Press Information Bureau (PIB)-08th March to 14th March , 2017
Press Information Bureau (PIB)- 08th March to 14th March, 2017 (PIB Weekly Compilation)
Environment Minister launches Web Portal for obtaining CRZ Clearances
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched the web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances. The portal is a web-based system for obtaining clearances required from the Ministry under the (CRZ) by the Project proponents for ease of doing business.
About the Web portal:
- The objectives of the web portal are
- Enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in the process of CRZ clearances
- Enhance responsiveness through workflows and availability of real-time information on the status of CRZ clearance proposals
- Ease of business and convenience of citizens in accessing information and services; standardised procedures and processes across Central and State levels.
- The user-friendly portal enables submission of applications for CRZ clearance in a single-window interface and facilitates quick flow of information related to CRZ clearances.
- It will enable the project proponents and the concerned State/UT bodies like the State Coastal Zone Management Authorities (SCZMAs) and Town/ Municipal Planning agencies to track status of their proposals.
- The system is based on web architecture, similar to the existing systems of the ministry for environmental and forest clearances.
About Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ):
- CRZ is the zone along the coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters along the coastline specially demarcated for regulated development activity.
- In this zone, Government imposes restrictions on setting up and expansion of industries or other projects. It is mandatory for getting clearances from ministry and local authorities to start any development project in CRZ.
- The demarcated zone consists of coastal stretches influenced by tidal action (in the landward side) upto 500 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the HTL.
- The regulations in this zone are governed by the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), 2011 issued under the under Section 3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
INS Tillanchang commissioned at Karwar
INS Tillanchang, a Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Karwar.
INS Tillanchang is the third ship of four follow-on WJFAC built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Kolkata.
The first two ships of the class, IN ships Tarmugli and Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam.
About INS Tillanchang:
- The ship has been indigenously designed and built and is an upgrade from the Chetlat class of Fast Attack Craft that the Indian Navy possesses.
- It is about 50 m long and powered by three waterjet propulsion system, which give it speeds of over 35 knots.
- It is armed with a 30 mm main gun and a number of light, medium and heavy machine guns to undertake operations at sea.
- It will be used for missions like Coastal and Off-shore Surveillance, Law Enforcement, EEZ Control as well as non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).
- INS Tillanchang will be based at Karwar under the operational control of the Flag Officer Commanding, Karnataka Naval Area. It is manned by 50 personnel.
India-Belgium Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and Protocol
India and Belgium have signed a Protocol amending the existing Agreement and Protocol between the two countries for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income
- The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related information.
- This in turn will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
- Fighting the menace of Black Money stashed in offshore accounts has been a key priority area for the Government.
To further this goal, India has either signed or amended international agreements, declarations or conventions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation & Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and for the Exchange of Information with Switzerland, Mauritius, Cyprus, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Singapore and Austria during the financial year 2016-17.
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The Bill seeks to amend the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 to provide for the following: –
- Maternity leave available to the working women to be increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for the first two children.
- Maternity leave for children beyond the first twowill continue to be 12 weeks.
- Maternity leave of 12 weeks to be available to mothers adopting a child below the age of three monthsas well as to the “commissioning mothers”. The commissioning mother has beendefined as biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo planted in any other woman.
- Every establishment with more than 50 employees to provide for crèche facilities for working mothers and such mothers will be permitted to make four visits during working hours to look after and feed the child in the crèche.
- The employer may permit a woman to work from homeif it is possible to do so.
- Every establishment will be required to make these benefits available to the women fromthe time of her appointment.
Konkani Writer Mahabaleshwar Sail selected for Saraswati Samman 2016
Eminent Konkani writer Mahabaleshwar Sail (74) was selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman 2016 for his novel Hawthan. His novel was shortlisted out of 22 books written in as many languages. He will receive cash prize of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.
About Saraswati Samman :
- Saraswati Samman is an annual award bestowed upon Indian citizen for his outstanding literary work written in any Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII of Constitution and published during last 10 years.
- The award has been named after an Indian goddess of learning and is considered to be among the highest literary awards in India.
- It was established in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation. It carries cash prize of 15 lakh rupees, a citation and a plaque of goddess Saraswati.
- Eminent Hindi author Harivansh Rai Bachchan was the first recipient of this award for his autobiography in four volumes
The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016
The Rajya Sabha has passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016. The 49-year-old law was amended to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China.
- The amendments proposed include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death.
- The new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property; that there cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed of in accordance with the Act.
- The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.
- The Bill also prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property
Lok Sabha passes Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016
- The Bill aims to establish uniform legal framework by consolidating the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues.
- It also aims to repeal five obsolete British statutes statutes (laws) on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters which are 126 to 177 years old and were hindering efficient governance.
- The five laws are
- Admiralty Court Act, 1840;
- Admiralty Court Act, 1861;
- Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890;
- Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891;
- Provisions of the Letters Patent, 1865.
Features of Admirability Bill, 2016:
- It confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India, thus extending their jurisdictions upto territorial waters.
- The jurisdiction will be extendable by the Union Government notification upto exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or any other maritime zone or islands constituting part of India.
- It applies to every vessel irrespective of place of domicile or residence of owner. It does not apply to naval auxiliary, warships and vessels used for non-commercial purposes.
- Inland vessels and vessels under construction are excluded from its application. But it empowers Union Government to make it applicable to these vessels also by a notification.
- It lists the jurisdiction for adjudicating on a set of maritime claims. A vessel can be arrested in certain circumstances in order to ensure security against a maritime claim.
- It also provides for prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, operators, charterers, crew members and seafarers at the same time.
Inter-state River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha
It is called as “Revolutionary step” towards the resolution of Inter- State River Water Disputes
- The Bill proposes a Single Standing Tribunal (with multiple benches) instead of existing multiple tribunals, which shall consist of one Chairperson, one Vice-Chairperson and not more than six other Members.
- While the term of office of the Chairperson is five year or till he attains the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier, the term of office of Vice Chairperson and other member of tribunal shall be co-terminus with the adjudication of the water dispute.
Significance of this Bill:
- Provides for the appointment of Assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal.
- They shall be appointed from amongst experts serving in the Central Water engineering Service not below the rank of Chief Engineer. The total time period for adjudication of dispute has been fixed at maximum of four and half years.
- The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding with no requirement of publication in the official Gazette.
- The Bill also proposes to introduce mechanism to resolve the dispute amicably by negotiations, through a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to be established by the Central Government consisting of relevant experts, before such dispute is referred to the tribunal.
- The Bill also provides for transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin and for this purpose, an agency to maintain data-bank and information system shall be appointed or authorized by Central Government.
- Inter-state river water disputes are on the rise on account of increase in water demands by the States. The Inter State Water Dispute Act, 1956 which provides the legal framework to address such disputes, suffers from many drawbacks.
- Under this Act, a separate Tribunal has to be established for each Inter State River Water Dispute.
What are the Drawbacks?
- Only three out of eight Tribunals have given awards accepted by the States, while Tribunals like Cauvery and Ravi Beas have been in existence for over 26 and 30 years respectively without any award.
- Delays are on account of no time limit for adjudication by a Tribunal, no upper age limit for the Chairman or the Members, work getting stalled due to occurrence of any vacancy and no time limit for publishing the report of the Tribunal.
The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 proposes to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present legal and institutional architecture robust.
‘International Vision Zero Conference’ on Occupational, Safety and Health
The concept of ‘Vision Zero’ is fast gaining international acceptance and is expected to leverage the efforts of the Government of India to raise the occupational safety and health standards in the country so as to improve the occupational safety and health situation.
- The participants attending the conference from various sectors across a wide variety of industries are expected to be benefitted by the common platform provided by the conference through sharing of best practices both nationally and internationally.
- On the other hand, the international community will get an appraisal of the occupational safety and health status in India thereby exposing the Indian industrial occupational safety and health scenario to the international community.
OSH(Occupational Safety & Health)
- An exhibition on OSH – INOSH EXPO 2017is also being organised during the conference to show-case new trends in Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Occupational Health Promotion, High-risk Management, Environmental Protection Technologies, all under one roof.
- The exhibition will provide the most efficient platform to support technological communication and business trade. About 100 leading manufacturers /suppliers from India and Europe are likely to participate in the INOSH Expo.
- India is a growing economy, the world’s most vibrant and largest democracy and an aspiring superpower. Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) for India is a ‘developmental tool’ and an empowering movement.
- Progressive industries are launching many initiatives to spread awareness on OSH among all stakeholders and to reduce OSH risks at workplace.
- Moreover, with implementation of new Govt. policies for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Mission) & ‘Swachh Bharat Kosh’ (Clean India Fund) has already generated a lot of awareness towards maintaining a clean environment ultimately encouraging hygiene and cleanliness at work. Our aim is to be the catalyst for this major change which the country will see in the next decade.
Madhukar Gupta Committee Report- (Ministry Home Affairs)
The Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri Madhukar Gupta, has submitted its report to the Government to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.
- The Committee has given its recommendations broadly on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues.
- It has been decided to initiate action in light of the recommendations of the Committee in consultation with the stakeholders.
- The MHA had constituted this committee in April 2016 to suggest ways to address the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing.
- It was constituted three months after the terror attack on Pathankot IAF base in January 2016 by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from Pakistan.
- These terroritst had infiltrated into India by beaching the India-Pakistan border (through porous border) in Punjab especially from the riverine stretch.