Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme
(GS-II: Welfare schemes for the vulnerable sections of the society)
Dalit activists from across India have appreciated Dalit Bandhu scheme.
It is a scheme to uplift Dalits on all fronts and therefore activists have demanded the scheme be extended at the national level.
What is the Telangana Dalit Bandhu scheme?
Dalit Bandhu enables entrepreneurship among Dalits through a direct benefit transfer of Rs 10 lakh per family.
This is going to be the biggest cash transfer scheme in the country.
To promote Dalit entrepreneurship, the government has decided to start a system of reservation for Dalits in sectors where the government issues licences. This includes wine shops, medical shops, fertiliser shops, rice mills, etc.
Dalit Security Fund:
Apart from monetary assistance, the government plans to create a corpus called the Dalit Security Fund permanently to support the beneficiary in the event of any adversities.
This fund will be managed by the district collector concerned, along with a committee of beneficiaries.
Why has the Dalit Bandhu scheme faced criticism?
The intentions and rationale behind the scheme are being questioned. The government has also faced criticisms for failing to uphold existing legislation and schemes for the protection and empowerment of Dalits.
Bengal Coast faces most Erosion
(GS-III: Conservation related issues)
According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences:
Of the 6,907.18 km long Indian coastline of the mainland:
About 34% is under varying degrees of erosion.
26% of the coastline is of an accreting nature, and the remaining 40% is in a stable state.
West Bengal, located on the eastern coast of the country, with a 534.35 km-long coastline, suffered erosion along about 60.5% of the coast (323.07 km) over the period from 1990 to 2018.
This is followed by Kerala on the west coast, which has 592.96 km of coastline and 46.4% of it (275.33 km) faces erosion.
Tamil Nadu, with a long coastline of 991.47 km, recorded erosion along 42.7% of it (422.94 km).
Gujarat, with the longest coastline of 1,945.60 km, recorded erosion along 27.06% (537.5 km) of it.
In the Union Territory of Puducherry, with a 41.66 km-long coastline, about 56.2% of its coast (23.42 km) recorded erosion.
15th Finance Commission recommendations:
Create a National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) and State Disaster Risk Management Fund (SDRMF) comprising a Mitigation Fund at the National and State-levels (NDMF/SDMF).
Create a Response Fund at the National and State level (NDRF/SDRF) for the award NDMA may develop suitable norms for mitigation measures to prevent erosion and both the Union and the State Governments develop a policy to deal with the extensive displacement of people caused by coastal and river erosion.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has prepared and published an atlas of Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) maps for the entire coastline of India at a 1:100000 scale using data on sea level rise, coastal slope, shoreline change rate, coastal elevation, coastal geomorphology, tidal range and significant wave height.
What is Coastal erosion?
It is the process by which local sea-level rise, strong wave action, and coastal flooding wear down or carry away rocks, soils, and/or sands along the coast.
There are four main processes of coastal erosion. These are corrosion, abrasion, hydraulic action and attrition.
Coastal erosion structures Seawalls, revetments, bulkheads, groins and breakwaters may reduce erosion in the short term.
BSF team comes in 15 km to seize cattle
(GS-III: Important Security organizations)
Months after the Union government enhanced the operational limits of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, the border guarding force carried out its first operation under the increased powers to catch cattle being smuggled illegally out of Assam.
The operation initiated from the Bangladesh border on March 21 in Assam’s Silchar district entailed the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) to seize a truck carrying nine buffaloes, more than 15 km from their outpost at Balichera.
BSF said the increased territorial jurisdiction helped them plan operations better and also curtailed the ability of criminal elements to organise closer to the border areas.
The BSF was raised in 1965, after the India-Pakistan war.
It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces of the Union of India under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Earlier, the BSF’s limit was fixed up to 80 km from the International Boundary in Gujarat and 15 km in Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
On October 11 last, the MHA, through a notification in the Gazette of India, enhanced the “arrest, search and seize” powers of the BSF up to 50 km from the International Boundary in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.
In Gujarat, the limit was reduced from the existing 80 km to 50 km and in Rajasthan, the 50–km limit has remained unchanged.
These powers pertain to specific crimes such as seizure of narcotics, cattle smuggling, prevention of trans–border crimes, illegal entry of foreigners among others.
All cases and suspects are to be handed over to local police within 24 hours.
Law & Order is a state subject and powers of search, seizure and arrest typically lies with state police officials.
Hence, the affected states have questioned the step as an encroachment upon their powers and against the federal structure.
It is being termed as an attempt to “interfere through Central agencies”.
How does the centre defend its move on enhanced powers?
The enhanced powers of the BSF have been opposed by the State governments of Punjab and West Bengal.
However, the Centre said that this in no way impinges on the rights of the local police as all suspects are handed over to them within 24 hours.
Need for and Significance:
This step is meant to improve operational efficiency and crack down on smuggling rackets.
Punjab has the problem of drugs and arms smuggling.
Similarly, Assam and West Bengal face the issue of cattle and fake currency smuggling.
These borders are also prone to illegal migration.
BSF regularly gets inputs about illegal activity deep in the hinterland but their hands were tied beyond 15 km.
(GS-II: India and its neighbourhood- relations)
Valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan are resonating with loud protests by local communities against Pakistan for forcibly usurping village lands and plundering their natural wealth.
Recently, a large number of people came out into the streets protesting against the Pakistan government’s decision to issue licenses to private contractors for mining gems.
Current Status of Gilgit-Baltistan:
It is an autonomous region now and with this elevation, it will become the 5th province of the country.
Currently, Pakistan has four provinces namely Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh.
India has clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country by virtue of its fully legal and irrevocable accession.
Where is Gilgit Baltistan located?
It borders China in the North, Afghanistan in the west and Kashmir in the south east.
It shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The region was a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but has been under Pakistan’s control since 4th November, 1947, following the invasion of Kashmir by tribal militias and the Pakistan army.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through this region.
Its present status:
The area is currently under the occupation of Pakistan, in violation of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolution of 28 April 1949.
The occupation took place without the consent of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and, despite the UNCIP’s calls for Pakistan to withdraw its forces from the disputed area, the occupation remains to this day.
For over 60 years now, the area of Gilgit-Baltistan has lacked a proper constitutional status, a working legal system and political autonomy.