Governance & Politics Current Affairs - 2019

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2019.

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Telecom Ministry forms committee to spell out revival plans for Telecom sector

Acknowledging that country’s telecom industry was under financial stress, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had constituted a committee chaired by Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan to spell out revival plans for Telecom sector.

About Aruna Sundararajan Committee

Background: As the Indian telecom sector is under stress for a long time Union Minister has decided to deal with this issue now on priority basis thus for this purpose he will be meeting all telcos ‘at the earliest’ to discuss various sectoral issues and also constituted Aruna Sundararajan Committee to look into entire issue of removing ambiguities in ease of doing business and also to revisit the whole issue of SUC.

Need: Reduction of levies and fees, such as licence fee, SUC and universal service levy, has been a long-standing demand of Telecom industry, along with review of definition of aggregated gross revenue and this will also be main focus areas of committe.

Purpose: To review levies, including spectrum usage charge (SUC), and promote Ease of Doing Business (EDB) in telecom sector.

Mandate:

The Committee headed by Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan would submit its report in 2 weeks’ time.

In case of any issues which require clarity, committee has been directed to seek views of Solicitor General.

Committee would also look into previous recommendations provided by sectoral regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) on the issue.

Way Forward

The Government of India is also looking into revival plan for state-owned BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) and MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) on priority and the details for that are being worked out.

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India to train 1,000 civil servants of Maldives over next 5 years

India’s leading civil services training institution, National Center for Good Governance (NCGG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maldives Civil Services Commission for capacity building (training) of 1,000 civil servants of Maldives over next five years. This agreement was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Male (Maldives capital).

Key Highlights

  • Background: In April 2019, NCGG had trained 28 Maldives civil servants, thus this successful engagement encouraged two countries to enter into an agreement and take their capacity building collaboration forward. Other than Maldives, NCCG had also successfully conducted training programmes for civil servants of Bangladesh, Myanmar and Gambia.
  • Expenses: All expenses of training programme will be borne by Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • Nodal Agency: As per the MoU, NCGG will be nodal institution for designing and implementation of customised training modules that will be undertaken during training, and it must take into account all requirements of Maldives Civil Services Commission.
  • Training Areas: The training programme areas will include: public policy and governance, public administration, information technology (IT), e-governance and service delivery, agro-based practices, best practices in fisheries in coastal areas, urban development and planning, self-help group (SHG) initiatives, ethics in administration and challenges in implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Selection: Maldives will nominate suitable civil servants in senior/executive/middle management levels as per the agreed timelines.
  • Civil Services Training Institute, a subsidiary of Maldives Civil Services Commission, will get the required assistance from NCGG, for developing training programmes and materials and also for organising exchange of experts as needed by Commission.

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