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Cabinet approves demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant from NMDC; Rs 5,718 cr project for school education



a man in a blue shirt: Cabinet approves demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant from NMDC; Rs 5,718 cr project for school education


© India Today Group
Cabinet approves demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant from NMDC; Rs 5,718 cr project for school education

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant (NSP) from National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd and strategic disinvestment of the demerged company (NSP) by selling government’s entire stake in it to a strategic buyer, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.

With the approval, CCEA has amended its earlier decision taken on October 27, 2016, to disinvest Nagarnar Steel Plant as a unit of NMDC. The process of demerger and disinvestment will be started in parallel and disinvestment of demerged company (NSP) is expected to be completed by September 2021, CCEA said.

NSP is a 3 million tonnes per annum (mta) integrated steel plant being set up by NMDC at Nagarnar in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh in an area of 1,980 acres at revised estimated cost of Rs 23,140 crore (as on July 14, 2020). As on date, NMDC has invested Rs 17,186 crore in the project, out of which Rs 16,662 crore is from NMDC’s own funds and Rs 524 crore has been raised from bond market.

NMDC is a listed Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Steel and the government has 69.65 per cent shareholding in the company.

Besides, the Union Cabinet also approved implementation of the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project with a total project cost of Rs 5,718 crore. The initiative is backed by the World Bank, which is providing financial support of $500 million (approximately Rs 3,700 crore). STARS project would be implemented as a new centrally-sponsored scheme under Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education.

The project covers 6 states, namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha. It seeks to support the states in developing, implementing, evaluating and improving interventions with direct linkages to improved education outcomes and school to work transition strategies for improved labour market outcomes.

Besides this project, it is also envisaged to implement a similar Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project in 5 states – Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam. All states will partner with one other state for sharing their experiences and best practices.

Among others, the Cabinet also approved a special package worth Rs 520 crore in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for a period of five years till FY24 to ensure funding of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) – in the region on a demand driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period.

The Cabinet also approved MoU between India and Australia for collaboration in capacity building, research and development and making impact for sustainable groundwater management.

By Chitranjan Kumar

Also Read: Union ministers Prakash Javdekar, Narendra Tomar to brief media on Cabinet decisions today

Also Read: Indian economy will recover from COVID-19 crisis

Green Flower and Last Prisoner Project Partner to Provide $50,000 in Education Scholarships for Justice-Impacted Individuals

Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

VENTURA, Calif., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Green Flower and Last Prisoner Project (LPP) are proud to announce a strategic partnership aimed at helping those most affected by the criminalization of cannabis establish legitimate careers in the legal cannabis industry.

Green Flower, the global leader in cannabis education, is donating $50,000 worth of scholarship funding to their best-in-class certificate courses for formerly incarcerated individuals participating in LPP’s Prison to Prosperity Reentry Program.

Last Prisoner Project’s program is focused on creating pathways to employment within the legal cannabis industry for individuals who have been negatively affected by the criminalization of cannabis.

“Last Prisoner Project is grateful for the support of our educational partner, Green Flower. The scholarships provided for our Prison to Prosperity Reentry Program will help to ensure that our constituents are primed for success for their professional roles in the cannabis industry,” said Mary Bailey, Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project.

Through this partnership, deserving students will gain in-demand skills and knowledge while setting themselves up for long-term success across the cannabis supply chain in areas such as cultivation, patient care, extraction, business, and more.

“Everyone understands it is not fair, right, or just that so many people are still being harshly persecuted for cannabis amidst the development of a new and blossoming industry across the country,” said Max Simon, CEO of Green Flower. “This is why LPP’s work is so critically important. We feel grateful to play a small part in helping right these wrongs and to provide much-needed education that will help victims of the ‘War on Drugs’ enter and succeed in this new cannabis economy.”

Read Last Prisoner Project Sets Sights On Freeing 40,000 Cannabis Offenders to learn more about LPP’s scholarship program and to apply.

Media Contact: Lance Lambert, lance.lambert@greenflowermedia.com

About Green Flower:
Since 2014, Green Flower has been the global leader in cannabis education, helping millions of people learn about the professional benefits of cannabis. Utilizing their network of more than 700 experts in cannabis medicine, business, cultivation, retail, compliance, and more, Green Flower produces best-in-class online training and content designed to help people succeed in the cannabis industry. Green Flower also partners with colleges and universities to help job seekers, law and healthcare professionals, and entrepreneurs succeed in the rapidly-growing cannabis marketplace.

View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/green-flower-and-last-prisoner-project-partner-to-provide-50-000-in-education-scholarships-for-justice-impacted-individuals-301150428.html

SOURCE Green Flower

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Alphabet’s latest X project is a crop-sniffing plant buggy

Alphabet’s X lab, the former Google division that launched the Waymo self-driving car unit and other ambitious projects, has officially announced its latest “moonshot”: a computational agriculture project the company is calling Mineral.



a field of grass


© Photo: Alphabet


The project is focused on sustainable food production and farming at large scales, with a focus on “developing and testing a range of software and hardware prototypes based on breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, simulation, sensors, robotics and more,” according to project lead Elliott Grant.

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A blog post outlining the project’s vision says Mineral, which now has an official name but may have launched in secret around 2017 according to Grant’s LinkedIn page, will try and aim technology toward solving issues around sustainability. Those include feeding of Earth’s growing population, and producing crops more efficiently by understanding growth cycles and weather patterns. The project will also hope to manage land and plant life as the effects of climate change complicate ecosystems.

“To feed the planet’s growing population, global agriculture will need to produce more food in the next 50 years than in the previous 10,000 — at a time when climate change is making our crops less productive,” reads the new Mineral website.



a group of people jumping in the air


© Photos: Alphabet


“Just as the microscope led to a transformation in how diseases are detected and managed, we hope that better tools will enable the agriculture industry to transform how food is grown,” explains Grant. “Over the last few years my team and I have been developing the tools of what we call computational agriculture, in which farmers, breeders, agronomists, and scientists will lean on new types of hardware, software, and sensors to collect and analyze information about the complexity of the plant world.”

One of the first of these tools is a new four-wheel rover-like prototype, what the Mineral team are calling a plant buggy, study crops, soil, and other environmental factors using a mix of cameras, sensors, and other onboard equipment. The team then uses the data collected and combines it with satellite imagery and weather data to create predictive models for how the plants will grow using machine learning and other AI training techniques. The Mineral team says it’s already using the prototypes to study soybeans in Illinois and strawberries in California.

“We hope that better tools will enable the agriculture industry to transform how food is grown.”

“Over the past few years, the plant buggy has trundled through strawberry fields in California and soybean fields in Illinois, gathering high quality images of each plant and counting and classifying every berry and every bean. To date, the team has analyzed a range of crops like melons, berries, lettuce, oilseeds, oats and barley—from sprout to harvest,” reads Mineral’s website.

Grant says the Mineral team will collaborate with plant breeders and growers, farmers, and other agricultural experts to come up with solutions that are practical and have real-world benefits. But the project does have high-minded ambition. And Alphabet’s track record in that department is strong. Waymo is now