Daily Analysis: 10th September 2020

The Hindu, PIB, IE and Others

Index

A) Indices/Committees/Reports/Organisations

1. What is Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)? (TH)

2. Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs and EASE Banking Reforms Index (Ministry of Finance)

B) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

3. NAFED intiative: e-kisan mandis (TH)

4. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PIB)

5. Schemes of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment (PIB)

6. Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan (TH)

7. Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) (PIB)

8. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and e-Gopala App (PIB)

9. Micro Irrigation Fund (PIB)

C) International Relations

10. Thailand scraps the Kra Canal Project (livemint)

11. Indo-Pacific trilateral dialogue (TH, pg 11)

D) Economy

12. FDI in India rises 10% in FY20 (IE)

13. All about Nobel Peace Prize (TH)

E) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

14. Police custody and judicial custody and the difference between the Two (IE)

15. Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) (PIB)

16. The Office of the Deputy Speaker (TH, pg 9)

17. Ladakh autonomous hill development council (TH, pg 9)

F) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

18. SECURE Himalaya (PIB)

F) Miscellaneous)

19. Shikshak Parv (PIB)

20. Digital Single Market Strategy (TH) 

A) Indices/Committees/Reports/Organisations

1. What is Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)? (TH)

  • The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is a direct response to the Rio+20 Declaration, The Future We Want.
  • It brings together the expertise of five UN agencies
  1. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP or UN Environment),
  2. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO),
  4. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and
  5. United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
  • PAGE represents a mechanism to coordinate UN action on green economy and to assist countries in achieving and monitoring the emerging Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

2. Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs and EASE Banking Reforms Index (Ministry of Finance) (PIB)

Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs

  • As part of the EASE Reforms, Doorstep Banking Services is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to the customers at their door step through the universal touch points of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App. 
  • The services shall be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country. 
  • At present only non-financial services are available to customers.  Financial services shall be made available from October 2020.
  • The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges.
  • The services shall benefit all customers, particularly Senior Citizens and Divyangs who would find it at ease to avail these services. 

Performance of PSB on EASE 2.0 Index

  • A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking.
  • It was launched in January 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ? EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0.
  • The overall score of PSBs increased by 37% between March-2019 and March-2020, with the average EASE index score improving from 49.2 to 67.4 out of 100.
  • Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) Banking Reforms Index is based on six themes:
  1. Responsible Banking;
  2. PSBs as UdyamiMitra for MSMEs;
  3. Credit off-take;
  4. Customer Responsiveness;
  5. Deepening Financial Inclusion and Digitalisation;
  6. Developing Personnel for Brand PSB.
  • Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce were felicitated for being the top three (in that order) in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category according to the EASE 2.0 Index Results. 

B) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

3. NAFED intiative: e-kisan mandis (TH)

Context: If the electronic National Agricultural Market (eNAM) hasn’t over the last four years of its existence transformed the markets for farm goods and aided the farmers to reach the right buyers in a big way, the blame should be assigned to lack of logistic support in transporting the commodities from one state to another.

  • eNAM has been reliant on the APMC mandis for physical infrastructure.

Analysis

  • Multi-state cooperative NAFED has developed a new model of e-Kisan mandis, where this lacuna is sought to be addressed.
  • The country’s first e-kisan mandi became operational in Pune recently, led by NAFED’s arm Federation of Farmer Producer Organisations and Aggregators (FIFA).
  • The idea is to roll out 100-odd such facilities over the next six to nine months across the country.
  • According to the plan, the FPCs or other farmer groups will run the facility on NAFED-owned lands.
  • Unlike e-NAM, which focuses on APMCs, the e-kisan mandis will seek to bring farmers, agri-producers, traders and small buyers on a common platform for trading agricultural commodities.
  • An online electronic market will not work unless it is accompanied by proper physical infrastructure.
  • NAFED would invest in setting up warehouses and cold storage at the e-kisan hubs in addition to providing drying, sorting and grading facilities.
  • The e-Kisan mandi platform would not compete with but complement the physical markets.
  • It would operate in a hub-and-spoke model, in which the NAFED-owned land will operate as a hub for the FPCs in the area; FPCs will collect the orders from the online platform and provide the service.

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) 

  • It was established in October 1958.
  • It is registered under the Multi State Co-operative Societies Act.
  • It was setup with the object to promote Co-operative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit the farmers.
  • Agricultural farmers are the main members of NAFED, who have the authority to say in the form of members of the General Body in the working of NAFED.
  • NAFED holds the Central Buffer of onions on behalf of the Union Government.

Objectives:

  • To act as warehouseman under the Warehousing Act and own and construct its own godowns and cold storages;
  • To act as agent of any Government agency or cooperative institution, for the purchase, sale, storage and distribution of agricultural, horticultural, forest and animal husbandry produce, wool, agricultural requisites and other consumer goods;
  • To act as insurance agent and to undertake all such work which is incidental to the same;
  • To undertake manufacture of agricultural, machinery and implements, processing, packing, etc. and other production requisites and consumer articles by setting up manufacturing units either directly or in collaboration with or as a joint venture with any other agency;
  • To maintain transport units of its own or in collaboration with any other organization in India or abroad for movements of goods on land, sea, air and operate freight station, container depot and undertake other incidental activities;
  • To subscribe to the share capital and undertake business collaboration with   cooperative institutions, public, joint and private sector enterprises, if and when considered necessary for fulfilling the objectives of NAFED;
  • To establish processing units for processing of agricultural, horticultural and forest produce, wool and allied products.

4. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PIB)

Context: The Sports Ministry has come forward to extend financial support to Ramananda Ningthoujam, a young Indian footballer who has represented India at various international tournaments, and is suffering from kidney failure.

  • Taking cognizance of his serious medical condition and the financial situation of the family, the Ministry has sanctioned an ex-gratia financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakhs to the athlete under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

Analysis

  • The salient features of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS) are as follows:
  • To provide suitable assistance to outstanding sportspersons now living in indigent circumstances;
  • To provide suitable assistance to outstanding sportspersons injured during the period of their training for competitions and also during the competitions, depending on the nature of the injury;
  • To provide suitable assistance to outstanding sportspersons who bring glory to the country in international sports field and who are disabled as an after effect of their strenuous training or otherwise and to provide them assistance for medical treatment;
  • To provide suitable assistance to promote welfare of outstanding sportspersons generally in order to alleviate distress among them and their dependents in indigent circumstances.
  • Funds are not sanctioned/released under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons scheme area-wise.
  • The financial help is provided to athletes depending upon their financial and medical conditions.
  • Monthly pension can also being given from ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.’ 

5. Schemes of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment (PIB)

Context: Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment released a book containing 33 Action Plans 2020-21 of all the schemes of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment.

  • This is the first time that the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has embarked on a comprehensive Annual Action Plan 2020-21 for each of the Schemes with an objective to give clear targets and milestones for Central Ministry, the participating State Governments and NGOs.

Analysis

Schemes of the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment

  • Free Coaching for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes, National Fellowship for Scheduled Castes & Top Class Education For Schedules Castes:

Revised the income limits for eligibility of Assistance under the Top Class Education Scholarship Scheme for SCs, Free Coaching Scheme for SCs and OBCs, and National Overseas Scholarship Scheme for SCs etc. from Rs.6.00 Lakh to Rs.8.00 Lakh per annum.

New mode of implementation has been introduced in the Free Coaching Scheme under which eligible SCs and OBCs students can obtain assistance for undertaking coaching in institute of their choice.

Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana

3584 more SC majority villages have been taken up under PMAGY for integrated development taking the total to 13199 villages.

National Action Plan on Drug Demand Reduction

Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan has been launched in 272 Districts most affected in substance use.

Integrated Programme for Rehabilitation of Beggars

This project would be run in 10 pilot cities i.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Patna, Nagpur and Indore. These 10 pilots will be done in the year 2020-21.

National Action Plan for Senior Citizens

At least one Senior Citizen Home in each District will be ensured in this year.

National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC)

National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) an apex corporation under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, has launched a new scheme with a view to promote mechanized cleaning and to minimize the incidents of Manual Hazardous cleaning to providing financial assistance to its target group for procurement and operation of mechanized cleaning equipment under its Swachhta Udyami Yojna (SUY) with a provision of 50% capital subsidy for equipment costing upto Rs.5 Lakh.

Strengthening of Machinery for Enforcement of Protection of Civil Rights Act 1955 and Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989

Post Matric Scholarship for SCs

It is proposed to cover additional 10 lakh students under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs during 2020-21.

Post Matric Scholarship for Other Backward Classes

Vanchit Ikai Samooh aur Vargon ki Aarthik Sahayta Yojana (VISVAS Yojana)

  • It is for the benefit of Scheduled Castes and OBC Self Help Groups/Individual member with annual family income upto Rs. 3 Lakh.
  • Under the scheme SC and OBC Self Help Groups and Individuals will be able to avail Interest Subvention on bank loans at 5%.
  • VISVAS Yojana will be implemented by the National Scheduled Castes Finance Development Corporation (NSFDC) and National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation (NBCFDC).

6. Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan (TH)

Context: India’s second and South India’s first Kisan Train commenced its inaugural run from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh to Adarsh Nagar in New Delhi recently.

Analysis

  • Anantapur is fast becoming the Fruit Bowl of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Introduction of Kisan Rail is conceptualized to provide priority to the farming sector and facilitate transportation of perishable agricultural products to various market places across the country.
  • The trains with frozen containers are expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables.
  • Kisan Rail service was announced in the Union Budget 2020-21 and it was also stated that the Indian Railways will set up a Kisan Rail through PPP arrangements.
  • The first such train runs weekly between Devlali (Maharashtra) to Danapur (Bihar).
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Aviation Ministry will launch the

Krishi Udaan

  • Krishi Udaan will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on international and national routes.
  • This scheme aims to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their “value realisation”, especially in the north-east and tribal districts.

7. Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) (PIB)

Context: NITI Aayog launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) to spur applied research and innovation and increase competitiveness of Indian MSMEs and startups.

Analysis

  • The ANIC) program will support deserving applied research–based innovations by providing funding support of up to Rs 50 lakh for speedy development of the proposed technology solution and/or product.
  • Ultimately it aims to provide a steady stream of innovative products & solutions where the Central Government Ministries / Departments will become the potential first buyers
  • The programme will be driven by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), four ministries—Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Food Processing Industries; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairsand associated industries to facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems.

8. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and e-Gopala App (PIB)

Context: The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and e-Gopala App has been launched.

Analysis

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be implemented for a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/Union Territories, as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
  • It has two components — Central Sector Scheme (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).
  • Under the CSS component, the funding pattern for the Northeastern and Himalayan states will be 90% central share and 10% state share; for other states it will be 60% central share and 40% state share; and for Union territories (with and without legislature) it will be 100% central share.
  • However, under CS component of PMMSY, “the entire project/unit cost will be borne by the Central government (i.e. 100% central funding)”.
  • The investment of Rs. 20,050 crores under PMMSY is the highest ever in the fisheries sector.
  • It involves both the beneficiary-oriented activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture and for Fisheries Infrastructure.

    PMMSY aims at:
  • Enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25 at an average annual growth rate of about 9%,
  1. Increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25,
  2. Doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers,
  3. Reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10% and generation of additional 55 lakhs direct and
  4. Indirect gainful employment opportunities in fisheries sector and allied activities.
  • PMMSY scheme primarily focuses on adopting ‘Cluster or Area based approaches’ and creation of Fisheries clusters through backward and forward linkages.
  • Special focus will be given for employment generation activities such as seaweed and ornamental fish cultivation.
  • The scheme will result in increasing aquaculture average productivity to 5 tons per hectare from the current national average of 3 tons per hectare.
  • Constituting about 7.73% of the global fish production, India today has attained the status of the second largest aquaculture and 4th largest fish exporting nation in the world. 
  • Though the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) was announced as part of the Centre’s economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19, it does not seem to contain any components aimed at relief or financial assistance to provide immediate help for the hard-hit fisheries sector.
  • It involves investments of more than ?20,000 crore from Centre, the States and beneficiaries over a five-year period.
  • While aiming to consolidate the achievements of Blue Revolution Scheme, PMMSY envisages many new interventions such as fishing vessel insurance, Bio-toilets, Aquaculture in saline/alkaline areas, Sagar Mitras, Integrated Aqua parks, Biofloc & Cage Culture, Aquaponics, etc.

Recirculation aquaculture

  • It is essentially a technology for farming fish or other aquatic organisms by reusing the water in the production.

Biofloc systems

  • These are used as a low-cost means of cleaning the culture water of fish and shrimp farms while simultaneously providing an additional source of feed. 
  • Biofloc systems bank on photosynthesis to convert uneaten feeds, faeces and excess nutrients into food.
  • In traditional farming systems, only about 25 percent of the protein content of feeds are actually utilised by farmed species.
  • By converting ammonium into microbial proteins (with the help of bacteria) that can be consumed by filter feeders (including diatoms, fungi, algae, protozoans and various types of plankton) which in turn can be eaten by the fish, biofloc systems are able to double this figure, saving farmers big money.
  • Biofloc systems reduce the spread and effectiveness of pathogens while simultaneously improving fish health through better water quality and bolstered feed availability.

Aquaponics

  • Itis a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish and other aquatic animals, and hydroponics which is growing plants without soil.
  • Aquaponics uses these two in a symbiotic combination in which plants are fed the aquatic animals’ discharge or waste.
  • In return, the vegetables clean the water that goes back to the fish.
  • Along with the fish and their waste, microbes play an important role to the nutrition of the plants.
  • These beneficial bacteria gather in the spaces between the roots of the plant and converts the fish waste and the solids into substances the plants can use to grow.

e-Gopala App

  • e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.

Major Reforms

  • Some of the major reforms and steps taken by the Union Government to harness the potential of the Fisheries sector in a sustainable and responsible manner towards ushering the Blue Revolution in Fisheries include:
  1. Creation of a separate Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the Union Government,
  2. Setting up a new and dedicated Department of Fisheries with independent administrative structure,
  3. Implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Blue Revolution: Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries during the period 2015-16 to 2019-20,
  4. Creation of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF), and
  5. Launching of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) 

9. Micro Irrigation Fund (PIB)

  • Government has created a dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) of Rs. 5000 crores with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).
  • Its objective is to facilitate States in mobilizing resources for expanding coverage of Micro Irrigation and incentivizing its adoption beyond provisions of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana-Per Drop More Crop (PMKSY-PDMC). 
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) is the Nodal Ministry.
  • The objective of the fund is to facilitate State Govts. efforts in mobilizing additional resources for expanding coverage under micro irrigation and incentivizing its adoption beyond provisions of PMKSY-PDMC. A total amount of Rs. 2841.57 cr stands sanctioned as on 31 March 2020 under the Fund.   
  • The Government has set the target of covering 100 lakh ha in five years under micro-irrigation.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC &FW) is implementing Per Drop More Crop component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY-PDMC) since 2015-16 for enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture sector.

C) International Relations

10. Thailand scraps the Kra Canal Project (livemint)

Context: China has suffered a severe blow from Thailand, which said it will scrap the Kra Canal project (would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea) that Beijing wanted to build to shorten its access to the Indian Ocean.

Analysis

  • China was pinning its hopes on the Kra Canal project, a proposal to construct a 120-kilometre mega canal cutting through the isthmus of Kra in Thailand.
  • Isthmus is a narrow piece of land with water on each side that joins two larger areas of land.
  • The Thai canal could have been a crucial strategic asset for China, allowing its navy to bypass the Strait of Malacca, a narrow chokepoint between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra that divides the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
  • As things stand, Thailand no longer wants the Kra Canal as it is turned out to be infeasible both economically and politically.
  • Firstly, economic reasons: The Kra Canal project was unlike Suez Canal or Panama Canal that would have helped reduce a substantial amount of time or expenditure.
  • Kra Canal (120 km appx.) as an alternate route through the Malacca, Sunda or Lombok Straits would have generated very limited revenue, which would not have justified its construction cost.
  • The Suez Canal (193 km appx.) is a man-made waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea.
  • The Panama Canal (64 km appx.) is a constructed waterway that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans across the Isthmus of Panama.
  • Besides the economic reasons, a Thai canal would pose a little threat to the US and its allies, including India, which can effectively counter Chinese expansionism with the up-gradation of domestic forward bases in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The real concern is that it would further undermine the independence of poor southeast Asian countries like Myanmar and Cambodia, which have comparatively weak civil societies that are highly vulnerable to Chinese interference. And it absolutely imperils Thailand.
  • Along with the decision to scrap the canal project, the Thai government has dropped the purchase of Chinese-made military
  • submarines for a year following public outrage over the controversial agreement.
  • As per the TFIPOST report, China has lost all its friends in the Indo-Pacific region. “Thailand itself, for example, is a part of the Milk Tea Alliance– an online democratic solidarity movement run by internet users from Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

11. Indo-Pacific trilateral dialogue (TH, pg 11)

  • With a focus on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, India, Australia and France held the first trilateral dialogue where they discussed
  • economic and geostrategic challenges and cooperation” in the region, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic responses to it;
  • priorities, challenges and trends in regional and global multilateral institutions, including the best ways to strengthen and reform multilateralism;
  • concrete cooperation projects in the maritime sector and those promoting global commons (climate, environment and biodiversity, health).

D) Economy

12. FDI in India rises 10% in FY20 (IE)

Context: Foreign direct investment into India rose 10 per cent to $42.69 billion in the year ended March 31, 2020 from $38.74 billion in the previous year despite the global slowdown, with the Cayman Islands showing the biggest jump in bringing cash in to India.

Analysis

  • According to the Reserve Bank of India data, FDI from Cayman Islands jumped 305 per cent thus becoming the fourth largest FDI contributor behind Singapore, Mauritius and the Netherlands.
  • The main activity in Cayman Islands, the British Overseas Territory and one of the most popular tax havens, is financial services.
  • Singapore and Mauritius remained the major source countries, accounting for about 50 per cent of total FDI flows in 2019-20, followed by the Netherlands, the Cayman Islands, the US and Japan, according to the RBI data.
  • India was the 9th largest recipient country globally in 2019.
  • Most of FDI equity flows went to the services sector, including communication services, retail and wholesale trade, financial services, computer and business services and the manufacturing sector.
  • The manufacturing sector got $ 8.15 billion, communication services $ 6.83 billion and retail trade $ 4.91 billion (decreasing order).

13. All about Nobel Peace Prize (TH)

Context: A Norwegian lawmaker has nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 for helping broker a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Analysis

Process of nomination and selection

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
  • A nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize may be submitted by any persons who are qualified to nominate.
  • According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, a nomination is considered valid if it is submitted by a person who falls within one of the following categories:
  • Members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members/ministers) of sovereign states as well as current heads of states
  • Members of The International Court of Justice in The Hague and The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
  • Members of l’Institut de Droit International
  • Members of the international board of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  • University professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion; university rectors and university directors (or their equivalents); directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes
  • Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Members of the main board of directors or its equivalent of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
  • Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee

Candidacy criteria

  • The candidates eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize are those persons or organizations nominated by qualified individuals, see above.
  • A nomination for yourself will not be taken into consideration.

Selection of Nobel Laureates

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for the selection of eligible candidates and the choice of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
  • The Committee is composed of five members appointed by the Storting (Norwegian parliament).
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, not in Stockholm, Sweden, where the Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and the Economics Prize are awarded.

50 year secrecy rule

  • The Committee does not itself announce the names of nominees, neither to the media nor to the candidates themselves.
  • In so far as certain names crop up in the advance speculations as to who will be awarded any given year’s Prize, this is either sheer guesswork or information put out by the person or persons behind the nomination.
  • Information in the Nobel Committee’s nomination database is not made public until after fifty years.

Past winners (Relevance to Civil Services Exam)

  • International Committee of the Red Cross has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three times (in 1917, 1944 and 1963), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize two times (in 1954 and 1981), there are 24 individual organizations which have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2019

  • Abiy Ahmed Ali “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”
  • Some Important orgnisations which won Nobel Prize are as under
  1. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),
  2. European Union (EU),
  3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
  4. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United Nations (U.N.),
  5. Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)

Nobel Laureates from India

  • Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee: He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2019 for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.
  • Kailash Satyarthi: The Nobel Peace Prize of 2014 was awarded for struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.
  • He also heads the Global March Against Child Labour, a movement to mobilise worldwide efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children.
  • Venkatraman Ramakrishnan: He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, molecular machine that makes protein.
  • Amartya Sen: He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics for the year 1998, becoming the first Asian to have been honoured with the award.
  • Subramanian Chandrashekhar: He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1983.
  • He developed a theory on white dwarf stars which posts a limit of mass of dwarf stars known also as Chandrashekhar Limit.
  • His theory explains the final stages of stellar evolution.
  • Mother Teresa: The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Mother Teresa in 1979.
  1. Concern for the poor and the sick prompted her to found a new congregation, Missionaries of Charity.
  2. Having become an Indian citizen, Mother Teresa served the cause of dying destitutes, lepers and drug addicts, through Nirmal Hriday (meaning Pure Heart), the main centre of her activity.
  3. Her selfless service and unique devotion, not only to helpless fellow-Indians but also to the cause of world peace, earned her and India the first Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Hargobind Khorana: Hargobind Khorana was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1968.
  • His major breakthrough in the field of Medicine —interpreting the genetic code and analysing its function in protein synthesis — fetched him the Nobel Prize.
  • Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman: India’s first Nobel Prize for Physics was claimed in 1930 by the renowned physicist Sir C.V. Raman, received the Nobel Prize for an important optics research, in which he discovered that diffused light contained rays of other wavelengths—what is now popularly known as Raman Effect.
  • His theory discovered in 1928 explains the change in the frequency of light passing through a transparent medium.
  • Rabindranath Tagore: Rabindranath Tagore was the first Indian ever to receive a Nobel Prize.
  • He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his work Geetanjali, a collection of poems, in 1913.
  • Tagore wrote many love lyrics. Geetanjali and Sadhana are among his important works. 
  • He is also the author of India’s National Anthem.
  • In 1901, he founded the famous Santiniketan which later came to be known as Vishwa Bharati University.

E) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

14. Police custody and judicial custody and the difference between the Two (IE)

  • The arresting authority cannot detain a person in custody for more than 24 hours without producing him or her before a magistrate as per section 57 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
  • The Article 22 of the Constitution of India also has provisions for protection of a person during arrest or detention.
  • The magistrate may further remand the person to custody of police for a period not more than 15 days as a whole.
  • After lapse of 15 days or the police custody period granted by the magistrate, the person may be further remanded to judicial custody.
  • The police custody means that the person is confined at a lock up or remains in the custody of the officer.
  • Judicial custody means that the person is detained under the purview of the judicial magistrate is lodged in central or state prison.
  • In judicial custody, the person can apply for a bail.
  • The judicial custody can extend up to 60 or 90 days as a whole, depending upon the maximum punishment prescribed for the offence.
  • An undertrial person cannot remain in judicial custody beyond half the time period of prescribed maximum punishment.
  • In police custody, the investigating authority can interrogate a person while in judicial custody, officials need permission of the court for questioning.
  • In police custody, the person has the right to legal counsel, right to be informed of the grounds which the police have to ensure.
  • In the judicial custody in jails, while the person under responsibility of the magistrate, the Prison Manual comes into picture for routine conduct of the person.

15. Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) (PIB)

Context: The Article 243G of the Constitution intended to empower the Gram Panchayats (GPs) by enabling the State Governments to devolve powers and authority in respect of all 29 Subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule for local planning and implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice.

Analysis

  • In 2015, the Fourteenth Finance Commission grants were devolved to GPs that provided them with an enormous opportunity to plan for their development themselves.
  • Since then, local bodies, across the country are expected to prepare context specific, need based Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP).
  • Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) brings together both the citizens and their elected representatives in the decentralized planning processes. 
  • Apart from the demand related to basic infrastructure and services, resource development and convergence of departmental schemes, GPDP has potential to address the social issues.
  • GPDP is conducted from 2nd October to 31st December, every year across the country, under the People’s Plan Campaign (PPC).
  • Since last two years, the PPC guidelines and the joint advisory issued by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Ministry of Rural Development, has mandated Self Help Groups and their federations under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) to participate in the annual GPDP planning process and prepare the Village Poverty Reduction Plan (VPRP).
  • VPRP is a comprehensive demand plan prepared by the Self Help Group (SHG) network and their federations for projecting their demands and local area development which needs to be integrated with the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
  • The VPRP is presented in the Gram Sabha meetings from Oct. to Dec. every year.

People’s Plan Campaign (PPC) of Ministry of Panchayat Raj

  • Drawing heavily from the Kerala’s planning process, the Central government launched its People’s Plan Campaign (PPC) for panchayats from October 2 to December 31 2018 with the slogan Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas.
  • The Centre’s Plan document defines it as People’s Plan Campaign/Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
  • It is being construed as a precursor to revive the Five Year Plan in local bodies.
  • When the Centre relinquished the Five Year Plan and substituted Planning Commission with NITI Aayog, Kerala resolved to pursue the traditional planning process and revived the People’s Plan Campaign model.
  • The Centre’s Plan document terms GPDP as a comprehensive participatory process which involves full convergence with schemes of all related Central Ministries, line departments related to 29 subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.

Kudumbashree National Resource Organisation (KS-NRO)

  • Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), recognised Kudumbashree as a National Resource Organisation (KS-NRO) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) in 2013.
  • KS-NRO is expected to provide technical and implementation assistance to the State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) that partner with it.

16. The Office of the Deputy Speaker (TH, pg 9)

Context: The Congress has renewed its campaign seeking the Deputy Speaker’s position in the Lok Sabha.

  • The Lok Sabha has not had a Deputy Speaker for the last 15 months. Instead, a panel of MPs has been assisting the Speaker.
  • Upto the 10th Lok Sabha, both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were usually from the ruling party.
  • Since the 11th Lok Sabha, there has been a consensus that the Speaker comes from the ruling party (or ruling alliance) and the post of Deputy Speaker goes to the main opposition party.

Analysis

  • Like the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha itself from amongst its members.
  • He is elected after the election of the Speaker has taken place.
  • The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker.
  • Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha.
  • However, he may vacate his office earlier in any of the following three cases:
  1. If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha;
  2. If he resigns by writing to the Speaker; and
  3. If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha (such a notice can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice).
  • The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant.
  • He also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House.
  • In both the cases, he assumes all the powers of the Speaker.
  • He also presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.
  • The Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker. He is directly responsible to the House.
  • The Deputy Speaker has one special privilege; whenever he is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he automatically becomes its chairman.
  • Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, while presiding over the House, cannot vote in the first instance; he can only exercise a casting vote in the case of a lie.
  • Further, when a resolution for the removal of the Deputy Speaker is under consideration of the House, he cannot preside at the sitting of the House, though he may be present.
  • When the Speaker presides over the House, the Deputy Speaker is like any other ordinary member of the House.
  • He can speak in the House, participate in its proceeding and vote on any question before the House.
  • The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, while assuming their offices, do not make and subscribe any separate oath or affirmation.

Historical Evolution of the Offices of Speaker and deputy Speaker

  • The institutions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, originated in India in 1921 under the provisions of the Government of India Act of 1919 (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms).
  • At that time, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were called the President and the deputy President respectively and the same nomenclature continued till 1947.
  • Before 1921, the Governor-General of India used to preside over the meetings of the Central Legislative Council.
  • In 1921, the Frederick Whyte and Sachidanand Sinha were appointed by the Governor-General of India as the first Speaker and the first Deputy Speaker respectively of the Central Legislative Assembly.
  • In 1925, Vithalbhai J. Patel became the first Indian and the first elected Speaker of the Central Legislative Assembly.
  • The Government of India Act of 1935 changed the nomenclatures of President and Deputy President of the Central Legislative Assembly to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.
  • However, the old nomenclature continued till 1947 as the federal part of the 1935 Act was not implemented.
  • G.V. Mavalankar and Ananthasayanam Ayyangar had the distinction of being the first Speaker and the first Deputy Speaker (respectively) of the Lok Sabha.
  • G.V. Mavalankar also held the post of Speaker in the Constituent Assembly (Legislative) as well as the provisional Parliament.
  • He held the post of Speaker of Lok Sabha continuously for one decade from 1946 to 1956.

Panel of Chairpersons of Lok Sabha

  • Under the Rules of Lok Sabha, the Speaker nominates from amongst the members a panel of not more than ten chairpersons.
  • Any of them can preside over the House in the absence of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker.
  • It must be emphasised here that a member of the panel of chairpersons cannot preside over the House, when the office of the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is vacant.
  • During such time, the Speaker’s duties are to be performed by such member of the House as the President may appoint for the purpose.
  • The elections are held, as soon as possible, to fill the vacant posts.
  • When a member of the panel of chairpersons is also not present, any other person as determined by House acts as the Speaker.
  • He has the same powers as the Speaker when so presiding. He holds office until a new panel of chairpersons is nominated.

17. Ladakh autonomous hill development council (TH, pg 9)

Context: Ladakh autonomous hill development council-Leh polls unlikely to occur due to ongoing border tensions.

Analysis

  • The new UT of Ladakh consists of two districts of Kargil and Leh

The current administration of Leh and Kargil

  • The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh was created in 1995 under the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Act 1995, following demands of Ladakhi people to make Leh District into Union Territory because of its religious and cultural differences with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Owing to the difficult geographical problems, the need for greater public participation in the planning and development process was all the more necessary.
  • An Autonomous Hill Council has also been established in neighbouring Kargil District.
  • The autonomous hill councils work with village panchayats to take decisions on economic development, healthcare, education, land use, taxation, animal husbandry and local governance which are further reviewed at the block headquarters in the presence of the chief executive councillor and executive councillors.
  • As per Hill Council norms, the Chief Executive Councilor possess the rank and powers of a Cabinet Minister while as the Executive Councilors possess the rank and status of Deputy Minister.
  • The Deputy Commissioner is also designated as Chief Executive Officer, LAHDC Kargil and control of the overall district administration, execution of works and maintaining Law and Order.
  • The council is composed of 30 Councillors of which 26 are directly elected and 4 are nominated members. 
  • The executive arm of the council consists of an executive committee composed of a Chief Executive Councillor and four other executive councillors.
  • National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in 2019 recommended that the Union Territory of Ladakh be brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The Commission feels that this will help in:
  1. Democratic devolution of powers;
  2. Preserve and promote the distinct culture of the region.
  3. Protect agrarian rights including rights on land
  4. Enhance transfer of funds for speedy development of Ladakh region.

Administration of the Scheduled and Tribal Areas

  • Article 244 in Part X of the Constitution envisages a special system of administration for certain areas designated as ‘scheduled areas’ and ‘tribal areas.’
  • The 5th Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in any state except the four states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

The Sixth Schedule

  • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, according to Article 244 of the Indian Constitution. 
  • Passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, it seeks to safeguard the rights of tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC).
  • ADCs are bodies representing a district to which the Constitution has given varying degrees of autonomy within the state legislature.   
  • The Governors of these states are empowered to reorganise boundaries of the tribal areas.
  • In simpler terms, she or he can choose to include or exclude any area, increase or decrease the boundaries and unite two or more autonomous districts into one.
  • They can also alter or change the names of autonomous regions without a separate legislation.  

Autonomous districts and regional councils

  • Along with ADCs, the Sixth Schedule also provides for separate Regional Councils for each area constituted as an autonomous region. 
  • In all, there are 10 areas in the Northeast that are registered as autonomous districts – three in Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram and one in Tripura.
  • These regions are named as district council of (name of district) and regional council of (name of region).
  • Each autonomous district and regional council consistsof not more than 30 members, of which four are nominated by the governor and the rest via elections. All of them remain in power for a term of five years.
  • The Bodoland Territorial Council, however, is an exception as it can constitute up to 46 members. 

ADCs empowered with civil and judicial powers

  • The ADCs are empowered with civil and judicial powers, can constitute village courts within their jurisdiction to hear trial of cases involving the tribes.
  • Governors of states that fall under the Sixth Schedule specifies the jurisdiction of high courts for each of these cases.
  • The councils are also empowered to make legislative laws on matters like land, forests, fisheries, social security, entertainment, public health, etc. with due approval from the governor.
  • The roles of the central and state governments are restricted from the territorial jurisdiction of these autonomous regions.
  • Also, Acts passed by Parliament and state legislatures may or may not be levied in these regions unless the President and the Governor gives her or his approval, with or without modifications in the laws for the autonomous regions.

F) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

18. SECURE Himalaya (PIB)

  • The Government of India and United Nations Development Programme, with support from the Global Environment Facility, are implementing a new programme in the high-altitude Himalayas entitled “SECURE Himalayas – Securing livelihoods, conservation, sustainable use and restoration of high range Himalayan ecosystems.”

Key Components 

  • Conservation of key biodiversity areas and their effective management to secure long-term ecosystem resilience, habitat connectivity and conservation of snow leopard and other endangered species and their habitats;
  • Securing sustainable community livelihoods and natural resource management in high range Himalayan ecosystems;
  • Enhancing enforcement, monitoring and cooperation to reduce wildlife crime and related threats.

G) Miscellaneous

19. Shikshak Parv (PIB)

  • Shikshak Parv is being celebrated by the Ministry of Education from 8th September- 25th September, 2020 to felicitate the Teachers and to take New Education Policy 2020 forward.

20. Digital Single Market Strategy (TH) 

  • The Digital Single Market strategy seeks to ensure better access for consumers and business to online goods and services across Europe, for example by removing barriers to cross-border e-commerce and access to online content while increasing consumer protection.

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