Polity & Governance
- Microsoft India signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh for Cloud adoption
- No LPG subsidy for consumers with taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh
- Centre gives nod for four greenfield airports
- Deepak Mohanty committee on medium-term path on financial inclusion
Art & Culture
- Ramakrishna Mission-UNESCO establish ‘official ties’
Also in News
- 44th Nagi Day Celebrated by the Army
Polity & Governance
Microsoft India signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh for Cloud adoption
Andhra Pradesh government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft India to harness its cloud technology for improving citizen services.
According to the MoU:
- The state government will the use technical knowledge provided by Microsoft India.
- Microsoft India will support building of up to three proof-of-concept (POC) solutions to apply Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services.
- Microsoft India has also agreed to set up a Centre for Excellence in Visakhapatnam.
- These POC solutions will be built and deployed to address specific problems within each of the fields to achieve better outcomes for the state. It will use lab method for data gathering, analysis, predictive analysis and policy planning.
- As part of its commitment to support the government’s initiatives for Cloud adoption, Microsoft India will also train the state government’s key IT executives on Microsoft technologies such as Cloud, Mobility and appropriate Microsoft Technology Stack.
- The company will also deliver an exclusive workshop to the government’s key administrative officers on improving productivity by using Microsoft technologies.
[Courtesy: Indian Express]
No LPG subsidy for consumers with taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh
In its first decisive move towards curbing the supply of subsidised cooking gas, the Central government has announced that taxpayers with an annual income of more than Rs 10 lakh will not get subsidised LPG cylinders from the New Year.
- At present, all households are entitled to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at subsidised rate of Rs 419.26, while the market price of each cylinder is Rs 608.
- In the assessment year 2014-15, a total of 20.26 lakh assesses were reported as having a taxable income above Rs 10 lakh, according to the Central Board of Direct Taxes data.
- The government has decided that the benefit of the LPG subsidy will not be available for LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse had taxable income of more than Rs 10 lakh during the previous financial year computed as per the Income Tax Act, 1961.”
- This would, however, be done initially on self-declaration basis while booking cylinders from January 2016 onwards.
- With the implementation of the PAHAL Scheme (DBTL), the subsidy is being transferred directly to the Bank Account of 14.78 crore LPG Consumers. The objective of the scheme was to ensure that the subsidy benefits go to the targeted group.
- The Government had also given a call to the well-to-do households for voluntarily giving up LPG subsidy. So far, 57.50 lakh LPG consumers have opted out of LPG subsidy voluntarily heeding the call given by the Prime Minister.
- The subsidy saved from the ‘GiveitUp‘ campaign is being utilized for providing new connections to the BPL families under the ‘Giveback‘ campaign.
- This enables provision of LPG, a clean fuel, to poor households by replacing the conventional fuels such as kerosene, coal, fuel wood, cow dung, etc. relieving the poor of the hardships and health hazards from such fuels.
- While many consumers have given up subsidy voluntarily, it is felt that consumers in the higher income bracket should get LPG cylinders at the market price
[Courtesy: Indian Express, BS]
Centre gives nod for four Greenfield airports
The Centre has given its clearance for four Greenfield airports in two states.
There will be three airports in Andhra Pradesh and an international airport at Dholera in Gujarat.
The Centre’s decision to provide clearance to airports in Andhra Pradesh comes at a time that the State government has come out with a separate aviation policy aimed at attracting investments and developing new infrastructure in the State.
About Greenfield Airport:
- It is a new airport which is constructed on an undeveloped site.
- It is built from scratch on a new location because the existing airport is unable to meet the traffic requirements.
What is a Brownfield project?
- These projects are usually undertaken to modify or upgraded from existing facilities.
[Courtesy: Business Line]
Deepak Mohanty committee on medium-term path on financial inclusion
A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee on financial inclusion has suggested that the government should transfer cash directly to persons instead of giving subsidies, and should replace interest subvention on agriculture loans with affordable universal crop insurance scheme.
The committee on medium-term path on financial inclusion headed by RBI executive director Deepak Mohanty, was set up in mid-July after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told RBI in its 80th anniversary that a road map should be built to include 90 per cent of India’s unbanked population in the financial fold.
- Recommends phasing out of interest subvention scheme and ploughing the subsidy amount into a mandatory crop insurance scheme for small and marginal farmers
- Suggests banks to open more accounts for females
- Proposes a new welfare scheme for girl child — Sukanya Shiksha
- Suggests stepping up financial inclusion in north-eastern, eastern and central states
- Recommends Aadhaar to be linked with each individual credit account
- Recommends use of low-cost solution based on mobile technology for ‘last mile’ delivery
- Recommends ‘Gold KCC’ scheme for good borrowers
- Recommends commercial banks to open specialised interest-free windows with simple products
- Recommends RBI to take lead in creating a geographical information system to map banking access points
- Recommends more bank credit to the MFI sector
- Suggests more ATMs in rural centres
Art & Culture
Ramakrishna Mission-UNESCO establish ‘official ties’
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has established an ‘official relationship’ with the Ramakrishna Mission in the areas of inter-cultural dialogue, social cohesion and for promoting peace and non-violence.
- The bonding between the Paris-based world body and the over 100-year old Ramakrishna Mission started in 2002 with the former funding certain projects.
- In 2012, the UNESCO set up a chair on Inclusive Adapted Physical Education and Yoga at the Coimbatore campus of Vivekananda University.
- The UNESCO founded common features with the Ramakrishna Mission in many respects.
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
- UNESCO has 195 member states and nine associate members. Its headquarters is at Paris, France.
- It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
- Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.
- UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture, and communication/information.
- Projects sponsored by UNESCO include:
- Literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes;
- International science programmes;
- The promotion of independent media and freedom of the press;
- Regional and cultural history projects;
- The promotion of cultural diversity; translations of world literature;
- International cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and
- To preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
[Courtesy: Hindu, Wiki]
Also in News
44th Nagi Day Celebrated by the Army
The 44th Nagi Day was celebrated at Sriganganagar Military Station and Nagi (a small village located in Sri Karanpur, Rajasthan close to India-Pakistan International Boundary) in memory of gallant soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives for the Nation during the famous Battle of Nagi on 27-28 Dec 1971.
- The Battle was fought ten days after announcement of the ceasefire of Indo-Pak war wherein brave action by Indian soldiers at Nagi thwarted the nefarious designs of Pakistan Army to capture Indian Territory in Village Nagi of Karanpur Tehsil.
- In the ensuring battle, a total of 21 Indian Soldiers including three officers made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.