Insights Daily Current Events, 26 May 2016

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Insights Daily Current Events, 26 May 2016


 

Paper 3 Topic: disaster and disaster management.

 

SC erred in disaster relief order?

In a bid to protect lives of citizens reeling under severe drought in several states, the Supreme Court recently directed the centre to set up a National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) under a non-operational statutory provision.

What’s the issue now?

According to some experts, the court has committed a mistake by asking the centre to do so. For, Section 47 of the Disaster Management Act, which provides for setting up of NDMF for projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation- measures aimed at reducing the risk of disaster, has not yet been notified.

As a result of this mistake, the SC ended up directing the Centre to implement a provision of law which for all practical purposes is non-existent.

DM Act:

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 came into force in India in January 2006. The Act extends to the whole of India. The Act provides for “the effective management of disasters and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

  • The Act calls for the establishment of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), with the Prime Minister of India as chairperson.
  • The Act enjoins the Central Government to Constitute a National Executive Committee(NEC) to assist the National Authority.
  • All State Governments are mandated to establish a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Government approves MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency

The government has given its nod for signing an MoU between ISRO and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), a move that will lead to setting up a Joint Working Group between the two agencies and will help in cooperation in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes.

Details:

  • This MoU will help in cooperation in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes, especially in the field to study Mars.
  • The MoU would result in setting up a Joint Working Group with members from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and UAESA, which will further chalk out a plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing it.

UAE Mars mission:

The Emirates Mars Mission orbiter is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. The rocket is expected to blast off from the Earth during a brief “launch window” in July 2020 and is set to arrive at Mars in 2021. The move is remarkable as the UAE will be the only Gulf nation to have embarked on such ambitious project.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

National Capital Goods policy gets nod

The Union cabinet has approved the National Capital Goods policy, which is likely to create 30 million jobs and raise production to Rs 7.5 lakh crore from the current Rs 2.3 lakh crore.

Details:

  • The policy envisages increasing exports to 40% of production from the current 27%. It will increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80%, making India a net exporter of capital goods.
  • It also aims to facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, increase skill availability, ensure mandatory standards and promote growth and capacity building of MSMEs.
  • The policy will help in realising the vision of ‘Building India as the World class hub for Capital Goods’.
  • The objectives of the policy will be met by the Department of Heavy Industry in a time bound manner through obtaining approval for schemes as per the roadmap of policy interventions.
  • Some of the key issues addressed include availability of finance, raw material, innovation and technology, productivity, quality and environment-friendly manufacturing practices, promoting exports and creating domestic demand.

Background:

The idea of a National Capital Goods Policy was first presented by the department of heavy industry to the PM in the ‘Make in India’ workshop held in December, 2014.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

PM’s interaction through PRAGATI

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, recently chaired his 12th interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

  • The Prime Minister reviewed the progress towards handling and resolution of grievances related to disbursement of scholarships/fellowships to students. He sought to know the reasons for the delay, and enquired about the progress of Aadhaar-linkage to disbursal of benefits to students.
  • The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the road, railway, steel and power sectors, spread over several states including Tripura, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

PRAGATI:

PRAGATI is a unique integrating and interactive platform. The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.

Unique features:

  • The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology.
  • It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States.
  • With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation. It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.
  • It is a three-tier system (PMO, Union Government Secretaries, and Chief Secretaries of the States).
  • Issues to be flagged before the PM are picked up from the available database regarding Public Grievances, on-going Programmes and pending Projects.
  • The system will ride on, strengthen and re-engineer the data bases of the CPGRAMS for grievances, Project Monitoring Group (PMG) and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. PRAGATI provides an interface and platform for all these three aspects.
  • It will also take into consideration various correspondences to PM’s office by the common people or from high dignitaries of States and/or developers of public projects.
  • It is also a robust system for bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.
  • The system has been designed in-house by the PMO team with the help of National Informatics Center (NIC).

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.

 

Amendments to ST order

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

Modified list:

State/Union Territory Inclusion/Exclusion/Rectification/Identification Community
Assam Inclusion Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachar Karbi (Mikir)
Chhattisgarh Inclusion/Rectification of Hindi Version of the Notification Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyaniv) Dhanuhar / Dhanuwarv) Kisanvi) Saunra, Saonravii) Dhangad
Jharkhand Inclusion Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) Puran
Tamil Nadu Inclusion Malayali Gounderxi) Narikoravan, Kurivikkaran
Tripura Inclusion Darlong
Puducherry Identification (First Order) Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran)

Background:

The Constitution of India provides certain privileges/concessions to the members of Scheduled Tribes which are notified under the provisions of Article 342 of the Constitution of India. First list of Scheduled Tribes in relation to a State or Union Territory is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after having consultation with the State Government concerned. Any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Tribes can be effected through an Act of Parliament as envisaged under clause (2) of Article 342.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

L-G can’t claim immunity, says CIC

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the L-G of Delhi and Union Home Ministry to disclose the report on the basis of which Delhi Assembly was dissolved in November 2014, saying the Lieutenant Governor does not enjoy immunity from disclosing such reports.

Details:

  • According to CIC, the office of L-G cannot claim immunity given under Article 163(3), which says that “the question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any court”.
  • The commission notes that Article 163(3) of the Constitution does not apply to Union Territory of Delhi, which could be invoked only in case of a full fledged and not to the UT with assembly like Delhi.
  • The commission also says there is no mention of any provision like protecting the advice given to L-G as available under Article 74(2) (regarding President) and Article 163(3) (regarding Governors). Besides, Article 163(3) applies specifically to the ‘advice of a Council of Ministers to the Governor.’ The information sought here is a report sent by the UT Administrator to Union Government or President.
  • According to the CIC, even in those cases where Article 163(3) applies, there is no immunity from disclosure.

Background:

There is no bar against citizen from having a copy of the advice/report of LG to Union government. The Supreme Court has clarified in a landmark case S R Bommai case that the material forming basis of advice given to Governor could be subject matter of judicial review, which clearly means information could be disclosed.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims:

  • The Union Cabinet has granted ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India’s Ministry of Tourism and Maldives’s Ministry of Tourism for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism. The MoU with Maldives will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.

 

  • Cabinet has granted ex-post facto approval to the Amendment to The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 for incorporation of six new IITs at Tirupati (AP), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa, Jammu (J&K) and conversion of ISM, Dhanbad to an IIT under the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961. The approval will bring six new Indian Institutes of Technology within the ambit of The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and declaring them as the institutions of national importance.

 

  • Ex-post facto approval has been given to the MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India. The signing of the MOU will help India to address issues and barriers in promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development that have been identified through the preceding Pre-Primary Study and the on-going cooperation towards Energy Efficient Renovation & Modernization as well as new power development.

 

  • The government has dedicated 20 Nirbhaya Buses of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation to the public. This is an attempt by the government to provide safe and secure transport to women. These buses are provided under an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways under the NIRBHAYA Scheme. These buses are provided with Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), CCTV cameras and Panic Buttons on every seat to provide immediate help to women passengers in distress.    

 

  • The National Academy For Training & Research In Social Security (NATRSS) has been renamed as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Academy of Social Security (PDUNASS). NATRSS was set up in 1990, by Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. Ever since its inception, NATRSS has been emerging as a premier institution involved in training, research and consultancy in the social security sector.

 

  • The Union HRD Minister, Smriti Irani has launched the multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in and app. This project is in line with the HRD Ministry’s efforts to not only ensure universalization of education but also towards creation of a knowledge society in the digital age. The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru is implementing this ambitious project of MHRD. Bharatavani is the first knowledge portal of its kind in India which focuses on becoming a single point source for multiple language learning, content and technology. The portal will feature content from Indian writers, government and non-government organisations, boards of education, textbook corporations, universities, publication houses and academies. The app will enable users to search for one language text in another language as well as get meanings in different languages. Currently the App has 35 multilingual Dictionaries and MHRD aims to extend it to 250 dictionaries in a years time.

 

  • About 58% of software installed in computers in India in 2015 was unlicensed, according to a survey. While the rate of installation of unlicensed software in India has shown a gradual decrease from 65% in 2009 to 60% in 2013, it remains significantly higher than the global average of 39%. India comes second after China ($8,657 million) in the Asia-Pacific Region in commercial value of unlicensed software sold in 2015.

 

  • India, which is has emerged as world’s second largest mobile market, is also the fifth largest producer of e-waste, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste each year, a joint study by Assocham-KPMG says. The telecom equipment alone accounts for 12% of the e-waste.