14, October 2017

  1. SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue

Source: The Hindu

The Supreme Court has asked the government to strike a balance between humanitarian concern for Rohingya community staying in India and the country’s national security and economic interests. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community the liberty to approach it in case of “any contingency.”

Background:

  • A plea was filed in the supreme court by Rohingyas for protection of the life and liberty of their community. Petitioners say, the Centre’s move to deport them violated the constitutional guarantee that the Indian state should “protect the life and liberty of every human being, whether citizen or not.”
  • As per the petitioners, “The proposed deportation is contrary to the constitutional protections of Article 14 (equality), Article 21 (right to life) and Article 51(c) (respect for international law and treaty obligations) of the Constitution.”

Who are the Rohingya?

  • Few years ago, religious and ethnic tensions between the Rohingya Muslims and the Rakhine Buddhists (who make up the majority of the population in Mayanmar) escalated into widespread, deadly rioting. Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee. Since then, ongoing violent attacks have forced even more people to leave their homes.
  • The Myanmar Government says that Rohingya people are not Burmese citizens – but the Rohingya have been living in Myanmar for generations. Today, they are a people with no home or citizenship.
  • Rohingya people are being widely abused and exploited. They are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
  • According to estimate, there are around 40,000 Rohingya in India, of which around 5,700 are in Jammu. Of these, only 16,000 are said to be registered with the U.N. body.

  1. Mitra Shakti 2017

Source: PIB

The fifth India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2017 is being held in Pune.

Key facts:

  • The exercise is based on Counter Terrorist Operations and an Infantry company from both the countries is participating in the same.
  • The aim of the joint training is to exchange the best of military practices of the two countries and build a strong military-to-military relation between the two armies.
  • The exercise, the fifth in the series, also aims at developing joint strategies by sharing the expertise of conducting operations, especially in the counter-insurgency and counter terrorism (CI and CT) environment.
  • The fourth chapter of the exercise was held at the Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka, in 2016, when the main focus was to enhance inter-operability in CI and CT operations under the UN mandate.

 Significance of this exercise:

  • The training exercise is considered an important effort in India’s response to China’s growing influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. It is expected to send a strong signal to the world that both India and Sri Lanka understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace.

  1. APY subscribers to touch 1 crore by March 2018

Source: The Hindu

According to the estimates by Finance Ministry, the subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a guaranteed pension scheme for unorganised sector, is expected to increase to 1 crore by March next year.

  • APY is being used as an important instrument for inclusion. Within three years, the scheme has been able to mobilise nearly 69 lakh accounts. Given the huge population, there is a long way to go as the pension coverage is very low in the country.

APY:

  • The Atal Pension Yojana became operational from June 1, 2015 and is available to all the citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.
  • Under the scheme, a subscriber would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month, depending upon his contribution, from the age of 60 years.
  • The same pension would be paid to the spouse of the subscriber and on the demise of both the subscriber and the spouse, the accumulated pension wealth is returned to the nominee.
  • The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, that is, from 2015-16 to 2019-20, to those who join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and who are not Income Tax payers.

  1. Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

Source: PIB

In a bid to provide affordable life insurance services to people, particularly those living in rural areas of the country, the government has launched Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana and expanded the coverage of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).

  • With this, apart from government employees, PLI will now cover professionals also. The decision has been taken to enlarge the cover of social security and bring the maximum number of people under the protection of Postal Life Insurance (PLI).

Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana:

  • Under the Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country, wherein endeavour will be made to cover all households of that identified village with a minimum of one RPLI (Rural Postal Life Insurance) policy each. Coverage of all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village is the primary objective of this scheme.
  • Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI), introduced on March 24, 1995 on the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee, provides insurance cover to people residing in rural areas, especially weaker sections and women living in rural areas.

Postal Life Insurance:

  • Postal Life Insurance (PLI) was introduced on 1st February 1884. In the beginning, the upper limit of life insurance was only Rs 4000, which has now increased to Rs 50 lakh. It covers employees of Central and state governments, Central and state public sector undertakings, universities, government-aided educational institutions, nationalized banks, local bodies, autonomous bodies, joint ventures having a minimum of 10% Govt./PSU stake, credit co-operative societies etc.
  • PLI also extends the facility of insurance to the officers and staff of the Defence services and para-military forces. Apart from single insurance policies, Postal Life Insurance also manages a group insurance scheme for the extra departmental employees (Gramin Dak Sevaks) of the Department of Posts.



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