Minimum Qualifications for Coop. Society Elections

Rajasthan has become the country’s first State to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. The State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003, were amended for the purpose and notified on Monday.

The educational qualifications will range from Class V to Class VIII for election as members of governing boards of dairy societies, farming societies, consumer societies, weavers’ societies, housing construction societies, urban banks, primary land development banks, credit societies, salary earners’ societies and cooperative unions.

Source: The Hindu

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India to Celebrate Falun Gong

Falun Gong, the ancient Chinese holistic system that is banned in China, will be celebrated in India on July 15 with a parade and Human Word Formation in New Delhi. Falun Gong (literally, “Dharma Wheel Practice” or “Law Wheel Practice”) is a Chinese spiritual practice that combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centred on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance

The practice emphasises morality and the cultivation of virtue and identifies as a qigong practice of the Buddhist school, though its teachings also incorporate elements drawn from Taoist traditions. Through moral rectitude and the practice of meditation, practitioners of Falun Gong aspire to eliminate attachments, and ultimately to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training

Source: The Hindu

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5 States & a Union Territory to implement e-Marketplace

In a spirit of cooperative federalism, 5 States and a Union Territory (UT) on Tuesday formally adopted the Centre’s initiative called the Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

GeM ensures that public procurement of goods and services in India worth more than Rs. 5 lakh crore annually is carried out through the online platform to ensure transparency and to eliminate corruption.

The States and the UT that signed an MoU with the Centre include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Telangana, Puducherry and Arunachal Pradesh.

Source : Hindu

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Sugar Import Duty Increased to 50%

The government on Monday raised the import duty on sugar to 50 per cent from 40 per cent to discourage dumping of cheaper supplies from abroad and as local prices stabilise after a spike earlier this marketing year.

The move will improve the ability of sugar mills to pay farmers for their supplies of cane, according to the sugar industry.

Relief for producers:

  • The hike in the duty comes as a relief for mills amid slowing domestic demand, especially after demonetisation.
  • Cost of production has also increased due to high cane prices.
  • This will help the sugar industry pay the cane price (fair and remunerative price), which has been raised by 11 per cent for the marketing year starting October 2017.

Sugar import:

  • In April this year, the government had allowed duty-free imports of raw sugar up to five lakh tonnes to improve domestic availability.
  • It was due to fear that a drop in domestic output in 2016-17 could trigger a spiral in prices to irrational levels.

This was for the first time since 2012 that imports of sugar under the open general license (OGL) was allowed at zero duty, albeit in limited quantity

Source: The Hindu

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Railways to Promote Small Entrepreneurs

Indian Railways has taken a big step in a plan to promote micro and small enterprises.

  • It has reserved 358 items including cleaning apparatus, stationery and leather items exclusively for procurement from the MSE sector
  • Besides, the sector has been exempted from paying tender cost and earnest money deposit for participating in the railway tender.
  • MSEs will be now encouraged to participate in the business of maintenance and operation of rolling stock and also in procurement of cables, linen, paints, wall paneling, cutting and drilling machines.
  • Recently the national transporter has organized a meeting to increase the participation of micro and small enterprises in railway procurement. The meeting was attended by Railway Minister and senior officials from the ministry and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) besides MSE vendors.

The Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO), the research wing of the Railways, was advised to extend its support to MSE vendors on technical issues and SIDBI was advised to provide financial support to MSEs.

Source : The Hindu

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Sensor Network to Map Pollution

A group of U.S. researchers is working on a system to map undulating pollution trends in the Godavari.

Using a mix of methods, including satellite monitoring, traversing stretches of the river to collect water samples and using special sensors to measure bacterial and chemical pollution, the researchers are trying to develop a cost-effective forecast system.

The team’s long-term objective is to be able to inform State officials and citizens of a probable spike in, say, levels of dangerous microbes or effluents, similar to weather and air pollution forecasts.

It is to be able to access “raw data” that could be used to inform the efficacy of a proposed faecal sludge treatment plant and whether behavioural interventions —including incentives or punishments —to restrict activities that pollute the river could actually work.

The project measures parameters such as total dissolved salts, nitrate, pH, temperature, turbidity and electrical conductivity. These are published on a website called Thoreau, a wireless sensing network maintained at the University of Chicago to map environmental parameters, for analysis.

Source: The Hindu

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