Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 3rd August-2020


1. Pradha Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN):-

Why in news?

Recent survey showed the uncertainty over the reach of PM-KISAN and its targets to the farmers.

  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is the first universal basic income-type of scheme targeted towards landed farmers.
  • It was introduced in December 2018 to manage agricultural stress.
  • Initially, the scheme was targeted at small and medium landed farmers, but with the declining growth in gross value added of the agricultural sector, it was extended to all farmers in May 2019.
  • It was included in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
  • PM-KISAN offers Rs.6000 a year per household in three installments.
  • This scheme left the landless tenants.

Suggested Measures:

  • This is a progressive scheme which aims to tackle agrarian crisis, it must be accompanied with suitable reforms in Digitization of Land Records, Investments in Agriculture Infrastructure and Crop Diversification for truly addressing the farmer distress in the country.
  • Efforts must be made to provide Income support to farm labourers and workers.
  • States should try to gradually replace electricity and fertilizer subsidies and transfer that saved amount as direct benefits under PM-KISAN.

2. Constitutional validity of State’s control over temples:-

Recently, HC upholds constitutional validity of Uttarakhand’s law regarding Char Dham management.

  • The Uttarakhand had passed the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act 2019.
  • The Char Dham Authority filed a PIL by challenging the constitutional validity of act
  • As per the PIL, the administration and control of religious institutions have been taken over by the government or by any authority functioning under the state government which is against to fundamental right under Article 26.
  • But, the court held that
  • Article 26 cannot be invoked if the denomination never had the managerial rights in respect of these temples.
  • Under Article 26(c), right to administer properties is exercised in ‘accordance with law’. Thus, the state is entitled to regulate administration of religious or temple properties by means of validly enacted law.
  • But a law that completely and permanently takes away the right to management will clearly be violation of Article 26(c).

3. Aerial seeding:-

It is a technique of plantation wherein seed balls (seeds covered with a mixture of clay, compost, char and other components) are sprayed on the ground using aerial devices(planes, helicopters or drones).

Why in news?

The Haryana Forest Department has started aerial seeding across the state. This technique will allow plantation in sections of the Aravallis that are difficult to access.

Working process:-

  • Seeds balls or seed pellets are dispersed in a targeted area by the low-flying drones.
  • They fall to the ground with the help of the coating of clay, compost, char and other material, that provides the required weight for seeds to drop on a predetermined location rather than disperse in the wind.
  • These pellets will then sprout when there is enough rain, with the nutrients present within them helping in the initial growth.

Advantages of this technique:-

  1. Inaccessible areas:-Areas that are inaccessible, have steep slopes, are fragmented or disconnected with no forest routes, making conventional plantation difficult, could be targeted with aerial seeding.
  2. Requires no attention:-After seed dispersion this process doesn’t require any attention for germination and growth. That is the reason this seed pellets are known as the “fire and forget” way of plantation.
  3. Elimination of agricultural inputs:- As these seeds are already surrounded by soil, nutrients, and microorganisms, they need not require agricultural inputs like ploughing ,digging holes, watering etc.
  4. Seed Protection:-The clay shell around seed pellets along with the other items in the mixture protects them from birds, ants and rats.

4. Bharat Air Fibre:-

The HRD Ministry inaugurated the “Bharat Air Fibre Services” at Akola in Maharashtra. It will get Wireless Internet Connections on demand.

  • The Bharat Air Fibre services are introduced by BSNL as part of digital India initiative by the Government of India.
  • It aims to provide wireless connectivity in the range of 20 KMs from the BSNL Locations
  • These Bharat Air Fibre services opens new way of fastest wireless internet connectivity as well Voice services in reasonable cost.
  • Thus customers at remote places will be benefitted as BSNL comes with quality & most affordable services.

5. Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission:-

The Minister has approved an employment generation program for unemployed and migrant workers proposed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

  • This makes India Aatmanirbhar(self-reliant) in Agarbatti production.
  • The program was named as “Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission”
  • This increasing domestic Agarbatti production substantially and reduce import dependence.
  • Locally made machines used for making Agarbatti which aims to encouraging local production.

The scheme has been designed in wake of the two major decisions taken by the Ministry that is import restriction on Raw Agarbatti and increase in import duty on Bamboo sticks.

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