1 . PM’s interaction through PRAGATI
The Prime Minister,recently chaired his twenty-fourth interaction through PRAGATI.
The first twenty-three meetings of PRAGATI have seen a cumulative review of 208 projects with a total investment of Rs. 9.46 lakh crore. Resolution of Public Grievances has also been reviewed in 17 sectors.
What is PRAGATI?
- It is ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.
- It was launched on 25-March-2015 .
- PRAGATI is a unique integrating and interactive platform.
- The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
- A built-in feature of PRAGATI is that the directions given during review of projects will remain in the system for further follow up and review till the finality of the matter.
- The PRAGATI platform uniquely bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geo-spatial technology.
- It also offers a unique combination in the direction of cooperative federalism since it brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States.
- With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.
- It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.
2 . National Science Day
- National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928.
- For his discovery, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
- The first National Science Day was celebrated on 28 February 1987.
Objectives of Celebrating National Science Day
1 . National Science Day is being celebrated every year to widely spread a message about the importance of science used in the daily life of the people.
2 . To display all the activities, efforts and achievements in the field of science for human welfare.
3 . To discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for the development in the field of science.
4 . To give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country.
5 . To encourage the people as well as popularize the Science and Technology.
Theme for the day this year
This year the theme for the day was “Science and Technology for a sustainable future.”
3 . Cabinet approves Action Plan for Champion Sectors in Services
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Commerce to give focused attention to 12 identified Champion Services Sectors for promoting their development, and realizing their potential.
12 identified Champion Services Sectors
These include Information Technology & Information Technology enabled Services (IT & ITeS), Tourism and Hospitality Services, Medical Value Travel, Transport and Logistics Services, Accounting and Finance Services, Audio Visual Services, Legal Services, Communication Services, Construction and Related Engineering Services, Environmental Services, Financial Services and Education Services.
The Cabinet has also directed the Ministries/Departments concerned with these sectors to utilize the available draft sectoral plans to finalize and implement the Action Plans for the identified Champion Services Sectors.
A dedicated fund of Rs. 5000 crores has been proposed to be established to support initiatives for sectoral Action Plans of the Champion Sectors.
This initiative will enhance the competitiveness of India’s service sectors through the implementation of focused and monitored Action Plans, thereby promoting GDP growth, creating more jobs and promoting exports to global markets.
Employment Generation Potential
Services sector in India has immense employment potential. The proposal will enhance the competitiveness of India’s service sectors through the implementation of focused and monitored Action Plans, thereby creating more jobs in India, contributing to a higher GDP and exports of services to global markets.
As the Services sector contributes significantly to India’s GDP, exports and job creation, increased productivity and competitiveness of the Champion Services Sectors will further boost exports of various services from India. Embedded services are substantial part of ‘Goods’ as well. Thus, competitive services sector will add to the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector as well.
The share of India’s services sector in global services exports was 3.3% in 2015 . Based on this initiative, a goal of 4.2 % has been envisaged for 2022.
The share of services in Gross Value Added (GVA) was about 5 3% for India in 2015-16 (61 % including construction services). A goal of achieving a share of services in GVA of 60 % (67% including construction services) has also been envisaged by the year 2022.
4 . Cabinet approves the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill , 2018
The Union Cabinet has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament.
Features of the Bill
1 . Addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
2 . Aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a personfor the purpose of early sexual maturity, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage etc.
3 . Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person which includesproducing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements; orcommits fraudfor procuring or facilitating the acquisition ofclearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
4 . The confidentiality ofvictims/ witnesses and complainants by not disclosing their identity. Further the confidentiality of the victims is maintained by recordingtheir statement through video conferencing (this also helps in trans-border and inter-State crimes).
5 . Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims – within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
6 . Immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. 7 . The Victims are entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
8 . Rehabilitation of the victim which is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.
9 . Rehabilitation Fund created for the first time. To be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation,etc.
10 . Designated courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
11 . The Bill creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and CentralLevel. These will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking. National Investigation Agency (NIA) will perform the tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level present under the MHA.
12 . Punishment ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh.
13 . In order to break the organized nexus, both at the national and international level, the Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also theproceeds for crime.
14 . The Bill comprehensively addresses the transnational nature of the crime. The National Anti-Trafficking Bureau will perform the functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations; international assistance in investigation; facilitate inter-State and trans-border transfer of evidence and materials, witnesses and others for expediting prosecution; facilitate inter-state and international video conferencing in judicial proceedings etc.
Trafficking in human beings is the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights. There is.no specific law so far to deal with this crime. Accordingly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has been prepared. The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children.
The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. Trafficking is a global concern also affecting a number of South Asian nations. Amongst them, India is now a pioneer in formulating a comprehensive legislation. UNODC and SAARC nations are looking forward to India to take lead by enacting this law.