Announced in Budget 2017-18 Targets convergence of government interventions with Gram Panchayats as basic unit, following a saturation approach.
Aims to make a real difference in lives of 1 crore households in 50,000 Gram Panchayats, based on measurable outcomes.
Focused campaign during 14th April to 5th May, 2018 to saturate 16850 villages in 484 districts under 7 schemes
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana; Ujjwala Diwas, 20th April,2018 Saubhagya: Pradhan Mantri Sajhaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana: Gram Shakti Diwas-28th April,2018 Ujala Scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Mission Indradhanush: 23rd-27th April,2018
JAN DHAN Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) Launched by the Prime Minister on 28 August 2014 for financial inclusion. 60% bank accounts opened in rural areas (As on 25.4.2018) 31.52 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened (As on 25.4.2018)
Total balance in Jan Dhan accounts Rs. 80871.67 crores (As on 25.4.2018) Over 23.71 Crore Rupay Cards issued (As on 25.4.2018) Share of zero-balance Jan Dhan accounts dropped to 24% in December 2016 from 73% in December 2014.
Over 1.26 lakh bank-mitras appointed by banks 2.5 lakh Gram-Dak-Sewaks will function as banking correspondents
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana (PMSBY) Launched by the Prime Minister on 9th May 2015 in Kolkata Covers accidental death risks
· As on Feb 2018, 13 crore 25 lakh persons have been insured with personal accident cover of Rs.2 lakh on payment of a premium of only Rs.12 per annum.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) Launched by the Prime Minister on 9th May 2015 in Kolkata · As on February 2018, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY) has benefitted 5.22 crore families with a life insurance cover of Rs. 2 lakh on payment of a premium of only Rs.330/- per annum.
Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Launched by the Prime Minister on 9th May 2015 in Kolkata Focus on the unorganized sector As on 5 January, 2018 about 80 lakh subscribers have been enrolled under APY.
PRADHAN MANTRI VAYA VANDAN YOJANA Announced by PM on New Year eve of 2017& launched by the Finance Minister on 21.7.2017 To provide social security and protect elderly. For citizens aged 60 years and above, it was opened for subscription from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018
Now PMVVY Pension Investment Limit has been Doubled from Rs. 7.5 lakh to 15 lakh Now Senior Citizens can get up to Rs. 10,000 pension per month.
Scheme has been extended by two years from May 4, 2018 to March 31, 2020. The scheme provides an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8 per cent per annum for ten years.
As of March, 2018, 2.23 lakh senior citizens have subscribed to PMVVY
ü 435 such schemes/componentshave been identified where cash is directly transferred to bank account of the beneficiaries.
ü Total DBT (cumulative) Rs. 3,89,596 crore has been transferred to the beneficiaries in the Cash Schemes.
ü DBT and other governance reforms have led to Estimated savings/ benefits of Rs. 82,985 Cr
PAHAL (Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh: Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG consumer (DBTL) scheme · Launched in 54 districts on 15.11.2014 and expanded to 622 more districts from 1 January 2015.
· The success of PAHAL is evident from the fact it made to the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest cash benefit transfer scheme.
· Launched in 54 districts on 15.11.2014 and expanded to 622 more districts from 1 January 2015. · As on 07.05.2018, more than 20.54 crore LPG consumers have joined the PAHAL Scheme.
· World’s largest cash transfer program. · Rs. 72,537 crore transferred so far as subsidy directly into accounts
· Estimated Subsidy savings of Rs. 29,446 crore from 2014-17
FOOD SECURITY FOR POOR (Food & Public Distribution) · National Food Security Act, NFSA extended all over the country. · 80.72 crore (as on 27.03.2018) persons covered now get coarse grains at Rs. 1/kg, wheat at Rs. 2/ kg and rice at Rs. 3/ kg.
· NFSA Act is being implemented in all the 36 States/UTs as against only in 11 states in May 2014.
UJJWALA Scheme for Providing Free LPG connections to Women from BPL Households launched by PM in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh on 1.5.2016
As on 6.5.2018, more than 3.78 crore new LPG connections given to them. Out of this, 30.5% and 13.3% connections issued to SC and ST categories respectively.
Scheme spread all over the country, now in 712 districts Target enhanced from 5 crore to 8 core LPG connections in four years during 2016-20). The scheme opened to all SC &ST households, beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Antyodaya Anna Yojana, forest dwellers, “most backward classes,” tea garden and ex-tea garden tribes, and people residing in islands or river islands
Funds allocated: Rs.12800 crores LPG Coverage: During 2016-17, more than 3.31 crore new LPG connections have been released and during 2017-18, more than 2.82 crore new LPG connections have been released. As on 1.3.2018, National LPG coverage has reached to 79.9% from 61 % as on 01.01.2016.
· Highest ever allocation of Rs. 55,000 crores for MGNREGA in 2018-19 Year · Payment of wages to MGNREGA workers within 15 days in 86 percent of the cases as compared to only 37 percent in 2015-16 and 43 percent in 2016-17 on account of increased allocation for MGNREGA at BE Stage.
· Expenditure including State share in FY 2016-17 is 58,063 crores and 64, 288 crore in 2017-2018 which is the highest since inception.
· Women participation rose to 56% in FY 2016-17, highest ever participation of women since inception of the program.
· Against the target of 5 lakh farm ponds for 2017-2018, 4.93 lakh farm ponds have been completed.
· Over 96% wages of MGNREGA laborers being paid through DBT and 85% of the wages are being paid to the workers on time.
· Geo-tagging of MGNREGA assets implemented in FY 2016-17. 2.9 crore assets out of 3.40 crore completed works have been geo tagged.
INDIAN POSTAL PAYMENT BANK · Indian Postal Payment Bank to take the banking system to the doorstep of the poor and the unbanked · Over 2.5 lakh Gram DakSewaks can work as Banking Correspondents
PRIME MINISTER’S EMPLOYMENT GENERATION PROGRAM · Since its inception, a total of 4.47 lakh micro enterprises have been assisted with a margin money subsidy of Rs 9326.01 crore providing employment to an estimated 37.32 lakh persons from inception till 2017-18 (up to 30.11.2017). · An online PMEGP e-portal has been introduced from 1st July 2016
Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) · 21000 persons disclosed Rs. 4,900 crore under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) on which Rs. 2,451 crore was collected as tax.
SHRAMEV JAYATE Workers Get their due: • Minimum wages increased by 42% in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors.
• Seventh Pay Commission: Benefited 50 lakh employees and 35 lakh pensioners. • Gratuity ceiling limit enhanced from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs for Government employees with effect from 1 January, 2016. Applicable also for employees in the private and public sector in view of the inflation and general increase in wages
• The Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015 : Enhances the eligibility limit for payment of bonus from Rs. 10,000 per month to Rs.21,000 per month. • Contribution of 8.33% of Employee Provident Fund (EPF) for new employees by the Government for three years.
• Contribution of 12% to EPF for new employees for three years by the Government in sectors employing large number of people like textile, leather and footwear. • Shram Suvidha portal: Unique Labour identification number allocated, online registration of establishments.
• Unique Labour Identification number allocated to give permanent identity to labourers. EPFO issued 12 crores UAN out of which 3 crore have been activated using Mobile services. (As on 31.3.2017). No. of KYC details digitally approved are 7.05 crore.
• Amendments in Labour laws to exempt certain industries from returns, labour registration, inspection etc. • Amendment in factories Act, 1948 to allow for: Night shift for women, increased hours of overtime
• Apprentices Act, 1961 modified to ensure more apprentices. Stipend linked to minimum wages. • Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017: To increase paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. For the first time, a provision for 12 weeks paid maternity leave has been made for both Commissioning and Adopting mothers. The act has approximately benefited 18 Lakh women employees.
• Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 2016: Complete ban on the employment of a child below 14 years and prohibition on employment of adolescent (14-18) in hazardous occupation & profession.
• Implementation of Revamped Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme (Revised- 17.05.2016): Financial Assistance increased to Rs. 1 Lakh per adult beneficiary, Rs. 2 Lakh for special category (Children and women), Rs. 3 lakhs for special categories.
• The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Act 2017 : Employers to pay the wages to employees in cash or by cheque or by crediting the wages in bank accounts of the employee.
• Digital Jeevan Praman Patra introduced for convenience of Pensioners
• Housing Subsidy to Beedi , Cine and Non-Coal Mine Workers increased from Rs. 40,000/- to Rs. 1,50,000.
• Reforms in BIS laws to improve the standards of goods and services.
• National Career Service Project : bringing employers, trainers and unemployed on single platform, till February 28, 2018, 4.10 Crore jobseekers, 14.87 lakh employers registered and 8.43 lakhs vacancies mobilized, 3151 career counsellors registered on the NCS portal.
JANANI SURAKSHA YOJANA · Institutional delivery in the country has risen to 78.9% (NFHS-4, 2015-16) from 47% (DLHS-3, 2007-08).
Objective: · 100% Rural Electrification with reliable, adequate & quality electricity supply and also to provide access to electricity to villages/habitations & households
· An amount of Rs 47,671.97 crore including subsidy of 43,004.60 crore has been released to States (as on 31, Dec, 2017) · Status: - April 2015: 18452 Villages un-electrified - Now- 597,464 census villages (100%) have been electrified.
The second edition of Exercise Aviaindra, a Biennial Air Force level exercise between Indian and the Russian Federation, was conducted from 17 Sep 18 to 28 Sep 18. The aim of the exercise was to formulate and validate use of airpower in anti-terrorist operation in a bilateral scenario.
The exercise which was conducted at Lipetsk, Russia began with interaction of the Indian contingent with their Russian counterparts. The aim of the exercise was to learn best practices from one another and it also includes simulator training. The exercise included briefing on Aerospace safety and anti-terrorist air operations.
Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention: The Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention is being organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, also coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.
Ministers from over 70 countries will be invited and taken on a ‘Gandhi Trail’ in Gujarat. The government will use the occasion to “showcase its performance” and “success story” in the Swachh Bharat programme in the past four years, which was launched on October 2, 2014, and have a face-to-face dialogue with the world leaders to share their experiences on sanitation programmes.
SDG: By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #6, aim to reach everyone with sanitation, and halve the proportion of untreated wastewater and increase recycling and safe reuse.
The global sanitation crisis is reflected in the following facts, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
Around 60% of the global population – 4.5 billion people – either have no toilet at home or one that doesn’t safely manage excreta. 862 million people worldwide still practise open defecation. Billions of people use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
Globally, 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Only 39% of the global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely-managed sanitation service, that is, excreta safely disposed of in situ or treated off-site.
Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths each year.
Swachh Bharat Mission: The Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) on 2nd October 2014, with an aim to build a Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2nd October 2019, as a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to over 90% as of September 2018. Over 78 million household toilets have been constructed under the Mission. As a result, 25 States/Union Territories, over 513 districts, and 5,04,316 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.
The Terms of References of the Committee are as follows: To review the Competition Act/ Rules/ Regulations, in view of changing business environment and bring necessary changes, if required. To look into international best practices in the competition fields, especially anti-trust laws, merger guidelines and handling cross border competition issues.
To study other regulatory regimes/ institutional mechanisms/ government policies which overlap with the Competition Act. Any other matters related to competition issue and considered necessary by the Committee.
Background: The Competition Act was passed in the year 2002 and the Competition Commission of India was set up in pursuance of the same. The Commission started functioning in right earnest from 2009 and has contributed immensely towards the development of competition and fair play practices in the Indian market.
Need for review of the act: During the past nine years the size of the Indian Economy has grown immensely and India is today amongst the top five Economies in the World and poised to forge ahead further. In this context, it is essential that Competition Law is strengthened, and re-calibrated to promote best practices which result in the citizens of this country achieving their aspirations and value for money.
The Competition Act: The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
Assam to launch wage compensation scheme for pregnant women in tea gardens Aim: The scheme is aimed at providing better health and nutrition supplements to the pregnant women. It stresses on providing proper healthcare facilities to the pregnant women working in the tea gardens of the state.
Key facts: Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 12,000 will be given to the pregnant women so that they can take care of themselves and the unborn baby without compromising the livelihood of their family.
The compensation of wages to pregnant women will be given in 4 instalments – Rs 2,000 in the first trimester, Rs 4,000 in the second trimester, Rs 3,000 for institutional delivery and Rs 3,000 for registration of the child’s birth. The women would also be given a maternity leave. They will not be engaged in work from the third trimester of pregnancy to three months after delivery.
In addition, they will get assistance for ante-natal care and the first cycle of immunization of the child.
Significance: The scheme is likely to benefit over 60,000 women in the state. It is expected to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in the tea areas.
Background: The maternal mortality rate of women working in the tea plantations of Assam is unusually high. In the Annual Health Survey of 2012-13, Assam recorded one of the highest maternal mortality rates in India, with over 300 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The MMR in the state’s tea gardens was even higher, as it was recorded to be 404. The national average during 2014-16 was 130.
Also, almost 50% of the pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years in the state were recorded to be anaemic, which is a leading contributor to maternal mortality. The bulk of the workforce in Assam’s tea gardens is women.
Background: As a country affected by terrorism, long before the more powerful countries of the developed world began to take cognisance of the threat it poses to international peace and security, India has always condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; stressed that tackling such behaviour required a holistic approach and collective action; and recommended that the scope of legal instruments must be expanded to bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
India, therefore, has a vital stake in the formulation of counter-terrorist measures at the international level, including a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). It is in this context that India had proposed a draft of a CCIT as far back as 1996. CCIT: What is it? The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is a proposed treaty which intends to criminalize all forms of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens. It is a draft proposed by India in 1996 that is yet to be adopted by the UNGA.
What does it call for? Universal definition of terrorism: no good terrorist or bad terrorist. Ban on all groups regardless of country of operation, cut off access to funds and safe havens. Prosecution of all groups including cross border groups. Amending domestic laws to make cross-border terror an extraditable offence. It also addresses, among other things, the issue of Pakistan’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism in south Asia.
Concerns expressed by various countries: US + allies: concerns over definition of terrorism, including acts by US soldiers in international interventions without UN mandate. Latin American countries: concerns over international humanitarian laws being ignored. There are also concerns that convention will be used to target Pakistan and restrict rights of self-determination groups in Palestine, Kashmir etc.
Key facts: Around 2,700 plant species in India are at risk but very few have been assessed by the IUCN. To bridge this gap, experts from several institutes prioritized 59 plant species that are at risk of “elimination” if the threat levels they face are not assessed soon. They assigned each species a threat status based on IUCN criteria.
This included the extent and area of each plant’s geographical range, which revealed that 10 species are critically endangered, 18 endangered, six vulnerable, five near threatened and one species each are data deficient and least concern.
Causes for decline in population: Based on population sizes and numbers of mature individuals remaining in the wild (using field surveys that also revealed that habitat loss was a huge factor affecting many declining plant populations), the team classified 10 species as critically endangered, three as endangered and five as vulnerable. Germination tests in the laboratory also suggest that factors such as low seed viability could have caused declines in the wild too.
Why quantify threat levels? Quantifying threat levels of species can be crucial for their conservation. For instance, funding agencies often consider the threat status of species provided in IUCN’s Red List (a catalogue of the world’s threatened species), to sponsor research and conservation activities to save them.
IUCN- key facts: IUCN was founded in October 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (or IUPN) following an international conference in Fontainebleau, France. It was renamed as International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1956 with the acronym IUCN. IUCN is the world’s first global environmental organization. Today it is the largest professional global conservation network The Union’s HQ is located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland. It demonstrates how biodiversity is fundamental to addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and food security.
The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction.
Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.
GCTF Terrorist Travel Initiative: The initiative brings together stakeholders to share expertise on developing and implementing effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools. The new initiative will strengthen UNSC Resolution 2396 aiming to stop terrorist travel altogether. It will improve capabilities for detecting and interdicting terrorist travel through enhanced terrorist screening and information sharing.
It will bring together national and local governments, law enforcement and border screening practitioners and international organizations to share expertise to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools.
Under this initiative, series of four regional workshops in 2018 and 2019 will be convened to develop set of good practices that will be endorsed at 2019 GCTF Ministerial. The resulting document will reinforce countries and organizations to use border security tools prescribed in UNSC Resolution 2396 to stop terrorist travel.
Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF): GCTF’s is international apolitical, multilateral counter-terrorism (CT) platform of 29 countries and European Union (EU) with overarching mission of reducing vulnerability of people worldwide to terrorism by preventing, combating, and prosecuting terrorist acts and countering incitement and recruitment to terrorism. It was launched officially in New York on 22 September 2011.
GCTF’s goal is to strengthen capabilities to develop strategic, long-term approach to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremist ideologies that underpin it. Its mission is to diminish terrorist recruitment and increase countries’ civilian capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions.
UN Champions of the Earth Award 2018: Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded with the UN’s highest environmental honour- Champions of the Earth Award, bestowed upon five other individuals and organisations.
French President Emmanuel Macron, President of France and Modi have been jointly recognised in the Policy Leadership category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action, including Macron’s work on the Global Pact for the Environment and Modi’s unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022.
Cochin International Airport has also been honoured this year with the award for Entrepreneurial Vision, for its leadership in the use of sustainable energy.
Champions of the Earth Award: The Champions of the Earth award, the UN’s highest environmental recognition, was founded in 2005. The award celebrates exceptional figures from the public and private sectors and from civil society, whose actions have had a transformative positive impact on the environment.
The award also recognises the efforts for promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action. Uttarakhand HC directs state to provide reservation to transgenders in educational institutions:
The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the state government to provide reservation to transgenders in educational institutions and public appointments. The high court gave the state government six months’ time to implement the decision.
The court stated that the transgenders lead a miserable life and are often treated unfairly. Observing that they have the right to a life of dignity, the court gave the state government six months time to implement its decision.