Archive for March, 2013

Navneet Kaur Dhillon, winner of Pond’s 50th edition of Femina Miss World India 2013 that was held in Mumbai on March 24, 2013. She belongs to Patiala, Punjab.

Miss India or Femina Miss India is a national beauty pageant in India that annually selects three winners to compete globally. The winner of Femina Miss India World competes in Miss World, Femina Miss India Earth winner competes in Miss Earth, and the third winner,Femina Miss India International goes to compete in Miss International.

In 2010, Nicole Faria became the first Indian to win the Miss Earth title in Vietnam.


World Tuberculosis Day, falling on March 24 each year, is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease. It is preventable and curable. March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. Theme for 2012 & 2013: Stop TB in my lifetime Call for a world free of TB. In 2013 we enter the second year of the two-year Stop TB in my lifetime World TB Day campaign.

Key facts:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent.
  • In 2011, 8.7 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died from TB.
  • Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries, and it is among the top three causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.
  • In 2010, there were about 10 million orphan children as a result of TB deaths among parents.
  • TB is a leading killer of people living with HIV causing one quarter of all deaths.
  • Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is present in virtually all countries surveyed.
  • The estimated number of people falling ill with tuberculosis each year is declining, although very slowly, which means that the world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015.
  • The TB death rate dropped 41% between 1990 and 2011.

The series of steps taken to provide a Government that is corruption-free, transparent, accountable and responsive at all times. RTI act, Lokpal Bill,2011, Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011, “The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public international Organizations Bill, 2011” and other Administrative measures as part of the efforts to provide a transparent and corruption free Administration.

Empowerment of Citizens under the RTI Act itself is evident from the fact that a total number of 7,05,976 applications were processed by designated public authorities in the Central Government during the previous financial year. Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh had constituted a Group of Ministers (GOM) to consider measures that can be taken by the Government to tackle corruption. The GOM has looked into specific issues such as State funding of elections; Fast tracking of all cases of public servants accused of corruption; Ensuring full transparency in public procurement and contracts, including enunciation of public procurement standards and a public procurement policy; Relinquishing discretionary powers enjoyed by Ministers; Introduction of an open and competitive system of exploiting natural resources etc.

The Lokpal Bill, 2011 has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. The Bill was then referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. The Select Committee has submitted its report to Parliament. Cabinet has accepted most of the recommendations of the Select Committee. Efforts are now underway to bring the Bill in RS.

The resolve of the govt. to protect the honest officers and such officers who expose corruption. With this objective in mind, Govt. has formulated Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2011, which has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is now pending in the Rajya Sabha.

With regard to the bribery of foreign public officials etc a standalone Bill titled “ThePrevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011” has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Prevention of Corruption Act is also being amended to bring the corruption in the Private Sector under its purview.

The thrust being given by the Govt. on efficient functioning of the bureaucracy and need for review of their performance. Rules have been amended to provide for two tiers of intensive reviews of All India Service Officers on completion of 15 years of qualifying service and again on completion of 25 years of qualifying service, to assess the suitability of the officers for their further retention in service.

A number of other legislations have been initiated to usher in greater transparency and accountability. ‘Right of Citizens for time-bound delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill’, 2011, intends to make the Citizens’ Charter statutory and to endow the public with the right to delivery of goods and services in a time bound manner.

The comprehensive reform attempts are made through the implementation of the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commissions. The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission was constituted in 2005 to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administration system in the country. The ARC had submitted 15 reports containing 1251 recommendations. Out of these 1251 recommendations, more than 900 recommendations have been accepted by the Government.

The need for E-Governance initiatives for providing a transparent administration. He informed that a framework for efficient handling of public grievances through theCentralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRMS) is already in place. Pilot implementation of the e-Office project, which is one of the mission mode projects under the National e-Governance Plan is being carried out.

The Ministry has taken a number of steps over the years for streamlining the pension administration system for greater convenience and welfare of the pensioners. The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has developed a web-based ‘Pensioners’ Portal’, a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the National e-Governance Plan of Government of India. .

The Indian Government said that it has finally approved 12 FDI proposals worth over Rs 2.6k Crore (approximately Rs 2,609 crore). These twelve FDI proposals eventually include the proposal of Pharma firm Claris Otsuka.
Decathlon Sports India’s proposal for introduction of foreign funds worth Rs 700 crore to participate in single brand retail has also been approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which is eventually headed by the honorable Economic Affairs Secretary Mr. Arvind Mayaram himself.
The Finance Ministry of India has issued a press statement acknowledging this economic news. In that statement the ministry said, “Based on the recommendations of FIPB in its meeting held on February 13, Government has approved 12 proposals of foreign direct investment amounting to Rs 2,609.27 crore approximately.”
The plan of Claris Otsuka Ltd, which is an Ahmadabad-based Pharma Company, to assemble its Infusions business into a brand new Joint Venture (JV) with Foreign Direct Investment worth Rs 1,050 crore, was the biggest cleared proposal.
FIPB also cleared the proposal of Mumbai-based Glynwed Pipe Systems. It had applied with a proposal to the board, as it wanted to receive foreign investment of around Rs 800 crore for building downstream investment in order to boost its overall profit scenario.
Another proposal of Pramod S.A.S, France, to be eligible to receive foreign funds of Rs 29.69 crore into an Indian Company via a Joint Venture mode, was also approved by the board members. This will allow the company to engage in the single brand retail trading in India.
Le Creuset Trading and Fossil India are the companies which had shown a lot of interests to enter in the Indian retail market by opening single brand retail stores in India. The board finally approved the FDI proposals of these two companies, so now these two can set up retails stores as a wholly-owned subsidiary of a foreign company with no difficulties.
The board has also cleared a few more proposals, which it had received by the several of leading companies. Some of those proposals came from companies like Netherlands-based Aon Holdings, Menarini Raunaq Pharma and Al Shukur Company for Engineering.
It has to be mentioned here that the board did not approve all the proposals. As a matter of fact it eventually rejected one proposal and deferred nine of them. The proposal of Alliance Insurance Brokers to receive foreign money to expand the business of Insurance broking was deferred by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
The only proposal that was rejected by the board is the proposal of Erica Healthcare, which is a Mumbai-based company. It submitted a proposal in front of the board to increase foreign investment, but the board did not approve it.


     Various schemes of Government of India aim to bring about improvement in the quality of life of the Scheduled Tribes (STs). Policies of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the nodal Ministry for overall development of the Scheduled Tribes, focus on the integrated socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes.

          The Ministry provides grants to the State/Union Territories under Special Central Assistance to the Tribal Sub-Plan and under Article 275(1) for socio-economic development of the STs and for creation of infrastructure in tribal areas. Several Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Central Sector Schemes are also implemented by the Ministry for ensuring education, coaching, skill upgradation, training facilities to the STs. The list of the schemes is given below.    

Schemes of Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Name of Schemes

A       Special Area Programs (SAP)

1 SCA to Tribal Sub-Plan

2    Article 275(1) of the Constitution

B     Central Sector Schemes(CS)

1    Grant-in-Aid to NGOs for STs including Coaching & Allied Scheme and Award for Exemplary Service

2    Vocational Training Centres in Tribal Areas

3    Strengthening of Education among ST girls in low literacy Districts

4    Market Development of Tribal Products/ Produce

5    Grant-in-aid to State Tribal Development Cooperative Corporations for Minor Forest Produce

6    Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal (PTG)

7    Support to National/State Scheduled Tribes Finance & Development Corporations

8    Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for ST Students

9    Scheme of Institute of Excelence/Top class institute

10    National Overseas Scholarship Scheme

C    Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)

1    Scheme of PMS, Book Bank and Upgradation of Merit of ST students 

2    New Scheme of Pre Matric Scholarship for ST students

3    Scheme of Hostels for ST Girls and Boys 

4    Establishment of Ashram Schools

5    Research Information & Mass Education , Tribal Festival and Others