Commerce Ministry launches tools to rank states, UTs on startup ecosystem
On February 6, 2017, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu launched three tools – States and Union Territory Startup Ranking Framework, Compendium of Good Practices for Promoting Startups in India and the Startup India Kit – for ranking States and Union Territories (UTs) on startup ecosystem.
States and Union Territory Startup Ranking Framework:
Main objective of this tool is to encourage States and UTs to take proactive steps for strengthening the Startup ecosystems at the local level.
Compendium of Good Practices for Promoting Startups in India:
The compendium focuses on enriching the Startup ecosystem through ethical behaviours.
Startup India Kit:
This kit will serve as a one-stop guide on all Startup India offerings.
Quick Facts about Startup India Initiative:
Government sets up mechanism in CSIR for transfer of technology
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, has formulated a mechanism in CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) to facilitate regular interface with small-scale industry for transfer of technologies from CSIR laboratories.
Mechanism in CSIR for transfer of technology:
i. An announcement regarding this was made during a meeting with members of Laghu Udyog Bharati, an all-India organisation of small scale industries.
ii. Laghu Udyog Bharati has 450 branches and 25,000-member units in India. National Secretary of Laghu Udyog Bharati, Sampat Toshniwal said that, there is a disconnect between CSIR and small-scale industries.
iii. It was said that, a nodal officer in CSIR will coordinate with the small-scale industry and CSIR labs for required technology transfer.
About Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR):
♦ Prime Minister – Narendra Modi
♦ Vice President – Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Cabinet Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences
♦ Director General – Dr. Girish Sahni
GST rate on amusement parks and ballet etc, reduced from 28% to 18%.
At 25th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council held in New Delhi on January 18, 2018, it was recommended that GST rate on services by way of admission to Amusement Parks may be reduced from 28% to 18%.
GST on Amusement Parks:
i. The recommendation to reduce GST rate on entry to amusement parks was in response to requests received from several quarters that amusement parks promote social wellness and are avenues to attain fun and learning for children and their families in a real active entertainment.
ii. On January 25, 2018, a notification was issued giving effect to this recommendations of GST Council.
iii. Thus, admission to amusement parks including water parks, theme parks, joy rides, go-carting, merry-go-rounds and ballet is now taxable at the lower rate of 18%.
Quick Facts about Goods and Services Tax (GST):
♦ GST is a destination-based, single indirect tax that is levied on consumption of goods or use of services across India.
♦ It was rolled out in India from July 1, 2017.
♦ GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising representatives of all states have finalised four tax brackets under GST viz. 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
Arunachal Pradesh CM lays foundation stone of Rhodendron Park in Tawang
On 6th February 2018, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu laid foundation stone for Rhodendron Park in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Foundation stone for Rhodendron Park in Tawang:
i. The Rhodendron Park will be built in an area of 1.15 hectares. It will be partly funded under Border Area Development Programme (BADP).
ii. Nearly 30 species of rhododendrons will be planted in the park and conserved. The park will also contain modern nursery, information center on rhododendron, resting sheds, vehicle parking facility, public toilet facility, signage and lightings and iron security gate.
iii. A plantation drive of various varieties of Rhodos was also initiated by Pema Khandu.
About Border Area Development Programme (BADP):
♦ Started – 1986-87
♦ Objective – to meet the special needs of people living in remote, and inaccessible areas situated near the border areas
Centre allocated Rs 5252 crore for railway infra development in Odisha
Under Union Budget 2018, Central Government has allocated Rs 5252 crore for different railway projects in Odisha.
Details about funds allocated for railway infra development in Odisha:
i. This year’s allocation is the highest ever budgetary allocation for railway infra development in Odisha till date.
ii. In Union Budget 2017, budgetary allocation for railway infra development in Odisha was Rs. 5102 crore, while for 2016 , it was Rs. 4682 crore.
iii. Despite of highest budgetary allocation this year, Odisha State Government is not pleased because it had demanded Rs 6500 crore for the development of railway sector in the state.
Quick Facts about Odisha
♦ Capital – Bhubaneswar
♦ Current Governor – S.C. Jamir
♦ Current Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik
♦ Important National Park – Bhitarkanika National Park
Haryana to establish farmers’ welfare department
On February 6, 2018, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stated that the State Government will establish ‘Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran’, a farmers’ welfare department which will be entrusted with the responsibility to make agriculture remunerative by enhancing productivity and thereby mitigate the distress of farm households and landless workers.
Details about ‘Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran’:
i. This announcement was made by Mr. Khattar while interacting with farmers during the ‘Ek Aur Sudhar’ programme in Chandigarh.
ii. Chief Minister of Haryana would be the ex-officio chairperson of the Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran, while State’s Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister would be the ex-officio vice- chairman.
iii. Besides handling its primary responsibility of making agriculture remunerative, Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran will also synergise with various departments for implementation and monitoring of schemes, programmes and projects thorough the Agriculture Advisory Council.
Quick Facts about Haryana:
♦ Capital – Chandigarh
♦ Current Governor – Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ Current Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Important National Park – Sultanpur National Park
South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference held in New Delhi
5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference is being held in New Delhi from 5th – 7th February, 2018.
More Information about 5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference:
i. The Conference was inaugurated by Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. It is being hosted by government of India through the Public Procurement Division (PPD) of the Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA).
ii. It is being held under the auspices of the South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN).
iii. SARPPN is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.
iv. Objective of this conference is to serve as a platform for Heads of Public Procurement and other key stakeholders in the eight South Asian countries to meet and learn from one another and interact with experts in the field of public procurement.
v. Theme of 5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference is “Public Procurement and Service Delivery”.
vi. 100 participants, including senior government officials responsible for public procurement will be participating in this conference.