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Smriti Irani inaugurates GIAN scheme at IIT-Gandhinagar India may not yet have managed to get the Ivy League to set up campus in India through the much-awaited Foreign Universities Bill but is close to drawing in over 200 academics from global varsities to teach in India at $8, 000- $12, 000. The Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group. The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. The term Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism. The Smriti Irani-led Union Human Resource Development ministry is learnt to have quietly come to an agreement with academics from across countries to teach more than 200 short term academic courses in Indian institutes starting this November through its new scheme — Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN). The first GIAN backed course by a foreign faculty is expected to start with NIT Surathkal this November. Prashant V Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame in USA, it is learnt, is likely to take the first course to be launched under GIAN at the NIT, officials from the HRD ministry said on condition of anonymity. The Union Cabinet has approved a new program titled Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, internationally to encourage their engagement with the institutes of Higher Education in India so as to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reform, and elevate India’s scientific and technological capacity to global excellence. A number of academics from Germany, USA, Canada, France and Australia have shown considerable interest in GIAN and academics from across top global varsities including MIT, Oxford University, Cambridge, Stanford University, University of Berkeley, Imperial College of London are queuing up, sources from across institutes said. Spain, Brazil, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Russia, Norway, Singapore and Sweden are among other nations sending in academics to India. The Indian gov government had last year also engaged with Manjul Bhargava, R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, to help pitch the GIAN scheme as a brand ambassador. MHRD Scheme on International Summer/Winter Term (ISWT) under GIAN: Objective: To arrange Guest Lectures by international renowned experts. (1) Long and Short Term Goals: To increase the footfalls of reputed international faculty in the Indian academic institutes. Provide opportunity to our faculty and students to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas. To create avenue for possible collaborative research. To increase participation and presence of international students in the academic Institutes. Opportunity for the students of different Institutes/Universities to interact and learn subjects in niche areas through collaborative learning process. Provide opportunity for the technical persons from Indian Industries to improve understandings and update their knowledge in relevant areas. Motivate the best international experts in the world to work on problems related to India. BUDGET OUTLINE Sl No. Description of budgetary head per Course Amount* (Rs) 1. International and National Expert Air Fare – 2, 00, 000/- 2. Honorarium to International, National and Host faculty – 2, 00, 000/- 3. Travel and Stay Support to some Participants – 75, 000/- 4. Local hospitality to International and National expert – 50, 000/- 5. Lecture Notes/video-learning material preparation – 50, 000/- Incidentally, a few IITs and IIMs had raised concerns about paying this huge a remuneration to the visiting faculty citing insufficiency of funds available with them. Some of the IIMs that do not take any financial support from the Centre had also argued heir inability to do so. The Centre is even pitching in with additional funds where institutes may have cited difficulty in paying the decided remuneration for the visiting faculty. IIT Madras is learnt to be leading the tally so far with over 25 courses expected to be taught by visiting foreign faculty.
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 Government of India and World Bank sign a loan agreement for Neeranchal National Watershed Project The Government of India signed a loan agreement with World Bank here for the Neeranchal National Watershed Project. The Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), which commenced from the year 2009-10, is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme supporting watershed development in 28 states, following the Common Guidelines for Watershed Development Projects – 2008 (Revised 2011). The IWMP is delivered by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) through the Department of Land Resources (DOLR) at the national level, and through dedicated State Level Nodal Agencies (SLNA) set up for this purpose, in the States. The project to be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21) will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation. The total cost of the project is Rs. 2142.30 crore of which the Government’s share is Rs. 1071.15 crore (50 percent) and rest is the loan component from the World Bank. Why Neeranchal? For achieving the major objectives of the Watershed Component of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) For ensuring access to irrigation to every farm (Har Khet Ko Pani) and efficient use of water (Per Drop More Crop). Bring about institutional changes in watershed and rainfed agricultural management practices in India. Devise strategies for the sustainability of improved watershed management practices in programme areas, even after the withdrawal of project support. Support improved equity, livelihoods, and incomes through forward linkages, on a platform of inclusiveness and local participation. The programme will lead to reducing surface runoff of rainwater, increasing recharge of ground water and better availability of water in rainfed areas resulting in incremental rainfed agriculture productivity, enhanced milk yield and increased cropping intensity through better convergence related programmes in project area. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana: Central scheme that aims at providing irrigation facilities to every village in the country by converging ongoing irrigation schemes implemented by various ministries. Scheme envisages: Ensure access to some means of protective irrigation to all agricultural farms in the country in order to produce ‘per drop more crop’ to bring desired rural prosperity. Flexibility and autonomy: to states in the process of planning and executing irrigation projects in order to ensure water to every farm. Irrigation plans: ensure that state and district irrigation plans are prepared on the basis of sources of availability of water and agro-climatic conditions in that region. Promoting extension activities: related to ‘on farm water management and crop alignment’ for farmers as well as grass root level field functionaries. Agencies involved: nodal agency for implementation of PMKSY projects will be state agriculture department. Inter-ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) will periodically review these projects. Budgetary allocation: 1, 000 crore rupees for fiscal year 2015-16. Funding Pattern: Centre- States will be 75: 25 per cent. In case of north-eastern region and hilly states it will be 90:10.
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India plans to construct six more fast breeder reactors Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited, the implementing arm of the Department of Atomic Energy, has plans to construct six new Fast Breeder Reactors over the next 15 years. Country’s first 500-MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, around 70 km from Chennai, being set up by BHAVINI, is expected to become critical in March or April 2016. Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor components has been installed successfully. Reactor assembly internals have been kept in poised condition for pre-heating prior to Sodium filling. Innovative techniques/tools were developed and deployed to ensure complete cleanliness of reactor internals including dummy sub-assemblies and to maintain dust free environment. Various mechanisms viz., fuel handling, under sodium scanning, periscope, eddy current flow meter and core monitoring thermocouples were checked for smooth performance within reactor assembly before filling nitrogen. The main drive motors for the sodium pumps have been commissioned under no load condition after integrating the variable frequency drive systems. The integrated performance of pumps and motors will be demonstrated after filling of sodium in the respective systems. This prototype fast breeder reactor uses MOX fuel, which is a combination of plutonium and uranium oxide. The Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI) is a government-owned corporation of India established in 2004 in Chennai. One of the public sector undertakings, it is wholly owned by the Union Government and is responsible for the construction, commissioning and operation of all Stage II fast breeder reactors envisaged as part of the country’s three stage nuclear power programme. BHAVINI is administered by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Once the first fast breeder reactor, called Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) goes into commercial power production, BHAVINI will be the second power utility in India after Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), to use nuclear fuel sources to generate power. The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is a 500 MWe fast breeder nuclear reactor presently being constructed at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, India. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) is responsible for the design of this reactor. As of 2007 the reactor was expected to begin functioning in 2010 but now it is expected to achieve first criticality in September 2015. Total costs, originally estimated at 3500 crore (35 billion Rupees, 450 million euros) are now estimated at 5, 677 crore (750 million euros). The Kalpakkam PFBR is using uranium-238 not thorium, to breed new fissile material, in a sodium-cooled fast reactor design. The power island of this project is being engineered by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, largest power equipment utility of India. The surplus plutonium (or uranium-233 for thorium reactors) from each fast reactor can be used to set up more such reactors and grow the nuclear capacity in tune with India’s needs for power. The PFBR is part of the three-stage nuclear power program. India has the capability to use thorium cycle based processes to extract nuclear fuel. This is of special significance to the Indian nuclear power generation strategy as India has one of the world’s largest reserves of thorium, which could provide power for more than 10, 000 years, and perhaps as long as 60, 000 years.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore PIL once filed & heard, cannot be withdrawn: SC Supreme Court said , a Public Interest Litigation PIL, once filed & heard, cannot be withdrawn. The observation came during a hearing on a lawyer’s plea that he was getting threats for filing a PIL seeking entry of girls and women in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. The court noted this when Naushad Ahmed Khan, President of Indian Young Lawyers’ Association, which has filed the PIL on Sabarimala issue, sought urgent hearing of the matter. He said he has received 500 threatening phone calls in recent times and asked to take back the PIL. What is Public Interest Litigation (PIL)? Public-Interest Litigation is litigation for the protection of the public interest. In Indian law, Article 32 of the Indian constitution contains a tool which directly joins the public with judiciary. Article 32: The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part. A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party. For the exercise of the court’s jurisdiction, it is not necessary for the victim of the violation of his or her rights to personally approach the court. In a PIL, the right to file suit is given to a member of the public by the courts through judicial activism. The member of the public may be a non-governmental organization (NGO), an institution or an individual. It was in the case of SP Gupta vs Union of India that the Supreme Court of India defined the term Public Interest Litigation in the Indian Context. The 38th Chief Justice of India, S. H. Kapadia, has stated that substantial fines would be imposed on litigants filing frivolous PILs. PIL has been successful in making official authorities accountable to NGOs.
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.
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