Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Women’s Reservation Bill
The centre is planning to introduce the Women’s Reservation Bill in the upcoming session of the parliament.
The Women’s Reservation Bill was first conceived more than 20 years back on September 12, 1996. This bill pushed for a 33% reservation of all Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies for women.
The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on 9 March 2010. However, the Lok Sabha never voted on the bill. The bill lapsed after the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.
Highlights of the Bill:
What proponents say?
There are divergent views on the reservation policy. Proponents stress the necessity of affirmative action to improve the condition of women. Some recent studies on panchayats have shown the positive effect of reservation on empowerment of women and on allocation of resources.
To have more women in legislatures and the government is a big step towards empowering women in society. The experience of several village panchayats that have women as effective leaders bears testimony to this fact. Affirmative action of this kind is the best way to usher in social and gender justice.
What opponents say?
Opponents argue that it would perpetuate the unequal status of women since they would not be perceived to be competing on merit. They also contend that this policy diverts attention from the larger issues of electoral reform such as criminalisation of politics and inner party democracy.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
India, Russia to hold joint military exercise in October
In the midst of evolving security situation in the region, India and Russia will hold a mega military exercise- Indra– in October involving their armies, navies and the air forces for the first time to further ramp up military ties.
Russia has been a long-standing defence partner of India and both the countries are now eyeing to further deepen the ties. Both countries had decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence cooperation through joint manufacture, co-production and co-development of key military hardware and equipment.
Topic: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
The 6th edition of VASTRA i.e. “VASTRA – An International Textile and Apparel Fair 2017” (VASTRA – 2017) was recently inaugurated at Jaipur.
About VASTRA fair:
VASTRA, an all-encompassing trade fair and conference on Textiles and Apparel, presents a fusion of the finest and the latest in textile products – from fibre to fashion, services and technology. Crafted to create business opportunities, it aims at revitalizing existing business ties and forging of new business relations.
Topic: Investment models.
Centre announces new PPP Policy to promote private investments in affordable housing
Central Government has announced a new PPP Policy for Affordable Housing that allows extending central assistance of up to Rs.2.50 lakh per each house to be built by private builders even on private lands besides opening up immense potential for private investments in affordable housing projects on government lands in urban areas.
The policy gives eight PPP (Public Private Partnership) options for private sector to invest in affordable housing segment. Eight PPP options, including six for promoting affordable housing with private investments using government lands have been evolved after extensive consultations with States, promoter bodies and other stakeholders.
Two models using private lands:
The two PPP models for private investments in affordable housing on private lands include extending central assistance of about Rs.2.50 lakh per each house as interest subsidy on bank loans as upfront payment under the Credit Linked Subsidy Component (CLSS) component of Pradhan Mantri Awas yojana (Urban). Under the second option, central assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh per each house to be built on private lands would be provided, in case the beneficiaries do not intend to take bank loans.
The six models using government lands are:
DBT Model: Under this option, private builders can design, build and transfer houses built on government lands to public authorities. Government land is to be allocated based on the least cost of construction. Payments to builders will be made by the public authority based on progress of project as per agreed upon milestones and buyers will pay to the Government.
Mixed Development Cross –subsidized Housing: Government land to be allotted based on number of affordable houses to be built on the plot offered to private builders, cross subsidizing this segment from revenues from high end house building or commercial development.
Annuity Based Subsidized Housing: Builders will invest against deferred annuity payments by the Government. Land allocation to builders is based on unit cost of construction.
Annuity-cum-Capital Grant Based Affordable Housing: Besides annuity payments, builders could be paid a share of project cost as upfront payment.
Direct Relationship Ownership Housing: As against government mediated payments to builders and transfer of houses to beneficiaries in the above four models, under this option, promoters will directly deal with buyers and recover costs. Allocation of public land is based on unit cost of construction.
Direct Relationship Rental Housing: Recovery of the costs by builders is through rental incomes from the houses built on government lands.
Under these six Government land based PPP models, beneficiaries can avail central assistance of Rs.1.00 to Rs.2.50 lakh per house as provisioned under different components of PMAY(Urban). Beneficiaries will be identified as per the norms of PMAY(Urban).
Concerns have been expressed over the private sector so far not entering affordable housing segment despite huge scope for the same under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban) and an enabling eco-system put in place through several concessions and incentives offered including the grant of infrastructure status for this segment. With the new policy in place, it is expected that the private sector will actively participate.
Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) and the International Road Federation, Geneva (IRF Geneva) have, today, signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to cooperate in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
The objective of the SoI is to create a national platform, involving all relevant Government of India stakeholders, Indian and foreign companies active in the sector, and relevant technical experts for the purpose of developing a National ITS Policy covering:
Objective of the policy:
The objectives of this national ITS Policy will be to contribute to reducing urban traffic congestion, improving the situation around parking of vehicles in cities, improving road safety, and improving the security of passenger and goods traffic. The work of this National Platform will provide a coherent and consistent National ITS Policy covering domains such as traffic and parking management, enforcement, and security.
About International Road federation:
The International Road Federation (IRF) is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organisation with the mission to encourage and promote development and maintenance of better, safer and more sustainable roads and road networks. Working together with its members and associates, the IRF promotes social and economic benefits that flow from well-planned and environmentally sound road transport networks. It helps put in place technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from national road investments.
Topic: indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
First Of 6 Scorpene-Class Submarines, Kalvari, Handed Over To Navy
Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines, has been handed over to the Indian Navy by shipbuilder Mazgaon Dock limited, paving way for its commissioning soon. The development marks a major milestone in Indian Navy’s submarine programme as the vessel is expected to bolster India’s maritime prowess.
What you need to know about INS Kalvari?
Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) with technology transfer from France. All the six submarines under this projects will be indigenously built at Mumbai’s Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd. These attack submarines have diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion.
Sources: the hindu.