Current Affairs Government Schemes

  Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will head the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, which is being set up to promote clean and sustainable mobility initiatives in the country. The terms of reference of the mission include ensuring implementation and compliance of the decisions and recommendations of the steering committee.
Source: Economic Times

  The Delhi government’s Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC), a think-tank that advises the government on key issues, has set up a 17-member high-level committee to “reform higher education” in the capital. The committee will be chaired by DDC vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah. The committee will “recommend goals, metrics, policies, and actionable plans for reforming Delhi’s higher education system within a year”. Nalanda 2.0, a non-profit policy think tank is collaborating with the DDC as the knowledge partner in the initiative.
Source- DD News

 The Supreme Court ordered a court-monitored mediation in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case to arrive at a “permanent solution” to the politically and religiously sensitive issue. The five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi appointed a panel of 3 mediators in the title suit with Retired Justice Kalifullah chairing the court-appointed and monitored mediation process. The other two members are spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu. 
Here is the Short Information on the 3 Members of the Panel:
  • 1. Retired Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla: Justice Kalifulla started his law practice in Chennai. He was appointed Madras High Court judge in 2000.
  • 2. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Founder of Art of Living foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was born in Papanasam, Tamil Nadu and has made a lot of controversial statements about the Ayodhya case in the past.
  • 3. Sr. Advocate Sriram Panchu- Senior Advocate and an expert mediator, Sriram Panchu has been mediating cases since 1990s. He founded The Mediation Chambers, India’s first such centre in 2005 and is also on the board of the International Mediation Institute (IMI) as a director.

  The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan handed over the Seven Croreth LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). The PMUY was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st May 2016 with an initial target of five crore LPG connections, which was later revised upward to eight crores connections.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood. Under this scheme, LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs.1600 per connection. The connection is provided in the name of the adult women of the family. Further, an option is provided to provide a loan at zero interest to bear the cost of the cooking stove and first refill which has to be paid by the beneficiary. Some of the significant achievements of the scheme are:
  • 7 crore LPG connections have been distributed over a span of 34 months. This comes down to around nearly 69 thousand connections are being released per day.
  • 82 per cent PMUY beneficiaries are going for refilling their cylinder and average refilling is about 6.5 cylinders per beneficiary.
  • About 42 per cent of the total beneficiaries belong to the SCs and STs.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged the PMUY as ne of decisive interventions by the Indian government to address the indoor air pollution which accounts for nearly 10 lakh (1 million) deaths every year across India.
Intitailly the beneficiaries under the scheme were identified through socio economic caste census, now all the poor of the country are now eligible to get PMUY connection. Further to give a fillip to the scheme 6800 new distributorships were given to strengthen rural LPG supply chain.

 The World Bank, Government of India and representatives from the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand signed Loan Agreement for additional financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) that will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams. This additional funding of $137 million will be used for the construction of an additional spillway for Hirakud Dam in Odisha and in rehabilitation and improvement of other dams including strengthening the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating States.
Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation through Central Water Commission with an objective to improve safety and operational performance dams, along with institutional strengthening with system-wide management approach, embarked upon the six-year Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) in 2012 with World Bank assistance at a cost of INR 2100 Crore (US$M 437.5). In India Rainfall occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within short monsoon seasons, is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands. Hence storage of water is essential for India and the dams play a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development. These dams benefit millions of people and therefore needs to be strengthened with more investment in their operations and maintenance. Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project act as a “lighthouse” showcasing how best to make dams fully operational and safe in a technically sound and sustainable manner.

  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified the norms for banks with regards to two per cent interest subvention or subsidy for short-term crop loans during 2018-19 and 2019-20 under the interest subvention scheme approved by the central government.
Interest subvention scheme Under the interest subvention scheme, the central government provides short term crop loan up to one year for a loan up to Rs. 3 lakhs. The Central government provides an interest subvention of 2 per cent for these short term crop loans. The RBI circular notes that interest subvention of 2 per cent will be calculated on the crop loan amount from the date of its disbursement/drawal up to the date of actual repayment of the crop loan by the farmer or up to the due date of the loan fixed by the banks whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum period of one year. For Farmers repaying the loan promptly an additional 2 per cent interest subvention is provided. This brings down the effective rate of short-term crop loans works out to be 4 per cent per annum.

  The World Bank will provide a $250-million loan for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP). National Rural Economic Transformation Project is a new sub-component under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) of the Ministry of  Rural Development. 
National Rural Economic Transformation Project
  • NRETP supports enterprise development programmes for rural poor women and youth by creating a platform to access finance including start-up financing options to build their individual and/or collectively owned and managed enterprises.
  • The project also involves developing financial products using digital financial services to help small producer collectives scale-up and engage with the market.
  • It also supports youth skills development, in coordination with the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.
  • The key focus of the project is to promote women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm enterprises across value chains, enabling them to build businesses that help them access finance, markets and networks; and generate employment.
The $250-million loan from the World Bank has a 5-year grace period and a final maturity of 20 years.

 The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19 was conducted by an Independent Verification Agency under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
Findings of the Survey
  • 93.1 per cent of households in rural India have access to toilets during the survey period and 96.5 per cent of those who had access to toilets uses them.
  • The Survey re-confirmed the open defecation free (ODF) status of 90.7 per cent villages which were declared so by various districts and states and remaining villages also had sanitation coverage of about 93 per cent.
  • 95.4 per cent of the villages surveyed were found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water.
Swacch Bharat Mission Gramin As per the data from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation which is the implementing ministry of Swacch Bharat Mission Gramin, about 500 million people have stopped defecating in the open. As a result, the number of people defecating in open is down from 550 million at the beginning of the programme to less than 50 million today. Under the Swacch Bharat Mission Gramin,  9 crore toilets have been built across rural India under the Mission. Under the Mission over 5.5 lakh villages and 615 districts have been declared ODF, along with 30 ODF States and Union Territories.

  Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani launched a comprehensive scheme for the development of knitting and knitwear sector under PowerTex India in New Delhi.Apart from financial incentives, the two key elements are Yarn Bank and financial assistance for the solar energy scheme. The yarn bank scheme for knitting and knitwear units will provide an interest-free corpus fund of a maximum of up to Rs 2 crore per yarn bank to a Special Purpose Vehicle(SPV). Under the Solar energy scheme, the government will provide financial assistance/capital subsidy to the extent of 50%, 75% and 90% of the basic cost of the solar plant to the applicants of General Category, SC, and ST respectively.
Source: Business Standard

  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran (JI-VAN) Yojana’ for providing financial support to the Integrated Bioethanol Projects. The scheme aims to incentivise the Second Generation (2G) Ethanol sector and support the industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing R&D in this area. The PM JI-VAN Yojana will be supported with the total financial outlay of Rs 1969.50 crore for the period 2018-19 to 2023-24.
Source: Business Standard 



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