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PIB Summaries 13 April 2024


  1. Festivals in India
  2. ECI allows Home voting for the elderly and Persons with Disabilities

Festivals in India

Focus: GS I- Festivals

Why in News?

The President of India greeted the people on the occasion of Vaisakhi, Vishu, Bishub, Bahag Bihu, Poila Boishakh, Vaishakhadi and Puthandu, which are being celebrated on 13th and 14th April, 2024.

  • These festivals celebrated in various parts of India are vibrant expressions of our diverse cultural heritage. 
  • These festivals promote unity, harmony and brotherhood and are symbols of social harmony, generate new energy and enthusiasm.

About Vaishakhi:

  • It is also known as Baisakhi and is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs as the start of the Hindu Solar New Year. It honours Guru Gobind Singh’s creation of the Khalsa panth of warriors in 1699.
  • Baisakhi was also the day on which colonial British empire officials carried out the Jallianwala Bagh massacre at a gathering, a pivotal event in the Indian independence movement.

About Vishu:

  • It is a Hindu festival observed in the Indian state of Kerala, the Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka, the Mahé district of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, and the diaspora groups of Tamil Nadu.
  • The event falls on the first day of Medam, Kerala’s ninth month according to the solar calendar.
  • As a result, it always falls in the middle of April on the 14th or 15th of April in the Gregorian calendar.

About Puthandu:

  • The first day of the year on the Tamil calendar, also known as Puthuvarudam or Tamil New Year, is traditionally celebrated as a feast.
  • The event is held on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, which corresponds to the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar. Every year on the Gregorian calendar, it falls on or around April 14th.

About Bohag Bihu:

  • Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, also known as Xaat Bihu (seven Bihus), is a traditional aboriginal ethnic festival celebrated by the indigenous ethnic groups of Assam in the state of Assam and other parts of northeastern India.
  • It marks the start of the Assamese New Year and usually falls in the second week of April, historically signifying the time of harvest.

ECI allows Home voting for the elderly and Persons with Disabilities

Focus: GS II- Polity and Governance

Why in News?

As a path breaking initiative, the Election Commission of India, has provided the facility of home voting for the elderly and Persons with Disabilities in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for the first time.

Voters above 85 years of age and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) with 40% benchmark disability can avail the optional home voting facility.


  • This initiative marks a significant stride towards ensuring inclusivity and accessibility of the electoral process and in bolstering democratic participation, where every citizen’s voice matters, regardless of physical limitations or age.
  • There are over 81 lakh 85+ aged voters and 90 lakh + PwD voters registered across the country.

About Election Commission of India

  • The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority 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.
  • It is the Commission that decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or by-elections.
  • ECI decides on the location of polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centers, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
  • In the performance of its functions, the Election Commission is insulated from executive interference.
  • 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, hence it is a constitutional body. Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc., of the commission and the member.

Powers of ECI:

  • The Election Commission of India is considered the guardian of free and reasonable elections.
  • It issues the Model Code of Conduct in every election for political parties and candidates so that the decorum of democracy is maintained.
  • It regulates political parties and registers them for being eligible to contest elections.
  • It publishes the allowed limits of campaign expenditure per candidate to all the political parties, and also monitors the same.
  • The political parties must submit their annual reports to the ECI for getting tax benefit on contributions.
  • It guarantees that all the political parties regularly submit their audited financial reports.

May 2024