Meeting with Government members 2016-06-07 13:35:00 The Kremlin, Moscow Vladimir Putin held a regular meeting with Government members. They discussed, among other issues, relief and prevention of natural disasters such as wildfires and floods, railway traffic during the vacation season, and the National Final School Exam. Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov reported on efforts to fight man-made and natural fires. According to him, 77 wildfires were extinguished on an area of almost 2,000 hectares in the past 24 hours alone. A special fire hazard regime had to be introduced in 49 regions of the Russian Federation; two regions have gone on emergency alert due to the situation in local forests. The National Crisis Management Centre coordinates the activities of the various ministries and departments. The Minister also reported on flood prevention measures, rescue operations, and assistance to victims of floods. In addition, the Emergency Situations Ministry cooperates with the federal and regional authorities to provide full-scale security at popular vacation destinations. Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov spoke about the statistics for this year’s National Final School Exam. In particular, he noted that a growing number of students are choosing physics, biology and chemistry as their optional exams, which means more school-leavers are interested in entering engineering and medical professions. He said for the first time this year school-leavers were offered an exam in the Chinese language as an option. According to the Minister, the demand for specialists in the fields of information technology, aviation, rocket and space technology, shipbuilding, nuclear power and other fields of engineering, education and health professionals is expected to grow until 2020. This year, 44 percent of new students enrolling in university programmes will major in engineering; 12 percent will be trained as teachers; and 6 percent as doctors, which is a significantly higher proportion than in previous years. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov’s report dealt with passenger service and subsidies for the transport sector. Since the beginning of the year, 55 million people have used air, rail, road and bus transport, up from 48 million in the same period last year, he said. There are air travel subsidy programmes in place, as well as children’s programmes on railways. Passenger traffic to Black Sea resorts, Crimea and other tourism regions has increased. Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov reported on the connection of the terrestrial and submarine cables in the Kamchatka region as part of the Sakhalin-Magadan-Kamchatka project. According to the Minister, this will bring broadband internet access to hundreds of thousands of people, improving their quality of life, creating jobs, promoting business and boosting tourism.