedagogical experts and instructors in the US and the rest of the world, where Hindi is taught as a heritage language as well as a foreign language.”

This conference is surely an interesting initiative in the field of Hindi language. It will not only help the language reach a bigger global acceptance but also help India connect with the rest of the world through the appeal of a rich language like Hindi. This conference also successfully brings the most respected faces in the field of the language under one roof.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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GST bill passage a matter of time, says Arun Jaitley

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill was just a matter of time.

“When the bill is put to vote, I see it going through,” said Jaitley at the World Economic Forum here.

Jaitley said here last week that the government would make all efforts to pass the GST bill in the forthcoming winter session of parliament.

He expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in implementing taxation reforms, both direct and indirect.

Jaitley was speaking at the National Strategy Day on India, jointly organised by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He said the large number of legacy issues on taxation that he had inherited have largely been sorted out.

Regarding the GST, he said the supporting legislation and the IT backbone are ready and there is little conceptual opposition to the idea.

Responding to a question on ways to revive private sector investment, Jaitley said in the current situation public investment has to lead the way.

“Considerable amount of resources have been devoted to step up public investment not only by the government but also by public sector enterprises,” he said, adding that the private sector would soon start participating in the investment cycle.

The government, he added, was making resources available to sectors such as highways and railways where expansion would have a positive impact on the rest of the economy.

He highlighted that substantial budgetary resources are now available due to the drop in global oil prices and the strong growth in indirect tax collection.

The subsidy reform implemented by the government, he suggested, is the biggest unsung reform of this government that has enabled resources to be devoted to more productive uses.

In addition, resources for investment in infrastructure were being made available by international and domestic insurance and pension funds.

Jaitley said the government is also making an effort to revive the legal framework for public-private partnerships, which needs to be radically changed.

Contracts are being reworked and the time period for arbitration is being brought down. The one problem area within infrastructure, he said, is the power sector where state distribution companies on have become unviable and are unable to lift power from the generating companies.

He said a framework is being developed for resolving this issue which will be announced in the next few days.

(IANS)