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INSIGHTS CURRENT EVENTS: 03 OCTOBER 2014

Food Security Act: Odisha to digitise ration cards

Moving ahead in the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Odisha government plans to take up digitisation for new ration cards.

About National Food Security Act, 2013:

It is also called as Right to Food act.

This is an act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.

It extends to the whole of India.

Under the provisions of this act, beneficiaries are able to purchase 5 kilograms per eligible person per month of cereals at the following prices:

  • rice at 3 Rupees per kg
  • wheat at 2 Rupees per kg
  • coarse grains (millet) at 1 rupee per kg.

Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals.

Salient features:

  • 75% rural and 50% of the urban population are entitled for three years from enactment to five kg food grains per month at 3 Rupees , 2 Rupees, 1 Rupee per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains (millet), respectively.
  • The states are responsible for determining eligibility.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a nutritious “take home ration” of 600 Calories and a maternity benefit of at least Rs 6,000 for six months.
  • Children 6 months to 14 years of age are to receive free hot meals or “take home rations”.
  • The central government will provide funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains.
  • The state government will provide a food security allowance to the beneficiaries in case of non-supply of food grains.
  • The Public Distribution System is to be reformed.
  • The eldest woman in the household, 18 years or above, is the head of the household for the issuance of the ration card.
  • There will be state- and district-level redress mechanisms; and
  • State Food Commissions will be formed for implementation and monitoring of the provisions of the Act.
  • The cost of the implementation is estimated to be $22 billion(1.25 lac crore), approximately 1.5% of GDP.
  • The poorest who are covered under the Antodaya yojana will remain entitled to the 35 kg of grains allotted to them under the mentioned scheme.

 

Sources: http://www.business-standard.com/ , Wiki.

United Nations Convention against Corruption

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in December 2005, is the ever-first binding global anti-corruption instrument. It obliges the States to prevent and criminalize different corrupt practices, promote international cooperation, cooperate for the recovery of stolen assets and enhance technical assistance and information exchange.

The Convention addresses both the public and private spheres and provides a set of comprehensive agreed-upon obligations and provisions to criminalize corruption and enhance transparency and accountability. In order to monitor the progress in the implementation of the Convention, Member States have agreed to conduct “peer-review mechanisms” among themselves, for which UNODC acts as a Secretariat.

It is the first global legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. And is a multilateral convention negotiated by members of the United Nations.

UNCAC requires that States Parties implement several anti-corruption measures which may affect their laws, institutions and practices. These measures aim at preventing corruption, criminalizing certain conducts, strengthening international law enforcement and judicial cooperation, providing effective legal mechanisms for asset recovery, technical assistance and information exchange, and mechanisms for implementation of the Convention, including the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (CoSP).

UNCAC was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 31 October 2003 by Resolution.

Currently, there are 172 parties, including the European Union.

UNCAC covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. It includes both mandatory and non-mandatory provisions.

In May 2011, the Indian Government ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) convention.

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p style=”text-align: right”>Sources: Wiki, http://www.unodc.org/, http://www.business-standard.com/.