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Government unveils online vigilance clearance system, e-service book

The Union Government has launched the Online Vigilance Clearance System and e-Service Book in New Delhi. It was launched by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi.

The online system aims to fast track process of cases of vigilance clearance for senior-level appointments in central government.

Key Facts
  • Initially, the system will be made available for board-level appointments done by Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
  • Later it will be extended for senior appointments in banks and in government departments. It will reduce time taken for vigilance clearance from three months to a day or two.
  • All Central Government Ministries have been asked to regularly update database of officers on the system which will act as computerized database and provide the details of officers clearly.
e-Service Book
  • It will electronically maintain service records, including leave, history of work done by employees at various departments, house building allowance and other relevant details.
  • It will help in maintaining the employee’s service related records online that will result in quick processing of cases of salary (in cases of inter-departmental or inter-state transfers) or pension (in case of retirement).
  • It has been started on pilot-project mode for the employees of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and soon it will be extended to other departments as well.

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India tops in bribery rate among 16 Asia-Pacific nations: Transparency International

According to recent survey released by Transparency International (TI), India had highest bribery rate among the 16 Asia-Pacific countries surveyed between July 2015 and January 2017.

The survey was conducted among more than 21,000 people in the region. It revealed that more than one in four people, when accessing basic services like medicine, education or water.

Key Highlights of the Survey
  • Countries having highest incidence of bribery: 69% of the study group in India said that they have paid a bribe, done a favour or given a gift to receive services.
  • Vietnam follows this suit with 65%, Thailand 41% and Pakistan 40%. China reported a much lower 26%.
  • Countries having lowest incidence of bribery: Japan had the lowest incidence of bribery at 0.2% followed by South Korea and Australia recorded 3% each, Hong Kong 2% and Taiwan 6%.
  • India related facts: Nearly seven in 10 people who had accessed public services in the country have payed bribe.
  • 46% to 60% of Indians said they have paid bribes for various public services, including in public schools and hospitals, getting IDs, voter cards and permits and accessing utilities and police and court services as well.
  • Institution wise facts: Police, a key law and order institution suffer most from corruption. Nearly two in five people in the region mentioned the police were mostly or entirely corrupt (39%).
  • They also perceived political decision-makers at both the national and local level to be highly corrupt. Legislative representatives, officials and local councillors were also highly corrupt (from 35 to 37%).
  • Religious leaders were seen as far cleaner, with fewer than one in five were highly corrupt (18%).

About Transparency International (TI)

TI is an international non-governmental organization based in Berlin, Germany. Its purpose is to take action to combat corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption. It publishes annually Corruption Perceptions Index and Global Corruption Barometer

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Union Government launches satellite-based illegal Mining Detection System

Union Government has launched Mining Surveillance System (MSS), a pan-India surveillance network to check illegal mining using latest satellite technology.

MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to check illegal mining activity through automatic remote-sensing detection technology in order to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration.

Mining Surveillance System (MSS)

  • Developed by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar.
  • One of the first such surveillance systems developed in the world using space technology. It has been developed under the Digital India Programme.

Why there is need of such system?

There are in total 3843 mining leases of major minerals across India, out of which 1710 are working mines and 2133 are non-working mines. Presently, there is absence of robust mechanism of monitoring of illegal mining activity. Current system of monitoring is completely based on local complaints and unconfirmed information which is not transparent and quicker response and action.

How MSS works?

  • In the MSS, Khasra maps of mining leases have been geo-referenced and are superimposed on latest satellite remote sensing scenes obtained from CARTOSAT & USGS.
  • It has capacity to check any unusual activity such illegal mining at a region of 500 meters around the existing mining lease boundary.
  • It has been incorporated with automatic software which leverages image processing technology to generate automatic triggers of unauthorized activities.
  • These automatic triggers will be studied at a Remote Sensing Control Centre of IBM and then transmitted to the district level mining officials for field verification.
  • Besides, a user-friendly mobile app also has been created for these officials to submit compliance reports of their inspections.
  • The mobile app aims to establish a participative monitoring system in which the citizens also can use this app and report unusual mining activity.
  • MSS also has an executive dashboard to work as a decision support system. Using it officials at all levels can track the current status of mapping of the mining leases, status of inspections and penalty levied etc. for all major mineral mining leases across the country.

Advantages of remote sensing technology based monitoring system

  • Transparent as public will be provided an access to the system.
  • Deterrence Effect as continues monitoring will be from space.
  • Bias-free and Independent as the system is based on technology evidences and has no human interference.
  • Quicker Response and Action as the mining areas will be monitored regularly and the sensitive areas will be monitored more frequently.
  • Effective Follow-up as action will be taken on triggers that will be followed-up and monitored at various levels

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