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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 Beijing to end coal usage by 2020 to reduce smog China’s capital and its adjoining areas will end coal usage by 2020 to reduce the recurring smog in Beijing and improve air quality . Beijing wants to replace coal-fired stoves with that of electricity and gas. Beijing has declared that it will wipe out coal use in its most rural areas by 2020. 60 per cent of smog content is caused by coal burning in the starting phase of each smog . 30 per cent of the pollution comes from automobiles. Burning coal for winter heating has been listed as one of the primary causes of air pollution. Background : The capital and other places in northern China experienced several smog alerts in November and December, when peak readings were many times higher than the national safety level. Last month Beijing declared its first red alert as the city of over 22 million people was enveloped by heavily polluted smog leading to a host of emergency measures including closure of schools and restriction of traffic with odd and even number plates.
Best IAS And KAS Coaching Centre In Bangalore Somnath Temple to invest in Gold Monetisation Scheme Somnath Temple Trust is all set to become first temple from Gujarat to deposit its idle gold in the Gold Monetization Scheme. The trust has around 35 kilo grams of gold and will deposit the gold which is not in day-to-day use of the temple. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a trustee of the Somnath Temple Trust. The management will segregate the pure gold from the whole lot to finalise the quantum of gold which can be deposited. Somanath temple: The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”. This legendary temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by Islamic kings and Hindu kings respectively. Most recently it was rebuilt in November 1947, when Vallabhbhai Patel visited the area for the integration of Junagadh and mooted a plan for restoration. The present temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture or “Kailash Mahameru Prasad” style. The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in a straight line between Somnath seashore until Antarctica. What is Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS)? 1.It replaces the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999. 2.The deposits outstanding under the Gold Deposit Scheme will be allowed to run till maturity unless the depositors prematurely withdraw them. 3.Any Resident Indians can make deposits under the scheme. 4. The minimum deposit at any one time shall be raw gold equivalent to 30 grams of gold. 5.There is no maximum limit for deposit under the scheme. 6.The gold will be accepted at the Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) . 7.The deposit certificates will be issued by banks in equivalent of 995 fineness of gold. 8.The designated banks will accept gold deposits under The Short Term (1-3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes (MLTGD). 9.The The Short Term Bank Deposit (STBD) will be accepted by banks on their own account 10.The Medium and Long Term Government Deposit Schemes will be accepted on behalf of the Government of India. 11.There will be provision for premature withdrawal subject to a minimum lock-in period and penalty to be determined by individual banks for the STBD. 12.The interest rate in the STBD will be determined by the banks. 13.The interest rate in the medium term bonds has been fixed at 2.25% and for the long term bonds is 2.5% for the bonds issued in 2015-16. 14.The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under STBD to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in GMS. 15.The gold deposited under MLTGD will be auctioned by MMTC or any other agency authorised by the Central Government and the sale proceeds credited to the Central Government’s account with the Reserve Bank of India. 16.Earnings are exempt from capital gains tax, wealth tax and income tax. There will be no capital gains tax on the appreciation in the value of gold deposited, or on the interest you make from it. WHAT WILL THE BANKS DO WITH THE GOLD? The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under the short-term bank deposit to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in the scheme.
Best IAS & KAS Coaching Centre in Bangalore Government modifies gold monetisation scheme The government has modified the gold monetisation scheme (GMS) after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a master direction on the scheme on January 21. What is Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) with modified changes? 1.It replaces the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999. 2.The deposits outstanding under the Gold Deposit Scheme will be allowed to run till maturity unless the depositors prematurely withdraw them. 3.Any Resident Indians can make deposits under the scheme. 4. The minimum deposit at any one time shall be raw gold equivalent to 30 grams of gold. 5.There is no maximum limit for deposit under the scheme.(Amended :The quantity of gold collected under the scheme will be expressed up to three decimals of a gram) 6.The gold will be accepted at the Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) .(Amended:Gold depositors can also give their gold directly to the refiner rather than only through the Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTCs) 7.The deposit certificates will be issued by banks in equivalent of 995 fineness of gold.(Amended:Gold to be deposited with the CPTCs/Refineries can be of any purity) 8.The designated banks will accept gold deposits under The Short Term (1-3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes (MLTGD). 9.The The Short Term Bank Deposit (STBD) will be accepted by banks on their own account.(Amended: Banks are free to hedge their positions in the case of short-term deposits) 10.The Medium and Long Term Government Deposit Schemes will be accepted on behalf of the Government of India.(Amended: Premature redemption under Any Medium Term Deposit will be allowed to be withdrawn after 3 years and any Long Term Deposit after 5 years) 11.There will be provision for premature withdrawal subject to a minimum lock-in period and penalty to be determined by individual banks for the STBD. 12.The interest rate in the STBD will be determined by the banks. 13.The interest rate in the medium term bonds has been fixed at 2.25% and for the long term bonds is 2.5% for the bonds issued in 2015-16. 14.The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under STBD to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in GMS. 15.The gold deposited under MLTGD will be auctioned by MMTC or any other agency authorised by the Central Government and the sale proceeds credited to the Central Government’s account with the Reserve Bank of India. 16.Earnings are exempt from capital gains tax, wealth tax and income tax. There will be no capital gains tax on the appreciation in the value of gold deposited, or on the interest you make from it. WHAT WILL THE BANKS DO WITH THE GOLD? The designated banks may sell or lend the gold accepted under the short-term bank deposit to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins and to jewellers, or sell it to other designated banks participating in the scheme.( Amended :banks would be getting a 2.5 % commission for the scheme which will include the charges payable to the Collection and Purity Testing Centres/Refiners) Other Modifications : Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has modified the licensing condition for refiners already having National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation from the existing three years refining experience to one year refining experience. Impacts of the amendments : It will be subject to a reduction in the interest payable. This will encourage the bulk depositors including Institutions to participate in the scheme. This is likely to increase the number of licensed refiners. This will give the consumer better value for the gold deposited. It is expected that the modifications will make the scheme more attractive for potential depositors.
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