Centre to consider skill development as a national mission
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that
skill development should become a national mission.
Addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for the
construction of KaushalBhawan,Shri Naidu stressed up on the need to work as
team India to build a stronger India, a more developed India, an India that
was capable of defending itself against hostile forces and disruptive
The world and especially South East Asia has numerous problems
like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and low employable skills. We should
wage a war against these, he added.
The Vice President called up on the Private sector to step in
supporting government’s efforts skill the youth of India, especially the
ones living in rural areas.
Expressing concern over the rising urban-rural divide, Shri Naidu
wanted united efforts by all agencies including the private sector to create
healthcare, rural employment, skill training facilities at rural areas at
par with the urban areas.
Quoting Maharma Gandhi’s NaiTalim, the Vice President stressed
that youth and children should not just be trained to acquire skills but
should be taught to respect human labor and social harmony and tolerance.
One must learn to respect every job, he added.
Shri Naidu said that training the youth and children on rural
crafts by way of vocational training and empowering them to stand on their
own should pave the way for Gram Swaraj and create the possibility of
large-scale self-employment in rural and urban areas.
Government approves pension scheme for employees of PSU insurance companies
The Government of India has decided to allow one more opportunity
to employees of Public Sector Insurance Companies (PSICs) who joined on or
before 28th June 1995, to opt for Pension, as a retirement benefit.
Pension was introduced as a retirement benefit in PSICs with
effect from 28th June 1995. In April 1997, employees of LIC and Public
Sector General Insurance Companies namely, GIC, NICL, OICL, UIICL and NIACL,
who joined service on or before 28th June 1995 were given another
opportunity to opt for Pension, as a retirement benefit.
However, many eligible employees could not exercise the option and
there has been a long standing demand from them to be given another option.
In order to mitigate the hardship of such employees of whom many
have retired, Government has decided as a welfare measure, to allow one more
opportunity to employees of PSICs who joined service on or before 28th June
1995, to opt for the Pension scheme of their respective organizations, in
lieu of Contributory Provident Fund.
This decision is expected to benefit 42,720 employees (serving and
retired) of which 24,595 are of LIC and 18,125 of PSGICs.
RBI imposes penalty on banks for violation of norms
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 3
crore on Union Bank, Rs. 2 crore on Dena Bank and Rs. 1 crore each on IDBI
Bank and the SBI for non-compliance with various directions, regulatory
Union Bank and IDBI Bank said they were penalised for the delay in
adherence to RBI’s directives on ‘time-bound implementation and
strengthening of SWIFT related controls’ contained in the RBI circular of
February 20, 2018.
Dena Bank said it was penalised for its non-compliance with the
RBI directions issued on February 20, 2018.
SBI said the RBI has levied an aggregate penalty of Rs. 1 crore on
it for delayed implementation of the daily reconciliation of SWIFT
transaction logs with effect from February 20, 2018 at 226 “low intensity
branches” of the bank.
PM addresses construction technology event
The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi, today addressed the
Construction Technology India Event, 2019 event at VigyanBhavan today.
The Prime Minister emphasized the commitment of the Union
Government towards ensuring that every family’s dream of a home, becomes a
reality and said that the need for the Global Housing Technology Challenge,
was felt in the light of rapid urbanization in India.
He said that elements from several schemes, including PM
AwasYojana, HRIDAY and AMRUT, are oriented towards transforming the housing
The Prime Minister said a lot of emphasis has been placed on
affordable housing, real estate sector, skill development, and housing
technology. He reiterated his dream that every Indian should have a proper
house by 2022, and 1.3 crore houses have been made in his tenure. He called
upon everyone to work together to enhance capacities and help the poor.
The Prime Minister said that the Global Housing Technology
Challenge is a platform that can help elevate India’s construction ecosystem
to international standards. He declared that the period from April 2019 to
March 2020, will be observed as the Construction Technology Year.
During the event, the Prime Minister launched the GHTC-India
mobile application, an interactive platform for all the stakeholders for
facilitating exchange of knowledge on innovation and alternative housing
technologies. He also launched the 3rd Edition of the Vulnerability Atlas of
India, a collation of the existing hazard scenario for the entire country.
India rejects Jammu & Kashmir resolution proposal by OIC
Rejecting a resolution by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC)
on Jammu and Kashmir that referred to “Indian terrorism” and “mass blindings”,
the External Affairs Ministry said its stand on the matter was “well known”.
The resolution on Jammu and Kashmir, another on the
“India-Pakistan Peace Process” that praised Pakistan for its “efforts”, and
a statement on “Muslim minorities” worldwide that called upon the Indian
government to rebuild the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, came as an embarrassment
for the government just a day after External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj
had addressed the gathering.
“We reaffirm that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India
and is a matter strictly internal to India,” the Ministry said in a
statement here on Saturday after the conclusion of the Council of Foreign
Ministers in Abu Dhabi. The statement appreciated the invitation to Ms.
Swaraj as a “historic gesture”.
Officials underplayed the statements and references to India,
pointing out that there were no negative references to New Delhi in the “Abu
Dhabi declaration” document, which is the main communiqué.
Sources told that the other resolutions “don’t reflect or need a
consensus” of the entire 57-nation group. “They are essentially national
positions of individual countries, and often go unopposed,” an official
Foreign Minister of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah attempted to explain
the statements from what he called a “positive angle”. “I think the OIC has
sent a very clear and positive sign to India and looks forward to
strengthening such a relationship to a point where we can embrace India one
day at the OIC,” he said.
RCEP agrees upon mega trade agreement
The 16 members of the RCEP group, including India and China, on
Saturday agreed to intensify ongoing negotiations for a proposed mega trade
agreement to resolve all issues and conclude the talks this year. The
progress of negotiations was reviewed at a meeting of all the Trade
Ministers of 16 countries in Cambodia, which concluded on Saturday.
“To ensure that progress is made towards meeting the target for
conclusion in 2019, the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement, including
by convening more inter-sessional meetings,” the Commerce Ministry said,
quoting a joint statement.
The statement added that all Ministers resolved to exert utmost
effort to achieve the target of concluding negotiations this year. The
leaders commended the Trade Negotiating Committee for the progress made to
date on both market access and text-based negotiations but also “recognised
that more work needs to be done to advance both aspects of the
negotiations,” it said.
Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership want
India to eliminate or reduce customs duties on maximum number of goods it
trades with them. But, lower level of ambitions in services and investments,
a key area of interest for India, does not augur well for the pact that
seeks to be comprehensive.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Space X launches Astronaut Capsule to ISS
SpaceX celebrated the successful launch on Saturday of a new
astronaut capsule on a week-long round trip to the International Space
Station a key step towards resuming manned space flights from U.S. soil
after an eight-year break.
This time around, the only occupant on board SpaceX’s Crew Dragon
capsule was a dummy named Ripley but NASA plans to put two astronauts aboard
in July, although that date could be delayed.
The new capsule blasted off aboard the Falcon 9 rocket built by
SpaceX run by billionaire Elon Musk at 2:49 a.m. (0749 GMT) from the Kennedy
Space Center, Florida, lighting up the coastline.
The next tricky step for the capsule will be docking at the ISS on
Sunday at around 1100 GMT, with a return to Earth scheduled for next Friday.
It is to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, and then return to
Cape Canaveral. The mission aims to test the vessel’s reliability and safety
in real-life conditions.
After the shuttle programme was shut down in July 2011 following a
30-year run, NASA began outsourcing the logistics of its space missions. It
pays Russia to get its people up to the ISS orbiting research facility at a
cost of $82 million per head for a round trip.
In 2014, NASA awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing for them to
take over this task. But the programme has suffered delays as safety
requirements are much more stringent for manned flights than for unmanned
missions to deploy satellites.
Indian Wrestlers win gold at Dan Petrov tournament
Indian wrestlers have won four medals including two golds at the
Dan Kolov-NikolPetrov tournament in Ruse, Bulgaria.
BajrangPunia won gold in the fresstyle wrestling 65kg category and
PoojaDhanda claimed gold in the 59kg category. Rio Olympic bronze
medallistSakshi Malik settled for a silver medal in the 65kg category final
after a defeat by Sweden’s Henna Johansson of Sweden.
In the men’s freestyle category, SandeepTomar won a silver after
he lost his final in the 61 kg category.