Government Committees, Schemes & Bills - Current Affairs for November, 2015

Government Committees, Schemes & Bills Current Affairs for November, 2015

Month wise coverage of Government Committees, Schemes & Bills Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ Centre forms council for granite industry   [11-30-15]

Centre has formed a council to be represented by Central and state government officials, exporters and experts known as the Development Council for Granite Industry. This council will be headed by Mines Secretary and its first meeting of the council will take place on December 1.

▼ AP to have dedicated Maritime Board   [11-30-15]

AP will soon have a dedicated Maritime Board governing integrated planning, monitoring and development of all ports including concessions to stakeholders. State Government has adopted the AP Port Policy 2015 as part of harnessing the benefits of a 974 km coastline which is the third longest in the nation. The State has targeted to achieve 15 per cent share in cargo handling by 2019 and 25 per cent by 2025.
It has one major port at Visakhapatnam besides 14 non-major port locations: Bhavanapadu, Meghavaram, Kalingapatnam, Bheemunipatnam, Gangavaram, Nakkapalli, Kakinada SEZ, Kakinada Deep Water, Surasena Yanam/Rawa, Narsapur, Machilipatnam, Nizamapatnam, Vodarevu and Krishnapatnam. Limited operations will be carried out at Kakinada Anchorage Port.

▼ Government approves INR 3120 crore for infra boost in 102 AMRUT cities   [11-30-15]

GoI has approved investment of INR 3120 crore for boosting urban infrastructure in 102 cities of 5 states including increased water supply, enhanced sewerage network, transportation system which is non-motorized and availability of public spaces. The investment has been approved under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation.

▼ FinMin sets up cell to implement Pay Panel recommendations   [11-26-15]

Finance Ministry has set up an implementation cell to give effect to recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The cell has been set up in the Department of Expenditure for a period of 1 year w.e.f November 20, 2015. Apart from Joint Secretary, Cell will have nine officials and staff including Director level officer and 2 undersecretary level officers.

▼ Government clears WB aided project STEPPP   [11-26-15]

Government has provided clearance for skilling 5 million Indians with financial assistance of USD 1 billion to provide skill training called STEPPP or Skill Training for Employability Leveraging Public Private Partnership. The project was cleared by the Department of Economic Affairs, MSDE. It will provide skill training and also strengthen skill training infrastructure.

▼ Schemes launched by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment   [11-25-15]

Following schemes were also launched along with Sugaamya Bharat Abhiyan: DISHA (Early Intervention and School Readiness Scheme); VIKAAS (Day Care); SAMARTH (Respite Care); GHARAUNDA (Group Home for Adults); . NIRAMAYA (Health Insurance Scheme); SAHYOGI (Caregiver training scheme); GYAN PRABHA (Educational support); PRERNA (Marketing Assistance); SAMBHAV (Aids and Assisted Devices) and BADHTE KADAM (Awareness and Community Interaction)

▼ 13 member expert panel under former CEC to deliberate on how to promote Sanskrit   [11-24-15]

HRD Ministry has constituted a 13 member expert panel headed by ex CEC N. Gopalaswami to mandate on issues pertaining to Sanskrit as part of aim to promote the language. Other members in the committee are Bibek Debroy, VV Bhat, Dr Ramadorai, Ramesh Bhardwaj, Ved Prakash and Samskrit Bharati.

▼ Jan Lokpal Bill 2015 passed by Delhi Government    [11-20-15]

The Delhi Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 18th November 2015 have approval Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 which sets up an independent authority to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It also covers the Chief Minister’s Office. The bill drafted by CM and Deputy CM Delhi resembles provisions of Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill 2011.

▼ TADF fund launched by Ministry of Commerce and Industry    [11-20-15]

Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (I/C), Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, on 18th November launched the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund (TADF) under National Manufacturing Policy being implemented by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion(DIPP). This new scheme is to facilitate acquisition of Clean, Green & Energy Efficient Technologies, in form of Technology / Customised Products / Specialised Services / Patents / Industrial Design available in the market available in India or globally, by MSMEs.

▼ Government has eased norms for bilateral aid to promote Make in India programme   [11-19-15]

Government has eased norms for bilateral aid to promote Make in India, easing norms for bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) to enable the country access assistance from other countries, a move which will promote 'Make in India' campaign by obtaining new technology and boost infrastructure. Bilateral assistance is currently available from partners like the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, European Commission and European Union members. As per the modified guidelines, bilateral assistance for a minimum of USD 1 billion, of which 50 percent should be untied loans, can be accepted for capital intensive projects and other projects of specific nature.

▼ GoI Announces 3 percent interest subsidy scheme for exporters.   [11-19-15]

GoI has announced 3 percent interest subsidy scheme for exporters which will have a financial implication of about Rs 2,700 crore, concerned over declining exports. Financial implication of the scheme will be in the range of INR 2500 to 2700 crore. Rate of interest equalisation will be 3%. This will be evaluated after 3 years. Actual implication will depend on level of exports. Funds worth around INR 1625 crore in the non plan head of account are available under Demand for Grants for 2015-2016. Scheme will be available to exports of MSME and as many as 416 tariff lines.

▼ Government raises duty refund rates on host of items   [11-17-15]

Government of India has raised duty refund rates on numerous items including iron, steel, garments and marine products to promote exports previously on a decline for 11 months. Central government has notified the Schedule of revised All Industry Rates of Duty Drawback effective from November 23, 2015, the Finance Ministry said. Duty drawback is refund of duties on imported inputs for export items.

▼ Subgroup on CSS rationalisation divided scheme into two   [11-16-15]

Accordingly, existing CSS should be divided into: Core and Optional schemes.In the Core Schemes, those for social protection and social inclusion should form the Core of the Core and be the first charge on available funds for the National Development Agenda. Investment levels in Core Schemes should be maintained so as to ensure that the optimum size of the programme does not shrink.

Sharing pattern should be:

For Core Schemes

- For NE and 3 Himalayan States: Centre: State: 90:10
- For other States: Centre: State: 60:40
- For Union Territories: Centre: 100%

For Optional Schemes

- For NE and 3 Himalayan States: Centre: State: 80:20
- For other States: Centre: State: 50:50
- For Union Territories: Centre: 100%

▼ Incredible India Campaign attracts 6.80 lakh foreign tourists in October 2015   [11-12-15]

Incredible India campaign has attracted 6.80 lakh foreign tourists in October this year as against 6.68 lakh within the same month in 2014, according to Tourism Ministry data.There was a decline in foreign exchange earnings in October, as per the Tourism Ministry data. Forex earnings in October from tourism were INR 9611 crore as against INR 10,041 crore in October 2014. This marks a fall of 4.3%. Maximum number of tourists in India came from Bangladesh (15.22%) followed by the US, the UK and Sri Lanka.

▼ CEP Committee chaired by Prof. Ashol Misra submits reforms for JEE   [11-10-15]

Constituted by the Indian Institute of Technology Council under Prof Ashok Misra, the CEP has made the following reforms for the IIT JEE:
- National testing service will be established by 2016. It will conduct an aptitude test which will be online and offered 2/more times in a year.
- Around 4 lakh candidates will be shortlisted for taking the JEE based on their performance
- JEE will be on the lines of the current advanced IIT JEE.
- Ranks will be accorded to 40,000+ students to seek admission in IITs and NITs associated with common counselling.

▼ MHRD directs UGC to continue Non NET fellowship   [11-9-15]

MHRD has reiterated that Central Government has instructed the UGC to continue non NET fellowships and formed a committee under G. Barua, former IIT Guwahati director to examine this issue. Mandate of the committee is to ensure benefits of non NET fellowships reach larger number of universities. MHRD has also said that the aim is to expand such fellowships rather than discontinuing them.

▼ Bankruptcy Law Reforms Committee submits report   [11-6-15]

Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee has submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Finance on November 4, 2015. Report of the BLRC involves rational and a comprehensive draft insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill covering various entities. Bill proposes to set up an Insolvency Regulatory and deemed the DRT and NCLAT shall be adjudicating authorities with respect to individuals and unlimited liability partnership firms.

▼ 3 Gold Related Schemes launched   [11-6-15]

India has 20,000 tonnes of gold which should be put to productive use, and these schemes show us the way to achieve this. The Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) will replace the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999. Under the GMS, resident Indians (classified as individuals, HUF, Trusts including Sebi-registered Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds) can deposit gold. Deposit certificates can be issued by banks equalling 995 fineness of gold and the principal and interest of the deposit under the scheme will be denominated in gold. The terms of deposit will include short-term deposits (1-3 years), medium-term deposits (5-7 years) and long-term deposits (12-15 years).Under the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, the Reserve Bank of India will issue Gold Bonds on behalf of the GoI. Under the Gold Coin and Bullion Scheme, the government will issue gold coins, the first ever national gold coins, with Ashok Chakra engravings on them.

▼ Union Cabinet approves scheme to allow power distribution companies to convert debt   [11-6-15]

Union Cabinet has approved a scheme whereby power distribution companies in select states can convert debt into state bond and roll out steps to improve efficiency in power plants. Plan is called UDAY/ Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana. It will shift 75% of their burden from them to state balance sheets resulting in interest cost savings of 3 to 5 percent.

▼ SC: No Bar on Collegium system   [11-6-15]

SC has said there will be no bar on the collegium system for working for appointing judges for higher judiciary. The latter has many large scale vacancies. SC will not interfere with the collegium system. The SC recently quashed the NJAC/National Judicial Appointments Commission Act aimed at replacing the collegium system for the appointment of judges to higher judiciary.

▼ French Ambassador Francois Richier announces investment for Smart Cities Project   [11-5-15]

France has committed over 2 billion euros for Smart Cities Project in India with focus on Nagpur, France has committed over 2 billion euros for Smart Cities Project in India with focus on Nagpur, Puducherry and Chandigarh. An investment of another 200 million euros will also be made for extension of Bangalore metro. France has committed 600 million euros for Smart Cities and sustainability projects. France was actively partnering India with the aim of developing 100 Smart Cities and AMRUT.y and Chandigarh. An investment of another 200 million euros will also be made for extension of Bangalore metro. France has committed 600 million euros for Smart Cities and sustainability projects. France was actively partnering India with the aim of developing 100 Smart Cities and AMRUT.

▼ RBI permits NRIs to subscribe to NPS   [11-2-15]

RBI on 29th October 2015 permitted non resident Indians to subscribe to National Pension Scheme, taking the decision with the Union Government to enable National Pension System (NPS) as an investment option for NRIs under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. NRIs can subscribe to PFRDA’s NPS scheme in accordance with the amendment to Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2015 notified on 6 October 2015.

▼ Ministry releases draft civil aviation policy   [11-2-15]

Government has proposed tax incentives for airlines and repair works of aircrafts apart from mooting 2 percent levy on all air tickets for funding regional connectivity scheme. The ministry has also mooted 50% FDI in domestic carriers in the event that the open skies policy is implemented. Currently, FDI limit is 49%. Another proposal is fare capping at INR 2500 for one hour flights as part of the regional connectivity scheme.