Year End Review: New initiatives in Atomic Energy sector
During the year 2015, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has undertaken various initiatives for energy security and benefit of society .
There are 21 nuclear power reactors with a total installed generating capacity of 5680 MW of electricity. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) achieved a power generation of 36,826 Million Units from 01-01-2015 to 15-12-2015, with overall capacity factor of 77% and availability factor of 79% during the same period.
Currently 10 more reactors are under construction that will result in an additional capacity of 7,700 MWe thereby taking the total installed capacity to 13,380 MWe when completed. Land acquisition is in progress for the two new sites at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan.
During the year, the Indian Insurance Pool (INIP) with a capacity of Rs 1500 crore to provide insurance to cover the liability as prescribed under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act 2010 was launched in June by General Insurance Corporation of India.
Government has made significant efforts in augmenting fuel supplies from both domestic and foreign sources, thus easing out the fuel-constrained position to a large extent. In this context, during Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada in April 2015, an agreement was entered into for supply of 3000 tonnes of Uranium ore concentrate over 5 years. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) also signed international arrangements to cooperate and exchange nuclear regulatory information with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in September 2015.
A Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) was signed between India and UK in October 2015 and MoU between India and Japan concerning the Agreement on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed in December, 2015.
Efforts are on to develop and manufacture indigenous components and some critical large size equipment for our 700 MW indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR), in line with “Make in India” goal, by DAE units.
Research & Development
DAE is in the process of setting up a Virtual Centre for Thorium Advanced Research. In October 2015, India hosted the International Thorium Energy Conference (Th EC) in Mumbai. India was also awarded the Thorium Energy Prize 2015.
Technologies developed by DAE are helping promote environmental safety, and in turn, support the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan. Eight BARC biogas plant, Nisargruna, for processing bio-waste for production of energy or cooking gas, were installed this year, taking the total of such plants to 198. BARC has demonstrated radiation hygienisation of urban sewage sludge for safe disposal, and scope to use the resultant bi-product as organic manure.
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Year End Review : Thrust on educational and skill development of Minorities.
Nearly half of all scholarships go to girl students
The Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India has taken several key initiatives during the year for empowerment of minorities and to facilitate their socio-economic advancement.
All over India, about 86 lakh Scholarships were awarded for Pre-matric, Post-matricand Merit-cum-means scholarship during 2014-15. Even though 30% of the scholarships were earmarked for girls, but, the number of girls benefited was more than 46%. An amount of Rs 2,009 crores was released for the scholarship schemes. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of transfer of scholarships in students’ bank accounts has been operationalized.
Under Skill India Mission, Ministry has strengthened the scheme Seekho aur Kamaoby allocating more resources and targets for placement linked training of minority youths. Seekho aur Kamao (Learn and Earn) “ a placement linked skill development scheme for minorities aims to upgrade various modern/traditional skills of minority youth enabling self-employment. More than 1.10 lakh beneficiaries will be trained during 2015-16
USTTAD(Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/ Crafts for Development) is a new scheme formally launched on 14th May, 2015 at Varanasi to preserve rich heritage of traditional arts/crafts of the minorities. It aims at capacity building and updating traditional skills of master craftsmen/artisans; documentation of identified traditional arts/crafts of minorities; set standards for traditional skills; training minority youths in identified traditional arts/crafts through master craftsmen; and develop national and international market linkages.
Nai Manzilis an integrated education and livelihood initiative launched on 8th August, 2015, for school dropouts and Madarsa students. It enables minority youths in the age group of 17 to 35 years not having formal school leaving certificate, i.e., those in the category of school-dropouts or educated in the community education institutions like the Madarsas, to seek better employment in organized sector.
Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills- MANASprovides an all India Training framework with leading training partners in PPP Mode. MANAS establishes linkages with concessional credit to Skill Development to provide sustainable livelihood to Minority Communities with primary focus on self-employment and entrepreneurship. In 2014-15, 6500 youths were trained by MANAS. During 2015-16, target is to train 30,000 youths.
Empowerment of minority women
Ministry implements an exclusive scheme ‘Nai Roshni’for Leadership Development of Minority Women with an aim to empower and instill confidence in women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and intermediaries at all levels. The scheme is implemented through Non -Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Societies, Trust etc. The scheme provides one week training programmes followed by Handholding for one year. The training is provided on various Training modules covering issues relating to women viz. Leadership of Women through participation in decision making, Educational Programmes for women, Health and Hygiene, Legal rights of women, Financial Literacy, Digital Literacy, Swachch Bharat, Life Skills and Advocacy for Social and Behavioural change. During 2014-15, Ministry trained more than 71,000 minority women in 24 States. During 2015-16, Ministry already sanctioned training of about 22,750 women so far.
Ministry launched a new scheme ‘Hamari Dharohar’in 2014-15 to preserve the rich heritage of minority communities of India. The scheme aims at curating iconic exhibitions, supporting calligraphy, preservation of old documents, research and development, etc. Ministry has also sanctioned a project to Dairatul Maarifil Osmania , Osmania University, Telangana for translation from Arabic language into English, digitization and re-printing of 240 invaluable documents belonging to Moghul period on the subjects of Medicines, Mathematics, Literature, etc.
Waqf property development
National Waqf Development Corporation (NAWADCO) has signed an MoU with National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) for developing Waqf properties for commercial development and revenue generation. More than 80 Waqf properties have been identified for development in the States namely, Rajasthan; Bihar; Karnataka; Tamil Nadu; Gujarat; Madhya Pradesh; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand; Maharashtra; Telangana and Delhi.
PIB Mum | Year End Review III