Nearly 100 Monuments Identified for Portal on “Must-See Monuments and Archaeological Sites of India”

Nearly 100 Monuments Identified for Portal on “Must-See Monuments and Archaeological Sites of India” 
Archeological Suevey of India (ASI) is developing a Portal for the “Must-see Monuments and Archaeological Sites of India”, under its protection. The purpose of creating the portal is to highlight outstanding monuments and sites in India, comprising world heritage properties, sites under UNESCO’s Tentative List, ASI’s ticketed and other non-ticketed prominent monuments. Nearly a hundred monuments have been identified for this purpose. Sites have been selected on the basis of their exceptional art and architecture, planning and design, displaying exemplary engineering skills and being a unique testimony to the civilization in the past. 

The portal carries brief history regarding each monument and information such as connectivity and access, weather conditions, timings of opening and closing, facilities available at site, 360 Degree/panoramic views (in collaboration with Google) and other Must-See monuments in the vicinity. The portal is being with the hope that these will be visited by a large number of people from India and abroad, and will contribute to their visiting these outstanding sites.

Information for the portal including photographs has been collected from various field offices. The portal work is in progress and it is expected to launch it within a month. 


Shri Devender Kumar Sikri takes oath as the Chairman of Competition Commission of India 
. Shri Devender Kumar Sikri, an officer of 1975 batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) today took oath as the Chairman of Competition Commission of India (CCI). Shri Sikri was sworn in by the Minister of Finance, I&B and Corporate Affairs Shri Aurn Jaitley in the presence of Members and Secretary of the Competition Commission of India and officials of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Shri Sikri replaces Shri Ashok Chawla who demitted office on 7th January, 2016.

Shri Sikri holds an M. Phil. Degree, a Masters Degree in Advanced Mathematics and has also done an Advance Professional Course in Public Administration from Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Delhi. Shri Sikri has served in various important positions in the CentralGovernment as well as in the State Government of Gujarat. In the Central Government, he held the position of Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice; Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD); Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India; Joint Secretary, Department of Fertilizers among others.

In the Central Government, as Secretary, Department of Justice, Shri Sikri was instrumental in preparing and furthering the agenda of judicial reforms including the changes in the existing procedure for appointment of Judges for greater transparency. As Secretary, Ministry of WCD, Shri Sikri was principal architect of the legislation on Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2013, preparation of the Bill on Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill 2010 and restructuring of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. In his position as Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Shri Sikri was instrumental for guiding and release of data on various social and economic indicators for 2001 Census and preparation of complete framework for 2011 Census.

In the State of Gujarat, he has been the Commissioner, Industries Promotion, Sales Tax Commissioner, besides being Vice-Chairman & Managing Director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation and Managing Director of Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. He has been on the Board of several important companies like National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL)., Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd (RCF), Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-op Ltd. (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Coop Ltd. (KRIBHCO) and Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. (FACT).

The Commission was established in 2003 to replace the erstwhile Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. The Commission draws its power from the Competition Act, 2002 and has been empowered to check anti-competitive behavior and regulate mergers & acquisitions. 

Rashtrapati Nilayam gardens received over seventy five thousand visitors during annual opening 
The Gardens of Rashtrapati Nilayam, Bolarum, Secunderabad received more than 75000 visitors this year during its annual opening from January 3 to 10, 2016. This is the highest number of visitors since its opening for public viewing commenced in 2007.

The maximum numbers of visitors on a single day this year was 33730 on the last day of its opening i.e. January 10, 2016.

The Gardens, spread over 35 acres, include Landscaped Gardens, Herbal Gardens, NakshatraVatika, seasonal flowering plants and a display of potted plants around the main building. It also has ‘Jai Hind Ramp’ with cascading water and fruit gardens of Mango, Sapota, Pomegranate, Guava, Amla, Coconut and Cheeku.

The herbal Garden has 116 species of medicinal and aromatic plants like Sarpgandha, Kalabandha, Citronella, Lemon Grass, Khus, Geranium, Coriander, Sandalwood, Tuber rose, Jasmine, Kalmegh, Tulsi, etc. in an area of about 7000 sq. mtrs.

The NakshatraVatika includes 48 trees/plants representing 09 (nine) Navgrahas, 12 (twelve) Rashi and 27 (Twenty seven) Nakshatra(stars). Beside these, the Peepal tree, Banana tree and Bilva have been also placed in appropriate locations in the Vatika. 

Prime Minister receives the President-Designate of the AIIB

Mr Jin Liqun, President Designate of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Prime Minister congratulated Mr Liqun on his selection at the first President of the AIIB by consensus.

Prime Minister expressed confidence that AIIB along with the BRICS New Development Bank would play an instrumental role in development of infrastructure in the Asia region. In this context, he highlighted the need for focus on roads, rail and ports for enhancing regional connectivity; creating climate-resilient infrastructure and clean energy initiatives for sustainable development, that would also enhance the economic development and lift millions of people out of the life of impoverishment.

Prime Minister assured that as the Founding Member of the AIIB and the second largest shareholder in the Bank, India would extend full support for the success of the Bank. 

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