CONTENTS

  1. PM GARIB KALYAN ANNA YOJANA (PM-GKAY)
  2. HORNBILL FESTIVAL
  3. RAJYA SABHA PASSES THE LANDMARK ‘DAM SAFETY BILL (2019)’
  4. NON- FOSSIL FUEL SOURCES OF ENERGY

PM GARIB KALYAN ANNA YOJANA (PM-GKAY)

Focus: GS Paper – 3: Buffer Stocks & Food Security, Public Distribution System (PDS)

Why in News?

In State of Uttar Pradesh about 14.72 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries are covered under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY).

  • The PMGKY has been extended for a period of another four months from December 2021 to March 2022.

About:

  • PMGKAY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
  • This was announced in March 2020, to reach out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs.
  • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.
  • The scheme aimed at providing each person who is covered under the NFSA (National Food Security Act 2013) with an additional 5 kg grains (wheat or rice) for free, in addition to the 5 kg of subsidised foodgrain already provided through the Public Distribution System (PDS).

Background:

  • The Phase-I and Phase-II of the scheme were implemented from April to June 2020 and from July to November 2020 respectively
  • Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June, 2021.
  • Phase-IV during 2021-22 (ongoing),it has been the extended up to November 2021.

Funding:

  • Government of India will bear all expenditure of over26,000 Crore on account of food subsidy and Central assistance to states/UTs on account of intrastate transportation etc.

Significance:

  • More than 80 crore people will continue to get decided amount of free food grain every month.
  • The nationwide lockdown, imposed to stop the novel coronovirus in its tracks, has led to scores of daily wage workers and informal sector entrepreneurs losing earning opportunities from their existing activities.
  • It is significant in a view of daily wagers and informal sector entrepreneurs who lost their job in the wake of Covid-19 induced Lockdown.

National Food Security Act, 2013:

  • The act marks a paradigm shift in the approach to food security from welfare to rights based approach.
  • The Act legally entitles upto 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • The Act is being implemented in all the States/UTs, and on an all India basis
  • One of the guiding principles of the Act is its life-cycle approach wherein special provisions have been made for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years.

HORNBILL FESTIVAL

Focus: GS Paper – 1, Indian Art Forms, Government Policies & Interventions

Why in news?

It is one of the largest indigenous festival organised by the state government of Nagaland to promote tourism in the state.

  • This festival is currently being celebrated in the major parts of Nagaland that includes Kisma to Kohima, Mocomchung, Dimapur, Okha etc.

Key points:

  • Hornbill festival reflects the rich culture, lifestyle, and food habits of Nagaland.
  • It is the largest celebration of the Indigenous Warrior Tribes of Nagaland & generally celebrated for 10 days.
  • The festival is celebrated annually in the first week of December
  • The festival is called Hornbill, also known as Dhanesh bird. It occupies an important place in the culture and folklore of the Naga tribes.

 Significance:

  • Hornbill festival exposes the culture and tradition of the tribal people and reinforces the identity of the Nagaland.
  • It also encourages inter-tribal interaction.

RAJYA SABHA PASSES THE LANDMARK ‘DAM SAFETY BILL (2019)’

Focus: GS Paper – 3, GS Paper – 2: Infrastructure, Management of Social Sector/Services

Why in news?

The Rajya Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill, 2019, Thursday. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill on 2 August 2019.

  • Passage of the Bill heralds a new era Of Dam Safety & Water Resources Management in India

Aim:

  • Bill Provides For Adequate Surveillance, Inspection, Operation & Maintenance Of All Large Dams In The Country So As To Prevent Dam Failure Related Disasters.
  • The Bill provides for an institutional mechanism at both Central and State levels to address structural and non-structural measures required for ensuring the safe functioning of dams.

Need:

  • India is the third largest dam owning country. 
  • According to 2019 data available with the National Register of Large Dams, there are currently  5,700 large dams in the country, of which about 80% are already over 25 years old.
  • Nearly 227 dams that are over 100 years old are still functional.
  • As per the statement given by the Union Jal Shakti Minister, around 40 dams have collapsed in India since Independence.
  • One of the worst disasters took place in Gujarat in 1979 when the Machhu dam collapsed, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives.
  • Dams are critical infrastructure. They are important for the country’s development in various ways: water, power, irrigation, drinking etc. Their operational safety is extremely important as they impact lives as well as ecology.

Legislative Provisions:

  • Though water is under the state list, the Centre has brought the legislation under Article 246 of the Constitution read with Entry 56 and Entry 97 Of List I in the Union list.
  • Article 246 empowers Parliament to legislate on any matter enumerated in List I of the Union list in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Entry 56 allows Parliament to make laws on the regulation of inter-state rivers and river valleys if it declares such regulation to be expedient in the public interest.
  • Entry 97 allows Parliament to legislate on any other matter not enumerated in List II or List III including any tax not mentioned in either of those Lists.

Salient Features of the Bill

  • National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS) will be constituted to help evolve uniform dam safety policies, protocols, and procedures.
  • National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) will be established as a regulatory body for ensuring the nationwide implementation of dam safety policies and standards.
  • At the State level, the Bill prescribes for the constitution of State Committees on Dam Safety (SCDS) and the establishment of the State Dam Safety Organizations (SDSO).
  • The Bill addresses in a comprehensive manner, critical concerns related to dam safety on account of emerging climate change related challenges. 
  • Regular inspection and hazard classification of dams.
  • Drawing up of emergency action plans and comprehensive dam safety reviews by an independent panel of experts.
  • Emergency flood warning system to address the safety concerns of downstream inhabitants.
  • It not only caters to structural aspects, but also operational and maintenance efficacy through prescription of strict O & M protocols.

Punishments:

  • The bill provides for stringent penalties in case of violations.
  • Offenders will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine, or both. If the offence leads to loss of lives, the term of imprisonment may be extended up to two years.
  • Action will also be taken if the offence is committed by a government or government official, company or corporate, officials of the company.

NON- FOSSIL FUEL SOURCES OF ENERGY

Focus: GS Paper – 2, GS Paper – 3PlanningGrowth & Development, Industrial Policy, Industrial Growth, Renewable Energy

Why in News?

India achieves target of 40 % installed electricity capacity from non- fossil fuel sources.

  • The Government has committed towards achieving 500 GW of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by the year 2030 at the recently concluded CoP26.

Key Points:

  • At COP 21, as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), India had committed to achieving 40% of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030.
  • India has achieved this target in November 2021 itself.
  • The country’s installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity today stands at 150.05 GW while its nuclear energy based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.
  • This brings the total non-fossil based installed energy capacity to 156.83 GW which is 40.1% of the total installed electricity capacity of 390.8 GW

About Non-fossil fuel sources:

  • These are all clean and mainly renewable form of energy
  • Non-fossil sources includes nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, and other renewable energy sources like geothermal, solar, tidal, wind, wood, and waste.

Importance:

  • According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), by 2030, India’s power requirement would be at 817 GW, more than half of which would comprise of clean energy, with solar energy capacities at 280 GW.
  • Sustainable: Energy generated from renewable sources will be cleaner and greener and more sustainable and help address the issue of Climate Change
  • Market assurance: From the economy point of view, renewable sources provide the market and revenue assurance which no other resources can provide.
  • Employment opportunities: Inclusion of a newer technology simply means more employment opportunities for the working population of the country.

Major Government initiatives:

  • Green Energy Corridor (GEC): Synchronising grid-connected renewable energy with India’s national transmission network
  • National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) and Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP): Modernising India’s power sector into a secure, adaptive, sustainable, and digitally enabled ecosystem
  • National Solar Mission (NSM): The 100 GW solar ambitions at the heart of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programme
  • National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM): Exploring the commercial viability of a versatile clean fuel
  • National Biofuels Policy and SAYAY: Building value chains to reduce fuel imports, increase clean energy, manage waste and create jobs
  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: Integrating India into the global clean energy value chains

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