Coronavirus – Health and Governance Issues

Ayushman Sahakar Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ayushman Sahakar Scheme

Mains level : Impact of coronovirus outbreak

The Agriculture Ministry has rolled out the Ayushman Sahakar Scheme to assist cooperatives in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.

Can you find the peculiarity of this scheme? Yes. It’s the Agriculture and not the Health Ministry.

Ayushman Sahakar Scheme

  • The scheme is formulated by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), the apex autonomous development finance institution under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • The scheme would give a boost to the provision of healthcare services by cooperatives.
  • It specifically covers establishment, modernization, expansion, repairs, renovation of hospital and healthcare and education infrastructure.

Why need such a scheme?

  • There is a huge need for medical and nursing education in rural areas. But the problem is a lack of infrastructure.
  • Co-ops find it difficult to access credit for such projects as banks may not give them loans for non-agricultural purposes.

Financing the scheme

  • NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives to the tune of Rs 10000 Crore in the coming years.
  • Any Cooperative Society with a suitable provision in its byelaws to undertake healthcare-related activities would be able to access the NCDC fund.
  • NCDC assistance will flow either through the State Governments/ UT Administrations or directly to the eligible cooperatives.
  • Apart from working capital and margin money to meet operational requirements, the scheme will also provide interest subvention of 1% to women majority cooperatives.

Rural Infrastructure Schemes

[pib] SVAMITVA Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SVAMITVA

Mains level : Land records management in India

Our PM has launched the physical distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The SVAMITVA Scheme sometimes seen in news is related to:

Urban Employment/ Land records management/ Child Adoption/ None of these

About SVAMITVA

  • SVAMITVA stands for Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas.
  • Under the scheme, the latest surveying technology such as drones will be used for measuring the inhabited land in villages and rural areas.
  • The mapping and survey will be conducted in collaboration with the Survey of India, State Revenue Department and State Panchayati Raj Department under the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • The drones will draw the digital map of every property falling in the geographical limit of each Indian village.
  • Property Cards will be prepared and given to the respective owners.

Significance of the scheme

  • The scheme paves the way for using the property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  • Also, this is the first time ever that such a large-scale exercise involving the most modern means of technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.

Various benefits

  • The scheme will create records of land ownership in villages and these records will further facilitate tax collection, new building plan and issuance of permits.
  • It will enable the government to effectively plan for the infrastructural programs in villages.
  • It would help in reducing the disputes over property.

Back2Basics:  E-Gramswaraj Portal

  • E Gram Swaraj portal is the official portal of central govt for the implementation of Swamitva scheme.
  • By visiting this portal people can check their Panchayat profile easily. It will also contain the details of ongoing development works and the fund allocated for them.
  • Any citizen can create his or her account on the portal and can know about the developmental works of villages.
  • The user of E Gram Swaraj portal can also access all work of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
  • This single interface will help speed-up the implementation of projects in rural areas from planning to completion.

Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

[pib] Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MANF Scheme

Mains level : Not Much

The Ministry of Minority Affairs has provided information about the progress of MANF Scheme in the Parliament.

Note: As the name suggests, the scheme particularly aims to target the Minority community. Here, six major groups are considered a minority. Statement based questions often create bluffs on such conditions.

MANF Scheme

  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs implements MANF Scheme for educational empowerment of students belonging to six notified minority communities i.e. Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Muslim, Sikh, Zoroastrian (Parsi).
  • The Scheme is implemented through the University Grants Commission (UGC) and no waiting list is prepared under the Scheme by UGC.
  • Candidates belonging to the Six centrally notified minority are considered for award of fellowship under the MANF Scheme.
  • The selection of candidates is done through JRF-NET (Junior Research Fellow- National Eligibility Test) examination conducted by the National Testing Agency.
  • Prior to 2019-20, the merit list was prepared on the basis of marks obtained by the candidates in their Post Graduate examination.
  • However, in 2018-19, only the candidates who had qualified CBSE-UGC-NET/JRF or CSIR-NET/JRF were eligible to apply.

Rural Distress, Farmer Suicides, Drought Measures

[pib] Five Star Village Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Schemes covered under the initiaitive

Mains level : Not Much

The Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages, to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.

The Five Star Villages Scheme sounds typically among the most commons types say, Swachh Bharat, Financial Inclusion and Literacy or Infrastructure amenities. Here is the caution for preventing a blunder.

Five Star Villages Scheme

  • The scheme seeks to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages.
  • The initiatives covered under the scheme include:
  1. Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC / KVP certificates,
  2. Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ PPF Accounts,
  3. Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts,
  4. Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy and
  5. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account / Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
  • If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets three-star status and so on.

Its implementation

  • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for the marketing of all products, savings and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.
  • This team will be headed by the Branch Post Master of the concerned Branch Office. Mail overseer will keep personal watch on the progress of the team on daily basis.
  • The teams will be led and monitored by concerned Divisional Head, Assistant Superintendents Posts and Inspector Posts.

Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PMMSY, E Gopala

Mains level : Fisheries sector of India

PM will digitally launch the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) today.

PM Matsya Sampada Yojana

  • The PMMSY aims to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
  • It has an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crores for its implementation during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25 in all States/UTs, as a part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package.
  • PMMSY aims at enhancing fish production by an additional 70 lakh tonne by 2024-25, increasing fisheries export earnings to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024-25.
  • Thus it aims doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10% and generation of gainful employment opportunities in the sector.

Aims and objectives of PMMSY

  • Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner
  • Enhancing of fish production and productivity through expansion, intensification, diversification and productive utilization of land and water
  • Modernizing and strengthening of the value chain – post-harvest management and quality improvement
  • Doubling fishers and fish farmers incomes and generation of employment
  • Enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports
  • Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers
  • Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework

Implementation strategy

The PMMSY will be implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate components namely:

(a) Central Sector Scheme and

(b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • Majority of the activities under the Scheme would be implemented with the active participation of States/UTs.
  • A well-structured implementation framework would be established for the effective planning and implementation of PMMSY.
  • For optimal outcomes, ‘Cluster or area-based approach’ would be followed with requisite forward and backward linkages and end to end solutions.

Other inaugurations: e-Gopala App

  • e-Gopala App is a comprehensive breed improvement marketplace and information portal for direct use of farmers.
  • At present no digital platform is available in the country for farmers managing livestock including buying and selling of disease-free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc); availability of quality breeding services and guiding farmers for animal nutrition etc.
  • There is no mechanism to send alerts (on the due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc) and inform farmers about various government schemes and campaigns in the area.
  • The e-Gopala App will provide solutions to farmers on all these aspects.

Civil Services Reforms

Mission Karmayogi for Civil Services Capacity Building

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mission Karmayogi

Mains level : Civil services reforms

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for Mission Karmayogi, a new national capacity building and performance evaluation programme for civil servants.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The Mission Karmayogi recently seen in news is related to:

a) EPFO reforms

b) Labour laws reforms

c) Civil Services reforms

d) Artisans and Handicrafts

Mission Karmayogi

  • The mission is established under the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB).
  • It is aimed at building a future-ready civil service with the right attitude, skills and knowledge, aligned to the vision of New India.
  • It is meant to be a comprehensive post-recruitment reform of the Centre’s human resource development, in much the same way as the National Recruitment Agency approved last week is pre-recruitment reform.

Why such a mission?

  • The capacity of Civil Services plays a vital role in rendering a wide variety of services, implementing welfare programs and performing core governance functions.

Major undertakings of the scheme

  • The scheme will cover 46 lakh, Central government employees, at all levels, and involve an outlay of ₹510 crores over a five-year period, according to an official statement.
  • The programme will support a transition from “rules-based to roles-based” HR management so that work allocations can be done by matching an official’s competencies to the requirements of the post.
  • Apart from domain knowledge training, the scheme will focus on “functional and behavioural competencies” as well, and also includes a monitoring framework for performance evaluations.
  • Eventually, service matters such as confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignments and notification of vacancies will all be integrated into the proposed framework.
  • The capacity building will be delivered through iGOT Karmayogi digital platform, with content drawn from global best practices rooted in Indian national ethos.

Apex bodies under the mission

  • The Prime Minister’s Public Human Resource Council will be set up as the apex body to direct the reforms.
  • There will be an autonomous Capacity Building Commission to be established to manage the reformed system and harmonize training standards across the country so that there is a common understanding of India’s aspirations and development goals.
  • A wholly government-owned, not-for-profit special purpose vehicle will be set up to own and operate the digital platform and its content.

Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : AIF

Mains level : Economic stimulus for Agri sector

PM has launched a new financing scheme under the ₹1 lakh crore AIF.

Note the following things about AIF:

1) It is a Central Sector Scheme

2) Duration of the scheme

3)Target beneficiaries

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF)

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme meant for setting up storage and processing facilities, which will help farmers, get higher prices for their crops.
  • It will support farmers, PACS, FPOs, Agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure.
  • These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage and increase processing and value addition.

What exactly is the AIF?

  • The AIF is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
  • The duration of the scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).
  • Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum.
  • It will provide credit guarantee coverage under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore.

Target beneficiaries

The beneficiaries will include farmers:

  • PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, FPOs, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects

MGNREGA Scheme

In news: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MGNREGA, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Mains level : MGNREGA, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

  • One-third of the way through the financial year, government data shows that the MGNREGA scheme has used up almost half its allocated funds.
  • Its spending has been more than ₹48,500 crores out of the expanded ₹1 lakh crore allocations announced following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Try this question for mains:

Q.Discuss how the MGNREG Scheme has been providing a minimum basic income since the Covid pandemic. Also discuss how it can prove to be a game-changer if coupled with Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

About MGNREGA

  • The MGNREGA stands for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005.
  • This is labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘Right to Work’.
  • The act was first proposed in 1991 by P.V. Narasimha Rao.

Its objectives

  • To enhance the livelihood security of the rural poor by generating wage employment opportunities.
  • To create a rural asset base which would enhance productive ways of employment, augment and sustain a rural household income.

Features of the Scheme

  • MGNREGA is unique in not only ensuring at least 100 days of employment to the willing unskilled workers, but also in ensuring an enforceable commitment on the implementing machinery i.e., the State Governments, and providing a bargaining power to the labourers.
  • The failure of provision for employment within 15 days of the receipt of job application from a prospective household will result in the payment of unemployment allowance to the job seekers.
  • Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant’s residence, and minimum wages are to be paid.
  • Thus, employment under MGNREGA is a legal entitlement.

Also read:

[Burning Issue] Reorienting MGNREGA in times of COVID

Electronic System Design and Manufacturing Sector – M-SIPS, National Policy on Electronics, etc.

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for electronics manufacturers

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI)

Mains level : Electronic manufacturing promotion under Make in India

Global electronics giants are set to expand their presence in India under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for making mobile phones and certain other specified electronic components.

Try this question for mains:

Q. What is the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme? Describe its various features and benefits.

What is the PLI scheme?

  • As a part of the National Policy on Electronics, the IT ministry had notified the PLI scheme on April 1 this year.
  • The scheme will, on one hand, attract big foreign investment in the sector, while also encouraging domestic mobile phone makers to expand their units and presence in India.
  • It would give incentives of 4-6 per cent to electronics companies which manufacture mobile phones and other electronic components.
  • A/c to the scheme, companies that make mobile phones which sell for Rs 15,000 or more will get an incentive of up to 6 per cent on incremental sales of all such mobile phones made in India.
  • In the same category, companies which are owned by Indian nationals and make such mobile phones, the incentive has been kept at Rs 200 crore for the next four years.

Tenure of the scheme

  • The PLI scheme will be active for five years with financial year (FY) 2019-20 considered as the base year for calculation of incentives.
  • This means that all investments and incremental sales registered after FY20 shall be taken into account while computing the incentive to be given to each company.

Which companies and what kind of investments will be considered?

  • All electronic manufacturing companies which are either Indian or have a registered unit in India will be eligible to apply for the scheme.
  • These companies can either create a new unit or seek incentives for their existing units from one or more locations in India.
  • Any additional expenditure incurred on the plant, machinery, equipment, research and development and transfer of technology for the manufacture of mobile phones and related electronic items will be eligible for the incentive.
  • However, all investment done by companies on land and buildings for the project will not be considered for any incentives or determine the eligibility of the scheme.

Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

What is Green-Ag Project?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Green-Ag Project

Mains level : Sustainable agriculture and its significance

The Union government has launched the Green-Ag Project in Mizoram, to reduce emissions from agriculture and ensure sustainable agricultural practices.

Note the following things about Green-Ag Project:

1)Core objective

2)Implementing agencies

3)Regions of Implementation

Green-Ag Project

  • The Green-Ag project is designed to achieve multiple global environmental benefits in at least 1.8 million hectares (ha) of land in five landscapes, with mixed land-use systems.
  • It aims to bring at least 104,070 ha of farms under sustainable land and water management.
  • The project will also ensure 49 million Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) sequestered or reduced through sustainable land use and agricultural practices.

Implementing agencies

  • The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, while the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is the national executing agency.
  • Other key players involved in its implementation are the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Environment Ministry (MoEF&CC).

Regions of implementation

The project has been launched in high-conservation-value landscapes of five States namely

  • Madhya Pradesh: Chambal Landscape
  • Mizoram: Dampa Landscape
  • Odisha: Similipal Landscape
  • Rajasthan: Desert National Park Landscape
  • Uttarakhand: Corbett-Rajaji Landscape

Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Godhan Nyay Yojana to boost rural economy

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Godhan Nyay Yojana

Mains level : Animal husbandary sector of India

Chhattisgarh is set to launch ‘Godhan Nyay Yojana’. The scheme aims to put money in the pockets of people living in rural areas and also solve the problem of stray cattle.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Consider the following statements

  1. Agricultural soils release nitrogen oxides into the environment.
  2. Cattle release ammonia into the environment.
  3. Poultry industry releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the environment.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Godhan Nyay Yojana

  • Under the scheme, the Chhattisgarh government will purchase cow dung at the rate of Rs 2 per kg.
  • This scheme will turn cow dung into a profitable commodity.
  • The scheme also aims to make cow rearing economically profitable and to prevent open grazing in the state, as well as help with the problem of stray animals on roads and in urban areas.

How will the scheme help the rural economy?

  • The scheme will generate additional income and increase employment opportunities.
  • The government will procure cow dung and prepare vermicompost in order to move towards organic farming.
  • There is a huge market for organic farming. Vermicompost will be sold by cooperative societies.
  • Distribution of vermicompost fertilizer to farmers will be done as a commodity loan by cooperative societies, banks.

Preventing strays in urban areas

  • In urban areas, the scheme will prevent movement of stray animals on roads and highways, and also improve urban sanitation with proper disposal of waste produced by cattle.
  • Cattle will be tagged with the owner’s name, address, mobile number to the neck of each animal after the survey to ensure accountability of cattle owners if their cattle are found in the open.

Agricultural Sector and Marketing Reforms – eNAM, Model APMC Act, Eco Survey Reco, etc.

[pib] Central Sector Scheme: Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CSS-AIF

Mains level : AIF

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to a new pan India Central Sector Scheme-Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (CSS-AIF).

Try this question from CSP 2018:

Q.Increase in absolute and per capita real GNP does not connote a higher level of economic development, if:

(a) Industrial output fails to keep pace with agriculture output.

(b) Agriculture output fails to keep pace with industrial output.

(c) Poverty and unemployment increase.

(d) Imports grow faster than exports.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

  • AIF aims to provide a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support.
  • Under the scheme, Rs. One Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans.
  • The beneficiaries will include Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), SHGs, Farmers etc among others.
  • The moratorium for repayment under this financing facility may vary subject to a minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.

Management of AIF

  • Agri Infra fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform.
  • The National, State and District level Monitoring Committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feedback.
  • The duration of the Scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).

Benefits of the scheme

  • The Project by way of facilitating formal credit to farm and farm processing-based activities is expected to create numerous job opportunities in rural areas.
  • It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for a loan under the fund.

Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

[pib] Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PMGKAY

Mains level : Assurance of Food Security

The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) as part of Economic Response to COVID-19, for another five months from July to November 2020.

Practice question for mains:

Q.Discuss how the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana has helped to ensure food security to the vulnerable sections of India during the Covid-19 induced lockdown period.

PM- Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana

  • Under the scheme it is proposed to distribute 9.7 Lakh MT cleaned whole Chana to States/UTs for distribution to all beneficiary households under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
  • Thus it would 1kg per month free of cost under for the next five months -July to November 2020.
  • All expenses on the extended PMGKAY are to be borne by the Central Government.
  • About 19.4 crore households would be covered under the Scheme.

Benefits of the scheme

  • Extension of the scheme is in line with the commitments of the GOI to allow anybody, especially any poor family, to suffer on account of non-availability of food grains due to disruption during next five months.
  • Free distribution of whole Chana will also ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above-mentioned individuals during these five months.

Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

‘Accelerate Vigyan’ Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ Scheme

Mains level : Research facilitation schemes in India

To provide a single platform for research internships, capacity building programs and workshops across the country, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has launched a new scheme called ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ (AV).

Note the following things about the ‘Accelerate Vigyan’ Scheme:

1) Implementing agency/ Nodal Ministry

2) Primary objective

3) Target beneficiaries

4) Its components

‘Accelerate Vigyan’ Scheme

  • Accelerate Vigyan (AV) strives to provide a big push to high-end scientific research and prepare scientific manpower which can venture into research careers and knowledge-based economy.
  • The primary objective of this scheme is to give more thrust on encouraging high-end scientific research and preparing scientific manpower, which can lead to research careers and knowledge-based economy.
  • AV will initiate and strengthen mechanisms of identifying research potential, mentoring, training and hands-on workshop on a national scale.
  • The aim is to expand the research base in the country, with three broad goals – consolidation / aggregation of all scientific training programs, initiating High-end Orientation Workshops and creating opportunities for Research Internships.

Components of AV

1) ABHYAAS

  • It is an attempt to boost research and development in the country by enabling and grooming potential PG/PhD students by means of developing their research skills in selected areas across different disciplines or fields.
  • It has two components: High-End Workshops (‘KARYASHALA’) and Research Internships (‘VRITIKA’).
  • This is especially important for those researchers who have limited opportunities to access such learning capacities/facilities/infrastructure.

2) SAMOOHAN

  • Mission ‘SAMOOHAN’ marks the beginning of Accelerate Vigyan.
  • It aims to encourage, aggregate and consolidate all scientific interactions in the country under one common roof.
  • It has been sub-divided into ‘SAYONJIKA’ and ‘SANGOSHTI’.
  • SAYONJIKA is an open-ended program to catalogue the capacity building activities in science and technology supported by all government funding agencies in the country.
  • SANGOSHTI is a pre-existing program of SERB.

Food Processing Industry: Issues and Developments

PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM-FME scheme

Mains level : Food processing industry and the required reforms

The Ministry for Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has launched the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) as a part of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”.

Practice question for mains:

Q.What is the PM FME Scheme? Discuss its potential to neutralize various challenges faced by India’s unorganized food industries.

PM FME Scheme

  • It aims to provide financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.
  • The expenditure under the scheme would to be shared in 60:40 ratios between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratios with NE and the Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with the legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs.

Features of the scheme

  • The Scheme adopts One District One Product (ODODP) approach to reap the benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products.
  • The States would identify food product for a district keeping in view the existing clusters and availability of raw material.
  • The ODOP product could be a perishable produce based product or cereal-based products or a food product widely produced in a district and their allied sectors.
  • An illustrative list of such products includes mango, potato, litchi, tomato, tapioca, kinnu, bhujia, petha, papad, pickle, millet-based products, fisheries, poultry, meat as well as animal feed among others.
  • The Scheme also place focus on waste to wealth products, minor forest products and Aspirational Districts.

Credit facility provided

  • Existing Individual micro food processing units desirous of upgradation of their unit can avail credit-linked capital subsidy @35% of the eligible project cost with a maximum ceiling of Rs.10 lakh per unit.
  • Seed capital @ Rs. 40,000/- per SHG member would be provided for working capital and purchase of small tools.
  • FPOs/ SHGs/ producer cooperatives would be provided a credit-linked grant of 35% for capital investment along the value chain.
  • Support for marketing & branding would be provided to develop brands for micro-units and groups with 50% grant at State or regional level which could benefit a large number of micro-units in clusters.

Why need such a scheme?

  • The unorganized food processing sector comprising nearly 25 lakh units contribute to 74% of employment in the food processing sector.
  • Nearly 66% of these units are located in rural areas and about 80% of them are family-based enterprises supporting livelihood rural household and minimizing their migration to urban areas.

Challenges faced

  • The unorganised food processing sector faces a number of challenges which limit their performance and their growth.
  • These challenges include lack of access to modern technology & equipment, training, access institutional credit, lack of basic awareness on quality control of products; and lack of branding & marketing skills etc.
  • Owing to these challenges; the unorganised food processing sector contributes much less in terms of value addition and output despite its huge potential.

Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MGNREGA, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Mains level : Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

PM Modi has launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, an employment scheme for migrant workers.

Practice question for mains:

Q. Discuss the silent success of MGNREGA in COVID-19 times.

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

  • It is a skill-based employment scheme aimed primarily at migrant workers who have returned to their villages to escape the COVID lockdown distress.
  • With a 125-workday mandate to create public infrastructure, with the involvement of 11 central departments, the Rs 50,000-crore initiative will focus on job creation.
  • It will be implemented in 116 districts in six states — UP, MP, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar — that saw the maximum number of migrant workers returning over the last three months.

Works under the scheme

  • The government has identified 25 work areas for employment in villages, for the development of various works.
  • These 25 works or projects are related to meet the needs of the villages like rural housing for the poor, Plantations, provision of drinking water through Jal Jeevan mission,  Panchayat Bhavans, community toilets, rural mandis, rural roads, other infrastructure like Cattle Sheds, Anganwadi Bhavans etc.

Must read:

[Burning Issue] Reorienting MGNREGA in times of COVID

Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Sahakar Mitra Scheme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sahakar Mitra Scheme

Mains level : Not Much

The Union Ministry for Agriculture has launched Sahakar Mitra: Scheme on Internship Programme (SIP).

Note: Article 19 states that the Right to form co-operative societies is a Fundamental Right and DPSP Article 43-B provides for the promotion of co-operative societies.

Sahakar Mitra Scheme

  • The scheme is an initiative by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), the cooperative sector development finance organization.
  • It aims to help cooperative institutions access innovative ideas of young professionals while the interns will gain experience of working in the field to be self-reliant.
  • The scheme is expected to assist cooperative institutions to access new and innovative ideas of young professionals while the interns gain experience of working in the field giving the confidence to be self-reliant.
  • Professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas, IT etc. will be eligible for an internship.
  • Professionals who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agri-business, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade, Forestry, Rural Development, Project Management etc. will also be eligible.
  • Each intern will get financial support over a 4 months internship period.

Coronavirus – Health and Governance Issues

PM Swanidhi Scheme for street vendors

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : PM Swanidhi Scheme

Mains level : Atmanirbhar Package

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a micro-credit facility for street vendors under the Swanidhi Scheme.

Try this question from CSP 2016:

Q.Rashtriya Garima Abhiyaan’ is a national campaign to

(a) rehabilitate the homeless and destitute persons and provide then with suitable sources of livelihood

(b) release the sex workers from the practice and provide them with alternative sources of livelihood

(c) eradicate the practice of manual scavenging and rehabilitate the manual scavenger

(d) release the bonded labourers free their bondage and rehabilitate them

PM Swanidhi Scheme

  • The Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi Scheme is aimed at benefiting over 50 lakh vendors who had their businesses operational on or before March 24.
  • The scheme was announced by Finance Minister as a part of the economic package for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
  • The loans are meant to help kick-start activity for vendors who have been left without any income since the lockdown was implemented on March 25.
  • The scheme is valid until March 2022.

Expected beneficiaries

  • This loan will be given to those who run shops on the roadside, handcart or streetcar.
  • Fruit-vegetable, laundry, saloon and paan shops are also included in this category.

Facilities provided under the scheme

  • The vendors will be able to apply for a working capital loan of up to ₹10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments within a year.
  • On timely/early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer on a six-monthly basis.
  • The loans would be without collateral. There will be no penalty on early repayment of the loan.

Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

‘Rozgar Setu’ Scheme for skilled workers

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ‘Rozgar Setu’ Scheme

Mains level : Various employment measures

The Madhya Pradesh has announced the launch of the ‘Rozgar Setu’ Scheme to help secure employment for skilled workers who have returned.

State schemes are quite often seen in the news. They are very important from the prelims perspective:

Rytha Bandu (Telangana): Cash transfer scheme of Rs 5,000/acre, per season

KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) Scheme (Odisha)

Mukhya Mantri Krishi Aashirwad Yojana (Jharkhand)

Krishak Bandhu Scheme (West Bengal)

‘Rozgar Setu’ Scheme

  • The ‘Rozgar Setu’ scheme to provide work to the maximum number of returned skilled workers.
  • After such workers requiring employment are identified, the government will contact factory and workshop owners and contractors overseeing infrastructure projects such as road and bridge construction.
  • This would fulfil the manpower requirement of industries as well as provide employment to workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tribes in News

[pib] Shahapur’s Katkari Tribe

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Katkari Tribe, Van Dhan Yojana

Mains level : Various initiaitves for Tribal uplift

The newscard is based on the PIB news which discusses the success story of Katkari Tribe, a PVTG in Maharashtra regarding the implementation of Van Dhan Yojana.

Try this:

Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

1) PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.

2) A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.

3) There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.

4) Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct? (CSP 2019)

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Katkari Tribe

  • The Katkari is an Scheduled Tribe mostly belonging to the state of Maharashtra.
  • They are bilingual, speaking the Katkari language, a dialect of the Marathi-Konkani languages, with each other; they speak Marathi with the Marathi speakers, who are a majority in the populace where they live.
  • In Maharashtra, the Katkari has been designated a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), along with two other groups included in this sub-category: the Madia Gond and the Kolam.
  • In the case of the Katkari this vulnerability derives from their history as a nomadic, forest-dwelling people listed by the British Raj under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, a stigma that continues to this day.

What are PVTGs?

  • There are certain tribal communities who have declining or stagnant population, low level of literacy, pre-agricultural level of technology and are economically backward.
  • They generally inhabit remote localities having poor infrastructure and administrative support.
  • These groups are among the most vulnerable section of our society as they are few in numbers, have not attained any significant level of social and economic development.
  • 75 such groups have been identified and categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).

Back2Basics: Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY)

  • It is a retail marketing-led value addition plan for Minor Forest Produce (MFP), meant for forest-based tribes to optimize the tribal income, locally.
  • Under the program, MFP-based tribal groups/enterprises of around 300 members are formed for collection, value addition, packaging & marketing of Minor Forest Produces (MFPs).
  • These tribal enterprises will be in the form of Van Dhan SHGs which will be a group of 15-20 members and such 15 SHG groups will further be federated into a larger group of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKS) of around 300 members.
  • TRIFED will support the VDVKs through providing them with model business plans, processing plans & tentative list of equipment for carrying out the value-added work of MFPs.

Also read:

[pib] “Development of PVTGs” Scheme