Committees Current Affairs

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Cows to have Aadhaar like ID

The central government has informed the Supreme Court that it intends to provide unique identification number for cows as suggested by an expert committee to track cattle and prevent their trafficking.

According to the August 2016 report submitted by the committee constituted by the home ministry, the unique ID will have the details like cattle’s age, breed, sex, height, body colour, horn type, tail switch, lactation profile (in case of milch cattles) and other special marks. The IDs are proposed to be provided in the form of a polyurethane tag. In addition, the registration proof has to be maintained by the owner of the cattle which should be transferred to the next owner in case of legitimate transfer of the cattle. The committee has also recommended that a state level data base may be uploaded to a website that links with a national online database.

The response of the government was submitted to Supreme Court which was hearing the PIL filed by Akhil Bharat Krishi Gosewa Sangh.

Need

According to the government, the recommendations of the panel will help in stop trafficking of cattle across the Indo-Bangladesh border and will also prevent smuggling of cattle to Nepal for being sacrificed at the Gadhimai festival, which is held once in five years.

Also, as per the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act read with Export Import Policy (Exim policy) of India requires that cattle can be exported to other countries only with a valid license from the regional licensing authority.

The allocation of unique ID will also help to prevent cruelty towards the animals. They can be vaccinated on time and scientific intervention can be made available on time. It would also pave way for making a uniform act for cow preservation and protection in India.

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Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN

The Union Government has set up an ‘Inter- Ministerial Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee’ to monitor the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme.

UDAN is regional air connectivity scheme (RCS) which seeks to make flying affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.

Key Facts
  • The committee will be responsible for coordination among stakeholders, including state governments for “time-bound” implementation of the scheme.
  • It will also monitor schemes of promotion of regional connectivity by way of revival of unserved and under-served airports/airstrips and UDAN.
  • It will be chaired by Civil Aviation Secretary and will have representations from the ministries of Finance, Defence, Home as well as Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security), officials of airlines and states concerned will be also its part.
Background

The Union Civil Aviation Ministry already has awarded 128 routes connecting 70 airports to 5 airlines, under the scheme UDAN Scheme. In the flights operated under RCS, around 50% of the seats will have a fare cap Rs 2,500 per seat/hour. Apart from various incentives, the operators of such flights will be extended viability gap funding (VGF) for which money is partly raised through a levy imposed on flights operating in major routes. The VGF will be in place for three years for the airlines concerned from the date of starting operations in a particular UDAN route. Operators will be provided also other benefits such as zero airport charges and three-year exclusivity on the routes.

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Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection submits report

The Madhukar Gupta Committee on border protection has submitted its report to the Union Government to strengthen border protection and address vulnerabilities in fencing along the Indo-Pakistan border.

It was announced by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha.

Key Facts
  • The committee has given broad recommendations on the issues of Threats and Border Protection, assessment of force level, deployment on the border, infrastructure and technology issues for protection of border and administrative issues.
  • The Union Government has decided to initiate action in light of the recommendations of the Committee in consultation with the stakeholders.
Background

The Committee was constituted under chairmanship of former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta in April 2016. It was tasked give recommendations for strengthening border protection and addressing the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing along India-Pakistan Border. It was constituted three months after the terror attack on Pathankot IAF base in January 2016 by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists from Pakistan. These terrorists had infiltrated into India by beaching the India-Pakistan border (through porous border) in Punjab especially from the riverine stretch.

Note: Four Indian states share 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan. Of this, 1,225 km falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including Line of Control), 1,037 km in Rajasthan, 553 km in Punjab and 508 km in Gujarat.

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