Current Affairs 2017 (July)

Parliament passes Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The parliament has passed The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 after it was approved by the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed it earlier.

The bill aims at amending the Collection of Statistics Bill, 2008, which facilitates the collection of statistics related to social, economic, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects, by central, state and local governments. It also allows the appointment of statistics officers to collect information and contains provisions to ensure security of information.

Salient features of bill

Jurisdiction of the 2008 Act: The Bill extends jurisdiction of the parent act to the state Jammu and Kashmir for the collection of statistics pertaining to subjects under the Union (List-I) or the Concurrent list (List-II) of the Constitution. These subjects include citizenship, banking, education, labour and forests as applicable to J&K.

Nodal officer: It adds provisions for the appointment of a nodal officer by the Union or state government. The function of nodal officer is to coordinate and supervise statistical activities under the government which has appointed him. Further, the Union government can also determine the powers and duties of the nodal officer.

Use of information:  The Bill removes provision from parent act dealing with information collected under it only is used for statistical purposes. It also allows the Union government to determine the manner in which such information collected will be used for statistical purposes.

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Cabinet apprised JDI on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has apprised Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability (IGCS).

The JDI was concluded in May, 2017 during the fourth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany in Berlin.

Key Facts

The objective of JDI on IGCS is to promote cooperation between German and Indian scientists on fundamental and applied scientific research. It includes areas such as policy support, training, teaching and dissemination of information in the area of climate change and sustainable development through inter-disciplinary research.

The IGCS will nurture future collaboration by widening the network with other Institutes, Universities and industries in both countries. On the Indian side, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras will act as the host institution for IGCS.

Under this JDI, the required institutional framework will be developed to provide fund support to the IGCS at IIT, Madras by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Germany.

DST will provide grant-in-aid support to IGCS for undertaking research in the areas of climate change for sustainable development. Besides, both agencies will jointly support the IGCS for a period of 5 years starting from January 2018.

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