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Modi’s electrification drive fails to improved many powerless households: Niti Aayog



Niti Aayog

New Delhi, July 17, 2017: The think-tank of India, Niti Aayog on Sunday revealed that “the government’s rural electrification drive has not improved the situation ‘appreciably’ as many households in electrified villages continue to live without power.”

On 15 August 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Red Fort address had pledged to provide electricity to 18,452 villages in the next 1,000 days i.e. May 1, 2018.

This year in May, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that out of 18,452 dark villages, 13,516 villages are electrified, 944 are uninhabited and remaining 3,992 villages would be electrified by May 1, 2018.

But the government think-tank report had said with nearly 304 million Indians without access to electricity, and about 500 million people still dependent on solid bio-mass for cooking, it may be acknowledged that the country has to still go a long way on securing its energy security objective.

The Aayog has said in its draft National Energy Policy (NEP) that “Studies have revealed that in spite of major strides made by the earlier schemes in providing connections and now, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), the problem of electricity ‘access’ did not improve appreciably.”

The think-tank also hit on flaw in the power ministry’s approach saying, “An inherent challenge in the process is ensuring the coverage of households as opposed to only villages”.

“Several states with high electrification rates still have poor household electrification,” it added.

NITI Aayog’s report assumes significance as the think-tank reports directly to its Chairman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its views shape the government’s policy.

The Aayog further recommended that there is also a need to redefine the concept of ‘electrification’, as occurs in the DDUGJY to include stages of electrification in a village, with the village being deemed completely electrified if and only if all households of a village have a power connection, which witnesses reliable supply at least for a set number of hours.

It also suggested that non-BPL households may also be offered support, albeit at a different level.

Meanwhile, Niti Aayog has extended the time period for comments on draft National Energy Policy till July 24, 2017.

Wefornews Bureau


J&K: 5 civilians killed, 2 injured in Pakistan firing on LoC in Poonch



Indian Air Force evacuated two children from Rajouri following ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Balakot sector today.

New Delhi, March 18: Five members of a family were killed and two others critically injured in Pakistani shelling along Line of Control in Balakote sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Sunday.

The deceased have been identified as Mohammad Ramzan, Malka Bi, Faizan, Rizwan and Mehreen.

According to the police, the Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate shelling and firing on the civilian areas in Mendhar sector.


“Pakistan firing and shelling started at 7.40 a.m. The house of a civilian identified as Muhammad Ramzan Chowdhary was hit by a shell.

“Chowdhary, his wife Malka Bi and three sons were killed. His two daughters were critically injured,” the police said.

The Indian troops were retaliating appropriately and effectively in the ongoing gunfire.

District administration has started shifting the civilians living close to the LoC to safer places, sources said.


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Devotees throng temples on first day of Navratri




New Delhi, March 18: Devotees in large numbers turned up at the temples across the country to offer prayers on the first day of Chaitra Navratri on Sunday morning. According to the Hindu calendar, the beginning of the new year begins with Chaitra Navratri.

Navratri is worshiped in nine forms of Mother Durga with the worship of law.

On the first day of the Chaitra Navratri, goddess ‘Shailputri’, one of the nine forms of goddess Durga, would be worshipped on Sunday. This year, the eight-day Chaitra Navratri celebration would be held.

The temples are decorated with colorful artificial flowers and chandeliers. The temple complex looks so beautiful that devotees will be drenched in the devotion of the mother after entering. There should not be any inconvenience to the devotees, they have also been given special care.

Special arrangements have been made at Banjari Dham Bhanpuri, Maa Bamleshwari Mandir Dongargarh, Mahamaya Mandir Ratanpur and other temples of the state.

People throng to temples and took blessings of Durga. Have a look!


The Navratri would conclude on March 25. This year Ashtami and Navami would fall on March 25.


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Congress promises to impose 5 per cent cess on one per cent richest Indians

“Congress plans to have a network of food-parks/ special agricultural zones. The issue of GST on agricultural equipment and other inputs would be re-examined to lower input costs for the farmer,”.




New Delhi, March 17 : The Congress on Saturday said it would impose a five per cent cess on the incomes of the top one per cent richest Indians, when it comes to power.

The resolution on “Agriculture, Employment and Poverty Alleviation”, adopted at the party’s 84th plenary here, also said that the party shall create a National Poverty Alleviation Fund while this 5 per cent cess would “be used directly to give education scholarships to the children from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other BPL families”.

The Congress also noted that the rising levels of income inequality is a direct result of the “anti-poor policies” of the Narendra Modi government.

“The BJP had promised ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, but has acted contrary to their slogan. The wealth of the richest one percent has gone up by 73 per cent while the wealth of the bottom half of the population has grown by just 1 per cent during the BJP regime,” it added.

The party said Aadhaar would be used to improve targeting the eligible beneficiaries under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and other welfare schemes.

Attacking BJP’s “flawed and deliberate” anti-farmer policies, it said: “The farmers today face mounting indebtedness, non-remunerative prices for their crops, increasing cost of production and declining agricultural credit, forcing many farmers to commit suicide.”

“The anti-farmer mindset of the BJP stands exposed as agricultural growth under the NDA II (2014-18) as well as during NDA I (1998-2004), has fallen to half of growth levels achieved during the UPA government headed by former Prime Minister Monmohan Singh,” said the resolution.

The party said BJP government is duping the farmers by making empty noises of doubling farm incomes by 2022.

Congress also resolved to bring in a farmer-centric paradigm shift in the Indian agriculture and restore profitability, taking a humanitarian and compassionate approach to enhance farmers’ incomes, ensuring them dignity, a good education to their children, healthcare to their families and financial and social security through pensions to farmers and farm workers.

“We would bring a loan waiver scheme for all small and marginal farmers in the country on the pattern of the farm loan waiver program of the UPA govt in 2009 benefitting 3.2 crore farmers.”

The party also resolved to review the methodology used by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to determine the MSP to guarantee remunerative income to the farmers, factoring all relevant input costs including warehousing and transportation.

It said that it would review The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna and will draft a new insurance scheme which is beneficial to farmers rather than private insurance companies.

“Congress plans to have a network of food-parks/ special agricultural zones. The issue of GST on agricultural equipment and other inputs would be re-examined to lower input costs for the farmer,” it added.

It also said the party would renew its focus on manpower intensive manufacturing for domestic and export sectors, making India the destination of choice for international manufacturing.

The resolution also said the party would facilitate the setting up of IT Skill Upgradation Fund.

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