The Hindu Newspaper Analysis for UPSC
- Poorer States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar haven’t been able to use the scheme optimally to alleviate poverty, while economically better-off States like Kerala use it as an asset creation tool, say officials
- The Central government has constituted a committee to review the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme, especially to assess the programme’s efficacy as a poverty alleviation tool.
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed in 2005, and the scheme guarantees 100 days of unskilled work per year for every rural household that wants it. Currently, 15.51 crore active workers are enrolled in the scheme.
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005.
- The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
- This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India.
- Several States, including some governed by the BJP, on Friday urged the Centre to rein in its reliance on raising revenues through cesses and surcharges that reduce their share in the divisible pool of taxes.
- They also sought greater fiscal support to help revive the economy and reiterated demands for extending the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation period.
- Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan noted that the share of cesses and surcharges had grown from 10.4% of gross tax revenue in 2011-12 to 26.7% in 2021-22. “This has deprived the States of their legitimate share of revenue collected by the Union Government. I exhort the Union Government to merge the cesses and surcharges into the basic rates of tax so that the States receive their legitimate share in devolution,” he submitted.
- Article 270 of the Constitution allows cess to be excluded from the purview of the divisible pool of taxes that the Union government must share with the States.
- The states’ share of central taxes has been hovering in the range of 29-32 per cent since financial year 2020-21 (FY21), when it should have been 41 per cent in line with the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.
- Different from the usual taxes and duties like excise and personal income tax, a Cess is imposed as an additional tax besides the existing tax (tax on tax) with a purpose of raising funds for a specific task.
- The Supreme Court on Friday sought the government’s response to pleas to allow solemnisation of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act.
- The Special Marriage Act of 1954 provides a civil form of marriage for couples who cannot marry under their personal law.
- enior advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Menaka Guruswamy and advocate Arundhati Katju argued that this was a sequel to the 2018 Constitution Bench judgment in the Navtej Joharcase in which homosexuality was decriminalised. “A plethora of living issues arise out of this case… Your Lordships have also upheld privacy as a constitutional right in the Puttaswamy case,” Mr. Rohatgi said.
- The petitioners said the 1954 Act should grant same-sex couples the same protection it allowed inter-caste and inter-faith couples who want to marry.
What is Special Marriage Act of 1954?
- The SMA is a law which allows solemnization of marriages without going through any religious customs or rituals.
- People from different castes or religions or states get married under SMA in which marriage is solemnized by way of registration.
- The prime purpose of the Act was to address Inter-religious marriages and to establish marriage as a secular institution bereft of all religious formalities, which required registration alone.
- This year, at COP27 in Egypt, a dizzying array of topics was on the table for discussion — from the more familiar emissions reductions to the more detailed rules to govern carbon markets. But of significance to developing countries, India included, are the stories to do with climate finance.
- As developing countries have rising energy needs and vulnerable populations, they need financial support for low-carbon transformations, building resilience to inevitable climate impacts, and other steep challenges, important among these being loss and damage (L and D) from climate-induced impacts. Possibly the biggest headline after COP27 was the establishment of a new L and D fund.
- But it excludes mention of historic responsibility and the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). What is more, there is no clear indication that the fund will be paid for by developed countries.
- In 2009, developed countries had promised developing countries $100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020, which still remains unmet.
- With the new L and D fund, the line between victim and perpetrator has been blurred. But given that all the practical mechanisms of the fund are yet to be decided, it will be interesting to see if developing countries can, in future negotiations, redraw the lines of responsibility, and perhaps even liability.
- The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949 for ‘We the people of India’. After being unnoticed for long, the day began to be celebrated as Constitution Day since 2015. This day is indeed a historic day for the nation, with the framing of a Constitution for the governance of independent India.
- For example, if we pose a question about the level of awareness about the Constitution among ‘we the people’, the answer may not be encouraging. It is understandable if unlettered people are not aware of the Constitution. But the situation is not much different among the educated sections either, despite the fact that the Constitution is an integral part of our life.
- The Constitution is a holistic doctrine. Rights bring responsibilities with them. There is a chapter on Fundamental Duties in Part IVA of the Constitution.
- Article 15 says: “The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.” How beautiful this sentence would have read had “The state” been replaced by society.
- Unfortunately, there is hardly any focus on the Constitution at the school level, not to speak of tertiary education. The Constitution should get due recognition across the educational system. Celebrating November 26 as Constitution Day is fine, but we should not restrict ourselves to symbolism. We should look at the substantive issues dealt with by the Constitution, thereby enriching our life.
- Our ancient texts teach us that Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means the entire humanity, is one large family. Every man is related to every other person. We should first learn to treat fellow Indians as a fraternity. We will know this only if we care to open the first page of the Constitution. For this we need a copy of the Constitution. And it costs less than a movie ticket these days.
- Indian nationals received the largest number — 39% — of the total work-related visas granted by the United Kingdom for the year ending September 2022, an announcement from the British government has said. Of the total 1,45,258 work-related visas issued by the U.K., Indians received 56,042, a jump of 90% in comparison to the pre-pandemic figure of 29,552 in 2019.
- Apart from India, the Philippines, Nigeria, and the United States were among the other top visa-seeking nations seeking work visas.
- The sharp rise in the demand for the work visas is being explained by the post-pandemic recovery, which has settled in most of the major economies across the world.
- Indians also featured in the top three nationalities that were granted ‘Skilled Worker’ visas from the U.K. The other two nations that received similar visas were the United States and South Africa.
- More cities in China imposed partial lockdowns on Friday as COVID-19 cases soared to the highest since the pandemic, bringing fresh restrictions for a weary Chinese public.
- The National Health Commission on Friday reported 32,695 cases, beating Thursday’s record, which was itself the highest number since April when Shanghai was under a two month-long lockdown.
- Beijing, reported 1,860 of those cases, and on Friday resembled a ghost town with an increasing number of residential complexes locked down. Offices have been told to close, most schools have shifted to virtual learning, and e-commerce apps struggled to fulfill orders for groceries, bringing back memories of the early days of the pandemic in 2020.
Q) ‘Exercise Naseem Al Bahr’ is held between:
- India and Oman
- China and Pakistan
- India and United Arab Emirates
- India and Maldives
‘अभ्यास नसीम अल बह्र’ किसके बीच आयोजित किया जाता है:
- भारत और ओमान
- चीन और पाकिस्तान
- भारत और संयुक्त अरब अमीरात
- भारत और मालदीव
- The Indian Navy’s guided missile stealth frigate, INS Trikand, offshore patrol vessel, INS Sumitra, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft -Dornier, participated in the 13th Edition of the Indian Navy (IN) – Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) bilateral exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ (Sea Breeze).
- Ex-Naseem Al Bahr initiated in 1993, symbolises the long term strategic relationship between the two countries. This year marks 30 years of IN-RNO bilateral exercises.
- Oman is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which has been in conducting bilateral exercises with India jointly.
- Both countries already have Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) including on defence cooperation, between the Coast Guards to prevent crime at sea, on maritime issues and a protocol between their respective air forces on Flight Safety Information Exchange.
Q) With reference to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), consider the following statements:
- It is launched by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
- The unemployment rate among females in urban areas has increased significantly in 2022.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
आवधिक श्रम बल सर्वेक्षण (पीएलएफएस) के संदर्भ में निम्नलिखित कथनों पर विचार करें:
- इसे राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी कार्यालय (NSO) द्वारा लॉन्च किया गया है।
- 2022 में शहरी क्षेत्रों में महिलाओं के बीच बेरोजगारी दर में काफी वृद्धि हुई है।
उपरोक्त कथनों में से कौन-सा/से सही है/हैं?
- केवल 1
- केवल 2
- 1 और 2 दोनों
- न तो 1 और न ही 2
- India’s unemployment rate dips to 7.2% in July-Sept 2022 according to National Statistical Office (NSO)’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS).
- Considering the importance of availability of labour force data at more frequent time intervals, National Statistical Office (NSO) launched Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) in April 2017.
- The objective of PLFS:
- to estimate the key employment and unemployment indicators (viz. Worker Population Ratio, Labour Force Participation Rate, Unemployment Rate) in the short time interval of three months for the urban areas only in the ‘Current Weekly Status’ (CWS).
- to estimate employment and unemployment indicators in both ‘Usual Status’ (ps+ss) and CWS in both rural and urban areas annually.
Q) ‘Batagur kachuga’, sometimes seen in the news, is a:
कभी-कभी समाचारों में देखा जाने वाला ‘बटागुर कचुगा’ एक है:
- India’s proposal for induction of fresh water turtle Batagur kachuga earned wide support at CoP 19 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) being held at Panama City.
- It is a freshwater turtle species, and found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
- It is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh.
- It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN : Critically Endangered
- IWPA : Schedule I
- CITES : Appendix II
Q) ‘Exercise GARUDA SHAKTI’ is conducted between India and which of the following countries?
गरुड़ शक्ति अभ्यास भारत और निम्नलिखित में से किस देश के बीच आयोजित किया जाता है?
The Special Forces of India and Indonesia commenced the joint military exercise Garuda Shakti. The exercise is currently underway in Indonesia at Sangga Buana Training Area, Karawang. The eighth edition of Exercise Garuda Shakti focuses on enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the Special Forces of both armies. The goal of the joint exercise is to advance the special forces’ skills. It also aims to share information on new weapons, equipment, tactics, techniques, and procedures, as well as lessons learned from previous operations.
Q) ‘MAARG Portal’ recently mentioned in news is a
- a one stop platform to facilitate mentorship for startups across diverse sectors
- platform that aims at engaging the Central Government, State Government, District, civil society in eradicating child labour.
- project to digitally enable Self Help Groups
- single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies.
हाल ही में समाचारों में उल्लिखित ‘मार्ग पोर्टल’ है a
- विविध क्षेत्रों में स्टार्टअप्स के लिए मेंटरशिप की सुविधा के लिए वन स्टॉप प्लेटफॉर्म
- बी मंच जिसका उद्देश्य बाल श्रम उन्मूलन में केंद्र सरकार, राज्य सरकार, जिला, नागरिक समाज को शामिल करना है।
- स्वयं सहायता समूहों को डिजिटल रूप से सक्षम बनाने की परियोजना
- केंद्र से लेकर स्थानीय सरकारी निकायों तक सभी भारतीय नागरिकों के लिए पैन इंडिया ई-गवर्नेंस सेवाओं का उपयोग करने के लिए एकल मंच।
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has launched a call for startup applications for registration on the MAARG portal, the National Mentorship Platform by Startup India.
- To further boost the Indian startup ecosystem, currently ranked 3rd largest globally, Startup India is focused on catalysing the startup culture and building a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India. In this context, MAARG portal – Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience and Growth, is a one stop platform to facilitate mentorship for startups across diverse sectors, functions, stages, geographies, and backgrounds.
Mains Practice Question:
Q) “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” – Mahatma Gandhi. (2018) (150 words)
“क्रोध और असहिष्णुता सही समझ के दुश्मन हैं।” – महात्मा गांधी। (2018) (150 शब्द)