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Memorandum of Agreement Signed between JNU and National Institute of Animal Welfare
Jun 30,2016

National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (JNU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to conduct academic programmes that will focus on development of Animal Welfare Sciences. The MoA was signed by Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof. M Jagdish Kumar, and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Shri Anil Sant, here today. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Minister of Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, and Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Shri Prakash Javadekar. The Secretaries of the two Ministries were also present on the occasion.

On the occasion, Smt. Irani said that JNU is a university that has name and credibility in academic activities and launching of this course is a good beginning for expanding its academic activities.

Shri Javadekar said that such courses were being conducted in countries like Australia and New Zealand and now will be conducted by JNU in NIAW campus. He said that the introduction of this course will help in preparing competent manpower to man various posts in zoos, municipalities, slaughter houses and veterinary hospitals. He said that the MoEFCC has sought JNU as an academic partner to help the Institute in developing academic programmes according to national needs and global standards in the field of animal welfare. He further hoped that this endeavor will go a long way to meet the objectives and mission of NIAW.

The total cost of the project for the first year is Rs.88 lakh. More than 200 students are expected to be enrolled for diploma and certificate courses in the first year. These courses are aimed at providing a direction to the youth for employment in the sector.

A website for NIAW will be in place, illustrating information on the programmes, resources available and facilities such as animal shelter/ houses, OT Labs etc.

The National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) was set up to meet the education and training needs of the Animal Welfare sector across the country. The Institute had launched short term courses in 2005, which has so far trained more than 1000 personnel, already engaged in Animal Welfare and those handling animals in the formal and non-formal sector.

On the workshop of State-level Environment Impact Assessment authorities held today, the Environment Minister said that all processes for granting environmental and forest approvals have been made online. He also emphasised that along with transparency, 100 days time has been given to complete all processes. Shri Javadekar also said that the governments effort is to bring in more transparency and avoid delays.

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NSSO should release data in 5 years instead of 10 years- Radha Mohan Singh
Jun 30,2016

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Mr. Radha Mohan Singh has said that NSSO should release data in 5 years instead of 10 years. He added that this will help government to formulate plans for the farmers especially the small and marginal farmers. Shri Singh said this on the occasion of the 10th Statistics Day.

Shri Singh said that it is imperative to remove regional disparity so as to achieve economic and social development and regional disparity cannot be removed until the related statistics are provided. He further said that statistics play a vital role to formulate the schemes related to agriculture, agricultural products and other arenas. For instance, to implement crop insurance scheme, its product estimation is required on Panchayat and at village level.

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister added that according to available updated land utilization statistics 2012-13, more than half of the cropped area had been remained un-irrigated in the country even after 60 years of planned development. To face the situation created by delayed / deficit rainfall, preparation of suitable emergent schemes and their affective implementation, crop component, irrigation facilities, situation of rainfall, agriculture related climatic condition, etc. - the timely availability of all these statistics are critical. The availability of credible data related to output utilization along with agricultural products is not only significant for agriculture and allied sector but also important to assess the potentiality related to farmers income and their profession.

Shri Singh further added that central government has implemented a number of important schemes for the welfare of agriculture and farmers. In the back ground of these schemes, the agricultural statistics has to play an important role so as to improve the condition of the farmers and to increase food grain security. He further observed that time bound data is required for the compilation of data related, on sophisticated technology and policy making basis.

The Minister said that sophisticated technology should be utilized for the compilation of data. He further said affective methodology should be explored for the assured statistics and agricultural sectors with minimum time gap.

Shri Singh briefed that Ministry of Agriculture is implementing a scheme named as Fasal for the utilization of sophisticated technology available to assess the Agricultural products. The Department of Space, Indian Metrological Department and Economic Development Institute are sharing the process of implementation of this scheme. A Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) has been established in the Department which is providing the estimate related to remote sensing technology based production of chosen crops. He observed that forecast estimates provided by MNCFC are very much useful. Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister said that Ministry of Agriculture has taken an important initiative in respect of adopting remote sensing technology for the assessment of horticultural production. The Ministry has initiated a pilot project named as Chaman. 11 prominent states have been included in this project so as to develop remote sensing based program for the assessment of area and production related to horticulture crop.

Shri Singh briefed that Government is formulating a scheme with the use of sophisticated technology so that extensive physical data may be created through livestock census.

The Minister said that it is high time that statistics methodology should be utilized to sort out the problem for providing credible and assured data on lower level. This challenge may be used through the use of sophisticated technology for the compilation of data related. Shri Singh requested the state government that they should take an active initiative to strengthen their methodology in the perspective of agricultural statistics.

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Cabinet approves four laning of Angul-Sambalpur Section of NH-42 (New NH-55) in Odisha
Jun 30,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the development of four laning of Angul-Sambalpur Section of NH-42 (New NH-55) in Odisha.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.2491.53 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 151 kms.

This work will be done under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Odisha and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Angul and Sambalpur section. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State.

It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 6,16,600 (approx.) mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch.

Background:

The project was earlier approved and awarded on BOT (Toll). The project was awarded. However, the concessionaire did not submit Performance Security within the stipulated period and the concession was terminated. Subsequently, due to restriction on mining activities and reduced commercial traffic, the project was not found viable on BOT (Toll). As such, it was decided to implement the project through EPC mode. The project has been appraised by Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) in March, 2016.

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Cabinet approves four laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar Section of NH-344A in Punjab
Jun 30,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the development of four laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar Section of NH-344A in Punjab.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.1444.42 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 80.820 kms.

This work will be done under the National Highways (Others) on Hybrid Annuity Mode.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Punjab and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Phagwara-Rupnagar section. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State.

It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 3,30,000 (approx.) mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch.

Background:

The Phagwara-Rupnagar section is recently declared as NH-344A. Presently, the proposed project highway is 2-lane with paved shoulder (68.820 km) and four lane (15.8 km). The proposal is for four laning of road section which will serve as high speed link between NH-1 and NH-21.

The project starts from Phagwara town and passes through Banga Town, proposed Nawashahir bypass and will be terminated near Rupnagar. This road will join Phagwara to Rupnagar via Nawashahir and will be the shortest route for movement to Amritsar from Chandigarh side and vice-versa.

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Cabinet approves four laning of Aurangabad-Telwadi Section of NH-211 in Maharashtra
Jun 30,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the development of four laning of Aurangabad-Telwadi Section of NH-211 in Maharashtra.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.2028.91 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 87 kms.

This work will be done under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BOT/DBFOT) basis in Build-operate-Transfer (BOT) (Toll) mode.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Maharashtra and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Aurangabad and Telwandi. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State.

It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities. It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 3,54,090 (approx.) mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch.

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Cabinet approval of road projects in Odisha and Punjab will improve the infrastructure and connectivity: PM
Jun 30,2016

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has said that the CCEA approval of road projects in Odisha and Punjab will help improve the infrastructure and connectivity in these states. In a series of tweets, he said

n++CCEA approved the development of four laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar Section of NH-344A in Punjab.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.1444.42 crore and total length of the road to be developed is approximately 80.820 kms.

Project will improve infrastructure in Punjab & will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State.

CCEA approved the development of four laning of Angul-Sambalpur Section of NH-42 (New NH-55) in Odisha.

The cost is estimated to be Rs. 2491.53 crore and total length of the road to be developed is approximately 151 kms.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Odisha and in reducing the time and cost of travel for trafficn++particularly heavy traffic, plying between Angul and Sambalpur section.

CCEA approved the development of four laning of Aurangabad-Telwadi Section of NH-211 in Maharashtra.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.2028.91 crore and total length of the road to be developed is approximately 87 kms.

Development of this stretch will also help uplifting the socio-economic condition and also increase employment potential for people.n++

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Cabinet approves Cadre Review of Group A Officers of Central Reserve Police Force
Jun 30,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Cadre Review of Group A Executive officers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) with net creation of 90 posts of various ranks from Deputy Commandant to Special DG ranks. After creation of these posts in CRPF, the operational efficiency and capacity building of the Force including its administrative capabilities would be enhanced.

Under the cadre review, the increase in existing structure of Group A posts from 4210 to 4300 posts is as under:-

1. Increase of one post of Special DG (HAG + level).

2. Net increase of 11 posts of Inspector General (SAG level).

3. Net increase of 277 posts of DIG/Commandant/2-l/C (JAG level).

4. Net reduction of 199 posts of Deputy Commandants (STS level).

Background:

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. It was formed in 1939. The first Cadre Review of the service was conducted in 1983 and the second and last Cadre Review was conducted in 1991. Though no formal cadre review has been carried out after 1991, major augmentation-cum-restructuring were carried out in 2004 and 2009. During these augmentations, additional battalions were raised without proportionate addition of supervisory and support staff.

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Extension of Addendum IX and renewal of MoU between India and Canada by way of signing supplementary addendum X
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post-facto approval for extension of Addendum IX for the period from 1 April, 2011 to 31st March, 2016 and renewal of Memorandum of Understanding between Government of India and Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SlCI) by way of signing supplementary Addendum X to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in November,1968.

The approval would pave the way of following activities to be undertaken:

A. Shastri Research Fellowship & Mobility Programme

i. Shastri Research Fellowships

- Doctoral Research

- Postdoctoral Research

- Institutional Collaborative Research

ii. Shastri Mobility Programme

B. Faculty-ln-Residence Programme (New)

C. Faculty Development Programme for Vocational Education (New)

D. Library Programme

Online journals for Indian scholars and institutions

E. Facilitation cum Information Services (New)

i. Resource Centre (To Provide Access & Linkages to Institutions in both Countries)

ii. Seminars, Conferences & Consultations

iii. Publication of Research Materials, Documents & Reports

SICI shall also undertake such other activities, which will be recommended by Ministry of Human Resource Development based on new programmes and areas of cooperation between the two countries.

The SICI would undertake a number of programmes of the HRD Ministry requiring international engagement like Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN), Impacting Research, Innovation & Technology (IMPRINT), National Digital Library programme etc. The institute also carries out programmes as laid out in the MoU signed on Higher Education Cooperation between the two countries in 2010 and under consideration for renewal for a further period of five years.

Ministry of HRD has approved an expenditure of Rs.33.176 crore for the period from 1st April, 2016 to 31st March, 2021 for the entire five years period of Addendum X.

Background:

SlCI, a bi-national organization, was established in 1968 through a Memorandum of Understanding between Government of Republic of India and SlCI signed on November 29, 1968 for an initial period of three years. Since then, with the approval of the Cabinet, the MoU with the Institute has been renewed from time to time by signing Supplementary Addenda. The last of such Supplementary Addendum called Supplementary Addendum IX signed for a five year period, expired on 31st March 2011.

Named after Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister of India, the Shastri Indo-Canadian institute (SlCI) was established with an aim to promote understanding between India and Canada through facilitation of academic activities between the two countries. The Institute maintains offices in both India and Canada. The role of SlCI is of facilitating fellowships and collaborative research initiatives that focus principally on the aspects that bring advantage to Indian-Canadian institutions and academics. SlCI, in the past, had focused in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences but expanded its area of interest from 2001 onwards into the fields of Law, Management, Information Science, Science and Technology and Human Interface of Science.

The membership of SlCI has expanded from the original four founding members to 35 Canadian Universities and 54 Indian Institutions including some of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institutes of Technology (lITs), National Law Schools, National Museum institute, apex bodies & institutions of research and premier Central and State Universities.

The SlCI is governed by Executive Council, formerly known as Board of Directors, which has three representatives each of Canadian and Indian Member Councils and representatives of Government of Canada and Government of India. The Government of India provides financial assistance to SICI for maintenance of its Delhi office and for the promotion of Indian Studies in Canada. The Institute also receives assistance from the Government of Canada, Canadian institutions and organizations.

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Cabinet considers Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016. The Bill will now be sent to States/UTs to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire either by adopting the said Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements. This Bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers associations/federations and State Governments through tripartite consultative process.

The main features of the draft model Bill are as follows:-

n++ It will cover only establishments employing ten or more workers except manufacturing units.

n++ The Bill provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening/closing time of establishment.

n++ Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation etc. exists.

n++ No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.

n++ Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure.

n++ Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers.

n++ Clean and safe drinking water.

n++ Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment.

n++ Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.

n++ Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, Biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.

The Model Bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the States to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.

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Cabinet approves National Mineral Exploration Policy
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP).

The NMEP primarily aims at accelerating the exploration activity in the country through enhanced participation of the private sector. There is a need for comprehensive mineral exploration of the country to uncover its full mineral potential so as to put the nations mineral resources (non-fuel and non-coal) to best use and thereby maximize sectoral contribution to the Indian economy.

The policy emphasizes on making available baseline geoscientific data of world standards in the public domain, quality research in a public-private partnership, special initiatives for search of deep-seated and concealed deposits, quick aerogeophysical surveys of the country, and creation of a dedicated geoscience database etc.

NMEP has the following main features for facilitating exploration in the country:-

i. The Ministry of Mines will carry out auctioning of identified exploration blocks for exploration by private sector on revenue sharing basis in case their exploration leads to auctionable resources. The revenue will be borne by the successful bidder of those auctionable blocks.

ii. If the explorer agencies do not discover any auctionable resources, their exploration expenditure will be reimbursed on normative cost basis.

iii. Creation of baseline geoscientific data as a public good for open dissemination free of charge.

iv. Government will carry out a National Aerogeophysical Program for acquiring state-of-the-art baseline data for targeting concealed mineral deposits.

v. A National Geoscientific Data Repository is proposed to be set up to collate all baseline and mineral exploration information generated by various central & state government agencies and also mineral concession holders and to maintain these on geospatial database.

vi. Government proposes to establish a not-for-profit autonomous institution that will be known as the National Centre for Mineral Targeting (NCMT) in collaboration with scientific and research bodies, universities and industry for scientific and technological research to address the mineral exploration challenges in the country.

vii. Provisions for inviting private investment in exploration through attractive revenue sharing models.

viii. On the lines of UNCOVER project of Australia, the government intends to launch a special initiative to probe deep-seated/ concealed minerals deposits in the country in collaboration with National Geophysical Research Institute and the proposed NCMT and Geoscience Australia.

In order to implement the recommendations of the NMEP, initially an amount of about Rs.2116 crore over 5 years would be required over and above the annual plan budget of the Geological Survey of India under the Ministry of Mines. The NMEP will benefit the entire mineral sector across the country.

The major impact of NMEP are:-

1) The pre-competitive baseline geoscientific data will be created as a public good and will be fully available for open dissemination free of charge. This is expected to benefit public and private exploration agencies.

2) The collaboration with scientific and research bodies, universities and industry for the scientific and technological development necessary for exploration in public- private partnership.

3) Government will launch a special initiative to probe deep-seated/concealed mineral deposits in the country. Characterizing Indias geological cover, investigating Indias lithospheric architecture, resolving 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution, and detecting and characterizing the distal footprints of ore deposits, would be the main components of this initiative.

4) A National Aerogeophysical Mapping program will be launched to map the entire country with low altitude and close space flight to delineate the deep-seated and concealed mineral deposits.

5) Government will engage private agencies for carrying out exploration in identified blocks / areas with the right to certain share in the revenue accruing to the State government through auction.

6) Public expenditure on regional and detailed exploration will be prioritized and subject to periodical review based on assessment of criticality and strategic interests.

Background:

The Ministry of Mines has, in the recent past, taken a series of measures for the growth of the mineral sector, including allowing 100% FDI. However, these initiatives have fetched only limited success. Further, over the years the dynamics of the mineral sector have undergone sea change thereby creating new demands and imperatives. There is a compelling need to provide an impetus to exploration activity in the country. This has prompted the Government to carry out a comprehensive review of its exploration policy and strategy. The amendments brought in to the MMDR Act in 2015 is a step in this direction. The most important feature of this amendment is that mining leases (ML) and prospecting license-cum-mining lease (PL-cum-ML) will be granted only through an auction process. This is expected to bring in transparency, expeditiousness and simplification in procedures in grant of mineral concessions. Against this background, the NMEP has been framed so as to provide a new set of objectives, sense of purpose and direction to exploration within the amended legal framework.

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Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding between Union Public Service Commission and Royal Civil Service Commission, Bhutan
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan.

The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.

The draft MoU between UPSC and RCSC, Bhutan will be signed to develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals. The areas of cooperation include the following:

a) Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs.

b) Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc.

c) Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on audit of processes and procedures followed by various Government agencies in recruitment for posts under the delegated powers.

d) Digitization of records, storage and display of historical records.

Background:

In the past, UPSC had signed MOU with Public Service Commission of Canada and Bhutan.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania for bilateral cooperation in water resources management and development.

The areas of enhanced cooperation include techniques in water harvesting, surface and groundwater management and development and aquifer recharge. Collaboration and sharing of expertise on the areas mutually agreed will benefit the country in techniques in water harvesting, water conservation, surface and groundwater management and development, and aquifer recharge. The Government shall encourage the exchange of experts, organization of training programs, study tours and other such activities including demonstrative pilot studies, in order to build capacities in the areas mentioned above. A Joint Working Group shall be formed to monitor the activities under the MoU.

Background:

The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (WR,RD&GR) has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management. These are mainly through sharing of policy and technical expertise, conducting of training courses, workshops, scientific and technical symposia, exchange of experts and study tours.

The enhanced cooperation comes in the wake of the visit of Minister of Water Resources, RD and GR, Government of Tanzania to New Delhi on 16th July, 2014. The two sides discussed the issue of water harvesting and management practices and decided to have a MoU after mutual consultations.

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Cabinet approves Implementation of the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) on pay and pensionary benefits. It will come into effect from 01 January 2016.

In the past, the employees had to wait for 19 months for the implementation of the Commissions recommendations at the time of 5th CPC, and for 32 months at the time of implementation of 6th CPC. However, this time, 7th CPC recommendations are being implemented within 6 months from the due date.

The Cabinet has also decided that arrears of pay and pensionary benefits will be paid during the current financial year (2016-17) itself, unlike in the past when parts of arrears were paid in the next financial year.

The recommendations will benefit over 1 crore employees. This includes over 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh pensioners are from the defence forces.

Highlights:

1. The present system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay has been dispensed with and a new Pay Matrix as recommended by the Commission has been approved. The status of the employee, hitherto determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in the Pay Matrix. Separate Pay Matrices have been drawn up for Civilians, Defence Personnel and for Military Nursing Service. The principle and rationale behind these matrices are the same.

2. All existing levels have been subsumed in the new structure; no new levels have been introduced nor has any level been dispensed with. Index of Rationalisation has been approved for arriving at minimum pay in each Level of the Pay Matrix depending upon the increasing role, responsibility and accountability at each step in the hierarchy.

3. The minimum pay has been increased from Rs. 7000 to 18000 p.m. Starting salary of a newly recruited employee at lowest level will now be Rs. 18000 whereas for a freshly recruited Class I officer, it will be Rs. 56100. This reflects a compression ratio of 1:3.12 signifying that pay of a Class I officer on direct recruitment will be three times the pay of an entrant at lowest level.

4. For the purpose of revision of pay and pension, a fitment factor of 2.57 will be applied across all Levels in the Pay Matrices. After taking into account the DA at prevailing rate, the salary/pension of all government employees/pensioners will be raised by at least 14.29 % as on 01 January 2016.

5. Rate of increment has been retained at 3 %. This will benefit the employees in future on account of higher basic pay as the annual increments that they earn in future will be 2.57 times than at present.

6. The Cabinet approved further improvements in the Defence Pay Matrix by enhancing Index of Rationalisation for Level 13A (Brigadier) and providing for additional stages in Level 12A (Lieutenant Colonel), 13 (Colonel) and 13A (Brigadier) in order to bring parity with Combined Armed Police Forces (CAPF) counterparts at the maximum of the respective Levels.

7. Some other decisions impacting the employees including Defence & Combined Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel include :

n++ Gratuity ceiling enhanced from Rs. 10 to 20 lakh. The ceiling on gratuity will increase by 25 % whenever DA rises by 50 %.

n++ A common regime for payment of Ex-gratia lump sum compensation for civil and defence forces personnel payable to Next of Kin with the existing rates enhanced from Rs. 10-20 lakh to 25-45 lakh for different categories.

n++ Rates of Military Service Pay revised from Rs. 1000, 2000, 4200 & 6000 to 3600, 5200, 10800 & 15500 respectively for various categories of Defence Forces personnel.

n++ Terminal gratuity equivalent of 10.5 months of reckonable emoluments for Short Service Commissioned Officers who will be allowed to exit Armed Forces any time between 7 and 10 years of service.

n++ Hospital Leave, Special Disability Leave and Sick Leave subsumed into a composite new Leave named Work Related Illness and Injury Leave (WRIIL). Full pay and allowances will be granted to all employees during the entire period of hospitalization on account of WRIIL.

8. The Cabinet also approved the recommendation of the Commission to enhance the ceiling of House Building Advance from Rs. 7.50 lakh to 25 lakh. In order to ensure that no hardship is caused to employees, four interest free advances namely Advances for Medical Treatment, TA on tour/transfer, TA for family of deceased employees and LTC have been retained. All other interest free advances have been abolished.

9. The Cabinet also decided not to accept the steep hike in monthly contribution towards Central Government Employees Group Insurance Scheme (CGEGIS) recommended by the Commission. The existing rates of monthly contribution will continue. This will increase the take home salary of employees at lower levels by Rs. 1470. However, considering the need for social security of employees, the Cabinet has asked Ministry of Finance to work out a customized group insurance scheme for Central Government Employees with low premium and high risk cover.

10. The general recommendations of the Commission on pension and related benefits have been approved by the Cabinet. Both the options recommended by the Commission as regards pension revision have been accepted subject to feasibility of their implementation. Revision of pension using the second option based on fitment factor of 2.57 shall be implemented immediately. A Committee is being constituted to address the implementation issues anticipated in the first formulation. The first formulation may be made applicable if its implementation is found feasible after examination by proposed Committee which is to submit its Report within 4 months.

11. The Commission examined a total of 196 existing Allowances and, by way of rationalization, recommended abolition of 51 Allowances and subsuming of 37 Allowances. Given the significant changes in the existing provisions for Allowances which may have wide ranging implications, the Cabinet decided to constitute a Committee headed by Finance Secretary for further examination of the recommendations of 7th CPC on Allowances. The Committee will complete its work in a time bound manner and submit its reports within a period of 4 months. Till a final decision, all existing Allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates.

12. The Cabinet also decided to constitute two separate Committees (i) to suggest measures for streamlining the implementation of National Pension System (NPS) and (ii) to look into anomalies likely to arise out of implementation of the Commissions Report.

13. Apart from the pay, pension and other recommendations approved by the Cabinet, it was decided that the concerned Ministries may examine the issues that are administrative in nature, individual post/ cadre specific and issues in which the Commission has not been able to arrive at a consensus.

14. As estimated by the 7th CPC, the additional financial impact on account of implementation of all its recommendations in 2016-17 will be Rs. 1,02,100 crore. There will be an additional implication of Rs. 12,133 crore on account of payments of arrears of pay and pension for two months of 2015-16.

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Cabinet approves Revised Cost Estimates for establishment of Eight New IITs
Jun 29,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Revised Cost Estimates for establishment of eight New IITs at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar. The revised Cost Estimate is Rs. 13,990 crore for establishment of eight new IITs over a period of 11 years from 2008-09 to 2018-19. The original project cost was Rs. 6080 crore. The increase in expenditure due to escalation in both time and cost overrun is Rs. 7910 crore.

The student strength in each IIT at the end of the project will be 2360. The total student capacity would be 12880 in these eight IlTs by the end of the 11th year i.e. March, 2019.

The direct beneficiaries in terms of numbers would be about 12880 students. However, indirectly the eight new IITs would be expected to bring about quantitative and quality growth in the areas of research, publication of books and research papers, registered patents / trademarks / designs, quality improvement programmes. These institutes would also meet the emerging needs of the industry and the economy as a whole, for skilled technical manpower is expected to be met from the talent pool of trained personnel of these new institutions. Apart from this, these institutions will provide research and development atmosphere with sizeable infrastructure which will contribute to new innovations and good faculty for premier technical educational institutions in the country.

IITs are institutions of national importance and have a brand name across the world, the products of IITs have been highly rated and have already brought reputation to the nation. A large number of alumni have contributed to the nation in terms of employment generation, wealth creation, and technology development. Apart from this, the IITs through research & development, technology innovations and entrepreneurial spirit have contributed to the economic growth of the nation.

Background:

The Cabinet in its meeting held in July, 2008, had approved establishment of eight new IITs at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar as per the DPR and Cabinet approval, each institute was to be established with a total outlay of Rs. 760 crores amounting to Rs. 6080 crores for all eight new IITs.

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5 Lakh handloom weavers to get MUDRA loans in three years
Jun 29,2016

The Ministry of Textiles has set a target of extending MUDRA loans to five lakh handloom weavers in the next three years. This was announced by Union Textiles Secretary, Smt. Rashmi Verma, at a national workshop on MUDRA scheme for handloom weavers and artisans, organized by Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles.

Smt. Verma said that the Government is paying special attention to i) skill upgradation of weavers, ii) loom upgradation, iii) ensuring availability of good quality raw material, iv) providing better access to credit and v) branding of good quality handloom products.

New model under MUDRA for handloom sector

The Secretary added that availability of working capital is a critical component in enhancing earnings of weavers. She said that the experience in implementation of Weavers Credit Card scheme has not been fully satisfactory; the per capita amount sanctioned is low and procedures are cumbersome.

Smt. Verma informed that the Government has formulated a new model under MUDRA scheme for providing credit to handloom sector. The new model combines elements of concessional credit such as margin money, interest subvention and credit guarantee cover.

Welcoming the initiative, the Chief Guest and Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Smt. Anjuly Chib Duggal said that providing loan to handloom weavers under MUDRA scheme should be a part of the regular agenda of State Level Bankers Committee. She said that this holds the potential to transform handloom weavers into entrepreneurs.

Implementation Roadmap

The Ministry of Textiles has requested every state and UT to prepare a three-year action plan to achieve the five lakh target. The plan would cover all handloom clusters, with the aim of extending MUDRA loans to all eligible, willing, non-defaulting handloom weavers. The plan would also identify banks for each cluster, keeping in view the presence of banks and their willingness to participate in the scheme. During the workshop, Tamil Nadu presented its plan for coverage.

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