Posts tagged ‘Sushma Swaraj’

18/06/2016

New App Promises to Tell Indian Farmers When to Sow Crops – India Real Time – WSJ

Monsoon season in India has just begun, but farmers in Andhra Pradesh, a southeastern coastal state of India, won’t need to look to the skies to know when to sow their crops.

A new mobile application launched earlier this month and developed by a local agriculture research institute, Microsoft India and the state government tells farmers in the state which week is perfect for sowing seeds, the health of their soil and other indicators.

The app uses rainfall data collected from farms in 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh over 45 years to give farmers a sense of when to start planting, Suhas P. Wani, director of Asia research at the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics or ICRISAT, a research organization in Hyderabad said.Farmers are asked to register a mobile number with the state government, choose a language–currently limited to the regional Telugu and English–and enter details of the village, district or sub-district.

The advice received could vary from farmer to farmer and from village to village, Mr. Wani said. “The app has crop-specific information such as 10 years of groundnut sowing progress data” to guide farmers who grow specific crops, he added.

He said that constant data on crop yield was being collected on a monthly basis by field officers and sent for evaluation to provide regular forecasts to farmers.

A weather button shows the temperature and rainfall as well as fertilizer recommendations for the day and projection for the next seven days. Additionally, a farmer can get weather alerts for extreme conditions like hailstorms or unseasonal rains that impact crop yields.

Andhra Pradesh logged the highest number of farmer suicides in the country last year. At least 58 farmers took their own lives in the state, according to an agriculture ministry report.

But not every farmer can afford to invest in expensive smartphone technology.

So far, most of the farmers have requested to be sent the information via SMS message. Mr. Wani said once registered, farmers can get the predicted sowing date through SMS. “The main idea behind the application is to help farmers reduce losses by telling when to sow seeds or spray the plants,” he said.

The application will be rolled out in other Indian states next year, based on feedback from farmers in the state, he added.

Source: New App Promises to Tell Indian Farmers When to Sow Crops – India Real Time – WSJ

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08/07/2015

India to roll out $20 billion food welfare plan by December | Reuters

India will roll out its multi-billion dollar food welfare plan by December, the food minister said, allowing 67 percent of its 1.2 billion people access to cheap rice and wheat.

Labourers unload sacks filled with wheat from a truck at the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (PUNSUP) godown at a wholesale grain market in Punjab, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files

The previous Congress-led government approved the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in August 2013. India’s 29 states and seven union territories had to implement it within a year.

After missing several deadlines, only 11 states could introduce the plan and the rest sought more time.

“Finally most states have agreed to implement the NFSA by December, after the latest deadline ends in September,” Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters after meeting his counterparts from states on Tuesday.

In his February budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earmarked 1.24 trillion rupees ($20.11 billion) for food subsidies.

Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing the expensive food welfare plan approved by his predecessor Manmohan Singh, the government is now trying to rein in overall subsidies to focus on investment in manufacturing and infrastructure.

via India to roll out $20 billion food welfare plan by December | Reuters.

03/09/2014

In Modi’s first 100 days, foreign ministry moves fastest on Raisina Hill

With her many visits abroad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been running the busiest ministry in the new government.

India’s new foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, seems to be running the busiest ministry on Raisina Hill ─ the area of Lutyen’s Delhi that houses key government buildings ─ for the regime led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi’s decision to invite all the heads of state in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation group to his swearing-in ceremony, widely hailed as a good and forward-thinking move, meant that Swaraj had to be on her toes from the get-go. In no time at all, Swaraj and Modi embarked on trips to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal, which an Indian head of state had not officially visited since 1997.

Swaraj has had her hands full, visiting neighbours such as Bangladesh and Myanmar in quick succession while overseeing the successful evacuation of hundreds of stranded Indian citizens from hotspots such as Iraq and Libya and formulating India’s position on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza. She has just returned from Vietnam and was set to go to Beijing for a trilateral meeting with the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers but the government called off her trip, perhaps in deference to the sensitivities of Japan, where Prime Minister Modi arrived on Sunday for a summit.

On Israel, despite the BJP’s highly favourable stance towards the country, India eventually stuck to its historical position by voting in favour of Palestine at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Many BJP supporters questioned the government’s move, with some saying it was unable to break out of a Congress-era mindset.

The new order at the Ministry of External Affairs has a spring in its heels. From looking to invite all heads of state in the African Union to New Delhi to attracting mixed responses for allowing Modi to cancel talks with Pakistan after its high commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders from the Hurriyat Conference, the ministry has been hogging the limelight on Raisina Hill.

via Scroll.in – News. Politics. Culture..

08/06/2014

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi holds talks with Sushma Swaraj – The Times of India

In the first high-level interaction with the new dispensation here, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in key areas including trade and investment.

Wang, who is special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, arrived in the wee hours to establish political contacts with the new Indian government amid hopes of an upswing in bilateral ties due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s familiarity with China.

Both Wang and Swaraj were assisted by their delegations which comprised of senior officials from the foreign ministry.

via Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi holds talks with Sushma Swaraj – The Times of India.

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25/09/2013

BJP flays ordinance on convicted Indian MPs

The Hindu: “The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday said the government’s decision to promulgate an ordinance on convicted MPs is an attempt to make “cheats, frauds, murderers” and the likes as lawmakers.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy

“BJP is shocked at this Ordinance. We would like to know whose great idea it is — is it Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi or is it UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi,” party general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

“Who was eager to promulgate an Ordinance to make frauds, cheats, rapists and murderers as our MPs and MLAs?” he said.

Mr. Rudy hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the issue, saying the apex court had in a “historic judgement” said that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.

The Ordinance, which was cleared by the Cabinet on Tuesday, seeks to negate this order and BJP has opposed this move.

“We Indians have already lost faith in the political system and very soon the country will trash this democracy for good, thanks to this Congress government,” Mr. Rudy said.

His observations came a day after Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj termed the Ordinance as unconstitutional and requested the President not to give his assent to it.

“We are opposed to it. We request the President not to sign it. President is not obliged to sign an Ordinance that is unconstitutional,” Ms. Swaraj had said on Twitter.”

via BJP flays ordinance on convicted MPs – The Hindu.

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