- ECI on Biennial Election to Maharashtra Legislative Council
- e-NAM platform moving towards One Nation One Market
- Govt Clears “Roadblock” To Fast-Track PMEGP Projects
- Kisan Sabha App to Connect Farmers
- Government raises MSP for MFP
- Low Pressure area over south Andaman Sea
- Matters to be heard by CAT bench in J&K itself
ECI ON BIENNIAL ELECTION TO MAHARASHTRA LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
Focus: GS-II Governance, Polity, Prelims
Why in news?
- The Election Commission, on May 1st, reviewed the matter concerning feasibility of conduct of biennial election for the 9 vacant seats of the MLC by MLAs in the state of Maharashtra.
- ECI on 03 April 2020 had issued an order under Article 324 to defer the elections till further orders in view of COVID-19 circumstances.
What is the urgency in conducting elections?
- Udhav Balasaheb Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 28th November, 2019 (who neither won a seat as a member of the State Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council) and as per constitutional provisions he has to become a member of either the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council within a period of six months i.e. on or before the 27th May, 2020.
- State Government has reiterated that it will facilitate and ensure that the elections are conducted by following all directions in the Union Home Ministry’s order regarding lockdown orders.
- After taking all these into consideration, Commission has decided to conduct the said biennial election in the State of Maharashtra.
According to Article 75 (5)
- If the Prime Minister (Or any one of the Ministers of the Central Government) appointed (by the President) is neither a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha (i.e., not a member of the Parliament), then with a period of six-months, that person should become the member of either of the two houses of Parliament.
- If the Prime Minister (or any of the Ministers of the Central Government) who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Parliament, shall – at the expiration of that period – cease to be a Minister.
Similarly, According to Article 164 (4):
- If the Chief Minister (Or any one of the Ministers of the State Government) appointed (by the Governor) is neither a member of the State Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council, then with a period of six-months, that person should become the member of either of the two houses of the State Legislature.
- If the Chief Minister (or any of the Ministers of the State Government) who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State, shall – at the expiration of that period – cease to be a Minister.
Election Commission of India (EC)
- The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority
- The Election Commissionis responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
- The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
- Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
- The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.
- Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc., of the commission and the member.
State Legislative Council – Vidhan Parishad
- India has a bicameral system i.e., two Houses of Parliament. At the state level, the equivalent of the Lok Sabha is the Vidhan Sabha or Legislative Assembly; that of the Rajya Sabha is the Vidhan Parishad or Legislative Council.
- The State Legislative Council Vidhan Parishad is the upper house in those states of India that have a bicameral state legislature; the lower house being the State Legislative Assembly.
- Under Article 169 of the constitution, Parliament may by law create or abolish the second chamber in a state if the Legislative Assembly of that state passes a resolution to that effect by a special majority.
- Legislative Council in the state is contemporary to Rajya Sabha in the Centre.
- Legislative Assembly in the state is contemporary to Lok Sabha in the Centre.
- Similar to Rajya Sabha, the State Legislative Council is a Permanent House, with one third of a State Legislative Council’s membership expiring every two years.
- As of November 2019 – 6 out of 28 states have a State Legislative Council.
- The states with Legislative Councils are: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana (Latest).
- Article 171 (1): The size of the State Legislative Council cannot be more than one third of the membership of the State Legislative Assembly.
- The Legislative Council’s size cannot be less than 40 members. (However, before abolishment, the previous Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Council, used to have only 36 members).
Members of Legislative Councils (MLC):
- Term: 6 Years
- must be a citizen of India
- at least 30 years old
- mentally sound
- not an insolvent
- must be enrolled on the voters’ list of the state for which he or she is contesting an election.
- An MLC may not be a Member of Parliament at the same time.
How are MLCs Chosen?
- One third are elected by the members of Legislative Assembly of the State from among the persons who are not members of the State Legislative Assembly.
- One third are elected by the members of local bodies such as municipalities, Gram panchayats, Panchayat samitis and district councils.
- One twelfth are elected by persons who are graduates of three years’ standing residing in that state.
- One twelfth are elected by persons engaged for at least three years in teaching in educational institutions within the state not lower than secondary schools, including colleges and universities.
- The Remaining One sixth are nominated by the Governor from persons having knowledge or practical experience in fields such as literature, science, arts, the co-operative movement and social services.
E-NAM PLATFORM MOVING TOWARDS ONE NATION ONE MARKET
Focus: GS-II Social Justice, GS-III Agriculture
Why in news?
- 200 new mandis were added to the e-NAM platform from 7 States and by the end of May 2020 there will be around one thousand Mandis joining the e-NAM platform for marketing of Agricultural produce said the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- With the aim to reach the last mile farmer & transform the way they sell their agri produce, e-NAM has gained more strength today by reaching out to more farmers & traders of these new mandis.
- e-NAM is also integrated from May 1st 2020, with the Unified Market Platform (UMP) of Karnataka’s Rashtriya e-Market Services (ReMS), an e-trading platform promoted by the Karnataka State Agriculture Marketing Board.
- This is for the first time in India that two different e-trading platforms for Agri commodities of this scale will be made interoperable.
How is this integrated Platform helping Farmers?
- This will help farmers of Karnataka to sell their produce to large number of traders registered with e-NAM and even farmers from e-NAM mandis in other States will be able to sell their produce to Karnataka traders who are enrolled with ReMS platform of Karnataka.
- This will facilitate traders across both the platforms to execute seamless trading in both the platforms by using Single Sign On framework.
- This will also promote inter-State trade between the States on-boarded on e-NAM platform & Karnataka.
Read More about e-NAM here: https://www.legacyias.com/national-agriculture-market-portal-e-nam-to-complete-four-years/
GOVT CLEARS “ROADBLOCK” TO FAST-TRACK PMEGP PROJECTS
Focus: GS-II Social Justice
Why in news?
- In a significant policy decision, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has done away with the role of District Level Task Force Committee (DLTFC), headed by the Distt. Collectors, in recommending the proposals under the Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP), thereby simplifying the entire procedure.
- As per the amended guidelines, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the nodal agency for implementing PMEGP scheme, after due diligence, will directly clear the proposals/applications of the prospective entrepreneurs and will forward it to the Banks for taking credit decisions.
- As of now, the proposals were scrutinized by the DLTFC, that often led to inordinate delays in sanctioning of the projects.
How will this help?
- The pace of employment generation in the country is just going to accelerate.
- A major bottleneck has been removed with the discontinuation of the DLTFC in approving the projects under PMEGP.
- The government’s move has come at a time when the employment sector has taken a hit due to nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Corona disease.
- The amendment in the policy would pave the way for swift implementation of projects and create new employment opportunities in rural and semi urban areas under the PMEGP scheme.
- The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) the result of the merger of two schemes – Prime Minister’s Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and The Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP).
- PMEGP is a credit-linked subsidy scheme which promotes self-employment through setting up of micro-enterprises, where subsidy up to 35% is provided by the Government through Ministry of MSME for loans up to ₹25 lakhs in manufacturing and ₹10 lakhs in the service sector.
- PMEGP was established for generation of employment opportunities through establishment of micro enterprises in rural as well as urban areas.
- PMEGP is a central sector scheme administered by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME).
- At the national level, the Scheme is being implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of MSME as the single nodal agency.
- At the State level, the Scheme will be implemented through State KVIC Directorates, State Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industries Centres (DICs) and banks.
Objectives of PMEGP
- To generate continuous and sustainable employment opportunities in Rural and Urban areas of the country
- To provide continuous and sustainable employment to a large segment of traditional and prospective artisans, rural and urban unemployed youth in the country through setting up of micro enterprises.
- To facilitate participation of financial institutions for higher credit flow to micro sector.
Eligibility to avail this scheme:
- Individuals above 18 years of age
- VIII Std. pass required for project above Rs.10.00 lakhs in manufacturing and above Rs. 5.00 lakhs for Service Sector
- Self Help Groups and Charitable Trusts
- Institutions Registered under Societies Registration Act- 1860
- Production based Co-operative Societies
Read More about KVIC here: https://www.legacyias.com/kvic-comes-to-the-rescue-of-cocoon-farmers/
KISAN SABHA APP TO CONNECT FARMERS
Focus: GS-III Agriculture, Science and Technology
Why in news?
The Kisan Sabha App developed by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute, to connect farmers to supply chain and freight transportation management system, was remotely launched on 1st May 2020.
The Kisan Sabha app is a one stop solution for farmers, transporters and other entities engaged in the agriculture Industry and offered that ICAR can work together with CSIR and use the Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVK) networks for implementation.
- The portal connects the farmers, transporters, Service providers (like pesticides/ fertilizer/ dealers, cold store and warehouse owner), mandi dealers, customers (like big retail outlets, online stores, institutional buyers) and other related entities for timely and effective solution.
- The portal acts as a single stop for every entity related to agriculture, be they a farmer who needs better price for the crops or mandi dealer who wants to connect to more farmers or truckers who invariably go empty from the mandis.
- KisanSabha also works for people in agriculture services sector such as dealers of fertilizers/ pesticides,who can reach out to more farmers for their services.
- It would also prove to be useful for those associated with cold store(s) or godown(s). KisanSabha also provides a platform for people who want to buy directly from the farmers.
- Kisan Sabha has 6 major modules taking care of Farmers/Mandi Dealers/Transporters/Mandi Board Members/ Service Providers/Consumers.
Kisan Sabha aims to provide the most economical and timely logistics support to the farmers and increase their profit margins by minimizing interference of middlemen and directly connecting with the institutional buyers.
It will also help in providing best market rates of crops by comparing nearest mandis, booking of freight vehicle at cheapest cost thereby giving maximum benefit to the farmers.
GOVERNMENT RAISES MSP FOR MFP
Focus: GS-III Agriculture
Why in news?
In a crucial announcement affecting the livelihoods of tribal gatherers, the Government, on 1st May 2020, revised the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Minor Forest Produce (MFP) of 49 items.
In view of the exceptional and very difficult circumstances currently prevailing in the country on account of COVID-19 pandemic and the potential of the instant scheme to offer the much needed support to the tribal MFP gatherers, the competent authority has decided to relax the existing provisions in the scheme guidelines and effect revision of MSP in respect of the MFP items currently covered under the scheme after the due consultation with MFP Pricing Cell.
Read More About TRIFED, MSP and MFP here: https://www.legacyias.com/minor-forest-produces-in-exemption-list/
LOW PRESSURE AREA OVER SOUTH ANDAMAN SEA
Focus: GS-I Geography
Why in news?
- According to the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, a Low-Pressure area has formed over south Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal in the morning hours of 01st May 2020.
- Its intensification is expected to be slow and delayed.
Read More about Low Pressure Areas and Andaman Sea here: https://www.legacyias.com/likely-low-pressure-area-over-south-andaman-sea/
MATTERS TO BE HEARD BY CAT BENCH IN J&K ITSELF
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
- In the wake of the news reports appeared in a section of media that “GoI shifts all service matters of employees of J&K and Ladakh UTs to Chandigarh CAT”, it is clarified that neither the petitioner nor the lawyer need to go to Chandigarh for filling petition or appearing before the tribunal related to service matters of employees.
- The term Chandigarh circuit is being misinterpreted to mean that the petitioner/lawyer would have to go to Chandigarh, which is not so.
- All service matters of Central Government and UT employees of J&K and Ladakh will be heard and disposed in the CAT bench in J&K itself.