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Here are the topics covered for 16 August 2023: PM’s Independence Day Speech, New Initiatives Launched, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Overhaul of Court Infrastructure, Cauvery Water Dispute, 19th Round of Military Talks, Extreme Weather Events in the Himalayan Region, Sahasra Semiconductor, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, Manuscripts, Sant Ravidas.
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 2:
- PM’s Independence Day Speech
- New Initiatives Launched
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
- Overhaul of Court Infrastructure
- Cauvery Water Dispute
GS Paper 3:
- 19th Round of Military Talks
- Extreme Weather Events in the Himalayan Region
Facts for Prelims:
- Sahasra Semiconductor
- National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
- Sant Ravidas
PM’s Independence Day Speech
Courtesy: The Hindu
- On August 15, 2023, India celebrated its 77th Independence Day, marking 76 of freedom. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Nation First, Always First”, an integral part of the broader “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebration.
|Year||Independence Day Speech|
|2019||The PM highlighted the government’s ideology by mentioning Article 370 and Triple Talaq and spoke of new initiatives like the Jal Jeevan Mission.|
|2020||The PM spoke about the pandemic and the need to be ‘atmanirbhar’.|
|2021||The PM highlighted the ‘Vision for 2047’ – ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and now Sabka Prayas’.|
|2022||The PM urged the country to focus on the ‘Panch Pran’ (Five Resolutions) for the coming 25 years.|
PM’s 2023 Independence Speech
- The PM stated his speech by declaring that ‘this India is unstoppable & tireless’.
- The PM has urged citizens to take decisions one after the other for ‘sarvajan hitay, sarvajan sukhay’ (the welfare of all the happiness of all).
- The PM has underlined that the ‘Triveni’ of ‘demography, democracy, diversity’ had the potential to build the country for ‘the next 100 years’.
- The PM pointed out that the next five years are the golden moments to realise the dream of 2047.
- The PM stated that India has emerged as a ‘vishwa mitra’ (friend of the world) – as India is taking centre stage in geopolitics.
- The PM announced two key initiatives – the Vishwakarma Yojana to boost livelihood opportunities for people engaged in traditional skills, and the Lakhpati Didi scheme to ensure annual income of at least Rs 1 lakh.
- The PM stated that India has now entered Amrit Kaal, which was also known as ‘Kartavya Kaal’.
- The PM has underlined India’s ‘samarthya (capability), its aspirations and ambitions, as it takes its place as a decisive player and stabilising force.
- The PM has identified three imperatives – reform, perform, and transform.
19th Round of Military Talks
- The 19th round of the Corps Commander Talks between India & China has recently been concluded at the Chushul-Moldo
The outcome of the military talks:
- From the long-term perspective, both sides agreed to resolve issues along the LAC while keeping up the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through military and diplomatic hands.
- As an interim step, the two sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity on the grounds in the border areas.
- The focus of the meeting was on confidence building and ensuring adherence to border protocols and sharing patrol information between troops of the two sides to avoid clashes.
- India had pressed for access to all old patrolling points along the LAC for early disengagement at the remaining friction points including legacy ones such as Depsang Plains and Demchok.
- Discussion on regular interaction at the battalion level and avoiding violation by drones by either side.
- There has not been any significant forward movement in the last few rounds of military talks on resolving the pre-2020 issues.
- Friction points such as Galwan Valley, the north and south banks of Pangong Tso and the Gogra-Hot Springs area were resolved to an extent after multiple rounds of the extent and the creation of buffer zones.
Two New Initiatives
- As part of his Independence Day speech and to reach out to the socially and economically backward classes, the PM has announced to launch of two new initiatives i.e., Vishwakarma Yojana and Lakhpati Didi scheme.
- It has been to boost livelihood opportunities for people engaged in traditional skills.
- With an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore, the Vishwakarma Yojana will be launched on Vishwakarma Jayanti (September 17).
- This scheme will benefit individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, especially from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community.
- Skilled artisans like weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers, among others, will be empowered through this scheme.
- The scheme will encompass various elements such as financial aid, modern and green technology training, brand promotion, market connectivity, digital payments, and social security.
- It has been launched to ensure an annual income of at least Rs 1 lakh for 2 crore women in villages by providing skill development training.
- Under this scheme, drone pilot training would be provided to women self-help groups as part of skill development. The objective of imparting this training to women is to bring technology in the agriculture sector.
- Under this scheme, the government will impart training to operate and repair drones to thousands of women’s self-help groups.
- It is likely to speed up the adoption of drone technology in the field of agriculture and will lead to substantial employment generation and agri-business opportunities in rural areas.
- This will revolutionize India’s agricultural landscape and will give more power to women, which is a key towards India’s growth.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
- 15th August 2023, marks the nine years of the launch of PMJDY. The no-frills PMJDY bank accounts, with an accumulated Rs 2.03 trillion cash balance, continue to rise steadily nine years after its launch.
Performance of PMJDY:
- As many as 9 million new PMJDY accounts were opened in FY23 compared with 28.6 million in FY22 and 38.7 million in FY21.
- 10 million new accounts opened in the first four months of FY24.
- In terms of cash deposits, the incremental deposits were just around Rs 4,000 crore so far in the current fiscal taking the total to Rs 2.03 trillion from 1099 trillion.
- The number of PMJDY accounts opened by PSBs rose from 332.62 million to 385.89 million.
- The government-managed Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) have a 21% increase in their PMJDY accounts to around 91 million in May 2023 from 71 million in March 2021.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is National Mission for Financial Inclusion to ensure access to financial services, namely, basic savings & deposit accounts, remittance, credit, insurance, and pension in an affordable manner.
- Under the scheme, a basic savings bank deposit (BSBD) account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet, by persons not having any other account.
- Benefits under PMJDY:
- One basic savings bank account is opened for unbanked persons.
- There is no requirement to maintain any minimum balance in PMJDY accounts.
- Interest is earned on the deposit in PMJDY accounts.
- Rupay Debit card is provided to PMJDY account holders.
- Accident Insurance Cover of Rs.1 lakh (enhanced to Rs. 2 lahks for new PMJDY accounts opened after 28.8.2018) is available with a RuPay card issued to the PMJDY account holders.
- An overdraft (OD) facility up to Rs. 10,000 to eligible account holders is available.
- PMJDY accounts are eligible for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) scheme.
Extreme Weather Events in Himachal Pradesh
- Recent events like cloudbursts and landslides in Himachal Pradesh are reminders to respect the Himalayan region’s fragile ecology.
- According to the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority, higher-than-normal rainfall claimed more than 150 lives in the state between June 24 and July 22 2023.
- Floods and landslides are not uncommon in the Himalayan region.
Reasons for Extreme Weather Events:
- The young mountains are geologically active and the region has a long history of downslope movement of rocks and boulders.
- According to the ISRO’s Landslide Atlas of India, all 12 districts of Himachal are susceptible to landslips. But the slopes seem to have become more unstable in recent years.
- According to the state’s disaster management data, the number of landslides increased nearly six times between 2020 and 2022.
- Himachal’s Disaster Management Plan ascribes this to climate change and the increase in extreme rainfall events.
- The average temperature in the Himalayas is rising faster than the rest of the country.
- Short but intense bursts of rainfall have become frequent in the state, like in several other parts of the country.
- Ecologically-insensitive development has compromised Himachal’s capacity to withstand inclement weather.
Overhaul of Court Infrastructure
- The Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud in his Independence Day speech announced a plan to expand the Supreme Court with 27 additional courts and 51 judges’ chambers.
Points Highlighted by CJI:
- An “overhaul” of the court infrastructure was necessary on a priority basis to make courts more accessible and inclusive.
- The emphasis in the new projects would be on modernising the judicial infrastructure.
- Plan to expand the Supreme Court by constructing a new building to accommodate 27 additional courts, 51 judges’ chambers, 4 registrar courtrooms, 16 registrar chambers, and other requisite facilities for lawyers and litigants.
- Elaborating on the expansion of the Supreme Court through the proposed two-phase project, the CJI said in the first stage, the court museum and annexe building would be demolished to construct a new building with 15 courtrooms, judges’ chambers, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) library, offices for the SCBA and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAoRA) office-bearers, canteen, women lawyers bar room and other facilities.
- In the next phase, some of the portion of the existing court complex would be demolished for the construction of the second part of the new building to accommodate 12 courtrooms, judges’ chambers, registrar courts, and a lounge for SCBA and SCAoRA.
- Phase III of the e-Courts project seeks to revolutionise the working of courts in India by inter-linking all courts across the country, setting up the infrastructure of paperless courts, digitisation of court records, and setting up advanced e-sewa kendras in all court complexes
Cauvery Water Dispute
- The Tamil Nadu government sought the Supreme Court’s intervention to make Karnataka immediately release 24,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) from its reservoirs and ensure the availability of the specified quantity of water at Biligundlu on the inter-State border for the remainder of the month.
What is the issue?
- The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) at its meeting, wanted Karnataka to manage its releases in such a way that 10,000 cusecs of water was realised at Biligundlu for the next 15 days.
- The Authority also decided that based on future rainfall, there would be a re-evaluation of the quantity to be released.
- But, what apparently irked Tamil Nadu was the refusal of Karnataka during the meeting to abide by the quantity that was agreed upon at the meeting of the CWRC the previous day— which was a figure of 15,000 cusecs for 15 days.
- However, Karnataka, during the Authority’s meeting, said it would release only 8,000 cusecs, and that too up to August 22.
What lies next?
- Tamil Nadu, especially its farmers in the Cauvery delta, is eagerly awaiting to see whether Karnataka will go at least by the decision of the Authority.
- The present storage of the Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu is precariously low with about 20 TMC, which will last only 10 days after giving allowance for dead storage and
- drinking water requirements, even though water will be required at least for one more month for the standing short-term crop, kuruvai.
- It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court is going to view the matter.
About Inter-State River Dispute:
- The Inter-State River Water Disputes are one of the most contentious issues in Indian federalism today.
- Various Inter-State Water Disputes Tribunals have been constituted so far, but they had their own problems.
- Entry 17 of the State List deals with water i.e., water supply, irrigation, canal, drainage, embankments, water storage and hydropower.
- Entry 56 of the Union List empowers the Union Government for the regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys to the extent declared by Parliament to be expedient in the public interest.
- According to Article 262, in case of disputes relating to waters:
- Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State River or river valley.
- Parliament may, by law, provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as mentioned above.
Facts for Prelims
- Rajasthan-based Sahasra Semiconductor will start the commercial production of its first made-in-India memory chips in September or early October, its CEO Varun Manwani told FE. This means Sahasra will be the first company to produce chips in India before Micron.
- The company has set up its semiconductor assembly, test and packaging unit in Bhiwadi district from where it will initially package basic memory products like MicroSD cards, chip-on-board, etc, and will later move on to advanced packaging of products like internal memory chips.
- Sahasra is currently part of the Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), under which it is eligible for a 25 per cent financial incentive on capital expenditure.
- Unlike Micron which produces its own chips, Sahasra is more an outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company, which means it assembles and packages chips for other brands.
National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)
- Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MoSDE) launched Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in NAPS.
- NAPS was launched in 2016 (MoSDE) to promote Apprenticeship in the country by providing financial incentives, technology and advocacy
- The two Components of NAPS are:
- 25% of the prescribed stipend (up to Rs. 1500/- pm) per apprentice is reimbursed to establishments (especially MSMEs).
- Sharing of basic training cost up to Rs. 7,500 per apprentice.
- Ministry of Culture plans a law on the protection of Indian manuscripts.
- A manuscript is a handwritten composition on paper, bark, cloth, metal, palm leaf or any other material dating back at least 75 years and has significant scientific, historical or aesthetic value.
- Lithographs and printed volumes are not manuscripts.
- National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM), by the Ministry of Culture, seeks to preserve manuscripts in India.
- India possesses an estimated 10 million manuscripts in various ancient scripts like Brahmi, Kushan, Gaudi, Lepcha, and Maithili.
- 75% of existing manuscripts are in Sanskrit, 25% are in regional languages.
- He was a poet, philosopher, and social reformer during 15th century.
- Prominent saint of the North Indian Bhakti movement;
- Begumpura City was envisioned by him as a city without any sorrow and full of peace and humanity.
- He worked against the system of untouchability and also put forth his views about Hindu-Muslim unity.
- His padas, devotional songs, and other writings are mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib.
- Considered spiritual Guru of Meera Bai.
- Ethical values: Compassion, Social justice, Egalitarianism, Humanism, etc.