Lok Sabha Current Affairs - 2020

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Indian Railways: North East State capitals linking, Act East policy and Electrification

Government of India has planned to link the capitals of North Eastern States with rail connectivity. This plan, however, does not include Sikkim. The capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are already connected through Broad Gauge rail network.

Along with this several other initiatives are being upgraded by the Indian Railways

Action Plan to Electrifying Broad Gauges

The Ministry of Railways has created a new action plan to electrify 37,237 km of broad-gauge routes. This is 57.91% of total railway network in India. The commissioning of the rail lines has been completed and the works are to begin shortly. The details were given by Minister of Railways in his written reply to Lok Sabha.

The Government of India has set target of 100% electrification of the railways in 10 years. It was announced in August 2019.

Act East Policy and Railways

To boost trade and investment with South East Asia through North Eastern region, India has taken up railway projects with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. Currently, there are two rail connectivity projects connecting Indian cities Jogbani and Jayanagar with Nepal cities Biratnagar and Bardibas respectively. In Bangladesh there are two ongoing projects that connects Agartala with Akhuara and Hadibari with Chilhati.

There are no ongoing railway projects with Myanmar and Bhutan.

Adarsh Railway Station

The Adarsh Railway Station scheme was started in 2009-10 to modernize railway stations. So far, 1253 stations have been developed under the scheme. The scheme intends to provide developmental activities that include retiring room, station building, waiting room for ladies, toilets, parking areas, foot over bridges, etc.

There are no separate funds allocated to the scheme. The works are carried out under Passenger Amenities plans.

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CIC Annual Report tabled in Lok Sabha

The Central Information Commission tabled its annual report for the year 2018-19 in Lok Sabha on 20th November, 2019. The same report was also tabled in Rajya Sabha on 21st November, 2019.

Highlights of the report

The report said that in the year 2018-19, around 13.70 lakh applications were received by the Central Public Authorities of the commission. It says that the numbers are 11% more than the previous year 2017-18.

Out of applications received, only 4.7% were processed by the commission. This has come down from 5.13% as compared to the previous year 2017-18.

The highest number of applications were rejected by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It has rejected 26.5%. It was followed by the Ministry of Home Affairs that rejected 16.41%.

In the period 2018-19, the CIC disposed around 17,188 second appeals and complaint cases.

Central Information Commission

The commission was set up under Right to Information Act in 2005. There are 10 Information Commissioners and one Chief Information Commissioner. The commissioners are appointed by the President of India. The President appoints the commissioners based on the recommendation of a committee. The committee consists of Prime Minister, the opposition leader and a cabinet minister nominated by the prime minister.

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