Massive encouragement for ‘Other Service Provider’ Industry in BPO and ITeS Sectors
- With an aim to qualitatively improve the Ease of Doing Business of the IT Industry particularly Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT Enabled Services, the Government has drastically simplified the Other Service Provider(OSP) guidelines of the Department of Telecom. The new guidelines tremendously reduce the compliance burden of the BPO industry.
- Registration requirement for OSPs has been done away with altogether and the BPO industry engaged in data related work have been taken out of the ambit of OSP regulations.
- Requirements such as deposit of bank guarantees, requirement for static IPs, frequent reporting obligations, publication of network diagram, penal provisions etc. have also been removed.
- Several other requirements, which prevented companies from adopting ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Work from Anywhere’ policies have also been removed.
- Additional dispensations to enhance flexibility for the Industry have been allowed.
- The new framework will provide a strong impetus to India’s industry and will make India one of the most competitive IT jurisdictions in the World. The new guidelines are inspired by Prime Minister Modi’s strong emphasis on Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
- New guidelines are aimed at removing unnecessary bureaucratic restrictions to allow the industry to focus on innovative new products and solutions.
- With this reform, the Government of India sends out a strong signal of its support to the IT industry with a view to encouraging increased investment in the Sector.
- The reform will certainly unleash the potential of our talented youth by making India a preferred destination for Information and Knowledge Outsourcing Industry and would further the vision of ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’.
Grand Challenge for development of “Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System” – Evaluation of applications underway
- The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims to provide Tap Connection to every rural household by 2024 with particular focus on ‘service delivery’ i.e. regular water supply in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on long-term basis.
- This necessitates the use of modern technology in monitoring of the programme and to capture service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of services. Digitisation of water supply infrastructure has the potential to solve current problems as well as help anticipate and address future challenges.
- In order to harness the power of technology in water management which is the need of the hour, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology in partnership with National Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti had announced an ICT Grand Challenge to develop a ‘Smart water supply measurement and monitoring system’.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission would be the user agent of the Grand Challenge and C-DAC, Bangalore is the implementing agency and would provide technical support for the challenge. C-DAC will also provide technical support for Proof of Concept (PoC) development to the shortlisted candidates. It would also provide mentoring support, technical guidance to them.
- Way forward in the Grand challenge includes Ideation to Prototype Stage, Prototype to Product Stage, Product Deployment Stage, and announcement of three winners. All these stages would be carried out with funding support from MeitY and National Jal Jeevan Mission.
- This Grand Challenge will harness the vibrant IoT ecosystems of India for creating smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water supply in rural areas. This Challenge will provide an opportunity to work for Jal Jeevan Mission and to assure potable water supply through Functional Household Tap Connections to every rural household.
Shri Gadkari calls for greater utilization of Bamboo resources; reducing logistics cost
- Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs has emphasized upon the need for more intensive use of bamboo resources of the country. Bamboo has a variety of uses in various fields like buildings and interiors, handicrafts, agarbatti making, garments, bio-fuel resource, etc.
- He asked various sectors to utilize various modes and methods to bring down logistics costs including choosing more cost-efficient transit modes like water, rail or road.
- A 3 metre dredging of Brahmaputra River has made it possible to use waterways for transporting goods. Using river transport would come very handy in transportation cost reduction for Bamboo and Bamboo products originating from the North East.
- He asked Ministry of DONER to formulate a comprehensive Bamboo Policy as most of the Bamboo is produced in North East. The Minister recalled how he took up the matter of doing away with the need of permission to cut bamboo with the Prime Minister who directed the Forest Authorities to follow suit as bamboo fell in the category of grass with the character of regeneration.
- Calling for production of high yielding bamboo varieties for industrial use bamboo yield should be 200 tonnes per acre against about 40 tonnes per acre in case of some varieties. The greater yield and wider bamboo usage will open up more employment generation especially in North East India.
- He advised that Bamboo sticks may be reduced to bamboo bales so that moisture is removed therefore making transportation easier and further cheaper as also increasing its calorific value. He suggested IITs may be roped in to undertake a pilot project in this regard.
- He also suggested making available more incentives to Bamboo production, processing and handling and said this will go a long way in developing the bamboo based industry.
- Ministry of DoNER and North Eastern Council is taking all measures for tapping Bamboo resources and technical know-how at all India level. Ministry had already decided to develop three Bamboo Clusters in Jammu, Katra and Samba areas for making of Bamboo basketry, Agarbatti and Bamboo Charcoal as well as setting up of Bamboo Technology Centre.
- Ministry is already exploring Bamboo reserves in different parts of the country for exploitation of its full potential. During the last four years, Ministry of DoNER has sanctioned 17 projects for development of bamboo in NE States, including a Bamboo Industrial Park at Dima Hasao in Assam.
- Around 40% area under bamboo is in North Eastern States. However, this potential of Bamboo for North Eastern Region is not being fully utilized due to restrictions in movement of Bamboo under Indian Forest Act, 1927.
- Steps taken in North Eastern states to promote Bamboo:
- The government has amended the century old Indian Forest Act by taking home grown bamboo out of the purview of the Forest Act, in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.
- Another major reform was to increase the import duty on bamboo sticks raised to 25%. This decision has paved the way for setting up of new Agarbatti stick manufacturing units to meet the ever-growing demand of Agarbatti in India. The Agarbatti industry has 5 to 6 thousand crore of market share in India, but bulk of it were imported from countries like China and Korea.
- Bamboo has great potential for its use as a clean source of energy and can also replace the single use plastic, thus promoting the environment and Climate cause in India.
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