Polity & Governance
- Reservation of Limboo and Tamang Communities
Government Schemes & Policies
- Government introduces new scheme ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’
- 30,85,205 Persons Enrolled in PM-SYM
- Establishments Employing 50 or More Employees Required to Provide Creche Facility
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- KVIC installs bee-boxes at SPG campus
- Government is promoting the use of Compressed Bio Gas
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Polity & Governance
Reservation of Limboo and Tamang Communities
A proposal for reservation of seats for Limboo and Tamang communities in Sikkim Legislative Assembly is under consideration of the Government of India.
ABOUT LIMBOO COMMUNITIES:
- The Limbu are Kirati people indigenous and native to the Himalayan Limbuwan region of the Indian subcontinent, in what is now modern-day Eastern Nepal, Northern Sikkim, India and Western Bhutan.
ABOUT TAMANG COMMUNITIES:
- The Tamang are the largest Tibetic ethnic group of Nepalis and Indian Gorkhas. Traditionally Buddhist by religion.
- Indian Tamangs are also a significant number in Sikkim and Darjeeling. Peculiar to Tamang people are complex marriage restrictions within the community.
ABOUT THE RESERVATION OF SEATS IN SIKKIM
- A proposal by the Home Ministry to accommodate the Limboo and Tamang community was put against Union Cabinet to increase the number of seats in the Sikkim Assembly from 32 to 40.
- If approved, it will be the first expansion of the Assembly since Sikkim merged with India in 1975.
- Article 371F(f) and Article 332 of the Constitution of India govern reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly of Sikkim and hence the issue of seat reservation for Limboo and Tamang communities is being considered under these provisions.
- The Second Schedule to the Representation of People Act, 1950 and Section 5A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 have been amended to change the Assembly strength.
- However, by the Delimitation Act, 2002, the number of seats in an Assembly can be readjusted only on the basis of the first census after 2026.
- A petition was moved in the Supreme Court that Limboos and Tamangs were not adequately represented in the Assembly, subsequently, the court directed the Home Ministry to take action.
- The need came from the fact that these Tribal communities feel deprivation of their political and fundamental rights ever since they had been declared a Scheduled Tribe in 2003 under Article 342 of the Constitution.
- There are 90,000 Limboo-Tamangs which is about 15 per cent of the entire population of Sikkim.
STRUCTURE OF SIKKIM LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
- In Sikkim, there are 2 seats reserved for scheduled castes and 12 for scheduled tribes (Bhutias-Lepchas) out of 32 seats.
- All the 12 seats reserved for scheduled tribes are not because they are a Scheduled Tribe, but due to the result of a political agreement in 1973 between the Government of India, the former Chogyal (King) of Sikkim and political parties.
Government Schemes & Policies
Government introduces new scheme ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’
Seva Bhoj Yojana seeks to reimburse Central Share of CGST and IGST on Food / Prasad / Langar / Bhandara offered by Religious Institutions.
ABOUT SEVA BHOJ YOJNA:
- The Ministry of Culture has introduced a scheme namely ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’.
- It is a central sector scheme.
- The scheme envisages to reimburse the Central Government share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
- The specific raw food items covered under the Scheme are (i) Ghee (ii) Edible Oil (iii) Sugar/Burra/Jaggery (iv) Rice (v) Atta/Maida/Rava/Flour and (vi) Pulses.
The charitable religious institutions including temples, gurudwara, mosque, church, dharmik ashram, dargah, monasteries, which fulfill the following criteria are eligible for the grant:
- Should have been in existence for at least five years.
- Should be involved in charitable/religious activities by way of free and philanthropic distribution of food free of cost and without discrimination.
- Should serve free food to at least 5000 people in a month for at least past 3 years.
- Should covered under Section 10 of the Income Tax Act or Institutions registered as Society under Societies Registration Act or as a Public Trust under any law for the time being in force of statuary religious bodies constituted under any Act.
- Should have not in receipt of any Financial Assistance from the Central/State Government for the purpose of distributing free food.
- Should not be blacklisted under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or under the provisions of any Act/Rules of the Central/State.
30,85,205 Persons Enrolled in PM-SYM
ABOUT PRADHAN MANTRI SHRAM YOGI MAAN-DHAN (PM-SYM):
- Government of India introduced a pension scheme for unorganised workers namely Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) to ensure old age protection for Unorganised Workers.
- It is Central Sector Scheme administered by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- It is expected to benefit 10 crore labourers within next five years.
- It is implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India and CSC eGovernance Services India Limited (CSC as a Special Purpose Vehicle).
FEATURES OF PM-SYM:
- Minimum Assured Pension: Each subscriber under the PM-SYM, shall receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
- Family Pension: During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
- It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basiswhere prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and the matching contribution by the Central Government.
- The subscriber is required to contribute the prescribed contribution amount from the age of joining PM-SYM till the age of 60 years. On attaining the age of 60 years, the subscriber will get the assured monthly pension of Rs.3000.
- If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and died due to any cause (before age of 60 years), his/her spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme.
ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SCHEME:
- Should be an unorganised worker (UW)
- Entry age between 18 and 40 years
- Monthly Income ₹15000 or below
Should not be
- Engaged in Organized Sector (membership of EPF/NPS/ESIC)
- An income tax payer
- It is implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and CSC eGovernance Services India Limited (CSC SPV).
- LIC will be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
Establishments Employing 50 or More Employees Required to Provide Creche Facility
As per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, the establishments employing 50 or more employees are required to provide crèche facility, either separately or along with common facilities within a prescribed distance.
MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961:
- The Maternity Benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child.
- The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons.
THE AMENDMENTS TO MATERNITY BENEFIT ACT, 1961:
In March 2018, Parliament passed the Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017.
- Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
- 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.
- Facilitate ‘Work from home’.
- Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
WHAT IS CRECHE?
- A creche is a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day.
GUIDELINES FOR CRECHE FACILITY:
In November 2018, the government announced guidelines related to crèche facility:
- A creche should be either at the workplace or within 500 meters of it. Alternatively, it could also be in the beneficiaries’ neighborhood.
- The facility should be open for eight to 10 hours and if the employees have a shift system, then the creche should also be run accordingly.
- A creche must have a minimum space of 10 to 12 square feet per child to ensure that she or he can play, rest and learn. There should be no unsafe places such as open drains, pits, garbage bins near the center.
- The creches should have at least one guard, who should have undergone police verification.
- There should also be at least one supervisor per creche and a trained worker for every 10 children under three years of age or for every 20 children above the age of three, along with a helper.
- No outsiders such as plumbers be allowed inside the creche when children are present.
About the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961:
- The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, applies to establishments employing 10 or more than 10 persons in factories, mines, plantation, shops & establishments and other entities.
- The main purpose of this Act is to regulate the employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child birth and to provide maternity benefit and certain other benefits.
- The Act was amended through the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017.
ABOUT THE MATERNITY BENEFIT (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2017:
The amendment has brought in major changes to the law relating to maternity benefits. These are:
- It extends the period of maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks of which not more than eight weeks can precede the date of the expected delivery. This exceeds the International Labour Organisation’s minimum standard of 14 weeks and is a positive development. However, a woman who has two or more surviving children will be entitled to 12 weeks of which not more than six weeks can precede the date of the expected delivery.
- Women who legally adopt a child below the age of three months or a “commissioning mother” will be entitled to maternity benefit for 12 weeks from the date on which the child is handed over to her. A commissioning mother is defined as a biological mother who uses her egg to create an embryo implanted in another woman.
- It gives discretion to employers to allow women to work from home after the period of maternity benefit on mutually agreeable conditions.
- It introduces a provision which requires every establishment to intimate a woman at the time of her appointment of the maternity benefits available to her.
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
KVIC installs bee-boxes at SPG campus
The Special Protection Group (SPG) has installed bee-boxes with live bee-colonies provided by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in its headquarter premises at Dwarka (New Delhi).
ABOUT THE NEW WORLD RECORD:
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has created a world record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in one day.
- This was achieved by the KVIC in the Zangalee Army area at Kupwara in Kashmir beating its previous record of bee boxes distribution in Kaziranga forest area among the Mishing tribe.
- Besides production of honey, this will also promote growth of flora in and around the campus since bees bring about cross-pollination.
ABOUT HONEY MISSION:
- Honey Mission was launched in August 2017 in line with Prime Minister’s call of ‘Sweet Revolution’ in 2016.
- It was launched with a target to distribute 1.3 lakh bee-boxes before November 2018 across the country.
- Under this mission, the KVIC has provided beekeepers practical training about examination of honeybee colonies, acquaintance with apicultural equipments, identification and management of bee enemies and diseases etc.
ABOUT KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES COMMISSION (KVIC)
- The (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
- In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
- It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India.
- It is the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) under which loans will be provided for setting up units of processing, bottling, packaging and labelling units for the honey.
OBJECTIVES OF KVIC:
- The social objective of providing employment
- The economic objective of producing saleable articles
- The wider objective of creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building up of a strong rural community spirit
Government is promoting the use of Compressed Bio Gas
Government is promoting the use of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) as an alternative green transport fuel for efficient management of biomass and organic waste.
ABOUT SATAT INITIATIVE:
- Oil public sector undertakings (PSUs) launched ‘Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation’ (SATAT) initiative in 2018.
- It is aimed at providing a sustainable alternative transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
- Compressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs.
- CBG produced at these plants will be transported through cascades of cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.
- The entrepreneurs would be able to separately market the other by-products from these plants, including bio-manure, carbon-dioxide, etc., to enhance returns on investment.
- This initiative is expected to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops.
- Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste/ bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc.
- After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.
- Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential.
- With calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties similar to CNG, Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel.
BENEFITS OF CBG ON A COMMERCIAL SCALE:
- Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution
- Additional revenue source for farmers
- Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment
- Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals
- Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil
- Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations