Current Affairs 2017 (July)

Home Ministry to give security nod to GSTN

The Union Home Ministry is yet to give security clearance to the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN), the IT backbone of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Though the GSTN has been operational, it had not got the security clearance which is a mandatory requirement as it has private participation. 

Security issue

The Union Finance Ministry is looking into the GSTN from the economic security’s perspective whereas the Union Home Ministry is examining any threat to national security by any of the stake holders in the company. Home Ministry has not decided time frame to grant clearance to GSTN. The procedure of grant of security clearance to the GSTN involves background checking of office bearers and others concerned.

About Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)

GSTN is a not for profit, non-Government, private limited company incorporated in 2013. The Union Government holds 24.5% equity in GSTN. It has been set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, tax payers and other stakeholders for implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

 All States including two UTs (Delhi and Puducherry) and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC) together hold another 24.5%. Balance 51% equity is with non-Government financial institutions-HDFC Bank Ltd (10%), HDFC Ltd (10%), ICICI Bank Ltd (10%), NSE Strategic Investment Corporation Ltd (10%) and LIC Housing Finance Limited (11%).

The Revenue Model of GSTN after GST rollout will consist of User Charge to be paid by stakeholders who will use the system and thus it will be a self-sustaining organization.


Union Government launches new training programme COMMIT for State Government officials

The Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension has launched a new training programme Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) for State Government officials.

The objective of COMMIT programme is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact with the citizens on day-to-day basis.

Key Facts

The COMMIT programme has been developed by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It will supplement the existing 12-Day Induction Training Programme (ITP) launched in 2014-15 for newly recruited state Government officials to develop in them Generic and Domain specific competencies.  COMMIT is cost effective and has the potential to cover about 3.3 lakh officials annually, compared to 10,000 officials under existing 12-Day ITP.

Initially on pilot basis the programme will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal during the current financial year 2017-18. Next year it is expected to cover all India level. It will cover approximately 74,000 State Government officials in 2017-18.

The COMMIT programme has been designed in such a way that it allows to translate the content in local/regional languages. It will be implemented through State Administrative Training Institutes (ATIs). It will be of 28 hours duration which will include e-Modules for 20 hours and face-to-face training for 8 hours. The 20 hours e-training will be imparted through specifically developed 12 Generic and 3 Domain specific e-Modules.