Polity & Governance
- Union cabinet approves Triple Talaq ordinance
- Cabinet approves continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana
- Cabinet approves setting up a new company under Department of Space
Government Schemes & Policies
- Cabinet approves the proposal of National Policy on Electronics 2019
- Cabinet committee approves continuation of Khadi Gramodyog Vikas Yojana till FY 2020
- Cabinet approves Implementation of the “National Rural Economic Transformation Project”
- Cabinet approves proposal for Constitution of Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
- Cabinet approves ordinance to curb unregulated deposit schemes
Issues related to Health & Education
- Cabinet approves Agreement on Proposed Participation of India in PISA
- Cabinet approves Phase II of rooftop solar programme
- Cabinet approves launch Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan
Art & Culture
- Sant Ravidas Jayanti 2019
Key Facts for Prelims
- GeM Start-up Runway
- Indian History Congress
- KALIA Chhatra Bruti scholarship for Farmers Children
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Polity & Governance
Union cabinet approves Triple Talaq ordinance
The Government has given its approval to the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019 and amendments in the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018.
Benefits of proposed Ordinance:
- The proposed Ordinance will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of instantaneous and irrevocable ‘talaq-e-biddat’ by their husbands.
- It will discourage the practice of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat.
- Promulgation of the proposed Ordinance will provide the rights of subsistence allowance, custody of minor children to victims of triple talaq i.e. talaq-e-biddat.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018:
- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Law and Justice in December, 2018.
- It replaces an Ordinance promulgated in September, 2018.
- Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha in December, 2017. The 2017 Bill is listed for withdrawal.
- The Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e. not enforceable in law) and illegal.
Definitions under the bill:
- It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce.
- Talaq-e-biddat refers to the practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce.
Offence and penalty:
- The Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine. (A cognizable offence is one for which a police officer may arrest an accused person without warrant.)
- The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by:
(i) the married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or
(ii) any person related to her by blood or marriage.
- The Bill provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused. The bail may be granted only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced), and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.
- The offence may be compounded by the Magistrate upon the request of the woman (against whom talaq has been declared).
- Compounding refers to the procedure where the two sides agree to stop legal proceedings, and settle the dispute.
- A Muslim woman against whom talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.
- A Muslim woman against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children.
- The manner of custody will be determined by the Magistrate.
Triple Talaq Issue:
- Private matters of Muslims in India are governed by the Muslim Personal Laws or the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937.
- Marriage is also governed by Muslim Personal Law unless the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act of 1954.
- Since it was the divorced woman who suffered most, Triple Talaq ‘s practice was challenged through public interest litigation.
- The issue of triple talaq became public in 1985 in the case of Shah Bano Begum.
- The matter came to an end with the adoption of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce Act), which made it necessary for the husband to pay his wife’s food 90 days after divorce.
- In 2002 alone, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court invalidated the triple talaq by referring to the Quran Dagdu Pathan vs Rahimbi. In this case, the court declared that a Muslim husband cannot refuse marriage at will.
- In the Landmark case of Shayara Bano vs Union of India, Supreme Court’s said that Instant Triple Talaq is unconstitutional as it violated Islamic law while being used as a tool to oppress women
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017
- In accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court, the central government drafted a Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill, 2017 and presented it to the parliament in December, 2017.
- The bill was passed by Lok Sabha, but it was not passed by Rajya Sabha.
Cabinet approves continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana
Cabinet approves continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin beyond March, 2019 (PMAY-G Phase-II).
Significance of the move:
- The left out rural households who are houseless and / or living in dilapidated houses subject to a ceiling of 1.95 crore would be provided pucca houses by 2022.
About the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G):
- The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas yojana (IAY) has been restructured into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana –Gramin (PMAY-G) from 01.04.2016.
- PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householder and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, by 2022.
- Cost sharing: The cost of unit assistance in this scheme is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90: 10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.
- The scheme envisages training of Rural Masons with the objective of improving workmanship and quality of construction of houses while at the same time, increasing availability of skilled masons and enhancing employability of such masons.
- Selection of beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) is based on housing deprivation parameters of Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, subject to 13 point exclusion criteria, followed by Gram Sabha verification.
Cabinet approves setting up a new company under Department of Space
The Government has given its approval to the Setting up of a new, to commercially exploit the R&D work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centres and constituent units of DOS.
- This company will be functioning under Department of Space (DoS).
- Small satellite technology transfers to industry, wherein the new company shall take license from DoS/ISRO and sub-license to industries;
- Manufacture of small satellite launch vehicle (SLV) in collaboration with the Private Sector;
- Productionisation of Polar SLV through industry;
- Productionisation and marketing of Space-based products and services, including launch and applications;
- Transfer of Technology developed by ISRO Centers and constituent units of DoS;
- Marketing of some spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad; and
- Any other subject which Government of India deems fit.
- The cabinet decision will definitely encourage the private sector to indulge more in production of launchers and satellites.
- In recent years, ISRO has been engaging the private sector in the manufacturing of satellite launchers so that it can focus more on R&D work.
Government Schemes & Policies
Cabinet approves the proposal of National Policy on Electronics 2019
The Union Cabinet approved to the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Significance of Policy:
- The Policy envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing – (ESDM) by encouraging capabilities for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.
Salient Features of NPE 2019:
- Create eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector: Promoting domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM.
- Provide incentives and support for manufacturing of core electronic components.
- Provide special package of incentives for mega projects which are extremely high-tech and entail huge investments, such as semiconductor facilities display fabrication, etc.
- Formulate suitable schemes and incentive mechanisms to encourage new units and expansion of existing units.
- Promote Industry-led R&D and innovation in all sub-sectors of electronics, including grass root level innovations and early stage Start-ups in emerging technology areas such as 5G, loT/ Sensors, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Machine Learning, Virtual Reality (VR), Drones, Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Photonics, Nano-based devices, etc.
- Provide incentives and support for significantly enhancing availability of skilled manpower, including re-skilling.
- Special thrust on Fabless Chip Design Industry, Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry and Power Electronics for Mobility and Strategic Electronics Industry.
- Create Sovereign Patent Fund (SPF) to promote the development and acquisition of IPs in ESDM sector.
- Promote trusted electronics value chain initiatives to improve national cyber security profile.
- The implementation of the Schemes under the aegis of the National Policy on Electronics 2012 (NPE 2012) has successfully consolidated the foundations for a competitive Indian ESDM value chain.
- NPE 2019 proposes to build on that foundation to propel the growth of ESDM industry.
- The National Policy of Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019) replaces the National Policy of Electronics 2012 (NPE 2012).
- The Policy will lead to the formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of ESDM sector in the country as per the roadmap envisaged therein.
Target of Policy:
- Promote domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM for economic development to achieve a turnover of USD 400 billion by 2025.
- This will include targeted production of 1.0 billion mobile handsets by 2025 including 600 million mobile handsets for export.
Impact of Policy:
- It will lead to formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects, etc., in consultation with the concerned Ministries for the development of ESDM sector.
- It will enable flow of investment and technology leading to higher value addition in the domestically manufactured electronic products.
- It will increase electronics hardware manufacturing and their export, while generating employment opportunities.
Cabinet committee approves continuation of Khadi Gramodyog Vikas Yojana till FY 2020
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given the approval to continue all existing schemes under ‘Khadi and Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’ at the total cost of Rs 2,800 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- ‘Khadi and Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’ includes MPDA, Khadi Grant, ISEC and Village Industry Grant etc.
- It has also given approval to bring in a new component of ‘Rozgar Yukta Gaon’ to introduce enterprise-based operation in the Khadi sector and to create employment opportunities for thousands of new artisans in the current and next financial year (2018-19 and 2019-20).
Rozgar Yukta Gaon (RYG):
- Rozgar Yukta Gaon (RYG) aims at introducing an ‘Enterprise-led Business Model’ in place of ‘Subsidy-led model’ through partnership among 3 stakeholders- KRDP-assisted Khadi Institution, Artisans and Business Partner.
- It will be rolled out in 50 Villages by providing 10,000 Charkhas, 2000 looms & 100 warping units to Khadi artisans and would create direct employment for 250 Artisans per village.
- The total Capital Investment per village shall be Rs.72 Lakh as subsidy, and Rs.1.64 Crore in terms of Working Capital from the Business Partner.
About the Scheme:
- As a part of rationalization exercise, 8 different schemes of Khadi & Village Industries are now merged under 2 umbrella heads i.e. ‘Khadi Vikas Yojana’ and ‘Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’.
- Another intervention is to set up 4 Design Houses across the country to capture regional variations, to provide access to Khadi Institutions, to evolve modern designs, ethnic wear etc. with an investment of Rs.5 Crore each.
- The other key component is to make the ‘Production Assistance’ competitive and incentive based.
- The incentive structure focuses on improving productivity, turnover and quality assurances, and would be extended on the basis of an objective scorecard.
Cabinet approves Implementation of the “National Rural Economic Transformation Project”
Under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) the Union Cabinet has approved the Implementation of an Externally Aided Project namely “National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP)”.
- The project would be through loan-assistance (IBRD Credit) from World Bank.
- The project will enhance the livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihood interventions.
- DAY-NRLM lays special emphasis on targeting the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable communities and their financial inclusion.
Significance of DAY- NRLM:
- DAY-NRLM provides for mutually beneficial working relationship and formal platforms for consultations between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organizations(CBOs).
- NRLM has also developed activity map to facilitate convergence in different areas of interventions where NRLM institutions and PRIs could work together which has been disseminated to all state Rural Livelihood Missions.
Cabinet approves proposal for Constitution of Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister given its approval for constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).
- The most disadvantage communities in the country are the Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs). These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore frequently left out.
- The Government in July 2014 had constituted National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) for a period of three years to prepare a State-wise list of castes belonging to Denotified and Nomadic Tribes.
- Since most of the DNTs are covered in SC, ST or OBC, constitution of a Permanent Commission will not be very effective in implementing development programmes and will therefore be in conflict with mandate of existing commissions for SCs (National Commission for Scheduled Castes), STs (National Commission for Scheduled Tribes) and OBCs (National Commission for Backward Classes).
About Development and Welfare Board:
- A Committee has been made which will complete the process of identification of the Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities (DNCs) that have not yet been formally classified.
- The Government has therefore decided to set up a Development and Welfare Board under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for the purpose of implementing development and welfare programmes for Denotified, Nomadic and Seminomadic Communities.
Denotified, Nomadic and Seminomadic Communities (DNCs):
- Denotified Tribes (DNTs) or Vimukta Jati, are the tribes that were listed originally under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 enforced by Britishers whereby entire population were identified as criminals by birth. i.e. Hereditary criminals.
- Nomadic tribes are those tribes who travel from place to place for their livelihood such as acrobats, snake charmers, ayurvedic healers etc.
- On the other hand, Semi-nomadic tribe are those who are on the move but return to a fixed habitation once a year especially for occupational reasons.
Cabinet approves ordinance to curb unregulated deposit schemes
The Union Cabinet approved promulgating an ordinance with regard to the banning of unregulated deposit schemes bill to protect gullible investors from Ponzi schemes.
- The Bill was referred to the standing committee on Finance before introducing in Parliament in July, 2018.
- The proposed Ordinance will immediately tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities country launched by rapacious operators.
- These operators are exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people.
- It will altogether ban unregulated deposit-taking schemes
- The law has adequate provisions for punishment and disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
What is an ordinance and who makes it?
- Under the Constitution, the power to make laws rests with the legislature.
- However, in cases when Parliament is not in session, and ‘immediate action’ is needed, the President can issue an ordinance.
- An ordinance is a law, and could introduce legislative changes.
- The most important power of the president is perhaps to promulgate ordinances under Article 123.
- The promulgation of an ordinance is not necessarily connected with an ’emergency’ but issued by the president in case s/he is convinced that it is not possible to have the parliament enact on same subject immediately and the circumstance render it necessary for him to take “immediate action”.
Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill:
- The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 was introduced in Parliament in July 2018 after refereeing by the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF).
- SCF submitted its 17th Report on the said Bill to Parliament in January, 2019.
- Salient features of bill:
- Provision of substantive banning clause which bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme.
- The principle is that the Bill would ban unregulated deposit taking activities altogether, by making them an offence ex-ante rather than the existing legislative-cum-regulatory framework which only comes into effect ex-post with considerable time lags.
- The Bill creates three different types of offences:
- Running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes
- Fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes
- Wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.
- Provision for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent.
- It has adequate provisions for repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
- The Bill provides for attachment of properties by the Competent Authority and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors.
- Clear-cut time lines have been provided for attachment of property and restitution to depositors.
- The Bill enables creation of an online central database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit-taking activities in the country.
- The Bill defines “Deposit Taker” and “Deposit” comprehensively.
- “Deposit Takers” include all possible entities receiving or soliciting deposits, except specific entities such as those incorporated by legislation.
- “Deposit” is defined in such a manner that deposit-takers are restricted from camouflaging public deposits as receipts, and at the same time, not to curb acceptance of money by an establishment in the ordinary course of its business.
- Being a comprehensive Union Law, the Bill adopts best practices from State laws, while entrusting the primary responsibility of implementing the provisions of the legislation to the State Governments.
Ways of banning Unregulated Deposits:
- Deterrent punishment for promoting or operating an unregulated deposit taking scheme.
- Stringent punishment for fraudulent default in repayment to depositors.
- Designation of a Competent Authority by the State Government to ensure repayment of deposits in the event of default by a deposit taking establishment.
- Powers and functions of the competent authority including the power to attach assets of a defaulting establishment.
- Designation of Courts to oversee repayment of depositors and to try offences under the Act.
- Listing of Regulated Deposit Schemes in the Bill, with a clause enabling the Central Government to expand or prune the list.
- The Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2016-17 had announced that a comprehensive Central legislation would be brought in to deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes.
- During the period between July, 2014 and May, 2018, More than 900 cases of unauthorized schemes were discussed in State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) meetings.
- A large number of such instances have been reported from the eastern part of the country.
- Subsequently, the Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2017-18 had announced that the draft bill to curtail the menace of illicit deposit schemes would be introduced shortly.
Issues related to Health & Education
Cabinet approves Agreement on Proposed Participation of India in PISA
India will participate in the PISA conducted by the OECD in 2021
- In this regard, an agreement was signed between India and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for participating in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA).
- HRD decided to end the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) boycott.
- India had taken part in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2009 and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries.
- Then UPA government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
- Later, the HRD Ministry, under the NDA-II government, revisited this decision in 2016 and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up a committee to review the matter and submitted its report in December 2016.
- The report recommended for participation in test in 2018. However, India missed the application deadline for the 2018 cycle.
Significance of India’s participation:
- India’s participation in PISA- 2021 would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.
- Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning.
- PISA will help India understand different ways of learning and substantiate difficult educational reforms.
Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
- PISA is the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment.
- Every three years it tests 15-year-old students from all over the world in reading, mathematics and science.
- First conducted in 2000, the major domain of study rotates between reading, mathematics, and science in each cycle.
- The tests are designed to gauge how well the students master key subjects in order to be prepared for real-life situations in the adult world.
- PISA publishes the results a year after the students are tested to help governments shape their education policy.
- The most recent assessment was completed in 2015 and the focal subject of the 2015 data collection was Science.
Why choose 15-year-olds?
- Because in most countries, at the age of 15, students can decide whether or not they want to continue their education. They therefore need to be equipped for adult life.
Cabinet approves Phase II of rooftop solar programme
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022.
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has pegged the market potential for rooftop solar at 124 GW by the year 2022.
Environmental Impact of the programme:
- The Programmes will have substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2
- Considering average energy generation of 1.5 million units per MW, it is expected that addition of 38 GW solar rooftop plants under Phase-II by year 2022 will result in CO2emission reduction of about 45.6 tonnes per year.
- The programme has directed employment potential. Besides increasing Self-Employment the approval is likely to generate employment opportunity equivalent to 9.39 lakh jobs for skilled and unskilled workers for addition of 38GW capacity under Phase-II of the scheme by the year 2022.
- Rooftop solar installations (large-scale solar power generation plants) — can be installed on the roofs of buildings.
- As such, they fall under two brackets: commercial and residential. This simply has to do with whether the solar panels are being installed on top of commercial buildings or residential complexes.
What are the benefits?
- Rooftop solar provides companies and residential areas the option of an alternative source of electricity to that provided by the grid.
- While the main benefit of this is to the environment, since it reduces the dependence on fossil-fuel generated electricity, solar power can also augment the grid supply in places where it is erratic.
- Rooftop solar also has the great benefit of being able to provide electricity to those areas that are not yet connected to the grid — remote locations and areas where the terrain makes it difficult to set up power stations and lay power lines.
Potential for rooftop solar in India:
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has pegged the market potential for rooftop solar at 124 GW.
- However, only 1,247 MW of capacity had been installed as of December 31, 2016. That is a little more than 3% of the target for 2022, and 1% of the potential.
Challenges for its wider usage:
- One of the major problems with rooftop solar — and what affects solar energy generation in general — is the variability in supply.
- Not only can the efficiency of the solar panels vary on any given day depending on how bright the sunlight is, but the solar panels also produce no electricity during the night. Arguably, night is when off-grid locations most need alternative sources of electricity.
- Storage technology for electricity, however, is still underdeveloped and storage solutions are expensive. Most residential customers will find the cost of installing both rooftop solar panels and storage facilities prohibitive. Residential areas also come with the associated issues of use restrictions of the roof — if the roof is being used for solar generation, then it cannot be used for anything else.
- Another major reason why rooftop solar is not becoming popular is that the current electricity tariff structure renders it an unviable option. Many states have adopted a net metering policy, which allows disaggregated power producers to sell excess electricity to the grid. However, the subsidised tariffs charged to residential customers undermine the economic viability of installing rooftop solar panels. The potential profit simply does not outweigh the costs.
Cabinet approves launch Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.
The proposed scheme consists of three components:
- Component-A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
- Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
- Component-C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
- With all three components, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
All three components combined, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crore.
About the Scheme:
- The Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1000 MW capacity and one lakh grid connected agriculture pumps respectively. Component-B will be implemented in full-fledged manner.
- Under Component A, Renewable power plants of capacity 500 KW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ cooperatives/panchayats /farmer producer organizations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands.
- Under Component B, individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
- Under Component C of the scheme, individual farmers will be supported to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP. Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.
- For both Component-B and Component-C, central financial assistance (CFA) of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, will be provided. The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer.
- Bank finance may be made available for meeting 30% of the cost. The remaining 10% will be provided by the farmer.
- The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural land owners.
- The farmer will be able to use the generated energy to meet the irrigation needs and the excess available energy will be sold to DISCOM. This will help to create an avenue for extra income to the farmers, and for the States to meet their RPO targets.
- The scheme will have substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2
- All three components of the Scheme combined together are likely to result in saving of about 27 million tonnes of CO2emission per annum.
- Further, Component-B of the Scheme on standalone solar pumps may result in saving of 1.2 billion litres of diesel per annum and associated savings in the foreign exchange due to reduction of import of crude oil.
- Higher CFA of 50% will be provided for North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands.
Art & Culture
Sant Ravidas Jayanti 2019
Sant Ravidas Jayanti was celebrated on February 19th. This year is said to be the 642nd birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas.
Guru Ravidas Jayanti:
- Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas, a North Indian mystic poet of the bhakti movement.
- It is celebrated on Magh Purnima, which is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha.
- People celebrate this day by reading the holy book ‘Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji’.
Who was Guru Ravidas?
- He was the founder of the Ravidassia religion.
- While the exact year of his birth is not known, it is believed that the saint was born in 1377 C.E.
- The saint born in the village of Seer Goverdhanpur located near Varanasi.
- His birthplace has now been named Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan and has become a major place of pilgrimage for the followers of Guru Ravidas.
- As he belonged to an untouchable caste and suffered a lot of atrocities, however, the saint chose to focus on spiritual pursuits and penned several devotional songs which made a huge impact in the Bhakti movement during the 14th to 16th century CE.
Guru Ravidas Teachings:
- Guru Ravidas spoke against the caste divisions and spoke of removing them to promote unity.
- The Adi Granth of Sikhs and Panchvani are the two of the oldest documented sources of the literary works of Guru Ravidas.
- His teachings resonated with the people, leading to a religion being born called the Ravidassia religion, or Ravidassia Dharam based on his teachings.
- He taught about the omnipresence of God.
- He believed that a human soul is a particle of God and hence rejected the idea that people considered lower caste cannot meet God.
- He believed that the only way to meet God was to free the mind from the duality.
[Ref: Financial Express]
Key Facts for Prelims
- It is an initiative to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions on Government e Marketplace (GeM).
- This will bring together the key stakeholders within the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace, the national procurement portal.
GeM Start-up Runway
- It will enable Start-ups to conduct market trials with government buyers, seek time-bound feedback and gain realistic product, price comparison and market valuation from potential buyers and investors.
- It will address goals and objectives under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Indian History Congress
- The 79th Indian History Congress (IHC) was held at Barkatullah University in Bhopal Madhya Pradesh.
- Indian History Congress was established in 1935 and it is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members.
- The primary objective of Indian History Congress is the “promotion and encouragement of the scientific study of Indian history”.
KALIA Chhatra Bruti scholarship for Farmers Children
- The government of Odisha has launched the KALIA Chhatra Bruti scholarship for the children of farmers.
- The Scholarship is under the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation), a scheme for financing farmers in Odisha.
- The government has launched the ‘KALIA Chhatra Bruti’ programme so that the children of the farmers excel in the future.
- KALIA is a support scheme of Odisha whose primary targets are small farmers, cultivators and landless agricultural labourers.