• Current Affairs, 2 December 2019

     

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019
    2. Nagaland Statehood Day
    3. BSF’s Raising Day
    4. On the Occasion of Inauguration of International Conference ‘ICRACCIT 2019’ on Recent Advancements in Computer, Communication and Information Technology
    5. Education must inspire a thirst to innovate in our students: Vice President
    6. Vice President pays tribute to the bravehearts of Kunja Bahdurpur
    7. Several decisions taken during the last 6 months empowered the lives of 130 crore Indians : PM
    8. DPIIT invites applications for First Ever National Startup Awards 2020
    9. The first batch of Supplementary Demands
    • India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2)
    1. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews Passing Out Parade of 137th course at National Defence Academy in Pune
    2. SAIL INDIA 2019 – Senior & Junior National Championship
    3. Will ensure CAMPA Funds of about Rs. 47,000 crore to be utilized efficiently for green India
    4. UNDP launches Accelerator Lab in India, to work on pollution, water issues
    5. 13th South Asian Games formally begins in Kathmandu

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019

     

    • The bill has been introduced in Lok Sabha.
    • The code proposes to amalgamate The Trade Unions Act, 1926, The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946, and The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
    • It is the third out of four labour codes that have got approval from the cabinet.
    • Seeks to allow companies to hire workers on fixed-term contract of any duration.
    • Has retained the threshold on the worker count at 100 for prior government approval before retrenchment,but it has a provision for changing ‘such number of employees’ through notification.
    • Provides setting up of a two-member tribunal (in place of one member)wherein important cases will be adjudicated jointly and the rest by a single member, resulting speedier disposal of cases.
    • Has vested powers with the government officers for adjudication of disputes involving penalty as fines.
    • Introduces a feature of ‘recognition of negotiating union’ under which a trade union will be recognized as sole ‘negotiating union’ if it has the support of 75% or more of the workers on the rolls of an establishment.
    • As several trade unions are active in companies, it will be tough for any one group to manage 75% support, hence taking away their negotiating rights. In such a case, a negotiating council will be constituted for negotiation.
    • Underlines that fixed-term employeeswill get all statutory benefits on a par with the regular employees who are doing work of the same or similar nature.
    • Under the code, termination of service of a worker on completion of tenure in a fixed-term employment will not be considered as retrenchment.
    • Proposes setting up of a “re-skilling fund”for training of retrenched employees. The retrenched employee would be paid 15 days’ wages from the fund within 45 days of retrenchment.
    • The Indian economy grew at 5% in the June quarter, a six-year low, while the country’s factory output shrank for the second straight month at 4.3% in September, recording its worst show since the present series was launched in April 2012.
    • The ease of compliance of labour laws will promote the setting up of more enterprises, thus catalysing the creation of employment opportunities in the country.

    2.  Nagaland Statehood Day

    ·        The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished the people of Nagaland on their Statehood day.

    ·        It is a state in northeastern India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to the north, Myanmar to the east, and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.

    ·        The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes — AngamiAoChakhesangChangKachariKhiamniunganKonyakKukiLothaPhomPochuryRengmaSangtamSumiYimchunger and ZemeLiangmai (Zeliang).[8] Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress

    · English is the official language and the language of education. Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is mostly Christian

    ·        Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963. Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, milletspulses, tobacco, oilseedssugarcane, potatoes, and fibres, which covers 70% of the state’s economy. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries.

    ·        The state has experienced insurgency, as well as an inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s. The violence and insecurity have long limited Nagaland’s economic development because it had to commit its scarce resources to law, order, and security

    ·        The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley which comprises 9% of the total area of the state. Mount Saramati is the highest peak at 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma.[14] It lies between the parallels of 98 and 96 degrees east longitude and 26.6 and 27.4 degrees latitude north. The state is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.

    ·        Nagalim, which includes the state of Nagaland and eastern parts of Myanmar, has been a member state of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) since 1993.

    3. BSF’s Raising Day

    • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted BSF personnel and their families on BSF’s Raising Day.Prime Minister said, “Greetings to all BSF personnel and their families on BSF’s Raising Day. This force has been diligently protecting our borders. During natural disasters and crisis situations, BSF personnel have always worked hard to serve our citizens. Best wishes to the BSF family!”
    • The Border Security Force(BSF) is the border defence organisation of India. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of India, and was raised in the wake of the 1965 War on 1 December 1965, “for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected there with”.
    • It is a Central Armed Police Force charged with guarding India’s land border during peacetime and preventing transnational crime at the same, it has various active roles during an outbreak of war. It is a Union Government Agency under the administrative control of Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • The BSF has its own cadre of officers but its head, designated as a Director-General(DG), since its raising has been an officer from the Indian Police Service. It is an Armed Force of the Union of India tasked with various assignments from time to time.
    • The BSF has grown exponentially from a few battalions in 1965, to 186 battalionswith a sanctioned strength of 257,363 personnel including an expanding air wing, marine wing, an artillery regiment, and commando units.It currently stands as the world’s largest border guarding force. BSF has been termed as the First Line of Defence of Indian Territories.

     

    4. On the Occasion of Inauguration of International Conference ‘ICRACCIT 2019’ on Recent Advancements in Computer, Communication and Information Technology

     

    • I love to be in Kanpur, not merely because it is my city. I love it because this city is a true confluence of tradition and modernity. It is in this context that I feel proud to be here for the inauguration of the International Conference on Recent Advancement in Computer Science, Communication and Information Technology, which is being organized at PSIT, Kanpur. It is my privilege to address some of the brightest young minds in the country.
    • Technology is very much woven in the genes of this great city. Down the ages, Kanpur always has had a unique relation with advancement of technology. One or another kind of technology took this city to great heights in the twentieth century. Its excellence in the textile industry earned it the name as “Manchester of the East” when its mills competed with the best in the world. The textile boom led to the setting up of a number of industries here, making the city an industrial hub. It also graduated to becoming a major trading centre and came to be called the “commercial capital” of Uttar Pradesh. After the textile boom, it has been the leather technology that is remaking this city. It is now called the “Leather City of the World”.
    • Given this connection with technology and industry, it is no wonder that the city has been home to some of the best names in engineering education. What is particularly unique about the city is that its pursuit for material wealth is always accompanied by a determined effort to keep pace with the advanced education. Who in the world does not know the eminence of the IIT, Kanpur? Along with this great institute exists an equally important centre of learning, Harcourt Butler Technical Institute (HBTI), which has now become a full-fledged university. There are a host of other institutes which have produced excellent engineers and scientists.
    • PSIT too enriches this heritage of the city. I congratulate the institute for organising this conference. I am sure it will prove to be an excellent platform for researchers and professionals from India and abroad to discuss latest developments in various domains.

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    • I find the world of technology fascinating, because technology has been a prime mover of social change. India’s journey from a poor nation at the time of independence to one of the fastest and biggest economies in the world has come about in part thanks to technology. As we aim to become a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024-25, we again look forward to technology playing its role. Apart from giving us the economic might, new forms of knowledge have bettered the lives of people on the margins of society. Moreover, advances in information and communication technology have been a great equaliser in all walks of life.
    • Technology, however, is just an instrument. Be it fire or electricity, it is a great servant but a bad master. This city has been witness to the powers of technology to make as well as break. When you deliberate on the latest technological advancements, I would urge you to keep foremost in mind the implications for the humanity. Kanpur has an excellent example of using technology for humanity. Over the decades, Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) has helped countless persons with disabilities by manufacturing rehabilitation aids, with focus on continuous technology upgradation.
    • We are told that we are entering the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Futurologists envision a fundamental change in our day-to-day living as the digital and infotech revolution gives way to a convergence of cyber, physical and biological domains. Internet of Things and 3D Printing are already delivering what was till yesterday in the pages of science fiction. We can harbour great hopes that this will lead to all-round improvement in the human life. However, there are also fears of technology. For decades, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology was a matter of academics, but now it has become real. Instead of all the long-cherished fruits of AI, the initial impact is in terms of job losses as machines take over human roles.
    • All technological revolutions so far have given us great tools for improvement, but at a great price. Air pollution in Kanpur is a visible proof. But I am an optimist. I take heart in the fact that the great visionaries working at the cutting edge of technology have always been sensitive to the human concerns.
    • I am sure you all are eagerly looking forward to exciting and fruitful brainstorming over the two days. Students too will have a great opportunity to learn from veterans. I once again congratulate the organisers of the conference and wish you all success.

     

     

    5. Education must inspire a thirst to innovate in our students: Vice President

    ·        The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that education must not only foster scientific spirit and entrepreneurial endeavour in students but also create in them a thirst to innovate.

    • Addressing the 17th Convocation of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) in Dehradun today, Shri Naidu called for imparting Entrepreneurial Education in our technical institutions so that a larger number of our graduates do not end up as mere job seekers but possess the confidence and the skills to create businesses, jobs and wealth.
    • The Vice President said that the world is increasingly turning its attention to India today because of its steady pace of growth which is much faster than most major economies of the world. He added that India also has the advantage of an enormous youth population, with 50% of its population below 25 years of age.
    • He opined that if this demographic dividend is to be realized and leveraged for inclusive and sustainable growth and development, our youth must be equipped with domain focused education, skills and expertise.
    • Expressing concerns about the employability of our young graduates, Shri Naidu urged universities and the industry to join hands to groom students to be future-ready professionals.
    • Observing that routine jobs are now being replaced by Artificial Intelligence and Automation, the Vice President asked educational institutions to be quick on their feet to adapt and evolve. He emphasized that universities must train students to perform tasks that machines simply cannot.
    • He advised educational institutions to abandon the rote learning methodology and focus more on assimilation of diverse information, problem solving, decision making and analysis. “Design thinking principles should be introduced in schools along with digital skills”, he added.
    • Observing that the 4th Industrial Revolution is on the horizon and he urged educational institutions to prepare for it by acquiring knowledge and skills to make the big leap forward.
    • Stressing that India needs to India needs to rethink the entire education system, Shri Naidu cautioned that if we don’t innovate, we stand the risk of falling behind.
    • Referring to the exalted status of ‘Vishwaguru’ that India enjoyed in the past, he called on Indian universities to strive hard to make India a hub for global learning, once again. He asked Indian universities to aim be among the top 100 institutions in the world.
    • Highlighting the plethora of initiatives of the government such as NISHTA, ARPIT and DHRUV, the Vice President cautioned that government working in isolation will not succeed in creating a world-class education system. “Each one of our institutions, both public and private, must work in tandem with the government”, he said
    • Opining that it is not sufficient that we produce graduates who are academically proficient, Shri Naidu said that students must develop not only cognitive skills, but also social and emotional ‘soft’ skills, including cultural awareness and empathy, perseverance and grit, teamwork and leadership, among others.
    • The Vice President said that culturally, India has been, and continues to be, a cradle of great diversity in all walks of life and added that these rich legacies to world heritage must not only be nurtured and preserved but also enriched.
    • He urged Universities to strive to bridge the gap between theory and practice and promote research in a big way by networking with industries, R&D labs within India and abroad.
    • Stressing that India’s strength is in its young people who will play a key role in transforming India into a major economic and technological power, he asked them to remember their social responsibility and to give back to the people of India the fruits of technological advancements.
    • The Governor of Uttarakhand, Smt. Baby Rani Maurya, Chief Minister, Uttarkahand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Minister of Education, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Shri Dhan Singh Rawat, Chancellor of UPES, Dr. S.J. Chopra and Vice Chancellor of the university, Dr. Deependra Kumar Jha were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

    6. Vice President pays tribute to the bravehearts of Kunja Bahdurpur

    ·        The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today suggested that Union government should encourage states to research upon and compile the history of local heroes of freedom struggle from across the country. He also emphasized on publishing this history in local languages so as to reach the maximum people.

    • Speaking at an event organised in the remembrance of Shaheed Raja Vijay Singh and his brave men at the village Kunja Bahadur in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand today, Shri Naidu recalled the heroic story of the people of Kunja Bahadur who rose against the British with their king Vijay Singh.
    • The Britishers had occupied a significant portion of India by the year 1824 when King Vijay Singh declared freedom. He gathered an army of one thousand men from nearby areas such as Garhwal, Kumaon, Bijnor, Saharanpur and Meerut and stopped paying taxes to the British. He eliminated all symbols of British occupation from the area.
    • The British in turn attacked the fort of Kunja Bahadur. Around 40 Britishers were killed in the fierce battle that ensued and hundreds of Gurjar soldiers were martyred. The British inflicted innumerable atrocities over the people. They hanged hundreds of people from a single tree. The bodies of Raja Vijay Singh and his brave general Kalyan Singh were mutilated and displayed in front of Dehradun prison.
    • The Vice President said that Raja Vijay Singh and his men made supreme sacrifice for the cause of freedom in 1824,three decades before the first war for independence in 1857, but it is an irony that the stories like Kunja Bahadurpur remain ignored in our history. “Our history is incomplete without the bravery of these heroes ’’, he said.
    • Mentioning the names of legendary warriors from Uttarakhand such as Ram Pyari Gurjar, Rani Karnawati, Shahmal Singh Tomar and teenage warrior Shivdevi Tomar, Shri Naidu said that our history has been witness to many a struggle wherein people rose against the invaders under the leadership of local heroes to defend their freedom, honour, culture and property.
    • “But these resistances hardly find any mention in our history”, said Shri Naidu adding that “we need to rectify this mistake”.
    • He also stressed the need to make such stories mandatory part of our school syllabus so that the new generation can draw inspiration from them.
    • The Vice President also called for developing a nationalistic approach to our history and research new sources for it. History does not belong to just the rulers, rather it belongs to the people and communities as well, he said emphasizing the need to study local cultural, literary and social history.
    • Shri Naidu said that heroic stories of local communities are transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition and form an inseparable part of their being. “Local educational institutions, civil society organizations and media should do serious research on these oral traditions of history telling and to make the whole country aware of them”, he added.
    • Saying that our history is indebted to the great sacrifices made by our ancestors such as Raja Vijay Singh and his general Shaheed Kalyan Singh, he appealed to the younger generation to respect and follow their ideals.
    • Talking about the 70thConstitution Day celebrated earlier this week, the Vice President also called for equal respect for Fundamental Duties along with the Fundamental Rights. He reminded the people of fundamental duty ‘to strive towards excellence in all spheres and said that country’s progress depends on each one of us excelling in our respective fields.
    • He also urged people to spread awareness about fundamental duties in their community, educational institution and professional circles. This will be true tribute to our brave ancestors who sacrificed their everything so that we could breath in a free India, he said.
    • Putting national integrity above everything else, the Vice President appealed to all citizens to rise above cast, creed, religion and region and to work together for the progress of country. On the occasion, he also appreciated the unity displayed by all communities after the Ayodhya verdict by the Supreme Court of India.
    • During the occasion, the Vice President was also presented a book detailing the freedom struggle of Kunja Village against.
    • The Governor of Uttarakhand, Smt. Baby Rani Maurya, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarkahand, Shri Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’, Union HRD Minister, Shri Dhan Singh Rawat, Minister of Education, Govt. of Uttarakhand, Shri Karmveer, President, Shaheed Raja Vijay Singh Smarak & Kanya Shiksha Prasar Samiti, Shri Dharampal Singh, Secretary of the Samiti and peoples representatives from the area were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

    7. Several decisions taken during the last 6 months empowered the lives of 130 crore Indians : PM

    ·        Prime Minister Narendra Modi said several decisions taken during the last 6 months have empowered the lives of 130 crore Indians.  He said inspired by the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ and with the blessings of 130 crore Indians, the Government has continued working towards developing India and empowering the lives of 130 crore Indians with renewed vigour.

    ·        He said during the last six months, Government has taken numerous decisions that have furthered development, accelerated social empowerment and enhanced India’s unity. He also said, “We aspire to do even more in the times to come, so that we create a prosperous and progressive New India.”

     

     

    8. DPIIT invites applications for First Ever National Startup Awards 2020

     

     

    • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has announced institution of the first ever National Startup Awards. The National Startup Awards seek to recognize and reward outstanding startups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation or wealth creation, demonstrating measurable social impact. The measure of success will not only be the financial gains for the investors but also the contribution to the social good, said Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry and Railways while announcing the launch of the awards.
    • The Awards will recognize exceptional startups across various categories that are providing innovative solutions to solve real problems and challenges for India, developing innovative technologies, products and solutions from India to the world, building businesses that are scalable, sustainable and responsible and delivering measurable developmental gains.
    • The National Startup Awards will also reward exceptional Incubators and Accelerators as key building blocks of a robust startup ecosystem. The awards for startups will be given in 35 areas, classified into 12 broad sectors like agriculture, education, enterprise technology, energy, finance, food, health, Industry 4.0, space, security, tourism, and urban services.  In addition, there are three special awards for startups from educational institutions, making impact in rural areas and women entrepreneurs.
    • A cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each will be awarded to the winning startup in each area. The winner and 4 runners-up will also be given opportunities to present their solutions to relevant public authorities and corporates for potential pilot projects and work orders. They will also be given priority for participation in various national and international startup events.
    • A cash prize of Rs 15 lakh each will be awarded to one winning Incubator and one winning Accelerator as well.
    1. The first batch of Supplementary Demands

     

    • Finance Minister Sitharaman recently tabled the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for the financial year 2019-20 in both the Houses of Parliament saying of the total spend, cash outgo will be about 19,000 crore.
    • Supplementary, additional or excess grants and Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants are mentioned in the Constitution of India 1949.
    • Article 115:Supplementary, additional or excess grants.
    • Article 116:Votes on account, votes of credit and exceptional grants.
    • Supplementary grants are the additional grant required to meet the required expenditure of the government. When grants, authorised by the Parliament, fall short of the required expenditure, an estimate is presented before the Parliament for Supplementary or Additional grants. These grants are presented and passed by the Parliament before the end of the financial year.

    When actual expenditure incurred exceeds the approved grants of the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Railways presents a Demand for Excess Grant. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India bring such excesses to the notice of the Parliament.
    The Public Accounts Committee examines these excesses and gives recommendations to the Parliament. The Demand for Excess Grants is made after the actual expenditure is incurred and is presented to the Parliament after the end of the financial year in which the expenses were made. Additional Grant: It is granted when a need has arisen during the current financial year for supplementary or additional expenditure upon some new service not contemplated in the Budget for that year.

    Excess Grant: It is granted when money has been spent on any service during a financial year in excess of the amount granted for that year. The demands for excess grants are made after the expenditure has actually been incurred and after the financial year to which it relates, has expired.

    Exceptional Grants: It is granted for an exceptional purpose which forms no part of the current service of any financial year

    Token Grant: It is granted when funds to meet proposed expenditure on a new service can be made available by re-appropriation, a demand for the grant of a token sum may be submitted to the vote of the House and, if the House assents to the demand, funds may be so made available.

     

    10.         Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews Passing Out Parade of 137th course at National Defence Academy in Pune

     

    • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviewed the Passing Out Parade of the 137thcourse at the National Defence Academy in Pune, Maharashtra today. A total of 284 cadets graduated from the academy as they passed through the portals of the prestigious Khetrapal Parade ground. There were 188 Army cadets, 38 Naval cadets, 37 Air Force and 20 cadets from friendly foreign countries. The foreign cadets belonged to Bhutan, Tajikistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
    • Addressing the gathering, Raksha Mantri complimented the cadets for their immaculate turnout and excellent drill movements. He congratulated the parents of the passing out cadets and appreciated their decision of sending their children to the Armed Forces. Shri Rajnath Singh said, the grit and grime of the National Defence Academy makes cadets tough to face any challenge in their military career ahead. He said professionalism can only be attained by discipline which these cadets have imbibed.
    • Raksha Mantri added that India has been spreading the message of peace under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the country has shown that it can be tough and aggressive whenever required. He credited the jointness of all the forces including military and paramilitary to achieve this goal saying that the credit of India’s strong fight against terrorism goes to the Armed Forces, Central Armed Police Forces as well as Police.
    • “India has always believed in building peaceful and friendly relations with all countries. We have no extra-territorial ambitions and we do not interfere in the affairs of any other country. But if someone tries to disturb peace in our country, we will give a befitting reply,” Shri Rajnath Singh said. He reiterated the Government’s commitment to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
    • Raksha Mantri stressed on the need to remain prepared to deal with terrorism as well as the new threats of the 21stcentury, including cyber-threats and hate-filled ideologies.
    • Shri Rajnath Singh added that it is remarkable how the officers in uniform provide humanitarian assistance during natural calamities and help their brothers and sisters in distress without a thought for their own safety.
    • At the Passing Out Parade, the President’s Gold medal was awarded to Academy Cadet Captain Majji Giridhar for being first in overall order of merit. The President’s Silver medal was awarded to Battalion cadet captain Kushagra Mishra while battalion cadet captain NK Vishwakarma won the President’s Bronze medal. ‘Mike’ Squadron bagged the Chief of Staff banner for being the champion squadron which was presented during the parade.
    • General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command Lt Gen S K Saini also attended the passing out parade.

     

    11.         SAIL INDIA 2019 – Senior & Junior National Championship

    • The Army Yachting Node (AYN) is organising the “SAIL INDIA 2019”, a National Senior and Junior Multiclass Regatta from 01 to 07 December at Marine Drive, Mumbai. This Regatta is slated to be the largest sailing event in the country, with an estimated participation of over 300 competitive sailors, 25 officials including four members of International Jury from Poland, Singapore, South Korea and China. Of particular note are competitors, comprising of a sizeable number of young girls and women, which hopefully will be a motivating factor for future aspirants and level out the playing field.
    • There are a total of 16 categories of boats in the Junior and Senior Division, and there will be 12 races in each class spread over the championship days. The AYN raised in 2001 as part of the Indian Army’s Mission Olympic Programme has many accolades to its credit including several National champions, Asian Games medals, medals at International Championships and Olympic participation. With the motto of “Excellence Everywhere”, AYN has established a very high benchmark in sailing in the country through sheer hard work and dedication.
    • This regatta is being conducted to achieve its intended aim of attracting more youth across all genders and class into this sport and for developing more young talent and technical specialisation for the Army sailing for the future glory of the country. The championship would also go a long way in promoting this ‘clean green’ sport amongst the youth of the country and make this a premier international sailing event in the country in near future.

     

    12.         Will ensure CAMPA Funds of about Rs. 47,000 crore to be utilized efficiently for green India

    • Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar chaired an in-depth meeting of State Forests Ministers on effective and efficient utilization of CAMPA funds at New Delhi today, in presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi; Director General of Forests, Shri Siddhanta Das and other senior Forests Officials from various states.
    • Speaking to media persons, the Environment Minister said that the meeting was held to discuss how to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and utilize its funds more effectively and create more afforestation, green cover along with water augmentation in order to improve the quality of forests, “We are meeting for the second time in the last 4 months and we will ensure that CAMPA Funds of about Rs. 47,000 crore will be utilized efficiently for green India”, stated Shri Javadekar.
    • The Environment Minister further added that continuous deliberations with all stakeholders will be conducted in future in order to ensure maximum afforestation activities are carried out all over the country.
    • With the initial experience of the States regarding under-utilisation of the money collected towards compensatory afforestation, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India ordered for establishment of Compensatory Afforestation Fund and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in 2001. In 2006, separate bank accounts were opened in which the compensatory levies were deposited and adhoc CAMPA was established for the management of Compensatory afforestation fund. In 2009, Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted release of Rs.1000 crore every year to States/UTs for compensatory afforestation and other activities. In 2014, Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted release of 10% of total deposit of states in the fund from interest accrued on the deposits. This Act has provisioned that CAMPA funds shall be kept in interest bearing non-lapsable Public Account. After detailed deliberations with CAG and Ministry of Finance and deliberations with other Stakeholders, the fund flow mechanism could be finalized and the CAF Rules were finally put in place in 2018. After notification of CAF Rules, with approval of the Supreme Court on 28 Jan 2019, an amount of Rs.54,685 Crore from Ad-hoc CAMPA has been brought under the control of Government of India. The Union Government have transferred CAMPA Funds to the tune of Rs.47,436 crore to 27 States/UTs and will be utilized as per the provisions of the CAF Act and CAF Rules.
    • It is noteworthy to mention that about Rs.47,436 crore of CAMPA funds were handed over by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to various states on 29thAugust this year.

     

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2)

     

    • Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mr. Taro Kono, Minister of Defense of Japan, who are paying a visit to India to attend the inaugural meeting of India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2), called on Prime Minister.
    • The Prime Minister welcomed the visiting Ministers and expressed his satisfaction at the two sides being able to accomplish this goal set by Prime Minister and Prime Minister Abe during the 13thIndia-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018. The Prime Minister mentioned that the meeting will further deepen bilateral strategic, security and defence cooperation between India and Japan.
    • The Prime Minister stressed the importance of all-round development in India-Japan relations for the benefit of the two peoples, as well as the region and the world. The Prime Minister mentioned that regular high-level exchanges between the two countries are testimony to the depth and strength of the relationship.
    • The Prime Minister mentioned that both he and Prime Minister Abe attach great importance to strengthening bilateral partnership between the two countries.  He conveyed that he looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Abe to India for India-Japan Annual Summit next month. Prime Minister added that India’s relationship with Japan was a key component of our vision for  Indo-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity of the region, as well as a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy.

     

    1. UNDP launches Accelerator Lab in India, to work on pollution, water issues

     

     

    • UNDP launches Accelerator Lab in India, to work on pollution, water issues.
    • The laboratory that will be housed in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office here has partnered with Indian government”s Atal Innovation Mission to achieve the objectives.
    • The Accelerator Lab is an innovative new initiative by the UNDP, Germany and Qatar, to find 21st century solutions to today”s complex new challenges.
    • Building on locally-sourced solutions, finding things that work and expanding on them.
    • Rapid testing and iteration to implement what works and go beyond the obvious solutions.
    • Combining the best understanding, ideas and expertise to generate collective knowledge.
    • Accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to bear.
    • The impact of artificial intelligence on unemployment. The potential for disinformation to spread on social media. The need for policies that keep up with and drive innovation, while protecting human rights.
    • Many of these challenges are growing exponentially. The speed, dynamics and complexity of today’s social, economic and environmental problems are fundamentally different from previous eras in history.
    • The Accelerator Labs are UNDP’s new way of working in development. They will work together with national and global partners to find radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    15.       13th South Asian Games formally begins in Kathmandu

    ·     13th South Asian Games have formally begun in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

    ·     President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari declared games open in a glittering ceremony at Dasaratha Rangshala in Kathmandu this evening.

    ·     Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Chairman of National Assembly Ganesh Timilsina, Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel, Ministers from South Asian countries and a large number of other dignitaries also graced the opening ceremony. Over 2700 athletes from seven South Asian Countries participated in the march past.

    ·     Nepali Cricketer Paras Khadka took oath representing players while Nepal’s Badminton Referee Deepak Thapa took oath on behalf of referees and judges of the games. A cultural presentation showcasing the rich traditional heritage of Nepal was also made. Fireworks and spectacular laser show depicting participating countries was one of the main attractions of the opening ceremony.

    ·     During 10 days biggest sporting event of South Asia, 2715 athletes compete for 1119 medals including 319 Gold in 26 game categories. India is represented by 487 athletes. The closing ceremony will be held on 10th December.

     

     

     

     

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