Must Read News Articles I 20th February 2020

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By agreeing to Partition, Congress kept India United.

The article reasons that by agreeing to partition, congress leaders such as Jawahar Lal Nehru and Vallabh Bhai Patel made India strong and united.

Historical evidence based on im­partial scholarship demonstrates that had the Congress Party not ac­cepted the Partition plan, India today would have been a weak state and a divided polity barely able to keep it­self together and constantly teetering on the brink of collapse. The Con­gress did a favour to the country by accepting its division in order to save it from collapse or dismemberment.

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Trade agreement with US only delayed not stuck, says govt

The Central govt has said that an Indo­U.S. trade deal has been delayed but is not “stuck”.

Swachh Bharat Mission second phase gets nod

The Centre on Wednesday approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), focussing on sustainability of ODF and management of solid and liquid waste.

SBM-G Phase-II will be implemented in a mission mode with a total estimated budgeted financial implication of Rs 52,497 crore for the period from 2020-21 to 2024-25 including the Central and state shares.

The Union Budget for 2020-­21  had  allocated Rs. 9,994 crore for the first year  of  the  mission’s Phase­ II. The scheme will be im­plemented by the States, with a fund sharing pattern of  60:40  between  the Centre and the States. In the northeastern and Himalayan states, the Cen­tral share will be 90%.

Centre to form a new law panel

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to set up the 22nd Law Com­mission. The Law Ministry will now notify the new panel, which will have a three­year term. Apart from a full­time

chairperson, the commis­sion will have four full­time members,  including  a member­secretary.

The Law and Legislative Secretaries in the Law Minis­try will be ex­officio mem­bers of the commission.

A retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High Court will head the commission.

Originally formed in 1955, the Law Commission is reconsti­tuted every three years

ART bill proposes national registry of clinics

The Union Cabinet on Wed­nesday approved the Assist­ed Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill, 2020 to mon­itor  medical  procedures used to assist people to achieve pregnancy.

India and US: Matters of Trade

The article highlights why trade with US matters to India and the main sticking points in the proposed Trade agreement

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Central Govt cuts its share in flagship crop insurance scheme

The Union Cabinet has ap­proved the revamp of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and the Res­tructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme.

The Centre has almost halved its contribution to its own flagship crop insurance

schemes, slashing its share of the premium subsidy from the current 50% to just 25% in irrigated areas and 30% for unirrigated areas from the kharif season of 2020. Currently, the

Centre and State split the ba­lance of the premium equal­ly. However, the revamp now reduces the burden on the Centre and increases the share of States.

Further, enrolment in the two schemes has also been made voluntary for all farmers, in­cluding those with existing crop loans. Earlier it was compulsory for the loanee farmers.

Modi Government in denial of slowdown

Former Prime Minister Man­mohan Singh on Wednesday said the Narendra Modi go­vernment was in denial of the economic slowdown and its target of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024-­25was “wishful thinking”.

Central team assesses damage to crops in locust hit Rajasthan

An Inter­Ministerial Central Team, visiting the locust ­af­fected areas in Rajasthan, has taken stock of damage caused by insects to the crops in Jodhpur and Bikan­er divisions.

The team members in­spected the damaged wheat, gram, castor, taramira, cu­min and isabgol crops in Jai­salmer, Barmer, Jalore and Jodhpur districts.

The tropical grasshoppers emerged in January 2019 from Sudan and Eritrea on Africa’s Red Sea Coast and travelled through Saudi Ara­bia and Iran to enter Pakis­tan, where they invaded the cotton­ producing belt of Sindh province. The swarms of locusts then entered the Thar desert, damaging the crops in western Rajasthan and northern Gujarat.

The missing piece in India’s defence jigsaw puzzle

The article highlights that there is need for India to increase its stock of state of art weapons. It ststes that what is needed is adequate reflection and a cost benefit analysis to ensure that the amount expended are in tune with our strategic requirements

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