10, January 2017

1.Illegal recruitment will be done away with: Minister

Source: The Hindu

The Union government made it clear that it will take strict action against illegal agencies that hire people for jobs abroad, especially in West Asian countries.

  • The Centre said that it had already asked the States to recruit women as domestic helps only through agencies established by the State governments.
  • Our aim is to abolish illegal recruitment and do the same through a certified agency.If find illegal activities related to hiring of Indians for foreign jobs, strict penal action will be taken.

e-Migrate and ‘MADAD’

  • The Centre has launched an online portal called e-Migrate and ‘MADAD’ platforms to address the grievances of migrant workers.
  • Prosecution sanctions by the CBI or State police against illegal agents and an increase in the bank guarantee deposited by the recruiting agents from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh are some of the steps taken.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs is creating a national repository, which will have details of educational qualifications of migrant workers that can be used by foreign officials to verify the credentials of the employee.

  1. What is an OCI card and how to apply for it?

Source: The Hindu

The Bureau of Immigration under the Union Home Ministry issues OCI status.

The Central Government is granting Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to people who have migrated from the country as well as to those whose ancestors belonged to India, with exemptions to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Difference between NRI, OCI and PIO

1.Prior to 2011, the External Affairs Ministry was running a separate scheme for Person of Indian Origin (PIO). They are Indian-origin people up to four generations removed, except those living in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

2.In 2015 it was merged, and all PIOs were converted to OCI status.

A person with OCI status is not an Indian citizen.

  • The person does not have voting rights in India, nor can contest elections or hold any constitutional office.
  • He or she cannot buy agricultural land but can inherit ancestral property.
  • OCI facilitates visa-free travel to India, rights of residency and participation in business and educational activities in the country. The spouse of an Indian-origin person is also eligible for OCI.
  • The OCI card is not a substitute for an Indian visa and therefore, the passport which displays the lifetime visa must be carried by OCI holders while traveling to India.

3.A non-resident Indian (NRI) holds an Indian passport while living in another country. A person has to have lived for at least six months in a foreign country to be considered as an NRI. The classification of NRI is used only for calculating income tax.

OCI:

A foreign national,

  • who was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after 26th January, 1950; or
  • who was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January, 1950; or
  • who belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15th August, 1947; or
  • who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or who is a minor child of such persons mentioned above; or
  • who is a minor child and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India – is eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.

Besides, spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application is also eligible for registration as OCI cardholder.

However, no person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder.

Citizenship

Since India does not allow dual citizenship, a person of Indian Origin is not an Indian citizen.

  • However, a person who is registered as an OCI cardholder can apply for grant of Indian citizenship five years after being granted the OCI status.
  • In addition to this, the person should have been a resident in India for twelve months before making an application for registration.

3.Measles-rubella vaccine to roll out in February

Source: Indian Express

Commonly known as German Measles, congenital rubella infection is believed to affect approximately 25,000 children born in India every year.Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.

  • Three years after the national vaccine advisory body recommended the introduction of the measles-rubella vaccine (MR) in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP), the vaccine is all set to be introduced from next month in five states and Union territories as a part of the basket of preventive medications that every child born in India is entitled to.
  • In addition, from March, Pneumococcal conjugate (pneumococcal pneumonia) vaccine will also become a part of the UIP basket in three other states.
    • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is a pneumococcal vaccine and a conjugate vaccine used to protect infants, young children, and adults against disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus). … Prevnar 13 (PCV13) is produced by Pfizer.

Measles-rubella

  • Measles is one of the most contagious diseases ever known and is an important cause of death and disability among young children worldwide. The measles virus will infect anyone who is not protected.Rubella can cause severe birth defects.
  • The Measles & Rubella Initiative is committed to ensuring that no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome.

4.Minigrids can power rural economic activity

Source: The Hindu

Mini grids can spur economic activity in rural areas and accelerate the process of expanding mobile phone network across the country due to their large capacities and the ability to connect to the national grid, according to Smart Power India.

Mini grid:

  • A mini grid, as defined by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is an off-grid power system with a generation capacity of between 10 KW and 500 KW.
  • There are a number of other solutions of smaller capacities that rural areas can use such as a solar lantern, a solar home solution, or even a community solution like a micro grid.
  • But a mini grid is the only alternativethat provides the kind of electricity that can be used for business activities.
  • A mini grid is a larger system that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and it provides safety as per REC and CEA standards.

Significance:

  • One of the deficiencies of the other off-grid power solution models is that while these solutions are good in moving households away from kerosene and providing them with reliable and clean energy, they do not provide the energy required to fuel enterprise or commercial activity.
  • Usually, the power coming from the smaller off-grid solutions is DC energy. While it is good for lighting, it does not satisfy the community’s requirement to run any sort of business.
  • The power generated from a mini grid can be seamlessly transferred to the national grid since it is already going through a charge controller which manages the flow of energy and an inverter which converts the electricity from DC to AC. It also has a storage facility to meet night demand as well.
  • one of the important criteria in selecting a village to install a mini grid is to see whether there is at least one customer in the area – like a telecom tower, petrol pump, school or bank – that could make up a significant portion of the energy demand from the mini grid.

5.Delhi Government unveils ‘Good Samaritan Policy’

Source: Indian Express

“To encourage people to help accident victims, the Delhi government has approved “Good Samaritan Policy’.

  • Delhi government approved ‘Good Samaritan Policy’ under which monetary incentive of Rs 2,000 and appreciation certificate will be given to people who help road accident victims in the national capital.
  • Announcing the Cabinet’s decision, that the scheme is intended to encourage people to take accident victims in emergency situation to hospitals so that someone’s life could be saved.
  • “To encourage people to help accident victims, the Delhi government has approved “Good Samaritan Policy’.
  • According to a Central government study, Mumbai has got the dubious distinction of the city with maximum road accidents in the country, while the number of deaths in road mishaps is highest in Delhi.
  • Mumbai had the highest number of 23,468 number of road accidents during 2015 while Delhi had the highest number of 1,622 deaths due to road accidents,” according to the ‘Road Accidents in India’ report unveiled in June last year by Road Transport and Highways Ministry.

6.‘TReDing’ the path to quick payments

Source: The Hindu

Delays in receivables from big clients hurt SMEs. TReDS, the Trade Receivables Discounting System, may ease the pain.

The government’s demonetisation exercise has had an impact on liquidity of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the country, according to a recent nationwide survey by the global analytical company CRISIL.

Every third MSME is also facing delays in receivables from clients, which has curbed their ability to repay creditors, and pay salaries, on time,” said the survey that covered more than 1,100 MSMEs.

TReDS

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), despite the important role played by them in the economic fabric of the country, continue to face constraints in obtaining adequate finance, particularly in terms of their ability to convert their trade receivables into liquid funds. In order to address this pan-India issue through setting up of an institutional mechanism for financing trade receivables,the Reserve Bank of India had published a concept paper on “Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Factoring-Trade Receivables Exchange” in March 2014.

  • Based on the public comments received on the concept paper and interactions held with relevant stakeholders, the following guidelines are being proposed to be issued for setting up and operating the trade receivables system.

Scheme

The scheme for setting up and operating the institutional mechanism for facilitating the financing of trade receivables of MSMEs from corporate buyers through multiple financiers will be known as Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS).

  • The TReDS will facilitate the discounting of both invoices as well as bills of exchange.
  • Further, as the underlying entities are the same (MSMEs and corporate buyers) the TReDS could deal with both receivables factoring as well as reverse factoring so that higher transaction volumes come into the system and facilitate in better pricing.
  • The transactions processed under TReDS will be “without recourse” to the MSMEs.
  • The MSME would get its money quickly, while the market would get a claim on the better-rated large buyer instead of holding a claim on the MSME.
  • When the three Trade Receivables Discounting Systems (TReDS), which the RBI has licensed, start later this (2016-17) financial year. The key is to reduce transaction costs by automating almost every aspect of the transaction so that even the smallest MSMEs can benefit.

TReDS would be an authorised payment system subject to the RBI’s oversight under the Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

7.Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 years

Source: The Hindu

To achieve 950, for which we will need support from our neighbouring States.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious “BetiBachao, BetiPadhao” (B3P) campaign against female foeticide in Panipat in January 2015. Two years later, Haryana, notorious for its skewed sex ratio and patriarchal mindset, saw a historic turnaround.

Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in the State this past year touched the 900-mark for the first time in almost two decades.

This improvement was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex-determination and female foeticide.

BetiBachaoBetiPadhao

The Census (2011) data showed a significant declining trend in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR),calculated as number of girls for every 1000 boys between age group of 0-6 years, with an alltime low of 918 in 2011 from 976 in 1961.

  • The decline in CSR has been unabated since 1961. Thisis an alarming indicator for women disempowerment.
  • It reflects both pre birth discriminationmanifested through gender biased sex selection, and post birth discrimination against girls. Thedecline is widespread across the country and has expanded to rural as well as tribal areas.

Alarmed by the sharp decline, the Government of India has introduced BetiBachao, BetiPadhao (BBBP) programme to address the issue of decline in CSR in 100 gender critical districts. Coordinated & convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child.

  • The Overall Goal of the BetiBachao, BetiPadhao(BBBP) Scheme is to Celebrate the Girl Child & Enable her Education .
  • The objectives of the Scheme are as under :- Prevent gender biased sex selective elimination,  Ensure survival & protection of the girl child,  Ensure education of the girl child.

Multi-Sectoral interventions in 100 Gender Critical Districts covering all States/UTs:- Coordinated & convergent efforts are undertaken in close coordination with MoHFW and MoHRD to ensure survival, protection and education of the girl child.

The District Collectors/Deputy Commissioners (DCs) lead and coordinate actions of all departments for implementation of BBBP at the District level.



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