The Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, has emphasised the importance of adhering to ethical and moral standards in the sphere of visual communications. Delivering the keynote address on the occasion of the valedictory function for the nineteenth batch of students of Asian Academy of Film & Television, here today, Shri Naqvi added that visual media affects the collective psyche of the nation and shapes social behaviour in an extraordinary manner.
Addressing the delegates, the Minister further said that with the opening of the broadcasting sector, the importance of training has been keenly felt in the field of visual media - films and television. He reiterated the Government's commitment to encourage new talent in this field so that in years to come, this rapidly growing activity can become a potent source of employment and job creation.
Shri Naqvi exhorted the young professionals to adopt
professionalism as their guiding mantra. He expressed the hope that they
would utilize their creative energy to create national integration, provide
wholesome entertainment and uplift the general values of the audiences
that the medium addresses.
Coal reserves in the country as assessed by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), down to a depth of 1200m, as on January 01, 1998 are 206, 239.50 million tonnes. Though exploration of coal is an on-going exercise for finding new deposits, the coal reserves established till date are likely to last over 100 years even at an enhanced rate of production. Fires, which predominantly occur in Jharia Coalfields and to some extent in Raniganj Coalfields, the estimated quantity of about 42 m.t. of coal reserves have been lost due to fires in these two coalfields. 115 crores have been spent to put off fires since 1976. Twenty two fire cases were taken up and 10 fires have been put off completely. Remaining fires have also been brought under control. As per estimates received from International agencies Rs. 4070 crores are required to put off fires in Jharia Coalfields. Since nationalisation of coal mines, coal mining operation was suspended in 139 mines of Coal India Limited and 5 mines in Singareni Colliereis Company Limited.
This was stated by Shri Dilip Ray, Minister of State
for Coal and Parliamentary Affairs in reply to questions put by Shri Vijay
Goel and Shri Mohan Sinch here today in the Lok Sabha.
The total quantity of
lignite reserves in Mannargudi, Tamilnadu identified is around 19,500 million
tonnes. The quality of the lignite is moisture 40 to 50 per cent, ash 4
to 12 per cent, volatile matter 18 to 23 per cent, fixed carbon 17 to 20
per cent, calorific value 2200 to 3200 k.cal./kg. Exploration in the area
is not yet complete. The reserves are located under built up and agricultural
areas making exploitation difficult. Steps are being taken to accelerate
exploration and identify blocks which can be exploited in Mannargudi. This
was stated by Shri Dilip Ray, Minister of State for Coal and Parliamentary
Affairs in a written reply here today in the Lok Sabha.
The Plenary Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) will give priority to tackling the worst forms of child labour. In this regard, a new Convention is proposed to be discussed during the current session of the ILC.
Among the national programmes of action recommended under the new proposed Convention are; Members should design and implement such programmes with a view to eliminating on a priority basis all extreme forms of child-labour; such programmes should be designed and implemented in consultation with relevant Government institutions, employers and workers organisations and other concerned groups.
These programmes should aim at (a) Identifying and denouncing all extreme forms of child labour;(b) giving special attention to children under 12; (c) taking account of the special situation of girls; (d) preventing children from engaging in or removing them from reprisals, providing for their rehabilitation and social integration through measures which address their educational, physical, emotional and psychological needs, and; (e) identifying and reaching out to communities where children are at special risk.
For the proposed Convention as the ILO sees it "hazardous work" should include work which exposes children to physical emotional or sexual abuse; underground work, underwater work or work at dangerous heights; work involving dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves the manual transport of heavy loads; work in an unhealthy environment which may, for example, involve exposure to hazardous substances agents or processes, or to extreme temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations; and work involving lone hours during the night or without the possibility of returning home each day.
The proposals also provide that among criminal offences should be included all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom; and the use, engagement or offering of a child in illegal activities for prostitution production of pornography or pornographic performances.
The ILO has a double-discussion procedure at the
International Labour Conference before a proposed Convention and Recommendations
can enter the statute book. The first discussion on the new Convention
in question will take place in the current session to be followed up by
a second round of discussions at the next session in next June.
India has reiterated its determination to eliminate child labour from the country. This was stated by the Labour Minister Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya while addressing the preliminary session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva today. He said that Indian Government have taken decision to make primary education compulsory for all children and the National Agenda for Governance of the Government is also committed to eradication of child labour. Dr. Jatiya stated that several important steps taken in this direction have also started yielding results as shown by the decline in child labour according to 1991 census.
Expressing his happiness over the consideration of a new Convention in child labour by the ILC, Labour Minister stated that India would support the sequential and gradual approach behind the new instrument prohibiting the most intolerable and more exploitative forms of child labour to start with. Dr. Jatiya added that so long as the children are given opportunities to attend regular schools, children working in agricultural occupations and other non-hazardous occupations should only be progressively withdrawn. Otherwise any sudden withdrawal will aggravate economic and social problems in low wage economies. Elaborating further on the issue Labour Minister said that in developing countries parental poverty, illiteracy are the two main causes of the child labour. He said there is another aspect, arising out of pecularities of the social system prevailing in India and general situation of unemployment and poverty. The services of children are used for both economic reasons and also for imparting intergenerational skills to the children so as to enable them to earn a decent living in a particular family art and craft when they grow up.
Dr. Jatiya said " Technically this might be called child labour but the fact remains that the parents take their children to work with a view to imparting such training to them." Labour Minister stated that under these circumstances laws, regulations and labour standards cannot by themselves, achieve the object of elimination of child labour.
On the issue concerning Contract labour,Dr. Jatiya said that India is one of the few countries enacted a law in 1970, keeping in view the fact that contract labour is one of the most exploitative forms of labour. He said " We , therefore, support the text of the proposed Convention for adopting an instrument to regulate contract labour in line with the requirement of the changing times." Regarding declaration on principles concerning Worker's Right and its appropriate follow up, Labour Minister stated that the text of the Declaration which has been circulated seeks a renewal of commitment from the Member-States to promote the principles enshrined in the seven core conventions of the ILO. India may support privided its concerns are met in the final draft.
Dr. Jatiya said that India attach the highest importance
to dignity and freedom of labour and have given it a pride of place in
our economy and committed to the philosophy of tripartism. He said that
through this conference "I would like to assure the social partners that
we would strive in all possible ways to protect, preserve and uphold the
dignity of labour and would not allow this to be compromised in any manner
During the first quarter
of the current year, 298 Foreign Direct Investment proposals worth Rs.8187.61
crore were approved by the government. A total number of 97 proposals
are pending before the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The proposals,
complete in all respects, are considered by the Board keeping in view the
time frame of 6 weeks for communicating government's decision as per notified
guidelines. This information was given by Shri Sikander Bakth Union Minister
of Industry in the Lok Sabha today in a written reply to S/Shri. Ramakrishna
Baba Patil, Vijay Goel,Mohan Singh and Krishna Kumar Choudhary.
The Central Budget for 1998-99 has an allocation of Rs. 2530 crore for different programmes of the Ministry of Rural Areas & Employment. This is a fifteen per cent increase compared to the allocation in the 1997-98 budget.
The major allocations are for provision of safe drinking
water supply in the rural areas. Rs. 1627 crore has been earmarked for
water supply in the rural areas. Over one lakh habitations will benefit.
Provision of safe drinking water supply in the rural areas is a state subject.
All the schemes for supply of drinking water in villages are formulated
and implemented by the States under the Minimum Needs Programme (MNP).
To supplement the States' resources and to speed up the pace of coverage
of problem villages across the country, Central assistance is being provided
under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) with 100 per
cent grants-in-aid, subject to a maximum provision being made by the State
Governments under MNP.
Keoladeo National Park
Bhatatpur is popularly known as Kewaladevi Bird Sanctuary. According to
the reports of the State Government, there has been no shortfall in the
number of birds migrating from foreign countries to this Park. Only one
case of illegal hunting of birds in this park has been detected during
the last three years. Three persons have been arrested and the case has
been filed in the Court. Sufficient quantity of water for the park is obtained
from the State Irrigation Department, every year. Stone wall has been constructed
around the park to prevent enroachments and the illegal grazing. Eight
check posts equipped with wireless sets have been established in the park.
Regular patrolling by security guards is also done. This information was
given by Minister of State for Environment & Forests, Shri Babu Lal
Marandi in the Rajya Sabha today.
One of the recommendations made by Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations is, delegation of powers to the States to divert upto 5 hectares of reserved forest lands which are urgently required for specific public purposes.
In a meeting of Inter-State Council held in November,1997
this recommendation has been agreed to in principle subject to suitable
terms and conditions as might be required under the Forest (Conservation)
Act, 1980 and the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in a court case
regarding forestry matters in which, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 is
also one of the isues under consideration. This information was given by
Minister of State, for Environment & Forests Shri Babu Lal Marandi
in the Rajya Sabha today.
The steps taken by the Government to reduce pollution include the following:-
(i) The Government has formulated a comprehensive Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution which envisages integration of environmental and economic aspects of development planning, lays stress on preventive aspects of pollution abatement and promotion of technological inputs to reduce industrial pollution:
(ii) Environmental guidelines have been evolved for siting and operation of industries;
(iii) Fiscal incentives are provided for installation of pollution control equipment and also for the shifting of industries from congested areas. Custom and excise duty exemptions are provided to the industries for pollution control/monitoring equipment.
(iv) A scheme for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plants in clusters of small scale industrial units is under implemtnation;
(v) To promote pollution prevention in small and medium scale industries, the Government has established 15 Waste Minimisation Circles in clusters of small scale industries;
(vi) Emission standards for 79 categories of industries have been notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Besides, ambient air and water quality standards have also been notified;
(vii) Large and medium scale units faling under the 17 categories of the hazardous industries are being monitored regularly for overseeing their implementation with the prescribed standards;
(viii) Low lead petrol had been introduced in the 4 metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai w.e.f. June 1994. Subsequently, unleaded petrol was introduced in the above mentioned 4 cities on 1.4.1995; and
(ix) The Government is implementing a major plan of action for introduction of unleaded petrol and catalytic converter fitted vehicles and introduction of low sulphur diesel for cleaner diesel vehicles in a phased manner. Fuel quality standards for petrol and diesel have been notified
This information was given by Minister of State for
Environment & Forests Shri Babu Lal Marandi in the Rajya Sabha today.
In addition to its centre at New Delhi, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has set up 6 centres at Mumbai, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Calcutta, Hyderabad and Bangalore. There have been requests from State Governments of J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Goa for setting up of centres of NIFT in their State, which are under examination.
This information was given by Shri Kashiram Rana,
Union Minister of Textiles, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
Against export of handicrafts (including handknotted carpets) to the tune of Rs. 5628.62 crores and Rs. 6457.69 crores during 1996-97 and 1997-98 respectively, the export target for 1998-98 has been fixed at Rs. 7776.00 crores. The Government has also directed Export Promotion Council for handicrafts to take fresh initiative to promote more exports from the Regions which have potential for augmenting further export.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today the Union Minister Textiles, Shri Kashiram Rana confirmed that the handicrafts exporters have suggested some measures to boost exports to meet the target and stated that the main suggestions of the handicrafts exporters to boost exports include: introduction of flexible labour laws to suit seasonal work load; appropriate classification of artmetalwares for duty draw back purpose; appropriate duty draw back on artwares manufactured with the combination of different non-ferrous and ferrous metal and other materials; dispense with the requirement of certification regarding non-availment of MODVAT facility; and improvement in infrastructural facilities etc. He also added to inform that the Government was seized of the problem and is making concerted efforts to solve them.
The Minister further informed that efforts being
made by the Government to achieve the target set for handicrafts exports
included: sponsoring of sales-cum-study teams abroad; participation in
international fairs and exhibitions; organisation of buyer-seller's meets;
overseas publicity and publication of catalogues; conducting of seminars
and workshop; and holding of Indian Handicrafts Gift Fair and Indian Carpet
Expo as an annual feature.
In December,1997, Government have announced policy and procedures to enable 100% EOUs producing cotton yarn to plan timely imports of cotton wherever necessary to meet the export obligations. Accordingly, the Letters of Permission for setting up 100% EOUs for manufacture of cotton yarn of 40 counts and below are being issued subject inter-alia to the following condition:-
"The export of domestic cotton, which will be permitted to be used for the project, shall be determined separately on annual basis depending upon the availability. For rest of the requirements, imported cotton shall be used."
" There is, however, no change in the policy of allowing exports of cotton yarn of 40 counts and below within the annual quantitative ceiling limits, fixed on a callendar year basis.
The quota (i.e. the ceiling) is fixed annually for
allowing exports of cotton yarn from the country as a whole and not released
State-wise. Hence, the question of monitoring the exports State-wise also
does not arise. At present, the Government is not considering any
major changes in the policy for manufacturing and export of cotton yarn.
This information was given by Shri Kashiram Rana,Union Minister of Textiles,
in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.