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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.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Lessons from 15 days odd-even system in Delhi Analysis on 15 days odd-even in Delhi: Delhi is facing one of the worst spells of air pollution this winter. The odd-even measure is a fitting response to such an emergency situation. Analysis already shows that the 15-day car-control measures have curtailed pollution. The odd-even experiment showed that if the public transport system is improved, people will opt for it. The experiment showed that with rationalisation of routes and less congestion, the much maligned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) can be effective. fewer cars on roads mean a smooth ride, thus avoiding the unnecessary burning of fuels while being stuck in traffic jams. Also, less traffic means the public bus system ran more buses in a day. An analysis carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has shown that this winter, of all the severe smog episodes so far (with several consecutive days in severe category), the peak pollution during the odd-even programme has been the lowest. Data with CSE shows that both the particulate and nitrogen oxide load from cars reduced substantially during the odd-even programme—by as much as 40 per cent. It is estimated by the US-based Health Effect Institute that the maximum impact of vehicular pollution is up to 500 metres from the road side and 55 per cent of Delhi’s population lives within that zone.This programme has, therefore, contributed to the reduction in exposure to toxic fumes. The user of a single occupancy petrol car meeting Bharat Stage IV standards can reduce per capita particulate emissions per kilometre by at least two times by using a CNG bus. Car pooling will reduce the per capita emissions by four times from the same car. The success of the experiment because of public participation has rung electoral alarms. From Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka, politicians now want to experiment with the odd-even system. The country’s capital has set an example by putting public health under the lens.
NHAI approves greenbelt along National Highways NHAI(National Highways Authority of India )has approved a pilot project submitted by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur for undertaking scientific studies on designing greenbelts along national highways. The project will be implemented on a 5 km stretch on NH-7 between Jam and Hinganghat in Nagpur region at an estimated cost of Rs.11.80 crore . Around 20, 000 trees of scientifically chosen species are proposed to be planted on both sides of this stretch in multiple rows. Work activities have been delineated considering two major factors : (a) Highway requirement and objectives Traffic frequency Available space Soil type Water availability Climatic conditions Anthropogenic interference (b) Plant characteristics to fit in the site requirement Height Canopy cover Air pollution Tolerance Index Sociability The project will run for 5 years, and during this period various experiments will be conducted in NEERI laboratory to record the impact of greenbelt development. Besides developing greenbelt, the project will also assist in developing relevant research infrastructure that may be used for similar studies in future. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is an autonomous agency of the Government of India, responsible for management of a network of over 70, 000 km of National Highways in India. It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The chairman of NHAI is Raghav Chandra, IAS. The NHAI was created through the promulgation of the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. A 2012 report prepared by the World Bank’s Institutional Integrity Unit alleged that fraudulent and corrupt practices were being followed by Indian contractors working on national highway projects funded by it, and sought a thorough investigation into the matter. The report also alleged that contractors paid bribes and gifts, including gold coins, to “influence the actions” of officials and consultants of the National Highways Authority of India.
Draft National Policy on Capital Goods and Engineering A draft base paper on National Policy on Capital Goods was prepared by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI)- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Joint Task Force on Capital Goods and Engineering. WHAT ARE CAPITAL GOODS? Any tangible assets that an organization uses to produce goods or services such as office buildings, equipment and machinery. Consumer goods are the end result of this production process. “Capital Goods” sector comprises of plant and machinery, equipment / accessories required for manufacture / production, either directly or indirectly, of goods or for rendering services, including those required for replacement, modernization, technological upgradation and expansion. It also includes packaging machinery and equipment, refrigeration equipment, power generating sets, equipment and instruments for testing, research and development, quality and pollution control. Capital goods sector is extremely crucial for the development of the country’s economy for the following two important reasons: – 1.Capital Goods is considered as a strategic sector and development of domestic capabilities is essential from a national self-reliance and security perspective . 2.Capital Goods sector has multiplier effect and has a bearing on the growth of user industries as it provides critical inputs, i.e., machinery and equipment to the remaining sectors covered under the manufacturing activity. The capital goods sector contributes 12% to the total manufacturing activity (which is about 15% of the GDP). It is a large and diverse sector in India with a market size of INR 2, 50, 000 Cr in 2013–14 and a domestic production of close to INR 1, 92, 000 Cr. The sector is estimated to grow to a market size of approx INR 4, 65, 000 Cr in 2016–17 with domestic production of approx INR 4, 00, 000 Cr. The sector is a major employer, with close to 13, 00, 000 people employed across various sub-sectors. The sector has grown at the rate of 15% per annum over the last decade. Heavy electrical and power plant equipment is the largest sub-sector contributing to approx 65% of total capital goods requirement. The sector contributes significantly to exports with over Rs 52, 000 crores in 2013-14 which have grown at approx 20% per annum over the last decade. The sector also imports to the extent of Rs. 1, 14, 500 crore, which is 37% of the total demand of capital goods. The capital goods component in industrial production has lagged in recent years due to slow pace of domestic demand leading to growing dependence on imports and following slow growth in the world economy. Further, in the globalized world and as trade barriers in the form of tariffs are reduced, not all capital goods manufacturers have been able to tap the global opportunity. Today, the sector has witnessed a gradual improvement and registered a positive growth from April to December 2014 at 5.7%. Key Issues: Imports continue to address ~35-40% of domestic demand for capital goods with the proportion being significantly higher in “critical components” segment for each subsector. Machine tools, heavy electrical and power plant equipment are sub-sectors that are particularly weak in self reliance with ~40% of demand being met by imports. Indian share in global exports in the capital goods sector is still low, ranging between 0.1% and 0.6%, across various sub-sectors. In contrast, share of global exports for China ranges between 7.7% and 16.3% depending on the sub sector. The prospects for growth of the capital goods sector in India have always been projected to be good. Basis this, industry has invested significantly in capacity while the market 3 growth has not been commensurate with the same. This has led to large blocks of underutilized capacity, waiting to capitalize on the latent demand in the market. Beyond 4-5 large players, the market is fragmented with the majority of operative units in the SME sector. These SMEs are challenged vis-à-vis large foreign competitors with low operating scale and issues related to access to capital. Historically, lower appetite for capital investment in R& D and limited know-how of process technologies, the technology profile of domestic products ranges from basic to intermediate. Support facilities, technology development institutions and skilled man-power continue to lag behind global standards Cost disabilities such as higher cost of power, finance and infrastructure leading to higher operating cost. Vision: “To increase the share of capital goods contribution from present 12% to 20% of total manufacturing activity by 2025” Mission Become one amongst top 10 capital goods producing nations of the world 4 – Raise exports to a significant level of at least 40% of total production. objectives: Creating an Eco-system for globally competitive Capital Goods Sector. Creation and Expansion of Market for Capital Goods Sector Promotion of Exports Human Resource Development Technology & IPR Introduction of Mandatory Standards Focus on SME Development
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore National food security act 2013 implementation likely in all the States/UTs The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System it also recognizes maternity entitlements. The total number of States/UTs now implementing the Act is 25. By April.2016 it is likely to be implemented in all remaining States /UTs. Recent initiatives of the government in NFSA 2013 : Digitisation of ration cards is one of the important components for making PDS leak proof, 97% cards across the country have been digitised, and soon 100 % will be digitised. All the 36 States/UTs have online system for redressal of PDS grievances. Direct Cash Transfer of food subsidy to the beneficiaries started in Chandigarh and Puducherry in September this year. Procurement policy for paddy modified to ensure reach of MSP operations to more farmers. As a result huge paddy procurement has been made during Kharif season. The Central Government decided to share 50% (75% in the case of Hilly and difficult areas) of the cost of handling & transportation of foodgrains. Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution recommended for providing milk and eggs – pulses etc. under the schemes. Online allocation of foodgrains implemented in 19 states/UTs. Transparency portal to display all operations of TPDS launched in 27 States/UTs. Relief for farmers: The procurement policy has been modified and private firms have been allowed to procure paddy from farmers in a cluster, identified by the respective state government in the states of Assam, Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.These states lack necessary infrastructure. Department of Food and Public Distribution had recommended an increase in the import duty to address the drop in international prices of imported oils was affecting the prices of domestically. Import duty on Crude oils has been increased from existing 7.5% to 12.5% and the import duty on refined oils from existing 15% to 20%. The Government took several measures to facilitate payment of cane price arrears by infusing liquidity into the sector. A scheme for extending soft loans to the extent of Rs. 6000 crore to the sugar industry was notified last year Government decided to pay a production linked subsidy of Rs 4.50 per quintal cane in 2015-16 season directly into beneficiary account. The export incentive on raw sugar has been increased from Rs 3200/MT to Rs. 4000/MT. The Government has enhanced import duty on sugar from 25% to 40% to discourage imports. Blending targets under Ethanol Blending Programme scaled up from 5% to 10%. as a result the cane price arrears came down from 21, 000 cr last year to 2700 cr in January 2015 . Reforms in FCI: “Depot Online” system initiated in 30 sensitive depots, to bring all operations of FCI Godowns online and to check reported leakage. The FCI has been asked to take up construction modern silos for storage of total 100 lakhMT capacity at different locations in the country under PPP mode which will help in maintaining the quality of foodgrains, minimize losses and ensure rapid bulk movement of foodgrains. Government revised the buffer norms in January, 2015 for better management of foodgrain storage. In order to ensure quality of products and services for common consumer, the Government introduced Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015 in Parliament to replace 29 years- old BIS Act. Consumer Protection Bill 2015 that seeks to simplify and strengthen consumer grievance redressal procedure introduced in the Parliament this year. This was stated by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution while briefing the media about programmes, policies and future road map of his Ministries