Government makes Neem coating of Urea mandatory-25.5.2015. 100 % of Neem Coating of Indigenous Urea and Imported Urea achieved w.e.f. 1st September, 2015 and 1st December, 2015 respectively Improvement in soil health.
Reduction in costs with respect to plant protection chemicals. Reduction in pest and disease attack. Diversion of highly subsidized urea towards non-agricultural purposes reduced to negligible.
Assured availability of Urea. Increased Nitrogen Use Efficiency )NUE( by 5 to 10% During the last three years i.e. 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, the consumption (Kg/hectare) showing a declining trend - 152.53, 149.61 and 136.44 (estimated) respectively.
This may be due to neem coating of Urea which increases efficacy due to slow release of Nitrogen. Increase of crop yield is as under (as per Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) Study:
· An increase in yield of paddy to an extent of 5.79 per cent · An increase in yield of sugarcane to extent of 17.5 per cent · An increase in yield of maize to the extent of 7.14 per cent · An increase in yield of Soya bean to the extent of 7.4 per cent · An increase in yield Tur/ Red Gram to the extent of 16.88 per cent.
Highest ever production of 244.75 LMT of indigenous Urea during 2015-16, almost maintained in 2016-17.
Highest ever additional production of 20 LMT of Urea during 2015-16 without adding additional urea production capacity and at no extra cost. Special Banking Arrangement of Rs. 10,000 crores approved in Budget 2017-18 to clear fertilizer subsidy dues during 2016-17
Introduction of 45 Kg. Urea Bags replacing the existing 50 Kg. Bags Vide Notification dated 4.9.2017, it has been decided by the Govt., to introduce 45 Kg Bag of urea replacing the existing 50 Kg bag.
Effective from 1st June, 2015 to 31st March, 2019. Production of urea during the year 2016-17 was 242.01 LMT, significantly higher than the production of urea during 2012-13 (225.75LMT) and 2013-14(227.15 LMT)
Production of extra 20 Lakh/MT Urea per year Promoting energy efficiency in Urea production, maximizing indigenous Urea production and rationalizing the subsidy.
Helping domestic urea sector to become globally competitive Availability of abundant Urea; no queues – last three years, availability greater than requirement Import substitution and saving of foreign exchange reserves
· The Department had encouraged the Fertilizer companies to reduce the rates of P&K fertilizers which resulted in reduction in the MRP of DAP, MOP and Complex fertilizers by Rs. 125/, Rs.250/- and Rs. 50/- respectively per 50 kg bag from June 2016.
· The prices of DAP again reduced by Rs. 65/- per 50 kg during December, 2016.
· Based on NIP – 2012 (amendment on 7th October 2014), any interested company can establish urea plants in the country.
Matix Fertilisers & Chemicals Limited (Matix) has set up a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) based Greenfield Ammonia-Urea complex at Panagarh, West Bengal with the installed capacity of 1.3 MMT per annum. The commercial production of Matix has started on 1st October, 2017.
· Chambal Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (CFCL) has also proposed to set up a brownfield project with capacity of 1.34 MMT at Gadepan, Rajasthan, which is likely to start commercial production in January, 2019.
Rs. 50,000 crores to be invested to revive Defunct Fertilizer Units in Gorakhpur, Sindri, Talcher, Ramagundam and Barauni (New Urea units of 12.7 lakh MT at each location) and build the supporting PM ‘URJA GANGA’ (Jagdishpur - Haldia & Bokaro - Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline) and the 50 LMT Dhamra LNG terminal to ensure gas supply to the revived plants.
In addition, Government has also decided to set up a new urea plant at the location of the existing urea unit of M/s Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited at Namrup with a capacity of 8.4 LMT per annum. In view of these developments, the present production of about 25 million MT is expected to increase to 28 million MT in the year 2019-20 and to about 34 million MT in the year 2021-22.
RAMAGUNDAM PROJECT is likely to be commissioned by 31.12.2018. SINDRI & GORAKHPUR UNITS OF FCIL AND BARAUNI UNIT OF HFCL likely tobe operational by October 2020 . TALCHER PROJECT likely to start production by 2021. Model Fertilizer Retails Shops across the country
· 2000 Model Fertilizer Retail Shops to be opened in next 3 years from 2016-19 for abundant availability of Urea · 2044 model fertilizer retail shops made operational till 19th March 2018
Notified by the Department of Fertilizers on 10.2.2016, in which Marketing Development Assistance )MDA( of Rs.1500/MT provided for scaling up production and consumption of city compost.
· During the year 2017-18 (upto Jan., 2018), 1,01,718.37 MT of City Compost has been co-marketed by fertilizer marketing companies.
· All States/UTs have been brought under the framework of DBT in Fertilizers from 1st March 2018. Implementation of the DBT Scheme requires deployment of PoS devices at every retailer shop, training of retailers & wholesalers for operating PoS device.
· Across the country, Lead Fertilizer Supplier (LFS) has conducted 4630 training sessions, as a part of ongoing PoS deployment and as a precursor to nation-wide rollout of DBT. Approximately 1.8 lakh retailers were sensitized during the introductory training sessions conducted by LFS and 89% of PoS devices have been deployed across the country.
Savings in subsidy as per the following information received from the pilot district of Krishna, Andhra Pradesh: · Despite increase of 15,576 Ha (Net Sown Area) in 2016-17 as compared to 2015-16, Consumption of fertilizers was reduced by 25,931 MTs resulting in saving of subsidy of Rs.44.83 Crores)
· Reduction in Per Capita consumption of Fertilizers (Farmer can save Rs.1750 on fertilizers/acre i.e, 41% of farmer investment saved due to balanced use of fertilizer)
· Retailers and farmers in all districts reported “nil shortage” of urea in last 2 years owing to neem coating. · Overcharging reduced post introduction of Point of Sale (PoS) machines · Increased tracking and reduced diversion of Subsidized Fertilizers
Through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi’ Kendras, 800 different medicines are being made available to the poor people at affordable rates.
Till 23.03.18, 3279 PMBJP Kendras are functional. The scheme’s product basket has been expanded to cover over 700 medicines and 154 surgicals & consumables covering all therapeutic categories such as Anti-infectives, Anti-diabetics, Cardiovasculars, Anti-cancers, Gastro-intestinal medicines, etc.
Per day average sale of per Kendra is Rs. 3300/- which is equivalent to Rs. 15,000/- sales of branded products. Total Sales till 31st January, 2018 - Rs. 82.84 Crore
BPPI is opening 4-5 Kendra’s per day across the country. PMBJP Kendra now present in 33 States/UTs of the country. Out of the total 718 district in the country, we have now covered 584 districts by opening of PMBJP Kendra. SAVINGS · 36 Products - 90-99% savings · 130 Products - 80-90% savings · 73 Products - 70-80% savings · 80 Products - 60-70% savings · 383 Products - 50-60% savings
‘Affordable & Quality HealthCare for All’ - Availability of Cheaper Medicines · 1084 essential medicines, including lifesaving drugs, brought under Price Control regime after May 2014, giving the consumer total benefit Rs. 9144 crores (As on 21st February, 2018).
· Capping of Prices of Cardiac Stents and Knee implants: Total estimated saving of Rs. 5,950 crores to general public: The capping of prices of Coronary Stents resulted into estimated savings of Rs. 4450 crores and that of Knee Implants into estimated savings of Rs. 1500 crores.
Cardiac Stents to cost 85% lesser · The ceiling price of the Coronary Stents, was revised with effect from 12th February, 2018. All types of cardiac stents are now available in the price range of Rs. 7,660 to Rs. 27, 890.
Bare Metal Stents (BMS), having 10% market share, capped at Rs. 7,660; earlier average price Rs. 45,000 Drug Eluting stents (DES), having 90% market share, capped at Rs. 27,890; earlier average price Rs. 1,21,000
Millions of Heart patients in the country to save up to Rs. 1 lakh; Total estimated Savings to Consumers around Rs. 4450 crores
Knee Implants to cost 69% lesser (16th August 2017) · Knee Implant ceiling prices are fixed with effect from 16th August, 2017. Various types of knee implants are now available in the price range of Rs. 54,720 to 1,13,950.
· Cobalt Chromium (most widely used), capped at Rs. 54,720; earlier average price Rs. 1,58,324 · Special Metal like Titanium & Oxidized Zirconium, capped at Rs. 76,600; earlier average price Rs. 2,49,251
· High Flexibility Implant, capped at Rs. 56,490; earlier average price Rs. 1,81,728 · Revision Implants, capped at Rs. 1,13,950; earlier average price Rs. 2,76,869
· Specialized Implants for Cancer & Tumour, capped at Rs. 1,13,950 · Total estimated Savings to Consumers around Rs. 1500 crores
Assam Gas Cracker Project (AGCP) is being implemented by Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL). Launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5th February 2016 at BCPL Complex, Lepetkata, Dibrugarh.
BCPL has a production capacity of 2,20,000 tons per annum (TPA) of Polyethylene and 60,000 TPA of Polypropylene, along with other by-products. Natural Gas and Naphtha are the feed stocks.
The project has generated direct employment for around 700 persons in the Plant and indirect employment for around1,500 inside the project complex.
· Around 1.5 lakh underprivileged and unemployed youth trained under Skill Development Programme by Central Institute for Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET)
· 50% higher number of beneficiaries as compared to previous Government
Haifa day: The Indian Army commemorates September 23 every year as Haifa Day to pay its respects to the three Indian Cavalry Regiments – Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers, that helped liberate Haifa following a dashing cavalry action by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade of the then British Indian Army at the Battle of Haifa in 1918.
History and significance of Haifa war and its Indian Cemetery: Owing to its rail and harbour, Israeli port city of Haifa was a strategic supply base. In addition to Haifa, the Allied Forces also engineered a plan to annexe Nazareth and Damascus in present-day Israel and Syria.
On September 23, 1918, the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade comprising lancers from the regiments of princely states of Jodhpur and Mysore inflicted heavy assault on positions held by Ottoman Turks in and around the city of Haifa. Eventually, the Indian cavalry brigades fighting under the leadership of British General Edmund Allenby helped liberate Haifa from the clutches of the Turkish-German forces.
The victory was even more special as the Indian soldiers were armed only with lances (a kind of spear) and swords while the Turks had in their possession advance artillery and machine guns. The Indian troops displayed exemplary cavalry skills and valour during what was considered to be the last major cavalry campaign in military history.
Teen Murti memorial: The Teen Murti memorial was constructed in 1922 in the memory of the Indian soldiers from three princely states namely Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Mysore who served present day Gaza strip, Israel and Palestine during the World War I under British India Army.
Based on a proposal made by AFD in 2015, the European Union has agreed to provide funds of Euro 3.5 million through the AFD to contribute to specific investments and technical assistance components within the Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme in India.
About Mobilise Your City (MYC): MobiliseYourCity (MYC) is a global climate initiative for integrated urban mobility planning, and one of 15 international transport initiatives of the UN Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA). Mobilise Your City (MYC) is part of an international initiative which is supported by the French and the German Governments and was launched at 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting in December, 2015.
The MYC is an initiative combining urban mobility objectives and climate considerations. It aims at providing solutions in a fully integrated manner, analysing different modes of transportation within the urban fabric, with the objective of providing people long-term, sustainable, adequate, reliable and cost-efficient transportation opportunities. The project seeks to back 100 cities worldwide in three years, which are engaged in sustainable urban mobility planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In India, the MYC aims at supporting three pilot cities viz. Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad in their efforts to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport by implementing urban mobility plans at local level and to help India at national level to improve their sustainable transport policy. The three pilot cities selected under the programme as well as MoHUA will benefit from the Technical Assistance activities.
The main components of the proposed assistance are: To support planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport projects. Support to strengthening institutional capacity for regulating, steering and planning urban mobility. Learning and exchange formats with other cities across India for exchanges on best practices.
The verdict and its significance: The Court said gay sex among consenting adults is not an offence. The verdict assumes significance as in the earlier round of litigation in 2013 the Supreme Court had reversed the Delhi high court ruling decriminalising homosexuality or same sex relationship.
However, bestiality will continue as an offence. Any kind of sexual activity with animals shall remain penal offence under Section 377 of the IPC. The judgement is based on the interpretation of Article 14 (Right to Equality); Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth); Article 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression); and Article 21 (Right to Life and Right to Privacy) of the Indian Constitution.
The law: Section 377 of IPC – which came into force in 1862 – defines unnatural offences. It says, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Delhi HC legalises homosexuality: The Delhi high court had in July 2009 de-criminalised consensual homosexual acts in private by declaring as unconstitutional a part of Section 377 of IPC that criminalises unnatural sex, saying “the section denies a gay person a right to full personhood…”
SC re-criminalises homosexuality: The Supreme Court chose to reverse the verdict in December 2013. Upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377 IPC, an SC bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi (since retired), put the ball in the Parliament’s court, saying it was for the legislature to take a call on the desirability of the controversial provision.
Implications for heterosexuals: The case has implications for heterosexuals also, as consensual sexual acts of adults such as oral and anal sex in private are currently treated as unnatural and punishable under Section 377 IPC.
Background: Homosexuality is considered a taboo in a largely conservative Indian society which appears to be divided on the controversial issue. Freedom loving people (not necessarily belonging to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender or LGBT community) want homosexuality de-criminalised but many still consider it a “deviant behaviour” and not merely a question of one’s sexual orientation or preference.
International developments: There have been many positive developments in favour of LGBT community on the international front. In May 2015, Ireland legalised same-sex marriage. The country which had decriminalized homosexuality in 1993 became the first country to allow same sex marriage a national level by popular vote.
In June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages were legal. Near home, Nepal legalised homosexuality in 2007 and the new Constitution of the country too gives many rights to the LGBT community.
France, UK, Canada, United States, Australia and Brazil have de-criminalised homosexuality. Other countries like Belgium, Brazil, Canada,France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal,South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay allow either same sex marriage or a civil union.
India currently stands with a host of countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Qatar and Pakistan which criminalises homosexuality.
Criticisms: Child abuse and Section 377: Many child rights activists had criticised the Delhi HC verdict de-criminalising homosexuality on the ground that Section 377 was needed to be on the statute book to tackle cases of child abuse. However, the enactment of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 has removed the need to use Section 377 in child sexual abuse cases. POCSO is more child-friendly and much more stringent.
Law and morality: Those against legalising gay sex argue that it is against the moral values of the society. However, activists arguing for it say what is forbidden in religion need not be prohibited in law. They argue that morality cannot be a ground to restrict the fundamental rights of citizens. A legal wrong is necessarily a moral wrong but vice versa is not correct. A moral wrong becomes a legal wrong only when its consequences are for society and not just the person/s committing it.
Challenges ahead: The Supreme Court judgment only deals with a narrow interpretation of Section 377. Besides decriminalising homosexuality, the judgment does not confer any further rights. Gay marriages: Marriages between same-sex partners are not recognised in india, but this can be changed by inserting a provision in the Special Marriage Act.
Adoption: Law prohibits adoption of a child by a gay couple. Inheritance: One partner cannot inherit properties left behind by their same-sex partner, unless a will is drawn in favour of the person. A will, too, can be contested by family members of the partners.
On pending criminal cases: The judgment will have a bearing on criminal cases pending trial, appeal or revision on disposed off cases. The judgment will have no bearing on disposed off cases and old cases cannot be reopened. It opens the flood gates for securing other civil rights.