- National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav”
- Fifteenth Finance Commission (XVFC)’s 4 volume report
- Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) scheme
NATIONAL TRIBAL FESTIVAL “AADI MAHOTSAV”
National Tribal Festival “Aadi Mahotsav” was inaugurated at Dilli Haat in New Delhi on 1st February 2021.
GS-II: Social Justice
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is “Aadi Mahotsav”?
- Who are Adivasis?
- Constitutional status and representation of Adivasis
- What is TRIFED?
- Functions of TRIFED
What is “Aadi Mahotsav”?
- Aadi Mahotsav is a national tribal festival and a joint initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
- The festival showcases traditional art and handicrafts and cultural heritage of the country.
- It is an attempt to familiarise the people with the rich and diverse craft, culture of the tribal communities across the country, in one place.
Who are Adivasis?
- Adivasis is the collective name used for the many indigenous peoples of India.
- Officially Adivasis are termed ‘scheduled tribes’, but this is a legal and constitutional term, which differs from state to state and area to area, and therefore excludes some groups which might be considered indigenous.
- Adivasis are not a homogeneous group; there are over 200 distinct peoples speaking more than 100 languages and varying greatly in ethnicity and culture. However, there are similarities in their way of life and generally perceived oppressed position within Indian society.
- Adivasis constitute to more than 8% of the Indian Population.
- Adivasis live throughout India but are primarily based in the mountain and hill areas, away from the fertile plains. Little is known of their history, although it appears that many were pushed into the hill areas after the invasions of the Indo-Aryan tribes 3,000 years ago.
Constitutional status and representation of Adivasis
- Under the 1950 Constitution – Adivasis, along with so-called ‘untouchables’, became subject to special protective provisions.
- The vast majority of indigenous peoples were classified as ‘scheduled tribes’.
- Article 341 authorizes the President of India to specify ‘castes, races or tribes which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be scheduled tribes’.
The first amendment to the Constitution passed in 1951 allowed the state to make special provisions for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
- Article 46 of the Constitution provides that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
- Reservation in educational institution has been provided in Article 15(4) while reservation in posts and services has been provided in Article 16(4), 16(4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution.
- Article 23 which prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour has a special significance for Scheduled Tribes. In pursuance of this Article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Similarly, Article 24 which prohibits employment of Children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or in any other hazards activity is also significant for Scheduled Tribes as a substantial portion of child labour engaged in these jobs belong to Scheduled Tribes.
There are reserved seats for scheduled tribes in Parliament, the state legislatures and local self-government.
- Article 243D provides reservation of Seats for Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats.
- Article 330 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.
- Article 332 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Legislative Assemblies of the States.
- Article 334 provides that reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas (and the representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas by nomination) would continue up to January, 2020.
- Other specific safeguards have been provided in Article 244 read with the provisions contained in Fifth and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.
What is TRIFED?
- The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987. It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
- TRIFED has its Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.
- The basic objective of the TRIFED is to provide good price to the products made or collected from the forest by the tribal peoples.
Objectives of TRIFED
- The ultimate objective of TRIFED is socio-economic development of tribal people in the country by way of marketing development of the tribal products such as metal craft, tribal textiles, pottery, tribal paintings and pottery on which the tribals depends heavily for major portion of their income.
- TRIFED acts as a facilitator and service provider for tribes to sell their product.
- The approach by TRIFED aims to empower tribal people with knowledge, tools and pool of information so that they can undertake their operations in a more systematic and scientific manner.
- It also involves capacity building of the tribal people through sensitization, formation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and imparting training to them for undertaking a particular activity.
Functions of TRIFED
- TRIFED mainly undertakes two functions viz. Minor Forest Produce (MFP) development and Retail Marketing and Development.
- If the price of the products fluctuates then TRIFED arranges compensation for the tribes from the Ministry of Agriculture.
- It also assures the tribes for purchasing their products at a particular price, primary processing of products, storage of products and transportation etc.
- It provides information related to fair price markets for the ‘Minor Forest Produce (MFP). Like tribes of all over country sell their products in the trade fair organised at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi every year.
- It helps in increasing the bargaining power of the tribes to fetch good price of the MFP.
- It provides adequate training to the tribes to make value addition to their products.
FIFTEENTH FINANCE COMMISSION (XVFC)’S 4 VOLUME REPORT
The Fifteenth Finance Commission (XVFC) was asked to recommend performance incentives for States in many areas like power sector, adoption of DBT, solid waste management etc.
GS-III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- Highlights of the Report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission
Highlights of the Report of the Fifteenth Finance Commission
- The XVFC’s Report is organised in four volumes:
- Volume I and II, as in the past, contain the main report and the accompanying annexes.
- Volume III is devoted to the Union Government and examines key departments in greater depth, with the medium-term challenges and the roadmap ahead.
- Volume IV is entirely devoted to the States, wherein the finances of each State are analysed in great depth and State-specific considerations to address the key challenges that individual States face are provided.
Recommendations of XVFC on Vertical devolution of taxes collected
- In order to maintain predictability and stability of resources, especially during the pandemic, XVFC has recommended maintaining the vertical devolution of taxes collected at 41%.
- It is at the same level of 42 per cent of the divisible pool as recommended by FC-XIV. However, it has made the required adjustment of about 1 per cent due to the changed status of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into the new Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Including the grants provided to the states along with the devolution of taxes – aggregate transfers to States is estimated to remain at around 50.9 per cent of the divisible pool during 2021-26 period.
- Total XVFC transfers (devolution + grants) constitutes about 34 per cent of estimated Gross Revenue Receipts of the Union leaving adequate fiscal space for the Union to meet its resource requirements and spending obligations on national development priorities.
Recommendations of XVFC on Horizontal devolution of taxes collected
- On horizontal devolution, while XVFC agreed that the Census 2011 population data better represents the present need of States, to be fair to, as well as reward, the States which have done better on the demographic front, XVFC has assigned a 12.5 per cent weight to the demographic performance criterion.
- XVFC has re-introduced tax effort criterion to reward fiscal performance.
Recommendations of XVFC on Health expenditure
- XVFC has recommend that health spending by States should be increased to more than 8 per cent of their budget by 2022.
- Given the inter-State disparity in the availability of medical doctors, it is essential to constitute an All India Medical and Health Service as is envisaged under Section 2A of the All-India Services Act, 1951.
- The total grants-in-aid support to the health sector over the award period is 10.3 per cent of the total grants-in-aid recommended by XVFC. The grants for the health sector will be unconditional.
- XVFC has recommend health grants for urban Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs), building-less sub centres, PHCs, CHCs, block level public health units, support for diagnostic infrastructure for the primary healthcare activities and conversion of rural sub centres and PHCs to HWCs. These grants will be released to the local governments.
Recommendations on Performance incentives and grants
- XVFC has recommended grants of Rs. 1,200 crore each year from 2022-23 to 2025-26 for incentivising the States to enhance educational outcomes.
- XVFC has recommended more than Rs. 6000 crores for online learning and development of professional courses (medical and engineering) in regional languages (matribhasha) for higher education in India.
- XVFC has recommended that Rs. 45,000 crore be kept as performance-based incentive for all the States for carrying out agricultural reforms such as amending their land-related laws on the lines of NITI Aayog’s model law, promoting production of oilseeds, pulses and wood and wood-based products, maintaining ground-water levels etc.
Recommendations for reforming FRBM framework
- In view of the uncertainty that prevails at the stage that XVFC has done its analysis, as well as the contemporary realities and challenges, the XVFC recognises that the FRBM Act needs a major restructuring and recommend that the time-table for defining and achieving debt sustainability may be examined by a High-powered Inter-governmental Group.
- This High-powered Group can craft the new FRBM framework and oversee its implementation.
- It is important that the Union and State Governments amend their FRBM Acts, based on the recommendations of the Group, so as to ensure that their legislations are consistent with the fiscal sustainability framework put in place.
- This High-powered Inter-Governmental Group could also be tasked to oversee the implementation of the 15th Finance Commission’s diverse recommendations.
Other recommendations of XVFC on various fields
- Mitigation Funds should be set up at both the national and State levels, in line with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act. The Mitigation Fund should be used for those local level and community-based interventions which reduce risks and promote environment-friendly settlements and livelihood practices.
- Keeping in view the extant strategic requirements for national defence in the global context, XVFC has, in its approach, re-calibrated the relative shares of Union and States in gross revenue receipts. This will enable the Union to set aside resources for the special funding mechanism that XVFC has proposed.
- The Union Government may constitute in the Public Account of India, a dedicated non-lapsable fund, Modernisation Fund for Defence and Internal Security (MFDIS).
- Urban local bodies have been categorised into two groups, based on population, and different norms have been used for flow of grants to each, based on their specific needs and aspirations. Basic grants are proposed only for cities/towns having a population of less than a million. For Million-Plus cities, 100 per cent of the grants are performance-linked through the Million-Plus Cities Challenge Fund (MCF).
MEGA INVESTMENT TEXTILES PARKS (MITRA) SCHEME
The Government has proposed a scheme of Mega Investment Textiles Parks (MITRA) to enable the textile industry to become globally competitive, attract large investments, boost employment generation and exports.
GS-II: Social Justice
Dimensions of the Article:
- About MITRA parks
About MITRA parks
- In a move to make the country’s textile sector a manufacturing and export hub, and create global export champions, India will set up seven textile parks over three years under the scheme of mega investment textile parks which was announced in Budget FY22.
- The parks to be setup over 1,000 acres of land with world class infrastructure, and plug-and-play facilities, will be addition to the more-than Rs. 10,000 crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for technical textiles and manmade fibre.
- The textiles ministry has proposed to develop seven Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (MITRA) parks as part of a plan to double the industry size to $300 billion by 2025-26 aimed to position India as a fully integrated, globally competitive manufacturing and exporting hub.
- The parks are targeted to have uninterrupted water and power supply, common utilities and research and development labs.
- Similar parks already exist in China, Vietnam and Ethiopia where the entire textiles value chain is covered.
- India has already sanctioned 59 textile parks under the Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP), of which 22 have been completed. However, their slow progress due to delays in obtaining land and other statutory clearances from state governments and tardy fund mobilisation, have prompted the government to develop MITRA parks.