Piyush Goyal encourages railways officials to give suggestions for national optimisation - The Daily Guardian
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Piyush Goyal encourages railways officials to give suggestions for national optimisation

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New Delhi [India], February 20 (ANI): Indian Railways must continue to optimise and reduce the costs and further improve all productivities to make this year an exceptional year in spite of COVID-19, said Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal while reviewing the working of all the railway zones.
According to an official release, the minister encouraged the officials from across the railway zones to share with the board their best practices and policy suggestions for national optimisation.
These suggestions could be about anything that can contribute to better passenger services, safety, revenue generation, freight and business development, increasing the speed or anything.
The Minister asked the Railway Board to study the best practices of zones at the earliest. Great practices or ideas that are being implemented at one place can be then replicated at other places and national optimisation can be achieved.
Goyal added that energy expenses on the running of trains should further be rationalised, adding that the record capex allocation in the historic budget is an opportunity for capacity expansion and creating the foundation of future-ready Railways.
The minister further said that freight operations of railways have helped in contributing to the economic and industrial activities of the country in a big way and therefore loading and freight momentum must continue to be maintained.
He added that infrastructure projects under various stages of completion must be monitored on a daily basis and all timelines should be adhered to.
Goyal said that COVID-19 precautions must continue to be adhered to by railways.
It may be noted that this year, Railways witnessed a “record” budgetary allocation of Rs 1.10 lakh crore in the Budget, with a total capital expenditure outlay of Rs 2.15 lakh crore for the coming financial year.
The total capital expenditure outlay includes, “highest ever” Rs 1.07 lakh crore from gross budgetary support, Rs 7,500 crores from internal resources and over Rs 1 lakh crore from external budgetary resources.
The thrust of annual plan 2021-22 is on infrastructure development, throughput enhancement, development of terminal facilities, augmentation of the speed of trains, signalling systems, improvement of passengers/users’ amenities, safety works of a road over/under bridges. (ANI)

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Powers under Part III of IT Rules, 2021 not delegated to states: IB Ministry

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and administrators of all Union Territories (UTs) clarifying that the powers under Part III of IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 are administered by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
According to an official release, the letter has also underlined that these powers have not been delegated to the state governments, district magistrates or police commissioners.
“It has also been requested that this information be brought to the notice of all concerned persons in States and UTs,” the Ministry said.
The letter again clarified the provisions of the rules under Part III which relate to publishers of digital news and current affairs and publishers of online curated content (OTT platforms).
The rules under Part III, the letter states, provide for a Code of Ethics to be followed by digital news publishers and publishers of OTT content, which includes five age-based classifications.
“Further, the rules require a three-level Grievance Redressal Mechanism consisting of the publisher (Level-1), a self-regulating body constituted by the publishers (Level-II), and an Oversight Mechanism of the Government (Level III), with time-bound grievance disposal mechanism. Finally, the rules require the furnishing of information by the publishers to the Government and periodical disclosure of information regarding grievance redressal in the public domain,” the release said.
Notably, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 under the Information Technology Act, 2000 were notified on February 25, 2021. (ANI)

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Piyush Goyal calls for working towards ensuring India’s recognition on global stage as quality conscious country

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Wednesday called for for working towards ensuring India’s recognition on global stage as quality conscious country.
Goyal, who was speaking at the concluding session of the Workshop on Easing Compliance of BIS Certifications, said, “We should make the Indian standard a world-wide accepted standard. BIS should operate on ‘QUICK’ model – quality, uniformity through one nation one standard, international mindset, conformity assessment and knowledge sharing.”
“Our mantra for the day should be quick action, quick response, and quick absorption of best practices and quicker ways of working. We must work towards ensuring India’s recognition on the global stage as a quality conscious country, as a country with which people can do business with a confidence,” Goyal said.
The minister further said, “We must work towards ensuring India’s recognition on the global stage as a quality conscious country, as a country with which people can do business with a confidence.”
On knowledge sharing, the Minister referred to Udyog Manthan exercise, a marathon of 2-month long webinars on Quality and Productivity, in which industry, experts, motivation speakers and line ministries took part.
He said that it has set the tone to absorb quality and productivity as the mantras for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat where Make-in-India will hold centre-stage and expand the frontiers of trade and business.
The Minister called for more and more use of artificial intelligence, big data and other technology related solutions to help resolve standardisation issues facing industry and other entrepreneurs.
Goyal said that ‘ISI Standard Mark’ should represent quality, productivity, affordability and accessibility.
“BIS should ensure the cost of testing never becomes a detriment to conforming to quality and getting certification, he said that there will be reduction of fee for the certification for MSMEs. This is a dawn of a new era of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ where digitalization and efficiency are going to determine India’s success in the future,” he said.
The workshop was organised jointly by Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, along with the Department of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Indian Standards, to facilitate closer interaction between various sectors of industry and the apex national standards body.

This workshop has been organised to facilitate closer interaction between various sectors of industry and the apex national standards body. Four technical sessions on Standardisation, Testing Activities, Certification Activity and Implementation of QCO’s were conducted during the workshop. (ANI)

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Tamil Nadu: Police, paramilitary forces conduct flag march in Ramanathapuram ahead of Assembly elections

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Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 3 (ANI): Police and paramilitary forces’ personnel on Wednesday conducted a flag march in Ramanathapuram ahead of Assembly elections.
“Police and paramilitary forces’ personnel conduct flag march in Mandapam and Thangachimadam in Ramanathapuram district, in the light of upcoming Tamil Nadu Election 2021,” read an official statement.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2. The term of the 15th legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu is ending on May 2, 2021. As many as 6,28,23,749 electors will choose candidates for the sixteenth legislative assembly in Tamil Nadu.
Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the poll in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). MK Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has joined hands with Congress. This time, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan’s party Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is also in the fray.
In the last Assembly elections held in 2016, the DMK won 80, Congress won just eight, AIADMK won 134 seats, BJP won 4 seats and the rest were won by other parties and independent candidates.
The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led front, which includes the Congress, had won 37 of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu in 2019. (ANI)

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Sasikala ‘sets herself apart from politics’, asks AIADMK cadres to stand united defeat DMK in TN Assembly polls

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 3 (ANI): Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala on Wednesday said she is “stepping aside” from politics and urged the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres to stand united and ensure the defeat of rival DMK in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
In a statement here Sasikala said “I set myself apart from politics and pray for the golden rule of my Goddess Akka (Jayalalithaa). I will continue to pray for her vision always.”
In a statement, the former aide of Jayalalithaa: “I have neither desired for the position nor for authority.”
“We should work diligently to ensure that DMK does not come into power. I am thankful to caders and the people of Tamil Nadu who have given due respect and concern towards me,” she said
“I would like to continue my life, as I was executing the vision of Jayalalithaa,” she said.
The AIADMK has so far ruled out accommodating her or her nephew TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in the party or in the alliance led by it.
The development comes a month ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on April 6.
Sasikala had been staying at her niece J Krishnapriya’s residence in Chennai’s T Nagar area after returning to the city in February following the completion of her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
The former AIADMK leader was discharged on January 31 from Bengaluru’s Victoria hospital where she was undergoing COVID-19 treatment. She was officially released from judicial custody on January 27 after completing her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
In 2019, the Income Tax Department had attached properties worth Rs 1,600 crores belonging to her under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
After the demise of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, Sasikala was elected General Secretary of the AIADMK. She had handed over the control of the party to nephew Dhinkaran after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case in February 2017.
Edappadi Palaniswami was made Chief Minister with her backing but Sasikala was removed after rival faction led by O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against Sasikala merged with the Palaniswami faction. Both Sasikala and Dhinakaran were removed in September 2017. (ANI)

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Over 1.63 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India, says Centre

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has informed that the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 1.63 crore on Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, a total of 1,63,14,485 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7 pm on Wednesday.
These include 67,75,619 healthcare workers who have taken the first dose and 28,24,311 HCWs who have taken the second dose, 57,62,131 frontlineworkers (1st dose), 3,277 FLWs (2nd dose), 8,44,884 beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 1,04,263 beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities,.
Total 6,92,889 vaccine doses were given till 7 pm today, the forty-seventh day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination. Out of which 5,79,366 beneficiaries were vaccinated for 1st dose and 1,13,523 HCWs and FLWs received 2nd dose of vaccine as per the provisional report.
The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 and vaccination of the FLWs started from February 2.The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination has commenced from 1st March 2021 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. (ANI)

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Sikkim Governor, wife receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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Gangtok (Sikkim) [India], March 3 (ANI): Governor of Sikkim Ganga Prasad along with his wife Kamla Devi received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday at STNM Hospital in Gangtok.
Notably, Prasad is 84-year-old and his wife Kamala Devi is 80-year-old.
According to an official release, the Governor appealed to the residents of Sikkim to take the COVID-19 vaccination and follow all health protocols including sanitisation to curb spread of the virus.
He also thanked the Sikkim government, COVID-19 warriors, and health workers, for contributing to the fight against the virus.
The Governor also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministry of Health, researchers and scientists for providing COVID-19 vaccination in such a short period of time. (ANI)

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