GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.
Jackie Shroff’s ‘Shunyata’ Wins International Award.
- Actor Jackie Shroff’s short film “Shunyata” has won an award at Best of India Short Film Festival in Los Angeles, US.
- The 22-minute fiction film directed by Chintan Sarda was selected to be in top six from amongst thousands of entries and was played at a theatre in Los Angeles for a ticketed event for a week. An industry based jury then adjudged it the best film.
- The award ceremony was held at Mack Sennett Studios on March 3, 2018. The prize includes a cash prize of $1,000.
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- It was an absolute honour to be a part of this film festival and to be hosted in LA by them. Jackie sir and all our talented HODs made this film happen and I am very grateful to all of them, Sarda said.
- We are overwhelmed by this award and others that the film has managed to garner in the past few months. It shows us that somewhere our efforts to connect to the audience have worked to an extent. I am hoping this to be a stepping stone to bigger formats. I am pitching my feature film and original series scripts in Mumbai and hoping to direct a lot more short films in the future too, he added.
- In “Shunyata”, Jackie is seen as hitman Madhur, who leads a gloomy existence with regrets. He is friendly with a child, who lives on the street and sees him getting into the world of crime.
- The film was entirely shot at night. It is produced by Sarda and Sunil Khedekar.
Sources- The Quint.
GS Paper II- Governance.
Cabinet Approves Moving Official Amendments In The “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”.
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for moving official amendments in the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”.
- The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the States and Union Territories.
- The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples.
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- Once the Bill is enacted by the Parliament, the National Surrogacy Board will be constituted. The States and Union Territories shall constitute the State Surrogacy Board and State Appropriate Authorities within three months of the notification by the Central Government.
- Once in effect, the Act will regulate the surrogacy services in the country and will control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy and will prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. While commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes, ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes.
- All Infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefitted.
- Further, the rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.
- The Bill shall apply to whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
- India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries and there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes. The 228th report of the Law Commission of India has recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy by enacting a suitable legislation.
- The “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on the 21st day of November 2016 which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committeeon Health and Family Welfare on the 12th of January 2017.
- The Parliamentary Standing Committee held various meetings with Stakeholders, Central Govt. Ministries / Department, NGO’s, medical professionals, lawyers, researchers, commissioning parents and surrogate mothers for holding discussions and to receive their suggestions.
GS Paper III- Economic Development.
Cabinet Approves North-East Industrial Development Scheme.
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 21st March, 2018 has approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs 3,000 crore up to March 2020, an official statement said.
- It said government will provide necessary allocations for remaining period of scheme after assessment before March 2020.
- The NEIDS is a combination of the incentives covered under the earlier two schemes with a much larger outlay.
Highlights Of The Development-
- In order to promote employment in the Northeast states, government is incentivising primarily the MSME sector through this scheme. Government is also providing specific incentive through the scheme to generate employment, said the statement.
- All eligible industrial units, which are getting benefits of one or more components of other schemes of the Government of India, will also be considered for benefits of other components of this scheme, it added.
- Under the Scheme, new industrial units set up in the northeastern states including Sikkim will be provided incentives like Central Capital Investment Incentive for Access to Credit, amounting to 30 per cent of the investment in plant and machinery with an upper limit of Rs 5 crore on the incentive amount per unit, and Central Interest Incentive amounting to 3 per cent on working capital credit advanced by eligible banks/financial institutions for first 5 years from the date of production’s commencement.
- There will also be Central Comprehensive Insurance Incentive, for full reimbursement of insurance premium on insurance of building and plant and machinery for five years from commencement of production, Goods and Service Tax (GST) Reimbursement to the extent of Central government share of CGST and IGST for five years from the same date, Income-Tax (IT) Reimbursement of Centre’s share of tax for first five years, Transport Incentive (TI) of 20 per cent of the cost of transportation including the subsidy currently provided by Railways/Railway PSU for movement of finished goods by rail, 20 per cent of cost of transportation for finished goods through Inland Waterways Authority of India and 33 per cent of cost of transportation of air freight on perishable goods (as defined by IATA) from the airport nearest to place of production to any airport within the country.
- There will also be an Employment Incentive, where the government shall pay 3.67 per cent of the employer’s contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in addition to bearing 8.33 per cent Employee Pension Scheme contribution of the employer in the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana.