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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st February to 7th February – 2020

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  • February 10, 2020
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Press Information Bureau (PIB) IAS UPSC – 1st to 7th February, 2020

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Bodo Agreement to usher in a new dawn for Assam

(Topic: Government policies and interventions; Development in North-East)

What is the Bodo issue?

Bodos are the single largest community among the notified Scheduled Tribes in Assam. Part of the larger umbrella of Bodo-Kachari, the Bodos constitute about 5-6% of Assam’s population.

The first organised demand for a Bodo state came in 1967-68 under the banner of the political party Plains Tribals Council of Assam. In 1985, when the Assam Movement culminated in the Assam Accord, many Bodos saw it as essentially focusing on the interests of the Assamese-speaking community. In 1987, the All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) led by Upendra Nath Brahma revived the Bodo statehood demand. The armed group Bodo Security Force arose, under the leadership of Ranjan Daimary, in October 1986. It subsequently renamed itself NDFB, and later split into factions.

Bodoland Territorial Council

It is an autonomous body under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. There have been two Bodo Accords earlier, and the second one led to the formation of BTC. The ABSU-led movement from 1987 culminated in a 1993 Bodo Accord, which paved the way for a Bodoland Autonomous Council (BAC), but ABSU withdrew its agreement and renewed its demand for a separate state. In 2003, the second Bodo Accord was signed by the extremist group Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF), the Centre and the state. This led to the BTC.

What has been settled now?

  • Agreement signed between Ministry of Home Affairs, Bodo Groups and Assam government which has following provisions:
    • Renaming: From BTAD to Bodoland Territorial Region.
    • Redrawing Boundaries: Villages dominated by Bodos that were presently outside the BTAD would be included and those with non-Bodo population would be excluded
    • *Bodos living in the hills would be granted Scheduled Hill Tribe status.
    • Bodo language with Devnagri script will become associate official language for entire of Assam and a separate directorate for Bodo medium schools will be set up.
    • Development Package of ₹1500 crore by the Centre for the development of Bodo areas
  • The agreement also involved rehabilitation of members of National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) factions- over 1500 armed cadres will abjure violence and join the mainstream

Global Gender Gap Index

(Topic: International Publications)

Published by: World Economic Forum

India’s ranking: 112th; India’s score has moved from 0.665 in 2018 to 0.668 in 2020.

Government of India has given utmost priority to end the gender based inequities, reducing disparity between men and women, improving socio-economic status of women and increasing their participation in various fields. 

Some of the major initiatives taken by Government of India to ensure that women gain equal rights, opportunities and access to resources are:

  1. Constitutional Provisions – Articles such as Article 14, Article 15 (3), Article 39A, and Article 42 make special provisions for rights of women to ensure gender equality.
  2. Legislative Provisions – Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Act (PCPNDT), 1994; Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013; Equal Remuneration Act, 1976; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Amended in 2017) aimed at mandating women’s rights.
  3. Schemes/Programmes –

Economic Participation & Opportunity: Various programmes/Schemes that are intended towards women development and empowerment are:

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) ensures the protection, survival and education of the girl child.
  • Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development and employment.
  • Working Women Hostel (WWH) ensures the safety and security for working women.
  • Mahila Police Volunteers (MPV)envisages engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs who act as a link between police and community and facilitates women in distress.
  • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is an apex micro-finance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income generating activities.
  • The National Crèche Scheme ensures that women take up gainful employment through providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment to the children.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandna Yojna aims  to provide maternity benefit  to  pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana aims to provide housing under the name of the woman also.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) focuses on creating opportunities for women in skill development, leading to market based employment.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana empowers women and protects their health by providing LPG cylinder free of cost.
  • Pradhan Mantri Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna- Under this scheme girls have been economically empowered by opening their bank accounts.
  • Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated schemes like Stand Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs). Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) provides access to institutional finance to micro/small business.

Educational Attainment: Several steps and initiatives have also been taken up in school education system such as National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 and flagship programme like Samagra Shiksha and the subsequent Right to Education Act (RTE). Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been opened in Educationally Backward Blocks (EBBs). Gender sensitisation is also done which includes gender sensitization module- part of in-service training, construction of toilets for girls, construction of residential quarters for female teachers and curriculum reforms.

Political Participation: Also, to bring women in the mainstream of political leadership at the grass root level, government has reserved 33% of the seats in Panchayati Raj Institutions for women.Capacity Building of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) programme by Ministry of Women and Child is conducted with a view to empower women to participate effectively in the governance processes.


Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative Report

(Topic: International Publications)

In India, there were 271 million fewer people in poverty in 2016 than in 2006, which shows improvement in status. 

10 selected countries for which changes over time were analysed, India and Cambodia reduced their Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) values the fastest—and they did not leave the poorest groups behind.

The Government of India accords high priority to the issue of poverty alleviation in India.

Ministry of Women and Child Development has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition and is making serious efforts to eradicate malnutrition. 

Several schemes with direct as well as indirect interventions to address the problem of malnutrition among women and children are being implemented as direct targeted interventions across the country like Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG) and PradhanMantriMatruVandanaYojna (PMMVY) under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. These schemes are universal and open to all the eligible beneficiaries. 

Further, Government has set up POSHAN Abhiyaan on 18.12.2017 commencing from 2017-18. The goals of POSHAN Abhiyaan are to achieve improvement in nutritional status of children from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers in a time bound manner with fixed targets.


Ease of Living Index and Municipal Performance Index 2019 Launched

(Topic: development issues)

Aim: To help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives and empower them to use evidence to plan, implement & monitor their performance, two Assessment Frameworks, viz. Ease of Living Index (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched 

By: The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs

Both these indices are designed to assess quality of life of citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other Million Plus Cities.  

Municipal Performance Index 2019: To assess the performance of municipalities based on five enablers namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance which have been further divided into 20 sectors which will be evaluated across 100 indicators. This will help Municipalities in better planning and management, filling the gaps in city administration, and improving the liveability of cities for its citizens.

Ease of Living Index is aimed at providing a holistic view of Indian cities – beginning from the services provided by local bodies, the effectiveness of the administration, the outcomes generated through these services in terms of the liveability within cities and, finally, the citizen perception of these outcomes. The key objectives of the Ease of Living Index are four-folds, viz. 

  1. a) Generate information to guide evidence-based policy making; 
  2. b) Catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the SDG; 
  3. c) Assess and compare the outcomes achieved from various urban policies and schemes; and
  4. d) Obtain the perception of citizens about their view of the services provided by the city administration. 

EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability and Sustainability which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.

For the first time, as part of the Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry (which carries 30% of the marks of the Ease of Living Index). This is a very important component of the assessment exercise as it will help in directly capturing perception of citizens with respect to quality of life in their cities.

Prelims oriented News:

India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019 brought out by Concern World Wide is: 102

Lucknow Declaration: Adopted at the 1st India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave, 2020

Decline in Tea Production in Southern States: Un-even distribution of rain and localized pest infestation

Fall in Production of Sugar: Due to fall in the production of sugarcane mainly in the major sugar producing states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, due to drought in some parts and heavy rains and floods in some other parts of these states.

Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 2.0: To reach out to partially vaccinated and unvaccinated children with all the available vaccines under Universal Immunization Program (UIP) across 381 districts in 29 States/UTs.

Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) Scheme: To empower rural women through community participation. The scheme aims to facilitate inter-sectoral convergence of schemes and programs meant for women both at the Central and State/UT level.

Cyber Crimes

  • Sections 66E, 67, 67A specifically deal with cybercrime related to pornography. Section 67B provides punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit actin electronic form.
  • Sections 13 to Section 15 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act also provide for stringent punishment provisions against child pornography.

Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), a Rs.6000 Crore Central Sector Scheme

  • For sustainable management of ground water resources with community participation in water stressed blocks of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. 
  • The scheme is being implemented during 2020-21 to 2024-25 with the financial assistance of World Bank with a sharing pattern of 50:50 between Government of India and World Bank.
  • The Scheme has two components viz. Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building component and Incentive component with outlays of Rs.1400 crore of Rs.4600 crore respectively.

Low Immunisation Coverage

The immunization coverage in the country is at 92.2% (as per HMIS for April 2019 to Dec 2019). However there are still pockets of low coverage –

  • Lack of awareness of benefit of Immunization
  • Apprehensions of Adverse Effect Following Immunization (AEFI)
  • Travelling of children
  • Refusal for vaccination
  • Operational gaps

To mitigate the identified reasons of low immunization coverage, strategic interventions like advocacy, social mobilization, community engagement, inter personal communication at family level and media engagement are undertaken.

The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya  Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aims at correcting the imbalances in the availability of affordable healthcare facilities in different parts of the country in general, and augmenting facilities for quality medical education in the under-served States in particular.

Launch of Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes (SATHI)

  • To address the need for building shared, professionally managed and strong Science and Technology infrastructure in the country which is readily accessible to academia, start-ups, manufacturing, industry and R&D labs
  • These Centres are expected to house major analytical instruments to provide common services of high-end analytical testing, thus avoiding duplication and reduced dependency on foreign sources. These would be operated with a transparent, open access policy.

Launch of Portal Santusht: ‘Santusht’ – Implementation Monitoring Cell (IMC) has been constituted in the Office of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment in January 2020. The objective of ‘Santusht’ is to promote transparency, accountability, effective delivery of public services and implementation of policies, schemes of Ministry of Labour and Employment at grassroot level through constant monitoring.

Tracking of Missing Children

  • The TrackChild Portal is implemented in association with various stakeholders including Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Railways, State Governments/UT Administrations, Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards and National Legal Services Authority.
  • The “Khoya-Paya” another citizen centric portal has also been launched in 2015. 
  • The Ministry of WCD supports 24×7 outreach helpline service for children in distress. This service is available through a dedicated toll free number, 1098, which can be accessed by children in crisis or by adults on their behalf from any place in the geographical location of India.

Common methods of treatment and disposal of bio-medical waste 

  • Incineration/plasma pyrolysis/deep-burial for Yellow Category waste;
  • Autoclaving/microwaving/chemical disinfection for Red Category waste
  • Sterilization and shredding, disinfection followed by burial in concrete pit/recycling through foundry/encapsulation for White Category sharps waste
  • Washing, disinfection followed by recycling for Blue Category glass waste

Services of Doctors and Lawyers under Consumer Protection Act: As per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, “service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes, but not limited to, the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, telecom, boarding or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.

Anti-Dumping Duty: Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) conducts anti-dumping investigations, under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 and the rules made thereunder, on the basis of a duly substantiated application filed by the domestic industry alleging dumping of goods into the country causing injury to the domestic industry. The basic intent of anti-dumping measures is to eliminate injury caused to the domestic industry by the unfair trade practice of dumping and to create a level playing field for the domestic industry.

India-China Trade Deficit: 

  • As per the data provided by DGCIS, India’s trade with China decreased from USD 89.71 billion in 2017-18 to USD 87.07 billion in 2018-19. 
  • During this period, India’s imports from China declined from USD 76.38 billion in 2017-18 to USD 70.32 billion in 2018-19, and our exports grew from USD 13.33 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.75 billion in 2018-19.  
  • As a result, India’s trade deficit with China reduced from USD 63.05 billion to USD 53.57 billion in the said period.
  • The Government of India has been consistently making efforts for achieving a more balanced trade with China in all our official engagements with the Chinese Government, requesting them to lower trade barriers for Indian exports to China.

DRDO Signs Technology Development Contract with Rosoboronexport Russia

High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) is the DRDO laboratory working in the development of spectrum of high energy materials required for missiles, rockets and guns.

  • This will enable advancement in the field of energetic materials and pyrotechnic technology leading to the development of advanced ignition systems. This will meet futuristic requirements of high-performance propulsion systems. 
  • The propulsion systems are the power behind the rockets and missiles. This technology development will facilitate design and development of state of art solid rocket motors for upcoming products. These products will be based on compact and energy efficient propulsion systems.

One Stop Centre(OSC) scheme, popularly known as Sakhi Centres: OSCs are required to facilitate women affected by violence with a range of integrated services under one roof including police facilitation, medical aid, legal aid and legal counselling, psycho-social counseling and temporary shelter, and are to be located within 2 kms radius of the hospitals or medical facilities.

National Population Policy

National Population Policy formulated in the year 2000, reaffirms the Government’s commitment towards voluntary and informed choice, target free approach and achievement of replacement level of fertility by simultaneously addressing the issues of contraception, maternal health and child survival.

The National Family Planning Programme of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is guided by the tenets of the National Population Policy 2000 and oversees its implementation. Under this program the service delivery data is triangulated and further the program is regularly reviewed through annual review meetings, supportive supervision visits, common review missions etc.

As a result of the Government’s efforts, the successes achieved are enumerated below:

  • The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 2.9 in 2005 to 2.2 in 2017 (SRS).
  • 25 out of 37 States/UTs have already achieved replacement level fertility of 2.1 or less.
  • The Decadal growth rate has declined from 21.54% in 1999-2000 to 17.64 % during  2001-11.
  • The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) has declined from 23.8 to 20.2 from 2005 to 2017 (SRS).
  • The Teenage birth rate has halved from 16 % (NFHS III) to 8 % (NFHS IV).

Mental Healthcare through Government Schemes

As per the National Mental Health Survey, 2016, the prevalence of mental disorders in adults over the age of 18 years is about 10.6%. Mental disorders are known to be caused by a complex interaction of biological, social, environmental, cultural and economic factors.

To address the challenge of mental illnesses, the Government is implementing

  • National Mental Health Programme (NMHP): Implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) has been approved for 655 districts of the country for early detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/illnesses. 
  • With the objective to address the shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, the Government is implementing Manpower Development Schemes for establishment of Centres of Excellence and strengthening/ establishment of Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties. 

Till date, support has been provided for establishment of 25 Centres of Excellence and strengthening/establishment of 47 Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties in the country. During 2018-19, the expenditure on mental healthcare by the three Central Mental Health Institutions and under NMHP was Rs. 545.65 crores.

National Strategic Plan (2017-2025) for TB Elimination

The government is committed to achieving the targets of National Strategic Plan (2017-2025). Incidence has decreased from 217 per lakh in 2015 to 199 per lakh in 2018 and the total TB Notification has increased from 16.2 lakhs in 2015 to 23.7 lakhs in 2019.

“TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” campaign was launched recently as an Accelerator to National Strategic Plan with the objectives of:

   -Promoting health seeking behavior in the community for early case detection

   – Preventing emergence of new cases of TB

It includes following key components under “TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” campaign:

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Advocacy and Communication
  3. Health & Wellness centres and TB
  4. Inter-Ministerial collaboration
  5. Private health sector engagement
  6. Corporate sector engagement
  7. Latent TB Infection Management

Steps being taken by the Government to boost investment in RE sector

  • Permitting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100 percent under the automatic route
  • Strengthening of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
  • Mandating requirement of Letter of Credit (LC) as payment security mechanism by distribution licensees for ensuring timely payments to RE generators
  • Setting up of Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Parks(UMREPs) to provide land and transmission on plug and play basis to investors
  • Waiver of Inter State Transmission System (ISTS) charges and losses for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned by 31st December, 2022
  • Notification of standard bidding guidelines to enable distribution licensee to procure solar and wind power at competitive rates in cost effective manner
  • Declaration of trajectory for Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) up to the year 2022
  • Laying of transmission lines under Green Energy Corridor Scheme for evacuation of Power in Renewable rich states
  • Finalization of manufacturing linked tender for setting up domestic manufacturing capacity
  • Launching of new schemes, such as, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM), Solar Rooftop Phase II, 12000 MW CPSU Scheme Phase II, etc.

Central Uniform Policy for Organ Donation

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 provides for regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes. The Act is applicable in all States/ Union Territories except Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which have their own Act for the same purposes. Further, the Government of India has enacted the Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011 and notified Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014. The aforesaid Acts and Rules provide for a uniform policy for organ donation in the country. 

Rehabilitation Centres for Children

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) is the primary law for children in country. The Act provides a security net of service delivery structures including measures for institutional and non-institutional care to ensure comprehensive wellbeing of children in distress situations. As per the JJ Act, destitute children are considered as “Children in need of care and protection (CNCP). The primary responsibility of execution of the Act lies with the States/UTs.

The Government of India has implemented the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which is a comprehensive law that provides protection to children from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. The Act provides mandatory reporting, child friendly provisions of recording of statement and evidence and speedy trial of the cases. Recently, the POCSO Act has been amended in order to make it more effective in dealing with cases of child sex abuse in the country. It addresses the need for stringent measures to deter the rising trend of child sex abuse in the country on one hand and the menace of relatively new kind of crimes on the other hand.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a centrally sponsored Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) for supporting the children in difficult circumstances.

  • The primary responsibility of implementation of the scheme lies with the State Governments/UT Administrations. 
  • Under the scheme institutional care is provided through Child Care Institutes (CCIs), as a rehabilitative measure. 
  • The programmes and activities in Homes inter-alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counselling etc. 
  • Under the non-institutional care component, support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship. 
  • Further CPS also provides for “After care” services after the age of 18 years to help sustain them during the transition from institutional to independent life.

Agriculture

Formula for fixing MSP for Paddy and Wheat

Government fixes minimum support prices (MSPs) of 22 mandated crops including paddy, wheat, for every agricultural year and fair & remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane on the basis of recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP), after considering the views of State Governments and Central Ministries/Departments concerned & other relevant factors.

While recommending MSPs, CACP considers important factors like 

  • Cost of production
  • Overall demand-supply conditions
  • Domestic and international prices
  • Inter-crop price parity
  • Terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors
  • The likely effect on the rest of the economy, besides ensuring rational utilization of  land, water and other production resources
  • A minimum of 50 percent as the margin over cost of production in case of MSPs and reasonable margins over cost of production in case of FRP

Steps to improve post-harvest infrastructure in various States of the country

  • Under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) assistance is provided for development of post harvest management and marketing infrastructure such as cold storages, ripening chamber, pack houses, reefer vehicles to farmers to improve marketability of their produce.
  • National Horticulture Board: Implementing scheme for Development of Commercial Horticulture for Production and Post-Harvest Management of Horticulture Crops.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana-Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) Scheme with major focus for development of pre & post-harvest infrastructure, besides promoting agri-entrepreneurship and innovations.
  • The Government is promoting scientific storage facilities for the farmers in the country in rural areas through the scheme of “Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI)”, which is a sub-scheme of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM). Assistance under the AMI Scheme is available to Individual farmers, Group of farmers/growers, registered Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs) etc.
  • Government is implementing Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojna (PMKSY) scheme with the objective of creation of modern infrastructure along with efficient supply chain management for the entire processing value chain.

Steps to reduce Dependency on Monsoon

The Water Resources Projects are planned, funded, executed and maintained by the State Governments themselves, as per their own resources and priority.  In order to supplement their efforts, Government of India provides technical and financial assistance to State Governments to encourage sustainable development and efficient management of water resources through various schemes and programmes.

  • State Governments are advised to initiate advance remedial action e.g. constructing water harvesting structures under MGNREGA and other such schemes, promoting agronomic practices for moisture conservation, promoting cultivation of less water consuming crops and restoring irrigation infrastructure by desilting canals, energizing tube-wells and replacing/repairing faulty pumps. Further, the States are also advised to carry out periodic assessment of preparation for kharif crops, particularly contingency crops.
  • States have been advised to keep aside about 5 to 10% of fund allocated under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for undertaking appropriate interventions, if the situation so warrants, to minimize the adverse impact of an aberrant monsoon on the agriculture sector.
  • The Central Government implements Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) / Central Sector (CS) Schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), the Rainfed Area Development Programme (RADP), National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP), etc. which contribute towards drought proofing.
  • Kisan Portal subsumes all mobile based initiatives in the field of agriculture and allied sector. Officers, Scientists and Experts from all organizations and Department of the Government of India and State Governments {including State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) and Agro- Meteorological Field Units (AMFUs)} are using this Portal for disseminating information (giving topical & seasonal advisories and providing services through SMSs to farmers in their local languages) on various agricultural activities to registered farmers.
  • Under the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), the activities being undertaken inter alia include ridge area treatment, drainage line treatment, soil and moisture conservation, rain water harvesting, nursery raising, afforestation, horticulture, pasture development, livelihoods for asset less persons etc.
  • Financial assistance is provided to the farmers in the form of input subsidy, where crop loss is 33% and above, in the event of notified natural calamities.

Improving Soil Productivity and Fertility: Soil Health Card provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility. Government is recommending soil test based balanced and integrated nutrient management through conjunctive use of inorganic and organic sources of plant nutrient   to sustain good soil health. In this regard advisories are issued to farmers from time to time.

Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers of notified oilseeds and pulses qualifying Fair Average Quality (FAQ) norms. PM-AASHA is an umbrella scheme comprising of Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPSS).

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) provides for use of technology for better implementation of the scheme. Accordingly, National Crop Insurance Portal (NCIP) has been developed for ensuring better administration, co-ordination, transparency, dissemination of information and delivery of services including uploading/obtaining details of individual insured farmers for better monitoring and to ensure transfer of claim amount electronically to the individual farmer’s Bank Account.  To ensure timely payment of claims, scheme envisages mandatory use of smartphone/CCE-Agri App for real time transfer of data on national crop insurance portal.     Farmers’ app has also been launched, on which farmers can track their crop insurance application and get all information about it.

Mind-map: Doubling farmer’s Income

Union Budget

The Budget focused on raising the purchasing power by cutting income tax rates and boosting rural income.

The Statistics

  • Between 2006-2016, 271 million are out of poverty and we should be proud of it
  • Country has moved on from over 4 per cent growth in 1950s to 7.4 per cent to 2014-19 period
  • Total of 60 lakh new taxpayers and 105 crore e-way bills generated under GST. Average household now saves 4 percent of monthly spend due to reduced GST rates
  • Central government debt reduced to 48.7 per cent of GDP in 2019 from 52.2 per cent.
  • Over 6 crore farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna have been insured.

Key Announcements:

  • India is now 5th largest economy in world – put out a 16-point guide to make India an aspirational economy
  • Government to incentivise farmers to go solar. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha and Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) to be expanded, providing 20 lakh farmers in setting up standalone solar pumps.
  • Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP model so that perishable goods can be transported quickly. Krishi Udaan scheme to transport agri products to national as well international destinations to be launched.
  • Agri-credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at Rs 15 lakh crore.
  • Rs 69,000 crores for allocated for the healthcare sector
  • Education and training: Rs 99,300 crore allocated for education in FY21. Govt will start start Ind-Sat Exam to promote study in India and a degree-level online education programme for the deprived. A total of Rs 3,000 crore will be given for skill development.
  • Allocation for Swachh Bharat Mission for 2020-21 stands at Rs 12,300 crore. In further push to PM Modi’s ‘Nal se jaal’ scheme, govt proposes Rs 3.6 lakh crore towards piped water supply to households.
  • National Textile Mission to be launched with a proposed Rs 1,480 crore allocation
  • To boost infrastructure, 9,000 km of economic corridor will be set up. Chennai-Bengaluru expressway will also be started. Delhi-Mumbai expressway to be completed by 2023
  • 550 WiFi facilities have been commissioned at railway stations. 1 lakh gram panchayats to get optical fibre link. An allocation of Rs 6,000 crore will be provided for BharatNet scheme.
  • Allocation of Rs 27,300 crore for development of industry and commerce.
  • Rs 20,000 crore announced for renewable energy sector in a bid to tackle pollution and climate change. A new scheme of smart meters will be launched.
  • 100 more airports to be developed by 2025. 1,150 trains will run under the public private partnership (PPP) mode, also four stations will be redeveloped with the help of the private sector. Besides, the Tejas type trains to connect tourist destinations.
  • An allocation of Rs 8,000 crore will be made for National Mission on Quantum Computing and Technology.
  • Rs 35,600 crore allocated for nutritional related programme in FY21 while Rs 85,000 crore has been budgeted for the welfare of Scheduled Castes and other backward classes. Tourism promotion gets Rs 2500 crore.
  • Women schemes, senior citizens in Budget: Enrolment ration for girls under ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao‘ is higher than boys. Gross enrollment of girls is 94.32 per cent in elementary levels, 81.32 per cent in secondary level and 59.7 per cent in higher secondary level. Further, Rs 28,600 crore will be allocated in FY21 for women-linked programmes. Allocation for senior citizens and ‘Divyang’ enhanced to Rs 9500 crore.
  • Proposed 4,400 crore to tackle Delhi’s air pollution problem. Last year, the Supreme Court had termed the situation as “worse than Emergency” as air quality dipped to hazardous levels.
  • Insurance cover for bank depositors raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Currently, in the (unlikely) event of a bank going bust in India, a depositor has claim to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account as insurance cover — even if the deposit in their account far exceeds Rs 1 lakh. Depositors holding more than Rs 1 lakh in their account have no legal remedy in case of the collapse of the bank.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country has increased to $284 billion during 2014-19 from $190 billion in previous five years.
  • Nirvik (Niryat Rin Vikas Yojana) scheme to provide enhanced insurance cover and reduce premium for small exporters.
  • Focus on MSMEs: More than 5 lakh MSMEs benefited from RBI’s restructuring of loans. Government has asked RBI to consider extending window of debt structuring by one year to March 2021 for this purpose
  • Fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.8% of GDP for FY 2019-20.  FY21 fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.5% of GDP. Fiscal deficit is considered the most important marker of a government’s financial health. 
  • Government to sell part holding in LIC. Besides, govt to also sell stake in IDBI Bank to private investors. The government’s move is a part of efforts to push through an aggressive disinvestment and asset monetisation programme.
  • Nominal growth of GDP for 2020-21 has been estimated at 10 per cent
  • Proposed a new simplified tax regime soon
    • 10% tax for income between 5 lakh-7.5 lakh
    • 15% tax for income between 7.5 lakh to 10 lakh
    • 20% tax for income between 10 lakh to 12.5 lakh
    • 25% tax for income between 12.5 lakh to 15 lakh
    • 30% tax for income above 15 lakh
    • No income tax for those with taxable income below Rs 5 lakh

Dividend Distribution Tax to be removed. Dividend shall be taxed at the hands of the recipients

  • To boost investments and shore up the lagging economy, corporate tax for existing companies slashed to 22 per cent. Govt proposes 100 per cent tax concession to sovereign wealth funds on investment in infra projects. Moreover, concessional tax rate of 15 per cent extended to power generation companies.
  • Extends additional Rs 1.5 lakh tax benefit on interest paid on affordable housing loans to March 2021. In another boost, a proposed tax holiday to affordable housing developers.
  • ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme announced by Sitharaman for direct tax payers whose appeals are pending at various forum. 4.83 lakh direct cases pending in various appellate forums. Under the scheme, taxpayer to pay only amount of disputed tax. They will get complete waiver on interest and penalty if scheme is availed by March 31, 2020.
  • 15th Finance Commission has cut state share of central taxes by one percentage point to 41 per cent.

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