Govt. formally launched a revised strategy for total eradication of the dreaded disease Kala Azar
Ø The new strategy involves carrying out active searches for people with symptoms of the disease in the 54 affected districts of the four states where the disease is known to strike –Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh.
Ø Thirty three districts in Bihar, eleven of West Bengal, four in Jharkhand and six districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh of Bihar are affected by Kala-azar.
The Health Minister announced that early diagnosis and treatment using a single dose called Liposomal Amphoterecin B administered intravenously would help reduce the human reservoir of infection.
Ø World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed to supply the drug free.
Ø Kala Azar Rapid Diagnosis kits developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)were unveiled.
Ø As part of the new strategy, an insecticide, synthetic Pyrethroid, directed specifically at the sand fly, which is known vector source of Kala Azar, would also be supplied for spraying on the walls of homes in the endemic regions.
Kala Azar has also been declared a notifiable disease, which means all doctors, whether in government or private service, are henceforth required to alert the state health authorities whenever they encounter a patient with the disease’s symptoms.
Ø The new strategy has been developed by a core group comprising experts and officials of the Health Ministry.
Ø The roadmap document focused on efforts at the national, state, district and sub-district levels.
Bihar accounts for 80 percent of the cases in India, the moot reason for the Health Minister’s choice of Patna for launching the new initiative.
Ø “The people of Bihar have seen our motivation in the Encephalitis immunisation programme.
Ø There is a need for all stakeholders, including WHO and international agencies, to unite and pool resources to fight the dreaded disease whose relatively low incidence in recent years should not be a cause for complacency.
PM Nominates Adil Zainulbhai as New QCI Chairman
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has nominated Mr. Adil Zainulbhai as the Chairman of the Quality Council of India.
Ø The Government is committed to propagate a culture of quality and boosting manufacturing.
Ø The emphasis is on products and manufacturing process with zero defect and least impact on the environment.
Tell us something about the Quality Council of India
Ø The Quality Council of India was set up jointly by the Government of India and the Indian Industry represented by the three premier industry associations i.e. Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Ø It was made to establish and operate national accreditation structure and promote quality through National Quality Campaign.
Ø QCI is registered as a non-profit society with its own Memorandum of Association.
QCI is governed by a Council of 38 members with equal representations of government, industry and consumers.
Ø The Council plays a pivotal role at the national level in propagating, adoption and adherence to quality standards in all important spheres of activities including education, healthcare, environment protection, governance, social sectors, infrastructure sector and such other areas of organized activities that have significant bearing in improving the quality of life and well being of the citizens of India.
The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is the nodal ministry for QCI.
Ø It functions through the executive boards in the specific areas i.e. Accreditation for – Conformity Assessment Bodies, Healthcare Establishments, and, Education & Vocational Training Providers.
Ø In addition to this, it has an exclusive Board for promotion of Quality.
Ø The Council envisages to let India achieve and sustain total quality and reliability, in all areas of life, work, environment, products and services, at individual, organisational, community and societal levels.
Free Rotavirus universal immunization major pro-people decision
The introduction of the Rotavirus vaccine in the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) should be considered one of the most pro-people decisions taken by any government in recent years because it has the potential to drastically reduce infant mortality, particularly among the poorest sections of society.
Ø Rotavirus is the primary cause of moderate to severe diarrhoea morbidity and mortality for children less than five years of age in India. By including it under UIP along with Japanese Encephalitis, Rubella and Polio
Ø “Earlier Rotavirus vaccines were expensive and beyond the reach of ordinary Indians.
Ø We are losing 52 children per 1000 live births every year. On top of that Rotavirus Diarrhoea snatches at least 1 lakh.
Ø Beginning 2015, the Rotavirus vaccine will be introduced as an additional dose along with the first, second and third doses of DPT in the UIP.
Ø It is also proposed to establish an expert committee to assess the progress in a few states and union territories on the basis of the disease burden and vaccine availability.
Ø “Meeting the Millennium Development Goals is not an end in itself.
Ø After assuming office our government has launched a systematic study to make the public health care system user-friendly and accountable.
Ø The doctors have been told to work ahead of the deadline for meeting infant and maternal mortality targets.”
Ø Indigenous research will be given a big fillip under the new government.
Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation in the field of traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy between India and Bangladesh
The signing of the proposed MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional medicine and homoeopathy. This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.
Ø The MoU shall also provide a structured frame work for cooperation between the two countries for the promotion of Indian traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy in Bangladesh.
Ø There are no additional financial implications involved. However, financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of the Department of AYUSH.
The total exports of Ayush products from India in 2012-13 was Rs.2167.57 crore. India’s exports of herbal and Ayush products to Bangladesh for 2013-14 was Rs. 31.85 crore.
Ø India is blessed with well-developed systems of traditional medicine including medicinal plants, which hold tremendous potential in the global health scenario.
Ø Traditional medicine is an important element of Bangladesh’s health policy.
Ø Ayurveda, Unani, and Homoeopathy are important traditional health care systems existing in Bangladesh.
Ø A large population in Bangladesh is using Indian traditional medicine and homoeopathy, ayurveda, unani and homoeopathy systems of medicine.
Ø Both countries share a common heritage with respect to Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicine as well as a shared history in homeopathy.
Ø Moreover, there are a large number of medicinal plants, particularly those found in the tropical region, which are common to the two countries given similar geo-climatic factors.
The Department of AYUSH as a part of its mandate to propagate the Indian systems of medicine globally has taken effective steps by entering into MoUs with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM), China (the MoU has since expired), Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago and Hungary for cooperation in traditional medicine.
Ø MoUs are proposed to be signed with Serbia and Nepal for which the Cabinet has given its approvals.
Ø Consequently, the Ministers of Health, Government of Serbia and Government of Nepal have been invited to visit India for signing of the MoUs.
Joint Statement on the State Visit of Prime Minister of Australia to India
The Prime Ministers welcomed the rapid growth in bilateral relations in recent years, anchored in shared values, expanding economic engagement, converging strategic interests and a growing shared agenda in regional and multilateral institutions.
Ø Affirmed their commitment to strengthening the bilateral Strategic Partnership and taking it to a new level of mutual trust.
Ø Welcomed the signing of the bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement as a concrete symbol of the bilateral partnership.
They noted the Agreement would enable the sale of Australian uranium to support India’s growing energy needs and directed the negotiators to conclude the Administrative Arrangements at an early date. Economic Engagement
Ø Welcomed the progress towards a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) would support a significant expansion of two-way trade and investment.
Ø They renewed the commitment of both countries for an early conclusion of an equitable, balanced, comprehensive and high quality agreement.
Ø They noted the expanding bilateral dialogue on economic policy, including in areas such as taxation, competition, financial sector regulation and infrastructure.
Defence and Security Cooperation
Ø Reaffirmed their desire for a peaceful, prosperous and stable Asia-Pacific region, underpinned by cooperative mechanisms.
Ø They emphasised their interest in building closer cooperation in the maritime domain.
Ø Committed to strengthening the defence and security partnership. They welcomed growing cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism, cyber policy, transnational crime, disarmament and non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance, disaster management and peacekeeping.
Ø They noted the ongoing cooperation in combating illegal migration.
Noted the importance of the maritime dimension, welcomed discussions on maritime security in the ongoing disarmament and non-proliferation dialogue held at the level of officials.
Cooperation in Energy, Science, Water, Education and Skills
Ø Welcomed the success of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, which has provided a high impact knowledge partnership through science and technology cooperation, and
Ø announced an extension of the Fund for a further period of four years on the basis of matching commitments and reciprocity with an increasing focus on commercialisation of research outcomes.
Ø Welcomed the collaborations between Universities and called for efforts to enlarge the scope for joint research, joint Ph. D. programmes and joint degrees and commended the work of the Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) in advancing education, training and research partnerships.
Welcomed the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan initiative, under which young Australian students would study in institutions in India, thereby furthering youth and academic exchanges and promoting contacts.
Regional and international cooperation
Ø Discussed the importance of consolidating the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
Ø Prime Minister Abbott briefed Prime Minister Modi on Australia’s priorities as host of the G20 in 2014 and underlined Australia’s interest in working closely with India to lift ambition and ensure the G20 delivers economic growth, jobs and a resilient global economy.
Ø Recognised the importance of the East Asia Summit (EAS) as the pre-eminent regional forum for addressing strategic, political and economic issues.
Ø They welcomed increased bilateral collaboration in the EAS, with India and Australia co-chairing the Taskforce on Access to Quality Medicines under the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.
Acknowledged ongoing cooperation in other regional bodies such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Asia Europe Meeting.
Ø Prime Minister Abbott reiterated Australia’s support for India’s membership of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).
Ø Highlighted the concrete steps towards more effective practical cooperation in the Indian Ocean Regional Association (IORA)
Ø Reaffirmed the importance of reform of the UN, including the Security Council, to better reflect contemporary realities.
The following bilateral memoranda of understanding were signed in the presence of the two Prime Ministers:
i. Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
ii. MOU on cooperation in Sport
iii. Renewal of MOU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
iv. MoU on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
Mass awareness should be generated on eye donation
According to WHO, there are 45 million blind persons in the world, of whom 12 million are in India.
Ø Corneal blindness accounts for 1 percent of the total blind population of the country.
Ø WHO also estimates that the blind population may double by 2020 owing to the rise in population and longevity.
Ø The Minister observed, “We need more eye banks. But that is not enough.
Ø There should be synergistic interaction among professional health services and community engagement.
Ø Increasing public awareness, promoting eye donation, implementing quality standards and organising a network of trained professionals for procurement, preservation and distribution of tissues are vital cogs in the wheel.”
The web portal of the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) will become functional. With that it would be possible to establish a transparent interface between donors and recipients of all organs including cornea.
Ø The government intends implementing a nationwide programme for setting up regional centres modelled on NOTTO at Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. All the upcoming AIIMS at six cities will also have similar infrastructure.
Factsheet: India and Japan – Partners for Common Development
Ø The Japanese side announced the launch of a feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) of a project for setting up of a 10 MW canal-top grid connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Gujarat as a model for next generation infrastructure.
Ø Emphasized that the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project should result in a new era of industrial infrastructure development with the creation of new generation Smart Community projects across six states in India
In addition to new manufacturing hubs, the DMIC Project will envisage the development of infrastructure linkages like power plants, assured water supply, high capacity urban transportation and logistics facilities as well as important interventions like skill development programme for providing employment opportunities to youth.
Ø Both sides expressed their expectation for introducing Japanese technologies and expanding Japanese investment in Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS) with the possibility of adopting the most suitable financing scheme.
Ø Welcoming the progress achieved in the Smart Community projects, viz. the Logistics Data Bank project, the Mega Solar Power project at Neemrana and the Seawater Desalination project at Dahej, both sides instructed their officials to accelerate the implementation of these Smart Community projects.
The Indian side assured to resolve the outstanding issues regarding the Seawater Desalination project at Dahej, including tariff, water quality parameters, water sales, etc.
Ø Both sides hoped that these projects will demonstrate the uniqueness of cutting-edge Japanese technology in India.
Ø Welcoming the rapid progress made in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), including the finalisation of the perspective plan and the designation of three cities, viz. Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka, as potential industrial nodes
Both sides welcomed the signing of a Framework of Cooperation between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan in the Roads and Road Transportation Sector.
Ø The Japanese side underlined Japan’s policy to promote people-centered investment with an emphasis on inclusiveness to have as many people as possible enjoy economic benefits of investment, enhanced social resilience to climate change, natural disasters, and capacity building
Ø Both sides urged and supported the Asian Development Bank to enhance its capacity to address the region’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.
Energy & Natural Resource
Ø Affirmed their intention to continue working together to further strengthen energy cooperation including energy efficiency, renewable energy and coal-fired generation technology field through the India-Japan Energy Dialogue
Ø Welcomed enhanced cooperation in construction of highly efficient and environment-friendly coal-fired power plants and progress on cooperation in Clean Coal Technologies (CCT) such as renovation and modernization of the plants
Ø Welcomed substantial agreement on the commercial contract between Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) for the production of rare earths as a significant step in India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership
Agriculture and Food
Ø Recognizing the importance of agricultural development and establishing food-related infrastructure in India, both sides welcomed Japanese initiative to establish food value chain through Public-Private Partnership by introducing advanced irrigation systems and farming machines, and supporting the food industrial parks and cold chains development projects implemented by Indian government.
Both sides welcomed the issuance of the interim report of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway, and expressed hope that the joint feasibility study will be completed by July 2015.
Ø Both sides fully understand the importance of the enhancement of the bilateral relationship in the field of civil aviation, which would contribute to promotion of mutual exchange, and decided to strengthen cooperation including the acceleration of Preparatory Survey for New Dholera International Airport Development Project.
Ø Affirmed the importance of skill development as an important tool for promotion of skills and capacity enhancement of the local youth in the industrial corridors being developed in India
Ø The Indian side welcomed Japan’s intention to launch a new sub-project named Village Buddha, which aims at leadership development for self-help groups in rural areas, taking into account the important role played by women in such groups.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Ø Both sides welcomed further progress in ICT cooperation through activities of the Joint Working Group under India-Japan ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework.
Ø Both sides expressed satisfaction with the launch of concrete joint projects, such as Green ICT and Cyber Security Cooperation based on agreement of the first Joint Working Group in February 2014, and reaffirmed to enhance cooperation in the field of ICT.
Regional Connectivity and Cooperation
Ø Both sides welcomed the study by JICA on regional connectivity between North-East India and the neighboring countries, and instructed respective related authorities to proceed to realizing Japan’s ODA in transport infrastructure projects in the region.
Ø Both sides decided to strengthen cooperation in the field of connectivity and socio-economic development in Northeast India.
Cooperation in Africa
Ø Both sides expressed their commitment to strengthening their cooperation on Africa, including that for promoting business activities by Indian and Japanese investors in Africa.
Ø Both sides confirmed the importance of the next round of India-Japan Dialogue on Africa.
Ø Both sides directed the Joint Working Group to accelerate progress in the discussions and preparations for a road map for the development of the Indian aircraft industry through US-2 amphibian aircraft cooperation including the transfer of the aircraft and its technology to India.
Science & Technology
Ø Welcomed the developing researchers’ network through the alumni association organized by Indian researchers who have research experience in Japan under fellowship programme of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
Ø Welcomed the signing of the Letter of Intent between the Ministry of Earth Sciences of India and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
Ø To launch new cooperation in the field of ocean and earth science & technology
Ø It includes ocean observation, climate variability, and geophysical studies in the Indian Ocean and deep sea technologies.
Recognizing the successful operation of the Indian Beam Line at High-Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) at Tsukuba as a flagship cooperative activity, both sides announced their decision to take forward this collaboration in structural materials science area to the second phase for the study of advanced materials.
Ø Both sides decided to pursue further cooperation in the field of space through approaches such as Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and expressed their expectation that Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) would work together to further strengthen its cooperation.
Humanities and Social Science Cooperation
Ø Both sides welcomed that the signing of two memoranda between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), and between JSPS and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).
Ø Both sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing plan of exchange of approximately 1300 youth between the two countries under JENESYS 2.0 program.
Ø The Indian side welcomed the Japanese initiative to support Japanese universities’ educational collaboration with Indian Universities
Ø Indian side welcomed the expansion of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV)
Tokyo Declaration for India – Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership
Prime Minister Modi described his Japan visit as a reflection of Japan’s importance in India’s foreign policy and economic development and her place at the heart of India’s Look East Policy.
Ø The two Prime Ministers noted that India and Japan are Asia’s two largest and oldest democracies, with ancient cultural links and enduring goodwill between their people.
Political, Defence and Security Partnership
Ø To continue the practice of annual summits and to meet as often as possible on the margins of regional and multilateral meetings
Ø They welcomed that the next rounds of Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue and Defence Ministers dialogue
Ø They attached importance to the dialogue between their National Security Advisors, launched earlier this year soon after the creation of the National Security Secretariat in Japan, as a key instrument of building deeper mutual understanding and cooperation across the full range of security issues.
Ø They underlined the importance of the 2 plus 2 dialogues, involving Foreign and Defence Secretaries, for their growing strategic partnership, and decided to seek ways to intensify this dialogue.
Global Partnership for Peace and Security in the Region and the World
Ø Affirmed their shared belief that at a time of growing turmoil, tensions and transitions in the world, a closer and stronger strategic partnership between India and Japan is indispensable for a prosperous future for their two countries and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity in the world, in particular, in the inter-connected Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions.
They underscored the importance of closer consultation and coordination between India and Japan in regional forums, including the East Asia Summit processes and forums.
Expressed concern over North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, including its uranium enrichment activities.
CONCERNED WITH NORTH KOREA
Ø They urged North Korea to take concrete actions towards denuclearization and other goals as well as to fully comply with its international obligations, including under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and its commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement.
Ø They also urged North Korea to address, at the earliest, the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abductions issue.
They welcomed negotiations between P5+1 and Iran over the Iranian nuclear issue and urged all parties to show political will and seek common ground while accommodating differences.
Ø To have a sustained international commitment to promote Afghan-led economic development, political pluralism and capacity-building in security in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to help it become a united, independent, sovereign, stable and democratic nation free from terrorism, extremism and external interference.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL ANGLE
Ø The two Prime Ministers affirmed the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities of the 21st century.
Civil Nuclear Energy, Non-proliferation and Export Control
Ø Affirmed the importance of civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries and welcomed the significant progress in negotiations on the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Ø The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the four international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts.
Ø The two Prime Ministers announced the India–Japan Investment Promotion Partnership under which:
Ø Set a target of doubling Japan’s foreign direct investment and the number of Japanese companies in India within five years as an objective to be jointly achieved.
Welcomed the public-private initiatives between the two countries to set up Electronics Industrial Parks in India
Ø They also shared the intention to develop “Japan Industrial Townships” and other industrial townships with investment incentives for companies would not be lower than under the prevailing policy framework such as Special Economic Zone (SEZ), National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ).
India’s young demographic strength highlighted by G-20 Chair at Labour Ministers’ Conference in Australia
Ø India is one of the most youthful population of the world.
Ø 58% of our population is below the age of 29 years.
Ø The population dependency ratio is declining and is expected to rise only after 2030.
Ø The fact was also acknowledged by the G-20 Chair during the Labour and Employment Ministerial conference of G-20 Nations
One of the key requirements to boost labour market participation rate is to minimize the skill mismatch in job market by enhancing the skill base of the workforce in emerging economies like India.
Ø Structural unemployment and underemployment are biggest challenges on account of the mismatch between demand and supply factors of employment and rigidities in the labour market.
Government of India is adopting multipronged strategies to address it from both demand and supply side.
Ø From the supply side, creation of local jobs and development of SMEs have been identified as the doorways to reduce structural unemployment. M/o Labour & Employment has started a scheme on “Demand Responsive Vocational Training”.
Ø Under this scheme, any industry can sign an MOU with Government to conduct training programme to meet specific skill requirement of the company which would ensure minimum 80% employment in any local industry.
Ø From the demand side, emphasis is given to creation of appropriate skill sets among the rural migrant and urban poor.
Ø We are in favor of labour mobility, skill portability and harmonization of skills qualification framework for a paradigm shift of laborers from low skill based work to high productivity jobs.
Evolving National Vocational Qualification Framework is one of key pre-requisites to ensure that skills and qualifications match new job requirements.
Ø Skill Development Initiative Scheme, based on Modular Employable Skill (MES) framework has been in operation to provide vocational training to early school leavers and existing workers, especially in unorganized sector.
Ø Government of India is taking proactive measures to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups through 21 Vocational Rehabilitation Centers.
A national Scheme ‘Recognition of Prior Learning of Construction Worker’ has been prepared by MoLE to evaluate skills and knowledge acquired informally and addresses them through Skill gap training for 15 days.
Ø Active labour market policies (ALMPs) in our country are recognized as an important strategy.
Ø Under National Career Service (NCS) project, Public Employment Exchanges are being revamped into Career Counseling Center for assessing local job scenario and organizing job fairs for efficient placement.
Ø Government of India is taking affirmative policy measures to simplify the labour laws.
NB: “We believe that G 20 can serve as a policy platform for exchanging best practices and knowledge sharing for creation of better jobs and boosting participation in the World of Work
Ø Employment generation is India’s biggest challenge today. In the last decade, the rate of employment growth was less than 1%.
Ø Youth unemployment rate is 6.6% and underemployment rate is touching 5.7%.
Ø Every year almost 10 million people enter labour force in India.
A large informal sector, lower participation of women in labour force, increasing the productivity of labour and providing social protection to the vulnerable sections are our main challenges. Creation of commensurate health and educational infrastructure for them is our highest priority so that we can reap our demographic dividend for growth and prosperity.
Ø 93% of India workforce is in unorganised Sector.
Ø A large portion of it is self-employed.
Ø Social protection to these groups is our priority. We are revamping our flagship scheme RSBY.
Ø Presently 38.5 million families have so far been benefitted by this cashless health insurance.
We are trying to improve the quality of service through advanced IT infrastructure.
Ø Besides increasing the coverage of the scheme it is also proposed to seed the bank account details and unique citizen ID into the RSBY smart card.
Ø Flexibility is provided to provinces to ride their social security scheme on RSBY platform.
Ø In another important initiative we have also started a pilot project for convergence of 3 important social security schemes, life insurance, old age pension and health insurance at a single point of contact for unorganised workers through RSBY smart card.
We are amending our labour laws in order to encourage investment, ease of doing business and entrepreneurship. Amendments have also been proposed to enhance safety at workplace and working conditions especially for women.
Ø Use of Personal Protective Equipment has been made mandatory for hazardous industries.
Ø Amendment in legislation has also been proposed to allow night work for women.
Ø This would promote participation of women in labour force. We are also working on Minimum age of employment, and to provide a mandatory national floor level of minimum wages.
Ø We are also in process to draft a single law for MSME to increase formalisation.
We have developed a unified web portal for online compliance of labour laws thereby promoting ease of compliance.
Ø Employers henceforth will be able to file a single, simplified, annual online return instead of filing separate returns under multiple laws.
Ø Labour Inspection Scheme is also being revamped to make it completely objective, transparent and accountable.
Ø India has a healthy tradition of tripartism.
Ø We are committed to achieve targets of progress and growth with cooperation of all stake holders with cooperation of all stake holders
Initiatives and Achievements of Ministry of Home Affairs in the first 100 days
Ø Relief and rescue operations stepped up in J&K
Ø Terming the worst floods in J&K in more than a century as a ‘massive tragedy’, the Union Home Minister said the State Government already had at its disposal a sum of Rupees 1,100 crore under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), and
Ø Rs. 1,000 crore additional special project assistance has been announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi under the Prime Minister’s Special Relief Package.
Ø On beefing up Internal Security, the Union Home Minister said an Integrated Action Plan has been drawn up.
Ø Appealing the Maoists and militants to lay down arms and reiterating peaceful dialogue, the BSF and SSB will raise two battalions to rehabilitate militants who lay down arms.
Pointing out that in the first 100 days of the NDA Government more than 130 Maoists have surrendered, a figure that is three times more than the number during the same period last year
Ø The MHA has approved the proposal of the High-Level Committee which recommended Rs.650 crore for building ‘Border Infrastructure Projects
Ø Promising to create a world class border infrastructure, a big hurdle has been overcome when he took up with the Ministry of Environment and Forests to keep all Border Infrastructure Projects within a 100 kilometers periphery of the International Borders outside the purview of ‘Environmental Clearance’.
Coastal Security too has been constantly beefed up and as many as three States, Guajarat, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have completed Colour Coding of fishing vessels.
Ø Online Visa Application System has been launched in 12 missions abroad during the last three months, taking the total to 152.
Ø MHA has started ‘Visa on Arrival’ facility at nine airports, a move that would turn out to be a fillip for the tourism industry.
A Task Force has been constituted in the MHA on Visa and Citizenship issues that would address the long pending problems faced by minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Ø On Police Reforms and Modernization programme, an advisory has been issued to all States to strive for gender equality and ensure 33 percent posts are filled up with women personnel in State Police Forces up to the rank of Sub-Inspector.
Ø Underlining Government’s deep sensitivities towards the suffering of the increasing number of Under-trials, all State Governments will work to take steps to alleviate their pain and set free at least those under-trials who have completed half of their maximum term for which they could be sentenced.
Joint Statement between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China on Building a Closer Developmental Partnership
The leaders evaluated positively the progress of India-China relations over the recent years, and noted that both sides always consider their relations from a strategic and overall perspective.
Ø The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to abide by the principles and consensus both had agreed to,
Ø and further consolidate the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and mutual respect and sensitivities for each other’s concerns and aspirations.
Their developmental goals are interlinked and should be pursued in a mutually supportive manner.
Ø The two sides decided to strengthen political communication, deepen strategic trust as well as intensify political dialogue and consultations at all levels.
Ø With this objective, they also agreed upon regular visits at the level of Heads of State/Government.
They assigned the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) to explore new areas for economic cooperation in crosscutting fields
Ø Including industrial investment, infrastructure development, energy conservation and environment protection, high-tech industry, clean energy and sustainable urbanization.
Ø The SED will explore designing joint demonstration projects and initiatives in smart cities.
Ø In this regard, it was agreed that a city in each country would be identified for a smart city demonstration project.
Determination to expand and diversify bilateral trade and economic cooperation
Ø The Chinese side announced the establishment of two industrial parks in India, one in Gujarat and one in Maharashtra.
Ø The Chinese side would also endeavor to realize an investment of US$ 20 billion in India in the next 5 years in various industrial and infrastructure development projects.
Ø India welcomes Chinese enterprises to participate in its manufacturing and infrastructure projects.
Ø Noted the progress achieved in railways cooperation and conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding and Implementation Plan on Cooperation in Railways.
Ø Agreed to launch the India-China Cultural Exchange Initiative with a view to further promoting the bonds of cultural and people-to-people contacts.
Decided to designate 2015 as the “Visit India Year” in China and 2016 as the “Visit China Year” in India
Ø Under this, the two sides will carry out a series of promotional activities to boost two-way tourism flows and strengthen people-to-people bonds.
Ø The Chinese side agreed to assist India to promote its tourism products and routes in China, which are related to the historical travels of the Chinese monk-scholar Xuan Zang to India in the 7th century AD.
The Indian side appreciated the support and cooperation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local government of Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China to Indian pilgrims for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra (Gang Renpoche and Mapam Yun Tso Pilgrimage).
Ø For further promotion of the two countries’ the Chinese side decided to open a new route for the Yatra through Nathu La Pass, for which the Indian side expressed its welcome and appreciation.
The Indian side expressed appreciation to China for providing flood-season hydrological data and the assistance in emergency management.
Ø The two sides will further strengthen cooperation through the Expert-Level Mechanism on the provision of flood-season hydrological data and emergency management, and exchange views on other issues of mutual interest.
Ø Peace and tranquility on the India-China border areas was recognized as an important guarantor for the development and continued growth of bilateral relations.
Ø Improved bilateral military ties are conducive to building mutual trust and confidence.
Noted the progress made in promoting cooperation under the framework of the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar) Economic Corridor.
Ø The two sides support a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including recognizing the imperative of increased participation of developing countries in UN’s affairs and governance structures, so as to bring more effectiveness to the UN.
Ø China attaches great importance to India’s status in international affairs as a large developing country, and understands and supports India’s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations including in the Security Council.
Establishment of the Clean Ganga Fund
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for establishment of the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF).
The following broad activities will be financed from the Fund:
a) Activities outlined under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme for cleaning of river Ganga.
b) Control of non-point pollution from agricultural runoff, human defecation, cattle wallowing, etc.
c) Setting up of waste treatment and disposal plants along the river around the cities.
d) Conservation of the biotic diversity of the river.
e) Community based activities to reduce polluting human interface with the river.
f) Development of public amenities including activities such as Ghat redevelopment.
g) Research and Development and innovative projects.
h) Research and Development projects and innovative projects for new technology and processes for cleaning the river.
i) Independent oversight through intensive monitoring and real time reporting.
j) Any other activity as approved by the Trust.
The Government announced the setting up of an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called “Namami Gange”
Ø The Cabinet has now agreed to set up “Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)” with voluntary contributions from residents of the country and Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) / Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and others to harness their enthusiasm to contribute towards the conservation of the river Ganga.
Ø The Fund will have the objective of contributing to the national effort of cleaning of the river Ganga.
Ø Domestic donors to the Fund shall be eligible for tax benefits as applicable in the case of the Swachh Bharat Kosh.
Ø The Fund would be managed by a Trust to be headed by Finance Minister.
Ø The secretariat of the Trust will be set up in Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Mission Director, Clean Ganga.
Ø The Ganga Action Plan was launched on 14th January 1986 with the main objective of pollution abatement, to improve water quality by interception, diversion and treatment of domestic sewage and toxic and industrial chemical wastes present, from identified grossly polluting units entering in to the river.
After reviewing the effectiveness of the “Ganga Action Plan”, the Government announced the “Mission Clean Ganga” project on 31st December, 2009 with the objective that by 2020, no municipal sewage and industrial waste would be released in the river without treatment, with the total budget of around Rs.15,000 crore.
Ø The Government also established the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), chaired by the Prime Minister, with the objective to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the river Ganga, by adopting a river basin approach for comprehensive planning and management.
Ø The proposal to set up CGF is to attract private contributions globally for increasing people’s participation in this massive task.
Ø Considering that the measures taken till now are not adequate and a national effort is required to mobilize resources for improving the condition of the river Ganga
Ø The Government has announced the setting up of an Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called “Namami Gange”.
Considering that there is a need to increase people’s participation from across the country and abroad, it is proposed to set up a “Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)” with voluntary contributions.
The main features of CGF are:
i. CGF will have the objective of contributing to the national effort of improving the cleanliness of the river Ganga with the contributions received from the residents of the country, NRIs/ PIO and others.
ii. CGF will be operated through a bank account by a Trust.
iii. Domestic donors to the fund shall be eligible for tax benefits as in the case of “Swachch Bharat Kosh”.
Foreign donors could get suitable tax exemptions in domestic law, wherever permissible. iv. CGF will explore the possibility of setting up daughter funds in other jurisdictions/countries of high donor interest such as USA, UK, Singapore, UAE, etc. to enable tax benefits to donors in their respective jurisdictions.
IV. CGF will be subject to such audit as required by law as well as audit by any agency determined by Government.