Polity & Governance
- VP urges parties to include code of conduct for MPs and MLAs
Government Schemes & Policies
- Registration opens for PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- World Biofuel Day to be observed on 10th August 2019
Science & Technology
- Minister of State for Heavy Industries Addresses 3rd International Electric Vehicle Conclave
Key Facts for Prelims
- MSDE announces fourth edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards, 2019
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Polity & Governance
VP urges parties to include code of conduct for MPs and MLAs
The Vice President of India and the Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has called upon all political parties to incorporate a code of conduct for people’s representatives, including MPs and MLAs, in their election manifestos.
- A code for Union ministers was adopted in 1964, and state governments also adopted it.
- A conference of Chief Justices in 1999 resolved to adopt a code of conduct for judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
CODE IN RAJYA SABHA
- The First Report of the Ethics Committee was adopted in 1999.
- The Fourth Report was adopted by Rajya Sabha in 2005 and a 14-point Code of Conduct for members of the House was formed.
Major provisions of the 14-point code are:
- If Members find that there is a conflict between their personal interests and the public trust which they hold, they should resolve such a conflict in a manner that their private interests are subordinated to the duty of their public office.
- Members should not always see that their private financial interests and those of the members of their immediate family do not come in conflict with the public interest and if any such conflict ever arises, they should try to resolve such a conflict in a manner that the public interest is not jeopardised.
- Members should never expect or accept any fee or benefit for a vote given or not given by them on the floor of the House, for introducing a Bill, for moving a resolution or desisting from moving a resolution, putting a question or participating in the deliberations of the House or a Parliamentary Committee.
- It mandated to maintain ‘Register of Member’s Interests’ in such form as may be determined by the Ethics Committee which shall be available to members for inspection on request.
CODE IN LOK SABHA
- The first Ethics Committee in Lok Sabha was constituted in May 2000.
- The Report of the Ethics Committee, with regard to amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha, was presented in 2014.
- Its recommendations were included in the report of the Rules Committee of Lok Sabha tabled in Lok Sabha in August 2015.
- It said that the Ethics Committee will formulate a Code of Conduct for Members and suggest amendments or additions to the Code of Conduct from time to time.
CODE OF CONDUCT IN OTHER COUNTRIES
- The Canada has a ‘Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’ code with powers to examine violations of the Conflict of Interest Code at the request of another Member or by Resolution of the House or on his own initiative.
- Germany has had a Code of Conduct for members of the Bundestag since 1972.
- The US has had a Code since 1968.
- Pakistan has a Code of Conduct for members of the Senate.
NEED FOR CODE OF CONDUCT FOR POLITICIANS
- The politicians representing their constituencies in the Parliament have several times brought ill-repute to the institution with their incivility.
- Creating ruckus in the Parliament, making unacceptable remarks and disrupting the House proceedings are some of the major allegations they face.
- Tenure of some of the politicians is also fraught with severe charges of impropriety.
- Although the Parliament Speaker cannot penalize the members on grounds of misconduct, under Rule 374 A of the “Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha”, the Speaker can suspend members creating disorder in the House.
- However, the feasibility of the provision has been questioned and the experts consider that this rule is against the spirit of the Constitution.
- It has been long since a parliamentary panel had recommended a 14-point code of conduct that somewhat outlines what’s expected from the politicians.
- It’s time that such recommendations are tabled in the Parliament and all its clauses are scrutinized under the aegis of a standing committee.
- Only after a rigorous debate in both the Houses of Parliament, should the bill be passed and made into a law, which will be binding on all the politicians irrespective of their seniority and party affiliation.
Government Schemes & Policies
Registration opens for PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana
Appealing farmers across the country to join the old age pension Scheme, the union minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare said that the scheme has been envisioned with an aim to improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country.
ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI KISAN MAAN-DHAN YOJANA (PM-KMY)
- It is a is a Central Sector Scheme, administered by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare in partnership with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- It is an old age pension scheme for all land holding Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) in the country.
- It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme.
SALIENT FEATURES OF SCHEME:
- A monthly pension of 3000 after the age of 60 years. (The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000 upon making separate contributions to the Fund.)
- The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach 60 years.
- The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
- The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
- In case of death of the farmer before retirement date, the spouse may continue in the scheme by paying the remaining contributions till the remaining age of the deceased farmer.
- If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension. After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.
- The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.
- The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly.
- All Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) in all States and Union Territories.
- Age of 18 years and above and upto the age of 40 years
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
World Biofuel Day to be observed on 10th August 2019
World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector.
- The theme of the World Biofuel Day 2019 is “Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO)”.
WHY AUGUST 10?
- On this day in 1893, Sir Rudolph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil.
- His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.
Thus, to mark this extraordinary achievement, World Biofuel Day is observed every year on 10th August.
- Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels produced from biomass resources and used in place of, or in addition to, diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications.
- Biofuel can be produced from any carbon source that can be replenished rapidly, such as plants.
- Cost: Biofuels prices have been falling and have the potential to be significantly less expensive than gasoline and other fossil fuels.
- Source material: Whereas oil is a limited resource that comes from specific materials, biofuels can be manufactured from a wide range of materials including crop waste, manure, and other byproducts.
- Renewability: biofuels are much more easily renewable as new crops are grown and waste material is collected.
- Security: Biofuels can be produced locally, which decreases the nation’s dependence upon foreign energy.
- Lower carbon emissions: When biofuels are burned, they produce significantly less carbon output and fewer toxins, making them a safer alternative to preserve atmospheric quality and lower air pollution.
- Energy output: Biofuels have a lower energy output than traditional fuels and therefore require greater quantities to be consumed in order to produce the same energy level.
- Production carbon emissions: while they are cleaner to burn, some studies suggest that the process to produce the biofuel has hefty carbon emissions. In addition, cutting forests to grow crops for biofuels adds to carbon emissions.
- High cost: To refine biofuels to more efficient energy outputs, a high initial investment is often required, making its production currently more expensive than other fuels.
- Food prices: As demand for food crops such as corn grows for biofuel production, it raises prices for necessary staple food crops.
- Food shortages: There is concern that using valuable cropland to grow fuel crops could have an impact on the cost of food and could possibly lead to food shortages.
- Water use: Massive quantities of water are required for proper irrigation of biofuel crops as well as to manufacture the fuel, which could strain local and regional water resources.
ABOUT USED COOKING OIL (UCO)
- In India, the same cooking oil is used for repeated frying which adversely affects the health due to formation of polar compounds during frying. These polar compounds are associated with diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases among others.
- UCO is either not discarded at all or disposed off in an environmentally hazardous manner choking drains and sewerage systems. The National Policy on Biofuels 2018, envisages production of biofuel from UCO.
- At present, approximately 850 crore litres of (HSD) is consumed on a monthly basis in India. The National Policy on Biofuels – 2018 envisages a target of 5% blending of Biodiesel in HSD by 2030.
- In order to achieve the blending target, 500 crore litres of Biodiesel is required in a year. In India, approximately, 2700 crore litres of Cooking Oil is used out of which 140 Crore UCO can be collected from Bulk Consumers such as hotels for conversion giving 110 crore litres of Biodiesel in one year.
- Presently there is no established collection chain for UCO. Thus, there is a huge opportunity in production of biodiesel from UCO.
- RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) is an initiative of The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel.
- Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel invented the Diesel engine. He designed an engine based on the Carnot cycle.
Science & Technology
Minister of State for Heavy Industries Addresses 3rd International Electric Vehicle Conclave
The Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises inaugurated the 3rd International Electric Vehicle (EV) Conclave at the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) in Manesar, Gurugram
ABOUT THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) CONCLAVE
- It is organized by International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) in association with India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) since 2017.
- Owing to the growth of electric mobility and in order to meet the demands of the automotive sector, the EV Conclave is organized with a focus on new trends and challenges in the field of electric mobility.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPEECH OF THE MINSTER OF HEAVY INDUSTRY
- Electric Mobility Mission will be implemented in phases based on feedback from the auto industry.
- 3 lakh electric vehicles have already been sold under the FAME India Scheme.
- Provision of Rs. 10,000 crore have been made for electric mobility in the Union Budget of 2019-20.
INAUGURATION OF NEW FACILITIES
- The minister inaugurated various new facilities including Photometry Lab for General Lighting and Power Train Engine Test Cell (ETC)- Expansion.
- In the expansion of the Photometry Lab for general lighting, various performance and safety testing facilities like mirror Goniometer (an instrument for the precise measurement of angles, especially one used to measure the angles between the faces of crystals) were inaugurated.
ABOUT ICAT MANESAR:
- International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) Manesar is a division of NATRIP Implementation Society (NATIS) under the Department of Heavy Industries, India.
- It provides services for testing, validation, design and homologation of all categories of vehicles.
- It assists the automotive industry in adopting cutting edge technologies in vehicle evaluation and component development to ensure reliability, durability and compliance to the current and future regulations.
ABOUT NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE TESTING AND R&D INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT (NATRIP):
- NATRiP aims at creating core global competencies in Automotive sector in India.
- It facilitate seamless integration of Indian Automotive industry with the world as also to position the country prominently on the global automotive map.
Key Facts for Prelims
MSDE announces fourth edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards, 2019
The fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards, to encourage outstanding Indian Entrepreneurs and to catalyse a cultural shift in youth for entrepreneurship by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has opened for nominations.
ABOUT NEA 2019
- The National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA 2019) is the 4th edition in the NEA series.
- Indian Institute of Technology (Madras, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur), IRMA, NABARD, National Innovation Foundation, National Small Industries Corporation, National Institute IAEM, Rural Development and Self-employment and Training Institute, TISS, Xavier’s School of Management are the organisations supporting the implementation of NEA 2019.
ABOUT NATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARDS
- The National Entrepreneurship Awards have been instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) in 2016 to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country.
- The objective of these awards is to recognize the businesses, not only to improve their marketability, but also address discontinuity towards better business systems and enhanced products/services with the help of a prize money.
- There are two types of award category: Enterprise awards and Ecosystem Builder awards.
- Must be under the age of 40 years
- They must be first-generation entrepreneurs
- The nominee (entrepreneur) must hold 51% or more equity and ownership of the business
- Women entrants must individually or collectively own 75% or more of the enterprise