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IASbaba Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 28th March to 3rd April, 2016

  • April 4, 2016
  • 2
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs April 2016, IASbaba's Daily News Analysis, PIB
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GS-2

Government to launch Gram Uday to Bharat Uday Abhiyan

(Topic: Government schemes and policies and issues arising out of their design and implementation)

  • To inaugurate Gram Uday se Bharat Uday Campaign on Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s 125th Birth Anniversary
  • Culminating in Panchayati Raj Day

In collaboration with- Central Government + States + Panchayats, will organize a ‘Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday Abhiyan’ (Village Self Governance Campaign)

 

Aim-

  • To generate nation-wide efforts to increase social harmony across villages
  • Strengthen Panchayati Raj
  • Promote rural development, and foster farmers’ progress.

Topics of discussions in these Gram Sabhas will include :-

  • Gram Panchayat Development Plans for local economic development,
  • Optimum utilization of funds available with Panchayati Raj Institutions,
  • Clean drinking water and sanitation,
  • Role of women in village and rural development.
  • Social inclusion including welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, person with Disabilities and other marginalized groups.

 

Government signs 11 unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings an agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interest)

About-

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes signed 11 unilateral APAs
  • With this signing, India has entered into 59 bilateral and/or unilateral APAs

Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)-

  • Programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce litigation in the Indian transfer pricing regime.
  • Agreements cover a range of international transactions, including- Corporate guarantees + Royalty + Software development services + IT enabled services+ Trading
  • Some of the agreements have rollback provisions and provide certainty to the taxpayers for 9 years with regard to the covered international transactions.

Rollback provisions-

  • Were introduced in the July 2014 Budget to provide certainty on the pricing of international transactions for 4 years (rollback years) preceding the first year from which APA becomes applicable.
  • With the notification of Rollback rules in March 2015, the taxpayer has been provided the option to choose certainty in transfer pricing matters with the Government for a total of nine years (5 future years and 4 prior years).

 

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank

(Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings an agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interest)

About-

  • An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 250 Million from World Bank for “First Programmatic Electricity distribution Reform Development Policy Loan For Rajasthan”
  • Project size is USD 250 million, and the total amount will be financed by the Bank.

Objective-

  • To support the Government of Rajasthan (GoR)’s program for the turnaround of the distribution sector in Rajasthan under the 24×7 Power for All program.
  • First operation lays the foundations for legislative changes and institutional reforms to improve the sector’s governance, support the financial restructuring of the sector, and back sanctions necessary to improve operational performance.

Main areas of the GoR program-

  • Strengthening Governance in the Rajasthan Electricity Distribution Sector
  • Financial Restructuring and Recovery
  • Improving Operational Performance’ of Distribution Utilities
  • Project has been designed as a result based financing programme, under which funds will be released only on achievement of agreed results/indicators.

 

GIS-enabled HMIS application launched

(Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential)


About- Launch of two major Digital initiatives to provide easy access to health services to the public-

  • GIS-enabled HMIS application
  • Self-printing of e-CGHS cards

Aim-

  • To strengthen public health systems and provide user-friendly health services in the country
  • Provide a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen and enhance the reach of key interventions

Application-

  • GIS-enabled HMIS services provide comprehensive data on a GIS platform on 1.6 lakh Government Health facilities spread across the country.
  • Project has been developed with the objective of enabling the effective usage of the HMIS application, enhancing analytical capabilities of States/UTs and providing a geographical display of HMIS data using GIS.
  • Application also has scope of incorporating map layers of roads and water bodies which will provide comprehensive information regarding health facilities and disease vulnerable areas of the country.

HMIS-

  • Health Management Information System (HMIS) is a web-based monitoring system that has been put in place by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) to monitor its health programmes and provide key inputs for policy formulation and interventions.
  • HMIS data are widely used by the Ministry and States for policy planning, monitoring and supervision purpose.
  • Self-printing of the E-CGHS card, stated that this will provide ease and access to all those beneficiaries such as the pensioners who may find it difficult to go to the CGHS centres for renewal, and in the event of loss/misplacement of the card.

Government launches ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’

(Topic: Welfare schemes and initiatives for persons with disabilities)

About- Government launches ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’ to mark the next chapter of its flagship Campaign, the ‘Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan’.

Prepared in collaboration with– The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Importance- ‘Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index’ helps the industries and corporates to participate in the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) by voluntarily evaluating their readiness for making the workplace accessible for Persons with Disabilities.

Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index

  • First-of-its-kind initiative in the country and will be a potential game changer for the integration, assimilation and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities into the mainstream.
  • Index enables the organisations to introspect over their inclusive policies and organisational culture in aid of PwDs, employment of such workforce and adaptations to meet the needs of PwDs.
  • Toolkit is based on research, and the best examples and experiences of organisations that have taken initiatives to increase accessibility of persons with disabilities and have benefited from such initiatives.
  • Study will prioritize constructing the Accessibility Index for corporates to measure sensitivity towards persons with disabilities which will benchmark corporates operating in a given sector with their national peers.
  • Extensive stakeholder consultations with NGOs and corporate sector will be held to ensure that the Index accommodates wide-ranging views of all stakeholders and is a robust document.
  • At the second stage, the study will examine the role of state and NGOs in creating an enabling environment and executing the intent of regulations in promoting accessibility of disabled persons.

Index toolkit aims at-

  • Assessing the current stage of inclusiveness and accessibility of persons with disabilities by an organisation.
  • Act as a guide for taking progressive steps to increase support, inclusiveness and accessibility towards persons / employees with disabilities.

Absorption and recognition of the Index by the Corporate Sector and public sector organisations will benefit them immensely by –

  • Being the benchmark
  • Take Progressive steps to increase support
  • Fully utilise diverse talent pool
  • Reduce employee turnover, increase employee loyalty and increase morale and productivity of other employees in the organisation.
  • Create a positive brand image.
  • Expand customer base through new products and services.
  • Enhance shareholder value.
  • Above all, the Inclusiveness and Accessibility Index shall promote human dignity and social cohesion where all citizens have equal access to opportunities to fully realise their potential.

 

GS-3

Application and Uses of Hydro-Geomorphological Maps (HGMs) for Groundwater Prospection and Linkages

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

Workshop emphasized on

  • Importance of science as a tool to address water problems
  • To encourage innovative efforts in conserving the precious ground water resources in our country.

Key Highlights-      

  • Along with a long term roadmap, there is need for immediate solutions.
  • Along with science, social aspects should also be considered while planning and managing water resources.
  • Water makes economies prosper and have wideand multiple linkages.
  • With fast depleting groundwater resources, there is severe threat to water availability, livelihood and sustenance.
  • Managing water resources is critical and technologies like Hydro-Geomorphological Mapping can be very useful.
  • Technical Discussion sessions have organized on subjects like-
  • Application and use of Hydro-Geomorphological Maps for locating Ground Water based sources and Source Sustainability Structures under Rural Drinking Water Supply programme of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
  • Role of Geo-Spatial Technology in Transforming Flood Hazards into Opportunity
  • Aquifer Mapping and Management-Need for Geophysical tools.

 

Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules

(Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)

Objective-

  • Rules are an initiative to effectively tackle the issues of pollution and waste management.
  • Basis of these Rules is to recover, recycle and reuse the waste generated through construction and demolition.

Salient features of the Construction & Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 are:

 

Application Applies to everyone who generates construction and demolition waste

Duties of waste Generators-

  • Every waste generator shall segregate construction and demolition waste and deposit at collection centre or handover it to the authorized processing facilities
  • Shall ensure that there is no littering or deposition so as to prevent obstruction to the traffic or the public or drains
  • Large generators (who generate more than 20 tons or more in one day or 300 tons per project in a month) shall:
    • Submit waste management plan and get appropriate approvals from the local authority before starting construction or demolition or remodeling work,
    • Have environment management plan to address the likely environmental issues from construction, demolition, storage, transportation process and disposal / reuse of C & D Waste.
    • Segregate the waste into four streams such as concrete, soil, steel, wood and plastics, bricks and mortar,
    • Pay relevant charges for collection, transportation, processing and disposal as notified by the concerned authorities.

Duties of Service providers and Contractors

  • Service providers shall prepare a comprehensive waste management plan for waste generated within their jurisdiction, within six months from the date of notification of these rules,
  • Shall remove all construction and demolition waste in consultation with the concerned local authority on their own or through any agency.

Facility for processing / recycling facility

  • Operator of the facility shall obtain authorization from State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee.
  • Processing/recycling site shall be away from habitation clusters, forest areas, water bodies, monuments, National Parks, Wetlands and places of important cultural, historical or religious interest.
  • Processing/recycling facility exceeding five Tones per day capacity, shall maintain a buffer zone of no development around the facility.

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT RULES, 2016

(Topic: Waste Management)

About-

  • For the first time, Rules have been made to distinguish between Hazardous Waste and other wastes.
  • Other wastes include: Waste tyre, paper waste, and metal scrap, used electronic items, etc. and are recognized as a resource for recycling and reuse.

Salient features of Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management &Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 include the following:- 

  • Ambit of the Rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’.
  • Waste Management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal has been incorporated.
  • All the forms under the rules for permission, import/export, filing of annual returns, transportation, etc. have been revised significantly, indicating the stringent approach for management of such hazardous and other wastes with simultaneous simplification of procedure.
  • Basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorisation.
  • Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.
  • Co-processing as preferential mechanism over disposal for use of waste as supplementary resource, or for recovery of energy has been provided.
  • Approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis.
  • Process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export.
  • Import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.
  • Basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) specific to waste type.
  • Responsibilities of State Government for environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes have been introduced.

                                                        

Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction

(Topic:             Disaster and Disaster management)

Aim- At providing a platform to member countries for sharing best practices in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction; about 4000 participants from the Asian Region are expected to participate in the Conference.

Disaster Risk Reduction Conference-

  • First Asian Ministerial Conference being held after the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan from March 14-18, 2015.
  • India has hosted the first South Asian Annual Disaster Management exercise (SAADMEx-15) from 23-26 Nov, 2015 at New Delhi.
  • Another, day long SAARC Regional Workshop on sharing best practices on Disaster Risk Reduction was held here on Nov. 27, 2015.

 

Activation of ARIES Telescope at Deosthal, Uttarakhand

(Topic: Science and Technology- Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life)

About- Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr. Charles Michel, jointly carried out the remote technical activation of a 3.6 metre optical telescope located at Deosthal in Uttarakhand.

ARIES-

  • Telescope at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), has been installed in the Uttarakhand Himalayas, as a result of close collaboration between scientists from the two countries, especially between the teams of ARIES in India, and AMOS (Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems) in Belgium.
  • This is a state-of-the-art world class telescope, which will contribute to observations for several frontline scientific applications.

 

India Water Week-2016

(Topic: Water Conservation)

About- Fourth edition of India Water Week will be observed from 04 to 08 April, 2016.

Theme India Water week- “Water for all: Striving together”

Important issues discussed

  • Bridging gap between irrigation potential created and irrigation potential utilised,
  • Fast-tracking of 89 AIBP projects under PMKSY,
  • Ground water protection and augmentation,
  • National Hydrology Project,

Partner country Israel will exclusively organise two sessions viz

  • Role of Micro Irrigation in existing command and
  • Israel makes in India – COE’s and commercial success stories, water management.

International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) has planned to organize first in the series “India Irrigation Forum-2016” as a part of India Water Week-2016.

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