Gist of the Recommendations of the Group of Ministers on Road Safety:-
*There is chance that question on road safety might come this year in mains.If at all ,a question comes on this – the below recommendations can be helpful to frame better answer.
Rules of Road Regulations to be notified-
- The Rules of Road Regulation 1989 have become outdated and there is a need to issue fresh regulations in line with the present day requirements
Include Good Samaritan Guidelines under the MV Act
- The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for the protection of good Samaritans has been approved by the Honble Supreme Court. However to give a statutory backing there is a need for its inclusion in the Motor Vehicles Act.
Online issue of Learning License and stricter evaluation at the time of grant of permanent license
- To make the issue of Learning License citizen friendly and make the process transparent it is proposed to have the application and issue of Learner’s licence online. However to ensure safety and proper skills for the driver, stricter evaluation at the time of issuance of Permanent Licence
Allow License after 16 years for gearless scooters below 100 cc
- Now a days lots of young citizens are to use the two wheelers for commuting to local places especially schools, other institutions etc. As 50 CC vehicles are no longer available and further with the mass availability of 100 CC vehicles it is proposed to allow licence after 16 years for gearless scooters below 100 cc
Do away with the dress code for the drivers (truck drivers)
- Now a days the drivers especially of trucks and buses are many times harassed by the authorities for not wearing the prescribed dress.
Allow registration of vehicles at Dealer’s end
- With the availability of Vehicle Data from the Original Equipment Manufacturers because of VAHAN database of NIC availability with the dealers and with a lot of time wasted by the Citizens having their vehicles physically inspected with the RTO’s office the Dealer may have the registration done and be made responsible.
Create National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board
- To provide for a lead agency for implementing the road safety strategy, aadvisory body having necessary expertise and resources is proposed to be created.
Include accidental insurance for drivers in third party insurance
- Presently the drivers of the transport vehicles do not have any financial support available in case of an unfortunate incident of accident and requiring medical treatment and are left at the mercy of the owners.
Regulation of traffic on NH- creation of a separate highway police force by States to be funded by Centre
- Enforcement of traffic regulations is very important to ensure safe user behaviour on the road. The presence of enforcement machinery on the highways is presently inadequate. It is therefore required to augment the same by creating a dedicated highway police and use of modern technology. The central government will explore funding such efforts.
Funds for Road Safety- Centre to provide for correction of black spots and other initiatives for road safety
- The central government will fund the efforts for rectification of Black Spots and other road safety measures by the states.
Stricter Penalties for violations of MV Act provisions.
- To provide for better deterrence from violation of traffic regulations, enhanced penalties have been proposed.
Implementation of e-tolling across the country on a common RFID card-
- Expand E-Tolling on all lanes of toll booths
- Provide for integration with State and other toll Roads
Liberalizing intra-city taxi permit system and other automobile aggregation policy
- Liberalise City Taxi permit scheme
- They should follow the rules relating to fares, fuel and safety as mandated by Transport Department.
- Upper cap for the fares be fixed by Transport deptt.
- Aggregators may be permitted but they have to aggregate only taxis which have legally valid permits.
Improving mechanism for helping accident victims and trauma care facilities
- Comprehensive scheme for improving capacity development for trauma centres
- Expedite setting up of Trauma centres
- Cashless treatment of accident victims on all stretches of NH
- Special cell for road accidents within Non-Communicable diseases wing in MoH&FW
- Incentives for attracting professionals in trauma centres
- Explore possibility to use CSR Funds
Improving parking facilities for taxies and other public transport vehicles in the cities
- Reserve atleast 20% space in Public parking lots for Taxis.
Steps for promoting low cost last mile connectivity solution
- Allow e-rickshaws and two wheeler taxis as they are safe and low cost solutions for the passengers
- Allow seat sharing in taxis & auto rickshaws.
Strengthening rural transportation
- Scheme may be launched by Central Government for rural transport vehicles
- States may allow permits for such vehicles
Strengthening public transport systems
- Central Government may introduce scheme to strengthen STUs
- Exempt STU buses from taxes
- Deregulate luxury segmentto motivate people to shift from personalised transport to public transport
- Address to the problems of insurance in STU sector
Public Transport in Hill Areas
- Create a sub group to address to the problems of transport in hill areas
Higher Compensation in accident cases
- Include accidental insurance for drivers in third party insurance
- Rationalise Insurance provisions in accident cases
- Cover loss to property in accidents cases in insurance
SEBI to relax REIT, portfolio manager norms to woo investors
To deepen Indian capital markets, regulator Sebi has lined up wide-ranging relaxations to its norms for REITs.
- Among the changes, which would be considered by Sebi, the regulator is looking to make Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) more attractive to investors by allowing them to invest a large portion of funds in under-construction assets.
- Besides, REITs would be allowed to have a larger number of sponsors, while regulations regarding the minimum public offer size and related party transactions could also be eased.
- Sebi is also planning to remove curbs on the SPV to invest in other SPVs holding the assets, which in turn would allow REITs to invest in a holding company owning stake in SPVs.
- REITs are similar to mutual funds. While mutual funds provide for an opportunity to invest in equity stocks, REITs allow one to invest in income-generating real estate assets.
- REITs raise funds from a large number of investors and directly invest that sum in income-generating real estate properties (which could be offices, residential apartments, shopping centres, hotels and warehouses). The trusts are listed in stock exchanges so that investors can buy units in the trust. REITs are structured as trusts. Thus, the assets of an REIT are held by an independent trustee on behalf of unit holders.
- Short-term capital gain tax is applicable for unit holders at the rate of 15%. While interest is tax-exempt for REITs, it is taxable for unit holders. The registration charges for every purchase and sale of property is still applicable.
Space technology to safeguard thatched roofs
The scientists of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) are planning to use the technology that protects rocket launch vehicles from high-temperature fire to protect the thatched roofs and even prevent water seepage in concrete buildings.
The technology uses the ceramic-polymer hybrid (CASPOL). CASPOL is water-based ready-to-coat product. It was originally developed to protect the rockets from high temperature and fire to which they are exposed during the initial moments of launch. Caspol can withstand up to 800 degree Celsius. The centre has described the product as one which is eco-friendly as it is free of toxic materials.
- This could protect public transport systems and poor men residing in thatched homes from fire accidents. Seats in automobiles, public transport system and seat cushions of railway coaches can be made fireproof when Caspol is applied.
- Besides its ability to protect against fire and high temperature, Caspol can also make surfaces waterproof. When applied over the concrete surface of buildings, fill up the micro cracks and holes on concrete to prevent water from seeping in.
- Also, when applied over concrete surface of buildings, the high emissivity of the product reduces the temperature inside the building by at least 5 to 6 degree Celsius.
No takers for MEA-funded Nelson Mandela Chair
The only academic Chair for African scholars funded by the government is likely to go vacant for the second consecutive year as the position is not attracting senior African academics due to shortage of funds.
The latest advertisement for the Nelson Mandela Chair at the Centre for African Studies (CAS), JNU, was taken out by the Indian High Commission in Botswana on April 6. However, after more than two months of waiting, the host centre, CAS, is worried that the position may not be filled since the advertisement has not attracted sufficient number of distinguished applicants.
The Nelson Mandela Chair was created in 1992 after the earlier Chair funded by the UGC named after Kwame Nkrumah was discontinued after eight years.