Saturday, September 28, 2019

Centre will soon come out with an updated National Water Policy

Posted On: 28 SEP 2019 6:51PM by PIB Delhi
National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency is being mooted
New Delhi: 28th September 2019: (PIB)::
Government of India will soon come out with an updated version of  National Water Policy to effect key changes in Water Governance Structure, Regulatory Framework, besides setting up of a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency. Speaking at the valedictory session of the 6th India Water Week-2019 here, Union Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Sekhawat said that hydrological boundaries rather than administrative or political boundary should become part of the water governance structure in the country. He said, for this consensus building among the states within the Constitutional framework is a necessary pre-condition.

Shri Shekhawat said said that water conservation along with water-harvesting and judicious and multiple use of water are key to tackle the water challenges in India. Calling for rejuvenation and revitalization of the traditional water bodies and resources through the age-old conservation methods, the Minister underlined the need for dissemination of modern water technologies in an extensive fashion. Dwelling on the idea of Water Trade, Shri Shekhawat said that water surplus states like Chhattisgarh can gain by sharing the resource with the deficient ones. He also asked the States to collect data on water resources and to share the same with others with an open mind.

In his address, the Minister of State for Jal Shakti Shri Rattan Lal Kataria said that demand side management of water should get priority over the supply side management and called for massive conservation of the scarce resource. Underlining the need for recycle and reuse of water, he said that Integrated Water Management is a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri U.P Singh said that National Water Policy of 2012 needs major updation in the light of new challenges especially the ill-effects of climate change. Batting for policy changes for giving incentive to crops using less water, Shri Singh said that Participatory Ground Water Management should be promoted in a big way to maintain quality and sustainability.  

India Water week was inaugurated by the President Shri Ram Nath Kovind on 24th of this month with a theme of “Water cooperation: Coping with 21st Century Challenges”. Japan and European Union were associated as partner countries for this mega event.

Ministry of Jal Shakti has been organizing India Water Week since 2012 as an international event to focus on water related issues. Five editions of India Water Week have been organized so far.  Water Resources Ministers of various States have attended the Inaugural Function. About 1500 delegates from India and abroad participated in this event, which included about 63 delegates from 28 countries.

The event was divided into Seminars (15 nos.), Brainstorming Sessions (4 nos,), Panel Discussions (12 nos.) and Special Session (6 nos.). Apart from this, an Exhibition showcasing the technologies and solutions in water resources sector was also organized at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).  About 62 organizations displayed their work in the exhibition. Many reputed National and International Organizations, Research Institutes, Educational Institutions and NGOs from water resources, agriculture, power sectors participated in the event to share their knowledge and experience in the sector.
(Release ID: 1586567) Visitor Counter : 50

Threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship

Posted On: 28 SEP 2019 11:29AM by PIB Delhi
It is Not a statesmanship

India’s Right of Reply in 74th​ Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debat
Mr. President,                                                                     

I take the floor to exercise India’s right of reply to the statement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.                       
Every word spoken from the podium of this august Assembly, it is believed, carries the weight of history. Unfortunately, what we heard today from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan was a callous portrayal of the world in binary terms. Us vs Them; Rich vs Poor; North vs South; Developed Vs Developing; Muslims vs Others. A script that fosters divisiveness at the United Nations. ​Attempts to sharpen differences and stir up hatred, are simply put-“hate speech”.      

Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect. Words matter in diplomacy. Invocation of phrases such as “pogrom”, “bloodbath”, “racial superiority”, “pick up the gun” and “fight to the end” reflect a medieval mindset and not a 21st ​ century vision.

Prime Minister Khan’s threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship.

Even coming from the leader of a country that has monopolized the entire value chain of the industry of terrorism, Prime Minister Khan’s justification of terrorism was brazen and incendiary.           

For someone who was once a cricketer and believed in the gentleman’s game, today’s speech bordered on crudeness of the variety that is reminiscent of the guns of Darra Adam Khel.                                 
Now that Prime Minister Imran Khan has invited UN Observers to Pakistan to verify that there are no militant organisations in Pakistan, the world will hold him to that promise.

Here are a few questions that Pakistan can respond to as a precursor to the proposed verification.                                               
Can Pakistan confirm the fact that it is home to 130 UN designated terrorists and 25 terrorist entities listed by the UN, as of today?

Will Pakistan acknowledge that it is the only Government in the world that provides pension to an individual listed by the UN in the Al Qaeda and Da’esh Sanctions list!

Can Pakistan explain why here in New York, its premier bank, the Habib Bank had to shut shop after it was fined millions of dollars over terror financing?

Will Pakistan deny that the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on notice for its violations of more than 20 of the 27 key parameters?

And would Prime Minister Khan deny to the city of New York that he was an open defender of Osama bin Laden?
Mr. President,                                                                                                        

Having mainstreamed terrorism and hate speech, Pakistan is trying to play its wild card as the newfound champion of human rights.

This a country that has shrunk the size of its minority community from 23% in 1947 to 3% today and has subjected Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, Hindus, Shias, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Balochis to draconian blasphemy laws, systemic persecution, blatant abuse and forced conversions.

Their newfound fascination for preaching human rights is akin to trophy hunting of the endangered mountain goat - markhor.

Pogroms, Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi, are not a phenomenon of today’s vibrant democracies. We would request you to refresh your rather sketchy understanding of history. Do not forget the gruesome genocide perpetrated by Pakistan against its own people in 1971 and the role played by Lt. Gen A A K Niazi. A sordid fact that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh reminded this Assembly about earlier this afternoon.                                      
Mr. President,

Pakistan’s virulent reaction to the removal of an outdated and temporary provision that was hindering development and integration of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir stems from the fact that those who thrive on conflict never welcome the ray of peace.

While Pakistan has ventured to upstream terrorism and downstream hate speech there, India is going ahead with mainstreaming development in Jammu and Kashmir.

The mainstreaming of Jammu & Kashmir, as well as Ladakh, in India’s thriving and vibrant democracy with a millennia-old heritage of diversity, pluralism and tolerance is well and truly underway. Irreversibly so.

Citizens of India do not need anyone else to speak on their behalf, least of all those who have built an industry of terrorism from the ideology of hate.

I thank you, Mr. President.
(Release ID: 1586538) Visitor Counter : 219 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cameras Delivered for NASA’s Mission

Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:45 PM
Cameras Delivered for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission as Launch Prep Continues
The first U.S. mission to return samples of an asteroid to Earth is another step closer to its fall 2016 launch, with the delivery of three cameras that will image and map the giant space rock.
A camera suite that will allow NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission to see a near-Earth asteroid, map it, and pick a safe and interesting place to touch the surface and collect a sample, has arrived at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver for installation to the spacecraft.
“This is another major step in preparing for our mission,” said Mike Donnelly, OSIRIS-REx project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “With the delivery of the camera suite to the spacecraft contractor, we will have our full complement of cameras and spectrometers.”

The OSIRIS-REx mission is scheduled to launch in September 2016 to study Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid that’s about one-third of a mile (approximately 500 meters) across. After rendezvousing with Bennu in 2018, the spacecraft will survey the asteroid, obtain a sample, and return it to Earth in 2023.
The University of Arizona’s camera suite, OCAMS, sits on a test 
bench that mimics its arrangement on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. 
The three cameras that compose the instrument–MapCam (left), 
PolyCam and SamCam – are the eyes of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx 
mission. They will map the asteroid Bennu, help choose a sample 
site, and ensure that the sample is correctly stowed on 
the spacecraft.
Credits: University of Arizona/Symeon Platts
The three camera instrument suite, known as OCAMS (OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite), was designed and built by the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The largest of the three cameras, PolyCam, is a small telescope that will acquire the first images of Bennu from a distance of 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) and provide high resolution imaging of the sample site. MapCam will search for satellites and dust plumes around Bennu, map the asteroid in color, and provide images to construct topographic maps. SamCam will document the sample acquisition event and the collected sample. 
“PolyCam, MapCam and SamCam will be our mission’s eyes at Bennu,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “OCAMS will provide the imagery we need to complete our mission while the spacecraft is at the asteroid.”
OSIRIS-REx is the first U.S. mission to sample an asteroid, and will return the largest sample from space since the Apollo lunar missions. Scientists expect that Bennu may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and the source of water and organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth. OSIRIS-REx’s investigation will inform future efforts to develop a mission to mitigate an impact, should one be required.
"The most important goal of these cameras is to maximize our ability to successfully return a sample,” said OCAMS instrument scientist Bashar Rizk from the University of Arizona, Tucson. “Our mission requires a lot of activities during one trip – navigation, mapping, reconnaissance, sample site selection, and sampling.  While we are there, we need the ability to continuously see what is happening around the asteroid in order to make real-time decisions."

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. Dante Lauretta is the mission's principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver is building the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA's New Frontiers Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

NEPAL:Nepal government should reach out to rural areas

Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 7:47 PM
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of human lives in Nepal. It is a moment of unprecedented tragedy; the devastation of human lives and property is heartbreaking. This is again a testing time for the Nepal government.
The series of aftershocks have created an environment of fear. Even people whose houses suffered only small cracks or are fully intact are worried about entering their houses. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced under the open sky without food and water. Those who are from outside Kathmandu have already left for their villages or are in the process of leaving. This is due to fear of aftershocks and the increasing risk of epidemic. There is shortage of water in the Kathmandu Valley. The risk of contaminated water beginning to circulate is real; the result will be diseases like cholera and dysentery.
The bodies still buried under the rubble, increase the likelihood of diseases and illnesses spreading. If bodies are not cleared soon, Nepal is going to face a grave health crisis and this will be more dangerous than the earthquake that hit the country on Saturday, 25 April. It is imperative that the dead and decaying bodies lying in villages and corridors of homes in villages are taken care of at the earliest. 

Rescuers have just begun to arrive in some of the worst hit villages in Gorkha, Dhading, Sindhupalchok, Kavre, and Nuwakot districts. Scores of settlements have been cut off from transportation and telecommunication services following the earthquake. The injured have not received treatment even six days after the disaster, while the displaced have been compelled to suffer, hungry under the open sky.
There is already outrage at the non-performance of the government. Some of this outrage may be genuine, because a lot of people in Kathmandu are facing immense hardship and they see no signs of the government making efforts to provide relief. The government has been slow in distributing relief packages and in reaching out to people outside Kathmandu. Given the scale and intensity of Saturday’s quake, the State’s ineffectiveness has never been more apparent.
Due of lack of efficiency in management, the government has been in a complaint mode, and has been asking foreign nations and international organizations to request permission before arriving with aid and personnel. Instead of demanding permission, the government of Nepal should be proactive enough to deploy them to earthquake affected areas outside the Kathmandu Valley where the dead have started decaying and those alive have started dying waiting for rescue and relief packages, including masks, water, food, and tents.
The rest of Nepal, outside the Valley, is where the problems, post-earthquake, are most pressing; little attention has been given to the conditions of marginalized Nepalese, who need to be helped the most immediately. Therefore, the AHRC requests the Nepal government to support aid organizations that are focusing on rural areas. Furthermore the AHRC asks that the government dedicate its relief efforts and financial support to specific causes targeting the marginalized communities and to organizations that have an on-going long-term commitment.
This is a testing moment for all countries that are providing assistance. This is a moment to show solidarity. Therefore, the AHRC appeals to all parties to engage in relief and rescue activities in the rural areas, where the visibility is low but the needs are most.
The AHRC also appeals to people of Nepal to show national solidarity and resilience; helping each other during this time of crisis is what the nation needs. The crisis will be over soon, and Nepal will stand up and rise again. The only thing required is courage and motivation.
# # #
About AHRC:The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Relief work by RAMT

Rapid Action Medical Team helping actively
The Indian Air Force (IAF) Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) equipped with necessary medical aid sent to earthquake hit Nepal, seen after landing at Kathmandu Airport. (PIB)  29-April-2015

Monday, July 14, 2014

Face of Defense: Soldier Born in Senegal Returns for Exercise

Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 6:01 PM
"I actually enjoy doing my job" 
By Army Sgt. Takita Lawery
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division

Army Spc. Lassana Traore, right, translates during a conversation between Army Pfc. Cody Anderson, center, and a Senegalese soldier during exercise Western Accord 14 at Camp Thies, Senegal, June 25, 2014. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Takita Lawery 
THIES, Senegal, July 14, 2014 - After joining the U.S. Army two years ago, Spc. Lassana Traore, a food service specialist with 1st Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, couldn't have imagined he would find himself back in his native land of Senegal as an Army translator for Exercise Western Accord 14.
"It is a great learning experience for him to be serving his native country and the U.S. Army," Wingfield said. "I think he will gain a lot of knowledge from interacting with both nations simultaneously during the exercise."Staff Sgt. Murquitte Wingfield, food service noncommissioned officer in charge, Company E, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, said Traore's a "super soldier" who is always motivated to do more than what is asked or expected of him.
Traore grew-up in Pikine, a small city outside of Dakar, Senegal, with his parents, four brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Seydou Nourou Tall, a multigrade school, in 2000. Following an injury to his leg that stopped him from playing professional soccer, Traore said, he decided to travel to France to attend college and study business management.
He later traveled to Italy to help in running his father's fishing company, and it was there where he met his wife, who also serves in the Army.
Traore joined the Army in 2012, and chose to be a cook because choices were limited for him at the time.
"I actually enjoy doing my job," he added. "And now, I am happy to be here, because I can serve both my countries at the same time."
Traore's duties during the exercise were limited at first to the food service team. But things quickly changed when his unit hit the ground in Senegal. In addition to working in the dining facility, he soon was translating for various African nations throughout Camp Thies.
The 32-year-old said helping soldiers to overcome language barriers has been one of his favorite parts of Western Accord 14 was. Knowing he helped soldiers better comprehend the training they received so they could apply it to what they already knew was what he enjoyed most about the experience, he added.
Infantry parachutist Sgt. Birame Faye of the Senegalese army concurred.
"It is easier for us to understand Traore, rather than civilian translators, because he is in the U.S. Army and he knows how to explain their tactics better," Faye said.
Traore said he has appreciated playing a major role in the exercise and wants to continue serving in any way he can.
"I plan to retire out of the U.S. Army, because it's a great organization and it provides people with great opportunities to do whatever they put their minds to," he said.
Related Sites:
U.S. Army Africa
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
U.S. Africa Command
Special Report: U.S. Africa Command

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Face of Defense: Father, Daughter Share Afghanistan Deployment

Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 6:59 PM
By Air Force Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez
455th Air Expeditionary Wing

Air Force Senior Airman Kimberly Buzzell, left, and her father, Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Trujillo, pose for a photograph at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, July 1, 2014. Both are assigned to Task Force Signal and deployed from the Air National Guard's 243rd Engineering Installation Squadron in South Portland, Maine. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez 
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AfghanistanJuly 8, 2014 - (AFPS):  The military becomes a tightly knit family for people who are away from home. Service members share many unique experiences, and when the time comes to deploy, they need "family" support that much more.
 For Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Trujillo and Air Force Senior Airman Kimberly Buzzell, the support network is available not only from their unit, but also each other, as this father and daughter share their first deployment together here.
Trujillo and Buzzell are both deployed from the Air National Guard's 243rd Engineering Installation Squadron in South Portland, Maine, and are natives of Turner, Maine.
Trujillo, a cable antenna team chief, has served for 26 years. Buzzell has been in the Air Force for five years and is a radio frequency transmissions technician. Both are deployed with Task Force Signal.
For them, the Air Force, deployments and moving always have been a normal way of life.
"My wife retired from active duty about nine years ago," Trujillo said. "We have traveled and lived everywhere, and now that my daughter is older, I think she appreciates the opportunities we had being a military family."
Five years ago while Trujillo was deployed to Afghanistan, Buzzell enlisted in the same unit as her father. Trujillo came home to the surprise that his daughter was in the Air Force and part of his unit.
"My dad had mentioned the military, and I always wanted to join," she said. "Other plans happened. I got married and had kids, so a few years later, I just decided to join."
Though he was surprised, Trujillo said, he was proud of his daughter.
"I never pushed her to join. I would have supported her in any decision she made," he added. "I always thought that the Air Force would be a good choice for her. I think the Air Force is very family oriented, and it helps give you an idea of what you want to do with your life."
While Buzzell was originally tasked to deploy, Trujillo was not. Because it was Buzzell's first deployment, her father volunteered to join her in Afghanistan.
"My mom originally did not want him to volunteer," Buzzell said. "But when she found out I was tasked, she immediately changed her mind and was telling my dad he 'had' to volunteer."
Trujillo said he wanted to volunteer because he didn't think an opportunity like this would come by again. He also wanted to make sure he was there for his daughter on her first deployment.
"I think it relaxed my wife a little more, because she knew I was going to be here with my daughter," he said. "I now realize I don't really need to be here for her. She is doing great and has a great attitude about being here."
Originally, Trujillo was tasked to go to Kandahar Airfield, but when the unit switched teams around, it allowed the two the opportunity to work together.
"We don't always work together every day, but we do get to spend time together," Trujillo said. "It is good to be apart sometimes. It keeps her dad from always being on her."
Buzzell said she enjoys having her dad around and likes to tell people she is here with him whenever she gets the chance.
"He is always sticking up for me, even though he doesn't have to," she said. "The experience of having him here is one that many people will not have. It will be something that [he] and I will always share and look back on."
Having been with the unit for a few years, Buzzell said, she has found it to be a close group, so even if her father wasn't here, she knows they would take care of her.
"None of them would replace my dad, of course, but most of the people from my unit are high school friends," she said. "The airmen also see him as a father figure, and we are just happy he is here."
Trujillo and Buzzell celebrated Father's Day last month with a 5K race and a lunch date.
"One thing I didn't think I was going to miss were hugs," Buzzell said. "My daughters at home hug me all the time, so the best thing about having my dad here is that I get to hug him whenever I need a hug."
Related Sites:
Air Forces Central