The Union Minister of Steel Shri Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, Chaired a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Steel on Friday at Tirupati to discuss the topic “Roadmap for Circular Economy in Steel Sector”. The Minister of State for Steel and Rural Development, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste was also present in the meeting.
The Chairman of the Committee, Steel Minister Shri Ram Chandra Prasad Singh highlighted the immense possibilities of utilization of waste generated during mining, steel manufacturing process and end of life products. The Chairman appreciated the suggestions and emphasized that this will boost the investment, employment and growth and is in line with the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister for promoting Circular Economy. Chairman urged upon the stakeholders to take definitive steps towards promoting circular economy and Waste to Wealth in the steel sector
During the meeting, the concept of circular economy was explained which involves minimization of use of natural resources. This also involves adoption of principle of 6Rs i.e. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture with the objective to increase material resource efficiency and reduce impact on environment.
The committee was apprised that manufacturing steel through scrap and other waste products is a step towards Green Steel. It was also highlighted that various wastes, scrap and by-products generated during mining and steel making can be effectively used for making steel and other applications like cement manufacture, road construction, agriculture etc.
In the meeting, discussions were held with the Members of the Committee on the opportunities, benefits, challenges and way forward for creating circular economy in the steel sector. The members of the Committee appreciated the work being done by the Steel Ministry and suggested various steps for achieving the objective of circular economy in the steel sector. The members of the committee also emphasized the need to create awareness and increase the use of steel, especially in the rural areas. The increase in consumption of steel will lead to increase in availability of steel scrap in the future. The members advised that steps should be taken for integration of informal sector into the formal sector which will help in creating a conducive ecosystem for circular economy in the steel sector.
MPs – S/Shri Bidyut Baran Mahato, Chandra Prakash Choudhary, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka, Vijay Baghel and Akhilesh Prasad Singh took part in the meeting. Senior officers of the Ministry of Steel and CPSEs were also present.
To recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in the field of disaster manageent, Government of India has instituted an annual award known as Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. The award is announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
For the award this year, nominations were solicited from 1st July, 2021 onwards. The award scheme for the year 2022 was given wide publicity through print, electronic and social media. In response to the award scheme, 243 valid nominations were received from institutions and individuals.
For the year 2022, (i) Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (in the Institutional category) and (ii) Professor Vinod Sharma (in the Individual category) have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar for their excellent work in Disaster Management.
Following is a summary of theoutstandingworkof the winners of 2022 Award in the field of Disaster Management:
Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM), established in 2012, the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) has been working to enhance the disaster risk reduction (DRR) capacity of Gujarat. Through a series of strategically designed capacity building programs, GIDM has trained more than 12,000 professionals on diverse issues concerning multi-hazard risk management and reduction during the pandemic. Some recent key initiatives include the development of a user-friendly Gujarat Fire Safety Compliance Portal, and development of a Mobile App Technology based Advanced COVID-19 Syndromic Surveillance (ACSyS) system to complement the COVID-19 surveillance efforts of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project.
Professor Vinod Sharma, a senior professor at the Indian Institute of Public Administration and Vice-Chairman of the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, was the founder co-ordinator of the National Centre of Disaster Management, now known as the National Institute of Disaster Management. He has worked tirelessly towards bringing disaster risk reduction (DRR) to the forefront of the national agenda. His pioneering work in DRR in India gave him international recognition and he is a resource person to Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) and all Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs) for disaster management. As Vice Chairman of the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, he has made Sikkim a model State in implementing DRR, whilst initiating panchayat level preparedness plans, linking climate change and DRR.
They will be conferred with the Award, alongwith the awardees of the year 2019, 2020 and 2021, by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the investiture ceremony, to be held today evening to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
The Election Commission of India today organized an international webinar on the theme ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives’ at New Delhi. The webinar which was organized to mark the completion of two years of Chairmanship of the ECI at A-WEB was attended by over 100 delegates from 24 countries, 4 international organizations and 20 diplomats.
As the current Chairman of A-WEB, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sushil Chandra during his keynote address said that this webinar provided an excellent opportunity to learn from the best practices and experiences of other Election Management Bodies (EMBs), to identify and work towards removing barriers to ensure truly accessible, inclusive and participative elections.
Taking note of the historical perspective of barriers and challenges faced by women in participation in elections in India, Sh. Chandra stated that after 7 decades and 17 General Elections since Independence, women’s participation in India has exceeded that of men and stood at more than 67% in the 2019 General Election. Gender gap, a crucial parameter, which was -16.71% in 1962, has not only closed but reversed to +0.17% in 2019. In fact India has witnessed a 235.72% increase in female electors since the 1971 elections. Sh. Chandra highlighted various initiatives taken by the ECI to enhance women participation including associating more women as polling booth officials, larger number of All Women Managed Polling Stations, crèche facility at Polling Stations, separate toilets and waiting area at the polling booths, ensuring ease of registration with women Block level Officers motivating women in their own socio-cultural milieu, amongst others.
During his address, Shri Sushil Chandra also elaborated on the concept of Absentee voter facilitation, introduced by ECI in 2020 to ensure voting facility at the doorstep especially for 80+ senior citizens, PwDs and COVID-affected voters. He added that such postal ballot facility had been successfully implemented across six state assembly elections including Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UT Puducherry, which had a cumulative elector base of 73.6 million. He highlighted that, in the last five state assembly elections, 4.5 times higher electors participated in the electoral process through postal ballots and there is scope for widening the outreach and facilitation efforts. He added that there are around 15 million 80+ electors today in the country.
Pointing out the infrastructural & attitudinal challenges faced by Persons with Disabilities, Sh. Chandra urged all the participants to have ‘Accessibility focus’ as part of the design itself for any technology or service adopted by any EMB rather than being added on later as an afterthought. He cited various initiatives taken by ECI like PwD app, provision of wheelchair, volunteer assistance, Braille EPIC card, Braille signage in EVMs, free transport to and from polling station, priority voting and provision of AMFs to provide a hassle-free experience to PwD electors.
Addressing the gathering, Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar stressed on the initiatives taken by the Commission to enhance the participation of Women & Person with Disabilities in the electoral process. He underscored that ECI has mapped over 7.7 million PwD voters so far which is a remarkable increase of 15.28 per cent from the Lok Sabha Election 2019. While highlighting the enhanced women participation in the electoral process from 78 million women in the first GE to over 294 million in 2019 LS elections, he stated that even in terms of representation, the number of women elected to the lower house of the parliament increased from 24 in the first General Election to 78 in 2019 LS elections.
While addressing the participants, Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey stated that Technology has been a game changer in election management and has had a significant impact upon the electoral landscape vis-a-vis accessibility. Taking note of the challenges faced to ensure inclusive & accessible elections during the COVID pandemic, Sh. Pandey said that detailed protocols were devised and implemented to distribute and collect forms from senior citizens and PwDs at their homes as part of the postal ballot facility. He said that ECI is committed to inclusive electoral practices to enhance participation and extend facilitation to PwD voters.
Welcoming the delegates, Secretary General Sh. Umesh Sinha said that inclusion of all categories of voters in electoral participation is the essence of universal adult suffrage. He also touched upon the ECI voter education programme SVEEP aimed at reaching out to the vast voter population in a comprehensive and systematic manner through different modes and media. ECI’s endeavour is to speak to PwDs in their language, to hear what they wish to convey and see all those invisible barriers that they find difficult to circumvent, he underlined.
Nearly hundred delegates from 24 countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mongolia, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zambia and 4 international organizations – International IDEA, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) and European Centre for Elections across the world and 20 diplomats attended today’s Webinar.
At the Webinar, presentations made by Mauritius, Romania and Republic of Korea, Taiwan, The Philippines, Cambodia and IFES – Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bhutan, India and Brazil showcased best practices and initiatives taken by them to enhance electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & Senior citizen Voters.
Among publications released at the Webinar were the October 2021 issue of A-WEB India Journal of Elections; October 2021 issue of ‘VoICE International’ Magazine and Publication on ‘Participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities and senior citizen voters in Elections’. An International Video presentation on facilitation and participation of Women, PwDs and senior citizens in elections was also unveiled at the Webinar.
An exhibition on various initiatives taken by Election Management Bodies to enhance the electoral participation of women, PwDs and senior citizens was also displayed during the international webinar.