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Udaan is a golden opportunity for  unemployed Educated Youth of Jammu and Kashmir especially Graduates , Post graduates and three year Diploma engineers. It is a platform to develop soft Skills , to get a Job and exposure to Corporate India. Basically the expert group were Constituted by PMO under the Chairpersonship of Dr C. Rangarajan,  to formulate a Job plan for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The said expert Committee recommended the scheme Special Industry Initiative (SII) generally known as UDAAN for J&K. The Centre launched this Scheme in Year 2013 with an aim to address the needs of the educated unemployed in J&K. The time period of the said Scheme has extended till 31 December 2018. It is a centrally funded skill enhancement scheme for the youth implemented by National Skill Development Corporation  (NSDC). 
 
Under UDAAN Scheme,  the selected aspirants undergo free training for 3 to 6 months. Travel,  boarding and lodging Costs are reimbursed. Also stipend is also provided to the Aspirants during the training period. The rate of unemployment is too much high in Jammu and Kashmir. on Contrary,  lack corporate sector as well.  As per the reports,  " unemployment rate in J&K is higher than average National Unemployment rate. The State of J&K having 24% Population in the age group of (18-29) years unemployed which is far more than National unemployment rate of 13.2%.  The motto of the scheme UDAAN is to address economic issues of the State.  
 
It is amazing and shameful that the successive governments have failed to accommodate the educated youth of state and did not have come up with any effective  policy for educated Unemployed Youth of the state. Around 10555 Candidates from the State of J&K have joined UDAAN training programs till July 17 , out of which placement orders have been made for 4,984 candidates. 
 
My Write up about UDAAN has been written in New Delhi at Apollo MedSkills UDAAN training Centre headed by Shri Sourav . The training center possess more than 500 candidates from J&K undergo skill development Training , besides this hundernds of placement orders have been made in Different Multi National Companies. 
 
Talked with the Candidate Umair Mehraj from Srinagar Solina at Apollo MedSkills Centre Dwarkha about the scheme,  told "  Youth in the Valley should be made aware about the corporate India this Scheme is a great opportunity for all rich and poor to take an advantage and fly above the sky. "   More interesting was my interactions with a top official of Apollo Medskills a Kashmiri Mr Imtiyaz from District Baramulla.  The learning and teaching methods imparted by Miss Shikha,  Shalina,  Reema,  Mr Amit,  Miss Jaspreet Kour, Mr Imtiyaz  and Shri Pankaj (Warden)  have influenced the students and have brough revolutionary changes in them to go with.  Crores of rupees are being utilised in my name,  so we must take advantage and benefit out of it.  The aspiring candidates can register for UDAAN at : https://udaan.nsdcindia.org/.
 
Syed Karar Hashmi : Social  Activist and freelence Writer from Central Kashmir Ganderbal and presently Studying at Apollo MedSkills Udaan Training Centre Dwarka New Delhi India.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s launch of the first of its kind, state of the art Ro-Ro Ghogha-Dahej and subsequently Hazira project (in phase-2) marks the beginning of a radical transformation of the transportation and logistics sector in India. The logistic costs in India are extremely high and tapping the full potential of waterways will provide a huge impetus to movement of people, goods, commodities and vehicles. By reducing cost and time this will have an immensely beneficial impact on India’s manufacturing and exports. For example, the highly challenging infrastructure project of Ro-Ro ferry plying the Gulf of Khambhat between peninsular Saurashtra and South Gujarat will reduce the time of travel from 8 hours to a mere 1 hour and the distance would be reduced to 31 km from the current distance of 360 km.

 

 

India has nearly 14,500 Km of navigable Inland Waterways and around 7,517 Km of coastline, which on being developed effectively for transportation purpose, shall help decongest roads and rail networks and offer multiplier effect to the overall economic development of regions. Coastal shipping and inland water transport are fuel efficient, environment friendly and cost effective modes of transportation, especially for bulk goods. Emissions from container vessels range from 32-36 g CO2 per ton-km while from heavy duty road transport vehicles it ranges from 51-91g CO2 per ton-km. Also the road transportation on average costs Rs. 1.5 per ton-km, for railways it is Rs. 1.0 per ton-km, for waterways it would be 25 to 30 paisa per ton-km only. One litre of fuel can move 24 ton-km cargo through road transport and 85 ton-km through rail transport, while it can move as much as much as 105 ton-km through water transport. These figures strengthen the assertion that waterway offers a much more economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation vis-à-vis surface transportation. Country can save $50 billion per year if logistics costs reduce from 14 per cent to 9 per cent of GDP. Reduced logistics costs would in return bring down prices of products.

 

Out of total stretch of navigable inland waterways in India, nearly 5,200 Km (36%) of major rivers and around 485 Km (3%) of canals are conducive to the movement of mechanized vessels. Inland waterways provide several advantages over rail and road transportation by virtue of their operational cost effectiveness (60-80% lower per ton-km), lower environmental impact, convenient interoperability and fewer issues in relation to land acquisition and infrastructure development. Currently only 4,500 Km of inland waterways is being commercially utilized and waterways carry less than 1% of domestic cargo in India.

 

Government’s objective has been to develop and operate inland waterways transportation by working towards harnessing this tremendous potential under National Waterways Act 2016.For the holistic development of India’s coastline, the Government has launched ‘Sagarmala’ program in March 2015 and a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of India’s coastline has been prepared under it.

 

Roll-on & Roll-off (“Ro-Ro”) waterways projects comprise of Ro-Ro ships/vessels which are designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers and railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their wheels or using a platform vehicle. It also comprises of jetties, with related port terminal and approach connectivity infrastructure. While passenger jetties are used solely to ferry passengers, Ro-Ro jetties have built-in or have shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port. The Ro-Ro project in Gujarat will be able to carry up to 100 vehicles (cars, buses and trucks) and 250 passengers between the two terminals. Historically with limited alternatives available road transport in the region has always been congested and packed. Also as the Ro-Ro ferry operator have proposed fares which are at par with prevalent bus fares, the facility shall provide the much needed respite to the passengers in the region.

 

In India, various Ro-Ro projects in Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala have the potential to fully open-up the vast potential of India’s interior areas which have been geographically disadvantaged. Linking up with waterways will transform this disadvantage into a massive advantage. 

 

Most of these Ro-Ro projects in India are being implemented either on EPC mode, with operation and maintenance being undertaken by the State Government or, with more recent projects like the one in Maharashtra, on Public Private Partnership (DBFOT) mode with construction, along with operation and maintenance being undertaken by the private concessionaire. In view of the global competition for pricing of goods and the need to bring about social and economic prosperity to regions, it is imperative that the Government develops integrated and efficient modes of transportation system comprising of several layers, each of which needs to be developed in an vibrant and efficient manner. One such layer of transportation is waterways. 

 

One of the key attributes of the investment in water based transportation is that, unlike many land-based transport systems which require complex land acquisition, rights-of-way, resettlement and other issues, the water based transportation project proposal is a relatively straightforward initiative. It also steers clear of many legal, regulatory, social and environmental issues which normally affect other transport projects. Further, under a PPP-DBFOT model the concessionaire receives berthing charges from ferry operators, and parking revenue at terminal. A Ro-Ro project in India, due to infrastructure constraints and overall population and economic growth, generates a project IRR in excess of 10% and is thereby financially viable on a standalone level. However, these projects have huge multiplier impact and should therefore be looked at from the perspective of economic and social rate of return. The State Governments can therefore consider awarding of new Ro-Ro projects to private parties on PPP-DBFOT model, while the existing operational projects can be awarded under PPP-Reverse-BOT model. Under a suitable PPP model, the Government retains the ownership and control of critical national infrastructure, while at the same time it reduces the financing burden on the Government and improves the operational efficiency of the asset. In green field projects the terminals need to be constructed by the government so as to make operations commercially feasible for private sector.

 

Ro-Ro services are also planned to be implemented by Indian Railways on rails too. Indian Railways is launching Ro-Ro service in Bihar for cargo vehicles and in Tripura for petro product. In all these Ro-Ro projects the Government is simultaneously also planning and preparing itself for provision of concrete bridge infrastructure in due course as and when the traffic volume justifies the investment.

 

The latest, World Bank report 2016, on Logistic Performance Index (“LPI”), now ranks India at 35thposition as against 54th rank it occupied in the previous report published in early 2014. In order to improve on its LPI ranking further, provisions of integrated mobility across different modes are being prioritized. It is also proposed to adopt superior standard engineering consultancy services and a suitable model for project implementation in order to optimally allocate risks and rewards among the stakeholders. With this the government shall be able to increase the efficacy of transport project implementation across the nation. As the Prime Minister said this will reduce India’s dependence on import of diesel and petrol and take India to a new trajectory of growth. It will create over one crore job opportunities and give a boost to tourism and transport sector.

 

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*The Author is CEO, NITI Aayog.

Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.

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As crime continues to grow, and criminals turn tech-savvy, police investigators across States face a tough challenge to bring the law-breakers to justice.The situation is,however, undergoing a revolutionary change. The Digital Police Portal launched by the Government of India as part of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), in August this year, will not only help police sleuths track the criminals fast, but also help the victims seek redress online.

The total IPC crimes in the country increased from 28.51 lakh in 2014 to 29.49 lakh 2015. According to the Union Home Ministry’s latest annual report (2016-17), the share of IPC crimes to total cognizable crimes in percentage terms was 37.2 per cent in 2011, and it increased to 40.3 per cent in 2015. The crime rate, which shows the number of crimes per one lakh population, too increased from 497.9 in 2012 to 581.8 in 2015.

In such a complex scenario, the Digital Police Portal, with its various features, is expected to be a game-changer. The CCTNS portal will provide investigators the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country. Equipped with a Google-type Advance Search engine and ability to give analytical reports, the portal is expected to become the backbone of the country’s criminal justice system.For the State Police organisations and investigating agencies like the CBI, IB, ED and NIA, the Digital Police Portal provides a National Database of crime and criminals with facility for 11 searches and 44 reports. This will improve national security and revolutionise the way police works in the country.

To citizens, the Digital Police Portal offers online facility to register FIRs. There will be initially seven Public Delivery Services in 34 States & UTs, like Person and Address Verification of employees, tenants, nurses etc; permission for hosting Public Events, Lost & Found Articles and Vehicle theft.The portal will turn criminal investigationa completely citizen-friendly affair. The citizens’ reports and requests are forwarded to State and Union Territory Police without loss of time for follow-up action.

In 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)initiated a project named- Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) as a component of the “Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF)” project, aiming at computerization of crime records in police stations on a stand-alone basis. The need for setting up of a national database of crime records was realized later, and the MHA introduced a Central sector project of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) in 2009, with the objective of inter-linking all police Stations under a common application software for the purpose of investigation, policy making, data analytics, research and providing Citizen Services.

 

The project provided the State Police officials with a platform to enter Crime & Criminal data onto a CCTNS application, which could be accessed any time through State database at State Data Centre as well as at National Database at National Data Centre (NDC). The total approved outlay of the CCTNS project is Rs. 2000 Crore. The Central government provides funds to States and Union Territories towards hardware, CCTNS software, connectivity, system integration, data entry of legacy data, project management manpower and training. The Centre has released to States Rs 1450 crores out of which Rs 1086 crores have been spent by the States and UTs.

 

At present, the CCTNS software is deployed at 14284 Police Stations out of the 15398 Police Stations covered under the scheme. A total of 13775 Police Stations out of 14284 Police Stations are using this software to enter FIRs 100 per cent. As many as 13439 Police Stations out of the 15398 Police Stations covered by the scheme are already connected and linked with State & National database of Crime and Criminal records.The total number of FIRs registered using CCTNS leapt from less than 1.5 lakhs in March 2014 to about 1.25 crores before June, 2017, registering a jump of almost 100 times. Thirty-fourStates and UTs have launched their State Citizen Service portals with key services such as reporting a crime, request for verification, permission for events etc. Thirty-five out of 36 States and UTs are sharing data with National Crime and Criminal database. The system has seven crore records for crime and criminal data including 2.5 cr FIR records and legacy data.

The scope of the CCTNS project has been enhanced to integrate the Police data with other pillars of the criminal justice system namely -- Courts, Prisons, Prosecution, Forensics and Fingerprints and juvenile homes, and accordingly a new system -- “Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS)” has been developed. The ICJS system has been developed as a dashboard approach with an advance search facility for the purpose of retrieving the desired data from the system. The ICJS project is being monitored by a Working Group chaired by a Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Madan B. Lokur.

 

State police organisations and all investigating agencies have been greatly empowered by the Digital Police Portal. The portal provides 11 searches and 44 reports based on CCTNS National database. The advanced search is equipped with high performing search and analytics engine. The advanced search can be carried out in two ways. In the first way of search, the search engine will look for full names entered (for eg. Name and Relative Name) but will get all the records where one or both of these names exist. In the second way of searching, it also fetches records with partial matches and returns all the results.

There are various kinds of filters available on the portal through which data can be sorted and narrowed down. Search can be carried out through Person Name, Person and Relative Name, Person and Act/Section, free text search and exact search on FIR Regd. Number/ Mobile Number/Email. The CCTNS portal will provide investigators the complete record history of any criminal from anywhere across the country.

The software offers Google-type Advance Search engine and analytical reports. Recently, the software was used to trace few mentally challenged women from Tamil Nadu in Uttarakhand and reunited with their families. The CCTNS database will be later linked with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) database on vehicle registrations.

The “Advanced Search” allows the user to find crime correlations, crime trends, outliers (anomalies) and crime patterns by having access to CCTNS dashboard.

Since the launch of the Digital Police Portal, citizens have begun registering complaints on the portal, and requests have been made for antecedent verification of persons. The Digital Police Portal is helping the Government in the efficient delivery of citizen-centric services in a friendly manner, which is an important responsibility of a modern welfare state today.

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*Deepak Razdan, is a senior journalist and at present Editorial Consultant, The Statesman, New Delhi.--Views expressed in the article are author’s personal.