Lok Sabha today passed the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019.
The Bill provides for the merger of Union territories
of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. It provides for better delivery
of services to citizens of both the UTs by improving efficiency and
reduction in paperwork and administrative expenditure.
It will also bring uniformity in policy and schemes.
Both the UTs are located in the western region of the country. Dadra and
Nagar Haveli has just one district while Daman and Diu has two.
Replying to debate on the Bill, Union Minister G
Kishen Reddy said that the combined population of the two UTs is 5 lakh 80
thousand. He said currently, administrators shuttle between the two UTs on
specific days which creates problems for administrative functioning.
The Minister said, the merger was decided to improve
delivery services to the people.
The country currently has nine UTs after the creation
of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. However, with the merger of
Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the number of UTs will come down
Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence
Minister Rajnath Singh, today approved capital procurement for the Services
amounting to over 22,800 crore rupees.
To boost the 'Make in India' initiative, the DAC
accorded approval for indigenous design, development and manufacturing of
'Thermal Imaging Night Sights' for Assault Rifles. These sights will be
manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on
As a follow up of the successful indigenous Airborne
Early Warning and Control programme, the DAC revalidated the Acceptance of
Necessity for the procurement of additional Airborne Warning and Control
System (AWACS) India aircraft.
The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft
would be indigenously designed, developed and integrated into the main
platform by Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The Council also approved the procurement of long
Medium-Range Anti-submarine Warfare P8 I aircraft for the Navy. These
aircraft would greatly strengthen the Navy's capabilities for maritime
coastal surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Vessel strike.
The DAC approved the procurement of Twin-Engine Heavy
Helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard. These aircraft would enable the
Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism,
infiltration of terrorists by sea routes as well as Search & Rescue
Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend the term
of 15th Finance Commission by 11 months to October 30, 2020. This is the
second extension. After the first one, the term was to end on November 30.
The Commission will submit its interim report on
Saturday, November 30, 2019. This will suggest formulae for tax devolution
for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Since the validity of previous formulae ends on March
31, 2020, and the Commission needs more time in the wake of the change of
stature of Jammu & Kashmir, submission of an interim report was needed.
The statement also mentioned that the Terms of
Reference for the commission are wide-ranging in nature. Comprehensively
examining their implications and aligning them to the requirements of the
States and the Central government will require additional time.
The proposed increase in coverage of the period for
which the Commission’s recommendations are applicable, will help medium-term
resource planning for the Centre and the State governments.
Making a five-year coverage available for the
Commission beyond April 1, 2021, will help the Centre and the State
governments design schemes with medium to long-term financial perspective
and provide adequate time for mid-course evaluation and correction.
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved extension of norms
for mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for the
Jute Year 2019-20.
The decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on
Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mandates that 100
per cent of the foodgrains and 20 per cent of sugar will be mandatorily
packed in diversified jute bags.
"The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags
will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry. Further,
the decision also mandates that initially 10 per cent of the indents of jute
bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on the
GeM portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.
"The approval will benefit farmers and workers located
in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in the
states of West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and
Tripura," an official statement said.
India has always maintained its independence and
autonomy in the exercise of its foreign policy and ensured that the national
interest determines the policy. External Affairs Minister S Jiashankar said
this while making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the government's efforts
to promote the country's foreign policy focusing on the high level visits of
President, Vice President and Prime Minister recently.
He said, in the first six months of NDA government's
tenure, New Delhi re-emphasized its Neighbourhood First policy and
reinforced its relationships with all major countries. Dr Jaishankar also
said, New Delhi has worked to expand its relations with the Gulf, South East
Asia and African regions.
He said, India also expressed its strong interest
fulfilling its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals and
reforming the multilateral system. The Minister said, India has to engage
large and small countries across all regions to shape the global agenda more
effectively. This is required not only to advance country’s interest but
also in view of high expectations the world has from New Delhi.
Responding to questions on Regional Comprehensive
Economic Partnership, Dr Jaishankar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a
decision not to go forward on RCEP. He asserted that the government will do
what is right for the country on trade matters as well as on all other