Daily Current Affairs for 9th August 2021

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Why in News

Recently union ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi’ (PM-DAKSH) Portal and Mobile App.

Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi (PM-DAKSH)

  • The ‘Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi (PM-DAKSH) Yojana’ is being implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from the year 2020-21.
  • The aim of the PM-DAKSH is to make the skill development schemes accessible to the target groups.
  • Through the PM-DAKSH portals and app, the youth of the target groups will now be able to avail the benefits of skill development training programmes more easily.
  • Under this Yojana, eligible target group are being provided skill development training programmes on:
  • Up-skilling/Re-skilling;
  • Short Term Training Programme;
  • Long Term Training Programme; and
  • Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP).
  • These training programs are being implemented through Government Training Institutes, Sector Skill Councils constituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and other credible institutions.
  • Under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, three Apex Corporations are functioning:
  • National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation,
  • National Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation and
  • National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation.
  • These Corporations are providing loans at concessional interest rates to the target groups of backward classes, scheduled castes and Safai Karamcharis for self-employment.
  • During the year 2021-22, a target has been set to provide skill development training to approximately 50,000 persons of the target groups through the above three Apex Corporations.

Salient features of PM-DAKSH

  • Availability of all information related to skill development at one place for Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Safai Karamcharis.
  • Facility to register for the training institute and program of their interest.
  • Facility to upload desired documents related to personal information.
  • Facility to register the attendance of the trainees through face and eye scanning during the training period.
  • Monitoring facility through photo and video clip during training etc.


  • Through this application and portal, person now able to get assembled information related to skill development training at one place.
  • With just one click, one can get information about skill development trainings happening in nearby areas and they can easily register themselves for skill training.


Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021

Why in news

The Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021, was recently passed by both Houses.

Commission for Air Quality Management in the National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021

  • The monitoring and management of air quality in the Delhi-NCR region has been done in pieces by multiple bodies, including the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the state pollution control boards, the state governments in the region, including Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) of the National Capital Region.
  • They are monitored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), and the Supreme Court which monitors air pollution as per the judgment in ‘M C Mehta vs Union of India’ case in 1988.
  • The Bill seeks to create an overarching body to consolidate all monitoring bodies, and to bring them on one platform so that air quality management can be carried out in a more comprehensive, efficient, and time-bound manner.
  • The Centre also seeks to relieve the Supreme Court from having to constantly monitor pollution levels through various cases.
  • Both the central as well as state governments, stand on the receiving end every winter as air pollution levels start rising in the National Capital region.

Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)

  • Apart from consolidating all agencies that monitored, investigated and planned mitigation of air pollution in the region, the commission has replaced the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) which had been running for 22 years.
  • Over the years, the EPCA’s powers had been waning. While dissolving the body, the Centre felt that the EPCA had become redundant and had been ineffective in addressing issues related to air pollution.
  • EPCA was constituted in 1998 by Ministry of Environment under Environment Protection Act, 1986, with the objective of ‘protecting and improving’ the quality of the environment and ‘controlling environmental pollution’ in the National Capital Region.
  • EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region.

Powers of the commission

  • The Commission is the most powerful air pollution monitoring body set up by the Centre to date. The rulings by the commission on air pollution will override anything contained in any other law.
  • The powers of the commission will also supersede that of any other body in matters of air pollution. Therefore, in cases where conflict may arise between orders or directions issued by the other state governments, state pollution control boards or even the Central Pollution Control Board, the orders of the commission will prevail.
  • The Commission will have the power to take measures, issue directions and entertain complaints “for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of air in the National Capital Region”.
  • It will also coordinate action taken by states on air pollution and will lay down parameters for air quality and emission or discharge of environmental pollutants.
  • It will also have powers to restrict industries in any area, carry out random inspections of any premises including factories and be able to close down an industry or cut its power and water supply in case of non-compliance.
  • It will also be monitoring the measures taken by the states to prevent stubble burning.

Composition of commission

  • Chairperson: The Commission will be headed by a full-time chairperson with experience of not less than 15 years in the field of environmental protection and pollution control or having administrative experience of not less than 25 years.
  • Members of the commission: The members of the commission will also comprise of an official from the Environment Ministry, five ex-officio members who are either chief secretaries or secretaries from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, one full-time member who is or has been a joint secretary, three full-time independent technical members who are experts in air pollution, one technical member each from the Central Pollution Control Board and Indian Space Research Organisation, three members from non-governmental organisations who deal in air pollution and one representative of the National Institution for Transforming India.
  • The commission will also have three members, being stakeholders from sectors such as agriculture, industry, transport or construction apart from representatives of several ministries, including Road Transport and Highways, Power, Housing and Urban Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Commerce and Industry. There will also be representatives of any association from the commerce or industry sector.
  • The commission will have at least three sub-committeesmonitoring and identification, safeguarding and enforcement, and research and development.


Rule 267

Why in news

Recently, the Chairperson of Rajya Sabha has been receiving almost 10-15 notices from MPs under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha. The Chairperson has been rejecting all these written notices from opposition Members of Parliament.

Key Points

  • The Rajya Sabha Chairperson has rejected several hundred notices under Rule 267 since 2016, on subjects ranging from the Rafale deal to the implementation of GST and more recently on Pegasus, farmers’ protests and fuel price rise.

Rule 267

  • Under Rule 267 of Rajya Sabha, any member, can with the consent of the Chairperson, move that any rule may be suspended in its application to a motion related to the business listed before the Council of that day and if the motion is carried, the rule in question shall be suspended for the time being.
  • The rule will not apply where specific provisions already exist for suspension of a rule under a particular chapter of the Rules.
  • The Rajya Sabha has not allowed discussions under Rule 267 for nearly five years. The last time the Rajya Sabha witnessed a discussion under Rule 267 was on November 16, 2016, when it allowed the issue of demonetisation to be taken up.
  • The primary objective of such a Motion is to draw the attention of the government to a matter of urgent public importance in regard to which a motion or a resolution with proper notice will be too late.
  • Adoption of the Motion results in the suspension of the listed business and commencement of the discussion on the subject of the motion.
  • The Lok Sabha has a similar provision in the form of Adjournment Motion.

Adjournment Motion

  • Adjournment motion is the procedure for adjournment of the business of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, which can be moved with the consent of the speaker.
  • Primary objective of an adjournment motion is to draw the attention of Lok Sabha to a recent matter of urgent public importance having serious consequences and in regard to which a motion or a resolution with proper notice will be too late.
  • The discussion on an Adjournment Motion should last for not less than two hours and thirty minutes.


Samagra Shiksha Scheme 2.0

Why in News

Recently, the Cabinet approved the extension of the centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha scheme.

Key Points

  • Samagra Shiksha scheme which is an integrated scheme for school education, from 1st April, 2021 to 31st March, 2026 with an estimated outlay of around ₹3 lakh crore.
  • The scheme is in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4) and has now been aligned with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 to ensure inclusive and equitable, quality and holistic school education.
  • It aims to ensure that all children have access to quality education with an equitable and inclusive classroom environment which should take care of their diverse background, multilingual needs, different academic abilities and make them active participants in the learning process.

Key Performance Indicator

  • The scheme covers 11.6 lakh schools, over 15.6 crore students and 57 lakh teachers of government and aided schools from pre-primary to senior secondary level.
  • In order to ensure effective implementation of the scheme and its reach to last mile, measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have been developed, for every component of Samagra Shiksha.
  • The new interventions based on the recommendations of the NEP 2020 have been incorporated in the revamped Samagra Shiksha scheme.
  • These include preparing master trainers for training of Anganwadi workers and in-service teacher training for ECCE teachers and provision of upto ₹500 per child for learning materials, indigenous toys and games, play-based activities per annum for pre-primary sections in government schools and support for pre-primary sections in government primary schools.
  • The child tracking provision has been included for ensuring the safety of students of government and government aided schools and greater emphasis will be given on direct benefit transfers so that the various benefits reach the students directly in the shortest time.
  • A sum of ₹6,000 per annum will be extended to secondary level school students for availing transport facility.
  • For disabled children and children belonging to SC/ST community in the age bracket of 16-19 years, ₹2,000 will be provided per child to complete their secondary/senior secondary levels through NIOS/SOS.

Samagra Shiksha scheme

  • The Samagra Shiksha scheme is an integrated scheme for school education covering the entire gamut from pre-school to class XII.
  • The scheme treats school education as a continuum and is in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG-4).
  • The major interventions, across all levels of school education, proposed under the scheme are:
  • Universal Access including Infrastructure Development and Retention;
  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy,
  • Gender and Equity;
  • Inclusive Education;
  • Quality and Innovation;
  • Financial support for Teacher Salary;
  • Digital initiatives;
  • RTE Entitlements including uniforms, textbooks etc.;
  • Support for ECCE;
  • Vocational Education;
  • Sports and Physical Education;
  • Strengthening of Teacher Education and Training;
  • Monitoring;
  • Programme Management; and
  • National Component.

Samagra Shiksha scheme 2.0

  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT): In order to enhance the direct outreach of the scheme, all child-centric interventions will be provided directly to the students through DBT mode on an IT-based platform over a period of time.
  • The scheme will have an effective convergence architecture with various Ministries/ developmental agencies of the Centre and State Governments.
  • The expansion of vocational education will be done in convergence with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and other Ministries providing funding for Skills.
  • Provision of training of Master Trainers for training of Anganwadi workers and In-service teacher training for ECCE teachers.
  • Provision of upto Rs 500 per child for Teaching Learning Materials (TLM), indigenous toys and games, play based activities per annum for pre-primary sections in Government Schools.
  • NIPUN Bharat: National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy to ensure that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy at the end of grade III and not later than grade V has been launched under the scheme with provision of TLM upto Rs 500 per child per annum, Rs 150 per teacher for teacher manuals and resources, Rs 10-20 lakh per district for assessment.

Few more features

  • Financial support for State Commission for Protection of Child Rights @ Rs 50 per elementary school in the state, for protection of child rights and safety.
  • Holistic, 360-degree, multi-dimensional reports showing progress/uniqueness of each learner in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains will be introduced in the form of Holistic Progress Card (HPC).
  • Support for activities of PARAKH, a national assessment centre (Performance, Assessments, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development)
  • Additional Sports grant of upto Rs. 25000 to schools in case at least 2 students of that school win a medal in Khelo India school games at the National level.
  • Provision for Bagless days, school complexes, internships with local artisans, curriculum and pedagogical reforms etc included.
  • Support for Social Audit covering 20% of schools per year so that all schools are covered in a period of Five years.


Human Rights

Why in news

Chief Justice of India stated that police stations pose the “highest threat” to human rights and dignity, which are “sacrosanct”.

Key Points

  • The threat to human rights and bodily integrity is the highest in police stations. Going by recent reports, even the privileged are not spared third-degree treatment.
  • Custodial torture and police atrocities still prevail despite constitutional guarantees.

A word of advice

  • Lack of effective legal representation at police stations is a huge detriment to arrested or detained persons.
  • The first hours of arrest or detention often decide the fate of the case for the accused.
  • If the judiciary wants to gain the trust of the poor and the vulnerable, it has to assure the marginalised that it exists for them.

Constitutional provisions of Human Rights

  • Human Rights of India enshrined in part-3 of the Indian Constitution as ‘Fundamental Rights’.
  • There are six fundamental rights (Article 14 – 32) recognised by the Indian constitution:
  • Right to equality (Articles 14-18),
  • Right to freedom (Articles 19-22),
  • Right against exploitation (Articles 23-24),
  • Right to freedom of religion (Articles 25-28),
  • Cultural and educational rights (Articles 29-30)
  • Right to constitutional remedies (Article 32 and 226).
  • The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India has also been established on 12 October, 1993.
  • The statute under which it is established is the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 as amended by the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  • Section 2(1)(d) of the Protection of Human Rights Act defines Human Rights as the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India.

Digital divide

  • The digital divide has not helped the cause of easy access to justice.
  • Rural and remote areas suffer from lack of connectivity.
  • Accessing justice in India is not merely an aspirational goal.
  • We need to work hand in hand with various wings of the government to make it a practical reality.

Equality a reality

  • Let us dream of a future based on legal mobility, a future where equality is a reality.
  • That’s why the project ‘Access to Justice’ is an unending mission.

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