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1.     DBT Scheme for Kerosene

Government has announced implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Kerosene w.e.f. 01.04.2016 in 33 districts identified by 9 State Governments.
  • States are namely, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Where the scheme for direct transfer of subsidy is introduced, the consumer will pay the nonsubsidized price of kerosene at the time of purchase. Subsequently, the amount of subsidy will be directly transferred to the bank account of the beneficiary.
  • As a part of this scheme, implementing States will be given fiscal incentives equivalent to 75 % of subsidy saved in the first two years, 50 % of subsidy saved in third year and 25 % of subsidy saved in 4th year.

2.    Ganga Gram Yojana

Water Resources, River Development and Ganga conservation Minister Uma Bharti launched Ganga Gram Yojana in Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district
  • Under the scheme, 1,600 villages will be developed nearby Ganga.
  • In the first phase, 200 villages have been selected under the scheme.
  • Rs 1 crore would be spent on each selected village under Ganga Gram Yojana.
  • Open drains of these villages will be prevented to fall inside Ganga and alternative arrangements will be made for waste extraction and purification of the river system.
  • Toilets will be built in the villages.
  • Also in an important initiative to make the program successful with the help of the army, Ganga Corps battalion's first company in garhmukteshwar has been deployed.
  • Three more such companies will be deployed shortly in Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad.

3.    Stand Up India Scheme

The Cabinet has approved the “Stand Up India Scheme” to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Schedule Tribe and Women. The schemes provides for composite loans by banks between Rs. 10 lakh and upto Rs. 100 lakh for setting up a new enterprise in the non-farm sector.
  • These loans would be eligible for refinance and credit guarantee cover through SIDBI.
  • A credit guarantee fund of Rs. 5,000 crore for providing guarantee cover for loans under Stand Up India in next five years has been approved.
  • Provision of initial capital of Rs. 500 crore to the corpus in FY 2016-17 has been made.

4.    SEEMA DARSHAN

‘Seema Darshan’ is a unique initiative being taken up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, in which school children are visiting the border areas of our country and present before our soldiers and troops an array of performances showcasing the tradition and culture of our country through traditional songs and dances.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home affairs has organized ‘Seema Darshan’ programme for students for a period of five days starting from 22nd January 2016.

5.    Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ - a path breaking scheme for farmers’ welfare.
  • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
  • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • The premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low and balance premium will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
  • There is no upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90%, it will be borne by the Government.
  • Earlier, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping was done to limit Government outgo on the premium subsidy. This capping has now been removed and farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
  • The use of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.

6.   National Rurban Mission

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the National Rurban Mission from Kurubhat, in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
  • Prime Minister described the Rurban Mission as one which would enable cluster based development – with a “rural soul and urban amenities.”
  • This scheme would complement the Smart Cities initiative by creating Smart Villages.
  • The Prime Minister described Rurban clusters as centres of economic activity, which would spur growth, and improve the quality of life in nearby villages.

7.    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - Scheme for Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households.
  • Under the scheme, Rs 8000 crore has been earmarked for providing five crore LPG connections to BPL households.
  • The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.
  • The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.
  • This Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

8.    Women Transforming India

Celebrating women doers, leaders and change makers from across the country, NITI Aayog – Government of India’s premier think-tank - has launched the ‘Women Transforming India’ initiative on, March 8, International Women’s Day, in partnership with the UN in India and MyGov.
  • Through the initiative, NITI Aayog is seeking for entries in the form of written essays/stories (not exceeding 500 words), preferably accompanied by photographs that set a context to the narrative.
  • These stories should reflect new ground broken by women in empowering themselves/others, or of challenging stereotypes.

9.    UJALA Yojna

Shri Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy announced the name ‘UJALA’ for the LED based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), which is currently running successfully in over 120 cities across India.
  • UJALA, an acronym for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All, is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
  • The National LED programme was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs.
  • UJALA is successfully running across 12 states in India namely Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand.

10. Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana —Housing for All by 2022

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the implementation of the rural housing scheme of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin.
  • Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided for construction of pucca house to all houseless and households living in dilapidated houses.
  • The expenditure involved in implementing the project in a span of 3 years from 2016-17 to 2018-19 is Rs.81975 crore.
  • It is proposed that one crore households would be provided assistance for construction of pucca-house under the project during the period from 2016-17 to 2018-19.
  • The scheme would be implemented in rural areas throughout India except Delhi and Chandigarh.
  • The cost of houses would be shared between Centre and States.

11.  15 day Swachh Office drive

A 15-day special ‘Swachh Office Drive’ for ensuring cleanliness at all Government offices across the country has been launched as an intensive thematic campaign under Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Launching the drive, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu planted a Neem sapling at Nirman Bhawan and inspected the building for about an hour for an on the spot assessment of sanitation.

12. Veer Yatra

The first-of-its-kind military tourism initiative in India “Veer Yatra” has been launched by Maharashtra Ex-servicemen’s Corporation (MESCO) in Pune, Maharashtra to strengthen the bond between the military establishment and the civilian population.
  • It is a nationwide tour of Indian Military camps, colleges, memorials and museums.
  • The initiative would also provide meaningful and gainful employment to ex-servicemen and army widows.

13. Kayakalp Fortnight

Kayakalp Fortnight was observed throughout the country in various central government hospitals from 20th May, 2016 to 3rd June, 2016 with a view to intensifying the Kayakalp initiatives under the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan.
  • Shri Nadda stated that as part of the various activities to be taken up during the fortnight, senior officers of the Ministry will be inspecting various Central Hospitals in the country to take stock of the existing status and to intensify the Swachhta drive.
  • The States have been requested to take up similar campaigns in their respective States.

14. Prashikshak

Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani dedicated ‘Prashikshak’ – a teacher education portal, to the nation at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi .
  • ‘Prashikshak’ is launched with a vision to strengthen District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and bring quality teachers into the Indian school education system.
  • Though the Prashiskshak Portal has started only for DIETs, it will cover block level institutes in the future and identify gaps at the bottom of the pyramid.
  • It will help benchmark DIETs to enable aspiring teachers to make informed choices about their future. At the same time, it will give the opportunity to Central and State Governments to do real time monitoring of the institutions.
  • Prashikshak was established through joint collaboration between Ministry of Human Resource Development and Central Square Foundation.

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