(Topic: Art and Culture)
About: Basavanna, 12th-century poet-philosopher, and the founding saint of the Lingayat religion. Basava took birth on third day of Vaisakha month of the Anandanama (Samvatsara) year in Rohini (Nakshatra) star. [year 1134 A.D.]. Since a new era began with the birth of the great prophet Basavanna, the people have adored that year as ‘Basava Era’.
- Vishwaguru Basavanna was a great revolutionary who established spiritual democracy called “Anubhava Mantapa” in the 12th century in India (Anubhava Mantapa – which is also called as the “FIRST PARLIAMENT CONCEPT OF THE WORLD“.
- Basava-Tatva is never ending inspiration to achieve the welfare of mankind. His teachings are time tested, scientific and proven.
- In news: PM unveiled translated volumes of Vachana, penned by 12th century social reformer Basavanna and other saints in 23 Indian languages.
- Vachana is a prosaic form well known in the Kannada literature which propagates values of universal brotherhood.
- This style of writing was used by Basavanna for spreading social awareness and brings equality in the society in the 12th century.
- Lingayatism is a distinct Shaivite religious tradition in India. The adherents of this faith are known as Lingayats.
- It emphasized on qualified monism and bhakti (loving devotion) to Shiva, with philosophical foundations similar to those of the 11th–12th-century South Indian philosopher Ramanuja.
- The terms Lingayatism and Veerashaivism have been used synonymously, and Lingayats also referred to as Veerashaivas.
- Lingayatism shares beliefs with Indian religions, such as about reincarnation, samsara and karma.
- Lingayatism was founded by the 12th-century philosopher and statesman Basava and spread by his followers, called Sharanas
Health Ministry launches ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’
(Topic: Issues related to health)
About: In this initiative, as soon as as a person is tested and found to be positive, he will be provided with ART irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage.
This will be for all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed as a HIV + case. Out of 21 lakh estimated with HIV, we know only 14 lakh. To detect remaining, Health ministry has revised national HIV testing guidelines and are aiming to reach out to people in community and test them where they are, with proper counselling and consent.
Health ministry has adopted the 90:90:90 strategy that will help to identify 90% of those infected, place 90% of these on treatment and ensure 90% have their virus under control.
This strategy will offer an opportunity to work towards the commitment during HLM and WHA on “ending AIDS by 2030” as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
Real Estate Act comes into force from 1st May 2017
(Topic: Govt Acts and Policies)
About: With Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act,2016 coming into force, it involves regulation of real estate sector involving over 76,000 companies across the county.
From now, developers shall get all the ongoing projects that have not received Completion Certificate and the new projects registered with Regulatory Authorities within three months i.e by July end. This enables the buyers to enforce their rights and seek redressal of grievances after such registration.
The Act ushers in the much desired accountability, transparency and efficiency in the sector with the Act defining the rights and obligations of both the buyers and developers.
Some of the major provisions of the Act, besides mandatory registration of projects and Real Estate Agents include:
- Depositing 70% of the funds collected from buyers in a separate bank account in case of new projects and 70% of unused funds in case of ongoing projects;
- Projects with plot size of minimum 500 sq.mt or 8 apartments shall be registered with Regulatory Authorities;
- Both developers and buyers to pay the same penal interest of SBI’s Marginal Cost of Lending Rate plus 2% in case of delays;
- Liability of developers for structural defects for five years; and
- Imprisonment of up to three years for developers and up to one year in case of agents and buyers for violation of orders of Appellate Tribunals and Regulatory Authorities.
- As per industry information, between 2011 and 2015, real estate projects in the range of 2,349 to 4,488 projects were launched every year amounting to a total of 17,526 projects with a total investment of Rs.13.70 lakh cr in 27 cities including 15 State capitals. About ten lakh buyers invest every year with the dream of owning a house.
Launch of “One IP- Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar Based Online Claim Submission” Schemes on International Labour Day
(Topic: Issues related to health)
About: One IP- Two Dispensaries– ESIC has given an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family through an employer. This will benefit all IPs, especially migrant workers who are working in other than home State, while their families are living in their native States.
Because of non-availability of option of second dispensary, the dependant members of family are often deprived of medical benefits.
Aadhaar based Online Claim Submission- all EPF Members who have activated their UAN and seeded their KYC (Aadhaar) with EPFO will be able to apply for PF final settlement (form19), Pension withdrawal benefit (Form10-C) and PF part withdrawal (Form31) from the their UAN Interface directly.
The three forms collectively form more than 80% of EPFO’s claim workload.
VIDYA VEERTA ABHIYAN
About: Ministry of Human Resource Development to encourage varsities to display portraits of Param Veer Chakra-decorated soldiers to instill sense of “nationalism” and “patriotism” among the students.
MHA advisory to States/UTs on Prison Reforms
(Topic: Govt Acts and Policies)
About: The 5th National Conference of Head of Prisons of States and UTs on Prison Reforms was held in September 2016.
- Some important resolutions were adopted for guidance and implementation by the State/UT Prison authorities
- The nomenclature of ‘Prisons Department’ may be changed to “Prisons and Correctional Administration”, which should have integrated prison, correctional and probation services.
- Every State should establish a Welfare Wing under Prison Department comprising Welfare Officers, Law Officers, Counselors and Probation Officers.
- To ensure basic uniformity, all States and Union Territories should revise their existing Prison Manuals by adopting the provisions of Model Prison Manual, 2016
- The Prisons should be linked with Courts through video conferencing for expeditious trial and to save costs in escorting under-trials to the Courts.
- The existing vacancies in all ranks of Prison Departments to be filled up expeditiously.
- Prison e-system should be integrated with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) as well as e-Courts on priority basis.
- Combined training of Prison, Police, Health Department and Judiciary on under-trial Management to be conducted periodically.
The States and UTs have been advised to make concerted efforts to implement the same in a time bound manner, which will go a long way in alleviating the condition of prison inmates and bring the desired improvement in prison administration.
National Standards Conclave
Objective: To bring awareness and prepare Industries, Central Government Ministries, State Governments, regulatory/standards setting and conformity assessment bodies on the growing importance of “Standards” in the changing scenario of global trade.
- Department of Commerce in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
- National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB)
- The Standards Conclave is being held in the backdrop of diminishing importance of tariffs and rising influence of standards and regulation both in goods and services trade
- The Conclave would also aim at preparing an Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) document to enable the development of a harmonized, dynamic, and mature standards ecosystem in India.
India and Marshall Islands
(Topic: International Relations)
About: India’s dialogue with Pacific Island Countries (PIC) under the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) through the FIPIC-I Summit held in Suva in November 2014 and FIPIC-II Summit held in Jaipur in August 2015 has given India and Marshal island to work together to address issues and challenges currently being faced by Pacific Island Countries.
- India has initiated in creating a Centre for Excellence in Information Technology and solar electrification of two hundred houses through the efforts of “Solar Mamas”.
- Solar Mamas: It is a group of women who were trained in batches over the years in India’s Tilonia township of Rajasthan in fixing and maintaining solar lamps, bulbs and panels.
- They then returned to their villages where they have since been working as solar engineers—helping their communities harness the power of solar energy to light up their homes and villages.
- Nuclear disarmament issue– it complained in ICJ against India and other eight countries for not complying with international legal provisions on disarmament of nuclear weapons.
- As of 2016, 191 nation states became signatory to the treaty. India along with Israel, Pakistan, South Sudan and North Korea refused to sign.
- On the basis of India’s refusal to disarm, the island nation decided to take up the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, Netherlands. India countered that the claim is beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
- Even though India is not party to the disarmament treaty, the country is bound to keep checks on nuclear activities under customary international law.
Department of Telecom (DoT) Launches Tarang Sanchar
About: It is a web portal for Information sharing on Mobile Towers and EMF Emission Compliances.
- It will help in clearing the myths and misconceptions of public on mobile towers and emissions from them. There are over 25,000 studies by WHO in the last 30 years on the subject and there is no proof that EMF radiation has any harmful effect on human health.
- In future, it will help in identifying the blind spots and it is also environment friendly as no paper work is required for this.
- For realising the vision of Digital India, it is necessary to have more and more mobile towers in every nook and corner of the country as mobile phone today has become an essential requirement for all including the poor in the remotest corner of the country
- The portal will allow users to get a tower or base station checked for radiation emission, for a fee of Rs 4,000. The portal also has ‘EMF Overview’ and ‘Learn’ Sections, which provide numerous articles, booklets and videos, to further educate the citizens about EMF and coverage of telecom services.
- In addition to Government to Citizen (G2C) services, portal also facilitates Government to Business (G2B) service delivery in a transparent and eco-friendly manner.
National Steel Policy 2017
(Topic: Growth and Development)
About: Union Cabinet has given its approval for National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017 which enshrines the long term vision of the Government to give impetus to the steel sector. NSP 2017 seeks to enhance domestic steel consumption, ensure high quality steel production and create a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry.
Key features of the NSP 2017:
- Create self-sufficiency in steel production by providing policy support & guidance to private manufacturers, MSME steel producers, CPSEs
- Encourage adequate capacity additions
- Development of globally competitive steel manufacturing capabilities
- Cost-efficient production
- Domestic availability of iron ore, coking coal & natural gas
- Facilitating foreign investment
- Asset acquisitions of raw materials
- Enhancing the domestic steel demand
- Indian steel sector has grown rapidly over the past few years (Production in 2016-17= 100 MT)
- It is third largest steel producer globally, contributing to about 2% of the country’s GDP.
- NSP 2017 aspires to achieve 300MT of steel-making capacity by 2030.
- It seeks to increase consumption of steel and major segments are infrastructure, automobiles and housing.
- Steel Ministry will facilitate R&D in the sector through the establishment of Steel Research and Technology Mission of India (SRTMI).
- With the roll out of the National Steel Policy-2017, it is envisaged that the industry will be steered in creating an environment for promoting domestic steel and thereby ensuring a scenario where production meets the anticipated pace of growth in consumption.
- Steel is one of the most important products in the modern world and forms the backbone to any industrial economy.
- The sector is of strategic importance to India due to its extensive application right from construction, infrastructure, power, aerospace and industrial machinery to consumer products.
- Owing to the strategic importance of the sector along with the need to have a robust and restructured policy in present scenario, the new NSP, 2017 became imminent.
- Though, National Steel Policy 2005 sought to indicate ways and means of consolidating the gains flowing out of the then economic order and charted out a road map for sustained and efficient growth of the Indian steel industry, it required adaptation in view of the recent developments unfolding in India and also worldwide.
SAMPADA (Scheme For Agro-Marine Processing And Development Of Agro-Processing Clusters)
About: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for re-structuring the schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) under new Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA for 2016-20 coterminous with the 14th Finance Commission cycle.
- The objective of SAMPADA is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste.
- SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc.
- It now also includes new schemes of Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages and Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.
- The implementation of SAMPADA will result in creation of modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet.
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