IASCLUB PIB News Summary : 24 June 2019

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Educational Development Schemes for economically backward classes

Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing following schemes for the Economically Backward Class students.

  1. Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University Students (CSSS)
  • Under this scheme, scholarship is provided to the eligible meritorious students having family income less than Rs. 8.0 lakh per annum, for pursuing higher studies.  The amount of scholarship is Rs. 10,000/- per annum for the first three years and Rs. 20,000/- per annum for the fourth and fifth year.
  1. Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir (SSS for J&K)
  • Scholarship is provided to the eligible students from the State of Jammu & Kashmir, having family income less than Rs. 8.0 lakh per annum, to pursue higher studies outside the State of J&K. An amount to the tune of Rs. 1.30 lakh to Rs. 4.00 lakh per annum is provided.
  1. Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme (CSIS)
  • Under this Scheme, full interest subsidy is provided during the moratorium period (course period plus one year), on the educational loan up to Rs. 7.5 lakh, taken by the students having annual parental income up to Rs.4.5 lakh.
  1. Fees Waiving in IITs
  • In IITs, from the academic year 2016-17, following provisions were made for protecting the interest of the socially and economically backward students while making the payment of tuition fee.
  • The SC/ST/PH students shall get complete fee waiver.
  • The most economically backward students (whose family income is less than Rs.1 lakh per annum) shall get full remission of the fee.
  • The other economically backward students (whose family income is between Rs.1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh per annum) shall get remission of 2/3rdof the fee.
  • All students shall have access to interest free loan under the Vidyalaxmi scheme for the total portion of the tuition fee payable.
  • Under the Vidyalaxmi Scheme, Interest subvention on the education loans for all students admitted for undergraduate and the five year integrated degree programmes is provided.
  • For advancement of Economically Weaker Sections of the society, and as per the Constitution 103rdAmendment Act 2019, Government has issued orders providing 10 percent reservation to EWS categories in admission to educational institutions. This reservation for EWS categories would be provided without disturbing the existing entitlements for SC/ST and OBC categories.
  • Beside these schemes, (i) Remedial Coaching for SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) & Minority Community Students, (ii) Coaching for NET/SET for SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) & Minority Community Students and (iii) Coaching Classes for Entry into services for SC/ST/OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) & Minority Community Students are also being given.

Self Defence Training for Girls in Schools under Samagra Shiksha

Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched Integrated Scheme for School Education i.e. Samagra Shiksha effective from 2018-19.

  • Self Defence training for girls is an activity under Samagra Shiksha.
  • Keepin in view, the rising number of crimes against girls and women in the country and to ensure safety and security of girls, Self Defence training is imparted to girls of class VI to XII belonging to Government Schools.
  • The  States  have been advised  for  convergence  for availing  funding  for  Self-Defence training  under  the  Nirbhaya  Fund  under  Ministry  of  Woman  and  Child  Development, Government of India or with other State Government schemes.

Draft National Policy on Domestic Workers under Consideration

A draft National Policy on domestic workers is under consideration of the Central Government. The salient features of the draft policy are as under:-

  • Inclusion of Domestic Workers in the existing legislations.
  • Domestic workers will have the right to register as workers. Such registration will facilitate their access to rights & benefits accruing to them as workers.
  • Right to form their own associations, trade unions.
  • Right to have minimum wages, access to social security, protection from abuse, harassment, violence.
  • Right to enhance their professional skills.
  • Protection of Domestic Workers from abuse and exploitation.
  • Domestic Workers to have access to courts, tribunals, etc.
  • Establishment of a mechanism for regulation of concerned placement agencies
  • The Central Government has enacted the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 for providing social security to all unorganized workers including domestic workers.
  • The Act provides formulation of social security schemes viz. life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits & old age protection by the central Government. The state Government are mandated under the Unorganized Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 to formulate suitable welfare schemes for unorganized sector workers including domestic workers relating to provident fund, employment injury benefits housing, education schemes for children, skill up gradation of workers, financial assistance & old age homes.

Plan to increase the number of MSMES in the country

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprisesis striving to increase the number of micro and small industries in the country on a sustainable basis through implementation of various schemes andprogrammes.

Followings are the major schemes being implemented by Ministry of MSME:

Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP):

  • This is a credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth. The Scheme was launched during 2008-09.
  • A total of 5.45 lakh micro enterprises have been assisted with a margin money subsidy of Rs.12074.04crore, providing employment opportunities to an estimated 45.22 lakh persons since PMEGP’s inception till 31.03.2019.

Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI):

  • It is a cluster-based scheme for development of khadi, village industries and coir clusters by providing them with improved equipment, common facilities centers, business development services, training, capacity building and design and marketing support, etc. SFURTI Scheme has been revamped in 2015. A total of 34,791 artisans have benefitted with an assistance of Rs. 143.15 Crore during 2018-19.

A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE):

  • It was launched on 18.3.2015 to set up a network of technology centres and to set up incubation centres to accelerate entrepreneurship and also to promote start-ups for innovation and entrepreneurship in agro-industry.
  • Under ASPIRE, 74 Livelihood Business Incubation (LBI) centres and 11 Technology Business Incubators have been approved since inception of the scheme.

Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE): 

  • The scheme facilitates credit to the MSE units by covering collateral- -free credit facility (term loan and /or working capital) extended by eligible lending institutions to new and existing micro and small enterprises.
  • The Scheme has extended guarantee cover to over 35 lakh enterprises leading to approx. 1 crore employment generation. During FY 2018-19, a total of 4,35,520 proposals have been approved providing guarantee to a tune of Rs. 30,168 crore.

Credit linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS): 

  • CLCSS facilitates technology upgradation of small scale industries, including agro & rural industrial units by providing 15% upfront capital subsidy (limited to maximum of Rs.15.00 lakhs). Since inception of the scheme in 2000-01 till date, a total of 62,827 MSE units have been assisted utilizing subsidy of Rs.3888.13 crore.
  • During 2018-19, a total of 14,155 MSE units have been assisted utilizing subsidy of Rs. 980.44 crore.

Micro & Small Enterprises-Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP):

  • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Government of India (GoI) has adopted the Cluster Development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and their collectives in the country. A cluster is a group of enterprises located within an identifiable and as far as practicable, contiguous area and producing same / similar products / services.
  • During 2018-19, 17 Common Facility Centres and 11 Infrastructure Development projects have been established.
  • This information was given by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

 National Policy on Bio-Fuel

The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 notified on 8.6.2018, inter-alia, allows production of ethanol from damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice etc. which are unfit for human consumption.

  • The policy also allows conversion of surplus quantities of food grains to ethanol, based on the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
  • Use of damaged foodgrains and surplus foodgrains for production of ethanol will increase its availability for Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.
  • The National Policy on Biofuels-2018 approved by the Government envisages an indicative target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of bio-diesel in diesel by 2030.
  • Under EBP programme, ethanol blending in petrol is being undertaken by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in whole country except island Union Territory (UT) of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep wherein, OMCs blend up to 10 % ethanol in petrol under the EBP Programme.
  • Further, Government has approved Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to Second Generation bio-ethanol manufacturing projects to increase availability of ethanol for EBP programme.
  • Government has decided to leapfrog directly to BS-VI quality w.e.f. 1st April, 2020 in the entire country.
  • Considering the rise in environmental pollution in National Capital Region, Government has started supply of BS-VI auto fuel in National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1st April, 2018.
  • Further, in line with the directions issued by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, supply of BS-VI auto fuel has started in ten districts of National Capital Region and three other districts/cities outside of National Capital Region (Karauli, Dhaulpur and city of Agra) w.e.f. 1st April, 2019.

 Universal Smart Card Driving License

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide, GSR 174 (E) dated 1st March 2019 has decided to modify the format of driving licenses to laminated card without chip or smart card type driving licences.

  • The Ministry has prescribed a common standard format and design of the Driving Licence for whole of the country which includes the placement of information, standardization of fonts etc.
  • This Ministry through its flagship application called SARATHI (for Driving License) developed by NIC (National Informatics Centre) have a common countrywide database of all driving license holders. Almost 15 crore driving license records are available in its central repository (National Registry).
  • The SARATHI application has the feature to identify duplicate records in real time online basis and access information about the challans if any, which facilitates the licencing authority that delinquent drivers do not get a duplicate driving licence.


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