Policy Briefs

Kerosene Allocation to Tamil Nadu

                                                                                                                                                       Background on Kerosene Allocation to States
 
Allocation of PDS SKO (PDS Superior Kerosene Oil) to the States/Union Territories (UTs) is made by the Government of India for cooking and lighting purposes. Further distribution, criterion for eligibility and scale of allocation to beneficiaries is in the domain of the State Government.
 
The Quota of PDS Kerosene is rationalised based on factors such as:
· Increase in Domestic LPG/PNG connections,
· Non-lifting of PDS Kerosene quota (non-lifting means that the states have failed to take/ utilise the quantity provided to them by the Centre), and
· Cap on the per capita PDS Kerosene allocation for non-LPG population.
 
Further, such quantity of the quota that remains unlifted (unutilised) by the States/UTs within the stipulated period is reduced from the allocation for the following year.

Kasthurirangan Report on Western Ghat

The Kasthurirangan Committee was formulated with the intention to conserve and use the resources of the Western Ghats in a sustainable manner. The message of this report is serious, alarming and urgent. It is imperative that we protect, manage and regenerate the lands now remaining in the Western Ghats as biologically rich, diverse, natural landscapes. We have reached a threshold from which we cannot slip further. This has to be the objective of future planning and regulation in this recognized center of biodiversity in our country.
Since the release of the Kasthurirangan report, several parties and organizations in Kerala have expressed disagreement with the recommendations of the Committee. The CPI(M) and the church outfits have turned it into a political opportunity to instill fear of displacement among the farmers and residents of this region. Even the Kerala High Court wondered whether those presiding over the hartaal, which was organized in protest of the report, had read through the Kasthurirangan panel report even once.

Judicial Standards Accountability Bill- 2010

The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill was introduced in December, 2010 and passed by the Lok Sabha in March, 2012.
 
The Bill provides a mechanism for enquiring into complaints against the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts; lays down judicial standards and requires the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to declare their assets and liabilities. Most importantly, it creates a mechanism to allow any person to complain against judges on grounds of misbehavior or incapacity.
 
The Bill seeks to repeal the Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968 which was enacted with a view to lay down the procedure for removal of the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, but which does not contain the mechanism for dealing with the complaints filed by the public against the Judges. The Bill seeks to:

Judicial Appointments Commission

The Constitution (One Hundred and Twentieth Amendment) Bill, 2013 (herein after referred to as Constitution Amendment Bill) and the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as JAC Bill) were introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament in 2013.
 
The Bill establishes a Judicial Appointments Commission which shall be responsible for selecting judges of the higher judiciary. So far, judges of the higher courts have been appointed by the ‗collegium system‘ and the same has not been constitutionally provided.

JN National Urban Renewal Mission-Building Sustainable Cities

The global population is increasingly gravitating towards urban areas. India too, has conformed to this global trend. According to a U.N. report, China and India will account for about third of the increase in urban population in coming decades.
 
There exists a strong positive correlation between economic growth of a country and its level of urbanization. Cities and urban centers are considered vital for socio- economic transformation and change.
 
Approximately 28 per cent of India’s population resides in urban areas. Cities and towns in the country contribute 50–55 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Forest Rights Act

India‟s forests are home to millions of people, including many Scheduled Tribes, who live in or near the forest areas of the country. Forests provide sustenance in the form of minor forest produce, water, grazing ground and habitat for shifting cultivation.
As per an assessment in 2011 by Ministry of Environment & Forests, the forest and tree cover of the country is 78.29 million ha i.e. 23.81% of the total geographical area of the country. In terms of percentage of forest cover in relation to total geographical area, Mizoram tops with 90.68% followed by Lakshadweep with 84.56%.

Electronic Delivery of Services- 2011

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), in Chapter 7 gave the background for the National e-Governance Plan as follows:
1. During the 1980s and early 1990s, initial attempts towards e-Governance were made with a focus on networking government departments and developing in-house government applications in the areas of defence, economic monitoring, planning and the deployment of IT to manage data-intensive functions related to elections, census, tax administration etc. These applications focused on automation of internal government functions rather than on improving service delivery to citizens.

Educational Tribunal Bill, 2010

Summary of the Bill
 The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 (ETB)1 aims at establishing educational tribunals to perform the role of providing independent, enforceable, speedy, fast track adjudication of disputes in a quasi-judicial manner with regard to students, teachers and other employees, between institutions and between institutions and the regulator. 2 The bill proposes to establish a two-tier structure of Educational Tribunals at National and State level to adjudicate on the entire range of disputes that arise in the higher education system.
 Disputes relating to service matters of employees and teachers, unfair practices of managements, issues relating to affiliation with universities, regulation and overlapping of statutory bodies would fall under the domain of the Bill.

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