The Union government launched an evaluation this week
as part of measures to double the number of people covered by its pension
scheme from the current 3.09 crore to more than six crore.
The measure is in line with proposals made in the last
budget, which, however, did not include additional financial allocation.
Now, with an upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court on a petition demanding
universal pension coverage and higher allocation, the government hopes its
study will throw up some concrete proposals, in time for the next budget.
According to the official, advertisements for agencies
to conduct the evaluation were issued on Saturday, just days before the
October 9 hearing of a Public Interest Litigation petition on care and
assistance to the elderly.
In its last order on September 12, the Supreme Court
had said: “As far as the National Social Assistance Programme is concerned,
even though it is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the contribution made by the
Central government is minuscule.” The Centre’s contribution to the monthly
pension is ₹200, an amount that has remained unchanged for the last 11
Having secured Rs. 1.81 lakh crore in its kitty from
e-auction of 50 mineral blocks, the government is looking to put on block
another 100 mines in the next six months, according to the Ministry of
The government, so far, has auctioned 50 mines,
including 23 limestone, 17 iron ore, 4 gold, 2 each of manganese and
graphite blocks and one bauxite and diamond block each.
As per the report, Jharkhand will auction the highest
20 blocks followed by Rajasthan (16) and Madhya Pradesh (13) and Maharashtra
(13). Of these 102, the government plans to auction two limestone blocks in
October. Of the two blocks, one is in Andhra Pradesh and the other is in
The Chintalayapalle-Abdullapuram-Korumanipalli (CAK)
limestone block in Andhra Pradesh with reserves of 104.68 million tonnes
(MT) will be auctioned on October 12. The Bhatvadiya block in Gujarat with
reserves of 477.2 MT will go under the hammer on October 17.
The Centre had earlier said it was considering
granting all approvals, including environmental clearance, to the mineral
blocks before putting them up for sale.
From the 50 mineral blocks auctioned so far since
2015, the government will earn a revenue of Rs. 1.81 lakh crore over the
The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, landed in
Tajikistan this afternoon (October 7, 2018) on a three day visit to the
Later in the evening, he addressed members of Indian
community at a reception hosted by Mr SomnathGhosh, Ambassador of India to
Tajikistan, in Dushanbe.
Addressing the gathering, the President said that a
major change has been made in the Indian Government’s mechanism to connect
with the overseas Indian community.
Emotional, cultural, economic and institutional
relations between India and its diaspora have become stronger in the past
few years. Missions have been instructed to promptly respond to diaspora
members in need of assistance.
Addressing the “Friends of India in Tajikistan”, the
President assured them that India will continue to give its cooperation to
Tajikistan in capacity building and development. He appreciated the work of