News: The Taliban and Afghan government on Monday declared a three-day ceasefire for this week’s Id-ul-Fitr holiday, following a sharp spike in violence as Washington goes about withdrawing its remaining troops from Afghanistan.
About Eid – Al – Fitr:
Eid al-Fitr also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” or Lesser Eid, or simply Eid, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities, so the day of celebration varies by locality.
Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) that consists of two rakats (units) generally performed in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (jamāʿat) and features six additional Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allāhu ʾAkbar”, meaning “God is the greatest”) in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam: three at the start of the first rakat and three just before rukūʿ in the second rakat.
About Islamic Calendar or Hijri:
The Hijri calendar also known as the Lunar Hijri calendar and as the Islamic, Muslim or Arabic calendar, is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days.
The Islamic calendar employs the Hijri era whose epoch was established as the Islamic New Year of 622 CE. During that year, Muhammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Medina and established the first Muslim community (ummah), an event commemorated as the Hijra.
Islamic days begin at sunset.
News: The number of people registering for jobs under MGNREGS has increased to 40 million in April from 36 million in March 2021. This rise in demand for rural jobs can be attributed to the second wave of covid-19, which has hit India badly and resulted in reverse migration.
About Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” or MGNREGA), is an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’.
This act was passed in September 2005 under the UPA government of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The act was first proposed in 1991 by P.V. Narasimha Rao.
The statute is hailed by the government as “the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world”.
The MGNREGA was initiated with the objective of “enhancing livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year, to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work”.
Another aim of MGNREGA is to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds and wells). Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant’s residence, and minimum wages are to be paid.
If work is not provided within 15 days of applying, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance.
That is, if the government fails to provide employment, it has to provide certain unemployment allowances to those people. Thus, employment under MGNREGA is a legal entitlement.
This is based on the principles of the Keynesian theory that during a downturn, governments can help generate employment and push demand by putting money in people’s hands.
MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned.
Apart from providing economic security and creating rural assets, NREGA can help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.”
The law provides many safeguards to promote its effective management and implementation. The act explicitly mentions the principles and agencies for implementation, list of allowed works, financing pattern, monitoring and evaluation, and most importantly the detailed measures to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Act aims to follow the Directive Principles of State Policy enunciated in Part IV of the Constitution of India. The law by providing a ‘right to work’ is consistent with Article 41 that directs the State to secure to all citizens the right to work.
The statute also seeks to protect the environment through rural works which is consistent with Article 48A that directs the State to protect the environment.
Need for the Scheme:
The Indian economy is known to be domestic consumption-led: 80% of the gross domestic product relies upon the domestic market. With nearly 65% of people living in rural areas, increased and continuous demand among the rural population has boosted the economy in times of crisis.
During the 2008-09 sub-prime crisis, the economy was insulated from the global financial crisis due to the rural purchasing power brought by the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.