Polity & Governance
- Govt notifies real estate regulatory Act rules for Union Territories
- Vigilance Awareness Commences Across Indian Railways
- More differently-abled persons went to educational institutions: Census 2011
- Maharashtra tops agri marketing, farmer friendly reforms index
- P., Telangana top in ease of doing business
Bilateral & International Relations
- India-Palestine sign MoU for setting up Techno Park in Ramallah
Key Facts for Prelims
- Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
- 10th Indo-Nepal Joint Exercise Surya Kiran
Polity & Governance
Govt notifies real estate regulatory Act rules for Union Territories
The Union Ministry of Housing has notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (General) Rules, 2016, to be applicable to the five Union Territories.
- These five Union Territories are Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh.
- These Rules have been notified as stipulated in the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 for ensuring timely completion of projects in five Union Territories.
- As per provisions of the Act, Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERA) and Real Estate Appellate Tribunals (REAT) have to be set up by the end of April, 2017.
- The Rules provide for compounding of punishment with imprisonment for violation of the orders of REAT against payment of 10% of project cost in case of developers and 10% of the cost of property purchased in case of allottees and agents.
About the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016:
- The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 was partly brought into effect on 1 May 2016.
- The act seeks to regulate the housing sector besides bringing transparency and ensuring timely completion of projects.
- The law is touted as a major reform measure to regulate the vast real estate sector.
- It requires registration of all projects with state-level Real Estate Regulatory Authorities to ensure protection of the interests of both buyers and builders.
Vigilance Awareness Commences Across Indian Railways
The observance of Vigilance Awareness Week, 2016 has commenced across Indian Railways with a Pledge taking ceremony by Officers and staff.
- The Central Vigilance Commission has given the theme of “Public participation in promoting integrity and eradicating Corruption” for the Vigilance Awareness Week this year.
- This is aimed to reinforce commitment of officials towards bringing about integrity and transparency in all spheres of their activities and to fight corruption with vigour.
- During this Vigilance Awareness Week, various events will be organized around the theme of anti-corruption by the field units of the Railways.
- There is a special focus on sensitizing the youth and to achieve this objective through lectures, panel discussions, debates, discussions, plays, essay writing competitions etc.
- Two “Integrity Pledges” will also be taken on-line by citizens and organisations/corporates to reinforce their commitment for incorruptible governance.
More differently-abled persons went to educational institutions: Census 2011
According to recently released new 2011 census data, nearly two-thirds of the disabled population in the age-group of 5-19 in 2011 were attending educational institutions.
- It was mentioned in the table C-22 of census which gives distribution of the disabled population in the age-group 5-19 by their attendance status in educational institution, type of disability, sex, age and residence.
- As many as 40.2 lakh (61.2%) out of the total of 65.7 lakh disabled population in the specified age group were attending educational institutions in 2011.
- Besides, 8.0 lakh (12.1%) had attended educational institutions earlier and 17.5 lakh (26.7%) never had attended any educational institutions.
- The census shows improvement of 11% points from 2001 when 33 lakh (50%) of the 65.3 lakh differently abled persons had attended educational institutions.
- The enrolment figure is 10% points lower than that of the total population — 71% attending educational institutions.
- 27% of the disabled people in the age group of 5-19 have never attended any educational institute.
- Data show those who reported to have ‘any other disability’ has the highest percentage (71.2%) of the people attending any educational institution.
- This was followed by those having visual disability (68%) and hearing difficulty (67%), Movement (59.6%), Speech (58.9%), Mental retardation (47.2%), Multiple disability (37.2%) and Mental illness (34.1%).
Maharashtra tops agri marketing, farmer friendly reforms index
Maharashtra has been ranked first state in the country in 2016 Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index, first-ever index on reforms in the farm sector.
Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index?
- The index ranks states based on their initiatives taken in implementing provision of seven farm sector reforms.
- It was issued by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog.
- These reforms have been proposed under model APMC Act, joining eNAM initiative, special treatment to fruits and vegetables for marketing and level of taxes in mandis.
- States are ranked based on score on the scale ranging from 0 to 100. The minimum score of 0 implies no reforms at all and score of 100 means state is friendliest to farmers.
- The index identifies three major parameters. They are:
- Reforms in agricultural marketing,
- Land lease and
- Forestry on private land.
Purpose of the index:
- The index aims at helping states identify and address problems in farm sector, which suffers from low growth, low incomes and agrarian distress to double farm income.
- It also seeks to bring reform in agriculture sector by ease of doing agribusiness as well as provide opportunities for farmers to benefit from modern trade and commerce.
- The various indicators of index showcases the levels of competitiveness, efficiency and transparency in agriculture markets of the states.
Performance of various states:
- The state of Maharashtra achieved first rank in implementation of various reforms. The state has implemented most of the marketing reforms and it offers best environment for doing agribusiness among all the states and UTs.
- Gujarat ranks second followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
- Almost two third states could not reach even halfway mark of reforms score.
- Major states like U.P., Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and J&K are in this group.
- Bihar and Kerala were not included in the rankings as they revoked their agricultural produce marketing Acts.
A.P., Telangana top in ease of doing business
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jointly topped the Ease of Doing Business Reforms Ranking 2015-16.
- The ranking of the states was conducted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the World Bank.
How states were ranked?
- States were ranked on their implementation of DIPP-proposed 340-point Business Reform Action Plan in period between July 2015 and June 2016.
- They were rated based on their score in the per cent scale i.e. implementation rate regarding the 340 reform measures.
- These 340 reform areas are broadly under six key categories: tax reforms, single-window systems, environment and labour reforms, construction permits, inspection reforms and commercial disputes and paper-less courts.
- 32 States and UTs had submitted evidence of implementation of 7,124 reforms. These submissions were reviewed by the World Bank team and validated by the DIPP.
Key Highlights of the 2016 rankings:
- Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have jointly topped the 2016 all-India State/Union Territory-wise ease of doing business rankings, while last year’s topper Gujarat slipped to the third spot.
- This year, four of the seven States with the lowest income levels in India have found a place in the top 10, while all the seven such States had an implementation rate of over 75%.
- These low-income States included Chhattisgarh (fourth rank), Madhya Pradesh (fifth), Jharkhand (seventh) and Rajasthan (eighth).
- Among other major states, Odisha occupied 11th slot, followed by Punjab, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
Bilateral & International Relations
India-Palestine sign MoU for setting up Techno Park in Ramallah
India and Palestine signed a Memorandum of Understanding for setting up of Palestine-India Techno Park in Ramallah, Palestine.
- India has announced grant of 12 million US dollars for setting up the Park. Palestinian side has made the land available for the project.
- The announcement of the Techno Park was made during President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Palestine in 2015.
- The Technopark will served as an IT hub in Palestine with complete IT faculties offering a one-stop solution to all IT-related service requirements.
- It will also provide state-of-the-art technology, host IT companies and foreign companies benefiting local business, universities and other institutions.
- The project will help job creation, business and other opportunities for young Palestinians.
Key Facts for Prelims
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
- Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was observed across India on 31 October 2016 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- The theme for the 2016 Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was Integration of India.
- The government had last year decided to observe Sardar Patel Jayanti Day as Ekta Diwas. This occasion provides an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of the nation to withstand the threats to its unity, integrity and security.
10th Indo-Nepal Joint Exercise Surya Kiran
- Indo-Nepal joint military exercise Surya Kiran-X commenced at Army Battle School, Saljhandi, Nepal.
- The joint military exercise is the 10th in the series of such exercise between the two nations.
- The Surya Kiran series of exercises are being conducted annually, alternatively in Nepal and India.
- In the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Surya Kiran series with Nepal is the largest in terms of troop’s participation.
- The aim of the exercise is to conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on Counter Terrorism in mountainous terrain.
- Aspects of Disaster Management have also been included in the exercise.
- The Joint Battalion Level Exercise will enhance defence co-operation and relations between the two nations.
- It is an ideal platform for the contingent of both nations to share their experience and gain mutually.
- The Exercise will be yet another step towards taking traditional friendship between the two nations to greater heights.