States Current Affairs – 2017

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Odisha’s Sualgiri, Swalgiri Communities Notified as Scheduled Castes

Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities of Odisha have been notified as Scheduled Castes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017. Last month, Rajya Sabha had passed the bill after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March. Accordingly, the Sualgiri, Swalgiri communities have been notified as Scheduled Castes in the modified list for Odisha.

Similarly, the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 has replaced the term Union Territory of Pondicherry to Puducherry.

Benefits

The Constitution provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. The Scheduled Castes status will entitle these communities to get reservation in government jobs and admission into educational institutions in addition to some other financial benefits. The government implements various schemes for the benefit of the Scheduled Castes like post-matric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi national fellowship, concessional loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, provision of hostel facilities for the SC boys and girls etc.

Background

The constitution of India empowers the Parliament of India to modify the list of notified scheduled castes, which upon receiving the assent of the President of India can be notified as Scheduled Castes. Under the provision of Article 341, list of SCs in relation to a states/UT is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consulting concerned state Government. But the clause (2) of Article 341 envisages that, any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected only through an Act of Parliament.

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Madhya Pradesh becomes First State to Shift Financial Year to Jan-Dec Format

Madhya Pradesh has become the first state in the country to shift its financial year from the present April-March cycle to January-December. The state’s budget session for the next financial year would be held in December-January. Hence, the state government plans to finish the current budget proceedings by December this year.

Implications

Shifting of the financial year format to January-December would require shifting of the tax assessment year. It also necessitates changes to be made in infrastructure especially at the level of companies.

Background

The decision of the Madhya Pradesh state government comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion of shifting the fiscal year to January-December period during NITI Aayog governing council meeting on April 23 held at New Delhi. He had reasoned that as agricultural income is exceedingly important, budgets need to be prepared immediately after the receipt of agricultural incomes for the year.

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Uttar Pradesh: An Ambulance Service for Cows Flagged-Off

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has flagged off an ambulance service that would cater to the needs of the cows. Under the ‘Gauvansh Chikitsa Mobile Vans’ service, initially, 5 ambulances were flagged off to cover Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Mathura and Allahabad. The ambulance will have a veterinary doctor along with an assistant to rescue ill or injured cows and transport them to ‘gau shalas’ or take them for treatment to the veterinary hospital.

In addition, a gau seva toll-free number” has also been released to enable common people to come forward to help the cows.

The ambulance service will be run in collaboration with the MNREGA Mazdoor Kalyan Sanghathan. Mazdoor Kalyan Sanghathan is an organization that claims to work for the welfare of the labourers and others employed in the informal sector. The organization has a presence in 5 states. A similar initiative to save cows was initiated in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh a few days ago.

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