NEW DELHI: The government today said that more than 99 per cent of the cities across the country have become Open Defecation Free, ODF. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry today celebrated six glorious years of Swachh Bharat Mission – urban and organised a webinar on ‘Swachhata ke 6 saal, Bemisaal‘.
From zero ODF states and cities in 2014, more than 97 per cent of Indian cities have now become ODF.
Similarly, from a meagre 18 per cent of solid waste processing in 2014, now up to 67 per cent of solid waste is being processed, and more than 77 per cent wards are practising source segregation.
It was a mammoth task but a determined political leadership and a Jan Andolan literally transformed the landscape. I feel immensely proud, as well as humbled, to see how every citizen of urban India has come together to make that dream a tangible reality. pic.twitter.com/mK4dgBYb4g
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 2, 2020
Speaking on the occasion, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, it is time to reaffirm pledge for Swachhatam Bharat, Swasthatam Bharat – Cleaner and healthier India.
He said that this spirit of Jan Andolan and Jan Bhagidari is exemplified by the Swachh Survekshan 2020 in which over 12 crores of citizens have participated in the survey. The Minister said, when Swachh Bharat Mission- urban was launched in 2014, it was with the vision of achieving Clean India by 2nd October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of MK Gandhi.
The event also saw select states and cities such as Uttarakhand, Kerala, Imphal, Dungarpur, Khargone etc their experiences of the past six years and chalking out the next steps towards a Swachhatam Bharat.
Participants also got the opportunity to listen to the experiences of SBM-U’s development partners that include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), GIZ, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). A series of key publications were also launched by the Ministry.
While the document ‘Frontline Stories of Resilience: India’s Sanitation Champions’ compiled by the National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (NFSSM) Alliance presents inspirational stories of sanitation workers from across the country, the ‘COVID Diaries: Responses of Indian Cities to COVID-19’ by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) documents a range of actions and initiatives taken by Indian cities during the first four months of lockdown period of Covid-19 and provides a Resilient Urban Sanitation Response (RUSR) Framework, which can be applied by cities in responding to the pandemic situation.
Along with this, the Minister also released the ‘Almanac of Waste Management Practices’, a compendium of best practices and innovative case studies in SWM. Capacity building of officials and staff of ULBs has been an integral part of the Mission.
As part of this endeavour, the Ministry, with the help of National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has conducted over 150 workshops across India witnessing the participation of over 6000 officials representing over 3200 ULBs since 2016.
The interactive SBM-U portal developed by NIUA documents the learnings from these workshops. Safety of sanitation workers, the frontline Swachhata Warriors of the Mission has always been a key focus under the Mission.
In an effort to sensitize ULBs for taking immediate interventions to reduce vulnerabilities of sanitation workers and safeguard their rights., the Ministry also released a Ready Reckoner for Ensuring Safety of Sanitation Workers prepared by the Urban Management Centre (UMC).
The Sanitation Mapping Tool developed by UMC to help ULBs to make their public and community toilets (PT/ CT) ODF+ was also launched by the Ministry.
PM SVANIDHI: MoHUA And Swiggy To Take Street Food Vendors Online
Programme is launched with a pilot in five cities – Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, and Varanasi.
NEW DELHI: As a part of Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNibhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has entered into an MoU with Swiggy, the leading food ordering and delivery platform in India, to onboard street food vendors on its e-commerce platform, giving them online access to thousands of consumers and help these vendors grow their businesses.
The MoU was exchanged by, Joint Secretary Sanjay Kumar and Chief Financial Officer, Swiggy Rahul Bothra, through webinar in the presence of officials of Swiggy and Ministry. Municipal Commissioners of Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, and Varanasi also participated in the ceremony through video conferencing facility.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where physical distancing is the key to check it’s spread, this novel initiative aims to radically transform the business of Street Vendors across cities, by facilitating them to receive orders and serve customers using online mode of business.
In a first of its kind initiative, MoHUA has coordinated with the key stakeholders including Municipal Corporations, FSSAI, Swiggy and GST officials to ensure that necessary prerequisites are completed for this initiative.
To begin with, MoHUA and Swiggy will run a pilot program by on-boarding 250 vendors across five cities namely – Ahmadabad, Chennai, Delhi, Indore, and Varanasi.
The street vendors will be helped with PAN and FSSAI registration, training on technology/ partner app usage, menu digitization and pricing, hygiene and packaging best practices.
Upon the successful completion of the pilot, MoHUA and Swiggy plan to expand this initiative across the country in phases.
This partnership is seen as yet another move by MoHUA to empower street vendors with digital technology and facilitate greater income-earning opportunities by being present on a popular e-commerce platform like Swiggy.
During the ceremony, Secretary, HUA also launched the updated and modified version of PM SVANidhi Dashboard, which facilitates users not only with a better granular view of the Scheme’s performance but also with additional tools for comparisons.
The Ministry is implementing PM SVANidhi Scheme since June 01, 2020, for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.
This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh Street Vendors who had been vending on or before March 24, 2020, in urban areas including those from surrounding peri-urban/ rural areas.
Under the Scheme, the vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy @ 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on a quarterly basis. There will be no penalty on early repayment of the loan.
The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash-back incentives up to an amount of Rs. 1,200 per annum.
The vendors can fulfil their aspiration of climbing up the economic ladder by availing the facility of the enhanced credit limit on timely/ early repayment of the loan.
As on October 4, 2020, over 20 lakh loan applications have been received under the PM SVANidhi Scheme. Out of these over 7.5 lakh loans have been sanctioned and over 2.4 lakh loans disbursed.
J&K Approves Re-Allocation Of Nearly 2,000 Posts For Kashmiri Hindus (‘Pandits’)
The recruitment will be conducted only on the basis of written or skill tests for suitable candidates.
NEW DELHI: The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council on Wednesday approved re-allocation of nearly 2,000 posts for Kashmiri Pandits who want to settle in the Valley, PTI reported. This was done under the prime minister’s package for the community.
“The administrative council, which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today, approved the re-allocation of 1,997 number of unfilled supernumerary posts for recruitment of registered Kashmiri migrants and non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who are willing to serve and settle down in Kashmir under the prime minister’s package,” a government spokesperson said.
This re-allocation is part of the 3,000 posts announced in 2015. So far, only 806 applicants have been selected and 1,997 positions remain vacant.
The Administrative Council (AC) which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, today approved the re-allocation of 1997 number of unfilled supernumerary posts for recruitment of registered Kashmiri migrants and non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who are willing to serve and settle down in Kashmir under the Prime Minister’s Package.
Recruitment toPM package posts accelerated
AC which met under the chairmanship ofLG @manojsinha_ approves re-allocation of1997unfilled supernumerary posts to 6 simple categories;both registered Kashmiri migrants &non migrant Kashmiri Pandits,willing to settle down in Kmr eligible pic.twitter.com/ETWxLAdMx4
— DIPR-J&K (@diprjk) September 23, 2020
Admn.council which met under the chairmanship of LG @manojsinha_ approves conduct of elections to vacant Sarpanch/Panch constituencies;13,257 positions vacant.1,089 Sarpanch &12,168 Panch positions to be filled; non functional panchayats to be made functional.
— DIPR-J&K (@diprjk) September 23, 2020
The Administrative Council also approved conducting the recruitment only on the basis of written test/skill test, without viva-voce, for the selection of suitable candidates through the J&K Services Selection Board within six months of the referral of posts by the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, and Rehabilitation & Reconstruction.
The re-allocated posts include posts of Sub Inspector Commercial Taxes and Assistant Compiler in Finance Department (997), Field Assistant, Field Supervisor (Mushroom) and Assistant Store Keeper in Agriculture, Production & Farmers Welfare Department (150), and Depot Assistant in Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department (300), and Class IV in Revenue Department (550).
In order to fast track the recruitments, the posts have been allocated with simpler recruitment rules based on Graduation based; Higher Secondary based and Matric based qualification criteria.
The decision of re-allocation of the unfilled posts is aimed at accelerating the recruitment under the PM’s package and the benefits of employment to Kashmiri migrants and non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits.
Kashmir Valley’s largest group of the community, the Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti on Tuesday claimed that it was being harassed and their concerns were not being addressed by the local administration.
In a statement released, the group said, “Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (DMRR&R) Department is punishing left out (Non-Migrant) Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus for staying back in Kashmir Valley. Since abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A we the Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley are facing harassment and isolation at the hands of Relief Department. Despite multiple directions from Hon’ble High Court and recommendations from the Central Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs, Relief Department is playing with the life and security of the Non-Migrant Kashmiri Pandits – Kashmiri Hindus living in Kashmir Valley.”
The group’s chief Sanjay Tickoo announced that he would begin a fast-unto-death until their demands were met.
The association’s main demands included 500 government jobs, which it said were promised to the community during a High Court ruling in 2016.
REFORM: Historic, ‘Game Changer’ Labour Laws Passed
Transparent and simple mechanism reducing to one registration, one license and one return for all codes.
NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha in its sitting today passed the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020, and Social Security Code, 2020. With this, the decks for the enactment of these codes have been cleared as Lok Sabha had passed these Bills yesterday.
The Bills can be termed as historic game-changers, which will harmonize the needs of workers, industries and other related parties.
Speaking during the discussions on the bills, Union Minister Santosh Gangwar said that these Labour Codes will prove to be an important milestone for the welfare of the workers in the country.
The OSH Code envisages a safe working environment for workers especially women. The Minister added that an effective dispute resolution mechanism is being ensured through the Industrial Relations Code providing for time-bound dispute resolution system in every institution.
The Social Security Code provides a framework to include organized and unorganized sector workers under the ambit of comprehensive social security.
The Social Security Code contains provisions relating to EPFO, ESIC, building construction workers, maternity benefits, gratuity and social security fund for unorganized sector workers. “Through this Code, we are moving towards fulfilling the Prime Minister’s vision of Universal Social Security”, Shri Gangwar added.
He added that unprecedented steps were taken by Government and launched many welfare measures such as increasing the maternity leave for our sisters from 12 weeks to 26 weeks; women were allowed to work in mines under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana. Formal employment was increased with portability in EPFO and welfare schemes and expansion of ESIC facilities to our fellow citizens.
It may be noted that extensive consultation was undertaken by the Government before finalizing the Labour Codes. These include discussions in nine Tripartite Meetings, 4 sub-committees, 10 inter-ministerial consultations, Trade Unions, Employers’ Associations, State Governments, Experts, International Bodies and also invited public suggestions/comments from people by placing them in the public domain for 2-3 months.
The objective of labour reforms is to have their labour laws in line with the changing world of workplace and provide an effective and transparent system, balancing the needs of workers and industries.
Gangwar emphasized that the structure of welfare and rights of Atmanirbhar Shramik is based on four pillars.
The first pillar is ‘Salary Protection‘. The Minister said that even after 73 years of independence, and despite having 44 labour laws, only about 30 per cent of India’s 50 crore workers had the legal right to minimum wages and all the workers were not paid on time.
“For the first time, our government has worked to correct this discrepancy and has given the legal right to all the 50 crore organized and unorganized sector workers to get minimum wages and timely wages.”
The second pillar is ‘Labour Safety‘. Gangwar said is to give him a safe working environment to protect his health and lead a happy life. For this, he said, for the first time in the OSH Code, annual health check-up has been provided for workers above a certain age. Additionally, to keep the standards related to safety effective and dynamic, they can be replaced with changing technology by the National Occupational Safety & Health Board. In order to provide a safe environment, workers and employers should decide together, for this, a safety committee has been provided for in all institutions.
He also informed the House that the OSH Code reduced the minimum qualification from 240 days to 180 days for leave. The Bill also provides for the payment of at least 50 per cent of the penalty imposed on an employer for injury or death at the workplace, to the aggrieved worker, in addition to other benefits. With all these provisions, an effort has been made to give workers a safe working environment.
Stating that women should have the freedom to do the same work as men, he said that for the first time, a provision has been made that women can work in any type of institution at night as per their choice. “However, the employer will have to make all necessary security arrangements, as determined by the appropriate government”, he added
The third pillar for workers is ‘Comprehensive Social Security‘. In line with this resolution, the scope of ESIC and EPFO is being extended in the Social Security Code. To increase the scope of ESIC, a provision has been made that now its coverage will be in all 740 districts of the country.
In addition to this, the option of ESIC will also be for plantation workers, unorganized sector workers, gigs and platform workers, and institutions with less than 10 workers. If there is a risky work in an institute, that institute will inevitably be brought under the purview of ESIC even if it is a sole labourer.
Similarly, to increase the scope of EPFO, the schedule of the institutions has been removed in the current law and now all those institutions which have 20 or more workers will come under the ambit of the EPF.
Apart from this, the option of EPFO for institutions with less than 20 workers and self-employed workers is also being given in the Social Security Code.
To provide social security to 40 crore unorganized sector workers, he informed, provision for “Social Security Fund” has been made. Through this fund, social security schemes will be made for workers and gigs and platform workers working in the unorganized sector and plans will be formulated to provide all kinds of social security benefits such as death insurance, accident insurance, maternity benefit and pension etc. to these 40 crore workers.
The fourth pillar is ‘Simplified and Effective IR Code‘. Fixed Term Employment to the IR Code, engaged for a short period of their time and do not get service conditions, leave, salary, social security, gratuity etc. like regular employees, he said we have also ensured that Fixed Term Employees’ service conditions, salary, leave and social security will also be the same as a Regular Employee for.
In addition, the Fixed Term Employee has also been given the right to pro-rata Gratuity.
The provisions of Strike in the IR Code do not take back the right of any workers to go on strike.
Prior to going on the strike, the 14-day notice period obligation has been imposed on every institution to attempt to end the dispute through amicable negotiations during this period. Neither the workers nor the industry has any benefit from the workers going on the strike”, he added.
As far as raising the threshold in Retrenchment, Closure or Lay-off in the IR Code from 100 workers to 300 workers, he pointed out that labour is the subject of the concurrent list, and the concerned state governments have right to change the laws. As many as 16 states, using this right, have already increased this limit. Parliamentary Standing Committee also recommended that this limit be increased to 300.
The Minister also informed that according to the Economic Survey 2019, after increasing this Threshold from 100 to 300 in the state of Rajasthan, along with the number of large factories, there has also been an increase in employment generation of workers and an unprecedented reduction in layoffs.
“This makes it clear that changing this one provision will motivate investors to set up large factories in the country, and by setting up more factories, more employment opportunities, more workers in our country will be generated for”, he opined.
For the first time in law, Trade Unions are being recognized at the institution level, state level and centre level. For the first time in the IR Code, a provision of the Re-skilling Fund has been made with the objective of increasing the chances of employment again if any worker is missed. These workers will be given 15 days salary for this.
The definition of migrant workers has been broadened. Now all the workers who come from one state to another state and whose salary is less than 18 thousand rupees will come under the definition of migrant labour and will get the benefit of welfare schemes of the government.
Apart from this, there is a provision to create a database for migrant workers, portability of their welfare schemes, a separate helpline arrangement and travel allowance to be given by the employer once a year for them to go to their place of origin.
Under the various labour laws, there will be no need to have multiple registrations or multiple licenses to set up industries.
“As far as possible, now we are going to arrange to provide registration, license etc. in a time-bound manner and under online process”, Gangwar added.
The four Labour Codes seek to ensure the welfare of workers on the one hand, on the other hand, it is an effort to develop new industries through a simple compliance system, which will create employment for our workforce. New opportunities should be created.
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