Daily Current Affairs for 25th August 2021

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Water plus Certified City

Why in News

Recently, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs awarded three cities from Andhra Pradesh with ‘Water Plus’ certification under the Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachh Survekshan assessment.

Key Points

  • Andhra Pradesh becomes first state with three ‘Water Plus’ certified cities under the Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachh Survekshan assessment.
  • The three cities awarded are Greater Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, and Tirupathi Municipal Corporation.
  • Under the Swachh Survekshan 2021, Indore was declared as the first ‘Water Plus’ certified city.

Water Plus City

  • As per the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, a city can only be declared ‘Water Plus’ certified after it has achieved the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF/ODF+/ODF++).
  • A Water Plus city certificate is provided to a city for maintaining cleanliness in rivers and drains under its administration.

Swachh Survekshan

  • Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cities across India in terms of sanitation, hygiene, and cleanliness, conducted as a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The assessment was begun with the objective to lead India towards a clean and open defecation-free country by October 2019.
  • The first Swachh Survekshan was conducted in India in 2016 across 73 cities.
  • In 2020, the assessment was conducted across 4,242 cities.
  • Swachh Survekshan 2021 is the 6th edition of the world’s largest urban sanitation and cleanliness survey.

Swachh Bharat Mission

  • To accelerate and achieve the universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014.
  • Under the mission, all villages, Gram Panchayats, Districts, States and Union Territories in India declared themselves “open-defecation free” (ODF) by 2nd October 2019, by constructing over 100 million toilets in rural India.
  • To ensure that the open defecation free behaviours are sustained, no one is left behind, and that solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible, the Mission is moving towards the next Phase II of SBMG i.e. ODF-Plus.
  • ODF Plus activities under Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) will reinforce ODF behaviours and focus on providing interventions for the safe management of solid and liquid waste in villages.


Procedure of Arresting Cabinet Minister in India

Why in News

Three FIRs have been registered against Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member in connection with a speech at Raigad where he spoke against Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Procedure to arrest a cabinet minister in India

  • If Parliament is not in session, a cabinet minister can be arrested by a law enforcement agency in case of a criminal case registered against him.
  • As per Section 22 A of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business of the Rajya Sabha, the Police, Judge or Magistrate would, however, have to intimate the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha about the reason for the arrest, the place of detention or imprisonment in an appropriate form.
  • The Chairman is expected to inform the Council if it is sitting about the arrest. If the council is not sitting, he/she is expected to publish it in the bulletin for the information of the members.
  • As per the main privileges of Parliament, in civil cases, section 135 of the Code of Civil Procedure, they have freedom from arrest during the continuance of the House and 40 days before its commencement and 40 days after its conclusion.
  • The privilege of freedom from arrest does not extend to criminal offences or cases of detention under preventive detention.
  • A person, whether of a member or of a stranger, can be made within the precincts of the House without the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker and that too in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Home Ministry in this regard.
  • Similarly no legal process, civil or criminal, can be served within the precincts of the House without obtaining the prior permission of the Chairman/Speaker whether the House is in Session or not.


Urban employment scheme

Why in News

The Tamil Nadu government will implement an urban employment scheme on the lines of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) at a cost of ₹100 crore.

Key Points

  • The urban employment scheme will improve the livelihood of urban poor.
  • In 2021, it will be implemented in two zones in the Greater Chennai Corporation:
  • One zone each in other Municipal Corporations,
  • One municipality each in under the Regional Directorate of Municipal Administration and
  • One town panchayat each in 37 districts.
  • Unlike other States, the urban population in Tamil Nadu was growing fast and it would reach 60% of the total population by 2036.
  • A total of four crore people are now living in urban areas, accounting for 53% of the total population.

Pilot scheme

  • This was a pilot scheme and the government would soon come out with guidelines for providing wages under the scheme.
  • The objective of the programme was to provide employment to urban poor, who had lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic as recommended by the committee headed by former RBI Governor C. Rangarajan.
  • Under the scheme, workers will be used for activities such as desilting of water bodies and maintenance of public parks and other places.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) was enacted on 25th August, 2005.
  • The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.


Sections of backward communities as ‘creamy layer’

Why in News

Recently, the Supreme Court held that economic criterion should not be the sole basis to identify sections of backward communities as ‘creamy layer’.

Key Points

  • Social advancement, higher employment in government services, etc., played an equal role in deciding whether a person belonged to the creamy layer and could be denied quota benefits.
  • The basis of exclusion of ‘creamy layer’ cannot be merely economic.
  • The court had illustrated that ‘creamy layer’ would include “persons from backward classes who occupied posts in higher services like IAS, IPS and All India Services had reached a higher level of social advancement and economic status, and therefore, were not entitled to be treated as backward”.

Brief history about OBC reservations

  • Kaka Kalelkar Committee:
  • In January 1953, First Backward Class Commission had set up under the chairmanship of social reformer Kaka Kalelkar.
  • The commission submitted its report in March 1955, listing 2,399 backward castes or communities, with 837 of them classified as ‘most backwards’.
  • The report was never implemented.
  • Second Commission or Mandal Commission:
  • This commission was set up in 1978 under the chairmanship of Bindeshwari Prasad Mandal, to head the Second Backward Class Commission.
  • It was constituted under the Constitution of India under article 340 for the purpose of Articles like 15 and 16.
  • The Commission submitted its report on December 31, 1980.
  • By then, the Morarji Desai government and it remained in deep freeze.
  • Later, on 7th August, 1990, V P Singh government came to power and accepted the Mandal Commission report, which recommended 27% reservation for OBC candidates at all levels of its services.

Creamy Layer

  • The term creamy layer and non-creamy layer were first used in the recommendation of the Sattanathan Commission in 1971.
  • The commission came to a conclusion that creamy layer candidates of the OBC should not get any benefits from the central government pointing towards the reservation or quota as commonly known as, in the government jobs.
  • It should be remembered that creamy and non-creamy layer is the term only for OBCs. It does not apply on the SC/ST candidates.
  • In ‘Indra Sawhney case’ in 1992, the Supreme Court had directed the Government to specify the basis, for exclusion of socially and economically advanced persons from Other Backward Classes by applying the relevant and requisite socio-economic criteria.
  • The Supreme Court came to the conclusion of excluding OBC children of following from getting any benefits of reservation:
  • President of India;
  • Supreme Court and High Court Judges;
  • Public Sector Employee;
  • State and Central govt employee above a certain post;
  • Armed Forces and Paramilitary forces candidates above Colonel rank;
  • OBC children of Chartered Accountant, doctor, lawyer, income tax consultant, film star, sports star, media person etc. whose annual income is more than 8, 00,000 is considered as OBC creamy layer thus making them ineligible for the reservation.

Constitutional Amendment Act related to Reservation of OBC

  • According to the Constitution of India, Articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) confer power on a state to identify and declare the list of socially and educationally backward classes.
  • As a matter of practice, separate OBC lists are drawn up by the Centre and each state concerned.
  • Article 16(4) of the Constitution enables provision of reservation to Backward Class of citizens, who are not adequately represented in the State. Reservation is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) through executive instructions issued from time to time, which has force of law.
  • Article 338B deals with the structure, duties and powers of the ‘National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)’.
  • Article 342A deals with the power of the President of India to notify a particular caste as a socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and the power of the Parliament to change the list.

127th Amendment Bill, 2021

  • The government recently passed the ‘Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021’ in Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill seeks to clarify some provisions in the 102nd Constitutional amendment Bill to restore the power of the states and union territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC).
  • It amends Articles 342 A (clauses 1 and 2) and will introduce a new clause – 342 A (3) specifically authorising states to maintain their state list.
  • There will be a consequential amendment in Articles 366(26c) and 338B (9). The states will thus be able to directly notify SEBCs without having to refer to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018

  • The 102nd Amendment Act came into effect in August 2018 with the objective to grant the constitutional status to ‘National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC)’ at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • It also inserted Articles 338B and 342A into the Indian Constitution.
  • The amendment also brings about changes in Article 366.
  • This amendment gave the NCBC a constitutional status. The Commission was originally set up in 1993.

National Commission for Backward Classes

  • The NCBC was established under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • It has the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government in this regard.


Gross domestic product (GDP)

Why in News

According to the SBI Report, the gross domestic product (GDP) of India is expected to grow at 18.5% in the June quarter due to low base effect.

Key Points

  • This projection, however, is lower than the 21.4 per cent growth projected by Reserve Bank of India.
  • Based on SBI Nowcasting model, the forecasted GDP growth for Q1 FY22 would be around 18.5 per cent. The GVA is estimated at 15%.
  • The Nowcasting model includes 41 high frequency indicators associated with industry activity, service activity, and global economy.
  • Based on this model, SBI expects India’s GDP growth to stay in the range of 7.5 to 8 per cent in the September quarter, and 6 to 6.5 per cent in December quarter of the current calendar year and March quarter of the next year.
  • The overall GDP growth is projected to be within 9 to 9.5 per cent.
  • The lender said that the high GDP growth is mainly on account of low base effect which has resulted in double-digit growth, or near to double-digit growth, in real GDP in most countries.
  • The average real GDP growth for 17 economies has improved from (–) 0.1 per cent in March quarter to 12.2 per cent in June quarter.
  • Corporate GVA in the March quarter of current calendar year stood at 63.2 per cent.
  • The report further said that the correlation between the year-on-year growth of Consumers Future Expectations Index and real GDP growth has sharply declined.
  • The correlation, which was highly positive till Q4 FY21 at 0.76, has gone down to 0.66.
  • The SBI Ecowrap further noted that lower mobility leads to lower GDP and the higher mobility to higher GDP, but the response is asymmetric.
  • With decline in mobility the economic activity declines and thus GDP growth, however with increase in mobility the GDP growth does not increase in the same proportion.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

  • Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all finished goods and services produced within a country over a specific period.
  • It provides an economic snapshot of a country, used to estimate the size of an economy and growth rate.
  • It is calculated in three ways, using expenditures, production, or incomes.

Gross value added (GVA)

  • GVA is an economic productivity metric that measures the contribution of a corporate subsidiary, company, or municipality to an economy, producer, sector, or region.
  • GVA= GDP + Subsidies on products – Taxes on products.


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