National Current Affairs December 2016
Minister of Railways Inaugurated International Conference on Decarbonisation of Indian Railways
- The Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the International Conference on Decarbonisation of Indian Railways – Mission Electrification. –
- It was organised by Institution of Railways Electrical Engineer (IREE) in partnership with ASSOCHAM India on November 3, 2016.
- On the occasion a mobile app ‘RAIL SAVER’ was launched. This app is expected to reduce energy consumption by 15-20%.
Benami Property Transactions Prohibition Act came into Force
- The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, designed to curb black money and passed by parliament in August, came into effect on November 1, 2016.
- It provides up to seven years’ imprisonment and fine for indulging in benami transactions and Furnishing false information is punishable by imprisonment up to five years and fine.
- Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by government without compensation.
- ‘ Initiating Officer may pass an order to continue holding the property and may then refer case to Adjudicating Authority. Adjudicating Authority will then examine evidence.
Census 2011 Data on Disabled Population in the Age-group 5-19 Released
- The Registrar General of India released Census 2011 data on Disabled Population in the age-group 5-19 by their Attendance Status in Educational Institutions and type of Disability on October 31, 2016.
- It stated that there are about 65.7 lakh disabled population in age-group 5-19 at Census 2011 in India out of which 2 lakh (61.2%) are attending educational institutions, 8.0 lakh (12.1%) attended educational institutions earlier and 17.5 lakh (26.7%) never attended any educational institutions.
- The corresponding status for total population (3801.6 lakh) in the same age group at Census 2011 is 2698.1 lakh (71.0%) attending educational institutions, 449.4 lakh (11.8%) attended earlier and 1 lakh (17.2%) never attended.
- It further noticed that disabled persons with ‘Any other disability’ shows the highest percentage (71.2%) in attending educational institution followed by ‘Seeing’ (68.0%), ‘Hearing’ (67.0%), ‘Movement’ (59.6%), ‘Speech’ (58.9%), ‘Mental retardation’ (47.2%), ‘Multiple disability’ (37.2%) and least with ‘Mental illness’ (34.1%).
Union Government Hiked Minimum Wage
- The Labour Ministry has decided to fix the minimum wage at X 350 per day for unskilled agricultural labour in C-class towns in central sphere to be effective from November 1, 2016.
- At present, agriculture workers in the central sphere are paid as per the rates prescribed under the national floor level minimum wage, which is Rs 160 per day.
- At present, the States are free to fix wages for various category of workers as there is no benchmark minimum wage which is applicable across the country. After the amendment, the states will have to maintain a benchmark minimum wage fixed by the Centre.
Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) Scheme Approved
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to New Productivity Linked Reward (PLR) scheme on October 30, 2016 for all Major Port Trusts and Dock Labour Board employees/workers for the years 2015-16 to 2017-18.
- The new PLR scheme will benefit about 37870 Port and Dock workers/employees in all the Major Port Trusts and the yearly outgo will be Rs 49.58 crore.
- It will be calculated on the enhanced wage ceiling for calculation of bonus at Rs 7000 per month. It shall be paid annually on the basis of 50% weightage given to all India performance and 50% weightage given to the individual Port performance.
- It will foster better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the Port Sector, apart from stimulating better productivity.
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ECI Unveiled Three IT-based Systems
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday unveiled three IT-based systems—Samadhan, Suvidha and Sugam for Punjab to ensure the election process is conducted smoothly on October 26, 2016.
- This includes an online grievance registration and redressal system and a single window system for the political parties and the candidates seeking different permissions.
- Single vyindow platform using IT solution for quality interactions with the electors, citizens, political parties, civil societies and media will help in ensuring the election process is smooth and transparent.
Prime Minister Inaugurated National Tribal Carnival 2016
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated First National Tribal Carnival-2016 in New Delhi on October 25, 2016.
- The tribal carnival would showcase the capabilities of the tribal communities, in the national capital, the tribal carnival would showcase the capabilities of the tribal communities, in the national capital.
- The government was committed to using modem technology such as underground mining and coal gasification, which would minimise disturbance to tribal settlements.
Prime Minister Modi Launched Urja Ganga Scheme in Varanasi
- With an aim of boosting development in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched seven schemes on October 24, 2016 at the total cost of T 5000 crore amid his assertion that his government believes in timely completion of projects.
- The schemes launched included ‘Urja Ganga’, an ambitious gas pipeline project which will bring piped cooking fuel to residents of this ancient temple town besides catering to millions of consumers in neighbouring States.
- Other programmes launched were expansion of Diesel Locomotive Works, dedication of 765/400 KV GIS Varanasi Power Sub-station and inauguration of Varanasi Postal Region.