India successfully test fires 3,000 km range n-missile.

India successfully test fires 3,000 km range n-missile.

India successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile, with a range of over 3,000 km, from a base in Odisha on April 16,2015, an official said.

The surface-to-surface missile was fired from a launch complex at the Inner Wheeler Island off the coast of Dhamra in Bhadrak district, about 200 km from here.

“It was a user trial. The test was successful,” test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad told IANS.

Agni-III is capable of carrying warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 16 metres in length and weighs 48 tonnes. The missile has a two-stage solid propellant system. It can re-enter the atmosphere at a very high velocity.

Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from anywhere in India.

Integrated Emergency Communication & Response System

TRAI recommended establishment of Integrated Emergency Communication & Response System.

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 7 April 2015 recommended the establishment of Integrated Emergency Communication and Response System (IECRS) in the country.

This system can be accessed through a single emergency number 112 from a landline or mobile phone/device for all emergency phone-calls across the country.

The recommendation with respect to setting up of IECRS was made in exercise of its power conferred under section 11 (1)(a)(ii) and (vii) of the TRAI Act, 1997 which empowers TRAI to make recommendations, either suo motu or on a request from the licensor.

Main recommendations of TRAI on setting up of IECRS

• Adoption of number 112 as the single emergency number for India which may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the Government

• The existing emergency numbers 100,101,102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers. The calls made to the secondary numbers should be re-routed to the new single emergency number for termination of calls on the IECRS. The DoT may amend the National Numbering Plan-2003 accordingly.

• Access to IECRS should be permitted from the SIMs of those mobile phones/devices and from landline/mobile telephones where the outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended; however, such access to emergency facility should not be allowed from mobile handsets/devices which do not have a SIM.

• SMS based access to IECRS should be provided and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) may be asked to provide location information in the case of SMS based access to IECRS also.

• PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) operators should be able to handle calls in Hindi, English and the local language.

• Four regional databases, one each in metro city, containing subscriber details of TSPs should be set up in the country. These regional databases will be interconnected.

• Access to the regional databases will be provided free of charge, so that all the TSPs and PSAPs connect their respective systems to these databases.

• The number of PSAPs in a State/UT should be decided by the respective State Governments/UTs; however there should be at least one PSAP in a State/UT

• There should be one independent PSAP for every city with a population of more than two million as per Census-2011.

• Wherever there is more than one PSAP in a State/UT, they should act as primary and secondary PSAPs to each other so that overflow traffic of one PSAP can be handled by another in the State/UT.

• There should be a multi-sectoral agency which can coordinate and help in setting up of IECRS in the country.

• The multi-sectoral agency will have representations from Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development and other concerned Centre and State agencies.

Union Ministry of Home Affairs proposed initiatives for women security under Nirbhaya Fund

Union Ministry of Home Affairs proposed initiatives for women security under Nirbhaya Fund.

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The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the fourth week of March 2015 proposed three policy initiatives to enhance security of women in the country under the Nirbhaya Fund.

The initiatives are: Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF), Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW) and an initiative to prevent and monitor obscene online content.

Central Victim Compensation Fund (CVCF)

• The fund will be set up with 200 crore rupees to provide for medical expenses for acid attack victims.

• For the treatment of a victim 5 lakh rupees will be provided to hospitals, both Government-run and private under the fund.

• The hospital must fully treat the victim before the compensation is released.

• The central aid will be over and above the compensation extended to such victims by the respective state governments.

• In India, around 300 acid attack cases are registered every year and the compensation under the fund is meant to enhance survival rate among victims.

Investigative Units on Crime Against Women (IUCAW)

• These are specialised district-level units to investigate crimes against women with an estimated cost of 350 crore rupees across the country.

• Each IUCAW will comprise a staff of 15 persons each, of which one-third will be women.

• The units will be established in partnership with states on 50:50 cost-sharing basis.

• The programme will be rolled out on a pilot basis in 20% of districts.

While the above two proposals were sent by the ministry to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) for approval, the third proposal regarding allocation of 300 crore rupess for prevention, tracking and action against obscene online content is still pending with the ministry.

These initiatives are intended to utilise unspent money allocated for the Nirbhaya Fund. Out of 1000 crore rupees allocated to the fund in 2013 only 200 crore rupees were spent. In the 2015-16 Union Budget 1000 crore rupees were allotted to the fund.

About Nirbhaya Fund

The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the Union Government in 2013 with 1000 crore rupees corpus for empowerment, safety and security of women and girl children. The Fund is administered by the DEA under the Union Ministry of Finance. Union departments and ministries are eligible to forward proposals intended for women safety to the DEA to avail funds under the scheme.

Prime Minister launched MUDRA Bank

Prime Minister launched MUDRA Bank under PM Jan Dhan Yojana to fund small entrepreneurs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 April 2015 launched the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) Bank to fund the small entrepreneurs.

The Bank was launched under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The bank will provide credit of up to 10 lakh rupees to small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for Micro-Finance Institutions (MFIs).

It was set up through a statutory enactment. It would be responsible for developing and refinancing all Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) which are in the business of lending to micro / small business entities engaged in manufacturing, trading and service activities.

The concept of MUDRA Bank goes beyond credit only approach and offers a credit plus solution for these enterprises spread across the country.

The role of MUDRA Bank

  • Lay down policy guidelines for micro enterprise financing business
  • Registration of MFI entities
  • Accreditation/rating of MFI entities
  • Lay down responsible financing practices to ward off over indebtedness and ensure proper client protection principles and methods of recovery
  • Development of standardised set of covenants governing last mile lending to micro enterprises
  • Promoting right technology solutions for the last mile
  • Formulating and running  a Credit Guarantee Scheme for providing guarantees to the loans/portfolios which are being extended to micro enterprises
  • Support development & promotional activities in the sector
  • Creating a good architecture of Last Mile Credit Delivery to micro  businesses under the scheme
  • It would partner with State/Regional level coordinators to provide finance to Last Mile Financiers of small/micro business enterprises.

 

Products offered by MUDRA Bank

The bank will initially offer products like Shishu, Kishor and Tarun to differentiate the stage of growth and funding needs of the beneficiary entrepreneur.

    Shishu will cover loans up to 50000 rupees

    Kishor will cover loans above 50000 rupees and up to 5 lakh rupees

    Tarun will cover loans above 5 lakh rupees and up to 10 lakh rupees

 Background

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed the creation of a Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank, with a corpus of 20000 crore rupees and credit guarantee corpus of 3000 crore rupees during the presentation of Union Budget 2015-16 on 28 February 2015.

Highlights of new foreign trade policy

Highlights of new foreign trade policy.

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With the aims of raising the country’s exports to $900 billion by 2019-20, the government announced a slew of measures under its new five-year foreign trade policy.

Declaring that she wants to “make India a significant factor in world trade by 2020, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the foreign trade policy 2015-20.

The new policy, which is in line with the government’s other initiatives like Make in India and Digital India’ lays down a blueprint for the Indian Inc. to enhance exports by leveraging simplified schemes and policy measures like subvention and tax breaks.

The new policy also focuses on simplifying old schemes and procedures under one streamlined policy structure.

The government has subsumed two schemes – “Merchandise Exports from India Scheme(MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS). This is expected to provide the country’s services sector with incentives such as duty credit that can be used to pay customs duty, while importing other goods and services.

Other salient features of the foreign trade policy 2015-20 include boosting processed and packaged agricultural and food items with better branding and quality control assurances. Importers will also gain from tax breaks and financial support.

Under the scheme, agricultural and village industry products would be supported across the globe.

Especially emphasiese is laid on promoting defence, pharma and environment-friendly products. These exporters of these products will be given specific tax breaks for manufacturing and trading purposes.

 

Tax breaks such as reduction of export obligation under EPCG (export promotion capital goods) scheme will be a major draw for exporters. The obligation will be reduced by 25 percent.

Special support is laid in the new policy to incentivies manufacturing units located in special economic zones (SEZs).

The policy also underlines the mainstreaming of state governments and union ministries roles in formulating trade policy for better coordination.

Market diversification has been simplified with division of world market into three geo-economic segments.

Especial focus is being laid on branding campaigns and activities to promote exports and goods manufactured in India.

Entrepreneurial training programmes for enhancing trade will be coordinated under the skills India initiative.

All these policy measures said Sitharaman is focused at raising exports to $900 billion by 2019-20 from $465.9 billion in the 2013-14.

1,000 job-seekers fall prey to frauds posing as Tatas

1,000 job-seekers fall prey to frauds posing as Tatas.

NEW DELHI: Hundreds of students looking for jobs were delighted when they got a call from the human resource team of 'Tata Group'. Telephonic interviews were conducted and aspirants asked to email CVs. Some even went through rounds of interviews, got selected and began to wait for offer letters.

All were asked to deposit an application fee and a processing fee in the range of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 in various accounts. However, the 'Tatas' never got back.

Anxious, students and parents began calling up various Tata offices only to learn that they never conducted such massive placement drives. Some parents even landed up at one of the offices asking for a refund. Bombarded with complaints, top company bosses were left shocked.

The company representatives met Delhi Police commissioner B S Bassi and sought a probe into the large-scale fraud. A case was registered and joint commissioner Satish Golcha's team initiated investigations. Initial investigations suggested the scamsters cheated around 1,000 of over Rs 5 crore.

Police have contacted the bank and sought details of the account in which the money was being transferred. The bank says they have frozen that account. Suspicious deposits and withdrawals of Rs 4 crore were reported from this particular account which is just one of a dozen the crooks were using.

Police say suspects used the Tata logo and procured contact details of freshers and job seekers from various job portals. The role of placement agencies is being probed. Police are contacting parents individually to find what number they got the calls from and email IDs used to contact them.

A complainant named Preeti was asked to deposit Rs 8,900 to a bank account which belonged to one Sanjay Sharma. Another victim Aadil deposited Rs 48,900 in an account which belongs to one Rahul Kumar.

Akshay Arvind deposited Rs 8,900 in an account at Bank of India made in the name of R P Varma. The cyber cell is tracking down details of transactions done from these accounts and are trying to obtain CCTV footage from the bank's archives.

They are also tracking locations of numbers and call details to ascertain the identity of people they were in touch with apart from the victims. The numbers used in the crime are also on the fake documents, sources said. The IP addresses of computers used to send mails to the victims are being traced. However, police say they were using proxy servers to mislead investigators. The Tata Group says it does not ask for monetary compensation for any job and have asked people not to fall into such traps.