National Resource Centre for Tribal Livelihood
(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections)
About-Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP and National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) launch “Vanjeevan” the National Resource Centre for Tribal Livelihood issues at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- The programme will focus on the identification of local resources, keeping in view the existing skill level.
- The programme will facilitate utilization of funds under various Government programmes.
- The National Resource Centre will serve as a platform for livelihood mapping, skill gap analysis and knowledge hub where consolidation of best livelihood and entrepreneurship models will be accessible for tribal entrepreneurship development.
- It will be implemented in Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Telangana in the first phase.
- In the second phase the programme will be implemented in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura.
Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities
(Topic: Minority Affairs)
About- Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities (PM’s New 15-PP) is an overarching programme, covering 24 schemes/initiatives of 11 participating Ministries / Departments which is implemented throughout the country, including Kerala.
- Equitable availability of ICDS Services
- Improving access to School Education
- Greater resources for teaching Urdu
- Modernizing Madarsa Education
- Scholarships for meritorious students from minority communities
- Improving educational infrastructure through the Maulana Azad Education Foundation.
- Self-Employment and Wage Employment for the poor
- Upgradation of skill through technical training
- Enhanced credit support for economic activities
- Recruitment to State and Central Services
- Equitable share in rural housing scheme
- Improvement in condition of slums inhabited by minority communities.
- Prevention of communal incidents
- Prosecution for communal offences
- Rehabilitation of victims of communal riots.
Targets of Global Education
About- Government is in the process of formulating a New Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regard to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
Initiatives undertaken to enhance the quality of education (Only scheme names are given)
- Elementary education
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme harmonized with Right to Education (RTE) aims for improvements in school infrastructure and also improving learning outcomes.
- Secondary education—
- Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA),
- ICT in Schools,
- Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE),
- Shaala Siddhi,
- Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan
- Higher education—
- Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA),
- Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN),
- Impacting Research, Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT),
- Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme(TEQIP),
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya National Mission on Teachers and Teaching (PMMMNMTT),
- Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM),
- National Digital Library,
- Uchhatar Avishkar Abhiyan,
- Unnat Bharat Abhiyan
- National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)–to rank all institutions of higher education in India.
“Adopt a Home” programme
(Topic: Women and Child Development)
About- Under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the corporate sector & business houses are invited to support the children staying in the Children Homes run by the State Governments/UT Administrations and their NGO partners under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act [JJ Act], 2015.
Aim- to support the Child Care Institutions (CCIs) as defined under the JJ Act, 2015 which house children either in need of care and protection or children in conflict with law.
Indian Institute Of Skills
About– In line with the vision of making India the Skill Capital of the World by empowering its youth to be more employable and self-sustainable, Government started first ever “Indian Institute of Skills” in the country at Kanpur. The institute is inspired by the Singapore model of training and would adopt various best practices from the country.
Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative launched in Haryana
(Topic: Women and Child Development)
About– The Mahila Police Volunteer initiative was launched in Haryana and became the first state to adopt this scheme. Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women & Child Development, with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Aim– to bridge gap between Police and Civil society for safety of women. The volunteers will be trained by the respective state police authorities on their role and responsibilities. They will be appointed by state government.
Major Port Trust Authorities Bill, 2016
(Topic: Infrastructure development)
About-Ministry of Shipping to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 by the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016.
Salient features of the Major Ports Authority Bill are—
- The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports [TAMP] has been redefined. Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.
- An independent Review Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports.
- The Boards of the Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default.
- Empowers the Board to make its own Master Plan in respect of the area within the port limits.
- The board of the port authority has been delegated the power to fix rates for other port services and assets like land.
- The bill also proposes to empower port authorities to lease land for port-related use for up to 40 years and for non-port related use up to 20 years.
- Provisions of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.
Genetically Modified Crops
(Topic: Science and Technology)
About–The policy for introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops in the country is based on recommendations of the Task Force on Application of Biotechnology and Agriculture under the Chairmanship of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan and constituted by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India in May, 2003.
- Providing direction to research and development in relation to priorities based on national problems and needs of agriculture as well as devising a system for commercialization of transgenic/ GM products.
- Developing a clear policy on GM food and feed in the country.
GM Crops in India
- Bt cotton was the first genetically modified crop to be approved for cultivation in India in 2002, with the introduction of Monsanto’s GM cotton seeds.
- India is world’s fourth largest GM crop acreage on the strength of Bt cotton, the only genetically modified crop allowed in the country.
- At present, 96% of India’s cotton cultivation area is under Bt cotton crops.
- After the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, India’s cotton imports fell, exports grew and as of 2015-16 India is expected to have overtaken China as the biggest cotton producer it the world.
India Signs Open Skies Agreement With Six Countries During ICAN 2016
(Topic: Infrastructure development)
About– International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) – 2016 were held in Nassau, Bahamas. It allows unlimited number of flights to six metro airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, was signed with six countries namely Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka.
Open Sky Policy
Open skies is an international policy concept that calls for the liberalization of the rules and regulations of the international aviation industry—especially commercial aviation—in order to create a free-market environment for the airline industry. Its primary objectives are:
- To liberalize the rules for international aviation markets and minimize government intervention; and
- To adjust the regime under which military and other state-based flights may be permitted.
Open Sky Policy and India
- Open sky refers to an agreement between two countries to allow any number of airlines to fly from either of them without any restriction on number of flights, number of destinations, number of seats, price and so on.
- Currently, India has open sky agreements with US without restriction.
- It has such agreement with some restrictions with UK
- A limited open-sky with ASEAN and bilateral agreements with more than 100 countries.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016
(Topic: Environment and Forest)
About– to make pet shops accountable and to prevent cruelty inflicted on animals kept in pet shops.
The proposed Rules
- It will be mandatory for all pet shop owners to register themselves with the State Animal Welfare Board.
- Such shops will be registered only after inspection by the representatives of State Board, a veterinary practitioner and a representative of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- The rules define space requirement for birds, cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pig, hamster, rats and mice in the pet shops.
- It defines the basic amenities, power back-up, general care, veterinary care and other operational requirement for animals kept in pet shops.
- It is mandatory to maintain proper records of sale, purchase, death of animals in pet shop, sick animals etc.
- Every pet shop owner is required to submit yearly report to the State Board regarding animals, sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during previous year, or any other information asked for by the State Board.
Violation of Rules– Non-compliance of the proposed rules will lead to cancellation of registration of pet shop and pet animals so confiscated, shall be handed over to an Animal Welfare Organisation.
Political Parties under Income Tax Act, 1961
About–Clarification given by Ministry of Finance in the matter of donation to political parties, after demonetisation of old 500 and 100 rupees notes.
- The exemption from Income-Tax is given to only registered political parties subject to certain conditions, which are mentioned in Section 13A, which includes keeping and maintaining books of accounts and other documents as would enable the Assessing Officer to deduce its income therefrom;
- In respect of each voluntary contribution in excess of Rs. 20000, the political party will have to maintain a record of such contributions.
- The accounts of each such political party is to be audited by a Chartered Accountant; and
- The political party has to submit a report to the Election Commission about the donations received within a timeframe prescribed.
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