Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 27th Jan to 2nd Feb – 2019
Key highlights of the Interim Budget 2019-20
- 12 crore small and marginal farmers to be provided with assured yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum under PM-KISAN
- Outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19
- Outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore
- Rashtriya Kamdhenu Ayog to be setup for sustainable genetic up-gradation of the Cow resources
- New separate Department of Fisheries for welfare of 1.5 crore fishermen
- 2% interest subvention to Farmers for Animal husbandry and Fisheries activities; additional 3% in case of timely repayment
- Interest subvention of 2% during disaster will now be provided for the entire period of reschedulement of loan
- Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan scheme to ensure fixed monthly pension to 10 crore unorganized sector workers
- Rs 3000 per month after 60 years of age with an affordable contribution of only Rs 100/55 per month
- Rs. 60, 000 crore allocation for MGNREGA in BE 2019-20
Direct Tax proposals
- Income upto Rs. 5 lakh exempted from Income Tax
- More than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief to 3 crore middle class taxpayers
- Standard Deduction to be raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 40,000
- TDS threshold to be raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 40,000 on interest earned on bank/post office deposits
- Existing rates of income tax to continue
- Tax exempted on notional rent on a second self-occupied house
- Housing and real estate sector to get boost-
- TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent to be increased from Rs. 1,80,000 to Rs. 2,40,000
- Benefit of rollover of capital gains increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore.
- Tax benefits for affordable housing extended till 31st March, 2020 under Section 80-IBA of Income Tax Act
- Tax exemption period on notional rent, on unsold inventories, extended from one year to two years
- Target of 3% of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21
- Fiscal deficit brought down to 3.4% in 2018-19 RE from almost 6% seven years ago
- Allocation for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) increased by over 18% to Rs. 27,584 crore in BE 2019-20
- Substantial increase in allocation for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes –
- Allocation for SCs increased by 35.6% – from Rs. 56,619 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 76,801 crore in BE for 2019-20
- Allocation for the STs increased by 28% – from 39,135 crore in BE 2018-19 to Rs. 50,086 crore in 2019-20 BE
Poor and Backward Classes
- “First right on the resources of country is that of the poor”: FM
- 25% additional seats in educational institutions to meet the 10% reservation for the poor
- Targeted expenditure to bridge urban-rural divide & to improve quality of life in villages
- All willing households to be provided electricity connections by March 2019
- Allocation to be increased by 21% to Rs. 58,166 crore in 2019-20 BE over 2018-19 BE
- Arunachal Pradesh came on the air map recently
- Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram came on India’s rail map for the first time
- Container cargo movement through improved navigation capacity of the Brahmaputra
- A new committee under NITI Ayog to identify all the remaining De-notified nomadic and semi-Nomadic tribes
- New Welfare development Board under Ministry of social justice and empowerment for development and welfare of De-notified nomadic and semi nomadic tribes
- Defence budget to cross Rs 3,00,000 crore for the first time ever
- Indian filmmakers to get access to Single window clearance as well for ease of shooting films
- To introduce anti-camcording provisions in the Cinematograph Act to control piracy
MSME and Traders
- 2% interest subvention on an incremental loan of Rs 1 crore for GST registered SMEs
- Atleast 3% of the 25% sourcing for the Government undertakings will be from women owned SMEs
- Renewed Focus on Internal trade ; DIPP renamed to Department for Promotion of Industries and Internal trade
- The Government to make 1 lakh villages into Digital Villages over next five years
- New National Artificial Intelligence portal to support National Program on Artificial Intelligence
Achievements during 2014-19
State of the Economy
- India universally recognized as a bright spot of the global economy during last five years
- India is now the 6th largest economy in the world from being the 11thlargest in 2013-14
- Annual average GDP growth during 2014-19 higher than any government since 1991
- Inflation in December 2018 down to 2.19% only
- Liberalization of FDI policy, allowing most FDI to come through the automatic route
- Assured MSP of minimum 50% to all 22 crops
- Interest subvention doubled in last 5 years
- Soil Health card, Neem coated Urea game changer in farm sector
- Employment opportunities expanded; EPFO membership increased by 2 crore
- Minimum income for every category of workers increased by 42% in last 5 years
Poor and Backward Classes
- 10% reservation for the poor in educational institutions and government jobs
- Free electricity connection to every household under Saubhagya Yojana
- World’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, for nearly 50 crore people
- Aspirational Districts Programme for development in 115 most backward districts
- Rs. 1,70,000 crore spent during 2018-19 for cheaper food grains to poor and middle class
- 143 crore LED bulbs provided in mission mode with the cooperation of private sector
- Poor & middle class are saving Rs. 50, 000 crore p.a. in electricity bills due to LED bulbs
- 10 lakh patients benefited from free treatment under Ayushman Bharat
- Jan Aushadhi Kendras providing medicines at affordable prices to poor and middle class
- 14 out of 21 AIIIMS operating presently have been announced since 2014
- Government tripled rural roads’ construction under the PMGSY
- 15.80 lakh habitations out of 17.84 lakh connected with pucca roads
- Rs. 19,000 crore for PMGSY in BE 2019-20 against Rs. 15,500 crore in RE 2018-19
- 1.53 crore houses built under PM Awas Yojana during the 2014-18
Women development to women led development
- 6 crore free LPG gas connections provided under Ujjwala Yojna ; All 8 crore by next year
- 70% of MUDRA Loan availed by Women
- Maternity leave extended to 26 weeks
- Financial support for pregnant women under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana
- Over one crore youth trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikash Yojana
- Self-employment boost through MUDRA, STAND-UP and START-UP India
MSME and Traders
- Up-to Rs 1 crore loans can be availed in less than an hour
- 25%-28% is the average savings due to GeM (Government e-Market place)
Tax collections nearly doubled in five years- from Rs. 6.38 Lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs. 12 lakh crore this year
80% growth in tax base- from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore in five years
GST made India a common market; GST led to increased tax base, higher collections and ease of trade as well as Inter-state movements now faster, more efficient, and hassle free
Civil Aviation – UDAN Scheme
- Number of Operational Airports crossed 100
- Latest: Pakyong airport in Sikkim
- Domestic Passenger traffic doubled in last 5 years
- India is the fastest highway developer in the world
- Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh
- Flagship programme of Sagarmala along the coastal areas
- For first time, container freight movement started on Kolkata to Varanasi inland waterways
- ‘Safest year’ for railways in its history
- All Unmanned Level Crossings on broad gauge network eliminated.
- Semi high-speed “Vande Bharat Express” introduced – first indigenously developed and manufactured
International Solar Alliance
- To promote renewable energy
- First treaty based international inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India
- Installed solar generation capacity grown over ten times in last five years
Digital India Revolution
- More than 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) exist to deliver services to the citizens
- India now leading the world in the consumption of mobile data
- Monthly consumption of mobile data increased by over 50 times in the last five years
- Under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing companies increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities
Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) and Direct Benefit Transfer
- In the last five years, nearly 34 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts opened
- Aadhaar now near universally implemented
- Ensure the poor and middle class receive the benefits of Government schemes directly in their bank accounts by eliminating middlemen
Customs and trading across borders
- Customs duties on 36 capital goods abolished
- Digitization of import and export transactions
- RFID technology to improve logistics
Steps against corruption
- Government walked the talk on corruption and ushered in a new era of transparency: FM
- RERA and Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act have brought transparency in real estate
- The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 to help confiscate economic offenders
- Government conducted transparent auction of natural resources such as coal & spectrum
Ten dimensions of Vision for India of 2030
India would be a modern, technology driven, high growth, equitable and transparent society
- To build physical as well as social infrastructure and to provide ease of living
- To create a Digital India, digitize government processes with leaders from youth
- Making India pollution free by leading transport revolution with Electric Vehicles and focus on Renewables
- Expanding rural industrialisation using modern digital technologies to generate massive employment
- Clean Rivers, safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water through micro-irrigation
- Besides scaling up of Sagarmala, Coastline and Ocean waters powering India’s development and growth
- Aim at our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World and placing an Indian astronaut into space by 2022
- Making India self-sufficient in food, exporting to the world to meet their food needs and producing food in the most organic way
- A healthy India via Ayushman Bharat with women having equal rights and concern for their safety and empowerment
- Transforming India into a Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation with pro-active and responsible bureaucracy
Prelims oriented News
The Future of Rail Report: By International Energy Agency (IEA)
2019 is an important milestone for India
- 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi
- 150th anniversary of the death of Mirza Ghalib
- 100th anniversary of the Government of India Act of 1919
- 100th anniversary of Rowlatt Act or Black Act
- 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre
- 50th anniversary of the Gujarat riots of September-October 1969
- 35th anniversary of first Indian to be in outer space
- 35th anniversary of Operation Blue Star
- Nation celebrates 70th anniversary of the Constitution Day this year.
- 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji this year: He taught us to lead our lives with the spirit of service and goodwill.
Note: All the above historic persons and happenings are important for exam this year. While preparing, give more focus on these issues/events.
First Swadesh Darshan project in Sikkim:
- Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam
- Under this project, the Ministry has developed tourism infrastructure facilities like Tourist Information Centre, Meditation Centre, Organic Eco Tourism centre, Log Huts, Zip Line, Flower Exhibition Centre, Walkways, Souvenir Shops, Cafeteria, Rain Shelters, Wayside Amenity, Last Mile Connectivity, Parking, Public Toilets etc,.
National Salt Satyagraha Memorial: In Dandi, Gujarat; Dandi memorial encapsulates the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi- Agrah for Swadeshi, Swatchagrah and Satyagraha
- One can view statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law.
- The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March.
- Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex.
CSC launches First Cash and Carry Store in Kanth, Muradabad (Uttar Pradesh): To promote rural marketing and create employment; Each cash and carry store will provide employment minimum 4 persons directly and indirectly. Clubbed with economic census initiative, stage has been set to create 25 lakh job opportunities in the near future in under–exposed parts of India.
Integrated Refinery Expansion Project Complex (IREP) at Kochi: IREP will be a modern expansion complex and transform Kochi refinery into the largest PSU Refinery in India with world class standards.
- It will be equipped for production of cleaner Fuels for India.
- It will double the production of LPG & diesel and commence production of feedstock for petrochemical projects in this plant.
National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP): To attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country
- It is a Rs 1100 crore ambitious project to attract talent and strengthen higher agricultural education in the country.
- This project will be funded by the World Bank and the Indian Government on a 50:50 basis.
- In addition, a four year degree in Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries and Forestry has been declared a professional degree.
- Potential of agricultural textiles has been proven that the income of a farmer who uses agro-tech goes up by 60% – 70%.
- The job-giving potential of the technical textiles sector is huge; every Rs. 1 crore investment generates 70 jobs. This will lead to growth in sectors such as research, education and facilities such as testing labs as well. A McKinsey Global Institute report states that application of agricultural technologies can help close to 90 million farmers by 2025.
India and OECD sign agreement to enable India’s participation in Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) to be held in 2021
The participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools /states in the subsequent cycles. This will lead to improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country.
Features of India’s participation in PISA:
- Within the country (or specific geography to be covered in case of large countries), PISA covers a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling i.e. public, private, private aided etc.
- PISA is a competency based assessment which unlike content-based assessment, measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies that are essential for full participation in modern societies. It would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.
- Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning. The CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.
- More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000. Next round of PISA is going to be held in 2021. The list of registered countries includes Brazil, China (certain areas like Shanghai and Beijing) and countries from South-East Asia like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Key features of PISA:
- PISA is a triennial international survey (every three years) which aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
- Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem-solving.
- Participation in PISA allows benchmarking performance against a wide range of countries.
- PISA uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. Test items are adapted to the local context and language, pilot tested and validated before being used for the test.
- OECD has agreed to contextualize the questions for Indian students.
Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
- Has called for revisiting education system with emphasis on history, heritage, culture, traditions, values and ethos of India
- Has also called for reorienting the education system to make students think rationally and independently to enable them face the challenges in life with equanimity.
- The stories of sacrifice, valour and contributions made by the freedom fighters and other leaders should become an important component of our education system.
- An education which balances the head, heart, body and spirit alone can be called a truly holistic education. The child should not only be able acquire and absorb knowledge, but should also be able to apply the knowledge in real life situation.
- Education system must allow children enjoy schooling and make them lifelong learners. True learning takes place through “observation”, “reading”, “discussion”, “reflection”, “analysing” and “synthesizing.
- Character-building should become the essential dharma of education.
- Apart from learning and acquiring knowledge, students must also learn to practice yoga and participate in sporting activities as it was essential to develop a sense of equilibrium in the stress- filled world of today.
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