Haryana Current Affairs - 2019
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The Swachh Shakti 2019, a convention of Women Sarpanches was held at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The convention was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister also distributed the Swachh Shakti 2019 awards on the occasion.
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with the Govt. of Haryana had organized the Swachh Shakti-2019.
Swachh Shakti-2019 showcased the best practices from grass root level in the rural areas for Swachh Bharat, the achievements of Swachh Bharat Mission and Swachh Sunder Shauchalay campaign.
Swachh Shakti is a national event which aims to bring in to focus the leadership role played by rural women in Swachh Bharat Mission.
Swachh Shakti convention is part of ongoing activities under the aegis of the Swachh Bharat Mission, launched on October 2nd, 2014, by the Prime Minister Narendra Mode aimed at achieving a Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October 2019.
The Swachh Shakti program was launched by the PM Modi in 2017 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The Second Swachh Shakti convention was held at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh in 2018.
The Swachh Shakti convention aims to showcase how at the grass root level, rural women champions are acting as a change agent to mobilize the community and lead from the front women taking initiatives for a Swachh Bharat.
The Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan passed the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to end the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic polls candidates.
What was the education criterion proposed?
As per the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015, Candidates were:
- Required to have passed Class X for contesting municipal elections, Class VIII for contesting panchayat polls for the post of a sarpanch, and Class X for contesting Zila Parishad or Panchayat Samiti elections.
- Construction of toilets in their homes as mandatory for contesting polls to the panchayati raj institutions in the state.
Even the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of a similar law in Haryana which mandated education qualification for candidacy in local polls. The Supreme Court had said that “it is only education which gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad”.
Why the government scrapped the criterion?
In the run-up to the assembly elections in 2018, the Congress Party had included in its manifesto that it would abolish the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic polls candidates if it comes to power.
Defending the bill the government stated in assembly that Sarpanches awarded by President, Vice President were declared ineligible due to the provisions in the previous Act. The Act was against the basic tenants of the Constitution and society cannot be divided on the basis of education.
The government even stated that several cases had come up where people contested the election on the basis of fake certificates. The minimum education qualification created two sections in the society and the illiterate people had started feeling inferior.
Tags: Civic Polls • Haryana • Minimum Education Qualification • Rajasthan • Rajasthan Municipality (Amendment) Bill 2019 • Rajasthan Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill 2019 • Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015 • Sarpanches • Supreme Court