CURRENT AFFAIRS , 6th Jan 2018

1 . 80.72 crore persons identified by States/ UTs for coverage under the NFSA 

National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) is being implemented in all the States/Union Territories (UTs) and foodgrains as per provisions of the Act, are being allocated for 80.72 crore persons identified by State Governments/ UT Administrations for coverage under the Act. This includes 2.36 crore families belonging to AAY category.

What is NFSA ?

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament  which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013) converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Government of India. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System. Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements. The Midday Meal Scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme are universal in nature whereas the PDS will reach about two-thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), provides for coverage of 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population for receiving foodgrains at highly subsidized prices of Rs.1/2/3 per kg for coarse grains/wheat/rice respectively. Coverage under the Act is under two categories- households covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and remaining households as priority households. AAY is therefore a part of NFSA.

 

2 . Subscribers’ base under  Atal Pension Yojana (APY)  reached more than 80 Lakhs

Subscribers’ base under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has reached more than 80 Lakhs and growing at a good pace.PFRDA has taken various initiatives for the expansion of outreach and ease the operations under APY.

Know about Atal Pension Yojana

Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for unorganised sector workers such as personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc, was launched in June 2015 by the government. This social security scheme was introduced as a replacement to previous government’s Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite, which wasn’t well accepted by people.

Eligibility for the Atal Pension Yojana

1. An Indian citizen
2. Have a valid bank account
3. Are between 18 and 40 years of age.

Monthly contribution

APY is a periodic contribution based pension plan and promises a fixed pension of Rs 1000/ Rs 2000/ Rs 3000/ Rs 4000 or Rs 5000. Your monthly contribution depends upon the fixed amount of monthly pension you want and the age when you start Contributions end and pension starts at 60 years of age. Therefore, even if you join APY at 40 years of age you need to pay premium for a minimum of 20 years to avail the pension.

Benefits under APY

It provides guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 (as explained above) to the subscribers. In case of death of subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled for the same amount of pension till his or her death. And after the demise of both spouse and subscriber, the nominee will be entitled to receive the pension money that the subscriber had accumulated till 60 years of age

 

3 .Recent  Reports  highlighting  Growth  of  Indian  Economy

1 . As per the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 report of the United Nations, the Indian economy is projected to grow at 7.2 per cent in 2018-19 and 7.4 per cent in 2019-20. The report indicates that the outlook for India remains largely positive, underpinned by robust private consumption and public investment as well as ongoing structural reforms.

2 . Share of public sector  in total Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) increased from 21.4 per cent in 2011-12 to  25.2 per cent in 2015-16 (the latest year for which data is available).

3 . Recently, Moody’s rating agency upgraded India’s local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 with a stable outlook from Baa3 on the expectation that continued progress in India’s economic reforms will enhance India’s growth potential over time.

4 . According to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 Report, India’s ranking improved by 30 positions to 100th rank in 2018.

5 . As per the World Economic Forum, India’s rank in Global Competitiveness Index is 40 out of 137 countries in 2017-18, improvement over 71 out of 144 countries in 2014-15 and 55 out of 140 countries in 2015-16.

6 . The gross FDI flows to India in 2016-17 amounted to US$ 60.2 billion, as compared to US$ 55.6 billion in 2015-16 and US$ 45.1 billion in 2014-15.

Initiatives  by  the  Government

1 . The Government of India has taken various initiatives to improve the confidence in the Indian economy and boost the growth of the economy and which, inter-alia, include; fillip to manufacturing, concrete measures for transport and power sectors as well as other urban and rural infrastructure and comprehensive reforms in the foreign direct investment policy.

2 . Government had also announced various measures in the budget 2017-18 which, among others, include push to infrastructure development by giving infrastructure status to affordable housing, higher allocation to highway construction, and focus on coastal connectivity.

3 . For highways development the Bharatmala Pariyojana has been launched.

4 . The government has announced a phased program for bank recapitalization to the tune of about Rs 2.11 lakh crore over the next two years. This is expected to encourage banks to enhance lending.

5 . The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was enacted to achieve insolvency resolution in a time bound manner. The other measures include: lower income tax for companies with annual turnover up to Rs 50 crore and, a major push to digital economy.

6 . The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax has provided a significant opportunity to improve growth momentum by reducing barriers to trade, business and related economic activities.

7 . Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced the repo rate by 200 basis points in 3 years (2015 to 2017).

8 . RBI undertook many steps to address the vulnerabilities in the banking system, that inter-alia include, issuing the framework to revitalise the distressed assets in the economy and establishment of Central Repository of Information on Large Credits to reduce information asymmetry.

 

4 .Need  for  a  National  Tobacco  Control  Policy 

The Committee on Subordinate Legislation (COSL) 16th Lok Sabha, on the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2014, in its 11th Report felt a need for framing a “National Tobacco Control Policy” which should be equitable and pragmatic. An Inter-Ministerial Committee of Secretaries has been constituted at the national level.

The onus of enforcing various provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003), lies with the States/Union Territories.

National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) was launched  in 2007-08 with one such objective of ensuring effective implementation of the provisions under COTPA, 2003.There are State and District Level Coordination Committees under NTCP to oversee its implementation.

  COTPA, 2003 – Half heartedly implemented

As per Section 6 (a) of COTPA, 2003 read with Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Rules, 2011, there is prohibition on sale of tobacco products to and by persons below the age of 18 years and as per Section 6 (b) of COTPA, 2003, there is prohibition on sale of tobacco products in an area within a radius of one hundred yards of any educational institution.It is evident from the Quarterly Reports received under COTPA, 2003 from States/Union Territories that there is violation of this Section .

 

5 . Winter Session of Parliament 2017 concludes Productivity of Lok Sabha 91.58% and that of Rajya Sabha 56.29%

The Winter Session 2017 has been a successful session in terms of the legislative business conducted and wide participation of all political parties in discussions on various issues of national importance.

Winter Session, 2017 of Parliament which commenced on Friday, the 15th December, 2017, concluded on Friday, the 5th January, 2018. The Session provided 13 sittings spread over a period of 22 days. The productivity of Lok Sabha was 91.58% and that of Rajya Sabha was 56.29%.

During the Session, 14 Bills )14 in the Lok Sabhawere introducedThe Lok Sabha passed 13 Bills and while the Rajya Sabha passed 9 Bills during the session13 Bills were passed by both the Houses of Parliament . Budget Session of Parliament would commence from January 29, 2018.

I – BILLS PASSED BY LOK SABHA

The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017
The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2017
The Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Appropriation (No.5) Bill, 2017
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Central Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Condition of Services) Amendment Bill, 2017
The Appropriation Bill, 2018

II – BILLS PASSED BY RAJYA SABHA

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017
The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) Bill, 2017
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017
The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2017
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2017

III – BILLS PASSED BY BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Institute of Management Bill, 2017
The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) Bill, 2017
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2017
The Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2017
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The Central Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017
The Appropriation (No.5) Bill, 2017
The Appropriation Bill, 2018
The High Court and the Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Condition of Services) Amendment Bill, 2017