Socio-Economic Current Affairs

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“National Investment Board” renamed as “Cabinet Committee on Investment”, also changes made in it’s powers

The Union Cabinet approved a renamed and modified version of the original proposal, creating a new Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) to fast-track decisions on infrastructure and manufacturing projects over Rs. 1,000 crore.

This was done primarily to address the Environment Ministry’s objections to a National Investment Board (NIB) which could assume some of its authority.

  • In the new version, CCI’s primary role will be to urge nodal ministries to fast-track clearances.

Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI)

  • It will be headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and include administrative Ministries as members.
  • It will set time limits for decisions on approvals and clearances and will then monitor the process to ensure that those deadlines are met.
  • It will be able to review cases which face delays, and facilitate the removal of hindrances in the process.
  • In the new version, CCI’s primary role will be to urge nodal ministries to fast-track clearances.

What were the objections with NIB?

  • The controversy was created when NIB was proposed to have powers to make possible interventions and even “take decision regarding specific approval/clearance for an unduly delayed project, if deemed necessary” on behalf of the concerned ministry in case of failure its failure in decision making in stipulated time frame.
  • The idea was strongly opposed by the Environment Ministry.

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Rajya Sabha approves controversial Quota Bill by huge majority

Rajya Sabha passed a Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, providing for quota for SCs and STs in government job promotions with an overwhelming vote of 206 in the 245-member House.

The Bill was vociferously opposed by members of Samajwadi Party warning it can have very serious fall-out and may be challenged in court.

As this Bill was a Constitution amendment bill, it required two-third majority for its approval, which was easily surpassed as 206 voted in favour in the House, where 216 members were present.

The Bill provides for amendments to Article 16(4) of the Constitution that will allow states to reserve seats in promotion for SCs and STs without collecting data to show the backwardness of class and inadequacy of that class in public appointments.

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Public grievance redressal website of Bihar gets Silver Icon Web Ratna Award

Bihar was honored with the Silver Icon Web Ratna Award 2012 for its public grievance redressal website. The website: http://bpgrs.in which has been created by the state IT department of government of Bihar as an initiative of e-governance, offers the common people features for speedy and transparent disposal of complaints. The complainant is also informed on his/her e-mail about the action taken.

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