Five-fold increase in revenue deficit
Presenting a bleak picture of the financial health of Uttarakhand, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report on State finances and audit tabled in Uttarakhand assembly on Tuesday has said that the revenue deficit has witnessed a five-fold increase in the year 2017-18 as compared to the year 2016-17.
Incidentally Uttarakhand was a revenue surplus state in the year 2013-14. The revenue deficit of the State in the year 2016-17 was Rs 383 crore which increased to Rs 1978 crore in the year 2017-18. The fiscal deficit also increased from Rs 5467 crore in the year 2016-17 to Rs 7935 crore in the year 2017-18.
In its report, the CAG mentions that the fiscal deficit at 3.65 per cent of GSDP was above the normative target of 3.25 per cent of GSDP as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission.
The CAG also indicted the Government departments for non submittal of 102 Utilisation Certificates (UC) due for submission by March 2018 to the Accountant General. It suggested that the government should ensure the timely submission of UCs by the departments. The CAG indicted the medical health and family welfare department for failing to realise compensation of Rs 18 crore from doctors for breach of contracts.
Abu Dhabi selected as world’s leading sports tourism destination
Abu Dhabi has been selected as the world’s leading Sports tourism Destination at the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) being held in Muscat.
This is the seventh time in a row that Abu Dhabi has been selected for this coveted award.
Abu Dhabi shined as a premium destination once again for sports tourism in 2019 after hosting some of the world’s top sporting events, such as the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 and 2018, the first edition of the UAE Tour, the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Special Olympics World Games 2019, the UFC 242 showdown and the Brazil vs South Korea international friendly match.
Sports tourism has been labelled by the United Nations World Travel Organisation, UNWTO, as one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism worldwide.
WADA bans Russia from all major sporting events
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)banned Russia for a four-year term from all major sporting events. The decision was made at Wada’s executive committee in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Under the ban, the Russian national flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
After a three-year suspension for Russia’s vast state-sponsored doping scandal, Russia had to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018. The ban comes after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant to manipulate laboratory data that was handed over to investigators in January 2019.
Andhra cabinet approves Disha Act providing for harsher punishments for crimes against women
The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet approved the enactment of the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act also known as the Disha Act that provides for harsher punishments, including death sentence to those guilty of heinous crimes against women.
As announced earlier in the assembly by Chief Minister, in the presence of adequate conclusive evidence in cases of crime against women such as rape, acid attacks among others the judgment must be pronounced within 21 days and trial must be completed in 14 days.
The cabinet also approved the Andhra Pradesh Special Court for Specified Offences against Women and Children Act 2019, which allows the establishment of special courts in each district to address crimes against women and children.
The bill allows taking actions under Indian Penal Code section 354 (E) against those who upload posts on social media that degrades women’s reputation.
For the same, first time offenders would be punished with two years imprisonment, second-time offenders with four years of imprisonment.
Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha
External affairs minister S. Jaishankar introduced the Anti-Maritime Piracy Bill 2019 at Lok Sabha. The bill seeks to provide for stringent punishment, including death penalty or life imprisonment, to those involved in piracy at sea.
The Bill includes a provision of automatic death penalty was against the law.
The Bill said that any person who commits any act of piracy shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with death if such person in committing the act of piracy causes death or an attempt thereof.
The Bill was drafted to keep up with India’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which concluded in 1982. India had ratified the UNCLOS in 1995.
National Tribal Dance Festival to be held in Raipur from Dec 27-29
A three-day National Tribal Dance Festival will be held in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur from December 27 to 29.
In the event international folk artists from 23 states and six other countries are expected to take part and portray their respective tribal folk culture.
Nearly 1,400 artists belonging to 151 art troupes from 23 states and guest artists from six countries including Sri Lanka, Belarus, Uganda and Bangladesh will participate in the three-day programme.
Government to implement Vocationalisation of School Education scheme
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is to implement the Scheme of Vocationalisation of School Education under Samagra Shiksha. It is an integrated scheme for school education.
A vocational subject is offered for Classes IX to XII along with the general education to provide necessary employability and vocational skills for a variety of occupations under the scheme.
The scheme has been implemented in 8654 schools, with reported enrolment of more than 10 lakhs students till 2018-19.
The basic contents on Goods and Services Tax (GST) have been included by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in the textbooks of Economics, Accountancy and Business Studies at different stages.