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19th October Current Affairs

Tamil Nadu Urban Employment Scheme

(GS-III: Employment related issues)

In News:

Tamil Nadu government has issued orders to implement the urban employment scheme in the state on a pilot basis.

Details:

The scheme is aimed at providing livelihood and social security by increasing job opportunities and through creation and maintenance of public assets.

About the scheme:

This is an urban employment scheme to be implemented by Tamil Nadu Government on the lines of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

It seeks to improve the livelihood of urban poor.

Need for:

Unlike other States, the urban population in Tamil Nadu is growing fast and it would reach 60% of the total population by 2036.

A total of four crore people are now living in urban areas, accounting for 53% of the total population.

But, many of them had lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implementation and key features:

Under the scheme, workers will be used for activities such as desilting of water bodies and maintenance of public parks and other places.

50% of the total person-days under the scheme would be earmarked for women.

Women and men would be paid the same wages for the same unskilled and semiskilled work.

The TN Urban Employment Scheme is based on the recommendations made by a committee led by former Reserve Bank of India Governor C. Rangarajan.

About MGNREGA:

The scheme was introduced in 2005 as a social measure that guarantees “the right to work”.

The key tenet of this social measure and labour law is that the local government will have to legally provide at least 100 days of wage employment in rural India to enhance their quality of life.

Key objectives:

Generation of paid rural employment of not less than 100 days for each worker who volunteers for unskilled labour.

Proactively ensuring social inclusion by strengthening the livelihood base of rural poor.

Creation of durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.

Reduce urban migration from rural areas.

Create rural infrastructure by using untapped rural labour.

The following are the eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:

Must be Citizen of India to seek MGNREGA benefits.

Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.

The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).

Applicants must volunteer for unskilled labour.

Implementation of the scheme:

Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.

Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.

Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.

The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands.

It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan

(GS-I: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues)

In News:

204th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was recently observed.

He was born on October 17, 1817.

Who was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan?

Sir syed Ahmed khan was a teacher, politician,social reformer etc.

He was also the founder of Aligarh muslim university.

Why has he been controversial?

Sir syed Ahmed khan has often been criticised as the father of Two nation theory which led to the formation of two seperate nations i.e. India and Pakistan.

It is erroneously believed by some historians that the Hindu-Muslim divide in India was the by-product of the two-nation theory which supposedly had its origin in Sir Syed’s ideology.

Was “two-nation” theory in existence during his times?

“Nationalism” as a consciously-held idea was a 20th century phenomenon even in Europe, from where it was imported to India.

Eminent historian Anil Seal has rightly pointed out that during Sir Syed’s times, “there were no two nations, there was not even one nation, there was no nation at all.”

Till 1898, when Sir Syed breathed his last, there was nothing like an Indian “nation”, nor did the founding fathers of the Indian National Congress make such a claim.

Sir Octavian Hume, the founder of the Congress, talked of “a congeries of communities”, not a nation.

Sir Syed’s concept of nation:

Sir Syed’s concept of nation was inextricably woven with secular ideals.

Sir Syed believed in a multiculturalism under which all cultural communities must be entitled to equal status under state.

Rationale behind the Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University:

The main reason behind the establishment of this institution was the wretched dependence of the Muslims. Their religious fanaticism did not let them avail the educational facilities provided by the government schools and colleges. It was, therefore, deemed necessary to make some special arrangement for their education.

International Monetary and Financial Committee

(GS-II: Important International Institutions)

In News:

International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting was held recently.

Details:

The meeting was attended by Governors/Alternate Governors representing 190-member countries of the IMF.

The discussions at the meeting centered on “vaccinate, calibrate and accelerate” which is the theme of the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda.

The members of the IMFC elaborated the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19 and facilitate economic recovery.

About IMFC:

Composition: The IMFC has 24 members, drawn from the pool of 187 governors. Its structure mirrors that of the Executive Board and its 24 constituencies. As such, the IMFC represents all the member countries of the Fund.

Functions: The IMFC meets twice a year, during the Spring and Annual Meetings. The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and also advises the IMF on the direction its work.

At the end of the Meetings, the Committee issues a joint communiqué summarizing its views. These communiqués provide guidance for the IMF’s work program during the six months leading up to the next Spring or Annual Meetings. There is no formal voting at the IMFC, which operates by consensus.

Significance:

The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF Board of Governors on the supervision and management of the international monetary and financial system, including on responses to unfolding events that may disrupt the system.

It also considers proposals by the Executive Board to amend the Articles of Agreement and advises on any other matters that may be referred to it by the Board of Governors.

Although the IMFC has no formal decision-making powers, in practice, it has become a key instrument for providing strategic direction to the work and policies of the Fund.

World Food Day

(GS-III: Food Security related issues)

In News:

World Food Day is being celebrated every year on October 16 to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.

Theme:

The theme for World Food Day this year is “Our actions are our future- Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”

Background:

World Food Day was established in November 1979, as suggested by former Hungarian minister of agriculture and food Dr Pal Romany. It gradually became a way to raise awareness about hunger, malnutrition, sustainability and food production.

About FAO:

It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

Headquarters: Rome, Italy.

Founded: 16 October 1945.

Goal of FAO: Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Important reports and Programmes (Have a brief overview):

Global Report on Food Crises.

Every two years, FAO publishes the State of the World’s Forests.

FAO and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1961 to develop food standards, guidelines and texts.

In 1996, FAO organized the World Food Summit. The Summit concluded with the signing of the Rome Declaration, which established the goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by the year 2015.

In 1997, FAO launched TeleFood, a campaign of concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of media, celebrities and concerned citizens to help fight hunger.

The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was initiated in 1999. The main purpose of the programme is to attract public and media attention to the unacceptable situation that some 1 billion people continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in a time of unprecedented plenty.

In 2004 the Right to Food Guidelines were adopted, offering guidance to states on how to implement their obligations on the right to food.

FAO created the International Plant Protection Convention or IPPC in 1952.

FAO is depositary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, also called Plant Treaty, Seed Treaty or ITPGRFA, entered into force on 29 June 2004.

The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Partnership Initiative was conceptualized in 2002 during World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.