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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)-25th Jan to 31st Jan, 2016

  • February 1, 2016
  • 5
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, PIB
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GS-1

Commemorative Coin of Rs. 150 and Circulation Coin of Rs. 10 on Lala Lajpat Rai 

(Topic: Contribution of freedom struggle, culture)

Released By- Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism

Celebration: 150th birth anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai

  • Government has released funds to Rastra Gaurava Samrakshna Parishath, Bengaluru (an NGO) for conducting 501 lectures in schools & colleges
  • Servants of the People Society, founded by Lalaji will bring out Hindi translation of 15 volumes of Collected Works of Lala Lajpat Rai
  • Punjab National Bank, which was also founded by Lalaji has undertaken a variety of activities throughout the country

Lala Lajpat Rai-

  • A stalwart of the freedom struggle, Lala Lajpat Rai ranks among India’s most outstanding leaders
  • Born on 28thJanuary 1865 at a small village of Dhudike in district Ferozepur, Punjab, he was a contemporary of great stalwarts including Mahatma Gandhi
  • Popularly known as ‘Punjab Kesari’ or ‘The Lion of Punjab’

 

GS-2

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015

(Topic: Constitutional Amendments)

Aim- To ensure more stringent provisions for prevention of Atrocities against Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes

The bill provided to make amendments in the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) {PoA} Act, 1989

Key Highlights-

  • New offences of atrocities like-
  • Tonsuring of head, moustache, or similar acts which are derogatory to the dignity of members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,
  • Garlanding with chappals,
  • Denying access to irrigation facilities or forest rights ,
  • Dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or to dig graves,
  • Using or permitting manual scavenging,
  • Dedicating a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe women as devadasi,
  • Abusing in caste name,
  • Perpetrating witchcraft atrocities,
  • Imposing social or economic boycott,
  • Preventing Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates from filing of nomination to contest elections,
  • Forcing a member of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe to leave house , village or residence,
  • Defiling objects sacred to members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe, touching or using words,
  • Acts or gestures of a sexual nature against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe
  • Addition of certain IPC offences like-
  • Hurt,
  • grievous hurt,
  • intimidation,
  • kidnapping etc.,

Attracting less than ten years of imprisonment, committed against members of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, as offences punishable under the PoA Act

  • Presently, only those offences listed in IPC as attracting punishment of 10 years or more and committed on members of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe are accepted as offences falling under the PoA Act
  • Establishment of Exclusive Special Courts and specification of Exclusive Special Public Prosecutors also, to exclusively try the offences under the PoA Act to enable speedy and expeditious disposal of cases
  • Power of Special Courts and Exclusive Special Courts, to take direct cognizance of offence and as far as possible, completion of trial of the case within two months, from the date of filing of the charge sheet
  • Addition of chapter on the ‘Rights of Victims and Witnesses’
  • Defining clearly the term ‘wilful negligence’ of public servants at all levels, starting from the registration of complaint, and covering aspects of dereliction of duty under this Act
  • Addition of presumption to the offences –If the accused was acquainted with the victim or his family, the court will presume that the accused was aware of the caste or tribal identity of the victim unless proved otherwise

 

Launch of round-the-clock online payment facility scheme ‘Sahaj’ to refill LPG 

(Topic: Governments Schemes and Policies)

2016: the “Year of the Consumers

Aim-               

  • Provide comfort and convenience to the LPG consumers
  • Online payment facility of cylinder at the time of booking

Facilitates-

  • Enable people to book the cylinder around the clock, which will help delivery of the cylinders even in their absence because payment is already done
  • Eliminate hassles of exact changes needed for payment or avoid delivery failure due to no cash situation
  • Booking can be done through unified web portal mylpg.in which is available in 13 languages
  • Web portal to facilitate consumers to carry out all their LPG related activities like-
  • Booking,
  • Tracking,
  • DBTL status,
  • Distributors performance,
  • Porting the gas connection,
  • Receipt of subsidy details and much more

 

Steps Taken-

  • Installation of touch screen devices at prominent location like airports, railway stations etc where consumers can book for their LPG refills
  • New cooking gas connections will be provided on an EMI basis and amount can spread over 24 instalments
  • OMCs have successfully implemented on IVRS, Web and SMS the refill booking facilities, Portability of  Gas connection, PAHAL scheme for LPG subsidy transfer directly to the bank account of consumers, “Sahaj” Scheme making it possible for consumers to get new LPG connection online without visiting the distributors showroom

PSU Oil Marketing companies (OMCs), namely –

  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.,
  • Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

 

 Government announces first batch of 20 smart cities from 11 States and Delhi
(Topic: Government Policies and Schemes)


About-

  • Government announced the 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge competition for financing during this financial year
  • Winners were from 11 States and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was totally objective and transparent based on standardized processes

Smart City Mission-

  • It marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on ‘bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the Urban Local Bodies and State Governments piloting the mission with the Ministry of Urban Development
  • It was for the first time in the country and even in the world that investments in urban sector are being made based on competition based selection of cities

 Highlights-

  • About 1.52 crore citizens participated in shaping smart city plans of 97 cities and towns in the first round of competition
  • Among the 20 cities and town 3 cities from Madhya Pradesh, two each from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and one each from the remaining five made it to the winning list
  • The 23 States and UTs who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’
  • Each top ranking city form these left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15, this year for inclusion in the mission
  • The 20 winning cities and towns have proposed a total investment of Rs.50,802 cr over five years with all the cities proposing Public-Private-Partnership as a major vehicle of resource mobilization
  • The 10 of the 20 cities have proposed to mobilize Rs.8,521 cr under PPP model while others have also indicated this option and a total area of 26,735 acres has been identified by these cities for making them smart through necessary interventions

Advantages-

  • Leads to integrated urban planning by addressing the issue of-
  • Infrastructure,
  • Land use planning,
  • Transport,
  • Urban design and
  • Architecture
  • Urban local bodies to improve their capabilities and have resorted to SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

    Smart cities announced were (Sequence based on ranking):

  • Bhubaneshwar – Odisha
  • Pune- Maharashtra
  • Jaipur- Rajasthan
  • Surat-Gujarat
  • Kochi- Kerala
  • Ahmedabad- Gujarat
  • Jabalpur- Madhya Pradesh
  • Visakhapatnam- Andhra Pradesh
  • Solapur- Maharashtra
  • Devanagere- Karnataka
  • Indore- Madhya Pradesh
  • New Delhi- Delhi
  • Combattore- Tamil Nadu
  • Kakinada- Andhra Pradesh
  • Belagavi- Karnataka
  • Udaipur- Rajasthan
  • Guwahati- Assam
  • Chennai- Tamil Nadu
  • Ludhiana- Punjab
  • Bhopal- Madhya Pradesh

 

Jeevan Raksha Padak Awards  

(Topic: Awards and Honour)

Jeevan Raksha Padak-

  • Series of awards are given to a person for meritorious act of ‘humane’ nature in saving the life of a person
  • Award is given in three categories-
  • Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak– Awarded for conspicuous courage in saving life under circumstances of very great danger to the life of the rescuer
  • Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak- Awarded for courage and promptitude in saving life under circumstances of great danger to the life of the rescuer
  • Jeevan Raksha Padak- Awarded for courage and promptitude in saving life under circumstances of grave bodily injury to the rescuer

Eligible: Persons of either sex in all walks of life are eligible for these awards and award can also be conferred posthumously

Ashok Chakra Awarded Posthumously to Lance Naik Mohan Nath Goswami 9 Para (Special Forces)/6thBattalion of the Rashtriya Rifles 

(Topic: Awards and Honour)

Ashoka Chakra-

  • Highest Indian peacetime gallantry award which was constituted on similar lines of the British Awards of Gorge Cross
  • Awarded for valour, courageous action or self sacrifice away from the battlefield

 

Padma Awards 2016

(Topic: Awards and Honour)

Padma Awards – One of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely-

  • Padma Vibhushan– Awarded for exceptional and distinguished service to nation in any field and is the second highest National Award
  • Padma Bhushan- Awarded for distinguished service of high order to the nation, in any field and is the fourth highest National Award
  • Padma Shri– Awarded to recognize the contribution of Indian citizens in various spheres of activity including Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Social Science and Public life and is the third highest National Award

 Awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year and are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.

 

Padma Vibhushan Awardees-                                                               

  • Yamini Krishnamurthi (Classical Dance)
  • Rajnikanth(Cinema)
  • Girija Devi( Classical Vocal)
  • Ramoji Rao( Literature and Education- Journalism)
  • Viswanathan Shanta( Medicine- Oncology)
  • Shri Shri Ravi Shankar( Spiritualism)
  • Jagmohan( Public Affairs)
  • Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre( Science and Engineering)
  • Avinash Dixit ( Literature and Education)
  • Late Shri Dhiru Bhai Ambani ( Trade and Industry)

Padma Bhushan Awardees-

  • Anupam Kher ( Cinema)
  • Udit Narayan Jha( Playback Singing)
  • Ram V Sutar(Sculpture)
  • Heisnam Kanhailal( Theatre)
  • Vinod Rai (Civil Sevice)
  • Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad ( Literature and Education)
  • NS Ramanuja Ttacharya ( Lirerature and Education- Journalism)
  • D Nageshwar Reddy ( Medicine- Gastroenterology)
  • Swami Tejomayananda( Spiritualism)
  • Hafeez Contractor( Architecture)
  • Ravinder Chandra Bhargava( Public Affairs)
  • Venkata Rama Rao Alla ( Science and Engineering)
  • Saina Nehwal ( Badminton)
  • Sania Mirza ( Tennis)
  • Indu Jain( Trade and Industry)
  • Late Swami Dayanand Sarawasati ( Spiritualism)
  • Robert Blackwill ( Foreigner) ( Public Affairs)
  • Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry( NRI)  (Trade and Industry)

                                                                                 

International Solar Alliance

(Topic: Important International Institutions, agencies and further structure, mandate)

 

Foundation jointly Laid by- Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, and the President of France Mr François Hollande

Aim- Promotion of solar energy for making solar energy a valuable source of affordable and reliable green and clean energy in 121 member countries

International Solar Alliance-           

  • India’s first international and inter-governmental organization headquartered in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner
  • A new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations
  • Jointly launched in Paris by India and France during the United Nations Climate change conference (CoP) on 30th Nov,2015
  • Improves access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living
  • Interim Administrative Cell (IAC) made functional for facilitating transition of ISA from de facto to a de jure entity
  • GoI has offered training support for ISA member countries at NISE and also support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications
  • Work with partner countries to formulate projects and programmes to accelerate development and deployment of exiting clean solar energy technologies, the potential for which largely remaining untapped
  • Develops innovative financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital and builds a common knowledge e-Portal
  • Encourage multilateral bodies ( to contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in the member countries)like-
  • IRENA,
  • REEEP,
  • IEA,
  • REN21,
  • UN bodies,
  • Bilateral organisation,
  • Corporate,
  • Industries and other stakeholders

Governance Structure consists of- Assembly+ Council+ Secretariat

Assembly provide guidance, direction and advice to the Secretariat for undertaking the activities

National Job Portal for persons with Disabilities 

(Topic: Welfare Schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and State and the performance of these schemes)

Developed By- National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) as was entrusted by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities + Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment + Govt. of India

 

Aim-

  • Provide different facilities such as-
  • Self employment loan,
  • Education loan,
  • Skill training,
  • Link to scholarships
  • Information about jobs

                    All in a single window platform through this National Job Portal

  • Skill training programmes for Persons with Disabilities and has a target for skilling 5 lakh persons in next 3 years
  • Skill training will be provided by a network of 200 clusters of “Training Partners’ with financial assistance of government

Other Initiative-

  • Scheme has been launched to plant an especial device for assistance to deaf and dumb children
  • So far within one and half month 305 children have been provided this device
  • Encouraging results have been seen and many of these children are now able to speak and hear like normal children
  • Government also working on universal ID programme for persons with disabilities so that they can get facilities across the country on the production of the ID

Disabled-friendly National level Job portal www.disabilityjobs.gov.in, will a long way for empowering persons with disabilities by providing them all desired information for employment opportunities at one platform

PM addresses India-France Business Summit in Chandigarh

(Topic: Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests)

Agreement signed between- India and France at India-France Business Summit in Chandigarh

MoU Covers-   

  • Urban Development
  • Urban Transport
  • Water and Waste treatment
  • Solar Energy

16 Agreements Includes-

  • AFD and Maharashtra on technical cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development of smart city in Nagpur
  • AFD and Union Territory of Chandigarh on technical cooperation in the field for sustainable development for development of smart city in Chandigarh
  • AFD and Union Territory of Puducherry on technical cooperation for development for development of smart city in Puducherry
  • EPI ltd- Dassault Systemes in Urban Sector Development
  • EPL-Egis – Urban Sector Development
  • EPI-Schneider Electric- Urban Sector Development
  • EPI-EDF- Urban Sector Development
  • EPI-SA CAN – Urban Sector Development
  • EPI-Lumiplan ITS India Pvt Ltd – Urban Sector Development
  • Agreement between CEA(the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Enegy Commission) and Green Ventures- Solar photo voltaic projects in the Indian rural areas ( Varanasi)
  • Agreement between CEA( the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Crompton Greaves- To explore opportunities in Solar Photo Voltaic System with storage function for Indian Airports
  • Mahindra- Airbus cooperation to create the new private strategic partner for helicopters within the Make in India Initiative
  • Wind Power Development Agreement between EDF JV with SITAC RE India to jointly explore opportunities for development of wind based power project in India

 

Memorandum of Understandings- Cyber Security  

(Topic: India and its International Relations)

Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed between: Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan

  • Cyber Security, Malaysia;
  • (ii) Cyber Security Agency of the Republic of Singapore; and
  • (iii) Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre on Cooperation in Cyber Security

Help- Promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security related incidents between India and respective country

India and Armenia Sign Protocol amending the India-Armenia Double Taxation Avoidance Convention 

(Topic: Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests)

Protocol to amend- Existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention

Features of Protocol-

  • Amends the Article on Exchange of Information for tax purposes to bring it in line with the updated provisions in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model
  • Enable the two countries to exchange information related to financial and banking transactions under the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention, and thereby facilitate them in addressing tax evasion
  • Expected to further strengthen the efforts of Government of India in curbing generation of black money

 

India and Russia— Cooperation on a coordinated grant competition for conducting basic and exploratory scientific research 

(Topic: Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests)

Outcome- Cooperation will lead to generation of new knowledge + joint scientific publications + manpower training + IP generation through collaboration

Provides-

  • Competitive research grants to Indian and Russian researchers for joint implementation of research projects in areas of Basic and Exploratory Sciences
  • Agreement is valid for a period of six years and could be extended through mutual consent between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Russian Science Federation (RSF)
  • Competition would be conducted in the areas of-
  • Mathematics
  • Computer & System Science
  • Physics & Space Science
  • Chemistry & Material Science
  • Biology and Life Science
  • Basic research for Medicine
  • Agricultural Science
  • Earth Science and Engineering Science
  • Decision to identify research projects for funding would be taken jointly by DST and RSR

 

Resolution of more than 100 Cases of Transfer Pricing Disputes with USA Under MAP 

(Topic: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

Objective

  • Agreement seeks to resolve about 200 past transfer pricing disputes between the two countries in the Information Technology (Software Development) Services [ITS] and Information Technology enabled Services [ITeS] segments
  • More than 100 cases have already been resolved and some more are expected to be resolved before the end of this fiscal

Highlights-

  • One of the significant steps taken by Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) to boost investment sentiments among MNCs is the landmark Framework Agreement signed with the Revenue Authorities of USA in January, 2015
  • Agreement was finalised under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) provision contained in the India-USA Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC)
  • Prior to resolution of disputes under the Framework Agreement the US bilateral APA programme was closed to India
  • Success of the framework Agreement in short period of one year has led to the US Revenue Authorities opening up their bilateral APA programme to India
  • USA is expected to begin accepting bilateral APA applications shortly
  • MAP programmes with other countries like Japan and UK are also progressing well with regular meetings and resolution of past disputes
  • CBDT is confident that a combination of a robust APA programme and a streamlined MAP programme would be helpful in creating an environment of tax certainty and encourage MNCs to do business in India

 

GS-3

Hybrid Annuity Model for implementing Highway Projects 

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy, Ports, Roads, Railways, etc.)

Approved by- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs

Aim-

  • To revive highway projects in the country by making one more mode of delivery of highway projects
  • Facilitate uplifting the socio-economic condition of the entire nation due to increased connectivity across the length and breadth of the country leading to enhanced economic activity
  • By adopting the Model as the mode of delivery, all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement –
    • Authority,
    • Lender
    • Developer,
    • Concessionaire

 Features-

  • The rational approach adopted for allocation of risks between the PPP partners – the Government and the private partner i.e. the developer/investor
  • While the private partner continues to bear the construction and maintenance risks as in BOT (Toll) projects, it is required only to partly bear financing risk
  • Further, the developer is insulated from revenue/traffic risk and the inflation risk, which are not within its control.

 

India Investment Summit

(Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth)

Organised By- Department of Economic Affairs + Ministry of Finance + Government of India in partnership with SBI Caps

 

Participants-

  • Large Number of long term investors including Sovereign Wealth Funds and Pension Funds across the globe are expected to participate in the two day Summit
  • Apart from the infrastructure related Central Ministries/Departments, many State Governments will also take part in the Summit

Aim-

  • Investment opportunities in the sectors of road transport, highways, ports, urban infrastructure, railways, power and renewable energy, besides State Level projects
  • It would showcase and discuss the huge long term infrastructure investment opportunities in India

NIIF-

  • Government of India has established National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) as a Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations
  • NIIF is to be financed with Government’s own contribution along with equity participation from both foreign and domestic strategic anchor partners with Government’s share being 49%

Aim-

  • NIIF is to maximise economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects and other nationally important projects

 

Hybrid Annuity Model for implementing Highway Projects 

(Topic: Infrastructure- Energy, Ports, Roads, Railways, etc)

Approved by- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs

Aim-

  • To revive highway projects in the country by making one more mode of delivery of highway projects
  • Facilitate uplifting the socio-economic condition of the entire nation due to increased connectivity across the length and breadth of the country leading to enhanced economic activity
  • By adopting the Model as the mode of delivery, all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement –
  • Authority,
  • Lender
  • Developer,
  • Concessionaire

      Features-

  • The rational approach adopted for allocation of risks between the PPP partners – the Government and the private partner i.e. the developer/investor
  • While the private partner continues to bear the construction and maintenance risks as in BOT (Toll) projects, it is required only to partly bear financing risk
  • Further, the developer is insulated from revenue/traffic risk and the inflation risk, which are not within its control.

 

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