MoU between Indian Space Research Organisation and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) for cooperation in the exploration and user of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The MoU would result in setting up a Joint Working Group with members from ISRO and UAESA, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.
Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to the Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Puducherry
Location of tribes is important and is a potential questions in Prelims.
The following communities as per approved modalities were found to be eligible for their inclusion in, exclusion from and other modifications in the list of Scheduled Tribes:
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy. This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector with a clear objective of increasing production of capital goods from Rs.2,30,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.7,50,000 crore in 2025 and raising direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million
What is Capital Goods:-
Goods that are used in producing other goods, rather than being bought by consumers.They are used to produce consumable goods.
“Capital Goods” sector comprises of plant and machinery, equipment / accessories required for manufacture / production, either directly or indirectly, of goods or for rendering services, including those required for replacement, modernization, technological upgradation and expansion.
In a challenging global environment, India has earned the distinction of being one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the last decade. During this period manufacturing sector has exhibited a growth rate of ~7%, and has been a strong contributor to overall GDP growth
However GDP contribution of manufacturing at ~18% is still low when compared to other developing countries (25-35%). This promises a significant upside for manufacturing in the coming decades, provided the fundamental enablers to create a vibrant manufacturing ecosystem are in place.
Capital goods sector is extremely crucial for the development of the country’s economy for the following two important reasons:-
Capital Goods is considered as a strategic sector and development of domestic capabilities is essential from a national self-reliance and security perspective
Capital Goods sector has multiplier effect and has a bearing on the growth of user industries as it provides critical inputs, i.e., machinery and equipment to the remaining sectors covered under the manufacturing activity
The capital goods sector contributes 12% to the total manufacturing activity (which is about 15% of the GDP).The sector has grown at the rate of 15% per annum over the last decade.
The capital goods component in industrial production has lagged in recent years due to slow pace of domestic demand leading to growing dependence on imports and following slow growth in the world economy.Further, in the globalized world and as trade barriers in the form of tariffs are reduced, not all capital goods manufacturers have been able to tap the global opportunity.
Vision and Mission:-
To increase the share of capital goods contribution from present 12% to 20% of total manufacturing activity by 2025.Become one amongst top 10 capital goods producing nations of the world.
To determine enablers and set mission for each enabler, complementing vision. For example enablers such as availability of Finance, Raw Material, Innovation and Technology (R&D), Skills Development, Productivity, Quality & Environment Friendly Manufacturing Practices (No Defect, No Effect), Exports (Share in the Global Markets), Domestic Demand, etc.
Creating an Eco-system for globally competitive Capital Goods Sector
Creation and Expansion of Market for Capital Goods Sector
Promotion of Exports
Human Resource Development development in this sector
Technology & IPR utilization and realizing the best of technology
Introduction of Mandatory Standards to safeguard the sector
Focus on SME Development which can empower and employ many
Highlights achievements/initiatives of Ministry of Law & Justice in last two years
Disclaimer-Special emphasis should be given to the highlighted keywords and few data.
Initiatives towards Ease of Doing Business
To ensure speedy and fair disposal of commercial disputes, a new Act namely, the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act 2015 has been enacted by Parliament. It is Government’s endeavour to make India an investor friendly destination and enhance its ranking in Ease of Doing Business.
The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has been amended to make Arbitration as preferred mode for settlement of commercial disputes by making it more user-friendly, cost effective, leading to expeditious disposal of cases. This Bill was pending before the Government since 2003.
Initiatives towards better management of litigation
Draft National Litigation Policy is under formulation to make Government a responsible and efficient litigant. The Draft National Litigation Policy shall facilitate in bringing down unwarranted litigation.
For proper monitoring of the pending court cases of the entire Government of India, a web portal Legal Information and Management Based System (LIMBS) has been set up.
19 Law Officers (including AG/SG) and 34 ASGs in High Courts have been appointed. Fresh panels of Counsels were approved for Supreme Court/High Courts/Central Administrative Tribunals/Armed Forces Tribunal/District Courts/Armed Forces Tribunal.
Initiatives towards Minimum Government Maximum Governance
Four Acts have been enacted to repeal the obsolete and redundant laws. In total the aforesaid four enactments have repealed 1175 Acts. This exercise was taken up after 14 years, earlier being taken up only in the year 2001.
Major exercise for convergence of Tribunals to reduce the number of tribunals is being carried out. High level Inter-Ministerial Group has been constituted for consideration of the issue.
Initiatives towards digital India and e-Governance
e-Governance and E-courts usage have started in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) leading to faster disposal of cases with less hassles to litigants.
Digitisation work of Appeals has been undertaken in ITAT. Once the digitisation work is complete, all the appellate records shall be accessible from any station and any appeal can be taken by e-court in any location.
Web portal named LIMBS has been introduced for Centrally monitoring cases of UoI pending in various courts and Tribunals.
Initiatives towards Computerisation of Courts
eCourts Mission Mode Project has been taken up for universal computerization of district and subordinate courts with an objective of providing designated services to litigants, lawyers and the judiciary.
eCourts Phase-II projects aims at automation of workflow management, enabling the courts to exercise greater control in management of cases. This will also include installation of touch screen based kiosks, use of e-filing, e-payment and mobile applications and composite set of services through Judicial Service centres.
Case status information in respect of over 6.11 crore pending, decided cases and more than 2.4 crore orders/judgements pertaining to District and Subordinate Courts are available online.
Initiatives towards Justice Delivery
Appointment of Judges in higher judiciary has been undertaken. 86 additional Judges were made permanent, 51 new judges were appointed and appointment of another 170 is being processed.
Judges’ sanctioned strength of the High Courts has been increased from 906 on 2014 to 1065 as on 2016. In the case of District/Subordinate Courts, the sanctioned strength has been increased from 17,715 at the end of 2012 to 20,502 in December, 2015.
Department of Justice has been implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary. On account of concerted efforts by all stakeholders, the availability of judicial infrastructure for subordinate courts has increased considerably in the recent past.
Initiatives towards Access to Justice Projects
300 Paralegal Volunteers of Odisha, 400 Para Legal Volunteers of North Eastern States and 187 Para Legal Volunteers of J&K have been trained under the activities of State Legal Services Authorities.
Legal literacy has been incorporated into National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) and activities have been started in States- 62 Districts of Uttar Pradesh and 31 Districts of Rajasthan.
Helpdesks for Juveniles in Observation Homes have been established in Maharashtra.
50 voice based Legal Information Kiosks have been established in the State of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
46 Legal Aid Clinics have been established in two most backward districts of Nagaland – Tuensang and Mon.
Other important initiatives
21st Law Commission of India has been reconstituted in September, 2015. Chairman/Member has been appointed.
The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has been constituted to monitor and evaluate the implementation of legal services programmes and to lay down policies and principles for making legal services available under the Act.
More than 15.14 lacs Lok Adalats have been organized in the country since inception. More than 8.25 crore cases including cases pending in the courts as well as those at the pre-litigation stage have been settled in these Lok Adalats.
Promotion of Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism through National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) at the national level and State Legal Services Authorities at State level.
DoJ has taken up with all High Courts and Supreme Court for implementation of Incheon strategy to facilitate people with disability.
Proper training to Judicial Officers in international best practices w.r.t. alternate dispute resolution, quick and easy entity structuring, restructuring, incorporation, evolution and exit, tax reforms in the light of Make in India and Start-up India.
Process Re-engineering (PR) exercise taken up to modernize the existing processes and procedures and introduce new processes and procedures to expedite disposal of cases.
101 Legislative Bills were introduced in the Parliament. 75 Bills have been enacted into Acts and two constitutional Acts were enacted.
Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real”
650 millions people with disabilities live in Asia and the pacific
Governments of the ESCAP region gathered in Incheon, Republic of Korea in 2012 to chart the course of the new Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities for the period 2013 to 2022. They were joined by representatives of civil society organizations, including organizations of and for persons with disabilities. Also in attendance were representatives of intergovernmental organizations, development cooperation agencies and the United Nations system.
The Incheon Strategy provides the Asian and Pacific region, and the world, with the first set of regionally agreed disability-inclusive development goals.
The Incheon Strategy builds on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action and Biwako Plus Five towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific.
The Incheon Strategy will enable the Asian and Pacific region to track progress towards improving the quality of life, and the fulfilment of the rights, of the region’s 650 million persons with disabilities, most of whom live in poverty.
Noting that the World Report on Disability estimates that 15 per cent of the population experience some form of disability, which in the Asian and Pacific region equates to 650 million persons with disabilities,with 80 per cent living in developing countries.
Few Initiative in this regard:-
Bali Declaration – On the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community.
Busan Partnership-for Effective Development Cooperation adopted by the Fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Busan, Republic of Korea, which, inter alia, recognized the importance of international commitments on disability for forming the foundation of cooperation for effective development
Beijing Declaration-On Disability-InclusiveDevelopment adopted Beijing Forum with the theme “removing barriers, promoting integration “
United Nations Conferenceon Sustainable Development, entitled “The future we want”, which was adopted by the Conference identified persons with disabilities and recognized their right to inclusion in measures that accelerate the implementation of sustainable development commitments
Key principles and policy direction
The Incheon Strategy is based on the principles of the Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy, including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons;
Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;
Respect for difference and acceptance of persons withdisabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
Equality of opportunity;
Equality between men and women;
Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities
Target 1.A Eliminate extreme poverty among persons with disabilities
Target 1.B Increase work and employment for persons of working age with disabilities who can and want to work
Target 1.C Increase the participation of persons with disabilities in vocational training and other employment-support programmes funded by governments
Target 2.A Ensure that persons with disabilities are represented in government decision-making bodies
Target 2.B Provide reasonable accommodation to enhance the participation of persons with disabilities in the political process
Target 3.A Increase the accessibility of the physical environment in the national capital that is open to the public
Target 3.B Enhance the accessibility and usability of public transportation
Target 3.C Enhance the accessibility and usability of information and communications services
Target 3.D Halve the proportion of persons with disabilities who need but do not have appropriate assistive devices or products
Target 4.A Increase access to all health services, including rehabilitation, for all persons with disabilities
Target 4.B Increase coverage of persons with disabilities within social protection programmes
Target 4.C Enhance services and programmes, including for personal assistance and peer counselling, that support persons with disabilities, especially those with multiple, extensive and diverse disabilities, in living independently in the community
Target 5.A Enhance measures for early detection of, and intervention for,children with disabilities from birth to pre-school age
Target 5.B Halve the gap between children with disabilities and children without disabilities in enrolment rates for primary and secondary education
Target 6.A Enable girls and women with disabilities to have equitable access to mainstream development opportunities
Target 6.B Ensure representation of women with disabilities in government decision-making bodies
Target 6.C Ensure that all girls and women with disabilities have access to sexual and reproductive health services on an equitable basis with girls and women without disabilities
Target 6.D Increase measures to protect girls and women with disabilities from all forms of violence and abuse
Target 7.A Strengthen disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction planning
Target 7.B Strengthen implementation of measures on providing timely and appropriate support to persons with disabilities in responding to disasters
Target 8.A Produce and disseminate reliable and internationally comparable disability statistics in formats that are accessible by persons with disabilities
Target 8.B Establish reliable disability statistics by the midpoint of the Decade, 2017, as the source for tracking progress towards the achievement of the goals and targets in the Incheon Strategy