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Showing posts from August, 2011

Rani Avantika Bai

Rani Avantika Bai was a Lodhi warrior-queen in princely state of Ramgarh, now in Madhya Pradesh, and had fought against Britishers in 1857 and sacrificed her life. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday assured the Rajya Sabha that a chapter on the life of freedom fighter Rani Avantika Bai would be included in school curriculum.

Common Mobility Card

The Government proposes to roll out Common Mobility Card(CMC) to facilitate commuters to travel by different modes of public transport and other operations in the country. The proposed all India Common Mobility Card (CMC) would be a Smart Card providing for a Common Fare Collection System across different operators (both Government and Private) and different modes of public transport as well as parking etc. as an integrated approach. It is proposed to be extended progressively to all the cities across all the states/Union Territories. 

Eligibility criteria for grant of Maharatna status

The eligibility criteria for grant of Maharatna status on a Public Enterprise is as below: a) Having Navratna status. b) Listed on Indian stock exchange, with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations. c) An average annual turnover during the last 3 years of more than Rs.25,000 crore. d) An average annual net worth during the last 3 years of more than Rs.15,000 crore. e) An average annual net profit after tax during the last 3 years of more than Rs.5000 crore. f) Significant global presence or international operations. At present there are 5 maharatna companies - CIL , IOCL , NTPC , ONGC , SAIL.GAIL, BHEL On March 17,2011 the Department of Public Enterprise (DPE)  had relaxed the norms for according the Maharatna status to PSUs. However, easing of norms was denotified within a month as it did not got cabinet approval.

Technology Mission for Technical Textile

The Government has already launched a Technology Mission on Technical Textiles (TMTT) for a period of five years (from 2010-11 to 2014-15) with a fund outlay of Rs. 200 crore. The Scheme has two Mini-Missions. Mini Mission-I is for standardization, creating common testing facilities, indigenous development of prototypes and Resource Centres with I.T infrastructure in eight Centres of Excellence (COE). Mini Mission-II focuses on support for domestic and export market development of Technical Textiles through assistance for business start-ups; contract research; assistance for buyer seller meets and participation in international exhibitions/seminars for Technical Textiles. In order to increase the share of Indian clothes in the world market and to enhance capacity of man-made fibre , the government has launched various schemes / measures like Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) and Common Compliance Code. To encourage Foreign Direct I

Protection of White Tiger

The Government has formulated new strategy for protection of white tigers in the country. The Central Zoo Authority has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for conservation breeding of white tiger in Madhya Pradesh. As per Central Zoo Authority, there are 91 white tigers housed in 21 different Indian zoos as on March, 2011. The Central Zoo Authority has initiated action for the setting up a conservation breeding centre for white tiger at Govindgarh in Rewa (Madhya Pradesh) through the State of Madhya Pradesh 

National Centre for Improvement in Environment

The XIth Five Year Plan Document envisages, inter-alia, establishment of “a National Centre to facilitate and support the development of universal design and barrier-free built environment”. As a follow-up to this, the Ministry has set up a Task Force in September, 2010, to work out the details of the proposed National Centre for Universal Design and Barrier-free Environment (NCUDBE). The Task Force is expected to submit its report by 31st December, 2011.

Strengthening of Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

Keeping in view the recommendations made by Vepa Kamesam committee, It is proposed to 1) Give statutory recognition to SFIO. 2)Giving powers such as treating its investigation report as a report filed by a Police Officer 3)giving SFIO power to issue letter of requests (letter Rogatory) in cases involving companies having business/interest outside the country. 4) defining of the term ‘fraud’ along with its punishment are also proposed to be included, subject to due approvals, in the revised Companies Bill for strengthening its enforcement framework.  On the enactment of the new Companies Bill, these legislative provisions will become effective. Besides the legislative measures, 58 additional posts have been created in SFIO and it has been decided to set up regional offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad for effective oversight, monitoring and prosecution of cases.

Progress of Rural Electrification

Under  Rajiv  Gandhi  Grameen   Vidyutikaran   Yojana  (RGGVY), 576 projects targeting electrification of 1.10  lakh  un/de-electrified villages and release of  electricity connections to 2.33  crore BPL households have been sanctioned in the country. The  Bharat   Nirman  target for RGGVY is to electrify 1.00  lakh  un-electrified villages and release of connections to 1.75  lakh  BPL households by March, 2012.                           There have been some delays in some States in execution of the projects mainly for the following reasons:

In vitro fertilization (2010 medicine noble prize)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the joining of a woman’s egg and a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish. In vitro means “outside the body.” Fertilization means the sperm has attached to and entered the egg/ IVF is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). This means special medical techniques are used to help a woman become pregnant. IVF has been successfully used since 1978. It is most often tried when other, less expensive fertility techniques have failed.  Robert G. Edwards, the physiologist who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

Consequent to the announcement of the National Action Plan on Climate Change in June 2008, which identified development of solar energy technologies in the country as a National Mission,  the Government of India has approved “Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission” (JNNSM) which  aims at development and deployment of solar energy technologies in the country to achieve parity with  grid power tariff by 2022. The Mission will adopt a 3-phase approach, spanning the remaining period of the 11th Plan and first year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) as Phase 1, the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan (2013-17) as Phase 2 and the 13th Plan (2017-22) as Phase 3. To achieve this, the Mission targets are:

National Judicial Commission

The UPA government has put in motion a plan to do away with the collegium system in favour of a more transparent system. With the proposed move, the government intends to give the executive a say in the appointment of Judges. According to sources in the Union Law and Justice Ministry, drafting of a Constitution amendment Bill to replace the collegium system has already begun. The government hopes to have a two-tier system — one for the SC and another for the HCs. The ministry hopes to set up a National Judicial Commission headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprising an eminent jurist and Union Law Minister, among others, for making appointments to the SC. For the HCs, the proposal is to set up a National Judicial Service Commission of India to be headed by a former CJI to recommend names for appointment. The last time a central government tried to replace the collegium system was in 2003, when the NDA Government introduced the Constitution (98th Amendment) Bill in Parliament to

Review of Indo-Pak CBMs

During the Foreign Secretary levels talks held on June 24, 2011 in Islamabad both sides decided to convene separate expert level meetings on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs to discuss implementation and strengthening of existing arrangements and to consider additional measures, which are mutually acceptable, to build trust and confidence and promote peace and security. The issue was also discussed during the meeting between External Affairs Minister and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister held on July 27, 2011 in New Delhi and both sides agreed to convene separate expert level meetings on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs, in Islamabad in September 2011.

Demands of Anna hazare which got accepted

The three issue which were accepted by government resulting in end of fast by anna hazare are (a) Citizens Charter defining the time in which a public service must be delivered, (b) Lower bureaucracy also to be under Lokpal through appropriate mechanism, (c) Establishment of a Lokayukta in the States; The issue of bringing Prime minister and higher judiciary got no mention in resolution passed by parliament , so it can be safely assumed that on this issue ,which was more n focus of debate, both side agreed to keep PM and higher judiciary out of ambit of Lokpal .

India's SCO group membership

India, as an Observer at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), has been regularly attending SCO Summits at the Ministerial level and has made clear its readiness to play a larger role in the Organisation. India attended the last SCO Heads of State Summit in Astana on 15th June 2011 and reiterated this position. India is in touch with all  SCO member countries (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) on India's case for full membership of the Organisation and have received positive responses. The recent Summit (Astana, June 2011) formally opened the SCO’s doors to new members by approving a 'Memorandum of Obligations', which would enable non-member countries to apply for SCO membership. India is in process of obtaining all relevant documents from the SCO Secretariat for further study before a formal application by India is made.

GRAIL

NASA’s discovery mission programme — GRAIL — The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory twin spacecraft are tasked for a nine month mission to explore Earth’s nearest neighbour in unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon. The spacecraft twins, GRAIL A and B, will fly a circuitous route to lunar orbit taking 3.5 months and covering approximately 2.6 million miles (4.2 million km) for GRAIL—A, and 2.7 million miles (4.3 million km) for GRAIL—B. GRAIL will unlock lunar mysteries and help us understand how the moon, Earth and other rocky planets evolved as well.

Priority Environmental Problems of Himalaya

Geodynamic ally active and ecologically sensitive Himalaya; apart from having the inherent environmental problems of natural occurrence such as, earthquakes, landslides, soil erosion and flash floods; is confronted with a range of other problems of anthropogenic origin. They include: accelerated soil erosion, rain water runoff, increasing incidence of landslides, siltation and pollution of water bodies, drying up of springs, deforestation and degradation of forests, scarcity of fodder and fuel wood, overgrazing , forest fires, alterations in wildlife habitats and wildlife attacks, low crop yield, increasing wastelands and invasion of alien weeds, eroding biodiversity, shifting cultivation, etc. Most of these problems are interconnected and one problem gives rise to another in a positive feedback manner. The increasing shortage of basic resources such as, viable cropland size, forests to sustain livestock, water for irrigation and drinking, marginal and rain fed holdings on difficult

Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill

The Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Bill, which has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. The Act is to regulate removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues . This amendment will result in widening options for human organ transplants and making mandatory for medical staff to request relatives of brain dead patients for organ donation. This will also make it mandatory for all registered hospitals for organ retrieval and transplantation to appoint a transplant coordinator to interact with the kin of brain dead patients. This amendment also provides for inclusion of grandparents and grandchildren in the list of near relatives, who can be receivers and donors. Earlier, the list included only spouse, son, daughter, father, mother and sister. The Bill, which had already got the Lok Sabha's nod, seeks stringent punishment of up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 1 crore (from Rs 10 lakh) for illegal

Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan

  The main objectives of Panchayat  Mahila   Evam   Yuva   Shakti   Abhiyan ( PMEYSA)    are:  ( i ) To enable Women and young Panchayat Leaders to come together,  (ii) To articulate their problems as Panchayat leaders,  (iii) Discuss issues regarding the institutional mechanisms for their empowerment and  (iv) Come up with a charter of issues to be mainstreamed into policy and advocacy support so that their concerns are addressed by the process of development adopted by the State and the three tier PRI system.              This is a demand driven scheme and the funds are released to the States on the basis of their justified request / proposals. Activities under the PMESYA include holding of State Sammelans and Divisional / District level Sammelans of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs), formation of Associations, setting up of State Support Centers, sensitization programmes for the Elected Women Representatives and Elected Youth Representatives (EYRs).

Measures to facilitate private sector participation in setting up of the renewable energy projects

• Fiscal and financial incentives for grid as well as off-grid/ decentralized systems, such as, capital/ interest subsidy/ generation based incentive, accelerated depreciation, nil/ concessional excise and customs duties; • Generation Based Incentives Scheme introduced for Wind power and Solar Power to attract private investment by Independent Power Producers not availing Accelerated Depreciation benefit. • Directives under Electricity Act 2003 to all States for fixing a minimum percentage for purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources; • Preferential tariff for grid interactive renewable power in most potential States following the provisions made under the National Electricity Policy 2005 and National Tariff Policy 2006; Uniform guidelines by CERC for fixation of such preferential tariffs being issued every year. • Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission initiated in January 2010 to enable large scale capital investment in solar energy applications. • Amendment i

Nyaya Panchayats

Government proposes to establish Nyaya Panchayats in every Gram Panchayat or a cluster of Gram Panchayats, for providing a system of fair and speedy justice, both civil and criminal, to the citizens at their doorsteps, outside the formal judicial system. The Nyaya Panchayats are proposed to be constituted through the election of the Nyaya Panchas by people residing in the area to which the jurisdiction of the Nyaya Panchayats extends. Provisions are proposed for the reservation for women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to ensure their representation in the Nyaya Panchayats. The Draft Bill defines the civil, criminal and additional jurisdiction of Nyaya Panchayats. In the Draft Bill, conciliation is proposed as a primary means of dispute resolution. Further, Nyaya Sahayaks, who will assist the Nyaya Panchayat in performing their function of dispute resolution, have been proposed. Nyaya Panchayats are proposed as separate and independent dispute resolution bodies, distinct from th

Nutrition Security of Children

The Government of India has accorded top priority to the issue of malnutrition, and has been implementing several schemes/ programmes of different Ministries/Departments through State Governments/UTs which impact, directly or indirectly, the nutrition status. The Minister of Women & Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath stated in Lok Sabha recently that some of the direct interventions on nutrition are  (i) Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme,  (ii) Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDM),  (iii) National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), &  (iv) Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG)- SABLA in 200 districts and Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) – The CMB on pilot basis in 52 districts. Besides these, schemes such as Drinking Water and Total Sanitation Campaign, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), etc indirectly impact the nutrition of children. Many of these sc

Ruinderpest

A national ceremony was held here today to celebrate the declaration of global freedom from Ruinderpest, the dreaded cattle plague.It took almost 150 years to wipe-out the disease once called Cattle-Plague due to very high level of mortality. India has been free from clinical Rinderpest since June, 1995. However, as per norms, India submitted the dossier on August, 2005 for obtaining freedom from Rinderpest. The International Committee of World Organization for Animal Health, OIE recognized India as free from Rinderpest infection on 25th May, 2006. 

Bionic Specs

As per recent developments in the field of ophthalmology, bionic spectacles integrate the use of mini-sized cameras and a pocket computer to give the wearer indications about any object in their way. Using these glasses, the blind will find it possible to do the basic tasks like finding their way on crowded roads, read bus numbers among others. 

WiMAX

WiMAX Technology is one of the emerging wireless technology that provide us high speed mobile data and telecommunication services. WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and it is based on IEEE 802.16 standards.. Wimax Technology works same as Wi-Fi does but it is more improved and efficient then WiFi and it can route data to Wi-Fi that is Wi-Fi devices can take advantage of WiMAX connection. WiMAX technology providess higher speed connection up to 70 Mbps over the area of 30 miles. There is no need for line of sight connection between subscriber terminals and the base station in WiMAX technology and it can support hundreds if not thousands of subscribers from a single base station. It is also specified in 802.16 standards that it will supports low latency applications such as voice, video, and Internet access at the same time. The bandwidth and range of WiMAX make it suitable for the following potential applications: Providing portable mobile broadband

All about band spectrum

The concept In physics, spectrum refers to a range of frequencies at which electromagnetic waves can be transmitted. Such waves—radio waves, infrared and ultraviolet radiation, microwaves and visible light—abound in nature and travel at various frequencies. Ever since scientists learned to generate artificial electromagnetic waves, these have been used to transmit data for various service—cellular telephony, broadcasting, satellite communications and navigation systems. Interference If all these services operated on the same frequency, there would be interference and confusion. “To give an example, humans can hear sound waves between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz (cycles per second). Since each one of us has a differently pitched voice and uses different inflections, we are able to hear one another even in a crowded place. But if two people were to shout at the same pitch or frequency, they wouldn’t be able,” Bands... To minimise interference, the International Telecommunication Unio

Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

The  ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’  for BPL families ( a unit of five)  in Unorganised Sector was launched on 1 st  October, 2007 and became operational from April 1, 2008.   Under the scheme, smart card based cashless health insurance cover of Rs. 30,000/- per annum on a family floater basis is provided to a BPL family in the unorganized sector.  The premium is shared on 75:25 basis by Centre and State Government. In case of States of North-East region and Jammu & Kashmir, the premium is shared in the ratio of 90:10.  The scheme provides for portability of smart card by the splitting the card value for migrant workers.

National Green Tribunal

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has been established under the NGT Act, 2010 on 18th October, 2010. The Tribunal has been established for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Law Commission in its 186th Report recognized the inadequacies of the existing appellate authorities constituted under various environmental laws and reviewed their position with a view to bring uniformity in their constitution and the scope of their jurisdiction. The Law Commission undertook the study pursuant to the observations of the Supreme Court regarding the need for constitution of environmental courts. The Law Commission, in its said report, recommended for setting up of environmental courts in each State

National Programme on Petrochemicals Development

The Government has approved the National Policy on Petrochemicals in April 2007 with the aim to increase investments and competitiveness both in the upstream and downstream sectors, encourage modernization of downstream processing units, promote research and development, develop adequate skilled manpower, etc., with an overall objective to achieve an environmentally sustainable and healthy growth of the petrochemical sector. Subsequently, the Department formulated and implemented three schemes viz. 1)National Awards for Technology Innovations in Petrochemicals and downstream Plastic Processing Industry, 2)Setting up of Centres of Excellence in polymer technology and  3)Setting up of dedicated Plastic Parks to promote a cluster approach in the areas of development of plastic applications. 

Design Clinic Scheme

The main objective of Design Clinic Scheme is to enhance industry understanding and application of design and innovation, and to promote design as a value adding activity and integrate it into mainstream business and industrial processes of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme primarily involves enhancement in Marketing productivity and competitiveness through design, for the MSMEs

Competition Commission of India

The Competition Commission of India has been constituted under Section 7 of the Competition Act, 2002 as amended in 2007. The Competition Commission of India consists of a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six other Members. Under Section 18 of the Competition Act, the functions of the Commission inter-alia are to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants, in markets in India. 

District Planning Committees

Under Article 243ZD of the Constitution, the District Planning Committee (DPC) shall be constituted at the District level in every State to consolidate the Plans prepared by Panchayats and Municipalities in the district and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as whole. The composition and functions to be assigned to the DPCs are decided by the State Legislature. While preparing the draft development plan, DPCs have to take into consideration (i) matters of common interest between the Panchayats and the Municipalities including spatial planning, sharing of water and other physical and natural resources, the integrated development of infrastructure and environmental conservation and  (ii) the extent and type of available resources whether financial or otherwise. The Planning Commission has issued guidelines for preparation of district plans in August, 2006. A comprehensive Manual for Integrated District Planning has also been prepared in 2008. Moreover, Ministry of

Special Focus Districts

The Department of School Education and Literacy has identified 389 Special Focus Districts (SFD) under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for the year 2011-12 on the basis of  (a) Programme category gaps, viz.   (i) districts with a classroom gap exceeding 3000 classrooms,   (ii) districts with more than 20,000 out-of-school children,   (iii) gender gap in enrollment exceeding 10% at primary and 20% at upper primary level, and  (iv) retention rate lower than 60%  (b) Social category gaps   viz., districts with more than 25% Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe population, 20% Muslim minority population, as well as districts affected by Left Wing Extremism and Border Area Districts. Several districts have been classified as SFDs under one or more of the above categories. Districts have been categorized as per the above criteria to enable them to make focused interventions for overcoming specific gaps in their overall endeavour to achieve universal elementary education. The categori

IP Protection Norms for Manufacturing Cheap Generic Drugs

A Political Declaration was adopted in the UN General Assembly on 10th June 2011 on HIV/AIDS. This declaration, inter alia, recognized the importance of affordable medicines, including generics in scaling up access to affordable HIV treatment. It mentions that protection and enforcement measures for intellectual property rights should be compliant with Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of the right of Member States to protect public health and, in particular, to promote access to medicines for all. However, the underlying principle of India’s negotiating strategy on issues relating to IPR is that commitments will have to be fully circumscribed by TRIPS and the present domestic legal framework for IPR in India. 

Intelligence Network at Grassroots

The Government proposes to set up to strengthen intelligence network at grassroots level. The State intelligence and security agencies and State Special branches which have intelligence network at the grassroots level are also Centrally supported and strengthened through the scheme of Modernisation of State Police Forces. In addition with a view to link up this grassroot and State level network with the Central Agencies, action has been initiated for establishment of online, dedicated and secure connectivity between all the designated Members of Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), MAC and the Subsidiary Multi-Agency Centres (SMACs) in 30 important identified locations and between the SMACs and the State Special Branches (SSBs).

National Monuments Authority

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010, which came into force on 30 March, 2010, provides for the establishment of a National Monument Authority.  The Authority shall consist of:- (a) A Chairperson, on whole-time basis, to be appointed by the President, having proven experience and expertise in the fields of archaeology, country and town planning, architecture, heritage, conservation-architecture or law; (b) Such number of members not exceeding five whole-time members and five part-time members to be appointed, on the recommendations of the Selection Committee referred to in section 20G, by the Central Government, having proven experience and expertise in the fields of archaeology, country and town planning, architecture, heritage, conservation-architecture or law; (c)   the  Director General as member, ex officio. The National Monuments Authority shall discharge the following functions:- (a) make recommendations to the Ce

Skill Development Centres

The Government of India has initiated a Pilot Project namely Youth Employability Skill (YES) Project with the objective to enhance the employability of youth by running a variety of employable skills based training courses through recognized Vocational Training Providers (VTPs) for nearly 1000 rural youths and 7000 youth club members in the States of North Eastern Region. The skill training would be provided by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its partner agency. A training programme of three months duration in Rural Retail Sales & Marketing with Information Technology and Personality Development has already been started in July, 2011 in Manipur. 

Tryst with Destiny - Jawahar Lal Nehru :::: Happy Independence day :)

This famous speech was given by pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru on the eve of Independence of the nation...   Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity. At the dawn of history, India started on her unending quest, and trackless centuries are filled with her striving and grandeur of her success and failures. Through good and ill fortune alike, she has never lost sight of that quest, forgotten the ideals which gave her strength. We end today a period of mi

Passport Seva Kendras (PSK)

The PSP is one of the 27 Mission Mode Projects under the e-Governance programme of the Govt of India. The Project aims at delivering all passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, comfortable and reliable manner. The verification of the applicants’ personal particulars will be expedited through electronic linkage of the Project’s portal with the police authorities in the Districts and State capitals, to reduce the delay in verification process. The benefits to the citizens would be service provisioning within defined service levels, closer and larger number of access points for services, availability of a portfolio of on-line services with real-time status tracking and enquiry, 24 x 7 call centre with facility to obtain information in vernacular language, an effective system of grievance redressal, adherence to the ‘First in-First out’ principle in rendering the services and facility of child care and refreshments at the PSKs. The number of pub

Issue of Retrieval of Katchatheevu and restoration of traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu met the Prime Minister on 14 June, 2011 and submitted a Memorandum on a number of issues including the Retrieval of Katchatheevu and restoration of traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen. Position of Govt of India The Government of India considers its maritime boundary with Sri Lanka settled under the Agreements concluded with Sri Lanka in 1974 and 1976. Both these Agreements were subsequently laid before Parliament. The 1974 Agreement on the demarcation of the International Maritime Boundary Line between India and Sri Lanka as also the Exchange of Letters of 1976 on the issue of fishing rights stipulate that fishing vessels and fishermen of India shall not engage in fishing in the historic waters, territorial seas and the Exclusive Economic Zones of Sri Lanka. Indian fishermen, therefore, do not have the legal right to fish in the waters in Katchatheevu Island. Under the Agreement, Indian fishermen are allowed access to the island for res

Visit of delegation from Lesotho

A five-member delegation from the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho is visited India from 27th to 30th July 2011. On 28th July 2011, India and Lesotho signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Rural Development. Earlier, the two sides held wide-ranging discussions related to current cooperation in the field of rural development and prospects of future engagement.

Foreign Office Consultations between India and Kyrgyzstan

Deputy Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Nurlan Aitmurzaev led a delegation to New Delhi for Foreign Office Consultations between India and the Kyrgyz Republic, held on 4-5 August 2011. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs.  Shri Sanjay Singh and Mr. Aitmurzaev comprehensively reviewed the current status of bilateral relations including their political, economic, defence and cultural dimensions. They also discussed important regional and global issues including the situation in Afghanistan. The issue of transport connectivity between India and Central Asia was in focus during the consultations. The Kyrgyz side expressed interest in enhancing the training of Kyrgyz experts under India’s ITEC program and in increasing technical cooperation in the conduct of elections. The two sides agreed to continue regular consultations on areas of mutual interest.

Process of generation of UID

Every citizen first goes through the step of document verification. Following this, demographic data on the citizen, classified under Know Your Resident (KYR) and KYR+ (which are questions added on by the registrar) is entered into the Aadhaar client. A simple software client developed by the UIDAI, the Aadhaar client stores demographic data before moving on to the more complicated process of recording and storing biometric data. Biometrics include capturing three sets of fingerprints, four fingers on both hands and two thumbs, and an image of the iris. In the case of fingerprints, a maximum of four tries are allowed; with agricultural workers or labourers or the elderly, when the lines are not clear enough, this is a problem. The entire enrolment process is conducted offline. Once the enrolment is complete, the package is first encrypted using a 256-bit session encryption key. Then, a 1,024-bit UIDAI public key is used to encrypt, the private key for which is stored within the appl

IRDA releases norms for stake transfer by insurance cos

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on Friday made it mandatory for insurers to seek prior approval in case of stake transfer to domestic entities or financial institutions and set guidelines for seeking approval. As per an IRDA circular, the regulator will carry out the requisite due diligence of the proposed transferee or shareholder prior to grant of approval for registration of transfer of shares under the provisions of Sec. 6A(4) of the Insurance Act, 1938, and for issue of shares to the proposed transferee or shareholder. The circular assumes significance in the light of Bharti-AXA Reliance Industries deal and Punjab National Bank proposing to pick up 30 per cent stake in the Metlife India. The regulator would also examine various issues including the minimum lock-in period of the proposed stakeholder before granting approval. Besides, the IRDA will look into additional capital in proportion of its shareholding at periodic intervals to ensure that the insur

Tapping the Huge Potential of Food Processing Sector

Food grain production has registered a record growth in the country in recent years. India also ranks high among fruit, vegetable, milk, poultry and meat producing countries of the world. This has led to remarkable improvement in the earning capacity of population engaged in agriculture and allied sectors. However, due to lack of efficient supply chains and processing infrastructure, the processing levels in the country are quite low. This results in considerable amount of wastage of agricultural and horticultural produce. As per a study conducted by the Central Institute for Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, post-harvest losses in 2009 were to the tune of Rs. 44,000 crore. To harness the full potential of the food sector, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries launched new schemes in the 11th Plan, which are at different stages of implementation. The focus of these schemes is on creation of modern infrastructure to facilitate growth of food processing and cold chain s

Rusty Spotted Cat - New Addition in Corbett

The Rusty Spotted Cat (Felis rubiginosa) is a new addition to the list of cat species in Corbett (photographs on pib.nic.in). The Rusty Spotted Cat is a highly endangered cat species, which has been accorded the highest statutory protection under schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, besides appendix I of the CITES. The species is little smaller than the domestic cat with a rufescent or fawn grey coat. It is targeted by professional track hunters for its valuable fur. This Cat is endemic to India and Sri Lanka, and has been reported mainly in the Western Ghats, besides possibly in some pockets of Jammu and Central India. During the recent country level estimation of tigers and co-predators (in 2010), its presence has also been reported in the Western areas of Pilibhit. Corbett Tiger Reserve has the unique distinction of being the first 9 tiger reserves where Project Tiger was launched in 1973. The reserve and its landscape, especially around Morghati, Pakhro and nearby

Cruise Tourism

Cruise tourism has the potential to attract both domestic as well as foreign tourists in the country. The Ministry of Tourism in association with the Ministry of Shipping promotes cruise tourism. Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to the State Governments/UT Administration/Central Government Agencies under the following schemes for development of tourism including cruise tourism: 1. Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits. 2. Assistance for Large Revenue Generating Projects. 3. Assistance to Central Agencies for Infrastructure Development. No project relating to development of cruise tourism has been sanctioned during the last two years and the current year. Initially, five ports namely Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi have been identified for cruise tourism including development of cruise terminal. The Government of India has approved the Cruise Shipping Policy in June 2008. Some salient features of this pol

Challange of pornography on Internet

Every infrastructure / service may be used for hosting variety of applications and content of any nature. The web infrastructure does not distinguish the nature of content. The technology is therefore, used for purposes which may be liked by one section of society and not liked by other sections of society. Pornography is one such nature of content and several groups have hosted pornography sites / content on Internet for variety of purposes. Such sites can be accessed by all sections of users including children. Most of the pornographic websites are hosted outside the country. The filtering of pornographic sites poses a technical challenge. These websites keep on changing the names, domain addresses and hosting platforms from time to time making it difficult to filter or block such websites using technical tools available in the market. In addition, the tools provide filtering to a limited extent only. The tools, in the process, also filter genuine content and degrade the performanc

E-Panchayats

Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has formulated “e-Panchayat Mission Mode Project (MMP)” for implementation of e-governance in Panchayats as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the umbrella of National e-Governance Programme (NeGP). The scheme aims at supporting all the State Governments for making effective use of IT in Panchayats in the process of planning at grassroots level, bring out transparency in the working of the PRIs and also help in increased accountability of these institutions. Internet connectivity is to be provided to the Panchayats by the respective States/UTs by utilizing funds from various schemes, such as Central Finance Commission Grants, State Finance Commission Grants, Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes, etc.  It is targeted to provide internet connectivity to all Panchayats by 2012. 

Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)

"Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE)" is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to Science. The basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base. A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level. It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent. INSPIRE Scheme has included three components. They are  a) Scheme for Early Attraction of Talents for Science (SEATS) Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS) aims at attracting talented youth to study science by