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Insights Daily Current Events, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014


National News-

One rank, one pension scheme scheme will ensure that soldiers of the same rank and the same length of service receive the same pension, irrespective of their retirement date

  • On the OROP, the demand of the defence forces and ex-servicemen associations was that an uniform pension be paid to the defence personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement, and that any future enhancement in the rates of pension be automatically passed on to the past pensioners
  • The difference in the pension of present and past pensioners in the same rank occurs on account of the number of increments earned by the defence personnel in that rank
  • It will likely to benefit around three million defence pensioners, will come into effect from 2014-2015.


National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward SchemeThe objective of this Scheme is to encourage skill development for youth by providing monetary rewards for successful completion of approved training programs. Specifically, the Scheme aims to:

  • Encourage standardization in the certification process and initiate a process of creating a registry of skills; and
  • Increase productivity of the existing workforce and align the training and certification to the needs of the country.
  • Provide Monetary Awards for Skill Certification to boost employability and productivity of youth by incentivizing them for skill trainings.
  • Reward candidates undergoing skill training by authorized institutions at an average monetary reward of 10,000 (Rupees Ten Thousand) per candidate.
  • This Scheme shall be implemented through Public-Private and Public-Public partnerships.
  • NSDC will be the implementing agency for this Scheme and NSDF shall monitor the implementation of the Scheme, using mutually agreed criteria with NSDC.
  • The Scheme will provide monetary incentives for successful completion of, market-driven skill training to approximately ten lakh youth in a span of one year from the date of implementation of the scheme.
  • All trainings will be specifically oriented for developing skills in specific growth sectors.
  • Assessment and training bodies for all purposes of the Scheme will be separate and no overlap of roles will be allowed to maintain transparency and objectivity.
  • The monetary reward will be wholly funded by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and will be affected through direct bank transfer to the beneficiaries’ accounts.
  • Appropriate consideration will be provided to the economically backward sections.


Initiatives for Enhancing Safety of Women-

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013The Act seeks to cover all women, irrespective of their age or employment status and protect them against sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organized or unorganized.


  • Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, (POCSO), 2012a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. The POCSO Act was formulated to address the heinous crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. The Act is gender-neutral and defines a child as any person below the age of eighteen years.


  • Domestic Violence Act, 2005The Act seeks to cover those women who are or have been in a relationship with the abuser where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage or a relationship in the nature of marriage, or adoption; in addition relationship with family members living together as a joint family are also included. Even those women who are sisters, widows, mothers, single women, or living with the abuser are entitled to get legal protection under the proposed Act.   `Domestic violence’ includes actual abuse or the threat of abuse that is physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic. Harassment by way of unlawful dowry demands to the woman or her relatives would also be covered under this definition. One of the most important features of the Act is the woman’s right to secure housing and appointment of Protection Officers and NGOs to provide assistance to the woman w.r.t medical examination, legal aid, safe shelter, etc.


  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013The Ministry took special initiatives for amendment for inclusion of offences like voyeurism, stalking, disrobing, voluntarily throwing or attempting to throw acid as crimes. There has been significant change in the definition of ‘Rape’ under IPC and stringent punishment has been prescribed for crimes against women.


  • Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 has been introduced in Parliament. It aims to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, to provide therein irretrievable break down of marriage as a ground of divorce


Several initiatives on the programmatic by Women & Child Ministry-

  • SWADHAR: A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstancesthe Ministry of Women and Child Development launched ‘Swadhar’ in 2001-02 to address the specific vulnerability of women in difficult circumstances through a home-based holistic and integrated approach. The scheme through the provision of shelter, food, clothing, counselling, training, clinical and legal aid aims to rehabilitate the women in difficult circumstances.


  • Ujjawala- The Ministry of Women and Child Development launched a comprehensive scheme called ‘Ujjawala’ in 2007. Conceived primarily for the purpose of preventing trafficking on the one hand and rescue and rehabilitation of victims on the other, the scheme has five specific components- Prevention, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Repatriation of victims of trafficking. The scheme is mainly implemented through NGOs.


  • Working Women Hostel (WWH)Under the Scheme of Working Women Hostel financial assistance is provided for construction/ running of Hostel in rented premises for those working women who may be single, widowed, divorced, separated, married but whose husband or immediate family does not reside in the same area and for those women who are under training for job.


  • Ahimsa Messenger The Ahimsa Messenger programme was launched in September 2013. The programme aims at sensitising society on violence faced by women and children and creating awareness about their legal rights. It enlists women and men, especially young boys and girls to work as ‘Ahimsa Messengers’ who help prevent crime and violence against women and children and ensure timely justice in cases where violence is committed against women and children.



MoU Signed Between Five Public Sector Insurance Companies and IL&FS Infrastructure Debt Fund (IIDF)-

  • IL&FS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with five Public Sector General Insurance Companies i.e. General Insurance Corporation of India (the Government re-insurer), National Insurance Company Ltd, the Oriental Insurance Co Ltd, the New India Assurance Co Ltd and United India Insurance Co Ltd to jointly facilitate business of IDF and in the process contribute their bit to the development of infrastructure sector in India.
  • it would send strong signal to the foreign sovereign funds /pension funds to also start investments in Indian infrastructure

Related information

Infrastructure debt fund- IDFs are investment vehicles which can be sponsored by commercial banks and NBFCs in India in which domestic/offshore institutional investors, specially insurance and pension funds can invest through units and bonds issued by the IDFs.

 IDFs would essentially act as vehicles for refinancing existing debt of infrastructure companies, thereby creating fresh headroom for banks to lend to fresh infrastructure projects.

IDF-NBFCs would take over loans extended to infrastructure projects which are created through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) route and have successfully completed one year of commercial production. Such take-over of loans from banks would be covered by a Tripartite Agreement between the IDF, Concessionaire and the Project Authority for ensuring a compulsory buyout with termination payment in the event of default in repayment by the Concessionaire.