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GS Paper II- Governance, Polity.

Cabinet Clears Minimum Wage Code Bill; 4 Crore Employees Likely To Get Benefits.

Background

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, 26th July, 2017 approved the new wage code bill which will ensure a minimum wage across all sectors by integrating four labour related laws. The proposed legislation is expected to benefit over 4 crore employees across the country. The Labour Code on Wages Bill will consolidate the Minimum Wages Act, 1948; the Payment of Wages Act, 1936; the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965; and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • The approval for the draft bill was given by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26th July, 2017. The bill seeks to empower the Centre to set a minimum wage across all sectors in the country and states will have to maintain that.
  • However, states will be able to provide for higher minimum wage in their jurisdiction than fixed by the central government.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • The bill is likely to be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing monsoon session which will conclude on August 11, 2017.
  • The new minimum wage norms would be applicable for all workers irrespective of their pay. At present, the minimum wages fixed by the Centre and states are applicable to workers getting up to Rs 18,000 pay monthly.
  • This would ensure a universal minimum wage for all industries and workers, including those getting monthly pay higher than Rs 18,000, according to senior officials.
  • Earlier in the day, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in a written reply informed the Rajya Sabha that the Second National Commission on Labour has recommended that the existing labour laws should be broadly grouped into four or five labour codes on functional basis.
  • Accordingly, he said the ministry has taken steps for drafting four Labour Codes on — Wages; Industrial Relations; Social Security & Welfare and Safety and Working Conditions, respectively.
  • It will be done by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalising the relevant provisions of the existing central labour laws.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

Punjab Launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ Scheme.

Background

  • The Punjab government on Tuesday, 25th July, 2017, announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uberMOTO bikes. Under the scheme the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidised rates.
  • The `Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme, as proposed in the Congress poll manifesto, envisages one lakh taxis, commercial LCVs and other vehicles to be provided to unemployed youth every year at subsidised rates, without collateral and with the government standing guarantee.

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Highlights Of The Development-

  • Uber’s South Asia public policy director Shweta Rajpal Kohli called on the chief minister here on Monday, 24th July, 2017, to finalise the launch of the scheme, which will create 10,000 livelihood opportunities in Punjab in the next one year. A total of 45,000 jobs will be created under this scheme in the next five years, Kohli said after meeting Captain Amarinder.
  • Captain Amarinder had given the go-ahead to the launch of bike taxis or ‘baxis’ in the state in May, 2017 as part of the government’s ‘Apni Gaddi, Apna Rozgar’ programme, as promised in the Congress Assembly poll manifesto.
  • A spokesperson of the chief minister’s office said after Monday’s meeting with the Uber representative that the company was also considering starting 7-seater vans in Punjab.
  • Uber has been present in the state for the past three years and has already created 10,000 jobs, Kohli said, adding that its new biksharing product – UberMoto – was in line with the company’s commitment to providing affordable mobility options for riders and low entry barrier micro entrepreneurship opportunities for drivers.
  • Besides job creation, the initiative will encourage youth to engage in entrepreneurial business, while facilitating last-mile connectivity for commuters in areas not accessible by regular four-wheeler taxis.
  • Under the policy, currently in the process of finalisation by the transport department, existing and new motorcycle owners will be able to get commercial permits and licences to run two-wheelers as pillion taxis.
  • Requiring minimal investment, the scheme is expected to create a major avenue for the unemployed youth to start their own business, the spokesperson explained.
  • As an additional advantage, the scheme, which is running successfully in other states as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, will also help reduce traffic on roads, besides controlling pollution.
  • The government proposes to tie up with major taxi operators, such as Ola and Uber, to ensure the success of the scheme, under which the youth will be expected to repay their loan in five years.
  • Some of the other schemes which the government is working on include Yaari Enterprises and Harra Tractor.
  • Under the Hara Tractor scheme, at least 25,000 tractors and other agricultural implements will be given to unemployed youth at subsidised rates to enable them start their own agriculture service ventures.

Sources- Hindustan Times, Economic Times.

 

GS Paper IV- Ethics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial In His Hometown Rameswaram.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27th July, 2017 inaugurated a memorial dedicated to former president A P J Abdul Kalam at Peikarumbu near Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on his second death anniversary.
  • The memorial was built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as a tribute to Kalam, coinciding with his second death anniversary.
  • The memorial, build at a cost of 20 crores, blends Mughal and Indian architecture. Its main entrance resembles Delhi’s India gate. The dome reflects the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The main door is a replica of the entrance of the Brihadiswara Temple in Tanjavur
  • Paying glowing tributes to former president APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said a fitting tribute to the late leader would be to develop India in all spheres when the country celebrated its 75th independence day in 2022.

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Key Points Of This Development-

  • Addressing a public meeting at Mandapam, after dedicating to nation, the memorial of former president APJ Abdul Kalam on 27th July, 2017, the PM said that Mr Kalam had dreamt for a developed India and called upon the youth to resolve to fulfil his dream by 2022.
  • Modi, who also unveiled a statue of Kalam playing a ‘veena’, a musical instrument, was accompanied by Tamil Nadu

Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister K Palanisamy, Union ministers Pon Radhakrishnan and NDA’s vice presidential nominee M Venakaiah Naidu.

  • The Prime Minister unfurled the national flag at the entrance of the memorial, built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with which Kalam was associated for decades as a key scientist.
  • The interiors of the memorial reflect the various facets of Dr Kalam’s life, including the Pokhran nuclear test. There’s even a missile model celebrating his contribution to space science.
  • PK Gupta, director of the construction firm that built the memorial said that this is so special for them. The yellow stones have come from closer to Pakistan. Sand, water and other materials have come from all over India. It’s a symbol of national integration.
  • While the first phase of the memorial was inaugurated on Thursday, 27th July, 2017 its second phase was scheduled to be completed in another 18 months. It would then house a library, planetarium and auditorium.
  • Dr Kalam, popularly known as the “Missile Man”, was the 11th President of India between 2002 and 2007. He died of a cardiac arrest on July 27, 2015 in Shillong where he had gone to deliver a lecture.

Sources- The Hindu, NDTV, Deccan Chronicle.