23.09.2020 Daily GPSC Gujarat Current Affairs

GUJARAT

Gujarat yet to clear 54% of PMFBY dues

Even though the agriculture sector clocked a growth of 3.4% in the first quarter of 2020-21, outperforming other sectors amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it does not seem to have augmented the income of farmers, at least in seven Indian states including Gujarat. According to data tabled in the parliament, Gujarat government has not cleared dues worth Rs 858.72 crore, towards premium subsidy amount under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for the kharif season of 2019 and rabi season of 2019-20. Consequently, farmers have been unable to get claim settlements for crop damages, leaving them bereft of revenues.

The said amount accounts for at least 54% of the total premium subsidy worth Rs 1,573.51 crore that is supposed to be paid by the state government to insurers. When asked why the dues were not cleared, sources in the state government blamed the insurance companies which have not cleared farmers’ claims in the past.

Under the PMFBY, a small share of the premium is borne by the farmer and the remaining is cleared by state and central government through subsidy. Since the state government has not cleared premium subsidies to the insurance companies, farmers are not eligible for getting any claims settled, which only dents their income further.

According to the report by State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), the total agriculture NPA (non-performing assets) stood at Rs 6,282 crore in 2019-20, up 10.5% against Rs 5,690 crore in 2018-19.

Farmers claim that in 2017-18 and 2018-19, several insurance claims remained unsettled by insurance companies and as a consequence, farmer’s net income took a further hit over the years.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

International Day of Sign Languages is observed on 23 September

International Day of Sign Languages is observed on 23 September every year. The day aims to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf. The International Day of Sign Languages offers an opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all sign language users.

International Day of Sign Languages was initiated by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). The United Nations passed a resolution and proclaimed the International Day of Sign Languages on 19 December 2017. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL) with an aim to raise awareness of the significance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.

 

NATIONAL

Parliament passed the 2020 Essential Commodities Amendment Bill

The bill was introduced by the Minister of State (MoS) for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao on 14th September 2020 in the Lok Sabha. The Bill will replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020. The bill was passed by the lower house on 15th September 2020.

 

Under the Bill, with provisions to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, potatoes and onions from the list of essential commodities.

The EC (Amendment) Bill 2020 aims to remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations.

The Bill seeks to produce, distribute and supply to harness the economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment (FDI) into the agriculture sector.

The Bill aims to drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.

 

The Bill was introduced as India has become a surplus in most Agri-commodities. The farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export due to the Essential Commodities Act. Farmers suffer huge losses, especially of perishable commodities. It is expected that the Bill will drive up the investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.

 

The Bill is expected to serve both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability; create a competitive market environment; prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities.

 

Rajya Sabha passed 2020 Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws Amendment Bill

 

The Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act of 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-Private Partnership) Act, 2017 are the unique initiatives of the Government of India. The aim is to impart knowledge in the field of Information Technology to provide solutions to the challenges faced by the country. The IIIT Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in Lok Sabha on 20th March 2020.

 

IIIT Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 encourage IIITs to promote the study of information and technology (IT) through their innovative and qualitative methods in the country.

The Bill will amend the principal acts of 2014 and 2017.

 

The Bill will enable the Institutes to attract enough students required to develop a strong research base in the field of Information Technology (IT) in India.

 

 

Lok Sabha passes Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

 

Lok Sabha passed the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020.

The bill aims to make Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, English and Urdu as the official languages of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The earlier the official language for the Union territory was only Urdu.

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir had informed the Centre that people across the Union Territory had been demanding to include the languages they speak and understand as their official language.

Parliament passed three Labour Codes to pave way for enactment of Labour Laws

 

Rajya Sabha passed three labour codes namely,
(i) Industrial Relations Code, 2020
(ii) Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020
(iii) Social Security Code, 2020.

 

These Labour Codes seeks to enhance the welfare of the workers in the country.

The Social Security Code provides a framework to include organized and unorganized sector workers under the ambit of comprehensive social security.

New Labour Codes will cover over 50 crore workers from organized, unorganized and self-employed for minimum wages, social security

It will enhance the setting up of “Social Security Fund” for 40 crore unorganized workers along with GIG and platform workers.

The Codes will help in widening Universal Social Security coverage.

 

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