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Current Affairs Analysis

2nd May 2016 Current Affairs Analysis

By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
May 02, 2016

Contents

Social Issues

  • Modi launches LPG scheme for poor women

Economy

  • Union Government Launches ‘UJALA’ Scheme
  • Real Estate Act comes into force after 8 years long efforts
  • NABARD collaborates with German government for a special programme

Defence & Security Issues

  • India’s 1st new submarine starts trial after 16 years

Science & Technology

  • Army depot turns to the sun to destroy old ammunition

Also in News

  • South India’s first underground metro in Bengaluru

 

Social Issues

Modi launches LPG scheme for poor women

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.

Background:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, in March 2016, had given its approval to Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

About the scheme:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aims to provide five crore LPG connections to women in Below Poverty Line (BPL) households over the next three financial years, at a cost of Rs. 8,000 crore.

  • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • The scheme will be partially funded from the savings accruing to the government from LPG users who gave up their subsidy as part of the Give It Up programme.
  • The new users who receive LPG connections under the scheme will not have to pay the security deposit, while the Rs. 1,600 administrative costs, cost of pressure regulator booklet and safety hose will be borne by the government.
  • The households will be selected using the socio-economic and caste census data. Consumers will have the option to purchase gas stove and refills on EMI.

Currently, India has 16.64 crore active LPG consumers with a requirement of about 21 million tonnes per annum.

[Ref: Hindu]

 

Economy

Union Government Launches ‘UJALA’ Scheme

The union government has launched National LED programme – Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) in Madhya Pradesh.

About the scheme:

  • UJALA is a flagship project of the Govt. of India where it wants every home in India to use LED bulbs so that the net power or energy consumption rate comes down and the carbon emission rates can also be checked.
  • The scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Ministry of Power.
  • The scheme is being monitored in a transparent manner through a national dashboard (www.delp.in).

IASToppers-1st May-UJALA-scheme-

Features of the scheme:

  • Under this Programme, 3 crore LED Bulbs will be distributed in the next 6 months in the State.
  • Under the scheme, people of Madhya Pradesh will get energy efficient 9W LED bulbs at an upfront payment of just 85 rupees per LED bulb.
  • The scheme will not only help reduce consumers their electricity bills but also contribute to the energy security of India.
  • The distribution of LED bulbs will happen through DISCOM offices, DISCOM bill collection centres, designated EESL kiosks, Weekly haat markets, etc.
[Ref: Hindu]

Real Estate Act comes into force after 8 years long efforts

The much awaited and widely acclaimed Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 has come into force from May 1, 2016.

  • In this regard, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has notified 69 of the total 92 sections of the Act.
  • As per the notification, Rules under the Act have to be formulated by the Union and State Governments within a maximum period of six months from the act coming into force that is by 31 October 2016 under Section 84 of the Act.
  • Also, Real Estate Regulatory Authority will be formulated within one year as per the mandate of Act. Regulatory Authorities will have to dispose of complaints in 60 days and Appellate Tribunals will be required to adjudicate cases in 60 days.

Aim of the law:

  • The law aims at restoring confidence of consumers in the real estate sector; by institutionalizing transparency and accountability in real estate and housing transactions which will further enable the sector to access capital and financial markets.
  • The law also aims to protect homebuyers from real estate developers who fail to deliver on time, and regulate India’s murky real estate sector in the country.

Highlights of the act:

  • The act ensures the timely completion and delivery of flats to the consumer by ensuring that strict regulations will be imposed on developers to ensure timely construction and delivery.
  • It further provides that consumers are entitled to a full refund with interest, if there has been a long delay in the delivery of a flat.
  • The law mandates that developers need to share final project plans as part of their disclosure terms, with no room for iterations. It also imposes a 10% project cost penalty and upto 3 years in jail.
  • The developers need to deposit 70% of the collections from buyers in separate accounts towards the cost of construction including that of land.
  • The law also ensures that all clearances are completed before the launch of a project. Liability of developers for structural defects has been increased from 2 to 5 years and they can’t change plans without the consent of two thirds of allottees.

Advantages:

  • The Bill provides uniform regulatory environment to ensure speedy adjudication of disputes and orderly growth of the real estate sector.
  • It will boost domestic and foreign investment in the Real Estate sector and help achieve the objective of Government of India to provide ‘Housing for All’ by enhanced private participation.
  • The Bill will promote orderly growth through consequent efficient project execution, professionalism and standardization.
[Ref: PIB, Hindu]

NABARD collaborates with German government for a special programme

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has collaborated with the German government for a special programme on ‘Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security’.

  • India is the only country in Asia chosen for this initiative.

Key facts:

  • As part of the collaboration, NABARD is anchoring two major programmes-
  1. soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land for food security in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and
  2. innovation of watershed development for rehabilitation of degraded soils and climate change adaptation in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan).
  • The programme is part of the German government’s recently introduced special initiative ‘One World, No Hunger’ on addressing the food security needs of countries.
  •  ‘One World, No Hunger’ addresses areas such as food and nutrition security, promotion of innovation, protection and sustainable use of natural resources in rural areas and promotion of responsible land use and access to land.

 [Ref: Hindu]

 

Defence & Security Issues

India’s 1st new submarine starts trial after 16 years

India’s first new conventional submarine in 16 years, Kalvari, has finally begun its sea trials off Mumbai, giving much-needed fillip to the Navy.

About Kalvari submarine:

  • Kalvari is the first of the India’s six Scorpene-class submarines being built under the much-delayed Project 75.
  • The vessels are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with French company DCNS.
[Ref: ToI]

 

Science & Technology

Army depot turns to the sun to destroy old ammunition

In a major breakthrough, the central ammunition depot of the Army in Maharashtra has devised a method of utilising solar energy for disposing ammunition which have completed their shelf life.

Key facts:

  • The depot designed an innovative method which uses steam generated by concentrated solar technology (CST) to melt explosive material inside shells of munitions with calibres ranging from 40 mm to 130 mm.
  • The depot also won the ‘CST and solar cooker excellence awards 2016’ of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)
  • This is the first of its kind development in the world in field of demilitarisation of ammunition.

About method:

  • In CST, mirrors are used to concentrate solar energy to convert water to steam which is directed on the shells.
  • Medium and high calibre ammunition is filled with Tri-Nitro-Toulene (TNT), which has a melting point of 80 degree Celsius which can be melted with steam.

Significance of CST:

  • Open demolition of explosives has associated inherent dangers. Blinds, partial binds, and other accidents are common on demolition grounds. Use of CST is absolutely safe and has no danger whatsoever.
  • Shells treated this way are rendered 100 per cent free from explosives and the recovered TNT filling can be re-casted for reuse.
[Ref: Hindu]

 

Also in News

South India’s first underground metro in Bengaluru

South India’s first underground metro corridor, a 4.8 kilometer stretch of the Bangalore Metro built eight to nine meters below the ground, was thrown open to the public.

  • Union Urban Development Ministry has flagged-off the much awaited East-West corridor of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
  • The underground metro corridor has been named as Namma Metro (literally “Our Metro”).
[Ref: BS]

 

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