Launch of Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana
(Topic: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections)
Primary objective: Coverage of all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village
Under Sampoorna Bima Gram (SBG) Yojana: At least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country, wherein endeavour will be made to cover all households of that identified village with a minimum of one RPLI (Rural Postal Life Insurance) policy each.
- Postal Life Insurance (PLI), introduced in 1884, is one of the oldest life insurance schemes for benefit of Government and semi-Government employees.
- Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI), introduced on March 24, 1995 on recommendations of Malhotra Committee, provides insurance cover to people residing in rural areas, especially weaker sections and women living in rural areas.
- Low Premium and High Bonus is the unique feature of PLI and RPLI schemes.
India and Water
(Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)
- India supports 17 per cent of the global population – but has only four per cent of the world’s water resources.
- Currently, 80 per cent of water in India is used by agriculture and only 15 per cent by industry. In the coming years, this ratio will change.
- In urban India, 40 billion litres of waste water is produced every day (vital to adopt technology to reduce the toxic content of this water, and to deploy it for irrigation and other purposes. This has to be part of any urban planning programme.)
- In India, 54 per cent of people are dependent on farming for their livelihood. Yet, their share of national income is only 14 per cent. To make agriculture more remunerative and to improve the prosperity of farming communities, the government has introduced many new projects. These include:
- ‘Har Khet ko Paani’– Water for Every Farm: This requires enhancing the supply and availability of water
- ‘Per Drop, More Crop’: This requires using drip irrigation and related methods to improve farm productivity, while using the same volume of water
- ‘Doubling Farm Incomes by 2022’: To achieve this, the government is rapidly expanding the area under irrigation, and completing 99 long-pending irrigation projects. Sixty per cent of these projects are in drought-prone areas
Cabinet approves –
MoC between India and Japan on the “Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)”: The Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) is an ambitious program to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. It is expected that the MoC will pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development.
Signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Japan on establishing a Liquid, Flexible and Global LNG Market:
- The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector; will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. This will strengthen our energy security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers.
- The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of Destination Restriction Clause and also explore possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable LNG spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply.
- Background: India and Japan are major consumers of energy in the world. In the LNG sector, Japan is the world’s largest importer and India is the 4th largest importer. Under the Japan-India Energy Partnership Initiative signed in January 2016, the two sides had agreed to work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets and affirmed to promote a transparent and diversified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market through the relaxation of Destination Restriction Clause.
MoU between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Financial Services Commission (FSC), Gibraltar for mutual co-operation and technical assistance: The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries. It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two signatories.
MoU between India and Belarus for Cooperation in the field of Vocational Education and Training: This is for the first time MoU for cooperation in area of vocational education, training and skill development has been signed with Eurasian country. Belarus has a large concentration of industries, mainly into manufacturing and heavy industries, which draw their strength from available skilled manpower and a highly developed skill training system. The transfer of knowledge of their skilling methodology will immensely help in our initiatives like “Make in India” and “Skill India”. This MoU would pave the way for systematic transfer of their expertise and knowhow in skilling the manpower especially in manufacturing sector.
MoU by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with Capital Markets Authority (CMA), Kuwait for mutual co-operation and technical assistance: The MoU is likely to promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two regulators, and aims at creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries. It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two.
MoU between India and Morocco on cooperation in the field of water resources: The MoU intends to enhance cooperation in the field of water resources development and management within the framework of their expertise and their respective legislations. The domains of bilateral cooperation under this MoU include
- Conception, realization and maintenance of the hydraulic infrastructure, notably big dams and water transfer projects;
- Integrated water resources management, i.e., conjunctive use of surface and ground water resources, enhancement of water use efficiency, resilience and adaptation to climate change, artificial recharge of aquifers, organisational, institutional and regulation aspects;
- Flood and drought management;
- Sustainable development and management of ground water resources including recharge augmentation; and
- Harvesting and valuation of rainfall water and resilience and adaptation to climate
The cooperation also includes
- Exchange of visits and missions of experts;
- Exchange of information on programs, publications, expertise and results of research in the field of water resources;
- Develop projects in domains mentioned above, in Morocco and India: develop partnership mechanism with the socio-economic actors in the two countries;
- Ensure reciprocal participation of experts to the water related events and projects;
- Promote cooperation between Hydraulic Basin Agencies of the two countries with an aim to share the expertise on the implementation of the principles of integrated water resource management in the Hydraulic Basins.
SANKALP & STRIVE Schemes to boost Skill India Mission: Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) – Outcome focused schemes marking shift in government’s implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results.
- It will create a national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training and catalysing industry efforts in vocational training space. The architecture shall help, for the first time in the history of vocational education in India, to converge the efforts of various central, state and private sector institutions thereby avoiding duplication of activities and bringing about uniformity in vocational training thus, creating better impact.
- SANKALP envisages setting up of Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models.
- SANKALP aims at enhancement of inclusion of marginalized communities including women.
Implementation of Value Engineering Programme in Highways Projects
(Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.)
Why: To promote the use of new technologies, materials, and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode
Objective: To use innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly, while simultaneously ensuring that the roads or bridges and other assets get constructed much faster, are structurally stronger and more durable.
The Value Engineering Programme is expected to
- Increase speed of construction,
- Reduce construction cost,
- Increase asset durability and
- Improve aesthetics and safety.
ImTeCHO – an innovative mobile phone application to improve performance of ASHAs
Mission Indradhanush: Link 1
Vayoshreshtha Samman – a scheme of National Awards for senior citizens
- The population of senior citizens in our country was approximately 10.5 crore, which was about 8.5% of our total population.
- The average life expectancy has increased in recent decades due to improvement in health services and other reasons.
- It is estimated that by the year 2050, the number of senior citizens will be approximately 19% of our total population.
- Must Read: Link 1 + Link 2 + Link 3
PM Ujjwala Yojana: In the last 15 months, we have already provided LPG connections to over 30 million households. Secondly, we have set the target to electrify 40 million un-electrified households in the next 15 months. – Refer: Mind map; Must Read & Solve: Link 1 + Link 2 + Link 3
Paul H. Appleby Awards: For distinguished services to IIPA and the field of Public Administration in India
India’s first Sewage Treatment Plant under Hybrid Annuity Mode to come up in: Haridwar and Varanasi
MITRA SHAKTI 2017: The fifth India-Sri Lanka Joint Training Exercise based on Counter Terrorist Operations and an Infantry company from both the countries is participating in the same.
Ayurveda Day: 17th October; The First ever All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), set up as an apex institute under the Ministry of AYUSH, will be dedicated to the nation. AIIA will bring synergy between the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and modern diagnostic tools and technology.
Nation’s first Rail coach manufacturing Company: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), a Public Sector Company under the Ministry of Defence and the premier manufacturer of rail products. It is the only Indian Company manufacturing State-of-the-Art Metro Cars and holds the Market share of about 50% in Metro segment competing with Global Players and is the sole supplier to Bangalore and Jaipur Metro Corporations
World Post Day: Celebrated each year on 9th October with the purpose to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in people’s and businesses’ everyday lives and its contribution to the social and economic development of countries.
Launch of International Tracked Packet service: Has been designed specially to meet the cross border requirements of e-Commerce sector in Asia-Pacific Region. At the beginning, the service will be available to 12 countries and gradually the whole world will be covered. This new service has many special features like
- Affordable price
- Track & trace
- Volume discounts
- Pick up facility
- Compensation for loss or damage and, therefore, high value for money
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