UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material| Current Affairs| Government Schemes and Programs – Part 2

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

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Government Schemes and Programs


Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate

News

The Government of India is organizing “Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate” as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

About Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate

Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate (science is revered all over) is a nationwide week-long programme of competitions and lectures for school students and collegians.

Aim: To attract students towards scientific knowledge of articles of daily use and propagating scientific theories.

Organized by: Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology, CSIR, DRDO and other ministries under the leadership of the office of the Principal Scientific Officer to the Government of India and the Ministry of Culture.

Coordinating Agency: Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organization of DST with a mandate to promote science communication in the country, is the coordinating agency.

Themes under the programme: The programme has been grouped under four themes:

First theme – `from the annals of the history of S&T’. This section traces the contributions of founders of modern science and institutions of national importance to nation-building.

Second theme -‘Milestones of Modern S&T’. It will highlight critical discoveries, innovations, or inventions that made a mark in the global science or India’s development story.

Third theme -`Swadeshi Paramparik Inventions and Innovations’. It will showcase 75 inventions or technologies that made India self-reliant.

Fourth theme – ‘transforming India’: It will look at the road ahead for the next 25 years of Indian S&T.

Other schemes to popularize Science

Project Vigyan Basha: It is an ambitious programme of Vigyan Prasar to communicate science in various Indian languages.

Unified Science Media Centre: It has been set up under Vigyan Prasar. It will cut across all the departments to present the recent developments on science and technology to the common masses, with a major focus on the research and innovation happening in our own scientific laboratories and research institutions.


National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS)

News

The government has approved the continuation of the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship (NMMSS) for a period of five years i.e. from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

About National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme(NMMSS)

Nodal Ministry: Launched in 2008-09 by Ministry of Education

Type: Central Sector Scheme

Aim: To award scholarships to meritorious students of economically weaker sections to deter them from dropping out at class VIII and encourage them to continue their education at the secondary stage.

Intended Beneficiaries: The scheme envisages the award of one lakh fresh scholarships every year to selected students of class IX and their continuation/renewal in classes X to XII for study in a State Government, Government-aided and Local body schools.

Scholarship Amount: An amount of Rs. 12000 (Rs.1000/- per month) per student per annum.

Selection of Students: Students are selected for award of scholarships through an examination conducted by the State/ UT Governments. Scholarships are disbursed directly into the bank accounts of students by electronic transfer through Public Financial Management System(PFMS) following DBT mode.

Eligibility criteria to appear in selection test

– Students whose parental income from all sources is not more than Rs.3.5 lakh per annum are eligible to avail of the scholarships.

– The student must have a minimum of 55 % marks or equivalent grade in the Class VII examination for appearing in the selection test for award of scholarship (relaxable by 5% for SC and ST students).

– The student should be studying as a regular student in Government, Government-aided and local body schools. Students of NVS, KVS and residential schools are not entitled to the scholarships.


Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

News

The Vigyan Jyoti programme is being implemented in 100 schools in the country and all the schools are situated in rural areas.

About Vigyan Jyoti Scheme

Nodal Ministry: Department of Science & Technology

Aim: To address the underrepresentation of women in different fields of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the country.

Intended beneficiary: Female students

Salient features:

The scheme envisages hand-holding and interventions right from the school level i.e., Class IX and which will continue till the PhD level to encourage girls to pursue a career in underrepresented areas of STEM.

Activities under the scheme: Various activities such as science camps, special lectures/ classes, counselling of students and parents, interaction with role models, tinkering activities, and visits to Knowledge Partners/ Research Labs are being conducted in order to motivate girls.

Implementation Partner: Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), an autonomous organization of the Ministry of Education, is the implementation partner of Vigyan Jyoti.


Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

News

The number of beneficiaries who enrolled for the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) has exceeded the government’s target of 51.7 lakh per year in each of the last three years.

About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)

This is a Maternity Benefit Programme. It is implemented in all the districts of the country in accordance with the provision of the National Food Security Act, 2013.

Launched in: It is a maternity benefit scheme introduced in 2017.

Aim:

  • To provide partial wage compensation to women for wage loss during childbirth and childcare.
  • To provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
  • To breastfeed the child during the first six months of the birth. As it is very vital the development of the child.

Funding: Centrally sponsored scheme

Implementing Ministry: Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD). The scheme is being implemented under the platform of the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

Beneficiaries: Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM). The cash incentive is payable in three instalments for the first live birth.

Note: The maternity benefit amount will also be provided for the second child, but only if the second is a girl child.

Exclusion: PW&LM who are in regular employment with the Central/State Government or PSUs or those who receive similar benefits under any law.

Benefits: Under the Scheme, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) receive a direct cash benefit transfer of Rs. 5,000 in three instalments. The amount will be credited to the beneficiary on fulfilling the respective conditions. Such as:

  • Early registration of pregnancy (First instalment)
  • Ante-natal check-up (Second instalment)
  • Registration of the birth of the child and completion of the first cycle of vaccination. (Third instalment)
  • The eligible beneficiaries also receive cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). Thus, on average, a beneficiary will get Rs. 6,000.

Parvatmala – National Ropeways Development Programme

News

In Union Budget 2022-23, Union Finance Minister has announced that the National Ropeways Development Programme – “Parvatmala” will be initiated through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

About National Ropeways Development Programme

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH)

Aim: To develop Ropeways in hilly areas of the country in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Around 8 ropeway projects for a length of 60 km would be awarded in 2022-23.

The programme will also cover congested urban areas, where conventional mass transit systems are not feasible.

The programme is being presently started in regions like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and the other North-Eastern states.

Benefits of Ropeways

Economical mode of transportation: Given that ropeway projects are built in a straight line over hilly terrain, it results in lower land acquisition costs. Hence, despite having a higher cost of construction per km than roadways, ropeway projects construction cost may happen to be more economical than roadways.

Faster mode of transportation: Owing to the aerial mode of transportation, ropeways have an advantage over roadway projects where ropeways can be built in a straight line, over a hilly terrain.

Environmentally friendly: Low dust emissions. Material containers can be designed to rule out any soiling of the environment.

Last-mile connectivity: Ropeway projects adopting 3S (a kind of cable car system) or equivalent technologies can transport 6000-8000 passengers per hour.

Ideal for difficult/challenging/sensitive terrain: This mode of transportation will enable mobility to people living in difficult areas and help them become part of the mainstream.

Flexible: Transport of different materials – A ropeway allows for the simultaneous transport of different types of material.

Ability to handle large slopes: Ropeways and cableways (cable cranes) can handle large slopes and large differences in elevation. Where a road or railroad needs switchbacks or tunnels, a ropeway travels straight up and down the fall line.


Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP)

News

The government has approved the continuation of the Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP) from 2021-22 till March 2026.

About the Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP)

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Aim: To develop infrastructure for the leather sector, address environmental concerns specific to the leather sector, facilitate additional investments, employment generation and increase in production.

Sub-Schemes under the Programme: The sub-schemes include: 1) sustainable technology and environmental promotion 2)  integrated development of leather sector(IDLS) 3) establishment of institutional facilities 4) Mega Leather Footwear and Accessories Cluster Development 5) brand promotion and development of design studios.

Significance: The programme has a direct benefit towards quality employment generation especially for women, skill development, decent work, making the industry more environment friendly and prompting a sustainable production system.


Har Ghar Nal se Jal Scheme

News

The Indian government has allocated Rs. 60,000 crore to the “Har Ghar Nal se Jal” Yojana for the financial year 2022-2023. This significant allocation highlights that providing potable water to households remains a top priority of the Government.

About Har Ghar Nal se Jal Scheme

It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. It is a component of the Government’s Jal Jeevan Mission.

Aim: To provide tap water supply to every rural household and public institutions in villages like schools, anganwadi centres, tribal residential schools, health centres, Gram Panchayat building by 2024.

Implementation: The scheme is being implemented by the Central Government in partnership with state governments.

Salient features of the scheme

The scheme is based on a unique model where paani samitis (water committee) comprising villagers will decide what they will pay for the water they consume.

The tariff they fix will not be the same for everyone in the village. Those who have large households will pay more while poor households or households where there is no earning member, will be exempted.

Status of the Scheme

Around 8.7 crore households (nearly 45%) have so far been covered under the scheme.

States and UTs that achieved 100% coverage: Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Haryana.

However, there remains a disparity among states and UTs.For instance, in Uttar Pradesh, just above 13% of rural households have been provided tap water connections.States like Rajasthan and West Bengal have also seen low coverage.


Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs)

News

The Union Government has approved continuation of Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs) from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

About the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs)

Implementing ministry: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Type: Central Sector Scheme

The scheme is the main source of funding for preparation of national teams for all major national and international competitions, including the Olympic Games, Paralympics, Asian Games, Para Asian Games, Commonwealth Games (CWG) and other major international tournaments.

Besides providing support to elite athletes through the NSFs, the scheme also aims to improve the bench strength of Indian athletes through a strong talent identification and development system.


UJALA Scheme

News

The Ministry of Power has successfully completed seven years of distributing and selling LED lights under its flagship UJALA programme. Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LED for All (UJALA) Scheme was launched in 2015.

About UJALA Scheme

Under the scheme, LED bulbs, LED tube lights and energy efficient fans are being provided to domestic consumers for replacement of the conventional and inefficient variants.

Implementing Agency: Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a government company under the administrative control of Ministry of Power has been designated as the implementing agency for this programme.

Advantages of LED Bulb over CFL and ICL: A 7W LED bulb provides same amount of light as a 14W Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) and a 60W Incandescent Lamp (ICL). It thereby saves almost 90% energy as compared to ICLs and 50 per cent in case of CFLs.

Achievement of UJALA Scheme

1) The programme has evolved to be the world’s largest zero subsidy domestic lighting programme that addresses concerns like high electrification cost and high emissions that result from inefficient lighting.

2) The scheme has been successful in a) bringing down the retail price of LED bulbs, b) massive energy savings and c) reduced annual household electricity bills.

3) It has provided support to the domestic lighting industry and Make in India, as domestic manufacturing of LED bulbs has increased from 1 lakh per month to 40 million per month.

4) The programme has also garnered attention from top management schools of India. It is now a part of Leadership case study in Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. Furthermore, it is also under consideration for being included in the curriculum of Harvard Business School.


National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT)

News

The Union Education Minister has launched National Educational Alliance for Technology(NEAT 3.0) and AICTE-prescribed technical books in regional languages.

About NEAT

The National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT) is a Public-Private Partnership model between the Government (through its implementing agency AICTE) and the Education Technology companies of India.

It is an initiative to provide the use of best-developed technological solutions in the education sector to enhance the employability of the youth on a single platform for learners’ convenience.

These solutions use Artificial Intelligence for a personalized and customized learning experience for better learning outcomes and skill development in the niche areas.

AICTE, Ministry of Education(MoE) is acting as the facilitator in the process. The ministry will also ensure that the solutions are freely available to a large number of socially and economically backward students.

About NEAT 3.0

It is a single platform to provide the best-developed ed-tech solutions and courses to students of the country.


PM-DevINE Scheme

News

The Finance Minister has announced the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East(PM-DevINE) Scheme during the Union Budget 2022-23.

About PM-DevINE Scheme

The PM-DevINE Scheme will fund infrastructure and social development projects based on the needs felt in the North-East.

Objective: To enable livelihood activities for youth and women and fill the gap in various sectors.

Implementation: The scheme will be implemented through the North-Eastern Council.

The scheme will not be a substitute for existing central and state schemes.

Schemes covered under PM-DevINE: The list of projects that will be initially funded under the scheme will be:

– Establishment of Dedicated Services for the Management of Pediatric and Adult Hematolymphoid Cancers in North East India, Guwahati (Multi-State)

– NECTAR Livelihood Improvement Project (Multi-State)

– Promoting Scientific Organic Agriculture in North East Indian (Multi-State)

– Construction of Aizawl By-pass on Western Side

– Gap funding for Passenger Ropeway system for Pelling to Sanga-Choeling in West Sikkim

– Gap funding for Eco-friendly Ropeway (Cable Car) from Dhapper to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim

– Pilot Project for Construction of Bamboo Link Road at Different Locations in Various Districts in the State of Mizoram among others.


Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts

News

The Union Cabinet has approved the payment of ex-gratia amount pertaining to claims submitted by Lending Institutions (LIs) under “Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts”.

About the “Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts”

Intended beneficiaries: borrowers who have taken loans not exceeding ₹2 crores.

Loans covered: MSME loans, Education loans, housing loans, Consumer durable loans, credit card dues, Auto loans, Personal loans to professionals and Consumption loans.

Borrowers who take loans from any financial institution are charged compounded interest. As a relief for people affected by COVID-19 induced lockdown, the Central government and RBI gave a loan moratorium for a period of six months — from March 1 to August 31, 2020.

The borrowers who availed of the moratorium would have to pay interest during this period, which would be added to the total loan amount. But following the Supreme Court’s direction, the government came up with this scheme in a bid to provide relief to small borrowers.

As per the scheme, the difference between the compound interest and simple interest will be reimbursed to the eligible borrowers irrespective of whether he/she availed of the moratorium or not.


AGNIi (Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations) Programme

Launched by: Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India

It is a Mission under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). It is also called as National Technology Commercialization Program.

The Mission remains committed to introducing emerging technologies in rural India to address the complex and unique challenges.

The AGNIi Mission, in partnership with Common Service Center, successfully conducted a series of Digital Technology Showcases focused on innovations for rural India. It identified 7 key technologies which reaffirmed capability of Indian innovations to tackle local challenges in villages. These include,

‘Dharashakti‘ is easy-to-use soil organic carbon detection and testing kit which can help the farmers in optimum use of fertilisers.

Soil Saathi‘ is a lightweight chemistry analyzer with the ability to test 22  parameters in soil and water and advise fertilizer requirements based on crop and agro-climatic conditions.

Tan90‘ is a portable cold storage unit to plug the gaps in cold chain which can help to reduce post-harvest losses in crops.

Saptkrishi‘ is also a low-cost, technological solution that extends the shelf life of perishable horticultural produce.

Krishakti‘ is smart and intelligent precision spraying drone for crops and can
drastically reduce the indiscriminate sprays of pesticides.

THANOS‘ is also a drone-based autonomous spraying platform that sprays an acre in a fraction of the time uniformly.

Avatar Small Wind Turbine‘ are wind turbines and can be deployed as  decentralised and distributed renewable energy solutions for urban and rural.


Design Linked Incentive Scheme(DLI)

News

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has invited applications from 100 domestic companies, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as startups for incentives under the design linked incentive (DLI) scheme.

About Design Linked Incentive Scheme(DLI)

Aim: To create a vibrant ecosystem for Semiconductor Chip Design in the country.

Target: To nurture at least 20 domestic companies involved in semiconductor design and facilitate them to achieve a turnover of more than ₹1500 Crore in the next 5 years.

Nodal Agency: C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing)

Eligibility: Financial incentives and design infrastructure support will be extended to domestic companies, startups and MSMEs engaged in semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design for over a period of 5 years.

Components: The scheme has three components:

– Chip Design infrastructure support: C-DAC will set up the India Chip Centre to host the state-of-the-art design infrastructure (viz. EDA Tools, IP Cores and support for MPW (Multi Project Wafer fabrication) & post-silicon validation) and facilitate its access to supported companies.

– Product Design Linked Incentive: Under this, reimbursement of up to 50% of the eligible expenditure subject to a ceiling of ₹15 Crore per application will be provided as a fiscal support to the approved applicants who are engaged in semiconductor design.

– Deployment Linked Incentive: Under this, an incentive of 6% to 4% of net sales turnover over 5 years subject to a ceiling of ₹30 Crore per application will be provided to approved applicants whose semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design are deployed in electronic products.

The approved applicants that claim incentives under the scheme will be encouraged to retain their domestic status (i.e., more than 50% of the capital in it is beneficially owned by resident Indian citizens and/ or Indian companies, which are ultimately owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens) for a period of three years after claiming incentives under the scheme.


Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme

News

The Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY) has sought applications from 100 academia, R&D organisations, start-ups and MSMEs under its Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme.

About Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme

Aim:

– To train 85,000 qualified engineers in the area of Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) and Embedded System Design.

– To develop 175 ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), Working Prototypes of 20 System on Chips (SoC) and IP Core repository over a period of 5 years.

Nodal Implementing Agency: C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).

Participating Institutions: The programme would be implemented at about 100 academic institutions/R&D organisations across the Country (including IITs, NITs, Government/Private Colleges and R&D Organisations). Startups and MSMEs can also participate in the programme by submitting their proposals under Academia- Industry Collaborative Project, Grand Challenge /Hackathons/RFP.

Project Categorization: Under the Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme, based on the Institutions’ expertise, Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and design experience proposals are invited in three different categories:

– Design and Development of Systems/SoCs/ASICs/Reusable IP Core

– Development of Application Oriented Working Prototype of IPs/ASICs/SoCs and

– Proof of Concept oriented Research and Development of ASICs/FPGAs.

Significance of Chips to Startup (C2S) Programme: The programme will be a step towards the Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) space by way of inculcating the culture of SoC/ System Level Design at Bachelors, Masters and Research level and act as a catalyst for the growth of Start-ups involved in fabless design.


Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

News

University Grants Commission (UGC) has launched the Training of Master’s Trainers program in Community-based Participatory Research under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0.

About Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Launched in: Ministry of Education

Launched in: 2014.

Mission: To enable higher educational institutions to work with the people of rural India in identifying development challenges and evolving appropriate solutions for accelerating sustainable growth.

Objectives

To engage the faculty and students of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in identifying development issues in rural areas and finding sustainable solutions for the same.

Identify & select existing innovative technologies, enable customisation of technologies, or devise implementation methods for innovative solutions, as required by the people.

To allow HEIs to contribute to devising systems for smooth implementation of various Government programmes.

Coordinating Institute: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT, Delhi) has been designated as the National Coordinating Institute (NCI) for the UBA scheme.

About Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 was launched in 2018. It is the upgraded version of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 1.0. The scheme is extended to all educational institutes.

Moreover, UBA 1.0 was the Invitation Mode in which Participating Institutions were invited to be a part of UBA. Whereas UBA 2.0 is the Challenge Mode of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.


Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

News

Haryana-based golfer Diksha Dagar and Judoka Yash Ghangas have been included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in the Core and Development groups respectively.

Moreover, Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has approved financial assistance for wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sunil Kumar for foreign exposure training.

About the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

Launched by: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS)

Launched in: 2014.

Aim: To provide assistance to India’s top athletes so that they can win medals in the Olympics.

The assistance is provided through foreign training, international competition, equipment and coaching camp besides monthly stipend of Rs. 50,000/- for each athlete.

The scheme was revamped in 2018 to establish a technical support team for managing the TOPS athletes and providing holistic support.

About Mission Olympic Cell

Jt is a dedicated body created to assist the athletes who are selected under the TOP Scheme.

The MOC is under the Chairmanship of the Director General, Sports Authority.

The idea of the MOC is to debate, discuss and decide the processes and methods so that the athlete receives best assistance.


Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan or Drugs-Free India Campaign

News

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed about the new schemes to support the marginalised sections.

About Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan

‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ or a ‘Drugs-Free India Campaign’ was launched in 2020 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The campaign was launched across 272 districts of the country found to be most vulnerable in terms of usage of drugs in the country.

The focal points of the Campaign are preventive, mass education and sensitization, capacity building of service providers, positive partnership with educational institutions, and augmentation of treatment, rehabilitation and counselling facilities.


Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action & Research(SAAR) Program

News

Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA) has launched the “Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” Program.

About Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action & Research(SAAR) Program

Launched by: It is a joint initiative of MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and leading Indian academic institutions of the country.

Under the program, 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country will be working with Smart Cities to document landmark projects undertaken by the Smart Cities Mission.

The documents will capture the learnings from best practices, provide opportunities for engagement on urban development projects to students, and enable real-time information flow between urban practitioners and academia.

About the first activity under the SAAR Program

The first activity envisaged under SAAR is to prepare a compendium of 75 landmark urban projects in India under the Smart City Mission.

The compendium will act as the first point of reference for future research in the field and will help disseminate learnings from projects under the Mission. It will also act as a repository for Urban Projects and contribute to the dissemination of best practices and peer-to-peer learning.


Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India

News

The Union Minister has informed Rajya Sabha about the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India(SPPEL).

About the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL)

SPPEL Scheme was initiated by the Government of India in 2013.

Objective: To document and archive the country’s languages that have become endangered or likely to be endangered in the near future.

The scheme is monitored by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) located in Mysuru, Karnataka.

Under the Scheme, the CIIL works on the protection, preservation and documentation of all the mother tongues/languages of India spoken by less than 10,000 speakers which are called endangered languages.

In the first phase of the scheme, 117 endangered languages/mother tongues have been chosen from all over India for study and documentation on a priority basis.

Other schemes for the preservation of Endangered Languages

University Grants Commission(UGC) has launched two schemes for the protection of endangered languages namely ‘Funding Support to the State Universities for Study and Research in Indigenous and Endangered Languages in India’ and ‘Establishment of Centres for Endangered Languages in Central Universities’.


‘We Think Digital’ Programme

News

National Commission for Women (NCW) has launched an online resource center under the ‘We Think Digital’programme”. The programme is run collaboratively by the NCW, Facebook, and Cyber Peace Foundation.

About ‘We Think Digital’ Programme

The programme was launched by Facebook in partnership with the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Cyber Peace Foundation.

Under this, Facebook will provide digital literacy training to 1 lakh women across seven states (Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Bihar).

As part of the program, the company will partner with agencies from both government and civil society to design learning modules to equip people with skills, including the ability to think critically about what they see online, report harmful content and how to communicate respectfully.


Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme

News

North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) has launched Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme for the grass root artisans in the North East Region.

About Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme

Aim: To develop the artisans of the North Eastern Region by providing them financial assistance in the form of term loans for income-generating activities like setting up / expansion/modernization and other activities related to the sector.

Key Features of the Atmanirbhar Hastshilpkar Scheme

Under the scheme, a total of 17 artisans have already been provided with credit assistance of Rs.1 lakh per artisan.

The credit facility is collateral-free and carries a subsidized interest rate of 6% p.a., which is repayable in 24 months.

For regular repayment, an incentive of 1% on the interest rate is provided, which will be refunded to the artisans on successful repayment of loans.

Eligibility Criteria: The interested artisans can apply for the scheme with the following eligibility criteria:

  • Registered/ unregistered artisan/ Individual
  • Having valid qualifications or practising any art form
  • No existing loan from any other bank/ financial institution
  • Bank Account

Pragati Scholarship Scheme

News

The Minister of State for Education has informed Rajya Sabha about the AICTE Pragati Scholarship Scheme.

About Pragati Scholarship Scheme

Launched by: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2014-15

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Education

Aim: To provide assistance for the Advancement of Girls pursuing Technical Education.

Criteria: Under the scheme, a sum of Rs. 50,000/- per annum is disbursed to selected girl students as per the following criteria.

  • Students admitted in AICTE approved institutions in 1st year of Degree/ Diploma level course or 2nd year of Degree/ Diploma level course through lateral entry.
  • Maximum two girls per family.
  • The total income of the family is less than Rs. 8 lakh per annum.
  • 10,000 scholarships per annum from 23 States/UTs
  • All eligible girl students from the remaining 13 States/UTs (including North Eastern Region, Jammu & Kashmir etc.)
  • Reservation-7.5% for ST, 15% for SC, and 27% for OBC candidates/applicants.

‘She is a Changemaker’ Programme

Launched by: National Commission for Women(NCW)

Objective: To undertake capacity building of women political leaders and improve their decision-making and communication skills including, oration, writing etc.

Target Group: The programme is for women representatives at all levels, gram panchayats to parliament members and political workers including office bearers of National/State political parties.

Implementation: The programme will be undertaken by NCW in association with region-wise training institutes.

Significance: The programme will benefit every woman who wishes to make an identity for herself in politics and help her to claim her rightful space in politics.


Incentive Scheme for States to become eligible for incremental borrowing

News

The Finance Ministry had announced a new incentive scheme for States that could achieve their targets and become eligible for incremental borrowing.

About the Incentive Scheme for States to become eligible for incremental borrowing

Under the scheme, out of the Net Borrowing Ceiling(NBC) of 4% of GSDP for the States for 2021-22, 0.50% of GSDP was earmarked for incremental capital expenditure to be incurred by the States during 2021-22.

The target for incremental capital expenditure for each state to qualify for this incremental borrowing was fixed.

As per the targets, States were required to achieve at least 15% of the specified capital expenditure target for 2021-22 by the end of 1st quarter of 2021-22, 45% by the end of 2nd quarter, 70%  by the end of 3rd quarter and 100% by 31st March 2022.

This earmarking for incremental capital expenditure has been done because the capital expenditure has a high multiplier effect, enhances the future productive capacity of the economy, and results in a higher rate of economic growth.

In the first quarter, only 11 states had achieved the target, and hence they were granted additional borrowing permission.

The reason behind the need for centre’s permission

Article 293(3) of the Constitution states that “A State may not without the consent of the Government of India raise any loan if there is still outstanding any part of a loan which has been made to the State by the Government of India or by its predecessor Government or in respect of which guarantee has been given by the Government of India or its predecessor Government”.

Article 293(4) says that the “consent under clause (3) may be granted subject to such conditions as the Government of India may think fit to impose”.

Since, every single state is currently indebted to the Centre and thus, all of them require the Centre’s consent in order to borrow.


National Oxygen Stewardship Program

News

The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Oxygen Stewardship Program.

About the National Oxygen Stewardship Program

Aim: To empower all healthcare workers engaged in Oxygen management and administration with the essential knowledge and skills to ensure rational utilization and avoid any wastage of medical Oxygen, especially in resource constraint settings.

As part of the programme,  at least one oxygen steward will be identified and trained in each district across the country.

These trained professionals would be responsible for leading the training on oxygen therapy and management in their respective districts, and also support audit of oxygen delivery and preparedness for a surge scenario.

Other steps taken by the Government to avoid Oxygen Shortage

The government of India has sanctioned at least 1500 Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants, of which 1463 have been commissioned.

The Centre has also set up OxyCare, a dashboard that disseminates information on the available oxygen stock for its better distribution.

Note: Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) is the process by which ambient air passes through an internal filtration system (e.g. a molecular sieve [zeolite granules or membranes]) which has a large enough total surface area to separate nitrogen (N2) from the air concentrating the remaining oxygen (O2) to a known purity.


Vernacular Innovation Program (VIP)

News

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog has launched the first of its kind Vernacular Innovation Program(VIP).

About the Vernacular Innovation Program(VIP)

Aim: To enable innovators and entrepreneurs in India to have access to the innovation ecosystem in 22 scheduled languages by the Government of India.

Under the programme, AIM will be training a Vernacular Task Force (VTF) in each of the 22 scheduled languages with each task force consisting of vernacular language teachers, subject experts and technical writers.

Further, the AIM will also launch a train-the-trainer program where it will collaborate with the design department of IIT Delhi to coach the VTF in design thinking and entrepreneurship and the adaptation of these subjects in the 22 languages and cultures.

After the training of the task force gets completed by April 2022, the ecosystem will be opened to vernacular innovators.

Reason for Programme

According to the 2011 census, only 10.4% of Indians speak English, most as their second, third, or fourth language. Only 0.02% of Indians spoke English as their first language.

Hence, India needs to create equal opportunity for the vernacular innovators who represent around 90% of our population.

Significance:

Firstly, the program will help lower the language barrier in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship and empower innovators in the farthest areas of the country.

Secondly, it will help to seamlessly assimilate the knowledge cum technical materials that AIM will develop.

Thirdly, India may be the first nation in the world to launch such an initiative where an innovation ecosystem catering to 22 languages plus English is being built.


Seed Village Programme or Beej Gram Yojana

News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has informed Lok Sabha about the Seed Village Programme (Beej Gram Yojana).

About the Seed Village Programme

Launched by: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in 2014-15.

The programme is a key component of the Sub-Mission on Seeds & Planting Materials.

Aim: To upgrade the quality of farmer’s saved seeds.

Under this programme, financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% of seed cost for cereal crops and 60% for pulses, oilseeds, fodder and green manure crops is available for up to one acre per farmer.

Sub-Mission on Seeds & Planting Materials

The mission aims to promote production and multiplication of quality seeds of agricultural crops so that the required quantities of seeds could be made available to farmers in the country.

Components: The various components under the mission include – a) Seed Village Programme, b) Establishment of Seed Processing- cum- Seed Storage Godowns at Gram Panchayat Level, c) National Seed Reserve, d) Boosting Seed Production in Private Sector and e) Strengthening of Quality Control Infrastructure Facilities.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

News

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched a pilot project for upskilling the cane and bamboo artisans of Nagaland under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), a component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

About Pilot Project for upskilling the cane and bamboo artisans of Nagaland

Objective: To upskill the local weavers and artisans to enhance their productivity through RPL assessment and certification in traditional handicrafts.

Target: The project targets to upskill over 4,000 craftsmen and artisans.

About Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).It is a skill certification component to enable Indian youth to take on industry relevant skill certification which will help them to secure a better livelihood.

Objectives of RPL

a) To align the competencies of the pre-existing workforce of the country to the standardized National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) b)To enhance the employability or entrepreneurial opportunities of an individual c) To provide opportunities for reducing inequalities based on privileging certain forms of knowledge over others d) Leverage technological interventions in programme delivery by providing standardized content on digital and financial literacy, online assessments and e) Create value by making it aspirational both from the standpoint of the candidate and the employer and f) Deploy demand-based selective RPL models.

About the registration of RPL

Individuals with prior learning experience or skills can register themselves and get assessed and certified under the RPL It focuses mainly on individuals engaged in unregulated sectors.

Implementation of RPL Projects

Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) such as private and public sector expert bodies in the sector and other agencies designated by MSDE/NSDC are being incentivised to implement RPL projects.

RPL also has 12 hours of orientation.

To address knowledge gaps, PIAs also offer bridge courses to candidates along with the 12-hour orientation domain skills, soft skills and entrepreneurship tips.


Gram Ujala scheme

News

Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has achieved a remarkable milestone of distributing 50 lakhs LED bulbs Gram Ujala programme.

About Gram Ujala scheme

Gram Ujala was launched by the Government of India with the aim to raise awareness against climate change and to save electricity.

Under the scheme, LED bulbs will be distributed at a highly subsidised rate at ₹10 across villages in five states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Residents can buy a maximum of 5 LED bulbs by paying for old 100 watts bulbs. The government will also install meters at these houses.

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Power

Implemented by: Energy Efficiency Services Limited(EESL)’s subsidiary Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL).

The programme will be financed entirely through carbon credits and will be the first such programme in India.

About CESL

Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) is a subsidiary of state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a joint venture of public sector companies under the Ministry of Power. CESL is focused on delivering clean, affordable, and reliable energy.


PM-YUVA Mentorship Scheme

News

National Book Trust, India under Ministry of Education has announced the results of the All-India Contest organized on the Theme ‘National Movement of India’ under the PM-YUVA Mentorship Scheme.

About PM-YUVA Mentorship Scheme

Aim: To create a pool of authors below the age of 30 years who are ready to express themselves and project India on any international platform, as well as it will help in projecting Indian culture and literature globally.

Implementing Agency: The National Book Trust under Ministry of Education will ensure phase-wise execution of the Scheme

Key Features of the Scheme

Under the scheme, 75 Authors were to be selected through an All India Contest at MyGov (Government of India’s Citizen Engagement Platform) for Scholarship cum Mentorship.

The selected authors will undergo six-months of Mentorship in which they would be provided research and editorial support under the guidance of eminent authors and the Editorial Team of National Book Trust. This will be done to develop their book proposals as full-fledged books to be published by the NBT.

During mentorship, the selected authors will also receive a scholarship of 50,000 per month for a period of six months. Further, a royalty of 10% will be payable to the authors on successful publications of their books.

Their published books will also be translated into other Indian languages to ensure the exchange of culture and literature between different states, thereby promoting Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.


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.


Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana(SSSY)

News

The government has approved the continuation of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY) till 2025-26.

About Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana(SSSY)

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs

Background of the Scheme

In 1969, the Government of India introduced the ‘Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners Pension Scheme to honour the freedom fighters who had been incarcerated in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair.

In 1972, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Independence, a regular scheme for grant of freedom fighters’ pension was introduced.

Thereafter, in 1980, a scheme by the name ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme was implemented.

From 2017-18 onwards, the nomenclature of the Scheme has been changed to ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana’.

Purpose of the scheme

The scheme aims to provide a monthly Samman Pension to freedom fighters, as a token of respect for their contribution in the national freedom struggle and on their demise to their eligible dependents viz. spouses and thereafter, unmarried and unemployed daughters and dependent parents.


News

Ministry of Labour and Employment has launched the “Donate a Pension” Scheme.

About Donate a Pension Scheme

It has been launched under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Scheme(PM-SYM).

Under this scheme, any citizen can donate the premium contribution under PM-SYM of their immediate support staff such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers, care givers, nurses in their household or establishment.

The donor can pay the contribution for a minimum of one year, with the amount ranging from ₹660 to ₹2,400 a year depending on the age of the beneficiary.

The premium can be paid through maandhan.in or visiting a Common Service Centre.


News

Ministry of Labour and Employment has launched the “Donate a Pension” Scheme.

About Donate a Pension Scheme

It has been launched under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan Scheme(PM-SYM).

Under this scheme, any citizen can donate the premium contribution under PM-SYM of their immediate support staff such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers, caregivers, and nurses in their household or establishment.

The donor can pay the contribution for a minimum of one year, with the amount ranging from ₹660 to ₹2,400 a year depending on the age of the beneficiary.

The premium can be paid through maandhan.in or visiting a Common Service Centre.


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.


Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana(SSSY)

News

The government has approved the continuation of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY) till 2025-26.

About Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana(SSSY)

Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Home Affairs

Background of the Scheme

In 1969, the Government of India introduced the ‘Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners Pension Scheme to honour the freedom fighters who had been incarcerated in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair.

In 1972, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Independence, a regular scheme for grant of freedom fighters’ pension was introduced.

Thereafter, in 1980, a scheme by the name ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme was implemented.

From 2017-18 onwards, the nomenclature of the Scheme has been changed to ‘Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana’.

Purpose of the scheme

The scheme aims to provide a monthly Samman Pension to freedom fighters, as a token of respect for their contribution in the national freedom struggle and on their demise to their eligible dependents viz. spouses and thereafter, unmarried and unemployed daughters and dependent parents.


 

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