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bharat ias - India to pitch global services accord to WTO chief Azevedo

India to pitch global services accord to WTO chief Azevedo

India to pitch global services accord to WTO chief Azevedo Context India will make a presentation to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo and India Inc. on New Delhi’s proposal for a global pact to boost services trade Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement The proposed Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement at the WTO-level aims to ease norms including those relating to movement of foreign skilled workers/professionals across borders for short-term work Objectives of TFS Portability of social security contributions: Ensuring portability of social security contributions Ensuring non-restrictive fees: Making sure fees or charges for immigration or visas are reasonable, transparent, and non-restrictive (or impairing the supply of services) in nature Creation of a single window mechanism for foreign investment approvals Cross-border insurance coverage: Ensure cross-border insurance coverage to boost medical tourism, publication of measures impacting services trade and timely availability of relevant information in all the WTO official languages as well as free flow of data/information for cross-border supply of services FA vs TFS Government will specify that the proposed services pact is similar to the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods adopted by the WTO Members in 2014 to ease customs norms for boosting global goods trade. The proposed TFS pact is also about ‘facilitation’ – that is “making market access ‘effective’ and commercially meaningful and not about ‘new’ (or greater) market access.” Barriers to services World Bank data shows the growing share of services in the world economy, however, global trade flows in services remain subject to numerous border and behind-the-border barriers.    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 11:13 AM
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bharat ias - Government launches TAMRA Portal and Mobile App

Government launches TAMRA Portal and Mobile App

Government launches TAMRA Portal and Mobile App ·       The Ministry of Mines has launched Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation (TAMRA) Portal and Mobile Application to ensure transparent award of statutory Clearances for mining operations ·        The TAMRA platform was simultaneously launched across 12 mineral rich states as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector and to double mining contribution to GDP Features ·       The TAMRA covers block-wise, state-wise and mineral-wise information of mines to be auctioned. ·        It monitors various statutory clearances and also highlights the additional resources generated through e-auction. ·        It is an interactive platform to speed up mining activity by facilitating all the stakeholders to track the status of the statutory clearances associated with mining blocks. ·        In case of delay in obtaining any statutory clearances, TAMRA platform will send triggers to the concerned authority so that they can take remedial steps immediately. ·        The Union Ministry of Mines will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA, facilitating it in expediting clearances.   ·       Further, the status of each of the clearances will be reflected on the portal. The portal also enables successful bidder to give suggestions and inputs. It will help to establish a participative and informative network among all stakeholders.

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Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 11:07 AM
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bharat ias - Union Cabinet approves bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008

Union Cabinet approves bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008

Union Cabinet approves bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008   ·       Issue: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved introduction of Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir. ·       The Amendment will be pertained to statistics under Union (List-I) and Concurrent lists (List- III) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. Amendment: ·       It will strengthen data collection mechanism in the state of Jammu & Kashmir ·        It will extend the jurisdiction of the parent Act to J&K in respect of matters not reserved for the State as per the 1954 Order. ·       It also envisages appointment of nodal officer at Centre and in each State/UT to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to government departments to avoid unnecessary duplication. History ·       The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 was enacted by the Parliament to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, social, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects etc. ·        The Act extends to the whole of India, except J&K. ·       The J&K state legislature also had enacted the Jammu & Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which is replica of the central legislation extending to whole state. ·        However, both central and state legislations are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to the J&K under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order 1954. This has created a legislative vacuum.   ·       Besides, concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by Centre in J&K also has not been provided in the Central legislation. So the amendment is intended to address this vacuum.


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Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 11:04 AM
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bharat ias - Union Cabinet approves merger of SBI, 5 associate banks

Union Cabinet approves merger of SBI, 5 associate banks

Union Cabinet approves merger of SBI, 5 associate banks Issue: ·       The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the merger of State Bank of India (SBI) with five of its associate/subsidiary banks. About the merger: ·        These five subsidiary banks are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore. The Union Cabinet also approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956.  ·       The acquisition under Section 35 of the SBI Act, 1955 will result in the creation of a stronger merged entity. ·        It will minimize vulnerability faced by subsidiary banks to any geographic concentration risks. ·       It will improve operational efficiency and economies of scale resulting into in improved risk management and unified treasury operations. ·        Existing customers of associate banks will benefit from SBI’s global network. Advantages: ·       The merger will lead to better management of high value credit exposures through focused monitoring and control over cash flows rather than separate monitoring by six different banks.   ·       The merger will also result in recurring savings, estimated at more than Rs. 1,000 crore in first year, because of reduced cost of funds and enhanced operational efficiency. ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 11:00 AM
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bharat ias - Centre to install 150 quake sensors in Uttarakhand

Centre to install 150 quake sensors in Uttarakhand

 Centre to install 150 quake sensors in Uttarakhand Context India is looking to have more than six times the number of earthquake sensors in Uttarakhand to better understand the geology of the region and the evolution of Himalayan earthquakes What has happened? The National Centre for Seismology has got the approvalfor a project to install 100-150 seismometers in the Garhwal-Kumaon region [the key region in the Himalayas and known to be seismically active] for testing purposes and to better understand the geology of the region and the evolution of Himalayan earthquakes. Cost: Though funds were still not available, the entire project would unlikely exceed ₹10 crore Present situation Currently, there are only about 20 stations, maintained by different research agencies that track earthquake activity Garhwal-Kumaon region This region is known to be seismically active because it lies at the junction of two tectonic plates — the Himalayan and the Eurasian Plate — pushing against each other Major quakes in the region include the 1991 Uttarkashi quake of magnitude 6.8 that killed 700. It was followed by a quake of similar intensity that hit Chamoli in 1991 and killed 100. Backdrop On 6th Feb 2017, Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand registered a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. Though it didn’t cause damage, seismologists say its magnitude was “significant,” and residents in several parts of north India felt the tremors. The latest development can be seen in this context....

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:55 AM
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