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July 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Author : priya
Category : National Current Affairs
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July 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs

1) PM unveiled National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 in New Delhi.
  • The policy was unveiled in a programme held on the occasion of first-ever World Youth Skills Day.
  • It is the first such policy on entrepreneurship since independence and intended to replace the National Policy on Skill Development 2009.
 
2) Supreme court termed National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy as unreasonable and irrational.
  • Supreme Court of India termed National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy, 2012 and the Drug Price Control order (DRCO) 2013 as unreasonable and irrational.
  • Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice TS Thakur asked the Department of Pharmaceuticals of Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to pass a reasoned order on the issue within six months after hearing all parties concerned.
  • This statement was given by Supreme Court while hearing a PIL filed by NGO All India Drug Action Network alleging that the Market Based Pricing (MBP) was never used for any price regulatory purposes and this was making medicines costlier.
 
3) Manipur Legislative Assembly unanimously resolved to withdraw MRVTMW Bill, 2015.
  • Manipur Legislative Assembly unanimously resolved to withdraw the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers (MRVTMW) Bill, 2015.
  • It was withdrawn as people were sceptical about the effectiveness of the Bill to protect indigenous communities of the State.
  • If such a directorate would have been set up, it would have become mandatory for all non-locals who are staying in hotels or private houses as tenants to submit their particulars to the directorate.
  • This is a very rare case in the history of parliamentary democracy in India, in which the Legislative Assembly of a state held its special session and unanimously resolved to withdraw a Bill, before it received the assent of the Governor or President.
  • State Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh announced that a new bill on the Inner Line Permit (ILP) would be introduced in Manipur Assembly within three months.
  • The Chief Minister also invited the Joint Committee on Inner-Line Permit System (JCILPS) in Manipur for a discussion on people’s demand and at the same time examined that it does not contravene the Constitution. 
 
4) Maharashtra assembly passed Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015.
  • Maharashtra legislative assembly passed the Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015.
  • The bill was unanimously passed by the assembly in the absence of Congress and NCP members.
Features of the Bill:
  1. It empowers citizens to avail their rights in stipulated time with less efforts and cost.
  2. It will pave way for curbing corruption, bringing transparency and empowering citizens.
  3. It ensures essential services are delivered in a time-bound manner and at nominal charges.
  4. In case of failure in delivery in the stipulated time, the government employee will be penalized for default, which ranges between 500 rupees to 5000 rupees.
  5. It provides for three-tier Appellate Authorities with first two being Government Officials or Designated Officers and third will be a Right to Service Commission.
 
5) CCEA approves creation of Intra State Transmission System in 7 States.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the creation of an Intra-state Transmission System (ISTS) in 7 states across the country.
  • 7 States are: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
Key facts about Intra-state Transmission System:
  1. Under the project, the activities envisaged includes establishment of 48 new Grid sub-stations of different voltage levels.
  2. Tapping renewable energy potential: These 7 states are having rich renewable resource potential with numerous large planned renewable power projects.
  3. Creation of this system will facilitate evacuation of renewable power from generation stations to load centres.
  4. Funding: It will be created at an estimated cost of 8548 crore rupees. Of this total amount National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) will contribute 3,419 crore rupees i.e. 40 per cent for this project.
 
6) Union Government approves Transit Oriented Development(TOD) policy for Delhi.
  • TOD aims to address issues of pollution, congestion and shortage of housing for the poor and middle class.
  • Thus it is a key policy initiative for low-carbon, high-density and compact living spaces.
Key facts:
  • Under the TOD policy, the floor area ratio for constructions around mass rapid transit systems (MRTs) like the Metro has been doubled.
  • It will help to address the issues of traffic congestion and shortage of housing in Delhi and allow more vertical constructions.
  • The higher floor area ratio of 400 per cent will allow more floors in a building which in turn will address the issue of shortage of land availability. Thus it paves the way for mixed land use and sustainable inhabitation with minimised travel time for citizens and easy availability of public transport.
  • TOD policy will not be applicable in Civil Lines Bungalows Area, Lutyens Bungalow Zone, Monument regulated zone and Low Density Residential Area.
 
7) Agri Ministry launches 3 portals.
  • The Centre launched three new websites for farmers here aimed at making organic farming certification, fertiliser quality checks and disbursal of soil health cards easier.
  • The portals, developed by National Informatics Centre, are part of the existing schemes.
  • The ‘Participatory Guarantee System’ portal will help small and marginal farmers engaged in organic farming to secure certification after checks for compliance to standards are carried out.
  • The ‘Soil Health Card’ portal has been developed to register soil samples and record tests results along with fertiliser recommendations to create a national database on soil health for future use in research.
  • The ‘Fertiliser Quality Control System’ portal will collate results of drawn samples of imported fertilisers helping both consumers and importers with analysis reports.
 
8) Net neutrality report: Fate of Airtel`s zero rating plan left to TRAI.
  • Airtel had launched Airtel Zero under which it offered a platform for content owners, e-commerce players, and start-ups to offer free data access to users.
  • This was seen to be against the principles of net neutrality by some sections as it allowed free access to only those companies which had resources to partner with Airtel.
  • The Committee, after consideration of all opinions expressed by Net Neutrality proponents and network operators, feels that there are a multitude of possibilities in designing tariff plans and it would not be possible to either pre-think all possibilities or determine its validity with respect to Net Neutrality principles.
The Committee proposed that tariff plans (including zero rating plans) be dealt with in the following ways:
  1. (a) Ex-ante determination - Before a licensee launches any tariff plan, the same would need to be filed before TRAI within a reasonable period prior to the launch of the plan.
  2. (b) TRAI would examine each such tariff filing carefully to see if it conforms to the principles of Net Neutrality and that it is not anti-competitive by distorting consumer markets.

9)Union Cabinet gives nod to redevelop 400 major railway stations.

  • This approval will enable the Union Ministry of Railways to accelerate the redevelopment of ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category railway stations across the country.
  • These stations generally are located in major cities, metros, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations.
  • These major railway stations will be redeveloped under a new unique method which is a form of public procurement of ideas called the Swiss Challenge.
  • Under this initiative, major stations will be redeveloped by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations.
  • Categorisation of A-1 and A category railway stations: At present, Indian Railway’s based on earnings classify 7000 railway stations into seven categories.
  • A-1 category railway stations are those non-suburban stations with 50 crore rupees and above annual passenger earnings.
  • While, Category A railway stations comprises non-suburban stations with 6 crore to 50 crore rupees annual passenger earnings.
 
10) DGCA panel moots psychometric tests for pilots.
  • Pilots should undergo psychometric tests at least three times in their career, recommended a three-member committee appointed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • Though such tests have not been made mandatory, the Germanwings plane crash in France earlier this year involving a co-pilot undergoing a bout of depression, has made the regulator to have a re-look at the conduct of psychometric tests.
 
11) U.S. firm paid bribe to bag two projects in Goa, Guwahati.
  • A New Jersey-based construction management firm Louis Berger has been charged with paying several crores of rupees as bribes to Indian officials to win two major water development projects in Goa and Guwahati.
  • The company agreed to pay a criminal fine of $17.1 million (about Rs. 108 crore) to resolve charges that it bribed officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait to secure government construction management contracts.
  • The Indian government, with Japanese assistance, initiated the five-year Goa Water Supply and Sewerage Project to expand, restore and build water-supply facilities and sewerage.
 
12) IIT Bombay, Nehru Science Centre launch ‘Internet for All’ Mobile Science Exhibition.
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay and Nehru Science Centre have launched a pilot project “Internet for All” in its Mobile Science Exhibition Bus in Mumbai, which aimed at creating awareness about the power of internet.
  • It was launched under the aegis of the Union Government’s flagship ‘Digital India’ campaign.
  • It is basically science exhibitions on wheels in which 20 theme based exhibition models which are mounted on specially designed Buses.
  • The aim of this initiative is to take Science to the door steps of rural school children and to enthuse students to take up careers in Science and Technology.
  • Under this initiative, students will be provided few Aakash tablets during interaction session with volunteers to showcase the power of internet and its uses for the society.

13) Indian Railways and Odisha Government signed MoU for Dasappla-Bolangir Railway Line.

  • The Union Railways Ministry and the Odisha Government signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for implementation of Dasapalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road-Bolangir New Broad Gauge Railway Line on cost sharing basis.
  • The agreement was signed by Ved Parkash Dudeja, Executive Director (Works) Ministry of Railways and Sanjay Rastogi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Commerce & Transport Department, Odisha Government.
About Khurda Road-Bolangir Project:
  1. Khurda Road-Bolangir (289 km), new broad gauge line project, was taken up by Indian Railways at an anticipated cost of 3050 crore rupees. To complete this project, Odisha Government consented to provide land free of cost and sharing 50 percent of the construction cost for Dasapalla to Bolangir line.
  2. The project will be completed in three years of time after handing over of the land by the state. This Railway line running across the state from east to west will usher the six districts- Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Boudh, Subarnapur and Bolangir into a new era of development.
 
14) Union Government launched National Career Counselling portal.
  • Union Government launched National Career Counselling Portal to modernize all government-run employment exchanges.
  • The portal was launched under the aegis of National Career Service (NCS) project of Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • The portal aims to bring on board around 20 million job seekers already registered with employment exchanges across India. It also aspires to bring 900000 establishments and companies on the portal.
  • Features of the National Career Counselling portal:
  • The web portal will be a one-stop platform for both job providers and job seekers where registration can be done online.
  • It will offer registration for job aspirants and employers for free. But to avoid misuse, job seekers will be required to link their Aadhar number when registering with the website.
  • The companies and organizations will need to submit their society registrations or company registration certificate copies while getting empanelled on the job portal.
 
15) Union Government launches National Career Counselling portal.
  • Union Government has launched National Career Counselling Portal in a bid to modernize all government-run employment exchanges.
  • It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the aegis of National Career Service (NCS) project of Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • The web portal will be a one-stop platform for both job providers and job seekers where registration can be done online.
  • It will also provide candidates career-related counseling either by its helpline numbers or visiting these centres along with other facilities like job posting, aptitude assessment, job matching, training providers, skill courses and guidance on self-employment and entrepreneurship.
 
16) Indian Railways and Odisha Government signed MoU for Dasappla-Bolangir Railway Line.
  • The Union Railways Ministry and the Odisha Government signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for implementation of Dasapalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road-Bolangir New Broad Gauge Railway Line on cost sharing basis.
  • The project will be completed in three years of time after handing over of the land by the state.
  • This Railway line running across the state from east to west will usher the six districts- Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Boudh, Subarnapur and Bolangir into a new era of development.
  • The signing of MoU by Odisha Government will help in accelerating the development in the districts falling on Khurda-Bolangir line and will help create job opportunities in this naxal-affected state.

 

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