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Prabhu meets French Minister, discusses cooperation in Railways
Webindia123 (Online), 1 September 2017
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today met Brune Poirson, French Minister of State attached to the Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and discussed with her, various ways to increase cooperation in the Railway sector.Ms Poirson is on a three-day visit to India to strengthen the Indo-French cooperation on climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable development.In the course of her visit, she is scheduled to meet Urban Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Coal, and Mines Piyush Goyal and Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Harsh Vardhan. On the first day of her trip, the French Minister spoke at the third edition of Business and Climate Summit, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), themed on 'Milestones to 2020 and Beyond under the Paris Agreement'. She will later hold discussions with Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), and Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General of the International Solar Alliance. At the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), she will participate in a meeting on climate finance. The Minister will brainstorm with stakeholders offering innovative solutions for environment conservation as well as exchange views with representatives of think-tanks on best practices for the implementation of climate change mitigation policies.At the invitation of Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor - TERI University, Ms Poirson will interact with students and address them on the theme of 'Implementation of the Paris Agreement: the Way Forward'. She will also meet members of the French Smart Cities Club, an umbrella organisation of French companies in India, offering expertise in the entire gamut of areas falling under sustainable urban development.
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PG course on solar energy in Kolkata
The Times of India, Kolkata City Edition (Online), 17 August 2017

KOLKATA: Come October and a post-graduate course in solar energy will be launched here, as Amity University and the NB Institute for Rural Development (NBIRT) signed an MoU on Wednesday.

"The one-year course with Amity University, thanks to Prof Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, vice-chancellor, Amity University, will go long way in creating green engineers for sustainable future in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of 1 lakh mw solar projects by 2022," said S P Gon Chaudhury. NBIRT has been the brainchild of this renewable energy expert, who's also an Ashden award winner and adviser to the state government's power department.

He added, "India needs huge solar field engineers to achieve 100000 MW Solar target by 2022.We have Surya Mitra and reseachers in the field of Solar Energy. But what about middle level engineers who play an important role in commissioning. Unfortunately, we do not have any institution catering to this sector."

India's significant and sustained economic growth is placing enormous demand on its energy resources. However, there is a pervasive demand-supply imbalance that necessitates serious efforts by the government of India to augment energy supplies. The country imports about 80 percent of its oil. With the threat of a further increase in oil prices, serious problems with regard to energy security is anticipated. India also runs the substantial risk of lesser thermal capacity being installed. While dependence on imported coal is increasing, supply of indigenous coal is likely to decrease in the coming years because of production and logistic constraints.

Renewable energy can make a substantial contribution in each of the above mentioned areas. It is in this context that the role of renewable energy needs to be seen. It is no longer "alternate energy", but is increasingly becoming a vital part of the solution to the nation's energy needs.

The thrust given by National Climate Plan and Jawaharlal Lal Nehru National Solar Mission have suddenly created the need to train large human resource in the field of new and renewable energy especially with expertise in solar energy. Energy Institution in the country except few IITs, running MTech course in Renewable Energy. The NBIRT of Kolkata was the only College giving Renewable Energy Diploma to the students in association with TAFE, Queensland Government, Australia.

The PG diploma course is designed in such a way so that students get more practical knowledge to undertake field-level renewable energy projects. The institutions conducting Renewable Energy M. Tech/M.Sc and PG Diploma are MSc (Renewable Energy), Department of Physics, University of Lucknow, MTech (Renewable Energy Engineering and Management) and PG Diploma (Renewable Energy), TERI University, New Delhi, MTech (Energy Management) and PG Diploma (Renewable Energy), Allahabad Agricultural Institute (Deemed University), Allahabad (www.aaidu.org), MPhil (Energy), Gandhigram Rural University, Gandhigram (www.ruraluniv.ac.in), MPhil (Energy), Centre for Non-Conventional Energy Resources, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur (www.uniraj.ernet.in). So, there's a need to introduce PG Diploma in Renewable Energy (Solar Energy) Science and Technology.
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National Agenda For Global Goals
Business World (Online), 9 August 2017

The following piece will map out the 17 goals, and centrally sponsored schemes and related interventions for working towards the SDGs

In 2015, 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 targets were envisioned by the UN, which involved 193 member states and the global civil society. Early on, Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed India to achieving the goals, with NITI Aayog being entrusted with the role to co-ordinate the pursuing of these goals.

2 years since, with only 13 years left to achieve the goals, it is critical to analyse the national agenda for achieving the global goals, hence the following piece will map out the 17 goals, and centrally sponsored schemes and related interventions for working towards the SDGs.

"The 17 SDGs are central to the national agenda as they focus on some of India's most pressing issues such as poverty, hunger, health, education, women empowerment, access to modern forms of energy and climate change. Not surprisingly, there are several national and state-level schemes aimed at resolving these issues. The foundation to India achieving the ambitious SDGs is designing a robust and comprehensive national indicator framework. The current draft national indicators are neither strong enough to reflect our progress on SDGs nor do they set out appropriate performance metrics for our policy makers," said Vaibhav Gupta, Senior Programme Lead, CEEW.

While some SDGs like Goal No. 1 (No Poverty) have numerous schemes and interventions entrusted to it, some schemes like Goal No. 13 (Climate Action) do not have any centrally sponsored schemes entrusted towards achieving it.

1) For the first SDG (Ending Poverty in all its forms everywhere), there are 5 centrally sponsored schemes which include National Urban Livelihood Mission, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Rural Livelihood Mission, National Social Assistance Programme and National Land Record Management Programme. The related interventions are Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana. Naturally, as this SDG has positive spill-overs in various other SDGs, it has a lot of schemes entrusted towards achieving it, with the Ministry of Rural Development being the Nodal Ministry.

2) For the second SDG (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), there are 9 centrally sponsored schemes which include Nationally Food Security Mission, Mission for integrated Development of Horticulture, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, National Oilseed and Oil Palm Mission, National Mission on Agriculture Extension and Technology, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Livestock Mission, Livestock Health and Disease Control and National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development. The related interventions are Targeted Public Distribution System, National Nutrition Mission, National Food Security Act (passed in 2013) and Mid-day Meal Scheme. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare is the nodal ministry for the achievement of this goal, which again has positive spill-overs in other SDGs, and is intrinsically related to the first SDG of ending poverty.

3) For the third SDG (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), there are 5 centrally sponsored schemes which include National Health Mission (including NRHM), Human Resource in Health and Medical Education, National Mission on Ayush including Mission on Medical Plants, National AIDS and STD Control Programme and Integrated Child Development Service. There is only one related intervention, Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana and the Nodal Ministry for this SDG is the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

4) For the fourth SDG (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), there are 7 centrally sponsored schemes which include Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, National Programme Nutritional Support to Primary Education, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, Support for Educational Development including Teacher Training and Adult Education, Scheme for providing Education to Madrasas, Minorities and Disabled, Rashtriya Uchhtar Shiksha Abhiyan and Umbrella scheme for Education of ST students. The related intervention is Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat and the Ministry of Human Resource Development is the Nodal Ministry.

5) For the fifth SDG (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), there are 2 centrally sponsored schemes which include National Mission for Empowerment of Women including Indira Gandhi Mattritav Sahyog Yojana and Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls. The related interventions are Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana (Girl Child Prosperity Scheme), Support to Training And Employment Programme For Women, Janani Suraksha Yojana, SWADHAR 2011 (A scheme for women in difficult circumstances) and ) Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalay. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

6) For the sixth SDG (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), there are 4 centrally sponsored schemes which include National Rural Drinking water Programme, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and National River Conservation Programme. The related interventions are Namami Gange - Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission and Inter-linking of rivers. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation is the Nodal Ministry.

7) For the seventh SDG (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), there are no centrally sponsored schemes, but there are 5 related interventions which include Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, National Solar Mission – providing continuous power supply to rural India, India Energy Policy, Power (2015) – Electrification of the remaining 20,000 villages including off-grid Solar Power by 2020 and Five new Ultra Mega Power Projects, each of 4000 MW to be installed. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Power.

8) For the eighth SDG (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable Economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), there are 3 centrally sponsored schemes which include, National Service Scheme, Skill Development Mission and Social Security for Unorganised Workers including Rashtriya Swastya Bima Yojana. The related interventions are Deendayal Upadhyaya Antodaya Yojana and National Urban Development Mission. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

9) For the ninth SDG (Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation), there are 4 centrally sponsored schemes which include Border Area Development Programme, National Handloom Development Programme, Catalytic Development Programme under Sericulture and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The related interventions are Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Shramev Jayate Karyakram, Minimum Government Maximum Governance, Make in India, Start Up India, Ease of doing business initiative and FDI Policy. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

10) For the tenth SDG (Reduce inequality within and among countries), there are 6 centrally sponsored schemes which include Multi Sectoral Development Programme for Minorities, Backward Regions Grant Fund (District Component), Scheme for Development of Scheduled Castes, Scheme for Development of Other Backward Classes and Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes, Scheme for development of Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) and Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) (State Component). The related interventions are Grants from Central Pool of Resources for North Eastern Region and Sikkim, Udaan Scheme for youth of Jammu & Kashmir, PAHAL- Direct Benefit s Transfer for LPG (DBTL) consumers scheme, Give it Up Campaign (for LPG subsidy) and Mudra Yojana. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

11) For the eleventh SDG (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable), there are 5 centrally sponsored schemes which include Rajiv Awas Yojana (including BSUP & IHSDP), Indira Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana, National Programme for Persons with Disabilities and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The related interventions are Smart Cities Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Housing for All-2022), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Urban Development.

12) For the twelfth SDG (Ensure sustainable consumption and production Patterns), there are no centrally sponsored schemes, but there are 5 related interventions which include National Policy on biofuels, National Clean India Fund, National Clean Energy Fund, Renewable Energy: Renewable Energy Global Investment Promotion Meet and Expo and Soil Health Card Scheme. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

13) For the thirteenth SDG (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), there are again no centrally sponsored schemes, but there are 9 related interventions which include National Action Plan on Climate Change, National Mission for a Green India, National Solar Mission, National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency, National Mission for Sustainable Habitat, National Water Mission, National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

14) For the fourteenth SDG (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), the only centrally sponsored scheme is Conservation of Natural Resources and EcoSystems, while related interventions are National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-System and Sagarmala Project (Blue Revolution). The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

15) For the fifteenth SDG (Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss), there are 3 centrally sponsored schemes which include National Afforestation Programme (National Mission for a Green India), Integrated Development of Wild Life Habitats and Project Tiger. The related interventions are Project Elephant, National Environmental Policy 2006, National Agroforestry Policy (2014) and National Action Programme to Combat Desertification (2001). The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

16) For the sixteenth SDG (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels), there are 3 centrally sponsored schemes which include Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan, Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary including Gram Nyayalayas and Integrated Child Protection Scheme. The related interventions are Digital India, Pragati Platform (Public Grievance Redressal System) and RTI (Right to Information Act). The Nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Home Affairs.

17) For the seventeenth SDG (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable Development), the only centrally sponsored scheme is Support for Statistical Strengthening, while related interventions are South-South Cooperation, India Africa Summit, SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), NDB (New Development Bank – BRICS) and SAARC Satellite (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The Nodal Ministries partnering for this are Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

There is still a need for a monitoring agency to track whether the above schemes and interventions are actually achieving the goals, and the extent to which they are achieving them. "Undoubtedly India has had, and currently has, a number of domestic goals and programmes that align well with the sustainable development goals. However, a simple mapping of existing schemes/programmes against SDGs does not give any confidence on achievement potential. We would also be missing a critical recognition accorded to the SDGs in the preamble of the Agenda 2030 document -- that these goals are integrated and indivisible and must balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environment. We currently do not take an integrated view across sectors nor do we explicitly take cognisance of all three pillars of sustainable development”, says Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor of TERI University.

“India has maintained that poverty alleviation and sustainable development are its priority even while maintaining its climate change actions. The SDG document itself highlights the importance of each goal. India has a National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which encompasses its goals on combating climate change, keeping in view the nationally determined contributions made by India under the Paris Agreement”, says Anushree Tripathi, a Consultant for Law in the Climate Change Division at the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
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Date News Title Source
25 November 2015 Economic Scan:Indian Railways to fund research cha... The Navhind Times
20 November 2015 Can Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) propel India out... The Economic Times
19 November 2015 Can India fulfill its solar dream... NDTV
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12 October 2015 Permanent Structure Sought to Finalise Climate Cha... The New Indian Express

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