Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Planning Commission's Environmental Performance Index released

Planning Commission's Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has placed the Uttarakhand as a best-performing States and Union territory in terms of environmental well-being.

Uttarakhand is followed by Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Sikkim, and Andhra Pradesh. Environmental well-being is one of the considerations for devolution of funds to the States under the Gadgil formula.

Uttarakhand has been given a cumulative score of 0.8123, followed by Himachal Pradesh (0.7316), Chandigarh (0.7270), Sikkim (0.7149), and Andhra Pradesh (0.7147).

Mizoram, Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Tripura, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar, with an average score of 1, have been ranked as the best States in terms of air quality. Ironically, except for Uttarakhand, all the States meet the prescribed national ambient air quality standard in respect of the sulphur dioxide of 20 micrograms per cubic metre. The indicators considered for measuring the ambient air quality performance are sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter.

In respect of nitrogen oxide, more than 10 States don’t meet the 30 microgram per cubic metre national standard. In respect of suspended particulates, except for Goa, Kerala, and Mizoram, no State meets the 60 microgram per cubic metre national standard.

On water quality standards, except for Himachal Pradesh, which has set up 100 per cent treatment capacity for sewage, the treatment capacity in the remaining States ranges from 0 (13 States) to less than 20 per cent (8 States) and more than 50 per cent in four States, indicating a pathetic performance in this respect.

Sewage disposal, water quality of rivers-dissolved oxygen, total coliform count and the percentage of water exploitation-are considered for the State-wise performance for water quality. As far as total fecal coliform count is concerned, it is as much as 92 per cent in most of the States, with none complying with the standards.

Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry extract more water than they recharge, but Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry are the only States which show a semblance of adherence to river water quality. On forest conservation, Chandigarh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh are among the five best-performing States that have preserved forests as well as increased cover.

Indian women beat Pakistan to lift Asia Cup

The Indian women’s cricket team lifted the inaugural Asian Cricket Council’s Twenty20 Asia Cup after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by 18 runs in a low-scoring final at
India’s decision to bat first seemed to have backfired when the team folded for 81 but the bowlers did a splendid job to dismiss Pakistan to 63 in 19.1 overs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Key for Notification No. 36/2011 , EXTENSION OFFICER WOMEN & CHILD WELFARE :: Paper-2 SERIES: A 012 - SOCIAL WORK
Key for Notification No. 36/2011 , EXTENSION OFFICER WOMEN & CHILD WELFARE :: Paper-2 SERIES: A 011 - HOME SCIENCE
Key for Notification No. 36/2011 , EXTENSION OFFICER WOMEN & CHILD WELFARE :: Paper-1 SERIES: A 600 - G.S. & M.A.


Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER (30/2011) :: PAPER-2 - ECONOMICS
Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER :: PAPER-2 - MATHEMATICS
Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER :: PAPER-2 - COMMERCE
Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER :: PAPER-2 - COMPUTER SCIENCE
Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER :: PAPER-2 - STATISTICS
Key for Notification No. 30/2011 , Dated : 27/12/2011 , ASSISTANT STATISTICAL OFFICER:: PAPER-1 - G.S. & M.A.


Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY&MUSIUMS :: PAPER-1  - G.S. & M.A.
Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY&MUSIUMS :: PAPER-2  - PERSIAN
Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , NOTI.NO: 09/2012 TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY&MUSIUMS :: PAPER-2  - SANSKRIT
Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , NOTI.NO: 09/2012 TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY&MUSIUMS :: PAPER-2  - ANTHROPOLOGY
Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , NOTI.NO: 09/2012 TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY&MUSIUMS :: PAPER-2  - HISTORY
Key for Notification No. 09/2012 Dt. 14/022012 , NOTI.NO: 09/2012TECHNICAL ASSTS. IN ARCHIOLOGY& MUSIUMS:: PAPER-2 - ARCH.MUSEOLOGY & INDOLOGY

Sunday, October 28, 2012


The Economic Advisory Council

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister was constituted on 29th Dec 2004 with the Chairman of Cabinet rank. Dr. C. Rangarajan is the current Chairman.
The Members of the Council are Dr. Saumitra Chaudhuri, (Economic Adviser, ICRA), Dr. Govinda Rao (Director-General, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy), Dr. Vijay Shankar Vyas (President, Asian Society of Agricultural Economists) and Mr. Suman K. Bery (Director-General, National Council of Applied Economic Research.) The members of the Council will have the rank of Minister of State.
Apart from advice on policy matters referred to the Council by the PM from time to time, the EAC also prepares a monthly report on economic developments at home and abroad for the Prime Minister. It monitors economic trends on a regular basis and bring to the PM’s attention important developments at home and abroad and suggests suitable policy responses.

PM's Council on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Prime Minister had announced setting up of the Task Force in August, 2009 when representatives of prominent MSME associations had met him to highlight their issues and concerns. Accordingly, the Task Force under Shri T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister was constituted on 2nd September, 2009 to reflect on the issues raised by the associations and formulate an agenda for action after discussions with all stakeholders. Its members included Member, Planning Commission, Secretaries of concerned Government Departments, Deputy Governor, RBI, Chairman and Managing Director, SIDBI and representatives of MSME associations.
The report provided a roadmap for the development and promotion of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). It recommended an agenda for immediate action to provide relief and incentives to the MSMEs, especially in the aftermath of the recent economic slowdown, accompanied by institutional changes and detailing of programmes, to be achieved in a time bound manner. In addition, it suggested setting up of appropriate legal and regulatory structures to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and growth of micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s Council on MSMEs was formed on 7th April, 2010 to lay down broad policy guidelines and review the development of the MSME sector.  The Council shall meet once a year.
A steering group has also been put into place comprising of Secretaries to the Ministries of MSME, Finance, Labour etc. This steering group has already met in April and reviewed the progress of implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force.

PM's Council on Trade and Industry

The newly reconstituted Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry held its first meeting on 26th May, 2010. The Council held discussions on wide-ranging issues. It was decided to form Sub Committees comprising of the Members of the Council to discuss and formulate their recommendations to the Government on the following issues:
(i) Skill development, Affirmative Action and Corporate Social Responsibility;
(ii) Enhancing Agriculture Production and Food Security;
(iii) Promoting Public Private Partnership especially in R&D and clean energy;
(iv) Promoting Financial Inclusion; and
(v) Backward and Tribal Area Development.

PM's Council on Climate Change

Constituted on 6th June 2008, a committee chaired by the Prime Minister called Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change will coordinate national action for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. 
The Committee would focus on the following tasks:
a)     Evolve a coordinated response to issues relating to climate change at the national level ;
b)     Provide oversight for formulation of action plans in the area of assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change;
c)     Periodically monitor key policy decisions. 
The committee would be serviced by the Prime Minister's Office, which may obtain assistance as required from any Ministry/ Department/ Agency of Government. Specifically, the Ministry of Environment and Forests will assist PMO in facilitating the work of this Committee.

PM's National Council on Skill Development

The Prime Minister's National Council on Skill Development was  constituted on 1st July 2008 in pursuance of the decision of the Cabinet at its meeting held on 15th May 2008 on "Coordinated Action for Skill Development and setting up of the National Skill Development Corporation".
The Council is at the apex of a three-tier structure and would be concerned with vision setting and laying down core strategies. The Council would be assisted by the National Skill Development Coordination Board chaired by the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission which will  coordinate action for skill development both in the public and the private sector.
To promote private sector action for skill development, an institutional arrangement in the form of a non-profit corporation called the National Skill Development Corporation is being set up by the Ministry of Finance. The Chairperson of the National Skill Development Corporation, a non- profit corporation to be set up by the Ministry of Finance would also be a  Member of the Council.

The Trade and Economic Relations Committee

Constituted on 3rd May 2005, the Trade & Economic Relations Committee is an institutional mechanism for evolving the extent, scope and operational parameters of our economic relations with other countries in a coordinated and synchronized manner.
  The Committee is serviced by the Prime Minister’s Office, which may obtain assistance as required from any Ministry/Department/Agency of Government.

PM's National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges

The Government has decided to constitute a Prime Minister's National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges for (a) policy direction (b) review and (c) effective coordination between Ministries which all will have a sectoral responsibility for the challenge of nutrition.

Council of Ministers

Cabinet Ministers
Serial Number Portfolio Name of Minister
1. Prime Minister
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Ministry of Planning
Department of Atomic Energy
Department of Space
Dr. Manmohan Singh
2. Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal
3. Minister of Finance Shri Palaniappan Chidambaram
4. Minister of Agriculture
Minister of Food Processing Industries
Shri Sharad Chandra Govindrao Pawar
5. Minister of Defence Shri A.K. Antony
6. Minister of Home Affairs Shri Sushil Kumar Sambhajirao Shinde
7. Minister of External Affairs Shri Salman Khurshid
8. Minister of Science and Technology
Minister of Earth Sciences
Shri Jaipal Sudini Reddy
9. Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
10. Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah
11. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr.(Shri) M. Veerappa Moily
12. Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Shri Vayalar Ravi
13. Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Ajit Singh
14. Minister of Labour and Employment Shri Mallikarjun Kharge
15. Minister of Human Resource Development Dr. M. Mangapati Pallam Raju
16. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Shri Kapil Sibal
17. Minister of Commerce
Industry and Minister of Textiles
Shri Anand Sharma
18. Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shri C. P. Joshi
19. Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri Ajay Maken
20. Minister of Culture Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch
21. Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan
22. Minister of Urban Development
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
Shri Kamal Nath
23. Minister of Water Resources Shri Harish Rawat
24. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Kumari Selja
25. Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri M. K. Alagiri
26. Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Shri Praful Manoharbhai Patel
27. Minister of Coal Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal
28. Minister of Law and Justice Ashwani Kumar, Shri
29. Minister of Minority Affairs Khan, Shri K. Rahman
30. Ministry of Mines Shri Dinsha J. Patel
31. Minister of Tribal Affairs
Minister of Panchayati Raj
Shri V. Kishore Chandra Deo
32. Minister of Steel Shri Beni Prasad Verma
33. Minister of Rural Development Shri Jairam Ramesh

Ministers of State with Independent Charge
Serial Number Portfolio Name of Minister
1. Ministry of Women and Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath
2. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Jitendra Singh
3. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Prof. Kuruppassery Varkey Thomas
4. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Shri Srikant Kumar Jena
5. Ministry of Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan
6. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Shri Manish Tewari
7. Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar
8. Minister of Tourism Chiranjeevi, Dr. K.
9. Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki
10. Minister of Power Shri Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia
11. Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri K.H. Muniyappa
12. Minister of Corporate Affairs Shri Sachin Pilot
Ministers of State
Serial Number Portfolio Name of Minister
1. Ministry of External Affairs Shri E. Ahamed
2. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Shri S. Gandhiselvan
3. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri D. Napoleon
4. Ministry of Human Resource Development Shri Jitin Prasada
5. Ministry of Human Resource Development Dr. Shashi Tharoor
6. Ministry of Home Affairs Shri Ramachandran Mullappally
7. Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Prime Minister Office
Shri V. Narayanasamy
8. Ministry of Commerce and Industry Smt. Daggubati Purandeswari
9. Ministry of Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
10. Ministry of Railways Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy
11. Ministry of Textiles Smt. Lakshmi Panabaka
12. Ministry of Finance Shri Namo Narain Meena
13. Ministry of Finance Shri S.S. Palanimanickam
14. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Shri Sathyanarayana Sarvey
15. Ministry of External Affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur
16. Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Food Processing Industries
Dr. Charan Das Mahant
17. Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Food Processing Industries
Tariq Anwar, Shri
18. Ministry of Tribal Affairs Smt. Ranee Narah
19. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Porika Balram Naik
20. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury
21. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Shri Tushar Amarsinh Chaudhary
22. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Shri Milind Murli Deora
23. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Dr. (Smt.) Kruparani Killi
24. Ministry of Coal Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil
25. Ministry of Minority Affairs Shri Ninong Ering
26. Ministry of Rural Development Shri Pradeep Kumar Jain Aditya
27. Ministry of Home Affairs Shri Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh
28. Ministry of Planning
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
Shri Rajeev Shukla
29. Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri Srikant Kumar Jena
30. Minister of Urban Development Smt. Deepa Dasmunsi
31. Minister of Labour and Employment Shri Suresh Kodikunnil
32. Minister of New and Renewable Energy Shri S. Jagathrakshakan
33. Minister of Civil Aviation Shri K. C. Venugopal
34. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar
35. Ministry of Defence Shri Jitendra Singh
36. Ministry of Defence Shri Lalchand Kataria

Friday, October 26, 2012

V Narayan Murthy honoured with 2012 Hoover Medal

V. Narayan Murthy was honoured with 2012 Hoover Medal at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in Seattle in Washington on 22 October 2012. Murthy, who is the 70th recipient since the medal's inception, was recognized for establishing a foundation that forges outstanding improvements in healthcare, social rehabilitation, rural uplift and education. Previous awardees include former US presidents Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower and James Earl Carter.
Narayan Murthy co-founded Infosys limited in 1981. He contributed significantly in India's success in information technology outsourcing.

The Hoover Medal was established in 1930 to recognize great, unselfish, non-technical services by engineers to humanity. The Infosys Science Foundation was established in 2009 to promote science research in India.

The Hoover Medal is administered by a board representing five engineering organizations: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Gov. of Bangladesh Awarded Babu Jagjivan Ram with Friends of Liberation War Honour

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of India, Babu Jagjivan Ram was awarded with the Friends of Liberation War Honour by the Government of Bangladesh for his contribution in the 1971 War.

He was given the honour by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina and President of Bangladesh, Mohammad. Zillur Rahman.

The award was received by Babuji's grandson, Anshul Avijit at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. Anshul Avijit, is a journalist and academician and also the son of Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar.

Babu Jagjivan Ram as the Defence Minister and chief strategist of India in 1971, helped in liberation of Bangladesh. He assured that the war for liberation of Bangladesh ended in the remarkably short time of 13 days.

 He was among the remarkable figure that had helped in creation of the Joint Command of Bangladesh and the Indian forces for the final outrage which led to the victory.

An Insight into Political Career of Babu Jagjivan Ram

Babu Jagjivan Ram was born near Arrah in Bhojpur district of Bihar in 1908 and had joined the freedom struggle while student in BHU in Benares and at Calcutta University.

• He as a freedom fighter founded the All India Depressed Classes League.

• He was the youngest serving member of Jawaharlal Nehru’s Interim Government of 1946 as the Minister of Labour and had also hold a number of critical portfolios including Agriculture, Railways, Communications and Defence.

• He holds the record for having an uninterrupted Parliamentary career that spanned almost half a century – from 1936 as a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly to 1986 as a member of the Eighth Lok Sabha.

Sharmila Tagore gets honorary degree from Edinburgh University

Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore on 25 October 2012 was Awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema by the Edinburgh Napier University. The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University Dame Joan Stringer called her as an excellent ambassador for the Indian Culture.

Sharmila Tagore whose films are appreciated and enjoyed all over the world is also a strong advocate of educational rights of Indian children. At present, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF that is working for literacy, maternal health and AIDS-related issues and is also an active spokesperson for Indian Children Child Rights and YOU (CRY).

The University stressed its strong links with India and Indian Culture and pointed out that to promote and establish a relationship with Indian culture, philosophy, education, art and literature it has created a Scottish Center for Tagore Studies (ScoTs), which highlights the legacy of Rabindranath Tagore the first Asian, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in the Year 1913. This study center is first of its kind in United Kingdom.

The 67 year old Indian actress announced that her recognition and honour from the University proves the role of Indian Cinema and its cultural influence across the world.

Career of Sharmila Tagore in the Indian Film Industry
Sharmila Tagore started her career as an actress in 1959 with Satyajit Ray's Bengali film Apur Sansar (The World of Apu). Some more films of Sharmila Tagore includes Kashmir Ki Kali in 1964, Evening in Paris in 1967, Aradhana in 1969 and Amar Prem in 1972, Safar in 1970, Daag in 1973, Maalik in 1972and many more. For Mausam,a film directed By Gulzar based on the novel named The Judas Tree by A.J. Conin, she won the National Film Award for Best Actress in 1976 and received the Silver Lotus Award at the 23rd National Film Festival for this film.

Awards and Honours
•    Filmfare Best Actress Award for Aradhana in 1969
•    Nominated, Filmfare Best Actress Award for Safar in the year 1970
•    National Film Award for Best Actress in 1976 for her role in the movie Mausam
•    Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997
•    Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2002
•    National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for Abar Aranye in the year 2004
•    Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of France in 2004
•    In the year 2006 was nominated for Filmfare Best Actress Award in Viruddh- Family Comes First
•    Lifetime Achievement National Award (Actress) in the year 2007 honoured by Journalist Association of India
•    In 2011was awarded with Outstanding Achievement in Indian cinema at Floriana IIFA Awards, Toronto

Sharmila Tagore has also served the Central Board of Film Certification in India as its Chairperson.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Approval of National Policy on Electronics 2012

The Union Cabinet today approved the National Policy on Electronics 2012. The draft National Policy on Electronics was released for public consultation and it has now been finalized based on comments from various stakeholders.

India is one of the fastest growing markets of electronics in the world. There is potential to develop the Electronic System and Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector to meet our domestic demand as well as to use the capabilities so created to successfully export ESDM products from the country. The National Policy on Electronics aims to address the issue with the explicit goal of transforming India into a premier ESDM hub.

The strategies include setting up of a National Electronics Mission with industry participation and renaming the Department of Information Technology as Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity). The Department has since been renamed on February 26, 2012.

The policy is expected to create an indigenous manufacturing eco-system for electronics in the country. It will foster the manufacturing of indigenously designed and manufactured chips creating a more cyber secure ecosystem in the country. It will enable India to tap the great economic potential that this knowledge sector offers. The increased development and manufacturing in the sector will lead to greater economic growth through more manufacturing and consequently greater employment in the sector.

The Policy envisages that a turnover of USD 400 billion will create an employment for two million people.

ESDM is of strategic importance as well. Not only in internal security and defence, the pervasive deployment of electronics in civilian domains such as telecom, power, railways, civil aviation, etc. can have serious consequences of disruption of service. This renders tremendous strategic importance to the sector. The country, therefore, cannot be totally dependent on imported electronic components and products.

The key objectives of the Policy are:

(i) To create an eco-system for a globally competitive Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector in the country to achieve a turnover of about USD 400 billion by 2020 involving investment of about USD 100 billion and employment to around 28 million people at various levels.

(ii) To build on the emerging chip design and embedded software industry to achieve global leadership in Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI), chip design and other frontier technical areas and to achieve a turnover of USD 55 billion by 2020.

(iii) To build a strong supply chain of raw materials, parts and electronic components to raise the indigenous availability of these inputs from the present 20-25 per cent to over 60 per cent by 2020.

(iv) To increase the export in ESDM sector from USD 5.5 billion to USD 80 billion by 2020.

(v) To significantly enhance availability of skilled manpower in the ESDM sector. Special focus for augmenting postgraduate education and to produce about 2500 PhDs annually by 2020.

(vi) To create an institutional mechanism for developing and mandating standards and certification for electronic products and services to strengthen quality assessment infrastructure nationwide.

(vii) To develop an appropriate security ecosystem in ESDM.

(viii) To create long-term partnerships between ESDM and strategic and core infrastructure sectors - Defence, Atomic Energy, Space, Railways, Power, Telecommunications, etc.

(ix) To become a global leader in creating Intellectual Property (IP) in the ESDM sector by increasing fund flow for R&D, seed capital and venture capital for start-ups in the ESDM and nanoelectronics sectors.

(x) To develop core competencies in strategic and core infrastructure sectors like telecommunications, automotive, avionics, industrial, medical, solar, Information and Broadcasting, Railways, etc through use of ESDM in these sectors.

(xi) To use technology to develop electronic products catering to domestic needs, including rural needs and conditions, as well as international needs at affordable price points.

(xii) To become a global leader in the Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) segment by promoting progressive higher value addition in manufacturing and product development.

(xiii) To expedite adoption of best practices in e-waste management.

(xiv) To source, stockpile and promote indigenous exploration and mining of rare earth metals required for manufacture of electronic components.

To achieve these objectives, the policy proposes the following strategies:

(i) Creating eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector: The strategies include provision of fiscal incentives for investment, setting up of electronic manufacturing clusters, preferential market access to domestically manufactured electronic products, setting up of semiconductor wafer fabrication facilities, industry friendly and stable tax regime. Based on Cabinet approval, a high level Empowered committee has been constituted to identify and shortlist technology and investors for setting up two semiconductor wafer manufacturing fabrication facilities. Based on another Cabinet approval a policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured electronic goods has been announced. Separate proposals have also been considered by the Cabinet for approval of Modified Special Incentive Package for the ESDM Sector and for setting up of Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs).

(ii) Promotion of Exports: The strategies include aggressive marketing of India as an investment destination and providing incentives for export,

(iii) Human Resource Development: The strategies include involvement of private sector, universities and institutions of learning for scaling up of requisite capacities at all levels for the projected manpower demand. A specialized Institute for semiconductor chip design is also proposed.

(iv) Developing and mandating standards to curb inflow of sub-standard and unsafe electronic products by mandating technical and safety standards which conform to international standards.

(v) Cyber security: To create a complete secure cyber eco-system in the country, through suitable design and development of indigenous appropriate products through frontier technology/product oriented research, testing and validation of security of products.

(vi) Strategic electronics: The strategies include creating long-term partnerships between domestic ESDM industry and strategic sectors for sourcing products domestically and providing Defense Offset obligations for electronic procurements through ESDM products.

(vii) Creating ecosystem for vibrant innovation and R&D in the ESDM sector including nanoelectronics. The strategy includes creation of an Electronic Development Fund.

(viii) Electronics in other sectors: The strategy includes supporting and : developing expertise in the electronics in the following sectors of economy: automotive, avionics, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), Industrial, medical, solar photovoltaics, Information and Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Railways, Intelligent Transport Systems, and Games and Toys.

(ix) Handling e-waste: The strategy includes various initiatives to facilitate environment friendly e-waste handling policies.


The Electronics industry reported at USD 1.75 trillion is the largest and fastest growing manufacturing industry in the world. It is expected to reach USD 2.4 trillion by 2020. The demand in the Indian market was USD 45 billion in 2008-09 and is expected to reach USD 400 billion by 2020. Domestic demand is expected to be driven by growth in income levels leading to higher off-take of electronics products, automation demands of corporate sector and the government`s focus on e-governance. The domestic production in 2008-09 was about USD 20 billion. However, the actual value-addition in the domestically produced electronic product is very low, ranging between 5 to 10 percent in most cases. At the current rate of growth, domestic production can cater to a demand of USD 100 billion in 2020 as against a demand of USD 400 billion and the rest would have to be met by imports. This aggregates to a demand supply gap of nearly USD 300 billion by 2020. Unless the situation is corrected, it is likely that by 2020, electronics import may far exceed oil imports. This fact goes unnoticed because electronics, as a "meta resource" forms a significant part of all machines and equipment imported, which are classified in their final sectoral forms, for example, automobiles, aviation, health equipment, media and broadcasting, defence armaments, etc.

Electronics is characterized by high velocity of technological change. Consequently the life cycle of products is declining. As a result, the value of design and development in the product has increased quite significantly. Given India`s growing strength in chip design and embedded software, the increasing importance of design in product development has potential to make India a favoured destination for ESDM.

Electronic components, which are the basis of an electronic product, are low volume-low weight, cheap and easy to transport across the globe. Moreover, under the Information Technology Agreement-1 (ITA-1) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which came into force in 1997, a large number of electronic components and products are bound with zero tariffs making trade unrestricted across international borders. Under the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with various countries, the import of electronics hardware from these countries is allowed either at zero duty or at a duty which is lower than the normal duty rate.

PM constitutes National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers

The Prime Minister has constituted a coordination committee called the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers, as a mechanism to coordinate action for the introduction of direct cash transfers to individuals under the various government schemes and programmes.

            The National Committee chaired by the Prime Minister will have as its members eleven Cabinet Ministers, two Ministers of State with independent charge, the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, the Chairman UIDAI, the Cabinet Secretary with the Principal Secretary to the PM as the convenor. The Prime Minister may invite any other Minister/Officer/Expert to any meeting of the Committee.

The National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers would engage in the following tasks:
a) Provide an overarching vision and direction to enable direct cash transfers of benefits under various government schemes and programmes to individuals, leveraging the investments being made in the Aadhaar Project, financial inclusion and other initiatives of the Government, with the objective of enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability.
b) Determine broad policy objectives and strategies for direct cash transfers.
c) Identify Government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted and suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case.
d) Coordinate the activities of various Ministries/ Departments/ Agencies involved in enabling direct cash transfers and ensure timely, coordinated action to ensure speedy rollout of direct cash transfers across the country.
e) Specify timelines for the rollout of direct cash transfers.
f) Review the progress of implementation of direct cash transfers and provide guidance for mid-course corrections.
g) Any other related matter.

 The National Committee on Cash Transfers will be assisted by an Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by the Principal Secretary to PM and the Secretaries of the concerned Ministries and the DG UIDAI. The Secretary Planning Commission will be the convenor.

The Executive Committee on Direct Cash Transfers would engage in the following tasks:
a) Identify and propose for the consideration of the National Committee on Cash Transfers such Government programmes and schemes for which direct cash transfers to individuals can be adopted and suggest the extent and scope of direct cash transfers in each case.
b) Ensure the preparation of and approve strategies and action plans for the speedy rollout of direct cash transfers in areas agreed to and in line with the timelines laid down by the National Committee on Cash Transfers.
c) Coordinate the activities of various Ministries/ Departments / Agencies involved in enabling direct cash transfers to ensure that the architecture and framework for direct cash transfers is in place for rolling out direct cash transfers across the country.
d) Review and monitor the rollout of direct cash transfers and undertake mid-course corrections as and when necessary.
e) Any other related matter entrusted by the National Committee on Cash Transfers or relating to direct cash transfers.

            The Chairman may invite any other Officer/Expert to any meeting of the Executive Committee as may be necessary. The National Committee and the Executive Committee would be serviced by the Planning Commission, which may obtain assistance as required from any Ministry/Department/Agency of the Government in this task. The Planning Commission will designate an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary in the Planning Commission to coordinate and service the work of the National Committee and Executive Committee.

            In order to finalise the operational and implementation details relating to the design and implementation of the direct cash transfer system, and for ensuring a smooth roll-out of direct cash transfers in an orderly and timely fashion, Mission Mode Committees will be constituted.

These will be:
a) Technology Committee to focus on the  technology,  payment architecture and IT issues.
b) Financial Inclusion Committee to focus on ensuring universal access to banking and ensuring complete financial inclusion.
c) Implementation Committees on Electronic Transfer of Benefits at the Ministry/ Department level to work out the details of cash transfers for each department such as data bases, direct cash transfer rules and control and audit mechanisms.

The notifications for these three committees will be issued in due course.

The composition of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers is as follows:
1.      Prime Minister                                              -        Chairperson
2.      Finance Minister
3.      Minister of Communications & IT
4.      Minister of Rural Development
5.      Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment
6.      Minister of Human Resource Development
7.      Minister of Tribal Affairs
8.      Minister of Minority Affairs
9.      Minister of Health & Family Welfare
10.    Minister of Labour & Employment
11.    Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas
12.    Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers
13.    Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
14.    Minister of State (i/c) of Food & Public Distribution
15.    Minister of State (i/c) of Women & Child Development
16.    Chairman, UIDAI
17.    Cabinet Secretary
18.    Principal Secretary to PM                                -        Convenor

Shome Panel Report on GAAR

The Government had constituted an Expert Committee on General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) to undertake stakeholder consultations and finalise the GAAR guidelines as well as a roadmap for implementation. The Committee, chaired by Dr. Parthasarathi Shome, has submitted its draft report after analysis of the GAAR provisions and noting the concerns expressed by various shareholders. The draft report has recommended certain amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961; guidelines to be prescribed under the Income-tax Rules, 1962; circular to clarify GAAR provisions along with illustrations; and other measures to improve tax administration specifically oriented towards GAAR matters.

The terms of reference of the Committee are:

a) Receive comments from stakeholders and the general public on the draft GAAR guidelines which have been published by the Government on its website.

b) Vet and rework the guidelines based on this feedback and publish the second draft of the GAAR guidelines for comments and consultations.

c) Undertake widespread consultations on the second draft GAAR guidelines.

d) Finalize the GAAR guidelines and a roadmap for implementation and submit these to the government.

Highlights of the Recommendations:

a) Recommendations for amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961

• The implementation of GAAR may be deferred by three years on administrative grounds. GAAR is an extremely advanced instrument of tax administration – one of deterrence, rather than for revenue generation – for which intensive training of tax officers, who would specialize in the finer aspects of international taxation, is needed. Hence GAAR should be deferred for 3 years. But the year, 2016-17, should be announced now. In effect, therefore, GAAR would apply from 2017-18.

• Abolish the tax on gains arising from transfer of listed securities, whether in the nature of capital gains or business income, to both residents as well as non-residents.

• The Act should be amended to provide that only arrangements which have the main purpose (and not one of the main purposes) of obtaining tax benefit should be covered under GAAR. An arrangement shall be deemed to be lacking commercial substance, if it does not have a significant effect upon the business risks, or net cash flows, of any party to the arrangement apart from any effect attributable to the tax benefit that would be obtained.‖

• As regards constitution of the Approving Panel(AP),  the Committee recommends that –

The Approving Panel should consist of five members including

I. Chairman;

II. The Chairman should be a retired judge of the High Court;

III. Two members should be from outside Govt. and persons of eminence drawn from the fields of accountancy, economics or business, with knowledge of matters of income-tax; and

IV. Two members should be Chief Commissioners of income tax; or one Chief Commissioner and one Commissioner.

The Approving Panel should be a permanent body with a secretariat.  It should have a two year term. A decision of the AP should occur by a majority of members.

b) Recommendations under Income tax Rules

• The GAAR provisions should be subject to an overarching principle that – (1) Tax mitigation should be distinguished from tax avoidance before invoking GAAR.

• A monetary threshold of Rs 3 crore of tax benefit (including tax only, and not interest etc) to a taxpayer in a year should be used for the applicability of GAAR provisions. In case of tax deferral, the tax benefit shall be determined based on the present value of money.

c) Other recommendations

The Committee has made following recommendations in respect of tax administration:-

• The administration of Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) should be strengthened so that an advance ruling may be obtained within the statutory time frame of six months.

• Shall not invoke GAAR where the taxpayer submits a satisfactory undertaking to pay tax along with interest in case it is found that GAAR provisions are applicable in relation to the remittance during the course of assessment proceedings; or

• To minimize the deficiency of trust between the tax administration and taxpayers, concerted training programmes should be initiated for all AO‘s placed, or to be placed, in the area of international taxation. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

BSE joins UN's Sustainable Stock Exchanges global initiative

The Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd (BSE) announced that it has joined the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.

The SSE initiative was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi in 2009 at UN headquarters in New York City.

The BSE has been the first amongst global peers to join five other leading exchanges that have publicly committed to promoting sustainable investment practices.

Other exchanges include the Brazilian stock exchange BM & FBOVESPA, Egyptian Exchange (EGX), Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE), Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and NASDAQ OMX made a commitment towards improving sustainability at the Sustainable Stock Exchanges 2012 global dialogue in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.

BSE is also credited with launching the first-ever live Carbon Index BSE-GREENEX in India, earlier in 2012. The index measures the performances of companies in terms of carbon emissions.

"BSE is committed to working with investors, companies and regulators in playing a transformative role towards enhancing sustainability in Indian capital markets.

The initiative aims at exploring how exchanges can work together with stakeholders to enhance corporate transparency and performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues besides encouraging responsible long-term approaches to investment.

COP 11 held in Hyderabad Emphasised on Biodiversities Well Being

The XIth Conference of the Parties (COP 11) - Convention on Biological Diversity was organised by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India from 8 October to 19 October 2012. Eleventh meeting of the COP 11 was held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre, and the conference included a high-level ministerial segment meet that was organised by India in consultation with the Bureau and Secretariat and it took place from 17 October to 19 October 2012.

Mobilisation of financial resources was the theme for the COP 11 summit. The next round of the conference is scheduled to take place in Korea after 2 years. Finding out the commendable solution by discussions over the issues of the Earth’s bio-diversity is the main agenda of the conference.  The conference was attended by more than 5000 delegates from 180 countries. Enrollment of about 14,400 participants in the convention made it the largest biodiversity gathering of its time.

Demands of Developing and Developed Countries:
•    African countries like Namibia demanded developed nations to stand by their promise fund allocation for saving the bio-diversity, made in the 2010 protocol
•    The developed nations stood by their demand of creating a baseline of the investments made by now and how much more was needed

Discussions on Identified Targets of Nagoya Protocol:
•    Discussion over the 20 identified targets at 2010 Nagoya Protocol was also done to find out the problems that it faced for implementation.

India’s Stand:
India also demanded steps to be taken for ecosystem restoration and establishment of a relationship between biodiversity and climate change, identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas in marine ecosystems.

India to Chair the Conference for Next Two Years as its President: India will be Chairing the Conference as its President for next two years. The Union Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan took over the charge of COP-11 as its President for next two years.
•    The Union Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who took over the charge of COP-11 as its President for next two years emphasised on the issue of resource mobilization that remained an unfinished agenda of COP-10 at Nagoya in Japan
•    Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister of India announced a grant of $50 million for strengthening the institutional mechanism of biodiversity conservation in India and other developing countries by the name of Hyderabad Pledge
•    The Prime Minister also launched the high level segment of the 11th conference of parties during the UN Convention on Biodiversity meeting at Hyderabad. This conference was the first conference after the launch of Decade of Biodiversity by United Nations in 2011.

The high level meet took place during the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNBD) that was declared by the United Nations General Assembly following its resolution 65/161. This plan was designed to find out the solutions for the objectives like Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Across the UNBD, a trial to encourage government and representatives of different countries to develop, implement and communicate the results established by their national strategies designed for fine implementation of the strategic plan over biodiversity.

Plan and Programmes Launched during COP11 Conference:
•    BirdLife International on 16 October 2012 launched an e-Atlas of Marine-Important Bird Areas during COP11. The e-Atlas would act as an inventory and carry data of around 3000 important bird areas from across the world and can play a major role in conserving the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) target for protection of 10 percent coastal and marine Areas by 2020
•    The NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) also declared its plan to create a national database for tigers, the flagship species of India proving a unique identification code and number to each one of these big cats in India. This was declared by the member secretary of NTCA, Rajesh Gopal during an event organized with a theme Have We Turned the Corner in Tiger Conservation

Amid the discussions and concerns, the COP 11 conference failed to reach to a concrete decision of making resource mobilisation and fund arrangements done. Indian Prime Minister allocated a fund of $50 million for strengthening the mechanism for preserving the biodiversity in India and other Developing nations. Although several steps and things were critically discussed and concerns were raised to achieve better results and face the upcoming challenges.