Varanasi Gets Glowing!
July 02, 2015
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Ghats of Varanasi turn brighter than ever before
Putting up the LED lights on Ganga Ghats saves 1.21 million units of energy
100% people give positive opinion regarding LED lighting on Ghats

Varanasi is said to be older than tradition and history. Mark Twain once quoted, “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” Ghats on the banks of River Ganga are perhaps one of the divine spots in Kashi. Always full of pilgrims, Ganga Ghats complement the notion of holiness.

Recently the Ministry of Power, under the National initiative of promoting LED based efficient lighting, decided to replace all conventional lights in eighty four Ghats of Varanasi with LED lights. Objectives were to enhance illumination of the Ghats, reduce energy consumption and spread awareness amongst general public on the use of efficient LED lights.

On 9th of June, Shri Piyush Goyal dedicated the project and set a deadline of three months for the talk to be completely implemented. But in a time span of just three weeks only, the Ghats of Varanasi turned brighter than they were ever before. From Assi Ghat to Dashashwamedh Ghat, Prayag Ghat to Prabhu Ghat, every single of the eighty four Ghats glowed with LED lights instead of conventional incandescent lights.

Varanasi Municipal Corporation installed High Mast and Mini Mast lightings and street lights throughout all the Ghats on the Ganga banks. As a result of the initiative, Varanasi Ghats have now become more energy efficient. A study conducted by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) shows that with incandescent lamps being replaced with LEDs, the cost would be reduced by over 70 per cent. About 1.21 million units of energy would be saved every year.

When compared with the conventional lights, the LED lights proved to be 110 per cent better at luminance level. Average illumination of LED lamps stood at 37.33 Lux. whereas conventional lamps gave our only 17.55 Lux.

Putting up the LED lights has brought down the annual energy consumption to 0.47 million units from 1.68 million units. This step further reduced the annual energy bill radically by about 30 per cent providing a monetary benefit of Rs. 1.25 crore (approx.) per year.

EESL also carried out a survey up to 50 people at both Assi Ghat and Dashashwamedh Ghat to know the opinion of the public regarding the LED lighting. The results came out to be encouraging. It was found that 100 per cent public had positive opinion regarding LED lighting compared to old incandescent conventional lighting.

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State Visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa (July 23-27, 2018)
July 23, 2018
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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, will pay a State Visit to Republic of Rwanda (23-24 July), Republic of Uganda (24-25 July) and Republic of South Africa (25-27 July). This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Rwanda and the first visit by our Prime Minister to Uganda in over 20 years. The visit to South Africa is in the context of BRICS Summit.

Prime Minister’s official engagement in Rwanda and Uganda include bilateral meetings with the Presidents, delegation level talks and meetings with the business and the Indian communities. In Rwanda, Prime Minister will visit the Genocide Memorial and participate in an event on "Girinka” (one cow per family), a national social protection scheme of Rwanda personally initiated by President Paul Kagame. In Uganda, Prime Minister will deliver a Keynote address at the Parliament of Uganda – the first Indian Prime Minister to address the Ugandan Parliament.

In South Africa, the Prime Minister will have bilateral meeting with the South African President and will attend the BRICS Summit and other BRICS related meetings. Bilateral meetings with participating countries on the sidelines of BRICS meetings are also planned.

India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Africa which are cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of Defence, trade, culture, Agriculture and Dairy cooperation are scheduled to be signed during the visit.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant intensification of our engagement in various fields with African countries and there have been as many as 23 outgoing visits to Africa at the level of President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years. Africa has been the top priority of India’s Foreign Policy. The visit of Prime Minister to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent.