Microfinance Story of India

[pib] Saras Collection on Government e-Marketplace


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Saras Collection, GeM

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Ministry for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has launched “The Saras Collection” on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.

Possible prelim question:

‘The Saras Collection’ recently seen in news is a:

a) Subsidy on beekeeping and apiculture projects

b) Indigenous light transport aircraft

c) Database on wetland birds

d) Collection of products made by SHGs

 The Saras Collection

  • It is a unique initiative by the GeM, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) and Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The collection showcases daily utility products made by rural Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and aims to provide SHGs in rural areas with market access to Central and State Government buyers.
  • The on-boarding of the SHGs has been initially piloted in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • SHGs from all the states and Union Territories (UTs) will be covered rapidly in the upcoming phases.

It’s functioning

  • For Functionaries: They will be provided dashboards at the national, state, district and block level for real-time information about the number of products uploaded, their value and volume of orders received and fulfilled.
  • Government buyers: They will be sensitized through system-generated messages/ alerts in the Marketplace about the availability of SHG products on the portal.

Benefits offered

  • The Saras Collection will provide SHGs with direct access to Government buyers which will do away with intermediaries in the supply chain.
  • Thus it would ensure better prices for SHGs and spurring employment opportunities at the local level.

Back2Basics: Government e-Marketplace

  • The GeM is a one-stop National Public Procurement Portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
  • It was launched in 2016 to bring transparency and efficiency in the government buying process.
  • GEM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement.
  • It is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
  • It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users to achieve the best value for their money.
  • The purchases through GeM by Government users have been authorized and made mandatory by the Ministry of Finance by adding a new Rule No. 149 in the General Financial Rules, 2017.
  • It has been developed by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) with technical support of National e-governance Division (MEITy).

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