Insights Daily Current Events: 04 January 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
State Plan execution system in new mode
The Kerala State Government is all set to experiment a new Plan Execution system.
- To plug the loopholes, avoid lapses and ensure optimum utilisation of Plan funds.
This new system will become operational from 2016-17.
How the new system operates?
- As per the system, schemes costing up to Rs.5 crore and those above Rs.5 crore would be classified into two categories and recorded separately in two documents — Green Book and Amber Book
- Schemes under the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)-assisted Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) schemes, and externally assisted schemes will not be included in the Green Book.
- Schemes costing up to 5 Cr will be considered under this category.
- Schemes under this category will be considered by a Plan Preparation Group (PPG) headed by the Secretary of the Administrative Department.
- The total outlay of the schemes to be listed in the Green Book in the initial year has been limited to 25% of the annual State Plan outlay of each department in the previous year.
- Schemes costing above Rs.5 crore will be considered.
- They will be considered by a Special Plan Preparation Group (SPPG) with the Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, as chairman.
- The total outlay of the schemes to be listed in this Book in the initial year has been limited to 75% of the annual State Plan outlay of each department in the previous year.
Composition of PPG and SPPG:
- The PPG comprises representatives of the Finance Department, Planning and Economic Affairs Department, Division Chief of State Planning Board, and the head of the department, agency or public sector undertaking whose proposal will be placed for clearance.
- SPPG: Almost all members of the PPG are members of the SPPG too, but the only difference is that the Additional Secretary of the Finance Department will officiate as the convener of the group.
- The PPG vets the projects, examines their feasibility and makes them ready to implement so that their execution would not be delayed by bureaucratic or administrative wrangles.
- The State Planning Board would communicate the tentative allocation for different schemes and components prioritised to be listed in the Green Book after considering the resource availability and other allied factors.
The concept in this system is to give advance clearance for 25% of the projects.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 1 Topic: Art and Culture.
Bengal gearing up for Ganga Sagar Mela
The Ganga Sagar Mela, one of the biggest religious events of the country that witnesses the gathering of lakhs of pilgrims, is set for a revamp this year.
- In a bid to ensure the pilgrims’ smooth access to facilities such as sanitation, help from the police and the administration as well as information about transportation, the West Bengal government has taken up several measures.
- Pilgrims attending the annual fair at the Sagar Island, one among the cluster of islands at South 24 Parganas district, will be provided with various facilities such as toilets by the district administration.
- The state government is also planning to declare Ganga Sagar Mela as Green Mela this year. The six-day fair will shortly begin.
About Ganga Sagar Mela:
- It is held every year in the month of January-February, on the Ganga Sagar Island, at the mouth of the river Hooghly in Bengal.
- It is attended by thousands of pilgrims every year. A dip in the water at this place, during Gangasagar Mela, is considered to be extremely sacred.
- On the day of Makar Sankranti (January 14), when the sun makes a transition to Capricorn from Sagittarius, it is said that the bath becomes a holy source of salvation.
sources: the hindu, wiki.
Paper 3 Topic: Infrastructure-power.
Government electrifies 20% more villages
A recently released data by Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) has revealed that the government has electrified 20% of the villages that were without power at the start of this financial year under this scheme.
- So far, the DDUGJY has electrified 3,656 or 20% of the 18,452 villages without power at the start of this financial year.
- In July last year, the DDUGJY said it aimed to provide round-the-clock power to rural households and adequate electricity to agricultural consumers.
- Of the remaining 14,796 villages that still had to get electricity, work has been started in only 1,843 (12%) of them.
About DeenDayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY):
It was launched by the Ministry of Power. The earlier scheme for rural electrification viz. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) has been subsumed in this new scheme as its rural electrification component.
Aim: to augment power supply to the rural areas and to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution systems.
The Yojana also includes the components:
- To separate agriculture and non agriculture feeders facilitating judicious rostering of supply to agricultural and non-agricultural consumers in rural areas and
- Strengthening and augmentation of sub transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas, including metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers.
The scheme would help in:
- Improvement in hours of power supply in rural areas.
- Reduction in peak load.
- Improvement in billed energy based on metered consumption.
- Providing access to electricity to rural households.
The scheme has an outlay of Rs 76,000 crore out of which the Centre committed to provide a grant of Rs.63,000 crore.
sources: the hindu, pib.
Topic: General awareness.
Mumbai, Delhi in world’s top-30 ‘super cities’
Two Indian cities — Delhi and Mumbai — have made it to a top-30 list of the world’s most powerful, productive and connected cities.
- According to the study conducted by international real estate consultancy JLL, India’s financial capital Mumbai has been ranked 22nd while the national capital Delhi is placed at 24th.
- The list is topped by Tokyo, which along with New York, London and Paris, make the top four ‘super cities’. These four were the destination of over 50% of all foreign capital invested in the Global Top 30 cities.
- Mumbai is also on the top-10 “improvers” list. Top-10 improvers are cities whose scores in the index of commercial attraction have improved the most over the past year. The index of commercial attraction is JLL’s primary benchmark of the size and strength of a city’s economy and real estate market.
These Top-30 global cities account for 64% of the total cross-border investment into the ‘Global300’ — an expanded index of the cities in terms of their “commercial attraction” or economic and real estate power and status.
sources: the hindu.