Daily Prelims Notes 28 March 2023
- March 28, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
28 March 2023
Table Of Contents
- Centre lays down policy on cattle dehorning & castration
- India supports marine protected areas in Antarctica to conserve ocean life
- Manul: the ‘grumpiest cat’
- Unleashing the potential of Rhododendrons
- The Sarus case
- The disqualification conundrum
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Finance Bill 2023
- Market Index Providers
- National curriculum framework
- Affordable Rental Housing Complex
- Banjara Community
- Merchant credit card for MSME traders soon
1. Centre lays down policy on cattle dehorning & castration
Section: Environmental Law
Context: Sixty-three years after the implementation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in 1960, the central government on March 27, 2023 laid down the procedures for dehorning cattle and castration, branding or nose-roping of any animal.
More on the News:
- The procedures were earlier undefined under Sections 11 and subsection 3 of the Act, which made it difficult to prevent cruelty against animals.
- Section 11 defined the acts that amount to treating animals with cruelty. But subsection 3 allowed exceptions for animal husbandry procedures, which involve dehorning cattle and castration, branding and nose roping of animals in a prescribed manner.
- The new law was announced through a notification and defined how painful procedures such as castration of bulls, horses and other animals are to be carried out.
- All procedures are to be carried out with the involvement of a registered veterinary practitioner, along with the mandatory use of general and local anesthetics.
- The existing methods involve pushing a bull to the ground to use a castrator sans painkillers. The castration method involves crushing the blood vessels, nerves and vas deferns to cause the testicles to become defunct.
- The rules also demand animals be blindfolded to reduce stress levels, laid on soft ground, and given post-surgical care. Tagging, branding and radio-telemetry devices should be placed on dead tissues, the law has suggested.
Prevention of cruelty of animal act 1960:
- The act prohibits any person from inflicting, causing, or if it is the owner, permitting, unnecessary pain or suffering to be inflicted on any animal.
- The act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals.
- Section 2of the act defines animals and types of animals like domestic or captive animals.
- Section 4 of the act provides for the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory advisory body for animal welfare and protection of animals from unnecessary suffering and pain.
- The act mentions forms of cruelty, exceptions, and killing of a suffering animal in case any cruelty has been committed against it, so as to relieve it from further suffering.
- The act also provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.
- An animal cannot be exhibited or trained by any person, if:
- Such a person is unregistered as per the provisions of this chapter;
- Such an animal has been barred from being included in any performance by the Central Government through a notification in the Official Gazette.
- This Act provides for the limitation period of 3 months beyond which no prosecution shall lie for any offences under this Act.
Animal Welfare Board of India:
- The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.
- Established in 1962under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (No. 59 of 1960), the Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian.
- From ensuring that animal welfare laws in the country are diligently followed, to provide grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advising the Government of India on animal welfare issues, the Board has been the face of the animal welfare movement in the country.
- The Board consists of 28 Members.
- The term of office of Members is for a period of 3 years.
- The Board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of India’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Again it got transferred to Ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying.
- Headquarters shifted to Ballabhgarh in Faridabad District of Haryana from Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
2. India supports marine protected areas in Antarctica to conserve ocean life
Context: India will continue to support setting up two Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Antarctica to protect marine life and its ecosystem services, Union minister of state (independent charge) for science and technology and earth sciences.
More on the News:
- A 2022 study that analysed over forty years of krill fishery data found that krill fishing was highest in the regions surrounding the Western Antarctic Peninsula and near the South Orkney Islands.
- The Southern Ocean has two MPAs — one in the southern shelf of the South Orkney Islands and the other in the Ross Sea. These fully protect only 5 per cent of the ocean.
- All types of fishing, other than scientific research, are prohibited within the southern shelf of the South Orkney Islands MPA. Discharges and dumping from fishing vessels are also not allowed.
- In the Ross MPA, 72 per cent of the waters are closed to commercial fishing.
- No further MPAs have been established despite three further MPAs being at advanced stages of development.
- Since 2012, the European Union and Australia have proposed an MPA in East Antarctica. An MPA was proposed in the Weddell Sea by the EU and Norway and in the waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula by Chile and Argentina.
- In 2021, India extended its support for designating East Antarctica and the Weddell Sea as MPA.
- China and Russia blocked these efforts at the 41st annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
- If the proposed MPAs take form in Antarctica, they will contribute to the United Nations 30×30 Framework, which aims to protect 30 per cent of the world’s land and sea.
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
- The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is an international organization established in 1982 to manage and conserve the marine living resources in the Southern Ocean.
- The Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is one of the last remaining wilderness areas on earth, with unique and fragile ecosystems that support a diverse range of marine species, including whales, seals, and penguins.
- CCAMLR was established under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CAMLR Convention) to ensure the sustainable management of the living resources in the Southern Ocean.
- CCAMLR is made up of 26 member countries and the European Union, representing the majority of the countries with an interest in the Southern Ocean. Membership is open to all countries that accede to the CAMLR Convention.
- CCAMLR has adopted a number of measures to protect the Southern Ocean ecosystem, including the establishment of large-scale marine protected areas and conservation measures for vulnerable marine ecosystems.
- CCAMLR has also taken measures to manage fisheries in the Southern Ocean, including setting catch limits for key species such as krill and toothfish, and requiring fishing vessels to adhere to strict environmental and conservation regulations.
Marine Protected Area in India https://optimizeias.com/climate-smart-marine-protected-areas-can-shield-biota-from-global-warming/
Section: Species in news
Context: The presence of the manul, a cold-adapted wild cat the size of a domestic cat, has been confirmed on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain.
More on the News:
- The confirmation by DNA testing marks the first time the elusive cat has been formally recorded in Nepal’s eastern Himalayan region.
- Manuls were first recorded in the western Himalayas, in India, in the late 80s, and again in early 2000s. Then, in September 2007, conservationist Pranav Chanchani, from the Wildlife Institute of India, photographed one of the cats in the eastern Himalayas, in Sikkim.
- Conservationists say the latest finding can help inform conservation actions for the species, including the protection of its prey.
- The manul, also known as Pallas’s cat, is a small wild cat that is adapted to life in cold and arid environments. It is roughly the size of a domestic cat and is found in the high-altitude grasslands and montane steppe regions of Central Asia.
- The manul belongs to the Felidae family and the Otocolobus genus. It is one of the oldest known cat species, with a lineage that dates back over 5 million years.
- The manul is found in high-altitude grasslands and montane steppe regions of Central Asia, including parts of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. It prefers rocky terrain with sparse vegetation, and is well adapted to the harsh, cold climate of these regions.
- The manul has a stocky build and a round face with broad cheeks and a short, flattened snout. Its fur is dense and long, with a grayish-brown base color and dark spots and stripes on the face, neck, and legs. Its ears are short and tufted, and its tail is thick and banded.
- The manul is adapted to survive in cold and arid environments. Its dense fur provides insulation against the cold, and it has a low metabolic rate that allows it to conserve energy in times of scarcity. Its broad, padded paws help it move over snow and ice, and its short, wide head and body help it retain heat.
- The manul is a solitary animal that is primarily active at dawn and dusk. It is territorial and marks its range with scent marks and claw scratches. It is also known for its distinctive vocalizations, which include growls, hisses, and purrs.
- The manul is a carnivorous predator that feeds on small mammals such as rodents, pikas, and birds. It is a skilled hunter that stalks and pounces on its prey, and it is also able to climb trees and hunt from elevated positions.
- Threats: It includes habitat loss, hunting, and fragmentation of populations.
- Conservation Status: The Manul is listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
4. Unleashing the potential of Rhododendrons
Section: Species in news
Context: Rhododendron arboreum from the Garhwal Himalaya’s, stands tall as an emblem of hope, contributing to the alleviation of poverty and nurturing sustainable development in these communities.
- Rhododendron owes its name to the Greek words “rhodo,” meaning “rose,” and “dendron,” meaning “tree.”
- The species is a member of the Ericaceae family and predominantly found in the Himalayas, ranging from 1200 to 4000 meters. The tree can grow up to a towering height of 20 meters, bearing dark green leaves that measure between 3-7 inches, coated with silvery or brown fur underneath.
- This species is primarily grown in the North Temperate Zone and thrives in moist acidic soils. It originates from the valley of the Himalayas and some regions of Southeast Asia.
- The Rhododendron arboreum species holds the distinction of being the state tree of Uttarakhand, the state flower of Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh in India, and the national flower of Nepal.
- Rhododendron flowers
- Rhododendron flowers are either scented or not, and typically tubular or funnel-shaped, displaying an array of colours such as white, pink, and red, blooming from February to April.
- The flowers of this plant are traditionally used to make a variety of delicious products such as pickles, juice, jams, syrups, honey, and squash, and are even offered to deities during religious ceremonies. The production of Guranse, a wine made from Rhododendron flowers, is a popular village industry in some parts of the Himalayas.
- Wood Product
- The stem wood of this tree is a valuable source of fuel, and its durable wood is crafted into various products like tool handles, gift boxes, and packsaddles, renowned for their usefulness and unique aroma.
- Rich in potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C, Rhododendron products are often consumed as appetizers, traditionally known to provide relief from Mountain and seasonal sickness.
- The fruit capsules are cylindrical, curved, and longitudinally ribbed, producing ellipsoid-shaped seeds that mature from September to October.
- Medicinal Benefits:
- The phytochemicals present in Rhododendron, such as flavonoids, saponins, and tannins, have been reported to imbue it with a range of medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and hepatoprotective benefits.
- Rhododendron has been used extensively in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Tibetan Medicine due to its medicinal properties.
- Challenges in reaping the Potential
- Most of the value addition process is carried out without proper branding and labelling, mainly by village-level enterprises, NGOs, and individuals.
- Due to poor infrastructure and traditional processing methods, these products do not have proper quality standards.
- Solution to reap the Potential
- Sustainable harvesting practices are crucial for Rhododendron conservation. To achieve this, only 60% of flowers should be harvested from each tree, leaving the remaining 40% to mature into seeds.
- Harvesting should be done by climbing trees without cutting branches.
- The potential commercial use of Rhododendron in food and pharmaceutical products should be explored.
- Promoting village industries with proper branding and targeting health-oriented customers can boost the sector.
Section: Environmental Law
- Under Section 39 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, no person is allowed to acquire or keep in his possession, custody or control any wildlife which is state property. If anyone does so—for example, to treat an injured bird as in the present case — she must report it to the nearest police station or the authorized officer within forty-eight hours of obtaining such possession.
- Further,underSection57ofthe Act, if a person is found in possession, custody or control of any wildlife, the burden of proof for establishing that the possession, custody or control is not illegal is on the person.
- Clearly, WLPA does not allow anyone to take home an injured wild bird and keep it for months without written permission from the state’s chief wildlife warden. But it gets a little complicated when the bird in question is a Sarus crane and the caregiver is a farmer in Uttar Pradesh.
6. The disqualification conundrum
Subject : Polity
- The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from his membership of the Lok Sabha has brought back discussions as to whether the earlier protection enjoyed by serving legislators from immediate disqualification must be restored.
- Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951, allowed convicted MPs, MLAs and MLCs to continue in their posts, provided they appealed against their conviction/sentence in higher courts within three months of the date of judgment by the trial court.
- However, in 2013, the Supreme Court through its landmark judgment in the Lily Thomas v/s Union of India case, struck down Section 8(4) of the RPA, 1951.
- The Section was declared unconstitutional by the apex court on the ground that the Parliament did not have the required legislative competence to enact such legislation.
- According to the Supreme Court, Article 102 of the Constitution had mandated Parliament to enact a common law prescribing terms and conditions to disqualify an individual for both “being chosen as” as well as “being a member” of Parliament (Article 191 is the corresponding article for State Assembly and Legislative Council).
- However, as per Sub-section (4) of Section 8 of RPA the mere act of filing an appeal would operate as a stay on disqualification until its disposal.
- The apex court had ruled that by creating one provision for the immediate disqualification of ordinary citizens and another one for deferred disqualification of legislators, Parliament had violated the constitutional mandate.
What was the government’s stand?
- The then government had tried to defend the protection clause for sitting members with two arguments:
- The government had argued that such a clause would become crucial if in case a regime has a wafer-thin majority, and an immediate disqualification of a member or two from the date of conviction may result in a loss of majority and a change of regime.
- The government had also argued by saying that immediate disqualification would require the conduct of a by-election and if in case the conviction is dismissed by an appellate court after the by-election’s outcome, then the result cannot be reversed, and the exonerated former member cannot be restored as a member.
- The government further said that the Parliament was not making two different provisions for governing disqualification, as the protection clause only postpones the time of disqualification which does not mean that members were subjected to a different kind of treatment.
- The Supreme Court however rejected these arguments and held that a member facing immediate disqualification could only file an appeal and seek a stay on the conviction.
- The court also clarified that the disqualification will cease to operate from the “date of stay” of conviction by an appellate court.
The relevancy of the date of stay
- The “date of stay” of conviction has also given rise to various questions.
- In most of the cases, there has been no stay on conviction, as the Supreme Court has often said that only suspension of sentence, grant of bail and pending appeals are to be treated as normal remedies, and stay of conviction should be given only rarely.
- Various examples of leaders who had lost their membership and later went on to either succeed or lose in their appeal have not created any major controversies.
- However, a Lakshadweep MP who was convicted and sentenced to a 10-year prison term in January 2023 managed to get a stay of conviction from the Kerala High Court, but by then, his seat was declared vacant by the Lok Sabha secretariat and a date was also fixed by the EC for the byelection.
- The MP challenged this in the Supreme Court and the EC said it would honour the court’s stay order. However, the MP’s Lok Sabha membership is yet to be restored.
- The main reason for the delay in the restoration is that the date of conviction is when the disqualification comes into effect, but the stay of conviction starts only from the day the stay is granted, which means that during the intervening period, the member did suffer disqualification.
- Thus, there are questions such as can the membership be restored or restituted with retrospective effect from the date of conviction.
- The Secretariat of the respective Houses must accept the order of stay on conviction and restore the membership without further ado until the appeal is complete.
- The secretariat must also be mandated to wait until the convicted members approach the appellate courts for a stay of conviction and notify a vacancy only if the application is dismissed.
- Further, the President or Governor should exercise their powers under Article 103 and Article 192 (State Legislature) and formally declare a member to be disqualified instead of using the “automatic” disqualification route.
For further notes on Disqualification, refer – https://optimizeias.com/disqualification-of-mps-and-mlas/
7. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Subject : Science and technology
Autism spectrum disorder
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability caused by differences in the brain.
- ASD is a complicated developmental disorder characterised by difficulty in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviour, and a narrow focus of interest.
- ASD is referred to as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms usually appear in the first 2 years of the child.
- Autism is also termed a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
- Currently, there is no cure or therapy available to treat or reverse ASD.
Levels of ASD
- The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) considers ASD as a single disorder.
- The earlier system of classifying various levels of autism is no longer used.
- The DSM-5 examines the severity of ASD by assessing social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviours.
- Further, the severity of ASD is determined by assigning a level of support such as 1, 2 or 3based on the individual’s need for assistance and the impact of their symptoms on their daily lives.
- Level 1: Patients with autism may have social challenges that need some help as they face trouble starting conversations, responding to others, making friends, etc.
- Level 2: At level 2, the individuals require more support as they face communication challenges owing to difficulties to comprehend coherent conversations or understand nonverbal cues.
- Level 3: Individuals require the highest level of support as they avoid interacting with others, have aggravated communication challenges and also have repetitive behaviours which affect their ability to function.
- Doctors have adopted various methods of screening for autism such as informal observations, formal assessments and structured tests.
- Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) is one of the most common screening tools used to test children aged 16-30 months. M-CHAT is a 20-question test.
- The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is another general developmental screen that assesses developmental challenges at specific ages.
- The Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers & Young Children (STAT) has 12 activities to assess play, communication, and imitation among toddlers and young children.
- Further, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale uses ratings such as “normal” and “severe” to indicate a level of autism.
Subject : Polity
- With the approval of the Finance Bill 2023 by both Houses of Parliament, the government completed its 2023–2024 budget exercise.
- The Finance Bill, which is a component of the Indian Union Budget, outlines all the legal changes necessary to implement the proposed changes to taxation made by the finance minister.
- The Finance Bill, as a Money Bill, must be approved by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament, before it can become the Finance Act.
- The Finance Bill is a Money Bill in which the government proposes new taxes, makes changes to the existing tax system, or makes suggestions for the continuation of the current tax system for a specific amount of time after the Parliament initially authorised it.
Characteristics of the Finance Bill
- Finance Bills are divided into three categories: the Money Bill, Finance Bill Category I, and Finance Bill Category II.
- Money Bills include elements that deal with regulation or borrowing, changes to national or state tax rules, the withdrawal of funds from a contingency or consolidated fund, etc.
- Both types of finance bills include clauses that deal with taxes, spending, and other issues.
- A Money Bill will always be a Finance Bill. However, a Finance Bill need not necessarily be a Money Bill.
- Only those financial bills are money bills which contain exclusively those matters which are mentioned in Article 110 of the Constitution. These are also certified by the Speaker of Lok Sabha as money bills.
- A money bill cannot be returned by the president for any reason.
- The Finance Bill must be enacted (passed by the Parliament and assented to by the president) within 75 days of introduction.
- The Finance Act legalises the income side of the budget and completes the process of the enactment of the budget.
More about Financial Bills
- Financial bills are those bills that deal with fiscal matters, that is, revenue or expenditure.
- Financial bills are of three kinds:
- Money bills–Article 110
- Financial bills (I)–Article 117 (1)
- Financial bills (II)–Article 117 (3)
Financial Bills (I)
- A financial bill (I) is a bill that contains the matters mentioned in Article 110, and also other matters of general legislation.
- A financial bill (I) is similar to a money bill in two respects;
- Both of them can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha and not in the Rajya Sabha.
- Both of them can be introduced only at the recommendation of the president.
- In all other respects, a financial bill (I) is governed by the same legislative procedure applicable to an ordinary bill. Hence, it can be either rejected or amended by the Rajya Sabha.
- In case of a disagreement between the two Houses over such a bill, the president can summon a joint sitting of the two Houses to resolve the deadlock.
- When the bill is presented to the President, he can either give his assent to the bill or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for reconsideration in the Houses.
Financial Bills (II)
- A financial bill (II) contains provisions involving expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India but does not include any of the matters mentioned in Article 110.
- It is treated as an ordinary bill in all respects. The only special feature of this bill is that it cannot be passed by either House of Parliament unless the President has recommended to that House the consideration of the bill.
- Financial bill (II) can be introduced in either House of Parliament and a recommendation of the President is not necessary for its introduction.
- The recommendation of the President is not required at the introduction stage but is required at the consideration stage.
- It can be either rejected or amended by either House of Parliament. In case of a disagreement between the two Houses over such a bill, the President can summon a joint sitting of the two Houses to resolve the deadlock.
- When the bill is presented to the President, he can either give his assent to the bill or withhold his assent to the bill or return the bill for reconsideration in the Houses.
For further notes on Money Bill, refer – https://optimizeias.com/money-bill/
Section: Capital Market
- The Central Government recently put the onus of regulating the practices of market index providers on the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
- A market index is a hypothetical portfolio of investment holdings that represents a segment of the financial market.
- The calculation of the index value comes from the prices of the underlying holdings.
Market Index Providers
- Index providers are those institutions that formulate and manage indices.
- One of the important roles of the index provider is to classify and define markets, as their indices represent a market or a proportion of a market and provide a benchmark of performance for that market or sector.
- They have the responsibility to set the rules that decide what securities to include in each index, how the index will be managed and how securities will be added or removed from that index over time.
- They also usually determine how stocks can be classified, e.g. is a particular stock a Healthcare or an Oil & Gas stock, or is it a Developed or Emerging market stock.
- An index allows investors and other stakeholders to get a snapshot of the market.
- S&P Dow Jones, MSCI, and Bloomberg are some of the globally renowned institutions that provide indices.
- In India, this activity is generally carried out by subsidiaries of stock exchanges. The most prominent indices in India are the Nifty50 by NSE Indices and Sensex provided by a venture of S&P Dow Jones Indices and BSE Lied.
Current status of Regulation
- Currently, index providers are outside the purview of SEBI. However, SEBI had issued a code of conduct for them in 2017.
- Currently, exchange platforms and rating agencies offer index services which are widely used by mutual funds and insurance companies to track performance and offer ETFs and index funds.
New Regulatory Framework/Protocol
- All Index Providers (IP) offering services to Indians will have to get themselves registered with SEBI. However, administrators providing benchmarks notified by the Reserve Bank of India will be excluded from this mandatory requirement.
- The index provider should be a legal entity incorporated under the Companies Act in the country of origin, and independent professionals — individual or group of persons — providing index/benchmark services should be considered ineligible.
- IPs must have net worth of at least Rs.25 crore.
- IPs must have at least a 5-year track record in index administration. Alternatively, IPs should have at least two employees, each having minimum 5 years of relevant experience.
- IPs will have to constitute an oversight committee for reviewing existing index design and proposed changes to benchmark methodology. The committee will also oversee audit results and the implementation of audit observations.
- IPs will have to follow policies/procedures to manage conflicts of interest.
- IPs will have to prevent sharing and leakage of any sensitive information.
- IPs will have to document their methodology for index calculation publicly.
- IPs will have to offer a grievance redressal mechanism including an online facility for arbitration between the index provider and customer/client.
- Index providers will also “be assessed by independent external auditors to evaluate adherence to [International Organization of Securities Commissions] principles once in two years.
- The proposed regulations require maintaining all audit records and making them available for SEBI when asked for. This ensures a high degree of governance and accountability from the index providers.
- SEBI proposes that the index providers need to consider all relevant data for creating an index.
- It also needs to exercise enough care and caution to ensure that there is no distortion of the data.
- It needs to exercise due diligence in the onboarding of data submitters.
- And, importantly, the index provider has to ensure that the data submitters source data from only regulated entities and no other sources.
- It ensures the quality and reliability of input materials used in constructing the index.
10. National curriculum framework
- According to top officials in the Education Ministry, revised textbooks are expected to be used by students at all levels starting in the academic year 2024–2025.
- After nearly two decades, school students at all levels will learn from revised textbooks to be presented in the academic year 2024-25. This is consistent with the National Education Policy, 2020.
- The government has released the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for preschool to Class 2, for children aged between 3-8 years. The framework for other classes is yet to be released.
- In accordance with the NEP 2020 concept of delivering multilingual education, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks will be published in 22 languages.
- Among the 14.8 lakh schools in India, 28,000 provide Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) courses, close to 2,000 offer Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), and 345 offer International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, according to the officials. State Board schools make up the remainder.
National Curriculum Framework
- The NCF has four sections:
- the National Curriculum Framework for School Education
- the National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education
- the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education
- National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education
- The framework focuses on the ‘panchakosha’ concept – the ancient Indian emphasis on the body-mind connection.
- The NCF says its five parts are physical development (sharirikvikas), development of life energy (pranikvikas), emotional and mental development (manasikvikas), intellectual development (bauddhikvikas) and spiritual development (chaitsikvikas).
- It is an important step taken to implement the New Education Policy-2020.
The ‘panchaadi’ way
- The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in its latest guidelines has recommended a five-step learning process, or Panchaadi, for young children at the preschool or foundational level and has emphasised the need of planning students’ learning with an awareness of their Indian heritage.
- Panchaadi comprises;
- Aditi (introduction of a topic)
- Bodh (conceptual understanding)
- Abhyas (practice)
- Prayog (application)
- Prasar (expansion).
National Education Policy 2020
- The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) is transforming education in India.
- It has set the education system on a path to delivering the highest quality education for all, with equity and inclusion.
- Amongst the most transformative aspects of NEP 2020 is the new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure which integrates Early Childhood Care and Education for all children of ages 3 to 8.
- Early childhood lays the foundation for life-long learning and development – it is a key determinant of the quality of overall life.
For further notes on NEP,2020 refer – https://optimizeias.com/national-education-policy-2020/
11. Affordable Rental Housing Complex
Subject : Governance
- A total of 5,648 vacant houses built under various government schemes have been converted into ‘Affordable Rental Housing Complexes’ (ARHC), a scheme which the Centre had announced during the COVID19 pandemic to help migrant workers and urban poor employed in the informal sector.
- The Urban Development Ministry has also approved construction of 82,273 new units under the scheme in public private partnership model.
Affordable Rental Housing Complex (AHRC )
- AHRC is a sub-scheme under PM Awas Yojana – Urban.
- Under the scheme, existing vacant government-funded housing complexes will be converted in ARHCs through Concession Agreements for 25 years.
- The concessionaire will make the complexes livable by repair/retrofit and maintenance of rooms and filling up infrastructure gaps like water, sewer/ septage, sanitation, road etc.
- States/UTs will select concessionaire through transparent bidding.
- Complexes will revert to ULB after 25 years to restart next cycle like earlier or run on their own.
- Special Incentives to Entities: Special incentives like concessional loan at priority sector lending rate, etc. will be offered to private/ public entities to develop ARHCs on their own available vacant land for 25 years.
- Technology Innovation Grant: Under it an expenditure of Rs. 600 crorewould be provided for projects using identified innovative technologies for construction.
Beneficiaries of the scheme
- A large part of the workforce in manufacturing industries, service providers in hospitality, health, domestic/commercial establishments, and construction or other sectors, labourers, students etc. who come from rural areas or small towns seeking better opportunities will be the target beneficiary under ARHCs.
Significance of AHRC
- Usually, these migrants live in slums, informal/ unauthorized colonies or peri-urban areas to save rental charges.
- They spend a lot of time on roads by walking/ cycling to workplaces, risking their lives to cut on the expenses.
- ARHCs will create a new ecosystem in urban areas making housing available at affordable rent close to the place of work.
- Investment under ARHCs is expected to create new job opportunities.
- ARHCs will cut down unnecessary travel, congestion and pollution.
Section: Economic and Human Geography
- The people of Banjara community, who fall under the SC (Touchable) category, had gathered to take a protest march from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Circle to the Taluk Office in the town, arguing that internal reservation divides SC community.
- The Banjara community consists of various groups found throughout India, with a significant population in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
- They have settled in permanent settlements called Tandas, abandoning their nomadic lifestyle.
- The Banjara people speak GorBoli, also known as Lambadi, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages and has no script.
- Teej is a festival celebrated by young unmarried Banjara girls in Shravanam (August), where they pray for a good groom.
- Fire dance and Chari are traditional dance forms of the Banjara people.
About SanthSevalal Maharaj:
- SanthSevalal Maharaj is a social reformer and spiritual teacher of the Banjara community.
- He travelled across the country with his Ladeniya Troup to serve forest dwellers and nomadic tribes.
- Maharaj possessed excellent skills and knowledge in Ayurveda and Naturopathy, enabling him to dispel myths and superstitions prevalent in tribal communities.
13. Merchant credit card for MSME traders soon
- The government will likely roll out a merchant credit card (MCC) facility for traders in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) category this year to help these units tide over short-term liquidity woes.
- A plan to launch a digital “UPI-linked credit card” for MSMEs, designed by the state-run Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), could be delayed, as it requires broader inter-ministerial consultations, the sources said.
- Moreover, the idea of firming up a common set of guidelines for the two cards — MCC and Vyapar Credit Card (VCC) — with common objectives has also been put off.
- Vyapar Credit Card :
- The VCC, as proposed by SIDBI promises features, including interest-free credit for 20-50 days and Mudra loan facility.
- For micro units, it also proposes up to 85% coverage under the credit guarantee fund run by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company under the Department of Financial Services (DFS).
- The MSME ministry had earlier roped in Sidbi for launching the VCC as an incentive for those units that get themselves registered on its Udyam portal.
- The move was aimed at driving more such small businesses towards formalisation.
- Given its several features, the VCC will require large-scale deliberations, which will take time.
Details of the issue
- It is being designed along the lines of the Kisan Credit Card and will likely offer incentives such as short-term, collateral-free loans up to a limit at a cheaper rate to these units.
- The framework for the MCC is being developed by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), with active guidance from the DFS and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- The ministries of commerce and industry and MSME, too, are involved in this elaborate exercise, said one of the sources.
Significance of the move
- The plan to issue such credit card facilities is also part of the government’s broader move to ensure greater flow of formal credit to MSMEs that account for a bulk of the country’s job creation.
- According to the World Bank’s assessment, over 40% MSMEs in India lack access to formal sources of finance.
- In recent years, MSMEs have been hit hard by a combination of factors, such as demonetisation, the rollout of the goods and services tax regime and, more recently, the pandemic.
- The Covid outbreak, particularly, caused a large number of MSMEs to sink, according to several analysts.
- To soften the blow, the government came out with the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) to facilitate guaranteed loans in the aftermath of the pandemic.
- In April, it approved a $808-million (Rs 6,062 crore) support to revitalise Covid-hit MSMEs through a programme backed by the World Bank, among other steps.
- MSME Contribution: MSMEs account for about 40% of the country’s exports, 6% of the manufacturing GDP and almost 25% of the services GDP.