Latest Government Schemes and Policies in October 2020, Current Affairs

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Current Affairs - Government Schemes- 31st October 2020

 Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme 

Government Extends Deadline To Make Payment Under Till March 31st October 27 2020.

Highlights:

  • This deadline has been extended for the third time for making payment under the direct tax dispute settlement scheme 'Vivad Se Vishwas' by three months.
  • This was announced by the Central Board of Direct Taxes notification
  • This deadline is an incentive for the taxpayers as those who make a declaration before the deadline will pay it at the concessional rate.

Vivad se Vishwas scheme

  • It is a direct tax scheme 
  • It was announced in Budget 2020, for settling tax disputes between individuals and the income tax department.
  • It was enacted on 17th March 2020 with the objective of:
  1. To reduce pending income tax litigation
  2. To generate timely revenue for the Government
  3. For the benefit of the taxpayers by assuring them peace of mind, certainty, and savings on account of time and resources that would otherwise be spent on the long-drawn and vexatious litigation process.
  • Earlier, the scheme offered a complete waiver on interest and penalty to the taxpayers with a full and final settlement of the dispute if the scheme was availed by March 31, 2020.
  • For settlement after March 31, 2020, was required to pay an additional 10 percent penalty on the disputed tax amount.




PLI Schemes 

Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministry has recently revised the Production Linked Incentive Schemes for promoting domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices.

Key Points:

  • Committed investment has replaced the ‘Minimum Threshold’  in the revised guidelines investment requirement by taking into account the availability of technology choices which varies from product to product.
  • The change is expected to encourage the efficient use of productive capital.
  • The Department of Pharmaceuticals had come out with the two Production Linked Incentive Schemes: (1) Production Linked Incentive scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials, Drug Intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in India; (2) Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Promoting Domestic Manufacturing of Medical Devices.
  • In terms of volume, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third-largest in the world. 

 

Draft model Act on land titles:

The draft Model Act and rules for states on conclusive land titling was released in the NITI Aayog 

Objective: To reduce the number of litigations and ease the land acquisition process for infrastructure projects.

The Model Act:

  • The power to order for the establishment, administration, and management of a system of title registration of immovable properties will lie with the state government.
  • The land dispute resolution officer and land title appellate tribunal are one-shot institutions that will fade away as the work reduces.
  • The registers of the title attain conclusivity without any external action after three years of its notification.
  • The state guarantees the land titles are for correctness and entail provision for compensation by the state in case of any dispute.
  • Aggrieved people may file an objection before the Title Registration Officer within three years from the date of such notification. 
  • The Title Registration Officer will make an entry to that effect in the Register of Titles and in the Register of Disputes as well as refer the case to the land dispute resolution officer.
  • An aggrieved party may file a complaint with an order of the land dispute resolution officer may file an appeal before the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal within 30 days of passing of such an order.
  • To deal with appeals against the orders passed by the Land Titling Appellate Tribunal by a designated bench of High court shall be designated 

Significance of Conclusive Land titles:

  • These will be guaranteed by the state for their correctness and entail provision for compensation by the state in case of any disputes.
  • This will facilitate the easy access of credit to farmers and reduce a large number of land-related litigations.
  • Transparent real estate transactions and land acquisition for infrastructure development will be enabled.
  • Such systems have been developed and adopted in countries such as Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Meri Saheli initiative launched by Indian Railways: 

Meri Saheli initiative has been launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for the safety of the women passengers traveling by trains across all the zones on October 29th, 2020. 

Objective:

  • Aim of providing safety and security to the women passengers who will be traveling by trains for their whole journey from the starting station to the destination station.
  •  The initiative also aims at responding effectively to any security-related issue faced by the women traveling from trains.
  •  At the originating station, a team of young women RPF personnel will interact with the women passengers, especially the ones traveling alone
  •  The women passengers will be cautioned about all the precautions they have to take on the journey. 
  • In case of a problem, they are asked to call on 182.
  •  The RPF team will convey to the women passengers the stoppages en route.
  • The personnel on the platform duty at the stopping stations will keep a watch over the coaches concerned, and interact if need be.
  • Feedbacks will be collected at the destination from the identified lady passengers which will be analyzed and corrective action, if necessary, will be taken.
  • Any distress call covered under the Meri Saheli initiative will be monitored at the level of senior officers

Background

  • This initiative was started initially in the South Eastern Railway in September 2020.
  • It was extended to all the zones and Konkan Railway with effect from October 17, 2020, after positive feedback from the women passenger.

 

India Energy Forum by CERAWeek 

India Energy Forum CERAWeek was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, It is a global platform to understand the best-practices, discuss reforms, and inform strategies for accelerating investments into the Indian Oil and Gas value chain’ from October 26-28, 2020

Organized by:

  • NITI Aayog, and 
  • Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

Hosted by:

 IHS Markit.

The theme of 2020:

India’s Energy Future in a World of Change.

 Highlights

  • This is the fourth year of the forum.
  • The event will bring together an international and national group of speakers and delegates.
  • Other participants include- regional energy companies, energy-related industries, institutions, and governments.
  • The key speakers of the event will be energy ministers, senior industry executives, and leading national and international energy experts
  • Increasing gas production under ‘One Nation One Grid'
  • India as the third-largest consumer will see more investments.
  • India’s energy capacity to be increased to 450 GW by 2030

 Key topics of the event

The speakers would talk about

  • The impact of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic on India’s future energy demand, Securing supplies for India’s economic growth,
  • The pace of innovation with regard to hydrogen, Biofuel, CCS, electric vehicles, and digital transformation
  • Energy transition and the climate agenda and its impact on India
  • The role which  Natural Gas will play  in India’s Energy Mix
  • Market and regulatory reform
  • Strategies for refining & petrochemicals

 Significance :

  • Providing a unique opportunity for the energy industry across the world. 

  •  It will provide an opportunity to hear directly from political leaders, policymakers, and industry leaders about what lies ahead in the world of energy globally and in India.

 IHS Markit

  • The first center was established in India in 2005. 
  • India is the largest employee base outside the USA and UK.
  •  It works in sectors including energy and natural resources, automotive, financial markets, maritime and trade, and engineering and product design. 
  • IHS provides critical information, analytics, and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. 
  • It has been headquartered in London and has committed to sustainable and profitable growth.



SERB – POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research

Ministry of Science and Technology, on 29th October 2020,  launched the initiative to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.

Implementation:

  • SERB is a Statutory Body constituted by an Act of Parliament: SERB Act 2008 under the Department of Science and Technology.

Aim:

The scheme will enhance the participation and promotion of women in the research workforce.

Significance:

  • These Schemes will empower women scientists.
  • It will help cultivate a women-friendly culture in our academic and research institutions and ensure more women in leadership positions in decision-making bodies
  •  SERB-POWER Fellowships and Grants will also act as a benchmark of recognition in the national ecosystem.

Components:

SERB – POWER Scheme comprises of two components:

(I)SERB-POWER Fellowship

(ii) SERB- POWER Research Grants.

Features :

  • It targets women researchers 35-55 years of age group.

  • Up-to 25 Fellowships per year will be awarded, and not more than 75 at any point in time will be awarded

  • In addition to regular income a fellowship of Rs. 15,000/- per month Research grant of Rs. 10 lakh per annum; and Overhead of Rs. 90,000/- per annum.

  • This will be given for a period of three years, without the possibility of extension, and once in a career.

POWER Grants funding will be under the following two categories:

  • LEVEL I: Applicants from IITs, IISERs, IISc, NITs, Central Universities, and National Labs of Central Government Institutions- The scale of funding is up to 60 lakhs for three years.
  • LEVEL II: Applicants from State Universities / Colleges and Private Academic Institutions -The scale of funding is up to 30 lakhs for three years

Guidelines: 

  • It is regulated through terms of reference as set by SERB-CRG.
  • The POWER Fellowship will be identified by the Search-cum-Selection Committee 
  • Programme Advisory Committee mechanism will be employed to select the Grants.

Total Grants:

  • 25 POWER Fellowships will be  proposed annually
  • Every year 50 Power Grants each will be sanctioned in Level I & Level II

Commission for Air Quality Management in the NCR

The President of India has recently passed the ordinance - ‘The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020’.

Highlight:

  • Through the  Ordinance, a statutory authority - the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region (NCR) and Adjoining Areas is set up.
  • The Ordinance dissolves the Environment Pollution and Prevention Control.
  • The Ordinance aims to create an overarching body to consolidate all monitoring bodies so that air quality management can be carried out in a comprehensive, efficient, and time-bound manner

Background:

  • Multiple bodies like the CPCB the state pollution control boards, the state governments in the region, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, and the EPCA, have taken up the management of air quality in the Delhi NCR region previously.
  • They were monitored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change and the Supreme Court itself, which monitors air pollution as per ‘M C Mehta vs Union of India’, 1988, judgment.
  • EPCA is a Central Government constituted a committee in the year 1998 for the NCR.

Key Points:

The Commission will constitute at least three sub-committees to suggest measures to curb air pollution in the region. The sub-committees will be for:

- Monitoring and identification

- Safeguarding and Enforcement

- Research and Development

Exclusive jurisdiction over the Delhi-NCR area along with adjoining areas in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan in matters related to air pollution will lie with this Commission.

Powers

  • The Commission has been given the power to supersede all existing bodies - CPCB, and even the state governments.
  • It will have the power to issue directions to the states.
  • CPCB and its State branches continue to have the powers to implement provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 for air, water, and land pollution.
  • In case of dispute or a clash of jurisdictions, the Commission’s writ will prevail specifically to matters concerning air pollution.
  • The Commission shall coordinate with state governments to curb air pollution, and outline down the parameters of air quality for the region.
  • It will have powers to restrict the setting up of industries in vulnerable areas and will be able to conduct site inspections of industrial units.
  • The Commission has been given  the power to impose a fine of up to Rs. 1 crore and imprisonment of up to 5 years
  • Only the NGT is authorized to hear cases where the Commission is involved.



Current Affairs - Government Schemes- 30th October 2020

National Program and Project Management Policy Framework (NPMPF)

Launched by NITI Aayog and Quality Council of India on 28th October 2020.

 

Details:

The objective of this project is to build a framework that aims to bring reforms in the way infrastructure projects are executed in India.

Highlights

  • Indian Infrastructure Body of Knowledge (InBoK) on the occasion was launched by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprisenterprises
  • “NPMPF” will be in line with Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • This would ensure the quality infrastructure 
  • This framework is expected to reduce costs and waste material. 
  • The framework does not compromise on the environment and ecology.
  •  It r ensures time-bound and result-oriented delivery of projects.
  • This improves the accountability, transparency, monitoring,corruption-free system, and a fast-track decision-making process.

Aim:

  •  Formulating radical reforms with an action plan
  • Adopting a project management approach for infra development.
  • Enhancing the institutional capacity and capability of the professionals.

Way forward :

  • Create awareness of the program and project management. 
  • Maintain momentum and make an impact on projects being planned and implemented currently

Current Affairs - Government Schemes- 29th October 2020

Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project – Phase II and Phase III

On 29th OCT 2020, Cabinet approved an externally aided project to improve the safety and operational performance of the selected dams across the country.

Approved by:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs 

Financial assistance by: 

  •  World Bank (WB), and
  •  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) 

Key Points:

  • The estimated price of the project is Rs 10,211 crore.  
  • It is to be implemented over a period of 10 years in two Phases
  • The external funding is Rs 7,000 crore of the total project cost
  •  The concerned Implementing Agencies (IAs) will bear the balance of Rs 3,211 crore 
  • The contribution of the Central Government is Rs 1,024 crore as loan liability. 

Objectives:-

  • To improve the performance and safety of selected existing dams in a sustainable manner.
  • To improve the dam safety institutional setup in participating states and at the central level, and
  • To explore the alternative possible means at some of the dams to generate the incidental revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams

 

 Components:

  • Rehabilitation and improvement of dams and associated appurtenances,
  • Dam safety, institutional strengthening in the participating States and Central agencies,
  • Exploration of other means at a few of selected dams to generate the revenue for sustainable operation and maintenance of dams, and
  • Project management.

 

Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Cambodia

This MoU was signed on 29th October 2020 on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine

Approved by:

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister

Key Points:

  • The MoU shall encourage cooperation between the two countries 
  • Joint initiatives and technology development in the health sector.  
  • It is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Cambodia.  
  • The MoU will be active for a period of five years.

The important areas of cooperation between the two Governments include:

 

  1. Mother and child health;
  2. Family Planning;
  3. HIV/AIDS and TB;
  4. Drugs and Pharmaceuticals;
  5. Technology Transfer;
  6. Public Health and Epidemiology;
  7. Disease Control (Communicable and Non-Communicable);
  8. Medical Research and Development
  9. Medical Education;
  10. Health manpower development in public health;
  11. Training in clinical, para-clinical, and management skills; and
  12. Other areas of cooperation as decided mutually by the two nations

Source: PIB

Current Affairs - Government Schemes- 26th October 2020

India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon(I-ACE)

Launched by: AIM (Atal Innovation Mission)under the aegis of NITI AYOG

In Partnership with:

 Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

 

Details: 

-A two-day hackathon 

-On the circular economy, ‘India–Australia Circular Economy Hackathon (I-ACE)’,

- To be held on 7th and 8th December.

The idea of I-ACE conceived during :

 A virtual summit had been held between the Indian and Australian prime ministers, on 4 June, with an agenda of exploring innovative ways to boost circular economy in India and Australia.

 

Highlights:

-I-ACE’s primary focus is on identification and development of innovative technology solutions by bright-minded students, startups and MSMEs of both the nations.

-The students and startups/MSMEs shortlisted  will be called for the hackathon,

-For the winners  two awards will be given ie-one student and one startup/MSME per theme from each country will be announced at an award ceremony on 11th December.

-On winning the  Indian student and the startup/MSME teams will be awarded a prize of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively, coupled with post-hackathon product development opportunities.

-Whereas the Australian winning student will be awarded a prize of AUD$3500 and the winning Australian SMEs/startup team a prize of AUD$9500.

- 6 November 2020 is the last date for application submissions. Those interested can apply via http://aimapp2.aim.gov.in/iace/.

Aim:

- To address the circular economy challenge, which could possibly create solutions eliminating waste and also reusing waste.

- The circular economy model is expected to provide better employment and higher economic growth,  reduce cost, drive innovation, and have significant environmental benefits.

- It is imperative to adopt a disruptive way of doing things based on sustainability and move towards a circular economy.

- This initiative can  make the economy less resource-intensive and ensure economic growth is ecologically compatible

- India and Australia can work in tandem and align their research and developmental efforts to achieve greater feats at such a challenging time in the history of mankind by utilizing Australia’s Research and Development base and India’s scale and record of frugal innovations,

 

Key themes for the hackathon:

  1. Innovation in packaging reducing packaging waste
  2. Innovation in food supply chains avoiding waste
  3. Creating opportunities for plastic waste reduction
  4. Recycling critical energy metals and e-waste

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 24th   October 2020

 

Kisan Suryodaya Yojana: Gujarat

 Launched by Prime Minister 

Aim:

Providing day-time electricity to farmers in Gujarat for irrigation and farming purposes. 

Implemented by:

- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare,

- Ministry of Jal Shakti and

- Ministry of Rural Development. 

Key Points:

- For providing solar power to farmers . 3,500 crore will be spent over the next three years, for irrigation during the daytime (5 AM to 9 PM).

- 3,500 circuit kilometers (CKM) of new transmission lines is to be laid.

- 10 districts including Dahod, Gir-Somnath and Tapi have been selected under the Scheme for 2020-21.

- The remaining districts will be covered in a phase-wise manner by 2022-23. 

Significance:

- It would help in the expansion of micro-irrigation in the state

- It would complement irrigation projects of the State- Sujalam Sufalam and SAUNI (Saurashtra-Narmada Avtaran Irrigation) Yojana.

- It would complement central government initiatives like neem coating urea , Soil Health Cards , KUSUM Yojana , etc.

- India has now reached 5th position in the world in solar power a

- India has given the world the plan of ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’.

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 22nd  October 2020

 

RAJIV KUMAR COMMITTEE ON URBAN PLANNING EDUCATION

Launched on 22nd October 2020

Constituted by NITI Ayog

 Aim:

To evaluate planning in the urban planning education system

 Objective:

The committee will review the current system with respect to a multidisciplinary curriculum at the graduate and the postgraduate level with the theme being discussed about the effects of rapid urbanization.

 

 “LIFE IN MINIATURE” PROJECT

Launched on 22 OCTOBER 2020

Launched by Union Minister of Culture and Tourism

 Implementation:

In collaboration between

   - The National Museum, New Delhi and

  - Google Arts & Culture

 Aim:

- Miniature paintings from the National Museum, New Delhi can be viewed online by people across the world through the “Life in Miniature” project.

-To showcase Paintings that narrate stories of nature, love, celebration, faith, and power.

- Explore over 1,000 high-resolution miniatures, extraordinary details using Machine Learning and Augment

Significance:

- Preservation of India’s heritage by utilizing the Digital India Platform

_ Google’s experience with product innovation, can be utilized, its commitment for social empowerment can be beneficial. 

Highlights:

- Experience has been named – “Magnify Miniatures”

- Enables viewers to explore multiple artworks simultaneously

- The use of Machine Learning-based algorithms for the purpose

 Miniature Painting:

- Miniature paintings are beautiful, technically-advanced, sophisticated art forms

- Though compact they typically incorporate profound themes

 

  

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 21st  October 2020

 

First-ever multi-modal logistic park in Assam.

Launched on 21 October 2020

Launched by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways

 Details:

- The park will ensure the direct connectivity of air, road, rail, and waterways with the people.

- Budget estimate: The Rs 693.97 crore

- Developed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana

 Additional Information:

Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs)

- Improving the policy initiative to develop the nation's logistics sector by decreasing vehicular pollution, overall freight costs, congestion, and cutting warehousing costs.

- Developed under Logistics Efficiency Enhancement Program (LEEP).

- Overlooked by the MoRTH and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

- It aims to improve freight transport in India

 

  

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 20th October 2020

 

CuReD or CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs

Launched on 20th October 2020

Launched by Ministry of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences

 About:

- It is a website that gives comprehensive information about the COVID-19 clinical trials conducted by CSIR in partnership with Industries, other government departments.

 Highlight:

- The website enlists information regarding the drugs, diagnostics, and devices including the current stage of the trials, partnering institutions and their role in the trials, and other details.

- CSIR is working on host-directed antiviral therapies for the potential cure of COVID-19.

- CSIR in partnership with the Ministry of AYUSH is performing clinical trials of AYUSH drugs and their prophylactics and therapeutics components based on individual plant-based compounds and also in combination.

- The ongoing trials involve With aniasomnifera, Tinosporacordifolia + Piper longum, Glycyrrhizaglabra, Tinosporacordifolia & Adhatodavasica (individually and in combination) and AYUSH-64 formulation are undergoing the process of safety and efficacy trials. 

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 19th October 2020

 

 Scheme Name : AYUSHMAN SAHAKAR

Launched on on October 19, 2020.

Launched by Central Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

 Beneficiary :

Assisting the cooperatives to enhance their role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in the country.

 Designed by :

National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). 

The requirement of the scheme: In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the massive lack of proper health care facilities especially in rural India was realized. 

Scheme details :

- NCDC would extend term loans to prospective cooperatives of up to 10 thousand crores in the upcoming years.

- This fund will give the necessary fillip to the healthcare services provisions of the cooperatives

- Provides working capital and margin money to meet operational requirements.

- Provides interest subvention of one percent to women majority cooperatives

 Benefits expected:

- Strengthening of farmer's welfare provisions provided by the by the Central Government

- Would also assist cooperative hospitals in taking up medical / Ayush education.

 Additional information :

This scheme is in line with the National Health Policy, 2017, for holistic health care for all

 About NCDC:

- The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is a statutory body set up under an Act of Indian Parliament, on 13 March 1963

- Its function is - Planning, promoting, and financing programs for production, processing, marketing, storage, and trade of agricultural produce, certain other notified commodities

- Its base has now been broadened to create health care infrastructure.

 

Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Center (CIC)

Launched on 19 October 2020

Launched by

- NITI Aayog

- Amazon Web Services (AWS)

 Aim:

- First of its kind in India to address societal challenges through digital innovation.

 Highlights:

- This CIC is part of the AWS CIC Global Program

- This provides a platform for government agencies, non-profits, and educational institutions, to deliberate on pressing challenges, apply design thinking, test novel ideas, and gain access to the technical expertise of AWS.

- A catalyst for innovation in the public sector, by utilizing technology experts to address challenges.

- Enable budding innovators and start-ups, and

- Help in piloting state-of-the-art, cloud-centric digital innovations by utilizing emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, etc.

- In alignment with Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and Atal Innovation Mission.

- Addresses the focal mission, identifies and deploys leading-edge technologies to steer continuous innovation to deliver citizen-centric services.

- The center will identify and prioritize projects and collaborate with local leaders, experts at the state and district levels, to solve critical challenges.

- Local enterprises, new start-ups, researchers, and the universities in India can build prototypes on AWS Cloud.

- Can access the global network of AWS public sector cloud innovation centers across different countries Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, and the United States.

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 17th October 2020

 

Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Raj Act Amended

Amended on 17th October 2020

By Ministry of Home Affairs

 Highlights:

- The Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 was amended under J&K Reorganization Act 2020

- creation of District Development Councils (DDCs), whose members are to be directly elected by the people

 DDCs consists of :

 - Directly elected members from the territorial constituencies within the district,

 - MLAs representing a part or entire district whose constituencies lie within the  district, and

- Chairperson of all the Block Development Councils in the district.

- Will have jurisdiction over the entire district, excluding those areas identified as municipalities or municipal corporations

- All members shall have the right to vote in the meeting of the District Development Council.

- MLAs shall enjoy no voting rights in the case of election or removal of the chairman and vice-chairman

- Only the directly elected members shall enjoy voting rights

 Significance:

- Empower people in the Union territory

- Enable them to elect their own representatives,

- Grassroots democracy shall be established in Jammu and Kashmir for the very first time in 73 years after independence.

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 16th October 2020

 

CII AGRO AND FOOR TECH: INDIA_INTERNATIONAL FOOD AND AGRI WEEK

Celebrated from 16th -22nd October 2020

Launched by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.

 Background:

Ongoing 14th edition of Agro and Food Tech

 Implementing Agencies:

- CII (The Confederation of Indian Industry)

- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare

- Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairy

- Ministry of Food Processing Industries

 Objective:

- Doubling Farmers income by 2020

- Anna Devo Bhava campaign launched

 

  

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 15th October 2020

 

Scheme Name : Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” second phase

Launched on 15th October 2020

Launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

 Background:

- Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) program was first launched in the year 2017

- Funded by Coal India Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

 Beneficiary:

- Underprivileged Thalassemic patients.

- Patients whose monthly family income is below Rs 20,000

 Highlights:

- The scheme has been extended to cover Aplastic Anaemia patients as well

- Provides a one-time cure opportunity for Haemoglobinopathies like Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease for patients who have a matched family donor.

 Additional information :

- HSCT is the method of transplantation of the undifferentiated stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord, bone marrow, peripheral blood supply for the treatment of various autoimmune and genetic disorders.

- Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder that causes the formation of abnormal hemoglobin protein and hence decreases the oxygen-carrying capacity the leading to anemia, fatigue, lower life expectancy.

 

Scheme Name: 'KAPILA' Kalam Program for IP Literacy and Awareness

Launched on 15th October 2020

Launched by Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', theUnion Education Minister

 Context:

Launched on the 89th birth anniversary of former President and Scientist Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

 Beneficiary :

The students going for higher education

- Will be educated about the process of application of patents, for their innovations

-Will be informed about their rights.

 Benefits:

-Patent of inventions will lead India towards Self-Reliance

-The Ministry of Education will promote entrepreneurship and startups in India's higher education infrastructure.

 Highlights:

-The Institution Innovation Council (IIC 2.0) annual report presented

-The launch of IIC 3.0 was announced

-The decision to celebrate the week of October 15th to 23rd as 'Intellectual Property Literacy Week'

-The IIC 3.0 website launched

 Additional Information:

-IICs have been established in about 1700 higher educational institutions.

-IIC will be established in 5000 higher educational institutions under IIC 3.0

-Online awareness will be created about the system and the importance of the process of applying for patents.

Source: PIB India

 

  

MSME introduced AI and ML to ‘Champions’

Launched on 15th October 2020

Launched by The Ministry of MSME

 Objective:

- To provide effective assistance and solutions to the issues of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

- Its Single Window System called the ‘Champions’ portal. These tools would be strengthening the portal.

 

Additional Information:

Champions Portal

- Launched in June 2020 by the prime minister.

- A multi-modal system with a portal at the virtual level and technology-equipped physical control rooms.

 Significance:

- Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic

- To turn this pandemic into an opportunity with futuristic interventions.

- The tools would enable these MSMEs to manufacture essential products like sensors, motors, computer displays, and other animation technologies.

- For grievance redressal, these tools will help the ministry to know the pulse of the entire MSME sector without even going to the portal. 

 

Further, the tools will help know the emotions of the people involved with or dependent on the MSME sector in real-time and would be effectively managing the Information Management Systems (MIS).

  

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 14th October 2020

 

 Tech For Tribals launched

Launched on 14th October 2020

Launched by

- TRIFED, with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) under its

Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESDP) program.

- IIT Kanpur and

- Chhattisgarh MFP Federation

 Highlights:

- At the holistic development of tribals

- With a prime focus on entrepreneurship and soft skills,, IT, and business development

- Through the SHGs operating through Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVKs).

 Van Dhan Kendras

- Plans on creating about 1,200 “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra, or VDVK, across 28 States involving about 3.6 Lakhs Tribal Forest Produce gatherers.

- A VDVK consists of 15 Self Help Groups, with each further consisting of 20 Tribal gatherers.

- This aims to fillip MFPs-centric livelihood development of the tribal gatherers and the artisans.

- It mainstreams the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at the grassroots.

 

Significance:

- Increasing the sharing of tribal in the value chain of Non-Timber Forest Produce from the present 20% to around 60%.

 

Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (AHRCs)

Launched on 14th October 2020

Launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

 Beneficiary :

- Urban migrants / poor

- The workforce in manufacturing industries, service providers in hospitality, health, domestic and commercial establishments, and construction or other sectors, laborers, students.

 Highlights :

- It is a sub-scheme under the PM Awas Yojana – Urban.

- The existing vacant government-funded housing complexes will now be converted into ARHCs through Concession Agreements valid for 25 years.

- The concessionaire is required to make these vacant complexes livable by repair/retrofit and maintenance of the rooms and managing the infrastructure gaps like water, sewer/ septage, sanitation, road.

- The concessionaire will be selected through transparent bidding by the State /  UTs

- Complexes will be answerable to ULB after the 25 years to restart the next cycle like as previously decided or run on their own.

 Significance :

- The migrants that live in slums, informal unauthorized colonies, or peri-urban areas to save rental charges.

- They spend the time on roads by walking/ cycling to workplaces, endangering their lives to cut on their expenses.

- ARHCs will create a new ecosystem in urban areas making housing available at an affordable rent close to the place of work.

- Investment with ARHCs is expected to create job openings.

- ARHCs will reduce unnecessary travel, congestion, and pollution.

  

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 13th October 2020

 

Scheme Name: Regional Raw Drug Repository for AYUSH Systems

Launched on 13 OCT 2020

Launched by Union Minister for AYUSH and Minister of State for Defence: Shripad Yesso Naik

 Lead Institute :

National Institute of Siddha as the lead Institute

 Collaborating Institutes:

- the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Chennai

- the Siddha Central Research Institute, Chennai

 Highlights:

RRDRs role:

- Act as collection centers of raw drugs available and used in the southern plateau region of the country, their documentation, and authentication.

- As a reference library for authentication of the raw drugs

- To establish a standard protocol for the authentication of the raw drugs used in the herbal Industries. 

Importance:

- The global resurgence in the traditional and alternative health care system especially after the pandemic situation

- Lack of scientific documentation makes research on these medicines very difficult, even though they are commonly available.

- Reduces the opportunity of commercial exploitation of these medicines.

- The availability of authentic scientific data of the raw drugs will endorse the research on

the medicines belonging to the AYUSH system which will lead to further propagation of these systems.

- Robust medical infrastructure for treatment and manufacture and distribution of medicine is necessary for growth and acceptability of traditional systems

- Quality of medicines produced by these units critically depends upon the manufacturing process followed as well as the quality of raw material.

Government Provisions:

- It is compulsory for all the manufacturing units to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices as notified under Schedule T of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940.

- Since more than 90% of the formulations under these systems of medicine are plant-based, it is imperative to ensure the sustained availability of quality raw material.

Source: PIB

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 12th October 2020

 

Scheme Name: Kamdhenu Deepawali Abhiyan

Launched on 12th October 2020

Launched by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying.

 Background:

The campaign was inspired by the “Gaumya Ganesha Campaign” that encouraged the usage of user-friendly materials while making Ganesh idols.

 Beneficiary:

- Cow-based entrepreneurs/farmers/ women entrepreneurs,

- People using cow dung based products.

 Objective:

The campaign is to promote the extensive use of cow dung during the Diwali season.

 Highlight:

- Under the scheme, RKA would be promoting diyas, dhoop, Agarbatti, swastika, wall-pieces as well as idols of goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha made out of cow dung.

 Target:

- 11 crore families and igniting 33 crore diyas made from cow dung.

- The lighting of about 3 lakh diyas in Ayodhya and 1 lakh diyas in Varanasi.

Source: PIB

  

India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF)

Launched on 12th October 2020

Launched by NITI Aayog

- United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

- This will be a part of the Sustainable Growth structure of the Indo-US Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP). 

 Objective:

- To bring in Indian researchers, knowledge partners, think tanks, also national and international government agencies and departments together for long-term energy planning.

 Highlights:

Governing structure

- It will comprise of an inter-ministerial committee and a steering committee

- Convened by NITI Aayog

- Headed by its CEO

- Consist of senior officials from various ministries.

 Committee will review the studies/modeling activities and provide directions and new areas of research.

 The steering committee will comprise representatives from the:

- Government,

- Industry Associations,

- Academia and

- Policy Research organizations,

- Think tanks,

- And funding agencies.

 

This committee shall shortlist policy issues to be considered for the study and might form various task forces depending on the specific studies/modeling exercises to be carried out.

 Prayas Group, located in Pune, will be the first convener of the said steering committee.

 Significance for India-US relations:

Collaboration on energy: The Sustainable Growth pillar brings together Indian and US researchers and decision-makers to collaborate in three focal areas - 

     - Energy data management;

     - Energy modeling, and

     - Promotion of low carbon technologies.

- Through collaborations with global level energy modeling forums, like Stanford Energy Modelling Forum, Energy Modelling Platform, Europe,

- IEMF expects to share and learn from best practices around the world.

 

  

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 11th October 2020

Physical Distribution Of property cards under SWAMITVA

Launched on 11 OCT 2020

Launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi

 Highlight:

- To give property cards to every household in the upcoming three-four years

- In the first step about 1lakh beneficiaries from the states of Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh granted the legal documents of their houses.

 Significance:

- Property cards will make sure better access to the bank loans

- Beneficiaries will have the right and legal document of owning their houses

- Empowerment of rural India and the poor, and make them self reliant

- Establishing rightful ownership will be instrumental in ending many disputes in our villages.

- New avenues of investment open

- Easy loan availability from the bank on record of property, employment,

- Self-employment avenues open up.

- Eew technology like using drones can be used for accurate land records mapping and survey

- ‘SVAMITVA Scheme' will play a key role in enabling the Panchayati Raj system

- A major step towards an AtmaNirbhar Bharat

 

  

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 8th October 2020

Jan Andolan Campaign on Coronavirus

Launched on 8th October 2020

Launched by The Ministry of AYUSH has launched

 Highlight:

- The campaign is about ‘Public Health Response to COVID-19: Campaign for COVID Appropriate Behaviour’

 Key Points:

- The campaign calls for the practitioners and other Ayush professionals to act as channels for the dissemination of important information across the nation.

- It lays emphasis on ‘Unlock with precautions’ in the wake of services being resumed all around the country

The 3 messages forming the essential pillar are-

      - following physical distancing “do gaj ki doori”,

      - wearing masks, and

      - maintaining hand hygiene by washing hands.

 It largely depends on people’s participation

 

 

Gyan Circle Ventures

Launched on October 8, 2020

Launched by The Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal

 Details:

- MeitY funded Technology Business Incubator (TBI)

- Created by the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Andhra Pradesh.

 Highlights:

- Gyan Circle Ventures

- Approved by the Ministry of Information Technology.

- It acts as a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) incubation center.

- These incubators would host the institutions’ entrepreneurial spirit by engaging its intellectual resource.

- It would steer the young generation towards using upcoming technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Block-chain, Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT), and Robotics.

 Significance:

- These ventures have the potential to infuse the idea of entrepreneurship in young minds.

- Encourage them to become successful innovators.

- Serve as a hub for innovation and startups by providing resources in the form of investments, infrastructure, and mentoring.

 Technology Business Incubator (TBI)

- will have an Advisory Committee.

- it would comprise of industrialists, entrepreneurs, and experts in the field.

- the TBI would enable incubates to hold expert mentors and networks from

academia as well as the industry.

- The incubator would acct as a catalyst for advancing society-conscious

entrepreneurship and encourage job creation.

 Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0)

- TIDE 2.0 scheme was launched to promote technology entrepreneurship by providing financial and technical support to incubators who are engaged in supporting startups.

- These startups are primarily engaged in using technologies such as IoT, AI, Block-chain, Robotics

- This Scheme would be implemented by empowering 51 incubators and handholding around 2000 tech start-ups in a period of 5 years.

- The financial support for startups will be provided to Facilitate IPR filings.

 MeitY Startup Hub (MSH)

- The MSH would be set up under TIDE 2.0.

- Would make sure linkage in the TIDE centers, theme-based incubation centers, and Centre of Excellence on emerging technologies.

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 6th October 2020

Scheme Name: MSME PRERNA

Launched on 6th October 2020

Launched by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

- In collaboration with Poornatha & Co - a firm that designs entrepreneurial upscaling and development programs in local vernacular languages using web-based interactive sessions and case studies.

 Beneficiary: MSMEs

 Objective:

- Digital business mentoring program for the MSMEs by INDIAN Banks

 Features:

- The program will be made available in local languages

- To empower entrepreneurs through skill development and capacity building workshops provided by the Indian banks and their branches spread over 12 sessions.

- The program enables MSME entrepreneurs to acquire skill training and dexterity in handling finance and managerial skills, handle any crisis in business, understand the interplay of credit rating and risk management.

- The first two programs will be implemented in Tamil Nadu for the Coimbatore cluster.

- It will then be implemented across the nation in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, and Gujarati.

- The participants will be given a certificate issued jointly by .indian Bank, Poornatha & Co, and MADE(Michigan Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs).

 

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 5th October 2020

 Scheme Name : PM Svanidhi Scheme MoU with Swiggy

Signed on 5th October 2020

Launched by The signing of MoU between The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Swiggy.

 Beneficiary:

Street food vendors

 Objective:

Registering the street food vendor on the online platform giving them access to more consumers. 

Background:

- Due to COVID-19, the business of many street vendors went bad, and their number of customers decreased, pushing them towards misery.

- This MoU will facilitate the street vendors to get in touch with their customers by using the online mode.

 Aim:

- It aims to radically transform the business of street vendors and serve their customers online.vendors to receive orders and serve customers by using the online mode. It aims to radically transform the business of street vendors and serve their customers online.

Stakeholders

- Municipal Corporations,

- FSSAI,

- Swiggy

- GST officials

 Highlights:

- A pilot program involving 250 vendors from across five cities – Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai, Indore, and Varanasi will be launched pan registration.

- The street vendors will be assisted in FSSAI registration and trained in-app usage, menu digitization, pricing, hygiene, and packaging best practices.

- On successful completion of the pilot is, the initiative, as a part of the PM SVANidhi scheme, will be expanded across the country in phases.

 

RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’ Virtual Summit

Inaugurated on 5th October 2020

Inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi

 Objective:

- Highlight India's efforts in becoming a global hub for Artificial Intelligence

- Utilizing Artificial Intelligence for inclusive development, representing India’s ‘AI for ALL’ strategy in the spirit for Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas.

 Highlights :

- Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in empowering agriculture, education, healthcare as well as creating the next generation of urban infrastructure and addressing urban issues.

- Formation of The National Educational Technology Forum for creating an e-Education unit to boost the digital content, digital infrastructure, and capacity.

 Organized by :

- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)

- NITI Aayog on October 5-9, 2020.

 Key Points:

- The collaboration between Artificial Intelligence and humans can do wonders for planet Earth.

- Over 11,000 students from schools have completed their basic course under the 'Responsible AI for Youth' Program which was launched in April 2020, and are now building projects related to Artificial Intelligence.

- Protecting the world from the weaponization of AI by Non-State Actors is required.

- Collective responsibility to ensure trust in using AI is required

- Algorithm Transparency is essential to establish trust and accountability.

- Importance of Digital Inclusion

- Importance of the cross-sector subjects like ‘Inclusive AI’, ‘Leveraging AI for Pandemic preparedness’, ‘The Impetus that Innovation Places on Digitization’, ‘Partnerships for Successful Innovation

- Helping STEM Graduates

 Additional Information:

- RAISE 2020 is a global congress of minds for trading ideas and charts

- A course for using AI for inclusion, social transformation, and empowerment in areas such as agriculture, education, healthcare, and smart mobility among other sectors.

 

Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 2nd October 2020

Summit : Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit

Inaugurated on 2nd October 2020

Held by a joint effort of various

- Science & Technology (S&T) and

- Academic organizations,

- the Department of S&T ,

- Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

 Highlight:

- It will be followed by online month-long deliberation sessions among researchers till Sardar Patel Jayanti, ie 30 OCTOBER, 2020.

 Key Points:

- It is a global summit to bring Overseas and Resident Indian scientists and academicians on a single platform

- To discuss R&D in the field of science, and about quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, communications technologies, computational and data sciences, and aerospace technologies among others.

- Chart out a comprehensive roadmap to utilize the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers in crisis management.

 Objectives:

- To look into the cooperation and collaboration instruments with academia and scientists in India.

- To create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global Participation.

 Significance:

- To boost the innovation ecosystem in India

- Add a new dimension to Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).

- Active support and ideation from Indian Diaspora for developing skills of Indian aspirants in cognizance with the New Educational Policy.

- Can be of importance under the "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" initiative.

- It is based on 5 pillars namely: Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography, and Demand.

 

Scheme Name : Tribes India e-Marketplace

Launched on 2nd October 2020

Launched by Ministry of Tribal Affairs

 An initiative of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under MTA

Highlights:

- Both, Customers and the tribal vendors registered can access the state-of-the-art e-commerce platform using the web and mobile.

- It will enlist and display the produce and handicrafts of tribal enterprises from all across the country.

- Aims to onboard 5 lakh tribal producers for procurement of various handicrafts, handloom, natural food products from around the nation.

- The suppliers are individual tribal artisans, or tribal Self Help Groups, Organisations/ NGOs working with tribals.

- The platform provides tribal suppliers with multiple channel facilities to sell their goods through their own distributors.

- It will facilitate trade connecting tribals dealing with Minor Forest Produces and Medicinal plants to large buyers /manufacturers.

 Additional Information:

- TRIFED is a national-level apex organization under the aegis of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

- It was established in 1987 under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 1984.

- The objective of TRIFED is the socio-economic upliftment of tribal people by help marketing their produce.

 

Scheme Name : 100 days campaign

Launched on October 2, 2020

Launched by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

 Beneficiary :

- Schools and Anganwadi Centres

- Providing them with potable piped water supply

 Background:

- This mission was envisaged and announced by the PM on 29 September 2002

- Ensuring the potable piped water supply in the public institutions.

 Highlights:

- The States and Union Territories are to ensure that Gram Sabhas are convened at the earliest to pass a resolution for providing safe water in all Anganwadi centers, schools, and other public institutions present in the village in the upcoming100 days.

- These facilities will be maintained and operated by the Gram Panchayat and its sub-committee.

 Additional Information:

- Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing universal coverage of the tap water connection to every rural home by the year 2024 with a special focus on women and children.

 

 Current Affairs – Government Schemes – 1st October 2020

 Common Services Centre : a Special Purpose Vehicle

Signed on 1st October 2020

Signed between: Ministry of Electronics and IT And Help Age India Under the project Alambana

 Beneficiary:

- To impart digital literacy to citizen above 55 years of age

- For 1 year

Objective:

- At digital inclusion and literacy of the rural elderly with special attention to the disadvantaged for them to digitally access finance, healthcare, etc.

 Significance:

When and digital services have taken a center stage due to the ongoing pandemic, it is imperative that the elderly population is provided with digital education.