Insights Daily Current Affairs, 03 October 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Two-thirds of elderly financially dependent on others, says study
A nation-wide survey was recently conducted by Agewell Foundation on the state of elderly people in India. The survey conducted involved a random sample of 15,000 people across India aged 60 or above.
Highlights of the survey:
- 65% of the elderly in India are dependent on others for their financial requirements and undergo financial crisis. Pension was the main source of income for 38% of the respondents.
- The net-worth value of 46.4% of the elderly has increased remarkably in their old age, primarily due to a sharp increase in real estate prices over the last two decades. With high net-worth value, older persons have higher purchasing power, but they hardly use their discretion while exercising such powers. Younger family members often manipulate their decisions.
- More than four-fifths of the respondents said that their major problems were related to healthcare issues, where financial status plays a key role.
- The report finds that senior citizens aged over 70 are marginalised and isolated to a large extent. Older persons in the category of 60-70 years are looked after well by their children, but with further advancement in their age, children find it difficult or they are unable to look after them because of their own growing age and ever-increasing responsibilities towards their own children.
- According to the report, the financially well-off older people do not wish to be dependent on government facilities for healthcare needs, as they prefer private institutions for better services. Financially insecure old people expect social security, free health care and subsidies so that they can lead a comfortable and respectable life in old age.
- Older people with sound financial health look forward to risk-free investment schemes, so that they can earn good returns to meet financial needs in old age.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Rs. 65,250 cr. mopped up via new black money window
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has received total disclosures of Rs. 65,250 crore under the Income Disclosure Scheme, 2016 in the form of cash and other assets.
- A four-month window was provided under the scheme for declaring undisclosed income or black money.
The Income Declaration Scheme offered people with undisclosed income to declare it by paying a penal tax rate of 45% on such income. Assets specified in the declaration were exempted from Wealth tax.
These declarations also enjoyed immunity from prosecution under the IT Act, Wealth Tax Act and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
India to push for funds at climate talks
At the upcoming climate talks in Morocco in November, India is planning to stress most on trying to operationalise the $100 billion corpus — called the Green Climate Fund — committed by developed countries. Only a fraction of it has been pledged so far.
- India would push for developed countries to make good on their prior commitments on finance and technology. So far, India has received only $2 million of the $10 million committed this year.
- India is stressing on the issue as these funds will help nations work on fulfilling their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) which aim to reduce carbon emissions through a host of solutions.
- As part of its INDC plans, India had promised to bring down its emissions intensity, or emissions per unit of the GDP, by at least 33% by the year 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.
Green Climate Fund (GCF):
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
Why it was founded?
It was founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
It was also founded to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
How it helps?
- The Green Climate Fund will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows.
- It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance of $100 billion a year by 2020.
- The Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
- The Fund will strive to maximize the impact of its funding for adaptation and mitigation, and seek a balance between the two, while promoting environmental, social, economic and development co-benefits and taking a gender-sensitive approach.
Who will govern the Fund?
- The Fund is governed and supervised by a Board that will have full responsibility for funding decisions and that receives the guidance of the COP.
- The Fund is accountable to, and functions under the guidance of, the COP.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Bihar brings in new law banning liquor consumption, will challenge HC order
Bihar government has notified the Bihar prohibition and excise act, 2016.
- This is a new and more stringent liquor-ban law with provisions such as arrest of all adults in the family if anyone consumes or stores alcohol.
- It aims to ensure that the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol, including Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), continues in Bihar.
- Those flouting the ban face up to 10 years in jail, a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh and there is also a provision to confiscate the house or premises where liquor is stored or drunk.
- Though in a rare case, it also prescribes death penalty if people die after consuming hooch.
- Enforcement of the new law, calculated to impose prohibition in a holistic manner, would repeal the previous excise laws in the state.
Recently, the Patna High Court had quashed the government notification banning the consumption, storage and sale of all types of liquor in the state. The court held that the penal provisions were “unreasonable and draconian” and “cannot be justified in a civilised society”.
Experts say the new law – which contains many of the provisions of the law that was scrapped – will immediately be challenged in court.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
5th International Buddhist Conclave
- It is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism in Varanasi-Sarnath in collaboration with the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
- Participants in the Buddhist Conclave will include international Buddhist opinion makers, tour operators and media, as well as State Governments and domestic tour operators promoting pilgrimages to the Buddhist sites in the country.
- The International Buddhist Conclave is also one of the initiatives being taken by India as its commitment as the land of origin of Buddhism and to improve the experience of pilgrims as well as tourists wishing to savor the essence of Buddhist heritage, at the Buddhist sites of the country.
- The Conclave will include presentations, panel discussion, business to business meetings between the international and domestic tour operators, an exhibition highlighting the Buddhist attractions in India, as well as visits to important Buddhist sites in and around Varanasi and Sarnath.
- They are National Awards for Senior Citizens. They were recently presented by the President to eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of elderly persons, especially indigent senior citizens.
- Vayoshreshtha Samman is a Scheme of National Awards instituted by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (D/o Social Justice & Empowerment) initially in 2005 and was upgraded to the status of National Awards in 2013, for institutions involved in rendering distinguished service for the cause of elderly persons especially indigent senior citizens and to eminent citizens in recognition of their service/achievements.
- Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment, Health and Rural Development are running such useful schemes for the welfare of elderly persons.
- The awards are presented on 1st of October every year pursuant to the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons.
- India has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change on the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- India became 62nd country to ratify the agreement.
- The Paris Agreement on climate change will enter into force one month after 55 countries that account for 55% of global GHG emissions ratify the agreement.
New species of Pika
- A new species of Pika, a mammal belonging to the rabbit and hare family (Lagomorpha ), has been discovered in the Himalayas in Sikkim.
- Pikas are members of the rabbit family and live in the mountains or in temperate regions. The common name “pika” is used for any member of the Ochotonidae family.
- Pikas do not hibernate unlike other mammalian species inhabiting such cold climates.
Management of Haj Pilgrimage
- Following President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to amendments to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, the Centre has transferred the management of Haj Pilgrimage, including administration of the Haj Committee Act, 1959, to the Minorities Affairs Ministry.
- The Ministry of External Affairs has dealt with the Haj pilgrimage and other aspects of the Act so far.
- Under the amended business rules, the Ministry would however, continue to oversee other pilgrimages to places outside India under the Indian Pilgrimships Rules, 1933, and pilgrim parties from India to shrines in Pakistan and vice versa.