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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 The Supreme Court said: No temple or governing body can bar a woman from entering the famous Sabarimala shrine in Kerala where lakhs of devotees throng annually to worship. When the Devaswom Board countered that the prohibition was based on custom followed for the past half century, court asked what proof the Board had to show that women did not enter the sanctum sanctorum over 1500 years ago. Court observed that the Constitution rejects discrimination on the basis of age, gender and caste. The petition filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association and five women lawyers seeking a direction to allow entry of women into the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple without age restriction. Women in the age group 10-50 are not allowed entry. The apex court had issued notice in the case way back in 2006. The petition had contended that women, aged between 10 and 50, touching the idol was considered an act of desecration. Backthen: An attempt was made to prosecute Kannada actor Jaimala on the plea of desecration following her disclosure that she entered the sanctum sanctorum and touched the idol in 1987. The priests conducted a special ritual to purify the idol. The Kerala High Court dismissed the charges filed by police in the controversial Sabarimala “astrological finding” case, which included Kannada actress Jaimala among the accused in 2012. The ban was enforced under Rule 3 (b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 It states “women at such time during which they are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship”. The Kerala High Court had upheld the ban in 1991 and directed the Devaswom Board to implement it. The petition contended that discrimination in matters of entry into temples was neither a ritual nor ceremony associated with Hindu religion. Such discrimination was totally anti-Hindu. The religious denomination could only restrict entry into the sanctum sanctorum and could not ban entry into the temple, making a discrimination on the basis of sex. It had sought quashing of the Rule contending that the ban was violative of Articles 14 (equality before law), 25 and 26 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution. They wanted guidelines laid down in matters of gender inequality in religious practices at places of worship. About Sabarimala: It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre located at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District, Perunad grama panchayat in Kerala. It is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world, with an estimated over 100 million devotees visiting every year. Sabarimala is believed to be the place where the Hindu god Ayyappanmeditated after killing the powerful demoness Mahishi. Sabarimala is linked to Hindu pilgrimage, predominantly for men of all ages. Females who menstruate (usually between the ages of approximately 12 and 50) are not allowed to enter the temple, since the story attributed to Ayyappa prohibits the entry of the women in the menstrual age group. This is because Ayyappan is a Bramhachari (celibate). Administration and legal duties is managed by Travancore Devasvom Board, an affiliate authority of Government of Kerala.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore China launches new AIIB development bank as power balance shifts Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new international development bank Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank. Despite opposition from Washington, U.S. allies including Australia, Britain, German, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in recognition of China’s growing economic clout. China is the bank’s largest shareholder(30.34%).China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders, taking a 30.34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake respectively in the newly-formed bank. The AIIB is expected to lend $10 billion-$15 billion a year for the first five or six years and will start operations in the second quarter of 2016. Thirty founding countries that hold over 74 percent of shares in the bank have ratified the AIIB agreement and the remaining countries have until the end of the year to complete the membership process. Asian Infrastructure development bank: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. The bank was proposed as an initiative by the government of China. The capital of the bank is $100 billion, equivalent to 2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank. China has elected its former finance minister Jin Liqun as the first President. 36_liqun_jin Major economies that did not become PFM( Prospective Founding Members) include the US, Japan (which dominated the ADB) and Canada. What lead to the formation of AIIB? The Chinese government has been frustrated with what it regards as the slow pace of reforms and governance, and wants greater input in global established institutions like the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank which it claims are dominated by American, European and Japanese interests. China in the ADB has only 5.47 percent voting right, while Japan and US have a combined 26 percent voting right (13 percent each) with a share in subscribed capital of 15.7 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively. Dominance by both countries and slow reforms underlie China’s wish to establish the AIIB, while both countries worry about China’s increasing influence. Shares: The Authorized Capital Stock of the bank is 100 billion US Dollars, divided into 1 million shares of 100 000 dollars each. Twenty percent are paid-in shares (and thus have to be transferred to the bank), and 80 % are callable shares. Voting: Three categories of votes exist: 1.Basic votes 2.share votes and 3.Founding Member votes. The basic votes are equal for all members and constitute 12% of the total votes, while the share votes are equal to the number of shares. Each Founding Member furthermore gets 600 votes. An overview of the shares, assuming when all 57 Prospective Founding Members have become Founding Members is shown below (values in bold do not depend on the number of members):
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Government extends time-line for Atal Pension Yojana till March 31, 2016 Government extended by 3 months, the timeline for its co-contribution facility under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) in a move aimed at benefiting the unorganised sector. A guaranteed pension scheme, APY provides monthly pension ranging from 1, 000 to 5, 000 rupees to the subscribers. Scheme was announced to address the longevity risks among the workers in unorganised sector and to encourage the workers in unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement. Under the scheme the government co-contributes 50 per cent of the subscriber’s contribution for a period of 5 years, if the subscriber has joined before 31st December 2015. The government has now extended its co-contribution plan for subscribers who join APY by 31st March 2016. This measure is likely to benefit substantial number of people who have not been able to join APY. The scheme will however continue for new subscriptions beyond March 2016, but without the benefit of 50% government co-contribution. As per finance ministry’s data the number of subscribers under APY have increased to 1.8 crore till January 16, 2016. Atal pension yojana: Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme in India targeted at the unorganised sector. Till the launch of this scheme only 11% of India’s population has any kind of pension scheme, this scheme aims to increase the number . In Atal Pension Yojana, for every contribution made to the pension fund, The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or ₹1, 000 (US$15) per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years , from Financial Year 2015-16 to 2019-20, who join the NPS between the period 1st June, 2015 and 31st March, 2016 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not income tax payers. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The age of exit and start of pension would be 60 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. Aadhaar would be the primary KYC document. The subscribers are required to opt for a monthly pension from Rs. 1000 – Rs. 5000 and ensure payment of stipulated monthly contribution regularly. The subscribers can opt to decrease or increase pension amount during the course of accumulation phase, as per the available monthly pension amounts. This scheme will be linked to the bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana scheme and the contributions will be deducted automatically. Recently Modified provisions under APY: Subscribers were provided with an option to make the contribution on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly basis instead of only monthly basis earlier. The account was not be deactivated and closed till the account balance with self-contributions minus the government co-contributions become zero due to deduction of account maintenance charges and fees. The penalty on delayed payment was also simplified to Rs 1 per month for contribution of Rs 100 for each delayed monthly payment instead of different slabs given earlier.
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
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