Current Affairs - Scheme & Programme
On 28th June, 2023, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the PM-PRANAM (PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Generation, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth) scheme.
The key points of the scheme are:
- Objective: The objective of the PM-PRANAM Scheme is to promote the use of nutrient-based biofertilizers for sustainable agriculture, save soil, encourage balanced and sustainable fertilizer use, and support farmers' income.
- Incentives: The scheme involves the participation of state governments. The central government will incentivize states that adopt alternative fertilizers by providing them with a subsidy saved from reducing the use of chemical fertilizers.
- Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) Hike for Sugarcane: The CCEA has approved a hike in the FRP of sugarcane.
- The decision aims to protect the interests of sugarcane farmers, reduce arrears, and ensure sufficient funds for sugar mills to pay farmers.
- Nano Urea and Market Development Assistance: The use of nano urea has increased in the country, and there are plans to commission eight nano urea plants with a production capacity of 44 crore bottles (equivalent to 195 lakh tonnes of conventional urea) by 2025-26.
- This initiative aims to address crop residue management, stubble burning, and provide an additional source of income for farmers while maintaining a clean and safe environment.
- In the previous sugar season (2022-23), sugar mills purchased approximately 3,353 lakh tons of sugarcane worth 1,11,366 crore. Some of this sugarcane is used for ethanol production.
- Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Program: The Ethanol Blended with Petrol (EBP) Program has contributed to saving foreign exchange, strengthening energy security, and reducing dependence on imported fossil fuel, aligning with the goal of achieving self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat) in the petroleum sector.
On June 15, 2023, the Government of India announced the launch of the Vaishvik Bhartiya Vaigyanik. (VAIBHAV) fellowship program.
- Aims: To connect the Indian STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) diaspora with Indian academic and R&D institutions for collaborative research in frontier areas of science and technology.
- It also aims to promote collaboration between scientists of the Indian diaspora and Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), universities, and public-funded scientific institutions.
- VAIBHAV fellows will identify an Indian institution for collaboration and may spend up to two months per year for a maximum of three years on their research work.
- Implementation: It will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology.
On 10th May, 2023, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) launched the ‘Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi’ scheme.
- ECCE Program: It is an Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program.
- Aim: It aims to create the world's largest universal high-quality preschool network, as envisaged by the National Education Policy.
- Focus Areas: It will focus on enhancing Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and will target the overall development of children mentioned in the National Curriculum Framework such as:
- Physical and motor development;
- Cognitive development;
- Socio-emotional-ethical development;
- Language and literacy development; and
- Education in the mother tongue, as per the National Education Policy.
- Preschool Teaching: It will ensure that every child gets at least two hours of daily, high-quality preschool teaching.
- It will ensure that the ECCE material percolates to every Anganwadi in the country through new training methodologies, with the able guidance of officers in the ministry and the participation of state governments and those in communities and civil societies.
On March 3, 2023, the Ministry of Shipping announced that India has approved 100% funding for seven floating jetty projects situated on Gurupura River and Netravati River in Karnataka.
- Enhancing tourism: The 7 floating jetty projects in Karnataka are expected to enhance tourism in the region, attracting more visitors and boosting the local economy.
- Creating employment: The development of the floating jetties is expected to create new job opportunities in the tourism and related sectors, providing a much-needed economic boost for rural areas in the region.
- Generating wealth: The development of the floating jetties is expected to generate wealth for the local economy, creating a ripple effect across industries in the region.
- Improving regional infrastructure: The development of the floating jetties will lead to improved regional infrastructure, making it easier for people to access the region and boosting economic activity.
- Promoting innovative solutions: The development of the floating jetties is part of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways' efforts to promote and develop innovative solutions for India's over-crowded small harbours used for fishing and tourism related activities.
Sagarmala project aims to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
On March 3, 2023, a program was launched to provide extensive training to 82 individuals residing on Agatti island, with a notable emphasis on training 77 women participants, to cultivate ornamental fish which are typically only used for aesthetic purposes rather than as a source of food.
Agatti Island is a 7.6 km long island, situated on a coral atoll called Agatti atoll in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, India.
- The program was supported by the ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR).
- By forming these groups, the islanders may be able to generate income through the sale of ornamental fish, which could potentially benefit the local economy.
- To further increase their income, the groups were also provided with captive-raised clownfish seeds for rearing.
- The groups are expected to raise the clownfish until they reach a marketable size, at which point they can sell them for profit.
- The addition of the clownfish to their aquaculture activities may help the women generate even more income than before.
On 24th August 2022, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Health Authority for providing comprehensive medical package to transgender people.
Benefits under this Package
The Comprehensive package would cover all aspects of transition-related healthcare for Transgender persons along with:
- Gender Re-Affirmation Surgery: It will be available for transgender persons in the health benefits package under Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
- Medical Cover: Each transgender person shall receive a medical cover of 5 lakh rupees per year.
- Hormone Therapy: It shall also provide coverage of hormone therapy.
- “AVSAR” (Airport as Venue for Skilled Artisans of the Region), is an initiative of Airport Authority of India (AAI), to encourage the talent of women, artisans and craftsmen and provide them with the right opportunities.
- Under this scheme, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) will allocate space to Self Help Groups (SHGs) at its airports for selling/showcasing the self-made products of their region.
- Under this scheme, an area of 100-200 square feet has been earmarked at each AAI operated airport.
- On 16 July 2021, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India N.V. Ramana announced a scheme called ‘FASTER’ or ‘Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records’ by which the Supreme Court would instantly, directly, securely and electronically transmit bail and other orders to jail authorities, district courts and High Courts.
- The Court took this initiative after people given bail by courts, even by the Supreme Court have to wait for days before prison authorities release them. Prison authorities who insist on receiving by hand the “authentic” hard copy of the bail order regardless of the fact that the personal liberty of people suffers.
- The Bench asked State governments to file their reports about the Internet connectivity in their jails to prevent technical glitches in future.