Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 27 Dec 2021

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

27 Dec 2021-Monday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

'Kisan Diwas' or National Farmers Day

Why in News?

The ‘Kisan Diwas’ or National Farmers Day is observed across the country on 23rd December to celebrate the birth anniversary of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India.
  • It is celebrated to promote awareness among the citizens to understand the importance of the contributions of the farmers to society and the overall development of a country.
  • Government also aims to encourage the farmers across the country.

Key Points:

  • He was born in 1902 at Noorpur in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh and was the Prime Minister of India from 28th July 1979 to 14th January 1980 and was given the nickname ‘Champion of India’s Peasants’ 
  • Being a proponent of rural and agricultural development, he made continuous efforts for keeping agriculture at the centre of planning for India.
  • He took a leading part in the formulation and finalisation of the Debt Redemption Bill 1939, to give relief to the peasantry from moneylenders.
  • He was instrumental in bringing about the Land Holding Act, 1960 which was aimed at lowering the ceiling on land holdings to make it uniform throughout the State.
  • He left Congress in 1967 and formed his independent party known as the Bharatiya Lok Dal.
  • He served twice as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He became Prime Minister of India in 1979.
  • He was the author of several books and pamphlets, including ‘Abolition of Zamindari’, ‘Co-operative Farming X-rayed’, ‘India’s Poverty and its Solution’, ‘Peasant Proprietorship or Land to the Workers’ and ‘Prevention of Division of Holdings Below a Certain Minimum’.

Winter Session of Parliament

Why in News?

  • Recently, the Winter Session of Parliament has been adjourned sine die (terminating a sitting of Parliament without naming a day for reassembly).

Key Points

  • Termination of Sitting of Parliament: The sitting of the Parliament in both the Houses can be terminated only by:
    • Adjournment,
    • Adjournment sine die,
    • Prorogation
    • Dissolution (not applicable for Rajya Sabha).
  • Adjournment: An adjournment results in the suspension of work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.
    • In this case, the time of reassembly is specified as an adjournment only terminates a sitting and not a session of the House.
    • The power of adjournment lies with the presiding officer of the House.
  • Adjournment sine die: Terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period, that is, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly.
    • The power of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House.
    • However, the presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been adjourned or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
  • Prorogation: It means, termination of a session of the House by an order made by the President under Article 85(2)(a) of the Constitution.
    • The prorogation terminates both the sitting and session of the House and is usually done within a few days after the House is adjourned sine die by the presiding officer.
    • The President issues a notification for the prorogation of the session.
    • However, the president can also prorogue the House while in session.
    • It must be noted that all pending notices except those for introducing bills lapse.
    • The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called a recess.
  • Dissolution: It ends the very life of the existing house and a new House is constituted after the General Elections.
    • However, only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution as the Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution.

Logo for Conformity Assessment Scheme of milk products

What is the news?

  • The Prime Minister has launched several initiatives during his visit to Varanasi.

Initiatives launched by the Prime Minister

  • Portal and Logo dedicated to the Conformity Assessment Scheme (CAS) of milk products
  • It has been developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) with the help of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

What is the Conformity Assessment Scheme (CAS) of milk products?

  • Why was it launched? 
  • NDDB and BIS have been involved in the certification of Process and Products of Dairy Products
  • However, there was no unified certification process. This was making it difficult for dairy plants to avail of end-to-end certification.
  • What is the purpose of the CAS Scheme?
  • It is a unified, first-of-its-kind certification scheme for dairy Products.
  • It has brought product and process certification under one umbrella with a unified logo featuring the earlier respective logos BIS-ISI mark & NDDB-Quality Mark and Kamdhenu Cow.
  • Benefits of the scheme:
  • The scheme will,
    1. Simplify the certification process
    2. Create an instantly recognizable logo for the public to be reassured about dairy product quality, 
    3. Increase the sales of milk and milk products in the organized sector and turn enhance the income of farmers and, 
    4. Develop a quality culture in the dairy sector.

 Gharauni:

  • It is a rural residential rights record under the Swamitva scheme of the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • It has been distributed to over 20 lakh residents of Uttar Pradesh.

Banas Dairy Sankul: 

  • It is a dairy facility that will be located at UP State Industrial Development Authority Food Park, Varanasi.
  • This facility can process 5 lakh liters of milk per day.

Biogas based electricity generation plant: 

  • It has been launched at the Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Plant at Ramnagar, Varanasi to make them energy self-sufficient.

Flex Fuel Vehicles

Context:

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has for long been advocating the use of flex-fuel to power cars and motorcycles sold in India.
  • Recently, at an industry event, the transport minister revealed that he has issued an advisory to all carmakers to introduce flex-fuel engines in their vehicles.

As per the advisory issued by the government:

  • Carmakers are given six months to introduce flex-fuel engines.
  • Manufacturers have to produce the Flex Fuel Strong Hybrid vehicles and both types of vehicles must comply with the BS-6 emission norms.

What are flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs)?

An FFV is a modified version of vehicles that could run both on gasoline and doped petrol with different levels of ethanol blends.

  • It will allow vehicles to use all the blends and also run-on unblended fuel.
  • FFVs have compatible engines to run on more than 84 per cent ethanol-blended petrol.

Benefits:

  • Reducing the use of polluting fossil fuels and cutting down harmful emissions.
  • Alternative fuel ethanol is Rs 60-62 per litre very much less than Rs 100 per litre of Petrol.
  • It will allow vehicles to use different blends of ethanol mixed petrol available in different parts of the country.
  • These vehicles are a logical extension of the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme launched by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in January 2003.
  • Since India has surplus production of corn, sugar and wheat, the mandatory blending of ethanol programme will help farmers in realising higher incomes.
  • For the overall Indian economy, higher usage of ethanol as an automobile fuel will help save import costs.

Disadvantages/Challenges:

  • The cost of ownership and running cost are going to be very high compared with 100 per cent petrol vehicles.
  • Running cost (due to lower fuel efficiency) will be higher by more than 30 per cent when run with 100 per cent ethanol (E100).
  • Flex Fuel Engines cost more as ethanol has very different chemical properties than petrol.
  • Ethanol also acts as a solvent and could wipe out the protective oil film inside the engine thereby could cause wear and tear.

P.N. Panicker:

  • The President of India recently unveiled the statue of Shri P.N. Panicker(1909-1995) at Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker is known as the Father of the Library Movement of Kerala.
  • June 19, his death anniversary, has been observed in Kerala as Vayanadinam (Reading Day) since 1996.
  • In 2017, PM declared June 19, Kerala’s Reading Day, as National Reading Day in India. The following month is also observed as National Reading Month in India.
  • Panicker led the formation of Thiruvithaamkoor Granthasala Sangham (Travancore Library Association) in 1945 with 47 rural libraries. The slogan of the organization was ‘Read and Grow’.
  • The association – Granthasala Sangham won the prestigious ‘Krupskaya Award’ from UNESCO in 1975.

Special Category Status

Why in News:

  • The government has informed the Lok Sabha that it has extended a special package in lieu of the Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.

What is Special Category Status?

  • There is no provision of SCS in the Constitution; the Central government extends financial assistance to states that are at a comparative disadvantage against others.
  • This classification was done on the recommendations of the Fifth Finance Commission in 1969.
  • It was based on the Gadgil formula. The parameters for SCS were:
  1. Hilly Terrain;
  2. Low Population Density and/or Sizeable Share of Tribal Population;
  3. Strategic Location along Borders with Neighboring Countries;
  4. Economic and Infrastructure Backwardness; and
  5. Nonviable Nature of State finances.

Who grants SCS status?

  • Special Category Status for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council to the States that are characterized by several features necessitating special consideration and now, it is done by the central government.

Benefits:

  • Besides tax breaks and other benefits, the State with SCS will get 90% of all the expenditure on Centrally sponsored schemes as a Central grant.
  • The rest of the 10% will also be given as a loan at zero per cent interest.

Concerns associated:

  • Considering special status to any new State will result in demands from other States and dilute the benefits further.
  • It is also not economically beneficial for States to seek special status as the benefits under the current dispensation are minimal.
  • Therefore, States facing special problems will be better off seeking a special package.

Present scenario:

The 14th Finance Commission has done away with the “special category status” for states, except for the Northeastern and three hill states.

  • Instead, it suggested that the resource gap of each state be filled through ‘tax devolution’, urging the Centre to increase the states’ share of tax revenues from 32% to 42%, which has been implemented since 2015.

    Why in News:

    • The government has informed the Lok Sabha that it has extended a special package in lieu ofthe Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh.

    What is Special Category Status?

    • There is no provision of SCS in the Constitution; the Central government extends financial assistance to states that are at a comparative disadvantage against others.
    • This classification was done on the recommendations of the Fifth Finance Commission in 1969.
    • It was based on the Gadgil formula. The parameters for SCS were:
    1. Hilly Terrain;
    2. Low Population Density and/or Sizeable Share of Tribal Population;
    3. Strategic Location along Borders with neighboring Countries;
    4. Economic and Infrastructure Backwardness; and
    5. Nonviable Nature of State finances.

    Who grants SCS status?

    • Special Category Status for plan assistance was granted in the past by the National Development Council to the States that are characterized by several features necessitating special consideration and now, it is done by the central government.

    Benefits:

    • Besides tax breaks and other benefits, the State with SCS will get 90% of all the expenditure on Centrally sponsored schemes as a Central grant.
    • The rest of the 10% will also be given as a loan at zero percent interest.

    Concerns associated:

    • Considering special status to any new State will result in demands from other States and dilute the benefits further.
    • It is also not economically beneficial for States to seek special status as the benefits under the current dispensation are minimal.
    • Therefore, States facing special problems will be better off seeking a special package.

    Present scenario:

    The 14th Finance Commission has done away with the “special category status” for states, except for the Northeastern and three hill states.
    • Instead, it suggested that the resource gap of each state be filled through ‘tax devolution’, urging the Centre to increase the states’ share of tax revenues from 32% to 42%, which has been implemented since 2015.

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