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  • The awards will be given for 13 categories
  • Last date for submission of entries is 30th november 2018

NEW DELHI: In view of the importance of water resources management in India, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has instituted National Water Awards with the objective to encourage all stakeholders to manage their water resources efficiently and create a water consciousness in the country. 

The entries for National Water Awards 2018 are now invited in 13 categories which are - Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Municipal Corporation, Best research/innovation/adaptation of new technology for water conservation, Best educative/mass awareness efforts, Best TV show for promoting water conservation, Best Newspaper, Best School, Best Institution for successful campus water usage, Best Resident Welfare Association (RWA), Organizations for Best Religious/Recreational & Tourism Water Uses and Best Industry for industrial water conservation. Within the Best District category, three awards each will be given in North, South, East, West, North- East and aspirational district sub-categories for encouragement of officials at the district level. Also, at the district level, the entries could be submitted on three important themes of Ground Water Recharge, Revival of River and Rejuvenation/Creation of Water Bodies like lakes/ponds etc. Apart from Best State and Best District awards, cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh, Rs. 1.5 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh for Ist, IInd and IIIrd prize winners respectively will be given for all remaining 11 categories. 

The objective of the awards is to encourage all stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Gram Panchayats, Urban Local Bodies, Water User Associations, Institutions, Corporate Sector, Individuals etc. for adopting innovative practices of ground water augmentation by rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge, promoting water use efficiency, recycling & reuse of water and creating awareness through people's participation in the targeted areas resulting into the sustainability of ground water resources development, adequate capacity building etc. 

For further details and application form, the applicants may visit links- and The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has also teamed up with MyGov to maximize the participation of all stakeholders. The applicants can submit their entries through MyGov ( portal as well.

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SYRIA: Syria has been going through a lot of disturbance for over half a decade now. I ain’t going to write about my opinion about who’s on the right side and who is the devil part but I am only trying to put forth a picture of the effects of the disturbance. I have been travelling to this country for over a decade and have witnessed almost all the moods of this land. When I first travelled to Syria in 2006, the place kept my eyes wide open impressing me with its development, rich culture, modernity, shopping choices, food and what not. With passing years, I became more familiar with the place and fell in love with it more with every visit I made. I eventually kept visiting the place and started loving it even more and then I got a heartbreak, felt as if I was dumped in love, felt as if the fate of the place dumped me and the place both.

When the news of the war in the country broke, it must have broken many hearts and made them sad and amongst those many sad broken hearts was one beating in my chest too. With the passing years and the discontinuation of the flights to the country, and my known people especially Mr. Abdul Kareem Shalabi deciding to move out of Syria and deciding to live elsewhere in the world, the heart inside me turned into more pieces and the hope of visiting the beautiful beloved country started to move farer and started to look like a mirage. We lost touch with each other, we got busy in our own schedules and memories also started to fade, the emails from each other started to vanish. Until one fine day in 2015, another common connection Mr. Jamil Yousuf from Jordan was on a visit to India and during a meeting with him, the conversation led to Mr. Shalabi and Jamil mentioned that Shalabi finally had decided to choose to go back to Damascus over living a luxury life in the United States.

I don’t remember whether it was after that meeting that I told my father Mr. Wali Waheed about it or Mr. Shalabi and him were already in contact already, but we got back in touch is what meant more than anything and probably times had to turn around and in 2017, Mr. Shalabi gave us the good news that it were possible to visit again and people from some countries had already started to visit Syria. So we got into a whirlpool of whether to or not to, but finally ended up being positive and decided to visit again. In February 2018, I landed up once again at Damascus International Airport and was heartbroken once again to see condition of the place, but the hope lit a little more to see some people travelling to the place.

I was in Syria for 3 days then and the movement was very limited and I couldn’t actually move out at free will and Mr. Shalabi visited me to the hotel and the conversation which included past memories and gossip and smiles and laughs ended up with a hope to meet again. Since it was a very short trip then and I spent most of the time at the shrine of Bibi Zainab, listening to the gun shots and blast sounds in the background. I decided to visit Syria again and right now just lying in the bed, resting on the pillow, thought to pick up the phone and write about some things that are literally haunting my soul.

Upon my arrival at the airport, witnessing an almost deserted airport that once used to be a happening place with a lot of hustle and bustle, finding the foreign currency exchange counters at the airport empty with none even there to exchange any currency, having the airport taxi counters inside the airport terminal empty with no handlers but the photos of Bashar Al Asad and his father in the background making it look like them attending the counters, witnessing the fear on the faces of people that used to look fresh and content once, looking around the trash of the buildings that were once up and strong, burnt vehicles, bullet covers on the road, women begging, children finding their own ways to just keep themselves entertained and let the life move on, are all haunting my soul and the question is, who’s the winner of all this war drama? Wherever in the world it would be, the scenes would be alike however the script could be different.

I am hearing gunshots in the background and wondering the shots I am listening to, would include some that would have the bullets piercing some human body making it from alive into dead, dead for ever, painting the earth more red, making children orphans, making them helpless and pushing them to streets and turning them from lovely children into pity beggars, turning their charming faces into glooming beggars. I don’t know whether I would be able to fly back and then come back again or would meet a bullet that has my name written on it to paint the streets a little more red with my blood, but I hope the fortunes of this country change one day and people are able to enjoy hummus and pita with coffee in open ear on the streets of Damascus soon. 

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  • Ministry recognizes impressive implementation of UMEED by JKSRLM, Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan in Baramulla

NEW DELHI: Recognizing the impressive implementation of the Umeed Scheme in Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Ministry for Rural Development has awarded J&K’s Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department for making pioneering efforts in institution building and capacity building in the State through the pioneering scheme. Pertinently, Umeed has made substantial progress in promoting and mobilizing about 270632 women in J&K into 29703 self-help groups and strengthening these groups by way of providing revolving capital from the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) and linking them with various financial institutions.

The Union Rural Development Ministry conferred another award on District Development Commissioner Baramulla, Dr Nasir Naqash for impressive performance in Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan under “Aspirational District”. The Union Ministry recognized that the District Development Commissioner Baramulla has led his district team in effective convergence of 7 national schemes in the district including PM Ujwala Yojana, PM Saubhagya Yojana, Ujala Yojana, PM Jandhan Yojana, PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, PM SurakhsaBima Yojana and Mission Indra Dhunush.

The nodal department for monitoring this Abhiyaan is the state’s Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department. Mission Director Umeed, A R War and DC Baramulla received the awards from Union Minister for Rural Development, Narinder Singh Tomarat a function organized at Vigyan Bhawan here. Pertinently, the award ceremony is a yearly event in which the Union Ministry evaluates the performance of all States in implementation of the schemes of the central schemes on various identifiable parameters.