GS 3 –
Indian economy and issues of development
Initiatives towards Ease of Doing Business
- To ensure speedy and fair disposal of commercial disputes, a new Act namely, the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act 2015 has been enacted by Parliament. It is Government’s endeavour to make India an investor friendly destination and enhance its ranking in Ease of Doing Business.
- The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has been amended to make Arbitration as preferred mode for settlement of commercial disputes by making it more user-friendly, cost effective, leading to expeditious disposal of cases. This Bill was pending before the Government since 2003.
Initiatives towards better management of litigation
- Draft National Litigation Policy is under formulation to make Government a responsible and efficient litigant. The Draft National Litigation Policy shall facilitate in bringing down unwarranted litigation.
- For proper monitoring of the pending court cases of the entire Government of India, a web portal Legal Information and Management Based System (LIMBS) has been set up.
- 19 Law Officers (including AG/SG) and 34 ASGs in High Courts have been appointed. Fresh panels of Counsels were approved for Supreme Court/High Courts/Central Administrative Tribunals/Armed Forces Tribunal/District Courts/Armed Forces Tribunal.
- Fee revision of Law Officers and Legal Counsels was upwardly revised to the extent of 50% from the rates existing prior to 1.10.2015.
Initiatives towards Minimum Government Maximum Governance
- Four Acts have been enacted to repeal the obsolete and redundant laws. In total the aforesaid four enactments have repealed 1175 Acts. This exercise was taken up after 14 years, earlier being taken up only in the year 2001.
- Major exercise for convergence of Tribunals to reduce the number of tribunals is being carried out. High level Inter-Ministerial Group has been constituted for consideration of the issue.
Initiatives towards digital India and e-Governance
- A major change has been introduced to receive applications for appointment of Notaries online along with supporting documents w.e.f. 1.1.2016.
- e-Governance and E-courts usage have started in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) leading to faster disposal of cases with less hassles to litigants.
- Digitisation work of Appeals has been undertaken in ITAT. Once the digitisation work is complete, all the appellate records shall be accessible from any station and any appeal can be taken by e-court in any location.
- Web portal named LIMBS has been introduced for centrally monitoring cases of UoI pending in various courts and Tribunals.
Initiatives towards Computerisation of Courts
- eCourts Mission Mode Project has been taken up for universal computerization of district and subordinate courts with an objective of providing designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary.
- During the first two years of NDA rule i.e. 2014-15 and 2015-16, Rs.212.23 cr were released to various States for eCourts projects against Rs.122.41cr released during UPA-II rule for the years 2012-13 and 2013-14, thus, registering an increase of 73.4%.
- eCourts Phase-II projects aims at automation of workflow management, enabling the courts to exercise greater control in management of cases. This will also include installation of touch screen based kiosks, use of e-filing, e-payment and mobile applications and composite set of services through Judicial Service centres.
- Case status information in respect of over 6.11 crore pending, decided cases and more than 2.4 crore orders/judgements pertaining to District and Subordinate Courts are available online.
- Over 4000 court officials and 14000 Judicial Officers have been trained on computerization of Laptops have been provided to 14,309 judicial officers.
Initiatives towards Justice Delivery
- Appointment of Judges in higher judiciary has been undertaken. 86 additional Judges were made permanent, 51 new judges were appointed and appointment of another 170 is being processed
- Judges’ sanctioned strength of the High Courts has been increased from 906 on 01.06.2014 to 1065 as on 27.4.2016. In the case of District/Subordinate Courts, the sanctioned strength has been increased from 17,715 at the end of 2012 to 20,502 in December, 2015.
- Pecuniary jurisdiction of Delhi High Court has been increased from Rs. 20 lakhs to Rs. 2 crore, facilitating access to justice within the vicinity of the location of District Courts.
- Department of Justice has been implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary. On account of concerted efforts by all stakeholders, the availability of judicial infrastructure for subordinate courts has increased considerably in the recent past.
Initiatives towards Access to Justice Projects
- 300 Paralegal Volunteers of Odisha, 400 Para Legal Volunteers of North Eastern States and 187 Para Legal Volunteers of J&K have been trained under the activities of State Legal Services Authorities.
- Legal literacy has been incorporated into National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) and activities have been started in States- 62 Districts of Uttar Pradesh and 31 Districts of Rajasthan.
- Helpdesks for Juveniles in Observation Homes have been established in Maharashtra.
- 50 voice based Legal Information Kiosks have been established in the State of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
- 46 Legal Aid Clinics have been established in two most backward districts of Nagaland – Tuensang and Mon.
- MoU has been signed between Department of Justice and NLMA (National Literacy Mission Authority) for initiating legal literacy activities by SRC Assam, Shillong, J&K and Arunachal Pradesh.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Launches Common Application Software and ICT enabled Real Time Monitoring System of ICDS
GS 2 –
Scheme for vulnerable section
- The new software will revolutionize the monitoring of service delivery of anganwadi centres since anganwadi workers had to earlier fill 11 registers which was a cumbersome task.
- It is for the first time since anganwadis started that we have started collecting data and accessing it easily,
- .Help improve service delivery by Aanganwadi workers (AWWs) by introduction of mobile technology
- Provide real-time information on service delivery at Aanganwadi Centers and on growth and nutrition status of children. Assist in growth monitoring and promotion; and impacting delivery of nutrition and health services
- Enable to employ timely interventions wherever and whenever required and to prioritize and direct the interventions needed to improve the nutritional status in specific geographies.
- Auto generation of ICDS registers that are currently compiled manually by Aanganwadi workers and help ICDS staff save time in data entry into multiple registers, thereby enabling them to channelize more time on delivering ICDS services including increased focus on counseling
- Help in reaching out to all the beneficiaries in time.
- Support the Aanganwadi worker’s job through in-built counseling aids, alerts and auto plotting of graphs and due lists
- Aid collection of real-time data enabling supportive supervision and timely intervention by the department officials
Reforms in Major Ports to promote “Ease of doing Business”
GS 3 –
The Ministry of Shipping in the past year has taken up several initiatives to promote trade and improve India’s ranking in the “Trading Across Borders’ indicator of World Bank’s Doing Business Report. Following steps have been taken by the Ministry to facilitate ease of doing business:
- From manual to electronic interface: Form 11&13 in manual form have been eliminated at all three terminals at JNPT and replaced by web based e-form-13, which is now done electronically. Apart from JNPT, other Major Ports are also using electronic forms.
- Accommodation for laboratories of regulatory agencies within port premises: The Ministry has issued instructions to all Major Ports to facilitate and provide land area for setting up of laboratories for animal/ plant quarantine, for textile and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- Implementation of Direct Port Delivery Scheme: – The Ministry has directed all Major Ports to extend the Direct Port Delivery facility to all Accredited Client Programme (ACP) clients and to provide additional land area for parking of DPD containers.
- Reduction in Fee and Charges for non peak hours in all Ports: In order to decongest Major Port, the Ministry has taken up the issue of reduction of fee and charges with Tariff Authority for Major Ports to issue direction to all Major Ports/ BOT Operators operating there at, to fix separate lower charges for cargo and vessels related services and also give a special discount for the services rendered to exporter and importers after regular hours.
- Installation of container scanners at Major Ports: Indian Port Association has been asked to undertake the process of procurement of the scanners based on the specifications received from CBEC. IPA has already initiated the process and the work order for the procurement shall be issued by November, 2016.
- Automation of Issuance of Delivery Orders: All the Shipping Lines (31) at JNPT are compliant with E-Delivery capability and implemented issuance of E-Delivery Orders. Other Major Ports were also directed to implement of issuance of E-delivery Orders
- Implementation of RFID Scheme for gate automation: All the Major Ports are in process of implementing RFID Gate Automation System
- Measures to remove congestion at ports on war footing:
To remove bottlenecks in rail/ road connectivity (like widening of roads, development of parking areas) for faster evacuation of cargo, all Major Ports have been directed to take necessary corrective measures. JNPT has taken the following measures in this regard:
(i) Development of Parking Areas: JNPT has undertaken development of Centralized Parking Plaza covering 45 hectares area which can accommodate about 2000 Tractor/ Trailers (TTs).
(ii) Widening of Roads: The Y junction is widened on BPCL side about 3000 Sq. Mtrs. for smooth traffic movement at junction. This year the concretization of this junction has also been taken up which will start after monsoon. Roads from Y junction to JNP CFS, CFS junction to SH-54 and Karal junction to CFS junction have been widened.
(iii) Inter-Terminal movement of trailers:- Inter Terminal transfer of TTs between JNPCT & GTI and between JNPCT & NSICT has already started.
India & USA Signs MoU To Enhance Cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy & Climate Change
GS 3 –
- The objective of the MoU is to enhance cooperation on energy security, clean energy and climate change through increased bilateral engagement and further joint initiatives for promoting sustainable growth.
- These activities are intended to increase incentives for innovation including research and development, and voluntary and mutually-agreed technology transfer, as well as the deployment of clean energy technologies in both countries; contribute to a global effort to curb the rise in greenhouse gas emissions; and enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change.
- The Priority initiatives under the MoU would be:US-India Energy smart Cities Partnership
b. Greening the Grid.
c. Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) expansion
d. Energy Efficiency including space cooling
e. Renewable energy.
f. Energy security.
g. Clean energy finance
h. U.S-India partnership for Climate Resilience
i. Air quality
j. Forestry, Landscapes and REDD+
l. Accelerating innovation on clean energy and climate change
National Capital Goods Policy
GS – 3
- It is the first ever policy for Capital Goods sector with a clear objective of increasing production of capital goods from Rs.2,30,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.7,50,000 crore in 2025 and raising direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.
- The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 percent to 40 percent of production.
- It will increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60 percent to 80 percent thus making India a net exporter of capital goods.
- The policy 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’.
- It will also play a pivotal role in overall manufacturing as the pillar of strength to the vision of ‘Make in India’.
- 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.