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19th May Current Affairs

Mongolian Kanjur Manuscripts

In News:

The Culture Ministry has informed that reprinting of about 100 sets of sacred Mongolian Kanjur will be completed by next year for distribution in the main centres of Buddhism in Mongolia.

What is Mongolian Kanjur?

In the Mongolian language ‘Kanjur’ means ‘Concise Orders’- the words of Lord Buddha in particular.

It is held in high esteem by Mongolian Buddhists and they worship the Kanjur at temples and recite the lines of Kanjur in daily life as a sacred ritual.

The Mongolian Kanjur has been translated from Tibetan. The language of the Kanjur is Classical Mongolian.

Historical connection between India and Mongolia:

Historical interaction between India and Mongolia goes back centuries.

Buddhism was carried to Mongolia by Indian cultural and religious ambassadors during the early Christian era.

As a result, today, Buddhists form the single largest religious denomination in Mongolia.

India established formal diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955.


India possesses an estimate of ten million manuscripts, probably the largest collection in the world. These cover a variety of themes, textures and aesthetics, scripts, languages, calligraphies, illuminations and illustrations.

PM-Kisan scheme

In News:

The eighth instalment of minimum financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme has been released.

This was the first instalment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi for the financial year 2021-22.

About PM-Kisan scheme:

It is a central sector scheme with 100 per cent funding from the Government of India. The scheme was launched in December 2018.

Under the scheme, income support of ₹6,000 per year in three equal installments of ₹2000 is provided to small and marginal farmers having a combined land holding of up to two hectares.

The state governments and Union Territory administration identify the farmers who are eligible for the scheme and share the list with the Centre.


The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares. Its ambit was later expanded w.e.f. 01.06.2019 to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.


Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).

Similar programmes by states:

  • Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana- MP.
  • The Rythu Bandhu scheme- Telangana.
  • Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA)- Odisha.

Article 164 (3) of the Constitution

In News:

As the demand for online swearing-in of the new government in Kerala gets louder, jurists say there is no legal infirmity in a government assuming office through online mode.

What does the Constitution of India say?

The Article 164 (3) of the Constitution states that “before a Minister enters upon his office, the Governor shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.”

There is no ban on an online event as the Constitution does not insist on a physical mode.

Need for:

Several organisations, including the Indian Medical Association, have favoured the online mode in the wake of the alarming spread of COVID-19.

Besides, the makers of the Constitution had not foreseen the advent of online world and hence there was no mention about the mode of Ministers assuming the office.


In News:

A plea was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to utilise the PM-CARES fund for immediate procurement of vaccines and establishment of oxygen plants, generators and their installation in 738 district hospitals across the country.


The petition said the government should loosen its PM-CARES purse strings and help common people in accessing medical care and oxygen.

Need for:

These government hospitals are easily accessible at no cost to common people of every district in the country who are desperately seeking medical oxygen as basic life-saving support.


The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) Fund was set up to accept donations and provide relief during the Covid-19 pandemic, and other similar emergencies.


PM-CARES was set up as a public charitable trust with the trust deed registered on March 27, 2020.

It can avail donations from the foreign contribution and donations to fund can also avail 100% tax exemption.

PM-CARES is different from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

Who administers the fund?

Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund.

Why has Indian manufacturing been losing jobs since 2016?

In News:

The words “lives” and “livelihoods” are often mentioned together. But the ongoing Covid pandemic has created a difference between these two: Measures aimed at saving lives are proving to be terrible for livelihoods.

What is the current scenario?

Impact on livelihoods before the second Covid wave unfolded- As per Azim Premji University’s the State of Working India (SWI) report 2021:

The pandemic had forced people out of their formal jobs into casual work, and led to a severe decline in incomes.

Not surprisingly, there is a sudden increase in poverty over the past year.

Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi, contributed disproportionately to job losses.

As per a report brought out jointly by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) and Centre for Economic Data and Analysis:

Indian economy has gotten worse over the past few years even without the help of Covid.

The number of people employed in the manufacturing sector of the economy has come down from 51 million to 27 million — that is, almost halving in the space of just four years!

Besides, the number of people employed in agriculture is going up. Equally disheartening is that employment in non-financial services has fallen sharply.

Why is job loss in the manufacturing sector worrisome?

Traditionally Indian policymakers have been of the view that the manufacturing sector is our best hope to soak up the surplus labour otherwise employed in agriculture.

Manufacturing is well suited because it can make use of the millions of poorly educated Indian youth, unlike the services sector, which often requires better education and skill levels.

Why is Indian manufacturing failing to create jobs?

Manufacturing units require the highest amount of fixed investment upfront.

What has traditionally made this truly risky is the highly extractive nature of Indian governments (corruption, weak supply etc).

Also, historically Indians have always consumed relatively less of manufacturing goods and relatively more of food and services (This is because most Indians are quite poor and hence most of the income is spent on food, and repairs and maintenance costs are high).

By treating the labour-intensive manufacturing firms as small-scale industries, policies held back their growth.

India did not push for integrating its labour-intensive manufacturing in the global supply chains by aggressively following exports. Instead, the idea was to substitute imports in the name of self-reliance.

Issues with ambitious Make in India (MII) initiative and the latest Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme:

They are again aimed more at capital intensive manufacturing, not labour intensive ones. Moreover, India is reverting to the protectionist approach, aimed at self-reliance, yet again in recent years.

Simply put:

From the perspective of creating jobs, India is facing a double whammy. The manufacturing and construction sectors are bleeding jobs instead of creating them. Making matters worse is the decline in employment in large sections of the service industry, thanks to the Covid-induced disruption.

Need of the hour:

Indian manufacturing, which is still India’s best hope for creating new jobs and soaking up excess unskilled labour from agriculture, requires policymakers to target labour-intensive firms, especially in the informal sector (read MSMEs) and help them — through better infrastructure and easier regulatory support — to create millions of new jobs.