Here is the digest of important newspaper articles and quiz!
Cabinet clears bills to expand ST list
The cabinet cleared the bill to be introduced in the Parliament for adding some communities to the list of the Scheduled Tribes in the states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Tripura. The communities will enjoy the benefits available to STs, including reservations and various scholarships. The list of the communities statewide is mentioned below.
Tamil Nadu: Â Â Â Â Â Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran
Puducherry: Â Â Â Â Irular
Assam: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachari and Karbi
Chhattisgarh: Â Â Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Dhangad
Jharkhand: Â Â Â Â Â Â Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) and Puran
Tripura: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Darlong
What is the constitutional status of STs? – The term Scheduled Tribes first appeared in the Constitution of India. Article 366 (25) defines scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution”. Article 342, prescribes procedure to be followed in the matter of specification of scheduled tribes.
What is Art 342? – The President may, with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a state, after consultation with the Governor there of by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall, for the purposes of this constitution, is deemed to be scheduled tribes in relation to that state or Union Territory, as the case may be.
Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled tribes specified in a notification issued under clause(1) mentioned above, any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid, a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
Racial discrimination faced by Africans
The African Group of Heads of Mission took the decision to recommend to their governments â€œnot to send new students to Indiaâ€ due to â€œstereotypes and racial prejudice against Africans in India.â€
The African envoys have also decided to cancel celebrations to mark the Africa Day event, organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
The Indian government has tried to assuage the fears of the African community in India. The Minister of State for external affairs will do an outreach event with African students along with concerned Embassies to reassure them of safety. It was also decided that the MoS would meet the African Heads of Mission every three months.
What is ICCR? – The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in Indiaâ€™s external cultural relations, through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples. It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India.
Government approves Capital Goods Sector Policy
The Indian government has launched its first ever capital goods policy. The policy seeks to increase production of capital goods from Rs 2.3 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 7.5 lakh crore in 2025 and also raise direct and indirect employment from the current 84 lakh to three crore.
It also aims to increase exports from the current 27% to 40% of production by providing an enabling environment for the industry which will include a long-term and stable duty structure that will encourage domestic manufacturing.
It will increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80%, thus making India a net exporter of capital goods.
The Department of Heavy Industry will over time roll out the key elements of the policy by seeking approvals for schemes.
Capital goods production contracted 2.9% in FY16 according to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers. In the same period, the import of industrial machinery rose 5.2% to $9.7 billion. Electrical machinery and equipment imports were flat at $ 6 billion.
What are capital goods? – A capital good is a durable good (one that does not quickly wear out) that is used in the production of goods or services. Capital goods are one of the three types of producer inputs, the other two being land and labor, which are also known collectively as primary factors of production.
Machinery, tools, buildings, computers, or other kind of equipment that is involved in production of other things for sale represent the term of a Capital good. The owners of the Capital good can be individuals, households, corporations or governments.
India fifth largest producer of e-waste
A joint study by Assocham-KPMG has indicated that India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste. discarding roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of electronic waste each year. Telecom equipment alone accounts for 12 per cent of the e-waste.
The report indicated that with more than 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25 per cent end up in e-waste annually.
What is e-waste? – Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered e-waste. Informal processing of e-waste in developing countries can lead to adverse human health effects and environmental pollution.
What are recent government initiatives for managing e-wastes? – The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified e-waste management rules, 2016, in which producers are covered under extended producersâ€™ responsibility (EPR).
The rules prescribe a waste collection target of 30 per cent waste generated under EPR for the first two years, progressively going up to 70 per cent in the seventh year of the rule. The rules prescribe stringent financial penalties for non-compliance.
However, the study by Assocham-KPMG said the unorganised sector in India is estimated to handle around 95 per cent of the e-waste produced in the country. Given the huge user base and vast reach of telecom in India, it is practically difficult and expensive for the handset manufacturers to achieve the targets prescribed in the rules from first year, the study added.
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