Polity & Governance
- NCST recommends ‘tribal area’ status for Ladakh
Issues related to Health & Education
- Minister of State for HRD launches Curriculum for Life Skills (Jeevan Kaushal)
- PM launches animal disease eradication programme, calls for putting end to single-use of plastic
Defence & Security Issues
- DRDO successfully flight-tests MPATGM
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Polity & Governance
NCST recommends ‘tribal area’ status for Ladakh
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) recommend that Ladakh should be declared a tribal area under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- The total tribal population in Ladakh region is more than 97 %. This tribal population includes Balti, Beda, Bot, Boto, Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin, Changpa, Garra, Mon and Purigpa tribe
- As per NCST, inclusion of Ladakh in 6th schedule will help
- Democratic devolution of powers
- Promote distinct culture of the region
- Protect agrarian rights including rights on land and
- Enhance transfer of funds for speedy development of the region.
- NCST also said that the autonomous district councils of erstwhile Union Territory of Mizoram had helped in mitigating the genuine aspirations of people.
ABOUT 6TH SCHEDULE
- The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India allows for the formation of Autonomous District Councils to administer regions which have been given autonomy within their respective states (i.e., Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram).
FEATURES OF 6TH SCHEDULE
- The tribal areas in the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram have been constituted as autonomous districts. But, they do not fall outside the executive authority of the state concerned.
- The governor is empowered to organise and re-organise the autonomous districts. Thus, he can increase or decrease their areas or change their names or define their boundaries.
- If there are different tribes in an autonomous district, the governor can divide the district into several autonomous regions.
- Each autonomous district has a district council consisting of 30 members, of whom four are nominated by the governor and the remaining 26 are elected on the basis of adult franchise. The elected members hold office for a term of five years (unless the council is dissolved earlier) and nominated members hold office during the pleasure of the governor. Each autonomous region also has a separate regional council.
- The district and regional councils administer the areas under their jurisdiction. They can make laws on certain specified matters like land, forests, inheritance of property, marriage and divorce, social customs and so on. But all such laws require the assent of the governor.
- The district and regional councils within their territorial jurisdictions can constitute village councils or courts for trial of suits.
- The district and regional councils are empowered to assess and collect land revenue and to impose certain specified taxes.
- The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to autonomous districts and autonomous regions or apply with specified modifications and exceptions.
- The governor can appoint a commission to examine on any matter relating to the administration of the autonomous districts or regions. He may dissolve a district or regional council on the recommendation of the commission.
- Under the Govt. of India Act, 1935, the hill areas of Assam were divided into two categories-Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas.
- The Lushai Hills (now Mizoram) the Naga Hills and the North Cachar Hills were under the excluded areas, over which the provincial ministry had no jurisdiction.
- The Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Garo Hills, and the Mikir Hills were partially excluded areas. These districts had five representatives in the Assam Legislative Assembly.
- Briefly, these areas were administered by the state government subject to the special powers of the Governor. The 1935 Constitution did not give local self-government or political autonomy to the hill tribes of the excluded and partially excluded areas to manage their local affairs according to their own genius and ability.
- In order to ensure their participation in decision making and safeguarding tribal interests, the Government of India appointed a Sub-Committee of the Constituent Assembly – the North-East Frontier (Assam) Tribal and Excluded Areas Committee – under the Chairmanship of Gopinath Bardoloi, Chief Minister of Assam.
- The Bardoloi Committee’s recommended for a simple set-up (District Councils) of the tribal areas, which were incorporated into the Article 244 (2) of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
- The Bardoloi Committee also made provision for Regional Council for the tribes other than the main tribe. This scheme sought to build up autonomous administration (District Councils and the Regional Council) in the hill areas of Assam so that the tribal people could preserve their traditional way of life, and safeguard their customs, and cultures.
- The Committee also recommended the abolition of the excluded and the partially excluded areas and representation of the hills districts in the legislative Assembly.
ABOUT 125TH AMENDMENT BILL
- The Bill amends provisions related to the Finance Commission and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- It increases the financial and executive powers of the 10 Autonomous Councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of the north-eastern region.
- The amendments provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at the grassroot level.
- The Finance Commission will be mandated to recommend devolution of financial resources to them.
- The Autonomous Councils now depend on grants from Central ministries and the State government for specific projects. At least one-third of the seats will be reserved for women in the village and municipal councils in the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura after the amendment is approved.
ABOUT NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR SCHEDULED TRIBES
- It is a constitutional bodyestablished with a view to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes.
- It aims to promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests.
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION
- The Commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
- They are appointed by the President by warrant.
- Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the president. The commission presents an annual report to the president.
FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION
- To investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes.
- To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes.
- To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State.
- To present to the President reports upon the working of those safeguards.
- To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes.
Issues related to Health & Education
Minister of State for HRD launches Curriculum for Life Skills (Jeevan Kaushal)
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development launched the Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) designed by University Grants Commission (UGC).
ABOUT JEEVAN KAUSHAL
- University Grants Commission (UGC) constituted an Expert Committee which prepared a Curriculum for Life Skills (JeevanKaushal) for Under Graduate Programme.
- The curriculum is designed to impart the knowledge and skills relevant to the current Industry demand.
- Life skills curriculum cover the set of human talents such as communication skill, interpersonal skill, time management, problem solving ability etc.
PM launches animal disease eradication programme, calls for putting end to single-use of plastic
Prime Minister launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NACDP) to check and eradicate the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis among the livestock.
- He also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme and a country-wide workshop at all the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in all the 687 districts of the country on vaccination and disease management, artificial insemination and productivity.
- The Prime Minister also launched the Swachhta Hi Seva Programme with a focus on reducing the usage of single-use plastic in the country.
WHAT ARE KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRAS?
- Krsihi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are agricultural extension centres created by ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research) and its affiliated institutions at district level to provide various types of farm support to the agricultural sector.
- The first KVK was established during 1974 (Pondichery) and has grown as a largest network in the country.
ACTIVITIES UNDER KVKS
KVKs provide several farm support activities like providing technology dissemination to farmers, training, awareness etc. To achieve the set objectives KVKs undertake following types of activities in the adopted villages:
- Farm Advisory Service
- Training programme for different categories of people.
- Training programme for the extension functionaries.
- Front Line Demonstration (Fill)
- On Farm Testing (OFT)
WHY UPSKILLING IS NEEDED?
- About 40% of the country’s workforce is linked to agricultural knowledge activities. The government aims to double farmers’ income. However, without skill upgradation, this is not possible. There are rapid technological strides in the agriculture sector; therefore, upskilling is needed.
ABOUT THE SWACHHTA HI SEVA CAMPAIGN
- The campaign is being coordinated by Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, convening Ministry for the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Its objective is to mobilise people and reinforce jan aandolan (mass movement) for sanitation to contribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of a Clean India.
- It will see large scale mobilisation of people from all walks of life to undertake shramdaan (voluntary work) for cleanliness and construction of toilets. There will be targeted cleaning of public and tourist places.
- The main agenda of the campaign will be to reach out to the poor and marginalised and provide them with sustainable sanitation services.
Defence & Security Issues
DRDO successfully flight-tests MPATGM
In a major boost for Indian Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) in the ranges of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
- This is the third series of successful testing of MPATGM. The test paves the way for the Army to have developed 3rd generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile indigenously.
ABOUT MAN PORTABLE ANTITANK GUIDED MISSILE (MPATGM)
- The Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile (MP-ATGM) is an Indian third-generation Anti-tank guided missile derived from the Nag missile.
- MPATGM is incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.