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Showing posts from December, 2011

Universal Health Coverage(UHC)

The Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS) launched by the Government of India w.e.f. 14.7.2003 is already in existence for persons and families below the poverty line with element of subsidy from the Government. In addition, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) was also rolled out from 1.4.2008 by the Government to provide the health insurance coverage for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The scheme has also been extended to unorganized sector workers such as MNREGA workers, street vendors, beedi & domestic workers, etc. However, the Planning Commission had constituted a High Level Expert Group(HLEG) on Universal Health Coverage(UHC) to, inter alia, develop a blue print and investment plan for achieving `Health for All by 2020’.

Legal Aid Clinics Scheme

As India lives in its villages, it is imperative that the villagers be provided an effective legal assistance in their village itself. As of now it is also a fact that most of the legal services institutions are located in urban and semi-urban areas which position puts the villagers at a disadvantage. To overcome this hurdle a Scheme of Legal Aid Clinics has been prepared to provide legal relief easily to the indigent and backward sections of our society. The Scheme, adopted in December last year under the National Plan of Action of the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), is being implemented through the legal services institutions (i.e., the Taluk/Sub-divisional/Mandal Legal Services Committees, District Legal Services Authorities, High Court Legal Services Committees, State Legal Services Authorities and Supreme Court Legal Services Committee established under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987) spread throughout the nation. NALSA plans to set up Legal Aid Clinics in al

UN climate summit in Durban (COP-17)

Conference of parties -17 (COP-17) took place in durban. The summit appeared to go the Copenhagen way with the EU insisting that the world’s major emitters — US, China and India — start cutting carbon emissions as soon as the Kyoto Protocol expires in a year’s time and India and China opposing it. In the end, both sides were realistic enough to make compromises to produce what has been hailed as a “historic deal to save the planet ”. In the 2011 Durban Climate Summit it was decided that next year, when the current round of the Kyoto Protocol ends, talks will begin and end by 2015 with the objective of having emissions control agreements in place by 2020.

Conference on Climate Change - Cancun Summit

India`s role at the UN Climate Change Conference held at Cancun was appreciated by the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China).India’s position on Climate Change negotiations has been anchored in the principle of equity and “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” of Parties as enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kyoto Protocol and Bali Action Plan. During the 16th Conference of Parties (CoP-16) of the UNFCCC held in Cancun, Mexico, India interalia played a coordination role among BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) to have balanced and comprehensive set of decisions in accordance with the Bali Road Map. 

वसुधा का नेता कौन हुआ

सच है, विपत्ति जब आती है, कायर को ही दहलाती है, शूरमा नहीं विचलित होते, क्षण एक नहीं धीरज खोते, विघ्नों को गले लगाते हैं, काँटों में राह बनाते हैं।

Conservation of Tribal Language

As per information received from the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the CIIL has a Centre which takes care of Preservation and Development of Tribal Languages. The Centre has so far undertaken the following activities: 

National Broadband Network

The Government has approved creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity to all Panchayats. The plan is to extend the existing optical fibre network initially upto Panchayats by utilizing the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) and creating an institutional mechanism for management and operation of the UOFN for ensuring non discriminatory access to all service providers. 

Draft National Policy on Electronics

A draft National Policy on Electronics has been announced on 3 October, 2011 and is available on . A Round Table Conference on Electronic Policy 2011 was held in June 2011 by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, representatives from Ministries/Department, industry associations, manufacturing units etc participated in the Round Table Conference.  

panel of independent external auditors of the United Nations

The panel of independent external auditors carries out audits and reports periodically on the accounts and management of the U.N., specialised agencies such as the World Health Organisation, the World Food Programme and the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.Formed through a resolution by the U.N. General Assembly in 1959, the panel comprises individual external auditors who are the heads of supreme audit institutions of various countries.

Early Warning System

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced an ‘Early Warning System” (EWS) in 2009 based on certain financial and non-financial indictors to ensure, as far as possible, that there is no recurrence of cases similar to Satyam Case. The criteria of EWS are used for online examination of Balance Sheets and other records of all listed companies and unlisted companies [(a) with a turnover of Rs. 100 crore or more, (b) with a paid up capital of Rs 50 crore or more, and (c) having 1000 or more shareholders.] to generate early alerts of possible violations which could lead to commitment of frauds. The criteria devised in 2009 was revisited and revised for identifying compnies for their early scrutiny with thefollowing salient features:-

Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)

Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), undertakes standardization, regulation and monitoring of the training of professionals in the field of rehabilitation and special education, promotes research, maintains register of rehabilitation professionals, prescribes code of conduct and ethics for these professionals etc.

Sports Bill

In order to bring transparency and accountability in the functioning of the National Sports Federations and Indian Olympic Association , the Government is introducing Sports bill and is formulating a regulatory framework with the objective of promoting good governance among sports bodies. The Draft of the National Sports Bill has been placed in the public domain for pre-legislative stakeholders consultations. Following are the salient features of the proposed National Sports Development Bill, 2011:-

Agreement with EU Not to Detain Generic Drugs from India

India initiated dispute settlement consultations on 11 May 2010 at the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) with the European Union (EU) on the issue of detention of Indian generic medicines while in transit through EU. The detentions were made by invoking the EC’s Regulation 1383/2003 which contains customs procedures for taking action against goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPRs). India and Brazil jointly held two rounds of consultations with the EU on 7-8 July, 2010 and 13-14 September 2010. During these consultations, EU acknowledged that some provisions of the EC Regulation 1383 were misinterpreted by the customs authorities while detaining the Indian generic drugs. EU showed willingness to resolve this dispute without resorting to the WTO dispute panel. After several rounds of extensive consultations, India and EU reached an “Understanding” to guide border enforcement of intellectual property in the EU. This inter-alia, includes the core principle of the

Desi Aahar Yojana of KVIC

Desi Aahar Brand’ has been introduced by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) through the departmental as well as institutional sales outlets in 2002 for the some organic food products like Dalia, Jaggery, Pulses, Cereals and spices powder, etc. The total expenditure incurred by Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, New Delhi, which was the nodal point for implementation, on installation of processing machines, design development and publicity of `Desi Aahar Brand’ is about ` 12.15 lakh. Due to lack of adequate response from the customers, the supply chain could not be developed properly and no sales were achieved since 2005-06. As a policy of Brand development, though, the scheme still continues. The units are being motivated to enter in the field of brand development, including development of organic food. Source :

National Mineral Policy

The National Mineral Policy, 2008, seeks to address areas of serious concern in mining sector relating inter-alia to: (i) making the regulatory mechanism more conducive to technology and investment flows by ensuring greater transparency in allocation of mineral concessions, seamlessness and security of tenure in the concession processes, (ii) strengthening the role of Geological Survey of India, Indian Bureau of Mines, and State Directorates of Mining and Geology, (iii) developing and enforcing a Sustainable Development Framework ensuring stakeholder rights to the indigenous population and that the mining activity takes place along with suitable measures for restoration of the ecological balance, (iv) discourage and prevent sub-optimal and unscientific mining by promoting zero-waste mining, (v) developing new concession instruments to attract high technology for incentivizing exploration of large areas, and

Kepler 22-b

The planet, Kepler 22-b, discovered recently lies about 600 light-years away and is 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22 degree Celsius. It is the closest confirmed planet yet to one like ours, an “Earth 2.0”

National Common Mobility Card

The Union Minister for Urban Development Shri Kamal Nath today launched the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), by the name ‘More’. The brand name has been chosen “More” signifying the national bird “Peacock” as also literally in English meaning ‘more’ to convey that you get more and more by using this card.

Vision Document 2015: Food processing sector

Government has prepared Vision Document 2015 for food processing sector. It envisages tripling the size of the processed food sector by increasing the 1) Level of processing of perishables from 6% to 20%, 2)Value addition from 20% to 35% and 3)Share in global food trade from 1.5% to 3% by the year 2015.

Arun Maira Committee

Arun Maira Committee was constituted to suggest options and modalities to take care of disadvantages suffered by the domestic industry relating to power sector keeping all factors in view. The factors, inter alia, included the concern relating to supply of power equipment from China. The Committee submitted its report in February 2010. Recommendations of the Arun Maira Committee are:

Expert Committee on Modernization of Railways

The Ministry of Railways has constituted an Expert Committee for Modernization of Indian Railways under the chairmanship of Shri Sam Pitroda to, inter alia, recommend ways and means to modernize Indian Railways to meet the challenges of economic growth, the aspirations of the common man, the needs of changing technology and the expanding market, while at the same time ensuring adequate focus on addressing social and strategic requirements of the country in consonance with Indian Railways’ national aspirations. The terms of the reference of the Committee also includes recommendations on strategies for modernization of Railways with a focus on track, signaling, rolling stock, stations and terminals, for improving efficiency and safety, augmenting existing capacities of Railways through indigenous development and review of projects and PPP issues. The committee has been given time of two months to submit its interim report and up to March 31, 2012 to submit a final report. Source :

Task Force on Reforms in Subsidy Distribution System

The Government has constituted a Task Force on transfer of direct subsidy in the case of Fertilizers, LPG and Kerosene under the Chairmanship of Shri Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI on 14th February, 2011. The Task Force has submitted its Interim Report to the Government on 5th July, 2011 . The Task Force is in the process of having discussions and carrying out pilot studies. The Task Force has recommended a phased approach for the implementation of the transfer of direct subsidy to beneficiary as under:

Rural Business Hub Scheme

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been implementing a Central Sector Scheme of Rural Business Hubs (RBHs) for promoting businesses using raw materials/skills available in the rural areas. The scheme works on a Public-Private-Panchayat-Partnership model and is applicable in all the BRGF districts and all the districts in the North-Eastern Region. Assistance under RBH Scheme is available for professional support services, training/skill development and for purchase of minor equipment. The proposals under the scheme are prepared and sent by the willing and interested Implementing Agencies and are required to be sent through the State Government or District level officials. There is no State-wise allocation of funds. No expenditure is incurred by the State Governments on the proposals submitted by the Implementing Agencies. The financial assistance is provided to the Implementing Agencies in two installments keeping in view the viability of their projects and proper utilization of the fu

Eeat Scheme

The Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) scheme is being used to educate students in rural areas. Under the Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) Scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) Programme is being used to educate student in rural areas about environmental issues.