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Showing posts from September, 2011

TRAI guidelines to regulate unsolicited commercial Calls and messages

To regulate unsolicited commercial call and messages TRAI has notified "The Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010" which came into force from 27th September, 2011. Under this regulation Customers (landline and mobile) who do not want to receive commercial communications can dial or SMS to 1909 (toll free) and register in either of the two categories:

IP Address

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a number series assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. IP address is used to identify networks and locate addresses.

Tejas

Tejas is India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is the world's smallest, light weight, multi-role combat aircraft. The LCA is designed to meet the requirements of Indian Air Force as its frontline multi-mission single-seat tactical aircraft to replace the MiG-21 series of aircraft. Short takeoff and landing, excellent flight performance, safety, reliability and maintainability, are salient features of LCA design. The LCA integrates modern design concepts like static instability, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated avionics, glass cockpit, primary composite structure, multi-mode radar, microprocessor based utility and brake management systems. A naval variant of tejas is also being developed.

National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) has been set up by the Government as an interdisciplinary body to provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue to energise and sustain the growth of manufacturing industries in India. The NMCC is expected to suggest various ways and means for enhancing the competitiveness of manufacturing sector including identification of manufacturing sectors which have potential for global competitiveness; current strengths and constraints of identified sectors, and recommend National level industry/sector specific policy imitatives as may be required for augmenting the growth of manufacturing sector.

Solar Cities

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing a programme on ‘Development of Solar Cities’ which aims to reduce a minimum of 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy of the city through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures. Sixty Cities are proposed to be developed as Solar Cities during the Eleventh Plan period including four Model Solar Cities and 10 Pilot Solar Cities. The Master plan for each Solar City is being prepared to assess and utilize various renewable sources including Solar, Wind, Municipal Waste etc.

National Policy on Biofuel

The National Policy on Biofuel endeavors to facilitate and bring about optimal development and utilization of indigenous biomass feedstocks for production of bio-fuels .The Policy aims at mainstreaming of biofuels and, therefore, envisions a central role for it in the energy and transportation sectors of the country in coming decades. The salient features of the National Policy on Bio- fuels  are :-

Shourya

Shourya is a surface to surface , two stage, highly maneuverable, h yper-sonic missile which can carry both conventional as well as nuclear warhead. It has range of 700 km. Shourya is the land-variant of the K-15 underwater missile that is being fitted into India’s nuclear-powered submarine, Arihant. Recently missile completed its third successful test . After complete successful testing it can be used by navy as well as army .

Perfomax

 It is  a composite herbal formulation developed by DRDO . It helps improving physical and mental performance in High Altitude and Hypoxic Conditions. It contains antioxidants and other bioactive compounds that improve performance of brain, heart, kidney and lungs and improves blood circulation. 

Text-To- Speech system (TTS) and Optical Character Recognition System (OCRA).

Text-to-Speech is computer software , developed by TDIL ,which transforms the machine readable text into Human Voice. It is developed to enable people with visual impairments or low vision disabilities to listen to written works on a computer or a mobile device. Text to Speech system integrated with screen reader would enable visually challenged users to interpret and perform computer operations with audio interface. It allows easy navigation using the screen reader facility.

NATGRID

National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) is  intelligence database designed to consolidate and make searchable data gathered by existing security and law enforcement agencies in order to prevent terrorist activity within the country.This will help in better coordination among different agencies .

National Technical Research Organisation

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is a scientific organization under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office, India.This agency was setup to avoid any kargil like unexpected situations. It is technical intelligence gathering organisation which provides inputs to other agencies on internal and external security .

National Culture Fund

The National Culture Fund (NCF) was launched in1997 with the objective   mobilizing resources from government, non-government agencies, private institutions and individuals for the restoration, conservation, protection and development of the rich cultural and natural heritage of India and to encourage Public Private Partnership.

ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network(ISTRAC)

ISTRAC is responsible for providing Space Operation services that include spacecraft control,"Telemetry, Tracking and Command(TTC)" support services and other related projects and services, for the launch vehicle and low earth orbiting spacecraft and deep space missions of ISRO and other space agencies around the world.

Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP)

The Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) provides interest subsidy on housing loans to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) as part of credit-enablement measures and encourages those households to avail of loan facilities through Commercial Banks/Housing Finance Companies for the purpose of construction/acquisition of houses and avail 5% subsidy in interest payment for loanz upto Rs. 1 lakh. The loan repayment period would be 15-20 years.

What to do when Earthquake hits

A series of frequently occurring earthquakes made it important for us to know how to reaponse when caught in midst of earthquake .Unlike other calamity earthquake comes without any warning , When ever earthquake comes , one should immediately take following steps(whichever is possible ) : If Inside a House : Drop to the ground and take cove under any piece of furniture until shaking stops. Try to stay way from things which could fall such as glass window , Lightening fixtures  etc . One can use doorway shelter if it is nearby and strongly supported. Since earthquake jolts may come in series once shaking stops run to open place and stay there for sometime . If Outside House : Move away from buildings , street lights. Stay in open till the shaking stops . If in a Moving Vehicle : Stop as quickly as possible avoiding proximity of buildings, trees, overpass , wires etc Once shaking stops start moving cautiously avoiding bridges, overbridges , buildings and trees

High Level Safety Review Committee

Railway ministry constituted High Level Safety Review Committee under chaimanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar . Based on the accidents and their consequences witnessed in the recent past, the Committee would examine aspects connected with Signalling Systems, Rolling Stock (of all types), Fixed Structures (Tracks, Bridges and OHE), Human Resource Development with emphasis on Training, Education and Research, Need for a Third Party Audit, Organisational and structural changes in RDSO and in any other department, and improvements in procedural system and improvement in procedures and systems and any other item/modification which Committee may desire.

Main functions of RBI

Monetary Authority Formulates, implements and monitors the monetary policy with objective of maintaining price stability and ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors. Regulator and supervisor of the financial system Prescribes broad parameters of banking operations within which the country's banking and financial system functions with objective of maintain public confidence in the system, protect depositors' interest and provide cost-effective banking services to the public. Manager of Foreign Exchange Manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 with objective of to facilitating external trade and payment and promote orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India. Issuer of currency Issues and exchanges or destroys currency and coins not fit for circulation with objective of giving the public adequate quantity of supplies of currency notes and coins and in good quality. Developmental role Performs a

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international Standards Body headquartered at MassachusettsInstitute of Technology , USA , develops Standards / Best Practices / recommendations to ensure seamless web access to all. The Vision of W3C is to achieve “Web for Everyone and Web on Everything.” W3C works in tandem with others standards making bodies such as UNICODE, IETF, ICANN , ISO , ITU at the international level.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987 by 24 countries. Later Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol was created , thus Montreal protocol became the first of the multilateral environmental agreements to establish a financial mechanism for implementation. Gradually it received universal ratification where by all countries have become member of the protocol . Initially on the basis of very definite empirical findings, the Protocol enjoined upon all the signatory nations to completely phase out the major Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons and carbon-tetrachloride (CTC) in a given time schedule. Later, other studies have brought more ODSs such as hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl bromide under the ambit of the Protocol for phasing out within the given deadlines.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Marine Fishing (Amendment) Regulation, 2011

The Union Cabinet today approved the promulgation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Marine Fishing (Amendment) Regulation, 2011 by the President under article 240 of the Constitution. The approval will strengthen the coastal security in the coastline of the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in an effective manner by having a streamlined system of registration of all fishing vessels under a single law namely the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. 

Clay Pack Treatment

Archaeological Survey of India has used clay pack treatment in the recent past, for removal of accretionary deposits, at Moti Masjid at Agra Fort, Sheikh Salim Chisti’s tomb at Fatehpur Sikri, Diwane-e-Am, Dewane-e-Khas & Shahburj at Red Fort, Delhi and Victoria Memorial at Kolkata. This method is used because it is non-abrasive, non-corrosive and very effective to remove deposits from marble surfaces.

Government Accepted the Recommendations of GoM on Corruption

The Government has accepted the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Corruption in its First Report, aimed at fast-tracking of cases against public servants accused of corruption. The Government had, on 6th January. 2011. constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to consider measures that can be taken bythe Government to tackle corruption, under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. The terms of reference of the GoM were as under:-

HARPS

High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher(HARPS) is designed as an echelle spectrograph , installed on European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) 3.6m telescope at LA Silla observatory in Chile. It measures radial velocity of planets with highest degree of accuracy currently available .

PETN

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) is the nitrate ester of pentaerythritol, a polyol. Penta refers to the five carbon atoms of the neopentane skeleton. It is the one of the highly explosive chemical .Since it initial ignition is not easy, It is normally used a booster in explosive mixtures .

India and UAE sign revised MoU on Manpower

A need has been felt over the years to revise the MoU, which was signed between India and the UAE in December, 2006 to address various problems faced by the Indian emigrant workers in the UAE. After detailed negotiations between the two countries, a revised MoU was finalized and signed today. The MoU in the field of manpower between India and the UAE provides for the following:

Happy B'day sis :)

Optional Fully Convertible Debenture (OFCD)

OFCD is a type of debt security where the option is given to the holder if he wants to convert his debenture into equity share after stipulated time . This instrument does not yield interest in the initial period of say, 6 months. After this period option is given to the holder of OFCDs to apply for equity at a "premium" for which no additional amount needs to be paid. The option has to be indicated in the application form itself. However, interest on FCDs is payable at a determined rate from the date of first conversion to the second / final conversion and in lieu of it, equity shares are issued. SEBI recently charged the Sahara Group for disguising its prospectus for the OFCD issue as a draft red herring prospectus(DRHP), as it had contained the details of price and quantum of the issue amont other things.

Need of Terrorism Court

Terrorism have become a big problem now a days .Whenever it seems that now it will all stop now , a bomb blast takes place and make us realize that we are still not safe . Followed by a set of predictable events , political leader visiting places , announcing compensation , police forces starts searching for the terrorists involved etc .

Asian Clearing Union (ACU)

The Asian Clearing Union (ACU) was established in December 1974 when the countries in the region were facing settlement difficulties, mainly due to resource constraints.Asian Clearing Union (ACU) is the simplest form of payment arrangements whereby the members settle payments for intra-regional transactions among the participating central banks on a multilateral basis. The ACU is a clearing union among other clearing houses/payments arrangements operating in various regions of the world. The objectives of the ACU are:

National Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council (NAC) has been set up as an interface with Civil Society. The NAC provides policy and legislative inputs to Government with special focus on social policy and the rights of the disadvantaged groups. In addition, the NAC review the flagship programmes of the Government and suggest measures to address any constraints in their implementation and delivery.

Steps to Avoid hacking of Government websites

Due to increasing number of government websites getting hacked Government of India have taken concrete steps to tackle it . The specific steps taken by Government towards ensuring cyber security are: i.  All the new Government websites and applications are to be audited with respect to cyber security prior to their hosting. The auditing of the websites and applications will be conducted on a regular basis after hosting also.

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)

The SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization under Ministry of Corporate Affairs, consisting of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds. The SFIO will normally take up for investigation only such cases, which are characterized by complexity and having inter-departmental and multi-disciplinary ramifications ; substantial involvement of public interest to be judged by size, either in terms of monetary misappropriation or in terms of persons affected, and;  the possibility of investigation leading to or contributing towards a clear improvement in systems, laws or procedures. The SFIO shall investigate serious cases of fraud received from Department of company Affairs. SFIO takes up investigation of cases referred by the Government under section 235 to 239 of the Companies Act,1956. SFIO, at pr

Australopithecus sediba

Analysis of 2 million-year-old bones found in South Africa puts Australopithecus sediba,a pre human branch of evolutionary tree , as best candidate to be the ancestor of the human line.The bones which were found in 2008 in the cave region of Malapa near Johannesburg, show a head-to-foot combination of features of Australopithecus and the human genus, Homo. This species has combination of both ape like and human like features.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)

The Constitution of India does not allow holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. However based on the recommendation of the High Level committee on Indian Diaspora, the Government of India decided to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) commonly known as ‘dual citizenship’. Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain category as has been specified in the Brochure who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other under their local laws. Persons registered as OCI have not been given any voting rights, election to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/Legislative Assembly/Council, holding Constitutional posts such as President, Vice President, Judge of Supreme Court/High Court etc. Registered OCIs shall be entitled to following benefits: (i) Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visi

Compulsory Registration of Marriages

The Supreme Court vide its judgment dated 14.02.2006 in Seema Vs. Ashwani Kumar (AIR 2006 S.C 1158) has directed the State Governments and the Central Government that marriages of all persons who are citizens of India belonging to various religious denomination should be made compulsorily registerable in their respective States where such marriages are solemnized.

Sixth freedom rights

Sixth freedom rights in aviation sector refers to right to fly from a foreign country to another country while stopping in one own's country.For example a foreign carrier operating in "Mumbai-its own city -Paris" can pic passengers from Mumbai and take them to Paris. Recently CAG in his report pointed out that allowing foreign carriers to exercise these rights has resulted in weaning away of passengers from Air India to foreign carriers and recommended rolling back of some rights .

PASSEX

The Indian Navy undertook a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Turkish Navy on 10th and 11th July 2011 during the routine visit of Turkish Navy ship to Mumbai. The scope of this exercise included over the horizon targeting exercise, visual signaling exercise, manoeuvres by officers of the watch etc. 

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will; When the road you're trudging seems all uphill; When the funds are low, and the debts are high And you want to smile, but have to sigh; When care is pressing you down a bit- Rest if you must, but do not quit. Success is failure turned inside out; The silver tint of the clouds of doubt; And you can never tell how close you are It may be near when it seems so far; So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit- It's when things go wrong that you must not quit                                - Anonymous

Shock in the midnight

It was around 11pm in the night of 7th September 2011, I was feeling very sleepy and was lying on the bed. As soon as i went into deep sleep , I felt as if someone is shaking me . Immediately i woke , what i felt that its not only me but the whole building is shaking . For a moment i was clueless . "what the hell is going on " i thought . Then suddenly it struck to me "Oh my god, its earthquake , am i fool not running to safer place". I came out of my room and shouted " run to safe place , else we all be buried and dead" . I was wearing minimum required clothes ,just picked up my t-shirt and ran towards first floor , so that if necessary will jump from balcony in the field . Since my area is full of buildings so going to ground floor and taking longer route towards open field was not safe. In those few minute a hell lot of thought crossed my mind, it seems to me that it may be the end .One thought which was not prominent was that i got good enough ser

Indian Language Technology Proliferation and Deployment Centre

Government has launched the Indian Language Technology Proliferation and Deployment Centre (ILTP-DC). Under the ambit of Technology Development in Indian Language (TDIL) Programme, Indian Language Technology Proliferation and Deployment Centre (ILTP-DC) portal was launched on 12th November, 2010. The portal can be accessed through http://www.tdil-dc.in .

Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Body

In order to further strengthen aviation safety environment through synergisation of available expertise, a Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation has been formed. The members of the council inter alia include heads of scheduled airlines, experts in flight operations, airworthiness, air navigation, aerodromes & heliports, aircraft engineering, representative of Indian Air Force.

Committee on black money

A Committee headed by the Chairman, CBDT has been constituted to examine ways to strengthen laws to curb generation of black money in India, its illegal transfer abroad and its recovery. The Committee shall examine the existing legal and administrative framework to deal with the menace of generation of black money through illegal means including inter-alia  (i) declaring wealth generated illegally as national asset;  (ii) enacting/amending laws to confiscate and recover such assets; and  (iii) providing for exemplary punishment against its perpetrators.  The Committee is required to consult all stakeholders and submit its report within a period of six months. 

Guidelines on Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services by banks

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued Guidelines on Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services by banks on 3rd November, 2006, to enable the banks to effectively manage the risks arising out of outsourcing. As per these guidelines, the banks are required to put in place a Board approved comprehensive policy detailing all relevant aspects such as the services to be outsourced, criteria for selection of such activities as well as service providers, parameters for defining material outsourcing, delegation of authority depending on risks and materiality and systems to monitor and review the operations of these activities. However, the guidelines specify that banks should not outsource core management functions including internal audit, compliance function and decision-making functions like determining compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for opening deposit accounts, according sanction for loans, management of investment portfolio etc. Further, it is

Recommendation of Committee on Comprehensive Review of National Small Savings Fund (NSSF)

The Committee on Comprehensive Review of National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) headed by Deputy Governor, RBI has recommended revision of certain provisions of PPF Scheme, 1968 and benchmarking of interest rates on various small savings schemes with the secondary market yields on Central Government securities of comparable maturities with suitable spread. The Committee has recommended increasing the deposit limit under PPF Scheme from existing Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 1 lakh per annum and fixing of rate of interest on advances against deposits in PPF scheme at 2 percentage points as against the prevailing interest rate on such advances at 1%. The Committee has further recommended benchmarking interest rate on small saving schemes to interest rate on Government securities of similar maturities with a positive spread of 25 basis points on all schemes except for 50 basis points for 10 year NSC and 100 basis point for Senior citizens Savings Scheme. Recommendations of the Committee have been ref

Agreements/MOUs signed during PM’s visit to Bangladesh

(i) Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development The Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development is a contemporary blueprint designed to encompass all forms and sectors of cooperation. (ii) Protocol to the Agreement concerning the demarcation of the Land Boundary between India and Bangladesh and related matters.With this, both our countries have now demarcated the entire land boundary as well as resolved the status of enclaves and adversely possessed areas. worked out 24-hour access to the enclaves of Dahagram-Angarpota through the Tin Bigha Corridor.

Foodgrain Procurment Policy

As per existing policy, Government procures foodgrains (wheat, rice and coarse cereals) conforming to uniform specifications at Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the farmers through Food Corporation of India (FCI) and States/State agencies for the Central Pool. Procurement of foodgrains is open ended wherein all the foodgrains offered by farmers including small and marginal farmers at MSP and conforming to prescribed specifications are procured. Farmers have a choice to sell it to FCI/State Agencies at MSP or to sell in the open market, as is advantageous to them. This policy is uniformly applicable throughout the country

India and Israel to Enhance Tourism Cooperation

Both the countries have decided to consider exchanging experience in destination management and promotion. Manpower development will be another area of cooperation between India and Israel. Exchange programme for teachers, students, and exchange of information on teaching modules will be considered by the two countries. Tour operators and travel agents of both the countries will interact with each other in order to promote two-way tourism between India and Israel. The possibilities for promoting package tours in either of the countries will also be explored by the travel trade of two countries.

Labour Courts

As per section 7 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, the appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more Labour Courts for the adjudication of industrial disputes and for performing such other functions as may be assigned to them under this Act. Thus, the primary function of Labour Courts is to adjudicate on industrial disputes. So long as industrial disputes continue to exist, labour courts cannot become irrelevant. The Central Government has set up 22 Central Government Industrial Tribunals-cum-Labour Courts (CGIT-cum-LCs) for resolution of industrial disputes arising in Central Sphere. A system of link officers has been put in place so that judicial work does not suffer in case the post of Presiding Officer of CGIT-cum-LC remains vacant due to administrative exigency. A Scheme of Holding of Lok Adalats as an “Alternative Grievance Redressal Mechanism” was introduced in the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07) for speedy disposal of industria

Legal Aid Clinics in Villages

Government says that the National Legal Services Authority has proposed to establish legal aid clinics in all villages or cluster of villages depending upon their geographical area. These legal aid clinics are identical to the functioning of the primary health centres. National Legal Services Authority has framed the National Legal Services Authority (Legal Aid Clinics) Schemes, 2010 and has included its implementation in the National Plan of Action 2011-2012 .These legal aid clinics will be set up during the year 2011-12, by the State/District Legal Services Authorities under the guidance and support of the National Legal Services Authority.

Piracy’s Impact on Trade

The changes in tactics of pirates have been a subject of constant review by International shipping community. The general understanding is that pirates are forever looking for ‘soft targets’ and newer techniques for extending their reach. Earlier pirate activities were mainly concentrated in the Gulf of Aden. However, due to increased military (Naval) presence in the area, incidents of piracy are now reported more eastward in the Arabian seas. Pirates have also started using captured merchant ships as ‘mother ships’ to launch attacks far away from the Somalia coast. On account of extension of ‘high risk area’ from earlier 65 degree East to 78 degree East (up to the outer limit of territorial waters of India), the cost of insurance for trading in the Arabian seas has generally gone up. Government of India has drawn attention to the problem of piracy and hostage taking off the Coast of Somalia and called for urgent and collaborative international counter-piracy measures in the meetin

Awareness Programme on Environment

Various programmes are running at present by the Government to bring mass awareness on Environment among the common people keeping in view the crisis of Global warming.They are under Environment Education Awareness & Training (EEAT) Scheme, mainly following two programmes are being run by the Ministry of Environment & Forests to bring mass awareness on environment among people keeping in view the crisis of Global Warming:- (i) National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) under which two years back the Climate Change was a theme of the programme. (ii) Seminar/ Conference/ Symposia/ Workshop etc. under which Climate Change is one of the identified thrust areas. 

Issue of One Rank One Pension

A Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of 'One Rank One Pension and other related matters'. After considering all aspects of the matter, the Committee did not find it feasible to recommend One Rank One Pension. However, keeping in mind the spirit of the demand, several other recommendations to substantially improve pensionary benefits of Personnel Below Officer Rank (PBOR) and Commissioned Officers were made, which have been accepted by the Government and orders in implementation of all the recommendations have been issued. Implementation of these orders has not only significantly reduced the gap between the past and the current pensioners but has also considerably improved the pension of ex-servicemen including disabled ex-servicemen. 

Allocation and Storage of Food grains

In view of reports of damages to Central Pool stocks of foodgrains in some godowns of FCI and State agencies during last year,the Government has taken a number of steps. During the current year 2011-12 besides allocating a quantity of 488.71 lakh tons of foodgrains (which includes 50 lakh tons additional APL allocation) under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), an ad hoc additional allocation of 50 lakh tons of rice and wheat has been made to States/UTs in May, 2011 at BPL issue prices for distribution to BPL families upto March, 2012. Further, in pursuance to the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s direction, in its order dated 14.5.2011 to allocate additional quantity of foodgrains to the 150 poorest districts in the country for distribution to extremely poor and vulnerable sections of the society, the government has allocated 3,87,670.65 tons of foodgrains at BPL /AAY issue prices for three months for poor families identified in 74 districts of 13 States as per recommendations of Centra

Additional Foodgrains to Poor Districts

The Government of India has made adhoc additional allocation of 5 million tons of foodgrains to all States and Union Territories for distribution to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at BPL prices, in May 2011. Uttar Pradesh has been made an additional allocation of 546,122 MTs of rice and 272,758 MTs of wheat. In pursuance of the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 14.5.2011 to reserve 5 million tons of food grains for distribution to the 150 poorest districts or the extremely poor and vulnerable sections of our society, the Central Vigilance Committee on Public Distribution System set up by the Hon’ble Supreme Court has requested the Uttar Pradesh Government to identify families below poverty line who are presently not being allocated foodgrains in the 15 backward districts in the State and intimate the quantity of additional foodgrains required for making allocation to the State for the purpose. 

Indian Growth Story and Global fluctuations

The uncertainty in the global markets due to recent developments in United States of America (USA) and Euorzone have had some impact on capital markets in India. The economy, however, is basically domestic demand driven, as about 85 per cent of its GDP is from domestic sources. The calibrated approach to capital account convertibility has prevented surge and reversal of debt creating capital flows. Indian banking sector is robust and the export basket is increasingly diversified in terms of products and destinations, with developing economies emerging as the largest export market. The Indian growth story is, therefore, expected to remain largely intact, as its fundamentals are strong.There has been no downgrading of India’s credit rating. However a close watch on global development is needed and action should  depend upon how the global situation unfolds. 

TDSAT

An Appellate Tribunal known as the “Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal”(TDSAT) has been set up under Section 14 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 by TRAI (Amendment) Act, 2000 (hereinafter called the “Act”) to adjudicate disputes and dispose of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector and to promote and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector. The functions of the appellate tribunal are to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any decision or order of TRAI, the appellate tribunal consists of Chairperson and two Members.    The Appellate Tribunal came into existence on 29th May, 2000 and started hearing cases from January 2001. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Suhas C. Sen, former Judge of Supreme Court of India, was appointed as its fi

Legislation for Protection of Interest of Depositors

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934 provides adequate protection to small depositors in financial institutions. The interest of Depositors in financial establishments can be broadly divided into two segments (a) companies registered as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) which are under the regulatory purview of RBI, (b) Un-incorporated Bodies (UIBs) accepting public deposits unauthorisedly. The NBFCs are regulated under chapters III and V of the RBI Act, UIB’s have been precluded from accepting deposits from any person other than relatives specified in the RBI Act. On pursuance by the RBI, 14 States and 1 Union Territory have enacted legislation on the lines of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1997, which contains stiff penal provisions for promoters of financial establishments defaulting in repayment of deposits and interest. The close co-ordination through institutionalized framework of State Level Co-ordination Committee

Introduction of a new Central Sector Plan Scheme of non-lapsable Central Pool of resources

The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region for introduction of a new Central Sector Plan Scheme titled “Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources – Central – (NLCPOR –Central)”. The purpose of this proposal is to make funds available for projects which are critical to the development of the north eastern region and are in accordance with national priorities. The scheme as it is envisaged, will address this issue and projects having the potential for extensive social and economic impact on the region will be taken up under the scheme.

Steps to boost Medical Education in india

The Central Government, in consultation with Medical Council of India (MCI), has reviewed and amended following MCI Regulations to promote medical education in the country: 1. The norms for setting up of medical colleges have been relaxed in terms of requirement for land, faculty, staff, bed/bed strength, other infrastructure, etc. 2. Maximum intake capacity at MBBS level has been increased from 150 to 250. 3. Maximum age for appointment of faculty has been enhanced from 65 to 70 years. 4. DNB qualifications have been recognized for appointment to various faculty positions. 5. Teacher – student ratio has been relaxed to increase the seats at Postgraduate level. 

National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Register has been renamed as National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) w.e.f. 10th Feb. 2011.  TRAI has issued “The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010” on 1st December 2010 with the objective to provide an effective mechanism for curbing Unsolicited Commercial Communications. The main features of the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 are as follows: 

Development of Solar Cities

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing a programme on ‘Development of Solar Cities’ which aims to reduce a minimum of 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy of the city through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures. Sixty Cities are proposed to be developed as Solar Cities during the Eleventh Plan period including four Model Solar Cities and 10 Pilot Solar Cities. The Master plan for each Solar City is being prepared to assess and utilize various renewable sources including Solar, Wind, Municipal Waste etc.

Parliamentary Panel on NPS

1) Subscribers to the New Pension System (NPS) should get an assured return on their investments, that is, at least equal to the interest rate given by the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme, so that they were not at any disadvantage via-a-vis other pensioners. In India, no pension fund management company offers a guaranteed pension product.

SEBI - A brief introduction

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was established by the Government of India in 1988 through an executive resolution, and later upgraded as a fully autonomous body (a statutory Board) in the year 1992 with the passing of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act (SEBI Act) on 30th January 1992. In place of Government Control, a statutory and autonomous regulatory board with defined responsibilities, to cover both development & regulation of the market, and independent powers have been set up. Government decided to give it statutory status after Securities Scam of 1990-91. The basic objectives of the Board were identified as: to protect the interests of investors in securities; to promote the development of Securities Market; to regulate the securities market and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. SEBI has introduced the comprehensive regulatory measures, prescribed registration norms, the eligibility criteria, the code of obligations a

Progress of Conversion of Seawater Into Potable Water in India

 Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) technology for conversion of seawater into potable water is successfully commissioned in the country at 4 places and 6 other are in the pipeline. Kavaratti, Minicoy, Agatti, Lakshadweep and at Northern Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS), Chennai are benefitted with this technology. The capacity of each of these LTTD plants is 1 lakh litre per day of potable water. The water is used locally.Besides, the Ministry is working to set up 6 more plants funded by Lakshadweep Administration, one each in the islands of Lakshadweep viz., Amini, Chetlet, Dadamath, Kalpeni, Kiltan and Andrott plants. The Ministry of Earth Science (MoEF) had launched a program for development of low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) technology for conversion of seawater into potable water, suitable for installation in the island territories and near the coastal Power Plants. The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous body of the Ministry

Enforcement Directorate (ED)

Enforcement directorate, A specialised financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, have been regularly in news for various reasons. Lets go through its history, reconstruction and functions to understand its utility in ongoing era. The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47). This Unit was headed by a Legal Service Officer, as Director of Enforcement, assisted by an Officer drawn on deputation from RBI and 3 Inspectors of Special Police Establishment. Its headquarter was based in Delhi with two branches at Bombay and Calcutta. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’, and another branch was opened at Madras. The administrative control of the Directorate was transferred from Department of Economic Affairs to Dep

Genome research in India

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is implementing a major programme in the area of Human Genetics & Analysis since 1990-91. Department has established 21 genetic diagnosis cum counselling units to provide patient services across the country. The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics  of DBT in collaboration with Nizam’s Institute of Medical Science , Hyderabad is also providing genetic diagnosis cum counselling services to the affected families. The Department has recently established National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani, West Bangal. The institute is devoted to research and training in genomics in health and disease and to promote genomics based services in West Bengal.