Piyush Goyal launches “DGFT Trade Facilitation App”

Commerce & Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal today launched DGFT ‘Trade Facilitation’ Mobile Appduring the online video conference, for promoting ease of doing business and providing quick access to information to importers/exporters.

Speaking on the occasion,Shri Piyush Goyal said that very often, the simple trade-related process becomes cumbersome, and when they are available with a touch of a button, like with a mobile app, we will ensure the Ease of doing business and the speedy growth in international trade. “We desire to move towards paperless, automated processing systems, simple procedures for trade players, online data exchange between departments & digital payments & acknowledgements.”, he added

Shri Goyal said that in the post-covid world, tech-enabled governance will play a key role in determining India’s growth and competitiveness. He said that a Single-window approach has enabled tech transformation of service delivery in India. It has liberated last-mile beneficiary from location based constraints, and enhanced ease of doing business.   He said that Progress in technology helps develop the economy and strengthen Indian firms in the competitive global market.

Lauding the initiative of DGFT, Shri Goyal said that the new Trade Facilitation App is a step in the right direction as it provides easy, omni-channel access to various trade related processes and enquiries at the touch of button.He said that truly imbibing Prime Minister’s vision of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance, DGFT is standing up for businesses as a true leader with e-issuance of certificates, QR scan process to validate documents. It will reduce transaction cost and time for imports and exports related processes, and usher in transparency. He said that ‘Trade Facilitation Mobile App’ is a symbol of India’s idea of Aatmanirbharta – Making governance easy, economical & accessible, as it symbolises shift in traditional thinking.

Shri Goyal said that Trade facilitation App is READY for Industry 4.0, as it provides

  • Real-time trade policy updates, notifications,application status alert, tracking help requests

· Explore item-wise Export-Import policy & statistics,Track IEC Portfolio

· AI-based 24*7 assistance for trade queries

· DGFT services made accessible to all

· Your Trade Dashboard accessible anytime &anywhere

The Minister said that ‘Mobile’ India creates an international trade opportunities for MSMEs and Foreign players. It will enable creation of a quality conscious and cost-competitive domestic industry. Further, it will significantly contribute to export target of $1 Trillion by 2025 and GDP target of $5 Trillion. He said that for advanced App development, more inputs & ideas of all stakeholders should be invited for further refinement which will help in expediting our technological transformation.  Shri Goyal also called for engagement with technology and language specialists to develop Governance Apps in various regional languages, which will support the spirit of oneness amongst our citizens.

The new Mobile App of DGFT provides the following features for ease of the exporters and importers –

  • Real-time Trade Policy Updates and Event Notifications
  • Your Trade Dashboard Anytime Anywhere
  • Access all services offered by DGFT in App
  • Explore Item-wise Export-Import Policy and Statistics
  • 24×7 Virtual Assistance for Trade Related Queries
  • Track your IEC Portfolio – IEC, Applications, Authorizations
  • Real-time Alerts on status of applications
  • Raise and track help requests in real-time
  • Share Trade Notices, Public Notices easily

The App will be available on Android and iOS platforms. The App can also be downloaded from theDGFT Website (https://dgft.gov.in). It has been developed by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS),as per the directions of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Dr Jitendra Singh launches “75″ series Pension awareness to mark 75 years of India’s independence

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr.Jitendra Singh today launched “75″ series Pension awareness to mark 75 years of India’s independence. As a part of the “Amrut Mahotsav” to commemorate India @75, the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare will organize a wide range of activities, characterized by “75” serial figure.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, it would be a highly innovative and creative method of observing the 75th year of India’s independence by dedicating it to the cause of pensioners and elder citizens. This, he said, would personify the real essence of “Bharat Ka Amrut Mahotsav” by addressing the elder citizens through one of the youngest mediums of social platform.

Among the various activities envisaged over the next one year or so, an important one would be the dissemination of a series of 75 important rules for family pensioners through two Tweets per week on social media during the coming year. These Tweets are being put in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to enhance awareness about the various aspects of pension rules and new recent reforms brought in for the welfare of pensioners belonging to all sections, including the family pensioners.

The other “75” related activities would be the imparting of training on “Bhavishya” (Online Pension Sanction Module) through 75 offices of the Government of India. All these offices will be first imparted training through a Video Conference followed by a question – answer session. Training of Bhavishya will start from April 2021 in multiple sessions across the Central Government organizations. Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) offices at different locations across the country will also be covered in this training.

Similarly, going by the rule of “75”, an online workshop on Pension Awareness Rules for senior government pensioners and family pensioners will be held for those above the age of 75 years. A series of online workshops will be conducted across the country through Video Conference beginning from May 2021. This would cover the maximum number of cities and workshops will also be conducted region wise. Going by the same spirit of the “75”, the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare will come out with digital publications of 75 “Anubhav” writeups, including those already awarded or selected from the Anubhav Portal. This activity will be undertaken from June 2021 onwards.

Dr Harsh Vardhan will launch a new mission called `Aahaar Kranti’

The mission is aimed to spread the message of the need for a nutritionally balanced diet and to understand the importance of accessible to all local fruits and vegetables.

Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST) have come together to launch the mission with the motto of उत्तम आहार-उत्तम विचार (Uttam Aahaar Uttam Vichaar) or `Good Diet-Good Cognition’.

The `Aahaar Kranti’ movement is designed to address the peculiar problem being faced by India and the world called `hunger and diseases in abundance’. Studies estimate that India produces as much as two times the amount of calories that it consumes. However, many in the country are still malnourished. The root cause of this strange phenomenon is a lack of nutritional awareness in all sections of our society.

There is a need for a nutritionally balanced diet also in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. A healthy body would be able to handle the infection much better with greater immunity and higher resilience.

The United Nations has also declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, which vibes very well with Aahaar Kranti. Fruits and vegetables make a large part of a balanced diet. Further, UN sustainable goal # 3 that emphasizes on human well-being reads, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” This goal too makes Aahaar Kranti more meaningful. Diet and well-being are inseparable partners.

India has the unique advantage of having the knowledge of Ayurveda. It is time to also apply this rich knowledge of Ayurveda-based nutrition to practice. The movement will work on this too.

The movement proposes to address the current situation of hunger in abundance by working to rouse the people to the values of India’s traditional diet, to the healing powers of local fruits and vegetables, and to the miracles of a balanced diet.  It will renew the focus on nutritionally balanced diets – उत्तम एवं संतुलित आहार (Uttam evam santulit aahaar) replete in locally sourced fruits and vegetables.

The programme will focus on training teachers, who, in turn, will pass on the message to the multitudes of students, and through them to their families and finally the society at large. Such a strategy was adopted for the eradication of Polio and it turned out to be a grand success.

Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum have aimed to set Aahaar Kranti as a model for the entire world to follow. India has remained the world leader or Vishwaguru for ages, and in case of diet and nutrition, it has led to several path-breaking efforts in terms of science, technology, and innovations. The new movement will add to that.

The mission will work on multiple dimensions simultaneously. In terms of objectives, it will seek to promote better awareness, better nutrition and better agriculture; the messages will be imparted through the curriculum in the form of `what’s and `why’s of nutrition, or through the forms of games or as instructions such as `how to’; and the content will be provided both online and offline and in all vernacular languages besides English and Hindi to reach out to as many as possible.

While Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum initiated the programme, several other agencies have also joined hands and have agreed to pool in their expertise and resources. Union Ministry of Science and Technology’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)’s Pravasi Bharatiya Academic and Scientific Sampark (Prabhaas) is collaborating, and various central and state government ministries and agencies are involved. More organisations are in the pipeline to join the Mission as it proceeds.

Broadcast Platforms: Live streaming of Aahaar Kranti Launch Event will be available on the following platforms:

§  India Science OTT Channel – www.indiascience.in

§  India Science YouTube channel

§  India Science Mobile App (Android, iOS, JioPhone)

We request you to kindly give wide publicity to the nation-wide programme through your esteemed media organisation. Your contribution will be valuable in fulfilling its motto of Uttam Aahaar Uttam Vichaar.

Official website of Aahaar Kranti: www.aahaarkranti.org

‘Tika Utsav’ is beginning of second major war against Corona: PM

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has called the ‘Tika Utsav’, vaccination festival, the beginning of second big war against Corona and has emphasized special focus on social hygiene along with personal hygiene. The Utsav started today on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and will continue till the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar on April 14th .

In a message on the occasion, the Prime Minister stressed four points with regard to the drive. First, Each One- Vaccinate  meaning those who can’t go themselves for vaccination, such as illiterate and old people, should be assisted.

Second, Each One- Treat One. This involves helping people in getting Corona treatment, who do not have resources or knowledge to get it.

Third, Each One- Save One, meaning I should wear mask and save myself and others. This should be stressed.

Finally, society and people should lead in creating ‘micro containment zones’. Family members and community members should create ‘micro containment zone’, in case of even a single positive case.  ‘Micro containment zones’ are a key component of fight against Corona in a densely populated country like India, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need for testing and awareness. He asked that every eligible person should get vaccinated. This should be the primary effort of both the society and the administration, he said.

The Prime Minister insisted that we have to move towards zero vaccine wastage. Optimum utilization of vaccination capacity is a way of increasing our capacity, said the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister said our success will be determined by awareness about ‘micro containment zones’, by not moving out of our homes unnecessarily, vaccination of all eligible persons and how we follow covid appropriate behaviour like wearing masks and other protocols.

The Prime Minister asked to make targets at personal, social and administration level for these four days of ‘Tika Utsav’ and diligently make effort to achieve them. He expressed the hope that with people’s participation. Awareness and responsible behaviour we will succeed in containing Corona once again.

He ended by reminding – Dawai bhi, kadai bhi.

PM pays tribute to Mahatma Jyotiba Phule on his birth anniversary

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tribute to the great social reformer, thinker, philosopher and writer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule on his birth anniversary.

Shri Modi said that Mahatma Jyotiba Phule remained committed to education of women and their empowerment throughout his life.

His devotion to social reforms will be a source of inspiration for coming generations, added the Prime Minister.

PM releases Hindi Version of Odisha Itihaas by Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi released the Hindi translation of the book ‘Odisha Itihaas’ written by ‘Utkal Keshari’ Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. The book, available in Odia and English so far, has been translated into Hindi by Shri. Shankarlal Purohit. Union Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab MP(LS), Cuttack were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled that about one and half year ago the country celebrated 120th birth anniversary of ‘Utkal Keshari’ Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. Dedicating the Hindi edition of his famous ‘Odisha Itihaas’, Shri Modi said that that it is important that diverse and comprehensive history of Odisha should reach people of the country.

The Prime Minister remembered Dr Mahtab’s contribution in the freedom struggle and lauded him for his struggle for the reformation in society. Shri Modi also noted that during the Emergency, Dr Mahtab went to jail opposing the party under which he became Chief Minister. “He went to prison for both independence and for saving the country’s democracy”, the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister noted Dr Mahatab’s important role in Indian History Congress and taking history of Odisha to national platform. His contribution made possible museum, archives and archaeology sections in Odisha.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for much wider study of History. He said history should not only be a lesson of the past but should also mirror the future. Country is keeping this in focus while celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahaotsava and enlivening the history of our freedom struggle. Shri Modi lamented the fact that many important events and stories of the freedom struggle could not come before the country in proper form. He said in the Indian tradition, history is not limited to kings and palaces. History evolved with people over thousands of years. This is foreign thought process that has turned the stories of dynasties and palaces into history. We are not that type of people, said the Prime Minister, giving example of Ramayana and Mahabharata where most of the description is of the common people. In our lives, common person is the focus point, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister emphasized that with struggles like The Paika Rebellion, Ganjam Revolt to Sambalpur Struggle, land of Odisha always gave new energy to the fire of revolt against the British rule.  Surendra Sai of Sambalpur Andolan is a source of inspiration for all of us.  The Prime Minister remembered the immense contribution of leaders like Pandit Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihar and Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. Shri Modi paid tribute to the contribution of Ramadevi, Malti Devi, Kokila Devi and Rani Bhagyawati. The Prime Minister also noted the contribution of the tribal community who always troubled the British with their patriotism and valour. The Prime Minister remembered the great tribal leader of the Quit India Movement, Laxman Nayak ji.

The Prime Minister said that history of Odisha represents the historical strength of entire India. This strength, reflected in the history is connected with the present and future possibilities and work as a guide for us, said the Prime Minister.

Dwelling upon the development of the state, the Prime Minister said that for business and industry, the first requirement is infrastructure. He informed that thousands of kilometres of national highways, coastal highways are being constructed in Odisha which will lead to connectivity of the parts of the state. Also, hundreds of kilometre long rail lines have also been laid in the states in the last 6-7 years. After infrastructure, attention has been given to industry. In this directions industries and companies are being encouraged. Thousands of crores have been invested to realize the vast possibilities in oil sector and steel sector in the state. Similarly, efforts are on to improve the lives of the fishermen of Odisha through blue revolution.

The Prime Minister also talked about the efforts being undertaken in the skill sector. For the benefit of the youth of the state, foundations have been laid for institutes like IIT Bhubaneshwar, IISER Berhampur, Indian Institute of Skills, IIT Sambalpur in the state.

The Prime Minister called for taking the history of Odisha and its grandeur to all parts of the world. He made a call for making the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav a truly People’s movement and expressed that this campaign will lead to the flow of similar energy as was witnessed during the independence struggle.

Raksha Mantri holds bilateral talks with Kazakh Defence Minister

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh held bilateral talks with Defence Minister of Republic of Kazakhstan Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev in New Delhi on April 09, 2021. During the meeting, the two Ministers exchanged views to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, including through training, defence exercises and capacity building. They agreed that both sides must look at the possibility of defence industrial collaboration of mutual interest.

The Defence Minister of Kazakhstan thanked Raksha Mantri for the opportunity given to the Kazakh troops for deployment as part of the Indian battalion in United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Both Ministers also positively assessed the annual KAZIND Exercise.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Raj Kumar and other senior civil and military officials of Ministry of Defence were also present on the occasion.

Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev is on an official visit to India from April 7-10, 2021. He visited HQs 12 Corps at Jodhpur and the Longewala sector in Jaisalmer. The Kazakh Defence Minister is in India on the invitation of Raksha Mantri.

We have to keep focussing on ‘Test, Track, Treat’, Covid appropriate behaviour and Covid Management: PM

The Prime Minister,  Shri Narendra Modi interacted with the Chief Ministers of various states on April 8 regarding the COVID-19 situation via video conference.

Union Home Minister outlined the efforts undertaken by the government in the battle against Covid. He also gave an overview of the progress in the vaccination drive in the country. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on the Covid situation in the country, focussing on states that are experiencing high caseload at present, and emphasized the need to increase testing in these states. He also shared details of vaccine production and supply in the country.

The Chief Ministers thanked the Prime Minister for leading the collective fight against the virus. They gave feedback about the Covid situation in their states. They said that the timely initiation of vaccination drive is resulting in saving lakhs of lives. Issues of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine wastage were also discussed.

The Prime Minister stressed few clear facts before the Chief Ministers.First, the country has crossed the peak of the first wave and the growth rate is much faster than the earlier. Second, many states, including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have crossed the peak of the first wave. Many other states are moving in that direction. This is a serious concern, he said. Third, This time people have grown much more casual, in some states even administration too. In such a situation, sharp rise of the cases has created difficulties.

However, the Prime Minister emphasized, that despite the challenges, we have better experience, resources and, also the vaccine. People’s involvement along with hard working doctors and health care staff hascontributed a lot in managing the situation and they are still doing so.

The Prime Minister said “we have to keep focussing on ‘Test, Track, Treat’, Covid appropriate behaviour andCovid Management”.The Prime Minister pointed out that we have to contain human host to contain the virus and testing and tracking has a very important role to play in this. The Prime Minister explained that Testing is critical to detect the extent of infection in the community and also to identify people who can spread the infection: The number of tests being done on a daily basis needs to be significantly increased with the aim to reduce positivity to 5% or less, with focused and targeted testing in containment zones and areas where clusters of cases are being reported. The criticality of ramping up the share of RT-PCR tests to at least 70% of total tests done by increasing the RT-PCR testing infrastructure was also stressed upon.

Observing that every single positive case has the potential to spread the virus to others in the absence of adequate preventive measures, contact tracing and follow-up as an important activity crucial to curbing the spread of infection in the community was discussed. The Prime Minister said that at least 30 contacts of a positive case must be traced, tested and quarantined, preferably within first 72 hours. Similarly, boundaries of containment zone should be clear. The Prime Minister said that there should not be any relaxation in our efforts due to ‘covid fatigue’. He also asked for adherence to the Health Ministry SoPs in containment zones. He also emphasized the need for comprehensive data on deaths with detailed analysis. He asked states to join webinars organized by AIIMs, Delhi every Tuesday and Friday.

The Prime Minister requested the States for 100 per cent vaccination of 45 plus population in the high focus districts. The Prime Minister called for ‘Teeka Utsav’ – Vaccination Festival between 11th  April, Jayanti of Jyotiba Phule and 14th April Jayanti of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Effort should be to vaccinate maximum number of people during the vaccination festival. He also called upon the youth to help in getting everyone above 45 years of age vaccinated.

The Prime Minister cautioned against carelessness, He said that we have to keep in mind that despite vaccination, there should not be lowering of guard and proper precautions should be continued to be taken. Insisting on his mantra of ‘dawaibhi-kadaibhi’, the Prime Minister insisted on awareness about the Covid appropriate behaviour.

Our fight is to rid the state of Tolabazi, appeasement, dictatorship and corruption: JP Nadda

BJP National President Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda addressed roadshows organised in West Bengal’s Alipurduar, Dinhata and Mekhliganj on April 8.

Here are the Key Points of his speech:

The support and love shown by the people of West Bengal for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shows that this time the BJP will form the government in the state with a huge mandate. This time the people of West Bengal have decided to rest Mamata Didi and give a chance to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). E Baar 200 par! 

To grab votes Mamata Didi sometimes becomes Beti, sometimes Didi and sometimes Pishi. Mamata Didi, you may become what you want to, but under your protection the way the goons of Trinamool Congress treated an 80-year old mother Shobha Mjumdarji will never be forgotten by the people of West Bengal. 

Under the rule of Mamata Didi in West Bengal, around 130 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cadres became victims of political violence unleashed by the Trinamool Congress. The people of West Bengal will seek to give a befitting reply to the Trinamool Congress by casting their votes. 

This time in the West Bengal assembly elections, our fight is to rid the state of Tolabazi, appeasement, dictatorship and corruption. Our fight is for the creation of Sonar Bangla so that every citizen in the state has the equal right and avenues to grow in any field he or she wants. 

The poor of West Bengal have been denied the benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, even the farmers have not been able to receive the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi because Mamata Banerjee is standing in the way blocking these from reaching the common man. This time the people of West Bengal have decided to teach the Mamata Banerjee government a lesson for the betrayal that they did with the people. 

The voting in the first three phases of the elections takes it near that the ground beneath Mamata Didi’s feet is sinking. Mamata Didi will lose the election from Nandigram by a huge margin. 

After our government is formed in West Bengal, 4.67 crore poor will get benefits of Ayushman Bharat and around 76 lakh farmers will get financial assistance under the Kisan Samman Nidhi. Farmers will get Rs 18,000 of the old and new instalments under the scheme. All the farmers will get Rs 6,000 every year under the Kisan Samman Nidhi and an additional Rs 4,000 per year under the Krishi Suraksha Yojna. 

After our government is formed in West Bengal, we will clear the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the first cabinet meeting itself. 

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is formed in West Bengal, we will provide a job to one member of every family in a BPO unit. The payment of Cut Money will be completely stopped. Mothers and sisters will get 33% reservation in government jobs. For girl students, education will be free from KG to PG. 

First Congress, then the Communist and now the Trinamool Congress has completely destroyed West Bengal. Today West Bengal tops the charts in terms of atrocities against women in the country. 

The time has come to throw out the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, which has become synonymous with gundaraj, corruption and politics of violence. Such kind of government should be thrown out and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should be voted to form the government to work towards a real Parivartan.

Sikh Guru tradition is a complete life philosophy in itself: PM Modi

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today chaired the meeting of the High Level Committee to commemorate 400th Birth Anniversary (Prakash Purab) of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. The meeting was organised via video conferencing.

The participants of the meeting thanked the Prime Minister for the grand vision to commemorate the 400th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. They recalled the various contributions and sacrifice for religious freedom by Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji. The participants gave inputs and suggestions for the commemoration, and noted that it is important to highlight the various facets of his life.

Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked the participants for their suggestions. He said that the occasion of the 400th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji is a spiritual privilege as well as a national duty. He shared teaching and lessons learnt from the life of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, adding that we all derive inspiration from him. He highlighted that it is important to make the younger generation understand these lessons and noted that through digital means, it is easier to reach out to the younger generation worldover to spread the message.

Prime Minister said that the Sikh Guru tradition is a complete life philosophy in itself. It is the privilege and good fortune of the government that it has got the opportunity to celebrate the 550th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 400th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and the 350th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Elaborating on the discussions in the meeting, the Prime Minister said that to connect more and more people to commemorate the 400th Prakash Purab of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, various activities will be organized throughout the year. He said that the organisation of activities should be such that not only the life and teachings of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, but of the entire Guru Tradition is propagated worldover. Hailing the social service done by Sikh community and Gurudwaras all over the world, the Prime Minister said that proper research and documentation on this aspect of the Sikh tradition should be done.

The meeting was attended by Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh; Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah; Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla; Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Shri Harivansh; Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha, Shri MallikarjunKharge; Haryana CM Shri Manohar Lal; Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh; Rajasthan CM Shri Ashok Gehlot; President, Shiromani GurudwaraParbandhak Committee, Amritsar, Bibi Jagir Kaur; MPs Shri Sukhbir Singh Badal and Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa; Former MP Shri Tarlochan Singh; MD Amul Shri R S Sodhi; Eminent Scholar Shri Amarjit Singh Grewal, among others.

Van Dhan Vikas Yojana – Empowering Tribals across India

A story that once again showcases the Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme,  has emerged as a major source of employment for local tribals is the success of VDVK Adivasi Eakatmik Samajik Sanstha, Shahapur.

VDVK Adivasi Eakatmik Samajik Sanstha, Shahapur is a perfect example of tribal entrepreneurship and demonstrates how cluster development and value addition can help members earn significantly higher income.

Surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, Shahapur is the largest Taluka in the Thane District in Maharashtra and is seen as an upcoming region. The majority of tribals who form the members of this VDVK are from the Katkari community. Katkari is a primitive tribe found in Maharashtra (Pune, Raigad and Thane districts) and parts of Gujarat. The tribals are mainly agricultural labourers and sell firewood and some jungle fruits.

Started by Sunil Pawaran enterprising member of this community and his friends to sell raw Giloy in local markets has now become a 300 member VDVK under the Van Dhan Yojana scheme. The VDVK has a much larger scale of operations and deals with more than 35 products and processed food items.

The process of making Giloy powder involves cutting Giloy from the trees by tribal which is followed by drying for 8-10 days. This dry Giloy is brought to central facility in Shahapur where it is grinded, packaged and branded and subsequently shipped to buyers including Tribes India. In the last 1.5 year, the group has sold Giloy powder worth Rs 12, 40,000/- (Rs. Twelve lakhs Forty Thousand only) & Dry Giloy sold worth Rs.6,10,000/-(Rs. Six lakhs Ten Thousand only) total sale worth Rs.18,50,000/-(Rs. Eighteen lakhs Fifty Thousand only).

Operating as a cluster,over the last One and half year, the VDVK has sold raw Giloy to leading companies including Dabur, Baidyanath, Himalaya, Vithoba, Sharandhar, Bhumi Natural Products Kerala, Trivikram, andMaitri foods, etc. Most of the Companies like Himalayas, Dabur and Bhumi have ordered 450 tonnes of Giloy worth Rs.1, 57, 00,000/-(Rs. One Crore Fifty Seven lacks only)up until now.

While the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown that followed did disrupt the VDVK’s operations, it did not deter the morale of the team. Through the lockdown, the VDVK continued to work hard to minimize the impact.

Between March 2020 and Mid-June 2020, VDVK Shahapur purchased over 34,000 kg of raw Giloy from the local tribals. Subsequently with the unlocking and slow return to normalcy, the VDVK is working aggressively to expand and make its products available for purchase on e-commerce platforms.

While it is Giloy, raw and processed, continues to be the VDVK’s mainstay, it has now expanded into other products such as Safed Musali, Jamun, Behada, Vavding, Moringa, Neem, Amla, and orange peel powder.

The success has inspired thousands of people from the community and nearby areas to come together and work on similar lines.39 VDVKs comprising of 12000 beneficiaries have been additionally sanctioned by TRIFED so far.

The Van Dhan tribal start-ups programme, a component of the The ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ Scheme. The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van DhanKendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. The scheme aims to empower tribals by providing them support in terms of financial capital, training, mentoring, etc. in order to expand their business and enhance earnings.

The sincere efforts, dedication and determination of the tribal entrepreneurs in working collectively starting from the collection of these MFPs through value addition, packaging, branding and marketing of the products has succeeded in making the VDVK a huge success in this fast developing region.

The success of this VDVK is an example of how these initiatives implemented by TRIFED for making India self-reliant under the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan, with the motto, Go Vocal for Local Go Tribal – Mera Van Mera Dhan Mera Udyamar effecting a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country.

PM gets second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today took second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In a tweet Shri Modi said “Got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS on April 8.

Vaccination is among the few ways we have, to defeat the virus.

If you are eligible for the vaccine, get your shot soon. Register on CoWin.gov.in.”