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Prime Minister to launch Accessible India Campaign for Physically disabled people n important aim of the society is to integrate persons with disabilities in the society so that they can actively participate in society and lead a normal life. Ideally, a disabled person should be able to commute between home, work place and other destinations with independence, convenience and safety. The more persons with disabilities are able to access physical facilities, the more they will be part of the social mainstream. With firm commitment of the government towards socio-economic transformation of the persons with disabilities there is an urgent need to create mass awareness for universal accessibility. DEPwD is also in the process of creating a mobile app, along with a web portal for crowd sourcing the requests regarding inaccessible places. With the app, downloaded on his/her mobile phone, any person would be able to click a photograph or video of an inaccessible public place (like a school, hospital, government office etc.) and upload the same to the Accessible India portal. The portal will process the request for access audit, financial sanction and final retrofitting of the building to make it completely accessible. The mobile app and portal will also seek engagement of big corporates and PSUs to partner in the campaign by offering their help to conduct access audit and for accessibility- conversion of the buildings/transport and websites. India is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has formulated the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), as a nation-wide campaign for achieving universal accessibility for PwDs. The campaign targets three separate verticals for achieving universal accessibility namely the built up environment, transportation eco-system and information & communication eco-system. The campaign has ambitious targets with defined timelines and will use IT and social media for spreading awareness about the campaign and seeking commitment / engagement of various stakeholders. The Department has asked various State Govts. to identify about 50 to 100 public buildings in big cities and also identify citizen centric public websites, which if made fully accessible would have the highest impact on the lives of PwDs. Once identified, “Access Audit” of these buildings and websites will be conducted by professional agencies. As per the audit findings, retrofitting and conversion of buildings, transport and websites would be undertaken by various government departments. This will be supported by the Scheme of Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act (SIPDA), an umbrella scheme run by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) for implementing various initiatives for social and economic empowerment of PwDs. Article 9 of UNCRPD casts an obligation on all the signatory governments to take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities. Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 under Section 44, 45 and 46 also categorically provides for non-discrimination in participation, non-discrimination of the roads and built up environment. As per Section 46 of the PwD Act, the States are required to provide for : i) Ramps in public buildings ii) Provision of toilets for wheelchair users iii)Braille symbols and auditory signals in elevators or lifts iv) Ramps in hospitals, primary health centres and other rehabilitation centres. Article 9 – Accessibility of UNCRPD 1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia: Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces; Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services. 2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to: Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public; Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities; Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities; Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms; Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public; Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information; Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet; Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
France, India to launch global solar alliance French President Francois Hollande and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch an international solar alliance aimed at eventually bringing clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all. There is a gap at present in the application of solar technologies to the very large un-met demand for solar-powered technologies in solar resource rich countries. This gap arises primarily from lack of systematic information about the on-ground requirements as well as scarce opportunities for capacity building and training of users of technologies and finally, a shortage of suitable financing arrangements to make new technologies affordable to very poor users who require them. The potential energy from sunlight which shines on these countries throughout the year should be harnessed and used to transform lives through simple devices such as solar panels and solar appliances that already exist and need to be scaled up and made accessible where they are needed. This can dramatically improve the quality of life in rural and peri-urban areas that are currently in darkness due to lack of electricity grid. A partnership is proposed, to consist of countries, majority of whom face similar challenges resulting from low rates of energy access-such as farmers who cannot use technology to improve productivity and incomes, or a shortage of clean drinking water due to high costs of purification, or lack of modern healthcare facilities with lighting and refrigeration services, or insufficient numbers of schools with lights, fans and modern equipment. These countries need a voice on the international stage. If they can share their experiences and mobilize in order to close their technological gaps by cooperating with each other, solutions will be found and will also be scaled up leading to lower costs. This cooperation and coordination role is proposed to be filled by ISA, a grouping of countries who are keen to transform their solar resource wealth into improved lives for their people through application of solar technologies. After 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, many advocacy organizations were set up, primarily to disseminate knowledge about renewable energy. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 7.1, 7.2, 7.a and 7.b clearly state that renewable energy must be given priority in the future agenda of all countries. These read as follows: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” Mission and Vision is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilizing of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner. To achieve the objectives, ISA will have five key focus areas:- a. Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment. b. Formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications. c. Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital. d. Build a common Knowledge e-Portal. e. Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R& D among member countries. ISA is proposed to be a multi country partnership organization with membership from solar resource rich countries between the two tropics. The total Government of India support including putting normative cost of the land will be about Rs 400 crore (US$ 62 million). Government of India support of Rs 175 crore(US$ 27 million) will be utilized for creating building infrastructure and recurring expenditure. It will be provided over a 5 year period from 2016-17 to 2020-21. Opinions of world leaders: There are several countries blessed with high solar radiation. We are making efforts to bring these countries together for enhanced solar energy utilization through research and technology upgradation. These countries have immense strength and capabilities to find solutions for their energy needs through solar energy. -Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India I welcome this initiative because if (these) countries can formulate ambitious targets for renewable by modifying regulatory frameworks for financing and improving technologies for lowering price of solar energy, then it will be a major contribution to the implementation of climate agreement. –Francois Hollande, President of France ISA can provide a unique focus in supporting global efforts to increase the uptake of renewable energy through the development of solar policies, the promotion of applications to reduce poverty and the facilitation of energy access. I welcome this initiative by an IRENA Member Country and the Chair of the IRENA Council, India, and look forward to supporting ISA member countries in all possible ways. –Adnan Z. Amin, Director General, IRENA
Best IAS & KAS Coaching Centre in Bangalore SC/ST Amendment Act to come into force today The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015 will come into force today. The Act has more stringent provisions for prevention of atrocities against SCs and STs. What does the The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment act, 2015 says? New offences added under the Bill include: (a) Garlanding with footwear, (b) Compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging, (c) Abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public, (d) Attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem (e) Imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott. The Act seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the Act. Wrongfully occupying land belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the Act. The Bill defines ‘wrongful’ in this context, which was not done under the Act. Assaulting or sexual exploiting an SC or ST woman is an offence under the Act. The Act adds that: (a) intentionally touching an SC or ST woman in a sexual manner without her consent, or (b) using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, or (c) dedicating an SC or ST women as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered an offence. Preventing SCs or STs from (a) using common property resources, (b) entering any place of worship that is open to the public, and(c) entering an education or health institution , is an offence. The Act specifies that a non SC or ST public servant who neglects his duties relating to SCs or STs shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to one year.: The Act specifies these duties, including: (a) registering a complaint or FIR, (b) reading out information given orally, before taking the signature of the informant and giving a copy of this information to the informant, etc. An Exclusive Special court must be established at the district level is deemed a Special Court to provide speedy trials for offences. A Special Public Prosecutor is appointed to conduct cases in this court. The Act adds a chapter on the rights of victims and witness: It shall be the duty of the state to make arrangements for the protection of victims, their dependents and witnesses. The state government shall specify a scheme to ensure the implementation of rights of victims and witnesses.
Best IAS And Kas Coaching Centre In Bangalore Government sets up panel to study 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations Government decided to set up a high-powered panel headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha to process the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission which will have bearing on the remuneration of 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners. The implementation of the new pay scales is estimated to put an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore on the exchequer in 2016-17. All you have to know about 7th Pay commission : It was formed by previous UPA Government. The commission, headed by Justice A K Mathur was formed in February 2014. The other members of the commission are Vivek Rae, a retired IAS officer of 1978 batch, and Rathin Roy, an economist. Meena Agarwal is Secretary of the Commission. The committee’s recommendations are scheduled to take effect from 1 January, 2016. The government constitutes the Pay Commission almost every 10 years to revise the pay scale of its employees and often these are adopted by states after some modifications. Nearly 47 lakh central government employees and 52 lakh pensioners will be befitted by the pay commission. Recommendations: 7th Pay panel suggests 23.55% hike in pay and allowances of govt employees. Pay will go up by 16%; increase in allowances will be 63%; increase in pension will be 24%. Recommendations will come into force from January 1, 2016. Minimum basic pay for central govt staff recommended at Rs 18, 000; maximum pay Rs 2.25 lakh per month. 3% annual increment . Impacts if Implemented: Financial burden Seventh pay commission will definitely bring a toll on the exchequer , the reason being Government has to manage OROP’s expenditures too. FY17 impact seen at Rs 1.02 lakh crore from implementation of the 7th Pay Commission. Total impact from implementation of 7th Pay Commission is Rs 1.02 lakh cr; including Rs 28, 000 cr on Railway Budget: FM. Implementation of 7th Pay Commission to impact fiscal deficit by 0.65%: FM. Extra information: First pay commission came in year 1946 and the basic salary at that time was decided to be of Rs 35 . Second pay commission came in year 1959 and basic salary was of Rs 80 . In 1973, third pay commission came into effect which decided the basic salary of Rs 185. Fourth pay commission came in year 1986 which recommend basic salary of Rs 750. In year 1996, fifth pay commission came, recommending basic salary of Rs 2550. Sixth pay commission came into effect in year 2006, fixed minimum basic salary of Rs 6660.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Government announces first batch of 20 smart cities from 11 States and Delhi The Government announced the 20 winners of the Smart City Challenge competition for financing during this financial year. The winners were from 11 States and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was totally objective and transparent based on standardized processes. Here is the list: Rank City State 1 Bhubaneswar Odisha 2 Pune Maharashtra 3 Jaipur Rajasthan 4. Surat Gujarat 5 Kochi Kerala 6 Ahmedabad Gujarat 7 Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh 8 Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 9 |Solapur Maharashtra 10 Davanagere Karnataka 11 Indore MP 12 Municipal Council Delhi 13 Combattore Tamil Nadu 14 Kakinada Andhra Pradesh 15 Belagavi Karnataka 16 Udaipur Rajasthan 17 Guwahati Assam 18 Chennai Tamil Nadu 19 Ludhiana Punjab 20 Bhopal Madhya Pradesh Smart city competition : The India Smart Cities Challenge is designed to inspire greater creativity from municipal officials and their partners, more involvement and inspiration from citizens, and the development of proposals that will produce concrete benefits in people’s lives. IN THE FIRST YEAR, CITIES WILL COMPETE FOR FUNDING: All states will use standardized criteria to pick their cities for the competition. Every state is guaranteed at least one city in the competition. Cities judged to have the best proposals will receive funding. The remaining cities will have the chance to compete again next year. The challenge will run three times : 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18. 2015-16 challenge: JUNE – JULY 2015: Indian states nominated cities that meet select criteria to participate in the competition. AUGUST – DECEMBER 2015: Each city formulated its own unique vision, mission and plan for a “smart city.” Their concepts reflected the city’s local context, resources, and priorities of citizens. Each city develops a pan-city and area-based proposal. JANUARY 2016: A small number of cities – those with exceptional proposals – are named winners. Remaining cities will have the chance to compete in the next competition cycle. The Challenge required municipal leaders and their partners to consult the public to develop proposals that are both sound and have a high likelihood of being implemented. Proposed solutions must strengthen the city’s governance or its physical, social, or economic infrastructure. What must be the Plan ? A Bold Vision: Each city must convey its own unique vision that reflects local context, its resources, and the priorities and aspirations of its citizens. A Pan-City Initiative: Cities should draw inspiration from smart solutions that incorporate the use of technology, information and data to improve services or results for citizens. The pan-city initiative must touch the lives of many, or potentially all, of its citizens. An Area-Based Development Plan: This plan will transform an existing place within each city, creating an exemplar for other areas in the city, or across the country, to follow. Depending on local circumstances, cities may choose one of three approaches: retrofitting, redevelopment, or greenfield development.
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