ENVIRONMENT & ECOLOGY
Salim Ali Centre For Ornithology And Natural History (SACON)
News: Windmills are not so green for wildlife.
Source: The Hindu
The Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) was formally inaugurated on 5th June 1990. Located at Anaikatty, 24 kms northwest of Coimbatore, SACON is a national centre for studies in Ornithology and Natural History. The centre was named befittingly after Dr. Salim Ali in appreciation of his lifelong services to India's bird life and conservation of natural resources.
Under the MoEFCC.
Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013
News: 2013 report wanted changes to sexual harassment law.
Source: The Hindu
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. It was passed by the LokSabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) on 3 September 2012.
It was passed by the RajyaSabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament) on 26 February 2013. The Bill got the assent of the President on 23 April 2013. The Act came into force from 9 December 2013. This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
It was reported by the International Labour Organization that very few Indian employers were compliant to this statute not in citation given Most Indian employers have not implemented the law despite the legal requirement that any workplace with more than 10 employees need to implement it.
According to a FICCI-EY November 2015 report, 36% of Indian companies and 25% among MNCs are not compliant with the Sexual Harassment Act, 2013. The government has threatened to take stern action against employers who fail to comply with this law.
The Vishaka guidelines were laid down by the Supreme Court in Vishakha and others v State of Rajasthan judgment in 1997.
It imposes three key obligations on employing institutions - prohibition, prevention, and redress.
The institutions are mandated to establish a Complaints Committee.
This was to look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.
These guidelines are legally binding.
The Guidelines issued by the court said that
(i) It shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in workplace or other institutions to prevent or deter the acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment by taking all steps required.
(ii) The rules/regulations of the government and the public sector bodies relating to conduct and discipline should include rules/regulation Prohibiting sexual harassment and provide for appropriate penalties in such rules against the offender.
(iii) As regards private employers, steps should be taken to include the aforesaid prohibitions in the standing orders under the Industrial employment (Standing Orders)Act, 1946."
Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Scheme
News: Womens participation is 75% in the production of major crops in the country: Radha Mohan Singh.
Main objectives of the Scheme are to promote decentralized farmer-driven and farmer-accountable extension system through an institutional arrangement for technology dissemination in the form of an Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), encourage multi-agency and broad-based extension strategies, adopt group approach to extension and facilitate convergence of programmes in planning, execution & implementation at district level.
Under the scheme grants-in-aid is released to the States/UTs with an objective to support State Governments efforts in revitalizing the extension system and making available the latest agricultural technologies in different thematic areas to increase production in agriculture & allied sectors through a Cafeteria of Activities which include Farmers Training, Demonstrations, Exposure Visits, KisanMela, Mobilization of Farmers Groups, Setting up of Farm School, Innovative Technology Dissemination, Research-Extension Linkages etc.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
News: BBNL key for implementation of Bharat Net project -ManojSinha.
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.
The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs). To achieve this, the existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary. Dark fibre network thus created was lit by appropriate technology thus creating sufficient bandwidth at the Gram Panchayats.
Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators and Content providers to launch various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version - BharatNet was conceived as a nation-wide broadband network.
BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.
The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India.
PhaseI: The target of completing 1,00,000 GPs under phase-I of BharatNet was achieved in December 2017.
Phase ll: BharatNet Phase-II is planned to connect the remaining 1,50,000GPs,using an optimal mix of media, by 31 Mar, 2019. Phase II is being implemented through three models – state-led model, CPSU model, and private sector model.
Further, provision has been made for Last Mile Connectivity in all 2,50,000 GPs through viability gap funding.