News: The Finance Minister has announced a fresh set of relief and stimulus measures for the economy worth ₹1.19 lakh crore as a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan 3.0.
- Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme: The emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs, businesses, MUDRA borrowers and individuals (loans for business purposes) has been extended till March 31, 2021.
- ECLGS 2.0 was also launched for the health care sector and 26 sectors stressed due to COVID-19 pandemic.The entities of the 26 stressed sectors are identified by Kamath Committee.
- Production-Linked Incentive Scheme: The PLI scheme worth ₹ 1.46 lakh crore is being offered to 10 champion sectors which will help boost the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic manufacturing.
- Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana Urban: An additional outlay of ₹ 18,000 crore over budget estimate towards PM Awaaz Yojana Urban has been announced which will help ground 12 lakh houses and complete 18 lakh houses.This will create additional 78 lakh jobs and improve the production and sale of cement and steel.
- Income Tax Relief for Developers and Home Buyers: The finance ministry has announced tax relief for developers and home buyers for houses up to ₹ 2 crore.
- Investment in NIIF: Government will make ₹6,000 Crore equity investment in debt platform of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund(NIIF)which will help NIIF provide a debt of ₹ 1.1 Lakh Crore for infrastructure projects by 2025.
- PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana: Additional outlay of ₹10,000 Crore is being provided for PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana to provide rural employment.This will help accelerate the rural economy.
- IDEAS Scheme: Around ₹3,000 Crore boost is being provided to EXIM Bank for promoting project exports under Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS Scheme).
- R&D grant for COVID Vaccine: ₹900 Crore is being provided to Department of Biotechnology for Research and Development of Indian COVID Vaccine.
News: Finance minister has announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana scheme.
- Aim: To incentivise the creation of new employment opportunities during the Covid-19 economic recovery phase.
- Beneficiaries (new employees) under Scheme:
- Any new employee joining employment in EPF registered establishments on monthly wages less than Rs 15,000.
- EPF members drawing a monthly wage of less than Rs 15,000 who made exit from employment during covid-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and are employed on or after October 1, 2020.
- Government Contribution: Central Government will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees engaged on or after 01.10.2020 at following scale:
- Establishments employing up to 1000 employees: Employee’s contributions (12% of Wages) & Employer’s contributions (12% of wages) totalling 24% of wages
- Establishments employing more than 1000 employees: Only Employee’s EPF contributions (12% of EPF wages)
- Duration of the Scheme: The scheme will be operational till June 30, 2021.
News: Jharkhand government has convened a special session and passed a resolution for the provision of a separate ‘Sarna Code’ for tribals.
- What does the resolution say? The resolution seeks a special column for followers of the ‘Sarna’ religion in the Census 2021.
- What is the Sarna religion? Sarna followers are nature worshippers who do not consider themselves Hindus and have been fighting for a separate religious identity for decades.At present, they are not classified as a separate religious entity.
- Nature Worship in Sarna: The holy grail of the Sarna faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen” and its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.
- Was there a separate code before? The protection of their language and history is an important aspect with tribals.Between 1871 and 1951, the tribals had a different code.However, it was changed around 1961-62.
- Significance of Separate Code: The population of Sarna tribals in State has declined from 38.3% in 1931 to 26.02% in 2011.One of the reasons for this was tribals who go for work in different states not being recorded in the Census.Therefore, the separate code will ensure recording of their population.
News: The annual Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report,2020 has been released.
- Released by: International Vaccine Access Center(IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.
- Parameters: The report analyses how effectively countries are delivering 10 key interventions including breastfeeding, vaccination, access to care, use of antibiotics, ORS, and zinc supplementation — that are known to prevent pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.
- India has achieved the global target of 90% coverage for three of the five vaccines whose coverage is monitored in the report.
- These vaccines are Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus(DPT) vaccine, Measles-containing-vaccine first dose, Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine(PCV) and rotavirus vaccine.
- India’s coverage of the rotavirus vaccine has increased from 35% in 2018 to 53% in 2019.
- India’s immunisation coverage against pneumococcal pneumonia has also increased to 15% in 2019 from 9% in 2018.
- However, the treatment for diarrhoea had the lowest coverage with only 51% of children receiving ORS and 20% getting zinc.
- Rotavirus: It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world.It is transmitted by the faecal-oral route via contact with contaminated hands,surfaces and objects and possibly by the respiratory route.
- Pneumonia: It is an infection in one or both lungs.The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs which are called alveoli.The alveoli fill with fluid or pus making it difficult to breathe.It is caused by a number of infectious agents including viruses, bacteria and fungi.
News: Attorney General has given his consent for the initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets following the Supreme Court’s decision to grant interim bail to a television anchor.
- Contempt of Court: As per the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, contempt refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court.
- Types: The act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
- Civil contempt: It is willful disobedience to a judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court.
- Criminal contempt: It means the publication (whether by words, spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which
- scandalises or tends to scandalise or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or
- prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or
- interferes or tends to interfere with or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.
- In 2006, the government brought in an amendment which now provides “truth” as defence provided it is bona fide and in public interest.
- Prior Consent of AG: According to Contempt of Court Act, 1971, prior consent in writing of the Attorney General(AG) is required for the Supreme Court to initiate criminal contempt action in a case.
- Punishment: A contempt of court may be punished with:
- Simple imprisonment which may extend to six months or
- Fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or With both.
- However,the accused may also be discharged or the punishment awarded may be remitted on apology being made to the satisfaction of the court.
News: Forest Department in Uttar Pradesh is working along with conservation organisations to eventually make the Haiderpur wetland a Ramsar site.
- Haiderpur Wetland: The wetland is part of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary and is spread over the five districts of Uttar Pradesh(UP).
- The wetland is fed by the Ganga and Solani rivers and is an important stopover destination for winter migratory birds like the Greylag goose and the Bar-headed goose.
- Significance: The Haiderpur wetland has been identified under Namami Gange, a flagship programme of the Government of India launched in 2014, as a model wetland along the Ganga.
News: Indian Navy has launched the fifth scorpene class submarine ‘Vagir’.
- Vagir: It is a part of the six Kalvari-class submarines being built as part of Indian Navy’s Project-75
- They are designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited,an Indian shipyard in Mumbai.
- Project 75: It is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines.The six submarines are a) INS Kalvari b) INS Khanderi c) INS Karanj d) INS Vela e) INS Vagir and f) INS Vagsheer.