GS PAPER II NEWS

National Panchayati Raj Day 2021

Why in News

Due to emergence of second wave of Pandemic, India has been decided to celebrate National Panchayati Day on 24th April 2021 virtually.

National Panchayati Day

  • 24th April, 1993 marked as the day of historic moment, when the power was decentralized to the grassroots with the establishment of Panchayati Raj System.
  • On that day 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 was implemented.
  • This occasion provides an opportunity to Panchayat representatives to direct connect with the Centre from all over the country.
  • This day also recognize achievements of Panchayat to empower and motivate them further.
  • It was first celebrated on 2010 and since then it celebrated every year on 24th April.
  • Every year the best performing Panchayats/States/UTs across the country has been awarding by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj for their good work for improving delivery of services and public goods.

National Panchayati Raj Day 2021

  • Despite of having constraints and limitations, there are many outstanding performers among Panchayats all over the country.
  • They will be awarded online by online transfer of the award money (as Grants-in-Aid) which will be directly transferred to the bank account of the Panchayats concerned in real time.
  • National Panchayat Awards 2021 categories are:
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (to 224 Panchayats),
  • Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (to 30 Gram Panchayats),
  • Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award (to 29 Gram Panchayats),
  • Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (to 30 Gram Panchayats) and
  • e-Panchayat Puraskar (to 12 States).
  • For National Panchayat Awards 2021 online nominations for Panchayati Raj Institutions were invited from State Governments/ Union Territory (UT) Administrations under:
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar,
  • Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar,
  • Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award and
  • Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award.

Evolution of Panchayati Raj

  • Panchayati Raj in an Ancient Time:
  • At the time of Rig Veda (1700 BC), ‘Sabha’, ‘Samiti’ and ‘Vidha’ was created as the Self-Governing Body.
  • ‘Shanti Parva’ mentioned in Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Mahabharat which mean to Self-Government of Village at that time.
  • During Medieval Time
  • At the time of Mughal, there were Mukkaddam for administration, Patwari for collection of revenues, and Choudhry for settling disputes with the help of the Panch.
  • British Period
  • After the appointment of the Royal Commission on centralization in 1907 under the Chairmanship of C.E.H. Hobhouse, the Local self-government institutions received a boost.
  • In 1925, eight provinces had passed the Panchayat Acts.
  • Local bodies were given more powers and functions to impose taxes were reduced.
  • But, the position of the local self-government institutions remained unaffected till that time.
  • Post-Independent Era:
  • Article 40 under Part 4 i.e., Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP) was instituted in the Indian Constitution with the mention of panchayats.
  • Article 246 also instituted to empowers the state legislature to legislate with respect to any subject relating to local self-government.
  • In January 1957, the Government of India appointed the Balwant Rai Mehta committee:
  • to examine the work of the Community Development Programme and National Extension Services which was formed in 1952 and 1953 respectively to implement the Village Panchayats along with the participation of people.
  • The committee recommended three-tier Panchayati Raj System, namely, Grama Panchayats (GPs) at the village level, Panchayat Samiti (PSs) at the block level, and Zilla Parishad (ZPs) at the district level.
  • As a result, Rajasthan became the first state on October 2, 1959 to decentralized the power and implemented the Panchayati Raj System.
  • Andhra Pradesh also adopted the System in 1959.
  • Other important committees regarding Panchayati Raj System are: Hanumantha Rao Committee (1983), G.V.K. Rao Committee (1985), L.M.Singhvi Committee (1986) and the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations (1988), P.K. Thungan Committee (1989) and Harlal Singh Kharra Committee (1990).
  • After many recommendations of various committees and long disputes, finally 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were passed by Parliament in December, 1992. Which introduced the local self-governance rural and urban India.

Salient features of 73rd Constitutional Amendments

  • It was introduced under Part IX of the Indian Constitution titled “The Panchayats”.
  • It consists provisions from Article 243-243 O.
  • Under this, 11th Schedule was also instituted in the Constitution which contain 29 functional items of the Panchayats. It deals with the 243-G.
  • It provides for a 3-tier Panchayat system, which would be constituted in every state at the village level, intermediate level and district level.
  • It consists provisions for reservation of seats for SCs and STs at every level of Panchayat.
  • State Election Commission have the power to supervise, direct and control the elections to the Panchayats and also prepare the electoral rolls.

GS PAPER III

Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas’ (SVAMITVA)

Why in News

On the occasion of National Panchayat day, the distribution of e-property cards under the SWAMITVA scheme has been launched by the Prime Minister of India.

Key Points

  • The Centre will also launch distribution of e-property cards to 4.09 lakh property owners on this occasion.
  • Most of the property holders would be able to download their Property Cards through the SMS link delivered on their mobile phones.
  • Different States have different nomenclature for the Property Cards viz. ‘Title deed’ in Haryana, ‘Rural Property Ownership Records (RPOR)’ in Karnataka, ‘Adhikar Abhilekh’ in Madhya Pradesh, ‘Sannad’ in Maharashtra, ‘Patta’ in Rajasthan, ‘Svamitva Abhilekh’ in Uttarakhand, and ‘Gharauni’ in Uttar Pradesh.

Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas’ (SVAMITVA)

  • It was launched by the Prime Minister on 24th April 2020.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme to promote a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India.
  • This scheme has the potential to bring rural India into modern technical world through a tool of mapping and surveying.
  • The pilot phase of the Scheme was implemented during 2020–2021 in States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and few border villages of Punjab & Rajasthan.
  • It will also roll out in phased manner during 2020-2025 covering approx. 6.62 villages of entire country.

National Panchayati Day

  • 24th April, 1993 marked as the day of historic moment, when the power was decentralized to the grassroots with the establishment of Panchayati Raj System.
  • On that day 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 was implemented.
  • This occasion provides an opportunity to Panchayat representatives to direct connect with the Centre from all over the country.
  • This day also recognize achievements of Panchayat to empower and motivate them further.
  • It was first celebrated on 2010 and since then it celebrated every year on 24th April.
  • Every year the best performing Panchayats/States/UTs across the country has been awarding by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj for their good work for improving delivery of services and public goods.

GS PAPER II

World Malaria Day 2021

Why in News

To celebrate World Malaria Day Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare chaired the “Reaching Zero” forum to eliminate Malaria through a video conference.

Key Points

  • Every year, 25th April is celebrated as ‘World Malaria Day’.
  • Theme of World Malaria Day 2021 was “Reaching the Zero Malaria target”.
  • This year’s theme is important as nation is working to eliminate malaria nationally and to contribute to improved health, quality of life and alleviation of poverty.
  • The country has been able to achieve remarkable success in reducing the malaria cases by 84.5% and deaths by 83.6% which has been well recognized by World Malaria Reports of 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • In 2020, as many as 116 districts in the Country reported zero malaria cases.
  • Malaria Mukt Abhiyan in the Bastar Region of Chhattisgarh, was successfully carried out wherein 3.78 million people were screened for malaria.
  • Besides this, 25.2 million long lasting insecticidal nets were distributed to the community in the high malaria endemic areas.

Malaria

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease that caused by parasites.
  • It transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • It is curable and treatable disease.
  • Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria.
  • The symptoms are fever, headache, and chills (may be mild) and difficult to recognize as malaria.
  • If not treated within 24 hours, Plasmodium falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, and lead to death.

World Malaria Day

  • World Malaria Day (WMD) is celebrating every year on 25th April to commemorate and recognize the global efforts to control malaria.
  • It was started in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, WHO’s decision-making body.
  • Goal of the day is to provide:
  • “education and understanding of malaria” and
  • spread information on “year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas.”
  • It was first celebrated in 2008 on the theme “Malaria: a disease without borders”.
  • It provides inspiration to the global community and all affected countries that are working to root out Malaria.
  • It also improves the health and livelihood of the affected country’s people.
  • According to the recent Report of Malaria the rate of new malaria cases fell by 21 per cent globally between 2010 and 2015, and malaria death rates fell by 29 per cent in the same period.

National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Malaria Elimination (2017-2022)

  • It was launched by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in 2017.
  • It has been developed on the basis of National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India and World Health Organization (WHO) Global Technical Strategy for Malaria Elimination (2016-2030).
  • Goal: To eliminate Malaria by 2030.
  • Objectives:
  • Achieve universal coverage of case detection and treatment services in endemic districts to ensure 100% parasitological diagnosis of all suspected malaria cases and complete treatment of all confirmed cases.
  • Strengthen the surveillance system to detect, notify, investigate, classify and respond to all cases and foci in all districts to move towards malaria elimination.
  • Achieve near universal coverage of population at risk of malaria with an appropriate vector control intervention.
  • Achieve near universal coverage by appropriate BCC activities to improve knowledge, awareness and responsive behavior regarding effective preventive and curative interventions for malaria elimination.
  • Provide effective programme management and coordination at all levels to deliver a combination of targeted interventions for malaria elimination.

National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME)

  • It came into force in 2016 to eliminate Malaria by 2030.
  • The Objective is to eliminate malaria from the country and to improve health and quality of life and alleviation of poverty.

Way Forward

  • The meeting ended with the hope that the State governments will give further momentum to ensure that the gains in this regard are sustained despite the pandemic challenges, and the march towards malaria elimination does not slow down.
  • With active community participation and sound inter-sectoral coordination, India will succeed to achieve the goal of malaria elimination target by 2030.

GS PAPER II NEWS

Covishield Vaccine

Why in News

According to the Researchers of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) the Covishield have protection against the double mutant variant (B.1.617).

Key Points

  • They also found that protection against the double mutant variant was seen in both when convalescent plasma from people who have been infected and have already recovered was tested in the lab.
  • Both Covishield vaccinated sera and convalescent sera were found to offer protection against the double mutant variant (B.1.167).
  • The preliminary study found that convalescent plasma may offer protection against reinfection with the double mutant variant.
  • The B.1.617 variant has two mutations: E484Q and L425R.
  • According to the Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) Institutes, the two mutations have individually been found to make the virus more infectious and evade antibodies.

Covishield

  • It is an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
  • The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees.
  • When it is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection.
  • It is producing more than 60 million doses a month.

GS PAPER III

Ways and Means Advances (WMA)

Why in News

The RBI announces that the existing interim Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limit for all states and Union Territories will continue up to September 30, 2021.

Key Points

  • As per RBI, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent, the existing interim WMA limit of Rs 51,560 crore for all States/ UTs shall continue for six months.
  • The Reserve Bank will review the WMA limit thereafter, depending on the course of the pandemic and its impact on the economy.
  • Special Drawing Facility (SDF) availed by state governments and UTs will continue to be linked to the quantum of their investments in marketable securities issued by the Government of India, including the Auction Treasury Bills (ATBs).
  • The net annual incremental investments in Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF) and Guarantee Redemption Fund (GRF) will continue to be eligible for availing of SDF, without any upper limit.
  • A uniform hair cut of 5 per cent shall be applied on the market value of securities, for determining the operating limit of SDF on a daily basis.
  • Interest rate on SDF, WMA and Overdraft will continue to be linked to the policy rate (repo) of the Reserve Bank.

Ways and Means Advances (WMA)

  • WMA is the facility that provide borrowings to the Centre and the States from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • These borrowings provide to help them tide over temporary mismatches in cash flows of their receipts and expenditures.
  • As per Section 17(5) of the RBI Act, 1934 the central bank is authorized to lend to the Centre and state governments subject to their being repayable “not later than three months from the date of the making of the advance”.
  • The interest rate on WMA is the repo rate of RBI, which is basically the rate at which it lends short-term money to banks.
  • The Centre are allowed to draw amounts in excess of their WMA limits and the interest on such overdraft is 2% points above the repo rate.
  • Whereas States are not allowed to run an overdraft with the RBI for more than a certain period.
  • Time period to repay the Interest Rate is 10 consecutive working days for Central Government and 21 days for State Government.

Special Drawing Facility (SDF)

  • There are two types of Ways and Means Advances (WMA):
  • Normal Ways and Means Advances (WMA): It is based on a three-year average of actual revenue and capital expenditure of the state.
  • Special WMA or Special Drawing Facility: It is extended against the collateral of the government securities held by the State Government.
  • It linked to the quantity of investments of the concerned state government in the Government of India securities including Auctioned Treasury Bills (ATBs).
  • Interest rate for SDF is 1% less than the repo rate.
  • It will add to the SDF loan limit of the state government is the incremental investment in Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF) /Guarantee Redemption Fund (GRF).

Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF)

  • CSF is a reserve fund for amortization of debt.
  • It was established in 1999-2000 by the RBI to meet redemption of market loans of the States.
  • It is a buffer available to State governments for servicing their liabilities and fund through which some financial discipline is being insured.
  • Originally, 11 States had set up CSF and those are: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttaranchal and West Bengal.
  • After that 12th Finance Commission (2005-10) recommended all the States that establishment of CSF is must.
  • The fund should be maintained outside the consolidated fund of the States and the public account.
  • Guarantee Redemption Fund (GRF) is another buffer of the RBI.