UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material| Current Affairs| Government Schemes and Programs – Part 1

Dear Friends,

This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered all of the current affairs linked to Government Schemes and Programs.

List of Contents

To Read Other Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC Prelims 2022– Click here


Government Schemes and Programs


‘Eat Right Station’ program

News

Indian Railways’ Chandigarh Railway Station has been awarded a 5- star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification for providing high-quality, nutritious food to passengers. This certification is granted by FSSAI to railway stations adhering to standard food storage and hygiene practices.

About ‘Eat Right Station’ program

The ‘Eat Right Station’ certification is awarded by FSSAI to railway stations that set benchmarks in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.

The station is awarded a certificate upon a conclusion of an FSSAI-empanelled third-party audit agency with ratings from 1 to 5.

The 5-star rating indicates exemplary efforts by stations to ensure safe and hygienic food is available to passengers.

The certification is part of the ‘Eat Right India’ movement.

Chandigarh Railway Station becomes the fifth station in India to get this recognition. The other railway stations with this certification include Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station; (Delhi), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus; (Mumbai), Mumbai Central Railway Station; (Mumbai) and Vadodara Railway Station.

About ‘Eat Right India’ movement

It is a large-scale effort by FSSAI to transform the country’s food system to ensure safe, healthy, and sustainable food for all Indians.

Eat Right India adopts a judicious mix of regulatory, capacity building, collaborative, and empowerment approaches to ensure that our food is suitable both for the people and the planet.


Air gun Surrender Abhiyan

News

Auranchal Pradesh has initiated the program ‘Air gun Surrender Abhiyan’ to check the killing of birds and animals in the region.

About ‘Air gun Surrender Abhiyan’

In Arunachal Pradesh, hunting was a seasonal activity and limited primarily to tribal rituals. Post the proliferation of air guns and rifles, found freely in the market, hunting has increased manifold in the state.

To control hunting and conserve wildlife, ‘Air gun Surrender Abhiyan’ was launched to surrender the air guns. Overall, 2,000 weapons have been given up voluntarily since its launch. In return, the person got a certificate of appreciation.

Aim: To spread awareness about conservation and check the killing of birds and animals in their state.


Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles

News

The government of India has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Textiles.

About the PLI Scheme for textiles

Objective: 

  1. To ​​attract investments in the production of in-demand textile products like man-made fibre (MMF) fabric, garments and technical textiles.
  2. To make Indian textiles more competitive in international markets.

Duration of the Scheme: Five Years

Features of the PLI Scheme for textiles

Incentives: Under the scheme, two types of investment are possible with a different set of incentive structures:

  1. First Type: Any person, (which includes firm/company) willing to invest a minimum of ₹300 Crore in Plant, Machinery, Equipment and Civil Works (excluding land and administrative building cost) to produce products of Notified lines (MMF Fabrics, Garment) and products of Technical Textiles, shall be eligible to apply for participation.
  2. Second Type: In this, any person, (which includes firm/company) willing to invest a minimum of ₹100 Crore shall be eligible to apply for participation.

Priority Areas: Under the scheme, priority will be given for investment in Aspirational Districts, Tier 3, Tier 4 towns and rural areas. Hence, industries will be incentivized to move to backward areas.

Significance of the PLI Scheme for textiles

The scheme will lead to a fresh investment of more than Rs.19,000 crore and will create additional employment opportunities for more than 7.5 lakh jobs in this sector.

The scheme will promote the production of high-value MMF fabrics, Garments and Technical Textiles in the country.

The scheme will positively impact especially States like Gujarat, UP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, AP, Telangana and Odisha

Moreover, the textiles industry predominantly employs women, therefore, the scheme will empower women and increase their participation in the formal economy.


Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

News

The Government of India has decided to extend the “Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana” till 30th June 2022.

About Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana

Launched in: 2018.

Implemented byEmployees State Insurance(ESI) Corporation.

The scheme is a welfare measure for Insured Persons covered under the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948.

Under the scheme, unemployment allowance is paid at 50% of wages for 3 months to those insured persons who lose their jobs for any reason.

The unemployment allowance shall become due for payment after 30 days from the date of unemployment and the claim can be submitted directly to the designated ESIC Branch Office by the worker.

Eligibility for the scheme
  • The Insured Person should have been rendered unemployed during the period the relief is claimed.
  • The Insured Person should have been in insurable employment for a minimum period of two years.
  • The Insured Person should have contributed not less than 78 days during each of the preceding four contribution periods.
  • The contingency of unemployment should not have been as a result of any punishment for misconduct or superannuation or voluntary retirement.
  • In case the IP is working for more than one employer and is covered under the ESI scheme he will be considered unemployed only in case he is rendered unemployed with all employers.

Transport and Marketing Assistance(TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme

News

The Centre has revised the “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) scheme for Specified Agriculture Products’. The revised TMA scheme will be available for exports affected on or after 01.04.2021 up to 31.03.2022.

About Transport and Marketing Assistance(TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products Scheme

Launched by: Ministry of Commerce & Industry in 2019.

The objective of the Scheme: The scheme aims to provide assistance for the international component of freight and marketing of agricultural produce.

The assistance will help mitigate the disadvantage of higher freight costs faced by the Indian exporters of agriculture products.

Coverage: All exporters, duly registered with relevant Export Promotion Council as per Foreign Trade Policy, of eligible agriculture products, shall be covered under this scheme.

The scheme covers freight and marketing assistance for export by air as well as by sea (both normal and reefer cargo).

Duration of the Scheme: The scheme was initially applicable for exports affected during the period from 01.03.2019 to 31.03.2020 and was later extended for exports affected up to 31.03.2021.

Major changes in the revised scheme

Dairy products, which were not covered under the earlier scheme, will be eligible for assistance under the revised scheme.

Rates of assistance have been increased, by 50% for exports by sea and by 100% for exports by air.


PLI Scheme for Auto Industry

News

The government of India has approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Auto Industry and Drone Components.

About PLI Scheme for Auto Industry

Aim: To overcome the cost disabilities to the industry for the manufacture of Advanced Automotive Technology products in India.

Eligibility: The scheme is open to existing automotive companies as well as new investors who are currently not in the automobile or auto component manufacturing business.

Components: The scheme has two components viz

Champion OEM Incentive scheme: It is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme, applicable on Battery Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles of all segments.

Component Champion Incentive scheme: It is a ‘sales value linked’ scheme, applicable to Advanced Automotive Technology components of vehicles.

Significance of the Scheme

The scheme will encourage the industry to make fresh investments for indigenous global supply chains of Advanced Automotive Technology products.


SPIN (Strengthening the Potential of India) Scheme

About SPIN Scheme

Launched by: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

Aim: Bringing self-sustainability in the Indian pottery sector.

Under the scheme, KVIC will facilitate the registered potters to get easy loans from banks under the Pradhan Mantri Shishu Mudra Yojana This will help them in diversifying their activities and enhance their income.

Key Features of SPIN Scheme

It is a no-subsidy program. So, there is no financial burden on the exchequer

Beneficiaries can repay the loans in easy instalments.

About Kashi Pottery Cluster

It was the first pottery cluster in the Varanasi district set up by KVIC under the SFURTI Scheme.

The cluster is equipped with modern equipment like furnaces, electric pottery wheels, blunger machines, pugmills and other modern equipment for higher production of clay pottery.

About Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI)

Launched by: Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME)

Aim: To organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.

KVIC is the nodal agency for the promotion of Cluster development for Khadi as well as for Village Industries products.


Rail Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Rail Kaushal Vikas Yojana is a skill development programme launched under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana(PMKVY).

Launched by: Ministry of Railways

Aim: To provide training skills to the youth in various trades, with a special focus on jobs that are relevant to the Railways.

Eligibility: Candidates who are 10th passed and between 18-35 years shall be eligible to apply.

Target: The training will be provided to a total of 50,000 candidates over a three years period.

Key Features of the Programme

Under the programme, training will be provided in four trades viz. Electrician, Welder, Machinist and Fitter. Other trades will be added by zonal railways and production units based on regional demands and needs assessment.

Training shall be provided free of cost and participants will be selected from applications received online on the basis of marks in matriculation.

The curriculum for this training has been developed by Banaras Locomotive Works.

Participants in the training shall have no claim to seek employment in Railways on the basis of this training.

After the completion of training, trainees shall be required to undergo a standardized assessment and will be awarded a certificate in the allotted trade by the National Rail & Transportation Institute, upon conclusion of their programme.

They will also be provided Toolkits relevant to their trade, which would help these trainees utilize their learnings and enhance their capacity for self-employment as well as employability in various industries.

Significance of the Programme

The programme will not only improve the employability of the youth, but also upgrade the skills of self-employed and those who are working with contractors through reskilling and upskilling.


Saubhagya Scheme

News

SAUBHAGYA Scheme has completed four years of successful implementation.

About the Saubhagya Scheme

The SAUBHAGYA Scheme was announced by the Prime Minister in 2017.

Objective: To achieve Universal Household Electrification in the country through last-mile connectivity and providing access to electricity to all un-electrified households in rural areas and poor households in urban areas.

Nodal Agency: REC Limited (Rural Electrification Corporation) has been designated as the nodal agency for the Saubhagya scheme.

Key features of the Scheme

All DISCOMs including Private Sector DISCOMs, State Power Departments and RE Cooperative Societies shall be eligible for financial assistance under the scheme in line with Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY).

The prospective beneficiary households for free electricity connections under the scheme would be identified using SECC 2011 data.

However, un-electrified households not covered under SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.

The electricity connection to households includes the release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest pole to the household premise, installation of an energy meter, wiring for a single light point with an LED bulb and a mobile charging point.

The present status of the Scheme

As of March 31st, 2021 India has provided electricity access to 2.82 crore households as part of the Saubhagya scheme. Saubhagya Scheme will continue its work of providing a 24×7 quality power supply to all.

All states have been requested to launch special campaigns in their respective states to identify any left out un-electrified households and subsequently provide electricity connections to them. A dedicated toll-free helpline has also been launched for that purpose.


Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises(PMF ME) Scheme and its Seed Capital Module

About PMFME Scheme
Source: PIB

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Food Processing Industries 

Type: centrally sponsored scheme

Aim:

  • To modernize and enhance the competitiveness of the existing individual micro enterprises and ensure their transition to formal sector
  • To provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.

Duration: The PM-FME scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.

Funding: The expenditure under the PM-FME scheme would be shared in 60:40 ratio between Central and State Governments, in 90:10 ratio with North Eastern and Himalayan States, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Centre for other UTs.

Coverage: Under the PM-FME scheme, 2,00,000 micro food processing units will be directly assisted with credit linked subsidy. Adequate supportive common infrastructure and institutional architecture will be supported to accelerate growth of the sector.

About the PMFME Seed Capital module

Launched by: Ministry of Food Processing Industries in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The PMFME Scheme Seed Capital Module has been launched on the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NULM) MIS Portal.

Purpose: To provide seed capital assistance to members of urban Self Help Groups working in the food processing sector in India.

Seed Capital Limit: The Self Help Groups(SHGs) can avail the seed capital assistance of Rs.40,000 per SHG member under the PMFME Scheme.


Palk Bay Scheme

News

The Union Government is considering increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels to make them more attractive to fisherfolk. At present, the Palk Bay scheme covers fishing vessels up to Rs 80 Lakh. The government is considering to increase this amount to Rs 1.3 Cr.

About the Palk Bay Scheme

Palk Bay Scheme is also known as Scheme for Diversification Of Trawl Fishing Boats From Palk Straits Into Deep Sea Fishing Boats.

The scheme was launched by the Government of India in 2017 as a Centrally sponsored scheme.

About the objectives of the scheme

Firstly, it is a Tamil Nadu-specific scheme aimed at providing 2,000 vessels in three years to fishermen of the State and motivating them to abandon bottom trawling.

Secondly, it aims to reduce fishing pressure around the proximity of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) so that Tamil Nadu fishermen do not cross the IMBL and fish in Sri Lankan waters.

Funding Pattern of the Scheme

Under the scheme is the Centre is providing 50% cost of the fishing vessel, the State government is providing 20% cost and the 10% cost will be the Institutional funding. The beneficiary will put the remaining 20% for the vessel.

The Scheme is limited to vessels costing up to Rs. 80 Lakh.

About Bottom Trawling

bottom trawling

It is an ecologically destructive fishing practice. It involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the seafloor.

The major problem in bottom trawling is Bycatch (captures juvenile fish and other non-targeted fish species). This will cause great depletion of aquatic resources and affect marine conservation efforts.


Going Online as Leaders(GOAL) Program

News

Dr. Teejan Bai, a Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee addressed the Mentees and Mentors of the GOAL program as part of the Inspiration Masterclass on GOAL Program.

About the GOAL Program

Launched by: Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Facebook in 2020.

Aim: To provide skilling for tribal youth with a focus on enabling digital presence in addition to strengthening core skills to drive their professional-economical upliftment.

Key features of the GOAL Program

Firstly, the program intends to upskill and empower 5,000 tribal youths over the course of the next five years. They will be trained to harness the full potential of digital platforms and tools to learn new ways of doing business, explore and connect with domestic and international markets.

Secondly, it is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode and envisages to act as a catalyst to explore the hidden talents of the tribal youth. This will help in their personal development as well as contribute to the all-around upliftment of their society.

Thirdly, as part of the program, in addition to the core classes, fortnightly expert sessions are also organized wherein distinguished leaders and experts from various fields are invited to interact with the mentees of the GOAL Program. They will guide the mentee’s development through personal and professional experiences.


PLI Scheme for Telecom and Networking Products

News

The Minister of State for Communications has launched the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Telecom and Networking Products.

Objective of the PLI Scheme for Telecom and Networking Products

To boost domestic manufacturing in the telecom and networking products by incentivising incremental investments and turnover.

To reduce India’s dependence on other countries for the import of telecom and networking products.

Target segments

Core Transmission Equipment

4G/5G, Next-Generation Radio Access Network and Wireless Equipment

Access and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), Internet of Things (IoT) Access Devices, and Other Wireless Equipment

Enterprise equipment: Switches, Routers

Eligibility criteria

MSMEs – Minimum Threshold of Investment ₹ 10 Crores

Other than MSMEs – Minimum Threshold of Investment ₹ 100 Crores

Further, for MSMEs, the scheme has a 1% higher incentive in the first three years.

Incentives under the scheme

An incentive of 7% to 4% on incremental sales (over base year) of goods manufactured in India

Tenure: Support under the scheme shall be provided for a period of five (5) years from 1st April 2021.


Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme for health workers Fighting Covid-19

News

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP): Insurance Scheme for Health Care Workers Fighting COVID-19 has been extended for 180 days with effect from October 21,2021.So far, 1,351 claims have been paid under the scheme.

About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme for health workers Fighting Covid-19

Launched by: It is a Central Sector Scheme launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2020.

Aim: To provide comprehensive personal accident insurance cover of Rs. 50 lakh to all healthcare providers who

-Lost their lives due to Covid-19

-Accidental death on account of COVID-19 related duty.

Coverage of the Scheme

-All government health centres, wellness centres and hospitals of Centre as well as States,

-Private hospital staff and retired/volunteer/local urban bodies/contracted/daily wage workers,

-Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers and other health workers.

Implementation: The scheme is being implemented through an Insurance policy from the New India Assurance Company(NIACL).

Certification Procedure: The District Collector in each case will be certifying that the claim is in accordance with SoP of the Scheme. On the basis of this certificate of the Collector, the Insurance Company will approve and settle the claims within a period of 48 hours.


Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme

News

The government of India has launched phase II of the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship under SANKALP (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) programme.

About the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship Programme

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship is a two-year-long fellowship programme conceived to create opportunities for young, dynamic individuals to contribute to enhancing skill development at the grassroots.

Objective: The Programme ​​seeks to combine classroom sessions by academic partner IIMs, with an intensive field immersion at the district level (District Immersion) to create credible plans and identify barriers in raising employment, economic output and promoting livelihoods in rural areas.

Eligibility: Fellows have to be in the 21-30 years age group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India.

Three years of work experience after secondary schooling in the social/non-profit sector with an interest in working in rural areas is preferred. However, individuals with no work experience and a strong motivation to work in this area may apply.

Proficiency in the official language of the state of fieldwork will be mandatory.

Phases:

MGNF Phase-I (Pilot): Launched in 2019 with IIM Bangalore as Academic Partner. Under this, 69 Fellows are currently deployed in 69 districts across 6 States.

MGNF Phase-II (National Roll Out): Being launched in October 2021 with 661 MGNFs who will be deployed across all districts of the country. 8 more IIMs have been boarded, taking the total to 9 IIMs.

About SANKALP Programme

SANKALP is a World Bank loan assisted program. It was launched by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in January 2018.

Purpose: SANKALP engages with District Skill Committees (DSCs) to effectively reduce the mismatch between the supply and demand of skilled manpower in the country, thereby creating decent opportunities for the youth to work and earn.


Krishi UDAN 2.0 Scheme

News

The Union Civil Aviation Minister has launched the Krishi UDAN 2.0 scheme.

About the Krishi UDAN 2.0 Scheme

Krishi UDAN Scheme was launched in 2020 on international and national routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their value realisation.

Krishi UDAN 2.0 will focus on transporting perishable food products from the hilly areas, northeastern states and tribal areas.

The scheme will be implemented at 53 airports across the country, mainly focusing on Northeast and tribal regions, and is likely to benefit farmers, freight forwarders and Airlines.

About the key features of the Krishi UDAN 2.0 scheme

Facilitating and incentivizing movement of Agri-produce by air transportation: The scheme will provide a full waiver of landing, parking, Terminal Navigation and Landing Charges and Route Navigation Facilities Charges for domestic airlines.

Strengthening cargo-related infrastructure at airports and off airports: The Ministry will facilitate the development of a hub and spoke model and freight to transport perishable products.

Concessions sought from other bodies: The Ministry has asked states to reduce sales tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) to 1 percent for airlines under Krishi UDAN 2.0.

Resources-Pooling through establishing convergence mechanism: Collaboration with other government departments and regulatory bodies.

UDAN 2.0
Source: PIB

Focus Routes: Seven focus routes and the agro products to be flown from there have been identified under the scheme.

Technological convergence: Development of E-KUSHAL (Krishi UDAN for Sustainable Holistic Agri-Logistics).

About E-KUSHAL

E-KUSHAL is a platform that will facilitate information dissemination to all the stakeholders.

This will be a single platform that will provide relevant information at the same time will also assist in coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.


Integrated Teacher Education Programme(ITEP)

News

The Ministry of Education has notified a Four Year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP). This fulfils one of the major mandates of the National Education Policy 2020 related to Teacher Education.

 About the Integrated Teacher Education Programme(ITEP)
ITEP
Source: PIB

ITEP is a four-year dual-major holistic bachelor’s degree offering B.A B.Ed./ B.Sc B.Ed and B.Com B.Ed.

This integrated course will benefit students since they will save one year by finishing it in four years rather than the customary five years required by the present B.Ed. plan.

Course availability

This course will be available for all students who want to choose teaching as a profession after clearing secondary school.

Hence, the basic aim of the government is to make a four-year integrated B.Ed, the minimum degree required for teaching by 2030.

Curriculum for the course

The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has created the curriculum of this course to enable a student-teacher to get a degree in education as well as a specialised discipline such as history, mathematics, science, arts, economics, or commerce.

The course will also impart cutting-edge pedagogy and establish a foundation in early childhood care and education (ECCE), foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN), inclusive education among others.

Nodal Agency for Admission

The commencement of the ITEP will be from the academic session 2022-23.

Admission for the course will be carried out by the National Testing Agency (NTA) through the National Common Entrance Test (NCET).


MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme

 News

The Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has launched the MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme.

About the MSME Sustainable(ZED) Certification Scheme

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of MSME.

Aim: To create awareness amongst MSMEs about Zero Defect Zero Effect (ZED) practices and motivate and incentivise them for ZED Certification while also encouraging them to become MSME Champions.

Phases under the scheme: The first phase will focus on manufacturing MSMEs and the second phase would be aimed at the MSMEs in the services sector.

Benefits and Subsidies: MSMEs will get subsidies on the cost of ZED certification as per the following: Micro Enterprises: 80%, Small Enterprises: 60% and Medium Enterprises: 50%.

– There will be an additional subsidy of 10% for the MSMEs owned by Women/SC/ST Entrepreneurs or MSMEs in NER/Himalayan/LWE/Island territories/aspirational districts.

– In addition to the above, there will be an additional subsidy of 5% for MSMEs which are part of the SFURTI or Micro & Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) of the Ministry.

– A limited purpose joining reward of Rs 10,000 will also be offered to each MSME once they take the ZED Pledge.

– A provision of up to Rs. 5 lakh(per MSME) will also be made available for handholding and consultancy support for MSMEs for assisting them to move towards Zero Defect Zero Effect solutions.

– ZED-certified MSME players will also be offered subsidies in stall charges, airfares, concession in banks’ processing fees and rate of interest along with preference in lending.

Significance of the Scheme: Through the ZED Certification, MSMEs can reduce wastage substantially, increase productivity, enhance environmental consciousness, save energy, optimally use natural resources, and expand their markets amongst others.


Museum Grant Scheme

News

The Ministry of Culture has granted Rs 3.75 crore under the ‘Upgradation of Museums Scheme’ as part of the Museums Grant Scheme for the Rs 5-crore project in Eluru town, Andhra Pradesh.

About the Museum Grant Scheme

Launched by: Ministry of Culture in 2013.

Aim: To strengthen and modernize the existing museums at the Regional, State and District levels.

– To develop at least 1 Central / State Government Museum located in the State Capital each year.

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to State Governments and Societies, Autonomous bodies, Local Bodies and Trusts registered under the Societies Act 1860 for setting up new Museums.

Components under the scheme

Establishment and Development of District and Regional Museums: Under this component, museums have been classified into two categories:

Category-I: Government-owned State level Museums and renowned Museums with exquisite collections and Category-II: all other Museums.

The maximum amount of financial assistance provided under this Component is limited to Rs.10 crore.

Development of Museums in State Capitals: Financial assistance under this component is provided to existing renowned museums of the Central or State Government located in the Capital cities.

The maximum financial assistance under this component is limited to Rs. 15 Crore per museum.

Establishment and Development of Large-Scale Museums in Public-Private Partnership Mode: Under this component, it is proposed to establish large scale museums as joint ventures with State Governments and civil society in the Public-Private partnerships Mode.

The maximum financial assistance provided under this component is 40% of the project cost subject to a maximum of Rs. 20 Crore per museum.


Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor(DIR-V) Program

News

The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology has launched the Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program.

About the Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor(DIR-V) Program

Launched by: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Aim: To enable the creation of Microprocessors for the future in India, and for the world, and achieve industry-grade silicon and Design wins by December 2023.

Significance: DIR-V will promote partnerships between Startups, Academia & Multinationals to make India a RISC-V Talent Hub for the World and a supplier of RISC-V SoC (System on Chips) for Servers, Mobile devices, Automotive, IoT & Microcontrollers across the globe.

Note: IIT Madras and the Center for Development of Advanced Computing(CDAC) have developed two microprocessors named Shakti (32-bit) and Vega (64-bit) respectively under the Microprocessor Development Program.

About the Microprocessor Development Program(MDP)

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Aim: To design and develop indigenously, a family of Microprocessors, related IPs, and the complete ecosystem to enable fully indigenous product development that meets various requirements in the strategic, industrial, and commercial sectors.


BioNEST Scheme

News

The Union Minister of Science & Technology has launched the BioNEST Scheme in Jammu.

About the BioNEST Scheme

Launched by: BIRAC

Full-Form: BioNEST stands for Bio Incubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies.

Aim: To foster the biotech innovation ecosystem in the country by creating globally competent bioincubation facilities across the country.

Mandate: To provide incubation space to entrepreneurs and Startups along with shared access to high-end infrastructure, specialized and advanced equipment, business mentorship, IP, legal and regulatory guidance and networking opportunities.

Eligibility: The scheme provides support to establish bio-incubators either as a standalone entity or as a part of academia.

Achievements: Through the BioNEST scheme, BIRAC has supported 60 bioincubators.


Export Promotion Capital Goods(EPCG) Scheme

News

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has relaxed various procedures under the Export Promotion Capital Goods(EPCG) scheme in order to reduce compliance requirements and facilitate ease of doing business.

About the Export Promotion Capital Goods(EPCG) Scheme

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Objective: To facilitate the import of capital goods for producing quality goods and services and enhance India’s manufacturing competitiveness.

Under the scheme, imports of capital goods are allowed duty-free, subject to an Export Obligation(EO).

The Export Obligation(EO) is that the exporter under the scheme has to export finished goods worth six times of the actual duty saved in value terms in six years. At least, 50% of the EO must be fulfilled within the first block of four years.

About the changes made to the EPCG Scheme

Extension in the time limit for submitting the Annual Report: The time limit for reporting the fulfilment of EO has been extended from April 30 to June 30. Further, late fees of Rs.5000 per authorization for each financial year would be levied for delay in submission of such report.

Export Obligation(EO): Requests for export obligation extension under the scheme should be made within six months of expiry instead of the earlier prescribed period of 90 days. However, applications made after six months and up to six years are subject to a late fee of Rs 10,000 per authorisation.

Payment of Customs Duty: The facility to pay customs duty through scrips (MEIS /RoDTEP /RoSCTL) for default under EPCG has been withdrawn.


SVANidhi se Samriddhi Program

News

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) has launched ‘SVANidhi se Samriddhi’ program in additional 126 cities across 14 States/ UTs.

About the SVANidhi se Samriddhi Program

Launched by: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) in 2021

It is an additional program of the PM SVANidhi Scheme.

Aim: To provide social security benefits to street vendors for their holistic development and socio-economic upliftment.

Implementing Partner: Quality Council of India (QCI)

Key Features of the Scheme

Under the program, socio-economic profiling of PM SVANidhi beneficiaries and their families is conducted to assess their eligibility for Eight Government of India’s welfare schemes and facilitate sanctions of eligible schemes.

These Eight schemes include: 1) Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, 2) PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, 3) Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, 4) Building and other Constructions Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act (BOCW), 5) Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana, 6) National Food Security Act (NFSA)-portability benefit – One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), 7) Janani Suraksha Yojana and 8) Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana.

The socio-economic profiling will also help States if they deem fit to extend their State-specific welfare schemes & benefits to the eligible PM SVANidhi beneficiaries and their families.

About the achievements of the Program

The program has two-fold achievements:

One, a central database of Street vendors and their families has been created on various socio-economic indicators.

Second, a first of its kind inter-ministerial convergence platform is established between various Central Ministries to extend the safety net of welfare schemes to street vendor households.


5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Programme(VEPP)

News

The Department of Telecommunications(DoT) has invited the Expression of Interest (EoI) for the “5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Programme (VEPP)”.

About the 5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Programme(VEPP)

Launched by: Department of Telecommunications(DoT)

Objective: To build strong collaborative partnerships across 5G Use-case ecosystem stakeholders with velocity and with an exclusive emphasis to address User/Vertical Industry needs.

Key Features of the Programme

The programme is being offered to Industry verticals that have potential as testing cum breeding grounds for innovative 5G use cases.

Under the programme, DoT will partner with other ministries, state governments and start-up hubs to facilitate necessary approvals, and regulatory clearances to enable use case prototyping, pilots, demos, and trials at the user or vertical industry premises.

On the other hand, technology stakeholders will have to work to develop and deploy prototypes and pilots for 5G use cases as per the needs of the respective ministries or industry verticals to help accelerate commercial usage and adoption by enterprises.

Significance of the Program

The program will enable close collaboration between User verticals and 5G Tech stakeholders (Service providers, Solution providers & partner Original Equipment Manufacturers). This can trigger a multiplier effect to try & finetune 5G digital solutions in respective economic verticals.


Tour of Duty(ToD) Scheme

News

The Department of Military Affairs is moving towards finalizing the “Tour of Duty(ToD)” scheme.

About the Tour of Duty(ToD) Scheme

The tour of Duty(ToD) Scheme involves hiring youth in the armed forces for a short span of 3-5 years.

Suggested by: This scheme was being pushed by the late Chief Of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.

Key Features of the Scheme

The scheme will be known as the Agnipath entry scheme.

It will be launched on an experimental basis first. The plan is to eventually recruit all soldiers in the Indian Army under the Tour of Duty model.

As per the proposal, around 25% of them would serve in the Army for three years and 25% of troops would serve for five years. The remaining 50% would continue to serve in the Army for the full term till they reach their retirement age.

About the benefits to soldiers from this scheme

Included in National Pension Scheme: Proposal states that 50% of soldiers released at the end of three and five years will be included in the National Pension Scheme. Such soldiers will be given certain medical benefits, applicable to Armed Forces veterans for a fixed period.

Priority in certain Government Jobs: The soldiers would also be given priority in recruitment to certain government jobs, including the central armed police forces.

An effort is also on to nudge corporate India into hiring such ex-ToD recruits for specific lines of work in the private sector on a priority basis.

About the benefits to the Government from this scheme

Reduction in defence pensions: It will reduce the burden of pay rises and pensions. As per estimates, the “prospective life-term saving” in the cost of engagement of a single jawan who leaves after 17 years of service with pension and other benefits, as compared to a ToD jawan will be Rs 11.5 crore.

The cumulative money saved in pay and gratuity payouts can consequently be used for the much-needed military modernization.

Overcoming shortages: The defence establishment is hoping that the ToD scheme will help in resolving the issue of lack of manpower in the Indian Army.


Dairy Sahakar Scheme

News

The Union Minister of Cooperation has launched the Dairy Sahakar Scheme.

About the Dairy Sahakar Scheme

Aim: To encourage the cooperative dairy businesses in the country which will help realize the vision of  “from cooperation to prosperity”.

Implementing Agency: National Cooperative Development Corporation( NCDC) under the Ministry of Cooperation.

Financial Assistance: Financial support will be extended by NCDC to eligible cooperatives for activities such as bovine development, milk procurement, processing, quality assurance, value addition, branding, packaging, marketing, transportation and storage of milk and milk products.

Convergence with other schemes: Various schemes of Government of India or State Government or Development agencies or bilateral/multilateral assistance or CSR mechanism will be converged.


Ayushman CAPF Scheme

News

The Union Home Minister has launched the ‘Ayushmaan CAPF’ Scheme health cards at the national level.

About Ayushman CAPF Scheme

Launched by: It is a  joint initiative of the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW) and National Health Authority(NHA).

Eligibility: The scheme covers serving personnel and their dependents from Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force(CISF), National Security Guard(NSG) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP).

Benefits under the scheme: CAPF personnel and their families will be able to avail cashless in-patient and out-patient healthcare facilities at all Hospitals empanelled under Ayushmaan Bharat PM-JAY or Central Government Health Scheme(CGHS).


DBT-Star College Mentorship Programme

News

​​The Union minister has launched the first-ever DBT-Star College Mentorship Programme.

About the DBT-Star College Mentorship Programme

Aim: To have a ‘Star College’ in every district of the country supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Under the programme, the Star Status Colleges will mentor the newer colleges through hand-holding and peer learning and bringing them under the aegis of Star College Scheme.

About the Star College Scheme

Initiated by: Department of Biotechnology(DBT) in 2008

Aim: To improve critical thinking and encourage ‘hands on’ experimental science at undergraduate level in basic science subjects.It also aims to encourage more students to take up higher education in science.

To support colleges and universities offering undergraduate education to improve science teaching across the country.

Support under the scheme: Through this scheme the DBT identifies colleges with potential for excellence and provides support for developing infrastructure for academics and laboratory activities.This support is in turn expected to invigorate teaching and provide unique exposure of students to experimental science.


MPLADS Scheme

News

The Union Cabinet has approved the restoration and continuation of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) during the remaining part of Financial Year 2021-22 and up to Financial Year, 2025-26, co-terminus with the period of 15th Finance Commission.

About the MPLADS Scheme

​​MPLADS is a Central Sector Scheme fully funded by the Government of India.

Nodal Ministry:  Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

Objective: To enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets in the areas of drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation and roads, etc. primarily in their Constituencies.

Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.

MPs can recommend every year at least 15 per cent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for SC inhabited areas and at least 7.5 per cent of the entitlement for the year for ST inhabited areas.

MPLADS guidelines state that the funds released to the District Authority by the Government of India are non-lapsable. Funds left in the district can be carried forward for utilization in the subsequent years.

As per the guidelines, the District Authority would be responsible for overall coordination and supervision of the works under the scheme at the district level and inspect at least 10% of the works under implementation every year.


Nutrition Smart Village Programme

News

As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Government of India has said that a programme on “Nutrition Smart Village” will be initiated to strengthen the Poshan Abhiyan. 

About Nutrition Smart Village Programme

As part of the programme, a total of 75 villages will be adopted by All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) centres and Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA).

The Programme is in line with the Prime Minister’s call to adopt and transform 75 villages.

Objectives of the Programme

– To promote nutritional awareness.

– To promote Education and behavioral change in rural areas involving farm women and school children

– To harness traditional knowledge through the local recipe to overcome malnutrition and

– To implement nutrition-sensitive agriculture through homestead agriculture and Nutri-garden.


Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (SCLCSS) for the services sector

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

Aim: To help in meeting the technology related requirements of enterprises in the services sector.

Under the scheme, there is a provision of 25% capital subsidy for procurement of plant and machinery and service equipment. Subsidy is to be given via institutional credit to the SC/ST micro and small enterprises (MSEs) without any sector specific restrictions on technology degradation.

Significance: The scheme will help in meeting the technology related requirements of enterprises in the services sector.


ACROSS Scheme

News

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of the umbrella scheme “Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)”.

About the ACROSS Scheme

launched by: Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES)

The ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

Aim: To address the different aspects of weather and climate services which include warnings for cyclones, storm surges, heatwaves, thunderstorms among others.

Sub Schemes under ACROSS

There are eight sub-schemes under ACROSS: 1) Commissioning of Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radars (DWRs) 2) Upgradation of Forecast System 3) Weather & Climate Services 4) Atmospheric Observations Network-IMD 5) Numerical Modelling of Weather and Climate  6) Monsoon Mission III 7) Monsoon Convection, Clouds and Climate Change(MC4) and 8) High-Performance Computing System (HPCS).

Implementation of Scheme

The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) through its units namely the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF); Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

Each institute has a designated role for accomplishing the tasks through the aid of eight sub-schemes.

Impact of this Scheme

The scheme will provide improved weather, climate, ocean forecast and services, and other hazard-related services thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the end-user.


Ocean Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)

News

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of the umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)” for the period from 2021-26.

About O-SMART Scheme

Launched by: Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Objectives of the scheme: a) To provide forecasts and services based on the continuous observation of oceans b) To develop technologies and exploratory surveys for the sustainable harnessing of oceanic resources (both living and nonliving) and c) To promote front-ranking research in ocean sciences.

Sub-schemes: The scheme includes seven sub-schemes – 1) Ocean Technology 2) Ocean Modelling and Advisory Services (OMAS) 3) Ocean Observation Network (OON) 4) Ocean Non-Living Resources 5) Marine Living Resources and Ecology (MLRE) 6) Coastal Research and Operation and 7) Maintenance of Research Vessels.

Implementation: The sub-schemes are being implemented by autonomous/attached institutes of the Ministry of Earth Sciences namely: National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai; Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad; National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa, Center for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), Kochi; and National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai.

Significance of the Scheme

Firstly, the extensive research and technology development activities under the scheme would augment the capacity building of the nation in the oceanographic field at the international level.

Secondly, the present decade has been declared as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by the United Nations (UN). Hence, the continuation of the scheme would strengthen India’s stand in the global oceanographic research and technology development.


Anaemia Mukt Bharat Programme

Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Programme was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Objective: To reduce the prevalence of anaemia among children, adolescents and women in the reproductive age group(15–49 years).

Target: The programme aims to reduce the proportion of anaemia among children to 40%, pregnant women to 32% and lactating women to 40% by 2022.

6x6x6 Strategy: The 6x6x6 strategy under AMB implies six age groups, six interventions and six institutional mechanisms. This strategy focuses on ensuring supply chain, demand generation and strong monitoring using the dashboard for addressing anemia both due to nutritional and non-nutritional causes.


WISER Program

News

The Union Minister for Science and Technology has launched the Women’s Involvement in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) program.

About the WISER Program

Launched by: Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC)

Purpose: It is a first-of-its-kind programme that aims to promote women in the field of research and development through lateral entry.

Features: The involvement in the program will be possible through lateral entry. There is neither requirement of break-in-career nor any age limit, and it will enable easy participation.

Significance: The program will enable gender equality and women’s participation in Science and Technology.

Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC)

IGSTC was established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany

Objective: to foster innovation through Indo-German R&D networking including industrial research partnership in PPP mode.

About the 2+2 Project

The 2+2 project is the flagship programme of the Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC).

Aim: To catalyse innovation-centric R&D projects by synergizing the strength of research/academic institutions and public/industry from India and Germany.

Under the scheme, R&D projects will be supported through “2+2 Mode of Partnership” i.e. involvement of at least one research/academic institute and one public/private industry from both India and Germany.


Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana(PMBJP)

Launched by: Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in 2008.

Aim: To provide quality generic medicines at affordable prices to the masses through Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.

Under this, medicine is priced on the principle of a maximum of 50% of the average price of the top three brands of said medicine. Thus, the prices of Jan Aushadhi Medicines are cheaper at least by 50% and in some cases, by 80% to 90% of the market price of the branded medicines.

Implementing Agency: Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Bureau of India (PMBI).


Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY)

News

Union Minister of State for Rural Development has informed Lok Sabha about the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(PMGSY)

Aim: To provide rural connectivity, by way of a single all-weather road, to the eligible unconnected habitations of designated population size (500+ in plain areas and 250+ in North-Eastern States, Himalayan States and Himalayan Union Territories as per 2001 census).

Implementation: The Ministry of Rural Development along with state governments is responsible for the implementation.

PMGSY was launched as a one-time special intervention to provide rural connectivity by way of a single all-weather road to the eligible unconnected habitations of designated population size as per Census 2001.

PMGSY-II was launched in 2013 for up-gradation of selected Through Routes and Major Rural Links (MRLs) with a target to upgrade 50,000 Km in various States and Union Territories.

In 2016, Road Connectivity Project for Left Wing Extremism Affected Areas(RCPLWEA) was launched as a separate vertical under PMGSY  for construction/up-gradation of strategically important roads.

In 2019, the Government launched PMGSY-III for consolidation of 1,25,000 Km through Routes and Major Rural Links connecting habitations, inter-alia, to Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals.

Monitoring Mechanism under PMGSY: There is a three-tiered Quality Control mechanism for ensuring the construction of quality road works and durability of road assets under PMGSY.

-Under the first tier, the Programme Implementation Units (PIUs) are required to ensure process control through mandatory tests on material and workmanship at field laboratories.

-The second tier is a structured independent quality monitoring at the State level through State Quality Monitors (SQMs) to ensure that every work is inspected at the initial stage, middle stage and final stage of construction.

-Under the third tier, independent National Quality Monitors (NQMs) are deployed by National Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (NRIDA) for random inspection of road and bridge works to monitor quality and also to provide guidance to the field functionaries.


INSPIRE Faculty fellowship

Nodal Ministry: Department of Science and Technology.

Purpose: The scheme offers postdoctoral fellowships to young achievers with an opportunity for independent research.

Eligibility: The candidate should be an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin with PIO status having a PhD degree (in science, mathematics, engineering, pharmacy, medicine and agriculture-related subjects) from any recognised university.

– Candidates should possess a minimum of 60% (or equivalent CGPA) marks throughout their academic profile starting from the higher secondary examination (class 12 onwards).

– Those who have submitted their PhD theses and are awaiting the award of the degree shall also be eligible. However, selection for the fellowship will be confirmed only after the PhD degree is awarded.

Age Limit: The upper age limit at the time of awarding the offer should be 32 years for considering support.

Prize: Each selected INSPIRE faculty fellow will be eligible to receive a consolidated amount of Rs 1,25,000 per month as a fellowship.

In addition, a research grant of Rs 7 lakh every year for 5 years will also be provided to each successful candidate including the carryforward amount, if any, from the previous year.


 

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