India most dangerous for Women : Poll :-
India has been ranked as the most dangerous country out of the world’s 10 worst countries for women, behind Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, according to a poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Poll 2018 :-
- The findings are based on perceptions of experts on women’s issues.
- India was followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nigeria and the U.S. — in that order.
- The same poll conducted in 2011 had placed India at the fourth place.
India ranked as the most dangerous on three of the topic questions —
- The risk of sexual violence and harassment against women,
- The danger women face from cultural, tribal and traditional practices,
- The country where women are most in danger of human trafficking including forced labour, sex slavery and domestic servitude,” according to the Foundation.
Arguments by NCW (National Commission for Women) :-
- The National Commission for Women on Tuesday rejected the survey & said the countries that have been ranked after India have women who are not even allowed to speak in public.
- NCW claims that the sample size was small and could not be representative of the whole country.
- Women are very aware in India of issues and there is no way that we could be ranked number one in such a survey.
Govt limits Overtime Allowance :-
The Modi government decided to discontinue overtime allowance (OTA) except in the case of ‘operational staff’ involved in smooth functioning of an office or maintenance jobs.
Govt claims :-
- It has been clarified by the department of expenditure that the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission to discontinue OTA for categories other than operational staff and industrial employees who are governed by statutory provisions may be accepted.
- Accordingly, it has been decided to implement the aforesaid decision… across all ministries/departments and attached and subordinate office of the government of India, the DoPT said.
- DoPT officials said all nonministerial, non-gazetted central government employees directly involved in smooth operation of the office, including those tasked with operation of some electrical and mechanical equipment, may be deemed ‘operational staff’ eligible for overtime allowance.
- DoPT has asked all ministries and departments to prepare a list of such ‘operational staff’ with full justification based on the above parameters.
- The list must be approved by the joint secretary (administration) and the financial adviser of the ministry/department concerned.
Plans :- The plan is to link OTA to biometric attendance.
- OTA should be paid only when the senior officer directs the employee concerned in writing to stay back in office for urgent work.
- OTA for drivers may be calculated either based on biometric attendance or from log books.
- Field officers’ OTA must be calculated based on biometric attendance with the eligible staff required to report to office before going to the field. If they must go directly to the field, OTA may be given based on log book of the official transport availed by the employee.
Withdrawals easier & faster as EPFO changes rules :-
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) brings new provision in the Employees Provident Fund Scheme 1952. Union Labour minister Santosh Gangwar made the decision after meeting of the central board of trustees, EPFO’s apex body.
Under new Provision :-
- EPFO has decided to give its members an option to withdraw 75% of their funds after one month of unemployment and keep their PF account with the retirement fund body.
- The members would also have an option to withdraw the remaining 25% of their funds and go for a final settlement of account after two months of unemployment.
Present Situation :-
- At present, in case of unemployment, a subscriber can withdraw his or her funds after two months of unemployment and settle the account in one go.
Minister claims :-
- This new provision would give an option to members to keep their account with the EPFO, which he can use after he gets another job.
- The minister said an extension of a year has been given to ETF (exchange traded funds), SBI and UTI Mutual funds till July 1, 2019 and has also extended the term of the fund managers till December 31, 2018.
EU (Withdrawal) Bill becomes law :-
EU Bill received Queen’s Assent :-
- A EU (Withdrawal) Bill enacting Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has become law after months of debate.
- EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which repeals the 1972 European Communities Act through which Britain became a member, had received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II.
- The Bill transfers decades of European law onto British statute books in a bid to avoid any legal disruption.
March 29 the day – Brexit day
- It also enshrines Brexit day in British law as March 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. (2300 GMT) — midnight Brussels time, defined by the end of the two-year Article 50 withdrawal process.
- The Bill has undergone more than 250 hours of acrimonious debate in the Houses of Parliament since it was introduced in July 2017.
- The government had a tough time getting the Bill through Parliament and was forced to concede some power to lawmakers over the final Brexit deal agreed with Brussels
China proposed 2+1 format for India talks :-
The spirit of the Wuhan informal summit echoed strongly last week during the visit of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli to Beijing, with China proposing a new dialogue mechanism that would also involve India.
Under 2+1 Format :-
- This is different from a trilateral mechanism.
- Under the Chinese proposal, China and India can jointly conduct a dialogue with a third regional country,” the source said.
- The Chinese initiative is not Nepal-specific.