Govt. promulgates ordinance in place of new Act
The Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019, that was passed by the Telangana Legislature apparently did not get the assent of Governor as he was believed to have raised some objections to certain provisions.
According to sources, the State government had since addressed the issues raised by the Governor and promulgated an ordinance. However, no word was out why the Governor refused to give his assent nor the fresh ordinance issued by the government was made public.
Key Points of the New Municipal Act:
73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments
73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were passed by Parliament in December, 1992. Through these amendments local self-governance was introduced in rural and urban India. The Acts came into force as the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 on April 24, 1993 and the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 on June 1, 1993. These amendments added two new parts to the Constitution, namely, 73rd Amendment added Part IX titled “The Panchayats” and 74th Amendment added Part IXA titled “The Municipalities”. The Local bodies ‘Panchayats’ and ‘Municipalities’ came under Part IX and IXA of the Constitution after 43 years of India becoming a republic.
Salient Features of the 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendment Acts:
Panchayats and Municipalities will be “institutions of self-government”.
Expert panels to the aid of LSGIs
Technical committees comprising experts of prominent engineering colleges would come to the aid of local self-government institutions (LSGIs) for addressing complaints on safety threats posed to old and small structures due to reckless digging and piling.
There had been a surge of complaints from all over the State about the hazards thrown up to old buildings, mostly residential, in rural and urban local bodies mainly on account of piling and digging of plots for constructing huge structures.
Once a major project comes up, the relatively small and rather old structures in the neighbourhood sustain damage because they cannot bear the impact of piling and digging. Much more than in rural areas, the trend was mostly prevalent in the urban locales. Once the cities started expanding, there was an increase in complaints from the rural local bodies too.
The Kerala panchayat and municipal building rules were armed with adequate provisions to ensure the safety as well as conservation of such buildings in all areas.
It had laid down guidelines on safety norms and also for awarding compensation for those sustaining any loss.
Each local body had a panel with the secretary concerned as convener and an engineer, a structural engineer and a geo technical engineering expert as members to handle complaints about safety threats.
The reports suggested expansion of technical committees comprising the local body secretary and the district town planner and proposed to include experts of prominent institutions.
UN climate envoy meets Javadekar
The United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Change, Luis Alfonso de Alba, met Union Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar and discussed India’s initiatives to meet its climate commitments.
United Nations Climate Summit in New York in September, Mr. de Alba, appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as his climate envoy.
The Secretary-General is exhorting countries and leaders to come with concrete plans at the meeting and not mere policy statements. We need to be getting into a trajectory to achieve emission cuts to cap warming at 1.5°C.
This implies countries enhancing their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
The UN also announced a ‘Clean Air Initiative’ that calls on governments to achieve air quality that is safe for citizens and to align climate change and air pollution policies by 2030.
The climate crisis and the air pollution crisis are driven by the same factors and must be tackled by joint action. Governments at all levels must have both an urgent need and huge opportunity to address it.
India had created 80,000 MW of renewable power and set a target of achieving 175,000 MW by 2022; reduced energy intensity by 21%, was increasing forest cover and that the distribution of 70 million gas cylinders under the Ujjwala scheme had helped save trees, reduce pollution and improve health.
Clean Air Initiative
The Union Environment Minister launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The programme aims to tackle the challenge of increasing pollution in the cities and towns.
Features of the Programme:
The important features of the programme are:
Andhra Pradesh Employment Of Local Candidates In Industries/Factories Act, 2019
Andhra Pradesh became the first state to reserve jobs for locals in all private industrial units and factories, irrespective of whether the companies get financial or any other help from the government.
The assembly passed the Andhra Pradesh Employment of Local Candidates in Industries /Factories Act, 2019.
It reserves 75% private jobs across all categories in industrial units, factories, joint ventures and projects in public-private partnership mode.
If locals with necessary skills are not available, then companies must train them in association with the state government and hire them.
Only those units that are listed in the first schedule of the Factories Act will be exempted from the Act, after the government approval. These are mostly hazardous industries like petroleum, pharmaceuticals, coal, fertilisers and cement, among others.
Companies will have to comply with these provisions within three years of the commencement of the Act.
Scenario in other states:
Although many states have repeatedly spoken about reserving a big chunk of private jobs for locals, none has implemented it as yet.
Madhya Pradesh had on July 9 said it would bring a law to reserve 70% of private sector jobs for locals.
The demand has existed in Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra as well.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar informed Rajya Sabha about the steps being taken by the Government to curb the menace of Paid News.
Meaning: Paid news is defined as any news or analysis appearing in print or electronic media for consideration in cash or kind. Manifestations of paid news are:
Recent trend in Paid News:
The Press Council of India has received 58 cases of paid news during 2018-19 from the Election Commission and others.
No specific instance of paid news in electronic media (Private Satellite TV Channels) has been brought to the notice of his ministry.
Steps recommended to counter paid news:
The Press Council of India has recommended amendment to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in order to make the incidence of paid news a punishable electoral malpractice.
The Election Commission has also recommended for including paid news in the category of corrupt practices or electoral offences.