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State Anthem of Meghalaya |

State Anthem of Meghalaya

In Context

∙ Marking Meghalaya’s 52nd statehood day on January 21 this year, the state government released an official state anthem.

About

∙ The anthem was not performed or played anywhere in the state on Republic Day.

∙ The government said that the anthem should not be played as the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for it is still being prepared. 

∙ Controversy: The two-minute-long anthem features segments in three languages – Khasi, Garo and English. 

∙ Soon after it was launched, there was a discontent over the Jaintia or Pnar language not being represented in it.

∙ On the other hand, the inclusion of English, the Jaintia Students’ Union accused the state government of “promoting a foreign language”, and said it should instead “include dialects of all three tribes – Khasi, Jaintia and Garo.”

Demography in Meghalaya

∙ Meghalaya is understood to have three major matrilineal communities – Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. 

∙ But the Jaintias are clubbed along with the Khasis in the state’s Scheduled Tribes (ST) list, along with tribes such as War, Bhoi and Lyngngam. 

∙ Together, they make up 14.1 lakh of the state’s population (based on 2011 Census data). 

∙ The Garos number around 8.21 lakh, with the state’s total population being 29.7 lakh.

Ethnic Groups in Meghalaya

∙ Meghalaya is inhabited by many distinct tribes, the most prominent being the Khasis, the Garos, and the Jaintias. 

∙ The Garos inhabit the western area, the central area by the Khasis and the eastern area by the Jaintias.

∙ The Khasis: ‘Hynniewtrep’ as they call themselves signifies ‘the seven huts’ which constitute about 50 percent of the population of the state.

∙ The Khasi tribe follow the culture, rituals and norms of matrilineal community.

∙ The Garos: They are habitants of Garo Hills and call themselves Achik-mande.

∙ In the Garo language ‘achik’ means ‘hills’ and ‘mande’ means ‘man’. Hence, Achik-mande means the hill-people. 

∙ The Garos are also one of the few tribes in the world who follow a matrilineal societal system.

∙ The Jaintias: This tribe is also called Pnar or Synteng. They belong to the Hynniewtrep sect of the Austric race whose kingdom was the oldest and most widely spread around Jaintia Hills.

∙ Like the other two, this tribe also is matrilineal where the youngest daughter of the family inherits the family property. 

Meghalaya State Language Act of 2005

∙ The Government has said that the anthem’s languages were selected based on the Meghalaya State Language Act of 2005.

∙ The Act designated English as the state’s official language and also designated Khasi as the ‘Associate Official Language’ for all purposes in the districts of East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, East Jaintia Hills, West Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi.

∙ Garo language was given the same status in the districts of East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills, North Garo Hills and South West Garo Hills.

Lakhpati Didi Scheme

Syllabus: GS2/Government Policies and Interventions

Prelims + Mains

Context: 

∙ With the aim of creating two crore women entrepreneurs in villages, the Union Finance Minister announced expansion of the Lakhpati Didi Scheme in her Interim Budget 2024–25 speech.

∙ The interim budget proposes to increase the number of beneficiaries to three crore from 2 crore.

Lakhpati Didi Scheme

∙ Launched: December 2023

∙ Aim:  To financially empower women in rural areas and promote their entrepreneurial spirit. 

Key Features:

∙ Target beneficiaries: Women members of existing or newly formed SHGs in rural areas.

∙ Participants in the Scheme must be active members of self-help groups.

∙ Documents required: Domicile certificate, Aadhar card, Ration card, Proof of income and Bank details.

∙ Financial assistance: Interest-free loan of Rs. 5 lakh per SHG for initiating or expanding income-generating activities.

∙ Skill training: Skill development programs in various areas like tailoring, food processing, animal husbandry, etc., based on local needs and market potential.

∙ Market linkages: Connecting SHGs with markets through fairs, exhibitions, and digital platforms.

Significance

∙ Increase in income: Help women earn a sustainable income of at least Rs. 1 lakh annually per household.

∙ Financial inclusion: Bring more women into the formal financial system by encouraging them to join self-help groups (SHGs).

∙ Skill development: Provide skill training to women entrepreneurs to improve their business capabilities.∙ Women empowerment: Create a network of successful women entrepreneurs who can inspire and support others

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