Hindu Notes from General Studies-02
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Cabinet clears Bill to replace Medical Council of India
- The Union Cabinet cleared the National Medical Commission Bill, which does away with the Medical Council of India (MCI) and replaces it with a regulator that will do away with “heavy handed regulatory control” over medical institutions and will also bring in a national licentiate examination.
- Among its key provisions is to ease the processes for colleges to manage undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
- Earlier, the MCI approval was needed for establishing, renewing, recognising and increasing seats in a UG course.
Aims of the Bill
- The Bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices
- The NMC also aims to be less draconian. Deterrence for non-compliance with maintenance of standards is in terms of monetary penalty — ranging up to 10 times the annual tuition fee — rather than the existing system of not renewing permissions in case of serious infractions.
- The new commission will also have the power to frame guidelines for fees for up to 40% seats in private colleges and deemed universities.
A differently enabled company
- For the first time in India, a company has been set up with the sole objective of supporting differently-abled artisans, by differently abled persons.
- Handicrops Divyanga Impex, which was formed in Palakkad in Kerala recently, has eight directors, of which five are wheelchair-bound.
- It is an organisation run by the differently abled with the help of the public to encourage self-employment.
- It will assist people with disabilities and their families, individually or in groups. It will help them access skill development programmes, and financial and material resources.
- Handicrops already has more than a hundred members like Ranjini, most of whom work from home, making paper pens, LED bulbs, paper bags, umbrellas, handmade soaps, jewellery, and other handicrafts. The company plans to make devices such as electric wheelchairs, and efforts are on to enrol more people into its fold.
- Anyone who cares for the welfare of the differently abled can take shares in the company, with the minimum investment being ₹10,000, while the ceiling is ₹5 lakh.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-03
Mizoram becomes third power-surplus state in North-East, says Modi
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that,Mizoram had become the third power- surplus state in the north-east after Sikkim and Tripura.
- Central schemes for the benefit of the north-east had gained momentum and government was committed to developing the region.
- It will be a significant milestone in the history of Mizoram with the completion and dedication of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project.
- With the commissioning of the project, Mizoram became the third power-surplus state in the north-east.
- The hydropower project would produce “251 million units” of electrical energy every year and boost the economic development of the state.
Centre raises duty on electronic items
- The Centre has increased customs duty on several electronic items including televisions, mobile phones and microwaves, making the import of these goods more expensive and thus lending a fillip to its ‘Make in India’ programme.
- The custom duty on push button phones, including mobiles, and on smart electricity meters has been increased to 15%, from 10% now, as per a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance.
- The duty on products like monitors, projectors, water heaters, microwaves, TVs and lamps and light fittings has been doubled to 20%.
- This seems to be with the twin objective of increasing revenue as well as to encourage more manufacturing and value addition in India.
- Duty increases had been made under “emergency powers” included in the customs laws, and could prompt manufacturers in other industry segments to push for similar protection from imports.
- This would make import of these goods costlier and industry would be forced to explore domestic manufacture of these goods to reduce cost instead of importing these goods.