Tag Archives: Union Cabinet

Space Sector reforms and ISRO: Will it be business as usual?

Lalit Shastri

On June 23, when it was already confirmed that the Union Cabinet would be meeting on Wednesday 24 June and the restructuring of the Space Sector was an important agenda, the twitter handle of ISRO announced “Secretary, DOS/Chairman, ISRO will be addressing tomorrow (Wednesday June 24, 2020) at 11:30 am tentatively. Live streaming available on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube”.

At 11.37 am on Wednesday, 7 minute after the scheduled Live Streaming of the address (to the nation) by the Secretary DoS , there was a follow up tweet by the same ISRO handle stating “Due to unavoidable circumstances, the address of Secretary, DOS/Chairman, ISRO is postponed for today and it is rescheduled at 10:30 a.m IST on Thursday June 25, 2020

Live streaming will be available on our website and social media platforms.”

In a related development on Wednesday, the Union Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved reforms in the Space sector aimed at boosting private sector participation in the entire range of space activities to ensure accelerated growth of this sector and to enable Indian Industry to be an important player in global space economy. The reforms that have been set in motion are supposed to enhance the socio-economic use of space assets and activities, including through improved access to space assets, data and facilities.

It has been projected by the Government that the newly created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure. It will also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.

The Public Sector Enterprise ‘New Space India Limited (NSIL)’ will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a ‘supply driven’ model to a ‘demand driven’ model, thereby ensuring optimum utilization of our space assets.

Now coming to ISRO, it is pertinent to bring on record the fact sheet about an application filed on 13 May 2020 under the Right to information Act seeking the following information:

Please provide the date, month and year of the formation of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

Please also provide the copies of government of India orders for the following:

  1. Setting up Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  2. Rules and guidelines for the selection and appointment of Chairman Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  3. All the appointment orders of Chairman ISRO issued by the Government of India since the setting up of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

The RTI application is still pending even after the 30 day deadline and after ISRO had responded to the Application stating on 18 May 2020 that the Request is under process.

Question arises, when ISRO does not have even a single order of appointment of Chairman, ISRO, to share in response to a query under the RTI within the 30-day deadline, how the Secretary Department of Space can hold the post of Chairman, ISRO. The big question is whether we have a secretary DoS or a Secretary DoS/Chairman, ISRO?

There is no clarity even now and no body knows whether Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre, cleared by Union Cabinet on Wednesday will be an independent authority or it’s going to remain under the present dispensation. Obviously if that’s going to be the case, it would be business as usual and all talk of restructuring the Space Sector would be nothing but a smokescreen for the general public.

Modi Cabinet approves Rs. 25000 crore scheme for Modernisation of Police

Newsroom24x7 Network

In the Maoist affected area. Photo by Lalit Shastri

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today cleared a special umbrella scheme for “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The MPF scheme with a sanctioned outlay of Rs. 25,060 crore, will be implemented over the next three year period. The Central Government share in this scheme will be Rs.18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs.6,424 crore.

Newsroom24x7 Edit

Chintalnar in South Bastar. This was the spot where in April 2010 the Naxalite-Maoist insurgents from the Communist Party of India (Maoist) had inflicted the worst casualty on the Central Reserve Police Force. They had ambushed and killed 76 CRPF personnel near Chintalnar village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Photo by Lalit Shastri

The Centre’s share in the total outlay of the MPF scheme is Rs. 18,636 crore. Hence on an average, the Centre will be rolling out Rs. 6000 crore each year for this purpose. This money will again get divided between 29 States and 7 Union Territories. Moreover, central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States. Hence one does not need rocket science to gather how much the remaining States will get eventually for modernising the police force.

It was noticed that the States had failed to contribute their own share when a similar scheme was introduced for modernisation of the police force at the turn of the last decade of the 20th century. Even at that time, one is purview to the fact that a very small amount was being sanctioned initially by the Centre for what was then the largest State in the country. But when it was pointed out that the amount that was being sanctioned was dismal, the Centre conceded and approved about Rs. 1000 crore for the State for modernisation purpose.

Drawing a cue from the past experience, another area that that needs special attention on the part of those who would be fine tuning the scheme both at the planning and implementation stage, is that there should be a total balance when it comes to purchasing vehicles. The Centre should play a role in ensuring vacancies are also created simultaneously for drivers and the supporting staff that would be required to run these vehicles. Since most police vehicles would be meant for round-the-clock maintenance of law and order, at the minimum there should be a provision for at least three drivers per vehicle. Also there should be adequate reserve staff to fill gaps created by those on sick leave or due to other reasons. In the absence of drivers, the cops at the police station, who are supposed to be on beat duty also double up as drivers and many of them use this as an opportunity to learn the ABC of driving.

Government of India claims that the umbrella scheme – Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF) – will go a long way to boost the capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.

Salient Features of MPF

  • Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, upgradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project etc.
  • Under the umbrella scheme, central budget outlay of Rs.10,132 crore has been earmarked for internal security related expenditure for Jammu & Kashmir, North Eastern States and left wing extremism affected States.
  • Scheme of Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 35 worst LWE affected districts has been introduced with an outlay of Rs.3,000 crore to tackle the issue of underdevelopment in these district.
  • An outlay of Rs.100 crore has been earmarked in the North Eastern States for police infrastructure upgradation, training institutes, investigation facilities etc.
  • Implementation of this scheme would bolster the Government’s ability to address challenges faced in different theatres such as areas affected by LWE, Jammu and Kashmir and North East effectively and undertake development interventions which will catalyze in improving the quality of life in these areas and help combat these challenges effectively at the same time.
  • New initiatives are being introduced to provide assistance to States for upgradation of police infrastructure, forensic science laboratories, institutions and the equipment available with them to plug critical gaps in the criminal justice system. Police Stations will be integrated to set up a national data base of crime and criminals’ records. It will be linked with other pillars of criminal justice system such as ‘prisons, forensic science laboratories and prosecution offices.
  • The umbrella scheme also provides for setting up of a State-of Art forensic science laboratory in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh and upgradation of Sardar Patel Global Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Anti Insurgency in Jaipur and Gujarat Forensic Science University in Gandhi Nagar.
  • It is expected that the umbrella scheme, “Modernisation of Police Forces (MPF)” will go a long way to boost the capability and efficiency of Central and State Police Forces by modernizing them.

Cabinet reshuffle any time now; Rudy first to tender resignation

Newsroom24x7 Staff

New Delhi: Amid talks of a Cabinet rejig, expected any day now, Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigned Thursday evening.

While Rudy had submitted his resignation, political circles were abuzz with talks Uma Bharti and Faggan Singh Kulaste also expressing their desire to resign.

It was reported late on Thursday night that half a dozen ministers, including Bharti and Kulastem, had submitted their resignation to pave the way for a Cabinet reshuffle. There are several vacancies that remain to be filled. Arun Jaitley, who holds the important Finance and Defence portfolios, is likely to shed his Defence portfolio.

IIM Jammu will raise the number of IIMs in India to twenty

Newsroom24x7 Staff

jammu-tawiNew Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the establishment and operationalisation of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Jammu.

The IIM at Jammu will start in a transit/temporary campus at Old Government College of Engineering & Technology from the Academic Year 2016-17.

The project will involve a cost of Rs.61.90 crore in temporary campus for the initial four years from 2016 to 2020. The student strength intake for this year in the Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDP) in Management is 54 which will progressively go up to a cumulative student strength of 120 in the 4th year. Steps would also be taken up for setting up campus at Jammu and an out-campus in Kashmir region. The Detailed Project Report for the permanent campuses is under preparation and thereafter the process for setting up of the campuses would start.

The Cabinet also approved formation of an IIM Jammu Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. IIM Jammu will be run and managed by the Society with a Board of Governors (BOGs) to be constituted by the Government of India, which will administer the Institute and would be responsible for establishment and operationalisation of the Institute.

This is a part of Prime Minister’s development package for Jammu & Kashmir. The Institute coupled with opening of IIT at Jammu, modernization of NIT Srinagar and opening of two new AIIMS institutions, one each in Kashmir region and Jammu region, would go a long way in meeting the requirement of high quality living and education in Jammu & Kashmir.

Background:

Indian Institutes of Management are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management education and allied area of knowledge.

At present, there are nineteen IIMs. Out of these, thirteen IIMs are located at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Kozhikode, Shillong, Ranchi, Raipur, Rohtak, Kashipur, Trichy, Udaipur. Another six IIMs which have been started in 2015 are located at Amritsar, Sirmaur, Nagpur, Bodhgaya, Sambalpur and Vishakhapatnam.