Vijaya Sai Reddy Questions Cabinet Ministers

New Delhi: As part of Parliament sessions, YSRCP MP V. Vijaya Sai
Reddy has posed questions to the Minister of Human Resource Development,
Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Commerce and Industry and the
Minister of Tribal Affairs.

applications for registration of schools in AP and Telangana

MP V. Vijaya Sai Reddy has asked the Minister of Human
Resource Development about the number of applications for registration of all kinds
of schools from the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the academic
year 2016-17 received by CBSE and how many of them are still pending for Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana separately. He has also questioned what steps CBSE would
take to clear and approve all such applications to help the backward areas get
access to schooling and not lose an academic year and about the measures
proposed to fast-track all such pending requests and applications. He has also wanted
to know about the plans to modify, improve and install better electronic
administration system in CBSE.

Upendra Kushwaha, the Minister of the State for the
Ministry of Human Resource Development, has answered the MP in writing.
Informing that Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has received 60 applications
from Andhra Pradesh and 33 from Telangana for Academic Session 2016-17, he has
given information about disposal of applications. He has stated that action on
the applications are taken as per Affiliation Bye-laws of the CBSE. No
application received from schools is pending for initial processing. However,
the above pendency is on account of non fulfillment of the required conditions
by the concerned schools in accordance with Affiliation Bye-laws. CBSE has
introduced online system for submission of applications for affiliation through
e- affiliation portal and subject to fulfillment of various conditions as
prescribed in Affiliation Bye-laws of the CBSE, he has said.

by Sri Lanka to end ‘Bottom Trawling’ fishing

MP Vijaya Sai Reddy has questioned the Minister of External
Affairs whether Sri Lanka has made a proposal to Government to end “Bottom Trawling”
fishing in the coastal waters between the two countries, whether it is a fact
that Joint Working Group has been set up between the two countries to negotiate
fishermen issues, whether any points of agreement have been finalized and what
steps Government would take to have such arrangements with all countries with whom
India shares coastal waters and the steps proposed to be taken to reduce
friction between India and other countries over fisheries and fishermen.

M.J.Akbar, the Minister of the state for the Ministry
of External Affairs, has answered the MP’s questions in writing. He has
informed that the India-Sri Lanka Ministerial level meeting on fishermen issues
held in New Delhi on 5 November 2016 agreed to set up a Joint Working Group
(JWG) on Fisheries as a bilateral institutional mechanism to help find a
permanent solution to the fishermen issues. The Terms of Reference of JWG

(i) expediting the transition towards ending the
practice of bottom trawling at the earliest

(ii) working out the modalities for the Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs) for handing over of apprehended fishermen

(iii) ascertaining possibilities for cooperation on patrolling.
The JWG is also mandated to discuss the issue of release of detained fishing

Akbar has also informed that Government attaches the
highest priority to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen. Our
Missions and Posts regularly seek consular access to Indian fishermen detained
in foreign countries, ensure their welfare and also pursue their early release
and repatriation, along with their boats. Given the humanitarian and livelihood
dimensions of this issue, the Government has put in place several bilateral mechanisms
to ensure cooperation and understanding between India and countries concerned,
to promote the safety and security of Indian fishermen.

up issue of IT industry visa problems with US

YSRCP MP Vijaya Sai Reddy asked the Minister of
Commerce and Trade whether Government has taken up issue of IT Industry
Visa problems directly with US Trade Representative Michael Froman recently, whether
Indian IT professionals are facing severe movement restrictions and targeted discrimination
by the US in the last three years and whether Government has pointed out that
such restrictions directly negate the rules governing multilateral trade
agreements in force between India and the US.

He has also questioned what was the reaction of US
Trade Representative to such direct talks and what are the steps proposed to
appropriately raise this issue in Washington to implement bilateral and
international trade agreements.

The Minister of the State in the Ministry of Commerce
and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman, has answered the MP by accepting that the
issue of IT industry visa problems has been taken up with the U.S. Trade
Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman, during the Trade Policy Forum
meeting in New Delhi on October 20, 2016.

On December 18, 2015, the US President signed into law
the 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill (Public Law 114-113) which doubled the
supplemental visa fees for L-1 and H-1B visas for a period of 10 years for
companies employing 50 or more employees in the United States, 50% or more of
which were on L-1 and H-1B visas (50:50 rule). With this legislation in place,
50:50 companies would now need to pay an enhanced fee of $4,500 for each L-1
visa and $4000 for each H-1B visa, as compared to $2,250 and $2000 previously.
According to data available from the US State Department, Indian nationals
accounts for 69.43 percent of total H1B visas issued during Fiscal Year 2015,
she has stated.

Nirmala Sitaraman has informed that the matter on US
visa fee hike has been raised by India at the World Trade Organisation (WTO),
Geneva. India had consultations with the United States on 11-12 May 2016 at the
WTO, Geneva under WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. India had raised claims on
US measures relating to the fees for L-1 and H-1B visas and the numerical
commitment for H-1B visas.

The US Trade Representative’s position is that the
Public Law 114-113 applies uniformly to all companies irrespective of the
origin of the company. Visa related issues of IT industry have been raised with
the US Government at various forums, including at the Ministerial dialogues
during the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in August 2016 and the Trade
Policy Forum in October 2016, she has explained.

of minutes of meeting of NCST

Tribal Affairs Minister to a reply to starred question asked by Sri
V.Vijayasai Reddy in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 30th Nov 2016 disclosed that
Government of India has indeed asked the Government of Andhra Pradesh to issue
land pattas to the displaced Tribals of Polavaram Dam under Forest Rights Act.

The YSRCP MP has questioned if National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
(NCST) issued the minutes on 3 August, 2016 of a meeting held with many State
Chief Secretaries on 24 May, 2016 regarding tribal displacement along the River
Godavari, if any communication has been sent to the prime petitioner and
long-time complainants in this regard. He has also asked what are the reasons
for NCST refusing to communicate with tribals and their representatives in this
manner, the name of the prime petitioner and the steps proposed to solve
grievous problems of tribals in Godavari valley in Andhra Pradesh and

Jual Oram, the Minister of Tribal Affairs, has stated
that a communication has been sent by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
(NCST) to prime petitioner. He has informed that the Prime petitioner is Dr. P.
Pullarao, Polavaram, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. Smt. K. Kamala
Kumari, former Member, NCST visited Polavaram project site during 07.01.2014 to
11.01.2014. Her inquiry report was provided to State Government of Andhra Pradesh
for further necessary action. Subsequently, Secretary, NCST also visited Andhra
Pradesh during 25.01.2016 to 31.01.2016 to review Rehabilitation and
Resettlement (R&R) activities for displaced tribal families in Polavaram
Irrigation Project.

Dr. Rameshwar Oraon, then Chairperson, NCST held
meeting on 24.05.2016 with Chief Secretary of Odisha; Additional Chief
Secretary of Chhattisgarh; Secretary, Water Resources, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh;
Member Secretary, Polavaram Project Authorities, Ministry of Water Resources
and Secretary (Land Resources), Ministry of Rural Department on issues relating
to displacement of tribals and other local people due to construction of Indira
Sagar (Polavaram) Multi-Purpose Project on river Godavari, West Godavari
District, Andhra Pradesh.

While taking note that the matter is subjudice before
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India due to suit filed by Government of Odisha on
09.10.2007, NCST in meeting held on 4.5.2016 has observed that the project is
under implementation since 1948 and compensation has been provided as per Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 or Andhra Pradesh State Resettlement and Rehabilitation
Policy 2005.

NCST made following advice / recommendations:

  • Government of Andhra Pradesh should take into account
    concerns / issues of Government of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

  • As pattas under Forest Right Act, 2006 has not been
    conferred to displaced tribal families, Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha
    and Chhattisgarh should take immediately action in this regard.

  • Allotted Banjar land to project affected families
    should be developed by concerned State Governments.

  • State Governments were also advised to create a data
    base bank for issuance of ST certificates to displaced families so that they
    are not put to any disadvantages position on their displacement.

Action Taken Report and comments / observations are
awaited from State Governments.

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