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December 2016 Schemes


SCHEMES
VISAKA(Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyaan)

  • Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA) was launched by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (HRD) to make people aware about cashless   economic system.
  • In view of recent decisions of the Government, India is on the cusp of a major financial revolution. As we shift from a cash-dependent to a cashless economy, we look forward to better social equity, availability of more resources for development work through higher revenue collection, eradication of counterfeit currency, a reduction in illegal transactions and a curb on black money
  • Therefore the purpose of the `Vittiya Saksharta Abhiyan’ is to actively engage the youth/ students of Higher Education Institutions to encourage and motivate all payers and payees to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of funds.
  • Ministry of Human Resource Development views the institutions of higher education in the country, faculty members and students to take the lead and act as engines of this transformational shift

Stanpan Suraksha App
A mobile application to promote breastfeeding and keep a tab on "inappropriate" promotion of baby food items was launched  by Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram.
Background
 "Seventy-nine per cent of the babies are delivered in institutions, out of which 45 per cent are given breastmilk in the first hour. This needs to be improved."
So what it is all about

  •  Developed by the Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), the first-of-its-kind app, 'Stanpan Suraksha', has a baby food promotion reporting mechanism where any person can click a photograph of "inappropriate" promotion around them of baby food and related equipment and send it to BPNI.
  •  BPNI will document and analyse the reports and follow up with required action. This feature will empower people to keep check on the baby food industry.
  • The app also has a city-wise database of trained breastfeeding counsellor who can educate and provide assistance to mothers during antenatal and postnatal period.
  • Launching the app here, Oram said programmes to promote breastfeeding are limited to urban women and emphasised that rural women also need to be targeted. He stressed the need for involving Anganwadi and ASHA workers for the same.
  •  IT also includes sign up option for mothers who wish to become a breastfeeding counsellor, pledging for petition and donation.

SECI to Launch 1000 MW Rooftop Solar PV Scheme for Government Sector 

  •  As a step towards fulfilment of the Government of India’s target for installation of 40 GW rooftop solar power plants by the year 2022, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is launching a tender of 1000 MW capacity for development of grid-connected rooftop solar capacity for Central Government Ministries/Departments. 
  •  This would be the largest rooftop tender to be launched by SECI, and is expected to give a big boost to the hugely potent rooftop solar power generation segment.

About this rooftop tender

  • The upcoming 1000 MW tender is especially targeted at utilising the numerous buildings of the Central Government Ministries/Departments. 
  • The highlight of this tender is its innovative ‘Achievement-Linked Incentives scheme’ wherein the incentives in terms of capital subsidy shall be provided on the basis of performance achieved by designated Ministries/departments against their committed targets in the given time span.
  • In this scheme the Grid connected rooftop solar systems shall be installed with the financial assistance for MNRE in the form of Incentives.
  •  The power generated from the systems shall be used for meeting the captive requirement of the buildings and the surplus power, if any, shall be fed to the grid under the net-metering arrangement of the respective State.

President of India Launches ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign 
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee marked his 81st birthday by launching a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
About campaign

  •  The ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign aims to mobilise 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world.
  •  To end child labour, child slavery, violence against children and promote the right of every child to be safe, free, and educated, over the next 5 years.

National Resource Centre for Tribal Livelihood to be launched 
Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with UNDP and National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC) launched “Vanjeevan” the National Resource Centre for Tribal Livelihood issues at Bhubaneswar.

About Vanjeevan

  • Vanjeevan will be a programme to identify the problems in livelihood issues in select districts of six states having low HDI of tribal people in the first phase. The states are Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Telangana. 
  • In the second phase the programme will be implemented in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura.
  • The programme will focus on the identification of local resources, keeping in view the existing skill level. The programme will facilitate utilization of funds under various Government programmes for the above purpose. 
  • The National Resource Centre will serve as a platform for livelihood mapping, skill gap analysis and knowledge hub where consolidation of best livelihood and entrepreneurship models will be accessible for tribal entrepreneurship development.

Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative launched in Haryana
The Mahila Police Volunteer initiative was launched in Haryana . By launching the initiative in Karnal and Mahendragarh districts, Haryana became the first state to adopt this scheme.
About the initiative

  • Originally conceived by the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development, Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has undertaken a large number of initiatives for creating a safe and enabling environment for women in India. The Mahila Police Volunteers scheme is one such initiative.
  • It envisages creation of a link between the police authorities and the local communities in villages through police volunteers who will be women specially trained for this purpose. 
  •  With this initiative  Haryana inducted the first batch of 1000 Mahila Police Volunteers. These volunteers have already been trained by the state Police Authorities on their role and responsibility.

How it would be beneficial

  • In order to realize the goal of gender equality, Government of India has undertaken several initiatives for holistic empowerment of women. The Government of India is extremely concerned with regard to safety and security of women and treats it with “zero tolerance”.
  • However, it is a matter of common knowledge that women who are victims of violence or harassment may not find it easy to approach the police or other authorities for getting help or support. It was, therefore, desirable to provide an effective alternative for getting help and support.
  • To supplement the ongoing efforts towards gender equality, the Mahila Police Volunteer Initiative was envisaged in collaboration with Ministry of Home Affairs to facilitate Police force through community volunteerism.
  • Police plays an important role in safety and security of citizens in general and women in particular. In order to provide a link between police and community and facilitate women in distress, one Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) is envisaged per Gram Panchayat across the country.

NITI Aayog announces launch of the schemes or incentivising digital payment 
NITI Aayog announces the launch of the schemes Lucky Grahak Yojana and the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana to give cash awards to consumers and merchants who utilize digital payment instruments for personal consumption expenditures. 

  • The scheme specially focuses on bringing the poor, lower middle class and small businesses into the digital payment fold.
  •  It has been decided that National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) shall be the implementing agency for this scheme. 
  •  The primary aim of these schemes is to incentivize digital transactions so that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society, especially the poor and the middle class.
  •  It has been designed keeping in mind all sections of the society and their usage patterns. For instance, the poorest of poor will be eligible for rewards by using USSD. People in village and rural areas can participate in this scheme through AEPS. 
  •  The scheme will become operational with the first draw on 25th December, 2016 (as a Christmas gift to the nation) leading up to a Mega Draw on Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti on 14th April 2017. 
  • To ensure that the focus of the scheme is on small transactions (entered into by common people), incentives shall be restricted to transactions within the range of Rs 50 and Rs 3000

It will comprise of two major components, one for the Consumers and the other for the Merchants:
a)    Lucky Grahak Yojana [Consumers]:
      i. Daily reward of Rs 1000 to be given to 15,000 lucky Consumers for a period of 100 days.
      ii. Weekly prizes worth Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10,000 and Rs. 5000 for Consumers who use the alternate modes of digital Payments
This will include all forms of transactions viz. UPI, USSD, AEPS and RuPay Cards but will for the time being exclude transactions through Private Credit Cards and Digital Wallets.
b)    Digi-धन [Vyapar Yojana[ Merchants]:
       i.  Prizes for Merchants for all digital transactions conducted at Merchant establishments
       ii. Weekly prizes worth Rs. 50,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs. 2,500
c)  Mega Draw on 14th of April – Ambedkar Jayanti 
1)  3 Mega Prizes for consumers worth Rs 1 cr, 50 lakh, 25 lakh for digital transactions between 8thNovember, 2016 to 13th April, 2017 to be announced on 14th April, 2017
2) 3 Mega Prizes for merchants worth Rs 50 lakhs, 25 lakh, 12 lakh for digital transactions between 8th November, 2016 to 13th April, 2017 to be announced on 14th
Swasthya Raksha Programme
‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ launched by the AYUSH Ministry to promote health and health education in villages.

  • To organize Swasthya Rakshan OPDs, Swasthya Parikshan Camps and Health/Hygiene awareness programme
  • Awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment.
  • Provide medical aid/incidental support in the adopted Colonies/villages.
  • Documentation of demographic information, food habits, hygiene conditions, seasons, lifestyle etc., incidence/prevalence of disease and their relation to the incidence of disease.
  •  Assessment of health status and propagation of Ayurvedic concept of pathya-apathya and extension of health care services.


Power Ministry to launch GARV-II app to ensure power access to all 
To ensure transparency in implementation of rural electrification programme, the Power Ministry will launch a new app, GARV-II, to provide real time data of all six lakh villages of the country. 

Background
Earlier version of GARV mobile phone application used to provide data about rural electrification regarding 18,452 un-electrified villages. The new version GARV-II to be unveiled  will provide real time data for all six lak villages in the country.
Main features of GARV-II

  • The GARV-II will enable the commoners to participate in the development work and can give their input about rural electrification programme. Thus, the rural electrification work would be open to public scrutiny. 
  • Under this facility, village-wise; habitation-wise base line data on household electrification for all states provided by them has been incorporated. 
  • Further, village-wise works sanctioned under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) have also been mapped to monitor progress of works in each village. 
  • In 'GARV' the data of only 18452 un-electrified villages has been mapped and 12-stage milestone based monitoring mechanism has been put in place. Under 'GARV-II', the data in respect of all villages (about 6 Lakh) with more than 15 lakh habitations has been mapped for tracking progress on household electrification in each of the habitations of these villages. 
  • The status of release of funds to the states for projects sanctioned under DDUGJY has also been incorporated in 'GARV-II'.
  • GARV-II will have a citizen engagement window 'SAMVAD' to enhance participation. They can contribute in the programme by providing their feedback and suggestions which shall be automatically forwarded to the concerned Managing Directors and Superintending Engineers of DISCOMs through SMS & Email on their dashboard. 

Govt revises North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy
The government has revised the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIP), 2007, stipulating that all the subsidies to industrial units will be disbursed through the DBT mechanism.
Major highlights

  • These subsidies payable to all industrial units will be disbursed through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism by the Chief Controller of Accounts (Industry) for which the units would need to get themselves registered on the e-payment portal by providing required bank details .
  • The subsidy for the new industrial units/existing industrial units going for substantial expansion will be limited to Rs 5 crore per industrial unit operating in manufacturing sector and Rs 3 crore per industrial unit operating in services sector.
  • While the limit for automatic approval of subsidy at the rate of 30 per cent of the investment in plant and machinery will continue to be upto Rs 1.5 crore per unit.
  • For grant of capital investment subsidy higher than Rs 1.5 crore and upto a maximum of Rs 5 crore, there will be an empowered committee, which  will be chaired by Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). 

National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) 
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) during his recent visit to Kanpur.
It is for the first time Govt. of India has come forward to incentivize the employers to participate pro-actively in apprenticeship training.
The scheme has the following two components

  • Reimbursement of 25% of prescribed stipend subject to a maximum of Rs. 1500/- per month per apprentice by the Government of India to all employers who engage apprentices. 
  • Reimbursement of cost of basic training ( upto a limit of Rs. 7500/- for a maximum of 500 hours/3 months) by the Government of India to Basic Training Providers (BTPs) in respect of apprentices who come directly for apprenticeship training without any formal training.

Major objective of NAPS

  • To promote apprenticeship training 
  • To incentivize employers who wish to engage apprentices. 
  •  To increase the engagements of apprentices from present 2.3 lakh to 50 lakh cumulatively by 2020.

Coal Mitra
Power Ministry launched ‘Coal Mitra’ Web Portal to facilitate Flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal.

  • ‘Coal Mitra’ is  a Web portal for flexibility in Utilization of Domestic Coal .
  • It allows transferring the reserves to more cost efficient State/Centre owned or Private sector generating stations, leading to lower generation costs and ultimately lesser cost of electricity for the consumers.
  •  The web portal would be used by the State/Central  to display information about normative fixed and variable charges of electricity for the previous month as well as margin available for additional generation so as to enable the utilities identify stations for transfer of coal.
  • It would host data on Operational and Financial parameters of each coal based station; Quantity and source of supply coal to the power plant; and Distance of Power plant form the Coal mine.

Swachh Swasth Sarvatra launched
‘Swachh SwasthSarvatra’, an inter-ministerial joint initiative between the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was launched in Delhi.

The objective of the ‘Swachh Swasth Sarvatra’ initiative is to build on and leverage achievements of two complementary programmes – Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Kayakalp – of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Health and FamilyWelfare, respectively. 
Under this initiative:
(a)   Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has declared over 700 blocks as Open Defecation Free (ODF). Community Health Centres (CHCs) in ODF blocks of the country will be allocated Rs 10 lakhs under National Health Mission (NHM) to focus on sanitation and hygiene.
(b)  Under Kayakalp, one Primary Health Centre (PHCs) in each district is awarded for meeting quality standards including sanitation and hygiene. Under SBM, the Gram Panchayat in which the PHC which gets awarded under Kayakalp for that district will be noted, and special focus will be given to make it ODF at the earliest.

Govt meets PMUY target of 1.5 crore LPG connection additions this financial year
Target of 1.5 crore connections fixed for the current financial year for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has been achieved within a span of less than eight months.

  • The national LPG coverage has increased from 61 per cent (as on January 1, 2016) to 70 per cent (as on December 1, 2016).
  • The top five states with the highest number of connections are Uttar Pradesh (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh).

PMUY
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is an ambitious social welfare scheme of government launched on 1st May 2016 from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh.

Under the PM Ujjwala Yojana, the government aims to provide LPG connections to BPL households in the country. The scheme is aimed at replacing the unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas).

Objectives of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Ujjwala Yojana is aimed at providing 5 Crore LPG connections in the name of women in BPL (Below Poverty Line) households across the country. The government has set a target of 5 Crore LPG connections to be distributed to the BPL households across the country under the scheme. Some of the objectives of the scheme are

  •  Empowering women and protecting their health
  •  Reducing the serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuel
  •  Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel
  •  Preventing young children from significant number of acute respiratory illness caused due to indoor air pollution by burning the fossil fuel.


SAMPLE QUESTIONS

Q1. Consider the following imitative regarding Mahila Police initiative
1.  The initiative was launched from Haryana
2.  It envisages creation of a link between the police authorities and the local communities in villages through trained women police volunteers.
3.    It was launched by Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Option:
a)Only 1                           b)Only 2,3
c)Only 1,2                         d)All


Q2.GARV-II app launched by which ministry
a)    Power Ministry
b)    Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
c)    Ministry of Women & Child Development
d)    Ministry Human Resource & Development

 

Answers:
Q1.c           Q2.a