Ministry of Commerce, Railways, Ministry of Textiles, Petroleum and Natural Gas

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Policy framework for National Manufacturing and Investment Zones is being developed

Railways

India’s Foreign Train Services

India’s Foreign Train Services

Maitree Express

Kolkata-Dhaka. Started in 2008.

There were protests from Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants

Samjhauta Express

Lahore-Delhi. Was first started in 1976 between Amritsar and Lahore. Discontinued during Punjab insurgency. Restarted in 2000. Discontinued in 2002 and restarted in 2004

Border crossing takes place between Wagah and Attari by changing of trains.

In 2007, 68 people were killed in the train bombing in Panipat.

Thar Express

Revived in 2006. Karachi-Bhagat ki Kothi (Jodhpur)

Nepal (find out more)

Railway zones: 16

  • Central – CST Mumbai

  • Western – Churchgate Mumbai

  • Eastern – Kolkata

  • Southern – Chennai

  • Northern – New Delhi

  • South Central – Secundarabad

  • South East Central – Bilaspur

  • South Eastern – Kolkata

  • South Western - Hubli

  • West Central – Jabalpur

  • North East – Gorakhpur

  • North Central – Allahabad

  • North Western – Jaipur

  • North-East Frontier – Maligaon (Gauhati)

  • East Central – Hazipur

  • East Coast Railway - Bhubaneshwar

There are ten public undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, viz.

  • Rail India Technical & Economic Services Limited (RITES);

  • Indian Railway Construction (IRCON) International Limited;

  • Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited (IRFC);

  • Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR);

  • Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL).

  • Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC);

  • Railtel Corporation of India Ltd. (Rail Tel);

  • Mumbai Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (MRVNL);

  • Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL); and

  • Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL).

The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) was set up as a registered society to design and implement various railway computerization projects.

Ministry of Textiles

  • Two major associations in the textile sector

    • Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI)

    • Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC)

Petroleum and Natural Gas

Directorate general of Hydrocarbons

  • Established in 1993

  • To promote sound management of the oil and natural gas resources having a balanced regard for environment, safety, technological and economic aspects of the petroleum activity

  • Responsibilities like the implementation of NELP, matters concerning production sharing contracts for discovered fields and exploration blocks

Rural Development

CAPART

  • Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology

  • Nodal agency for catalysing and coordinating the emerging partnership between voluntary organisations and the Government for sustainable development of rural areas.

Archaeological Survey of India

150th year in 2011

  • Archaeology in India has progressively changed from antiquarian pursuit to rigorous science. Leading this transformation has been the Archaeological Survey of India. Since its establishment in 1861, it has been ‘digging and discovering’ precious historical sites, and ‘deciphering and describing’ thousands of important inscriptions.

  • The 150th anniversary is an occasion for the nation to acknowledge the ASI’s commendable track record and reflect on its future. Alexander Cunningham’s 1861 memorandum to Lord Canning, which impressed on the colonial power “the supreme need” to undertake a systematic survey of monuments in India, led to the appointment of the first Archaeological Surveyor. Ten years later, the ASI became a distinct department, with a monthly budget of Rs.54, 000.

  • Since then, it has taken up important excavations at sites such as Kusinagara, which provided an archaeological basis for Buddhist history. It recovered the famous Lion Capital at Sarnath, which has become a part of the national emblem. It unearthed key evidence at the urn burial site at Adichchanallur, which spotlighted the unique features of the Iron Age in South India. The high point in the ASI’s history was the 1921 discovery of Indus Valley sites at Harappa (by Daya Ram Sahni) and at Mohenjodaro (by R.D. Banerji).

  • While epigraphy, excavation, and setting up site museums were part of ASI activities from the start, the periodic conservation of monuments and sites was taken up only from the 1940s. Here too, much of the work has been first-rate, with the magnificent preservation of the millennium-old Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur standing out as an example. The ASI has shared its expertise with other countries and done significant work at Bamiyan and Angkor Vat. On the flip side, it has been able to protect only 3,676 historic sites, leaving an estimated 700,000 heritage structures unattended. If this huge deficit can be blamed on poor funding by the government and shortage of trained human resources, the delays in writing and publishing excavation reports and the loss of 35 nationally important monuments to encroachment represent serious professional failures.

  • Another area where the ASI has not done well is in adopting cutting edge technologies for Archaeological Prospection. The way forward is to correct these deficiencies, provide more autonomy to the ASI’s regional circle offices, and do regular performance audits. Finally, the ASI must be encouraged to engage local communities in the protection of archaeological heritage, a strategy found to be rewarding in many countries.