Meeting of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities concludes

Decisions & Recommendations

The two-day Meeting of Second Session of the UN-ESCAP Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022 concluded here today with the following recommendations and decisions: 

Ø  India on behalf of the Working Group, to submit the Incheon Strategy to the Statistical Division of Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) for the development of the indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals, and to “Make the Right Real” for Persons with Disabilities.
Ø  Create, maintain and manage an accessible internet-based discussion group to share good practices for enhanced implementation of the Incheon Strategy.
Ø  India to convene the Task Force on e-based forum for Working Group members which would include, among others, India, Indonesia, China and Republic of Korea apart from some NGOs and the ESCAP secretariat.
Ø   Submit inputs to the Draft Operational Guide by 31 March 2015.
Ø  Propose a structure to better involve non-Working Group members to enhance the implementation of the Incheon Strategy. Task force will examine this issue.
Ø  Government of Thailand to host the next session.
Ø  Submit to the ESCAP secretariat reports on the implementation of the Incheon Strategy, in particular on road map actions.
Ø  Collaborate with non-Working Group members to obtain their reports on road map actions.
Ø  Contact Civil Aviation Authorities to obtain information on their policies and rules regarding persons with disabilities as customers, including electric wheel chair users.
ESCAP ACTION
Ø  Create reporting templates for Working Group members.
Ø  Create a check list in the Operational Guide on Disability-inclusive Meetings.
Ø  Disseminate the Operational Guide on Disability-inclusive Meetings to key UN entities and all member States.
Ø  Upload on the ESCAP website the implementation of regional road map action taken by the ESCAP secretariat in 2013-2014.
Ø  Continue to use the ESCAP trust fund as a means to support provision of reasonable accommodation to participants with disabilities.
It may be recalled that the Meeting was opened yesterday by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot with the reiteration of Indian Government’s firm commitment to the cause of empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) as well as the “Incheon Strategy”.
Some of the important goals of Incheon strategy are: Reduction of poverty, Enhancement of accessibility, education and employment, Special focus on children and women, Promotion of social protection and political participation, and Strengthening of international cooperation. Shri Gehlot informed the meeting yesterday that India has chalked out a road map with specific time-frames to implement the Incheon Strategy and achieve these goals.
India hosted this meeting in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asian and Pacific (UNESCAP). About 70 delegates participated, which included representatives from 13 Member States, including China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Thailand and 14 Civil Society Organizations in the region.
Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Union Minister of Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari launches a website, ‘Shipping Samvad’

Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari launched a website “Shipping Samvad” here today. The objective of the website is to invite innovative ideas and suggestions from general public and experts related to Indian maritime sector for improvements in the shipping, ports and inland waterways sector. The ideas and suggestions submitted through this portal will be further examined for implementation by Ministry of Shipping and the workable ideas and suggestions will be published on this website. The Ministry of Shipping will also select the best five contributions in the year. 

The Ministry will also upload the draft policies/new initiatives from time to time on the portal for the valuable suggestions/feedback from the citizen. This will help Ministry of Shipping in bringing transparency and blue revolution in the country. The initiative is meant to engage the experts and common public in the development of Shipping, Ports and Inland Waterways in India and will provide impetus to the Ministry of Shipping in its efforts. The portal may be visited at shipmin.gov.in/samvad/index.php 

Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan was also present on the occasion. 


Courtesy: pib.nic.in

More than 242 lakh Families having highly Subsidised Foodgrains under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana

More than 242 lakh families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana are being provided highly subsidised 35 kg foodgrains per month through TPDS. This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

He said the AAY families are to be identified by States/Union Territories (UTs) as per the following criteria:

i) Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas

ii) Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons/disabled persons/persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support

iii) Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence

iv) All primitive tribal households

v) All eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families of HIV positive persons.

The Minister said that requests have been received from a few State Governments to increase the number of beneficiaries under AAY but it could not be acceded to as the number is fixed for every State. State/UTs are advised from time to time to review the existing list of AAY beneficiaries and remove the ineligible beneficiaries so as to include only the most eligible.

Shri Danve clarified that AAY scheme has not been separately evaluated. This Department however has been getting the functioning of TPDS, including the implementation of AAY, evaluated by different agencies from time to time. These evaluation studies have revealed certain shortcomings/deficiencies in the functioning of TPDS, such as inclusion/exclusion errors, leakages/diversion of foodgrains, etc. The reports received have been sent to the concerned States/UTs for taking necessary remedial measures to remove the deficiencies noticed in the functioning of TPDS.

                       Number of  Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) families      (as on 31.1.2015)  (Fig. in lakh)
S.No.
States/UTs
 Accepted No. of AAY families
Number of AAY families  identified & ration cards issued 
1
Andhra Pradesh*
15.578
15.578
2
Arunachal Pradesh
0.380
0.38
3
Assam
7.040
7.04
4
Bihar
25.010
25.010
5
Chhattisgarh
7.189
7.189
6
Delhi
1.568
1.038
7
Goa
0.184
0.145
8
Gujarat
8.128
7.580
9
Haryana
3.025
2.676
10
Himachal Pradesh
1.971
1.971
11
Jammu & Kashmir
2.822
2.557
12
Jharkhand
9.179
9.179
13
Karnataka
11.997
11.376
14
Kerala
5.958
5.958
15
Madhya Pradesh
15.816
15.816
16
Maharashtra
25.053
24.854
17
Manipur
0.636
0.636
18
Meghalaya
0.702
0.702
19
Mizoram
0.261
0.261
20
Nagaland
0.475
0.475
21
Odisha
12.645
12.533
22
Punjab
1.794
1.794
23
Rajasthan
9.321
9.321
24
Sikkim
0.165
0.165
25
Tamil Nadu
18.646
18.646
26
Tripura
1.131
1.131
27
Uttar Pradesh
40.945
40.945
28
Uttarakhand
1.909
1.909
29
West Bengal
19.857
14.799
30
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
0.107
0.041
31
Chandigarh
0.088
0.015
32
Dadra &Nagar Haveli
0.069
0.052
33
Daman & Diu
0.015
0.015
34
Lakshadweep
0.012
0.012
35
Puducherry
0.322
0.322

Total
249.998
242.121

* Include the State of Telangana

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

End-to-End Computerisation of PDS as a Mission Mode Project

A scheme on End to end Computerisation of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Operations with a total approved cost of Rs.884.07 crore is being implemented throughout the country. Under the Scheme, financial and technical assistance is being provided to States/Union Territories (UTs). Government of India has so far released an amount of Rs.257.01 crore to the States/UTs, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Consultancy services and the States have so far reported to have incurred an expenditure of Rs.58 crore. Based on receipt of proposals from the States/UTs, the Central Government releases the funds to them in instalments in accordance with the guidelines of the Scheme. This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. 

The Minister said that the Scheme has been declared as a Mission Mode Project (MMP) by the Government with National Informatics Centre (NIC) as the technical partner to provide technical support to the States/UTs for computerisation of the TPDS. The key activities under the scheme include digitization of beneficiary database, computerisation of Supply Chain Management, installation of Grievance Redressal Mechanism and Transparency Portal. Expenditure under the scheme is to be shared between Central and State Governments. Central Government’s share for the North Eastern States is 90% while in the case of rest of the States/UTs, it is 50%. The Scheme will enable correct identification of beneficiaries; removal of bogus cards and better targeting of food subsidies, timely availability of foodgrains to intended beneficiaries at Fair Price Shops (FPS); check leakages/diversion etc. 

He said that the original timelines of the Scheme are well past. In view of the slow and uneven progress across the States/UTs, no fresh timelines have been prescribed. They are however being regularly pursued to ensure early completion of various activities under the Scheme. 

Shri Danve clarified that to monitor and supervise the implementation of the Scheme in the country, a Central Project Monitoring Unit (CPMU) has been created in the Centre. Further, as per the MMP guidelines of National eGovernance Plan (NeGP), a Joint Secretary of the Government has been designated as the Mission Leader for Scheme who periodically reviews the progress under the Scheme through review meetings/ video-conferencing with the States/UTs.


Courtesy: pib.nic.in

Election Commission launches National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP)

Aims at bringing a totally error free and Authenticated Electoral Rolls
Linking of Aadhar data with Electoral Database 
The Election Commission of India has launched “National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme” (NERPAP) throughout the country from today with the prime objective of bringing a totally error free and authenticated electoral roll.

During the programme, EPIC data of electors will be linked with Aadhar data of UIDAI for the purpose of authentication. NERPAP will focus on improving image quality of electors along with sorting issues like corrections of errors etc.

Electors have been provided the facility to feed their respective Aadhar number through sms, email, mobile application and National Voters Service Portal (NVSP) using web services through election commission website. Electors can also feed Aadhar number by making a call at 1950 to state call centres or by submitting the details of Aadhar number and EPIC number in a hard copy of duly filled up Form along with photocopy of both the documents, namely EPIC and Aadhar card.

Besides, collection and feeding of Aadhar will also be done by Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) by organizing Special Camp, Voter Facilitation Centres, e-Seva centres and Citizen Service Centres authorised by the DEOs. Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will also collect the details of electors during door to door survey. To ensure maximum public participation, nationwide special camps will be organized by the Electoral Registration Officer on 12.04.2015

Under NERPAP, facility has also been provided for voluntarily Disclosure of Multiple Entries by the Voters. The electors with multiple registrations in electoral roll(s) are advised to fill Form-7 for deletion of their names from the places except where they ordinarily reside. The electors may submit Form-7 through Web Portal of NVSP or at ERO’s Facilitation Centres /Special Camps/Other Centres such as E-Seva, CSC and so on.

The Programme will culminate on 15th August ,2015.

Courtesy: pib.nic.in