Daily Archive: October 10, 2018
Wing Commander (Retd) JP Baduni is a veteran officer of the IAF. His wife, late Mrs Vidhu Baduni was a teacher in the Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute for a period of 21 Years from 1986. She expired on 06 Feb this year due to a cardiac arrest. In her memory her husband Wg Cdr (Retd) JP Baduni donated a sum of
Rs 17 Lakh to the school she had served as a devoted PRT.
“Part of the donation, Rs 10 Lakh, would be used for awarding scholarships and prizes to students of classes V to XI, achieving meritious excellence in the field of academics every year. The other part would go towards the infrastructure development of the primary wing of the school” said the principal Mrs Poonam S Rampal.
Earlier, during the sombre function at the school premises where the cheque was handed over, Wg Cdr (Retd) Baduni expressed that he would like to donate the sum of money to the institution where his beloved wife served and held very close to her heart. The money was exclusively from the savings of his late wife which she had accumulated over the years from the service rendered at the school. He also hoped that this would be a befitting homage to his late wife and would help the deserving students in their pursuance of excellence.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modihas given its ex-post facto approvalto the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Romania in the field of tourism. The MoU was signed in September, 2018 during the visit of the Vice-President of India to Romania.
The main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding are:
a) To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector
b) To exchange information and data related to tourism. To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including Hotels and Tour operators.
c) Investment in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors
d) To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism
e) To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management.
f) Foster bilateral cooperation through film tourism for promoting the two countries as attractive tourism destinations and
g) To promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.
h) Facilitate the movement of tourism between the two countries
Romania is a potential tourism markets for India (India received approximately 11844 tourists from Romania in 2017). The signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Romania will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this source market.
India and Romania have enjoyed a strong diplomatic and long economic relationship. The two parties now desiring to strengthen and further develop the established relationship have signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Tourism Government for the Romania for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for closure of the Biecco Lawrie Limited (BLL) including giving Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)/ Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) to the employees of the Company.
The idling assets of BLL will be subsequently put into productive use after meeting all the liabilities in accordance with the extant guidelines of the Government.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken various steps for revival of the Company from time to time. However, the Company could not be revived and further, there appeared no possibility of revival of the Company considering the competitive business environment as well as huge capital requirement. Continued loss has made further operations of the company not only unviable but also resulted in substantial distress to officials and staff due to uncertain future.
BLL is a Schedule ‘C’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) with 67.33% and 32.33% equity share held by Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) and Government of India respectively. The remaining 0.44% shares are held by others.
The Company, having its registered Office and Headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal operates in four business segments: Switchgear Manufacturing, Electrical Repair, Projects Division and Lube blending & filling facility.
The Company has consistently been under financial stress and has had performance-related issues. It has been making losses for the last several years. BLL’s accumulated losses had become more than the equity and the net worth had become negative. The Net worth of the Company stood ₹ (-) 78.88 crore at the end of the FY 2017-18 and accumulated loss as on 31.03.2018 was ₹ (-) 153.95 crore.
Cabinet approves merger of National Council for Vocational Training, NCVT and National Skill Development Agency, NSDA to establish National Council for Vocational Education and Training, NCVET
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the merger of the existing regulatory institutions in the skills space – National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) into the National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).
NCVET will regulate the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training, both long-term and short-term and establish minimum standards for the functioning of such entities. The primary functions of NCVET will include –
- recognition and regulation of awarding bodies, assessment bodies and skill related information providers;
- approval of qualifications developed by awarding bodies and Sector Skill Councils (SSCs);
- indirect regulation of vocational training institutes through awarding bodies and assessment agencies;
- research and information dissemination;
- grievance redressal.
The Council would be headed by a Chairperson and will have Executive and Non-Executive Members. Since NCVET is proposed to be set up through merger of two existing bodies, the existing infrastructure and resources will be utilized for the most part. In addition, a few more posts will be created for its smooth functioning. The regulator will follow the best practices of regulatory processes, which will help ensure that it performs its functions professionally and as per the applicable laws.
This institutional reform will lead to improvement in quality and market relevance of skill development programs lending credibility to vocational education and training encouraging greater private investment and employer participation in the skills space. This in turn will help achieve the twin objectives of enhancing aspirational value of vocational education and of increasing skilled manpower furthering the Prime Minister’s agenda of making India the skill capital of the world.
Being a regulator of India’s skill ecosystem, NCVET will have a positive impact on each individual who is a part of vocational education and training in the country. The idea of skill-based education will be seen in a more inspirational manner which would further encourage students to apply for skill-based educational courses. This is also expected to facilitate the ease of doing business by providing a steady supply of skilled workforce to the industry and services.
In an effort to realize India’s demographic dividend, its workforce needs to be equipped with employable skills and knowledge so that they can contribute to economic growth in a substantive manner. In the past, most of the country’s skill training needs were met through courses offered by the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and under the Modular Employable Scheme (MES), regulated by NCVT. Since this infrastructure was not enough to meet the increasing skill requirements of the country as well as the skilling needs of the growing workforce, the Government took a number of initiatives to scale up the skilling efforts. These efforts resulted in a large expansion of training infrastructure much of which is in the private sector. At present, there are 20 Ministries/ Departments implementing skill development programs mostly using private sector training providers.
However, in the absence of adequate regulatory oversight, numerous stakeholders have been offering training programs of varying standards with multiplicity in assessment and certification systems which are not comparable, with serious consequences for the vocational training system and thus the employability of the country’s youth. An attempt towards some measure of regulation was made with the establishment of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) in 2013, to coordinate and harmonize the skill development efforts of the government and the private sector. The primary role of NSDA has been to anchor and operationalize the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) to ensure that quality and standards meet sector specific requirements.
However, a need was felt for an overarching regulatory authority which could tend to all aspects of short-term and long-term skill-based training. In view of this, NCVET is envisaged as an institution which will perform the regulatory functions so far vested in NCVT and NSDA. Regulatory functions currently being carried out by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) will also be housed in the NCVET.
Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2017-18 for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees
About 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision
Payment of 78 days’ PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs. 2044.31 crore
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the payment of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2017-18 for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel). The financial implication of payment of 78 days’ PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs.2044.31 crore. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs.7000/- p.m. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs.17,951 for 78 days. About 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision.
The Productivity Linked Bonus on Railway covers all non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) who are spread over the entire country. Payment of PLB to eligible railway employees is made each year before the Dusshera/ Puja holidays. The decision of the Cabinet shall be implemented before the holidays for this year as well. For the year 2017-18 PLB equivalent to 78 days’ wages will be paid which is expected to motivate the employees for working towards improving the performance of the Railways.
Railways were the first departmental undertaking of the Government of India wherein the concept of PLB was introduced in the year 1979-80. The main consideration at that time was the important role of the Railways as an infrastructural support in the performance of the economy as a whole. In the overall context of Railway working, it was considered desirable to introduce the concept of PLB as against the concept of Bonus on the lines of ‘The Payment of Bonus Act – 1965’.
Cabinet approves closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. (NJMC) and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd. (BJEL).
Procedure for Closure:
- Disposal of fixed assets as well as current assets will be in accordance with the guidelines of DPE dated 14.06.2018 and the proceeds from the sale of assets, after meeting the liabilities, will be deposited in Consolidated Fund of India.
- In accordance with the DPE guidelines dated 14.06.2018, a Land Management Agency (LMA) will be engaged for disposal of assets. The LMA will be directed to carry out a thorough verification of the assets before undertaking their disposal in accordance with the DPE guidelines.
- Ministry of Textiles does not propose to use any land or building of BJEL for its own purposes or for any of its other CPSEs and the Land Management Agency will be informed upfront accordingly.
The decision will benefit the Government exchequer in reducing recurring expenditure incurred in operating both the sick CPSEs in running their activities. The proposal will help in closing loss making companies and ensuring release of valuable assets for productive use, or for generating financial resources for developmental progress.
The available land with both the CPSEs will be put up for public use/other government use for overall development of society.
- NJMC has been incurring losses for several years and was under reference to BIFR since 1993. The company’s primary product was hessian jute bags used for packaging of food grain used by the various State Governments. Over the years, the demand for hessian bags has eroded and to that extent, it has been found to be no longer commercially viable to run the company;
- The Mills of NJMC which were proposed for revival, namely, Kinnison Mill at Titagarh, Khardah Mill at Khardah and RBHM Mill at Katihar are under suspension since August, 2016 (the last mill to be closed was Kinnison Jute Mill on 31.8.2016), because of the failure of the Job Contractor to execute the job efficiently and problems with the local labour. The different models of outsourcing operations which were attempted have not been successful. Looking at its past performance, market conditions and the competition from plastics and the capacity of private jute mills, it was noted that NJMC would not be in a position to recoup its negative net worth through operational profits. Also, NJMC has no staff/workers on its rolls. Hence, the closure;
- BJEL, the subsidiary of NJMC, was referred to BIFR, which had considered a Revival Scheme. The Draft Revival Scheme could not be implemented because conversion of land use was not agreed to by the West Bengal Government and the representative of the State Government to the ASC was nominated after a three year delay. BJEL has no staff and as the factory is not in operation; closure does not have any adverse implications.