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Real Estate Act comes into effect

The Real Estate Act which aims to protect the interests of homebuyers by ensuring transparency has come into effect. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has asked all the states and Union Territories to implement the Act with letter and spirit. Since land is a state subject, real estate sector comes within the ambit of the state governments.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 was passed by Parliament in March last year. Partially, the act came into force on 1 May last year with 59 of 92 notified sections of the act coming into force. The remaining provisions have come into the force now. Already the act has been notified by 13 states and Union Territories including Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Delhi, Daman and Diu.

Salient Provisions

Buyers and developers of real estate property can seek relief by approaching Real Estate Regulatory Authorities against violation of the contractual obligations and other provisions of the Act.

The act provides for the mandatory registration of projects and real estate agents.

The act mandates depositing 70% of the funds collected from buyers in a separate bank account for construction of the project. The funds could be withdrawn only for construction purposes.

The act prescribes penalty on developers if the project is delayed. The project developers are required to disclose the project details on the website of the regulator and need to provide quarterly updates on construction progress.

Under the act, the Regulatory authorities are required dispose of complaints in 60 days and Appellate Tribunals will be required to adjudicate cases in 60 days.

Significance

The act will ensure transparency and accountability in the real estate sector. It will enhance the consumer confidence and will benefit the whole sector. It will help to attract more investments into the real estate sector and may also open gates for FDI. This act will aid in the effective implementation of projects such as Hosing for All by 2020 and Smart City.

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‘Digi Yatra’ initiative to make flying simpler

The Ministry of Civil Aviation under the proposed “Digi Yatra” initiative is looking forward to make boarding pass and security check-ins digital at airports using Aadhaar and mobile phones. Under this initiative, a digital mode for airport entry and verification of passengers would be used. The move is aimed to ease the security and boarding procedure. In a sum, the initiative aims to make the whole air travel experience completely digital. According to the civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha, the proposed initiative would not require any paperwork and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents. The ministry is now working on establishing a uniform set of standards and protocols which can be applied across the system. The ministry expects to roll out the initiative in the coming months.

In addition, the ministry is also in the process of coming up with an approach to have a no-fly list based on safety. The government has decided to come with a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers that endanger the safety of all passengers in an aircraft. By having a ‘no fly list’, the government wants to ensure that the unruly passengers are not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with.

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Government launches Test and Treat policy for HIV

Union Health Minister JP Nadda has launched the Test and Treat policy for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients. As per this new policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost. Anyone found positive will be provided with ART (Anti- Retroviral Therapy) irrespective of his CD count.  The scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme. All men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.

HIV destroys the CD4 T cells in the human body and weakens the immunity levels. A person who has CD4 cell count below 200 is considered to be at significant risk of developing serious illnesses. Before the announcement of this new policy, the government was providing free treatment to people with a count of 400 and below.

Government initiatives

The government is set to soon launch a National Strategic Plan for HIV for the next seven years, which will be significant for ending AIDS. Recently, the government also passed the long-pending HIV/AIDS Act. The HIV/AIDS Act has the key provisions such as the prohibition of discrimination, informed consent, non-disclosure of HIV status, anti-retroviral therapy and opportunistic infection management, protection of property of affected children, safe working environment and provision for the appointment of ombudsman in every state.

In India, around 21 lakh people are estimated to have HIV. Out of them, only about 14 lakh people have been identified yet. To identify the remaining cases, the government has revised national HIV testing guidelines. Recently, the treatment provided by about 1,600 ART and Link ART sites have crossed the 1 million people mark making the country the second in the world to have such large number of people on free lifelong treatment.

AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus. It is also known as human T-lymphotropic virus-III (HTLV-III), lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV), and AIDS-associated retrovirus (ARV). Transmission of HIV involves anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, an exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.

 

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