Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana launched for the State of Uttarakhand
Background :- Recently Uttrakhand joined the scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved Rs 8000 crore for the next 3 years.
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana will provide 5 crore LPG connections to BPL families, with the financial support of Rs 1600.
- Budget Speech of 2016 had announced about the scheme and made a budgetary provision of Rs 2000 crore in the current Financial Year (FY).
- Connections will be issued on the name of women beneficiaries.
- EMI facility will also be provided for stove and refill cost.
- It is complimentary to Prime Minister’s Give It Up campaign under which 75 lakh middle class and lower middle class households have voluntarily given up their cooking gas subsidy.
- To promote women empowerment
- To provide a healthy cooking fuel
- To prevent hazards health related issues among the millions of rural population due to use of fossil fuel.
Budget and Funding
Total budget allocation of Rs. 8000 crore has been made by the Government for implementation of the scheme over three years starting from FY 2016-17. The Government has already assigned Rs. 2000 crore for implementation of PMUY 2016-2017. Government will distribute LPG connections to about 1.5 crore BPL families within the current financial year.
The scheme will be implemented using the money saved in LPG subsidy through the “Give-it-Up” campaign. The Indian Government has so far saved nearly Rs. 5,000 crore in LPG subsidy. Since the launch of “Give-it-Up” campaign, 1.13 crore people have given-up subsidies and are buying LPG cylinders at market price.
The scheme provides a financial support of Rs. 1600 for each LPG connection to the eligible BPL households. The connections under the scheme will be given in the name of women head of the households. The government will also provide EMI facility.
This is first time in the history that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is implementing such an enormous welfare scheme which will benefit crore of women belongs from BPL families.
The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories. This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- The applicant should be women above the age of 18 years.
- The applicant must be a rural inhabitant carrying a BPL card.
- The women applicant should have a saving bank account in any nationalized bank across the country to receive subsidy amount.
- The applicant’s household should not already own a LPG connection.
Exercise Malabar – 2016
In consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing relations among India, US and Japan, IN ships Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch are participating in the 20th edition of Ex MALABAR-16 with the USN and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).
IN and USN have regularly conducted the annual bilateral exercise named ‘MALABAR’ since 1992. Since 2007, MALABAR has been held alternatively off India and in the Western Pacific. The 19th edition of the exercise, Ex MALABAR-15, was conducted off Chennai and included participation by the JMSDF.
NH Construction : Kailash-Mansarovar, Chardham , Buddhist Circuit And Ram-Van-Gaman And Ram-Janaki Routes
National Highway Connectivity Improvement Program for Char-Dham in Uttarakhand
This project includes the development of all-weather roads leading to Chardham. (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri & Gangotri) in Uttarakhand.
Kailash-Mansarovar Route Through Ghatiabagarh-Lipulekh Road In Uttarakhand
Several religions of the world have their origins in India. Buddhism has transcended India’s boundaries and has taken root in East, South and South East Asia. Gautam Buddha, born as a prince in Lumbini set out towards India in search of the questions that troubled him about life and suffering. His penance and meditation for years showed him the path to ‘nirvana’. After achieving enlightenment, he set about preaching and sermonizing on the middle path to salvation, till he left for his heavenly abode from Kushinagar.
In the Mahaparinirvana sutra, the Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to the places where he was born (Lumbini), gained enlightenment (Bodhgaya), first taught (Sarnath), and attained Nirvana (Kushinagar).
The Buddhist Circuits include the places of all high significance holy sites of Buddhism; where Lord Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, preached first sermon and reached Nirvana. Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar are the primary pilgrimage places of Buddhist Circuit associated with the life and teachings of the Lord Buddha. There are numerous other sites where the Buddha and the bhikshus who travelled during his life after his transformation, which are held in deep veneration. Visitors from all over the world can travel through this Buddhist Circuit today, to savour the splendid beauty and great appeal of Buddhism. These Circuits have been defined as:
(i)Buddhist Circuit (Bihar): Bodhgaya-Nalanda-Rajgir-Vaishali-Kahalgaon-Patna.
(ii)Dharmayatra Circuit: Bodh Gaya (Bihar)-Sarnath (UP)-Kushinagar (UP)-Piparvah (UP).
(iii)Extended Dharayatra Circuit: Bodh Gaya (Bihar)-Vikramshila(Bihar)-Sarnath(UP)-Kushinagar(UP)-Kapilvastu(UP)-Sankisa(UP)-Piparvah(UP).
Jal Marg Vikas Project on River Ganga
‘The Central Port Authorities Act’ 2016’ to replace the ‘Major Port Trust Act, 1963’
*Not all the details are important.The highlighted ones are may be of some use though.
a) Composition of board has been simplified. The board will consist of 9 members including 3 to 4 independent members instead of 17-19 under the Port Trust Model. Provisions has been made for inclusion of 3 functional heads of Major Port as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee Member and a Labour Nominee Member. (Section 3(2)).
b) The disqualification of the appointment of the Members of the Board, duties of the Members and provision of the meetings of the Board through video conferencing and other visual means have been introduced on the lines of Companies Act, 2013. (section 5,10 & 12)
c) Port related and non-port related use of land has been defined. A distinction has been made between these two usages in terms of approval of leases. The Port Authorities are empowered to lease land for Port related use for upto 40 years and for non-port related use upto 20 years beyond which the approval of the Central Government is required. (Section 21)
d) The need for Government approvals for raising loans, appointment of consultants , execution of contracts and creation of service posts have been dispensed with. The Board of Port Authority have been delegated power to raise loans and issue security for the purpose of capital expenditure and working capital requirement. (Section 30)
e) The provision for maintenance of books of account and financial statements in accordance with the accounting standards notified under the Companies Act, 2013 or as prescribed by Central Government has been provided. (Section 44)
f) Concept of internal audit of the functions and activities of the Central Ports has been introduced on the lines of Companies Act, 2015 (Section 25)
g) The Board of the Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for service and assets. The regulation to tariff by TAMP has been removed. (Section 25)
h) An independent Review Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP concessionaries, to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to revive such projects and to look into complaints regarding services rendered by the ports/private operators operating within the ports would be constituted. At present, there is no independent body to look into the above aspects and the Review Board will reduce the extent of litigation between PPP Operators and Ports. (Section 59)
i) Power of Central Govt. to take over the control of the Port Authority is limited to the event of grave emergency or in case of persistent default by Port Authority in performance of their duties. (Section 53)
j) Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced. (Section 65)
k) The status of Port Authority will be deemed as ‘local authority’ under the provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1887 & other applicable Statutes so that it could prepare appropriate regulations in respect of the area within the port limits to the exclusion of any Central, State of local laws. (Section 66).