The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): February 2015


The Gist of Press Information Bureau: February 2015


Infrastructure Facilities in Naxal Affected Areas

The Central Government has adopted an integrated approach to deal with the menace of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in the areas of security, development, enforcing rights and entitlements of local communities, ensuring good governance and public perception management. The State Governments specifically deal with various issues related to LWE activities in the States. The Central Government closely monitors the situation and supplements the efforts of the State Governments over a wide range of schemes on both the security and development fronts. On the development front, in addition to various development programmes/ flagship schemes being implemented throughout the country, the Planning Commission is implementing a scheme titled ‘Additional Central Assistance (ACA) for LWE affected districts’ for development of affected areas. The ACA, which focuses on the projects of public infrastructure and the services, covers 88 districts of the 10 LWE affected States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Similarly, the scheme titled Road Requirement Plan (RRP-I), being implemented and monitored by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways envisages development of 5477 km of road length at an estimated cost of Rs. 7300 crore in 34 LWE affected districts of the 8 States of Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

As a part of its security related intervention, the Central Government provides Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Battalions to assist the State Police Forces in anti-LWE operations. At present, 101 Battalions of CAPFs have been deployed in the LWE affected States to assist the State Police Forces.

Sports Facilities in Schools/Colleges

UGC has provided grant to the tune of Rs.312.20 crores to colleges for the development of new or existing outdoor/indoor infrastructure for ensuring greater participation of students in sports activities under the Scheme Development of Sports Infrastructure and Equipment in Universities and Colleges during the XII Plan.

In addition, UGC has been sending, from time to time, directions to universities to fill up the vacancies of teachers including sports teachers. The Government is also making efforts to encourage sports in schools and colleges as per the following details:

(i) In compliance of the provisions of the RTE Act, 2009, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) norms have been revised which provide for Physical Training Instructor (part time) at upper primary level.
(ii) Under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), financial assistance has been given to states for purchase of sports in secondary schools.
(iii) In order to promote sports in higher educational institutions, UGC has implemented a number of schemes during XII Plan i.e. (1) Free Education for Sports Medal Winner/Participants of National/ International Events;

(2) Development of Sports Infrastructure and Equipment in Universities and Colleges; and (3) Establishment of Centre of Excellence for Development of Sports in Universities.

Implementation of scheme for development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the scheme for setting up 25 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in various parts of the country where large chunks of land can be spared for this purpose. These parks will be able to accommodate over 20,000 MW of solar power projects. The Solar Parks/ Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set up during five years that is from 2014-15 to 2018-19 and will require Central Government financial support of Rs.4050 crore. Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly States where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered.

The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments and their agencies. The choice of implementing agency for developing and maintaining the park is left to the State Government. The States, applying under the scheme, will have to designate an agency for the development of the solar park. The State Government will first nominate the implementing agency for the solar park and also identify the land for the proposed solar park. It will then send a proposal to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for approval along with (or later) the name of the implementing agency. The implementing agency may be sanctioned a grant of upto Rs.25 Lakh for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park, conducting surveys, etc. The DPR must be prepared in 60 days.

Thereafter, application may be made by the implementing agency to SECI for the grant of up to Rs. 20 lakhs/MW or 30 percent of the project cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower. The approved grant will be released by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as per milestones prescribed in the scheme. All the States and Union Territories are eligible for benefitting under the scheme. Solar parks will enable development of solar power in remote areas where land is inexpensive. As the transmission system will be developed for the entire park, developers will not have to set up their own transmission lines. This will not only save money but will also avoid damaging the landscape of the area as only limited transmission lines would be laid. Developers would be able to set up projects very fast as they will not have to get statutory and other clearances. India will emerge as a major solar power producing country as nowhere in the world are solar parks being developed on such a large scale.

Background:

The Finance Minister, while presenting Budget for the year 2014-15, had amongst other things announced that the new and renewable energy deserves a very high priority and proposed to take up Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Laddakh in Jammu & Kashmir for which he had set aside a sum of Rs. 500 crore in the Budget. The scheme for development of Solar parks and Ultra Mega Soiar Power Projects has been conceived on the lines of the “Charanka Solar Park” in Gujarat which is a first-of-its-kind large scale Solar Park in India with contiguous developed land and transmission connectivity.

India’s Role in IMF and WB

India has sought a greater role in International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB). The voice and quota reforms in IMF WB are an ongoing process. India’s quota share in IMF increased from 1.91 percent to 2.44 percent in 2011. The 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms (also referred to as the 14th General Review of Quotas) will increase India’s quota share from the current 2.44 percent to 2.75 percent, making India the eighth largest quota holding country at the IMF from the current position of being eleventh largest. Government of India has conveyed its consent to the reforms and proposed quota increase. For the reforms to enter into force:

(i) Member countries having no less than 70 percent of the total of quotas have to consent in writing to the increase in quotas; and
(ii) Reform of the Executive Board has to be accepted by three-fifth of the Fund’s 188 members (or 113 members) having 85 percent of the Fund’s total voting power.

159 members, representing 78.88 percent of the IMF Quotas have consented to the proposed Quota increases and 145 members representing 76.97 percent of quota have accepted the proposed amendment to the reform of the Executive Board of the IMF.

Since the Monterrey consensus in 2002, voice reforms of the World Bank (in IBRD, i.e. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) have taken place in two phases, the first phase in 2008 and the second phase in 2010. With the complete implementation of reforms, India will become the seventh largest shareholder in IBRD with voting power of 2.91 percent from 2.77 percent.

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