Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.
Modi Vows Reforms Push: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday promised to bring a paradigm shift in polity and economy by providing corruption-free regime and easing processes to make India the easiest place to do business. Addressing the biannual Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, Modi said creating an enabling environment for business and attracting investments is his top priority.
Make NGOs Accountable, Top Court Tells Government: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to audit nearly 30 lakh non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which received public funds but consistently failed to explain how they spent the money. A bench led by J S Khehar regretted that there was no regulatory mechanism to make NGOs answerable on utilising funds while the government pumped in public money.
Government Ready To Set Up Railway Regulator: Government is all set to launch an independent railway regulator by June that will determine passenger and freight tariffs. To be known as the Rail Development Authority, it can recommend tariff changes periodically by taking into account all direct and indirect costs such as pension, debts and market-driven forces.
Aadhaar Enrolments Peak 60 Per Cent In December: Providing a boost to the government's aim of building a cashless economy, India saw the largest number of people enroll for Aadhaar cards in December following demonetisation. Statistics from the Unique Identification Authority of India reveal that the monthly Aadhaar enrolments during December 2016 for the entire country saw a 60 per cent rise compared to the previous month.
Centre To Target Black Money Held By Political Parties, Says Amit Shah: To improve political probity and electoral politics, the Centre would soon come out with reforms aimed at flushing out the “black money” held by political parties, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said on Tuesday. His comments assume significance as the government had earlier in December announced that deposit of demonetised currency in bank accounts held by political parties would not attract tax.
Government Panel Seeks To corporatise DD-AIR: Public broadcasters Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) could become corporate entities if a proposal by a committee of government secretaries sees the light of the day. The top panel has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make DD and AIR corporate entities to reduce their dependence on government funds. If accepted, the move will give the two entities run by Prasar Bharati the much needed flexibility and financial independence, on the lines of the BBC.
India A Step Closer To Achieving 24x7 Power: All Indian states, except Uttar Pradesh, have signed agreements with the Centre to achieve the milestone of providing '24x7 Power For All (PFA)'. The Power Ministry said that the PFA roadmap document has now been finalised and is under implementation. The ministry said it is the most significant milestone in this initiative founded on the principles of cooperative federalism.
LPG Connections Milestone: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Centre has achieved a major milestone of 1.5 crore LPG connections for 2016-17 fiscal under a scheme for providing free cooking gas connections to BPL families. Stating that there were 13 crore LPG consumers in 2014, when NDA government took over, he said it had gone up to 19 crore and the target was 27 crore by 2020.
Kerala Given 90 Days To Compensate Endosulfan Victims: The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Kerala government 90 days to disburse Rs 500 crore as compensation for Endosulfan victims. A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar also asked the state to consider setting up a centre to provide lifelong medical treatment to all the victims.
MUST READ OP-EDS
The Indian Ocean Waters Will Get Roiled By Babur 3: The waters of the Indian Ocean will get roiled by the Babur 3 and regional WMD stability will become more brittle. The need for India and Pakistan to return to the spirit of the Lahore accord of 1999 is imperative. Will China play a constructive role?
Moscow and New DC: Trump’s USA may cooperate with Russia like never before, significantly altering global power equations.
Repair, Reform And Rebound: The pace of rebound will depend on the repair work to fix the dislocations due to demonetisation and also on the reforms to address the longer-term structural issues.
By 2020, Indians Will Make Cards & ATMs Redundant: By only installing an app on the phone and attaching a scanned fingerprint, merchants can start accepting payments from all Aadhaar-seeded accounts. This will enable India to achieve technological leapfrogging and ATMs will become totally redundant.
The Fight Against Hidden Hunger: A child in India is more likely to be malnourished than one in Congo or Somalia. Prioritising early childhood nutrition is key to ensuring India’s development rests on strong and steady shoulders.
Preparing The Army For The Future: Shekatkar Committee’s ‘To Do’ List: If majority of its recommendations are implemented over the next five years, the government can save up to Rs 25,000 crore from its current expenditure.
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