Shri Sushil Chandra takes over as new Election Commissioner
Shri Sushil Chandra has assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India today on 15th of February 2019 and joins the Commission with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa. Born on 15th May 1957 Shri Chandra is a 1980 batch Indian Revenue Service Officer. In the IRS service Shri Chandra has rendered his service in various States viz; Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Ministry of Culture
President of India to present Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony in national capital on 18 th February 2019
The President of India will present the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to
Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh;
Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh); and
Shri Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 respectively on 18.02.2019 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.
Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony was instituted by the Government of India from 2012 recognizing the contributions made by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to humanity at large with his works and ideas, as part of the Commemoration of his 150th Birth Anniversary in 2012, for promoting values of Cultural Harmony.
It is awarded annually and carries an amount of Rs. One Crore (convertible to foreign currency), a citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft / handloom item. The Award may be divided between two persons / institutions who are considered by the Jury to be equally deserving of recognition in a given year.
Ministry of Shipping
Inland Waterways Authority of India launches portal for realtime information on available depth on stretches of National Waterways
The information will help better planning for movement of vessels Moving a step ahead towards ensuring optimum use of National Waterways, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal LADIS – Least Available Depth Information System here today. LADIS will ensure that real-time data on least available depths is disseminated for ship/barge and cargo owners so that they can undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way. An assured depth of waterway is required for seamless movement of vessels. The portal being hosted on IWAI’s website www.iwai.nic.in has been developed in-house. Initially LAD information will be available for NW-1, NW-2, IndoBagladesh Protocol route and NW-3, along with the date of survey. The facility will be expanded to other NWs also. IWAI has designed LADIS to facilitate the day to day operations of inland vessels plying on National Waterways and to avoid any hindrance in service and operation. It will enhance credibility and efficiency of information sharing to achieve seamless operations on National Waterways, besides pre-empting problems that may occur during movement of vessels.
Ministry of Culture
Foundation Stone of Taj View Garden laid today
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, laid the Foundation Stone of Taj View Garden on the Taj Corridor Area between the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal in Agra today. Pro. (Dr.) Ramshankar Katheria, Member of Parliament, Agra and Chairman of National Schedule Caste Commission; Sh. Naveen Jain, Mayor, Agra Municipal Corporation and senior officers of ASI were present on the occasion. The Taj View Garden is being developed on the Mughal period’s Charbagh garden pattern by the Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The main purposr is to increase greenery by enormous plantation around the Taj Mahal. It will not only help to reduce the pollution around the Taj Mahal but also provide a pleasant view to the visitors.
Ministry of Labour & Employment
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM- SYM) to be Implemented from February 15
The scheme announced in the Interim Budget was notified by the Ministry recently. As many as 42 crore workers are estimated to be engaged in the unorganized sector of the country. The unorganized workers mostly engaged as home based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, own account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, audio- visual workers and similar other occupations whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/ per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme.
They should not be covered under : New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Further, he/she should not be an income tax payer.
Following are the salient Features of PM-SYM:
Minimum Assured Pension: Each subscriber under the PM-SYM, shall receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
Family Pension: During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
(iii) If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and died due to any cause (before age of 60 years), his/her spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution or exit the scheme as per provisions of exit and withdrawal. Contribution by the Subscriber: The subscriber’s contributions to PM-SYM shall be made through ‘autodebit’ facility from his/ her savings bank account/ JanDhan account. The subscriber is required to contribute the prescribed contribution amount from the age of joining PM-SYM till the age of 60 years. The chart showing details of entry age specific monthly contribution is as under:
Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
Water storage level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes down by one percent
The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on February 14, 2019 was 66.26 BCM, which is 41% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 42% for the week ending on February 07, 2019. The level of water storage in the week ending on February 14, 2019 was 104% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 96% of storage of average of last ten years. The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.
The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM.
The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM
The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM
CENTRAL REGION The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM
SOUTHERN REGION The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM.
Ministry of Labour & Employment
Expert Committee Submits its Report on Determining Methodology for Fixing National Minimum Wage
The Ministry of Labour and Employment had constituted an expert committee on 17th January 2017, under the Chairmanship Dr. Anoop Satpathy, Fellow, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI) to review and recommend methodology for fixation of National Minimum Wage (NMW). The Expert Committee has submitted its report on “Determining the Methodology for Fixation of the National Minimum Wage” to the Government of India through the Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment on 14-02-2019. The Report has now been placed on the Ministry’s website, www.labour.gov.in for facilitating the process of consultation and dialogue among social partners and stakeholders and seeking necessary approval of methodology from tripartite bodies.
There have been several developments since the norms for the fixation of the minimum wages were recommended by the 15th ILC in 1957 and subsequently strengthened by the judgement of the Supreme Court in the judgement of Workmen v Reptakos Brett & Co. case in 1992.
Central Government constituted an expert committee as per the recommendations of the Central Advisory Board (CAB) on Minimum Wages. Hence, the Expert Committee had the mandate to examine and review the norms and methodology for fixation of national minimum wage; and determine the base level National minimum wage/wages through an evidencebased approach.
Using the nutritional requirement norms as recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for Indian population, the report has recommended a balanced diet approach which is culturally palatable for fixation of national minimum wage. Accordingly, it has proposed that food items amounting to the level of ± 10 per cent of 2,400 calories, along with proteins ≥ 50 gm and fats ≥ 30 gm per day per person to constitute a national level balanced food basket. Further, this report proposes minimum wage should include reasonable expenditure on ‘essential non-food items’, such as clothing, fuel and light, house rent, education, medical expenses, footwear and transport, which must be equal to the median class and expenditure on any ‘other non-food items’ be equivalent to the sixth fractile (25-30 per cent) of the household expenditure distribution as per the NSSO-CES 2011/12 survey data.
On the basis of the aforesaid approach, the report has recommended to fix the need based national minimum wage for India at INR 375 per day (or INR 9,750 per month) as of July 2018, irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations for a family comprising of 3.6 consumption unit. It has also recommended to introduce an additional house rent allowance (city compensatory allowance), averaging up to INR 55 per day i.e., INR 1,430 per month for urban workers over and above the NMW.