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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 20 February 2020

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

1. Swachh Bharat Mission.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Law commission of India.

2. Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill.

3. Changes In Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana To Make It Optional For Farmers.

4. UK Points based visa.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. India to host AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022.

2. Lockheed Martin helicopters.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues.

Swachh Bharat Mission

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and key features.

For Mains: Significance and relevance of the mission.

Context: The Centre has approved the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) with an estimated central and state budget of Rs 52,497 crore.

Key facts:

  • The second phase will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25.
  • The second phase will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM).
  • The ODF Plus programme will converge with MGNREGA, especially for grey water management, and will complement the newly launched Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • The programme will also work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet.
  • The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and States will be 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K; 60:40 for other States; and 100:0 for other Union Territories, for all the components.

About SBM- Rural:

Launched on 2nd October, 2014 to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to focus on sanitation.

  • The aim is to achieve a clean and open defecation free (ODF) India.
  • Implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Objectives:

It seeks to improve the levels of cleanliness in rural areas through Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities and making Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean and sanitised.

Incentive:

Eligibility: Incentive as provided under the Mission for the construction of Individual Household Latrines (IHHL) shall be available for all Below Poverty Line (BPL) Households and Above Poverty Line (APL) households restricted to SCs/STs, small and marginal farmers, landless labourers with homestead, physically handicapped and women headed households.

  • The Incentive amount provided under SBM(G) to Below Poverty Line (BPL) /identified APLs households shall be up to Rs.12,000 for construction of one unit of IHHL and provide for water availability, including for storing for hand-washing and cleaning of the toilet.
  • Central Share of this Incentive for IHHLs shall be Rs.9,000/- (75%) from Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin). The State share will be Rs.3,000/-(25%).
  • For North Eastern State, and Special category States, the Central share will be Rs. 10,800/- and the State share Rs.1,200/- (90% : 10%).

Performance and significance of the mission:

The rural sanitation programme was started on October 2, 2014, when the sanitation coverage in the country was reported at 38.7 per cent.

More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission and as a result rural area in all the States have declared themselves ODF as on 2nd October, 2019.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Various statutory and constitutional bodies.

Law commission of India

What to study?

For Prelims: Composition, objectives and functions.

For Mains: Significance, issues related and reforms needed.

Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of the 22nd Law Commission, which advises the government on complex legal issues.

  • The term of the previous law panel had ended in August last year.
  • With the cabinet approval, the law ministry will now notify the new panel, which will have a term of three years.

Composition:

  1. Apart from having a full-time chairperson, the commission will have four full-time members, including a member-secretary.
  2. Law and Legislative Secretaries in the Law Ministry will be the ex-officio members of the commission.
  3. It will also have not more than five part-time members.
  4. A retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High Court will head the Commission.

Roles and functions:

  1. The Law Commission shall, on a reference made to it by the Central Government or suo motu, undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms and enacting new legislation.
  2. It shall also undertake studies and research for bringing reforms in the justice delivery systems for elimination of delay in procedures, speedy disposal of cases, reduction in cost of litigation, etc.

About the law commission of India:

It is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India.

  • Originally formed in 1955, the commission is reconstituted every three years and so far, 277 reports have been submitted to the government.
  • The last Law Commission, under Justice B.S. Chauhan (retd.), had submitted reports and working papers on key issues such as simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies and a uniform civil code.

Prior to independence, the First Law Commission was established in 1834 by the British Government under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Features, need for and significance of the bill, reforms needed.

Context: Cabinet clears Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, aims to regulate IVF clinics.

Overview and key features of the Bill:

  • It would lead to the creation of a national board to lay down and implement a code of conduct for people working at IVF clinics.
  • Determines the minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory, diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by ART clinics and banks.
  • The bill intends to make genetic testing of the embryo mandatory before implantation for the benefit of the child born through ART.
  • It also seeks to streamline the cryo-preservation processes for sperm, oocytes and embryo.
  • It also proposes to constitute a national registry and registration authority to maintain a central database and assist the national board in its functioning.
  • The bill proposes stringent punishment for those “practising sex selection, sale of human embryos or gametes and running agencies/rackets/organisations for such unlawful practices.

Background:

According to a registry maintained by the Indian Council of Medical Research, there are 1,269 ART clinics in India (as on November, 2019). The number swells up to 1,846 when ART clinics and ART banks are taken together. Maharashtra has the maximum number of ART clinics (266) followed by Tamil Nadu (164), Delhi (113), Karnataka (102), Uttar Pradesh (92) and Gujarat (80).

Need for a legislation in this regard:

The need to regulate the ART services is to protect the affected women and children from exploitation. Registration with the ICMR is a voluntary exercise at the moment because of which many clinics don’t take the trouble and prefer opacity while offering infertility treatment.

Significance:

The major benefit of the act would be regulation of the assisted reproductive technology services in the country. Consequently, infertile couples will be more ensured and confident of the ethical practices in ART clinics.

What is ART? Why it is in demand?

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), as commonly understood, comprises procedures such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intra-uterine insemination (IUI), oocyte and sperm donation, cryopreservation and includes surrogacy as well.

Social stigma of being childless and lengthy adoption processes have increased the demand for ART in India. It is thus not surprising that the ART industry is expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate of 10%.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered:Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Changes in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana To Make It Optional For Farmers

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview, key features and facts.

For Mains: Significance of the Scheme, need for, challenges present and ways to address them.

Context: Cabinet Approves Changes in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to address the existing challenges in implementation.

Changes approved:

  1. Allocation of business to Insurance Companies to be done for three years.
  2. Central Subsidy under PMFBY/RWBCIS to be limited for premium rates upto 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops.
  3. Districts having 50% or more irrigated area will be considered as irrigated area/district.
  4. Flexibility to States/UTs to implement the Scheme with option to select any or many of additional risk covers/features like prevented sowing, localised calamity, mid-season adversity, and post-harvest losses.
  5. For estimation of crop losses/admissible claims, two-Step Process to be adopted based on defined Deviation matrix” using specific triggers like weather indicators, satellite indicators, etc. for each area along with normal ranges and deviation ranges.
  6. Enrolment under the Scheme to be made voluntary for all farmers.
  7. Central Share in Premium Subsidy to be increased to 90% for North Eastern States from the existing sharing pattern of 50:50.

Benefits:

  • With these changes it is expected that farmers would be able to manage risk in agriculture production in a better way and will succeed in Stabilizing the farm income.
  • Further, it will increase coverage in north eastern region enabling farmers of NER to manage their agricultural risk in a better way.
  • These changes will also enable quick and accurate yield estimation leading to faster claims settlement.

Background:

Under the PMFBY, which was launched in February 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is mandatory for loanee farmers to take insurance cover under this scheme. Currently, 58 percent of the total farmers are loanee. Various farmers’ body and states were raising some concerns on this.

About PMFBY:

Launched in 2016.

Merged schemes include National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS). It aims to reduce the premium burden on farmers and ensure early settlement of crop assurance claim for the full insured sum.

 Coverage:

The Scheme covers all Food & Oilseeds crops and Annual Commercial/Horticultural Crops for which past yield data is available and for which requisite number of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) are being conducted under General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES).

Premium:

  • 2% for Kharif crops.
  • 1.5% for Rabi crops.
  • 5% for commercial and horticultural crops.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

UK’s points-based visa policy

What to study?

For Prelims: Features of the points- based visa policy.

For Mains: Advantages and disadvantages.

Context: UK has launched the new points-based immigration system, which intends to change the way migrants will come to the UK to work, study, visit or join their family.

  • Effective from January 1, 2021, the new immigration system affects the EU citizens, who will now be treated at par with non-EU citizens.
  • Non-EU citizens already follow a points-based system to migrate to the UK.

What’s a points-based policy?

The implementation of the points-based system does not change the status of those EU citizens already in the UK as per the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and those whose status under EUSS is settled. The points-based immigration system will take effect from January 1, 2021 and will end free movement between the UK and EU, treating both EU and non-EU citizens equally. Under this system, points will be assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and visas will be awarded to those who will have enough points.

How it works?

  1. Under this system, both EU and non-EU citizens will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required level and that they speak English.
  2. Further, as per the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations, salary thresholds have been established.
  3. Further, a total of 70 points are required to be eligible to apply, with some tradeable characteristics of the system.

The points will be allotted in the following manner:

Offer of job by approved sponsor (20), job at appropriate skill level (20), speaks English at required level (10), salary of £20,480 (minimum) – £23,039 (0), salary of £23,040 – £25,599 (10), salary of £25,600 or above (20), job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC) (20), education qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job (10) and education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job (20). Out of these characteristics, the first three are not tradeable, which means they are absolutely required to be eligible for visa under the points-based system.

What are the advantages of points systems?

The ability to qualify without an employer sponsor- workers entering under the Australian points system are less dependent on their employers and do not need permission to switch between jobs as they do in the UK; as a result, they are expected to have more bargaining power and to operate in a more competitive labour market.

Criticisms:

The most common criticism of points systems is that they often do not require a job offer and if workers do not have employment lined up, it is difficult to know whether they are actually employable. The system relies on the government’s perception of what skills are valuable, rather than on the views of the employers who are to recruit them.  Other criticisms include the fact that eligibility criteria can be unpredictable if candidate are ranked against each other and a specific number admitted. This is because the bar for admission will be higher in periods when more other people are applying.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


 

India to host AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022:

India will host the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This was announced by the Women’s Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 Background:

  • The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a quadrennial competition in women’s football for national teams which belong to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
  • The competition also serves as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 

Lockheed Martin helicopters:

Context: Cabinet Committee on Security clears procurement of 24 US multi-role helicopters for Indian Navy.

The 24 Lockheed Martin helicopters will be procured through the foreign military sales (FMS) route from the US government.

  • The multi-role helicopters will be equipped with Hellfire missiles and torpedoes, and are meant to help the Indian Navy track submarines in the Indian Ocean, where China is expanding its presence.