Mandarin and Turmeric included in the list of eligible Fruits and Vegetables for 50% transportation subsidy through any type of train service provided by Indian Railways

Ministry of Railways:

To incentivise farmers to transport their agricultural produce through Kisan Rail, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Food Processing Industries have included Mandarin (a variety of Orange) and Turmeric (raw) in the list of eligible Fruits and Vegetables for 50% transportation subsidy through any type of train service provided by Indian Railways under Operation Greens – TOP to TOTAL.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is providing 50% subsidy on transportation of any Fruits and Vegetables through any type of train service provided by Indian Railways under Operation Greens – TOP to TOTAL.

Eligible Items under subsidy already:

Fruits- Mango, Banana, Guava, Kiwi, Litchi, Papaya, Mousambi, Orange, Kinnow, Lime, Lemon,  Pineapple, Pomegranate, Jackfruit, Apple, Almond, Aonla, Passion fruit and Pear;

Vegetables – French beans, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chillies (Green), Okra, Cucumber, Peas, Garlic, Onion, Potato and Tomato.

Kisan Rail ensures agro products reach from one corner to another corner of the country in quick time by faster transportation benefitting both the farmers and the consumers.

The Kisan Rail catering to the requirements of small farmers and small traders is proving to be not only a game changer but also a life changer as it fulfils the endeavour of increasing the income of farmers.

Gaganyaan crew members are currently undergoing generic space flight training in Russia: Dr Jitendra Singh

Department of Space:

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today said that following initiatives have been taken by the Government for Indian leg of crew training:

Expert team is constituted to define the training curriculum.

Plan finalized for astronaut training building including requisite facilities with regard to Gaganyaan mission.

Work order for the same has been released.

The details of progress of Gaganyaan is as follows:

The preliminary design of Gaganyaan system is completed.

Memorandum of understanding (MoUs) signed and in effect with;

Indian Air Force for crew management activities for Indian human space flight programme;

Seven (7) DRDO labs for design and development of human centric products; and

Academic institutes for development of Microgravity payloads.

Crew screening and selection completed. The crew members are currently undergoing generic space flight training at Russia.

He also informed that the First unmanned mission is planned in December 2021.

Second unmanned flight is planned in 2022-23, followed by human spaceflight demonstration.

Parliament today passed the Major Port Authorities Bill – it aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways:

Parliament today passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020.

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways moved the bill in Rajya Sabha today and it was passed. Now the Bill will go to the President of India for his assent.

With a view to promote the expansion of port infrastructure and facilitate trade and commerce, the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 bill aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports.

It imparts faster and transparent decision making benefiting the stakeholders and better project execution capability.

The Bill is aimed at reorienting the governance model in central ports to landlord port model in line with the successful global practice.

The salient features of the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 are as under: –

The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced to 76 from 134 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete Sections.

The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests.

The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined. Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.

PPP operators will be free to fix tariff- based on market conditions. The Board of Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.

The Boards of Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default.

In the present MPT Act, 1963 prior approval of the Central Government was required in 22 instances.

The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure.

Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.

Provision has been made for safeguarding the pay & allowances and service conditions including pensionary benefits of the employees of major ports

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