Insights Daily Current Events, 04 March 2015
National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP)
The Election Commission of India has launched “National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme” (NERPAP) throughout the country.
Objective: To bring a totally error free and authenticated electoral roll.
- During the programme, data of electors will be linked with Aadhar data of UIDAI for the purpose of authentication.
- The programme will focus on improving image quality of electors along with sorting issues like corrections of errors etc.
National Service Scheme
The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports has said that at present, there is no proposal under consideration for de-linking of National Service Scheme (NSS) operation from funding for the institutions by the Government.
About National Service Scheme:
It is a central government-sponsored public service program conducted by the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Government of India.
- The scheme was launched in Gandhiji’s Centenary year, 1969.
Aim: To develop student’s personality through community service. The programme also aims to inculcate social welfare in students, and to provide service to society without bias.
- The cardinal principle of the NSS programme is that it is organised by the students themselves, and both students and teachers through their combined participation in community service, get a sense of involvement in the tasks of nation building.
- NSS volunteers work to ensure that everyone who is needy gets help to enhance their standard of living and lead a life of dignity. In doing so, volunteers learn from people in villages how to lead a good life despite a scarcity of resources.
- It also provides help in natural and man-made disasters by providing food,clothing and first aid to the disaster victims.
The broad objectives of NSS are to:
- understand the community in which they work;
- understand themselves in relation to their community;
- identify the needs and problems of the community and involve them in problem solving process;
- develop among themselves a sense of social and civic responsibility;
- utilize their knowledge in finding practical solution to individual and community problems;
- develop competence required for group living and sharing of responsibilities;
- gain skills in mobilizing community participation;
- acquire leadership qualities and democratic attitude;
- develop capacity to meet emergencies and natural disasters
- practice national integration and social harmony.
Sources: PIB, Nss.nic.in, Wiki.
Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana
The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment recently said that 16 villages selected under Pradhan Manti Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) have been developed as ‘model villages’. The scheme was being implemented on pilot basis in these villages.
Pradhan mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY):
- This scheme was launched for the integrated development of scheduled castes dominated villages in the country.
- Under this Scheme, each village would be able to avail gap funding of Rs.10 lakh over and above the allocations under Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation Schemes.
- The Plan aims to build an “Adarsh Gram” (Model village) which has adequate physical and institutional infrastructure, in which minimum needs of all sections of the society are fully met. The village which is progressive and dynamic and its residents live in harmony. All the facilities necessary for dignified living should be available and the residents are enabled to utilise their potential to the fullest.
- In March 2012 the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana(PMAGY) was transferred to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Sources: PIB, Wiki.
Deforestation hits monsoon rains, says study
According to a new study conducted by the researchers at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore,
Widespread deforestation, especially in the northern high latitudes, has taken a toll on the monsoon across the northern hemisphere, with rains over India particularly badly affected.
Details of the Study:
The study says that
- Till 1750s, only about 7% of the global land area had been cleared for agriculture and that proportion has since risen to around one-third.
- Such deforestation has reduced rains in the monsoon regions of the northern hemisphere. India was affected the most, with global deforestation producing an 18% reduction in its summer monsoon rains.
- The deforestation led to moderately increased rains over South Africa, South America and Australia in the southern hemisphere.
Reasons for the decrease in Rainfall in Northern high latitude regions:
When forests in the northern high latitudes are removed, more sunlight is reflected back into space and this region gets cooled sharply. And hence, the rainfall is affected.
Sources: The Hindu.
Cattle slaughter, in varying degrees
The Bill banning cow slaughter in Maharashtra, pending for the past several years, has received the President’s assent.
- Now, anyone found to be selling beef or in possession of it can be jailed for five years and fined Rs 10,000.
- According to the previous Act the sale of cow slaughter was banned in the state, now even possession of the meat is prohibited.
- The previous act allowed bulls and buffaloes as they only need a fit for slaughter certificate. Now the new legislation does not allow that either. However, the new act allows the slaughter of water buffaloes which is seen as an inferior quality meat.
- Maharashtra’s beef traders have decided on seeking legal recourse following this ban on slaughter of bulls and bullocks.
- Beef traders also feel that this will affect their livelihoods and displace them, they also warn that the prices of other meat will increase because of this move.
- The beef traders claim that the decision will affect almost 70% of their business and leave many of them without jobs.
Cow slaughter in other states:
Based on the types of legislations enacted by the different states, the Indian States can be classified into five categories:
- North-eastern States with no restrictions on cattle slaughter.
- Kerala with no law but a caveat.
- Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam which allow the slaughter of cattle with a certificate.
- Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Goa and Odisha which ban cow slaughter, but allow the slaughter of other cattle with a certificate.
- The rest of India which bans the slaughter of all cattle.
Why the President’s assent was necessary for this Bill?
The bill was reserved by the governor for the consideration of the President. When a Bill is reserved by a Governor, under the Article 201, for the consideration of the President, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent there from:
- Provided that, where the Bill is not a Money Bill, the President may direct the Governor to return the Bill to the House or, as the case may be, the Houses of the Legislature of the State together and, when a Bill is so returned, the House or Houses shall reconsider it accordingly within a period of six months from the date of receipt of such message and, if it is again passed by the House or Houses with or without amendment, it shall be presented again to the President for his consideration.
When the bill is again presented to the President for the assent, the president is not bound to give his assent to the Bill. This means that the state legislature cannot override the veto power of the President.
The Constitution has also not prescribed any time limit within which the President has to take decision with regard to a bill reserved by the governor for his consideration. Hence, the President can exercise pocket veto in respect of state legislation also.
Sources: The Hindu, gov.in, Laxmikanth.
Govt embarrassed in RS as Motion of Thanks on President’s Address adopted with amendment
The government recently had to face embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha after the house adopted Motion of Thanks on President’s address with an amendment moved by a member in the opposition party.
- Normally, the Motion of Thanks on President’s Address is passed without members insisting for division on amendments moved.
- This is for the fourth time that Motion of Thanks on President’s Address has been adopted with amendment in Rajya Sabha.
Motion of Thanks:
Article 87(1) of the Indian Constitution provides for the special address by the President. Under this Article at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.
- Such an Address is called ‘special address’; and it is also an annual feature. No other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together.
- This Address has to be to both Houses of Parliament assembled together. If at the time of commencement of the first session of the year, Lok Sabha is not in existence and has been dissolved, and Rajya Sabha has to meet, Rajya Sabha can have its session without the President’s Address.
- Article 87(2) of the Constitution requires that provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in the President’s Address. Accordingly, discussion on the matters referred to in the President’s Address takes place on a Motion of Thanks moved by a member and seconded by another member.
- The scope of the discussion on the Address is very wide and members are at liberty to speak on every matter of national or international importance and other issues.
- Notices of amendments to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address can be tabled after the President has delivered his Address. Amendments may refer to matters contained in the Address as well as to matters which, in the opinion of the member, the Address has failed to mention. The only limitations are that members cannot refer to matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Central Government and that the name of the President cannot be brought in during the debate since the Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.
- Amendments can be moved to the Motion of Thanks in such form as may be considered appropriate by the Chairman.
President’s Address and Motion of Thanks are governed by Articles 86 (1) and 87 (1) of the Constitution and Rules 16 to 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.
Sources: The Hindu, rajyasabha.nic.in.