§ 3.81 lakh scholarships sanctioned during 2014-15 to 2016-17.
§ 4.30 lakh scholarships have been sanctioned during the current year 2017-18 (as on 31.03.2018).
· National Scheme of incentive to Girls for Secondary Scholarship (NSIGSE)
§ 9.71lakh incentive to girls, sanctioned during 2014-15 to 2016-17.
§ 9.73 lakh incentives to girls, sanctioned during the current year 2017-18 (as on 28.02 2018).
· As per the record maintained by AICTE, a sum of Rs. 292.50 Crore (approx.) has been released to 11,862 GATE qualified M. Tech. students. In addition, Rs. 2.61 Lakh released under National Doctoral Fellowship Scheme. Overall, a sum of Rs. 1076 Crore released to GATE qualified M. Tech. Students in the last three year.
· To promote entrepreneurship among SC/ST and Women launched by PM on 5th April, 2016
· 54,733 loans sanctioned to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Women borrowers by the banks as on 28.02.2018.
· As on 25th April 2018. 58592 SUI applications sanctioned for Rs.12709 crores
· Startup India launched on 16th January 2016 for promotion of Entrepreneurship among youth.
· Tax relief for three consecutive years out of a block of seven year for startups.
· Start-up Fund of Rs. 10,000 Crore to be released by 2025. · Startups are allowed to issue ESOPs to promoters working as employees
· 9036 Start-ups have been recognised as on 25th April, 2018 · 99 Startups have been funded (as on 25th April, 2018)
Easy, loans without guarantee under three categories – Shishu, Kishore and Tarun by the banks. Loan of up to Rs. 50000 is given under sub-scheme ‘Shishu’ between Rs. 50,000 to 5.0 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Kishore’ and between 5.0 Lakhs to 10.0 Lakhs under sub-scheme ‘Tarun’.
· Budget allocation for 2018-19 raised to Rs. 3lakh crore, a hike of 20% over the previous year which was Rs.2.44 lakh crores against Rs. 1.22 lakh crores in 2016-17
· Launched on 15.7.2015 by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) to provide formal short-term skill training across the country in market relevant and new age job roles. Recognizing the skills through training, assessment and certification and enhancing employability leading to increased opportunities among the youth.
· More than 2.5 crore youth have been skilled so far under MSDE programs.
· Under PMKVY (2015-16), 13,000 training centres opened across India Training in 375 trades.
· 19.85 lakh youth trained as a part of PMKVY 1 (2015-2016) and under PMKVY 2 (2016-2020), more than 27 lakh candidates have been trained (19.01 lakh Short term training + 7.45 lakh Recognition of Prior Learning trainings +54.87 Special projects) and approximately 5.70 lakh are undergoing training.
· More than 63% have been placed out of the certified candidates.
· Women constitute approximately 50% of all enrolled candidates under fresh training provided through PMKVY
· Physical target centres known as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK) are being set up in every district across India. As on09.05.2018, 531 PMKKs have been allocated to 27 states/UTs covering 484 districts and 406 parliamentary constituencies. Out of these, 451 PMKKs have been established.
· More than 13,985 ITIs have been opened targeting one ITI in each block of the country.
· Extensive upgradation and modernization of ITIs enabling ISO29990 certification in the country with more than 30 lakh seats which have been sanctioned to these institutes.
· More than 10 lakh Apprentices and 45,000 corporate have registered under the recently revised National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), leveraging on the job training across manufacturing and services sector.
· In order to encourage entrepreneurship among youth the scheme was launched on 9 November 2016.
· Focus on learning by doing with e-Learning and Class room teaching.
· E Cell to help students develop their entrepreneurial capabilities by exposing them to the real-life situations.
· Participating institutes and students to be provided handholding support through a network of 55 Regional/Nodal Hubs, spread across the country.
· The National Young Leader Programme was launched by the Government in December 2014 to make policies to be "youth inclusive", so as to make youth an integral part of the development process and also to seek the participation of youth in the decision making and national building process.
· The programme has five components viz. (i) Youth Parliament; (ii) Youth for Development Programme; (iii) National Young Leaders Award; (iv) National Youth Advisory Council; and (v) National Youth Development Fund.
· To revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level, by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
· Annual financial assistance of Rs.5 lakh per annum for 8 years to talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels
ü PM Narendra Modi launched the first Khelo India School Games at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on January 31, 2018.
ü 3507 Players from 29 States and 7 Union Territories participated.
ü Medal Tally- 199 Gold + 199 Silver +275 Bronze medals
· Revamped Khelo India program approved with an estimated financial outlay of Rs.1, 756 crore for 2017-18 to 2019-20.
India finished third in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, winning 66 Medals.
· National Sports University will be first of its kind to promote sports education in the areas of Sports Science, Sports Technology, Sports Management, Sports Coaching and will also function as National training centre for selected training centres.
· An Olympic Task Force (OTF) was set up in January 2017 to prepare a comprehensive Action Plan for effective preparation of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games 2020 Tokyo, 2024 & 2028.
Training Center for Para Athletes:
· First ever-training center with world class facilities dedicated for Para Athletes at Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 5th February 2017.
· To provide a transparent platform for talented youth to upload their achievements.
· Portal accessed by 140727 individuals, of which 8016 sportspersons are registered with portal.
· 433 applications of the eligible candidates forwarded to SAI centres of which 249 sportspersons were invited for the selection trials. Based on the performance in selection trials, the selection committee recommended 23 talented sportspersons for admission in SAI centres.
Beyond Dispute: The SBM Facts The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) recently launched the 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, as the Mission enters its fifth and final year of implementation. The SBM has transformed into a massive jan andolan created on the ground using Information, Education, and Communication, making it a behaviour change campaign.
Sanitation programs themselves are not a new occurrence for India, with programs being run since 1981. However, in contrast to the construction or supply led programs of the past, SBM has a demand centric model. The program focuses on behaviour change to generate demand for sanitation services by the rural population which is then followed by supply.
However, some recent reports have sought to undermine the progress made by the SBM on the ground, with incorrect claims. In this regard, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation presents the following clarifications.
Progress The SBM has shown tremendous progress these last 4 years, under the personal leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi leading to massive behaviour change campaign and people’s movement underway on the ground.
Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% today. Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission. As a result, 25 States/Union Territories, 529 districts, and 5,09,067 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.
Earlier this year, the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it, confirming that behaviour change is happening on the ground. The survey covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States and UTs in India.
The Swachh Bharat Mission is the world’s largest public funded sanitation program. Between the Centre and State, over Rs. 1 lakh crore would have been allocated for the Mission in 2019. In addition to the budget allocation of ₹15,000 crore this year (FY 2018-2019), ₹15,000 crore has been further allocated through Extra Budgetary Resources.
Communication strategy Behaviour Change Communication is undertaken under the SBM at the ground level and is complemented with mass media at the national level as well. For example, mass media campaigns such as Darwaza Band, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar and Anushka Sharma, communicates the messages of women empowerment, promotion of twin pit toilets and usage of toilets, while the SBM foot soldiers, Swachhagrahis, participate in the triggering of communities for behaviour change and sustaining improved behaviours through Inter-Personal Communication. There are currently over 5 lakh Swachhagrahis across the country undertaking behaviour change interventions at the grassroots.
Water for ODF A policy decision has been taken under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to prioritize the provision of piped water supply (PWS) for villages that become ODF. Of the 5 lakh plus ODF villages, translating to 14.13 lakh habitations, 6.16 habitations have PWS through public stand posts. The remaining are being covered on priority. At a technical level, the SBM promotes the use of the rural pan, a steep slope pan, which requires no more than 1-1.5 liters of water for every use of the toilet, addressing challenges related to scarcity of water.
ODF-Quality A strong parallel focus is being maintained on the quality of the work on the ground and sustaining progress much after the program reaches its goal in 2019. Verification of all ODF declared villages is very unique to Swachh Bharat Mission. Multiple rounds of verification are carried out for the village by the districts and States. Within 90 days of declaration, verification is done for each household in the village. Another round of sustainability verification is done 180 days after the first round.
Impact of SBM A recent WHO study reports that Swachh Bharat would have led to saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter. In a report titled ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’ UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year. BMGF has released a study that shows significant improvements in diarrhoea prevalence and stunting among children in ODF villages, compared to nearby non-ODF villages.
The Swachh Bharat model of sanitation has led India into a sanitation revolution, and the country is on track for an ODF India by October 2019
Swachh Survekshan Grameen Awards 2018
Haryana was ranked as best State. Satara District of Maharashtra was ranked as best district. Uttar Pradesh was rewarded for maximum citizens’ participation.
Zonal Ranking – Top States: Northern: Haryana. Southern: Andhra Pradesh. Eastern: Chhattisgarh. Western: Gujarat. North-East: Sikkim. Union Territories: Dadar & Nagar Haveli.
Zonal Ranking – Top Districts: Northern: Rewari (Haryana). Southern: Peddapalli (Telangana). Eastern: Surajpur (Chhattisgarh). Western: Satara (Maharashtra). North-East: Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh).
About Swachh Survekshan Grameen: SSG is a rural cleanliness survey to rank all states and districts on basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The objective of SSG 2018 is to undertake ranking of states and districts on basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) parameters. The rankings will be based on taking into account set of comprehensive cleanliness parameters.
The criteria of SSG-2018 include survey of public places, citizens’ perspective of cleanliness, their recommendations and data from SBM-G. As part of it, more than 6000 villages in 698 districts across India were covered. It covered nearly 30,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages.
Weightage: The SSG 2018 will assign 65% weightage to findings and outcome and 35% to service level parameters to be obtained from Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the MDWS.
The weights to different elements of SSG are direct observation of sanitation in public places (30%), citizen’s feedback on sanitation parameters (35%), service level progress on sanitation progress in the country as per SBMG-MIS (35%).
Survey: The SSG 2018 was conducted by independent survey agency in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018. It will also take feedback from over 50 lakh citizens on SBM related issues through direct interaction as well as online feedback.
The MoU seeks to: Remove cultural and language barriers between students of Russia and India. Share the best practices in the promotion of educational, scientific, innovative achievements.
Promote innovative cooperation. Search and develop the talented youth of both countries fostering a knowledge-driven innovation ecosystem in both the countries.
About AIM: The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is the Government of India’s flagship initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country.
AIM is mandated to create an umbrella structure to oversee innovation ecosystem of the country and revolutionizing the innovation eco-system – touching upon the entire innovation life cycle through various programs.
The Atal Innovation Mission shall have two core functions: Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs. Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.
Digi Yatra: The initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It will be operational by end of February, 2019 at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. In later phase, Airports Authority of India (AAI) will roll out this initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada airports by April 2019.
Under it, there will be one-time verification at departure airport while travelling for first time using ID. After successful verification, facial recognition biometric will be captured and stored in Digi Yatra ID.
For this system, passengers will be registered through centralized system and will be given Digi Travel ID. This ID will include details such as names of passengers, their e-mail id, mobile number and any other identity card in case of non-basis. Travelers can also use this ID when booking tickets.
Significance: This initiative will bring benefits to passengers and all stakeholders involved in process including airport operator who will be having travel information in advance for better resource planning and real-time data of passengers within terminal. This will enable the operator to take proactive action to avoid congestion.
However, the U.S. has warned the deal would invoke sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law.
What is CAATSA? CAATSA is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
However, any imposition of sanctions on India, which is now a major defence partner, could be disastrous for the bilateral relationship.
What is S-400? It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself. The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, capable of destroying destroying hostile strategic bombers, jets, missiles and drones at a range of 380-km.
The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.
Why does India want S-400? S-400 would be like a “booster shot” in the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) arm. India needs to be well-equipped against neighboring threats. Pakistan has over 20 fighter squadrons, with upgraded F-16s, and inducting J-17 from China in large numbers. China has 1,700 fighters, including 800 4-Gen fighters.
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a multilateral disarmament forum established by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements based at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Conference meets annually in three separate sessions in Geneva.
The Conference was first established in 1979 as the Committee on Disarmament as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. It was renamed the Conference on Disarmament in 1984.
The Conference succeeded three other disarmament-related bodies: the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962–68) and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969–78).
Membership: The conference is currently composed of 65 formal members, representing all areas of the world, as well as all known nuclear-weapon states. Additionally, members are organized into a number of informal regional groups to facilitate their preparation for, and representation in the plenary meetings of the Conference.
Relationship to the United Nations: The Conference is formally independent from the United Nations. However, while it is not formally a UN organization, it is linked to it in various ways. First and foremost, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva serves as the Secretary-General of the Conference. Furthermore, while the Conference adopts its own rules of procedure and agenda, the United Nations General Assembly can pass resolutions recommending specific topics to the Conference. Finally, the Conference submits a report of its activities to the General Assembly yearly, or more frequently, as appropriate.
IISF is conceivably the biggest platform in India that brings together students, researchers, artists and general public to celebrate our nation’s achievements in science and technology.
It is a medium to encourage the young minds towards the field of science and to promote the networking of stakeholders working towards the propagation of science.
Through this festival, the largest of its kind in the country and in this region, it is expected that the message of excitement of Science and scientific temper will be spread to the students and will be inspiring for the youth.
All stakeholders collectively work towards “Vigyan se Vikas”- contributing to the Making of a New India.
Under the pilot project, stove and methanol canister will be made available in a limited scale. The methanol cooking fuel will be available in canisters of 1.2 kg capacity each, which will be priced at around Rs 32 and around 18 of them would be equivalent to one conventional domestic LPG cylinder.
The technology for the canister and the special burner has been provided by Sweden. In two months, APL will start commercial production of methanol-based cooking fuel. Initially the product will be made available for the northeastern region.
Boost to NITI Aayog’s Programme: This is India’s first step towards realising the concept of ‘Methanol Economy’, the flagship programme of NITI Aayog. Through the programme, the NITI Aayog has been working on a roadmap to replace 20% of the country’s crude imports through methanol alone.
Methanol as an alternative fuel: Methanol is a promising fuel as it is clean, cheaper than fossil fuels and a good substitute for heavy fuels. India imports methanol from Saudi Arabia and Iran at present. Across the world, methanol is emerging as a clean, sustainable transportation fuel of the future.
Why Methanol? Methanol can be used as an energy producing fuel, transportation fuel and cooking fuel, cutting down India’s oil import bill by an estimated 20% over the next few years. Unlike CNG, using methanol as a transportation fuel would require minimal alteration in the vehicles.
Methanol is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer smog-causing emissions — such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter — and can improve air quality and related human health issues.
Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from natural gas. It can also be produced from renewable sources such as biomass and recycled carbon dioxide. As a high-octane vehicle fuel, methanol offers excellent acceleration and power. It also improves vehicle efficiency.
Methanol as an enduring solution to human energy needs? Methanol has the potential to be an enduring solution to human energy needs is because the beltched out C02 (greenhouse gas emission) both from using Methanol and while producing Methanol can be tapped back to produce Methanol. Thereby a seamless loop of CO2 sequestration cycle is created to perpetually burn fuels without polluting the environment at all. C02 from steel plants, Thermal Power plants, Cement Plants etc. can be tapped in large quantities to produce Methanol.
Way ahead: The Concept of “Methanol Economy” is being actively pursued by China, Italy, Sweden, Israel, US, Australia, Japan and many other European countries. 10% of fuel in China in transport Sector is Methanol. Methanol Economy, if adopted by India can be one of the best ways to mitigate the Environmental hazards of a growing economy. NITI Aayog is preparing a road map for a full-scale implementation in the near future.
To achieve the goals of broad economic policy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) uses monetary policy to control inflation, interest rates, supply of money and credit availability.
The RBI has a government-constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which is tasked with framing monetary policy using tools like the repo rate, reverse repo rate, bank rate, cash reserve ratio (CRR).
Composition of MPC: The committee will have six members. Of the six members, the government will nominate three. No government official will be nominated to the MPC.
The other three members would be from the RBI with the governor being the ex-officio chairperson. Deputy governor of RBI in charge of the monetary policy will be a member, as also an executive director of the central bank.
Decision: Decisions will be taken by majority vote with each member having a vote.
RBI governor’s role: The RBI Governor will chair the committee. The governor, however, will not enjoy a veto power to overrule the other panel members, but will have a casting vote in case of a tie.
Selection: The government nominees to the MPC will be selected by a Search-cum-Selection Committee under Cabinet Secretary with RBI Governor and Economic Affairs Secretary and three experts in the field of economics or banking or finance or monetary policy as its members.
Term: Members of the MPC will be appointed for a period of four years and shall not be eligible for reappointment.