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Insights Daily Current Events, 24 February 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 24 February 2015

Exercise Surya Kiran Commences in Nepal

What is it?

  • It is joint Indo Nepal military exercise.

The focus of the ongoing exercise is to carry out Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorist Operations in mountainous and jungle terrain and to practice facets of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief including actions to be taken during Pandemic, Epidemic and various other humanitarian assistance situations. Aviation aspects and environmental conservation are also included in the scope of this exercise.

Sources: PIB.

 

National Sports Awards Schemes Revamped

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has revised the Schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and Dronacharya Awards.

In the revised Scheme, following major amendments have been made:

  • Selection Committee for Arjuna Award will be headed by Retired Judge of Supreme Court/High Court.
  • A sportsperson of eminence/sports administrator/sports expert belonging to para sports will be member in Selection Committee for Arjuna Awards.
  • Not more than one sportsperson of eminence/coach from a particular sports discipline shall be a member of the Selection Committee to avoid any bias in favour of a particular discipline.
  • Nomination agencies are expected to send nominations of most deserving sportsperson(s)/coach(es) irrespective of whether sportspersons/coaches have applied to them for awards.
  • For Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards and Dronacharya Awards, the weightage for performance in sports events has been reduced from 90% to 80% and weightage of marks to be given by the Selection Committee for factors like profile and standard of sports events has been increased from 10% to 20%. This will increase say of the Selection Committee in the process of selection and give sufficient paly to the profile and standard of sports events in determination of awardees.

Different awards:

  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: The scheme was launched in the year 1991-92 with the objective of honouring sports persons to enhance their general status and to give them greater dignity and place of honour in society. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs is given as award for the most spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by an individual sportsperson or a team.
  • DRONACHARYA AWARDS: The Dronacharya Award, instituted in 1985, honours eminent Coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams and enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international competitions.
  • ARJUNA AWARDS: The Arjuna Awards were instituted in 1961. To be eligible for the Award, a sportsperson should have had not only good performance consistently for the previous three years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the Award is recommended, but also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
  • Dhyan Chand Award is India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports and games.
    The award is named after the legendary Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand.

Sources: PIB, Wiki, yas.nic.in.

 

Fake mark sheets trump poll norm

The Rajasthan government is facing a hurdle in enforcing the minimum qualifications set for contesting elections to Panchayati Raj institutions. During the recent round of elections, many candidates furnished fake certificates to beat the qualification norm.

Background:

An ordinance was promulgated prescribing minimum educational qualifications to contest in local body elections in Rajasthan, and effectively keep out illiterate persons from the democratic process.

  • The ordinance fixing a minimum educational qualification, which has received the Governor’s assent, amends the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act, 1994.
  • The ordinance stipulates that a member of a zila parishad or panchayat samiti should have acquired secondary education. While the panchayat sarpanch of a Scheduled area should have passed Class 5, his counterpart in Non-Scheduled areas should have cleared Class 8.
  • It is being argued that the ordinance violates the inclusive spirit of the 73rd and 74th Amendments and served as an “exit for illiterate people”.

Why was it done?

  • According to the government, an elected representative with a basic education will be better placed to stop the embezzlement of funds at the panchayat level.
  • Supporters also claim that this is a progressive step and ensures that dummy/proxy candidates are not fighting elections which come from local families who are traditionally in politics in villages.

Opposition:

The political opposition, local communities and civil society groups have been arguing that the change in law is discriminatory to a large section of the rural population, particularly women.

Literacy level in Rajasthan:

  • 2001 Census shows that 82.5 percent of the people above 20 years of age in rural Rajasthan did not have formal education beyond class 5 or primary level.
  • Rural literacy rates in Rajasthan are 76.16 per cent for men, and an abysmal 45.8 per cent for women.
  • In Rajasthan, the literacy rate of women in rural areas is only 45.8 per cent, which is lower than the national literacy rate of 57.93 per cent.
  • In tribal areas, the situation is even worse, with the literacy rate of women being 25.22 per cent.

Sources: The Hindu, IE, PIB.

 

 

Mock Questions:

1)Consider the following statements regarding Arjuna Award:

  1. This award is given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
  2. It is India’s highest award for lifetime achievement in sports and games.

Which of the above statements are true?

a)Only 1.

b)Only 2.

c)Both.

d)None.

 

 

 

2)Consider the following statements regarding the Rajasthan Panchayati Ordinance 2014:

  1. According to the ordinance a member of a zila parishad or panchayat samiti should have acquired secondary education.
  2. The ordinance says that the panchayat sarpanch of a Scheduled area should have passed Class 8.

Which of the above statements are true?

a)Only 1.

b)Only 2.

c)Both.

d)None.