PIB News 17th Sep, 2020


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.)

Tax tribunal makes innovative and aggressive use of IT techniques to dispense faster justice in the field of Direct Taxes despite corona
Online Judicial proceedings begins immediately upon lifting of lockdown
More than 5000 cases disposed of since partial lifting of lockdown

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, a statutory quasi-judicial institution created under the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the second appellate authority dealing with disputes in the field of Direct Taxes and widely acclaimed as the ‘Mother Tribunal’, has been modelling itself on its motto of ‘Nishpaksh Sulabh Satvar Nyay’, meaning Impartial, Easy and Speedy Justice, by maintaining good disposal even during the COVID-19 Pandemic period.  The innovative and aggressive use of techniques of Information Technology to dispense justice in the field of Direct Taxes in such times when physical hearing of cases was not found feasible on concerns of safety, etc. has been seamlessly adopted by the ITAT.

Justice P.P. Bhatt, President of ITAT directed the start of judicial proceedings immediately upon lifting of lockdown, albeit through the mode of Video Conferencing instead of physical hearings.  This has yielded good dividends inasmuch it has enabled the Benches to function, whereby cases have been heard and disposed of by hearing both parties from remote locations.  During the period starting from partial lifting of lockdown in April, 2020 and up to 31st August, 2020, as many as 5,392 cases were disposed of as against filing of 3,078 cases during such period.

The 63 Benches of the ITAT are spread over 28 regular stations and 2 Circuit Benches at Varanasi and Dehradun.  Administratively, the Benches are divided in 10 Zones, each headed by a Vice President.  All the Zones functioned during this period strictly in compliance with the guidelines and instructions issued by the Central and/or State Governments.

ITAT wishes to thank its stakeholders, viz., taxpayers, lawyers, Chartered Accountants and the Offices of the Income Tax Department in cooperating with the Benches and providing useful assistance in the administration of justice in the field of Direct Taxes during the current period of COVID-19 Pandemic.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Steps taken by Government to support tribal communities during Covid pandemic
Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has constituted a team of officers to prepare the roadmap and take necessary measures for implementation/realization of initiatives to restore growth in the economy after the Covid-19 Pandemic. On request of MoTA, the Ministry of Home Affairs has vide Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 16/04/20 issued guidelines aiming to relax the provisions of lockdown for Collection, harvesting and processing of Minor Forest Produce(MFP)/ Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) by STs and other forest dwellers in forest areas across the country.

MoTA also revised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), offering much-needed support to tribal gatherers in view of the exceptional and very difficult circumstances prevailing in the country due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. To provide a fillip to the Income generating activities of tribals through MFP Procurements, revised MSP for MFP guidelines were issued on May 1 2020, which increased the MSP prices of the MFPs and helped in providing higher incomes for the tribal gatherers. Moreover, on May 26, 2020, the MoTA also added 23 new items under the MSP for MFP list taking the total number of MFPs under the scheme to 73. These items include agricultural and horticultural produce collected by tribal gatherers.

The COVID response team of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs formulated a COVID-19 Pandemic response plan for Scheduled Tribe livelihood and Health. The same has been approved by the Secretary, Tribal Affairs and is already circulated among various stakeholders for necessary action. States/UTs have been asked to utilize the funds from State TSP as well as submit a comprehensive proposal on these lines under various schemes of this Ministry.The steps included in the response plan are as under:

  1. Provision of Community Kitchen in ST areas (PVTG dominated Gram Panchayat)
  2. Ensuring supply of ration
  3.  Basic financial support through DBT
  4. Operationalization of already sanctioned VDVKs on mission mode (1126 VDVKs in 21 States and 1 UT)
  5. Assessment of stock of MFPs and Non-MFPs available with SHGs and finding markets for these products through TRIFED.
  6.  Development of Online Platform for procurement, sale and supply chain management of tribal produce at remunerative prices for the tribal producers, tribal farmers and MFP gatherers.
  7. Improving village level water availability.
  8. Cultivation of early and late varieties of vegetables
  9.  Small goat rearing unit, mini-layer unit, fishery kits for fisherman, mushroom cultivation and bee-keeping, etc
  10. Self employment training and Bank linkage
  11.  Skill development of youth
  12. Infrastructure creation and employment generation through construction work of EMRS
  13. Support towards Creation of Isolation/Quarantine Facilities in scheduled tribe areas (Gap filling).

Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development has done mapping of sectoral gaps down to the level of Gram Panchayat & village. The data has been shared with all States who have been asked to work out strategies for mitigating sectoral gaps at village level including in the field of healthcare. This Ministry has also prepared a Tribal Health Action Plan which was shared with NITI Aayog, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, AYUSH and States in November 2019. There have been few rounds of discussion on this plan with NITI and MoHF&W and a joint VC was also called of State Tribal Secretaries and Health Secretaries with Secy Health and Secy Tribal Affairs with their officers.

In order to have updated data on the Health Infrastructure and manpower gaps in 177 tribal districts, MoTA has developed Swasthya Portal (swasthya.tribal.gov.in), wherein data from MoHF&W and MoWCD and from districts is being captured.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


The National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (‘NPCSCB’) – “Mission Karmayogi” has been launched with the objective of enhancing governance through Civil Service Capacity Building.Mission Karmayogi will have the following six pillars:-

 (i)         Policy Framework,

(ii)        Institutional Framework,

(iii)       Competency Framework,

(iv)       Digital Learning Framework (Integrated Government Online Training Karmayogi Platform (iGOT-Karmayogi),

(v)        electronic Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS), and

(vi)       Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

For implementation and monitoring of the programme, following institutional framework has been approved:

(i)         Prime Minister’s Public Human Resource Council (PMHRC): A Council under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister is conceived to be the apex body for driving and providing strategic direction to civil service reforms and capacity building.

(ii)        Cabinet Secretariat Coordination Unit: It will monitor the implementation of NPCSCB, align stakeholders and provide mechanism for overseeing capacity building plans.

(iii)       Capacity Building Commission– It will be set up for functional supervision of training institutions and facilitate in preparation of annual capacity building plans.

iv)       Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV, an autonomous company) under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 – It will own and operate all the digital assets created for NPCSCB on behalf of the Government of India.

(v)        Programme Management Unit (PMU) - It will provide Program Management and Support services to the Department.

The training of Civil Servants at various Academies will be restructured to include optimum use of the digital learning platform of iGOT.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.




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