GIS to be used for monitoring NREGA

New Delhi: The Centre will now monitor the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) through Geographical Information System (GIS), reports PTI.

The ministry of rural development has constituted an expert group for developing a "strategic framework" with respect to the use of GIS under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a ministry official said today.

The 16-member expert group will be headed by secretary in the rural development ministry, B K Sinha. A representative from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will also be the part of the group.

"The initiative aims at strengthening decentralised participatory planning process, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of works under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA by using GIS and Geo-ICT tools," the official said.

The group will commission studies of ongoing use of GIS in states and suggest a strategy for effective implementation of Geo-ICT tools with specific reference to planning, implementation and monitoring works under NREGA, he said.

The group will determine region-wise appropriate models keeping in mind the different geographical condition of various states and regions.

An appropriate methodology for collection, collation, storage and processing of data on natural resources in a given region will be developed.

"The expert group will formulate strategy and develop a working model for its nationwide roll out," the official said.

The use of GIS will not only help in monitoring the implementation of NREGA but managing the assets being created under the flagship programme, he said.

NREGA permits works relating to water conservation and harvesting, drought proofing which includes afforestation and plantation, flood protection and drainage works and road construction in rural areas apart from canal and other minor and micro-irrigation works, horticulture plantation and land development works.

"The use of GIS will help capture existing assets (created under NREGA) with their location, status and other information on the basis of which periodic assessment can be done and policy for their management can be developed," the official added.


CRISIL launches city-specific real-estate ratings

CRISIL will evaluate key factors like the quality of legal documentation, construction related risks, financial flexibility or viability of the project besides the background and track record of the project sponsor, for the ratings.

Ratings agency CRISIL has launched 'CRISIL Real Estate Star Ratings', which will provide a city specific all round assessment of real estate projects and help buyers benchmark and identify quality projects within a city.

"Most homebuyers look within a city to identify potential properties for purchase. In response to this specific need, CRISIL Real Estate Star Ratings will benchmark real estate projects within each city and thus provide meaningful information to buyers on a city specific basis," said Roopa Kudva, managing director and chief executive, CRISIL.

CRISIL Real Estate Star Ratings will address two critical needs in the realty sector: improved transparency and objective benchmarking of projects. According a recent survey, conducted by the ratings agency around 70% of respondents expressed preference for rated projects over unrated ones, while 50% expressed willingness to pay a higher price for rated projects.

CRISIL said the key factors which would be evaluated in the rating process would include the quality of legal documentation, construction related risks, financial flexibility or viability of the project besides the background and track record of the project sponsor. The rating will be specific to each city- from 'City 7-Star', the highest, to 'City 1-Star'.

"We would update our ratings according to the progress of the construction and the next set of rating would be from the northern region", said Akash Deep Jyoti, head, CRISIL Ratings.

CRISIL is announcing Real Estate Star Ratings for 21 real estate projects from Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Visakhapatnam.  

A report on each project with insights on statutory approval status, construction progress and rating drivers will be available on, CRISIL said. 


Varun Shipping Q1 net profit surges to Rs23.5 crore

Mumbai-based Varun Shipping Company Ltd registered a net profit of Rs23.5 crore for the 30 June 2010 quarter as compared to Rs1.9 crore in the same quarter a year ago. During the June 2010 quarter, the company's total revenue increased to Rs240.6 crore from Rs222.2 crore in June 2009 quarter, it said in a regulatory filing.

On Thursday, Varun Shipping shares increased 16.4% to Rs47 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.2% down at 18,172 points.


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