Thursday, 16 February 2017

Raja Harishchandra to Dangal : the changing face of Indian Cinema



There is no denying the fact that the two things that surpass regional and continental barriers for Indians across the world are; Indian Food and Indian Cinema or as commonly called “Bollywood”. While Indian food reminds you of “maa ke haath ka khaana”, Indian cinema acts as a temporary relief from stresses of life and tries to bring in a little bit of entertainment in our otherwise mundane(or so we think) lives.  
In over 100 years since its inception the Indian Film Industry has grown exponentially, not only in economic and monetary terms but also the varied subjects and “out of the box” ideas that are now showcased on the big screen.  
The first feature film made in India by the “Father on Indian Cinema” Dadasaheb Phalke was titled “Raja Harishchandra” which released on May 3, 1913. Albeit being a silent film, it made a loud noise! It paved the way for a Multi-billion-dollar industry, one that would go on to break taboos, represent Indian society and place India on a global platform.



Early Days
In the beginning, Indian cinema focussed on Mythological stories and the great Epics. This period also saw movies dealing with India’s struggle for Freedom and aimed at instilling in the audience a sense of patriotism. In the period after India’s independence, Indian cinema acted as vehicle for addressing social ills prevalent in Indian society.  

Golden Era
The “Golden Era of Indian Cinema” as the years from the early 1940’s to late 1960’s is called, saw movies which represented common man and the struggles he faced. This phase focussed more on high morals and the importance of being a morally correct person. The burning issue of poverty was also addressed in the movies of this age. The Protagonist always essayed roles that would resonate with the audience’s life in some way.  The films in this period also focussed on relationships, customs, norms and ethics on Indian society.
‘Kaagaz ke Phool’, ‘Mother India’, ‘Pakeezah’, ‘Padosan’ are a few of the movies that were a resounding success in this “Golden Era”

Action Era
The late 1960’s to the early 1980’s is also known as the Action Era. This phase witnessed a distinctive shift in the movie storyline. Movies at this time were more action based and had a tinge of romance. Violence was an integral [art of the movie with a major emphasis on “Villains”. The notion of ‘Angry Young Man’ was introduced during this period. A lot of films during this time revolved around the basic story line of a hero who was very good at delivering his punches and kicks, would destroy the villain and win the lady’s heart in the end.

Movies like ‘Aradhana’, ‘Anand’, ‘Bobby’ and ‘Sholay’ were released during this period.


Globalization and the present times
The phase from the late 1980’s till now has witnessed the most diverse shift in movie-making.  The direction, representation of women, the varied issues addressed in movies has witnessed a tectonic shift.
Movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘3 idiots’, ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’, ‘Pink’ and ‘Dangal’ have shifted the focus from the run off the mill romance, with people running around trees to one that has forced the audience to think and implement changes in their own lifestyle.
Movies of these times also put India on the global platform, with actors, directors, musicians all competing for international awards, like the Oscars, BAFTA’s and the GRAMMY’s.

 As the great filmmaker Satyajit Ray said, “Cinema’s characteristic forte is its ability to capture and communicate the intimacies of the human mind.” This changing characteristic of Indian cinema is one that is being widely accepted and welcomed. The changing patterns in movies are also a result of the changing mind set of the audience.

As Bollywood continues to unite people across continents let us hope this trend of movies that compel us to think, act and implement continue. 

Team India defeated South Africa in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, Captain Mithali Raj shines!

India closed in on a berth in the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 after a 49-run win over South Africa while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also registered notable wins in the first round of Super Six matches in the qualifiers on Wednesday.
Indian captain Mithali Raj starred in what was seen as a high-profile match since India and South Africa had topped their respective groups and carried a maximum of four points from the preliminary league to the second stage in which they play teams from the other preliminary group.


The top four from the Super Six qualify not only for the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 but also for the ICC Women's Championship.


Asked to bat first, India started off at a slow pace, scoring only 14 off the first 10 overs but the complexion of the game changed once Raj came to the crease. She and opener Mona Meshram lifted the team with a fine 96-run second-wicket stand to help put up a competitive 205 for eight.
Raj scored 64 off 85 balls with 10 fours and Meshram got 55 off 85 balls with five fours and two sixes.

South Africa's reply suffered some early setbacks and they were reduced to 41 for three in the 19th over as openers Lizelle Lee (one) and Laura Wolvaardt (zero) as well as former captain Mignon du Preez (15) could not do much. Pace bowler Shikha Pandey and left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, who shared the new ball, finished with four and three wickets, respectively, as South Africa folded for 156 in 46.4 overs.
Mithali said: "The win today definitely eases the pressure on us, especially for the last match of the Super League against Pakistan. It also gives us time to assess what all we are not doing right so that we can improve on those aspects in the coming matches."


All India Radio wishes all the best to the Team for their future endeavours

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Obituary - Miller Einster Sawkmie, PEX, NES, AIR Shillong



17.10.69 – 14.02.2017

“Have you met Miller, the Miller of Dee?” asked Mrs Nariman Shadap with a smile. It was my day of joining at the North Eastern Service (NES), AIR Shillong in December 2011. Mrs Shadap, DDG(P) was Station Director there.
It wasn’t difficult to see why Miller Einster Sawkmie, Programme Executive, NES was compared with the jolly Miller of Dee, made famous by that eponymous poem
“There dwelt a miller, hale and bold,
Beside the river Dee;
He worked and sang from morn till night -
No lark more blithe than he…”
That is how I remember Miller. Happy, bright, ready with a song.

But Miller’s “guitar gently weeps” today. The first floor of NES office is eerily quiet. “He is too young to leave this world,” Ferdinand Dkhar, Pex, AIR Shillong messaged me this morning. Ferdy did not take my call. Maybe his voice was choked. Miller had passed away last night. Suddenly.
Anyone who has worked in NES will remember Ferdy and Miller singing “Yeh dosti hum nahin torenge…” lustily during the Hindi fortnight celebrations.

“I am shocked at the news of Miller’s demise,”says Mr C Lalrosanga, former DG, Doordarshan. “I have known him for about 25 years while serving as Director, NES & ADG of AIR (NER) and have been closely in touch with him till a week ago. He was a dynamic, positive, helpful, resourceful person, a valued colleague to work with and an asset for AIR. His contributions to AIR have been plenty and invaluable. I miss him as a personal friend and colleague. NES will sorely miss him.”

“How can he go? It’s unbelievable,” rues Ashish Bhatnagar, DDG(E). Mr Bhatnagar was posted in Shillong for three years.  “Miller was so close. We spent hours singing overnight in remote villages, with a guitar in hand and wood fire in between. He was so natural and spontaneous.”

I see from his biodata that he had a Master’s degree in Physics. “Miller was in teaching before he joined AIR,” Mrs Shadap tells me. “And he was a very good teacher. I personally enjoyed working with him. He rose to every challenge. I never heard a no from him. It was always ‘yes, Kong’.  Such an energetic, lovable young programmer…such a great loss for NES and the AIR family…Miller of Dee.”(Kong in Khasi means sister and is a respectful way of addressing women).

Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I find many comments from friends, colleagues, talkers… comments like “he encouraged me to go on air”…. “One of my most well behaved and cheerful colleagues…” “ Will sorely miss his jokes and laughter”… “He was such an inspiration to me, to never give up on my singing…”

Miller had joined AIR Shillong as a production assistant (TREX) at OB unit, AIR Shillong on 7 April 1992. He was the force behind the popular radio bridge programmes connecting the entire North East. As well as the several memorable concerts organised by NES. As recently as February 11, he had successfully organized the grand finale of the NE Body Can Sing Contest in Shillong.
Miller Sawkmie is survived by his mother, his wife Rulbiona Synrem and three children.

As I am about to wind up this piece, a message arrives from Krishna Dasgupta, English Announcer, NES: “An enthusiastic and cheerful officer, he was always very polite with his colleagues. Herespected everyone and in turn earned respect… He will be fondly remembered by all at NES & AIR Shillong. May his soul rest inpeace.”

"Good friend," said Hall, and sighed the while,
"Farewell, and happy be;
Such men as thou are England's boast,
O miller of the Dee!

To paraphrase the poem, “such men as Miller are AIR’s boast...” Farewell, Miller and be happy wherever you are.

Basudha Banerji, PEX, DG:AIR, fondly remembers Miller Einster Sawkmie...

Sky indeed no more the limit : ISRO scripts HISTORY, launches 104 satellites in single mission

Everyone around the country woke up on Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 with a certain sense of anticipation and pride as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was all set to script history with the launch of a record-breaking 104 satellites into space on a single rocket from the Spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.




 In its 39th flight, ISRO’s (PSLV-C37), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg.

Of the 103 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C37, two – ISRO Nano Satellite-1 (INS-1) and INS-2– are technology demonstration satellites from India. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.

The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1). 

Why is the launch significant and record-breaking?
It is the HIGHEST number of satellites launched in ONE single mission.
The record of launching the highest number of satellites in one mission was earlier held by Russia for launching a total of 37 satellites in the year 2014.
Earlier, the US space agency NASA launched 29, while ISRO successfully launched 20 satellites in one go in June 2015.

Why is the ISRO mission important?
The primary satellite, CARTOSAT-2 will provide remote sensing services. Images sent by it will be useful for coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, creation of land use maps, distribution of water, among other purposes.
The two Indian Nano-satellites INS-1A and INS-1B were developed as co-passenger satellites to accompany bigger satellites on PSLV. The primary objective of INS (ISRO Nano Satellite) is to provide an opportunity for ISRO technology demonstration payloads, provide a standard bus for launch on demand services.
The 88 small satellites named “Doves” will be used to image every inch of the earth at a low cost map in super high resolution.

What are the benefits of the launch?
With this launch ISRO will be able to recover half of the total cost incurred for the launch of the 104 satellites.

With today’s successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180.

In his statement President Pranab Mukherjee said, “This day shall go down as a landmark in the history of our space programme. The nation is proud of this significant achievement, which has demonstrated, yet again, India’s increasing space capabilities.”





PM Narendra Modi congratulated the Scientists on today’s exceptional achievement.




With this launch ISRO has once again proved that indeed the “sky is not the limit”

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Radio is YOU: Community Diversity Volunteerism



February 14, 2017, New Delhi.
The theme of this year’s World Radio Day “Radio is you” speaks for itself. Radio is not just a medium of communication but is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for change. Thus, adhering to this year’s theme UNESCO organised an interesting session on World Radio Day held in New Delhi India.
The session aimed at discussing the three major aspects of this years’ theme, Community, Diversity and Volunteerism.




The session started off with the inaugural session where in Mr Al-Amin Yusuph, Advisor, (Communication and Information) for South Asia, UNESCO conveyed WORLD RADIO DAY MESSAGE by Ms Irina Bokova.

Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka gave opening remarks on this saying “World Radio Day stands for celebrating Radio and to realise the immense role played by radio in communication on a global level”.
The remarks by Derk Segaar highlighted the reach of Radio and the advantage of radio catering to all the age groups.



Professor Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair on Community Media gave a brief idea about Radio that how does it acts as major agent of communication in vulnerable communities and said “All India Radio has a national footprint in the country”.
He also talked about how community radio is the most important means of information dissemination and other factors as well.



Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, Mihir Kumar Singh highlighted the importance of community radio in the social realm. “Community Radio is a very powerful medium”, he said. “Government of India has been supporting Community Radios for a long time”.



In the panel discussion on Community Diversity and Volunteerism, a healthy debate took place, where in the speakers highlighted their understanding about communities and the challenges they face in the production of the programs in order to promote community participation for the same.


Screenings of films made under the initiative “Our Practice” was conducted thereby depicting the success stories about those people who found a platform to nurture their talents, skills and put forth their grievances in the form of community radio. Radio has changed lives and is continuing to do so even now.

Towards the end, the session was opened for questions, which raised an important dialogue between the functioning of public broadcasting and community radio in the country. An interesting insight was put forward as to how they both could work in tandem in the future and be fruitful for the masses.

Community Radios are catalyst of change and development which majorly focus on community development, empowerment, gender equity and sensitization.



Monday, 13 February 2017

Radio rules imagination!

Celebrating World Radio Day 2017

-by F.Sheheryar, DG,AIR



When Neil Diamond crooned “reaching out, touching me, touching you” in that iconic song Sweet Caroline, he could as well be singing about radio. Radio, which reaches out across seemingly insurmountable geographical divides, touches countless lives and yet remains in the background. Like a good friend who never pries but steps in on a bad day with alacrity as the world has witnessed again and again when natural disasters strike. When all new fangled media fail in the face of Nature’s fury, radio is that saviour that connects people, connects lives and connects hope.
Image result for world radio day theme &It was to honour this radio that the United Nations proclaimed 13 February as World Radio Day in 2011, with the vision of celebrating how it helps shape our lives.
To quote from the UNESCO website, “by listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face.”
This is most relevant for the developing societies which are clearly disadvantaged by their lack of access to the latest information technologies. The switch to the global information super highway would give an unfair advantage to rich nations over the poor, feels the Third World which continues to root for radio. Radio broadcasting crosses the barriers of isolation and illiteracy and it is the cheapest electronic medium to broadcast and receive.
Though World Radio Day is only a 6-year-old, radio itself is a Long Playing story with India getting into the groove in 1927 with the setting up of the first station of the Indian Broadcasting Company in Bombay. It is in fact, a ninety-year-old story!
Radio perhaps faces the most impossible challenge in India with its population of 1.25 billion and humongous diversity in ethno-socio-linguistic characteristic, literacy levels, economic disparities, gender inequality, disparity in distribution of resources, rural-urban gulf, digital divide and so on.
Image result for all india radio broadcasting house delhi
The public service radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) has risen admirably to this challenge by its steadfast focus on the development of a learning society/a knowledge community, inculcating scientific temper, empowerment of women, amelioration of the underprivileged, spreading the message of planned parenthood, diffusion of agricultural innovation, rural regeneration, skill development to capture benefits of the demographic dividend, preserving and strengthening India’s cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity and fortifying India’s democratic and secular traditions and values. 
Fulsome praise for radio’s development initiatives came from no less than eminent agricultural scientist and Father of the Green Revolution, M S Swaminathan:
“Even those who were excluded from the technological transformation could be included because they heard about new technologies through radio. In fact, I remember in 1967 – 68, many farmers in UP and Bihar would call the new varieties of rice, wheat and other crops as radio varieties because they had heard about them on radio. This is why I would like to pay a tribute to All India Radio which is in some respects the unsung hero of the Green Revolution.”
What does radio mean to the world’s largest middle class society, a fast changing society at that?  New radio seems to have created yet another division in and already fragmented milieu – the smart alec go getter minority versus the ordinary folk (spelt losers) majority.
In consonance with the concept of smart cities, what is urgently required are global middle class citizens to inhabit them, to avoid a sheer mismatch; creating an atmosphere of cerebral modernity paired with the best of national values and culture, ensuring inclusivity for all (not just a select smarter few). And that is what underscores the role and significance of the national public broadcaster, All India Radio. Armed with its motto (Bahujana hitaye bahujana sukhaye), pedigree and network, AIR possibly is the only national media institution left which has the wherewithal to address myriad sections of society in an unbiased and sensitive manner.
Before the misdirected disillusioned youth of India reach a stage where they are not able to speak a single legible sentence, before they begin to rebel violently on account of sheer cerebral inactivity, it is only All India Radio that is endowed with the capability to provide linguistic engagement and enrichment to today’s partly intellect deprived youth, a population that numbers dangerously high. A random audio survey done in any city/rural neighbourhood of the country will reveal the abyss of linguistic bankruptcy that our youth are gradually being dragged into. Public speaking is not part of the curriculum in our private schools, let alone the public ones.  All India Radio, with its gigantic AM network has the power to pull them back to the mainstream of self development and hence nation building collectively.
Critics may argue that the wheels of this juggernaut inch a tad sluggishly; what they do not realise (or do not want to realise) is that nation building is not just radio ads and jock talk trying to sell one, two or three BHK houses - it is ensuring cultivation and preservation of the human element in HOMES, that too all homes.
Public Service Radio disseminates information in the most democratic manner. It speaks the language of the masses and it reaches the last man. Serving a variety of fare in variable formats – plays, news, talk shows, music, running commentaries, special programmes for special audiences, leaving none out.



Radio rules the imagination. Radio is theatre for the blind. Radio is an intimate story telling medium. Is it any wonder then that the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy should choose AIR over others for his intimate heart to heart talk with the citizens?  As someone quipped, when it comes to radio, people are all ears!  We can’t do better than to quote the Prime Minister himself when he said: “If we touch those questions (questions that touch the heart) we will be able to reach out to the common man.” No wonder, Mann Ki Baat became an instant success as it decidedly is packaged with precision and put through on a dissemination network with vast domestic and global reach.
AIR is arguably one of the largest radio networks of the world, with 420 stations throughout the country, serving different segments of the population, including the underdog.  You can’t have a more potent instrument than AIR for exchange of ideas between the country’s Prime Minister and his people.  Indeed, Mann ki Baat epitomizes all that is best in public service broadcasting.
Radio is a Long Playing song that changes its beat with the times. It is adapting to 21st Century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Becoming more and more interactive. This explains why the theme for World Radio Day 2017 is “Radio is You!” – a call for greater participation of audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting. To quote UNESCO again, “Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change.”
 Image result for fayyaz sheheryar A contribution by DG All India Radio, Shri F. Sheheryar

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

India to host World Billiards Championship for next 4 years

PTI

India will host the World Billiards Championship for the next four years, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) announced yesterday.

                                           (Image for representational purpose only)


The foremost event was held in Bengaluru last year when champion cueist Pankaj Advani had triumphed in the 150-UP format beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore.


"We are pleased to announce that the BSFI has allotted the World Billiards Championship to India for the next four years. This will be the only World Championship recognized by all as the earlier one being held by the World Billiards Limited will not take place now. The World Billiards Limited will only have ranking events," said secretary S Balasubramaniam.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Awareness reduces pain, know MS!

 “I was diagnosed with MS in 2003. I’m a mechanical engineer and I run a business that manufactures car parts. I employ 200 people and I really enjoy what I do. I have balance issues and my legs are affected with cramps and pain, which affect my every step”, said Sanket.

Sanket’s story is just one among many, of people in India and around the world struggling with MS, who despite experiencing such a grave disease did not let it cause them extreme depression, but decided to take it in their stride and let nothing stop them.

But, “what is MS” you may ask. Here is a complete breakdown of what MS is and all that you need to know about it.

What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis or commonly called MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The Central Nervous System is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
 MS is thought to be an auto-immune disorder, in which the immune system of your body attacks all the healthy tissues in your Central Nervous System.





What are the symptoms of MS?
MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more.
However, the most common symptoms are overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation and difficulties with mobility.

What causes MS?
Studies suggest that genetic risk factors increase the risk of developing MS, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.
Studies also show that factors such as low Vitamin D and cigarette smoking increase the risk of MS.

What are the types of MS?
There are mainly 4 types of MS; clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and secondary progressive MS (SPMS).

Can MS be cured?
No long time cure to MS has been found so far, however studies and researches into the cure for MS are being conducted every year.
There are however FDA- approved medications that “modify” the course of MS by reducing the number of relapses and delay its progression to a certain degree.
Many therapeutic and technological advances have also taken place which help people manage the symptoms they face.

In India so far there have been 2 lakh reported cases of MS, however there still remains a lack awareness amongst a most people in the country in order to identify its symptoms to undertake early diagnosis which is critical in order to reducing its weakening effects.


India Multiple Sclerosis Day will be observed on 5th February, 2017 to reach out to people from all walks of life and increase awareness amongst them. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Major Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18

Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget for 2017-2018 in Parliament today. The budget this year basically focussed on 10 major themes; farming sector, rural population, youth, poor and underprivileged, infrastructure, digital economy, tax administration ,financial sector,  public services and prudent fiscal management for the honest.

Farming Sector:
  • ·        A sum of Rs. 10 lakh crore is allocated as credit to farmers, with 60 days interest waiver.
  • ·        NABARD fund will be increased to Rs. 40,000 crore
  • ·        Government will set up mini labs in Krishi Vigyan Kendras for soil testing
  • ·        A dedicated micro irrigation fund will be set up for NABARD with Rs 5,000 crore initial corpus
  • ·        Irrigation corpus increased from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore
  • ·        Dairy processing infrastructure fund will be initially created with a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore
  • ·        A model law on contract farming will be prepared and shared with the States


Rural Population:
  • ·        The government targets to bring 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019
  • ·        During 2017-18, 5 lakh farm ponds will be taken up under the MNREGA
  • ·        Over Rs 3 lakh crore will be spent for rural India. MGNREGA to double farmers' income
  • ·        Steps to ensure participation of women in MNREGA
  • ·        Space Technology to be used for monitoring MNREGA
  • ·        Country well on way to achieve 100% rural electrification by March 2018.
  • ·        Safe drinking water to cover 28 thousand Arsenic & Fluoride effected habitation in the next 4 years
  • ·        Sanitation coverage has gone up from 42% in Oct 13 to 60% now
  • ·        Open Defecation Free villages given priority for piped drinking water.
  •  

Youth:
  • ·        A system of measuring annual learning outcomes and come out with an innovation fund for secondary education will be introduced
  • ·        Special Focus will be on 3,479 educationally-backward blocks
  • ·        UGC Reforms to enable greater Administration and Academic Autonomy
  • ·        National Testing Agency for Entrance examinations in Higher Education Institutions
  • ·        A system of measuring Annual learning outcome
  • ·        Courses on foreign languages will be introduced
  • ·        Steps to create 5000 PG seats per annum
  • ·        Skill India mission was launched to maximise potential. Will set up 100 India International centres across the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras
  • ·        Government proposes to leverage information technology and launch SWAYAM Platform with at least 350 online courses. This will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources, participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to SWAYAM would be widened by linkage with DTH channels, dedicated to education.

Poor and Underprivileged:

  • ·        Rs. 500 crore allocated for Mahila Shakthi Kendras
  • ·        Under a nationwide scheme for pregnant women, Rs. 6000 will be transferred for women undergoing institutional deliveries
  • ·        A sum of Rs. 1,84,632  crore allocated for women and children
  • ·        Increased allocation of housing under PM Gram Awas Yojana, with houses allocated primarily in the name of women to increase ownership and financial security of women.
  • ·        Two AIIMS will be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat.
  • ·        Action plan to eliminate Kala-Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018 and Measles by 2020
  • ·        Health sub centres, numbering 1.5 lakh, will be transformed into health wellness centres.
  • ·        Aadhaar-based smartcards will be issued to senior citizens to monitor health.


Infrastructure:
  • ·        A total allocation of Rs. 3,96,135 crore has been made for infrastructure
  • ·        In the road sector, the Budget allocation has been stepped up to Rs. 64,900 crores
  • ·        2,000 kms of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development to facilitate better connectivity with ports and remote villages.
  • ·        Specific programme for development of multi-modal logistics parks, together with multi modal transport facilities, will be drawn-up and implemented that will make our economy more competitive
  • ·        In solar energy, the second phase of Solar Park development is proposed to be taken up for additional 20,000 MW capacity
  • ·        Government is creating an ecosystem to make India a global hub for electronics manufacturing.
  • ·        The total length of roads, including those under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), built from 2014-15 till the current year is about 1,40,000 kms which is significantly higher than previous three years.



Railway:
  • ·        Total allocation for Railways is Rs. 1,31,000 crore.
  • ·        No service charge on tickets booked through IRCTC
  • ·        Raksha coach with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore for five years (for passenger safety)
  • ·        Unmanned level crossings will be eliminated by 2020
  • ·        3,500 km of railway lines to be commissioned this year
  • ·        SMS-based ''clean my coach service'' is put in place
  • ·        Coach mitra facility will be introduced to register all coach related complaints.
  • ·        By 2019 all trains will have bio-toilets
  • ·        Five-hundred stations will be made differently-abled friendly
  • ·        Railways to partner with logistics players for front-end and back-end solutions for select commodities.
  • ·        Railways will offer competitive ticket booking facility
  • ·        New Metro rail policy will be announced with new modes of financing


Digital Economy:
  • ·        Digi Gaon initiative to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology
  • ·        By the end of Financial Year 2017-18 high speed broadband connectivity on optic fibres will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats.
  • ·        Digital India - BHIM app will unleash mobile phone revolution. The government will introduce two schemes to promote BHIM App - referral bonus for the users and cash back for the traders.
  • ·        Promotion of Digital Economy an integral part of strategy to clean up system and weed out corruption & Black Money
  • ·        No cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh


Tax Administration:
  • ·        No cash transactions above Rs3 lakh
  • ·        Political funding: Maximum amount of cash donation that can be received is Rs2,000; political parties can receive donations by cheques or digitally
  • ·        Personal income tax: Rate reduced to 5% for income bracket of Rs2.5-5 lakh
  • ·        Surcharge of 10 % will be levied on income bracket of Rs50 lakh-Rs1 crore
  • ·        All taxpayers above 5 lakh rupees to get benefit of 12,500 rupees across the board
  • ·        Simple one-page form for taxable income up to Rs5 lakh
  • ·        Time period of revising tax returns reduced to 12 months
  • ·        Limit of cash donation for charitable trusts cut to Rs2,000


Financial Sector:
  • ·        FDI policy reforms - more than 90% of FDI inflows are now automated
  • ·        Shares of Railway PSE like IRCTC will be listed on stock exchanges
  • ·        Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished
  • ·        Computer emergency response team for financial sector will be formed
  • ·        Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana lending target fixed at Rs 2.44 lakh crore for 2017-18
  • ·        DBT to LPG consumers , Chandigarh is kerosene-free, 84 government schemes are on the DBT platform
  • ·        For big-time offences - including economic offenders fleeing India, the government will introduce legislative change or introduce law to confiscate the assets of these people within the country
 
Public Service
  • ·        Head post office as the central office for rendering passport service


Prudent Fiscal Management
  • ·        Total expenditure is Rs. 21, 47,000 crore
  • ·        Plan, non-plan expenditure to be abolished; focus will be on capital expenditure, which will be 25.4 %
  • ·        Rs. 3,000 crore under the Department  of Economic Affairs for implementing the Budget announcements
  • ·        Expenditure for science and technology is Rs. 37,435 crore
  • ·        Total resources transferred to States and Union Territories is Rs 4.11 lakh crore
  • ·        Fiscal deficit of 2017-18 pegged at 3.2% of the GDP. Will remain committed to achieving 3% in the next year