National Plan of Action for Children, 2016
The Action Plan has four key priority areas
- Survival, health and nutrition
- Education and development
- The NPAChas defined objectives, sub-objectives, strategies , action points and indicators for measuring progress under the four key priority areas and also identifies key stakeholders for the implementation of different strategies
- The plan also puts focus on new and emerging concerns for children such as online child abuse, children affected by natural and man-made disasters and climate change, etc
- The strategies and action points are formulated upon the existing programmes and schemes of various Ministries/Departments.
- The plan takes into account SDGs and provides a roadmap for achieving it
- The plan provides for formation of aNational Co-ordination and Action Group (NCAG) under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD). This will co-ordinate and implement the plan and monitor the progress with other Ministries concerned as its members
Cabinet approves a New Scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country
- Under the scheme the Government would provide interest subsidy
- The Interest subsidy would be available to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen)
- The new scheme is expected to improve housing stock in the rural areas, as well as create employment opportunities in rural housing sector
The features of the scheme are
- Would enable people in rural areas to construct new houses or add to their existing pucca houses to improve their dwelling units
- The beneficiary who takes a loan under the scheme would be provided interest subsidy for loan amount up to Rs 2 lakh
- Will be implemented by National Housing Bank (NHB)
- The NPV (Net Present Value) of interest subsidy of 3% to the NHB, which will pass it on to Primary Lending Institutions (such as Scheduled Commercial Banks and NBFC etc)
Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) for Rubber Growers
- It is an online system for recommending application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to the specific plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature
- It is a cost effective tool for sustainable &scientific management of rubber growing soils
- It is developed by Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII-under the Rubber Board) in collaboration with Institute of Information Technology and Management (Kerala), National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (ICAR) and National Remote Sensing Centre (ISRO)
- Preventing indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and soil degradation
- Will lead to reduction in the cost of production of rubber
- Increase in productivity and reduction in environmental pollution
Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
- GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place (platform) that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
- The aim to transform the way in which procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries/Departments, PSUs, autonomous bodies etc.
- Two Groups of Secretaries in 2016, recommended that there is a need to set up of a dedicated e-market for different goods & services procured/sold by Government/PSUs
- The government during budget for FY17 announced setting up of a technology driven platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government
- The portal has been developed by DGS&D (Director General of Supplies and Disposal) in collaboration with NeGD (National e-Governance Division) has developed the portal which was launched in August 2016
- Presently sourcing of around 7400 products and is available on GeM portal
- The Advantages/Benefits
- The procurement by the government through GeM has led to reduction of prices/costs
- Since it does not involve human interface it will lead to transparency and will not put any entry barriers if genuine supplier wants to do business with the government
- Since there end-to-end computerisation, the bidding or direct purchases can be done in a time efficient manner
- The GeM platform is safe and secure. All the documents are e-Signed and only the genuine vendors are allowed to do business with the government
- It has potential to support Make In India
CBDT issues Guiding Principles for determination of Place of Effective Management (POEM) of a Company
- The concept of POEM was introduced in the Finance Act 2015 and has been effective from 1st April 2016 (will be applicable for AY2017-18)
- The POEM guidelines not applicable to those companies whose turnover is Rs 50 Cr or less in a financial year
- ABOI (Active Business Outside India) Test – it is to target those shell companies which are set up to retain income outside India, although their effective management is in India
- The intent is neither to target Indian MNCs engaged in business outside in India nor to target foreign companies and their global earnings merely on the ground of presence of Permanent establishment /business connection in India
- Residency is a taxation concept-as per IT act 1961. It is defined under Section 6(3)
- As per the above mentioned section, a company is said to be resident of India if
- It is an Indian company during a particular financial year or
- The control and management of its affairs is situated wholly in India
Since the word “wholly” was used, the companies used various methods to circumvent these provisions and gained exemptions from paying any taxes in India.
- As the global standards vary from the Indian practice the GoI has amended these provisions in Finance Act 2015 and has defined a company as a resident company in India if
- It is an Indian Company or
- its Place Of Effective Management (POEM) is in India (for that particular assessment year)
For the purpose of clarity POEM refers to “place where key management and commercial decisions that are necessary for the conduct of the business of an entity as a whole are made”
- Will be organized by the government as a part of Republic Day celebrations from 27th to 31st of January 2017
- The prime objective of organizing the event is to generate a patriotic mood, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country, to ensure wider participation of the general public and to popularise the idea of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
- The Ministry of Tourism has been designated as the nodal Ministry for the event
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VBPY) – 2017
- The union cabinet has given its post-facto approval for launching of VPBY 2017
The features of the scheme are
- The scheme will provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
- The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) in the current financial year
- The scheme will provide an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years
- There will be an option to opt for pension on a monthly / quarterly / half yearly and annual basis.
- The differential return, i.e., the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.
- VPBY-2017 is proposed to be open for subscription for a period of one year from the date of launch.
Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol
- The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the 1st commitment period was from 2008-2012
- In 2012, during Doha round amendments to the Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment (2013 to 2020) period were adopted
- The union cabinet has ratified the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol which focuses on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). So far 65 countries have ratified
- The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol
- The ratification by India would encourage other developing countries to do the same
Cabinet approves Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017
- All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act
- IIMs (since they are societies) are not authorized to award degrees and instead have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management. While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and PhDs, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.
- Hence the government has approved the IIM Bill 2017, whose features are
- IIMs can grant degrees to their students
- The Bill provides for complete autonomy to the Institutions, combined with adequate accountability
- Management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution which will be selected by the Board
- A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is amongst other important features of the Bill
- Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the Board
- The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same on public domain
- The Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts
- There is also a provision of Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.