Essential Facts (Prelims) – August 5 & 6, 2019

M.P. returns over 25% of target under PMAY


  • Madhya Pradesh has surrendered more than a quarter of its allotted Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) houses for this financial year.
  • This is the first time any State has done so.
  • PMAY aims to ensure that every rural Indian family has a pucca house with basic amenities by 2022, and expects to build a total of 2.95 crore houses by then.
  • Under PMAY(G), each beneficiary is given a total of ₹1.2 lakh to construct a pucca home, with a hygienic kitchen space. (The amount is ₹1.3 lakh for hilly States, difficult areas and tribal and backward districts which come under the Integrated Action Plan.)
  • The cost is split in a 60:40 ratio between the State and Central governments in plain areas, and a 90:10 ratio in northeastern and Himalayan States.
  • In the last three financial years, Madhya Pradesh has been second only to West Bengal in the number of houses constructed under PMAY(G), completing more than 13 lakh houses since 2016.

J&K loses its special status, divided into two UTs


  • Ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in the Indian Union, the government extended all provisions of the Constitution to the State in one go, downsized the State into two Union Territories and allowed all citizens to buy property and vote in the State.
  • In the first resolution, the President used his powers under Article 370 to fundamentally alter the provision, extending all Central laws, instruments and treaties to Kashmir. However, the drastically altered Article 370 will remain on the statute book.

Surrogacy regulation Bill passed in Lok Sabha


  • The Lok Sabha passed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 by a voice vote.
  • The Billseeks to ban commercial surrogacy and provides for constituting a National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards, and the appointment of appropriate authorities for the regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.
  • The Bill regulates altruistic surrogacy and prohibits commercial surrogacy.
  • It defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an eligible couple and agrees to hand over the child to them after the birth.

Govt. unveils draft e-com norms


  • To protect the interest of online shoppers, the Department of Consumer Affairs has released draft guidelines on e-commerce that state that an e-commerce entity cannot directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services.
  • The draft adds that e-commerce firms need to ensure that personally identifiable information of customers is protected.
  • It added that every e-commerce entity needs to publish the name and contact details of the grievance officer on their website along with the mechanism by which users can lodge their complaints.
  • As per the draft, an e-commerce firm cannot falsely represent themselves as consumers or post reviews about goods and services in their name.
  • Besides, it proposed to make it mandatory for firms to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty/guarantee, delivery/shipment, mode of payments and grievance redressal mechanism to enable consumers to make informed decisions.
  • The draft also proposes that once an e-commerce firm comes to know about any counterfeit product, and if the seller is unable to provide any evidence that the product is genuine, the firm needs to take down the listing and notify the consumers of the same.