- Govt. launches SVANidhi scheme
- Mumbai on cyclone red alert
- Rajya Sabha elections to 18 seats postponed
- Hong Kong bans Tiananmen vigil for first time in 30 years
Supreme Court to hear on Tuesday plea on nation’s name
Focus: GS-II Social Justice, Prelims
Why in news?
- The Centre on 1st June 2020 launched PM SVANidhi, a scheme to offer micro-credit up to ₹10,000 at affordable interest rates to street vendors hit by the nationwide lockdown.
- It was initially announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 14 May.
- PM SVANidhi, short for Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi, will help street vendors resume their businesses, impacted due to the nationwide lockdown.
- Vendors can avail of a working capital loan of up to ₹10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments over one year.
- On timely, or early repayment, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer every six months.
- There will be no penalty for early repayment of loans.
Who will be Benefitted by this scheme?
- Five million street vendors who were operating on or before 24 March are expected to benefit from the scheme, which will be available till March 2022.
- The scheme is applicable to vendors, hawkers, thelewalas, rehriwalas, and theliphadwalas supplying goods and services.
- Street vendors in peri-urban or rural areas will also be able to avail the benefits.
Implementation of PM SVANidhi
- Urban local bodies will be playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the scheme as the lending institutions under the scheme include, Regional Rural Banks, Scheduled Commercial Banks, Cooperative Banks, Small Finance Banks, Micro Finance Institutions, NBFCs, and Self-Help Groups.
- It is the first time that NBFCs/MFIs/SHG Banks have been allowed in a scheme for urban poor. The change is because of their ground-level presence and proximity to the urban poor including the street vendors.
- Also, for the fast implementation of the scheme for transparency, a digital platform with a mobile app and web portal has also been developed to administer the scheme with end to end solutions. This platform will also help in integrating the vendors in a formal financial system.
- The scheme will also incentivise digital transactions by the street vendors through monthly cashback.
Focus: GS-I Geography, GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
- With severe cyclonic storm ‘Nisarga’ expected to cross Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts Wednesday afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Mumbai and neighbouring districts.
- This will be the first time in History that Mumbai is issued a red alert because of a cyclone.
- As per the current forecast, the region between Daman (near Gujarat) and Harihareshwar in Raigad — along the Konkan coastline, which encompasses Mumbai — as well as some inland districts of Maharashtra, stand to be affected.
- Scientists said Nisarga, likely to make landfall on June 3 afternoon could inundate low lying areas especially in cities like Mumbai and cause structural damage from falling trees and power poles.
- The IMD forecast also said that Gujarat’s coastal areas of Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Dangs and Bharuch, besides Daman, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts in Saurashtra may be affected.
-Source: Hindustan Times, Times of India
Focus: GS-II Governance, Polity
Why in news?
Pending elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats from 10 states will be held on June 19. The elections to these seats were to be held on March 26 but were postponed due to a nationwide lockdown in wake of Covid-19 outbreak.
Members of Rajya Sabha
Currently the Rajya Sabha has 245 members, including 233 elected members and 12 nominated. As per the constitutional limit, the Upper House strength cannot exceed 250.
Rajya Sabha MPs are elected by the electoral college of the elected members of the State Assembly with a system of proportional representation by a single transferable vote.
The total number of members of Rajya Sabha are lesser than the Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and have more restricted power than the lower house (Lok Sabha).
Unlike membership to the Lok Sabha, membership to the Rajya Sabha is permanent for a term of six years and cannot be dissolved at any time.
Members of States:
Members are elected by the elected members of state legislative assemblies by Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable Vote.
The population of the state is a factor that decides the representation of states in Rajya Sabha.
Members of Union Territories:
Members of Rajya Sabha belonging to Union Territories are indirectly elected by members of an electoral college, that is constituted for this purpose by Proportional Representation by means of Single Transferable Vote.
12 people are nominated by the President in Rajya Sabha for their contribution and expertise in the fields of:
- Social Service
Qualifications to be eligible for election as Rajya Sabha Member
A person must satisfy all following conditions to be qualified to become a member of parliament of the Rajya Sabha:
- Must be a citizen of India
- 30 Year age
- As per Article 80 (Part V) of the Constitution, President can nominate 12 members in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
- These persons should have special knowledge or practical experience in the field of Art, Science, Literature and Social Service.
- The rationale behind principle of the nomination is to facilitate the representation of eminent professionals and experts who cannot face direct elections.
Are Nominated Members Different from Elected members?
- Nominated members enjoy all powers, privileges and immunities available to an elected member of Parliament.
- They, however, are not entitled to vote in the election of the President of India.
- But in the election of the Vice-President of India, they have a right to vote.
- A nominated member is allowed six months, should he decide to join a political party after he has taken his seat in the House in terms of article 99 of the Constitution.
- A nominated member has also been exempted from filing his assets and liabilities under Section 75A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 which requires the elected member to do so within 90 days of his making or subscribing oath/affirmation.
-Source: The Hindu, India Today
Focus: GS-III International Relations
Why in news?
- Hong Kong police on 1st June 2020 banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the first time the gathering has been halted in three decades.
- The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed.
- But police rejected permission for this year’s rally saying it would “constitute a major threat to the life and health of the general public” – In the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Tiananmen Square Protests
- The Tiananmen Square protests were student-led demonstrations calling for democracy, free speech and a free press in China in 1989.
- At issue was a frustration with the limits on political freedom in the country—given its one-party form of government, with the Communist Party holding sway—and ongoing economic troubles.
- Although China’s government had instituted a number of reforms in the 1980s that established a limited form of capitalism in the country, the poor and working-class Chinese still faced significant challenges, including lack of jobs and increased poverty.
- The students also argued that China’s educational system did not adequately prepare them for an economic system with elements of free-market capitalism.
- The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing.
- In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military’s advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded.
-Source: The Hindu
Focus: GS-I Governance, Polity
Why in news?
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on June 2 a petition that says the nation should be called by one name, be it ‘Bharat’, ‘India’ or the ‘Republic of India’.
A Bench led by Justice A.S. Bopanna will hear the petition saying “the name of India should be one”.
In the Past regarding the Name of the Country
- In 2016, the apex court dismissed a petition.
- Then Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur had orally remarked that every Indian had the right to choose between calling his country ‘Bharat’ and ‘India’ and the Supreme Court had no business to either dictate or decide for a citizen what he should call his country.
More about the Name of India
- The country of India has significantly been called by many names including “India”, “Bharat” or “Bharatvarsh”, or “Hind” or “Hindustan”.
- “Bhārät”, the name for India in several Indian languages, is variously said to be derived from the name of either Dushyanta’s son Bharata or Rishabha’s son Bharata.
- The name “India” is originally derived from the name of the river Sindhu (Indus River) and has been in use in Persian and Greek since Herodotus (5th century BCE).
Constituent Assembly and the Name
- The constituent assembly adopted two names, India and Bharat for the country after Independence.
- The British called India “India”. Before them, the Mughals, the biggest empire in India, called it Hindustan.
- After an intense debate, the Constitution adopted two names for the country, India and Bharat.
- Article 1 (1) of the Constitution reads, India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.
-Source: The Hindu