Latest Government Schemes and Policies in November 2020
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 30th November 2020
3rd stimulus package for the Mission COVID Suraksha has been released
A ₹900 crore stimulus package has been released to help accelerate the development of the five to six Covid-19 vaccine. This is the 3rd stimulus package for the mission COVID Suraksha that is the Indian COVID-19 vaccine development. T Department of Biotechnology (DBT) shall receive this grant for Research and Development. Phase I of Suraksha Mission had allotted Rs 900 cr for a period of 12 months.
IBM has collaborated with MeitY to build future-ready skills
IBM has collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology to create an education and skilling ecosystem through the Common Services Centre Academy. The objective of this ecosystem is to provide access to employment to about 4,000 youth in rural areas. The Common Services Centre (CSC) program is an initiative of the Electronics & Information Technology Ministry.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 28th November 2020
Subsidized loans for micro-irrigation projects
The government has approved subsidized loans
- The loans are worth Rs 3,971.31 cr
- These interest subvented loans are being offered under the Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF)
- It was created with NABARD.
- The objective was to facilitate states in availing subsidized loans for expanding coverage of micro-irrigation.
- The maximum loan has been approved for Tamil Nadu
Song Dam Drinking Water Project In Dehradun
Union Environment Minister
- It was originally planned to be built on Song Dam
- It is an important project of our government
- The dam is about 148 m high and to generate 6MW.
- It is expected to give rebirth to River Rispana
- This scheme will provide 24-hour drinking water to the city of Dehradun
- The Construction is worth Rs 1,100 crore
Climate Change Knowledge Portal
The Climate Change Knowledge Portal has recently been launched.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadeke
- The portal will have all the major steps the Government is taking at both national and international levels.
- This is to address climate change issues.
- With regard to climate actions after the Paris Agreement
- India has practically achieved its pre-2020 action plan.
- The Paris Agreement came into force in2016, It is an Initiative of UNFCCC.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 27th November 2020
National Portal for Transgender Persons
‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ has been launched virtually.
Union Social Justice & Empowerment ministry
- This Portal shall help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country, without any physical interface or having to visit any office.
- The applicant can download them from the Portal itself, once the Certificate and I-card are issued.
- In the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules the right to self-perceived gender identity and the procedure to issue the Transgender certificate and Identity card. has been defined
- Under the Scheme of Shelter Home for Transgender Persons, Garima Greh: Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ has been inaugurated, in Vadodara, Gujarat.
- This includes recreational facilities, food, clothing, skill development opportunities, shelter facility, legal support, technical advice for gender transition and surgeries, etc.
- The Nodal Ministry has identified 10 cities to set up the 13 Shelter Homes.
- The shelter homes extend the facilities to Transgender persons, in association with selected 13 Community-based organizations (CBOs) in the country on a pilot basis.
- The cities include New Delhi, Vadodara, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Jaipur, Manipur, Kolkata, Chennai, Raipur, and Mumbai.
- The scheme will rehabilitate a minimum of 25 transgender persons in each home identified by the Ministry.
Various organizations partner together to support and fillip the POSHAN Abhiyan.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is the Government of India's flagship program to improve the nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
- All these organizations will meet every month for scientific deliberations on various issues addressed under POSHAN.
- The focus of the meeting will be to enhance the understanding of its members, partner agencies and professionals on new evidence and guidance on nutrition issue
The Premiere partnering institutes are:
- International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO),
- UNICEF India,
- Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India,
- Pregnancy and Obesity Nutrition Initiative (PONI),
- Alive & Thrive
- Nutrition International and ARTIST For Her (Asian Research & Training Institute for Skill Transfer)
L&T bags Rs 7,000-cr order to construct part of Bullet Train project
Infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) will construct a part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR), also known as the Bullet Train Project.
- The speed rail project is approximately 508 km
- It will cover Maharashtra, Dadra &Nagar Haveli & Gujarat
- The order is worth over Rs 7,000 crore
- The mega-contract from the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd to construct 87.569 km of the MAHSR project, L&T said in a regulatory filing.
- Shares of L&T were trading 1.24% higher at Rs 1,161.95 apiece.
- This is India's first High-Speed Rail corridor project
The Honey FPO Programme
The Honey FPO Programme was inaugurated recently.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
- Honey FPOs shall enable the small farmers in achieving the goal of increasing the income.
- The Honey FPO Programme is of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd.
- Beekeeping is in the unorganized sector among the rural and tribal population, in India.
Human Resource Management System (HRMS)
The digitized online Human Resource Management System (HRMS) was launched.
It was launched by:
- HRMS modules are of the PF Advance, Employee Self Service, and Retirement Settlement.
- This project of the Indian Railways to leverage the potential of improved productivity & employee satisfaction.
- It enables a company to understand its workforce while staying compliant with changing tax laws and labor regulations.
- The HRMS will have an impact on over about 27 lakh families of the serving Railway employees as well those who have retired.
- The Employee Self Service module shall enable the railway employees to interact with various modules of HRMS including communication regarding change of data.
- The Provident Fund Advance module shall enable the Railway employees to check their PF balance and apply for PF advance online.
- This Settlement module will digitize the entire settlement process for retiring employees which shall enable employees to fill their settlement and pension booklet online.
SDG Investor Map for India
The Sustainable Development Goal Map for India has been launched.
- UNDP, and
- Invest India, the investment promotion arm of the Government of India
- The SDG Investor Map for India, laying out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors
- This can help India push the needle forward on Sustainable Development.SDG Investor Map for India.
- The map will help public and private sector stake-holders direct capital towards IOAs, and White Spaces (Areas of Potential) that can contribute to the sustainable development needs of the country.
- 8 White Spaces across 6 Priority Sectors including Education, Healthcare, Agriculture and Allied Services, Financial Services, Renewable Energy and Alternatives, and Sustainable Environment have been identified.
- Investing in the SDGs at this point is crucial to ‘Building Back Better’ and making the economy and our societies more resilient and sustainable.
- With the COVID-19 pandemic, the financing gap for the SDGs in India has only widened further and decades of development progress are nearly on the verge of a reversal.
- Enhanced productivity, technology adoption, and increased inclusion are all critical factors that this map uses to identify the most attractive sectors for investors.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 26th November 2020
33rd PRAGATI interaction
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the PRAGATI meeting.
- Multiple projects, grievances, and programs were reviewed in this meeting.
- The projects taken up were of the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT, and Power Ministry.
- These projects are related to various states and union territories.
- Grievances related to COVID-19 and to the PM Awas Yojana (Gramin) were taken up.
- Emphasis on the importance of grievance redressal was reiterated.Did you Know
- PRAGATI stands for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate the 3rd Global Renewable Energy Investors Meet and Expo
- The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
It will be held from 26 – 28 November 2020.
RE-Invest 2020 is ‘Innovations for Sustainable Energy Transition’.
- To build upon the success of the first two editions held in 2015 and 2018, and
- Provide an international forum for investment promotion in renewable energy.
- It will feature a 3-day conference on renewables and future energy choices, and developers, an exhibition of manufacturers, investors, and innovators.
- Leading companies will display their latest technological development in the field of renewable energy and energy transition.
The focus will be on:
- Big market
- Strong economy0
- 100% FDI in the RE Sector
- The robust political and judicial system
- Constantly enhancing ease to do business
- RE PPAs designed to protect investors and ensure timely payment.
2nd edition of Fit India School Week
The second edition of the Fit India School Week was launched.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju
- The second edition of the "Fit India School Week" program in the presence of Fit India Mission.
- The Sports Minister encouraged the school children to participate in the Fit India movement.
- The Fit India Movement was launched in 2019
- The founder of FIT India is Suparno Satpathy
MoU between BRICS nations on sports and physical culture
- Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister signed an MoU between BRICS.
- It is based on cooperation in the field area of sports medicine, coaching techniques, sports science.
- BRICS comprises of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and was formed with 2006 and its Head Quarters is in Shanghai
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 24th November 2020
Multi-disciplinary Technical Committee on drinking water and sanitation
A multi-disciplinary Technical Committee within the Department of beverage and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has recommended five technologies in drinking water and Sanitation to supply Field Level Solutions to the States.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti gives importance to the infusion and deployment of innovative technological solutions to realize the objective of the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide Functional Household Tap Connection to every rural home by 2024.
- The first technology recommended is Grundfos AQpure, a solar energy-based water treatment plant based on ultra-filtration.
- The Second is Janajal Water on Wheel, an IoT based electric vehicle supported GPS location to enable the delivery of safe water to the doorstep of households.
- Another technology is Presto Online Chlorinator, a non-electricity dependent online chlorinator for disinfection of water for removal of bacterial contamination.
- Johkasou technology recommended is an inbuilt sewage and Kitchen and water treatment system having an advanced anaerobic-aerobic configuration which will be installed underground.
- The last innovative technology is FBTec®, a site assembled during a decentralized sewage treatment system using fixed filter media.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 23rd November 2020
Boston Center of Excellence
The Health Minister Harsha Vardhan addressed the Boston Center of Excellence for Health & Human Development.
- The Health Minister addressed this meeting virtually
- Minister Harsha Vardhan congratulated the Boston Center of Excellence for Health & Human Development for bringing together experts to research better cure and healthcare.
Replacement of Safeguard Duties with custom duty
The Government aims to replace safeguard duty with custom duty
To protect local manufacturers of solar equipment.
Ministry of State for Power and New &Renewable Energy
- R.K.Singh, the Minister of State for Power and New &Renewable Energy has made the said announcement.
- This will help India to expand its export base in the solar energy sector.
- The tax imposed on the imports and exports of solar energy shall bolster the local manufacturers in India.
Seismic Survey Campaign
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
Oil India Ltd
- Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates the Seismic Survey Campaign by Oil India
- The survey under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy, OLAP, will be undertaken in 5 blocks of 8 districts of Odisha in the Mahanadi basin and nearby areas
- Oil India Limited was founded in 1959
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 22nd November 2020
India’s Hidden Gems Webinar
Webinar on India’s Hidden Gems was organized under ‘Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series’
- Ministry of Tourism
- The webinar is organized under the Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series
- This webinar was presented by Ms. Bindu Menon.
- Ms. Menon is an ex-pat relocation manager, intellectual trainer, and brand communication specialist an avid Indian enthusiast
New Food Processing Projects
Grants for 28 food processing projects have been approved.
- A grant for Rs. 107.42 crores has been granted for 28 food processing units.
- It is to be implemented in 10 states.
- The scheme will be applied under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojna
- These projects are expected to generate employment for over 10,000 people.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 21st November 2020
- ‘Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System Project’ has been commissioned.
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,
- National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC), and
- The New Development Bank (NDB)
Loan Amount sanctioned: $500 million
- The corridor under construction is 82.15 km long,
- It is a semi-high speed rail corridor connecting Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut.
- It is supposed to be a part of one of the three rapid-rail corridors planned under Phase-I of the Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) project of the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).
- The said Transit System is expected to provide a fast, reliable, safe, and comfortable public transport system in NCR.
- High-speed connectivity will lead to balanced economic development across the region
- This in turn shall lead to economic benefits to all strata of society and many nodes of development rather than all economic activity happening in one place.
- It will help in reducing traffic congestion and total emissions from the transport sector in NCR.
Study on ‘status of radicalization’
- A research study on the “Status of radicalization in India” has been approved for the very first time.
Union Home Ministry
- The study would attempt to legally define “radicalization”
- It is expected to suggest amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
- The said study will be religion-neutral
- The focus shall be on facts and the reported cases.
- Radicalization is yet to be defined legally, this leads to misuse by the law authorities and the police.
- It should be defined and necessary amendments made to the UAPA.
The national digital health mission
The Government is preparing for the nationwide launch of the National Digital Health Mission.
The mission of the new digital health program is to supply affordable medical health facilities to the citizens.
In his address to the state on Independence Day, the PM launched the National Digital Health Mission.
The scheme was unrolled through a pilot launch within the Union Territories of
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and
- Daman and Diu,
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and
Features of the Mission:
- It is a digital health ecosystem under which every Indian citizen will now have digitized health records, unique health IDs with identifiers for doctors and health facilities.
- This scheme comes under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
- It comprises six key building blocks — DigiDoctor, HealthID, clinic Registry, Personal, e-Pharmacy, Health Records, and Telemedicine.
- The mandate to design, build, roll-out, and implement the mission in the country has been given to The National Health Authority
- The primary components of this mission are the health ID, DigiDoctor, and health center Registry shall be owned, operated that are maintained by the Indian government India.
- Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market. The core activities and verifications, however, remain with the central government.
- Under the Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will store all medical details of the person including prescriptions, treatment, diagnostic reports, and discharge summaries.
- The citizens are going to be ready to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to the present data during visits to the hospital for consultation.
PRIME Beta Platform
FutureSkills PRIME Beta Platform was recently launched by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM)
- It is a part of NASSCOM’s efforts towards fostering an ecosystem that enhances India’s digital talent with the right set of skills
- The program is to be offered as a strong and robust online platform to encourage remote and self-paced learning.
- Several awareness-building modules can be accessed by the learners free of cost, allowing the maximum number of participants.
- About 4.12 lakh learners, will get subsidized access to certified courses in any of the 10 identified emerging technologies
- Artificial Intelligence,
- Internet of things,
- Big Data Analytics,
- Robotic Process Automation,
- Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing,
- Cloud Computing, Social & Mobile,
- Cyber Security, Augmented/Virtual Reality
My Stamp on Chhath Puja
Recently the My Stamp on Chhath Puja has been virtually released.
- Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law and Justice
The concept initiated by:
The Department of Posts.
- . My Stamp is an innovative concept
- Under My Stamp unique products being offered by India Post
- Any common person or any corporate organization can now book an order and get a personalized photograph or an image of a Postage Stamp.
- It has gained popularity in the customized gifting category
- My Stamp on Chhath Puja is now available in all the Philatelic bureaus and the major post offices all across the country.
- Another special cover was released on the theme “Chhath-A symbol of Simplicity and Cleanliness”
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 20th November 2020
Land Management System
An online portal for defense land management system was recently launched.
Ministry of Defence
- The system is expected to bring in speed, transparency, and efficiency in dealing with land management.
- The portal has been integrated with Geographical Information System or GIS-based tools.
- By removing unnecessary communication between the stakeholders, the decision-making process will improve.
- Defense Land encroachment is a pressing concern and the major issue in defense land management.
- Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Haryana are the three states that have reported the highest encroachments on defense lands in the three years (2017-20).
- They are then followed by Assam, Sikkim, and Andhra Pradesh.
- Such encroachments are of common occurrence near the airfields of the Indian Air force.
- The illegal trespassing and encroachment have contributed to 10% of fighter jet accidents.
- Increased urbanization, abandoned airfields and airfields in the vicinity of civil pockets, and an increase in population are few reasons for land encroachment.
Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP)
The Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project has recently been signed.
- The Government of India,
- The Government of Meghalaya, and
- The World Bank signed
The $120 million project has been signed to improve and modernize the transport sector of the state of Meghalaya.
- The project is expected to improve about 300 km of strategic road segments and stand-alone bridges
- This will be achieved by using innovative, climate-resilient, and nature-based solutions.
- Innovative solutions such as precast bridges to reduce both time and cost of construction will also be supported.
- MITP will help Meghalaya develop climate-resilient reliable and safe roads
- It will play an important role in the economic development of the state.
- Of 5,362 habitations in the state, about half lack transport connectivity.
- This operation will also support the state government’s “Restart Meghalaya Mission”
- The operation was launched to revive and boost development activities affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge
The Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge has been launched across 243 Cities.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched
To ensure that that the septic tank workers and the manual scavengers’ life is not lost given the hazardous condition of manual scavenging
- Preventing ‘hazardous cleaning’ of sewers and Septic tanks, and
- Promoting their mechanized cleaning.
- The said Challenge was launched on the occasion of World Toilet Day.
- A pledge was taken by Representatives from 243 cities across the country to mechanize all sewer and septic tank cleaning operations by the 30th of April 2021.
- The initiative is in line with the core principles of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U)
- The actual on-ground assessment of participating cities are going to be conducted in May 2021
- This is going to be done by an independent agency and the results of an equivalent will be declared on 15 August 2021.
- Cities will be awarded in three sub-categories –
- with a population of more than 10 lakhs,
- 3-10 lakhs, and
- Up to 3 lakhs,
With total prize money of ₹52 crores to be given to winning cities across all categories.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 19th November 2020
Bengaluru Tech Summit
The Bengaluru Tech Summit via video conference was recently inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
The theme for 2020:
Next is Now.
Innovations in the areas of Information Technology and Electronics and Biotechnology.
- The Government of Karnataka along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS).
- Karnataka government’s Vision Group on Information Technology Software.
- Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).
- MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications.
- The Prime Minister of Australia was also in attendance.
- It is India's flagship event which will deliberate on the key challenges emerging in the post-pandemic world.
- The primary focus will be on the impact of prominent technologies.
- This will provide a platform for discussion to encourage disruptive technologies like e-commerce, GPS, ride-sharing apps.
- With the increasing use of technology in governance and other areas, data protection, and cybersecurity become significant.
- The is a need to devise robust cybersecurity solutions that can protect digital products against cyber attacks and viruses.
The Union Minister of Education has virtually launched the Lilavati Award-2020.
-This award has been named after the book called “Lilavati” written by the mathematician Bhaskara II, in the 12th century, based on his daughter Lilavati.
To create awareness about issues like
- Skill development,
- Natural Resources, and
- Rights among women.
- Women's health,
- Self Defense,
- Entrepreneurship, and
- Legal Awareness.
- It ensures the participation of women, and
- Enables women to hold higher positions in educational institutions.
- It is an innovative education program of the AICTE to empower women.
- All the stakeholders, especially the girl students, in AICTE approved institutions will get the opportunity to present a solution to the prevalent issues.
- The pertinent issues are gender discrimination, illiteracy, economic and unemployment, nutritional disparities, maternal mortality, human rights, etc.
- In each sub-category, the top three winners will be awarded certificates as well as prize money.
- The first prize winner will be awarded a sum of Rs 1 lakh,
- The second winner will get Rs 75,000, and
- The third winner will get Rs 50,000.
RailTel will be implementing an HMIS across its health facilities
RailTel Corporation of India Limited (“RailTel”) has been entrusted with the implementation of the Hospital Management Information System (“HMIS”) embracing digitization across all spheres
Ministry of Railways
- Bringing hospital management on a single architecture to prevent pilferage and making operations seamless has entrusted an integrated clinical information system for the Indian Railway’s 125 health facilities and 650 polyclinics across India for improved hospital administration and patient healthcare.
- The features of the software extend from customizing clinical data according to the departments and laboratories, a multi-hospital features that provide cross consultation, seamless interface with medical and other equipment’s and the patients will have the benefit of accessing all their medical records on their mobile device.
- An MOU with regard to the modalities for the execution of the work was RailTel and the Ministry of Railways has been signed.
- The open-source HMIS software is to be deployed over the cloud.
- This HMIS platform will be connected to the Unique Medical Identity System.
- A Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence is underway which will drive these technological changes be it artificial intelligence, data analytics, or app-based services.
Khelo India: GoI to incentivize 500 private academies
The government of India is to incentivize 500 private academies under the Khelo India scheme.
The Union Minister of Sports, Kiren Rijiju
- Under this model, private academies are to be graded into different categories.
- This will be based on the quality of achievement of the players.
- In the first phase of this model, monetary assistance is to be provided to 14 Olympic sports disciplines.
- All the 14 priority disciplines that have been identified under this model for excellence in the Olympics 2028 are eligible to receive support.
- The said incentivization is being introduced mainly to support institutions that are in remote areas of the country.
- There exist several small academies in the remote areas of the country that are doing good in identifying and training the athletes.
- This incentive will help such institutions to improve their resources, infrastructure, and Sports Sciences.
- It is expected to eventually reflect in the training received by the athlete
- Thus ultimately helping them achieve feats at a global level.
- The sanctions have been made by the Sports Authority of India
- An amount of 5.78 crores of rupees have been sanctioned under the Khelo India government scheme.
- The said fund has been allocated under the Khelo India Talent Development Scheme.
- It is expected to benefit more than 2,783 khelo India athletes.
The GIS One District One Product (ODOP) digital map of India was recently launched.
The Ministry of Food Processing
- The detailed information about ODOP products to all states and facilitates the stakeholders are presented in the digital ODOP map.
- The digital map also has indicators for SC, ST, tribal, and aspirational districts.
- It will help the stakeholders to make concerted efforts for its value chain development
The capacity building component of the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises scheme- the PM-FME Scheme was recently inaugurated.
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries
- It was launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme.
- It is to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry
- It attempts to promote formalization of the sector;
- For providing support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain.
To directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for the up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25
An MoU was signed to implement India’s first Convergence Project in the State.
- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, and
- Department of New & Renewable Energy (DNRE), Goa
- The feasibility studies and subsequent implementation of decentralized solar energy projects.
- EESL shall implement the solar energy projects which include:
- Establishment of 100 MW of decentralized ground-mounted Solar Power projects on government lands to be used for agricultural pumping;
- Replacing approximately 6,300 agricultural pumps with BEE star rated energy efficient pumps;
- Distribution of approximately 16 Lakh LED bulbs for rural domestic households.
- The project is expected to accelerate the usage of renewable energy sources, especially for agricultural and rural power consumption in the State.
Tax under Vivad se Vishwas Scheme
Vivad se Vishwas scheme is a government scheme to provide withdrawal of all the appeals both by the Income-Tax Department and taxpayers on the resolution of cases.
- The central government has received so far Rs. 72,480 crores in taxes through the direct tax dispute resolution scheme named Vivad se Vishwas from 45,855 cases.
- The total revenue demanded by the income-tax department from these cases was nearly Rs. 1.32 lakh crores.
- The Central Public Sector Units or CPSUs have come forward for resolving the disputes with revenue implication of over Rs. 1 lakh crores which also improves the prospect of the government’s target of reaching tax revenue collection of 2019.
- This received amount is the initial mandatory payment that is made by the taxpayers who had opted for Vivad se Vishwas Scheme as the rest of the payment can be made till March 31, 2021.
- The deadline was extended by the government due to the pandemic, however, declarations have to be filed by December 31, 2020.
Vivad se Vishwas Scheme:
- The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act, 2020 was enacted by the government on March 17, 2020
- It was meant for the settlement of direct tax disputes locked up in various appellate forums.
- The government launched scheme provides for the settlement of disputed interest, disputed tax, disputed interest, disputed fees, or disputed penalty.
- It is more attractive for the taxpayers against whom the income tax department has appealed at a higher forum.
PM SVANidhi: 14,34,000 loans sanctioned under the government scheme
The application for the loan under the PM-SVANidhi scheme has now become easier as one can easily upload the application online on their own by going to a bank or at any common service center
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- Out of 27 lakh that were filed, 33 thousand applications received, over 14 lakh 34 thousand loans have been sanctioned and about 7.88 lakh loans have been disbursed.
- This is done under Government Scheme Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s Atma-Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi).
- The micro-credit scheme was launched by the government in June 2020
- This was done in order to help micro or nano entrepreneurs recover the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy of their business.
- Under the scheme, the nano entrepreneurs will be eligible to access the working capital credit of up to Rs. 10,000 which is repayable in 12 months installments.
- According to the vendors who had left for their native places because of the COVID-19 lockdown will be eligible for the loan under the government-sponsored scheme.
- The provision of applying for the loan under the scheme has now become hassle-free
- The applicant can easily upload the application online on their own by going to a bank or at any common service center.
- Under the scheme, banks have also been reaching the doorsteps of the people for providing them loans to help them start their ventures.
Portal to administer The PM SVANIDhi Scheme:
- To ensure the fast implementation of the PM-SVANIDhi Scheme with accountability, transparency, and consistency, a digital platform with a mobile app and web portal has been developed for administering the scheme for the end-to-
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 18th November 2020
Development Projects worth more than Rs 600 Cr to be launched in Varanasi by PM Modi
Prime Minister will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development projects worth around 614 crores in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi via video conferencing.
- Yogi Adityanath, CM of UP will be present on the occasion.
- PM Modi shall interact with the beneficiaries of these projects during the event.
- Around 1500 people will participate in the program through video conferencing.
- Arrangements have been made for the live display of the program at 6 places in the city on big screens and through 5 LED mobile vans.
- The 16 projects to be inaugurated include the Sarnath Light and Sound show.
- The show is expected to be a major attraction for the tourists
- After the inauguration today the first light and sound show will be organized for the public at 7.15 evening
- During the event, the foundation stone for other projects will also be laid.
- Redevelopment of Dashashwamedh Ghat and Khidkiya Ghat,
- Barracks for PAC police force,
- Up-gradation of the multi-purpose hall in Girija Devi Sanskritik Sankul, and
- Development of tourist places.
- Agriculture and tourism infrastructure
Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully or SAANS campaign was recently launched.
- To reduce child mortality due to pneumonia,
- Pneumonia contributes to around 15% of deaths of children under the age of five annually.
Launched by Ministry:
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Launched in :
- To mobilize people to protect children from pneumonia
- To train health personnel and other stakeholders for providing prioritized treatment to control the disease.
- A pre-referral dose of antibiotic amoxicillin will be administered to the child suffering from pneumonia, by ASHA workers.
- For identification of low oxygen levels in the blood of the child, Pulse Oximeter will be used at the Health and Wellness Centre
- The child can be treated by the use of oxygen cylinders if required.
- The launch of a mass awareness campaign has been envisioned about effective solutions for pneumonia prevention like age-appropriate complementary feeding, breastfeeding, and immunization, etc.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 17th November 2020
India Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited
The 33rd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of India Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited was held recently.
This meeting laid emphasis on the country’s green energy mix continues to grow in quantity and quality.
- In the meeting, the emphasis was laid on the quantitative and qualitative growth of the country's green energy.
- It is expected to be further promoted through various government policy measures, such as the PM-KUSUM plan, ethanol, solar and wind energy hybrid technology, and compressed biogas and other biofuels, electric vehicles and related infrastructure, solar roof plans, coastal wind energy, etc.
- The Ministry of New Energy and Renewable Energy launched the "Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha even Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Program", which aims to set up solar pumps and grid-connected solar and other renewable energy power plants in the country for farmers.
- The target of the plan is to extend the manufacturing capacity of solar and other renewable energy sources by 25,750 MW by 2022, with the support of Rs. Rs 34,422 crore This includes the service fees to implementing agencies. The plan consists of three parts:
- Component A is the decentralized ground-mounted renewable power plant of 10,000 MW. The scale of one power station doesn't exceed 2 MW.
- Component B is the Installation of 17.5 million independent solar agricultural pumps, the capacity of one pump is up to 7.5 HP. Component C: the individual pump capacity of Solaris 100 thousand grid-connected agricultural pumps doesn't exceed 7.5 HP.
- The plan will have a big impact on the environment in terms of saving CO2 emissions. Together, all three components of the plan may save about 27 million plenty of CO2 emissions annually.
- In addition, the measures in Part B of the plan regarding stand-alone solar pumps may result in annual savings of 1.2 billion liters of diesel fuel and foreign exchange savings due to reduced crude oil imports.
- The plan has direct employment potential. In addition to increasing self-employment, the proposal may additionally create jobs akin to 63.1 trillion working years for skilled and unskilled workers.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 16th November 2020
Finance Ministry moves to set up a database of migrant workers
Besides job opportunities, a database for migrant workers will be set up.
This will help migrant labour get the benefit of government schemes
The Finance Ministry
- This is the first-ever national database of migrant labour.
- It aims at providing a platform for workers and employers, and for the government to implement specific programs for such labourers.
- Data of the labourers who had returned home labours returned back from metro cities such as Delhi and Mumbai or even from industrial hubs such as Surat, Ahmedabad, etc, were collected by some states.
- However, a sizable number was left out due to various reasons such as loss in transit, return through unconventional routes, and not reporting to local administration
- Due to the unavailability of the required data, The migrant labor issue had become pressing during the covid 19 situation.
The rules provide for one electronic registration of enterprises, including cancellation of registration at the top of business activities.
The Ministry of Labor & Employment
Rules drafted under:
The 2020 Social Security Act.
- unorganized workers,
- gig workers
- platform workers,
- Building and Other Construction Workers
- The draft rules provide for registration supported Aadhaar
- This includes self-registration
- Aadhaar based registration including self-registration has been provided by the draft rules.
- It can be done on the portal of the Central Government.
- Provision about the gratuity to an employee who is on fixed-term employment, have been made in the draft.
- The rules also provide for single electronic registration of an establishment.
- This shall include cancellation of the registration in case of closure of business activities.
- Regulations regarding manners and conditions for exiting an establishment from EPFO and ESIC coverage have been incorporated
- The procedure for self-assessment and payment of Cess concerning the building and other construction workers has been discussed in the rules.
- The rate of interest for delayed payment of such cess has been reduced to 1 % every month from 2%
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 14th November 2020
‘Accused can get bail if the probe is not over in time’:
The Supreme Court has held in a recent judgment that an accused, irrespective of the merits of the case against him, should be granted “default” or “compulsive” bail if the investigating agency doesn't complete the probe within a prescribed deadline.
An accused has an “indefeasible right” to default bail under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure if the probe agency did not complete the investigation on time.
Under Section 167, the accused are often detained in custody for a maximum of 90 days for a criminal offense punishable with death, captivity, or a sentence of over 10 years. It is 60 days of detention if the probe relates to any other offense.
Also, Magistrates have to mandatorily inform the accused, especially those from the poor sections, of their statutory right to apply for default bail.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies-13th November 2020
Skill training program for migrant workers
The government has launched an initiative to empower migrant workers as well as the rural population in the post-COVID-19 situation through orientation and demand-driven skilling.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
3 lakh migrant workers from 116 districts across 6 states
- Uttar Pradesh,
- Madhya Pradesh,
- Odisha, and
The training program is being executed by:
- The National Skill Development Corporation
- existing training providers and project implementing agencies that have been operating under state schemes or PMKVY 2016-20.
The Scheme is a part of the:
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
- This is a centrally sponsored and centrally managed component of the PMKVY
- The ministry will collaborate with the district magistrates
- The Program will be run in the select districts for 125 days.
- In certain parts of the identified districts, the training has already commenced and
- In other areas, it will gradually expand in the course of the month.
- 1.5 lakh migrant workers will receive training under a short-term training program
- Another 1.5 lakh workers will be certified under the recognition of prior learning schemes.
- Mobilization of returnee migrants, as well as the demand aggregation for local jobs in the selected districts for the purpose of training, are being done by district administrations of these states.
- This program has started after the accreditation and affiliation of Training Providers on Skill India Portal as well as the approval of system based targets across the identified districts
- The jobs in demand include tailor, retail sales associate, assistant electrician, customer care executive, sewing machine operator, and general duty assistant, among others.
Credit Guarantee Scheme expanded to include 26 stressed sectors
The Government has announced the expansion of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme 2.0 (ECGLS 2.0) to 26 stressed sectors including real estate, power, construction, and iron, and steel manufacturing
The Finance Ministry
MSME sector that provides goods and services to the eligible entities
- The repayment can be done in five years,
- This includes a 1-year moratorium and 4 years of repayment.
- This was announced as a part of the new stimulus package worth Rs 2.65 lakh crore to boost the recovery of the Indian economy.
- These 26 stressed sectors identified by the KV Kamath committee, which has been appointed by the Reserve Bank of India
- It will also enable companies with outstanding credit up to Rs 50 crore previously covered under the existing scheme.
- This scheme does not have any upper ceiling on the annual turnover of the entities.
- The companies will receive an additional credit of up to 20 percent of the outstanding as of February 29, 2020.
- Companies with dues past 30 days as of February 29, 2020, can avail of credit from banks.
- The repayment under the scheme can be done in five years, including a one-year moratorium and 4 years the repayment period.
- The scheme's validity will remain till March 31, 2021.
Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
To incentivize the creation of recent employment opportunities during the COVID-19 recovery phase by the minister of finance, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched an employment scheme Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
- New employee joining employment in EPFO registered establishments on monthly wages below Rs 15,000
- EPF members who are drawing a monthly salary below Rs 15000, and people who left employment during COVID pandemic between March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, and are employed on or after October 1, 2020.
- The scheme was launched as a segment of a fresh stimulus worth Rs 2.65 lakh crore announced on November 12, 2020, to improve the COVID-hit Indian economy.
- 12 new measures under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 were announced.
- The organizations up to 1000 employees will receive employee’s contributions, 12 percent of wages and employers contributions, 12 percent of wages, totaling 24 percent of wages, for 2 years.
- The central government will contribute 12% to employers with over 1,000 employees.
- Subsidy support, for the new eligible employees, is going to be credited within the Aadhar seeded EPFO account (UAN)
- All EPFO registered organizations, if they hire new employees who had lost jobs between March 1 and September 30, these new employees will get benefits.
Eligibility for establishments
- The establishments registered with EPFO will have the benefit of the scheme if they add new employees compares to the reference base of employees as in September 2020 as under:
- A minimum of two new employees, if the reference base is 50 employees or less.
- Minimum five new employees if the reference base is in excess of 50 employees
- The establishments registering with EPFO after the launch of the scheme will get a subsidy for all new employees.
- Scheme's validity: The Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana is expected to be operational till June 30, 2021
Also stay updated with :
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies-12th November 2020
13th Urban Mobility India Conference 2020
The 13th Urban Mobility India Conference was organized by the Ministry of Housing and concrete Affairs.
Hardeep S. Puri, the Minister of State (IC) Housing and concrete Affairs.
- The theme was: “Emerging Trends in Urban Mobility”
- The conference was one day-long held over Video Conference
- It was focused on innovative measures taken at the national and international levels
- This was to deal with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to supply accessible and convenient transport to the people.
- The MoHUA had issued the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 (NUTP) to make sure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable, and sustainable access for the increasing number of city residents to jobs, education, recreation, and such other needs within the bounds of our cities.
- As a part of the NUTP, the Ministry has been organizing the annual international Conference-cum-Exhibition on Urban Mobility India popularly referred to as UMI.
- The primary objective of the conference is to disseminate information to the cities, whose officials attend the conference to assist them to keep up-to-date with the newest and best urban transport practices globally.
Draft Data Centre Policy
Draft Data Centre Policy was recently released by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY)
To simplify clearances for setting up data centers in the country.
- Making India a Global Data Centre hub,
- Promote investment in the sector,
- Propel digital economy growth,
- Enable provisioning of trusted hosting infrastructure to satisfy the growing demand of the country and facilitate a state of the art service delivery to citizens.
- Data Centre: it's a defined secure space within a building/centralized location where computing and networking equipment is concentrated for the aim of collecting, storing, processing, distributing, or allowing access to large amounts of data.
- Data Centre Parks: These are specialized secure Data Zone, strategically located with the most conducive non-IT and IT infrastructure, and regulatory environment for housing mix of small scale/large scale clusters of Data Centres to serve the high needs of computing, storage, networking, and provision of a good range of data-related services.
- Providing Infrastructure Status to the information Centre Sector, at par with other sectors like Railways, Roadways, and Power.
- The status will help the world avail long-term credit from domestic and international lenders at easier terms and can provide a boost to the investments.
- Demarcation of specific zones with necessary infrastructure like roads, running water, and electricity to line up data center parks.
- A single-window, time-bound clearance system for all the approvals required to set up a data-center park.
- Formulation of information Centre Incentivization Scheme (DCIS) which is able to specify the intended beneficiaries, applicability criteria, and financial and non-fiscal incentives for the world.
- Setting-up a minimum of four Data Centre Economic Zones (DCEZ) within the country, as a Central Sector Scheme - DCEZ Scheme. DCEZs would create an ecosystem of Hyperscale Data Centres, Cloud Service Providers, IT companies, R&D units, and other allied industries.
- In order to address the issues around the high consumption of power, data center parks would be encouraged to set up their own power generation units, and use renewable energy.
- Data centers are going to be declared as an important Service under “The Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968 (ESMA)” which suggests that there would be a continuity of services even during times of calamities or crises.
- Strengthening the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative by identifying possible opportunities for the manufacturing of data center equipment (IT as well as non-IT) in the country.
- The Policy identifies the possible areas of participation by micro, small, and medium enterprises, and start-ups.
- Collaboration with the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship and leading academic institutes to impart large scale training to the workforce on Data Centre, Digital and Cloud technologies, and facilitate sector linkages for such trained workforce.
- An Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee is to be established under the Chairmanship of Secretary of MeitY, with participation from the different Central Ministries and State Governments.
- It shall be the key decision-making body to facilitate the implementation of varied measures as defined under this policy framework, enabling ease of doing business within the sector.
- An independent Data Centre Industry Council (DCIC) is proposed to be formed, which might act as an interface between the arena and therefore the Government.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has recently notified new rules under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.
- The 2020 amendment of the FCRA act was to enhance transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilization of foreign contributions.
- The act aims to help facilitate genuine non-governmental organizations or associations who are working for the welfare of society.
- The Act is applicable to all associations, groups, and non-governmental organizations that intend to receive foreign donations.
- As per the FCRA, members of legislatures, political parties, government officials, judges, and media persons are prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution.
- The MHA has notified new rules under the FCRA, 2010 thereby amending the FCRA Rules, 2011.
- New Rules:
- Norms have been relaxed for farmers, students, religious and other groups who are not directly aligned to any political party or involved in active politics to receive foreign funds
- FCRA registrations have been made more strict and stringent.
- Any organization that wants to register itself under FCRA should have existed for three years and have spent a minimum of 15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during their last three financial years.
- However, in exceptional cases or in cases where a person is controlled by the Central Government or a State Government may waive the above-mentioned conditions.
- Office bearers of NGOs or organizations seeking registration under the FCRA are required to submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it was being given.
A new clause has been added which mentions that groups mentioned in Clause V and VI will only be considered a political group by the Centre if they participate in “active politics or party politics”.
Under Operation Greens Scheme TOP to TOTAL, a 50% transportation subsidy is now being made available for air transportation for the 41 notified fruits and vegetables from the North-Eastern and the Himalayan States to any destination in India.
- transport subsidy will be directly paid to the supplier by the airlines
- They will charge only 50% of the actual contracted freight charges
- The balance will be claimed from MoFPI as a subsidy.
- Amended Scheme Guidelines were notified in November 2020.
- All consignments, irrespective of price or quantity, of notified fruits and vegetables would be eligible for a 50% freight subsidy.
- The airports eligible for the scheme are: All the airports in
- Arunachal Pradesh,
- Sikkim (Bagdogra),
- Himachal Pradesh,
- Uttarakhand, and
- Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh
- Earlier, in December the transportation subsidy was extended for Kisan Rail Scheme under Operation Greens Scheme
- On the notified fruits and vegetables, Railways charge only 50% of freight charges
OTT or Over The Top platforms or video streaming service providers will now be governed by the Government.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- Online movies, digital news, and current affairs content will now come under the purview of the I&B Ministry
- This shall give the government control over the OTT platforms
- There is no law or autonomous body, currently, governing the digital content.
- In October 2019, a “negative” list of don’ts for the video streaming services as indicated by the Government.
- The Government of India advised these platforms to draft a self-regulatory body for platforms like Netflix and Hotstar along the lines of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
- In January 2019, 8 video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for the content on these platforms.
- This code thus adopted by the OTTs prohibited five types of content, including content which
- Maliciously and deliberately disrespects the national emblem or flag
- and any visuals or storylines promoting child pornography
OTT Media is gaining popularity because:
- High-value content at a low cost.
- Original content is available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
- Compatibility with multiple devices.
- Easy Accessibility
- Increased Options.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies-11th November 2020
PM-KUSUM scheme scaled up to 30.8 GW of solar capacity by 2022
An order to scale up and expand Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthan Mahabhiyaan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme by The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
- The scheme now focuses on achieving an enhanced solar capacity of 30.8 GW (gigawatt) by the year 2022.
- The central financial support has also been revised to Rs. 34,035 crores, for the same.
Three latest components of PM-KUSUM Scheme:
- Decentralized ground-mounted of 10,000 megawatts are to be set up, the grid-connected renewable power plants that are up to2 MW.
- Installation of 20 lakh stand-alone agricultural pumps that are solar-powered.
• Solarisation of 15 lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps that are solar-powered
Inter-Ministerial Committee for Capital Goods Sector
A 22-member inter-ministerial committee has been set up by the government for strengthening the Capital Goods (CG) Sector
- The Committee will take into consideration the issues pertaining to the Capital Goods Sector.
- This will include mother technology development, technology development, global value chains, skill training, global standards, custom duties, etc.
- It will be chaired by The Secretary of Department Heavy Industries
- The committee is supposed to meet quarterly
- The capital good sector is globally competitive and to become the manufacturing hub for the world.
Textiles Ministry Launches Local 4 Diwali campaign
The Ministry of Textiles has launched a local 4 Diwali campaign
To convince all the citizens to celebrate Diwali by buying and gifting Indian handicrafts.
- The Prime Minister on November 9 had issued a clarion call to people to come together and show support to local textile and handicraft business during this pandemic hit year’s Diwali.
- The new campaign of the Textile ministry is along similar lines and requests the citizens to purchase Indian handicraft goods - like humble earthen Diya or home furnishings like bedsheets and curtains.
- Handicraft is a symbol of India’s glorious cultural heritage and an important source of livelihood in the country.
- Most of the handicraft artisans are women, which is about 55%, so this will be a step towards women's empowerment as well.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies-10th November 2020
India Mobile Congress (IMC):
The fourth edition of the India Mobile Congress was inaugurated recently on a virtual platform
Inclusive Innovation – Smart I Secure I Sustainable
Jointly organized by:
- Department of Telecommunications (DoT), and
- Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
- IMC is one of the largest Digital Technology Forum in Asia
- It brings together the Government, academia, industry, and other ecosystem players to deliberate on the upcoming industry technology trends around major themes such as SG, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of things (loT), etc.
The Department of Telecom has eased out the rules for other service providers (OSP) in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology-enabled services (ITes).
- OSPs are firms that would provide secondary or tertiary services such as telemarketing, telebanking, or telemedicine for various companies, banks, or hospital chains.
- The new rules remove the registration requirement for OSPs.
- Such BPOs that are engaged only in data work has been taken out of the category of OSPs altogether.
- With the government recognizing OSP employees as extended or remote agents, companies providing such services will no longer have to carry the additional compliance burden of providing the details of all such employees to the DoT.
- Renewal of licenses will not be necessary and so even foreign companies can be invited to set up or expand their other service providing units in India.
- Data-based OSPs are completely out of the ambit of BPOs, this is an important change as this would mean that such firms can function like any other service firm without strict and cumbersome guidelines such as the presence of agents on location.
Rs 6,195 crore as revenue deficit grants released for the states
On November 10, 2020, The central government, released Rs 6,195 crore as the eight equated monthly installments of post-devolution revenue deficit grants to 14 states.
The 14 states include:
- Andhra Pradesh,
- Himachal Pradesh (HP),
- Tamil Nadu,
- Uttarakhand, and
- West Bengal.
- The highest amount of grants was awarded to Kerala from this batch of grants at Rs 1,277 crore
- With Rs 952 crore to Himachal Pradesh and Rs 638 crore to Punjab.
The latest grant follows the recent release by the finance ministry of Rs 6,000 crore to 16 states and three Union Territories
This was a part of the second tranche of the special window for the GST compensation shortfall.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 9th November 2020
FASTags mandatory for all four-wheelers from January 1, 2021
Notification making FASTags mandatory for all four-wheelers, including old vehicles, from January 1, 2021, has been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
- For this, the government of India has amended FORM 51 (Certificate of Insurance), wherein the details of FASTag ID shall be captured.
- This shall be applicable with effect from April 1, 2021.
- The government has amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.
- This will be used to make FASTag mandatory for registration of new four-wheeled vehicles
- The amendment will also include those sold before December 1, 2017
Shipping ministry to be renamed
The ambit and powers of the Ministry of Shipping are being expanded and it has been renamed the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November 2020, announced this change in name.
- This was done during a launch event of the Ro-Pax terminal at Hazira and flagging off the Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat.
- This is expected to reduce the 370-km road distance between the two places to 90-km by sea route.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 8th November 2020
1st solar-based water supply project of India
Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has launched India’s first solar-based Integrated Multi-Village Water Supply Project in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The solar-based lift water supply project is ‘first of its kind’ in the country,
- It has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 28.50 crore.
- This will be carried out in other parts of the country too.
- The project is expected to provide drinking water to 17,480 people in 39 villages of Lower Dibang Valley district in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The solar-based Integrated Multi-Village Water Supply Project has been designed as an integrated project with three components, which are drinking water, green energy, and tourism.
- The project uses a green energy-solar grid, SCADA automation system, pre-fabricated zinc alum storage tank, and HDPE conduit for mains, sub-mains, and distribution networking system. The project also includes an amusement park including a swimming pool, amphitheater, fountains, and sit-outs
The Government of India recently announced that it is to expand the Production Linked Incentive scheme to more than ten sectors.
These sectors were suggested by :
Aim of Scheme:
- Boost domestic manufacturing and
- Cut down import bills.
- To provide incentives to the companies on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units.
The sectors involved will be:
- Food processing,
- Leather, textiles,
- Battery manufacturing.
Already under the scheme.
- The pharmaceuticals (and medical devices)- drugs such as Vitamin B1, penicillin, meropenem, aspirin, and atorvastatin.
- Electronics- mobile phones and other electronic components such as diodes, transistors, thyristors, capacitors, resistors
As they are labor-intensive and have the potential to create new jobs.
Need for PLI
Capital intensive sectors demand a long time to give their returns, so The Government of India finds it difficult to continue to make investments
So, it is taking an alternate route, which is to invite global companies with adequate capital to invest in India
. This is being achieved through the Production Linked Incentive scheme which was launched in March 2020
Atal Innovation Mission-Sirius Innovation Programme
The AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme was launched for Indian and Russian school children.
To develop technological solutions for both India and Russia.
Held between :
- AIM and
- based on an MoU signed during PM visit to Russia in 2018
- This program is to be held between November 7, 2020 and November 21, 2020.
- Around 48 students and 16 educators are expected to participate in this programme.
- The innovations developed will be from the field of blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station.
- It is a series of experiments that investigates flight to the moon
Udyam Scheme: 11 lakh MSMEs registered
The Government of India, on November 7, 2020, announced that over 11 lakh MSMEs have registered on the new online system of Udyam Registration which was launched in July 2020.
Aim: MSME Registration
- About 40-60% of the MSME were facing hardships due to COVID-19.
- The MSMEs were already facing stress due to the implementation of GST and Demonetisation in 2016.
- 3.72 lakh of these have been registered under the manufacturing category and 6.31 lakh have been registered under the service sector.
- 93.17% of these registered enterprises, were micro-enterprises, 5.62% small enterprises, and 1.21 medium enterprises.
- 7.98 lakh enterprises were under the ownership of males, 1.73 lakh enterprises were owned by female entrepreneurs.
- 11,188 enterprises were owned by Divyangjan.
- The top five industries in which registrations include textile, food products, apparel, machinery and equipment, and fabricated metal products.
- Over 1 crore people were employed through these registration units.
- Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh are the leading states in the registration
Udyam Registration Portal
- A person willing to establish micro, medium, or small enterprise shall file registration at the Udyam registration portal.
- The registration is based on self-declaration. Upon registration, the enterprise is provided with a unique number called the “Udyam Registration Number”
- Udyam Sakhi portal was launched for women entrepreneurs separately.
- Several measures are being launched to help the MSMEs thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Atma Nirbhar Bharat package mainly focused on MSMEs.
- The definition of the MSMEs was changed to increase their ease of doing business and for easy availability of loans.
- PM SVANidhi Scheme was launched specially for street vendors.
MSMEs in India
- According to the Annual Report of the Ministry of MSME, there are 6.34 crores of MSMEs in the country.
- Of these 51% are situated in rural India.
- MSMEs both in rural and urban setup provides employment to more than 11 crore people.
- 55% of these employments are provided by urban MSMEs.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 7th November 2020
Indian Meteorological Department to provide predictions for Malaria from next monsoon
The Indian Meteorological Department on November 7, 2020, announced that it will start providing a Malaria outbreak forecast from the next monsoon.
- India is to escalate its high-performance computing facility.
- The existing capacity of 10 petaflops is to be increased to 40 petaflops under this scheme
- NCAER report titled "estimating the economic benefits of investment in monsoon mission and high performance computing facilities" stated that the investment in high-performance computing facilities is to bring 50 times benefits and profits.
- The first study will be conducted in the city of Nagpur
- According to the World Malaria report India accounts for 85% of the global Malaria burden.
- Also, the National Health portal reports that the majority of malarial cases are from the central and eastern parts of the countries because of dense forests, tribal areas, and hilly regions.
- This is mainly because these States have These states include Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and the North-Eastern states such as Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
- The cases of malaria have declined to 4 lakhs in 2018 from 2.08 million in 2008.
- According to the National Health Portal, India is the only country to show progress among all the other hardest-hit Malaria countries.
Malaria vaccine in India
- A malaria vaccine is branded as Mosquirix
- This was approved by the European medicines agency in 2015.
- The vaccine is not registered in India as it is yet to undergo clinically.
- No vaccine has so far been tried in India against malaria as the clinical trials are yet to take place.
- Malawi is the first country, followed by Ghana and Kenya to check out the vaccine.
International ‘Satavadhanam’’ program launched virtual
- Recently the Vice President launched The ‘International ‘Satavadhanam’’ program.
- ‘Avadhanam’ has contributed significantly to the Telugu language’s glorious tradition as a literary feat
The program was organized by:
- Dr. Medasani Mohan
- Under Sri Krishnadevaraya Satsang in Tirupati.
- Avadhānaṃ is a popular literary performance from the very ancient days in India.
- It traces its origin from the Sanskrit literary process.
- It was then revived by poets in Telugu and Kannada in modern times.
- It constitutes the partial improvisation of poems using specific themes, meters, forms, or words.
The Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge System
The Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge System was announced by the Central Minister of Education to be set up at IIT Kharagpur.
The international webinar titled “Bharata Tirtha” will also be organized by the Institute between November 06 to 08, 2020.
- The mother tongue will be used for providing the education tongue, along with the Sanskrit will be rejuvenated, this will ease the educational process for India's diverse people and draw from the rich scholarly heritage of India.
- Initiatives such as Study in India, GIAN, GIAN+, and other funded research programs would be beneficial for global students.
- It is our responsibility is to equip the Indian Knowledge System with Indian ethos and values and pursue excellence in every chosen field.
- The requirement to acknowledge and incentivize research work was expressed on Indian Scientific Heritage by awarding the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize.
- The 3-day webinar will witness talks by international stalwarts pioneering in Indic studies
- The recently organized Gov-Tech-Thon 2020, is 36 hours, pan-India virtual hackathon.
- National Informatics Centre (NIC)and Oracle, under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
- Shortlisted 447 enthusiasts from 100 teams participated in the Hackathon
- Five problem statements provided by 3 union Government Ministries – Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, and Ministry of Education.
- witnessed a successful conclusion on 1st November 2020.
National Informatics Centre (NIC)
- Is an attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- NIC was established in 1976.
- Is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
The Oracle Cloud
- Offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain, etc.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 6th November 2020
Arbitration And Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020
The President of India promulgated the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
- The Ordinance aims to make sure that the stakeholders get a chance to look for an unconditional stay of enforcement of arbitral awards where the underlying arbitration agreement or contract is induced by fraud or corruption.
- An addition has been made to Section 36 whereby if the Court is satisfied that a prima facie case is formed out that the arbitration agreement or contract was induced or affected by fraud or corruption, it will stay the award unconditionally.
- The ordinance does away with the 8th Schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 which contained the necessary qualifications for accreditation of arbitrators
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)
Recently, The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has announced an investment of up to ₹400 crores in setting up office and connectivity infrastructure across several cities, offering small technology firms a ‘plug-and-play’ facility.
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)
- It is an autonomous society
- It is under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- It was established in 1991.
- The Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology is the STPI’s Governing Council’s Chairperson
- Promoting, and
- Boosting the export of software from India
- To provide statutory and other promotional services to the exporters
- This will be done by implementing Software Technology Parks (STP)/ Electronics and Hardware Technology Parks (EHTP) Schemes, SEZ schemes, and other such schemes.
- To promote micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.
- This will be done by creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurship in the field of IT/ITES.
- To establish and manage infrastructure resources such as Datacom facilities, Project Management and Consultancy, and IT support facilities.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 5th November 2020
Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge
Recently, Nurturing Neighbourhood Challenge was announced.
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
It is a challenge for cities to come up with, develop, and implement initiatives to improve the quality of life of young children, caregivers, and families.
- It will be open for the 100 Smart Cities
- The cities with a population of more than 5 lakh and State/Union Territory capitals will be selected for the challenge.
Data Maturity Assessment Framework :
Recently the Data Maturity Assessment Framework was launched.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- This framework was designed to evaluate the data ecosystems of cities and enable cities to assess their own data maturity
- This is expected to support cities in the creation of a ‘culture of data’ under the DataSmart Cities initiative of the Smart Cities Mission.
- This framework will be in accordance with a standardized framework covering aspects of enabling policies, governance structures, data management, capacity building, and stakeholder engagement at the city level.
A four-member committee has been constituted by The Information and Broadcasting Ministry to review the guidelines on television rating agencies.
Headed by :
Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of Prasar Bharati.
The Mumbai police investigations revealed that a few news channels had tampered with the ratings, after which the committee was constituted.
Need for the new guidelines:
- To get a new perspective keeping in view of the recent recommendations of TRAI
- Technological advancements
- Further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.
Target Rating Point (TRP)
- Also known as the Television Rating Points.
- It is the metric to evaluate viewership, used by the marketing and advertising agencies
- TRPs represents the data of how many people, from which socio-economic categories, watched which channels for how long during a particular period.
- TRP in India is recorded by the Broadcast Audience Research Council
- Bar-O-Meters are installed on televisions in selected households to record TRP
Importance of ratings:
- Audience measurement data is the basis on which ratings are assigned to various programs on television.
- Television ratings influence programs produced for the viewers.
- Better ratings would encourage a program while poor ratings will discourage a program.
- Incorrect ratings will lead to the production of programs that may not be popular while good programs may be left out.
- cost-per-rating-point (CPRP) is the other currency, besides TRPs for advertisers to decide which channel to advertise.
Statements recorded under the NDPS Act cannot be treated as confessions
According to the recent SC ruling statements recorded under Section 67 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act cannot be admissible as confessional statements during criminal trials.
- If it is considered a confession, it would be a direct infringement of the constitutional guarantees.
- Reference made in this regard to “police officers”, would include a police officer belonging to a state police force, and officers who may belong to other departments.
- The ruling will impact evidence in several cases.
Computation of maintenance to the estranged wife will include child care
The Supreme Court recently ruled that Computation of maintenance to the estranged wife will include child care.
- If an estranged wife gave up her job to take care of children and the elderly in the family, it will have to be taken into consideration by the family court while quantifying monthly interim maintenance by her husband.
- All such cases will be fast-tracked, as even though the old regulations advised 60 days time period for redressal, it was oftentimes ignored
- This is the first time that the sacrifices made by career women in taking care of children have been considered
- It must be ensured that the wife could lead a life almost akin to what she was used to when all was well in the matrimonial home.
- The husband’s income and assets are usually taken into account while quantifying interim maintenance to an estranged wife.
As of now, Neither the Hindu Marriage Act nor the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act has not been exclusively mentioned the date from which interim maintenance is to be granted, and depended entirely on discretion by family courts.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 4th November 2020
Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme extended
The Government of India has extended the ECLGS by one month till 30th November 2020, or till such time that an amount of Three lakh crore Rupees is sanctioned under the Scheme, whichever is earlier.
This will help mitigate the distress caused by coronavirus-induced lockdown, by providing credit to different sectors.
Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS):
This was launched as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package announced in May 2020.
To provide secure and collateral-free additional credit to
- Business enterprises,
- MUDRA borrowers, and
- Individual loans for business purposes
To the extent of 20% of their credit outstanding.
- Borrowers with credit outstanding up to Rs. 50 crore as on 29th February 2020, and with an annual turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore.
- 4 years,
- This will include a moratorium of 1 year on principal repayment.
IREDA signs an MoU with MNRE
The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy have signed an MoU recently to set key targets for the year 2020-21.
- The government of India has set a revenue target of Rs 2,406 crore from the renewable energy industry.
- More than 2,700 renewable energy projects in India have been financed by the IREDA.
- The total loan disbursement for these projects is around Rs 57,000 crores.
- IREDA, through these projects, has helped in adding 17,259 MW of green power to the country.
India’s renewable energy sector
- India is among the leading producers of energy from renewable sources.
- The total energy generation capacity of India is 373 GW out of which, 135 GW about 36.17% is from renewable sources.
- India has signed the Paris Agreement under which it has committed to achieving 40% of its total electricity generation from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
- Launched in January 2020
- Is implemented by IREDA.
- Green banks will be set up that will work to bring clean energy financing into the mainstream.
- This shall improve the finances being provided to the green energy companies.
- Such new innovative new tools have been adopted in countries like Malaysia, the UK, Japan, Australia, and the US.
It was set up in 1987.
It is the leading non-banking financial institution dedicated to clean energy expansion in India.
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 2nd November 2020
Strategic Policy and Facilitation Bureau
Strategic Policy and Facilitation Bureau were set up to facilitate the systematic growth of the AYUSH sector.
Set up by:
- The Ministry of AYUSH, and
- Invest India
- The Bureau will facilitate the AYUSH systems to become future-ready.
- It will support in making initiatives under the ministry to its full potential.
- It will promote the growth and investment of the AYUSH sector.
- Trained experts will be deployed to implement and execute the plans of the ministry.
- It brings in AYUSH based solutions for COVID-19.
- Recently, the Regional Raw Drug Repository for AYUSH was launched.
- This will play a major role in the collection, documentation, and demonstration of AYUSH drugs.
- Invest India is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India.
- It was set up as a non-profit organization under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
- It also serves the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, State Government of India.
- State-specific and sector-specific information to foreign investors is also provided.
- It helps the investors in India to provide information about investment opportunities overseas.
Business Immunity Platform (COVID-19)
- Launched in March 2020.
- Operates under Invest in India.
- It is designed to help the investors get real-time updates on COVID-19 and related measures.
- The platform will help startups and MSMEs showcase their solutions.
Guidelines to manage mental illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued guidelines for mental illness.
- The mental health of vulnerable patients and frontline health care workers by reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure and protecting patients against psychiatric disorders.
Recommendation of: Indian Council of Medical Research
Guidelines prepared by:
- National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru.
- Underlines the importance of sanitization of establishments, training health care workers in waste disposal, physical distancing, usage of personal protective equipment.
- It has prescribed guidelines that address the needs of COVID-19 patients suffering from COVID 19 induced stress and depression.
- A hotline is to be set up between the mental health establishment and a nearby COVID-19 designated hospital to help in easy transfer of facilities.
- India covers mental health under its insurance policies.
- These insurance policies covered stress, neurodegenerative disorders, and psychological disorders caused by COVID-19.
- The expenses of treatment, medical examination, and rehabilitation will be covered.
- The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 directs the insurers to treat mental illness the same way as that of physical illness or injury.
World Mental Health Day
October 10 is celebrated as World Mental Health Day every year.
New Aerodrams to be set up
The Ministry of Shipping has announced setting up fourteen more aerodromes to develop seaplane tourism in the country.
Recently, PM Modi inaugurated the seaplane service between the Statue of Unity in Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad on the sidelines of the celebration of Ekta Diwas.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation and
- Airport Authority of India
- Inland Waterways Authority of India will conduct the hydrographic survey.
- The 14 aerodromes are being planned under the UDAN scheme
- 6The hydrographic survey is important to mark the runway and shallow water for landing purposes
- The Seaplane at the Statue of Unity is operated by Spice Jet.
- The Spice Jet private firm has secured 18 sea routes under the UDAN scheme.
- Guwahati riverfront
- Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand,
- Umrangso reservoir in Assam,
- Erai Dam in Maharashtra,
- Prakasam Barrage in Andhra Pradesh,
- Khindsi Dam in Maharashtra,
- Minicoy, and
- Long, Neil, and
- Hutbay islands
- Shatrunjaya in Gujarat
- Dharoi in Gujarat
- The seaplane projects will increase tourism and hotel businesses.
- It will provide employment to the local rural people.
- The landing and take-off of seaplanes create turbulence in water which will mix oxygen in water providing a positive impact on the aquatic ecosystem near the aerodrome by increasing the oxygen content.
- They cause minimal or no environmental impacts.
Industrial Relations Code, 2020
Recently, the Ministry of Labour notified the draft rules for the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, which will be implemented by April 2021
The Industrial Relations Rules, 2020 will subsume the Industrial Tribunal (Central Procedure) Rules, 1949, Industrial Tribunal (Central Procedure) Rules, 1954, Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Central Rules, 1946, and Industrial Disputes (Central) Rules, 1957.
- Establishments with more than 300 workers instead of 100 as per previous rules will have to seek Government approval to lay 15 days prior to the lay off of the intended actions.
- This will improve the ease of doing business
- The rules restrict the workers from going on strike.
- It prescribes subscription charges to the trade unions to prevent unions to go for collective bargaining.
- 60 or 90 days prior to approval from the Government is required for the closure of establishments
- The code modified the definition of industry taking out the eminent institutes, especially defense and space-related such as DRDO and ISRO out of its purview.
Single Male Parent eligible for child care leave
Single male Government employees will now be eligible to apply for child care leave.
- Single male parents include widowers and divorcees, unmarried employees, who single-handedly take up the responsibility of caring for a child.
- For the first 365 days child care leave can be granted at 100% of the leave salary and for the next 365 days 80% of leave salary.
- The upper limit of 22 years disabled child, for availing child care leave has been removed.
- Child Care Leave is an earned leave.
- Women employees having minor children may be granted child care leave for a maximum period of two years during their entire service for taking care of up to two minor children
- The child care leave is granted either for rearing children or to look after any of the needs of children like examination, sickness
Current Affairs on Government Schemes and Policies- 1st November 2020
Bulk Drug Park
The Central Government is looking to set up Bulk Drug parks across the country, the first one will be in Himachal Pradesh.
- It is also known as an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)
- It is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine
- The APIs lend drugs to the desired therapeutic effect and produce the intended pharmacological activity.
- Prepared from multiple reactions involving chemicals and solvents.
- The key starting material is the primary chemical or the basic raw material which undergoes reactions to form an API
- Drug intermediates or DIs are the chemical compounds formed during the intermediate stages during these reactions
- India has the third-largest pharmaceutical industries in the world by volume, but it majorly depends on other countries, especially China
- The border conflict between India and China and the ongoing pandemic has disrupted the import of API to India.
Key features of the scheme:
- A one-time grant-in-aid for the creation of common infrastructure facilities will be provided under this scheme will support three selected parks in the country.
- The grant-in-aid will be 70 percent of the cost of the common facilities.
- In the case of hilly states like Himachal Pradesh, it will be 90 percent.
- A maximum of Rs 1,000 crore per park will be given by the center.
- One state can only propose only one site, and this should not be less than a thousand acres in area or not less than 700 acres in the case of hill states.
- This will ensure greater self-reliance for India.
- These parks are expected to bring down manufacturing costs of bulk drugs in the country and increase competitiveness
Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020)
- This was recently set up by the National Medical Commission (NMC).
- Applicable to all new medical colleges new and the existing, proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22.
- The new Regulation has made the redundant areas of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals.
- A well-equipped “Skills Laboratory” for training students is mandatory
- A Medical Education Unit is defined for training medical teachers in educational pedagogy.
- Student counseling services have been mandated
- At the time of application for establishing a new medical college, the regulation now mandates the availability of a fully functional 300-bed multi-specialty hospital for at least 2 years
- Two new mandatory teaching departments have been made mandatory:
- Department of Emergency Medicine
- Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- It replaces the 1999 “Minimum Standard Requirements for Medical Colleges, of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI).
About the National Medical Commission:
- Was constituted in September 2020
- It comprises of 33-member NMC - the Chairman, 10 ex-officio members, and 22 part-time members appointed by the Central government.
Functions of NMC:
- Drawing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.
- Understanding and accessing the requirements of infrastructure and human resources in healthcare.
- Making sure that the State Medical Councils comply with the regulations made under the Bill.
- Making guidelines for the determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats in the private medical institutions.
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