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Vice President cautions against dysfunctional legislatures
The Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has cautioned MPs about the growing perception that democracy is in danger through “dysfunctional legislatures” and advised them to recalibrate their ways of thinking and acting.
- The VP expressed concern about the disruptions and the negative public perception arising out of “this dysfunctional state of affairs”.
- He pointed out that people’s trust in the institutions was getting eroded.
- As per the VP’s observations, Dysfunctional Legislatures lead to:
- Very low productivity
- Pendency of crucial legislations
- Lapsing of Bills on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha
- Lost Question Hour which meant an opportunity lost for seeking answers from the government on 8 policy implementation issues and governance by 40 members
- He also sought members’ suggestions on the automatic lapsing of bills in Rajya Sabha and on how to make Parliament a more effective forum of decision making.
About Dissolution of Lok Sabha and lapsing of Bills in Rajya Sabha:
- As per Article 107 of the Indian Constitution, bills passed by the Lok Sabha (during its five-year term) and pending in the Rajya Sabha get lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
- 22 Bills that were passed by the 16th Lok Sabha got lapsed with its dissolution since they were pending in the Rajya Sabha.
- This meant that the effort of the lower house in passing these 22 Bills were a waste.
- The lapsed bills include:
- The Land Acquisition Bills passed by Lok Sabha in 2015,
- Factories (Amendment) Bill passed in 2016,
- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017,
- The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018,
- The Arbitration and Conciliation Bill, 2018,
- The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019,
- The Banning of Unregulated Deposit schemes Bill, 2019,
- The Aadhar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019,
- Triple Talaq Bills of 2017 and 2018,
- The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018,
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, etc.
- In the Rajya Sabha, there were 55 Bills pending. With the lapsing of 22 Bills mentioned earlier, there are now 33 Bills pending in the upper house.
- Some of the bills are pending for more than 20 years. The oldest pending bill is the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 1987, has been pending for more than 32 years.
Include Yoga in school curriculum to combat lifestyle diseases and ensure physical fitness and mental equilibrium: Vice President
The Vice President of India has called for popularizing Yoga and making it part of the school curriculum to promote healthy lifestyles and combat growing incidence of non-communicable diseases in the country. He was talking at International Yoga Day celebrations at the Red Fort, Delhi.
- Lifestyle diseases and physical fitness have become a matter of concern for a section of our population.
- Improper food habits were harming health and the Vice President cautioned young people against consuming junk food.
- He also said that “Instant food means constant disease” and that the native food practices handed down from generations were suited for each region and had to be adopted by people.
- He also said that tremendous pressure in daily life had to be countered with the science of Yoga. Yoga would help not just to achieve physical well-being, but also to lead a better life by making enlightened choices.
- He emphasised on balance in all spheres. And, said that a true yogi develops harmonious relationships with the self, others and the environment that form the foundation of healthy societies and a healthy planet.
- Introducing Yoga in schools would make people adopt it from a young age. Yoga can help achieve physical and mental well-being.
- Many schools in other countries had made Yoga a mandatory part of the curriculum.
- Lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases linked with the way people live their life. This is commonly caused by alcohol, drug and smoking abuse as well as lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating.
- Diseases that impact on our lifestyle are heart disease, stroke, obesity and type II diabetes.
- Lifestyle diseases are preventable for children if parents set them on the correct path, as early life decisions and influences can impact people later on in life.
Insurance Cover for Risk-Prone Crops
- Government has conducted several studies to measure and quantify the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture.
- Studies were carried out by:
- Indian Agricultural Research Institute
- Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute
- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, etc.
- State Agricultural Universities
- Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)
- Result of the study:
- There are clear indications of climate change all over the country. There has been a sharp increase in the mean annual temperature in India in the last 30 years.
- Major crops classified as risk prone under the impacts of climate change with reduced productivity are – Rice & Wheat especially in the Indo Gangetic Plains, Maize in Mid Indo-Gangetic Plains (MIGP) & Southern Plateau (SP), Sorghum & potato in West Bengal, and Southern Plateau.
- Productivity is expected to increase in Soybean, Groundnut, Chickpea & Potato in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, Apple in Himachal Pradesh.
Tidbits for UPSC
Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)
- This is under the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF).
- It is a network of scientists in India to be set up to publish peer-reviewed findings on climate change in India.
- It was announced in 2009.
Modernization of Technology to Double the Income of Farmers
- The Government has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers’ income and recommend a strategy to achieve doubling of farmers’ income in real terms by the year 2022.
- The Committee has acknowledged the role of digital technologies in this regard, such as artificial intelligence, block chain technology, big data analytics, Internet of Things, etc.
Major technology interventions include:
- Development of Kisan Suvidha mobile application to facilitate dissemination of information to farmers on the critical parameters viz., Weather; Market Prices; Plant Protection; input Dealers (Seed, Pesticide, Fertilizer) Farm Machinery; Soil Health Card; Cold Storages & Godowns, Veterinary Centres and Diagnostic Labs.
- The Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has also compiled more than 100 mobile apps developed by ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and Krishi Vigyan Kendras and uploaded on its website.
- Development of mKisan Portal (www.mkisan.gov.in) for sending advisories on various crop related matter to the registered farmers through SMSs.
- Launching of e-National Agriculture Market initiative to provide farmers an electronic online trading platform.
- Implementation of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure to improve/create scientific storage capacity for storing farm produce, processed farm produce and to reduce post-harvest storage loss.
- Introduction of Soil Health Card Scheme to assist State Governments in providing Soil Health Cards to all farmers across the country once in a cycle of 2 years.
- Providing subsidies under National Food Security Mission (Oil Seeds and Oil Palm) to farmers on seed components, transfer of technologies, production inputs and water carrying devices.
- Use of space technology for various programmes/ areas such as Forecasting Agricultural Output using Space, Agro-meteorology and Land-based Observations project, Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and Management using geo-informatics project, National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System, Rice-Fallow Area Mapping and intensification, geo tagging of infrastructure and assets created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, and Crop Insurance.
- Using machine learning process along with different computer algorithm for crop classification and area estimation.
Organic Farming in the Country
- The estimated value of domestic organic market was Rs. 500-1000 crores as per Yes Bank study published in 2015.
- As on date 4, 53,622 farmers are practicing organic farming under Participatory Guarantee.
- During last two years different brands have been developed at State level for organic food market under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East region (MOVCDNER) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) schemes.
Tidbit for UPSC:
Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER)
- It is a Central Sector Scheme, a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- It is launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- It is for implementation in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
- The scheme aims to development of certified organic production in a value chain mode to link growers with consumers and to support the development of entire value chain starting from inputs, seeds, certification, to the creation of facilities for collection, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building initiative.
Skill Development Programmes for Socially and Economically Backward Categories
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship implements the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (2016 – 2020) to encourage and promote skill development for the youth throughout the country.
- The benefits under the scheme can be availed by anyone from the SC, ST and OBC categories.
- The scheme aims to benefit 10 million youth over the period of four years up to 2020.
- A Special Project is being implemented at 40 locations in 13 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal by Muthoot Fincorp Pvt Ltd.
- 80% of the trained candidates will be placed with Muthoot itself (Captive Placement).
- The three Corporations under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment namely National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporations (NBCFDC) and National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) also implement Skill Development Training Programmes for the socio-economic development of persons belonging to OBC, SC, ST, Economically Backward Class (EBC) /De-notified Nomadic Tribe (DNT)/Senior citizens including women, Safai Karamcharis/Manual Scavengers/Waste Pickers.
- These corporations sponsor skill development training programmes for providing employment opportunities. These programmes are:
- 100% course fee waived
- Monthly Stipend provided
Creation of workforce for handling artificial Intelligence Skills
To inculcate artificial intelligence skills in the job-seeking population, the government has come up with various initiatives to train adequate workforce in this emerging field.
- Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has taken keen interest in aligning the learning methodologies as per new emerging skills and job requirement.
- National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) established its Future of Work initiative after a preliminary study to identify the potential and risks of automation within the STT ecosystem that NSDC has enabled.
- NSDC is facilitating the development of cross-functional Qualification Packs and National Occupational Standards in association with IT-ITeS Sector Skill Council (NASSCOM) across nine emerging technologies influencing the Future of Work in India, namely Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Block Chain, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality , and Social and Mobile Applications.
- New trades were introduced in the year 2018 under the Craftsmen Training Scheme being implemented through Industrial Training Institutes. They are:
- Geo Informatics Assistant
- Aeronautical Structure and Equipment Fitter
- Additive Manufacturing Technician (3D Printing)
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft / Drone Pilot
- Electrician Power Distribution
- Technician Mechatronics
- Solar Technician (Electrical)
- Internet of Things (Smart Agriculture)
- Internet of Things (Smart Healthcare)
- Internet of Things (Smart City)
- Smartphone Technician cum App Tester
Employment Generated Through Textile Sector
Government has launched several important schemes for employment generation and providing livelihood in handloom, handicraft, powerloom for all the segments of the textile sector. The textile sector is one of the largest employers in the country. There are 45 million people employed in this sector directly and another 6 crore in allied sectors.
- SAMARTH—Skill development and capacity building scheme.
- Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) for technology upgradation of the textile industry, purpose being to attract investment and boost employment.
- National Handloom Development Programme, Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme, Handloom Weaver Comprehensive Welfare Scheme and Yarn Supply Schemes for promotion of handloom sector and employment generation .
- Comprehensive Handicraft Cluster Development Scheme.
- PowerTex India for powerloom weavers.
- Silk Samagra—an integrated Scheme for development of silk industry.
- Integrated Wool Development Programme.
- Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks.
Assistance to Farmers for Dairy Development Programme
To increase the income of farmers, the Dairy Division has been helping the state governments to develop dairy infrastructure all over the country by offering financial support to increase farmers’ incomes.
The schemes are:
National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD)
- NPDD focuses on creating/strengthening of infrastructure for Production of quality milk, Procurement, Processing and Marketing of Milk & Milk Products by the State Implementing Agency i.e. State Cooperative Dairy Federations/ District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union.
Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS)
- DEDS is implemented through NABARD.
- Objective: To provide self-employment opportunities and promote entrepreneurship in dairy sector, especially in rural areas.
- Under this, back ended capital subsidy is provided to eligible end borrowers under bankable projects as per norms of the scheme.
National Dairy Plan-I (NDP-I)
- Objective: to increase productivity of milch animals and thereby increase milk production to meet the rapidly growing demand for milk and to help to provide rural milk producers with greater access to the organized milk processing sector.
- Started in March 2012, and is assisted by the World Bank.
Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)
- Launched in 2017 to accelerate Dairy Development in the country.
- The scheme aims to benefit 95 lakh milk producers in 50000 villages.
- It will also create employment directly or indirectly for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
- Under this scheme, milk cooperatives will be provided financial assistance.
Supporting Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in dairy activities
- The scheme is being implemented by (National Dairy Development Board) NDDB with the objectives:
- To assist the State Dairy Cooperative Federations by providing soft working capital loan to tide over the crisis on account of severely adverse market conditions or natural calamities.
- To provide stable market access to the dairy farmers.
- To enable State Cooperative Dairy Federations to continue to make timely payment of dues to the farmers.
- To enable the cooperatives to procure milk at a remunerative price from the farmers, even during the flush season.
|Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana||NABARD|
|Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana||Sikkim: India’s First Organic State: RSTV – In Depth|
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