By: D.K Choudhary
Union Cabinet Approvals & Announcement – December 22 2016
i. The Centre approved a draft ordinance on December 21, 2016, to empower states and enable industries to pay wages by cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts of workers earning up to Rs. 18,000 a month, without taking their explicit consent.
ii. The Union Cabinet approved the ordinance to amend the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, to allow employers of certain industries to make payment through the electronic mode and cheques.
iii. The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) gave its approval for doubling of Rajpura-Bhatinda railway line at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,251.25 crore.
iv. approved the sale of part of surplus and vacant land of 87.70 acres at Pimpri in Pune, Maharashtra to meet Rs. 821.17 crore net liabilities of Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL).
v. The union government will soon set up a toll-free number 10588 to provide relevant information and guidance directly to the pregnant women.
vi. The elite counter-terror force, National Security guard (NSG) may participate in the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2017 at Rajpath for the first time in the history.
Gujarat govt announces Aerospace and Defence Policy-2016
Vijay Rupani lead Gujarat government announced Aerospace and Defence Policy-2016 on December 21, 2016.
♦ Aim: To attract investment into fields of aerospace and defence design, development and manufacturing in Gujarat.
About Aerospace and Defence Policy-2016
i. Investors entitled to get 100 per cent reimbursement on stamp duty and registration charges paid for purchase, lease or mortgage of land meant for setting up the facility in the areas of Aerospace and Defence(A&D) as per the policy
ii. All A&D units would be provided 100 per cent exemption on electricity duty for a period of five years from the date of commencement of production.
iii. In case a government land is available then 50 per of prevailing jantri rates
iv. To conduct tests and trials of defence equipment manufactured in the state, government will provide all the required assistance to develop the infrastructure on PPP model.
v. Cash subsidy of 25 per cent on capital investment made by MSME units to set up their facility in the A&D sector
vi. Large A&D projects will be entitled to get 2 per cent interest subsidy on external borrowings.
CBSE Class X board exams to be made mandatory from 2018
i. CBSE’s governing body has unanimously approved a proposal on December 20, 2016, to make Board exams for Class X compulsory for all CBSE schools from the academic session 2017-18.
ii. Currently, it is optional for CBSE students to choose either the Board exam or a school-based examination.
iii. Class X Board exams were made optional in 2011 after educationists objected to the stress associated with it. This was replaced with Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation or CCE. Students, however, could opt for board exams if they wanted.
iv. In another key decision, the CBSE has also decided to recommend to the HRD Ministry that the three-language formula, under which Hindi, English and modern Indian language (listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution) are taught to the students of Class VI to VIII should also be extended for class IX and X.
v. CBSE’s highest decision-making body also decided to introduce an eligibility test for principals of all CBSE schools. CBSE will design a test on the lines of the Central Teacher Eligibility Test for principals in which they will have to pass.
vi. CBSE chairman R K Chaturvedi informed that all the three decisions need the final stamp of approval from the HRD Ministry before implementation.
♦ The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a Board of Education for public and private schools, under the Union Government of India.
♦ Chairman: Rakesh Kumar Chaturvedi
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India
♦ Formation: 3 November 1962
Maharashtra Government announces Separate Ministry for OBC
i. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while addressing the concluding-session of Kunbi Mahotsav at Shahapur in the Thane district of the state on December 20, announced that a separate ministry would be created for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) which would be headed by an independent minister.
ii. CM also announced to allocate Rs 200 crore funds for gravity-based water supply projects to fulfil the need of the town and surrounding areas.
iii. For this the government would prepare a policy under which villages giving land for dam projects would be entitled to get water from that particular project.
iv. Fadnavis also directed Thane Zilla Parishad to prepare a tourist circuit plan for Shahapur and Murbad talukas and assured maximum funds for development.
v. Besides, the state government has also come up with a target of planting 50 crore saplings in next three years (July 2019) in order to increase the green cover across the state.
Haryana Issues Petro Card to Drivers for Cashless Payment of Fuel
i. To promote cashless transaction in the state, the Haryana government on December 21, 2016, issued petro cards to drivers working with the state government for cashless payments of fuel.
ii. The government has shortlisted two companies for this purpose: Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum.
iii. Further to educate the citizens about digital payments, banks have organised camps in their branches at many locations. Nearly 932 such camps have been organised in 4648 bank branches where 21083 persons participated.
iv. Similarly, training was also imparted to 803 employees of 30 government departments. For this, five teams having two members each were formed to impart training to employees of state government departments or organisations to use various cashless modes.
v. The State Bank of India has also signed an agreement to install 3000 Point of Sale (POS) machines at various state government offices across the state without any charges.