Piyush Goyal – Union Minister:
The Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal today said that we must work towards ensuring India’s recognition on the global stage as a quality conscious country, as a country with which people can do business with a confidence.
Speaking at the concluding session of the Workshop on Easing Compliance of BIS Certifications, he said that Quality is profit, and it prepares businesses for greater profits.
He said that Quality speaks for itself, and Quality is not expensive. It adds to the productivity, helps businesses to get bigger markets so that they can get economies of scale and helps to eliminate wastage
Urging for a greater collaborative effort through our industry associations, Shri Goyal said we should make the Indian standard a world-wide accepted standard. He said that Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should operate on ‘QUICK’ Model –
Uniformity through One Nation One Standard,
Conformity Assessment and
He said that Our Mantra for the day should be Quick Action, Quick Response, and Quick Absorption of best practices and Quicker Ways of Working.
The Minister said that we must work towards ensuring India’s recognition on the global stage as a quality conscious country, as a country with which people can do business with a confidence.
Regarding Knowledge sharing, the Minister referred to Udyog Manthan exercise, a marathon of 2-month long webinars on Quality and Productivity, in which industry, experts, motivation speakers and line ministries took part.
He said that it has set the tone to absorb quality and productivity as the mantras for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat where Make in India will hold centre-stage and we will expand the frontiers of our trade & business.
The Minister called for more and more use of artificial intelligence, big data and other technology related solutions to help resolve standardisation issues facing industry and other entrepreneurs.
Shri Goyal said that ‘ISI Standard Mark’ should represent Quality, Productivity, Affordability & Accessibility.
The Minister said that the certification process will be simplified. Stating that BIS should ensure the cost of testing never becomes a detriment to conforming to quality and getting certification, he said that there will be reduction of fee for the certification for MSMEs.
He said that this is a dawn of a new era of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat where digitalization & efficiency are going to determine India’s success in the future. The Minister mentioned that it is protected by quality consciousness of consumers & also by our collective consciousness.
Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs Smt. Leena Nandan also addressed the workshop. She applauded the workshop saying that this is very fruitful and rewarding session for all participants to reach out to the industry. She said the Department of Consumer Affairs & the DPIIT have been working closely to remove the difficulties faced by the industry.
The workshop was organized jointly by Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, along with the Department of Consumer Affairs and Bureau of Indian Standards, to facilitate closer interaction between various sectors of industry and the apex national standards body.
Pema Khandu, Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh:
Pleased to meet Bollywood Star Shri Varun Dhawan Ji & Kriti Sanon Ji and their team during their call on.
They are in Arunachal to shoot for the movie BHEDIYA.
Happy to know they are enjoying their time here and are keen on promoting Arunachal as a popular film destination.
It was lovely meeting Shri Amar Kaushik Ji, a popular Bollywood Director today during his call on with producer team of movie Bhediya.
Shri Kaushik Ji grew up in Arunachal. His father was a forest ranger who worked for the Indian Forest Service and his mother a school teacher.
Meeting on seat sharing for the upcoming assembly elections in Assam at the residence of Home Minister Shri Amit Shah in presence of BJP National President Shri JP Nadda with the leaders AGP and UPPL.BJP
Ministry of Railways has accorded permission to Zonal Railways to decide on reopening of retiring rooms at Stations keeping in view local condition including Covid related protocols issued by Government.
Railway Board has already permitted for restarting operation of Retiring Rooms, Rail Yatri Niwas and Hotels which are managed by IRCTC.
At present, various special express/passenger trains services have been introduced in phased manner as per the requirement.
Considering the convenience of passengers, Railways has decided to allow operation of retiring room at stations subject to fulfilment of protocols issued by the Government.
This convenience was discontinued post announcement of lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID 19.
Ministry of Health:
Phase 3 results of the COVAXIN, developed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL),has shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81% in preventing Covid-19.
The Phase 3 trial, jointly initiated by ICMR and BBIL in mid-November 2020, was conducted in a total of 25,800 individuals across 21 sites.
The interim efficacy trend of 81%, analyzed as per the protocol approved by the DCGI, puts it at par with other global front-runner vaccines.
“The bench-to-bedside journey of completely indigenous COVID-19 vaccine in less than 8 months’ time showcases the immense strength of Atmanirbhar Bharat [self-reliant India] to fight the odds and stand tall in the global public health community.
It is also a testament to India’s emergence as a global vaccine superpower,” said Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR.
The COVAXIN is the first COVID-19 vaccine that has been developed completely in India.
In March 2020, following the successful isolation of the SARS CoV-2 virus at ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), ICMR entered into a public-private partnership with BBIL to develop the virus isolate into an effective vaccine candidate.
ICMR-NIV characterized the vaccine developed by BBIL through in-vitro experiments and electron microscopy studies.
Pre-clinical studies in small animals and hamsters showed promising results in terms of safety and immunogenicity.
Further studies conducted in rhesus macaques also established remarkable safety and protective efficacy of COVAXIN.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials conducted in 755 participants demonstrated high safety profile of the candidate vaccine with sero conversion rates of 98.3% and 81.1% on day 56 and 104 respectively.
COVAXIN has been developed on the WHO prequalified vero cell platform, which is globally recognized with a well-established track record of safety.
COVAXIN’s ability to neutralize UK variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 has also recently been established.
“The development and deployment of COVAXIN ensures that India has a powerful weapon in its arsenal in a continually evolving pandemic situation and will go a long way in helping us win the war against COVID-19.
The need of the hour is to ensure that people in India continue to receive the vaccine and break the chain of virus transmission,” said Dr. Samiran Panda, Head, Epidemiology and Communicable Disease, ICMR and Director, National AIDS Research Institute.
Dharmendra Pradhan – Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas:
1. Accepting that Emergency was a mistake is another theatrical exercise by Rahul Gandhi to fool the nation.
Such insincere & tactical regrets cannot wash away the memories of the dark chapter when fundamental rights were infringed, press was gagged, institutions were held hostage.
2. The country has not forgotten how the government of the day had the gumption to tell the Supreme Court that the right to life had been suspended.
3. Rahul Gandhi ji’s comment does not reflect remorse, it is actually part of a pattern where Congress, after being rejected by people, expresses regret for the Emergency only to deploy the same authoritarian DNA after it succeeds in hoodwinking people.
4. Has Shri Rahul Gandhi forgotten his ordinance-trashing episode and how he shamed and disrespected the Prime Minister of India? Has Shri Rahul Gandhi forgotten his recent breach of privileges?
5. Has Shri Rahul Gandhi forgotten that Late Rajiv Gandhi apologised but justified the Emergency and thereafter attempted gagging the press by bringing ‘Defamation Bill’, curbing civil liberties and seeking to spy on citizens through the Post Office Amendment Bill, 1986.
6. Spreading canards against the Modi Govt will not divert people’s attention from ‘sins’ of the Congress. People of India are smart and will not be taken in by this new drama of Rahul Gandhi ji.
P Chidambaram – Former Union Finance Minister:
TIME magazine has highlighted India’s rank in two indices:
In the World Press Freedom Index, India ranks 142 out of 180 countries
In the Human Freedom Index India is at 111 out of 162 countries
That is what the world is reading, not the glorious stories reported in the fawning media in India
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi in conversation with Prof. Kaushik Basu of Cornell University. Excerpts, via INC India:
The threat to democracy in India is much deeper than muzzling debate. Muzzling debate is a symptom of it. Modern democracies function because there are independent institutions and that independence is being attacked in India.
There is now one big mother institution called the RSS that is penetrating all Indian institutions. There is not a single one that is not under attack. And that is systematically done.
The judiciary, the press, the bureaucracy, EC – every single institution – is being systematically filled by people who have a particular ideology and who belong to a certain institution.
As a politician, I can only do my job if I have institutional support; if I get support from judiciary, EC – a whole number of institutions – that can protect the conversation & debate.
I did not realise how profound not having this institutional support is until I was actually faced with it. For example, during debates in Parliament, the mic is shut off. That’s the extent of it.
We are not allowed to speak in Parliament, don’t have recourse with courts, RSS-BJP combine has massive financial advantage, businesses are told not to support the Opposition. It is a full-scale assault on the democratic space.
I used to wonder how does a Mubarak win an election with 97% votes. What was happening: there was only one institution & all other institutions were pretend institutions captured by it. That is what we are facing today in India.
I have been advocating for internal democracy in the Congress for a decade now. I pushed for elections in youth & student organisations. I’m the first person who says democratic elections within the party is absolutely critical.
Nobody asks the question why there is no internal democracy in the BJP, BSP or the Samajwadi party. There is a reason they ask this to Congress – we are a ideological party whose ideology is that of the Constitution, of equality.
For us at Congress, as the institution that fought for Independence, that gave India the Constitution, it is critical that we are democratic and we have democratic processes.
The RSS is filling institutions with their people. So even if we defeat them in the elections, we are not going to get rid of their people in the institutional structure.
The nightmare for India is becoming the battlefield for the collision between superpowers. This is something good politics & foreign policy in India has to maneuver around.
The United States requires a global vision and India has role to play in creating a vision, a strategy. It can be a co-existing strategy. But the strategy has to be there and currently it is not.
A nation has a memory & an imagination. Either look forward and create an imagination or look backwards and talk about memories. The whole debate in India is look what happened 300-700 years ago. There is no imagination.
You cannot build a vision on memory, you have to build a vision on imagination.
Entire politics of India has become one of memory. It has to end because it is not going to give any solutions.
Let’s talk about what we should do now. That’s the political & economic conversation I want to have but that’s not what the BJP likes to do because they cannot have that conversation.
I understand from where a lot of the anger in India is coming from. We are not creating jobs. I can understand the people are not able to see a future.
There is a massive concentration of capital & wealth in India that the nation is going to run into social problems. This is going to lead to other type of costs in the future.
There is a systematic attack on small & medium businesses by the people who have managed to concentrate the wealth. Demonetisation, GST designed to destroy these businesses.
In the Prime Minister’s vision of India, 4-5 big players concentrate capital and build the economy. But in India you just cannot do that.
After destroying the small & medium jobs-creation engine of India, now they are hitting agriculture with these devastating laws which are going to destroy the agricultural system.
What India needs is to fire the economy from consumption-side, demand-side. And the govt insists on firing supply-side, and this too by not even firing the thousands & thousands of MSMEs but by giving it to the same 10 people.
I met the workforce [walking back home during Covid19], they were crying because their entire asset base was destroyed. The govt was putting each one of them below the poverty-line & starting negative cash flow cycles for them.
The govt wouldn’t give money for their [migrant workforce] bus tickets but at the same time gave Rs.1,50,000 crore to the top 5-10 people.
It is the poor people of India who are the nation’s assets. They are the ones we should be investing in because they are the ones who are giving the returns.
The PM does not understand that the agriculture in its current form is providing protection & shock absorber to millions & millions of people. He is now going to take that away & people are not going to have anywhere to go.
When Covid19 came, why did millions of labourers run home? Because village was their protection, it allowed them to eat. Now, the PM is going to take that away from them.
India needs to heal. It needs to start a conversation- a gentle & compassionate conversation within itself. It needs to be a respectful conversation. It needs to urgently stop this hateful conversation.
India needs to accept that what worked between 1990-2012 is not working now & what the govt is currently trying to do is an extension of that concept. We have to accept that we have to bite the manufacturing bullet.
A country of 1.3 billion people cannot be run on the service industry, We need a manufacturing strategy.
Be compassionate, be nice to each other, because that is the starting point.
In a country like India there is a political issue with discussing environment and that this the first thing to understand.
India’s challenge is job creation. And job creation is going to require 2-3 things: – unlocking of the banking system – give MSMEs access to the banking system – transform agriculture
I would make sure there is a social protection to people who fall off the poverty-line. A person who has fallen below the poverty line is not just hurting himself but he is not adding to the output of the nation too.
The nation should give a floor underneath the poor people. MGNREGA is a 21st century example of it. NYAY is another example.
The whole education system is being targeted. Re-writing of history, subtle re-writing of social norms, subtle attack on the ideas of the Constitution, subtle attack on the ideas of equality.
What is happening is an attack on the idea of equality. The RSS began this attack from their schools. Much like the radical Islamists use their madrassas in Pakistan, RSS uses their schools to push their worldview.
What Narendra Modi & RSS are trying to do is once again reinforce the idea of Caste on India- that’s what the project is; that everybody should know their space- a Dalit, a woman, a Muslim, a Sikh should know his/her space.
Gather the resistance. The Congress party should have the humility, the flexibility & the respect to absorb them. The Congress party has to change itself & transform itself to play that role.
We will bring together India’s power. The Congress party has to submit & open itself to the Indian people. And it has to be humble because it is fighting arrogance. This is how we should transform & it is in our DNA to do it.
The Opposition, after 2014, is no longer fighting for power, we are fighting for India.
This is the best opportunity that India could have ever got- to learn, to understand its weaknesses & to emerge stronger. It has to go through the fire to transform itself.
We will be wiser, we will be nicer, we will be more compassionate. We will play an important role in the world.
Making sure USA & China don’t go to war is something India should take as its responsibility. India has to play that global role. We are the bridge between both these culture & we have to become a bridging & embracing civilisation