Saturday, November 3, 2012 - , , 0 comments

Amendment to the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996


The Union Cabinet today approved the Amendment to the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) { BOCW (RECS)} Act, 1996 and Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 and the introduction of the Building and Other Construction Workers Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 in Parliament in its ensuing session. 

This amendment will streamline the process of the registration of the construction workers. The State Welfare Boards will be able to consolidate their finances and incur expenditure on administrative and other purpose for smooth functioning of the Board. The amendments will facilitate speedy implementation of these Acts by the Central and the State Governments. 

The provisions in the Amendment are given below : 

1. Empower the Central Government to specify the maximum cost of construction by notification, in place of the present limit of Rs.10 lakh, which shall fall within the definition of establishment under the BOCW (RECS) Act. 

2. The prerequisite condition of engagement of ninety days for registration of workers under the BOCW (RECS) Act is proposed to be done away with. Moreover, in order to extend benefits to the workers, who are engaged in building and construction work after attaining the age of sixty years, the criteria of upper age limit of sixty years is proposed to be done away with. 

3. To empower the Central Government to notify such percentage of total expenditure, in place of existing 5 percent during the financial year, for meeting administrative expenses by the State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. 

4. To empower Central Government to appoint such number of Director Generals not exceeding 10 to coordinate with the Central Government in carrying out its responsibility of laying down the standard of inspection and to exercise the power of an inspector. 

5. To empower the State Governments to file complaints for contravention of provisions of the Act. 

6. To prescribe a time limit of 30 days for cess collecting authorities to deposit cess to the State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board. 

7. To constitute a Committee consisting of Secretary (Labour), Secretary (Finance), Secretary (Planning) and Secretary (Social Welfare) of the State for performing the functions of the State Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board till such time a Board is formally constituted by the State Government. 

Background : 

Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation Employment and Conditions of service) Act, 1996 (BOCW (RECS) Act and Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996 (BOCW Welfare Cess Act) were enacted with a view to regularizing the wages, working conditions, safety and for their health, welfare measures, etc. The Acts apply to every establishment which employs 10 or more workers. The major source of the fund to the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board is the collection of cess at the rate of one percent of the const of construction incurred by the employer under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996. The fund has to be utilized for the welfare of such workers. Central Government is the implementing agency in the central sphere for the purpose of enforcement of various provisions of the Act, while States are the implementing authority under State sphere. The State Governments have to frame and notify rules, constitute Advisory Committees or Expert Committees and appoint various authorities for registration of workers, cess collection, inspection and Appellate Authority. They have to constitute State Welfare Boards as well. 

The matter of slow progress of implementation of these Acts has been raised at various fora. The Tripartite Central Advisory Committee, constituted under the BOCW(RECS) Act, 1996 set up a Task Force to examine various provisions of the Act. The recommendations of the Task Force were considered by the Central Advisory Committee. The Task Force and the Central Advisory Committee recommended that certain provisions of these Acts require amendments. Accordingly the Central Government decided to carry out amendments in these Acts. 

Source : Press Information Bureau
- , , 0 comments

The Second Global Innovation Roundtable sets the agenda for global cooperation in Innovation

The National Innovation Council (NInC), chaired by Mr Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister, hosted the second Global Innovation Roundtable (GIR) on 1st and 2nd November 2012 in New Delhi, India.

At the concluding session on ‘Collaboration on Innovation’, chaired by Mr Pitroda, numerous experiences, insights and ideas shared by the participants were galvanised and distilled and the collaboration opportunities in the following areas were discussed:

·         Open Government: The Platform already developed for this could be adopted by other countries, and India could help implement.
·         Crowdsourcing Innovation Platform: The Open Source Drug Discovery Platform developed by India for tuberculosis drug discovery could be used as a template for crowd sourcing in new areas of drug discovery.
·         Innovation for Education: Existing educational content could be aggregated, filtered and indexed, under the guidance of global domain experts and made available on mobile devices like “Aakash
·         Innovation for Health: Health content could also be aggregated and made available, just like educational content. Further, India’s initiative for an Open Source Electronic health records system and tele-medicine could be adopted by other countries.

- , 0 comments

Lt Gen Naresh Chandra Marwah takes Over as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC)

Lt Gen Naresh Chandra Marwah, has taken over as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) from Vice Admiral SPS Cheema. The General Officer in his career spanning over 39 years has held various coveted Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. The General Officer has a vast operational experience, stretching to almost two decades across the entire spectrum of conflict. 
- , , 0 comments

Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee for receiving the National Innovation Council's 'Report to the People' 2012


I am delighted to receive the Second annual `Report to the People` of the National Innovation Council. The Council, with eminent personalities from diverse walks of life, was constituted to realise the vision of the Government of shaping the next decade as India`s `Decade of Innovation`. 
- , , 0 comments

President to Confer Dr Durgabai Deshmukh Awards


The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will confer Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh Awards for Women’s Development for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 at a function on November 5, 2012 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

The Durgabai Deshmukh Award for women’s development was constituted in 1997 by Central Social Welfare Board, an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, to honour the memory of its founder chairperson Dr. Durgabai Deshmukh. Dr. Deshmukh was an active participant in the independence movement. She founded the Andhra Mahila Sabha and as Chairperson of the Central Social Welfare Board, she imparted to the organisation her distinct flair for activism in the sphere of women’s welfare and development. She contributed greatly to developing the Board as a body which links the government and non-government sectors to ameliorate the status of women and children in the country. The award is presented to an organisation which has made outstanding or innovative contribution to women’s welfare and empowerment and has at least 5 years of working experience in the field. The award carries an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs, a citation and a shawl. 

Source : Press Information Bureau
- , , , , 0 comments

President’s Speech at the inauguration of All India Lokayuktas Conference 2012


I am happy to participate in the inaugural ceremony of the Eleventh All India Lokayuktas Conference which brings together Lokayuktas of different States to discuss ways and means of enhancing effectiveness of Lokayuktas. These All India Lokayukta Conferences, bring different stakeholders together so that views can be shared on the challenges and best practices. With such a wide range of experienced participants, I am sure the discussions will bring forth concrete suggestions and initiatives for strengthening Lokayuktas and making them more effective. 

Smt Panabaka Lakshmi assumes charge as new Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas


Smt P Lakshmi assumed charge as new Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas here today. Prior to her present assignment, she was Union Minister of State for Textile. 

Smt Lakshmi is a fourth term Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Andhra Pradesh. She was first elected to 11th Lok Sabha in 1996. Besides serving on various Parliamentary Committees, Smt Lakshmi was also Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare earlier. Her interests include social service, upliftment of the downtrodden and the poor; especially women and child development. 
- , , , , 0 comments

Dr Rakesh Mohan Takes Charge as Executive Director, IMF


Dr. Rakesh Mohan has assumed charge as Executive Director on the Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition to India, Dr. Mohan will also be representing three other countries in the constituency, viz. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan on the Board of the IMF. 

Dr. Mohan was earlier Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and also Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India. He has also been the Chairman of National Transport Development Policy Committee and of the High Level Committee on the Financing of Infrastructure. Prior to assuming his duties at the IMF, Dr Mohan was Professor in the Practice of International Economics and Finance at the School of Management and Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. 

The term of Dr. Rakesh Mohan at the IMF will be for a period of three years. 

Source : Press Information Bureau
- , , 0 comments

Third Bilateral Meeting of Finance Ministers of India and Republic of Korea at Seoul

The Finance Minister of India, Shri P. Chidambaram and the Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Jaewan Bahk met in Seoul, South Korea yesterday for their 3rd Bilateral Meeting. The two ministers and their delegations discussed a wide range of issues ranging from macro-economic trends and outlook, fiscal cooperation, revision of the Double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC), expanding information sharing between the taxation authorities, cooperation in modernising the customs system of each country, public procurement cooperation and measures to develop co-financing infrastructure projects. The first bilateral meeting of Finance Ministers of India and South Korea was held in Seoul in September 2006 and the second meeting in New Delhi in January 2011. 

India-Korea relations rest on deep historical ties based on a strong foundation of shared cultural heritage, commitment to democracy and desire to establish a long-term cooperative partnership. The cooperation between the two countries covers all areas of bilateral relations, namely political, economic and commercial, defence, information technology, science and technology, cultural exchange, etc. The bilateral meeting between the finance ministers is expected to further strengthen this relationship, increase mutual cooperation, and lead to increased investment opportunities in the two countries. 

Redevelopment of the Lady Hardinge Medical College is a Part of the Initiative Launched by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to Augment the Healthcare Services



Parts of the speech delivered by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, here today on the occasion of the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, for the Redevelopment of Lady Hardinge Medical College: