Current Affairs Government Schemes

  The Union Environment Ministry has constituted a committee to implement the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which aims to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20%-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024. The committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Union Environment Ministry. It would be headquartered in New Delhi.
Source: The Hindu

 Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has set up a 13 member committee under IRDAI Executive Director Suresh Mathur to review the regulatory framework on microinsurance & recommend measures to increase the demand for such products. The committee has been formed in the backdrop of a less-than-desired offtake of microinsurance products despite their inherent benefits.
Source- The Hindu

  The Central Works Public Department (CPWD) has constituted an expert committee to formulate a design policy for building construction and infrastructure development.  The committee has been set up under the chairmanship of CPWD’s Additional Director General M K Sharma. The move is aimed at reviving building construction and infrastructure development at all levels in the CPWD which comes under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. The committee has been asked to submit its report to Director General Prabhakar Singhwithin 30 days.
Source: Business Standard

 The Centre has set up a tribunal, headed by Justice Chander Shekhar of the Delhi High Court, to adjudicate if there exists sufficient cause to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir (JeI) and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front-Yasin Malik (JKLF-Y) faction. The decision has been taken by the Home Ministry exercising the powers conferred under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Source: Economic Times

  Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed 5-member committee under the chairmanship of Nandan Nilekani to strengthen digital payments as well as to boost financial inclusion through Financial Technology. The committee would submit its recommendations within 3 months. This announcement was made by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das at the first event of Financial Technology (Fintech) Conclave, which was organized by NITI Aayog in New Delhi.
Source: News on AIR

  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.



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