News: The BJP on Wednesday demanded the Delhi government to fully implement the Centre’s ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme in the Capital. It accused the government of lying about its provisions to the people to score political brownie points.
About One Nation, One Ration Card Scheme:
The ONORC scheme is being implemented by the Department for the nation-wide portability of ration cards under National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Through this all eligible ration card holders/beneficiaries covered under NFSA can access their entitlements from anywhere in the country.
This system allows all NFSA beneficiaries, particularly migrant beneficiaries, to claim either full or part food grains from any Fair Price Shop (FPS) in the country through existing ration card with biometric/Aadhaar authentication in a seamless manner.
The system also allows their family members back home, if any, to claim the balance food grains on same the ration card.
Under this plan, the distribution of highly subsidized food grains is enabled through nation-wide portability of ration cards through the implementation of IT-driven system by installation of ePoS devices at FPSs, seeding of Aadhaar number of beneficiaries with their ration cards and operationalisation of biometrically authenticated ePoS transactions in the State/UTs.
Beneficiaries can quote either their ration card number or the Aadhaar number to any Fair Price Shop’s dealer across the country.
Anyone in the family, who have seeded Aadhaar in the ration card can undergo authentication and lift the ration.
There is no need to share or carry the ration card or Aadhaar card with ration dealer to avail the benefit. Beneficiaries can undergo Aadhaar authentication by using their finger prints or iris based identification.
The One Nation One Ration Card facility was started as inter-State portability of ration cards in 4 States w.e.f. August 2019. As on March 2021, 17 states have implemented the scheme.
2. BORDER ROADS ORGANISATION (BRO)
News: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union has lodged a first information report against the officers of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for passing off the State’s Kimin as a town of Assam during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s programme on June 17.
About Border Roads Organisation (BRO):
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is a road construction executive force in India that provides support to and is a part of the Indian Armed Forces.
BRO develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries. This includes infrastructure operations in 19 states and three union territories (including Andaman and Nicobar Islands) and neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tajikistan and Sri Lanka.
BRO is instrumental in significantly upgrading and building new India-China Border Roads.
3. PASSAGE EXERCISE BETWEEN INDIA AND USA
News: The Indian Navy and the Air Force began a two-day passage exercise on Wednesday with U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ronald Reagan during its transit through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations.
The Navy’s INS Kochi and Teg, along with P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and MiG 29K fighters, are participating in the exercise.
For the exercise, which is under the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command, the IAF forces are operating from bases under four operational commands and include Jaguar and Su-30 MKI fighters, Phalcon and Netra early warning aircraft and IL-78 air to air refueller aircraft.
The U.S.’ CSG comprises Nimitz class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey and Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh.
It has fielded F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft in the exercise being carried out south of Thiruvananthapuram on the western seaboard.
4. MODEL TENANCY ACT
News: Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri on Wednesday addressed concerns about the Model Tenancy Act, reiterating that it was a “model Act” and that it would have to be passed by the States.
About the Model Tenancy Act:
As per Census 2011, more than 1 crore houses were lying vacant in urban areas.
“The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession. One of the potential measures to unlock the vacant house is to bringing transparency and accountability in the existing system of renting of premises and to balance the interests of both the property owner and tenant in a judicious manner.
States can adopt the Act as it is with fresh legislation, since it is a state subject, or they can amend their existing rent acts to factor in the new MTA. States and Union Territories have MoUs with the Centre under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban which has this provision.
The government says the Act aims to formalise the shadow market of rental housing, unlock vacant properties, increase rental yields, ease/remove exploitative practices, reduce procedural barriers in registration, and increase transparency and discipline.
After enforcement of this Act, no person can let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing. Repeal of local rent control Acts has been a politically sensitive issue in cities with high-value rent markets, such as especially South Mumbai, where old properties in prime locations have been occupied for decades by tenants at negligible rent. The Model Act has been in the making since 2015, but has been held up on this point.
States will set up a grievance redressal mechanism comprising of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal to provide fast-track resolution of disputes. Disposal of a complaint/appeal by the Rent Court and the Rent Tribunal will be mandatory within 60 days.
There is no monetary ceiling. At present, in many old properties let out under archaic rent-control Acts, such ceilings have left landlords stuck with outdated rent amounts.
A digital platform will be set up in the local vernacular language or the language of the State/Union Territory for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents. Rent Authority will keep a tab on these agreements.
Verbal agreements will be out of the picture, as the MTA mandates written agreement for all new tenancies which is to be submitted to Rent Authority. Tenant will continue to pay the rent even during the pendency of a dispute with a landlord.
Subletting of premises can only be done with the prior consent of the landlord, and no structural change can be done by the tenant without the written consent of the landlord.
The security deposit to be paid by the tenant should not exceed two months’ rent for residential property (six months’ rent in case of non-residential property), and should be a minimum of one month’s rent for non-residential property.
The Act lists the kinds of repairs each party would be responsible for, with the proviso that money for repairs can be deducted from the security deposit or rent, as applicable, if a party refuses to carry out their share of the work. No arbitrary eviction of a tenant can be done during currency of the tenancy period, except in accordance with provisions of the Act.
The Rent Court can allow repossession by the landlord if the tenant misuses the premises, after being served a notice by the landowner. Misuse of the premises, as defined, includes public nuisance, damage, or its use for “immoral or illegal purposes”. If the tenant refuses to vacate, the landlord can claim double the monthly rent for two months, and four times the monthly rent thereafter.
In case of a force majeure event, the landlord shall allow the tenant to continue in possession until a period of one month from the date of cessation of such disastrous event, on the terms of existing tenancy agreement.
5. CHINA’S NEW BORDER UNITS
News: China is raising new militia units comprising local Tibetan youth for high-altitude warfare near Eastern Ladakh, the site of the recent border tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as well as near its borders with Sikkim and Bhutan, intelligence intercepts have revealed.
The new units named Mimang Cheton are presently undergoing training, and are to be deployed mostly in upper Himalayan ranges, both in the eastern and western sectors of the India-China border.
It is learnt that two batches of the Mimang Cheton have completed training and have been deployed along various locations in the Chumbi valley, including Yadong, which borders Sikkim and Bhutan, Cheema, Rinchengang, PB Thang and Phari. A second batch is undergoing training at Phari, which is near Sikkim.
Available information indicates that the units are also being deployed at Rutog in Tibet, near the Pangong Tso (lake) in eastern Ladakh.
Recent reports appearing in China’s state media suggest the militia has been used to transport supplies to PLA troops stationed at Rutog. The new units will be used for high-altitude warfare as well for surveillance and for ensuring supplies to PLA troops.
The units are being trained by the PLA, but personnel are yet to get uniforms or ranks. The new Mimang Cheton units mirrors India’s .elite and decades-old Special Frontier Force consisting of persons of Tibetan origin.
About Special Frontier Force:
The Special Frontier Force (SFF) is an Indian special operations unit created on 14 November 1962.
It mainly comprised Tibetan refugees living in India. Now it has increased in size and scope of operations.
Its primary goal originally was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another Sino-Indian War.
Throughout its history, SFF has fought in India’s major external wars including the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Kargil War.
It has also been involved in internal security, including Operation Blue Star and also serving as the “Personal Force” of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to suppress opposition parties during the state of emergency from 1975 to 1977.
It has been part of border operations against China, including the 2020 China–India skirmishes.
Based in Chakrata, Uttarakhand, the force was put under the direct supervision of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and later the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s external intelligence agency, and is not part of the Indian Army but functions under their operational control with its own rank structure, charter and training infrastructure.