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January 2017 Schemes


Schemes

PM Modi announces housing schemes for poor, middle class
Prime Minister on New Year eve reiterated his commitment to the fight against corruption and said black money and fake notes had become so rampant in India’s social fabric that even honest people were brought to their knees.

So to give bonanza he announced some schemes for poor and middle class.

  • Two housing schemes for the economically weaker sections have been announced under the Pradhan  Mantri  Aawas  Yojna
  •  Loans of up to 9 lakh rupees taken in 2017 will receive interest subvention of 4 per cent
  •  Loans of up to 12 lakh rupees taken in 2017 will receive interest subvention of 3 per cent
  • The number of houses being built for the poor, under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana in rural areas, is being increased by 33 per cent
  • Loans of up to 2 lakh rupees taken in 2017 for new housing, or extension of housing in rural areas will receive an interest subvention of 3 per cent
  •  3 crore farmers who have Kisan Credit Cards, will be given RuPay debit cards within three months
  • In order to protect senior citizens from any decline in interest rates, they will get a fixed 8 per cent return on 10-year bank deposits of up to Rs 7.5 lakh
  • Women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children would get an assistance of Rs 6,000, a move aimed to improve maternal mortality rate and health of the mother and the child.

Swachh Bharat survey in 500 cities
In a bid to encourage competition to improve sanitation standards, the government will kick start a survey, Swachh Survekshan to rank 500 cities across the country on cleanliness.

About the survey

  • It was launched by Ministry of Urban Development to assess and rank 500 cities and towns based on levels of sanitation and efforts made by respective urban local bodies and also to capture progress towards achieving ‘Open Defecation Free’ status.
  •  The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India.
  •  It will judge cities on the basis of data provided by Municipal bodies, data collected through direct observations and independent assessment and citizen feedbacks.
  • The areas of evaluations include waste collection, sweeping and transportation, open defecation free and toilets, municipal solid waste-processing and disposal, information, education and behaviour change, and Capacity building - Swachh Bharat Mission e-learning portal.
  • The citizens can give their feedback by either giving a missed call on 1969 to record their response or by filling up a feedback form on the Swachh Survekshan website.
  • First Swachh Bharat survey was conducted in 2016 in 73 cities.

Other key facts

  •  Referring to the stress being laid by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on creating a ‘Jan Andolan’ (Mass movement) to ensure ‘Swachh Bharat’ by 2019, ministry launched a web portal ‘Swachhata App’ and ‘Swachhta Helpline 1969’ to enable citizens associate more and more with Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas.
  • Stressing on the need for behavioral change in favour of using toilets, Shri Venkaiah Naidu launched ‘Asli Tarakki’ campaign highlighting the need for construction of toilets and using them well.

Governamnet to launch prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases 
As part of the National Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases, namely Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix.

About the initiative

  • The training of frontline workers- the ASHA and ANM which will be initiated and in some sub-centres, population based screening will also start. 
  • Detailed protocols for treatment, referrals and follow-up on these disease conditions will be provided. 
  • In the first phase, the population based screening component will be rolled out in 100 districts in 32 states and UTs with about 1000 sub-centres undertaking screening before March 31st of this year. 
  • ASHAs will also be capturing information on major risk factors so that persons at risk could be counselled on leading healthy lifestyles to prevent onset of NCDs. 
  • In subsequent phases, Chronic Obstructive Respiratory diseases will be included and the programme will be scaled up to cover other districts.
  •  Support to states will also be provided for community health promotion and prevention efforts, and referral and treatment.

Background

  • Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India.
  •  Of these, nearly 55% are premature mortality. This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country. 
  •  According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.
  • Since these conditions do not exhibit symptoms until complications set in, it is essential to detect them early.  Early detection of NCDs not only enables onset of treatment but prevents high financial costs and suffering. 

Helpline for Handloom Weavers ‘Bunkar Mitra’ starts functioning 

  • Government launched “Bunkar Mitra”,a  India’s Helpline for Handloom Weaver.
  •  The helpline was launched by the Union Textiles Ministry on December 25, 2016 on the occasion of “Good Governance Day”.
  • The helpline is a great mix of technology, youth and tradition.
  • The helpline provides a single point of contact to handloom weavers across the country for addressing queries and providing guidance.
  • Weavers can call from anywhere in India, from any number. The service is available, in seven languages: Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada and Assamese.
  • The following services are available through this helpline:

                   •    Assistance on technical issues.
                   •    Guidance for:
                   •    Raw material supply.
                   •    Availing credit facility.
                   •    Quality control.
                   •    Access to marketing linkages.
                   •    Information about various schemes and procedure to avail benefits.

Road ministry to launch e-challan, m-parivahan apps

The ministry of road transport and highways is set to launch two mobile apps—e-challan and m-parivahan—to provide a comprehensive digital solution for enforcement of traffic rules.

E-Challan

  • This  app will help traffic police in enforcement of transport laws and is integrated with the Vahan and Sarathi applications.
  • E-challan will help in improving transparency by connecting all stakeholders through a common system and ensuring data integrity. 
  • It will also help in easing operations and efficient monitoring through digitization of records and will enhance the visibility of offenders, leading to better traffic management.

M-Parivahan 

  • It is a citizen-centric app that will facilitate access to various transport-related services.
  • M-Parivahan will provide a virtual driving licence and registration certificates through back-end connection to the transport national register.
  •  In this application, if a vehicle number is entered into the app, it will give full details of the car and the owner, including his driving licence and registration certificate.
  • This will help check the genuineness of a vehicle’s ownership and driver and help in passenger safety when hiring a driver or when buying a second-hand vehicle. 
  • The app will also facilitate “good Samaritans” through technology. They can report accidents by clicking pictures and reporting to traffic authorities in states and to road transport organizations, with the option of hiding their identity, if they so wish.
  • They can also report traffic violations.

Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot Inaugurates Silver Jubilee Celebrations of NBCFDC
Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the Silver Jubilee celebrations of National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation (NBCFDC).

About NBCFDC

  •  It is a Govt. of India Undertaking under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  •  NBCFDC was incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 on 13th January 1992 as a Company not for profit. 
  •  It was established with an objective to promote economic and developmental activities for the benefit of Backward Classes and to assist the poorer section of these classes in skill development and self employment ventures. 
  •  NBCFDC provides financial assistance through State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the State Governments/ UTs.
  • It also provides Micro Financing through SCAs/ Self Help Groups (SHGs).
  • The Corporation can assist a wide range of income generating activities to assist the poorer section of these classes in skill development and self-employment ventures under the broad sectors viz:

                   i.    Agriculture and Allied Activities 
                   ii.    Small Business 
                   iii.    Artisan and Traditional Occupation 
                   iv.    Technical and Professional Trades/Courses 
                    v.    Transport and Service Sector etc.

Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana
The Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana is targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment.

  • PKVY will train and certify Indians, who are keen on overseas employment in select sectors, in line with international standards.
  • It will be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation through its training partners and in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Skill Development Ministry.

All states except Uttar Pradesh ink pact to achieve 24X7 power 
All states barring Uttar Pradesh have inked agreements with the Centre to achieve the milestone of providing '24x7 Power For All (PFA)'.
 

With the signing of the '24x7 Power For All (PFA)' roadmap document with the state (Tamil Nadu yesterday), the roadmap for all the 28 states, except one, and all the 7 Union Territories in the country have now been finalised and is under implementation .

About  Power for All

  • The plans aims to provide each household access to electricity, 24x7 reliable Power supply and adequate supply to Agricultural consumers as per state policy by 2019. 
  • The plans for each State/UT envisions reduction of AT& C losses by increasing the collection efficiency and effective metering so as to achievefinancially viable 24x7 Power Supply.
  •  It also emphasise on the development of transmission and sub transmission network which plays vital role in providing round the clock power supply.
  • The PFA documents chalks out a plan for increasing generation through renewables and energy efficiency measures which suggests replacement of Incandescent lamps/CFL bulbs with LED bulbs under UJALA programme. 
  • Implementation of the plan envisaged in the document is under progress, which is being jointly monitored by the State and the Central Government.

App named 'SEZ India' launched by Commerce Ministry 
A Mobile app named “SEZ India” has been launched by the Commerce Secretary SEZ Division, Department of Commerce under its broader e-Governance initiative .

  • The App would help the SEZ Units and Developers to find information easily and track their transactions on SEZ Online System. 
  • Now the SEZ Developers & Units can file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online system and track the status on the go through the SEZ India mobile app.
  • The app is available on Android Platform for use by SEZ Developers, Units, officials and others. 
  •  The app has four sections i.e. SEZ Information, SEZ Online Transaction, Trade Information, and Contact details.

Saksham 2017
Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav - Saksham - 2017, a month long awareness campaign, is being organised across the country beginning 16th January, 2017. 

  •  The programme is being organized by PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association) and other Oil & Gas PSUs under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
  • The campaign is aimed to create awareness amongst masses towards judicious utilization and conservation of petroleum products along with use of energy efficient appliances and switching to cleaner fuels. 
  • During one-month long drive, workshops will be held for drivers of commercial vehicles and housewives, cooks on adopting simple fuel saving measures.
  •  Various activities like Quiz Show, Saksham Asian Cycling Championship, Walkathons, concerts and other activities are to be held across the country.

About PCRA

  • Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) is a registered society set up under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.  
  •  As a non-profit organization, PCRA is a national government agency engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of economy.  
  • It helps the government in proposing policies and strategies for petroleum conservation, aimed at reducing excessive dependence of the country on oil requirement.
  • PCRA undertake studies to identify the potential and to make recommendations for achieving conservation of petroleum products in various sectors of the economy. It sponsors R&D activities for the development of fuel-efficient equipment / devices and organizes multi-media campaigns for creating mass awareness for the conservation of petroleum products.

Union HRD Minister launches ‘ShaGun’ - a web-portal for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Ministry  launched a dedicated web portal ‘ShaGun’ for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan at New Delhi .

 ‘ShaGun’ aims to capture and showcase innovations and progress in Elementary Education sector of India by continuous monitoring of the flagship scheme - Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
ShaGun, which has been coined from the words ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality, has been developed with a twin track approach.
1)First, is the Repository with an engaging interface that focuses on positive stories and developments in the field of School Education.
•    In this repository, best practices will be documented in the form of videos, testimonials, case studies, and images, which will display state-level innovations and success stories that are driving improvements in performance under SSA. 
•    This repository has a decentralized management structure that enables State governments to choose, upload and manage their own content.

2)Secondly, it has an online monitoring module to measure state-level performance and progress against key educational indicators. 

It has been developed to collect and report data which will enable the government and administrators to track the efficiency with which SSA funds are being utilized and the results that this is delivering.

About SSA

  •  SSA has been operational since 2000-2001 to provide for a variety of interventions for universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in elementary education and improving the quality of learning.
  • SSA interventions include inter alia, opening of new schools and alternate schooling facilities, construction of schools and additional classrooms, toilets and drinking water, provisioning for teachers, regular teacher in service training and academic resource support, free textbooks& uniforms and support for improving learning achievement levels / outcome. 
  • With the passage of the RTE Act, changes have been incorporated into the SSA approach, strategies and norms.

Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS) for Rubber Growers
Commerce & Industry Minister launched Rubber Soil Information System (RubSIS).

  • It is an online system for recommending application of appropriate mix of fertilizers to the specific plantations of rubber growers depending upon their soil nature in New Delhi .
  • The scientific and user friendly online fertiliser recommendation system was launched today for Kottayam (Kerela), the largest rubber growing district of India which will be extended to the entire traditional rubber growing region i.e. the states of Kerela and Tamilnadu this year.

About RubSIS

  •  RubSIS, developed by Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) under the Rubber Board in collaboration with three agencies viz Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Kerala, National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, ICAR and National Remote Sensing Center, ISRO.
  •  It brings soil data to the fingerprints of rubber growers and recommends the optimum mix and quantities of chemical fertilizers that his holding requires. 
  •   It is a cost effective tool for sustainable &scientific management of rubber growing soils. 
  •  Apart from preventing indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and soil degradation, adoption of RubSIS will lead to reduction in the cost of production of rubber, increase in productivity and reduction in environmental pollution.

Cabinet approves a New Scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new scheme for promotion of Rural Housing in the country. 

About the scheme

  •   The Government would provide interest subsidy under the scheme.
  •  Interest subsidy would be available to every rural household who is not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (Grameen), PMAY(G).
  •  The scheme would enable people in rural areas to construct new houses or add to their existing pucca houses to improve their dwelling units. 
  •   The beneficiary who takes a loan under the scheme would be provided interest subsidy for loan amount upto Rs. 2 Lakhs.
  •  National Housing Bank would implement the scheme. The Government would provide net present value of the interest subsidy of 3 percent to the National Housing Bank upfront which will, in turn, pass it to the Primary Lending Institutions (Scheduled Commercial Banks, NBFCs etc.).
  •  Under the scheme, the Government would also take necessary steps for proper convergence with PMAY-G including technical support to beneficiary through existing arrangements. 
  • The new scheme is expected to improve housing stock in the rural areas, as well as create employment opportunities in rural housing sector.

Govt. launches Varistha Pension Bima Yojana
The Union Cabinet gave its post-facto approval for the launch of the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017.

About Varistha Pension Bima Yojana

  • The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year.
  • The scheme will provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
  • The scheme is meant to provide an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for ten years, with an option to opt for pension on a monthly/quarterly/half-yearly or annual basis.
  •  The difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.
  •  VPBY-2017 is proposed to be open for subscription for a period of one year from the date of launch

Sample Questions

Q1.Which of the following is correct regarding Swachh Bharat Survey.
1.    It was launched by Ministry of Urban Development to assess and rank 500 cities and towns based on levels of sanitation.
2.    The survey will be conducted by Quality Council of India
3.    The first survey was conducted in 2015 .
Choose the correct option
a)Only 1,2               b)Only 2,3
c)Only 1                 d)All

Q2.Consider the following statement regarding National Health Mission
1.    It encompasses two Sub-Missions, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
2.    NHM envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services.
3.    ASHA and Janani Suraksha Yojana initiative were launched under NHM 
Choose the correct option
a)Only 1,2                    b)Only 2,3
c)Only 1,3                    d)All

Q3.Consider the following statement regarding National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation(NBCFDC)
1.    It is a Govt. of India Undertaking under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
2.    NBCFDC provides financial assistance through State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the State Governments/ UTs.
Choose the correct option
a)Only 1           b)Only 2
c)Both              d)None

Q4.Which of the following is/are correct regarding Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA).
1.    It is a registered society set up under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India.  
2.    PCRA is a national government agency engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of economy.
3.    Recently it has organised Sanrakshan Kshamta Mahotsav - Saksham – 2017
Choose the correct option
a)Only 1,2                    b)Only 1,3
c)Only 1                      d)All


Q5.Consider the following statement regarding Varistha Pension Bima Yojana.
1.    The scheme will provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years.
2.    The scheme will be implemented through General Insurance Corporation of India  during the current financial year.
Choose the correct option
a)Only 1                       b)Only 2
c)Both                         d)None

 


Answers
Q1.a     Q2. d      Q3.  c     Q4. d    Q5.a