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Source : www.pib.nic.

in Date : 2018-08-07

SCIENTISTS SHOULD COME UP WITH PATH-


BREAKING INNOVATIONS: VICE PRESIDENT
Relevant for: Science & Technology | Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and
effects in everyday life

Vice President's Secretariat

Scientists should come up with path-breaking innovations:

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Vice President

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Stepping up investments in R&D is need of the hour;

Inaugurates CSIR IICT Platinum Jubilee Celebrations


Posted On: 05 AUG 2018 8:15PM by PIB Delhi
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The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that scientific institutions to nurture
talent and foster path-breaking innovations to transform the socio-economic landscape of the
country. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
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of CSIR-IICT (Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, in Hyderabad today. The Union Minister
for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr.
Harsh Vardhan, the Governor of Telangana, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Deputy Chief Ministers
of Telangana, Shri Kadiyam Srihari and Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali and other dignitaries
were present on the occasion.
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The Vice President said though we are progressing on various fronts, incremental progress was
not enough. He further said that Scientific organizations have to set ambitious goals and
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strategically position themselves to become leading institutions in the world. The government
must facilitate this quest for excellence by providing funds, freedom and flexibility and the private
sector also needs to come forward to liberally support research, he added.

The Vice President emphasized the need to hugely step up investments in R & D to promote the
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culture of innovation and discovery. He further said that reducing procedural bottlenecks,
removing hierarchical barriers and resetting priorities is also crucial and the leadership in
scientific institutions should encourage bright young scientists to come up with new and
unconventional ideas and projects. “Opportunities must be provided for undertaking path-
breaking research that answers one or more of current societal challenges”, he added.

Referring to UN’s 17 sustainable development goals which include ending poverty in all its
forms, promoting sustainable agriculture and good health, the Vice President cautioned that all
these ambitious goals cannot be achieved if we adopt “business-as-usual approach”. He further
said that there is no dearth of talent in India and stressed on the need to create the right
ecosystem for innovation to thrive. India, with 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35
years must equip the young people with scientific and technological knowledge and skills, he
added.

The Vice President said that science is the key lever for sustainable development and a
country’s prosperity and security are directly dependent on its scientific and technological
progress. He further said that historically India has been a lighthouse of knowledge. Our
Ayurveda system of medicine can be traced back to 5,000 B C, Indus Valley Civilization had
irrigation and sewerage systems as far back as 2,500 BC, he added.

Referring to the contributions made by great Indian scientists like Aryabhatta, Varahamira,
Charaka, Sushruta, Rishi Kanad and sage Patanjali, the Vice President said that there were
innumerable legendary scientists of ancient India, who have enriched the world’s scientific
treasure. We need to take pride in their achievements and share the knowledge we had
inherited from them with the entire world, he added.

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The Vice President said that the spirit of enquiry and the scientific temper, the spirit of asking
relevant questions and seeking practical answers must become an integral part of our school
and college education systems. The quality of teaching and research in our Universities and
scientific institutions must be considerably improved, he added.

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The Vice President said that Science has the greatest impact on people’s lives and institutions
and asked institutions like IICT to focus on research on key areas such as agriculture and
environment. An agriculture dependent country like India cannot progress unless the farmers’
lives are improved, he added. S.
Following is the text of Vice President's address:

"It is indeed a momentous occasion for CSIR IICT which is entering its platinum jubilee year
today after completing 74 years of service.
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I would like to congratulate its past and present leadership, staff and students for contributing to
our country’s development over this period.

I am sure, the institute will continue this quest for excellence with greater vigour in the years
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ahead.

Dear Sisters and brothers,


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Science is the key lever for sustainable development. A country’s prosperity and security are
directly dependent on its scientific and technological progress.

Scientific innovations from penicillin to space technologies have changed the world forever.
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Modern drugs, internet, e-commerce, digital learning, innovations in agriculture, bio-technology,


construction and infrastructure are some of the innovations that have had a profound
transformative impact on our lives.

These innovations have by and large been led by the private sector However, Government has
a great responsibility. It has to create regulatory frameworks, create conducive conditions for
nurturing research and innovations.

CSIR, with its network of 38 state of the art laboratories specializing in chemistry, biology,
engineering, oceanography and materials, has been contributing immensely to Government of
India’s ambitious scientific agenda. I am glad that institutes like IICT are working in that
direction.

Historically, India has been a lighthouse of knowledge. Our Ayurveda system of medicine can be
traced back to 5000 BC, Indus Valley Civilization had irrigation and sewerage systems as far
back as 2500 BC. By 200 BC, South India was making high quality wrought iron and, of course,
the invention of ‘zero’ and contributions to astronomy are well known.

Let us look at some of the invaluable contributions made by our ancestors. Aryabhatta’s
‘Aryabhattiyam’ is considered a seminal work; equally pioneering work is Panchasidhhantika of
Varahamihira. Of course, Charaka and Sushruta are known as Fathers of Surgery. Rishi Kanad
first spoke of “anu’’ (atom) as an indestructible particle of matter in Kanada Sutra, while Patanjali
is considered as Father of Yoga. There are innumerable legendary scientists of ancient India
who have enriched the world’s scientific treasure.

We need to take pride in their achievements and share the knowledge we have inherited from

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them with the entire world.

India’s contribution to science in modern era is also quite significant. In early 20th century, Prof.
Satyendranath Bose’s ‘BOSON’, Prof. Subramanian Chandrasekhar’s ‘Chandrasekhar limit’, Sir

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C.V. Raman’s ‘Raman effect’ and Prof. Jagadeesh Chandra Bose’s ‘wireless communication’
have earned global recognition. As a matter of fact, there is no dearth of talent in India. The only
thing required is to create the right ecosystem for innovation to thrive.

I am glad to know that CSIR is ranked 9th amongst a total of 1,207 government institutions
based on a composite indicator that combines research performance, innovations outputs and
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societal impact as per latest Scimago rankings.

However, we need to hugely step up our investments in R & D to promote the culture of
innovation and discovery. Apart from government spend on research, the private sector needs to
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come forward to liberally support research. The right ecosystem for research and innovation
needs to be created in all the scientific labs by reducing procedural bottlenecks, removing
hierarchical barriers and resetting priorities.

The leadership in scientific institutions should encourage bright young scientists to come up with
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new and unconventional ideas and projects. Opportunities must be provided for undertaking
path breaking research that answers one or more of current societal challenges.
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As you all are aware, India along with 192 nations adopted UN’s 17 sustainable development
goals. These goals include ending poverty in all its forms, ending hunger and promoting
sustainable agriculture, good health, equitable quality education, gender equality, sustainable
management of water and sanitation for all.
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All these ambitious goals cannot be achieved if we adopt the “business- as – usual approach”.

Scientific research and innovation can accelerate societal progress on multiple dimensions.
Institutions like CSIR have a major role to play in moving the country forward and transform its
socio-economic landscape.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We have nearly 800 universities and several important scientific institutions spread across the
country.

As part of encouraging innovation and improving the quality of life of people, the Government of
India has launched several initiatives. ‘Make in India’ envisages to make India a manufacturing
hub for the world and generate millions of jobs. ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ intends to create a
clean India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams and can substantially improve our health levels.
Schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Digital India and Aadhar are aimed to make people partners in
the economic development of the country.

All these programmes rely on science and technology. The programmes can be enriched and
the outcomes can be more sustainable if they are constantly supported by Research and
Development(R&D) efforts.

The spirit of enquiry and the scientific temper, the spirit of asking relevant questions and seeking
practical answers must become an integral part of our school and college education systems.

India is a young nation today with about 65 per cent of the population below the age of 35 years.

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We need to fully tap the potential of this huge human capital. We have to equip the young
people with scientific and technological knowledge and skills. The quality of teaching and
research in our Universities and scientific institutions must be considerably improved.

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Government of India is promoting entrepreneurial spirit among its citizens through Start Up India
initiative. This scheme provides great opportunity for technology graduates to start new
companies. CSIR should take measures to ensure that Ph.D. scholars are properly trained and
guided to make use of these opportunities and turn into entrepreneurs. I am glad that many
laboratories of this organization are already hosting incubation centres and are promoting this
activity.

Sisters and brothers,


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Though we are progressing on various fronts, incremental improvements are not enough.
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We need to nurture our existing talent and foster creative disruption and path breaking
innovations.

Scientists and scientific organizations have to set ambitious goals and strategically position
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themselves to become leading institutions in the world. The government must facilitate this
quest for excellence by providing funds, freedom and flexibility.
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Science, in my view, has the greatest impact on people’s lives and institutions like IICT should
focus on research on those areas that will impact large populations. For instance, I would like to
mention agriculture and environment in which you have already made significant contribution.

India is basically an agriculture economy and it cannot progress unless the farmers’ lives are
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improved. Scientific institutions need to supplement the efforts of the government and I am glad
to note that CSIR has launched mission mode projects to improve income of farmers by
cultivation of phyto-pharmaceuticals and aromatic plants. I am informed that CSIR is also
planning another mission to make available new and improved crop protection chemicals. This
kind of focused approach to solve sector wise problems is commendable.

Global warming is affecting our lives with unusual patterns of temperature and rainfall. Pollution
is adversely impacting millions of lives directly. Chemical technology institutes like IICT have to
take initiative in developing processes that greatly reduce pollution and mitigate global warming.

I understand CSIR has already started two mission projects in this area and developing new
catalysts and sustainable processes for chemical and pharmaceutical industries. I am also
happy to note that CSIR is working on cleaner and eco- friendly fire crackers to reduce air
pollution.
I am aware that the core strength of CSIR-IICT lies in organic chemistry and it has continued to
excel in this field for over seven decades.

The research efforts during these years have resulted in the development of several innovative
processes for a variety of products necessary for human welfare such as drugs, agrochemicals,
food, organic intermediates, adhesives etc.

I am pleased that today CSIR-IICT is widely acknowledged as a valued technology partner and
a competent solution provider to the industry in Pharma & generics, agrochemicals & green
pesticides, food & nutrition, energy & environment, polymers & functional materials, industrial
catalysts & fine chemical sectors.

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I find it very apt, therefore, that the Institute is organizing an International Conference titled
"Sustainable Chemistry for Health, Environment and Materials" (SuCHEM-2018) during 6th to
8th August to commemorate the beginning of Platinum Jubilee year.

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I have visited CSIR-IICT on quite a few occasions in the past and I still cherish the interactions
that I had with the scientific fraternity. I strongly believe that the Institute will emerge as one of
the best globally acknowledged research institute in its field.

I congratulate Dr. S Chandrasekhar, the Director, Staff and Students of CSIR-IICT, on the
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occasion of the foundation day as well as a day when the Institute is entering its Platinum
Jubilee Year. The curtain raising function on this occasion should be the beginning of a new
glorious chapter in the annals of this illustrious institution.
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As the ancient Indian sages have said in Ishavasya Upanishad, “Let us unravel truths hidden in
a golden bowl for the greater good of humanity and for illuminating our paths with
righteousness.” Let the scientific truths you discover make our country and our world a better
place to live in.
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JAI HIND!"

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AKT/BK/RK
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122 NEW RESEARCH PROJECT PROPOSALS AT A


COST OF RS 112 CRORE SELECTED FOR FUNDING
UNDER IMPRINT-2 : HRD MINISTER
PRAKASHJAVADEKAR
Relevant for: Health, Education & Human Resources | Topic: Education and related issues

Ministry of Human Resource Development

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122 New Research Project proposals at a cost of Rs 112
Crore selected for funding under IMPRINT-2 : HRD Minister

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PrakashJavadekar

Approval accorded at the IMPRINT-2 Apex Committee


meeting held on Saturdayin New Delhi
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Posted On: 05 AUG 2018 2:06PM by PIB Delhi

For advancing research in the high education institutions, the government under the leadership
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of Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi has approved 122 new research projects at a cost of Rs
112 crore under IMPRINT-2 covering Energy, Security, Healthcare, Advanced Materials, ICT
and Security/Defence domains.

“Out of 2145 proposals, 122 best proposals were selected for funding under IMPRINT-II,
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advancing cutting edge level technology,” Union HRD Minister PrakashJavadekar said in a
statement today.
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“Of the 122 new IMPRINT projects sanctioned, 81 are sponsored by industry…This industry-
academic collaboration will bring excellence in research,” MrJavadekar said adding that the
knowledge portal for monitoring the progress of research projects and to disseminate
findings will be launched in October 2018.
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The new research project proposals selected include: 35 (ICT); 18 (Advanced Materials), 17
(Healthcare Technology), 12 (Energy Security); 11 (Security &Defence); 9 (Sustainable Habitat);
7 Water Resource & River Systems; 5 (Environment & Climate); 4 (Manufacturing); and 4 (Nano
Technology).

IMPRINT proposals now open for higher education institutions including private institutions
bringing a spirit of competition, MrJavadekar added.

IMPRINT is the first of its kind MHRD supported Pan-IIT + IISc joint initiative, now open for
private institutions too, to address the major science and engineering challenges that India
must address and champion to enable, empower and embolden the nation for inclusive growth
and self-reliance.

IMPRINT provides the overarching vision that guides research into areas that are predominantly
socially relevant.

The implementation of 142 projects under IMPRINT-1 has got underway. These projects have
received support from several ministries, councils and departments in addition to the Ministry of
Human Resource Development.

Among the 142 IMPRINT-1 projects under implementation are:

Development of Cost Effective Magneto-Rheological (MR) Fluid Damper in Two wheelers and
Four Wheelers Automobile to Improve Ride Comfort and Stability;

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Indigenous development of an ultra high strength steel with stainless property for space
application;

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High strength, wear and corrosion resistant steel for high speed rail and elastic clip;

Low Cost Indoor Occupancy and Climate Monitoring System For Energy Conservation;
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Development of Artificial Pancreas for Closed Loop Blood Glucose Control of Type-1 Diabetic
Patients in India;

Development of a smartphone camera-based sensor for detection and remediation of chromium


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pollution in water;

Efficient Glycemic Control for the Management of Diabetes Complications : Intervention with
Novel Point of Care Device for Community Healthcare;
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Smart Classrooms: Technology Aids for Effective Teaching in Large Classrooms; and

Designing and fabrication of an aerodynamic lens for nanoparticles of variable size.


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THE ECONOMICS OF TAX HAVENS


Relevant for: Indian Economy | Topic: Issues relating to Growth & Development - Taxation & Black Money

Tax havens, which help rich corporations and businessmen avoid paying high taxes on their
income, have been vilified for supporting the illegal accumulation of wealth. Organisations like
Oxfam have often characterised tax havens as “anti-poor” since they help the rich avoid paying
taxes to governments. Several governments have also come together to crack down on tax
havens, for only a collective effort can help.

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However, a 2018 paper by Juan Carlos Suarez Serrato, titled “Unintended consequences of
eliminating tax havens”, circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research, makes the
interesting case that critics may be committing a huge mistake by attacking tax havens. The

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paper tries to see if eliminating tax havens is good economic policy. To this end, the authors
study the economic impact of repealing Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code, a move that
made it harder for American multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes to the U.S.
government. Corporations had earlier made use of Section 936 to avoid paying high taxes in the
U.S. by shifting their profits to tax havens like Puerto Rico that charged them lower tax rates.
Serrato found that companies affected by the repeal of Section 936 shifted their investment
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abroad. This caused their investment in the U.S. to drop by 38% and led to the loss of 1 million
U.S. jobs. In short, the existence of tax havens allowed corporations to invest in the U.S. despite
the country’s high tax rates because tax havens helped to lower the effective U.S. tax rate. But
with the crackdown on tax havens, corporations could no longer serve U.S. consumers.
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Despite the crackdown on tax havens, the practice of shifting profits to avoid paying higher taxes
continues unabated. According to another recent paper, “The missing profits of nations”, by
Ludvig Wier and others, about 40% of the profits earned by multinationals each year continue to
be shifted to tax havens. The authors argue that such profit shifting persists because tax
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authorities in high-tax countries have been unable to eliminate the influence of tax havens that
compete against them for revenues. So these tax authorities have instead resorted to competing
against other high-tax countries by allowing corporations to shift profits to their jurisdictions. In
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fact, according to the authors, such competition between tax authorities has caused the average
global corporate tax rate to fall by more than half between 1985 and 2018.

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THE ESSENTIALITY OF MOSQUES


Relevant for: Indian Polity & Constitution | Topic: Judiciary: Structure, Organisation & Functioning

The importance of mosques in Islam has come into focus again. During the hearing of the Babri
Masjid case, advocate Rajeev Dhavan asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its judgment in
Ismail Faruqui v. Union Of India (1994). The Bench in that case had ruled by a majority that a
mosque is not essential to Islam, and allowed the Central government to include the 2.77 acres
(on which the Babri Masjid once stood) in the 67.7 acres of land to be acquired under the

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Acquisition of Certain Area at Ayodhya (ACAA) Act, 1993.

Among the court’s arguments to justify the acquisition of Babri Masjid land was that “a mosque
is not an essential part of the practice of... Islam and Namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered

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anywhere, even in open.” This conclusion was reached on the belief that “under the Mahomedan
Law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession”. As proof, the
judges cited Section 217 from Mulla’s Principles of Mahomedan Law.

But no such provision exists in Muslim law. Mulla was only citing the view of the Privy Council in
Masjid Shahid Ganj Mosque v. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak (1940), a reading of which
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shows that it was not ‘Mahomedan law’ but the Indian Limitation Act of 1908 that was invoked to
rule that property made waqf for the purposes of a mosque cannot be exempted from the law of
adverse possession.
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In other words, the Faruqui judgment did not give any evidence from Islamic scriptures to justify
its declaration that mosques are not essential to Islam. It thus ignored the “essential practices
doctrine” laid down in the landmark The Commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras
v. Sri Lakshmindra Thirtha Swamiar of Sri Shirur Mutt (1954), according to which “what
constitutes the essential part of a religion is primarily to be ascertained with reference to the
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doctrines of that religion itself.” This view was elaborated further by the Supreme Court in
Srimad Perarulala Ethiraja Ramanuja Jeeyar Swami v. The State of Tamil Nadu (1972) to
accommodate “practices which are regarded by the community as a part of its religion.”
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A reading of the Koran and authentic traditions of the Prophet make clear the significance of the
mosque in Islam. In fact, the first act of the Prophet after migrating to Medina was to establish a
mosque. The Prophet had demonstrated by example that mosques went beyond the ritualism of
‘worship’. They were spiritual, humanitarian and educational centres open to all people
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irrespective of their social, financial or racial status, or gender, thus emphasising the importance
of equality for social progress. The Koran protects this higher purpose from being compromised
by listing the qualities of people who are allowed to maintain mosques.

The mosque is so indispensable to Islam that the two most authentic books of hadees, Sahih
Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, quote the Prophet as stating: “Prayer in congregation [inside a
mosque] is 27 times more meritorious than prayer performed individually.” The significance of
this pronouncement can be gauged from another hadees in Sahih Muslim wherein it is recorded
that even a blind man was refused Prophetic permission to pray at home and was asked to join
the congregation. This, in essence, is the doctrine of Islam on the essentiality of mosques which,
by virtue of being a time-honoured belief, is protected as a fundamental right under Articles 25
and 26 of the Constitution. A judicial negation of this doctrine would actually amount to a
negation of the right of Muslims to pray in a mosque guaranteed in these Articles. It could also
have a profound bearing on the sanctity of all mosques in India.
One fails to understand why the court ventured into theological territory when it could have
justified the acquisition of the Babri Masjid land on the strength of the law of limitation alone. The
irony is that the apex court thinks Muslims can offer namaz in the open, but when they do, they
are prevented by right-wing outfits, as was reported in Gurugram in Haryana in May. Another
negative impact of the ruling that namaz can be offered anywhere, which was one of the
arguments used to uphold the ACAA Act, is that it denied Muslims, through Section 7 of the Act,
the right to pray in the disputed area while placing no such restriction on Hindus.

In the minority judgment, which struck down the entire ACAA Act as unconstitutional, Justices
S.P. Bharucha and A.M. Ahmadi flagged Section 7(2) and noted that it “perpetuates the
performance of puja on the disputed site. No account is taken of the fact that the structure

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thereon had been destroyed in a most reprehensible act. The perpetrators of this deed struck
not only against a place of worship but at the principles of secularism, democracy and the rule of
law...” The judges also said that Article 15 of the Constitution debars the state from
discriminating against any citizen on the ground of religion, among other things.

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These facts, coupled with the lack of scriptural evidence to prove that the mosque is not an
essential part of Islam, lay the groundwork for the Supreme Court to reconsider the Ismail
Faruqui verdict at the earliest.

A. Faizur Rahman is the secretary general of the Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate
Thought. Email: a.faizur.rahman@gmail.com
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Source : www.thehindu.com Date : 2018-08-07

THREATS TO EU VALUES
Relevant for: International Relations | Topic: European Union (EU)

European Union members enjoy impunity even when their own domestic laws seem
incompatible with the bloc’s core values, as Poland and Hungary show. The latest infringement
proceedings against the two countries underscore the EU’s limits in enforcing compliance with
common democratic standards, given the bloc’s stringent requirement of unanimity among all
member states to punish offending members.

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There have been several cases of infringement of EU norms by the two countries. In December
2017, the EU referred Poland and Hungary, besides others, to the European Court of Justice for
non-compliance with the decision to admit refugees as a part of the 2015 relocation plan. In

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June, both countries were brought under the scanner of the European Parliament, again for
flouting democratic values. A relevant committee voted, in only a first step, to launch a rule of
law procedure against Hungary, while Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was grilled
by ministers from national capitals responsible for EU affairs. Last month, the European
Commission sent the Hungarian government a letter of formal notice over the “Stop Soros” law,
among other things, for breach of the EU’s charter of fundamental rights. The law makes it a
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criminal offence to help asylum seekers, in contravention of international humanitarian laws. It
takes aim at the pro-EU stance of the financier George Soros and is also viewed as anti-Semitic.
But Prime Minister Viktor Orban has retorted that the law merely echoes popular will, expressed
in his re-election in April.
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In Poland, the violations relate, among others, to the ruling conservative Law and Justice Party’s
forced retirement of a swathe of judges in July. The move mirrors a provision in Hungary’s 2011
constitution to lower the age of retirement of judges which led to the instant removal of many
judges. Budapest and Warsaw have sought to cast their retrograde judicial reforms in terms of
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completing the post-Communist transition and a return to their conservative roots.

In theory, both states could be stripped of their voting rights in the EU and face financial
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sanctions. But each also knows that a unanimous decision by the bloc, under Article 7 of the
Lisbon Treaty, could be vetoed by the other. In fact, the British member of the centre-right
European People’s Party in the European Parliament voted in June to oppose the move to
launch proceedings against Budapest. The conservative group’s refusal so far to act against an
errant member is a tacit endorsement of the Eurosceptic position against EU meddling with the
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internal laws of states.

The most serious threat to the bloc’s fundamental values comes from none other than many of
the EU’s founder member states themselves. The extreme right is in government in Italy,
entered Germany’s parliament last year, and performed well in France’s 2017 presidential poll.

The writer is a Deputy Editor at The Hindu in Chennai

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Source : www.thehindu.com Date : 2018-08-07

RAJYA SABHA GIVES NOD FOR NCBC BILL


Relevant for: Indian Polity & Constitution | Topic: Statutory bodies incl. NHRC

Landmark Bill:Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot speaking in
the Lok Sabha.PTI

The Bill extending constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes
(NCBC) was cleared unanimously by the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Lok Sabha had passed

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the proposed law on August 2 with more than a two-thirds majority.

In the Upper House, the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, was adopted by all the
present 156 members, incorporating certain amendments made by the Lok Sabha. Several

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Opposition members, however, recommended that the government should make public the
caste census findings, based on which the reservation policy should be formulated.

Replying to the debate on the Bill, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand
Gehlot said the law would help the Other Backward Classes (OBC) get justice. Acceding to the
recommendation of Opposition members, he said the Commission would have female
representation.
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The Minister also assured the House that the NCBC would not encroach upon the rights of State
governments as they would have their own backward classes commissions. He said States had
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their own lists of OBC castes, while the Centre had a separate one and that the NCBC would
make recommendations only to the Centre. Mr. Gehlot said the government would immediately
constitute the Commission.

Minority representation
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During the debate, referring to the demands of some Opposition leaders to ensure
representation of minority communities in the Commission, BJP’s Bhupender Yadav said
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political parties should rise above vote bank politics and focus on social justice. “OBC is a
religion-neutral term…there is a separate Commission for the minorities,” he said.

Stating that the Bill was long overdue, Mr. Yadav said in several States, even 27% reservation
for OBCs had not been implemented. He also accused the Congress of scuttling the attempts to
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strengthen the backward communities in the past, urging the party to support the proposed law.

Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad raised the issue of caste census and minority representation
and also wanted the “creamy layer” system to be dispensed with.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party demanded reservation for OBCs in the Judiciary. D.
Raja of the CPI said there was no point in having commissions if their recommendations were
not binding upon the government. A. Navaneethakrishnan of the AIADMK supported the Bill.

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Source : www.thehindu.com Date : 2018-08-07

LS PASSES SC/ST AMENDMENT BILL


Relevant for: Government Policies & Welfare Schemes | Topic: Welfare of SCs - Schemes & their performance;
Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies

Protesters in Gurugram participating in the Bharat Bandh held on April 2 against the SC ruling
on the SC/ST Act.PTI

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of

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Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down
procedures for arrests under the Act. The Bill will now go to the Upper House.

The Bill inserts section 18A (1) (a) in the 1989 Act, that says a “preliminary enquiry shall not be

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required for registration of an FIR against any person.” The Bill also inserts Section 18A (1) (b),
which says “the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any
person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been
made and no procedure, other than that provided under this Act or the Code, shall apply.”

The Bill’s Statement of Objects and Reasons says that under the CrPC, the decision to arrest a
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person is taken by the investigating officer and there was no requirement for approval. The Bill
also goes back to the original SC/ST (PoA) Bill, doing away with the provision of anticipatory bail
the Supreme Court ruling had permitted.
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“The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act,
notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court,” says section 18A (2) of the Bill.
Section 438 of the CrPC deals with direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.

The Supreme Court had on March 20, 2018, introduced protective provisions in the SC/ST
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(PoA) Act, 1989, to permit anticipatory bail —despite a section of the Act denying it — and laying
down a preliminary enquiry by police before any action is taken. It had also laid down that the
permission of the appointing authority would be required to arrest a public servant and that of an
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SSP for the arrest of a person who is not a public servant.

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THREE NORTHEASTERN STATES EMERGE AS NEW


HIV HOTSPOTS
Relevant for: Health, Education & Human Resources | Topic: Health & Sanitation and related issues

The good news is that there has been a steady decline in the number of HIV cases in India. The
bad news is that Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV,
according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Lok Sabha reply

In response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the Ministry attributed the reason for the

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rise in the incidence of HIV in the three northeastern States to the high-risk behaviour of
Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), and unsafe sexual practices.

In four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura, HIV prevalence was higher among IDUs, which for
the rest of the country is 6.3%. At least in three places at Aizwal, Champhai and Kolasib, the
prevalence of HIV in IDUs was 37.44%, 33.06% and 38.14% respectively.
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HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher at four sites — two in Tripura and one
each in Mizoram and Meghlaya. At one site of Mizoram’s Aizwal district, the prevalence of HIV
was as high as 24.68%, compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.
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In the case of pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC), six centres in Mizoram, two in
Meghalaya and one in Tripura recorded HIV prevalence of more than 1%, compared with HIV
prevalence of 0.28% among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other places in India surveyed in
December 2017.
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The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control
Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high
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risk groups of the population.

The HSS had referred that HIV prevalence in the context of ANCs in the northeastern States of
Mizoram (1.19%), Nagaland (0.82%), Meghalaya (0.73%), Tripura (0.56%) and Manipur (0.47%)
were among the highest.
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Samiran Panda, Director of the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), said that the
discussion on HIV prevalence has to be taken to the districts. “We need prevention and
intervention strategies for the most-at-risk population in these pockets, with good coverage,” Dr.
Panda said.

In terms of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) who are on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), Dr.
Panda said that almost 12.28 lakh people are covered under ART. According to him, the target
is to bring 90% of the 21 lakh people living with the HIV infection in India under ART.

“Going by that target, we are still short of about 6 lakh patients. The challenge is to encourage
more people to take the test and then provide them with ART,” he said.

ART’s efficacy
Interestingly, ART leads to effectively suppressing the virus and reducing the transmission of
HIV from the infected person, Dr. Panda said.

In terms of PLHIV who are on ART, Maharashtra has the highest number (with 2.03 lakh
persons) followed by A.P.(1.78 lakh ) and Karnataka (1.58 lakh persons).

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INDIA NOT ON TRACK TO MEET 2030 TARGETS OF


REDUCING CHILD MORTALITY
Relevant for: Government Policies & Welfare Schemes | Topic: Welfare of Children - Schemes & their
performance; Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies

Baby sleeping in a cradle hanging from thorny shrub. | Photo Credit: A_Shaikmohideen

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Almost half of the districts in India are not on track to reduce the mortality rates of newborns and
meet the target set under the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, a study has found.

India still has the world’s highest number of deaths among children under five and newborns,

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around 1.1 million per year.

The study, by Jayanta Bora and Nandita Saikia from Austria-based non-profit International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, is the first to evaluate neonatal and under-five mortality at
a district level in India, as well as a state level.
S.
Under the World Health Organization’s Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3), all countries
should aim to reduce neonatal mortality to 12 deaths per 1,000 live births per year, and under-
five mortality to a maximum of 25. Researchers used data from the National Family Health
Survey, a survey of the full birth history of women aged 15-49, carried out most recently in 2015-
16, and used the data from the previous round conducted in 2005-06 to model future trends.
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They found that the various measures employed in India have cut the number of deaths of
under-fives by around half in in the past 23 years, from 109 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990
to around 50 in 2013, but this is still double the target.
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The number of neonatal deaths remains around 2.4 times higher than the target, at around 29
deaths per 1,000 live births. The picture, however, is very complex. For example, the under-five
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mortality rate for boys in the South West district of Delhi is 6.3 per 1,000 live births, well within
SDG3 targets.

However, in Rayagada in Odisha, the mortality rate is 141.7. The researchers found that just
nine per cent of districts in India overall have so far reached the SDG3 targets for neonatal
mortality, with 14 per cent reaching the targets for under-five mortality.
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The vast majority of the worst performing states on mortality rates are in the poorer states of
north-central and eastern India, although there are some high-risk districts in richer, more
developed states such as Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

Almost all districts in the most populous states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and
Chhattisgarh will fail to achieve the SDG3 goal on neonatal mortality. In Uttar Pradesh, the
research showed that not a single district would meet the target for under-five mortality.

There is also some variation between genders. The female neonatal mortality rate is below that
of males, which is expected as this is the global trend. However, this is not the case with under-
five mortality, indicating gender discrimination.

“The state-level mortality rate does not reflect the inter-district variation in neonatal or under-five
mortality rates,” said Bora. “While some districts of a particular state may already have achieved
the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) target 15 years in advance, some districts will not
achieve this even by the 2030 target time. Mortality rates vary enormously across the districts.”

Much of the variation is likely due to socioeconomic and geographic disparities. District-level
female literacy rates vary from 24-89 per cent while urbanisation ranges from 0-100 per cent.

There are also large differences in the implementation of mortality reduction schemes and the
accessibility and availability of healthcare. “It is important to note that India experienced the
highest reduction in mortality rate in the period 2005-2016. Therefore, to achieve the SDG-
related mortality goals at the district level, it needs to intervene more rigorously than ever,” said

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Saikia. “The majority of Indian districts need to make a giant leap to reduce their neonatal and
under-five mortality rates.”

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Hormone needed for pregnant women

Samples were referred to the International Blood Group Reference Laboratory (IBGRL), Bristol,
U.K., for serological test.
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SHRI NITIN GADKARI LAUNCHES BIDDER


INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND BHOOMI
RASHI - PFMS LINKAGE PORTALS
Relevant for: Ethics | Topic: Utilization of public funds

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

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Shri Nitin Gadkari Launches Bidder Information
Management System and Bhoomi Rashi - PFMS Linkage
Portals

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Announces Institution of Annual Awards for Excellence in
National Highways Projects S.
Expresses Confidence about Faster Execution, Lower
Costs And Higher Quality of Highways Projects
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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 6:16PM by PIB Delhi

The Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River
Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari launched Bidder
Information Management System (BIMS) and Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage -
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two IT initiatives of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry that are aimed at
expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition
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respectively. The Minister also announced institution of Annual Awards for


Excellence in National Highways Projects from this year onwards.

BIMS is aimed at streamlining the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC


Mode of contracts for National Highway works with enhanced transparency and
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objectivity. The portal will work as a data base of information about bidders, covering
basic details, civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc.
The pre-qualification of bidders can be assessed from data already stored in the
portal, so that technical evaluation can be carried out much faster. BIMS will be used
by all the project implementation agencies of the Ministry for maintenance of technical
information of civil works of contractors/ concessionaires, and for online technical
evaluation of civil works bids. The bidders would be responsible for ensuring that their
latest details are available on the BIMS portal. These details will be used by bidders
to apply for any RFP for civil works on EPC mode that has been floated by the
Ministry and its implementation agencies on the Central Public Procurement Portal
(CPPP). The BIMS portal will be operated in conjunction with the CPPP portal for
invitation of bids for civil works for EPC mode. It is estimated that BIMS portal will
significantly reduce the procurement time for projects through an objective and
transparent online evaluation system thereby leading to accelerated project
implementation.

Bhoomi Rashi, the portal developed by MoRTH and NIC, comprises the entire
revenue data of the country, right down to 6.4 lakh villages. The entire process flow,
from submission of draft notification by the State Government to its approval by the.
Minister of State for RT&H and publication in e-Gazette, is online. The portal, created
for expediting the process of publication of notifications for LA, is now being fully
utilized for issuing the notifications, and more than 900 notifications have been issued
using the portal so far. Bhoomi Rashi portal has been instrumental in reducing the

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time taken for approval and publication of notifications pertaining to land acquisition

Integration of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) with Bhoomi Rashi is

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one of the key functionalities to facilitate payment related to compensation for land
acquisition to all the beneficiaries directly through the Bhoomi Rashi system. PFMS is
a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Office of
Controller General of Accounts (CGA). to facilitate sound public financial
management system for Government of India (GoI) It provides various stakeholders
with a real time, reliable and meaningful management information system and an
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effective decision support system, as part of the Digital India initiative of GoI.

With integration of Bhoomi Rashi with PFMS, payment of Compensation by the


Ministry to the beneficiaries will be just-in-time, and without any parking of funds. The
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testing of this integration was done through a pilot project in Jaipur RO of MoRTH for
and the system is being now rolled out to all other regional offices of MoRTH and
NHIDCL.
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Speaking at an event in New Delhi today Shri Gadkari expressed confidence that the
above initiatives of the Ministry will help expedite the work of award and construction
of highways projects significantly. He said that thanks to the Bhumi Rashi portal 900
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notifications for land acquisition have been issued so far in the current year, as
against the 1000 issued during the whole of last year. He said that the focus of his
Ministry is to reduce construction costs while enhancing quality, and for this many
initiatives have been taken towards transformation and optimization of pre-
construction, construction and maintenance processes .
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Shri Gadkari also announced the institution of Annual Awards for Excellence in
National Highways Projects from this year onwards, for recognizing
concessionaires and contractors who are performing exceptionally. The Annual Road
Awards to be presented every year starting 2018, are designed across five categories
as follows:

a. Excellence in Construction Management acknowledges efficient use of


resources along with finest quality standards and smooth execution of all
milestones of the project.
b. Excellence in Operation & Maintenance recognises projects with swift and
smooth execution of maintenance works, inspections and unparalleled quality in
riding experience.
c. Best Toll Plaza focuses on automation and efficient management of traffic and
services at the plaza.
d. Safe Highway acknowledges commendable work done to reduce road
casualties and establish preventive safety measures and emergency response
services.
e. Innovation in Design or Construction Technology focuses on significant
achievements in devising or adapting a new construction technology or structural
and geometric design.
The best performers would be selected based on multiple rounds of rigorous

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assessment. Detailed, category-specific and quantifiable evaluation frameworks have
been developed for this assessment by Quality Council of India engaged by the
Ministry to design the complete process. The companies would nominate themselves
through an online portal by uploading the project information and documents specific

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to the award category. In the first round, the validity and propriety of the submitted
data would be verified and evaluated followed by the second round, which involves
an on-site inspection of the shortlisted applicants. The finalists would present to an
expert jury panel consisting of industry experts and academicians in the final round.
The winners would be announced on the Good Governance Day on 25th December,
2018.
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The Minister also facilitated officials of NIC, Transport Ministry and Office of
Controller General of Accounts who were associated with designing and developing
the above portals. Shri Mansukh l Mandavia, MoS Road Transport & Highways and
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Chemicals and Fertilizers, and senior officials of the Ministry, NIC were also present
on the occasion.

*****
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NP/MS/MS
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CASES PENDING IN SUPREME COURT AND NGT


Relevant for: Environment & Disaster Management | Topic: Environmental Conservation, Sustainable
Development & EIA

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Cases pending in Supreme Court and NGT

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 5:52PM by PIB Delhi

“The number of cases related to environmental issues pending in the Supreme Court of India
is around 110 and 3573 in the National Green Tribunal.

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The Government has enacted the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; The Air (Prevention
and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981; The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977; the Forest (Conservation)
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Act, 1980; The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 etc.
to regulate the matters related to environmental degradation. Besides the Government has
notified The Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016; Plastic Waste Management
(Amendment) Rules 2018; Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules 2016; Solid Waste
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Management Rules 2016; Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016; E-
Waste (Management) Rules 2016; E-Waste (Management) Amendment Rules, 2018;
Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016;
Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Amendment
Rules, 2016; Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement)
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Amendment Rules, 2017; Hazardous and other Wastes (Management & Trans-boundary
Movement) Amendment Rules, 2018. Further, Eco-Sensitive Zones are being established by
the Government around the Protected Areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to
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serve as buffer regions, ensuring balance between local economic growth and conservation
imperatives. To mitigate pollution from industries, norms related to emissions and effluents
from various industrial sectors have been notified, besides general standards. Online
monitoring of industrial pollution through 24x7 Continuous Emission/ Effluent has been
established in over 2700 industries of 17 categories. Online monitoring of industrial pollution in
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River Ganga is also established in over 700 industries. Coastal Zone Regulatory Authority has
been established to take care of pollution abatement around the coastal areas for their
sustainable development. The Environmental Clearance, CRZ Clearance and the Forest
Clearance processes are also intended to protect the environment.

The impact of the measures taken has been mitigation of environmental problems as against
business as usual scenario”.

This information was given by Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.
Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
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MEASURES TO TACKLE DUST POLLUTION


Relevant for: Environment & Disaster Management | Topic: Environmental Conservation, Sustainable
Development & EIA

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Measures to tackle dust pollution

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 5:47PM by PIB Delhi

“The Government has taken several steps to address air pollution which inter alia, include
notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards; setting up of monitoring network for

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assessment of ambient air quality; introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel
(CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blending, launching of National Air Quality index; universalization of
BS-IV from 2017; leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020;
notifications regarding ‘Mandatory Implementation of Dust Mitigation Measures for Construction
and Demolition Activities for projects requiring EC’ and ‘Mandatory Implementation of Dust
Mitigation Measures for all Construction and Demolition Activities’ ; notification of Construction
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and Demolition Waste Management Rules; banning of burning of biomass; promotion of public
transport network; streamlining the issuance of Pollution Under Control Certificate; issuance of
directions under Section 18(1)(b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and
under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; installation of on-line continuous (24x7)
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monitoring devices by major industries; etc.

Further, two pilot projects namely “To demonstrate the effectiveness of air pollution mitigation by
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Pariyayantra filtration” to ManavRachna Innovation and Incubation Centre to install Pariyayantra


filtration on the roof top of 30 buses and “Deployment and Evaluation of air purification units (for
traffic junction pollution abatement) in Delhi” to National Environmental Engineering Research
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Institute (NEERI) to install Wind Augmentation and Air Purifying Unit (WAYU) devices at 7 traffic
intersections have been sanctioned to tackle dust pollution.
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The government has formulated National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a long-term time
bound national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in
comprehensive manner. The overall objective is to augment and evolve effective ambient air
quality monitoring network across the country, besides ensuring comprehensive management
plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution. The NCAP focuses on collaborative
and participatory approach comprising all sources of pollution and coordination between relevant
Central Ministries, State Governments, local bodies and other stakeholders.Hundred (102) non-
attainment cities have been selected for formulation and implementation of city specific action
plan under NCAP. In addition, NCAP has many other components viz. Technical Assessment
Cell, technology support, sharing of international best practices, awareness and capacity
building, source apportionment studies, plantation drive, intensive inspection drive etc to support
the time bound implementation of NCAP”.
This information was given by Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.
Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

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EARLY WARNING SYSTEM FOR AIR POLLUTION


Relevant for: Environment & Disaster Management | Topic: Environmental Conservation, Sustainable
Development & EIA

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Early Warning System for Air Pollution

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 5:46PM by PIB Delhi

“A task force under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) with
representatives of expert institutions has been set up to build a strategy for developing an early

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warning system on air quality, as well as the dissemination of warning to public. The reason to
set up an early warning system for air pollution is to further strengthen the air quality
forecast.Establishing early warning system and dissemination protocol to inform public and
enforcing agencies about episodic high pollution events in advance is amongst the priorities
identified for improving management of air pollution. A meeting of the task force was convened
on 28.07.2018. Accordingly, MoES is coordinating the development of an early warning system
for air quality over Delhi & NCR region”.
S.
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This information was given by Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.
Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.
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IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF DEVELOPMENT IN GRAM


PANCHAYATS
Relevant for: Indian Polity & Constitution | Topic: Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and
challenges therein

Ministry of Panchayati Raj

Impact assessment of development in Gram Panchayats

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 5:24PM by PIB Delhi

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According to the inputs received from Ministry of Panchayati Raj, under the Fourteenth Finance
Commission (FFC), grants to the tune of 2,00,292.20 crore for the period from 2015 to 2020 are
being devolved to Gram Panchayats constituted under Part IX of the Constitution, amounting to
an assistance of . 488 per capita per annum at an aggregate level for 26 States for delivering
basic services such as water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management, storm
water drainage, etc.
S.
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The Ministry of Panchayati Raj constituted Common Review Mission (CRM) in the year 2017 to
assess the effectiveness of utilization of Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) grants by
selected Gram Panchayats (GPs) in eight States viz. Assam, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka,
Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh during 2017. The main focus areas of
CRM were availability of fiscal resources in the Panchayats; transfer of FFC grants; devolution
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of functions; convergence of schemes; timely transfer of funds to GPs; effective utilization of the
funds in basic services; preparation of plans and public perception; maintenance of records
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including accounts; transparency and accountability.

State-wise important observations/recommendations:


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State Important observations/recommendations

Own Source Revenue (OSR) generation from shops, hawkers,


Assam
leasing of
community assets like ponds and community hall. Convergence of
FFC
fundswith other scheme is required for progress.

Gujarat FFC works useful for community. Capacity Building/Awareness and


Training required for the progress.
Basic services addressed by the FFC grants. Innovations adopted
Jharkhand
for water
supply.

Focus on basic services like water supply, drainage system and


Karnataka
roads. GPs
having commercial/industrial activities able to generate larger OSR.

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Compliance to tax payment is in correlation with economic and
literacy
status.

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Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) prepared and
Madhya Pradesh
approved by
Gram Sabhas in most GPs. Capacity Building of representatives
and staff
are required.
S.
Odisha GPs in the process of transformation into institutions of local self-
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governance. Elected representatives have freedom to utilize such
funds for
delivery of basic services to the local population.
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OSR of GPs generated mainly from House Tax, Property Tax,


Telangana
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Water Tax,
License fee, etc.There is need for scope for training of elected
representatives specially women representatives.
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FFC funds utilized mainly on providing drainage, interlocking of


Uttar Pradesh
roads,
hand pumps, solar light etc. Manpower, training& effective peoples
participation are aspects required for the progress.

The common observations across the GP in the eight States are as under:-
I. Sizeable amounts of funds are now available with the GPs. Fund transfer mechanism to
GPs across State have been streamlined.

I. Funds were utilized by the Panchayats for improvement of facilities relating to providing
basic services including drinking water, sanitation, sewage, solid waste management, etc.

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I. Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP)are being prepared.

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I. Convergence of FFC funds with other programmes have taken place in some panchayats in
some States.

VI.
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Panchayat specific Software applications are adopted/utilized by various States with
variations across different States depending on factors like computers, electricity supply,
technical staff, and other infrastructural support.
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VII. Remarkable progress have been made in strengthening of GPs under the FFC award.
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VIII. The aspects of selection of work, convergence, revenue mobilization at GP level,


availability of staff, social audit are some of the areas on which further progress is required.
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IX. GPs having industrial/commercial activities had better opportunity of generation of Own
Source of Revenue (OSR). OSR also generated from other sources like property tax, house tax,
shops, etc.
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This information was provided by the Minister of State for Rural Development, Shri Ram Kripal
Yadav today in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

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GIS TECHNOLOGY ON GANGA CLEANING PROJECTS


Relevant for: World & Indian Geography | Topic: Distribution of key natural resources - Water Resources incl.
Rivers & related issues in world & India

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

GIS Technology on Ganga Cleaning Projects

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 4:20PM by PIB Delhi

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is using Geographic Information System (GIS)
technology for improving planning, execution and monitoring of projects as well as providing

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platform for central repository of all data related to Ganga river basin including Sewage
Treatment Plant (STP) / Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), water quality monitoring
location, afforestation, ghats and crematorium, river front development. This assists NMCG in
improving its effectiveness in pollution abatement and river rejuvenation work.

Government of India is supplementing the efforts of the state governments in addressing the
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pollution of river Ganga by providing financial assistance to the states. Government of India has
approved Namami Gange Programme in May 2015 for conservation of river Ganga with total
outlay of Rs.20,000 Crores. Namami Gange Programme is an umbrella programme which
integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting
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synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions.

The following corrective measures have been taken up under Namami Gange Programme for
Ganga Clean up in Uttar Pradesh and other states in the last 3 years include:
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i. Condition assessment study taken up to know the sewage generation and sewage
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treatment gap in towns along main stem of river Ganga for sanctioning of sewerage
infrastructure projects in holistic and scientific manner.
ii. Rehabilitation of existing STPs and their Operation & Maintenance (O&M).
iii. The Namami Gange Programme have been made 100% central sector scheme to ensure
sufficient availability of funds to the state government, reduction in time loss for collection
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of state share thereby faster approval of contracts and effective implementation of the
projects;
iv. The Operation and Maintenance period have been increased from 5 to 15 years to ensure
performance of STPs for a longer period.
v. Formation of NMCG as an authority and enhanced financial power for faster sanctioning of
projects and award of contracts; formation of state and district Ganga Committee for
effective monitoring of works at the grass root levels.
vi. Implementation of projects under Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) to address issues such as
sub-optimal design, lesser O&M support and lack of ownership. HAM will also ensure
ownership and distinct accountability for continuous acceptable performance in the long
term of the STPs.
vii. One City one Operator: Existing STPs in 13 towns namely Kanpur, Allahabad, Mathura,
Patna, Kolkata, Howrah-Bally-Kamarhati-Baranagar and Bhagalpur are being integrated
with new sanctioned STPs and tendered under HAM based PPP mode for selection of
one specific operator for better accountability and monitoring.
viii. Recycling and reuse of treated waste water is being promoted; Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) signed with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for using of
treated waste water for their Mathura Refinery.
ix. Drain treatment by use of innovative technology and modular STPs;
x. Creation of Rural Sanitation facilities in identified villages along river Ganga in support from
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. 4465 of villages along Ganga are declared Open
Defecation Free (ODF).

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xi. River Surface Cleaning activities taken up to clean river surface and banks from solid
waste on a regular basis.
The amount spent by NMCG since its inception i.e. from Financial Year 2011-12 to 2018-19 till
30th June, 2018 is Rs.4,322.37 crore. Under Namami Gange Programme, a total of 221 projects
have been sanctioned at a cost of Rs.22,238.49 crore. Out of these 221 projects, 58 projects

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have been completed and 95 projects are under implementation. Details are given below:

● 105 projects are sanctioned for development of sewerage infrastructure to provide total
treatment capacity of 3,293.68 MLD (including rehabilitation of 887.00 MLD) and laying of
sewerage network of 4,842.30 km. at an estimated cost of Rs.17,485.11 crore. Out of these,
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26 projects are completed which has created new STP capacity of 328.13 MLD and
rehabilitated 92 MLD of STP capacity. In addition, 44 projects are at advanced stages of
completion to create new STP capacity of 769 MLD and rehabilitation of 86 MLD capacity.
● 1 project covering 20 drains have been sanctioned for decentralized treatment of drains
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through modular STPs.
● Ghat, Crematoria and River Front Development (RFD): A total of 63 projects are approved
for development of Ghat & Crematoria and river Front Development. Out of these 24
projects are completed. Rest of the projects is ongoing. Among the ongoing projects, 54
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ghats and 10 crematoria have been completed.


● Projects sanctioned for Ghat cleaning in Varanasi;Bithoor, Kanpur, Allahabad, Mathura-
Vrindavan and Haridwar.
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● A project sanctioned for river surface cleaning at 11 places namely Delhi, Haridwar,
Mathura-Vrindavan, Garhmukteshwar, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Sahibganj,
Howrah and Nabadwip.
● 14 projects sanctioned for institutional development projects including water quality
monitoring;1 project is completed and 7 is ongoing.
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● 4 projects sanctioned on implementation support/research development; 1 project


completed and 1 is ongoing.
● 19 projects sanctioned for conservation of biodiversity and afforestation. Out of these, 6
projects completed and 8 projects ongoing.
● The project sanctioned for composite ecological task force is ongoing.
● 8 projects sanctioned for bioremediation of drains.
● A project for development of toilets across gram panchayats along Ganga River.
This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development
and Ganga Rejuvenation Dr. Satya Pal Singh in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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NP/SKP/IA

(Release ID: 1541737) Visitor Counter : 337

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Source : www.pib.nic.in Date : 2018-08-07

EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME


Relevant for: Indian Economy | Topic: Issues relating to Employment

Ministry of Labour & Employment

Employment Guarantee Scheme

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 4:15PM by PIB Delhi

Employment generation coupled with improving employability is the priority concern of


the Government. Ministry of Rural Development has been implementing ‘The Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005’ which provides at least one

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hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household
whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The demand for work itself is
influenced by various factors such as rain-fall pattern, availability of alternative and remunerative
employment opportunities outside MGNREGA and prevailing unskilled wage rates.
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Further, Government runs various employment generation schemes for beneficiaries like Prime
Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) implemented by Ministry of Micro,
Small & Medium Enterprises, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
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(MGNREGA), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) scheme run
by Ministry of Rural Development, and Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Urban
Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) implemented by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. Details
of the progress of the schemes are as follows:
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Schemes/Year 2017-18 2018-19


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Estimated employment generated under


111064
PMEGP 387184
(30.06.2018)
(No. of Persons)
Persondays Generated under MGNREGS 82.51
234.26
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(Persondays in crore) (20.07.2018)


Candidates placed in jobs after training
23757
(DDU-GKY) 75787
(10.07.2018)
(No.of Persons)
Skill Trained Persons given Placement DAY-
22518
NULM 115140
(09.07.2018)
(No. of Persons)

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme to extend collateral free loans by Banks,
Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to
small/micro business enterprises in the non-agricultural sector to individuals to enable them to
setup or expand their business activities. Under PMMY, the number of loans sanctioned during
2015-16 to 2017-18 were 12.27 crore, out of which 3.49 crore were new entrepreneurs.

In order to improve the employability of youth, around 22 Ministries/Departments run skill


development schemes across various sectors.

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana has been initiated by the Ministry of Labour and
Employment in the year 2016-17 for incentivizing employers for promoting employment

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generation. Under this scheme, Government is paying the entire employer’s contribution (12 %
or as admissible) towards the EPS and EPF for all sectors w.e.f. 01.04.2018 to all eligible new
employees and is applicable for all sectors for the next 3 years. Till 30th July, 2018, benefits
have been given to 76908 Establishments covering 61.36 lakh beneficiaries under Pradhan

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Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY).

Government has also implemented the National Career Service (NCS) Project which comprises
a digital portal that provides a nation-wide online platform for jobseekers and employers for job
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matching in a dynamic, efficient and responsive manner and has a repository of career content.
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This information was given by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar Union Minister of State (I/C) for
Labour and Employment in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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(Release ID: 1541730) Visitor Counter : 316

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INDIGENOUS MANUFACTURING OF DEFENCE


EQUIPMENTS
Relevant for: Science & Technology | Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Ministry of Defence

Indigenous Manufacturing of Defence Equipments

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 4:00PM by PIB Delhi

(1) Capital procurement of defence equipment is undertaken from various domestic as well as

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foreign vendors as per extant Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), based on threat
perception, operational challenges and technological changes and to keep the Army in a state of
readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges.

1. Based on the data provided by CGDA, the Capital expenditure on purchase of defence
items by the three services in the last three years, from Indian vendors and Foreign
vendors are as given below :-
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Capital Procurement

(Rs in Crore)
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Procurement Procurement
Percentage Percentage Total
Year from Indian from Foreign
(%) (%) Procurement
vendors vendors
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2015-16 39149 62.80 23192 37.20 62341


2016-17 41872 60.55 27278 39.45 69150
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2017-18 43697 60.08 29035 39.92 72732

DPP focuses on institutionalising, streamlining, and simplifying defence procurement procedure


to give a boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India, by promoting indigenous
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design, development and manufacturing of defence equipment, platforms, systems and sub-
systems. The key objectives of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government are being realised
through several policy measures which include: -

● A separate procedure for ‘Make-II’ sub-category has been notified wherein a number of
industry friendly provisions such as relaxation of eligibility criterion, minimal documentation,
provision for considering ‘suo-moto’ proposals suggested by industry/individual etc., have
been introduced.
● The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for consideration of ‘suo-moto’ proposals under
‘Make-II’ sub/category of Capital Acquisition has been promulgated.
● A Defence Investor Cell has been created in the Ministry to provide all necessary
information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures
and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector.
● The process for export clearance has been streamlined and made transparent & online.
● The strengthening of defence-industrial base of the country is a continuous process and is
undertaken by the Government periodically based on the requirements, viability, availability
of resources etc. Recently, it has been decided to establish two defence industrial corridors
to serve as an engine of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in
the country. While one corridor spans Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and
Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, the other extends across Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur,
Chitrakoot and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
● An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has

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been launched on 12th April 2018 by the Hon'ble PM during Def-expo 2018. iDEX is aimed
at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence
and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators,
R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants / funding and other support to

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carryout R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace
needs.
● Offset guidelines have been made flexible by allowing change of Indian Offset Partners
(IOPs) and offset components, even in signed contracts. Foreign Original Equipment
Manufacturers (OEMs) are now not required to indicate the details of IOPs and products at
the time of signing of contracts. ‘Services’ as an avenue of offset have been re-instated.

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To promote the participation of private sector, Outsourcing and Vendor Development
Guidelines for DPSUs and OFB have been issued. The guidelines mandate each DPSU
and OFB to have a short-term and long-term outsourcing and vendor development plan to
gradually increase the outsourcing from private sector.
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● Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was revised in 2016. Specific provisions have been
introduced for stimulating growth of the domestic defence industry.
● A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and
Manufactured)}’ has been introduced in DPP-2016 to promote indigenous design and
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development of defence equipment. This Category has been accorded top most priority for
procurement of capital equipment. Besides this, preference is being given to ‘Buy (Indian)’
and ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ categories of capital acquisition over ‘Buy (Global)’ & ‘Buy &
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Make (Global)’ categories.


● Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages
establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent
and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment
Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing
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infrastructure and supply chains.


● The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provisions for funding of 90% of
development cost by the Government to Indian industry and reserving projects not
exceeding development cost of Rs. 10 Crore (Government funded) and Rs. 3 Crore
(Industry funded) for MSMEs.
● Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy has been revised and under the revised policy, FDI is
allowed under automatic route upto 49% and beyond 49% through Government route
wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be
recorded.
● The Defence Products List for the purpose of issuing Industrial Licenses (ILs) under IDR Act
has been revised and most of the components, parts, sub-systems, testing equipment and
production equipment have been removed from the list, so as to reduce the entry barriers
for the industry, particularly small & medium segment. The initial validity of the Industrial
License granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a
provision to further extend it by 03 years on a case-to-case basis.
● Government has set up the Technology Development Fund (TDF) to encourage
participation of public/ private industries especially MSMEs, through provision of grants, so
as to create an eco-system for enhancing cutting-edge technology capability for defence
applications.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to
Shri Akhilesh Prasad Singh in Rajya Sabha today.

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NAo/Nampi/Rajib/HS

(Release ID: 1541721) Visitor Counter : 274

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NEW DEFENCE PRODUCTION POLICY


Relevant for: Science & Technology | Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Ministry of Defence

New Defence Production Policy

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 3:55PM by PIB Delhi

In the Budget Speech 2018, Government has announced that it will bring out an
industry friendly Defence Production Policy 2018 to promote domestic production by
public sector, private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

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Consequent to this, a draft Defence Production Policy 2018 has been prepared which
provides a focused, structured and significant thrust to development of defence
design and production capabilities in the country. The draft policy has been shared
with all concerned stakeholders for their views before notification.
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The salient features of the Draft Policy which is already placed in public domain for
consultation with stakeholders is as follows:

● Creation of a dynamic, robust and competitive defence and aerospace industry as


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an important part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
● Creation of a tiered defence industrial ecosystem in the country.
● Reducing current dependence on imports and strive to achieve self-reliance in
development and manufacture of weapon systems / platforms.
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The Policy mandates for Transfer of Technology or enhanced Foreign Direct


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Investment (FDI) for domestic production in the event of non-availability of


manufacturing capabilities in the country.
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The policy envisages that Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) should focus on system
integration, design and development, and actively engage domestic vendors in the
private sector for other assembly work.

This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written
reply to Shri Vivek K. Tankha in Rajya Sabha today.

NAo/Nampi/Rajib/HS

(Release ID: 1541713) Visitor Counter : 313


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Source : www.pib.nic.in Date : 2018-08-07

GEM TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY IN PUBLIC


PROCUREMENT
Relevant for: Ethics | Topic: Utilization of public funds

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

GeM to ensure transparency in public procurement

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Posted On: 06 AUG 2018 3:12PM by PIB Delhi

As an initiative to improve transparency in procurement, Government has set up

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Government e- Marketplace as a 100% Government owned company registered
under the Companies Act, 2013 for providing online platform for procurement of
common use goods and services by government organizations.

Government e- Marketplace (GeM) is an online platform for government users which


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was launched on 9th August, 2016. It leverages technology to enhance transparency,
efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse
e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users, achieve the
best value of their money. It is paperless, cashless and contactless platform giving
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end to end solution.

All the State Governments are utilising the services offered by Government e-
Marketplace. In addition, 22 States namely, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Telengana, Uttar
Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu,
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Tripura, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Himachal


Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and West Bengal have
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signed Memorandum of Understanding for making procurement through GeM portal


mandatory in their state.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce & Industry C R
Chaudhary in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
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***

MM/SB

(Release ID: 1541709) Visitor Counter : 438

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