Polity & Governance
- Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs merged with MEA
- Tribal ministry relents over Forest Rights Act
Science & Technology
- INS Kadmatt commissioned
Polity & Governance
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs merged with MEA
Nearly 12 years after it was set up to improve engagement with the Indian Diaspora; the government has decided to merge the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) with the External Affairs Ministry in sync with its broad principle of minimum government, maximum governance.
Rationale Behind the Move:
- The decision will help government address duplication as well as unnecessary delays in various works.
- Even the information for answering the questions related to MOIA in Parliament used to be provided by the Indian missions
Sources, however, indicated that the decision to merge MOIA with MEA was taken as senior diplomats wanted officials dealing with foreign workers-related issues and emergencies to have better diplomatic back-up and coordination.
Ministry was established in May 2004 as the Ministry of Non-Resident Indians’ Affairs and in September 2004 it was renamed as the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).
- Established in May 2004 as the ministry of non-resident Indians’ affairs, it was renamed as the ministry of overseas Indian affairs in September 2004.
- The primary task of the MOIA was to connect the Indian Diaspora with its motherland.
- The ministry initiated various programmes focusing on developing networks with and amongst the overseas Indians with the intent of building partnerships with the Diaspora.
- Positioned as a ‘Services’ Ministry, it provides information, partnerships and facilitations for all matters related to Overseas Indians: Non-Resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin.
- The Ministry has four functional service divisions to handle its services:
- Diaspora Services
- Financial Services
- Emigration Services
- Management Services
[Ref: Hindu, Wiki]
Tribal ministry relents over Forest Rights Act
The Union tribal affairs ministry has revised its views to re-interpret the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and allow the Maharashtra forest department to get control back over forest management and a grip on the lucrative trade worth crores in forest produce such as tendu leaves and bamboo.
- The ministry had previously concluded that only tribals and other forest dwellers had rights to manage their forests under FRA.
- In 2014, the Maharashtra state government had passed regulations that ensured its forest department retained control over forest management, which includes the large-scale trade and sale of forest produce.
- The tribal affairs ministry found this in violation of FRA, which empowers tribals and other forest-dwellers to hold sole rights to manage the forests, including sale of forest produce in areas where they have traditional claims. The tribal affairs ministry repeatedly told Maharashtra that its rules were prima facie in violation of and irreconcilable with the law.
- But after a meeting in November 2015 between the environment and the tribal affairs ministries, the latter has made a turnaround and re-interpreted the legal provisions of FRA to give the state government control back over the forests with some conditions.
This could now open the Pandora’s Box with some states such as Madhya Pradesh having already followed suit to put similar regulations in place and states such as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha working towards such rules as well.
[Ref: PIB, BS]
Science & Technology
INS Kadmatt commissioned
Indian Navy has commissioned INS Kadmatt, India’s second Project 28 (P28) class Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette (ASWC) at Visakhapatnam.
- It should be noted here that India’s first Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette (ASWC) is INS Kamorta.
Some facts about INS Kadmatt:
- The ASW Corvette INS Kadmatt is equipped with total atmospheric control ventilation system that enables it to fight in any nuclear, biological and chemical warfare environments.
- The ship is 109 metres long, almost the size of a football field, and has a displacement of over 3,200 tons.
- The ship has a maximum speed of 25 knots (around 46 kilometres per hour) and can accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors.
- The ship has an amazing durability. It can travel for around 3,400 nautical miles at a constant speed of 18 knots.
- The ship is made to protect the naval fleet from any incoming submarine attack by weapons such as torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopters.
- The Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has developed a special class of high-tensile (DMR249A class) steel to build the ship.
The unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the production, accentuating our national objective of ‘Make in India’. About 90% of the ship is indigenous.
[Ref: ET, PIB]