Mahatma Gandhi NREGS with respect to COVID-19
MNREGS which is a demand driven wage employment scheme says that, in a household of remote area, every adult member with a job card is eligible for a demand for job under this scheme. A total of 86,81,928 new job card during the current FY so far has been issued as compared to 64,95,823 new job cards issued during the FY 2019-20. The details and annexures of state-wise release/ expenditure have been released.
Launch of GKRA
The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan which has been launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 20th June, 2020 is a 125-day programme with an aim to address the issues of returnee migrant workers and likewise affected rural population by COVID-19 pandemic.
Record Procurement of MFPs
The procurement of MFPs under the MSP in 16 states has touched Rs. 148.12 crores. It has been recorded to be the highest in terms of the number of MFPs. The total procurement for the year, thus, crossed more than Rs. 3000 crores. Among the States, Chhattisgarh has taken the lead by the worth of a whopping Rs 106.53 crores. Odisha and Gujarat follow with worth Rs 30.41 crores and Rs 3.41 crores respectively.
Increase of funding in Agricultural Sector
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha today informed that the public money spent on agricultural research and education to total of agricultural gross domestic product in India was 0.67% during 2017-18 at current prices. The public budget for agricultural research and education increased from Rs.115.44 billion in 2014-15 to Rs. 173.60 billion (at current prices) in 2017-18. To improve the quality of research in agriculture and build a storehouse of advancement of knowledge of the national importance, the Department invites and funds proposals on competitive basis at national level. The Government of India has been collaborating with foreign research institutions/ universities in all fields of sciences including agriculture to improve quality of research outputs.
Research on Cultivation of GM Crops
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha today in a written reply informed that the Govt. of India has approved only Bt cotton, the only genetically modified crop for commercial cultivation. Long term studies were conducted by ICAR on the impact of Bt cotton which did not show any adverse effect on soil, microflora and animal health. However, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, in its report on ‘Genetically modified crops and its impact on environment’, submitted to parliament on August 25, 2017, recommended that GM crops should be introduced in the country only after critical scientific evaluation of its benefit and safety, and also recommended restructuring of regulatory framework for unbiased assessment of GM crops.
Prohibition on export of various medical items removed
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today informed that prior to 20th March, 2020, the requirement for PPE Coveralls was largely met through imports as there was very limited domestic production suitable for COVID-19 requirements. The prohibition on export of medical items was imposed to ensure domestic availability of these items to fight COVID-19. The prohibition on export of various medical items such as PPE Coveralls, 2/3 Ply masks, Face Shields, Sanitizers (except when exported in containers with dispenser pumps), Hydroxychloroquine API and its formulations, 13 other Pharmaceutical APIs and its formulations and Ventilators has been removed. While export of Diagnostic Kits, N-95/FFP2 masks is currently restricted, their export is allowed subject to a monthly quota. Ventilators production in country, which was negligible prior to January 2020, was ramped up to enable export of domestically manufactured ventilators today.
Vande Bharat Mission
Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Civil Aviation in Rajya Sabha today through a written reply informed that Vande Bharat Mission consists of special repatriation flights operated by Indian carriers and chartered flights operated by both Indian and foreign carriers. As per information provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), as on 31.08.2020, a total of 5817 flights (inbound to India) were operated to repatriate Indian nationals.
Establishment of New Atomic Power Plants
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, DrJitendra Singh in a written reply in Lok Sabha today informed that during the last three years and the current year, the Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 12 nuclear power reactors – 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode & 2 units of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) to be set up in cooperation with Russian Federation to enhance nuclear power capacity in the country. Presently, two public sector companies of the Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and BharatiyaNabhikiyaVidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation.
Inauguration of new rail lines and electrification projects
On 18th September 2020, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall dedicate to the nation the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega bridge) to the Nation through video-conference at 12 Noon. Apart from this the Prime Minister shall also inaugurate 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities for the benefit of the Bihar State. These include a new railway bridge on the Kiul River, two new railway lines, 5 Electrification projects, one Electric Locomotive Shed and 3rd Line Project between Barh-Bakhtiyarpur. The dedication of the Kosi Rail Mahasetu is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar and the entire region connecting to the North East.
ITRA Bill 2020 passed by the Parliament
The Bill to establish Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda at Jamnagar, Gujarat was passed in Lok Sabha on 19th March 2020 and has also been passed by Rajya Sabha today. The ITRA is sought to be established by conglomerating the presently existing Ayurveda institutes at Gujarat Ayurved University campus Jamnagar. ITRA will be the first institution with INI status in the AYUSH Sector, and this will enable the institution to be independent and innovative in the matter deciding course content and pedagogy.
National Level Strategy to Tackle Air Pollution
Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today informed that the Central Government launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner with targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
Status of FCRA Accounts
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha today informed that an NGO is registered under the FCRA, 2010 or granted Prior Permission by Central Government for receiving and utilising foreign funds/contribution. It can receive and utilize such contribution for a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme as provided under Section 11 of the Act. There are approximately over 22400 associations/NGOs which are registered under the FCRA, 2010. Each such association/NGO has opened atleast one FCRA account in bank. It can also open one or more utilization accounts in any bank of its choice. State-wise details in this regard are available on the FCRA Portal www.fcraonline.nic.in
Constitution of Criminal Law Reform Committee
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha today informed that a Committee has been constituted under the Chairpersonship of the Vice Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi to suggest reforms in the Criminal laws. The Ministry of Home Affairs have also sought suggestions from Governors, Chief Ministers of States, Lieutenant Governors and Administrators of Union Territories, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Chief Justices of various High Courts, Bar Council of India, Bar Council of various States and various Universities/ Law Institutes on comprehensive amendments in Criminal laws.
Promotion of Industries
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today informed that a few of the measures have been taken to boost the growth of Industries like: Atmanirbhar Package to boost Industrial growth has been announced by the Government for Rs. 20.97 lakh crore with bold reforms in a number of sectors, higher FDI has been allowed through automatic route in a number of sectors by streamlining and liberalising several sectors, a centralized Investment Clearance Cell is being created, which would provide end-to-end facilitation support, including pre-investment advisory, information related to land banks and facilitating clearances at Central and State level, enactment of IBC in December 2016.
Creation of a centralized Investment Clearance Cell
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today informed that the Central Government is working on setting up a Single Window System for clearances and approvals of industry in the country. The creation of a centralized Investment Clearance Cell which would provide end-to-end facilitation support, including pre-investment advisory, information related to land banks; and facilitating clearances at Central and State level was proposed and the same is also a Budget Announcement 2020-21.
India is all set to witness an online conference cum workshop IMPACT 2020 from 16th September 2020- 18th September 2020 hosted by Armed Forces Medical College. It is a unique conference designed with the medical researcher in mind. The three-day event will feature distinguished faculty from among authors, reviewers, and editors who will conduct interactive sessions on contemporary issues in medical publishing.