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Uniform Civil Code

Paper : General Studies 1, General Studies 2

Why in news?

Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Centre on a petition seeking framing of a uniform civil code (UCC)


What is a Uniform Civil Code?

  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India is a law/set of laws to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country creating a common law governing every citizen.
  • The constitution has a provision for Uniform Civil Code in Article 44 as a Directive Principle of State Policy which states that “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
  • However, no UCC has been formed yet due to the inherent difficulties in creating an umbrella law for a country as diverse as India.
  • Also, it is seen as encroaching upon the fundamental right to freedom of religion under Articles 25 – 28 of the Constitution by the religious groups.


Cabinet approves Summoning of Parliament after General Election, 2019

Paper : Prelims Specific, General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi,in its first meeting, has approved the summoning of the 17th Lok Sabha on Monday, the 17th of June, 2019 and subject to the exigencies of Government Business, the Session will conclude on Friday, the 26th of July, 2019.
  • The Rajya Sabha will be convened on Thursday, the 20th June, 2019 and subject to exigencies of Government Business, the Session will conclude on Friday, the 26th of July, 2019.
  • The Election of Speaker will be held on Wednesday, the 19th June, 2019.
  • The President will be requested to address both the Houses of Parliament assembled together in the Central Hall of Parliament at 11.00 am on Thursday, the 20th of June, 2019, in term of article 87(1) of the Constitution.
  • The Union Budget for 2019-20 will be presented in the Lok Sabha on Friday, the 5th July, 2019 at 11.00 am and after presentation/laying of the Budget, the respective Houses will be adjourned for the day.


Summoning of the Parliament

  • The President has the powers to summon or prorogue a session of either of the Houses of the Parliament. He does so at the advice of the Council of Ministers
  • Motion of Thanks is a motion in Indian Parliament which follows the address of the President of India to the joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at the commencement of first session of a new Lok Sabha and first session of every year.



E-cigarettes pose public health risk

Paper : General Studies 2

Why in news?

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned of a potential public health disaster if action was not taken to completely prohibit and dissuade the use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or e-cigarettes given that the nicotine delivered by these devices adversely affect almost all systems in a human body.
  • ICMR has recommended complete prohibition on ENDS or e-cigarettes in India in the greater interest of protecting public health.


What are the harmful effects of using ENDS?

Use of e-cigarettes has documented adverse effects on humans which include

  • DNA damage;
  • carcinogenesis;
  • cellular, molecular and immunological toxicity;
  • respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological disorders and
  • adverse impact on foetal development and pregnancy,



Central Sector Pension scheme for Farmers

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet has approved a new Central Sector Scheme for providing pension to farmers


What are the features of the scheme?

  • A voluntary and contributory pension scheme for all Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) across the country.
  • Entry age of 18 to 40 years with a provision of minimum fixed pension of Rs.3,000/- on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • A beneficiary farmer is required to contribute Rs 100/ – per month at median entry age of 29 years.  The Central Government shall also contribute to the Pension Fund an equal amount as contributed by the eligible farmer.
  • After the subscriber’s death, while receiving pension, the spouse of the SMF beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension, provided he/she is not already an SMF beneficiary of the Scheme.
  • If, the death of the subscriber happens during the period of contribution, the spouse shall have the option of continuing the Scheme by paying regular contribution.
  • Farmers can opt to allow his/her monthly contribution to the Scheme to be made from the benefits drawn from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme directly.


What is PM – KISAN?

  • PM KISAN is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India
  • It has become operational from 1.12.2018.
  • Under the scheme an income support of Rs.6000/- per year in three equal instalments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares
  • Definition of family for the scheme is husband, wife and minor children.
  • State Government and UT Administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.
  • The fund will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
  • In a decision taken yesterday, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.


What is a Central Sector Scheme?

It is  100% funded by the Union government and implemented by the Central Government machinery. Central sector schemes are mainly formulated on subjects from the Union List.In addition, the Central Ministries also implement some schemes directly in States/UTs which are called Central Sector Schemes but resources under these Schemes are not generally transferred to States.



Pension scheme for Traders cleared by the Union Cabinet

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • Union Cabinet has cleared a pension scheme for traders
  • Under this scheme all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs. 3,000/- month after attaining the age of 60 years.
  • All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs. 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enrol for this scheme.  The scheme would benefit more than 3 crore small shopkeepers and traders.
  • The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account.
  • Interested persons can enrol themselves through more than 3,25,000 Common Service Centres spread across the country.
  • The Government of India will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account.  For example if a person with age of 29 years contributes Rs. 100/- month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.


Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

Union Cabinet has cleared new initiative to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis to support the livestock rearing farmers

What is the scheme?

  • In case of FMD, the scheme envisages vaccination coverage to 30 crore bovines (cows-bulls and buffaloes) and 20 crore sheep/goat and 1 crore pigs at six months’ interval along with primary vaccination in bovine calves, while the Brucellosis control programme shall extend to cover 100% vaccination coverage of 3.6 crore female calves.
  • The programme so far has been implemented on cost sharing basis between the Central and State Governments. In a rare instance of departure, the Central Government has decided to now bear the entire cost of the programme to ensure complete eradication of these diseases and better livelihood opportunities for all the livestock rearing farmers in the country.


About FMD and Brucellosis

  • These diseases are very common amongst the livestock – cow-bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs etc.
  • If a cow/buffalo gets infected with FMD, the milk loss is upto 100% which could last for four to six months. It is caused by the picornavirus.
  • Further, in case of Brucellosis the milk output reduces by 30%, during the entire life cycle of animal. Brucellosis also causes infertility amongst the animals. The infection of brucellosis can also be transmitted to the farm workers and livestock owners.
  • Both the diseases have a direct negative impact on the trade of milk and other livestock products.