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5th August Current Affairs

Ministry of Culture releases the third Comic book on stories of 20 Tribal Freedom Fighters

(GS-I: Modern Indian history, tribal uprisings etc)

In News:

The Ministry of Culture has released the third Comic book on stories of 20 Tribal Freedom Fighters on 2nd August at Tiranga Utsav celebration in New Delhi.

Details:

This collection of stories recalls the sacrifices of some of the bravest men and women who inspired their tribes and gave up their lives to fight British rule.

The tribal freedom fighters, who were unsung heroes of freedom struggle,  and whose stories have been included are as follows:

Tilka Majhi: He rebelled against the atrocities of the British East India Company.

He mobilized the Pahadia tribe to which he belonged and raided the Company treasury. He was hanged.

Thalakkal Chanthu of the Kurichiyar tribe: It was an invaluable part of Pazhassi Raja’s war against the East India Company. He was hanged.

Budhu Bhagat of the Oraon tribe: He was shot down in one of his many encounters with the British, along with his brother, seven sons and 150 men from his tribe.

Tirot Singh, a Khasi chief: He realized the duplicity of the British and waged war against them. He was captured, tortured and imprisoned. He died in prison.

Raghoji Bhangre: He belonged to the Mahadeo Koli tribe. He revolted against the British  and continued his struggle even though his mother was imprisoned. He was captured and hanged.

Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu from the Santhal community: Revolted against the British and their stooges. They led the Santhal in the Hul rebellion.

Both were betrayed, caught and hanged.

Rendo Manjhi and Chakra Bisoi of the Khond tribe: They objected to the British interfering in their customs.

Rendo was caught and hanged while Chakra Bisoi became a fugitive and died in hiding.

The Indian Uprising in Meerut: Nilambar and Pitamber who belonged to the Bhogta clan of the Kharwar tribe were inspired to revolt and led their people to rise up against British oppression. They were both captured and hanged.

Ramji Gond of the Gond tribe: Theyrose against the feudal system by which wealthy landlords oppressed the poor with the support of the British. He was caught and hanged.

Telanga Kharia of the Kharia tribe: He refused to accept the tax system of the British and their governance.

He insisted that they follow their traditional method of self-governance and organized raids on the treasury. He was betrayed and shot dead

Tantiya Bhil, known as the Robin Hood of the Central Provinces: Robbed trains carrying British wealth and distributed it among his tribe, the Bhils. He was trapped and hanged.

Major Paona Brajabashi of Manipur: He fought to defend the kingdom of Manipur.

He was the hero of the Anglo-Manipur war. He fought like a lion but was overpowered and beheaded.

Birsa Munda, of the Munda tribe, became a legend in his opposition to the British.

He led the Mundas in a series of confrontations with them. He was caught and imprisoned and according to British records, died of cholera. He was 25 years old when he died.

Matmur Jamoh of the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh: He rebelled against the arrogance of the British. He and his companions surrendered to the British as their villages were being burnt. They were sent to the Cellular Jail and died there.

Tana Bhagat of the Oraon tribe/ He was inspired by a divine vision to preach to his people and make them aware of the exploitation of their British overlords. He was caught and tortured severely. He was released, a broken man, and died subsequently.

Malati Mem of the Tea-garden community: was inspired to join Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha movement. She fought against the British monopoly over opium and educated her people about the dangers of opium addiction. During an encounter with the police, she was shot dead.

Laxman Naik of the Bhuyan tribe: was also inspired by Gandhi and campaigned extensively to get tribes to join the freedom movement. The British framed him for the killing of a friend and he was hanged to death.

Helen Lepcha of the Lepcha tribe: was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Her influence over her people made the British restless. She was shot at, imprisoned and hounded but she never lost courage.

In 1941 she helped Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose escape from house arrest and travel to Germany. She was awarded the Tamra Patra for her invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle.

Pulimaya Devi Podar: heard Gandhi when she was in school and wanted to join the freedom struggle immediately.

Despite stiff opposition from her family she joined the movement after her studies and encouraged women to join her.

She was imprisoned for her participation in protests.

After independence she continued to serve her people and was awarded the title of ‘Swatantra Sainani’.

Subscribers say there is surplus money in EPS

(GS-III: Issues related to mobilization of resources, employment, EPS, Government budgeting etc)

In News:

Employees and pensioners in the Supreme Court on Thursday tore into the controversial amendments on “determination of pensionable salary” introduced into the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) of 1995.

Details:

Surplus money in the scheme: There is surplus money in the scheme. Government and EPFO are earning as interest is more than what they are paying as monthly pension, lawyer submitted.

Clause 11(3) of the EPS-1995: The dispute revolved around the controversial amendments made to Clause 11(3) of the EPS-1995.

The Kerala High Court had struck down the amendments, following which the EPFO had appealed in the Supreme Court.

Extension of period of calculation of average salary from 12 months to 60 months: The pensionable salary was originally an average of 12 months’ pay before the date of the employee’s exit from the EPS.

The amendments had extended the period of calculation of average salary from 12 months to 60 months.

Further contribution of 1.16%: The amendment created an additional obligation for employees whose salaries exceeded the ₹15,000 ceiling, they had to contribute a further 1.16% of their salary in addition to their Employees Provident Fund contribution.

The 1.16% contribution is contrary to the provisions of the Employees Provident Fund Act itself.

Employees Pension Scheme (EPS):

It is a social security scheme that was launched in 1995.

The scheme, provided by EPFO, makes provisions for pensions for the employees in the organized sector after the retirement at the age of 58 years.

Employees who are members of EPF automatically become members of EPS.

Both employer and employee contribute 12% of employee’s monthly salary (basic wages plus dearness allowance) to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme.

EPF scheme is mandatory for employees who draw a basic wage of Rs. 15,000 per month.

Of the employer’s share of 12 %, 8.33 % is diverted towards the EPS.

Central Govt. also contributes 1.16% of employees’ monthly salary.

Ination driving 8% of GST revenue rise

In News:

High inflation is driving about 8% of the current surge in Goods and Services Tax revenues, and inflation-adjusted GST collections so far this year are 26% higher than pre-COVID levels, SBI Research said in a report, suggesting this rise could be driven by higher consumption.

Details:

SBI Research also raised its current account deficit target for this year to 3.7% of GDP, projecting the trade deficit to widen to 8.5% of GDP in 2022-23.

The bank’s researchers attributed the entire expansion in India’s trade deficit in July over June, to the dip in exports caused by government measures to control inflation, such as windfall taxes on petroleum products.

GST collections have clocked over ₹1.4 lakh crore for five successive months, with July recording the second highest revenues since the indirect tax regime’s introduction at almost ₹1.49 lakh crore, 28% higher than a year earlier.

There is a 26% jump in inflation adjusted GST from the pre-pandemic level at ₹95,000 crore.

Trade Deficit:

With the record goods trade deficit of $31 billion in July, compared to the previous high of $26.2 billion in June, taking the deficit past $100 billion for the year already, the researchers estimated the full-year deficit at 8.5% of GDP.

Interestingly, this is much lower than the peak deficit of 10.7% of GDP achieved in 2012-13. Thus, the current situation is much better than that in 2012-13.