Insights Daily Current Affairs, 21 July 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 21 July 2017


 

Paper 1 Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

200th anniversary celebrations of the Paika Rebellion

 

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukharjee recently inaugurated the “Bicentenary celebration of the heroic Paika Rebellion of Odisha, a valiant uprising of Paikas against the British rule” organised by the Ministry of Culture.

paika rebellion

 

About Paika rebellion:

Two-hundred years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by Buxi Jagabandhu (Bidyadhar Mohapatra) took place in Khurda of Odisha. This is known as Paika rebellion.

 

Reason for the revolt:

The Paikas were the traditional land-owning militia of Odisha and served as warriors. When armies of the East India Company overran most of Odisha in 1803, the Raja of Khurda lost his primacy and the power and prestige of the Paikas went on a decline. The British were not comfortable with these aggressive, warlike new subjects and set up a commission under Walter Ewer to look into the issue.

  • The commission recommended that the hereditary rent-free lands granted to the Paikas be taken over by the British administration and this recommendation was zealously adhered to. They revolted against the British.
  • However, the rebellion had several other underlying causes – like the rise in the price of salt, abolition of the cowrie currency for payment of taxes and an overtly extortionist land revenue policy.
  • Although initially the Company struggled to respond they managed to put down the rebellion by May 1817. Many of the Paik leaders were hung or deported. Jagabandhu surrendered in 1825.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

 

Ram Nath Kovind elected as the 14th President of India

 

Former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind is the 14th President of India. He won with over 7 lakh votes against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar.

 

ramnath

Who elects the president?

Article 54 of the Indian Constitution lays the guidelines about voters in a Presidential election. It says, “Election of President The President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament; and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.”

Who can’t vote? The nominated members of Parliament, Legislative Assemblies, and members of Legislative Council don’t vote in the Presidential election.

 

Who is eligible to run for the President?

  • A person who is 35 years of age.
  • An Indian National.
  • Must have a support of 50 MPs/MLAs (these can’t be nominated members).
  • Must deposit Rs 15,000 as a security amount with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Must not hold any Office of Profit. (Any Constitutional position, which may further give rise to a conflict of interests in discharging of duties).

 

Voting Pattern:

Article 55 of Indian Constitution lays the guidelines about the way Indian President is to be elected. It says, “The election of the President shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.”

 

Other key facts:

Secret Vote: Unlike the voting for any Bill or any motion in Parliament or state Assembly, secret voting is done to elect the President (Nobody can ever come to know who voted for whom).

Parties can’t issue a whip to their members: Since the Presidential election is intended to be free and fair, and representatives are supposed to exercise their free will, political parties are not allowed to issue a whip to their members for voting.

Vote value: Vote of each MP and MLA carries a certain value. In the case of MLAs, the value is calculated by dividing total population of the state by the number of elected members to the Legislative Assembly, further divided by 1000. As of now, the value of each MLAs vote is fixed. The population data is taken from the 1971 Census. In the case of an MP, the vote value is decided by dividing the total value of votes of all MLAs of the whole country, divided by the total number of elected MPs in Lower House (Lok Sabha) and Rajya Sabha (Upper House). At present, the vote value of each MP is fixed at 708.

Voting System: Unlike the conventional ballot voting, where the voter polls only for a single candidate of his choice, the lawmakers mark their preferences in the Presidential election. It is mandatory for every lawmaker to mark his first preference, otherwise the vote is deemed invalid. He or she, however, can leave other preferences vacant.

Unlike the general election counting, where an MP or an MLA is elected through ‘first past the post’ system, the winner in Presidential election is declared on the basis of a quote which is obtained by dividing the total number of valid votes by 2, and adding 1 to quotient (total number of valid votes/2+1).

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)

 

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), a pension scheme exclusively for senior citizens, has been launched.

  • PMVVY is a Pension Scheme exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
  • The Scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this Scheme.

Pradhan-Mantri-Vaya-Vandana-Yojana

Benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY):

  • Scheme provides an assured return of 8% p.a. payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30% p.a. effective) for 10 years.
  • Pension is payable at the end of each period, during the policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-yearly/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner at the time of purchase.
  • The scheme is exempted from Service Tax/ GST.
  • On survival of the pensioner to the end of the policy term of 10 years, Purchase price along with final pension installment shall be payable.
  • Loan upto 75% of Purchase Price shall be allowed after 3 policy years (to meet the liquidity needs). Loan interest shall be recovered from the pension installments and loan to be recovered from claim proceeds.
  • The scheme also allows for premature exit for the treatment of any critical/ terminal illness of self or spouse. On such premature exit, 98% of the Purchase Price shall be refunded.
  • On death of the pensioner during the policy term of 10 years, the Purchase Price shall be paid to the beneficiary.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

First meeting of Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council (IMAC)

 

Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan recently chaired the first meeting of apex body for policy formulation and implementation of ‘Roadmap to achieve target of 10 % reduction in import dependency in oil and gas by 2021-22 under an institutional mechanism ‘Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council’ (IMAC).

 

What you need to know about IMAC?

IMAC was envisaged to facilitate better coordination and comprehensive strategy for all energy resources by focusing on supply and demand side management.

  • IMAC is consisted of Secretary, Petroleum & Natural Gas and other Senior Officers from various Ministries such as Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Road and Transport, Agriculture, Power/Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Rural Development, Finance, Petroleum Planning Analysis Cell, PCRA, DGH etc.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana

 

The Ministry of Rural Development is all set to launch a new sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) which will be named as “Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY)”.

ajeevika

What you need to know about AGEY?

The main objectives of AGEY are to provide an alternative source of livelihoods to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under DAY-NRLM by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas.

  • This will provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services like e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages with key services and amenities including access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of the area.

 

Implementation:

  • The sub-scheme will be implemented in 250 blocks in the country on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The States have been informed about the number of blocks allocated to them to take up this sub-scheme in the pilot phases.
  • One of the options proposed to be given under the sub-scheme is that the Community Based Organisation (CBO) will provide interest free loan from its own corpus to Self Help Group member for purchase of the vehicle.

 

About Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM):

The Government is implementing DAY-NRLM across the country in all States and Union Territories (except Delhi and Chandigarh).

  • The financial support under the programme is mainly in the form of Revolving Fund and Community Investment Funds, given as grants to the Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their federations.
  • DAY-NRLM also focuses on bank linkage of the institutions.
  • The programme has a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas.
  • In addition, start-up enterprises at village levels are also supported to promote entrepreneurial activities in those areas.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Guidelines for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

 

Draft guidelines for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) have been prepared by the Ministry.

  • The draft guidelines inter-alia provide Aadhaar linkage, Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 5000 in beneficiary’s bank/post office account in three instalments at the stage of early registration of pregnancy, after six months of pregnancy on at least one antenatal check-up and registration of child birth & first cycle of immunisation of the child.

pm-matritva-vandana-yojana

About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY):

Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), previously Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY), is a maternity benefit program run by the government of India.

  • It is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women of 19 years of age or above for first two live births.
  • It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
  • In 2013, the scheme was brought under the National Food Security Act, 2013 to implement the provision of cash maternity benefit of ₹6,000 stated in the Act.
  • It is Centrally Sponsored Scheme under which the cost sharing ratio between the Centre and the States & UTs with Legislature is 60:40, for North-Eastern States & three Himalayan States, it is 90:10 and 100% Central assistance for Union Territories without Legislature.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Cabinet approves MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries

 

The Union Cabinet has given the approval for the signing of Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in respect of tax matters between India and the Revenue administrations of BRICS countries namely, Brazil, Russian Federation, China and South Africa.

brics

Objective:

The MoC aims to further promote cooperation amongst the BRICS Revenue administrations in international forum on common areas of interest in tax matters and in the area of capacity building and knowledge sharing. It envisages regular interaction amongst the heads of Revenue administration of BRICS countries to continue discussion on common areas of interest and strive towards convergence of views and meeting of the Experts on tax matters to discuss the contemporary issues in areas of international tax. In addition, the MoC accords confidentiality and protection to information exchanged under this MoC.

 

Impact:

The MoC will stimulate effective cooperation in tax matters. The collective stand of BRICS countries can prove to be beneficial not only to these countries but also to other developing countries in the long run in tax matters being steered by the G20.

 

Background:

The Heads of Revenue of the BRICS countries have been meeting regularly to discuss the potential areas of cooperation in tax matters and to exchange opinions and views based on the existing commitment to openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation, as stated in the Goa Declaration issued on October 16, 2016. The BRICS countries have identified four areas of mutual interest on which understanding and cooperation can be further strengthened. The heads of Revenue of BRICS countries in their meeting held on the sidelines of FTA plenary at Beijing, China in May, 2016 decided to sign a MoC outlining these areas of cooperation.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)

 

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).

 

Key facts:

  • MMoU provides a formal basis for cooperation and information exchange between the Signatory Authorities regarding the supervision of insurance companies where cross-border aspects arise.
  • The scope of the IAIS MMoU is wider than the existing agreements as this agreement also provides for supervision of other regulated entities such as insurance intermediaries under Anti Money Laundering, (AML) and Combating the Finance of Terrorism (CFT).

 

About IAIS:

The International Association of Insurance Supervisors is a global framework for cooperation and information exchange between insurance supervisors. International Association of Insurance Supervisors, Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding is a statement of its signatories’ intent to cooperate in the Field of information exchange as well as procedure for handling information requests.

 

Need for international cooperation:

With increasing integration of financial market and growing number of internationally active insurance companies there is an increased need for mutual cooperation and information exchange between insurance industry supervisors.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Cabinet approves revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines

 

The Union Cabinet has approved revision of the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) guidelines.

  • The revised guidelines being made broad-based seek to expand the scope of welfare measures that can be extended through the Fund.
  • The guidelines would cover three key areas namely Assisting Overseas Indian nationals in distress situations, Community Welfare activities and Improvement in Consular services.
  • They are expected to provide Indian Missions and Posts abroad greater flexibility in swiftly addressing to requests for assistance by Overseas Indian nationals.

icwf

About ICWF:

ICWF, set up in 2009, is aimed at assisting Overseas Indian nationals in times of distress and emergency in the most deserving cases on a means tested basis.

  • The ICWF would be funded through budgetary support from the Ministry, funds raised by the Indian Missions by levying a nominal service charge on consular services and through Voluntary contributions from the Indian community.
  • Apart from assisting Indian nationals in distress abroad, ICWF has been a critical support in emergency evacuation of Indian nationals in conflict zones in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan and other challenging situations like assistance extended to undocumented Indian workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Nitaqat drive in 2013 and the ongoing Amnesty drive in 2017.
  • It has also created a sense of confidence among the migrant workers going overseas about the support they can expect from India during critical times.
  • ICWF stands extended to all Indian Missions and Posts abroad and is primarily funded by levying service charge on various consular services rendered by Indian Missions and Posts abroad.

 

Sources: pib.