Socio-Ec onomic Current Affairs - 2020

Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Union Budget 2015-16 in the Parliament.

It was the first full year Budget of the NDA government under leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi and the second budget of Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister.

Highlights of Union Budget 2015-16


  • No change in the Tax slab on personal income.
  • Wealth tax abolished.
  • Additional 2% surcharge for the super-rich with income more than Rs. 1 crore.
  • For next 4 years, corporate tax has been reduced to 25 percent from present 30 percent.
  • Service tax increased to14 per cent.
  • Apart from CSR, 100% tax exemption for contribution to Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.

New projects 

  • 5 more AIIMSs in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
  • IIT in Karnataka. While, the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, Jharkhand will be converted into IIT.
  • 2 more IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Post-Graduation institutes of Horticulture in Amritsar, Punjab.
  • University of Disability Studies will be established in Kerala.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, Centre of film production, animation and gaming will come up.
  • For Infrastructure sector Rs. 70,000 crores allocated.
  • Projects in rail road and irrigation bonds will be tax free.
  • Infrastructure development through PPP model will be revitalised and government will bear majority of the risk.
  • Atal Innovation Mission will be established to draw on expertise of researchers and entrepreneurs to foster scientific innovations. For this mission Rs. 150 crore allocated.
  • 5 ultra-mega power projects each of 4000MW proposed by Government


  • 2,46,726 crore allocated for Defence. It is 9.87 per cent greater than last year.
  • Make in India campaign will take into consideration for speedy manufacturing of Defence equipment.

Welfare Schemes and new programmes

  • Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, six crore toilets across the country will be built.
  • By 2020, housing for all.
  • MGNREGA will get MGNREGA of Rs. 5,000 crore. It is highest allocation to this scheme.
  • To improve quality of life of common man, GST and JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) will be launched.
  • To encourage first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs, MUDRA bank will provide finance.
  • Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) will be further be expanded to 10.3 crore from 1 crore.
  • Government will contribute 50% of the premium limited to Rs. 1,000 a year for the Atal Pension Yojana.
  • 9,000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF will be used for Senior Citizens Fund.
  • For all Indian, government will create universal social security system.
  • For electric cars production Rs. 75 crore allocated.
  • Renewable energy target for 2022: 60K MW in wind; 10K MW in biomass, 100K MW in solar and 5K MW in small hydro plants.
  • Under the new tourism scheme, development of churches and convents in old Goa; Hampi, Elephanta caves, , Jallianwala Bagh, Forests of Rajasthan, Leh palace, Varanasi Qutb Shahi tombs at Hyderabad.
  • Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to be increased for 150 countries from present 43 countries.
  • As an alternative to purchasing gold, Sovereign Gold Bond will be launched.
  • In order to facilitate depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts new scheme will be launched.
  • Forward Markets Commission (FMC) will be merged with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Under SARFAESI Act 2002, NBFCs registered with the RBI having asset size of Rs 500 crore and above to be considered as financial institution for mid-corporate businesses and fund SME.
  • For Rural Infrastructure Development Bank, Rs. 25,000 crore allocated.
  • To support Micro Irrigation Programme, Rs. 5,300 crore allocated.

General Election 2014: Resounding victory for BJP, Congress faces drubbing in 6 states

World’s biggest democratic exercise- India’s 16th Lok Sabha (Lower House) elections which ran from April, 7 to May 12, 2014 are over and its verdict is out. Of the total 543 seats for which elections were contested, BJP led NDA achieved a thumping victory on 336 seats, whereas, Congress led UPA has faced thorough defeat in 6 key states winning just 59 seats, and the Congress, 44 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which contested on 424 seats has faced debacle as it could win just 4 seats. AAP leader and former Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejrival, who contested against the Narendra Modi from Varanasi, defeated by a huge margin of more than 3 lakh votes.

With this NDA victory, BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is all set to be the head of the newly elected Indian Government.

Some high spots of Lok Sabha polls 2014:

  • It was 16th Lok Sabha election.
  • Election Commission of India conducted election in 9 phases, longest election in the country’s history.
  • 8,251 candidates contested for 543 constituencies in India.
  • 814.5 million People were eligible voters, with an increase of 100 million voters since the last general election in 2009, making this the largest-ever election in the world.
  • Average election turnout was around 66.38%, the highest ever in the history of Indian general elections.
  • With more than six times the seats of its closest contenders, Modi’s is the most decisive mandate for a leader since the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi propelled her son to office. Since 1989, India has been governed by coalitions.
  • With 282 seats, the BJP has won the highest number of seats by a single party in the modern, post-regional politics era, compared with 244 for the Congress in 1991 and 206 for it in 2009.
  • It is the worst ever performance by Congress compared to its show in other previous General Elections.
  • Since 1977, the BJP is the first non-Congress party to defeat Congress by such a huge margin. However, the biggest tally of seats achieved by a non-Congress party is 295 won by the Janata Party in the 1977 post-Emergency election that ousted Mrs. Gandhi from office.
  • BJP registered its biggest win in Uttar Pradesh winning 71 seats despite a big coalition partner, the best performance by a single party in the state since 1984 when the Congress won 83 of 85 seats.

Results Lok Sabha Polls 2014:

NDA (BJP + Allies) 335
UPA (Congress + Allies) 59
SP 5
JD(U) 2
TOTAL 543/543


Alliance Vote share (%)
NDA 35
UPA 23