- Punjab and Haryana HC notice to Centre on plea against 10 per cent quota for EWS
- Taking cognizance of a petition seeking quashing of recently introduced 10% quota by the Centre for the economic weaker section (EWS) through constitutional amendment, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the central government.
- The petitioner in this case has sought directions to quash the Constitution (103 amendment) Act, 2019, passed by the Centre for being outside the scope of the judgment passed by a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court in 1991 in the case of Indra Sawhney versus Union of India.
- According to the petitioner, by providing 10% reservations to the EWS, the deserving poor among them who are living as daily-wagers, agricultural labourers, auto drivers, taxi drivers, porters, hawkers, etc., whose income is marginal, may not get any benefit. According to him, they cannot compete with the other ‘so-called economically weaker sections’ whose annual income is up to Rs 8 lakh, have 5 acres, 1,000 sq ft flat in urban area or 200 sq yd house in rural area.
- There was no definition under the Constitution for the weaker sections like the socially and educationally backward classes under Article 340, Schedule Caste under Article 341, Schedule Tribes under Article 342 or under the definition for Schedule Caste under Article 366 (24), Schedule Tribes under Article 366 (25) and the socially and educationally backward classes under Article 366 (26-C). It has also been argued that there is no commission to take care of the interest of EWS like the National Commission for Schedule Caste under Article 338, National Commission for Schedule Tribes under Article 338-A and National Commission for Backward Classes under Article 338-B.
· Russia to make 2 types of new missiles
- US announced that it is to withdraw from the INF treaty. After the announcement, the Russia announced that the country is to make two types of missile in the year 2019-20.
- The two types of missile Russia plans to develop are:
1) A land-basedversion of the seaborne Kalibr system equipped with a long-range cruise missile
2) Land-based long-range hypersonic missile
- The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) agreement. The INF agreement forbidsground-launched, short- and intermediate-range missiles, but not those launched from the air or sea.
- First State Level Awareness Programme on Agri Export Policy held in Pune
- Government of India has recently released an Agriculture Export Policy which aims at reinvigorating the entire value chain from export oriented farm production and processing to transportation, infrastructure and market access.
- The Agriculture Export Policy is framed with a focus on agriculture export oriented production, export promotion, better farm realization and synchronization with policies and programmes of Government of India.
- In India, agriculture and horticulture production is around 600 million tonnes per year and 30% of fresh horticulture produces goes waste.
- Upgradation of Secondary Schools to Senior Secondary level under Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
- Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an Integrated Scheme for School Education-Samagra Shiksha, subsuming three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE), with effect from 2018-19.
- The new integrated scheme envisages school education as a continuum from pre-school to senior secondary level and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels.
- During the year 2018-19, under Samagra Shiksha, 44 schools have been upgraded from secondary to senior secondary level school.
· World heritage centre to be set up at Mayapur in West Bengal
- A World Heritage Centre housing‘spiritual camps’ of 45 countries would be set up at Mayapur, the global headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), in Nadia district.
- The process for setting up the center got momentum after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inquired about the project at a recent administrative meeting in Nadia district.
- The estimated cost of the proposed center will be around 3000 crores.
- The Temple of Vedic Planetariumwill come up at the first part of the World heritage center.
- It will have one of the biggest domes in the world.
· Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation launched Shehri Samridhi Utsav
- Shehri Samridhi Utsav,an initiative of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), is launched with the aim to extend the reach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
- It is the National Exhibition and a sale of Self Help Group products and National Street Food Festival organized in New Delhi.
- Through Shehri Samridhi Utsav scheme, Self Help Group members all over the places are linked to national government schemes like Swachchh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, and National Nutrition Mission.
· ICS launched Swasth Naari, Shakti Hamaari campaign
- TheIndian Cancer Society (ICS) launched Swasth Naari, Shakti Hamaari campaign in Mumbai, Maharashtra to spread awareness of cancer among underprivileged women and enable early detection of the disease.
- The campaign was launched on the occasion ofWorld Cancer Day. ICS in collaboration with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca organized the campaign. It aims to conduct free and specialized cancer-screening camps for women in high-priority districts of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.
· Around 1.38 lakh MSME Projects set up by women entrepreneurs
- Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is empowering women entrepreneurs through its different schemes.
- 38 lakh projects have been set up by the women entrepreneurs under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) Scheme since inception and upto 23.01.2019.
- The projects set up by women entrepreneurs are about 30% of total projects set up under PMEGP. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for MSME, Giriraj Singh, informed this in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
- PMEGP, a major credit-linked subsidy scheme since 2008-09, helps set up micro-enterprises and to generate employment in rural and urban areas of the country. The maximum cost of the project under PMEGP scheme is Rs.25.00 lakhs for manufacturing sector units and Rs.10.00 lakhs for units under the service sector.
- Under the scheme, women entrepreneurs are covered under Special Category and are entitled to 25% and 35% subsidies for the project set up in urban and rural areas respectively.
- For women beneficiaries, own contribution is only 5% of the project cost while for general category it is 10%.
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