Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 September 2017
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:
- The Constitution (One Hundred and Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008 seeks to reserve one-third of all seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. The allocation of reserved seats shall be determined by such authority as prescribed by Parliament.
- Total reservation: One third of the total number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes shall be reserved for women of those groups in the Lok Sabha and the legislative assemblies.
- Rotation: Reserved seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in the state or union territory.
- Reservation of seats for women shall cease to exist 15 years after the commencement of this Amendment Act.
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.
- Reservation of seats in Parliament restricts choice of voters to women candidates. Therefore, some experts have suggested alternate methods such as reservation in political parties and dual member constituencies.
- Besides, it is argued that rotation of reserved constituencies in every election may reduce the incentive for an MP to work for his constituency as he may be ineligible to seek re-election from that constituency.
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.
- The Russian army, navy and air force are holding bilateral exercises separately but this is for the first time, both the countries will carry out a tri-services exercise. The exercise “Indra” will primarily focus on achieving coordination between forces of the two countries in a tri- services integrated theatre command scenario.
- It will be for the first time that India will participate in a tri-services military exercise with a foreign country with such a large scale participation by the Navy, the Army and the Air Force (IAF).
- A total of 350 Indian Army personnel will participate in the mega exercise and the contingent will be led by a major- general rank official. The contingents by the Navy and the Indian Air Force will also be sizeable in numbers.
- The military exercise is taking place at a time when India’s ties with China have nose-dived due to the simmering border dispute and its ties with Pakistan have deteriorated over cross-border terrorism and a number of other issues.
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.
- Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd. (RIICO) is the organiser and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is the co-organiser of the fair.
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.
- It is the ideal platform to enter JVs, strategic alliances and partnerships worldwide, launch new products, as well as, harness new locations for setting up businesses in India. It is also a place for disseminating technology and interacting with R&D Labs and experts for solution in technology and latest trends.
- VASTRA, since its inception in 2012 has created a space for itself in the calendar of international exhibitions on textiles and apparel.
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.
- This policy seeks to assign risks among the government, developers and financial institutions, to those who can manage them the best besides leveraging under utilized and un-utilized private and public lands towards meeting the Housing for All target by 2022.
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:
- Traffic Management.
- Parking Management.
- Electronic Enforcement of Traffic Rules and Regulations.
- Fleet Management and Monitoring.
- Innovation in the field of ITS.
- Education in the field of ITS.
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.
- The IRF has a major role to play in all aspects of road policy and development worldwide. For governments and financial institutions, the IRF provides a wide base of expertise for planning road development strategy and policy.
- For its members, the IRF is a business network, a link to external institutions and agencies, such as the United Nations and the European Union, and a business card of introduction to government officials and decision makers.
- For the community of road professionals, the IRF is a source of support and information for national road associations, advocacy groups, companies and institutions dedicated to the development of road infrastructure.
- Through the International Road Educational Foundation the IRF awards grants to graduate engineers and other transportation professionals from around the world in support of full-time academic training. With this the IRF actively supports the future generations who will build the road networks.
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?
- Kalvari is named after a deep-sea tiger shark. The Scorpene is part of the ambitious Project 75 of Indian Navy’s submarine programme.
- This type of submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the Tropics. It can undertake various types of missions that are undertaken by any modern submarine including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, mine laying, intelligence gathering, surveillance, etc.
- With its superior stealth capability, it can launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface.
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.