- National Mission for Financial Inclusion: Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana
THE ISSUE IN NEWS
PMJDY- Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana completed its six years of successful implementation.
- The Prime Minister had described the launch of this programme occasion as a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a vicious cycle of poverty. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) is an initiative towards financial inclusion
- Financial inclusion is process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups such as weaker sections and low-income groups at an affordable cost.
- Financial is important as it provides an avenue to the poor for bringing their savings into the formal financial system, an avenue to remit money to their families in villages besides taking them out of the clutches of the usurious money lenders.
Successful Achievements under PMJDY:
- Total Number of PMJDY Accounts (as on 19 August 2020): 40.35 Crore; Rural PMJDY accounts: 63.6%, Women PMJDY accounts: 55.2% During the first year of the scheme 17.90 crore PMJDY accounts were opened. Continuous increase in no of accounts under PMJDY.
Operative PMJDY Accounts:
- As per extant RBI guidelines, a PMJDY account is treated as inoperative if there are no customer induced transactions in the account for over a period of two years.
- Out of total 40.35 crore PMJDY accounts, 34.81 crore (86.3%) are operative.
Deposits under PMJDY accounts:
- Total deposit balances under PMJDY Accounts stand at Rs. 1.31 lakh crore. Deposits have increased about 5.7 times with increase in accounts 2.3 times between 2015 to 2020.
- Total RuPay cards issued to PMJDY account holders: 29.75 Crore
Jan Dhan Darshak App:
- IT was launched to provide a citizen centric platform for locating banking touchpoints such as bank branches, ATMs, Bank Mitras, Post Offices, etc.
- This app is also being used for identifying villages which are not served by banking touchpoints within 5 km. The efforts have resulted in a significant decrease in the number of such villages.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) for PMJDY women beneficiaries:
- An amount of Rs. 500/- per month for three months (April’20 to June’20), was credited to the accounts of women account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
smooth DBT transactions:
- As informed by banks, about 8 crore PMJDY account holders receive Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) from the Government under various schemes.
Important approach adopted in PMJDY based on past experience:
- Extension of PMJDY with New features: From 28 August 2018, the Government extended PMJDY with some modifications:
- Focus shifted from ‘Every Household’ to Every Unbanked Adult’ RuPay Card Insurance: Free accidental insurance cover on RuPay cards increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh for PMJDY accounts opened after 8.2018.
- Enhancement in overdraft facilities: OD limit doubled from Rs 5,000/- to Rs 10,000/-; OD upto Rs 2,000/- (without conditions). Increase in upper age limit for OD from 60 to 65 years.
- Minorities: Identifaction
THE ISSUE IN NEWS
The Supreme Court recently sought the Central government’s response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging provisions of the National Commission for Minority Education Institution (NCMEI) Act, 2004.
Argument of petitioner:
- The NCMEI Act identifies minorities at the national level and not at the State level, thereby depriving deserving minorities in the states of their Constitutional rights.
- The Centre’s notification (under section 2(f) of NCMEI Act) which identifies Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains as minorities at the national level is against the judgement of TMA Pai Foundation case, 2002.
- These minorities at national level have a significant population in many states. E.g.
- Muslims are in majority in Lakshadweep (96.58%) & Kashmir (96%).
- Christians are in majority in Nagaland (88.10%), Mizoram (87.16%) and Meghalaya (74.59%).
- The Supreme Court in the TMA Pai Foundation case dispelled doubts about the definition of minorities and recognised the right of non-minorities to establish educational institutions, without impairing the fundamental rights of neither.
- Rational basis of declaring certain religions as minority by the Central government as they have less population in the States is contravened when benefits of schemes for minorities are acquired by those religious minorities in states where they are in majority and those religious communities who are actually minorities are not given equal status.
- Those who follow Hinduism, Judaism and Bahaism are minorities in regions like Ladakh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur.
- However, they cannot establish & administer educational institutions of their choice because of non-identification of ‘minority’ at the State level, thus jeopardising their basic rights guaranteed under Article 29 and 30.
- Direct and declare that Section 2(f) of the NCMEI Act 2004 is arbitrary, irrational and violative of the Constitution and hence void.
- Direct the Centre to lay down guidelines for identification of minority at State level. Constitutional and Legal Provisions Related to Minorities
- The term “Minority” is not defined in the Indian Constitution. However, the Constitution recognises religious and linguistic minorities.
- Article 29: It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic
- the Supreme Court held that the scope of this article is not necessarily restricted to minorities only, as use of the word ‘section of citizens’ in the Article includes minorities as well as the majority.
- Article 30: All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
- The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities (religious or linguistic) and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).
- Article 350-B: Originally, the Constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities.
- the 7 Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 inserted Article 350-B in the Constitution. It provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.
National Commission for Minority Education Institution (NCMEI) Act, 2004:
- It provides the minority status to the educational institutions on the basis of six religious communities notified by the government under the NCMEI Act, 2004– Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains.
- Foundation Day of AREAS
THE ISSUE IN NEWS
On the 6 Foundation Day (27 August 2020) of the Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS), the government has launched a website and telephone directory for AREAS.
- Agenda Behind AREAS: State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) for Renewable Energy (RE) interact and learn from each other’s experiences and also share their best practices and knowledge regarding technologies and schemes/programmes.
- Members: The Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy (NRE) is the Patron of the Association and Secretary, MNRE is the ex-officio President of the Association. All SNAs are members of the Association.
- Formation: It got registered under Society Registration Act, 1860 on 27 August 2014.
Renewable Energy Initiatives in India
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal Ministry of the Government of India for all matters relating to new and renewable energy.
- New and Renewable Energy sources include solar energy, geothermal energy, wind power, hydropower, biomass, etc.
- In September 2019, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, India announced increasing the renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030 from 175 GW by 2022.
- In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), India has pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030.
- The Green Energy Corridor Project aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
- Recently, Indian Railways has contacted solar power developers to meet the net zero carbon emission target by 2030.
Sector Specific Initiatives:
- National Wind Resource Assessment programme
National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy 2018
- National Institute of Wind Energy, Tamil Nadu
Waste to Energy:
- Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes/Residues and Municipal Solid Waste
- Biomass power & cogeneration programme, Biogas Power Generation (Off-grid) and Thermal energy application Programme (BPGTP)
- Mahatma Ayyankali
THE ISSUE IN NEWS
The Prime Minister of India paid tribute to social reformer Mahatma Ayyankali on his 157 birth anniversary.
- Ayyankali (1863-1914), born in Kerala, was a leader of the lower castes and Dalits. With his efforts, Dalits got the freedom to walk on public roads, and Dalit children were allowed to join schools.
- He formed Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham (SJPS) to work for low castes. Efforts to organise the “depressed classes” and particularly the untouchable castes predated the nationalist movement, having begun in the second half of the nineteenth
- This was an initiative taken from both ends of the caste spectrum – by upper caste progressive reformers as well as by members of the lower castes such as Mahatma Jotiba Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar in western India, Ayyankali, Sri Narayana Guru, Iyothee Das and Periyar (E.V. Ramaswamy Naickar) in the
- Constitutional and Legal Provisions Against Discrimination of Dalits
- Article 17 of the constitution abolishes the practice of “untouchability” and punishes the enforcement of any disability arising out of the practice.
- Article 21 guarantees the right to life and liberty. The Supreme Court has interpreted this right to include the right to be free from degrading and inhuman treatment, the right to integrity and dignity of the person, and the right to speedy justice.
- When read with Article 39A on equal justice and free legal aid, Article 21 also encompasses the right to legal aid for those faced with imprisonment and those too poor to afford counsel.
- Article 23 prohibits traffic in human beings and other similar forms of forced labor.
- Article 24 provides that no child under the age of fourteen shall work in any factory or mine or engage in any hazardous employment.
- Article 15(4) empowers the state to make any special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens, or for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
- Through Article 16(4), the state is empowered to make “any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State”.
- Article 330 provides reservations for seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Lok Sabha (the House of the People), while Article 332 provides for reservations in the state legislative assemblies.
- Article 338 establishes the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
Related Directive Principles of State Policy:
- Article 43 calls on the state to secure to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, a living wage and conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life.
- Article 45 charges that the state shall endeavor to provide free and compulsory education for all children until they reach the age of six.
- Article 46 states that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and forms of exploitation.
- The SC and the ST (Prevention of Atrocities) amendment Act, 2018.