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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vice President’s Addresses 28th Convocation of Gandhigram Rural University at Dindigul



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From: Press Information Bureau Ministry of I&B <pib.kolkata@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Releases...........pt2



Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Vice President's Secretariat

Vice President's Addresses 28th Convocation of Gandhigram Rural University at Dindigul

New Delhi: October 28, 2010.

 

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the Gandhigram Rural University represents the best example of Nai Talim's 'work-school'. Over the decades, it has served the needs of the villagers in its neighbourhood and has addressed their concerns. Addressing at the 28th Convocation of Rural University at Dindigul, Tamil Nadu he has said that the University and its students have discharged their social duties with dedication.

 

The Vice President has said that the agriculture sector is not immune from the knowledge-centric economy of today. We live in a world where even manual labour is best optimized through knowledge-based processes. Gandhian approaches towards rural development and the agriculture sector would also need to be integrated into our knowledge economy for realizing their objectives. I am glad that Gandhigram Rural University has taken the initiative in transforming itself into a rural knowledge hub to empower farmers and rural citizens to make optimum use of new rural and agricultural technologies. The key to alleviating rural poverty is to ensure access to information and enable seamless communication on a wide range of themes including businesses, farming practices, government policies, health and education issues and the rights and obligations of citizens.

 

Following is the text of the Vice President's  convocation address:-

 

"I am happy to be participating in this Convocation as the Chancellor of the University on my first visit to Gandhigram. The place and the University are unique in many ways. Gandhigram, born in 1947, is as old as independent India. The Institute, founded in 1956, reflected the undying faith and deep devotion of its founders to Mahatma Gandhi's revolutionary concept of 'Nai Talim' system of education. It has developed its own approach to synergizing academic, research and extension programmes in Rural Development, Rural Economics and Rural Oriented Sciences, Development Administration, Rural Sociology, and English and Indian Languages. The University's contribution to rural education is today nationally and internationally recognized.

 

Gandhigram's experiment to demonstrate the important role of work in education is still a work-in-progress. Speaking at the second National Basic Education Conference in April 1941 in Jamia Nagar, Dr. Zakir Hussain had remarked:

 

"A work-school is a society working for a common end. In its cooperative pattern of labour the mistake of one may mar the work of the rest. ….. It teaches its members how to cooperate in spite of their differences of ability and temperament, it teaches them to accept responsibility for their social duties. But the school, like the individual, must work for something more than itself, or it will merely substitute corporate greed for individual greed. The small society of the school must serve the larger society around it."

 

The Gandhigram Rural University represents the best example of Nai Talim's 'work-school'. Over the decades, it has served the needs of the villagers in its neighbourhood and has addressed their concerns. The University and its students have discharged their social duties with dedication.

 

As the graduating students today leave the portals of the University, I implore them to continue with the ideals imbibed here and seek to incorporate this philosophy in their professional and personal lives.

 

Today I would like to address the concerns and problems of agricultural research in India. Agriculture, including crop and animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry and agro-processing, is a critical element towards ensuring food and livelihood security for our citizens. The agricultural sector provides key support for economic development and social transformation, as it accounts for 15.7 per cent of the GDP and provides employment to 52 per cent of our work force. Research has been a prime driver of agricultural growth in India and hence an essential component of our national mission of poverty alleviation and ensuring a decent life to all of our citizens.

 

Agricultural research and development faces systemic, institutional and financial problems in the country. While agriculture is a state subject, the bulk of agricultural research is carried out in central government organizations and is primarily in the public domain. We spend about 0.6 per cent of our agricultural GDP on agricultural Research and Development.

 

The Eleventh Five Year Plan has noted that "a major paradigm shift is needed to transform the present commodity-based research to a systems approach….so as to bring region-specificity in technologies and their time-bound assessment". It concluded that "this kind of approach will help in establishing a research-development-technology transfer continuum involving all stakeholders" and in indentifying "integrated farming systems in different agro-ecological regions…to enhance resource utilization, income and livelihood generation and minimize environmental loading".

 

Beyond a focus on the macro-picture of agricultural research in the country, it would appear that the potential of the agriculture sector to bring about inclusive development and social transformation can only be achieved if public policy directs agricultural research towards poverty alleviation.

 

The touchstone to assess the impact of agricultural research is to see whether it has benefited poor farmers and poor regions in the country. Two issues come to mind.

 

One, in the post-Green Revolution period, productivity growth was sustained through increased input use that was not adjusted to availability of resources of poor and marginal farmers. These farmers had limited access to credit, off-farm inputs and to water, and consequently faced higher levels of risk while adopting such technologies.

 

Two, adequate research and development has not been done on dry-land and rain-fed farming technologies, semi-arid tropics and marginal land farming and low-cost technologies. It needs no reiteration that the poor would immensely benefit with a research focus on farming systems with lower levels of input usage and sustainable resource utilization. Agricultural research must focus on commodities that are relevant to the rural poor and on the conditions under which they produce these agricultural commodities.

 

Policy makers, R&D institutions and academia should pay close heed to some of the recommendations made by the Mid-Term Appraisal of the Eleventh Plan to accelerate agricultural growth and revitalize agricultural research.

 

First, India needs to raise spending on agricultural research to at least 1 per cent of agricultural GDP, which is the average of developing countries, so as to raise productivity in a sustained manner.

 

Second, public research institutions, especially State Agriculture Universities must be re-energized with adequate funding and commensurate institutional reforms to provide autonomy and incentivize the research system.

 

Third, the private sector in India, with a minor role in technology generation, has been more effective in ensuring commercial success in popularizing seeds such as BT cotton, hybrids such as maize, rice and sunflower. This was done, without much support from the public extension system, mainly by responding to the demand of farmers. The public sector technology generation, on the other hand, has become a supply-driven process "of putting technologies on the shelf of the scientists without adequate regard to farmers' needs and perceptions and with insufficient marketing of the technology". Greater space must be created for the private sector in technology generation and diffusion so that new technologies, especially bio-technology including transgenics, could be developed and released under our Regulatory Authority System while adhering to bio-safety norms.

 

The agriculture sector is not immune from the knowledge-centric economy of today. We live in a world where even manual labour is best optimized through knowledge-based processes. Gandhian approaches towards rural development and the agriculture sector would also need to be integrated into our knowledge economy for realizing their objectives.

 

I am glad that Gandhigram Rural University has taken the initiative in transforming itself into a rural knowledge hub to empower farmers and rural citizens to make optimum use of new rural and agricultural technologies. The key to alleviating rural poverty is to ensure access to information and enable seamless communication on a wide range of themes including businesses, farming practices, government policies, health and education issues and the rights and obligations of citizens.

 

I once again congratulate Shri Balasubramaian and the awardees of prizes and medals. I wish all graduating students every success in their future professional and personal endeavours. I thank the Vice Chancellor of the University and the Syndicate and the Senate for inviting me to this Convocation".  

 

sk/rs/dk/kol/14:58 hrs.

 

Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry of Railways

Amendments in Railway Property Act to Further Empower Railway Protection Force under Active Consideration: Ahamed

Railways to Speed up Recruitment Process for RPF Vacant Posts

38 Awards Presented at RPF Investiture Ceremony

New Delhi: October 28, 2010.

 

The Minister of State for Railways, Shri E. Ahamed said that necessary amendments in the Railway Property (unlawful possession) Act to further empower Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers to conduct enquiry on receipt of information and widen the ambit of its penal sections is under active consideration along with efforts to empower the RPF for dealing with passenger related offences. He stated this while addressing a gathering at the Railways Investiture Ceremony of RPF here today He said that to further strengthen Railway security, instructions have already been issued to concerned officials to initiate and speed up the recruitment process to fill up 5,134 posts for which the sanction has already been obtained along with existing vacancies at the earliest.

 

He said that protection of lady passengers is an important area and approval has been granted for raising 12 companies of "Mahila Vahini" comprising solely of women RPF personnel. Besides, Rs. 26.70 crore has been sanctioned for setting up a Commando Training Centre for RPF at Canning, Eastern Railway. In addition, three new Battalions of Railway Protection Special Force have been sanctioned which will be set up at Manwal, Northern Railway at an approximate cost of Rs. 23 crore, New Cooch Behar, North Frontier Railway at an approximate cost of Rs. 14.99 crore and a Mahila Batallion at Asansol, Eastern Railway, at an approximate cost of Rs. 14.72 crore.

 

He further said that augmenting the strength of RPF and the implementation of Integrated Security System at 202 vulnerable stations of Indian Railway shall go a long way in strengthening railway security and also instill a sense of security among the passengers. The Minister said that an All India Security Helpline has been sanctioned in the Railway Budget 2010-11, which on implementation, shall be accessed by passengers round the clock from anywhere in the country for security related assistance in Railway premises and during train journeys. Further, networking of security control rooms and important RPF posts has been sanctioned at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.41 crore for speedy collection and dissemination of crime related information and data.

 

Shri Ahamed also presented 38 prestigious awards to the RPF recipients which include President's Police Medal for gallantry; President's Police Medal for distinguished service and Police Medal for meritorious service for the year 2009-10. In addition, the Minister also declared a reward of Rs. 15 lakh out of which Rs. 3 lakh to the RPF Welfare Fund for the Parade Contingent, Rs. 3 lakh to the 6th Battalion RPSF who hosted this event, Rs. 2 lakh to the personnel who did the administrative arrangements, Rs. 1 lakh for the RPF Band and Rs. 3 lakh each for the RPF Officer's Mess and the RPF NGO's Mess at Delhi.

 

aks/hk/lk/tr/dk/kol/14:58 hrs.

 

 

 

 

Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Planning Commission

Implementation of Twenty Point Programme Should get Focused Attention-Jaiswal

New Delhi: October 28, 2010.

 

The Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Sriprakash Jaiswal today complemented the states for effective implementation of the Twenty Point Programme-2006 of the Central government. Inaugurating the review meeting of the Twenty Point Programme-2006 programme aimed socio-economic development of the country under which schemes like poverty eradication, food security, housing for all, women welfare and social security are run, the minister said that out of 19 parameters monitored on the monthly basis, excepting a few, the performance of most of them have been very good.

 

Some of these parameters are- SC families assisted, habitation covered for quality of water supply, houses constructed under Indira Awas Yojana.

 

Calling upon the nodal Central ministries to provide all support to states for improvement in the performance in these schemes, the minister complimented Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttarakhand for working hard to achieve the targets. He said some States including West Bengal, Assam. Bihar,Sikkim, Mizozoram, and Chattisgarh need to improve further. He said these states should focus attention to the proper implementation of the programmes and schemes covered under TPP so that the performance of these schemes is improved and desired benefits are passed to the deserving citizens.

 

Mr. Jaiswal said Monitoring Committees should be set up at State, district and block level and their meetings held at regular intervals to ensure extensive monitoring of the welfare programmes being taken up under TPP – 2006. The Minister also drew attention of the implementing agencies to the variation observed between information provided by States and by Central nodal ministries and wanted corrective measures to be taken to ensure creation of credible information.

 

The Twenty Point Programme, as you all aware, was started in 1975 by the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi. The objective of the Twenty Point Programme has been to improve the living standard of the poor and down-trodden sections of our society. The emphasis has also been in streamlining production, procurement and distribution of essential commodities, implementation of agricultural land ceiling and distribution of surplus land, development of handloom sector, workers' association in industry, apprenticeship scheme to enlarge employment and training etc.

 

The TPP has been restructured thrice since its inception in 1975 primarily because of introduction of new schemes and programmes by Government of India from time to time and also that some of the schemes/programmes having achieved their targets are no more required for monitoring. The first revision was held in 1982 and the second in 1986. The third and last revision took place in 2006. The restructured programme is called Twenty Point Programme – 2006. TPP – 2006 consists of various pro-poor schemes and schemes/programmes for the common man with focus on poverty alleviation, employment generation especially in rural areas, housing, education, family welfare and health, protection of environment and others. About 35 schemes and programmes covered under TPP – 2006 are being administered by different Administrative Ministries/Departments of Government of India. Yet, as I said rather, these schemes and programmes, being for the benefit of the poor, have been kept under TPP for special monitoring by the Ministry.

 

nnk/rk/dk/kol/14:58 hrs.

 




--
Palash Biswas
Pl Read:
http://nandigramunited-banga.blogspot.com/

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