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Govt seeks Parliament nod to spend additional Rs 56,256 crore for defence pension, Clean India Mission

However, the net cash outgo will aggregate to only Rs 18,195.4 crore, while the rest of the amount would be matched by savings and enhanced recoveries.

Parliament

The government on Friday sought Parliament approval for an additional Rs 56,256.32 crore mainly towards defence pension and Swachh Bharat mission in the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet the expenditure.However, the net cash outgo will aggregate to only Rs 18,195.4 crore, while the rest of the amount would be matched by savings and enhanced recoveries. The second batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants 2015-16 was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Proposals involving net cash outgo aggregate to Rs 18,195.4 crore and gross additional expenditure, matched by savings of the Ministries/Departments or by enhanced receipts/recoveries aggregates to Rs 38,059.78 crore”, the supplementary demands said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The supplementary demands have also earmarked an additional Rs 5,735.4 crore for “meeting expenditure towards increased rate of relief on pensions and growth in pensions” for retired defence personnel.Government has sought an additional Rs 196.28 crore for clearing pending claims for maintenance of Prime Minister’s aircraft, pending bills on account of foreign travel expenses of Cabinet ministers and secret service expenditure of National Security Council Secretariat.The demands include Rs 2,169 crore towards Swachh Bharat Mission, Rs 3,000 crore towards Pradhan Mantari Gramin Sadak Yojna, and Rs 2,500 crore towards irrigation scheme. Jaitley also sought an additional Rs 952 crore towards loan to Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd and Rs 344 crore for financial relief to ITI Ltd. The supplementary demands have also sought additional Rs 300 crore for Polavaram Irrigation Project in terms of support under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. The second batch of the demands for grants includes proposals for “technical supplementary grants/appropriations’ for Rs 38,059.78 crore which are matched by additional receipts/recoveries or corresponding savings of Ministers/ Departments.The technical supplementary demands for grants include Rs 10,000 crore for providing ‘Ways and Means Advances’ to Food Corporation of India to meet cash flow requirements towards procurement of food grains for targeted public distribution system.The technical supplementary demands also include Rs 5,528.56 crore for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Rs 1,000 crore for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Rs 8,968.4 crore for Ministry of Rural Development.Besides, token provision of Rs 1.14 crore has also been sought, Rs 1 lakh each item of expenditure, for enabling re- appropriation of savings in cases involving new services or new instrument of services.

Arvind Kejriwal government issues fatwa on corrupt officers, seeks list of names with ‘doubtful integrity’

Officers in the list would be kept away from important, sensitive assignments, will be under the watchful eye of vigilance department. Making a separate list of officers with CBI

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has devised a unique way to crack down on corrupt officials within his government–a promise that had played a crucial role in bringing his party to power with an overwhelming majority early this year.Already crippled by a dispute with the Centre over the control of Delhi’s anti-corruption wing, the vigilance department of the AAP administration has issued a ‘fatwa’ on corrupt officials, by seeking a list of gazetted officers with ‘doubtful integrity’ for year 2015-16, from all departments.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The head of each department has been entrusted with the job of identifying such officers within their department and forwarding the list to the vigilance department. The details will have to be mentioned in a set proforma, attached with the letter.The decision has not gone down well with many senior officials of Delhi government.According to sources, the vigilance department officials will keep a close watch on those officers whose names have featured in the ‘doubtful integrity’ list, while they will be temporarily kept away from major assignments.The vigilance department had first sought the list from the departments on August 28, this year, and the departments were to submit the list by September 14.However, following a poor response from all departments, the department has sent a reminder notice asking the departments take the notice on top priority to send the list by October 10, failing which the information will be considered NIL from the department concerned. According to sources, only nine departments have sent their responses.Kejriwal has also joined hands with CBI; they are in the process of jointly preparing a separate ‘agreed list’ which will feature names of officials against whom sufficient evidences have come forth. Such officers would be facing a huge setback in their careers as they would be compulsorily not given any important, sensitive assignments, as against the ‘doubtful integrity’ list who will be under the vigilance department’s watchful eye.The move has sent shock waves in a section of the bureaucracy. A senior official working with the Delhi government said that heads of departments may use this opportunity to settle scores by naming officers in the list, against whom they have personal grudges. “Careers of such officers may be doomed because of no fault of theirs,” the official said.Another senior official said on the other hand, HODs will hesitate naming any officer in the list, for if the names leak, the officer concerned will hold a personal grudge against the HOD for damaging his/her career.However, highly-placed sources said even if a department sends a NIL list to the vigilance department, officials would keep still a watchful eye on certain officers based on their intelligence gathering mechanism. Sources say ever since the Kejriwal government has taken over Delhi, corruption instances has become fewer, albeit more lucrative.”Since risks have gone up manifold now and more hands are exchanging the money, the amount has also gone way up,” a source said.”Certain departments, mostly those associated directly with revenue, such as VAT, excise, property registration among others, have also been engaging touts in corruption which has been increasingly making it difficult to nab corrupt officials,” said an official. Reminder noticeThe vigilance department had first sought the list from the departments on August 28, this year, and the departments were to submit the list by September 14. However, following a poor response from all departments, the department has sent a reminder notice asking the departments take the notice on top priority to send the list by October 10, failing which the information will be considered NIL from the department concerned. According to sources, only nine departments have sent their responses.

Delhi CM Kejriwal asks departments to submit Citizens Charter by Friday

Kejriwal said no rollback will be allowed once the departments submit their finalised lists of Citizens Charter and penalties will be imposed on concerned officials in case of failure to deliver on promises made.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi Chief Minister on Monday asked all the government departments to submit their updated guidelines for effective implementation of citizens charter by Friday evening.Addressing a meeting of the heads of departments in New Delhi, he said that the Citizens Charter is an important and essential component to ensure time bound delivery of government services for the public. It has been informed that majority of the departments have already uploaded their commitments for Citizens Charter on the concerned website, and the remaining few are also in the process of doing so.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister told the HoDs that the government will provide the technical know how and manpower to them for ensuring effective implementation of the Citizens Charter. He said once the departments have submitted their lists for implementation of the Citizens Charter, these will have to be treated as “sacrosanct”.Kejriwal said no rollback will be allowed once the departments submit their finalised lists of Citizens Charter and penalties will be imposed on concerned officials in case of failure to deliver on promises made.Departments have been advised to only make promises which they can deliver in a time-bound manner so that the public is not misled. He also said that the departments, based on their experience of the implementation of the Citizens Charter, can add new points in it next year, but it will be mandatory to implement whatever will be mentioned in this charter.

Mumbai: Residents demand mangrove park at Versova creek

School students plant mangrove saplings at Versova creek on Tuesday.

Residents of Versova along with the Maharashtra Forest Departments Mangrove Cell not only planted mangrove saplings on Tuesday noon along the Versova creek but also demanded a mangrove park be created for residents to create awareness about mangroves in the area and also ensure future protection.These residents under Save Andheri ​Versova Environment (SAVE) Forum filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in 2002 and got a stretch of mangroves in survey number 161 parallel to Juhu-Versova Link Road declared as a protected forest. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajesh Vora, secretary of SAVE Forum, said, “A lot of work still remains to be done despite the order that the land is yet to be transferred, but at least chain link fences have been put up and we thought we need to again start generating interest amongst locals and speak to mangrove cells and they are keen for a plantation drive. “In fact, Vora added that around 80 school students were involved with local residents, who planted trees on the sandy beach area of Versova creek that has a good mangrove cover.Sharvari Kher, a local resident, as well as member of SAVE added that we have demanded that this mangrove be made accessible to local people and be converted into a mangrove park, which is our final goal. “We managed to save these mangroves after a hard fought battle but how would locals know what is the use of these mangroves to Versova. It will only be when they can walk around it and see for themselves and also informative boards can be placed all around so that information can be gained,” said Kher, adding that they have already discussed the plan with head of Mangrove cell N Vasudevan, who was present during the sapling plantation and he has shown his agreement.Locals planted more than 100 saplings of mangroves on Tuesday, but officials from Mangrove cell said that they have brought around 1,000 saplings that would be planted in the existing dense mangroves existing in the area.”We planted three species of mangroves and during my walk in the mangroves, congratulated the locals as they showed what a community can do if they decide to join hands and its a big achievement saving this huge tract of dense mangrove vegetation,” said Vasudevan.He added that he would be speaking to BMC officials to work on a way to remove mounds of plastic that has entered during high tide with sea water and now stuck in mangroves. “Locals have demanded that this place be developed as a mangrove park and have assured them that he would look into this issue and see if we can install boardwalks—which are raised platforms made of wood in between the mangroves so that more people can visit it and understand the significance of mangroves in Mumbai,” he said.Vasudevan also addressed school students discussing various types of mangroves as well as various life forms including fishes and crabs it supports. The locals along with SAVE forum are planning a series of clean up as well as awareness drive on mangroves.

Mumbai: Mangrove park created at Versova creek

School students plant mangrove saplings at Versova creek on Tuesday.

Residents of Versova along with the Maharashtra Forest Departments Mangrove Cell not only planted mangrove saplings on Tuesday noon along the Versova creek but also demanded a mangrove park be created for residents to create awareness about mangroves in the area and also ensure future protection.These residents under Save Versova Andheri Environment (SAVE) Forum filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in 2002 and got a stretch of mangroves in survey number 161 parallel to Juhu-Versova Link Road declared as a protected forest. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajesh Vora, secretary of SAVE Forum, said, “A lot of work still remains to be done despite the order that the land is yet to be transferred, but at least chain link fences have been put up and we thought we need to again start generating interest amongst locals and speak to mangrove cells and they are keen for a plantation drive. “In fact, Vora added that around 80 school students were involved with local residents, who planted trees on the sandy beach area of Versova creek that has a good mangrove cover.Sharvari Kher, a local resident, as well as member of SAVE added that we have demanded that this mangrove be made accessible to local people and be converted into a mangrove park, which is our final goal. “We managed to save these mangroves after a hard fought battle but how would locals know what is the use of these mangroves to Versova. It will only be when they can walk around it and see for themselves and also informative boards can be placed all around so that information can be gained,” said Kher, adding that they have already discussed the plan with head of Mangrove cell N Vasudevan, who was present during the sapling plantation and he has shown his agreement.Locals planted more than 100 saplings of mangroves on Tuesday, but officials from Mangrove cell said that they have brought around 1,000 saplings that would be planted in the existing dense mangroves existing in the area.”We planted three species of mangroves and during my walk in the mangroves, congratulated the locals as they showed what a community can do if they decide to join hands and its a big achievement saving this huge tract of dense mangrove vegetation,” said Vasudevan.He added that he would be speaking to BMC officials to work on a way to remove mounds of plastic that has entered during high tide with sea water and now stuck in mangroves. “Locals have demanded that this place be developed as a mangrove park and have assured them that he would look into this issue and see if we can install boardwalks—which are raised platforms made of wood in between the mangroves so that more people can visit it and understand the significance of mangroves in Mumbai,” he said.Vasudevan also addressed school students discussing various types of mangroves as well as various life forms including fishes and crabs it supports. The locals along with SAVE forum are planning a series of clean up as well as awareness drive on mangroves.

IIT Kharagpur to make learning more inclusive

IIT Kharagpur students will now get shadow teachers to help them even outside of their classrooms.

Besides the regular faculty, IIT Kharagpur students will now get shadow teachers outside their classrooms to make the learning more inclusive. The engineering institute has now decided to prepare a group of best students from each class to teach other students.”From this academic session we will start a group of 10-12 students who are senior and very good in studies. They would also be given a stipend to act as shadow teachers. This would be a parallel system of learning outside the class,” IIT Kgp director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new system will ensure that no student is left out of the learning process. “We will also be able to track the problems which these students are facing when it comes to learning,” the director said.As a trial, the concept of shadow teaching has been tested in the computer science department for the last three years. They were known as ‘student self help groups’.”And now we will start it in other departments from this year for the first year students,” Chakrabarti said.Another aspect of peer to peer learning would be through Moodle, an open-source education software for online learning. “We have assigned a room for this where students can put queries and other students or teachers can answer it. Everything would be available online,” the director said.

Goa’s financial health is stable, says Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar
File Photo

Clearing the air, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday said here that the state’s financial health is sound and austerity measures were suggested to curb unwanted spending by the departments. “Financial situation of the state is stable. We didn’t even go for borrowings in last two months. The austerity measures are suggested to ensure that there is no unwanted spending by the departments,” Parsekar told reporters on Saturday. State Finance department had issued directions to various departments this week asking to curtail expenditures. Departments have been asked to cut short their non-plan expenditure by 20 % by the end of current fiscal. According to the order issued by Secretary Finance P Krishnamurthy, foreign tours have been banned till June 2015. It also covers tourism junkets that drew flak from all corners off late. However, those tours which have already been approved, have been kept out of the order’s ambit. Parsekar said the circular has been issued to ensure that departments do not go for exorbitant and unwanted expenditure merely to exhaust the allocated budget. “Just to exhaust the budget, departments start buying computers and other items and spend the money,” he said. He said the revenue collection is much better this time compared to the last year. “We have collected Rs 212 crore in December against Rs 190 crore last year in the same month,” Parsekar said. Meanwhile, the chief minister hinted that the state government might increase electricity tariff for industrial consumers from ensuing financial year but no hike would be done for domestic consumers. Also Read: Difficult to get special status for Goa, says Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar

Railways create separate wing for environment management to conserve water and energy

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Going ahead with the mission to conserve water and energy, the railways have constituted a separate directorate to make the national transporter environment-friendly.Environment Management Directorate, the new wing of the Railways, will be responsible for ensuring effective utilisation of water resources, said a senior Railway Ministry official. The new directorate will also be conducting water and energy audits and deal with all matters related to environment management, he said.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is keen to promote environment-friendly activities like maximum use of green fuel such as solar and wind energy in the public transporter. The Environment Directorate will be headed by an Advisor- rank official in the railways. There will be six Executive Directors (ED) from Mechanical, Electrical, Traffic Commercial, Land and Amenities, Finance and General Departments in the new directorate.However, the official said all these six EDs will discharge duties connected with THE Environment Management Directorate in addition to their normal assigned responsibilities. The Ministry also plans to promote plantation of fruit- bearing trees on railway land and prepare a strategy for water conservation in a big way.Currently, the railways have about two dozens directorates and the number has gone up by one more with this new addition. Prabhu has undertaken many new initiatives to mark a change in the ailing national transporter, including giving zonal railways power to decide on tendering.