PIB Analysis ( Prelims Focus) Date: 26, 27, 28th October


Topics Covered

  1. Soil Health Card Scheme
  2. Dance forms of Manipur and Tagore Award
  3. Electoral Bond Scheme
  4. GST Council

1 . Soil Health Card Scheme

What is Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme?

  • It is a scheme promoted by the Department of  Agriculture & Co-operation under the Ministry of Agriculture. 
  • It will be implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments. 
  • A SHC is meant to give each farmer soil nutrient status of his holding and advice him on the dosage of fertilizers and also the needed soil amendments, that he should apply to maintain soil health in the long run.

What is a Soil Health Card?

  • SHC is a printed report that a farmer will be handed over for each of his holdings. 
  • It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macro-nutrients) ; S (Secondary-nutrient) ; Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients) ; and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters). 
  • Based on this, the SHC will also indicate fertilizer recommendations and soil amendment required for thefarm.

How can a farmer use a SHC?

  • The card will contain an advisory based on the soil nutrient status of a farmer’s holding.
  • It will show recommendations on dosage of different nutrients needed. 
  • Further, it will advise the farmer on the fertilizers and their quantities he should apply, and also the soil amendments that he should undertake, so as to realize optimal yields.

What is the ideal time for soil sampling?

  • Soil Samples are taken generally two times in a year, after harvesting of Rabi and Kharif Crop respectively or when there is no standing crop in the field.

2 .  A doyen of Manipuri dance Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh bags Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for 2014

Dance forms of Manipur

  • Thang-ta – Martial Art Of Manipur
  • Nata-Sankirtana – is a form of performing art involving ritual singing, drumming and dancing performed in the temples and domestic spaces. The performers narrate many stories of Krishna. Sankirtana: Ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur” was inscribed on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during the eighth session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee meeting 
  • Lai-haraoba – is one of the main festivals still performed in Manipur which has its roots in the pre-Vaishnavite period. Lai Haraoba is the earliest form of dance which forms the basis of all stylised dances in Manipur. Literally meaning – the merrymaking of the gods, it is performed as a ceremonial offering of song and dance. The principal performers are the maibas and maibis (priests and priestesses) who re-enact the theme of the creation of the world.
  • Rasleela – With the arrival of Vaishnavism in the 15th century A.D., new compositions based on episodes from the life of Radha and Krishna were gradually introduced. It was in the reign of King Bhagyachandra that the popular Rasleela dances of Manipur originated. It is said, that this 18th century philosopher king conceived this complete dance form along with its unique costume and music in a dream. Under successive rulers, new leelas, and rhythmic and melodic compositions were introduced. The themes often depict the pangs of separation of the gopis and Radha from Krishna.

About Tagore Award

  • The annual award was instituted by the Government of India during the commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
  • The Jury under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and comprising of the Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Shri N. Gopalaswami & Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe after detailed discussions on 24th October, 2018 unanimously decided to select Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Chhayanaut and Shri Ram Vanji Sutar to be the recipients of the Tagore Award for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 respectively, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to cultural harmony.

3 . Electoral Bond Scheme

What is it?

  • Electoral Bond is a bearer Banking Instrument to be used for funding eligible Political Parties.
  • An eligible Political Party is the one registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly.

Who can purchase Electoral Bonds?

The Electoral Bonds under this Scheme may be purchased by a Person, who is a Citizen of India or Incorporated or Established in India. The definition of “Person” includes-

  1. an Individual;
  2. a Hindu Undivided Family
  3. a Company
  4. a Firm
  5. an Association of Persons or a Body of Individuals, whether incorporated or not
  6. every Artificial Juridical Person, not falling within any of the preceding sub-clauses
  7. any Agency, Office or Branch owned or controlled by such person.

How it works ?

  • The bonds will be issued in multiples of ₹1,000, ₹10,000, ₹1 lakh, ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore and will be available at specified branches of State Bank of India. They can be bought by the donor with a KYC-compliant account.
  • Donors can donate the bonds to their party of choice which can then be cashed in via the party’s verified account within 15 days.

4 . GST Council

  • Goods & Services Tax Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax.
  • The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in-charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.

Mandate of GST Council

The Goods and Services Tax Council shall make recommendations to the Union and the States on—

  1. the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Union, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed in the goods and services tax;
  2. the goods and services that may be subjected to, or exempted from the goods and services tax;
  3. model Goods and Services Tax Laws, principles of levy, apportionment of Goods and Services Tax levied on supplies in the course of inter-State trade or commerce under article 269A and the principles that govern the place of supply;
  4. the threshold limit of turnover below which goods and services may be exempted from goods and services tax;
  5. the rates including floor rates with bands of goods and services tax;
  6. any special rate or rates for a specified period, to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster;
  7. special provision with respect to the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and
  8. any other matter relating to the goods and services tax, as the Council may decide.


  • The Goods and Services Tax Council shall recommend the date on which the goods and services tax be levied on petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel.

Other relevant points

  • Every decision of the Goods and Services Tax Council shall be taken at a meeting, by a majority of not less than three-fourths of the weighted votes of the members present and voting, in accordance with the following principles, namely: —
  1. the vote of the Central Government shall have a weightage of one third of the total votes cast, and
  2. the votes of all the State Governments taken together shall have a weightage of two-thirds of the total votes cast, in that meeting.

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