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Centre unveils plan for coastal zone management

Mains Paper 3 : Conservation, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Eia |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Coastal Regulation Zones

Mains level : Coastal management and development


NEWS

The Environment Ministry has unveiled a draft plan that will dictate how prospective infrastructure projects situated along the coast ought to be assessed before they can apply for clearance.

Plan

  1. The draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) is part of a World Bank-funded project.
  2. It lays out guidelines for coastal States to adopt when they approve and regulate projects in coastal zones.
  3. It seeks to assist the Government of India in enhancing coastal resource efficiency and resilience by building capacity for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches
  4. The document was prepared by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, a Ministry-affiliated body.
  5. As per the report, Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) has to be a continuous process rather than a “one-off” investment action.
  6. The key activities proposed for coastal zone development include: 
    1. mangrove afforestation/shelter beds
    2.  habitat conservation activities such as restoration of sea-grass meadows
    3. eco-restoration of sacred groves
    4. development of hatcheries
    5. rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals
    6. creation of infrastructure for tourism
    7. restoration and recharge of water bodies
    8. beach cleaning and development
    9. small infrastructure facilities
  7. Livelihood improvement projects include
    1. demonstration of climate-resilient or salinity resistant agriculture
    2. water harvesting and recharge/storage
    3. creation of infrastructure and facilities to support eco-tourism
    4. community-based small-scale mariculture
    5. seaweed cultivation
    6. aquaponics
  8. Environmental and social aspects ought to be integrated into the planning, design, implementation of projects.
  9. Projects should avoid or minimise impacts on cultural properties and natural habitats, compensate any loss of livelihood or assets, adopt higher work safety standards, occupational and community health and safety

Action so far

  1. So far three coastal States, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal, have prepared Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans with support from the World Bank.
  2. Such plans would be prepared for the selected coastal stretches in other States/UT.
  3. Inadequate planning has often obstructed coastal zone development projects
Coastal Zones Management and Regulations

Now, also an Aadhaar card for cattle and buffaloes

Mains Paper 3 : Economics Of Animal-Rearing |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Pashu Aadhaar

Mains level : Animal husbandry and using technology


NEWS

India has the world’s largest livestock population and is also its biggest milk producer. A giant database relating to livestock information is currently being created in India. It issues an animal UID or Pashu Aadhaar to the animals. So far, nearly 22.3 million cows and buffaloes have been assigned UIDs. 

Facts

  1. The nodal agency and repository for this – Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health or INAPH is the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).
  2. The similarities with Aadhaar are:
    1. INAPH too assigns a unique random identification number to each animal
    2. It captures a host of data and information useful for the effective and scientific management of India’s livestock resources
    3. It will be the biggest global database of animals when fully captured
  3. The first phase of the INAPH project would cover the country’s 94 million-odd productive “in milk” female cow and buffalo population.
  4. It covers all indigenous, nondescript, crossbred as well as exotic milch animals.
  5. The exercise will subsequently be extended to all bovines, including males, calves and heifers, old and stray animals.
  6. Each animal will be provided a thermoplastic polyurethane ear tag bearing a 12-digit UID.
  7. The data being captured includes the species, breed and pedigree of the particular animal, information relating to its calving, milk production, artificial insemination (AI), vaccination and feeding/nutrition history.

Challenges so far

  1. Low productivity, poor animal health, the prevalence of economically debilitating diseases, and genome selection based on non-scientific and anecdotal methods

Objective

  1. Enable proper identification of animals and traceability of their products, be it milk or meat
  2. Farmers, processors, animal husbandry department officials and healthcare professionals can devise appropriate strategies for livestock management
  3. A major cause of zoonotic diseases and challenges in addressing them today is the absence of animal identification and traceability mechanisms
  4. If our dairy and livestock industry has to meet internationally-accepted sanitary and phytosanitary standards, a robust and comprehensive animal information system that allows traceability of products to their source is sine qua non
  5. The products obtained from healthy or premium animals can be separated from those originating from diseased or nondescript ones
  6. Leverage this data for scientific and risk-based management of animals to deliver better health and reproduction outcomes, enhanced productivity and improved livestock product quality.
  7. The information through INAPH, including the ancestry and production performance of animals, would help identify healthy and productive livestock for breeding, rejuvenation of weaker ones, plan for better nutritional management and systematically manage diseases.
  8. The data can be used to select disease-free, high genetic merit bulls and fertile cows for breeding indigenous breeds that are low on productivity

Step ahead than identity

  1. Artificial Insemination has so far met with limited success in terms of boosting overall animal productivity. One reason is the use of not-so-good quality semen from low genetic merit bulls. The poor records of AI status of most cows or the donor bulls is a caus. AI programme will get a shot in the arm with more reliable data on the insemination history of each animal.
  2. More efficient nutrition management through ration balancing can be achieved based on information on the feeding status of each animal.
  3. The entire chain, from inputs (AI/breeding, vaccination, feed and fodder, and nutrition) to output (milk and meat) can be managed to assure enhanced animal productivity and improved product quality.

The database should be seen as a significant step in heralding the next White Revolution and making livestock a vehicle of rural prosperity.

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

e-Rozgar Samachar launched to spread awareness about job opportunities

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ministry and details of the magazine

Mains level : Nothing much


The e-version of Rozgar Samachar has been launched by the Minister of Information & Broadcasting.

Objectives

  1. Make aspirants aware of job opportunities in government sector including public sector enterprises
  2. Provide information and guidance about admission and career opportunities in various streams through career-oriented articles
  3. Meet the emerging challenge of young readers switching to electronic modes of communication

Background

  1. Rozgar Samachar is the corresponding version of Employment News
  2. Employment News is the flagship weekly job journal from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  3. It was launched in 1976 with a view to providing information on employment opportunities to the unemployed and underemployed youth of the country
  4. The job journal provides information related to job vacancies, job oriented training programs, admission notices related to job oriented exams of :
    1. Ministries/Departments/Offices/Organizations/Autonomous bodies/ Societies/ PSUs of the Central Government, State Government, and UT Administrations
    2. Nationalised banks/ RRBs /UPSC/SSC/ Constitutional and Statutory bodies
    3. Central/State Governments Universities/ Colleges/Institutes recognized by the UGC/AICTE
  5. It also provides editorial content on socio-economic issues and career guidance that helps youth in broadening their horizons
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Bills mandating death penalty for ‘honour killing’ and against ‘mob lynching’ passed in Rajasthan Assembly

Mains Paper 3 : Social Media Networks & Internal Security |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Honour killings


News
 A bill was passed in the Rajasthan Assembly to curb incidents of ‘honour killing’ in the State with the provision of punishment of death penalty or life imprisonment for murdering couples in the name of family honour.

About the Bill
 The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019 was passed by a voice vote.
 The lawmakers said that Sections of the IPC and the CrPc were not adequate in dealing with such cases so the Bill was moved.
 It has been introduced so that people overcome the narrow mindset
 In the past five years in the state, 71 cases of illegal diktat given by ‘Khap Panchayats’ (caste councils which function like kangaroo courts) were registered and 10 cases of honour killing occurred.

Provisions of the Bill
 The Bill provisions punishment of death penalty or life imprisonment till natural death for killing a couple or either of them in the name of honour.
 Whoever causes death of a couple or either of them on the basis that marriage of such couple has dishonoured, or brought disrepute to the caste, community or family shall be punished with death, or with imprisonment for life.
 It shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and with fine which may extend to ₹5 lakh.
 If the couple or either of them is grievously hurt, the punishment will be from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to imprisonment for life and with fine of  maximum ₹3 lakh, whereas the punishment will be three to five years imprisonment with fine which may extend to ₹2 lakh in case of simple injuries, it says.

Ban on unlawful assembly
 According to the Bill, SDM or the DM shall receive any request or information from any person or persons seeking protection from any unlawful assembly, or from any other person who is likely to or who have been
objecting to any lawful marriage.
 It says no person or group shall assemble at any time with the view or intention to deliberate on or condemn any marriage, not prohibited by law.
 On the basis that such marriage has dishonoured the caste or community tradition or brought disrepute to all or any of the persons forming part of the assembly or the family or the people of the locality concerned.
 Such gathering shall be treated unlawful and every person convening or organising such assembly, and every member, thereof, participating therein directly or indirectly shall be punishable with imprisonment.

Why need such bill?

There has been a spurt in illegal intimidation by self-appointed bodies for bringing pressure against ‘sagotra’ marriages and inter-caste, inter-community and inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults in the name of vindicating the honour of family, caste or community.
Although, such intimidation or acts of violence constitute offences under the Indian Penal Code, it is necessary to prevent assemblies which take place to condemn such alliances as also to punish such acts of violence and
criminal intimidation severely.

News
 The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019’ was also passed.

Definition of a mob lynching
 The Bill defines the mob as a group of two or more individuals.
 It also defines lynching as  an act or series of acts of violence or those of aiding, abetting or attempting an act of violence, whether spontaneous or preplanned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation or ethnicity

Penal Provisions
 For the offence of an assault by mob, leading to the victim suffering grievous hurts, the Bill provides for jail terms up to 10 years and a fine of ₹25,000 to ₹3 lakh.
 In cases of the victims suffering simple injuries, the Bill proposes imprisonment up to seven years and a fine up to ₹1 lakh.
 For hatching a conspiracy of lynching or aiding, abetting or attempting such an offence, the Bill seeks to punish the offenders in the same manner as if he actually committed the offence of lynching.
 The Bill also enlists various other offences related to the lynching such as dissemination of offensive materials, propagation of hostile environment and obstructing legal processes, which would be punishable with jail terms varying from three to five years.
 It also stipulates the provision of compensation to victims by the State government as per the Rajasthan

Victim Compensation Scheme.
 It also binds the State government to take necessary measures to rehabilitate the victims of mob lynching, suffering displacements from their native places.
Empowering state police
 The Bill also empowers the State police chief to appoint a state coordinator of the rank of IG of Police to prevent the incidents of lynching in the State with the district SPs acting as the district’s coordinator.
 They are to be assisted by a Dy.SPs for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.

Kosi-Mechi River Interlinking Project

Mains Paper 1 : Geographical Features & Their Location |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Interlinking of rivers


News
 The Centre has approved the Rs 4,900 crore project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar.
 This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.

Kosi-Mechi River Interlining Project
 Bihar has got the final remaining mandatory techno- administrative approval for the project from the MoEFCC.
 The central government has approved construction of 76.20 km canals on eastern bank of Kosi for irrigation purpose, the minister said.
 Being a green project, it will not displace people nor require acquisition of forest land.

 The total land requirement is about 1,396.81 hectares.

Benefits of the project
 The project will not only prevent recurring floods in north Bihar, but also irrigate over 2.14 lakh hectares of cultivable land in Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar districts, collectively called Seemanchal region.
 The project is aimed at alleviating hardships of the people resulting from the floods and has the potential to usher in a green revolution in Seemanchal region.
 This project will provide a diversion to the surplus water of Kosi River through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to Mechi River of Mahananda basin.
 Mechi River will get water from another source and it will become a vast natural resource of irrigation.
 There are no national parks, wildlife sanctuaries or eco-sensitive zones within 10 km radius of the project.

Move for a national project
 Bihar is pitching the river interlinking project for the national project & status and in that case the majority funding of the project will be borne by the Centre.
 The fact that the entire command area is contiguous to Indo-Nepal international boundary is a critical aspect that the Government of India would likely take special note.

Start-Up India Scheme

Mains Paper 3 : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways Etc. |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Start-up India scheme

Mains level : Startup ecosystem in India



News

  • Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Delhi have seen the highest number of start-ups recognised under the government’s flagship Start-Up India Scheme in the period from 2016 to 2019.
  • These three states also attracted the highest investments from Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) in start-ups.

About Start-Up India Scheme

  • Startup India Scheme is an initiative of the Indian government, the primary objective of which is the promotion of startups, generation of employment, and wealth creation.
  • It was launched on the 16th of January, 2016.
  • A startup defined as an entity that is headquartered in India, which was opened less than 10 years ago, and has an annual turnover less than ₹100 crore (US$14 million).
  • The action plan of this initiative is based on the following three pillars:
  1. Simplification and Handholding
  2. Funding Support and Incentives
  3. Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation
  • An additional area of focus is to discard restrictive States Government policies within this domain, such as License Raj, Land Permissions, Foreign Investment Proposals, and Environmental Clearances.
  • It was organized by The Department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPI&IT).

Back2Basics

Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs)

  • An alternative investment is a financial asset that does not fall into one of the conventional investment categories. Conventional categories include stocks, bonds, and cash.
  • Most alternative investment assets are held by institutional investors or accredited, high-net-worth individuals because of their complex nature, lack of regulation, and degree of risk.
  • Alternative investments include private equity or venture capital, hedge funds, managed futures, art and antiques, commodities, and derivatives contracts.
  • Real estate is also often classified as an alternative investment.
Start-up Ecosystem In India

[pib] Seva Bhoj Yojana

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Seva Bhoj Yojana

Mains level : Particulars of the scheme



News

Seva Bhoj Yojna

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme for providing reimbursement of CGST and Central Government’s share of IGST paid by charitable/religious institutions on purchase of specific raw food items for serving free food to public / devotees.
  • The specific raw food items covered under the Scheme are (i) Ghee (ii) Edible Oil (iii) Sugar/Burra/Jaggery (iv) Rice (v) Atta/Maida/Rava/Flour and (vi) Pulses.
  • Under the scheme the financial assistance will be provided for free ‘prasad’ or free food or free ‘langar’ / ‘bhandara’ (community kitchen) offered by charitable/religious institutions like Gurudwara, Temples, Dharmik Ashram, Mosques, Dargah, Church, Math, Monasteries etc.

Criteria for financial assistance

  • The applicant must be involved in charitable/religious activities by way of free and philanthropic distribution of food/prasad/langar(Community Kitchen)/ bhandara free of cost and without discrimination.
  • The institutions/organizations should have been distributing free food, langar and prasad to atleast 5000 persons in a calendar month can apply under the scheme.
  • Financial Assistance under the scheme shall be given only to those institutions which are not in receipt of any Financial Assistance from the Central/State Government for the purpose of distributing free food.
  • The Institution/Organization blacklisted under the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or under the provisions of any Act/Rules of the Central/State shall not be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)

[pib] Museum Grant Scheme

Mains Paper 1 : Arts & Culture |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Museum Grant Scheme

Mains level : Not Much


News

Museum Grant Scheme

  • Ministry of Culture provides financial assistance under the Scheme to the State Governments and Societies, Autonomous bodies, Local Bodies and Trusts registered under the Societies Act, for setting up new Museums.
  • It aims to strengthen and modernize the existing museums at the Regional, State and District level.

Funding pattern

  • The maximum amount of financial assistance which may be given would be 80% of the total project cost.
  • In case of museums in North-Eastern region including Sikkim the financial assistance would be 90% of the total project cost.
  • The remaining amount i.e. 20% of the project cost (in case of North Eastern region, 10% of the project cost), will have to be borne by the organization.
  • The organization may arrange the balance amount either from its own resources or may receive assistance through Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • There is no condition in the scheme for receiving assistance through Corporate Social Responsibility.
Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

[pib] LaQshya Initiative

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : LaQshya Initiative

Mains level : Not Much


News

  • The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) informed about LaQshya Initiative in the Lok Sabha.

LaQshya Initiative

  • Government of India has launched “LaQshya” (Labour room Quality improvement Initiative) to improve quality of care in labour room and maternity operation theatres in public health facilities.
  • Aim: To reduce preventable maternal and newborn mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity Operation Theatre and ensure respectful maternity care.

Objectives

  • To reduce maternal and newborn mortality & morbidity due to hemorrhage, retained placenta, preterm, preeclampsia and eclampsia, obstructed labour, puerperal sepsis, newborn asphyxia, and newborn sepsis, etc.
  • To improve Quality of care during the delivery and immediate post-partum care, stabilization of complications and ensure timely referrals, and enable an effective two-way follow-up system.
  • To enhance satisfaction of beneficiaries visiting the health facilities and provide Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) to all pregnant women attending the public health facilities.

Following types of healthcare facilities have been identified for implementation of LaQshya program:

  1. Government medical college hospitals.
  2. District Hospitals & equivalent health facilities.
  3. Designated FRUs and high case load CHCs with over 100 deliveries/month ( 60 in hills and desert areas)
Mother and Child Health – Immunization Program, BPBB, PMJSY, PMMSY, etc.

[pib] Witness Protection Scheme

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : Mandate of the scheme


News

  • Minister of State for Home Affairs informed about the scheme in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha.

Witness Protection Scheme

  • Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 provides for protection of witnesses based on the threat assessment and protection measures.
  • It includes protection/change of identity of witnesses, their relocation, installation of security devices at the residence of witnesses, usage of specially designed Court rooms, etc.
  • As per Article 141/142 of the Constitution, the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 endorsed in the said Judgment of the Supreme Court is binding on all Courts within the territory of India and enforceable in all States and Union Territories.

Other Provisions of the scheme

  1. Witness Protection Fund means the fund created for bearing the expenses incurred during the implementation of Witness Protection Order passed by the Competent Authority under this scheme;
  2. Witness Protection Order means an order passed by the Competent  Authority detailing the steps to be taken for ensuring the safety of witness from threats to his or his family member’s life, reputation or property.  *It also includes interim order, if any passed, during the pendency of Witness Protection Application;
  3. Witness Protection Cell means a dedicated Cell of State/UT Police or Central Police Agencies assigned the duty to implement the witness protection order. It shall be responsible for the security as per witness protection order.

Proposed Rights to be entitled to the Witness

  • Right to give evidence anonymously
  • Right to protection from intimidation and harm
  • Right to be treated with dignity and compassion and respect of privacy
  • Right to information of the status of the investigation and prosecution of the crime
  • Right to secure waiting place while at Court proceedings
  • Right to transportation and lodging arrangements

About Witness Protection Fund

  • The Scheme provides for a State Witness Protection Fund for meeting the expenses of the scheme.
  • This fund shall be operated by the Department/Ministry of Home under State/UT Government and shall comprise of the following:
  1. Budgetary  allocation  made  in  the  Annual  Budget  by  the State Government;
  2. Receipt of amount of costs imposed/ ordered to be deposited by the courts/tribunals in the Witness Protection Fund;
  3. Donations/ contributions from Philanthropist/ Charitable Institutions/ Organizations   and individuals permitted by the Government.
  4. Funds contributed under Corporate Social Responsibility.
Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

[pib] Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

Mains Paper 2 : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MKSP

Mains level : Feminization of Agriculture in India


News

  • As per Agriculture Census conducted at an interval of every five years by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, the percentage of female operational holdings in the country have increased from 12.78 percent during 2010-11 to 13.78 percent during 2015-16.

Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP)

  • In line with the provisions of National Policy for Farmers (NPF) (2007), Ministry of Rural Development is already implementing a programme exclusively for women farmers namely MKSP.
  • It is a sub-component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).
  • The primary objective of MKSP is to empower women by enhancing their participation in agriculture and to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for them.
  • Funding support to the tune of up to 60% (90% for North Eastern States) for such projects is provided by the Government of India.

Feminization of Agriculture in India

  • Rural women form the most productive work force in the economy of majority of the developing nations including India.
  • More than 80% of rural women are engaged in agriculture activities for their livelihoods.
  • About 20 per cent of farm livelihoods are female headed due to widowhood, desertion, or male emigration.
  • Agriculture support system in India strengthens the exclusion of women from their entitlements as agriculture workers and cultivators.
  • Most of the women-headed households are not able to access extension services, farmers support institutions and production assets like seed, water, credit, subsidy etc.
  • As agricultural workers, women are paid lower wage than men.
  • MKSP recognizes the identity of “Mahila” as “Kisan” and strives to build the capacity of women in the domain of agro-ecologically sustainable practices.
Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

[pib] Kisan Credit Cards for Fishermen

Mains Paper 3 : Inclusive Growth & Issues |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Kisan Credit Card Scheme

Mains level : Easy credit facilities for Farmers


News

  • The GoI has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs.

KCC facility for Fishermen

  • The KCC facility will help fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to meet their short term credit requirements of rearing of animals, poultry birds, fish, shrimp, other aquatic organisms and capture of fish.
  • Under this, for the existing KCC holders the credit limit is Rs. 3 lakh including animal husbandry and fisheries activities whereas the KCC holders for animal husbandry and fisheries have the credit limit of Rs. 2 lakh.
  • It would help them to meet their working capital requirements for animal husbandry and fisheries activities.
  • Under KCC facility, Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers @ 2% per annum at the time of disbursal of loan and additional interest subvention @ 3 % per annum in case of prompt repayment as Prompt Repayment Incentive.

Back2Basics

Kisan Credit Card Scheme

  • The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme is a credit scheme introduced in August 1998 by Indian banks.
  • This model scheme was prepared by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on the recommendations of RV Gupta to provide term loans and agricultural needs.
  • Its objective is to meet the comprehensive credit requirements of the agriculture sector by giving financial support to farmers.
  • Participating institutions include all commercial banks, Regional Rural Banks, and state co-operative banks.
  • The scheme has short term credit limits for crops, and term loans.
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) offering credit to the farmers in two types viz, 1. Cash Credit 2. Term Credit ( for allied activities such as pump sets, land development, plantation, drip irrigation).

For additional reading, navigate to the page:

http://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/agri-credit/kisan-credit-card-scheme

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

[pib] Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy (STRIDE)

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : STRIDE Scheme

Mains level : Trans-disciplinary Research in India


News

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a new scheme – ‘Scheme for Trans-disciplinary Research for India’s Developing Economy’ (STRIDE).

STRIDE Scheme

  • STRIDE will provide support to research projects that are socially relevant, locally need-based, nationally important and globally significant.
  • It shall support research capacity building as well as basic, applied and transformational action research that can contribute to national prioritiers with focus on inclusive human development.
  • It shall support creation, development and integration of new ideas, concepts and practices for public good and strengthening civil society.
  • It will strengthen research culture and innovation in colleges and Universities and help students and faculty to contribute towards India’s developing economy with help of collaborative research.

 A move for Trans-disciplinary research

  • Trans-disciplinary research is a team effort of investigators from different disciplines to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological innovations that integrates and transcends beyond discipline-specific approaches to address a common problem.
  • Trans-disciplinary research goes beyond mere production of knowledge and extends to the practical use of the knowledge outside academic endeavour.
  • In essence, it takes into consideration the societal impact of knowledge enunciating as what should be the main aim of research.
  • It creates unity of intellectual frameworks beyond the disciplinary perspectives and solve problems by going beyond the boundaries of disciplines to involve various stakeholders.
  • Trans-disciplinary research generates knowledge through use of multi and inter-disciplinary concepts and integrates new theories among science and society.

Objectives

  • To identify young talent, strengthen research culture, build capacity, and promote innovation and support trans-disciplinary research for India’s developing economy and national development.
  • To fund multi institutional network high-impact research projects in humanities and human sciences.

Components of the Scheme

Component-1

  • It will endeavour to identify the motivated young talents with research and innovation aptitude in universities and colleges.
  • It will provide research capacity building in diverse disciplines by mentoring, nurturing and supporting young talents to innovate pragmatic solutions for local, regional, national and global problems.
  • This component is open to all disciplines for grant upto 1 crore.

Component-2

  • It will be mainly to enhance problem solving skills with help of social innovation and action research to improve wellbeing of people and contribute for India’s developing economy.
  • Collaborations between universities, government, voluntary organizations and industries is encouraged under this scheme.
  • This component is open to all disciplines for grant upto 50 lakh – 1 crore.

Component-3

  • It will fund high impact research projects in the identified thrust areas inhumanities and human sciences through national network of eminent scientists from leading institutions.
  • Disciplines eligible for funding under this component include: Philosophy, History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Psychology, Liberal Arts, Linguistics, Indian Languages and Culture, Indian Knowledge Systems, Law, Education, Journalism, Mass Communication, Commerce, Management, Environment and Sustainable Development.
  • Grant available for this component is upto 1 crore for one HEI and upto 5 crores for multi institutional network.
  • To encourage high quality high impact research in humanities, there is a provision to identify experts and invite them to develop a proposal.
  • UGC is also proposing to provide a grant of Rs 2 lakh for developing proposals.
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

National Warehousing Grid

Mains Paper 3 : Effects Of Liberalization On The Economy, Changes In Industrial Policy and their effects on Industrial Growth |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Warehousing Grid

Mains level : Need for National Warehousing Grid


News

  • The government is likely to introduce warehousing schemes at village and National level to build an efficient storage infrastructure.
  • A National Warehousing Grid along the National Highways may also be introduced in the Budget.

National Warehousing Grid

  • The Centre’s scheme aims at broad integration of the warehousing capacities in India.
  • Approximately 90% of the warehousing space is controlled by unorganised players, with small warehouses of less than 10,000 sq ft area.
  • An action plan has already been approved by the Centre on sectoral basis for the construction of steel silos with a capacity of 100 lakh metric tonnes in PPP mode for modernizing storage infrastructure and improving shelf life of stored food grains.

Why need such scheme?

  • Practically, much of the country’s warehousing capacity outside of the agri sector is in the unorganised sector, with small warehouses of less than 10,000 sq ft area.
  • Currently, of the total warehousing space of about 180 million sq ft in the country, the industrial segment accounts for about 86% and the agricultural sector the rest 14%, according to NITI statistics.
  • Two-thirds of the warehousing capacity in the food storage segment is owned by the public sector.
  • Apart from conventional storing services, India’s warehousing capacity is increasingly being used to offer value-added services such as the consolidation and breaking up of cargo, packaging, labelling, bar coding and reverse logistics.

Plugging deficiencies

  • The project is aimed at plugging deficiencies given that India’s current cold storage capacity at 25 MT is barely sufficient for 10% of the fruits and vegetables produced in the country.
  • The lack of adequate storage infrastructure is an important reason for the high cost of food products and wastage.
  • Nearly 60% of the modern warehousing capacity in India is concentrated in top six cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Pune, with Hyderabad and Kolkata being the other major markets, according to Care Ratings.
  • This trend is driven by the concentration of industrial activity and presence of sizeable urban population around these clusters.

Beneficiaries

  • The prime beneficiaries of the new wave of growth in warehousing include peripheral locations of Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.
  • Much of the fresh investments would go into creating storage facilities for retail and consumer goods.

Forthcoming challenges

  • The primary challenge that India’s warehousing market currently faces is acquisition of a feasible land parcel, given that land cost constitutes the largest component of a warehousing project.
  • While rental values that a warehouse owner can charge are primarily driven by demand and supply factors, land prices are inherently dependent on multiple factors like development control regulations, infrastructure development and the best alternative usage of land.
Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

[pib] Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : EQUIP Programme

Mains level : Promoting India as a global study destination


News

  • The HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) .
  • This has been done in accordance with the decision of the PM for finalizing a five-year vision plan for each Ministry.

Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)

  • The Expert Groups drawn from senior academicians, administrators and industrialists, have suggested more than 50 initiatives that would transform the higher education sector completely.
  • The Groups have set the following goals for higher education sector:
  1. Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access to higher education institutions in India
  2. Upgrade the quality of education to global standards
  3. Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top-1000 global universities
  4. Introduce governance reforms in higher education for well-administered campuses
  5. Accreditation of all institutions as an   assurance of quality
  6. Promote Research & Innovation ecosystems for positioning India in the Top-3 countries in the world in matters of knowledge creation
  7. Double the employability of the students passing out of higher education
  8. Harness education technology for expanding the reach and improving pedagogy
  9. Promote India as a global study destination
  10. Achieve a quantum increase in investment in higher education
Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Pilot Scheme for distribution of Fortified Rice through PDS

Mains Paper 3 : Awareness In The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : BIofortification


News

  • A centrally-sponsored pilot scheme on fortification of rice and its dispersal through PDS has been approved by the government.

About the Scheme

  • The Department of Food and Public Distribution has approved the “Centrally Sponsored Pilot Scheme on fortification of rice and its distribution through Public Distribution System.”
  • Financial assistance of up to 90 per cent in case of North-Eastern, Hilly and Island States and up to 75 per cent in case of rest of the States has been extended.
  • Further, the Govt. has also advised all states and UTs especially those states and UTs that are distributing wheat flour through PDS to distribute fortified wheat flour through PDS.

How it is finalized?

  • The Recommended Dietary Allowance for Indian population is finalized by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN-ICMR) based on the recommendations of the Expert Group.
  • It is based on individual variability and nutrient bio-availability from the habitual diet.

Back2Basics

Fortification

  • Fortification is a complementary strategy to fight malnutrition.
  • Under this, there is addition of key vitamins and minerals such as iron, iodine, zinc, vitamins A & D to staple foods such as rice, wheat, oil, milk and salt are done to improve their nutritional content.
  • This is done to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health.
  • Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
  • It differs from conventional fortification in that Biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops.

How is Rice fortified?

  • Rice can be fortified by adding a micronutrient powder to the rice that adheres to the grains or spraying of the surface of ordinary rice grains with a vitamin and mineral mix to form a protective coating.
  • Rice can also be extruded and shaped into partially precooked grain-like structures resembling rice grains, which can then be blended with natural polished rice.
  • Rice kernels can be fortified with several micronutrients, such as iron, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.

Regulating Fortification

  • FSSAI has formulated a comprehensive regulation on fortification of foods namely ‘Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016’.
  • These regulations set the standards for food fortification and encourage the production, manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of fortified foods.
  • The regulations also provide for specific role of FSSAI in promotion for food fortification and to make fortification mandatory.
  • WHO recommends fortification of rice with iron, vitamin A and folic acid as a public health strategy to improve the iron status of population wherever rice is a staple food.

About Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC)

  • The FFRC is established under India’s government department that regulates food ie FSSAI in collaboration with TATA Trusts.
  • The FFRC works dedicatedly to provide essential support to stakeholders like relevant government ministries, food businesses, development partners etc., promoting and supporting food fortification efforts across India.

 

 
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Scheme

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : One Nation One Ration Card Scheme

Mains level : Read the attached story


News

One Nation One Ration Card” scheme

  • The union govt. is working on a plan to launch a “One Nation One Ration Card” scheme for beneficiaries to access to any PDS shop across the country.
  • The scheme is aimed at providing freedom to beneficiaries, as they will not be tied to one PDS shop.
  • It aims to reduce their dependence on shop owners and curtail corruption.
  • The biggest beneficiaries will be migrant workers who move to other states to seek better job opportunities.

Plan of action

  • PoS machines are available at all PDS shops in various states, like Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and a few other others, but 100 per cent availability is required to provide the benefit across the country.
  • The availability of PoS (Point of Sale) machines needs to be ensured at all PDS shops to implement the scheme.

Implementation

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution will implement the scheme.
  • It will be subsumed under the Integrated Management of PDS (IMPDS), under which beneficiaries can avail their share of food grain from any district.
  • Such a scheme is operational in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.

Importance of the scheme

  • The work done by the PDS  fair price shops is a lifeline for 81 crore beneficiaries across the country.
  • There is 612 lakh tonnes of food grains stored in warehouses of FCI, CWC, SWCs and private godowns for distribution annually.
  • Around 78 per cent of Fair Price Shops in India have so far been automated by installing electronic PoS devices.
Food Procurement and Distribution – PDS & NFSA, Shanta Kumar Committee, FCI restructuring, Buffer stock, etc.

Govt. to start Jal Shakti Abhiyan for 255 water-stressed districts

Mains Paper 2 : Governance, Transparency & Accountability, Citizens Charters |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Mains level : Ensuring safe drinking water for all


News

  • The Centre is set to initiate the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts of the country.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Effective monitoring

  • The Jal Shakti Abhiyan would aim to accelerate water harvesting, conservation and borewell recharge activities already being carried out under the MGNREGS and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme of the Rural Development Ministry.
  • Progress would be monitored in real time through mobile applications and an online dashboard at indiawater.gov.in.
  • Block and district-level water conservation plans would be drafted, and Kisan Vigyan Kendras would hold melas to promote better crop choices and more efficient water use for irrigation.
  • A major communications campaign on TV, radio, print, local and social media would be carried out, with celebrities mobilised to generate awareness for the campaign.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

[pib] Various loan schemes for weaker sections

Mains Paper 2 : Laws, Institutions & Bodies Constituted For The Vulnerable Sections |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Various schemes mentioned

Mains level : Credit facilities for EWS in India


News

  • In terms of RBI guidelines on Priority Sector Lending (PSL) a target of 40 percent of Adjusted Net Bank Credit (ANBC) or Credit Equivalent amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposures (OBE), whichever is higher has been mandated for lending to the priority sector.
  • This has been mandated for all domestic Scheduled Commercial Banks and Foreign Banks with 20 branches and above.

Various schemes for benefitting poor people are as under:

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)

  • It provides access to institutional finance to unfunded micro / small business units by extending loans upto Rs.10 lakh for manufacturing, processing, trading, services and activities allied to agriculture.
  • These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs.
  • The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through its portal.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U)

  • The mission aims to provide assistance to all States/UTs in addressing the housing requirement of urban poor including EWS/ Low Income Group (LIG).
  • This scheme is converged with other schemes to ensure houses have a toilet, Saubhagya Yojana electricity connection, Ujjwala Yojana LPG gas connection, access to drinking water and Jan Dhan banking facilities, etc.

Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme (CSIS)

  • It is an unique Scheme which pivots around the vision that no student desiring to pursue higher education is denied of the opportunity if he/ she is financially poor.
  • This Scheme benefits all categories of EWS students for pursuing professional/ technical courses in lndia and intends to provide affordable higher education.
  • Under this scheme full interest subsidy on educational loans upto Rs 7.50 lakh is available during the period of moratorium on loans availed under the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) Model Education Loan Scheme from Scheduled Banks.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)

  • It aims at promoting poverty reduction through building strong institutions of the poor, particularly women and enabling these institutions to access a range of financial services and livelihood services.
  • DAY-NRLM has a provision for interest subvention, to cover the difference between the Lending Rate of the banks and 7% per annum, on all credit availed by women Self Help Groups (SHGs)
  • It permits a maximum loan of Rs. 3 Lakh per SHG.
  • Further there is also provision of additional interest subvention of 3% for all prompt payee SHG accounts in selected 250 districts.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme to reduce poverty and vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.

Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) Scheme

  • Under the DRI Scheme, banks provide finance up to ₹15,000/- at a concessional rate of interest of 4 percent per annum to the weaker sections of the community for engaging in productive and gainful activities.
Financial Inclusion in India and Its Challenges

‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ Scheme in Haryana

Mains Paper 2 : Government Scheme/Policies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Jal Hi Jivan Scheme

Mains level : Groundwater management


News

  • Farmers in paddy-growing districts of Haryana have agreed to opt for maize and other alternatives after the state government offered major incentives for crop diversification.
  • This was done in an attempt to address the rapidly falling groundwater levels in the state.

 ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ Scheme

  • The ‘Jal Hi Jiwan’ scheme envisages diversification of 50,000 hectare area of non-basmati rice mainly into maize, pulses or oilseeds to achieve the target.
  • Apart from seeds and financial assistance of Rs 5,000 per hectare, the farmer’s share of crop insurance will also be borne by the government.
  • After it emerged that the groundwater level has depleted in 76% area of the state, Haryana launched the pilot scheme.
  • The objective of the scheme is to replace paddy with maize in seven major paddy-growing districts: Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Karnal and Sonipat.
  • According to the state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, the farmers have formally registered for alternative plantations over 40,000 hectares of land.

Why substitute Paddy Cultivation?

  • Paddy is not suitable for Haryana because it puts tremendous stress on the groundwater due to its water-intensive nature.
  • According to agriculture department officials, 1 kg of rice requires 2,000-5,000 litres of water, depending upon its variety, soil type and time of sowing.
  • With paddy production jumping, the number of tubewells in the state also shot up from a few thousand to 8 lakh, resulting in overdrawing of groundwater.
  • Experts also say that it has exhausted the soil health while the crops like arhar, pulses and oilseeds require minimum fertilizers.
  • If farmers opt for maize in place of rice, the water saved per hectare will be about 14 lakh litres per crop season.

Rise in dark zones

  • These are zones where the water table has fallen to a critical level, and the rate at which water is being drawn is much more than the pace at which it is being recharged.
  • In the last two decades, the farmers have pumped out much as 74% of the groundwater reservoirs.
  • If over-exploitation of the water continues, parts of Haryana will turn into a desert in the coming years.

First such scheme ever

  • Haryana is the first state to implement water-saving scheme involving sowing maize as an alternative crop.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.